1. I have a new job for real that starts very soon so I can finally let out this breath I've been holding in since March. We'll talk more about this later (the time of unemployment, not the job), but let's just say: WHEW.
2. Yesterday I pulled into a parking space downtown and realized I was worrying about X number of stupid things so I said "Hey Siri, take a note: you don't need to feel guilty about enjoying your life." Siri got it all wrong as usual so I cursed at her and we engaged in a minor inter-car tiff before I remembered I could just stop talking to nobody.
3. I'm always wary of people handing out koans for free but this fit into my current frame of mind so well I drank it up like soup:
“What if there is no ‘next level?’ What if it’s just an idea you made up in your head? What if you’re already there and not only are you not recognizing it, but by constantly pursuing something more, you’re preventing yourself from appreciating it and enjoying where you are now?”
I mean seltzer or beer or anything but soup, obviously. Soup is the worst. "Here, drink this salty hot garbage with chunks of mush in it." Really, the worst.
4. This profile of GOOP founder Gwyneth Paltrow at the NYT is well worth the read, as is every single thing written by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It's generous but skeptical and critical but not mean-spirited, although my favorite parts had little to do with GP:
My phone rang. It was the mother of my son’s friend, back home in stupid New Jersey, and I realized she wouldn’t be calling if not for something gone awry. I apologized to G.P. and picked up the phone. The mom told me that my son was insisting that I was supposed to be picking him up. “I’m in California!” I whispered. “I’m with Gwyneth Paltrow!” She said she’d pass the message along and proceed as usual. G.P. said something, but I couldn’t concentrate because I was trying to understand how my 7-year-old didn’t know that I was out of town. Had I not said goodbye?
I get that it's dicey to make yourself (as the writer) a heavy part of the profile, but I dig it. It adds texture and meaning, as long as it's tied to the larger story.
I drove back to my hotel to find that a family that owned a Mercedes dealership would be hosting an impromptu all-night party around the pool and that I would never get any sleep. I thought about my children, one of whom plays the flute, but unwillingly, and therefore won’t practice. Yes, I thought about my children, only one of whom might shake your hand while the other would sooner spit on it, though they will both reliably do an elaborate orchestration of armpit farting while I’m trying to hear myself think. I thought of my mother and father, and an earlier conversation I had with my sisters that day about where to arrange our parents in a room for one of our kids’ bar mitzvahs so that they wouldn’t interact, so raw still are the wounds 35 years after their divorce. I thought of my big, disgusting Size 11 feet, which are wide and flat and have the look of scuba flippers and which designers have shod only begrudgingly. I thought of the third child I don’t have, the one I ache for. The car salespeople danced below.
5. A few other keepers by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who as I mentioned is always worth reading:
- Mourning in Paris (NY Times)
- Losing it in the anti-dieting age (NY Times)
- This is how you live on Swiss time (Afar)
- How to live life like Erez Komarovsky: the hell-raising, iconoclastic Israeli bread baker (Saveur)
- Tennis lessons (Racquet)