Thursday, January 21, 2010

sigh. i love the world sometimes.

argh. why does the situation in haiti keep worsening? i mean, seriously? ANOTHER aftershock today? this is getting kind of ridiculous- give them a break, here!

being the firm believer of general awareness of global issues (particularly in crisis-ridden areas which, quite frankly, is more than an understatement of what's going on in haiti right now, i know)... and, of course, being a pop culture fan at that... i would like to take the opportunity to ACTIVELY advertise the Hope for Haiti telethon that will be airing at 8 PM EST tomorrow (1/22) night... PLEASE PARK IT IN FRONT OF A TELEVISION!! you can't miss it- it's going to be on basically every major TV station (as it should be). it's guaranteed to not only be the most entertaining thing EVER (hello! beyonce, jayz, bono, madonna?? and that's just the beginning...), but most importantly (of course), the proceeds will continue to pour into haiti.

sigh. sometimes i just love the world. it really does come together when you really need it to, doesn't it? (okay. i know this might sound more than a little idealistic, considering all the complaints that have been made with regards to the lack of supplies/food being distributed in an effective and efficient fashion, but come ON. look at the EFFORT that's going into it all. efficiency will quickly come about... now that rescue efforts are already one week in... and rescuers actually somewhat know what they are doing now. have a little faith, people!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lucyland excerpt time!!

per the request of a couple of people, not to mention the recommendation of an agent from one of my writing workshops, i've decided to take the initiative to actively advertise my novel (moreso than i already do, let's be honest here) by posting an excerpt of it here... i mean, really, it reads like a blog anyway. here is the very beginning (the VERY beginning. sigh. it seems like it was so long ago!!) of... well, Lucyland. (okay, so it's a working title...)

“I want to move to California.” I still remember the utmost longing associated with that thought process on my flight home from my summer in Europe.

While most of my fellow classmates at Columbia University decided to stick around the Big Ap for our program’s mandatory summer practicum, saving the world one non-governmental organization at a time, I decided to venture abroad to do an internship in Geneva, Switzerland. These summer practicums are seemingly designed to provide students with a better sense of their intended career paths and a more enlightened outlook on life. That’s what I thought… before actually embarking on mine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adored my summer at the World Health Organization. But I just couldn’t ever imagine working for a nonprofit organization for the rest of my life. I mean, where was the bottom line? The income statements? Where was the structural organization? This is the problem when an idealistic girl (excuse me, young woman) decides to try to mix and match an Accounting undergraduate degree with a Public Health graduate degree.

I know, right? Oxy-flipping-moron.

I remember talking to my friends who had come back from internships at big, bad consulting firms in Manhattan and loving the fast pace, the interesting work, and let’s face it, the hefty paychecks. But I also couldn’t help but remember my last summer in New York… and the joys that only humidity, non-air-conditioned six-story walk up apartments, and overcrowded subway systems could bring.


Maybe I’m just being a spoiled Midwestern girl, highly accustomed to space and air-conditioning and, quite frankly, the ability to drive to a Target and park in a spacious parking lot. But I also don’t think that hoping that a mouse doesn’t scurry through my apartment or daydreaming that my closet of a room will someday NOT cost $1450 a month is a sign of a healthy outlook on life. I mean, the mere effort that it takes to live in New York…


This is why my internship abroad changed my outlook on my young adult life. I realized that living in a big city doesn’t necessarily require living in complete discomf-

Okay. I know, I know. It was Geneva. Do its citizens know of any discomfort? Please. Switzerland itself is based on neutrality, for heaven’s sake. So, point taken, I realize that Geneva is kind of a utopian extreme. However, more to the point, more than a few of my fellow interns were also from all over the state of California and I honestly have never witnessed such state pride. I mean, the state pride that I had from going to Big Ten Ohio State University didn’t even come close to the pride and love that my Californian friends would tout for their state. It was during this summer that I realized just how true was the stereotype that most individuals who live in California never actually leave California.

And why should they? To this Midwestern gal, California sounded about as perfect as life could come by in the good ol’ United States. And so came about my little nugget of hope at a future life in California, a highly undiscovered, utopian terrain for my adventurous little self.

I remember announcing this thought (with great gusto, let’s be honest) to my parents, who already thought I had moved far enough away from the grand home state when I moved to New York. But California?

