17
Aug
17

New, New, New, New…Reruns?

****

Have you ever seen the movie Back to the Future?  And, do you recall the part when Marty, in the past, claims a certain black-and-white TV show is a rerun before the kid in the room asks, “What’s a rerun?”  I find myself revisiting that scene as I realize the perception differences of kids and adults, especially in this modern age of DVRs and internet access to just about everything.

When I was a kid, the family had one TV, maybe two later on when I was nearing my teens.  I didn’t think about reruns.  But, they were there.  I was immersed in SYNDICATION, watching shows that had originally aired about a decade ago but were playing again and again in my day.  I didn’t think much about the strangeness of fashions, makeup or hairstyles.  If the show was black-and-white, it was too old for me.  If the jokes didn’t make sense, I really wasn’t thinking about them.  I was merely watching grown-ups be silly or cartoons in general.  If my family laughed, I considered laughing.  Only one sis ever laughed every time someone else laughed first.  Even at an early age, I would not be the pawn of the laugh track or “live studio audience.”

People would say, “TV rots your brain.”  And, us “rebels” would watch all we could and think nothing of it.  Despite all the TV I watched, it didn’t seem to impact my attention span.  I always thought I was a good student, a good listener.  I became a well-behaved, patient adult.

Nowadays, families have TVs in multiple rooms and some kind of device receiving a signal that can either transmit “broadcast” TV shows or “internet TV”/”web TV.”  They can skip commercials and zip from one show to the next with the flick of a finger.  And, if commercial breaks aren’t littered with mindless ads for cars and services like “wireless” television, at-home education, retirement options and ways to cut corners for the financially challenged (like the only people who should be watching TV are stay-at-home parents, retired folks, unemployed bums and future thieves?)…there’s this constant drive for what’s NEW.  Yet, the promise of NEW is fleeting and makes one feel like a desert wanderer waiting for some chopper to deliver water.

My nephews, possibly as a result, have the attention spans of fleas. They struggle to get through a whole show that may only be 20 minutes long.  They want to know what’s next.  What’s new.  And, though the magic box promises new essentially daily, flashing timers and such to announce the oncoming glimmers of delight, the actual NEW is kinda like expecting a response from a letter to Kris Kringle.

They are dazzled by the commercials I, now as an adult, would rather skip.  Truth be told, most commercials aren’t as nearly entertaining as they were when I was little.  But, maybe it’s just a matter of perspective?  These lame ads I see are new to them, not me.  Well, some are new to me but annoying to watch over and over.  Heck, I don’t remember getting tired of seeing certain commercials as a kid.  I didn’t look forward to commercials, either, but they were rarely if ever bothersome.

And, while I grew up not minding or even noticing reruns, these kids may or may not notice reruns.  But, once they DO realize they’ve seen something before, their reactions are mixed.  Sometimes, they want to see the same show, again (provided it’s something they have watched in the last few days or weeks, as they like to replay even the shortest of video clips).  Or, I hear them sounding like adults when they say, “This one, again?  Why isn’t it a new one?”

As a big kid myself, I think of a not-so-old episode of Teen Titans Go! in which Robin warns the other team members about “the spicy life,” the pursuit of increased spiciness.  People get tantalized into chasing NEW to keep the economy flowing and, consequentially, stimulating impulse shopping (which often empties people’s pockets to the point of concern/neglect).  It’s not healthy to anything but the economy, and even that is questionable.

The promise of NEW.

Why can’t we be comfortable with what we already have and enjoy?  As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”  And, if it needs fixing, let’s work that out.

It doesn’t take a genius to see people are struggling to keep coming up with new ideas in some areas.  Maybe they’re burnt out.  Instead of replacing them, maybe we just need to relax and get comfortable with…dare I say it…routine.  And, let new ideas be a blessing from above, not something we force from the cow for fleeting profits.

 

21
Jul
17

In the End…of Linkin Park?

