My Wishlist

Runner-Up Best Overall Blog of 2005!

I'm a down to earth girl who loves to laugh at others...I mean make others laugh.
View my complete profile
Blogroll Me!   Review My Site   Site Feed MySpace Profile Facebook Profile   Friendster Profile

Enter your email address below to subscribe to The Art of Getting By and get new posts delivered to your in-box daily!

powered by Bloglet
Subscribe with Bloglines


"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


Image Hosted by

This blog has been chosen
as a 2005 BEST



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Reeling In The Years"

Better late than never, I'm finally getting to post today's TITMT! As it turns out, it isn't completely my fault. Our internet went down last night, so I had to play catch up today.

Here's a question though I've been wanting to ask for awhile...

What are your favorite songs that have come from movie soundtracks?

Remember, the movie need not be one of your favorites, just the songs themselves!

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Papa Can You Hear Me?"

Unless you've been living in a cave the last ten years, surely you have noticed that television's representation of family just isn't what it used to be. Every fall, we used to get a new crop of shows, all with different premises, but most complete with strong family units, whether they were lead by single parents or remarried spouses.

But as time has marched on, television seems to be moving further away from the traditional, "sit down dinner" type families, as are many real life families are moving away from this as well. In fact, I'd say that since Seventh Heaven is yes, officially ending this year, with it marks the end of the traditional family representation as we know it. While I was never a big fan of the show, I am still sad to see it go. It was like Seventh Heaven was like an old TV cliche dinosaur, still roaming the Neilsen Ratings-ridden Earth.

Years ago, TV was saturated with melodramatic moments of parental/child bonding. The music would swell, "the lesson" would kick it would all get wrapped together in a nice, freeze framed bow. We laughed about it then, but we took it for granted, too. If we were watching a sitcom, we knew the problem would be solved by the end of 22 minutes. If we were watching a drama, the crisis would be averted just shy of an hour or so. Only in "very special episodes" would the issue carry over to part two, or even rarer, part three. Those were the ones that took a few more hugs, tough talks and freeze frames to make everything better, but they always did.

With another Father's Day come and gone, it was a week late and a few ideas short that I asked you this TITMT question... Who are your favorite TV dads of all time and why? When I went to work on my list, I realized that my picks weren't going to be completely conventional. I didn't view this question as the "best" in the sense of they always did the right thing. Some of the men on this list fit that description, while others are here mainly because they were TV dads that entertain me above anything else. The dads that managed to be both entertaining and constructive are really the "best" dads of all.

1. Peter Griffin: Family Guy- A less conventional choice, Peter Griffin is here strictly for the entertainment piece I just mentioned. He is the head of the Griffin clan, tolerating his three children named Meg, Chris and baby Stewie. The voice of reason though is really his wife, Lois. Most of the time Peter manages to do the right thing, but it's actually much funnier when he does the wrong thing a bunch of times first.

2. Jason Seaver: Growing Pains- Alan Thicke's portrayal of dad Jason Seaver was always one of the tv dad's I most admired. This was probably because his on screen parenting coincided with my own "growing pains". Jason prided himself on being a rational, level headed parent. He was a psychiatrist by profession, and would love to reason with his four children: Mike, Carol, Ben and Chrissy as much as possible. Most of the time his talks would backfire before they'd work, especially when it came to the rebellious Mike.

What I loved most of all about Jason Seaver though was his carefully thought out pep talks and punishments. He always had really good reasoning for what he was doing and why he did it, and he'd level with the kids about it, too. In the Seaver household you knew you were going to get grounded for doing the wrong thing regardless, but at least you knew where you stood.

3. Mike Brady: The Brady Bunch- Ok, so here's the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. They meet a man named Brady who was busy with three boys of his own. So one day the lady met the fellow and well, the rest was history...together they decide to share the love and there you have the Brady Bunch. From the beginning, you'd never know that Mike Brady wasn't the real dad of Marsha, Jan or Cindy. What made Mike Brady one of the greatest dads of his time though was his far out philosophical speeches, brilliantly spoofed in the Brady movies. He was always out there with his reasoning, but it was the seventies so he was entitled to a little spaciness I suppose.

4. Michael Bluth: Arrested Development- Michael Bluth always tried to do right by his son, George Michael. Mainly Michael wanted to work hard to be a better parent than his own set of parents ever were. That being said, his first mistake was of course, naming him George Michael, but I digress. In his efforts to be a good dad to his son though, he more often than not managed to screw it up. My favorite was his efforts to guide George Michael's love life. Still George Michael, a relatively normal kid, all things considered, admired his dad for his efforts and still looked up to him. When you're coming of age in an age where dad's don't seem so "picture perfect" anymore, that's no easy feat.

5. Joey Harris and Michael Taylor- My Two Dads; Nick Russo-Blossom; and Danny Tanner- Full House: What do Joey, Michael, Nick and Danny all have in common? Well they're all suddenly single dads of course! In the late eighties, Mr. Mom type parenting became hip. No longer were we just seeing single women raising their kids, we realized that dads could do it, too.

On My Two Dads, Joey and Michael were polar opposites, forced to come together to raise their maybe daughter, Nicole. Nicole's mom died and with her death, she took the knowledge of whose Nicole's dad really was. In the end, they almost reveal who the real dad is, but they rip the papers up. This is when they realize that real parenting happens in the heart, not by blood.

Teenager Blossom Russo was another charming teen, raised by her single dad, Nick. Nick was a struggling musician, tending to one grown boy, Anthony, who kicked a drug habit, one teenage boy, Joey, who was dumb as rocks and Blossom, the quirky, level-headed teen who helped dad navigate through it all. Nick was a sensitive dad, but stern when he needed to be.

