As You Were

Devin Coughlin's blog.
Styles: Serious Spare

May 9, 2008

TiVo Moments

During NPR fundraisers they sometimes mention "driveway moments" -- those times when you are so engrossed in an interview or story that even after arriving home, you stay in your car, idling, waiting for the story to end.

There is a similar phenomenon with TiVo, where instead of waiting to see how the plot unfolds, you rewind the same scene over and over and over again, absorbing its magnificence.

Last night, I had a TiVo moment watching a scene from Grey's Anatomy. It was poignant and tender and totally hot -- a reminder that at its best, television is a machine for transmitting raw emotion. Due to the miracle of YouTube, you can see the scene too.

I had another TiVo moment with Pushing Daisies last fall. This short clip is just so treacle, and wacky and wonderful. It pretty much sums up the whole show.

Finally, here's a clip from the the season finale of Mad Men (don't worry, it doesn't spoil anything) that reminds me that a few words, carefully chosen and softly spoken, can be more powerful than anything else we can imagine.

Posted by coughlin at 5:25 PM

The Commencement

Today was Commencement at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I work for the Law School and where I'll start as a graduate student in Computer Science in the fall. Today, too, marks the beginning of a Research Assistantship in CS where I'm working with students and professors I admire on projects that are exciting and worthwhile.

Watching students run around in their gowns with families in tow (I've never seen so many cowboy hats and sportscoats this side of a wedding) brought back regrets about my own Commencement at Stanford five years ago.

I didn't attend. I told my family they were welcome to go, but that I wouldn't be there. I remember walking by the quad, where the ceremony was being held, to pick up the last of my mail, hoping to god I didn't see anyone I knew and wondering what the fuck I was going to do with the rest of my life. I saw my roommate from freshman year, whom I hated for no other reason than because he was there (and perhaps because he was overly fond of Crosby, Nash, Stills & Young). We didn't say hello, or even nod in the awkward way that two shy people sometimes do. It was the perfect bookend to four awful years.

I still cringe when I think of the time, money, brain cells, and (especially) opportunity I lost at Stanford. But, five years after I left, I think maybe I've gained the perspective and self-awareness needed to not fuck it up again.

So look out world, I'm still here.

Posted by coughlin at 5:24 PM