- me: well, does it cost less if we don't have dessert?
- adam: that was my halftorah portion.
I was talking to my dad recently—who has now been a surgeon for 25 years—about how he has done the same thing for so long without interruption. And I got the same answer that I have gotten from many, which is that it doesn’t bother him that his job is not great every day, or even every month. Long hours are spent over dictations, dealing with HMOs, or listening to overzealous patients poke at their bellies and change their mind twice about where it hurts. In fact, the few chances he has each day to actually slice people open and fix them are about his only moments of zen.
And yet, he’s happy, and he credits it to thinking that what he does is important. This seems obvious, but I’ve gotten to the bottom of many friends’ career woes and it is that what they are doing just doesn’t mean anything to them. It might mean something to the masses, it might mean something to their parents, it might even mean something to the person they were three years ago, but currently, their days are spent doing something they don’t find significant, at least not without three or four sentences of justification about the money or the fame or the perks or the dues paying they are getting out of it. I never thought it would be possible to feel ironic about your own livelihood and make commentary on it like a VH1 talking head, but that’s what we tend to sound like over dinner.
I guess I’m just searching (because you have to actively look) for something where I can say what I do without five disclaimers or phrases to back it up. Just say, this is what I’m about, it makes sense to me, it matters in my corner of the world. Leave all the belly pokers out of it and just start sewing people up.
Erica Jong, the New York Times. Discovered by my friend Emily, who is actually not at all morbid, just sharp enough to realize that this is a really, really beautiful way of putting it.
It being the way life can feel sometimes. Also, not sure when my tumblr got so Angela Chase depress-athon; it’s not normally my disposition. I’m more of a cherry cordial than a black licorice sort of girl, if that makes sense.
My mom: I’m supposed to be productive today but I am just uninspired. I think I will go home early and take the dog for a walk.
Me: that sounds good
Me: take a brisk walk. cures the soul
Mom: But it can be hard on the sole.
- Adam: eh
- me: dont eh me
- Adam: i will eh you all i want
so clearly, i am obsessed with photography lately and have been posting a lot of it. this has a point, which hopefully i can reveal pretty soon. but until then, i’ll just keep tacking up my favorite images from the vault. the exciting part about becoming obsessed with something is that you start becoming pickier about it—i like the feeling that develops of knowing what does and doesn’t work. your judgment stays just as rapid, but it’s not based completely on the visceral. it’s like having a very informed gut.
and with that, my gut would love to take pictures like erica shire (see below), if i ever did the whole road-trip-through-rural-america thing. if my snaps turned out half this good, i’d be lucky.
What I’d really like to have is a clubhouse, but not one with a “no boyz allowed” sign or anything like that. Instead, it would just be a self-selective, charming sort of place with art on the walls and good things to drink and eat, full of people I might want to talk to. There might be a few studios in the back for making music and/or art. There might also be a more formal place to sit around and hash out a new business idea, all over the walls if necessary. It would be open all night long, and if you wanted to sleep there, you wouldn’t be alone. Funny how something so simple can sound a little like a utopian vision.
But for now, I like meeting people at Epistrophy on Mott between Kenmare and Spring. Hope that helps!
I have been thinking a lot about “the West” lately. I guess it’s in my blood—I spent 20 years on the other side of the Mississippi, and no matter how native I feel to New York most days, there’s no denying that my DNA is essentially made of big skies and chalk and pink mountains. I guess this all started a few weeks ago when I was listening to a song called “Lawrence, KS,” in which the singer says that “My wings are made of hay and cornhusks,” and I felt rattled by it. The strange thing about NYC is the fact that most of us have to self-induce a partial lobotomy to live here. To survive, you have to become it, completely. Otherwise, you’re just stuck thinking that it’s more expensive, more competetive, more crazed, and less peaceful than where you were before. You have to just give into it, and doing so, release a grip on your roots and become something of a born again city child, a local, the one to ask for directions.
But this winter, I started having dreams about New Mexico. They started simply: the smell of cedar or a flash of a russet canyon. But lately, they’ve gotten expansive and very real, and I wake up next to my Manhattan boiler hissing and have to take long seconds to remember my location. I’ve also been really drawn to old pictures of Route 66 and vintage Hollywood, farmland and rural ghost towns. I have no idea what this means, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
I love NYC, and before now, I romanticized the city far more than my slow, desert childhood. Still I may need to do some exploring out west when it gets a little warmer, preferably in a car full of people. Roadtrip 2008, anyone?