Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wait Wait... Okay I'll Tell You.

Somewhere, some study shows that people who spend money on experiences are happier in life than those who choose to spend money on material things. Now I'm fairly certain this really has been proven, but it's Saturday morning and as much fun as researching some statistic sounds, you're just going to have to take my word for it.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that for the last couple of years, Joel and I have made a tradition of not buying each other stuff for our birthdays (which fall within a week of each other). This tradition started accidentally last year, and continued accidentally this year, so I figure that next year it will continue - especially now that I've chosen to blog it.

I was a little nervous about topping last year's floor tickets to Star Wars in Concert that I got Joel. It's not every day you can take your boyfriend to see the actual Chewbacca get up while C3PO narrates the Star Wars saga to a full orchestra, to the back drop of the Death Star on the largest LCD screen in existence.

In true nerd fashion, however, I did it.  Nine times out of ten if you get in car belonging to Joel or Rachel NPR is on, and because we are sinners and rarely go to church, we almost always listen to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me on Sunday mornings. This week the folks from this "oddly informative" weekly news quiz brought the show to OKC and you guessed it - Joel's birthday present was tickets.

The Civic Center was totally packed, and as host Peter Sagal said, it was "good to have all the liberals from the state of Oklahoma in one place - all 13 of them here in the front two rows."

The show was impeccably written, hilariously witty, and every joke was spot on and relevant.  The panelists on the show, usually celebrities, political writers, or journalists, completely improvise their part, and Joel and I are still in awe talking about it.

After seeing the show live we definitely have a new appreciation for what goes into it, and would attend another in a second if given the opportunity.  In our digital, big screen TV society, it's easy to forget the power of a medium like radio. It may not offer flashy CGI or real 3-D, but it gives us real people talking about things that are going on in the real world, and the raw talent of the writers, comedians, and the whole cast prove that it doesn't take a bunch of flashy stuff to create quality entertainment.

So to wrap this long story up, I'm going to tell you that you need to listen to Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me tomorrow, and if you're hell-bent on going to church, you can check it out online. Really. I've already heard it so I know it's good, and if you listen closely to the laughter - you can think, "Hey, that's Joel and Rachel laughing in there somewhere."

"Wait does Inhofe know we are all here? All of us. Here. In one place?
-Mo Rocca

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

They say it's your birthday.

I will officially be 24 in approximately 8.5 hours. Neat. There's not really anything big about 24 - it's just another year. It will probably rain tomorrow, as it usually does on my birthday, which I secretly love.  My 23rd year was pretty good though, and I guess I'm getting slightly reflective, so I'm sorry if I get all sappy on you. Consider yourself forewarned.

I'm planning to marry my best friend and partner in crime, and we've bought our first house and are attempting to make it our own on a budget. This year has seen a couple of jobs, even a career start. I guess you could say I'm feeling a bit more like an adult now. I suppose 23 turned me into one of those. Sort of. Okay maybe.

There is something, however, about a birthday that epitomizes being a child, at least for me. I was always going back to school and on the cusp of fall, usually the Carter County Free Fair was in full swing. The anticipation of a birthday morning rivaled that of Christmas Eve.

I remember one birthday in particular, on a school day, where I woke up to a dozen donuts on the kitchen table - my favorite one with approximately 7 candles stuck in it, piercing little holes for the cherry filling to seep out and mix with the dripping wax before I took a big breath and blew them all out, probably wishing for an A+ on that day's spelling test. I was in the second grade and it was still dark outside.  It was so special because everyone got up early for me. And of course, there were presents - I don't remember what - but the day was special.

This year will probably be a little different. Rather than birthday cards, I will receive Facebook notifications, text messages, and of course phone calls from family. And what I really want? Just a normal day and time with those I love. And also to not do any dishes. Yes, that would be just lovely.

rocking the pigtails circa 1988