****

I had just come home from my day job when I heard on the news about Linkin Park’s lead singer killing himself, a father of six, supposedly married (which I didn’t even know)…but happily married?  There’s a question.  I also did not know he had addiction troubles.  But, looking at the majority of song titles the band has released, I can see a pattern.

Crawling (in my skin…these wounds; they will not heal.  Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real.)  –Possible itching from a drug fix/addiction; check.

Breaking the Habit  –A cry for help, a desire to quit; check.

(I’ve become so) Numb.  (‘Tired of being what you want me to be.)  –A pain in the back pushing him toward his “medicine;” check.

In the End (it doesn’t even matter).  –I’d say that was the start of the road map to feeling worthless, right off album one.  Other depressing and bleak songs followed.

Nothing really about relationship troubles…

Unless there’s more to “Lying Away From You” than meets the ear.  I most often thought any mention of relationship conflicts in the music was related to teenagers and their parents.  I figured the music was geared towards rebellious teens.  But, perhaps, I was looking the wrong way.

I first heard Linkin Park around 2003 while walking home (wearing a headset).  I thought I wouldn’t like their preach-y hip-hop style, at first.  But, the longer I listened, the more of the lyrics I understood; and the more I grew to like their albums.  I almost have every one they made.

There were a few songs, released not too long ago, that sounded like overkill of despair and anger.  So, I kinda turned a blind eye to what may have been the most recent album of “pop” songs?  I haven’t heard any of those, as far as I can recall.  I wonder if the band didn’t have the same sort of mid-career crisis it seems Katy Perry may be having (among other talents).

For some reason, these talents beat one form of music til they wear out and then get the fear in their heads that they need to change directions.  And, in my personal opinion, I’m okay with it.  Diversity isn’t always bad.

Taylor Swift went from country to pop-ish music, and that suited me just fine.  [Maybe she averted “bad blood” or emotional breakdown by taking a concert tour break.]

Katy Perry started with gospel (when I knew nothing of her, before I knew she was a blonde named Kate Hudson).  But, going raven-haired and switching to scandalous rock got my attention.  And, now?  I’m not sure where head is going.

Back to Linkin Park and the lead singer fiasco.

So, it seems Chester B. was close pals with Chris Cornell who also took his own life earlier this year.  Chester played at a memorial event.  Who will play at Chester’s memorial?  And, will they be next…to, you know?  I sure hope this isn’t some scary, accursed chain of events.

I would create some kind of memorial for the guy(s), but I don’t know how to feel about a father of six taking his own life.  It makes me shudder.  [I don’t mind making memorials for those who die at the hand of fate/God.  I’ve made memorials for countless pets to ease owners’ hearts.]

Life for me hasn’t exactly been wine and roses, but I’ve been surviving the best I can…or as well as I feel able under the conditions I face.  I have come close to “the end” and don’t ever want to go back there.  So, I do what I can to avoid the edge.  Still, no matter what I do, life has a “funny” way of throwing crap at you, whether it’s to teach you a lesson or punish you for something done…perhaps in a past life?  I may not have a drug addiction, but I know how addictive certain activities and foods can be.  I must be mindful of the “golden rule” of moderation and of what I indulge.

I’ll still listen to just about anything Linkin Park has made thus far.  If this is “the end” of the band’s career, I’ll live and take what I can from the past albums.  [I had aspirations of working with Linkin Park on future movie projects.  I even had storyboards with lyrics under certain pictures.]  I’ll have to look into this “pop” music they tried making.

But, where do they go from here?  Replacing a lead singer doesn’t seem to go well for anyone.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the band and/or this recent tragedy.

17
Jul
17

Big Brother 19; It’s That Time, Again!

****

It’s already begun.  My one slip into the “reality TV zone” where I dare not get swept up in the childish (or, middle-school-ish) gossip and blame games but chance a long look at the interior decorating and elaborate challenges placed before a mixed group of wannabe celebrities who seem to live in a world outside the norm, that pocket of reality where people win lotteries and have strangers appear on their doorsteps with giant envelopes before carrying the “winners” to a secret location.

