Saturday, September 30, 2006

More on Television

OK, the SciFi Channel is rapidly becoming my Most-Watched, because I now have 4 shows that are appearing there:
  • Eureka
  • Doctor Who
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Heroes

Now, I missed last season of Battlestar Galactica but WILL catch up, and Heroes airs first on NBC but it conflicts with another show I watch so I'm catching the rerun on SciFi. These shows are vastly better than the rest of the SciFi lineup, which seems to consist mostly of C-grade horror, C-grade fantasy, and bizarre leftovers like Ghost Hunters and ECW (which is wrestling? what the...?)

Eureka has proven to be a delightful surprise. It reminds me of Northern Exposure (which I loved) and has been clever and entertaining. The star, Colin Ferguson, is that guy you've seen in a variety of MOWs and failed pilots... he's the guy that looks like a wax mannequin. I was ill-disposed to like him because of his unnatural beauty, but in fact he has worked with The Second City (which is like Harvard or Oxford as far as I'm concerned) and is VERY good and (based on his episode commentary podcasts) very smart. He's no vaccuous twinkie, as I had been inclined to assume. I find myself looking forward to the show each week, which is the hallmark of a really good show - do I only remember it when it shows up on my TiVo, or do I find myself thinking "yay, Such & Such is on tonight...!"

Doctor Who was on last night. Did you know you can see David Tennant's freckles? Seriously... the writing and acting is SOOOOO brilliant. I laugh with delight every single time I see the bit of "The Christmas Invasion" where the Doctor tells the morally questionable PM he can bring down her government with only 6 words... he wanders over to her assistant, and without taking his eyes off the PM, murmurs in his ear, "Don't you think she looks tired?" and walks off. Brilliant.

Heroes has been regularly referred to as " the X-Men." And this is bad because...? I love the X-Men! Very memorable first episode, but I feel so bad for all of the heroes because some of them are really suffering and lost and confused... I can't wait for them to all find each other and start a club!

Battlestar Galactica? Loved the first year of the new series, and then for some inexplicable reason didn't watch the next year. Hope to remedy that.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another TV Show You Should Be Watching

Previously, on BLOG: I love Doctor Who. You should too.

The new season starts this Friday night from 7 - 9:30 pm CST with 2 episodes back-to-back. With the smokin' new Doctor, David Tennant. WHY WON'T YOU PEOPLE WATCH THIS SHOW???? IT'S SO GOOOOOOD!!!! I am a trifle frustrated that no-one will take my word on it. [mumble] stupid Grey's Anatomy... stupid 24... stupid CSI...

OK, maybe this will help: You will love Doctor Who if you like:
Veronica Mars
Battlestar Galactica
Desperate Housewives
The West Wing
The Office
Absolutely Fabulous
The Simpsons

because all of these shows have elements that appear within Doctor Who! Yes, it's just that good. What serious adventure show with mystery, suspense, drama, and scary bits can have a fantastically comedic throwaway reference to The Lion King as Earth is in peril? Only Doctor Who!

*Sigh.* Be that way then. Watch your stupid shows.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

la la la la Laptop

This is the one that I want. Family, take notice!

I mean, if people can put out a call for financial aid on websites, then why can't I say "Someone please give me a laptop"? Perhaps a wealthy and impulsively kind person will visit this site, see my request, and buy it for me!

It could happen! It's certainly as possible as me winning the lottery...

Friday, September 22, 2006

In Defense of Survivor

I know, I know, this time they've gone too far... they split them into 4 teams based on race & ethnicity. I can sort of see why people are up in arms about this, but the way I see it... they're being up-front and HONEST about it. They're taking a significant risk (which is pretty impressive for one of the Big Three). And for the most part, the players don't seem at all upset about it! Probably because they know that these teams will be short lived, and they'll soon be mixed up and recombined into new teams.

But it is SO interesting! As a regular watcher who has only ever missed 2-3 episodes in the entire history of this series, we're only 2 episodes into this new season and I'm completely fascinated all over again like I was in the beginning. For, me, it's always been about the social experiment. I've always been drawn to the whole "What If..." of survival situations; who excels, who fails, how would I act in such a situation, etc.

But now, one of the most frustrating aspects of the game - the playing of the race card - has, at least temporarily, been removed. You can't blame your tribemates for racial prejudice against you if you're all of the same race! And only 2 episodes in, we see that even without that excuse, people are already becoming frustrated and making judgment calls against teammates they don't like. The game goes on.

