8 Jun 2018

O Cardiologist, My Cardiologist.

Written by sally @ 10:42 am — Section: sally

• I have been trying very, very hard not to complain about wearing a stupid EKG monitor for a month, and I have made it to Day 17 so here it is: it sucks. The sensor pad things are eating my skin. I have to wear pants so it can go into a pocket. I could wear a dress, but then I’d have to wear a FANNY PACK THING around my waist, and there would be an awkward lump. (I tried this one day. Awkward lump.) This afternoon we are having an outside work event, and it is four million degrees, and doing the setup I nearly died of sweat drowning. To add to my complaint, the EKG wires are ALSO all sweaty now. I am healthy and attractive.

• I’d like to introduce a new feature of this almost-defunct website called Notes from the Notes App on My Phone. This entry is from 2016:

Two biddies at cardiologist discussing everyone they know. Her nephew had open heart surgery and do you know why? Because he ate a hamburger every day!

A doctor at this clinic has a wife who can’t cook. Her grandson was their personal cook for awhile but they complained the pot roast with potatoes and carrots was too fatty.

They are going to count their blessings because their friend can’t bend over to put on her socks anymore.

7 Jun 2018

As If He Went On and On.

Written by sally @ 3:07 pm — Section: sally

Yesterday on a trip to the Delta I saw the following:

1. a casket truck pulling out of a donut shop
2. truly exceptional kudzu monsters
3. a sign with arrows pointing to the left that said


which made me think this would be a great saloon madam name, should I find myself time traveling.

I just finished Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight, which I loved, and which I found unexpectedly heartbreaking, to the point that I, keeper of the black heart, actually cried a little. It has sentences like these:

“But she loved the name Marsh. It sounded as if he went on and on and was difficult to cross, to fully understand, that she would get her feet wet, that burrs and mud would attach themselves to her.”


“And then as she sweeps a cedar branch out of her way he recognizes the faint line of bones at her neck that brings his affection back to what he thought was no longer there.”

Can every book be this beautiful, please?

Speaking of: a coworker had All the Light We Cannot See on her desk, and I said, “That’s such a great book.” She said she’d just finished it. I asked if she cried at the end. She said no. When I just sat there looking at her, she said, “World War II: I mean, it wasn’t great for anyone.”

31 May 2018

Some Things I Have Interpreted as Signs Lately and My Appropriate Reactions.

Written by sally @ 10:21 am — Section: sally

You believe in cards
And you believe in signs
But I’ll be leavin’ soon
I’m here tonight

–“Curtain Calls,” the Old 97s

Dead car battery: quickly catalog everything bad I’ve ever done in my life, which naturally led to this point of utter punishment

One person says something mean: immediately believe this is how every person feels about me 100% all the time forever

In one day, encounter not only an ex-husband but an ex-boyfriend on a dating app: DELETE APP AND DIE ALONE

Finale Thoughts.

Written by sally @ 6:47 am — Section: sally

So The Americans ended last night, and I uncharacteristically stayed up to watch it, and then I couldn’t go to sleep because I kept thinking about the following things:
1. Stan’s identity has been crushed.
2. But Stan gets to be a dad to Henry!
3. God, Henry. Not only the betrayal that Paige felt when she was told her parents were big old liars and spies, but also the abandonment. Good luck at school, Henry! You have no home.
4. Back to Stan: the actor who plays him is perfect, as is his tic, which, if manufactured, should win an Emmy.
5. Best Manufactured Neurological Disorder.
6. Is a tic a neurological disorder?
7. I could google it.
8. From everything I read on Twitter, it looks like everyone was rooting for Philip and Elizabeth to make it out. And I realized, in that scene in the parking garage (THE SCENE), that I did not want Elizabeth to make it out. Philip, yes. I have forgiven him for his murderous, stuffing bodies in a suitcase ways, since he went to EST and had a crisis and was still a dad and experienced SUCH JOY going country dancing. But Elizabeth. Nope. I was willing to sacrifice her to save Stan’s conscience.
9. Could they not have given us a glimpse of Martha anywhere in the season?
10. I’m satisfied with Renee’s smug smirk and perfect Russian curls being enough to wonder about. Stan will wonder…FOREVER.
11. Think about Stan waking up the next day.
12. Stan: The Man Who Loved Too Much
13. Elizabeth: Who Needs Her?
14. Philip: Maybe They Have Country Dancing in Russia
15. Paige: Does She Get Immunity or What?
16. Oleg: FREE OLEG
17. Claudia: Who Kez
18. Henry: A Story of Ping Pong Regret
19. Renee: Smug Smirks 4 Life
20. Kimmy: Who?
21: Martha: Keep Searching That Bleak Grocery Store for Your New Life, Friend
22: It was a good show.

