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My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

Thanks to Ginger for making me get back to blogging. I really do like it, but I’m so busy…blah blah blah just like every one else.  When I do have free nap time, I’m watching TV because I just need my brain to stop.  One of my best friends told me the other day that Joel and I were some of the smartest people she knew who watched the DUMBEST shows.  So – since I’m all about TV – I’m going to publicly list my favorite TV shows.

  1. Friends – I could watch this show over and over and over.  Between my college roommates we had the entire series on DVD.
  2. Felicity – Noel or Ben??  Noel all the way.  I love Keri Russell SO MUCH.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy – I don’t care how crazy the story line may get or how unbelievable these situations are because I absolutely love the characters on this show.  I remember seeing Sara Ramirez in Spamalot on Broadway (when she won the Tony!) and reading an interview with her about how Grey’s was her favorite show.  ABC basically told her to pick a show and they would write her on and she picked Grey’s.  She is SO talented and I love her.
  4. The Office – Steve Carrell Forever.
  5. Parenthood – because it is so like real life sometimes.   Plus, I adore Monica Potter ever since she was in Kiss the Girls.
  6. Game of Thrones – epic.  The story, sets, characters, everything is epic about this show.
  7. Homeland – Every episode is fast moving and I love the pacing of this show.  I thought Claire Danes would be annoying but she’s great!
  8. The Newsroom – This show explains why I hate watching the news.  HATE.  I wish there was actually a news program like this.
  9. Project Runway- There will never be enough seasons of this show.  I also love that my best friend and I try to watch the episodes at the same time so we can live text with each other.   Considering she got me into this show in the first place, it’s really the least she can do.
  10. The Real Housewives of Orange County/Beverly Hills – I love the California shows.  Just love them.  These women are crazy and while some of the screeching gets old, I can’t stop watching.

Honorable Mention –

  1. The Soup – for every bit of trash tv out there that I’m not watching, Joel McHale is.  Plus he reminds me of my Joel (who I think is so funny) AND we both like to watch this.  Win.
  2. Kathie Lee and Hoda – This comes on during the 4th hour of the Today show and I’ll be damned if they aren’t just drinking the entire time.  This show timed perfectly when I had to nurse Lila so for months, if I was at home, I would just settle in and start watching.  Their commentary is hilarious.
  3. Downton Abbey – I like this show so much now that I’m into it (and it took some work getting into it at first because it’s not one of those shows you can just listen to in the background; you actually have to LISTEN and watch it to figure out what’s going on).  BUT, I may have to abandon ship because they need to stop killing off their characters.  Are you a happy character on this show?  Then let’s just kill you off!
  4. Arrested Development – so great
  5. Sex and the City – never gets old
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New TV Shows I Can’t Get Enough Of

After being really disappointed last spring when some of our television shows were canceled, Joel and I made an effort to start liking shows that weren’t new or in their first season.  That way we couldn’t get too involved and then have it canceled on us at the last minute (*ahem* “Awake”). SO, here are some of the shows that we really got into this year.

Parenthood

parenthood cast

courtesy of NBC

I watched the first episode or two of this show years ago when it first came on tv, but I guess I just forgot about it.  I do remember liking the little bit that I watched, but not enough to really get involved.  The entire series so far is on Netflix, with the exception of this latest season.  Whenever laundry needed to be folded, I would just saddle up on the couch, fold my laundry, and watch Parenthood.  Soon enough, all of the clothes, towels, and sheets were completely clean.  I became slightly addicted to the Braverman family and NEEDED to know what happened to them next.  The writing is clever and heartwarming and the characters all seem like people I know.  The funny thing is – Joel isn’t really into this show.  That’s because on the first episode, the oldest brother was running around, putting out fires.  Joel started getting stressed out watching Adam Braverman getting stressed out, and started saying something about this being his life.  The season 4 finale was a few weeks ago, and apparently it’s up in the air as to whether or not NBC will renew Parenthood.  If they don’t, then I apologize for getting this show canceled.

Game of Thrones

courtesy of HBO

courtesy of HBO

This show – man.  SO. Good.  This  might be Joel’s favorite show we watch now.  I guess it can be described as fantasy but it doesn’t seem silly, which is what I associate with the word “fantasy.”  This series is actually based on a novel series, but I don’t plan to pick up the books any time soon.  There are so many characters in this that without the visual reminders, I couldn’t keep the characters straight.  I can barely do that with the visuals as it is.  I love how creative this story line is – constantly taking new turns and twists that are unexpected.  Oh, my favorite part of this show?  They feel absolutely zero allegiance to their characters.  Meaning, they will kill off anyone at any given time.  The story line is addicting, so we were grateful both seasons were on On Demand so we could watch it immediately.  Season three starts at the end of March.

