Monday, July 28, 2008

From a shoot on Friday. Fifty bucks and hour to work with a really cool photographer. Sure beats waitressing.

I've got some more modeling gigs and a research job lined up, so I hopefully won't starve again in August. Still haven't reached my goal of steady employment, but I'll worry about that when this novel's in my agent's hands, and after my Lizard Lounge feature on Sunday (which you should come to if you're reading this in Boston).

How is it I never feel like I'm doing enough?

Also, Jade's verdict on the new Batman: I love the way they're handling this series, taking it so much more seriously than Burton (who I love, but who is by definition a bit campy). Ledger plays the Joker as a real person. Bale plays Batman as a real person. The fantastic situations are handled with minimal cartoonishness. Me likey me likey.

Also, dude, Heath Ledger's mannerisms. The lip-licking, the surprisingly subtle one-eye blinking. The fucking WALK coming out of the hospital in the nurse's uniform. I was squealing with glee in the theater. Everyone hated me.

Also ALSO, Watchmen the Movie? I'd like to go on record as saying *ahem [nerd voice]* I AM SKEPTICAL!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last night Brian and I drank Really Good Bourbon and he told me all the things wrong with my poetry. All things I needed to hear, and so nice to hear criticism from another self-taught writer. When this novel is done (less than two weeks, I swear) I am going to take some time and just focus on poetry.

I was talking to my friend Nell, one of my only friends left from high school, about how so many of my old friends have disowned me. You have to dedicate your life to this. You're not going to be the best friend all the time. With art, you can always get better, and the better you get, the more people hate you for it. Must be like being a CEO or an investment banker. You can just always make more money, and the more you make, the more jealous people get of you. The more friends you lose, till your only friends are your money and your stuff.

I say, "But shouldn't I be more successful, a better writer before people start pointing angry fingers at me in bars?"

Brian laughs like a cross between a wild dog and a foghorn. "You have to succeed surprisingly little before people start to hate you. It can be something as simple as setting personal goals and meeting them, and people want to see you hit by a bus."

Maybe the most skilled writers are left with just their talent and words at the dinner table. At least I'll always have the characters in my head.

Monday, July 21, 2008

epic weekends

I turned off my brain this weekend. Didn't even let myself read. Saturday I went up to Connecticut to hang out with Derek's family by the pool. I drifted for hours by myself while he was cooking, just actually with myself, without friends or emails or even the characters in my head invading. Then at three the kids came over and jumped in, and I let them flip over my raft and squirt me with squirtguns. I got out for a couple of hours to eat delicious barbecue, then back in the pool with me.

At one point, Katherine, the littlest girl, tugged on Derek's mom's sleeve. "Aunt Sandy," she whispered. "Jade has a lady on her arm!"

"I know. That's called a tattoo."

She whispered even softer. "How did they get the lady on her arm?"

"Why don't you ask her?"

Eyes wide, vehement head shake no. Shy little girls are the cutest.

Sunday Tara went with me to my feature at Witch City Poetry in Salem. For my performance I received three free Belgian Dubbel Bocks and a salmon and creme fraiche crepe. Thought of making a sign that said, "Will Recite for Food." Rat tried to give me my own Art Saves sticker, saying "Someone gave this to me and it makes me think of you." I showed him my Moleskine with the sticker and told him, "Actually, I'm where those come from." He put it on his notebook.

We decided we needed some baked alaska inside of us, so when we got back to Cambridge, we stopped by Oleana and had multiple culinary orgasms waiting for Alana's flight to get in. I missed that girl to a ridiculous crazy degree. We all went straight to the B-Side and drank martinis till last call. She is right, in Boston, we have epic weekends.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The nice thing about semi-employment is you can go to the beach on a Tuesday, if you want. You will be there with the high school kids and the housewives and the elderly an the rich, but if you want, you can go.

Tara and I went up to Singing Beach and sweated out the horizon in front of the muddy waves. I love the New England beaches. These rocky boat-docking Ahab beaches, warm only five months a year. I look over and realize that Tara, like Alana, like so many people I've met here, has almost instantly become one of the best friends I've ever had. I mention this, and look up at the sky and out at the perfect beach, the perfect ocean, and I may also mention how comfortable and happy I am in New England, how much I love the people and the cities and the nature and the landscape and the restaurants and the bars, how challenged and fulfilled I feel here, and how no where I've ever been has felt so much like home to me.

