Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Falling for Nothing

Kirby is pretty unimpressed with this year's Fall television schedule.  The new shows are lackluster.  He's still pissed that they didn't renew GCB; he loved that show.  I have to admit that I agree with my furry friend.  What is going on with this season's television shows?  It's one crapfest after the next.  With that being said, I'm sure I'll find something to watch.  Here is a day-by-day breakdown of what I'll be watching.

  • ABC has a trifecta of awesome TV.  Once Upon A Time (one of my favorite new shows from last year), followed by Revenge (which was probably the best new show last year; think awesome 80's nighttime soaps amped up with drama) and finally a new show 666 Park Avenue.  I think this show will probably be good.  John Locke is back and as creepy as ever.  I will also be watching a lot of Sunday Night Football this fall.  Yay!
  • The only possible show is Revolution on NBC.  The previews look decent, but not totally exciting.  I'm giving it a shot. 
  • Another night where only one show looks good to me.  Vegas is on CBS and is about Las Vegas in the 1960's.  I think there's a mix of wild west sheriffs and big city mob bosses who clash it up.  It looked pretty good.
  • Arrow on the CW will probably be terrible.  I'm going to watch just so I can see if it's the good side of terrible or the crap side.
  • Finally a decent night of television!  First up is ABC with Last Resort.  This show does not look good to me, but I will watch it to see Scott Speedman.  I love Scott Speedman and wish that Felicity was still on so that I could see him every week. 
  • The Vampire Diaries is back on the CW.  I still think this is one of the best shows on TV that not enough people give credit to.  Every episode is a game changer.  Literally.  It's like every episode so much happens that it feels like you just watched 3 hours of TV.  If you aren't watching this show, please do.  You won't regret it.  And for those who need to catch up, it is available on netflix instant.
  • CBS has another one of my favorite shows from last year Person of Interest.  I love the combination of Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson (Ben from Lost).  They are a perfect odd ball pairing.  After POI there is a new show debuting called Elementary.  I have mixed feelings about this one.  It's a Sherlock Holmes reboot set in modern times.  It will either be terrible or brilliant.  But, I have a feeling it's going to be terrible.
  • America's Next Top Model is back.  If the show doesn't improve, I am out.  Last seasons British invasion was so terrible.  The models were awful, the challenges were lame, the pictures really dull and unattractive and the final challenges were so stupid.  I think Tyra's lost her marbles.  This is it's last chance to keep me.  And if you lose me as a viewer, then you are really doing something wrong.  Also, did anyone watch the British invasion season?  In the beginning, they painted the girls lips to look like either the American flag or the British flag and it was the most distressing thing I've ever seen. 
  • Grimm has already started on NBC.  Have you guys been watching?  I love Grimm.  The characters are so great and the story lines are really fun and engaging.  Plus, it's graphic. 
So, there you have my TV schedule.  I guess less sitting on my butt means better possibility of exercising.  However, I have a feeling that this lame fall television schedule will make me bored around January.  Are there any shows that I'm missing?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You Can Buy Crap

Have you ever been in a store where you see something that truly blows your mind?  I often have that experience when I go into Menards.  Menards is awesome.  You can buy ANYTHING at Menards.  Need a book, come to Menards.  Need some paintbrushes, come to Menards.  Need candy, or tulip bulbs, or Halloween decorations...come to MENARDS.  Seriously, they have everything you need and everything that you don't want. 

Here's an example:

Need a toilet seat cover with jumping trout on it?  Just head on over to Menards and you can find one.  Nothing will beautify and modernize your bathroom more than this.  It's a Fashion Soft Seat.

Oh wait, you're more of a woodsy person.  Well, you are in luck because Menards also carries these:

A toilet seat cover with timber wolves!  Gorgeous!  And MADE IN USA! 

Of course, if you find yourself having a difficult time deciding between the two, just buy both.  You won't regret it. 

Who buys this crap?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Things I'm Excited For

I've started to feel that coolness in the air that we get in late summer nights.  Although, I really believe that summer is far from over.  Or is that just the optimism talking? 

On that note, I'm really, really, really looking forward to this fall.  There's so much good stuff happening that I can hardly stand it.  My big fear is that I won't have quite enough time to really enjoy the season, but c'est la vie.  I'll try to enjoy as much of it as time allows me.

