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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Next Thing You Know, I’ll Be Passing Legislation… Or Getting Arrested Trying

Well, here it is, a half-hour after midnight, and I’m still watching the West Wing marathon.

And that’s the thing — I’m actually watching it. It’s been on from time to time in the past, but it’s just in the past couple of weeks that I’ve actually started watching the damned show. My wife’s watched it for a while, now — she even TiVos it, which is rare for her — but I’ve avoided it until recently. That’s mainly because I have no interest in real-world politics.

That’s a whole other story, but suffice it to say that I don’t follow the day-to-day, or even year-to-year or term-to-term, sniping and backbiting between the political parties. The whole business of give-and-take and say-this-but-mean-that (or say-this-but-reverse-it-three-months-later) just leaves me cold. Frustrated, and cold. Like an Eskimo locked out of his igloo. Or a horny polar bear, maybe. Or… you know, something. I’m fishing a little bit here. Let’s move on.

So, I’ve been watching the West Wing all day, and I’m reminded, once again, about a little personality quirk that I have.

(Yeah, yeah — ‘one of the quirks’. All right, ‘one of the many quirks’. But I’m only gonna talk about this quirk tonight. Shaddup.)

Anyway, here’s the thing — I’m very easily affected by what I’m watching on TV or in the theater. The effect is somewhat subtle, though — I don’t cry during the sad parts and cheer during the happy endings.

(Well, okay, maybe when Homer gets reunited with his mother on the Simpsons. That always chokes me up.)

Instead, I pick up nuances. Moods. Mannerisms. If I watch a show or movie for any length of time, the ‘feel‘ of the show seeps into my brain. My whole mindset is altered, and I start thinking — and worse, talking — like the people I’ve been observing.

(And honestly, the same sort of thing often happens with ‘live’ people, as well. I tend to adapt to the personality of the group, when I can be bothered to do anything but sit quietly in the corner and watch people. I’m sure the whole thing has something to do with a need to fit in, and a fear of not being accepted, and… oh, hell, I don’t know — maybe I was breastfed too long. Freud would have a field day with me.

And yes, I’m acutely aware of the irony of ‘confessing’ that I have an unhealthy need to be accepted by writing it on a personal web site, the logs of which I check approximately every ten minutes that I’m awake and within twenty feet of a computer. And if that sounds a bit terse and flippant… well, I’ve been watching the West Wing all goddamned day. This is exactly what I’m talking about.)

So. Here I am, after several hours of West Wingery, and I’m acting just like the staffers on the show. Well, okay, not just like — I’m not as good-looking as them, for one thing. (Well, okay, I could out-shimmy one or two of them on the catwalk, granted. But most of them are far prettier than me. Bitches.) Also, I don’t ever dress as nicely as the characters on the show, and this is the second day of a four-day weekend. I’m sitting on the couch in sweats and a T-shirt — the only one I’ve got a shot at ‘outchic-ing’ at this point is Josh, but only in the episode where he sat in his office, hungover, in a coffee-stained wifebeater and fisherman’s waders.

(Which aired last hour, by the way — it was nice to see at least one of these politi-dildos look worse on a simulated Saturday morning than I did at my own freaking wedding. Fruit loops.)

Anyway, my attire and two-day beard aside, I’ve taken on an air of… well, I don’t quite know what, but if you’ve ever seen the West Wing, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m speaking in rapid-fire, near-monotone sentences. I’m being a snarky, dry smartass.

(Okay, so that part’s not the show’s fault. Moving on.)

But I find myself doing that little half-head cock that seems to precede witty repartee on the show. And then… well, and then making some random, asinine comment that’s meant to be witty repartee, but isn’t, really.

(And how the hell would it be? It’s one o’clock in the frigging morning, and I’ve been sitting on the couch, blogging and watching TV all damned day. My brain is applesauce. Cut me some slack, goddammit.)

All right, where the hell was I? West Wing, right.

So, it’s an interesting phenomenon for me. It’s a bit odd to find myself doing and saying things that aren’t normally part of my personality, but it never gets completely out of hand. I don’t watch the Powerpuff Girls, for instance, and end up running around in a dress pretending I’m pounding on monsters. But anything I can relate to in some way seems to just wiggle itself into my brain. Law & Order makes me argumentative (Sam Waterson is the best), 24 gets me all business-like and bossy, and West Wing… well, apparently, West Wing makes me cock my head and get all… all… quippy. Or quippyish, anyway. Yeah, that’s not a word. Never mind.

Anyway, that’s how my after-Thanksgiving ‘free-from-work Friday’ has gone. I suppose it could be worse. I could have been doing yardwork or something crappy like that. Instead, I stayed inside, safe from the rain and the cold and the wind, and I watched many, many hours of a pretty good TV show, even if it is about politics, more or less. And I wrote four entries — three here, and one over at LinkFilter. So it wasn’t a completely wasted day. Um, depending on how you look at it. I still have to work all weekend; only now, it’s just a garden-variety two-day weekend. But that’s all right — I do love a challenge.

At least, tonight, I do. Tomorrow, I might find a Married… With Children marathon and temporarily hate my job altogether. (Not to mention pick up the habit of sticking a hand down my sweatpants while I’m watching TV. I can hardly wait.) In any case, I’d better get to bed. The West Wings are starting to repeat, and I’ve had about all the legalese and Capitol Hill shenanigans I can take for one day. Hopefully, my new pseudo-personality will wear off by Monday morning. I’m not sure my boss would mind, exactly, being called ‘Mr. President’, but it might throw him off just a bit.

Yeah, it’s definitely bedtime. Those quips are getting worse and worse. I’ll catch up with you later. Sleep tight, folks.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Next Thing You Know, I’ll Be Passing Legislation… Or Getting Arrested Trying”

  1. Jon says:

    I too have an unhealthy obsession with checking the logs every 5 minutes. It needs to stop, but there’s no end in sight..

    and what do the asterisks by your “friendly folks” mean?

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