It’s Big Brother season.  I’ll be referring to the U.S. version.  [There are versions in other countries, as well.  Feel free to ignore me, completely, and/or act as if I am some street performer looking for a handout.  The contestants aren’t much different.]

And, as usual, there are those players who irk me to no end (some of which who will later prove they are worth a second look) and a small handful who stir heartstrings.

NEW FACES

This year, among the latter is a surprisingly appealing body builder.  I am not fond of tattoos, especially women with tattoos.  But, this gal Christmas** has a face that just speaks to me.  She has that certain “fire.”  But, she also scares me a bit when she gets “evil thoughts.”  [So, in a way, she’s Heidi Klum.]  I feel a strong desire to support her no matter what…well, as long as she doesn’t don any horns or make blood pacts with dark forces.

**Yes, that’s her name.  And, the staff has fun with it every chance they can get.

She has already met a grim fate (or so it appears).  [Ya never know with television these days.  It could be a ruse.  And, with the way this particular “game show” pulls stunts every year, ya really never know what’s the truth.]  Some CLOWN got a lil silly with her and broke her foot!  [I say that with a hint of humor because he claims to be a rodeo clown.]  It’s partly her own fault for riding him.  But, I feel her pain.  And, like a true champion–or just someone consumed with the pursuit of a (silly) cash prize–she powers on in the competition.  It’s doubtful she will make it to the end without pity.  But, it would also be a sad shame if she got the boot without failing first.  [And, I don’t mean the cast she has on her bad foot.  What’s with the thin bracelet and fuzzy, pink crutches?]

In short, I will be rooting for her until she reveals something I cannot approve/support.

I’m also keeping an eye on Jessica (who may just be the token pretty face that proves to be nothing more than a “floater” with artificial assets), Alex (who has horribly bleached her lovely dark hair but has an amazing figure and is slowly revealing her gaming skills) and Matt (who just looks like a good, all-around player and spokesman for Just For Men).  Raven is a bit of a tragic curiosity with a ghost-white face and interest in ghost hunting (witch–er, which I do not like).  And, the others are proving to either be brainless pawns or less enduring than they appear (unless that is staged, too).

OLD FACES

As is tradition, an old face resurfaces.  This year, it’s Paul from last season. He’s “ballsy” and more of a loudmouth than a competitor.  But, when he’s not in survival mode (which you’ll know when he gets fired up and chatty), he seems honest and genuine, enough.  [It’s hard to evaluate a guy when he’s scheming in this type of environment.  But, compared to other players, he seems unusually true to his word, even while he “stirs the pot.”]

And, while I grew to like him (surprisingly), I see his flaws and wonder if he will bail on competitions, again.  Last year, he seemed good friends with a smiley, Jesus-like hero named Victor.  Victor was what they call a “competition (monster)” who battled his way to the end. Paul frequently barks “friendship.”  I doubted his promises until he stood up and tried to advise the naive Victor who really seemed like the sort to turn the other cheek when someone punched him.

And, it looked like two buddies would shake hands before letting one take the prize.  Instead, Paul picked Nicole, the “veteran” from the previous season, to be the “unworthy alternative” to him getting the big prize, figuring Nicole was whiny and the very thing the newcomers didn’t care for, a “returning player.”  Instead, he lost, and I think it’s because the “jury” decided all of his strategic moves were worthless if he didn’t support his friend (who ended up getting a nice but smaller prize out of the deal).

How Paul treated Victor makes me question anyone supporting or teaming up with him to the end.  I questioned Nicole making it as far as she did in a second season.  Heck, I question bringing anyone back from a previous season.  Fan favorites?  Seriously, what world do these people occupy?  I remember a few seasons in which players talked about quitting their jobs to chance this game.  Is the show some Fantasy Island which becomes a lifetime career?  And, they all seem to have loving families that go along with the “get the key” gimmick, making audition videos of the experience.  I question the reality of this reality TV.

