Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Things I’ve Learned in the Month of August (Post #113)

  1. When you unpack your newly-purchased nectarines and place them on your kitchen counter to ripen, they will mold in approximately 28 seconds.
  2. When you ask the Food Service Powers That Be to at a local restaurant named after an automobile popular in the 1950s to substitute a Gardenburger for a regular hamburger and your waitress asks if you want your Gardenburger in 1/3 or half pound size, it’s a pretty safe bet that your meal will have once ambled around, mooing.
  3. Little Miss Sunshine is one of the most hysterically funny movies I’ve ever seen about drug abuse, suicide, family dysfunction, death, failed ambition, and dashed dreams. Seriously—go see it. It’s a heart-warmer. Greg Kinnear’s character? Best. Character. Arc. Ever.
  4. When the “news” (quotes intended to the fullest extent of the law) includes headlines with the phrases, “Never hug a Swiss Cow!” or “Bong hits for Jesus,” look around. You just may spot the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Or at least a spot of pestilence.
  5. Beware of large unleashed dogs. Even if they’re named Maggie and have a fluffy, shiny black coat and wear a cute, disarming bandana around their neck. Especially then. Just ask Daisy. She’ll tell you. Well, not in words so much…more through a series of canine yodels, whines, soulful looks, and a sorrowful limp while buttscooting across the carpet. (Please note: Daisy is not limping, nor is she buttscooting. But she is writing a strongly-worded letter to Maggie about the incident.)
  6. When the fate of your book is uncertain—and this can include everything from the agent querying stage all the way to a potential orphaning at your new publishing house—there is a great chance that you will develop several unattractive anxiety-related habits, including a state that can only be described as the opposite of hygiene, insomnia, poor eating habits (gnawing an entire block of cheddar while watching Meerkat Manor? Not healthy! Not attractive!), and an inability to maintain a normal conversation because your attention span is shorter-lived than either Carnivale or Deadwood (Damn you HBO! Damn youuuuu!!!)
  7. If you wish to remodel your home, know this: it will always take longer than you think. And there is a 98% chance that you will discover something unpleasant behind the walls, ceilings, or floors that will necessitate your parting with more money. This discovery may or may not include a tribe of Mold People or a series of bad construction decisions made by the previous owner while sniffing molten plastic fumes. But our garage is up! I can park in it and stack plywood against the walls like a real Suburbanite and everything. Hooray!
  8. Rats! Judging by the size of the poop pellets* littering our back doorstep, we may have a rat. (*They are the size of scuba tanks. Scuba tanks for giants.)
  9. Sauerkraut should NOT have the consistency of applesauce.
  10. I can’t think of number ten, because I’m fixated on number eight. I am so grossed out right now. Seriously.

The list is over, go in peace. Have a relaxing, labor-free Labor Day.


  1. Not to dwell on #8, but is it technically possible to have "a" rat?

    (Don't tell my wife I said that. I told her that I scared "the" mouse away in our last house.)

  2. #5? Sorry. That used to be our dog. We called him George and he had the goofy doggy-grin that reminded everyone of John C. Reilly. But he also liked to put smaller dogs in his mouth, much like you would pop a tiny sushi morsel into your mouth and barely chew it before swallowing with aplomb. That was George.

    #1 I think there's something about the gaze of humans that causes raspberries and nectarines to implode into a mess of mushy brown and green mold.

  3. I had free, very available babysitting for two weeks. My one goal was to go see "Little Miss Sunshine" while I was there. Did I get to? NO. Because DETROIT SUCKS. That's why. Sorta.

    I love, love, love lists. And rats? Ick ick ick. Quite a change from all the birdies last month!

  4. I'm glad to see that you are taking advantage of your learning experiences and entertaining us with them. Your sacrifice is appreciated.
    Will Daisy need therapy, do you think?
    I've been obsessively watching "Flip This House" and "Property Ladder", so I have become fully aware of the horrors that can await any home remodelor. We've been so very, very lucky. And #9? I just threw up in my mouth. Thanks.

  5. And congrats on the garage!

  6. Perhaps your rat is looking for some of that cheese you've been gnawing on?

  7. #1 - I had the same experience with peaches. I don't think I even got them home before they got moldy. Freaking stone fruit.
    #3 - I must see this movie! Soon!
    #5 - Never trust a dog in a bandana. Period. You've got to wonder what the owner is trying to hide underneath that extra fabric.

  8. Anonymous4:39 PM

    During our most recent home improvement (well, fix up do to a leaky hot water heater) we uncovered asbestos in the old flooring. Yay, yippee. We got to see those space-agey haz mat guys do their "abatement."

    And my you have had an educational August. I hope September is your slacker month by comparison.

  9. Thanks for the reccomendation, always a little nervous to spend the one night a month my husband and I get(it feels so GOOD to write that) at a shitty movie.

