for now. Thanks so much for reading.
Jen Michalski Blog: Catchy
Thanks, Linda for the tag. I love doing these lists but am actually not so good at them. The drill? List your favorite six current songs and then tag six others.
Cocteau Twins - The Hollow Men
Ryan Adams - Winding Wheel
Pavement - The Hexx
Coral - In the Morning
Delgados - The Light Before We Land
Mogwai - Two Rights Make One Wrong
My victims. Let's see your JACK:
What is your postsecret?
Here is a link to all of the cover stars from all of the singles and albums released by the Smiths.
K and I stumbled upon the premiere of The Real World VIII: Austin last night after the ball game. I'm not a big fan of the reality universe in general and had stopped watching Real World back at Hawaii, but after teasing glimpses of normalcy on Real World VII: Philadelphia, last season, I thought, what the heck. Besides, Austin has a great indie music scene and progressive values that seem to be the antithesis of the rest of the state. Surely something interesting will come of their existence there.
Am I a prude?
Sure, the shows are heavily edited to provide titillating content. I mean, the cast memebers probably talked about studying Russell's paradox, their work in the Peace Corp, and how to solve the blight of inner cities, right? I'm sure it all got edited out. Instead, what were we subjected to in the first hour of real-world madness? Everyone, within five minutes of getting to the house, talked about with whom they wanted to hook up. Within a few hours, they were drunk and scantily clad. Within two days, there had already been a fistfight outside a bar, with one RW member requiring surgery to pull out the impacted bone in his orbital socket.
I'm sure our discussions revolved around similar topics as freshman or sophomores in college, but everything in the show just seemed so high school. This morning, I visited to some of the popular RW message boards online to get viewers' takes of the premiere. Surely, like me, they thought VIII was the lamest ever.
"Best show ever!" They gushed. "So and so is cool and crazy." "So and so is crazy and cool." "So and so is hot and crazy and cool." Are these the only words in the young adult lexicon these days? How did these kids get past the verbal portion of their SATs?
I know these kids are young and will grow up and have real issues, but let's stop being polite and start being real, okay? These kids will never be people with whom I identify. We will never have similar existentialist crises whether at 25, 35, or 85. These kids will graduate onto other, "adult," reality shows, for sure, but they will be shows such as Fear Factor and, if they happen to procreate, Nanny 911. Why isn't there a reality show that reflects the lives of me and my friends? It wouldn't be boring. Sex and drama and drunkeness for eighteen episodes is boring. Complexity in life is not boring, even if it's an episode on someone struggling with debt or with the decision to make a drastic job change or to have kids. Sorry, if the Real World is indicative of some real cultural undercurrent to which I am not a part, I'd rather remain here in fantastyland any day.
We just got back from a long weekend at Gettysburg. I'm kind of a history geek and K is an avid ghost hunter, so Gettysburg offered the best of both worlds for us. Of course, both elements receive varying amounts of overkill in the town, judging by the number of tours and gift shops, but the idea of Gettysburg is really fascinating to me from a fiction standpoint. Here was a tiny town (pop. 2000?) of modest ambition suddenly overtaken by the blood and sweat of 150,000 men for three short days and now, almost 150 years later, is still saturated in it, drowns itself in it. There is no future there, only history. It is a photograph, an imprint, and the people who live in the town either hold the picture up proudly or get crushed by it.
Anyway, I've got some kind of story swirling around in my head but haven't grasped the particulars yet aside from a couple of paragraphs jotted down in haste: someone trapped in a history that is not hers. Maybe even just titled "History." We'll see.
In addition to the story, the reams of history, and the crisp new copy of Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage I picked up at our B&B's bookshop, I spotted a lot of interesting birds (my new hobby) in the fields and surrounding woods: a red-winged blackbird, a black-capped chickadee, a ton of sparrows, and my prize jewel, the eastern bluebird, which looks like a cross between an indigo bunting and a robin.
As for K, she took well over 200 pictures and did turn up some ghostly orbs in a good deal of them. There wasn't much action at the "haunted" B&B we stayed in, Gettysbury College, or the battlefields at daylight, but K did find a lot of paranormal stuff in the basement of the old oprhanage (now the Civil War Soliders Museum), so she's stoked.
Even if you're not a fan of history, the paranormal, or birds, Gettysburg is a striking town: manicured, quiet, quaint, fragrant, picturesque. It is worth one weekend or a thousand.
While Jeff has reminded me that I have yet to get a snowball this season, I have been busy indulging in other gulity pleasures, like downloading old Duran Duran (not the hits but the long, indulgent pieces full of bad Simon LeBon poetry) and Sunny Day Real Estate songs (there, I've said it: there's emo in the house). I'm not sure what my worst musical indulgence is; I like so many weird things I can usually justify it being on my mp3 player. In fact, the worst things on my player now are Duran Duran's "Last Chance on the Stairway," a triumph of eighties synthesizers and John Hughes moviesque melodies, "The Reflex" (the horror!), and perhaps Killing Joke's "Eighties," if only because it sounds so dated. Once I had Justin Timberlake's "Body Rock," although I've never stooped to having a Britney Spears song. I always wonder what other people are listening to on their headphones on the gym and whether they would recoil in horror if it were somehow transmitted over the speaker system. Is there anything you're ashamed of loving but will gladly relate it on a public forum?
Kudos to Salon for its Summer Reading Series. C and I were talking about this last week, kind of, about famous authors and what they're reading (for an example, check out Nick Hornsby's column in Believer magazine, "What I'm Reading"). But why famous authors? Why can't us not-so-famous authors or even nonauthors contribute? Do famous authors have better tastes, better influences, or just better luck? A small nitpick: why start out the series with a review of War and Peace? That's like drunken me, in my college years, always asking the party hosts to play Pink Floyd, aka instant party killer.
I had a dream last night about someone who had a crush on me a while back. It was uncomfortable then, as he tore down my friends and relationships in the hope, I suppose, that I would come to my senses and see what I was missing with him, and it was similarly uncomfortable in the dream. To be fair to him, I know have acted similarly in the past. It's mind boggling when someone we see as a perfect fit doesn't feel the same way. Unfortunately, it seems to have a lot more to do with a certain look than it ever does with personality or beliefs or what have you.
I've always theorized that our hormones decide with whom we fall in love. We want to propagate our genes, and they're looking for the robust, good-looking, healthy types. The Brad Pitts, not Sid Vicious.
But I know that not to be entirely true. I know some people replay their first parental relationships and fall in love, because their fathers treated them like shit, with Sid Vicious over and over again, the never-ending rehabilitation project.
If hormones explain the good-looking types and environment explains the emotional type of crush, how to explain people who only fall in love with skinny guys or girls who look like Angelina Jolie? Did they mate with a similar-looking person in a previous life and are subconsciously trying to reunite with them?
I also think we fall in love with people because we think they're perfect for us. For instance, the guy in my dream—he didn't really know me, and he never will. He only loved his idea of me, how I'd complement him if we were together. But he had no idea how we'd actually be together. We sense, if our crushes only change a little, bend here and there, that they will be perfect. We're always willing to take the risk.
But why? We fall in lust with strangers everyday. What does it mean? Why and how does anybody ever fall in love at all? I don't understand love, and I never will. Regardless of how real or fake it is, we'll do so many stupid things for it and it hurts so bad when it's not returned. Dear reader, I wanna know what love is. I want you to tell me.