normalcy is coursing through my veins
Friday, September 28, 2001
Disclaimer: In no way was my earlier post about my clothing meant to be soft-core porn . So just get your mind out of the gutter, ok? I mean it. Right now.

Oh yeah, and I'm smarter than Miss America too. Although I was one off about the presidents. Forgot about Reagan. Appropriate, I thought.

My rockstar boyfriend is Thom Yorke. Who's yours?

I just returned from a trip to the cafeteria in my building, where I am ashamed to say I buy food at least three times a week. (This just demonstrates my complete disdain for midtown, the fact that I am willing to eat food prepared by the same dining service that fed my college campus rather than venture outside my building at lunchtime). Anyway...I walked past a table full of men, who were all wearing the exact same outfit. And it was a big table, there were ten of them at least. All outfitted in baby blue button-downs (Brooks Brothers, I'm sure) and khaki pants. At least they wore no ties (I mean, it is Friday after all). But still, how boring. I guess I should expect it though, the publishing house I work for shares the building with some sort of investment-type firm.

After walking past, I examined my own outfit and wondered if it was at all appropriate for work. It's fine, I guess: carpenter pants and a sheer-ish long-sleeve shirt over a tank top...and sneakers. But the pants sit really low and sometimes a strip of my stomach is exposed...and the shirt is fairly tight. Whatever, I've received two compliments on my outfit from more conservatively dressed co-workers, so I guess I'm fine. It's just that I sometimes have trouble with the fine line between appropriate and inappropriate work attire.

Thursday, September 27, 2001
Thanks to Liz for the mash link (although we never called it mash, we just called it 'that fortune-telling game'). I'm always up for another procrastinatory device. Here are my results, with commentary where appropriate:
You live in a House. (ooh, with a capital 'H')
You're married to Billy. (I know no one named Billy, so if you're my future husband, please let me know)
You drive a Cadillac. (vroom.)
Your car is the color Red.
You live in the state Alaska.
Your honeymoon is Tokyo.
Your occupation is a Writer.
You have this many kids: 11 (8 male; 3 female). (Um, no.)

So there have been all of these articles in the Times about how stores are selling out of gas masks and Cipro, a prescription drug researchers believe may be able to help treat anthrax if it's caught early enough. There was even a reader poll on yesterday asking whether you have considered buying a gas mask. Now, I'll admit it, I'm a little neurotic, I thought about buying one. But just for a second. I mean, am I really going to wander around with a gas mask on all the time? No. And if you don't have it on all the time, then what's the point? You think you're going to be able to pull it on at the first hint of anthrax in the air? I don't think so.

While it is frightening that I am even writing this, it is also sort of funny. Apparently, the big debate at society functions these days is whether Israeli masks or U.S. military-issue ones are better. Perhaps they will start making them in fashion colors, or they could be a little more d.i.y, like those dye-to-match pumps for prom. I'm sure they've already been used in runway shows. I have been reminded of that scene in The Virgin Suicides (I think), where the party theme is altered in order to take into account the smell in the air, and all the debs are wearing masks.

Yeah, New York is a little more paranoid than usual these days...

It's actually cool enough outside today that I am wearing a sweater. Woo-hoo! Fall is by far my favorite season (it is also, unfortunately, way too short here in NYC--we seem to go from flip-flops to winter boots in a week's time, I swear). But anyway, I just thought I would share my joy at the fact that I am all wrapped up in charcoal-grey wool.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Tee hee, this Keroppi jigsaw puzzle is the cutest thing ever. Especially since when you solve it, it makes the cutest little "Keroppi" noise. Yes, sometimes I am five years old. And yes, my boss did indeed just catch me doing a little froggy jigsaw puzzle. At least he laughed.

So last week I went to the Sanrio store in Times Square. I had never been there before, and it's probably a good thing given how many things I wanted to buy. I was good though, I restrained myself. Mostly. I did, however, buy a little stuffed Keroppi. I brought him in to work, so that he could sit on top of my monitor and serve as my mascot. But I have now had to scotch-tape his ass to the monitor, as he had developed a habit of falling onto my keyboard, resulting in random sections of manuscript reading something like: jrl0fmq. Sit Keroppi, now stay. Good boy!

I went to a McSweeney's event last night. It was lovely. There was reading and laughing and a PowerPoint presentation and music and dancing. I have been critical of such events in the past, mostly for the feeling that sometimes real emotion is sacrificed in favor of cleverness. This was most certainly not the case yesterday, which was wonderful.

Tiny moment that made me happy: David Byrne, speaking about the presentation he was about to make, and beginning a sentence with "You may ask yourself..."

At Tab's request, I am posting three excerpts from my 'imitative fallacy' search. My understanding of what it means (which comes from my college writing advisor) is impossible for me to write in standard definition form, so I will give an example: A writer is trying to demonstrate that a character is confused or that the mood is one of confusion. In the process, his/her own writing becomes confusing to the reader, which was not the intended outcome. See examples below:

--For Byron's poetry does not, says the Imitative Fallacy, simply reflect or imitate or describe or transcribe a reality (personal, social, political) outside of itself. Rather, the poetry creates its own 'reality', its own perception and interpretations-its own 'truths'.

