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Monday, February 21, 2005

National Elisa Thinks It's Guilty Pleasure Day

We all have them. You can say that you’re too cool for reality TV or that you’d never stoop so low as to buy a Christina Aguilera CD, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something that you adore that someone else wouldn’t raise their eyebrows at you for.

You KNOW what I’m talking about.

As for myself, I’ve got so many guilty pleasures that sometimes I think I may have to start questioning my own taste. I’ve decided to give you a list of my guilty pleasures organized by category because the list would be too unwieldy otherwise. That being said – it’s still only a partial list.

Dude, Where's My Car? – I won’t even lie. I giggle every time I watch this movie.

Foul Play – I love the 70’s Goldie Hawn/Chevy Chase movies. Foul Play is my favorite of the bunch, and I always watch it when I’m home sick.

Con Air – I said, “Put the bunny down”.

Karate Kid, Parts I and II – I REALLY wanted to be Elisabeth Shue in Part I, and I thought the Tea Ceremony in Part II was the most romantic thing I had ever seen.

Reality TV – American Idol (I know, I know. I started watching for the bad auditions and ended up hooked.), The Swan (which I won’t even try to justify), The Biggest Loser, Cops, Wildest Police Videos, these are just a few of the reality TV shows I’ve gotten hooked on. I watched one season of Survivor and that was enough. I tend to watch the really bad reality TV shows, which means that if it’s on Fox, I’ll probably give it a go. It’s just a little something about me that’s a bit twisted, I realize that.

Fear Factor – Sure, this is reality TV, but it gets its own category. I just like watching artificially enhanced girls and over-muscled guys eat entrails.


I know too much about 80’s country music, and my collection of 80’s country music is large. I own at least one CD by each of the following artists:

Billy Joe Royal
John Anderson - "Down In Tennessee" still gets me every time I hear it.
Conway Twitty (80’s style) "Hello, Darlin'" is a fine country song, and Jason Molina covered it, so there.
Alabama - "She and I" makes me weepy just thinking about it.
Ronnie Milsap - I've been known to belt out "There's A Stranger in my House" before. I won't lie.
Merle Haggard (again, 80’s style) "If We Make it Through December" reminds me very much of growing up, and even more recently, I found myself identifying with it when Mike and I were going through a particularly rough patch.

Other guilty pleasure bands I like include Air Supply and Bread. Go me! Actually, I’d argue Bread’s legitimacy as a non-guilty pleasure any day.


The Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun. These books are a guilty pleasure for obvious reasons: intuitive cats, tingling mustaches, men who inherit millions of dollars, restore apple barns and found colleges, and, do I need to continue?

My Sneaky Pie books. This is what I call the series written by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (why yes, that is her cat). These books are definitely guilty pleasures, but when I first started reading the series, I found myself dreaming that I was a character in Crozet, WV, and that Ms. Brown could create that compelling an atmosphere keeps me reading.

The Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. I know that Ms. Evanovich has a huge following, but we all know that a huge following doesn’t denote Great Literature. Although I find myself less and less pleased with her books as the series wears on, I know that I’ll keep buying and reading her new titles, which means that this series definitely qualifies as a guilty pleasure.


Diet Coke with Lime. Seriously, I think this tastes like Endust smells, but I still drink it. These days I seem to choose Diet Coke with Lime whenever I get the chance. I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either.

Bugles filled with Cheez Whiz. Stop laughing.

Peanut Butter w/Chocolate Chips. What makes this a guilty pleasure is that I like getting a big spoonful of peanut butter and then mashing as many chocolate chips onto it as I possibly can.

Coffee and Crackers. This is an old school family recipe that you really have to be brought up with to appreciate. It goes like this:

Make a cup of coffee with coffee and milk
Crumble saltines into a cereal bowl
Pour coffee over saltines
Add sugar

Okay – I’m sure you’re thinking that you could probably handle everything but the “enjoy” part, but I promise you, if you grew up in my family, you’d find yourself at the grocery store, eyeing the Saltines, whenever you felt a little homesick.

Flavored Coffee. Please understand that I was a committed coffee snob for a number of years. I would never have thought about purchasing a cup of flavored coffee. I would have SCOFFED at you should you have suggested that one day I would get a cup of flavored coffee each morning before work. It happened like this: The day after 9/11 I found myself in my cafeteria, buying a cup of coffee per usual, and without questioning why, I bought a cup of the daily flavored coffee rather than the usual stuff I always bought. I did this for about four days in a row before I started to question why I was doing it. The reason why? Because there is a short period of time in my history where my relationship with my mom was very good, and what I remember about that time is her making flavored coffees and sharing them with me. We’d go the mall and get a mocha from Gloria Jean’s or she’d make some at home in the evening and we’d drink them together. Those memories are very comforting, and post 9/11, comfort was what I craved most. So, no matter what kind of hard-assed things I may say about my mom, I’m still doing something every day that reminds me of more pleasant times with her.

So, what are your guilty pleasures, and what makes them guilty for you? I can’t wait to find out!

If you have today off, enjoy. If you’re at work, well, it’ll be over soon. As for me, I have to get ready for the Cops marathon that starts at 3pm.


  • At 12:07 AM, Blogger Gracie said…

    Ooooo... guilty pleasures...

    I would have to say that during my college days, NSYNC was a guilty pleasure (sad, sad I know).

    And, I do admit that now, watching the Newlyweds is a guilty pleasure. It makes you feel smart on your dumbest day. And, the Bachelorette is another one!

    I'm not quite understanding the coffee and crackers, but to each his or her own.
    Have a great night!

  • At 12:55 AM, Blogger Suzanne said…

    My #1 guilty pleasure?
    Those horrible horrible Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

    I also love to a large degree pickle flavored potato chips.

