Laptop: my girlfriend.

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It’s remarkable, the relationship between a human and his technology. Our phones, tablets, and laptops become like friends to us: able to console, entertain, and betray. They can frustrate us, stand us up, and even completely blow us off, and, just like any of our close friends, when betrayal strikes, trust is lost.

I’ve had my laptop since my sophomore year of college – I’ll let you guess how long ago that was; a lady never tells her age – and she has been on quite a few adventures with me. She was there for me during every lecture, through every paper I handed in (late), six seasons of Lost, seven seasons of Boy Meets World, and eight seasons of Doctor Who. She was my companion when I began my journey as a writer, ditching five paragraph essays for quirky poems and short stories and even the odd screenplay. Now, I have a Mac, so I’ve never had the constant fear of my computer crashing, getting sick, or going crazy. She was reliable and unwavering in her loyalty to me.

And then she crashed.

I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was one spreadsheet too many, but suddenly, my screen froze, I got the pinwheel of death and everything went black. She woke up after a few agonizing minutes, asking if I would like to send crash reports. No. No crash reports, I thought, solemnly. Nothing can make up for this level of betrayal. For, she didn’t crash in the middle of an episode. She didn’t crash while I was about to Complete Check Out on Amazon. She crashed when I was twenty pages in on a Meditative Writing stint I’d been on for two hours.

“What an idiot you are for not saving, if you’re writing for that long!” you may say. Well, I say that, too, but when you’re “meditative writing,” the point is, you’re not thinking about saving your work, getting up to pee, or grabbing a glass of water. You’re thinking about writing. only writing. non-stop writing. stream of consciousness. The only rules in Meditative Writing are 1. Tell the Truth and 2. Don’t Stop Writing. So, she crashed.

If you know anything about Macs, you know that this incident is not the end of the world because, most of the time, the product is saved or recoverable. Yes, it is, but though this was not the end of the world, it was absolutely the end of our relationship. I had no choice but to break up with my laptop after that. The trust was lost. gone. forever. irreparable. We tried to make it work for a few weeks, but the trust couldn’t be built back. I was saving my work every five minutes, thus interrupting my meditation, blocking me.

So I got an iPad.

My laptop is still here. She’s still in the picture, and I use her for my other work. Spreadsheets, bookkeeping, as a DVD player, but that’s it. Nothing more than a booty call.

The Lady at 525 W 25th St

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At building number 525 on street 25 on the west side of Down, a small town in a small county in a small state, there lived a woman with particularly fluffy hair and a particular attitude toward “cleanliness, neatness, and organization!” as the neighbors would hear her snapping aloud often, and often not to anyone they could see.

She always had a frilly ribbon tied in the right side in the tangle of kinky hair, and her stoop was always pristine. The neighborhood boys would sneak up her steps and drop pieces of garbage on it, taking bets on how long until she’d notice. She had a sense for it – like a dog who hears the jingle of his leash before a walk. Out she’d scurry, robe pulled around her, kinky hair askew, ribbon dancing in the wind, mumbling sharply as she’d bend down to pick up the matchbook, the loose bandaid, or the breadcrumb.

“Cleanliness! Neatness! Organization!” she’d snap and slam the door.

Growing Pains

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Life is riddled with little milestones that mark our journey through growing up. Like our first smile, our first step, and first word.
Then there’s our first pubic hair, first kiss, first romp in the sack.
These milestones don’t end with adolescence.
I mean, just the other day, I had my first lift-thigh-fat-to-wipe-vag moment.

Somehow, however, I don’t think Hallmark makes a card for that one…

[ i n d i g o ]

maybe I should eat something

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Ever sit down to write something (completely inspirational) and the second the blank page loads and the cursor blinks at you as if challenging you – daring you – to say something, and suddenly, the only thing you can think of is “hm. maybe I should eat something.”?

I am 36,956 feet in the air, flying somewhere over the border of Nebraska and South Dakota, and I’ve just ordered a cheese plate from a tablet attached to the seat in front of me. A cheese plate and Chex Mix delivered straight to my seat. Oh, and I’m blogging about it. We live in this world of immediacy and convenience and we still have something to complain about.

My question is, is the complaining something to complain about? Maybe complaining is our opportunity to seek improvement. The more we can complain, the more we can innovate and make better. Now, there are some who wish the world would JUST STOP for at least a second, I know, but while it may seem overwhelming, innovation is human.

Take, for example, the guy who invented the little plastic things on the ends of our shoelaces. Who was he before doing that? Just a guy who said “Man, it’s annoying re-lacing my shoes with these stupid fraying ends. We need to make a thing to help prevent fray-age.” Or the guy who invented the hot cup sleeve or those plastic inserts to stop spillage. Those stemmed from somebody complaining. “Oh, this cup is hot.” and “$#!&, I keep spilling!”

