Monday, September 27, 2010

On useless trivia & fascinations that make no sense

I like to tell Pythagoras that I married him for three reasons.

Technically, it’s four reasons, but I’m only listing three here:

1) He doesn’t snore
2) He doesn’t have back hair
3) He doesn’t watch televised sports

I figure that’s a decent foundation for marriage, though admittedly I might keep him around if any of that changed.

The televised sports issue is an odd one, since my husband is definitely a jock. He runs and bikes and swims and skis competitively, coaching several sports and twitching a bit if he goes more than a few hours without exercising.

But for whatever reason, he’s never shown much interest in flipping on the TV and watching people throw balls through hoops or tackle each other on Astroturf.

He also doesn’t spend much time poring over the sports pages, so I’m not sure how to explain the seemingly endless stream of sports trivia he can spew with minimal prompting. We’ll be out with friends when one of the guys will mention the upcoming Seattle Seahawks game.

“Yeah, kickoff is at 1:30,” Pythagoras will muse. “If they win the toss, Leon Washington will put up seven right away.”

Yet when game time rolls around, he has zero interest in watching. My theory is that aliens implanted a microchip in his brain and it’s downloading sports stats directly into his cerebral cortex.
My brother, his girlfriend, and Pythagoras watch football.

Don’t get me wrong, he’ll watch sports if someone else flips on a TV. My brother and his girlfriend – football fanatics, both of them – visited this past weekend, making it clear from the moment they arrived that they would hurl themselves in front of a passing bus if they couldn’t watch the Oregon State/Boise game.

When the time came, Pythagoras joined them in the living room to cheer, grunt, and curse at men in tight pants. I hid in my office, emerging only when the noises from the other room suggested one of them was having a stroke.

I suppose this phenomenon isn’t unique to Pythagoras and sports on TV. I don’t really like watching movies and have zero interest in television, but my brain is like a sponge for celebrity gossip.

I’ve never seen Lindsay Lohan in a movie or watched Paris Hilton walk the red carpet, but I can cheerfully tell you all the latest drama in their lives. I get in the longest line at the grocery store so I can stand there reading tabloid headlines, and I’ll click all the juiciest Internet headlines for no compelling reason I can think of. It makes no sense, since I’d honestly rather remove the skin off one arm with a carrot peeler than watch one of their movies or TV shows or…well, whatever the hell it is that made Paris Hilton famous.

Do you have any inexplicable fascinations with things that wouldn’t normally roll your socks up? Are you a sponge for information that does you no good at all? Does your intense interest in knitting belie the fact that you can’t distinguish between a ball of yarn and a ball of hair? Please share.

I have to go see what’s new with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. I really think those two girls can be friends, don’t you?


PK HREZO said...

LOL! I'm the same way. I don't watch TV and I'm very selective with movies.... but I take the longest line in the grocery store too and pore over the smut.. I can't get enough of it and the cashier is always like "Ahem!"
But that's all I need... those few moments of tabloid trash. Then I'm good til next time.
My hubby doesn't watch televised sports either, but is also very outdoorsy and athletic. I LOVE that he couldn't care less about a game that's on. I think that's part of the reason I married him. :)

Linda G. said...

I am strangely fascinated by cooking shows, though I have zero interest in doing it myself. I can throw around terms like "EVOO" and "deglazing," but actually sully my hands with kitchen utensils? Not if I can avoid it.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

House Hunters. Especially House Hunters International. As if I'm ever going to be looking for a nice beach cottage in Costa Rico, or really care about whether poor little Melinda has to give up that double sink vanity she simply can't EXIST without in order to have a walk in closet the size of my kitchen.

Anne Gallagher said...

I would LOVE to see Jennifer and Angelina be friends. Or just have coffee somewhere.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

I love all things HGTV and TruTV. True crime and interior decorating. Makes sense, right?

Claire Dawn said...

numbers. I'm ridiculous with numbers. If I dial a phone number once I know it forever.

Danica Avet said...

I'm a football fanatic (ask my family who watched me scream and curse the television yesterday), but I can't quote stats. I used to think it was just a man thing, like it was part of the deal when they were born to know sports status, but my sister can do the same thing...the weirdo.

I LOVE Project Runway...I will sit there, critique the clothes designed and everything from color to lines, but I am SO not fashionable. I wear jeans. Jeans and T-shirts. That's the extent of my fashion genius. But I can tell you if someone shouldn't be wearing something. I just can't dress myself, lol

Lisa_Gibson said...

I probably watch too much of the Food Network. Somehow I let myself get sucked into it. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Rhonda said...

The hubs and I are addicted to shows like Iron Chef America, Hell's Kitchen and The Next Food Network Star. When dining out we critique the food, the prep and the presentation - our favorite phrase "What would Chef Ramsey say about this?"

However, between the two of us, we're all about cutting corners, saving time and have developed a taste for all things processed - which is good because doing all that cooking from scratch? Is just too damn much work!

Unknown said...

Um, two things yes.

One, movie soundtracks. I listen to them while I write because I can't consentrate when there are words in the song. It's getting so bad that I can be watching a movie in the theatres and can comment on how the song sounds like the style of this composer or other.

Two, Vehical names and models. I only know that because I happen to be a GIANT TRANSFORMERS FAN!!!! I can tell you where every single part of the 2010 Chevy Camero goes to form Bumblebee! You should also see what I did to my own truck! :D

Here's the link;

It particularly annoys people when I'll be walking with them and I'll start squawking and hooting over a particularly interesting piece of machinery and how I would see it transforming into an alien robot!!!

lora96 said... is my strange fascination. So-called celebrities from reality shows which appear on cable channels to which I am not a subscriber--still interested, gotta say. Bigger hair=more entrancing story.

