Monthly Archives: January 2012

Random Post of Randomness

Not feeling especially chatty today (I know, I know, call the Coast Guard) so I’ll just share with you some random crap.

Today is Justin Timberlake’s 31st birthday. My sisters and I got to meet him backstage at an NSYNC concert in 1999 which is where these pictures were taken. Needless to say, I’ve cut myself out of the picture on the right. My face is scary. I think I was a little excited. Anyways, Justin was lovely and heart-throbby and smelled oh so good. It’s been too long Justin. Call me.

Moving on…

A week or so ago Lifetime aired an original movie called “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” staring Rob Lowe. I hope that like me, you were able to avoid seeing this atrocity. However, do not miss out on Price Peterson of TV.com’s photo recap of it. Seriously one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Be careful where you read this because you will laugh out loud.

Drew Peterson: Untouchable tells the story of a blustery cop who MIGHT have murdered his fourth wife and PROBABLY killed his third wife. But since the real-life Drew Peterson hasn’t yet faced trial for either, this movie largely avoids saying outright that he did anything. So it’s mostly just Rob Lowe looking SUPER suspicious and acting like a turbo jerk to everybody. The whole thing was very weird.

Someone in my Twitter time line re-tweeted this picture from @ganson a few days ago and I was blown away. How stupid have people gotten? Please don’t answer that.

On Saturday I am going with my friend Kate to see the new Daniel Radcliffe movie “The Woman in Black.” I haven’t seen any of Daniel’s other non-Harry Potter projects but this one looks really good. I’m curious to see whether or not I can get past his Harry Potter-ish-ness. I suppose it helps that he’s not wearing the glasses. I am slightly concerned for Kate though as scary movies and I historically do not get along and this one looks pretty scary.

Kristen Bell will be on the Ellen show today but last night they released this clip from the broadcast and it is positively one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. Also, totally relatable. She tells Ellen that if she’s “not between a 3 and a 7 on the emotional scale” she’s crying. I’ve already had several friends tweet me with a: “THAT’S YOU!” Check it out and see for yourself. It’s darling:

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2012/01/kristen_bells_sloth_meltdown_0131.php

LAST but not least, my incredibly awesome brother-in-law John is running in the Big Apple Challenge in New York City to raise money for kids. It’s a really great cause so if you can, please donate. Help a brother out!

http://www.runwithtfk.org/Member/PublicPage/8552

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

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Filed under More Me, Movies, Television

Lists and Plans

Despite the fact that I spend almost every hour of every day sitting at one of three computers in my house, I MUST have pen and paper nearby. It’s a necessity. I fill notebook after notebook with grocery lists, essay ideas, rants, love letters, songs to download, shows to watch and books to read. Often I wax poetic on how I plan to fill my days, get in shape, find inspiration. I write page after page of lists and plans. The problem is that after I fill a page, I turn it. Sometimes I go back and find a good idea to use or remember that I really do need to put that song on my iPod or mail that package, but more often than not, it all gets buried behind new pages and totally disregarded.

When I worked in a cubicle I had sticky notes EVERYWHERE. I mean, on EVERYTHING. Desk top, phone, computer, walls, and then little piles of them stacked in corners. I have a desk area at home but it’s pretty much a disaster. Okay, not pretty much. It’s a war zone. Even finding a pen over there is sometimes hard to do. See exhibit A:

 

Now that I’m not in a traditional work place, I spend my days with the best of intentions, to do things that will make me a better writer, a better wife, a better friend. In my mind I orchestrate museum visits, craft projects, and home improvement exploits. What I do instead is sit in my arm-chair, laptop on lap, Diet Coke on the coaster, eating candy and watching shows I’ve already seen like 100 times. That notebook on the end table to my right is full of lists and plans and sometimes it seems overwhelming. I won’t deny that I’m lazy. I am a slave to my creature comforts. New and different can be scary. But I WANT to be better, do more. Part of the problem is not having any kind of routine. Another part is my constant state of disorganization. It plagues me.

So, today is Monday. That day of the week when everyone starts their new diet, their new job, their new PLAN. And I have mine. Get organized, find a routine. Starting with my office area. Perhaps if it is a place I enjoy going to, a place that promotes creativity and productivity, I will have a better chance at obtaining those two things on a daily basis.

Of course, I wrote this all down in my notebook. I just have to try not to turn the page.

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Filed under More Me, Photos, Projects

It’s Arts & Crafts Time Boys and Girls

I’ve been meaning to share this with y’all for a while now and I keep forgetting. Is 32 too young for dementia?

Anyways, when I was in middle school I used to spend HOURS taking Vogue magazine apart and making poster sized collages. I would cut out all the perfume bottles and shoes and dresses that I loved and glue them to a giant piece of foam board. Some of them actually turned out pretty cool. I mean, for a middle school project.

