Dear Diary


Often, I feel as though I should wait until something substantial has happened to blog. But of course, life is essentially the perpetual wait for substance, and it seems to me that when we finally arrive at the moments we have obsessed over, we find in them only clues and other moments to wait for. And so it goes, until one day there are no moments left, and it’s too late to write blog posts. I don’t advocate for living in the moment, because, in the first place, it’s crap – if you have a final paper due, you can’t live in the moment, you have to plan that shit. If you have to pay rent, you can’t live in the moment, you have to budget for that shit. If your child needs, like, the basic stuff of life, you can’t live in the moment, you have to parent that shit.  But also because the moment has no meaning, except in relation to other moments. Living in just the one will really fuck you in the long term.

So here I am, precipitously writing this first post – because postcipitously is altogether too uncertain of a state. I arrived in New York City just about three months ago, not without a plan. You see, I am a grad student. It’s an excellent plan, it goes like this: do a lot of work, pay way more than you could possibly have for the privilege of doing said work, and pray to the powers that be that by the time you’re done with it all, you’ll have a new plan all ready to go. I am knowledgeable about grad school, because I’ve done it before. I went to library school and got my master’s. What’s that? You didn’t know you needed a master’s degree to be a librarian? Fuck you.  Anyway. So then I was a librarian for a few years at a law school, which is just about everyone’s dream job, in terms of the cush factor.  I had my own office and a lot of time. So I wrote a novel. And when my novel was done, I realized that I was desperately lonely and yearned to contribute to something larger than my Microsoft Word Document. Research librarians often need a second master’s degree in a subject area. You may have heard the phrase “subject librarian.” (What’s that? You didn’t know you needed two master’s degrees to be a subject librarian? Fuck you.) Since my professors in library school assured me I was too snobby to be a public librarian, I went back to school, specifically, to NYU. Why NYU, one of the most expensive schools in the country, you ask? The answer, my friends, is that if you get a degree in the humanities, you need some name brand recognition. I mean – I guess some people have parents or lovers with that kind of juice, but me – all I got are the wits the good lord gave me.

Where was I? Right. I moved to New York City, with my cat – I advise against taking cats on planes, by the way. I was coming from Chicago, which is a short flight, but the airport was very nearly a disaster of epic proportions. The highlight was when the TSA agent insisted I simply put my cat down on the floor while she swabbed my hands. Because, you know, my cat is so likely to just wait for me nicely. Which isn’t even to get into why my cat wasn’t in the pet carrier in the first place. But anyway. I moved with my current roommate (who I will call V) from Chicago to NYC, and we arranged for an apartment with an old college friend of mine (who I will call E), in Bushwick. Bushwick is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is currently famous for its rapid gentrification by wifebeater, hot pink sunglasses wearing dudes with massive beards and a love of pizza. I’m not going to use the “h” word, but you know what I mean. The real estate agent informed me that we were the first of several apartments he was renting to “nice young people” like us.  I say trendsetter, you say gentrification magnet…let’s call the whole thing off. Where was I? Right. I moved to New York City, to go to NYU, and pray for a new and brilliant plan to emerge. I must have prayed extra effectively because the new plan came earlier than expected, in the form of a job offer from the Brooklyn Public Library.

So there I was with two very time intensive plans: finals (which in the land of the humanities, is papers papers papers), and a full time job as a public librarian. And I was like fuck it, I’m in the city of superheroes now, let’s DO IT.  I had E do a tarot reading for me, and it seems that I have love and money in my near future (we won’t even talk about the reversals, okay?), so I’m confident everything will work out. E is a pro tarot reader, and an actress. V’s a project manager and a filmmaker. I am maybe the only twenty-something (okay, twenty-nine, let’s not talk about it) in NYC that was like “creative pursuit? meh.”

TBD: Am I too snobby to be a public librarian? Is there LOVE AND MONEY in my near future? Will I fail out of grad school? Can I successfully bring back the Carrie Bradshaw thing? (All I’m saying is that if Sarah Jessica Parker can do it, why can’t I? I mean, we’re both eccentric Jewish ladies with a knack for terrible puns, we’re both in NYC, and we’re both a lot less hip than we want to think we are.  But SJP was starring in Sex and the City before the age of the blog, of the personal brand, of the user experience. And what could be sexier than false choices and bullshit?)

Um. Stay tuned.

By jtp

Joanna Tova Price has a lot of heart.

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