get the latest
get the rest
get into my head
all knocked up
my friends do the greatest things
my favorite things
pieces of me
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009
what not to wear, the reunion episode
Monday, Aug. 4, 2008
Happy Kirtsy Takes a Bow publishing release day, everybody! Can I tell you how happy-making it is to have some of my very own thinks nestled alongside the wonder words and photographs of so many talented lady internetsters? It appears I just did.
One hundred American thank yous to editor and friend Laura Mayes for pulling together such a smart and beautiful must-read, and for taking care of business oh so flashily, Elvis style. You sure did it!
Meanwhile, fine Mike from Red Choo Choo has wondered up a sleep position tee using Amelia Bauer‘s glorious illustrations from the good old Sleep book.
Here how good it looks like in action:
Read it, wear it, live it, my lovely manatees!
More words on: my friends do the greatest things | sleep book
the international language of sleep!
Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2008
In just over three weeks, I will be attending my 20th high school reunion, an event that fills me with a yucky hot-stomach feeling that I’m guessing (though can’t really be sure…it’s so dark in there) is part social anxiety, part career uncertainty, and part wrinkle sadness, stirred with an unhealthy splash of “oh my god, my life is half over.”
Like a birthday or New Years Eve, a reunion is the kind of milestone that invites painful reflection and personal meter-reading. Blowing out the candles, counting down those last ten seconds of the year, these are times when the small, regret-weakened voice inside really likes to pity-party, fixating on the failures, belittling the achievements, and generally taking dim stock of the previous year. And a high school reunion is all those things, only ten times worse, what with the event rearing its ugly head only once a decade, meaning there’s ten times the annual should-haves and could-haves to look back on. Hurray!
Who should I be for my 20-year reunion: The Mead-Soaked PTA Mom?
So August 30th would be a hard day for me even if it weren’t for the fact that the last time I saw everyone was at my profoundly regrettable ten-year reunion, an event at which I accidentally got myself very, very drunk. As in red wine splashed across the chest of my shirt, mascara down to my chin, holding for dear life onto the railings in the handicap stall, confrontational “Hey! What are you doing here? I thought you’d for sure be serving time by now what with you being such a sick fuck!” and “Remember in eighth grade when you touched my nipples?” drunk.
The Demure Tea Partier?
I’m convinced that the reason I got so heinously plastered that fateful night, apart from the buckets of vodka I mean, was my outfit. It just was not right! For me, the wrong outfit makes me feel tongue-tied and boring and misunderstood, while the right outfit makes me feel attractive and smart and comfortable with the person I turned out to be. And on the night of my tenth high school reunion, I was wearing the wrong outfit.
The Bendable, Posable Cha-Cha-Charming Action Figure?
I had spent the afternoon trying on shirts after pants after skirts after dresses in a terrible fit of outfit indecision. When it came time to head over to my friend Megan’s house—where our circle of still-friends had planned to gather beforehand for drinks—I still wasn’t dressed. So I threw on sweats and grabbed pretty much all the clothes I owned and took them with me, and while we sipped pre-reunion libations, I modeled outfit after outfit, trying to find the perfect combination of fabric and color and texture and not-too-snugness to forge the protective coating of confidence and body-comfort I needed to face the next four hours. But before I could find the Right Outfit, we were late and everyone was yelling at me to Come on! And Let’s go! So I just went out the door in what I was wearing at that moment: a weird cropped neon green shirt, a black-and-white stripped belly-gripping angle-length skirt, and towering maroon platforms. It was a very late-90s look, which was okay since it was 1998. The problem was, it just did not capture my me of that moment. For not only does the right outfit have to look cute, but it also has to make me feel like my outsides match my insides. And clearly, on that night of nights, my insides were begging for vintage postal pants, black webbed belt with metal “E” slider buckle, Rebel sneakers, and a black tee with heart-shaped neckline. Which I firmly believe is why, when we arrived at the reunion, I started pouring myself one bad idea after another. I think I was just trying to drink my insides into matching my outsides!
