I was a little conflicted about how to title this post because I have no desire to give the piece of garbage I watched last night publicity but I couldn’t not speak out. It amazed me on so many levels but mostly because I can’t believe that such things are considered entertainment to any modern audience especially women.
For years I’ve had issues with the ABC show Modern Family. Not because it can’t be funny but the way that it portrays women I take issue with. It is supposed to be a MODERN family and yet the 2 main characters are a trophy wife and housewife. The former who is charmingly stupid and the latter who is a relentless nag.
That’s a modern woman? Even if you accept that those type of women exist, which they do, how is a show modern to only show it? No working Moms? No adjusted housewives, no young ambitious women. Even the lesbians shown on the show are unflattering. Sigh…
So that’s my issue with that show but I gave it a partial pass because for the first year it was funny. After about 2 seasons it stopped being funny and I could no longer rationalize it.
However, any issues I had with Modern Family pale into comparison with the garbage they had after that show yesterday. It was a show called Mixology and I had heard good things so I recorded it on the DVR. Dumbfounded, shocked, sickened are not too loud of language.
So the point of this show is about 10 people at a bar trying to meet people and their various escapades. The whole season is one night (and you thought the How I Met Your Mother premise was strained.. It’s like 24 but for sickos at a bar.)
This could be funny but it ends up being an advertisement against drinking or interacting with men…It’s seriously so bad.
The 5 female characters are all gorgeous but treated as nothing (or witches) by the men. One actual joke is:
“You are a Viking! You rape and pillage and take what you want!” Pause for the big finish: “Obviously, don’t rape her.”
That is comedy in 2014?
Another girl is shown wearing flats and we learn that she is not worthy of conversation because, and I quote, ‘the higher the heels the looser she feels’. We also get a woman who says she feels like Helen Miren because she is 30 in a room clearly full of men over that age.
We get a woman who says that she looks for the ‘Don Draper types’ who would ‘smack her in the mouth if she sassed’ Another man can’t remember a girls name when she clearly thinks they have a relationship and the break up will be painful and THEY WORK TOGETHER. What man isn’t going to remember the name of a woman who is breaking up with him, that he works with?
Seeing the show is about one night it is no surprise that there are many flashbacks- all of them ghastly. The women fall out of love and toss men aside at nothing and are genuine beasts including mothers. One woman is engaged to a ‘Ted Mosby’ type and announces that she doesn’t want to be with him out of the blue because he ‘looks too much like a beaver’. You think that might have come up after dating for 8 years! Then the man who set him up with her says ‘I always thought she was a whore’. Message- women are beasts or sluts and men are beasts except for a few men that are pathetic and a few women that are old.
Another woman is so nervous about an online date that she drags her best friend along because he might kill her, and then she throws up in her purse, and the frat boy watching it says, and I quote, ‘look at that chick throwing up. I’m going to…’ (it’s to offensive but fill in the blank and you won’t be worse). Oh yes, because that’s what a woman who is afraid she is going to be murdered, and so desperate to meet any man that she is nauseated needs, a predator!, – that’s prime time meat for the men in this show. Let’s pick the must vulnerable person imaginable to seduce… Change the music and this could be an episode of Law and Order: SVU.
An embarrassment for ABC and oddly enough the Kleenex company. Who knew it was so out of the norm for men to have a box of Kleenex in their house (a case of most unhappy product placement by Kleenex)? Evidently, in the eyes of this show owning a facial tissue is a sign of great femininity and to be avoided at all costs.
“The best thing I can say about Mixology is that it’s so hateful and negative that it has made me feel self-conscious about how hateful and negative I’m being toward it. It is also a show that has angered me to the point of talking in circles.”
I just can’t believe it. I’ve read that an average network see’s 500+ pilot concepts in a year, 70 of those are made into scripts and 20 pilot orders are actually created. So that means someone at ABC thought this idea was better than 480 other ideas and that they liked it enough to put it after their biggest show, Modern Family.
“Chalk this up as a politically correct knee-jerk response to humorous envelope-pushing if you want, but Mixology is a tone-deaf, poorly executed, badly written series that, in the parlance of the show, kind of rapes comedy.”
I’m just so stunned it almost seems like some kind of bizarre stunt. Remember when Joaquin Phoenix acted like a maniac to see what people would say? That’s what this seems like. As if ABC executives sat together and said ‘let’s see how awful we can make something to see if people respond’ You should be ashamed of yourself ABC and anyone who had anything to do with this trash.
Did any of you see it? Were you as shocked as me? How do you think something like this gets made in this day and age? How? Why? Who thinks this is funny? Where is the NOW’s of the world decrying such filth? Where are the women’s organizations out for blood? It’s so bad I just can’t believe it.
Hi! It’s a ridiculous hour but I’ve been so engrossed in a project that I’ve been working through the night. For the last year I’ve been making youtube videos using just a webcam/phone and I enjoyed doing that but I felt I could learn so much more about photography, videography, youtube, creating an internet presence, video editing and so much more.
I’ve also yearned for a long time to do something more creative in my work, so maybe gaining new skillsets will help me in that regard. At the worst I am learning something new and having a good time along the way so win-win
It’s been a lot of work saving, purchasing and organizing but I’ve finally got almost all the pieces I need to make better videos and I set up a cool backdrop in my room.