13 Nov 2017

This is How My Mind Works.

Written by sally @ 9:07 am — Section: sally

1. I heard the Chad and Jeremy version of “If I Loved You” at the grocery store the other day.
2. It explains a lot about me that I naturally assumed the store was playing it just for me, because who else would care?
3. Or identify Chad and Jeremy?
4. Fun fact: the guy who played Will Cortlandt on “All My Children” is Chad’s son.
5. Why do I know this?
6. What year was I born?
7. I still love “All My Children” and think about the characters regularly.
8. And yesterday I found a Tad Martin birthday card that I have been saving to send to my college roommate for like, 15 years.
9. A long time ago, the Big Lots in Starkville closed, and everything was 90% off.
10. 90%! I bought everything.
11. Including a “on your 100th birthday” card.
12. Ann said, “Who are you going to send THAT to?”
13. I said, “You.”
14. I waited eleven years.
15. Then I sent it to her for her 40th birthday.
16. BAM!
17. But back to “If I Loved You”: Carousel is my favorite musical about a dead asshole carnival barker ghost.
18. The end.

26 Oct 2017

Notes from a Notebook.

Written by sally @ 10:05 am — Section: sally

Looking for a particular poem last night, I found a notebook I started in high school that’s full of poems, quotations, and later, when things get interesting, scraps of conversations. You can see my progression from “dimwit” to “person with some of a brain” by the choices of things I recorded (no one needs quotes from Gloria Vanderbilt, teenage Sally).

Some favorites:

“You’re so cute—I could puke!” 

This was yelled by a person whose friend I made out with/spurned roughly 8 hours previous. My boyfriend, with whom I reconciled immediately post-make out, and I were admittedly bebopping down the sidewalk holding hands and were likely fairly pukey. It’s one of the best things anyone has ever screamed at me on a public street.

“What if you decide not to go to your class but go to lunch instead? And what if you meet your lifelong mate at that lunch? And what if you had gone to class like you should have?” —-Dr. Edra Bogle

My world lit professor said this in 1992 and it deeply affected me. I’ve always gotten wigged out thinking of all the different versions of a life I could be living, and how tiny choices determine our fates, and then here’s old Dr. Bogle just confirming that I needed to skip class more often.

“I do not know how to let anything important happen to me.” —Rilke, in a letter to Clara, May 1910

For awhile I thought I could relate to this, which is why I wrote it down, but later it occurred to me that I’m responsible for pretty much everything important that’s ever happened to me. In books, people are just sitting around minding their own business when things happen to them, but this has never been the way things have rolled for me. (Outside of BAD things happening, of course. I interpret “important” to mean non-tragic.) I’m not saying I made the right choices or anything, but when it comes down to it I almost always have to start whatever it is: pulling a thread from a sweater that unweaves itself, sending an email, saying yes, opening the door.

24 Oct 2017

This Thing We Have, Will It Mean Anything?

Written by sally @ 9:09 am — Section: sally

In the spring of 1999, I started dating this guy who was few years younger than me, but who was also a mechanical engineering major, which meant he was like 11 years old emotionally. His friends were all virgins and were very giggly about the whole thing. (This guy wasn’t a virgin; he had proudly done it, like, twice before me, but…ok, that’s pretty much a virgin.) So one time we were all headed to the bar, me and the merry band of virgins, and the Old 97s song “Melt Show” came on in my car.

Here’s an explication of the lyrics and the event.

In the front row at the Melt Show
I fell in love with you and that was three weeks ago

Naturally, at the time of this particular event, the pretty much virgin (PMV) and I had been dating about three weeks. One of the virgins in the car emitted a sound close to a gasp at this line.

