I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
On the first of each month,
a guest writer
how he or she spends the day.
March 1, 2016: Sarah Seltzer
Sarah is my very cool friend from graduate school who is now Editor-At-Large at Flavorwire, the global pop culture site that covers events, art, books, music, film, TV, and news. If it’s compelling we’re talking about it. Her bio there lists her A interests–abortion, activism, Austen, and alliteration.
But in a recent essay, she moved on to B–as in the Boss–writing about attending her 20th Sprinsteen concert earlier this month. As for the origin story…
My family’s collective Springsteen obsession started with cassette tapes on road trips thanks to my dad, and continued into the realm of live shows thanks to my intrepid mom, who took a sleeping bag out to Nobody Beats the Wiz’s Ticketmaster window — remember those days? — to wait on line in the early morning after the E-Street announced their long stand of reunion shows in New York City. It’s become the stuff of family lore: a second cousin saw her sitting out on the street wrapped up for warmth, stared at her, and walked on, sure the resemblance between this rock’n’roll vagrant and his relative was coincidental.
Sarah is also a fiction writer, and her story “Ironing” opens the women’s fiction anthology The Female Complaint with that gorgeous cover to the right. You can find her story “We Help Women Here” in the most recent issue of The Normal School. And in this paragraph from “A Catch,” published at Serving House, the words are precise and the sentences sharp. Such a good example of implicit exposition (making Jess Row proud) conveyed with a compelling voice, strong images, and arresting language.
Sitting on a stone bench, she passed my lighter over a block of hash and let it crumble into the waiting embrace of a piece of rolling paper. Aireann’s parents were real Irish revivalists; they had sent her out to camp in the Gaeltacht each summer to learn her own language. She thought it was crap. I felt the same way about Hebrew school, I told her. We took drags; parents were drags. Heritage was a drag. This act of spliff-rolling, our low-toned bitching, made me feel at home and simultaneously ache for my few college friends. Imagine missing Ithaca, that shithole. An ocean’s distance casts a shimmering net so wide, it extends over places we’ve hated.
I’ve never been able to find the time to get started with Goodreads, but please click over to see this wonderful visual treat–the books Sarah read last year! Her list reminds me I need to make some better choices. And I need to read more–not just at night when I can barely keep my eyes open.
Sarah writes a not-boring newsletter and you can sign up to receive one by clicking Sarah, navigating to the bottom right hand corner of the page and entering your email address. The paragraph below comes straight from her most recent newsletter and gives you an idea of all that is Sarah!
This fall, I interviewed Dear Sugar herself, Cheryl Strayed, which was a huge highlight of my year. Here’s our chat: “Tell Yourself the Good Stories”: Cheryl Strayed on Collecting Quotes, Overcoming Jealousy, and Binge-Watching TV. Also, I recapped “Poldark” for the New York Times and wrote about my Myers-Briggs obsession for WIRED. I explored adult coloring books, the social significance of male strippers on the big screen, the linguistic fine points of Fifty Shades of Grey, the wife-spanking, witchcraft and wonder of Outlander and of course, the meaning of Taylor Swift at MetLife Stadium. So much meaning, there. So much meaning.
Come back on MARCH 1st to read how SARAH SELTZER spends her days.