Monday, March 30, 2015

Mundane Monday: Television

Ha! My life is so mundane in general that I can't even think of mundane things to write about!

So you get to read about my TV watching! Lucky, lucky you!

I am always trying to minimize my TV watching. I'm not sure why, really, but I kind of think that when I'm on my death bed I won't be sorry that I didn't watch MORE television. In hindsight, except for its use playing trivia games or answering Jeopardy clues, I don't think watching hours of, say, The Love Boat really added anything to my life!

(Maybe it's because I am always trying to make more time to READ.)

To watch less TV I generally try not to add any new programs to the rotation but there are exceptions. I started watching Gotham and I liked it but I didn't love it. Once 6 episodes were piled up on the DVR and I hadn't watched any of them it was time to let it go.

Here's what I watch now (listed in no particular order):

Community -  I started watching this because of Alison Brie who was playing Trudy on Mad Men. I was curious to see her play a college student so different from Trudy. Then I just ended up loving the show.

The Middle - Started watching sometime during the second season, possibly killing time before Modern Family. I'm not generally a Patricia Heaton fan (never watched Everybody Loves Raymond except a handful of episodes) but love her portrayal of the mom and I already loved Neil Flynn from Scrubs. This show makes me laugh out loud. The actors playing the kids are great.

Modern Family - I'm not sure it is deserving of all those Best Comedy Emmys but it is a funny little show. It also has good actors portraying the children.

Cougar Town - We started watching this because many of the people from Scrubs were involved and we like Couteney Cox. Once the show moved past its "cougar" premise in the first few episodes it was a really funny show about a group of friends who hang out and drink wine amid their various adventures. (On Friends they drank coffee and on Cougar Town they drink wine so Courteney Cox will probably be back eventually in a series where they drink Ensure.)
Its series finale is on tomorrow night.

Survivor - I watched the first 2 seasons and then skipped a bunch. I've been watching regularly since the 8th season. (Survivor runs two "seasons" a year, as does Dancing with the Stars.)

CSI - We have watched this since the beginning. I'm not sure if it's coming back next year.

CSI: Cyber - Just filling the CSI gap but not sure if I will watch it long-term.

Dancing with the Stars - I started watching during Kristi Yamaguchi's season. I didn't watch last season because I didn't know who most of the "stars" were! I am watching this year again. One thing about DWTS, it's a short season, only a couple of months long.

Jeopardy! - Some nights it makes me feel dumb and some nights it makes me feel smart! I especially love when I get Final Jeopardy and the 3 contestants don't. Like this one: The category is Transportation. The clue is: Incorporated in 1948, this company chose its name from the Hebrew prophet Hosea. (Solution at the end of the post.)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - I used to watch The Colbert Report religiously but I did get tired of the character. I am glad Stephen Colbert will be moving on to something new by replacing David Letterman. And now Jon Stewart is moving on as well. I won't be watching after he leaves, no offense to replacement host Trevor Noah.

Once Upon a Time - I like Jennifer Morrison (who I knew from House) and Ginnifer Goodwin so I started watching this fairy tale show. It's fun.

Game of Thrones - I read the first book about 15 years ago and loved them. LOVE the series too! (Lots of nudity though; it is HBO after all.)

Veep - This show is great. Very funny and a great cast surrounding Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And this season Hugh Laurie will be on! What's not to love?! (Lots of cursing though; it is HBO after all.)

Girls - It took me a few episodes to "get" this show but I really love it now. (Lots of cursing and nudity though; it is HBO after all.)

Outlander - I read the book this series is based on about 15 or 20 years ago. The series is faithful and well cast. They showed 8 episodes last summer and then ended on a cliffhanger with new episodes starting this weekend, 8 months later!. I, along with many other TV watchers, HATE this methodology. If it's a "season" then run the whole thing closer together. People don't mind (as much) cliffhangers at the end of an ENTIRE SEASON when they need to wait several months to find out what happens. But to do it in the MIDDLE of the season? No excuse. (Once Upon a Time breaks for the season in early December and returns in February or March, which isn't too bad, especially now that they end a storyline in the first half before tackling a new one in the second half.) Which brings us to...

Mad Men - The final 7 episodes of "Season 7" start this weekend even though the first 7 episodes aired almost an entire year ago. In my mind that means we are about to start Season 8. I guess we need to blame AMC; they did it for Breaking Bad so now they'll do it for every show? Guh.

Cutthroat Kitchen - I am not one to watch kitchen competition shows but I watch this one because I love Alton Brown. The chefs are given an item to prepare and then they sabotage each other by bidding on various things. It's amusing.

Downton Abbey - One more season remains which I think makes sense. Lady Edith can only take so much before she goes crazy.

The Last Man on Earth - This is a goofy show with Will Forte and Kristin Schaal, both of whom I like. Not sure if it will make it past this one season though.

The Soup - Joel McHale comments on clips from inane reality shows. This is the only place I get exposure to things like Dance Moms, Real Housewives, Hoarding: Buried Alive, RuPauls's Drag Race, Honey Boo Boo, the Bachelor and the Kardashians.