The Dry Wine-Whitened Gallery Sophisticate?
But this time, it’s going to be different. For my 20th reunion, I’m going to make sure I’m wearing the right outfit. Because you’re going to help me, maybe! Here’s what I’m hoping you’ll do: Take a look at the survey of all my outfits, and if you see one that you think makes me look ultra pinchable (important!) but also embodies the Essence of Evany (absolutely key!), then add a comment for that photo that says, “I totally think you should wear this to reunion!” A reunion, by the way, that will be staged here in the Bay Area (i.e., too cold for short-shorts), in the evening-time (so no brunch-style clam diggers), and we’ll be charmed by the musical stylings of the very same high school band that played at Prom (i.e., actually sweatpants would probably be just fine).
The Cheerfully Swedish Exchange Student? Or some other me entirely? Type your vote at me today!
With your wisdom to guide me into the Right Outfit, clearly there’s no way I can fail! Now the only remaining question is: Do I stay sober to demonstrate how most improved I am? Or do I keep with tradition and get even more loaded and tell all those pieces of dried and tanned fruit leather what I really think…again?
Or maybe this dark night calls something in between…a toast! To temperance!
More words on: sleep book
cupcakes, champagnes, sleep readings
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007
This is exciting and also some kind of weird: My Secret Language of Sleep
is now available in Russian! And it seems to be considerably sexier in translation:
The cover photo reminds me of one of those personal lubricant commercials, the one with the clock in the corner indicating that the couple's been actively at each other for like seventy-two hours solid, without breaks for snacks or reflection, just non-stop candles and mussled sheets and steamy, cramped bath sex? I don't know, to me that kind of endless-remix-extendo-play seems less like pleasure and more on the "pain"/"torture"/"get that thing away from me" end of the spectrum, regardless of how much K-Y a person has lined her larder with. And just think of the beard burn! Though I suppose I could be talked into it, if I were sufficiently incentivized with regular infusions of pie, and we turned on the television?
The Russian version also features some unexpected changes in the Legend section of the book, for instance the icon second down on the right seems to be the international symbol for gay men's right to adopt? Which I'm all for, unlike the wretched smiley face (not my favorite). And what's the symbol in the lower-left? Is that...your anus? Oh. Well then. Pleasure to make your a-taintance!
And I wonder if I ever did show you the little Italian version of the book, the ones printed especially for the reading pleasure of Italian people?
There they all are, just three Sleeps in a pod. So exciting! So weird! So profoundly cute on that amazing mushroom shelf from the Curiosity Shoppe!
More words on: sleep book
having a ball
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006
I’m going to be signing books and doing Sleep pose readings this coming Thursday (February 8), from 6 to 9pm, at everyone’s favorite Minnie Wilde on 21st at Valencia! It would be so lovely to have you there, patting my pattables — this being my first solo appearance, I’m now suddenly nervous in an entirely new, solo way. And if the idea of me, jittering and babbling and almost surely awash in one drink too many, isn’t enough get you to let those dogs out, there will also be cupcakes and champagne and a 39% discount on all of Minnie Wilde’s Fall things. It’s what Thursdays evenings were made for!
Also: Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like a SIGNED copy of The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions would make a stirring Valentine’s Day gift, right?
More words on: sleep book
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006
The reading was so fun! Fancy cheeses, god-made cookies, fresh margaritas, pomegranate champagnes, and the oldest dog that ever was — it was out of control! And so many pals were there: Angela, Jordan, Eli, Chris, Andrew, Barb, Anna, Trevor, Heidi Meredith, Heidi Pollock, Liz, Michele, Matty, Adrienne, Lori, Laura, Scout, Megan, Julia, Addison, Rebekah, Stephen, Jessica, whew, plus a bunch of new friends, including the amazing Stephen Elliott and Daniel Handler, wow, as well as one incredibly nice and pretty Jennie, who came to the reading simply because she read about it on these very pages — I so love it when that happens. Hurrah for new friends! I drank many delicious drinks and ate grapes and signed lots of books, and it was a truly great time. They really put on a classy act at the Candystore, and I am one very lucky thing to have such lovely opportunities and such present (and so very presentable) friends. Happy, happy! Lucky, lucky!
