Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Bunheads" Is Awesome

I died a little inside when I heard Gilmore Girls was ending. For 7 years, my Grandma, my BFFQ and I had faithfully kept up with  the magical fantasy land of Stars Hollow. I loved Gilmore Girls because it had a certain humor, a certain heart, and an intelligence I hadn't ever seen on TV. And, while I have certainly watched and loved other shows since GG ended, I have still never seen anything like it. Amy Sherman Palladino (hereafter referred  to as ASP) debuted a new show a few years later called The Return of Jezebel James, which was canceled after only three episodes due to what Fox called "unacceptably poor ratings". I don't remember much about the show other than I didn't care for it. For me, it was just too different.

Enter Bunheads. I was so worried about this, you guys. I really didn't want to be disappointed by another show ASP did, because I love her and I think she is brilliant. So, with much trepidation, I sat down and watched the first episode last weekend.

I am not a professional TV reviewer, but I am a professional Gilmore Girls fan (rabid, even), and I am telling you right now, Amy got this right. Why? Because it is a LOT like Gilmore Girls. What do the people want?! More of the same thing! When do they want it?! About 3 years ago, but  now will do.

There are some key differences, mostly to do with Bunheads' heroine, Michelle (played by Sutton Foster). She actually has very little in common with Lorelai Gilmore other than a smart mouth and razor sharp wit. Where Lorelai never moved her body unless it was in pursuit of more coffee, Michelle is the opposite as a professional dancer. Where Lorelai was an independent, responsible, "bootstraps" type, Michelle is a mess. She is impulsive, irresponsible, and ran off and married a guy because she felt bad about herself. OK, so maybe Lorelai did do that once, but still! Also, Michelle has no children, thank goodness.

Even so, the similarities are astounding. In the premiere of Bunheads, I spotted three GG alums: Alex Borstein (Drella the Harpist), Rose Abdoo (Gypsy the Mechanic) and Kelly Bishop (Emily the Grandmother), who will be a regular. The show is set in an idyllic small town, with quirky characters. Where Luke's stood in our GG setting, there is a bar, where Luke has been replaced by a couple of surfing hippies who say "Man," way too much. Sam Phillips, who did the music for GG, is also on board for Bunheads, and he brought his acoustic strummings and la-la-la's with him. Finally, most importantly, that quick witted, smart mouthed humor from GG is gloriously present in Bunheads.

So, if you like Gilmore Girls, you will like Bunheads. Almost certainly. But what if you didn't? I STILL think you'll like Bunheads. They don't talk as fast and don't make quite as many pop culture references, and there is pretty dancing.

Moral of the story: Bunheads captured just enough Gilmore Girls charm , while adding just enough that is new and different to attract a whole new audience Watch Bunheads. You'll like it. I promise.
Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why turning 30 makes me want to do the opposite of diet

One week ago today, I turned 30. I used to joke that I would just stay 29 forever thankyouverymuch, and celebrate the anniversary of my 29th birthday each year until I die. As the years passed, I matured a bit, and remembered some great words of wisdom from the artists of my youth: that my age is just a number, and that time is our closest friend. So, I took 30 in stride, got a tattoo (more on that at a later time), and threw a lavish slumber party for my girlfriends. And it was awesome! Part of me wishes I could repeat it every year, and the other part gets tired just thinking about it. Maybe I'll do it up big again when I'm 40.

But, I digress. Since I turned 30, I have been thinking a lot about my sedentary lifestyle, my godawful eating habits, and frankly, my really crappy relationship with any and all "weight loss programs." You see, last year I did Weight Watchers and lost about 20 pounds. I have done it before and lost about the same. I don't want to shit-talk Weight Watchers, because I honestly think they do great work for a lot of people. But you guys, 20 lbs is about my breaking point with Weight Watchers. I keep rejoining thinking it will be different this time, and it just never is. I go in all excited and motivated and it beats me down. By the time I reach that 20 pound mark, I am mentally drained from all the counting, all the measuring, all the tracking every single thing I put in my mouth. I keep feeling like there has got to be a better way. And I think I may have found it.

The last few months I have been really and truly off the weight loss wagon, I have had some time to think. It started with the question of what I really want. REALLY. My knee jerk answer was that I want to lose 100 lbs and be at my ULTIMATE HEALTHY WEIGHT. But is it? Really? I felt deep down that the answer was no. I don't really want that. I mean, it would be nice, but I feel like I was idealizing a number. It is arbitrary, and doesn't embody what I really want for myself at all. So, with regularity, in the very back of my mind, I have been asking myself: in terms of my health, my body, my lifestyle, what do I really want.

Small thoughts would come and go. I don't want to count. I want to do activity that is fun. I want to treat myself when I want to. I know that fast food and junk is not how I want to eat all the time. Honestly. After a while, it all tastes the same and just...not good. I want to start eating more responsibly. I want balance. I don't want to lift weights or kettlebells or anything like that. I don't do lunges. Ever. I like to walk. I want to have that feeling I did when I was a little kid after running so fast I thought my legs were gonna fall off.

Today was the first time I was able to articulate what I want, talking with my friend Melissa: "I know what's healthy and what's not. My brain doesn't react well to rigid point/calorie counting. I just want to eat good, healthy food, eat when I'm hungry, and be active doing things I enjoy." Why does that have to be so difficult? Maybe it doesn't. Maybe I'm just so freaking programmed into thinking I need a plan and a system, that it has honestly never occurred to me not to.

