Friday, November 21, 2008

Gadget Challenged

Picture if you will this scene.

Husband and myself sitting companionably side by side and enjoying yet another viewing of Notting Hill. Controllers necessary for said viewing are placed somewhat haphazardly on the arm of the sofa. As is likely to happen in such an instance, the controllers get pushed off the arm of the sofa and end up somewhere under the sofa. Thankfully husband has long arms as well as total disdain of the spiders that I'm sure lurk under the sofa biding their time waiting for an unsuspecting appendage to present itself and retrieves the controller so we can pause the film and make some popcorn. That's when things went horribly wrong.

Controller before epic journey:

Controller after rescuing:

(Sorry about the quality of the photo. Terror will do this to you)

Honestly I had no idea what he'd pushed, but I was convinced that one or all of the following would, or had, happen/ed:

1. We would immediately be charged for every single option available via pay-per-view.
2. The controller would intone a message and say that it was planning to self-destruct, taking most of Western WA with it.
3. The spiders had enacted revenge for every one of their kind that I'd captured and put outside during the winter, utilizing the controller as a method for implementing their nefarious plan.
4. We would forever be doomed to watch "My Big Redneck Wedding" and "Mythbusters" for all eternity. (Fare you well my beloved HGTV)

So, okay, I know. Common sense says: "Wow. That's interesting. Lighted keys so you can see in total darkness." Honestly though? Our initial reaction truly was a "What the HELL is going on with this thing?!" I kid you not. You know, we're really not dolts, but the last thing either of us thought was that the stupid controller would light up. I mean, who thinks of these things? And who decides on RED as the color?? Green is so much more soothing and non-scary. Red's just so, well, RED.

I'm sure we'll eventually adapt to all these newfangled gadgets, but in the meantime, just in case, check to make sure yours aren't glowing red in solidarity with mine, signaling an unpleasant future for us all.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Musical Memories

Despite not being at all musical or even caring all that much about music (I can hear Rebecca gasp from here) I've been thinking a lot about the memories certain songs or bands evoke. I know I've spoken a bit about how the Beach Boys conjure all sorts of summertime images the minute you hear them, but they're nothing compared to the images and sheer thrill this guy prompts the minute you hear him - well, at least for anyone near my age.
Yes, the Norelco Santa. The very guy. The one who heralded the holiday season by hawking razors. This ad is a bit older than the ones I remember, but the feeling is the same. I don't know what it is about this ad, but when I saw it just a couple of days ago, I was seized by the exact same feeling I had when I was 6 or so and nearly hysterical with anticipation of the big day. That giddy thrill. That absolute certainty that life just couldn't get any better than life during the holiday season. Who couldn't use a bit of that joy, expectation and excitement? So it comes in the form of a razor ridin' Santa. Big deal.

Oh wow. Not that I really think about it, that's fairly pathetic. It's clear that my Empty, Consumer Driven childhood has warped my sense of what is right and good in the world.

. . .

Whatever. Give me a Norelco Ridin' Santa any day of the week.

Not all songs bring such nice memories. Not only is our next selection another trip down memory lane, it's cheesy to boot. It's even a song that my old high school boyfriend used to sing in a soulful voice to me before he headed back to college. Bad enough, but what's worse is that he apparently teared up when he heard it at a concert. Not so terribly odd given the ridiculousness of teenage boys, you say? Ahh, but a crucial bit of info is missing for you. You see he was at the concert with another girl.

Given this song's history and the bad blood associated with it, when it came on the radio tonight on the way home from a dinner with my parents, I immediately switched the channel. Only to be met with howls of protest from my husband. Okay, so I know the guy likes some goofy stuff. Stuff that I wouldn't be caught dead listening to. But this?? This, without a doubt, is a low point in our relationship. I'm not sure we can recover. I'm willing to try, but if more of this type of thing happens again . . .

Without further ado, so you can be as disgusted as I was tonight, here you go:

And finally, in the "This is ABSOLUTELY CRIMINAL" category, I have some truly upsetting news to report. Like most areas of the country, we have a radio station that plays "oldies". Not "classic rock" like Zeppelin, Petty, AC/DC, etc. No. We're talking Chubby Checker, Buddy Holly (who, it has to be admitted, is seriously amazing, no matter the era), and Frankie Valley. That kind of oldies. Well, at least I thought it was that kind of oldies station. Since this isn't music that I listen to often, I haven't heard the station in a while. Twice now, twice I tell you, I've been flipping through stations and heard this guy. Twice. This an oldie?

Surely not? Really?

Yes, I'm aware it's from the early '80s, that still doesn't mean that it belongs on the OLDIES station!

Please. Show Mr. Mellencamp some respect. He has had a heart attack, you know.

Dear God, he does belong on the oldies station. I'm not going to think about what that means about me.

Not tonight anyway.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

It's been a long, tough slog through the muck, hasn't it? My mother, the erstwhile politics junkie (as long as it's all about the Democrats, of course) was overheard sighing at dinner Sunday and saying, "You know what I'm looking forward to? It being all over!" I think it's a sentiment that many of us could wholeheartedly agree with.

While it's been disheartening to be so frustrated, and occasionally disgusted, by the machinations of the parties and their candidates, I still find myself feeling deeply connected to the system and to my country, as flawed as I may find it and its government at times. From something as simple as watching John Adams and being moved, to something more profound like the thrill I still have when casting my own vote, it's clear that despite my often cynical and disappointed harping, I'm still bound to my country and the ideals that drove its creation.

I hope we all take a moment tomorrow and make our voices heard. Not only is our country worth that effort, so are we.

(Okay, so maybe a '40's pinup girl isn't the first thing we think about when exercising our right to vote, but you've got to admit she was probably effective. Besides, you try to find vintage, interesting "vote!" clip art when you have zero patience wading through the morass that is Google.)