Tag: television

The Only Happy FAT Woman in America

This is kind of a continuation on the last post but I was so angry  I just had to write about it.  Today I went to the gym and worked extra hard to burn off some of 2 pieces of pizza and a breadstick I ate for lunch. (Did I mention pizza/Italian food is my weakness?). Anyway, I decided to do 35 minutes on the exercise bike and then my usual swimming (ended up doing 25 min in the pool- 1 hour total one of my longest exercise sessions!).  As I was pushing myself on the bike I started to watch the Oprah show.  She was doing an episode profiling extreme weight loss with fitness guru Bob Greene (who I might add has a promotions deal with McDonalds….Strange?).  As I watched the program I found myself wanting to throw a shoe at the screen.  Once again the people were portrayed in the “before” section as practically less than human. One woman was so depressed she ordered a two tiered wedding cake and ate it all over 2 days.  Really? That hardly seems like an example most overweight women can relate to.  Most of us feel guilty for eating one piece of cake and work hard at frustratingly slow results.

Maybe these types of examples encourage  some people but it leaves me feeling depressed and angry.  All people have divine worth, fat or not, and just because you lose weight does not mean you will automatically feel better about yourself.  Why do no shows seem to get this? Why is great weight loss always proceeded by self-loathing and despair?  Why can’t we celebrate the accomplishment of great weight loss on its own without downgrading the original overweight person? Just once I’d like to see someone that found the inner strength to get healthy without all of the misery.   I guess this is why I’ve never responded to the show Biggest Loser.  I know many find it motivating but it always frustrates me.  I feel like they take the tough love concept too far and are overly-critical, degrading and even hateful. If you talked about other aspects of a persons appearance or personality  in the same manner that people talk about weight it would never be tolerated and would be labeled as hate speech.

I guess this is motivating for some people but not me.  In fact, when I was depressed and full of self-loathing at my old job I gained more weight than ever.  It wasn’t until I completed 3 years of healing (yes healing) that I decided I was happy enough to make a change.  The only show on TV that shows a little bit of this type of weight loss is Ruby on the Style Network.  While definitely having her issues, at least Ruby has some spunk and seems to be a happy person.  I haven’t watched it much but those are my initial impressions.

To all you network executives I’ve got a great idea for a show.  Take a happy over weight woman like me who is trying to lose weight and pair her with an unhappy teenage girl trying to lose weight and let them take the journey together.  Maybe that teenager will actually learn to love herself and not just get a makeover?  I think it would be great TV but what do I know.  I clearly have a very different personality than all the people inspired by Oprah’s program this afternoon.  Its tough to argue with Oprah’s success, but you think she would be more sympathetic to overweight individuals given her public struggles? (By the way, anyone considering having me on a TV show know this- I will not wear only a sports bra with shorts, or a 2 piece bathing suit on national television- glad that’s out there! :))

Oh well.  I suppose this is one more example of my exasperated cry- “Why won’t everyone behave the way I want them too!”.  Until that happens I think I’m going to stop watching these types of programs even if I have to find a new piece of equipment at the gym.   Otherwise, I might actually throw a shoe, which would be very bad!

Reba

Today I worked and relaxed while watching one of my favorite TV on DVD shows- Reba.  First of all, I love Reba McEntire.  I love her music and she just seems like the nicest person.  In her long career she has had 24 #1 hits with an amazing variety of country songs.  When I was younger I used to lump Reba in with singers I deemed as “too honky-tonk”.  Then in 2005 I got into her TV show, which then introduced me to her music.  I quickly realized there was much more to Reba than I had given her credit for.   While she does have a few generic cowgirl songs most of her hits are remarkably lyrical and poetic.  Many of her songs tell a story including Whoever’s in New England, Last One to Know, Walk On, Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Does He Love You, How Was I to Know, What Do You Say, and even Because of You with Kelly Clarkson.  My friend Stefanie said she saw Reba live and that she was an amazing performer.  I would love to see her live someday.

