Some people play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Lately, I seem to be playing Six Degrees of Milan Kundera. His philosophical musings have found their way into my every day. Of course, having the ridiculous long-term memory that I do, I'm restricted to pondering Immortality, my favorite novel of his to date, but also the one I reread last week. In it, he mentions that each of our lives has an inescapable theme. (I can't quote because I unbelievably lent my copy to someone. Someone I don't even know except that he makes the best damn coffee around, and for that, we trust him. And hope he's at the coffee shop next week.)

So, to recap: Each of our lives has a theme. We can go round and round, but we are merely circling in the eventuality of that theme. Through its iterations, shades, manipulations, morphings, and scalings. But it's always there. Mr. Kundera, if you're reading this, sorry for the bastard paraphrasing of your beautiful work. Oh, and... do you have a girlfriend?

Now. Let us tie Immortality to yet another fanciful piece of art. Before Sunset, the recent film starring Ethan "one tooth forward, one tooth back" Hawke. Am I bitter that on his book tour he never answered questions about his book? Yes. Are you bitter that I went to his book tour? Yes. Do you believe that I actually *read* his first book? Suspend the disbelief and let's get on with it.

In Before Sunset, it seems a point might be that our lives never escape the memory of one person who has affected us or connected with us. In the first volume (aptly titled Before Sunrise), his French girl had cankles, a brown plaid flannel tied around her waist, and an English vocabulary including but not limited to "groundskeeper" and "ferris wheel". But I'm not here to judge his taste, and neither are you. The point is that, in Before Sunset, her cankles are covered. No, that is not the point. Just a witty observation on my part.

The theme for Jessie (Jamie? Johnnie? Jeffrey? not sure. I was pretty focused on The Tooth) is Celine. No matter how his life has marched forward, a part of him has remained attached to her. He says that on his wedding day he was thinking about her (it is unclear if this was before or after he 'thought he saw her'. We find out it *was* her, nudge nudge, wink wink. They must have borrowed the Serendipity screenwriters for that bit.)

My question is -- can your theme BE a person? Or is the person a human manifestation of (part of?) your theme? Particularly in the case of a one-night stand (however partially cerebral), I have a hard time accepting that possibility. If it is possible for your theme to be a person, then is there a quality/quantity requirement? Does it have to be the person you were involved with for the longest? Or the person you had a first experience with? Does it even have to be someone you dated?

I just seem to have a hard time absorbing this concept that one person, particularly someone you know so little, can affect you (or Jamie/Jessie/Jeffie) so profoundly. Perhaps it was the mystery of it, the Love Jones, defined as "the possibility of a thing" that continued to connect him to her for all those years. (My male counsel always remind me that 'men want what they can't have' and I'm led to wonder if by standing him up at a Viennese train station, Celine did the right thing.)

The argument that he was one half of a shotgun marriage doesn't help his case (in the District Court of Lilly) any. And if we accept that your theme can be a person, what the cosmic mathematical likelihood that you're theirs as well? I simply felt her connection to him was not as strong. Even if she was his theme, I was not as ready to accept (despite her haunting guitar waltz - don't ask) that he was hers.

Maybe I still don't understand love. And that's okay. Maybe this was evident when I kept pointing out the extras' exaggerated hand and foot movements and the overt usage (and resusage) of Americans in French scenes to divert myself from the love story unfolding before me (gaaaaaaag).

Maybe a focus on the absurd is my theme.

I just hope it isn't "cankles".


Love is in the air.

People ask me why I don't watch tv. Apparently, you need a reason for not watching tv. I'm still trying to think up one. One short answer would be that I find it absolutely agonizing that when I turn it on, I get sucked in. I look up and 2 hours are gone, and all I know is how 'Driven' Anna Nicole Smith is, how she's bisexual, and how many of her toothless and unbearably nonjudgmental family have tattoos of her (ranging from the ankle- her cousin, to full back-- her aunt and uncle).

NOT that this information isn't important. It is. I just haven't figured out why yet.

Further aggravating circumstances include the fact that, after watching tv, I will recall these tidbits of info, but I can't remember all 21 of the Amendments. Hell, I can't even remember if there are only 21 of them. So, by distancing myself from tv, I distance myself from these culturetrashbrainmagnets. Plus, I feel more productive. Some might ask why I don't watch National Geographic or the news. To them I say: hm. Never thought about that.

But this evening I learned much more about the world than I ever expected to from The Surreal Life, boasting a cast including Dave Coulier (of Alanis "You Oughta Know" fame, perhaps better known as wingman to the Olsen Twins) and Charo. Now, observations:

1) People can look at Charo and not laugh. Apparently exactly 5 people can do this.

2) Flava Flav is not just a Public Enemy, but a little teddybear. He makes good grilled cheese, can rock a viking hat at all hours of the day, and can make a little girl who plays an accordian feel like a rock star. Don't judge a book by its gold teeth.

3) It is possible for your Best Days to have been when you had a rat tail. See in re: The People vs. Jordan Knight. I LOVED this guy. I used to fight with Kathy and Anna for who would get which NKOTB. I was thrilled to go home having been paired up with him. [My sister, the Artiste Currently Known as Boygirlparty, defiantly wanted his brother Jon. The quiet, clinically depressed one who refused to get a nosejob.]

Point being that, despite this late=80s adoration of mine (which may have included fan letters and daydreams, but certainly included my mom growing a rat tail on my then 2 year old brother), by the end of the episode, I found Flava Flav the more attractive between them. When Jordan mentioned that he had a girlfriend, I did not gasp, but rather raised an eyebrow. (Not that this affects my wanting to see him play SD this week. Hong, you in?)

4) There is someone weirder than Sylvester Stallone. Apparently, it's the woman who was once married to him. Bridget Nielsen pouring over Flava Flav in a fiery volcano of European love (if you don't believe me, wait for the rerun of her climbing into his bed while he's snoring away). She finds Mexicans "very European" and she pushed an unsuspecting Greg Brady into a pool while he was holding a mic. Blondes have all the fun.

So, in the end, why WOULD I turn my back to the tv and read the classics of world literature when I can watch people who were SECOND CHOICE cast members after Tammy Faye Baker, Real World "Remind me again what I did that made me so famous?" Trishelle, and Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle? I can clearly see the error of my ways.

I hereby surrender myself to my remote. Well, just until I find out what happens on their road trip next week...


10. He invented the swagger.

9. He does the aforementioned swagger in spike heels.

8. And colorful suits. Did I mention that? He swaggers in his platform leather spike heels and suits in brilliant colors. Did you know "red in the back, white in the front" is a suit option? Neither did I. Ruffles optional.

7. No matter what the suit (bias cut to complement his fine figure, of course), his guitar will match.

6. He can scream out "Ain't nobody funk-ay like me!" and no one laughs.

5. He plays guitar like it's an extension of his body. And bass. And piano. And drums. And he sings falsetto like a choir boy who just got kicked in the hoo hoo.

4. He made a song about the Pope a dance hit.

3. He practically owns the color purple.

2. He makes you think twice about being a Jehovah's Witness. As in, actually consider it.

1. We came home from his concert and actually debated whether he is required to wipe his own ass. The vote was no.