I love my family. Seriously. My parents and my brother are easily my favorite people in the world. (Notice I said people. It’s convenient that Rosie falls under the canine category so I don’t have to choose.)
This past weekend at home was a prime example why. Everett flew home for the weekend because he’s leaving to go work in Ghana for a few weeks. (Yeah, as in Africa. Yeah, as in I’m insanely jealous. And yeah, he’s also stopping in Dubai for a day on his way there. Yeah, I know, makes you want to punch him, huh? Me too.) Anyway, so it was a nice little time with the four of us. And Rosie. And their golden retriever Isaac and dachshund, Abby. Here are some highlights from the weekend:
Friday night: It’s my mom’s birthday. We go out to a nice dinner where apparently I tell a story that is deemed boring 0.3 seconds into it. I am made fun of the rest of the weekend for my poor story telling abilities. My family doesn’t let things die. Ever. My mom orders extra ice cream with her cake. She refuses to eat her cake until it arrives. Then she takes two bites with the ice cream and says she’s finished. We all make fun of her for this for the rest of the weekend. See above for reason why.
We return home and my dad goes to bed. My mom takes a call from her brother wishing her happy birthday while my brother and I turn on Borat on TV. My mom returns to the room and sits down in her chair just in time to see the scene where Borat’s fat, naked friend is getting off to Pamela Anderson’s photo. Then a naked Borat jumps on him. My mom immediately begins screaming about gay porn and how disgusted she is with us as she turns the channel as quickly as possible to a tivo’d Law & Order. (Sidenote: I had been suprised when Borat actually came on as I thought Law & Order was the only thing able to play on my parents’ TV.) For the rest of the weekend, we hear about how we watch filthy porn.
Saturday: I spend an hour playing with Rosie. My mom, a notorious Rosie-hater, accuses me of acting like I haven’t seen the dog in a week. Then, I take Rosie outside for swim lessons. Swim lessons for dachshunds are prohibited in the pool. A few hours later I am yelled at—a lot—for said lessons when they’re discovered.
My mom runs over Isaac. Incidentally, my dad ran over Isaac last week. Luckily, neither of them actually hurts him. Basically, he’s totally deaf so he falls asleep in their parking places and then they park their cars on top of him. This would be terrifying except it’s so ridiculous. What’s really ridiculous is that they keep accusing him of being so old and deaf and blind that he lets himself be run over, but it’s worth noting that they’re running over an animal who is about 100 pounds. He’s not a small dog. It’s hard to say who’s old and blind here.
We have lunch. The following topics come up: Anal sex. Yeah, I think that about covers it.
My parents take naps up at the house and I head down to the hammock near the pool for a nap. I’m promptly interupted by Everett who has brought a blender to make hummus down to the pool to blend it so that he doesn’t wake up our parents. He can’t get any of the plugs to work, but in the process he stirs up a wasp nest and I have to jump off the hammock and run across the yard. A little while later, I start to drift off. And then Everett arrives again. This time with Wasp spray. Which he is brandishing in two hands like pistols. I scream at him to stop. He ignores me. Stirs up the wasps again. And again, I have to run.
Finally, the least relaxing “nap time” of all time is over. We hang out poolside and then go in to watch the movie Australia. Somehow, my family manages to turn it into a comedy. I swear, my family could take just about anything and make it comedic. Give us a tragedy—we consider it a challenge.
We eat dinner. It’s the best dinner I’ve had in like 8 months. I eat enough for six men. Rosie barks at me throughout dinner for scraps. My mom threatens to kill her.
We finish the movie and get a good laugh out of those crazy Australians.
Sunday: As we arrive at early church a man goes running past us in the parking lot. Some people are chasing behind him. It’s all rather suspicious. My dad asks my brother and I if we think we could identify him if we had to. I say “Of course, he was a long-haired Asian man.” Everett says “He wasn’t Asian! He looked like Doc from back to the future! He was wearing clothes from the ’80s.” My dad, who was standing right next to us, says he didn’t see him. Luckily, we didn’t have to be witnesses because we would have been terrible.
