Wednesday, April 27, 2005


While I'm figuring up grades to turn in tomorrow, let's start up a reader participation post. In one of my classes, my students had to make a presentation to the class. The topic? Guilty pleasures. Some of the students balked: but we don't like anything! This makes me insane, this reflexive impulse to show no interest in anything. But that's beside the point. It turned out to be a lot of fun. One girl, eensy, demure, quiet, loved horror movies. Which isn't so uncommon. But she reads Fangoria! Another student had a massive collection of Silver Age (generally the 60's) comic books. Which made me very happy (A+!). Another detailed her lifelong fascination with vampires; however, in doing some research she stumbled across websites by people who fancy themselves, to some degree, real vampires. I think the charm began to fade for her. At any rate, what are your guilty pleasures? Those Lifetime movies? A-Ha? Or Brittany? God forbid!

So be brave. Step into the bright light and share. I will if you do.


LKD said...

A-Ha is NOT a guilty pleasure. Neither is Coldplay, dammit. (and stop laughing)

Felicity. I watch Felicity, okay? On We, no less, that stupid, goopy so-called women's channel. (averts eyes and refuses to make contact with all the snickering people in the room) And speaking of so-called, I used to watch My So-Called Life. I loved that show. Somebody shoot me, please? I can't believe I just owned up to this.

Geez, at least play fair and admit your guilty pleasure/indulgence up front, guy. We all know you're a Buffy freak. What else, Paul?

Oh, and incidentally, you remind me of Noel on Felicity. In fact, I think you and Noel are the same guy.

I've gotta go exercise and punish myself for making these shameful admissions. (smile)


ps: I think you oughta save that title suggestion you gave to Eduardo for your next book. That's snappy, man. Just think of all the guys who'd be snapping up copies of your book who'd never read a line of poetry in their lives....

Tony said...

Guilty Pleasures:

1. Lifetime movies.
2. Malt liquor.
3. Roleplaying games--not actually playing them, just reading about them.
4. 80s heavy metal--Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Celtic Frost, that sort of thing.
5. Anything you can buy at a 7-11.
6. Pocky sticks
7. My So Called Life. That show was good. It isn't as good now as it was then, though, if that makes sense. It hasn't aged well.
8. Three's Company.

Pamela said...

Tennyson. (I cannot believe I am admitting this).

Paul said...

Ok, so one of my guilty pleasures, and the most recent, is MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Yeah, I know, it doesn't quite match up. But, it's a show on Spike TV that I stumbled upon and was fixated by its utter weirdness. It's a Japanese game show presided over by two hosts, with a supporting cast of minor players. It's been re-dubbed with American voice actors proving bogus commentary on the bizarre events. What truly gets me is the characterization that's been built up: one of the hosts, the older, suave Vic Romano, has a past which apparently includes various substance abuses, failed marriages, and other miseries, all mercilessly picked at by Kenny Blankenship, the younger, Beavis-like host. It's all juvenile, often bathroom-level humor, but it kills me everytime.

Paul said...

Laurel, I've never seen Felicity. What does being like Noel say about me? ;)

Eduardo C. Corral said...

I will let that a-ha stab slide this time. But just this once.

My list:

TV Shows
1. Golden Girls
2. Are You Being Served?
3. What Not to Wear

1. Pet Shop Boys
2. OMD
3. Pandora

1. Star Trek novels
2. X-men novels
3. Acknowledgement pages

Paul said...

No stab intended re: A-Ha!

Radish King said...

Stephen King.

Paul said...

Old school Stephen King? Aww, yeah....

Anne said...

Oh god. Celebrity gossip shows like ET and Extra. (Also People Magazine, but only when I find it in a waiting room or something.) Eek!

Jennifer said...

1. Irish pub songs (Finnegan's Wake, Wild Rover, etc)

2. Turning OFF the commentary on MXC and laughing at the acquisition of what must be some very painful bruises.

Emily Lloyd said...

