Thursday, April 24, 2008

When White People Freak Out

So one thing they don’t tell you when you actually sell your book (huzzah!) is how much you will freak out like, say, a month before it’s published. Because you start to hear things. Like, if it doesn’t fly off the shelves in the first two weeks you’re basically screwed and will never write in this town again, missy. And also? The freaking out? Might be related to the fact that the “Book stuff to do” list now has more words than all three books in The Lord of the Rings. And you are starting to look an awful lot like Gollum. A pale, procrastinating Gollum.

So to distract yourself you watch documentaries about rape in the Congo or Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! And then get pissed because their Chicago show is sold out and you NEVER get to see any weird and brilliant comedians. Your parents do, because they’re cool. But you? You are not cool. You are too busy freaking out and adding to the Book stuff to do list. Or thinking about adding to it, and later berating yourself for not writing down those 'great ideas' you had earlier.

Not that I’m freaking out or anything. Not that I was rooting around the fridge for snacks tonight, found some ancient freezer-burned eggrolls and actually mused out loud, “Yeah, I’ll eat that,” and then considered what a great idea a weekly “Yeah, I’ll eat that!” blog feature might be, in which I eat dubious things I find in my fridge or cupboards, things that may or may not have melted or evaporated or solidified or done all kinds of elemental gymnastics to render them completely devoid of taste and nutrition. I even thought, “Hey! Yeah! I could have pictures of me eating the mystery materials that began their life in a food-state. What a great goddamn idea!!!”

Well no, I don’t really want to inflict such pain on my digestive system because all this worrying is already doing enough of a number on it. (Hello! Your intestines would like to petition for daily meditation and yoga and a vacation and relaxing things you tend to avoid!)

So anyway, yes, things are happening on the book front. Driving Sideways will be a Target Break-Out book this summer (where’s my fainting couch? WHERE’S MY FAINTING COUCH!?) and hey, guess what? It’s an eBook, too! For the bargain basement price of ten dollars. I feel all up with technology now. Even though I probably couldn’t figure out how to read my own ebook. You are, after all, reading someone who still wings it with her digital camera, despite the fact that it’s chock-full of neat-o, keen-o features. Every video clip I shoot ends with me shouting to J, “How do I turn it off?”

Here’s a fun story for you: my editor is also working on the book by the guy behind Stuff White People Like. I got all embarrassed because the latest entry said white people like New Balance running shoes, and guess who just bought a new pair of New Balance running shoes? Yeah, well, in my defense, I only bought them because they emerged slightly ahead of the other shoe contenders when I had to weigh comfort vs. ugliness. And yes, they are ugly. I feel like I’m wearing mesh diaper paddles on my feet. Comfortable, pillow-like mesh diaper paddles.

Also, I like Target, dinner parties, San Francisco, free healthcare, bad memories of high school, standing still at concerts, recycling, public radio, indie music, Arrested Development, The Daily Show, renovations, vegetarianism, breakfast places, Mos Def, difficult breakups, and I have threatened to move to Canada. Yeah, that's right. I'm so white I'm practically translucent.

(PS: I know this might shock you, but not all white people like public radio. Some of them like Rush Limbaugh and listen to him outdoors while building a new porch in the neighborhood. And then others, who do like public radio, blast Garden Talk through their living room windows.)


  1. dude. you're publishing a book practically tomorrow.

    that kicks major ass.

    (ps. get some bronzer to counter-act that weird gollum-esque thing.)

    and *I* will be buying it at target. ASAP. cuz i am also white, and therefore, love target.

  2. Anonymous12:16 PM

    COngrats on your book! This is tres opinionated for my first comment on your blog but I've read the white people thing. I don't know, why should we be embarrassed? It's kindof like everyone else has a license to poke fun at the crackers but we don't go round saying other ethnicities like turnip greens, fried chicken, refried beans, or moo-goo-gai-pan, rottweilers, low-rider trucks, right? Yes i guess I'm talking reverse-discrimination. Whatever. I fucking heart Target(and using the word "heart" as a verb) and vegetables and recycling and Al Gore and yoga and all that caucasian shiot. What do I have to like to be cool again? I really dig Kanye does that count? Love your blog, will be back. Peace out!

