Archive for May, 2009

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go see cal!

May 28, 2009

this week on pop culture friday: favorite local commercials!

where i grew up, we had 3 local stations from the central coast, and several local stations from los angeles. the most memorable local commercials came from the l.a. stations.

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how to remember boring facts

May 28, 2009

this is just endlessly amusing.

why yes, i am a raging dork, thank you for asking.

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self-analysis via text

May 28, 2009

not too long ago, my best friend bug (not her real name, obviously) emailed me a collection of text messages i had sent her. we text all the time, but these are the ones she found worth saving for a couple years. i decided it would be amusing to parse them out and see if they say anything about me.

(in order from oldest to newest)

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just close your eyes and think of the undergrads

May 27, 2009

so once upon a time i decided to go to grad school. and it was interesting. and then i realized it completely fucking sucked. so i left, presumably to seek fame and fortune in the publishing industry.

you can imagine how well that turned out. at some point, hopefully i’ll stop being delusional about my career prospects.

anyway, this whole saga – which has been going on for the past 6 years or so – sends me through periodic paroxysms of grief and doubt as i debate which was really the better choice and whether i shouldn’t have just stayed – or whether i shouldn’t have gone in the first place.

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midnight, not a sound from the pavement

May 27, 2009

so one of the things that i find eternally fascinating and ponderable is the nature of memory: how we create memories, what we remember, and the kind of connections our brains make between outside stimuli and internal memories.

i bring this up because this morning i was listening to Purple, the STP album from 1994. now, i didn’t own this album when it first came out; hell, i didn’t even really like STP until i was in college. but somehow the songs on this album (many of which i haven’t heard in at least ten years) simply sound like 1994. “interstate love song” reminded me mostly of the video for that song, which isn’t all that weird, but “pretty penny” gave me a weird image of my cousin and i house sitting in march of 1995. it made me think of making dinner in the kitchen of that house, and driving to school when it was cold and overcast and kind of dark (our school started at 7:45). 

so this got me thinking: why do certain songs – even random songs that don’t necessarily like or didn’t necessarily listen to extensively back in the day – bring up such strong, specific, but totally random memories? this is something i’ve thought about a lot. sometimes there’s a sort of reason to the associations:

  • the oasis song “champagne supernova” makes me think of both my sophomore german class and making out with the guy i dated in the spring of 1995, because that song was constantly on mtv when we watched it during class (don’t ask, that’s a story for another day) and while mtv was background noise while we made out.
  • jim croce’s “bad, bad leroy brown” causes me to envision my mom doing some hardcore Mom Dancing in our living room. she loves this song, and she would always do this really dorky white woman dance that involved clapping. several other random songs (some by CCR, who she also loves) sound enough like this song to also give me this image.

and then sometimes there’s not, as with the above STP song and stuff like keith whitley’s “i’m no stranger to the rain,” which makes me think of driving around mt. shasta in my grandparents’ mini van during a summer storm. various other songs from the same period (including at least two randy travis songs) make me think of similar scenes of summer in mt. shasta.

side note: part of the problem with surreptitiously blogging at work is that i frequently forget where i was going with this shit. did i have a point? probably not. but let’s see what i can dredge up.

i guess what i’m trying to get at – what i can’t answer, but what i like to wonder about – is why these specific memories? why can i remember things like my 6th grade school schedule? why does a random song i’m not even that partial to bring up a very random memory of an unexceptional moment in time? why do i need to remember the night i made macaroni & cheese for my cousin while we were house sitting? is there something specific there, something my brain thinks is important, something it’s squirreling away for a future use? or is this all just truly random?

maybe i should just buy a book on memory and the brain.

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quote madness

May 22, 2009

so ever since the av club started their new friday feature, pop culture q & a, i’ve been playing along in my head and toying with the idea of playing along in writing as well, and today’s the day i get off my ass and actually post something to this blog.

the question of the week: old, out-dated, or otherwise random pop-culture quotes you just can’t stop using. to which i say:

  • “i’m cold and wolves are after me,” which grandpa says on an old episode of the simpsons. my high school friends and i found this hilarious, for some reason, and it still comes to mind as short hand in any sort of situation where i am whining for no reason and just want to make myself that much more ridiculous.
  • “you think you’re so funny.” during my stoned college days, i watched comedy central presents a lot, and my second favorite episode (after the mitch hedberg ep) was elvira kurt. she does this wonderful impression of her hungarian mother’s disapproval. no one seems to find this as hilarious as i do.
  • “an interesting locution.” from the laurie colwin short story “the achieve of, the mastery of the thing,” which i have loved since i was 18. the line is an inside joke between the two main characters, who spend their time getting high and having silly conversations.
  • various lines from riding with death (mst3k edition), including “as elusive as robert denby,” “flapjacks,” and “because that’s what being ben murphy is all about.” only my best friend thinks this is funny, but then, she’s the one who got me started on this episode, so that makes sense.
  • “standing tall like a big, blonde marine,” a line from a mid-90s barq’s commercial that only 3 people seem to remember.  
  • “you shouldn’t try to fly, nancy, and you shouldn’t listen to british people,” from the eminently quotable mr. show.