Category Archives: tv

who knew?

yay, giraffe!

yay, giraffe!

When we were in San Francisco, we went to the Acadamy of Sciences.  They have oodles of animals posed around the museum.  How much would I love to have this giraffe in my living room?  Maybe a baby giraffe would be better… after all, my ceilings aren’t that tall.

Last month I started all my little seedlings and almost all of them have sprouted and grown.  Now I’m just waiting for them to get big enough to plant outside.  I was smart this year and only started one of each of the squash plants and kind of went overboard on the tomatoes.  But it’s okay… I have a feeling there will be some plots of dirt just up the road that would be willing to take the overflow seedlings.  Because we live in spoiled-weather San Diego, it’s probably warm enough outside for planting, but those little plants just aren’t ready.  I’ll have to remember to get them started earlier next year.

So, I’ve been on this new diet.  It’s called eating less and exercising more.  Revolutionary, don’t you think?  Someone should write a book about it.  My iPhone has an app to track weight and calories, and I’ve actually been using it, except on weekends.  I’ve also been getting good use out of the DVDs from Blockbuster, and the elliptical has totally not become a coat rack, although we totally gave up the plan of running that 10k.  Honestly, I’d probably be more inclined to run after work if I had a sidewalk the whole way home.  Stupid house construction.  But, apparently this fancy concept has been working.  Cami and I went jeans shopping over the weekend (this works because we both hate trying on clothes, which makes us very efficient); my jeans have started this annoying habit of falling down by the end of the day.  I thought I would just get a small size and be done with it, but apparently I had to go down two sizes.  I’m sorry if that sounds like gloating, but I’m kind of tickled about that.  Of course, it’s completely feasible that Gap has funny sizing and that I started with too-large jeans to begin with.  But I’m still happy. I also fit into a pair of pants I’d stuffed in the back of my closet because they were too small.  And now they’re not.  Yup, this whole eating less and moving more thing might just have something to it.

On a completely different note, I watched American Idol and was completely underwhelmed.  Maybe it was because they were singing country, but trying to make country not sound like country and it just wasn’t sounding good.  I mean, it wasn’t sounding like good music, even in a non-country way.

thoughts I’ve had lately

  • I find it really annoying when construction signs show up on our street saying work will be done during a certain period, like Mon-Tues, and then they just change the sign on Wednesday to read “Wed-Thurs”.  Why not just start with blocking out your construction work for the entire week?  It’s misleading to let me think you’ll be done on Tuesday when, in fact, you have no idea when you’ll be done and you’re just going to keep showing up on a day-to-day basis.  Stupid construction.
  • I started watching that new show on FOX, Dollhouse.  Because I missed the first few shows, I’m kind of intrigued because I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on.  So far, it seems like a show for the skinny, hot girls to prance around, with some occasional action scenes to show that they are, in fact, more than just a pretty face.  I also like that they’ve taken the commercial format of Fringe and tell you they will be back in 60/90 seconds.  It makes fast-forwarding that much easier.  I’m not liking the actual show, Fringe, very much any more.
  • Big Love, on HBO, seems like it’s just started but there are only 3 episodes left!  I’m seriously considering cancelling HBO after the season is over and then adding it back whenever Big Love comes back.  At $13 a month, if the show is only on for 3-4 months, that’s potentially $100 we could be saving.  I mean, over the course of the year that’s not really so much, but it’s still $100.
  • Maybe it’s because I turned 30, but I’ve suddenly gotten very concerned about taking care of my skin.  I mean, aside from working in the yard all weekend and accidentally forgetting about sunscreen.  I’ve been trying very hard to remember to wash my face every night and I like Philosophy’s Purity face wash.  It smells good, it cleans well, and I only need a little bit of it to do the job.  I also bought the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator, which is some sort of microdermabrasion-lite wand.  It certainly does what it advertises – my face was smoothly polished last night and feels very soft.  We’ll see if it does anything for the tiny, tiny wrinkles I’ve been spotting (what? I swear I have wrinkles already).
  • We are starting to plan our annual vacation for the year.  It’s going to be in June, which is the earliest we’ve ever taken a vacation.  I might need a mini-vacation in the fall to make up for it.  We’re taking a road trip with one of my best friends and her husband, who collectively make up our best friends, I guess you could say.  Of all the people we know, these might be the only two people I would be able to spend an entire week with, travelling in a car and camping along the way.

Vampires are the new Harry Potter

So, we went on “vacation” and I even took pictures of most of the things we did because I felt like that’s what people do on vacation.  I only took one picture of food, though, as my habit of digging into delicious dishes before thinking about pictures is kind of ingrained into my brain.  Sorry.  The point is, I have pictures on the camera and had the best intentions of getting them posted here, but I got sidetracked.

