At least until the next blog post gets put up. In the meantime, feel free to listen to me yap on the radio tomorrow as he suggests. I’m not promising any deep thoughts, but there’s plenty of my token awkwardness, so that’s nice.
Oh, and also, I have Twitter now. Don’t judge me. It’s for professional reasons. But, if you’re a twitterer (is that a word?) follow me!
The other night as I was leaving work I gave my brother a call to ask him about the complex workings of the minds of the male gender. When I called, I interupted him doing some on a case for law school that he said had something to do with the 14th amendment. We chatted about it briefly, both saying we couldn’t recall exactly what that amendment was, but that we thought it might have something to do with slavery.
(Note: I was a politics major in college and took more than one class on the constitution, the supreme court, and general stuff to do with things like amendments. Then I went to grad school where I did an entire semester program focused on political reporting in D.C. Everett went to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, which is dedicated entirely to politics both national and international. In other words, we should both know what the 14th amendment is without even thinking.)
Today, he sent me this email titled “We should be embarassed to be Americans:”
So you know the 14th amendment, how we were like, “yeah it has something to do with slavery, yeah something about freedom, slavery…slaves yeah that was it something about not ensalving people…sure that was the 14th amendment, when you said 14th amendment I was thinking slaves…right me too definitely all about slaves and how that was probably not a good idea or at least not anymore.”
So the 14th amendment is actually one of two that probably has the most famous quote of all the amendments, you know the, “pursuit of life, liberty, or property…”
I’m in law school you’re a freaking journalist! I don’t take Con. law until next semester and I might have to beef up a little on the whole constitution thing, like actually read it for once in my damn life.
I love iGoogle. Seriously. It’s an amazing invention.
My absolute favorite part of though is easily the “How to of the Day” section that pops up on mine. It is always the most ridiculous stuff and somehow it always tempts me to click over. I mean, obviously I need to know “How to Swim with Sharks” and “How to Throw a Super Bowl Commerical Watching Party.”
So clearly, when today it said “How to Grind on the Dance Floor,” I thought I should definitely check that out. The best part is that it directs you to Wikipedia which decribes the whole thing so technically. Below is the answer to “How to Grind on the Dance Floor.” I love that they say “Never ask if they’d like to grind.” I’d like to add to that “Never mention that you read an article on how to grind.”
Dance near a person you want to grind with. If the person takes notice of you, and acknowledges you, approach them and ask if they’d like to dance. Never ask if they’d like to grind. If you know for sure the person is a grinder, assume the correct positions (one person, usually the guy, directly behind the other). If you are unsure, start off with some distance between your hips. If your partner starts getting a little closer, then you can get a little closer.
Dance with your your hips together. While normally the guy is behind the girl, there are not strict rules saying you can’t switch things up. If you’re at the front, move your end area around in a pattern at around crotch level of your partner. You’re in control. If you’re behind someone else, follow her movements. The pelvises can be directly aligned, or slightly off so that one of the rear person’s legs is between the front person’s legs. • If you are the rear dancer, it’s best to start with your hands on the person’s hips, then move them a bit (like to his/her waist, or on his/her stomach) when you get more comfortable. Be cognizant of his/her body language; many people do not like dancing with pushy partners. • If you are feeling uncomfortable, move your partner’s hands back to your hips or waist or wherever you want them. Just because you are grinding does NOT give someone permission to grope you. If you move your partner’s hands where you feel more comfortable, and they try to move them back, just stop grinding and walk away from that person.
Join a grinding chain. Sometimes a group of people start grinding together. Usually it’s a mix of men and women alternating, or just women. Sometimes two women will “sandwich” a man, and others latch on.
Tonight around 9:30 I arrived home from my church community group and decided it was time to investigate the damage done by the rat mentioned in the previous entry. I knew that it had done some serious gnawing on the paper towels beneath my sink, but I decided to clear out everything else under the sink to see what else he’d been up to.
As it turns out, a lot.
Mostly he’s just been using the cabinet under my sink for both his toilet facility and as a place to find house building materials. However, he’s also been hoarding food under there.
What food, you may ask?
Well, that would be Rosie’s food. Prior to this discovery Rosie seemed pretty chill about the rat. However, I now have one seriously pissed off miniature dachshund on my hands. Rosie is furious. And rightfully so. If there’s anything I’ve taught Rosie, it’s that we take our personal food very seriously.