Another reason I love Reba is that she has done everything in her life and yet still seems down to earth.  If I had 24 #1 hits I might be tempted to coast a little but Reba keeps embracing new challenges.  She has tried everything including of course singing, acting, Broadway  and even fashion design.  I wish I could have seen her when she played Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway.  She should go back and do it again.  I would totally fly out to New York and see her.

That brings me to her sitcom.  I know that sitcoms have their flaws but I love Reba’s self-titled show.  It has a fairly edgy premise but the show is quite family friendly.  The story revolves around Reba Hart (of course played by Reba McEntire) who is going through a divorce from her husband Brock who is having a baby with his assistant named Barbara Jean (played hilariously by Melissa Peterman).  At the same time Reba’s daughter Cheyenne is pregnant at 17 and marrying the father of her baby named Van Montgomery.  There are 2 other children Kyra and Jake in the family.  The casting is part of what makes this series so great.  All of the performers, even the children, are wonderful.  Plus, almost every scene is an ensemble piece with the actors working well off of each other.  One of my favorite episodes is in season 2 when the entire family films a time capsule for Van and Cheyenne’s baby thinking it will be confidential.  Naturally they all say things they don’t want others to hear, but the tape ends up getting played and pandemonium ensues.  Look at the way the actors play off each other in this clip- its almost like watching a live play.

In addition to the acting the writing is strong on Reba.  I have all 6 seasons and each year the writers manage to balance dealing with the tough topics of divorce, teenage pregnancy, and raising a blended family while still keeping the show light and appropriate for the entire family.  The Barbara Jean/Reba dialogue is especially sharp and funny.  Many people have called them the new “Lucy and Ethel” and I may just agree (in fact, I’ve never been a huge I Love Lucy fan). The best thing about Reba is that it makes me laugh.  While I won’t guarantee the same for you, I would encourage you to check it out.  If you want to borrow the seasons from me, just ask.

Also, check out Reba’s music and I’m sure you will like it as much as I do.  Isn’t it nice to support someone that believes in marriage, family and hard work?  That’s what you get with Reba.  (Plus, she’s like Oprah and Cher, a one-named woman, yet she’s not a diva.  Pretty impressive!) Enjoy!

Love Hate Relationship with Technology

Yesterday I had a few friends over for book club.  As we chatted over Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns the topic of technology was introduced.  In the novel the spirited grandfather named Rucker resists technology coming to his life and the town of Cold Sassy.  He does so because he knows it will change everything (which it in fact does- even changing the name of the town).  He also resists it because it takes away some of his power, prestige and control.  Here’s a man who is wise and weary being trained in technology by his young grandson. Eventually Rucker gives in and embraces technology to impress his new, spirited bride.

Love Technology-

In a certain way I can relate to this dilemma.  There is no doubt my life is better because of technology.  Even just a few years ago I could not have managed both my jobs from my home office like I do today.  I LOVE my job and am so grateful I can- receive calls about the properties at anytime, do team view chats with colleagues, have conference calls over the internet, email documents quickly etc.   The internet also makes it easy to advertise our rental properties.  About 80% of our referrals come from a website called www.vrbo.com– a site which charges only $250 a year for an ad (small potatoes when it comes to advertising budgets!).  I don’t even know how we would get the word out about vacation rentals before the internet.  I guess through the newspaper?

I also completed my education mainly via the internet.   I received my MBA from University of Phoenix using their FlexNet program which is 1/3rd ground, 2/3rd internet.  This convenience allowed me to squeeze my education into any gap of time.  I could turn in papers, or watch lectures at 3am.  I received my degree while working thus eliminating some of the debt incurred using traditional methods of education.  Working while going to school also allowed me to apply the concepts from class in a “real world” setting.  This was often more valuable than anything taught by a professor or included in a textbook.