As we walk into church Everett asks me if I’d ever date a guy who wore tapered jeans. I look at him like he’s an idiot and say “No, would you date a girl who wore a scrunchie?” Then he said, “No, I mean like those jeans hipster guys wear.” And I say “Oh yeah, probably.” And then Everett begins yelling up to our parents as we’re trying to sit in church “Sarah would date a hipster! Sarah would date a hipster!”
Yeah, we’re 8.
And that’s pretty much it. Just another weekend with the fam. There’s more. But, sometimes it’s best these things stay off the internet. Plus, seriously this is the longest entry of all time. And, well, chances are you stopped caring what my family did this weekend somewhere around the third paragraph.
I thought about making some comment on the Sanford thing, but the joke kind of writes itself. My brother, however, wrote me a lovely email about it. And, because he has threatened to “steal my following” if I don’t blog about it, consider his email below, my blog:
I mean seriously this guy is awesome. He’s got his staff acting like they are covering up the Kennedy assassination, while his best answer until admitting to an affair is that he was driving along the coast. His wife is setting him up almost as bad as his lieutenant governor. “Oh no massa press I haves no idea where my husband is, why don’t you look into it for me?” I seriously love this guy.
"Yeah I just went for a nice little 2 mile drive in a country 7 hours away, by the way, I’m a freakin moron. Oh, also I like hiking, but really that was just something I said before I put my fingers in my ears and walked out the door saying lalalalalala while my staff asked what the f*ck my problem was and where was I going. I should also take this opportunity to tell the press that I wasn’t in Argentina with a mistress I was in San Diego killing the white tiger in the Zoo, check the security tapes and the tiger’s cage, I’m sorry I lied about the hiking thing, and then lied about the drive thing, and then lied about the affair thing, I’m so ashamed because what I really was doing was raping baby seals in the pacific, wait what?"
This guy is my new favorite person—just under the steroid crazed maniac on Operation Repo who looks like a turtle when he takes his glasses off. Sorry Obama this is America, you’re at least number 4 or 5. If you want to make it to the top of my list you better start punchin Brian Williams while you dunk on him and scream I PROTECT THIS HOUSE!! on your way back down.
Seriously, if you don’t blog about this guy I will start my own blog and make it my blog’s goal to steal your following.
Signs I’m having a quarter-life crisis and/or am going slightly crazy:
Yesterday I went to look at houses in Charlotte with my realtor. Then I went home, went online, found a rental home in central America, emailed the link to my friend, and said we should move there. Immediately.
I don’t listen to rap music very often anymore. This signifies to me that I might be getting old. So, I keep downloading hip hop/ pop in an effort to keep up. But honestly, Soulja Boy gives me a headache and Lady Gaga makes me want to punch someone.
Yesterday, in the grocery line, I didn’t recognize the girl on the cover of Ok! Magazine. I thought maybe she was from that Twilight series the kids are watching today. Suddenly I had a flashback of a year or so ago when my dad called me to ask who “this Lindsay Lohan character” was. I bought the magazine in an effort to learn about Twilight.
Every time I see a pair of shorts I think, “I’m too old to wear shorts” and tiny little part of me wishes they came in longer versions.
Every morning, in the first moments after I wake up, I debate showing up for work or throwing Rosie in the car and driving to Mexico. So far, work has won every time. This is subject to change depending on how dangerous Mexico continues to be regarding swine flu and kidnapping.
In the middle of editing an article about adoption last week, I decided that I was missing my life calling to work in an African orphanage. I’ve since decided I might have been wrong about that.
1) I adhere to a strict “If it isn’t funny… or at least some form of entertainment… don’t post it” policy. Life over the past week hasn’t been particularly funny.
2) I had about 4.2 hours of sleep last week. In the game of sleeping versus blogging, sleeping always wins.
3) My house-to-buy search has turned into the emotional equivalent of the physical act of having anesthesia-free open heart surgery while someone shoves a flaming torch into your eye. In other words, it sucks. A lot. (Note: This has absolutely nothing to do with my realtor, who is awesome. It does however have to do with my parents, who, while also awesome, have life views about 180 degrees different from mine. As it turns out, said life views come into play a lot in the house hunting business.) Because house stuff has taken up most of my free time, it would be hard to write about other than to simply have an entire blog that was a recording of me moaning.
