High fivey a.k.a. stuffs from this week (plus Monday)

- I wrote an article about high-cost haircuts for FASHION magazine; for it, I interviewed my hair guy Bill Angst, which felt exactly - exactly - like when I interviewed my dad for a school project.

- My weekly advice column for FLARE magazine, “Love, Kate” is this week about how being very different in background/context/etc. from your boyfriend plays out.

- If you have a question you want advice on - especially if you are NOT from Toronto - email me at katecarraway at gmail and maybe it will appear in a future “Love, Kate.” OUI! 

- The “Dating Diaries” column I put together for The Grid (note: “Dating Diaries” is the column of anonymous dating stories; “The Hook-Up” is the column where I set people up and sent them out on dates; the confusion around these things has been kind of funny plus cute plus odd) is coming back, and I am so, so happy about it. The Toronto Star will running it, and I want you in it. Email datingdiariescontact@gmail.com with a few lines about your best, worst, weirdest, or whatever-est date and we’ll go from there.

- Tomorrow I’ll be sending out my second TinyLetter, which is just an email that I write to subscribers about, I dunno, whatever I feel like? I’m a grown woman I can do whatever I want etc etc etc.?

- I’ll be on CBC’s The Current on Monday, around 8:30am-ish. Listen live and experience my wake-up voice!

xo

Guess what?

(What.)

The Dating Diaries, one of my former columns for The Grid, is baaack! Coming soon to The Toronto Star.

(Wheee!)

I know. Email me your dating stories - best date, worst date, nobody-believes-me-craziest date - for inclusion in the new column. TOTALLY ANON.

(OK.)

datingdiariescontact@gmail.com

xo

I don’t trust anyone who is toooo excited about Gilmore Girls landing on Netflix… If you were a ride-or-die head, you’d own the DVDs this many eons after the series ended, or have them saved or taped or w/e from any of the cable services that has been spinning them over and over for actual years.

Howeves: I welcome the sudden firefly-burst (or dragonfly-burst??? AM I RIGHT? Oy, with the poodles already!) of writing about the show; I don’t care about quizzes or which dude the GGirls should have ended up with (actually, I do: Logan or Jess depending on where Rory’s value system and sexual aesthetic led her by her mid-twenties; Luke), but I definitely care about considered thinky-feelies coming for me via Twitter or whatever like a coffee-hot arrow this many years after the finale.

Such as:

This article from the Times circa 2008 (were we ever so 2008?) is excellent and was just now brought to my attention on Tumblr; although I liked that last season, and so I guess disagree with the writer’s thesis, I’ve never seen/am so happy to see someone else identify Lorelai as just totally, completely alone. Fan-fic-ishly, I feel like that’s why her rudeness and near-total disinterest in other people (including her best friend, who she didn’t actually respect or really like) was made so acute on the show (as anyone who is happy and functional but prone to loneliness will understand, it’s not about having a town full of baked goods and friends, it’s about having, improbably, A Person); it’s such a last-resort lonely defense of Lorelai’s, such a lonely attempt. Anyway: this Vulture post about who is worse - Lorelai, or the wildly selfish Rory - is also excellent, especially w/r/r Rory’s lack of impulse control, which I never… happened to notice. (COUGHS, HUGELY AND AT LENGTH.) Anyway-anyway, this post, also from New York mag-plus/slash-The Cut (how are we attributing material from NYMag/Vulture/The Cut? Leave me a sticky note somewhere) about GG and money is just…. *kisses fingies*.

I care about this show profoundly; I guess when it comes to drama, it’s only this and West Wing that I’ve been truly invested in. Could that be real? I mean, it makes logical sense considering how settled both are on the Nerd Continuum (and around my particular interest areas of “literal yet literary; chatty; high-speed; rigid but sentimental; idealized Americana; lots of junk food in styrofoam”). The show was also helpful to me, educational if not aspirational.