GOING DOWN

One contestant already bailed from feeling bullied!  I’ve never seen such a thing.  Usually, the target/victim survives until voted out which often happens when the target gets mad and makes a scene.  And, the show didn’t replace the one who left; they just had the military hothead pick new candidates for eviction.  With one guy eliminated the day he entered the house (more on that below), way to cut the summer shorter…at least, until you get the writers together to work out some newfangled strategy.

This show has tried different formats for game play.  And, some work better than others.  Some that worked seem to get voted out and replaced with less favorable variations.

This year, they came up with the notion of “temptations” and eliminating someone the first day as the “curse” for someone accepting the first “temptation.”  Had they NOT recently revealed the “chance to get back in,” I would have thought it very unfair what happened to Cameron.  From that first “eviction,” I thought the show was in trouble.  [Why would you go through the trouble of picking these people and video-taping every little thing just to push the guy out the door on day one?…and replace him with someone who runs a “fashion” business which apparently allots him the time (among other things) to participate in multiple game shows.]

And, crazy at it may seem, the lovely Julie Chen sticks it all out, hosting every year.  If all else fails to satisfy, I can count on her countenance to make me smile.  🙂

[I’ll add more to this post when I can.  Though I hate to admit it, this show stirs thoughts.]

Feel free to contribute your thoughts to this topic.  If you watch the show, who do you think will win the game?  Or, who are you supporting?

27
Jun
17

Dear Beth Behrs, (Part One)

*****

1118full-beth-behrs

You lovely, troubled blonde beauty who lights the room with her smile and radiant hair (preferably when it’s cut evenly, not too short and not exposing only one ear).

beth-behrs-TV-indstry-advoccy-awrds-gala-LA-09-18-2015_1

Yea, not a good look.  The photo up top is much nicer.  Plus, in this photo, you look a little dazed or scared of the camera flashes.

Had I known we were such a match, I would have written sooner.  [You’re a lil on the short side but all right.]

You see, I had this whole thing planned out about 6 years ago when I first saw you don that crazy pearl necklace on 2 Broke Girls.  I was going to ogle–er, court you for a few years to get to know you. Then I was going to propose.  I mean, I had the flowers all picked out and everything…  Buuut, I guess some other guy beat me to the punch last summer.  Typical me.  Too slow.  Too shy.  And, late, again.

Actually, I’ve been fawning over you since the start of 2 Broke Girls but figured you were either too young or already involved with some hunk.  [I had some other predictions, but those shall remain in the vault for now.]

And, when I found the nerve and common sense to look up your birthday, I found some astrology factors that looked favorable.  [VERY favorable.]  I had planned a birthday surprise.  But, every time your birthday came around, I would forget and slap myself to remember the next year.

So, why am I writing this now?  Today?  Carpe diem.  And I thought…what the heck.  Why not?!  Message in a bottle.

Just recently, I learned about you suffering from panic attacks and anxiety since your teens?  What started that?  And, why did I first read about it now?  Anyway, I thought we are a perfect pair of nervous spirits who could play therapist to each other.  That or we’d sink the ship sooner just because we’d both panic and maybe not get to the meditation time and place soon enough.  [I’m not good at taking time to meditate.  But, I frequently use “active meditation” which is essentially daydreaming to unwind.  It can be quite hazardous to both memory and focusing on the moment at hand, which is often frowned upon by authorities like teachers and bosses.]

My eyebrow raised when I read about this horse therapy thing you’ve started…something about survivors of sexual abuse?  I-I-Is that what gave you the panic attacks?  Cuz that is a really particular group to focus on with horse therapy.  Why not social anxiety or the fear of horses?  Why not social media detox (as you wrote somewhere about the practice of letting your “smart” phone go rather than glue yourself to it)?