They merely scoffed. How many California recruiters actually come to New York? What a waste of time, my parents would say. Understandably too, as most students who are at Columbia actually do want to stay in Manhattan… despite the rats hurry scurrying amongst the overcrowded subway system’s tracks, the sidewalks overcrowding with garbage due to the lack of New York alleys (I mean, please. Once you find space for alleys, you let me know), the ever-permeating scent of nothing less than urine in the train stations…

Yeah, I’m not speaking from experience at all. Nor am I bitter in the least.


With those reservations still in the back of my mind, however, I conceded to my parents’ initial reservations and resigned myself to looking for jobs in New York. I mean, I am whimsical to a point, but when it comes down to it, practicality always gets the better of me.

But then, fate intervened.

Did a tall, dark, and handsome man sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to his homeland of San Francisco? Ha. I wish! Oh, and believe you me, I wished a lot. Did I win the lottery and decide to settle down on the West Coast, resting on my million-dollar laurels for the rest of my life? Right.

Rather, I met Summer, a fellow classmate who was from California and had such infectious enthusiasm about her previous job that I couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement. I mean, her name was Summer- how does that not scream California goodness to the world? And of all places, would you look at that? Her former job was in San Francisco!

Now if that’s not fate, I simply just don’t know what is. One day I was wishing I could move there; the next, I meet someone who not only used to work there, but was readily willing to provide me with contact information for that company.

There was no way I was letting this go so easily. After all, you can’t mess with fate, can you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

babysitters club revival!! babysitters club revival!!

omg did you HEAR about this?!

in honor of the greatest revival to come about... well, ever... ive taken the opportunity to embark on a little jaunt down memory lane if you will...

