Surprise me

I guess I’m just a naive person. Or maybe I’m too much of an idealist. Yeah, that sounds right: I’m a naive idealist.

Last night I was watching television and a new commercial for M&Ms came on. Maybe you’ve seen the new campaign they’ve launched: There’s an M in everyone. I was sitting there, knitting, and half-tuned in when I realized: I know the song they are playing to accompany the commercial and it just doesn’t belong there.

Really, what is This is the Day by The The doing in an M&Ms commercial????!!!! I feel…betrayed.

More and more, commercials are featuring music by the original artists. I’ve gotten used to that. But up until now, those tunes were ones that were most meaningful to the baby boomers. It was their music that was being used so crassly. What did I care? Baby boomers could sell-out; that was fine with me. They’re a big market and everyone wants a bit of their money. Last night, I realized that my generation is now being appealed to like the baby boomers. When did this happen? When did my generation become the latest, greatest demographic to exploit?

Last night, after I mentally picked myself up off the floor, I turned to Mark and poured this thought stream out on him.

Me: That’s a song from a pretty obscure band. It’s targeted directly to my generation. I can’t believe it. The The. In an M&M’s commercial.
Mark: Oh, I’ve heard of The The. I’ve heard that song before.
Me: Yeah, only because of me; because I have all the The The CDs and play them.
Mark: Well…that’s true…

You smile and think how much you’ve changed
All the money in the world couldn’t buy back those days

Yes, and that’s exactly why hearing this song has disturbed me so much.

I have one question for Matt Johnson: Do you no longer think this is true?

The The was pretty controversial. Lyrics tackled thorny topics like globalization, religious extremism, and human sexuality. I liked that. It wasn’t just about grooving to a beat, but also thinking about your impact on the world.

When they played here in Chicago many years ago [a time that despite hanging around outside the Riv in the bitter cold with my friend Kelly, we couldn’t score any extra tickets], a local rock critic noted that it was “music for the terminally depressed.” [So not true!] I can’t even fathom why anyone thought that a song by such a band could be used to sell candy.

You could’ve done anything
If you’d wanted
And all your friends and family think that you’re lucky
But the side of you they’ll never see
Is when you’re left alone with the memories
That hold your life together … like glue

*sigh* I’m too young to be so nostaligic; I’m too old to be so surprised.

Just waiting for the upgrade…

Well, it’s a convenient excuse for not blogging for so long!

Just imagine the usual excuses (traveling, working, prepping for holidays) x 10. Working on web content as a day to day job makes me pretty sick of hunching over my laptop, staring at a screen all the time. When I had the flexibility to take some time off over the holidays, I did _not_ want to go near my laptop any more than was necessary.

I was pretty industrious over the holidays, too. I made a sweater jacket — from cast on to blocking — in about 10 days. It was my holiday gift to myself.
Lara sweater jacket This jacket is really warm. It’s made with Noro Kocheron, which is a blend of wool, silk, and angora. I’d picked up an entire bag of 10 skeins at the very last minute during Stitches Midwest this past August, and thought that I may felt with it. But, I liked the idea of using the yarn’s striping to my advantage by making a sideways-knit project. I happened to have the pattern for Lara from the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk pattern booklet (the first one), because I had admired this jacket on a fellow SnB member about a year ago and ordered it for myself. So, when I got the itch to make a sweater over my holiday time off, all these things fell into place for me at just the right time.

Up until last week, we’ve had such a freakishly warm winter that I thought I’d never get a chance to wear it. But, now the weather has shifted and I’m actually getting a lot of use out of this sweater.
In December I got a bit of a break from all the work travel, but it’s started picking up in January. Last week I was in New York City from Monday until Friday.
This is maybe the 8th business trip I’ve had to make to NYC in the past few years, and I finally am getting to appreciate the city a bit. I had last Thursday evening free, and I did something very unusual for me: I attended a musical theater performance.
Well, here I was staying and working in the Theater District all week and walking by these theaters every day on my way from hotel to office and back again. So, I decided to ask my friend Adrienne (who has herself performed in several musicals) for a few recommendations. I had literally 5 minutes to stop at a theater and buy a ticket before meeting some colleagues for a drink, and since I was walking right by the Walter Kerr Theatre, and it was one of her recommendations…well…I went to see Grey Gardens.
I loved the whole experience. The theater was a lovely gem, and I felt so connected to the performers in that small, intimate setting. (Well, compared to the cavernous auditoriums that we call theaters in Chicago, it was pretty small and intimate, even though there were at least 200 people in there.) The performance was compelling and the story was wonderful: funny, sad, and really moving. Yeah, I had a few tears in my eyes at the end, but I wasn’t depressed by it or anything.
By the time the performance was over, it was after 10:30 PM and I hadn’t eaten anything for dinner. So, I stopped by one of those little Asian delis and picked up some salad and a beer, then headed back to the hotel. Now I certainly couldn’t have done that in Chicago!
I really felt like I was in a dream sequence or something that night. Walking along Broadway, with all the lights and people about…on a buzz from such a lovely experience at the theater…able to find a decent selection of food at such an odd hour…Now I see why people love New York City.
What do you think of this new Blogger template? I like the new Labels; it’s something I really wanted from blogging software and I’m glad they’ve added this functionality.