4) Social media has been overwhelming me a little lately. Two blogs, two facebook accounts, and two twitters are too many personas to manage some days.
5) Boots’ death reminded me of several things. One was the brevity of life. Especially for dogs. Rosie and I spent some extra time together last week. And, not unlike sleeping, in Rosie versus blogging, Rosie always wins.
My promises for future blogging:
I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled, obsessive blogging soon. Maybe even tomorrow.
Because sometimes I need things like protests in countries on the other side of the world explained in pictures. Especially when half the names involved look to me like they were created by someone playing with alphabet soup.
Well, I had been under the impression that my excellent catch-and-release skills with mice in addition to my expert duct-taping job along all cracks in my house had eliminated my mouse problem.
I was wrong.
Last night, around 9 p.m. I was talking to my parents on the phone. Ironically enough, we were discussing me moving somewhere else—somewhere without mice. As we talked Rosie was charging all over the place. Now, Rosie is a bit of “charger” by her very nature, but this wasn’t the usual. I could tell she was on to something. And, I’ve seen her around mice before. I could see the look in her little badger-hunting eyes: we had another mouse.
And so, as I talked to my parents, I watched Rosie run around my couch. Then, suddenly, a small grey mouse ran out from under the couch and straight towards me. I screamed. Loudly. Like a little girl. Then I ran in my room and jumped on my bed. Then I told my parents I had to get off the phone so I could remove the rodent from my home.
Unfortunately, somewhere in my running away, I lost track of said rodent. I thought it was under the shelf in my hall, but once I moved that shelf, I realized I was wrong. So, I picked up Rosie, crawled in bed and finally got around to watching the season finale of LOST (which, by the way, was insanely good). Then, around 12:15 a.m. I was just getting ready to turn off my lights, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed something at my bedroom door.
That’s right. He came to my door. Then, he scurried by.
I probably could have gone after him. But at 12:15 in the morning, I just didn’t care anymore. I yelled after him to please stay out of my room. And then I went to sleep.
The End… or… well.. probably more like “To be continued…” The next episode will probably be titled “How I caught The Plague.”
As I may or may not have mentioned on here before, I live in what one could call an “interesting” neighborhood. One of the things I enjoy most about it is the friendly neighborhood ice cream man. He’s a small hispanic man who walks by about a million times a day with a white cart decorated in photos of various ice cream bars. As he walks by, he leers at me and dings the little bell on his cart.
A few months ago, it occured to me that I’d like to follow that guy around for a day and interview him. You know, to just get an idea of a day in the life of “the ice cream man.” (Note: I am slightly suspicious this ice cream man is selling drugs. That would make the story even better. A journalist’s dream!) Regardless, I’ve been wanting to do my “day in the life” story since January and due to the leering, I figured the ice cream man would be ok with me following him around for awhile.
Unfortunately, the ice cream man takes a rather long seasonal vacation from early November through May. (A nice cover if he is, in fact, selling drugs. Well done sketchy ice cream guy.) So, I was thrilled when I saw him back on the streets a few weeks ago. I could practically taste the Pulitzer that was going to come from this fantastic article.
Then he disappeared.
I mean, this ice cream guy was as dependable as just about about anything else in my life… Rosie will pee on the floor… my bottom lip will get sunburned if I’m at the beach… Firefly vodka will make me wish I was dead… the ice cream man will ding his bell and stare every day.
So, where did he go? No one is sure. But he’s not there. I actually have two dollars in my kitchen drawer, ready to run out and request a Nutty Buddy and a moment of his time at any minute. But he has dropped off the face of the earth. I can only hope that the ice cream guy was not involved in the gunfire in my neighborhood the other night. I’m hoping that he’s moved. Maybe to a nice neighborhood with no gunfire. Where kids run out and purchase Push-ups when he dings his little bell. Just livin’ the dream.
I just wish he’d come back so I could at least get to the bottom of the drugs versus sweet treats inside that little cart question.
