every morning i put on vh1 for background noise and see pretty much the same videos over and over again. i think i’ve seen that black eyed peas video 3 times in one morning. others that seem pretty popular (in the same hour-long period) are shakira, mariah carey, lifehouse, weezer, rob thomas, gavin degraw and kelly clarkson. something i’ve noticed during my daily payola-infusion is that the same guy keeps popping up in a lot of videos. eric roberts. what’s up with that?

he’s always playing the Other Man or Evil Guy or something like that. his reputation/type-casting as a bad guy has never sat well with me because when i think of eric roberts i think of this one movie i saw him in when i was in high school. the movie was ‘dark angel‘ and he played a good (if tortured and dark) cop who had to clear his name. because it was the first thing i ever saw him in, that role has sort of defined him for me. weird how that works, isn’t it?

it makes me think harder about first impressions in general. i remember first meeting my friend nicole in junior high and being pretty sure that we wouldn’t be friends. for some reason i thought it was a foregone conclusion that she was going to be sucked into the popular group – probably because she was tall and pretty. and when i first met mark i didn’t like him either, but i think that had more to do with the circumstances under which we met, not him.

i guess the point of all of this is: now i’m dreading the kind of first impression i make. i probably seem really cold or stuck-up, but really i’m silently freaking out because i don’t know how to act, so i end up doing it all wrong. i am not good with people i don’t know but i guess i’m not really that good with people i do know either – some people can’t read me at all when i think i’m putting it all out there while others can tell exactly what i’m thinking even when i’m trying to be neutral. there was a guy i knew in high school that could do this and it was really unsettling. even at the age of – what? 16? – i had gotten used to people (even my friends) not knowing how i felt at any given moment. then this guy who spent less time with me, who allegedly didn’t know me as well, could read me like a book. are some people just more observant, or is there some sort of mental/emotional affinity that individuals can have that allows them to tune into others so well?