Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review: I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Let me be clear: I think Nora Ephron is a fabulously funny and insightful writer. She reminds me of Erma Bombeck and that is the pinnacle of the highest praise from the Red Shoes. So when I perused her new book, I Remember Nothing at our local two-week, library-sponsored book sale, then heard her interviewed the next day on Minnesota Public Radio, I was convinced that any impulsive buy would be justifiable.

And Nora, does not disappoint. From the first sentence I was wooed. "I have been forgetting things for years - at least since I was in my thirties," she writes. I am in my thirties and can now let go of the angst of not remembering where the "special spot" is where I put "that thing."

I appreciated her frank discussion about flops stating, "It seems to me the main thing you learn from failure is that it's entirely possible you will have another failure." There's something freeing in there, like coming to the realization that no matter what I do, I'll never be the perfect parent. The kids will surely drudge up some injustice inflicted on them and so, rather than fret, I can be hopeful that they will at least get creative in recalling their version of childhood.

Her addiction to Scrabble Blitz - Blitz Scrabble, shows me that even professional writers can spend enormous amounts of time procrastinating, musing, or doing nothing, and still turn out respectable work. And I will be thinking of what food I'd like to be named after, steering clear of the meat loaf.

And finally, a particularly sweet morsel from the chapter, Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again is #4, "Beautiful young women sometimes marry ugly, old rich men."  The day I am freed from this surprise, I will be a truly nonjudgmental, liberated woman.

While I can't relate to her New York state of mind and I have a different expereince regarding spoons, I still enjoyed this read very much and highly recommend it.

In honor of Nora, I created my own personal Surprise List, and while I was at it, thought of a few for my husband.

The Red Shoes' List of Things that Surprise, But Really Shouldn't
1. My husband will always park in the farthest space possible from the entrance.
2. There are only 24 hours in a day.
3. It gets really cold during the winter.
4. I don't like waking up.*
5. Kids grow up.
6. I grew up.
7. Kids have iron wills and it can often outlast mine.
8. Children will continue to do the same thing no matter how many times you tell them 'no.'
9. My husband gets me a gift at the last minute.
10. My husband will drive an extra fifty miles if it means saving one cent per gallon.
11.Our kids behave at everyone else's house except ours.
12. Kids look angelic and innocent in their sleep. (How is this possible?)
13. I fall asleep when I read.
14. I still don't like watermelon.
15. I severely dislike housecleaing.
16. But I love to cook.
17. And I will catch vomit, if it means sparing the furniture and the carpet.
18. Kids these days sing the same "underground" rhymes that I did when I was a kid. "Jingle bells, Batman smells..."
19.Which means my mother must have realized the same thing when I was a kid.
20. I'm becoming my mother.
21. There are far more than 20 things that surprise me, but really shouldn't.

The Red Shoes' Husband's List of Surprising Things (from my perspective)
1. Just because the house looks exactly as it did when you left in the morning and there's no dinner on the table, does not mean that I wasn't busy during the day.
2. My only steadfast requirement for any home improvement is that it also look nice or pretty.
3. I prefer chocolate over flowers.
4. I shave because of cultural conformity.
5. Having sex three times a day is your fantasy.
6. Three children under the age of 7 are not able to endure a 3-day, 20-mile backpacking trip no matter how much you want them to.
7. And no, I don't know where you put it.
8. Yes, honey, I honestly do not know what you call the do-hickey that's connected to the whats-it. But I'd be happy to pass you that, there thingamajig.

*This fact I finally accepted after trying for years to wake up "early."  Now I just get up at 6:30 a.m. like everybody else. Well, actually 6:35 -  just like everybody else.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A 2010 Nano Winner!

I'm pleased to announce that I have managed to scribble out the required 50,000 words of the Nanowrimo challenge! Here's my winner's banner to prove it.

I think I'll print one out and hang it up next to my kids' drawings!

Thanks, Nano, for a wonderful writing frenzy! And thanks to my writing partner whose taunting kept me moving along.

Now it's time to get back to writing that last 50k....clickety, clackety, click, clack, space, click, period.