29 Jun 2010

Gilchristians, Unite.

Written by sally @ 12:26 pm — Section: sally

I’m reading A Dangerous Age, the most recent Ellen Gilchrist novel, and early on I came upon this passage. If you are a hardcore Gilchristian like me and have read everything she’s written, you will understand why my heart swelled up a little when I read this:

I don’t believe you ever stop loving anyone you ever really loved. You have them there like money in the bank just because you loved them and held them in your arms or dreamed you did. You can forget a lot of things in life, but not that honey to end all honeys.

OH ELLEN GILCHRIST! I still love you.

28 Jun 2010

I Looked It Up: I Spelled “Duffel” Correctly.

Written by sally @ 9:47 am — Section: sally

My mother has recently moved from the town I grew up in to a different Texas town, and as such has has the misfortune to clean out my closet. The misfortune part is that she put most of it in boxes and dumped them at my house this weekend. Larry was suitably mortified when he saw the pile in our back room.

Since Larry was miffed, he was 0% interested in going through the boxes with me, and thus missed out on my existential nightmares as I opened each box. It was beyond depressing to open a box and find all the cards my parents’ friends sent them when I was born. What in the HALE am I supposed to do with those? Giving them to me places the burden on me. I wouldn’t have cared if my mother threw them away, but now they’re MINE and oh, hell, I kept them.

Things that were easier to get rid of: a blue duffel bag (that I won for selling eight zillion Girl Scout cookies in 1982) filled with Cabbage Patch Kid clothes and the matching shoes, which never fit well anyway, and were kind of melted and greasy. I will admit that I saved one outfit for the Cabbage Patch Kid that Spike plays with/tolerates. The duffel bag lingered in the keep pile before I decided it was stupid to keep it since I forgot it existed until five minutes ago. It smelled exactly like 1982.

As a child, I used to buy super-clearance baby clothes at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for my dolls, and man, am I glad I did, because today I am the proud owner of the most hideous striped velour shirt for a 6-month old in all creation. I am only sorry that I didn’t find it when it would’ve fit Spike (but if you have an infant you would like to torture, you are welcome to borrow it).

In unrelated news, I bought a new bottle of nail polish this weekend, and it brought me more joy than I imagined possible. Apparently all my other polish is also from my 1982 duffel bag, and painting my nails has been a laborous struggle. This new bottle, however, is like a dream! Thanks, $4 nail polish, for restoring my faith in…nail polish.


Something that did not restore my faith in anything was reading Beth Ann Fennelly’s poetry collection, Tender Hooks. I wanted what the book flap promised: that Fennelly would be “fearless in delineating the joys, absorptions, and yes, jealousies of new motherhood.” Awesome! Sign me up! I love joy, absoprtions, and yes, jealousies! Oh, God. For every interesting or beautiful observation, there was an asshole. A literal asshole! The book is full of assholes. This particular line, from “Telling the Gospel Truth,” which imagines Mary giving birth to Jesus and the animals all around her, sent me over the edge: “Let the puckered stars of their assholes flex and soft wads of shit fall to the hay” (69). I just don’t think the poem would’ve been harmed by a kindly editor quietly suggesting a different turn of phrase for that.

I’ve been thinking about my reaction to this book all weekend. People, I love a good poop story (btw: Spike pooped in the tub the other night for the first time! HORRIBLE), but “soft wads of shit” doesn’t contain striking language or imagery. It’s just a soft wad of shit falling next to Mary’s head. Also: “wad.” Why is it there? Was Fennelly’s intention to make me say “OH GOD” and write a blog post about it? If so, well done, madame! I think the real reason is to say: “childbirth and motherhood is a dirty, nasty business — and I can prove it. Also, do not lump me in with Emily Dickinson!”

P.S. I have many feelings about last night’s True Blood, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

25 Jun 2010

Eight! Eight! I Forget What Eight Was For.

Written by sally @ 8:31 am — Section: sally

1. I highly recommend scheduling a haircut only after you’ve been creeping around with terrible hair for several weeks. Sure, I could maintain a haircut and look decent all the time, or I could look terrible for a month, then markedly better after a haircut. This is to say that I got a haircut yesterday and I feel like a new person. Yay, vanity!

2. Speaking of vanity: did I tell you that I gave up on wearing contacts, and am now AGAT? That’s All Glasses, All the Time. Even though I have worn glasses since I was 9, in my mind, glasses = nerd. I’m still trying to get over this. To attempt to do so, I ordered a Tina Fey poster and put it up in my bathroom. (NO NOT REALLY.)

3. So yes: while I knew that it was certainly possible for someone my age to be a grandmother, and have certainly heard of such a thing, I didn’t know anyone it happened to. So I am still a little fascinated by the whole I-have-a-two-year-old-and-ole-Cammie-from-gym-class-is-someone’s-MawMaw. I discovered this on Facebook (of course; it’s not like our gym class sends out alumni updates) and then proceeded to scour all the photos for pictures of the baby, the baby daddy, and the baby mama. Results: the dad is 16. The mom is 15. Baby is named after a Twilight character (I thought, hmm, maybe she’s named for Twi — oh. Look. Mom is wearing a Twilight t-shirt). Let us all sigh wearily.

