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30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 8

Ok so TECHNICALLY I didn’t write this today; I wrote it like two or three months ago. But I did write 600 words of an essay today that isn’t finished and that I want to take my time to finish before posting (but not tonight, because now I want to watch TV).  (more…)

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 7

Etiquette For The Modern Woman

The “Lean In” Approach To Life

Instead of going home and re-washing your hair, styling it the way you usually do, and still feeling sad about your haircut, lean in! Tell your hairdresser what you don’t like about it when they ask you! What are you afraid of, that they’ll maybe complain about you for a minute after you leave? You won’t even be thinking about that possibility when you walk out feeling good with that fresh cut, and instead you can channel all that positivity and self-confidence into a dope selfie. (more…)

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 6

There were a lot of things my boyfriend and I did in high school that made me feel like we were very grown up. There were so many “firsts” that happened with him; the first time I got kind of drunk at a party (but not the first time I got too drunk at a party), the first time I smoked weed (but not the first time I actually got high from smoking weed), the first time I said “I love you” to someone (but not the first time I was afraid someone wouldn’t say it back), and the first for everything more than making out.

Sex was definitely part of what made me feel mature. I was one of the first of my friends, so instead of talking to them or telling my mom or even just my doctor (who I didn’t tell I was sexual active when she asked in my physical), I turned to D to share bodily concerns and paranoia about being pregnant (even though we always used a condom). A few of our friends knew, but it still felt like this really crazy secret we carried around with us at school. One time he tried to be helpful and sent me a link with information on the Nuva Ring, but I got mad at him for doing it. I think I was really just mad that I was always worrying about things that he didn’t have to worry about. I was mad at him for not understanding the responsibility of having a vagina. I was 16.

But the maturity of our relationship was grounded in more than the physical side of things; we would go on dates to restaurants that were nicer than Chipotle, talk on the phone every night before we went to bed, write each other letters, and spend hour after hour together doing nothing. He knew my class schedule and always met me in the hallway. We held hands everywhere we went. We were nauseating, and I loved it. I didn’t realize until a few years and a few truly horrible dating experiences later just how intense our relationship was for how young we were.

D had three younger brothers that we would sometimes babysit for. It was the best gig; we’d get a free dinner, watch some cartoons, and then make out in the time after the kids went to bed and before his parents came back.

Once, his Aunt–a fabulous artsy single mother from New York–was in town with her new-ish baby (I still can never really tell how old a baby is, but this was like a still pretty bald, still-in-diapers, crying-for-unknown-reasons type of baby). I don’t remember where the rest of the boys were, but we were home alone with this baby. We had just finished feeding her when she started to cry. I took her out of her high chair and held her in my lap with her face toward mine. For a second, she stopped crying. In the next, she projectile vomitted onto my chest. Disgusted and freaked out, I put her back into her high chair while he helped me start to clean myself off. 

Not even a minute later, we hear a smack immediately followed by a loud wail; the baby was on the floor, face down. We forgot–I forgot–to strap her into the seat. I was shaking. Her forehead had a huge red bump on it; one that was sure not go away before her Mom came back. I had no idea what to do except hold the baby in my arms and cry along with it. You probably can’t just throw a bag of frozen peas on a baby’s head, can you? I didn’t stop watching her until she fell asleep. He was freaked out too, but he told me it would be ok, that it wasn’t that bad, that it wasn’t my fault. He gave me a clean shirt to wear and put mine in the laundry. The swelling went down, and I eventually calmed down a bit.

An hour or so later, the grown ups returned. The usual questions were asked, and I started getting my stuff together to head home.

“What is this?” I heard his Aunt say from down the hall. She yelled for D. I started shaking again. I could sort of hear him explaining what happened when she raised her voice, maybe just because she was shocked, but also maybe so that I would definitely hear it.

“She FELL?”

My heart sank. She held the baby in her arms and walked with her, slowly, towards us.

“What happened?” D’s mom asked.

“She FELL. Look at her forehead! How could this have happened?”

I could feel all eyes on me.

“I’m so sorry.”

It was all I could muster. She didn’t want to hear it. D’s mom looked toward me apathetically. I looked down and tried to not start sobbing. I don’t remember the adults saying goodbye to me when I left, though I’m sure they did. The baby’s mom didn’t seem to be calming down. I went home and instead of sleeping, read about every horrible thing that can happen when you drop a baby on its head.

