Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be a follower

As a recent defector from another blog site, which shall remain nameless (but rhymes with SlowLoser), I have been enjoying some of the benefits of Blogger. While it doesn't have the built-in community of SlowLoser, it has one very important distinction: it isn't an ugly, red-headed step-child. As such, Google's Blooger team tweaks, improves and adds to the site regularly. It is actually, actively being improved. Yeah, yeah, that is new to me. I had placated myself with serial stagnation, whose only major change came in the form of a horrendous "site upgrade" that ruined the blogging experience for me. One of the recent additions/improvements to Blogger is the ability to "follow" another blog. If you haven't checked it out, you should. You can add blogs to your dashboard that you are following. From one, nice little spot there you can see if there are any new articles from bloggers you enjoy. They will also be able to see that you are following them, giving them that nice, warm feeling of being loved (or perhaps that cold, creepy feeling of being stalked). It also automatically adds them to your Google Reader, which, if you haven't used, you should. Next time you are in Gmail, just click the link at the top of the page that says Reader and there you go, all your Blogger favorites right there ready to read. Handy. I like it.

The attraction of fame

Fame is a funny thing. We seem to be drawn to it, like the archetypal moth to the flame. Even if we don't think we are.
I hate celebrity culture. The countless websites, magazines, TV shows that exist only to embarrass, expose, idolize or demonize celebrities really bother me. I don't get the fascination. In fact, my wife will tell you, I have remarked before just how stupid I think the whole thing is.
But my eyes were opened this past month.
You see, I met someone famous. Two someones, in fact. And not just sort of famous. Really very famous people. My interaction with them was limited, but did last 20-30 minutes. In that time I found them to be down to earth, kind, and, well, normal people. During my interactions, I didn't think I was star-struck.
Apparently I was.
Since my brief interaction, I honestly found myself very interested in these people, and for longer than I thought I would have. I now know what movies they have been in, what major awards (Golden Globe and Academy Awards) they have been nominated for or won. I know when they were married, born, etc. The internet makes all this so easily accessible. But what shocked me (and disturbed me) the most was that I found myself hoping for opportunities to see them or speak with them again. I was looking more closely, wanting to catch a glimpse. I found myself paying attention to celebrity news, wondering if I would hear or see their names. I was sucked in. Fortunately, it didn't last, and the brief fascination has now faded. But I am left wondering if I am no better than those celebrity-mongers who keep trash like The Enquirer, Star, and Us Weekly flying off the shelves. Talk about painful self-revelation.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Because it's there

My son is now three. He is also a boy. Anatomically, he has some parts that protrude, parts his sisters don't have. This, of course, can mean one thing, and one thing only. He has begun grabbing his unit. Much to my wife's chagrin, I might add. I can tell it drives her nuts (oops, Freudian slip?) when she sees him hanging on to things. With the exasperation that only mothers can muster, she will tell him to cut it out. He's a good little guy. He lets go. For a time. But, eventually, he is hanging on for dear life again. I tried to tell him the other day that if he grabs things too much, they will fall off. It didn't phase him. I suppose he just isn't yet at the age that scare tactics work. Saturday night, though, he cracked me up. I got him out of the shower. Naturally, he walks, naked, into his bedroom, where the putting on of the clothes will occur. As per protocol. Being naked, as he was, things were just that much more accessible. I look over, and there he is, hanging on like he is afraid he is going to lose it. "Dude, what are you doing?" I ask, in what I thought was a nonchalant manner. "Daddy, I'm just grabbing my funny bone," he coolly replies. I was speechless. Still, thinking back on the moment, I laugh. I mean, of all the things he could have come up with to call his package, this 3 year old comes up with funny bone. That is pure comedy gold there. You can't write that kind of stuff. What could I say? After all, he was just grabbing his funny bone.