May 8, 2006

left to my own devices

I have always been entertained by that idiom, "left to my own devices." I think it is very interesting to examine human behavior when people are completely unaware of their own observation. I also think it is interesting to consider behavior in its most innate, natural sense. What are the things we will do when no one is watching? What are the elements of our personality that we can't fight, as if they were etched into our DNA and fighting against them would be the essence of futility.

I recently had an interesting moment where one could draw certain conclusions about me by what I did when I was left to the wiles of the world. I ended up watching a romantic comedy. I know... I'm as shocked as you are. Or are you? Consider the facts:

1. I find Jimmy Fallon amusing
2. Baseball is my favorite sport
3. I love "love"
4. I was home alone waiting for my girl friend to call.


So, left to my own devices I'm not the film snob I make myself out to be. Well, that's not entirely true, I just happened to have a context-laden lapse.

Another embarrassing confession. I was trying to be a helpful roommate and do the dishes. We ran out of dishwashing soap... so I scoured the kitchen for an adequate substitute. Do you see where I'm going with this? I used liquid soap meant for manual washing of dishes, and this was the result. As I walked in to see the fruits of my labors, the first phrase that escaped my tongue was "Oh sh*t." I'm not proud of it, but that's what happened. What interested me, was that in my brain's most basic, raw wiring (completely reactionary/involuntary)... that is what my brain put into my mouth. Why that? Coincidentally, when I was hit by the drunk driver, I think I said exactly the same thing. I suppose normally this wouldn't be that big of a confession, but since I actively try to abstain from expletives, I'm curious as to why this happened.

So there you have it folks, left to my own devices I'm a romantic that swears like a merchant marine. What are you?

post script:
I still remember the first time I heard the s-bomb. In kindergarten, on the bus, my best friend Jake Savage said, "hey, guess what I heard my dad say last night: ____." I didn't know what it meant. But I knew it was bad, and I knew that I was fascinated by it.


aisy said...

i adore jimmy fallon. that pepsi commericials he is in makes me smile. however, i have not seen fever pitch.

i'm a roadrage swearer that has become slightly addicted to buying workout clothes (i used to always make fun of girls in cute clothes and now i've fallen victim... but it actually makes me feel better. i have suddenly seen the light to retail therapy).

ps-saw squid and the whale over the weekend. you forgot to mention how depressing it is.

dävid said...

retail therapy works for many a woman.

i didn't think squid and the whale was that depressing. i mean, a little on the downer side, but over all really good.

aisy, i think watching fever pitch for jimmy fallon alone is worth it

and aisy, for the record, just trouncing around in a jogbra doesn't constitute an actual work out outfit. i've heard the rumors

meghann said...

I watch Olsen Twin movies on ABC Family and I am not ashamed, the only reason I do it when left to my own devices is because no one will watch them with me. Passport to Paris is my fave.

and Aisy no, did you really think it was depressing? I thought it was so good. and the end? kind of uplifting. I thought he was trying to say that adolescence/childhood no matter who you are or where you grow up is going to be, by definition really effed up and it's a miracle that we all get out of it alive, and that it's the best part of the human spirit in that we're able to remember and focus on the good parts (like the exhibit).

Nah maybe it is kind of depressing and this is just my Pollyanna spin to make it less so.

Bethany said...

I also love buying workout clothes. You really do get a better workout if you're wearing the appropriate outfit. I think it goes back to the whole business casual thing--dress like you mean it, no matter what you're doing. That is also why I buy sweet tennis outfits. I may stink at tennis, but I sure look cute playing it.

Now my confession...sometimes I dance. I only do it alone in my bedroom late at night when nobody can see me. I do not do this in public...pretty much ever. I've hated dances ever since high school (probably something to do with the fact that I was 8 inches taller than pretty much anyone else around). I feel awkward and self conscious, but alone in my room, it's pretty fun. By the way, when I say dance, I pretty much mean jump around and flail my arms, because I certainly do not have any mad dancing skills.

Anonymous said...

Pulse- Great movie to include. I normally hate, HATE chick flicks. However this one hit my buttons as well.

