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There is evidence that I may be starting to care about sports. I know, terrifying. I was a by-default Dodgers/Lakers fan in my childhood, which really meant I was a fan of my dad, but my allegiance to any team was muted by my short attention span and general failure to understand the rules. Basketball– okay, kinda fun to watch, not too hard to follow. But there was that year (6th grade? Perhaps.) in which I decided to try playing the sport. Didn’t go well, and I still hold a slight grudge against it. Baseball– slow. Games are cool, but it was rare that I’d see one from the bleachers… if they’re even called bleachers… point proven. Football– terrifically boring. Don’t try to argue with me.

I still insist that ice skating is a viable sport to watch, but that’s a quarrel to pick another day.

On to the main concern: I care a little. Franklin took me to the St. John’s/Villanova game at Madison Square Garden this weekend, and after fifteen minutes, I started getting really irritated when the Johnnies messed up and even more irritated when Villanova picked up their pace and started winning. Maybe it was my understanding of Catholic school rivalries that opened the door, but by the time my adopted team was really fruggling (fail + struggle = fruggle), I was emotionally invested enough to feel dejected as F and I sulkily excited the premises.

And football, the sport I truly care nothing about, has roped me in via my affection for New Orleans. That, and their chants are really catchy. WHO DAT?! So, if they win the game which they are playing right this second, I will watch the Super Bowl for the first time in my almost 23 years on this planet. And if they don’t, I’ll watch something else instead. Why? Because I care.

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Dan Wallace is at it again… filling the world with joy and sunshine. And by joy and sunshine I mean amazingly punny literary cartoons. Fans of his Salmon Rushdie drawing are bound to enjoy THE EMILY BRONTESAURUS:

Eat your heart out, pun-loving lit geeks. Or wait for the EBrontesaur to nom it out for you, in a non-herbivorous moment. Anything for a novel ending, right?

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2010: A Pace Odyssey

(SUCH A BAD PUN. LOVE IT.)

So, I’m a neglectful blogger. No surprises there. But, since I haven’t written here in foreverrr (imagine that being said like this and go watch The Sandlot if you never have), I figured it was time. That, and my mom is at Williams-Sonoma all day being a high-end cookware BAMF, and I can only jog, read, and edit poems for so many hours without getting antsy.

ALSO, we’re only a couple of weeks away from a whole new year. Like “A Whole New World,” but without the magic carpet. Just as uplifting, though. I’m dorkily optimistic (I literally am confused when I do not win the lottery after playing), so I’m super-duper excited about the possibilities inherent in a fresh start. But 2009 was pretty damn good. I graduated from college, worked at Poets House, helped out with the National Storytelling Festival, made new friends, hung on to old ones, always paid my rent, got a one-eyed cat, got a sweet freelancing position at Interbrand, and managed to not suck at adulthood. Pretty good, eh? I have the most wonderful boyfriend, incredible friends and family, and I live in New York City. 2009 win.

It’s important that I remind myself of these things, because I am prone to fits of anxiety that people who love me are nice enough to tolerate. I like to have all my ducks in a row, and sometimes they just won’t line up! Silly metaphorical ducks. This whole getting-bogged-down-in-ducky-details is keeping me from seeing the big picture. So, with that in mind, here’s my theme for 2010. I don’t have resolutions; I have themes.

It’s from a Katha Pollitt poem: “wondering how to write// so that what she writes/ stays written.” I love this idea, both as a call-to-action as I more directly pursue poetry, but also as a message about making an impact. I’m way too young and not nearly self-important enough to be focused on A LEGACY, but I do think that living more intentionally, with more dedication, concentration, and reflection on how my actions and choices affect my life and the people around me is a fantastic goal.

C’mon, do it with me. Wonder how what you write stays written. Keep thinking about how to be a solid person in the world. Keep thinking about how to be proud of the final draft.

Merry almost-Christmas.
Happy almost-New Year.

Onward to 2010!

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First of all:  sorrysorrysorrysorry!  I realize it’s been…oh, forever and a half since I posted.  I have no excuses, just regrets and a lamentably overscheduled life.  Please bear with.  I plan on running away to a remote location very soon and taking my laptop with me.  Suck it, life!

Anyway, today is November 21st.  As in, Thanksgiving is later this week.  As in, in Erin World, Christmas hasn’t started yet.  We are still in Fall.  However, this morning, as I was struggling into my pants (there is a story about how I slipped in some gunky stuff outside a frat house at Vanderbilt while attempting to tackle an inflatable lawn ornament and flailed around in it for a while, and as a result had to wash my jeans at least twice) I admitted to myself that actually, yes, this has been a tough couple of weeks and actually, yes, listening to the music I traditionally associate with eating, DRINKING, and shopping, as well as with sparkly, cocoa-soaked childhood memories, would make me feel better about it all.