We fooled around, you let me have it for free


Yeah, it worked out, out real nice
I showed you how to and you showed me paradise


Now you’re killing time and it’s killing me
Oh, and is this more than some old summer fling?
Oh, this thing we have, will it mean anything?

One of the virgins: Awww.

Oh, when October rolls around, will you sober up and let me down?
Will you sober up and let me?

Another virgin: NOPE.

At this point, I died of embarrassment. My soul escaped out the car window and snagged on the antenna, fluttering in the breeze as a bunch of virgins MOCKED ME FOR HAVING SEX WITH THEIR FRIEND via an alt-country song.

21 Apr 2017


Written by sally @ 2:48 pm — Section: sally

Yesterday in a meeting we got on a tangent and were telling airport stories. My usual one is that because I grew up in the Dallas area, D/FW airport is the main airport I ever encountered. I didn’t do a lot of traveling, but I did do a lot of dropping off of boyfriends or parents at the airport. Anyway, when I moved to Mississippi, a friend asked me to pick him up at the Jackson airport and when I drove up I thought I was at the annex/garage/woodshed of the REAL airport. Ha ha ha Jackson is small and terrible ha ha.

But yesterday I was thinking about how I did have to drop off/pick up my college boyfriend a lot — he worked as a trainer for a big box store and flew around training people how to sell TVs and camcorders. One day I was waiting for him — and this was in the mid 90s, when you waited at the gate — and I got to talking with an woman in her 40s who thought it was very romantic that I was picking up my boyfriend.

She sort of wistfully talked about her college boyfriend, and her current boyfriend, and I felt guilty for thinking that I was probably going to break up with mine soon.


Once I started thinking about this moment, I saw the scene: it was dark, and we were standing at the window looking at the plane. Except the plane wasn’t there yet, so that wasn’t right. The woman was very old and wore a scarf on her head. Except she wasn’t that old. It occurred to me that I’d merged the actual event with this scene from Moonstruck (watch it all, or zoom to 1:00 to begin):

Oh, memory, you scamp. This is why I don’t believe anything anyone ever tells me.

10 Apr 2017

19,358 Calories.

Written by sally @ 11:41 am — Section: sally

I’m teaching a comp class this semester for the first time in a million years — it’s been 14 years since I taught ANY class and 17 years since I taught THIS class. I am loving it, as my students are surprisingly engaged and talkative. It doesn’t mean they are particularly good students who do the readings or anything, but at least they’re engaged in the classroom.

Three or four of them show up really early to class to just talk (like 30 minutes early), which is both annoying and fun. Annoying because I better be ready for class, but fun because these are 19-year-old boys who, instead of doing 19-year-old boy things, have elected to come to class early to talk to me and each other. It is during this time that I learn the most about them — namely that they are full of beans.

A few weeks ago, they were talking about how much they eat and one said that he once ate six Big Macs, two large fries, and a 20-piece nugget. That simply can’t be true, right?

A few weeks later he claimed he ate two and a half footlong Subway sandwiches. That was two footlong meatball marinaras and only half of a footlong sweet onion chicken teriyaki. That is 30 inches of sandwich. Think about the bread alone. 30 inches of bread. Then add a bunch of meatballs and stuff.

After this, another kid apparently thought, “This big eater kid is getting a lot of attention. Time to join the ring.” He said that in his hometown, there’s a pizza place called John’s where they have a challenge where if you can eat ALL of the mega giant pizza, you get it free. That’s a thing that restaurants have, ok. Let’s hear some more. He said it had a six-foot diameter.

My desk in this classroom is about five feet long. I asked him if he was actually saying that the pizza that he ate WAS BIGGER THAN MY DESK. He said yes. I asked what toppings were on it. He said it was meat lover’s. Hmm. There was a little grumbling from the others because somehow a six foot pizza was believable, but eating six feet of sausage, hamburger, and Canadian bacon was TOO MUCH. He said look, you can look it up.

However, he didn’t remind us the name of the restaurant at this point OR say where he was from. However however, I remember stuff! Not anything useful, like state capitols (Spike has a test today and our review session was prettttty pitiful last night), but I remember useless things like where this pizzaliar was from. So I said, “Ok, John’s Pizza in Ridgetown, got it.” And then he said, “Well, actually, I’m not sure they still do it.”


