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Moodswing - Bad words

The things we leave behind

My mechanic told me I can't hit anything with my car anymore, so I guess there goes the rest of my day. Originally I had planned to spend it practicing backing my trailer into my driveway, but already a big hunk of the morning had been wasted reattaching my front bumper, which somehow got torn off after only the first few minutes.

"You're missing a bracket, so that bumper is just glued on," my mechanic, whose name is Kong, informed me. "The slightest tap and it will fall back off again."

I am still unsure how my front bumper got torn off as I was backing up. I do recall that my bumper was attached when I drove off, trailer in tow, from my book signing at Outwrite Bookstore the night before, and it probably stayed that way all the way home, at which point, after copious practice backups – turning the front this way so the back would go that way – after I thought I'd backed it in successfully, after I'd patted myself on the back for a job well-done, after I'd turned the key off in the ignition of my car, I looked forward to notice that I'd left a big hunk of it behind.

"How did that happen?" my daughter Mae asked as she walked right on by my bumper and did not help me pick it up or anything.

"Oh, hell if I know," I said.

"Quarter!" she yelled. Mae charges me a quarter for every bad word she hears me say, and she's very entrepreneurial, so her definition of profanity is a lot more broad than mine.

"'Hell' is not a bad word!" I insisted.

"Quarter!"

"I can say 'hell'!"

"Quarter!"

Even though she's only 8, I remember a hundred years ago when she was born, the idiocy of my conviction that I could continue my life as it was and somehow she would fit right into it. New parents always think they can pull that off, which explains why you see babies in trendy bars a lot, because their trendy parents still think their lives haven't changed. I personally practically grew up in a bar, though not a trendy one, where my dad spent his days and where Kit the beehived bartender used to pay me a quarter to erase the bad words off the bathroom walls. Like Mae, I was an entrepreneurial child, and there were a lot of bad words on the bathroom walls. It turned out Kit was partial to most of them and the only one she really wanted erased was the word "nigger," which appeared, at the most, maybe three times a week. Still, though, the gig wasn't bad, and I was able to save enough money to buy a bongo drum from the liquor store next door.

It was probably around then when I realized the tool of my future trade would be words, many of them bad ones, and I remain quite partial to most of them. Expression is essential, I keep telling my kid. You can't interfere with someone else's and you can't let someone else interfere with yours. I'm very big on that, even though I stopped playing OutKast in my car the day 3-year-old Mae sang along with the words, "I got my mouth on my mike and my hand on my dick!"

By then I'd already published two books with the words "bitch" and "slut" in their respective titles. I figured readers would get the joke, and most of them did, but still there were a few cerebral cinder blocks out there who took big enough offense that it actually eventually affected Mae, who asked me, "Why do you use bad words in your books?"

So I had to remind her that, you know, freedom of expression is super important, and you have to be careful because one of the most common ways to inhibit another's expression is to declare offense to it. In fact, no single word is a bad word, it all depends on the context surrounding it, and you can't point to a single word standing alone and call it "bad" any more than you can point to a pile of flour on a table and call it cake. It depends on how you mix it. Until then it's all just ingredients.

Now my third book is out, and the cover is different than I had originally planned, because I'd planned on continuing the joke by putting the word "whore" in the title, but by the time the book was due the joke wasn't so funny anymore. Lord, but isn't that always how it is? You have kids and your life changes without you even knowing it. You might think you're progressing just as you always have, but really you're just backing along ass first, turning your life this way to make it go the other way, and just as you're patting yourself on the back for a job well done, you look forward to see you've left a big hunk of it behind.

Hollis is touring with the Shocking Real-Life Memoir-Writing Seminar and her latest book, Trailer Trashed (www.hollisgillespie.com).



More By This Writer

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Take my airline job. For three years after I appeared on "The Tonight Show," I still donned my apron every weekend to serve people Cokes across the Atlantic. My supervisor, Sam, would often holler, "What the hell are you still doing here?" as though I had better places to be. (By the way, Leno kissed me, too, as did Elijah Wood, the other guest, so Clooney is not the first celebrity with whom I have fornicated.) But because banks won't let you take a tape of yourself on "Leno" to the counter and say, "So we're good on my mortgage, right?" without demanding actual cash to go with it, I still couldn't bring myself to trust a buck unless I was breaking my ass to make it.

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Now here Creative Loafing just declared bankruptcy — again, probably not very much my fault. In fact, the editor, Ken, was in the actual act of declaring it to the staff when I floated in with my own declaration that I'm jumping ship to become a columnist at Atlanta magazine. I would have noted my perfect timing if I wasn't way too busy having group sex with celebrities.

Anyway, people have long been telling me I hog this column space – I'm not gonna name specific names, but they start with "G" and end with "rant and Lary" – and how I should move on and let someone with more talent (aka any other writer at Creative Loafing and three-quarters of the people who enroll in my writing seminars) showcase their creativity, and I know they're right, but I have that problem with letting go. In fact, I never thought I'd let go of this column until I'd embarrassed Ken so much he had to ask me to. But no matter how hard I tried, Ken never asked me to let go.

But then I had sex with George Clooney and changed. So don't let anyone tell you I'm leaving to be nice, to give someone else a chance, to free up the budget or whatever – in fact, I take no credit for the fact that after I left Delta they were able to pull their own asses out of bankruptcy. No, after eight years I am stepping aside for my own damn good. Still, though, when I hugged Ken goodbye I clung to him like a little squid.

"Hollis, let go," Ken said, "You're embarrassing me."

Well, it's about fucking time, I thought. But I continued to hug him anyway, because I don't work for him anymore and I don't have to do what he says. Besides, I have issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com."
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So unless anyone else here has had sex with George Clooney, then I guess I will serve as the authority on what it's like, and it's stupendous. Afterward I even clung to him a little, like a little squid. I've always had issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Take my airline job. For three years after I appeared on "The Tonight Show," I still donned my apron every weekend to serve people Cokes across the Atlantic. My supervisor, Sam, would often holler, "What the hell are you still doing here?" as though I had better places to be. (By the way, Leno kissed me, too, as did Elijah Wood, the other guest, so Clooney is not the first celebrity with whom I have fornicated.) But because banks won't let you take a tape of yourself on "Leno" to the counter and say, "So we're good on my mortgage, right?" without demanding actual cash to go with it, I still couldn't bring myself to trust a buck unless I was breaking my ass to make it.

Then my airline went bankrupt, which was probably not very much my fault, and the day came when Sam my supervisor pointed out – not with actual words, but still – how greedy it would be for me to keep my position when doing so would take it away from another girl who really needed it. But don't make me out to be all benevolent, because like I said, I have issues with letting go, and I would have clung to that job until they pried the peanuts from my cold, dead fingers. But I could see Sam was holding my employee file like it was all heavy from all the notations from the hundred times I called in sick over the years, probably most noteworthy my personal tapeworm panic of 1998, and I got the point.

