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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chapter 7 time! It's about to get a little salty as we meet Penny's editor, Noah. He is a gentle soul, who loves puppies and kitties and bunnies and speaks ill of no one. Just kidding, he's pretty foul. You've been warned.

Speaking of... well, nothing, a student (hi Elise!) from my old college came to interview me for the alumni magazine, and she's focusing a lot on my fiction endeavors. I think the dean will be proud to know that my years of study and tuition dollars culminated into this moment, in which I stretch out on my bathroom floor, talk crazy into an iPhone and channel Penny Perkins and her unshaven legs. I'll link to that later, of course.

Watch and enjoy, friends! And get caught up right hurr.

UPDATE: In a hazy slumber, I accidentally uploaded the rough copy, which was long and full of stammering and zero illustrations. The right one is up now. I apologize if you watched and were all, "Man, she's jumped the shark, just like Fonzie." I swear I have at least a couple more chapters until that happens.  - Signed, the "editors"

Obitchuary, Chapter 7

Lessons and life horrors from Young Adult

Monday, March 26, 2012

I saw Young Adult this weekend.

I actually bought the DVD! I can't remember the last time I bought myself an actual DVD. It's so sad, guys. You should have seen me in Target with my little basket of shaving cream and Lemi-Shine and paper towels, holding the Blu-Ray, thinking, "I don't know... $20 seems steep." You'd think I lived through the Great Depression eating my own shoe leather.

Anyway, about the movie. I love Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson and Diablo Cody, and it's about a writer, and it's dark, so naturally I wanted to see it the second it came out. But life (writing, video blogging, working, lugging laundry up the stairs of my townhouse, going back down the stairs to get the laundry I dropped, going back up the stairs with the laundry again) got in the way. It took a while, but now that I've done the honors, here are some observations:

God help me, I'm shallow.

For the entire first ten minutes of the movie, my boyfriend just kept pointing at me. Mavis (played by Charlize) wakes up face down on her bed while various Kardashians flit along the TV in the background. She wears enormous Hello Kitty sleep shirts. She chugs Diet Coke straight from the bottle in the morning. She trudges to her computer and stares at a blank screen, then checks her e-mail and online shopping sites, then writes a paragraph, then checks her e-mail again. It was funny, then it was disturbing, because I knew from the reviews that the character is a mentally-unstable alcoholic ex-prom queen, aging and lonely and not self-actualized in the slightest. I hope think we drifted farther apart as the story went on. Please. Please.

Mavis giant Hello Kitty shirt
Giant Hello Kitty shirt, IRLMSML (in real life minus supermodel looks)
Now to redeem shallowness with intellectual analysis.

I loved this movie, but I loved it even more after I thought about it for a while. There were so many little touches that quietly chiseled her character. She had everything a hot, sexy, Parishiltonian (new adjective) person is "supposed" to have. A Pomeranian named Dolce. Victoria's Secret bags. Ugg Boots. Yet she's a miserable mess, because none of that stuff actually means anything when you've got nothing going on inside.

Awkward for president!

Which leads me to the main writing lesson I took from Young Adult. It was really, really uncomfortable to spend two hours with a protagonist who is almost totally unsympathetic. But it worked, and it worked really well. It made me reflect on how much of what we consume is not very grounded in reality. And how maybe we should embrace less perfection in our entertainment. And how maybe people who drink Diet Coke straight from the 2-liter DESERVE LOVE TOO, ALRIGHT?

I like to point at things.

I will never amount to anything.

Diablo Cody is only 33. And Juno came out, like, five years ago. Excuse me while I get back on Wikipedia and have a panic attack about my age-to-achievements ratio. BRB.


Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm back! Korea was amazing, as was California. We joined two wine clubs, toured the DMZ on the same day as Kim Jong-un, technically stood in North Korea, got some awesome street jewelry, ate a mound of crab, rode a street car. That's the Extreme Reader's Digest version of a lot of things (the Scanner's Digest?). I might post some pictures soon, though I fear my friends will disown me if I keep talking about my trip. I have to decide which ones really mean something to me, and which ones I'm OK with losing. Friends, I mean. I'll get back to you.

Anyway, let's keep going with our experimental storytelling, shall we? Here is OBITCHUARY, chapter 6! It's been a couple weeks, so let me catch you up to speed:

Penny got burned out at work, got period on her white pants, applied for a job writing obits and got the job. She got woken up in the middle of the night by her sex-crazed neighbors, then got annoyed by her power pop-crazed co-worker, Mark, who has a Wayne's World bobblehead and cereal fetish. Then she embarrassed herself in the newsroom and wrote her first obit about a little old dead lady named Mary Lou Henrickson. Will anyone like it? Will she be sent packing back to Periodville, population: Penny?

Watch all the videos here, and follow on Facebook here.

I'm off to go tell someone else about how I almost died at the hands of a vengeful North Korean dictator (my vacation story gets more elaborate and exaggerated each time I tell it, just like a 1950s slideshow).

Obitchuary, Chapter 6