Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cost of Distressed

When The Police opened the Grammys a few weeks ago, my sister and I were discussing the state of Sting's guitar.

Sting is a rich man. A very rich man, as anyone who's bought tickets to one of his concerts knows well. But the guitar he was using was completely beat-up. It was a mess, in a cool, rock star kinda way.

Amy and I wondered—could that be the actual guitar he played in The Police back in the day, that he's been saving for just such an occasion? How amazing, to think of the history that guitar has seen. How Sting has changed since that guitar was shiny and new.

But of course, we were wrong. Yesterday Amy sent me the following:
A beat-up guitar that Mr. Summers is playing isn't the one that toured the world with him in the early 1980s; it's an exact replica made by Fender, copying every nick, chip and scrape as well as the pickups (made by Fender's rival, Gibson) and custom electronics inside. It's part of a limited edition of 250 that sold out at $15,000 each - a measure of Mr. Summers's lasting reputation among musicians and guitar geeks.
-from a NY Times interview, 2007

It reminded me of the fad of "distressed jeans," taken to a whole new level. Instead of paying $50 for jeans that are torn and faded, you can pay $15k for a guitar that makes you look like you actually know how to play. Probably, you buy the guitar AND the jeans, because I think they'd have to appeal to the same people.

What, exactly, are you paying for? I think it's the aura of experience. You may be working a boring job, going home to the same place, same dinner, same TV shows every night. But when you wear those jeans and play that guitar (or just lovingly stroke it?), it hints at a life truly lived. You've seen things, been places, and have the wear and tear to prove it.

But is it really enough for people to just give the illusion of experience? Not that the majority of us are ever going to know what it's like to play the bass and sing to millions of screaming fans .... but if I don't have that experience, I think I'd rather just have my own shiny, relatively new bass. And unripped jeans.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The family that shares

I don't sew very often; my repertoire consists mainly of curtains and pillowcases. But this week I was forced, by necessity, to branch out a bit and make a new dog bed for Beckett.

Beckett has sort of a love/hate relationship with pillows, blankets, dog beds, etc. If it's soft, he loves to rip it to shreds. And then take a nap on it. This is what's slowly been happening, over the course of six months, with the dog bed. We bought it at the local pet store for $20. The first time he ripped a hole in it, Keith laboriously repaired it by hand with a new piece of fabric. Only a week old, the dog bed was already taking on a distressed, patchwork look.

We do try to not to let Beckett and the dog bed alone together, but sometimes he slips away. The next couple times a hole appeared, Keith used the much faster—and classier—solution of duct tape. But a week or so ago, the new hole was absolutely irreparable. And by "hole" I mean the bed was pretty much torn in two.

The funny thing was, both the dog and the cat LOVED the mangled bed. Usually we make Beckett stay on his bed until we're all settled, and then he's allowed up on the big bed. But once he'd ripped apart the dog bed to his satisfaction, it was hard to coax him out of his pile of stuffing and onto our bed.

Then, once Beckett's sleeping with us, Gomez starts creeping in. Not that she's particularly stealthy, with her purr louder than a truck rumbling by outside. She goes straight to the former dog bed and settles right into the stuffing, half-tucked into the bed itself.

So not to ruin their enjoyment, but because the stuffing was getting tracked all over the house, I made a new dog bed. I pulled out all the stuffing and left it on a table as I cut and sewed fabric. During the process, Gomez found the stuffing pile and happily settled in for a nap.

After how much they enjoyed the wreck of a dog bed, I was a little concerned that the pets would spurn my careful efforts. But I'm happy to report that both Beckett settled in on it, and then Gomez curled up there later in the night. Maybe this will give me the confidence I need to branch out to sewing dish towels or purses.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Office: A True Story

"A lot of people think that magic camp is just for kids. And that's why so many other people in my class were kids. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's really for anybody with a dream, and a belief in magic, and a little extra time after school."
--Michael Scott

"The chimney's in decent shape. Not great. I found some termite damage in a crawl space, and some structural flaws in the foundation. So, all in all ... it was a pretty fun cocktail party."
--Dwight Schrute

Did I ever tell you about the time, at my old job, where the boss from hell was trying to help me manage my time better? She thought if I could just be more like her in every aspect, my life would be a million times better!

