Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Importance of Reading Ernest

If I have learned anything from my college career, it is that Ernest Hemingway is my spirit author.

Spirit author=spirit animal, except for it's not an animal, it's a person.  Who is an author.

Anyway, Ernest Hemingway is my spirit author because, first of all, he is secretly a fox and I just love it when people are as attractive as the actor who would play them in a movie is.  You know?

Second of all, Ernest Hemingway is my homie because he has lots of really great quotes about writing that ring very true to me.  Such as the following:

But mostly because his prose is the most beautiful, spare, true prose I've ever read.  He is a masterful, clean writer.  

So, in everything I write these days, I earnestly (pun!) try to be like Ernest.  I tend to think, and talk, and write, in run-on sentences.  Followed by fragments.  And then run-on sentences, probably a lot of them, that use lots of clauses and commas, and go on forever.  And that's bad.  Because don't we all just want to talk about things as they are and should be in as few words as possible?  I'm trying to be more economical with my writing, but mostly with my real-life interactions.  If I don't have anything to apologize for, I shouldn't.  If I don't have to explain something, it should be left unsaid.  

It's important to say what I think, in the way that I mean.  But anything else I say is unimportant.   

That is my one great insight into life.
Read this.  It is by Ernest, and it is perfect.

I call Ernest by his first name.  Because he's my spirit author.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I just wanted to throw a Cinco de Mayo party.

This is what happened to me last night when I went to Rancho Grande Supermarket.

First of all, I walk in, realize immediately that this place is terrifying.  Flickering fluorescent lights, dirty floors, toothless people, spilled produce.  It is kind of like a nightmare.  But that's fine.  I am in the market for cheap, authentic Mexican groceries and I also think I am really hardcore and urban.

So, I start bagging some avocados (2 for $1!).  An old man walks up and says, "Avocados!  I love these!  Can I get them?" ...to no one in particular.  Then he looks at me and says, "Sorry, ma'am."  Oh yeah, he wasn't wearing a shirt.  Or shoes.

And I'm just like, "It's okay..."

Then I walk away and go to get some tomatillos (2 lbs for $1!).  A man comes up and also starts picking up tomatillos.  And then he starts talking to me rapidly and animatedly in Spanish and I am embarrassed to admit that with five years of Spanish classes under my belt, I couldn't understand anything he was saying except for the word "salsa".    And so I was like, "Si, salsa!"  And he was like "Si, salsa! Cilantro, onion, tomatillo..." and then I unfortunately couldn't understand anything else he said, which is a travesty because his salsa recipe is probably fantastic.  He forms his arms into a circle, like maybe he was making a bowl for salsa out of his arms?  And I was like, "si!  delicioso!"  And he was like, "me likey!"

And then I smiled and walked away.  I pick up a bunch of cilantro (for like 77 cents, maybe), and out of NOWHERE there is a tiny white woman in a hat and lots of layers of cardigans and she says, "Oh I just love this stuff" and brings a bunch of cilantro to her chest. And I say, "I also like cilantro."  And she says, "Oh, I just want to make a bed out of this stuff and sleeeep in it!"

And then I smiled and walked away.  I go to the canned goods section, pick up some chipotle peppers (2 cans for $1, natch), and of course, out of nowhere, the salsa guy is back.  And he points at the peppers and is like, "Oh, si, salsa!  Cilantro, onion, tomatillo..." while making a bowl with his hands.  And I say, "Oh, si!  Salsa!  Si."  And then he just keeps talking to me in Spanish, making weird gestures with his hands and I just keep nodding and saying si and then slowly walk away.

I pick up some other weird stuff like cotija cheese and Mexican jello (I got vanilla flavor.  It's going to be so gross but I want to try it.) and cake mix from the super clearance bin and hot sauce.  And then I spot some tortilla chips that look like they were made in-house and look so freaking delicious and crunchy.  So, I pick up three bags ($1.90 per), turn around, and there's the salsa guy.  "Chips!  Salsa, si? Cilantro, onion, tomatillo!"

And then he makes that bowl out of his hands again and I'm like,

to MYSELF.  Like, what is this conversation we're having really about?

I finally get to checkout and the checkout guy says, Buenos tardes!  but then sees me and is like Oh hey, how's it going.

A couple failed card swipe attempts later, he's handing me back my debit card, at which point he says, "Where did you get those beautiful eyes?"  which is the most awkward thing anyone has ever said to me ever so I'm like, "Oh, thank you."  But then he was like, "No really, you mother or your father?"

Like, he was genuinely just curious about my genetic make-up.  Not even hitting on me at all.  So I'm like, "Oh, my mom, I guess" and then I take my receipt and get the heck out of dodge.

Here's the scorecard:

Dollars spent: $33.19
Number of friends made: At least 4, am I right?
Utiles of street cred earned:  0
Number of secret salsa recipes acquired: 0
Likelihood I will return: 17%