On that note, here's my list of the Fall Things I'm Excited For:
  • The Wedding.  I can't wait.  I feel like there's so anticipation for the actual wedding, but I really can't wait to be married.  The wedding and all of the pre-wedding festivities are going to be so much fun and so special to me.  I get a little bit sentimental when talking about it all; it feels like an event that has already happened and when I think of it, I'm just remembering it fondly. 
  • Fall Football.  I'm not really a football fan.  I will admit that.  But, Mike loves football and he likes to have friends over to watch football which means I get to do my favorite thing: cook for other people!  I love making pulled pork and dips and brownies and can't wait to have excuses to cook like a maniac.
  • Fall Movies.  There's nothing I love more than going to the movie theatre.  This is evidenced by the fact that every "Things I'm Excited For" post has movies in its list.  However, I don't know a ton about the big movies coming out this fall.  With the wedding planning craziness, I just haven't paid all that much attention, but I'm still looking forward to seeing some great movies in a cozy theatre with my buttered popcorn.  One huge highlight will be the Breaking Dawn movie.  I'm excited about the movie and to see the awkwardness between Edward and Bella at the premieres.  I feel like a fourteen-year-old.
  • House Decorating.  I have amassed quite a collection of Halloween/fall decor.  I'm not a great home decorator, but I like putting up seasonal decorations.  I just think it warms up the house and sets a festive mood.  I can't wait to break out my pumpkins and leaves and really jazz up my house.  It's looking pretty boring right now.  
  • House Organization.  Once the wedding is over, I am doing a full home re-organization.  Since moving out of my mom's house, I've never lived in a place for longer than a year and a few months.  Which was nice because every time I moved, I'd purge.  Mike's been living in his house for two years and me for almost a year and a half.  We need to purge.
  • Chili.  Is this weird?  I love chili, but haven't made it since last winter.  Some days, it's all I think about.  What kinds of peppers will I put in the chili?  Should I add any new spices?  What kinds of meats should I use?  I'm drooling now.
Obviously, this fall will be hectic for me, but I'm really hoping to savor the season and slow things down a bit.  Do you want to know what I'm not excited for this fall?  TV.  Are there any new shows that look good? 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

What the F!@#?!  I'm going to let that sink in with you for a minute.  This book was a huge WTF.  First, it was disappointing.  Jonathan Safran Foer's book Everything is Illuminated is one of my favorite books.  It's so beautiful and moving and weird and hysterical that I treasured every moment I got to read it.  Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, also written by Foer, has such an awesome title that I thought it would be a surefire win.  It wasn't; in fact, it wasn't even close to a win.  Secondly, the book was unbelievable.  I love weird stories where unimaginable things are happening, but when you take a story that is actually supposed to be believable and then mix in these things that are happening that should never happen, it makes your story so obnoxious.  Third, this is a complete knock-off of the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.  There are moments when the similarities are uncanny.  I feel like Foer just rewrote The Curious Incident and decided that he wouldn't make the main character autistic.  However, if he had made the character autistic then a lot of the stuff that happens would have made sense, but since he couldn't make it so obvious that he was just rewriting The Curious Incident, he couldn't give the little kid autism.  If you're disagreeing with me right now, read Extremely Loud and then read The Curious Incident and then let's discuss. 

Okay, so the story starts sadly.  A 9-year-old boys' father dies in the World Trade Center on 9/11.  There's a heartbreaking tale in the book where the father calls his house while he is stuck in the towers and leaves a message on the answering machine that the boy continuously listens to.  That part gave me chills. 

At some point after the father's death, the 9-year-old finds a key in the dad's closet and it's in an envelope with the totally generic word "BLACK" written on it.  Shit.  This is really where the book lost me.  The boy believes that this is a treasure hunt that the dad left for him (because apparently the dad and his young son used to play these treasure hunt games) and so he begins a quest for the lock that the key will open. 

Holy Jeepers Creepers.  This story is weird.  Okay, so this 9-year-old is somehow smart enough to figure out how to contact every person with the last name "Black" in NYC.  Really.  EVERY PERSON.  Do you know how long that would take you?  And then he just begins walking around NYC going to stranger's houses asking them about this key.  It's just so unbelievable and stupid.  Extremely Unbelievable and Incredibly Stupid.  It's also contrived.  Because of course he's going to meet interesting characters who help him on this journey and bring levity to the situation.   

