September 26, 2007

Dirty Watchy

I’m going to SIBA this weekend! On the one hand, I am going to see a ton of folks I REALLY like that I usually only see on book tour. On the other, I am going to talk in public aboutTHE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, a book I have not yet talked about much in public. I am feeling my way still about how to talk about this book. It stills feels very close to me. I feel a little NAKED discussing it, and wonder if it will seem odd if I do my talk in a parka. With a veil. I am swinging back and forth between “REALLY pleased and excited to see all these people” and “ready to vomit in my shoes out of sheer nerves,” with a stop in the middle for “hoping HARD that I don’t screw up.” By that I mean, I am hoping I do not PONTIFICATE or forget to say the things I really want to say or say them poorly or, well, hrm. Screw up covers it.

While I am SIBAing, Scott is taking all our babies to visit his mom, and I am going to stay in town with Karen. Staying with her is always an adventure. Our friend Renee Rosen calls Karen “Pig Pen” ever since she had Karen come to stay with her. She discovered Karen crouching in the rubble of what used to be a perfectly organized bathroom and swabbing her armpits with Renee’s personal deodorant. The LAST time I went to sleep over at Kaern’s house in order to make it to an early book event, Karen went to check the sheets on the guestroom bed while we were on the phone. There was a small silence and then she said, “No one’s been here to stay over, so they’re mostly clean, except for maybe a little bit of bird crap. Do you mind sleeping in just a little bit of bird crap?”

Shockingly, I minded.

I’m making Karen sound like a SLAVERING DEODORANT STEALING BIRD POO COVERED HUN, but she is SO not a Hun of ANY kind. She’s actually lovely and more fun than a bag of kittens. She has a teeny INNER Hun though. VERY teeny. Miniscule…and looking at her, you would never guess it. Karen’s feet are SO tiny I swear she had them bound to be able to wear all the shoes off the sales rack which are ALWAYS size 5 and a half.

She has a matching tiny little head (perhaps she bound THAT, too,) and delicate, narrow shoulders, and yet I think she thinks of herself as a muscle-bound trog-troll, stamping down the forests as she passes. (YOU KNOW! Every American woman on the planet should go buy really nice stationary and send the major networks and all fashion magazines notes that say “THANKS FOR THE BODY DYSMORPHIA! IF YOU NEED ME I WILL BE BUYING DOVE PRODUCTS!”

She IS a TV Hun, though. She is threatening to TIVO Gossip Girl and make me actually watch it. Like, ALL OF IT, not just a few scenes. Last night I stopped by her place, and she made watch the parts where this one boy on the show---the thick-lipped one with the waxy skin and low forehead who looks like the magically attractive love child of an ape and a Last-Days-of-Rome sybarite --- tried to date rape one female cast member after another. Two thwarted date rapes in the FIRST episode is really quite a lot of thwarting. After attempted victim number two, a teeny tiny pixie-faced blonde who I call “the chirpy Brooklyn goodness sister” was able to fend him off, I fully expected to see him attempt to ravish a dyspeptic kitten and be firmly and effectively rebuffed.

I can't quite figure out the message...Is the message that we should hate him? or love to hate him? or SAY we hate him but secretly love him???? Is he a pure villian and two attempted rapes in the premier later, we are not spupposed to like him at all? Or are we supposed to say,"AH BUT he is such an INEFFECTIVE rapist! Perhaps he has a secret good non-raping heart so he ALLOWS 80 pound girls and bunnies and butterflies to escape his would-be-pillager's clutches! HE CAN BE REDEEMED!!!!" It's confusing. And...icky. Maybe a little more confusing than icky, but only a little, and only because the actor playign him is both talented and charismatic, so its hard to write him off as a stock baddy.

I have to say, that sybarite boy may have me agreeing to watch the show after all. He has some serious acting chops, and he is very … interesting to look at. I like looking at him in the way I like looking at work by Escher. It shouldn’t work, but it DOES. The best thing ever said, about ANYONE, EVER, was said about him by Television Without Pity:

“You can either be raging hot, or you can look like Jimmy Fallon with a chromosomal abnormality, but you can't have both. He refuses to make up his mind, and it's crazy-making.”

Amen, oh Pitiless Ones. I so wish I had written that.
If it wasn’t for my desire to look at him more, I would consider skipping the show altogether, and just READING about it. I recently discovered that I quite enjoy reading about shows I have NO desire to watch…My friend Lydia does RECPAPS of reality shows, and I don’t watch any of those. I followed HER following the Amazing race, and I can honestly say I have never even seen the COMING ON of that show. I think I am the only person in America who is entirely innocent of the workings of SURVIVOR, but I LOVE to read Lydia’s fraught and hilarious Episode Summaries SO MUCH. I intend to myself to a season of NOT watching it yet still knowing everything worth knowing by following her blog…The first installment, entitled, Survivor China: Episode 1 Recap: China is Wet, can be found here.

