Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Open Letter to the Texas Rangers About My Grandfather

Dear Texas Rangers,

My grandfather is sick. He is also ninety years old, and when your heart fails at ninety, your options are severely curtailed. This will be his last World Series. It could, possibly, be your first.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to say that he doesn’t cheer for you, and that, in all honesty, he probably has a pretty limited interest in your team. He is from New England, and his team (our team) is the Red Sox. He watched them for eighty four years without a World Series win, and you have to respect that, regardless of your team affiliation.

As it is with many other people, many of my memories of my grandfather are about baseball. His story about seeing Babe Ruth play at Fenway, and how he was unimpressed (In his defense, the Babe did fall over backwards and miss a pop fly. No one can be a legend all the time.) How, when a player was batting poorly, he “couldn’t even hit his weight”. The night that we watched Clay Bucholtz throw his no-hitter, and how every time my grandmother started to say the forbidden words “no-hitter”, he would shush her. “Ruth, you’ll put the whitewash on it.” I wish I had the words for that night; I wish I could explain that how, for the rest of my life, when I think about baseball, I’ll see my grandfather’s face, honestly believing that what an old lady says in her living room will somehow change the outcome of a game (a game!) being played a hundred miles away.

I shushed her too. I believed.

Part of the reason I’m telling you all this is for me – so far, the only way I’ve been able to get a handle on grieving for this man is to think about baseball games. Otherwise, it’s just too big. The other, bigger part of the reason is to ask a favor. We’re all Red Sox fans – him, me, and my mother, the biggest fan of the three of us - and there is a flip side to cheering for the Sox.

Please, win on Friday. Win on Saturday, and win on Sunday, and win as many times as it goddamn takes, because I can’t deal with the idea that the last World Series he watches could have the Yankees in it. I know it’s small, I know it’s petty, I know Yankees fans have grandfathers, too, but, like I said in the beginning of my letter, options are lacking right now, and this is the only thing I could come up with. I really need you to win.

Best to Cliff Lee,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What seems to be the problem, officer?

People who don't like poetry have never taken their roommate to an emergency psych ward in Queens, come home to find they've locked themselves out of their bedrooms, and watched the sun rise from the couch in the living room and wondered if maybe this had happened to someone else, and if they have something useful to say about. People who do like poetry (and are also me) root their Robert Lowell out of the bookcase as soon the landlord jimmies the lock open and find that there have been a lot of useful things said about emergencies, psych wards, and sunrise from the couch of one's own home.

Two nights ago, my roommate told her ex she was going to kill herself and the police came to my house to get her. Twice. The first time they came, she wasn't there, and we talked about Jeopardy. The second time they came, it was two in the morning, and there were six of them, plus two firefighters, plus an ambulance, plus a gurney in the hallway of my building. A nice police officer put his hand on my arm and told me that I had to get shoes on my roommate, because if she wouldn't come willingly, they were going to cuff her and take her in by force. Normally, I'm opposed to armed strangers coming into my home and removing its residents by force. That night, I asked for five minutes to help her get dressed.

Because I am still myself in even the most challenging situations, I locked the door to my room when the police arrived. This action was concieved in the same spirit of most of my decisions - last minute panic. What, exactly, I thought I was going to do to get back into my bedroom when the police departed did not figure into my decision making process.

We rode to the hospital in the back of the ambulance. I was not carsick. I handed my roomate many, many tissues; this is my preferred technique for ministering to the sick, especially in situations when I cannot offer them a drink or a snack. We got to the hospital, an orderly took away her shoes, put her purse in a locker, and told me to leave. I took a cab home, couldn't get into my room, and watching Top Gear and the sunrise until I fell asleep in my clothes. I thought about calling into work, but the idea of not going into the office because I had locked all of my clean pants in a room I couldn't access proved to be too much for me.

She has since come home. We watched the dog show and ate Thai food. I don't know what she's going to do in terms of treatment - events of the day have led me to think that tonight might involve another ambulance ride. I am wiped out and indecisive. I have no idea what to do; if I should move out (tonight!), help take care of her (no man is an island!), or drink myself into unhelpfulness and go to bed (probable winner! mostly kidding! mostly!).

