Monthly Archives: June 2009

Memoir with Braces

Laura probably shouldn’t say anything — she should probably have a chapter or a page or a paragraph or even a line done before she starts shooting her mouth off about starting something new, but she just can’t help shooting her mouth off about the fact that she’s starting something new.

Or, thinking about starting something new.

Or, probably more accurately, dreaming/imagining/fantasizing about starting something new.

Something new in the way of a book type thing.

Laura doesn’t mean to be coy when she calls it a “book type thing” — starting  a new book, or more acurately, dreaming/imagining/fantasizing about starting a new book is always really stressful — stressful enough to make her not want to do it! — so she thought she’d call it something other than a book and “book type thing” seemed close enough without being too exact.

Writing about her life — her early life — her life as someone with braces*, for instance (*braces being merely one visual symbol of her emotionally [or orthodontically] imprisoned youth)  — has been something she’s thought about for a really long time — especially since she moved back to her home town for no good reason after bragging her whole entire life that she was the least likely person to move home to her home town.  In fact, one of her book editors — the one who edited Piece of Work, told Laura after rejecting her book on failure — yes, the failure book that failed!! ha ha ha!! (or, LOL for younger brant readers) — that what she should really do is write about what it was like to move home to her home town after bragging her whole life that she was the least likely person to move home to her home town.

At the time, coming face to face with the giant massive billboard of her own egregious pathology — what the fuck was she thinking?!?! didn’t she know living a mile away from the temple where she went to Hebrew school would spawn the biggest dissociative regression of all time?!? — seemed impossible.  She was, after all, in the middle of the aforementioned biggest dissociative regression of all time since there was nowhere she could go without that giant massive billboard of egregious pathology being completely visible.  Writing about herself — namely, writing about her own stupidity, just didn’t seem like something she wanted to do right then.

Not that she hadn’t written fluently and with great glee about her own stupidity in the past!  Why, just look at the marvel that is/was Animal Husbandry with it’s self confessed supreme gullibility and willful ignorance of the fact that someone she — oops, I mean, “Jane” — was still in love with even after he had dumped her (stupid fact #1) was dating someone new right under her nose at work! (stupid fact #2) (Read the whole book to find all the stupid facts in it.) (Including the shockingly stupid fact that even after finding out that he was dating someone new right under her nose she was still in love with him!!!)



But even though Laura had written about stuff like that, she’d always written about it in her trademark (<–pardon the self-important “labeling” of her style as “trademark”) thinly disguised autobiographical fiction — something she’d written a lot about, too:  for she had no shame not only using all her past stupidities (for some truly epic stupidities find a copy of Her and enjoy!!) as material but telling everyone how she used her past stupidities as material by turning it into thinly disguised autobiographical fiction!

She had, though, never really written about herself – her life, her family, her true thoughts and feelings — in actual non-fiction.  Straightforward, non-inside-out-non-fiction-into-fiction.   Except in her brant.  And even there she wrote/writes about herself in the third person.

Hiding.  Always hiding.

And so for some reason recently, out of the blue, little synapses started going off in her head, little flashes of light that made her want to write about things she’s never wanted to write about — or, actually, she’d never been brave enough to write about — not because there’s any Running with Scissors type stories in her past — far from it, unfortunately! — but because she’d always assumed it would be boring and because she’s always been kind of a puss when it comes to being honest with herself.

Laura wishes she could point to some wonderfully memorable symbolic line-in-the-sand type moment when she realized she simply had to write about her life and couldn’t remain silent a minute longer — but she can’t (except for the past week when two important people in her life told her she start looking inside for what to write about instead of looking outside).   All she can say is that she figures she should take advantage of that giant massive wonderfully bittersweet billboard that’s been telegraphing the painful merging of her past and present — a merging she herself was responsible for and is only now just beginning to understand — before it gets replaced with an image of lame apathy.

And so she’s going to take the plunge and start peeling back the layers.  She’d like to do it really fast — like, over the summer — but she knows that the onion she’s peeling is bigger than she’d like to admit and more stubborn.  It’s an onion that doesn’t want to be peeled — or, at the very least, is ambivalent about being peeled — and even though right now she’s lost in this bad cliched metaphor — Is Laura the onion or the peeler? or both?! — she knows that there’s going to be some tears involved.

Enough for now.  Laura’s got to go find a peeler…

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Newsflash: Laura Left the House and Saw a Movie!


