Doubleawk is dead…Long live Doubleawk.

Doubleawk has a new home.  Or rather, she has a new life.  And a new home.  And a new baby.  And all of these things mean she’s just not Doubleawk any more.

But don’t despair!  You can still follow her ramblings and bumblings about her NEW world at Hipster Hausfrau!

Goodnight, Sweet Doubleawk.

Please come on over and subscribe!  It’s a little bit life, a little bit style, a little bit parenting, a little bit books, and hopefully a lot more posting than Doubleawk ever did.

Anti-Awk

Yes, yes, doubleawk is supposed to be a repository for snark, embarrassment, and other sassy fare, but today I have something far more important to share.  A few weeks ago, my dear friend Morgan Faust (loyal readers and friends will know her as the Mo half of MoPa) went to Sundance with a film she’d edited, 3 Backyards, which ultimately earned best director honors for Eric Mendelsohn in the US Dramatic competition.  And I was made even more gleeful by Morgan’s win than I was by her stories of celebs and swag.  (See, Doubleawk does have a heart).

Morgan and Me. Not pictured: Captain Morgan, but he was obviously there too. And I haven't hung out with him since. But I still love the real Morgan a whole lot.

Morgan herself is an incredible director, and today she’s launched a new website where you can learn more about her work.  Please visit http://www.faust-films.com, and tell your friends to do the same.

And no, I’m not trying to insinuate myself into her next project with bloggy-suck-upage.  I’ve already used our years of friendship to manipulate her into working on a writing project with me.  So there.

Although, I am still hoping she’ll cast me in something….  And maybe someday take me to an awards show….

A girl can dream, right?  Even an awkward one.

Like a fine wine…

No, this time I’m not blogging about a fine whine, although that’s one of the art forms for which doubleawk is known.  This time, I mean wine, as in the stuff I love to quaff!

Despite being loath to draw attention to the day of her birth (cough cough, liar, cough cough), doubleawk absolutely had to post this gleeful birthday gem.

Que Syrah, Syrah! Yum!

I got free wine for my birthday.

And not from someone who loves me, but from my favorite wine store, Donna da Vine.   Ok, so maybe the owners do love me for all the money I spend in there, but still.  Free wine (up to a $20 value) for my birthday?  Best thing ever.

Second best thing ever?  I know my little self is growing up, ’cause I didn’t go home, uncork it, and spend the afternoon in the throes of a Syrah passion.  I went to class.  Sober.  Like the good girl I should have been in college.

When I was seven, the “My Me Book” (no wonder I became a self-absorbed memoirist) our teacher had us fill in posed the question, “How old are you when you become an adult?” I said twenty-two, because “I’d be out of college and no one could tell me what to do.”  Looks like doubleawk was only about ten years late.  Or like she’s getting better (behaved) with age.  Dreary news indeed!

Invisible Dogs in Brooklyn

Only yesterday, at the Art Under the Bridge Festival in DUMBO, MoPa, John and I were discussing the phenomenon of the invisible dog.  Muckle had never heard of them, but Mo got one at the circus once, and had played with it for all of six hours.  Had she still owned it, she would have let Muckle enjoy it to his heart’s content.  But alas, it was long gone.

Then today, John and I step out our door to go to an open house (pretending we might actually buy real estate in New York), and invisible dogs are everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  Seemingly on the arm of every person–black, white, Latino, Asian, male, female, transgendered, straight, gay, young, old, and any accidentally overlooked demographic group–except us.  People have invisible Chihuahuas and invisible great Danes and lots and lots of invisible beagles, labs, and mutts.  Don’t ask how I know that.  I just do.

The first three invisible dogs were on our street and were quite amusing, particularly because we’d just been talking about them.  I thought they were an isolated incident, a mad coincidence.  So I took a picture.

Grown Men with Invisible Dogs

Grown Men with Invisible Dogs

And then the people with invisible dogs began multiplying.  Before our very eyes.  And when you asked them about the dogs, they said things that made you feel stupid, like, “Oh, I adopted her upstate,” or “You know, it’s generally a good idea to ask someone if you can pet his or her dog before just reaching out and touching it–you never know how a dog will react to strangers.”

What about how strangers will react to scores of adults with invisible dogs!?  Especially if said strangers are me and Muckle and we literally were talking about invisible dogs not 24 hours prior!?  How many of you, gentle readers, were talking about invisible dogs on Saturday?  Hmm…Really?  Unless you’re MoPa, I’m just not inclined to believe you.

As John said, it was like we lived in an alternate universe.  I tried convincing him that a real dog he saw was actually invisible too, and that he’d developed the power to see them, but he didn’t fall for it.  Crafty fellow.