As usual, I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve been sucked into the Twilight series, no pun intended.  I’ve seen that a lot of people have been mesmerized by the books, stealing them from their teenage kids, coveting them in secret, and whipping through them at breakneck speed.  And I thought, “Meh. Like I need more books to read. I have a shelf full of books that need reading.”  But then my curiosity got the best of me and I kept seeing Breaking Dawn at Costco, so I went ahead and ordered the whole series (and The Host) from Amazon.  T saw the stack of books and asked if I really liked the author.  I had to tell him I’ve never read any of her books, but I know how I am and if I get into the first book I’m going to want to know how it all ends.  That’s why I just ordered all the books all at once.  So when I finish the first one, the next one will be right there.  And I’m almost done with the first one, after just 2 nights of reading.  I actually stopped at the Epilogue last night because it was really late, even though I was so close to finishing the book.

I like the story.  I can see why it’s a young adult book – the main characters are teenagers (more or less) who don’t really fit in with the high school crowd, find forbidden love with each other in that heart-pounding fashion that teenage girls like to dream about, and form a bond that (I’m guessing) lasts a lifetime on their first try.  I read books like that in high school, dreaming of falling fast and hard in love with some dreamboat.  Except my books didn’t involve vampires.  Honestly, if the characters were 5-10 years older, it wouldn’t be any different than the adult fiction novels around.  Well, the tension between people probably wouldn’t be over something as small as a kiss. 

Having said that, I started watching True Blood on HBO.  I don’t know if I like it.  I hear a lot of raving about it, maybe from fans of the books?  Maybe the people in the books are being well portrayed on screen, but they kind of annoy me.  I watch it and it annoys me, yet I keep watching.  It’s like I feel I’m supposed to enjoy it and I’m just waiting to figure out when that will happen. 

Anyway.  That’s why you haven’t been told about what we did on our vacation.  Because I’ve been swept up by vampires.

Vermin hunting

Okay, before I start my rant on rodents and why they all need to vacate my yard (please go to the neighbors!) or die, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some tv shows that have been introduced.

All summer, we have been eagerly awaiting Hole in the Wall, some wacky show ripped from the Japanese game network (those wacky Japanese!)  I am sad to say that, after watching the sneak peek and then the other sneak peek (?), I do not like it.  It’s not very funny.  There’s a lot of dumb chatter and not much potential for wacky incidents.  They either make it through the hole, or they fall in the water.  Yay.  Now, Wipeout I find hilarious.  I can’t get enough of the Big Red Balls.  The Sweeper is my all time favorite.  Love that show.  It always makes me laugh.  Hole in the Wall?  Not so much.

I was on the fence when I heard about the new 90210.  Then I watched it.  And I discovered the only reason I was watching was to see Jennie Garth in her old role, all grown up.  But the new kids?  It’s like they’re trying to be Gossip Girl but not succeeding.  So, I’m just not into the show.  I think it would have had a chance if it had come out before all these snarky, spoiled, sometimes-rich kid series had emerged, but now?  It has some real competition and I’m not sure it’ll prevail.  I mean, if their target audience is the demographic who is too young to have watched the original show, then the new version isn’t edgy enough to keep up.  If it’s trying to draw in fans of the old show, then there’s not enough tie-in to that era to keep us interested.  I don’t know.  Maybe next year I’ll end up watching an episode and actually be interested.

I am currently hooked on Mad Men.  I think you should be, too.  The sets are gorgeous, the cast is gorgeous, and it’s fascinating to watch their lives play out in this era where it was perfectly reasonable to have a suburban wife and a city mistress.  Where everyone smoked and drank, everywhere and all the time!  When wives were just starting to realize that maybe their voices counted for something and life offered more thanjust raising children and having dinner on the table.  I don’t know… it’s just drama and fun and addictive.  The show, that is.

Okay, on to the mice.  We have mice in the yard.  Or meadow mice.  Or possibly moles.  Whatever they are, they are not gophers.  They are not things that make a big mound of dirt leading to their tunnels.  They do, however, leave little puffs of airy dirt in top of holes 1-2 inches in diameter in my garden and in THE NEW SOD.  I don’t know what they are.  I don’t even care if they live in the dirt.  I just want them to stay out of the grass.  Is that so much to ask for?

We are skeptical about hiring an exterminator to gas the holes.  Even though we think that’s how the gopher was killed, I just don’t know if it would work with these rodents.  Also, every time we have someone gas the yard, we have to put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs from getting too close.  As I’m sure you know, poison gas isn’t picky.  And while certain dogs can be a pain, I certainly don’t want to gas her to death.  So we’ve set up mouse traps.  But who knows how many mice are running through their underground network?  I’ve had mice before, as pets.  I know how quickly they multiply. 

