Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Make me a Match

I have noticed more and more online matchmaking services advertised during my stories.  (That's what Sven calls anything I watch, because of course, anything a woman watches must be just mindless soap-opera fluff.  So, for future reference, important, culturally relevant entertainment such as Law and Order, Law and Order:SVU, and RuPaul's Drag Race are now mindless soap-opera fluff.)


I met Sven the old-fashioned way (he offered me free trombone lessons and tricked me into a date), but there's nothing wrong with using an online service to find someone to date, especially now that there are some reliable ones.  In the early days of the internet, people were meeting in chat rooms, which, as Dateline NBC has shown us, are teeming with pedophiles and wine-cooler aficionados.

But now, with sites like eHarmony,, and J-Date, singles (or those who act as though they are) can, by just answering a few questions about themselves and their ideal mate, be connected with someone.

I don't need a romantic partner.  I have Sven.  From the morning, when I put on his socks, to the night, when I pretend I didn't notice, we have the perfect romantic relationship.  No, what I need is friendship. Not deep, meaningful, starring-Sandra-Bullock friendship: what I need is completely superficial, gossipy, outrageous friendship.

So, here is my questionnaire for my new site,  (Totally not my site, but I'm thinking about it.)  At this site, you can be connected with the snark partner of your choice, all from the comfort of your home.

1. Complete the following sentence:  INXS is
     A. A meaningless jumble of letters
     B. A way to spell out the phrase "in excess" with only four letters
     C. An Australian post-New Wave band from the late 1980's/early 1990's.
     D. My reason for living, now that you've reminded me of them.

2. When contemplating a new hair color, a friend's role should be to
     A. Dissuade.  Everyone is perfect the way God made them.
     B. Discuss.  Perhaps a bit of a change would help, but nothing too drastic.
     C. Persuade.  It's about time you brought that silver mine under some kind of control.
     D. Perform.  I happen to have rubber gloves and three different highlighting kits in my bag.

3. Your friend has shown up to lunch after receiving her first Botox treatment.  She takes off her sunglasses for the dramatic reveal.  You:
     A. Smile weakly, gulp some water, and mumble, "It looks good!"
     B. Order the strongest drink your religion allows and try not to look at the left one.
     C. Blurt out, "How long does it stay like that?"
     D. Schedule your own appointment while telling your friend, "Yes, your eyebrows are now in two different zip codes, but your forehead skin looks like a baby's."

4. Children:
    A. Are the reason we are put here on earth.
    B. Are very important, but I understand there are times and places for them.
    C. Should be seen and not heard.
    D. Interfere with my plans to take up boudoir photography.

5. Television:
     A. Has become a moral cesspit that I find both disgusting and discouraging.
     B. Isn't very good anymore.
     C. Can be decent, if you can find the right shows.
     D. Is everything I ever wanted...and more.

6. Sporting events:
     A. Are a great opportunity for family bonding.
     B. Give me some alone time when my husband is out of the house.
     C. Don't interest me.
     D. Always have the sweatiest guys.  I dig that.

7. Books:
     A. Are my passion.
     B. Help pass the time.
     C. Can be interesting sometimes, I guess.
     D. Exist to provide source material for television and film award season.

8. The last movie I saw was:
     A. I can't remember, it's been so long!
     B. The Lord of the Rings
     C. Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire
     D. The Squeakwal.

9. My ideal mate would:
     A. Love and respect me.
     B. Treat me like a queen.
     C. Share my interests
     D. Clip his toenails privately and dispose of the trimmings instead of sitting in the middle of the living room in a horribly contorted position, displaying his toes as though they are priceless works of art, then carefully stacking the trimmings where I am likely to discover them in the coming weeks instead of placing them in the garbage can three feet away.

10. The most important thing to me is:
      A. Family
      B. Good friends
      C. Having a good time
      D. Eyeliner that doesn't smudge.

There!  It's as easy as that!  Take my quiz and give yourself a point for every "A," 2 points for every "B," 3 for each "C," and 4 for the "D's."  Then get your friends to take it, too, and compare scores.  How close are you with your closest buddies?

I scored a 57.  Sometimes I go too far. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

News? Not Necessarily.

If there is one thing my childhood taught me, it is that there is grown-up television and kid television.

I was a child in the glorious days of the late 1970's and early 1980's, when black-and-white televisions were still commonly used as the "auxiliary" television, the VCR was a brand new invention competing with many others, and cable television was still, to most people, an idea for the future.  Back then, a "big" television was in the 21 to 25 inch range.  27 inches was positively luxurious.

I still remember our main entertainment center from those pre-everything days: a color television with rabbit ear antennae, no remote control (we had those funky silver dials, one for VHF and one for UHF), and a Hi-Fi stereo system set up next to it so Dad could listen to the baseball game on the radio while he watched it on TV.  That was it.  In those days, the television would go off for hours at a time every day so we could listen to records or sleep.

In my parents' bedroom was the secondary television, a black-and-white 13-incher that we kids despised.  However, it was there we were banished when Mom or Dad were having grown-up TV time, which usually meant "The News."    If there was one thing I learned, it was that grown-ups watch the news at least twice a day, every day, and possibly Entertainment Tonight.

I can't do it.  I'm sick of the news.  I don't watch it anymore.  I might have the local news on first thing in the morning long enough to get the weather report, but that's it.  I don't even watch The Daily Show anymore.  I get too sad with what seems to me to be the needless strife and contention in the world.  I don't want to hear it anymore.

However, I have to keep up with the important things.  "The Soup" brings me my weekly pop-culture round up.  Daily checks of Twitter keep me informed of happenings around the world.  Google News shows me the headlines without bothering me with details.

My one, tenuous link to the world of information was NPR Morning Edition.  Even that is gone.  It was costing me too much money, downloading the Norwegian folk music and feminist rap.  I now listen to alternative comedy podcasts in the morning.  The up side: my improv chops are coming back.  The down side: I have no idea what is going on in the world.

And that's the way I like it.