November 27, 2005

10 Ways The World Could Be Improved

1) If my husband wasn't out of town for nine days. Because, let's play a fun game of MENTAL ILLNESS NUMBER. Mine rises with his absence, exponentially, based on BOTH time and distance. By the time the man gets home, I will be prancing about the yard wearing nothing but a plaster made of mud and fruitcake and cheerfully pickling the remains of my neighbors in brine.

2) If the grocery store gossip rags would stop trying to make the first names of celebrity couples into one name. The hideous implications of BENNIFER made me puke, even more so now that the Ben- part has SWITCHED -nifers and the relationship is being treated like a B MOVIE SEQUEL: Return of Bennifer, Bigger, Badder, Pregnanter. And there is no excuse that will keep whoever perpetrated TomKat out of hell. I am waiting for (or perhaps have mercifully missed) the inevitable appearence of the term Bra-Gelina, which sounds like a Mormon church supper dessert made of foundation garments and Kool Whip.

3) If doctors weren't so freakin' prescription happy. I can't go in for a check up and say I feel COLD without walking away with fifteen prescriptions. The closest I come to an MD is an A in high school biology, but I suspect it might be the Paper Gown and the refrigerated stehoscope...

4) If I had a PARROT with a big ruffly topnot so that he looked like an inquisitive Hessian Soldier.

5) If EVERYONE I met for the first time would send a follow-up e-mail like the one I got this morning that says, "I forgot to mention that you are thin! (You write in your blog like you are not, but you are.)" In fact, even if you have not met me, you should probably send me a similar e-mail sometime this week, because... here I simply refer you to number 1.

6) If Independent Bookstores would all STAY, FOREVER. I know of three separate stores that I LOVED that are respectively closed and closing and hurricaned away. That's three in my little circle of known stores, GONE, and that is JUST THIS YEAR and I can hardly bear it. Nothing against the Big Boys---Lordy, BAM has been so good to me I could die of it and I like a huge selection and discounts as much as the next book junky --- but there has to be room in the world for small stock and specialization and handselling TOO. There HAS to be, or debut books like mine can so easily slip off the radar and be gone and lost. Right now, eight months after release, if you aren't LOOKING for gods in B and N, you will never find it. But if you walk into Northside in Vermont or Sundog books in Florida or Davis-Kidd in Nashville or Alabama Booksmith in ...guess, and Chapter 11 right here AND ON AND ON, someone will put it right into your hands.

7) If pets would habitually tattle on cheaters.

8) If EVERYTHING could be organized into lists. And then checked off!

9) If more people would spontaneously mail me delightful presents (and if you are wondering why I think I should just get hosts of delightful presents streaming over me, SEE NUMBER ONE AGAIN). I say this because I met author Frank Turner Hollon (no D) at an event recently, and his book Life is a Strange Place caught my eye. I don't know why....maybe it was the Giant Cow Testicle on the front cover? (WHICH LET ME PRE-EMPTIVELY SAY : Yes. I know COWS do not have testicles, and the majority of BULLS do not have ONE, but the first time I peeped the the cover I said to a friend standing by me, "Holy that a cow testicle?" and some exacting boogerhead on my other side looked at me like I was a bug and said, "Akshully, that is a BULL's TesticleSSSSS," and there was a silent and parenthetical "You Moron" the size of FRANCE hanging off that long chain of obnoxious testicle-multiplying esses. At which point I smiled and said "Literalist, huh?" <--- Lie. At which point I slunk away feeling like a dork for talking like I talk (i.e. highly innaccurately and hyperbolic-ly) and you know what, it's a cow testicle forever now, in absolute rebellion against drive-by belittlers. SO THERE.)

I bought it and had him sign it, and my big regret of the day was that I was already WAY over book budget and he had this other book out I REALLY wanted called The God File, which looked SO up my alley. But Mr. Strained Book Budget said I could only have one, and my feeling is, if you are getting it SIGNED, you go for the hardback first edition (especially if it has a cow testicle on it.) THEN I was standing by him in the car line all on accident and he saw that I was already about 25% of the way into the book of his I HAD bought and it was VERY funny and black and obscene (in a good way) and I told him so and told him I would be reading more of him, starting with The God File because I had wanted that one but budget and signed first ed and BLAH BLAH then his car came, and then Friday, all UNPROVOKED, he SENT me a copy. SIGNED. Which. Yish. How lovely. I set the book I was reading aside because I had to immediately read it. Couldn't help it. Finished it last night. And yeah. It's good. It's beyond good. It's not a "pretty" book, but it has got grace notes that brought me to my knees.

10) If I had On Star.

