Sunday, October 2, 2011

Amazing Race Week 2-My heroes leave TAR

So, just in case you didn't figure out from my last post...I love Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn. I have for YEARS. They are both so involved in charity work, Ethan gave a good chunk of his Survivor: Africa winnings to his charity Grassroots Soccer. Last year, AS he was going through cancer treatments, he participated and helped fuel the Survivor team for Stand Up to Cancer. Jenna has been right through his side through everything. I was so excited to see them run the Race this season that I was probably pretty obnoxious about it to those around me. heroes fell victim to the classic Race fault...that is...not reading a sign in its entirety. This isn't the first time this has happened...nor were they the first team on tonight's episode to fall victim to this. They just happened to be the team who fell victim at the absolute worst moment.

We started tonight's episode in Taiwan, with Ernie and Cindy leaving at 9:30 (approx) PM. The teams were all gathered to travel to Jakarta, Indonesia and then move on to their final destination in Indonesia. From here, they went to the roadblock, which was a cave in no-mans-land Indonesia...but was actually a quite beautiful no-mans-land. For the roadblock, one team member got to spelunk down into a very deep cave, then run into the middle of the cave and find a sword and a creepy looking mask. After finding these items, the team member had to run back to the front of the cave, and climb a very shifty looking bamboo ladder. The rungs on the ladder were not, as Cindy discovered, conducive to those of us who are short...but man did it look fun.

The detour (welcome back!) took place in the heart of the city where our teams had arrived, and had to choose between "money maker" and "ticket taker". Money Maker's had to perform a tradition dance in the street while the locals were stopped at red lights, and then gather money from them just before it turned green. They had to gather 30000 Rupa. The other teams had to park (I believe) 15 scooters, and also raised 30000 Rupa doing so. They then had to take their earnings to an orphanage where they would receive the next clue.

There was something very key about this part of the leg. Teams had to give up, not only their earnings, but any money they had remaining from the first leg of the race. Of the 11 teams (since one was not eliminated last week), 3 read the provided sign and did so. 8 teams did not read the sign, and therefore had to go back to the orphanage to give them the rest of their money.

This is where things fell apart for, well basically everyone, but most especially Ethan and Jenna. Somehow, they fell way behind at the detour, putting them 4th to last at the orphanage and pit stop the first time. As they were running back to the orphanage, Kaylani and Lisa (who were behind them) checked in and HAD followed the rules. Then Jennifer and Jason returned from the orphanage for the second time, leaving one place left. It came down to a race between Marcus/Amani, and Jenna/Ethan. In the end, it either was not as close as the producers would lead us to believe, or Marcus and Amani truly rallied and beat Ethan and Jenna.

Ron and Bill also were eliminated tonight, but that was not as much of a surprise since they were trailing other teams since the roadblock.

All in all, tonight was a very sad night for me on the Amazing Race. Ethan, I think I speak for everyone when I say, please get on a morning or evening show and propose to that girl!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Biggest Loser Week 2

What do you get when you tempt a bunch of people attempting to lose weight with donuts and the prize is to determine when people exercise? A competition, thats what, and that is exactly what this episode began with this week.

Each contestant was invited in, 3 at a time (one from each team) and a plate of mini donuts were set in front of them. They were told that, this week, the gym would only be open at 3 times of the day for use; two hours in the early morning, at noon, and 2 hours at night. And teams could only pick one slot in which to exercise. The winner of the temptation would get to pick the exercise time for all 3 teams, and could only confer with their team about the order.

In the first group was "Coach", also known to me as Mr. Danley. I watched in horror as he ate 11 donuts, so that his team of blue could win the right to exercise at their optimal time. However, Coach would not win the game today. Many of the players, in lieu of actually participating, chose to instead make it SOUND like they were participating, which was actually quite hilarious as it really just made it sound like they were dying or making lots of noise. John, from the black team, was the one who actually clinched the win, after eating 37 donuts (this was in 3 minutes). The black team took the morning slot, gave the noon slot to the blue team, and the unattractive evening slot to the red, young team.

The actual challenge this week looked like a lot of fun, to be honest. Teams were put on a floating maze in the middle of a pool, and had to move a ball from one end of the maze to another. The team to get this done in the fastest time would get a 2 pound advantage (black) and the team to do it the second fastest a 1 pound advantage (red). Blue team struggled, but in the end they were able to finish the maze, which is always important on this show. 

