My birthday is in one month. I'll be thirty-one. I'm not quite entirely sure how I managed to survive thirty, but these things happen from time to time, and all you can do is roll with it.

My standard response to "What do you want for your birthday?" is "Say 'Happy Birthday!' to me at some point during the day." This has worked on everyone except my parents, who routinely sent me large, heavy, and/or expensive objects that indicated they had good intentions but also that they had not paid attention to anything I'd said in about the past five years, and one college friend who told me that if I didn't name some small inexpensive item right now she was going to go to Wal-Mart and buy me a giant pink lawn flamingo.

I have this thing where I'm reluctant to ask for anything in return for doing all the fabulous things I'm told that I do. It stems partly from the standard-issue case of impostor syndrome that comes with being declared a Gifted & Talented Kid as far back as I can remember, and partly from a home life that was fucked up in ways both subtle and egregious. I'm trying to get over it.

I'm far, far away from the insane people now. So my birthday present to me this year is to practice Goddamn Asking For Stuff. I don't figure on actually getting any of it, but we can work on Setting Reasonable Expectations next year.
  1. I'm an essayist, a teacher, and a minor flunky in the arts & entertainment industry, which means I am chronically short of money. I also enjoy being able to tell people I'm a paid professional writer and not be completely lying when I say it. If you think this blog is awesomesauce, and have some cash to throw my way, you can PayPal it to, or use the Donate button off to the right. You can also send gift certificates, if you wish; I do a lot of mail-order stuff through and other smaller retailers, and there are a lot of boutiques in downtown Boston, like Sephora, that sell neat stuff I can't normally afford. Think of it like a PBS pledge drive -- the less I have to worry about funding the rest of my life, the more time I have to write cool stuff for you to read.
  2. If you are bound and determined to buy me something for some reason -- you have recently discontinued your psychiatric medications AMA, for example, or developed a crippling allergy to extra money -- there is a link to my Amazon Wish List on the right sidebar. At first glance, it may seem half-full of stupid stuff; please allow me to assure you that it's entirely full of stupid stuff, you just haven't finished scrolling through it yet. There are a million entries on it because they won't let me just put down things like "L'Oréal HiP eyeshadow duos ALL OF THEM". 
  3. Network with me! Are you a producer, casting director, photographer, musician, editor, publisher, translator, researcher or basically anything else in the Boston area? Maybe you can work with me! I need portfolios for all of the above. I'm willing to do small projects TFP or barter, and larger ones for reasonable (and very negotiable) rates. You can read what my informal writing is like right here on the blog, and see some of my photo work over on Facebook. As for personal appearances, well -- I look like that and I talk exactly like I write. Extrapolate as you will.
  4. Link to me! If you like my blog, show it to someone else. Tweet about it. Put me on your blogroll. A lot of my bestest and coolest friends are completely random people who once took the time to comment on something I wrote. I have a G+ profile for my writing, a Facebook page for my modeling, a Twitter account for random thoughts, and when I'm truly bored, I click over to Echo Bazaar (I'm registered with that Twitter account).
  5. Lastly but certainly not leastly, email me your COOL BRAIN STUFF. Do you have a weird interest? Deeply in love with some random author, band, or celebrity? Always wanted to know about some obscure academic subject but had no one to ask? Tell me all about it! Send me links to YouTube videos and web pages that you think give a good example of why you think it's fascinating. Link me to photographs that have captured your heart. Share other blogs you think are awesome. Need advice on something? Send me a question! I will give you my completely uninvolved and probably ill-informed opinion! With bonus sarcasm! Basically, I am asking you to donate excuses for me to spend nine hours reading Wikipedia articles and paging through Google Image Search. TELL ME THE INSIDE OF YOUR HEAD.
So there. That's what I want for my birthday. And maybe to survive to thirty-two.


  1. Let's see, I'm pretty broke, but if that changes I will def sent a gift card to Sephora, because that's something I know I always need more of.

    I'm also almost out of diphenhydramine from my last visit to the States, so I may hit you up to mail me a good-sized bottle of Benadryl (with remuneration plus some extra dosh for your troubles via paypal).

    I've done a FollowFriday on Twitter including you, and I've floated a few potential contacts to you on FB (people involved in photography, music, dance etc in the New England/NYC area).

    As for cool brain stuff, it's currently a right mess up there, but I'm sure I'll pick something out at some point that I won't feel adequate to blogging about myself.

    Now I must get off the internet and try to sort my possessions IRL. Nearly spring here down under, so some serious spring cleaning is in order. Good luck mobilizing your other web minions.

    1. Posting a P.S. to the above to point out my own mostly inert blog over on Wordpress, if you hadn't sussed it out yet. ;)

    2. According to my last CVS receipt, 100 x 25mg generic diphenhydramine tablets (or caplets, in your choice of dye-free off-white or flagrantly alien neon pink) are $9.99 + 7% sales tax, when not on sale. As far as I know, the legal limit on how many boxes I can purchase is 'however many you can legally find', and the legal limit to the number of pills I can ship to New Zealand is 'as many as Customs will believe are genuinely for personal use'. I can cram about a dozen bottles or four pounds of the stuff, whichever comes first, into a small flat-rate international video mailing box, which will arrive in 6-10 business days, for $16.95.

      The United States has been rather alarmingly unable to pull it's goddamn thumb out lately, but by God we still have one of the most chillingly effective postal services on Earth. We only whine about the prices and the speed because we've never had to deal with anybody else.

    3. Cheers for the price breakdown. I'll figure out how many I need and put an order in later next week, once I've calmed down from my last bout of manic online retail therapy and have received at least a few of those items (including but not limited to midnight blue lipstick, giraffe print tights, a black vinyl corset, a 1 kg bag of wool knops and two pints of dill pickles. I have what I think is good reason for wanting each of these, but put together they do all sound a bit bonkers).


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