January 18, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Still Freakin Bug Me

Pre-1 notes:

Also - GO HERE : http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/shire15

Or just go to my links page (click the thing that says LINKS in the right margin) and pick FRESH EYES, it's an AWESOME industry blog by R. Gray. And...Robert Gray BLOGGED ME. *prance!* It's a BIG deal to me. BIG. Very touching - he is the VERY FIRST bookseller I ever got up the nerve to approach with a copy of my book and say HEY PLEASE READ THIS, HI, READ THIS, HI. And he LIKED IT. *dies of pleasure*

1) I hate everyone on this plane with the white hot heat of a thousand suns---and by that I mean the irritating guy in front of me and everyone who moved around after we took off to allow this stranger to become The Irritating Guy In Front of Me (Heneforth IGiFoM, pronounced like Idgey-foam). Before that he was a perfectly HARMLESS indvidual seated at the back of the plane, where he NO DOUBT was cheerfully leaning back and bouncing and being SOMEONE ELSE'S SPLINTERY CROSS TO BEAR. But fate, intent on not letting me blog, took the form of several men, all disatisfied with their seating, and they popped around switching places until IGIFoM (AKA He Who Lives to Lean Back and Bounce) moved into the seat ahead of me. And there he remains. Leaning back. And Bouncing. I can hardly type. I am trying very hard not to wish him ill even though he is obviously and intentionally DOING THIS TO THWART ME... because who is it all about? Me. That's right.

2) In Microsoft Word, if you write my name, "Joshilyn," in a document and then spell check it, it tries to change the name to NOISILY. In the spirit of IT IS ALL ABOUT ME, I am finding myself taking it JUST a bit personally.


3) I am on a plane on my way to DETROIT where the temperatiure is currently 17 MILLION below freezing.

4) This is not really a list, but I keep putting numbers in front of the paragraphs as if it were, in the hopes that I will begin to feel organized. I NEED to feel organized because I am suffering under a STRONG PREMONITION that I did not pack something I am definately going to need. I am not going to tell you what it is. It is PERSONAL. Let's just say, delicately, that it rhymes with Schmunderpants. I suspect that the several pairs of rhymes-with-schmunderpants I MEANT to pack are sitting in a neatly folded little pile in my rhymes-with-schmunderpants drawer. I am trying to cypher the psycological ramifications of Going Commando to a formal dinner while weighing the odds of the Detroit Airport haveing an, um, Schmunderpants store in it. Which, look, the odds are BAD. So. Let me have the ILLUSION of being organized.

5) The last time I was in Detroit, I came to hear a band. At this point, I would ask all passengers to buckle in and place their trays in the upright position and for all passengers who are my mother to avert their eyes and for all passengers who are currently sitting in front of me and leaning back and bouncing up and down in an excited-about-Detroit manner to press the red eject button located on the underside of their arm rest. THANKS.

Basically a girlfriend and I roadtripped to Detroit to see some band she knew from the way back back play a pretty decent sized venue, but, more to the point, we set out to Drink Too Much in Motor City. I AM IN MY EARLY TWENTIES IN THIS STORY. So. Grain of tolerance time. We had just discovered that a champagne drunk is like no other drunk in the world--- a WATERSHED EPIPHANIC MOMENT in our young, previously tequila-soaked lives, So basically Detroit is to me a series of snapshots and mini-movies, each washed in the sort of roseate glow you only get with a textbook champagne drunk. Here is my Detroit memory slide show:

a)) My friend and I, wearing MAC lipstick and little else, order Champagne cocktails at the bar where the band is playing, and the bartender says "Look, girls, I only have big bottles of champagne and I can't open one to make 2 champagne cocktails --- It goes flat. If I open it, you have to, you know,COMMIT." This is, to us, hysterically funny. My friend leans across the bar and says, "The sun has not yet risen on the day when Joshilyn and I will allow Champagne to go flat. DO WE LOOK LIKE THAT GIRL?" And he looks at the Scrutiatingly small shirts and the MAC lipstick and nods, sagely, and says, "You do not look like that girl," and he gives the bottle a quick shake so the cork flies up with an exciting POP noise, rocketing to the ceiling. WE LIKE HIM.

b) I have NO memory of the band, who was in it, or what they played, or if they were any good, None at all.

c) We are driven away from the bar by Lone Sober Guy. He is to drive us to the home of ANOTHER BAND, they all live together, this is my friend's ex-boyfriend and HIS band, and they are not the band who played. I THINK Lone Sober Guy is IN the band that played that I ALREADY can remember nothing about. My friend and I sit in the back seat together and talk about the greatness of her ex-boyfriend's band, and then we begin to sing one of their covers, a bastardized version of R.E.M.'s Superman. We sing it all the way to the house where we are staying. We sing it wth gusto and sincerity -- it goes like this: "I am , I am, I am adequate man, and I can do several things...if you go a reasonable distance away I'll have a pretty good chance of finding you..." and so on. It is a one joke song, but it remains CONSISTENTLY HILARIOUS for the entire ride.

d) I become cold. I am singing with my eyes closed, just SINCERELY wailing, but the cold makes me look up, and I see that Lone Sober Guy has stopped the car and left. He has left the driver's side door hanging wide open, I learn later that this is because there is a TRICK to opening his car doors and had he shut it we would have been trapped inside and frozen to death in out MAC lipstick. BUT. ANYWAY, We are completely stationary and alone.

e) The House Where The Band Lives is a HUGE victorean with a TOWER and it is falling into chunks. The tower has stairs winding up and none of the round rooms have furniture. Just piles of filthy pillows.

