May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008soon
I never write, I never call. Soon, though. Almost finished being busy here. Literally, I don't know how I get everything done.
Last night I dreamed Matt Damon and I ran into each other and got to talking and catching up on what was happening with our mutual friends. In the course of our conversation, we admitted to each other that we'd always had crushes on each other. No, not crushes... we were in love.
I made out with Matt Damon. We told each other in great detail how and when and why we each knew we'd fallen in love with the other. Then we realized that each of us was currently unmarried.
"Note to self," I thought, "Break up with my fiance next time I see him." Because, as much as I loved my fiance, I knew that I had to take the once-in-a-lifetime chance to find the ultimate romantic happiness with Matt Damon, who was so obviously, probably my soulmate.
Matt Damon and I made out. I decided I'd tell my fiance we should take a break from our relationship for a month, to make sure we wanted to get married for absolute certain. During that month, I told myself, I would date Matt Damon. I decided not to divulge that part of the plan to my fiance, as it would only hurt him. Also, that way, if it turned out that Matt Damon and I were not really soulmates, I could just get back with my fiance and move forward.
I thought my plan over and could see no problems with it. Matt Damon stepped away to speak to a mutual friend. I rode a very long swing that was hanging from the sky. I swung in great circles and picked a giant almond from a tree in an orchard full of giant-almond trees being tended by Miss Carmen Abrego.
I swung back to the park and Matt Damon was waiting for me. We kissed. Then, my fiance appeared at my side. "Oops," I thought.
When I Woke Up
I realized how silly the whole thing was. Because, in reality, my fiance loves me very much, and I love him. So I know that, if Matt Damon were to come to me and tell me he'd always loved me, I could totally go to my fiance and say, "Baby, Matt Damon says he loves me. Can you and I break up for a month so I can see what's up with that?"
And I know he'd say, "Sure, baby. I know you really like Matt Damon, and I wouldn't want you to miss out on that chance."
Also, Matt Damon is married to someone who seems really nice. So, the whole point is moot.
I'm getting older.
And I'm not sad about it. It's not a bad thing, to lose patience for immature people. The best thing is that you can walk away from them without worrying that they'll stop liking you, or that they'll call you old or stuck-up or boring. You won't care about petty shit like that anymore. It's really kind of awesome, the not caring and the walking away.
This blog entry's gonna kind of suck because I have no time to write it. No time to craft. But y'all know why and y'all know that it doesn't diminish the undying distant affection that I feel for each of you. Y'all feel that great impersonal artist-to-viewer love and want to reciprocate it in terms of book sales. Don't you? Don't you? Doncha just wanna, and make it all real to me? Give me the excuse to have been doing this for so long? Create my pay-off? Give me the royal nod? Vote with your dollars? Pay my commission?
Sure. Love y'all for doing so. Y'all are the bestest.
Halloween is over for us
because we had our party last night. Next is Thanksgiving, which I'm hosting this year, so I'll have to get pretty obsessive and then OCD about every aspect of that. Then comes Christmas, which we aren't really celebrating since it's the year for the kids to spend it at their dad's. And, weirdly, although you'd think I'd mind and I would've agreed with you a year ago, I now kind of look forward to the non-Christmas years just like sophisticated people always do in short-story collections.
You know -- in award-winning short stories, people are always travelling in other countries on Christmas day and feeling only slightly melancholy, but still experiencing meaningful things that have some parallel or counterpoint to some aspect of the narrator's previous Christmas experience. And the story ends on something poignantly tragic or quirkily literarily beautiful.
So it'll be like that for me this year, except that instead of a non-American country, I'll be in a dim sum restaurant. And, in addition to all the drama and angst and metamorphosis that always takes place in my head (and is painstakingly detailed there, and then recreated later on the phone with someone, late at night), I'll have a culinary adventure, as well. Doubtless. Probably in the form of a dessert -- a new-to-me formation of red beans and dough.
And it will be magical. The stuff Nobel Prizes are made of.
P.S.: If there were any particular excuse for me to leave my fiance for Matt Damon, it would be because my fiance keeps trying to pretend that he doesn't know what American Thanksgiving food is. He keeps talking about brocolli rice casserole, and I keep getting mad to the point of tears while describing acorn squash and sweet potatoes. "Orange not green!" I cry. "THE COLORS OF FALL!"