My early iPhone searches for ” ‘invisible dogs’ brooklyn”  yielded nothing but exciting ads for this really cool looking art space opening up in my neighborhood.  So I started thinking that maybe we were living in an alternate universe (another weird thing: people were climbing in and out of a manhole on Atlantic Ave as if it were a tourist attraction).  I wondered if our talking about the invisible dogs had called them into being.  Or if it had made dogs turn invisible.  Or if I was losing it.  I’m reading The Third Policeman, by Flann O’Brien, a weird and wonderful book in which, among other things, people turn into bicycles and vice versa, so maybe my mind was feeling a bit susceptible to insane possibilities.  Or maybe it always is.

Then I posted on Facebook—an excellent way to check one’s sanity.  And then a blogger I follow in my neighborhood, prettyinthecity posted on her Twitter.  And then the truth came out: it was Improv Everywhere!  Which made total sense, especially because they’re known for doing things which make people feel socially awkward.  Just like Doubleawk!  Oh no, that’s right.  I do things that make me feel socially awkward.  Whatever.

The dogs totally did make me feel awkward, because I felt like there was something everyone was in on but me.  And I wanted to be in on it.  Like, a lot.  I kept wondering where we could get the dogs.  I wanted an invisible dog.  I wanted an invisible dog right now!  Because everyone else had one.  Even though just yesterday I’d been saying they were silly,  I wanted one a whole lot because I didn’t know where everyone else was getting them and I felt left out and sad.

But the truth is,  I’m kind of afraid of dogs.

I like cats.  Especially these cats.  My cats.  I know preferring cats is an unpopular position and I am prepared for any hatemail this statement invites.  Fortunately, I should be somewhat protected by the infinitesimal size of my readership.  Being unknown does have its benefits.

I like cats. Especially these cats. My cats. I know preferring cats is an unpopular position and I am prepared for any hatemail this statement invites. Fortunately, I should be somewhat protected by the infinitesimal size of my readership. Being unknown does have its benefits.

And imagine how scary an invisible dog would be?  It would be able to attack you and jump on you and bite you and drool on you without your even being able to see it.  So I’m glad the invisible dog thing wasn’t real.  I can think of cooler alternative universes I would want to inhabit, like ones in which I already own New York real estate and cats can talk and teleportation is possible and candy corn doesn’t make you feel sick if you eat a whole bag of it.

And I guess I’ll get over being left out.  Maybe I’ll start a cool “happening” like bring your invisible friend to work day which will just look like I’m talking to myself in my apartment, a.k.a., any typical workday.

Awkward and out,

Leda

New School vs. Old School

One thing you should probably know about Doubleawk is that she’s a fiery feminist, always ready to point out (and blame) the power of the patriarchy for one wrong or another.

But another thing you should know about Doubleawk is that she likes to look pretty.  True, she might not always (ever) shave her legs (not b/c she is a feminist, but because she is lazy and practically hairless), she forgets to brush her teeth, and she plays fast and loose even with the shower every other day rule.  But when it comes to nighttime, or to having her picture taken, she likes to be seen in a cute outfit, heels, and a face full o’ make up.  Blame the patriarchy.

So when the New School, which she will be attending for her MFA in nonfiction (starting a week from today!), told her she could send in a photo of her choosing for her student ID, she grabbed the camera and started posing.  She didn’t even wait for photog hubby to come home, but took pictures of herself.  Why not use a preexisting photo?  Well, the ID folks had specific parameters; plus, picking the right photo was a complicated calculus.  She couldn’t look like she’d picked the best photo of herself.  It had to be a natural looking photo, with enough make up to be pretty but not so much as to look like she was wearing any.  So she took, like, a billion photos, each one not quite right–one too shiny, one with a creepy smile, one from too far away.  And she had bags under her eyes.

There's a reason we call her doubleawk.  But by that logic, we could also call her shiny head, luggage eyes, or funny lips.

There's a reason we call her doubleawk. But by that logic, we could also call her shiny head, luggage eyes, or funny lips.

A bit of cover-up, and finally, she got one she could live with.  But the excessive glow and under-eye satchels continued.  What’s a girl to do?

It’s called retouching, and once you start, it’s hard to stop.

I swore I’d tell no one.  Then I sent it in, and afterward felt the caffeine-like buzz of an irrevocable secret, like midday cookie binging or a crowded-train fart.

Let me say this again:

I retouched my school ID photo.  I’m a thirty-one year-old self-proclaimed feminist and I airbrushed my school ID photo.  And then I admitted it to you.

Ah, much better!  But it still looks like me, right?  I should take this moment to state that I wholeheartedly disapprove of plastic surgery.  Really, I do.