I will admit one danger of this - stereotyping races based on their success in challenges. The Asian team won that challenge because they're smart... the Hispanic team won that challenge because they're hard workers... I find myself thinking these things. But at the same time, I find myself cheering for the black women who, when their remaining guy fails to start a fire, struggle on and succeed in doing so. I'm usually rooting for the women. :)

The tribalism/team cohesiveness that has evaporated over the course of this series as people get rid of strong teammates so they won't have to fight them later is, albeit sporadically, back in evidence. Sure, the Hispanic team just deliberately threw a challenge so they could rid themselves of a lazy, uncooperative teammate, but in most respects the teams are feeling the desire to represent themselves and their people in the best possible light. The younger members of the Asian team are feeling some frustration with their older hippie member because he persists in making racist jokes... about Asians! And they keep trying to persuade him to stop.

But even with ethnic bonding, each person is playing the game for themself. They will still get rid of someone they perceive as a threat to their own success.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Preparing For the Worst

I grew up at Nashville's Belmont Church in the 70s-80s, and the topic of Christ's return and the Tribulation was a regular topic; mom was seriously reading up on biblical prophecy, all the main writers on the End Times, Constance Cumbie, you name it. We even went so far as to consider buying a farm so we'd be prepared - I remember walking the fields of one property we looked at. She had books on edible plants (there was a recipe for batter-fried Queen Anne's Lace!) and would tell us all about the various evil things she'd learned about the New Age Movement.

As a result, I did not believe that I would live to grow up. I remember doing the math... I was 13, and if we lived through the 7 years of the end times (which in my fatalism I was inclined to believe; that the rapture would come at the end) I MIGHT live to be 20, and get to be married if I was lucky.

I'm 37 now, and have mostly forgotten those miserable years of high school and being scared that THIS DAY might be the one where it All Began... being terrified that the 40 years from the time when Israel was restored was THIS YEAR, and so it would surely begin now... I grew up scared, and am scared to this day; not of the end times, but of everything else in life that I now have to deal with.

Why am I saying all this? I don't know, precisely... I mean, I believe in preparedness if there is definitive proof that disaster is coming, but I learned to live my life as though disaster was always imminent, and you know what? It sucks. And it bleeds into other areas of my life too.

I'm not wise enough about these sorts of things to say whether disaster from our enemies is imminent - I know that plenty of knowledgeable people say it is. But 20 years ago they were certain it was on the horizon, and during the Bay of Pigs it was at their very door. So I don't buy anything from anybody, anymore, be it pundits or journalists or academics who really, really know what they're talking about, and I especially don't believe modern prophets - we had plenty of them back when I was 13 too... I have enough other things to be scared of in this world, like whether or not I might choke to death in my apartment and not be discoved until 3 days later.

La la la la la!

Gift vs. Need

OK, I spent last night updating my WishList, because the list of Stuff I Need But Can't Afford is getting longer every month, and I'm hoping that friends & family who are contemplating presents for me for the month of December (Birthday: Dec 3; Xmas: Dec 25) will take a moment to consider these guidelines:
  1. I am a recovering packrat
  2. I live in a tiny apartment
  3. The apartment is already full of stuff

I honestly can't accommodate anything that isn't essential or highly prized. At the same time, there are always many crucial things I need, yet amazingly no one ever thinks to get them for me. Instead, I always seem to get lots of notecards... very pretty, but folks, I design my own! I have literally hundreds of notecards right now. It will take me the next DECADE to exhaust the supply.

Here's what I really need:

  1. Body work on my car - a utility pole jumped out and gouged the passenger side of my Corolla and snapped off the mirror. Frankly, it hurts to look at it.
  2. 2-4 new tires. I put a LOT of miles on my car with making house calls, and I've been skidding a lot lately on wet roads.
  3. 512 RAM for my pitiful Dell Dimension 2400. It's barely functional at present.
  4. Laptop with wireless. As I am continually on the road around Nashbrentfrank, it would be fantastically useful to be able to work on researching solutions for clients and web design when I have an hour or 2 to kill between jobs.
  5. Gift cards to Jiffy Lube, Mapco Express, Target, Publix, TJ Maxx, Sonic, Taco Bell, and The Stitchin' Post.

For all those women who get hurt when their husbands give them a blender or a new vaccuum cleaner on their anniversary, let me just say that you need to SHUT UP. I can't get a practical gift to save my life!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bwah Ha ha ha!

Genetics has finally smiled on me. I just got back my test results from my doctor (see my "Needless" post a week or so back) and my blood is simply fantastic. Supermodel fantastic.

Quote: "Your cholesterol profile was excellent!" (I had expressed a pre-emptive opinion that it would be bad.)

[maniacal, vindicated laughter here]

Everything tested for was normal - glucose levels, blood counts, sodium, potassium, calcium, kidney functions, etc. As a Fatty Boombalatty, living on fast food primarily and next to no exercise whatsoever, it would be expected that my cholesterol, in particular, would be through the roof. Not so, apparently; my dear doctor says that (like sex appeal) you either "have IT" or not.