I say we "keep" doing this and by that I mean once per year. We already had that talk this year, so it's out of the way and we can move forward. He promised to try. I promised to try to show him. (I show him the recipes, and he cooks them.) That's what being engaged means. It means a compromise. Before the compromise comes, it means making a concerted effort to figure out each other's personal traumas and mental scars. His is autumn foods for Thanksgiving, which he knows all about and only pretends not to know about even though he's been in this country since he was two. Mine is autumn foods for Thanksgiving, which I know all about because I obsess about it every year that my family cooks beans and rice instead.
Being engaged also means
calling each other fiance and fiancee instead of boyfriend and girlfriend. I know that now, because everyone keeps telling me. "Did you just say 'my boyfriend'? I thought you guys were engaged. Are you engaged or not? Isn't that an engagement ring you're wearing? Do you wish you weren't engaged? Have you called off the engagement?"
No, Mr. Damon, we haven't. The engagement is still on. But, like I told y'all, it's a long engagement. And the problem is, I can't say the word fiance without feeling like Sigourney Weaver in that episode of Seinfeld where she keeps saying fiance and Elaine says, "Maybe the dingo ate your baby."
I know what people are worried about. They're worried they're going to get cheated out of a wedding. Particularly a wedding that Tad and I have slaved and OCD'ed over, which means that it'll be the best wedding anyone's likely to see in their lifetimes in this town.
Don't worry, people. We're still engaged, and we're already obsessing over the wedding in our spare time.
Okay, that's all.
I was looking for a clip of the dingo quote for y'all, but couldn't find it. Sorry.
I'm thinking about getting a new car, by the way. Maybe two weekends from now. Send me New Car Financing vibes if you want. Or, better yet, just preorder my book.
(Impersonal, Distant, Nonetheless Heartfelt Love,)
Gwen 5:36 PM # (9) comments
Tuesday, October 14, 2008My work is under stress.
My company is going to be sold, no one knows to whom or when, and we already know what our severence packages will be, if applicable, but I have no idea whether it'll be applicable to me.
I wish that, if I were meant to get laid off, they'd do it RIGHT NOW. But they won't, of course. They'll wait until some date in the murky future. Something I can't control. I'm trying not to want to control it, then.
Last week I wanted to tell you guys a bunch of stuff about my work and all the extreme, literal-national-news-type drama that's going on, and all the misconceptions and the un-fair-ities, and my giant mission to make people understand what's really going on, and the media distortions, and how much it hurts to have one's hard work disregarded and one's company's reputation completely trashed without warrant by all that stuff,
but this week I'm just over it. Which is probably for the best, because I don't need to get in trouble for blogging about my job.
Toby is going to the vet tomorrow.
He has a jacked-up claw on his right hind leg. The jacked-upped-ness of it has a scientific name that I can't remember how to spell, but you've seen it on humans -- especially on their pinky toes. It's when the nail gets all hard and crusty like a rhinocerous horn, and you can't even cut it with the clippers anymore.
Poor Toby -- he's had it for a long time, it looks like. I only just realized a couple of nights ago. Now I know why he's been more and more lethargic. His toenail is sticking out way too far, and it probably bugs him to walk. I don't think it hurts him, but it most definitely probably bugs him.
I trimmed as much of it as I could with the biggest toenail clippers in the house, and that seemed to help a little. Already, he's been more mobile and lively. (And evil, but that's probably just because of the full moon. Starbuck's more evil, too, and her claws are fine.)
So I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow so they can mess with it. I don't know if he's going to need surgery or medicine or just regular professional single-claw trimmings or what. Something in the future that I can't control. We'll see.
Things in the future that I should be able to control but am finding it hard to because I have, like, zero personal time lately.
Namely: my writing.
Also: I need to redo this Web site.
That's all I can say without having stress-related stomach stress.
Today I went to a shopping center in my neighborhood and felt like hitting everyone in it with a two-by-four containing a single rusty nail. From the incompetent punk kids who work at every single retail establishment in this zip code, to the punk kids who perambulate in every shopping center because they have nothing better to do, to the shitty, shitty drivers, to the trollish old women who exist only to give strangers unsolicited ugly looks.