Finally we have Danny Tanner of Full House. When Danny's wife dies suddenly, it looks like he'll have to take care of their three young girls, DJ, Stephanie and Michelle all on his own. That's when Uncle Jessi and best friend Joey decide to pitch in. In reality, all three men raise all three girls together. It was the OCD Danny though, that stood out for his end of the episode pep talks and bear hugs. It also is the most ironic considering the real Bob Saget who played the conservative Danny is anything but.

6. Dr. Cliff Huxtable- The Cosby Show: Not only was Bill Cosby's portrayal of Cliff Huxtable perfect, it was also ground breaking. The Cosby Show was one of the first on screen portrayals of a well educated and well to do, African American family. Cliff was father to five children, Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. The first two, Sondra and Denise, were grown and for the most part, living on their own. That didn't mean they still didn't need wise old dad's advice from time to time though. The other three kids, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy, lived under the Huxtable roof and were subjected to the majority of dad's craziest parenting skills. He was always kooky, but he was also always fair.

7. Jack Arnold- Wonder Years: The Wonder Years was narrated through the eyes of now grown Kevin Arnold. What made this perspective so great was that as a grown man, Kevin was able to remember when his parents were furious, but also could understand in retrospect why they felt the way they did. Many episodes focused on the efforts of dad, Jack's struggle to raise his kids Kevin, Wayne and Karen ad mist the backdrop of the turbulent sixties. Dan Lauria's portrayal of Jack Arnold was the best of exhibiting quiet anger and disappointment. You always knew when he was about to blow his top, but that didn't make the pay off any less rewarding. In the end, grown Kevin, and the audience, knew he did it in the name of love though.

8. Jim Anderson- Father Knows Best: When I was growing up, I dabbled from time to time in the old school sitcoms. In large part, I'd laugh at how different they were from the shows of my time, but some of them still managed to stick with me all these years. One show I watched a lot was Father Knows Best. Robert Young reminded me of my own grandfather, so I suppose that's what sparked my initial interest. Jim was one of the first and best examples of a great tv father to his three children: Betty, Bud and Kathy. Although it was a different time period, there were some similarities in the way the kids interacted with their father, and of course...there was always the classic pep talk to keep things status quo. It was a show that was built around the premise after all that father, does indeed, know best.

9. Eric Taylor- Friday Night Lights: Recently I started watching the greatly under appreciated Friday Night Lights. It's the story of a working class family that lives in the heart of small town America, Dillon, Texas. There we grow to know and love the small town folks with big dreams. In a town like Dillon, only one thing is just as important as family and that's football. Coach Taylor manages to juggle both, being a father figure to the Dillon High School Panthers, and being an overprotective dad to his daughter, Julie. He's my most favorite recent additions to the TV dads because he's stern when he needs to be, but a softy at heart. He also has a great dynamic with his on screen wife. I just hope he's around to "coach" for a few more seasons.

10. Steven Keaton- Family Ties: Although all of the dads were brought to you in no particular order, I'm ending with my favorite tv dad of all time. That dad was Steven Keaton of Family Ties. I loved the dichotomy of Steven Keaton's character. On one hand he was a bleeding heart liberal who spent his youth fighting for what was right. Fifteen years later, he's trying to instill that same rebellious spirit into his children; Alex, Mallory, Jennifer and Andy who for the most part, have no interest. Particularly fun was his interaction with Alex, his flesh and blood, but otherwise his polar opposite in every way. What I loved the most about Michael Gross and his portrayal was the times when he would get "manic". He really did the crazed dad thing better than anyone else. Funny. Fair. Stern when he needed to be. Good at parenting, with or without a beard. That's what makes Steven Keaton the best tv dad in my book.
Friday, June 22, 2007

The One That Got Away

So I was doing pretty good there for awhile blogging wise, and then the end of the school year, my birthday and Father's Day hit me all at once. Now I'm behind on blogging and blog visiting again. The good news is that now I have a good eight plus weeks to catch up, so I finally will get a chance to do just that.

Unlike most teachers, I'm pretty sad that today was my last day of school. It's always bittersweet for me losing one class and getting another. This year marks the third year I've bid adieu to a class and sent them on their way to fourth grade. I also have to honestly say this is the best class I've had yet and although I don't know specifics, I know what's coming up isn't that great, so that makes me nervous, too.

The worst part of today though was having to tell one kid in my class that he was retained AND he'd be going to another school. All of the kids get their report cards at the end of the day with the room number where they will be going (subject to change, of course). This one student is a really good kid, but there's something very childlike and different about him that is blatant if you are in his company for more than ten minutes. He tries his best and manages to complete his work, but not without a lot of help and a lot of extra time and coddling.

Basically he's the kind of kid that teachers like me look at and shake their heads in disbelief, wondering how he got dis serviced by making it to the third grade to begin with. After many meetings with mom, we established that he needs a lot of extra help in order to succeed. We also tried to delicately approach the subject of getting him tested. It's a tricky topic where I work because technically, a request like that has to come from the parent. The trickiest part is that most of the parents in my district are just not educated or informed enough to know they can make such requests. Even those who do know don't know where to begin. But testing itself is a long process so getting the ball rolling sooner rather than later is key.

Unfortunately, in order to force the issue testing wise, the only way a teacher can do that in my district is to retain the child. This way the "intervention" of retention has already been tried. Then if a child still does not show success, they can move into testing on their own. I think it's a ridiculous system that wastes valuable time in a child's progress, but I have to play the game in order to hopefully help the child in the long run. It's a gamble though. There's no way to know for sure if the decision you made was the right one and justifying a retention to a child who really does try his hardest is so hard to do.

