Hello! Welcome! Thank you for stopping by Appropos of Nothing. Please make yourself at home. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Do you take cream and sugar? Soy milk? No problem! It is no trouble at all. I will be right back.
I could have sworn that we had soy milk, but I couldn’t find any. I only have regular milk. Is that ok?
I didn’t realize that you had a dairy allergy. I will run to the store. No! No! Don’t be silly. It is no trouble at all. I will just shovel out the driveway and be on my way! Better yet, I will use my cross country skis. I have been needing an excuse to use them anyhow. You sit tight. Make yourself at home. I will be right back. It is no problem at all. The store is only a few miles away. No worries. While you are waiting, just make yourself comfortable. Poke around and read some posts why don’t you? Can I get you a pillow for your back? How about a stool to put your feet up? You look a bit tired. Just relax for a bit. It will do you some good.
OK, then. I will be back in a jiffy.
I’m back! We lucked out! At first it looked like they were out of soy milk, but I talked to the manager and helped him find a case way in the back. It was actually lucky that we were back there at the time. Turns out that the store was being robbed at gunpoint! How about that for exciting? Here is your coffee. Is it hot enough? It may have cooled down a bit while I was gone. I was gone for longer than I expected. It took a while to help all those people that the robbers had tied up. Let me heat your coffee up for you. No, really, it is no problem.
Are you enjoying your Milano cookies? I bought a few different kinds, because I am not sure what you like. I got double chocolate, chocolate mint, dark chocolate, chocolate dipped, chocolate raspberry and eight or nine other kinds. They are very good dipped in the coffee. Be careful though. I may have heated up the coffee a little too much. You might want to let it cool a bit. What? Oh my, will you look at that? I didn't even notice! I must have spilled some coffee on myself when I took it out of the microwave. It is blistering up pretty good, isn't it?
Hey! Where are you going? Don’t go yet! It gets so lonely here. Apropos of Nothing doesn’t get too many visitors! Please don’t go.
OK then. I understand. You have things to do. Of course.
Promise to come back. You could even send a friend. It would be nice to have a few more visitors. You could subscribe even. It is really very easy. Won’t take any time at all. You could subscribe by feed or e-mail. Not that I am complaining, but the e-mail subscription option was kind of hard for me to set up. I had to manually insert some strange looking text into my personal HTML. That was a little frightening for me and it made me feel a bit dirty. All I am saying is that it would be nice if someone actually used it.
I know it is too much to ask, but before you go, might you consider becoming a follower? Do you see all those people to the right there? Scroll until you see them. See that group of particularly good looking people? They are following. Don’t they look cool there? Don’t you want to be more like them?
What’s that? Is that what you heard? That can’t be true. I am pretty sure that all of them are following on their own accord. I don’t think my parents are paying them. Where did you hear that? I am pretty sure that it is just a rumor.
No! No! Stop! You don’t have to wash your cup! You are my guest! Leave it right there! OK. OK. You can put it in the sink. But that’s it. I will wash it later. OK, then. It was really nice having you. Please come back. You are welcome anytime. Anytime at all.
Oh! Your coat! Of course! Silly me! I will be right back. Forgive me. I am moving a little slowly. Sprained ankle. Not used to the cross country skiing. Need more practice is all. OK then. Here you go. Nice coat by the way. Looks nice and warm. And the color looks great on you.
Bye now. Be careful. Don’t slip on the walk. I may have dislocated my shoulder when I fell coming back from the store. I don’t want that to happen to you! Promise me you will be careful.
OK. Bye! Bye now! See you later!
I recently picked up a book, a memoir written by a woman who read one book per week for a year and wrote about what she read. As you might recall, I set up the very same challenge for myself this year. See the post I Have Read 51 Books in Nine Months and You Haven't. Just like the author of this book, during this self imposed challenge, I read book after book after book and wrote about all of them in my journal. Unlike the author, however, the one thing that I didn’t get around to doing was to write a memoir about the experience and have it published.
