In Which Our Heroine Is Not Sold

6 February 2005

I'm in a book-devouring mood this weekend. I've done other things, useful things, but I've been devoured by my own book, and I seem to want to return the favor for other people's. I'm behind on periodicals, even having read Scientific American yesterday and Analog this morning. I have an F&SF and an American Poetry Review still on my piles. I still have an embarrassment of riches from Christmas and borrowed from David, Pamela, and Stella, so I suppose it's no great mystery why the periodicals haven't been appealing to me as much, but it's more than that somehow. I haven't been at all satisfied with the fiction I'm getting in magazines. I can't tell if I'm just not in the mood for short fiction or what it is. It's been about long enough now that I should give Asimov's a try again to see how I like Sheila's selections. Maybe Realms. I don't know. It's gotten to the point where a short story I feel like finishing is unusual, and that's not good. (Especially since I'm still writing short stories, at least in theory; not much in practice this week.)

Ah well. I am not watching the Superbowl tonight. Nor am I watching the commercials. I just don't care. I think growing up in Nebraska beats football either into or out of you, and in my case it was the latter. I am no longer in a social circle that insists on gathering for football events socially, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Football is one of the lying sports. ("Oh, we've got five minutes left"...yeah, sure you have. Jerk. And then I was left freezing my toes off in band shoes for another half an hour at least. Not that I was bitter, noooo, not me.)

And the commercials...I think the commercials have entirely lost track of what commercials are for. If you say, "Oh, that was a great commercial!" and then don't go out and buy the company's car, soda, beer, insurance, or erectile dysfunction drug...and wouldn't think back to the commercial if you did suddenly find yourself in the market for one of the above...then I think it isn't a good commercial. I was less annoyed with the car commercial featuring the flute part from "Thick as a Brick" than with other commercials (although I was amused by it, certainly), but I'm still not going to buy that car. I don't even remember what kind of a car it was. Even if I did, it wasn't a hybrid, and it wasn't advertising safety or engineering numbers that might actually matter to me, so...still no.

When I was a kid, showing evidence of paying any attention to commercials was cause for round mockery from other family members. You were to block out those parts, only remaining aware enough to know when the program of interest was back on. (I wasn't always good at that latter part -- I'm not very good at watching TV in general, actually. But I think my folks would probably say that was a small price to pay for a child who wasn't whining constantly for something or other she'd seen on TV.) My mom blesses the mute button now, calling out, "Will you get rid of that noise?" the minute the commercials come on if she's not the one in charge of the remote. There's an exception for Superbowl commercials, but I have to say they're not entertaining enough for me to watch them on their own. If I was in a situation where I had to be watching the game broadcast anyway, maybe. Probably not, though.

Anyway, our evening plans have changed unexpectedly, so I'm going to get some dinner and then settle in with a book to critique and a book to read "just for fun." And ignore the football game. Hope you're enjoying doing the same, or not, as you please.

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