Anyway, I DID look them up, and they DO still do it, only the pizza has a 30-inch diameter, NOT A SIX-FOOT DIAMETER, which provides gluttons with 52 slices. I won’t mention it to him, but looking stuff up and proving people wrong is my hobby, and this whole thing brought me such satisfaction. The food talk, the lies, the facts — this teaching thing is awesome!

I just figured the calories for these three claims:
Big Mac Extravaganza: 5,318
Subway Festivities: 2,525
52 Slice Affair: 14,040

4 Apr 2017

The Barf Baby.

Written by sally @ 10:21 am — Section: sally

Spike and I went to see The Boss Baby, and boy, was it awful. Let me count the ways. (Note: this post isn’t clever; it’s just a rant that I need to get out of my system and then I’ll delete it and we’ll all be happy again.)

1. Tim, a seven-year-old only child, has the full attention of his parents; when asked “do you want a baby brother?” he says nope.
2. When he’s asked this, the mom is visibly pregnant.
3. Soon after, a taxi arrives and a baby gets out wearing a suit.
4. This is his baby brother.
5. The parents seem to accept that he wears a suit, like babies have a choice or something.
6. The parents completely ignore Tim.
7. Like, to the point I almost cried.
8. Tim and the baby join forces to spy on the parents’ business; they work for a puppy company that is about to reveal its latest product.
9. Why is the Boss Baby so interested?
10. It seems that people love puppies more than babies, and Baby Corp can’t have this. Babies must dominate the love.
11. Boss Baby, if successful, will get a corner office and will disappear from Tim’s life altogether.
12. Boss Baby has some baby thug friends who work for him in the neighborhood. There are some black triplets, the only POC in the movie.
13. Through some hijinx, Tim and Boss Baby discover the new product is a puppy that stays a puppy forever.
14. Instead of just calling Baby Corp and saying “yo I figured it out, can I get some backup” the fate of all babies is on the shoulders of Tim and Boss Baby.
15. They succeed and Boss Baby goes away.
16. Some memory zappers erase the parents’ memory so they won’t be sad that THEIR BABY IS GONE. Tim declines the memory-erasure.
17. Tim then writes Boss Baby a letter that says “do you want to be my brother” and then Boss Baby comes back.
18. The mom is not pregnant this time but still gets a baby?
19. Everyone is happy.
20. Except me.

I’m fine with the whole “babies just arrive one day” thing but you can’t have the mom be pregnant and get a baby and then NOT pregnant and get a baby. Follow your own rules, stupid movie!

Someone also tell me what the justification is of having all white people in a movie made up of DRAWINGS. Can’t be casting troubles.

Instead of a cloud of smoke that erases Boss Baby’s presence, each human must be zapped personally. Did…anyone take this baby out anywhere? To grandma’s house? The grocery store? Did the parents not say “hey we’re having a baby” at work? I’m real fired up about this.

Also, if I were an only child with a baby sibling on the way I’d be terrified that my parents would never talk to me again.

I hate this movie.

24 Mar 2017

Mad About Germs.

Written by sally @ 6:58 am — Section: sally

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was on Bumble. I am no longer on Bumble. I encountered my ex-husband’s profile and now I am Done with Bumble. (Note: it was a really good profile! I’m proud of him.)

In related news, while I am casually open to the idea of being unsingle again, there are two things that I do actively miss about being coupled: 

  1. I have psoriasis, which is not noteworthy except that one of my recurring spots is on the back of my neck, and I often don’t realize it’s returned until I’ve been walking around with a scaly neck patch for a month. One responsibility of a partner is to alert me to the appearance of said scales.
  2. Bragging about a work victory. Friends are awesome, but I don’t want to say I DID THIS THING AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF! to anyone but someone who has indicated he finds this interesting and not annoyingly braggy. (I found out about a work something this morning that is Huge and do not think any friends want an early morning text about my victory.)

