Lately I’ve taken to sending Gene a daily sample of the most ridiculous headline I can find on CNN.com. I would like to share a few from the last month or so:
Justin Bieber’s monkey quarantined
Dog tattoos: cruel or prudent?
Cute woodchuck eats ice cream
Saget’s X-rated ‘Full House’ memory
Sandwich buyer in a pickle over pickles
‘Toilet of the future’ solves big issues
And some of my favorites from today:
Life coaches commit suicide
Justin Bieber to be launched into space (I assume this is related to his monkey issues. We’ve had enough, Bieb.)
Again, these are all headlines taken from CNN’s main page — the news that CNN felt would be most relevant and important to our lives. This is why I get all my news from Jon Stewart.
Kris: Blech, I’m sorry, I keep going on and on about this. I need to stop telling you every thought that crosses my brain.
Gene: I like hearing all your thoughts.
Gene: I do. If your thoughts were an RSS feed, I would subscribe to it.
It’s an understood thing around our house that on particularly sunny days I’m going to spend most of my time in the yard, swimming and reading, rather than grocery shopping or sweeping the staircase or any of the other useful things I sometimes bring myself to do.
Today I was doing that for a while, and then I came inside because I wanted to eat some banana bread. (My second two slices of the day — so, that’s four slices so far today. It’s 1 p.m.) I was too lazy to put on a cover-up dress, so I was sitting in my swimsuit in my library chair for maximum transference of sunscreen onto the furniture, the plate of dessert wodged under my chin like one of those collars you put on wounded dogs, with a napkin spread over as much of the rest of me as possible in a vain attempt to catch the crumbs from my Cookie Monster-esque devouring of treats. (Face-first, that’s how I roll.) And Gene happened to pass by the door and paused to take in this tableau and then unironically said “I’m so lucky.”
Just, thank god, you know?
Once, a few years ago, I tried taking all of our medicines and toiletries out of their ugly cardboard-and-plastic packaging and putting them into funky little jars, sort of like this:
And then Gene said “Why are the band-aids in this jar with the narrow mouth that I can’t get my fingers into? I can’t tell which one of these bottles of pills is the Tylenol. Where did all these Q-tips come from? Do we use these for anything?”
And I realized that I will never live a Pinterest life.
Kris: [starts charging across, realizes Michele isn’t with her] “You coming?”
Michele: “Sorry, yes.”
Kris: “Did you forget how to walk?”
Michele: “No, I was just waiting for a white man to cross with.”
Michele: “You know, the little white light-up man? In the crossing sign?”
Kris: “Ah. Yes. You may wish to rephrase that in the future.”
“You should certainly have more children — not that I like children very much (I find them tiresome) but they grow up into people if you give them time. In my young days parents were not afraid to admit that they found their children tiresome. Now it is considered unnatural and yet people have fewer. That always strikes me as strange.”
“They didn’t have to bother with their children,” Humphrey pointed out. “They just handed them over to a competent nurse, and — ”
“That’s exactly what I mean,” said Miss Dunne. “They didn’t pretend they liked them. Now they pretend they like them and don’t have them.”
-D.E. Stevenson, Celia’s House
I curate my entire personal library — currently just over eleven hundred books, but there’s room to grow — on Goodreads. Yesterday the word went out that Amazon has purchased Goodreads. Initially I was dismayed, because that’s the reaction everyone has when a Big acquires a Small. But once my knee calmed down and stopped jerking, I started to think it might be a good thing.
I’ve never ridden the anti-Amazon bandwagon, because I’m old enough to remember life before Amazon. People, it sucked. Remember (all you Olds) finding that fascinating first book of a trilogy buried in a used bookstore — Pamela Dean’s The Secret Country, just to take a random example — and then discovering the series was out-of-print and that unless you got lucky twice more, you were never going to know how it ended? (Unless you were dating Gene, who magically found the next two books for you and who to this day has never explained how he got them.) Now fast-forward to today, when almost every single book I’ve ever wanted to read is readily available on Amazon or through Amazon sellers, usually at several different price points and in several different editions.
I know there are consequences to using Amazon. And I’m sorry, I love used bookstores as much as the next bibliophile nutjob, but if the price of having the world of books at my mouse-clicking fingertips means brick-and-mortar used bookstores go extinct, then I’ll pay that price. (And I know there are other consequences too. So far I don’t care about any of those either.)
So now Amazon owns Goodreads and thus has access to far more of my reading data than they did before. Presumably they’ll eventually be able to scan my entire 1107 books when I visit their site, along with my reviews and ratings, and they’ll use that knowledge to try and sell me stuff which I’m likely to buy. And read. And enjoy. And this is bad how?
I worked for Amazon almost fifteen years ago and I remember Jeff Bezos ranting in his grandiose way about how eventually Amazon was going to take over the entire internet retail world. Well, speaking as someone who really enjoys getting Coralie Bickford-Smith books for almost half-off normal retail price, I say ride on, Genghis; I’m right behind you.
Overheard as I got on the bus:
Boy: “Wow, I just realized that those are all the words I usually use to describe Mauritania.”
Girl, in the hopeful voice of someone on a first date: “Oh, is that the imaginary country you invented?”
Boy, in the regretful voice of someone on a last date: “Uh…no.”
I bought another piece of body-part decor. It’s a table that sits on sort of tentacly legs which end in four little paws. This time there was a decided silence before Gene said “Oh, I like it.”
I probably need to stop shopping at stores with no return policies.