I contacted the guidance counselor, who normally is excellent, hoping she could take him aside to talk to him for a few minutes about the retention. Surprisingly she told me not to talk to him about it and since he'd be starting in a new school next year (his address dictates he goes to a different school) he could start fresh there without anyone knowing he had been retained. I still felt the news itself should have been delivered in a much more delicate manner than the way I was forced to do it.

I tried to hold off giving report cards at the end of the day for as long as I could. On the report cards, we are to write which room a child is going to and if they are going to fourth grade. Once this child realized he was not going to fourth grade or be in or school, he looked like he was in shock. Once the initial shock wore off, however, he just started bawling. It was horrible. Everyone in the class knew by this point he had been retained, and he had virtually no time to process this before heading out the door. I hated it. I walked with him down the stairs, but he just wouldn't stop crying. I can't blame him as I wanted to cry for him, too.

About 20 minutes later, an announcement came over our loudspeaker that they were looking for him. Apparently his dad came to pick him up. He swore that the child never walks alone, but all of our kids are walkers so I have no idea who they walk with and when. Now I'm imagining him wandering the streets aimlessly, so upset about what happened. Not only did this child get retained, and walk out upset, I had to leave with the knowledge that his whereabouts are unknown. It's just a horrible situation all around.

So please forgive me if I don't get the chance to visit your blogs today, but know that I am coming around soon. It's better that you wait till I'm in the mood to have something semi-witty to say anyhow.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Cool Daddy-O"

I know I'm technically a week late with this TITMT, but it didn't occur to me until I realized that Father's Day was just around the corner. Now that Father's Day is officially over, I figured I'd ask one more question, ya know, just to keep dad appreciation going.

Who are your favorite TV dads of all time and why?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thirty's Something

I haven't updated the blog on a Monday in a long while. I figured I'd try to make an exception though as this Monday is my birthday.

Not only is it my birthday, it's my (gulp) THIRTIETH one.

Those of you who have frequented AOGB for some time might recall my bittersweet post about turning twenty-nine last year. A whole 365 days ago I was sad, thinking that I was entering the last year of my twenties. Where had the time gone and more importantly, how could I get it back?

Although turning twenty-nine was no different, in theory, than any other birthday, I think I handled it just fine. After all, I was still in my twenties, the decade of choice for so many people.

Yet when you think about it, your early twenties are overrated anyhow. Usually you spend the first few years of your twenties trying to shake your teens and prepare for the future. That means finding a mate, a place to live and a decent job that pays the bills. In essence, your early twenties are probably one of the shakiest periods for many, but that never seems to take away from the fact that it's also the time period of choice for many. I suppose that's because while so many things remain uncertain, at least you look your best while making such big decisions.

But if I'm being honest, the second half of my twenties were better than the first. I didn't like the transition period from college to the working world. I missed my friends, my freedom and the feeling that my future was years ahead of me. Suddenly it was right there, ready for the taking and I didn't know what to do with it. You would think preparing for something the first twenty-one or so years of your life would be sufficient, but when the world is finally your actual oyster, suddenly all the wrong objects seem larger than they once appeared.

No, it wasn't until the second half of my twenties that things finally begin to fall into place. I didn't "get it right" career wise until I was twenty-six years old and decided to formally make the switch from dead end office work to full fledged teaching. I also didn't really begin to feel comfortable in my own skin until my mid twenties, shedding the last few baby pounds and finally figuring out how to manage my funky, frizzy hair. Relationship wise things didn't come easy either. Now I'm on the verge of getting married. Since I won't be married until next August though, I won't formally make that switch over until I'm (gasp) thirty-one. Years ago if you would have asked I would have thought many of these things would have fallen into place years earlier. Time and perspective teaches you though that there is no global time line, just what works best for you.

Now that I'm the "older, wiser" thirty year old, I can try to offer such perspective to my younger friends. Recently a friend of mine turned twenty-five and freaked out about being quote, "so old". In her mind, and the mind of her parents, she was always meant to be married and starting a family by now. Another friend of mine who is only twenty-three is nervous about getting the contracted job to pay the bills before September. But whose to say what you are supposed to do and when you are supposed to do it? If you start competing against your friends and peers, it's enough to psych yourself out.

Technically I'm supposed to be bidding adieu to my youth now that I'm thirty, but it's hard for me to see it that way. It's also hard for me to resign myself to the fact that I am, indeed, thirty years old. It's only when I think about my life in terms of pop culture references, which, let's face it, I often do, that I realize just how long I've been alive. As one of my students said not too long ago, Do you k now there are people who are still alive that were alive in the eighties?!

Although I am now officially "thirty something", I can honestly say it hasn't changed me all that much. I'm still a kid at heart and totally subscribe to the adage, your only as young as you feel. There are little ways that eternal youth is present in my every day life, too. I still buy a majority of clothes at kids section and have been told time and time again that I "blend in" very well in size and appearance of my third grade students. I still prefer to sit Indian style rather than with my legs crossed, like a lady sits. I love screen print nostalgia t-shirts with retro sayings. And I enjoy watching teen based, angst ridden dramas just as much as I did when I was an actual teen. The only difference now I hear the lyric, "Ooh child, things are gonna get easier" and can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Who knows? Maybe my thirties are going to be what I always thought my twenties were meant to be.

One thing is for certain though. Time is on my side. At least I think it is.
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Inquiring Minds Want To Know"

Last week's TITMT question is proof that you can aim too high. In an effort to incorporate meme requests I've been receiving, I decided to turn a meme into a TITMT question. This is how I discovered most of you felt the same way I did about memes; indifferent or uninterested. I can't say I blame you. If this wasn't my blog I don't know if I'd participate either.

On the bright side, since only a few people participated, it was easy for me to pick a few questions to answer. In fact, I choose one question from each person who participated. In some cases there was only one question. I think the rest is pretty self explanatory.