And then cut to me, at 5am this morning, wide awake and awash in shame, panic, and regret because…because…I hadn’t publicly thanked the Candystore at the end of my reading? Because what if my slideshow didn’t make any sense? Because sometimes drinking drinks just makes you wake up at 5am awash in shame and panic and regret? Whatever the reason, I definitely woke up on the wrong, bad, crab-apple cove side of the bed this morning. So I went off to this AM meeting I had scheduled in downtown Berkeley, and then I decided to walk off my disgrunts and worries. At first I was going to simply tool around Berkeley for awhile, but after I got going, it felt so good, I just went whee-whee-whee all the way home, all six-point-however many miles.
My “march back to sanity” march took me the full length of College Avenue. And let me tell you, they really went all-out on the Holiday decorations this year:
I’m not quite sure you can see it in these strange, strained photos that my cell phone can’t help but take, but each tree in Rockridge has been festooned with one, solitary red ball. Marco and I actually saw the guy putting these up a few weeks ago, and at the time, I thought that he was just doing one color at a time. Surely someone would be by later with the green balls, followed by the gold balls, and then the silver? But no, that was it. Just…one ball for each tree. Did they run out of funding or something? If so, maybe a better plan would be to fully decorate each fifth tree and leave the others blank. That would be better, right? Instead of this row of sad, sad Charlie Brown goose-egg trees? Though, like so many things I complain about, I’m beginning to wonder mid-fume if maybe the approach that so riles me is actually way more awesomer. Yeah actually, I think I’m going to withdraw this complaint, and instead offer my congratulations: hats off to you, Rockridge, for having the balls to go uniball this year! And hats off too to my marathon stroll, for stomping the irrational regrets right out of me.
Now Marco and I are off to another champagne-pumped event. The non-stop train of holiday woo has officially chugged into gear!
More words on: sleep book
are my plugs showing?
Friday, Dec. 1, 2006
My little sleep book is spreading its wings! It’s busting out of its safe independent bookstore world and tearing right into Urban Outfitters everywhere, where it’s rubbing pages with the likes of Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming and Penis Pokey. It’s totally going to come home covered in hickeys and reeking of cigarette smoke, and it doesn’t even care!
The book is also making new friends over at Urban Outfitters’ older, wiser, but-still-able-to-squeal-over-a-perfect-skirt sister store, Anthropologie (thanks to reader Melissa for the heads-up!):
One sort of bad thing: the version that Anthropologie is carrying is a reprint, and it’s not quite as cute as the original run (as seen at Urb Out). The fabric is rougher, the bite of the imprint on the cover illustration isn’t as deep, the color of the end pages is off…it’s all just a slightly less than yar, which makes my stomach hurt. But still…Anthropologie!
More words on: sleep book
sleep and ice tour, leg one
Wednesday, Jun. 21, 2006
Hello pretty friends!
It turns out I’ll be signing my book and maybe doing another little slip-slide-y show this coming WEDNESDAY at the Candystore (in the Mission) along with the funbulous Lisa Brown (author of the Baby Be of Use board books). Reportedly there will even be a sampling of cocktails on hand!
So please come on by after work for some sipping and staring. Bonus: If you’ve never had the pleasure of Candystore, it is the cutest place ever, full of fancy clothes, jewels, and other temptations, so you might just get some holiday shopping in, too.
Note: The event got a mention in today’s Daily Candy (?!), so it could be crowded. Come early to make sure you get plenty of booze!
I sure hope to see you there,
(Psst, pass it on!)
