Television

It's been a while since we had a TV post, right?

I am up WAY later than usual, especially on a Phillip Out Of Town night. On Phillip Out Of Town nights I go to bed right after I put the kids to bed, but I don't go right to sleep - I read or watch a show on the Kindle or obsessively check Twitter. I just love my bed and I love being in it and it's one fun thing about Phillip being gone - no pressure to Stay Up And Pretend I Have Better Things To Do. 

Phillip: night owl. Me: I have my pajamas on by 7. 

But he's coming home a bit after midnight tonight and there's no school tomorrow... so I'm watching TV and drinking wine and folding laundry and shopping online... 

Tonight I watched the season premiere of Nashville: LOOOOOVED IT. I am biased. First of all, I have a huge huge crush on Tami Taylor and her glorious head of hair. Second of all it is a not well kept secret that I love country music. Third of all it was GOOD! Hayden Panettiere was an EXCELLENT evil Taylor Swift, the love triangles/quadrangles/whatever were sufficiently interesting and confusing, there was a little side act with two adorable music up and comers, and a bunch of creepy, powerful, wealthy relatives making everything terrible. Actually the Dad Character was cartoonishly evil which made me want to skip all his scenes. But I will definitely be watching next week (and the week after that and the week after that). Also the songs are good! 

I'm watching Parenthood, like the rest of the internet. Unlike the rest of the internet I don't love this show. None of the characters ring true for me. All of them have at times, but most of the time, most of them talk and act in ways that seem Highly Unlikely to me. But everyone loves this show so much that I often think that it's ME who is off. But I keep watching. I think I keep watching because of 1) Lorelai Gilmore and 2) Crosby and Jasmine and 3) Julia, who used to annoy the heck out of me but is now one of my favorites and 4) to see how terrible they're making Haddie look. Also: Ray Romano as the reason Lorelai probably breaks up with her younger dude? ODDLY WORKING FOR ME. Weird. 

I really want to love Partners. I want to love it because I love Michael Urie and I was heartbroken when Ugly Betty was cancelled and the Marc and Amanda team was suddenly no more. Marc and Amanda were two of my favorite Secondary Characters ever! But this show has the cheesy half hour sitcom laugh track thing, and it's always awkward when the laugh track is going when the joke is not funny. I have hope. I've seen a couple of bright moments. I like the concept. But... SIGH. We shall see.

I watched about ten minutes of The New Normal before I shut it off and cancelled the recording. I hated the grandmother. And I ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY HATE IT when child actors are in scenes that are CLEARLY inappropriate for children and maybe that makes me a stuffy prude but WHY ARE THEIR PARENTS ALLOWING THAT. Also, if people think Michael Urie is a caricature on Partners, they haven't seen the Book of Mormon actor on The New Normal. 

Modern Family: I still think this show is hilarious. 

How I Met Your Mother: I still think this show is unfunnier each time I see it. And yet: I WANT TO MEET THE MOTHER!!!

I'm so happy The Good Wife is back. I am super bummed that the Alicia/Will relationship seems to be totally kaput. WOE! I think the Kalinda's Husband storyline is super creepy and I have no idea where they're going with that. I am intrigued by Maura Tierney. I LOVE CHRIS NOTH. Also Eli. Love Eli. And Cary. I love Cary. Oh, and Diane! She's awesome! I just love this show. Are you watching it? You should totally be watching it. 

I wanted to keep watching Revenge, but now it's on at the same time as The Good Wife and I can't record two shows at once. I used to be able to record THREE shows at once, but Phillip informs me we haven't had that capability for something like two years? I don't know. I am usually more on top of the TV equipment developments. But my thoughts on Revenge are: soapy fun, but Amy Abbott could be so much more. She's got some great comedic timing that gets NO love on this show. 

