17 Sep 2019

Introducing Man Baby.

Written by sally @ 3:15 pm — Section: sally

For years, each time I go to DC, I visit a piece of art that I call My Lady. She is a hyperrealistic sculpture of a sad looking woman eating a banana split. I have a picture of her framed in my home. I think she is amazing and beautiful. I know how to draw a picture (albeit poorly), but I don’t know how make a lady.

“Woman Eating”, Duane Hanson, 1971

She also reminds me of this girl I went to middle school with who once wrote this in a slam book in response to the question Who do you want to do it with?: “Anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

I visited her in June, but before I went back to DC a few weeks ago, something else on the Hirshhorn website caught my eye. His name might officially be “Untitled (Big Man)”, but I call him Man Baby. I sent a picture of him to my traveling companion and said THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DOING THURSDAY.

Untitled (Big Man), Ron Mueck, 2000

We wandered around the Hirshhorn for awhile looking at things we didn’t understand, hoping for a glimpse of Man Baby. “Where is Man Baby?” we asked each other. “Where have they put Man Baby?” And then we found him, and he is literally in a corner. Someone put Man Baby in a corner! Oh, Man Baby! You didn’t disappoint. Man Baby is a big old giant naked man. (My mother asked if he is anatomically correct, and the answer is yes. His official portrait keeps his secrets, but I know them ALL.) As I haven’t visited him every year for 15 years, I can’t say I know his story yet, but he is fascinating. Why is he naked? Why is his giant scrotum resting on the floor? What is that look on his face? Why are his eyes shifty? I hope to find out, and also to write some weird fan fiction where Man Baby and My Lady get together when the museums are closed for deep conversation, hand holding, and gazing into each other’s sad, shifty eyes.

16 Sep 2019

Kellogg’s is Behind This.

Written by sally @ 7:52 am — Section: sally

I am not a good pancake or waffle maker, but the other day I thought I’d try using the wafflemaker that I used once and then shoved in the back of the cabinet. I’d bought some gluten free pancake mix and announced to Spike that I was going to make waffles.

–MAKE waffles? WHY?
–Because your uncle gave us a wafflemaker and I’ve only used it once.
–Why not just make an Eggo?

Problem the first: the wafflemaker was in the back of the cabinet. It’s a bottom corner cabinet, so I basically had to take everything out. Are you missing any water bottles or random jars? It’s because I have apparently stolen them from your house and thrown them willy-nilly into this bottom corner cabinet. Related: does anyone need any water bottles or random jars? I took everything out of the cabinet and sorted it into toss/keep, but I have a small kitchen and now the countertops were completely covered in stuff. I finally got to the wafflemaker, but I had to process all the extra stuff before I could move on to waffling.

Problem the second: I read the back of the bag and got all my ingredients out. I dumped the bag of pancake mix into the bowl and dumped the other stuff in. Then I noticed it said, “Add 1 1/2 cups of pancake mix.” Not the whole bag. Not the whole, much more than 1 1/2 cups of mix bag. Huh. Ok. FINE. I threw all that away.

Problem the third: I have gluten free flour and a pancake/waffle recipe. The universe was probably trying to tell me that I don’t need to buy a MIX for something as easy as PANCAKES. I was CONFIDENT. I HAD this. And then I mixed up the baking soda and baking powder. That’s ok, I thought. I am not going to worry about that. Maybe they’ll be flat or super fat or whatever happens when you use the opposite one of whichever one I was supposed to use! I cannot be stopped! Waffles, here I come! Then I tried to crack one of the two required eggs. And the eggs were frozen. We also experienced pickles frozen in pickle juice the other day, so I shouldn’t have been totally surprised, but the AUDACITY of the eggs to be frozen after all my trials really stopped me in my tracks.

I know a sign from the universe when I see one (maybe it takes me a minute, but I get there eventually). I tossed everything in the trash and asked Spike how many Eggos he wanted.

31 Jul 2019

Winnie Ille Pu.