Rosie is a sensitive dog. When she was 10 weeks old an ant bite resulted in a 3 a.m. trip to the emergency room for dogs, me bawling my eyes out, and a $650 vet bill that wiped out any “budget” I’d put under “dog” for the year. Of course, if that hadn’t done it, the mange she caught a few months later would have covered it. One tiny bald spot on her back involved twice-monthly trips to the vet for chemical baths for almost a year. Unfortunately, said chemicals were hard on her skin and resulted in bumps all over her. Expensive anti biotics helped with that.
In other words, for the first year and a half of her life, owning Rosie was the financial equivalent of owning a private jet. Except she didn’t take me anywhere. And she definitely didn’t get me laid.* (That’s what private jets do, right? I think I heard that in a rap song once.)
Anyway, eventually the mange went away and Rosie has been a relatively inexpensive pet ever since, with the exception of her proclivity for chewing up expensive items. (Read: My car.) Lately though, it’s looking like we’re going to need to take another trip to the vet. There has been some serious scratching that has me concerned.
It started last week. I figured she’d just had a particularly itchy bout with the grass in the backyard. After all, she’s low to the ground. There’s no avoiding the grass when your stomach is half an inch above it. But, the itching has contiued. And last night the itching infringed dramatically on my personal sleep time when I had a dachshund scratching her stomach for hours on end right next to my head.
So, this morning I had the brilliant idea to throw Rosie in the shower with me while I showered. I realize this may sound crazy. Who showers with their dog? But, I don’t do my clearest thinking at 7 a.m. and it just seemed like a simple solution. I figured maybe a good shower would help with the itch factor.
It was a bit of a fiasco that I won’t go into. Let’s just say it involved a wet dog almost pulling down a shower curtain, shampoo spilling on the floor, and me somehow ending up with fur in my mouth. Then, I released Rosie while I finished showering. Big mistake. By the time I got out she’d run around the house 60 times ensuring that everything in it was slightly damp and smelling of wet dog.
But, worst of all, she was sitting on the carpet scratching again. My shower plan didn’t work at all. Whatever this itch is, it’s looking more and more like it’s going to require a trip to the vet to fix it. And there goes my budget.
*Because this will be the one entry my parents actually read I’d like to establish that I’m not trying to get laid. That was just a joke.
When my friend suggested we go see this movie on Friday night when it opened this weekend I said no. I wanted to go out Friday night and not go to a movie. I felt the same way about Saturday. So, we invited a few other friends and went on Sunday.
The theater was packed. With a bunch of people our age. Who probably also went out on Friday and Saturday night. Since then, I’ve spoken to numerous friends who also went ot see it on Sunday afternoon. For the exact same reason. The LA Times speculates that this unusually large Sunday afternoon showing indicates that the movie “likely has a lot more life in it.”
And, actually, they’re probably right. It’s the funniest (and albeit, possibly the most profane) movie I’ve seen in a long time. I imagine it will do VERY well simply because it’s hilarious. And also because Bradley Cooper may just be the hottest man alive right now. But, my theory for its Sunday showing is that its audience was busy with other plans for the rest of the weekend.
Tonight, my friend and I caught a ride back home in a cab. Our driver was a man who was in his thirties. He had picked his wife up earlier in the evening and so she was riding with him. The following was their conversation as they listened to a ridiculous hip hop/pop song on the radio:
Driver:What. The. Hell. Is. The. Helen. Keller?
Wife:I love Cracker Barrell. I love it.
Driver:I mean, seriously. What the hell is it? What did that blind lady dance like?
Wife:When we go to the outlets down in Gaffney, I always go to the Cracker Barrell.
Driver:I just don't get it. I'm going to have to look at it on YouTube.
Wife:I really love their macaroni and cheese. Now that is some good stuff.
Driver:It's like that song "Stanky leg." What the hell is a Stanky leg? Nobody nows.
Wife:You should look it up on YouTube if you care so much.
Driver:I'm going to. I looked up Stanky leg. Now I'm going to look up Helen Kelller. I'm going to see what this dance is.
Wife:Yeah. You should do that. We'll do that when we get home.
My neighbor mentioned to me yesterday that my landlord might be considering selling the house I’m currently living in. I’m a writer by trade so I thought maybe I should offer to write up a nice description of the house for her for when she’s looking to sell. I guess it’d be up to her if she wanted to keep in the parentheticals.
