February 6, 2009

The Weeklies #72

The Weekly Worst Name of a Person That I Actually Met. Myluv. Yeah, her first name was Myluv.

The Weekly Time Waster. I'll just apologize for this in advance. The New Switcheroo.

The Weekly Oops. Comcast customers in Tucson got a little more than they bargained for while watching the superbowl - porn. For thirty seconds, viewers accidentally got a taste of some of Comcast's more adult offerings. They're trying to get to the bottom of the malfunction. In the mean time, they're offering viewers $10 for the inconvenience.

The Weekly Read. I was prepared not to like Ablutions: Notes for a Novel by Patrick deWitt. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the gimmick factor. I like books with a gimmick - when they tell a story in a unique way - but the more of a gimmick that exists, the more they have to prove that they can tell a story. A book can't be all gimmick. deWitt's angle here? Just what the subtitle says - notes for a novel. It's told in the second person, as if you were quickly jotting notes down to write about yourself. The thing is? This is a terribly sincere, heartbreaking and funny novel. The gimmick works. But it doesn't overshadow the fact that deWitt can write and has developed a truly moving story.

The Weekly Music. Ever heard of Hope Roth? You should. I mean, she's been a blogging buddy for a long time and I've been reading her for years. But I finally got a chance to check out her music. Hope's got a new album out entitled Beer and Pie. And honestly, I'd give her five out of five starts just for the name. But the name alone didn't have to carry the album. I guess I'd describe it as a little bit folky with a definite sparse, vintage feel to it. Something like Aimee Mann or Ani DiFranco would put out - stripped down, honest. The songs are well written and the musicianship is fantastic. So, support a fellow blogger and give Hope a shot.

The Weekly Terrible Person. A California woman gave birth to octuplets in late January. Neat. Mazel Tov! My enthusiasm ends, though, when discovering that the 33 year old mother already had six children, is unmarried and unemployed, and resides in a two-bedroom home. Worse, she's already hired a publicist and is shopping what she hopes is her $2 million story to talk show hosts. I'm not some ancient, sexist prude. I don't believe that every woman has to have a man for support. But I do think you should be able to provide for your kids. And there's no way a 33 year old, single unemployed mom can support 14 kids without the financial burden being passed to you and I. Just because something's possible doesn't make it a good idea.

The Weekly Cool Discount. 20% off at ProFlowers and a free vase for each of you!

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Michael Phelps smoked pot. But based on the public's reaction, he might as well have shot Santa Claus dead with a shotgun. Look, I get that he's a role model and that taking a bong hit in public probably wasn't the greatest idea ever. But the guy is 23 years old. He's trained - and been, as a result, successful - for something all of his life. In doing so, he never really got those formative years in which we all get to screw up and get a pass from society. The man smoked pot. So what.

The Weekly Hypothetical. You can go backward or forward in time - or just stay put in the present day - with a notebook and a pen to interview anyone for one hour. Who do you interview and what questions do you ask?

________________

Wondering who won the Battle Of The Made Up Words? That honor goes to Arwen for the simply brilliant touron and satisfying combination of tourist and moron. Living around DC, I particularly appreciate that one. You've got one more chance to win - yep, the last $70 gift certificate from ProFlowers is up for grabs. Answer the hypothetical and I'll pick a winner.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Getting free stuff is fun but giving it away is more fun. And you all rock hard. I wish I could give you each something for being awesome. But I don't have that kind of cash so you'll just have to be satisfied with my humble gratitude.

Posted by Chris at February 6, 2009 7:24 AM
Comments

I'd go back a few days and interview my gramma. I have done this in the past, but I didn't get all the answers I wanted to questions about her past. She was an orphan throughout her entire childhood, and a WWII war bride, which brought her to America. Her story is a wonderful one, and I wish I had taken advantage of our time together to learn the complete story. And now, I am worried it is too late. Wednesday she had a stroke. Though she is conscious and recovering, she may never again be the same, and I regret not getting to know her on a much deeper level than I did. I'm just praying to have the chance again, adn that she ends up being okay. But yeah, definitely, I'd interview my gramma. And now you know why I could use those flowers :-)

Posted by: Tera at February 6, 2009 7:56 AM

It seems like every story I read on the octuplet mom seems different. The one I read at the beginning of the week on CNN said she was married and her husband was a contractor that was going back over to Iraq sometime soon, then on People I read that she was divorced, then somewhere else, maybe comcast it just said she was unmarried all together. What's the real truth??? Invitro is really expensive, wouldn't she have had to have some money to do this? I really don't think this should be especially allowed on taxpayers dime. There just seems to be so many conflicting stories about this case, I don't know what is the truth. If she's not on welfare I don't care how many kids she has but if she's doing this all on taxpayers dime, I have to question the medical facility that even did the invitro and medicaid for paying for the process.

