Tuesday, June 19, 2012

awake and on a minor rant

I've had trouble sleeping lately. I can't take naps anymore because I don't fall asleep and it ends up being frustrating. I have trouble falling asleep at night and I wake up at midnight. Tonight, I went to sleep about 9:30, woke up at 12, went to sleep about 1:30, woke up at 4. Blast it. I don't think that's enough sleep in a row.

I'm reading a good book that I found through the book review page in the Star Tribune. It's called The Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter. Here's a YouTube video that tells a little bit about it. Ha! A book review in a YouTube video. What a riot.

I tried to embed the video but it didn't work so here's the link.

 Actually, his other book was reviewed, Beautiful Ruins. The writing is clever and funny and the characters are interesting.

Why I am afraid of book clubs. My friend, Emily, thinks a book club would be a good idea. I have gone along with trepidation but the truth is that book clubs terrify me. I have never belonged to one in my life.

I haven't belonged to a club since Girl Scouts, come to think of it, and maybe that is more the issue. I have a generalized fear of clubs.

Another part of the problem goes back to being an English major. I loved reading prior to that, but holy shit, those people could have beat that out of me in four years if I hadn't been so resilient and rebellious. I couldn't see the point in taking a book with a lovely, moving story and just beating the crap out of it with a five page paper or a three hour dialogue. I talk about books with friends but they are short, short discussions consisting of what I liked and who I liked and how I felt about the ending.

Maybe I should give a book club a chance.

The other part of the problem is that I am not good with details. Hell, I've read the same book twice and been surprised by the ending both times. I'm afraid that it will be like middle school English classes. What color were Martha Washington's shoes when she attended the inaugural ball in Chapter 5? Can't remember? You get an F. Flunk.

Like the softball throw. Every year I got an F in the softball throw in high school. I could throw the softball 50 feet which constituted an F by someone's standards. In between the yearly softball throwing test, nobody ever once showed me how to throw a softball. Every year they tested me and expressed surprise that I hadn't improved. It defies logic.

I have a lingering nightmare about the time I got an F on a math test in second grade because I didn't understand the concept of zero as a placeholder.

I bet these people would be sorry if they knew how deeply they had scarred me.

The other day when our kids were over, I had them fill out a spreadsheet (actually just a table but spreadsheet makes me sound more mathematically inclined) of their current phone number, their email address, and the way in which they prefer to be contacted: text message, cell phone, email, or Facebook. In trying to communicate with them all, inevitably someone says, oh, I don't use that email anymore, oh, I never look at Facebook, or oh, I don't listen to my messages.

Doesn't having the thing obligate you to look at it? It would be like saying, oh, I have a mailbox but I never look in there. Which will probably be the case sooner than we think.

There are so many ways to reach people now that I long for the simple days of one phone in the kitchen on a  five foot cord. There were no questions about how to reach people in those days.

Well, that was a long sleep-deprived rant. I think I'm going back to bed now.

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