me & ms stewart

I have a well documented reading problem that has plagued my pocketbook (as a synonym for purse) most of my life. I am an indiscriminate reader of words as well. That is how I occasionally find myself with 42 billion magazine subscriptions that need to be cancelled because ain’t nobody got time for that. Also because they tend to get really judgmental about my housekeeping and parenting.

Approximately two minutes after canceling my subscription those magazines come tapping me on the shoulder, and under hushed breath tell me if I take them back they will give me a sweet discount. They remind me how good their content was, and some will go so far as to say how much they miss me.

Since all of these magazine dealings come in envelopes that look alike, and a lot like a credit card scam, the occasional renewal notice escapes my attention and my subscription will lapse. If I’m not having withdrawals it will likely go straight to the round filing cabinet if I do pick up what they consider to be an enticing little piece if direct marketing. Or the could be unlucky enough to fall into the hands of my four-year-old, which is like falling into the black hole for all paper, cardboard, social security cards, and the like.

I am not sure which fate befell several of the renewal notices for Martha Stewart’s Living, but eventually one made it into my hands. Ms Stewart had some choice words for me. It seems my credit card had expired and the automatic renewal failed. Having subscribed for several years, as she pointed out, it is not a surprise to me that this would eventually occur. To her, however, it was clearly a personal affront. She couldn’t understand how I would let “such a small amount” of money end our relationship. She ended the note telling me that she hopes we can amend our relationship and move on.

I thought it an awfully familiar letter for someone who only occasionally reads what she is throwing down. I suppose that is what time behind bars can do to a person. I’ve read the book Orange is the New Black. I know what hard time can do to a “nice blonde lady.” But I just don’t think I appreciate her tone. So, yes, Ms Stewart, it was such a small amount. However, I think I’ll let some other magazine make me question the decisions I’ve made about my life.

Sincerely,

Mrs SmartyPants

Catch Me Writing Nerdy: Four Books for the Fourth

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You get a couple of glasses of wine in me and the conversation usually devolves into boobs, babies, and which former classmate I hid from at Target last week. That is closely followed by a healthy dose of shoving my fingers in my ears and singing “lalalala” so you don’t spoil my latest Netflix binge. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the awesome is blinding.

It is hard to imagine, but I recently discovered that there are better things to talk about when you’ve been doing alcohol. Apparently there are people who get sauced then hang out and talk about history. I saw this on a television show, and if it is on TV or the internet it is true.

Now that Drunk History has made my weekends taste a little less like a good Pinot and glitter, and a little more like Boone’s Farm and sadness, I have want to get everyone drunk and make them tell me stories. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, dammit. I wanna get drunk and talk about Elvis meeting Nixon or the invention of Coca Cola!

I’m going to wave my nerd banner a little higher and assign some of the my favorite recent history reads to you all. There will be a test because from here we have no where to go but a dive bar where you will tell me a story, right?

  1. 1493 by Christopher Mann – I have to admit, I picked this up because… food. It turned out to be pretty interesting and definitely featured baked goods prominently. Mann explores post-Columbus America in his book, so read it and let’s discuss.
  2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell – She is flipping hilarious, and as such I am going on record that you must read everything she’s written and we’re probably BFF’s in a former life. She combines personal essay, history and a subdued humor that is unique and pulls you in to history and pop culture topics in a way you’ve never been before. (Unless, of course, you’ve read Assassination Vacation, The Wordy Shipmates etc.)
  3. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Lowen – I picked this one up when I was at Mount Rushmore. It seemed such mid-thirties flavored subversive act to pick it up at a National Monument, and I felt awfully punk-rock reading it. Interesting read and it made me want to get my hands dirty with source material.
  4. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. – This might not be fair to recommend because I haven’t finished it yet, so if you have don’t tell me how it ends.

Who’s ready for a round of shots?

Mrs SmartyPants