One problem I have is my room gets very hot when I have the lights on and it is too dim even during the day to be a good spot for filming. There isn’t much of any space in the rest of the house to do the backdrop/tripod setup. The whole brilliance of my room is that it has total blackout but it does create problems for filming videos. I need to figure out a way to keep cool, so if anyone has any ideas let me know. I suppose I can just keep my videos short which is probably a win-win.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do a video on my blu-ray collection for a while and it seemed like this would be a perfect testing ground for the new equipment. I still have to get editing software and a better camera microphone but that’s around $500 so will do that when I can. Plus, I figure master one thing at a time. (Took me 6 years to get a handle on twitter, facebook, blogging, so I’ve got time).
It’s not a perfect video but I’m learning and I’m proud of it. If you watch the whole video I am giving away DVD copies of Gravity, Les Miserables and Captain Phillips. Also there is a BLU Ray 3D of Gravity if you are interested in that. Simply subscribe to my blog, follow me on twitter (or facebook) and subscribe to my youtube channel and email me your address. First come first served. If you already follow me on those mediums just share it with your followers. THANKS!!!
Thanks so much for reading my blog, watching my videos, and helping to give me the confidence to keep trying and learning new things. I’m so grateful for this blog- more than you all know and I hope maybe I inspire you to go learn something new. in your life.
What blu-ray’s do you have? What do you think of mine? Any you dislike or like? Let me know. Take care friends!
(This is one of my more LDS related posts but I think any person could find ways to relate to it).
So it’s late and I should probably be asleep but what else is new! Today was another amazing day. It started out unpleasantly dealing with Comcast from 7-12 (the whole morning). Nothing was working and I traipsed up and down all 3 levels trying to get a read from technician on what was wrong. In truth he was clearly applying a wack-a-mole approach to fixing the problem. Try one thing, hit down the problem, whack the next one, until hopefully they were all whacked. Hopefully…
Anyway, they were finally done and I was tired. An early morning wake up does not have any effect on my go to sleep time. I wish insomnia worked that way! I would tell myself I had to wake up early every day! So, I crashed and woke up about 2 (I never take naps so you know I was really tired to do that). I had missed church and I felt a little bad about that but I know I will be there next week so it’s ok to have a moment of sleep induced truancy.
Fortunately I was not left spiritually adrift for long because my wonderful friends and home teachers came over for a visit. I think they both might have missed their callings as psychiatrists because they are so pleasant to talk to. I’m afraid I take up way too much of their time when they come but I enjoy it so much. We chatted about the Olympics, my fun weekend, my job etc and then they shared a prayer and spiritual thought.
These thoughts remind me of my Grandpa who I love, so you can imagine I love them. Today’s topic was one I have been contemplating lately- the unanswered prayer, the seemingly unexplained tragedy, the leaps of faith, the almost unforgivable act…the really tough stuff and the stuff that confuses, troubles us, or that we simply do not fully understand.
In an ideal world all of us would have 100% testimonies on all parts of our faith all the time, but unless we are Jesus, that is impossible There is always going to be something that at least for the moment you struggle with accepting. Things that don’t make any sense.
I think of those moments as spiritual holes. It’s just like standing on the edge of a deep pit and if you let yourself take too large a step you will fall.
I don’t know if it was just Indiana but I met a number of people on my mission who struggled to feel the Book of Mormon was true. They had strong testimonies of the priesthood, restoration, prophets but couldn’t get into scripture. This could be very troubling. Others struggled with the priesthood, marriage, judgement, prophets, and even the atonement. They’ve thought and thought about it and just haven’t been able to take that leap yet.
I’ll be honest and tell you mine. I’ve never had a great experience with fasting. I believe in being obedient but it’s a bit of a mystery to me. If I let it, I could focus on that spiritual hole and my faith would get submerged by it. Instead I hope that it is true, I fast and I remember the things I do know including my relationship with God, love of the temple and testimony of the Book of Mormon.
As someone who has struggled with anxiety I know more than most, a small problem, thought or issue can creep inside and get larger and more troublesome. This can happen with spiritual holes as we allow them to get bigger. At times they can seem almost overwhelming and all-encompassing.
So what do we do about it? Well to start, focus on what you do know and build on that. Then try to face your fears and always be obedient. Most importantly recognize that everyone has testimony holes. That’s why we need each other so badly. Where I am weak, you are strong, and vice versa. Maybe that’s why God doesn’t take away the holes? He knows how badly we need each other. I’ve had friends who have fallen into their spiritual holes, letting them consume their faith, and I miss their testimony strengths..
One of the best talks I have ever heard was in a Sacrament meeting on my mission. We were visiting a ward so I didn’t know the couple well but they started telling their conversion story. They were on a military base in Germany when they learned about the gospel and became converted.
Being on base, they didn’t have a car so a member family picked them up for church each Sunday. One day a little girl asked the new convert why he “smelled funny?” The truth was, he had started smoking again (very common after baptism to relapse. It’s ok), and he was very embarrassed. At first it was laughed off, but the father of the little girl knew hurt had occurred and this was a crucial faith moment, so he acted.
