Thursday, May 18, 2006

Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork? - Stanislaw Lec

My dear college friend Hungry in LA sent me a birthday package. It contained this:

Sharks and Other Sea Monsters

She knows me so well. I love it.
Thank you, Hungry! I love you!
Is the dog still alive?


I am currently enjoying The Sex Lives of Cannibals, on both Blackbird’s and Badger’s recommendations. It’s by and about a Westerner working in the equatorial Pacific atolls, and is set in the Republic of Kiribati - which is a neighbor to Tuvalu. Not that anyone we know lives in Tuvalu…


I went to my orthodontist today. He who reminds me of a fatter – um, maybe heavier is a better word - Colin Firth. Impeccably dressed, as always. Adorable. Married with five children. Good friend of the sweetheart drummer from H’s band. It used to be I couldn’t speak in his presence – I mean, aside from the fact that his hands were in my mouth up to his elbows – but he’s known me through two pregnancies – AND, I am sorry, once a man has seen you having molds of your mouth made – you just know there is never ever going to be any potential there, even for a mild flirtation, not even if you were the last woman and he were the last man on earth.

Double that after he’s handled your retainer.

My teeth are perfect. They haven’t moved in two years.
Because I wear my retainer every single night.
It’s dead sexy.

And then he asked if I was pregnant.

So now, even if by some bizarre twist of fate he found the retainer and the blue mold-making stuff wildly, secretly sexy? I wouldn’t have him.




Then I went to the thrift shop up the street, run by the Junior League (translates to: They always have nice stuff - and strangely cheap!)

One beautiful thing about a blog is that I can tell YOU all about my thrift shop purchases and modestly accept your approval and kudos for bargains found and fabulous stuff ferreted out. Because when I told my husband, not only did he not care, but then it grossed him out that the clothes I was wearing came from a thrift shop and so then I couldn’t wear them. Which is sort of pointless. So I write a blog, everyone wins. Well, except maybe you, gentle readers, but hey, your fate is in your own hands.

I scored:

  • A Saks Fifth Avenue blue-striped cotton bathrobe - not that I ever wear a bathrobe. But if I did, this is the kind I would. And it was only three bucks. So maybe I’ll start wearing a bathrobe, swanning around the house in my blue-stripes, trailing the belt behind me, over cute slouchy pjs from LL Bean. See! I can wear it Christmas morning so I’ll look just like one of those thin and blonde models in the Bean catalog, carrying around a cup of cocoa and ruffling the golden retriever’s fur. Well, except for the thin and blonde part. Oh, and the golden retriever. But three dollars! How could I resist? That whole little fantasy right there was worth the three bucks.

  • Brown linen wide-legged capris from Old Navy, that I wore to work tonight with a grey v-neck t-shirt and a slouchy cloud-grey silk v-neck sweater I gave H for Christmas umpteen years ago and that he never wore so I swiped it back. I look quite cute, even if I say so myself. Very NOT LL Bean, however.

  • Jeans – because no matter how bad they look, you must own a pair of jeans that you can wear

  • Navy and white abstract print skirt – my typical skirt these days – A-line, low-waist. Fine for work.

  • Black and white plaid skirt, long, sort of mermaid-y shaped…still not so sure about this one. It fits over my hips just fine but not particularly well over my tummy. Damn kids.

All for eighteen bucks.

Thrift stores rock the casbah.


List Friday, courtesy of Loretta, of Pomegranates and Paper

This week's theme: Advice for the college graduate, from the keyboard of one older and wiser - or at least older…


  • Do what you love and the money will follow.
    (Or it might not, but at least you will be happy.
    Although mostly, the money does indeed follow. Maybe not wealth untold, but enough to support yourself.)
  • That said, try really really hard not to default on your student loans. (But if you do, if you can make the payments on time, in full, for twelve months, you'll be back in the good graces of your lenders. And then you can get a mortgage just fine.)

  • Appreciate your freedom. Family life with kids and a home is wonderful, but it's nice to be footloose and fancy-free too.
    Someday you'll want to have ice cream for dinner and spend whole weekends reading big fat novels and will not be able to.

