22 June 2008

Bad pop rant, and weather randomness.

I am a pop culture junkie. When we're listing our bad habits, i.e., drinking too much caffeine, eating too much chocolate, those sorts of things, I add to my list the fact that I'll read the gossip columns, watch E!, read People magazine. Other than being part of the MTV generation, I'm not sure what fuels this. I do know that often, the antics of Brit-Brit, La Lohan, and Paris make MY life seem....well....normal. Or as normal as any of us ever is.

I don't, however, listen to commercial radio. Ever. Ev-er. I despise it. Hilariously, though, that's all DH listens to and as we're in his car together more frequently than we are in mine, often I'm subjected to large chunks of time listening to exactly the sort of crapola I can't stand; "morning zoo" types of early AM programs. The rotten afternoon-drive stuff that plays the same ten songs over, over, over, over again. Ugh.

I like all kinds of music, but there's a certain group of current pop that really bothers me. I realize that this is going to make me sound like quite the curmudgeon, but it is just so much dreck. And this will probably bring her fans out in droves to flame me, but the song is so obnoxious that I can't take it anymore! I can't stand Jordin Sparks and her awful "No Air" song that she sings with Chris Brown. I'm not even sure why I've developed a nearly irrational distaste for the song, other than its prevalence every-freaking-where.

Then I heard an Ashlee Simpson song that made me shudder.

But this phenomenon isn't limited to the music spectrum of the pop-culture world. I've read some stuff lately that I have wondered about: how did this crap get published? You know that television has been a kvetch of mine for a long, long time....there're reality shows galore that I wonder...who green-lighted this stuff? Is there some television executive genius that listens to pitches for things like "Farmer wants a wife" and says, "Right on, man, that's going to be a big hit! Let's make that show!" Really?

I'm setting completely aside the definition of 'bad' that means immoral, I'm just talking about poor quality.

In Sam's Club the other day, I picked up a cookbook by a popular television cook, one who uses a lot of butter and has a pronounced Georgia drawl. I like the show; like the cook, too. But the book remained on the shelf for one reason, and one reason alone. It has terrible readability. Not bad grammar, but bad form. I don't know how anyone ever typed it up without their word-processing program having fits; every single sentence had a word or three with the ends clipped off. Reading became readin'. Watching became watchin'. I couldn't read it, after two paragraphs I set it down and walked away. No matter how compelling the story, or what fun the recipes might be, I can't read 300 pages of "I was goin' to the store."

I think it very sad that this sort of thing slips through the cracks. We don't complain about it, we just shrug and ignore that which we don't agree with, not voting with our dollars but rather endorsing things through our terrible apathy.

Wow, what a little ray of sunshine from me, eh?

Let's talk about something else before I bring everyone to all sorts of ire.

The weather in Oh-hia-ia is nothing if not changeable. We had some unexpectedly hot days in early June, unseasonably hot. Then that disappeared into chilly days where I pulled out several warm shawls for the part of my daily commute that involves a long walk. Our late spring was surprisingly devoid of typical Midwestern thunderstorms. Grey skies aplenty, but lacking in big thunder-bumpers.

Yesterday, the date of the summer solstice (Glad Midsommar, y'all!) we had a thunder-and-lightening storm that came out of nowhere, a bruising, crashing, noisy thunderstorm. I celebrate the Swedish holiday of Midsummer here in America because I want to; in Sweden, it marks the start of their very short summer, and is a leftover from pagan rituals. Here in the US, for me, it is just an excuse to gather some friends, drink some Southern Comfort Punch, stay up far too late on the longest day of the year. Unfortunately, we greeted the Midsummer evening by having a hail storm.

Our big thunderstorms have never frightened me. I revel in a wild thunderstorm. Last night's storm came up so suddenly, though, and the hail was out of nowhere. I've been through several tornadoes, seen funnel clouds that didn't touch down (thankfully, b/c I never want to see a tornado up close and personal) but since we moved to our current residence, I've never thought that I might need to seek shelter in our closet under the stairs until last night. (We lack a basement here at Chez Arin.)

Thankfully, the storm moved along, but not without a few casualties. My carefully cultivated garden, which is teaching me patience at long last, lost a handful of tomato plants. As an inexperienced gardener, I probably have too many plants crammed into a a space that is too small for them, but I'm still bummed about the loss of even a few to something that is beyond my control.

Something is eating some of the plants, too. Marigolds, which I thought that pests disliked, clipped most efficiently. But my lettuce is unharmed. Herbs, left alone. Sunflowers, completely destroyed. What gives?

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