The graveyard of personal literary ambition.
There is only one of me, but I am Legion.
(lazy dot reviewer at gmail)
The New Yorker, reminding us that Australians are wonderful.
…and has made the mistake of admitting she has never watched “Annie” (1982). Happily, tomorrow is only a day away, and I have that motherfucker on Blu-Ray.
The local middle school (to which we have no affiliation) is putting on “Annie” during her visit, and I seriously want to be the two lady bloggers pregaming a middle school “Annie” and dressing to the nines to do so.
The New York Times (humility: your press office is doing it wrong)
In the summer of 2011 my wife and I purchased a top-of-the-line Jopen vibrator. We used it a few times and were just beginning to really integrate it into our sex lives when my wife died suddenly of a heart attack. (The vibrator had nothing to do with that.) Now, more than a year later, I’ve begun to date again. I’ve met a woman with an open mind, and I’m thinking she might be interested in using the vibrator. But I’m not sure how, or whether, to suggest it. Is it creepy to offer a dead woman’s vibrator to someone else? And if so what else can I do with it? Sell it on Craigslist? It’s an expensive piece of equipment, barely used, and it should be employed (and loved) once again. All of my wife’s other major possessions found wonderful new homes with dear friends of hers. But then again, a vibrator’s got a different—well, vibe about it. Sell it, toss it, or share it?
NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS
But I am conflicted; I do not think the institutional Church is a force for good in the world. I think that many, many good people identify as Catholics, and I think they continue trudging along under the banner of the Church, cringing when the Church criminally discourages condom use or uses their alms to pay lawyers to cast aspersions on the character of people who accuse them of molestation, which drives me crazy.
And part of me thinks that those people, like my mother, who loves gay people and supports a woman’s right to choose and believes with all of her heart in the faith of her mother, would be happier if she just said FUCK IT, I’M OUT, and joined some kind of loosey-goosey UU congregation and got on with her life.
But, then, when my mother ACTUALLY emailed me after reading “The Pagan Christ” and said she was getting a little worried that the Bible was all hooey…even though I myself believe that it is absolutely all hooey, and there is only the Void awaiting us all, I was completely horrified, and hastened to reassure her that the scholarship on the issue is not great.
Because she is happier as a Catholic. So, I don’t know. Part of me wants the Church to finish the job of alienating their kindest, best believers so they can move on, and part of me wants a Catholic Church that is worthy of my mother, and her mother, two of the most generous-spirited and goodly people the world has ever known, and despairs of that ever happening.
Are you watching it? I usually just see “featuring Margo Martindale” and sign up automatically, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality.
To be fair, the concept is so great that I would be horrified if a network had thrown it away on bad production values and mediocre actors, but “The Americans” has really exceeded my expectations.
Also, if you enjoy watching television shows and interrogating your partner about how they would behave if the two of you were in various fictional scenarios, this is a great one for you!
“Would it be worse if I had to sleep with guys for my job, or you had to sleep with girls for your job? Because, right, I could theoretically sleep with a bunch of dudes for work without any physical enjoyment or arousal, but if you are sleeping with girls for work, you are obviously getting erections and having orgasms.”
And so on. For an hour. Every week. How does anyone stand being married to me and my hypothetical scenarios?
I’ve been strength-training really aggressively this year, and in a completely non-appearance-based update, I went skiing today (we live in the mountains but between work and baby I haven’t gotten up much yet this season) and realized I’m overpowering my old set-up and need to actually buy heavier, stiffer skis to compensate.
I didn’t even notice until I warmed up and got onto the black runs and got aggressive with them, and my lighter skis were starting to shake and wash out during turns.
So, I dunno, this is the sport training equivalent of “and now I can wear skinny jeans,” or whatever, and I’m in an amazing mood as a result. I have a clinic with Kristen Ulmer at the end of the month, and the LAST time I had a clinic I broke my leg, so I want to go into this like Lucy Fucking Lawless.
(Xena, not Cylon, but since I still have a rod in the left leg, maybe 70% Xena, 30% Cylon.)
Entering year five of my attempt to get Industrious to admit that Justin Timberlake has talent. SNL has helped, “Suit and Tie” has not. Marrying Jessica Biel helped a tiny bit, but did drastically downgrad his opinion of Jessica Biel. And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, she says without rechecking the quotation.
