Just go with it, pop culture girl!

Afterwards, I said to Jeff: "I should call Andrew, you know. He and Joy both will be tickled to hear this."

A few minutes later: phone, earpiece, and frightening number of night and weekend minutes firmly in hand, I used my cell phone to call Andrew and Joy's house. I reached Andrew, and could immediately hear noise in the background. "Hey, Amy! We're playing Siedler, so I can't talk for very long…""Well, I won't keep you. But I have some news for you that I think you'll like."

"Oh dear. What's that?"

"I started watching season 1 of Buffy tonight."

—at which point he yells "Woo-hoo!"—and puts the phone down. Slightly muffled, I hear him say, "Guess what? Amy's started watching Buffy!" Not so muffled was the cheer that erupted at the end of the sentence.

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Liar, liar, pants on fire

"Oh, don't be silly," I said to one of our friends. "Just because we're getting one of these doesn't mean that we're going to watch a lot more television than we do right now."

He laughed. "Yeah, right."

One day after it arrived: "Hey, Jeff! Look at this! If I just punch in 'A,' it'll format a listing of all the movies available over the next two weeks, in alphabetical order. Isn't this cool?"Jeff giggled and nodded as we scrolled through the list. The primary goal of looking through all the movies was to find ones that we wanted to record and watch (The Red Violin and Sneakers being our first choices). In about three minutes, though, this quickly devolved into 'Guess Which Movies are Lifetime Movies.'

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The sky isn't falling. That's just rain, dear.

Should I be so blasé about tornadoes? Perhaps not, but any inclinations toward reasonability that I might have are generally blown away (pardon the bad pun) by the ignorance and histrionics of the local weather forecasters.

Don't get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for tornadoes. I remember the one that touched my parents' house when I was a child. A house a mile away was blown to bits, but all it did to our house was delicately lift the cap off of the chimney and set it down in the yard. I've seen tornadoes ravage my home state, seen friends' houses destroyed, spent time frantically calling friends to find out if they and their families were okay.But I only get upset or worried when there's a need to get upset or worried.

This snippet of text, taken from a satirical column in the Huntsville Times, sums our one of our local weather forecasters up well:

Air-channel dreck, cooking shows, and more

Kat picked me up after her last class today, and we drove to the video store. Over the past month I've mostly exhausted the halfway-interesting selection at Movie Gallery, and now must move on to the higher-priced Hollywood Video.

I mentioned how many movies Jeff and I usually watch during a week. She was boggled until I reminded her that we do not watch much television. It's not that we're regimented; it's that not much interests both of us. Mondays were once busy viewing nights. Adding Robert Downey Jr. to Ally McBeal turned me into a mostly-loyal viewer for about a season. Then they axed him, and I decided it was more interesting to write or read during that time. I'd move from that show to Daria, on MTV, but MTV periodically removes the show from its lineup, and 'now' apparently falls under the category of 'periodically.' Perhaps it will return—it has before.

Does she want you to use your brain? Better ask!

Jeff and I have a great amount of fun carping at stupid commercials. One of our favorites to harangue is a Rogaine commercial that says, "Does she want you to use Rogaine? Better ask!"

I sometimes wonder if we were dumb consumers to begin with, or if years and years of idiotic commercials like this have—well—brainwashed us into believing that this kind of thinking is all that we're capable of as adults. My year of doing marketing and PR work led me to believe the latter.

Design ads so that the company's message is conveyed even if the reader only sees it for a second or two. What a self-referential surprise that is! The MTV generation has been inundated with ads practically since birth (after all, no name-brand product was ever too good for baby!), and any advertising that is going to catch their collectively jaded eyes has to be subtly different. Most companies choose to go for flashier—faster, louder, harder, more colorful.

From the hotel: cabin fever

I don't want to go downstairs. I want something to drink besides water, though. I just finished watching an episode of "The Operation" about hair transplant surgery, and I really need something else to think about. So I've fired up the mini coffeemaker provided with this room, and made a tiny little pot of coffee. I poured myself a cup of the stuff, and dumped eight packets of sugar and three packets of creamer into it.