Last Week’s Good Things

Oct20Because of travel, this week was quite discombobulated. We got back into town on Wednesday. I went to work on Thursday – which was a day full of meetings followed by cooking dinner at Ronald McDonald House. Friday, I kept as my regular day off because I knew I needed a day to get many of the projects done before Ali and Jose come for their visit this week. Going into the new week, I feel like I am back on track and kind of caught up. In the midst of the confusion giving way to order, here is my shortened list of good things!

A Gloomy, Cold Autumn Day – I know that sounds less than good, but when you get to spend said “gloomy, cold, autumn day” in your warm, cozy house, it is a very good thing. Friday started out dreary and then proceeded to bring it on big time for the rest of the day. It was cold enough that at one point I looked at the temperature inside of the house and it was 58 degrees. That was enough to prompt me to turn on the furnace for the first time  this season. The boiler kicked on (also a very good thing!), and the steam heat started filling the rooms. Outside it was gray and misty. Inside it was warm and the chaos of an untended house was being put back in order. By the end of the day, the house was clean. In the freezer I found some spaghetti sauce with smoked sausage. I got that out, and when Dan came home, I heated that up and boiled some delicious Italian pasta that, I think, was Casarecce (I threw away the bag without paying attention). The sauce was thick and rich, and I tossed the just al dente noodles into it. The noodles soaked up some of the sauce and made for a pretty spectacular pantry meal. A glass of red wine. Good company. Wonderful food. Our house. Great gloomy, cold, autumn day.

pansyPansies – I wanted to brighten up our front step and some of the flower containers that have petered out with lack of end-of-the-summer attention. One of my favorite flowers is the pansy. They come in so many beautiful colors and some of them have that distinctive little face. On Saturday, we went to the garden center and I bought a flat of dark purple pansies. At home, I planted them around the house. Some went in with other things. Some went in an empty space in the ground. Some got their own container. They already have perked up the surroundings. Going out to get the paper this morning, just seeing them made me happy. What also makes me happy is knowing that these pansies are winter beasts! Almost always, a pansy planted in the fall will continue to grow and survive the winter here. When the first warmth of spring comes, there they will be again!

CC-Show_My-Grandmothers-Ravioli_s602x60My Grandmother’s Ravioli – Usually, I can take or leave Mo Rocca. I watch some of his stuff on the Cooking Channel or The Food Network, but it is usually due to not having anything better to watch. Yesterday, I was skirting through my go-to channels and I landed on the Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli. The premise of this show is that Mo Rocca’s Grandma was a great cook and made epic meals, but, he never learned from her how to make them himself. In each episode, he visits some grandparent and spends time cooking with them. The episode I landed on was Mo cooking with Clara Corrado. Clara is 94, lives in Philadelphia and has a set of great grandson triplets who are all in the military. Part of the show was Mo and Clara making Care Packages for them. The repartee between the two was totally charming. The viewer finds out that Clara likes Korean shows and she invited Mo up to her bedroom to watch some videos. There is dancing and some singing. There is good natured teasing and some touching memories recollected. Mo totally seems like he is enjoying the experience. The episode sold me and I went on to watch three more episodes. One was an African American woman in South Carolina who took Mo to church with her and he sang with her in the choir. One was a body-builder grandpa in Florida who was standing in for his dad, who was supposed to be the one featured on the show. Sadly, he passed away shortly before the filming. This is by no means intellectually stimulating time spent, but showing such fun interactions around food and family met my requirements for good television.

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful autumn week here in the Midwest. I am excited for my girl to be coming home for a few days and getting to meet Jose. Already there is goodness around the week ahead!

Last Week’s Good Things

journalThis is my third month of growing readership on my blog. Thanks to those of you who read! To those of you who offer kind words of encouragement, those mean a great deal. As is apparent oftentimes on this blog, I love me the list. I started one the other day that I intend to keep as a work in progress. I may write about it further one of these days. It is called “Things I Wish I Did Everyday.” It is pretty small now, but every now and then, I think of things that I go and add. While there is really no way that I would ever blog everyday (my ability to come up with things to write about is limited), I wish that I could. I like the exercise. I like the feeling of accomplishment. I do like the feedback.