Love for the game.
Exceptional man humor incorporated with baseball.
Fallon is the single man I'd wish to be if I were single. Classic!
New found love with Boston (after running the Boston marathon.) Plus I watched the movie several times before going to Boston (because my wife bought it) and I wanted to see what Boston was all about.
Also new love with the Sox's, falling in love with the team & parks mystic and spirit while the game I went to in Boston, and meeting Jason Varitek in the airport.

dävid said...

clyde, your nascent love for boston is very charming.

after reading my post and considering your affinity for "fever pitch," it makes me think that there are two sub-genres within the romantic comedy phyla:

male sympathetic:
fever pitch

(something else ending with "itch")

female sympathetic:
return to me
you've got mail
maid in manhattan
or pretty much anything with sandra bullock, julia roberts, jennifer aniston, j-lo, or meg ryan.

obviously, we are speaking in generalities here.

Blythe said...

I'm really not a movie snob. Well, other than my disgust with M. Knight Shyamalian and his fans. Generally I tend to judge movies on what they are trying to achieve. I don't think you can compare Fever Pitch with, say, Good Night and Good Luck. I think they both did a good job of accomplishing what they set out to do.

OTOH, I am going to object to your male/female romantic comedy thing. Maid in Manhattan just wasn't great, no matter what gender you are. I will admit to liking a couple of Sandra Bullock movies (Speed and While You Were Sleeping).

When no one is looking, I turn up the radio and belt out the cheesiest of eighties songs, like Jack and Diane, and (even better) Gloria. Actually, sometimes I do this even when I'm not alone. Abigail looked on in horror last week when I belted out Jack and Diane. But who can help it?

meghann said...

"Hope Floats" too Blythe, right? That is such a good one, gets me every time at the end when Bernice whispers that her cup runneth over.

If you don't automatically sing along to Jack and Diane in the car I think you might not actually be human.

Adopted Bluth said...

I remember the semester after I decided that I would watch R rated movies. I TOTALLY binged on sooo many incredible movies.

We got a little group together sometimes on weekends and watched the likes of The Godfathers and American Beauty while drinking coke.

(We all decided that watching R rated movies and drinking coke is the BYU equivalent to watching porn and drinking beer)

My #1 movie of all time is West Side Story. I could watch it a million times and not get tired of it. That is my confession.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head when you sub-categorized the male and female movie list. All the female movies you listed are Mik'L's favorites and you could catch her home alone anytime watching Maid in Manhattan over and over again.
However all the talk of movies like "Stepmom" and "Hope Floats" make me want to go straight home and watch something like Troy where the in the first part of the movie he runs out and with one swift jump and strike of his sword he downs a giant and wins a war for a king he hates.

dävid said...

bluth - you are doing a great job of making us sound like a bunch of nerds

Ryan Remains said...

Left to my own devices I take a little spirits to boost my resolve, put on Against Me! or Propagandhi and rock out. I even do windmills.

These are things I never do in public anymore and I'm not ashamed, it's just weird to do a circle pit in your living room by yourself.

Last night was the first night I've ever "danced" to punk rock in front of my fiance. It wasn't so bad in front of her. I wasn't nearly as weirded out as I thought I would be.

Also, I've got a bad habit of watching a film over and over and over again, all by myself, either at home, but preferably the theater.

Theater: The Royal Tenebaums (7), Amelie (9), The Road Home (5).

Home: the Apartment (25+), the Great Escape (30+), Harold and Maude (20+), Rushmore (35+), Rear Window (15+).

mj said...

i go to the mall. i started it about a year ago because my office is 1/2 mile from a huge really nice mall called tyson's corner. it probably doesn't sound like such a big deal, but until a fairly recent slightly sassier version of myself was created by myself in order to fit into the career world, i was pretty darn granola. i had not been to a mall in years. there just was no need. i was a grad student/tutor/college instructor. you can look like a total hippie and still pull that off. about when i started this job i also started a policy of wandering the mall in order to de-stress from work during my lunch break. since then i think i have made only one actual purchase--a pair of really sweet jeans--but i wander through nordstrom's just as i swore i never would.

i actually break down and buy stuff at all the discount retailers where the stuff no one bought at the mall goes--also during my lunch break.

back when i had mostly no friends/life and only a part-time job with odd hours i took myself to the independent movie theater a lot. i rode my bike there and chained it up outside and wandered in to see what was showing and watched whatever. i was still in transition from hippie then, but i think the theme of indulgence remains. not really awful indulgence but indulgence nonetheless.

back in high school i watched infomercials. yikes.

MF said...

Confessions: when Ryan Remains, Adopted Bluth and I were in college, we would watch Angus and Clueless almost on a weekly basis. Say what you will.

Left to my own devices, I watch whatever movie seems to fit my mood and I'll drive far and wide to get a good slurpee. I've been known to go to three or four 7-11's to find one that not only has a good mix going, but also that has enough good flavors to provide the proper consumption of a slurpee.
When I was in high school, I watched Sleepless in Seattle on many-a-friday-night when I wasn't invited to different hair-dying parties. I'd also watch PBS. They had some pretty sweet concerts.

