One Step Closer to the Crazy Old Lady I’m Destined to Be

The other night I made a late run to the grocery store after work.  It was about 9:45 when I was coming home, pitch black out with a few snowflakes starting to fall.

So I was more than a little shocked as I turned into the neighborhood when my headlights cast across two boys around the age of 13 or 14 clambering all over the big sign displaying the name of the subdivision.  A name that includes the word “Stone.”  I’m sure I need not trifle with your intelligence by listing the kinds of spray-paint additions that the idiot children of this predominantly upper middle class community like to make to that sign.

It being snowy, dark, and a school night, about the only reason I could see for two young teen boys to be on and around that sign–and not home on their X-Boxes hijacking virtual police cars or taking out enemy foxholes with pixelated grenades–was to entertain residents of this subdivision with their wit and potential Scrabble acumen.

I very nearly pulled the car over to roll down the window and start questioning what the hell they thought they were doing out there, but it really wasn’t a good place to stop.  While it was later in the evening, there was still a fair amount of traffic about (did I mention that these were idiot children?), and while I do relish the stress relief of verbally berating others, I didn’t want to negate that by getting my damned car rear-ended by someone else turning in to the subdivision.

So, I reluctantly continued home, wondering if they would have added their marker to the sign by the time I got in my garage.  I supposed I would know the next day on my way to work.  The obnoxious little shits….

And that’s when the part of me that is destined to become the mean old hag at the end of the cul-de-sac with the 15 cats who sits out on the front porch shaking her fist and yelling at those “damn kids” decided that she was not satisfied.  If I wasn’t going to yell at them personally, I was still going to teach ’em.

I called the cops.

Sure, it’s a small step.  It lacks the satisfaction of personally hollering and asking those kids why they can’t find anything better to do than deface others’ property, but there’s a certain amount of twisted “feel good” I get while imagining the local PD rolling up on the little miscreants and handing down a level of intimidation I’m not currently capable of providing.

In my imagined version?  They cry and repent.

Getting Old

The quick approach of my natal date should probably be the best indicator of my advancing years, but, honestly, the biggest sign of my age has been my inability to stay up at night.

I have been a night owl my entire life. If you ask my mother, she will assure you that I was a night owl even in the womb.

But somewhere along the way of my having a real job, and being forced into conforming the waking hours of the rest of the US population….I’ve completely lost my ability to stay up late. In my more spry years, I made it through school days requiring me to conform to the hours of sun and then easily slid into my preferred night-time active period on weekends. My parents stopped enforcing my bedtime on Saturday and Sunday when I was 8. They’d got to bed after 20/20 on Friday night and then I stayed up for hours on end watching Rogers and Hammerstein musicals and playing with Barbies.

Now, well, ask Kristy. While she visited over Thanksgiving, I was falling asleep while trying to watch simple prime time TV. The exhaustion keeps creeping in earlier and while I look forward to the freedom of staying up late on Friday and Saturday….looking forward to it is all I can do. As I sit here typing this at 11:30 on a Friday, I should be just starting an evening of movie watching, reading, writing….and instead I’m yawning and struggling to keep my typos to a minimum. As soon as I hit Publish on this, I’m going to crawl up to my room and hit the hay.

This depresses me. Are my days of quiet nights going about my business while the rest of the world sleeps, done for? By this time next year, will I be able to keep my eyes open past the 6pm news?

Addendum: Apparently, I dozed off before I actually hit publish last night because this evening when I went to the site to see what kind of whackiness Kristy had provided? I saw Kristy’s Thursday Time Vamp at the top of the page. So I hit re-fresh. Same thing.

Shit. How old AM I????

Reality TV Killed the Video Star

I want my MTV.  Or my CMT.  Something, anything.  I haven’t seen an actual music video in, oh geeze, probably years now*.  Sure, it’s beating a dead horse but what the hell happened to MTV? And VH1?  And MTV2? Or even CMT, the country version.  Do any of them actually play music videos at all?

At some point, reality TV became the dominant force.  I’m not sure exactly how, but I’m going to blame MTV’s The Real World, which these days is about as “real” as the Tooth Fairy.  Yes, beautiful 20-somethings, hand selected to live in unattainable properties in large cities with cameras in their faces 24/7 is truly realistic.  It’s now, basically, the only thing I see on MTV when I hit the guide button.  From the pregnant teenagers, to people doing other random, stupid shit on film, to people from New Jersey bringing embarrassment to their fellow Garden State citizens-why do they even keep the “M” unless it now stands for “Miscellaneous.”  And how is this supposed to be more entertaining than watching crazy dudes in red-lego-esque hats singing “Whip It”?  Theoretically the audience lives in reality–we don’t live in a world where we get a zombie uprising like “Thriller.”

For a while, the country music version of MTV was holding out, still playing videos even as MTV slipped into that realm where the only videos were Carson Daly’s Total Request Live.  But now even that genre has lost its outlet–CMT was playing MTV’s 16 and pregnant, last I checked.  I think they do slightly less reality, though.  For example, right now?  I’m watching Footloose.  Yes, because an 80s move about ROCK AND ROLL fits so well on COUNTRY music television.  But it’s a long way from the days of the mini-epics like “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” or that extended video of “The Thunder Rolls.”

Are people even making music videos?  And where do you see them?  I mean, I know I’ve looked for old videos on YouTube, but  are there new ones?  It was such a unique medium.  From the poorly made early videos that threw together stock footage and images of the performer, to those really high-budget numbers involving dialog and scripts, it had to be a great creative challenge for a director.

Or am I just too old to get that the music video medium has died and mourning it just shows my age?

*At least not a real, legitimate music vid, but, well, that’s a topic for another post.