What I'm Reading

Stardust by Joseph Kanon
Coming out in the fall, the next novel by the author of The Good German. It's so good I kinda want to lick the pages.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm Okay. Really.

For those of you who have called, emailed, texted, or commented to ask, the following all apply.
Yes, I'm okay.
No, I'm not mad at you.
Yes, I'm really okay, not just saying I am.
No, we're not in a secret fight.
No, Polly. We didn't break up. You should still buy me a birthday present.

Sorry I fell off the planet for a couple of weeks, but for you Ya-Ya fans, to quote Vivi, I dropped my basket. I got some news a couple of weeks ago that threw me for a loop and I just shut down. After a week of nearly continuous meltdowns, I shook it off and got back to normal. (Thank you, Prozac, for the recuperative powers you offer. If this happened a couple of years ago, the meltdown might still be going on. There was no "shaking it off" pre-medication.) So I had to spend all of last week doing all the things I didn't do the week before, when I was coming home from work and going directly to sleep. But I'm back in my groove now. Which means you all once again are a captive audience to my babbling.

The weekend before last, I went back to Woonsocket. The spontaneous tears stopped the day I knew I was going to see my mom. A coincidence? I think not. I swear, that women has some kind of old-world healing magic she's not aware of. (Either that, or I've been reading too many Nora Roberts trilogies lately, and I want to believe my life has magic too. Odds are, it's the latter.) I parked myself in my parents' house for 3 days, and left only to go to mass, Target, and to see Ella (my holy trinity of feel-good outings).

We had a joint birthday party for me and my godson, who turned thirteen.

And by joint party, I mean he got to choose what we were eating, he got all the cards and presents, and I couldn't eat the ice cream cake because it was chocolate, so I had to make my own.

In my family's defense, I didn't get presents because my birthday isn't for another couple of days and they didn't want me to have nothing for my actual birthday, the food Jeremy chose was exactly what I would have picked, and I made my own cake because I had something specific in mind and wanted to see if I could figure out how to make it. But still...

When my niece got to my mom's house, I was completely fascinated by her teeny little baby belly. Evidently, I was a lot less subtle than I thought, because after a minute or so, my mom said, "If you're done staring at Jenn's stomach now, I could use some help." Um, oops.

Then on the way back to New York, I stopped in Connecticut to visit one of my sorority sisters and her new daughter, Anna. She snuggled up on me and slept pretty much the whole time. Yeah, I hated every second of it.

So I think we've got the formula down. If you've got a sad Bookgirl on your hands, add downtime, family, and a healthy dose of baby love. The rest will take care of itself.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Great Aunt Bookgirl

Big news, kids. I'm going to be a great aunt. Now, I know what you're thinking. "We've heard the stories. Bookgirl already IS a great aunt." And yes, yes I am. Thanks for noticing. But we're talking geneology here, not quality. My niece is pregnant.

Since the youngest in my immediate family is my godson Jeremy, who's thirteen, it's been a long wait for a new little pumpkin at Casa Bookgirl. Couple that with the fact that Jenn is the only girl in the next generation (my other sisters all had boys), and has been trying for a long time to get pregnant, and this is, like I said, big news.

If I had a magic wand, and I could make one wish come true, it would have been this one. I wanted this for Jenn more even than anything I wanted for myself. I was out with my girlfriends the night Jenn called to tell me, and one of them showed up just as I hung up with her, to find me standing in the street with tears rolling down my face. "What's wrong? What happened?" I kept opening and closing my mouth, not able to get the words out.

I was only 4 when Jenn was born, and as kids, we fought like sisters. Or I guess technically I fought with her, and she had no choice but to fight back. You've all seen what happens when a family gets its first grandchild, right? It's like the sun rises and sets over that kid. Then add in the fact that she was gorgeous, and well, who would blame me for hating her? But by the time we were teenagers, I would drive her friends around. In my early twenties, I chaperoned Jenn's parties so she wouldn't have to have her parents there. Around the time she graduated college, she skidded right past me and became the more mature one.

