Category Archives: Sparkle Pants does Literature

What you have to look forward to!

Hey kids reading this! Guess what? You have something awesome to look forward to in adulthood! WATCHING BASEBALL AND DRINKING MARGARITAS.

I bought three books this afternoon on my lunch break because all of my books are far away with my parents. And also because the used bookstore is seriously across the street from my office HOW CAN I NOT? (Which is exactly what I told the man who owns it/was working for it) I got two books I had never heard of (I’d tell you what they are but they’re in the other room and it’s SO FAR AWAY) and one book I had: The Laughing Place by Pam Durban. I first read that book in 2003 or 2004, after a dear friend of mine passed away. The book made a lot of sense to me and helped me kind of deal with the confusion and sadness I felt. So I bought it. MINE ALL MINE NOW.

Unrelated to THAT but related to my first paragraph, I’m supposed to watch clips of Buster Posey’s injury from the other night AND I AM SCURRED TO DO IT, INTERNETS. Because my BFF tells me that he writhes in pain and crawls around on his arms and I am kind of scared to see it because it just sounds awful.

NEWSFLASH: Wilson is warming up in the bullpen. YAY.


Much too young to feel this damn old

“It’s infected! If this was a human being, I’d shoot it in the face.” -Roy, “The I.T. Crowd”


So on Monday, we thought it’d be a great idea to do lots of Wii Fit and then go for a bike ride. Internet, I’ve not ridden a bike since my youth. I don’t remember the last time but I was probably 12 or so, and I was on my brother’s blue and yellow Huffy. I might have been a little older than 12. I stopped using it when I outgrew it and since I grew up on a farm with unpaved roads, there was no reason (and I had no desire) to get a grown up bicycle.

All of that to say that I rode a bike with like, gears. LOTS OF THEM. It was more fun than I remembered (and it was all started by reading Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, who is fabulous), and we rode to the park down the street. It was a very short ride but just long enough for me. It was also my first exposure to riding on pavement, riding over speed bumps, and riding with cars on the road. I didn’t fall down once and I felt GREAT. My ass hurt right away but man, my brain was so stoked that I didn’t care.

And then like, three hours later, when I was at home and showered and in comfortable clothes, my body was like “fuck the hell out of you.”

IT IS STILL PISSED AT ME. This morning I had a lot of nervous energy and went on another Wii Fit spree. I got a little too enthusiastic about everything (advanced step and advanced boxing and also the arm-flappy bird thing and downward facing dog ohhh god) and now I can barely keep my upper body aloft. My ass hurts from the bicycle ride on Monday and I’m just like…too young to feel this way.


I look forward to more bike riding. But for right now, I’m looking forward to getting some sleep. Because damn.

Ugh technology

That’s supposed to be like, “ugh, technology! I hate you!” and not “ugh technology is quite sophisticated”. Just in case you were confused.

I started a post on my phone because I was too lazy to put my laptop to sleep, unplug it, and move it to the living room, which would mean I’d have to put it to sleep, unplug it, and move it back when I was done. My laptop doesn’t weigh 80 pounds and it certainly isn’t cumbersome to carry, but since it doesn’t have a battery, moving around with ease is not as easy as my lazy ass would like it to be.


So anyway, now the WordPress app on my phone is all, “screw you, I’m keeping that draft!” so here I am, writing a new one.

It’s 10:07pm on a Sunday night and I’m sitting in bed, struggling to keep my beautiful little eyes open. I think the past two nights of staying up until VERY LATE AT NIGHT/VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING and getting up WHILE THERE IS STILL AN ‘AM’ IN THE TIME and then DOING LOTS OF THINGS SOME OF WHICH INCLUDE ADORABLE BUT EXHAUSTING SMALL CHILDREN is catching up with me. Let me sleep, yo. We’ve been crashing at Twelve’s house for quite some time (for those not in the know, Twelve is The BFF’s partner (‘boyfriend’ for those of you who are confused), and he is also a friend of mine and he is incredibly generous with his house right now and ours can get a little crowded and so yeah, we’re here right now) and….well, okay, ‘quite some time’ = since Friday night. And we have been BUSY.

It just dawned on me that I think I’ve already mentioned all of this. OH WELL. TROLOLOLO REDUNDANCY.

HEY GUESS WHAT? The Steelers are in the Super Bowl.

