inside the inside joke

This will probably sound shocking to you, but I’ve never seen Seinfeld. Except that ep I saw in college by force. I lived in an apartment building (technically, an ancient mansion that was divided into apartments with like no heat, a leaky roof, and mice issues) junior and senior years. Four boys lived together on the first floor. I would bake them cookies sometimes. I had a studio on the fourth floor because I seemed to be destined to live in fourth-floor walk-ups. This was especially fun for the friends who helped me move. It’s also the reason why I’m done with fourth-floor walk-ups. True, I live on the fourth floor yet again, but this is an elevator building. Even though I usually take the stairs, just knowing the elevator is there makes a big difference.

Anyway.

The boys on the first floor were outraged that I didn’t have a TV. One day, they demanded that I watch Seinfeld at their place. So I did. I think they expected it to change my life or something. That didn’t happen. But I remember it being funny and I’ve been here in New York for 14 years, so it was time. I recently started Netflixing Seinfeld. There are so many good ones! I love the one where they’re making the pilot of Jerry and Jeremy Piven plays George. Jeremy P. and I go way back:

Jeremy Piven and Susane Colasanti

Now I get what everyone’s been talking about for the past 20 years. If I’m ever at a diner with my own maple syrup and someone comes over who’s all, “We don’t allow outside syrups or condiments,” I’ll know they’re not serious. And when Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is offering free toppings if you’re master of your domain, I’ll know what they’re talking about. It feels good to finally be in on the joke.

Something else that feels good:  book blogger love. If you’re interested in reading some new reviews, we have:

I also want to link to Meg Cabot’s most excellent advice for writers who want to get published. If you’re not writing about vampires, there’s still hope!

breathing/air

My work schedule has been crazy! First there were lots of marketing and publicity things in April, then my book tour, then two major deadlines. Today is my first day off in so long that I’m still trying to remember what I do when I’m not working. One thing I’m enjoying today is breathing. After a prolonged whirlwind of activity, it feels good to breathe freely again.

:: breathes ::

Whenever I’m crazy busy, I always enjoy working in awesome weather. True, there’s that whole wishing-you-were-outside-when-you-have-to-be-inside thing, but that just makes me appreciate outside time even more. These last few days of springtime are the best – summer breeze blowing through my windows, mourning doves keeping me company, some light left in the sky past 9:00. It’s all just so refreshing.

You know what else is refreshing? These new bladeless fans!

Dyson bladeless fan

Twenty years from now, all fans will be like this. The fans we have now with blades will be totally retro. Rather like the VCR. And like the VCR, I’m waiting for the price of this revolutionary fan to go down. I really want one, but $300 is outrageous. I’m assuming that more brands will get on board and tons of these bladeless fans (technically called “air multipliers”) will come out in the next few years. They have a vent that runs along the edge to move air. You can put your hand right through them. Plus, they’re very quiet and tilt any way you want. And they’re so powerful! Righteous.

This guy is so righteous that I almost caved and bought one the other day. I had a 20% off coupon for Bed & Bath. My justification was that $240 was a big improvement over $300. But then I was like, Uh, hello, you’d still be spending $240 on a freaking fan! Yeah, I’ll wait.

In the meantime, I’m breathing. And enjoying some time off. For those of you starting a whole bunch of time off, have a magnificent summer vacay!

the wanting

I’m happy to report that Sex and the City 2 was much better than its ridiculous trailer. The trailer is so superficial it almost justifies SP’s ignorant belief (I said it! I said it on my blog!) that the show is all about women who hate men and only care about shoes. I’m like, Hi, have we met? Do you really think I’d like a show remotely like that? I don’t even wear heels! Duh, there has to be more there. I guess straight guys don’t get the heart and depth of the show. Anyway, the first movie was much better, but I’d watch SATC2 again (fast-forwarding through the parts that were trying too hard). If they’re going to do a SATC3, I really, really hope that they keep it real in New York City. New York is such a big character and it only made brief appearances. Time to bring it on home, ladies!

The only part of the glitz fest trailer I liked was when Carrie sees Aidan. Why? Because we love Aidan. We loved Aidan and Carrie together, even though she needed more sparkle (and, let’s face it, he needed more domesticity). Any fan of the show will never forget this scene:

Carrie Bradshaw and Aidan Shaw

If Carrie and Big are soul mates, then why was this scene so hard to watch? Carrie spent six years running around New York, searching and trying to get Big to realize that they belong together. And now she has him. They’re married. So why is she still not satisfied?

Part of it has to do with her love of going out. She was a party girl for years. That craving doesn’t suddenly disappear. Part of it has to do with the inevitable fizzle. Carrie and Big had the zsa zsa zsu. Some of that sparkle will always be there. But passion fades. That’s basic biology. I think a lot of her restlessness has to do with the whole Grass Is Greener phenomenon, the feeling that no matter what you have and who you’re sharing your life with, things can always be better. Will she ever stop wanting what she doesn’t have and fully embrace what she does?

Another question that came up is about this whole desire women have to present a perfect picture to the world. Why is it so hard for Carrie and Charlotte to admit that they’re struggling, even to their best friends? The trailer showed Charlotte’s daughter slapping her butt with red paint instead of the way more interesting part that happens right after – Charlotte crying in the pantry, too overwhelmed to go out there again. But she keeps insisting that everything’s fine. Or when Aidan and Carrie are talking and he says how great things are going for him. We soon see that they can’t possibly be. Why is pretending we’re okay when we’re not preferable to honesty?