Ah, much better! But it still looks like me, right? I should take this moment to state that I wholeheartedly disapprove of plastic surgery. Really, I do.

So today, when I went to pick up my ID, I was excited to see how it turned out / nervous that the retouching would be obvious and people would judge me.  This is the New School, after all, where I should be super-comfortable with my appearance, esp. if said appearance involves tribal facial piercings.  But I digress.

The man who went to retrieve my ID hesitated.  Oh, God! I thought!  Does it look so young that it doesn’t look like me? Then I saw it.

This Leda Eizenberg was younger than I am, to be sure, but that wasn’t the problem.  She was blonde.

“That’s not me,” I said.

“I didn’t think so,” he replied.  “But it’s ok.  You’ll just have to get a new photo taken.  They’re taking photos today.”

The blonde on my ID looked something like this.  Or maybe I've just got Jennie Garth on the brain because I watched a million episodes of 90210 on IMDB this weekend.  The man at the ID table wouldn't actually let me see the wrong-photo-ID very closely; perhaps he thought I'd run off with it to see if I could pass as a blonde.

The blonde on my ID looked something like this. Or maybe I've just got Jennie Garth on the brain because I watched a million episodes of 90210 on IMDB this weekend. The man at the ID table wouldn't actually let me see the wrong-photo-ID very closely; perhaps he thought I'd run off with it to see if I could pass as a blonde.

“Can’t I just resend my old photo?”

“It’ll be faster to retake it.”  He clearly wanted to help the next student in the line that had built up behind me.

“But it was a really cute picture.”  I tried to do the funny, goofy thing.

“This one will be even better!  It’s exciting–your first day of school and all!” The woman next to him chimed in.

Do I look like an eager freshman? I thought.  “But, but…”  I was desperate.  “It’s hot out.  I’m sweaty.”

They shook their heads.

I kept trying.  “I’m not wearing make-up,” I mock whispered.  “I haven’t even showered.”  When they looked at me like I was crazy, I tried another tactic.  “Will there be a huge line?”

“I’ll call them now and tell them to let you go straight in.”  He pulled out his phone.  I was dismissed.

Naturally, I got hotter and sweatier on my six block walk to the building where photos were being taken.  I had mascara and a kind of ugly lip gloss on me, so I ducked into a bathroom to apply, then sat down in the hall, popped open my lap-top, and resent the original photo just in case they would make me a new ID using it.

Predictably, a mob had formed, consisting mostly of young co-eds, all pretty and made up, not one tribal piercing in sight; maybe I had the wrong impression of my new school.

They whisked me in for a new photo, ignored my pleas that they use my old one, and took my picture.  As I waited for my ID to be printed, I emailed John:

Subject: Grr…

The stupid new school put a blonde girl on my id, so I had to take a new photo, and I’m sweaty, unshowered, and only had mascara and lip gloss in my purse.

So much for my retouching efforts.

(In a weak moment, I had confessed my retouching to him about a month after submitting the photo).

His reply:

I’m sure you look beautiful!  Also, your obsession with how you look on useless photo ids is possibly problematic.

Well, honey, one out of two ain’t bad.  I fully acknowledge that it’s problematic.  It’s just that when I look good in an official photo, I feel like it’s official proof that I’m good looking.  Young in an official photo?  Officially still young.

The bags are back!  So is swath of flesh (the excess of space between my neck and my breasts), but that's a topic for another post.

The bags and shininess are back! So is swath of flesh (the excess of space between my neck and my breasts), but that's a topic for another post.

Officially disturbed?

To quote another woman who set back the feminist movement 100 years, “You betcha!”

On the bright side, this goof-up saved me the trouble of having to argue with people about whether my (undated) ID was current when trying to get student discounts.

On the not-so-bright side, I’ve just revealed myself as terribly shallow.

Blame the patriarchy.  Or blame my awkwardness.  Better yet, let’s just blame the bags under my eyes.

Book Party!

Dear readers, you know that Doubleawk wears a lot of hats.  All of her literal hats (and her husband’s hats), it should be noted, come from Salmagundi, the best hat and accessory store ever/epicenter of rad hipness, located in Jamaica Plain, MA, my old hometown.

John and Doubleawk in their totally rad hats from Salmagundi.  The lifevests are not from Salmagundi.  But they are also totally rad.  In a different way.  Because safety is totally rad.

John and Doubleawk in their totally rad hats from Salmagundi. The life vests are not from Salmagundi. But they are also totally rad. In a different way. Because water safety is totally rad.

Her metaphorical hats are a bit more complicated.  Yes, she’s a writer, a blogger, a former teacher, an educational and writing consultant for a still top-secret organization, and a person who for some reason today feels the need to refer to herself by her blogging handle/in the third person.