Posted by: Deirdre at February 6, 2009 7:57 AM

I worked at the polls on election day, so I saw some VERY ahem, unusual, names. LEGAL NAMES. My top two faves were "Big girl" and "Mama"

I'm still wondering whether their parents looked down at those tiny bundles and said, I think I'll call her Big girl, or whether these women had their names legally changed...

Posted by: Robyn at February 6, 2009 8:24 AM

Myluv? I'm shocked by the octuplet mum too, at first it seemed like they were shunning publicity but more and more leaks out and now it seems to be an all-out media fest. Whether you can afford them or not, 14 is a ridiculous number of children to have, especially by IVF.

Posted by: Katherine at February 6, 2009 8:44 AM

I would want to go back and interview one of my ancestors, probably my great-great-grandma Jennie, about what life was like in the Upper Peninsula back in the 1800s. I used to ask my grandma all about what life was like when she was young, when they got their first TV, if she saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, that sort of thing.

I just found out a few months ago that my great-grandpa spent 9 months in jail for making and selling moonshine (here's his mugshot if you're interested, I think it's awesome) and I love hearing family stories like that.

Posted by: Leah at February 6, 2009 8:57 AM

My maternal grandmother without doubt. She passed away when my mom was just 16 so I never got to meet her. I have so many questions I would love to be able to ask.

Posted by: diane at February 6, 2009 9:05 AM

transitional justice? no idea and 7000 words is bad on a topic you dont know i know it has something to do with how you fix a country after war or a tragic event. what do you do with the bad guys

Posted by: becky at February 6, 2009 9:16 AM

I would go back to about 1925-26 and interview my grandfather and talk to him about the struggles of being a single parent after his wife died leaving him with five children between the ages of 12 and 2 (my father).
He immigrated to the US in 1908, got married, had 2 kids and then enlisted in the Army and went back to Europe to fight in WW1 because he loved the US so much. Came home had 3 more kids, worked as a laborer, wife died from pregancy complications. He died 9 years later in a hit and run while walking home one night two days away from starting a job after being unemployed for a few years. They identified him by the letter in his pocket. My father was 11.
I want to know what his expectations were when he came here? What took him from Ct. to Mass. and back again? Who and what did he leave behind in Poland? He was a tortured soul after the war - I want to know was it the war that caused him to drink? Did he love his kids? Did he ever get over the lose of his wife? I will tell him how all five of his children got married and had happy lives and successful careers and raised children of their own.

Posted by: NancyJak at February 6, 2009 9:20 AM

I think I would like to go forward about 30 years and interview my daughter. My mom and I did not do really well during my adolescence together and now that I have a daughter I am pretty desperate to do it better. Maybe it would give me some insight on how to get through the terrible teens.

Posted by: stacie at February 6, 2009 9:22 AM

I was originally going to say "myself" in the future, because then, obviously I could avoid all the things that cause me and my family pain and maybe not make some stupid decisions I may make in the future...but where would the fun be in that?

So I started thinking about the interviews I have most enjoyed. They always seem to involve a beer and a few hours hanging out with the person in question, so, who would I want to read an interview with...and enjoy hanging out with? I have heroes, but some of them just seem sort of tame and boring.

Of course, I could say "Chris Rude Cactus, naturally" to suck up and hope for this prize. But, geez, I'm so not a suck up, and I'd hate to have a pad and pencil the first time I bought you a beer.

And then I remembered that Liza Minnelli was on NPR over the weekend. And she does so much, and her interview was a blast. She's funny, gorgeous, doesn't take herself too seriously, and, I'm positive, would have some great things to say about how to live your life (because she sure has lived hers) and happiness. And I wouldn't bother with all of the time travel, she's amazing right now. I've never been a huge fan of hers (though I started paying more attention after her spots in Arrested Development, God, she's funny!), but I don't know why.