4. This morning I saw my neighbor walk her dog while wearing a robe AND with a towel on her head. That is some devotion to dogwalking, isn’t it?


6. Books I’ve recently given up on: Wolf Hall.

7. Apparently I am under some stress, as my right shoulder keeps s-l-o-w-l-y rising up and trying to hang out with my ear. Several times an hour, I become aware that I’m caught in a lopsided shrug and release it, but soon after, it starts creeping up again. I’m trying to keep my arm in my lap when I’m not actively typing or using the mouse, but someone with their arms dangling by their sides staring at a computer looks…off.

8. Last night I took a picture of myself so I could show my mother that I did not, in fact, get a Susan Powter hairdo (my mother’s desire for me to have long, luscious locks borders on pathological, although I have not had said hair since 1991 and it wasn’t that luscious anyway), and I had to immediately delete it because I swear to god I looked like Eudora Welty.

22 Jun 2010


Written by sally @ 2:56 pm — Section: sally

Oh my Jesus. This girl I graduated from high school with just became a grandmother.

That is all.

16 Jun 2010

Reason #429 I Fight the Urge to Change My Facebook Status to “Sally Nordan hates all of you” On a Daily Basis.

Written by sally @ 2:25 pm — Section: sally

I’m walking into daycare behind another mom who is wearing fantastic bright yellow espadrille wedges. I say, oh, I love your shoes! And she says thanks but never turns around. We continue to walk in a single file, me scowling at the back of her head/plotting my escape to an all-cat convent, far away from humans.

11 Jun 2010


Written by sally @ 8:35 am — Section: sally

Someone at work left the shared computer without closing all his windows. This was the search term in Google:

define flaccid

10 Jun 2010

Beware the Feisty Partridge.

Written by sally @ 9:21 am — Section: sally

At work, I come upon The Poems, Plays, and Other Remains of Sir John Suckling. Once I get over laughing at his name, I laugh at his picture. Apparently he was alive between 1609-1642, which is why when I accidentally read this poem, I laughed some more:

If when Don Cupid’s dart
Doth wound a heart,
We hide our grief
And shun relief;
The smart increaseth on that score;
For wounds unsearched but rankle more.

Then if we whine, look pale,
And tell our tale,
Men are in pain
For us again;
So neither speaking doth become
The lover’s state, nor being dumb.

When this I do descry,
Then thus think I:
Love is the fart
Of every heart;
It pains a man when ’tis kept close,
And others doth offend when ’tis let loose.

1. Haha! FART!
2. This poem is terrible.
3. FART!!!
4. I wonder how long the word “fart” has been around? It’s in the Miller’s Tale, which is what? 1300s?

Thanks to my beloved OED, I now know it was first used in 1250 (followed by Chaucer’s hilaritor usage in the Miller’s Tale when he is establishing what’shisname as a dandy: “He was somdel squaymous Of fartyng”–meaning, he was somewhat squeamish of farting).

Other etymological farty highlights:
–Fart was once used to mean “a ball of light pastry.” Bakers, unite! Let us bring this back. “I made the most delicious lemon-blueberry farts last weekend.”
–The word “partridge” comes from the Latin “perdix”–farting bird. “Perd” was thought to be the sound of a fart, and apparently partridges make a farty sound when they fly away. Listen here–doesn’t sound particular fartful to me, but I am 100% behind this anyway.
–“Feisty” comes from “fist,” whose first definition (now obsolete) means “breaking wind.”

As you were, feisty partridges.

That is all.

9 Jun 2010

Liberry List.

Written by sally @ 2:30 pm — Section: sally

What I Just Read:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. (I want his name to be Lars Steigsson, btw. When people ask what I thought of it, I generally say, “It reminded me of The Da Vinci Code.”)

What I’m Reading Now:
The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick. (Beautifully written; I have to concentrate on every sentence for fear I will miss something pretty.)
Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. (Nothing has happened yet, but this book was clearly written in order to be turned into a romantic comedy starring Ashley Judd in 1997.)

What I Tried to Read and Could Not:
High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips. (I have no shame in admitting I gleefully snatched this off the shelf at the public library, but man this is one depressing book. The child got high at ten years old…and that’s on page 6. Plus, I already read the really gory parts in the airport when it first came out.)

What I’m Going to Read Next:
Poplorica by Martin J. Smith and Patrick J. Kiger. (I am looking forward to the chapter on how tv dinners came about.)

6 Jun 2010

Oh Haaay!

Written by sally @ 7:18 pm — Section: sally

At Kroger. Sally (with Spike in grocery buggy) approaches the sample lady, who is doling out samples of two store-brand sugar cereals. One is blue and purple and the other is pink and white.

Sample lady: Oh haaay! Would you like to try some cereal?
Sally: Ok. (reaches for pink and white cereal sample)
Sample lady: Oh, well, ma’am, this one over here (gestures to blue cereal), this one is for boys.
Sally: I’m pretty sure he’s not going to turn into a girl if he eats pink cereal. Say thank you, Spike!
Spike: Tank too.

Grrr. Blue cereal for boys! Pink cereal for girls! WTF, Kroger? (Also, WTF, Sally? I just wrote out what my child said in kiddie dialect. I hate it when people do that!)