31 Aug 2010

Him Her Him Again What This Title is Freaking Me Out.

Written by sally @ 7:55 pm — Section: sally

For my birthday a few weeks ago, Gorjus said, “Hey, let’s go to lunch and a movie!” But he said this at 12:30 the day we were supposed to have this adventure, and he knows that I die if I don’t eat lunch by 11:30. “You can buy me some full-price movie snacks, though!” I said. It turns out we made a detour to the Dollar Tree and loaded up my purse with Cokes and Kit-Kats and some grotesque gummy peach rings. I did manage to squeeze a popcorn out of him, although at first he wanted to share one big one but when I said, “Uh, you’re not going to want to put fake butter all over it, are you?” and he said, “Oh yeah, I plan to fuck it up,” we decided that separate popcorn tubs were best. After the movie,* we went to Barnes and Noble, where he said, “You can have anything you want! By that I mean you can have one thing.”

I chose Him Her Him Again The End of Him by Patricia Marx. Never heard of it, never heard of her. But the spine is a houndstooth print (ARE YOU READING THIS, BOOK MARKETING FRIEND?) and I thought the title was interesting. Also, there is a blurb on the front from Steve Martin. (If I wrote a book and Steve Martin had occasion to say loud enough so that someone wrote it down, “This is a horrible, horrible book. Don’t buy it. Don’t even check it out from the library. You will get cancer and die alone if you even think about this book for very long,” I would put that in big letters on the cover and just put my name really small, maybe on the back page or something.)

I will do you like the narrator does the reader and not describe anything about it; the narrator hates descriptions, which is a clever way of skipping a bunch of stuff while writing the book. But it is funny, and if you think the passage below is funny, you’ll like the book. Maybe! I don’t want to ruin whose funeral the passage concerns, so I took his or her name out.

“Time for the eulogies, I guess. There is a pretty young thing on the podium–let’s say we don’t imagine what her connection to [person] is. She is reading a poem by Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson or Auden or Keats or Byron or Kahlil Gibran or one of those guys. Maybe you don’t feel this way, but I think it is cheating to read a poem at a funeral. Do your homework or sit down is my motto. Anyway, the girl continues reading, slowly and deliberately in that poem-reading voice people use. Something, something, death, the winds that blow, death, death, sunlight, end o’er the road, heaven above, something, doth die, something something, [person] dead, but then I don’t listen anymore” (193).

Just a note: if the phrase “doth die” didn’t make you snort a little, you may not find this book funny. What about this? “The party after the show was at the new chic place, an innovative steak house called What’s at Steak. There was no steak on the menu. That was the innovation” (117). Yes? No?

*The movie was The Kids Are All Right, which is a story for another day. Another day when I want to get angry over really dumb details. In related news, the weekend after this, Larry and I went to see Inception, and people: it is sad when the sci-fi action movie is way better than the sensitive lesbian drama.

30 Aug 2010


Written by sally @ 8:26 pm — Section: sally

After some magazine I subscribed to failed last year, I started getting Vanity Fair, which I usually only read on airplanes. I like it, but it’s such a strange magazine. It’s at once celebrating classic old people stuff (Grace Kelly was their super topical cover girl a few months ago) and at the same time trying to be hip. The latest issue has Lady Gaga on the cover, and while the photographs are fantastic, the story was apparently written by my great aunt. It has great insights such as “New Yorkers know from birth that Times Square is a tourist hellhole and the center of nothing.” Is that so! I’ve never picked that up from the other one thousand other books and tv shows and movies that MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR. And the section where Lady Gaga discusses how the soul of her dead aunt inhabited her mother’s womb and that is why she has two hearts (which: HELLO THAT IS REALLY INTERESTING) is tacked on to a paragraph about her life growing up in New York called, uninterestingly, “Native New Yorker.” And this description of her outfit makes my teeth hurt: “She enters the living room–not quite tottering on eight-inch-high heel-less black leather boots. So much for comfort.” The italics on heel-less set me off. That’s the thing you’re going to italicize regarding her wardrobe? Y’all! Them shoes don’t have no heels! Yeah, she was just wearing a Kermit the Frog dress, but shit. No heels!!