I am ALMOST done with season 4 of Parks and Recreation on Netflix and I've been recording the new season. I can't believe it took me so long to start watchng it. It has so much HEART and I laugh out loud SO MUCH, which is amazing because I pretty much never laugh out loud at anything I watch. I totally think Bright Abbott should get an Emmy. 

(Whatever happened to Ephraim?!)

I cannot WAIT to start watching Homeland, but we don't get Showtime. So. Luckily I am married to someone with technological savvy. Ahem. 

I still love The Big Bang Theory. 

And I watched the second episode of The Mindy Project. I missed the first one somehow. I didn't LOVE it, but I definitely didn't think it was terrible. It was very... it was very Mindy Kaling. The only basis I have for saying that is following her on Twitter and reading her book. In fact, I recommend reading her book to better understand her show. I thought it was sort of funny? Almost funny? The bickering between Mindy and the doctor she'll eventually fall in love with wasn't super entertaining, the Mindy character herself might start to grate, and what a huge waste of Anna Camp. I'll keep it on my DVR list for now, but I can see it getting frustrating.

Sort of like The New Girl, which doesn't feel as fresh as it did last year (obviously). Still funny, still delightfully random, but I feel like I've kind of seen all those characters do as much as they're going to do. I'm not super invested in the Jess/Nick relationship, and I liked it better when Schmidt was wooing CeCe. And Winston, poor guy. He's never going to get a decent storyline. 

I love how I just wrote "super invested" in a fictional relationship, like it's expected and normal and how dare a show fail at hooking me into a FICTIONAL RELATIONSHIP. Omg. 

Believe it or not, I do not sit around watching TV all day. I guess when Phillip's out of town I watch a bit more, huh? But seriously, I watch more Dora and Busytown Mysteries than anything else, promise. 

 


It's hot and I have a splinter in my finger.

It is so hot. It is ALMOST too hot to blog. 

All these things that I've been super good about lately - exercising, cooking real dinner, keeping up on the laundry - I totally shoved to the side this weekend because: SO HOT. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home from church today, which hasn't happened in forever, and they spent the entire afternoon downstairs in their skivvies building trains. Our downstairs is a daylight basement so it's bearable down there, at least. Last year we had a stretch of 90+ degree days, but we were sleeping on the third floor and it was dreadful. This year: much better. Anyway, then we went out to dinner for the trillionth day in a row, even though I've been SO GOOD on the budget thing lately, seriously, GOLD STARS FOR ME, but DUDES. It is TOO HOT. Our kitchen is the hottest place in the house too, on account of the windows on three sides and getting extreme afternoon sun. I love it, but it kind of feels like being the ant under the microscope. 

Anyway. I wouldn't necessarily recommend dim sum on a 90 degree day, but Tara, who I've been reading longer than almost everyone else, is in town and Tara wanted honey walnut prawns. And my streak of Bloggers Turning Out To Be As Awesome In Real Life If Not Awesomer continues. Also, have you seen Tara's pictures of her kids? It's hard to tell if she's an amazing photographer or her kids are just that gorgeous (both, obvs) but I talked her into taking a picture of ME. Phillip is always whining about the snapshot I use for my posts at Parenting - apparently HE is not interested in having HIS mug plastered about the internet - but even when I crop just my head out of a snapshot it looks terrible. Tara has promised to Photoshop the everloving crap out of these pictures, so hopefully there is something I won't be too mortified to post. Which - do YOU guys like posing for pictures? I felt like a total idiot. (No thanks to Liz laughing at me from peanut gallery, HARRUMPH.) I mean, it is safe to say I have no inner Heidi Klum. WOE.

Have I mentioned it is too hot to blog? The things I do for you people. 

Actually, the things you do for ME. Those were some really nice comments you left me yesterday. Thanks. 

In my quest for Dirt Cheap To Free books on the Kindle I picked up a ninety-five cent Hercule Poirot mystery (oh how I love Hastings!) and I was desperate to get back to it last night when the kids when to bed, but Phillip has been wanting to watch this documentary called No Impact Man for, like, EVER and I decided to humor him. Have you seen this thing? HRRMMM.