Last week when I was feeling down in the dumps, I had written to all of you guys about feeling “blue” and then started looking for something I felt like doing. I picked up a Vogue magazine and started ripping out all of the pages that had blue on them. And then I cut them out and glued them to paper. Then I did yellow and green and red.

I am pretty excited about how they all turned out. They won’t be hanging in an art gallery any time soon but I think they look pretty awesome hanging in my office. The only thing I wish I’d done differently is to use a stencil or straight edge for the green squares. Some of them look like I cut them out whilst having a seizure.

What do you guys think?

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Filed under Photos

My Interview: Carrie Raisler

WRITER OF THE WEEK!

My favorite writer this week is Carrie Raisler from A.V. Club.com. Like me, Carrie is a huge TV addict (One Tree Hill, Supernatural, Justified and hundreds of others). She is also a Vampire Diaries recapper and an avid sports fan. Even when we don’t see eye to eye on a subject I can always count on her wit and sarcasm to make me smile or, more likely, laugh until I pee my pants. Be sure to follow her on Twitter (@TVandDinners) and check out her stuff at The A.V. Club to see exactly what I mean. You won’t be sorry. Trust me.

As most of the coolest people do, you watch a TON of TV. Of everything you’re watching right now, what is your favorite?

Sure, Erin, start with the hardest question in the entire world, why don’t you? It’s like choosing your favorite child, or sandwich. Impossible! If I must choose, at this very moment it has to be Justified, which hits almost all of my dramatic sweet spots in all of the best ways. I love its examination of class, its very specific language, its sense of humor, its intriguingly wobbly sense of wrong and right, and its wonderful exhibition of Southern accents and attitudes. But let’s face it: most of all, I love its Timothy Olyphant.

Anything you are wishing you could give up?

If I could stop watching 90210, I might throw myself a party. Complete with pony rides and a piñata. It is literally the worst show on television and yet I cannot bring myself to delete the season pass. Part of this is loyalty towards the original, which is one of my favorite shows of all time, but the rest of it is just plain denial because last season was actually really entertaining! Then they fired the showrunners (again) and sent everyone to college and rehabilitated their one good villain and it all became a complete nightmare. If I took my blood pressure during an episode I’m sure it would be high enough to put me in the hospital, yet I can’t turn away.

We are getting pretty close to February sweeps! Is there one show you are expecting to put out the best sweeps episode?

Sweeps are so different than they used to be. No one does big event episodes anymore. I want Brad Pitt on Friends, people! Of all the shows I’m following right now the two I expect to have the best episodes during sweeps are Parks and Recreation and The Vampire Diaries. Although neither are likely to pull any sweeps “stunts”, both are at really interesting places in their storytelling and totally know how to knock an episode out of the park.

There have been a lot of great new shows this season. Do you have a favorite?

As much as I love Revenge (and boy do I LOVE REVENGE) I’m going to have to go with Homeland. That is a show that came out of nowhere to completely captivate me. Claire Danes and Damien Lewis are absolutely incredible, both together and on their own, and the writing was consistently surprising. The best thing about it, though, is how it portrays a strong, complicated, smart, messed-up, stubborn, unique female character and isn’t afraid to show her in a negative light. It’s a rare thing indeed, and it is amazing.

I also want to give a quick shout-out to Misfits, which is not technically a new show but one I discovered this year and absolutely fell in love with. Every human being who likes things that are awesome should watch this show. (It’s on Hulu!)

Is there one that you were expecting to love but just don’t?

There are always so many I expect to love but don’t. This season the biggest disappointment for me was probably Terra Nova. It’s a show about dinosaurs! How do you screw that up?! Well, they certainly figured it out. Also disappointing is Ringer, which has a fun premise and is full of actors I love but is simply terrible. Writing about it every week for The A.V. Club is a good way to release pent-up frustration, though.

We are both huge fans of The Vampire Diaries. Who is your stand out character for Season Three so far and why?

This is a tough one because I think the show is in a really precarious place right now, and character dynamics are completely in flux. My MVP for the season thus far has to be Stefan, though. Paul Wesley is simply fabulous as playing Stefan’s darker side, so much so that I almost don’t want him to ever go back to the way he was before. Although I have major problems with Stefan’s little revenge quest against Klaus, the show’s willingness to essentially completely destroy its romantic male lead is pretty darn brave, and at every moment Wesley still manages to make him sympathetic. Good stuff all around.

Favorite television character of all time:

Veronica Mars. She’s smarter than me and I want to be her when I grow up. (Honorable mention: Pacey Witter, because he’s perfect.)

Favorite Television moment of all time:

Pacey kissing Joey by the side of the road in the “A Cinderella Story” episode of Dawson’s Creek. Not a “cool” choice, but it will always be number one in my heart.

