Category Archives: Culture Too

Summer TV

The second season of Orhpan Black ended a little over a week ago. [sigh] It seems like it just started. If you’re not watching this show I don’t know how to tell you how awesome it is. Tatiana Maslany recently won a well-deserved Critics Choice Award for her role(s) as the clones, seven at last count, all with distinctly different personalities. The technical people on this show deserve an award also, for the amazing job they do making it look absolutely real. We often see as many as four of the clones on screen at the same time and I have to keep reminding myself, “It’s only one actress, playing all those roles.”

While Orphan Black would be fun to watch only to marvel at the technical magic, there’s a lot more to it than that. Mysteries abound. Which one is the original? Why is Sarah the only one of the clones who has been able to have a child? What exactly happened to Helena to make her such a nut case? Can Cosima be cured? And Allison… wow, never underestimate a soccer mom. Which side is Mrs. S on? Oh, and I must not forget Sarah’s foster brother Felix, a very fun character.

Two things you need to know if you haven’t watched Orphan Black before and you want to start: 1. You must watch it from the beginning, and 2. Send the kids to bed. It’s a very adult show. Occasional nudity, but not very often, and use of the “s-word” at least once or twice per episode.

The second season of Defiance just started a couple of weeks ago. This is a very weird, complicated show. It is set on Earth some years after an invasion. There are eight races occupying Earth. Defiance is the name given to what was St. Louis. I can’t say I love this show but it is interesting enough that I want to keep watching it. Several of the characters are very entertaining. I don’t know… maybe I do love it just a little bit.

Longmire is a modern day western with some of the usual western cliches: old-fashioned sheriff (He refuses to own a cell phone but is always borrowing his deputies’ phones.) surly Indians, and one wise Indian sidekick who speaks without using contractions. But, aside from that, it is a very different and interesting show. It has been praised for its accurate portrayal of Native American culture and for bringing up a little known historical issue in a recent episode. I do really like this show a lot. It has some interesting characters and stories. Each episode is a stand-alone but there is also a continuing story arc. If you haven’t watched it you could probably start at any point.

We just started watching the new series, Dominion. I probably would have passed on this one but Number Two Son wanted to watch it. I’m starting to get interested but I’m worried that it might become one of those impossibly complicated stories that just goes on and on and on without ever going anywhere. (I can’t really say why I think that and I could be wrong. It’s just a first impression.) In Dominion angels are the enemies of mankind, except for one who is on the humans’ side. Human society has become somewhat medieval since the invasion of the angels. So far I’m not especially impressed by any of the characters. But it’s okay so I’ll keep watching for a while longer.

Grocery Store Rules

Oooo. I have to steal this. I’m not sure 10 Commandments for the Grocery Store is enough, so let’s go through these and maybe add one or two or five.

1. Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot. – Not much to say about this one. Too obvious.

2. Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot. – Not sure about this one. You shouldn’t be driving any faster in a parking lot than a healthy person can walk and I am more worried about the people backing out of parking spaces than about the people driving forward who, I hope, are looking where they’re going.

3. Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person. – I am a big fan of the old-fashioned “always keep to the right” rule. It just works out so well when everyone does that. But I usually go just one direction, not up one side and down the other. I keep to the right and reach across for what I need from the other side.

4. Thou shall obey the express line rules. – Yes! Absolutely! A thing that drives me crazy about the local Walmart is that they usually have someone walking around telling people in the regular checkout lines to go to the express lane even if they have more than 20 items. That’s crazy! Why have an express lane at all if you’re going to do that?

5. Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo. – I don’t see this very often but yes, another obvious one.

6. Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space. – This includes not starting to put your groceries on the belt six inches behind mine if there is no divider. Sheesh, people! Do you really think that’s going to get you through the line any faster?

7. Thou shall treat the cashier with respect. – Yes. She’s probably been on her feet for hours and has put up with dozens of people who have no idea how hard her job is. You will be out of the store and getting on with your day in less than 15 minutes. Whatever it is, just chill.

8. Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt. – Oh, never mind stopping at the exit. If some people could just get that far. How about, “Thou shalt not stay in the way after you have been checked out, preventing the next customer from moving up to the checkout.” Your turn is over! MOVE! So you have to look at your receipt and put your money in your purse and dig around in your purse for Heaven knows what but take just three steps and be out of the way while you do all that. Just three steps!

9. Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout. – I don’t do self checkouts. Someone else is getting paid to check out my groceries. I do not. If I self checkout I will pay the same as the customers who go through the traditional checkout line. Give me a discount for checking myself out and maybe I will consider it. Maybe.

10. Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot. – I really HATE when people do this and I especially hate when people sit behind me and wait for me to back out. Whenever people do this (unless it’s a holiday season when there really are very few parking spots) I sit in my car and play with my phone until they go away. Sometimes it takes quite a while. It’s amazing how persistent people can be when they’re trying avoid having to walk an extra dozen or so steps.

So what can we add to these? I have several.

Thou shalt not stop your shopping cart diagonally in the middle of the aisle while you take 10 or 15 minutes to read labels and decide what you want. Most people are so apologetic when they realize they’re doing this and you know they do the same thing over and over again. People, why can’t you pay attention?!

Thou shalt not stop in front of the meat case for 10 or 15 minutes trying to decide between the package of hamburger that weighs 3.12 pounds and the one that weighs 3.18 pounds. Just put one in your cart and move on!

If you cannot control your children thou shalt leave them at home with Dad or Grandma.

Thou shalt not engage in private conversations or arguments in the grocery store or anywhere in public. Good grief, people! Have a little dignity!

Okay, your turn.

A Few Fashion Things

Are Leggings Really Pants? No they are not! Leggings are not pants no matter what skanky looking teenage girls say. Yes, they are comfortable but if you’re going to wear them at least wear a tunic that’s long enough to completely cover your butt. Is that so hard? Seriously?

Make your own tights. This is something I never thought of doing. They have seams, of course, but those are nifty. The problem would be finding the right fabric – something with spandex but not too thick, which leaves out most cotton because I have yet to find a lightweight cotton spandex fabric. So, I don’t know if I will ever make those or not. I’m not a big fan of being wrapped up in nylon.

Your Brain On Shopping. I do like to shop. Sometimes. I like shopping without a plan – the “just window shopping but I might buy something” kind of shopping. The author of this article says, about shopping for clothing, “I feel overwhelmed by all the choices.” I am the opposite. I make almost all of my clothes but on the rare occasions that I have gone shopping for RTW clothing I always felt disappointed and frustrated that there were so few choices. Oh yes, there are a lot of stores with a lot of clothes but none of them are what I want. It all looks alike to me.

A silly hat. Oh, I don’t know if I’d ever have the nerve to wear this but there’s a part of me that says, “Every woman should wear a silly hat at least once in her life.”

Dammit!

I have been looking forward to the season premiere of Longmire (A&E) for it seems like forever. Finally, this is the week. It was on Monday night. We recorded it. We were going to watch it last night and I could hardly wait so I started it but then my husband said he had something he wanted to do first so I stopped it. Later when we were finally going to actually watch it we discovered that I had somehow accidentally deleted it. [bad words; really horrible, nasty, bad bad words]

The cable/satellite channels usually rerun all their most popular shows several times in a week so I’m hoping we will get to see it soon.

A Brief Word to the Writers

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen the season finale of Castle stop now! Below the photo is a HUGE SPOILER.

Really? REALLY?! That’s your big season ending cliffhanger? Oh, it might have been seriously scary and dramatic if we hadn’t seen it, or something very similar, a thousand times before. There are only two ways this can go. On the season opener this fall either Castle walks out of the ditch and cracks a joke because he wasn’t in the car at all or managed to get out just before it blew up (That’s the one I’m betting on.) or he goes to the hospital and at the very end of the episode he wakes up and cracks a joke. So, my word to the writers (and/or producers or whoever came up with this idea): Dumbasses.