No Impact Man is going to be speaking at Phillip's work thing (which amuses me, since you can only relate No Impact Man's crusade to Phillip's work by the barest of threads) and he wanted to check him out. Basically he tried to have no impact on the environment for a year. From sensible and laudable things, like reducing waste, to somewhat, ah, nuttier things, like going without electricity. Apparently he caused quite a stir (when I wasn't looking, I guess, I hadn't heard of him) and of course he had a BLOG and he got lots of haters and trolls and he was crazy in that admirably idealistic sort of way. But the most interesting thing about it was his wife, who is Normal with a capital N, except for the fact that she is so head-over-heels for her husband that she's willing to live without electricity for six months. She's the one you relate to, she's the one who's super honest about everything, and when they start talking about Whether Or Not To Have Another Baby you can't help but feel a TINY bit emotionally invested. 

I didn't really like it, if you must know, because there was no ending. When the year was over, so was the documentary. And I'm sitting there all, "WAIT! Did he think no electricity was WORTH IT? I MUST KNOW!"

Anyway, I live in a very Green Conscious City, if you will, and we try to pay attention to what we're using and doing. But now I really do have to get some sort of compost bin, I can't really keep on throwing corn cobs away when I have a perfectly huge yard waste bin five steps away from my door. However! I can't help thinking that the advent of electricity was a major win for the world as we know it. (To be fair, I feel safe in assuming No Impact Man comes to the same conclusion, although I won't know for SURE, because the movie HAD NO ENDING.) 

Ugh. I am trying really hard not to get angry with Jack for whining when he should be sleeping, because it's HOT and I feel like whining TOO, but yeah. NOT SUCCEEDING.


Seven Bursts of Random

1. Our beloved Liz and Lucy came over to play this morning, which is pretty much the only thing that I can put in the Win column for today. I tried to talk Liz into renting the house across the street, which has brand new landscaping and appliances and three bedrooms and a beautiful kitchen and why wasn't it available when WE were looking? But seriously, I think this parenthood gig would be improved 1000 percent if Favorite People were within walking distance. And this would be more like SPITTING distance. However I took the kids on a walk this afternoon, the better to stay away from Circus Sign Up Websites, and the sign is down. It appears someone decided to pay the requested rent, which was somewhere in the range of They Must Be Freaking Kidding. BOO.

2. I've spent an embarrassingly long time trying to decide if I should post pictures of my stupid HAIR. But I think no, because 1) it's not washed which means it looks like an oil slick and 2) it's up and if I took it down now it'd be all wrinkly, you know how it gets and 3) I have two enormous zits on my chin, because my body thinks we are still in high school and 4) I sincerely despise posting pictures of myself on my website and asking people to give their opinions. Oh the horror!

3. I would prefer to eat cookies, cakes and brownies in their dough and batter forms. Almost without exception. You?

4. We went to a conveyor belt sushi place tonight, because can YOU make dinner when two small beasties with 400 degree body temperatures are fused to your legs? So we went to the sushi place, which was all my idea, except I don't like sushi. I KNOW. Must I remind you that I have the palate of, uh, Jack? I like FAKE sushi, as in vegetarian sushi or the weird little egg and tofu wrap thingies, oh and the heaping plates of chicken teriyaki and my favorite, vegetable tempura, but not so much with the sushi. But I'm thankful there are so many other things to eat there because the sushi restaurant makes my husband so very happy. 

5. I haven't watched the last episode of Friday Night Lights yet. I don't want to. I'm nervous. My boyfriend Tim Riggins is in jail! JAIL, YOU GUYS. Ugh. It's all stressing me out. Speaking of TV, Liz told me that Christina Hendricks used to look like this. I had no idea. The 1960s have been good to Christina Hendricks, that's what I think. 

