The excellent blogger and borderline superhuman time manager (more on that below) Jen at conversiondiary.com hosts a weekly feature called “7 Quick Takes Friday” in which she posts 7 pithy remarks to her blog and encourages others to do the same. I think this is a great idea, because bloggers collect a lot of ideas that aren’t quite big enough for a full post, so they collect in their heads like the french fries under my car seat. This gives an outlet for ideas like that. In fact, I think Jen may have discovered a sweet spot between blog posts and Twitter updates for a whole new business model. It’s your million-dollar idea, Jen; start seeking venture funding now!
I got married two months ago, and one of the biggest discoveries I’ve made is that being married takes A LOT of time. I thought that after the wedding and honeymoon, I’d just go back to doing my thing, only with another person living in the house with me. Not even close. I don’t see how people with families do it. Jen has a husband, something like eighteen children, plus a successful (regularly updated) blog, does consulting work, and is working on a book. I can’t even imagine adding one child to my situation and still having time to put on pants before I left the house.
The thing is, I see every moment with my wife as an opportunity to grow and strengthen our relationship, and that’s profoundly important to me, and it’s all so new that I haven’t learned how to fit that into the normal flow of life. When you see married couples who have figured it out, you can tell it. I hope it comes naturally, because it’s 8:30 and I still don’t have pants on.
2. Lost (the TV show; not the state of being)
My wife is a big fan of Lost, and though I’m a latecomer, she had gotten me interested in it and trying to keep up. Based on the episodes I had seen (and what she had explained to me), I’d been pretty impressed with the intricacies of the plot, and the twists, and just the skill with which they were telling the story. Until this season’s finale. We have reached the point where the writers have written themselves into so many corners that characters are going to have to start doing insanely stupid things to keep the plot moving forward. Prime example: Juliet’s borderline-schizophrenic “Let’s get off the island! Let’s stop Jack from blowing up the island! Let’s help Jack blow up the island!” triple-reversal.
I thought that if the writers were able to pull together all these threads by the end of the series, it would be one of the greatest achievements in the history of TV. Now I think there are going to be a lot of disappointed fans next season.
But one of the things J.J. Abrams grasps very well is that good storytelling comes from what you conceal as much as what you reveal. My definition of art is “a creative work that leaves itself open to interpretation.” You need to leave a lot of open threads to give your audience a chance to fill in the blanks with their own imagination. They can do that in ways that no single artist could ever dream of, and they make the art that much grander in the process. And the most important lesson we can learn from that is
4. Lady Gaga
One of the latest models from the Pop Diva Factory (Slutty division) is known as Lady Gaga. This fascinates me, because back in the day there was a song by Queen called “Radio Ga Ga.” It was about how there used to be good stuff on the radio, but now it’s all crap. Lady Gaga’s Wikipedia entry even says her producer gave her that stage name because of the song.
Now, if she’s aware of the irony in her name, she may be pretty cool. If not, she’s an idiot. So, it’s a toss-up there.
5. The Rule of Law
The lesson I’d like people to learn from the Obama administration is that the rule of law hangs by a very thin thread. You can have all the constitutions you want–the government will do whatever it wants unless somebody musters the will to stop it.
Gov’t: “We’re taking over the banks!”
Gov’t: “And the auto industry!”
Gov’t: “Probably gonna get health care next!”
If they can do what they’ve done so far, why couldn’t they take over restaurants, or grocery stores, or internet service providers, or anything else? What legitimate argument could you make against them? That it’s beyond their constitutional authority? Ha! We left that behind a long time ago.
6. Don’t Tase Me, Bro!
Here’s a fine, handcrafted wooden toy that recreates the “Don’t tase me bro!” moment, right down to the spasm from the taser jolt. I forgot how funny that was.
7. Real Estate
For crying out loud, somebody buy my house! Anybody out there got tips to make your house more sellable in a down market? I’d love to hear ’em.