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May 24, 2001

When Did I Get So Old?

I'm not sure when it happened. I can't really pinpoint a particular moment of realizing, "Hmm, this feels harder to do than it did the last time I did it. I must be getting older." No, it was more like, "Why am I so sore? Why am I so tired? Why would I rather go to bed with a good book than that hot guy over there, if it means having to do the work of flirting, catching, cleaning, and cooking the damn thing? Why am I acting 80?!?"

So often, I'm sure I'm still a teenager. Nothing much has changed, in terms of my likes and dislikes. Too much perfume or cologne still pisses me off. Bass thumping so loudly from a car's speakers that the street cracks still annoys me. These aren't new traits of the Grumpy Old Hag I've become. I still firmly believe that weekly massage and chiropractic adjustments could bring about world peace. I still know Robyn Hitchcock is a genius and John Cusack will marry me the instant he meets me. Yep, same beliefs for over 15 years now. And I enjoy a cherry popsickle today as much as I did after playing all day on the Slip-n-Slide in the front yard.

Of course, there's the gradual wrinkle I notice once every few months. I have to pluck and tweeze and things that I never had to as a teenager. My fingernails won't stay long all at the same time and I no longer have the time to paint little portraits on them with acrylic paint. I don't spend hours trimming split ends off my hair. I use moisturizer religiously. It takes much longer to bounce back from illness, a drunken bender, or a fall (and somehow I've gotten much more clumsy these days).

But when did I start making noises when getting into and out of my car? When did I start saying, "Oy," under my breath when getting out of bed? When did I start squinting so often that it feels strange to force relaxation into that spot just above my left eyebrow?

Maybe those things happened just as gradually as the ability to find joy in a familiar song, passion over a new idea, and unconditional love for a dear friend. Perhaps it's just a by-product of the years passing, that my mind - and my body - find pleasure in the simple things. Maybe it's all part of the grand scheme of things and I'm becoming a wise soul. Or, could it be, just possibly, that I'm a lazy old coot who is grumpy and needs a nap? Yeah. That sounds about right. Now get off my yard before I come after you with this cane!

Posted by bonnie at 2:01 PM

May 10, 2001

Pop Culture Challenge

Once I was dining with some of my more literary friends and was interrupted by one of them. "Bonnie," Dawn began, "you've made five TV references in the past ten minutes and, since I don't own a television, I find it difficult to keep up with your analogies."

I was speechless.

First of all, get a TV! Second, if you're gonna be The Freak with No TV, then you should just keep to yourself that you can't keep up with my stories. Third, what's so wrong about using TV to help make a point?

I called my friend Chip, who owns a CyberHouse I covet like you wouldn't believe. "Chip," I whined, "why did I feel like such an outcast after she made that comment?"

Chip proceeded to tell me the tale of his recent weekend getaway with some of our favorite nerdy friends. "Kate decided that we all make too many pop culture references, considering how intelligent we all are."

"That's not the point!" I interrupted.

"I know!" Chip agreed. "But she threw down the Pop Culture Challenge for the weekend." Immediately, I remembered the short-lived Lifetime Television game show, Debt, in which Wink Martindale would reward contestants with a repayment of their life's debt, perhaps even double that reward, based on the contestant's sudden-death turn with their Favorite Pop Culture Category. I remembered seeing several people choke on questions that I knew the answers to, even though the categories weren't ones on my Expert List. I decided, if I ever go on the show, I'd use Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Brenda Years, since I know every word to every episode within that era. See, it's always smarter to use a show rather than a film, since a film is so short, by comparison. The question could be about another film on which the cinematographer of your favorite film worked. Choosing a band is good, but you have to know with what other bands the bassist played or on what label they first recorded. Nah, I had it right: BH9, Brenda Style.

But that's not what Chip meant. Kate's challenge to the group of friends - and this was not to win a debt-free life or anything - was to make no pop culture references for the entire weekend. Ugh! That just sounds painful! And why would anyone do this voluntarily?

I'm constantly adding to the list of shows that will air on My Ideal TV Network. This is actually funny, since now, with TiVo, Replay, and that overpriced Microsux version of the same thing, My Ideal TV Network actually exists. You just tell the darn thing what you want to see and there ya go! Once it airs somewhere, you've nabbed it. Of course, I was thinking more along the lines of programming all the shows that never aired (and never will be run, even after having been shot, due to early cancellation, networks' greed, advertisers -- ah, don't get me started). For instance, I'd have a network of Relativity (that adorable show between Thirty-Something and My So-Called Life); Class of '96 (the quickly-canceled Fox episodic between Bev9 and Melrose Place); of course, Bev9, MP, and other such candy; Partners and any other show created by or starring friends of mine; Freaks & Geeks; Match Game, Pyramid, and other classics from the Game Show Network; The Donny & Marie Variety Hour; Iron Chef; Family Guy (a brilliant cartoon that has disappeared this season); and finally, E! True Hollywood Stories, VH-1 Before They Were Stars and Where Are They Now, A&E Biography, and any other true story thingy.

Oh, man! I can't wait to have TiVo!

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Chip said they were able to rise to Kate's Pop Culture Challenge. "Did you become better people for it?" I asked.

Chip's deadpan response: "It was the worst weekend of my life."

Posted by bonnie at 2:02 PM