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My Predictions for 2013

January

I have some really good predictions for January. The first one should prove that I know what I’m doing and that I should do this professionally. Here it is – please read with a Scottish accent:

Winter is coming.

What your heart will look like by mid-february.

Since it will be as cold as a Foreigner song on a 2013 radio station, everyone will mostly do things involving big puffy coats and/or “inside.” Chances are you will also be hearing things that sound a lot like, “It’s Joselin’s birthday month!” because as a birthday obsessed Aquarian, I like to either feel so happy you remembered my birthday or make you feel really bad that you forgot especially since I’ve been reminding you since like January 3rd…So my next prediction is:

You will not forget that my birthday is January 29th.

February

February will suck because it always sucks. It’s still cold and shitty and chances are some rodent in Punxatawny is going to make you think it’s going to stay cold and shitty for the rest of your life. You will throw away most of your short sleeve shirts and any summer-themed alcohol because at this point, coconut rum just makes you want to stab people with winter tans. You start re-watching a lot of TV shows from the 1990’s (like Felicity and early X-Files) in an effort to pretend that there will be a really good keg party in the dorms where everyone is going to learn a lesson about sex or drugs or there will be aliens which makes us all feel better because we are not alone.

March

By March 4th you will start thinking about leaving the house again, not just because there’s been a break in the slushy rain but also because it’s a pretty good suggestion (march forth!). Someone will make plans with you that involve water sports and that will make the ice around your heart start to crack. And, as long as we’re making predictions, you will also be offered a job – although it might be a lame job like your wife offering to let you clean the gutters. (Look, I just predict the things. I don’t conjure them.)

April

Mmm. Salty.

April not much is happening so you’ll host a dinner party and the food you make will be really good. Except one of your side dishes will either be way too sweet or painfully spicy or it will have fallen on the floor. But you’ll serve it anyway because fuck it.

May

This month would have been really awesome except for the fact that you keep breaking things. First your iPhone, then your tea mug then a framed photo of yourself in the high school production of Grease where you played a pink lady. But it’s okay because when you reach out to the high school for a replacement photo, they ask you if you will do the commencement address because at the last minute the Assembly Women has backed down and they know you have a really good joke about musicians that starts, What’s the difference between an oboe and an onion? So you’ll do.

June

You will go swimming. It will be the best day of your life even though you don’t get laid.

July

You will learn something you have been wanting to learn for a really long time but it won’t be a language, a new skill or something about yourself. It might however implicate one of your in-laws in an illegal gambling ring.

August

It will be too hot to talk to anyone, do anything or work. So you will get fired by your boss who is feeling exactly the same way. You will blame global warming and have at least one minor anxiety attack during which you think you are dying of the lump you feel behind your ear or that the neighbor is trying to have you arrested because you definitely looked a little shady when you wheeled the giant box marked “explosives” into the garage the other day, even though it was just some old notebooks and a winter coat. However, nothing will end up happening except that you will have a 4-day Dawson’s Creek marathon, gain three pounds and then get called back to work as a “freelancer” by the end of the month.

September

You will spend this month trying to figure out how to get health insurance now that you are a freelancer. And you will not win anything on the scratch off lottery ticket you bought.

October

You will buy a motorcycle and to the surprise of your partner(s) and friends, will actually turn out to be a really safe rider. You will also become 32% more attractive to girls in their late 20’s-early 30’s, men with facial hair and short people.

November

You will be told you won something. It might be something as mundane as a dance contest between you and a group of your friends, or it might be the Nobel Prize. You won’t know which until November. You will also live off-grid for three days this month, not because of your social convictions but because there will be a really big storm that will force you to live off-grid for three days.

Best. Day. Ever.

December

You will swear off all holiday parties except for your work party. But then you will have so much fun at your work party despite the “casserole incident” (which, let’s face it, was more funny than painful), that you will host a holiday party of your own. This party will actually be horrible but you will make two new friends for each of the seven you will lose. So ultimately it’s a win.

In short, there is nothing to worry about. Because 2013 is going to be the year of US! ‘

(And by “us” I mean readers of this blog; people who just call Eric Clapton music “Clapton” like, “I’m listening to Clapton;” professional snow shoe-ers; and the kids who hang out on the stoop across the street from my house.)

 


Doing Something: This American Life

Me and the Cakesters

I feel like this blog is turning rapidly from a blog about “naming things” to a blog about NPR shows on which I hope to someday be. In that spirit, I’d like to tell you a story:

I finished my newest book in July. It came out last month. (Remember The Best Life List? Now you will be very very sleepy and now you will go order it on Amazon and now you will wake in 3…2…1…) Hey there! What? No, we were just talking about NPR…

Any time I have ever finished a book I have gone into a mild depression. Nothing with cutting, but you know, a sort of downtime involving a live streaming Felicity marathon or carbo-loading. I have been really fortunate in that a new project had a way of coming up fairly quickly. Or maybe it’s just that human animals tend to forget pain. I don’t really know how long I went between projects. But I don’t recall turning to my limited stockpiles of gumption, pulling up my bootstraps (or, whatever) and trying to rustle myself up some work.

So as I’m lamenting my lack of a career over coffee with my incredibly go-getting author friend Abby Sher (Amen, Amen, Amen is the title of her amazingly powerful memoir featured on the Tyra Show and in Elle Magazine. Now you will be very very sleepy and now you will go order it on Amazon and now you will wake in 3…2…1…) What? Nothing.

…Abby says, “You need to pull up your boot straps,” or else she quotes the actual cliche, and she points me to the NPR program This American Life because she’s awesome and go-getting and knows about things and she says, “Even you must have at least one story that fits into one of these upcoming show themes.”

But that isn’t what gets me to do it. What gets me to do it is that pitching This American Life doesn’t involve donating a kidney or writing a lot. Rather, they only need you to jot down a few paragraphs about the story you want them to feature. It’s pitching for the lazy. You can carbo-load AND pitch them in between Felicity episodes. It’s a wondrous thing.

So I pitched a story to them. Then heard nothing. Now this is generally how me pitching things goes: I pitch and then just kind of hang out. Again, totally good for people who spend a lot of time chewing. But what happened at the Cavs game at my friend Mike Lashutka’s house last Wednesday is what changed the course of these events for the better.

First of all, I don’t watch sports but the event was Tivo’ed so it was definitely more fun when you get to watch the thing in fast forward. Also, the Cavs won which made all those Brooklyn Transplanted Northern Ohioans happy. But the best thing was that a girl came to the party with whom I got to talking. (She’s a social worker and you know how I gravitate to people who will listen to me.)

So she mentions that she used to work at NPR. I reply, “No way! I just submitted my first pitch to This American Life.” So she’s all, “Really? I used to work at This American Life!” And I’m like, “Nuh uh!” and we do that for a minute.

Long story shortened: The powers-that-be are subsequently contacted to dig up my pitch and the next day I get a confirmation email that my pitch has been received and read. It was automated. Everyone gets it. But I’d like to think I got mine a little more quickly and maybe even a little more thoughtfully because I got networked. And in this business that’s huge.

Now I am waiting again but I bought a box of Oreo snack cakes. (You heard that correctly. Not cookies. Snack Cakes. Cakesters, if you will. You can thank me later.) I don’t mind the wait because at least it’s an indication that I did something productive and that there is momentum behind my career.

Or at least that I did something productive…