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

A few weeks ago my lunch companion told me about something amazing he heard about on a podcast: that once upon a time, people used to hire ornamental hermits as status symbols. Oh, you know, so rich, what’s this on my property, a hermitage, you say? In which my hermit lives? Oh, of course! It’s perfectly natural to hire a man to live in a hut and not cut his fingernails or hair for five years. But what happens if you’re low on cash, but high on a need for an ornamental hermit? Well, you can fudge it. Just put a classical text and a pair of glasses on a table and pretend your hermit is out doing hermit stuff. I love all of this.

The natural next step after learning about an ornamental hermit is to acquire one, or at least to acquire a fake one. The only classical text I could find was a Latin version of Winnie the Pooh (sure, why not?). I put it on my outside table, open to a page without an illustration of a bear. I found a pair of my grandfather’s glasses (doesn’t everyone have a Ziploc baggie full of the glasses of their dead grandparents?) and put those on top. I texted a picture to a friend, who advised that it needed a little zhuzhing up and to add a crust of bread. I got the heel from a loaf of Nature’s Own Honey Wheat — aka Hermit’s Choice — and tore it in half. Before, it was funny, but afterwards, it was hilarious. I almost couldn’t take how hilarious it was. I actually had to go take a heart palpitation pill. And then I waited for my lunch companion to come over. Would he know what it was? Would he be impressed with my handiwork?

He saw it and did not ignore it or say “what is that” or “what the fuck” or “huh” or “why do you have a Latin version of Winnie the Pooh?” He said, “Looks like your hermit is out taking a walk!” It wasn’t a test, but he passed.

2 Jul 2019

Overheard on Earth.

Written by sally @ 4:45 pm — Section: sally

1. “I mean, this is a mute point, but…”
2. “Sometimes it’s good to have an old fart around.” — An Old Fart
4. “Is it ok if I bring my strewdriver to work? There’s just one strew I need to tighten on my desk.” (I said yes.)
4. “Have you heard of the most dangerous cheese?” (It’s this one.)
5. “Can you buy these Swisher Sweets for me? I don’t want them to scan my driver’s license. But I promise my name is Lucius P. Granberry.” — 90+ year old man at Walgreens whose name is most likely not Lucius P. Granberry, but who spoke with a Foghorn Leghorn accent
6. “What’s the name of that racist rooster again?” — coworker explaining what was wrong with her Bumble date

3 Jun 2019

Ten Things for Monday.

Written by sally @ 3:38 pm — Section: sally

1. I paid off my student loans last week!
2. I rediscovered the John Wesley Harding album The Name Above the Title and lo, it is 1996 all over again, except good this time.
3. The person who mispronounces everything hit me with a doozy last week. Guess, if you will, what “complebent” was supposed to be. I will literally give you a million dollars if you do. This is not a legally binding promise.
4. I had a dream the other night that I went to France, and the moment I got there it was revealed that I was the victim of a known scam: steal everything from people when they first get to France. I had no phone, wallet, passport, medicine, nothing. I eventually got stressed out enough to wake up.
5. Looking in the Notes section of my phone just now, I saw another dream about how The Wave was coming to Jackson. Instead of being a dorky communal excitement experience, this was a literal wave of water. It was very stressful and once I woke up, I stayed awake for a very long time trying to plot how I would deal with The Wave. How do I get all the cats in the car? What if my neighbors aren’t home but their dog is outside? Should I take him too? Hours of plotting my course.
6. Haha, another dream in the Notes: I was a nurse and my college boyfriend came into the ward. Quote: “I believe there was some marital deceit.”
7. I just had to break the news to a vendor that my workplace is not going to go with his product after all. It was like a breakup. It was maybe worse than a breakup. “I appreciate you telling me. Obviously I wanted a different answer. May I ask which vendor you went with? Huh. REALLY. Well. That’s INTERESTING. Huh. Ok. Well. Thanks for telling me. I hope we can keep in touch.” #rough
8. gross
9. I was typing “gross” into a chat box, or at least I intended to, so I’m leaving it there.
10. I didn’t have ten things to say, but I made it.