In this particular talk, she focused on email, and how I need to learn not to spend so much time emailing. For example, earlier in the week I'd sent her an email asking how many of a certain brochure we needed to have on-hand. That way, if supplies were getting low I could just go ahead and order more. It's efficient to plan ahead, right?

Wrong. Speaking of this email, she said, "Like that email you sent me earlier this week. I read it and it wasn't important, so I just ignored it." She wanted me to learn how to ignore unimportant emails like that.

Of course, a few months later, we nearly ran out of brochures and it incited a mass panic. I was sternly rebuked by my boss for not being on top of the situation. I think I took the rest of the afternoon off, to contemplate the difference between important and unimportant things—like my sanity, and my job.

(And that image is just for you, Amy. You're welcome.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Really? No pancakes?

I made an amazing discovery the other day. It all started with cornbread.

One night last week, we had chili and cornbread for dinner. The next afternoon, I was looking for a snack and remembered the leftover cornbread. When I was growing up, we always had cornbread as a side dish, served with syrup.

So I heated up a piece of leftover cornbread, and then tried to think where we keep our syrup. Does syrup have to be refrigerated? I didn't think so, but I checked the fridge just in case. Not there. I checked about the stove, in the pantry ... and then I was stumped. There's no where else we keep food!

I went back and checked all of those places again. And thought some more. And I checked one more time. It really wasn't anywhere.

Which is when I had to face the fact that we hadn't eaten any syrup-related food since we moved into our house at the end of June. No pancakes, or french toast, or waffles. Nothing! I'd like to pretend it's because we're such healthy eaters, but I'm pretty sure it has to more to do with the fact that we're lazy about actually making real breakfast. Scrambled eggs and toast is about as much effort as you can hope for in our house.

But a couple days later, we did go out and buy two kinds of syrup and pancake mix. So we're prepared, in case the urge to actually cook breakfast suddenly overcomes us in the next few months.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

His Typist Was A Whig

I heard on NPR yesterday, in honor of President's Day, about how the Maryland State Archive was unveiling a speech by George Washington.

This is fabulous and exciting and all, to have on display and preserved for future generations an important historical document. And I do quite admire George, especially this particular speech where he retires from the military after the Revolutionary War, rather than grabbing absolute power as many revolutionaries have done, then and since.

The NPR announcer was very excited about this document, too. But what really caught my ear is how he chose to impress upon the listeners the uniqueness of this document. He actually said that it was a "handwritten document."

Umm, we're talking 1783. Were there any options other than handwriting? I mean, I know there's scribes and all .... but that doesn't seem very democratic.

According to wikipedia, a patent was filed in Britain in 1714 for something that sounds similar to a typewriter, but nothing else is known about it. The next significant date in typewriter history is 1829.

I would agree that, in our current era, saying something is "handwritten" is significant. But I'd have been much more impressed if George's speech had been typed. I heard Washington chopped down the cherry tree with a chainsaw, too.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I was walking the dog last week, as I often do. Lately, it's been pretty sucky because it's about -50 outside (possibly a slight exaggeration, but only slight), and the sidewalks have disappeared under 10 feet of snow (see earlier disclaimer). So yeah: lots of snow and cold.

This doesn't put me in the mood to walk, but Beckett is a demanding beast, and if we don't walk him, our belongings and peace of mind will suffer. So it's snowy and cold and we're walking ... and I cut through the library parking lot at the end of our street. Did I mention that Beckett, while demanding walks in sub-zero weather, also has very sensitive paws? That's right—he can't walk over road salt. So while it's snowy and cold and I'm walking the dog, I have to pick him up and carry him over the roads where there's a lot of salt, so he doesn't spend the next 5 minutes pathetically limping along on 3 legs. You don't have to tell me who's in charge here.

So: Snowy, cold, walking, avoiding salt on the library's front sidewalk by cutting through the parking lot behind. But apparently, 5 o'clock is prime time in the library parking lot. It's packed, and lots of mothers are coming out with kids in tow. One immediately stops to talk to Beckett.

"Oh, aren't you a beautiful puppy!" She coos. "What's your name?"

"Beckett." I answer dutifully, even though I'm standing a foot away. Beckett's ecstatically leaping on this woman, who is fawning over the "precious puppy."

"What kind of dog are you?" She asks him next as she rubs his ears.