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__Now here ''Creative Loafing''__ just declared bankruptcy -- again, probably not very much my fault. In fact, the editor, Ken, was in the actual act of declaring it to the staff when I floated in with my own declaration that I'm jumping ship to become a columnist at ''Atlanta'' magazine. I would have noted my perfect timing if I wasn't way too busy having group sex with celebrities.

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"Hollis, let go," Ken said, "You're embarrassing me."

Well, it's about fucking time, I thought. But I continued to hug him anyway, because I don't work for him anymore and I don't have to do what he says. Besides, I have issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

''Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book,'' Trailer Trashed'', is out now. [http://www.hollisgillespie.com/|www.hollisgillespie.com].''"
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So unless anyone else here has had sex with George Clooney, then I guess I will serve as the authority on what it's like, and it's stupendous. Afterward I even clung to him a little, like a little squid. I've always had issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Take my airline job. For three years after I appeared on "The Tonight Show," I still donned my apron every weekend to serve people Cokes across the Atlantic. My supervisor, Sam, would often holler, "What the hell are you still doing here?" as though I had better places to be. (By the way, Leno kissed me, too, as did Elijah Wood, the other guest, so Clooney is not the first celebrity with whom I have fornicated.) But because banks won't let you take a tape of yourself on "Leno" to the counter and say, "So we're good on my mortgage, right?" without demanding actual cash to go with it, I still couldn't bring myself to trust a buck unless I was breaking my ass to make it.

Then my airline went bankrupt, which was probably not very much my fault, and the day came when Sam my supervisor pointed out – not with actual words, but still – how greedy it would be for me to keep my position when doing so would take it away from another girl who really needed it. But don't make me out to be all benevolent, because like I said, I have issues with letting go, and I would have clung to that job until they pried the peanuts from my cold, dead fingers. But I could see Sam was holding my employee file like it was all heavy from all the notations from the hundred times I called in sick over the years, probably most noteworthy my personal tapeworm panic of 1998, and I got the point.

So I didn't leave to be nice, I left for my own damn good. Today, though, I am really grateful to Sam, because if he had not gently ushered me out of that job, I might not have gone on to have sex with George Clooney and become better than everyone else. By the way, when I hugged Sam goodbye I clung to him like a little squid.

Now here Creative Loafing just declared bankruptcy — again, probably not very much my fault. In fact, the editor, Ken, was in the actual act of declaring it to the staff when I floated in with my own declaration that I'm jumping ship to become a columnist at Atlanta magazine. I would have noted my perfect timing if I wasn't way too busy having group sex with celebrities.

Anyway, people have long been telling me I hog this column space – I'm not gonna name specific names, but they start with "G" and end with "rant and Lary" – and how I should move on and let someone with more talent (aka any other writer at Creative Loafing and three-quarters of the people who enroll in my writing seminars) showcase their creativity, and I know they're right, but I have that problem with letting go. In fact, I never thought I'd let go of this column until I'd embarrassed Ken so much he had to ask me to. But no matter how hard I tried, Ken never asked me to let go.

But then I had sex with George Clooney and changed. So don't let anyone tell you I'm leaving to be nice, to give someone else a chance, to free up the budget or whatever – in fact, I take no credit for the fact that after I left Delta they were able to pull their own asses out of bankruptcy. No, after eight years I am stepping aside for my own damn good. Still, though, when I hugged Ken goodbye I clung to him like a little squid.

"Hollis, let go," Ken said, "You're embarrassing me."

Well, it's about fucking time, I thought. But I continued to hug him anyway, because I don't work for him anymore and I don't have to do what he says. Besides, I have issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com.             13028323 1275765                          Moodswing - Sex with George Clooney "
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Article

Wednesday October 8, 2008 12:04 am EDT
And other acts of farewell | more...
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  string(4627) "Grant now believes his black ass has special powers, and I would never have believed him except for yesterday. But before I tell you what happened, and by the way I cannot wait to tell you what happened, I have to explain that Grant has been saying lately that things happen to him, special things, when he's wearing his black ass, as opposed to when he's wearing the white one, even though he bought both from the same online fake padded-ass purveyor.

"Why would your black ass be magic and the white one not be?" I asked.

"I don't question the magic," he said. "I just sit back and let it happen."

But Grant's definition of magic must be a lot more sweeping than mine, because I don't exactly consider magical the fact that he makes more bartending tips when he's wearing his black padded ass instead of the white one or none at all, and the fact remains that he almost always wears the black one. He simply prefers it – especially now that he thinks it's magical – so if special things are going to happen the odds are better of them happening during black-ass time.

And let me take a minute to say, also, that you cannot even tell Grant is wearing a padded ass unless he yanks it up past his waistband to show you. In fact, if you ask me Grant would have to wear 50 pairs of those padded underwear for them to have any effect, because Grant's natural ass is not just flat, it's concave.

But maybe Grant is just trying to take it slowly, the building of his ass; maybe he doesn't want to burst on the scene with a butt where up until recently there was none at all. Who knows, there might need to be some sort of acclimation process. I'm reminded of the passengers on the international flights I used to work, and how they'd plug their ears and pop a handful of Valium to ensure they experienced as little of the journey as possible, so when they arrived they were not prepared. This is opposed to back in the day when people traveled by camelback to the horn of Africa and whatnot. They couldn't help going from one place to the other without acclimating to the people they encountered along the way.

Anyway, Grant and I are in Beverly Hills, an occasion to which Grant credits the power of his black ass. I personally credit our visit with the fact that I wrote a book and the film rights got optioned and it was, like, hard work and shit, but whatever. We had a meeting at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is a super nice place that evidently, and surprisingly, has no door policy or discrimination process at all, because they let Grant wade on in wearing faded Vans, frayed cutoffs, a T-shirt that said, "Smile You Empty Soul," and a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him wearing a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him. He was also carrying a plastic bag from the 99-cent store.

We had not gotten two steps past the hostess podium when Grant whispered to me, "George Clooney." And that was all he said, but then that is all he had to say. And I heard Grant say the magic words. I heard him say "George Clooney," but I could not turn around just then on account of how, you know, the perfection of that man's visage might cremate my corneas. But Grant was wearing his padded black ass, so he pushed me on toward Mr. George goddamn fucking Clooney, who had gotten up from his table to greet us – OK, not us in general, but our friend Laura in particular, who was with us, so that counts – and Laura, like, introduced me to George goddamn fucking Clooney, said my name that actually went into his ears and triggered his synapses and everything, and, I swear this is true, GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME!!!!!! GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME I SWEAR HE DID YOU CAN ASK GRANT HE WAS THERE GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME ON MY RIGHT CHEEK I HAVE GEORGE CLOONEY DNA ON MY CHEEK HE KISSED ME ON MY CHEEK KISSED ME KISSED ME KISSED ME.