Pamela, I'm really touched that you admitted to Tennyson. Felicity's a cinch, compared to that. Thanks. Horrified, of course. But touched. (I've got so many embarrassing pleasures I'm puttin' em over at mah blog)

Kathrine said...

The new word(s) created when some of the letters in a neon sign burn out.

Also, advertising typos. (See also: Silence of the Lamps)

Can anyone say *word freak*?

Peter said...

Guilty pleasures:
Pet Shop Boys (oh Eduardo, I am so glad you like them too)
Scrabble (I play 2 or 3 games a day, really)
C89.5 FM Seattle (the Nathan Hale high school radio station rules)
Tenderloin steak, medium-rare (I know, I am a doctor, and supposed to hate red meat: but a good fillet mignon is heaven on earth)

Abby Normal said...

Is reading Blog a guilty pleasure?

early hours of sky said...

Gilmore Girls, Billy Joel
Old Elton John (when he was married), Pat Bentar, Nanny 911 and (god help me) I think I am the only woman poet alive who does not like Mary Oliver. And that pleases me:)

Victoria Chang said...

A-ha is one of my favorite "bands" of ALL time and I saw them in Ann Arbor in high school--Morten Harket was my favorite.

Pet Shop Boys are great too. And Laurel, I watched Felicity straight through in its heyday and yes, Paul does seem exactly like Noel!

OMD. Yes. I think Eduardo and I have the same music taste.

And others:
-Tears for Fears
-Iron Chef America
-Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

S. Lelia said...

Hahahahahahahaha you like MXC. My room mate watches that and laughs hysterically. And then we critique all the commercials that Spike! runs when they air it. I mean, *she* critiques. I only... I'm not in the room, usually. When she's watching it. I don't own a tv. Um, yeah.

If Tennyson and Scrabble are what passes for guilt-inducing, i barely want to admit these in this forum. Heehee. I probably have so many guilty pleasures as to need a support group.

TV: I'm beyond feeling guilt about my Buffy habit, so that doesn't count. But I still feel bad about the extraordinary volume of crime dramas I watch. Law & Order and CSI in every iteration. Without a Trace. Numbers (with the hot math genius-- really, *too* hot, in my opinion)... aaaand I'll stop there.

Starbucks coffee. But, to be fair, only one particular beverage, and only occasionally. Hot wings. I used to be a vegetarian, you see.

And now I think it's time to scrub the floor, or say a rosary, or do some sort of self-flagellation thing.

loveandsalt said...

Worst of the worst: self-help books. The endless facination with the idea of starting over, of remaking your life through reason and will (NEITHER of which have ever worked for me!)

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I think part of the problem with coming up with guilty pleasures is
one has to feel embarassed about liking this whatever-it-is. And ... I'm trying to think about culture stuff that I'd be embarassed to admit to liking. I like James Bond movies, but is that something anybody's embarassed to admit? A-ha's "Take On Me" got old fast back in the 80s and I was sure I didn't like their bond theme for The Living Daylights. But it's on my iPod now and, you know, I dig it. I was never embarassed about liking ABBA or ELO ... though maybe ELO; a lot of ELO just hasn't aged well. "The Poseidon Adventure" was (is?) one of my favorite movies. I love the part where Roddy McDowell stops hobbling to watch the rising water; this is only minutes before he falls into it and is lost. I get chills.


LKD said...

Whoa! Let's back the car up right here, right now. Eduardo, Peter, since when are the Pet Shop Boys classified as a guilty pleasure?? (meanwhile, your mention of them just reminded me of one of my all time favorite songs: Love comes quickly, whatever you do you can't stop falling...)

TE, that makes 2 of us that loathe Mary Oliver. She did write an excellent book on writing poetry though. So, your guilty pleasure is your dislike of Oliver's work?

