Thursday, January 31, 2008


We all know that music has an incredible way of taking us back. Something that always surprises me, though, is the very specific nature of memories dredged up by particular songs. I heard “Round Here” on the radio today, and I was instantly (though not literally) back on the sidewalk between Myers Hall and Snelling Dining Hall – the sidewalk in between the basketball court and the parking lot – walking to lunch on a sunny day. There are a handful of songs that do this to me whenever I hear them.

Thinking about this, I realized that all of these memory songs take me back to the most mundane places. I think that’s also very interesting. You'd think that the exciting memories would be the ones that come back so strongly, but with me, it’s most often something so simple. I’m usually walking down the sidewalk in Athens; riding to a soccer game on the school bus; riding in the station wagon with my dad on a dark, winter night; or pulling into the gas station to get a nutty bar with my mom, on the way to gymnastics.

Why is it that memories of the mundane capture the feeling of the extraordinary events of the same time, rather than the other way around?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Things I bought today

This is the best, and I'm so excited. I usually don't buy tv shows, because I find that I don't watch them much after I buy them. Well, I've been thinking about owning this show for a while now, and I just keep thinking about it. I have a little extra cash this week, so I just got it.

I got something else, too, but I have to tell a friend about it before I blog it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Morning movie watching and sexy ugly

So, the wonders of the DVR are not just limited to catching shows you wouldn't normally be able to watch. Another wonderful benefit is recording movies that you've been meaning to watch for ages, but never get around to renting. Today is just such a day to catch up on a few of the movies I have waiting for me on the DVR. From oldest recording to newest, I have: Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Far from Heaven; Chicken Run; Strictly Ballroom; Tadpole; Jesus Camp; and Kissing Jessica Stein.

Today feels like a girly movie day, so while I'm folding laundry and moving 250GB of pictures and music from one hard drive to another, I've chosen Kissing Jessica Stein.

So many people have told me I'd like this movie, and from the very beginning, I could tell they were right. However, the scene I'm watching now has won this movie a special place in my heart. Jessica is sort of on a date with another woman, but not really a date. They're both disillusioned with men, and giving women a shot, even though they're both clearly nervous about it. Anyway, Jessica is talking about why men never seem to work out, and it comes down to the fact that if they are the "good kind of smart or the good kind of funny, then generally, they're just kind of ... ugly." (The whole break down of the different kinds of funny is fantastic, but I won't get into that.)

Anyway, Jessica's "date", Helen, jumps in with, "Me, I'm kinda into ugly. As long as it's sexy ugly."

Oh, those of you who know me, know exactly where my mind goes here. I thought she may go there, too. But I certainly wasn't expecting it. Ah, then, yes she does.

"It just is, you know, sexy ugly ... Mick Jagger, he's the big one. Oh! Lyle Lovett, James Woods, Harvey Keitel. He's very sexy ugly."

Let me just add Dwight Yoakam to that list, too.

The thing about sexy ugly, though, is that it seems to be the good kind of smart and the good kind of funny that makes ugly sexy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I’ve finally realized that as long as I’m in my current job, I will not work out at night. Being the morning person that I am, I have put off the decision to work out in the morning for quite some time. But, well, I can’t any longer. I want to get back into shape and stop being so squishy. I want my resting heart rate to be below 90. I want to get enough sleep, and I want to feel good all day long.

While soccer is my favorite way to stay in shape, cycling is a close second. I’m not willing to risk my life on the road with all the SUVs in Alpharetta, though, so I’ve opted for a spin class. It’s at 5:45 am, and so far this week I’ve gone Tuesday and Thursday. I like the instructor, and two days a week is plenty.

I’ll let you know if I keep it up, and if I end up with monster cycling thighs like I did last time I was riding regularly. This should be interesting.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Here are a couple of links to some reading I've done recently.

The first is the last post of a soldier recently killed in Iraq. He asked a friend to post this in the event of his death. I hadn't read his blog before hearing about this post, but after reading it, will probably go back and read some earlier posts. He seems thoughtful and extremely self-aware. His last post is impressive and heart-wrenching.

Hat Tip: The Agitator

The second is an essay by conservative columnist Michael Medved. I saw Medved speak when I was a student at UGA. Then, I only knew him as a movie critic. I don't remember the exact subject of the speech, but I remember being surprised and impressed. I've read him here and there ever since. This essay (I think it's too detailed to call a column) is about how every generation thinks things are only getting worse, and that it's been going on for centuries - yet, here we are.

Medved only tackles the culture in this column, but I have read some other tidbits that say the same about our own health, contrary to popular obesity hype. I'll have to dig those up, sometime, too.