Now, the argument is ” do we really need this stuff?” a watch that is a phone, a tablet, iPod, phone, phone watch, ear buds, earphone speakers, and a kindle? No, maybe not always. Maybe a 12 year old doesn’t need every one of those, or a teenager, or a toddler. But imagine how drastically your workscope, workspace, work place has changed since we’ve been introduced to these devices. The designer has a portable office. The writer, too. The service industry is vastly more convenient and accessible now. Especially now that customers are taking longer with each sale to “Pause for text message,” and “pause for instagram photo,” and “wait I have to tweet that,” and “Hold on, I’m checking in on Four Square.”

The marketing world is forced to think outside the box – outside all the boxes. In a world overstimulated, how do you reach your audience? In a world of Fast Forward and Skip This Ad, how can you be heard? Everyone is screaming to be heard, yet no one is listening.

There’s my complaint. So where’s the innovation?

in the works

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I have quite a few books “in the works”. It’s quite a boastful sentence, that one, but the truth is, “in the works” Just means “in my head.” To be quite frank, it just means “I’ve thought of a cool title and maybe a premise. ”

People ask me what I do for a living, and my favorite thing to tell them is “I’m am writer,” because their head is suddenly filled with fanciful pictures of me sitting in gardens or coffee shops with my laptop – or typewriter because I’m that kind of cool – at book signings, having meetings with agents. Close friends have fantasies about my books becoming the next Harry Potter or Divergent series. When, honestly, I’m sitting on a plane with my wireless keyboard hooked against my iPad, two and a half hours into the flight with absolutely nothing to write. You’d think that being stuck in a one-meter-by-two-meter prison-of-an-airplane-seat is enough to motivate a writer to buckle down and “just write already!” … apparently, that’s not the case.

I’m just forced to watch stupid television on a minuscule screen, stare out the window at turbulent clouds, and try my best to steady my rapid breath – I’m not anxious, I swear. I’m pretty sure there is low oxygen in the cabin. Ok, maybe not – don’t want to panic anybody. (are you panicking??).

Anyway, so what do I do for a living? I fantasize about gardens, coffee shops, quaint little cottages in the meadows, mountain homes overlooking a foggy bluff (I think the word I’m looking for is “chalet”), meditative retreats, and more English breakfast tea than a woman should drink. I fantasize about a healthy, smart pup as a trusty companion, a cat who knows better than to sit on my keyboard (let’s be real – I wouldn’t mind.) and an agent who calls me every few days to be sure I’m doing okay and to ask for the pages I’ve been owing her, long overdue, because…aren’t they always?

I fantasize about a life where I can get rid of my smart phone and go back to my LG flip phone – do away with the e-mails at my fingertips, the incessant need for technological organization. I won’t need to worry about four schedules or syncing my iTunes or having enough storage for the latest update. I’ll have a few important phone numbers memorized, a heavy and comfortable rotary house phone (the phone is rotary, not the house), and an iPad and Apple TV for entertainment. I’ll lock myself away for the weekend and write and write and write, take walks, drink tea, feed the dog, sleep on the daybed, wake up with the sunrise, and not check my phone. not check my emails. not check my calendar.

So, here’s to the four books that are “in the works.”

[ i n d i g o ]

The Diary of a FanGirl

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Doctor Who World Tour NYC
(Spoiler free)

#DWWorldTour #doctorwho

I had an amazing day today, hanging out on 54th st with about 1400(??) Whovians. (A Whovian is a special Breed of loyal fans of the BBC longtime hit, Doctor Who.) For ten hours, we were standing, sitting, shifting and dancing in line, climbing the barricades, banging out the time lord drum beat on anything we could hit, singing the theme song, laughing, playing, quoting, trivia’ing, screaming and crying.

Now, you may be asking “ten hours?? WHY?!” With all of the exclamation points and question marks and, probably, about fourteen emojis…. “Why ten hours? Why Doctor Who? Why why why singing-dancing-drumming-etc-etc-and so-on?!” Well – and i promise to keep this short – Doctor Who is an adventure that has been on the air since 1963 (yes, before Star Trek), and it is the story of an outsider who disagreed with the laws of his species, stole a spaceship that travels through time and space, and ran away to explore the universes. (Whew. Told you: short.) (oh, wait, there’s more)

“This is one corner of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy, that’s a corner of a universe, that is forever shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much–so much to see. Because it goes fast. I’m not running away. I’m running to them. Before they flare and fade forever” (The Doctor, s7e3 “The Power of Three”).

It just so happens that this man — this alien — this Time Lord is a quirky, goofy, maladjusted, socially inept, absolutely brilliant Leader-Genius-Hero who stumbles upon distress and imminent doom everywhere he goes, and, thus, despite his eternal vacation intentions, he ends up traveling around and saving worlds, which, frankly, is fitting because he is called The Doctor.

