Social ties and TV


Well, I’m sad. A migraine is most definitely coming on. Son of a bitch! I felt it starting this morning before I even got out of bed, but assumed it was a sinus thing. I took cold meds and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, the headache started to expand and I had the awful dizzy/lightheadedness thing set in right before lunch. I felt a little better after I ate (Chick-Fil-A, because I was craving those evil waffle fries) but now, an hour later, I feel like lunch might come back up.

This sucks. I want to go home, but I don’t want to go outside into the sunlight to do it. So I will just sit here, very still, trying not to move my head very fast and breathe through my nose. Migraines are such a curse.

Anyway, it’s not all about migraines today. I’ve got other things on my mind.

* Last night, I got a phone call from my cousin, J. It was shocking! See, me and my sis have two cousins, and we don’t even know them. The last time we saw either of them, they were under 10 years old and we were teenagers. My joke of an extended family is not close, at all. It’s so weird that I have three aunts and two uncles and yet I never, ever, ever hear from any of them and to be honest, they rarely even cross my mind. One of my aunts is totally AWOL from the rest of the family; the last time any of us saw her was in 1990 at a funeral. I can’t believe that my father has a sister he hasn’t seen in 20 years. That’s staggering. I can’t imagine not seeing my sister for 20 days.

OK, so, J called and I answered it while I was driving with my sister. He asked if the three of us could get together sometime, have dinner or something. Oddly enough, he lives about 1/2 an hour away in Phoenix, not far from my mom’s apartment, actually. It was good my sister was right there, because we could make plans immediately. So, a week from today, we are going to meet up with our long-lost cousin.

It’s just too funny. I mean, how could we have cousins that we talk to?! It’s never felt like we do. We’ve always been incredibly jealous of our friends who do have bigger families, and cousins. Even though we had two of our own, you’d never know it. (The other cousin, J’s sister, is living in Thailand at the moment. And she is a blonde with blue eyes. We come from darker stock than that, so there’s no way she would ever even be mistaken for a relative of ours, really.)  Either way, it’s going to be so interesting to see how this goes. We hope J is cool. We hope he has a sense of humor, and that the dinner won’t be the most awkward thing in the entire world. We suspect he’s a little weird, though… but maybe he’s just misunderstood by the rest of the family. (He’s never dated, ever; he was ultra-religious and into going on missions to build houses in Mexico; he is studying to be a male nurse… which is something my one aunt was trying to get ME to talk him out of doing. Seriously, she told me to talk to him and tell him to go to “a real college” instead of nursing school, presumably because I am the sole “real college” graduate in this tiny family… and of course, I refused. I mean, I don’t know him. How could I possibly call this person up and tell him what he should be doing with his life?! No way, never. My aunt is an ass.)

One of my friends is possibly angry with me and two other people because she appears to think we are purposely planning a get-together without her. She said something snotty on a Facebook message queue, effectively creating drama where there is no need for drama. Long story short, my sister and I asked our two close girl-friends on Monday to hang out tomorrow night. One of them said yes, the other said she couldn’t b/c she has a work Christmas party. No big deal, right? Wrong. The girl who can’t go is the one getting weird. It makes the rest of us feel like shit. Of course we’re not planning anything diabolical. We aren’t like that. But we still want to do something on Friday, so we’re planning to. We are going to go ice skating. But the drama-girl is making us feel like we have to reschedule just because she can’t go.

Siiiiiigh. And this is exactly why I can’t handle most women!

I don’t play this. We are all adults, and our spare time is precious. Why spend it with people who make you feel awful or make everything difficult? So, I don’t. I’m selfish, and I love my free time… if I am going to make time to include Someone Else in my free time, it’s gotta be good. Otherwise it’s not worth it, in my eyes. I don’t want to hang out with someone out of pity or obligation. I want to be myself, and have a nice time. I’m fortunate enough to have a small handful of friends that I can do this with, without a lot of hassle or lady-drama, as I call it. I thought this 4th friend could be in this little group of friends, but maybe not. Too bad, really.

I’m aware that my way of treating friends is probably a little harsh in some ways. If you want to be my friend, you have to realize that I am not an up-in-your-face kind of friend. I’m not all into hanging out every weekend, or shopping together, or talking on the phone. I’m good for a few get-togethers here and there, but don’t expect much more than that, because that’s just not who I am. Don’t get me wrong, though: when you are my friend, I will be there for you if you need me. I’ll be a shoulder to cry on. I will make you laugh. I’ll pray for and/or with you. I will help you move, if you ask me. Will I meet you after work for happy hour, or go dancing? Probably not. But can you count on me for years and years and years of friendship? You bet.

And the big one: you can’t be a total girl if you’re gonna be in my little inner circle.

