Sometimes the best way to forget about the annoyances of the day (I'm talking to you, Supreme Court) is to let Simon Baker entertain me for an hour.
"Your eyes went empty like a cobra." Oh, Patrick Jane. You kill me.
We love witty guys.
Sometimes the best way to forget about the annoyances of the day (I'm talking to you, Supreme Court) is to let Simon Baker entertain me for an hour.
"Your eyes went empty like a cobra." Oh, Patrick Jane. You kill me.
We love witty guys.
For that past several weeks I've had to watch "The Office" and "30 Rock" by myself since Jason is in Salem, and I'm at the Family Farm. Both those shows are near and dear to my heart because they make me laugh like nothing else, but it's been a little less laughable watching it by myself. I still laugh. Because I can't stop it. But then there's no one next to me to whom I can immediately repeat the line. It's kind of sad.
And I don't like any part of sad on my Thursday nights. It's all about the laughing.
So last week, after "The Office" ended, I called up Jason and we giggled over our favorite parts (or maybe I just giggled, and he did whatever the male version is of giggled...chuckled? snickered?). Then "30 Rock" came on and we just stayed on the phone. Laughing together. When the show was over, Jason said, "We just watched a show. Over the phone."
In nearly 12 years of marriage, we've never watched a tv show while holding a conversation with each other over the phone. Huh.
So, while living apart during the week pretty much sucks, our Thursday nights aren't half bad. Only six more weeks to go...
Did you SEE last night's episode?! Widmore! An Other! Maybe Faraday's Dad! EEEK.
Love Sawyer: "I hate to bust up your 'I'm an Other, you're an Other' reunion." He has all the best lines.
Love that we're seeing more of Desmond.
Definitely love little Charlie. Seriously cute kid.
That was some crazy Lost going on last night, am I right?
It's been awhile since I've had a survey, and while you may not have missed them, I have. It's shameless how easily entertained I am.
And speaking of entertainment...
It's that time of year when some of my tv shows are getting canceled. No doubt you've heard (if you were a fan, anyway) that Pushing Daisies has been canceled. I actually haven't watched it much this season because I don't watch tv on Wednesdays because I'm putting the girls to bed by myself on Wednesdays which means I go to bed when they go to bed. Nevertheless, the cancellation is a shame. Mostly because I am in love with Jim Dale's narrating voice (he's also the voice of the Harry Potter audio-books) and because I find Kristen Chenoweth charming.
I'm happy that 30 Rock got all those awards, so that should keep it around for awhile even though the ratings aren't that good. (Why aren't you watching that show? Tiny Fey is hysterical.) And I'm holding my breath that The Mentalist will hang in there. Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker, who was on the canceled The Guardian) is absolutely our favorite character on tv. I'd be really sad if he stopped showing up on Tuesday nights.
I hear that Private Practice also might get the ax. The show itself is actually not that spectacular (and really quite awful at times), but I kind of like it anyway. Of course, since it's on Wednesdays I don't watch the regular program, but Jason and I have a longstanding date to watch it online Saturday evenings after the girls have gone to bed. Now we'll have to find some other show to watch online. Meh.
It's so unnerving to get all invested in a character then... *poof*...they disappear. Alas, I'll never know what happened to Jarred on The Pretender or which boyfriend was Mr. Right from that one show I watched this past fall about boyfriends with what's-her-name from Grey's Anatomy. Television executives really have no consideration for viewers. It's a crime.
I know, I know. It's all about the ratings. But even though 3 million viewers is really terrible when compared to, say, the whole country, it's a huge bummer when YOU are one of those 3 million viewers who tuned in to catch the newest episode of Crusoe (which was kind of crazy but campy) or Lipstick Jungle (oh, Brooke, you are so fabulous, even if your show might be pulled). It boggles my mind that they cancel good or even mediocre shows and then fill the slot with reruns of the too-horrible-to-explain Wife Swap.
True, sometimes shows get a second life. Like Scrubs was canceled by NBC, but is being resurrected in January at ABC. Hooray.