  • At 1:02 AM, Blogger Freecia said…

    My guilty pleasures
    Listing my favorite movie of all time as Total Recall. I can't explain why I happen to love this movie. I just do.
    Old marilyn era movies, especially when Marilyn does the "little old me" act she does soooooo well.
    Bad tv shows like She Spies.
    The reality show I don't pass up- BBC's Airport.
    Torrid Romance novels and laughing whenever they have the words "Velvet" and "Steel" in the same sentence. *snicker snicker*
    The Cat Who books- me too!!!!
    Evanovich- Me too! Stephanie Plum beats the Metro Girl series and I want to see the Bat Cave.

    And my worst guilty pleasure in the written word (I'm not sure I can call it literature. It surely is fiction)- Laurell K Hamilton's recent novels. Yes, they've become so X rated that I think they should be reshelved in the "vampire erotica" section or something 21 and over. I started on the series from the beginning when she slept with no-one for about four novels and now just root for the "boys to get some" since the main character gets more visits than the only coke machine on route 66. The main character Anita now has a steady harem of *ticks fingers* four who are monogamous to her, three more who provide for occasional bootie calls, and in the last book, two more who "took one for the team" and the introduction of an additional two male characters to the ongoing storyline. And wouldn't you know one of the books was titled "Guilty Pleasures".

  • At 1:03 AM, Blogger alice said…

    "are you INSANE?"
    "according to my last psych report? yes."

    i love me some con-air too.

    oh, and my mother eats her wheatabix with half milk, half coffee. so, while *i* dont have the taste for it, i completely understand on that front as well. heh.

  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger Lauren said…

    Guilty pleasures make the world go round... yeah, reality shows, junk food... silly music and books...

    Have a good week, Elisa! :)

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger Bookish Wendy said…

    We just watched Foul Play the other day! How funny. I didn't realize it was one of your favorites.

  • At 9:05 AM, Blogger --Deb said…

    I enjoyed reading your list, and agree that Foul Play is actually a wonderful movie. One that's been known to be embarrassing for people sitting near my mother and me . . . for years, "Kojak. Bang bang." was guaranteed to elicit laughs in our household (grin). I have almost all the Cat Who books, too, but hey, everybody needs some "fluff" reading once in a while, and Jim Qwilleran is enjoyable! At least the books are decently written; they're not "trash," they're just . . . "light."

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Okay, there's something wrong with your list! Neither Karate Kid I or II has any business being on a guilty pleasure list!

    Now, if you had said Karate Kid III or The Next Karate Kid, then fine, those can be guilty pleasures. But I and II...them's quality flix right there. ;)

  • At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I have been known to indulge in ahem* The Ashlee Simpson show BUT only when it was the ONLY thing on!

    Coffee and crackers, you are on your own there...but what about chocolate toast (nestle quik with a little milk and smeared on buttery toast)? my indulgence!

    Love National Elisa Anything by the way

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    You're a coffee snob that eats coffee over crackers? Ummm, anyway...

    One of my guilty pleasures is the sappiest, most poorly acted chick flicks you can find. If it's on the Hallmark or Lifetime channel, then I'll probably watch it.

    I loved the movie Bubble Boy so much, that I own it on VHS. And, now that I have a DVD player, I want the DVD as well.



  • At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Carrie said…

    I love your National Elisa Days.

    Guilty pleasures? Movies like Tammy and the Bachelor (w/poor recently deceased Sandra Dee) and Pollyanna, Parent Trap. You know, old, sappy movies. Don't tell anyone.

    Partridge family songs. I tend to sing "I think I love you" in times of stress, usually horribly inappropriately.

    Coffee and saltines??? And to think I turn my nose up at Folgers.

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Amie said…

    Um, hello??? Air Supply ROCKS. LOVE them. Actually, maybe it's too many years working retail, but all the sappy seventies retail songs - Captain and Tenille (really, am I the only one that belts out Do That To Me One More Time - Once is never enough with a man like you.... ) and Linda Rondstadt and all that stuff... Love it love it love it!

    TV Show wise I have to say the one I most rarely admit is Charmed. Don't care for reality shows at all, can take 'em or leave 'em usually.

    Movies? Easy: Xanadu and Clash of the Titans

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger KoolKnitter said…

    Love the national days...guilty pleasures too. I too read the Qwill books and w/each evanovich i debate who to root for (Morelli or Ranger). Movies: "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"
    TV: idol, semi-homemade by sandra lee-this one i watch in horror at the funky foods she throws together, but i can't look away!
    food: campbell's tomato soup. sure i could make some homemade, but why would i?

  • At 10:04 PM, Blogger um said…

    does this mean i can come clean about my "passions" obsession?

    wow, elisa. reason number x squared to the y power why you're cool - you like bread! i grew up on them. and merle haggard. "i spent twenty years in prison doing life without parole . . ." can't belt that one out loud enough. anyway, the guitarist for bread just died. sad! i love them. if you hang here for the s&w fest, we can have a breadfest. i'll even get you some bugles and corn. oops, i mean cheez whiz :)

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger quantumtea said…

    Movies, I love Con Air too, but my top guilty movie is Pitch Black. Mmm! The DVD player ate the disc last month and has thus far refused to return it. I think I'm pining for Vin Diesel.

    The Harry Potter books (Hubby hates them) are another guilty pleasure for me. And real English Breakfast Tea. Not supposed to have caffeine really but...

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Kellee said…

    Giulty pleasures - There is SO not enough time in the day to list them all, but I'll totally embarrass myself here and admit that when we recently got our two siamese babies, I came *THIS* close to naming them Koko and Yum Yum. What can I say, I thought it would be funny. Luckily I pulled myself back from the abyss just in time.



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