Kids and Screens

I saw this on Facebook yesterday. It was in an image but I’ll just type it out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends no screen time for children under two. Yet almost 50 percent of parents believe that baby videos have a positive effect on child development. By the time babies are two, 90 percent are engaged with screens for an average of an hour and a half per day, with 14 percent spending more than two hours a day in front of screens. Forty percent of three-month-old babies regularly “watch” television and DVDs for an average of forty-five minutes a day. And 19 percent of babies under the age of one have a TV set in their bedrooms. — Susan Linn (The Case for Make Believe)

At first I was inclined to believe all that and believe that it is as bad as she is implying, while at the same time realizing that zero screen time is impractical if not impossible for most families. I like television, but it does bother me to think about infants watching a lot of TV and I wonder how it will affect them. I wonder what kind of people will be running the world when I’m 90. (Of course it probably won’t really matter that much. I’ll just do what 90-year-olds have always done: sit back and watch and complain a lot.) I worry that the whole human race will decline into some kind of electronic zombie-hood and be completely ignorant of many simple, ordinary things.

But then I think, millennia ago when writing was a new thing were there village elders who warned that teaching young children to read would damage their minds? Quite likely. There are always people who feel that anything new is evil and in some cases it is tempting to believe them. We want our children to have more advantages than we had as children but at the same time we want them to have the same core experiences. We want them to enjoy the same things we enjoyed when we were their age and not waste time on things that we did just fine without.

When I really look at the numbers in Linn’s statement they don’t seem all that bad. An hour and half a day; forty-five minutes a day. I would bet that in reality it’s a lot more for most babies. Averages are deceptive. And who is Susan Linn anyway? She’s just another psychologist who wrote a book. I wondered what the AAP actually said.

The report recommends that parents and caregivers: Set media limits for their children before age 2, bearing in mind that the AAP discourages media use for this age group. Have a strategy for managing electronic media if they choose to engage their children with it

Now that seems reasonable. Children are born wanting to play and interact with people and I think that if you provide ample opportunity for free play and human interaction very young children will prefer that over watching TV. But no matter what their early experiences the majority of kids grow up to be reasonably decent and productive adults. They might be couch potatoes and eat too much and die before their 70th birthday. Most will not be geniuses. Many will believe idiotic superstitions and be clueless about science, history, culture before they were born, and a lot of everyday things like how those screens they grew up watching actually work. Just like most adults today. But they will get by and be mostly satisfied with their lives and a few might actually learn some science, history, and culture from those evil screens.

Yes, of course, limit your kids screen time but, more importantly, limit your own screen time because your kids will do what you do. I grew up watching TV – a lot! – but I also had books. My mother read books to me and for her own enjoyment. And so, as an adult I still watch a lot of TV and I read. And I have learned a lot from TV. I have seen places that I would never have seen and watched exotic animals in their natural environments. And, growing up in the 60′s, it was on TV that I first saw people of different races working together and interacting as equals. When I think, “What would I be like without TV?” I think I like the “with TV” me better.

And I haven’t even talked about tablets, phones, and the Internet. Our world is full of screens. Even if you go the extreme and ban all screens from your home your kids will still see screens when you take them to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, and pretty much everywhere else you go and screens will be all the more attractive to them if they’re something they don’t have at home. Yes, limit young children’s screen time, but more importantly, be a guide and an example.

Spammers Must Die!

I just had a brilliant idea for an episode of Criminal Minds. A serial killer is tracking down spammers and murdering them in really bizarre and horrible ways. The team do their job as usual but some of them express regret that they actually have to stop the guy. When they finally catch him (or her; it could be a woman) he says something like, “You can stop me but you can’t stop us all. Spammers have to die. Everyone knows that. They have to suffer for what they’re doing.” And the show ends with Garcia announcing that there’s just been another spammer killing.

Again and Again

The problem with remakes. While I get his “too-soon-ness” reasoning, remakes of older classics bother me even more. I just roll my eyes at the Spider Man reboot. “Didn’t they do that just a few years ago?” But in the case of well known older movies (60′s, 50′s, 40′s…) remakes sort of horrify me. I think people should see and appreciate the originals. They were classics for a reason. Would anyone dare to remake Casablanca, for example? Oh good heavens, I hope not!