This episode had some drama, especially in regards to the meet and greets with Dr. H. This is always an interesting, yet sad part of the show, because contestants realize just how sick they are in many cases. One such instance was with Ramon, who is 27 years old with an inner age of 50. It is so upsetting to see these contestants, especially so close to me in age, with these issues, because it should be hitting home that this can happen at any age.

The best part of this episode, for me anyway, came when Mr. Danley was talking about his family and most especially, his wife. Mrs. Danley was my science teacher in elementary school, and it was just amazing to see someone I knew on that television screen. The show did a special tribute to the two of them for their 38th anniversary, and it was so touching.

Overall, despite this being week 2, the contestants did ok as far as their numbers. In the end, Johnny from the blue team was sent home, and he looks absolutely amazing.

"Red and yellow seem to be the national colors here!"

So, this Sunday marked the start of my all time favorite show, The Amazing Race. I can honestly say that there have been a few seasons that haven't rocked my boat, but for the most part I love it, and the Emmys seem to agree with me!!

I love Amazing Race for a number of reasons. The first, and foremost, is that it gives me the chance to travel throughout the world vicariously, and also relive places that I have already visited. Not to mention, it has been a driving force in my adding a few (or more than) locations to the list of places I want to go. The second is that they seem to try to really get REAL people, unlike other "reality" shows, although it is always exciting to see returning faces or faces from other shows (I'm lookin at you, Jenna and Ethan!). Finally, I love the challenges because I think about doing the things that happen on the show...but I don't know if I would ever do them.

This season is super exciting because two of my all time favorite "reality" stars are racing. They are Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn. I love them. I have loved them since Survivor All Stars, when I first caught wind of their relationship. When Ethan gave that hug to Jenna as she left the show to be with her mom...UGH! It gets to me every time. They had started their relationship at that point, but kept it a secret while on the show. Since then, and especially since Ethan had Hodgkin's, I have followed their every cyber move, and jumped for joy when they were announced to be on TAR.

Ok. Enough hero worship. The rest of the teams are nothing short of amazing also, and other than Ethan and Jenna, I definitely have a few I want to see go through to the end.

Amani and Marcus-A married couple, Marcus is a former NFL player. They are, so far, so humble and really seem to love one another. I really like seeing that on the Race

Andy and Tommy-The "Hippies" of a new generation of racers. They are so fun, and are former Olympic athletes. It will be interesting to see their seriousness come out as the series progresses

Bill and Cathi-A couple married 41 years. I can only hope to make it that long with my husband.They were barely saved by the skin of their teeth this week too!!

Ernie and Cindy-I love Cindy. So smart, and so willing to do new things. Ernie is hilarious, and so far they seem to be strong front runners.

Jeremy and Sandy-Didn't get to know them very well in the first will be interesting to see how their season goes since they came in 2nd on this first leg!

Justin and Jennifer-Siblings who seem to both be spitfires. I really hope the Race brings them closer to one another...they seem close now, but it looks like some fireworks start happening next week!

Kaylani and Lisa-Oh, Kaylani and Lisa, Vegas Showgirls. They seem so likeable, but made so many mistakes this first episode. After leaving the first challenge last, and thereby getting an extra challenge once they reached their destination, Kaylani lost her passport. Well, not so much lost as it fell out of their car...but this should be a lesson to all future racers-PROTECT YOUR PASSPORT! I have seen so many passport mishaps happen on the show that it generally drives me crazy. However, Kaylani's race (and potentially life, considering how mad Lisa was) was saved by Twitter. The young man who found it tweeted about it, and was told to race the passport to LAX, and HE DID! Kaylani...I hope you got that boy's contact info, because he is a total sweetheart!

They also got to participate in a pretty cool, but something I probably wouldn't do, hazard challenge where one of them (Kaylani) had to bungee jump in a mall in Taiwan. I dont think I would be bothered by bungee jumping near a body of water...but in a mall with a concrete floor at the bottom...that would freak me out. Kaylani did it successfully, and they were able to save themselves from what, at the beginning of the episode, looked like would be the end for them.

Laurence and Zac-Zac was the first person to ever sail around the world. At age 16. Wow. I imagine this team to be a bit of a dark horse, considering their first leg. They made it in at a respectable 6th place out of 11...but I would watch out for them during water challenges for sure.

Liz and Marie-Recently graduated from college, twins, and racers close to my age. They certainly seemed like they were going to implode during this leg, especially during the "Confucius" challenge. Hopefully they can pick it back up, because like they said, twins communicate differently than normal people :)

Finally, Ron and Bill-Domestic partners who fly for a living. Again, like Jeremy and Sandy, they weren't really featured much in this episode.

