Anna Jarzab, a pictorial retrospective

Today I turned 25. Whatever, don’t worry about it, apparently people age or something. I don’t like it, but that seems to be the way it is. I’m not a big fan of birthdays, but I thought this would be a good time to show you what I looked like when I wasn’t 25, since I had to come onto the blog to change my About page anyway. I’m going to attempt to do this in yearly increments of five, just to be symmetrical about the whole thing.

2788314032_e0bc579931Me as a wee babe. Look, I’m as pink as my blanket!

2791063748_698325fddcAge 5. I believe this was my first grade picture.

2791000994_3013d5849aAge 10. Look how blonde and long my hair used to be! Nevertheless, it’s looking a bit weird here.

2789881817_5a34089d60I cheated, this is a picture of me when I was probably sixteen, but just sixteen. It’s my high school senior photo. Look how my hair is no longer blonde. Fascinating, I KNOW.

Okay, now here’s where it gets sketchy, because most of the photos I have of myself when I’m twenty are not digital because only moms and dads who had jobs could afford digital cameras back then. So…this is what I have to offer you. This is Halloween, my junior year in college. I’m on the left (obvs), with my RED! HAIR! which I loved and hope someday to go back to. My best friend from college, Carmen, is on the right. Our friend Pat, dressed up as a Playboy bunny (??) is in the middle. I’m sure they’re so glad that I’ve posted this picture!


I don’t have a picture of what I look like today, yet, but you’ve seen the ‘Stache Bash photos…I look basically the same as that, without the ‘stache.


Revise, reassess, rearrange

I had a joint birthday party with my roommate this weekend and it was super fun but also super dramz at the end of the night, although thankfully nobody was around to witness it except for Cambria and Nikki and poor Jeff the bartender. Whatevs!

I’ve started to notice that I have this problem that isn’t really a problem except when it is, and that is that I’m constant (you know, like Blair Waldorf)–I just don’t give up on things and people very easily. I actually think being constant is a good quality, but it can veer over into self-destructive territory when the thing you can’t let go of is getting bigger and bigger (in your head, of course, not in real life, where none of this matters at all) until finally it explodes like a bomb and blows your head to smithereens. So! My idea is to cut the problem off at the source. It’s working pretty well so far.

Just like a book, a life sometimes needs to be revised, and since I’m such an expert now it makes sense that I’m changing some stuff. I joined a gym and am starting to swim regularly (okay, I’ve gone once, but I joined the gym on Saturday and it’s Monday so give me a break, I plan to swim regularly). I love the quiet of the pool and the feeling of muscle memory kicking in when I’m working on my strokes and the way you can be alone underwater in a way you can’t be alone anywhere else, especially New York.

I also invested in a soft, warm, green duvet that I can’t wait to cuddle up to every night. The experience of buying it was pretty interesting. The man at Pottery Barn Kids was either on drugs or not listening to me, but he did seem to be sincerely trying to help so I’m going to give him points. I might need to get a queen-sized comforter, though, because my full one doesn’t seem to be big enough–it makes the duvet look baggy.

Speaking of working, it’s been twelve days since I sent my revisions into my editor. I haven’t heard anything back yet, and the only way I can stave off impatience is to work on something else. Lucky for me, I have an almost-done manuscript just sitting there ready to be finished, and it’s something I really love and am proud of, so it’s back to MB for me for the time being. I don’t think there’s a lot to do on it, but I’m having fun just reading it again.

I’m also starting to think about the Next Book. I reread what I had of GR so far a couple of days ago and liked it, and tonight I’m going to check back in with SM and see how much I like the pages I have for that. (We’re talking, like, ten pages here. I do not have a cache of almost-finished novels…YET.) I also have this weird…trilogy? Maybe? That I’m thinking about trying to write. I don’t know. All the ideas I have are so odd to me, they’re not easy to explain or categorize, and I’m not even sure if this one will work. Hell, I’m not even sure GR will work–it’s pretty weird, too. A quasi-apocalyptic pseudo-mystery, as I’ve taken to calling it? WHAT IS THAT EVEN?

In more boring news, the DVD player on my new MacBook is, I don’t know, misprogrammed or something. The DVD player thinks it’s a different region than it is? I guess I have to take it to the Apple store. On the other hand, Cambria and I watched the Golden Globes last night and all four hours were worth it because of five things:

1. Drew Barrymore’s outfit


Direct quote from Cambria: “It’s like Drew Barrymore came to the Golden Globes dressed as Katherine Heigl.”

2. Tracy Morgan’s acceptance speech for 30 Rock‘s Best Television Show (Comedy) included the phrase, “Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!” This is my new catchphrase. It’s super funny if you consider it proof that backstage at 30 Rock is no different than on stage at 30 Rock. Tracy’s just got a different last name. And Jane Krakowski was way more excited for Tina Fey than Jenna would’ve been for Liz.