Test Results
Cholesterol: 185 (200 or less is normal)
Triglycerides: 95 (150 or less is normal)
HDL-C: 70 (35 or higher is normal)
LDL-C: 96 (130 or lower is normal)

And so every Disney movie moral comes true, finally: It's what's inside that counts.

I am a cholesterol GODDESS.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rare Email

I rarely get Good forwarded emails, and I try to show discretion in what I forward on, but I really liked this one:

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground; they aren't as good, but easy.

The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Not Funny At All

The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, is dead.

Sure, his whole dangerous animal schtick was good for a laugh, but I find this so very sad, because he's leaving behind a wife and 2 small children. And that's never funny. My father Edmond Alexander Lynds died of leukemia when I was 3, and even though my mom remarried and Chuck legally adopted us and raised me and my 2 sisters, he was not a good replacement for the dad I had lost. Those babies won't ever really know their dad (well, except for infinite hours of videotape, which I'd kill for!)

Friday, September 01, 2006


So I don't have anything in particular to post at present, but I am blessed by a moment of idleness at work, so feel it incumbent upon me to put something new on the site so that those who may check with any regularity will not feel entirely neglected. All 9 of you.

Let's see - went to the doctor for a full physical this week, had some blood work done... Ah! a topic presents itself:

I had a particularly sadistic pediatrician as a child. I'm sure he was no worse than other pediatricians of his era, but me and my sisters were all traumatized by what seemed excessive Needling, and one of my few childhood memories is of seeing my sister Amy pass out while having her finger pricked, as she was being held by the nurses. Followed by a memory of having a shot in my thigh for an ear infection, and screaming and trying to push away the nurse's hands.

After this childhood immunizations were done with, my mom felt that we had been tortured enough, and we didn't set foot in that office for years. In our teens, we were "taken in" by one of the kindest, most excellent pediatricians in Nashville (Dr. Lentz) but the damage had been done, and our phobia of needles was fully grown. From that point on, the doctors office was to be avoided at all costs unless I was fairly certain the issue at hand didn't require a Needle.

I should mention at this point that this fear didn't extend to Dentistry; we had a wonderful dentist as children and even now, I'm often so relaxed in the dentist chair that I can doze off briefly.

ANYway, I managed to get the dreaded tetanus shot for college, but had avoided all other Needling until I applied for Grad Schools in my mid-twenties, when a blood test was required for one of my applications. No no no no no. No. [wail] Don't wanna! [/wail] But it must be done. And by this time of my life, I had figured out that avoidance of fears only bred more fears and trouble for the future, so I made arrangements at the school infirmary.

This was a good thing, I discovered. It didn't feel like a doctor's office, and the nurse who was drawing blood was an acquaintance from campus, so I didn't feel so intimidated - it felt more ordinary. And I had decided that I needed to be distracted from the process as much as possible, so I asked her if I could sing while she did it, which tickled her. So I belted out "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess, which suitably distracted my mind from the task at hand. And I discovered that having blood taken wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as a shot.

But what was even better was the absolute EUPHORIA I felt once it was over; I had DONE the dreaded thing! I've never been one for setting goals or overcoming obstacles, and I am quite content to let most impasses stay impassive. But wow! The feeling of accomplishment over that one little Needle was phenomenal. I floated around for over 24 hours. Each year since then, it has become less and less of an ordeal to be feared, and more of a "oh darn" situation... I still don't like it and would avoid it whenever possible, but if it is required, I don't fall into a depression or sleeplessness for a week beforehand anymore.

I did have one setback a few years back - now that I didn't dread the process so much, I felt like I could finally give blood without panicking, so I signed up at the Red Cross and went over during lunch one day. It... did not go well. All was fine until they'd disconnected me and I was having a little can of juice. I asked them if I could have some more grapefruit juice, and they looked at me oddly and said, "We don't have any grapefruit juice, we only have orange juice." Odd, I thought, and then dreamed of jam, Entertainment Weekly, bees and whatnot, at which point three figures in white stood over me saying "Susan? Susan!"

I came to with a sickening rush, and realized I had passed out. My feet were propped up, and I felt cold and sick. They gave me all the usual stuff - more juice, cookies - but I could not get up without feeling dizzy. They finally asked me if they could shift me over to a place by the wall, as they needed my station. Techs who had gone on a coffee and smoke break returned and said "what, you're STILL here?"

Finally, we decided to put me in a wheelchair and roll me out to my friend's car (thank GOD I had asked him to come along at the last minute!) where I laid down in the back seat, and he drove me home after running by Wendy's for a supersized meal for me. I was weak and wobbly for the next 36 hours. I've never given blood again since.

Have I ever mentioned my terror of passing out...? No?