Wednesday, August 27, 2008

come clean, come clean, i know that you dream...

the above title, appropriately, refers to a culture club lyric. we're talking after the fall from grace, post heroin boy george. but boy did i love that song--blasted it in the car till the cows in the pastures paused mid fly-swat to glare as i drove by. oh, but wait. it was 1987 (?) so it was my mom doing the driving. and the blasting of boy george.

but nevertheless, there's something i've been hiding from you. something that is so simultaneously jump up and down exciting but then bury your head under a pillow humiliating that i've totally clammed up. see i grew up 100% positive that every single member of my family was reading my journal--my diary, if you will.

certain events tipped me off to this fact, like its constant movement from the place i would meticulously hide it. but of course then paranoia spun out of control and who knows anymore. i am completely open to the suggestion that no one actually ever tampered with my secret tomes, covered as they were in pathetic locks you could pick with a bobby pin (i know, because i could never keep track of those keys!) and dried pools of red candle wax, but still this paranoia completely affected me. i mean, the story about the doll that was supposed to urinate but because of some mysterious, ahem, blockage, refused to perform, thus brought me to tears was totally riveting--just what an evil family member would be desperate to come across on the sly. because surely they didn't have to already hear me crying about it all day.

gripped with this fear of exposure (i know, i know, so now i post my journal online. totally makes sense), with no faith in the privacy of my journal, i went to work cataloging the boring details of my days, leaving cryptic hints that only i could pick up on regarding anything that i secretly felt and couldn't share. this is something i still have a hard time with, especially now that my diary of sorts is posted for all to see. that brings its own issues of censorship and family calling you up to say that you got it all wrong. people threatening that i'll never get a job because google will bring up all this stupid drivel. but still i continued writing then, just as i continue now. because i'm compelled to. because it's my therapy. because i have to.

so the ridiculous journals pile up until there's tubs of them. and what is to be done with them? readings over a bowl of cereal? shabby chic end tables? i've employed both of these habits. but mostly they just sit and ferment like old forgotten wine--awash in denial, boredom, excitement, anger, and the occasional true secret.

enter sarah brown. sarah had this genius idea that it could be funny to sit around at a bar (the alchohol helps with the courage!) listening to other people read from their old diaries. but in order not to be super boring, the entries read must induce the reader to cringe. hence the name of the series. it happens in brooklyn on the first wednesday of every month and my god! it's hilarious.

and cathartic.
and addictive.

when sarah decided to publish a book of such embarrassing entries i was all about it, flooding her inbox with scanned submissions. because if there's something i have a lot of, it's embarrassing journal entries. why not put them to work? make people laugh. be able to laugh at myself.

i didn't figure i even had to worry about being selected, considering heather of the 2 million readers a month dooce fame put out a call for submissions. when i heard back from sarah that she wanted to use THREE of my entries, i panicked a little bit, but didn't back out. doubted my sanity, yes. i know, it makes a lot of sense. girl, terrified that people will read her journal, "grows up" (had to put that in quotes because, um...) and publishes them in a book sold in all barnes and nobles across the country. brilliant. so i thought, i just won't tell my blog. then no one will notice. and perhaps they won't. but come on--what is the point of this damn blog if i can't scream at the top of my lungs into it: SOMETHING I WROTE IS PUBLISHED! IN A BOOK. A REAL BOOK! nevermind that it's been selected because it's really, really bad. just nevermind that.

the bottom line is, the only people i don't want reading this book is my parents. and maybe my uncle because he's my dad's twin. i may be making light of this book and all, but it ain't g rated. it took me a long time to really free myself to write with a bit of abandon, and since those are the entries selected, i was a bit older than most of the other folks in the book i think. and that's just too much for me or my parents to handle. nor should they have to. can you guys appreciate that and help me out with this? no mom, no dad, no uncle allan. aunts--don't go out of your way, but not forbidden. rule of thumb--family members, don't talk about this. practice all that denial we're all so good at. cheers.

oh, and additionally, don't bother asking my polite, foreign boyfriend how he feels about this blatant show of exhibitionism--he's far from impressed or amused.

okay, i'm officially extremely uncomfortable. but i totally believe in the pure humor of this book and i'm proud to be a part of it. i'm still waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive in the mail. in the meantime, there's this handy little widget at the top of my blog that looks like the cringe book. if you click on it, it gives a sneak peak into the layout, intro, design of the book. minus the entries. the reason i gave in and posted about this is yesterday (the day the book was released) when i saw a piece of my writing that had been used in the opening pages (page9!), i actually got choked up and held back tears of excitement. thank you, sarah, for including me in this silly bit of fun. and huge congrats.

and for the locals...
next wednesday, yes, a week from this very day, there will be a book release party/reading. friends are welcome. oh, and sarah's blog is here
not only is she a great idea maker. she's a gifted writer too. yay for sarah!
(cringe photos by sarah brown too!)


kim said...

SO EXCITING! Congrats. I can't wait to get my copy.

Anonymous said...

You're so cool!


Anonymous said...

Congrats superstar! Remember us Arroyo's when you are spending the summers in the South of France!

oui oui!,

linda said...

Wow!!! This is such exciting news!! I'm ordering the book on Amazon today!!! I do think of you FREQUENTLY!! I long for a trip to NYC.

Kathleen said...

Aloha! So sad I won't be there for the big bash. You can bet I will be purchasing this gem. So great!

peakie said...

I took some damn solid bravery to put that stuff out there.
I think you are very cool.

Sarah B. said...

I am so glad you submitted all these gems, Kitty. We could have easily done a book of just yours, they were that golden.

Anonymous said...

oh I can't wait to go get it! I so admired your dedication to your journals on our Washington trips, no matter how late, you always got it done. In contrast to my one lame attempt in 1986, failing miserably and droning on about reading sweet valley high and such. Way to go cat !

Anonymous said...

That's fantastic!

I'm going to be out of town next week, or I would totally go to the release party. I'll definitely buy the book!



emilia said...


abbie said...

Judgement be damned! I am so excited for you little sissy!
...and by the way, I don't remember ever snooping in your diary (guess I was too busy snooping in Amy's closet).
-middle sis

A ** :) said...

So cool!!! I can't wait to get a copy! And btw, I NEVER once read your journals...the other one may have, but I didn't. :) Amy