The phenomenon of setting up a challenge for yourself- to live differently for a time and then write about it, was a theme I ran into many times during my book frenzy. And it generally makes for really good reading. The key is to create an experiment with yourself as test subject. You define the rules and live according them, and then you write an account of your experience. If you think about it, it is sort of like a reality TV show. You alter your life artificially for the sake of seeing what happens. It works well for people who aren’t naturally living a memoir obvious life by being a celebrity, gathering dirt about celebrities, being a criminal or living in France with a boyfriend named Hugh. Of this create-a-memoir genre, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously was one of my favorites. Julie decides to cook, in one year’s time, every one of Julia Child’s recipes from The Art of French Cooking. I can’t put my finger on what exactly made that book so wonderful, but it was great from start to finish. I loved it so much that when I finished it, I trekked down to DC to visit the Julia Child exhibit in the National Gallery. It was my own personal Wally World experience. I stood outside the building looking in disbelief at the sign that explained that the museum was closed for renovations. In reality, the words on the sign explained the renovation schedule and what visitors might look forward to when it was done, but all I read was, “F#&K YOU, Sondra Stinglash.” The museum was closed. That felt personal.
There is another book that I can’t wait to read. My Year of Living Biblically is a memoir describing a year of living exactly as the bible says. See A.J. Jacobs' wonderful talk on the subject. I recently heard of a blogger who has made it her project to live according to the advice of Oprah Winfrey for a year. Living Oprah. This woman gave herself an assignment, is living it and writing about it and, although she won’t sign a deal until the project is done, I have no doubt a book will follow. There are most certainly countless other people who have designed experiments that they are conducting at this very moment. Right now, as you are reading this entry, there is someone going through their year wearing a chicken suit, someone sampling cookies, and someone living in a cabin in the woods on Walden Pond. Imagine the books born of these projects!
All Fowled Up: My Year in Feathers
A Year of Milanos: One Woman’s Quest to Try Them All
My Wasted Year: Would It Have Killed You To Tell Me That Someone Already Did This?
I need your help. I need a challenge. I love my life; it is a great one, but it isn’t necessarily memoir material. What I need to do is to set up some rules for myself and then live an entire year according to those rules. It has to be something out of the ordinary, but it can’t be something that is too embarrassing or takes a great deal of courage or time because I am kind of whimpy and I am very, very busy. It can’t involve the saving up of all my garbage, traveling anywhere, pretending to have a job I don’t have, or changing gender. I invite you to send me any idea you have! And don’t stop there. Send this post along to your friends and ask them for their ideas. Then submit them as if they were your own.
And just so you know, the book I mentioned at the beginning of this post- I didn’t like it. It is just as well that I didn't write my own. Turns out that it is hard to write such a book without seeming like you are a super reader book jerk who likes to brag about all that reading you are doing. Who can blame her though? If I had read that many books in a year, (and I did) I would probably be tempted to toot my own horn too. I would probably look for opportunities to bring it up in conversation and act shocked when other people tell me the paltry number of books they have attempted to read over the past year.
I won’t though. Now that I know how annoying it is.
This is copyrighted material, Buster! So, make sure you give credit where credit is due.
Thunder: Also loud.
It's redundant. So sue me.
- ► 2009 (77)
- Aha Duh
- Babel Fish
- bicycle helmets
- Buddhas' Hands
- Cat's in the Cradle drug reference
- cheat codes for Grand Theft Auto 4
- Classic Stinglash
- free movies
- I got an award
- index cards
- Isadora Duncan
- Jessica Simpson
- Julia Child
- Living Biblically
- loin cloth
- Love that Facebook
- make your own Easter cards
- massage school
- Michael Ian Black
- Michael Jackson
- Milano Cookies
- Money Saving Tips
- Narcoleptic Dogs
- National Humor Month
- natural attic insulation
- Nintendo Wii
- Oprah Winfrey
- Really cute kitten pictures
- Sperm Cell
- stamp licking
- Stinglash Family
- Sweating With the Oldies
- The Onion
- what rhymes with orange
- whiney is the new funny
- Writer's Block