Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Space Race

Was there some rich white guy meeting that we didn't know about where they all secretly decided to get super interested in space all of the sudden? One minute we're minding our own business and the next minute, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are headed to space in an intense inter-galactic pissing contest.

The list of things I'd do with Branson or Bezos levels of money is pretty lengthy. But sending myself into space would definitely be near the bottom. Honestly, I wouldn't even write it down on the paper because I know it would never happen. Space seems neat and I'm glad it's there, but that's about where it ends for me.

And even if I were crazy interested in space, I'd still think it's total BS that these guys are going there. I already experience a daily rage at the thought of Jeff Bezos paying approximately seven nickels in taxes and now that SOB has to rub it in my face with a space vacation?! He could do so much good in the world and still have more money than the rest of us combined, and he goes to space in a questionably-shaped rocket

I'm not saying that rich people don't have a right to spend their own money. They totally do. But they damn well need to pay taxes like the rest of us first. It's completely messed up that headlines such as Boy Pays Off Lunch Debt for Entire School and Jeff Bezos Blasts into Space on Own Rocket: 'Best Day Ever!' exist in the same country. Those are both real headlines, in case you were wondering.

As previously stated, there's a lot of things I'd do if I became super wealthy. I'd certainly buy my fair share of material items; a nice house, new cars, some of those impulse items by the register. I almost said 'furniture I don't have to assemble myself' but truth is, I love assembling IKEA furniture. I'd splurge on some spa treatments like weekly massages. My husband and I would travel to everywhere we'd ever dreamed of going...first class, no less! But I'd also give generously to organizations such as the Humane Society and the National Parks Foundation.

But hey, maybe Jeff Bezos thinks some of my rich lady dreams are silly. Maybe he can't imagine wasting money on a weekend at the Vermont bed and breakfast seen in the 1980s television classic, Newhart. But it's something my husband and I plan to do. 

I guess the point is, when you're worth $205 billion you can do whatever you want. But the second point is that I can laugh at you. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Say Goodbye to These

I've been an Arrested Development fan since the early days. I consider it to be one of the funniest and smartest network comedies of all time. Of course, like many quality items of substance, it was underappreciated by the masses and cruelly taken away from those of us wise enough to know that there's always money in the banana stand.

When I first heard it was being resurrected by Netflix in 2013, I was excited. But for a variety of reasons, I didn't watch it right away. I finally got around to watching season 4 a few years ago...and I did not like what I saw. And no, I'm not just talking about Lindsay Bluth's new look. It was disjointed and confusing. I had a hard time getting interested in the storyline. Instead of peppering in the running gags from the first three seasons, they just dumped as many as they could into every episode. I think I abandoned it midway through the season. 

Fast forward to less than a month ago when I finally convinced my husband that he needed to watch the show. Obviously I knew he'd love it, but at a minimum I need him to understand just how hilarious it is when I say, "These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship and the gorilla is for sand racing."

It took a few episodes for him to get on board, but he did. We finished the original run and he decided he wanted to watch the Netflix seasons. So we did. We watched the season 4 remix "Fateful Consequences" which was rearranged and re-released in 2018; and season 5 which ran in 2018-19. We finished the series finale last night...and I have thoughts. Many thoughts. 

My main thought is what I said to my husband at the end of the episode: How. Dare. You. 

Not him, of course. Netflix. How dare Netflix do that to my beloved show?! It's like they don't even care how long it's going to take me to mentally block out those episodes from my memory.

The original Bluths were callous and selfish, but they weren't diabolical. But under Netflix, George and Lucille Bluth became evil villains. The original Buster was an innocent Mother Boy (and he had the trophies to prove it). The new Buster was some sort of sociopath. I could keep going, but I don't feel like getting too angry tonight. I'm just glad I own seasons 1-3 on DVD, that way I don't have to stream them on Netflix and run the risk of accidentally exposing myself to seasons 4-5.

I'd like to quote Kitty Sanchez and tell seasons 4 and 5: Say goodbye to these. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

So You're a Fan?

My husband and I are members of a Brooklyn Nine Nine fan page on Facebook. It's a fantastic show and if you haven't watched it before, stop reading this and go watch it right now. I'll wait.

Well, not literally.