25 May 2019

Oh Happy Day.

Written by sally @ 8:46 pm — Section: sally

I have had an extremely satisfying day and need to report to this you, the zero number of people who are reading this.

1. I did the NYT puzzles as usual.

2. I finished reading a book. I liked The Last Romantics, but I’ve recently read a LOT of books featuring sibling dynamics and I am full up now. There was a scene that I really liked where a woman is breaking up with a man, and she says something like, “I don’t want to eat dinner with you. I don’t want to go on vacation with you,” and I thought that about sums up when you are done with a person.

3. I went to the farmer’s market, which was stressful and paranoia-inducing, but I managed to buy two beautiful tomatoes and two nice zucchini. I don’t know why I couldn’t have had symmetry and said the zucchini were beautiful, too. They were very nice, ok? Maybe just not beautiful. I don’t want to eat dinner or go on vacation with them. Does that clear things up?

4. I went to the flea market, the kind of gross one you have to pay a dollar to get into. I considered buying a pin that said I TECATE MY BODY because I saw a similar pin at a flea market in like 1988 and I thought it was some sex thing and was very scandalized. But instead I just took a picture of it. I did buy some postcards of the Jackson Zoo and was extremely pleased with this purchase because one is of Monkey Island!

5. Then I went to see the early bird matinee of Booksmart, which was great for many reasons, one of which being that I was the only person in the theater. I also laughed my ass off throughout, which is notable because I’m not a movie laugher usually. Things can be funny! I can be amused! But “ha ha ha that movie is making me laugh” is pretty rare. Also, the movie started at 10:30 and was $7. Anyway, the growly way she says DOES NOT MATTER in the scene with the hair masks has made me laugh all day.

6. Then I came home and made a caprese salad and ate it all.

7. Then I considered taking a nap but ended up going to TJ Maxx with Gorjus. I bought nothing, but he got some new towels, a candle, and some pink salt. He is really into that pink salt. We talked a lot about that pink salt.

8. Then we went to Baskin Robbins and I got a weird sundae of lemon custard ice cream with marshmallow topping. It was amazing. Marshmallow topping doesn’t really have a flavor: it’s just SUGAR SAUCE. I’m into it.

9. Then we went to Lemuria and I bought The Immortalists.

10. Then I came home and watched 75 episodes of The New Girl, which is code for three. It feels like 75 because I’m not a binger so it feels excessive. I am so slow that I have been watching this on Netflix for the past four years and am never caught up. (I know it’s four because I remember starting it when I was dating the guy two boyfriends ago.)

11. I made a weird dinner with the nice-not-beautiful zucchini and the remaining tomato, I repotted the two night blooming cereuseseses I bought last month at a plant sale at Eudora Welty’s house, and then I took a bath. Well, I’m still taking it. I’m writing this from the bath! It’s the future!

It was a fine day, a good day.

8 Apr 2019


Written by sally @ 11:32 am — Section: sally

I did not advance to the next round in that short story contest, which was not a surprise, as I am not a short story writer. However, the feedback was fair and valuable, should I choose to enter another contest to do a thing I don’t know how to do in the future. The huge upside is that I didn’t have to write another story over the weekend, which worked out since Spike had four soccer games and I was busy screaming the whole time. Today I am hoarse. Enthusiasm!

I am now in a book club, and we are reading Geek Love, and while I like the writing, I am stressed out beyond reason by Arty. Also, one of my cats knocked over a glass of water onto my copy, and being forced to read a creaky, crackly waterstained book is hurting me.