It’s a(nother) rainy day (duh) here on the East Coast and Laura finally hauled herself out of her house and out to a coffee shop for a change of scenery.  She’s not going to lie — she’s been feeling pretty, well, uninspired lately and one of the things that happens when she feels uninspired is that she kind of forgets to leave the house (you know, for reasons other than pick up or drop off, food shopping, shrink, Ben’s music lessons, etc).  She doesn’t actually forget — she just forgets to remember that leaving the house and changing her scenery is an option.

Yesterday she really shook things up — she actually went out to a matinee movie — a 3 p.m. showing of Sandra Bullock’s new movie, “The Proposal” that she’d heard was hilarious and had earned, through this alleged hilarity, to claim the #1 spot at the box office this past weekend.  Laura can’t believe she just said “#1 spot at the box office this past weekend” like she knows anything, but it and the great reviews sure sounded like selling points, and so she decided to go against her normal routine of staying home in the rain and pretending to work and shake things up a little. She recently even started Twittering so she thought what could be better than a cheap afternoon movie and a little mini-micro-tweet-branting?

She was a little embarrassed leaving the house and going out into public with her ridiculous Jew-Fro from all the rain and humidity but she shouldn’t have been because hitting a suburban movie theatre at 3 in the afternoon isn’t really “going out into public.” The only people there besides the two teenagers selling tickets and popcorn were about 4 or 5 or 6 senior citizens, getting their discounts and their teeny-tiny little cupfuls of popcorn (sidebar question: did you know that at the AMC theatre chain there’s the ‘kiddie’ cup equivalent ‘Senior Size” cup of popcorn? and when Laura says “cup of popcorn” she literally means CUP of popcorn.  It was served in a small paper cup, the kind they give away for free to cheapskates like me to get water at the water fountain — not the big giant super gulp size with the Coke logos all over them).

Laura also realized that she was wrong about it being a cheap afternoon — the “matinee” ticket was $8 and the non-senior citizen small size popcorn was $4.75 and that plus all the text messages and “Tweets” she sent from her phone about her big day out probably put her over the $50 mark. (Just kidding. Probably over the $100 mark.)

But this was all worth it once the lights went down because Sandra Bullock was hilarious — Laura would like to go on record here and now and say that she has always been a huge and unabashed Sandra Bullock fan because of her incredible comic timing and willingness to make herself look completely ridiculous and do absolutely anything for a laugh while somehow being able to jerk a tear from Laura every single time (okay, maybe not in Speed, but how she managed to do that in “Miss Congeniality” Laura has no idea). Ryan Reynolds was also hilarious though of course she’s not demented enough to pretend to herself or her eagle-eyed brant readers that Ryan Reynolds’ comic timing is all she’s interested in.  Because that would be a lie. And while Laura doesn’t brant that often when she does she tells the truth.  And the truth is that Ryan Reynolds is entirely celebrity-crush-worthy and even quite possibly (God strike her dead) a Hugh-Jackman-replacement.

(Laura figured she’d give that last line a second or two to sink in.)

Of course, one of the real reasons she went to see a movie was because she figured that she should start seeing movies if she wants to write them.  She may not have branted about this yet, but Laura did actually just finish polishing her first attempt at screenwriting — the adaptation of Piece of Work (her fourth novel)(which had been optioned by Tom Hanks’ company Playtone)(but the option lapsed a long time ago and Laura only now got around to trying her hand at writing the script and hopes her agent will be able to re-sell it). She’s really happy with it, believe it or not, and has to say that she never ever in a million years could have possibly written it without the help of the amazing screenwriting book Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder.  More about Laura’s adventures in screenwriting in future brants, but suffice it to say that she had a lot of fun — yes, writing can be fun! sort of! — kind of!  — but not really!  — I mean, fun is relative! — and hopes to do more of it in the not-too-distant future.

Laura hopes to leave the house tomorrow, too, which would make it three days in a row and give her lots to brant about!

Real Estate Correction


Laura’s friend Wendy sent her an email tonight to let her know that she always checks Laura’s “brant links” and when she checked the link to Laura’s house listing she discovered a major error:  namely, that the link Laura provided in yesterday’s brant is to the wrong house!  Laura can’t bear the thought that people think she lives in this other house that the link went to — not that there was anything wrong with that other house! it’s just not hers! — so she’s not only corrected the link in yesterday’s brant but has provided a few photos of her actual house and the correct link in this emergency correction-brant.  Feel free to share the new correct house-link with anyone you think may possibly want to buy it.

Thank you!