Anyway, we're on this fan page and at this point I think it's just so we can talk smack about the posts from the other fans. Instead of fun memes and jokes from the show, the majority of the posts fall into the following categories:

Confusion Regarding Acting

It's always a terrible picture of the show, paused on their TV to show an actor from Brooklyn Nine Nine appearing in another show. "Look who I found on Modern Family!" "Spotted Boyle in Pitch Perfect 2!" "Doug Judy was on Friends!" That's not an accomplishment. That's just how acting works. Throughout their careers, actors will appear in many roles. This fact is lost on the members of the group. Sometimes I debate blowing their minds by commenting regarding the existence of IMDB. 

Cluelessness of Guest Stars

I guess this is technically a subcategory of Confusion Regarding Acting. Some pretty big names have been on Nine-Nine over the years, but their fame is brand new information to members of the group. Celebrity guest stars who have flown under some of the group members' radar include: Jimmy Smits, Danny Trejo, Katey Sagal, Lin Manuel Miranda, Bradley Whitford. I will say that the comments on these posts are absolute gold. 

Unsure of the Definition of a Fan

These are the people who always post about what they don't like about the show and it always seems as though the things they don't like outweigh the things they do like. They post polls asking members to vote for their least favorite characters. Or complain about how Jake should be with Sophia and Rosa should be with Marcus. It's akin to someone saying they like Seinfeld but that all the scenes in Jerry's apartment are pure garbage and make them hate life. These posts can get intense. 

Failed Retcon Detectives

These people are the 5 Minute Crafts equivalent of fans. [Note to self: write a post on 5 Minute Crafts next week]. What I mean by that is, they're trying to solve problems that don't exist. Like when 5 Minute Crafts provides us with life hacks no one asked for or needed. A big one for these people is another detective character who is referenced during the pilot but is not included in subsequent episodes. If I'm not mistaken, this person didn't even have lines in the pilot. Another character says something like, "That's Daniels." And that's it. But to these super sleuths, it's something to be discussed. "Am I the only one who wants to know what happened to Daniels?" Yes, weirdo. You are.

And that's the fan group. If nothing else, it does provide my husband and me with something to laugh about.

Sunday, June 6, 2021


The TV of my youth definitely convinced me there were going to be a lot more live-in butlers in my adult life. Who's the BossThe NannyFresh Prince of Bel Air. Not once have I gone over to someone's house to be greeted by a middle-aged British man wearing a three-piece suit. No, the closest I've ever come to a butler is probably Ask Jeeves.

We all developed ideas of what adulthood would be like based on TV and movies. And while I can't speak for everyone else, most of my ideas turned out to be wrong.

Did I assume I'd one day have a spacious NYC apartment with the most idyllic purple walls? No. But I did assume there would be some sort of core friend group with whom I'd share the ups and downs of life. To put it plainly, no one told me life was gonna be this way [clap clap clap clap].

That's not to say I don't have friends, because I do. And I may be a bit biased, but I've always considered myself to be friend-worthy material. If I'm your friend, I'll be there for you. And I'm not just saying that to continue the Friends references. (OK, it's probably like 50% for the reference). But for some reason, I've almost always been the peripheral friend. I'm never part of the inner circle. If I happen to be present for an event, nobody is mad about it. Or if they are mad they keep it to themselves because, manners. But at the same time, they aren't mad if I'm not there either. When you're a kid, your friendships are very location-dependent. You're friends with the kids in your class or the kids on your street. And you might not even think about your school friends when you're not in school; as though they only exist in that building. And if you change schools or move, well those friendships are simply over. Sometimes I still feel that way.

I can't say as I have a "best friend". I honestly don't think there's anyone out there who would refer to me as their best friend. I did when I was younger, but not anymore. Technically, my husband is my best friend. But that's different. I was under the impression that you're supposed to have a best friend in addition to your spouse. Let's say I won to a show or something and he couldn't go, well I would be at a loss as to who would want to go with me. 

There are only so many times you can find out about an event you weren't invited to before you start to wonder if there's a reason. Am I coming on too strong? Not strong enough? The point is, I have no idea. I also have no idea how to finish this post. I'm not looking for pity or anything. I suppose this was just a way for me to get my thoughts out.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

A Soothing British Murder Show

I'm somewhat of a sucker for a British television show. Just give me a slightly rainy climate, people talking about puddings, and a pub with the word "cock" somehow in its name (but no one giggles about it because they're infinitely more mature than we are) and I'm in. 