So, back after a week of hiatus, I bring you five good things from last week!

Early Morning Gas Station Attendants at Costco

I leave for work when it is still dark outside. My days are long, and when I come home, I usually just want to get to destination My House. Because of that, when I need gas, I buy it in the morning. Costco is right on my route and their gas station opens at 6AM. It is a well lit and safe location to pull up to and pump gas in the dark. Almost always, the attendant on duty will come over and chat. We have talked about deep things like the weather, my bumper stickers, my mpg, the price of gas, and my car. They are always friendly, and l always pull aways from the pump thinking that Costco really knows what it is doing when they choose employees. From the loveliest to the lousiest of days, they bring friendliness to early morning customers that is appreciated.

God Bless America 

Last Sunday we went to a dinner sponsored by the Chiefs Ambassadors. This is a group of former Kansas City Chiefs football players who are committed to our city and support it through a variety of efforts. It was a fun evening that included cocktails created by Ryan Maybee, food prepared by Kansas City chefs like Jasper Mirable and Colby Garrelts, and a fun three piece that became even moreso when Walter White took the microphone to front it. We sat at a table with local sportscaster Frank Boal who was very nice – not just because he won the signed football at our table and gave it to me. Chiefs Deron Cherry and Danan Hughes and their wives also sat with us. They were friendly and funny and charming. Towards the end of the evening, Mr. White asked everyone to stand up and we sang God Bless America. There was just something about that moment that was so touching. The noisy room hushed. Hats came off. Huge men stood tall and almost to a person, everyone sang along. I really wish that this was our national anthem. When you sing it and think about it, it feels so personal. It is a prayer, a hope, a tribute to a land that is, even for all of its issues, the land that we love.

Lemongrass Chickenlemongrass

The lemongrass plant is a very pretty annual that I have planted in the past. I had missed planting it the last few years because the nursery that we usually go to doesn’t seem to carry it. This spring we went out to the Family Tree Nursery which carries a crazy variety of plants and I was able to bring home some lemongrass. The little 3 inch containers contained a few leaves of the plant. Currently the four plants that I bought are over a foot tall and are a really nice decorative plant at the back of my raised bed and at the foot of our walkway. The one thing that I haven’t done with my lemongrass is use it. That changed this week when I made a recipe for lemongrass chicken. The recipe that I chose was this one that included boneless chicken breast, finely chopped lemongrass, garlic, hot pepper, and onion. It was further flavored with some sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and curry powder. Because of the comments from others, I did not add the extra salt, which was a good thing. I served it with a side of a tomato salad, seasoned with Zatar and olive oil. It was delicious!

Sam’s Birthday

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This week my firstborn turned 28. This is a shocking development for me as a mother. I still am working on how to parent adults. That transition from being their world’s center to – in my case – being a long distance parent who knows only what they share, is weird.     But from my vantage point, I know it was a good year for Sam.  Most importantly, Sam and Jean came together during the year and have a committed relationship that seems to be so strong, good and happy. Sam also has moved ahead in his career and continues to make choices that will lead him to his ultimate goal. In a couple weeks, I get to spend some time with Sam and Jean in New York. I can’t wait.

New Television

My DVR has been very quiet the last several weeks. We have caught up with everything that was on there, and there wasn’t anything being recorded. But this week that changed! The new television season has started. I have made a pseudo-pact not to take on new series, but I am there for my previously chosen! This week, we got a new episode of How I met Your Mother and Modern Family. Tonight we get Bob’s Burgers. Thirty minutes of goofy comedy after a long day is a good thing.

My list was long this week. It was hard to pick five. Again, looking at the things that I jot down during the week reminds me of how truly lucky I am.

How was your week? Anything good that you want to share?

