Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 3 of what I have begun to call the "I Can't Turn 30 And Be This Disorganized" project (a.k.a. Operation Find The DVD Remote), and I have still yet to locate that stupid remote. But I am getting a lot more reading done, I've even read a little bit after I finished my book for the day. I've also begun to organize my list of books I'm going to read for the blog after this year is up and I'm not sticking to certain guidelines as far as the length of the book goes. That's right, I've firmly decided that I will continue with the blog after this year is up - I'm just not clear on exactly what the format is going to be like. There are some really wonderful books that I've been wanting to introduce to you, but they're too short to count for the A Book a Day project. So you'll just have to wait in suspense until January to find out what they are (I'm sure you're trembling with excitement.)

Today's book, "When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power - vodka. In this hilarious, deliciously skewed collection, Chelsea mines her past for stories about her family, relationships, and career that are at once singular and ridiculous."

I read a review of today's book that described the book as uneven, and I definitely agree with that assessment. There were places in the book that were so funny I started to regret reading the book on a day when I am unable to move my head (long, boring story - all you need to know is that I haven't been able to move my head or neck for the last 14 hours) - laughter and an inability to move ones head apparently don't mix very well. However, there were just as many stories in the book that fell flat - stories that I'm sure I was supposed to be endlessly amused by, which, nevertheless, didn't even produce a single laugh. But overall the book was still enjoyable enough that I don't regret reading it.

My favorite line of the book, "My oldest is fourteen and my youngest is seventy-two months," she informed me." - I'm so glad to see that I am not the only person who finds that sort of thing completely absurd. Memo to the parents of the world: I think it's really cute and all that you can calculate your child's age down to the exact month even when he's in kindergarten. But when someone asks, "So how old is your child," they don't really care, they're just being polite and making small talk - and they definitely don't care enough to need to hear the age calculated down to the exact month. Just round up or down and let us all get on with our lives. What do you think dear readers, should I start telling people that I'm 359 months? I almost want to try that just to see the looks I would get. And while I'm on the subject of annoying things that parents say, I've prepared a little list of expression I never want to hear again, we're trying; baby bump; we're pregnant; push present; "We're feeling cranky" when you're really just talking about the baby; and most annoying of all, "He's was just overtired" when you're referring to behavior that could qualify your child as a participant on SuperNanny. During my Mary Poppins days I used to work for someone who did that - whether the child had climbed on the roof, taken a steak knife to his room, locked every member of the family out of the house, or decided to lie down in the parking lot of a restaurant for 20 minutes and refuse to get up, the response was always the same, "He was just overtired." Oh sure, that makes perfect sense. I know when I get overtired, I frequently like to have a good near death experience. Why would a kid be any different?

There was even one part of the book that almost made me cry. Yes that's right, about once every five years or so, I actually start to experience an emotion that isn't covered in so many layers of sarcasm that's it's barely recognizable. But, before you all run out and buy this book because you want to read something that will make you laugh and cry, I should warn you that the line that got me all choked up is one that probably would have the opposite effect on most people. And that line is, "just for shits and giggles." My Grandmother - who taught me everything I know about profanity - used that expression all the time. She had a lot of really tacky, vulgar expression that she used on a regular bases (WARNING SKIP IF YOU'RE OFFENDED BY PROFANITY: shit or get off the pot - oh you think that's funny, well I'll cram a feather up your ass and then we'll both be tickled - if you want to ride my ass so much, why don't you just climb in my trunk - she's acting like she's got a jet up her ass.) As a result of spending my childhood listening to my Grandmother talk like a drunken sailor, I am now unable to hear extremely vulgar expressions without missing her so much I start to cry. I heard someone screaming obscenities at a mall cop once and I was hit with a wave of nostalgia that made me feel like I was eight years old again.

And now dear readers, it's time for me to go and continue my search for the DVD remote. Wish me luck.