Homeland

courtesy of Showtime

courtesy of Showtime

Who would have thought to give Clare Danes her own show??  Honestly, she was the reason I initially didn’t want to watch this show even though I was intrigued by the concept.  After watching the first two seasons, I am completely addicted to this show.  In fact, I believe I would be an awesome asset at the CIA.  While I love this show, sometimes it really scares me – and not in a “Walking Dead zombie pop out” kind of scare, but a “holy crap this stuff is going on in real life” kind of way.  There are crazy people in our world who have no qualms about killing others (as we’ve seen lately in the news).  Scary.  Anywho, this show is wonderfully written and edited in such a way that I cannot wait for the next episode.  Plus Mandy Patinkin is in it (it blew Joel’s mind that this is Inigo Montoya) so that’s reason enough to watch.  It’s obvious after watching this why it wins all the awards.

So that’s what I’ve been watching this season.  What else am I missing out on?

Lyric shows aren’t for me

So I was reading Sarah’s post about how her little 3 year old son messes up the lyrics to the Spiderman theme song.  I immediately felt a kindred spirit with her son – AND YES, I realize he’s three.

I’ve always been pretty good at memorizing things that I hear, especially if I hear them over and over again.  I guess this is what made me pretty good at theatre, because by the end of a few months, I could practically tell you everyone’s lines (and this includes the time I did Shakespeare).  Anyway, I grew up listening to country music.  In fact, I still jump over to a country station every now and again because some of those songs from when I was a kid are still playing on the radio and it brings back some nice nostalgic feelings for me. 

After reading that post, I immediately thought of John Michael Montgomery’s “I Love the Way You Love Me.”  Slow song, nice and safe for kids to hear….until I thought I figured out all the lyrics. 

There’s a part where he sings:

I like to imitate old Jerry Lee
And watch you roll your eyes when I’m slightly off key
And I like the innocent way that you cry
At sappy old movies you’ve seen hundreds of times

I could have SWORN the last line of that song was

At the slap of yo’ boobies you’ve seen hundreds of times

Y’ALL.  I was perplexed over these lyrics for years.  YEARS.  And I really thought that this was a gross song.  I mean, slapping boobies?  Yikes.  One day (as a middle schooler if I’m not mistaken), I mentioned something to my mom about that and to this day, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my mom laugh as hard as she did.  Gee, so I guess those weren’t the words.  Where was the internet back then when I needed it?!

Cartoons are scary

Let me start out by saying that I loved reading Sarah’s post on the cartoons of our childhood now coming around full circle and being favorited by her young son.  Thank you Netflix for making this possible.

After I read her post, Joel and I started talking about our own childhood cartoons.  He didn’t watch as many as I did, seeing that he did most of his growing up in 3rd world countries.  He did things like play with sticks and rocks and create games for his younger siblings – one of which was titled “Jump over the generator.”  No joke.  I, on the other hand, grew up in a house with one of those monstrous satellite dishes in the backyard.  Heaven help my parents, because it’s still there.  Thankfully they have almost half an acre between the house and the dish, so it’s not too old school….sorta.

Anyway, we were lying in bed the other night and started searching for videos and images of our favorite shows.  I started mentioning how scary some of the villians were when I was a kid.  For example:

Scary
Scary

SCARIER

SCARIER

OMG, how scary is this to a 5 year old?!  Let’s be honest, it’s still a little scary now.  I mean, this dragon is terrifying.  My parents have a back staircase to the game room upstairs.  To get there, you have to go up winding (ok, so it’s not really winding – it just has a bend in it) steps.  If someone is in the gameroom watching tv, then there is a flickering light that shines down the stairs.  FOR YEARS I was terrified that if I ever saw light coming from that direction, then I would be transfixed into walking up the stairs and pricking my finger on the sewing machine.  It’s not like we had a spindle, so sewing machine was the next best thing.  I didn’t go up those stairs for quite a long time…as in, I finally went up the stairs when I was a teenager.

Um, is that a bag of beating heartbeats around your neck?Ponies now equal evil dragons

 I LOVED the My Little Pony series.  In fact, my parents started taping the episodes just so I could watch the [same] ones over and over again.  But – HELLO – can we look at the scary centaur with horns and a bag of heartbeats around his neck.  I remember he sat there and just stroked the bag as it sat on the arm of his chair.  Creepy.  After he captured the ponies, he would open the bag and the “darkness” would transform the cute little ponies into those terrifying dragons.  Thankfully, the ponies all ended up alright in the end.  I found this entire episode on youtube and started watching the other day.  I’m a little confused as to how I still remember most of the words and songs and yet, I can’t remember things that happened last week.

