Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This is my swan song

I'm going to be out of blog range until the beginning of December, so I thought this would be a good parting video. Appreciate it on two levels: the crazy plotline, if we can call it that, of the video, and the absolute beauty of the music and lyrics.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Living in the Shrike's domain*

Nobody ever hears me the first time I say "Hello" when I answer the phone. (This never happened before I moved, so I blame my new phone system and not the phone.) Likewise, nobody ever hears me when I say I'm 32 years old, possess two master's degrees, have a real-life, big person job, and have been living apart from my parents for over 10 years. For some reason I can't understand, they all assume, no matter how many times I correct them, that I'm 23, perky, and an undergraduate. I have had student workers in the library ask if I could sub for them over the weekend. (My answer: "No, because I'm actually one of your supervisors.") I have had a number of people at church ask me where I want to move after I graduate. (My answer:"I guess I'll just stay here and keep working at my real-life, big person job, unless something better comes along.")

This is doubly funny because, when I actually was an undergraduate, people routinely assumed I was much older than I was. I remember going to the university bookstore when I was 18 and getting called "Ma'am." (There's an episode of Mary Tyler Moore called "Today I am a Ma'am" where Mary has this happen for the first time. The difference is that she was 30 years old.) So how can I be that much younger than I used to be?

My working theory for some time has been that, like Merlin, I'm aging backwards. This works quite well if you assume that I aged normally until I turned 27 and then the process started to reverse itself. Every year after that a year was removed instead of added, until now I've actually just turned 22 instead of 32. I hope this doesn't continue or one day I'll be in the high school class again!

A different theory is that I'm getting all the right parts of my life, just assembled in random order. First I was in high school and then I went to college and then I got married and then I went to grad school and then I got divorced and now I'm doing the part between college and grad school that I skipped over the first time. This theory also works in a lot of different ways. I always did feel that I'd missed out on something, and now that part of my life is finally here at long last. Late night pizza and group dates and parlor games and random trips to Perkins (ok, really Bob Evans because they have no idea what Perkins is here.)

Now, as if to confirm this theory, I've gotten "adopted" by a family at church, a family who owns several local stores. I was at their house this afternoon reading the funny paper while my "mother" and my "grandma" talked while getting Sunday dinner ready, and I realized that this is the part of my childhood I missed because my real grandpa and grandma died too soon. If my grandpa had lived longer, I would have gotten to hear in excruciating detail all about the business aspects of his store. And if my grandma had lived longer and stayed in her right mind, we could have had many more Sunday afternoons together like the ones I remember from my early childhood. And now those times have come back to me as well.

Joel 2:25 says, "I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten," and now I feel like that is coming to pass for me. It gives me hope for the future. Who knows what other of my dreams will be restored?

*The title comes from the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. In this series of books, the Shrike is a mysterious central figure whose domain is full of time disruptions, making events occur in seemingly random order, or sometimes backwards.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday video special

Have I mentioned how much I love the early Bee Gees? Have I mentioned how much I love YouTube? Yeah, I thought so. Well, indulge me anyway. Put the two together and you get this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Color me writing

If a letter to the editor counts as being published, then I am! I wrote a letter to the local paper and it was published yesterday. I was afraid that all kinds of wierdos would contact me about it, but so far no one at all has noticed it. I'm kind of underwhelmed. Not that I exactly want wierdos. I'm just impossible to please!

My current TV schedule, or an ode to the 2007 TV season that may be cut down in its prime

Ok, so the writer's strike is making this whole discussion moot anyway, but it's been over a month since I told you my initial thoughts on the new TV shows this fall, and I finally have a little bit of time on my hands to update this blog, so I thought I'd tell you which of the shows I'm still watching, and which have fallen by the wayside. I'm going to do it a little differently this time, and go by night of the week, and I'll also discuss the returning shows that I watch on those nights.

Monday

NBC still rules this night for me. Chuck is still pleasing. It's the kind of show where you can miss an episode and still know pretty much what's going on, which is good in a way, especially coming right before the demanding Heroes (which, of course, I'm still hooked on). I won't say I think about Chuck and his friends all week, but it never ceases to make me smile when I see them on the screen.
After Heroes, I'm still watching Journeyman, even though it feels like work. I keep thinking that something good has to come out of all this, but I guess I should probably just give up and start watching Quantum Leap again, since that's obviously what I really want.

