Intrepid Girl Reporter

Saturday, 5/24: a laundry list of my obsessions
May 24, 2008, 3:26 pm
Filed under: IGR Recommends, Jeju crew, media, music, reading, television, Uncategorized

In which we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming of constant complaining about all the stress in my life and examine a few things that I really, really love. It’s a special Super Size version of IGR Recommends.

When we were in Japan, I discovered a heretofore unknown fact about Soccer: given any iteration of the game “Would You Rather,” wherein one option is anything in the world and the other option involves Billy Crystal, she will always choose the one featuring Billy Crystal. This is a rule I like to think of as “Soccer’s Law.” At first I thought she was crazy. I’m not going to say that I suddenly had some sort of epiphany about my feelings towards Billy Crystal – they still remain in the indifferent-to-occasionally-annoying range – but I do, now, understand where she’s coming from.

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull* with some of the Jeju crew and Co-Teacher D, and I was trying to explain to CTD how adorable I find Shia LaBeouf and why. As it happens, I had also been discussing my love of the show “Cupid” with Oregon and Arkansas earlier, which is another relatively obscure thing about which I am passionate. I’ve also been listening to more Korean psychedelia lately. These three seemingly unrelated occurrences helped me to realize that I, too, have a lot of things I don’t necessarily think are the best in the world, but, given the option, will always choose for whatever reason. These strange little obsessions are itemized for the first time here.

Note: the following list doesn’t include obvious concepts like “favorite artist,” and it’s not comprehensive. Also, most of these do not reflect very well on me.

Note 2: if you have known me for longer than six months, you have probably heard me talk about at least one of these.

Note 3: My sister shares a lot of these. I’m not sure why.

1. “Sesame Street”

I love “Sesame Street.” I have always loved “Sesame Street,” and I probably always will. It still makes me laugh, and not in the “oh that’s so cute way,” more in the “Grover why did you bring out a grapefruit on a hot dog bun” kind of way. I love that it doesn’t talk down to kids, that it features characters who aren’t always sugary sweet to each other, that it takes on Hemingway and Hitchcock. If I create something with as wide an impact – if I even created something nearly as entertaining – I will be very, very proud.

Arrivederci, frog.

2. Shia LaBeouf

When I was in high school, I used to watch “Even Stevens” with my sister specifically for the purpose of seeing Shia LaBeouf. If “Even Stevens” was interrupted by “Lizzie McGuire,” I would complain loudly until that Hilary Duff monstrosity had ended and “Even Stevens” was back on again.

I totally want to hang out with him. I think he is absolutely adorable. I thought so when I thought he was like six years younger than me and he seemed to be the kind of kid I would have loved if he were my age, and I think so now that I realize that he is, in fact, my age. I like the fact that he broke into the movie business in an unconventional way and that he chooses a wide variety of movies. Also, he seems to have trouble with women, which if you know me at ALL you will realize that this, to me, makes him even more endearing. I would date him as well as hang out with him. Just saying.

3. Korean psychedelia/folk

I bought an album by Shin Jung Hyeon yesterday and it’s really good. I also want to listen to more Kim Jung Mi. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this stuff before. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Big Bang okay, but this is a total scene that apparently disappeared and was replaced by NOTHING.

4. My Co-Teacher, ACT

ACT is the most awesome woman on the planet. She hugs me and listens to me rant about things she can’t do anything about. Right now she is in Seoul protesting the Lee Myung Bak administration. I asked her what they were going to do in the demonstration and she said, “Shouting.”

5. KoreanAir

Consistently nice, always helpful, everyone speaks English.

6. Jeremy Piven

No one ever knows who Jeremy Piven is. Which is too bad, because I love Jeremy Piven. I have loved him ever since I watched “Ellen” with my mother when I was in elementary school. I loved him in “Cupid” (see below), and I love him in “Entourage.” (Note: this is a key distinction between the items on this list and actual normal things I find attractive. Adrian Grenier is much, much more attractive than Jeremy Piven. I realize this. I find Adrian Grenier incredibly beautiful. But I would not necessarily go see a terrible movie featuring Adrian Grenier. I would do this for Jeremy Piven.) I think that I associate him in part with this sort of nostalgia for the mid-90s, when I was first starting to imagine myself as something more than what I was then, and the media I consumed featured adults living these lives that were possibilities for me. Also, I watched these things with my parents, and that was fun.

7. “Cupid”

“Cupid” was canceled prematurely. “Cupid” is one of the cutest shows ever, and I mean that in the most positive possible way. Jeremy Piven played this guy who was convinced he was Cupid, and Paula Marshall played this psychiatrist who was convinced he wasn’t and that love was all about science, and they wrestled with it as he tried to hook up every single person in the city, and I was twelve and really wanted to fall in love. Theme song by the Pretenders, which added to the awesome, as I also wanted to be tough like Chrissie Hynde.