[tie it together]

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 5

Some thoughts on (and during) the first five episodes of Masters of None:

  • It’s sort of like Louie meets Seinfeld, but younger.
  • Good writing can forgive sub-par acting (to an extent).
  • The way Amy Schumer talks about women in comedy is very similar to how Masters of None talks about Asian men (+other minorities) in Hollywood.
  • People who are watching because they want Tom Haverford might be disappointed.
  • Of all professional sports games, the NBA attracts the best celebrities.
  • Just because someone is selfish, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an asshole.
  • Perfect use of episode titles.
  • Texting has made people flakey.
  • Texting has made me flakey.
  • A 32-ish y/o actor who relies on commercial work could not afford that apartment.
  • a 32 y/o with an apartment that nice wouldn’t settle for shitty wifi.
  • I love Aziz Ansari.
  • I love Aziz Ansari’s Dad.

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 4

Etiquette For The Modern Woman

Dining With Friends

When sharing a brunch or dinner with a group of friends, it’s often best to just suck it the fuck up and split the check equally among the party. Yes, perhaps you were too hungover to drink from the mimosa carafe this time, but let’s not forget two weeks ago when you ordered the $16 lobster benedict while the rest of your party stuck to something more humble, like a quiche or savory waffle. In the long run, it always evens out. And if anyone dares to calculate individual charges to the cent on six different debit cards, let’s hope they’re in grad school.

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 3

Inspired by “Modern Seinfeld.

Episode premise: After about a month of dating, Jerry’s girlfriend shares her Netflix login with him. A few days later, an excited Jerry sits down on the couch and opens the app on his TV. While scrolling, he notices her “Recently Watched” list include “Say Yes To The Dress,” “House Hunters International,” “Cupcake Wars,” “Hoarders,” and “13 Going on 30.”

[setting: diner, lunchtime]

Elaine and Jerry sit opposite of George and Kramer. Their plates are mostly empty. The waitress tops off Elaine’s coffee.

Jerry: So you know this woman I’ve been seeing? Karen?

George: The one who feeds her dog pork chops?

Jerry: That’s the one.

Kramer: Now what’s the matter with a dog eating a pork chop? Bob Sacamento used to work for Pedrigree, and you don’t want to know what goes into that canned dog food. It’s like, have you ever seen those YouTube videos that show how a hot dog is made?

Elaine (Disgusting, gesturing toward the remaining sandwich on her plate): Kramer!

Kramer: Elaine, you’re the one who ordered the patty melt.

Jerry: ANYWAY.

George: What about her?

Jerry: Well the other night, while we were watching TV, I mentioned how I need to get a Netflix subscription.

Elaine: Honestly Jerry, I cannot be-LIEVE you’ve gone on this long without one. There’s so much you’re missing.

Kramer: Netflix? What is that, like vintage basketball games?

Jerry (ignoring Kramer): So she gives me her password.

Elaine: SHUT UP! How long have you even been dating? Like six weeks?

Jerry: I don’t know, maybe a month.

Elaine: A month!

George: I don’t share passwords.

Jerry: We know.

George: Once you’ve shared your passwords you might as well have her move in with you. There’s no peeing with the door open anymore. There’s no “secret drawer” anymore, Jerry!

Elaine: Well I think it’s great.

Jerry: Yeah, I thought it was too.

Elaine: You thought?

Jerry: Yeah it’s just that last night, I open it up on the TV, and I’m watching the new movies and stuff slide across the screen.

Elaine: Yeah.

Jerry: Well then I see the “Continue Watching for Karen” section.

George: You gotta make separate user names!

Jerry: Right, well, it shows that she recently watched the first three seasons. SEASONS. of “Say Yes To The Dress.”

Elaine: What’s your point?Just because she’s watching that show doesn’t mean she wants to get married anytime soon. It’s entertaining!

George: TLC is like football for women.

Jerry: But it’s not even that. You want to know what else showed up? Season 6 of “Cupcake Wars.” It’s her taste that’s concerning me.

Elaine: And you don’t watch anything on TV as a guilty pleasure?

Jerry: Yes, but that’s because that’s what’s already playing on TV. This woman is actively choosing to watch these shows. When I watch reruns of “Melrose Place” it’s not because I want to; it’s because I lost the remote.

Kramer: Now that’s an entertaining program.

Elaine: You’re being ridiculous!

George: SECRET DRAWER.

30(ish) Days of Writing: Day 2

Write 50 short sentences about a character you are working on in a piece of fiction. The sentences should not connect and should not follow one another in any logical way.