Of course, the fact that the rat was able to get out of the cabinet, walk around the corner to the hall, get a large piece of dog food, return to the cabinet, open it back up, and take said dog food inside is fairly bothersome. We’re dealing with a much larger opponent than I originally realized.
Which is why I just made a late night run to Target where I purchased 12 rat traps that have all been left now under the sink. (Ironically, at Target, rat traps are in the pet care section of the store.) I then left tiny peices of muenster cheese all over the cabinet. Incidentally, the muenster is from Trader Joe’s and totally delish so while the rat will not be pleased with the trap, I think he’s in for a tasty pre-trap snack.
My first thought upon discovering that some sort of rodent was living in my house was to call my parents. Not because I consider them authorities on rat removal or really need their help in that department. But because having a rogue rodent in my house is precisely the kind of thing they like to talk about. So, when I saw the gnawed through paper towels on Saturday morning, I immediately called them. We didn't actually connect though until last night. The conversation went something like this:
I've got a rat living in my house.
Oh no. Do you want to move home?
I don't think that's going to be necessary. I'm thinking a simple trapping device will suffice.
Maybe you should call an exterminator.
I think I can take care of this myself.
Do you want to borrow Boots [my parents dachshund and notorious small animal killer] for a few days? I'm sure she could take it down.
(It's worth noting here that Boots is 16, deaf, and blind. However, my mom is right. She could take it down.)
That's ok. Seriously, I'm thinking I'll just get a few of those sticky sheets and trap it that way.
Has Rosie noticed it?
Not that's she's mentioned. However, Rosie's so lazy these days I half expect to see her and the rat chilling out together in the kitchen one afternoon.
Where do you think it's getting in? Maybe through the sink? Or maybe through the dryer vent?
If it's getting in through the vent that means it has to walk across the kitchen and then open the cabinet door to get to the paper towels. That rat would have to be the size of a hedgehog.
You never know. Are you sure you don't want to move home?
This is my first video that doesn’t have something to do with my dachshund. Now, obviously the stars of this video are not nearly as cute and precious as Rosie, but, well, I did some fading, music, and sticking a bunch of clips together, which took me a zillion years so I’m pretty excited about the final product.
I hate them almost as much as I love Friday afternoons. Seriously, every weekend feels like a little kid at Christmas for me. Friday afternoons are Christmas Eve when you just know Santa has something awesome in store for you and Sunday nights are Christmas night when you are coming to terms with the fact that this magical experience won’t return for another year—or, in this case, five long, hard, work days.
This weekend I’m feeling particularly dejected on Sunday for several reasons.
1) My closest friends from growing up came to visit for the weekend and I’d been looking forward to it for so long that I’m quite sad it’s over now.
2) While they were here we managed to absolutely wreck my house. Like, it hasn’t been this dirty since I moved in. And frankly I don’t have the energy to clean it. So, those half eaten cinnamon rolls, cookie cake, and chips are staying where they are until tomorrow. (Yeah, that’s right. We’re not exactly the world’s healthiest eaters.)
3) When I say I don’t have the energy to clean, that really doesn’t fully describe how freaking tired I am. I wanted a nap today like I’ve never wanted anything in my life. Unfortunately, as soon as I climbed in bed I got literally eight phone calls, my neighbor knocked on my door, and Rosie barked for an hour straight. I wanted to die a little. I also wanted to purchase a muzzle immediately.
4) Over the course of the weekend I discovered I have a mouse and/or rat living in my house. I’m not comfortable with this. I’d suspected for awhile, but it was confirmed when I discovered some seriously chewed through paper towel rolls under my sink. It’s not that I really hate rodents, I’m actually fairly ok with them. But, what I don’t like is a little something called “the plague.” Something, which incidentally was spread by rats. I fear it could happen again.
5) Every weekend I leave work on Friday saying I’m going to do work over the weekend so I’ll feel slightly caught up on Monday. And every Monday morning I arrive at work a nervous wreck because I feel so far behind. That feeling is exacerbated this weekend because , well, I had A LOT to do and I haven’t done ANY of it. On the upside, when they discover how insanely behind I am and subsequently fire me, it will be like the weekend every day. Minus the ability to support myself of course, which is kind of overrated anyway I think.
