I had a busy week at work and no time to formulate a good blog post. Reality shows were about all I could handle after my long workdays, except the one night when I found myself choosing to watch an old episode of Medium after a few glasses of wine. The episode from last season where she dreams about the pig was fascinating with a few drinks under my belt. Anyway, last night, I was recovering from my hangover and a random event occurred that tied my real life to television (happens to me all the time, actually).
A while back, in a meeting, I noticed the profile of a colleague that looked kind of like this:
I thought to myself, who does he remind me of? Woody Woodpecker came to mind, but I knew that was not quite it. Then I remembered this toy my dad used to have on his desk. A bird with a hat that used to teeter over and dip its beak into a glass of water. That was it! This guy reminded me of the Dippy Bird!!! This realization was too weird to share with my newish work friends and no one outside of work knows the work guy (and most are too young to remember the dippy bird), so I have been living with this in silence, until now. Last night, I was catching up on Mad Men and THERE IS WAS!!! THE DIPPY BIRD ON MAD MEN!!! I was so excited. Here it is? See the resemblance?
I tried to keep the TV off today (so I could get my bonus/huge sense of accomplishment), but my monkey brain wanted something to entertain itself in the background while I was paying bills & reading emails and I was curious to know what the kids on the “Secret Life of the American Teenager” were up to. It’s such a strange little show on AMC Family. The general themes are teenage pregnancy, teenage sex, relationships of teenagers with each other and with their parents. It is all wrapped up in a”Disney” type, politically correct/liberal family show with some very corny comedy mixed in. Everyone (teenagers and adults) are wiser and more open than anyone on planet earth. They do stupid stuff , but they also seem to know why they are doing it and how to fix it and then they all analyze it and talk about it excessively. I think the point is to show parents and kids talking about sex and their relationships like it is no big deal so real life people will start talking more and stop making stupid mistakes….but those girls do keep getting pregnant. The characters really are more endearing than I have suggested, which is why they are in my TV family, but it has been relegated to a Tier 2 show. So I don’t get my bonus this week but I did get to “half watch” Amy and her friends go to some bar in NYC called Pajamas (in their Pajamas and it looked more like a Disney set than a bar), Ricky sleep with some random teenager (we don’t see the sex, just a little bit of kissing in bed. The rest is implied) and then text a picture of his baby to his baby mother who was at the bar called Pajamas, and Grace’s new guy try to get in to her pants by suggesting a “dance your pants off party”. (Side note, Grace’s mom – not shown above – always looks quite stylish).
I did take a break from my TiVo for a couple of nights this week and stepped out on the town.
On Thursday night, the original plan was to attend a mixer where I knew no one. I was of course dreading that, so when the option of attending a work happy hour presented itself, I quickly jumped on that bandwagon. It was still semi-adventurous of me, since I don’t know very many people in my office and had no idea if I would know anyone there. There were a couple of people there I knew and I met some new peeps. No fast and furious friends, but it was mildly entertaining. Nothing like the nights at the Galaxy in Ocean City with my PWC peeps or Coast/Map Room outings with the Fab Four in Chicago, but those are hard nights to live up to (trust me..good times.) I stayed too long, had more drinks than I should have for a “not so fun night”, and regretted it the next day. I did feel a sense of accomplishment for being out and about and meeting new people and I may have networked my way into some free US Open tickets. Overall, probably more productive than watching Big Brother.
Friday night was much more fun. After a quick nap after work, I threw on a hipster outfit and headed to Williamsburg with my friend LL (who generally frequents Williamsburg when his wife is away or has other plans because she is not a fan of the boroughs.) We met up with another friend of his for dinner, MG. MG was gracious enough to draw names out of a baggie I brought with me to help us pick our fantasy football draft order of dinner. We barely escaped a moral dilemma when we were not sure the draft order was successfully saved on my phone and thought we might have to redo it. I am just now making the connection that LL then “accidentally” spilled hot candle wax all over my iPhone (clearly in an attempt to create a technical malfunction and get a better draft pick), but one of the restaurant employees quickly came to the rescue and instructed us that a Metrocard could be used to scrape off the wax. (Apparently, this happens to the hipsters all the time.) The iPhone was fully de-waxed, and it turned out that the draft order was successfully saved and emailed and we continued on with our evening and kept our horrible picks. (I am 12th which means I have back-to-back picks in our snake draft. I might have a heart attack during the draft.)
We then ventured on to a beer hall and had fascinating conversations about books, blogs, social climbers, double dates, ambition, TV (of course!), running, beards, and other various topics. It was a fun night with lots of laughing and interesting conversation. The title of this blog post was inspired by LLs theme for the night which was “keeping it real”, and we did! I was definitely a little buzzed on the way home because I remember commenting on the subway that “there are so many people”. My mind was blown that the subway car was full of people that I had probably never seen before and will probably never see again and that that happens to me every day. I likely see repeats more often than I realize, but there are a lot of people in NYC. Deep thoughts on the L train.
So those were my non-TV adventures this week. Aren’t you excited you popped in to read them?
I was supposed to go to the office today, but I woke up a tad late, remembered that I have a 7:30 am crack of dawn con call, and decided to bag the office and work from home. I REALLY wanted a Starbucks Iced Triple Grande Whole Milk Latte (my signature summer drink) so I threw on some clothes and headed to Starbucks pre-meeting. I get there and they tell me they have no ice. No ice! In August in NYC? I start to leave and then realize ice is a commodity that I actually own so all I need are the milk and espresso and I can add the ice myself. (No, I did not get a discount, just some really weird looks). I get home 5 minutes before the crack of dawn con call, add the ice, and notice right away that they gave me 2% or possibly even worse, skim milk. These variations are NOT part of the signature drink and I am not flexible on this. When I am at Starbucks, I can use my “iced latte superpowers of detection” to notice, in an instant (when the drink is fully assembled) when they give me 2% or skim and immediately refuse it and get another. Today, because of the ice issue and the 7:30 am crack of dawn call, I was screwed.