So, I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, for about 24 hours, and I was wearing my favourite, favourite dress, and I was a little early for lunch, so I stepped into a Banana Republic because I hadn’t seen their Mad Men line yet, and I love looking like I’ve been sewn/poured into clothes, which is basically their entire Mad Men line, so I tried on one dress, felt meh about it, realized I was running late, got back into my own dress, and the zipper blew. So, I hastily find some random dress in my size, buy it (40% off sale FTW), grab the trenchcoat which was my reason for shopping at all that day (I had brought a down jacket from Utah, and it was pouring rain in NYC and I didn’t want to smell like a rotting duck for a week), paid for the dress and the trench and dashed to lunch.
So, I have a lovely lunch, receive compliments on the trench, retrieve it from the hook after I finish eating, plunge my hands into the pocket, and remove an eighty-dollar necklace with the tags still on. It was also extremely fugly, but since I did not intend on keeping it, that’s a little beside the point. At any rate, I am looking forward to returning it at my nearest convenience, but I am also profoundly grateful I did not set off any alarms when leaving the store, as it seems likely the most common excuse real shoplifters give is “I had no idea that was in the pocket when I bought it!” followed by “I forgot to pay for that.”
And that is the most exciting thing I have ever accidentally done in my life, which is immensely sobering, now that I’m giving it some thought.
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, and planning to explore (and encourage other people to explore! submissions at thehairpin dot com), is the question of growing to admire your female peers instead of envying them. The moment when you see other young women writing good and interesting and successful things and can become genuinely happy and engaged by their work, and not simply wish you’d done it yourself. I think it’s only in the last year or two that I’ve hit that point, and I’m wishing it had come sooner for me. And wondering what I could have done to arrive at that point in my early twenties, and how to foster it in others.
I really want to hear from other women about the peers that they are inspired by, and why, and how it happened, and if they used to feel differently. I’m going to be reaching out to do some interviews with women I think are incredible, not the Gloria Steinems, but the other women writing funny or serious things online about feminism and books and television. People who share my wheelhouse, and do it brilliantly.
And this is obviously a weird, elliptical concept, but I want to see where it goes. Who do you admire? Who is doing the work you wish you were doing yourself, and where does the conflict line fall, or how have you managed to erase it?
…is how good Industrious is at being her dad. He tells everyone that he thought he’d be horrible at it, having had a crummy dad himself, and never having enjoyed spending time with kids, and the two of them are in this perfect, beautiful, otherworldly love. I wake up with her, and within half an hour she runs to the nursery door and says “dadadadadadada” until I go upstairs with her and lift her onto the bed, and then she scrapes all his sheets off and kicks him ecstatically until he wakes up.
And they’re essentially the same person, with the same interests (animals, the outdoors, novelty, taking physical risks, blueberries), and it’s overwhelming and beautiful. So much so that he says these cute, fatuous, parental things I get a huge kick out of.
My friend Josh was in town, and he’s gay and single and having a blast, and Industrious asked me if I thought Josh would have kids, and I said, no, he doesn’t want to, and Industrious asked why, and I said that Josh didn’t really like kids, amongst other things, and Industrious said, with ZERO awareness of it being the biggest dumb thing that people say to childfree people, “but, it’s different when they’re your own.”
And I laughed about it, because he really has been just sideswiped by his love for our daughter. It’s great. I mean, I love her, but I always wanted to be a parent and am finding it to be great, as I expected, but he was never excited to be a dad, was TERRIFIED that having a girl would be even more alien, and then discovered that he is now sharing his life with a tiny version of himself that he can try to do a better job nurturing than his own parents did.
Which, again, is the perfect selfishness of parenthood, if you decide it’s something you want to do, mixed with the altruism you can hopefully bring to the mix. That you can take the frustrations of your past, and try to fix them, to the extent you can, while obviously making a bunch of new mistakes in the process.
And I’m having a great time watching it.
Do you have have that thing where you hear about something on the internet and just assume it’s really great and don’t bother to see it so you can finish going through your feeds? I’m absolutely convinced that the “Breaking Bad reimagined as 1990s family show” video is amazing, but here I am, continuing not to click through.