Monday, September 24, 2007

Life and shoes

Unlike many ladies, or at least many ladies on the TV, I am not a big fan of shoe shopping. This stems largely from the fact that in addition to being concerned about consumerism and the environment, blah blah blah, I also have a bunion. Like the Golden Girl I am. (Related: I was going to link to WebMD, but their site claims that bunions result from wearing tight shoes, which is UNTRUE. I have worn high heels for a total of 90 minutes in my life and still have weirdo deformed feet. So phooey on you and your sexist ersatz genetics-avoidance, WebMD).

Anyway, I'm not so into shoe shopping, but faced with one pair of hole-riddled red Chucks, I figured I was going to have to face up to the impending New England fall. And I went to DSW, where I found this . . . a shoe called the Playwright. Which, shockingly, are actually pretty comfortable and kind of what I was looking for (in "cigar" if you're curious). Not too casual, not too dressy, nice cushy arch support; they are flat enough to fit in my bike's toe clips, and stretchy enough to accommodate said bunion.

And, I have to admit, I was feeling pretty stoked about wearing shoes that matched my chosen career right up until I went to look for them on Zappos, in case I wanted to order another pair in black. Turns out the style got discontinued in 2005. . . except for children.

Apparently, they're the only ones interested in playwrights. Sigh.

Monday, September 17, 2007


1) I did the career meme . . . ooh, a meme, like a real blogger. Top career recommendation? Anthropologist, which, although I've never considered it, is not all that far removed from playwright, when you think about it. At least playwright as I tend to be. They also gave me psychologist and teacher . . . somehow, I don't think anyone puts playwright on a career counseling website, for good reasons.

2) When I went outside tonight to take the laundry down, it smelled like fall. And the first smell of fall always makes me incredibly happy.

3) I finished last week's Sunday Times crossword ON SUNDAY, which was a life first. And, probably a sign of a very relaxed summer in which I got to perfect my crossword skillz. Of course, this Sunday when I sat down to polish it off, it was hard again, so I got all pouty and put it in the recycling.

4) The Wonder Dog had a "hot spot" last week (no, he was not receiving T-Mobile wireless) and had to be taken in to the vet, who informed us that -- A) he has going to be fine and B) it was a really good thing we had brought him in because his lymph node was getting all swollen. Went home with a bunch of antibiotic pills and some spray (weirdly, the same stuff I was given when I had pink eye). Luckily, the WD will eat anything, so getting the pills down is no trouble. Hot spot is fading into oblivion, and, after the Winter from Hell f/ the Wound that Would Never Heal, I'm remarkably sanguine about things like vet visits and the Elizabethan Collar.

5) Almost done with The Known World and ready to move on to either New Haven England White or Pictures from an Institution, both of which I'm predicting will be speedier.

6) I love that they call it an Elizabethan Collar.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Books n stuffs

Last first week of school down, and I'm still going (moderately) strong, although I'm kind of staring into the abyss of overwhelmedness that is to come -- my guess I lose it early October, barely hang on until Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, become despondent that the winter will never end in February and then freak out that I'm graduating in April-May. But, you know, just a guess.

I'm thinking mostly today about books. The fantastic Sarah just started a book blog which is funny and smart and makes me feel really inferior about how few books I read this summer, but that's okay. I'm in the middle of The Known World which is fascinating, but surprisingly slow going, with a lot of characters and time and place shifting going on. I'm feeling ready for something a little more linear. . . and maybe not so sad. I just finished working on a sad play, and I could use a novel where everything more or less works out in the end.

I'm also thinking about books and the way that they can worm their way inside your brain, and how it can be great -- like, it's okay if everyone thinks I'm an eight-year-old freak, because Matilda could make people fly. It can also work not so well, when a book takes over your brain and won't give it back. I think that my innate anxiety about being a loser when I started playskool was infinitely heightened by reading Prep the week before I began my first year. The novel brought all my miserable eighth-grade emotions to the forefront and reduced me to an insecure fifteen-year-old. I don't know how quickly I would have felt comfortable in my own skin had I not read the book, but I have to say, if you're at all suceptible to private-school, not-having-the-right-clothes angst, don't read this book moments before diving into an all-new academic setting. In New England.

Finally, I'm thinking about books because Madeleine L'Engle died today and that makes me sad. Because she was an awesome writer and because she wrote books for an audience that NEEDED them. I remember walking around my second grade classroom trying to get people to read A Wrinkle in Time and nobody would because its first sentence is "It was a dark and stormy night." The books you read from age 8-14 are so important, such a lifeline -- partly because everything else is so hard -- and I feel nostalgic for that intensity of readership. I miss staying up late to find out what happened next. I miss wanting to read just one more chapter. I miss books that made sense of things that nobody I knew personally could explain to me. I want a book like that.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Year 20

Tomorrow is my last first day of school. May something-or-other be will be first last day of school.

I'm a little bit freaking out.

I've been going to school for nineteen years now, and I'm about to begin Year 20. I've been going to school longer than I've lived in any city, longer than I've known almost anyone except for immediate family. There have been breaks and gaps and lousy years and sick days and all that, but it's school. It's familiar. And, as per usual, I'm working today to finish up my summer assignments, totally unsatisfied with any of my first-day-of-school outfits, and basking in pristine new school supplies. ( is a new addiction) Oh, and of course because it's school photo day, I have a new giant pimple on my forehead.

But this is it. Barring an unlikely late in a life desire for a PhD or a sudden, desperate shift to law school, I'm filling out my course registration forms for the last time. I wish I could say this new-found perspective filled me with wisdom or an appreciation for every fleeting moment or something, but instead I'm a little bit anxious, a little bit excited, a little bit afraid I won't be able to sleep very well tonight. The usual.