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So! Important! Not.

October 25, 2006   

Since the elections are coming up, Iraq is going crappily with no real end in sight, and the state of education and health care in America is still what it is, I figured I need to focus on the really important stuff.

Like Madonna’s baby.


More like pressing questions such as the following:

  • If you are a part of a couple, when you get invited to things, do you prefer that
    1. people just funnel the invitations to one person (one designated contact or whomever is the “primary” friend of the inviter); or
    2. always invite the both of you when both of you are in fact invited?

    Personally, I like getting individual invites (or a cc on an email or evite) because I do occasionally invite individuals (not couples) to functions and unless I make it clear that it’s a couples thing, I don’t wanna see your significant other. Plus, I often don’t hear about the event until it’s too late if you only tell Seppo. πŸ˜€

  • Giving versus getting presents — which do you love more?

    I’d rank it as:

    1. Giving presents when I know I’ve gotten the person a great gift they will love.
    2. Getting a present.
    3. Giving a gift without the certainty of knowing if it’s a good gift or not.

  • I feel like I now watch about half as much tv as I did as a kid and about twice (or more) as much tv as I did since college. Is it me, or is it that tv shows are actually better? Is posing this question as an either-or scenario inherently asking for wrong answers? How long does it take for rhetorical questions to get annoying? Now? How about now?
  • Is loving things like the following picture a sign that I’m becoming a squishy old lady?

    Who cares? Soooo cute.

  • Do kids actually go around your neighborhood “Trick or Treat”ing? We need to get the one or two kids that come giant bars of chocolate.
  • Why it is that when I’m driving, I think of a million insightful, thoughtful things to blog about, but when I have the time and opportunity, it’s almost always fluff like this?

I want to get a cute costume for Mobi, but I’m sure Seppo will object. Come on, he’s a dog! He has no dignity to speak of! πŸ˜€

October 25, 2006 at 3:43 pm

* As part of a couple, I prefer to receive individual invitations, or have it made clear that my SO is included. However, I’m guilty sometimes of assuming that I can bring my SO and doing so without asking. Boo on me. I think I’ve even done this a few times to you, Ei-Nyung. *hangs head in shame*

* TV show quality is definitely way up in the last 5 years or so.

* I live in an apartment, so no trick or treating there. There will be kids at work next week, though, trick or treating through the hallways.

October 25, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Ooh, I meant to ask something.

“I do occasionally invite individuals (not couples) to functions and unless I make it clear that it’s a couples thing, I don’t wanna see your significant other.”

People are always individuals, not one half of a strange two part organism, but the word “function” in your sentance gives me pause. Function makes me think of group events, and doesn’t it seem strange to invite one half of a couple and not the other half to group events? Am I reading too much into it? Would it be so bad for someone to assume that, to an event with a decent sized invitation list, their SO is also welcome?

I definitely understand the one-on-one or tiny group thing, and that couples change the equation. I also realize that since I’m less than a year into this relationship I’m still all misty eyed and want my SO around all. the. time. πŸ™‚

October 25, 2006 at 4:44 pm

I didn’t even think through what I meant by ‘function’. πŸ˜€ I meant anyting from a one-on-one dinner to a giant party. I muddied the waters by saying “unles… it’s a couples thing” which isn’t precisely what I mean; I mean more of a group thing.

I just try to be clear when I invite people that it’s for the person & the significant other or it’s not. You’ve never brought your SO without either 1) asking or 2) it being obvious that your SO was invited. πŸ˜€ Usually, if I am inviting Seppo, then your (generic “your”) SO is invited. πŸ˜€

I don’t think it’s rude or anything when that occasionally happens — unclarity happens, and I really enjoy most of my friends’ friends. And I also understand it when a couple doesn’t want individual invitations. I just prefer to get mine individually. πŸ™‚

It’s been 8.5 years, but I still want Seppo around all the time. Ok, ok, maybe *almost* all the time. But I can rarely think of an occasion when I wouldn’t like to have Seppo join me. So cheesy! Hee.

October 25, 2006 at 5:12 pm

I prefer that invites come to one person: me. πŸ˜€

That’s simply because Nana *never* checks her email and when she does, she never responds or never tells me about things. If I respond, I do so on behalf of both of us (even if she is invited separately, because I know she won’t respond) and go home and tell her to make me a sammich.

…where the hell did that come from?

Anyway, if I ever go to your place and see Moby in a costume, I will first, laugh my arse off. Then, I will help him plot his sweet, sweet revenge against you for robbing him of his dignity. He may lick his own butt and show his wang to everyone who walks by, but dammit, he has pride, too!

October 25, 2006 at 5:25 pm

You know he’s got no pride. πŸ˜€ I love the dang bugger, but he’s nothing if not undignified.

For example, it’s “Mobi” not “Moby”. It’s so that you can dot the “i” with little hearts and flowers.

