If the only thing you read is Sports Illustrated every week, please, for the love of sweet tapdancing christ, don't tell me that you read 'a lot.' Because we all know that only one in thousands actually read magazines - particularly a whole magazine. First of all, half of any magazine is ads. Secondly, (and we all know this to be true) almost - and I stress almost - the only time anyone reads an entire magazine is when there's nothing else to do (airplanes, doctors' offices, etc.). Most of the time we read snipits. In Sports Illustrated I'm guessing that a large number of subscribers look at the pictures and read the captions and then look over some synopses of games and scores. This is the equivalent of watching ESPN at the bar with the captions on. Which means it isn't reading, let alone reading 'a lot.'

I don't really care if you read a lot or not. If you have the ability to have a conversation about something other than what's on Entertainment Tonight or how you spent the weekend playing the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, I'm perfectly happy. If you don't have that ability, well then, I probably don't want to talk to you, but I don't think you'll mind. I just don't want the bullshit line fed to me as if saying it will make it true and impress me.



I am probably more easily annoyed than I should be. I recognize it. And yet, I don't think there's anything I can do about it.

Some of the things that annoy me? The list goes a little something like this (in no particular order):

People who say ‘hella’. Dogs that fall into the ‘toy’ category. Dry skin. Belly shirts. Bad bleach jobs. White stockings on anyone over the age of 9. Chamber music. The smell of burning plastic. Panty lines. Dark lip liner with light lipstick. The smell of fried food in my clothes. Scented ink. Celine Dion. The expression ‘don’t go there’. Light shoes with a dark outfit. Black Reebocks. Dress socks with shorts. Clothes that don’t fit anymore. Designer coffee drinks. People who talk on cell phones at the table. Tom Cruise. Self-help books. War movies. NASA movies. Idle conversation. Berry flavored drinks. Rocky Road ice cream. ‘Moist’. Low batteries in my vibrator. Cats. People who dress their pets. Couples who dress alike. Yellow cake. The sound of wet shoes. Dirt. Bites of any kind. Undercooked pasta. The expression, ‘what’s up with that?’. Flat tires. Underwire. Guys who wear their baseball caps backwards all the time. People who wear sunglasses that wrap around the sides of their head. Short boots. People who like bands until they ‘sell out’. Phil Collins. Genesis. Women who act like idiots to get a boyfriend. Lite Beer. Plastic cups. Jogging. Adults who act like infants. People who don’t turn off their cell phones in the movies. When movies say ‘The End’ at the end. Shania Twain. PDAs. Excessive use of the word ‘exquisite’. Vegetarians who are constantly asking ‘is there meat in this?’. Fluorescent lights. Pesto. People who are embarrassed to buy condoms. Men who won’t buy tampons. Supposably. Irregardless. The fact that I care about my weight. God is my co-pilot. Jesus loves you. Mean people suck. Dull wiper blades. Sport Utility Vehicles. No Turn On Red. Don’t Even Think of Parking Here. Vanity plates. Tanning salons. People who say ‘karatay’. Anchovies. Dirty sponges. Vogue. When people pretend to know what you’re talking about but obviously don’t have any idea. Patchouli. Rich kid hippies. Give us a week we’ll take off the weight. Telethons. Bad sex. Burned cookies. Pennies. Ones. Dead bugs in the light fixture. Animal hair on my clothes. Rodents as pets. Arguing in public. No toilet paper. Juliet Lewis. People who hum while they eat. Men who show chest hair. Ponytails on balding men. Tattoos of the Warner Bros. cartoon characters. Mascots. Diesel fumes. Shoelaces that are too short. People who can’t laugh at themselves. Drink cozies. Saying infer when you mean imply. Picasso. Citrus sauces. Wet pretzels. Newsprint on my cuffs. The phone bill. People who say ‘peace’ instead of goodbye. Telemarketers. Actors who do bad accents. Bands with names longer than this sentence. T-tops. Missing my soap. Blanket statements. Unwelcome phone calls. Surprise parties. Crudités. Pretentious bartenders. Roommates. Cheesy porn. Tucked in t-shirts. Hickeys. Colored socks. Cramps. When people use words but they don’t know what they mean. Tolls. Empty cigarette packs. Losing my keys. Knots in my jewelry. Unconvincing liars. Flat champagne. Broken popcorn. Watery dip. Pudding skin. Foggy glasses. Bernadette Peters. Adults who wear clothes with Winnie the Pooh on them. Soggy Band Aids. Paper cuts. Insomnia. Forgetting why I went into the living room in the first place. Razor burn. Capped teeth. Hair plugs. Boring anecdotes. People who talk about themselves in third person. People who introduce themselves as ‘Dr.’