Witches

ANYTHING WITH WITCHES.  At my parents house, at the top of the second floor (where all the bedrooms are) is a little hallway leading to two bedrooms and a game room.  My bedroom/bathroom is to the right and the area opens to the foyer below.  My parents’ bedroom is to the right of the staircase.  In order to get to my parents room, I had to run down the hall, past the hall to the game room, and then into my parents’ room.  Mom always put a nightlight at the end of the gameroom hall and there was another lamp that stayed on all night in the foyer.  I was SURE that there were witches living at the end of the hallway at night.  I would run past the hall opening so that I would be too fast for them to catch my little kid self.  My mom always asked if I ever saw a witch down there, and I remember blankly looking at her and informing her no, considering I have never looked down the hall (because if they see you – they get you).

It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen all these movies and I still remember it like it was yesterday.  There’s no telling what this child of mine will end up being scared with.

Learning to Love Huntsville

When Joel first got an interview here, he googled “Huntsfield.”  Guess what?  There is NO Huntsfield, AL.  That’s when we began to panic.  Joel was just finishing up graduate school and I recently graduated from undergrad (and was living at home with my parents and working two part-time jobs = ugh).  We were still dating at this time.  He was waiting for a job and I (consequently) was waiting for a ring.  He came down here, interviewed, and decided he loved this clinic and wanted to work here.  I was the skeptic. 

“SERIOUSLY?  We are going to move to ALABAMA??!?”
His response – As if you have a lot of room to talk, Tennessee girl.

Joel grew up overseas so his entire perspective on the South is skewed.  He groups all of the state in together, while those of us born and raised here, are well aware there are boundaries (state lines and jokes of “At least I’m not from _____”) and loyalties (SEC team appropriate of course).  The company put us up in a really nice hotel and one Saturday night we attempted to wine and dine throughout Huntsville.  So where did we head first?  Downtown. 

We saw two other people that Saturday night, not counting the wait staff at the restaurant.

“Um, where are all the people??”

Apparently, this was the opening weekend for both Alabama and Auburn football games.  We didn’t realize that the town shuts down, with the exception of the sports bars.  We ended up being impressed by the quaintness and charm of this small city and Joel accepted the job.  We told ourselves that even if we hated it, we could stand it for a few years until he becomes board certified.  After that, we could always move wherever we desired.

But now that Joel’s board certified, we’ve found ourselves with no desire to move.  Huntsville has shown its beauty and we can’t think of many other places where we want to settle for a while.  The schools are great; we love our church; our friends are amazing.  Plus, there’s something kinda nice about running to the store and 90% of the time running into someone you know.  Huntsville is a deceptive place.  It plays the role of a city but has the feel of a small town.  I’m now spoiled after living here.  I can’t believe that it takes people more than 10 minutes to get anywhere (this also has to do with the fact that we live near the center of everything so we have ultra convenience).   In fact, we are trying to convince my parents to move closer to this area.  Joel’s brother and his wife moved closer (about 2 hours away) and with his other siblings 3.4-4.5 hours away – well, we are the middle/meeting grounds for a while.

There isn’t a lot that we’d change about our city, which says a lot.  There would have to be something pretty spectacular to tear us away from an unexpected gem like Huntsville.  Plus, now that we aren’t the “new people” (living here for almost 4 years should rid us of that title), it’s nice to welcome other transplants and make them feel as much at home as we do.

Potterific

I realize that this post is a few weeks too late, but things have been crazy around here with being out of town and then bringing my husband’s siblings back to our house for a week.  Now, a few weeks later, with the gang coming and going, we still have one brother here.  It would be so easy to be annoyed at another person in our house but I have to admit that having him is pretty fantastic.  He does the dishes, laundry, helps cook, and clean.  Plus, it’s nice to have someone at home to talk to, so I’m not always alone.

BACK TO MY POINT

July 15 was the epic conclusion of the Harry Potter movies.  Weeks prior, I bought tickets (reserved seats, thank you very much Monaco Pictures) for the midnight movie.  The day of, we spent searching Dollar General, Walmart, Dollar Tree, and my closets for items in order to make costumes.  This was the last movie and, believe it or not, it was Joel’s idea to dress up and go all out.  So we did!

The biggest dilemma was trying to come up with different characters for everyone, including a brother and his wife who were traveling from Nashville for the premiere.  FINALLY, we came up with costumes and pieces enough for everyone to have something to wear.  Since we bought the tickets (with the intentions of everyone repaying us…yeah that didn’t quite work out…), the price for the car ride there was a costume.  Later, Snape (uh, I mean, Joel’s brother) said that we looked way better than the other people out there because we actually made our costumes, instead of buying them (like so many people did).