She’s also a former book publicist, which just goes to show the truth in that old saw, “once a book publicist, always a book publicist.”

That’s right, I’ve contracted out to my friend Brian as a publicist for his yet-untitled 611 page fantasy tome, the first in a series of equally hefty novels about the Annurian empire. Does being a publicist fly in the face of my work as a citizen-journalist-blogger?  Maybe.  But you can be assured that Brian isn’t really paying me to publicize his book.  I did charge him a twelve-pack of Corona Light for helping with the party, but I’m being forced to give a Corona Light to every person he gets to come to the party without my help.  So far, I’m down to nine Corona Lights.  I promise not to drink all nine of the Corona Lights at the party, because this would be bad publicity for the book and my dignity.

Brian is a fun writer to hang out with because he believes in sharing his work as he goes and soliciting advice from his audience.  He’ll also sometimes name something after you, although I’ve thus far been unable to get even a dwarf of species of beetle named Leda.  He claims it’s because my name is overripe with bird-bonking allusions, but I’m unconvinced.  In any event, throughout the writing process, Brian has solicited advice from his friends via email, which was fun, even if most of my advice was totally ignored.

Brian, at a party.  If he can make the inside of a moving truck look like this much fun, imagine the worlds of awesomeness that will be opened to you at his fantasy-novel completion party.  Or imagine what's in the red plastic cup, how much you'd like to drink it, and come for that reason.

Brian, at a party. If he can make the inside of a moving truck look like this much fun, imagine the worlds of awesomeness that will be opened to you at his fantasy-novel completion party. Or imagine what's in the red plastic cup, how much you'd like to drink it, and come for that reason.

Once I accidentally replied all on a character name vote, vetoing an option because it was the name of a real douche bag I’d known in college.  Then another friend wrote back and said he was besties with said douche bag, and I was horrified.  You always think people who hit reply all instead of reply are total idiots.  Then it happens to you.  Turns out the friend had never even heard of the college douche bag, and was just trying to freak me out.  Also turns out that I lost the vote, and now the character shares the name of the college douche bag.  Which character, you ask?  Well, you’ll just have to read the book to figure out if I thought you were a douche bag in college.  Or you could just ask me.  But I digress.

Brian’s August 29th party in/near Putney, VT will feature:

–guests dressed up as characters from the book (but don’t let this stop you from coming because you:

a) haven’t read the book or

b) think it sounds incredibly dorky

–a signature cocktail based on the novel

–a “page signing.”  Bring a printout of your favorite page of the novel, and Brian will sign it for you.  Could be worth millions someday!  Or 1/99th of 1 cent.

–target shooting with a bow and arrow (Don’t worry.  I will stay far away from weaponry)

–dancing

–a fire

–a book titling contest (that’s giving it a title, not something having to do with boobs.  But there will be boobs at the party).

–an opportunity to have a character or something else named for you!

Let me know if you want to read Brian’s book before coming to/instead of coming to the party.  I can send you a copy.  Have any friends who are super into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre?  (Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone).  Let me know and I can probably get them a copy, too.  Have any friends who work in publishing?  I’d love to be the one who hooks Brian up with a publisher.  Then maybe my pay would be restored to a whole twelver of Corona Light.  Which I will share.  With you.  Sorry I have such gross taste in beer.

Finally, I want you to watch this movie I made about Brian, his book, and his party.  I made it with this new web-program to which I am totally addicted called xtranormal.  You should become addicted to it, too.  It allows you to make and watch movies about the things that really interest you: yourself, your life, and your friends.  You might even find a character who looks like you!  Check out how much the girl looks like me!

Disclaimer: Brian does not have an English accent in real life.  I gave him one to make him seem more appealing so you would read his book and come to his party.

Email me at doubleawk [at] gmail.com and I’ll send you the full party info!  If you like, I’ll also send you an electronic teaser of Brian’s book!

Also, you can fan Brian’s book here!

Working It

Some of you, even those of you who are fairly close to me, may be wondering, “What is it that doubleawk does with the limited time she has when she is not awkwardly bumbling around, making people uncomfortable, stalking celebrities, or writing about these experiences?”

Ordinarily I spend a fair amount of time wearing a sweatsuit and forgetting to brush my teeth.

Variation on the sweatsuit: the fleece.  Apparently, the sweatsuit defies photography.

Variation on the sweatsuit: the fleece and the ugly scowl. Apparently, the sweatsuit defies photography. The ugly scowl, not so much.

But right now, well, I’m on a business trip.  Yes, it’s a business trip in Vermont which involves me working with one friend and crashing at other friends’ love nest.  But still, it’s a business trip.  And ironically, even though I remembered I wanted to brush my teeth, I forgot my toothbrush, so that on my first morning of work, I had to brush my teeth with the lovebirds’ toothpaste using my finger, as if I were a teenager who’d unexpectedly been allowed to have a sleepover.