The episode began with a "needle in a haystack" type challenge, where each contestant had to find a parasol that read "tai" on it. They then had to figure out that their destination was Taipei, Taiwan, and head to LAX. They had to choose from 2 flights, 8 teams on one, and 3 on the other. Upon arriving in Taipei, they had to find a flashing board with yellow and red balloons on it, and determine that the clue was located there. None of the teams found this board on the first pass, and it took some longer, some much much longer, to find the clue. The clue was in Chinese, so they had to ask a local for help.

The clue sent them to the Confucius temple in Taipei, where they had their first Roadblock. One team member had to listen to a Confucius saying, then repeat it back to a monk verbatim. I think this is something we would all like to think we could easily accomplish, but when I think back to my flight over to Japan, and how I felt afterwards, I can only imagine what these contestants brains' feel like. And mine was just for a vacation!

After correctly stating the phrase, they had to move to a dragon racing boat area, and race a boat around the river. The contestants ended in the following order:

Ernie and Cindy-who won the Express pass
Jeremy and Sandy
Justin and Jennifer
Ethan and Jenna
Amani and Marcus
Laurence and Zac
Andy and Tommy
Ron and Bill
Kaylani and Lisa
Liz and Marie
and finally, Bill and Cathi. They will return to us in next weeks episode, in which there will be a double elimination

I cannot wait for this AMAZING season!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Survivor Week 2-Whiny Pansy Hantz is not greater than jerk Hantz

 Survivor this week was so full of different things that it’s difficult to know where to start. We come into the episode with the recently voted out Semhar reciting what I assume were poems to herself. Then there were the obligatory check ins at camp, with the most notable being Ozzy searching for the immunity idol. It was so exciting watching him monkeying around in trees again J. At the other tribe, Christine chose to search for the clue to the idol, and found the one that she missed last week.

The real excitement, though, came in this week’s sole reward/immunity challenge. I have to say, I truly miss having a reward and an immunity challenge, rather than having duels, but I digress. The challenge this week started with 4 contestants from each tribe having to dance around a pole and unravel ribbons, and then 4 other members figure out a puzzle. Between the two parts, the contestants doing the puzzle had to be “unlocked” from a corral of sorts, using the keys from the pole. At the end of the puzzle, the tribe had to move the biggest part to a platform.

Upolu came into this challenge strong. They finished the part with the ribbons very, very quickly, and then moved on to the puzzle. However, they got cocky during the puzzle, and decided they could just take their time. However, once the Savaii contestants were unlocked, they (under Ozzy’s leadership) jumped right in, and I am pretty sure they were breaking physics and literally flying around the puzzle. They made up a significant amount of time, and Savaii ending up taking home the idol for the next 3 days.

Not surprisingly, Christine became the main target of Coach for tribal council. However, Brandon, with that good ole Hantz blood, couldn’t resist attempting to sway the votes in another direction, towards Mikayla. However, unlike his uncle, this seemed like a decision completely separated from logic and strategy, and more about his being tempted by her as a “married man”. Quit your whining about it and grow up kid, you HAD to know that there were going to be women on this show wearing bikinis or lingerie (since I don’t think they have been given their suits yet), so if this was going to be a problem you never should have applied. Its sad but…I think I prefer his uncle to him (and I really did not want to).

At tribal, there was the usual bickering that happened, and then Brandon spilled his beans about Mikayla. Seriously, dude, this just makes you seem like a whiny pansy. Cut it out. In the end, though, Christine was targeted by the majority of the tribe, and has been sent to Redemption Island.

They're back!!

So this week was the "official" start of the 2011-2012 television season, with most of my (our) favorites returning to us from hiatus. This was the 2nd week for Survivor, and the first for Biggest Loser, Big Bang Theory, and Fringe. Amazing Race (YAY!) will start this evening. 

Let’s start with a brief recap of Biggest Loser. This season is especially exciting, because there is a cast member from my neck of the woods on the show. In fact, he was my sister's teacher at her high school! He is a great guy who has spent the majority of his life working with teenagers, and running a lawn care business on the side. Mike Danley, we are all rooting for you here!

This season, for the time being, Biggest Loser has placed the cast members into teams by age. They are the "under 30" team, the "under 50" team, and the 50 and up team. There are also two new trainers, including the esteemed tennis player Anna Kournikova! She is the trainer for Mr. Danley's team, which makes her addition all the more exciting. We are also getting to know Dolvett Quince, and the ever popular Bob Harper is returning to us for his 12th season. 

