Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Superhero for History

Introducing a new feature, Ladyfaces' Crush o' the Week! A collection of our favorite ladies and gents, the hottest and the hippest, the people we'd like to invite over for a cupcake-and-whiskey tea party.

First ever crush is...

Sarah Vowell!

This summer I started branching out into nonfiction and read Assassination Vacation, Vowell's exploration of assassinated presidents (specifically McKinley, Lincoln, and Garfield). Sure, that could be interesting anyway--I love violence and scandal--but I love most was that Vowell embraced her inner geek and shared all the awesome stories she'd collected and loved. She's not afraid to be a history nerd, and to be funny and morbic and weird. Who wouldn't love this smart, fiesty, wacky woman?

In case you needs more reasons to fall in love, here are a few:

1) She has the eyelash of abolishionist guerilla warrior John Brown. Not only that, but it was a gift:

"I looked away from my computer and over at a frame on my wall and wrote Jack back that my twin sister Amy had given me a teensy eyelash-size hair of John Brown as a Christmas present. She settled on the more affordable tresses of the abolitionist guerrilla warrior Brown because Lincoln's hair was out of her price range. That is the kind of person I have become, the kind of person who rips open a package in snowman wrapping paper to discover that her only sibling has bought her an executed slavery hater's hair. (I got her a DVD player.)"--Assassination Vacation.

2) She was thanked in the acknowledgements of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. (I'm not a huge Eggers fan but he does have good taste in friends.)

3) She's a frequent contributor to This American Life. It's where all the funny people go.

4) She voiced Violet in The Incredibles. I would kill a nun to be in a Pixar movie. Also, check out her "behind the scenes" video, in which you can see the eyelash!

5) Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart did voices for the audiobook of Assassination Vacation. (Can we all be friends and go on roadtrips to weird locations? Please?)

6) She has cool hair.
"How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I cut my own hair. Not to save money but because I never know what to talk about with the hairdresser. The last time I tried it again it was like an hour of hearing about rollerblading routes."

7) She understands that sometimes kids like morbid things, too:
"A few days after my sister Amy got home from Oneidato-Canton, Garfield-McKinley dream vacation I roped her and my nephew Owen into, she phoned me, saying, "I asked Owen what he wanted to do today and he said, 'Go look at stones with Aunt Sarah.' Do you know what he's talking about? What these stones are?"
I do. "He means tombstones," I told her. "When you were off parking the car at the cemetary in Cleveland, Owen and I walked around looking for John Hay's grave. Owen climbed on top of it and hollered, 'This is a nice Halloween park!'"--Assassination Vacation

8) She knows the value of a good cab. And books.

9) She's on librarything.

10) "I was a big Nancy Drew reader. Nancy figures it out. Case closed." She's kind of a Nancy Drew for American history!

I like to think of Sarah Vowell as that girl I would have been friends with (or wanted to be friends with) in high school--fiercely smart, off-beat, and hilarious. I bet kids didn't get her in high school, and we all know the "loser" kids in 9th grade end up ruling the world.

Much love to Sarah Vowell!