I really enjoy this British procedural called Midsomer Murder. It's been on for approximately 4,000 years. There's something about it that soothes me. You can almost always count on a POV camera shot of a crime being committed. There you are, a killer, moving about through a fictitious English village when you come upon your victim. Inevitably, they turn towards you and say something like, "Oh, it's you" or "What are you doing here?...what's that in your hand? Ah!!! AHHH!!" And that's it. They're dead.

Here's a life-saving tip for you: avoid ambiguous greetings at all costs. Somebody sneaks up on you, by god you say their name. Full name. Loudly. "Oh! It's you, Sam Jones! I didn't expect to see you here, and carrying your hunting rifle no less." See, now you've ruined the mystery and narrowly escaped being murdered. You're welcome.

Another hot tip for you: Keep your ears peeled for a theremin. One of my favorite things about Midsomer is that they aren't afraid to use the theremin, the creepiest sounding instrument known to man. Theremin music never indicates a positive plot twist. If you hear a theremin, you get the hell out. I will admit it adds a layer of gravitas to the show's theme song.

One of my other favorite things about Midsomer is that the wife of the chief inspector is almost always a witness to a crime or loosely connected to the victim in some way. This bitch has found a lot of bodies. She's in every club and society in the village. Joining the local watercolor society, doing grave rubbings at a church where the local bell ringers are preparing for competition, appearing as an extra in a period piece being shot nearby? By god, Joyce Barnaby is there. [Those are all real scenarios from the show, BTW].

What I don't understand is why people don't stay the hell away from her? Chief Inspector Barnaby is on the show from 1997 to 2011. That's 14 years of this woman having at least some tangential connection to dozens of crime scenes. So, if I'm a resident of Midsomer county, and I see Joyce show up, I'm gone. "Oh it's sure nice to be helping out the village restore this old stone bridge. I can't wait to see it all cleaned up again...oh, is that...Joyce Barnaby? You know what, I just remembered that I have to clean the loo...in my flat...before the big, uh, Guy Fawkes celebration. See ya!"

I've begun re-watching the show from the beginning courtesy of Amazon Prime. It's oddly soothing. As I type, there's an episode on in the background and I literally just heard the phrase, "Oh, it's you." My night has been made. 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Guess Who's Back? Me...and My Anxiety

It's been a long time (I know shouldn't left you, left you, without a dope beat to step to, step to). Almost three years, as a matter of fact. Here we are again. How many times have I stumbled back to this blog after taking an extended break? I'm nothing if not a prodigal blogger. I'm almost certain I have referred to myself that way in previous posts...I suppose there's something to be said for consistency. 

About 10 days ago, I found myself having a good, old-fashioned panic attack. As my husband helped me get through it, I began describing what it feels like to have issues with anxiety. He suggested I write it down. Later that night, I opened up a note on my phone and started writing. It felt really nice to get my thoughts out. So nice, in fact, that I decided I would start blogging again once my new computer arrived.

Anxiety is like a betrayal. You spend all this time treating your body right, taking care of it. You exercise, eat right, maintain an intense hypervigilance regarding everything you can think of so that you're prepared for whatever life decides to throw your way and what's your reward? Your mind and body combine powers (Captain Planet style) to launch a surprise attack of cruelly absurd mind games and concerning physical symptoms. Next thing you know, you can't watch TV or read a book because you're spiraling down the rabbit hole of worst case scenarios. Not to be outdone, your body then shows up and says something to the effect of, "I'll see your runaway thoughts and raise you nausea and chest tightness." Well played, anxiety. Well played. 

I realize this first entry wasn't particularly funny or charming, but I have to shake off the dust somehow. I promise to be more entertaining next time. Plus, who even reads these things anymore? I suppose to keep up with the times this entire post should have been an Instagram caption accompanying an artistic photo of a coffee mug or whatever. Or I should be reading this aloud in my best NPR voice as nature photos with a filter that makes everything have a yellowy glow pass before your eyes on Tik Tok. Too late for that. I've already written everything here, not to mention gone to the trouble of adding an amusing image and YouTube link to a classic 2000 R&B jam. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

We Go High

There's been so much I've debated writing about over the past few weeks. I've gone back and forth on whether or not I should even address what's been splattered across the news. There's certainly no shortage of issues to be outraged about. That seems to be one of the key pillars of the Trump Administration; bombard the public with so many news items that it's imporssible to devote an adequate amount of time to look into any one of them (let alone all of them).