Actually, that’s a lie. But, I do have a “Learn a Spanish phrase a day” calendar next to my desk so hopefully by December 31st of 2009 I’ll know all kinds of crazy Spanish phrases. I love how they’re so applicable too. I mean, as it turns out, my favorite day is Friday. It’s like the calendar knew.
I have a huge guilt complex when it comes to my hair. For years I’ve been saying I am going to cut it and give it away to Locks for Love. Then, every time I go to have it cut, my hairstylist looks at me like I must be insane to want to cut my hair and I inevitably back out.
Today, I have a hair appointment. When I went in last time I told Amy, my stylist, that this time I was definitely going to cut it. She said she was going to hold me to that. A week later I had a nightmare that my hair was short and I looked terrible. Like, somehow short hair also made me look like I weighed 700 pounds and had the face of a wombat.
So, I’m not sure what to do. Part of me says “Sarah, stop being so selfish. You can’t give blood because you’re the world’s biggest wimp. So, at least give your hair to people who need it.” This, by the way, is a slippery slope to turning into Will Smith’s character in 7 pounds. Soon I’ll be feeling selfish for holding on to a perfectly good kidney or set of eyes.
The other part of me says “Sarah, if you cut your hair, you will look old. And you will lose your best feature. And you will look like a man. And you might even look like a wombat. And you will definitely not look bohemian (lifelong dream look). And you might never get married because who wants to marry a wombat?”
So I haven’t decided yet. I probably won’t get it cut (see wimp reference above). But I’d love any feedback as long as it comes before today at 6. And as long as it doesn’t involve telling me that I already look like a wombat.
That's funny, I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold too. I was thinking about taking Zicam again, but I noticed when I was baking cookies the other day I couldn't smell them and I think that might be from putting that stuff up my nose so much.
You're basically a cokehead.
Yeah. And worst of all, is that I really prided myself on having a nose like a hound dog.
I didn't know that was a point of pride with you.
Oh yeah. You know, you get old and you lose some stuff, but I think other stuff takes it's place. Like, I've lost a lot of my eyesight, but my sense of smell was getting very keen. Like a hound dog.
Confession: I judge books by their covers. I also often count my chickens before they hatch and occasionally try to fit square pegs in to round holes, but those are problems for another day.
I definitely picked my most recent read out for its cover. The book, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland, focuses entirely on the painting Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir. And so, fairly predictably, the cover is actually the painting itself.
So, to continue in my line of cliches, my description is going to kind of sound cliche-y. Just a warning. The book reminds me of an impressionist painting. It’s beautiful. It’s slow moving. It’s fluid. Parts of it make you pause and enjoy it. Parts of it draw you in. And other parts of it bore the hell out of you. Or at least me.
Who will like this: If you have absolutely any interest in art, history, or France, you’ll enjoy this book. As someone who has at times been obsessed with France and Paris, I loved the scenes in the city, particularly those at Montmartre. Pardon the pun, but the author paints a beautiful image of what Montmartre must have looked like before tourists took over and turned the bohemian artist community into a Disney World version of itself.
Who won’t like it: Anyone looking for a quick read. This is 434 pages of slowly, beautifully moving text. A page turner it is not.
My favorite quote: “ ‘He wanted to carve our names into them, but I wouldn’t let him hurt the trees. Now I wish I had.’
'Why are you painting this painting? It's for the same reason. To let the world know after out time that we were here, and that we loved.' “
Where to read this: On a flight to Paris because trust me, you’ll want to be there when you’ve finished.
To know before you read: I wish I had known more about the Impressionist movement before I’d read this. I think a nice Wikipedia search on the subject would be sufficient though.
Overall: Don’t read it if you’re not interested in art or in Paris. If you like either though, then by all means cherie, pick it up.
As I mentioned several days ago, I went to the doctor to have blood drawn last week. The purpose of that visit was so that the doc could check the blood stuff out before I came in for my general physical today. The reason for said physical was two fold: 1) Total lack of general check ups for the last decade 2) Weird chest pains and other bizarre health issues that made me certain I was going to die of a heart attack at any moment.