Shockingly, I've decided the best thing to do is write all this down. I forgot that I enjoyed this, and that there was a better place to be pithy than Facebook. Welcome back, me. Christ, I'm tired.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I hate Zach Braff: A Manifesto

(Author's note: I saw the trailer for Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and flew directly off the handle. We should all be used to this by now.)

Here's the story: Character X loses their job, their live-in leaves them, and the only thing they have to comfort them is their quirky sense of humor, their indie street-cred, and their group of super-wacky friends. But hey, you say, awesome, because that's cool, they're Michael Cera, they're Seth Rogen, they're Zach Braff, and now they'll just go on a voyage of self-discovery and get a very pretty girlfriend. It's not their fault, it's the system. No one taught them how to be adults, let alone adult men, so they get a bye. They can look how they want, act how they want, abdicate any sort of human responsibility they want, it's cool.

Now imagine they're a chick.

She couldn't hack it at her job? Too bad, deadbeat. She's not...shall we say...conventionally attractive? I'll bet she finds some gorgeous, sensitive guy to burn her CD's and love her for herself! Too fucking bad, he's nailing Mena Suvari in another movie. She's angry at the status quo, she can't find herself, she's got a huge stack of comic books and Frank Zappa vinyls, she makes jokes no one gets. Crazy. Goddamn. Bitch.

I'm sick of this shit. I'm sick of the artists of our generation forgetting that there's another half of us, who are expected to suck it up and carry on, who don't get the benefit of Holden Caulfielding-out, who don't give a shit about Gossip Girl or who the hell isn't that into them, because let me tell you, it's everyone, who are getting by on the scraps and patches of these bullshit indie-rock fantasies in which every girl is beautiful and loves you for being an endearing loser and makes you mix-tapes, and can't find the story of themselves in anything.

I want someone to make my movie.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So I went on vacation...

And I came back and I lost my job. For reasons that I mostly don't want to talk about because, well, mostly I don't want to talk about them. I loved my job, I loved our mission, but I don't think anyone that talked to me over the last year missed the fact that there were problems, and it's an understatement to say that I'm not relieved to be done with them.

So I'm unemployed, and it's weird. For the longest time now, I've just been throwing myself into problems, pushing past everything that happened, and this is a really sudden period of enforced inactivity. Yes, I'm worried about my career, of course I'm worried about money, but I think more than anything I'm overwhelmed by finally having to take the time to think. I can now, within a certain amount of reason, go anywhere I want. Of course, New Orleans is at the top of the list. I have no reason now not to go back. I can start my life over, anywhere I want.

And I went back to Rhode Island for a while. I can't help but think of the last time I was at my mother's house without a job, three years ago, and boy, is that ever something I don't want to relive. It's different now, though. For one thing, there is, I can't help thinking, the chance that I might actually be able to get another job. Shocking, I know.

Some things I've learned about unemployment:

1.) America's Next Top Model is always on TV. Always.
2.) There are some jobs that no one is qualified for. Show me the person who can run the accounting department, the IT department, and the development department for an entire organization, and do it part-time, and do it for less than 30K a year, and I will show you Aladdin's goddamn genie.
3.) Job websites do not update faster than I can apply for jobs. I applied for 25 yesterday, and now I don't have anything to do today.
4.) Having bronchitis is an excellent way to avoid boredom. Also, see number 1.
5.) Tyra Banks becomes exponentially more annoying as the seasons progress. If they get to season 20, we're going to have to nuke Los Angeles to save society as we know it.
6.) I find having unrealistic goals for my enforced down time helpful. This week's goals have included: writing a novel, becoming an Iron Man, becoming a commercial fisherman, joining the NYPD, becoming an eco-terrorist, or going rogue and becoming a hitman.
7.) Or an X-man. I would love being an X-Man.

And with that thought, I'm out. I think it's the good season of ANTM at 2.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What I Talk About When I Talk About 2008

Instead of the 365 posts I had originally planned for, I actually came up with 27. So that's 7.3% of my goal. My new rallying cry is "2009: Double digits or bust!".

Rejected rallying cries have included "2009: Don't be stupid, of course it can get worse", "2009: Karma is a bitch", "2009: No crying in public!", and my personal favorite "2009: The chickens come home to roost".

