03 May 2008

It's Not Just Love; It's Life.

mix tapes, originally uploaded by newrambler.

I just finished a book that Kerry lent me shortly after we started dating. I had to put it down for most of the semester, 'cause I'm an English major. Putting down books to read books is what we do best. That and talk like pretentious Douchebags.

I may have officially graduated today. I'm not really sure; there's a bursar loan services hold on my Ball State account, and the bursar's office isn't open until Monday. I did figure out that I owed a quarter from a library fine. (I don't remember having anything overdue this semester--maybe a final good luck and goodbye from Erin? If not, then I owe her the good luck/goodbye.)

At any rate, I'm starting to mourn Muncie and I'm starting to feel anxious about moving to Memphis. So much so that I couldn't sleep last night. As I'd mentioned, I finished the book Kerry lent me, Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield.

The book tore my shit up. I want to meet Rob Sheffield. If I do, I will first punch him for making me cry like a baby. I will then hug him for making me cry like a baby. I will then have him sign the book for Kerry. Then we will probably trade mixtapes, and I'll hug him again, because I totally understand why the book made me cry.

It also made me laugh. Less like a baby, more like a toddler:

One night I had a bit of a revelation. I was up late, as usual, unable to sleep, drinking ginger ale and flipping channels, looking for something to soothe my nerves, the way a Discovery Channel panda forages for bamboo. This time I found something--a newsmagazine piece about a breaking news story in Milwaukee. I watched with awe and reverence. The story concerned a nacho dwarf. He was the most famous and successful nacho dwarf in Milwaukee--maybe the world. His job was walking around in a Mexican restaurant wearing an oversized sombrero with a brim full of tasty nachos. The crown of the sombrero held a cup of salsa. The nacho dwarf greeted the customers, shook hands, worked the room. He would invite everybody to sample the treats he had on his head. He was there to serve. He was there to honor the nacho-dwarf code.

Understandably, quite a few of his fellow dwarves felt this was a degrading and insulting gig. Steve Vento (for that was his name), a former car salesman (for that was his trade), disagreed. He proclaimed himself proud to be a nacho dwarf.But other dwarves complained angrily that he was perpetuating inhumane stereotypes and encouraging mistreatment of non-nacho dwarves. In fact, they were protesting the restaurant, demanding a boycott until the nacho dwarf was canned.

I watched this with intense fascination. They showed a clip from the Anthony Michael Hall movie Johnny Be Good, which apparently had a party scene that had inspired the whole nacho-dwarf thing. They showed the dwarf lawyer who was representing the protesters. And they showed the nacho dwarf himself, defending his profession. He implied that maybe the other dwarves were just a little jealous that they did not have the talent to make it as a nacho dwarf. They resented his success, so they were trying to drive a fellow dwarf out of work and into the gutter. Why, they were taking food right out of his mouth!

"We are not trying to take food out of Mr. Vento's mouth," said the lawyer. "We are merely trying to take it off his head."

And then, dear friends, at those words, a little light flickered in my mind. Some sort of divine revelation started to make itself clear before my eyes, and a voice began to articulate unto me the horrible truth: I needed to get out of the apartment more. No, I really needed to get out of the apartment more.

And that, dear friends, is the reason I love this book. Well, that and it expresses a lot of fears and hopes I have regarding marriage, and though Sheffield's taste is questionable, his love of music is undeniable and infectious.

Also there's a really great section on the varying types of mix tapes, but I don't want to blog a passage that long ever again.


Meghan said...

I'm pleased that you liked that book. I, too, cried.

Glad to have found you on the Wide, Wide World of Webtasticness.

amy said...

i loved that book, also...same reaction. god, it was great!