Sarah's Question:

If you were to become an author (and we all know what great writing skills you have), what would the title of your first work be?

A few years back I more or less tackled this topic in this post. In summation, (and no cop out intended), the title of my first work would probably be The Art of Getting By. In a way, I already consider this my first work. Whether there will ever be more remains to be seen.

Sayre's Question:

Do you still have friends from your childhood that you keep in regular contact with - and why? What do you have in common or what do you get out of the relationship?

It's funny that someone should ask this question right now as I was just having a conversation about this with an old childhood friend. I do have a few close friends who I have been friends with for years. Three of my friends I have known since the age of five. Another handful or so I have kept in contact with since high school, losing touch only to reconnect again recently. Then I have a few college friends, some I've kept in touch with consistently, others intermittently. In most cases, I have My Space of all places, to thank for the recent reunions.

As to why I kept in touch with some and not others depends on the relationship itself. I've always prided myself on being very good at keeping in touch with others. Unfortunately, not everyone shares that mentality. Some people just get really busy too once life gets in the way. What I don't like is thinking that I make friends of circumstance. Sure, I had high school in common with my high school friends and college in common with my college friends, etc, etc. But I like to believe that if you are truly friends with someone, your friendship should transcend specific time periods. I have learned though that where relationships go (or don't go, as the case may be) can be very telling sometimes.

What do I get out of keeping in touch with others? That's a hard one to answer. Sometimes I think I take friendships seriously since I don't come from a big family and I am an only child. I always felt like someone like me had to make my own family to make up for the siblings I didn't have.

Bob's Question:

1. What blog/podcast/blog do you read/listen/watch regularly that would surprise your readers?

One site I check a lot more since I've been engaged is The Knot. I consider it my wedding planning guide for dummies like me. With things like weddings, I seriously don't know how people got by before the internet. I like to lurk on the Central/North Jersey message boards there for local ideas, too. It's the type of site I never thought I'd frequent though. That's because it's almost as if all the sorority girls graduate college and move on to the Knot. There seems to be some drama, as tends to happen when you get a group of girls together, along with a few bridezilla like moments, but I've laid low for long enough that I can still manage to avoid the drama, and take away the good ideas.

Robin's Question:

If there was to be a movie made about your life who would play you?

Since I already answered this movie question not too long ago, I went with another one of Robin's choices.

If you were given a shopping spree for 1 day what would it be for? (doesn't have to be a store but can't pay off bills)

When I was a kid, there used to be a show on that I can't recall the name of right now. Anyway, for a certain amount of time kids were allowed to wander through the aisles of a store and pick up all the things they could in one big shopping spree. There were no rules. Just a time limit, a cart and an eager teen. Back then I thought that seemed like the coolest concept ever. Imagine just going crazy in any store of your choice. Growing up I would have picked a music store since I was so obsessed. But times have changed and so my focus has shifted, too.

Since Robin specified the money could be used for anything (except paying bills) I decided to dream big. I think I would buy a pool with a huge waterfall and slide. Attached to the pool would be a hot tub. Some might say these things should be two separate purchases. They would be wrong. Plus it's my fantasy. So there.

One day I actually do hope to get the pool of my dreams, but that day is still far off and it's going to take a lot of regular days to save up for the day I'll ultimately buy it. Buying a pool, unfortunately, is not something you just dive into.

Ha get it? Dive!?? I kill me!

Indecisive Woman's Question:

Do your fiance and your parents read this blog? If not What is one secret you are keeping from your fiance? What is one secret you are keeping from your parents?

I decided to combine these questions although they were asked separately. This is because I can answer them all easily, all at the same time. To answer the primary question, no my parents and fiance do not read this blog, at least I highly doubt it. They all do, however, know the blog exists. In the past my fiance has dabbled in reading the blog before. I don't believe my parents ever have. There's never been a strong interest in my writing from either of my parents. I know I have at least my mother's respect in terms of writing, but they aren't writers themselves, nor are they blog readers really.

As far as secret keeping, I guess I lead a pretty dull life. I'm sure there's something small I can say I'm keeping from any of them, but off hand I can't think of anything major. I'm pretty open with my decisions and my intentions. Sometimes I take hell for that, but it's ok cause I can handle the heat!
Thursday, June 14, 2007

Out of All The Gin Joints Shows In The World, They Had To Renew This One

In the nearly thirty years I've been walking this planet one thing is for certain. I have seen many good television shows come and many good television shows go. Sometimes they go quietly, because it simply their time. Other times they go quickly and suddenly, without warning. The death of a TV show is often like the death of a loved one that way, only instead of nails in the coffin they have Neilsen ratings to finish them off.

I could write a book about all of the television shows I've felt have gone off the air abruptly, unjustly and unfairly. Shows like My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, American Dreams and Once and Again represent only a fraction of programs that have ended before they should have. This television season was no exception as shows like Gilmore Girls, Studio 60 and The Class became the most recent victims to bite the dust.

Another supposed to be casualty of the 2006-2007 television season was the CBS apocalyptic drama, Jericho. Created on the heels of successful mystery shows filled with pent up suspense like Lost and 24, CBS decided to throw its hat into the ring by creating an "its the end of the world as we know it" type drama of their own.

The plot premise was simple. Something horrible has seemingly killed off the entire world or at least most of it. Somehow the small town of Jericho, Kansas has managed to be spared. Here, the everyday citizens struggle to find out if it was a fluke or sign of what was meant to be. Every week provided very little answers and only half of those made sense, but its a formula that had been proven to work as of late, so CBS decided to give it a go.

