Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2

Last year, I wrote a novel in a month. You probably know that already. But in case you missed last year's crazy ridiculousness (on my part), it's all blogged on my "writing blog" which I've since kind of abandoned because everyone knows it and i didn't really want my grandma reading about who I fucked last night. Which was no one, btw, in case she's somehow honed her grandma skills to finding this blog. ANYWHO, all promiscuity aside, I am again going to be joining several friends in the National Novel Writing Month challenge, which is to write 50,000 words in 31 days. MOST people do NaNoWriMo in November, but we all think that's silly because it only has 30 days AND we most of us travel for Thanksgiving and can't write when we're in a turkey coma. Also, we are not most people, are we? No. I think not.

So, as this is the second time I've done this, I gotta admit, I'm going in a little cocky. I know this is not a good thing. I know that I'm going to crash and burn at some point. But I can't help it. I'm all like "Whatever, I did this last year. I can do it again." Ahhh, the mighty (me) are about to fall. I know it, and yet I'm doing nothing about it.

So, basically, me and 5 of my friends are all going to begin our own 50,000 word novel beginning at midnight tonight and ending at midnight on October 31. That boils down to about 1,667 words per day. We have all modified the original "rules" somewhat to fit our own goals, etc, but I'm a purist and a type-A anal retentive, so I'm basically doing it the way it was originally set up to be done. I'm starting with a new story, I'm going to write at least 50,000 words.

So, I may not have much to say here for the next month. If you want to follow my novel-writing progress, I will again be posting on my writing blog, The Naked Writer.



I'm reading "Brideshead Revisited" right now, by Evelyn Waugh (which I always pronounce in my head WHAAAAAAAA!, think the noise someone doing karate might make), and anyway, I came across a particularly beautiful sentence that I don't want to lose.

"That was the change in her from ten years ago; that, indeed, was her reward, this haunting, magical sadness which spoke straight to the heart and struck silence; it was the completion of her beauty."


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Birthday Adventure

Not mine, mind you. My birthday (and impending doom! erm, my 27th birthday) is precisely 4 months and 13 days away. I think. Counting's not really my thing. ANYWAY, THIS adventure involves many people I love, but 3 especially, because their birthdays were last week, they all live in Pittsburgh, and I got to see each one!

Originally, I was going to catch a ride with some friends who were going to Pgh for the weekend on the cheap. Then I got a new job, and I couldn't take 2 days off work during my second week, so here I was sitting in my cubicle last Thursday, thinking "if only there was a way to go home this weekend...wait a second!" And I tromped over to travelocity to see if there were any last minute deals, which i haven't been successful with the last 10 or so times i've tried it, but lo and behold, my number was finally called, and lickety split, I had a flight AND a rental car for the weekend for around $200. I mentally patted myself on the back, taking all credit for so awesomely manipulating the situation in my favor.

After a jaunt over to the Museum of Modern Art to see a preview of the new Van Gogh exhibit (the exhibit is new, not the paintings, unfortunately. wouldn't THAT be awesome?) with my friend Bob, and probably the best dinner I've had all year (seriously, so so so good. he took me to the restaurant I've been living above for over a year and still hadn't been to), which included several cocktails, I drunkenly packed zero pairs of pants, 5 pairs of underwear, 2 toothbrushes, and an odd assortment of tops. Saturday morning, I awoke bright and early at 5 am to catch the train to JFK for my 8 am flight. I stopped at DD for coffee, and then got on the train around 5:30 am. Now, at 5:30 am, the few people who are riding the train are either a) up very early to go to work or b) up very late and going home from a bar/club/party. This is the kind of interesting mix you don't really get any other time of day. So, I'm sitting on the train, staring blankly at the ads across from me, sipping on my coffee in a half-awake daze when one of the latter kinds of people gets up from his seat down the car a ways from me, walks over to me and sits down next to me. He turns his body towards me and stares at me, waiting for me to look at him and/or say something. I am sleepy. I am annoyed. I have not had my coffee yet. I say, giving him a cursory slightly disgusted glance, "hi." Big mistake. I suppose that was all the encouragement he needed because he immediately told me that i was gorgeous, that he lived in brooklyn (obviously, that's the direction the train was headed) but was born in harlem (actually, he told me this three times) and then started asking me questions.