Ohhhkay. What was I saying? Right. I’m old and tired. Exactly. Late this afternoon, we went to The BFF’s sister’s house to celebrate their dad and brother’s birthdays. Sister and Brother-In-Law kindly grilled burgers for us and cooked some french fries and they must’ve slipped and hit their heads because they made ambrosia. This is California, not North Carolina omg. Anycrap. I passed on the ambrosia to make room in my stomach for LOTS OF BURGERS covered with LOTS OF ONIONS.

Okay, see, this is what happened. So like, I made my first burger and put just a couple little slips of onion on it and it was like a taste explosion in my mouth. I WANT ONIONS. LOTS OF THEM. So I made a second burger, which was more like “hey Sparkle Pants, would you like some bun and meat and cheese and condiments with that onion or are you cool like that?” It’s a good thing there’s not a Mr. Sparkle Pants because he’d be investing in a gas mask right about now. MY BREATH IS AWESOME AND CAN ALSO WILT FLOWERS AT 100 PACES.

Seriously, I am so old and tired. I even had coffee with my dessert and I’m still half asleep while I type this. I’m going to read some more of the awesome book I plucked off the shelf at the library a few weeks ago. It’s called The Rice Mother. Great narrative voice, excellent storytelling and progression. I highly recommend it.

TTFN, internets.

Freedom costs a buck-oh-five

Clearly all this Kim Jong Il talk has thrust me into the world of quoting Team America with glee. Yesterday during our false fire alarm, as my coworkers and I stood out under a tree chatting, David asked Megan if she had seen Team America. She shook her head ‘no’ and then looked squarely at me with a grin – we had just talked about it the night before – and said, “No, but she has.” Which made David nearly double over with laughter. I’ve yet to figure out why that was so funny. At any rate, I wish I owned that because I’d watch it tonight and laugh heartily.

I barely scanned this article about Mann Coulter, the link to which I lifted from a comment over at Rude Cactus, because the picture scared the bejeebus out of me. She looks more and more freakish every day. You’d think with all the soul-sucking she has been doing lately she’d at least get some meat on her bones. I guess she sticks to fat free souls.

Now we’re going to switch gears and talk about books, writers, and Mel Brooks. The cool thing about working in a library is the access to all these quirky, specific reference materials that I had no idea existed. Yesterday we got a little catalog in the mail offering up the latest in this literature series written by some guy I had never heard of before but is apparently a big deal because we have some of the books in the catalog omg. This guy has not only written books on movements and eras and genres but he has also written books on writers, books, and characters. For instance, he has an entire reference book devoted to Elizabeth Bennett. I know, right? Flipping through the catalog paired with a conversation from a few days ago wherein I admitted one of my favorite books (poem?) ever is Dante’s Inferno (I just realized that I use the same format for books, poems, and movies…heh.) caused me to do a quick search in our facility for books on Dante.

That’s when I found books about Dante and Joyce. As in, books comparing their work. As in, two of my favorite authors who I had never previously thought had anything in common apparently do. Maybe I’m slow on the uptake (as I’m about to demonstrate) but holy cow! I can’t wait to read those books.

Here’s the embarrassing part, mainly because I’m a fan of Joyce and didn’t even know this. Of course, I’ve never read Ulysses, so maybe that’s why I didn’t connect the two. My point being, if you’ve seen The Producers (either movie version or the musical), you know that there’s a fabulous character named Leo Bloom. Leopold Bloom, to be exact. Named for the Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. An homage, of sorts. This, of course, led me on a search to find all the “goodies” in the latest release of The Producers, where I uncovered the quote “when is it going to be Bloom’s day?” (Bloomsday – celebrated by Ulysses fans each year on June 16 to commemorate the obscene pubbing Bloom and his friend did in the book, on June 16) and the unnoticed (by me) calendar in Bialystock and Bloom’s office that always reads June 16. (There are other little touches o’ Brooks throughout the movie but they don’t have as much to do with Joyce – mainly other musicals…and Brooks’ own movies, as usual.)

So basically I’m going to be on a Joyce/Dante/Brooks spree for a while. Consider yourselves warned.