And this, itself, is terrifying, but feels good, nonetheless. I don't know how to be comfortable. For one who always pictured herself a rambler and decided to pick up and move, pick up and move, to go and go and never stop, maybe it's okay to find a place you want to be for a while, and people you want to weave into your nest.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

crazy how old Hurt resurfaces

Jade: I didn't have any friends growing up for long long periods of time. I couldn't get a date to save my life. Boys did nothing but tease me, call me freak or ugly or dyke. It was a joke that anyone would ever date me. No one kissed me till I was 18, and then it was just cause it was my birthday and I asked him. I spent every weekend at home reading or drawing and I'd cry because I was so lonely, and I really never thought anyone would ever love me. Really. I know it sounds crazy and childish, but I honestly believed that. I couldn't talk to my parents because they'd get mad when I was unhappy. I just thought of it this morning and started crying. I think it's something I've never addressed. I really feel totally unlovable, and I need to figure out how to get over it.

Lady: I have much sadness left over from my past and I totally understand how it is when people act angry with you when you're sad, even if it you can't help it. Suck. I feel like I'll have to fight myself forever, but we're not the only people like that and I feel like, as much as it often sucks, it is the same thing that allows me to take such interest in the world and to see, feel, and appreciate beauty.

Jade: That's true. Thank you. That's just what I needed to hear. It's true. I probably wouldn't be a writer if I didn't grow up like that. I guess it's worth it, in the end. Someone has to take on all these responsibilities of really meaning this human being thing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In my old age I'm starting to love getting up early. Maybe it was all those months working the 5am shift at Starbucks, making 7:30 seem like sleeping in. Maybe it's sharing a bed with a 9-5er, wanting to get up and have breakfast with him and make him coffee (don't tell the feminists, I'll lose my card), or just that relentless clock-tick reminding me do the most I can with these beautiful, beautiful days. It's rare I sleep past 9 lately, even if I'm out or up late. I wake up with this feeling of endless possibilities. All this will change, I'm sure, when I get a full-time job.

I'm so close to finishing my novel I can taste it like metal in my mouth. Plan: Finish this novel ahead of schedule (in the next few weeks or so). While I'm waiting for it to be shopped around (if my agent takes it, knock on wood), get a full-time job, make some scratch, have some fun, and focus for a while on poetry. Allow next novel a few months to gestate before starting in on it.

Marty McConnel's feature is tonight at the Cantab. I'm psyched. It's nice to be excited about poetry again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I have not been feeling especially social lately. Looking for a full-time job/feeling inadequate/nearing the end of my book/being broke all lead to early nights and hours spent frustrated filling out forms and resumes, mooching off friends' food and drink, and still never having enough time to write as much as I'd like.

Low-key Fourth of July. Could barely see the fireworks over the trees of the Somerville castle. I am so exhausted with conversations right now. They all seem the same, and I feel like I can tear through them like cobwebs. At least I watched the fireworks with friends and ate a cheeseburger. So fucking American you wanna rip your face off. Welcomed my friend Nell back from Switzerland. Nice to see her after a year and a half, both of us with new sexy boyfriends and so much further along on the paths to what we want to become. We've come so far since Indiana.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You don't meet nice girls in coffee shops.

If Bob Dylan's "Not Dark Yet," from Time Out of Mind was my humid whiskey-soaked night anthem last summer (which it was), the sticky porch-sitting, cricket-listening, pensive streetlight watching theme for Summer-ville, 2008, is Tom Waits's "Hold On," from Mule Variations. It is equally as haunting, beautiful, and evocative of universal human suffering, but it also manages to be "Not Dark Yet"'s exact antidote and antithesis, both tonally and lyrically.

Dylan '97 (Sylvan '07):

I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

Waits '99 (Sylvan '08):

Down by the Riverside motel,
It's 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store she closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it's so hard to dance that way
When it's cold and there's no music
Well your old hometown is so far away
But inside your head there's a record
That's playing a song called

Hold on, hold on
You really got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
And just hold on.