I grew up in a scenario that could be considered some Canadian, suburban, way more relaxed version of the Gilmore’s; watching the show was enormously, enormously helpful to me as a younger person (like, just post-university-era?) in navigating what were always mysterious-to-me, never discussed (by anyone involved! Ever!) tenets of life and lifestyle. Most people, it turns out, just (or seem to) absorb the basic ways in which their family and community functions and goes on to either replicate or refute it in their own lives, very often with a period of the opposite in-between. For whatever reason - being the youngest? Being sharply creative and supposedly very smart but truly unable to remember little things, like, elbows belonging off the table? - I never understood these things, these agreements other people long ago had made without me, that I was supposed to just know and be part of, and that my sisters (and my friends who grew up in similar environments) seemed to understand preternaturally, without all the instruction and correction. My parents are both unbelievably kind and loving and supportive and low-key, and always have been - and now, I have a much better relationship with my parents than many of my friends have with theirs, and I feel constantly lucky - but I’m pretty sure they thought I was trolling them for a long while, there. It really was me, not them. I got to know many people from very different kinds of families, with yelling and hysterics and lots of positive emoting, too, and eating in front of cartoons - cartoons, even! - and that might have made it worse?

Gilmore Girls, though, illuminated in quippy hour-long domestic tableaux all of the sacraments of WASP life that I really, desperately (desperately! Theme.) wanted to understand. “WASP” is tricky, always - and from a Canadian, always a little bit of a joke - but I don’t know another or a better short-hand for the kind of family life that is so explained by or just toward, I guess, the stiff Anglo lip and the pragmatic Protestant can-and-must-do-it-iveness (which isn’t to say that all W-A-S-Ps are Waspy, or that anyone else isn’t. The real-life fluidity of something supposedly so fixed is just the best). Emily, in particular, explained and demonstrated the various intentions of the propriety and order of it all, the defense against chaos that is pressed linens and maintaining a sense of decorum even among two people and not talking about your feelings just because you feel like it.

By now, I understand what all this is, and what it’s for, and what its limits are, in large part, I think, due to the show. (I definitely learned about the Protestant work ethic from my parents, and when my dad has something to say about me working too much I get to say “Oh reeeeeally.”) I learned that feelings have velocity, and that managing one’s feelings and their expression isn’t a limitation of those feelings, but a way of honoring them (and the person you’re inclined to toss them all over, too). Like sometimes not talking about it feels better, is better. It, my understanding, now goes so, so far beyond my own tiny experience as an inexplicably noisy, graceless pre-teen; it is of course so much more about the various ridiculous and hilarious and charming and heartbreaking ways that “living” has to be decided on, eventually. Gilmore Girls is - I wrote about this, in a way, for Grantland - largely about expectations: the expectation of knowing what your role is and performing it, and the expectation of knowing and doing that being a route out of chaos. As a kid whose imagination was a source of production and projection and a certain kind of order, but obviously also the source of so much untenable chaos of my own, finding out what was good and useful about that explicit order, of the home and family and a community, kind of solved me, in a permanent way, at least on this one small square of things. Also, the boys were cute.

End/less Summer is what I’m calling this, because it’s been h as f outside and only this weekend did it feel like any kind of fall.

The Gap very kindly sent me a bunch a stuff that got me through summer, mostly pictured above but not including the boyfriend jeans I was wearing when I took these pics in the fadingest fall light. I’m not typically a jeans-wearer, or pants-wearer, because a jean usually wants to demonstrate where your ass might be, and when you are without such a thing, it can be tough to pull off and still look like… something. This is why I like the Gap’s boyfriend jean (I got the “1969 deconstructed sexy” boyfriend jean because I like things to be extra-clean or extra-fucked-up; I may have taken to the ripped thigh with a tack from my desk): the intention is for a loose, dare I say lazy, fit that de-emphasizes what you might not have happening in your butt-place but does a good jeans-job of being cute and comfers otherwise. I roll ‘em up a lot, too, because #short and because ankles are the business.

The blue jacket will be making the journey from late-summer to early fall because that is what light jackets do best; I like this blue one (draped inelegantly over a lilac bush) because it is multi-seasonal and as such is similar to the army jackets I have preferred since forever (but less Freaks and Geeks) and the kind of ultra-comforting, throw-it-in-the-car, wear-it-to-a-day-at-the-fair versatile that I want every single thing to be. You can find the winterized version of this jacket here, and also here.

The light pinky slip-ons (here, featuring a snakeskin print) (here in sateen!) served such milky wholesomeness that I was very excited to pair them with everything that doesn’t go with my dirty white Cons and primary-coloured Keds, such as the teen-ish weekend surfwear that I remain partial to in my thirties - boys’ surf brands are too on-the-nose for Cons, and too overall-juvenile in effect for the Keds. The sandals… I just wore as an adult in adult situations like an adult. “Dinner” etc. They were perfectly fitted (do we say that about shoes?) and shaped and gave me zero blisters, is what I mean to say, and I don’t believe a summer sandal has achieved that for me, ever. I mean, Birks, but, I didn’t partake in that trend this year owing to memories of pilled-up camp socks + dirty Birkenstocks being too raw for me, ten years later.