6. I am pretty sure Phillip fell asleep while holding Molly (part of her nighttime routine). I know this is totally cliche, but one of the best things about having a girl is watching your husband get wrapped twelve zillion times around her little finger. That and the PIGTAILS. (I'm learning!)

7. When you're picking a place for dinner, like dinner with friends or a date night, something like that, what matters more: the food or the ambiance/type of restaurant? Turn this blog upside down to see my answer! (Oh I am SO FUNNY! Maybe I'll tell you in the comments.)


10 pm, starving, want brownies, writing inane blog post instead

This afternoon a giant package showed up on my doorstep and why NO it WASN'T a surprise present from my thoughtful husband away on his business trip, it was for (I think) the previous tenant. Is the mailman reading my blog? We get a lot of mail for [many different] old tenants. Most of it is junk and I toss it, but if it looks important I scribble on the envelope and put it back in the mailbox. Can't do that with a package, though. I will be calling the landlord in the morning and seeing if Previous Tenant has a current phone number. Let it be known I am doing my part for mis-delivered packages!

It was sunny this morning for the first time in ages, so we packed ourselves into the stroller and went for a nice long sweaty walk. The stroller has developed an inconsistent squeak, like sometimes it doesn't make any noise and other times it sounds like I am beating one of my children and everyone on the trail is turning to look at us. So I thought about buying Phillip a double jogging stroller for Father's Day. You know, I haven't been running since I hurt my foot. It's all better now, as far as I can tell, and I briefly considered picking up the running habit again last week, but then I remembered: Hawaii. What if I bust my foot again? I can't be gimping around Hawaii! OBVS I need to take it easy! (Bummer!) But I actually sort of miss it. And I really think I would JOG while using a jogging stroller. I do! So that's back on one of the burners. Not necessarily a FRONT burner, but definitely not the BACK burner. 

And Phillip is gone again, which means I haven't washed the dishes and I attempt to spend all of our waking hours with friends, by which I mean MY friends who just happen to have children. I strongly recommend finding yourself some friends who 1) feed your children and 2) beg you to stay until all the kids are ready to crash into bed. Good times! And when I got home I called my husband and I can't believe I'm saying this, but all this work nonsense could turn out half decent. Maybe even better. I'll believe it when I see it, of course, but it was nice to have some good news. Blog Assignment: Cross fingers!

Oh, and now it's pouring again. That's the nice thing about skylights. It's easy to decipher levels of rainyness.

I keep thinking about our trip next week, and how it's 85 degrees in Honolulu and how fan freaking tastic it was the first time we went, right before we got pregnant with Jack. My friend is FROM Hawaii - lots of Hawaii kids head to the mainland for college - and we were sort of set up by a mutual friend because we both needed a summer roommate after freshman year. It was the best time, you guys, and we lived together every summer after that. (I just realized that sounded kind of strange. See, we were in the Non-Denominational College Fellowship, in which it was a given that you would live on campus in a DORM, which is why I lived in a DORM until I GRADUATED, OMG. With a different roommate every year!) ANYWAY. The day my friend moved back to Hawaii was a sad one indeed, and I bawled the entire way home from the airport. Sorry, freeway drivers! 

All that to say: I AM VERY EXTREMELY SUPER DUPER EXCITED. 

Man, I am all over the place tonight, huh?! And I should probably go to bed. Last night I didn't go to bed until midnight because 1) Phillip is not here and 2) I hadn't seen the last two episodes of Friday Night Lights and YOU GUYS. THIS SHOW. I mean, I've always loved this show, but I didn't think getting rid of half the characters and moving Coach Taylor to East Dillon would make it BETTER. But all the girl characters I kind of hated went off to college and all the boy characters I loved are still around and I watch that show knowing that Kyle Chandler is an actor, I KNOW, but I have to think he is a Texas high school football coach who also acts in a TV show about Texas high school football. I mean, HE IS COACH TAYLOR. And same goes for 99% of the other actors on that show. SWOON. I don't know if it's the acting or the writing or the way it's filmed or what, but someone needs to give that sweetheart Matt Saracen a freaking Emmy THAT'S WHAT. SOB.