3153 16th Street (at Valencia)
Wednesday, December 6
- – - – -
/p> – - – - –
I finally got hold of the November issue of Penthouse Forum, and boy are my hands…dirty. But it includes a nice mention of my book, in which they declare that it “has its tongue firmly in cheek.” Which, given the context, sounds unexpectedly titillating.
The book is also supposed to be out in a smattering of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores. (Yay!) I haven’t managed to visit either store in a few weeks, but I’ve been checking their sites and it’s not for sale at either spot yet, at least not online. Has anyone seen a copy in stores? Please let me know!
More words on: sleep book
Tuesday, May. 2, 2006
So I’ve been back from the exhausting and chilling first leg of the book tour for over a week now, and I’m still not fully recovered. That was a very, very tough week: I am so afraid of public speaking! It makes me blotchy and sweaty, it fills my gut with perpetual feelings of “doom + self-blame” a la the first climb on a terrible roller-coaster (the Vomitron, maybe, or the Regretinator). And then there’s the nausea and light-headedness and insomnia and hot flashes.
Knowing this about myself, I booked myself a wildly expensive hotel room in DC, just so I would be as pampered as humanly possible before embarking on my first reading — and it was so, so worth it.
The Pantone-crazy rooms of the Hotel Helix.
Here’s why the hotel was so spectack: The very day after Jill and I drove home from Yosemite (which was so fun — gushing waterfalls! buffet chocolate pudding! rainbows! the ear of a fine friend! — possibly the only things capable of getting my mind off the looming public speakings), I flew out on the red-eye to DC. My flight landed at 7am, but my hotel check-in wasn’t until 3pm, so me and my hot pink travel neck pillow (which arguably could pass for a very, very fashion-forward space scarf) curled up in the baggage claim area for a few hours, but by 10 I’d had enough of the airport announcements, so I got in a cab a (hi, bye Washington Monument!) and went to the hotel, and? They let me into my room five hours early! I napped the living spit out of the next two hours.
The crazy Helix surf-themed beds, hang ten! (Or, in my case, hang $260 per night.)
Then I crammed some french toast in my french toast hole, drank coffee and coffee and coffee, and practiced my routine, which consists of huge, poster-sized printouts of select sleep poses (which Brian and Marco made for me while I was in Yosemite!) plus a crazy folding metal business-easel thing plus a telescoping pointer with built-in laser AND pen (the trifecta). Then I actively panicked for awhile, then I put on a skirt and some blister-shoes and panic-walked six sweaty blocks over to Olsson’s Books and Records, then I got up there and pointed at some things, then I signed some people’s books (harrowing), then I walked home, ordered one beer and a hamburger from room service, wrote up my Tour Dispatch, and watched The Whole Nine Yards until my brains melted.
The next morning, the awesome Michael Jay McClure (who surprise-attended my reading the night before, which made me so happy!) came and fetched me. After pausing a moment to admire my insane orange and green and pop-cultured hotel room (with two thick animal print robes), he whirl-walked me around DC for three seconds, then we gobbled lunch, then we cabbed to the train station. Go, go, go!
Once I arrived in New York, I went directly to Paul’s apartment and practiced for the next reading. So boring! Oh except then we went out for pickles and birthday cake, that part was good.
Then on Wednesday morning Paul and I splashed our way through the pouring rain to the subway (me, riding with my head between my knees as an anti-panic-faint measure), to Coliseum Books, the in-case-of-rain venue for the Bryant Park reading.
Here I am, groping my way through the Coliseum Books/Bryant Park reading in NYC.
The reading was a little damp and rushed, but ultimately okay. I think? Afterward, some more people asked me to sign their books (!), then at like 3pm, my nerves finally mellowed enough for me to eat, and Paul and I went to some Italian-y place and I ate and ate and ate. The next day, I worked on my Power Point for the upcoming LA show, grabbed some beer and pretzels and dinner and cupcakes with Todd, then returned home to Paul’s for another four hours of Power Pointing. At 7am the next morning I took Super Shuttle to the airport, got on a JetBlue jet, and flew to LA. (See? Not much fun, this trip: just an endless stream of churning worry and bile and Power Point.)