[FYI I’ve yet to ride one but loooove horses.  And, tigers/cats, squirrels…]

You don’t have to be funny to be sexy (or lovable).  [I prefer “lovable” to “cute.”  You have a certain mature look that sort of eludes the cute factor.]  Nor do you have to pose in skimpy outfits (which do nothing to respect your beauty and spirit).  Or, do you feel you are being “cute” or funny when you pose for that sort of model photography?  You could wear a set of overalls and no makeup, and I am sure you could still be stunning.  And, even when you’re not stunning, you seem quite capable of being charming.  [Although, some of the scripted dialogue I’ve heard you say isn’t very charming or witty.  But, that’s showbiz.]

It’s hard to be funny consistently.  Being funny requires an audience with a compatible sense of humor.  And, being “on” too long or often is a drain on the emotional and mental batteries.  Plus, withdrawal from the spotlight can be a beeyatch.

I imagine it’s hard to be sexy consistently unless you just have that IT factor, unless you’re someone’s type.  So, when I saw you relate being funny to self-confidence, I worried about your “balance.”  It’s like putting faith in a candle.  What happens when the flame goes out?

What SHOULD give you confidence is that you can take command of a room with just a look, a smile.  You have steadfastness in your astrology, particularly Chinese astrology.  There is where you may find that “exquisite hostess at home” energy you claim or desire to have/showcase.  Ironically, I think it would make you a fine caterer.  [If I knew more, I could tell you more.]

I’d like to talk more about a few things, particularly the anxiety/panic matter.  I appreciate what you’ve written about it as it gives me food for thought.  I would do everything I could to alleviate your woes.  But, I see the boyfriend (or fiance) is giving me that look.  So, I should go.  But, it was nice seeing you, again.

[Call me!  Er, drop a note in my email box.  Wink.]

Beth-Behrs-03

[Gorge-e-ous, Caroline Charming.  Although, the skirt could be longer.  🙂 ]

 

01
Jun
17

Nerd or Geek? What’s the Difference?

*****

I can’t remember what late night show brought this up recently, but it stuck out in my mind, demanding I take a whack at the explanation.

When I was a kid, either word was like a scarlet letter on your social status.  If word got around that you were either a geek or nerd, you had little chance of ever getting the best anything out of life other than a score on some video game no “cool kid” had time to play.  But, nowadays, I am okay with being called both words, on occasion.

Here are my personal definitions:

NERD:  A NERD is someone who is remarkably knowledgeable about a particular subject and capable of organizing that knowledge well so it can be referenced at any time.  So organized are nerds that they tend to get miffed if you disrupt their sense of order.

GEEK:  A GEEK is someone who is greatly exited by and/or interested in a particular subject and likely to drool in response to a mere mention of said subject.  Hence the concept of “geeking out.”  [There is no such thing as “nerding out,” as far as I know.]  You don’t have to be as educated as a nerd to be a geek.  And, geeks don’t usually qualify as neat freaks.

In short, geeks drool with excitement.  Nerds do not.  Nerds are more likely to know more about a subject than a geek.

Now you know.  And, that makes you a superstar.  Or, half the battle is won?  I dunno.

themoreyouknow-ad_jem-ridingonarainbow_ap-1

[FYI:  I am somewhere between a Jem geek and a Jem nerd.  I have my info and other resources on the cartoon in decent order and would be bothered by any disruption.  But, I am not so knowledgeable that I can reference every character or episode.  And, on occasion, I’ve been known to drool.  :)]

 

30
May
17

Happy Birthday, Rachael Stirling!

*****


Happy birthday, Rachael!

When I told my doctor I had a crush on Diane Rigg, he asked if I knew she had a daughter close to my age. Doctor who? It doesn’t really matter.

Little did I know–until I did some research–that daughter was you.  Astrologically, we’re not a perfect ten. But, we’ve got some good chemistry and, at least, can see eye-to-eye. I might be playing with fire, but I thought it would be best to let you know A-S-P.

