Friday, June 26, 2009

Facebook Death Notifications and Meter Maids

Just the other day, Jeremy and I were remembering where we were and what we were doing the night Princess Diana died. I remember Stephanie Vermeesch and Ryan, Kevin, and Tommy Lane were over at my house in Yale while our parents were out at the movies. It was a beautiful night, and we had all just played pitch-black hide-and-go-seek and sent the little kids down the hall to play video games while we watched Saturday Night Live. I was sitting in the recliner with Kevin, and Stephanie was sitting on the couch with Ryan (Ryan was my ex-boyfriend and Kevin was her ex-boyfriend and we were all still friends. Weird.) when the news broke in on SNL. Jeremy had the same vivid memories of SNL being interrupted ... only he was pissed off that he had to miss his show while I cried about the loss of sweet Diana. Ha!

We had a long discussion about those flashbulb memories that people have for momentous events, like 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination. And then I came home the next day from a long day of work, opened up my laptop to send someone a message on Facebook, and learned that Michael Jackson had died when I saw someone's newsfeed. It really made me think about how weird that memory is going to be in years to come. Compared to the way my mom found out about the Kennedy assassination (an announcement in school), it seems very strange, impersonal, and (dare I say?) ... geeky. "Um, yeah ... (push up glasses with tape holding together the bridge of the nose) ... I get all my death notices on the Facebook."

On a lighter note, it turns out there are people with hearts and feelings left in this world. Today I met Jeremy and Jess downtown for lunch at Menna's Joint, and I had to park a few blocks away because of the construction on Washington. When we turned the corner to get back in the car so I could drop Jeremy and Jess back off at work, I saw a Parking Enforcement golf-cart-type vehicle next to my car and the meter blinking EXPIRED. I shrieked "Noooo!" and ran towards her just as she was pulling away.

I shouted, "I'm here!!" and she asked, "Where you been?" Dejected, I said, "Oh, okay ..." and gave up. Then she looked at my Menna's cup and said, "I'll take that ticket back. Bring it here. I would never want to offend someone with good taste ... I LOVE Menna's!!"

I gave her that ticket back so quickly! It sure was a nice change of tone after a whole day of hearing people complain about other people mourning Michael Jackson's death. Why is it wrong to be sad about the death of the artist who brought "Thriller," "Beat It," "Bad," "Billie Jean," and "Smooth Criminal" into my life? And why do people care about what other people care about?

And from now on, I hope my Facebook death notifications aren't as cruel and unfeeling as some of the ones I read yesterday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lack of Desire

I just handed Jeremy the remote, and he promptly chose to watch Tremors. This is a perfect illustration of the way that Jeremy and I are the least compatible ... our viewing desires.

  • Jeremy watches Sportscenter in the morning ... I watch DVRed episodes of Beautiful People or The Office.
  • After dinner, I would love to watch any number of medical documentaries, reality shows, or a crime drama like Law & Order, and Jeremy feels that life is not worth living if he cannot watch every single sporting event broadcast in our area.
  • Jeremy's idea of a perfect movie night is watching Escape from New York or The Warriors, and I have a sinking suspicion that I will never be able to watch Never Been Kissed or A Chorus Line again unless Jeremy is out of state.
Thank goodness we are compatible in most every other way, because this TV/movie thing can really be a nightmare. Jeremy actually leaves the room if I flip the channel to Jon and Kate + 8 or Bridezillas, and these shows help me unwind. Watching Reality TV is like a brain massage for my stressed out mind. Interestingly, however, I have managed to bring him over to the dark side, even if it is just a tiny bit. Believe it or not, he watches Charm School!! And we LOVED all of the Flavor of Love seasons! It just took a few snarky comments from airheads for him to see the full glory of watching crap.
Bring back Flav!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Serious Technical Advancements

I just finished watching an episode of Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List that I DVRed last night, and I just have to marvel at the new-fangled invention that is a DVR.

