Sunday, February 28, 2010

Der Handschuh.

This isn't a story about gloves. 

It's not even a story, really. Not in the "once upon a time" sense, anyway. It's more of a reminder. Just a post-it to say that sometimes, things that you thought were lost can magically reappear. And how lucky you feel to find a pair of gloves that you carelessly misplaced. 

OK, it's kind of about gloves. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Miss Paula.

One of the best work-related memos I've ever read was at the hotel when a morning Manager report said only, "Jesus called in sick for his 6:30 shift."

I remember thinking, "Well that's never good."

But yesterday at work when we going through a list of attendees for a joint baby shower being held for two pregnant coworkers, someone asked, "Who's Paula?"

All of us paused for a second, kind of squinting in that way you do to nudge your memory, until finally, we just shook our heads. No one knew a Paula.

"Well she better show up." one of my coworkers said. "She signed up to bring like all of the salads."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Think You're Doing It Wrong.

I saw a man attempt to parallel park last night with half of his body leaning out of the open driver's side door.  

You know the saying, "if you have to ask, you can't afford it."? Well, if half of your body is literally not inside your vehicle as you're trying to park, maybe you should circle the block a few times to find a pull-through spot.

It's not as catchy, I know. But there's truth there.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Olympics Fun Fact III.

Ice Dancing was the first Olympic sport to embarrass the families of those participating. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Olympics Fun Fact II.

Thanks to the aggressive Olympic coverage of men's and women's Curling, Procter & Gamble's Swiffer Sweeper and the iRobot Roomba have collectively seen a 56% increase in sales, beating analysts' forecasts for this quarter.

And the hardwood floors of the world have never been cleaner.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm Becoming An Incredibly Awkward Disney Character.

You know how in Disney movies animals just gather around the main characters while they're going about their everyday business? Well that's fine if you're a cartoon who occasionally bursts into song, but neither of those things apply to me, so I'd appreciate it if the wildlife would just stay away for a hot minute so I can walk around my neighborhood without screaming obscenities. 

I've previously discussed the cat problem in my neighborhood, and it's only getting worse. I have to say, "Go away, cat!" pretty much everyday because without fail, some freaky looking cat pops out of something and starts walking with me. I really don't like cats. And the other day while walking around Jamaica Pond I saw a horse. A horse! No one was near it, just a horse, chillin by the walking trail. When I eventually got closer, the horse was standing next to a sign that said, "I'm eating my lunch, please don't disturb." And of course, that freaked me out. It turns out it was a Police Horse (a cop's horse, not a crime-fighting horse) but where was the cop?! And why was the sign written in the first person like that?!
Being surrounded by random animals is by no means a new thing for me. But last night, I saw cat walking near me out of the corner of my eye, and as I turned to say, "Go away, cat!" I noticed that it was actually a giant skunk! People, I'm serious. I don't know how long it was trailing me, but it really would have been the perfect topper to my gem of a week if I was sprayed by a skunk.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So You're Telling Me There's A Chance.

I stub my ego enough in my everyday life that hearing "no" from the publishing world has actually been a welcomed little twist. True, they're not interested. But they deliver that unfortunate news in such a delightful way!

My agent wrote me last night with the rejections from some of the editors that currently have my manuscript. The rejections she sent were in "digest form"--her words-- probably meaning, "I took all the marshmallow charms out of the box for you, leaving all of crappy oat-like bits behind. You're welcome."

So here are my first official editor rejections!

From Quirk:
Jason Rekulak asked me to field OPEN-EYED SNEEZE—as it’s definitely more of a Margaret book than a Jason book—and it cracked me up! So many of Jessica’s stories hit close to home. (I seriously considered joining Jazzercize post-college. And, gosh, my mom would be thrilled if I worked for Riverdance instead of Quirk Books! Sigh…) Following the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we are considering more and more quirky fiction, but memoirs are still pretty far outside our comfort zone. Please send me anything else you think might be appropriate for our list, especially funny, oddball stuff like this project. Best of luck finding a good home for it! 

From St. Martin’s:
Many thanks for sending OPEN-EYED SNEEZE by Jessica Martin, which I’ve now had a chance to read.  There’s a lot to like in here.  Martin offers plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and an endearing kind of self-deprecation.  There are good episodes, among them the story surrounding her time in England when she suffered a bout of, let’s say, immobility.  Like David Sedaris, the author is at her best when she’s digressing—something she does naturally and often.  But I’m afraid I had a hard time seeing this as book.  While I enjoyed that meandering quality, the stories eventually began to feel a bit toodirectionless.  The chapters seemed self-contained, not contributing to a bigger narrative arc the way I’d hoped. That’s all to say that I just didn’t fall in love with this one.  I’m afraid I’m going to have to bow out.  But I was glad to have the chance to consider it!  