So I unchecked everything marked “Holiday” on iTunes the way you drag out boxes of baubles during the first week of December.  And it as good.

While looping this glorious playlist, I thought of two things: first, that ever since she did the voice of the witch in “The Emperor’s New Groove,” I can’t shake the notion that Eartha Kitt is evil.  Listening to her version of “Santa Baby,” all I could think about was this:

Been an angel allll year...

…waiting by the chimney with a dagger.  And now that I’ve said it, that’s all you’re going to think too.  HA.

Second:  that song is kinda dirrrty.  Maybe my mind is in the gutter, irreversibly corrupted by one too many “That’s What She Said” comments, but if you actually listen to the words…especially the way Kitt sings it…well, let’s just say that the word “stocking” takes on whole new meaning, and then you factor in the hinted sexualization of a beloved childhood figure and then your head explodes and you just want to cry but the last time you broke down in tears at a family holiday function it dredged up a lot of underlying issues that, admittedly, needed expressing but it was at the expense of the amazing dessert course your mother worked so hard to perfect and it really wasn’t your intention to let everything come to a head right then but it seems like that is just the story of your life right now and is there more peppermint schnapps–

 

But I digress.

 

There is only one known antedote to the creepily burlesque nature of “Santa Baby.”  And that’s the Taylor Swift version of the song.

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So, it was brought to my attention today that while I possess a rather sophisticated level of cultural literacy, my pop cultural literacy is deplorable. I basically might as well not have been born in the ’80s, because all I remember from my early youth is leggings and Mad About You. Haven’t seen it? That’s because you didn’t spend all of your time with adults who were totally comfortable letting their 7-year old watch a show about snarky intellectuals in a bizarre relationship. If there is a movie, book, band, or TV show I’m expected to know about, I probably don’t. Some exceptions: Goosebumps (the books) and the Spice Girls.

I did, however, know all the lyrics to “Streets of Laredo” when I was 5. My dad taught me.

Things I grew up on:

Masterpiece Theatre

Mad About You

Movie musicals

ALL foreign films (Note: I did not know this was odd)

Star Trek (Voyager and Deep Space Nine, mostly)

John Irving books

–Leon Russell, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bobby Darin…

Yeah. I’m pretty cool. So, next time you make a Rugrats reference, or a joke about the Babysitter’s Club, please respect my total confusion. Thx.

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As background information for the disturbing photo which will be this post, I wanted to encapsulate Toddlers & Tiaras into a few short lines (to avoid adding my voice to the chorus of alarmed/intrigued protest in the blogosophere), so I turned to the go-to pop culture reference: Urban Dictionary.

Much to my surprise, there was no entry for the hit TLC show. But I did discover that the third possible meaning of “little bitch” is “when a guy likes making out with babies and his favorite show is toddlers and tiaras.” Excellent. Do you get my point? This show is bizarre. Tiny children are dressed in gaudy, objectifying costumes and taught to booty-shake and blow kisses before they even have permanent teeth. 5-year olds are put on diets by obese mothers in mu-mus wearing “I (heart) Dannika” shirts over their misshapen bodies. Closeted fathers in gauzy shirts and subtle eye makeup choreograph tap dances in their living rooms for little princesses in pull-ups. Even newborns, still purple from birth, are dragged onstage to dazzle the judges with their practically fetal cuteness. WTF, America?

Capitalizing on the wonderful combo of ohmygodthisishorrible + Ican’tlookaway that defines T&T, I gathered some pinktastic pieces at Buffalo Exchange, whipped out the ol’ Irish dancing wig, and made a “Lil’ Miss 4&Under” sash. Sometimes, having the face of a kid can come in handy…

002

Yeah, that’s right. Cringe. Now go TiVo that shit.

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Make It Work

Everybody adores Tim Gunn. The impeccable taste, the constructive criticism, the matter-of-fact problem-solving, the reserved sweetness. He’s become known for his catchphrase, “Make it work,” usually addressed to some fool of a designer who’s trying to tie-dye lace or smock a bathing suit. But, and here’s the great thing– this is the best advice, ever, for everything.

An Exercise.

1. Think of any problem, obstacle, or frustration in your life. In great detail. Feel really sorry for yourself. Delve into the depths of your despair. Wallow. Whine about how you just don’t know what to do.

2. Make it work.

You’re welcome. Sincerely, Tim Gunn and Emma Cofer

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