And right there I was reminded of the passengers I used to serve on the international flights again. Because here Grant and I were, somehow having arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel, somehow the guests of one movie star and thereby privy to this conversation with another – Grant with his magic black ass and me with my corneas set to cremate, and it occurred to me that I missed the acclimation process. I am unprepared. Then George goddamn fucking Clooney said goodbye and kissed me AGAIN! I SWEAR IT HAPPENED ASK GRANT GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME AGAIN HE KISSED ME TWICE TWO TIMES I MADE OUT WITH GEORGE CLOONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com"
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  string(4713) "Grant now believes his black ass has special powers, and I would never have believed him except for yesterday. But before I tell you what happened, and by the way I cannot ''wait'' to tell you what happened, I have to explain that Grant has been saying lately that things happen to him, special things, when he's wearing his black ass, as opposed to when he's wearing the white one, even though he bought both from the same online fake padded-ass purveyor.

"Why would your black ass be magic and the white one not be?" I asked.

"I don't ''question'' the magic," he said. "I just sit back and let it happen."

But Grant's definition of magic must be a lot more sweeping than mine, because I don't exactly consider magical the fact that he makes more bartending tips when he's wearing his black padded ass instead of the white one or none at all, and the fact remains that he almost ''always'' wears the black one. He simply prefers it – especially now that he thinks it's magical – so if special things are going to happen the odds are better of them happening during black-ass time.

And let me take a minute to say, also, that you cannot even tell Grant is wearing a padded ass unless he yanks it up past his waistband to show you. In fact, if you ask me Grant would have to wear 50 pairs of those padded underwear for them to have any effect, because Grant's natural ass is not just flat, it's ''concave''.

But maybe Grant is just trying to take it slowly, the building of his ass; maybe he doesn't want to burst on the scene with a butt where up until recently there was none at all. Who knows, there might need to be some sort of acclimation process. I'm reminded of the passengers on the international flights I used to work, and how they'd plug their ears and pop a handful of Valium to ensure they experienced as little of the journey as possible, so when they arrived they were not prepared. This is opposed to back in the day when people traveled by camelback to the horn of Africa and whatnot. They couldn't help going from one place to the other without acclimating to the people they encountered along the way.

__Anyway, Grant and I__ are in Beverly Hills, an occasion to which Grant credits the power of his black ass. I personally credit our visit with the fact that I wrote a book and the film rights got optioned and it was, like, hard work and shit, but ''whatever''. We had a meeting at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is a super nice place that evidently, and surprisingly, has no door policy or discrimination process at all, because they let Grant wade on in wearing faded Vans, frayed cutoffs, a T-shirt that said, "Smile You Empty Soul," and a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him wearing a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him. He was also carrying a plastic bag from the 99-cent store.

We had not gotten two steps past the hostess podium when Grant whispered to me, "George Clooney." And that was all he said, but then that is all he had to say. And I ''heard'' Grant say the magic words. I heard him say "George Clooney," but I could not turn around just then on account of how, you know, the perfection of that man's visage might cremate my corneas. But Grant was wearing his padded black ass, so he pushed me on toward Mr. George goddamn fucking Clooney, who had ''gotten up from his table to greet us'' – OK, not ''us'' in general, but our friend Laura in particular, who was ''with us'', so that counts – and Laura, like, ''introduced'' me to George goddamn fucking Clooney, said my name that actually went into his ears and triggered his synapses and everything, and, I swear this is true, GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME!!!!!! GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME I SWEAR HE DID YOU CAN ASK GRANT HE WAS THERE GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME ON MY RIGHT CHEEK I HAVE GEORGE CLOONEY DNA ON MY CHEEK HE KISSED ME ON MY CHEEK KISSED ME KISSED ME KISSED ME.

And right there I was reminded of the passengers I used to serve on the international flights again. Because here Grant and I were, somehow having arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel, somehow the guests of one movie star and thereby privy to this conversation with another – Grant with his magic black ass and me with my corneas set to cremate, and it occurred to me that I missed the acclimation process. I am unprepared. Then George goddamn fucking Clooney said goodbye and kissed me AGAIN! I SWEAR IT HAPPENED ASK GRANT GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME AGAIN HE KISSED ME TWICE TWO TIMES I MADE OUT WITH GEORGE CLOONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

''Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book,'' Trailer Trashed'', is out now. [http://www.hollisgillespie.com/|www.hollisgillespie.com]''"
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  string(4891) "    Is there a way to prepare for making out with movie stars?   2008-10-01T04:04:00+00:00 Moodswing - Acclimation process   Hollis Gillespie 1223585 2008-10-01T04:04:00+00:00  Grant now believes his black ass has special powers, and I would never have believed him except for yesterday. But before I tell you what happened, and by the way I cannot wait to tell you what happened, I have to explain that Grant has been saying lately that things happen to him, special things, when he's wearing his black ass, as opposed to when he's wearing the white one, even though he bought both from the same online fake padded-ass purveyor.

"Why would your black ass be magic and the white one not be?" I asked.

"I don't question the magic," he said. "I just sit back and let it happen."

But Grant's definition of magic must be a lot more sweeping than mine, because I don't exactly consider magical the fact that he makes more bartending tips when he's wearing his black padded ass instead of the white one or none at all, and the fact remains that he almost always wears the black one. He simply prefers it – especially now that he thinks it's magical – so if special things are going to happen the odds are better of them happening during black-ass time.

And let me take a minute to say, also, that you cannot even tell Grant is wearing a padded ass unless he yanks it up past his waistband to show you. In fact, if you ask me Grant would have to wear 50 pairs of those padded underwear for them to have any effect, because Grant's natural ass is not just flat, it's concave.

But maybe Grant is just trying to take it slowly, the building of his ass; maybe he doesn't want to burst on the scene with a butt where up until recently there was none at all. Who knows, there might need to be some sort of acclimation process. I'm reminded of the passengers on the international flights I used to work, and how they'd plug their ears and pop a handful of Valium to ensure they experienced as little of the journey as possible, so when they arrived they were not prepared. This is opposed to back in the day when people traveled by camelback to the horn of Africa and whatnot. They couldn't help going from one place to the other without acclimating to the people they encountered along the way.

Anyway, Grant and I are in Beverly Hills, an occasion to which Grant credits the power of his black ass. I personally credit our visit with the fact that I wrote a book and the film rights got optioned and it was, like, hard work and shit, but whatever. We had a meeting at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is a super nice place that evidently, and surprisingly, has no door policy or discrimination process at all, because they let Grant wade on in wearing faded Vans, frayed cutoffs, a T-shirt that said, "Smile You Empty Soul," and a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him wearing a trucker hat emblazoned with a picture of him. He was also carrying a plastic bag from the 99-cent store.