When I got to LA, I rented a car, drove to a cafe for a few hours of whispered practicing (luckily LA is full of actors whisper-practicing in cafes, so I totally fit right on in), then I headed over to Hollywood to stutter my way through a run-through for the sold-out (!) McSweeney’s Presents: The World Explained show. The lineup: shivering, panicked me + Davy Rothbart (creator of Found Magazine) + Starlee Kine (of This American Life) + Joshua Davis (author of The Underdog: How I Survived the World’s Most Outlandish Competitions) + Bill Hader (from Saturday Night Live) + host Andy Richter + music by Grant-Lee Phillips and the the Pretty Babies, together we all dogged and ponied up in the name of raising funds for 826LA.
At midnight, I drove home to the Octeau’s, my home away from home, and slept for three hours. At 4:30, the panic prodded me awake, and I spent the next few hours frantically fiddling with my presentation, up until the point the three little Octeaus woke up and sprang into action:
Playing “Luggage” at the chateau Octeau before leaving to go to the horror show.
Then at 3pm, after a very, very dark hour trying to figure out how to operate the Octeau’s devilish printer (big swears and tears), I headed over to the venue for disastrous final run-through, where I basically just read my notes without looking up once. Found Davy was all, I really dig your “scientist persona,” with the notes and the wooden delivery, so awesome! And I was all, but…that wasn’t…oh god.
A small message found backstage, one of two photos I managed to take before I had to leave to go weep quietly in the rental car for the hour just before the show.
Here is my other photo: it’s Eli Horowitz, still glowing from when Zooey Deschanel cupped his right pectoral (I SAW).
Then Andy Richter took to the stage, and the show began! And I drank one very tall glass of everyone-backstage-prescribed wine.
Andy, it turns out, is hilarious and Michigan-cute and bogglingly nice and also he wears sandals. So that happened, then he introduced me, and I walked out there! And started talking in a surprise all-new Evany voice (according to post-show reports, it was very “husky librarian karoake”). The next eleven minutes were tota
lly crazy, and I really don’t remember much of what I did or said. But according to the LA Times: “Following Richter, Evany Thomas, a contributor to McSweeney’s and author of a new, mostly tongue-in-cheek book called The Secret Language of Sleep, dissected couples’ sleeping positions — Classic Spoons, the Seatbelt — to lots of amusement.” Lots of amusement! Also: Carrie Fisher was there? The woman who wrote the book I once sat in a London bookstore for eight solid hours and read cover to cover? And then went ahead and bought it anyway? Holy crapping god. Just reading that little tidbit got me all retroactively nervous and star struck and sick in my mouth, and pants.
Here I am, in full blackout, talking to three hundred people about my acne and cuddle parties and puppies. The photo is a little out of focus (the slideshow aspect made things too dark for photos), but it’s actually a super-accurate embodiment of the experience, from my point of view.
Then it was over, and I wandered off stage and collapsed (after Andy Richter hugged me) in total exhaustion, and then just lay there on the floor in a corner behind the stage, watching the rest of the show backwards through the back of the projection screen.
Between each presentation, Grant-Lee Phillips’s gang, plus Zooey Deschanel and Samantha Shelton, all sang thematic songs. Like after my thing, they sang “Lay, Lady, Lay,” and after Starlee’s, they sang “Crazy” (her presentation was about how to find the right therapist), etc. It was sweet and lively and really made the show extra awesome.
Marco took lots and lots of pics of Zooey, for some reason?
After the show, I staggered over to the post-event VIP party (!?) to squeeze my many great friends who all turned out for the show. (Kristin and Pat and Jill and Marco all drove down, down, all the way down from the bay area!)