(When Phillip gets home we are starting up Modern Family and Burn Notice. Oh Michael Weston! I've missed you!) 

Okay. Yeah. Just skip this one. Sorry if you got this far. LATER.


Seven quick Friday takes from a dark Thursday living room

1. I am watching, from my living room window, a lady park, get out of her car and retrieve her things from the trunk. She's wearing very tall black heels, a short skirt and a fitted jacket. Her hair is in a neat updo. And the bag she just pulled out of the trunk is a very rectangular, very shiny leather thing. Like, I might call it an attache case, if I had any idea what an attache case IS. The point being: I am wearing the jeans I've been wearing all week, a t-shirt that stinks because I never put on deodorant, stringy flat hair, no makeup and the only things I pull out of the back of my car are strollers and bags of laundry soap and clearance shorts in size 24 months from Target. 

2. My house looks just like I do. And yet, here I sit, dorking around on the internet, snooping on my neighbors. I don't know why I thought it'd be easier to keep this house clean. More rooms just means more rooms to fill with crap.

3. The FPC is graduating tomorrow. We will now have to refer to her as the PC. Well, not really. Apparently she still has to suffer through summer quarter? But for whatever reason, tomorrow is her Big Important Project, but unlike thesis papers and dissertations, you can EAT the FPC's final. She's baking and serving something like ten different items tomorrow and guess who gets to HELP eat the final once it's all graded? Unfortunately, it doesn't start till 12:30 and I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing with the kids (actually, I'm pretty sure i'm bringing them WITH me, which is SO going to suck later when I am Single Parenting on a school night, BLEAH) but I am obviously not going to pass up a menu that includes peaches and maple ice cream crepes and berry tarts and petit fours and fresh croissants... although now that I'm listing it out, it appears there might be a serious lack of chocolate. I'm SURE I'm mistaken. The FPC and I have very similar feelings on chocolate. 

4. This is the FPC's graduation present. I stole it from a Style Lush post. FPC: don't click. 

5. We finally broke up with Comcast (although we are still using their [crappy] internet) and now the TV is this giant mystery. It annoys Phillip when I say that, because it is not a mystery to HIM, here, just click this and this and then go here and then click this and BAM! TV! And I'm not saying I'm not a FAN of our new system, I'm just still figuring it out. We have the Xbox, we have the TiFaux, we have the Wii and then there's still a 'Watch TV' button that I keep pushing because I forget to push a different button... Anyway, I'm getting used to it, but so far so good. I can still watch all my shows. I watched the Good Wife finale yesterday on CBS.com because Phillip didn't set it to record on the TiFaux and I don't know how to do it myself. (YET!) I love that show. I really love that show. And tonight I have big plans for Friday Night Lights - I have two or three episodes to catch up. My big TV plan for the summer is Modern Family. I haven't seen a single episode and I'm pretty sure I can find them all online. 

6. We also, after YEARS of saying we were going to do it, gave up the landline. So far this is not as painful and annoying as I thought it would be. Maybe because people I don't want to talk to are still calling the house number. I'm not a big phone talker and I hated the idea of getting random calls on my cell, but it's not a problem. (YET!) What IS a problem is that when my phone broke (the day after we put our house on the market! convenient!) one of Phillip's classmates gave me his old Blackberry and now I have a phone that makes it verrrrry easy to send text messages. I may or may not have received a Text Message Talking To last night. Gak.

7. In the last two or three days, Jack has gone from seventy-four "accidents" a day to maybe one or two. And half the time those are my fault. I am cautiously optimistic. CAUTIOUSLY. 