MF said...

and, I loved fever pitch.

Ryan Remains said...

p.s. mikey, ryan w and i would also watch raising arizona once a week, too.

i might be dumb, but is fever pitch loosely based off of the nick hornby memoir/colin firth film?

if so, i hate it. but i really like never been kissed, so what do i know? actually, i only like the part where jimmy eat world sings "you're only, you're only seventeen" which are, of course, different lyrics than the static prevails version.

man, i'm totally a dork.

dävid said...

mike, i liked angus a lot. i still think of that movie every time i hear "fade into you" by mazzy star.

and yes rr, fever pitch was loosely based on nick hornby's novel, but hornby discussed soccer.

Blythe said...

I've never seen Hope Floats. Sounds like I need to add it to the Netflix queue. And I like some of the same movies as Ryan The Appartment. A true classic in every sense of the word.

I was always a bad Mormon who watched R rated movies...and tried to encourage my roommate in that direction as well. I wore her down, but it was relaly her film majpr husband who finally brought her over to the dark side. I confess to having very little patience for Mormons who WON'T watch R rated movies. Just don't see the need to censor youself like you are a child.

Old Jack said...

So that is why the kitchen floor was so clean ... unintentional mopping? Well done, David, well done.

anonymous said...

Hmm, I used to not watch R-Rated Movies (here after referred to as RRM), and then I did watch them. And then I saw "Once Were Warriors" and now I have no stomach for RRM, or even PG-13 most of the time... Pixar all the way!

(Actually, I couldn't even finish "Once Were Warriors"... I was feeling really ill after the abuse part)

I actually love cartoons like a crazy person. If its animated, I will watch it.

Anonymous said...

You've Got Mail, every night while falling asleep in college.
Empire Records, every night while falling asleep in high school. I've also been known to throw in some Grease II. There's my confessions.

By the way, the Rated R thing is much more about self mastery then censorship to me. Same with soda. I decided to never drink another caffinated beverage after getting completely addicted while on my mission. So I threw away my last 2 liter bottle in a spontaneous ceremony and took pictures to prove it.
I feel very similar about Rated R movies. I told myself that I wouldn't watch any more of them, so I don't. My wife and I also tossed out cable TV. You'd be surprised at how nice it is. Am I missing the soda, movies, or cable? No

Ryan - Dave's old Roommate, for those who don't know me

Anonymous said...

That picture is NOT your kitchen.

dävid said...

yeah i know, but the effect is the same

jeez, internet gestapo...

Old Jack said...

i would waste hours and hours watching one show if given the time ... Law and Order. It doesn't matter which version of the show. I like them all ... another thing that i would do given the time is go running ... it is so therapeutic and relaxing ... but there aren't enough hours in the day to run as much as i would like.

aisy said...

meghann, that is a nicer way to look at the movie. i think working with the population i do, the movie made me feel slightly ill (although i still loved it). i just saw these screwed up kids that could easily be my clients... and screwed up because of stuff at home. so many boundary issues with the parents, i just wanted to slap them. okay, i'll stop now.

while on the chick flick talk, i really didn't like hope floats or any j. lo one. i have liked runaway bride, the family stone, and you've got mail.

also, when i'm left to my own devices i've been known to sing loudly to myself, shake my thang, and eat dark chocolate.

LifeOnaPlate said...

on my mission my companion did this same thing, and man, the dishwasher was never quite the same. then it started to smell really rank.

Lauren said...

I like ABC Family movies, too, Meghann. Don't know why. I haven't seen many of the Olsen twin movies, though. The Christmas romantic comedies are always gems.

And I used to LOVE "New York Undercover." I've tried to define exactly what it was about that show. Maybe it was the rap music during the murder scenes? Maybe it was the way Malik Yoba striiides? Who knows? Wish it was still on.

dävid said...

what is it with girls dancing when they are all alone? seriously you guys, i don't believe you. you don't dance. that's just a cliche you feel obligated to perpetuate

allison said...

I've caught myself indulging in whatever nonsense is on the E Channel. You know, shows called Young Hot Hollywood or whatever. They interview people who are "authorities" on the life and times of Lindsay Lohan...the sad thing is that these shows are actually a step-down in terms of content and production quality when compared to other ridiculous E!Channel shows like True Hollywood Story. The one on young European royalty was my favorite.

