so stressed out. jared & i are leaving for boston in less than a week, & i had this little fantasy that i could work hard & conquer my entire to-do list before we leave. & it is just not happening. the work is multiplying exponentially & taking over my life!
i admit, my relationship with my to-do lists is dysfunctional. right now it’s about seventy items long, & includes everything from actual important, time-sensitive, “work”-themed tasks like, “edit essay for book” & “fill distro orders” to the most ridiculous, inconsequential shit, like, “watch some ‘friends’ episodes”. i’m one of those people who puts every little thing on their to-do list because i enjoy the satisfaction of crossing stuff off, even if it’s stuff i would have done anyway (like watching “friends”). this week the lists even includes things like, “make list of distro payments yet to be made” & “make list of stuff to pack for boston”. making lists is on my list? that’s pathetic…that’s ciara. *sigh*
mostly i just want to take care of distro work before we leave for boston, because i am not going to be able to fill orders or mail trades to people while i am away. & i am planning to use the week after we get back to kansas as a vacation week, because i haven’t taken a vacation from the distro in years, literally (i think the last one was late summer 2005, when i moved back to boston after a disastrous attempt to move to minneapolis), & i keep fucking everything up because i am so burnt out on distro work. mistakes i have made in the last month:
* mailed a trade payment that was missing a zine
* mailed a distro order that was missing a zine
* left a page from a master copy in a copy machine & didn’t realize it until days later, so it had already been recycled
* mailed a zine that was missing pages
* mis-addressed an envelope so the distro order never arrived with the recipient
* completely failed to mail someone’s distro subscription
* wrote a letter that contained sentiment that could be construed as shit-talk on someone very close to the recipient
* told two zinesters i work with that i really was not crazy about their new zines, in excessive & minute detail
* went to the copy shop without my wallet
* accidentally switched the entire contents of two orders & had to convince the recipients to mail them back to me
& this is just what i remember off the top of my head! granted, not all of these are “mistakes,” per se, but they’re certainly not awesome ideas i implemented to make my life easier. & now i have over a dozen orders that have to be mailed before we take off, & i am looking at all the envelopes i have to address & zines i have to pull, & thinking about the ridiculous holiday post office line i’m going to have to wait in &…all i want to do is put on my pajamas, climb into bed with a mug of hot cocoa, & never go outside again. consider this fair warning: running a zine distro is not for the faint of heart.
a couple of weeks ago, i ran of stack of orders down to the post office. i was waiting for the post office guy to weigh everything & ring up my postage, & i leaned against the counter while resting my hand on my belly. he asked if the “baby” was “kicking”. i am not pregnant! but now i know that an empire waist winter coast was apparently a terrible idea.
so, you know, now i always feel a little weird at the post office. i am worried that tactless post office guy will notice at some point that i am not getting any larger & ask more horrible questions. i should have said, “oh, thanks for asking, but i’m actually thirty, childless, physically disabled by arthritis, about thirty pounds over my own personal comfort level, the proud owner of a bag of fun-sized snickers bars that are apparently factory seconds judging by their many deformities, & i recently dropped $100 on a winter coat that makes me look like i’m about to give birth. HAVE A GREAT DAY.” i know, i know, writing about body image is always tricky because people don’t want to read too much self-loathing or self-congratulation. it’s tough to strike a balance that is honest without being snide on the one hand or fatphobic on the other. i personally have hit the wall because i think i read too many fashion blogs by cute little skinny girls who have never once tried on a vintage dress that didn’t fit (unless maybe it was too big). ZIP IT, skinny girls, okay? all i ask is ONE DAY OF SILENCE. i used to be you. then i got all paralyzed & put on sixty pounds (about half of which was great because it stopped people from asking if i had an eating disorder) & the next time i tried to buy clothes, it was hard to find a good fit. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU SOMEDAY TOO. (& probably will. but probably minus the paralysis.)
that said, look at the color of the sweater i am wearing in that photo up there! is that not stunning? & the sweater itself is a marvel–cozy but flattering. i wasn’t sure a lady with a rack as formidable as myself could rock a turtleneck, but i think it works. i want ten more in every color!
ah. okay. it was good to just get that out there. i feel a little better. maybe i will stop trying to do distro work tonight & just kick back with the new-ish lorrie moore novel instead. (i finished barbara ehrenreich’s bright-sided last night. it led to the following conversation:
ciara: “i finished barbara ehrenreich’s new book.”
jared: “yeah? how was it?”
ciara: “it was…okay. kind of short.”
jared: “like 160 pages?”
ciara: “yeah, what the hell? it would have been so much better if she’d fleshed out some of her ideas a little bit more. she definitely had another fifty or one hundred pages of material to draw from there. why even publish a book that is that short?”
jared: “paper costs aren’t that stable. even if it’s cheap now, the price could go up, so books have been increasingly shorter so books can stay in print when paper costs increase.”
ciara: “well, in that case, maybe can the acknowledgment pages. it’s not an academy award speech! c’mon, barbara, your agent needs an entire paragraph? you’ve written sixteen books, she gets it by now! save the paper & send her one of those edible arrangements. maybe a basket of mini-muffins.”)