Butterbeer = not as good as real beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after we finished watching Harry Potter 7.1 and downed our butterbeer, we dressed up and headed to the theatre.  There were so many people dressed up and then there were so many people who were NOT dressed up.  I heard 1500 tickets were sold to that showing.  It was packed especially compared to the midnight showing back in November.

We show up, anxiously looking for the costume contest sign up only to find out that they did the contest at 8:30 that night.  Only 5 people entered.  Well, no kidding, considering the movie didn’t start for HOURS.  Annoying.

But then the movie started, the tears began to flow, and happiness ensued.

Note our awesome costumes:

We would have won any contest

Can you tell who we all are?

(L-R: Joel’s baby sister, Joel’s babiest brother (older than sister), Joel’s sister-in-law, Joel’s younger brother (the one who is married), a friend of mine from work, Joel’s young (middle) brother, Joel’s wife (hey, that’s me!), and Joel)

Yep, if you can follow that, then we can possibly make room for you in our family.

My Celebrity Prom Date

Last night, Joel and I dressed up and headed to prom to see the parade of gowns and up-do’s.  Ok, so maybe that was more of my perrogative, but Joel was sport enough to come hang out with me.  I loved seeing all the girls dressed up in their finest.  In fact, some looked so different I hardly recognized them.  As we got there, my own prom memories flooded my brain as I smiled and made my way to the punch bowl.

My high school (and every other high school in the area) all used the same facility for prom.  Because we were the newest school, we got the shaft of prom dates.  To have prom at Woodland Hills, your school had to sign a 5 year commitment for THAT date.  In most places, having prom the first weekend, specifically the first Friday, in May wouldn’t be a big deal.  But in Memphis – it’s a big deal.  That weekend in Memphis kicks of Memphis in May – a month long celebration of another country and where there is a different festival every weekend.  The first weekend in May is the Beale Street Music Festival. And finally being an older high schooler, my parents were allowing me to go downtown with a group of my friends.  In 2002, John Mayer JUST became popular with “No Such Thing” right after it was announced he would be performing Friday night of Music Fest.

My friends and I were torn.  Do we go to prom where we will have memories and nostalgia and beautiful dresses, jewelry, and hair styles?  Or do we rock out at Music Fest, running around downtown, losing our hearing from the awesome concerts?  In the end, we decided to go to prom.  Concerts would come and go, but prom would only happen once.

That night, I donned my sky blue strapless dress with the rhinestone empire waistline and posed for the pictures at the mercy of my mother and the camera.  My date that year was my friend Will, who had just finished playing Romeo to my Juliet in our high school production that spring.  Another friend in our circle actually had a crush on him, but she was dating my best guy friend. To say there was some awkward tension that night would be an understatement. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time eating, riding in the limo, dancing, and taking photos with disposable cameras.

After prom, not quite wanting to go home yet, we headed to IHOP.  I think at midnight, and especially being underage, IHOP is one of the only places acceptable for teens to go.  So we sat there, ordering our waters and french fries, already reminiscing about prom memories and talking about our friends who missed out by going to Music Fest.  A large (in number, not in girth) group of guys walk in and one of the girls in our group gasps, “Ohhhmigosh!!!!  It’s JOHN FREAKIN’ MAYER.”

Not wanting to cause a stir, we all immediately jump up and look.  Low and behold, John Mayer walked through the door of the IHOP in Cordova, TN.  Stalker-like Slowly, we walked over to him with our cameras and pathetic grins on our faces.  We apologized for not coming to the concert, since we had prom.  He looks at us, smiles, and reassures us that we made the right decision by going to prom and we could always come see his concerts again.  Then we asked for a picture and when he said yes, we (all 6 or so of us girls) immediately crowded into his personal space and smiled.  John stood up, and stopped the photographers (our dates – who were a little annoyed that their dates no longer cared about them) and said, “Since this is prom, why don’t we take prom pictures.”

I died a little on the inside.

Why, YES, John Mayer, I will allow you to hug my 17 year old self, and smile as if you were my prom date.  Yessssss sir, I will do that for you.

I did get the disposable camera developed (I even paid extra for the 1 Hour processing.  Remember those days?) so that I could stick John Mayer in the clear side of my binder.  I would show you the picture but a few things are stopping me: 1. It’s at my parent’s house on my bedroom bulletin board. 2. It’s not digital and that really isn’t compatible for this technology world these days. 3. My dress is almost falling off.  I should have pulled it up before the picture.

My prom picture was the ultimate gloating stick to all the other schools who rubbed in our faces how we would miss him because of our prom date.  That night, I got to have my cake and eat it too.