Tuesday

There's a lot of junk on Tuesday night, which I've never understood. Supposedly all the networks are afraid of putting anything good on against American Idol. Well, guess what? That show doesn't even start until January, so I don't see why everybody avoids it for 3 months before it begins. Surely it can't cast that big of a shadow. And if anyone did put something really great on Tuesday nights in the fall, it would dominate, because it would basically be unopposed. I gave up on Cavemen and Carpoolers and Cane (all the C shows, I guess I could have said), and now I'm down to Reaper, and even that show, which showed so much promise at first, is wearing thin for me. Many other bloggers have said this, but it's unfortunately true: every episode is exactly the same. This isn't 1965 anymore, and people expect some sort of progression, however slight, in characters and/or plot. I hope Reaper eventually lives up to the potential that I know is there.

Wednesday

I love my Pushing Daisies! I keep telling everyone I know to watch it, and now I'm telling you! I don't know what else to say, so just watch it.
After that is Gossip Girl, which is really starting to find its voice. I'm glad that Blair and Sabrina aren't as mad at each other anymore. If the whole show was about the two of them catfighting, it would have gotten old real fast. I can't remember Dan's little sister's name, but I'm still not sure what to make of her character. She's sweet and innocent one minute and even wickeder than Blair and Sabrina the next! And I hate to admit this, but I actually identify with the parents sometimes more than I do with the children. How old does that make me?
Dirty Sexy Money, as my friend Steve would say, is a hoot. I love how over the top it is, but yet at the same time I really care about all the characters and believe in their problems. How hard is that to pull off?

Thursday

I work on Thursday nights, so I don't watch any new shows. I gave up on Big Shots, and found I didn't miss it at all. I do still watch Ugly Betty, which is as delightful and surprising as ever.

Friday

Friday is supposed to be the "death zone" for network TV, so it's a sign of what a loser I am that all my favorite shows are clustered there! I'm so glad Men in Trees has returned. I thought I might have lost some of the magic over the extended hiatus, but I was drawn back into it immediately. And I'm so glad that Lynn is gone!

Friday Night Lights is a little different than it was last year, but I'm still loving it. The murder plot is kind of strange, but I have faith that they'll pull us out of it in a way that eventually makes total sense and seems obvious. I'm not sure if I really buy Julie becoming a bad girl all of a sudden. She and Matt were so sweet together. How can she throw that all away? On the other hand, she had to be kind of rebellious to even consider going out with an older boy like Matt in the first place, so I guess it kinda makes sense if you think about it.

Moonlight is the show I wasn't supposed to watch because it's on at the same time as Friday Night Lights, but I find myself devotedly taping it every week. It's really pulled me in. The main characters are so nice to look at and have such great chemistry, so how could I not? I think that, in the fine soap opera tradition, the obvious attraction between the leads has made them push the show in a different direction than they intended at first, and that's fine by me. Mick and Beth are the new David and Maddie!

Saturday

Torchwood is the name of the game on Saturday nights. I didn't discuss this new show in my earlier posts because it's not a network show (it's on BBC America), but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve some loving from me. It's a spin-off of Doctor Who and is a little bit grittier and Earth-bound. Some weeks are better than others, but even the worst weeks are worth tuning in for. This week they said there are only three new episodes left! That's making me very sad.

Sunday

I still maintain the fiction that I watch The Simpsons on Sunday night, but in truth I haven't managed to tune in all fall. I just discovered that the episodes are available online, and so I watched the Halloween episode, but other than that I don't think I'll bother.
I also want to maintain the illusion that Life is Wild is still one of my shows, but I don't actually watch that one either. It just doesn't fit in well with my schedule now that I go to Sunday night church. I wish somebody was watching it, though. The ratings have been in the basement, and I'm afraid it will be cancelled when they run out of new episodes.
The show I do manage to watch on Sunday nights is Brothers and Sisters. It's great this year just like last year. I don't understand why Kitty was pregnant for 5 minutes, though. That whole plotline seemed kind of manufactured to me, and I don't see what we've gained from it.