It’s important to note here that it is the first time in a very long time that we are not starting out the season with teams of two wearing several different colors. Many times, these teams of two were comprised of people in a previous relationship. This adds an interesting dynamic back into the show that I cannot wait to see play out. 

Now, moving on to Big Bang Theory (I'll go back to Survivor later). At the end of last season on Big Bang, we discovered that Penny and Raj, two of the main characters, had slept together. Or, was it "slept together"? This opening dealt a lot with this question, as well as the fall out associated with it. The second episode went back to the wacky and zany approach that we so love about Big Bang, putting the characters into silly situations. We also saw mostly separate scenes between the girls and the guys' groups. 

One of the biggest revelations on Big Bang this week involved Raj finally being outed for his crush on Bernadette, Howard's girlfriend. This led to us seeing Bernadette angry for one of the first times ever, and losing it on the unsuspecting Raj. While this was one of her only scenes in Thursday’s episodes, it was definitely one for the books. I was disappointed not to see more Bernadette though!

On Fringe this week, the main characters are dealing with a world that no longer includes Peter, but at the same time both universes are still aware of one another’s’ existence and are working together, to a point. For this episode, while the show runners went back to the “Monster of the week” format we so love about Fringe, there were definite references to Peter’s character, or lack thereof, and the fallout associated with that. I very much missed Joshua Jackson in this episode, but was excited to see that Agent Lee, who was important in the alternate universe, is now taking a place in our Fringe division. It will definitely be interesting to see him grow into his position there.

I also found it interesting that we have, yet again, been introduced to another color during the credits and throughout the episode. They are using amber this season, very much the same color as the actual amber used to stop events in the alternate universe. I cannot wait to find out what this really means as the season progresses. 

Thats all about these shows for this week, I hope to keep up with each of them a little better than I did this week, and give them all their own recaps!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Week 1-Ozzy, Coach and the new Cesternino?!

Today marked the beginning of the fall 2011 television season. While other shows may have started already, one of the biggest shows on CBS started this evening, officially marking the beginning of the season in my mind. This was Survivor: South Pacific, the second iteration of the Redemption Island series of Survivor.

The episode began very much like others have...with the two tribe rowing in, Sir Jeff Probst already on the beach, and our "secret players" coming in my helicopter. I have to admit, I really miss the epic entrances and exits at the beginning and end of this show...but this helped to whet my appetite. I also found it interesting that on both tribes, the players were wearing similar colors to their team flag. The blue team, Upolu, had a team of people who arrived wearing fairly cool colors...blues, purples, etc; whereas the red team Savaii had players in warm colors...reds and yellows. Don't know if this was mere accident or planned by the producers..but it would certainly be interesting to find out.

Next, Ozzy and Coach had to be put into their tribes. I really loved the way this was done this year, that is, giving them eggs that they had to break. I liked this because it was very difficult for Coach or Ozzy to pick a tribe on purpose, whereas when players had to choose a buff, there was more room for error. I also think it will be interesting to see how things play out on Coach's tribe, since their is obviously one person (Christine) who really has no use for the former players...but at the same time Coach has already begun to cultivate a bond with the other members of his tribe.

The first challenge was our first "duel" of the season of sorts...Coach and Ozzy were pitted against one another to get reward for their tribes. I loved how both the tribes pitched in during the pyramid puzzle (called a Towers of Hanoi challenge by my husband the engineer), and this one on one challenge ultimately turned into a team challenge. While I love the competition once it gets to an individual game, I always love how the teams come together early on. Ultimately, Ozzy won the challenge for his team.

Here would probably be a good place to mention the other members of each tribe

Coach, Albert, Brandon, Christine, Edna, Mikayla, Rick, Sophie, and Stacey

Brandon is Russell's nephew (just in case you didn't hear it the 50 times it was stated on the show today) will be interesting to see how long he can keep that information under wraps. Although...I do prefer the younger Hantz to the elder thus far.

Ozzy, Dawn, Elyse, Jim, John (Cochran), Keith, Mark, Semhar, and Whitney

After the reward challenge, the Survivors went to their respective beaches and started to get to know one another...the only really important thing that occurred during this time was that Christine decided to start searching for the immunity idol early will definitely be interesting to see how that play affects the rest of her game.