As I've said before, at glorious, gin-soaked, runny-nosed length, this year sucked moose cock. All the moose cocks, actually. In fact, I honestly believe that is safe to say that 2008 performed oral sex on every single male mammal in the Western hemisphere. And it used its teeth. But it wasn't all bad, Emily, comes the reply. No, it wasn't all bad. Here's the good stuff that happened:

1.) I went to Hawaii. It was awesome and gorgeous and awesome and I saw a bunch of whales and went snorkelling and drove a minivan up the side of a volcano. I didn't believe that there were really places that beautiful in the world, and now I do.

2.) Obama won. Praise Jesus, Obama won. After sweating bullets of pure blood for two goddamn years, our man finally won and now he's going to ride in on a unicorn and save us all.

3.) My friends were great. All of you, and you know who you are, who called and emailed and facebooked and came to New York to visit and kept on hanging in there when it would have been just as easy to go to ground and lose my number, thank you. It was a long year, and you were there to help me through it.

4.) I kept one of my New Year's goals from last year, and saw a bunch of bands this year, most of whom had "radio" in their names. 2008 was a good year, at least, for my music collection.

5.) Speaking of collections, who's got two thumbs and all the goddamn cousins in Beautiful Katamari? This girl, baby. Shut up, it's a major achievement.

6.) I worked really, really hard. Despite everything, I'm proud of the work I did, I'm proud of the money I raised, and I'm very proud of the appeals I wrote and the events I ran. I do the work that I do because I believe in our cause and I'm committed to our mission, and I know that the work I've done this year has contributed to it.

And the bad stuff? Blah blah blah lonely, sad, boyfriend left, family is crazy, job sucks, christ it's cold, Sarah Palin is not a feminist, no sex ever again ever, I miss New Orleans, crazy boss, here I know I'll have a panic attack, did I mention lonely?, no raise, no promotion, overdraft fees, everyone is so far away, what's that light outside my window, all I did was stuff envelopes and cry, blah blah blah fishcakes. Let's try and put all this unpleasantness behind us, shall we?

2009's Goals, Resolutions, and Things to Keep in Mind

1.) You have to save yourself before you can save the world.

2.) Three drinks is plenty. Really.

3.) Take everything off autopay.

4.) It's not my responsibility to take care of people. They can take care of themselves, and if they can't, there's no time like the present to learn.

5.) Keep going to the gym.

6.) Cry less. Swear more. Get the hell out of this town.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What the hell is wrong with you?

So, you may have noticed that my behavior has been, shall we say, erratic lately. Either I never call you or I call you all the time. I never eat. I eat constantly. I don't sleep at all. I sleep for 15 hours and then take a nap. Nothing is ever cleaned. Everything is clean. I drink too much. I stopped going to the gym. Somehow, I keep losing weight. I've gone from mercurial to wildly unpredictable.

My God, you say, why didn't I see it before? She's developed a serious drug problem! To which I say, have not. Yeah right, you say. And I say, no, really, this is what's happened:

1.) My livelihood and my cause are hanging in the balance in this election. Literally, if John McCain wins, I will be unemployed in 6 months to a year. Planned Parenthood will not be able to continue in its current incarnation. Big picture, millions of women will be left behind, without birth control, without basic health care, without access to abortion. It's that bad. It's that serious. I am terrified.
2.) On the topic of my job, I'm doing the work of 3 people and being paid the salary of of maybe one of them. Maybe. It's very frustrating, it's very difficult.
3.) All the plans I had for my future are gone. It's not anyone's fault, people change, blah blah blah fishcakes, but I am not handling it well. I had envisioned my life a certain way, with another person, and that's not happening. Again, no one's fault, it's probably a change for the best, but it's it sucks to deal with.
4.) It also sucks to deal with the transition from couple to not couple. You become really accustomed to having a partner, someone who can bail you out, hold your hand, someone you can count on to be there. My partner, my main support system, is gone, and I'm in a new house with new people. Not entirely new, of course, but I can't come home any more and lean on someone.
5.) My family is insane. Period.

So, this is me, trying to explain what's been going on. Things have been difficult. I'm trying to stack the blocks back up, get things back on track, but it's going to take a little while. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


You Are Courier New

You have a deep appreciation for tradition and history.

You don't eschew modernity, but you do have a deep reverence for the past.

You are very literate. It's likely you enjoy writing and reading.

Some people may feel you're a bit cold, but you just have high standards for who you hang out with.