8. My father’s boss and his wife

They ply us with delicious baked goods and have really adorable Nova Scotian accents. They are older and, we are sure, make wonderful grandparents. Cute dogs round out the package.

9. GS25

10. The book Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Highly recommended. Totally different from the movie, as previously discussed.

11. Blessid Union of Souls

Again from the mid-90s. Lyrically terrible and incredibly catchy.

12. Men’s style magazines

Esquire and Details feature authors I actually like reading outside of magazines (ex. Chuck Klosterman, Nick Hornby). They also write as though they are speaking to an audience older than tenth grade. While I’m not a fan of the way the dating articles occasionally veer into misogyny, they are far more entertaining than their female counterparts. The only comparable women’s mag would probably be Jane, but Jane was a) a little full of itself, b) targeted towards women who wanted to make it known that they read Jane, and c) halted sometime last year, which means I can no longer subscribe.

13. Reusing and making stuff

My father is a pack rat. So am I. He and my mother are also both bargain hunters, a trait I have inherited. Also, I have always liked making things, as my mother can attest, when she used to take me to the craft store as a treat. As a result, my rooms wherever I live are always cluttered with projects in process.

14. Social marketing

I did my thesis on this. I love good marketing. I’d rather be convinced than preached at.

15. Thomas Haden Church

There was a summer when I was moving and everything I owned was in a box, which meant that the only thing I had available as entertainment was USAm, the USA network’s feeble attempt to recycle old programming for the unemployed. I got really into “Ned and Stacey.”

Look at those crazy antics!

I actually think that “Ned and Stacey” was a good show for what it was – the writing may not have been top-notch, but Debra Messing is kind of endearing. More importantly, Thomas Haden Church is both full of himself and completely unashamed of being crazy, which seems to be the role he fits in the best. (Also, I’m a fan of mid-90s sitcoms that weren’t very good. Don’t even ask me about Caroline in the City.)

My sister understands this, as she watched a lot of Nick at Nite during this time and went through a similar phase with “Wings.” We also both enjoyed “Sideways.” Thomas Haden Church seems to be crazy in the same way we are, which is to say that I suspect that if we played “Would You Rather” with him long enough, we would find his Billy Crystal, so to speak. And isn’t someone we can play such games with what we all want, in the end?

*SPOILER: I briefly entertained the notion that the UFO was there, and looked incredibly cliche, as a sort of tribute to these sci-fi movies of the time period when IJ is set, but Oregon disagrees with me here, and I think she might be right. It’s difficult for me to say, anyway, because I’ve never seen the rest of the movies (don’t start on me). Also, CTE is lots of fun.


4 Comments so far
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I was really sort of excited about the 90210 remake when I heard that Rob Thomas (creator of Cupid, and later Veronica Mars, for the unenlightened) was going to be writing/producing it. Then he quit to work on two pilots for ABC instead and I was sad because I knew neither was going to get picked up. Then one of them did, AND IT’S A REBOOT OF CUPID. Without Jeremy Piven attached, but still!

Comment by Brendan

i love muppets in a very intense way. i haven’t watched sesame street in a long time, but Muppet Treasure Island is in my top 10 movies. no joke.

also, korean air has really weird commercials and consequently it frightens and confuses me.

Comment by julie from the ville

How we are the same:

1. Sesame Street — I couldn’t watch enough of it as a kid. If I were as cool as you, I would make an effort to watch and love it as much as I did then (it’s worth it).
3. That Kim Jung Mi song is awesome! I don’t think it’s on mine and Jonny’s album.
4. She’s awesome, enough said.
5. Agreed. SkyPass miles are awesome, too.
6. We’ve already talked about how much I liked him in “Ellen,” too.
7. Not as much as you, but I liked it when I watched it (at your suggestion, of course).
13. I have never been artistic or good with my hands (why I like soccer). But, we do have this in common. My dad’s a pack rat. I’m a pack rat. Our parents are bargain hunters (or, alternatively, my dad doesn’t spend any money). Now I know why we are friends.
15. No “Ned and Stacy,” but we have already found our one true bond: Caroline, Richard, Dell, Annie, and Charlie.

Where we’re not quite as similar:
2. I loved “Lizzie McGuire.” Sincere and I think clever, too. Comon, the little brother’s best friend who doesn’t talk at all! The triad of best friends! The dad from “Revenge of the Nerds”! It was all great. All of it. I watched that show and switched off “Even Stevens” as soon as it came on. Sorry, dude.
9. I’ve always been a Family Mart fan, for some reason.
12. Gross, style.

Now I have to make a list of my own — or do more important things, like actual work. ❤ for you always.


Comment by Soccer

[…] 3:54 am Filed under: crushes, media A spotlight on an actor for whom, as previously mentioned, I have a particular affinity, which this article only serves to underscore. I would love to see that play, especially […]

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