  1. When Kataryzna started third grade at her new school in Winona, Minnesota, her classmates couldn’t pronounce her name.
  2. Their house in Minnesota was much bigger than in Poland, but they had fewer things.
  3. They moved from Krakow shortly after her babci died.
  4. Katarzyna’s blond hair is naturally curly, but she straightened it every morning before school from age 13 to 17.
  5. Bore K left for college, she had never smoked marijuana.
  6. Once, when K was about nine, her older cousin Bea asked if she had any hair “in her privates” yet. K didn’t know what she meant, so Bea showed her. That night, K asked her mom why her privates didn’t look like Beas. K’s mom yelled at her, telling her it’s not proper for two young girls to act such a way. K never really understood what she did wrong, but felt very embarrassed.
  7. Nothing comforts K more than a long bath.
  8. When they moved from Krakow, they had to leave their dog with their Aunt.
  9. K’s parents didn’t have cable; she had to watch the Disney channel at her friend’s houses after school.
  10. K played varsity volleyball in high school.
  11. Katarzyna’s father drank a glass of vodka every night with dinner.
  12. K didn’t know what a sexual feeling was until she watched Pretty Woman one school night on TNT.
  13. She rented a few other Richard Gere movies after that.
  14. There was a big Polish community in Winona, and her mother spent many nights at the community center.
  15. K decided to become a vegetarian in fourth grade, and it made her mother very upset.
  16. K liked going with her until she made American friends in her class.
  17. For K’s first “show and tell,” she brought in matryoshka dolls she got from her babci.
  18. Katarzyna was in the slow reading and writing group, but always got As in Math.
  19. K’s dad works with computers.
  20. Even when she was little, Katarzyna always ate her vegetables.
  21. K became popular in high school.
  22. K loved online chat rooms. She started in AOL chat rooms for teens but eventually found herself talking to men who said they were in their 30s. They asked for pictures but she never sent any. Once she told one what her underwear looked like.
  23. K’s mom took a job as a secretary when they moved to Minnesota.
  24. In her first year of college, K had a recurring nightmare in which she and her mother were driving and she can’t break and crashes the car.
  25. Their second Christmas in Minnesota, K’s parents drove her to the Twin Cities to see a play.
  26. K got her first period when she was 11, before she knew was a period was.
  27. K accidentally read a text from her first roommate describing her as “passive aggressive.” It was the first time she heard the term.
  28. Katarzyna didn’t know that not every family started dinner with a prayer until she spent the night at Molly’s house.
  29. K had her first kiss in a very American way; underneath the bleachers at a football game. It was with her first crush, Frankie.
  30. Kataryzna’s mother suggested she use “Kasia,” the common Polish nickname, to go by at school, but she chose “Katie” instead.
  31. By fifth grade, Kataryzna demanded her parents call her “Katie” at home, too.
  32. K lost her virginity when she was sixteen in the back of Frankie’s parents’ Subaru, just outside of the movie theater parking lot. They had just seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They didn’t use a condom.
  33. Katie didn’t become “Kasia” again until she was 19 and in Brakken, North Dakota.
  34. Kataryzna is an only child.
  35. When they still lived in the old house in Krakow, Kataryzna heard her mother tell her her Aunt that she was pregnant, but Katarzyna mother never mentioned it to her and never gave birth to another child.
  36. Not long after moving to Minnesota, K’s mother seemed to spend quite a long time in bed.
  37. K’s mother never talked to her about sex.
  38. When K was seven, her Aunt brought over a collection of VHS’ from America that she watched incessantly.
  39. Watching those tapes was how she started to learn English.
  40. Her favorite of the bunch was Groundhog Day.
  41. In Krakow, K never knew where her father would go everyday, but could count on him to always be home in time for dinner.
  42. K was one of the last in her friend group to get a cell phone.
  43. As a girl, K’s favorite place was her mother’s yellow-walled kitchen.
  44. K would sit at the table and “help” fold oplatki as she listened to her mother and her friends gossip about their neighbors.
  45. K stopped liking oplatki after Molly introduced to her to Oreos.
  46. Molly thought oplatki was disgusting.
  47. K was looking for a part-time job when she found an ad from Backpages.com
  48. She needed a part-time job because her friends from her dorm were going to Florida for Spring Break and she wanted to go, too.
  49. K’s first time in North Dakota was also her first time out of state.
  50. K has never seen either of her parents cry.