We had not gotten two steps past the hostess podium when Grant whispered to me, "George Clooney." And that was all he said, but then that is all he had to say. And I heard Grant say the magic words. I heard him say "George Clooney," but I could not turn around just then on account of how, you know, the perfection of that man's visage might cremate my corneas. But Grant was wearing his padded black ass, so he pushed me on toward Mr. George goddamn fucking Clooney, who had gotten up from his table to greet us – OK, not us in general, but our friend Laura in particular, who was with us, so that counts – and Laura, like, introduced me to George goddamn fucking Clooney, said my name that actually went into his ears and triggered his synapses and everything, and, I swear this is true, GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME!!!!!! GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME I SWEAR HE DID YOU CAN ASK GRANT HE WAS THERE GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME ON MY RIGHT CHEEK I HAVE GEORGE CLOONEY DNA ON MY CHEEK HE KISSED ME ON MY CHEEK KISSED ME KISSED ME KISSED ME.

And right there I was reminded of the passengers I used to serve on the international flights again. Because here Grant and I were, somehow having arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel, somehow the guests of one movie star and thereby privy to this conversation with another – Grant with his magic black ass and me with my corneas set to cremate, and it occurred to me that I missed the acclimation process. I am unprepared. Then George goddamn fucking Clooney said goodbye and kissed me AGAIN! I SWEAR IT HAPPENED ASK GRANT GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME AGAIN HE KISSED ME TWICE TWO TIMES I MADE OUT WITH GEORGE CLOONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com             13028270 1275586                          Moodswing - Acclimation process "
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Wednesday October 1, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Is there a way to prepare for making out with movie stars? | more...
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  string(41) "Moodswing - Free booze at the Bone Garden"
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  string(39) "Trying to weasel into the working class"
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  string(4669) "Giant Michael always swore he'd never open another restaurant, but then he always swore this while I was bugging him for a bartending gig at either of the two he already owned. "Bitch, I have all the bartenders I need," he'd say as I harangued him, "and no I won't open another restaurant just so you'll have something to do while you should be writing. And by the way, it's never effective to address your potential boss as 'retard.'"

I started haranguing him after Keiger refused to hire me at the Local, which infuriated me, especially since Keiger hired Grant, which shows he has no standard for employees or concern for his patrons whatsoever. So I figured I'd go to Keiger's competitor, see?

"Whaddaya think about that?" I goaded him.

"You should be writing," Keiger responded. "Don't you have a book due or something?"

Lord, sometimes I think Keiger and Giant Michael are in cahoots to keep me out of the working class. I've known them both for more than a decade and every time I ask them for a job they tell me I'm a writer, "that's your job." Don't they know it's part of my creative process to be bad at a blue-collar gig while I'm scribbling for my real one? I used to be a flight attendant, and I was terrible at that job! It was wonderful. I got three book deals and a T.V. deal out of it. Then my airline went bankrupt (probably not because of me), and ever since I've been pining to recreate that perfect balance of avoiding one job while doing another.

"Hell yes I have a book due," I said. "I can't write it unless I'm supposed to be busy doing something else. Please let me bartend, just for one night."

"You're a good writer but you are the worst bartender," he said. Lord, I seriously don't know how Keiger bases his assessments, because the one time I did bartend for him at the Local all his customers practically passed me around on their shoulders at the end of the night, so profuse was their love for me. "That's because you don't charge people!" Keiger hollered.

"That's my process. Don't denigrate my process," I hollered back. "By the way, notice how popular the place is now? You're welcome."

Occasionally I still go to the Local and act like I own the place. Keiger allows me to behave this way because we used to date and I let him off easy when that phase in our friendship ended. I figure he's either so grateful I didn't make a horrible scene or so terrified I'm still set to stage one that he sort of lets me get away with murder. I've discovered this affords me way more power over him than when I was his actual girlfriend, because, in essence, he's really worried I still love him. The secret is I do, but not in a way that he needs to be worried about. I would never ever tell him this, though, because if I did he might stop being afraid of me, and the power, I tell you, is intoxicating.

But in the end Keiger's ultimate appreciation of profit always outweighs his fear of me and he puts his foot down about any more official guest bartending gigs at the Local. So even though I love him – and Grant, too – this means war. And if you're gonna go to war it's good to have a giant on your side. One visit is all it took, and Giant Michael did not even for a second hardly hesitate at all, pretty much, this time when I proffered the guest bartending idea.

He's opened a new place regardless of the fact that he swore he never would. It's an artsy Mexican bistro called the Bone Garden, which is so hip it's practically secretly located. It took me a month to become cool enough just to patronize the place, and even then I had to go with Grant, who, for some reason, is always afforded a red-carpet welcome wherever the hell he goes.

Michael met us at the door, weary from working endless hours, which I recognized as a perfect time to pry on his resolve. He agreed to let me bartend one night – Thursday, Sept. 25 – but made me promise I'd charge people. I never dated him, so he's not afraid of me, so I probably have to keep that promise. Knowing me, though, I will buy a lot of rounds and then talk Michael out of making me pony up for them.

"Maybe Lary can show up and distribute pornographic refrigerator magnets," I volunteered helpfully, not disclosing that the last time I guest bartended at the Local, Lary commandeered the Jäger machine and hosed down the crowd with free hooch before passing out under the sink. I got a whole book chapter from that one night alone.

Giant Michael nodded distractedly. He looks exhausted, I thought giddily. This'll be perfect.

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com"
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  string(4739) "Giant Michael always swore he'd never open another restaurant, but then he always swore this while I was bugging him for a bartending gig at either of the two he already owned. "Bitch, I have all the bartenders I need," he'd say as I harangued him, "and no I won't open another restaurant just so you'll have something to do while you should be writing. And by the way, it's never effective to address your potential boss as 'retard.'"

I started haranguing him after Keiger refused to hire me at the Local, which infuriated me, especially since Keiger hired Grant, which shows he has no standard for employees or concern for his patrons whatsoever. So I figured I'd go to Keiger's competitor, see?

"Whaddaya think about ''that''?" I goaded him.

"You should be ''writing''," Keiger responded. "Don't you have a book due or something?"

Lord, sometimes I think Keiger and Giant Michael are in cahoots to keep me out of the working class. I've known them both for more than a decade and every time I ask them for a job they tell me I'm a writer, "that's your job." Don't they know it's part of my creative process to be bad at a blue-collar gig while I'm scribbling for my real one? I used to be a flight attendant, and I was terrible at that job! It was wonderful. I got three book deals and a T.V. deal out of it. Then my airline went bankrupt (probably not because of me), and ever since I've been pining to recreate that perfect balance of avoiding one job while doing another.

"Hell yes I have a book due," I said. "I can't write it unless I'm supposed to be busy doing something else. Please let me bartend, just for one night."

"You're a good writer but you are the worst bartender," he said. Lord, I seriously don't know how Keiger bases his assessments, because the one time I did bartend for him at the Local all his customers practically passed me around on their shoulders at the end of the night, so profuse was their love for me. "That's because you don't ''charge'' people!" Keiger hollered.