Wow, somebody loves blazers! (Evany + Stee + Pam love blazers.)
Pam is BLOWN AWAY by my Fran Drescher mouth.
The famous Tom Mott (a brand-new father! CONGRATULATIONS TOM AND MOUKI, and LITTLE EVE and LITTLE JOHN!) and I ponder life, love. (Turns out: wildly near-sighted people with glasses perched atop their heads = deep, mole-faced thinkers.)
Me, China, Jenny, and my wine.
Sophia, Becky, and Evany squint out some smiles and secretly long for bed (that’s what I was doing, at least).
And that was it! I pretty much slept the whole next day, in between marveling over how old and frail I now am, then on Monday Jill, Marco, and I drove home by way of Anderson’s split pea soup, the end!
And they all lived Happea-ly ever after.
More words on: sleep book
sleep book a go!
Tuesday, Apr. 11, 2006
I’m all moved! And oh my holy big wow did it suck. Somehow I thought that since I already did a big Goodwill sort after I got laid off (both times!), and since I was getting rid of so much cat-scratch furniture before I left, and since I hired three big, nice, burly movers, and since I bought a whole roll of bubble wrap, that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But surprise, it was heinous: seven solid days and nights of old-person back pain, foot soreness, and that packing tape sound. I think I remember this happening the last time I moved: I thought it was going to be relatively painless that time too, but it turned out to be the same kind of exhausting, last-minute scramble, combined with insane maneuvering to remove a stain in the rug so I could get back the whopping $2100 deposit (I rented a steam cleaner and that didn’t work, so I actually cut the stain out of the rug and patched it with a section I snipped from some surplus rug laying in the back of one of the closets, then I spent days trying to glue the patch into the hole using a wide variety of glues…superglue finally did the trick, superglue plus some artful vacuuming around the hole to make it blend in). Though I guess I’m not really surprised by my surprise: PMS blindsides me each and every month. Why am I swollen, sore, sweaty, and so very mad at this retarded slippery satiny shirt that keeps falling off the hanger, grr, grr, grr??? Oh right it’s LADY TIME, god.
Also familiarly awful: the big Deposit Clean. I spent all day Friday, eight long hours, cleaning my old apartment, scrubbing down the stove, fridge, sinks, tub, walls, and floors. There was so much dirty! I kept finding new, heretofore unseen splatters of coffee and…soup? Frosting? It was amazing and gross. I kept thinking how sad it is that my apartment is really, finally sparkling, but I won’t get to enjoy it. I actually caught myself vowing that in my new place, I’m going to schedule regular insane clean-a-thons, so I can actually reap the benefits of my bleach-pan hands. But mid-vow I dimly remembered promising myself something eerily similar after the last move. But this time I mean it! Yes I say it with the rueful, self-experienced doubt of a drastically hungover person’s promise to never drink again, but still I vow to clean this new house with white-flower-sale regularity. I do, I do, I do!
So yes, boxes, boxes, boxes, and lots of puffing and growling from Marbles the cat, who is less than thrilled to be rooming with PIGGY the dog. After spending all afternoon hiding behind the toilet, Marbles finally let me coax her out to the area near the tub, where she and I napped together for a few hours Wednesday afternoon, and then again Thursday morning. Finally on Saturday we put Piggy in the laundry room (there is a laundry room! AND a dishwasher!) and let Marbles sniff around the rest of the house for a few hours. Then we put her way up high on a shelf and let Piggy out. Piggy, who is half whippet and half boxer (half crazy, half crazy), can jump about five feet straight up in the air. It really is a sight; when she gets going — which she does whenever she wants her bone, or wants to go out, or wants come in, or hears your keys jangle — it really looks as though she’s on a trampoline. Her shadow, viewed from the sliver underneath the door, looks wide and dark, then gone, wide and dark, then gone. So Piggy managed to propel herself up to Marbles’ eye level, over and over and over, while Marbles just sat there watching, looking almost bored with nothing moving but her head yo-yo-ing up and down in concert with Piggy’s leaping. We tried to get Piggy to calm down, but it was pretty clear that this was the very best thing that had ever happened to her, this black and white squirrel-thing inside her own house! So then we tried to make a movie of it, but of course the camera got them all distracted (animals never do anything right). Today we had one or two bouts of howling and puffing, but in between they did manage to fall asleep on the very same couch, with me sandwiched in the middle. Things are looking up!
