Dec 05, 2023, 06:26AM

My Mind and How It’s Been Spending Our Time

Sunday afternoon edition.

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Feeling defensive about Sarah Holcomb’s Irish accent. She played the kid’s girlfriend in Caddyshack. Most things in the movie suck, but I thought the accent sounded fine. But say this sort of thing and people will make fun of you. People always make fun of anyone who says a movie accent is any good.

Wondering about the mom on Gilmore Girls. I know why she’s famous and what kind of fame it is, but I don’t know her name and wouldn’t have thought about her except somebody said she was mean to extras. I have her job description and remember the shelf Gilmore Girls used to be on at the video store. TV star, domestic comedy/drama. Cheekbones, professionally abundant hair; scenes at plain-wood kitchen tables, steam rising from mugs. But no name.

I feel, not pride, but a relieved sense of security. Because here’s a weak point I don’t have. I’ve read two memoirs by Mick Fleetwood and three books that describe the shooting of Caddyshack (and other events, but Caddyshack is a subject they dwell on). Even so, nothing in my head about The Gilmore Girls. I’m clean in that respect. I guess my point is that some things make you feel stupid for knowing them.

Not wanting to set the clocks back but getting tired of them the way they are, doing the mental math when I look at the time—it’s not really four o’clock, it’s three o’clock, etc. At the beginning I always like the freshness of that magically recovered hour. But I know the trick I’m playing on myself, and I know that each year, after a few hundred repetitions, I’ll arrive at the following point: there’s no extra hour and I’ve been indulging myself in nonsense just to feel a little less blah about life. Set the clocks back and I admit that point has been reached. Keep them and I have to keep going minus one in my head.

Thinking about 21 years ago, when I looked at a second-hand book about Gen X (Evan Dorkin drew the pictures) and listened to my neighbors having a pleasant family gathering, and I realized that zines and slackers and rrrriot girls were now 10 years in the past. A decade had come along and their newness was made dust. Thirteen years ago, I had a headful from a bottle of wine and rattled through my ashtanga practice while playing Seinfeld DVDs, good episodes from early on. I remembered that it was 20 years since I’d seen them on TV, and that this elapse of time had to be considered a social epoch. Me on my couch watching the TV on a Thursday after work, me in 2010 with the laptop playing, and technically this was the same as the time from Kennedy’s election to Reagan’s election. It was such a gulf that I couldn’t take it seriously. The other day, I don’t know why, I remembered lying on the floor and listening to the radio playing the ad for a Billy Baldwin movie back when he was going to be a star. Thirty years ago, I thought, and I left it at that.


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