A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, March 14, 2002
posted by Jen at 3/14/2002 11:15:00 PM

Wow. Talk about coming full circle. I walked by the Borders on Walnut Street -- which faithful readers of this site will remember as the place where I saw the first-ever hardcover of GOOD IN BED on sale -- and they've got paperbacks! Lots and lots and lots of paperbacks, stacked in intimidating stacks right by the door! Plus, there's a book in the window, tucked beneath a sheet between two pillows. It looks fabulous! And I'm so proud of myself for not hanging around and harassing innocent browsers until they bought a copy. Self-control. It's what I'm all about.

So. Lots to report. First of all, The Amazing Race, which I am hereby declaring the greatest reality TV show of all time. Yes, I know, it's on against West Wing (which, true confession, I've never gotten into), but it's great, and gripping, and stars interesting people -- a pair of sisters, a pair of identical twins, ministers with odd haircuts, grandmothers with bad knees. But more than that, it's the premise of the show that's so gripping. Start with the basic fact that travel is hell, full of inconvenience and discomfort and things you can't control. Then amp it up with speed, great editing, and a million-dollar carrot. It's totally gripping. Completely addictive. And I actually found myself cheering for the married reverends (which Television Without Pity has nicknamed Team Jeebus). Yikes. Of course, I only caught the last four minutes of Survivor last night, because I forgot about the basketball. Evidently someone peed on someone else. Now that's entertainment.

Next: Rosie O'Donnell. I watched most of the Primetime special, which I thought was awfully heavy-handed and didactic ("Coming up....we meet a bigoted white guy who says gays can't be parents. And the two men who've taken in five biracial crack-addicted babies with AIDS, and cancer, in wheelchairs, and turned them into a state champion basketball team.") I mean, really!

But Rosie impressed me. I thought she was courageous, and brave, and said all the right things about why any loving, committed couple should be allowed to adopt, and how the kids of gay parents don't necessarily turn out gay any more than the kids of straight parents always turn out straight. I'll be interested to see what happens next -- whether there'll be a backlash from viewers of her show and readers of her magazines who feel duped or morally offended. Or whether, as I sort of suspect, it won't be much of a big deal to anyone.

Finally, a confession: I ordered 10 of the discounted remaindered hardcovers from amazon. Think David Vise on a much, much smaller scale. I bought them with no intention of selling them, with no real plans except some vague sense of rescue -- that I'd be saving them from being remaindered, which is a sad fate for a book, and giving them a home. The books arrived today, in a box with Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen and Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, and I have to say that they're a sort of sad-looking bunch. Eight of the ten have black magic-marker slashes across the bottom of the pages, a few of them are look beat-up and tired, and one of them has a smear of either dirt or chocolate on the inside cover. I wonder where they've been -- in amazon's warehouses the whole time? In bookstores, who sold them to amazon? Either way, I'm glad they're here. Maybe I'll think of some kind of contest, and give them away to lucky weblog readers. Suggestions, anyone?
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