It's classic misdirection. Get the public fired up about misspelled, moronic tweets and the peaceful, lawful protests of professional athletes and maybe the public will forget that a large portion of Puerto Rico is still without power. If everyone is busy talking about some ugly, cheap-ass jacket Melania was wearing (despite the sweltering Texas heat), or the restaurant that wouldn't serve a member of Trump's staff, maybe they won't notice when Trump mentions how he'd like to violate the Constitution and eliminate due process.

Of course it doesn't help that the majority of the population is only interested in the headline or the soundbyte. Instead of reading the entire story and consulting multiple sources to ensure we get all the facts, many people believe whatever they see. And I'm not solely referring to Trump supporters when I say this. People from all walks of life, all political viewpoints (myself included), are guilty of reacting before getting all the facts. We're also guilty of not checking our sources. It's all too easy to click on a story without realizing it's not from a reputable, neutral source. Garbage sites spewing so-called "news" exist on both sides of the aisle. If you haven't consulted a Media Bias Chart and see where your preferred news source falls. I've grown increasingly fond of The Washington Post and NPR over the past few years and definitely recommend both as credible news sources.

At first I considered not blogging about any of this. It's exhausting. Social media feeds are full of a combination of troubling stories by the dozen and people expressing that they "don't get on Facebook to see politics." It's much easier to ignore. The temptation to take a page from this man's playbook and isolate yourself from everything.

But isn't that its own brand of privilege? The more I thought about it, the more I considered how much the African American community would rather opt out of reading articles about black men being mistreated, injured, and killed by the authorities. And any immigrant, legal or otherwise, would rather not listen to the cries of children who have been separated from their parents at the border. But they can't ignore those stories, because they have a direct impact on their lives. As a responsible citizen, a Christian, and (I'd like to think) decent human being, I can't ignore it either. I have to stay informed and make my voice heard.

I encourage you to resist that temptation to just give up. When I feel overwhelmed by it all and consider just staying quiet, I remember one of my favorite quotes: All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. While painting my bathroom this weekend, a line from the Hamilton soundtrack rang true: History has its eyes on you. I may not be as important as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, or Lin Manuel Miranda, but when this is all over and we look back on what is shaping up to be one of the darker periods in our recent history, I want to know that I was on the right side of things. We need to keep speaking out and focusing on the important issues.

The phrase important issues leads me to my second point. Focus on what truly matters and learn to identify the stories this administration loves to use as bait. Kanye West suddenly being pro-Trump. Melania's jacket. Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave The Red Hen. Don't get hooked. In the grand scheme of things, those items are barely even blips on the radar. They are of no real consequence when you compare them to the actual policies being used (or eliminated) by the current powers that be. I'll be the first to admit, that's a tall order to fill. The desire to voice our opinion over everything that crosses our path is almost in our nature. But before we do, we have to ask ourselves: Is this the most important issue on the table? Do I have all the facts? Did I get this from a credible source? Don't miss the forest for the trees.

I've been mulling over this post for a few days, and my final thought came when I read about Sarah Huckabee-Sanders being asked to leave The Red Hen. As a self-professed bleeding-heart Liberal, my first thought was, "Good. I wouldn't want her in my restaurant either." The whole refusal of service issue door flew wide open when the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana bakery's right to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding. And it is, after all, a two-way street. So it serves them right. But then I thought about it some more.

The more I thought about it, the more I wished they'd just left her alone. And it's not because I have any sympathy for a woman I feel is paid to lie to the American people on a daily basis. And it's not because of the backlash the restaurant is now receiving from the pro-Trump community. It's because fighting fire with fire is not always the answer. As Gandhi once said, An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I believe that in order to accurately highlight the ridiculousness of this administration and all it stands for, we (those who oppose it) must behave above reproach. Let's not give them any ammunition to say we're just as bad as they are, we started it, or any other schoolyard accusation. If that's what it takes, let's turn the proverbial cheek until we're so dizzy we have to pop a Dramamine. That's the only way we'll come out on top.

As Michelle Obama said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, "When they go low, we go high." Let's go high.

Space Race

Was there some rich white guy meeting that we didn't know about where they all secretly decided to get super interested in space all of ...