Archive for the ‘TELEVISION’ Category

My oppressed youth

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Growing up, my brother and I were a little different from our companions. Yes, we were really scrawny, and yes, we took radishes in our lunches, and yes, I almost exclusively wore stirrup pants from Lands End, but there was something else about us that made our friends gasp. We. Didn’t. Have. Cable. Our parents remain unnaturally proud of this. They imagine that they saved our lives by robbing us of cable. Or that they enriched the world. Or something. When they tell someone this (full of pride. Like bursting at the seams with pride.), the response is always “Oh! Your children must be so creative! They must be so different!” This is so fucking laughable to me. I have the creativity of a corpse, and my brother’s idea of creativity is flirting on the internet.

Our lack of creativity is probably derived from one very important source: we are obsessed with television shows (also my brother is writing his dissertation, which I imagine robs him of a lot of free time in which he could be, say, screenprinting flyers or, like, knitting little cozies for his ipod). We never had the opportunities our peers had to hang out with Kelly and Zack and Slater. I never got to grow up with Michelle and Stephanie and their dad with the unfortunate hair and their annoying neighbor. I couldn’t tell you what the Wonder Years involved, and I thought Blossom was about some girl with a green thumb until college. That means that we don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about television. Because we are two individuals who secretly want to fit in, we are trying our hardest to catch up with you. In the break room at work, I want to talk about the Office, goddamnit. I want to know about ER! I want to know about Heroes and Lost and all those other shows about which I know next to nothing.

This is why I have a very enthusiastic appreciation for television shows. It might be unhealthy. It probably is. I have next to no standards regarding television, as I have no, say, childhood gauge for television. If it is trashy, and even remotely interesting, I will probably be obsessed with it. I will watch re-runs of the stupidest things with the greatest interest. I’m talking Designing Women here. And Newhart. And Salute Your Shorts. Pete & Pete. Goddamn Seventh Heaven. These things are so foreign to me that they’re incredible. In a heroic attempt to save my brother and I from rotting brains and a “ruined” childhood, my parents inadvertently set us up for adulthoods of deep, sincere television loves.

I didn’t by any means have an oppressed youth (that title was merely a hook). I had a nice, quiet childhood full of impending anxieties about my future. My friends growing up were Felicity Merriman, Playmobil and Breyer horses.  It was fun.  But now I am ready for television, and having new friends in the Buffster, Heidi Klum, and all of the fun people I have yet to meet on the mean streets of Baltimore.

The items contained in this entry might forever shatter your perceptions of me. And I’m okay with that.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

When I think about why I have no free time ever, I consider the fact that I have many unmistakably shallow pursuits. A few weeks ago, I changed my Facebook About Me to say: “I’m kind of really into unicorns, trashy vampire books, obnoxious accessories, Lisa Frank and gossip. AKA: I am 9 years old at heart.” This is my About Me, people. My public face to the WORLD, or the 600-some acquaintances I once deemed important enough to be my “friend.” My sixth grade boyfriend (who I never technically broke up with, and have therefore been committing adultery on since 1996) knows that I like VAMPIRE BOOKS. Trashy ones, at that! My logic professor from sophomore year (self-proclaimed “sexy logician”) might be aware that I like unicorns. I can’t say that I’m embarrassed people know that I like Lisa Frank, because I seriously have no shame whatsoever (and Lisa Frank is, excuse the pun, frankly kind of awesome), but I am a little aghast that this is what I spend my free time on. GOSSIP. Things I should have stopped liking in the 8th grade. Pony websites! Puppy websites!