Last Week’s Good Things

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Ali and Banjo – Pure happiness arrived Saturday afternoon. Ali and Banjo drove into the driveway and since then it has been one big smile.

orange is the new blackOrange is the New Black – We’ve caught up on all of our DVR’d programs and the new fall season is weeks away.  After a long day this week, we decided to delve into something new. We picked the new Netflix streaming series Orange is the New Black. Both of the culture podcasts that I regularly listen to had segments on the series recently.  It got unanimous praise. I have heard the author of the book that the series is based on interviewed on NPR. After that, I put the book on my “to read” list, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. The series is a fun watch, and the technique is a good one. Basically, the author served 10 months in prison for a drug charge. White, upper middle class , college educated, she didn’t fit the stereotypical prisoner MO. Her experiences and those of her fellow inmates, make good television. I think we have watched four episodes and I am eager for more.

Summer Gatherings – With our guests in town, we decided to host a get together with friends and family last night. It was just unbelievably beautiful yesterday – perfect weather. Boulevard Brats, corn on the cob, tomatoes, miso coleslaw, and berry pie eaten on the patio made for a great evening. That is summer.

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New Glasses – I have had them over a week, but I since I haven’t written one of these posts in several weeks I am going to include my glasses  because they are still making me really happy. I went to the eye doctor, and as I suspected, my prescription changed. I ordered some new glasses, and I am now seeing so much better! I have been bummed because it was so hard to read the comics in the morning. Now, I am happy to report that I can keep up with the hijinks that play out on the funny page as good as ever!

georgeGeorge – I am not a Royal family devotee, but I like babies. I also love the name George for a little boy. In a week where there was too much gross in the news, it was nice to be able to break it up with reports of a baby named George.

Last Week’s Good Things

IMG525A happy mother’s day to all who celebrate! That mother thing is a good thing, and here are a few of the other good things that I came upon during last week’s day-to-day:

  1. Getting to play pinball – Yesterday, Dan and I went to Haus to use a Groupon that we had gotten awhile ago. Not only did we get to have a delicious Local Pig sausage, a large order of poutine, and a flight of American craft beers, but as I looked across the restaurant, I spied a “24” pinball machine. My goodness, it was fun to play. There was Jack Bauer and Chloe flashing on the backboard as the silver ball banged around the game. It was delightful. We played three games between us, and because it was Mother’s fest weekend, Dan let me take the extra ball – even though he had gotten more points than me.
  2. Center for Spirit at Work Breakfast – Friday morning I went to a breakfast talk sponsored by The Center for Spirit at Work. The talk was about looking for your passion and going for it. What really struck me about the morning, however, was how friendly and welcoming people were, and how each came to start their day listening to such a positive message.
  3. I always think that I should like Mark Maron more than I do, but he can be a little much for me. This article, however, made me laugh more than a little bit. The article describes him going to buy a pair of jeans because he heard they were making them right again. The advice that he gets from the jean’s salesperson is quite something. My favorite part, however, was Maron’s going off on his dislike of handlebar moustaches:

The clerk helping me was a chubby fellow with a handlebar mustache. I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache. I saw a guy in Brooklyn once with a handlebar mustache, pierced ears, a fedora hat and j odhpurs. He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself. It looked as if he were interrupted during a shave in the mid-1850s and had to grab some clothes and dress quickly while being chased through a time tunnel.

4.  Clean sheets – The fact that I put clean sheets on the list should not indicate that this is the first time that I have had clean sheets since I started writing this series. I do change my sheets fairly regularly, and this week was one of those times. It just struck me that it is such a good feeling to get into a bed that is so fresh and the tuck-ins are so tight and hospital-cornery. Between sheet changes, getting the bed made usually involves pulling all of the covers up and trying to redistribute things after the cover power-grabbing that seems to occur each night. There is no serious smoothing and tucking. That only gets done with clean sheets and it is a delight.

