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!

Monday, December 24, 2007

So This Is How the Whos Felt...

On paper, this should be the worst Christmas ever. I'm not merely alone; I have almost no possessions. I moved almost everything I owned yesterday (holding back a suitcase-sized four shirts, pants, etc., plus my laptop), then returned the U-Haul (after getting a parking ticket --$115--and with no time before closing to refuel the van myself, so there went another $53), and came home to a bedroom with no sheets (I'm in a sleeping bag), no TV, no movies, no games...and no books. None! I thought I'd held a few back, but in my haste I must have simply hurled everything into the nearest box, with no thought of the morrow. I'm sleeping in a sleeping bag on a bare mattress on the floor of a shithole, and I'm surrounded by dispiriting moving-day detritus: all the crap that I haven't even bothered to throw away yet, like empty mint tins and eraserless pencil stubs.

Normally, under such circumstances, I'd escape my suffering by going to the nearest bar. But I'm on antibiotics for my cough, and I'm not allowed to drink until the regimen is through. And the regimen ends...the day after Christmas. It's so awful it's hilarious. This is, without question, the most Dickensian Christmas I've ever experienced.

So why in the world am I so happy? I can scarcely tell you how flooded with contentment I am. It feels like it's radiating out of me and might, if left unchecked, start irritating people at the next table. I'm so serene and relieved I practially want to cry from sheer joy.

I think here's why. First, the worst is over: I did an unusually prescient thing and moved my stuff a weekend early, and actually hired a U-Haul to do it. So instead of trundling everything back and forth on a dolly, and extending the move over several painful days, I dispatched the whole monster in a single day. Whew! Second, I'm about to live rent-free, and rent has been a consistent background stressor on every monetary dealing I've had in the last two years. So even though it should have cost only $100 and wound up in the $300 range, that's STILL a helluva good deal for three or four months of rent. Third, I have no work today or tomorrow, so it's like I got a lot done and I STILL get a whole weekend to rest up. And finally--and not insignificantly--I have a Christmas party to go to in Brooklyn (Hi, Sherry!), and I expect I'll see a lot of friends there. So my privation is material, not emotional.

And today I get to hang out at a local coffeeshop and catch up on my writing. That's all I ever really want for Christmas, and I've got it already. So have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

P.S. I've got so much free time, it feels, that today I plan to do something I almost NEVER do: I'm going to write a researchy variety cryptic crossword. This is a perfectly intellectual exercise, since I prefer them weirdly difficult, even by National Puzzlers League standards, and no one would ever publish it. It's a particularly abstruse, unjustifiable indulgence of time, and I'm gonna do it! Also, thanks to Netflix, I should also be able to watch a movie on my computer later--something I've never seen, maybe. I've got my eye on "Auntie Mame" with Rosalind Russell, because when I was growing up we used to listen to the Broadway cast of the musical, which contained a song called "We Need a Little Christmas." So I suspect there's going to be at least one Christmas scene.



Blogger Jason Rohrblogger said...

Merry Christmas, Dave! Wish I could be there to indulge in some Scotch abatement with you. OR I wish you could be here for decadent California beach bar-hopping and general Holiday merriment. I'll raise an extra glass in your honor...

12/24/2007 4:30 PM  

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