Guilty Pleasures

Posted: March 17, 2010 in humor, Life
Tags: , , , ,

“So, what do you do in your spare time?”

The question was number 583 of the typical first date question list.  I knew this one by heart by now.

“I like to read a lot.” 

(My subconscious whispered “when I’m not killing aliens on my Playstation 3”.   My subconscious does that a lot.  Provides the inappropriate answer when I’m talking.  Sometimes it blurts it, actually.  And sometimes my mouth gangs up with my subconscious and some of the alarming stuff make it to the open air.  I like it when that happens.  Sort of.)

“Me too.  What do you read?  The classics?” she asked.

“Um, no.  I read espionage thrillers.”

“Oh.  Spy novels.”  Her disappointment was acute and embarrassing.  Evidently I was definitely not the super-intellectual she had mistaken me for. 

(“As evidenced by the placement of the preposition you decided belongs at the end of  the last sentence.”) 

(Note to subconscious: Ok shut up.  Shut up now.)

I’m pretty sure that was the turning point in our date.   She was not impressed, and I wasn’t impressed with her either.  Ah well.  Let’s see if date number 241.5 works out. 

(“Why the .5?  You didn’t date any midgets did you?”) 

(Subconscious:  they’re not called midgets.  They’re little people.  And no.  And once again: shut up)

So yes, I read spy novels.  Notably: books by Brad Thor, Alex Berenson, Daniel Silva, James Patterson, Vince Flynn and Barry Eisler.  I’m sure there are others out there – I just need to find them. 

(“Tell them why you read these”.)  

(Dude, seriously – you’re distracting me.  I’ll get to it.)

I read them, partly because my brain just loves shiny things – action, constant movement, attracts my attention and keeps me somewhat focussed.  Focus is a problem, so reading stuff like this, where the conflict and tension keeps rising is like a soothing balm to my psyche.   

I also read them because they satisfy, to a degree, the side of me that longs for justice.  

(“You’re not going there.  You’re not getting serious are you?”) 

(Yes.  Yes I am.  But only for a moment or two, aiight?)

Post-911, it seems that western society at large wants to have a freaking dialogue with terrorists.  The images of those towers falling and people falling or jumping from them remains a permanent fixture  in my memory.  A good friend of mine – a doctor, who lived in the U.S. but has since moved to Panama – told me right after 9/11 “just you watch:  this will all fade from American thought within two to three years, and people will go back to wanting to ‘just talk’ with Muslim extremists”.   To my horror and outrage, he was right.   Oh dear Lord, I could write a monstrous treatise on all of this and about how wrong-headed we are, but that would be another blog, and THIS one isn’t about foreign relations or terrorism or politics.   There will be one though, so you’ve been warned. 


So anyway, my guilty pleasure is that I read these books for the fiction-based sense of justice they bring – where the good guys *know* (because they’ve investigated and found evidence) that the bad guys want to blow up stuff.  And, knowing that American politicians want to see the terrorists tried in open court and then jailed if found guilty, only to be let free to terrorize again eventually, the good guys take care of business.  I know it’s juvenile, and I’m OK with it. 

There were other guilty pleasures.  Like chocolate – the Achilles’ Heel to my Jenny Craig protocol. 

(“See?  You’re not a stumblebum: you used an ancient reference.”) 

(Yeah, I wasn’t worried.  You, on the other hand – well you said ‘stumblebum’ didn’t you?)


(Oh that’s ugly.  Put your tongue back in your mouth.)

Also wine.  There was a time I drank wine every day.  I liked it so much that I worried about liking it so much, and so I stopped just to make sure I could.  Didn’t drink it for a month.  Satisfied myself that I wasn’t dependant on it.

Oh and let’s not forget gadgets.  I LOVE my gadgets:  it started off with my PalmPilot…..



Anyway, then I purchased anything and everything that was electronic, computerized and new.  When the iPhone came to Canada I was the first in line at my local store to buy one.  And the next year when the iPhone 3G came out, once again I was first in line.   There’s a rumour that there’s a new one this year too, and I plan to be first in line.  Plus, I plan to buy an iPad, which will replace the Sony PRS-600 ebook reader I bought just a few months ago.