. Stella Tenant. Green contacts. Easy listening. Computer problems. Colds. Bruises. No Signal. Scratched CDs. People who blast crappy music on their car stereos. People who never know what you said to them the first time. Predictable movies. Predictable novels. The movie The English Patient. Bad jokes. Men who don’t go down. Paying too much for a meal. Whining. Tiphani. People who make editorial comments about your food. Grown men who still call themselves Junior. Grown men who still use the Y version of their name: Tommy, Jimmy, Bobby. Dude, I was so wasted. Surly DMV employees. Obsequiousness. People who play music on their outgoing message on the machine. Euphemisms for sex. Inspirational calendars. Cold food that’s supposed to be hot. Shopping carts with a broken wheel. Grease on my hands. When good songs are used in commercials. Ricki Lake. Crumbs in my bed. People who can’t control their dogs. Tepid dish water. Pulls in my sweaters. Runs in my stockings. Family gatherings. Reflexologists. People who make no attempt to hide the fact that they’re eavesdropping. Stripped screws. Rusty paperclips. Fringe on shirts. Just Say No. People who only want to ‘call it even’ when they owe you money. Gum under tables. Movies that promote themselves using the phrase ‘strength of the human spirit’. Phyllis Schlafly. The smell of mildew. Decks of cards missing one card. Bad hair cuts. Chipped nail polish. People who encroach on your personal space. People who have no opinion of their own. Bad directions. Bad fake accents. Bad impressions. Hair in my mouth. Hair in my eyes. Last minute cancellations. People who are always late. People who know your name but pretend they don’t. Watered down drinks. Flat soda. Cheap lingerie. The McCaughey septuplets. Simutaneous. Motivational speakers. Snotty sales clerks. Logos on clothes. Excessive PDA. Teen horror movies. Terms of endearment. Televised golf. Carson Daly. Zero Tolerance Policies. Three-strikes Laws. Splinters. Wet socks. Hangnails. Dust bunnies. My ex-husband. Foggy glasses. Wet dog smell. Broken heels. Burned out teachers. Faded construction paper. Dull knives. Flat beer. When you’re following someone in the car and they keep going through yellow lights. The Bridges of Madison County, book or movie. Bad kissers. William Shatner. Significant other. Oprah’s Book Club. Ralph Reed. The Christian Coalition. Burnt toast. Stale beer smell. Three’s Company. Lace collars. Pink wines. Movies based on cartoons. Greasy soup. Sporks. People who aren’t Italian who say Ciao. Dropping stitches when I knit. Cell phones that match an outfit. Cap sleeves. Black dishes. Locking my keys in the trunk. Chunky peanut butter. Salads with fruit. The Plain Dealer. Yogurt with sprinkles. Box drinks. Broken corks. Ugly stamps. High heels with shorts. Achy joints. Velour. The smell of burnt hair. Skorts. Loafers. Unsolicited advice. When one of my pretend boyfriends gets married. I’m not a racist; I have black friends. Second guessing myself. Heartburn. Heartache. Toothaches. Popcorn shells. Insincere apologies. Guilt. People who refuse to see movies with subtitles. Losing buttons. Broken zippers. Hiking. Mike Tyson. Bill O’Reilly. Tax season. Torn book jackets. Wet shoe laces. Jules Asner. Name-dropping.


The Oscar of the Book World

I was at a reputable, small bookseller a couple of days ago looking around for something new to read. A woman in her thirties approached as I had Cloud Atlas in my hand. "Oh, Cloud Atlas, that's supposed to be great. It won the Man Booker Prize - that's like the Oscar of the book world, so you know it's gotta be good." That's when I saw her NAMETAG.

From a regular person I would have chuckled about the remark and that would have been the end of it. But for an employee of a book store to say such a thing is unconscionable. First of all, not only did she erroneously proclaim Cloud Atlas the winner of the Booker, but she compared it to an Oscar and then made the further mistake of correlating prizes with quality. Cloud Atlas was a finalist for the prize (I had the book in my hand and it says so on the cover) but didn't win - and I'm not smearing the book. I love David Mitchell and being a finalist is awesome. And if you're going to compare it to a film award - and I don't recommend it - it should be compared to say, a BAFTA. Let's, please, keep the national distinctions distinguished from one another. Now, I live in Los Angeles, so maybe associating a book with movies is a way to sell books, but I really believe that, if you're prone to these types of ridiculous outbursts, you should not be allowed to work in a book store. That's that. If you can't come up with anything better than The Oscar of the Book World, you should be ashamed - and possibly fired.