Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I'm Crazy Like The Rest of Us


1) What is your favorite thing you've ever written?

Oh, I don't know. There's this great Ira Glass video where he basically says we all suck. "For the first couple years you're making stuff and it's not that good... but your taste is killer and it's good enough that you can tell that what you're making is still sort of crappy. A lot of people never get past that stage and they quit. It's only by actually going through a volume of work that you'll be able to catch up and close that gap."

So, um, me? I am so in that stage. And I'm only marginally proud of some of my writing (and the opposite of proud of the rest of it), and the stuff I've written that's most real is about this guy I loved and that is such a cliche, but all my other real significant feelings--the ones that turn into good stories, hopefully--are stuffed down instead of me. So, I wrote this in 2006 along with a whole bunch of other equally crappy stuff about being in love and being in love with a douchebag and it's still the most real I've gotten. Ira Glass, please save me from myself.

"I remember the first time I realized I loved you. We were sitting on that swing at the top of the hill under the tree. We were quiet for so long because you had crashed and I had crashed and for once it wasn't into each other and it wasn't together but there we were, on the swing at the top of the hill under the tree. And the wreckage was all around but below, not at the top of the hill."

2) Why do you girls all read literary books, most of which were assigned reading at one point in time or another? Why not trashy chick lit or sTori Tellings? Why no US Weekly or Heather Mills McCartney’s memoirs? Why does it always have to be either Harry's Potter or smarty smart books that provoke meaningful intelligent conversation. Why am I the only trashy reader on this board!!

Dude, the first book I ever wrote about was Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion.

3) If you could be 20 again and money and family obligations were not a concern, what are five things you would want to do? If you were 60 and money and family, blah, blah, blah, what are 5 things you would want to do? What accounts for the difference between the two?

I hate questions like this. ("I feel like it's a life and death decision that I don't have the capacity to make.")

4) In Marie Claire there is a section called "what I love about me" where women share their most favorite attribute (physical and otherwise)

Physically, I've become very attached to my tan, freckled shoulders this summer. Otherwise, I like that I can remember stuff real good and also that I don't lie to myself.

5) And my question for the oracle of the Collective is: What is the meaning of life?

Change begins with me.

6) I have friends who have lived in LA for years and still love it. My question to you is: Why are they insane and was it LA that made them that way? Aside from the weather, doesn't LA suck it? Hard?

It is so trendy to hate LA. I used to be a hater, but the sort of ignorant kind that I hate myself, the kind that said things like, "all there is is concrete, ew," and "traffic makes me want to die--LA SUCKS! HARD!" and "everyone here is so fake!" and "can't people just slow down and appreciate life??" without any sort of grasp of the city itself or who it was or why I would even dare like it. I was 19, though, so that's how I excuse my lame-o behavior.

I think loving travel makes it impossible to hate LA, because LA is a destination just as much as anything else. I don't mind living in a destination either, especially not this one with it's sprawling metropolis of different people groups, hard to find off ramps, beaches and mountains and freeways, limited-release movies, film sets, Mickey Mouse, amazing food, concert halls, small-town pride, also almost all of my favorite people.

One of my dear friends, Amanda, is a lover, too and you can't hate LA and also love her:

People who don’t love Los Angeles don’t want to give it a chance, and I think they may pay the same sort of attention to detail in other areas of their life. Los Angeles is a big huge monster of a place, but it isn’t what the movies say, and it isn’t what’s on T.V., it almost isn’t anything at all. It’s a complex relationship, all the best ones are. It takes time and energy to love, and the payout is immensely rewarding. [Like Prince Said]

Besides, as someone who grew up in humid Chicago covered in bug bites all summer long, I don't know if I'll ever be able to give up these mosquito-free summers. And these friends of yours? Are they cool? Because I'm always looking for more people to party with.

7) In addition to you all being great entertaining writers, don't you all take pictures? Please show us at least one photo you've taken that would qualify as a favorite, and tell us when you took it and why you love it.

I don't know if these are my favorites because I don't keep track of my photos very well. But here are two I like that also mean something.

At a coffee place in DC in 2006 when it was raining. My heart was so solidly lodged there, I cried when I went home.

From the roof of my office building. So much of my life takes place within this photo.

8) Not to bring up politics again or anything but what would you do with your first 100 days in office?

I hate politics. If I ever, God forbid, ended up in any sort of political office, I would do everything I could to change this fucking two-party system. The new president better be thinking this way too come January.

9) What song best sums up the history of your love life?

Speak, Nickel Creek
Please Don't Tell Her, Jason Mraz
Clarity, John Mayer
(Look! That video is totally a love letter to Los Angeles!)

(So, there are three songs. I'm a drama queen.)

10) Who is the best-developed character in the history of literature?

I defer to Heather!Anne! who is in charge of all literary criticism in my life. (She said Severus Snape.)

11) What is one thing you love about each of your fellow Collective-ers?

Heather!Anne! never complains about having to go first every week, and never complains about picking up after the rest of the world, but always complains about jelly bean and M&M shortages.

Kat!'s hobbies. There are so many things about her that are brag-worthy, but this one with it's knitting needles and model ships are the things I would wish in myself. She's the un-cliche version of treating every day like a new sheet of paper.

Jennie!'s version of spilling her guts is letting them leak out on weak days, and the way she does this, with her humor and her heart not only make it impossible to not love her, but make me hug her closer (like global warming).

12) What is one thing a person can do to make you judge him/her severely?

Um, EVERYTHING. I'm way more judgemental that I should be and I get judge-y about so many things. The first thing that comes to mind, though, is ignorance. I can't handle people talking about stuff and spouting opinions and acting all know-it-all-y when they have no idea what they're talking about it.

13) What was your horoscope yesterday? Is it accurate?

Did you know you could FREE horoscopes at horoscope.com?! That's right, TOTALLY FREE! I was shocked, thinking I would have to pony up some hard-earned cash for this treasured fortune:

Adopting a slightly pushy attitude is what you need to avoid today. Useful planetary aspects light the way for a better understanding of what makes people tick: being flexible works much better than being demanding. Don’t expect others to do the things you’re not prepared to do!


I had a teacher in high school who could guess people's astrology. She was always right. Isn't that interesting? I constantly am avoiding my slightly pushy attitude, because everyone knows that being flexible is what makes people like you and making people like you is how you get free stuff.

14) Answer with the first thing that pops into your mind. You can have one wish, what is it?

I would love a free pass for air travel. Kind of like that black Amex card that can get you into clubs or whatever, except this would get me on any flight in the world, whenever I wanted, and it would be FREE! And I could use it for friends and family too and then you all could come and we'd have Collective meet-ups everyday.

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