Hmmmm. I guess I oughta step up to bat and admit that I like Billy Collins. (ducks as the peasants revolt and pelt me with tomatoes and torches) His was the first poetry reading I'd ever attended, right before he becamse poet laureate. I didn't know who he was and attended the reading only because a few of my classmates were going and urged me to come along. He's a swell reader, really entertaining, very droll and dead-pan. I bought one of his books that night (Picnic, Lightning) based solely on my reaction to his reading---and isn't that partially what a good reader/reading should do? Sell books?

Victoria, I'm so glad you chimed in. Paul is definitely Noel. And Paul, being Noel is a good thing. Noel's the quintessential nice guy, the boy next door, the kind of man who could break a woman's heart and she'd still love him. (ever watch Alias? Scott Foley is the name of the actor who portrayed Noel and he was married to Jennifer Garner--who, incidentally, he met on Felicity) So, saying you're Noel says that you're a good guy, a mensch.

My final admission before I trot over to Emily's blog to see what horrors she's owned up to: I watch and love America's Next Top Model AND The Surreal Life.

Paul said...

But did Noel ever win Felicity's heart? I'm guessing no. She probably went after some guy on a motorcycle and had tattoos and he juggled flaming hunting knives and had a moustache and listened to KISS Alive constantly and carved her name in his arm with a chainsaw. Yeah, I bet that's exactly what happened.


LKD said...

Oh, so you DID watch Felicity, eh? (grin)

Meanwhile, you just described my dream man. (go ahead and wonder if I'm kidding or not) (smile)

Alas, poor Noel was only Felicity's friend (with, ahem, benefits). It was Ben who was the object of her desire.

Paul said...

I knew it! I knew it!

I know how these things work....


steve mueske said...

Lately...Mudvayne's new disc.

jeannine said...

Hmmm...guilty mean besides the comic books and Buffy? LOL. The O.C. - I watch this show religiously, I think I wish I was Summer. Bad big hair eighties bands - Whitesnake, old Bon Jovi, and Poison. Oh, and magazines - I read everything from Marie Claire to Cosmo, every month. Even the British ones. Another religious duty. Fifty ways to look better in a bikini? Ten must-have items for the summer? Consumerist drivel and anti-feminist messages? Yes, please :)

Victoria Chang said...

What is it about this conversation that is so FUN? Paul, I married a "Noel," but I admit to dating many "Bens" in my life. Don't worry, we come to our senses at some point.

And Jeannine, I was going to email you, but since I can't find your email, I have to post to respond to you in public--I'm ashamed to say I too watch the OC (and Laguna Beach), as well as have downloaded Ashlee Simpson on my iPod. I live in the OC...what's your excuse ;-)

Paul said...

Never seen The O.C., either. Don't watch a lot of tv. Hmm.

I still like Billy Collins.

What else?

This is fun.

early hours of sky said...

I had an enormous crush on Noel. Yes, okay I watched it too and Miss Laurel I knew there was a reason you are my friend.

Okay so my other pleasure is I actually enjoy shopping at Sam's Club which is very, very bad because I know they make children sew their clothes by candlelight. I however buy Avocados by the bucket.

aimee said...

holy kielbasa! i leave for a day and your comments get jacked up like crazy--

1. Star Magazine
2. never having enough black shoes
3. dogs in coats
4. Who's That Girl (the movie with madonna and the panther named murray)
5. Journey/Air Supply/Olivia Newton John

Paul said...

Wow, Aimee #'s 4 and 5 are pretty powerful.

Xanadu, anyone?

aimee said...

oh. my. gosh. i used to dream of BEING ONJ in Xanadu whenever i was totally called it. i used to make my younger sis be gene kelly but i wanted to be the muse. so sad. and #4--if it wasn't already, any ounce of street cred i had is all shot to shakopee. :(

C. Dale said...

Okay, my guilty pleasure is bowling. Yes, bowling. I am sure I now either have new-found street cred or none, depending on how you look at it.

Paul said...

C. Dale, definite cred., definite cred.

rams said...

Star Trek novels AND (gulp) Modesty Blaise novels.Hootie and the Blowfish. James Taylor.