Fast forwarding past the typical first episode stuff, we come to the immunity challenge. This is an actual team challenge, with several of our favorite obstacles to over come. My personal favorite part of this whole episode was when they showed the teams strategizing..I am not convinced they have ever shown that before!

My second favorite part was, after showing the strategizing and Semhar boldly stating that she would be fine to throw coconuts, her fairly foreshadowed breakdown when it actually came time to do so. In a rare Survivor moment, you weren't allowed to switch out your members, so she was stuck trying to make coconut baskets despite her pleading. An important Survivor lesson can be learned here...keep your mouth shut especially if there are others on your team who can perform the tasks as well as you can!

At Tribal, it came down to between Semhar and Cochran. Thankfully (just because I love Cochran so far...), Semhar was sent to Redemption Island.

My early favorites to win are:
Cochran-He IS the new Cesternino. He, like me, has obviously studied the show for academic reasons, and personal reasons too. If he can get past his feelings of weakness and show that growth to the tribe, I think he could be a serious sleeper, especially if he lays off on the "I know everything Survivor" talk.

Ozzy-I just love Ozzy. I have since he stepped on the beach in the Cook Islands.
Coach-I think Coach was much more polarizing in Tocantins, and therefore that led to people not taking him as seriously (or being annoyed with him) and kicking him out. I think he definitely feels like he was mis-labeled in Heroes vs Villains, so he probably wants redemption for that if nothing else.

Sophie (I definitely think, if nothing else, she will help keep Coach under control!)-She's smart. She told people she majored in Russian Economics, and she is listed as a medical student. Plus she was able to converse in Russian at the drop of a hat. Keep an eye on this one!

Edna-She's an anesthesiologist, which has to mean something. At least one anesthesiologist has done well in the past on Survivor (Mick from Samoa), and I just have a feeling about her...

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The start of a new season/semester

In my last entry, I talked about how I finally received my dream(?) job. I started teaching last week, and I am loving it! I have 2 great groups of students, totally approximately 52 students. I think we are going to have an excellent semester.

I am also taking my final two classes in my Master's program. One of these is health communication, in which we are actually putting on a health campaign. Not a simulated experience like most things that happen in graduate school, an actual campaign that we will present to the university at the end of the semester. Its a totally exciting, new experience that I am so glad to be a part of.

I am also taking a different version of a course I previously took, intro to cultural studies. I consider myself a cultural studies scholar, and love learning about it. Between those two classes, I am going to have a great semester.

It is almost time, also, for a new season of TV. I didnt end up getting to recap as many shows this summer as I would have liked, so I am starting fresh here. I plan on recapping:

Amazing Race
The Biggest Loser
Big Bang Theory

I may also select a few other shows once I establish what all we will be watching this season.

Something truly exciting about this fall's TV season lies with Biggest Loser. On this show, with the cast just announced, there is a gentleman from right here in North East Indiana. His name is Mike Danley. He is actually married to my elementary school science teacher, and was my sister's DECA sponser when she was in high school. He is awesome, and I regret never getting to meet him when my sister was in school, but he is the only one I am rooting for this season!

On Survivor this season, we have the returning cast members of Coach and Ozzy. Ozzy has been one of my favorites since he was first on Survivor, in the Cook Islands. I cannot wait to see what this season brings on Survivor, the last couple have been absolutely crazy.

Finally, the Amazing Race, which we are still waiting on the cast list for. I will edit with my thoughts when that comes out!

In all, I am glad that the semester has started, and I can not wait for the fall 2011 TV season to launch. I also am glad to have anyone who is reading join me in discussion and analysis of these shows!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Officially over the moon...

All of have that one thing that, if we were to get it, it would make us whole. Or at least give us the illusion of feeling whole. For some its having children, others it is playing a sport with a particular team, or even just getting to spend time with an old friend that one has not seen in a long time. There are so many other things I could mention, but that is for another blog at a different time.

In my very first blog, I mentioned that I was a graduate (Master's) student at a university where I live, studying Communication. What I did not mention, however, was that I was in my last year as a Master's student, most people get done with the program in 2 years, I took 3. Anyway, what I have tried to do for the previous two years was to obtain a teaching assistantship in the Communication department, teaching two classes of our basic course. I was rejected both times. This spring, I applied again, figuring it to be a bit of a long shot because I have so little time left. At that time, I was again told no, for the reasons I assumed.

