• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
  • Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
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Free Concert

Louisville is a surprisingly happening town, and I was forever too exhausted by the Great Stack to happen with it. Oh, but I was fully able to enjoy the Belle of Louisville and all its calliopeness.

As children of the Ohio River, Julie The Nephews Mama and I were onboard the Belle as a little accountant and little obsessive-compulsive writer, and I brought home a little captain's hat, and so the Belle and I have always gotten along reasonably well. I ain't got no riverboat hate. Then she had to go and piss me right off.

My roommate and I were initially charmed when the Belle, parked on the Ohio directly beneath our window, struck up her calliope. We stood at the window and watched the steam rise from the pipes, wondering how one got to be a calliope player on a steamboat: Do you major in it? Is there a body of serious calliope literature? How, exactly, do you practice without the entire river knowing about it?

The calliope wound down, and we all basked in the glory of it, and lay down on our beds for some hugely needed Great Stack-related recovery, recovery that can only come from utter unconsciousness. "Wasn't that nice to experience?" we said to one another. "Aren't we lucky to have a hotel room facing the river!"

The calliope agreed, and struck up a a Disney medley. We returned to the window. To draw the heavy curtains in a vain attempt to drown out the charmingness. It was done when we returned to bed, but no! Time for "The Entertainer!"

Meghan announced that the baby was kicking terribly, probably because, in his super-intelligent fetus state, he was well aware that "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" was on the horizon.

Every time the music faded, we'd have two minutes of utter silence, during which we said to one another, "Well, it wasn't that bad," and think it was done, and then rrrrtahhhhh!, the thing would start up again. Such was the evil of the calliope: Just when you thought you were safe, it jabbed you in the back of the neck with its old timey-ness and freakin' JOY.

The only resource was to call every single person I knew to complain, since I couldn't very well trot down to the landing and ask the the captain, all, "Yeah, can you turn your calliope down a little bit?"

It didn't help.

steam powered at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com



I am staying at the best hotel in the WOOOOOOORRRRRLLLLLD as I work through the Great Stack.

First, you should understand that I have not one roommate, but two; the woman assigned to my room is seven months pregnant.  She is a people person, which is actually good, because otherwise after eight hours of "This play is about Hamlet and his girlfriend, Othello" I would otherwise squinch up in a very small ball indeed for about fourteen hours.

We went to the pool the other night, which I normally do not enjoy, because there are certain issues of cellulite and my extreme dislike of displaying it.  So I backed out of the water as I finished my swim, lower-body wrap immediately in place, and I was, I was-- are you ready?--I was hit on by the lifeguard, who was not one second over eighteen.

Here's his line, okay: "I hope the water is cool.  I wish they'd let us take our shirts off when we work."

I didn't quite know what to say to that, other than, "Please do not look at my butt," so I was all, "...That... sucks?"  Because I was out of practice where that sort of thing is concerned, and was ringless for the swim, and also pretty much do not care, particularly, about being picked up these days.

This made me feel very lovely about myself, and I strutted back down the pool to my pregnant roommate.  "I saw that," she said.  And I turned around to put my sandals on, and I also saw... the lifeguard engaged in equally intent conversation with the sixty-year-old man whose beer belly was squished up against the pool ladder.

Maybe he strutted, too.

take it when you can get it at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com



I'm reading TONITE, TONITE, TONITE here in the presence of the Great Stack. Details be here.

I will tell you more about the Great Stack very soon-- the second I regain my will to live.  It's tougher this year.  I don't know if it's because I'm married or older or pissier or ovulating or what.  At the moment, however, there is naught but mangled thesis statements and such solemn pronouncements as, "In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen created the world's most famous heroin."

one line at a time at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Belmont Hangover

Saturday, June 7, 2008: The Day of Former Absolutely Sure Things.

This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Clinton, and it will soon see the end of Big Brown in a starting gate.

Enjoy the breeding shed, colt colt baby.

another year, another almost-there at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Bachelorhood part 2

With Mary Beth in Kentucky for the next week, I'm rediscovering the elements of bachelorhood I had almost forgotten:

- Deciding whether or not to take a shower based on time available rather than if I think she'll notice

- Licking my plate without having to make sure she's not looking

- Not having someone to come home to at the end of the day

- No one to curl up with at bed time

- Talking to my girl on the phone knowing she's far away rather than at home waiting for me

The point is I'm getting a big reminder why I got married.  Bachelorhood sucks!