I Have Seen the Future, and It Is Ugly

I watched parts of five episodes of a show on MTV called My SUPER Sweet Sixteen this weekend. I’m used to seeing bad behavior on “reality” shows like the network’s The Real World, but this was literally nauseating. I was actually lying on the floor, writhing in pain after two and a half hours of this wretched excess. You know that headache one gets when eating something too cold and/or too sweet too fast? Well, consider that effect and you don’t even LIKE that flavor of ice cream.

The premise is that some young girl, about to turn a significant age, is throwing a party that just everybody will want to attend. The important thing in most of the episodes I saw, was that air of ex-clu-SIV-ity, where some people don’t get in because they’re not popular or they’re not cool or or because they’re UG-ly, emphasis on the “ugh.”

And these parties aren’t cake and ice cream affairs. The budget for one of these events was $125,000, many times the cost of our wedding. And that was the one teenager who didn’t say, “The sky’s the limit.” Just the dresses of the young women made all but the most lavish wedding gowns look cheap. The term affluenza was made for these people. The point, if there is one, is that this is the ONE DAY in these girls’ lives that it’s all about THEM. Ha! EVERY DAY, it seems like it’s all about them; their fancy blouses literally state this in a couple examples.

So, why was I even watching not one, but multiple episodes? I blame my wife. Or actually my wife’s students. She teaches English as a Second Language, and some of her students were talking about seeing a quinceanera, on the show. In cultures such as Cuba and Mexico (both represented on the shows), the big coming-of-age party takes place at the age of 15. Carol was hoping to work one of these episodes into a lesson plan for school; if she ends up doing so, it will be for limited moments, for she doesn’t want to encourage such bad behavior.

The first episode involved triplets who wanted to outdo each other; they consult with the party planner (each episode has one, of course) who is charged with keeping the “surprise” a secret from the other two sisters. The second show was the Staten Island girl with the “limited” budget of $125,000. The third was a quinceanera for a Cuban-American girl who was ordering around her mother as though she were a serf. I am a firm believer in non-violent resolution to issues. But when I saw how this girl treated her mother, I wanted to do her serious harm. In the quinceanera, there are 15 couples who are part of her court (think “wedding party”) who she screams at like the worst Bridezilla you could imagine. (Whatever religious significance of the event, if it took place at all, was lost on the editing room floor.)

The fourth story had an interesting angle. Young girl grows up poor in Erie, PA, gets adopted as a young teen, now lives the good life. But she wasn’t humbled by her background; rather, it semed to fuel her avarice. My wife, who doesn’t swear, said during this particular broadcast, “That girl’s a B!” And the topper is that, at the party, the girl, who fails getting her driver’s permit, because she studied “like for a minute”, nevertheless gets a new BMW from Mommy and Daddy. Even though the parents are lavishing material things on her, both Carol & I thought that they seemed curiously detatched.

I’m only learning how tough parenting can be. But the parents in most of these situations would have their licenses revoked, if parenting required one.

MLB-the next round

I said the Yankeees would lose to the Angels.
I said the Padres didn’t have a prayer.

That’s the good news.

To my credit, I DID say Houston-Atlanta would be the trickiest of the four.
Boston’s loss didn’t surprise me, but the sweep did. I think I gave the BoSox extra credit as defending champs, instead of chumps.

I guess I’ll stick with the Angels, although their travel from NYC to LA to CHI worries me greatly.
St. Louis was always my #2 seed, so I see them overcoming Houston in a tough series.

Regardless, the winner of the World Series will come out of the National League.

I realize that that unless the Cardinals take it, the World Series will be won by either a team that has NEVER been in the Fall Classic or by a team that hasn’t been in since the other two teams were created. The Red Sox broke their “curse” last year, so statistically speaking, we have a 75% chance of SOMEBODY breaking their streak of futility.

Rock Meme-Jackson Browne

This guy’s birthday was yesterday:

Artist/Band: Jackson Browne
Are you male or female: I Thought I was a Child
Describe yourself: I am a Patriot
How do some people feel about you: The Pretender
How do you feel about yourself: Running on Empty
Describe what you want to be: Somebody’s Baby; Soldier of Plenty
Describe how you live: Take It Easy
Describe how you love: Tender is the Night; In the Shape of a Heart
Share a few words of wisdom: Anything Can Happen; Call It a Loan

Walk Under Ladders

(Reference to my Joan Armatrading song, the function title song of which is I’m Lucky.

Sunday at about 3 a.m., a drunk driver roared down my residential street, smashed into one car and did considerable damage, hit an SUV and totalled it, then spun around and ended up about six inches behind our car.

I left for church but just missed the bus. There’s not nother one on a Sunday for a half hour. Fortunately, a choir member was also running late and gave me a ride.

A couple from my church rang the doorbell early in the afternoon,. They had discovered my Discover card lying on the ground in front of the church, and they were delivering it to me.

“I don’t need a bracelet
No salt
For my shoulder
I don’t own a rabbit
No clover
No heather
No wonder
I’m lucky”
And spealing of “functional title song”, can you help me with a list I used to own, but lost? A “functional title song” has the title of the album in the song. Examples:
Shawn Colvin’s “A Few Small Repairs” has that line appear in “Sunny Came Home”.
Paul Simon’s “Negotiations and Love Songs” greatest hits collection has that line appear in “Train in the Distance”.
Nivana’s “Nevermind” has that word appear in “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
I KNOW there are a lot more. Thanks.