And along the way, she became a really amazing person. She's a pediatrics nurse in a children's hospital, she took one of the babies from the hospital under her wing and years later still takes her for weekends and vacations. She spontaneously stops by my mom's house with flowers. Sometimes good things do happen to good people. It's nice when those people are the ones I love.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Yes, kids. I know I've been a bad, bad blogger. I've been yelled at. But I can't go online at home, and I've been either working late every night or leaving here to be somewhere else at a specific time, neither of which puts me at my computer after hours with some free time. But there's a great big yellow light at the end of the tunnel, and this is what it looks like.

I bought myself a laptop. A shiny, new, bright-yellow-to-lend-itself-to-creativy laptop. One that has wireless internet that actually works, unlike my old laptop which got a virus because a friend used it to download gay porn (seriously) and then I kept forgetting to have it fixed until my warranty ran out. I'm not making any promises, but there might even be some shirt fiction coming your way. That's how excited I am about this computer.

But while I haven't been blogging, I've learned some valuable lessons:
1) At a home with toddlers, always lock the door when you're in the bathroom. I slept at my friend Kerri's last weekend, and my 3-year-old niece came barreling in when I was in the shower because she had to go potty. Which is fine. I grew up in a house with five girls and one bathroom. I'm used to sharing. But she then proceeded to watch my entire shower, asking questions. "Whatcha doin' Auntie Bookgirl?" "What's that?" "Why did you do that?" "Is that your soap?" "Did you bring it from home?" "Why are you putting lotion on your legs?" "Are those your undies?" "Why is that towel on your head?" It's shocking that she doesn't ever pass out from lack of oxygen.

2) When your team loses in the Super Bowl against the team that plays where you live, you learn who your friends are. Most people were sympathetic. Tons of people asked me how I was doing. Even the friend who really hates my team and whose trash talk tends to get mean managed to limit her comments to one "Holy crap!" text message. But there was one guy, just one, my friend's husband, who sent taunting emails. And he will forever more have a black mark next to his name as far as I'm concerned. For the record, though, no. Believe it or not, I wasn't that upset. As much as I love football, it's a game. And not even a game I was playing in. Plus, I'm a firm believer in the five-year rule. After your team wins the Big Game, you're not allowed to bitch about anything they do for five years. Get caught cheating? Oh well. Lose in the Super Bowl after an undefeated season? Meh. No complaining allowed.

3) The Secret might actually work. After circling my neighborhood for 40 minutes at 2 in the morning with no parking spots anywhere, I started to get desperate and began repeating "Parking spots come easily and often." Swear to God, I found one within 60 seconds, two blocks from my apartment. I've decided to start keeping a gratitude journal. I'll keep you posted on how that works out for me.

4) Keeping secrets is no fun. Someone very close to me has news. Big, big news. News she's not willing to share with the world at large until she's had it for, say, 12 weeks. And I've kept from blogging about it. But it's KILLING me. Killing me, people. (By the way, if you're reading this and thinking, "But Bookgirl told me this news already" that's because you don't know her, there was no way of it getting back to her, and you couldn't possibly ask her about it if something goes wrong. Therefore you're safe.)

5) I now understand why it's so easy to become addicted to prescription drugs. It's because I wasn't taking the right kind. I had this horrible back pain yesterday that I described as "feeling like all the muscles and nerves in my lower back were in a vise and shooting pain down through my hips and legs." Good times, I tell you. And I remembered that somewhere in my medicine chest (and by chest I mean gallon-size Ziploc bag) I had muscle relaxers left from a previous back pain. I took one, and then either fell asleep or lost conciousness (I'm not really sure which) at 7 pm and except for a brief stumble from the couch to bed slept through the night. The bad news is that was my last pill. The good news is that was my last pill.