Much as I hate to confirm all the unkind things you’ve been thinking about me, I’ll go ahead and agree with you: I’m the world’s biggest loser. Why? Because I read five books this weekend, and I didn’t even read any on Friday.
Friday night I drank margaritas with Dionysus. (Was a bit too tipsy to read afterward, doncha know.) That sort of behavior isn’t indicative of being the world’s biggest loser. But for the rest of the weekend all I did was read books, which is bad, and write reviews of them, which is worse.
To be fair, not all of the books were lengthy. Graphic novels are comparatively quick reads, which goes some way toward explaining the humiliating number of books I’ve swallowed this year—seventeen as of yesterday. But some of this year’s books have been bug-crushers. I’m thinking Lisey’s Story, which was disappointing, and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which was about four times too long. Kinda like The Grapes of Wrath: nice idea, but tell the damn story, already. It wasn’t till page 160 that I started getting into it Kavalier and Clay. I only endured that long because it was for a book club. Everyone else in the book club, naturally, has loved it.
I read too much, all there is to it.
Perhaps the glitz of stardom will begin to distract me from my dull lifestyle. Today we filmed my television debut. The nice folks at Program Services were thoughtful enough to divert my groupies so that I wouldn’t be distracted. (“She’s on the second floor!” said the Program Services people, and the diversion worked! I didn’t see a single groupie!… Groupum? What’s the singular for groupie?)
I spent my weekend preparing for the debut, by which I mean I spent my weekend doing laundry, by which I mean I spent my weekend trying to do laundry. There are only two washing machines and two dryers in my apartment building, and some rat bastard tied them up all day Sunday. The rat bastard didn’t tie them up actively, which would have been annoying but permissible. The rat bastard did two lousy loads of wash and then let it sit there all afternoon. I know. I trudged up and down two flights of steps every hour to confirm.
Finally I managed to wash a load of darks, and today, after a frantic morning on the desk, I trotted over to a corner of the library that will surely one day be famous as the birthplace of my celebrity.
The filming itself was sort of dull. Pink Starfish asked me questions about NoveList. I answered them. It was nice and all, but I don’t think they managed to get footage of my shiny sparkly tights, and if that’s not a loss for humanity I don’t know what is.
It was the behind-the-scenes action that was really fun. The camera guy and the nice lady whose role I didn’t quite understand, but that’s okay—those two were hilarious. And Pink Starfish? Here’s an example:
“I’d like to tell the tv audience what phone number to call if they need help,” I said, “but bugger if I can remember the Reference Desk number.”
“Hmm,” said Pink Starfish. “I think I know it.” He took his cell out to check. (Nevermind that we could have looked it up on the laptop, or trotted twenty feet away to ask.)
“Wilhelmsplatz Regional Library reference,” said the voice on the other end. I couldn’t tell for sure who it was, since I was only overhearing a cell conversation, but I narrowed it down to either Assert-y or Sunnybrook Farm.
“I’d like an order of egg drop soup,” said Pink Starfish in a whiny nasal.
“Egg drop soup?”
“Yes, an order of egg drop soup.”
“Um… this is a library.”
“Oh. I’ll try someplace else then.” –Click- “Yeah, that’s the number.”
The unfortunate side effect here is that I’ve been craving egg drop soup ever since. God knows I can’t cook it, so the only way for me to get any would be to hit up one of the Chinese joints, and I wouldn’t be able to do that without ordering something completely unhealthy. See, I’m trying to get all svelte, right? Goes along with stardom. The pressure on stars to have perfect bodies is insane. Ordinary folks like you wouldn’t even understand.
So I’m trying to ensvelten myself, and that is not a word, but it should be. Eating salads every day for lunch is helping. (Drinking margaritas for dinner isn’t, but nevermind that right now.) Yoga will be helping, maybe. I attended my second yoga class this evening, and I really like it, because you have to be flexible to do the positions.
In elementary school I was always at the top of my class (World’s Biggest Loser, remember?) with one horrible, wretched exception: I was terrible at gym. Each year we had a four-part test, and each year I failed three of those parts. I couldn’t do a pullup then, and still can’t; I couldn’t do a mile in whatever insane amount of time it was (four minutes, most likely); and I couldn’t do X number of situps in Y amount of time.
I strongly suspect that I could not do one situp right now, but I am not going to embarrass myself by finding out.
The fourth part of the test, though, that was a breeze. You had to be able to touch your toes.
I’ve always been flexible. This has proven to be very useful in many contexts, absolutely none of which I can remember right now, but I’m sure they exist. They must. They must.
And now I am going to go work on book #18, because my alternative is Scrabble, and the cats are terrible at Scrabble. Which is not to say that I haven’t played Scrabble alone. You should try it. It’s fun. Though, okay, not as much fun as playing with other human beings, or at least kitties smarter than mine. And if you do happen to start a game of Scrabble, you should make it a game of Strip Scrabble, unless the people you’re playing with are your parents.
The Strip Scrabble rules, because now that I’ve mentioned it you’re dying to know, are:
- 4 letters or less and you lose a garment
- 5 letters is neutral
- 6 letters or more and you can restore a garment, or else make someone else remove one
Alas, there is not, to my knowledge, a competitive-clothing version of book reading or book reviewing—but God willing, I’ll forge new territory in that direction, someday. Once I figure it out, I’ll go on the public access channel and let you know.