He called up the convert and said ‘Look I don’t care if you have to smoke a pack between meetings, we need you with us’. Instead of feeling ashamed of his testimony hole, the man felt love and acceptance and started coming, eventually kicking the habit completely. He did not allow a testimony hole to ruin all the good he did have and his family will be forever grateful to that brother who noticed and acted.
Sometimes I feel as a single woman I have to face holes by myself. Anxiety grows when I am not able to deal with my anger, fear, hurt, and resentment well, and the hole gets bigger and more ostracizing from those wanting to help me. Fortunately, however, I have always been able to lean on God and remember my convictions on so may things and become stronger. I’ve always been amazed at how many people God gave me that love me.
So, please friends if you are feeling like ‘how can I believe when I’m not sure about …..’ remember we need the holes and solid foundation. Both make you strong. Even the Savior briefly asked to have the bitter cup removed. Even He had a hole He felt momentarily was beyond him and that’s when God sent down an angel to give Him strength. He certainly overcame all for us.
In the end, you have to pick something to guide your life by, and I know I have chosen the right way for me to be happy and feel close to God- holes and all.
There is a great example in Nephi. He is conversing with angels and later Christ, seeing visions and dreams and yet he says ‘I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things’. Even faithful Nephi had holes, but he did not let that hold him back or allow him to forget the greatness he did have. He knew that God loved him and that has power.
I love a talk by Elder Holland called ‘Lord I Would Believe’ where he talks about the man hoping his son can be healed but lacking the faith he says ‘Help thou my unbelief’. In other words help me with this hole. Help me to not slip and fall:
“Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: “Lord, I believe.” I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.
Hold fast! Everyone is needed to help us bridge our testimony holes. We all need each other so don’t give up. I’ve known far to many who have. Don’t. A relationship with Christ and His happy plan is far too worthwhile. I know that is true of my self, independent from any other person.
Love you guys. I love my Heavenly Father, and I really do have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His church being restored to the earth. So let’s help each other out of our holes. 🙂
Just want to remind the trolls out there if you post unhelpful, unconstructive, attacks on my faith they will not be posted, so don’t waste your time.
This weekend has been fabulous. I’m very happy! Since I have done my fair share of moaning and groaning on this blog (despite it’s merry title), I thought I’d share some pure happiness with you all. I didn’t really take any photos of the days (mistake but I was just busy being happy not worrying about photos)
So here goes. I’ve had a good work week and enjoyed watching the Olympics despite NBC’s attempt otherwise. It has been a little bit of a disappointment in certain ways but I still enjoy them as a whole. I know I’m working my hardest and whatever happens workwise in my future I’m enjoying the time right now. So there’s that.
I’ve also had a pretty good sleep week and am feeling 100% healthy for the first time in over 2 months. Hurray!
Even though I was feeling good I was having a hard time motivating myself to exercise. I can’t really explain why I just was. So I called my trainer and explained the problem and as the amazingly supportive person she is, she came up with a great, creative idea. She offered to teach me some aqua aerobics instead of our normal meeting.
I’ve wanted to do this but simply never had, so I jumped at the chance. My friend Lisa was planning on coming down for a visit and so I asked her if she would like to join in on the fitness class and she did. The three of us had a blast! It was a lot more fun than I thought it would and definitely a good workout (feeling it today!). It was just fun to do something different and with friends. I would like to do it again.
After exercise we went to dinner and had some Mexican food and good conversation. It was a good time. We ended the night by going to see the much hyped lego movie and you know what- it lived up to the hype! It was extremely creative, funny and great for adults and kids (without the winking double entendres I hate in movies like Shrek). The look is great and I thought it was going to be a Toy Story rip off but it really isn’t. I definitely recommend it.
It has something for everyone. Go see it.
So yesterday was great. Then today I went to my BFF Emily’s baby shower. This is baby shower #3 but it’s actually the first one I’ve been able to attend. Emily was the only person I knew but it was a really cheerful fun group with great food. I love finger foods, dips and things on skewers. It’s just delicious.
One of the great things about Emily is she is a wonderful present opener. She lights up no matter what she gets. You could give her notepads and she’d say ‘you know I have been wanting notepads’ with a big smile. I hope to be a great gift opener too. I think I’m pretty good. It’s a skill that should be taught because it really makes people feel good and it’s such a commonly needed social convention.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. Then I got home and talked to my Mom for over an hour. She was driving home and so I entertained her. We talked about politics, Olympics, philosophy, family, my life, her life, everything. When my Mom and I talk like that it’s our way of saying we love each other. She’s been under a lot of stress lately and I think it helps to just talk with someone. So many people are unwilling or awkward about talking about politics but it’s been something my Mom and I have always shared. I love it.
So then I ended the night by making a very special dinner. I’ve been carefully buying all the ingredients for the ultimate BLT- sourdough bread, mayo, thick cut applewood smoked bacon (roasted in oven), romaine and vine ripe tomatoes. Perfect!
That’s my weekend! How are you doing? I hope you are happy like me. Happy Weekend!
Of all the movies I love the most controversial may be Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are?
