Season finale

I’m a fan of House. I all but set aside 9-10pm on Tuesday nights in order to get my fix. I can’t say that I’ve watched every episode (most, though), nor do I claim to devote a ton of the rest of my life thinking about the show. I do have a respect and admiration for the character that I have a hard time articulating, however.

There’s only one time a year when I’ll spend a few minutes looking for message board posts about what people thought about a show, and that’s when the season ends. I enjoy reading people’s speculation for what will come next; some people devote much more energy to a show than I ever would.

House’s third season ended tonight. So I took to the internet to see what people were saying, as usual. What they were saying is irrelevant here; what stuck out to me was how much more these people got out of the episode than I did. It’s rather embarrassing: on one side was theme, motivation, insight; on the other side I was all but drooling on myself.

If my real-world performance for assessing character and motivation is as impaired as my TV-world performance, then I should never be responsible for another person in any capacity. I do that bad.

My saving grace is that TV-world is not real-world. Despite my general disdain for the “different people learn in different ways” line of educational theory, I came head-to-head with my own learning blind-spot in seventh grade: TV. We would watch educational videos, and then take a quiz on them afterward to give us motivation to pay attention. I consistently got Ds and Fs on those quizzes. I was not a D or F student.

I was never happy with those scores, so I focused my entire energy into watching and absorbing those videos. (I also tried taking notes during the video, but there was just too much information flying by too quickly for me to capture it all.) No dice: Ds and Fs plagued me throughout my seventh grade educational TV quiz career.

I literally could not remember what I had been watching ten minutes earlier. That was incredibly frustrating. But it now leaves me an out for my stunning inattention to huge details on one of my favorite TV shows.

…I guess that’s good.


I recently found myself sitting in the waiting room of my car dealer of choice, waiting for a mid-life tune-up for my sister’s car. (My schedule is more flexible than hers, so I get all sorts of lovely errands.) I shared the room with a plethora of elderly women, and a developmentally disabled gal who was a daughter of one of the ladies. Let’s call the mother Fran, for convenience.

I had been sitting there for a good while, and the only thing that kept me sane was my DS Lite and a copy of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. The game (thankfully) has an optional Pokemon-ish element, where your character can collect the souls of the monsters he encounters; whereas before I had been plowing straight through the game, the knowledge of the epic wait before me forced me into a gotta catch ’em all strategy. I had headphones, so nobody but I had to suffer the repetition of killing a monster repeatedly until I collected its soul.

So, two hours into my wait. People who arrived after I arrived had already left, and had been replaced by Fran and crew. I’m quietly getting my kill on.

“What’s he got, Mom?” Fran’s daughter asks, gesturing towards me. Fran says she doesn’t have the foggiest. I stop playing and show Fran’s daughter that it’s a Nintendo DS, and then return to my time-killing collector’s quest.

Somehow my little display of technological bling (?) causes something to snap in Fran’s head. The infection quickly spreads to the other ladies in the room. I’m then subject to a gaggle of elderly women dissing me and my generation while I’m sitting five feet away. Yes, I had my headphones on—but that hadn’t stopped me from hearing Fran’s daughter’s question. Apparently I, as a member of my generation, automatically tune the world out when I have headphones on.

You see, my generation is comprised of nothing but spoiled brats who grew up with silver spoons in their mouths. We never had to work for anything, and consequently have no character or moral fiber. These ladies were glad to not have money growing up, because they (as a result) do have this character and moral fiber. My generation has no attention span because of television—these women watched TV, but were limited to fifteen minutes a day! and Praise the Lord for that. My generation would rather play inside than ever step outside, whereas they were blessed to not have computers… on and on and on.

The general gist: they (their older generation) are much better people than I (this younger generation) am. Because I play a DS to pass the time while waiting for a car to get some maintenance.

I kept my mouth shut, but I was pretty taken aback. Those women had some gall.

A lot of what they said easily applies to me: I have been very fortunate in life, and I am a technophile that doesn’t spend a lot of time outside. But wait just a goddamn second before you impugn my integrity, my character, my morality. Having some money when growing up doesn’t doom you to a life of character deficiency (though it might make it easier to head that way); not having money doesn’t guarantee you a surfeit of character. Say what you will about me, but I’m not morally bankrupt. (Not yet, at least.)

I have doubts about my generation, don’t get me wrong. Some of those doubts (e.g. a general seeming lack of direction in life) are ostensibly personal doubts I’ve ascribed to my generation writ large; others are the result of The Media’s influence on my perception. When I think about the individuals my age that I know, though, the overwhelming majority are solid people. My sample is certainly biased (I hang out in college and college-educated circles, mostly), but I seem to know more decent twenty-somethings than these ladies seem to believe exist.

But, yes. I’ve never felt offended on behalf of a generation before running across these women. It’s a rather odd feeling.

Driving at night is hard

It wasn’t that long ago that I would drive on Highway 20 at night at full speed (55 MPH), headed home after catching a movie with Lee, John, and Jeremy. (Well, OK, it’s been nine years. Nine years isn’t as long as it used to be, though.)

Either my night vision has gotten significantly worse in the intervening years, or else I was a frickin’ idiot when I was younger my sense of my own mortality has grown much greater. I find myself settling closer to 35 MPH as a top speed at night these days (higher if I can use my high beams), just because I’ve grown keenly aware that I have no chance to avoid anything at a higher speed.

Painfully aware.

This is what they meant by “don’t overdrive your headlights”-aware. I haven’t hit anything, but this knowledge has killed all the fun of driving in the dark.

From what my folks tell me, it’s only going to go downhill from here.

Rabu triangle

Reason #3 why Brent wasn’t posting: I was involved in a bit of a romantic triangle (!). [A very PG romantic triangle, thankyouverymuch.] It was kind of like an inverted Kimagure Orange Road, only without the “endless summer” feel and that rockin’ ’80s soundtrack. (Seriously, KOR’s music rocks. In an ’80s way. I’m not being pejorative here.)

Turns out I was cast in the role of Hikaru. (-_-); Good news is that the Kyosuke-equivalent didn’t have to break me off something harsh, so I’m still good friends with the other two. Other good news is that I wasn’t (and am not) much like Hikaru at all.

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