DrummerGirl said...

When I was a sophomore at BYU, I did the same thing with the dishwasher. EXACT SAME THING.

Lulu said...

after the breakup of my big relationship I indulged in some major movie rentals and "left to my own devices" I watched every Taye Diggs, Omar Epps, Borris Kojo, LL Kool J movie I could find: The Wood, Brown Sugar, How Stella Got He Groove Back, Deliver Us From Eva- you name it, I saw it and squeeled with delight everytime they took their shirts off to play basketball. mmmm.., all those fine, sweaty mens.....

dävid said...

lashley... let's keep it clean on here. : ), did you watch swat?

you freaking crack me up. deliver us from eva, oh man that movie is trash. especially that leading girl, she's rancid.

there's a line in it that llcoolj uses that is pretty indicative of the entire film.

coolj - i will respect you, and your mind, and your soul.
eva - what about my body?
coolj - i will do anything to it you want me to.

that was a paraphrase, but pretty close to verbatim.

MF said...

Mr. Pulsipher:
I agree with that whole idea about the farse of girls dancing.
The cliche:
"Dance as if nobody is watching!" Cross-stitch fodder.
Tole paint propaganda.

meghann said...

No really boys, we dance in our rooms. Every female I know does it. Most especially if we have just bought a hot new outfit and are at home trying it on.

Le Tigre even sing a song about it, check it out yo.

mskaz said...

Yes, even us old married ladies dance at home by ourselves. Only now I usually make my kids dance with me. I'm also one of those car dancers. You know, the idiot next to you who is singing at the top of her lungs and bopping around? That's me. I gots the music in me and it has to get out.

dävid said...

i still don't believe it.

mj said...

i dance in my room, but also in my roommates' room (when they are playing michael), and the living room, and on the dance floor. of course, i got moves.

it's possible that not every woman dances in her room/house. like the really reserved ones (or the ones with no soul). but i like to think even they kick it sometimes.

heck yes i will be dancing with whatever children i have some day.

i guess you fellas don't have any funk.

Old Jack said...

David is funky ... definitely funky i can attest to that after watching him groove to ABBA Gold.

I myself, have no grooves and will never be dancing in my room ... there may be some grooving in the car ... but never in the bedroom.

And for the record I am a believer in the girls only dance parties ... whether alone or with roommates ... they are true, and tangible.

Bethany said...

I don't lie. And I don't confess to such things as dancing alone in my room only to have you insinuate that it isn't true...I think there needs to be a little bit more love on this blog and a little bit less criticism from our host...

Meghann is totally right--it's all about trying on a new outfit and then dancing in it. This seems kind of odd because I'm never going to be seen dancing in my new outfit, but something about new clothes and knowing you look fabulous in them makes you want to shake your booty.

dävid said...

to all those who post on ye olde blog: i love you.

happy now bethany?

meghann said...

I would like one man that proclaims to not bedroom-dance answer me this question.

How do you flex your new moves before taking them to the club? I'm for real.

Until I get an answer I'm just assuming all of your are big fat liars.

Old Jack said...

what is a club? Doesn't that come with roast beef, turkey, and ham?

dävid said...

meghann. i bust out all of my moves on the floor, no practice. that's why my moves have such rugged, raw, untainted sex-appeal.

meghann said...

the club...

Old Jack said...

Does that outfit come in lime green?

dävid said...

that was the episode where zack and jessie dressed up like preps.

and lisa and screetch invented "the sprain" with casey casem.

how embarrassing.

good searching meghann.

Old Jack said...

David, sometimes your instant recall for tv shows and movies is frightening ... especially when it comes to the Poor Man's OC (saved by the bell).

k8 said...

please, i'm dancing under my desk as we speak.

true story-when i worked for the Olympics the NBC producer had to ask me to stop dancing when I was talking to my timing and scoring volunteers because I didn't look serious enough on camera.

I got busted dancing in my car by a kid in my ward at a random stop light the other day. If there is a beat, I must be moving.

aisy said...

mr. p, set up a hidden camera... you'd be seeing the ladies dancing

Blythe said...

Yep, I confess too. Will also dance with children. In fact, I kind of prefer to dance with children. Babies are best (Dunk and I used to dance to Chumbawumba back in the day), but if your babies are all grown up children will do. Just ask them what happens when the credits to Madagascar are rolling.

The reason you men don't get it is that we don't do it in front of you.

Old Jack said...

yet another story from a girl to corroborate the dancing alone stories (David, i don't think all of these females are taught to keep perpetuating this story)