Monthly Archives: October 2014

I’m a dude and I’m wearing nail polish

My friend Kristen, who does nail polish tutorials and blogs for a cosmetics brand, and who uses the superior -en spelling of her name (who am I to argue?), recently commented that her husband will not let her do his nails.

She conducted a quick verbal survey of the men within earshot, asking, “Would you let a woman put nail polish on you?” I summarize the collective response thusly: NOOOOOOOOOOOO FREAKIN’ WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!

That is, the ones who didn’t immediately run and hide said that.

Witnessing this event unfold, my inner non-conformist felt a surge of adrenaline. My inner non-conformist is also well aware of my slow philosophical evolution on gender roles in modern society (in short, I’ve come to believe gender roles are largely meaningless constructs that often hold us back from being happy and pursuing interests for fear of being judged and ostracized).

All of which led to me announcing, “I’ll do it.”

The way I remember this moment, it was a TV show and the camera cut to me just after I spoke and the room had instantly fallen silent. A fine piece of comedic editing.

I picked the colors, but otherwise, Kristen knocked out this design in about 10 minutes today with no planning. And you know what? I’m just as much of a dude as I was before. Imagine that.

Eric's nails

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Eric's nails

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If you click on the last picture you’ll (probably) get a closer look. My favorite is the ring-finger web, though the middle finger bat is cute.

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I Wish I’d Written That #1

Jacques-Louis David "Patroclus"

“Patroclus” (1780) by Neoclassicism’s most revered painter, Jacques-Louis David

I scarcely need to ask: Have you ever come across a sentence or phrase so exquisitely capturing an idea or feeling that you were compelled to shout, “Why didn’t I write that!”

Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde might be popping into your head about now.

It happens to me all the time, but I then I forget because I’m a flake. Well, guess what. I’m going to keep track now.

Today’s entry belongs to art historian Hugh Honour and appears in his book Neo-Classicism, which was published in 1968 but not discovered and bought by me until two weeks ago at the Princeton Public Library’s used book section for $1.

Honour was talking about conventions so familiar to writers and artists that we master their use but no longer think about what they mean on a cultural or philosophical level.

He called such conventions “Furniture of the Mind.”

You have achieved total victory, Hugh Honour.*

*unless someone else thought of it first and I’m too much of a Philistine to realize that Honour was simply borrowing it.

Please share a thought or phrase below that made you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”


Fat shaming

No, I said "fat" shaming, not "hat" sha... never mind.

No, I said “fat” shaming, not “hat” sha… never mind.

Don’t worry. I’m not getting on my soapbox twice in one night.

Of course, no one is entitled to fat-shame others, and I doubt it produces the allegedly desired effect of  weight loss in the recipient of the shaming.

Unless that recipient is me! That’s right. I’m fat shaming myself. I’m allowed to.

For the past several years my Sketchers have been holding up 200 pounds, or 91 kilograms, of dude. Though I am only of average height, I carry my weight well because I am solidly built. That said, 200 pounds is not great for my health. I didn’t get this way eating carrots.

I decided it was time to lose weight (for real this time). Unfortunately, my willpower is far from amazing, which is why I often diet down to about 195 pounds and then put it right back on.

Two weeks ago, when I started dieting again, I said, “I’m going to do a post about my weight loss goal. Fear of public embarrassment helped me hit the first and second draft deadlines for my novel, so maybe it will work for my diet.”

My Significant Other said, “Yeah. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You’re far more disciplined as a writer than as an eater.”

The actual comment was probably closer to, “Don’t embarrass yourself, Chubsy Ubsy,” but I’m trying to make her look more supportive than she really is.

Anyway, the scale read 195 pounds this morning. My goal is 175.

I’m not setting a deadline because I have no idea how long it will take, and because I don’t need one. I will either continue to lose weight, or I will cave in to the lure of junk food well before I get anywhere close to 175 pounds.

Wish me luck!

If you’re curious, my diet method is the only one that ever works without the assistance of a surgeon: Burning more calories than I take in.


A little sliver of writing motivation, just for you

Cue the music.

Any writer with hopes of publication experiences moments of doubt, sometimes wondering if the game is rigged. That is, unless you are in the Super Secret Club and know the special handshake, you won’t ever be accepted. You don’t even know where the clubhouse is for cryin’ out loud.

If you’re feeling like that these days, here’s a little shot of motivation: This week, four people I know… four real, not-in-a-super-secret-club writers I know had stories accepted or published. I don’t mean random bloggers I tracked down with publication-related tags so I could manufacture a post. I mean writers who regularly interact with me here or on Twitter.

Those writers are JH Mae, Barbara Myers, Jodi Milner, and Philip Wesley (whose announcement came on Twitter, hence no link).

See? Real humans do land stories. Come to think of it, I’m not sure Philip is entirely human, but he is a reasonable facsimile. His cat can’t tell the difference as far as we know.