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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

Shameless Self- Promotion

  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Good reads, grownups only

« We will not talk about the pain; we will only talk about the pretty. At least for today. Mostly. | Main | We interrupt this nap... »


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It isn't Easter until I listen to "Jesus Shaves."


Ha! For me, Christmas isn't Christmas without "The Santaland Diaries." But of course that appears in different collections.

I think Sedaris would approve of this story on many levels, don't you? From the questionable stains on a copy of his book (and the fact that I kept trying to read it anyway) to the brain tumor itself it just sort of seems like it could almost be a story in the same book.


Sara--I LOVE library book sales, which reminds me I have no idea when the Seattle Public Library is holding its next one. Which probably means I have missed it.

People take little red wagons to the book sale to carry their finds. We are a reading town ...

Loved the lilac photos too. I can see my one and only lilac from where I'm sitting. I planted it outside the dining room windows so that I could open the windows on warm evenings and let in that fragrance.

I will join you in rolling around in lilacs, any time.

Jen of a2eatwrite

That's quite a bee! I'm always happy to see healthy bees these days.

Me Talk Pretty isn't my fave of his, either. I'm glad you're reading again!


Jeanne: Hey, what are you doing June 7? C'mon over! Now that the tragically urine-soaked loveseat has gone to loveseat heaven, there's all kinds of room on the living room's hardwood floor, and we have an inflatable mattress. And hey, I know you can't possibly be doing anything else, right? (little joke there; very little, I know)

Jen: I know what you mean about healthy bees. Healthy happy bumblebees -- especially on a chilly, windy afternoon like yesterday -- make me feel all has not been broken yet.

And yes, I am really relieved to be able to read again. The idea of maybe never being able to again really scared and saddened me.

Another irony here is that the reasons this book isn't my favorite Sedaris include the fact that there is just too much gross-out humor in it. I loved his tales of learning French in France; his issues with the language are my issues, and even when it was taking me over 15 minutes to read each page, I was rolling on the floor over things like his paraphrasing in English the crippled syntax of people from assorted countries speaking French as a second language to each other. More of that and less, well, biologicals and I would have loved this book almost as much as the others. But bottom line, though I can make and appreciate potty jokes and barf jokes and the like along with the best of them, the proportion in this particular book was just a little high for my tastes.

The other reason I didn't completely love it were his art school stories, which he told so blithely. Thing is, I couldn't afford to finish art school because I had to work 40+-hour weeks as a legal secretary in order to support my mother and myself in the style to which she had become accustomed, yet he tells tales of just half-assedly dilettanting his way through, and even though I know he must be at least partly joking, reading about it sort of made me want to strangle him. A little. Of course, some of the stories I tell on this blog probably make other people want to strangle me a little, so that's all right. But I've definitely loved other books of his better, and feel I would have even with a rapidly swelling brain tumor.

kathy a.

i think your story of that volume is very sedaris-esque! my memory of that book is spotty, but i remember feeling enchanted by the title story, and deciding the art school stories were definitely embellished? less true? missing key pieces? maybe he had a hunter s. thompson phase.

hooray for library sales! we have a free book exchange at the local recycling center. you've reminded me it is time to load up a few boxes and trot on over with them.


That was the first book I read by Sedaris. My grandparents got it for Tom for Christmas one year and he was like, "Ummmm... ok." and put it on the bookshelf. Later, I picked it up to read in bed and was giggling out loud. He said, "Hey, is that funny? Gimme my book back." And I was all like, "NO WAY JOSE. Now you can wait til I'm done!"
Wow, that was a lot funnier in my head. Sorry.


Kathy A. -- It is my fervent hope that if Sedaris (whom I love, actually) somehow runs across my remarks upon his book, including my remark that it is not my favorite of his books (not that I didn't like it, just that I liked other work of his more), the pain that he must naturally suffer will be mitigated by the nature of my tale. Given the fascination he expresses in this book for true-life horror, grotesquerie of various kinds, and interesting medical conditions, it really does seem right up his street.

Dory: Now (if you haven't already) you have to read his other books. Better yet (again, if you haven't already), you must hear him read his own work. I first heard him, like most Americans I guess, on the NPR show This American Life. Click here to go right to him and listen online.

kathy a.

my sister is an NPR groupie, so my introduction to sedaris was on a disk from "this american life," which she brought to spice up a road trip.


Ha! I know THAT worked!

NPR/TAL is also where I first encountered another highly addictive voice, Sarah Vowell. I love her spoken voice, and I love her written voice. Assassination Vacation distracted me well from part of a wicked bout of mittelschmerz last winter. And oddly, just as I think Sedaris would enjoy both the brain tumor connection and the be-schmutzedness of the particular volume I carried with me throughout that whole thing, I think Vowell would be enchanted to know she had distracted someone from mittelschmerz.

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