And then sometimes, they disappear into thin air, only to be remembered by Internet junkies. Like the short lived Dolphin Cove, which was my all-time favorite show for 3 beautiful months in 7th grade. Oh, how I loved those Australian dolphins. And the girl with long, straight hair. And the cute boy. Many tears were shed when the show was gone.
Let's hear it. Any of your tv shows being killed off? Group hug.
Jason and I had a mission on Friday: buy a new tv.
Not just any television, mind you.
A tv that will go in the new house. A high def tv. A minimum 3-hdmi plug-in, 1080p, wall-mountable tv. I haven't done any real research on the darn things, and yet when my sister asked me today what the difference is between a plasma and an LCD, I suspiciously sounded like one of those people who rattle on and on about electronics as if it's of great importance and used some kind of snobby phrase like "refresh rate."
Buying a new tv hasn't been at the top of my priority list (because I sometimes wish we didn't even have a tv), but I know that Jason has really wanted a new one for a long time. Our current one has a troubling blue spot that threatens to take over the whole screen. If you don't mind everyone looking a little Smurfy, then it's not a big deal. Otherwise, it's kind of annoying.
So Friday afternoon we dropped the girls off with the grandparents, and away we went to Jantzen Beach where we spent counted hours in Video Only, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Babies-R-Us (that was just to see if they had Wii Fit for my mom). Then we went to Costco where in a dazed and confused state we disobeyed my mother's orders not to buy any food because "there's more turkey than we know what to do with." Then for kicks we went to Best Buy over by the airport.
We finally settled on a tv. Okay, we said. We'll take that one.
The frazzled salesman looked it up for us and gave us the news: they didn't have any more in stock.
Home we went, no tv riding happily in the back of the minivan we borrowed for the occasion. It would have been a total bummer except that my grandma's minivan has seat warmers, and I just can't be too disappointed when my buns are toasty warm. Try it sometime. It's practically impossible.
I admit, it's usually a certain kind of hell for me, shopping for electronics. I'm constantly torn between pretending to know what I'm doing and wishing I was at home folding laundry. As it is, I spent approximately 10 hours looking and learning about TVs, sound systems, receivers, wiring, cabling, Blue-Ray, converters...some of you are nodding, and some of you are already getting that glazed look in your eyes like I do when Jason starts explaining some of it to me.
But after all those hours, I actually am mildly knowledgeable about entertainment systems. I could tell you what a good deal is, and ultimately the money factor is the only reason why I think any of it is important. Well, that and after staring at plasma screens I can tell you that their black isn't as true as an LCD's. And that 1080p is overkill for smaller screens. Somehow that's important.
Yesterday's failure only spurred us on to work harder today, and after another trip to Costco we finally got one. It's bigger than I had said I would allow in the house, but as I was watching those high-def baby penguins waddle across the screen it just seemed like the one to get. Jason said, "Look at that picture," and I said, "I want a penguin," and since the price was within our budget we somehow ended up with a...*gulp*...46" tv in the van.
Drat those baby penguins.
...I'm feeling a little lighter today. All your encouragement, people? Thank you. Thank you for the sweet words, the banner votes (I'm so glad at least one person voted for the presidential candidate option), the inspiring quotes. Sometimes just the act of sharing can make things seem better. What is it about honesty that always feels good?
And honestly, Thursday nights make me feel good too because it features some of my favorite people. It's all well and good that the Vice Presidential candidates are debating tonight, but for as much as they matter to the real world, I shallowly admit I'd rather be spending the evening with Jim and Pam. Gosh, I think I might even pick Dwight Schrute over Ms. Palin and Mr. Biden. No offense.
How about you? Is Andy Bernard hanging out in your living room? Or Kenneth? Dear, sweet Kenneth.
"Andy Bernard does not lose contests. He wins them. Or he quits them. Because they're unfair."
"Guess what? I have flaws. What are they? Oh I don't know, I sing in the shower? Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I'll hit somebody with my car. So sue me--no, don't sue me. That is opposite the point I'm trying to make."
My sentiments exactly, Michael. So enough of the drama.
What I really want to talk about is this:
The Office returns next week. It RETURNS! I can laugh again, tears rolling down my face, committing lines to memory just so Jason and I can repeat them the next week.