Wipeout - This is a goofy show that's on in the summer that makes me laugh. People run through an obstacle course, the purpose of which is to make them "wipeout".

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Brilliant show that will keep me happy after The Daily Show goes away. LOVE John Oliver!

Ask This Old House - My brother K2 recommended this one and I really enjoy it. I am learning what I can do myself and when I need to call someone else in. (I am the handy one in our house. CPA Boy's gifts are many but they do not include tool use.)

I watch a bunch of stuff on PBS too, depending on the subject of the episodes. American Experience, Great Performances and Nova, among others. Tonight begins a 3-part series on the book "The Emperor of Maladies: A History of Cancer".

HBO has documentaries on every week and I watch some of them. Last night I watched It's Me, Hilary (about the artist who illustrated Kay Thompson's Eloise books) and Going Clear (the Scientology documentary).

I always think I don't watch much TV but I guess I kind of do!


Jeopardy! solution: Okay, you have transportation, 1948 and Hebrew. So it's gotta be related to Israel, right? Doesn't that just spoon-feed you the answer? None of the contestants got it right, naming things like Greyhound and Amtrak. It just seems to be Jeopardy! 101: 1948 almost always means Israel unless it means "Dewey defeats Truman." Or am I smarter than the average bear?

What is El Al? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mundane Monday: One Day Late

So how do you spell the word that means bakery treats? I spell it p-a-s-t-r-y and the plural is p-a-s-t-r-i-e-s. Right?

CPA Boy and I were out and about over the weekend and drove by a bakery in Rohnert Park. The window had a list of available items and one of them was "p-a-s-t-e-r-i-e-s". This made us laugh because when we used to go to the Rohnert Park Baker's Square restaurant (which is now a Shari's Restaurant and Pies --- service sucks so we don't go there anymore) there was a decorative sign on the wall that said "Pasteries".

If you search the Internet you will find websites and cookbooks that use the pasteries spelling.

Pastries is a two-syllable word but I think some people might add in a third, hence adding in the -er- in the middle. Is it because they confuse it with bakery/bakeries? I'm guessing that's the reason. Pace-trees, not pace-ter-rees, RIGHT?

Yes, yes, I have been known to correct misspelled bathroom graffiti too. I'm a spelling dork.

Moving on.

Health-wise, the family has settled down. Grandma is still on the mend. I'll be taking her to a couple of follow-up doctor appointments in the next week. I guess the only really issue is that she doesn't really leave her recliner so she doesn't have much strength in her legs (she's been sitting since September). You just can't make someone move if they don't want to move.

My father-in-law had good news about his kidney issues and needs no more surgery at this time. Yay!

CPA Boy has been healthy and stable for well over a year so that's great. And baseball season is almost here so he's especially jolly these days. (Once the season starts though...)

But me, I'm falling apart!

The plantar fasciitis in my left foot was FINALLY on the mend and then my back went out! We were clearing out all the rat gear from CPA Boy's office and I guess I overextended myself. I was hefting cages and bookcases like I was 23, not 53. A couple of nights later I was climbing into bed (our bed is tall enough so that you literally need to climb a bit to get in) and all of a sudden it felt life a hot knife stabbing into the small of my back. I could barely move! I had no idea how to get into bed! I eventually flopped down on my stomach and then dragged my legs in slo-o-o-owly. The back spasms are the worst part!

You are supposed to ice early on to reduce inflammation and then switch to heat. All our blue ice packs in the freezer had sprung leaks so they were useless. Then I realized I had ACTUAL ICE in the freezer so a zip-lock bag of that was my buddy for the day.

This had never happened to me before but Pop's back goes out at least a couple of times a year. He brought over his heating pad (I have since bought my own) and the cane he uses when his back goes out. The heating pad and cane were my buddies for the next few days.

Anyway, I am fine now but the whole thing seemed to coincide with the worsening of the plantar fasciitis. Guh. My back pain was mostly on my right side so I think I spent more time on my left foot than I should have been. Oh well.

And now I think I have female plumbing issues again. Five years ago I had ovarian cysts, uterine polyps and fibroid tumors removed (the trifecta of non-cancerous lady part problems!). I think some of those may be back based on my symptoms. My doctor likes to do the minimum surgery to correct problems but I'm all, hysterectomy please! We'll see. But who has TIME for any kind of surgery?! It's spring; I have things to do, projects to complete!

But I am having some pain so I can't put it off. Double guh.

We had our little trees planted, three crape myrtles and one magnolia. I'd post a picture but they just look like broomstick handles stuck in the ground. So far. One seems to have some greenery developing but the others are taking their sweet time. The big blooming season here is usually the end of April/beginning of May so there's still hope!

And I actually finished a project! I completed the family vacation album. It feels so good to FINISH something. I think the next album will be one about our pet rats.

Over the years we have had 16 of them. The last one passed on at the start of February so we are getting out of the pet business. Then CPA Boy looked up the total we spent on the rats with Quicken. It was a horrifyingly large amount of money! (My brother Everest made me feel better when he shared that he had spent even more on their pets.)

But it is sad not to have the little guys around anymore. 

Okay, that's it for now. We're all caught up again. My life = mundane? Yup.