"That's my ''process''. Don't denigrate my process," I hollered back. "By the way, notice how popular the place is now? You're welcome."

__Occasionally I still__ go to the Local and act like I own the place. Keiger allows me to behave this way because we used to date and I let him off easy when that phase in our friendship ended. I figure he's either so grateful I didn't make a horrible scene or so terrified I'm still set to stage one that he sort of lets me get away with murder. I've discovered this affords me way more power over him than when I was his actual girlfriend, because, in essence, he's really worried I still love him. The secret is I do, but not in a way that he needs to be worried about. I would never ever tell him this, though, because if I did he might stop being afraid of me, and the power, I tell you, is intoxicating.

But in the end Keiger's ultimate appreciation of profit always outweighs his fear of me and he puts his foot down about any more official guest bartending gigs at the Local. So even though I love him – and Grant, too – this means war. And if you're gonna go to war it's good to have a giant on your side. One visit is all it took, and Giant Michael did not even for a second hardly hesitate ''at all'', pretty much, this time when I proffered the guest bartending idea.

He's opened a new place regardless of the fact that he swore he never would. It's an artsy Mexican bistro called the Bone Garden, which is so hip it's practically secretly located. It took me a month to become cool enough just to patronize the place, and even then I had to go with Grant, who, for some reason, is always afforded a red-carpet welcome wherever the hell he goes.

Michael met us at the door, weary from working endless hours, which I recognized as a perfect time to pry on his resolve. He agreed to let me bartend one night – Thursday, Sept. 25 – but made me promise I'd charge people. I never dated him, so he's not afraid of me, so I probably have to keep that promise. Knowing me, though, I will buy a lot of rounds and then talk Michael out of making me pony up for them.

"Maybe Lary can show up and distribute pornographic refrigerator magnets," I volunteered helpfully, not disclosing that the last time I guest bartended at the Local, Lary commandeered the Jäger machine and hosed down the crowd with free hooch before passing out under the sink. I got a whole book chapter from that one night alone.

Giant Michael nodded distractedly. He looks exhausted, I thought giddily. This'll be ''perfect''.

''Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book,'' Trailer Trashed'', is out now. [http://www.hollisgillespie.com/|www.hollisgillespie.com]''"
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I started haranguing him after Keiger refused to hire me at the Local, which infuriated me, especially since Keiger hired Grant, which shows he has no standard for employees or concern for his patrons whatsoever. So I figured I'd go to Keiger's competitor, see?

"Whaddaya think about that?" I goaded him.

"You should be writing," Keiger responded. "Don't you have a book due or something?"

Lord, sometimes I think Keiger and Giant Michael are in cahoots to keep me out of the working class. I've known them both for more than a decade and every time I ask them for a job they tell me I'm a writer, "that's your job." Don't they know it's part of my creative process to be bad at a blue-collar gig while I'm scribbling for my real one? I used to be a flight attendant, and I was terrible at that job! It was wonderful. I got three book deals and a T.V. deal out of it. Then my airline went bankrupt (probably not because of me), and ever since I've been pining to recreate that perfect balance of avoiding one job while doing another.

"Hell yes I have a book due," I said. "I can't write it unless I'm supposed to be busy doing something else. Please let me bartend, just for one night."

"You're a good writer but you are the worst bartender," he said. Lord, I seriously don't know how Keiger bases his assessments, because the one time I did bartend for him at the Local all his customers practically passed me around on their shoulders at the end of the night, so profuse was their love for me. "That's because you don't charge people!" Keiger hollered.

"That's my process. Don't denigrate my process," I hollered back. "By the way, notice how popular the place is now? You're welcome."

Occasionally I still go to the Local and act like I own the place. Keiger allows me to behave this way because we used to date and I let him off easy when that phase in our friendship ended. I figure he's either so grateful I didn't make a horrible scene or so terrified I'm still set to stage one that he sort of lets me get away with murder. I've discovered this affords me way more power over him than when I was his actual girlfriend, because, in essence, he's really worried I still love him. The secret is I do, but not in a way that he needs to be worried about. I would never ever tell him this, though, because if I did he might stop being afraid of me, and the power, I tell you, is intoxicating.

But in the end Keiger's ultimate appreciation of profit always outweighs his fear of me and he puts his foot down about any more official guest bartending gigs at the Local. So even though I love him – and Grant, too – this means war. And if you're gonna go to war it's good to have a giant on your side. One visit is all it took, and Giant Michael did not even for a second hardly hesitate at all, pretty much, this time when I proffered the guest bartending idea.

He's opened a new place regardless of the fact that he swore he never would. It's an artsy Mexican bistro called the Bone Garden, which is so hip it's practically secretly located. It took me a month to become cool enough just to patronize the place, and even then I had to go with Grant, who, for some reason, is always afforded a red-carpet welcome wherever the hell he goes.

Michael met us at the door, weary from working endless hours, which I recognized as a perfect time to pry on his resolve. He agreed to let me bartend one night – Thursday, Sept. 25 – but made me promise I'd charge people. I never dated him, so he's not afraid of me, so I probably have to keep that promise. Knowing me, though, I will buy a lot of rounds and then talk Michael out of making me pony up for them.

"Maybe Lary can show up and distribute pornographic refrigerator magnets," I volunteered helpfully, not disclosing that the last time I guest bartended at the Local, Lary commandeered the Jäger machine and hosed down the crowd with free hooch before passing out under the sink. I got a whole book chapter from that one night alone.

Giant Michael nodded distractedly. He looks exhausted, I thought giddily. This'll be perfect.

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. www.hollisgillespie.com             13028193 1275418                          Moodswing - Free booze at the Bone Garden "
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  string(4547) "I'd close my blinds, but my laziness outweighs my confidence that there are actually people outside interested in my half-nakedness. I actually believe they wouldn't really see me without looking twice anyway, and by the time they did their second take I would be somewhere else, skirting around at another vantage, ducking and dodging.

Because when it comes to laziness, I am inept. It takes a lot more energy to hop from hiding spot to hiding spot as I scurry to get dressed than it does to simply walk over to the window and twist that little stick that comes with all the cheap-ass brands of plastic blinds you buy at Lowe's. But if I did that then this place, which is already small, would be small and dark, and I am under the illusion that the more light you let in the larger the place looks. In fact, I should knock out my ceiling and install skylights, because I believe there's always more than one way to let the light in.

My mother taught me this trick when we were about to move again and looking for our 11th residence. I was 9 and had never noticed skylights before, then one day we walked into a house for rent and not only did it have skylights but a "cathedral ceiling." Let me say it was rare when I saw my mother excited about anything. Usually when I saw her she was trying to wind down from a day at work, sucking on her seventh menthol and turning the pages of a Mario Puzo novel, but here she was in this tiny empty house, so excited that every time she talked about the ceiling it was in capital letters, as in, "Look at this CATHEDRAL CEILING! I always wanted a CATHEDRAL CEILING!"