"I have a boyfriend," I said. Ah, the old standby. Although, I've found it only works about half the time.

"Oh, of course you do, baby, of course you do. You are a beautiful woman. Gorgeous. Did I tell you that I live in Brooklyn now, but I was born in Harlem? Where you from, baby?"


So I told him that it was early and I didn't feel like talking and he finally (thank God!) got the hint, said he'd "catch me later" and went back to his seat down the train. I have to admit, I was momentarily flattered that I had gotten hit on at 5:45 in the morning, until I considered that a) he HAD to have been drunk, b) he had struck out at the club and I was his last ditch effort before getting home, and (worst of alll) c) I was the only female on the train. Also, he was ugly.

So, I got to the airport, had a lovely flight, picked up my rental car (a Mazda 6! SO FAST! SO SO FAST!) and surprised my Daddy and my cousin Keegan at the family birthday party, caught "The Dark Knight" again with my mom, grandma, and aunt (better the second time!), and expounded on the parallels between the Bible and Batman to grandma as I drove her home (I was trying to help her like the movie...I don't think it worked). Then on Sunday, we went out to breakfast before Mom and I hit the outlet mall , where i bought some kicky black knee boots from Nine West and a few things for work. Then, on to my final birthday, my friend Katie at her new house, where we hung out all afternoon and evening and watched the baby crawl around and petted the dog and discussed all of the decorating/renovating possibilities for her house (which seems HUGE, but probably only because i live in a bedroom the size of my cubicle). Then I drove the back roads home to sleep for a couple of hours before getting up at 3:15 am to fly back home.

All in all, a fantastic weekend.

And one of the reasons I love and hate New York. Because NOTHING RIDICULOUS HAPPENS when I'm anywhere but here, which was very relaxing and refreshing. Though, it's part of the reason I come back, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

a brooklyn adventure

whilst walking to work this morning and letting my mind wander aimlessly across the desert that is the stretch of First Avenue between my apartment and the new job (Side note: I work a BLOCK from the UN and I had no idea until this morning! Security risk? Yes. Worth it for the possibility of meeting wealthy, well-dressed, and [fingers-crossed] dashingly handsome international diplomats? um, yeah, obvs.), and the thought floated across my consciousness like a nimbus cloud that though the blog is called "Adventures in LizzieLand", I don't often recall my actual adventures. I then surmised that could be due to the fact that I've been relatively hermitlike of late and haven't had many adventures, but then...well, nevermind. this has gone on long enough.

So, to give you a real-life ACTUAL adventure of the Lizzie and Sideshow variety, I give you..."Time Warp: Lizzie and Sideshow Enter an Alternate Universe."

It all started when Sideshow asked me if I wanted to hunt photo booths with her to take some candid shots for her NEW! website in development.

And then I found out about the Bullseye Bodegas that were in town "For a limited time only!"

And so the list grew until we had grandiose and very detailed plans for Saturday, including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Go to Bullseye Bodega and drool on things we don't need and so won't buy because our apartments can't possibly fit one more ounce of useless stuff.
2. Find photo booth. Take silly photos. Repeat.

And here's where it got crazy

3. Go to Brooklyn. Look at friend of friend's dad-owned apartment for rent.
4. Stop by Beacon's Closet: shop and drop off old clothes.
5. Use $15 pizza place gift certificate that will never be used otherwise because we never go to Brooklyn.
6. Maybe, if we have time, stop at a kitchy Polish bar I know for 32-ounce $3.50 beers.

Yes, friends, not only were Sideshow and I going to Brooklyn, we were going to WILLIAMSBURG, land of hipsters, ironic mustaches, and unhealthily skinny skinny jeans. And we had 4 good reasons for going there.