5.  The Office – We are down to the last episode of The Office. I have always liked the show, but over the last few years I lost passion for the series. This year, however, they are bringing it. The Pam and Jim story this week was just heart meltingly sweet, and Dwight finally gets Angela. Oh, Dunder Mifflin of Scranton, PA, I will miss you.product_ream

Last Week’s Good Things

This week, more than most, it was important to pay attention to the good things that slid into my days. My list is actually longer than the five (plus one bonus) that I put down here. The truth, truly is that if you keep your eyes open for good, you will find it.Scanned Image 131020000

  1. I was going through a box of papers (because I am one to have many boxes of papers), and I came across this picture of Sam and Ali that I drew several years ago. It doesn’t look a whole lot like them, but it captures pieces of them that make it highly recognizable. That is me peeking out of the window.
  2. Believe it or not, one of my good things was the customer rep guy I talked to at T-Mobile. Dan has been traveling quite a bit this month, and he texted me that he was about to run out of minutes on his cell phone. I called up the 800 number and talked to a very nice man. He looked at our account and laughed with me as I pointed out that we are probably T-mobile’s longest served customer (11 years!). He then proceeded to give me some bonus minutes and thanked me for calling and being so nice.
  3. I work at a children’s hospital. My job focuses on clinical research for children with cancer and other blood diseases. This week, our Grand Rounds’ speaker talked about the progress that has been made in treating children with cancer. A major factor of that progress is that those who treat children with cancer decided many years ago that the only way that they would find answers was if everyone cooperated, treated children the same ways, and combined results to determine what works best. The cooperative clinical trial movement in children’s cancer research became the model for all research. It is why the percentage of children surviving a cancer diagnosis is so high. After the talk, I suggested to one of our doctors that we send out a note to our surgeons and pathologists who help us so much in making our clinical studies so successful. He told me that it was a good idea, but I should go ahead and send it. I sent it out under the names of our research team. The number of doctors who took the time to say thank you for the nice email and express their own pleasure in being part of the solution warmed my heart.Gatsby1
  4. I finished reading The Great Gatsby this week for about the third time. The copy that I read was the one that Dan had for one of his college English classes. Some of his annotations in the book charmed me or made me giggle. Then, the New York Times had an end piece in the magazine where they showed covers of Gatsby over time. Loved that!gatsby3
  5. Dan and I had the best day on Saturday! He had been gone all week, so I wanted to spend the day doing stuff together. I went out for a walk, came home, and then we hit the road. We got an early lunch, followed by going to the theater to watch 42 – which  we both very much liked. After the movie, we walked around Barnes and Noble for about an hour. I realized that it had been a long time since I had just done some bookstore browsing. Of course I found some bargains. From there, we did Dan’s birthday shopping, went to a favorite liquor store emporium, bought some steaks to grill out, Dan experimented with a new cocktail that was successful, ate dinner, and, finally, ended the day by watching stored up DVR’d sitcoms. Winner.
  6. Bonus one: I wrote quite some time ago about going to hear Jules Feiffer and Norton Juster talk. That was wonderful. This week, I found out that there is a documentary coming out about the creation of The Phantom Tollbooth. Lordy me, I can’t wait.phantom

Last Week’s Good Stuff

treme

  1. Treme – Dan and I are a little more than half-way through watching Season 2 of Treme. Last night we watched the Carnival episode, and I was mesmerized. Season 2 seems to be focusing on the intersections of music, art, and history. I feel like I learn so much with each episode. That is good television.
  2. Mr. Asquith’s 84th Birthday – Art Asquith was my grade school gym teacher. Paul Cooley was a high school English teacher of mine. Last week, Mr. Cooley posted on Facebook that Mr. Asquith was turning 84 this week, and it would be great if his former students unexpectedly showered him with birthday greetings. I sent him a card to wish him happy birthday and shared one of my favorite gym class moments. Aside with this nice idea from Mr. Cooley, another gem that I got out of this was finding out that Mr. Asquith was once a contestant on the television game show, What’s My Line, and there is a YouTube clip of it.