- – - – - – -
Elsewhere: the latest issue of lit-magazine Swivel is now out and about, and it is so good and funny and perfectly sized for in-bath enjoyment! (Also it features a smattering of excerpts from the sleep book, which turned out really nice.) I’m doing a guest stint over at Mighty Goods, which has been all kinds of fun (stuff, stuff, for you to buy (me)). And yes Desperate Housewives is still happening, it is relentless that way!
More words on: marbles | daisy | sleep book
small thoughts about a small site
Monday, Apr. 10, 2006
Today is the best day: My book, The Secret Language of Sleep, a Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions is now officially available for purchase! It’s at the McSweeney’s (online) Store for a specially discounted, one-week-only price of $12 (it’ll be $15 starting next week), and sure it’s at Amazon, plus I heard it through the gossip-vine that Jim found it at Booksmith in San Francisco, and Inger found it at Green Apple, which means that it might just be in your local independent bookery, too. (!!!)
Meanwhile and elsewhere: my Sleep Advice Column has made its debut over at McSweeneys.net, and one of the hot topics I cover is the whole debate over the official number of positions, which really does seem to throw people: the New York Post claims there are thirty-eight poses, while V Magazine says there’s just twenty-nine (the short piece they did on the book’s not online, but I put some choice pulls on the press page). But, just to be clear: as it says in and on my Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions, the true number of acknowledged poses is 39.
All in all, these are good and exciting times here at Camp Evany. If my heart were an emoticon (and it probably is), it would be one hundred smilies, font size 24!
More words on: sleep book
looking forward to looking back
Monday, Mar. 6, 2006
This past week I’ve been working on putting together a miniature website for the Language of Sleep book. It’s been a good six or eight years since I’ve even thought about designing a site, and my web know-how is definitely very “1998” (and not in the good “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea“ sense but the bad “These Are Special Times“ sense…though lord knows I have a special hole in my heart for Celine Dion, much as I do for the <td> tag). So I decided that maybe it was time to finally step up to stylesheets? Ugh? After endless fiddling, and many failures, and much badgering of my more advanced web friends (Gene and Mike bearing the most painful brunt of it), I finally managed to cobble something together. It’s a very small site, just five pages wide, which seems embarrassingly scant considering the effort. And it isn’t going to win any design awards, and I’m sure if you viewed my source (careful! that’s how web people get pregnant!), you’d be scandalized by the Frankenstein of code. But it loads on all my browsers on all my computers, including the Sidekick, and who knew how happy just that could make me?
Also I’d forgotten how much I liked the puttering — selecting link colors, FTPing things over and over again, reloading pages, cleaning and shrinking things in Photoshop, viewing other people’s source, and searching the web for how to do baby stuff like “put space between columns.”
And then there’s that particularly dynamite sensation of having a page keep breaking and breaking, and you just can’t figure out what’s wrong, and you’re going nutso trying to find the problem, combing over this mess of nested tags and moving things around and retyping words, but nothing seems to work. Finally, finally, FINALLY you find it: oh, you typed a “-” instead of an “=” and that’s all it took to make the whole world explode. There’s almost nothing like it, that scratched-itch relief of locating and correcting something so small. Finding the exact right analogy for a complicated thought is almost as good, or getting yourself the exact right meal to meet a highly particular craving. Maybe doctors or dieticians feel it, when they finally come up with the right treatment for a thorny and chronic health problem? But key to the greatness of the sensation is the huge buildup of inscrutable frustration that comes before it. It’s like…when I was a kid, in the summer, I used to wear my down jacket to the pool just to heighten the relief and glee of the moment when I finally jumped in the water. This is the glory of building a webpage!