I can’t think of any movie where literally half of the party I was with thought it was dazzling and half hated it.
It’s very polarizing, so let me explain why I like it.
The movie starts off with a boy named Max who builds a series of forts. The first is a snow fort and then another is in his room with blankets.
Max becomes angry when the snow fort is destroyed by his sister Claire’s friends and she won’t do anything to help (or even look at said fort at the beginning) and then again when his mother won’t pay attention to his fort at home.
Everyone seemingly is ignoring and destroying him and he can’t do a thing about it. His emotions feel out of control (big point of the movie). The fort, snowballs, bullies, all of Max’s emotions are all foreshadowing to what you see later with the animals except for with them Max has control and in the beginning he has none. He is all hurt, anger, and emotion.
Then he goes to school and his teacher tells him about environmental collapse and the death of the sun. He then has to meet his mother’s new boyfriend and he has a tantrum and runs away to our magic land. You can feel Max like a tea pot boiling up ready to burst at any moment.
Why does this work for me? Because I remember being a kid and feeling angry and scared. I remember puzzling at the things I was taught that seemed to be beyond belief or so sad they made me sad. I remember staring up into the ceiling late at night and wondering why people were so mean and difficult to understand.
I remember thinking that if only people would listen to me they would see what I was trying to say. Especially when I was teenager I felt frustrated at my complete inability to express what was inside my heart.
One time I literally stomped my feet and told my family that
‘you are the weird one’s. I’m the normal one and you don’t get it’. (see I was the wild one….)
Granted it was a completely ridiculous thing to say, if I wanted any good done, but it was a pent up explosion of emotions. Isn’t it basically another way of saying and conveying what Max is feeling? ‘You all don’t understand, don’t listen and it is making me angry and worried’.
So, Max runs and finds a boat that takes him across the ocean and to a land with 7 ‘wild things’. In a brilliant touch these are not CGI creations but puppets from Jim Henson’s studio. This makes them feel tactile like a kids stuffed animal.
The first of the creatures he meets is Carol, who is in the middle of a tantrum, caused by the abandonment of a girl wild thing named KW. At first Max is excited about the tantrum and joins in and then realizes the wild things want to eat him.
Using his quick thinking Max convinces them not to eat him and that he is actually a king that has come to rule them and help them be happy. They get it and this is very exciting for Max. They do what they are told!
They agree and his first order of business is to call a wild rumpus where they destroy trees and play.
Now I tell you what kid would not do just that when named King over wild monsters? A wild rumpus is so brilliant in its chaos yet predictability.
At this point Max looks happy for the first time in the movie. He is finally allowed to play and let all the misunderstanding and frustrations out. He is also allowed to lead, taken seriously by someone, and this makes him happy.
I totally relate to this as the times in my life when I am given that reaction are typically the most gleeful.
I think of myself after finishing a swim and how great it feels to have conquered a wild thing, something people think is really hard. I suspect there is something inside all of us that likes to conquer chaos.
So, the wild things pile up for the night and we get a better introduction to all 7 Carol, Ira, Judith, Alexander, Douglas, the Bull, and K.W. Each represent a different part of Max’s life and personality.
Carol- is the tantrum, angry side that wants to be understood, Ira and Judith are a couple and Judith is loud and bossy, Douglas is a good friend and loyal to Carol, KW is lonely and on the outside of the group, Alexander is talked down to and mistreated (the victim of the group), The Bull is on the side and less developed.
There are also 2 owls that are introduced named Bob and Terry. These are outsiders to the group who KW is friends with (much like Max’s mother’s boyfriend who comes in as an outsider that only she likes) but the rest don’t like especially Judith who says they should not be allowed into the group’s fort.
Max had previously stated that any outsiders will have their ‘brains automatically cut off”. To try and solve the division Max starts a dirt clod fight that he thinks will separate the good from the bad.
Look how happy he is at the beginning of this scene, how free he feels. It’s beautiful:
Unfortunately things do not go well and Alexander is hurt, KW leaves again. Just as Max had done earlier in the movie, Carol becomes angry at Max for not doing a better job as king. How could he allow people to get hurt? He was supposed to help KW not leave and yet she did anyway? Max realizes that Carol is disappointed in him much like he is disappointed in his Mother.
Carol and Max talk about what worries them. “How can guys like us worry about a tiny thing like the sun?” but you know they are worried and worried about their friendships and lives and whether they will be happy.
I wrote in my journal once- ‘how do you turn the worry off?’ That is so beautifully expressed in this scene:
As Carol becomes more upset, Douglas finally tells him that Max is “just a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be a king”. Isn’t his mother pretending to be a queen?
At least it is that way to Max and she seemingly let’s him down over and over again. She never seems to rescue him. ‘You are out of control” he says to Carol just as his Mom had said to him. Your emotions are out of control!
Carol says, “You were supposed to take care of us. You promised” (gut wrenching part.) all go back to Max’s home life and his mother. His Mother was supposed to make sure bad things didn’t happen to him but they do all the time.