However last Wednesday, I received a phone call from the person who does the hiring for the basic courses at my university. He asked if I was still interested in teaching, to which I replied "YES" and tried not to squeal until AFTER I got off of the phone with him. This is the thing that I have been waiting for, for so long, and the thing that I feel makes me feel whole.

This is one of those things that supports my reasoning of a higher power. The last two years, if I would have gotten hired, there would have been significant roadblocks put in front of me during the semester. My first semester, my husband was still healing from a back surgery that he had over the summer (at age 22!). In spring 2010, my second semester, my father was in the hospital for a month. In fall 2010, my father had just passed away (at age 51, 10 days from his 52nd birthday), and I was an absolute wreck. It was difficult for me to muster up the energy to rise from my bed and go to classes and my assistantship that I had received, working in an office related to the college campus.

If I had received the teaching assistantship position anytime before now, I would not have been able to perform. I would not have been a good instructor for my students, because of all of my personal things going on during my first 4 semesters of graduate school. I had even given up hope for this semester, and resigned myself to just teaching after I completed my degree. I am so glad to finally get this opportunity.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The best and the worst

The best part about this flood? Finding all the stuff we forgot we had, or hadn't been able to find, and also reorganizing the house completely. The flood forced us to reconsider how we were doing things with items, as well as reconsider if we actually need certain pieces of furniture.

The worst part about this flood? Finding all the stuff we forgot we had, or hadn't been able to find, and also reorganizing the house completely.

Yeah, the best and the worst part are the same thing. It has taken a lot of work to decide exactly how we want to put everything together post flood, especially since I basically deemed our collection of books ineligible to be close to the floor in case of another flood. This led to the biggest part of our reorganization, as the vast majority of our books were in our basement. We are still waiting on furniture for my office, which was upstairs, so that I can put my portion of the books upstairs. We have also reorganized a large part of our kitchen and bathroom as a result of the flood, because some items from downstairs have moved upstairs. Overall, its coming together much more quickly than I anticipated. This makes me happy.

Earlier this summer I posted a recap of a True Blood episode. Since then, I have kept watching True Blood, which is quite interesting this season. I have also been watching Food Network Star, Switched at Birth, and my first season ever of the Bachelorette.

Switched at Birth is one of my absolute favorite new shows. I hope ABC Family doesn't do to this show what it did to Kyle XY, which ended on the worst cliffhanger I have ever seen. For those who haven't seen it, Switched at Birth is a show about two teenagers in Kansas City, KS who were switched in the hospital as young children. One became deaf at a very young age and lived with a single mother. The other lived a life of luxury, and was the one who discovered the families' secrets.

Since the first episode, the mother of the deaf daughter lost her job, and subsequently moved into the guest home (which is situated above what looks to be a 5 car garage, I think) of the family of daughter who discovered that they had been switched. Since the show started, both of the teenage girls have fallen in love from boys of the "opposite world" at least once, they have discussed issues of addiction to both alcohol and gambling, as well as enlightening the viewer to the deaf community in general.

I studied ASL in college, so this show is especially close to my heart. I spent a year immersing myself into the language of ASL and the deaf community, and therefore when deaf are portrayed on television, I take note in how the language is handled. I am happy to say that this show remains very true to deaf culture, at least in my mind as hearing citizen, and does an excellent job interweaving this into the plot that leaves the viewer not even questioning if it is being done well.

The only downfall is that this show likely won't appeal to large audiences, because most of the plot lines are based in general teenage issues. This is probably meant mostly for the teenager, someone in college, or someone interested in learning more about the deaf community or just how to communicate with those who are different than you. I love it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why I shouldn't be allowed on Tanga

Dan sent me a link to a super secret thing on Tanga I can't talk about because it *might* be a Christmas gift for some people. But, anyway, at the bottom of the page was a listing for these

And this is what happened
Me-I try to avoid Tanga. Cause then I want to buy stuff.
Dan-I just get the email.
Me-Yeah I can't do that either. Cause I'd still get tempted
*scrolls to bottom of super secret page, finds laser pointers*
Me-These were on Tanga last time we looked. Can we get one for the cats?
Me-This is why you shouldn't let me on Tanga. Cause I find stuff to buy. And last time we looked at Tanga we decided to get one of these for the cats.
Dan-The cats are fine. And I really shouldn't let you get on Tanga.
Me-Cmon! You lost their other really nice one!
Dan-*walks away*

Zee Flood

 I have been promising this for a little while, so here goes. At the end of May, we had a flood. Now, we have only owned our 40 year old house for two years, it is nowhere near any of the city's 3 rivers, and so we never really saw this coming. We had a small flood at the end of April that affected some of our basement, but we were able to get all of the water out through some suction and dehumidifiers.