This may not work, but I feel like it will because it seems logical to me. It makes my ADHD brain feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The mission is to feel good about myself, to love my body and treat it well, and to do it with a measure of peace and simplicity. I'll let you know if it works.

If anyone has ever accomplished this goal and has some recommended reading (NO DIET BOOKS), let me know. I'm interested in your feedback.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Feel Pretty. Or Want To, Anyway.

So, in big fabulous news, I have a new job! It's with an really amazing marketing company, and I'll get to do the the things I love best: interwebz marketing stuff, and helping people. I am really pumped about it.

One of the things that I have done a lot of so far is research. I have learned more than I ever cared to about at least two subjects, and a little about several more. One of the things I have spent a lot of time the last few days researching is fashion and beauty blogs.

You guys. This is a problem.

You see, once upon a time, I gave a rat's ass about looking cute, wearing fashionable clothes, doing my makeup, keeping my hair dyed and trimmed and my eyebrows waxed. Slowly, things changed. I got married. Money got tighter with all the grown up stuff we were doing. Then, we had a kid and money got tighter, and I honestly started enjoying buying stuff for her more than for myself, and then  know...LAST YEAR happened. It's been a LONG time since I have "taken care of myself" in the sense of caring about my appearance.

I had reached a point of being OK with this. Just the other day I was thinking that another of the many perks to working at home is that no one has to see me. Ever. Sweats it is! And greasy hair! For life!

But then I started researching these blogs and DAMMIT if they didn't make all the stuff I had stopped giving a shit about look really awesome. Here are just a few of the things I now want as a result of my research.

1. A cute little nose piercing.

2. All the eyeshadow. And brushes.

3. I want to dress like this girl: Girl With Curves.

4. I want bangs again. I told Beau that if I ever said that again to tie me to a chair and Chinese-water-torture me until I change my mind. They always drive me nuts. What I want is short kind of blunt ones that I won't have in my eyes all the time. I am only afraid that I will look silly because I am heavier and I have a round face and a big ol' head.

5. Tattoos. I decided today that I am getting the Mockingjay from the Hunger Games series on my birthday. Something like this:

I don't want to change my whole personality here. I know that I will never be the type of person who won't leave the house without  makeup, or in my sweats, but I do want to start putting an effort into how I look.

Or maybe I'm just turning 30 and having a quarter-life crisis. Again. Maybe all this is my equivalent to buying a red Camaro.
Monday, January 9, 2012

I hate exercise. Here's what I think of my two new exercise DVD's.

Like just about every other person in America, I made a New Year's resolution to take better care of myself, and recommit to losing weight and getting in better shape. This isn't really new for me. I have been doing Weight Watchers since July and have lost about 20 lbs, but I have been a big slacker since Thanksgiving, and other than bike riding, I never really got on board for the exercise part of the program. So, I dragged my butt to Target and got (on sale! Woot!) two workout DVD's. Bob Harper's Beginner's Weight Loss Transformation, and Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds.

I'm not a huge fan of the Bob Harper DVD, and it's not only because I am woefully out of shape, though that is part of it. I am far from being an expert, but I really don't feel that this is a beginner level workout. I found it to be very difficult. I've done it twice now, and I think it will take many more times before I can get through it without stopping. It's really ass-kicking, and you can tell that even the very in-shape people in the video are having a hard time toward the end.

There is very little instruction on how to do the moves beginners may be unfamiliar with (reverse tabletop? Wtf is that?) or that can result in injury if done incorrectly (such as lunges and squats). There is very little talk about how the moves should feel if done correctly or incorrectly. There are times where he mentions that a move can be modified, but no one shows the modification, which can be confusing.

All that said, it really is a great workout in that it is total body and really intense. I don't like doing it, but I feel really good afterward. At least, until the soreness sets in. I want to conquer it, so it's staying in my rotation.

I love Leslie Sansone and her Walk Away the Pounds series. The DVD I bought includes four workouts of 1-4 miles that get progressively longer and more difficult. They incorporate walking in place with other aerobic-type moves, as well as some strengthening exercises. The first workout is very easy and quick, perfect for a true beginner, or for those days when you really want to fit some activity in, but don't have much time. The three mile workout is perfect for my fitness level right now. I still feel like I'm getting an intense workout, but I don't need to stop much. It really has something for everyone. Also, it can be done with very little space, and there's no jumping around, which is great for apartment dwellers like me. Leslie has a smile on her face and is talkative throughout, always encouraging. Some say she is cheesy. I say I like not getting yelled at. I'm looking at you Jillian Michaels.

Feel free to take my reviews with a grain of Mrs. Dash. Like I said, I'm no expert. Just a regular, chunky girl with opinions. Too many, some might say.

If you have a workout DVD you like, I am taking suggestions.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I have not forsaken...ya'll.

So, we're officially all moved in to the new place, and mostly unpacked. We don't have cable/internet yet, though. It's a beating. Well, the internet part is, anyway. I don't miss TV much, to be honest. I won't make any self-righteous claims about how I have realized how much time I wasted, etc, etc. I am wasting just as much time watching Gilmore Girls on DVD. I'm just wasting time more efficiently. It's way better to watch 12 straight hours of Gilmore Girls because I chose to than it is to watch 12 straight hours of SVU just because USA is having yet another "Stabler is Hott" marathon. It's gotta be better for my mental health, too right?

I am planning to spend some quality time with some free WiFi tomorrow, so you'll have a proper post then. Meanwhile, here's a cute picture of Sophie. She is really insisting on feeding herself these days, with cute, messy, hilarious results.


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