Yuck.  This story just annoyed me.  It made no sense and what was worse is that the characters were so under developed that you didn't care if this kid walked into a drug den on his journey.  In fact, I wished he had done that.  It would have made things much more interesting.

Overall, I thought this book was terrible.  1/5 stars or 3/10 stars.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wildlife Express Train

This is going to be a rough review, but let's start with the positive.  The good thing about taking the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom is that the actual train ride is relaxing.  No one goes on this ride, so it's likely that you will have an entire train compartment to yourself.  So, there's that.

Otherwise the whole experience is lackluster.  Remember in the movie Twins where they told Danny DeVito that they took all the best DNA and gave it to Arnold Schwarznegger and that DeVito was just the crap that was leftover.  That's what the train and Rafiki's Planet Watch is.  Leftover Animal Kingdom crap.

Once you get to the Planet Watch, there's a play area for kids and a building with some exhibits that talk about conservation and endangered species.  They have some animals to look at, but it's a lot of stuff that you don't really care to see.  For instance, there's a petting zoo, but I think there's just a few animals out like goats and sheep.  And they smell.  The petting zoo at Valleyfair is better than this one.   

So, it's really lame.  For adults, you just ride the train and then wander around the exhibits for a few minutes only to hop right back onto the train to go back to the park.  For kids, that jungle gym area is a huge problem.  If you get them there, have fun getting them out. 

The only neat thing is that inside the building there's a place where they have veterinarians giving exams to the animals.  So, if you happened to be there when they were showing something really neat like a rhino giving birth, it could be cool.  I think both times I've been back there, the vets haven't been doing anything. 

The only thing that makes this attraction worth bothering with is the relaxing train ride and the possibility of seeing a vet do something cool with the animals.  Otherwise, this is a terrible waste of time and space.

1/5 or 2/10 stars.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Dreams

I am Olympic obsessed.  Like, staying up way too late every night so that I'm crabby and irritable the entire next day obsessed.  I've always loved watching the Olympic games and I think one of the reasons why I'm so obsessed now is the nostalgia.  I have specific memories of past Olympic games.  I remember watching the Atlanta games gymnastics in the living room with my mom, I also remember being so excited to find out who won the women's figure skating in Nagano that I asked to use the bathroom pass during a high school class and snuck to the library to use their internet.  This was back in the dial up days where it would take FOREVER to download a webpage.  BTW, it was Tara Lipinski who beat out Michelle Kwan.

I know a lot of people dream of winning Olympic gold, but I've always dreamed of winning Olympic silver.  I aim high, folks.

I just have always thought that the silver medal is much prettier than all of the other medals and on the podium it really stands out.  The gold and the bronze medal look so similar that you can barely tell them apart from afar.  Plus, I prefer silver jewelry and if I were ever to win an Olympic medal, I'd totally be wearing it as a necklace everyday.  So, silver wins.

This philosophy of mine is one of the reasons I could never be an Olympian.  I have no competitive spirit.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  You want to be better than me at something?  I will actually step aside and allow it because silver medals really aren't that bad.

When I was a young girl, I played on our city softball league and I was actually decent.  I could hit better than most of the girls in the league and I was an alright catcher.  However, I really didn't enjoy the defensive side of the game and so when I wasn't playing catcher, I was usually put in right field.  Ten-year-old girls aren't very good at hitting into the outfield and, even if they did, the ball almost never makes it to right field.  So, I would drive my parents crazy by spending my right field days picking dandelions and dancing.  I really didn't care about keeping my head in the game, I just wanted to have fun.

This attitude further hindered me in law school where everyone was so focused on getting A's that they would give up every morsel of their spare time to do it.  Other students would spend hours going and talking to professors to get hints at what would be on the final.  They would also play a grand social game which included at least weekly happy hours, joining student clubs and hobnobbing with their mentor attorney.  The ones who were the best at it often times were rewarded with great jobs.  Then there was me.  I did well in law school classes receiving a few A's and A-'s, a lot of B+'s and a few B's and B-'s.  I also worked through the majority of law school both at law firms, legal editing companies and retail stores.  However, while others were spending their time out at social functions, I was at home studying and watching Friends

But, I'm happy.  So, that's the silver lining.