I am aware that this whole DVR phenomenon might not be altogether new, per se, but I find it enhances my life every day. For example, just last night I noticed that episodes of Bridezillas and My Life on the D-List were on in addition to my beloved Jon and Kate + 8. This wouldn't normally pose a problem, but my fantastic and non-TV-compatible husband was sitting next to me on the couch. He had just spent an entire day working on a huge grad school project and wanted to relax with me. What's a girl to do? With the power of the DVR on my side, I simply had to hit a few buttons, turn and smile at my lovely husband, and pop in a Netflix we both wanted to watch. Now, as I sit here with a towel wrapped around my wet hair while I get ready to face a day at work, I can cram all of that TV into a short time by fast-forwarding through those useless commercials. Coffee and reality TV in the morning ... ahhhhh!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Okay, so anyone who knows me knows that I might have an obsessive personality. When I find something I like, it quickly turns to love, then, of course, even more quickly to an obsession. Luckily, I get over these obsessions, or I would still be obsessed with Mousercize, My Little Ponies, Rainbow Brite, and Strawberry Shortcake in addition to all of the thousands of obsessions over the years.

So, what follows is a list of my most recent obsessions and why I have become infatuated with said items/people:

1. Augusten Burroughs: I put off reading Running with Scissors for many years because, as snooty as it sounds, I often question books that are instant bestsellers and made into movies in no time flat. I have been proven wrong. I read Running with Scissors and liked it, so my helpful friend Jess gave me all five of his other books (four more memoirs and a novel).

What I was not expecting was that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE his other books. My three favorite are definitely Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, and Sellevision. So, naturally, I started stalking him. I went to his website, and googled him to read all the many articles that have been written about him. Through this, I found that the family he wrote about in Running with Scissors is suing him because, essentially, they claim that while they ARE crazy, they are not AS crazy as he made them out to be. Lame. Reading his blog also led me to my next obsession:

2. Reading memoirs: From stalking Augusten Xon Burroughs (yeah, I know his middle name and I know that his real name is Christopher Robison. Sad, but true.), I learned that his best friend is also an author who has had two memoirs published. So, I went and bought A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. Oh. My. God. I read it in one day. So I ran back and got her second memoir, She Got Up Off the Couch. Both are written in the voice of a young, sassy, unpredictable girl. I love that little girl. THEN I learned that Augusten Burroughs' brother, John Elder Robison, published a memoir about not being diagnosed with Asperger's until he was 40. Look Me in the Eye was awesome as well, and I was officially hooked on memoirs.

So, I was strolling through Schuler books the other day, and, lo and behold, they are making a new section to house their expanding memoir collection, and I found another great memoir: My Lobotomy by Howard Dully. Talk about heart-wrenching. This book is about a boy who had a totally unnecessary lobotomy when he was TWELVE years old. In his forties he decided to do some research to try to discover why and how this could have happened to him. A great read. And just when I thought my memoir obsession was losing steam, I got another lead in an interesting place.

3. Beautiful People / Simon Doonan: I was flipping through the cable TV guide, and I saw that a show called Beautiful People, produced by BBC2, was about to come on. I love those crazy Brits, especially the funny ones, so I turned it on. Words cannot express the hilarity of this show. It is about a slightly fey (light-in-the-loafers type fellow) window dresser for Barney's New York remembering his childhood as a slightly fey boy growing up in the 90s in dreary old England. And, of course, he has fantastically crazy family and a lovely accent, and I love him.

I watched the credits and learned that the show was based on Simon Doonan's memoir Beautiful People: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmits, so in a matter of moments, I snatched the book up and devoured it in a day and a half. I might be slow on the uptake, but it turns out Simon Doonan is the artistic director for Barney's New York, and he is the fabulous and flamboyant talking head who regularly appears on VH1 programs to say hilarious, snarky things while adorned in a loud, garish outfit. I love him!!!!

And yes, my friends, all of these books are available to borrow! :)
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