“You know, every time I read about these big hot-shot comedy writers, they always spend years smoking in some shitty house in the Valley. So, you know, we got time. This is OK. We’re sittin’ here, eating Hello Panda, just bouncin’ ideas around. This is progress.”—My kid sister came by so we could get cracking on that TV pilot. You can imagine how it’s going.
March: Met Martha Stewart on my 24th birthday, spent majority of month agonizing over whether or not 24 constitutes “mid-twenties”
April: Baseball season
May: Laid off from my longest full-time “grown-up” job, begin illustrious freelancing career
June: Began production on “Getting Away with It,” a short film that, somehow, magically transformed into a feature
July: Call in to “The Best Show on WFMU,” discuss aforementioned movie, subsequently spend next fifteen minutes screaming in the passenger seat of Chelsea’s minivan
August: Bid farewell to said minivan, begin shortest full-time “grown-up” job
September: Spend Labor Day at the Rockaways, unaware of the wrath of God that will soon descend upon my camping spot. On September 11, after a promotional screening of “The Master,” end longest relationship since moving to New York.
December: Dave Brubeck dies, Lenox Lounge announces it will close on New Year’s Eve. Try to spend 2013 at New York’s jazz venues, which always seem to be on the verge of collapse. Also, first Christmas tree.
n. a state of moral exhaustion inspired by acts of horror in the news, which force you to revise your image of what can happen in this world—rebuilding the fences around what’s normal, weeding out all unwelcome and invasive truths, cultivating the perennial good that’s buried under the surface—propping yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams but powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.
As with the passing of any great artist or musician, the Internet (and Twitter in particular), is already raring to go with its crash course in the fundamentals of Dave Brubeck. Expect to hear fond memories of tweed-jacketed college professors leading Jazz Appreciation seminars, to see listicles of the “Top 15 Essential Dave Brubeck Recordings” (bet you can already guess No. 1, can’t you?) and Buzzfeed-style galleries of “25 Young Whippersnappers Who Have No Idea Who Dave Brubeck Is.” And everyone will make fun of everyone for making fun of everyone’s moments of ignorance about this one genre.
Ahhhh, Lindsay Eanet, I love you.
I wonder if Lindsay Eanet gets to recycle this post every time a celebrity kicks the bucket.
I wasn’t allowed to play in some universities in the United States and out of twenty-five concerts, twenty-three were cancelled unless I would substitute my black bass player for my old white bass player, which I wouldn’t do. They wouldn’t let us go on with Gene [Wright] and I wouldn’t go on…
“The truth is that many future poets, novelists, and screenwriters are not likely to be straight-A students, either in high school or in college. The arts through which they will discover themselves prize creativity, originality, and intensity above academic performance; they value introspection above extroversion, insight above rote learning. Such unusual students may be, in the long run, the graduates of whom we will be most proud. Do we have room for the reflective introvert as well as for the future leader? Will we enjoy the student who manages to do respectably but not brilliantly in all her subjects but one—but at that one surpasses all her companions? Will we welcome eagerly the person who has in high school been completely uninterested in public service or sports—but who may be the next Wallace Stevens? Can we preach the doctrine of excellence in an art; the doctrine of intellectual absorption in a single field of study; even the doctrine of unsociability; even the doctrine of indifference to money?”—Helen Vendler, of the Harvard Admissions Committee, addresses the Ivy’s arty slacker gap.
My friend Amy Van Doran, Brooklyn’s busiest matchmaker, puts together a free monthly event for her eligible friends who are too cheap modest to employ her personally. Last month, I put up streamers, rang the “time’s up!” bell, and ran a kissing booth.
This month, I’ve been promoted from the kissing booth to the DJ booth. So come out tonight, meet someone special, and let me dance you ‘til the end of love.
I’d never been to a New York police precinct before tonight, because I’m not that kind of girl fortune has smiled upon me lo’ these many years. Until now, of course, when I swung by after work to file a lost property report on a fraudulent check. I was assisted by a very polite, very sweaty officer who had the good sense to finish my paperwork post haste. I was in and out within twenty minutes but, consummate eavesdropper that I am, managed to tune in on a some Official Police Business throughout.
I was seated behind a chest-high divider, while a dozen or so officers behind me were debriefed by a higher-up. There was a roll-call - some officers responded with “here,” others with “sarg,” and a check-list of weapons, vests, flashlights, etc. After the sergeant finished her talk, a man in plainclothes made a brief speech about how to dress properly for internal affairs meetings.
To the right of the group, two other officers - man and woman - chatted animatedly under their breaths. I assumed that they were still on the job, as they were not part of the debriefing group. From where I was sitting it looked like they were flirting, although on a job like that a certain amount of close camaraderie is expected.
Behind them, another officer sat outside of a large holding cell. Inside, a youngish man in all black alternated between pacing, slipping his fingers through the grating, and throwing his arms up in frustration.
At one point a group of four or five officers convened behind me and talked directly over my head. From what I could gather, one officer was putting out an APB on getting shift coverage. I definitely heard “I gotta work my other job that night,” to which his colleague replied, “They should put out a bulletin, because people have lives outside of this job, you know?”
“Here is a start: Look around your living space. Do you surround yourself with things you really like or things you like only because they are absurd? Listen to your own speech. Ask yourself: Do I communicate primarily through inside jokes and pop culture references? What percentage of my speech is meaningful? How much hyperbolic language do I use? Do I feign indifference? Look at your clothes. What parts of your wardrobe could be described as costume-like, derivative or reminiscent of some specific style archetype (the secretary, the hobo, the flapper, yourself as a child)? In other words, do your clothes refer to something else or only to themselves? Do you attempt to look intentionally nerdy, awkward or ugly? In other words, is your style an anti-style? The most important question: How would it feel to change yourself quietly, offline, without public display, from within?”—
Lady, I am the scourge you are talking about here. I am the city-dwelling, bike-riding, thrift-shopping sort with a 50 year old haircut and a [cherished, unironic] record collection.
My friends are in a similar way, each one a fascinating individual with a dance card full of hobbies and a veritable Rolodex (yeah, I remember those) of bon mots that they can dish out at a moment’s notice. And now that you know this, let me assure you that our beer-brewing and weird-instrument-playing and over-hyphenated-blogging is far too time consuming/expensive to be done without sincerity. When we get home from our jobs at media outlets or expensive boutiques or cheese shops we dive headfirst into whatever happening freaks us out because the New York Times and their classier-than-thou attitude just isn’t cutting it for us anymore.
Unless you count “The Ethicist,” because Chuck Klosterman is our Golden Calf.
Babysitting on Election Night was interesting. Despite being a childless young city-dweller, my political views were virtually identical to the new parents.’ The only difference was the reasoning - I want this country to get better “now-ish,” whereas they want it to be better in time for the rest of their child’s life.
Today, whatever residual joy we felt over last night’s results was dampened by a freak snowstorm. Housebound, Baby and I had to find a way to entertain ourselves while sticking close to the nursery.
Fortunately, the nursery was equipped with a decent turntable and some choice records. I put on Van Dyke Parks - for the first time! - and parked next to the window. This baby had never seen a snowstorm before but has been listening to Van Dyke Parks her whole life. When I looked out the window with her, I remembered when snow was new, and wondered why it took me so long to hear something so lovely.