In the beginning, my dad and I decided to watch Jericho together. We used to watch Lost together, but both of us got sick of having all these doors being opened with no one attempting to close them. Eventually we gave up on Lost and moved on. But let's make something clear, while a show like Jericho was clearly born out of the success of a show like Lost, the caliber of both programs is entirely different. Lost, although quite confusing, definitely has the bigger budget of the two. Even when they do their confusing flashbacks, seemingly no expense has been spared. There is not a lot of need for special effects on a tropical island, but there is a sense of quality that came with ABC's production.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Jericho. First of all, it always seemed like Jericho had a group of B-list actors living in a B-list of a town. You know they aren't rolling in dough when the heroes of your program are the likes of Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McCraney and it's NOT 1995. Then there were the location shots themselves. Just like Lost, there wasn't a huge need to build elaborate sets, but when you're watching a show and actors are sitting in a car and you can tell they are just sitting there, it's bad.

Finally there's the believability of the scripts themselves. Lost has a lot of quirks that eventually made us abandon ship. Doesn't the fat guy ever lose weight? What is up with Matthew Fox's perfect five o'clock shadow? Wouldn't the girls be hairier by now and out of lip gloss? Jericho is no different. Although it is meant to be a serious drama, my dad and I actually watched it for the purposes of comic relief.

Shows like Jericho, Lost and even Heroes decided to take a gamble this season. In an effort to keep the suspense going (and buy time on production costs, no doubt) each show took a brief hiatus before returning again mid season. In some cases the momentum worked and the return was welcomed. In Jericho's case however, it was simply too new of a show to give viewers such a huge responsibility. As a result, in what had to be the quickest turn around success to failure of any show yet, Jericho's ratings suffered when it ultimately resurfaced, leading to its ultimate demise.

While I was surprised by the cancellation, I'd be lying if I said I was overly upset. To be honest, I was actually sort of relieved. My dad and I had gotten behind a few episodes on Jericho and figured we had the summer to catch up. We knew we were both OK with it being canceled when we we realized we didn't actually have to watch the last three episodes as it was a moot point. Don't laugh, my mom and I are still trying to polish off the last three episodes of The OC.

Which brings me to the here and now. Jericho fans apparently decided they wished not to go quietly into the good night. Instead they staged a campaign to get Jericho back. They decided to start a Nuts for Jericho grass roots effort to see if they could make their show return. All interested participants apparently sent nuts to the CBS studios in protest of Jericho's cancellation. Here's how it breaks down according to the Nuts for Jericho site:

NUTS for Jericho: Success
orders $$ weight
NY 3,677 $41,062 30,219 lbs
LA 1,102 $13,760 10,078 lbs
total 4,779 $54,822 40,297 lbs
Over 20 TONS of Peanuts to CBS!!
(that's about 8 million peanuts!!)

Jericho 1 day record: 10,000 pounds hit CBS NY on 5/29!!!

After being inundated with nuts for a few weeks, CBS responded with this letter:

June 6, 2007

To the Fans of Jericho:


Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.

As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of "Jericho" for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more "Jericho," we will need more viewers.

A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.

We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.

At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that "Jericho" will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting "Jericho" on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.

On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of "Jericho" in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.


Nina Tassler
President, CBS Entertainment

P.S. Please stop sending us nuts :-)

My reaction to the reinstatement of Jericho has been all over the place. At first, it was disbelief. I couldn't believe a campaign to get a show to return FINALLY worked. But then my disbelief quickly turned to anger when I realized out of all the shows that I've watched that I wish it could work for, Jericho would be at the bottom of that list. Eventually I turned to skepticism. Why was it seemingly so easy to make CBS turn their heads? Did they always secretly regret their decision to cancel the show and help stage a press blitz themselves? Or maybe they never intended to truly cancel it in the first place, but yet again, hoped the press coverage would help people sit up and take notice?

Whatever the reason Jericho, it seems will be returning mid season. What this means for the show and other shows like it remains uncertain. What this does set however, is a precedent. If all is on the up and up, apparently fan feedback can make a difference. That's huge in terms of dealing with the soulless suits who seem to run network tv.

I for one doubt I will return though. I already recorded over the last three episodes, never thinking in a million years it would ever return. Yes, it's the end of my world with Jericho as a I know it. But you know what? I feel fine.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"

This question seems to be causing some people difficulty. Not really sure how to edit it now though since it's 5:30 in the morning here and I'm tired. If you want to participate, edit it which ever way you see fit and I'll be fine with that. I'll leave the question up one more day just in case there are people who are interested. Then I'll never, ever mention it again:)

As most of you know, I'm not a big follower of memes. I don't partake in, nor do I initiate meme making or answering. Now I know what you're thinking. Tell It To Me Tuesday itself is a lot like an ongoing meme. In a way you would be right. But I get off on a technicality. The questions I come up with (for the most part) have been thought up by me or by a fellow blogger, not a "meme machine" that seems to circulate the internet faster than Paris Hilton's panties (watch how many times I get Googled for that one!)

Of course, there are always exceptions. This week is one of those exceptions.

Back in March, Bruce tagged me to participate in a meme on his blog. To be honest, it's been so long now that I can't remember if I actually did or not (sorry Bruce). I have seen this one on many blogs though over the months. Eventually I had a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" wave of thought. It's be no means where TITMT is headed, but with report cards and end of the year paperwork on the brain, the last thing I'm going to be is creative.

So here's today's question/food for thought...

Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond in the comments here by asking you three personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate.

Next, you update your blog with the answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

In order to solidify my participation, you have to ask me a few questions to answer, too. I will choose the best 3 to 5 questions to answer in my post this Sunday.

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Can't Get Enough of You Baby"

This was last week's TITMT question...Which actors do you love despite the fact they essentially play the same character over and over?

In some ways this was a hard list to compile. On one hand, the following actors and actresses, in my opinion, deliver the same role over and over. But then again, should they be punished for knowing what they do well and keeping the public happy by doing it again and again? After all, if the demand is there, who is really to blame for the lack of diversity?