I did win the celebrity baby name match up at a shower recently though. So it did me SOME good at least, to know that Matthew McConaughy's kids are named Levi and Vida.

ExMagistra said...

I can't think of any personal examples, but my college roommate (who is a total hipster music snob, art snob, culture snob, literature snob, you name it -- but I adore her) has been a secret fan of "America's Next Top Model" for years. I was shocked to discover this a few months ago and I find it hilarious.

lahn said...

This is hilarious.
My husband is a huge sports tv and cooking show fan, but he loves both of those pursuits in his "real life" too. As for me, I'm with you on the tabloids. I also love the competitive cooking shows -- Top Chef, Chopped -- though I hate to cook.

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

This amused me.

I guess the only comparable situation for me is music. There's a lot of music I love, and there are a lot of pop songs I know all the words to. But, I never listen to the radio, ever.

Elizabeth Ryann said...

The only thing popping to mind is watching random cable television late at night. Which is how I somehow absorbed a bunch of facts about cranberries after an episode of Unwrapped, an episode of Ace of Cakes where they visited a bog, and something on the history channel, I think, also about cranberries.

Which meant that when cranberries innocently popped up during a conversation at a party I couldn't help but share every random factoid I'd apparently been storing. Everyone got really quiet. Still. They're hollow! They grow on bushes! The farmers flood the plain so that they float to the top (because they're hollow!) and are therefore easier to harvest!

Unknown said...

I have no use for celebrity gossip. However, I am a huge sports fan and will watch football, baseball and hockey whenever I can. Basketball, not so much.

I love blowing people(mostly men) away with my ability to talk about and follow sports.

Anonymous said...

That dipshit? The one reading the People magazine even after the cashier has asked her to swipe her credit card? That's me. And then I tell Sweet Babou all about the latest in the life of Branglina and he could give a tiny poot about it all. But seriously, he is missing out.

Jessica Lemmon said...

I always say I'm an Ohio State fan by marriage, because I had utterly no clue about watching televised sports until I married Mr. Lemmony, who is a HUGE Ohio State University fan, in Ohio, btw, this is known as "THE" Ohio State University. Though this still barely interests me I sometimes catch myself yelling at the TV, esp when they play Michigan.

And it still freaks me out when I do it, like I've been body-snatched by an other-wordly being. O_O

Becky said...

My personal sense of style is based entirely on what won't ride up, bind, or itch, but I love me some Project Runway and frequently declare the judges blind/insane when they disagree with my opinions of the contestants' latest offerings. I also dig America's Next Top Model, even though my big toe weighs more than most of the models. Those are my only reality shows, but I LOVE them.

Clever Betty said...

I haven't had much to say lately so I just thought I should drop by to say - I'm still here. Still reading you every week day and now twice on Fridays. Still love you. Still laughing sometimes until I wet myself.


PK Hrezo, there's a certain beauty in smut, isn't there?

Linda G, I have a friend who's obsessed with cooking shows. I hate visiting her when she's watching one because I always get hungry.

Kari, I've never heard of this show (not surprising, I'm not very in-tune with TV programming) but I definitely need a beach house in Costa Rica!

Piedmont Writer, keep the dream alive! Those girls can work things out, I know they can!

Debra, remind me to consult you if I ever decide to write a cozy mystery that takes place in a home undergoing renovation.

Claire Dawn, I desperately need you around. Just had to drive over to my pet-sitter's place of business because I couldn't for the life of me remember her phone number.

Danica, I've spent the last two days trying to figure out what to wear to this @#$% conference. I feel your pain on not knowing how to dress yourself.

Lisa, I don't have cable and have never seen Food Network, but I'm going to guess it has something to do with food, right? I would be hungry all the time. There's no way I could do it.

Rhonda, I adore cooking, it's one of my hobbies. I've actually seen Hell's Kitchen a couple times at a friend's house, and that guy is TERRIFYING!

Matthew, er, have you considered therapy? (kidding, kidding...sorta)

lora96, I've never actually purchased People magazine, but it is a happy, happy day when I find one lying around the gym or a doctor's waiting room.

ExMagistra, is that the one with Tyra Banks? I caught a couple minutes of it at a friend's place last year. It kinda freaked me out.

lahn, I grew up in a household of sports fanatics, where the TV was always turned on and tuned to some sporting event. I think that's where my aversion began :)

Dominique, great example! My brother and I have a freakish ability to remember random music trivia down to the name of the bass player from some random '80s band. You would think one or the other of us would play an instrument or something, but sadly, we suck.

Elizabeth, I can always count on you to teach me something new. Cranberries are hollow? That is interesting. Very interesting.

Jeannie, my brother's girlfriend is like that. I figure she can be impressive for the both of us :)

Bettyfokker, if I mentioned Angelina Jolie to Pythagoras right now, I can almost guarantee you he would say, "who?"

Jessica, people who yell at the TV scare me a little. I'm just sayin.

Becky, we should go clothes shopping together :)

Clever Betty, awww...thanks for your comment! Though I keep an eye on my Google Analytics stats to know whether my overall numbers change much, I do notice individual commenters an wonder about them when they suddenly go missing :)

Thanks for reading, guys!

Dr. Goose said...

I'm with your brother on this one. The other day I had a nightmare about what it would be like not to have football in my life. Then God woke me up and said he was only kidding. We laughed and laughed. Right before he snorted to laugh again he chuckled, "Why would I destroy the very thing I am such a huge fan of?"

Taymalin said...

I'm the same with the celebrities--but who played who in the movies, not who did what in real life. I have a great memory for faces and names, and often know the casts of movies I've never seen and never want to see.

IMDB is my favorite intenet time waster.

But I can never find anyone who wants to play that Kevin Bacon game with me :(