Also the print is really small. However, squinting at the captions of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and muttering comments to myself is worth the cost of my subscription. Sign me up for life! When I’m 90, I’ll fall asleep and drool onto my latest issue with Tom Selleck on the cover which I’ll have read with a magnifying glass. (Of course, it will be a special spage-age magnifying glass which my grandchildren brought me when they took me to lunch in their flying car.)

29 Aug 2010

Do I Dare to Peel a Peach?

Written by sally @ 12:59 pm — Section: sally

I’m a big fan of ignoring practical advice where cooking is involved, I guess because when Alton Brown says that the best way to peel a potato is to don a spacesuit, run in place, and then use a specialized tool, I start rolling my eyes. But something overtook me this afternoon and in preparation of making a peach tart, I actually followed the advice I read somewhere which is to put the peaches in boiling water for one minute, then in cold water for one minute, and then the skin would peel right off. So. It turns out that this is true. The bonus of all this is that the flesh comes away from the pit like a dream, and my peach-related desserts no longer have to look like someone with a secret peach hatred had their way with them in the kitchen.

I am passing this tip on to you out of love and respect for non-mauled peaches, friends.

23 Aug 2010

Share Some Greased Tea (and a Dictionary) with Me.

Written by sally @ 1:38 pm — Section: sally

The other day I had occasion to hum “Everyday is Like Sunday,” as you do, and then needed to listen to the actual song. So I pulled it up on iTunes and after studying the title for awhile, it occurred to me that something was wrong.

He doesn’t mean that “everyday” is like Sunday. He means “every day” is like Sunday!

“Everyday” means hohum, commonplace! “Every day” means “each day.” I have tried, oh, how I have tried, to adapt the meaning of this song to make Morrissey grammatically correct. But it doesn’t work.

First off, the way he pronounces “every day” is clearly two words. He kinda stretches it into four: ev-er-ee daaaaaay.

Second, this is stupid, as “everyday” is an adjective. This means he is singing, “Hohum is like Sunday.” Wouldn’t he mean “Sunday is hohum” instead, if he KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT? It almost works with “everyday is silent and gray,” but I’m not convinced.

I feel strongly that both Keats and Yeats would disapprove.

17 Aug 2010


Written by sally @ 1:57 pm — Section: sally




16 Aug 2010


Written by sally @ 8:10 pm — Section: sally

I was just perusing the latest Daedalus Books catalog that I got in the mail, sadly turning each page filled with discounted books that I won’t be able to purchase for my Kindle-owning relatives for whom I usually buy books at the low, low price of $2.98. Not only can you not buy a Kindle book for someone — you can only give them an Amazon gift card and suggest they choose the book you had in mind, but that violates the concept of a gift card, which is HEY BUY WHAT YOU WANT — but I have noticed that in the spirit of once you go black, you never go back (popular in my high school), Kindle readers want to be exclusive Kindle readers. Which is fine! Read your cold robot books all day! See if I care! Except I enjoy the bargain shopping, and the Kindle ruins this.

I like bargain shopping so much I started a blog where I posted the stuff I got for super discount (cargo pants at Banana Republic for $5.97 each? yes, please), but it bored even me, so after a few posts, I abandoned it. I now just have to bask in the memories of my discount purchases instead of having them documented. Pity!

A few weeks ago at Books-a-Million, they were having a sidewalk sale and for my [insert relative here]’s birthday, I bought a book of True Stories by People Who Engage in the Same Hobby [He/She] Does, which was my favorite price: one dollar. Bonus: it didn’t even have the black marker on the bottom that indicates “I am a remainder, and unloved.” A week later, I received a thank you note; along with the thanks, [insert relative here] included the news that [he/she] got a Kindle for [his/her] birthday. Sigh. One less person I can buy a dollar book for.

