words kill, words give life

who do you think you are?

Posted in movies and television by Kaitlin on March 6, 2010

sarah jessica parker, who do you think you are, reality show, family tree, records, library, courthouse, pearls, reading, real life, history, nbc, screen shotNBC’s celebrity genealogy show premiered Friday at 8. This “Who do you think you are?” is the latest incarnation of the British original (versions  air in eight different countries).

The American pilot features “Sex in the City” alum Sarah Jessica Parker as the first of “seven of the world’s most beloved celebrities” — Brooke Shields, Emmet Smith, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee and SJP.

Not exactly my most beloved celebrities, but I can see the desire to expand the list past deep-eyed Jew boys and  manic pixie dream girls.

My favorite part of the show was SJP’s dramatic overacting. After “buckets of questions” she discovered the family she assumed were boring  German immigrants (“no way they let our ancestors on the Mayflower”) actually traced back to the gold rush (Oh, no — I’m a relative of a dreamer; I’m a relative of a fool”), Salem witch trials (“I can’t imagine the courage it would take to be accused, to have everyone around pointing at you.”) and 1630s Connecticut (“I know I have now historical roots; I have family, ancestral roots here”).

Her conclusion: “I believed in America. I believed in, you know, the things I loved about being American. But I never felt that I was really American. What I’ve learned is that I have real stock in this country and real roots. I have belonging. I have, you know, I’m an American, I’m actually an American.”

Because she wasn’t American if her family immigrated after the 1700s. As SJP said, “Oh. My. God. Un-be-lievable. It’s absolutely crazy. It’s crazy time.”

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EMERGENCY This Book Will Save Your Life

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on September 6, 2009

I picked EMERGENCY up because it had an interesting cover (and because it was on the “buy 1, get 1 50% off ” table at Borders). After flipping through, I found its sections interspersed with comic-style illustrations explaining things like how to make a knife from a credit card or a bow and arrow from PVC pipe.

So I bought it. And I got far more than I bargained for.

Not just instructions for surviving chemical attack, treating snakebites, etc., EMERGENCY is also an autobiographical tale of Neil Strauss’ personal preparation for the End of the World as We Know It (that’s EOTWAWKI, in survival speak). He takes us along on his adventures as he searches for safety with guns,  goats and gas-masks.

This book will either make you laugh at the crazy fringe who believes the apocalypse is around the corner or it will make you paranoid enough to run and join them. If you’re anything like the author, it’ll make you a little of both. Like Strauss said, “We make fun of those we’re most scared of becoming.”