eyes & ears
February 4, 2011

What I’m currently watching…

I have this incredible knack for discovering fantastic shows after they have been canceled by their networks, usually after only 2 seasons.  I have just wrapped up watching a couple of those all around the same time.  You can see two other similarly short-lived shows I’ve reviewed here and here.

Pushing Daisies
What a brilliant show.  I love the look of the show, everything is in such bright colors, and has the look of a fairytale land, or at the very least taking place within a diorama.  And there is a narrator, so it almost feels like you’re watching a Grimm’s fairytale, you know the kind that was originally written for adults.  Meet Ned, a guy who has this bizarre gift for bringing things back to life by a single touch, but a second touch returns to them to their deceased state.  There are other repercussions, but he brings back to the life the long lost love of his life, but now he can never touch her.  Enter a hilarious cast of characters, including Kristen Chenowith and Swoozie Kurtz, and you have bizarre hijinks.  My only lingering questions are how old is Digby (doesn’t old age eventually catch up with the alive-again), and how Chuck’s “aunts” have the same last name has her (you’ll understand what I mean when you see this).

Dollhouse
I’ve never really been into sci-fi type tv shows, but this one is great!  I think I like the more spy-like attitude to it, as well as the conspiracy angle.  Imagine hot guys and hot chicks who can be programmed to do whatever you want them to do, good or bad, without consequence.  But of course, as with any time you try to use science to alter nature, things can go very very wrong.  If you’re a fan of Joss Whedon shows (and this is the only one I’ve ever seen), I’m told you’ll love this one too.

Carnivale
I first started watching this show several years ago when it first was on TV.  But something came up and I don’t think I ever finished the first season.  I recently picked it up again, starting from the beginning because it’s a very complicated show.  It is fantastic.  Very dark and mysterious.  It will keep you questioning the role of good and evil until the very end.   If you thought life as a carnie or life during the dustbowl was something strange, you have no idea until you see them combined!  I have such a deep fascination with the bizarre and unusual, which is what made this show such a weird and wonderful experience.

What I’m currently reading…

A lot actually!
I know I’m not much of a reader.  And that, my friends, is exactly why 3 years of law school was a phenomenally bad idea.  Seriously, if a magazine or newspaper article goes beyond a page or two, I lose interest.  But last May, I went to the beach, and I had stopped by my favorite local used bookstore and picked up a couple books to read at the beach.  I figured if they only cost a dollar and I got sand on them and lost interest after the first wave crashed on the shore, it was no big deal.  But I finished the first book in about 4 days!  Since then I have read about 1 book per month, quite a feat for me, even if they’re just short paperbacks.  I have bought most of the books in the series from the used bookstore and find the rest on Amazon or various larger chain stores.* So without further ado, here are the books I have read since May (note, I do not have one of those weird obsessions with vampires, etc, this particular writer is hilarious, and I’m sure any of her series of books are just as funny, but I just happened to pick up the first one thinking it was chick-lit and have stuck with it, also I’ve never considered myself the series-reading type of girl, but hey why not if it’s easy mindless reading):

Undead and Unwed (by MaryJanice Davidson) (May 2010)
Undead and Unemployed (by MaryJanice Davidson) (June 2010)
Undead and Unappreciated (by MaryJanice Davidson) (July 2010)
Undead and Unreturnable (by MaryJanice Davidson) (August 2010)
Undead and Unpopular (by MaryJanice Davidson) (September 2010)
Undead and Uneasy (by MaryJanice Davidson) (October 2010)
Run to Overcome (by Meb Keflezighi) (November 2010) (See this post for my rundown on this amazing book!)
Undead and Unworthy (by MaryJanice Davidson) (December 2010)
Undead and Unwelcome (by MaryJanice Davidson) (January 2010)
Dead and Loving It (by MaryJanice Davidson) (January 2010)

There is one book in there that is completely different and I highly recommend it for any runners!  And the last book is a collection of novellas by the series author. I’m already stocked up with 3 more books so I don’t fall behind!

* FYI, today’s Groupon is for a bookstore, and get your read on too! Or get a DVD and a calendar, that’s actually what I plan to use mine for.  Check it out!