Today, after I’d finished telling my doctor all of my symptoms he looked over the chart and said “Have you traveled anywhere internationally recently?” Now, I get VERY nervous in doctor’s offices and tend to forget everything. Like, literally, it wouldn’t be totally unlikely that I’d forget my name I get so nervous. So, when he asked I was like “Um. Nope, no international travel for like six months.” He shook his head, slowly looking back at the chart.
"Oh. Wait." I said. "I was in Belize three weeks ago. Oops. Sorry. I forgot."
He looked at me like I’d lost my mind, but then nodded his head. “I was afraid of that,” he said. “Your symptoms actually sound like tuberculosis.”
"Uh oh," I said. "That doesn’t sound good."
"It’s probably not that," he said. "But just to be safe, we’ll run some tests."
Which was how I ended up getting blood drawn. Again. When the nurse saw me she burst out laughing. “I remember you,” she said.
"Um. Do you think there’s any way I could not have blood drawn?" I said.
She laughed hysterically. “You are so funny,” she said. “I definitely remember you.”
"Yeah, I’m not kidding. Seriously. Can’t we determine this without the blood. Like, maybe we do the chest x-ray and the TB test and see what they say? Then go from there? Could we ask the doctor if we could do that?"
She wouldn’t stop laughing. I eventually gave in. And demanded my juice.
I find out Thursday if I do in fact have TB. I called my mom after the appointment to proudly tell her that while my cholesterol looks great, I might have a 3rd world disease. Her first response was to point out that Beth in Little Women died from tuberculosis. Then she noted that after I came home for Christmas, post Belize, I’d infected my dad and my brother with something (they’ve been blaming this on me for weeks). She threw the word “epidemic” around a few times.
I told my friends at dinner about it and they suggested that if I do have TB, I should tell people I have consumption. It just sounds cooler.
I told my friend Katie about it and ten minutes later she signed online during which we had the following gchat conversation:
Katherine: i am coughing SARAH
Katherine: and my face feels all hot
me: HAHA Katherine: (i mean i did just drink some hot tea)but still me: you’re crazy Katherine: i have TB Turns out tuberculosis makes for some entertaining conversations. On the other hand, it does kill people. So, hopefully, I don’t have it. Don’t worry blog readers. I’ll let you know on Thursday.
Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Valkyrie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven Pounds, and Revolutionary Road. I realize I’m probably only among like three people who have seen all of those and have therefore cut my audience down to me and Rosie (who I’ve already shared all the plots with anyway), but let’s be honest, that’s not all that different from any other entry.
So, in recent weeks I’ve gone to the movies a lot. In fact, I’d say I’ve doubled my movie watching from the last twelve months just in the last month. But, it’s cold outside and when guys like Tom, Brad, Will, and Leo are up on the big screen, I enjoy watching.
Unfortunately, it was like this year Hollywood decided it was time to make the world’s most depressing films. First there was Valkerie (foiled plot to stop a mass murderer followed shortly by execution of all the “good guys”), then Benjamin Button (tragic love story in which two people only have a brief moment of life together before Brad Pitt at his absolute hottest morphs into an angry child), then came 7 Pounds (still trying to fiure out the message for this: don’t text and drive? suicide is a nice thing to do? don’t own jellyfish as pets?), and finally Revolutionary Road.
I knew that Revolutionary Road was supposed to be depressing before I went to see it last night so I was prepared. I also had a good idea of the plot of the movie. And, as it turned out, I loved it. Like, I’m not sure the last time I saw a movie I enjoyed that much. (And not just because Jack and Rose were back on screen together.)
It’s a beautiful movie. And Kate and Leo are both amazing. Every single emotion they portray I understood long before words left their mouths. And there is a lot of emotion. But most of all, the story felt so applicable, which is pretty impressive considering that it took place in the suburbs in the 1950s and is about a married couple with children. One wouldn’t think that I could relate that to my life.
But, I think the idea of needing there to be something more to life is universal. And I think that everyone wants to think they’re different from everyone else. But ultimately I think the story is about the fact that the American Dream isn’t for everyone despite society’s need to tell us that it is. I guess that’s why I liked it. Because I hate being told what I should or shouldn’t want from life and I liked that Kate Winslet’s character felt the same way.
