Friday, April 27, 2007

Navel Gazing Lit Not Just Online Anymore!

I am getting my .02 seconds of fame again this week in the Seattle Weekly. Note that I will be recycling this author photo until I am 80 years old (Although given my family’s genetics, I will be living only another year or so, so scrap that. That picture will last me a lifetime!).

In other news, my Muse is still on vacation. She was spotted by hot tipster Jimmie sipping Negro Modelos on a beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, reading The Wayward Muse under a palapa, where she reportedly said, "Rebecca Agiewich can go f*ck herself. Maybe if we win that Blooker Prize and she can start to pay me something a little better than one f*cking soy latte a day, I’ll think about it. Meanwhile, I’ve got a tan to work on." No one knows how she is paying for her extended beach vacation since no royalties are yet forthcoming from BreakupBabe: A Novel.

In my Muse’s absence, I continue to focus on exciting things like bills and paperwork. I spend most of my waking life on the phone with Qwest trying to sort out why they created two accounts for me, sent me two modems, and why, although neither of those modems work, they continue to bill me for exorbitant amounts on each account. I also do virtuous things like bike to work, take fish oil pills, do my physical therapy exercises religiously, and sleep 8.5 hours a night.

I’m still attempting to get back into journalist mode, calling “sources” and writing “pitches” and even meeting with some “success,” though I have yet to complete a single article. (To my credit, I have started an essay about my Alta trip at least four different times, each one starting off with a bang, then eventually dying a sad, lonely death as I realize I have no idea what I’m trying to say).

That’s all I got for you today.

Oh wait, wait. I bought a flowered headband the other day! It looks really cute on me and has revitalized my whole hand-me-down-from GalPal #2-and-my-sister-stained-thriftshop look. I don't have a picture of it but I kinda look like this.

Yours truly,


Monday, April 16, 2007

Safe Despite Lack of Safety Bars

Drat. Is my (working) vacation already over? Nooooo! I want it back! I could live in a place like the Alta Lodge permanently. Comfy room with a view of the slopes...

Four-course meals every night... My own smiling ski guide to take me out into the backcountry every day...

... only to return to the hot tub which has even more stellar mountain views than my room. Meanwhile, mail went unopened, bills went unpaid and the ongoing bureaucratic snafu that is my life continued without me, while I -- sans cell phone and laptop -- soaked blissfully unburdened as it all piled up at home.

Well I'm back now. But too damn bleary to do anything halfway productive so all I can really do is gaze upon my photos and remember the good old days yesterday when I was skiing in Utah (yes, that tiny dot is me.)

You'll be happy to know no thunderstorm materialized in Salt Lake City as I flew in. However, I am sorry to report that there is not a safety bar to be found ANYWHERE at the Alta Ski resort. This made for some tough times for this not-so-intrepid-wanna-be-travel journalist who was running low on Xanax.

But I only spent half of one day riding those those metal deathtraps before realizing I needed to hoard the Xanax for the return flight (in case of more so-called thunderstorms), so on Friday afternoon I threw in the towel and took a freakin' nap. The next two days I spent getting to the mountain tops they way humans are supposed to: ON FOOT.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yay. Me.

I’m off to Utah today darlings. Made the mistake of checking the weather for Salt Lake City where thunderstorms are predicted. Thunderstorms! My favorite thing to fly into!

Sigh. I’ll never make it as a big time travel writer with this fear of flying. Oh, that’s f*cking fine. All I want to be is a small-time travel writer anyway. A big-time novelist, small-time travel writer. Scratch that. Even small-time novelist would be fine. Wait – I am a small time novelist! And a small-time travel writer! Not to mention a (very) small-time rock star!

Wow – I’ve already achieved all my life goals. Yaaaay me!

Guess I can fly into that *%@#) thunderstorm at peace with myself. And, if I manage to survive that, speed up the mountain in a lift without a safety bar.

Meanwhile, my legacy will be my nephew, who demand that you read him “boo” after “boo” and will be a rockin’ piano player once he is tall enough to actually reach the thing.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Get Me a Safety Bar, Pronto!

Do you ever have one of those days where you’re tired? Say, perhaps, where you took a 6:30 a.m. flight and are therefore not only sleep-deprived but emotionally drained, having risked your life in the stormy skies in the wee hours of the morning on only one cup of very weak Seattle’s Best "Coffee" served to you by the airline?

