Is there something wrong…

Is there something wrong with me if I don't think David Sedaris is all that funny? I'm halfway through Me Talk Pretty One Day, and I'm liking the little essays well enough -- if I ran across one of them in a magazine, I'd give it a B+, I think; worth my time to read it. But the back cover makes it sound like I should be crying with the effort of not laughing or some such, and honestly, these don't even make me crack a smile. Maybe there's something wrong with my sense of humor. David Lodge makes me laugh sometimes, and P.G. Wodehouse actually makes me laugh out loud. So it's possible. But I'm not sure I even realized most of these essays were supposed to be funny until after I read the back cover. Weird.

I also wish there were more coherence to the book overall. There's some common themes of alienation, not-fitting-in in various communities, etc. But so far, the essays aren't layering into a more coherent, complex whole for me. Maybe I only care because I'm working on my own nonfiction book. Of course, I do wish some of my book would separate out into little essays that I could sell individually, and I'm not sure that's going to be possible given the form, so there are clearly trade-offs. But I think the random collection of essays is just a weaker structure for a book-length work. Thoughts?

Didn't make it through much of the list yesterday, but I did do some big, time-consuming organizational tasks, so is okay, I think. Lots of them involved carrying stuff, and while I made Kevin carry anything actually heavy, carrying lots of small things is also quite tiring. By dinnertime, I was wiped out, and thankfully used one of the gift certificates we got at a baby shower to order dinner from Francesca's -- ravioli, shrimp diavolo, steak. Just could not face cooking, not that we had much in the way of edible food in the fridge anyway...I had ramen for lunch, and didn't want to do that again for dinner, even with a side of leftover carrots. :-) So grateful for the gift certificate, which allowed us to order out guilt-free. Did I mention, it takes a village to raise a child -- and that's before the child even gets here?

Speaking of child not being here yet, Kevin's mom was very sweet on the phone yesterday, insisting that I absolutely got to count myself as a mother for Mother's Day this year, because I'd spent nine months already taking care of this baby. Kevin also argued that expectant mothers count. So a belated Happy Mother's Day to all the expectant mothers out there (along with the actual mothers, of course :-). So far, three of my good friends have gotten pregnant in the past few months; I'm crossing my fingers for one more couple right now. If they manage it soon, it'll be much fun sharing baby stories with them. Of course, I'm going to inflict diaper tales on you guys too...

It's a gorgeous morning right now -- ideal weather with the windows open, and birds are singing on the bird feeder right outside. Little house finches, I think. I'm just feeling happy. It'll be too hot later (high in the 80s), but right now, it's perfect. Here's today's to-do list, mostly leftover from yesterday:

  • hang other small shelf (11:00 - done)
  • organize area at top of stairs (11:30 - done)
  • order baby monitor (11:45 - done)
  • final doctors' appt. pre-baby (2:30 - done)
  • deposit Kriti checks (3:30 - done)
  • hand in final grades (7:00 - done)
  • finish Roosevelt admin work
  • finish thank-you cards for baby showers
  • finalize VOR/Kriti finances
  • answer remaining Kriti e-mails (to panelists)
  • pick up Joseph's Coat climber if available (check with Chris after 5)
  • plant a few more annuals on the roof to fill out pots
  • clear roof of dead plant debris
  • file taxes
  • file citizenship application

3 thoughts on “Is there something wrong…”

  1. I was starting to reply that, “Yes there is something wrong with you” until I read far enough to see that your were reading him. I realize that my love of his work comes from listening to him on NPR. The only way to really experience David is to hear him. Delivery is everything.

    You are also correct that his books aren’t terribly coherent. He is essentially an essayist (or perhaps a storyteller) and when he has enough essays piled up, he puts out a book. If you really want to overdose, there is a 14-CD boxed set for about $50 on Amazon.

    With all of love,

    C. J. Czelling

  2. Actually, I was already about to take it back, as I just started reading the second half of the book, and I did chuckle at the first three essays about learning French. So maybe I was just too tired last night to find anything funny. Or maybe he’s funnier in bad French. 🙂

  3. I have been using Sedaris for years as an example of the subjectivity of humor (and, for that matter, creative work in general). Humor is part of my stock in trade, and I don’t generally find his writing to be funny at all. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with Sedaris, or with me; there’s just no such thing as something that’s funny to everybody.

    Though it is nice to have backup. 🙂

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