What the bejesus does this have to do with Charlie Brown? When I posted this little gem (in much shorter form) in response to a Facebook status update about my Iced Late today, my friend said I sometimes remind her of Charlie Brown. This was directionally correct and it cracked me up. As did this excerpt from Wikipedia: “Charlie Brown is a lovable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a “permanent case of bad luck”……He also has a sense of reality about him, usually making comments of sad realization to the sarcastic jibes or using quick-witted remarks to point out the often ridiculous actions and bad luck he often has”. Kind of me… although I have had much good luck in my life and am blessed in many ways, I am a glass half full kinda person. I also sometimes refer to myself as Chicken Little, which is even more appropriate.
So that was my adventure of the day and I have thoroughly impressed myself with my ability to turn this into a blog post…
I really want to like Rubicon, but so far I am mostly bored or confused. Maybe it is all over my head…
My thoughts after episode 3: If you were going to leave a bunch of clues for someone to find because you thought you might be killed, would you really be so elusive? You are already dead. “They Hide Out in Plain Sight”? What is that? A code that includes stuff that is totally irrelevant so you know you decoded it? Is that a common code tactic? I would have no idea but seemed like a stretch to me. And who would take apart an entire motorcycle before noticing the seat is ripped and has a piece of tape over it? Not someone who knows that bears recycle their waste when they hibernate! Very confused by the odd relationship between the short creepy boss guy and the wimpy office spy lady. It seemed like she might hate him, but then she picked him to talk to about her scary ex-husband…that was just weird. I could go on..
My thoughts after Episode 4: It is touted at the best episode yet, but I was mostly bored. Is the point that espionage is boring and not that glamorous? The fact that decisions about life & death are made over doughnuts with incomplete information (how many times did they say that?). The briefcase thing seemed like it was trying to be funny, but it wasn’t. Same with the MILF joke. The Acela to DC does not leave from Grand Central. I know Penn Station is ugly, but that was just wrong.
Some positive notes…The show is visually appealing. This James Badge Dale guy (aka Will) is adorable. Digging the FiDi location near the Seaport. Still can’t figure out where Will lives…he appears to walk home from work. Must be Brooklyn somewhere. Seems like the characters are starting to develop it is just so SLOW!!!!
I love the idea of it all..so I will hang in there but my excitement is waning…
I must admit, I am starting my “10 hours of TV a week plan” on an easy week. SYTYCD and the Bachelorette just ended. (Guilty pleasures that suck up a lot of TV time.) The fall TV season has not started yet so things are pretty quiet on the TV front for my kick-off. Here are the rules:
I am allotted 10 hours of dedicated TV watching time per week. This is 10 hours in actual time which means about 13 hours of scheduled programming. (fast forwarding through commercials of course) Dedicated TV time is time when I am mostly focused on the TV and it is not just on in the background while I am doing something else.
DVD TV shows DO count towards the 10 hour budget. Shoes on Hulu (which I rarely use) would also count towards the budget.
Weeks start on Sunday. Unlike my childhood (Love Boat, Fantasy Island, BJ and the Bear, etc) there is nothing worth watch on Saturday. So in my world, the TV week starts on Sunday.
I get bonus points for ONLY turning the TV on for my dedicated TV watching time. I did it this weekend and it really helps quiet the mind (I suck at meditating so this was as close as I have gotten..silence). Right now the bonus is just a HUGE sense of accomplishment and a quieter mind. Perhaps I should come up with a real reward for myself…..
TV watching at the gym or in a bar does not count. These are clearly social and health related activities where TV is totally allowed.
Until I get bored of it, I will post my selected “13 hours of scheduled programming” in the cool text widget on the sidebar. Notice that this week I am catching up on some stuff I am behind on AND I am going to try to squeeze in Dexter Season 4 (just released on DVD) before the Fall TV season starts. I should qualify that I don’t have Showtime (in an attempt to minimize my TV watching..hah!) so I am behind on Dexter, Weeds, and Californication. All great shows that I hope to catch up on eventually.
I love television and I watch a lot of it. Why is this a problem, you ask? Because I am not living up to my potential as a human being and as long as I am planted on the couch watching Big Brother and Mad Men, I won’t. It would be nice to have a relationship like Tami and Coach Taylor’s instead of just watching theirs. And what am I left with when my friends on the Island flash sideways and leave me? I have a lot to give the world. The Real Housewives of New Jersey do not need my Nielsen vote.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on completely cutting television out of my life. That would be crazy. I love it too much. My goal is to cut back to 10 hours a week and spend more time on other things like interacting with other human beings, learning cool new stuff, and giving back to the universe. This may still seem like a lot of TV for some, but when you have watched every episode of every season of as many shows as I have, this is quite a feat. I need to keep tabs on Sookie Stackhouse and am quite curious to see how Rubicon unfolds, but I also really want to read the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and save the world.
Why am I blogging about all of this? I am hoping that if I share my television reduction plan with all of you, it might help me stick to it. And I have this theory that if I am committed to blogging about my life, maybe it will inspire me to make my life more interesting. I would also love to share my thoughts on the shows that stay in the rotation (because let’s not forget, I do love television), and on life in general. And of course, it wouldn’t be a blog if I was not curious to hear your thoughts on my thoughts, so bring it on….
PS: I have already achieved my goal of not turning the TV on at all today by spending my Saturday night learning how to blog. The momentum is building. Can you feel it?