VIP Access (to My Writing)

I’d like to express my weekend in mathematical equations:

San Diego heat advisory + parents going out of town + permission to turn on their AC (for the animals) = Write-in Lockdown

4 cups of coffee + 6 Bloody Marys + 1.5 Adderall + 18 hours = 7362 words

P.S. Thank you Kelly and Ed for joining me, and for knowing what that one word is like 7 times.

Writing party

Five months ago I vowed to make something out of six hours of recorded interviews with my dad and half a botched collab-book-effort that I’d started in October, and to be talking to an agent before I turn 25. This weekend I passed the 60,000 word goal I made for myself when I started to track my progress in a spreadsheet.

There’s still more book to write (I need at least another 10k for my Christian phase), but I’m, obviously, fucking pleased with myself.

Anyway, I’ve started mentioning this wordy beast when people ask what I’m doing with my life. You know, because besides drinking, it’s all I’ve been doing with my life. A few champions among fools have even offered to help edit, so I’ve been writing names in a note in my phone. HAHAHA I will hold you to it!

If, “The author writes letters to her father about the childhood she kept secret from him,” aliens, ghosts, and/or my overwrought emotions interest you enough that your response is, “I would totally read that and offer my very-solicited advice,” then let me know. I’ll add you to the VIP list.

For everyone else, here is the public-access free sample. It is about being a VIP, of course.

July 22, 2014

Dad,

I was writing a letter to you when a friend of mine called. She had two VIP wristbands to a Stephen Marley / Slightly Stoopid concert and her other friend cancelled, and wouldn’t I go with her? “And hang out with a bunch of stoners? I hate stoners! I used to be one.” She laughed, and picked me up in just 20 minutes.

Of course, the weather was stunning, cloudy but warm and comfortable. Our hookup included access to a free pre-show barbecue; macaroni salad, beans, chicken wings, ribs, which I ate in that order, and with plenty of homemade sauce for the meat. We sat in a shaded area with no more than 60 people, listening to the attractive DJ who had gotten my friend the free access — who you could say is “courting” her. We stood our ground shyly for awhile; a band member came and shook our hands and we smiled, oblivious until we saw him signing autographs. We played at the starstruck game and followed two friendly women to take photos with the lead singer. Then the show began and we went backstage.

Backstage itself, I quickly realized, is a bit silly. I couldn’t hear anything but noise, and while viewing the audience from this angle did make me feel a little important, I would only ever go to such things if a friend connected me with the opportunity for free. Which is, I suppose, how these things work.

After we availed ourselves to free drinks (tipping, of course), DJ sweetheart took us to the stands with his pass. It was hilariously difficult to convince them to let us into the general admission area, so my friend’s new sweetheart joked, “Oh, you can eat lunch with the president and use his bathroom, but you can’t, like, you can’t…”

“Go in his front yard!” I laughed. Though they wouldn’t let us in the pit, we made it to seats, up a few rows. Sleep Train Amphitheatre has sweeping stands and grass, which I would like to sit in someday, at the very top. Cheerful brass rang out from below and Stephen Marley’s son waved his flag, at times looking more like a proud, miniature man and not the little kid I had just seen running frantically through catering before the show. We danced in our chairs, wiggling our hips and our knees and playing invisible drums with our hands. Sunlight broke through clouds far to my right, and I stared at it streaming down.

I was so grateful just to be feeling happy again that I could have cried. Tears did spark my eyes, a little. How lovely is my life that a friend can take me for an unexpected adventure, with good company and good food and music? And I am so grateful the clouds parted so I could enjoy this day. I am much stronger than last time, and as always I have so much support. If this is really depression I am fighting, it won’t be as bad as before. I am already feeling so much better.

Meta Post – What is SDSurvivalGuide?

First, announcement!: I will be moving posting day to Tuesday as an experiment for awhile. This should negatively affect almost no one because you can still check my blog on Thursdays; it won’t even be a problem.

I was checking my stats and there’s actually a consistent buildup of traffic on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are, in fact, exceedingly boring, even with all the taco deals in town. So I will attempt to make Tuesdays less boring and bring content to those shouting at their phones/laptops, “Internet, amuse me!” (Everyone does this, right?)

Secondly, ohmywhatthefuck I had some internet success WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? And, what, more importantly, is this blog about?

This website started with a dream. I could take all my knowledge about partying in SD (which is vast, primarily because of my main woman, Katelyn) and share it through the power of the internet. I could form an elite group of partiers who would descend on events like glitter locusts and leave kickbacks sparkling with glaze of alcohol and shimmer of sex-sweat. Meanwhile I would provide consistent weekly content to attract readers and build my reputation as an aspiring writer.

Over time I realized it was just NOT feasible to invite internet randos and even my facebook randos to all the parties. People just want to party with cool, non-creepy people, okay? Reddit does have public kickbacks, so go be with them if that’s what you want.

(I am still toying with a snapchat auditions idea — blast out a call for cool people to join me at parties, and those with impressive snap responses will be sent the time/location. Stay tuned.)

