Month: March 2015

NY Trip Day 1: RHAP Know it Alls 2

Well, I’m back from New York and I’m afraid I’m sick as a dog but I will try to get up some posts about my recent trip to New York City!  I had a blast cold, sore feet and all!

It started Tuesday night with a red eye flight starting at 11:30 western time and getting in at 6 am eastern time.

bye slc

The flight was ok.  I was able to get an upgrade and fly first class both ways which makes the world of difference (I don’t know how I’m going to go back to wedged in coach!).  I also had my cool sky ready kit with all you need.  I highly recommend getting one when you travel.

skyreadyI slept a little bit on the plane but not much and certainly not deeply.  But I did finish our book club book called Wonder which I thought was ok (I know other people love it but I thought it was kind of corny and didn’t love all the narrators but it was fine).  Eventually we landed in New York and I was excited to get going…

Well, it started out kind of rough with me losing my wallet.  I’m not sure what happened but my best guess is when I went through security they rearranged my stuff in different bins and I must have left it there.  Luckily my ID and Amex were in my backpack or it would have been a disaster. So I called the 2 cards I had in the wallet and got them cancelled when I got to the airport.  My phone was running out of juice so I had to buy a charger and find a corner to plug it in and call the companies and try to find out where the shuttle pick up was.  It was extremely confusing because the signs said ‘airport shuttle’ take the air train to Fredrick Circle or something like that.  I went all the way to the other side of the airport and it turned out it was the spot for the hotel shuttles not the type that I got.  I was so tired with no sleep and frustrated at my wallet but finally I got to the shuttle.

Unfortunately the driver was a madman and was zooming through alleys and around town and I was so close to throwing up.  I opened the window to get some air but it was big city air and I was beginning to feel like Homer in New York City vs Homer Simpson.  The city was out to get me!

thecityofnewyorkvs-homersimpson5_thumbA very tired weary creature I made it to the hotel and it was a nice affordable place called The Row in the Theater District of Manhattan.  My only regret is not getting a place with a pool/hot tub which would have been nice but it certainly filled the bill for my needs.  Once I got there I crashed for a few hours before the festivities started in the afternoon.

hotel
At the hotel

I also got breakfast ordered in and that was delicious.  Great thing about New York is you can have anything delivered.  That would be so nice.

Yummy breakfast delivered right to my hotel
Yummy breakfast delivered right to my hotel

Then around 4 I met up with the other Rob Has a Podcast (RHAP) patrons that were attending the event.  Here’s where it started to get fun.  We went to a bbq place ( I know bbq is not what you think of in NYC but it worked out) and it was so great visiting with everyone.

Here we are at the bbq place.  There were probably 40 of us!
Here we are at the bbq place. There were probably 40 of us!
brianne
Made a new friend in Brianne from Washington DC who is originally from Utah and also LDS

It kind of warmed my heart to meet such great people in something as random as a podcast gathering.  It can be easy to be cynical of the world and all the problems.  All you have to do is watch the news and it can feel like we are all going to Hell in a hurry.  But then you have moments like this where you see that there are lots of great people out there trying to live good lives and all it takes is something as silly as a podcast to bring you into a kinship with them.  The truth is we aren’t as different as we sometimes think and it was a nice reminder- especially with what a rough day I had getting there.

We then went to Gotham Comedy Club and got ready for the big live Survivor Know It All’s event.

know it allsThe club was different than I had imagined.  I thought it would be like a theater but it was more tables and chairs and they had us jammed packed in.  My only regret of the night is there wasn’t enough time to mingle and meet everyone.  I have friends I’ve gotten to know through the patron group who I wasn’t able to meet which was a bummer.  Next time it would be nice if it was more like a cultural hall kind of space where you could mix and mingle and get around to everyone but it was still really fun.

