28 Jul 2010

Things Running Through My Head, Wednesday Edition.

Written by sally @ 9:13 am — Section: sally

1. The insufferable backpack from Dora singing, “Backpack, backpack. Backpack, backpack.”
2. Rhys Ivans saying, “You daft prick” from the near-end of Notting Hill. Ivans saying this starts in motion the essential-to-any-romantic-comedy chase scene set to “Gimme Some Lovin'” by the Spencer Davis Group.
3. “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas.” All of it.

20 Jul 2010

Nug-Nug-Nuggin’ on Heaven’s Door.

Written by sally @ 1:36 pm — Section: sally

Reasons I Will Hide You On Facebook:
• abuse of the exclamation point
• frequent misspellings
• bragging about the stuff you bought, referenced by brand name
• too much Palin

Have you ridden a train recently? If so, did it go through the Mississippi Delta? Friends, you’re missing out on a real treat. Not only can your stomach be rocked into a state of abject misery, but look out the window, if you will, at the beautiful countryside! Wait, it’s beautiful on one side, anyway, the way the land is flat for miles except for the kudzu-covered trees rising up like monsters, but what’s this on the other side? Oh. Huh. Look at that. It’s flooded and half-burned trailers. Falling down houses. Crumbly businesses with vines grown up over the doors. Old men sitting in chairs in the front yard, watching you go by. The most bowlegged child you have ever seen. If you happen to be listening to Elliott Smith, congrats! You are now filled with a desire to throw yourself in front of the train, which will delight the people on the side of the tracks, as nothing ever happens where they live.

I read this book based on the awesome cover. It was funny! And sad. And made me feel weird. Is that a good thing? I can’t tell.

I was telling a friend the other day that the algorithm for a book getting on my to-read list is this:

positive mention in the New Yorker or NYT
+
positive mention in Entertainment Weekly

This is why I am reading The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Marketing! I heard your cries! (Fine: I don’t know the difference between an algorithm and a formula, ok?)

13 Jul 2010

Someone’s In a MOOD.

Written by sally @ 11:21 am — Section: sally

I had a choice between two parking spots. I decided that my car, which is not super huge, wouldn’t fit into the one on the left, so I chose the one on the right. I turned off the engine, gathered my things, and then saw that a supergigantic SUV was attempting to get into the spot I deemed too small for my normal-sized car.

Oh, she’s going to back up in a minute when she realizes she won’t fit, I thought.

She did not. She pulled in and turned off her engine.

I could open my door, but not by much. I had to do an attractive tip-toe sideways dance to get past her supergigantic SUV.

She was on the phone. I stared at her until she looked at me.

“Your car is too big to park there,” I said. “I could barely get out.”

“Oh, sorry,” she said. “I’m only picking up an order.” Because that makes it better, you know.

I walked ahead of her, looking at her reflection in the glass doors, waiting for her to flip me off/tackle me to the ground. I could hear her on the phone still.

“Um–what was I saying. Ok, then he said, wait. What? I lost my train of thought.”

I really thought that telling her that she was a dumb parker would make me feel better, but it just made me feel like an asshole. As I stood in line to place my order, a drop of water from the air conditioning vent hit me on the head, confirming that the universe agreed.

9 Jul 2010

Towels! Honking!

Written by sally @ 9:36 am — Section: sally

When someone is helping you with housework, is he/she obligated to fold the towels the way you fold them, or is it reasonable to expect that he/she will fold the towels the way he/she wants to even though they obviously do not fit in the cabinet in that way? What about this: when you are at the person’s house and have occasion to fold towels, do you bend to their crazy folding wills or do you not worry with it? Also, have you ever had occasion to even fold someone else’s towels? Do I worry too much about towels? Have you ever read a blog post featuring a paragraph in which the word “towels” is mentioned six times? TOWELS. (Seven.)

Last week I read Ann Beattie’s Walks with Men. I don’t think I’m smart enough for Ann Beattie. There were lines that were like shiny gems, and then there was the rest of it. I’ve never read her before, so maybe that was the problem. Another person I’ve never read before is Jane Smiley, but I’m reading her latest, Private Life, now. Usually when I get books from the library, I give them a few pages to see if I’m going to like them and then I get way too excited when I get to toss one aside and never think of it again. I’m on page 104 of Private Life and still can’t decide if I’m going to read it or not. Every time I think, oh good, this is going to go in a direction I find boring, something else happens and I’m compelled to keep reading.

I am having to talk myself off the Ledge of Annoyances lately and remind myself that other people’s dumbness should not adversely affect my mood. One of my pet peeves is when someone pulls out in front of me dangerously close (even though there are NO cars behind me and they only would’ve had to wait for 15 additional seconds for me to pass by) and I honk at them and then they get all bent out of shape for pointing out that they are driving stupid, so then they gesture wildly in their cars, getting angrier and angrier, like HOW DARE YOU MASH YOUR CAR’S NOISE-MAKING IMPLEMENT! DON’T YOU KNOW I AM ABOVE SUCH REPROACH? Once I honked at someone on the highway for trying to kill me and 20 miles later, they passed me and all the children in the car were hollering and waving their arms around at me. That’s like 20 whole minutes of continuing to be angry because their mama can’t drive.

But besides drivers, I am having to actively write notes to myself as reminders to not be affected by other people’s negativity and complaininess, which makes me feel like a hippie and/or my high school English teacher, who writes stuff on her Facebook page about the beauty of the moon and how the trees are whispering and stuff.