April 10th, 2007

Dribs n' Drabs

1.      It occurs to me that it is probably a bad idea to eat yogurt at your desk. On the off chance that you are clumsy enough to drop a big blob of yogurt on your keyboard, it will probably be difficult to clean out. Even if you use the corner of a paper towel and cleverly swipe it between the keys. Not that I would know. 

2.      The new top-runner for the title of my first novel: Talk Like a Man, Sing Like a Bird. With thanks to Camelia, who says that’s what all the women in her family do. 

3.      It may be cosmically impossible for people to wash knives without slicing themselves open in the process. Or is it just me? 

4.      It is an excellent idea to slide dramatically on the boardwalk and scrape a bunch of skin off your arm because when you’re interviewing people, and they see the shocking state of your arm, they immediately drop any barriers that might have been between you, allowing the interview to proceed on a more level plain. It’s also great to injure yourself in this way if you happen to teach little kids, because they know what it’s like to scrape off a bunch of skin, and are totally sympathetic without being patronizing. Try it and see!

5.      When someone starts a sentence thusly: “Am I crazy, or—” it is best to stop them right there, and just say, “Yes.” 

6.      Sometimes, it’s fun to try stopping while you’re ahead. Like if an editor is giving you a compliment, after giving you a big fat assignment, you could say, “Yes, I really love the magazine,” and just leave it at that. Or you could try adding, “I can’t wait until I have kids so I can force them to read it.” Just for fun! Because maybe, just maaaaaaaaaybe, the editor totally won’t take offense at the implication (okay, explicit statement) that the publication’s target audience must be forced to read the publication. 

7.      Brothers are good for many things, but especially (sometimes) for entertainment. Only my brother could tell me a story like this: “My friend was sick, but now he’s better—only his thumb is swollen at the moment because the family goose bit it.” Virtually verbatim, that is. 

8.      If you buy a new Pilates exercise ball, and the air pump that comes with it is hand-operated, and using it makes you snicker uncontrollably, it is entirely possibly you possess a filthy, filthy mind. 

9.      Furthermore, if you are well aware that you shed like a cat, it is just plain silly to be repulsed by the sight of your own hair in the vacuum filter. 

10.  So I realized recently that when I talk to myself (oh, come on, I can’t be the only one out there), I don’t always address myself the same way. In other words, sometimes I talk to myself in first person, sometimes in first person plural, and sometimes in second person. And, I’ve noticed, each approach is mandated by particular situations. For instance, I might say something like, “I can’t believe you did that!” when I have done something particularly obnoxious or stupid. (Hardly ever do I use second person, then, yes, you are right to assume as much.) I guess it’s an attempt to distance myself from my stupid action. And I use first person plural when I’m planning: “So first we’re going to make some calls, and then after that we’ll work on the story draft.” First person is tossed in there at random times. 

11.  A poll: when you talk to yourself (and I’m assuming you do), how do you address yourself?

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