I have been both a bad blogger and reader in the past week. I took two sick days last week and laid on my couch feeling pathetic, and desperately wishing that the New Yorker that I’d left in OMC’s car wasn’t so far away (aka in the car, two flights of steps away from his third floor apartment). I tried to get back in the reading game over the weekend, but there was a lil football game occupying my time and my mind. BTW, go SIXBURGH. I wanted to get some reading done last night, but when I sat down to read I couldn’t stop touching my hair. I have any number of bad, harmful habits that I won’t disclose for the sake of preserving my integrity to anonymous readers because these habits make me look absolutely batshit crazy. I will disclose, however, that when in class and while reading, I constantly touch my hair. I twirl it into little loops and try to tie it in knots and little twisty things and I try desperately to braid it. I am growing my hair out, and am in the dangerous state of growth that I fondly think of as “mad-scientist hair,” and as a result, I cannot stop touching the new length. Then I sometimes imagine, while reading, that I’ve stumbled onto some new fabulous hairstyle that I need to examine immediately in the mirror, and as a result, well, I can’t get any reading done. I want to tell you about Plague of Doves, because it’s GORGEOUS, but I cannot stop touching my goddamn hair.

For that aforementioned football game, I made banana cupcakes with dark chocolate icing (get it, black and gold?!). I probably ate too many of them. I didn’t take a picture because my camera is dead. I need to get back in the baking game, but school + work + being shallow can be really time-consuming.

Can I add, too, that now that football season is over, it is time for some motherfucking NCAA hoops? Holy shit. I am torn in two with love for both Jermaine Dixon and DeJuan Blair. My passion for Pitt basketball: it’s out of this world.

OH MY GOD. How could I forget. My newest shallow pursuit: Gossip Girl. I have only watched four episodes, and I kind of HATE IT, but I am completely unable to prevent myself from watching it. It’s like a terrible train-wreck dressed in amazing clothes, and I want out. It’s not good! It’s disturbing and horrible! But alas, I am hooked.


Shallow Girl.

My foray into Buffy studies

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I am, like, the world’s worst blogger. My faithful readers must be thinking, “Wherever did Elaina go?!!”, to which I frankly have no answer. Um, to work? To school, maybe?

I’ve been reading lots of things, it’s true. And knitting lots of things. And watching lots of, um, well, Gilmore Girls. I feel no shame admitting that. This is the girl who faithfully watched the O.C. until the very last episode, who bawled her little eyeballs out when Marissa Cooper died, who was so devastated by Coop dying that she couldn’t leave the house on her 22nd birthday. The girl who has canceled plans in order to spend entire Saturdays (9-9, baby) watching Top Model marathons. The girl so devoted to Buffy she scours Digital Dissertations & ETD looking for Buffy-related theses and dissertations (at least I’m putting my reference skills to work?). Obviously, I have no television shame. Whatevs.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, then, to hear that I have been reading BUFFY SCHOLARLY ESSAYS. That’s right, faithful readers. Buffy studies–they exist. This month, I’ve read:

-Sex and the slayer : a gender studies primer for the Buffy fan, edited by Lorna Jowett

-Fighting the forces : what’s at stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, edited by Rhonda V. Wilcox and David Lavery (if there were a god of Buffy studies, it would be Lavery)


-Slayer slang : a Buffy the vampire slayer lexicon, by Michael Adams

I’m not entirely sure if I’m proud of this, or embarrassed. I actually liked all of these books/compilations. Sure, I kind of hid Fighting the forces behind a notebook when I was reading it on the bus (okay, it has a really really shitty cover) but, Buffyverse folks notwithstanding, there’s some decent writing in here to appeal to most people who like wacky television.

All of this is why it should come as no surprise that I am so eagerly awaiting the return of Gilmore girls and the politics of identity : essays on family and feminism in the television series (edited by Ritch Calvin) to my lil library. I mean, why not?

Buffy + Library school

Friday, April 4th, 2008

 I am tempted to petition the professors at my hallowed and beloved library school (haha!) to start showing episodes of Buffy during class. This would serve two purposes. One: I would be incredibly entertained, on the edge of my seat even, and two: we would probably learn valuable lessons from Giles (the so-called “Super-Librarian” and also Buffy’s Watcher). On the issue of digitization, which is always dividing friend and foe in library school, we would learn things like this from Giles:

“Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a – it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It’s-it’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.”