Monday, May 15, 2006

I Submit this Navel-Gazing Post for your Consideration

I hope everyone had the kind of relaxing weekend you would pay good money for. Mine was the kind of weekend you might find at a rummage sale hosted by two surly, gassy bachelors. Well okay, it wasn’t so bad. I only say that because of what happened on Friday, which started out on a high note. I met two of my best friends from high school at a local restaurant famous for giant, fruity drinks that come in two classes: “Sneak-ups!” and “Gotchas!” (Wow, I really had to fight the urge to type: “rhinestone shades and cheap sunglasses.”)

Anyway, I wasn’t in the mood for grape-flavored brain damage just then, so I stuck to beer. We shared a large basket of fried cheese products and some gossip about old classmates. It was one of those perfect nights where you start off jazzed-up about the sheer concept of going out with old friends, especially after your first drink because it’s been so LONG since you got a little crazy in public, but then after dinner you lean back in the booth, jiggle your tummy flab with both hands, think about your fluffy new duvet, and contentedly call it a night.

Things only got ugly later, when I barreled up the driveway too close to the house and sheared off the passenger side mirror of my car, which still has that new car smell on rainy days. I tried snapping the mirror back on, but no luck. It’s toast. Cost to replace? $90 plus an hour of my life lost watching Mad About You and Drew Carey Show reruns in the body shop waiting area.

Saturday I finished reading She Got Up Off the Couch and a cloud of self-loathing floated in and hung about my head for several hours. Self-loathing because I realized, upon finishing the book, that I was the kind of person actually capable of becoming a groupie. For a writer named Haven Kimmel. Later I listened to online archives of This American Life and opened my Riding with Larry Resnick file to make my first revisions.

Note to self: do not attempt to revise work after reading something that makes you feel devoid of talent and perhaps not even a speaker of the English language. Especially avoid doing so if you are buzzed on Red Zinfandel.

Sunday, a celebration of mothers. The giving of flowers and cards. The stuffing of my face with Papa Murphy’s pizza, brownies, cheese curds, and a delicious type of garlic cracker the likes of which I'd never tasted before. Later, after I’d sworn never to eat again, I found myself sitting on the couch watching Big Love with a spoon, a half-gallon tub of Reese’s Piece’s ice cream, and a jar of organic sauerkraut.

The cloud of self-loathing rolled right back in.

But back to one of my earlier points: if you’re not familiar with This American Life, I implore you to visit this site and check out a few episodes from the archives. I listened to "I Enjoy Being a Girl, Sort of," "Remember Me," and "Neighbors," which featured an interview with the irreplaceable Mister Rogers. Go. Listen. Enjoy.

PS: thanks to everyone who shared their concert histories. Not surprisingly, you all turned out to be pretty cool kids. Plus, some of your lists were gut-bustingly hilarious.

35 comments:

  1. Eh - I totally loved A Girl Named Zippy. And, uh, YUMMY: Reese's Pieces ice cream? Sauerkraut? I knew there were multiple reasons why I liked you.

    Ok, so I'm not the only geek that listens to archives of This American Life.

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  2. First, I'm glad you stuck to beer. Smart move. The sugar in those drinks will kill ya.

    Second, this: "...do not attempt to revise work after reading something that makes you feel devoid of talent."

    Well now, this is EXACTLY why I need to lay off your and a few other blogs for a day or two before writing my next entry. I get all mopey and I can't even sling back a bottle of Zinfandel right now to ease my pain.

    I need to go read something like my 7yo's pony stories so I can feel all superior again. Pfft. That girl needs to work on sentence structure. ;-)

    BTW, I gave you a shout out on my blog-love post. But you gotta find it. I'll give youa hint: it's purple.

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  3. I'm sorry, I couldn't get past Reeses ice cream...have you had Tillamock's (spelling) chocolate peanut butter. At half a gallon of it at a conference in college. Good times.

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  4. monique11:39 PM

    Ate, half a gallon. sheesh I need to go to bed, I can't even spell...

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  5. I agree about Mr Rogers. He was really larger than life.

    Did you really say ice cream and sourkraut? Must be a Wisconsin thing.

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  6. Yes I did, Gary. It was a pickles & ice cream moment, and I'm not even pregnant. But I ate them separately, alternating when I got sick of the other taste.

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  7. Look on the bright side- at least your vision's not getting blurry from taking too much Viagra. Hooray for Big Love.

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  8. You had me excited there about watching Big love and eating Reese's ice cream until I got to the saurkraut part. Interesting dietary combo! :)

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  9. I know exactly what you mean about starting the evening all jazzed up, and then calling it a night relatively early. Happens to me EVERY time!

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  10. I love This American Life. I'm not as faithful a listener as I should be, but when I'm out running errands on the weekend I'll sometimes sit in my car until a segment ends.

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  11. Note to self: do not attempt to revise work after reading something that makes you feel devoid of talent and perhaps not even a speaker of the English language. Especially avoid doing so if you are buzzed on Red Zinfandel.

    That's smashingly good advice.

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  12. Ditto Domesticator. Ice cream - good. Sauerkraut - welll, whatever turns you purple, I suppose...

    I'm sorry about the car mirror. That's the sort of thing that puts a damper on the whole weekend (or at least it would for me).

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  13. 1. After a depressingly vomitous pair of incidents from my youth (by which I mean the year I was 24), I can no longer drink grape-flavored alkehol drinks, aka Purple Hooter Shooters. There was a broken ankle involved, too.