This cozy (ridiculously tiny) home is located on a small (unmowable) hill in an up-and-coming (especially for violent gang activities) neighborhood. The home comes with a conveniently located (in the middle of the kitchen) washer and dryer set, as well as friendly companions (mice. Lots of them.). It is a perfect home for a couple (of cats) or a single person (if they own an arsenal and Kevlar). The backyard is fenced in (except for a hole through which dachshunds and rabbits have been known to escape) and has a nice wooded section (packed with old, soggy rawhide). There is a small back deck (with rotting, broken boards). The hot water heater is conveniently located in the attic (where it leaks directly into the hall through the light fixture causing a fun mixture of electricity and water). The current renter has done an excellent job maintaining the home (through the use of tools like duct tape and buckets).
Me:So, I found out today that I might be on a show on TLC called My First Home.
Everett:Oh no. Sarah. You don't want to do that. You'll look like an idiot. You'll be going into homes and acting like a diva and yelling about mullions and they'll edit it so you'll just look like a crazy person.
Me:I'm not that worried. I heard that they make the people on it look normal.
Everett:That won't happen with you. Besides, you know the camera adds like 100 pounds.
Me:100 pounds?! Are you saying I should lose weight?
Everett:I'm just saying that if I were going to be on camera with an extra hundred pounds, I'd try to drop a few.
Me:They're talking about starting filming in two weeks. What could I possibly do in two weeks?
Everett:Don't eat. And maybe get a colon cleanse.
Everett:Fine. But it adds 100 pounds. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Remarkably, this is the first time I’ve read this book. I’m not sure how this happened. I mean, I went to high school. And, then to college. I was even an English major in college. I can’t for the life of me figure out how I’d never read this, but have read a ridiculous amount of obscure 19th century British literature.
Anyway, so I bought a copy for 99 cents on Amazon. I freaking love Amazon. And, as it turns out, I’ve chosen an interesting time to read the book. The author, J.D. Salinger has emerged from basically being a hermit to sue some guy from California who’s trying to publish a sequel to the book called 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.
Frankly, I side with Salinger on this one. It’s his story. It’s his character. I can’t imagine how violating that would feel to have someone take your creations and age them 60 years and behave as if they know them. Plus, after having just read the book, I hate the thought of seeing Holden Caulfield 60 years later. I want to remember him as the conflicted teenager, not have that image marred by some wannabe author looking to make a buck.
Who will like this: It’s a classic. I’m probably the last person on earth to have read it. After reading it, I appreciate even more that teenagers read it. It should be read in high school. (Note: Thanks for nothing SHS.)
Who won’t like this: I don’t like the word “goddam.” I don’t use it. I don’t particularly like when people around me use it. Holden Caulfield uses it about every third word. It’s funny because I’m not offended by the word “fuck,” which Holden hates. A lot. It’s something to keep in mind when reading it anyway.
Where to read it: In 9th grade English class. (Thanks again SHS.)
My favorite quote: "It’s a funny thing about girls. Every time you mention some guy that’s strictly a bastard—very mean, or very conceited and all—and when you mention it to the girl, she’ll tell you he has an inferiority complex. Maybe he has, but that still doesn’t keep him from being a bastard, in my opinion." Truer words were never spoken.
To know before you read: The book takes place over a very short period of time. I think I kept expecting the story to last longer than a few days. But it doesn’t. And that’s half the fun of it.
Overall: In case you’re one of the two of us who didn’t read this in high school, let me know and I’ll loan you my 99 cent copy.
At 4:23 this morning I woke up and felt my heart lurch in my chest all at once. That’s an uncomfortable feeling. Outside my window I could hear the pop-pop-pop of gunshots cracking the still night. I slid quietly out of my bed and set my house’s alarm. The beeping woke up Rosie who looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Then, I crawled across the floor and slowly raised one of the blinds, peering out onto the streetlamp lit street.
I couldn’t see anything.
Then six more shots. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.
