2.09.2008

Brooklyn Newsletter: Month Two

Dear Brooklyn,

I’m working on some cool new projects for NIFW, one of which requires the use of a voice recorder. A few months ago, I did an interview with one of the marketing guys at Etsy headquarters and it was only tonight that I got around to playing with the recording. I’d only recorded one 20-minute conversation with him and so I was surprised to see that I had two audio files uploading. Imagine my surprise when a recent drive to work was completely taped, including me singing along at an astounding volume to a song that I had on repeat for the entire 40-minute car trip. A song without lyrics. Thou dost not know embarrassment until thou hears thyself singing, unabashed, alone in a car.



Steve leaves for Tanzania on Tuesday and so he stayed over last night. I felt a sisterly duty to see him just before he leaves, particularly remembering how Katie went a bit off the deep-end before her semester in Madagascar. She found me in the living room the night before she left and proceeded to have a complete breakdown because she’d had a dream and was convinced that she was going to die a horrible death in Africa. Luckily, Steve seems to be confident in his ability to remain alive while abroad, a relief to the entire family. I will now be the only kid on the continent, a role that I hope results in three times the gifts at family holidays.



Academic-longing was in full-swing earlier this month. Nashville did it to me as usual, but actually it was Skersh and the slew of people I know doing their PhDs at Vanderbilt whose lives run parallel to mine, a constant reminder of “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” When I read Skersh’s syllabus or hear about her experiences teaching literature, a small, book-shaped part of my heart pitter-patters. “You are perfect for this,” she gently urges, “are you sure you don’t want to do your doctorate?” I do want to do my doctorate. This is one truth. But there are so many other truths, truths about enjoying working in industry and truths about money and truths about wanting to be able to choose where I live in this country. And though it is a hard lesson to learn, truths do not always mean realities. At least, not all of them.


In the past month Hillary won New York, Giuliani dropped out of the race, and the Giants won the Superbowl. All three have been exciting news here in the Big Apple, but the magic of that football game kind of takes the cake. Everyone loves the story of an underdog defeating arrogance and it was thrilling to be in New York for the Giants’ victory. From a friend’s 13th story apartment in Washington Heights, I watched fireworks at the end of the game and grinned every time I heard a celebratory car horn on the drive home. It encompassed exactly what I love about New Yorkers: despite confronting the realism of life in the city, despite the workaholics and the bull-shit-aholics, despite feeling like the black-sheep-state of the nation, we still find a way to believe.



Love,
Jen

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