Posted by: Jeanne at February 6, 2009 9:25 AM

Well if I was going for brownie points I would say I would interview you but you have pretty much laid it all out there already so let me think.

I wouldn't have to go back far. I think it would be interesting to hear Rosa Parks thoughts on our having elected our first African American president. If it wasn't for her, he may not be where he is today. Surely she would have a lot to say about the accomplishment.

Posted by: Jeff A at February 6, 2009 9:26 AM

I'm protesting. That's a hard question and it's Friday.

I'd go forward 4 years and talk to President Obama. I'd ask him what he felt were his biggest successes and failures. I would ask him what he would do differently if he could go back. Then I'd come back and tell him in the now what he said.

Posted by: SassyPants at February 6, 2009 9:33 AM

After reading the first comment, I decided I don't need the flowers. But I'll answer anyway...I'd probably go back and interview my great grandma. She was by all accounts a truly horrible woman and I'd like to get her version of the story.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 6, 2009 9:46 AM

It is kind of cliched, but I never got a chance to meet my Dad's Dad. I would absolutely love the chance to sit down and talk with him.
I wonder what would have happened if he hadn't died. He was the love of my grandmother's life - even after another husband and countless boyfriends this is still mighty clear. My dad was only 23 when he passed. How might it have changed my Dad, my grandmother if he had lived? How would *my* life had been different? Was he really as calm and balancing to my Gram's intensity and insensitivity as everyone says? Was he as much like my Dad and brother as I hear tell?

I just want to meet him.

Posted by: Caitlin at February 6, 2009 10:12 AM

I totally agree with you on the crazy lady with the many kids. crazy. I kind of think though that she did that for what she is getting- attention and a free ride.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at February 6, 2009 10:23 AM

Yes, I live in Tucson and was "lucky" enough to view the porn clip. In all seriousness, we thought it was the beginning of a commercial. I was thinking, "Hm, this is a little bit inappropriate." but I kept expecting a Bud Lite or Pepsi bottle to pop out of the guy's pants. Next thing I know he is flinging his manhood in front of the screen.

I totally agree with you about the mom of 14 kids. Craziness. I read she collected 167K in diability over the past couple of years.

I also completely agree with you on the whole Michael Phelps smokes pot thing. Who cares. As you said he is 23 years old. He has been in training since he was a child. Give the guy a break. The fact that he has been suspended for 3 months is ridiculous.

Posted by: Sarah at February 6, 2009 10:40 AM

There are a dozen people I'd go back to for sentimental reasons (deceased family members). But the first thing that came to mind is going forward 20-30 years to interview G.W. Bush to get him to admit to everything a la Frost Nixon.

Posted by: aimee at February 6, 2009 11:11 AM

The lady with the many kids is crazy. Whatever the situation she has no business having so many children when she obviously cannot care for them. Best case scenario she gets to keep them, but what happens when child services decides she is unfit and can't provide? Then her dream of a large family is scattered in the wind. Moron.

Phelps probably shouldn't be hitting the bong, but like you said he's a kid. Kids try things, they mess up they party. He didn't kill anyone and he is still a crazy good athlete. Move on.

I'm not sure who I would interview. I'd love to go back and meet some of my dads family or talk more to my grandparents. It would be really cool to see how my kids turn out in 30 years. Maybe I'd go talk to anyone that could tell me how to invest now to be set for life.

Posted by: Mutt at February 6, 2009 11:38 AM

I'm going to have to disagree with you on the "crazy" woman with 14 kids.

Is being single and never wanting kids crazy too? When do you start drawing the line on who's crazy and who isn't?

All kids are a burden to those who don't have kids so one more kid out there causing a burden on the tax system doesn't make a difference.

Why is everyone coming down hard on her? What's the difference between 8 kids, 17 kids and 14 kids?

Two couples have TV shows about their big families on TLC.

Is it because she's single? Young? I'm wondering what's the big difference between her and Jon 7 Kate + 8, or the Duggars. Where was the outcry with their huge amount of kids burdening poor taxpayers?

They might be a burden now, but when you're old in in a home, they'll be taxpaying citizens and you'll be the burden.

/end vent

I'd interview my Dad's Dad. Ask him why he didn't want to be a part of an amazing man's life.