If Hollywood is out of ideas why not dig up forgotten movies – whether 20 years old or 60 years old – that were poorly done in the first place and make a quality modern version? But I seriously doubt that they are truly out of new ideas. The problem is that the money counters want guaranteed success (understandable) and the way to get it seems to be with names that are familiar to people. (less understandable, to me at least)

In Other Words

I have noticed something a bit curious and this is one of those times when I really wish I had more readers from the sewing blogger community because I would like to do a little poll to see if others have noticed the same thing. It’s that women say “fabric” and men say “cloth”. Or maybe it’s, people who sew say “fabric” and people who don’t say “cloth”. I suppose you can file this under Easily Amused but it does amuse me. One is just as correct as the other. My mother used to use the word “material” for fabric but later she started using the word “fabric” more. That may be a regional thing.

Still, I’m curious. Why do we use the words we use when others around us use different words for the same thing? Somehow it gets established in our minds that this is the right word to use and it just feels right, while other equally right words feel wrong. Like, soda, pop, and Coke. If you have it fixed in your mind that sweet, bubbly drinks are called “soda” and then you move into an area where they are called “pop” you will probably still say “soda” and have a hard time changing even if you decide you want to in order to fit in.

Still (mostly) Gray on St. Patrick’s Day

I was tempted to tell (again) about the time when I was six years old and my mother forgot it was St. Patrick’s Day and sent me to school wearing a red and white plaid dress and that I sometimes suspect that might be why it’s always important to me to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. But I actually do like St. Patrick’s Day specifically for the “wearin’ o’ the green” and it makes me a little sad that most people don’t participate or participate in a half-hearted way, wearing only a tiny bit of green or a dull gray-green or brownish green that just barely qualifies as green. It’s a few days before the official first day of spring, and we can still have winter weather for at least another month, but it seems to me a perfect day to be saying goodby to winter and looking forward to spring and summer, which I know is not the real point of St. Patrick’s Day but that’s what it means to me.

It was very winter-like yesterday. This morning the sun is shining and it’s supposed to warm up some. There are a few traces of green here and there in nature but the world outside is still mostly gray and brown. Why wouldn’t you want to wear green at this time of year? Personally, I’ve been craving bright, pretty spring colors since the beginning of February.

Unfashionable Thoughts

Kelly is answering questions and gets a weird one, or at least to me it seems really weird.

Don’t you feel weird wearing overalls when they’re out of fashion?

And he responds:

Well, obviously I don’t! Fashion is a pretty dumb concept, really…

[...]

I’ve never bought into the idea that something can “look good” one year and then “look bad” the next. I get that tastes change and we get tired of stuff, but the idea of clothes becoming laughable is downright silly to me. I have zero interest in adhering to what the “fashion” people tell me is OK to wear.

I have never understood how some people get so worked up about always being “in fashion”. The whole concept of updating your wardrobe every six months is an invention of the fashion industry to sell us more clothes. And really, I can’t blame them for that; they are trying to make money, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we don’t have to buy into it as completely as some people do. It’s okay to buy new, fashionable things but it’s also okay to do your own thing and dress completely different from the way the “fashion police” tell us we should be dressing.

I have never been fashionable and I’ve always taken pride in refusing to follow the crowd. That’s still true now but at the same time I realize that, at my age, people don’t see a rebel doing her own thing, willfully ignoring the fashion world; they just see an older woman who can’t keep up. And I have to admit that today’s fashions confuse me a little bit. What is in? There doesn’t seem to be one overall kind of look like there was in earlier decades. You can look at picture of a woman from the 60′s and immediately recognize it as 60′s or a woman from the 70′s and immediately recognize it as 70′s but current fashion? Well, maybe I am just an older woman who can’t keep up because I just can’t get a handle on the modern look. I wouldn’t know how to be fashionable in this decade even if I wanted to.

This is one of the best things about sewing. I wear what I want and look the way I want to look. I have more choices than the person who does not sew. And maybe that’s why I “can’t keep up”. I stopped paying attention three decades ago. Also, I don’t live in the most fashionable part of the world. Around here being fashionable means wearing jeans, worn out t-shirts and cowboy boots. (And then there’s Walmart fashion. We get some of that too.) But I’m not into that sort of thing (the cowboy or western look) either. If I had to pick a decade with the best looking fashions it would be the 1940′s even though that’s way before my time.

