So much to look forward to

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17-year-old-me: Umm…I think you meant “so much to which to look forward” right?

Me: Good god, quit!  Sometimes ending a sentence in a preposition isn’t all that painful, and sometimes it just sounds better, and sometimes it’s okay, even if it’s not technically right.  You really annoy me, you know that?  Especially because I am super jealous of you right now.

17-year-old Me: Is it because you think I am smarter, pretty,  more awesome and better at grammar than you and you’re just a boring almost-thirty-year-old?

Me: I think you are 17 and an idiot.

17-year-old-me: Then what?

Me: I’m jealous because you don’t have any idea about all the awesome entertainment that will be coming your way in the next ten years that you still get to experience for the first time.  Like Harry Potter!!!  I’d give anything to read Harry Potter again for the first time.

17-year-old-me:  I saw that book while I was babysitting – for children…because it’s a children‘s book.  When I go to college and onward, I have pretty serious plans to read pretty serious literature.  Are you joking with this Harry Potter stuff?

Me: OMG you just have no idea about anything!

17-year-old-me: What is “OMG”?

Me: OMG you don’t know OMG?  But I am a children‘s librarian, did you forget?  I pretty much only read books for children and teenagers now.  It’s amaaaah-zing.

17-year-old-me:  Why did you right “amazing” like “amaaaaaah-zing”?

Me: It’s from a show you’ll like called Happy Endings. It won’t be on for another eleven years.

17-year-old-me:  Okay, so what else?

Me: Well, you’ll discover YA literature, as discussed.   You’ll get to watch your first cycle of America’s Next Top Model  (you don’t even know how to SMIZE yet)…Veronica Mars season 1…The OC Season 1!  And Downton Abbey – you’ll even make the theme from that one your ringtone!

17-year-old Me: My “ringtone”?

Me: On your cellphone…people have cell phones in your world, you know…get with it.  Then, you still get to see Love Actually in the theater FOUR times.  You will cry very hard for the first 15 minutes of Up.  You will try so hard to figure out if Inception ends in a dream or in reality and you will never ever know!  And the first time you see a trailer for National Treasure?  You’re gonna plotz!  Oh man, plus you will get so excited when you find out that Johnny Depp will be in a pirate movie with ORLANDO BLOOM!

17 year-old Me: Who?

Me: You’ll get to discover ORLANDO BLOOM!  See?

FACT: you will one day cut out and fasten this very magazine page to a bulletin board in your dorm room!

17-year-old Me: Oooooohhhhh…

Me: Just wait till you see him as an elf.  Which means you’ll get to see Lord of the Rings!  And you’ll finally read Lord of the Rings and they are so good.

17-year-old Me: At least I’ve heard of that…

Me: You’ll get to see The Single Ladies [Put a Ring on It] music video and hear Regina Spektor sing Real Love and learn that Otis Redding’s These Arms of Mine is, like, the best song ever! OOHHH – you’ll discover Charlieissocoollike and Alex Day on Youtube!

 

17-year-old-me: Wait, what’s Youtube?

Me: OMG you don’t even have Youtube yet!!!  You are SO LUCKY!!  You’ll get to discover YOUTUBE!!!!  Christian the Lion – Krabstickz’ Nazi Gold – all those Dear Sister parodies -Honey Badger Don’t Care – The Bed Intruder – David After Dentist – Sassy Gay Friend – Charlie Bit Me – Kitty is a Bad Mystic – Twin Baby Boys Having a Conversation – Oo-de-Lally sung in every single language you can imagine!

17-year-old Me: Okay, you need to slow down a lit-

Me: BROTHERHOOD 2.0 HANK AND JOHN GREEN THE VLOGBROTHERS OMG THEY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!

17-year-old Me: You aren’t even making sense anymore.

ME: YOU WILL GET TO WATCH THE LAST FIVE FRAKKING MINUTES OF SEASON THREE OF BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AGAIN AND EXPERIENCE THE BEST FIVE FRAKKING MINUTES OF TELEVISION YOU HAVE EVER SEEN OR LIKELY WILL EVER SEE AGAIN!  YOU WILL START OUT NOT KNOWING WHO ANY OF THE CYLONS ARE!!!