It’s really because his full name is Mâbius. The umlaut is simply more opportunity for hearts and flowers.

October 25, 2006 at 8:12 pm

Mobius = Amaterasu

Come on, you know it’s perfect.

Angry Chad
October 26, 2006 at 6:17 am

1) a

a) getting a good present
b) giving a good present
c) giving a crappy present
d) getting a crappy present

3) I suspect that TV is probably better, but until the 1st season of 24 I hadn’t watched TV in years, so I can’t be sure.

4) yes

5) We live in a suburb with lots of kids on our street in particular, so yeah, we give out a ton of candy.

6) You need a Blackberry. Blog while driving! It’s not dangerous at all!!

October 26, 2006 at 6:20 am

Invitations to both, unless to it’s the Caudill’s, then you risk being accused of “padding” your guest list.

Define “quality”. If by quality you mean “reality”, then yes it has gotten “better”. Hats off for House and BSG (Let’s finish that soon!!!).

Mobi has dignity. You know sad he looks when attach things to his collar and he can’t get at them and he knows it. He looks around and thinks: Why do they let him live here? Why? All he does is harass me. Although there was that time he fed me twice. Hey, where’s my toy that makes noise? Oh there it is. Hey what’s that outside? Let me go look. Huh, is that someone near my food bowl? Well I better go make sure they don’t eat it. OH, oh, oh, my toy that makes noise!!! Eh? Was that a noise in the backyard? I better go take a look. Man, that couch look comfy. Maybe I’ll lay here, oh, oh, there’s the chew toy, man I love that!! What? What was that? I need water. YEA!!!! My toy that makes noise!!!!

October 26, 2006 at 6:23 am

And on the present thing: Giving the perfect, unexpected gift is the best. I picked up a Deco FC Barcelona jersey for a guy that I play footie with on Sunday morning. Deco is Portugese, so is my buddy Nuno. He wears it almost every week. He didn’t ask for it, I knew that he’d want it, he loves it. I coudln’t wait to give it to him.

October 26, 2006 at 9:53 am

I agree with Chad: you need more “functions” in the mid-west (Chicago or Detroit).

What kind of friends do you have, or functions do you attend, which necessitate formal invitations?! If/when I get married, individual invitations will be sent to all my friends, unless they are married: in which case the married couple receives a single invitation with both of their names. You see: the union is being recognized, and it saves money on printing and postage. If you are dating one of my friends, each person will get individual invitations. If you are dating a stranger, you fill in two (2) when you RSVP (because I do not know the stranger, and therefore the stranger gets no invitation). There is no “primary” designation if you are married – I just send the invite to both of you to bicker over the details. Sorry, you have a civil union, and I will recognize you as such. But seriously: it depends on the “function.” I cannot think of any function that requires this level of invitation beyond a wedding. Maybe I am not as sophisticated as you Bay Area peeps. When hanging out in groups, everyone just goes with the flow. No invitations, no reservations.

Regarding presents: why wait for special events or holidays? Friends should adorn each other with gifts when the opportunity arises. In fact, there are consequences involved if I specifically buy a present for my best friend’s birthday. This probably does not work in all cases, so do not feel obligated to be this way, as in truth I am not this way with all of my friends; but, it is just nice to receive random reminders that a friend is thinking about you.

Regarding television: a bit of both. Major networks allow more controversial topics, therefore writers have more freedom of expression than before. Not to say they were completely limited in the past, though — so that bit is all you. You posed the question as an either-or, I answered it as vaguely as possible (the politician in me). Oops! Answered a rhetorical question. Never. Nope, still not annoying. Okay, a little bit.

Just a sign of poor taste. That dog obviously would not survive a joust without proper head gear.

Apartment building – no kids. The Hershey store sells three pound bars.

Some great thoughts occur as I am about to sleep — that is why the Sidekick is within arms reach. Maybe you need one of those dictaphone thingies.

October 26, 2006 at 12:51 pm

I hate getting presents, so I’m going to go with giving, although I’m terrible at that too. I’m just a bad materialist in many ways, despite having mostly nice stuff.

I think TV is getting better. Most TV is just intolerable for me to watch, but I’ve been watching more and more recently because there are shows that I enjoy watching and looking forward to.

Yer totally a squishy old lady.

I used to actually email myself sentences from my Sidekick while driving to remind myself about things to blog about when I got home. Yes, I’m from hell.

Since I don’t think you’re on eit, you may not have seen this TOTALLY AWESOME costume for Mobi:

October 26, 2006 at 1:08 pm

I agree with Andre… you just need one of those recorders in your car! Whenever something comes up just push record and play it back when you’re at a computer. Same thing happens to me, but on long drives such as when I’m on my way to L.A. or if I can’t sleep. I stop driving or get up from bed… and it’s all gone.

October 27, 2006 at 10:48 am

Andre: “What kind of friends do you have, or functions do you attend, which necessitate formal invitations?!”