    2. The side passenger mirror I shaved off of my car a year or so ago cost $280 to fix. I finally had it fixed a few weeks ago along with a few other "minor" repairs.

    3. Sounds like you had my kind of weekend!

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  14. Actually, sitting alone in a garage watching Mad About You doesn't sound all that awful to me. Kinda my version of a Calgon moment.

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  15. Uh, after the combo of ice cream and saurkraut, I was loathing you too!!!

    You are so funny - don't get down on yourself! I don't even have to meet you to know that A. you are hilarious and talented 2. you are an amazing writer 3. you have weird cravings.

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  16. Hooboy - she SAYS she's not pregnant, but I'm here to tell ya the combination of odd foods, contented mild drinking, and self-loathing are all hallmarks of the first few weeks (before you know you're knocked up).
    Of course, they're also part of just being a healthy girl-person, but one can hope, can't one?
    Argh - reading almost ANYONE'S blog makes me wonder why I ever try, when there are so many talented, funny, wonderful people out there already doing a better job of it that me. Keep on keepin' on, I say.

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  17. $90? Pffft. Consider yourself lucky. The mirror for my 98 POS Mountaineer cost me $300 from a JUNK YARD. I kept asking if it was plated in gold.

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  18. Later, after I’d sworn never to eat again, I found myself sitting on the couch watching Big Love with a spoon, a half-gallon tub of Reese’s Piece’s ice cream, and a jar of organic sauerkraut.

    That's just nasty.

    You have sooo gotta be pregnant. Except I see that you wrote you aren't.

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  19. Sounds like a depressing weekend. I've had plenty of those. Although I try to never mix sauerkraut with ice cream, that is beyond wrong.

    Hope Monday treated you better. As we get older the bed gets more and more inviting. By the time I'm 50 I probably wont ever get out.

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  20. Without words, this post is making me very thirsty. I think I have a headache as a result of this post.

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  21. TAL is my favoritest EVER. I mean, David Sedaris on his own is enough to make me swoon, but I just LOVE that show. My favorite episode is about comic book heros that never quite caught on. Haha.

    Viva la fried cheese!

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  22. I listen to This American Life every week on my iPod. LOVE it. :)

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  23. The most amazing thing happened when I read "a half-gallon tub of Reese’s Piece’s ice cream and a jar of organic sauerkraut." I threw up in my mouth with no hesitation whatsoever. It was like Pavlov's dogs. Unbeleivable.

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  24. mmmm, sauerkraut. mmmm, ice cream. just. not. together. Maybe popcorn. hot movie popcorn & junior mints. mixed together, sierra mist to drink. wow, hope i'm not pregnant. haha

    you are indeed very talented, my dear. it's time the world found out.

    sorry about the car, glad it could be fixed.

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  25. J. Riley ~ Now this sounded kind of cool "I found myself sitting on the couch watching Big Love with a spoon, a half-gallon tub of Reese’s Piece’s ice cream, and a jar of organic sauerkraut." Well... right up to that SAUERKRAUT part!!! LOL! ~ jb///

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  26. Crazy weekend!!! Crazy Foods!!

    Hope the week rocks!

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  27. As always, you crack me up! :) I can always use a good laugh. And cheese curds. LOL I never even heard of them til I visited my Dad in WI, and now I crave them nightly!!!

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  28. I don't know why some people complain about reading slice of life posts...love them, love this one. I watch Big Love on Wed. nights, so I'll catch up with you...got surprisingly sucked into that show. Cringing all the way through it, but can't change it.

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  29. what the hell are cheese curds?

    and honey, if you're eating sauerkraut with ice cream, you better pick up an EPT. That 'jiggle of tummy flab' might be something else! :D

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  30. I've done that. A lot of that. Especially the part where I read something amazing and become inspired only to open up my recent project and puke all over myself at the suckiness of it.

    Did you ever hear the ThAmerLife about the woman reading her teenage diary? It was hilarious/sad/crazy and I'd love to hear it again but it was quite a while ago - 2 years maybe?

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  31. Don't you just LOVE Haven Kimmel? I laughed out loud for most of A Girl Named Zippy. I think she is so refreshing and didn't dwell on all of the negative aspects of her childhood.
    And Big Love? My friend tapes it for me- we are hooked, too. It's like a train wreck- I can't not watch it, no matter how painful parts are. I esp. love the scenes at The Compound. Freaks!
    Love your blog! Found it through Teacher Lady.

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  32. If you're turning into a pumpkin at the end of a short night now just wait until you have a kid. ;)

    I'm off to check out This American Life!

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  33. Speak not of TAL to me. They were considering a piece of mine for their show. It ultimately didn't get produced, and the producer sent me a long email explaining why, an email that included the phrase "You're a nice writer." NICE?
    Oh, the memories you have dredged up.
    If it makes you feel any better, those moments of self-loathing you describe after reading the work of a superior writer? I have had them reading this very blog. Mwah.

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  34. What does ORGANIC sauerkraut taste like, pray tell?

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  35. Glad you had such a fun evening with your friends. She Got up off the Couch sounds good, though I haven't yet read the first one (A Girl Named Zippy? Something like that.). May have to give it a try. No matter how good her writing is, though, I'm certain your revisions will go well and that you have nothing to worry about.

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