17-year-old Me: QUIT IT!!!  Frakking?  Cylons?  You are frakking me out…whatever that means…but I think I probably used it right, right?

Me: Whoa.  Yeah, sorry about that.  I just…got carried away.  You have things to look forward to in the next decade, is what I am saying.

17-year-old Me: That is actually a really nice thing to hear.  I kind of want you to…calmly and less scarily…tell me more…

Me: SPOILERS!  Haha – get it? I mean, of course you don’t get it yet. “Hello Sweetie!!!”  Haha!  River Song!?!?!  Doctor Who!!  DALEKS!!!

17-year-old Me: You’re doing it again.

Me: Sorry!  I meant that I can’t tell you too much – it will spoil it all.  Here is a clip that helped inspire me to do this whole theme week; it also includes John Green who will change your life and the much discussed “Youtube” that you will so enjoy and Battlestar Frakking GalacticaYou only need to watch the first 15 seconds to get my point, unless you want to keep going just because it’s a good interesting video.

 

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Pressing Questions About the Future

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Two things inspired this week’s theme, which is Conversations With My Younger Self.

1. I read this young adult book called The Future of Us.  It was about two teenagers in 1996 who log onto AOL for the first time and are magically made privy to their 32-year-old Facebook profiles.  I mostly enjoyed the book for its 1996 references; can I get a hand up if you ever danced your last slow dance at a middle school dance to “End of the Road” by BoyzIIMen?  I bet you did!!!

2. This video, which is entirely brilliant.  I wish this guy had been my BFF when we were twelve and also still now:

So since I read that book/watched that video, I have been imagining conversations with my imaginary 17-year-old self (who is, I guess, not exactly imaginary but you know…) on all topics from dating to my job to where I live to how I live.

This is my favorite faux-conversation I’ve had, and one which I genuinely believe 17-year-old me would have brought up very early on in our exchange.

To preface this conversation, you need to know that in the year 2000 for about five weeks Burger King had this special called the X-treme Double Cheese Burger.  Described in a press release I just found online as “monstrously huge and obscenely loaded with cheese,” the X-treme Double Cheeseburger featured, “1/2 pound of juicy, flame-broiled beef; two slices of Monterey Jack cheese; two slices of Cheddar; and a zesty cheese sauce topped with tomatoes, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun.” I am just now learning it contained over a thousand calories and about 60% of those calories came from fat.

I ate like three X-treme Double Cheeseburgers a week for the duration of their existence, is something you need to know before this starts.  Yeah.

Yeah.

The conversation goes something like this:

17-Year-Old-Me: Does Burger King ever bring back the X-treme Double Cheeseburger?

Me: Nope, pretty sure not.

17-Year-Old-Me: Man, that sucks!

Me: I guess.

17-Year-Old-Me: You “guess”?!?!  X-treme Double Cheeseburgers were, like, SO delicious!  I miss them.  I miss them SO MUCH.

Me: Wow, you really do don’t you?  They were pretty disgusting and really bad for you, you know.

17-Year-Old-Me: Whatever.  At least Burger King still sells jalepeno poppers.

Me: Well, they actually discontinued those too. That’ll happen soon – like within the next year or so.

17-Year-Old-Me: WHAT!?!?!  How could they?  Jalepeno poppers are the BEST THING EVER!

Me: It seems bad now, I know, but I have some encouraging news.

17-Year-Old-Me: Yeah?

Me: You don’t eat fast food any more.

17-Year-Old-Me: What does that mean?

Me: You quit going to fast food restaurants.

17-Year-Old-Me: I don’t understand.

Me: You haven’t had fast food more than a small handful of times in the past two years, and even then you only have fries and milkshakes, never meat.

17-Year-Old-Me: But….why?

Me: Well, you try pretty hard to eat healthy and you don’t believe in eating meat that comes from unethical sources.