Three against Mary Oliver. I love Houlihan saying "Wild Geese" is the Desiderata of this generation.

Dear lord, do we now have to defend Billy Collins, whose only crime is being popular? (Okay, and rich.)

C.Dale liking bowling would make bowling cool.

Josh_Hanson said...

two words:

O. C.


And, I've recently discovered "family business" which should make anyone as guilty as is possible. Pure trash.

Neil said...

Hmm.. guilty pleasures:

1. Scrabble vs the computer
2. Anime (not just the beautiful/artsy/philosophical kind - but also the cheesy teenage girl marketed ones.. yep, I should be ashamed)
3. Japanese yakuza movies (the older host of MXC is Beat Takeshi, a long time star of these movies)
4. Roleplaying games

The anime watching is probably the worst one, sometimes I'm surprised I make time to write poetry or attend my classes.

Charles said...

I have a hard time answering this, because mostly I believe the things that bring me pleasure aren't guilt-inspiring, although other people might feel guilty about liking:

Avril Lavigne, Matchbox 20, & Good Charlotte
America's Next Top Model

Oliver de la Paz said...

My top guilty pleasures at the moment:

1. World of Warcraft

2. "What Not to Wear" on TLC

3. Zoning out to ESPN's Sports Center in the morning.

4. Chocolate Oranges . . . you know, the kind you whack?

5. I used to be obsessed with The X-Files and Millenium. My Friday nights and Sunday nights were booked. I'd never leave my house.

6. Ally McBeal. Eek. Did I say that?

7. Any movie based on a comic book. I'll see it. It doesn't matter what the reviewers say. I'll see it.

Stuart Greenhouse said...

1- "Majesty, the Fantasy Kingdom Sim"

2-spare ribs

3-Calvin Klein

32poems said...

I can attest that Dale is a damn fine bowler.

Okay, I read People magazine in the grocery store line. Yikes.

Jeannine--I don't read comic books, but doing so sounds kinda good.

Paul said...

Oh, I thought of another: The Bold and the Beautiful. Such a terrible soap opera. I might see it once or twice a year, but I had a friend who watched it years ago and I could not see it for months and still keep up. With names like Ridge, Thorn, Macy, etc., you had better feel guilty watching it. And usually I do. ;)

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...

Guilty Pleasures...

1) American Idol/House MD while folding laundry.

2) Chiaroscuro (a MU*)

3) Anything Buffy, Angel, Star Wars, Star Trek, Xena

4) Muscials (mostly Rogers and Hammerstein, but Andrew Lloydd Weber, and classics like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

5) "Inspirational" feminist books (Yah know, Ilanya Vanzant etc.) or the odd ball post-New Age stuff (yah know, stuff Hay House publishes). *blush*

I think I've embarassed myself enough...

Julie said...

Four for not liking Mary Oliver, and I'm addicted to hair product. No matter how much I buy, I will still buy more. It falls out of the bathroom closet every time I open the door.

And *gulp* I sleep with a teddy bear.

And I love Styx.

I'm stopping there.

Kells said...

Quoting Jeannine: Consumerist drivel and anti-feminist messages? Yes, please :)

**I love to read my mum's magazines, esp. when she picks up "Star."

Also, I also listen to C-89. Since high school, except now when they play songs from my youth they say, "And now some vintage Madonna..."

Other guilty pleasures:

1) Reality TV: Survivor/Amazing Race/The Apprentice

2) Diet Coke

3) Office supply stores (I could browse in there for hours)

4) Barry Manilow & Neil Diamond, only to be topped by my love for Wilson Phillips.

5) I accidentially became on hooked on Dawson's Creek when it first came out but was able to break away in season three.

6) I will stop whatever I'm doing if an episode of I Love Lucy comes on.

7) Grease

8) Blowpops: I still buy them.

9) Non-pariels and chocolate covered raisins

Ali Davis said...

Wow. People have a lot of pleasures. Mine are...