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eyes & ears
June 28, 2010

What I’m currently watching…

“Top Chef” (Season 7)
I’m not a big reality show watcher, or even a big TV watcher.  But when I found out one of the cheftestants on this season’s Top Chef was local, I knew I had to check it out.  Arnold Myint, is definitely my favorite for the show.  I knew Arnold years ago when he went by Aye and was figure skater too!  Now he owns 3 of my favorite restaurants in town! (PM, ChaChah, and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum)  So, yes, every Wednesday night I settle down with some yummy food and watch more yummy food (and usually ridiculous elimination rounds) on TV.  I’m also hosting other Top Chef/food/Arnold fans at my house, potluck style.  It’s definitely more fun with friends!

West Wing
I always avoided this show, because I figured the politics would bore the life out of me.  After attending a West Wing party at a friend’s house, I realized just how smart and witty this show is!  So, now thanks to Netflix we’re watching it from the beginning.  The characters are so engaging and the lines are so quick and funny!  Also, now I can finally get all the jokes and one-liners my friends drop all the time.

What I’m currently reading…

Undead and Unemployed (by Mary Janice Davidson)
So, this is actually the second book I’m reading this summer.  I know!!  Me? Reading? 2 books? Yep!  The first book in this series, Undead and Unwed, went to the beach with me last month and it was completely consumed in about 4 days.  But now, I’m back from the beach, with less free time.  But the second book sits in my pool bag and I get in a chapter or two every now and then.  This book can be not-so-easily characterized as chick-lit/vampire/paranormal romance/satire.  Usually categories, except for satire, that I have no interest in at all.  But the main character, an unwilling vampire of sorts, has a major affinity for shoes and just wants to ignore the whole vampire thing.  I love shoes, so I gave the first book a try, with a Grisham novel as a back up in case it sucked.  It was the perfect beach/pool reading material!  She is so snarky and obsessed with shoes, I love it!

What I’m currently listening to…

I have a confession to make.  When I’m in my car, I listen to pop music.  And I mean really bad pop music.  I don’t know why.  I’m generally a rock chick at heart, but I’m a classically trained musician so I have an appreciation of most music.  I chalk it up to all the hula hooping.  Honestly, upbeat, rhythmic music, and sometimes risque lyrics just lend themselves to hooping.  But I’m driving in my car, not hooping.  I have another confession to make.  I actually like it.  Enter Ke$ha, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Ludacris, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, and the list goes on.  My excuse, it’s the summer, get over it!

eyes & ears
April 15, 2010

What I’m currently watching…

“My So Called Life”
Instantly transport me back to my Generation X teenage angst.  And I honestly don’t mean that in a bad way.  This is good nostalgia.  I was head-over-heels “in love” with this show and identified heavily with the characters and issues.  I was approximately the same age as the main character, Angela, and had nothing else to cling on to at that time.  Watching it now 16 years later, I could not fully grasp just how incredible the show was.  The writing, the acting, the cinematography….all excellent and beyond what you find in today’s shows, and it produced some great new actors that I still see in current films.  This show struck a nerve with teens and adults alike and remains just as relevant today.

“Weeds” (season 5)
I adore this show.  I joke that I want to become Nancy Botwin when I grow up.  Ok, maybe not just like her, but the show (and Nancy herself) has become more and more of a gruesome trainwreck that I cannot tear myself away.  I fuel my sick fascination with her disastrous life and escape reality an episode at a time.

“Dollhouse”
I just started this show as well.  (Can you tell I don’t watch actual current television?)  I’m still trying to figure out what is going on, but it has definitely grabbed my attention and I want to know more.  Sexy spies, human robots, danger, seedy underworld, thwarted government officials, high tech interference with human minds…tell me more.

eyes & ears
January 18, 2010

What I’m currently watching…

“Dexter”
I got interested in this show a couple years ago when one of the non-cable networks threatened to start showing it (fully edited) for about a minute, and I noticed that Michael C. Hall (as seen on my beloved “Six Feet Under”) was the lead character.  So, a couple years later, I started receiving the show on DVD from my mail-order-entertainment-service, and I discovered they also have it on a instant streaming capability too.  So, I’ve been getting my fix of blood, serial killers, and more blood lately.  Already started the second season and it’s hard to not watch several episodes at once when I should be doing other things.  Even harder is I’m watching it with someone, so I have to resist the urge to watch more episodes when I’m home alone!

eyes & ears
January 7, 2010

What I’m currently reading…

The Runner’s Rule Book (by Mark Remy)
Many thanks to Barbie for this wonderful little gem!  This book is a must-have for any level runner.  And it is also pretty useful for friends and loved ones of runners, including those confused by the whole “running insanity.”  Ever heard a runner talk about a “snot rocket?”  Yeah, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  Or wonder how runners deal with “doing business” over long endurance runs?  In addition to the funny (weird and ha-ha) stuff that runners do, it also has some great tips for things like safety, etiquette, and thanking race volunteers.  I laughed throughout, but also learned some great information.