I’m pretty good at embarrassing myself, and last week I managed to do something so embarrassing I’m pretty sure I turned into ectoplasm for a few minutes before I regained my human form. To explain, pretend that you have a new friend named William who, when you met, spilled his drink on you. Pretend also that when your friends say, “What’s new?” you say, “Well, not much, I met this guy and when we hung out he spilled his drink on me,” so in texts they check up on you by asking, “How is The Spiller?” Then one day, inspiration hits, and you text them, “Hey, The Spiller’s real name is William so I came up with a great new nickname for him: SPILLIAM” except no, OF COURSE you didn’t text your friends. You texted Spilliam. Yes. You have been placed on this planet to ruin everything all the time.

In doing this, you have revealed the following to Spilliam:

1. You talk about him to your friends
2. You think his drink spilling is noteworthy
3. omg, SPILLIAM
4. You don’t know how to text

I have been watching New Amsterdam, which is like Grey’s Anatomy minus the sex and plus magical, unrealistic solutions to medical problems. The hospital across town is the only one with that special machine? Then by all means, let’s fake our identities and go over there and use it! The woman who my sister donated her heart to is now in my hospital with heart failure? WE MUST SAVE HER. AND WE SHALL. It is not stressful, it has a diverse cast, and everyone is beautiful. Recommended for people who get stressed out by imaginary people and situations.

Ok bye

15 Mar 2019

Best Historical Insult, Hookworm Edition.

Written by sally @ 2:52 pm — Section: sally

I’ve developed an interest in hookworms — as one does — and just came upon this extremely descriptive passage from Thomas D. Clark’s The Emerging South (1968, p25-26):

“As the white population expanded, the incidence of hookworm became greater. Barefooted and carefree men of nature defecated on the ground, giving the bloodthirsty killer in their bowels the air and soil necessary to complete its life cycle. Pale, emaciated, tobacco-stained dirt-eaters became stock characters of the natural southern scene…As the barefooted population increased, the germ of laziness spread with enormous ferocity. No one, of course, knew that the cause was really a parasite.”

I can tell you that this is the most spirited description on this topic that I’ve found. I’m considering acquiring an enemy just so I can say this:









10 Mar 2019

Again with the Brain.

Written by sally @ 8:53 am — Section: sally

Last week I was at the public library picking up two Elizabeth McCracken books (I like to burn out on an author by reading everything they’ve written in a short period of time) and I ran into my former dental hygienist, who now owns a sno-cone business.

“Hey! How’re you?” we both said.

“What do y’all do in the sno-cone off-season?” I said.

“What was that?”

“What do y’all do in the sno-cone off-season?”

“Hmm. Sno-cones. Ok, good to see you!” She walked off.

After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that our kids played soccer together a few years ago and that she probably doesn’t know shit about dental hygiene or sno-cones. I started to laugh and went back up to her.

“Oh, hi, I just realized you’re Aiden’s mom and NOT my former dental hygienist who now owns a sno-cone business!” I was barely able to say these words because I was laughing so hard.

“I was trying so hard to remember if we’d ever gotten sno-cones together!” she said.

“No, I’m just insane,” I said. “Good to see you!”

When I got back to work I looked them both up on Facebook and in my defense, I have to say, they look remarkably alike. Both have eyes and hair and everything.

25 Feb 2019

Just The Hat. Ok.

Written by sally @ 10:39 am — Section: sally

• I finished Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken over the weekend, and whoa. My favorite books are usually those that you can describe as “weird, sad, beautiful,” and this one is no exception. It’s more weird than sad, though there’s sadness throughout. (Just not rip your heart out of your body sad. I’m looking at you, Cold Mountain.) I was flipping through to find some examples of weird/sad/beautiful, and basically every sentence was such. Here are two, though, that aren’t spoilers:

“Orphaned, taken in. Alone, married. She did not know who she was. Her soul was a goldfish, a little thing inside the bowl of her body. She always had to concentrate to find it before she said her prayers.”

“She was a tyrant. She was a thief. He loved her yet. Years later he would die with these truths upon his lips. He loved everyone he had ever loved.”

I’ve already read 13 books this year (#single), and this is by far my favorite. It also has a pretty cover, which doesn’t hurt anything.