Oh, Jim. Oh, Pam. How I've missed you.
even you, Dwight. (Someone please tell me you have a Dwight Schrute bobblehead? I totally think I need to get one.)
(Ah, yes, another review. In fact, there will be even ANOTHER review tomorrow. It's crazy. But it's crazy good because tomorrow I'm giving away something. Yay for free stuff!)
Even before Sydney was born there was a certain brand name that had made its way into our house. The name adorned DVDs, books, the crib mobile, a couple bath puppets, and a baby play gym. Over the course of the years we have collected yet another crib mobile, more books, another DVD, some toys and I suspect somewhere there's a sippy cup all adorned with the infamous sketch of that spiky haired kid wearing glasses.
Guessed it, yet? If you have kids you probably have something that's related to Baby Einstein. It's as familiar to parents as Fisher-Price and Baby Bjorn. I have watched Baby Neptune and Baby Shakespeare more times than I can count, and once upon a time I knew the alphabet in Hebrew thanks to Baby Einstein. Over the course of the years, it kind of got a bad reputation because it promoted the whole "babies watching television" thing, which the American Academy of Pediatrics tends to frown on.
I like the answer that Baby Einstein developed in response to this discussion:
...The Baby Einstein Company is aware of the ongoing discussions regarding children and television viewing, particularly as it pertains to infants under the age of two years old. And, while we respect the American Academy of Pediatrics, we do not believe that their recommendation of no television for children under the age of two reflects the reality of today’s parents, families and households – for example, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 68% of all babies under two years old watch screen media on any given day. The Baby Einstein Company believes that when used properly, developmentally-appropriate video content can be a useful tool for parents and little ones to enjoy together.
I will say that Sydney didn't watch tv until she was almost two, but not for the lack me trying. I'm sure it was somewhat influenced by her vision--probably she couldn't actually see the television. No less than a month after she got glasses she was suddenly interested in watching those Baby Einstein movies that we had sitting around. It was a significant turning point in our household because at this point I could actually take a shower, clean the kitchen, and have approximately 45 minutes a day to do whatever I darn well pleased. It was blissful.
And if you had wandered into our house this morning you would have seen me trying to encourage Jules for the love of mice and beans! sit and watch Blue's Clues with Sydney. Instead she went through the kitchen and emptied the dog dish, ripped up some cookbooks, and just for fun pulled Sydney's hair and glasses. I can't wait for the day she decides that tv is entertaining so I can reclaim those 45 minutes. Sorry, American Academy of Pediatrics. Your suggestions, while appropriate and important, deprive me of my sanity and toilet-scrubbing time.
Good old Baby Einstein has tried to reconnect their product with parents and get the word out about the positive ways media can be integrated into the lives of your children. Their Ask the Expert page has some great ideas, and you can even share how you and your kid use Baby Einstein in the home. We just got the Baby's First Moves DVD, which features lots of footage of babies moving. Jules, naturally, doesn't care a smidge for it. Sydney, on the other hand, crawls along, rolls over, claps, and reaches for the sky along with those tiny babies. She's all about moving. After watching the movie, she tries to tutor Jules in all the movements she ought to be doing. Added bonus for moms: there's a feature at the end of the movie that gives parents tips on how to exercise with baby. They even tell you the proper way to put baby in the crib so you don't strain your back. Knowledge I wish I knew four years ago!
The new follow up DVD--Baby's First Words--is coming out March 11. Plus, they won some awards last year, and pretty much I'm just saying they'll always have a place in our home as long as we have kids around. Really, who can pass up a product that has a kid wearing glasses? Not us. We're smitten with spectacles.
Now time to confess: who let their kids watch tv before they turned two? Come on. I can't possibly be the only one...
(c) Creature Bug 2008. All rights reserved.
You know things are desperate in the tv world when you look on your calendar and see you've written "New House" for Tuesday night, and you're not referring to an actual house but Dr. House.
Also, Lost starts up again on Thursday. A new show. On television. NOT A RERUN.
It's practically a miracle. You know, relatively speaking.