-Gilmore Girls
-baking cookies
-library books from the "Browsing Room"
-red meat
-cracking the sugar crust on creme brules

I am no longer mysterious.

Peter said...

My oh my, Paul: What a party you've started. :>)

32poems said...

Someone else likes cracking the crust on creme brulee?

I blogged about more of my guilty pleasures. Some are: vintage coats, vintage purses and shoes.

Paul said...

It's historic, Peter!

Eduardo C. Corral said...

Paul, in defense of a-ha fans everywhere, here's some current info from an a-ha fan site:

"a-ha's latest single collection went to number 14 in the UK album charts this week. During the same week, Chris Martin, the lead singer in the biggest British band today, Coldplay, confessed his appreciation for a-ha on Virgin Radio's Pete And Geoff Show.

"I found myself in Amsterdam the other day and I put a-ha's first record on. I just remembered how much I loved it. It's incredible songwriting," he said. "Everyone asks what inspired us, what we've been trying to steal from and what we listened to as we were growing up - the first band I ever loved was a-ha." Martin also said Morten Harket was "the most disarmingly handsome man you will ever mee.

Chris Martin and Coldplay's high regard for a-ha is no secret. Coldplay is known to play a-ha covers as a part of their live set - and that is not just to please a Norwegian audience. During a concert recording for German radio, Martin played a beautiful acoustic version of "Hunting High and Low," introducing it as a tribute to a-ha, the band he and the rest of his band mates grew up listening to. One of Chris Martin's personal favorites is "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale". Coldplay members Guy Berryman and Will Champion also play bass and drum on Magne's solo album.

And a-ha are
certainly "fashionable" again. Coldplay are not the only band to recognize a-ha; both Radiohead and Keane have been compared to a-ha in reviews. In fact, Keane's songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley said that "Take On Me" was "quite possibly the best pop single of all time," when Q magazine named the all-time best pop tunes. Adam Clayton from U2 has said that "a-ha was always a rather misunderstood band. They were looked upon as a group for teenage girls, but in reality they were a very creative band." Even London's hip post-punkers Bloc Party mentions a-ha as one of their inspirations.

So the UK is definitely ready for a-ha's next studio album, and while they wait, the singles collection has climbed to number 14 on the charts. The interest for a-ha in the UK is also reflected in the ticket sales for the UK concerts in December, which have been selling from the moment they were announced.

I loves a-ha. I do. I do. Sigh.

jeannine said...

Paul - I can't believe you've watched The Bold and the Beautiful but never The O.C! Do yourself a favor and go rent the first half of season one. You'll thank me, if only for all the "Summer in a bikini/bra" scenes.
Victoria - You're my poetry hero, so if you ever want to write to talk about important things, like why Seth is being such a jerk this season, my e-mail is webbish6 at hotmail dot com. And the reason I watch the OC? They had me at "Welcome to the OC, bitch!" This is literally how I greet some friends on the phone now :)
Deborah - purses..drool...PS The comic I'm recommending right now is Birds of Prey. Witchblade is a close second.
Kelli - Someone should intervene. Start a women's magazine anonymous club. Hi, I'm Jeannine, I'm addicted to mindless repetitive subject matter as long as it addresses lipstick matters!

Paul said...

Birds of Prey is great...

Peter said...

Paul: can we push this thing to 60?
What does it mean that we all want to reveal our "*secret* guilty pleasure?" Ironic, isn't it?

Anne said...

I'm beginning to feel like I need to add "reading about other people's guilty pleasures" to my list of guilty pleasures. ;)

Kells said...

My Guilty Pleasure?

Kells said...


Kells said...


Kells said...


Kells said...

to watch

Kells said...

the number change.

There's your 60, Peter!

Jennifer said...

Actually, breaking the elegant even sixty is probably a guilty pleasure, too. But there is worse to come:

Xena, Warrior Princess

Emily Lloyd said...