• Bookstore employee on phone: “The Cat in the Hat? Oh, just The Hat? OK.”

• I’ve been to several flea markets and antique stores lately, which is a fun way for us olds to pass the time. Some stuff I’ve purchased:

–photo of a random German (?) family from the 30s, inscribed with their names on the back: Phili, Rudolf, Margot, and Hans

–some glasses with a hunting scene on them, one of which has a cool lodge name:

–a very cute bright blue glass creamer

–70s movie posters from a Hattiesburg drive-in. Y’all think these are family friendly or what?

• To complete my journey into spinsterhood, I have started doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every day. And maybe writing down how long it takes me to complete them. And then bragging. I started this a few weeks ago, and I am pleased to report that for the first time, I completed the Sunday puzzle yesterday! I didn’t even cheat, outside of pressing the uh-oh button! Maybe that’s cheating? I’m not calling that cheating. Googling stuff is cheating. And even then, that’s my own arbitrary rule. In case you’re interested, a Monday puzzle takes me about eight minutes, but the Sunday took me 45.

20 Feb 2019

Lost My Mind. (That’s a Matthew Sweet Song.)

Written by sally @ 1:11 pm — Section: sally

Last week I came across a pile of concert ticket stubs. I’m a pretty good archivist of my own life and thought all the concert ticket stubs were already together, so this was a treat. I was wondering where the evidence that I went to a Goo Goo Dolls concert once was, and now I have it! I was sitting next to a 10-year old, who got her tickets as a birthday present.

There were two stubs in the stub pile that didn’t seem familiar at all: one of those multi-band concerts sponsored by a radio station (featuring Live, which I don’t care for) from 1999 and a Matthew Sweet concert from 2000. The first one I immediately dismissed: totally not my stub. First, I have no memory, and second, it was Live. No. But Matthew Sweet? I love Matthew Sweet! I have seen Matthew Sweet! It was 1993, at one of those multi-band concerts sponsored by a radio station! Tony Bennett, Matthew Sweet, The Lemonheads — it was a good lineup! But I have only seen Matthew Sweet once, and certainly not in 2000.

Just in case I got roofied, I texted pictures of the stubs to a couple of friends: did we go to this? Did YOU go to this and somehow I ended up with your stubs? Nope. No one was there.

I put the picture on Facebook. A couple of people were at the shows, but they were people I didn’t know at the time.

During this, Gorjus kept asking, Do you know what Occam’s Razor is, Mawmaw? You were there. You’ve just forgotten.

Here are some of the alternate theories I offered:
1. I found the stubs at the Alabama Theatre
2. I intentionally planted them to confuse future me
3. I stole the stubs from someone I had a crush on (most plausible of all of these, tbh)

Then I remembered that I’m a pretty good archivist of my own life! And I kept a journal during those years.

You should not be surprised to learn that when I consulted the source material, it turns out that I went to both concerts. Both of them. I have seen Live, apparently. Once I read who I went with (I wrote: “the Loser Crew came to town”), I had a hazy memory of rain and homemade trash bag ponchos and being miserable and then going to IHOP afterwards.

But Matthew Sweet? Nope. I can’t remember the venue, and even when I saw that I went with a couple of the members of the aforementioned Loser Crew (who, coincidentally, were also some of these virgins), still no bells.

I haven’t had this experience before, where, when presented with a physical artifact, I still could summon no memories. The other day I listened to “Nothing’s Going to Change My Love for You” for the first time since 1987 and still knew all the words. What gives, BRAIN? IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END? You let me keep Glenn Medeiros but you delete Matthew Sweet?!

I updated my Facebook post. One of the guys I went with commented, “What a great concert!”

Was it? I’d like to know.

12 Feb 2019

Here Are Some Random Paragraphs.

Written by sally @ 10:33 am — Section: sally

I had a dream recently that I was telling someone this story, so here you go. I am literally making my dreams come true, just like Laverne and Shirley! That guy’s Facebook posts continue to entertain me, but he has gone blonde and it’s not that cute.

