Mating, Dating, Relating, Medicating

Apr 26

11 Thing Thursday: An Occasional Feature

1. Self-promotion: DC people…I will once again be gracing–or perhaps awkwarding–a stage this weekend, trying to be funny, except this time the other people on stage will be actual performers who do this all the time, so…no pressure. It’s Saturday night in Adams Morgan. Comment or email me if you want details; it will be really fun, even if I suck.

2. An email from my mother. I must preface this by saying that my mother and I have an awesome relationship, we never ever talk about sex, she doesn’t read my blog, and I do not have issues with excess body hair. And yet, yesterday I received this.

Subject: I don’t know what Kindle singles are but you could write this stuff!

Writer Mara Altman is known for fearlessly tackling taboo topics, such as her quest for an orgasm (with Thanks for Coming) and her complicated feelings toward her engagement ring (with Sparkle). Now, she’s divulging her relationship with her body hair (and the removal thereof)—a topic that many of us can relate to—in her latest Kindle Single. Altman’s knack for saying what’s on our minds with both humor and humility has us anxiously awaiting what she’ll write next. (Thanks, Facebook fans, for voting on today’s pick!)

SHOP NOW: Bearded Lady, $2

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I am a HUGE fan of Strayed (the idol also known as Dear Sugar.) There are passages in her new book that made me despair of ever writing again, because why would I bother when I know I will never be a fraction as good as she is? I mean, I LOVE her. But holy shit this book did a number on me. I called my sister at midnight, mid-read, and made her swear not to ever read it because I value her mental health. The way Strayed talks about the death of her mother when she was 22 and the ensuing dissolution of her family…I just cried and cried. Proceed at your own risk.

4. Contrast MRI rhymes with “cry”. Last week a sadist stuck needles into my shoulder joint TWENTY TIMES because he could not find the right spot, or get the lidocaine dose right. It’s not that it was so incredibly painful, but it’s a very disconcerting sensation, always uncomfortable, at times painful and at times VERY painful. I started out joking and chatting, and then lapsed into silent and stoic, but by jab 15 or so I started crying and the doc and tech never even acknowledged it. Since they were trying to inject the dye in a specific place, I had to stay perfectly, exquisitely still, and since it took over an hour to hit the mark my muscles started shaking, and plus it’s hard to cry without moving, and then they reprimanded me for not being still. They wouldn’t even let me move my other arm to swipe at the tears running into my ears.

Now, I have four doctors in my family, and I love them all. They are wonderful people. But in general, doctors are often dicks.

5. Bacon cinnamon rolls via Not Martha. I am in awe of the genius who thought of that. And look at the pie crust on that NM link!!! I hope I love someone enough to make that for them someday. And I hope they share.

6. My new job  continues to afford me many opportunities for personal growth. I think that I’m going to start trying to get pregnant in January 2013, try for six months, and if it doesn’t work I will move to New York and live in some kind of squat and write all day and go to open mics every night and waitress sporadically to pay my bills. Because I am clearly the kind of low-maintenance, stable person who would thrive in that situation (and who doesn’t need health insurance.) Good plan.

7. Longreads. Everyone checks this site, right? This is my latest awesome find there–An American Working in Paris. And this made me cry in the cafeteria today (warning, though–it’s describes sexual assault very vividly.) (Why yes, I have been crying a lot lately. Thank you for noticing. I also break out in all-over goosebumps every time anything remotely emotional is mentioned. I’m probably dying, so enjoy Hilarity in Shoes while you still can.)

8. Glamama and other older woman types is a search query that landed someone here. Listen, son, older is a relative term, okay? And “glamama” is not a real thing. Hopefully.

9. Speaking of the young I don’t think I ever told you about the time I almost throttled Doin’ the Grownup‘s brother. It was Thanksgiving, and we were all full of turkey and eight kinds of booze. We were standing around the firepit sipping extraordinarily flammable hot cider. Little Bro said something funny–he’s a very nice boy–and I said, That’s what’s up. Because I say that. Because I’m cool.  Little Bro smiled, the fire casting flattering shadows on his poreless face. What’s funny, I asked, full of warmth and holiday verve. We were all so connected, you know, having this moment together, a family by choice. Oh nothing, he said. I just think it’s interesting that people your age say the same things that we do.

Get out of my yard, you goddamn kids.

10. Help me. I need someone who can manipulate WordPress templates to make two tiny little tweaks for me that I cannot figure out no matter how I try. Pretty please.

11. Bonus! I posted this to my Tumblr today at the exact same moment that Life of a Doctor’s Wife emailed it to me because she thought I might like it. Because great minds think alike, y’all. Or so the kids say. I’d never heard of Jack Gilbert before, but this totally knocked me out.

Horses at Midnight Without a Moon * Jack Gilbert

Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.

8 Responses to “11 Thing Thursday: An Occasional Feature”

  1. Rachel says:

    Re: My little brother- I still maintain that’s a little bit funny.
    Re: Last night- I am not avoiding everywhere you are. More mentally preparing for a ten hour road trip with two dudes and a punched nerve. It’s going well, FYI. We’re almost there, I have taken a muscle relaxer and bless them, they have turned off sports radio.

  2. Mary Catherine says:

    I’ve been pretending I’m Cheryl Strayed but without the monster backpack and the dead mother. I exhaust myself, have dirty hair for a week and read Adrienne Rich and Flannery O’Connor as if my life depended upon it. Then a bath is transcendental.

  3. Mary Catherine says:

    (no titallating past heroin exploits either)

  4. Swistle says:

    The part about trying for a pregnancy riveted me. But I’m nervous about commenting on it, because it could be a joke and I could be the dim bulb going “REALLY?” and making it all awkward.

  5. Phnx65 says:

    LOVE the Jack Gilbert poem… thanks for sharing that!

  6. I want to know where your gig is! I have a huge exam on Monday (of course I do…this shit never ends…), but if I’m making good progress by tomo. night, The Lawyer and I can stop by! He lives in the AM-ish area. You can email me:

  7. Aww! Thanks for the shout out. :-)

    And, like Swistle, I kind of latched on to that one teeny mention of pregnancy that you then breezed past and. Well. Intriguing, is what I say.

    Good luck at the performance this weekend!

  8. Uh, yeah, wanna know more about number six. Also also, I could totally see you writing in New York, full time. I could see myself like this, too, in Brooklyn, eating expensive pastries at a coffee shop. Perhaps I am not psychic, but it sounds nice for an hour or two.

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