3. Liz Lemon’s Tina Fey’s acceptance speech for her win for Best Actress (Comedy). “Babs from Lacrosse you can suck it, DianeFan you can suck it, CougarLetter you can really suck it, you’ve been after me all year.”

4. Kate Winslet. Just, all of her. Being awesome. She’s really the only actress in the world I care about.

5. Renee Zellweger’s outfit.


Direct quote from Cambria: “She looks toe-UP. I don’t even use that phrase very often because I don’t know what it means, but I feel like it’s appropriate here.”

I’ll leave you with that.

Watching my life explode (in a good way)

Wow, this is going to be a very, very busy weekend for me. One of the things I love about living in New York (the thing that cancels out all of the worries about rent and bills, the frustration with tourists, the cold winters and humid summers, the way you hemorrhage money just walking down the sidewalk, etc.) is that there’s always something to do. When I was living in California (I feel like a broken record saying this, but it’s so true) I made less money but I also spent less, because I was living rent-free with my parents and I didn’t have to pay for car insurance so my only expense was gas and it was cheaper then although of course I drove approx. 100 miles a day back and forth to work and also food was pretty much free. But I was so lonely, especially after Aaron, one of my best friends, totally dropped me like a hot potato (long story, I’ll tell it someday when it’s more to the point). And I was SO, SO BORED. I was bored at my job, I was bored at home, I was bored in the car on the way to work, I was bored at the gym (unless Jeopardy was on). The only redeeming things I ever did that year were have late-night coffee with my friend Scott, watch Netflix DVDs, read, and write AUT. Thank God, because otherwise AUT probably would never have gotten written.

But now it’s only two years later and I am in a completely, wonderfully different place. I recognize all the things I have and am grateful for them, and I also know that I worked pretty hard to get them, so I don’t necessarily feel guilty about it, but still. I’m lucky. HOWEVER. Sometimes, it’s a little much. I don’t know what it is about this weekend, but hoards of people I know are flooding New York, independently of each other, and I don’t know how I’m going to handle the influx! For instance, my friend Cambria’s dad and teenage sister are here this weekend, which doesn’t much affect me except that we’re having dinner today. That’s good, I can handle that, it’ll be fun and relaxing. But also my friend Abby is moving to New York today, and I want to be around to help her with anything she might need or just keep her company if she gets a little overwhelmed/lonely. Also, my friend Mike from college (and possibly his girlfriend, Lauren, who I also know and am friends with from college? This is something I’m unsure about) is in town and I’d like to see him because I haven’t in like two years, but I don’t know his plans and it’s hard to get a hold of him, so who knows? Also, my friend Paul is in town for the Columbia Publishing Institute, but he’s super busy because he’s in class during the day and working for his job at night, so while he wants to do hang out this weekend he isn’t quite sure when he can fit it in. Also, I promised my roommate that I’d go with her to scope out the Fordham area in the Bronx and see some apartments for one of her best friends, a guy we both know from grad school who is moving here, on Saturday. I also have brunch plans with Katie, Nikki and Kyle, and dinner plans at Nikki’s place on Saturday. I also have two friends coming into town Saturday night–Carmen, one of my best friends from college and former roommate, and her fiance Tim, who is also a friend from college. I feel like I definitely need to spend Sunday and Monday with them, which I’m really excited to do. NOT TO MENTION the fact that on Tuesday the San Diego half of the 4S (don’t ask, long story, that is what me and my three best friends from high school call ourselves), Kim and Jenny, is coming into town on Tuesday night, and Carmen and Tim don’t leave until Wednesday! How did this weekend blow up into such a huge tangled mess of people to see and places to go and things to do?

I know this wasn’t about writing, but it was on my mind. In book news…there isn’t any! Oh, wait, maybe I didn’t say this but J asked for my bio on Friday for the pitch letter, so I sent her a serious one and a funny one (the funny one just has an extra line in it), and I have no idea which she’s decided to use (I hope the funny one). Also, I sent her the cleanest copy of the AUT MS I have, complete with something I’ve never shown her before–the epigraphs! Yes, epigraphs. I KNOW. Sometime I will post about my love/hate relationship with epigraphs, but that’s not for this discussion. But maybe you could tell me what you think of them? Pretentious or tone setting? Is one enough, or the more the merrier (within reason)? Lemme know!

(Also, this is sort of apropos of nothing, but what happened to the tag function? I just noticed it has disappeared.)

(ETA: Um, maybe because I wrote this as a page instead of a post. Whoops. Hope I can fix it!)