A couple weeks ago I was talking to my students about blogging and the sometimes reviewing that I do with Parent Bloggers Network, and yada yada yada speech communication model. (I don't remember how I tied it in to the course content, but let's assume it was.) At one point a student asked "So do you watch Barney?"
Funny you should ask, I said. Very funny.
I admit that I didn't exactly have fond feelings of Barney growing up. I think it's because he first surfaced 20 years ago, which would have put me at the age when I was spurning most children's shows (except DuckTales and Gummi Bears, naturally) and child actors (except those cool kids on The All New Mickey Mouse Club). Big purple dinosaurs and singing children seemed...odd. Kids hugging and sharing and being too cheerful was certainly not what I was interested in.
Then I pretty much forgot all about Barney until I got a DVD from Parent Bloggers Network in the mail a few weeks ago. Ah, I said to myself. I have to watch Barney.
I kind of put it off for a few days, not because I thought Sydney wouldn't like it but because I thought it was going to be really annoying. I remembered my general disdain for child actors, and wasn't sure if I could manage introducing a new crew of kids into our household. Eventually, I decided to watch it by myself. Without Sydney. If it was too terrible, Sydney would never be the wiser to all things Barney.
Having rarely seen Barney on tv, I don't know how this compares to the tv shows, but it turns out that this particular DVD--Barney: Celebrating Around the World--is darn entertaining. As soon as I saw it, I knew Sydney would like it. Turns out she liked it so much she took it with her up to my parents' house, and watched it with my mom, who made a point of telling me this past weekend that even she enjoyed it. The songs, the dancing, the cultural education--it's really actually pretty nifty.
The premise is that Barney and his friends get on a magical train and travel throughout the world--Rio de Janeiro, Ireland, India, Kenya, Japan--meeting children from other countries and learning how other cultures celebrate and dance. When we watch the Irish dancers, Sydney gets up and tries to imitate them (okay, I admit it--as soon as I saw the Irish dancers then I knew I had to show Sydney the movie. IRISH DANCERS! IRELAND! I've had a long love of all things Irish, remember?). When we see the girls from India dancing, Sydney says, "They're from India. India is a long ways away from here. Mariah [our friend] is from India." And then I showed her where India was on a globe. Because Barney inspired her.
I'm sure that one of the reasons why Sydney loves the movie so much is because of the dancing and the singing, and I love that she also gets to learn a little bit about other cultures in the process of that. Sure, the other little dinosaur pals are sort of strange (I find myself wondering who the people are inside the costumes...), and there is one song that I'm not real keen on (about getting nervous), but kids love to watch other kids perform, and that's what endears Barney to children.
If your pre-school kids like Barney then obviously they'll love this movie. If your kids don't know who Barney is (like Sydney didn't) then this is great introduction because it's not going to get on your nerves. If you're not keen on Barney yourself, I would say give this one a chance. National dancing...cultural education...IRISH DANCERS. Very cool. Plus, Barney's been around for 20 years, so I have to admit that he must be doing something right in educating preschoolers.
The movie has a run-time of 54 minutes, and goes on sale today over at Amazon. And hey, if you're a local dance fan, Sydney's dance studio is doing an Irish Dancing night next month that I think might be fun to go see. I'll drop you details if you're interested in going.
From The Office:
Jim: Pam, are you free for dinner tonight?
Jim: Good. Then it's a date.
Pam: (to the camera) I'm sorry, what was the question?
Me: *cry happy tears*
I love this show.
I wonder if I could ever make it through a Grey's Anatomy without crying? I doubt it.
And if you watch, was it not just so so so good to see Denny, and didn't you just want him to stay on the shower forever? And Cristina and Meredith, and the whole "you're my person" stuff that just made me all weepy like the girl that I am. Gosh, I love that show. Maybe because it lets me get all my tears out. Well, maybe not all my tears, but lots and lots of them, that's for sure.
It was a good Thursday.
It used to be I could find something to watch on TV if I had a free evening, but these days it's become more difficult. I find a lot of TV too graphic (CSI), too embarrassing (Wife Swap), too mean (American Idol), or too depressing (the evening news). I don't have anything against these shows (except Wife Swap, which I dislike because it involves children in reality television), it's just that they don't make me feel good about the world. I have the newspaper to keep me informed on human depravity...I don't need to watch it on TV as well.