This was news, since my mother was an atheist. So that day in the potential rental house, I had no idea what my mother meant by "cathedral ceiling," because until then I had only been to church a total of maybe four times, and the church was square and squat and made of cinder block like a public toilet. This church did not have a "cathedral ceiling," but it did have a podium from which the preacher called forth sinners who were eager to accept Jesus into their hearts – "Open up and let the light in!" he'd holler – but perhaps more important is that the church had a bus that picked up the kids in our apartment complex every Sunday.

My atheist mother figured maybe a little religion wouldn't hurt us kids, and it certainly wouldn't hurt her to get us out of the house for a few hours so she could smoke her menthols and read her crime novels in peace, could it? But then one Sunday the church secretary went and kept me from heading to the preacher podium to get my soul saved for the fourth time that month ("You were saved last week, dear, and the week before that"), and when my mother heard about it she took issue. Because make no mistake, my mother may have been an atheist, but her sense of thrift outweighed her sense of conviction, and no one was gonna gyp her kids out of saved souls if saved souls were being handed out that day.

"You should be able to get your soul saved as many damn times as you want," she grumbled. "Stingy bastards."

We moved after that, and my father joked that it was due to the fact that the church bus would still come and wait for us every Sunday, and my mother was too lazy to wave it off with her lit cigarette from our second-floor window anymore. But if that were the case, then my mother was inept when it came to laziness, because it took a lot more effort to pack up all our asses and leave.

By then I had become a fearful Christian and my mother was still an atheist, but between the two of us she was the only one who knew what a cathedral ceiling looked like. We never did rent that particular house, because it turns out skylights and cathedral ceilings are expensive amenities, but I'll always remember my mother standing in the center of the tiny living room of that strange house, exclaiming with a sweep of her arm, "Look how the light opens this place up."

I always figured the day would come when my mother feared hell enough to finally accept Jesus into her heart, but she was as inept at being fearful as she was at being lazy, and she stayed an atheist until the day she died. Historically there had not been a lot of things my mother and I held in agreement, but by then there were at least two beliefs we had in common: one, that light always opens a place up, and two, that there is always more than one way to let it in.

Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. (www.hollisgillespie.com)"
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  string(4597) "I'd close my blinds, but my laziness outweighs my confidence that there are actually people outside interested in my half-nakedness. I actually believe they wouldn't really see me without looking twice anyway, and by the time they did their second take I would be somewhere else, skirting around at another vantage, ducking and dodging.

Because when it comes to laziness, I am inept. It takes a lot more energy to hop from hiding spot to hiding spot as I scurry to get dressed than it does to simply walk over to the window and twist that little stick that comes with all the cheap-ass brands of plastic blinds you buy at Lowe's. But if I did that then this place, which is already small, would be small and ''dark'', and I am under the illusion that the more light you let in the larger the place looks. In fact, I should knock out my ceiling and install skylights, because I believe there's always more than one way to let the light in.

My mother taught me this trick when we were about to move again and looking for our 11th residence. I was 9 and had never noticed skylights before, then one day we walked into a house for rent and not only did it have skylights but a "cathedral ceiling." Let me say it was rare when I saw my mother excited about anything. Usually when I saw her she was trying to wind down from a day at work, sucking on her seventh menthol and turning the pages of a Mario Puzo novel, but here she was in this tiny empty house, so excited that every time she talked about the ceiling it was in capital letters, as in, "Look at this CATHEDRAL CEILING! I always wanted a CATHEDRAL CEILING!"

This was news, since my mother was an atheist. So that day in the potential rental house, I had no idea what my mother meant by "cathedral ceiling," because until then I had only been to church a total of maybe four times, and the church was square and squat and made of cinder block like a public toilet. This church did not have a "cathedral ceiling," but it did have a podium from which the preacher called forth sinners who were eager to accept Jesus into their hearts – "Open up and let the light in!" he'd holler – but perhaps more important is that the church had a bus that picked up the kids in our apartment complex every Sunday.

__My atheist mother__ figured maybe a little religion wouldn't hurt us kids, and it certainly wouldn't hurt her to get us out of the house for a few hours so she could smoke her menthols and read her crime novels in peace, could it? But then one Sunday the church secretary went and kept me from heading to the preacher podium to get my soul saved for the fourth time that month ("You were saved last week, dear, and the week before that"), and when my mother heard about it she took issue. Because make no mistake, my mother may have been an atheist, but her sense of thrift outweighed her sense of conviction, and no one was gonna gyp her kids out of saved souls if saved souls were being handed out that day.

"You should be able to get your soul saved as many damn times as you want," she grumbled. "Stingy bastards."

We moved after that, and my father joked that it was due to the fact that the church bus would still come and wait for us every Sunday, and my mother was too lazy to wave it off with her lit cigarette from our second-floor window anymore. But if that were the case, then my mother was inept when it came to laziness, because it took a lot more effort to pack up all our asses and leave.

By then I had become a fearful Christian and my mother was still an atheist, but between the two of us she was the only one who knew what a cathedral ceiling looked like. We never did rent that particular house, because it turns out skylights and cathedral ceilings are expensive amenities, but I'll always remember my mother standing in the center of the tiny living room of that strange house, exclaiming with a sweep of her arm, "Look how the light opens this place up."

I always figured the day would come when my mother feared hell enough to finally accept Jesus into her heart, but she was as inept at being fearful as she was at being lazy, and she stayed an atheist until the day she died. Historically there had not been a lot of things my mother and I held in agreement, but by then there were at least two beliefs we had in common: one, that light always opens a place up, and two, that there is always more than one way to let it in.

''Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book,'' Trailer Trashed'', is out now. ([http://www.hollisgillespie.com/|www.hollisgillespie.com])''"
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Because when it comes to laziness, I am inept. It takes a lot more energy to hop from hiding spot to hiding spot as I scurry to get dressed than it does to simply walk over to the window and twist that little stick that comes with all the cheap-ass brands of plastic blinds you buy at Lowe's. But if I did that then this place, which is already small, would be small and dark, and I am under the illusion that the more light you let in the larger the place looks. In fact, I should knock out my ceiling and install skylights, because I believe there's always more than one way to let the light in.

My mother taught me this trick when we were about to move again and looking for our 11th residence. I was 9 and had never noticed skylights before, then one day we walked into a house for rent and not only did it have skylights but a "cathedral ceiling." Let me say it was rare when I saw my mother excited about anything. Usually when I saw her she was trying to wind down from a day at work, sucking on her seventh menthol and turning the pages of a Mario Puzo novel, but here she was in this tiny empty house, so excited that every time she talked about the ceiling it was in capital letters, as in, "Look at this CATHEDRAL CEILING! I always wanted a CATHEDRAL CEILING!"