(“Why you aren’t fending the babes off, I’ll never know”)

(It’s not the gadgets, dude.  It’s the fact that you’re talking to me.)

(“Yes, and that you’re answering me”)



So…there you have it.  My guilty pleasures:  gadgets and reading.

I’m certain YOU have some guilty pleasures.   Mind telling me what they are?

  1. Carrie says:

    Lady Gaga.


  2. Nadia Chyme says:

    I think it’s YOU! I know I shouldn’t start reading — especially if it’s on my phone — because I know I won’t be able to stop. And my mind will be spinning, feeling overwhelmed, a little confused but happy to have read it nonetheless. Yeah, I’m thinking it’s your Wolfie. You’re my guilty pleasure! ;)


  3. Great post…I am afraid I am not going to post My guilty pleasures on a PG channel. 8)


  4. wordofabe says:

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your prolonged explanation and defense of the spy novel. Daniel Silva is one of my favorites. I would have to say this on of my guilty pleasures also…though I rarely feel guilty about it :)

    I usually will buy or check out from the library a whole pile of books as more than half of them will be pure junk. But there are those rare occasions when I discover a new writer and then I am a happy man.

    Another guilty pleasure would be video games, though I severely limit my exposure to these–I haven’t played one in over a year. I need to sleep sometimes. That, and my seven year-old now controls the video game console.


    • It’s a toss-up for me, between Daniel Silva and Barry Eisler. Both have writing styles which captivates, not to mention some pretty cool protagonists.

      The neat thing about the ebook reader is that I can “check out” library books without stepping foot outside of my door. And the ebooks, just like library books, expire in twenty-one days. How cool is that?

      Video games! I had forgotten about those. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of them on my PS3 (actually that was sort of mentioned in my inner voice dialogue, wasn’t it?) Anyway: Assassin’s Creed 2, God of War 3, Infamous – there are a lot of great games out there now.


      • wordofabe says:

        Yes. Now if only I can teach my son what “two-player” means. Right now it means that if he sees me playing a video game, he takes it away from me so he can show me how to do it right. :) Punk kid.


  5. Loree says:

    Gadgets and spy novels.

    And talking to yourself.


  6. Dee says:

    iTunes. Most definitely music. Although to saying “guilty” implies decadence, which is not really true of music. OR spy novels.


    • Dee says:

      Crap, that was shotty grammar at best, but you said above it’s not checked here. *must find more coffee*


    • iTunes comes under a different category. I’ve listed it under “things I can’t do without”. Not a guilty pleasure, really – a survival tool.

      I plug my earphones in whenever I get a chance. Not only because of my love of music but to keep my head noise down to a minimum. Otherwise I get too distracted easily. I’m amazed that it works.

      Spy novels was chosen as a guilty pleasure only with reference to some of the high-brow (or higher-brow) set who prefer that right-thinking individuals only read Dickens, or Hemingway.

      I guess Penthouse is completely out of the question.


  7. Stacie says:

    Guilty pleasures you say…well, what if you don’t exactly feel guilty? I listen to music more than 75% of the day. I love it. I dance and sing loudly to it in the car or at home, very rarely in public. haha. I don’t watch TV, and I try to read as much as I can, but with a lot of required, mundane school reading, I don’t get a whole lot of pleasurable junk reading as I would love.
    I love an ice cold beer or two after the kids have been tucked in for the night.
    Oh…I got it. Butter. Butter and Popcorn specifically. I love it beyond belief, actually its quite disgusting. I will pop a bag of popcorn (I do prefer freshly, air popped though), and I will melt about half a cup of butter, not that margarine crap and pour it all over my popcorn. Its like a little hundreds of pieces of heaven in a bowl. :D


    • Mmmm. Buttered popcorn. I love your description of it – mostly because it’s so accurate. I can’t go to the movies without ordering popcorn. It’s mandatory. It’s a dating screening tool too: if she prefers we don’t have popcorn well…….