Posted by joshilyn at November 27, 2005 7:41 AM

we really need to start a parrot collection for you...

Posted by: Bookseller to the Stars at November 27, 2005 8:57 AM

WaitWaitWAIT a minute there, missy...back up to Number 8. You mean everything CAN'T be organized into lists and then checked off?? Oh great. NOW she tells me. Ppppfffttt.

PS....Cow testicle made perfect sense to me. That's probably the opposite of reassuring, but I'm just sayin'...

PPS...You look so thin! (Are you sure you've been eating enough pie?)

Posted by: DebR at November 27, 2005 9:21 AM

I don't have a present to send you BUT I wanted to tell you -"you're skinny"! and honestly your posts lead me to believe you are the kind of gal I would love to have to call up on the phone at any given moment when my mental illness number was high so we could compare mental illness numbers and get all hyperbolic (word?) and I KNOW I would just all round feel better!!
Thank you ! for your blog-it often makes me laugh out loud and not feel sooooooo alone with my mental illness :)
ps-when you are ready for a parrot-let me know I have connections with parrot rescue folks.

Posted by: sp8cemunky at November 27, 2005 9:32 AM

Okay, y'all are leaving it to me to break the news that, yes, the tabloids are already using "Brangelina". I wish I didn't know that, but it's too late now.

ps - you are thin and gorgeous, a true petite flower

Posted by: MelissaC at November 27, 2005 10:08 AM

11) If you would come visit ME. :)

P.S. You are truly thin and gorgeous, and you must know I love you because even though when you stand next to me I look like Jabba the Hutt I STILL want you to come visit me. *SMOOCH*

Posted by: Amy-GO at November 27, 2005 10:58 AM

If all the world had your mental illness numbers think of what a better place it would be?

Why do tabloids insist in sending the women's movement back 50 years?

A) Liberation all about choice, which - yes - I suppose that Jennifers did select Ben, Angelina did select Brad (according to all rag healines,) (it's just sick and wrong that Katie picked Tom - ugh.)

B) We often choose to keep or ad a name. But, argh, it is soap operaese (my label not theirs) when the names are homogenies and vaccum packed together.

C) Is it ever the woman's name first? Like Jenben (a whole new GPS system) or Angbrad (a Mordor type relationship) or Kattom (physics - loosely speaking.) Why can't they just be themselves? (This folks is why I am still in radio.)

hmmmm I need more Mocha Roca.

Posted by: Cele at November 27, 2005 12:36 PM

You're so way thin. And in such good shape. What a darling little skinny figure.

Posted by: Jilly at November 27, 2005 1:47 PM

Reasons you must have read/can't yet have read MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS:

--Must have, because Paul Farmer is saving the world entirely by rewarding himself through checking off daily boxes he calls "bwats" in Haitian (Oh, anyone as thin as you can cope with that syntax. Suck it up.)

--Must not have, because you would know (pay attention, here, Cornelia) that Farmer manages to turn the word "comma" into cussing. (His friends all know that it's understood to be followed by a silent and emphatic "asshole!") So you would have been able to say " Ah, a literalist, COMMA!!!"

Posted by: rams at November 27, 2005 9:14 PM

I am worried about you, having just been sick, with a husband on the road for nine days.

I'm not expecting mine back from inlaw-palooza until midnight tomorrow, and child-home-with-me just threw up in the grocery store (luckily I was quick on the draw with a produce baggie). I would be in way more trouble if the reverse had happened (her fine, me barfing). She's on the sofa with ginger ale and triscuits, and I think we may avoid an encore.

Hope you are feeling okay... I bet you are even THINNER, however.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at November 27, 2005 10:39 PM

Awww, you put the Hessian Dexter up! Ain't he purdy?

And you ARE thin. And fabulous. And VERY BUSY writing chapter 3, yes? *foot tapping*

Okay, got to get back to my own Counterintuitive Butthole of a chapter....

Posted by: Karen Abbott at November 28, 2005 10:09 AM

Not only are you thin and beautiful and very... ummm... authorial (is too a word)... I heart you, which really should be enough for anyone (hey, where are you going??). And you never know when I might send you something. But not fruit, because fruit apparently is only delivered to your address via snail. So anything but that, I think.

Posted by: Mir at November 28, 2005 11:33 AM

I SO agree with #1.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at November 28, 2005 6:58 PM

Yeah, I discover that I am NOT first off the mark to tell you the bad news about Brangelina, which is being widely used and which sounds to me like the same Mormon dessert mentioned above, only high-fibre and good for you.

And while we're speaking of things that are high-fibre and good for you ... my, aren't you THIN!!

Posted by: Trudy at November 29, 2005 5:53 AM