I’ve started watching Mad About You reruns in the morning. I used to love this show, and rewatching reveals that this show is actually terrible. First, Paul’s shirt is always tucked in and he never wears a belt. This must be a situation Paul Reiser developed in a workshop, as I don’t recall this being a widespread fashion choice in the 90s. Second, Paul’s masculinity is super fragile and most episodes have to do with Paul having to come to terms with this in some way: he must use bath gel instead of bar soap; they are trying to get pregnant and Jamie wants to take a cool new job–but Paul objects. How will she WORK and also CARE FOR A NON-EXISTING CHILD? It’s fun to watch in a “wow, it keeps getting worse” kind of way.

There was also an episode where Jamie made some pasta and kept taking out pieces of penne from the big bowl and tasting it. No big deal, except then she licked her fingers and went right back in. Things got worse when she made Paul taste it and shoved a piece in his mouth. Licked her fingers. Made Paul taste another. Licked her fingers. Tasted another herself. Lick. Her sister Lisa came over. Shoved a piece in Lisa’s mouth. LICKED HER FINGERS. Germs, Helen Hunt. Have you heard of germs? (She probably figured she and Paul Reiser had shared all the germs available to share as the script calls for them to kiss every 15 seconds.)

Ok bye

22 Mar 2017

Kid Rock Need Not Apply.

Written by sally @ 9:11 am — Section: sally

1. Today I’m wearing a dress that accentuates an area I do not want accentuated, but I sort of feel like I’m making too big a deal of it, so I wore the dress to prove to myself that I won’t die if an area is accentuated.

2. If you’re watching The Americans, you probably have the same dual sensation I do of GOD NOTHING EVER HAPPENS and I LOVE HOW THEY DRAW EVERYTHING OUT. The 20 seconds we saw last night of Martha peeping out from under her kerchief was totally worth every incredibly well-thought out, slow moment. Also, I am a big fan of breaking someone’s neck while “More Than This” plays. Next time I need to break a neck, I’ll cue it up for maximum effect.

3. I would say “I’m online dating” except that’s not an accurate description. I did join a site, but at this point there is LITERALLY ZERO CHANCE that I will meet a person there. It’s ok, though, as it’s more of a curiosity expedition/sociology experiment than an attempt to find a loving partner. So I’m on Bumble, which is one of those “look at up to six pictures of a person, read two sentences about them, then swipe yes or no.” Only if you both swipe yes do you make a match, and then the lady has to initiate contact. In theory, I liked this, as this would prevent “hey pretty lady” messages. The problems, though, are that I hardly like anyone, those people hardly ever like me, and these dudes don’t know how to have a conversation.

Here are some stats: I would say of probably 100 dudes available in the greater metro area, I have swiped yes on maybe 10 of them. Four also swiped yes on me. I messaged all of these with a question about either one of their photos or their two sentence description. Three of them answered the question but did not ask ME a question in return so I never responded because COME ON, PEOPLE. So it’s not even depressing because these people are not my people. They don’t come from the same planet.

I do have a rubric for what makes me swipe no:

a. is this person shirtless?
b. is this person holding an animal/waterfowl he has killed?
c. is this person too dumb to know this app draws photos from Facebook? because instead of looking at pictures of a guy I am just looking at this drunk blonde lady
d. is that…is that a picture of Kid Rock?
e. is the phrase “live, laugh, love” in the two-sentence description?

Anyway, so now I’ve decided that there needs to be a separate dating app for nerds. I would swipe yes for someone who listed his reading interests and advanced degrees. Weird facts about his obscure dissertation subject? YES. A picture of him posing with Neal deGrasse Tyson? YES. All flavors of nerds may apply, but preference is given to the hyperliterate. PS: Engineers are geeks, not nerds, and do not qualify for this position.

8 Feb 2017


Written by sally @ 4:39 pm — Section: sally

Remember when we all read blogs, and then Google Reader died and everyone just had thoughts in their heads all the time, and then we put them on Facebook, and then too many people we’re related to and/or hate friended us, and then we moved to Twitter only to discover the real value of a thought turned out to be if anyone liked it or not?

Things on My Nerves:
1. People who drive poorly and then get mad when they’re honked at. This applies metaphorically to anyone who does something poorly and has someone point this fact out and then loses their mind because of the INJUSTICE of someone saying “you’re wrong.” Bonus indignation points if it’s a dude being told he’s wrong by a lady.