      Well Ok – I’ll cut her some slack, especially if she agrees with me on the fact that I’m awesome. But she’d better be careful.

      *looks around* Um, when at home, alone with the music cranked up, I’ve been known to – oh I can’t say it. Not here. Not publicly.



      (“Sings too”)

      *face palm*


      • Stacie says:

        Who the hell doesn’t order popcorn at the movies? It’s just unnatural, an outrage, a crime against society. Okay, maybe not a crime against society, but it may as well be. I concur, anyone that can agree to the fact that I am pure awesome is pretty good in my book, but they better love steak, bacon, butter and popcorn.

        HAHAHA!! Hey, it’s okay, here, we are all friends, right, besides this was a ‘come clean’ sort of post. :)


        • Absolutely! And hey – you’re gaining big points over here with your note about steak and bacon. How about pepper steak? Thick, juicy pepper steak. Flamed.


          It’s 1:52 a.m. and I’m ready to chow down. Not good for the diet. :D


  8. Stacie says:

    PS-You should really be able to go back and correct your errors on your posts. Grrr!


  9. Pypre says:

    I wish I could say my guilty pleasure is reading. Alas, mine are World of Warcraft and Days of Our Lives. Those are the two big ones anyway. I also have a weakness for dark chocolate and I too talk to myself which would be alright if it was mostly in private, but no, outloud…in public.

    That last bit reminds me, my grandmother once worked for a lady who sang. Not songs mind you, but instead of just talking to herself she would sing it. She said that way people would think she was happy and not crazy. :) Imagine, “Wha-a-at did I do-o-o with my ke-eyss? Maybe I left them in my coat pocke-e-et.” lol


    • Really? You talk to yourself out loud in public? That’s so cool. :)

      I think being around someone who sang everything to herself would drive me a little batty. *grin*


      • Pypre says:

        Yes, I do. I think out loud often. It’s not as loud as if I was talking to someone, but loud enough that people notice sometimes. Get some funny looks. :) I just smile at them and continue about my business.


  10. Just Me says:

    Guilty pleasures eh…..

    Watching “chick flicks” would qualify I guess. I don’t know, I just like movies that make me feel something, although I’m a big movie buff to begin with so. My newest guilty pleasure would be writing on my blog where no one knows who I am, being able to say whatever I feel like about whoever and whatever I want. I’m not sure why that makes me feel a little guilty, but for some reason it does.

    One last one…….there is this person I “met” once who has a web-cam in their house, pointed at their dogs bed. Two of the cutest dogs you’ve ever seen. Every once in a while when I feel like I need to smile I will visit this site and see these dogs laying in positions that only a dog could get into.


    • I think that last one is pretty cool – well actually all of them are, but the last one strikes home for me. In fact, I’ve been reading all of these pet blogs recently and, having lost my two cats two years ago, one right after the other, I’ve been giving some thoughts to buying another. The only problem: you have to have someone come in and take care of them when you’re away, and I plan to be away a lot. As much as possible. Thus the conundrum, which your solution actually addresses. it makes sense. Sometimes you just need the ambiance of a friend who has unassuming and friendly don’t you? I do, anyway.

      I have *always* been a film buff. Some years were “worse” than others, of course. When I was heavily into acting I made a point of seeing at least two films a week, if not more. Often I saw three. I know this for a certainty because I tracked my viewing habits in an Excel spreadsheet for those years, for tax purposes. Now, though – well I’m a little more conservative and see at most two movies a week.

      Tell me something: how do you determine – other than trailers – what movies you’re going to see? I try not to read reviews before seeing anything, because quite often the reviewer and I will have different tastes and different agendas. They’re going to see movies because they want to learn something (for example) whereas I just want to go to escape. Often though, when figuring out the times and locations, I’ll see user reviews, and that has quite often served to deter me from seeing something. I’ve learned that the majority is almost always right in their assessment. Hence, a movie with three out of five stars is tolerable, whereas a one or two star movie is a mistake.