Also pictured but terribly photographed is a short-sleeved gray henley tee that I have been continuing to wear under the black cashmere crewneck sweater that I wear, you know, 25/8/366. A lot. There is a fall version here that I would get in a “dark pearl” or “midnight fog” and would probably wear by itself with a pencil skirt and booties to my office on a regular day (I despise most blouses and other Office Official tops, because they despise my chest architecture, so I wear the best of my old band tees, fresh jammie tops and sporty/stripey/soft henleys with structured skirts and lady shoes a lot). Or, I’d wear it with a tiiiiight and tightly sleeved thermal underneath (y’all know i love a tight sleeve) and the boyfriend jeans OR black tights under cut-offs. Cut-offs never present the butt problem because the “cut” makes the denim like a tent that renders the wearer’s butt-part kind of beside the point.

Also pictured here in a dangle-pose (I had help) is the black-and-white bag that I really dug (I am a cross-body bag girl because I’m not that into bags proper) for how small cross-bods (especially when they are so cutewave, like this black-on-white-on-black-on-white one) always make me feel like Jess in New Girl, which is a girl-figure similar if adjacent to the way I conceive of myself, but sort of with an easier way about her. The kindly teacher version of me. And look, the same one in a different colour is riiiight here.

Also-also-also terribly pictured is a white top of an eyelet/Swiss-dot (faves since ‘12 on this ol’ blog) combo which due to the doubling effect was kind of extra-lined, which you never find in a casual tee, and which I am ever grateful for. “Basic plus one detail” is great in a tee, am I right? (Also, nota bene / this has nothing to do with anything other than my own delight, but have you seen the David Fincher ads for The Gap? They’re excellent.) Anyway as a fall equiv to the simplest-plus white tee I’d go for this: white, soft, with a swooping ballet-back, which I find to be the most erotic shirt-move, especially after just casually pulling a jacket off, you know?

Clothes, shoes and accessories c/o The Gap Canada

Books I Bought This Week That I Already Own

Blue Nights by Joan Didion, in hardcover because I only have the soft cover and I might have given that away already but I own multiple copies of her other books and collections / seemed about right as a re-buy. I’m not much of an idolizer in general - I don’t have the list of heroines, literary or otherwise, that most of my sistren seem to, maybe because I’m a baby sister? - but Didion screws up my averages.

Trout Fishing In America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan - Not my favorite poet but the writer of my favorite poem.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Who knows where this went? Did you take it? Did you?

The Secret History for my mom who read The Goldfinch and was enthusiastic about me being like “you should also read The Secret History!” unlike everyone else who loved The Goldfinch but was like “…. Is her other one as long?”

Birds of America for my dad after an Alice Munro convo turned into a Lorrie Moore convo and he was like “Who?” I mean what/who even are you/come on, man.

Tuck Everlasting, just because.

Also I bought The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides which is new to me because the pal Kennedy told me to / because I suspect there is some Barthes stuff in there (can u tell I am writing about Baaaaarthes) / because The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex were both pretty important to me, o.u.a.t.

ALSO: Buy Mary H.K. Choi’s Kindle Single “Oh, Never Mind” that came out a couple weeks ago. She rips. Did you know you can do Kindle Singles for your computer and don’t need a Kindle, even? It’s true.

Teaching, updated

I took a li’l break from teaching (for the most part) this summer, but am back to it now. Full details are here, but TL;DR details are here:

- I work with pretty much anyone (pro, full-time writers who want help on specific projects or developing their voice and/or style; new and emerging writers who are just developing their voice and/or style; any writer at all who wants help with some vision and planning in/for their careers, as it relates to pitching and working with editors and whatever else; non-writers who have that bug to write and want help with the basics, which may or may not include voice and/or, yes, you guessed it, style).

- I offer sessions that are three hours in total and include an initial discussion about what you’re working on and what you want to do with it (and then I spend some time with your work on my own, and prepare for the personal/personalized instruction session and write up a milli notes about your work) and then the session itself. The cost is $300 + HST, which is $339.00.

- The initial discussion and the personal instruction session can happen via phone or Skype, but right now I’m not doing in-person stuff because many times the scheduling and travel time got to be too much.

If you’re into that, or know someone who might be, email me at katecarraway at gmail. <3