So my look? My style? I don’t know what it is, really. It’s just “Oooo! Pretty fabric” and “This is a nice pattern,” and “Oh, I think I’ll do this instead of what the pattern shows,” and whatever comes out of that, that’s my style.

Shoes

For no particular reason, except I had nothing better to post, I decided to search for “shoes” on Flickr. Here are some of my favorites from the hundreds of pics that came up. (and by “favorites” I don’t necessarily mean that I would wear them, just that they caught my eye)

I kinda want these. And the tights too. (maybe)

Happy shoes. Until you see how much they cost. They’re Louboutins.

Oooo! Fancy!

A bit strange but wearable (not embeddable)

More happy shoes. Wonder if these come in my size. They don’t look all that comfortable though. No arch support.
(UPDATE: Yes, they do. When I first saw these I thought they were kid’s shoes but I went to the Choose Your Shoes website. They are hand painted Vans. Considering that they are hand-painted works of art the price is very reasonable but too much for me. I always wear holes in the big toe area of canvas shoes so it would be a terrible waste in more ways than one for me to buy a pair.)

These are cute (another not embeddable pic)

And for the finale, something really weird. Why am I not seeing more weirdness? Come on weirdness…

Okay, not really weird weird but definitely different.

Throwing Rocks

The first time I ever watched curling was two Olympics ago. At first there was a sort of “what-the-hell-are-they-doing” quality to the experience. It was on late in the afternoons and my younger son would come home and find me watching this weird sport. We laughed and joked about it quite a lot and gradually figured out how the game works, basically, though I still don’t understand all the rules.

It’s funny… at first curling looked incredibly silly to me but it’s actually a very interesting game. It requires skill, of course, and there is a lot of strategy involved. There are some situations in which it is actually to one’s advantage to not score or even to let the opposing team score. I don’t totally understand the sweeping. I mean, I understand the purpose of it but it still seems strange to me that it actually works – that sweeping in front of the stone can make it go where you want it to go. I am also intrigued by the shoes. One is slippery and one is grippy. And the players also have a grippy sole that they can put over the slippery sole when they need to. I wonder if that feels weird and hard to get used to – having two different kinds of shoes.

This is another sport that the U.S. is not good at. Our team has already been eliminated but I’m still watching, rooting for U.S. allies or whichever country I perceive as being “nicer” or whatever petty reason I can come up with just to have someone to root for. The bad thing about curling is that I only get to watch it every four years. It has gained some popularity and curling clubs are starting up in lots of places. There’s even one in Tulsa. But I really wish there was a professional curling league so I could watch it for a few months every year like we do football.

Just Because… Underdog

Perhaps I should call this a “confession”. For a while when I was a little kid (7? 8?) my favorite cartoon was Underdog. I know that at that age I didn’t get it at all. It was not the least bit funny. This was serious drama and a little bit scary and I LOVED it! And the theme song too. It was just perfect.

Fast forward to the present. Lately I’ve been seeing a running shoe commercial (Reebok, I think) that uses the Underdog theme song. It makes me giggle with childish delight every time I see it. So, just because, here’s the original. I love the Internet.

This ‘n’ That

Last night we watched the movie, Up. It was on CBS or ABC; I forget which. Sad, sad, sad, sad movie. I know it’s supposed to be cute and uplifting but all I could think was, “What good is it to have your dream finally come true if the person you first dreamed it with isn’t there to share it with you?”

We are finally out of the deep freeze. Well, at least for this week. It’s supposed to be cold again on Sunday. But today it may get up to 70°F! That is spring, my friends! Sure, the calendar says it’s still a few weeks away but spring is more than just a date. We have had winter near the end of April and spring in February, as we’re having now.

I have been watching some of the Olympics. I’m glad they’re on NBC again. CBS spoils the Olympics when they’re on that network. It seems like it’s always 30 minutes of OMG! Drama! Drama! Drama! for every 10 minutes of sports. NBC actually focuses on the sports. I used to love the Winter Olympics and would watch every minute of it but it’s more fun when you have someone who loves it as much as you do. Now I just defer to the rest of the family. I do want to see some more curling. Strange sport. I got hooked on it two Olympics ago.