So, all that’s left is the writing part. How on theme do I have to be? I don’t know. Contrary to popular belief, no one pays me for this. My payment is the feedback I get when I run into people I know around SD. The unexpected followers. “Hey Sami! I’ve been reading your blog, it’s really good!” Aww shucks, buddy.

But! Glorious discovery this year! It turns out that what the people really want is feminism! (This post broke my all-time views record.) And I could write about that endlessly. Here’s my life: 1. Work 2. Go to bar/club/party 3. Encounter a situation that needs feminism 4. Want to write about feminism. So, the theme now includes feminism. Because I said so.

Anyway, the real truth is I’m writing this blog (and in-part started this blog) because I’m also writing a book. I knew that being able to show to agents/publishers that I can cultivate an audience and output consistently would only help me. I knew that I wanted to practice writing under deadline, and to develop my voice. And I knew I wanted to wrap my head around San Diego.

So, please do feel free to give me feedback (the comments section allows you to post without signing in to anything). Expect updates about the progress of my book after I get an agent (planned sometime later this year). And get ready for Tuesdays to be less boring.

<3 sami

P.S. consistent feedback suggests the internet needs more cute/wacky pictures of me:

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

 

Writing about your friends on the internet

I bite into this apple of creative energy and there’s a worm in it; another project eats away at the time and thought I normally put into my Thursday update. I’m working on a thing that my collaborator and I avoid putting the b-word on like that’s some sort of curse, but yeah, it wants to be a Book.

(We’re basically writing about our sexy times and our sad times, framed as a series of letters between lovers.)

I’ve been somewhat hush about this writing project because I know sharing too much too soon can crush my enthusiasm. Once someone’s read it, it’s lived its purpose and I lose interest. However... The thing is upwards of 50k words by now (raw, disorganized words at times but still words) so I feel a little braver. I can almost see the finish line, and this time instead of tripping over a false sense of confidence, I’m eagerly putting one foot in front of the other to draw the conclusion closer to me.

I’m not just sharing this information as an excuse of a blog post, and I’m really not sharing this to create hype out of my writing project & 50 friends bugging me to finish it already && when can they read it? — though that may be a fun side effect. Truthfully, I just want to say it occurs to me that I’m struggling with the same thing in my writing project as this blog project, and that is, writing about my friends.

I navigate thornier ground with the b-word thing, because I’m writing about friends I’ve seen naked. Wait, who am I kidding? At some of the parties I go to I see y’all naked too. Anyway, at what point am I crossing the line between enumerating the details of my personal experience to exposing too much about people I care about, even if the law of memoirs means truth is fair game?

I think we can all agree that killing a rattlesnake, cleaning, baking, and eating it at dawn* is an occasion worth commemorating. By contrast (though proudly displaying the burn marks to all) the guy who opted to get branded with a potato masher may not want me to publish any of his identifying details. Yeah, you didn’t go to that party, you don’t get to know.

Remember, though, the “list 10 friends” fad back in Myspace days? It probably started with guidelines like:

  1. Say something to the person you wish you could talk to but can’t
  2. Say something to your BFF
  3. Say something to your crush
  4. etc….

I think by the end of the meme’s lifespan, the rules disintegrated/purified to their true motivations: let’s write 10 anonymous things about each other so we can splash around in puddles of narcissism.

It was glorious to recognize myself. Perhaps I’m really fucking arrogant to believe this, but I think it’d be pretty fun to find yourself in this blog, too. Unless, of course, you said something sexist to me. And while sexists are assholes that deserve to be defamed, anyone reading this should realize my perception of reality has its limits.

FOR FUCKING EXAMPLE: I described a guy in a cookie monster onesie in a less-than-flattering context, only to realize later that I know this guy and he was chummy with me for good reasons. My bad. Guys with brown hair all look the same to me. We all have a lot of people to keep track of in this day and age — and for some reason I prioritize learning the faces of lady people…

Anyway, my dear readers, my baby birds I want to feed and feed, what’s going on here? Do you prefer reading about other people? Are you yearning for your own cameo? Are you just glad I manage to update every Thursday, like a goddamn consistent person? Like, you read me the same as you’d watch a dying TV show past its prime but you might as well since it’s still going every week, did you hear they’re making a season 6 why don’t you kill me already…

The truth is, for me, I’m just obsessed with all of you sometimes. I want to know if it’s okay to write about you. Picasso’s girlfriend probably didn’t tell him to hide away the portraits he made of her saying, ‘baby, what? I look so ugly, do you really think my nose is that big? My eyes are that..awkwardly placed in relationship to the rest of my face parts, seriously they aren’t even pointing in the same direction…??’ But I’m not Picasso and these sentences are search-indexable. I owe you your privacy, perhaps.

P.S. If you’ve been waiting for your cameo, here it is: Yes I did write this because at your party you said, “Careful around her, you might end up on the internet.”


*This occurred the night I contracted strep, but I didn’t write about it because I missed most of the rattler feast when I conked out early on a bottle of Jameson. Didn’t feel like my story to tell, which is the rubric I’ve used thus far in choosing what to put to words.