[This little note is also riddled with clues about astrology and TV appearances if you couldn’t already see that. Actually, I saw you on Doctor Who playing a blind woman. I was so intrigued by your presence, I wanted to know more. I have watched many an episode of The Avengers (the original British secret agent series) and have seen a movie in which your mother paired with a doctor played by George C. Scott. I also found you attached to a project called Boy Meets Girl with Martin Freeman. And, the dots slowly connected.]

Rachael Sterling, Gemini Fire Snake, and a hot cup of cocoa

[Alas, I shared my feelings too late.  Someone else has taken your hand.  But, I send good wishes all the same.]

16
May
17

The Tao of Writingbolt

*****

Every now and then, I get a moment of divine inspiration, a little nudge to create something special.  [Some call it “awen.”]  Today, it pushed me to make something like this.

TheTaoofWritingbolt-the5As_martialartist-configuration-square_ap-2J

These are what I’d say are the five points to my being which have formed over time.  A decade or so ago, they may have been different.  I barely knew astrology before I was twenty-eight.  But, I wanted to craft something that centered and represented me.  It forms a sort of tree or Asian calligraphy character.

ART:  Associated with the heart, the core, the earth.  Like a tree, like earth is the base of certain philosophical images, art is at the root (though I’d prefer to place it at the top, reaching for the sky with no limit for potential.  I relate art to therapy (and occasionally dabble in art therapy as a psychology tool).  It’s nursing for the heart, for the soul.  It’s the life force that fuels/inspires most other actions/expressions/output.  It can be connected to martial arts (and yoga), as well.  Though it takes up the least room in the picture, it’s the biggest component.

AEROBICS:  Associated with the wind/breath (though it burns food and woe up like fire).  I didn’t think much of exercise as a kid.  But, as an adult, I see how it fits into the picture.  It used to be the trials of gym class.  Now, it’s a means of relieving stress and subconsciously improving my general well-being.  It’s the physical that balances the mental, emotional and digestive.  And, sometimes it brings that divine inspiration.  Generally, I am a hiker who likes to go “adventuring,” exploring foreign lands of interest, trusting my gut (even though my compass isn’t the best).  I’m not as interested in touring buildings as I am in ruins and relics found in natural setting.  I have equal passions for forests and beaches (but not much love for pollen, bugs or intense heat/sunshine).

ASTROLOGY:  Associated with the mind, a cloud, the sky/stars.  By far, this is no bigger than aerobics/exercise and Ayurveda/nutrition in my life.  But, it has been a key note in my ceaseless pursuit of philosophy and understanding.  It’s a good icebreaker in social/dating situations.  I’m no expert.  But then, we all are continuous students, in a way.  And, strangely, it has benefited me in tasks of memory and creative projects aplenty.

AYURVEDA:  Associated with fire, the combustible (like food), a source of energy and potential problems if not properly attended/balanced.  It’s the most recent point of the figure, something I came across after reading an article in a magazine while returning home on a flight; I later picked up a book on self-therapy which included a good portion about Ayurvedic medicine and nutrition.  And, while I’m quick to reject and slow to accept new philosophies, this one kinda made sense.  It just slipped into place, partly because it did NOT support the common medicine practices of taking pills for your ills.  It was strangely comforting.  A good fire can keep you warm; and the more I read, the more I felt warm inside.

AWEN:  And, at the center of it all, is what may be behind it all, divine inspiration, a gift from above, a complex puzzle box slowly unfolding or coming together to make greater sense.  [Note how two of the hands seem to be giving each other a “fist bump.”  I thought that was a nice, totally coincidental (at first) touch.]

If anyone has any input or questions about the image, feel free to share.  No need to be nervous.  I’d be willing to help you create your own “tao” image, as well, if interested.

And, as I state at the bottom, I didn’t get a clear understanding of the word “tao” from my dictionaries, but it sounded good.  😀  If you can think of a better term for this concept, I’d be glad to hear it.




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