There was a 2 drink minimum so of course that means 2 shirley temples for me! (No alcohol in STs just in case you were wondering.

shirley templeThen we all watched the episode together and during the commercials Rob Cesternino (the Rob of Rob Has a Podcast) made different announcements and we got to see his wife Nicole, last seasons winner Natalie (and Miss Survivor winner) and Mr Survivor winner Spencer from Survivor Cagayan get his belt.

nicole rhap
Rob, Nicole and Stephen Fishbach
miss survivor
Natalie Anderson getting her Miss Survivor crown
belt
Spencer getting his Mr Survivor championship belt
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Stephen and Rob doing the podcast

Then Rob and Stephen did the podcast and some in the audience had a chance to ask questions.  There were a whole bunch of former (and one current) Survivors in the audience and they particpated in the podcast as well.

Once the podcast was over we had to clear out pretty quickly which was a little bit of a bummer but I got the chance to get some photos with some Survivors.

spencer
Here I am with Spencer and Brice from Survivor Cagayan (one of my favorite seasons)
rob
The man of the hour Rob. So fun to meet this great guy!
twinnies
Got to meet the twinnies! Nadiya and Natalie who were on the Amazing Race for 2 seasons and Survivor 29. Natalie was the winner of that season.

It ended up being a really fun night.  After the club wound down we went to another club but I was so tired at that point (I had been up for basically 48 hours!) and my new friend Karen helped get me an Uber ride (what a find that service was) and I went home.

So with all the junk in the 48 hours I had been through it was still worth it to have a unique experience, with some great people and I was glad I took the leap and went on the trip. Worth it!

When I got back to the hotel I got a stramboli which was actually one of the only unhealthy things I had during the trip.  Seriously it was one of my most healthy New York trips ever!  It was delicious!  Great way to end the day.

stramboliStay tuned to the blog for day 2, 3, and 4.  In the meantime ‘Achoo!’ I’ll be sneezing away as I recover from this illness.  Take care!

The Oddness of Modern Community

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on this blog I am going to be in New York next week! On Tuesday night I am taking the red eye to the Big Apple and going to be visiting until Saturday!  I am so excited because I love New York, get some time off work, see a show, visit with my sister and meet up with a bunch of friends I’ve never met before in real life.

Let me explain that last one for a second.  It’s an interesting situation.  You guys know I like the show Survivor.  I find it fascinating to look at the choices men and women make in the game and how every game is different with a different style of win (except for Sandra who won twice).  It’s now going into Season 30 and we have a very promising season with a lot of super fans after season 29 was a super snoozefest.

I would say I was a big fan at the beginning of Survivor and then picked it up again in spurts when there was a Utahn on the show and then with Heroes vs Villains I started watching again regularly.  I missed One World and Philippines but got the rest of the seasons but nobody I know is into the show, which is frustrating because it is the kind of show you want to talk about with others. 
In fact, I miss the social aspect of movies and TV.  In my 20s it was quite common for me to gather with friends and watch American Idol, Survivor, Lost or The Office.  Now that never happens.  Same thing for movies.  Most movies I go to by myself these days.

But around Season 26: Survivor Caramoan I stumbled on a podcast where former Survivors Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach were talking about the show each week and I loved it!  A lot of people don’t care for Caramoan but I love Dawn and Cochran and it was my introduction to the podcast and the Rob Has a Podcast Planet.

I think someone could enjoy Rob’s podcast even if they didn’t watch any of his shows.  Kind of like I enjoy Car Talk and I hate cars.  Rob’s just so personal, funny and engaging.  Plus, it was so much fun to get involved on the chatroom and talk about the episode.  Again, it reminded me of those times in college when media was a group experience.

Well last year Rob made a proposal to his little planet that if we would support his podcast for .25 cents an episode he would give a monthly patroncast where we could ask questions and set up a patron group to further discuss the show.  Wanting to support Rob I decided to become a patron and so I joined the facebook group at the same time.  I believe I was in the first 100 patrons in the group.  Now I don’t know how many hundreds of us there are but it is an active vibrant group with patrons from all around the world.

rhapWe even did a secret Santa last Christmas where I came up with a gift for a woman named Ana from Brazil and I received maple syrup and some bacon bowl makers from a patron named Rebekkah from Canada!  Each week we talk about whatever reality show is on (Big Brother, Amazing Race and Survivor being the big 3) but also scripted shows, movies and occasionally other silly news.  There have been a few cantankerous souls in the group and some people are too sensitive about spoilers IMO but for the most part its been great!