This was news, since my mother was an atheist. So that day in the potential rental house, I had no idea what my mother meant by "cathedral ceiling," because until then I had only been to church a total of maybe four times, and the church was square and squat and made of cinder block like a public toilet. This church did not have a "cathedral ceiling," but it did have a podium from which the preacher called forth sinners who were eager to accept Jesus into their hearts – "Open up and let the light in!" he'd holler – but perhaps more important is that the church had a bus that picked up the kids in our apartment complex every Sunday.

My atheist mother figured maybe a little religion wouldn't hurt us kids, and it certainly wouldn't hurt her to get us out of the house for a few hours so she could smoke her menthols and read her crime novels in peace, could it? But then one Sunday the church secretary went and kept me from heading to the preacher podium to get my soul saved for the fourth time that month ("You were saved last week, dear, and the week before that"), and when my mother heard about it she took issue. Because make no mistake, my mother may have been an atheist, but her sense of thrift outweighed her sense of conviction, and no one was gonna gyp her kids out of saved souls if saved souls were being handed out that day.

"You should be able to get your soul saved as many damn times as you want," she grumbled. "Stingy bastards."

We moved after that, and my father joked that it was due to the fact that the church bus would still come and wait for us every Sunday, and my mother was too lazy to wave it off with her lit cigarette from our second-floor window anymore. But if that were the case, then my mother was inept when it came to laziness, because it took a lot more effort to pack up all our asses and leave.

By then I had become a fearful Christian and my mother was still an atheist, but between the two of us she was the only one who knew what a cathedral ceiling looked like. We never did rent that particular house, because it turns out skylights and cathedral ceilings are expensive amenities, but I'll always remember my mother standing in the center of the tiny living room of that strange house, exclaiming with a sweep of her arm, "Look how the light opens this place up."

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Hollis Gillespie founded the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is out now. (www.hollisgillespie.com)             13028150 1275335                          Moodswing - Cathedral ceiling "
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Wednesday September 10, 2008 12:04 am EDT
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  string(4683) "I made 77 friends in one day last week, which makes me nervous. Like, are they going to start asking me for things? I seriously cannot deal if they start wanting me to be their bridesmaid, for example, or to help them move, or to give them lifts to the airport. I'm already a walking wad of disappointment wrapped up in excuses when it comes to my in-front-of-me friends – Daniel, Grant and Lary – the ones who actually sit across the café tables from me and complain about my recent penchant for pillbox hats, for example. It's damn daunting enough just to be friends with this collection of hermit crabs, but now I've got 77 more, and that was just in the one day. The meter on my Facebook page is still, like, clocking, or whatever it does when it counts your friends. Are they gonna need me to help them deal with bad breakups and their grandparents' deaths or anything? Because isn't that what friends do for each other? Good friends?

My good friend Daniel would be a good example, even though he thinks I'm not speaking to him lately – probably because I haven't spoken to him lately. He missed the launch party of my third book, and even though the place was so packed you could hardly stand in there, his absence was felt, baby, yes it was. I am trying to stay mad at him, but I keep remembering what a good friend he's been, like the time he rocked me in his arms over a decade ago as I bawled my eyes out over a breakup. Lord, like that was any reason to cry – since then I have had plenty of real reasons to cry, believe me, like the birth of my child, who was so big when she was born she practically came out holding car keys and a learner's permit. Daniel was there for that, not the actual bloody birth part, but close enough.

But where was he the night of my launch party, huh? Sure, I got the phone message saying he was sick, blah, blah. Ha! I say Daniel's sick ass should have been there even if he had to drag bags of intravenous fluids behind him. Sick! Like I haven't used that excuse a hundred times myself. I'm missing my deadline as I write this. "I'm sick," I muled pathetically to my editor. "Seriously."

So who needs Daniel when I have 77 friends on Facebook? On Facebook it's easy to "friend" people, you just kinda click and then you know all kinda crap about them. Yesterday my Facebook friend Kyle Keyser, for example, was reading porn to the blind. Kyle is a huge friend whore, it looks like, because he has, like, badillions of friends. I could learn from him. Grant, who is both my Facebook and in-front-of-me friend, ignores requests all the time. He actually asks people if he knows them before accepting their friend requests.

"Lord, how do you deny friends?" I asked. This is one of the reasons it took me so long to finally start surfing the wave (or ocean) of virtual friendships, because I knew I would never deny friend requests. But then my friend Rennie (in-front-of-me) lauded Facebook as different from MySpace, knowing I hated MySpace, and not just because someone who is not me created a MySpace space for me as though he were me, which freakin' mortified me. And what's worse is I got all these friend requests and I had no idea why or what for or how to handle them, meaning all these people were ignored by me but it wasn't me, it was some guy who they thought was me. See? Hate. MySpace.

But Rennie said Facebook is different. For one, you can "unfriend" people once they become burdensome. It's very easy. You just click. Unfriend. How great is that? So I can friend everyone at first and then turn around and unfriend all the retards, stalkers and child-molesting masturbators, not to mention the people who promise to come to my book-launch party and then don't show up.

But every time I try to unfriend Daniel in my head, I keep remembering all the friend things he's done for me in the dozen years I've known him, like when he held me when I cried over something he must have known was stupid but it wasn't stupid to me at the time. Like when I went and bought a house in a bad neighborhood and had a baby and stopped drinking and wrote books and got them published and followed my heart only to realize true dreams take lots of proper feeding and caring, and who was there helping me feed and care for them all these years? "Your sick ass should have been at my book-launch party!" I should shout at him, but then he would know I'm not really angry, and I don't want him to discover I've already forgiven him, that my head won't let me unfriend him. Ever. I can't just click.

Hollis is touring with the Shocking Real-Life Memoir-Writing Seminar and her latest book, Trailer Trashed (www.hollisgillespie.com)."
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  string(4745) "I made 77 friends in one day last week, which makes me nervous. Like, are they going to start asking me for things? I seriously cannot deal if they start wanting me to be their bridesmaid, for example, or to help them move, or to give them lifts to the airport. I'm already a walking wad of disappointment wrapped up in excuses when it comes to my in-front-of-me friends – Daniel, Grant and Lary – the ones who actually sit across the café tables from me and complain about my recent penchant for pillbox hats, for example. It's damn daunting enough just to be friends with this collection of hermit crabs, but now I've got 77 more, and that was just in the one day. The meter on my Facebook page is still, like, clocking, or whatever it does when it counts your friends. Are they gonna need me to help them deal with bad breakups and their grandparents' deaths or anything? Because isn't that what friends do for each other? Good friends?

My good friend Daniel would be a good example, even though he thinks I'm not speaking to him lately – probably because I haven't spoken to him lately. He missed the launch party of my third book, and even though the place was so packed you could hardly stand in there, his absence was felt, baby, yes it was. I am trying to stay mad at him, but I keep remembering what a good friend he's been, like the time he rocked me in his arms over a decade ago as I bawled my eyes out over a breakup. Lord, like that was any reason to cry – since then I have had plenty of ''real'' reasons to cry, believe me, like the birth of my child, who was so big when she was born she practically came out holding car keys and a learner's permit. Daniel was there for that, not the actual bloody birth part, but close enough.