But the very concept of being on a business trip is comical to me because I’ve just re-entered the paid workforce after a fourteen month hiatus during which I’ve been writing full-time (aka wearing that sweatsuit), and before that, I was a teacher.  Teachers don’t generally do business trips; instead, they do field trips, which feel more like family outings with a really big family.

I should pause for a moment to inform you that the one and only time I went on a field trip was to take a class of sophomores to a rather sexy performance of Macbeth.  The sexiness of the performance is neither here nor there.  What you do need to know is that after sitting in traffic for an hour and a half on our way back into the very city from which I had commuted that morning, I had to pee super-duper badly.  We were stopped at a light when I said to the driver, “Can you let me out here?  I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

The fire station where I left a deposit of urine.  And underpants, because they too had a tiny deposit of urine.  I was wearing tights, so the underpants weren't essential.  I like to think about the firemen who found a thong in their trash.

Shown here in happier, sunnier times, this is the fire station where I left my pee. I like to think about the firemen who are finally learning the truth about that fateful day. I don't like to think about former & future students who might read this blog and now know this story.

“We’re two blocks from the theater.”

I managed a frantic grunt, gave the parent-chaperons an apologetic look, then shot out the door of the bus.  I ran to a gas station, where the attendant informed me there was no bathroom.  “But where do you go?” I pleaded, circling my hips in a desperate measure of urinary-containment which she may well have taken for an invitation to join me in the bathroom.  “I’m a teacher taking kids on a field trip and I’m about to wet myself!”

“Try the fire station across the street.”  I sprinted across Boston’s Huntington Avenue, not even bothering to look for oncoming traffic.  No one responded to my distressed greeting as I stormed the  firehouse,  looking wildly for a bathroom.  I barely made it to a toilet, not even managing to close the door behind me.  Greatly relieved, I scampered out of the firehouse without meeting a single firefighter.  (It should be noted that two years later when stuck in traffic during a blizzard, I temporarily abandoned my car and ran into a different firehouse.  This one wasn’t empty, but the firefighters were quite nice about letting me pee there once I explained that I didn’t expect them to do anything about the traffic and/or the blizzard.)  But back to our original tale of bathroom woe:

“Where did you go?” asked my students when I finally rejoined them at the theater.

I couldn’t think of a convincing tale.  “I really had to pee,” I confessed, thus in all likelihood sealing my legacy as Peeda Eizenberg or something even more embarrassing/clever.

But business trips are different.  You can pee pretty much whenever you want (though I don’t recommend it on the bus from New York to Hartford.)  Still, other challenges arise.  One big one is being apart from your sweetie.

Here I am before work this morning.  The great injustice is that I have both showered *and* brushed my teeth, with a new toothbrush and toothpaste that I bought at the Putney, VT Co-op, and therefore are organic, overpriced, and (in the case of the toothpaste) not minty enough to feel effective.

Here I am before work this morning. The great injustice is that I have both showered *and* brushed my teeth, with a new toothbrush and toothpaste that I bought at the Putney, VT Co-op, and therefore are organic, overpriced, and (in the case of the toothpaste) insufficiently minty.

John and I have been using technology to compensate for being apart.  No, not in that way, you pervs. For example, I sent the picture at right to him in a romantic gesture.   Because apparently according to me, romance = giant bags under your eyes.  Oh well.  We also used Skype video chat.  Only it was a one way video chat, because John doesn’t have a Mac like I do.  This leads to me getting distracted by the tiny image of myself, and instead of following the conversation, musing aloud on the angles which gave me fat face.

Then I wanted John to be able to say hello to our friends, so I trotted him around the room, allowing him to see everyone and chat with them.  It was rather like carrying around a robot I was dating (but not, for some reason, one to which I was married).  Or my husband’s disembodied head.  Or the crystal from that show Out of this World, through which Evie’s father communicated with her.

Although we invited John to watch the movie Fired Up with us from the vantage point of his computer videocasting the film via my computer’s camera, he opted out.  A foolish move.  It was a surprisingly awesome movie.  With important lessons.  Remember, dear reader, “you gotta risk it to get the biscuit.”

Workin’ it awkward style,

Leda

Trauma: From the Field

Well, dear readers.  It’s an exciting day here at doubleawk.  We have our first reader-submitted celebrity photograph.  And, in keeping with doubleawk’s kinder, gentler version of paparazzing, it’s devoid of obvious celebrities.  But it does show a television shoot happening today near our reader’s office in San Francisco.  It’s a pic from the set of Trauma, a show that will air on NBC and apparently caused a lot of drama by filming a fake tanker-trailer explosion and a fake old-person-plowing-through-a-pedestrian-market.  Two great tragedies that apparently go great together, in the minds of the show’s producers.

