07.08.23 [on the J train]

i'm still having the sort of seasonal trouble sleeping that doesn't afford me enough clarity to read as i have through every other wee hour of unexpected wakefulness in my life. i appear to be able to shop just fine, though, which isn't that unfortunate–i'm acquiring small-ticket stuff, pretty much–but it's weird. a few weeks ago i acquired a high-concept "sports bra" that addresses breasts like those layered ship's-sail-lookin' patio shades that don't shield much of anything (it would have been perfect for a pride parade, or a memphis group mermaid getup in coney island). earlier this week it was a set of tiny spring-mounted lips for kissing bugs without hurting them; last night / this morning it was a COME BACK SPACEMAN asteroid city tee. i have been thinking about asteroid city a lot since we saw it a few weeks ago–i think it's my favorite wes anderson movie, though one could argue that one's first has to be one's favorite (if one likes wes anderson movies as a general proposition, that is, and i respect that plenty don't) because it's just so surprising and delightful to go where he finds himself. i was going to say "to his dimension," but that could be the one scrawny cup of coffee in me talking. anyway, this one has a gorgeous melancholy-in-isolation that really got under my skin; there are plenty of explicitly sad things there, like tom hanks's characters interactions with his dead daughter's widower, but there are more delicate ones like the way the precocious children look at the sky, or the stop-motion alien looks at humans, or the way the humans look back at him. it felt even more elegiac to me than the french dispatch did, and that was all about my actual world! (i'm not the next william shawn or anything, but you know what i mean.)

one of my assigning editors just got swept up in the latest round of layoffs at her ever-more-merger-happy parent company, and i met her, a fellow media casualty, and one of her other regular freelancers for lunch this week. i'd known she'd be in new york and told her to ping me if she had a moment so i could buy her a drink, but i didn't see her middle-of-the-night text until the next morning, so i barely had time to worry about whether or not my human suit was on straight before i headed up to little spain. it was legitimately lovely to see her and meet the other two; since i don't network and haven't been on a press trip since before the pandemic, it's been a long time since i've interacted with people who've played our particular bullshit game of musical chairs. as someone who's been sitting on her own haunches more or less contentedly for nearly a decade now, i actually felt like i had a bit of zen to offer, though i think all of them would rather find another full-time salaried gig than, say, ping-pong between stressful underpaid highbrow vanity gigs and the bread-and-butter-offered-to-me stuff i've started calling, with an unfortunate case of nominative determinism, "problem sets." i talked way too much and suspect they all think i'm a blowhard, but maybe they had a good time also and i should just be more aggressive in my bedtime melatonin explorations?

i broke my own rule of not engaging famous people i encounter in person when i saw julio torres on the subway the other day. he debarked and switched trains at the same place i did, so i had a few minutes to contemplate the back of his head and think about greetings that wouldn't be an imposition. i settled on "we don't know each other, i just wanted to tell you i think you're brilliant and i'm forgetting her name because i'm nervous but your nugget is really elegant." he smiled and thank me and said he'd tell her, and i excused myself and dove into a westbound L train across the platform. it was okay!

it looks like i actually do have a press trip coming up at long last; i was invited to bring a guest (provided i covered their airfare) on a comparatively-small-boat expedition up around eastern canada. i told myself i wouldn't cruise again after the press trip joe and i took years ago–there's just no way to justify that environmental impact, and our personal guide in akureyri when we were in iceland a few months ago told us in no uncertain terms that big ships were smothering his country's ports–but i decided i think there are things for me to report on here, and that if cruising is to continue to happen, it's got to happen at this scale (that is, boats a fraction of the size of ye olde floating megaresorts, with sustainable features and meaningful partnerships with scientists and conservationists). we haven't officially booked yet, but it's in the water.


LPC said...

I am very happy that you've ventured into a blogging streak. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

_M_D_F_ said...

Pleasant coincidence, I just recently re-read Intimations. What did you think?


Did you catch Patricia Lockwood's DFW piece in the LRB? Really impressive.

lauren said...

@LPC fie on me for not transcribing these posts sooner! i'm hoping it's a long streak.

@MDF i thought it was lovely, and also hard to read at points. i'd forgotten that she lives here - of course she does, she teaches at nyu - and i had a weird knee-jerky moment of resenting her for leaving for part of the early pandemic; i still get jagged flashes of irrational anger about that. i also bought it so long ago that i'd forgotten i got it used, so when i was halfway through and someone's notes popped up in the margins i felt like i'd been caught talking to a squirrel.

on tricia's essay, man, i haven't gotten so many early-morning texts since bowie died! she made me want to reread BRIEF INTERVIEWS; is it really diseased? i should resent her for being good at everything but instead i've, like, sent her a beanie baby and a picture of my toe.