I should watch GOSSIP GIRL just to be able to blog about it, but ALAS, I’ll never get off a line as good as that TV without pity one. I feel defeated before I have begun. Meanwhile, I am NETFLIXing shows from the Sci Fi channel…Dresden Files, anyone? WHY YES PLEASE, double scoop of Harry with vanilla ice cream, thanks, so WHO AM I TO JUDGE? You may have your reality motes and your O.C. replacement motes, unjudged, if you let me keep Harry for my eye-beam.

Speaking of beams in my eye, I like looking at the guy who plays Harry Dresden for an entirely DIFFERENT set of reasons than I like looking at that boy on GG.

Let’s just say I find the guy who plays Harry to be …scenic.

Or, to put it more succinctly: yum.

Posted by joshilyn at September 26, 2007 9:33 PM

No, you're not the only one who hasn't seen "Survivor" or others of that ilk. Except I DID watch a few episodes of "70's house" or somesuch, where modern young folks had to live with such primitive, outmoded technology - eek!! It was too funny.

Posted by: Brigitte at September 27, 2007 5:44 AM

Yeah, throw me on the "never watched Survivor" bandwagon. Possibly even more shocking, I have never seen even a single tiny part (outside of the relentless commercials that are difficult to avoid) of American Idol. I won't say that I eschew all reality TV - the Real World was brand new when I was a dewy teenager, and I watched every season until...well, until I grew up and realized it was stupid, around age 24 or so. I can't believe it's still on. And I do love some of the TLC and HGTV sorts of reality programming - I am a bona fide addict to What Not to Wear and House Hunters (and no, I am not actually house hunting myself but it is so fun to watch).

Speaking of new TV shows this fall, though, I am very very excited about the show Reaper on the CW - the previews I've seen look brilliant and hilarious. I've also heard good things about Chuck and Pushing Daisies, but don't know much about those yet...

Posted by: JenA at September 27, 2007 7:54 AM

Haha... if they put some WoW or Sci-fi-ish-ness in Gossip Girl you'd be all over it, wouldn't you?

Posted by: Heather at September 27, 2007 9:16 AM

Oh, yes! The actor who plays Harry Dresden IS very yummy! Is that show coming back? Pleeeeeaase?

Posted by: jennielynn at September 27, 2007 9:42 AM

Nope, never watched Survivor, American Idol, the Batchelor, Dancing with the Stars, etc etc etc. Seems to be more of us out there than previously thought. I live in reality. Don't need to watch someone else being forced into reality to live. (What did I just say? *confused look on face*)

Is this Karen the same Karen that drinks your chocolat-tinis? Sounds like a fun week end!

Posted by: Rhonda at September 27, 2007 9:58 AM

Have a great time at SIBA! I know you'll do wonderfully. I am much looking forward to The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

Posted by: Keetha at September 27, 2007 10:01 AM

I'm now so tempted to watch GG just to see this odd-looking-yet-somehow-appealing person, but I refuse. I refuse to be sucked into yet another TV show! I watch too many of them already! I will be strong and resist, dammit!

To jennielynn - no, sadly, Harry wasn't renewed for another season. :-/ But on the plus side, now when you read the books the series was based on, you can picture the yummy actor as Harry! :-)

Hope SIBA goes wonderfully for you, Joss.

Posted by: DebR at September 27, 2007 10:33 AM

Mmmmm... Harry Dresden. Based on books, ya know. By Jim Butcher.

Posted by: Laura L at September 27, 2007 10:55 AM

Oh crap! I do not need more hilarious recaps of reality shows I do not watch. Seriously. I am addicted to TwoP ALREADY! Especially anything by Jacob, which means American Idol and The Apprentice; and Miss Alli, which means Survivor and The Amazing Race. And now LYDIA?! With all the reading about TV that I do not watch, when will I have time to watch the TV that I *do* watch?!


Posted by: Aimee at September 27, 2007 10:56 AM

Harry was very scenic as you say, and sadly canceled. Sad I really liked that show.

Because all the shows I like tend to get canceled I am seriously thinking about watching only reality shows and sports.

Posted by: Cele at September 27, 2007 11:50 AM

I thought the Dresden Files was renewed!! Waah! It was very good. a lot better than who wants to be a super hero, and that got renewed... probably too expensive to film. but I REALLY enjoyed watching the actor who played Harry... almost as good as the first and second New Dr. Who's....

Posted by: Peggy S at September 27, 2007 6:17 PM

We are addicted to TWoP at my house. I'm always glad when they say all the snarky things that I yelled at the television during the show. It's good to know that I'm not the only one thinking such mean things.

Enjoy SIBA!

Posted by: Erin at September 28, 2007 12:59 AM

Congratulations on "Between" being an October Book Club pick for Books-A-Million! Opened up my e-mail this morning and there it was. Hope your SIBA talk goes well.

Posted by: Deborah P at September 28, 2007 11:29 AM

I have never missed an episode of Survivor. It is our family show. People know that they shouldn't even call the house on "Survivor Night". It is also our sandwich night too. It is just too fun to watch these train wrecks dig deeper and deeper holes. I could never be on it personally though. I would be the first on voted out. I tend to be bossy and tell it like it is!

Posted by: Jo at September 29, 2007 12:53 PM