Things appear calmer outside the lobby of 1 Bush Street, where our fearless reader snapped this pic:

Doubleawk, shining the spotlight on the behind the scenes folks from the NBC drama "Trauma."  We're dedicated to challenging the arbitrary bestowal of fame upon only on camera talent.  Or we're too shy to get pictures of the real celebs.

Doubleawk, shining the spotlight on the behind the scenes folks from the NBC drama "Trauma." We're dedicated to challenging the arbitrary bestowal of fame upon only on-camera talent. Or we're too shy to get pictures of the real celebs.

The photo comes to us courtesy of Charles: dear friend from college, real estate development mogul, and now celebrity photog #3 here at doubleawk.  Charles, be warned that the filming of this show might create a fake disaster area near your office.  Plus side?  Maybe you could leave work early.

My research on Trauma yields the following: it’s yet another medical show.  Now, to my knowledge, NBC just finally got rid of a medical show that no one had watched since I was in high school.  Why in God’s name would they invest so heavily in another?  (Obviously, closing San Francisco overpasses so you can stage a controlled tanker explosion isn’t just scary and stupid.  It’s also really freaking expensive.)  The medical drama is an overdone genre as it is.  I hate to bag on the show of a fellow Dartmouth alumna, but Grey’s Anatomy has basically pole-vaulted the shark at this point.  Wedding swaps?  Ghosts?  The afterlife elevator metaphor?  (Which isn’t to say I don’t still watch it online.  It’s just to say that I’m embarrassed to admit it.  But isn’t humiliating myself what doubleawk is really all about?).  Why-oh-why would NBC want to cram its way into this high-budget, overdone market?  Oh, right, because this show is supposed to be different.  It’s not about doctors, or nurses (finally becoming characters in their own right on Nurse Jackie, another show I haven’t seen), but paramedics.  Is this some sort of attempt to reach out to a more working class audience, tired of the problems of neurotic doctors?  Is it a social/cultural phenomenon sprung from the tensions of the healthcare reform debate?  I don’t know.  And I still don’t care.  I won’t be watching it, unless there’s a chance I can see Charles in the background.

Here is Charles, shown "licking [his] lips in anticipation of being in [my] blog."  That's a direct quotation from him.  Good to know that doubleawk has such loyal fans, even if they are fans because they are our dear friends.  Who needs celebrities when we have hottie paps like Charles and John on the loose?

Here is Charles, shown licking his lips in anticipation of being on my blog. That's a direct quotation from him. Good to know that doubleawk has such loyal fans, even if they are fans because they are our dear friends. And who needs celebrities when we can ogle hottie paps like Charles and John?

Even if Charles had managed a picture of an actor, I wouldn’t have been able to recognize him/her.    I haven’t heard of any of the people on this show (which doesn’t mean they’re not great actors, just that they’re not celebrities).

There is, however, an actor on the show named Billy Lush, which is a completely awesome name.  Hopefully he plays a down and out alcoholic whose drinking ruins his personal life, but doesn’t stop him from being one heck of an EMT.

So, my faithful followers, the floodgates have opened: send me a picture of a famous person/movie set/site of fame-whore interest as well as a picture of yourself awkwardly lurking around, and I’ll post them here at doubleawk.

Yours in awkwardness,  Leda

Eat Pray Love Stalk

Husband/Investigator John.  He's posing as a neighborhood resident enjoying a stroll and an iced coffee.  Here, he shows us the truth: "I'm watching you, Julia and James and sundry crew members."

Husband/Investigator John. He's posing as a neighborhood resident enjoying a stroll with an iced coffee. Here, he shows us the truth: "I'm watching you, Julia and James and sundry crew members."

My second post as a celebrity stalking blogger and I’ve already dispatched an assistant to do my dirty work.  That’s code for “A major motion picture is filming in my neighborhood, but I’m trapped on a bus to Hartford, so I’ve sent my husband on a mission to collect photographs.”

The aforementioned major motion picture is Eat, Pray, Love, based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert that I haven’t read.  It stars Julia Roberts.  And you can turn that IMDB rumor into a trumor: James Franco does indeed costar.  That’s right, my intrepid reporter/husband snapped a photo of Mr. Franco heading down Atlantic Avenue to his trailer.  Mr. Franco and I have something in common; we are both students at creative writing MFA programs in New York.  Of course, it wasn’t enough for him to outdo me in the looks, fame, and wealth department.  He’s also showing me up by attending two schools, whereas I only go to one.  And I haven’t even started yet.  Oh well, I guess I won’t be chatting him up about the writing life at a local coffee shop anytime soon.  Sorry, James.  I’m on location for my job, too, in Vermont.  Actually, on a bus.