After the first flood, we had a plumber and our foundation guy look at the systems in the house. The plumber (growl) found nothing wrong with the plumbing system (more on that later) and said it was a foundation issue. We then called our foundation guy, who came and looked at our foundation and didnt see an issue. He said putting in a trench could help, so we did that and the next several rain storms everything was fine.

We then went on a cruise at the end of May for our 2nd anniversary. We watched the news a bit while on the cruise, so we knew the Midwest had gotten slammed with storms, especially Joplin. I was actually considering having my husband drop me in Joplin so I could help, but then I got sick on the cruise. When we got to the mouth of the Mississippi River on May 25th, at around 10, I texted the girl watching our house and my mom to find out how the weather at been. At that point, everything was fine in our home.

The next morning we decided, instead of staying in New Orleans for an additional night as we had planned, that since I was miserable I needed to get home. About 4 hours into the drive, we got a call from home, saying that our house was flooded. We kind of thought (and hoped) it was just a small flood like we had in April. Not.So.Much.

 The above 3 pictures were the first pictures I got from my mom in the immediate aftermath. Its kind of hard to see how deep the water was at this point... (We were 9 hours away from home at this point. and I had a fever already.)

Taken by my husband's mom.

You can see my father in law's foot is basically covered by the water here. Yes, it was apparently this bad.

So, the short story here is, we had a group of wonderful family and friends that came and got all of our stuff out of the basement, and put into various other places in our home. My poor cat (He is the black, white and brown one in the pic at the top) got moated by the flood as well. And then we got to stew over whether our homeowner's insurance was going to pay. They did, by the way. This is because (remember that plumber) our flood ended up being classified as a E3 water loss. This basically means it was a sewer backup. In our flood in April, I was convinced something was wrong with our sewer system. But since the drains were all dry, I was ignored. Well, in this flood, water continued to come in for 2 days. This is because the insurance told us they wouldnt send anyone out until the water started coming in, but they also didnt advise us to use a plumber of any kind. After 2 days, I was like fine, lets just call a plumber. They fixed the water coming in problem in about 25 minutes, and it turned out it was due to roots in our sewer system. This is a common problem in older homes.

So, whats the moral here? IF YOU HAVE A HOME THAT IS OLDER THAN (WHO KNOWS) GET YOUR SEWER SYSTEM CHECKED! We seriously ran into several friends that had this same problem after determining what our problem was, and it was homes mostly older than 10 years with trees that were getting up in age on the property. So thats my little bit of advise for today. Get your sewer system checked. I even have a fantastic sewer specialist whose number I can give to you if you are in the Fort Wayne area.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stupid laws

This was a website I frequented in high school when we were sat in the computer lab for hours on end but only had 30 minutes worth of work to do

However, now I am actually LIVING it. Indiana decided to pass a law that prohibits drivers from texting. Ok, whatever, its not like we have actual important things going on in this state (like our educational system falling apart), so a texting law was SO needed. But this post isn't about the texting law. I rarely do it (OK now I never do it) and I doubt it will really affect me. BUT...what gets me is what is being said about it by the cops.

In the first paragraph, it says "Officers say voluntary compliance is key" to the law being successful.

What? other laws...voluntary compliance ISN'T key?! So what IS key in all of our other laws? People tattling on one another? Police actually paying attention (which is another post...I know there are lots of good officers out there, but there are a small majority who don't do their jobs)? SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT ELSE IS KEY PLEASE! Last I checked, every time I followed a law I was complying voluntarily. No one is holding a gun to my head (which would be THEM committing a crime) getting me to follow said law.

If someone could explain this to me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I will be posting tomorrow the story of why my allergies have been so bad in great detail. There will also be a moral to my story.

Til tomorrow.

Friday, July 1, 2011

True Blood Season 4 Ep 1

Before you read this, if you are NOT a current True Blood fan, go here and watch this video,,20504479,00.html

You back? Caught up? Good.

The season opened with Sookie in a fairy dimension after falling into it at the end of last season. They keep offering her this weird fruit stuff, but she doesn't fall for it. She also sees her grandfather that she has believed to be dead for 20 years (Which is fairy time is a week). Long story short, fairies (or faeries?) aren't quite the lovely people we would expect them to be, and as Sookie tries to escape they turn into something that looks more like goblins. To escape, she has to jump in a gorge, Grandpa following her all the way.

