Sunday, August 12, 2012

So tell me how you feel about Steve Guttenberg?

Back before I moved to Arlington, I used to tell people that I wasn't cool enough to live here. I was specifically referring to Clarendon, a cool kid neighborhood where my company's office just happens to be located. My friend Emily described the neighborhood this way, "This neighborhood could only get hipper if they put a bird on it." If you have no idea what this means, hopefully this video will help you:

When Emily posted this gem, I was at the airport in Orange County waiting for my flight back to San Francisco. I starting laughing loudly and the two people sitting near me seemed a little startled. The man asked me what was so funny and I had to explain it to him. His response was that he was from Portland. And then he returned to his book.

One of my many accomplishments this week was that I finally got cable and internet (and a landline phone-what?) installed. I have tv again! After a delightful evening out exploring Arlington (thank you Allison and Thayer), I was flipping through channels and stumbled upon the 1987 "classic" Three Men and a Baby. I can't remember the last time I watched this movie. Here are some highlights:
  • Leonard Nimoy (yes, Spock) directed this movie. Please take a moment to consider how funny this is. He did not direct the sequel but he did direct and an episode of TJ Hooker.
  • There was a time in our collective past when Steve Guttenberg was a very popular, well-paid actor. He was also very popular with the ladies (apparently). This seems like something we should all discuss at some point because if this can happen, imagine the possibilities for us all. (And for the record, I love Steve Guttenberg, particularly in The Boyfriend School.)
  • If I understood the opening sequence correctly, Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson are the epitome of hip, sophisticated, urban cool. They're men about town (literally depicted in the mural Steve's character paints in the entry way to their home) and possibly were the 1987 version of hipsters (if there could be such a thing).
I've discussed my love/hate/love/hate relationship with all things hipster in the past. Alameda was definitely a hipster haven and benefitted greatly from the need for trendy coffee shops, local art stores, and cool kid bars. I admit that I have hipster tendencies; I love Wes Anderson (considered by many to be the original hipster), The Decemberists, owls, hedgehogs, and polka dots. But that's where the similarities end. I'm too old to be a hipster although I'm exactly the age one should be to love irony, PBR, and discussing Neil Diamond music. The problem is that irony makes me tired, PBR is terrible, and I actually like Neil Diamond.

I have a very wise friend named Matt who enjoys making comments about my coolness."Just tell them that you actually liked stuff before actually liking stuff was cool." This is one of my favorite things Matt has ever told me. In this one sentence, Matt figured out my entire life and has given me my new gauge for how to make friends. Now I'll have to ask new people I meet if they like irony and if they've always liked something. I imagine the conversation will go something like this:

(Erin meets New Friend in the cereal aisle of Trader Joe's.)

Me: Hi New Friend.
New Friend: Hi Erin.
Me: Random question, if you had to pick a KISS solo album to listen to on a Saturday night, would you pick Peter Criss or Ace Frehley?
New Friend: Neither-we all know that the KISS solo albums were just an exercise in ego. If I'm going to listen to KISS, I'm going to listen to Destroyer or Creatures of the Night.
Me: Good to know. Another question, at sporting events when people sing those annoying add on lines during "Sweet Caroline" do you sing along?
New Friend: No, Neil Diamond wouldn't approve.
Me: Have you always liked Neil Diamond?
New Friend: Yep. What's not to like? I mean, "Cherry, Cherry" is classic 60s pop music.
Me: How do you feel about irony?
New Friend: Well, irony is not really something that I feel any one way towards. As a literary device, it's useful and interesting. As a lifestyle choice, well, people could do better things with their time. I always thought that there should be a punctuation for irony. (Side note: this is an actual thing. People have proposed a special punctuation for irony. For real.)
Me: I couldn't agree more, New Friend. Well, I've gotta get back to work. Nice seeing you. Are you up for trivia on Wednesday night?
New Friend: Sure, but we still need our sports person and we're not ending the night at Spider Kelly's.


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