17-Year-Old-Me: …..

Me: You know, like, factory farms.  Meat that’s not raised in humane and sustainable conditions.  You try to only eat meat of known provenance, because you believe it is better for the world that way.

17-Year-Old-Me: But….but…Burger King is delicious.  So is McDonald’s.

Me: Yeah, and in about a year you’ll discover how delicious Taco Bell is, too.  But it doesn’t matter, because you have PRINCIPLES now.

17-Year-Old-Me: That sounds pretty stupid.  I want to eat X-treme Double Cheeseburgers and I will always want to eat X-treme Double Cheeseburgers.

Me: And I’m telling you, you will not.  You will someday come to realize that living a way that is commensurate with your values is more important to you than chicken nuggets and other fast food.  You believe that the factory farm system is evil and you are always talking to people about your decision to eat ethically produced meats whenever possible to try to convince them to join the fight!

17-Year-Old-Me: You sound like a huge asshole;  I like chicken nuggets.

Me: Well, I think you sound like an asshole.  Don’t you care where your food comes from?  Some things are more impor-

17-Year-Old-Me: CHICKEN NUGGETS!  CHICKEN NUGGETS! CHICKEN NUGGETS!

aaaand scene.

Jalapeno poppers were so APPETIZING. How could BK ever discontinue them? Also no pictures of the Xtreme Double Cheeseburger seem to exist. Tragic.

Darcy, my homie

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So there is a new Youtube vlog series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is retelling Pride and Prejudice via video blog.  Obviously for this to work, the story has been updated to the present and is being adapted as such.

I heard about it because Hank Green (blogger, vlogger, Nerdfighter and inspiration) is the Executive Producer, and I follow just about everything he does and naturally he has been promoting it.

I find that I am interested in the project.  Sometimes the vlog format seems a little awkward and forced, especially in the first couple episodes.  I’ve kept coming back for more, though: I subscribed to the channel, and I have started, early days though it is, looking forward to new episodes on Mondays and Thursday.  I haven’t quite reached the stage where I’ve started following all the pretend characters on Twitter and Tumblr, but I am sure that is just one bored, rainy Sunday afternoon away.

If I were not insanely tired, I’d have tried to write a more content-rich musing on the topic of: Literature2.0!!!  The novel format of the future? I would have discussed how social media and the computer age have affected the way we consume literature and it would have been very intelligent and insightful.

Instead, I am just going to embed some episodes:

The first I’ve included is the first episode, which is one of my least favorites but where you should probably start.  The second is the most recent episode, in which this series presents a Lydia that (for a change!) I find entertaining rather than entirely hateful.

Not too beardy

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This is the first video I ever saw by Youtube vlogger Tom from Australia, alias Frezned.  You probably only have to watch about half of this video to get what he’s about, unless (like me) you are mesmerized by him and want to watch all six minutes of him spiraling into madness.

I watched this and said, “of this man, I must see more.”

Following up on that, I spent an afternoon watching every video he ever made, which is what I do with afternoons probably more often than I ought to.

It was an afternoon well spent, I thought.  I mean, this is the man who uttered the phrase, “I’m like a mind-beard-anti-Samson.  Like from the mind-beard-anti-Bible.”

Classic.

He also made this fabulous video about ants, in which he takes what is apparently some sort of famous bible-y parable – about a little girl throwing starfishes one at a time into the sea from a giant pile of washed up star fishes and an old man comes up to her and says, “Why are you bothering?  You’ll never save them all, it doesn’t make a difference” and she says, “it makes a difference to this one,” and throws another one in – and tweaks it just a little to make it non-nauseating and hilarious.

I actually heard Frezned’s version first, and I must say I vastly prefer it.


And finally, if you can get past the scary noise that happens a couple of time, this video is BRILLIANT.  You’ll never see the last twist coming!

So that’s Tom from Australia, one of my personal favorite Toms in all the world.  I hope you enjoy him too, and if you have a whole afternoon to spare sometime, I would suggest watching every video he has ever made.

Cheers.