In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to make list of some of the random things I love in the world of pop culture. (What? You thought I would share with the world the things I love in my real life? No way – people I know read this blog. )
Don’t judge me.
1. The way Scout says, “Well, Hey, Boo.” when she meets Boo Radley for the first time in To Kill a Mockingbird. Starts me sobbing every time.
2. Robert Vaughn. I know, I know. His lawyer commercials are cheesy, but I can’t help myself. There is something about the guy and the life he’s lived that intrigues me. Do you know he published a doctoral thesis on the McCarthy hearings? In almost every story I write, I include a “Robert Vaughn-type” character.
3. The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. If you haven’t read this book, then walk away from your computer, run to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy. It is about the relationship between a young boy, his best friend and the baseball player they worship during WWII. The story is told through letters, newspaper clippings and other random scraps of paper, and it will make you laugh and break your heart (in the good way).
4. Songs I Discover through TV Shows. Ever since I heard Billy Vera’s “At This Moment” played on Family Ties back in the 80s, I’ve been a huge fan of “discovering” songs that are used as background music on television shows. If I hear a song I like, I become a crazy person trying to track down where it came from. Lucky for me, the age of the internet has made this hobby much, much easier. Some songs I’ve discovered that have gone on to be my favorites include:
- “Looking for Space” by John Denver (Magnum PI)
- “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler (Cover Up)
- “Neighborhood” by Vonda Shepard (AllyMcBeal)
- “Devil Town” by Bright Eyes (Friday Night Lights)
- “Look at You” by Screaming Trees (Supernatural)
5. Les Miserables. The musical, not the novel. I tried the novel once, and all respects due to Victor Hugo, I just couldn’t make it through. The musical, though, completely rocks my world. It is sad and romantic and hopeful and spiritual and devastating. Often all within the same song.
6. Season 1 & 2 of Supernatural. The only reason I’ve continued to watch seasons 3-5 is out of my love for the first two. I’m actually hoping the CW puts me out of my misery and cancels the show this May as planned instead of holding out for a sixth season. I’m too weak to leave on my own and need the network to file for the divorce.
7. The Food Network. It has taken over from E! as the default setting on my television set. I can pretty much watch any program, but my favorites include Dinner Impossible, Ace of Cakes and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
8. “To my big brother, George. The richest man in town.” (Do I really need to say anything else?) Dare you not to cry.
9. Soundtrack to “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and the TV show Soap. Okay, I know you’re thinking it’s pretty random to list these two items together, but let me explain. In the summer of 1997 I was studying for the Maine Bar exam and had the soundtrack running in a constant loop in the CD player of my computer where I spent about 20 hours a day. It’s full of fun, peppy songs that don’t invade too deeply into your brain. Think of it as upbeat white noise. Then, the very weekend before the bar exam, some channel was running a Soap marathon. It was a perfect break – every few hours of studying, I would reward myself by watching one 1/2 hour episode. The show never moved very fast, so even watching every fifth episode or so I was able to keep up with the storylines. To this day, both remain prescriptions for my ongoing mental sanity.
10. Quoting The Princess Bride. I know how some people like to quote Animal House or Caddyshack, but for my money, you’re never going to find a more quotable movie than The Princess Bride.
- “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
- “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
- “You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.” “You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.”
- “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”
And, as a fitting way to end a Valentine’s Day post, “As you wish.”