  3. OK, seriously? I can go to my favorite store on the face of the earth and buy a book by my favorite blogger (soon to be favorite author) in less than a month?! NO FREAKIN' WAY!!! I cannot wait!!! And don't worry, cuz me and all of my SOHM friends will buy it and, well, it will fly off the shelves faster than non-bisphenol-A baby bottles!!! Hot damn!!! This is really so very cool. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap - BRAVO!!!

  4. Congrats on the Target deal. Having read the book, I can honestly say that you deserve to be the Break Out Book!!!

  5. Have I mentioned that I pre-ordered this book like eons ago and it had better come SOON?!? I'm thinking of taking the day off after it arrives in my mailbox so that I can read it in one sitting.

    Ha! I love that you're canceling out Limbaugh with Public Radio. Keep up the good work!

  6. I don't like public radio but I love Target. What color am I?
    I finally did your meme today, go check it out if you wish!
    I am still looking forward to reading your book. I have yet to try an ebook, not sure if I would like it. With my dial-up it might take a year to download the whole thing anyways.

  7. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Have you seen this funny knockoff?

  8. I've looked at the stuff white people like, and yeah, it's yuppies they're talking about. I guess because white yuppies like to read about themselves, whereas white red necks might prefer to be out changing the oil or something. I don't know. I listen to NPR, after all. ;)

    I'm SO excited about your book. Can't wait.

  9. Man, you are freakin funny... for a translucent woman.

    Woo-hoo... my book is getting closer!

    And I'm quite sure Garden Talk kicks Rush Limbaugh's butt - every time.

  10. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Reading your post even made *me* nervous. I'm sure it will be fine, Jess. You're a brilliant writer, and it sounds like that is being recognized. And you will definitely publish again.

    Also, major congratulations on both the ebook format and, especially the Target pick. That's really great.

  11. My favorite store is going to feature your book and I read your blog, therefore I kinda know you!!!???? Could life get any better than this?! I am so not downloading it, I want to feel it and show it to all my touchable friends and say, "I know this girl and she just wrote this great book and it's for sale at Target and you can't borrow mine because she would probably like some money for her efforts!"
    Hang in there Jess, it will be great!

  12. Your book is going to kick ass. And Target?! I swoon for you.

  13. I was just over at Random House reading the first chapter of the book - I LOVE IT!! I cannot wait for it to come out. I just want to tell you that you had me at...(Insert first word in book here.) Really. It's terrific. Congratulations!

  14. Drinks on Tuesday.. lets try to exercise a little self control this time!!

    Manic Mom said YOU were trying to BLAME ME for the extra drinkys, which is clearly a lie, you little jedi mind manipulator you.

    eieieieieieieie SHOTS!!

  15. Wow, congrats on your new book coming out. That's great. I need to get off my ass and finish one of mine.

  16. I feel like such a country bumpkin here, as I live in Canada, no Target for me...
    And I am missing out on so much culture for the lack of one...
    Can not wait to see the book when it travels across the border!

  17. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Not to worry! If your brilliant blog is any indication, I'm sure we'll all be buying extra copies and giving them as gifts. I can't wait!

  18. Hey, I just had a good idea. I think it's a good idea. I'm not so sure now. You'll have to let me know.

    When, exactly, is your book coming out? Because not only will I go buy it (obviously), in the first two weeks, but maybe I can put a pic of me nude on my blog READING it...with it, you know...covering my woo-haa to promote it! See? I bet at least one of my 4 readers would like it.

    Probably that asshole who wrote to me and said, "Nice body! You should wrestle"."

    yeah...That's EXACTLY what I want to hear after working hard on an apparently not so funny and brilliant post.

    Okay, so whaddya think? Me? Nude with your book on my peep?

    What the hell is wrong with me?