Just plain hopeless?
November 22, 2009

I have no idea why certain weird things pop into my head when they do, but it often causes me much deep thought and conversations with myself.  Recently I was thinking about how to explain how I approach most things in life.  I figured out that I’m a dichotomy of hope – though not quite the way that initially sounds.

On the one hand, I am a hopeless romantic.  Always falling in love with something or someone, and looking towards the bright side of things with a happily ever after ending.

On the other hand, I am a hopeless cynic.  Taking a jaded, realist approach that life is hard and not fair, and not allowing the real “good” around me to just simply be good.

So, while I really want things to turn out as perfectly as a romantic ideal,  I don’t actually believe it really will.  You might think that two opposing hopeless-nesses would cancel each other out.  Or do they make one just plain hopeless?  I’ve discovered one of the greatest lines that comes closest to capturing my internal hopeless struggle.  A local rocker has a new single that sticks in my head, and is good advice for everyone.

Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.

eyes & ears
November 2, 2009

What I’m currently listening to…

Who Says”  (John Mayer)
I have never been a huge John Mayer fan.  Don’t love him, don’t hate him either.  But as with any over-played, college-girl loved music, it wears out on me quickly and I start to dismiss it.  But I heard this new single on the local indie radio station and love it!  There are some great lines in the lyrics.  I also love how fluid the whole song is; you can just groove right along.  The album comes out in a couple weeks, guess I might give the crooner another chance.  And yes, “it’s been a long time since 22.”  (Thank goodness!)

eyes & ears
August 8, 2009

What I’m currently watching…

What About Brian
Not only is this show entertaining, but Sally made a self-discovery.  It’s kind of a thirtysomething for Generation X.  The title character is a single, early thirtysomething guy who’s the seventh wheel among his coupled friends, who’s accused of being a serial monogamist and hopeless romantic.  While some of his characteristics and actions do not match me, I have realized that I’m the Brian in my friends.  I even offered the first DVD to Barbie for confirmation, and she didn’t disagree.  What I love most about the show is that you don’t always love all the characters, they are all flawed just like real people.  Unfortunately, I seem to always manage to find a great tv show after it has been cancelled.

Productive Day
July 19, 2009

My accomplished list today:

Ran 6 miles – (we had a record low this morning and it felt wonderful; I also saw not 1, but 2 pairs of does and fawns within the first mile!)

Mowed the front and back lawns – (if you’ve seen my back lawn, you know it’s a task within itself)

Added more soil and mulch to my tomato plants – (c’mon buddies grow!)

Transplanted some plants that were rooting in water into 3 pots.

Showered – (after all that, I was one ripe girl)

Grocery shopped

Hunted some urban dinosaurs – (stay tuned, I have some exciting things to share!)

Made some much-needed purchases at the sporting goods store

Washed 3 loads of laundry

Reviewed several contracts

Washed dishes – (I do not have a dishwasher, so yes, this counts!)

Made chocolate chip cupcakes

Spent some time with friends and Sunday evening TV – (we’re currently watching this and this)

Are you tired yet?

eyes & ears
July 17, 2009

What I’m currently watching…

Dead Like Me
I love this show!  I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love a snarky, jaded 18 year old grim reaper?  Besides my love of the main character(s) and affinity for shows about death and/or the dead, this is a really smart series!  It is a very intelligent, dry wit that can sneak up on you if you’re not paying attention.  It is too bad that it ended after only two seasons, and that the follow-up movie is disappointing.  But if you get a chance, spend a couple seasons with the reapers and you’ll adore George, too!

What I’m currently reading…

The Last Juror (by John Grisham)
Ok, I swore off Grisham novels years ago, even before I entered law school, but especially after getting my law degree.  But I was at my all-time favorite used book/CD/DVD locale and wanted an easy summer read.  This was the only one that did not seem to be solely about lawyers and law firms.  Yes, there is a murder trial that comes up, but it seems to be mostly about this young reporter/newspaper company owner and the tiny Southern town where it all takes place.