Of course, what makes the movie depressing is that her attempts to ignore the world’s desires for her fall short because of circumstances and life. I’d like to think that things have changed in the last 50 years to make it so that this story couldn’t happen today. But I’m not sure that they have. To be honest, I think that it’s part of the human condition that we gravitate towards following each other and succombing to what the world tells us will bring happiness. I liked the movie because it showed that for the lie that it is.
My favorite quote from the film:
“No one forgets the truth, they just get better at lying.”
This morning I went to a general doctor for a check up. Considering I hadn’t done that in a little more than ten years, I thought it was due time. Also, I’ve been having chest pains lately that make me pretty sure I’m going to die of a heart attack before I reach my 27th birthday, so I figured I’d see what could be done about that.
Unfortunately, when one goes to the doctor, it involves something called “blood tests.” I do not do well with “blood tests.” In fact, I’d say I do very, very badly.
It’s 90% mental (I think they’re draining the life out of me), but the 10% physical usually catches up with me and I’ve spent way too much time stretched out on the floor of doctor’s offices after having blood drawn. So, this morning, after I had barely slept because I was so nervous, I announced the nurse that I don’t tend to do well with blood being drawn.
She took me to a procedure room and stretched me out on the table, then she hit my arm like 180 times. I’ve been told my veins are “small and hard to find.” Personally, that’s how I like them. However, she eventually located one and began. I promptly began sweating as if the room were actually a sauna. Then my face turned bright red. And then I started breathing very hard.
The nurse asked if I was ok. I said yes, but that I was pretty hot. Then she said that I’d stopped bleeding. The mere thought of my blood stopping, hence in my mind, running out, made me hotter. And then I had some trouble keeping my eyes open. So she stopped, yelled for another nurse, who came in and held my legs up, while she ran to get me juice. All of this was rather embarrassing, but it’s hard to be embarrassed when you think you’re probably going to die.
As I sipped my Capri Sun the two nurses examined what they had been able to get of my blood.
“Do you think it’s enough?” the first nurse asked.
“Well, that’s about as much as we get from infants and they can test their blood with that much, so it should be ok,” the second one said.
I hadn’t thought it was possible to feel more like a big baby until that moment. On the up side though, I made it out alive. And they tell me I’ll produce more blood to make up for that which was lost. We’ll see.
My friend Laura has a warm heart. I can’t think of another way to describe it. You can sense it within moments of meeting her. I did. She’s the type of person you trust immediately because you just know that no matter what you tell her, she’ll be kind.
It was no surprise to me then when several months ago she told me a story about meeting a woman on a Marta train in Atlanta who poured her heart out to her. People tend to do that with Laura. Laura told me the story as we sat on Marta together one night. She said that on her way to the airport a few weeks before she had begun speaking to a woman who told her that her husband had just died. The woman’s heart was hurting and Laura’s own heart broke as she listened to the woman’s story of her loneliness and pain. Not surprisingly for anyone who knows Laura, she felt so much compassion for the woman that she was still crying when she went through security at the airport half an hour later.
She shared the story with me for the first time in October. And then she mentioned it a few more times, saying that she still thought often of that woman. Two weeks ago Laura switched jobs and began working for Atlanta office for The Wall Street Journal. Yesterday one of her new co-workers came into her office to speak with her. As she sat across from Laura the co-worker began to tell her about her husband who had died several months before.
“You’re her,” Laura said, suddenly. “You’re the woman from Marta.”
Atlanta isn’t a small city. And every day hundreds of people cross paths never to see each other again. But yesterday Laura had the opportunity to sit down across a desk from a woman for whom she’d been praying for months. She had the chance to tell the woman how much her story had touched her. And how she had asked God to be with her and to help her with her pain.
I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in coincidences. I don’t believe in karma. I don’t believe in luck.
I believe in an all powerful, all knowing God. And yesterday I think that He showed himself to a woman who was still hurting and lonely and to Laura in a remarkable way. I’m glad that things like this happen to remind us that chance meetings aren’t chance at all, and that there are plans beyond ours.
It’s something I think we could all use to be reminded of sometimes.
In the last twelve months I have interviewed celebrities, quit a job, traveled to random places around the south Pacific, jumped out of a plane, interviewed for new jobs, moved to a new city, traveled to a foreign country with no one I knew, and met about a gazillion new people. And nothing—NOTHING—in those last twelve months was half as intimidating or scary to me as going to my new gym for the first time last night.