But then there's the jealousy factor. How many times have we seen really diverse actors who could totally do a better job, seemingly not get it, simply because they aren't big enough box office draws? What happens is that viewers are forced to sit through another movie season with the same ten actors who are hot at that moment. But they know what they do and they do it well which could be worse. For instance, about the best things we can say about the Lindsey Lohan's of the world is at least we know they aren't playing themselves.

So here you have top ten guy and top ten girl picks for the actors who are one trick ponies, although we just may love their tricks.

The Guys

1. Old Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Jack Nicholson- Once upon a time, actors like Pacino, DeNiro and Nicholson were the guys you went to when you wanted to get the job done. But as the years waned on, so did their careers. While it's still fun to watch their movies, eventually it began to seem like they were phoning in their performances. Crazy Robert DeNiro became crazed Deniro, a la Meet The Parents. With Nicholson his crazy mellowed, too. In fact, unlike the others, I'm also convinced Nicholson is playing himself half the time, though I still love him. Meanwhile, with Al Pacino, there is quite possibly sheet music than can recreate his predictable inflections and outbursts down to a science.

2. Matthew McConaughey- Not only does McConaughey play the same roles, he often utters the same dialogue, too. Seriously, has there ever been a movie where Matthew McConaughey hasn't said the words, alright alright? I didn't think so.

3. Hugh Grant- Hugh Grant is my favorite inclusion on the list. This is because he totally plays the bumbling Brit role over and over, but I don't care, I still can't get enough of his flappy hair and dry wit. For a few years it looked like Grant was going to stop making movies. Lucky for us he got back into the game again. Sometimes I appreciate an actor who knows what they do well and do it over and over again. Hugh Grant is that type of man.

4. Christopher Walken- If you want a creepy older guy to play your hit man, your uncle or your worst nightmare, enter Christopher Walken. Just like terror alert, Walken has different levels of creepiness that he can turn up or dial down if you so desire. Just want a semi strange man to think a nuclear bomb destroyed the world? Enter Walken in Blast From The Past. Do you need a guy who likes ot sing and dance and doesn't care if he looks odd doing so? Consider putting Walken in you next Fatboy Slim video. In essence, it doesn't matter what it is. If creepy is what you want, Christopher has it.

5. Jeremy Piven- For years, Jeremy Piven floundered around Hollywood looking for the right vehicle for him. Those who have been a fan of Piven's work for awhile now figured it was just a matter of time considering he's so good at being semi-conceited and condescending. In fact, I actually thought he might have found it when he starred in the awesome, but canceled show, Cupid on ABC. Then enter Entourage. Here Piven can finally shine as the sarcastic wise ass he was meant to play. Does he play himself? Probably. Does that mean he'd be a pain in the ass in real life? Quite possibly. But when you were playing a sarcastic ass of a football player as far back as twenty plus years ago in Lucas, I have to say it must feel good to have finally arrived.

6. Edward Burns- When Edward Burns first came out with The Brothers McMullen I thought he was cute. Not only was he cute, he was talented. Here he was, a former Entertainment Tonight intern who made it big with his own screenplay about an everyday man in his early thirties who couldn't quite commit. But then he made She's The One, followed by No Looking Back, Sidewalks of New York and Looking for Kitty. Every movie is slightly different, and he gets slightly older, but other than that, Edward Burns still delivers the same "tired, hardened by life early on, working class Irish man" type part. Making it seem even more magnified is the fact that Burns also began to appear in other people's movies besides his own. Suddenly he got to play the same character for other people, too!

7. Vince Vaughn- Vince Vaughn first made it big in the now classic, Swingers, co-starring Jon Favreau. But while Favreau went on to have success mostly behind the screen, Vaughn went on, ultimately becoming associated with the "Frat Pack" of actors, a group of guys namely the Wilson Brothers, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell who seemingly have the silly movie formula down. Not unlike Hugh Grant though, I enjoy Vaughn playing the sarcastic guy who can't quite seem to grow up. Has he come a long way from Swingers? Probably not, but that doesn't mean it isn't still fun to watch.

8. Ben Stiller- Basically anything you can say about Vaughn you can also say about Stiller. Even when he is flying solo and doesn't have his comedy buddies in tow, he's still in his slightly neurotic element. If I had to watch a Stiller marathon it might begin to get on my nerves but otherwise, he does neurotic like nobody else.

9. Samuel L. Jackson- Let's say you are a big time director and you want to hire an actor who is going to clearly deliver the message he can kick some ass. Once upon a time you might have called in Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean Claude Van Damme to do that job for you. But in the past few years, ass whopping took on a whole new dimension with the rise in popularity of Samuel L. The setting might change in Jackson's movies, but the ass kicking ass element does not. Whether he is kicking ass on the courts in Coach Carter, kicking it old school style in Pulp Fiction or taming a tangle of snakes in Snakes on a Plane, Samuel L. has it all.

10. Tom Cruise- Some might argue that Tom Cruise does not belong on this list. After all, Cruise has played everything from a high school quarterback in All The Right Moves, to a Hollywood agent in Jerry Maguire to a wounded vet in Born on the Fourth of July. Cruise is an interesting subject though. That's because while his roles themselves are diverse, his portrayal of such roles really is not. No matter who he is supposed to be, he always portrays the character with unparalleled amounts of intensity, and he's always running somewhere. Never forget the running.

The Girls

1. Cameron Diaz- The most diverse I've ever seen Diaz be when was she died her hair and made herself mousy for Being John Malkovich. Then she opened her mouth and I realized she was still playing Cameron, only with prosthetics and nappy hair.