Feeling betrayed Carol says he is going to eat Max just like Max had done earlier to his Mom before he bit her. He then throws his biggest tantrum yet (much similar to the tantrum thrown by Max before being sent to bed without any supper). In his rage Carol rips off Douglas’ arm and chases Max into the forest. Max is then saved by KW who hides him in her stomach. Max listens as Carol and KW have an argument about why she always leaves him.
Like Claire used to be Max’s friend KW has moved on from Carol and they both feel sad about it but it seems necessary for KW to explore new worlds and friendships
Then Max starts to realize how little control his mother has over him and Claire and it is not her fault that they are growing up, becoming more distant. It is also not her fault that she can’t understand or deal with him all the time. He can’t deal with Carol (who is basically Max) so how could his mother? She is also not to blame for his father leaving or all the other hurts in his life.
And just as Carol is hurt and KW runs away, so him and his Mom, experience the same emotions and conflict. He knows just as he couldn’t help Carol be free from pain and neither can his mother. What a realization for a kid! His Mother is fallible and weak but has a good heart.
I think Max see’s the unhappiness of Carol and KW and knows for the first time that his mother is unhappy. He see’s her loneliness All the time he thought she controlled that but it turns out she isn’t in control.
Max understands what it is like for a second to be a parent because he was a king and his his mother has become a real person, a full human being. He decides it is time to go home.
His goodbye to the Wild Things is so touching. He says goodbye to his childhood and the innocence he had when he got there and now must enter the world of adult problems to help his mother. In a way it is kind of like Peter saying goodbye to Neverland.
The ending when Max and his mother reunite is perfect. A child and Mother truly understanding each other as people not simply Role 1- Mother and Role 2- Son. I cry my eyes out for about the last 15 minutes of this movie.
I know its a heady picture and it asks you go along with its premise, to accept unlikable characters, and see them grow, and to not have every question answered It’s the journey of childhood. From angry, happy, sad, worry, confused child to a man or woman trying to rule their mini-worlds as best they can.
We also learn that no matter how noble the intentions of the ruler hurt, anger, betrayal and sadness will happen. That is life. Even God cannot prevent sadness. Life is Where the Wild Things Are.
A similarly polarizing movie is The Tree of Life which also seeks to talk about the human experience through art. Tree of Life says that life is awe inspiring and beautiful. Where the Wild Things Are seeks to talk about human emotions and growth. Both are saying ‘this is how human beings really are…”
It is also a warning to Max of what the emotions can lead to if unchecked and unmolded. All of us feel we could rule our lives the best and resent others telling us what to do. Then we occasionally realize we know nothing and don’t like the person we are turning into. That’s when we need to look at ourselves, or meet our own Wild Things. In the end, the movie is about realizing the humanity (wildness, quietness, fearfullness, all emotions) in others and in ourselves, and how weak we all really are.
Sometimes I think we are too scared of kids feeling these emotions, working through them organically, and temper them with drugs and entertainment? Maybe reconciling them is the key to becoming fully human?
In the end it is a movie about a real person who comes into consciousness with himself. That’s a powerful thing and I am forever moved by it.
So, that’s what I think. Does my take on it make you see the movie even a bit differently? If you dislike it, why?
Also, the music is gorgeous, sets dazzling, acting including child actor are all great, great voice cast. I love it!
So I try to constantly keep my resume up to date. You just never know what will happen and I like to be prepared. Plus, I’ve had moments in my current employment where it has come in handy for a project or two to show my skillset.
I was looking at it today and I hadn’t done so in about a year and lots has happened. I changed jobs last year from Grabber to Poler and changed my references around, updated addresses etc.
Anyway, as I was looking at it I realized my whole adult life is on this 2 page sheet. How weird is that? You can summarize a life in 2 page outline.
Sometimes this makes me sad because I thought the list would be more grand by 33 but this is it and yet, it is pretty great too. And yet someone may look at this and think ‘hmmm…not enough, or not the right stuff’. I know over-thinking it but it really is weird.
There’s a lot of learning, experiences, friendships and faith hidden in this list of my life . There was some heartache and deep wounds inside a sentence or two. It looks like an ordinary event but I know what it meant.
It is the Resume of my Life….What would your’s say? It is meant to qualify me for something but I’m not sure that it does or what that is? What is all this meant to open a door to the next event on the list? Who knows!
Anyway, it’s just kind of strange moment to see it all out there on 2 pages the story of a life, my life. I hope I have done enough, experienced enough, lived enough? I guess it is done so nothing I can change about it now! Still, it’s my life…
This is my life on 2 pages. Whoa….but then again it’s pretty great too. In a way you could say it’s the story of my life…
So any out there that follows this silly blog knows how much I love The Olympics, both Summer and Winter. I am not overstating it when I say one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life was attending and being a part of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games.
It was unbelievable to see the athletes and root for my country and I hope to one day have a similar experience in the Summer Olympics. I’ve even thought about going to Rio in 2016. We will see.
One odd thing about the Olympics is with all of their drama there aren’t that many movies about the Olympics. Strange hah? I can only think of a few- Cool Runnings, Cutting Edge, Miracle and Chariots of Fire. What am I missing? You would think there would be more.
Pablo Morales or Dan Jansen’s stories would make such good movies. I wonder why they’ve never been made?
