Notes from a “lump” of Houston Sheraton Town & Country Stationery, circa 1990 or 91

Just so you know, I got an email from 200-page boy, who got an email from one of you asking, “ARE YOU 200-PAGE LETTER DOUGLAS THAT PAMIE’S WRITING ABOUT?!?”

Small, small world. He was writing to let me know that he does, indeed, still have that letter. My first book! (Speaking of books, the galleys are in for Going in Circles. Are you someone fancy who writes blurbs/reviews and would like to give me a blurb/review? My publicist would love to send you an Advanced Reader Copy! Email me.)

I looked through my high school box of letters and stories, but couldn’t find another word about Homeroom Boy. It appears that saga quickly came and went. I did find this bundle of stationery from the Houston Town & Country hotel. It isn’t dated, but from what I’m talking about it’s sometime either at the end of my freshman year or maybe during the summer before my sophomore year. That makes me fourteen? Fifteen? I don’t know.

But I do know it’s mortifying and hilarious. Continue reading

An Open Letter to My Cat.

Dear Cal,

Are we currently starring in some kind of romantic comedy together? Or are you planning on auditioning for a Will Ferrell movie or something? Because our time together lately, if montaged with a kicky Katrina and the Waves song in the background, looks like something Touchtone Pictures would proudly present.

Maybe you’re mad about the other night, when I moved in my sleep and it scared you so much you fell off the bed. Obviously I didn’t mean to wake up with such a start, but I probably shouldn’t have pointed at you and laughed. I don’t even know if my finger was anywhere near you, since it was so dark I couldn’t see anything. But if you could have heard what I heard — me gasping out of a nightmare, you gasping in a kitty sound, and then thunk-BUNK! — you would be pointing and laughing, too. Continue reading

Day Four. Updates.

Let me see if I can paint the past week for you really quickly.

OCTOBER 29. Monday. We get to work knowing it’ll probably be our last week of work. We are frantically writing what will be our final script. Pencils down is coming soon. We are hoping against hope that a strike will be avoided. Everybody’s tense. Our show airs tonight, the third episode, and if it does as well as it has been going, we’re looking like we’ll get a full-season order. Everything you dream of as a working writer might just happen… just in time to walk out of the offices.

I debate for hours, literally hours, about finally going to a meeting to sign up as our official strike captain. I ask other people on staff if they’ll do it, or if they’re interested. Most people say to me that since I am sympathetic to every person’s situation in the room, and because I’m the most passionate about both striking and working, they’d rather I was the one in charge. Besides, I’m the one who’s had all of the information. And I’ve done this before. For years now. I walked the line with Top Model (I would love to post a link but my archives are terribly broken. Can someone help me fix Moveable Type? AB’s very busy with her strike duties!). I helped with the early organization for Comedy Central, which led to several shows going Guild.

[I just heard a group of high schoolers marching outside on their way home from school, shouting, “Strike! Strike! Right, left, right! Strike! Strike! Right, left, right!” Thanks for the solidarity, my friends.] Continue reading

It’s Still Too Soon To Tell This Story

Driving home tonight, I thought about Mardi Gras in Austin, and how it’s been a while since I’ve celebrated Fat Tuesday. In the South, there are days leading up to it with anticipation — the food, the beads, the planned parties. There was a time when New Orleans made it illegal to go topless (is that still the case?). But Austin, in its wonderful weirdness, legally allows people to roam shirtless.

So.

Mardi Gras, 2000, was a particularly difficult month for me. I wrote very little about the bad things that were happening, but basically I went to Aspen, got back and my world, as I knew it, changed. It caused me to do things I wouldn’t normally do, like impulsively buy concert tickets for a show on the other side of the country, decide it was time to move to Los Angeles, or get drunk at Mardi Gras and party on a roof.

Continue reading

spiders on spiders

If most of the men in my life have one thing in common, it’s a fear of spiders. I don’t mean the kind of ickiness where you know there’s something weird and it freaks you out — like one man who had a fear of birds. This I came to understand. The eyes. They’re dead. You never know what a bird is thinking, and at any point, that bird might decide your eye is the most delicious thing it’s ever seen. Okay, so that man convinced me to be afraid of birds. I get it. Done. Birds are scary. Continue reading