It sounds crazy but I really feel like it is a community of friends and it seems amazing to me something as silly as a podcast about reality TV could bring people together in a community.  It shows it really doesn’t take much to gather people together, especially in the world of social media and the internet.  But I think even in real interaction if you can find something you have in common with another person, it can be the silliest thing and yet that is enough to start a friendship and get people talking.  I’ve seen it a 100 times that a shared love of dolls, books, Judy Garland, musicals, whatever it is, it’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and create a relationship.  Get enough of those balls rolling and you have a community. Kind of amazing!

I’ve seen it with my open water swimming- how a love of the water and being outdoors brings people who have little to nothing else in common together and fast friendships are formed.  It seems to me sometimes all it takes is finding that one thing you have in common with someone, no matter how stupid, and you can make it work.

Anyway, when Rob announced they were doing a live podcast in New York on March 11th I initially dismissed it.  Who flies across the country after all to listen to a podcast?  That’s crazy talk!

But then the rest of the community kept talking about it and it sounded like so much fun. A few weeks ago I decided to look at plane flights just out of curiosity and to my surprise they weren’t half bad, and then I found a hotel which was reasonable and in a safe neighborhood.  The idea kept germinating and I finally said

“What the heck!  Why not! I’m a super predictable person and for once I’m going to do something strange and fly across the country for a podcast!”

So I got my ticket and it turns out my sister is going to come down the day after the show and we are going to spend a couple days in New York together!  It should be a ton of fun!

There is a side of me which still thinks I am nuts for going to a podcast and meeting strangers but another side is really excited (and nervous) to meet all these people I’ve interacted with over the last year.  I’ve heard their voice when they call into the podcast.  I’ve read their posts, sometimes surprisingly personal and I feel like they are friends.  I really do.

I just hope it is a good experience and people aren’t too rowdy.  I normally don’t go to places like bars or comedy clubs but it is 300 people and the girl I am sitting with doesn’t drink and there are other dry members of the group so it should be good.

I love being a part of this strange modern community so I hope it is a lot of fun.  At the very least it will be something new and different and that is a good thing.

(Plus I get to meet a whole bunch of famous Survivor contestants which I am very excited about!!!).

Have you ever been a part of a community that was unusual or strange?  Maybe played bunco with girlfriends for years or have a group of online chess players or something like that?  I’d love to hear about your experience.  Do you agree sometimes all it takes is finding the one thing you have in common with another person and a friendship can be built?

Well, I look forward to sharing the week with all of you.  Take care!

Thoughts on Backlash

A little post I wrote on how being a fan used to be a little bit more fun. Now backlash comes so quickly it can be a bummer.

Rachel's Reviews

backlashLately I’ve been thinking a lot about fandoms and backlash.  When I was growing up (back in the old days of 1980s…) most kids got a lot of their identity from the things they liked and didn’t like.  I loved The Little Mermaid.  I knew every scene, song and wished I could be like Ariel.  Then in high school I loved Les Miserables.  I saw it in New York, watched the 10th Anniversary Concert special over and over again. It was great! I loved Jewel, Simpsons, REM and Clueless. I saw Jurassic Park 6 times in the theaters. My friends all saw Titanic over a dozen times and I was annoyed by it but it wasn’t a big deal.

In college it was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pixar, Jane Austen, Norah Jones, romcoms and Jane Eyre that caught my attention.

Back then I may have gotten a little bit of backlash…

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Why I Am Jealous of Introverts

introverts2

Any reader to this blog knows I am an extrovert. I think anyone who shares their life online is pretty extroverted but in some ways I am jealous of my introverted friends and family (who occasionally make me crazy with their introverted ways!).

1. I’m jealous of introverts following, not leading

It would be so nice not be expected to lead all the time.  Extroverts are often turned to for leadership and most of the time it is ok because we are the most outspoken about how we want things done. But sometimes it can be exhausting and I just want to be a follower.