Oh, heck:

1. Liking to hear Britney Spears sing the word "baby"--or even "oh baby, baby"
2. Cheaters
3. writing silly poems for kids
4. Tijuana bibles
5. taking paint chips I don't need--lots of them
6. buying crudely-detailed folk nativities I don't need even more
7. Listen to Me (I love this movie)
8. punning (see blog title). At least 3 times a day.
9. George Michael (not the one from Arrested Development, alas)
10. trashy chocolate over expensive
12. Clerihews--writing and reading
13. squeezing bags of marshmallows every time I pass them in the store--there's nothing like it

And Julie, no party at my house is complete until someone brings out the Styx.

32poems said...


Heading towards 70 comments...

Anne said...

Cute kittycat pictures.

*hangs head abjectly*

Paul said...

Cute kittycat pictures? My my my...

LKD said...


You mean the goal's not 69? (wink)

Are wishes guilty pleasures? I still like to wish on falling stars. I rarely see one, but when I do, I always make a wish. Haven't had candles on a birthday cake in years, but if I did, I'd close my eyes, blow out all the candles and make a wish.

I wish I may, I wish I might.

Paul said...


LKD said...

Honestly, if I could blush, I would.

Somebody blush for me. Please?

Peter said...


LKD said...

Why, thank you, Peter! Your blush pushed this thing to the magic number.

Btw, I took that test you posted on your blog and discovered what I already knew: I have a boy brain (33% female, 66% male).

Maybe that's why I can't blush.

Lisa said...

Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. When I taught at the world's worst college, and had to wait for my husband to finish teaching and drive me home, 4 episodes a week minimum, in reruns, in the student TV room. As soon as I finish the MFA, my reward: all 7 season DVDs, *with commentary*. woo!

Scrabble. Highly competitive Scrabble.

Mystery novels. Sue Grafton the most embarrassing to admit, but also some really great ones: John Harvey, who is the best. Walter Mosley, Sharan Newman, Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiassen...

Buying books, in general. And shoes. And expensive bath products.

NY Times Sunday crossword: my religion. I am such a geek.

Blue corn chips. In chilaquiles, in tomato soup, with hummus, whatever.

Anything that approximates my own personal salt lick - those chocolate-covered pretzels are pretty nice.

Lisa said...

oh, yeah: and Bailey's and coffee. With whipped cream.

Lisa said...

ooh, one more, and then promise I'll stop:

steamed pork buns from Yank Sing. Otherwise I'm a vegetarian.

Paul said...

No, no, keep going! ;)

Su said...

Guilty Pleasures: Pajamas, The Sims and Warcraft (all versions/editions/upgrades), chocolate-covered pretzels, haikus and puddle dancing.

Lisa said...

Paul, you may be sorry you asked. OK:

Geek acoutrements for my laptop, including chamois screen cover/wipe, combination flash drive/Swiss Army knife, fancy-schmancy carrying case, and what my friend calls my "keyboard condom" (plastic keyboard cover you type through - no crumbs or cat hair, and the texture is very satisfying and kind on the nails).

Filofax and Filofax accessories. English office supplies in general, and that clipster thing in particular.

Software that scans and catalogs all my books.

Wasabi peas.

Peter said...

Lisa G: Competetive Scrabble? Bring it on . . . i often get 2-5 bingos per game, and am always looking for "Playahs."

Robert said...

I'm addicted to Trader Joe's "veggie chips" (potato chips pretending to be healthy). But Lisa, where do I get the keyboard condom? I too am sick of cat hair (and veggie chips) on my keyboard.

Diane K. Martin said...

Omigod, I was starting to think I was really weird as I didn't have any guilty pleasures---embarassing ones, to be sure, like dogs, cute dog stories, anything about my pooch and pooches in general, but that just makes my friends shake their heads. I don't really feel guilty about that.

But okay, I just thought of something: looking at cookbooks and even (I admit) checking out recipes online. Cooking in general, though I'd say that was more love/hate with me than pure pleasure, guilty or not.

I also read Dear Abby and other advice columns.

There, it's out.