It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years

Thursday, May 7, 2009
I don't know if you've noticed dear readers, but I hit that magical number of 100 followers today.

Wow. . . 100 followers . . . it's such an honor, and I don't even have a speech prepared. . . (okay, that's not true, I actually wrote this whole thing last night at 2 am when I was having trouble sleeping).

Well first I would like to thank my Uncle Andy for becoming follower number 100 (That's right, I'm not ashamed to admit that I called up a relative and asked him to become a follower so I could hit 100 today).

And I'd also like to thank all of the other 99 followers for overlooking: my inability to use commas correctly, as well as my unwillingness to take any book seriously including the ones that I really shouldn't have been making jokes about in the first place, and my obsessive need to talk about myself and my family.

I'd like to thank my sister, Alissa, for being a great blogging Vice President, or as I like to call her when we're having conversations about how to improve the blog: Biden. I'm so glad I picked you instead of caving to the pressure and picking Clinton. Don't get me wrong, she's a lovely woman, but I'm not sure she's up for those 3 a.m. phone calls (just kidding, I don't really call her at 3 a.m.) that go a little something like this, "The numbers are lower today than they were yesterday, people hate my blog. My blog is still good right? TELL ME MY BLOG IS STILL GOOD."

I'd like to thank Soapnet for taking Dallas reruns off the air. I know I was really mad at you at the time, and I may have even sent you a hostile e-mail or two, but if you hadn't taken that show off the air I would probably still be sitting on the couch right now watching J.R. cheat on Sue Ellen while Sue Ellen is drinking herself into a blackout and then I wouldn't have had time to read a book every day. So thanks - and don't worry, all is forgiven . . . well, on second thought, maybe I haven't forgiven you for everything. I'm still a little bit mad at you for taking the show off mid-way through season 3 before I even had a chance to find out who John Ross's real father was, I mean would it have killed you to have waited until the end of the season to take the show off.

I'd also like to thank my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Wilson, who was the first person who ever told me that my writing was funny, and who then picked my play as a finalist in the fifth grade play writing competition . . . it's not your fault that the principal disqualified my play for being "an inappropriate subject matter for an 11 year old to be writing about." I mean really, how was I supposed to know that he would be the kind of person who has no sense of humor when it comes to jokes about nervous breakdowns (For the record dear readers, I do not find mental illness amusing now, but I was 11 then, and it's an 11 year-old's job to find things funny that are totally and completely inappropriate). Well, anyway, I can't really be mad at him for that since I kind of enjoyed having my play disqualified. . . so I guess I should thank him too.

Thank you Mr. D for disqualifying my play, thereby giving me an excuse to walk around the house for a week imagining myself to be the most misunderstood 11 year-old on earth. I walked around for days muttering under my breath, "Nobody understands me. You know, all the greats were misunderstood." I honestly believe that I got more joy out of being misunderstood than I ever would have if my play had actually won. So thank you Mr. D, for showing me that being a tortured, misunderstood writer could be fun!!!

Today's book; "How has the United States changed over the past century? Is life truly better now than it was in the past? Using statistical reports and other historical materials, Moore (fiscal policy studies, Cato Inst.) and the late Simon (business administration, Univ. of Maryland) argue that for the most part people entering the new millennium are much better off than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The areas covered include health, economics, race relations, safety, environmental issues, and women's rights. A number of charts and graphs, well complemented by an extensive index and a bibliography, shows the positive changes that have taken place over the past 100 years. Readers will appreciate the information provided by these colorful graphics, which readily allow for additional research on subjects of interest. Recommended for reference, general social science, and American studies collections."

I'm not going to lie dear readers, I didn't even bother looking to see what this book was about before checking it out at the library. I made a quick trip to the library this morning to find a book that had the number 100 in the title, and I was in such a hurry to get home that I just grabbed a book and ran. And I paid for that rash decision all day long. This book was very boring. Well I certainly won't make the mistake of picking out another book for the blog without figuring out what it's about again. . . oh, who am I kidding, yes I will. I'm a compulsive book buyer and compulsive library patron, and so the chances are high that a snafu like this is going to happen again. One of these days I'm going to try something new and bold . . . I'm going to become one of those people who actually learns from their mistakes. It'll be fun.

I found the book, not only boring, but really preachy. First we were lectured on an on about how lucky we are to be living now and not in the past, because in the past people had to live in constant terror of starvation and disease. Oh sure, we don't have to worry about that kind of stuff, but people in the past didn't have to worry about the kind of crap we have to put up with today; going to the mall and seeing someone wearing stretch pants that are two sizes too small, worrying that someday someone might show up at one of our kid's birthday parties with a Barney or Elmo DVD (okay, so I don't have kids yet, but that doesn't mean that thought doesn't still keep me up at night), or having to be assaulted by those stupid commercials for Cash4Gold that they play on TV every five minutes. We have hardships now too.

Then the author went on to lecture about how we shouldn't be upset about the little things that are going wrong in our lives because we should be so grateful that we're not living in a time where death happened more frequently. Well excuse me Mr.Author-Guy-whose-name-I-can't-remember, but is there some reason why I can't be happy that I'm not dead at the same time that I'm annoyed because I've been stuck on hold for 20 minutes while being forced to listen to an endless loop of the Muzak version of Didn't We Almost Have it All. I'm a modern woman, I'm capable of juggling several things at a time. For instance, I'm both annoyed right now that I spent so much of the day being preached at by a boring book, and incredibly happy that I have 100 followers.