asquith3. Sounds like Spring – There have been days this week that it has felt springlike. Crocuses and other green things are popping out of the ground. What I noticed this week, however, is that when I walk out of the house to get the paper in the very early hours, it sounds like spring.

they-might-be-giants-nanobots-idlewild4. They Might Be Giants: Nanobots – I have been a fan of They Might Be Giants from their first album. When he was little, they became a band that Sam also came to love. TMBG recently released a new album called Nanobots, and I spent some time listening to it this week. It has some hooky songs, some of their quirky few second clips, and seems tied closely to their records of old.

5. Trying out a new restaurant with friends – Friday night we had dinner with friends at Rye Restaurant which is the new restaurant created by the Bluestem couple, Colby and Megan Garrelts. Each of us had some delicious bites and sips, but the best element of the evening was having time to spend with a couple we haven’t had that time with in a long time.

Last Week’s Good Stuff

birthday girl

  1. Meetings – This year, I am making an effort to communicate more face-to-face rather than via email. It can definitely be more of a hassle, but I believe in the positives that result.That being said, I had a few meetings last week that were great. Either the people involved were engaged, or what the meeting resulted in was better than I anticipated.
  2. Hillary Clinton – This week Hillary Clinton left her post as Secretary of State. I knew Hillary Clinton was something special when my very Republican father told me that he thought Hillary was a good Senator for New York. If she could win over my dad, her ability to bring together world leaders seemed reasonable. Well done, Madame Secretary!
  3. Impromptu dinners – Friday night we met some friends for a beer and sat around talking for awhile. Dan made some chili earlier in the day so it would be ready when we got home. We ended up inviting our friends over and extended our visit over dinner. It is great to be able to have the flexibility to bring unexpected guests over, have a good dinner, and have it all come off pretty effortlessly.
  4. Banjo’s Birthday – Ali celebrated her dog’s first birthday on Friday with a new dog shirt, a dog birthday cake, and much love. That dog and her girl are perfect together.Parks and Recreation - Season 5
  5. Ben’s bachelor party on Parks and Recreation – We had to say goodbye to Liz Lemon and 30 Rock this week. It was a good episode, but my favorite television of that night was Parks and Recreation. Of particular note was the story line of Ben’s bachelor party. The deal was that when Chris found out that none of the other guys at the party had gotten a bachelor party when they married, he made their dream bachelor parties happen too. This show is just good natured funny and charming.

Jim Henson’s Imagination

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I came late to the Sesame Street party. Sesame Street premiered in 1969. By then I was already aware of letters, numbers, but I think the real reason I didn’t watch Sesame Street was because we did not have access to public television where I grew up. When Sam was born, however, I went there. I got to Sesame Street and I loved it there. Who wouldn’t? It was friendly and fun and there were good songs and silliness and all sorts of cool people who would show up. Not many parents would deny that a benefit of becoming a parent is getting to share in the joy of Sesame Street.

I just finished reading/looking at iMAGiNATiON ILLUSTRATED: The Jim Henson Journal. This is in that category of books that I find irresistible. Jim Henson’s journal was not a diary of thoughts and feelings. Starting in 1954, Jim would take his yearly appointment book and transcribe into his journal the highlights. He noted what puppets he was building. He logged commercials he was working on, people he met, his marriage, the birth of his children, their birthday parties, vacations, each car he bought. With this chronology, Karen Falk built a book of words and images that captures what a wonder this man was.

Before he died unexpectedly at 53, Jim Henson did crazy amazing things. His first television foray debuted in 1955. Sam and Friends (good name) was a five minute late night puppet comedy fest, that included an astute green frog.

Sam and Friends led Jim and his expanding group of puppeteers to gigs on the Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. And then came Sesame Street. As huge of a following this little program was getting, Jim didn’t only want be a part of children’s entertainment. He continued to work on other projects that would expand his fan base and admirers considerably.

He made a documentary about the youth experience in 1968.