But Thursdays...oh, Thursdays. They are the highlight of my TV watching week. This last week was the perfect culmination of all that is good on TV, so I've got to share.
First off, there's "The Office." I know I can always count on 30 minutes of laughter with "The Office." I know some folks are fans of the British version, but I favor the American script. The writing ("I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I’m going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me."), the characters (I hope they don't get rid of Karen now that the Jim/Pam storyline is back), and the story lines--it all just makes me laugh. Steve Carell is quite the talented guy.
After "The Office" we have the arrangement of taping "Scrubs" while I watch "Grey's Anatomy." Season two of Grey's almost lost me because I was finding the characters pretty annoying. In fact, we had thought about naming Julianne 'Meredith' (after my grandpa whose name was Mederith) but I was so annoyed with the Meredith character on Grey's that I couldn't go through with it. But the last few episodes have been so good. And last night's show had me sobbing through the whole thing. I had to email Jess to rave about the show, and she astutely pointed out that TR Knight ought to win a Golden Globe for his performance on Thursday. Amazing. Amazing amazing. Even though I watched the show on Thursday, I watched it again last night. And sobbed some more. It even inspired me to write a post, which hopefully I'll finish soon.
Fortunately, I don't have to go to bed all weepy because after Grey's we watch "Scrubs." This week was "Scrubs--the musical" and even though I was still all weepy from Grey's, it's quite impossible to stay sad when you're listening to a song about "Guy Love." And a song about Poo. It was, as Sam pointed out, a totally feel good episode. Zach Braff is such a goof. Love it.
So, if you wonder why I'm not answering my phone on Thursday evenings, it's because I'm with Dwight and Jim, Addison and Callie, JD and Elliot. Oh, and Jason, Sydney, and Jules too. It's quite the entertaining crowd.
Since I don't belong to the working world then weekends don't hold any real significance for me. Sure, it's when Jason is around more (and that counts for a lot), but he often has games on Saturday (she said with bitterness) and Sunday is full of churchy things. With that said, I think Wednesday is my favorite. What's there not to love about Wednesday?
First of all, I get to make my weekly pilgrimage over to WOU for my Irish lit class. Yesterday we discussed short stores written by Irish women. Good topic. Good stories. We learned how to say "How are you?" and "I am fine/well" in Irish. I don't have my notes in front of me, so I'll have to type up those phrases later.
But the best part about yesterday's class was afterward when the prof and us grad students got together and hung out. Even though I was really tired (having stayed up late the night before finishing my homework!), it was so fun to kick back, have a beer and talk about things both in and outside of the academic world. Naturally, we should have all been drinking Guinness, but the establishment didn't have it on tap. So I (along with most of the others) settled for the next best thing: Black Butte Porter. (You beer drinkers who are outside the Pac NW are seriously missing out on this fine beer. In fact, my brother in law who lives in Massachusetts regularly laments about the absence of Black Butte over there.) All in all, a grand time.
While I was away, my oh so thoughtful husband recorded Alias for me. We loved the first couple seasons, but last season was so bleh. I'm hoping the series steps it up a notch and pulls through for this year. Normally on Wednesday nights we watch Alias and tape West Wing (which also has had some bleh seasons, but I'm liking some of the new characters they have introduced recently); that way, in a pinch we can watch the taped West Wing even if Sydney is still up. If we tape Alias, then we have to wait until she goes to bed because she can't watch that (too violent). So, I missed West Wing last night altogether, but hooray for me the professor of my class taped it and so I'll borrow that from him.
Another wonderful thing about Wednesday this week is that Leslie over at Rubber-Sol announced the great news: She's having a girl! She also posted her sonogram photos, and they are quite amazing. Hooray hooray for Leslie.
And the other good thing about Wednesdays? It's garbage day! I don't know about you, but I just love it when the garbage truck comes and takes away all my trash. It's like magic. I wake up Wednesday morning and poof! all those smelly diapers and rotten food and yucky trash are gone. For a few brief moments my house is trash free. It's a nice feeling.