She hasn't even acknowledged my presence. I feel like it's an A-B conversation, and I would love to stop eavesdropping ... but she's conversing with my DOG. And I'm starting to get irritated.

I've decided that, the next time I'm confronted with a dog-talker, I have two options. When she (because, let's be honest, it's usually a woman) speaks directly to the dog, I can either:
a) Bark in response. If she's looking for a realistic answer, that should suffice. OR
b) Wait for her to acknowledge my presence. Then I'll shrug and say, "He's a dog. He doesn't talk."

Either way, the scenario ends with me walking away, triumphant. Until I pick up the dog and carry him across the street.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gap 14, Abercrombie 6

You have never seen that score anywhere in sports media. Do you know why? – BECAUSE GAP AND ABERCROMBIE DON’T HAVE SPORTS TEAMS.

Nor will they ever. And you look stupid wearing their shirts. But don’t take my word for it:
  • 56% of clothes-wearers have an aversion towards rooting for anyone except their hometown losers (Cubs, Indians, Bears, Browns, etc. etc. etc.) and wear such shirts.
  • Another 35% are primarily NASCAR fans and wear such shirts.
  • 8% are primarily not sporty and know only enough to keep them from getting beat up in bars; they may wear sport shirts but do it only to blend in. They are more likely to be wearing a nice Paul Smith from Barneys.
  • And 1% wear clothes to keep them warm, with no idea what their shirts say—they may only think the words and shapes are pretty.
It’s all true, I read it on the Internet.

You are in the last category of people if you wear fictional sports team shirts. Say hello to your fellow shirt segment friend:

So, I implore you – find something else to wear, root for a real team, watch NASCAR for Cripes sake or better yet, buy a nice button down from your local custom tailor. Just make sure you throw those Gap and Abercrombie sports shirts out.

And thank you, Megan, for offering me this space to slightly offend.

Submitted by Guest Blogger Extraordinaire, Todd. Thanks, Todd!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Friends I Like the Most

I can’t imagine why Todd would want me to post on this topic. Perhaps—is it possible?—he’s desperately seeking out praise and glory. But surely that’s not the case.

For anyone out there that’s interested in becoming a friend of mine, you’ll be pleased to know that:
  • I like gifts. Books, chocolate, CDs, and wine are all acceptable.
  • It’s never a bad idea to tell me how good I look that day.
  • Likewise, if I suggest an activity, you may always agree that it’s a most excellent suggestion.
  • I don’t believe “sycophant” is a dirty word.
  • Coming up with blog ideas so I don’t have to never hurts, either. Speaking of which ….

Did I mention what a great friend Todd is? He’s the best!

*And I'm sure you're all anxiously awaiting Todd's guest blog entry. Coming soon!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Healthcare for Everyone: Prime Time Crisis?

In middle school, I was in love with Doogie Howser, M.D. In college, I watched "ER." Now, it's "Grey's Anatomy." My sister is a big fan of "Scrubs" and my dad, strangely enough, likes "House M.D." It seems like doctors are more popular than ever in TV-land, which prompted Todd to wonder, while healthcare for everyone may sound good, what would it do to the Prime Time medical dramas?

In my limited experience: nothing. I'm trying to think back and remember how much time these shows spend on the nitty gritty of paying for healthcare. How often they talk about insurance and HMOs, or a patient has to spend 6 months calling the insurance company and doctor's office, while being threatened by a collections agency, to correct a mistake the insurance company made in the first place. (This happened to me last year, true story. Extremely irritating.)

Every once in a great while there may be a passing reference to the rising costs of healthcare, but for the most part they take place in a world completely separate from financial concerns. The doctors are all good-looking (of course!) and they show just the right amount of drive to succeed, mixed with tender concern for each and every patient. But, in my experience, these shows don't address the issue of paying for healthcare, which concerns so many Americans.

I think there's many obstacles to a public healthcare system that would provide free services to all citizens. But concern for our Prime Time medical dramas isn't one of those obstacles. Our beautiful, brainy doctors will be just fine.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Obama: Perspective from a Red State

I liked Todd's idea for this blog entry, but I have been feeling that it's somewhat misleading. I do live in a red state, but I am most definitely blue, so I wasn't exactly sure that I could give the proper "red state" perspective.