He made some interesting experimental television productions.

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In 1975 when Saturday Night Live debuted, his The Land of Gorch characters brought Henson to the young and hip.

From 1976 until 1981 The Muppet Show entertained. I remember many an evening at 1 Jackson Place in Schenectady gathering around the television to watch. For college kids, this was a schedule we could keep.

It really is never-ending what this man did in the time that he was given. And he just seemed to be so joyful. The last photograph in the book is a picture of Jim and Kermit where they both have huge smiles on their faces. The happiness in that picture really touched me, but when I went to see if I could find that particular image, I noticed that almost every photo of Jim Henson showed that same joy.

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How Do You Start A Year Right?

woody1The wonderful list above was posted a couple years ago on Boing Boing and it is popping up again as we start a new year. The 33 rulin’s were penned by Woody Guthrie sixty-one years ago. It is a mighty fine list.

New year’s resolutions were pretty simple and private things pre-Internet. Like Woody, you may have written them down, or shared them with another over your New Year’s Hoppin John. That was about it. Today, there is so much on-line guidance about how to get yourself on track. There are so many nifty tools available to track your progress/failures. Like a lot of people, I definitely want to make sure that my year is set up for good things, and that my failures of last year won’t be repeated. But what is the best way to do that?

I must divulge that I give myself a little slack in getting my act together for the new year. You may notice that It is January 4th and I am really just getting serious about this. But it is okay. I have a January birthday! I have decided that my new year’s resolutions need to be made by my birthday. If procrastination is one of my vices, I don’t have to be mad at myself until January 18th rolls around and I am still resolution-free. If I get this blog post done today I am winning!

Last year I started this blog as a writing exercise and an accountability thing. While I have not followed through on some of the things that I claimed I would do, I did post fifty-two times last year. I am proud of that; I have very much enjoyed it. There seem to be a few people who read this, and it gets me to write. There really isn’t a good reason that this shouldn’t be my place to set my goals. It is public enough that I feel sheepish when I really drop the ball, but I don’t have to worry that the few people who do read this will rise up against me and call me a fraud should I not drink my 32 ounces of water every day.

So let’s get this done. What is it that I want out of this year and myself? What would be my 33 Rulin’s?

  1. Finish writing my book. This is going to be the year.
  2. I am going to drink more water. There, I said it.
  3. My gym membership will be used more. I actually had some great momentum going at one time last year. I need to figure out how to gain that back.
  4. I will watch less television. Dan and I discussed last night that we would do at least one night a week television free.
  5. I am going to learn how to dance – my Christmas present from Dan.
  6. I am going to fit into some of those clothes that I refuse to move out of my closet.
  7. I am going to spend time each morning at work, planning my day.
  8. I am going to clean my office at work and keep it organized and inviting.
  9. I am going to re-up my Mug Club membership because going to lunch at 75th Street every Sunday with Dan is one of the things that makes me happiest.
  10. I am going to learn how to draw Ali’s dog Banjo better so I can write stories about her.
  11. I am going to send fan mail (real postage stamped mail) once a week to someone I admire. I did this a couple years ago where I sent notes to authors of books I read. It was heartwarming how many wrote back and told me how much my note meant.
  12. I will do what I can to make the possibility of us opening a brewpub one day a reality.
  13. I will be a better leader and employee by being more positive and creative.
  14. I want to video chat more with Sam and Ali.
  15. Books – love them. I don’t really have to put it on my list because I will always read them, but I do want to read more! Good lord, there are so many wonderful books. Just yesterday, I got one in the mail that I had to order because Sam wrote me an email about how good it is.
  16. Magazine – love them too! I have not done a good job keeping up with the wonderful print magazines that come into our house each month. I will do better.
  17. Computer – love my computer too, but I spend too much time with it and not enough time with rulin #15 and #16.
  18. Last year I bought the Hugh Acheson cook book and that became my adventure cook book for the year. I didn’t do great with it, but I did okay. I got Girl and Her Pig for  Christmas this year. That’s my rulin there.
  19. The Italy documentation will be completed. I haven’t updated on this, I know, but I will. I am actually doing okay, but I need it on the list to keep me moving.
  20. Be a better gardener. I planted basil last summer and did not make a single jar of pesto. I think one thing that I need to do is figure out a good watering system.
  21. Keep a journal better.
  22. Do the crossword puzzle every day. It keeps your brain fresh!
  23. See my friends more, and be better about setting up times.
  24. More movies. This is one of those things that I really do think that if I put it down, it will make me go see more movies than if I didn’t.
  25. More live music. Ditto rulin #24
  26. Keep up with my Newbery Challenge.
  27. Pick two music albums each month that I really get to know.
  28. Make a photo album of 100 pictures from 2012, and put the 100 photos from 2011 that I ordered last year into an album.
  29. Take more pictures.
  30. Figure out how to start an Etsy shop. We have some ideas that we have been kicking around and doing some stuff on. Time to get real.
  31. Get the attic organized. I made such progress when we got to fill the dumpster, time to make it right.
  32. Bring my guitar out of hiding and play it again.
  33. Keep Deliberate Obfuscation active and fun for me.