The show you wish would have never ended:

Veronica Mars. Although the third season wasn’t my favorite, I could watch stories about those characters and that town for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

Marathon-ing TV shows you’ve never seen is all the rage these days. Any you are looking to start?

I always feel like I’m on the verge of starting at least ten different shows, especially now that Netflix streaming makes it so easy. Right now I’m in the middle of catching up with White Collar, and next on my list whenever I get through the hundred hours of shows on my Tivo will probably be Strike Back and United States of Tara.

If you could say one thing to all of the current TV watchers what would it be?

Try things. Don’t judge something just because it has a horrible title, or features an actor you’re not usually fond of, or sounds like something you haven’t liked in the past. Just try it! I guarantee someday you will discover your favorite show this way, and if you don’t like a show after sampling it you can just stop watching. DVRs make this so easy. What do you have to lose?

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Filed under Interviews, Television

The Evolution of Nathan Scott

Of all the things I’ve seen on One Tree Hill (limo crashes, heart eating dogs, doppelganger psychos) the evolution of Nathan Scott from high school douche bag to husband and father of the year has been the most extraordinary, wonderful thing I’ve witnessed. His journey to become the ultimate romantic hero has been frustrating and heartbreaking at times while sublime and uplifting at others but it has always felt like one of the most genuine parts of this sometimes unbelievable story.

When we’re first introduced to Nathan he’s a cocky, cheating, bully with a bad temper, in other words, a total DICK. While his half brother went without, Nathan went with plenty: two parents, big house, basketball camp, cheerleader girlfriend, and slammin’ coordinating basketball themed clothes. But what Nathan really had was an absentee mother, a controlling and manipulative father and a home life no one would be jealous of. Overcoming that home life, the influence of his horror of a father and learning from his many mistakes turns that cocky bully into a doting father, a loving husband, and a selfless friend.

For most of us, overcoming hardship goes hand in hand with a modification of goals and a reevaluation of our path when it’s clear that without change, we cannot become our best self and it’s no different for Nathan. Time after time it is his ability to make those changes that proves he can be a better man than his father, can have a better life than the miserable bully who lives vicariously through him. Growing up, Nathan had one goal: making it into the NBA. This goal stems not just from his love of basketball, but from his desperate need for his father’s love and approval. When Nathan finds Haley, he realizes for the first time that life has more to offer.

Teenagers’ getting married is ridiculous, but Nathan and Haley, for some reason, I allow. She generously gives him the love and approval he has constantly sought out but she gives it without conditions. She becomes the one thing in his life that makes sense. The one thing that is solid, supportive and encouraging, regardless of how he performs on the basketball court and uncaring of what he owns or has access to. She forgives his mistakes and provides that first sense of what “home” really feels like.

In his attempt to hold tight to this new found feeling he risks losing it altogether. An ultimatum forcing Haley to choose between following her own dreams and staying with him doesn’t exactly go his way. And while Haley is not without fault, his willingness to admit his wrongs and forgive hers allows for a future in which he has learned from his mistakes and encourages her to chase her bliss as she has supported him in chasing his.

Not that he hasn’t had to jump a hurtle or 500 of his own in order to follow his dream. When it comes time to pick a college, Nathan has the option to follow his father’s path at his father’s urging, by ignoring the wants and needs of his pregnant wife. This path will surely lead to a pro basketball career but in a conscience effort to avoid becoming Dan Scott, he chooses the other path, to make his decision as a father, as a husband, and as a partner in his shared life with Haley.

However, his decision becomes moot when, in a lapse of judgment, he makes a deal with a loan shark. Not only does this deal nearly cost him the State Championship, but it nearly costs him the love of his life and the life of his unborn son as well. And while Haley is able to forgive him for his lapse, the authorities are not. He can take the easy way out and let his brother take the fall, but he refuses to let that happen on the grounds that he’d never want his son to believe that he didn’t know right from wrong. He is willing to give up his lifelong dream of basketball in order to keep the integrity his father readily tossed out the window.

As it turns out though, it’s not his gambling history that crushes his pro basketball dreams but the spine crushing injury sustained when he loses his temper in a bar fight on the eve of the NBA draft. Nathan is of course devastated. After working hard to prove himself on the basketball court in college, one wrong move has put him in a wheel chair, watching the draft from his living room, bottle of booze close at hand. But when he finally opens his eyes to the realization that by refusing to move on, he is losing Haley’s love and Jamie’s respect, he forces himself to rise above and be the husband and father he has, until this point, strived so hard to be. The one he knows they deserve.

And just when Nathan is on the verge of getting his life back, Crazy Nanny Carrie threatens to take it all away. Her “Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” routine with the nakedness and the flirting and the kissing causes more damage to his marriage than all previous struggles combined. And though not at fault, he is wrong to keep it from Haley. And he knows it. But after one screaming match nearly takes his son from them both, he steps back and allows Haley the space she needs to get past his mistake. And when the time for space is done, he reminds her that she is the one that saved him; not only from death, but from a fate worse than death, a life without love and happiness.