I love technology because of the ability it gives me to communicate with loved ones at low cost.  My sister is in England and I miss her greatly.  However, thanks to Skype I talk to her through a video-chat for free as long as I want!  This would have been $100’s just a decade ago.  Through blogs and facebook I can also see photos, read updates and keep at least a passing acquaintance with friends that are far away.  In my fantasy everyone would be living close to me, and I could drop in unannounced for visits, chatting merrily together…..But in the meantime I enjoy the little online tidbits I get from gone but not forgotten friends.  With my recent fitness goals I have also used the internet to help keep track of my training, share my journey  and receive support from everyone- even total strangers!

There are so many other ways technology benefits my life.  I could go on about my favorite gadgets (DVR and IPOD being at the top) but I won’t bore you.

Hate Technology-

Despite all these advantages sometimes I hate technology.  I feel like it has made people cold, non-familial and rude.  Gone are the days when you were expected to visit and talk with people you didn’t like.  In previous societies people needed each other more for survival.  One of my favorite things about old books like Jane Austen’s novels is that the characters always had something nice to say.  Even if she hates the woman she is talking  with, the Austen hero would be forced to ask “How is your mother’s health?” or “Is your family well?” etc.  Now even  with people we like, we screen calls, fail to respond to texts, and ignore emails.  I think I would die of shock if someone actually RSVP’d to one of my parties.  Most of the time it is a text a half hour after saying they can’t come- if that. I have friends and colleagues that have become almost impossible to reach over the phone.  It is all texting all the time.  I am sorry but sometimes I actually want to talk to a human being!

Part of the problem is our lives have become more complicated.  I recently got a new computer and have been amazed at the difficult process of installing, loading programs and getting it ready.  My laptop is only 2 years old but it seems archaic compared to the new desktop.  I’m no expert, but I don’t think things changed as quickly in Austen’s time.  Life was simple consisting of work, family, marriage, daily sustenance and socializing.  Technology can feel a like an insatiable appetite ever looking for the next great life-saving meal (or in this case gadget).

I  check my emails many times a day and am constantly updating facebook, twitter, my blog etc.  I am also always working and even though I love my job it can be a bit invasive.  They say that responding to an inquiry within 2 hours gives you an 80% higher chance of booking the reservation.  Knowing this, it makes it hard to turn my phone off or not check my email because I feel guilty about the leads I’m missing.  My greatest blessing of flexible work can at times become a curse.  Sometimes I just turn it all off anyway and enjoy life, but I don’t do it half as much as I should.

I won’t even get started on the woes of dating and technology.  Too many men my age are addicted to World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Command and Conquer.  I have been in conversation with boys (inviting them to a party or something) when they actually will forget I am in the room they are so entrenched with their game.  The real world is staring at them in the face, talking with them, and they would prefer the virtual world.  It makes me crazy!  That’s just one example of technology messing up dating.  It’s too easy to be a hermit, or even just lazy.  People used to feel more of a drive to find the “third place” in their lives- a place where they could interact with the community, make friends and maybe find love.  Now the “third place” is the internet, which is lame if you ask me.

It’s always interesting to see around Christmas time my friends and I usually go on more dates.  This is because many guys are encouraged to bring dates to company parties.  When given a reason they date, but if left to their own devices it  becomes more rare.  In previous generations there were more reasons to date- to find a companion. If only for survival, a spouse was essential.  I don’t know if that makes sense!  Let’s just say it takes a lot to get a guy to ask a girl out now-days.

Anyway, I will continue my love-hate relationship with technology because its not going anywhere!  How do you’all feel about it?

