I grew up in a town where it was a big deal if you went to college at all, even community college. Hell, it was a ginormous deal if you got accepted by a four-year school that wasn’t a UC or a CSU. A lot of people in Downey thought Stanford was spelled “Standford” and that it was on the East Coast, somewhere in between Harvard and Yale.
But what I always sensed from my peers was that a large chunk of them believed that the golden ticket was not a BA/BS from a leading, accredited institution of learning but an IMDB credit for a reality tv show on one of the major networks.
Two of my fellow graduates from Warren High School’s class of 2002 have gotten the golden ticket so far, and it’s been pretty meta to have to write about their reality tv shows, whether it be for blogs or entertainment sites. I mean, I can’t be like, “Yeah, this person used to work at the movie theater in my hometown” or “You’ll never believe what the bathroom stalls used to say about her!”
First, Norelle Van Herk on Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model (she was really popular when they traveled to Japan, where she was sadly eliminated close to the end) and now Paloma Soto on this season of Survivor. Countless other acquaintances, I am sure, have tried out, for endless seasons of American Idol and maybe even So You Think You Can Dance.
What am I doing with my life, recapping reality tv shows? I guess I’m just keeping the dream alive.
Hooray. Everyone should go to Austin City Limits for their birthday, I’ve decided, accompanied by a trip to the good ol’ Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX (I once agreed to go to a wedding in San Antonio for the sole purpose of procuring a car to make the pilgrimage to the Salt Lick and Austin) and Stubb’s downtown. S’mores at Halcyon (twice!) and a Salt Lick sausage sandwich accompanied by an Okkervil River and Danger Mouse sighting at the airport on the way home to San Francisco plus a sugar cone of Amy’s best Oatmeal Cream Pie ice cream?
This is not to forget the unforgettable live sets from The Raconteurs, Band of Horses, Okkervil River, Stars and Tegan and Sara (from afar, anyway) plus a few Foo Fighters songs live. Or the belly-aching laughs induced by watching desperate-smelling middle-aged men try to live it up at clubs downtown while awkwardly “dancing” with cougars and golddiggers. It’s better together with someone who understands exactly why you’re laughing or trying to suppress your laugh. Also, girl fights plus cops arresting people plus the arrested resisting arrest while the crowd hoots and hollers and encourages civil disobedience on the night of your birthday is pretty epic.