I was cranky. I was bothered. Then I realized, I always get this cranky right before Halloween. And I always get a little fatter, too. And stressed about looking fat in my costume. And preemptively background-stressed about eating or not eating on Thanksgivng and Christmas.
I don't think it's all about my weight and eating, mind you.... No, that's only one part of the annual holiday emotional ferris wheel. (Didn't want to say "roller coaster," but you know that's what I actually meant.)
And... yeah. Here it goes again. Whatever. I'm tired of it. Purposefully refrained from tailgaiting the asshole who'd been tailgating me. Tried really, really hard not to hate every single person. Succeeded in only hating half.
Tomorrow is another day. Another phase, another degree in the sun rays' refraction. Anohter chance to be a better person. Wish me luck.
I think I should go to sleep now. First I'll do a few Variety Puzzles from my Dell Variety Puzzle book, and then I'll go to sleep.
I'm going to be a "pirate vixen." Josh is going to be a pirate. Rory's going to be the guy from V for Vendetta. The Guy Fawkes guy, I mean. Tad's going to be Jesus. Toby's going to be a cat with a refurbished claw. Starbuck's going to be a little bitch.
It's gonna be awesome. We're gonna have fun.
Leave a comment telling me what you're going to be for Halloween, if you want. Put a link to your Flickr when you get back your pix. 9:06 PM # (6) comments
Monday, October 06, 2008Life in the Stranger Danger Lane
Someone finally let me in on the secret -- you can put your life in the hands of strangers, in the mornings as well as the afternoons, by getting picked up at your local park-n-ride and hitching a ride into the HOV lane.
Someone on Twitter tried to explain this to me -- said it was called "the slug line" in their city. But I'm such a car-town noobie, I didn't understand what exactly it meant.
You can ride with strangers downtown, for free. You can listen to strangers talk about their lives, and no one makes eye contact.
If you're me, you can try picking up your own hitchers one day. You can pick up two men at 6 AM in your mini van. After they're in your car, you can notice for the first time that your mini van contains, in order of nearness to your passengers:
- one torn cover of a Victoria's secret catalog
- one girdle, with all price tags, that someone other than you bought last Halloween
- no fewer than three pairs of shoes that smell very, very bad
- the contents of a busted box of emergency OB tampons, rolling all over the very back seat
You know I'm freaking awesome, because I turned around and saw all that, and then I just shrugged. And flowed down the road with my NPR on. Driving like a champ, even though my two male passengers were watching like a hawk, waiting for me to drive poorly. Sticking out my hand when I had to stop short, saving the life of the stranger on the passenger side, as if I'd given birth to him, myself.
The guys were good sports about it. I told them I'd pick them up at the same time next day. But I was lying. Next day, I caught a ride with someone else I'd never seen before. Another silent social contract. Another new face that never looked directly into mine.
The Sad Cowboy
I've been trying forever to tell y'all the story about the sad cowboy singer who works (worked?) at Larry's BBQ Buffet on 290. But I never remember.
Or else, like now, I remember but I can't tell you because I'm too tired. I'm so effing tired right now, I don't even know how I've typed this much so far.
I have a lot of stuff on my Master To-Do List. A lot of work I don't have time to get done.
So the cowboy has to wait. That's all he ever does, anyway. Wait and sing, wait for tips. Wait for someone to cut him a break.
I'm not supposed to tell you this, but
Shh -- one of my children went to his first dance on Friday night. First dance, first date. Shhh! Don't tell him I told you.
We were so happy to see it all go down. It was incredibly normal. Not like my first dance and not like my boyfriend's. But the two of us knew how a first dance was supposed to go, so we worked hard to make it happen for my son.
The girl he went with turned out to be a dud in the most cliched sense. ("I'm mad at you now." "Why?" "Figure it out.") But I'm even kind of glad for that. I pegged her from the start and was hoping they wouldn't start dating for real. I have the feeling I'm gonna be one of those picky-bitchy moms, for whose sons no girl is ever good enough. But oh, well. Everyone has faults, right? Even cliched ones, sometimes. 8:58 PM # (6) comments