Tag Archives: Dave Eggers

On Positivity

I just read this retardedly good article by Dave Eggers from I don’t even know when.  Like, I know.  You guys.  I know.  I love Dave Eggers and I am already a parody of myself.  But just read the article first before you say anything to me about how I like Dave Eggers so much it’s a cliche.  Just read it.  Did you read it?  Did you?  Read it.  I’ll wait.

Did you?


Read it.

Okay.  So you probably didn’t read it yet because it’s really long but if you did read it I’m really happy that you did.

Nobody would ever argue that Dave Eggers is not self-aware.  That’s his thing.  So of course he knows how hipsters feel about him.  And this article seems to be in response to that, or something like it.  In a nutshell: hipsters used to like Dave Eggers and then he became popular and now they do not like him.  When I wrote an adaptation of Dave Eggers short stories and produced it in the New York Fringe a girl, a stranger, found out about it and wrote a blog post about how I was everything wrong in the world.  I wrote a theatrical adaptation of the work of an uncool author and thus I was ruining her day/life.  I responded by emailing her a link to a positive review of my play and inviting her to come to the show.  She, shockingly, agreed to come.  I, in an unfortunate/gratifying turn of events, had to tell her that the rest of the shows were sold out so she couldn’t come.  I’m not proud of how gratifying that was.  Anyway, I wanted her to come.  But she couldn’t.  But the thing about the play I wrote was that in the end, theoretically, some people said, it made them happy.  And I wanted to make that girl happy in spite of (because of?) the fact that she had made me so unhappy.  I’m trying to take steps toward positivity.

This goes back to what I was saying about reviewing plays here.  Reviews are great.  But not for me.  And judgment is great too… or if not great, necessary.  But sometimes I think maybe there isn’t good or bad art.  There is just art and not art.  But who’s to say what is or isn’t?  Just let it all be and take it in.

I really liked this part:

“The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it’s corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.”

I love it when Dave Eggers talks about sex.  He makes it feel so wholesome.  It is kind of wholesome, isn’t it?  When it’s right?

I have been trying to say yes lately.  To see plays, to go out, to take spinning classes, to cook dinner, to do more work, more writing, more music listening, more friend communicating.  It’s hard at first but then it gets easy!  Try it you guys!

On that note, spinning is really one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.  You should try it.



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Volunteering Is Not For Scaredycats

In my quest to Be A Better Person and Change The World and Find Some Way To Use My Skills For The Betterment Of Mankind and Get Out Of The Apartment and Not Rely On My Boyfriend For Fulfillment I decided to volunteer at 826 Boston.  826 is a great organization that was started in San Francisco by Dave Eggers because he wanted children to learn and he didn’t know what else to do with all his money.  Did everybody know I have a huge boner for Dave Eggers?  Have you met me?  My name is Emily.  Dave Eggers is my hero.  So.  Yesterday was the June information session and tutor training.  826 Boston is located in, quite possibly, the worst neighborhood in all of greater Boston.  Egleston Square in Roxbury.  I’d driven through Egleston Square a million times when we lived in Roslindale because it’s a direct way to get into Boston from the south.  And even in a car it’s a little scary.  But I biked there yesterday.  And I learned something.  Places that are a little scary in a car are Very Scary on a bike.  Especially if your bike is a butter-yellow cruiser with flowers on it and a basket and you have a bright pink bike helmet with matching pink sunglasses and backpack.  I was asking for it.  But I thought, no, I’ll be fine.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, Emily.  As I walked my bike down Washington Street looking for the storefront (Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute) I noticed a few men gathering in the street.  One of the men was wielding what I can only describe as a very heavy tennis ball attached to a fabric belt-type thing.  And he was swinging this tennis ball-y thing on the fabric belt-y thing in the middle of Washington Street and yelling “Hombre!” over and over again.  And then I thought I’d stop walking my bike and start riding it instead.  And then I came upon 826 Boston, locked up my bike, and called Billy as sirens started blaring and cop cars started materializing and I think I saw a Paddy Wagon, too.  Here’s a summary of the conversation we had:

Me:  Oh hi.  I just wanted to call to say hi and tell you that there is probably a street fight happening in the middle of Egleston Square right now.
Billy:  Oh yeah?
Me:  Yeah.  Hear those sirens?
Billy:  Yup.
Me:  I just think it’s funny that my life is always such a cliche.
Billy:  Huh?
Me:  Earnest white girl in the inner city trying to teach underprivileged kids how to write.
Billy:  Is Gangster’s Paradise playing?
Me:  Yeah.  Coolio is here.
Billy:  Maybe you drive to Roxbury next time.
Me:  Good idea.

Anyway.  Then we had the info sesh and it was great and I am really excited to get started helping out over there.  I already have an idea for a playwriting workshop I can run with older kids and a possible improv/silly plays workshop for younger kids.  It’s actually great that they are located in Roxbury because that’s where it’s most helpful for kids to have free tutoring and fun learning opportunities.  So it’s all good things.

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