Just a taste

Written last night at work:

so i’m writing this email because i’m at work and a little bit stuck. what to do? i’m not sure. how exactly am i stuck? do i even know? my mind is a jumble of thoughts, a tangled mess of thorns and dark places and probably some spiders if i dared look closely enough. i have been living my life with a limited purpose lately and i’m tired of it. simply tired. i go home every night drained of energy, of empathy, of even an ounce of concern for myself or anyone else in the world. that isn’t me. i shouldn’t be content to live like this continuously, day after day. things should change. where do i go to get away? i’d like nothing more than to set off on my own, destination unknown, and just go until it all makes sense, until i can breathe again, until my head stops feeling so thick and full. maybe this is the result of reading too much peart lately or maybe it’s Truth speaking to me through his words. the other day i found myself getting caught up in the reasons i’m here and realized that someday, all will be revealed and i’ll know that my toiled time wasn’t really toiled at all. i think maybe i think on these things too often and to too great an extent. perhaps that’s where the danger lies, in the thinking. in the processing. in the anticipation. in the hope. i have ceased wishing for things to happen and have begun simply praying to get through each day, sanity (or equivalent) in tact. i wonder how long it will take for me to put aside my memories of california and my coppery longing to be back there and embrace my new reality: i am here in this place now and will be until the next wind comes. get used to it. hold on tight, don’t close your eyes, and just get used to it.

So true, so true. In Ghost Rider, Peart talks about the “other guy,” the one that existed before all the tragic and senseless loss (child, wife, dog, best friend in jail — just like a country song, he bemoans) and how he is now faced with discovering the things he still likes. One day it started with the revelation that he still liked those two rocks in the lake that bordered his home. Then it was whisky, motorcycles, and birdwatching. Oddly enough, lately I’ve felt something similar thanks to all this reading. Yesterday I remembered that I love writing, reading, and reflecting. I found out that one of my favorite (although under-read by me) authors is a faculty member at a local university. I might have passed her while doing my grocery shopping. Intoxicating bliss. I felt my baby soul perk up, even if only for a brief moment, and it felt good.

Fact or fiction

A Rose for Emily in real life! Creepy.


For those of you who don’t know, my brother is a huge Rush fan. It started in the very late ’80s/very early ’90s when he bought Moving Pictures and forced my family to listen to it. Repeatedly. Being young and impetuous (and also very into Garth Brooks), I refused. But as with anything my brother wholly embraces, Rush began to trickle into my life. I’d surprise myself by knowing lyrics. I knew who each band member was and what he played. Little bit by little bit, my brother sucked me into the world of Rush. I didn’t fully appreciate that world until June 1997 when he took AJ and I to Bonner Springs, KS to see Rush at the Sandstone Amphitheatre. I was hooked. Hooked, I say!

It was about that time that I read Neil Peart’s The Masked Rider: Cycling In West Africa for the first time. I fell in love with his storytelling, the rhythm of his words, and the intoxicating strangeness of West Africa. My brother and I talked about that book, and about Neil, for years afterward. It is safe to say that I am 100% gaagaa for Neil Peart. Not like I think he’s sooooo sexy omg but he’s ridiculously smart, ridiculously talented, and probably one of the coolest people to ever LIVE. Which is, I’ll admit, kind of hot.

I’m getting off topic.

Neil’s daughter and only child, Selena, died in a car accident not far from their home when she was in her late teens/early twenties. About a year later, his wife Jackie died of cancer (and a broken heart). Afterward, he wrote the incredibly moving The Ghost Rider and following that, Traveling Music. As I read each of these books, I felt woven into the world in a way that no other book had done before. I began to understand grief, beauty, Life, love, death, hope, renewal, and faith in a whole new way.

Last night I started The Masked Rider again. This is only the second time I’ve ever read it and my understanding of the world and my place in it has changed so profoundly that it’s like a whole different book. I’m in the middle of a section about his stay at a monastery and his epiphanies while there. Very similar to things that have been passing through my mind lately.

I’m glad to have picked this book up again, mainly because I know I have to read the other two now. The words are touching a part of my soul (my baby soul?) that has been wandering confusedly for the past eight or nine months. We’ll see where it takes me next.

A fairy tale

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Princess McBitchyPants. Princess McBitchyPants grew up thinking the entire universe revolved around her curly, golden locks. Everyone did as she demanded, as everyone learned very quickly that if Princess McBitchyPants wasn’t happy, no one in the fair kingdom was very happy either. Princess McBitchyPants had a nice side that she showed very, very rarely. She thought that if she showed it too often, the people in the fair kingdom would stop doing everything she demanded because they would realize that she saw them as human beings and would try to make her see that they were tired and poor and forced to send their kids off to labor camps where the kids had to sew soccer balls together with their teeth. However, there were a few brave souls in the kingdom who were tired of Princess McBitchyPants’ behavior and weren’t afraid to tell everyone they met.