He, like so many of our favorite and most idolized heroes, is plagued with tragedy, steeped in regret and doubt, and trying his absolute damnedest to live up to the promise he made to himself, the promise that lies in his name, and he doesn’t always succeed.

“When you began all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you’d become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name. ‘Doctor’: the word for healer and wiseman throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word become? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word ‘Doctor’ means Mighty Warrior’. How far you’ve come. And now they’ve taken a child – the child of your best friends – and they’re going to turn her into a weapon just to bring you down. And all of this, my love, in fear of you” (Doctor Who, s6e7: “A Good Man Goes To War”).

Now, “why,” you ask? Because who wouldn’t find her personal hero in an adventurous, quirky genius who is resolute in his beliefs? He is a man who demands justice where it lacks, finds beauty where it may seem impossible, and stands tall and brave against adversity.

SO, after nearly twelve months of anticipation, the premiere episode of series 8 was screening at The Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan, hosted by Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), and attended by the actors who play The Doctor and his human companion, and the show runner and head writer, Steven Moffat, himself. The genius behind the laptop. So, Whovians united on 54th St. and waited ten hours, hoping to catch a glimpse, and watch the Series Eight premiere episode, “Deep Breath.”

So: we dance. We sing. We recite whole monologues and reenact episodes. We drum the beat of the Time Lord’s hearts (yes: plural).

Then, after what seems like a eternity, an old fashioned taxi rolled up and Mr Capaldi, Ms Coleman, and Mr Steven Moffat emerged, and the already-palpable crowd absolutely erupted.

Being at the apex of such passionate enthusiasm is a rush of energy that overwhelms you in a wave, enveloping you completely, the way a blanket hugs during a Christmas movie, or a pillow comforts during a horror flick. It’s, well….it’s home.

And then we watched the episode.

💞

Wholly and Completely Me

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Sitting in this cafe, reading a book that’s giving me insight into Life After 30, while the radio argues with the literature, giving me a tour of the Best Hits From My Adolescence. With each song, I’m transported back to different – very distinct – eras if my life.

Maroon 5, and I’m 14, beautiful and naive, sneaking out the window of my second-story window, getting ready to jump to the lawn below and run down the street to meet my friends, all of whom were three years my senior. Smoking cigarettes, talking about high school parties, and whisking away on an adventure to the SF beach.

Blink 182, and I’m 11, lying about the explicitly of the lyrics, standing in line for their album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, singing the vulgar songs with pride, top of my lungs, with my friend Tara Covert – a wonderful friendship that ended terribly. Some house mix I can’t, for the life of me, recall the name of, and I’m 15, surrounded by cheerleaders, practicing our routine, cursing, panting, frustrated, and hurting, but in it together. Another alliance I never thought I’d find solace in. Nobody – NOBODY – who knew me growing up would ever have pegged ME as a cheerleader. Especially now that I say it was some of e best tImes of my life. And hardest, but what isn’t hard she. You’re surrounded by teenage girls?

What strikes me most about this is how sad it makes me. This music strongly evokes such happy memories, but it fills me with a deep-rooted sadness that echoes throughout the pits of my everything. It calls upon my tears and wrenches my heart, makes me ache with longing.

I long for the days when I had all the confidence and none of the cares. I was so sure of myself. I knew who I was, loved who I was, and damn you, if you didn’t. What changed?

The pressure on myself didn’t change. The pressure others put on me has changed. Before, everyone minded their own business. Now, everyone feels like its their place to tell me how I should act, dress, live, love, breathe… Which is funny to me because I have never been without purpose, drive, or focus. I have always known exactly where I wanted to be and how I wanted to get there, and if I ever needed help, I asked for it. So, I don’t understand why, suddenly it’s everyone’s business to butt in. I don’t understand why anyone thinks that I no longer have that, that I’ve lost it somewhere along the way. I’m too polite to tell everyone to butt out and leave some alone, and I find myself nodding, smiling emptily, saying “yes, of course, you’re right, I will.” When the truth is, “no, shut up, you know nothing, butt out, I’m fine.”

I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m tired, I’m depressed, I’m anxious, I’m vulnerable. But I’m also 26 in a month. Working where I want to work, with whom I want to work. I eat well, I live with my cats, I’m curious, adventurous, and ambitious. I have 25 different dreams, and I’m pursuing all of the at once, and succeeding. I have friends who care about me; I even have non-friends who care about me. I have community, passion, and vision. So next time any of you, for a second, think that you need to weigh in your opinions about. Y life, take a step back first. Accept my gratitude, and kindly butt out.

I hold no sincere apologies for who I am,I never have and I absolutely never ever will. I love me. And if you don’t, to hell with you.