Sewing – I finished another thing I want to show off but my first attempt at self-photography didn’t turn out good at all. The flash, auto-focus and the self timer don’t seem to work well together so I will try it outside one day this week. I started another pair of slacks and then decided that I want to put a zipper in them instead of doing the pocket trick. That doesn’t work as well if you have to use a different, lighter weight, fabric for the pockets. So I ordered a zipper because Walmart only has them in two colors so now I’m thinking I might start something else today so I’ll have something to work on while I’m waiting on the zipper. By the way, Wawak.com has all kinds of zippers in lots of colors.

I first saw this on Facebook. I absolutely love it!

New On TV

I’m still watching and loving Castle, Person of Interest, Elementary, Big Bang Theory, Grimm and several other shows but I don’t have anything really new to say about those so I’m going limit this to a few new, new-to-me and new-ish shows.

Helix (SyFy) is a classic, “group of scientists trapped in a remote arctic research station with a deadly disease and a murderer OMGWAGD!” story. The disease is an engineered virus and, apparently, the murderer or murderers are killing for the usual reason – to protect a secret. Not a great show but interesting enough so far.

In Intelligence (CBS) a government agent has a chip implanted in his brain that enables him to instantly access top secret government computers. He has a pretty female agent assigned to protect the “valuable asset”. I’ve only seen two (or is it three?) episodes and I’m liking it so far. I’m not familiar with the main stars, Josh Holloway and Meghan Ory but there are a number of familiar faces in the supporting cast. Marg Helgenberger, formerly of CSI – I think I’m going to like her character in this quite a bit better than her CSI character. John Billingsly, who played the alien doctor on Star Trek: Enterprise is a doctor in this show also. (human this time) P.J. Byrne, playing the resident geek, looks very familiar but I’m not sure what else I’ve seen him in and IMDb doesn’t really help. Lance Reddick, who played Phillip Broyles in Fringe, has a similar role in this show. Rosalind Chao (ST:TNG) was on one episode in what seemed like it could be a recurring role. (but not necessarily, that’s just my speculation, or perhaps my wishful thinking) So anyway, this one’s a keeper.

The Tomorrow People (CW) is about a group of people with special abilities – what they call the three T’s: telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation. They are being hunted by an evil organization that wants to control or kill all of their kind. Not great but fairly interesting and fun.

And I have saved the best for last. Almost Human (Fox) is a “near future” cop show. Every human cop must have an android partner. In the first episode Detective John Kennex, brilliantly portrayed by Karl Urban, pushes his android partner out of their vehicle – “because it wouldn’t stop talking” – into traffic where it is destroyed by a truck. As a replacement he is given, Dorian, “one of the crazy ones” – a more human-like android that had been deactivated along with all the others of the same model. In some ways this is a typical cop show, with an experienced, cynical cop partnered with an innocent, open-hearted rookie, but the setting and stories are very futuristic and high tech. Mostly, the crimes these cops fight could not happen in the present, or at least not in quite the same way. This is a very fun show with action, humor and occasional sappy, heart-warming moments. My only problem with it is that it’s on Fox. Whenever I watch something good on this network I always worry that it won’t last long.

The Less-Than-Super Bowl

If you’re an NFL fan of course you want your favorite team to go to the Superbowl. Failing that, you at least hope for one last great game before the long seven months without football. But we didn’t even get a good game. I’m not terribly disappointed that Seattle won. I like Peyton Manning and wanted him to win but I do not like John Elway and I wanted him to lose but I figured that on every team there is probably at least one executive that I wouldn’t like if I knew about him so I decided that I would root for the Broncos anyway. On the other hand, I have no feelings about the Seahawks at all, except that the “12th Man” thing kind of annoys me. Russell Wilson seems like a nice kid and I’m happy for him and the rest of the team.

Superbowl commercials are supposed to be a big deal. There’s a huge audience so companies go all out to have the greatest commercials but it seems to me that it’s been many years – a couple of decades maybe – since we’ve seen really great Superbowl commercials. This year I saw a couple of good Coke commercials and I liked the Mountain Dew commercial with the duck hunters. There were several Go Daddy commercials that weren’t bad. And Budweiser came up with another cute dog and horse commercial. (Although, my all time favorite was the zebra commercial that they had several years ago) It seems like there were others that I sort of liked but I can’t remember them now.