    Um, I'm totally grossed out by #8 too. Call someone immediately

  10. Isn't there someone at the publishing house you can sleep with to get the show on the road?

    And rats? Eww. Eww. I have a rat phobia- like I can't even really talk about them or I get freaked out. Poison- keep Daisy away from the door for a few days.

    Can't wait to see Little Miss Sunshine!

  11. Anonymous5:27 PM

    With droppings like that it sounds to me like you may have "a" rhino rather than a rat. On the bright side it should be easier to find.

  12. I'm thinking the opposite of hygiene is either dishygiene or unhygiene.

    I never hava a problem with my nectarines. I always eat them before they get fully ripe. Yummy.

  13. I wanted to comment on a few of these, Jess, but I also got fixated on #8. Ack.

  14. Anonymous8:49 PM

    I may just go to the movies this weekend. By myself. And I never go to the movies, even accompanied.

    Is the rat poop inside or outside? That's a key distinction.

    Seriously though, yuck. I'm sorry.

  15. Anonymous9:07 PM

    I like that you gnawed cheddar while watching the meerkats.

    Though the image of scubapoo is nasty, the analogy is a good one.

  16. Anonymous9:49 PM

    you are right! our 'little' weekend bathroom remodel is going on 6 weeks. most of all, i'm sick of the plastic tarp sticking to my feet everytime i pace back and forth.

  17. Anonymous11:33 PM

    Just saw "Little Miss Sunshine." And Toni Collette? My. Most. Favorite Actress. Ever.

  18. Classic list! I totally laughed. And I LOOOOOVED, loved, loved Little Miss Sunshine. I laughed my ass off. (But the part with the brother where his sister goes down there ... I'm trying not to give away too much ... you know which part? Almost made me cry, too.)

    Are you gonna come play with us? Please, please, please come play!

  19. I'm STILL mourning Carnivale, just as I find out about Deadwood! Grrrrr. What's next? Friends? Seinfeld?

  20. "Sauerkraut should NOT have the consistency of applesauce"

    omg...I'm sorry, but this freaks me out more than the large rodent.

    Is it old sauerkraut? How did it get that consistency? And WHAT does it smell like?!

  21. Anonymous8:06 PM

    What did the news say is wrong with Swiss cows, exactly?

    I can't decide if #8 or #9 is grosser, actually.

    Hmm, haven't been here in a while, so I'm off to see what's up with your book...

  22. Best. Post. Evah.

    My nectarines leak juice after 28 seconds, too.

  23. Perhaps the rat poo IS the pestilance.
    Just sayin.

  24. I have never bought a vegetable that looked edible by the time I thought to cook it.

    What's up with your book?? Talk to me, woman.

  25. #7. So true. I once went to change a light bulb and ended up repainting my kitchen. Long story.

  26. Wow...where to begin?
    1. Please be good to sauerkraut. It deserves better than applesauce consistency.
    2. I have rats in my house, too. But they are pets, and though people say "Eeewww..!" I don't care. They are fun, clean pets. But wild rats are gross and I hope you annihilate them.
    3. Dogs who wear clothes are plotting the murder of their owners because other dogs laugh at them.
    4. There's something wrong with eating a whole block of cheddar cheese?

  27. Great list! I know what you mean about the molding fruit - it's freakin' ridiculous! That's why I do weird things like buy ONE peach and if I can eat that before it molds, I consider it a success.

    I saw "The Illusionist" over the weekend while I was on vacation in Colorado and it was very good. I'll definitely check out Little Miss Sunshine!

  28. Anonymous10:28 PM

    I'm so jealous that you got to see Little Miss Sunshine You're the second person I know to have seen it. Our theather will never get it because it seems like a movie with depth and real acting. Oh, plus it's not a sequel, a remake of an older movie, or otherwise meant for teenage consumption. But it's already on my Netflix queue, so when the glorious day comes and it's released on DVD I'll be first in line. Glad you liked it.

  29. You wrote: "If you wish to remodel your home, know this: it will always take longer than you think."

    Um, yeah. I learned this the hard way.


  30. Anonymous1:24 PM

    It bothers me a little bit that you followed up a point about super huge rat pellets with a point about soupy saurkraut.

    Also #7? Truer words have never been spoken. Ever. I hope things go smoothly for you from here on out.

  31. Numbers 3 and 7 hit home with me. I must see that movie. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

    Oh the glories of remodeling a house. I love your take on it. I want to rip apart our basement bathroom, but I fear it will only cause more harm than it's worth. I don't like rats.

  32. Your writing is just amazing, so just keep writing - OK?

    I'm just stopping by to say hello to one of my favorite bloggers ever!

    Hi from Brewtown!

  33. Cheddar and Meerkat Manor go together like bread and butter, even without a metric assload of anxiety.
    And ewwww about the rat poo. Ewwww.