But then again, I realized that there's actually quite a few of us Blues in Red States(BIRS), and it's a different position to be in. It makes me feel like I need to be more outspoken about my beliefs, because the majority of my fellow state citizens think I'm wrong. I think it also makes me examine my beliefs more, as I'm concerned that I might actually be called upon to defend them, and need to explain why I'm convinced that humans and dinosaurs did not co-exist peacefully.

So, I think partly due to my living in a red state, and partly due to my recent obsession with NPR, I've learned more about Barack Obama than I ever have about a presidential candidate so early in the race. And, in my opinion, so far so good.

I find it amazing in the best possible way that it's entirely possible for the Democratic Presidential nominee to come down to choosing between a black man or a woman. It makes me feel like our society might actually be making progress! Or just the liberal part of it, anyway.

I really like Barack Obama so far. His stance on the war in Iraq, renewable energy, and education reform are all opinions that I can agree with, at least initially. I'm a little concerned about once the mud-slinging starts: what might I find out about him to disillusion my current state of naive hope? Maybe nothing.

Maybe, as the race for the presidency moves forward and I learn more about his platform, I might even put a bumper sticker on my car, to showcase my BIRS status and maybe even provoke some dialogue. And anyone who knows about my aversion to 1) bumper stickers, and 2) talking to people, knows what a big step that would be for me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Introducing ... Todd!

A while ago, I blogged about The Office, based on a request from a loyal, dedicated reader. Aka, someone I've known since I was 8.

This encouraged another longtime friend to jump on the blog-entry suggestion bandwagon. But not only did he suggest ONE blog, he suggested 4. AND you'll get to read an entry actually written by this guest blogger extraordinaire.

So, without further ado .... meet "Todd"*! He's a sexy red-head who enjoys long walks on the beach, riding his motorcycle, and discussing the exploits of 007. Todd has either inspired or written all of the entries this week, thus freeing me from the burden of having to actually think of amusing topics. Yay for Todd!

* Names may have been changed to protect the somewhat innocent.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Best. Blog Post. Ever.

Since everyone's favorite posts seem to be the ones I don't actually write, here's a few quotes from the beginning of last night's The Office. (Why only the beginning? you ask. Because our DVR freaked out and somehow only taped the first 9 minutes. So we'll be buying it on iTunes tonight.)

"Since I pay her salary, it's like I'm paying for the wedding. Which I'm happy to do. It's a big day for Phyllis. But it's an even bigger day for me. Employer of the bride."
Michael Scott

"The Schrutes have their own traditions. We usually marry standing in our own graves. It makes the funerals very romantic.... The weddings are a bleak affair."
Dwight Schrute

"That's the thing about bear attacks. They come out of nowhere."
Dwight Schrute

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Royal Mail Intrigues

To complete my mining of Amy's emails for blog entries ... she sent me a link to a book, Envelopes: A Puzzling Journey Through the Royal Mail, by Harriet Russell.

The book looks interesting and all, but you can click on the link for more info about the actual story. Just hearing the title reminded me of when I was living in England.

My parents sent me a package for Valentine's Day. I never received it, and didn't even know it had been sent until they asked me about it a few weeks later and I said I'd never gotten it. Fast forward to my birthday (April 2), and the package arrives. Maybe not exactly on the day, but right around then. No note, no explanation .... just on the doorstep.

Ahhh, Royal Mail. No attempt to place blame on those other than yourselves; whenever I've gotten anything late or damaged in the U.S., the package also contains a detailed disclaimer explaining that the Postal Service handles an enormous amount of mail on a daily basis, it's to be expected that things sometimes go awry, this is the price we pay for progress ... and the sender probably stuffed something too big in an undersized envelope, anyway.

Receiving the package so late without any explanation made it feel whimsical. Or unreliable. Maybe a bit of both.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Is It Really That Hard? Tile

We moved into our house on June 30. Which means that we've made it 6 whole months without any major repairs. I don't know what the norm is, but I'm feeling pretty lucky to have lasted this long.

But alas, all good things come to an end. And I'm fudging the numbers a bit in the first paragraph because in October, before we went on our trip to the UK, I noticed a water stain on our kitchen ceiling, caused by the upstairs shower.

We had people coming to visit, and then we were going on vacation. After we got back, we had a plumber take a look. He determined that the spout was the problem, but we all agreed that the tile around the spout and control (i.e., thing above the spout that controls how much hot and cold water is spouting) was not in good shape. They didn't think the tile was causing the leak, but the general consensus was that, if we're getting a new spout anyway, it's a good time to get that tile redone.