Oh, we had such lofty ideals. Oh, were we going to get so much done. Then SS texted at 11 am. "Late night last night, hung over, no photos, look like crap" (my paraphrase), to which I labored over an equally hung over response for the next 10 minutes. "Late night here too, look like crap, no photos okay." At which point, had we been smart, we would have just given up and gone back to sleep.

Our 2 pm meeting turned into 3:30, and we decided to tackle Brooklyn first. The guy whose dad owns the apartment I wanted to see called to say he didn't have the keys, so SS and I headed straight for Beacon's Closet, which turned out to be a hot, crowded, hipster mess. We lasted approximately 2.4 minutes before grabbing her bag of clothes (they told us to be back at 8! There was no way were staying IN BROOKLYN until 8 pm) and high-tailing it out of there. Several headache-inducing outfits later (that is, on the waifs we passed...Williamsburg must be having a severe food shortage, we surmised), we finally found the calm in the hipster storm...the Polish bar with a bartender older than my grandfather and the blessed, beautiful, cold, sparkling 32-ounce beer in a styrofoam cup. We lamented about how we don't want to move to Brooklyn and especially to Williamsburg, discussed our confusion about the skinny-jean phenomenon, and expressed our relief that no hipsters, apparently, could see this bar through their slatted fushia sunglasses.

Until, right after I received my second GIANT beer, 15 of the little buggers came stumbling and yelling through the door of the bar, beelined it to the jukebox, and began playing the MOST TYPICAL BAR SONGS EVER. Which caused an equal and opposite reaction in SS and I: to loudly make fun of them, their dress, their musical choices, and to say that we were having such a lovely time until they showed up. We were just drunk enough to be able to convince ourselves that we were being funny, not rude. Also, that we somehow were not on THEIR turf and so had some kind of right to not be invaded. Ah, retrospect.

So, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" blared in the background and I yelled to SS over the music, "God, wow! I love this song! This is such a great song! I can't believe they're playing THIS song! THey NEVER play this song in bars!" and the hipsters returned our annoyed and disparaging looks, a tall, skinny-jeaned, ironic-mustached, and flannel shirted young man bought two beers and set one in front of each of us.

"Calm down," he said, with a wry smile.

And then we felt like assholes and shut up, or at least quit yelling our obscenities.

We flirted with two brothers who were jerks but not hipsters before leaving the hipsters to the 60-year-old woman who reminded me of my grandmother and had taken over the bar from the ancient man who kind of reminded me of my grandfather. We traipsed to the pizza place, where the guy behind the counter said "Come back and spend some money next time" and the other one told us that his girlfriend was 4'11". The strange out-of-place feelings we had gave way to giggling about everyone and everything that seemed "different" and we got our sausage pizza to go, vowing never to return to this alternate universe where we didn't understand the dress code and the natives bought us beer to disarm us into thinking they were harmless and, could it even be?, nice.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Certain. Death. Maybe.

A cookie to the first person who can tell me what is wrong with the following sentence:

"Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes may face certain death."

Also, and this may be morbid, or distasteful, or whatever, but they said this OUT LOUD on NPR this morning, and you would not believe how delighted i was to hear the words "certain death" on the radio. For a brief glimmer of a moment, I was in the Princess Bride. Or some other fairy tale involving a threat of certain death.


but only maybe.

damn, i think i just gave it away.

also, I'm trying to work out a new budget based on my new salary AND I'm dreaming of the day when I can forever stop talking to, seeing, or listening to my heinous roommate, and I'm trying to remember whether "they" recommend housing costs to be 30% of before tax or after tax income. Do you know?

