The Week in Review: The Nombriliste’s Version

What's the point of the blog if it has not a theme, is sporadically updated, acts coy and withholding when it comes to intimate details?

I don't know either. But you care, so I persevere, with vague promises of posting more, and my evident discomfort with really revealing everything is maddening even to me. But I think that anyone who really wants to get to the kernel of what is what with me should read/study/commit to memory the following mundane facts about my week.

1. I have yet another ingrown toenail. I'm suspecting it's genetic. This one can't be attributed to running shoes because I haven't been running because either I've been working too much, it's getting cold, or whenever I'm not working I think "Oh it's too cold I'd rather crawl under the covers and think about work." Suspicion: combination of the three.

2. I tore through Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett, Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy, and now I'm slowly making my way through Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates and pretending it's the book version of Mad Men because I'm sad that the Mad Men season is over.

3. I remain enthralled by the Larry King video podcast and I don't care who knows it. I watched Kid Rock. I watched Eric Clapton. I watched Jenny McCarthy for chrissakes. I don't care who it is, if it's Larry King and it's on a 2x2" screen, I am rapt.

4. I started watching The Wire. I never like to admit anything is too hard, but I am having a hard time understanding what the hell.

5. I went to a spelling bee. I felt I could have outspelled the pants off everyone there but that's an ego thing. I pride myself on being a really good speller. I make typos sometimes and this is painful for me because I kind of think of myself as also a really good typist. And a show-off. I'm braggy.

6. I can't dress for this shit. I mean, I know: LAYERS. But I hate any season that's not summer.

7. I felt overwhelmed by malignant envy maybe 2 times this week. This is average for me.

8. I felt sorry for myself maybe 4 times this week. This is a lot for me.

9. I got a new gear shift on my 15-year-old bike that is a non-stop target for neighborhood vandals and man, gear-shift technology has really come a long way since I bought my twice-used Specialized Hard Rock Sport in 1992.

10. My new bike basket is not working out. It's not attaching properly to the handlebars and it slowly or sometimes quickly starts to dump all my stuff into the street while I'm riding. I get a lot of compliments on it, however, so I'm thinking: who needs stuff? The surly guy at the bike shop even complimented me! Thanks, Jean!

11. I almost missed Halloween because I was holed up at Paragraph and then emerged at 2am and nearly got trampled on 14th Street by drunk revelers and I realized eh, Halloween, not my holiday. My holiday, for those who keep track of these things, is Bastille Day because it's French and it's in the summer. And it involves heads on poles. No, not for that reason.

12. I stood behind the so so so pregnant Drea DeMatteo at my pharmacy (or should I say "our pharmacy," since it's mine and Drea's) and eavesdropped on her conversation but held myself back from chuckling along or making a calculatedly clever comment because in spite of the fact that we share a pharmacy and I found her black suede hobo bag with tassels that TOUCHED THE FLOOR remarkable, she is not my friend and I am not a starfucker.

13. Two friends' bands are playing tonight and I want to go to both. I don't like going to see bands but I happen to have a minimum of three friends who are in legitimately good bands.

14. I have connected with more random people from my past on Facebook than is healthy or seemingly necessary and it makes me nervous that my policy of being apparently personal but not divulging anything truly personal is going to start getting dicey.

15. I realized that when you interview someone for a story, they Google you. Sometimes you interview like 20 people and you see in your site logs that they all Googled you. I find this creepy and I think this is me just being ridiculous because I mean, everyone GoogleS everyone, and of course I'd Google a reporter who called me. I think Google etiquette involves not admitting you Googled someone, as one of my sources did and I got very "this call is coming from inside the house" scared.

16. I am nursing a very cautious crush.

17. Julie brought me a big bottle of 100% aloe vera and I drank the whole thing as the directions advised me, 2oz. twice a day, and I don't know what it's supposed to do but it hasn't done it yet.

18. Don't not return an email, especially a business email. Don't not return a call unless you never want to hear from someone again. Never forget to thank people whom you ask for advice. Don't take the advice and run. People are busy being important/famous/having ingrown toenails and they took the time to give you, a total stranger, advice via email. Say thanks.

Can I pause here and just say that about 9 months ago, in the throes of doing publicity for my book, a stranger emailed me for advice. I feel no compunction in revealing the details of the scenario because I think she acted abominably. She was trying to decide between the MFA programs at Columbia and NYU, both of which had accepted her, and an old professor of mine suggested she contact me. I gave her a whole boatload of advice, a thorough compare/contrast of NYU/Columbia, based on my experience at NYU and friends' experiences teaching at/attending Columbia--even though I found her sort of supercilious and full of herself. I was in primo advice-giving mode at the time as I was touring-slash-doing a lot of interviews where I was being asked for my opinion a lot. But I tried to abide by my "all unsolicited advice is self-serving" motto and really help her. We should all be so lucky to have such "problems," but anyone who ever really wanted to get into one of those programs knows that. Anyway, I never heard from her. And I'm kind of pissed about it. Because if there's one thing I hate it's people who don't express gratitude. I'm old-fashioned: I like to send cards. I like to send gifts. I don't want to appear entitled, even if I feel entitled. I'm showing off again. Anyway. It's shitty not to thank someone.

It is also shitty to not RSVP to a party; it is shitty to work very, very closely with someone on their book and then not acknowledge its publication (more common than you'd think!), it's a good idea to kiss someone's ass just a tiny bit when you ask them for a big favor, but in a genuine way that shows that you respect them and their time. I'm getting ranty now. I forgive you all. But come on people. Be human. Be nice to each other. Acknowledge people. It's not a zero-sum game. Even if I am totally winning.

19. I think I should turn this more positive. I like my new shoes. Even if they look a little Wednesday-Addams-ish.

20. I worked hard this week and think I will reward myself this weekend. This means I will go running for pleasure and not beat myself up for only doing half my normal distance because I've not been running in weeks. This sounds like a dumb reward but I tend to be extraordinarily hard on myself and I think I will try to give myself this gift. Oh who am I kidding. I'm going to get that Cole Haan bag.