That means you can’t be tempermental, and moody and nasty or clingy. You can’t get all bitchy about dumb shit, and you can’t give me guilt trips or be passive aggressive and annoying. You can’t be a little diva around me, oh hell nooooo. I don’t have the patience or the stamina for any of that. Act like a DECENT PERSON. Don’t be a brat. And don’t expect me to coddle your sorry ass. Please. I’d sooner kick you in it.

So, what was I talking about? Oh yeah. Tomorrow night I am going ice skating with two of my best friends. And we will have a great time. I’m excited for it.

Media consumption report (I should make this a regular list on every post!):

* I’m reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Have you read this book? I feel like it’s another one that everyone has already read and I am one of the last people to catch on; like it was with the Hunger Games series. However, I bought the book on sale a month or so ago, and just started reading it at lunch yesterday. It’s awesome. It’s a werewolf romance. But it’s cool because in no way do these werewolves remind you of anything Twilight-y or other werewolf mythology you might have read in other books. It’s yet another young adult novel, but at this point I really don’t give a crap. I read what I like to read, and this is exactly the kind of book I like to read, so that’s all there is to it. Anyway, the book has a sequel, too, Linger. I think a third book comes out this coming summer. I’ll be reading all of them, I can tell already. I am having a tough time putting this book down. What a nice switch from the other books I have been struggling to remain interested in. It’s wonderful to be back in that place; the one where you remember just why you love curling up with a good book so much.

* We didn’t get to see Black Swan last night after all. We did have tickets to a free preview screening, but apparently people started lining up around 1pm yesterday afternoon to get in, so we missed out. Who lines up at 1pm for a 7pm movie, honestly?! Don’t those people have jobs? Sheesh. Well, it’s OK. I’m just hoping that the movie goes to wide release kind of soon. (Although we’re still waiting for 127 Hours to go wide release, too… what the hell is with all the movies I want to see NOT EVER PLAYING ANYWHERE, EVER, anyway? Gah.)

* I can’t believe I have still not hooked up my Wii. I bought it before Halloween and it’s still in the box! What an idiot I am sometimes. Maybe I will actually hook it all up this weekend.

* For no real reason whatsoever, I feel like listing my current favorite TV shows. So, here they are, in general order:

1) Fringe

2) Raising Hope

3) 30 Rock

4) The Walking Dead

5) It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (by the way, I think Dee has the baby on tonight’s episode, if you’re interested!)

6) Futurama (new episodes)

7) Tosh.0

8 ) Glee

9) The Office

10) I Survived (even though this is the scariest show ever)

The things of note in this listing: For one, The Office has slid down to #9, when it used to be in the top 3, consistently. This is one show where the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. It’s nowhere near as funny as it once was. Sad.

Fringe could probably occupy the top 5 slots by itself, I love it so much. I’m perpetually scared this show will get cancelled, so I really hope people start watching it. I get emotionally invested when I watch it, and I get all goosebumpy and inspired to write. And, it flies the science-geek flag pretty damn high, which makes me feel like it’s cool to read about the crap I always read about. And write about. And the 5 stars of this show are amazing. (I am counting Astrid and Broyles as main characters in addition to Olivia, Peter and Walter, because I love them so much.)

Raising Hope is a surprising #2! But I’m telling you, that show cracks me up all the time. I love the humor, and the sweetness at the heart of it. Martha Plimpton is incredible on this show! Who would have ever thought that Martha Plimpton would be the star of a hilarious comedy? Not me. And the dude playing Burt is hysterical. I find myself quoting him from time to time. And then I laugh to myself again. Ahhh, thank God TV has given us a new, laugh-track-free comedy!

I’m still surprised how much I enjoy Glee. I am fully aware of how saccharine the whole thing is when I am watching it. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the music numbers themselves (I’d be fine if they cut them out altogether), which is weird because it’s kind of the hallmark of the entire show, right? But what I am a fan of is the writing. I love Sue and her sister. I love Kurt. I love Kurt’s Dad and Finn’s Mom. I love Artie. I love Beast. All the weirdos, I love ’em. I kind of can’t stand Rachel, or the redhead with the huge eyes (I can’t remember her name right now!) but the rest of it’s pretty great. I’ve gotten all choked up on a few occassions now, which so far only happens to me on shows like Lost, Buffy and Fringe. And I am so very anxious for Kurt to have a boyfriend, just like the rest of the fans of the show. Best portrayal of a gay teenager (and father to a gay teenager) ever. Love it.