That’s right. I’m afraid of gyms. I’ll admit it.
I’ve always tried to go to gyms, but I always hate it. In high school I made the occasional stop at the Y when I wasn’t already working out through school sports. In college every once in a while I’d make my way over to the school fitness area—and smiled politely at all of the anorexic 18-year-olds hogging the treadmills. In grad school I even took a class that required me going to the gym twice a week at minimum. During a summer in north Charlotte I joined a local gym and went fairly frequently actually. In Atlanta I took a tour of the gym I was a member of and promptly decided never to go back. I did, however, spend some significant time in my condo’s tiny work out room.
Obviously, I’m not particularly intimidated by the working out or the machines—although they do hold a little bit of mystery for me (my issues with technology do occasionally come up). I’m intimidated by the people. I don’t know why. When I was there last night I saw two people I know and I feel like half of my friends in Charlotte are members at this gym. But there is something about walking into a building full of fit, young adults that just scares the heck out of me. And not just because I’m wearing spandex.
However, I had decided it was time. The other day I’d seen a quote on a random blog that read, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I thought about that. And then I decided whoever wrote that had obviously never had a margarita. So, because I love margaritas (among other high calorie content ingestibles) I decided that maybe in order to continue having clothes that fit, I should consider gym membership.
Which is how I ended up last night sweating in a room full of people long before I’d even stepped on a machine. However, I made it through. And I’m going back tonight. And hopefully the night after that. And, one day, when I’m old and therefore didn’t die from a heart attack before I was 30, I will be glad I did this. Probably.
I hate being tricked into reading a book. (Actually, I hate being tricked into anything. Most trickery in my life falls under food offenses. Don’t tell me you have Diet Coke and then give me Diet Pepsi. And definitely don’t tell me we’re going to eat soon, when we’re not.) But I digress. I don’t like being tricked into a book. Most of my history with this problem falls under books by big name authors (ahem, James Patterson) in which the author has totally sold out and had the book written by someone else and then put their name on it.
This is so annoying. I’ve only fallen for it twice. And both times I was angry. Because both times it was like the actual author was so terrible I imagined that they’d actually written the novel in crayon to send to the publisher. I don’t fall for that trick anymore.
What I do fall for, and specifically what I fell for this time with The Secret Confessions of a Fire King by Kim Edwards (author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter), are books that look like full books, but are actually compilations of short stories. Granted, had I looked a little more closely at the cover of this book, I would have quickly realized my mistake. But I didn’t. So, it wasn’t until I finished what I thought was the first chapter and started the second that I realized these weren’t chapters at all, but totally different stories. I was not pleased.
Mostly I wasn’t pleased because it takes a lot of effort to keep starting and re-starting stories. Half the appeal of a book to me is finding out what happens next. Also, I found that while I really liked some of the stories, I really didn’t like others. Anyway, here’s the official review:
Who will like this: People with very short attention spans. And people who like very flowery prose. Also, if you like The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, you’ll probably like this. The stories have the same whimsical qualities and overall melancholy air.
Who won’t like this: People who wanted to read a freaking novel. And people who are offended by negative religious commentary. I’m guessing Kim Edwards isn’t a huge fan of organized religion.
My favorite quote: The book had a lot of quotable stuff. Sometimes she tends to just go over the top though on the descriptions (example: “The beach is as white and smooth as the curve of the moon. I sit with an empty glass cradled in my hands, watching the waves slide their thin tongues along the shore. Late afternoon light escapes beneath low clouds, shooting through the surface of the water, making the waves glow for an instant before they lick the land and then grow dark, seething through the pale, gritty sand and disappearing.” Um. Dude. They’re waves.)
But, I do like the way she puts some stuff: “I had watched him go, and this was what I knew: madness was a graceless descent, the abyss beneath a careless step.”
Where to read this: This is a good pre-bedtime-quick-read kind of thing.
To know before you read:The Secret Confessions of a Fire King is one of the stories in the book. It was probably one of my least favorites and I think that’s because the main character was a man. Edwards writes much more optimistically when her central characters are female.