The problem with the commercials this year was that everyone tried too hard to be dramatic! inspiring! and heartwarming! And it seemed to me that the whole all-day pre-game show had the same problem. It was all drama! Inspiration! Emotion! Emotion! Emotion! Come on folks, it’s the Superbowl! Be emotional! Be inspired! Shed a tear or two! Gimme a break, people. It’s football. Why can’t we just have fun with it? The commercials used to be fun. There was a lot of humor. Sure there were always a few that aimed to be inspiring or heartwarming but it doesn’t work when everyone does it at the same time. After the second or third “inspiring” commercial the inspiration circuits overload and shut down or burn out. I like the humorous and clever commercials and the ones that are little stories with surprise endings. There were a few of those but that kind of commercial almost seems to have gone out of fashion.

I enjoy watching football sometimes but I’m not really what you would call a devoted fan. To be honest, I’m glad the season is over and we have a seven month break. Oh, there will be moments of “It’s Sunday and there’s no football what will we do?” For a week or two we might feel that something is missing from our lives but then we will learn, again, to appreciate all the extra time we have. So, for now, good-by football and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Oooo! A List! – Silly Fashion Trends

Just when I desperately needed blog fodder Charles links to 12 Fashion Trends MeredithAncret Hates. Let’s go through these one at a time.

1. Over-the-thigh boots. I’m kinda neutral on these. If they came in flats I could see myself possibly wearing them under a skirt on a cold winter day just to keep my knees warm. But probably not.

2. Huge fake eyelashes. Why? Just… why? They look like big, scary alien insects of some kind. Why would you want that on your face? Just please don’t. Unless you’re this lady. She can get away with it. No one else.

3. Uggs. Eh. I don’t really hate them, don’t really like them. Neutral again I guess.

4. Huge hoop earrings. I used to have a pair that were about two inches in diameter, very thin and lightweight, and even those seemed a little dangerous.

5. Rompers. They look comfortable but please don’t wear them out of the house.

6. Metallic accessories. They’re okay but remember, less is more.

7. Leggings (as pants) OMG! Yes! Leggings are not pants! They are footless tights. You might as well go out wearing just panties and a top as to wear leggings without something long enough to cover your ass. If you do this stop, just stop! Go cover yourself, you shameless hussy!

8. Harem pants. They look weird but at least they cover your ass so I won’t complain.

9. Ripped up jeans When did this trend first start? Late 70′s? The 80′s? I can’t remember but I know I’ve been seeing them for a long, long time. When they first came out I had hope that the trend would die a natural death in a few years like other silly fads but several decades later they’re still with us.

10. Pointy toed shoes. These are ugly and they will make your feet ugly. The ones in the picture are so extreme they look like cartoon shoes.

11. High heeled sneakers. They make me laugh.

12. Peplum (the removable kind especially) I like peplums. I’m not sure if they’re still a good idea for me or not. I had a dress with a peplum about 15 -20 years ago. Actually it’s still in my closet because I can’t bear to get rid of it. Anyway, I loved that dress and actually thought I looked kinda hot in it. (I’ve never really looked hot.) I’ve never seen the removable kind. I can see how that might work or not work, depending on the outfit.

Modern Bustle

This is kinda cute. I’d like to see what the front of it looks like.

Found at Advanced Style. Please do go visit. It’s a wonderful site.

Generally though, I don’t know about the designer’s ambition to “bring back the bustle.” I always thought those were among the sillier fashions in history. This one isn’t bad though. Like I said, cute. Maybe even something I would wear.

One more thing… I can never wrap my head around riding a bike in a skirt. I know women used to all the time and I’m pretty sure I did when I was kid but now? I don’t know. There’s really nothing wrong with it but to me it seems wrong somehow.

Shoe Rant Follow Up

Have you ever started writing a rant and have it not go the way you originally intended? I do not regret anything I said in my shoe rant yesterday but the main point I wanted to make got lost in there somehow. That point is that “sensible shoes” should not be looked down upon as a less desirable choice.