2. Julia Roberts
- For years, I simply did not understand America's fascination with Julia Roberts. To me she's pretty, but not overly so. The same applies to her talent. It's there, but I always felt she was really lucky to have gotten the role in Pretty Woman, instead of them being lucky to have her. In her body of work she has showed some signs of diversity so I do give her credit for that. For the most part though, if I rent a Julia Roberts movie, I know more or less what's in store.

3. Sandra Bullock- In the mid to late nineties, Sandra Bullock ruled the silver screen. She's another example of an actress I love, but who definitely was in the right place at the right time. When I watched her gawky performance with then beau, Tate Donovan in Love Potion No. 9 I never would have predicted her breakout success. From there, she went on to play the same kooky, girl next door over and over again. I actually think Bullock got sick of it herself since she's maintained a low profile for the last few years. She never claimed she was diverse though so who can blame her really?

4. Goldie Hawn- Ever since Goldie Hawn bust on to the scene in the late sixties, her face has become synonymous with the slightly ditzy blonde who gets what she wants. In the early days, she was more ditz than substance. But in the eighties, Hawn made blondes seem smart, even though they clearly had their blonde moments from time to time. You don't see Hawn as much as you used to, but if you take out any of her old films, you are pretty much getting the gist of what she's all about.

5. Jennifer Lopez- Sometimes Jennifer Lopez wears her hair light. Sometimes she wears it dark. Sometimes she wears it short. Other times long. Many times she sings and dances, but not always. She knows how to release the fiesty Latin attitude on cue and when to keep it in check. And this my friends concludes the element of diversity to Lopez's entire career.

6. Drew Barrymore- When Drew Barrymore was little, she stole America's hearts as the adorbable Gertie in E.T.. Her teenage years were not nearly as adorable though and she briefly had a reign as a sexy teenage siren with a troubled past. But once Drew entered her twenties and cleaned herself up, something odd happened. She reverted to the five year old Gertie all over again. Oh sure, she's gotten taller, but apparently she still speaks like a kindergartener although she's now in her mid thirties. Poor thing. Don't get me wrong, I like her, but I also feel like she likes eating paste and painting pretty pictures just as much as she makes movies. I actually have a Drew Barrymore impersonation. It's quite simple actually. I say. "Hi I'm Drew Barrymore. I'm five!"

7. Early Molly Ringwald- In the eighties, no one did teenage angst better than Molly Ringwald. To be fair, it was the winning combination of her and John Hughes that really made it work. Neither one, however, has had the same amount of success without the other. I don't know how much longer they could have soldiered on together though. Molly did have to grow up and unfortunately, once the angst was gone, we all wondered what was left.

8. Ashley Judd-Not only does it seem like Ashley Judd often plays the same role, she often plays it opposite the same actor, Morgan Freeman. When she's not starring opposite Freeman though she's showing off her "sensitive side". I don't see her has being all that sensitive though. I see her as rather hard and self absorbed. Now if only she'd play that role more often, maybe I'd take note.

9. Meg Ryan- It's weird to think that there was a time, not too long ago, where most major movies that were made starred Meg Ryan. She played the quirky but lovable leading lady over and over again, sometimes opposite the same actor, namely Tom Hanks, too. When Meg Ryan more or less bowed out, Sandra Bullock took her place. I don't know who has since replaced her, but I do know that the role of the reluctant leading lady is one in itself that will be played over and over, just by different people.

10. Jennifer Aniston- Don't get me wrong, I like Jennifer Aniston. I really loved her as much of America did, as Rachel on Friends. I think the chemistry there was perfect, but once you take the kids out of the coffee shop, the jury is still out on if they can still brew their own individual perfect blends. While she played that role perfectly, I'm not sure that makes her a great actress. I've yet to see any kind of range from her. In fact, we don't see much from anyone who was on Friends at all. Paparazzi does spend an awful llt of time talking about her though, not as much for her work on screen, but for her personal life, first with Brad Pitt and then Vince Vaughn. Who she shacked up with is more cause for buzz than her body of work itself.
Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hands Up, Baby. Hands Up.

I have a confession to make. I'm a rather shallow news reader.

Unless it is celebrity news or has an interesting headline, chances are, I'm not going to read about it. I subscribe to the "no news is good news" school of thought. The more nonsense I can stay away from the better.

But every once and awhile a headline comes along that intrigues me. Usually it's based on some quirky study that was piloted by someone, somewhere who I presume is even quirkier for even thinking it up in the first place. It's intrigue is broken down into two parts: wacky results and a sense of wonder about why the study was conducted in the first place.

Enter this study. In this article, the claim is made that finger length is a good indicator of SAT performance, just like some other length is a good indicator of some other kind of performance. I'm not saying anything else on the latter. You can do the math. Then again, check the lengths of your fingers before you do because the odds may be against you.

It breaks down like this; researchers found a "...a clear link between high prenatal testosterone exposure, indicated by the longer index finger compared to the ring finger, and higher scores on the math SAT. Similarly, they found higher literacy SAT scores for the girls among those who had lower prenatal testosterone exposure, as indicated by a shorter ring finger compared with the index finger. The researchers also compared the finger-lengths ratios to all the children's SAT scores and found that a relatively longer ring finger-indicating greater prenatal exposure to testosterone-meant a wider gap in scores for math versus literacy (writing and critical reading)."

In short, no pun intended, longer index fingers in boys meant better performance on the math portion of the SAT's, while girls had better performance on the literacy portion of the SAT's if they had a short ring to index finger ratio. I don't know what this means for boys who are good in literacy and girls who are good in math. Certainly there are good researchers that could have devoted time and money to something more productive, but what do I know. I'm just an average girl with average size extremities to prove it.