That made Princess McBitchyPants very angry.

Princess McBitchyPants made a public decree that those who spoke against her were unwanted, stupid, lazy, and generally bad seeds tainting her perfect, beautiful, fully functional world. However, the naysayers did not leave the kingdom!

“I shall starve them out!” Shrieked Princess McBitchyPants. Unfortunately for the princess, the naysayers had a few people in their corner and the naysayers…well, they didn’t starve.

“I shall destroy their worldly goods!” Cried Princess McBitchyPants. Unfortunately for the princess, that would’ve put her in big, big trouble with a kingdom much larger and stronger and less tolerant of destruction of their rightful property.

“I shall make them cry into their pillows at night!” Screeched Princess McBitchyPants. Unfortunately for the princess, it would take more than crying at night to weaken the naysayers.

Princess McBitchyPants hoped fervently for the naysayers to go away and while she waited for that magical moment to arrive, she stomped around her kingdom kissing frogs and then beating the newly transformed princes over the head with a mallet until they begged to become frogs again.

The End.

A very long post about nothing at all

You know what sucks? Two migraines in a week. The first one was pretty bad but this one is worse by far. I was sitting here at my desk being all workish and whatnot when suddenly this feeling washed over me. Migraine sufferers, you know the one. That weighty, slightly disoriented, woozy feeling. So I just sat here, waiting for the aura (worse than the headache that follows, IMO, because I hate not being able to see). It didn’t come. Things got a little fuzzy and bright but no aura. I had some stuff to deliver around the building, so I set off on that task. Got halfway to my first destination and realized that hey! I shouldn’t be walking around. Came back downstairs and POOF! I can barely see right now. If you’ve never had the aura, just think back to the last time you glanced at the sun reflecting off the windshield of a car. Now multiply that by fifty and make it last about half an hour. Welcome to hell.

I’m coming toward the end of Emma’s War and with all the background Deborah Scoggins gives on Sudan, relief work, outside influence, and tribal warring, I have a whole new view on things like humanitarian aid, NGOs, and our place in countries like Sudan as a member of the global community. She mentions bin Laden a lot, as he spent quite a bit of time in Sudan training people to blow things up. The end of her story takes place during Somalia and just before Rwanda, so some of my “awakenings” occurred because of her comparisons between Somalia and Sudan.

I’m so getting arrested by Homeland Security because I said the BL word!

Scoggins relates a story that while in Mogadishu, one of their guardsmen, who was Burmese (perhaps Somali? I don’t remember. He wasn’t white.), was shot at the compound, so they rushed him to the hospital run by this aid agency. The guard at the gate told Scoggins and others that this man would have to go elsewhere even though he was bleeding to death right there in the car. Scoggins lied and told him she and the wounded man both worked for the aid agency and it was a whole new ballgame. Come in, come in. Enjoy the E.R.!
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Blah blah? Blah blah blahblahblah!


Have I mentioned that there are two broken keys on my laptop now? They wobble oh-so-nicely. Well, one of them wobbles. The other is gone completely.

I just got out of the shower, thinking that hot water and steam and yummy smelling shampoo would soothe away this cranky, sharp-edged whatever that keeps jabbing itself into my brain. But no. If anything, it has given the cranky, sharp-edged whatever more energy. A curse on both your houses! Though my hair does smell lovely.

I just finished reading my Jane Green book. It was so evil! I put it down, thinking I was ready for some sleep but the book had sucked me in. I blame the book on this cranky, sharp-edged whatever. Anyhow, I just had to finish the book to see if Tom grew up with a mum and dad who hated each other a lot. And also, if you have a friend who is a single mother and feels no qualms about strutting around you and your husband and your friend and her husband AND your in-laws topless to show off her new breasts? You might want to like, keep your distance. And get your father-in-law a chastity belt. I’m just sayin’.

I’m afraid of the dark! Did you know that? Yep. I am. Afraid of the dark. I have night lights and everything. They are all plugged in now that I’m alone.

I wish there was a 24-hour Anderson Cooper channel. I’d call it Anderson Cooper In My Bed. Not that we’d be, you know, doing it since he and I are likely to fight over dates, but he could tell me about all the tragic things he has seen and I could…hold his little manicured hand and pet his pretty silver hair. He would make me feel safe and not so afraid of waking up in the middle of the night and finding some drooling madman at the foot of the bed holding a machete.


I suck.

Hodeedohdohhooooheeehaa! Tralalalaloooolaloootra!