Sidenote: the other day I stopped in the road (probably worthy of a honk) to read a bumper sticker. It said:

Honk if you have to

2. Librarians who include the MLIS after their names in an email signature. I’m proud of you! But shhh. This isn’t one of those professions.

3. Pretty much everything happening on a national level all the time.

4. You (j/k there’s no one reading this)

I’m teaching a class at a community college this semester, and it is way more fun and interesting than I expected it to be. The last time I taught any class was the fall of 2003. The last time I taught comp I was maybe spring of 2000. So it’s been a minute, and for the most part, blah blah five-paragraph essay, three-part thesis, etc. However, it turns out that I am now much older than my students than I ever was before, and they don’t know what Chiclets are when I make a reference to Chiclets. Come on, it’s a Chiclet! BUT! The great thing is that there are computers and projectors in the classrooms, and so you can first say, “Y’all don’t know what a CHICLET is??!” and then you can Google up a Chiclet and then they say, “Oh yeah, Chiclets!”

We are also creeping up on a year since I broke up with my last boyfriend. He was someone I basically chased after and made out with at parties for over 15 years before convincing him to date me for almost three years. But then two things happened: we had some differences, as humans do, and we could not talk about them. This proved to be a combination I couldn’t endure. Imagine if you watched Oprah your whole life and were into communication and owning your emotions…and then you said, “Here are my emotions” in a non-screamy way and the other person did not respond? (I do not exaggerate: there was NO SOUND. Not a word nor grunt!) Anyway, he’s a fine person, and super cute, and I hope he finds someone who does not require the type/level/content of communication that I do. (It took me the whole year to be able to write this.)

George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo comes out next Tuesday, and I highly recommend it. Buy it for your Valentine if you still have one also I don’t have one because I needed to be able to talk about my feelings sometimes! (I swear I’m over it.)

If you are the podcast type, may I recommend Crybabies? It sounds like a hard sell, but it’s people discussing the things that make them cry — not things like “dead puppies” but things like “the last scene of the last episode of the Wonder Years” or any Adele song. Because a lot of the guests are artsy people, expect a lot of Sondheim references. It is an absolutely fascinating experience to hear someone talk about their crying cues, as you get to hear the backstory and their family history and I LOVE IT. It also makes you think of your own crying cues, and while I haven’t really taken the deep dive on this, this scene from the musical Carousel is definitely one of them.

Ok, it’s a weird seven-minute ballet scene, but I am always moved by the pause and swell of the music (not to mention that insane dancing!) around the three-minute mark. That thing he does around Louise? You should try that at home sometime and then call me to tell me how big the bruise on your butt is after you fall down. (I speak from experience.)

Oh, old blog, I’ve missed you so!

18 Oct 2016


Written by sally @ 10:45 am — Section: sally

I’ve been working on some really serious and not-at-all ridiculous research projects lately, and I thought I’d share with you. It’s a rite of passage for everyone to research bananas, I’m sure, and on my journey I keep finding other interesting things that I have to stop and find out more about. Today I need to tell you about a story I discovered that involves the following:

1. murder
2. a banana peel

You in? Let’s go! (more…)

5 Jul 2016

Paging Dr. Deere.

Written by sally @ 12:10 pm — Section: sally

Just a quick note: my grandmother was telling me about her dentist, how he’s Theresa’s husband. She couldn’t remember his last name.

“Isn’t it Deere?”

“I mean, that’s a name and all, but that’s not it,” my grandmother said.

“I’m pretty sure it’s Denton Deere,” I said. If I were one to use adverbs I’d say I said this smugly.

So a moment ago Google and I set out to prove that I was right and this 91-year-old woman was wrong, and discovered this:

1. Denton Deere isn’t a dentist, he’s a plastic surgeon.
2. He’s a plastic surgeon in Ellen Raskin’s 1978 novel The Westing Game.

So. Not only am I losing my mind, but the fictional characters are moving in (to be fair, I read The Westing Game about a thousand times, and one of those thousand times was a few months ago). Can’t wait to go see my endocrinologist, Dr. T.J. Eckelstein. Or is it Dr. Joe Martin?

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