Friday, May 7, 2010

Random Friday Night Conscious Streaming

  • Google's current homepage. Nothing much to say in the way of commentary. I just thought it was beautiful and worth sharing.

  • Babies are fascinating. I know this because I spend give or take 50 hours a week one-on-one with one. I've been reading Diane Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist, which is her account of her time spent observing gorillas in their natural habitat. And sometimes I totally feel like I'm doing something similar, out in the wilds of baby land, studying and watching baby and baby things for hours on end. And like Fossey, I spend an absurd amount of time dealing with poop. So here are some of my observations-my niece in the last couple of weeks has started laughing. And my question is, how in the world do babies learn to do this? You would think it's just them mimicking what adults do, but that theory doesn't hold weight. Because if it was just mimickry then babies wouldn't laugh when they were happy or thought something was funny. But they do, even when they're tiny they get that laughing is the appropriate reaction to something hilarious (which for babies is really almost everything). Which really means that they're born with that, the connection between finding something really funny and giggling. Which means that we were all born with laughter inside of us. Which is just really freaking awesome. Other observations-babies have more facial expressions than an entire theater troupe combined. Here are just a sampling of the expressions my four month old niece makes on a pretty much hourly basis-there's her "Holy Shit guys this is AWESOME" face which okay for her, to be fair, can be elicited by running water. There's her "I am seriously perplexed" face which can easily be mistaken for her "I am currently pooping" face. There's her sleepy smile which is very much like a drunken (or stoned) adult smile. There's her startled, "WHAT THE FRICK IS GOING ON!?" face, which again, to be fair, can be elicited by a jangly set of keys. But really this is only a very small sampling of about a thousand very distinct baby looks. We're still working on Blue Steel.

  • I find this song and this video absolutely infectious and oh so charming. And yes, it's HANSON, which for a brief period in my life when I was about nine or ten years old, was a band whose name you never heard not accompanied by fanatic shrieking. And yes, to some, Hanson is now a 90's novelty act ala Boys 2 Men, a "remember those adolescent days" piece of nostalgia. But the truth is, I'm more of a Hanson fan now than I ever was when I was little (for me it was really all about N'Sync). These boys (now all with children, which makes me feel really old) are talented musicians who know how to write a damn catchy song. They've always played their own instruments and written their own songs, and as proved in this video, they have a lot of fun with their music and image. Plus Taylor Hanson is still completely dreamy. And if you still are laughing and mock singing Mmmbop, then please just give this a listen, and try not to smile.

  • At some point this year I have started looking forward to the 8-9 hour on NBC as much as the 9-10 hour. For those of you non-television geeks, this means that I heart Community and Parks and Recreation just as much as The Office and 30 Rock, and on occasion, like last night, I heart them more. First of all Joel McHale should never wear sleeves, period. But really last night's Community, which was an homage/send-up/parody of every single zombie/action movie that has ever been released was so smart and funny and spot-on that it may have been one of the best things I've seen on TV all year. And then there's Parks and Recreation which makes me giggle uncontrollably. Maybe it's because Amy Poehler is just so insanely funny in her every line reading. Maybe it's Ron Swanson and his beautiful Ron Swansonisms, like this gem: “Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish and feed yourself. He’s a grown man, fishing’s not that hard.” Or the relationship between Andy and April which is as cute and endearing as Jim and Pam in their prime, only with more quirks. For all of these reasons and more this show has become a must watch for me.

  • I've had my ups and downs with Lost but I am fully on board for this final season which is now nearing the end (sob!). And speaking of sobs (and lots of them) last Tuesday's episode absolutely wrecked me. The tragic and beautiful and tragically beautiful and did I mention tragic, watery deaths of Jin and Sun turned me into a blubbering mess. I honestly don't think I've cried that much during any episode of a television show ever. I had the baby on my lap watching the DVR'd episode the next day, was totally unprepared, and ended up sobbing on the couch with mascara streaming down my face while the baby happily played with my car keys. And I kept crying for about an hour after it ended. Baby by this point thought I was completely nuts, but I kept making her give me hugs and cuddles (pretty easy to do since she doesn't have complete control of her body yet). I just think in a show built on compex characters and relationships, Jin and Sun's stand out. I remember at the beginning of Season 1 thinking Jin was a jerk face when he made poor Sun button her shirt all the way up right after the crash. And somewhere along the way they turned into this beautiful, devoted pair who searched for each other across time and space and multiple seasons of television. And maybe it's the fact that both actors are so gorgeous. Or maybe it was that they died a watery, Titanic-esque death so horribly soon after they were FINALLY reunited in the previous episode. Or maybe it was Jin's refusal to leave his wife's side. Or maybe it was his repetition of it, in Korean, one final time, as the water rose around them, that he would never leave her again. But it crushed me. And this is why Lost is the definitive television event of the last decade. It has created a world and a cast of characters that mean something, that mean a great deal in fact, enough so that we want to debate and theorize and sit on a couch in the middle of the day crying our eyes out over.

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