LOL! Not formal invitations. I mean a cc on the “come on over” email or evite. πŸ˜€

October 28, 2006 at 9:56 am

zomg! The little man on top of the dog is way too cute! Charge, my valiant steed!

The pirate one was cute too. πŸ˜€

– Mike

November 1, 2006 at 11:46 am

Funnel invitations to one person. Everything else is redundant. None of my wife or my friends do the dual-invite thing. And that’s the way I like it. I don’t feel slighted if we don’t get invited at the same time.
I guess I’m a lunatic because I dislike gift giving as a practice. It stresses me out too much. XMas is sort of an exception. I like it when friends and family are happy, but the idea of giving gifts seems like a social engagement rife with complexities and issues. I always over-analyze the situation and it turns into a big headache for me. “What’s the gift for? Do I reciprocate? How much was it? How long did it take for them to find it? Will they like what I got them? Should I have bought them something for X occasion? Will they expect something more expensive? But I spent a lot of time thinking about the gift, what if they hate it? Is this just a waste of time?” On and on.

In the end, I usually come up with really, really good gifts for people, but oh lord, it’s hard and I wish it all just went away so I wouldn’t stress out.
I think TV, on the whole, is worse. Take a look at:
Go through previous nominees and such.

I think, arguably, the best shows in the past are better than the current crop of “best shows”, not across the board, but generally (there are a few years in the ’90s where dramas were not so hot). And the bad shows today, are really, really bad, and they take up far more of network programming.

Sure, you have your good shows in each category, but overall, it’s shit. So, when I say, all reality TV is terrible, there’s going to be one show that’s good, but what about the rest?

TV is increasingly stupid and superficial. Reality TV is mainly shit and it’s clogging up the “dial.” And NBC just announced that they’re going to all game shows and reality TV in the near future because they can’t pull in big numbers with scripted shows.

You have news broadcasts debasing themselves to cover increasingly idiotic topics. You have an entire news network acting as government shills, and other news networks racing to the bottom to catch them. Network news is completely worthless and that hasn’t always been the case.

Late Night television is crap compared to everything before it. Letterman of today and Leno versus Letterman of the ’80s and Carson? No competition.

Daytime talk shows used to have Donahue. Now we have Tyra and other idiots yapping about makeovers.

Hours and hours of entertainment “news” shows covering fluff. I mean, Entertainment Tonight has been around for years, but now, there’s about 50 similar shows all covering the same shit. Tabloid TV is exploding.

The big networks are increasingly catering to the lowest common denominator in order to compete with the wide range of alternative media and expanded networks. They put out stuff that they know will be dumb enough to attract a lot of people.

Conversely, one could argue that TV is getting better in that there are more networks catering to niche interests. So, you have your Battlestar Galacticas or whatever, that are great and don’t have to pull in millions of viewers.

However, the problem is that this wide variety of shows is a minute portion of the viewing audience. On the whole, you have to look at what the big networks are putting out in order to evaluate the overall quality of TV, IMO. You have to look at crap like Deal Or No Deal, which pulls in big ratings to compare.

I would say that this is another sign that you are a squishy old lady.

Kids go trick or treating, but they’re only supposed to go to apartments in my building that have signed up for the whole thing.

I think of blogging ideas when I walk around the city. And then I promptly forget them or get home and think that the idea is more inane than my typical drivel.

November 1, 2006 at 6:40 pm

I wonder if maybe TiVo has just warped our perception of TV. For me, TV *is* the Daily Show, BSG, House, etc. And that’s uniformly good. And I don’t have to wade through hours of nonsensical garbage to get my fix of good, so I don’t think about it. I’ve never watched Deal or No Deal (except maybe one ep. of the original version), I’ve never seen half the “comedy” in prime time, and the vast, vast majority of TV shows don’t register for me at all.

But with TiVo, my experience is quite positive, and I feel good, by and large, about TV, and am willing to give more shows a chance because I presume the bar has been raised, and the general quality of TV has raised as well.

In terms of “news,” though… man. I wish there was some real news. Keith Olbermann and the Daily Show are pretty much my only sources of TV news. Everything else is the BBC, Google, or CNN (and the last one, only marginally can be called “news.”)

November 1, 2006 at 10:01 pm

I would guess that Tivo and other DVRs have warped people’s perception of how terrible TV is. With the ability to focus solely on quality programming, it’s easy to ignore the utter shit clogging all the other channels.

I guess, in a sense, TV as a personal experience has improved for a lot of people with the technological ability to create their own programming.

But otherwise, as a whole, I mean it’s just crap out there.

I rarely explore beyond the basic cable channels, but I can flip through hundreds of channels and find nothing but garbage. While I tend to pay too much attention to network programming and have a pretty good idea of what’s going on, there’s nothing like the utter disappointment of having hundreds of channels at your fingertips with nothing on, to really appreciate out how bad everything is.

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