Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Oooooooooooooooh-kay! And now it's time to play Tell the Little Hedonist What the Hell to Do With Himself For the Next 30 Days!!!!

I've gone on my last European trip. My week in Italy was the finale. Wales does not count because it was for a conference, and frankly, Cardiff is shit; the entire city centre looks like Oxford Street (and is apparently substituted for Oxford St. in small-budget films). I was supposed to spend a week in Switzerland in mid-July but I had to cancel this trip because I am too impoverished. I have no money. Normally I might say, Where the fuck did all my cash-flow go? But in this case, please just consult my lovely little sidebar with all my Euro trips. Uh...I don't travel cheaply. I don't know how. I've never even stayed in a hostel. Ever. Never in my life. I went to Switzerland two years ago so it's okay that I'm not going back yet.

I've submitted my PhD coursework. Which feels really, really fucking strange. It's all over. Done. Fini. I'm not officially a doctor yet, though, since this whole process takes so long. My advisors must read my lovely 600-page dissertation (oh, I know - !!!!!!!!!!!), suggest edits, and then approve me to my unknown thesis committee, who then takes a requisite minimum of three months to read it. And since I'm working in New York starting in September (or perhaps August), this means I won't be able to return to London until January to do my Viva. So I'll be back.... (Note: I have a problem discussing my Viva, which in Britian is pronounced Vy-vuh. When spoken aloud with a British accent, this sounds a bit rude, like a naughty part of female anatomy. And I have to defend mine?)

Pretty much every major film premiere, awards show, behind-the-scenes shoot, etc., takes place in Los Angeles over the summer. Nothing happens here in London because there are too many tour groups with matching jackets infesting the city center. Nothing happens in New York because every director and producer is at his/her share in the Hamptons and simply will not work. So my TV job is empty. Done. Fini. Unless some random celebrity dies or gets pregnant with triplets, me thinks that my last London interview and/or shoot is ovah.

So. Now. What the fuck do I do with myself for the next month? I've magically just gone from the most psychotically busy person in London to the most bored person in London. See, some people may think that having nothing to do is a highly wonderful, relaxing time. But I am the type of person who goes absolutely insane if I have nothing to do with myself. I get depressed. I get into trouble. I go cuckoo.

Also, as I mentioned above, I ain't got no dough. I spent it all in Italy. And Hungary. And France. And Portugal. And everywhere else. I even spent extortionate amounts of money in the States, mainly in the Hollywood Hills and in Napa and Sonoma vineyards. I am so poor I don't even deserve my maid. What? Yesterday I actually considered not picking up my expensive dry-cleaning, and asked myself if I really needed those clothes after all. In order to ground myself for at least one full day, yesterday I spent the entire day watching half of my Sex and the City DVDs. You might be thinking, "Oh, that's not so bad, that's just a few hours of DVDs." But no: I mean the entire series; not just one season. I'm not really someone who can sit around and watch TV. All day. Every day. For a fucking month.

What's really tragic is that I can barely afford to drink. And because of this, I cannot continue on with my regularly busy social life. Having a social life is really expensive! I don't have any credit card debt and there's no reason to start now, you know.

See, with all this frightening time on my hands, I made a major plan to wander aimlessly all over London, venturing into random neighborhoods to which I've never been. I was going to start this escapade yesterday. Then it poured rain consistently all damn day. But...like...what happens when I get down to, like, way Souf London, and I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing but pubs? What's the good of wandering aimlessly around London when I can't do a pub crawl? Oh.

I mean, it's not like I'm destitute. Well, it is, but I must save what I've got. I'll sort of need, oh, you know - an apartment when I return to New York, not to mention money with which to furnish an apartment. I wonder if I can have my insanely pricey Scandinavia trip reimbursed? Oh. Guess not. I am seriously considering prostitution but my wardrobe is rather conservative nowadays. Plus, I know that with the "Pay up front" philosophy of whore-dom, I would totally just take the money and run, which might result in getting beaten-up or perhaps even death.

Oh, I've still got work to do. I've got chapters of upcoming books to write. But I've already switched gears, you see - all of these chapters require lots of research in Manhattan libraries and cultural societies. My normal flailing about in the British Library stacks won't exactly be helpful. So during August I'll be hiding out in the Lincoln Center and midtown libraries and shall keep myself busy...at least I hope I will...I work too damn fast. Tomorrow night I am giving my final lecture in London (at least final before I move back) for an important literary society. And then that's all. Then I shall have no point to exist. (Have I mentioned I'm a workaholic? I just did my 4-year PhD in 2.5 years. Before that, I did my three-year MFA in two years.)

So. One month. What to do, what to do? All of my CDs and DVDs are already alphabetized. My wardrobe is ready to be packed. I've got wheelbarrow-sized piles of stuff to donate to charity. I am embarrassed to report everything else I've been finding to do with my time. Yesterday I did not perform an hour-long karaoke performance to Pink's new CD...although I didn't even know the lyrics and did not make them up as I went along. I did not do this three times in a row. The neighbors must think I am mentally retarded.

I hereby take all of your suggestions. I'm desperate here. My Vy-vuh and I are gaping open, waiting to be told what to do.

In the meantime, I will now go pay for one (1) movie but then sneak into three (3) more for the remainder of the day. I'm even packing snacks. I can't afford popcorn.

He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest. - Dylan Thomas