Listening to: “Rubber Ring” – The Smiths

The weather today (rainy, gray, not too cold) reminds me a lot of London in the winter. I was thinking of London today, how sort of aimless, cash-strapped, seeing lots of plays, drinking lots of beer, I was when I was living there–and it reminded me a lot of now. Oh, how life runs in loops.

Anyway, thinking of that time and that place, I ran across this video:

When I was there, I spent a whole lot of time just wandering the city, looking for weird little bits of historical shrapnel and back entrances to hidden places. The Shunt Vaults, which are mentioned in the video, is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Trippy performance art and tequila shots in old wine cellars under the London Bridge. One of the things I really love about London is how much history is piled on top of other history, how many and old stories you can find just by ducking down a side street. It’s something I really want to poke into in World’s End, once I get up and cracking on that project again.

Blargh. Time to keep searching for gainful employment. Got an interview at Starbucks next week, yup yup.

Somehow this wasn’t where I pictured I’d be three years outta school. Oh, younger self, if you only knew.

…….

In case you haven’t heard, journalism is getting wicked dead. I’m torn between wanting the Globe to hang in there and wanting them to get scared so witless, they actually morph into a decent newspaper. Let’s not talk about possibility number 3 just yet…

If you make the decision to tough life out as a working writer, it’s pretty much a given that at some point or other, you’ll have to supplement your income. And that means part-time jobs, thankless jobs, mindless jobs, labor-intensive jobs. But you take your lumps, because hey, it’s all just fodder for your future novel/memoir.

Yours truly has worked her fair share of side gigs–waitress, office assistant, PR rep, lab study participant, etc.–for the sake of some extra income. And I’m planning to dive into the exciting world of food service again, very soon.

But apparently–and I’m totally stoked about this–there’s a universe out there where professional writers don’t have to do any jobs but writing. They’ve never had to lift a finger in their lives to do anything more strenuous than clack away on their laptops.

And if they do, well–well gosh, it’s just quaint, isn’t it?

Take it from this New York Times piece by Caitlin Kelly, a freelance writer who decided to pick up a part-time job (part-time as in once a freakin’ week) working as a salesperson at a clothing boutique–for funsies!

Sometimes I feel like Alice slipping through the looking glass, toggling between worlds. In one world, I interview C.E.O.’s, write articles for national publications and promote my nonfiction book. In the other, I clock in, sweep floors, endlessly fold sweaters and sort rows of jackets into size order. . .

The contrasts between my former full-time job and my current part-time one have been striking. I slip from a life of shared intellectual references and friends with Ivy graduate degrees into a land of workers who are often invisible and deemed low-status.

Congratulations, Caitlin. You just discovered that there are other people in the universe! People who aren’t journalists. And have crazy things like diversity and no college degrees. OMG!

(more…)

Listening to: “Kalamazoo” – Ben Folds

Let’s just call a spade a spade here, huh? Or in this case, let’s not call it a spade if it’s not a spade. So here’s your lesson for the day: NOT CAMPING does not equal CAMPING.

According to the ever-incisive, journalistically daring, in-no-way-lame Boston Globe’s latest trend-wank piece, the glamping craze is sweeping the country like a plague of boils. Yes, glamping–“glamorous camping.” The latest insipid portmanteau to worm its way into the lexicon, possibly even worse than such botulism-inducing “words” as staycation, infotainment, and Newgrass.

The idea of glamping is that you go camping and experience the great outdoors, except without actually camping or experiencing the great outdoors. Not uncommon are “camping butlers,” WiFi stations, and s’more delivery services. Cause you know, s’mores are incredibly difficult to make oneself:

“Lori Karger of Weston may be the ultimate luxury camper. In April she and her husband, Stewart, spent a night in a two-story air-conditioned, beautifully appointed treehouse at the year-old Winvian resort in Litchfield Hills, Conn. Winvian sits on a private 113-acre estate with a a Frenchtrained chef and 18 themed cottages designed by different architects. Several of the cottages evoke the fantasy of being on a wilderness camping trip.

These include a $1,700-per-night “camping cottage” with trees painted on the walls and a ceiling painted like a night sky, and the $1,950-per-night “charter oak cottage,” with an actual charter oak poking up in the living room. All cottages, including the treehouse, have fireplaces, jacuzzi bathtubs, Italian linens, espresso coffee systems, radiant floor heating, and pop-up plasma TVs.”

THAT’S NOT CAMPING, you flaming, flaming bags of douche. That’s a fucking luxury hotel room with a fucking tree in it.