James Franco

See that dark-haired head on the right? The guy walking with the skinny girl? John assures me that it's James Franco, and I believe him. This blog seems to specialize in tiny, distant pictures of celebrities. You might say we're a new, unobtrusive breed of paparazzi.

So above is the photo John took of James Franco, after walking five feet behind him for quite a while, but waiting until he crossed the street to take James’s picture.  John didn’t see the point in taking a picture of his butt, but I bet there are plenty of people who would be quite pleased to see a picture of his butt (James’s, not John’s, although let me tell you, John has a really great butt.  It’s just not famous.  Yet.)  As you can see, the photo was taken at 164 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn–the border of Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights, aka, a view I can see from my bedroom window.  Maybe, just maybe, immediately after this photo was taken, James Franco looked up and tried to peep into my room.  It would serve me right.  But the joke is on him, because 1) I just got new blinds.  And 2) I’m still on a bus to Hartford.  Looks like only one of us will have our privacy violated today, James.

We actually learned about the shoot yesterday, when embarking on a failed mission to sneak onto public tennis courts without a permit (we wound up driving to Long Island to play tennis.  Ridiculous, especially when you consider how much I suck at tennis.)

The telltale shooting (film, not violent) signs were in full force: trucks with film equipment, important looking people talking on cell phones, nosy neighbors (like me!) congregating on the sidewalk, and no parking signs everywhere.  And I mean everywhere!  They stretch several blocks on Clinton, Atlantic, and Pacific.  Guess we won’t be moving our car ever again.  And by ever again, I mean Tuesday when the street-sweepers come.

We spotted burly men bringing film equipment into 172 Pacific Street, which is this adorable white house with a red door and beautiful windows–one of the places we fantasize about owning if we had a bazillion more dollars.  And of course, we felt a smug pride that some film director shared our tastes.  We were remarking on how obviously totally awesome our neighborhood is because this is the second shoot this week, when we passed by two men.

Before I continue with this story, it’s important for you to know that on my way to play tennis yesterday, I looked like this, except that I wasn’t even trying to make the Julia Roberts face that John coached out of me here:

Me, trying to make a Julia Roberts face while wearing an ugly tennis outfit.  Also pictured: badonka a donk.  I think it's the shorts, though.  Note to Julia: I'm sure your ass doesn't look like this, and mine normally doesn't either.

Me, trying to make a Julia Roberts face while wearing an ugly tennis outfit. Also pictured: badonka a donk. I think it's the shorts, though. Note to Julia: I'm sure your ass doesn't look like this, and mine normally doesn't either.

“Hi, Julia.”  One of them said.  I choked out some sort of confused, nervous giggling sound.  But I’ve gotten slightly bolder in my two forays into celebrity stalking, so I asked them what was shooting.

“Eat, Pray, Love,” They said.  “With Julia Roberts.”  Score double.  A huge, major movie being shot in the nabe (God, everytime I use that word it sounds like a body part, so that shot in the nabe sounds like a hideous sex crime!  Sorry!), and an allusion to my having some sort of celeb like qualities.  Probably the glasses.  But I’m going to pretend it was the confident, sexy charm.

Today I had hoped to spot some real celebrities before embarking on my work trip, but ran out of time and thus sent John to do so.   So far he’s been better with the info than the evidence (He’s too polite to shove his iPhone in people’s faces).  He was able to confirm that the actors’ trailers are located on Atlantic Avenue, between Clinton and Court.  Even more exciting, he actually spotted Julia and walked right past her, but claimed he was “too close” to comfortably take a picture.  Sounds like I should have trained my staff a bit more thoroughly before leaving town.  (Trained my staff can also sound dirty if you want it to).

He did, however, snag a photo of the real paparazzi, waiting around for one of these stars to show up.

Here are the real paparazzi, as photographed by John.  I enjoy the meta-ness of photographing the photographers.  Or paparazzing the paparazzi.  Maybe I can make a blogging career out of that!

Here are the real paparazzi, as photographed by John. I enjoy the meta-ness of photographing the photographers. Or paparazzing the paparazzi. Maybe I can make a blogging career out of that!

Such waiting is a lot easier to do if you live nearby, so you can run upstairs and pee, or change your outfit to blend in on set and maybe get cast as an extra (see my post on Gossip Girl).

And here’s a photo confirming the filming, so it doesn’t just sound like I made this whole thing up in a desperate effort to drum up blog material.