God, i just reread that last paragraph and i'm a little embarrassed to have you know the heighth, breadth, and depth of my nerdity.

oh well. you probably already know anyway.

wide-eyed, terrified

This article has had me sitting, slightly terrified, staring at my computer, trying very, very hard to relax all the muscles in my face. and not. move. them. at. all.

i will henceforth be beginning a campaign of non-emotiveness (after the emo-trauma of tonight's half-time routine, more to come on that later), complete with blank wide-eyed stares, speaking without moving my lips, and avoiding any and all interactions in which i might have to feel something, thereby opening myself to the possibility that that emotion may be reflected on my face.

also, sleeping on my back, quitting smoking, never going outside while the sun is shining, and pretty much just ending my life right now, while i'm still young, pretty, and wrinkle-free.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

is my insecurity showing?

a friend and i were talking today about a blog we both read. my friend said something to the effect of, "they think they're masking their pain so well, and maybe they are on the surface, but in their blog, it's in everything they write."

which, on further reflection, caused me to wonder what my blog 'says' that i don't think it says, or that maybe i'm trying (unconsciously?) to mask. Does it scream of insecurity? Or manic-depressiveness? Is it a cry for help, or attention?

It's easy to act cool and put together on the street, in the subway, at work, with acquaintances and sometimes with friends. But here...do I put up that exterior? Do I write exactly what I think and feel? Do I censor myself? don't try to, but i'm not sure it's avoidable.

Because it's easy to think you know yourself, but actually doing it is damn near impossible. i know i'm insecure sometimes; i don't always try to hide it. i let myself be vulnerable here; but there's always a thin coating of self-preservatory humor, or anger, or sarcasm. it is comforting to think of how far we've come. it is another thing entirely to face the demons that remain, especially if we'd rather pretend they no longer possess us. At least you know when you're being haunted by ghosts. How do you know when you're dealing with demons?

this is my brain on drugs

Hello my darling farphenugens! (yeah, that's how you spell that) (no, i don't know what a farphenugen is) (stop asking fucking questions)

It has been so long since we've communicated via blogoverse (yup, just made it up. like universe, only with blog at the beginning. and yes, i've copyrighted it, so don't even think about it) (yes, even though I just made it up) (shut your mouth! I'm talking!)

hummm, right. So, didja miss me? Because I missed you. Terribly. While i was frolicking amongst the radioactive waste in Lake Michigan and ducking from pretend gangsters in Chicago's south side and hitting on hot artists with families [shameless, i know, but i was on vacation...free pass!] at jazz festivals. oh, also ripping the tails off of boiled crawfish and sucking the sweet spicy creole-seasoned succulent flesh out of them while i stared into their lifeless beady black eyes. and picking their antennae out of my teeth. and THEN, i missed you even more whilst jazz-fingering my toes into the sweet moist north carolina sand while the dictator, king prince nephew Kole directed my sand-castle construction and water carrying duties ("Get more water!" he cried. And so I did.) and then watching my sister be obliterated by waves that were at least 4 feet above her 6 foot high head (awesome. seriously. awesome.) and riding waves via boogie board and learning (the hard way) just which bikini bottoms were conducive to wave riding. and which, unfortunately, were not.

henceforth, i will always recommend a one-piece for wave riding, though i feel that the one-piece interferes with one's ability to catch the eye of passing adult married males with children (the only kind available, apparently, during the first week of September in the OUter Banks).

As you can see, I barely managed without you.

OH, hai! Do you know what time it is?? It's time for me to take some more sinus infection medication! Hold up...one sec...ahhh, very nice. Congestion, begone! Right, and those were the nighttime kind, so i probably should wrap this up before i pass out in a pool of my own slobber and mucus.

and i still don't understand why noone wants to date me. hum.

on the bright side, i'm 3 for 3 on getting my used tissues in the garbage can from across the room.

so, to conclude, i had a lovely time on my vacation, and i really did miss you (even if i pretend to be strong and say that i didn't), and i just started a new job yesterday, and I'm getting a new roommate next week, AND I'm planning on doing the National Novel Writing Month with a few writer friends again in October. So, lots going on! oh, AND i have a sinus infection! (i forgot that part) but hopefully that'll go away soon.

And now, to fall into a drug-induced stupor, but not a pseudoephedrine-induced stupor. because the meth people ruined it for all of us.