I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Top Ten List, Almost

I've been thinking about pop music lately. I think about pop music a lot, actually. Seeing the Madonna/Justin Timberlake video is inspiring to me. How can Madonna stay so relevant? Will JT ever miss the mark. I love this stuff!

So, in honor of my love of the world of Billboard Top Tens, I offer my top favorite names of pop singers.

SADE: I am pretty sure that no record label would let you have the name Sade in the current pop climate. It's not the name so much as the pronunciation. And I can't believe it got past labels in the 80's, either. How would someone go to Tower Records and find the album by the woman whose song "Smooth Operator" was backsold as "Sharday?" Where do you start to look that up? And now, if you were to type "Sharday" into iTunes, I suspect you might not find what you are looking for. The music business can go for lowest common denominator sometimes and I am impressed that they didn't go all 'hooked on phonics' to help sell records.

RICK ASTLEY: So, I feel like Rick Astley is the kind of guy who might have Google Alerts and he might like seeing his name pop up on the internets, right? And, wouldn't it be cool if Rick Astley read my blog?! It's not like he has anything else to do. But, Rick, I'm never going to give you up. I'm never going to let you down. I promise.

PRINCE: You had to see this one coming, right? I mean he's Prince, he's the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and he even just rocked a symbol for awhile. Nice. And, you gotta know he has a great name if even the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, when naming his children says, "You know what's a great name? Prince." In fact, he liked the name Prince Michael so much he used it twice.

MOBY: There was a great episode of "How I Met Your Mother" where the gang runs into a guy that they are sure is Moby. They have him tag along on their New Year's Eve adventures. It's later discovered that the guy is a) really creepy, and b) someone other than the pop star. So, for the rest of the episode they refer to the guy as Not Moby. I guess there are two kinds of people in the world: Moby and Not Moby. And you have to appreciate the literary reference.

RICK SPRINGFIELD: Okay, so this is a bit of a stretch, and I don't have any intention of loading this list with "Ricks" per se, but I heard a song recently that sleighed me. It's a Rick Springfield song where he laments being confused with "The Boss" himself, Bruce Springsteen. I don't know who confused these two. Ever. But if it's about the "spring" in his last name and that's all it took to inspire this song, I love it! Take a listen to "Bruce" to hear what I am talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW1Frr4OcRc.

DOLLY PARTON: No one else could pull off the name "Dolly" like this tiny, well-endowed, generously coiffed spitfire. You gotta be bold to call yourself, "Dolly." And with genius tunes like, "Jolene," I am glad she didn't decide to call herself anything else.

If I try to fill in a Top Ten list I am sure boredom will set in, for all of us. So, I am settling for a Top Six, and letting you all throw in your bids for the last four spots. And, if you decide to offer your two cents I will love it, but remember, we are going with solo artists, not bands. Coming up with odd but lovable band names is like shooting fish in a barrel. Chumbawumba, anyone?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Me and My Girl

I don't normally put photos of myself anywhere on the interwebs if I can help it. But I do love to show off The Babes. So, thinking we are looking more and more alike, I thought I might share this photo The Dad Guy snapped the other day of me and my favorite girl.
What do you think? Are we starting to look more alike?

Do I look like I need a lot more sleep? I do.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's been too long since my last post, so I decided to throw something up here.

Maybe this is a good time to share some great news. It's 10:34 p.m., and you know where my daughter is? Asleep! We now have a regular bedtime routine and she is in bed, most every night by 8:30 p.m. And she sleeps for many, many hours at a time. Can you believe it? Now I just need to figure out what to do with myself!

I never thought I would reclaim this part of my life, but here we are.

It's hard to believe Little G is almost a year old. We are trying to plan her first birthday party. We've been brainstorming on how to throw a great little party for our favorite little lady buddy. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tapping into Pop Culture

The husband and I were chatting the other day about what I know anything about. The fact is that I know a little bit about a lot of stuff. I am the Queen of Useless Trivia, so to speak. We concluded that pop culture is really my area of expertise. I have no idea what I am supposed to do with this information.

In any case, I was brainstorming on all things pop-culturey I might want to blog about yesterday, and I thought about reality TV. I am not a big reality TV fan, as such, because none of it is "real." I think of it as commensurate to having conversations with total phonies who say, "I'm just keeping it real," which is code for, "I am full of it" or "I don't care about what my actions have to do with anyone else." They may not know it's code. Reality TV is full of it, and it shows no concern for consequence, so it's all kind of the same gig to me.

But, I loved the first couple seasons of the Real World. It appears that it has now sunk to desperate lows of depravity, but the first few seasons were like gold to voyeurs like me. The people on the shows had no idea that they might become "famous." They worked real jobs and had real relationships with their roommates, for better or for worse. The first meetings weren't set-up as the "who would I like to screw?" intros that they are now. I loved the first couple seasons of American Idol, too. These were real unknowns who just wanted to sing. Most of the contestants just wanted a chance to sing for an audience. No one was being courted by celebrity fashion designers to wear their clothes during performances. They took it seriously, but not too seriously. And they didn't talk back to the judges. Contestants honestly say stuff like, "Who are you to judge me?" THEY ARE THE JUDGES.

So, I know the names and story lines of the first couple seasons of both shows. I couldn't tell you the names of anyone from "The Amazing Race," "Survivor," "Big Brother," "Beauty and the Geek," etc. And, I grow to hate the current seasons of anything "reality," more and more. But, I thought that I might start blogging about the pioneers of reality TV. I know Kevin from the original Real World, New York, has been writing for Vibe magazine, and is very politically involved. Heather, also from NY, started producing hip-hop music. Judd and Pam from San Francisco got married. What became of the rest of them? These people who basically gave their lives for the new face of TV, actually wanted to go back to their real lives. And they live real lives now. They aren't trying to work their way onto TMZ, just to stay in the spotlight.

I was thinking that maybe I would start a series of posts dedicated to the "whatever happened to..." of legit pop culture icons. And, I was wondering, just yesterday morning, where could I start? Then, I turned on MTV at 10 p.m. last night. I never watch MTV anymore, but last night I thought, why the heck not? And you now what was on, "The Real World Awards Bash." They were pimping the next season of the show while looking back at the last 19 parts of the series.

It was a bizarre coincidence to find this on last night. And it was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen on TV. It was crazy to see what has become of most of the people. The most legit people were on via video clip. They were too classy to show up for the pool-side booze-fest. Yes, there was a pool. And, yes, people ended up in it. Big surprises abound. As I suspected from my earlier musings, I didn't recognize about 80% of the people. From what I could tell in their clips and from the awards, I believe that none of these people have jobs, and have embarrassed themselves beyond the point of no return in their appearances on the show. Seriously. I was embarrassed for them.

My hubby came home partway into the spectacle, and was shocked to find me watching it. He knows my deep and abiding loathing for programs like, "Girls Gone Wild," and this basically looked like 90 minutes of that. He asked me to justify why I was okay with this and not with GGW. Girls Gone Wild is the ultimate example of what I hate about current popular culture. While I was pregnant I'd see those ads and completely freak out, yelling at the TV. So, so awful. But, all I could think to answer the husband was, I was watching to see the what's become of the blueprint for current television and what people want to see. I like to be in the know. Sadly, in all its hideous, exploitative, embarrassing, self-indulgent, wrecked messiness, this is exactly what that blueprint built.

And, for the record, I don't need to do all that much research. The starting point is all pretty well done for me. Check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_World. And for more that is the abomination of the Awards Show you can check this out: http://www.mtv.com/ontv/specials/real_world_awards/.

Maybe I will see what else I can dig up here on these Internets another day.