I hate guns. So much. It’s strange really because I grew up with a father, grandfather, uncles, brother, and friends who hunted. My parents live in what can only be described as “the country” and I’ve woken up plenty of mornings during hunting season to the sound of shotguns or rifles. One summer at my grandparents’ lake house, my grandmother offered to pay my brother for every squirrel he shot in their yard. I woke up every morning that week to the sound of gunfire followed by the distinct thumping sound of a squirrel-sized body hitting the roof of the house. I was not pleased.
So, I’m not unfamiliar with guns. I’ve shot them myself. The first time I shot one, the gun was probably taller than me. When I went to Vietnam a few years ago, I had the chance to shoot M-16s and AK-47s. I took it. Because those chances don’t come too often.
But, the existence of guns bothers me. They don’t seem fair. And the popping early this morning made me think a lot about that as I laid in bed, my body curled around Rosie, and saying a small prayer than a stray bullet wouldn’t come through my window. It’s not fair that one human being can murder another with something as simple as a trigger. If you’re going to take a life, then you should have to look into the other person’s eyes. You should have to touch them physically.
I’ve been really blessed. I’ve never lived in a country where war is reality and popping blends in with other noises in the night. There are children who live up the street from me, in the middle of the area where I heard the shots last night. I’m so glad that I grew up in a neighborhood where my parents would have never needed to wake me up in the night to pull me away from a window.
When I woke up at 4:23, I was scared. But, half an hour later as I drifted back to sleep, I was just angry. Angry that people were shooting in a quiet, sleeping neighborhood. Angry that those people had access to guns. Angry that my government gave them that access. Angry that kids have to grow up with that as a reality. And, truth be told, pretty angry that I’d just lost a very valuable half hour of sleep.
This is an excerpt from the character Tyra’s college essay on the show Friday Night Lights. Which I may have mentioned like a 47 times how much I like. I liked her essay so I thought I’d share.
Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything. I figured wanting would lead to trying and trying would lead to failure. But now I find that I can’t stop wanting.
I want to fly somewhere in first class.I want to travel to Europe on a business trip.I want to get invited to the White House.I want to learn about the world.I want to surprise myself.I want to be important.I want to be the best person that I can be.I want to define myself instead of having others define me.I want to win, and have people be happy for me,I want to lose and get over it.I want to not be afraid of the unknown.I want to grow up to be generous and big hearted, the way that people have been with me.I want an interesting and surprising life.It’s not that I think I’m going to get all of these things,I just want the possibility of getting them.
So apparently this is the gang who is on my street. (According to my neighbor who heard it from the police.) This would explain: The gunshots I frequently hear, the murders, the pimped out cars, the small aresenal found in the drain across the street, the bullet hole in my neighbor’s car, the prostitutes at 2 a.m., and the general insanity that is the other end of my block.
Mostly, I’m just glad that I haven’t heard about any contract killings or human traffiking up there yet.
(PS - How dorky does it make me that I looked up the gang on my street on wikipedia?)
When I lived in Atlanta, I did book reviews for the magazine where I worked. It was an awesome part of the job because it meant I was constantly inundated with new books. I loved it. But, let me just say, it also meant reading a lot of absolutely terrible books. Books that I would never pick up except that I had to see if they were worth writing about. Occasionally though, there would be a book that I’d never pick up otherwise that would be sent to me and it would be amazing. (This happened much less frequently.) But, this was the case with A Much Married Man, the first Coleridge book I read.
I loved it. I wanted it to never end. I still think about it sometimes.
So, obviously when I saw he had another book out, I bought it.
Who will like this: It’s juicy and fun. Coleridge writes about money and power in a way that makes it clear he’s familiar with it. There’s sex, but it’s not a Harlequin. And there’s deception, but it’s not a mystery.
Who won’t like it: It’s well written and interesting, but he’s not Hemingway or anything.
Where to read it: I read it on the beach. I can’t think of a better place. Except maybe a private jet. Because there are a lot of those in the story. And also because, who doesn’t want to go on a private jet?
To know before you read: There is only one problem with Coleridge’s writing: it can’t go on forever. And so, while his books are long (this one was 565 pages in hardback), they tend to need about 100 more pages to really end well. Both books I’ve read have left me feeling slightly dissatisfied at the end; as if he’d just felt the need to wrap things up neatly in the middle of the story.
Overall: It’s my favorite “beach read” yet this year.