13 Aug 2010

The Saddest Food in the World.

Written by sally @ 8:44 am — Section: sally

1. leftover frozen pizza
2. leftover Taco Bell
3. canned green beans
4. Stouffer’s Creamed Chipped Beef (sans toast)
5. Uncrustables

6 Aug 2010

The Oh Nothing.

Written by sally @ 1:44 pm — Section: sally

At lunch, after a delicious and much-needed shrimp chimichanga, I went to the grocery store to get my poor child more applesauce. Is there a worse feeling than your tiny spawn saying, “I want more applesauce” and having to say, “Sorry, dude”? (Yes: I call him dude.) While there, I impulse bought some of those candy orange slices and learned that a serving size is 3 slices. As a champion candy consumer I thought I would probably end up deciding that 7-8 was an appropriate serving size, but after the second one my tongue got all raw and apparently the first layer of tongue skin was burned off by the sugar. It’s like what happens when you eat Cap’n Crunch, only it’s not because of the friction. Anyway. I have a bunch left if you want them.

What I really wanted, anyway, were some of those Sunkist Fruit Gems. My grandparents sold individually wrapped ones at their store once upon a time, and man, those were delicious (and you could totally eat more than two without your tongue feeling like you spent several hours licking some asphalt). I haven’t seen those in a really long time, but if you see them, let me know where.

Television has been so good these days, and I’m enjoying not feeling burdened by tons of stuff to watch. True Blood is insane and amazing, Mad Men is broody and quiet, Bethenny Getting Married? has provided me with more entertainment than I thought possible from a Real Housewives spinoff. Seriously: I have laughed aloud, I have cried tears on more than one occasion. It is weird. I have also gotten sucked into the pretty poorly written Rizzoli and Isles just because Angie Harmon, despite her Republican ways, is just so pretty. I have terrible standards. And Top Chef is good! And Project Runway just started! Television is my oyster!

My birthday was this week, and you know how on Facebook you see it’s someone’s birthday and you think about leaving a comment but then you think “oh whatever, it’s just a Facebook birthday greeting, it doesn’t matter if I say anything or not”? It turns out it was still incredibly nice to hear from randoms on the occasion of my 37th birthday. My favorite was from this boy who I COULD NOT STAND in middle school and high school, who accused me of stealing candy from him and cheating off of his tests (I did not steal his candy; I did cheat off his tests). That guy wished me a happy birthday.

I also discovered that the all-staff-signed-this-because-we-made-them birthday card at work was nice as well. Who knew? I keep opening it and laughing, thinking about some of the people who were forced to tell me happy birthday even though they probably can’t stand me.

3 Aug 2010

Two Recent Conversations.

Written by sally @ 4:31 pm — Section: sally

Me: Oh, gross. Spike has a giant booger. Can you get me a paper towel?
Larry: (hands me a cloth napkin)
Me: Ew, no. I don’t want to have to wash a booger.
Larry: You wash stuff with boogers on it all the time.
Me: Yeah, but not active boogers.

Mix has just explained how on her one train ride, she was told where to sit, which was next to one very large woman and across the aisle from the two large women the first large woman was traveling with.

Mix: They were SO ANGRY that I was sitting there, but I couldn’t help it! The conductor guy told me to sit there!
Larry: They were probably imagining you with paper shoes on your feet.
Mix: (Polite laughter) Ha ha ha (looks at me like what the faaaaack is he talking about?).
Larry: And with, like, smelly steam coming off your head.
Me: (cannot breathe from laughing) (sits on coffee table to keep from wetting pants)

This continued to crack me up for several days. Mix laughing when she didn’t understand Larry, his bizarrely vague descriptions of a cartoon person trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey in someone’s imagination…it’s up there with the time I read this over and over, becoming more and more hysterical with laughter with each read.