25 Jul 2011

If Proust Were From Texas.

Written by sally @ 8:28 pm — Section: sally

There’s a Minyard’s commercial where a teenage girl is on the phone and crumbles ground beef into a pan to brown. I am fascinated that a) a teenager is cooking and b) she is touching the ground beef and c) also a teenager is cooking. I did not cook, was not encouraged to cook, had no interest in cooking, was terrified of the stove. I bluffed my way through making a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches once but the kitchen got smoky because the heat was too high. I do not touch the ground beef when I dump it in the pan, but I do think of that Minyard’s girl. (Not the right ones, but entertaining for hairdo purposes.)

Every Wednesday night from 1985-1990, my family and I go to Whataburger. Whataburger is ok and all, but my dad is an engineer and dammit we go to Whataburger on Wednesdays. There is an Indian guy named Jim Sidhu who works at Whataburger for a year, and I’m not sure who’s more embarrassed: me for being a Whataburger regular, or him for working at Whataburger. We both have to be there; at least he’s getting paid. At the end of the school year, he writes WHATABURGER RULES in my yearbook.

If eating at Whataburger at least once a week wasn’t enough hamburggery for one family, sometimes on the weekend my dad will grill burgers. They are always way too thick and don’t cook all the way. We eat them with Doritos. I think this is gross and complain to my mother when I get home about how he is trying to poison us with undercooked meat. Years later, my friends who live in the small white house and I decide to grill some burgers. They don’t have a grill. Patrick digs a hole and Ann puts one of the oven racks over it. I request that we eat them a little rare with Doritos. They are my best friends so they respond enthusiastically.

My Italian grandmother’s aunt Rosie was famous for her meatballs. “Bring your meatballs when you come,” someone said to her in a letter. She packed her suitcase. Skirts, a slip, a brassiere, some blouses, some meatballs.

A friend describes a girl she doesn’t like as looking like “ground beef with teeth.” It is apt, it is perfect, it is the meanest thing anyone has ever said aloud.

My college boyfriend, despite multiple jobs, is always on the brink of destitution. Sometimes he swipes a pound of ground beef from his stepmother’s freezer on his way to school, leaves it in his car on top of the hatchback cover to defrost, and then cooks it at my house for lunch. One day he skips class to donate plasma. He passes out and I have to come get him. They don’t let him leave for several hours. When we open his car to get his backpack, the smell overpowers us. The ground beef has defrosted, cooked itself, and burned in the heat of his car. We live in Texas.

17 Jul 2011

Paris Lice.

Written by sally @ 7:46 am — Section: sally

“We ate bread and cheese, drank Algerian wine, contracted lice, wore boatneck shirts, and shuffled happily through the backstreets of Paris.”
–Patti Smith, making me really jealous (even with the lice), in Just Kids

11 Jul 2011

Cookies and Camels.

Written by sally @ 2:26 pm — Section: sally

A few years ago at my baby shower, my friend Ann made some adorable onesie-shaped cookies, elaborately and gorgeously iced. While I knew I wouldn’t get into any elaborate/gorgeous territory, I was excited to make these for a baby shower last weekend.

Except…Ann apparently made sure her cookie dough was exactly 1/4″ thick, whereas I didn’t, and so of the 36 cookies I made, I had 4 cute onesie shapes and 32 other things. Because the dough was thicker in places, those cookies spread out more. I thought maybe when I iced them (simply! not elaborately!) they would be ok, and maybe I would arrange them so that the cute ones were on top. So I made some pink icing, the good shiny cookie kind that dries and gets crunchy, and I started slathering it on, and it wasn’t going well. The icing actually made the cookies look less like onesies and more like…an army of misshapen uteruses. Perhaps it was just that there were so many of them with their little arms/fallopian tubes, but the more I iced, the more they looked like an appropriate refreshment for like, a bachelorette party/baby shower combo. Penis straws and uterine cookies for all!

I ended up making some lemon/blueberry tarts, and no one said, “Hey, these look like a reproductive organ!” and all was well.

I feel it necessary to confess that yesterday I watched Sex & the City 2. There are some things you should know: first, it took much longer than expected for me to truly hate the movie. It was not when Liza Minnelli performed Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” at a wedding. It was not when Samantha was applying magical creams to her parts on the advice of Suzanne Somers. I knew things would go downhill when they went to Abu Dhabi, but I did not expect the girls to do karaoke to “I Am Woman” and to do so happily, as if they knew all the words already. There was a lot of “omg isn’t it crazy that these ladies gotta wear burkhas omg how do they eat their fries” but then Samantha retaliates from this oppressive culture THAT IS NOT HER OWN by showing everyone her boobs. There was a character named Dick Spirt. Samantha bones him. Carrie wears a ball gown to lunch in the desert. Charlotte falls off a camel and gets camel toe and everyone’s all “ha ha camel toe.” I have a feeling that part was in the pitch meeting: “something happens, the girls are somewhere, Charlotte gets camel toe, everyone wears funny clothes, a lady in a burkha eats fries.” SOLD! There is also an extremely silly megaserious plot turn where Carrie kisses an old boyfriend she runs into in Abu Dhabi and then she flips out and tells Mr. Big and he acts like she has cut off someone’s head and everyone cries and it is all very stupid. Larry came in the room and I announced that if I ever found myself in Abu Dhabi and randomly ran into an old boyfriend, I would most definitely kiss him and not feel bad about it, as if you run into an old boyfriend buying a rug in a market in Abu Dhabi, the universe is most definitely trying to tell you something, which is probably “remember how this guy kisses weird?”

I guess my main concern with the movie was that Sarah Jessica Parker thought people were going to like it. “But it has camel toe!” I can hear her weeping into the tweed coat of Matthew Broderick. He pats her back and checks his watch for the time.