Anyway, with that long introduction I must admit to being kind of bummed out as a viewer of these games. Not disappointed in our athletes. They have my total support but the results and lack of competition in many events. There hasn’t been much that is real close and I’ll be honest I like it when my team wins. I do and minus snowboarding and slopestyle we haven’t been doing a lot of winning.
Thank goodness for the snowboarding and slopestyle which have provided some of the only real entertainment. Everything has been so lopsided and usually not in our favor. It’s just been hard to watch. Sad 😦
I wondered this week if maybe I have outgrown the Olympics. Double sad but I hope not. I hope it is just an anomaly because I love what they represent and I love our athletes. There is something about everything in Sochi including the outrageous propaganda piece called The Opening Ceremonies that has felt corporate and stale.
Part of that is the fault of the terrible NBC coverage but also so many seem to be going through the motions. It was so great today to see Noelle Pikus-Pace who is not only a Utahn but a great example for all young people. She came back after an injury and a miscarriage to win a silver medal. I’ve missed that warmth and spirit these games.
Another highlight was seeing Erin Hamlin get a bronze in luge, America’s first in that sport. I loved her attitude and spirit.
Now let me rant a little bit about NBC. There are 15 categories of sports in the Winter Olympics. This is drastically less than the 26 in the Summer Olympics; however, there are many of those summer events that get little to no coverage such as ping pong, field hockey and handball. I think the number of covered sports is probably not that different.
Nevertheless, NBC has decided to air the events in the morning when they are taking place and then a highlight reel spliced together with other events for their primetime coverage. This means in the skating for instance you only see 5 or 6 of the skaters where in the morning you get 20 something.
I recently read a report saying that 79% of the people who have paid tv have a DVR service in their home. This means, NBC, people can record the morning shows and watch them the way they deserve to be seen! Why not give us something new in either the morning or primetime instead of simply repeating a diluted version of what most of us have recorded from the morning!! I have found myself not watching in the evening at all because it makes me so crazy and why when I’ve already seen it?
The most frustrating part is their two best commentators are on the hockey and cross country/biathlon events and if people only watch primetime they don’t see hardly any of that. No wonder everything feels corporate and staged because NBC is chopping it up and feeding you the sports center version. The athletes deserve better. They’ve sacrificed their lives for a moment and NBC can only give a primetime highlight reel.
It really irks me because I know there are heats, meets, games and matches we could be seeing that we aren’t, and that most people who only watch primetime are getting such a weak version of the truth. Don’t show us something twice NBC! At least I have the DVR and can watch the actual coverage of the events. I’m sorry NBC but your primetime coverage is an embarrassment.
Ok. Rant over. Things I have liked are the slopestyle addition into the Olympics (US is sure grateful for that, almost half our medals are from that new event), Pikus-Pace, the new team figure skating competition, US hockey men and women, and Jeremy Abbots inspiring finish of his program after a hard fall.
I feel bad for Shaun White. He has been a great champion. I love him and am sad when we feel a sense of glee at the fall of our heroes. It is a most unsightly part of our culture. I never saw him be anything but graceful and kind, even exuberant towards those who beat him. It reminded me of Michael Phelps 4th place finish in his first race in 2012 but unfortunately Shaun doesn’t have 6 or 7 more chances to prove himself like Phelps. I’m still a fan and I think we all should be.
I also feel bad for our speedskaters. Ever since watching Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen in the 90s the races have been one of my favorite parts of the games. I also love Apollo Ohno both as an athlete and person. What a class act. I admire how he always was happy to get on the podium. Competitive as ever, but thrilled with a bronze medal. That’s great to see. So, it was with some excitement that I watched race after race and to see our athletes do so poorly was disheartening.
Some have said it is the slow ice. Some have said it is the suits and I honestly have no idea but something doesn’t feel right. We have 4 world record holders and no medals? And it’s not just no medals but world champions like Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson finishing 24, 32nd it’s strange. I just don’t get it? Why weren’t they prepared for slow ice?
They knew it was coming so why not practice on it? I know they tested the suits but the fact they were untested in competition boggles the mind. How could that happen? You don’t test out new equipment at the Olympics! There should be no question on such issues. It’s really quite outrageous and I feel bad for the skaters.
Anyway, it’s been a bit of a let down of an Olympics. Plus, all the reports of the terrible preparation, shoddy hotels, mess, mangy dogs everywhere. I think of the glee that I had when I went downtown to watch the games and SLC and it is a shame. The Olympics deserve better than Putins scraps and 30 billion gone to who knows what. Unbelievable! The Olympics deserve better.
Hopefully week 2 will be better than week 1 but I’m telling you guys if you have DVR record the morning broadcasts not the primetime. You are selling yourself and our athletes short by only watching the primetime. Trust me on this!
For some reason people are nearly always surprised when they find out I love The Simpsons. Even now in its 25th season it makes me laugh (and is visually stunning these days). We didn’t have TV for spurts while I was growing up but when I was in high school my sister, brother and I watched The Simpsons every week.
I think my parents allowed it because they recognized how smart it was. The writing encourages thinking, pondering and in the end it is about a family that truly love each other. Honestly, I would have no problem with my teenage children watching it either. In fact, I look forward to it one of these days.