They fall through a portal into Bon Temps, fairly close to the cemetery where Grandma, and Sookie's parents are buried. Grandpa quickly falls to dust because he had eaten the fruit stuff (No, I don't have the explanation for this). Sookie runs to her home and finds it being remodeled. The construction worker (construction, shudder) calls the police on her. The policeman is her brother Jason, who explains that she has been gone 12.5 months (Which felt like 15 minutes fairy time).

The regular hijinks of True Blood ensue after this point, and we get caught back up with all of our main characters. I think my current favorite is the evolution of the Jessica/Hoyt relationship...I just can't help but root for those two!

In all, I think it is shaping up to be a pretty good season. I will generally post more lengthy blogs than this one, but I didn't feel like writing "We met back up with so and so and this happened" 15 times, so this was easier :).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The beginning of a long story. And allergies.

This blog post is brought to you by a Lint Brush, my husband's current favorite new item.

So, back to our originally scheduled programming. I have been away for awhile, due to the end of the semester (all my graduate school friends in the house say HEY!), a vacation, and a massive flood that completely overtook my entire basement, ruined everything, and resorted to me having to leave cat boxes in my bedroom. Needless to say, its been a long two months.

I'll get into that later though. Cause of the flood we have had construction, which has been KILLING my allergies. I haven't felt this miserable in forever. Today I decided (after two weeks) to finally get some actual allergy medicine, rather than hiding in my bedroom whining because I felt miserable. Anyway, when I opened the medicine, I found this (see right). Now, I expected there to be a little cotton ball in there, but this completely threw me through a loop. Apparently some company has started making actual absorbent..things..for pill bottles to be used in place of cotton balls?
What made it all the more weird was that this was a Walmart brand allergy medicine. I never expected anything so fancy from an Equate product.

Anyway, later this week, I will post my musings about the first episode of True Blood Season 4. This will be my summer attempt at seriously blogging about a television show.

I will also post more about what happened with the house, my weight loss (down 10 lbs since April 28 yo!) and any other weird things that come to mind. Like finding strange things in my pills.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weight Loss

All of you are just getting to know me, so none of you are probably aware of the struggles I have had, for years, with my weight. However, hopefully this summer all of that will change! I have started a competition with a few friends from college here in our hometown, and we are going to be blogging about our weight loss, our journeys to how we developed the weight in the first place, and our general feelings about the process. Join us!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are we having another writers strike?

It seems like this season of shows is very thin. I do not know if it is just because my husband and I don't have as many shows on our "list to watch" as we did in college or what, but it seems like we are going weeks and weeks without having shows to watch regularly. This week, the only show we watch tonight (Thursdays) that is on is the Office, and that is only semi regularly. Maybe I just notice this because we DO have too many shows we watch, and when they aren't on, there is a void. Have your favorite shows been canceled a lot this season?

The name of the blog

The name of this blog was inspired by a shirt my paternal grandmother gave me several years ago. As a child, I read almost constantly. In the summer, I would finish two to three books a week. So, the shirt read Cats? Books? Life is Good. However, now that passion is not so much limited to books (going from high school to undergraduate work, then straight into a Master's degree kind of kills the desire to read for fun), and has extended to all forms of media, more specifically television. Hence, the name.

Ramblings of a future media critic

First, a welcome. Welcome to my blog, which will be a collection of ramblings about my cats, the media I enjoy, graduate school, and anything else that pops into my head at any given time. You'll never know what you are getting from me!

My name is Sharon, and I am a graduate student in Professional Communication. That probably doesn't mean much to most of you who are reading this, so let me explain. At my university, our Master's program in Communication can really be formed to whatever the student wants it to be. I have chosen a route that involves taking mostly media classes. My goal is to become an excellent Cultural Studies scholar, and eventually spend most of my time teaching at a university and watching television shows and critiquing them for research. This blog is a start up to make that happen.

I am also happily married. We have been together since we were 18, and have been together for 6 years (if you do the math, you can figure out how old we are at this point in time). He is a web designer for a trucking company, but enjoys media about as much as I do. We have three wonderful, furry children who never cease to make us laugh. Their names are Carbon Teddy(like the element), Hiro Bonsai (like the character from Heroes), and Echo Lilian Penny (Echo from Dollhouse, Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and Penny from The Big Bang Theory). My other passions include traveling, doing home improvement projects (even when they might not be necessary), and many other things that will be unveiled in this blog.