DIGRESSION: This house appears briefly in the novel I am currently working on-- BETWEEN, GEORGIA< the book is called. In the book the house is called CHEZ CRAP and in real life it wasn't called anything. In the book a whole band's worh of filthy musicians live there, and in real life a whole band's worth of somewhat clean musicians lived there. In the book, there is a HOLE in one of the bedroom floors that lets you drop into the kitchen. I made that up though. In real life, the hole let you drop into the foyer. So.

OH Let me digress more. The REAL house was FULL of Dobermans. Dobermen. Whichever is correct. You know, those big black dogs with long, sleek heads. GOD'S TRUTH, these were the SWEETEST DOGS who ever lived. BAR NONE. There was a girl dog and two GREAT BIG boy dogs, all siblings, and their TAILS had not been docked. They were the shyest most diffident nervous dogs I have ever seen. They would come wheeling into a room and see me there, a FRIGHTENING STRANGER, and they would wheel away, nervously shying back and forth, hoping I LIKED them, hoping I wasn't the sort to go about eating up nice dogs. I made friends with these dogs and they were fascinating to watch -- they moved so...AS A UNIT. The two big boy dogs were like the female's SHADOWS as they turned in smooth curves and stood together and sat together and flowed in and out of rooms. These dogs ALSO appear the new book, although they are not associated with Chez Crap, and the fictional ones are not so shy. In fact, they sort of eat people.

Digressing EVEN MORE, I remember (although one hopes my editor DOES NOT! HA HA!) pitching this book to her WELL OVER a year ago, and I recall very clearly saying the words, "OH this book is going to much LIGHTER THAN GODS IN ALABAMA, much less HORRIFIC VIOLENCE and BLUGEONING PEOPLE TO DEATH! Much more CHEERFUL! THIS IS MORE OF A COMEDY, YOU KNOW, WITH A GREAT LOVE STORY IN IT, VERY WARM AND FEEL GOOD AND FUNNY!" And then four months after this pitch, knee deep in writing "my comedy" the evil dopplegangers of the Detroit Dogs came popping through a fence and ATE a perfectly nice little old lady and then the fires started and more and more of the characters began to OWN GUNS and KILL THINGS with them and, oh my. Oh oh oh my. Anyway. So much for that whole "feel good ook of the year" idea I had.

AND we are landing. HELLO DETROIT! I have high hopes for this city -- I met the rep here before, in NYC, and adored him. So.

Posted by joshilyn at January 18, 2005 11:29 PM

I actually arrived here from Mr. Gray's blog. And I'ma stayin'.

I do not envy you the aero-plane.


Posted by: Terry at January 19, 2005 1:46 AM

I am hoping that you bludgeoned Mr. IdgieFoam to death with your "feelgood ook of the year" and just didn't have time to blog about it.

Also I think I need to get drunk with you. Less lipstick and more clothing than you describe, but still.

Knock 'em dead in Detroit, Joss!!

Posted by: Mir at January 19, 2005 8:45 AM

Welcome to Detroit, Joshilyn, where the temperature currently hovers at minus ohmygod. Be sure to come back in July for the better weather; temps then get all the way up to a hundred-and-you've-got-to-be-kidding.

Posted by: Shelley at January 19, 2005 9:09 AM

Tip for future handling of IdgieFoams of the world:

Keep KNEEING the back of their seat! That will drive them nuts. It works, trust me.

or drink lots of champagne cocktails, like the ones of your not so long ago youth (I'm sure), and you won't give a damn about bouncing on a plane (oh wait, bouncing on a plane? hmmm, doesn't that get you into the mile high club? whoops, wrong bouncing.)

safe trip.

Posted by: dee at January 19, 2005 10:40 AM

I second the idea of kneeing the back of his seat. I was once on a plane from London to Boston with a small child knee-er sitting behind me, and I have never felt so VIOLATED. Behind a bouncer is annoying, but in front of a knee-er is worse.
PS Thanks for the bee-yoo-tee-ful magnet. It is in a place of honor on my refrigerator.

Posted by: Aimee at January 19, 2005 10:51 AM

i heart your blog

that is all

Posted by: Heather at January 19, 2005 11:04 AM

I think your blog rocks! I think you and Mir were separated at birth! Good luck with your upcoming book, I hope it sells millions and millions of copies.

Posted by: Peek at January 19, 2005 11:40 AM

Oh Joss, you with no Schmunderpants.... let me tell you when evil Northwest Airlines lost my luggage over Christmas (for SEVEN DAYS).. I had to break down and buy Schmunderpants at Walgreens at 10pm on Christmas eve. Where they come in the beautiful colours black, white, or brown. But only in the size 'fat granny'.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at January 19, 2005 12:17 PM

Glad I wasn't there so I wouldn't make a scene with Idgefoam.
I have begun the Joshilyn Jackson movement here in my home town with the BooksACouple employees. I kinda told them we were life long friends, I saved your life once in a water accident, that you would have named your child after me but I insisted you not, and that you had a semi-crush on me. Okay, not that last part but the point is I did and will continue the movement here so when the book comes out, you have great placement.

Posted by: tish at January 19, 2005 5:01 PM

No Schmunderpants? This sounds like one of those dreams where you find yourself at school with nothing on BUT your schmunderpants, only the reverse. So. Smile, it could have been worse.
Regarding Mr. IGiFoM. It's too bad you're not a senior citizen. You would then have been entitled under the law to beat him into blissful peace and quiet with your choice of either a low-heeled hard-sole shoe or a thirty pound handbag.

Posted by: David at January 19, 2005 7:18 PM