Overall: I liked it. And the stories are the type I think will stick with me. Specifically one about a mermaid that in a very odd way reminded me of The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
My family was supposed to go on a ski trip this weekend before my brother headed back up to Maryland to hibernate for a second semester of law school. However, my dad hasn’t been feeling well so I was told to call home today at lunchtime to see if we were still on for the trip. That conversation went something like this.
What do you want player?
Are we going skiing this weekend?
Hold on. Let me ask our mother.
(mumbled noises in background)
She says there is a one in ten chance we’ll think about talking about it.
What does that mean?! That doesn’t mean anything!
It means there’s a one in ten chance she’ll talk about it.
Seriously. That doesn’t mean anything.
Ok, there’s a one in ten chance you should talk to her about this.
Yeah. I’m thinking those odds are my best bet for finding out much of anything at this point.
Once, a long, long time ago when I was still a youngster in grad school, this guy was my professor.
What’s that? You’re surprised I took classes from someone with a history in political and investigative reporting? I can’t imagine why, considering my most recent article to be published was on the benefits of donning purple this winter.
In another thirty years they’ll be making a movie about me breaking that story. Trust me.
I’m trying to read more books this year. (See: New Year’s Resolutions) I have always read a lot until 2008. I like to think of 2008 as the year of watching insane amounts of television online, reading a gazillion blogs, and perusing more online magazine articles than I care to count. And, while I do have a very passionate love affair going on between myself and my Mac, I’ve decided that I miss the feel of some good, old-fashioned, rain-forest-destroying paper between my hands. So, I’m back to book reading.
And, because I like to talk about books I read and I like to yap about just about anything on this blog, I’ve decided that I will write about every book that I read this year on here. So, here you go, welcome to my book club.
The first book I read this year was one that my friend Katie loaned me. And, frankly, it’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. The name of the book is My Horizontal Life and it’s basically a compilation of short stories about one-night stands by Chelsea Handler, the comedian and host of the show Chelsea Lately.
It took me about two hours to read the entire book—partially because a kindergartner could read this book (but probably wouldn’t find it particularly funny) and partially because I couldn’t put it down. And so, I sat in bed with my dachshund laughing so hard I literally started crying while I read stories of naked midgets and Ecstasy.
After reading the book, I’ve decided that Chelsea Handler is easily the funniest woman I know of. I typically don’t find women particularly funny, but I want to meet her, hang out with her, and possibly be her best friend. Also, after reading the book I’ve decided my next book will have less sex and more words with more than two syllables. I feel like I just read an extra long Maxim article.
Here is my official “review”:
Who will like this: Anyone who is willing to laugh at things that are totally crass and completely politically incorrect. Specifically, racial issues, sex, drugs, and midgets.
Who won’t like this: People who don’t find those things funny. Specifically, my mother.
My favorite quote: “At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall ALL the time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer.”
Where to read this: On a beach. With a margarita.
To know before you read: You might want to keep a computer nearby with urbandictionary.com up. There are expressions used that unless you work in a strip club, you’re probably not going to know what they mean.
Overall: It’s good. I’d give it an R rating as far as books go. But truthfully I hate cheesy sex scenes in books and this had none of that, which I can appreciate. I think it should be read. Then promptly loaned to a friend (I’ve already loaned Katie’s copy to another friend) or hidden because seriously, who reads this trash?
My neighborhood has a lot of charm. Especially if you consider stuff like high murder rates and gang activity charming. But, if on the off chance you don’t, it still is a highly entertaining place to live.
There is a constant parade of characters to watch:
There’s Ms. Curly, the 87-year-old who lives across the street from me. Without a doubt she’s in better shape than me (I have a feeling she laughs at me when she looks out her window to see me struggling to mow my yard) and seems completely unfazed by what she calls “shoot ’em ups” that result in things like her finding a bullet hole in her car several months ago. She’s actually much more interested in a giant white rabbit that occasionally shows up around the neighborhood. She shares that interest with Rosie.
Then there’s the guy around the corner who I like to think of as a drug dealer. I could be wrong. I could be judging too quickly. But seriously, you don’t get rims like that to drive to work at McDonalds every day. And there is no reason there should be that many cars coming and going from your house at all hours of the night. What I love about this drug dealer though is the small, fluffy dog I constantly see him walking. The man must be 300 pounds (not including the chains around his neck, which definitely add a few lbs), but his dog looks like it should belong to Paris Hilton. I laugh every time I see him. I fear this is going to get me shot one day.