Just for fun I was thinking about my favorite episodes and a lot of them are in seasons 7-10 because that is when I was in high school and watching it the most regularly. While the Simpsons can follow standard sitcom formulas (for instance, how many times can they go to a new foreign country and leave bedlam?) it is also clever and mixes all types of comedy from satire to slapstick.
Anyway, what separated the good from the great is when a layer of social commentary and/or tenderness lies underneath the silly plot.
What the Simpsons does that is so brilliant is they make fun of everyone, all the time. Nobody is kept from skewering and that makes us laugh at ourselves, which is usually the best kind of humor. I couldn’t find video clips on a lot of them but I have a photo, summary and explanation of why it’s my favorite. Rent them from your library or pay on amazon prime (or borrow from me).
My Favorite Simpsons Episodes
1. Homer’s Enemy- This is perhaps an odd choice for my list but this episode is so surreal it is funny. We start off with a heroic 20/20 like piece on Frank Grimes, a man who fought back all his life and struggled to see any benefit to all that work. Mr Burns see’s the piece and decides to hire him at the nuclear plant, working alongside Homer.
Frank (or Grimey as Homer says) can’t believe Homer’s laziness and it starts to eat at him. For the first time we as viewers see someone that is jealous of Homer and there is a character that treats Homer probably the way we would in the same situation.
If you like What About Bob you will like this episode. Just as Bob is completely oblivious to his irritating behavior, so Homer is unaware he could be seen by anyone as anything but loveable and sweet. Season 8 Episode 23
2. King-sized Homer- You might be surprised to see this one on the list because on it’s surface it is a bunch of fat jokes but there’ s more to it. Homer decides to gain weight so he can go on workman’s comp. This requires a complete change in his already bad diet and a fitness regime of nothing to match.
The reason I think this episode is so funny is that it is really a skewering of the diet industry. Every bad life changing advice Homer gets to ‘gain weight’ is basically what is told to you to lose weight but in reverse. Instead of eating whole grain bread Homer is told to use poptarts. That’s funny.
It also has a lot of humor about the work world and how most of us would do just about anything to get out of going to the office everyday.
Plus we have a classic appearance from Lionel Hutz voiced by the great Phil Hartman. And I think the first appearance by Dr. Nick.
Season 7 episode 7
3. Marge vs Monorail- This is probably the most universally loved episodes in Simpsons history. In it we have 2 appearances from Phil Hartman characters, a song and a lot of laughs.
This episode is about a con-man who swindles the town into building a cheap, shoddy monorail and he does it with a song similar to 76 trombones from Music Man. Leonard Nimoy makes an appearance on this one. It is just funny.
Season 4 episode 12
4. Lisa Gets an A- This is one of the best Lisa-centric episodes. Lisa is such an earnest character that it is hard to not root for her. At the beginning of the episode she is feeling sick and stays home from school. Meaning to study her homework, she accidentally gets involved with a video game and forgets about the test.
Not wanting to let her A+ streak go she decides to cheat, and get the answers to the test from the local bully, Nelson. The plan seemingly works but she is riddled with guilt. This episode has lots of jokes about the public education system, bureaucracy, and our cheating-accepting culture.
Also it is a great performance by Yeardley Smith. I love Lisa/Bart bonding episodes and Lisa/Homer episodes and this one has moments of both
Season 10 Episode 7
5. Homer the Great- Homer discovers a secret society called The Stonecutters and decides to join. Unfortunately on his first day he ruins the Stonecutters sacred scroll and is forced to walk abound the town naked carrying behind a giant boulder. However, one of the men notice a birthmark that Homer has and they realize he is the ‘chosen one’ and begin to worship him.
This is great comedy skewering our need for both collectivism and feeling special. A group like this makes Homer feel important, and I think that’s an emotion we can all relate to. Nearly every joke works and it has one of the best Simpsons songs in years. It also takes a few jabs at religions but I can laugh at myself and thought they were funny.
Season 6 Episode 12
6. Secret World of Lisa Simpson- This one is maybe a surprise because it’s a little bit less well known, but I love it because it is a Lisa/Bart episode, and I love when those characters connect. Bart pulls off a massive prank at the beginning of the episode and is sent to military school against his will.
When the family drops him off Lisa see’s the higher quality of education and asks to attend as well. Both Bart and Lisa get homesick and there is a sweet scene where Marge sings to her ‘special little boy’ on a tape and it is emotional.
Lisa loves the learning but has a hard time fitting in as the only girl cadet. She makes it a goal to endure the same hazing and physical challenges as the boys and with Bart’s help gets in shape and ready to go. It is a sweet tender episode with enough laughs to make it work as a Simpsons episode.
Season 8 Episode 25
7. Treehouse of Horror V- The Simpsons is famous for their annual Halloween of horror episode but while always visually beautiful some of the jokes are lost on me because I don’t watch many horror movies. However, in the 6th season episode 5 they take on the Shining. which is a horror movie I have seen and my favorite.
As in the movie The Simpsons go to a mysterious inn in the middle of nowhere. As they stay, the father (or in this case Homer) start seeing strange images, growing more and more paranoid by the minute.
