[This was written the afternoon of Friday July 27th]
It has been a pretty nighmarish 12 hours, trying to get to Austin for what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend with family and friends, eating tons of delicious barbeque and Tex-Mex, and catching flicks at the Alamo Draft House. I’m writing this from 30,000 feet, so, spoiler alert — I make it on the plane. Of course, that was after a seventeen hour delay. Last night was absolutely wretched, the lowlights of which were three hours on the runway in a hailstorm before taking us back to the gate. At a certain point, they knew the flight was canceled, but they left us on the plane another hour anyway, waiting for the rain to let up so the ground crew could actually go outside and connect the aircraft to the exit ramp. That part was awesome, you know, the way that people who are sarcastic all the time say things are awesome.
Once we knew that our options for the night were paying for a $350 hotel room or sleeping on the floor of the most luxurious baggage claim in the continental United States, I sounded the social media alarums, asking for a place we could crash for the night. The kind friends who responded with offers of hospitality totally took me by surprise. I want to give them some shout outs, because they’re awesome people and you should know how cool they are in addition to how nice they are.
First there’s John Marc Imbrescia, or JM as we called him back at “the ‘dovah.” He was my Blue Key! Or I was his Blue Key, I can never remember which. But basically, on my first day of high school, he showed me around campus and taught me the ends and the outs of the theater department. It was a great introduction, one that got me excited about putting on plays at school and culminated in me being selected as one of the student heads of the department three years later. These days, JM is an internet badass — basically the Boba Fett of web design. Formerly a hot shot at the most fun dating website in the world, OkCupid, he now helps artists turn their craft into commerce as the senior software designer at Etsy.
Another kind soul who reached out to us was Mark Turetsky. Mark was another of the wise men in the theater department. He’s an incredible voice performer. You should download his reading of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Holy cow it’s funny. But the highlight of his voice acting for me has to be the talent show he MCed back in high school. The best parts were when he did a reading from Catch-22 and played all the parts (I swear, if you closed your eyes, you would have sworn there were a half dozen people on stage) and when he belched the A-B-C’s.
Max B Young is the man. We haven’t been in touch much sine we graduated from NYU, but that didn’t stop him from taking charge and telling us we could crash with him. He really is a champ. All through film school, I don’t know if I ever met someone so relentlessly positive. He’s kind, smart, and totally chill. Spike Lee is one lucky dude to have Max at his production company 40 Acres and a Mule. You should all be lucky enough to work with him some day.
And last but not least, our dear friends Kelsey and Emily opened their home to us. It was like, no questions asked. They cranked out the air mattress, gave us fancy pillows, thrust tall glasses of water into our hands the moment we walked in the door, and stayed up late letting us vent about the ordeal even though they had work in the morning. They even woke up with us at 4:00AM to see us off. Honestly, it was nice just to have friendly faces and a hug. Kelsey and Emily are both the bomb dot com, and you should read some of their stuff, their writing is rock and roll. Kelsey just had a story come out in the essential Lightspeed Magazine, a story which manages to be both beautiful and grotesque. Emily is a staff writer at Tor.com. If you see her byline on a post there, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it’s going to be brilliant, but some of my all-time favorite posts of hers are here, here, and here. And of course, a special shout out to her post about our wedding.
YAY FRIENDSHIP! These people are amazingly kind and groovy friends. Check them out! I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.
And you know what the happy ending to the story is? When I woke up this morning, I received an offer from a magazine to buy one of my short stories. Hooray! I’ll tell you much more about it in a later post, but in the meantime, thank you super friends! You saved us this time.