Hugh and I spent weeks in the summer of 2007 studying. During that time, I learned the difference between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. I learned that in 1857 women in the U.K. won the right to divorce their husbands. I learned that people below the age of sixteen cannot deliver milk in the U.K., but I don’t think I learned why. It was just one of those weird English injustices, like summer.
Before taking the real test, I took the fake ones provided at the back of the study manual. “What is the traditional meat served for Christmas dinner?” was one of the questions. Another was “How might you stop young people playing tricks on you at Halloween?” It was multiple-choice, and possible answers included “call the police” and “hide from them.”
a little Sedaris for all
If you need some encouragement, rejection letters of the immensely talented are always helpful.
Self-help books often advise that the fastest way to achieve success is through failure: failing often and failing up. Even great writers like George Orwell suffered setbacks, like when his novel Animal Farm was rejected as a “stupid and pointless fable” by Knopf Publishers in 1945. So when the Sundance Film Festival asked artist and photographer Taryn Simon to create something to kick off its Free Fail campaign, a series of panels “designed to embrace failure as essential to risk-taking, innovation, and the creative process,” she decided to make a video flip book of rejection letters.
But in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it section between those two bookends is: A rejection letter from the music label Sub Pop that begins “Dear Loser,” a denial from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and a rejection of a Star Trek spec script. There is also a letter – recently noted by Meryl Streep in her National Board of Review gala speech honoring Emma Thompson and slamming Walt Disney – that explains to one aspiring female artist in the 1930s that women were not welcome to do “the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men.”
“The first draft of everything is shit.”– Ernest Hemingway
“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” – Will Self
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”– Mark Twain
“Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.”– Lev Grossman
1. Van Winkle married Laura Giaritta in 1997; they have two daughters, Dusti Rain (born 1998) and KeeLee Breeze (born 2000). Van Winkle is a Juggalo and a vegetarian.
2. Van Winkle’s pet wallaroo, Bucky, and pet goat, Pancho, escaped from his Port St. Lucie, Florida home in November 2004. After wandering around local streets for over a week, the animals were caught and returned to Ice.
3. On February 27, 2009, Van Winkle performed as part of a joint performance with MC Hammer in Orem, Utah called “Hammer Pants And Ice,” which featured 24 dancers and a full choir.
5. Van Winkle branched out into the film industry with an appearance in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, which he later called “one of the coolest experiences” of his career.
6. While his fame in the United States had severely dropped, Ice continued performing to sold out crowds in his 1992 world tour, playing in South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, premiering new songs like “Get Loose,” “The Wrath,” “Now & Forever,” “Where the Dogs At? (All Night Long),” “Minutes of Power” and “Iceman Path.”
7. In 2009, Van Winkle started filming a reality television series called The Vanilla Ice Project which premiered on DIY Network on October 14, 2010. The season is focused on renovating a house in Palm Beach, Florida with each episode dedicated to a different room in the house. In 2011, Van Winkle published a book on the subject, Vanilla Ice Project – Real Estate Guide on how to succeed in real estate.
8. Van Winkle decided that it was time to change his lifestyle. As a symbol of his attempt to begin anew, he got a tattoo of a leaf on his stomach.
9. In late 1995, Van Winkle set up a recording studio in Miami and joined a grunge band, Pickin Scabz. The name was set to reflect Van Winkle’s career and how he was healing from his suicide attempt and that he was now “picking up the pieces.
“10. After a performance in Acapulco, the city honored Van Winkle with a medal that represented “all the respect and admiration to [Van Winkle’s] music and to [him] as an artist from the Mexican people.”
12. Ice’s lyricism evolved with him.
I bolded some of my favorites. I wish I could have triple bolded #12. A Juggalo/vegetarian combo? Amazing. Also, Juggalo rhymes with wallaroo (okay, not really at all, but get over it), and I have no idea what these critters look like.
TELL ME GOOGLE IMAGES..
& BRB, gotta go to Amazon & get a copy of that book from #7…
What the hell. They only have Ice by Ice: The Vanilla Ice Story in His Own Words. THIS IS A TRAVESTY (although now I kind of want that one too, but still). I can’t believe my most beloved Amazon failed me. Hmm, maybe they have some wallaroos I can buy.
At least I found some Ice + TMNT action:
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s untimely death.
The host of “This American Life” and co-writer of the coming film “Sleepwalk With Me” would like to meet Edgar Allan Poe. “I don’t have a question, but dude just seems like he could use a hug.”
I love anything with Ira.
According to Reddit, some guy designed these bizarrely hilarious decoy covers to keep people from stealing his magazines. We had no idea magazine theft required such desperate measures, but if that’s the case, keep it up, US Weekly bandits. Our only question is, if these are all phony, how do you explain our uninterrupted 20-year subscription to Cockhandler Magazine?
The above was my favorite. Check out the link for more cleverness 🙂
It was the same when I complained about all the gaps between my teeth. “I had braces when I was young, but maybe I need them again,” I told her. An American dentist would have referred me to an orthodontist, but, to Dr. Barras, I was being hysterical. “You have what we in France call ‘good-time teeth,’ ” she said. “Why on earth would you want to change them?”
“Um, because I can floss with the sash to my bathrobe?”
“Hey,” she said. “Enough with the flossing. You have better ways to spend your evenings.”
Love me some Sedaris, always.