Perfect example is in my new Midsingles committee.  There are a 11 stakes involved and who ended up leading discussions- me.  I was up front trying to corral everyone’s thoughts and write them on the board, trying to make the meeting run as smoothly as possible and we only went over by 10 minutes.

There was a side of me that was exhausted but a little exhilarated after because it was a challenge leading the meeting.  There was another side who wished I could have just sat in a corner and written down what I had to do and be done with it.  But then who would lead the meeting?

In this case I don’t know if there was anyone who could have led the meeting and I was happy to do it but I do envy how little introverts have to lead others. It’s hard being in charge!

introvertextrovert-by-boris-pramatarov2. I also envy introverts lack of a need for social interactions.

If I am not actively meeting new people,  making friends, spending time with friends, I get depressed.  My introverted friends can have an evening out with the hubby or a friend once a month and be fine. The older I get the harder it is to get together with friends and sometimes I wish I could turn the part of my brain which needs it off and be happy regardless.

That said, I do a great many things alone and am comfortable with it but it is never my preference; whereas, introverts may often prefer to be alone.

3. I envy how much work people must do to get to know an introvert

On the same breath I think sometimes introverts have different relationships than extroverts.  Because they are usually quiet and more reserved it takes more effort to get to know them; thereby, making the friendships they do achieve very meaningful and important.

My friends mean everything to me but as an extrovert I am extremely easy to get to know.  I literally have no secrets with the world and I think that is a good thing; however, it can lead to me investing more in friendships than others and being disappointed when people flake or aren’t as serious about the friendship as I am.

Introverts-or-Extroverts34. I’m envious of the way introverts learn and study.

There are all kinds of stereotypes which go along with being an introvert or extrovert, but one of the most prevailing is that introverts are more academic and smarter than extroverts.  There is probably some truth to this notion because introverts are more likely to read and do other solitary academic activities.

The challenge can be as an extrovert I need to express my thoughts on subjects in order for me to finish out my thinking.  This can be seen as combative or challenging to introverts who don’t want to debate topics especially in a group.  Groups can be frustrating because I am always asked to lead but it is the best way for me to actually learn most topics.  I can read something by myself 4 or 5 times and not get it but then have a discussion with a friend and pick up right away.  I guess I’m envious of the brain which doesn’t need the social component to learn if that makes sense.

I mean how many brilliant people have been extroverts? Not many…

5. I am envious of an introverts ability to listen

Because introverts are typically more soft-spoken and quiet (at least in groups) they tend to be good listeners.  Sometimes I can get frustrated at them not expressing their opinions or sharing their thoughts with me.  It can feel closed off, even dishonest, when they are probably listening, pondering and formulating opinions by themselves.

While I may be formulating my opinion while they are talking, waiting to express it, introverts are usually listening to what I am saying and then communicating carefully what they feel and think.  There’s something great about that which I have worked on over the years but will never be my top attribute.

Listening takes focus for me and I have learned to bite my tongue and let everyone share.  But it’s hard for me so I envy those who just want to listen.

chickenextravert6. I envy an introverts peacemaking skills.

Jesus said ‘the meek shall inherit the earth”. Why does He speak so highly of the meek introverts? I think it is their peacekeeping skills that help calm down us extroverts.  I get passionate and excited about a variety of topics and it is my introverted friends who pull me down from the ledge and get me to see both sides, even when I really don’t want too.

Sometimes introverts can frustrate me because they seem to not have opinions on anything.  It’s so hard to know what they like or dislike, or where they stand on key issues.  However, often it is the introverts who see the middle ground, the compromise, and I am able to let go of my pride and concede at least a few points.

In the end we are who we are and we can’t change that.  We can work with it and tweak it but our core personality is always with us.  We all have different gifts and can learn from each other. All of these introverted traits I try to apply as much as I can in my life without it stifling who I am. And I am sure introverts have a list of reasons they are jealous of extroverts.

Thankfully we can all learn from each other, be patient and get along no matter what ‘vert’ we are.