Happy new year all! 33 is a lot of rulins, but I am pretty sure that I can keep on task. Nothing here is impossible, and all of it will make it a better year. How are your rulin’s coming along?

Justified?

 

I love television. I am not just talking about “good tv” which usually refers to things on PBS. My definition of good tv extends around the dial. Morning, noon, or night, there is likely to be something on (or recorded) that could suck me in and make me its own.

For some of us, I know, there is television with ritual to it. As a kid, I remember that my sister and I would live for The Monkees. I also had the 4:30 movie show that was on a Buffalo television station every weekday. That was where I settled after school to “do my homework” and watch delicious movies from the 1940s and 50s. That was some good education.

Sometimes it is just the sounds of television that make me happy. My bedroom as a kid was right above our living room and I could usually hear the din of television as I was going to sleep at night. It was comforting. Even now, I like the sound of football and baseball on television more than I like watching it.

For many of my years I have been a morning television person. For a long time I was a Today Show person. I nervously tried out each new host that showed up to replace someone that I had grown comfortable with. I made it through Barbara Walters, and Jim Hartz (I had to look that one up), and was settled in with Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw when I went to college. When Dan was in law school and I was driving to Jefferson City every morning, we had a morning routine where we would watch Diane Sawyer and Bill Kurtis. They were morning pals. Only recently have I returned to morning television. Thanks to the two broken feet debacle where I was relegated to the couch for six weeks, I got to know and enjoy the Morning Joe show on MSNBC. This one has been a challenge for Dan. We have had many a morning where Joe Scarborough says something that completely enrages Dan. I argue that they are there to do just that, and tell him to just enjoy the quick repartee among the hosts and the guests in the morning. I like my morning routine of waking up before the crack of dawn, shower, coffee, newspaper and computer check while listening to Joe, Mika and Willie.

Because I tried to be a good parent, television watching while the kids were growing up was limited to the educational. I am not quite sure how that all worked out. My denial of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did not seem to prevent the ultimate embrace of everything in that wheelhouse once the arms of my protection got less strong. It worked out okay for me though. I got to spend some fine years watching Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, PBS cooking shows, and Wheel of Fortune with two of the cutest kids in the world. I may have enjoyed TMNT, but oh how I loved those others.

Now, of course, I am too busy and too smart to spend my time in front of the set. Ha! There I sit for the laughs, the intrigue, the excitement, the bafflement, and the ideas. Give me a day where I can come home from a long day at work and laugh at Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, or Modern Family. No one can tell me that Bob’s Burgers is not one of the weirdest but funniest things on these days. And you can bet that I am there when US Deputy Marshall, Raylan Givens brings Raylan-style justice to his freaking crazy Kentucky. Good grief, I want to watch some Justified right now!