And then it was deep into the holiday season. Our credit card was already on fire from the usual gifts plus all the food, decorations, etc. for our first time as Christmas hosts. So we put it off until the new year.

Now that it's February, I think it's safe to say that 2007 is well underway. And we're finally trying to figure out exactly what we're doing with the upstairs bath tile. The tile guy came out last week and gave us two options: #1 (cheap version) replace only the tile around the spout/control. It might not match in size or exact color, so it won't be pretty but it'll be functional OR #2 (OCD version) Replace the bottom third of tile all the way around the bathtub.

If you have OCD tendencies, as I do, you find option #2 appealing because you want it all to match. You can't stand the idea that, every time you shower for the next 15 years, you'll notice the mismatched tile. But at nearly 3 times the cost, is it worth the peace of mind? I mean, usually your eyes are closed in the shower, right?

But actually, all of that is background that should probably have been summed up in one succinct paragraph. Here's my beef: the tile guy put Keith and I in charge of trying to match the tile. His point being that we know what we like/can stand, so if we provide tile and say "we're happy for you to use this," there's less likelihood of us crying to them afterward.

Which makes sense, I guess ... except WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT TILE. For the past week I've been on this wild goose chase for the exact same size tile in white. I don't particularly care if it's "alabaster lily" or "snow glitter," I would be happy with any version of white.

But we can't figure out what size the damn tile is. You know why? Because it's currently still IN our bathtub, surrounded by grout. And you know what else? We don't know anything about tile!! Have I mentioned that part before? So if a tile is 4" square, I don't know if that means it typically has a 1/16" spacer, or that 4-1/4" square tile is much more common, but that 4-3/8" is also an option.

I've learned about these things, on many calls to tile dealers and a trip to our favorite hang-out, Home Depot. But even after all this, here's my conclusion: I don't know what size our current tile is, and I shouldn't have to.

We're paying someone to replace the tile. THEY should know what size it is, what size is common, and the best way to approach the project.

My dad suggested asking them to reuse the current tile whenever possible, since the tiles themselves look okay—they were just laid incorrectly. I mentioned this to the tile guy in our second conversation yesterday, and got a grudging "That's a good idea. I don't know why I didn't think of that."

Gee, thanks. If this is just the first project of many to come .... I may only be able to handle the aggravation of one project a year, max!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Resolutions Update

I thought that this year I'd try something a little different. If I update everyone on the progress (or obvious lack thereof) for my New Year's Resolutions, maybe I'll be a little more motivated to actually accomplish them. You may have no interest in how I do, but if you enjoy a heart-warming session of publicly shaming and berating oneself, read on dear friend!

2007 Resolutions
1. The Year of Nonfiction Writing
So far, not too much progress. I did find a few potential markets ... but I have yet to query or actually submit anything. Let's call it one small step forward—at least not moving back!

2. Start a business with Keith
If random snippets of conversation count as "action," check this item off! We've thought of a name and discussed what would need to be on our website, at a minimum.

3. Read 50 books (8 classics, 6 biographies)
This is one of the only resolutions I'm feeling pretty good about. I think I read 5 books in January—one biography and one classic. So far so good!

4. Run sub-30 min 5k
I'll report back when temperatures are above freezing and we're not buried in many feet of snow.

5. Lift 6 times/month, keeping track on Fitday
Just barely squeaked in my six work-outs for January, and I know the only reason I did it was because it was a resolution. See, it's working already!

6. Visit 12 new places in Cleveland area
As I suspected, I think these will be mostly restaurants. As previously blogged we went to Sushi Rock in January. Up this month: The Mad Greek in Fairmount Square.

7. Actually stick to a budget for 4 months
Not even close. 0 for 1.

8. Volunteer/give money to charity
We've made a plan of who we'd give money to if we had it. Now for the "having" part ...

9. Visit Sara and Jason in Toledo
This isn't going to happen until the weather's nicer. But it will happen, as long as Sara and Jason will have us!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Blog Bling

Just recently, my friend Amy sent me a link to an article about blog widgets.

Firstly, let's just take a moment to appreciate what a fun, funky word "widget" is. We should all find ways to use it more often.