So I decided to conduct a study of my own, using ten little Indians subjects, also known as my own fingers. Looking at my own little piggies, I noticed that my ring finger was indeed, shorter than my index finger. This coincides with research results as I always scored far better in the area of literacy than I did in mathematics, so much so in fact, that my guidance counselor assumed something must have "happened to me" when I took the math portion of the SAT.

If my extremely small sample is to be trusted, that would mean little ol' me proved the research right. But what now? Where do we go from here? What does knowing this information say about mankind? Should we try to stretch out toddlers fingers in the hopes it will stretch out their potential knowledge as well? And what about our ten little piggies, who are currently all pissed off and on their way to the market as I type this? My second toe is taller than my big toe. So there. Do you know what that's an indicator of? If you judge solely by me it's either a precursor of extreme sarcasm or a poor sense of balance, you choose.

And really, why stop at our fingers and toes? What does a bigger nose say about people other than possibly their ethnic background? Perhaps Pinocchio would also like to weigh in on the issue. There's also eye size to consider along with height, weight and super size. Scratch the last one. I'm just really hungry.

No, this is is what I like to call a "just because" type of study. No reason, no real results. Just because we can.

So ahead, give someone the finger today. Tell them Janet gave it her "freakishly average thumbs up stamp of approval" to do so.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Do That To Me One More Time"

While watching television the other day, one of two things occurred to me. Either there are a lot of good actors out there, or there are a lot of people who are just really good at playing themselves.

Which brings me to today's TITMT question...

Which actors do you love despite the fact they essentially play the same character over and over?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Well To Do"

I'll bet you thought I forgot all about responding to my very own TITMT question. I know I've been a bit absentee the past few months, but it would take the cake to forget about my own blog now wouldn't it? No, truth be told, I seriously didn't have any time to answer until now. In fact, I don't even have the time now either, but I'm soldiering on, since that's what good little bloggers do, or so I am told.

This week's question was the following...

What's one thing that you are proud of that you believe (or have been told) you do pretty well?

I was inspired to make this a TITMT question in an effort to focus on the positive. I don't know about all of you, but I find it extremely easy to beat myself up for the many things I don't do well. I can also easily discuss at length those very same things.

Yet somehow, when it comes time to accentuate the positive, a lot of us feel reluctant to come out of our shells. Even when given a compliment, I find I often crack a joke or look around uncomfortably, distracting for the compliment at hand. In hindsight I can see how I should really just learn to say thank you and move on but in the moment, it just isn't always that easy, at least for me.

So when it came time to write about one thing I did really well I stumbled there, too. That's because I couldn't decide what thing to highlight. But just saying that made me sound really vain, which is the opposite of what I was going for. Then I realized I was over thinking things. Did I mention I had a long list of things I didn't do very well? Over thinking issues is one of them. Then again, I also could be considered to be doing that very well, depending on your perspective.

Long story short, I decided to go with a rather obvious choice, given the nature in which all of you "know" me. What I have always been known for in my inner circle is my ability to write. I can't tell you how to diagram a sentence or how to not dangle a participle (whatever that means), but I have been told that I have a way with words many times over the years. It's the kind of thing I've been told on enough occasions by enough people that I figure there must be some truth to it.

Many times, on this blog in fact, I've written about my relationship with writing. I can't ever recall a time where I didn't like to write. When I was a shy student in elementary school, writing provided me with an outlet to show my personality. This extended all the way through middle, high school and even to some extent, college. I find that I often have a lot to say, but I'm sometimes at a loss for words face to face. Give me a pen and some paper (or a keyboard) though, and the words they flow freely.

My love affair with writing has evolved over the years into loving different aspects of writing. As a child, I used to fancy myself a budding songwriter though I couldn't read or write any sort of melody. As I grew older I realized that song lyrics really were just poems set to music. I had the lyrics part all set, it was the melody that eluded me. Let's just say when I saw the movie Music and Lyrics I related to it instantly.

More than loving to write, I love to make others happy through my writing. When I wrote a poem about grandmothers years ago, I was glad that my grandmother was honored enough to send it in to her local paper. When my mother needs help composing anything from a thank you note or a letter of complaint, I take comfort in the fact that it's me upon who she calls. When someone needs a letter proofread or a quirky poem written about their best friend, I am flattered that they look to me for advice.

All of the encouragement I've gotten from my writing over the years lead me to continue what I naturally was tending to do anyhow. Then, out of nowhere, blogging came along. With blogging, I have the perfect opportunity to write about all aspects of writing. I might still help my mom with that thank you note or write a poem for a best friend, but now I can blog about the experience itself. It's sort of like an out of blogging experience, or something like that.

Just a few weeks ago I spear headed two endeavors both heavily influenced by my interest in writing, a baby shower I threw for a friend and co-worker of mine that included a poem, and the third grade show I wrote about before where I took the lyrics of "Beat It" and made it "Read It".

Sometimes I feel like I am not letting my writing style shine to its full potential. I often wonder if I have what it takes to write a hit song, a good sitcom pilot or even a screenplay. But then I think about the little ways my writing has entertained others. I may never be the next Stephen King or John Hughes, but that doesn't mean I can't be proud of what I have accomplished.

But enough about what I do well. My laundry list of flaws is far more interesting if you ask me.



Blog Roll [−]

Blogging Chicks [−]

Blogger Chicks [−]

Blog Linker [−]

Futon Critic
80's TV Themes
The Onion
Television Without Pity
Modern Humorist
Best Week Ever Blog
American Idol


Who Links Here

Listed on Blogwise
Join BloggerChicks
Blog Flux Directory
ESL and EFL Blogs
Best news blogs

Nubbit Blog Directory

Bloggy Award

TFS 100 TopBlogs

Top Blogs Personal Personal Blogs Personal Blogs Top