Thanks so much for thinking of me for for  Jessica Martin's  hilarious memoir. I did read this  last night, and while I thought her writing  was incredibly frank and witty,  and her insights so keenly observed,  in the end I felt like her experiences  weren't quite unique or  singular enough to convince me we could get enough  attention for this.  On one hand, part of the appeal of her writing is that she  is so  relatable, as so many of us have had experienced this sort of   frustration over what to do with our lives, but given how crowded the  memoir  is, ultimately I felt this just didn't have that hook to make  it really stand  out. She's a great writer, no question, but  unfortunately the story itself  just didn't grab me as much as I'd  hoped.

thanks for sending me OPEN-EYED SNEEZE.  I did get a chance to read the manuscript, and I found it funny and charming.  However, I don't know if there's a market for this.  Job-seekers and recent graduates totally need someone to relate to, but I think that they'd be drawn more to straight-out advice than a memoir.  

I actually did dip into the manuscript last night. Jessica is a good writer and I laughed out loud in several parts, but ultimately her negative tone was off-putting to me. She seemed to be trying too hard to make her experience moving home appear horribly pathetic, when in fact, her family sounds quite nice and supportive if a little annoying sometimes-- but whose family isn't? As you know, memoirs can be tough and I'm afraid this one just didn't speak to me enough to take it on. But I'm sure you'll find a good home for it.
That last one is probably the worst, but when I called to tell my mother about it she goes, "Oh, they thought our family was nice! That's nice to hear!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Olympics Fun Fact.

Beyond the aerodynamic body positioning techniques used on the in-run, and far more important than any stylistic landing points, the most pivotal aspect of ski jumping is the athlete's mid-air exclamation of "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Steal It.

Tell me that an underwear company called Crocodile Undie isn't the best idea you've heard all day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

That's Deep.

I don't like when people say things like, "I'm really growing as a person."
It's always said as some sort of profound realization.
Of course you're growing as a person. You're not growing as a tiger. 

(or are you?)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sabrina's 30th.

Pics from my sister's birthday. I don't know if it was because of her incredibly nice friends, the fact that my favorite person in the world flew in from Chicago, or just that Brina seriously knows how to throw a party, but the whole night was amazing.  

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Get Off Me!

After what can only be described as the single greatest party I have ever attended, I woke up Sunday morning so incredibly thirsty that I could barely open my mouth to yawn.  I remember thinking, This is what sand must feel like all the time. But that thought was quickly interrupted by the intense pain in my legs.  

Despite my complete lack of dance skill, I've been known to take advantage of a dropped beat. So my initial thought concerning the leg pain was that it was related to a high heel/get low combo. Mystery solved. But geez, how much could I have danced? My legs were freaking killing me. Desperately in need of a glass of water, I tried to move off the couch in my sister's living room, but found that I could not actually move my legs. Now I was getting scared. With a mouth too dry to speak, I just said "ow" over and over to myself in my head as I tried to wiggle some life into my feet and did a slow oblique crunch upward to see what the hell the problem was. 

The good news first: My leg pain was not in any way related to dancing or shoes. I was immediately relieved that I wouldn't have to deal with any embarrassing aftermath concerning my attempts to glide. 

The bad news: My leg pain was related to me. Literally.  When I lifted my torso to look at my legs, I found that my little sister and her friend were BOTH laying on me. ON ME. Sound asleep. Two people, sleeping like babies, on top of my legs. 

I was so upset when I saw the two of them enjoying their rest that all I wanted to do was kick them. But having two people sleep on top of your legs all night causes that sleeping foot sensation for the entire lower half of your body. So instead, I just pinched Nessa's neck until she woke up and I was able to shimmy my way off the couch for some water.

Later that day, when I was recounting my wake-up call, Sabrina asked, "How did you guys fall asleep like that? Wasn't it uncomfortable?"

Dumbfounded by the question, I interjected, "Excuse me! I think you mean to ask, how did you fall asleep like that, morally?! Didn't it occur to you that, hey, maybe we shouldn't sleep on another human being?!"

Shaking their heads with a smile, both Nessa and her friend replied, "You're comfy."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Shopping list: Glasses, Flashlight, Cup of Coffee.

It can be pretty dark on my street when the other houses don't have their lights on at night. I'm prone to tripping or walking into things with even the best conditions, so when I'm tired and it's dark out, I really don't stand a chance.  

Just before reaching my apartment last night my foot hit something kind of light and soft. There are a lot of random cats around my neighborhood-- it really freaks me out--so I was pretty sure that I had just kicked a stray with my stride and was hoping to avoid stepping on it. After the initial kick, I jumped up and landed on something equally soft. This caused me to jump again, and once more, I stepped on something. A lot of jumping and a lot of swearing were involved, until I finally reached the back steps of my apartment and looked down at my feet. There seemed to be some sort of thick goo all over my sneakers so I ran to the grass to wipe them off thinking to myself, "What the hell was that?!"

By this morning, there was a fresh dusting of snow on the ground that made the entire street look impeccably clean. Walking down the driveway and onto the sidewalk, I saw splashes of red that stood out in such strong contrast to the white snow that I almost threw up. Slowly stepping closer, afraid of what I might find, I saw the squashed, ruined remains of three jelly doughnuts.    

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Did You Know..

We could save 28 billion dollars in the national budget if administrative workers in government offices stopped stealing pens. 

That's true.