And finally, I put I Survived on this list because it’s a guilty pleasure. I don’t even know if I can call it a pleasure, though, because it always scares the piss out of me. Even though I know I’m going to get all messed-up from watching it, I can’t turn it off if I see that it’s on when I’m channel surfing. I’ll also watch documentaries of anything that is bloody, harrowing or just plain brutal. I don’t know why I can never, ever look away. (I’m still not brave enough to watch The Cove, though. I will watch it sometime, and I am dying to watch it, actually, but… that’s a subject I have a very, very hard time with. When I was very little, I saw a special on the killings with my Dad and the images seriously do haunt me; I’m not being dramatic. It’s one of the first things that made a massive impact on me and what kind of person I grew up to be. A person just can’t watch images of that thick, bloody water and hear the screams of dying baby dolphins and walk away from it unchanged. No way. I’d go down fighting to protect helpless animals from the brutality of humans. Have you ever thought about it– would you take a bullet to save an animal? I have seriously thought about it, and I really would.)

Overall, I wish I didn’t like TV as much as I do. I feel like I should be doing other stuff rather than watching this stuff, but I simply don’t want to. I really enjoy these shows, and I’m so grateful for the DVR. Sometimes, TV is just very, very good. Better than movies, in fact. I’d easily say that yes, I enjoy TV more than movies these days. I will put a movie in the DVD player and it will sit in there for weeks, literally, before I finally watch it. If I have time to sit and watch something, I’m totally going to be catching up on the DVR stuff. No question about it.

So, what are you watching these days?


5 responses »

  1. I haven’t heard of that book, but it sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll put it on my list.

    I still can’t figure out where else I’ve seen the guy who plays Burt. I love that show and I can’t ever decide whose character I like best. It is all so hysterical! I’m still laughing over Great Maw-Maw in the convict conga line and “Some old lady took her top off!” though I think “Wanna trade pants?” will always be my favorite. Topless old lady on a sitcom- what a great idea! Oh and the Jenga episode is still the BEST!

    Cousins- there were 8 of us on my mom’s side and we were thick as thieves as kids. Now we’re all grown up and not nearly in touch as often as we should be. Every once in a while one of them has another baby and gets all caught up in nostaliga and wants to know how to get in touch with the others, intending to spend more time on the relationships, etc… but that never happens. Sure, they all still greet me warmly if we happen to cross paths during the holidays, but then they go right back to talking to each other about themselves -and by that I mean a certain trio of siblings who see each other all the time just can’t seem to spent any family gathering NOT talking at loud decibels to their own family about themselves and what they have been doing. Uh, like nobody knew that already. I’d much rather them catch up with ME, but… what the hey. I always wanted too much attention, anyway.

    We were the only kids on my dad’s side of the family until I was about 12. That’s when the step-cousins and new babies came along. The step-cousins merely tolerated us, then quit coming around. The babies (now grown-up) are still our favorites.

  2. I think the guy who plays Burt was on Deadwood, of all things. I’m all geeked out over the fact that we like some of the same shows! It’s weird because I don’t know anyone IRL who gets excited about good TV like I do. Fringe is like the only thing keeping me from crying over the fact that Lost is gone. Every single episode is good. I try to think of an episode that didn’t BRING IT and it’s just impossible. It’s just the perfect mix of sci-fi, horror, drama, comedy. LOVE it.

    I think we have the same take on Glee: I don’t really watch it for the music, either. Half the time I mute the TV or read while they’re singing. It’s been really uneven this season (ha, that rhymes); I think they’re trying too hard. But when it’s good (like the relationship between Kurt and his dad), it’s really really good.

    I have cousins I don’t see either. Part of that is because dealing with family get-togethers is just too stressful for me, and part of it’s because that’s just how my family rolls. Facebook contact works just fine, for the most part.

  3. My favorite Burt line of all time is probably: “Hey, Dancin’ Dave! Sorry you lost the election… you woulda made a great Comptroller!” I’m very partial to the episode about posing for the family portraits, too. The scene with them all in the van, dressed in ski outfits as the car careens out of control as “Do-Wacka-Do” plays on the radio is PERFECT. Love it!!

    I’m so glad we have the same taste in stuff, Fraulein… and that you feel the same way about Fringe. It’s just too damn good. If it were a book, I’d totally read it. And *thank you* for agreeing with me about the music-part of Glee! I thought I was the only person who felt that way, so I felt so lonely and lost. No more. 😉

    Cousins, schmousins. Who needs em? They’re OK, if that’s your thing. I don’t know that it is my thing.

  4. This post made my head spin. there are so many awesome things discussed I can’t even comment on them all except to say I love you and your definition of friends sits fine with me. I can’t handle all that girly shit dramatics either. 🙂

  5. Don’t worry, Crazy Princess… you never have to comment on everything! I appreciate you weighing in at all, so thank you! I’m a terrible commenter, myself– totally scattershot. Somedays I comment everywhere and then I will go a week without saying anything. I’m a creepy lurker! 😉

    And yay for not putting up with the divas of the world! We have to stand up and not let them win. They give women a bad name, and I’m sick of it! Grrr!

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