I actually have no problem with what anyone else chooses to wear. As long as you’re not showing your underwear or parts of your body that should be covered you can dress as crazy as you want to and I won’t care. Sure, I’ll have an opinion about it, which in some cases might be quite negative, but that opinion does not include wanting to make you dress exactly like me. What I have a problem with is plain, comfortable, flat or low-heeled shoes and classic, modest clothing being considered “dowdy”. I know sometimes “sexy” is appropriate, such as, perhaps, when you’re trying to sell expensive cars, but a short, tight dress and ridiculously high, thin heels should not be the Standard Attractive Female Uniform. There are many ways to be attractive and all should be considered equal.

Regarding shoes, I have worn high heels, though never the very thin ones and mostly under three inches, and I’ve never worn shoes with pointy, cramped toes. The natural result of my choice of footwear is that, for my age, my feet still look pretty darn good, if I do say so myself – much more attractive that many younger celebrities’ feet. If you want to wear high heels at least make sure they fit properly. (I no longer own those flip flops, by the way. The strap between the toes bothered me so I gave them away.)

A Brief (and late) Observation

I kept thinking about posting this all during December but never got around to it but even though the season is over I still really want to say this.

Of all Christmas season TV commercials the ones that bug me the most are car commercials. (One exception: the Chevy commercials with the salesman who looks like Santa Claus and apparently doesn’t realize it.) The worst of the car commercials are those for Lexus. This year they had one in which they showed a woman using a treadle sewing machine. They showed a quick close-up of her feet and she was wearing stiletto heels! I cheer the use of a treadle sewing machine but in those heels? Not happening sweetie.

Besides the implausibility of that little scene, it greatly annoys me that that style of ridiculous, uncomfortable and possibly even dangerous footwear is considered an essential part of the standard Attractive-Female Uniform. While it’s certainly not as extreme as the old Chinese custom of foot binding it comes from the same mindset. Don’t think this was entirely a practice of a male dominated society. Mothers willing had this done to their own infant daughters.

Back to the present, I know you’re going to say it’s not the same. Of course it’s not the same. I never said it’s the same. But it’s the same mindset: fashion before comfort and health. Girls, you can’t call yourselves modern, liberated women as long as you are slaves to fashion. It is hard to find shoes that are both comfortable and attractive but they do exist and if you buy them shoe designers will respond by making more. Do us all a favor and stop stuffing your feet into overpriced torture devices.

(Okay… wow. I started off the year with a rant/lecture. A sign of things to come? Time will tell.)

Where Time Goes

Has anything like this ever happened to you? You’re watching Sleepy Hollow. It’s early in the show and someone strikes a match. Your kid (who, in my case, is no longer a kid) wonders when matches were invented. Curious, you pull your smartphone out of your pocket and look up matches on Wikipedia and start reading. After what seems like maybe 5 minutes you get done reading, look up, and realize that you’ve missed half the show. (Which actually doesn’t disappoint me all that much because I’m not really into Sleepy Hollow)

OMG They’ve Fired Phil!

First of all, I must say that I have never watched Duck Dynasty. The commercials for it and the comments of the fans are enough to lead me to conclude, with about 99.9999% certainty, that I would hate it. So I do not care that Phil Robertson has been suspended. I am neither happy nor unhappy about it. I simply Do. Not. Care.

However, I would like to say to the decision makers at A&E: Have you people lost your minds?!! This action supports my long held suspicion that whenever they make someone a manager of anything they remove a sizable chunk of their brain. Haven’t you ever heard of martyrdom? Persecuting someone who is already an icon will only get their fans stirred up and start them to flag waving for their beliefs. People who formerly didn’t care all that much and were willing to live and let live are now your sworn enemies.

So you want to make a reality show about a redneck family and somehow you found the Robertson clan. You knew what they were like when you hired them. You’ve been filming them and editing and putting them on TV for… oh, I don’t know how long the show has been on… for a while. Phil Robertson’s comments about homosexuality could not have come as a surprise to you. You had to know something like this would happen sooner or later. If you want to make a show about people like this you should be prepared to accept the whole package. Maybe you should just get out of the reality TV business. Use scripts, hire professional actors. You have more control that way. But if you want reality TV then accept the reality and when you decide it’s time to get rid of the show you should do it in a less dramatic fashion.