  • Travel whenever possible. Don't dismiss traveling somewhere you don't think you want to go, because sometimes the best adventures are completely serendipitous.

  • Don't be afraid to try new things and make new friends. But stay in touch with your college friends, because they knew you when, and in fifteen years, that'll be a good thing. Because they’ll send you cool birthday gifts!

  • Invest in a good dictionary, if you don't already have one. (Although if you are a college graduate, WHY don't you have one?)
    And get a library card at your local library.

That is all. I hope you profit from my untold wisdom. It would be nice if SOMEBODY’S kids listened to me.


Joke said...

I'm not used to you being sensible without provocation.


MsCellania said...

I wish someone would have given me such thoughtful words of wisdom. But NO! I had to go out and do everything all backwards, and stuff.

But I always owned one big, mo-fo dictionary. In fact, I kind of collect them. I have my gran's dictionary from the 1930's, and the maps are the best part!

ps. I have been reading faithfully, but responding? not so much.

blackbird said...

The Junior League has the best thrift shops.

My advice for the college bound?
Don't eat those mints in the urinals.

Badger said...

Dude! Get out! I went to the Junior League thrift shop yesterday, too (with Bookhart, the kewlest JLer I know). Going to post about it later today.

Sex Lives of Cannibals is AWESOME.

That pop-up book is also awesome.

MsCellania said...

Hey, I was in Junyah League for about 6 weeks. I am not kidding. I could not take it. They. Roll. Their. Eyes.

Their 'requirements' for their thrift shop are phenomenally picky. They look over each garment under bright lights, looking for stains, rips and general funkiness. The clothing must be in ready-to-wear condition, and with dry cleaning tags still on it. So, in order to donate the clothing, you must first have it professionally laundered. Which meant the stuff I took it cost me $107 to donate, 20 years ago!

And the real gems in Junyah League? Their cookbooks! The Palo Alto series, the Denver series, and San Antonio series are some of my favorites.

Did I mention I also collect cookbooks? Along with dictionaries?

Loretta said...

Not only was my husband grossed out by the thrift shop clothes, he made me throw them out because "how do I know they weren't worn by dead people".

Uh, like in the casket?

So that was the end of that.

I do however score on ebay = a Carolee gold and pearl bracelet for 4.99!

Now I am off to badget the Princess into reading everyone's list.

Katy said...

where are you Gina?

Carolyn said...

I hate when people ask me when I'm due. Three years ago damn it!

Yay on the thrift shop finds.

I like #3 on the college graduate advice. So true.

Sarah Louise said...

I have got to go to the Jr. League shop! I keep forgetting about it until you blog that you've been again.

I once dated a guy who didn't like bowling because you wore shoes that other people had been wearing.

Men? Are from another planet.

Joke said...

I don't like bowling because they have mass-market domestic beer there.


Badger said...

Yeah, but in my experience, bowling alleys have the BEST french fries ever.

Sarah Louise said...

And re: college friends, I have not been successful in keeping touch with a single one consistently. (I've been to one wedding and one wedding shower. For the same person.)

But I keep in touch with at least six to eight alums I know that I didn't go to grad school with that went to my grad school...Go PITT School of Information Sciences!! (Yeah, I don't keep in touch with anyone that was in my year...go figure.)

MsCellania said...

SL - My reading group has at least 4 members who all got their masters from Michigan - different years - and that's their link, too. So, not so unusual, it appears.

Me? My longest-term, bested buddies are all graduates of the same Charm School. I am not kidding. One used to go to such places if there was no other hope for you.

BabelBabe said...

What Badger said. That barely outweighs the shoe thing, though.
I suppose you could go and eat fries without bowling. But how sad would that be? Kinda like this prgenant woman I knew who craved movie popcorn. She'd send her husband out to go to the theater lobby, buy popcorn, and bring it home.

My closest friends are 2 college friends, and Gina, who I met in classes, doing post-bacc work (me) when I thought I was getting a PhD in Lit. Must be something about going to school with people. I do have several mom-friends, and of course my dear dear Internet friends, so lots of friends over a variety of ranges is a wonderful thing.

and so concludes my book/comment.