Secondly, for those who may not be aware, widgets in the virtual world are "a component of a graphical user interface that the user interacts with" (so says wikipedia). For bloggers like me who consider themselves "writers" foremost and techies only because it's the cheapest way to make the most people read your writing, well, widgets are kinda scary.

There's widgets to put pinpoints on a map for the location of all your readers. This reminds of the early Interweb days, when everyone included visit counters on their pages, which usually only served to point out that the page was visited once in a blue moon, and that only occurred because a search term was entered incorrectly into Altavista. (Ha! Remember the days before Google?)

There's two widgets mentioned in the article I thought I might be interested in: one to show what books you're currently reading or meaning to read (ah, such different categories!), and one that showcases your musical interests. These are things I usually tell people about anyway, and I thought a subtle widget might be a less annoying way of telling people how cool I am than what I do now, which is tell them that I'm cool because I'm reading this book or listening to that CD.

So then I decide to blog about blog widgets ... and realized that since I don't have much interest in them, I don't really know what's out there, other than the 3 mentioned above. I took a trip to (cited in the article) and discovered there's widgets for:
  • A Flash Web counter that shows the # of visits on your site (Ha! It's also one of the most popular; guess I was wrong about the days of posting low-visit shame being over)
  • Free Poll Widget: Post your own polls. Do you like taking web polls? Answer now!
  • YouTube Videos: If I wasn't so worried about getting lost for days in the morass of brain candy that is YouTube, I might be tempted.
  • Flickr Sideshow: See a slideshow of photos from Flickr. This has potential ....
  • CuteCaps Mini (Cute Overload): I'll let the blurb speak for itself, I'm busy vomiting, "Hey! Not enough cute on your blog or website? Add your own CuteCaps Mini! Cute Overload scours the Web for only the finest in Cute Imagery." Many MANY kittens and puppies.
  • Internet Traffic: I don't have any use for this one, but I'm posting it because the blurb is an antidote to the Cute one above: "Show your visitors how clogged the tubes currently are."

Friday, February 02, 2007

That's What She Said!

Right, so ... last week Jen requested a blog entry on "The Office". I was only too happy to oblige because 1) I love "The Office", and 2) I love it when people suggest blog entries to me, since that's less work on my part.

So all week, I've been planning that today's blog would be about "The Office." But I actually started to get nervous. The show itself is so well-written, how can I even try to write well about it without looking foolish?

After much debate and angst (all taking place when I should be working, of course), I decided to pay homage to the show by listing some of my favorite quotes, as provided by I'm sure once I've posted this and the pressure is off, I'll think of many brilliant things to say about The Office, but until then this will have to do!

Michael Scott: It's simply beyond words. It's incalculacable.

Dwight Schrute: Someone forged medical information, and that's a felony.
Jim Halpert: OK, Whoa, all right 'cause that's a pretty intense accusation. How do you know that they're fake?
Dwight Schrute: [reading from a sheet] Uh, Leprosy, Flesh Eating Bacteria, Hot Dog Fingers, Government Created Killer Nano Robot Infection.

Jim Halpert: Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train.

Michael Scott: This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she's cute now, you should have seen her a couple years ago.

Dwight Schrute: Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most.

Michael Scott: Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he's really not a part of our family. Also, he's divorced, so he's really not a part of his family.

Dwight Schrute: Women are like wolves. If you want a wolf, you have to trap it. You have to snare it. And then you have to tame it. Keep it happy. Care for it. Feed it. Lovingly, the way an animal deserves to be loved. And my animal deserves a lot of loving.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Define "average-looking"

There's been a movement in recent years to make TV more average-looking. Instead of having only beautiful, impossibly thin and attractive people on TV, networks have been urged to have more "average-looking" people on their shows. Instead of giving all of us normal Americans an inferiority complex, networks should show the regular folk that we can readily identify with.

In theory, I agree with this. And yet ... in the past few days, I've noticed several instances of not-beautiful people on TV, and they frightened me.

I won't call them average because, well, they seemed downright ugly. There! I said it. I'm all for having cute women, slightly pudgy men, maybe people with some crooked teeth .... but these actors were alarming. Their features were just wrong.

Is this what TVland thinks the average American looks like? Maybe when you're constantly surrounded by beautiful people, you become somewhat visually impaired, unable to distinguish between "reasonably attractive" and "feral gnome." That would be a strange, strange world.