      • Just Me says:

        The “dog-cam” I have bookmarked on my blackberry so whenever I feel the need I can have a quick look. They aren’t my dogs, which is why I guess it’s a guilty pleasure….that and the fact that he probably has no idea I’m looking at them.

        As far as the movies, I almost never go to a movie theater. I can only remember once in the last 3 years where I went, and I ended up not getting to see the movie I went to see because it was so packed, so I went to a different screen and watched something else. I do see, not including the movies I watch at home, 2 movies a week for the most part. I go to the drive-in to see them actually, for a few reasons. One, I get to sit in the comfort of my own car. Two, I can smoke. Three, I’m fairly cheap when it comes to spending money on myself, so getting to see 2 movies for $10 is something I can’t pass up. Plus there is just something about the drive-in…..the nostalgia…..I don’t know…….but, something.

        Now, for how do I pick my movies. Well that is easier for me than you I’m sure, for the simple fact that I’m choosing either movies A & B, movies C & D, or movies E & F. I don’t read reviews for the reasons you mentioned, I don’t really bother with user reviews either. I am pretty simple when it comes to movies, if I haven’t seen it before I’m usually willing to watch it. I am often surprised that the movies I’m least excited to see are often the movies I enjoy the most. I have seen A LOT of movies, I love the escape…..not having to think about my problems or life. It’s probably the same reason I love books, although the book is almost always better than the movie, not to mention it lasts longer.


        • I’m with you on the books. As long as they’re somewhat fast-paced. “Kite Runner” drove me a little nuts, frankly. Way too slow. I almost put it down a number of times.

          There are some movies that I’ll see based entirely upon who is acting in them. Anything that features Jennifer Aniston becomes a “must see”. Any movie featuring Brendan Fraser goes on the “must avoid at all costs” list.


  11. contoveros says:

    After meditating, I see colors more vibrantly and make comments to women about the color of their hair. Stopped in a hair salon the other day. complimented the redhead stylist and then one of the brunette customers.

    I told the customer how rich and alive her hair looked. And that was “before” she had her hair done!
    Got out before I saw the “after” look which I don’t think would have been improvement to my senses as I was coming “down” from my blissful state of mind.

    Only do it when I am mellow and feel a connection with a person. Not trying to hit on anyone. Or am I?
    No, I think it’s more like sharing such a great feeling, and making someone else feel great about the way they look.


    • That’s pretty cool what you had to say about meditation. I’ve been taking a few baby steps into that, and was startled recently when someone was giving me a massage and then she reverted to reike (sp?) without telling me. The reason I was startled: my eyes were closed and all of a sudden all I could see was a rich shade of purple. Wasn’t expecting that at all.

      Kind of cool, really.

      I was skeptical of all of that before. No longer though.


  12. Susan says:

    I’m not so sure 9-11 wasn’t an inside job. But, I’m a conspiracy theorist and that always f’s up a good date too… except now I’m dating a conspiracy theorist so it gets really tricky, lol. I enjoy spy novels. I’m not familiar with all the authors you mentioned, but I have read Berenson & Patterson. I read a lot of different types of stuff, but like you… it has to be fast paced because I have a short attention span. I do not like romance novels. For a long time my guilty pleasure was watching “Days of our Lives” (I dedicated about 23 years to that show) but in the last 2 years or so, it has crumbled to a mere shadow of what it once was and I rarely watch it… and when I do, I don’t recognize anyone and find the storylines to be utterly ridiculous. It was a nice release for me for years though. I used to tape it. Come home from school or work & watch it as I unwinded cooking dinner or whatever. I miss it really. But it sucks now.


    • I admit to watching one of those shows when Meg Ryan was on – and only because she was on. :)

      You’ll have to tell me more about your conspiracy theorist. Sounds intriguing.

      I of course believe absolutely that there was no internal conspiracy around 9/11 – that in fact the only conspiracists were those who commandeered those planes under the handling of their Al Qaeda masters. So if (when) you and I someday come face to face, it could make for an entirely interesting conversation. *grin*

      You have a short attention span too huh? Too cool. Only those who “suffer” from this truly understand those who have it. It’s both a curse and, for creativity purposes, a blessing.


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