TODAY WAS SPENT not really doing much, like most Saturdays lately-- when I'm not working that is. We went to the middle school again, and while J did his basketball drills, I sat on the still hot steps on the edge of the outdoor courts and read from Self Help, one of my favorite collections of short stories from one of my favorite short story writers, Lorrie Moore. If you've never really done much short story reading, I recommend her as one of the more accessible of modern authors. I spend a lot of time rereading from her books (and Flannery O'Connor and George Saunders and plenty others) and today I was stuck on one of the pieces that I usually glance over, "How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)". It's pretty ingenious how she works with form and storytelling and the second person. She writes a majority of the collection's pieces in second person, which is something she's known for and very good at. Anyway, this particular story is written in short segments by year, in reverse. I read it forward and backward, and both ways are equally as poignant. It's a fairly short short story, so if you want to have a quick read, go here to Narrative.com. It's free to sign up and get access to the text. You won't be sorry. Let me know how you like it!
What are some of your favorite re-reads?
Afterwards, we came home and made dinner and took it outside to eat while watching another favorite, Raising Arizona. J is the biggest Nic Cage fan I've ever met and you almost can never go wrong with a Coen brothers movie, especially one as funny as this. It's also where the title of this post comes from (Salad days refer to that youthful, happy and naive time when things are great and you don't really have any concerns or responsibilities). We set up the sheet that I got from Goodwill with some twine and clothespins in the backyard. It gets a little breezy sometimes so I laid some old shutters from a discarded display at the Anthropologie where I work. It and the twinkle lights and various wind chimes make for a pretty great summertime backyard. We initiated it last weekend with a little bbq and Goonies screening with my roommates and a few friends, and we'll probably make it a weekly thing. It's nice to be able to hang out outside at night since it gets pretty hot in the house after a day of triple-digit heat. ♢