Nothing captures the excitement of a film shoot like no parking signs.

Nothing captures the excitement of a film shoot like no parking signs.

But stay tuned, faithful reader.  If John snaps a pic of Julia, you’ll be the first to know.  Actually, I will.  But I promise to share it with you right away.

Until then, I’ll try to absorb some of the self-helpy message of the film: I already ate pancakes this morning, I’m praying for a great picture of Julia, and I’m loving my life as a  Celebrity Stalkward blogger.

Leather Anniversary

Today is John’s and my third anniversary.  I kicked off the celebrations of marital bliss by firing him from our blog.  He never actually wrote anything, so perhaps “fired” is a bit harsh, but I did erase him from our header, which sounds even more ominous.  Sorry, love.  Still, I should give him credit for being a wonderful proofreader and gentle critic when this blog veers too sharply into snarktown.

Anyway, I looked up the third anniversary gift, and traditionally it’s leather.  According to About.com, the leather symbolizes a couple’s awareness of “the durability of their relationship.”  It’s not that I don’t want my relationship to be durable, but I can’t really think of a less romantic way to describe a marriage.  Ok, so I can think of less romantic leather-based ways to describe a marriage: dead, dried out, made of cows.  But still.

  A possible gift for the leather anniversary.          Custom Long Harness, courtesy of Fetish-n-Leather.

A possible gift for the leather anniversary. Custom Long Harness, courtesy of Fetish-n-Leather.

As opposed to durable, leather as an anniversary gift sounds downright kinky in my opinion, as in:

“What anniversary are you all celebrating?”

“Our third anniversary.  You know, leather and fetish and bondage?”

“How lovely!  Do enjoy!”

But for whatever reason, there are now two categories of gifts you can give to celebrate your anniversary—the traditional and the modern.  The modern gift for the third anniversary is crystal or glass, which seems an odd choice.  First of all, it’s fragile, and breaks into tiny, sharp, injurious fragments.   Plus, the logic seems a bit flawed.  Sure, glass & crystal were developed after leather, but a more modern gift might be nanochips.  Or even Astronaut Ice Cream.

Upsetting Annivesary Gift. I don't mean to be unkind, but if you want to know where to buy this, I'm not sure you're going to enjoy my blog. Or me personally. But, courtesy of gifts for you now.com.

Upsetting Annivesary Gift. I don't mean to be unkind, but if you want to know where to buy this, I'm not sure you're going to enjoy my blog. Or me personally. But, courtesy of gifts for you now.com.

Anyway, one glass/crystal gift suggested by the interweb is a Love Is Magic Anniversary Personalized Beveled Glass Picture Frame.  To be honest, I actually do think that love is pretty darn magical.  But I can’t think of a more heinous way to trivialize that sentiment than to mass produce a picture frame inscribed with a tacky poem.  I can’t even bear to copy and paste the poem here.  If you want to read it, you’re just going to have to click through to the website.

John and I have thought of creating our own list of anniversary gifts, much like our friends Morgan and Patrick did for us (last year was Little Trees Air Fresheners, this year is fair trade coffee—we’re waiting, you two).  For our second anniversary, I wanted to get tattoos.  The tatTWOnniversary, I called it.  But we never managed to get them, in part because we couldn’t figure out where to put them that would be discreet but not prone to stretching or sagging.  I think we were also slightly afraid that it would look tacky.  Before you hop on the band wagon and agree that tattoos are trashy, let me inform you that I already have one.  It looks like this:

Before you make disparaging remarks about tattoos.  Remember that I already have one.  I don't have negative feelings about it; it's just become part of who I am.  Literally.

Before you make disparaging remarks about tattoos. Remember that I already have one. I don't have negative feelings about it; it's just become part of who I am. Literally.

But I’m somewhat less motivated to get the tattoos now that we can’t make a fun, new word out of three, tattoo, and anniversary.

In the end I’m opposed to a standardized system of gift-giving that tells me how I’m supposed to celebrate my relationship.  (But I’m quite happy with an individual system—keep ’em coming, MoPa.) We’ll decide how to celebrate our marriage, thank you very much.  Other couples, of course, should do the same, and if that means following guidelines for gift-giving or even buying engraved picture frames, well that’s ok, too (even if I personally find it cringe-worthy).  Love and happy marriages are good things.  Celebrate ’em however you want.

For me, last year that meant getting a Hebrew Study Bible from my (incredibly thoughtful) Catholic-raised husband, and a raw vegan meal at Pure Food and Wine that led to intestinal distress.  Hot.

This year, we drank a bottle of cava that we’d saved from our wedding reception, and we’ve got a much better dinner date planned at Daniel.

And like I’d tell you if there was going to be leather involved.  Awkward.

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