Carrie finally has what she’d been wanting for so long. But will it ever be enough?

concentration

Over the past few years, I’ve heard lots of people saying how they don’t read as much anymore. And when they do read, they find themselves not being able to concentrate for very long. I’ve been experiencing the same alarming change. When I read now, my mind usually starts wandering after a few paragraphs or pages. Even if it’s a really good book. It’s like I can’t concentrate the same way I used to. Which is weird because reading has always been a vital part of my day, much like breathing. I can’t even fall asleep without reading. When I first started hearing about how all these other people are spacing out while they’re reading as well, I thought it was a symptom of how busy our lives have gotten. But it’s not just about stress and preoccupation with everything we have to do. This problem is a result of the Internet. We’ve become so accustomed to a constant influx of information, it’s like we can’t even concentrate long enough when we’re focusing on only one thing for an extended period of time. Unacceptable! I’ve made a pact with myself to get the concentration back. I’m working on being in the Now when I read, just like I used to do effortlessly before I started spending hours online every day.

A change of scenery can sometimes help redirect my focus. I’ve been on a Carrie Bradshaw kick lately, watching Sex and the City season six over and anticipating the movie (which I’m seeing tomorrow) despite the sucky trailer. So it was inevitable that I spend a day working in a neighborhood coffeehouse to take in the New York writer scene. I mean this is the West Village, not where Carrie is supposed to live but her actual brownstone is here. My friend Jim told me how he works at a coffeehouse that’s been on my list to try, so I dragged myself and a hard copy of my revision to meet up with him the other day. The vibe was awesome. They had lots of cool plants. Everyone in there was working on their laptops or reading. But working outside my place isn’t really for me. I missed my sexy iMac. I needed more air. And before I scored the puffy couch, I couldn’t get comfortable. I like things a certain way, you know? However, it was fun to bring the work thing out for a day and be among other writers for a while. It reminded me that I’m part of a creative center here in New York, right where I wanted to be for so long. Sweet inspiration!

Speaking of my nabe, there’s a restaurant here called Minetta Tavern that I love. Well, I used to love it when we could walk in any time and have a delicious pasta meal. It’s since been redone as a schmancy celeb eatery with a doorman where you can’t get a reservation unless you call a month in advance. And even then the only available times are 5:30 and 10:00. So you can imagine how excited I was when my friend Mark scored us 8:30 reservations last night. I was ready for a Madonna sighting. She wasn’t there, but Sonia Sotomayor was. Minetta lived up to all the hype – the food was incredible. I miss the days when it was an old-school Italian place, before the windows were covered and bodyguards hovered outside, but it was fun to finally see what’s on the other side.

The desserts were unbelievable, of course. But you know me. I’m all about the little things. When it comes to treat time, I enjoy the Crumbs. I enjoy Crumbs so much that they’re now following me on Twitter! Along with over a thousand other people, but still. I just had to tweet about their cupcake of the month, Chocolate Sundae:

Chocolate Sundae cupcake at Crumbs

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Crumbs will be seeing me really soon. Hope your weekend includes a delicious treat as well!

i believe you have my stapler

After being on a harsh deadline for the past two weeks, I’m thrilled to announce that I am done. Woot! Of course, there’s always the next deadline and I’ll be working on my revision for another week or so. But I’m happy that I wasn’t owned by this deadline. I did publicly challenge my deadline to a throwdown on Twitter. It even whipped out the Freddy claws more than once. I was all, “Do you really think you’re scarier than the Donnie Darko rabbit? Best step back, son!” So I’m relieved I met my deadline and showed it who’s boss. I even showed it my Michael Scott World’s Best Boss coffee mug keychain, just in case there was any lingering doubt.

Speaking of office type paraphernalia, after I finished working today I immediately rewarded myself by purchasing a red Swingline stapler. Just like the one in Office Space! Office Space is one of my Top Five fave movies. Whenever someone feels like they need to be all up in my face with some nasty attitude, I often pull out the Yeah…did you get the memo? line in my head. I own a box of flair, including the I Believe You Have My Stapler piece. So you can see that owning the red Swingline stapler was way overdue.

Red Swingline stapler from Office Space

Things occurred while I was in deadline throwdown mode. Something Like Fate was reviewed by The Book Obsession, Trisha’s Book Blog, S. Krishna’s Books, and Reclusive Bibliophile. Plus, The Ultimate YA Reading Group posted part two of their interview with me. And Girls Life magazine is featuring Something Like Fate as their book of the month.  I really, really appreciate everyone who’s taken the time to spread the word about my new book. Word of mouth is a powerful thing!

The last bit of news I have is for those of you in the New York City area. I’ll be at Teen Author Reading Night this Wednesday, June 2 at 6:00. It’s held at the NYPL on 6th Avenue & 10th Street. Fellow authors reading with me are Cathleen Davitt Bell, Lila Castle, Donna Freitas, Emily Horner, Morgan Matson, and Eliot Schrefer. If you can make it, I’d love to see you there!