I got a book deal, guys. It’s for a essay-based memoir, titled Typical Me: The Unlikely Rise, Astonishing Fall, and Happy Landing of a Lifetime Misfit, and it sold to Algonquin Books after five (count `em!) publishing houses competed for it. I’m very excited to work with my new editor, Betsy Gleick*, who I’m pretty sure is going to kick my ass, and am very grateful to my agent Sarah Burnes, who worked quite hard on my behalf. I’ll be posting as usual while I’m writing, so you shouldn’t see any changes here, but I’ll be a busy, busy creature. Expect it in bookstores in the Fall of 2019.
*This is what I was wearing when I had my first meeting with her.
I’m going to a yoga class with my friend Julia this morning. Then I’m hanging out this afternoon with my friend Will. Also, check out this cool sweatshirt my awesome agent Sarah gave me yesterday. I’ll be wearing it to march on Saturday in New York. Which is my other question: who is marching, and where?
A reader named Danielle asked to hear stories of mid-life career reinvention, and I thought this might be an excellent moment for those of you who’ve made big changes to share your stories. I feel like most of you know mine, but for those of you who do not: Once, not so very, very long ago, I was the editor in chief of a fashion magazine. After a decade in the job, I was abruptly shown the door. After a year spent doing absolutely nothing, I started this blog, and it has been one of the most satisfying chapters in my career. My reinvention came about because I was forced to find a new path, but I’m curious about the rest of you: what made those of you who made a monumental change take the big step? Share, please.
A few of you requested to see the contents of my handbag, and I’m happy to indulge, even though the results are far from thrilling, as I like to travel light. Moving clockwise from the top we’ve got: doggie poop bags; my Clare V key chain; a Liberty of London glasses pouch with my reading glasses inside; my Jerome Dreyfuss wallet; Altoids; Dries Van Noten sunglasses; this lipstick; a pen from the Sunset Marquis Hotel in LA, and this most excellent hand sanitizer from Aesop. And my phone, of course, but I had to take this picture with it.
OK people, I’m taking off for the holidays. I’ll just be hanging out at home with the pooches, seeing friends, doing the usual cliched Jewish Christmas in Chinatown, that sort of thing. I’ll be back on the January 3rd, though I might check in between now and then once or twice just for kicks. Meanwhile, here’s a short rundown of stuff that has improved my life this year in ways both large and small, starting with this Davines deep conditioner, formulated especially for frizzbo hair like mine. It is not meant to be used every time you shampoo, so you’ve got to be strategic about employing it when you want to look really, really good. Seriously, it makes my hair look so silky and un-frizzy and manageable that I have a hard time believing it is coming out of my actual head.
Of all my striped shirts—and I own a few—I reach for my Sailor tee from The Great the most. It’s got a fantastic, almost swingy, silhouette, and is black and white, and you know I appreciate a good black and white stripe.
I live literally across the street from where Manhattan’s Chinatown starts, which means I have access to all of the exotic-looking produce they sell there, including Dragonfruit, which I love. It’s very mild, like a melon crossed with a kiwi sort of, and refreshing. And pretty! I always feel like it’s a tiny special occasion when I have one.
My friend Will popped back into my life this summer after a decades-long absence—we just drifted apart the way people sometimes do—and it is like he never was away. He’s been the best, most supportive, presence—it is mostly due to him that I started getting serious about writing again. And I can tell him anything and he never judges, and doesn’t he look snappy in this picture?
Every morning unless the weather is a fright, the dogs and I end up at the Tompkins Square Park dog run. And the time I spend there comes as close to being a meditative experience as I have all day. I just focus on all the dogs and put other thoughts out of my mind, and for a little while, everything is just fine.
My McQuan rainbow rock makes me happy every time I look at it.
As does whatever my red lip of the moment is, and at the moment it is this (the exact hue is Bauhau5).
My neighborhood outpost of Xi’an Famous Foods is tiny. All they’ve got is a few stools for seating and if they’re taken you’re out of luck, but I live for their Spicy and Sour Lamb Dumplings.
And then we have this little miracle, baby Gino. My dear, dear friend Andrea up and proved this year that it’s never too late to make a dream come true when she brought this little chunk of love into the world.
And finally, I just have to say that once again, all of you have been a huge part of what has gone right for me in 2016. You got me through the aftermath of the hideous election, and I know that together we will survive whatever comes next. As I always say, if you are the type of person who loves this time of year: go forth and enjoy. If, like me, it’s not your all-time fave, take comfort in knowing it’ll all be over soon. See you back here in January.
How do you feel about me devoting an entire week in January to your requests? I’m kind of liking this idea. It will only work if you send along some really good questions, though, so please do so here.