--At times "Lristallnacht" succumbed to the imitative fallacy, assaulting listeners to commemorate the assault on the Jews. But most of Mr. Zorn's act of rememberance was tautly timed and carefully thought through, from its improvisational details to its overall structure. Without losing its self-consciousness, the music was unafraid to move listeners.

--Ellis seemed to be after a kind of Warholian stupor in which the reader's boredom reflected Bateman's moral vacancy, which in turn reflected the spiritual emptiness of the materialistic '80s. About the book's endless product-cataloging, Ellis told Rolling Stone, "Either you find it so numbing you skip it, which I don't think is a bad thing to do, or you find it funny." I skipped it, which I didn't think was a bad thing to do but only because the book had succumbed to the imitative fallacy: It was as brutally blank and blankly brutal as its Wall Street protagonist.

Sorry if I'm boring you, I promise that will be the last of the literary criticism discussion for a while.

Monday, September 24, 2001
I have an enormous amount of work to do, and yet here I am, posting away. I've already spent a good half-hour looking at internet sites called up as a result of my Google search for "imitative fallacy," a term I used in conversation last week, and then thought I had made up (after three people I asked about it--and people who are usually knowledgable about such things--gave me perplexed looks). Even my boss hadn't heard of it...although it didn't stop him from using it in a meeting with an author later that afternoon (Yeah, ask me how pissed I am about the fact that he presented my ideas as his own with the door open so that I could hear).

Anyway, I didn't make it up. It's a real term and it means what I thought it did. I am not crazy. Geeky, yes...but not crazy. Woo-hoo.

Friday, September 21, 2001
Word of the day:

maunder \MON-dur\, intransitive verb:
1. To talk incoherently; to speak in a rambling manner.
2. To wander aimlessly or confusedly.

Appropriate, as definition number one is pretty much what this site is all about.

If you're a girl and you have a blog, you should register it here.

I just ordered this shirt. Be jealous. Or order your own. Unless I see you on a regular basis, then you're not allowed to order because we'll have to keep coordinating so as not to wear it at the same time. Don't worry though, they have plenty of other cool stuff for you.

I had this great idea for a story last night, while sitting in a cab stuck in traffic on the Manhattan Bridge for more than half an hour. All the way home I recited it mentally so as not to forget it. Then, I got home, pulled off damp clothes and crawled into bed. There was sleep and then morning, and now the idea is gone. Can anyone tell me what it was?

Thursday, September 20, 2001
Send her haiku. I did.

Busy, busy, no time to post today. Meetings all morning, discussion of manuscript for experimental novel with boss, cramming of lunch into mouth, mailing stuff, reading book reviews, drinking coffee, cursing lack of umbrella, mailing more stuff, hurrying to transmit front matter, sending too-short emails, cursing rain.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001
'Follow me through a city of frost covered angels
I swear I have nothing to prove
I just want to dance in your tangles
To give me some reason to move'

Yeah, I'm listening to Neutral Milk Hotel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001
I know two people in Jane magazine this month, one in the section where they ask random people on the street questions and the person who wrote the 'It Happened to Me' piece. Weird.

I have been reading Mighty Girl lately, thanks to a link on Jeff's site. Check it out, she's cool.

What's going on with all of these pork advertisements? Are they part of a nationwide campaign? And what are they going for? I mean, really..."I scream, you scream, we all scream for pork loin"? "Life is just a bowl of pork chops"? Are they kidding? Ew.

So I'm attempting to return to my usual tone of postings. Don't hate me. It's not that I don't care and haven't been affected by all that has happened, it's just that I can't be miserable and dwell forever or I will go crazy. I don't like being crazy. And so I try to write amusing things instead. Otherwise, I start to think about it too hard and then I start to panic and have horrible dreams like the one that left me wide-awake and shaken at 4 this morning. Yeah.

Why does truck coffee taste so much better than any other kind? By truck coffee, I mean the 50-cent (Why is there no cent symbol on my keyboard? There is a dollar sign, but no cent sign. And why have I not noticed this before? I just spent a minute hunting before I wrote out 'cent') variety I get from the truck on the corner of 51st and Park every morning. It's better than deli coffee, and certainly better than the weird semi-instant variety we have here at work. Plus, the guy at the truck I frequent is great, always smiling and cheerful. It's not the closest one to where I work, but it's on the way from the subway, and so I stop there because he knows I want a small coffee with skim milk and a little sugar before I ask. That's pretty cool, given the number of people he probably see each morning. Don't you think?

Monday, September 17, 2001
Yes, I am having guilt issues about posting my usual sarcastic/snarky/silly comments here. In case you were wondering.

I am back at work today after nearly a week away. I tried to come back on Thursday, but it took me 2+ hours to get here and I was here only 15 minutes before the bomb threats/evacuations began. No one was getting anything done a lot of us left.

I have added a box to the sidebar where you can donate to the Red Cross. There are lots of people who could use the help, so please donate if you can.

