** And by "Hate," I mean: LOVE!
01 - Air travel, while nerve-racking and interminable, is made endlessly more bearable by dozens and dozens of SXSW hipsters on the plane with you. So much fun to look at! Normally it's just business travelers and families in the cabin. It's much more fun when there's an actual band two rows up talking about tour bus groupies and unmentionable pharmaceuticals they couldn't take on the plane with them. Also fun? When the acting leader of said troupe of scruffy hipsters both looks and talks like Gaius Baltar's kid brother. You know, the one who went to seed and rejected his big brother's ambition for science and compulsive civilization-ruining.
02 - Also essential on an airplane is this iPod contraption I kept hearing about over and over again until I had to buy one. My, they are nice. Even if the display screen does tend to give away the fact that I've got some Roxette programmed up in there.
03 - So, as it turns out, I absolutely adore a Texas accent. Who knew? I expected it would be different, somehow. Accusatory, like I didn't play enough sports as a kid or something. But no, the Texas accent is just super excited to meet you. Crazy friendly. The Massachusetts accent just wants to kick your ass, or alternately wants its boyfriend to kick your ass. Maybe I was just fortunate in the Texans I actually encountered, but either way it's entirely adorable. I won't mess with Texas. Not now, anyway.
04 - Looking for a hilarious way to kill a few hours and the last few bottles of beer you've got lying around? Ladies and gentlemen, I present Campus Ladies. Yeah, yeah, it's on Oxygen, the Oprah Network. Fear not. Oprah won't try to make you read anything while you watch. It's just about these two crazy-ass middle age ladies who go to college and are wholly inappropriate about everything, and if you run into me and I start saying "Stevie Nicks, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Nicks," super fast, just try to remember to respond with something about her being a "witch lady," okay?
05 - Oh, so just for the record, Jacob is totally not all that cool a guy at all. He's not fun, he doesn't have awesome friends, he doesn't do a wicked Apprentice Kristi impersonation OR a wicked Big Brother Adria impersonation, and he's not bizarrely in synch with my most obscure pop cultural reference points. Bummer.
06 - Looking for another hilarious way to kill a few hours waiting for the caffeine to kick in? Ladies and gentlemen: Nighty Night, which is British and evil to its very core and wonderful. For anyone who thinks Carrie Underwood is the latest and greatest cultural touchstone for Heart's "Alone," get your hands on the series 1 DVD pronto.
07 - I learned this past week that babies are even more awesome when they totally love you. Also, you will never, ever be able to win a staring contest with a baby, so don't even try, or else you're just going to look like an idiot.
08 - It's remarkable, really, how quickly four bottles of wine go. No, really. You'd be utterly shocked. Not that you should really watch American Idol without them, if you're looking for optimal viewing experience.
09 - Everything is funnier when you're talking like Russian mobster Lenny from The Apprentice. Just trust me on this one.
10 - Less funny, however, is flying home and hearing the pilot tell you that the temperature in your home town is a balmy 32 degrees. Not even the Lenny voice could salvage that one. Although checking out the looks on the faces of your fellow passengers is worth a teensy bit of comedy, I will admit. Welcome back to Buffalo, where it's not St. Patrick's Day without ice crystals in your green beer!