You get to work, and you really do make your best effort to work, yet you are so distracted by the Internet because your brain is so fuzzy it can’t focus on the xyz site collection object and how it determines whether the wxy list should be formatted on the zw3@!#$ing server.

But the Internet provides no relief. Because on a day like today when your ego droops with your eyelids, it only reminds you of your inadequacies. You read blogs and think: that person is a better writer than me. Look at digital photo albums and think: that person is a better photographer than me. Read your friends’ emails and think: they are having more fun than me.

Then again, I’ll be dropping off cornices in the Wasatch backcountry in a few days. Well, more like tumbling my way down 15-degree slopes while everyone marvels at my lack of skill and pretending not to be scared on the ski lifts. I’m perfectly fine when the ski lifts have safety bars on them. WHY DON’T ALL SKI LIFTS HAVE SAFETY BARS ON THEM? Don’t they know that people like me have nothing better to do with their brains then concoct panic-ridden fantasies about how they’re going to jump off a ski lift? Plus, it's just not safe without a safety bar, now IS IT?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Shakin' and Skiin' and Savin' Dough

My life continues to be in a weird limbo state but things are shaking and moving. (In some ways. In other ways, they are still as a pond in a Zen garden.). I'm starting the freelance writing thing again. The rusty wheels are creaking into motion with ideas. I've even scored myself an assignment (of sorts) to go to this ski seminar and write about it.

In other writing news, I had lots of fun providing the "literary entertainment" at Centerpoint's recent fundraiser and posing as a "writing professional" ontheir career panel on writing last week. Any time I sit in front of an audience of hopeful writers, my heart goes out to them. Writing=pain! Trying to be a writer=pain! Even when you're a rich and famous writer like me=pain! So I want to do everything I can to help them.

My muse, however, has been hiding out. I've gotten sick of tracking that b*tch down, so whatever. Let her stay in her palapa in Mexico or wherever she is, drinking Negro Modelos and flirting with the help. There are plenty of things I can write without her - like blog entries and query letters. And extremely uninspired first-person essays (another recent project of mine.) Here's a sneak peek from a never-to-be-published essay about my trip to Patagonia last year:

"So I’d reluctantly let myself be dragged out of the tent into this wild day and now I was regretting it. I comforted myself with the thought that the group of Chileans we passed on our way up here would probably die before us. Several members of their party were wearing jeans and they were moving slowly. We, on the other hand, were clothed in the latest in REI outerwear, but were were still going to die. I was sure of it. And we wouldn’t even get a good view in the process. "

Meanwhile, I also edit boring technical documents for absurd amounts of money and I continue to get out into the snow every weekend, dragging my poor boyfriend along for the ride. This weekend, our adventure consisted of staying at the Mountaineers Lodge at Stevens Pass, which was an absolute laugh riot. The venerable Mountaineers club of Seattle loves nothing more than to control its memebers with a plethora of rules, regulations, and bureaucracy, not to mention making them rise at insanely early hours for any activity.

So I suppose it should have been no surprise that we were awakened at SEVEN AM by a BREAKFAST CALL that involved a loud clanging of pots and pans that even the most tranquilized of Mountaineers members (and I think I can be included in that category) could sleep through. Not only that, we had to do CHORES after breakfast, after which we were released on our own recognizance.

At least it was cheap. And there we were, right in Stevens Pass, and we took a lovely snowshoe trip up into a lakes basin, which, although it was right near the ski area was quiet and covered in freshly fallen snow. We were the only people around, and surrounded by the tracks of all sorts of little animals. There is nothing so peaceful, I think, as the mountains in snow. I would never survive the gray Seattle winters without it.

Finally, these days, I am all about saving money. I have never really been frugal in my life, not least since I became a full-time employee of Geeksoft five years ago. But the times they are a changin' and even though I pull in a good hourly rate, the fact is, my employment is now much more unpredictable and I'm not getting paid for my vacation. And I'm headed away from the full-time corporate routine.

I asked my friend Michelle, of Anti 9-5 Guide fame, how she managed the financial challenges of being a freelancer. And she said, she's been freelancing for so long now that she's just naturally frugal and doesn't "buy anything." Well, my problem is the opposite: I've been on Geeksoft's payroll for so long, I'm naturally profligate! But people can change. Proof of this fact: just last week, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many-years, I started making my own lunch.

With that scintillating fact, I will leave you - breathlessly waiting for more.