In the movie Jack Nicholson plays the father and he begins chanting and writing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. While Homer says, ‘No TV or beer makes Homer crazy”. There are a lot of other illusions to the movie and it is also very funny.
The other 2 bits are also funny. They have Homer discovering his toaster is a time machine but every time he changes so does the world around him (one time they are all lizards, other times lizard tongues and Homer says ‘close enough’)
The final bit has dolphins taking over the world. It is a very funny mock up of disaster movies like Jurassic Park that were so popular at the time.
8. Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment- This episode is funny because it takes on every drinking cliche in show business flawlessly. After a rowdy St Patricks Day the town decides to start having prohibition. As last resort Homer starts a bathtub distillery in his basement and becomes something of a kingpin. It manages to make fun of everything from the Christian right to mafia movies such as The Godfather.
Season 8 Episode 18
9. The Cartridge Family- Starting out with a hilarious bit on how Americans view soccer, a riot starts in the stadium and Marge asks Homer to get a security system. Finding out they are $500 Homer gets a gun instead which infuriates Marge.
She comes as close to leaving Homer as I think ever happens on the show but somehow it still manages to be really funny. The meeting of the NRA is hilarious and the creative ways Homer uses the gun are funny. The writing is great especially when Mayor Quimby declares mob rule. And it is not a hate piece on the NRA or guns. In fact, the ending kind of reinforces why they might be a good idea. Leaves it open to you to decide while laughing at both sides.
Season 9 episode 5
10. Homer and Apu- There are so many great side characters on The Simpsons and they all have their moment but Apu is one of my favorites. In this episode Apu is fired from the Kwik-E-Mart because the actor James Woods wants to do some acting research (very funny guest voice). Without his store Apu feels miserable but the Simpsons try to cheer him up, and that makes for one of the best Simpsons songs.
Apu and Homer end up traveling to India to see the head of the Kwik-E-Mart about getting Apu’s job back. That part is less funny but still a great episode.
Season 5 Episode 13. Another great Apu episode is Eight Misbehaving when Apu has octuplets.
11. Bart Gets an F- One of the more emotional episodes Bart finds out he is going to be held back a grade because of his low test scores. He bunkers down and really tries to study only to get another F. He begins to cry and it’s a very tender moment. Haven’t we all been in that spot where nothing seems to go our way despite our best effort? Most media tells you if you work hard you will succeed but that isn’t always the case and I love how this episode shows that.
This episode was also the first episode of the second season so you can see the voices coming together and the animation getting crisper. Terrific voice performances and music
12. When Flanders Failed- In this episode Flanders decides to quit his job and open up a store for left handed people- the leftorium. When hearing about it Homer makes a wish on a wishbone that it will fail because he is irritated by his neighbor.
Things begin to go badly for Flanders from the start. Eventually they are ready to repossess his store and house. Homer grows more guilt ridden by the second, and finally decides to help out Flanders, making the business a success.
It’s a really touching episode for both Flanders and Homer but also very funny. Things get bad for Flanders. He is living out of car and his bubbly personality is practically destroyed (causing humor and tenderness). Love it.
Season 3 episode 3
13. Bart on the Road- If I had to pick one this may be my favorite. There are so many good gags. Just the opening take your child to work day with Bart at the DMV with Patty and Selma is hilarious. “Some days we don’t let the line move at all. We call those days weekdays”… Hilarious.
Bart, Nelson, Millhouse, and Martin decide to use a fake ID to rent a car and drive to Knoxville World’s Fair. On their way they get a hilarious Al Gore doll “You are hearing me talk” and go to a Andy Williams concert “I didn’t think he’d do Moon River and then double encore”
There is also a funny bit with the kids picking up a peddler and him wondering if he is still on drugs seeing the kids driving. It’s just full of funny laughs. It is also another one where Lisa and Bart have to work together and I always like those moments in the show.
14. Bart the Mother- This episode has the greatest laugh of any season. It starts out with Marge warning Bart to not play with Nelson because he is a bad influence. Bart lies to her and goes to Nelson’s anyway and while they are playing he kills a mother bird with his BB gun. Marge see’s it and is horrified. Feeling guilty Bart takes the eggs and decides to take care of them until they hatch. Great line:
What do you think he’s doing up there?
I don’t know. Drug lab?
Or reading comic books, what am I, Kreskin? You tell me what he’s doing.
To learn about caring for birds Bart watches a film strip narrated by Troy McClure in what is the final appearance of Phil Hartman on the show. It is a hilarious film strip and I only wish I could find it somewhere for you to see it but find the dvd and watch. There is also a great gag about introducing new species into an environment.
Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.
But isn’t that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards?
No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.
But aren’t the snakes even worse?
Yes, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
But then we’re stuck with gorillas!
No, that’s the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death
Season 10 Episode 3
So those are my favorites. What are some of your favorites? Do you have a fondness for the Simpsons or hate them?
Oh and the music is some of the best on TV (theme by Danny Elfman and other music by Alf Clausen)
Just wanted to share this video I made with you my awesome readers. I made it to try and conquer the challenge that is being single on valentines day. Please share it with those that find themselves in a similar spot and could use it. Happy Valentines Day!