Thanks so much to all of you who sent messages checking to see that I was okay and offering support and well wishes. It has been really nice to know there are that many people who care about my well-being. I hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Now that I finally have online access again (I left work at 10 am, and phone service has been sporadic at best), I thought I would take two seconds to let everyone who reads this know that I'm okay, and that I hope all of you are too. I can't believe what has happened today, it's just too horrible. Thankfully, everyone I am close to here is alright, which makes me feel very lucky. All day long there has been the noise of news broadcasts and sirens. I walked from midtown to Park Slope because I have never so badly in my entire life wanted to be home. Downtown is smoke-filled and mostly blocked off. I have never seen the streets so empty--just cabs and emergency vehicles, really....and lots of people walking around, bewildered, some of them covered in white soot. When Mary and I arrived back here, there was a cloud of smoke billowing over our neighborhood. We found charred pages from business books in the streets outside her apartment. Um yeah, that's about all. I think I am going to go crawl into bed now. It was a long walk home to Brooklyn and it has been a long, long day. I'll say again that I hope all is well for all of you. Goodnight.

Monday, September 10, 2001
Mmmmm, Sleater-Kinney, just what I need to get me through the afternoon:

'i wanna be your joey ramone
pictures of me on yr bedroom door
invite you back before the show
i'm the queen of rock and roll'

Yes, I harbor girl band fantasies. But I'm not the only one...just ask Liz.

I had a good weekend. I saw The Others. I went to a dance performance that my friend had choreographed a piece for. I waited in line for New York Film Festival tickets (alas, The Royal Tenenbaums was sold out before tix even went on sale to the public, sigh). I went back to Williamsburg and remembered why I don't live there anymore. I wandered around Prospect Park with an old friend, who I had really missed.

Sounds lovely, no?

Friday, September 07, 2001
I realized that the construction of the first sentence in the previous post makes it sound like I work in the bathroom. I do not.

So in the bathroom here where I work, we have those faucets that turn on automatically when you put your hands under them. Or at least they're supposed to. But one of them is broken. It has been broken since long before I worked here, and it is probably never going to be fixed. I know which one is the broken one. I understand that its broken-ness means that water will not come out when I put my hands under it. Yet every day I gravitate to it, stick my hands beneath the spout and stand for a moment, waiting, before cursing my idiocy and moving to another sink. I'm not kidding, every day. What does that say about me?

Thursday, September 06, 2001

This tiny little woman walked onstage in a tiny little black dress and really sparkly shoes. They caught the light when she danced, which she did quite spastically. As G noted, she looks like someone from another time.

She opened with 'This Mess We're In,' which was Thom-Yorke-less and still very nice. She obviously chose it for a reason ("I'm in New York...I think it's Wednesday...") The whole show was great. She did songs from every album, did a good job balancing the harsh with the poppy. The best song (by far) was 'Rid of Me,' sung standing alone, just her and the guitar, quiet then screaming. Do you fall in love with people just for moments? I do. Especially musicians. Boys and girls. Usually for about the length of a song, I am enraptured. That song has been in my head all day. She ended with 'Big Exit' (clever clever) and then came out and did old stuff as an encore. I went home and put on 'Rid of Me' and let her sing/scream me to sleep.

I slept through my alarm this morning. I haven't done that since college, I don't think. I mean, I hear the alarm and ignore it (or hit snooze) all the time...but I'm talking sleeping through without hearing anything, oblivious. Of course, then I couldn't find my keys. And the trains were all fucky. So I got here at 11 and I have so much work to do, and my hair is gross and ratty and pulled into haphazard pigtails. I look like a kewpie doll gone wrong.

But mmm, PJ was great. I left work early and went to H&M to treat myself to a fun new outfit--complete with short red skirt, funky t-shirt, and bangle bracelets--before meeting G for a pre-concert dinner at this Italian place in Chelsea that I am quite fond of. And then the concert itself...happy sigh. More details to come (after a series of ISBN requests are completed).

Overheard on the uptown five train this morning (in a conversation that, up until this point, had not involved babies at all): "It's like, if I'm holding the baby's hand and the baby bites the hand, I want to kill the fucking baby...y'know?"

Wednesday, September 05, 2001
This was an actual headline on Salon today: Many schools not drug-free. Shocker.

All of you New Yorkers should go see Jonathan Ames read this coming Monday (September 10th) at the B&N in Chelsea. There will be jokes. You will laugh loud and long, I promise. And you like to laugh, don't you?

Of course, he will be reading with Matthew Klam, an author who does not make me laugh. He just makes me sigh with boredom. Or put down his book in mild irritation. Three times in one sitting. But you could always leave for that part...Or nap. You like to nap, don't you?

Tuesday, September 04, 2001
Ohmigod, I just spent $85 to get a Bjork ticket. But it's an orchestra seat. And she has an Inuit choir. And I love her. Those factors all justify the exorbitant price, right? Right?! I need some affirmation here.

I hate the copy machine. You know that scene in Office Space where they take the printer out into a field and smash it with baseball bats? Yeah, that's what I'd like to do with our photocopier.

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