I think this clip expresses my feelings well:

Big Bang Theory

After several thoughtful posts in a row I just want to spread the word about one of my favorite shows on television.  This year I have cut my tv viewing by about 2/3rds including only watching 2 scripted shows- the Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.  I was into Glee but I realized I only like the music not the stories. The Big Bang Theory is about a group of theoretical physicists that perform their research at a university similar to Cal Tech.  The four main characters are Leonard (cute nerd), Sheldon (crazy brilliant nerd), Howard (uberconfident nerd who lives with his mother- only one with a masters degree), and Rajesh (an astrophysicist from India who can’t talk to women unless he is drunk). This band of nerd misfits is accompanied by their “normal” neighbor Penny who longs to become an actress but works at the Cheesecake Factory as a waitress.

The best thing about the Big Bang Theory is the writing.  Anyone who is or has spent time with a nerd will relate to the way these guys interact and behave.  Even if you have merely been to college you will relate to this show.  Let’s put it this way- it is the only show on network television that has a physicist on staff to collaborate on all of the scientific dialogue! In the opening episode Sheldon has a formula on a board that is evidently a real “joke” on some actual equation.   That said- you don’t have to be a science geek or even a nerd to enjoy the show.  You need only to like funny, well written dialogue with characters that are selfish and exasperating yet still endearing.  It also doesn’t really make fun of nerds.  In some ways it actually glories in its “nerdvanna”.  If you haven’t seen it check it out Monday nights CBS at 8:30 (at least that’s mountain time).  Here are some of my favorite clips:

 

 

Music Galore II

It is no secret that I am a huge music fan.  In fact, one of my most popular posts is called Music Galore.  As this was written in 2008 I thought the subject was worthy another entry.  While my favorite music groups has not changed since that entry, I have been introduced to some new artists and sampled some great albums.

1. Let me start off with my current favorite album.  It is by one of my top ten artists- Michael Buble.  His album Crazy Love is appropriately titled because I am crazy in love with it.  Particularly all of the bubbly, happy songs like this one.

2. I love Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor but I’ve recently posted about both of them.  Another recent cd that I love is Norah Jones new album The Fall.  She has continued with her streak of smooth, cool songs that are great for everything from work to car trips.  This is my favorite of the new songs.

3. I can’t do an entry on new music without mentioning the glory of Glee.  I am in serious withdrawals waiting until April for my next fix!  I’ve got the entire season on my DVR and I intend on keeping it there until April.  I just love it! Glee combines my love of music, theater and even television.  The only thing I didn’t like from this season was the fake pregnancy storyline.  It seemed too far-fetched for anyone to believe.  Some of the plot is contrived and obvious but the music and cast chemistry make up for any problems. I hope in the upcoming season they give a song to the deliciously evil Coach Sue Silvester (hilarious!).  I think Poor Unfortunate Souls or perhaps Before He Cheats would be funny.

4. Finally, I’d like to promote a new artist that I am enjoying who is local to Utah- Benton Paul.  Last year I saw him with David Archuleta and I loved his performance.  He has just put out his second album and both the vocals and song-writing are strong. Recently he has been featured on a few tv shows and one of his songs was covered by Joe Jonas.  Aside from his weird name, he is quite the talent!

 

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  I will update again soon.  Enjoy the music.

An Inspirational Video- America’s Got Talent

I know that shows like America’s Got Talent are built to tug at your heart strings, but in this case it worked.  What a beautiful voice and a hidden talent.  I have been on cruises before and the talent is a joke.  To think they passed up on this star.  It inspires me to keep on singing.  Think how much potential there is in all of us if we would just encourage one another, and believe in ourselves.  Amazing!

So often in life it feels like the good guy’s don’t ever get a fair shake- that only those with enough money or pizazz are able to make a difference.  Here is an example of a quiet, sincere woman who never gave up on herself, who never stopped trying.  In a world that rarely has room for the humble voice, that is inspiring!

Will write more later but I wanted to share this with all of you.  It made me cry!  Life is good for the moment.  I don’t know what exactly changed but I feel at peace with things.  I have done what I can and now I just have to let the situation develop.  That’s all I can do- work hard and pray. Thanks for all of your continuing support!