All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

Archive for the ‘the infernal television machine’ Category

What is “normal”?

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On this eve of the first of the new year, I get to opportunistically reflect on the things I have, the things I want, and my purpose in life. I’ve always wanted to be “normal” and have a “normal life” (though most people I know would laugh if they heard me saying that, since my life bears little resemblance to the boring slog that most people think of when they hear “normal” — something I think of more as “quiet desperation”).

Ever since I was a little kid, I didn’t fit in. I looked like a boy until I was 9 and had to get into the habit of asking for the “ladies’ room” because service staff always directed me to the men’s room. I was too tall. I had no friends. Kids made fun of me. I wouldn’t wear a “training” bra and ended up needing a real bra earlier than anyone else I knew. Boys would dare each other to ask me out and then run away laughing. I got picked last in any athletic event I was forced to participate in. “Normal” seemed like this unattainable golden state that everyone else existed in… so when I got to pick my name, I decided that, by hook or by crook, I was going to be normal.

And that’s how I got to be “Normal.” And it really fits me, I think, since I have a regular job that I go to every day at roughly the same time. I have fairly un-exceptional thoughts on a day-to-day basis. I’m not very fashionable, but I’m also not notably unfashionable. I have hobbies like normal people: hiking, camping, hanging out with friends, blogging, photography. Yes, some of my hobbies are un-normal: collecting taxidermy, listening to Cracker all the time, modeling for unconventional photos (right), camping in the desert and applying spark to combustibles.

One thing I think I want to look into for the new year is what really *is* “normal life.” I want it… but do I? And what is it to other people? So I’ve set up a Google alert and will set out to figure out what a normal life is. Wish me luck.

“True Blood” (and other musings)

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I was planning on writing a longer entry about the Campout, but I came home and saw that a new episode of “True Blood” was on the Tivo and I absolutely had to watch it. I don’t care what anyone says, that show is completely addictive and fascinating.

Pictured, left, are the two main characters, Sookie and Bill (and a dog that doesn’t have a name, but I’m sure will later be revealed to be Sam, who can probably shape-shift into a dog). The premise of the story seemed at first to be about how the vampire, Bill, isn’t actually a monster, but is surrounded by mortals who are. But at the end of this episode, it looked like poor Sukie was done for at the hands (mouths?) of a few really over-the-top bad guy vampires (one of whom had sex with Maudette, Sookie’s brother’s once lover). So it looks like maybe it’s not going to be about that exactly… maybe about how monsters can be on either side of the vampire war.

But one thing about vampires… murder is murder. Now that vampires are out and about and being recognized (they no longer have to feed on humans now that “True Blood” blood substitute is out), they can walk among the mortals, but seems like some of them still murder, which probably doesn’t help their PR at all.

So, it’s hard to know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, but one thing is for certain: I’m being distracted from more important things (like recounting last weekend’s awesome concert) by “True Blood” on the Tivo. Bleh. Hopefully, I’ll be more inspired to write about the concert tomorrow.

Written by normalslife

September 16, 2008 at 4:34 am

“Change your TV, change your life”

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While watching the news this morning, this phrase made me jump up and literally run for my computer so I could blog.

Side note: that makes me sound really into blogging, which I’m not actually. I only started this blog a few days ago and I’m always looking out for things to blog about, which is sometimes hard for me, since I have relatively little personal drama and I don’t get out all that often. And I think I would bore myself to tears if I blogged about work… which brings up an important point: I don’t think anyone’s actually reading this blog and I have no illusions about the noise-to-signal ratio of the blogosphere, so I don’t think anyone actually ever will. I don’t mean this in a self-depreciating way, but I’m just not interesting enough and I keep going on these long tangents… so back to the entry

Sharp now promises that their new LCD screen television will change your life! When I think about the potential impact of this “life-changing box” (their campaign, not mine), I think of re-arranging furniture in the living room, decreased money in my bank account, and, of course, the required re-prioritization of my life to focus on the holy television, not on things like getting in shape for the Wilderness Travel Course (eyes on the prize, Violet). I mean, I’d have to commit to spending 42 hours in front of the television to make the cost of the television worthwhile (based on my hourly pay before taxes)… most people, even more! Now, looking at that, I think “ok, that’s only 10 hours less than one hour per week, which is probably what I spend there now,” but we’re talking about re-prioritizing those hours away from other activities intentionally. Bleh!

On the other hand, through the power of a high-definition LCD Sharp television, I could watch the Travel channel and virtually visit hundreds (if not thousands) of places I’ll realistically never go, to get to know millions of people I’ll never meet in person. I could learn new recipes from the Food network (and hang out with my TV crush, Anthony Bourdain) and watch things get exploded on the Discovery Channel. I don’t watch TV as candy, I watch it intentionally (omg, thank you, Tivo!). So I’d experience a richer television experience from watching on this mammoth, gorgeously rendered television. None of these things are really like doing the real thing myself (taking cooking classes, visiting South America, and, most excitingly –and most likely to happen near, around, or on me– making gigantic explosions), but who has time to fit all that into life and work a 50 hour work week? So, in those ways, I guess it would enrich my life. *

I couldn’t believe that the blogosphere wouldn’t be up in arms about this, so I decided to do some quick searches to see what other people are saying about the television that will most definitely change your life (see above for ways it would change life). First, I found that the Sharp website is crashed. I found but was unable to access the press release about the box, so we’ll have to count on my shoddy memory to include Sharp’s announcement here. But second, not that many people blogged about the slogan, which is kind of Suckville. Are people so apathetic about their marketing?

Anyways, here are some highlights:
Change your tv, change your life: “Research shows that television viewing is below average in enjoyment for the optional activities available to us.” (Dave Shearon) Dave seems to have a pretty cool blog (bookmarking it!) about goals, culture, and leadership. But his post on the Sharp campaign kind of leaves me feeling like there’s more there… Dave, how would owning a Sharp television change your life? What would you gain or sacrifice?

Sharp will change your life?
“The marketing strategy revolves around a very large claim… their technology changes your life, I assume for the better although they don’t say.” (Mediamentalism) This post talks about how the slogan, paired with their other campaign about how green their products are, is really misleading. The LCD technology is a cesspool of toxins and Sharp is just jumping on the green-is-the-new-black bandwagon.

… and that’s about it. Sweet Jesus, that’s depressing. Are people really so complacent that a slogan like this doesn’t even cause a blip of outrage in most people’s critical landscape? I mean, if there’s something to blog about, a million people are out there blogging about it, but essentially two critical articles?! Eh, personal rant aside, I thought more people would write about it.

And I guess today, my television did change my life in some small way. It led me to write this blog entry and look at other blogs to research it. It led me to think about things in a more critical way. It led me to be late to walk my dog, who is currently reminding me by growling sullenly on the carpet.

I’d better go back to the default world and get my pup some exercise.

* I started out by writing this post as a rant against the campaign, but as I wrote, I realized that there are both costs and benefits to this television, as implied by their campaign. It’s the old genie-in-the-bottle situation… you get what you wish for, but it may or may not be what you really wish for.

Written by normalslife

September 10, 2008 at 2:15 pm