Posted by: Tania at February 6, 2009 11:49 AM

Although I'm pretty sure the first comment won the flowers, I'll put in my 2cents.

I would love to go back in time to interview Shakespeare. I would like to be the person who clears up the whole "was Shakespeare really Shakespeare" debate. there are so many "rumors" as to who wrote those plays and sonnets.

Yes, I am a big literary nerd!

As for the lady with many kids. It's nothing to do with her being a single mom that I find a little odd, but that she is living at home with her parents and on disability for back injuries...wouldn't carrying 8 kids lead to back injuries?

Posted by: Krush at February 6, 2009 11:59 AM

mission: go to home depot. buy beth a rubbermaid paint buddy. seriously!

if i personally were michael phelps, i wouldn't have been smoking pot. but the guy works his butt off for four years at a time to make our country look bad-ass at the olympics and then likes to party for a few months afterward. i think we can give him a break ;)

Posted by: kati at February 6, 2009 12:18 PM

Poor Michael Phelps. I don't really understand what the big deal is. It's not as if pot is a performance enhancing drug. I know it's "illegal," but seriously- does anyone really think it ought to remain illegal anymore? I personally think it's a bad choice for a healthy body, but so is alcohol and nobody's doing much bitching about that.

Posted by: heels at February 6, 2009 12:27 PM

Oh, I'd go 3.5 years into the future and I'd interview President Obama.

I'm with you on the Phelps "scandal". Who gives a rat's ass? Let's go back to the glory days when star atheletes could do whatever they wanted. No one expected them to be role models. Babe Ruth was waaaay overweight and an alcoholic (or so I've heard), but as long as he kept knocking them out of the park, no one gave a hoot.

Posted by: Erin at February 6, 2009 1:01 PM

I would go back to 1985 and I would interview my daughter Katie. I would ask her about what she thought about life, happiness and love. I know it wouldn't be profound for anyone else but me, but oh those moments would mean so much!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 6, 2009 1:27 PM

You know, I think I won a mix CD WAAAAY back in the day and never received. Sup wit dat?

Posted by: alektra at February 6, 2009 2:25 PM

I'd go back and interview Jesus. I'd spend the first 20 minutes laying out for him what is going to happen over the next 2000ish years in his name. Then I'd give him 30 minutes to talk about it. I'd spend the last 10 minutes using a laser cutting tool and etching the interview into titanium disks that I'd then shower all over the planet ( hey, I can travel in time, so that engineering stuff should be push-button tech ).

And I agree, Phelps is getting a raw deal. After the last Olympics he got picked up for a DUI, so he does seem to have a post-Olympics party down habit going. If anything, the boy needs to get better handlers. Whoever takes care of the stuff for the Lohans; that should do it.

And the mom thing. Wow. Can you even imagine having that many mouths to feed? There has got to be a new psychological career in the making there: studying people who use fertility treatments to have extreme multiple births for attention from the media sphere. Have to admit that your planet has to get to a certain level of tech before you can pull that one off.

And while I've got the soapbox for a second, Janet Jackson, infinitely small second of nippling, end of the world. Full on porn for 30 seconds, yawn. Guess we've been there, done that, huh? ( and look, I just made up a word! :)

Alright, I should probably actually get back to work. Have a great weekend Chris!

Posted by: metawizard at February 6, 2009 3:08 PM

The woman who birthed the octuplets sparks a rage in me that could burn down the whole city. As does the fertility doctor who did that.

I'm spending an hour with my grandma. I'm asking her to tell me the story about being a secretary in Indianapolis in 1944, and laying on the black tar roof covered in baby oil and iodine with her girlfriends on her lunch hour. And going to the USO parties. And the story about the time she found the picture of my mom on the back of a Harley with her arms wrapped around a bare chested, long haired "Injun." And last, but certainly not least, I'm asking for her recipe for Welsh Rabbit Stew. Which contains no rabbit.

Posted by: mindy at February 6, 2009 3:24 PM

Wow...I didn't know that about the octuplet lady. That's all kinds of stupid.
I'd kind of like to go back and talk to a black person pre-Civil war and tell them about Obama and ask them how they feel about that, and hope it would give them...well, hope.
I'd also like to interview Jesus and be like, "Okay, so how much of this are we getting totally wrong?" because I think that'd be a lot.