One of my other favorite characters is the guy up the street who works on his car ALL DAY LONG. Every day. Seriously. Every day. It’s out of control. I want to just walk up to his driveway, pause, and point out that it’s a Buick LeSabre. There is absolutely no reason he should have been working on it for 6 months. But, you know, whatever keeps him off the street I guess. Because he has rims too and as you can see from #2, I judge people with rims.
Then there’s the guy two doors up who looks like what I would imagine Kid Rock would look like if he were on meth and wore a top hat. He is actually my favorite. He makes absolutely no sense to me. I’ve never seen him in a shirt except when I saw him voting on November 4th. However, despite his unusual appearance, on warm evenings I’ve seen him sipping red wine on his porch while he reads the Wall Street Journal of all things. Also, his yard is impeccable and his wife/girlfriend/girl who lives there too dresses like a bank executive. He’s an enigma. And he became even more of one this weekend when I noticed a massive blown up teddy bear in their backyard. The bear is gone now, but this morning there is a very old looking vacuum cleaner sitting in their front yard. I’ve never been so confused.
Another neighborhood staple is the ice cream man. I’ve mentioned him previously. To be honest I haven’t seen him since October, but I can’t wait for the first time it gets warm enough to see him again. Mostly because I’ve been waiting to buy a Nutty Buddy for months now.
There are more, but I’ll stop for now. However, if this little list has persuaded anyone that my ’hood would be a good place to live, just let me know. I’m looking to up the normalcy rate on my street.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot that life really is what you make it. I’m aware that this is a cliché and even in saying it I’ve upped my loser level exponentially, but it’s true. You only live once. Life is short. Time is precious. (That’s right. I could go all day with these things.)
Anyway, they’re all trite, but true. So, since I obviously haven’t done the settling in the ‘burbs with the kiddos bit of life yet, I’ve still got some time to do a few other things. I figure maybe 2009 is the year for this. That said, I’ve tossed in a few of my “to do before I die” things with my “try to be a better person” items, and then topped it all off with my “for the love, Sarah, try to be a little more healthy so that you can live to see 2010” inclusions. Without further ado, here it is in no particular order:
My “New Year’s Resolutions/Why I’ll be even more broke by the end of 2009” List
Learn to scuba dive Go to Spain Volunteer on a regular basis Talk to God more Move to a neighborhood with a lower murder rate Breed my dachshund Be more kind to strangers Read more than 30 books Finally ski a black slope (without killing myself preferably) Write a book Allow people other than Rosie to read my current book Travel to South America (preferably Argentina or Chile) Eat more fruit Write more letters Wear suncreen Keep a journal (daily hopefully, but weekly at the least) Watch the sunrise at least once a week Tell my parents and brother that I love them more Sleep outside more than one night in a row Find a cause to be passionate about and actually do something about it Run a half marathon Learn Spanish. Or at least some of it Write at least one freelance travel article Take a trip on a Greyhound bus somewhere Become a better writer Go rock climbing Visit a state I haven’t been to yet Go to more concerts Paint a painting
Last year was the first time I actually wrote down some New Year’s resolutions and made any effort whatsoever to stick to them. I didn’t complete them all. But I did a few. So, inspired by my semi-success, I wanted to do the same this year. In fact, I had big plans of posting some of them on here in some kind of “hold me accountable blog readers- I will become a scuba diving vegetarian marathon runner in 2009 if it kills me” kind of format on January 1st.
However, when I woke up on New Year’s morning, I could only think of two resolutions:
Buy lifetime supply of Tylenol Never drink Champagne again
So, I’m currently looking into other possible resolutions now that 24 hours has passed and I’ve decided a lifetime supply might be over doing it a little and I may have been too quick to judge Champagne.
I was reminded by a friend yesterday that one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2008 was to talk less about my dog. I haven’t done that. So, maybe I’ll toss that in the 2009 bunch as well (it will come between other failed resolutions including “running a half marathon” and “eating healthier”).
I’m open to other suggestions though (cue that obnoxious commenter Everett, who always has something to say about dachshund and boyfriends). I’m thinking this year I’m staying away from generic and going specific. Kind of like a “100 things to do before you die… if you’re going to die on December 31st 2009” kind of thing.