But where was he the night of my launch party, huh? Sure, I got the phone message saying he was sick, blah, blah. Ha! I say Daniel's sick ass should have been there even if he had to drag bags of intravenous fluids behind him. Sick! Like I haven't used that excuse a hundred times myself. I'm missing my deadline as I write this. "I'm sick," I muled pathetically to my editor. "Seriously."

__So who needs Daniel__ when I have 77 friends on Facebook? On Facebook it's easy to "friend" people, you just kinda click and then you know all kinda crap about them. Yesterday my Facebook friend Kyle Keyser, for example, was reading porn to the blind. Kyle is a huge friend whore, it looks like, because he has, like, badillions of friends. I could learn from him. Grant, who is both my Facebook and in-front-of-me friend, ignores requests all the time. He actually asks people if he ''knows'' them before accepting their friend requests.

"Lord, how do you ''deny'' friends?" I asked. This is one of the reasons it took me so long to finally start surfing the wave (or ocean) of virtual friendships, because I knew I would never deny friend requests. But then my friend Rennie (in-front-of-me) lauded Facebook as different from MySpace, knowing I hated MySpace, and not just because someone who is not me created a MySpace space for me as though he ''were'' me, which freakin' mortified me. And what's worse is I got all these friend requests and I had no idea why or what for or how to handle them, meaning all these people were ignored by me but it wasn't me, it was some guy who they thought was me. See? Hate. MySpace.

But Rennie said Facebook is different. For one, you can "unfriend" people once they become burdensome. It's very easy. You just click. Unfriend. How great is that? So I can friend everyone at first and then turn around and unfriend all the retards, stalkers and child-molesting masturbators, not to mention the people who promise to come to my book-launch party and then don't show up.

But every time I try to unfriend Daniel in my head, I keep remembering all the friend things he's done for me in the dozen years I've known him, like when he held me when I cried over something he must have known was stupid but it wasn't stupid to me at the time. Like when I went and bought a house in a bad neighborhood and had a baby and stopped drinking and wrote books and got them published and followed my heart only to realize true dreams take lots of proper feeding and caring, and who was there helping me feed and care for them all these years? "Your sick ass should have been at my book-launch party!" I should shout at him, but then he would know I'm not really angry, and I don't want him to discover I've already forgiven him, that my head won't let me unfriend him. Ever. I can't just click.

''Hollis is touring with the Shocking Real-Life Memoir-Writing Seminar and her latest book,'' Trailer Trashed ''([http://www.hollisgillespie.com/|www.hollisgillespie.com]).''"
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  string(4936) "    If only real life was as simple as Facebook   2008-08-27T04:04:00+00:00 Moodswing - To friend or unfriend   Hollis Gillespie 1223585 2008-08-27T04:04:00+00:00  I made 77 friends in one day last week, which makes me nervous. Like, are they going to start asking me for things? I seriously cannot deal if they start wanting me to be their bridesmaid, for example, or to help them move, or to give them lifts to the airport. I'm already a walking wad of disappointment wrapped up in excuses when it comes to my in-front-of-me friends – Daniel, Grant and Lary – the ones who actually sit across the café tables from me and complain about my recent penchant for pillbox hats, for example. It's damn daunting enough just to be friends with this collection of hermit crabs, but now I've got 77 more, and that was just in the one day. The meter on my Facebook page is still, like, clocking, or whatever it does when it counts your friends. Are they gonna need me to help them deal with bad breakups and their grandparents' deaths or anything? Because isn't that what friends do for each other? Good friends?

My good friend Daniel would be a good example, even though he thinks I'm not speaking to him lately – probably because I haven't spoken to him lately. He missed the launch party of my third book, and even though the place was so packed you could hardly stand in there, his absence was felt, baby, yes it was. I am trying to stay mad at him, but I keep remembering what a good friend he's been, like the time he rocked me in his arms over a decade ago as I bawled my eyes out over a breakup. Lord, like that was any reason to cry – since then I have had plenty of real reasons to cry, believe me, like the birth of my child, who was so big when she was born she practically came out holding car keys and a learner's permit. Daniel was there for that, not the actual bloody birth part, but close enough.

But where was he the night of my launch party, huh? Sure, I got the phone message saying he was sick, blah, blah. Ha! I say Daniel's sick ass should have been there even if he had to drag bags of intravenous fluids behind him. Sick! Like I haven't used that excuse a hundred times myself. I'm missing my deadline as I write this. "I'm sick," I muled pathetically to my editor. "Seriously."

So who needs Daniel when I have 77 friends on Facebook? On Facebook it's easy to "friend" people, you just kinda click and then you know all kinda crap about them. Yesterday my Facebook friend Kyle Keyser, for example, was reading porn to the blind. Kyle is a huge friend whore, it looks like, because he has, like, badillions of friends. I could learn from him. Grant, who is both my Facebook and in-front-of-me friend, ignores requests all the time. He actually asks people if he knows them before accepting their friend requests.

"Lord, how do you deny friends?" I asked. This is one of the reasons it took me so long to finally start surfing the wave (or ocean) of virtual friendships, because I knew I would never deny friend requests. But then my friend Rennie (in-front-of-me) lauded Facebook as different from MySpace, knowing I hated MySpace, and not just because someone who is not me created a MySpace space for me as though he were me, which freakin' mortified me. And what's worse is I got all these friend requests and I had no idea why or what for or how to handle them, meaning all these people were ignored by me but it wasn't me, it was some guy who they thought was me. See? Hate. MySpace.

But Rennie said Facebook is different. For one, you can "unfriend" people once they become burdensome. It's very easy. You just click. Unfriend. How great is that? So I can friend everyone at first and then turn around and unfriend all the retards, stalkers and child-molesting masturbators, not to mention the people who promise to come to my book-launch party and then don't show up.

But every time I try to unfriend Daniel in my head, I keep remembering all the friend things he's done for me in the dozen years I've known him, like when he held me when I cried over something he must have known was stupid but it wasn't stupid to me at the time. Like when I went and bought a house in a bad neighborhood and had a baby and stopped drinking and wrote books and got them published and followed my heart only to realize true dreams take lots of proper feeding and caring, and who was there helping me feed and care for them all these years? "Your sick ass should have been at my book-launch party!" I should shout at him, but then he would know I'm not really angry, and I don't want him to discover I've already forgiven him, that my head won't let me unfriend him. Ever. I can't just click.

Hollis is touring with the Shocking Real-Life Memoir-Writing Seminar and her latest book, Trailer Trashed (www.hollisgillespie.com).             13028051 1275022                          Moodswing - To friend or unfriend "
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Article

Wednesday August 27, 2008 12:04 am EDT
If only real life was as simple as Facebook | more...
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[Admin link: Moodswing - Bad words]