i believe that my personal obsession began at the ripe old age of five, when i read my very first babysitters club book, #11 kristy and the snobs. the tomboy of the club, picking up and moving across town to her new millionaire stepfather's house (no, correction: mansion, as is explicitly pointed out in each... and every... book's introduction of the characters, usually in chapter two of each... and every... book) and having to deal with, well, snobs. without this book, the babysitters club (fondly referred to as the bsc) would be sans associate member shannon kilbourne, with her perfect little ski-jump nose (again, duly noted from the chapter twos of every book), as she was one of the biggest snobs that kristy first encountered (but obv befriended by the end of the book)... and i cant reference associate members without recalling the hotness that can only be logan bruno... the stoneybrook transplant from louisville, kentucky (he was introduced in book #10, mary anne likes logan... awww) who is the key heartthrob of all the girls at SMS (stoneybrook middle school, where all members of the bsc go to school) when he first moves to the town, because, apparently, this was all of their first encounters with someone remotely from the south (chapter two description often included a reference to how logan pronounces louisville as "lue-ville"... meltable southern twang, blah blah blah). doesnt take much for a little heartthrob action, apparently. i guess that makes sense- they WERE in eighth grade, after all (well, except for the sixth-grade bsc junior members... but more about that later). but whatever. as you can guess from book #10's title, it didnt take long upon logan's grand arrival on the grounds of SMS to befriend miss mary anne spier (or mousy mary anne, as her nemesis cokie mason, whose real name is ACTUALLY marguerite, in case you were wondering, often refers to her, primarily because cokie ALSO had her claws out for logan bruno's love and affection upon his grand arrival...ha, please.) and, sigh, fall in love with her. or fall in like at least- again, it's eighth grade, keep in mind. well, that love/like lasted a good portion of the series until #41, mary anne vs logan where... you guessed it... things slightly fall apart. sigh. teenage heartbreak. but good for mary anne for standing her ground and not letting logan push her around any longer (i mean, does anyone ELSE remember that scene on the ice rink where poor mary anne is freezing her little toes off and logan just will NOT let go of the fact that he wants to continue to play away outside in the snow... argh. dumb boys)... i dont think she wouldve gotten through such emotional turmoil (mary anne, after all, was the most sensitive of all the bsc members and did "cry at the drop of a hat"... again, chapter two reference) without her lovely stepsister and one (of two... her other bff being the aforementioned founder and president of the bsc, kristy thomas) best friends... dawn schaefer... primarily described with her waist-length blond hair and her often disgusting sounding healthy eating habits (ie: sprouts on cracked wheatberry bread or something)... dawn was actually the first "external" member to join the club outside of the founding four members. i remember dawn's grand entrance, in #5 dawn and the impossible three, where she's got a regular job (through the bsc, after befriending mary anne spier in #4, mary anne takes charge, when dawn first moves to stoneybrook from palo alto, ca, after her parents' divorce, with her mom, sharon, and her brother, jeff) in charge of taking care of the barrett kids whose mom was super disorganized and still trying to recuperate from a recent divorce... good thing dawn had recently experienced her own parents' divorce and was dealing with her own scatterbrained (i learned this word from these books!!) mother so she was able to relate to the barrett kids on a whole new level... i guess stacey mcgill would've also done a fair job relating to those kids... that is, if she encountered them after book #28, welcome home stacey! where stacey returns back to stoneybrook after her parents' divorce (man, i still remember their fights at the beginning of #28.. i was frightened!!) after having moved to stoneybrook in #1, kristy's great idea, and then moving BACK to new york, where she was born and bred (for her dad's job transfer) in #13 goodbye stacey goodbye. turns out that daddy mcgill was a slight workaholic whose wife got more than a little fed up and finally just picked up and moved her (and stace, the bsc member's creative nickname for her) back to stoneybrook (in #28, as referenced above)... of course, while everyone was rather pleased with the return of stacey, no one could've been more pleased than her own (stoneybrook) bff, claudia kishi... i believe claudia's chapter two description was never without the terms "almond shaped eyes" (she was japanese-american), "genius" (referring to her sister, janine... to detail the contrast between claud and her sister because, quite frankly, claud can't spell or do anything else academically-oriented for sh*t), "art" (claud was obsessed with all things art-related), "mimi" (claudia's grandmother with whom she was super close but who sadly died in #26, claudia's sad goodbye... mimi'd had a stroke a few books ago and hadnt been the same since...), and "junk food" (claud was obsessed with this as well and had it hidden ALL over her room as her parents otherwise disapproved of such unhealthy eating habits). hey, remember how claud was deemed vp of the bsc because she had her own personal phone line? ha. so her only role involved holding the meetings in her room and supplying the club with snacks. nice. oh and i cant forget about those junior officers (junior officers, just an FYI, meant that they couldnt babysit at night, unless it was for their own siblings, as they were younger... god forbid, they were only 11 years old... SO much less mature than those big bad 13-year-olds, right? trust me, it was also extensively referenced) mallory pike and jessica ramsey (jessi for short, as EVERYone called her... well, except for her aunt cecilia, but she didnt arrive until #36 jessi's babysitter)... mallory was, well. let's just say she was one of the most unfortunate looking sixth graders alive... curly out of control red hair, glasses, braces, the works. id love to meet a ben hobart (her boyfriend later in the series) because, quite frankly, mal sounded like a train. f'ing. WRECK at the age of 11. jessi, on the other hand, was a graceful ballerina who always set her alarm for 5:30 am (but always woke up at 5:29 am) to do some plies and crap for a half hour before beginning to get ready for school. she was always stretching and bending and stuff during the bsc meetings (her and mal would sit on the floor, at the foot of claud's bed... they were, after all, mere junior members...)... oh yeah, while mal and jessi were totally bff, they were as different as can be (ie: mal wanted to write children's novels while jessi's passion was ballet dancing... mal came from a ginormous family of 10 while jessi came from a normal family of 5..jessi was black and mal was white - again, extensively referenced to point out that this last fact didnt matter at ALL to the other bsc members, but apparently, it did matter to the rest of stoneybrook, connecticut when jessi's family first moved to town... i mean, hello- how much more ignorant of a community was this place? it was already the 1980s!)

and there you have it. a (VERY) brief introduction to each and every one of the characters of this series that i was (clearly, more than) slightly obsessed with for over twenty years (that's right, even now, when i go home to cincinnati, i'll pick up a bsc book every now and then for a little walk down memory lane... i mean, it's a pretty darn deliciously easy read as each book was exactly 15 chapters... well, except, #4, mary anne saves the day, where ann m martin threw a curveball and tossed in a sixteenth chapter... remember THAT?!)

NOW can you see why im so DARN excited about the revival of this series?!!! fsdlksajfdlksjafsdlkjl!!!! i think im even going to rewatch my dvd of the babysitters club movie in celebration of it!! no worries, ill keep you posted on (every f'ing) detail of how this revival pans out... SO EXCITED!!!! edge of my seat!! laksfdj!