Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Oh, Right: Gravity!

Turns out there was a flaw in my plan. Let's say you're me, and you load up four boxes of books. All together, it probably weighs over 200 pounds, but it's on a wheeled dolly/handtruck, so who cares, right? If you then go to the subway (there's an elevator to take you down!) and then down some stairs to the platform (dragging things down is easy!), you immediately discover the first thing wrong:

1.) It's the weekend, and the subway almost never runs.

So I'm waiting and waiting and waiting...and when I finally get onto the subway, then get to 168th, where I'm supposed to switch to another train...and I realize the second problem:

2.) I have to drag this fucking dolly's dense-ass tonnage UP eighteen stairs, one wincingly tough and painful legs-and-arms-and-back yank at a time.

Then, at the top of the platform, and with arms as helpless as leather straps, I realized my plan involved switching from the A to the 1...that is, going over a little bit, down some more stairs, in order to go down one more stop on a different line...and then UP more goddamn stairs once I got there.

"Fuck it," I said. "I'll just go to the surface and walk eight blocks the rest of the way." This turned out to be a wise plan, because my new place is downhill! But before I could do that...I had to pull that fucking 200-pound monster up FORTY-FIVE more stairs! It was exhausting. I rested four times. New Yorkers are very helpful and I got a few sympathy nudges. But my new plan---starting today---is to just trundle it both ways and to hell with the subway. It'll save backache AND time.

By the way, it turns out that all my books fit into seven small-but-incredibly-heavy boxes. Everything else I possess that isn't going in the car on Tuesday (i.e., the computer, the TV, one of my bookshelves) fits into three largish-but light boxes. So once I truck over the remaining book boxes (starting any second now), I imagine the rest of the job will take only two or three more trips...which means, if I'm correct, two or three more hours. Not bad if you think of it as a two or three hour mildly inconvenient walk.

The good news: after last night, the empty dolly, all by itself, suddenly feels as light as a baton. I hardly even noticed it going back last night.

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