Posted by: Heather at February 6, 2009 4:33 PM

I would also go back and interview my Grandma, who died earlier this month at 98. I knew her my whole life, but never really "knew" her. I visited her last fall with my baby daughter and asked her how she came up with my dad's and uncle's names (we were talking about baby names and such). She just looked at me in shock and said, "those were my brothers' names." What?! I never even knew she had brothers! Sad.

I vote for Stacie's answer to win. That was really sweet.

Posted by: LauraS at February 6, 2009 5:31 PM

I would like to go back in time and meet my mother when she was finding out she was pregnant with me.

I would ask her, if she really was ready.

If she ever thought this was where she would be at 25

What her dreams and goals were

why she was marrying my father

From what I gather she was a hell cat, an ass, and a screw up and truth be told if I knew her when she was 25 and I was 25 I don't think I would like her very much.

Posted by: Dani at February 6, 2009 7:04 PM

If I thought my son would remember being almost 3, I'd like to fast forward to when he's 23 so he could look back and tell me how it was he was potty trained and whether or not he really hated being an only child. Since he probably won't remember being almost three.....I'll have to pick someone else.

If we're really hypothetical, I suppose if I went back to Paleolithic times, I could speak and understand Cro-Magnon and take interview notes on a little stone tablet, right? I'd go talk to those lovely artists who drew the cave paintings at Lascaux about 15,000 years ago and watch them do their work. Beautiful stuff!

Posted by: rebecca at February 6, 2009 8:05 PM

Damn. I didn't know it was make up a word day yesterday. I inadvertently made one up whilst talking with a friend via IM. Gorgot = when you forget where you're supposed to go. :D

Anyway. Moving on. I'd go back in time to interview Jane Austen. As for the questions, they would revolve around her writing process, habits, etc. I would love to know how my favorite book of all time came to be.

Posted by: Patricia at February 6, 2009 9:33 PM

I would stay in present day and interview my grandma to find out more about our family and its history. I know bits and pieces, but a more whole story would be awesome.

I totally agree about the woman giving birth to octuplets. At first I was like wow, then I found out the whole story and was horrified. Why would she do that. I hope that nobody will buy her story.

Posted by: Adi at February 6, 2009 10:01 PM

I would stay in present time and interview that woman in CA who gave birth to octuplets. I'd ask "WTF were you thinking?" But then again, I bet I know the answer -- either "MONEY" or "I wasn't..." What is WRONG with people?!?!???

Posted by: ironic1 at February 6, 2009 10:44 PM

I think I might have a whole post brewing on this family of 14! Looking back on my experience with The Boy, I am pretty sure that if someone came up to me and told me I was having EIGHT babies, I'd have been doing the selective abortion myself. (Yes, I said that.)

There was also the story here of a 60 year old who had twins after fertility treatments abroad (I can't remember where.) Anyway... All to say -- just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.

Interview for an hour... hmmmm... no clue. At all.


Posted by: Nat at February 7, 2009 10:43 AM

I agree with you about Michael Phelps. What I don't understand is the degree of anger that some people have for him. Get a life?

Posted by: Angela at February 8, 2009 4:49 PM

Terrible Person: That she purposely did it by taking fertility pills bothers me even more.

Schadenfreude: I feel sorry for him. Yes, he made a mistake. Who hasn't?

Posted by: Maria at February 9, 2009 4:48 AM

I agree completely with you on the octo-mom. There were 9 (!!!) people living in that 2 bedroom house before she went and had 8 more kids. She, her parents, and 6 kids.

I have a friend who for two years had lived in a one bedroom appartment with three small children and a roommate because after her divorce, it's all she could afford. She recently scored a 2 bedroom mobile home w/o a roommate so things have improved a lot.

Anyway, at least she had the excuse of never having planned to raise kids alone on a single salary, unlike octo-mom who seems thinks of herself a lot more then she does her own kids.

Posted by: Debra at February 9, 2009 10:15 PM

They GOT ten dollars? Shouldn't they have been charged extra for the porn?

Posted by: Missy at February 9, 2009 10:47 PM

Some time before, I needed to buy a building for my corporation but I did not have enough cash and couldn't order something. Thank goodness my colleague adviced to try to get the home loans at banks. So, I did so and used to be happy with my short term loan.

Posted by: MiaWinters24 at March 1, 2010 9:46 PM


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