Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New business cards!

 I am thrilled to report that talented Boston designer Holly Gordon has recently designed my new business cards and, IMHO, did a bang-up job of it. Check it out --


Pretty exciting! Thanks, Holly. You are out-of-control amazing. Holly also did the design for the Second Glass Annual Wine Guide, which I recently helped to edit (whoops, forgot to mention that!).

And she designed the super-awesome fake mermaid tattoos we received at Wine Riot II, which I also helped with by editing the program and pouring wines for the folks from Tortoise Creek, while they seduced the entire city of Boston with their British accents and charming tales of living in the Languedoc and delicious pinot noir ("great breakfast wine"). Did I also mention that? No? Sigh. Even my friend Josh, who has of late been spending most of his time covering himself in whipped cream, was able to update his blog on this topic before me.

Anyhow, back to Holly. One of the reasons why I chose her design for my cards is that I love her point of view, and felt like she'd be able to convey mine. In fact, she recently wrote a post on her darling and well-illustrated blog that reads like a pragmatic (and admirably succinct) manifesto for Our Generation. I think it's worth sharing.
You know, it’s weird for us kids these days. We get out of school all revved up and ready for our big break. We’re told by our professors time and time again that we must find a job. Keep sending your resumes. Keep calling. We read stories about the people that inspire us – how “they” did it. Parents call on a daily basis, driven by pure anxiety, with an endless supply of tips on how to get it together.
I have a feeling my generation is going to tap out the pharmacies for anti-anxiety medication at this rate. Student loans are looming, rent needs to be paid, there is a global economic downturn – worst job market in years, and my school is already demanding statistics for my yearly salary. In this fabulous economic climate, we need to get extra creative with what we do and how we do it – a little bravery and innovation wouldn’t hurt. And those are two themes that are not recurring in the recycled suggestions of our predecessors.

My response is to weed out the irrelevant advice. A successful career does not have the same meaning that it used to. For me, a successful career involves the intense satisfaction of supporting myself doing what I love, being able to travel, having the opportunity to teach, inspire others, and to work with people who can match me in enthusiasm and challenge my ideas. Climbing a corporate ladder, one rung at a time, until I’m old and immobile is not included in my business plan. [Emphasis mine.]

So as I continually explain myself to others – I do, in fact, have a job – and yes – it is for real – I’m going to keep on working and loving what I do. I’m up to the challenge and I’m excited for what the years ahead have in store.
Mmmm. Don't you feel better? I know I do.

Thanks, Holly!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

you lucky, lucky girl

One of the things they don't tell you when you are little is that the best part about growing up and doing what you love is that you will find other people who love what you do, and who make you glad to be who you are. For example, my best friend, who is a scientist, recently told me about how happy it makes her to have friends who will turn to her and say, "I was reading about the stars yesterday..."

For me, one of the greatest pleasures of my life is knowing other writers, who carry their notebooks like security blankets, and talk about our favorite authors like they're friends we saw on the street earlier, and have portmanteau-making contests over French fries (and are nerdy enough to know what portmanteau means), and who constantly send me emails with subject lines like "i am obsessed with this poem."

Today's most recent wonderful thing comes courtesy of miss Jessie Rogers.

"Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell"

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.