I have learned one thing about setting mouse traps outside.  Well, a few things.  They may benefit you someday, although I hope you never have reason to use them.

  1. Peanut butter and oats sometimes acts as good bait.  Apple works better, but can be pulled off without setting off the trap, apparently.  Apple pushed into peanut butter does a much better job.
  2. Ants will find your bait faster than you even though possible.  Ants are gross and also carnivores.  Did you know that?
  3. The trick to catching mice is to place the trap right outside the visible hole.  Arrange the trap so the mouse essentially has to cross it as soon as it exits the tunnel.  Placing it any further does no good.  I guess outdoor mice won’t go investigate food, but they may be lured out of the tunnel by it.
  4. It is best to dispose of the mouse as soon as you see it.  Otherwise, the ants get to it.  See #2 above.  Eww.
  5. If you leave traps in the grass and the sprinklers go off, it will rust.  Happily, a rusty trap still works just fine.
  6. There is a trick to setting traps so they don’t snap and hit your fingers.  It’s good to either learn this skill or know someone who does so you don’t end up with sore fingers (like I have).
  7. Mouse traps are not really resuable.  That’s why they’re fairly cheap.  I don’t know why I thought we would be removing a dead mouse and resetting the trap.

And now, my question.  Why do mouse traps design the bait-placing piece to look like a piece of yellow Swiss cheese?  Is that for my benefit or the mouse’s?  It doesn’t even make sense because cheese isn’t really the best type of bait. 

T is the one who can set traps without getting hurt.  I’m the one who has figured out where to place them for maximum body count.  We make a good team.  He’s also the disposer.  I just take a look in the morning and come in to report the findings.  In general, he gets rid of any dead animals in the yard for me.  I’ve tried to do it, and I seriously end up squealing and running away.  It’s just too much.

If anyone has suggestions on what to do, I’d appreciate them.  I’m all for living in harmony with creatures, but they’re not holding up their end of the bargain.  They’ve crossed the line into the garden and grass and that’s not okay.

Wacky Japanese

So, I watched Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show the other night.  We really enjoy MXC when we manage to catch it, so I was curious how these American shows would play out.  Wipeout kind of resembles MXC with the crazy obstacle courses, but it lacks the totally odd hosts and crazy Japanese people.  Plus, somehow tv is just funnier when it’s dubbed over.  However, there were enough people bouncing off large red balls and flailing into the water to make me giggle, so I’ll probably keep watching.  MSN commented that they thought it was unfair to make women and men compete against each other.  Well, some women are more agile than men, giving them an advantage on some stability-type courses.  On the other hand, some of the courses are so ridiculous I don’t think it matters what gender you are.  Plus, on MXC you see everyone compete against everyone in waves, so I think it’s just a moot point.

ISAJGS, on the other hand, I’m not too sure of.  Sure, the contestants are playing on a real Japanese game show, complete with crazy audience members and host, but it’s like ABC picked the most uncultured people to be on this show.  There are so many points in the first episode that I’ll just have to list them for you:

  • When the contestants find out they’re going to Japan, what’s the first thing they yell out?  “SUSHI!”  Yeah, that’s pretty much all Japan is known for, the raw fish on rice.
  • They get to the house and the one diva chick is all, “No way am I sleeping on the floor.”  Let me tell you, honey, you’re lucky they gave you an actual mattress and not some roll-up pad.  Then again, you later see people sleeping in bunk beds, so maybe the floor mattresses were a hoax.
  • Someone discovers the remote for the toilet and they all gather around to watch it flush.  The black guy is in awe. “The Japanese are so far advanced from the US!”  Yeah, it’s like the Japanese are really aliens with the fancy foreign technology.
  • Then, of course, they bring in the ultra-Japanese-sterotypical “Mama-san” who immediately yells at them to take off their shoes.  They find this funny, being yelled at and then sent to bed.
  • Nobody knows what mochi is.  And then it’s described as being akin to molding clay. 
  • When the game show host tells them that they have to be crazy to be on the show, what happens?  You get 10 people looking like really stupid Americans. 
  • When the winning team gets to go on a tour of Japan, what does the tall blonde wear?  A shirt with a V-neck down to her bellybutton (seriously) so her boobs are peeking out in the middle.  Nice.

It just goes on and on.  It’s a reality show that’s less about crazy Japanese game shows and more about what happens when you put ignorant Americans in a foreign country.  As a fan of MXC, I think I’ll be watching Wipeout this summer.