Speaking of Laverne and Shirley, I was just reading about Cyndi Grecco, who recorded “Making Our Dreams Come True,” and how she also recorded the theme song for another Happy Days spinoff called Blanksy’s Beauties that did not take off.

I love a dumb project no one cares about, so I have endeavored to tweet the entirety of the 1892 comic novel The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. Why? I don’t know. I haven’t read ahead and so only know what goes on as I’m tweeting. Since it’s in diary format, I post one entry a day. It’s really taking off: I have FOUR followers. Follow me at @pooterdiary if you want to be the fifth. (The nobody’s name is Charles Pooter.)

There’s a miniseries version of Howards End on Amazon Prime right now. Apparently I’ve gotten it confused with Sense and Sensibility. Sisters, a house, etc. All I remember is that someone may or may not get crushed by a wardrobe at the end. I’m only an episode in so I’ll have to report back.

Speaking of Amazon Prime, yesterday an important item arrived. I ordered some of those little triangle things you stick on your wrinkles and I tried one out last night. While I didn’t awake 30 years younger (ok, thank god for that), for a couple of hours this morning I had a furrow-free forehead! I call this a $15 temporary success story.

It’s fitting that I have returned to blogging about boring things just in time for theohreally’s 15-year anniversary!

6 Feb 2019

Social Media Policy.

Written by sally @ 6:43 am — Section: sally

I have been unfollowing people willy-nilly on various social media platforms lately. Here’s a partial list of reasons:

–posted a picture of their feet
–asked for advice on placemats to go with plates (THE PLATES WERE WHITE OMFG)
–was interested in a Confederate Flag Day event
–author I admire was making me not want to read their work ever, ever again
–too much complainin’ about boring things
–too many medieval-themed retweets
–gross food picture
–too many posts
–didn’t respond to my comment

Here is a partial list of reasons to keep social media people forever:

–posts about drama with ex-husband, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend (it goes back and forth)
–shares things about creepy mansions/Parisian apartments
–posts screenshots on Twitter of their Facebook fights
–quality cat pics
–the Reddit Relationship account and the inevitable 200+ DUMP HIM replies
–posts about how men suck posted by married women whose husbands are not on social media
–interesting stuff

28 Jan 2019

Extremely Prolific Writer Update!

Written by sally @ 7:40 am — Section: sally

Update: I did finish and submit the story! The way it works is that all 4,500 people who entered the contest are assigned to various heats that dictate the genre, subject, and character in the story. Then if you win that heat you move on to the next round. I was assigned comedy, incompetence, astronomer. (I learned a lot about interstellar medium in this process, mainly the fact that there is something called “interstellar medium.”) It wasn’t very good, but it got done, and now I can proudly say I have written two stories ever.

25 Jan 2019

I’ll Wrap Around You.

Written by sally @ 5:06 pm — Section: sally

I’ve mentioned my freakout dreams before, which are technically called hypnagogic hallucinations, though I think “freakout dreams” is more descriptive and less showoffy. I haven’t had many recently, though apparently it’s either a pen floating merrily through my room OR it’s camo-clad men and their dogs climbing through a painting.

They started in the summer of 1996 when I lived in Starkville, and like I said in that older blog post, started with spiders. Because look, if you thought there was a spider on your pillow, that’s believable, right? It was just that the spiders multiplied, and then became tarantulas, and then mice, etc. Anyway, I haven’t seen a spider in a freakout dream in 20+ years!

Last night I was listening to the Velvet Crush song “Time Wraps Around You,” which, incidentally, is very much tied in my brain to the summer of 1996 and the person I was dating then. I turned it off, I went to bed, and THEN GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?

There were spiders! A cone shape of light was shining on the bed kind of like a cabaret and silver spiders were turning and glistening in their Liza Minelli moment! I screamed, I turned on the light, the spiders disappeared, and I think it’s best I stay away from the Velvet Crush.

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