His happy life with Haley and Jamie is what supports him and encourages him as he drives to make his NBA dreams come true. Finally, as a result of his talent, his work ethic and his pure determination, those dreams are realized. And when in the peak of his professional career, another accusation of infidelity comes knocking at their door, he is able to tell his wife honestly that the incrimination holds no water, that his heart , body and soul have always remained true. It’s unfortunate that she has initial doubts but when he doesn’t hold that against her, he shows that he can love and forgive as well as he has been loved and forgiven.

It is that love, learned and perfected through the years, that has made him into the husband and father he is today. Nathan Scott is an embodiment of refreshing characteristics rarely found in today’s television atmosphere. Through family death, a new baby girl and trading in his basketball dream, he has remained steadfast in his determination to avoid his father’s legacy. By refusing to repeat his mistakes and by constantly striving to be a better version of himself, he proves yet again that he is worthy of my love and the love Haley has so freely given since their first kiss. A love shared always and forever.

*Special thanks to my friend Melissa and to my husband, my very own Nathan Scott, for their help and love and support. 

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Filed under Sports, Television

Better Than a Sharp Stick in the Eye

I am guilty of doing this all the time.

In my mind, I build up every little thing until any outcome shy of unicorns running down rainbow roads into my very own castle feels like a huge failure.

I am terrible at receiving disappointing news. Not that anyone should ever be really great at something like that but I am especially awful. Like the crying, cranky and cursing kind of awful.

And if I hear one more person tell me, “hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” I will scream and start stabbing.

I know that it’s the smart thing to do but for some reason I can’t stop laying those damn rainbow bricks. Am I an eternal optimist or just an idiot?

Every time I am faced with something like this, I am reminded of that scene in Christmas Vacation:

Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.

Clark: When have I ever done that?

Ellen: Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays…

Clark: Goodnight Ellen

Ellen: Vacations, graduations…

I am mothereffing Clark Griswold.

Of course, not every disappointment is a total loss. Sometimes the “thing” is good, just not as good as I was hoping for. These are the situations where my father used to love to tell me, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.” Yeah, thanks dad. I can’t think of many things that AREN’T better than a sharp stick in the eye. Very helpful.

But he did kind of have a point.

Perhaps I don’t have to go all the way to Debbie Downer and prepare for the worst, but simply use that built in optimism to seek out only the best parts of any given result in any given situation. And then of course use those adjusted perceptions to adjust goals and/or expectations.

That all depends of course on whether or not what I have is optimism, rather than plain old idiocy.

*image credits to Melissa and ToothPasteForDinner

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Filed under Family, Movies

In The Days To Come

For some reason, this Monday thing keeps happening EVERY SINGLE WEEK! It’s relentless and awful but here it is again.

First off, congratulations to the New England Patriots and to all of their fans. Tom Brady was actually pretty endearing yesterday when he admitted his suckitude. I never say nice things about Tom Brady but that was cute. And poor Billy Cundiff. Who wants to be that guy today? Yeesh!

In case you were wondering, I will be supporting my husband and my fellow MassHoles in rooting for the Pats come Superbowl time but I want to make it clear that it does not make me a Pats fan. I’m just a good wife and friend. Good luck team!

Kind of a sad and quiet TV week coming up for me. No new Vampire Diaries, no new Supernatural and One Tree Hill is new but it’s the first one airing without my favorite James Lafferty. I will still be writing my regular recap but I hope to also have a little Love Letter to Nathan Scott ready to go by then so stay tuned for that.

The biggest going-on in TV this week is the Chuck series finale. Listening to star Zach Levi talk about the show coming to an end after its 5th season had me bawling in a San Diego ballroom last summer and  just reading about it in last week’s Entertainment Weekly made me well up with tears. Chuck is such a fun, well done, lovely show and one of the few that my husband and I can enjoy together. I have all the faith in the world that the finale will make me laugh, make me cry, and do justice to a wonderful show. Farewell Chuck Bartowski.

I loaded the last of The Hunger Games books onto my husband’s iPod for him last night. I think this is probably one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever given him. I think he’s really enjoyed the books, I won’t have to explain them come movie time and it’s been a lot of fun to discuss what’s going on in them when he gets home from work. Also, he is definitely on Team Peeta so it proves how right we are for each other.

Before I let you get on with your Monday, check out some fun things from around the web:

My friend Melissa wrote an amazing blog post about the stigma of online friends. A must read for everyone.

For Parks & Rec fans, if you have not danced with a drunk Ron Swanson yet, YOU MUST DO IT. Funniest thing ever.

And if funny isn’t your thing but you do want to see the cutest thing ever filmed, watch this.

Have a great week y’all!

 

 

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Filed under Books, Sports, Television