Opinions of things I have recently seen on various screens

We just went to peek again at the new house (tomorrow! it is ours!) and I am indecisive all over again about placement of beds/desks/tables. Let's not think about it, shall we? Let's talk about TV!

Oh, and if you are all, "ISN'T THIS A MOMMYBLOG? WHERE IS MY MOMMYBLOGNESS?" head on over to Parenting sometime tomorrow (Thursday) where I tried very hard to say something I've been trying to figure out how to say, failed miserably (natch) and will try again at some further point in this space. Stay tuned.

I was really excited about this Parenthood show once NBC (is it NBC?) started super hyping it during the Olympics, and by "super hyping" I mean "flashing Lorelai Gilmore's face at me every three seconds". Which is not at all a bad thing. Of course my TiFaux didn't catch the first episode and I sort of forgot about it, but I've been catching up with On Demand and it's official, I love this show. There are a couple of Annoying Characters/Situations - control freak working mom, I'm looking at you - but there are some really genuine moments and I love the actors. I love Peter Krause and I think he fits his role so well and you KNOW I love Lorelai Gilmore whose character is a bit more believable than her last, but still has that cheeky, snarky, un-filtered mouth. People, I even love Dax Shepard. I did not think that was possible. Also, I thought Amber (Lorelai's delinquent daughter) was going to be my favorite teenage girl character, but so far Haddie (Peter Krause's perfect daughter) is winning my heart. When she told her mom that her boyfriend apologized for being totally wrong about 'Love Actually' and now they're back together again, and did this with the Sincerest Swooniest Face In The World, I just about died.

The other show I make a point to watch is The Good Wife. Perhaps you've heard me plug it before? RIGHT? I know Nurse Carol has all the trophies, but it's the supporting parts that make this show shine. Christine Baranski makes anything she's in about ten times more awesome and I've had a crush on Josh Charles since Dead Poets Society. I love the inner workings of the law firm, I love the judges, and even though I would have kicked him to the curb LONG ago, I love Chris Noth as the sneaky Bad Husband. I think Matt Czuchry's character is more of what he should have been on Gilmore Girls. And this is a crime procedural, which I normally hate, but it is all so COMPELLING and also FUNNY. I point you to the episode in which Matt Czuchry's junior associate is high in every scene. 

I've also been watching Veronica Mars. Again. IT INSPIRES ME. 

Phillip and I watch a handful of shows together: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Lost. The first two are "let's wind down with a show before we trudge on up to bed" and the second is Date Night Television. We watched the most recent episode last night and I almost clocked my husband for talking through the entire thing. Sometimes I cannot stand you Out Loud Processor Types. 

I also record The Biggest Loser and Project Runway, though both of those are boring me lately. They're the kind of show I turn on towards the end of nap time, when I've reached the end of the internet and can't bring myself to do anything useful. Oh, and I started watching bits and pieces of The Real Housewives and this is why my eyes are turning to leaky green goop. And yet! I can't turn away! Aaauugghh!

Phillip really likes 30 Rock, which... I just can't get into it. I KNOW. AM FIRED FROM THE INTERNET. But there's something just sort of SOULLESS about it. They're all these self-interested neurotic head cases and while you'd THINK I'd get along with them JUST FINE, I can't root for any of these characters. Maybe a little bit of Kenneth, but not enough to sustain my viewership.

We've kind of sort of dropped a whole bunch of shows. Grad school homework just sort of does that to you. One of those was The Office. We thought it stopped being funny. I haven't seen the baby episodes. I KNOW. FIRED.

But I also stopped watching Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, House, Scrubs, Gossip Girl and Brothers and Sisters. We'll watch Glee (OBVS) and I'm a devoted Burn Notice and Mad Men fan. But I'm not really interested in anything else out there. Except maybe Castle, because MMM, CAPTAIN MAL, DELICIOUS. 

Think I should change my mind on anything? Relevant info: we are giving up cable when we move. I AM ALREADY GETTING THE SHAKES. More on that later, after the detox.