More words on: sleep book
So Friday I was a guest on Suncoast Magazine, which is a morning talk radio show on Florida’s “Sunny 1220.” Have I mentioned that my life is a little weird these days? With the NY Post thing, plus a small (and I’m pretty sure embarrassing?) interview that I did with I.D. this past Monday, plus a scattering of other small maybablies and possiwonts that are all floating out there, which I’m simultaneously hoping will and won’t happen. Also, I got advanced copies of the book! It’s cute and small and beautiful and scary, see:
So small, so pretty, so pocket-perfect. (And so wee, it makes a quarter look like a dime!)
Not just for pockets, but sized for hands, too.
The end-pages, like my nose, are full of PILLOWS!
Amelia’s illustrations: who knew angel kitten hugs could draw so hard?
I’m trying to enjoy it all of it, I really am, but when I’m not actively focusing on being thrilled, I’m pretty much low-level nervous at all times these days. The sensation, I’ve decided, is what I call “looking forward to looking back.”
Anyway the reason they had me on this radio show was to chat up Welcome to Wisteria Lane, which is a book of essays about Desperate Housewives that I contributed to. I was pretty sure that nobody I knew would hear the show, since it isn’t archived anywhere and I don’t think I know anyone currently living in Sarasota, Florida, but nonetheless, I was (surprise) totally panicked by the idea of being on the radio. I spent the whole night before poring over a PDF printout of the book that the publisher sent me (all of the other essays in the book are really, really great). I took notes, I made lists, I underlined passages, I stuck stickies all over the place. And wow, how happy was I when I realized, just before heading off to sleep, that the call-time was at 11.05am eastern standard time, as in at 8.05 my time? So happy! That would have been so bad and sad.
Anyway so I have to call in to the station at 8am, so I wake up at…4am. Ding! I can’t even remotely go back to sleep, so I decide to do some research about the person doing my interview, and I find this amazing list of all the week’s guests: my name’s there, and then a bunch of people I don’t recognize, and then…Chuck Norris! And? Rich Little!!! My name, on a list, with Rich Little! At that point I was totally melting down — sweating, mouth-breathing, pitty-pat heart — so I call Kristin Windbigler, and she talked to me, very calmly, about how it’ll be over soon, how great I’m going to do, etcetera. But then she admits that if it were her, she’d totally be weeping. Exactly! I just kept thinking, why does this phase me so much? Did the Texas Ranger get up at 4am in a panic over his talk-radio chat? Somehow, I can’t see it. And yet! And yet.
Eventually, though, the moment arrives, and I breath and breath and call the number they gave me. The show’s host, Doug, answers the phone, and he is so talk radio, all smooth voiced and awake. They’re not quite ready to talk to me, he tells me, so he puts me on hold. While I wait, I’m listening to Doug and his copilot doing their banter. “Welcome back to the second half of the show,” Doug says, and then, “Weren’t those barber-shoppers GREAT?” Apparently, in the first half of the show, they had a bunch of local barbershop quartet guys on the show. So then Doeg goes, “I couldn’t do it — can’t carry a tune — I can’t even do karaoke.” And the other guy says something about how all it takes is the right amount of alcohol, etc. And then Doug asks, “Does anyone even do karaoke anymore? Is the fad over yet?” And his sidekick says, “Oh, the ORIENTALS they JUST LOVE IT!”
And with that, Doug says, “Speaking of entertainment, how about that Desperate Housewives show?” And they click me through, and I talk and talk, and then suddenly fifteen minutes have passed and I’m done and I don’t really remember what I said at all because I was basically in a blackout panic. I just really hope that, whatever it was that I said, all the orientals out there loved it.
More words on: sleep book