Why I Work From Home, Kübler-Ross Edition


In case you live under a rock or in Hawaii, this winter of 2010-11 has been a real doozy. Having grown up in Central (aka The Cold Part of) Oregon and lived in Brooklyn for nearly seven years, I can say with confidence that I’m not a weeny when it comes to winter. It’s not my favorite, but I would nearly always take it over a humid 90-degree day.

Until now.

The unrelenting torture of this winter, with its veritable potpourri of meteorological shittiness (thundersnow, sleet, blizzard, single-digits, freezing rain, 40-mph winds), has had me in a real funk. I have begun to over-identify with the characters in Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City in more than one respect. A few times, I have thought seriously about going to a tanning salon.

In retrospect, I see that I’ve merely been cycling through the five stages of grief (category: cold).

1. Denial — “It’s not that cold; it snowed waaay more than this last year; I think I’ll wear a dress today; and high-heeled shoes while I’m at it; let’s have popsicles!”

2. Anger — “Last winter sucked, I deserve to have this winter suck less; last time I checked, we do not live in motherfucking Buffalo; there has been snow on the ground for six weeks and it’s clearly Mike Bloomberg’s fault.

3. Bargaining — “If I dig out my giant ugly snow boots, maybe it won’t snow anymore; if I resist the urge to read ‘Dear Prudence,’ maybe it will crack 40 degrees today.”

4. Depression — “I’m not leaving this apartment until the snow has melted; it is acceptable to eat toast for every meal; why is there never enough lip balm; what is a bra again?”

5. Acceptance — “I understand that it will never be warm ever again and that life must go on in spite of this; I must take responsibility for my health and eat some multivitamins on my toast sometimes; anything, even outside, can be faced with a little help from our dear friend whiskey.”

So, I’m starting see my way out.

Yesterday, after I finished a marathon book-editing session, I felt I had earned a half day off. I met up with my friend Mark Jason Williams, who stoically made the journey all the way from Westchester County. He is a talented playwright and you can read all about his hilarious exploits if you look over there –>. We spent an enjoyable afternoon in the East Village, despite the cold, taking guerrilla photographs of the crazies (and a shocking amount of normals) in Tompkins Square Park. We also used the bathroom and discussed pornographic films at Filene’s Basement and drank $3 G&Ts at Pieces.

I admit it, I’m glad I braved the cold. The wonderful company, Britney Spears videos and late-afternoon sunlight that only exists in Manhattan truly made it worth the superhuman effort required to leave home. And hooray for having a job that makes this type of Thursday afternoon possible.

Dogs that are better at socializing than humans

Recalling the bad old days

Here he is, Mark Jason Williams, loveable playwright extraordinaire

Often in parks, I see Asian people doing mysterious exercises, such as walking backwards for miles or whapping their arms against trees. That's what is going on here.

I think this interesting person is a tourist

Have you ever seen anything so adorably Americana as these two rascals? You haven't.

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2 Responses to Why I Work From Home, Kübler-Ross Edition

  1. Jenny says:

    I am sorry for your weather-related woes, but I do love that they make for such a hilarious post. Also, those two munchkins and their red cheeks are so adorable that I want to eat them up. Further, tanning salon?! Even just thinking about it – wow. In addition, I love that this post made me think of one of my all-time favorite memories. I spent Christmas 2006 in New York with my brother Jeff, when he lived there and we went for a monster walk on Christmas Day and ended up in Tompkins Square Park. It was just lovely. Finally, the tree whapping has piqued my curiosity. I might have to get all researchy now…

  2. Don’t worry, I haven’t actually gone to a tanning salon. I am trying to eat more vitamin D instead. And yes, please do find out about the exercise regimen that is all the rage among middle-aged Asian New Yorkers. Because you know it’s just a matter of time before it filters down through to everyone else (a la feng shui and tai chi) and pretty soon we’ll all be walking backwards for health and longevity. I want to be ahead of the curve on this!

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