Tag Archives: what I’m reading

How Tina Fey disappointed me, or What I’m Reading vol. 4 – Bossypants

Those of you who know me are shocked by the fact that this book disappointed me. Or are you? Let’s face it. I have spent the last six months anticipating this book. I built it up to be a revelation, a new Bible for me. Obviously it wouldn’t live up to the hype I created in my own mind-grapes.

I like to imagine that if Tina Fey met me, we would be besties immediately.  Tina would say, “When I look at you, it’s like looking in a mirror!  A funhouse mirror that makes me a foot taller and fifty pounds heavier. ”  She would invite me over to hang out with her and Amy Poehler, and we would be eating cake and ice cream and laughing, and then Will Arnett would join us and tell outrageous stories.

Of course, I know this will never happen.  I just had the idea that Tina’s book would be the equivalent of my dream.  I thought she’d share her innermost thoughts, and awkward and/or painful memories from an awkward and/or painful youth.

Instead, this was a memoir written by a very private person.  This was even more guarded than Clay Aiken’s memoir (and his memoir was written before he came out of the closet!).  Now, I understand how difficult it is to write a memoir, because I am trying to write one.  I got stuck because I didn’t even want to think about approaching the painful things I would have to write about.  Writing about the bad things that happened to you is like removing a band aid verrrry, verrrry, verrrry slowly.

So, yes, it makes sense to me that Tina didn’t want to go in depth about how she got her facial scar.  I understand that she doesn’t want to have to repeat the story over and over again.  However, Tina basically glossed over anything that was painful or meaningful or deep.  She didn’t talk about how she met her husband, or her adventures with Amy Poehler, or stories about touring with Second City, or dirt on her time at SNL.

Instead, you get a general overview of her life.  Yes, it is hilarious.  Yes, I enjoyed reading it.  Yes, I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Tina’s work.

I guess I’m just disappointed because I thought that by reading the book I would have insight into what Tina is really like as a person, and I don’t.  The most honest chapter in the book is the one about whether or not she should have a second child.  (Obviously this dilemma has been resolved, because she’s pregnant again!  Congratulations, Tina!)

I think this disappointment speaks more to my mental illness and need for validation than anything else.  I thought that I would read this book and say to myself, yes,  I really am just like Tina Fey!

Turns out I am more like Liz Lemon, and Liz Lemon is not really like Tina Fey at all.


What I’m Reading – Vol. 3 – 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth

What first comes to your mind when I say the word Oatmeal?

1.  A porridge usually eaten for breakfast

2.  The Quaker Oats dude

3.  Funny, absurdist comics that can be seen on the interwebs at theoatmeal.com

If you said #3, then you are correct.  The Oatmeal is my favorite comic website, along with Hark, a vagrant by Kate Beaton.  If you’re the type of person who saves their favorite web comics as a PDF (because the internet is not FOREVER), then this book is for you.  Yes, instead of managing hundreds of PDFs, you can keep them all in the convenient and portable dead tree format!

The Oatmeal is not a formless blob, he is a human being!

I had the good fortune to head out to Book People Wednesday night to attend an Oatmeal book signing.  Before he signed his books, he gave a 20 minute presentation.  I laughed in my usual manner (this means that I sounded like a cross between a braying donkey and a dying hyena).  I apologize to those seated near me at the time.

The Oatmeal is not a blobby fat guy with no pupils.  In reality, he’s a skinny, cute guy.  This may be upsetting to people who can’t face reality, so if you are that type, please stop reading.

I have a feeling that the presentation he gave will be the same information he’s going to present at SXSWi, so IN YOUR FACE!  I didn’t have to get a badge to enjoy a hilarious evening with one of the most popular bloggers in the blogosphere and beyond!  (I secretly am sad that I don’t have a badge and can’t get time off to enjoy SXSW.  Boo hoo being a responsible adult is a bitch!)

The Oatmeal was very gracious to everyone who waited in line to get their book signed.  The line moved very slowly because he took the time to speak with every single person, pose for pictures, and all sorts of other niceties.  His comics might be subversive and a little bit mean sometimes, but in person he is a DELIGHT.

I would recommend his book to anyone who needs a good laugh.  If you would rather be a mopey saddoe, then please go buy a Sylvia Plath book instead.

What I’m Reading – Vol. 2 – Sh*t My Dad Says

Currently reading: Sh*t My Dad Says

I got this book for Christmas, and I’m just now getting around to reading it.  I have been way behind on my book reading, but now that I have a motivation to read (aka this blog), I am getting caught up!

First of all, I have not seen the TV show, nor will I.  As much as I love The Shat, this seems like a middle-of-the-road typical sitcom and there are too many other good shows on TV Thursday nights.

Also, even though this book is based on the famous twitter feed @shitmydadsays, it’s got more than a list of quips from the author’s father. (Which reminds me, DO NOT BUY ROGER STERLING’S MAD MEN BOOK that came out last year. It is a HUGE RIPOFF and just has quotes from the TV show. I was greatly disappointed.) Every chapter is a little anecdote about the author and his dad, followed by some relevant quotes from the dad, which are hilarious.

The book is a quick read – I finished it in a couple of hours. With the way my attention span is these days, this is a good thing. I have a hard time reading something that is too dense. I blame Twitter, of course. Everything has become “tl; dr”. I find myself skimming through things that I should take my time with. I didn’t skim with this book because it just jogs along at a nice pace, and you don’t feel bogged down.

On a personal note, I didn’t really have a close relationship with my dad. Once I became a sullen teenager, he didn’t really spend much time with me, and for the last few years of his life we didn’t speak at all. I’m not trying to get sympathy, just stating a fact. Because I didn’t really have a dad in my life once I became an adult, it was very enjoyable for me to read this book and live vicariously through the writer.

Despite the fact that the dad comes across as a real mean bastard when you read the Twitter feed, the truth is that he is a good father deep down. When I finished the book, I had no doubt that he loves his son. Not that the book is sappy, but it is heartwarming and sweet in several places, and I laughed more than once while reading it.

What I’m Reading – Vol. 1 – The Anglo Files

Yes, what a big surprise, I am reading a book about England!  I have been an Anglophile for almost my entire life, but I have never actually been overseas.  This is due to a lack of funds, a hatred of long flights, and fear of flying over the water for hours.  I am not sure I’ll ever go, so I thought I’d grab this book and live vicariously.

The author is an American journalist who married an Englishman.  Yeah, she is pretty much living my dream.  I have a friend who is having a long-distance relationship with a Brit, and I have to admit I’m supremely jealous of her.

I’ve always thought that British men were classy, genteel, and sensitive.  I’m about halfway through this book and the author has made them out to be rude, boorish alcoholics who wear ladies’ knickers under their suits.  (Although I personally enjoy boys who are in touch with their feminine side.)

The reviews on amazon.com are all berating the author for being too critical of England and Brits in general.  However, as someone who gets misunderstood all the time, I don’t think she is trying to be mean.  I think she is trying to be funny but it’s just taken the wrong way.  I’ve found many reasons to laugh while reading the book.  So everyone just needs to lighten up!  It’s good to have the rose-colored glasses taken off so you can see what everything really looks like.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but I would recommend it to anyone who has secretly fantasized about marrying a British rock star/poet/lord/knight/whatever.  If you’re actually from England, maybe you shouldn’t read it.  It might make you angry.