Getting old, or getting practical?


Last night the plan was to watch a little tv with My Flirt and then we were going to go out and listen to some live music at a local bar. We were going to ring in the New Year in a place full of people, music and frivolity. I was tired, and didn’t feel so energetic, and he wasn’t feeling so well either, so I turned to him and let him know that if he was good with staying in, so was I.  So we did.

He commented to me some time later that we must be getting old for not wanting to go out on New Years Eve. After thinking about it, I have to say that we are practical. Why go out in the bitter cold when you don’t feel well, when you can have a perfectly nice time cuddled up with your sweetie watching a good movie?

I would imagine that getting older has a hand in making practical decisions. I know a great many people who are my age who still live very social lives, and love to party hard. I tried really hard for a great many years to keep up with everyone else, but have come to a place in my life where I recognize that I am just not the social butterfly I’d always wanted to be. And, I am finally ok with that.

My poor Flirt, on the other hand, is the total opposite. He is a very social creature, and loves to be amongst people. If he’d have felt better, I know we’d have gone out for the evening. However, he has come to an age of practicality as well, I think.

The fantastic news here is that there are lots of ways to celebrate the New Year, and our quiet evening home in front of the tv was exactly what we both needed.

In other news, I managed to pack in some last-minute fun into the end of my year:

~My friends and I managed to avoid the 2012 apocalypse by gathering at my house on the Winter Solstice. We enjoyed each others company, ate good food and laughed much. There are plans to do this more often. Why wait for a faux apocalypse to get together?

~My Flirt took Younger Son and I ice fishing. We had never been ice fishing before, and it was an interesting experience. Luckily we had a portable ice fishing hut because a terrible wind came up. Northern Pike by BZI then made the terrible mistake of stepping into one of the test ice holes the guys had drilled earlier. It had filled in enough that I couldn’t see it, and I went in all the way up over my knee. I did dry out by sitting in front of the heater, dangling my sock and wet leg and boot liner in front of it.  After all of that, we only got a few bites, and no fish. I did witness a monster Northern Pike swim under several of our ice holes. It was still a good day, and I hope we get to go again sometime.

~We saw The Hobbit. Wow! As expected, this movie packs a lot into almost three hours. Not only was it visually stunning, but it’s a well done story. I haven’t read the book…yet. I sure want to now. Before we went to the movie, the Boys and I met my parents for lunch at a Thai restaurant. Yum!

In closing, my wish for you all in 2013 is that you all have prosperity, happiness and good health. I hope that you have everything you need, and that 2013 brings you opportunities for you to make your own excitement, and that no unwanted excitement lands on your doorstep. Blessings all!

 

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Reasons to watch the Super Bowl when you don’t like football


Football is not one of my favorite sports. I do like to watch when Younger Son plays, and I am always up to watching the UND Fighting Sioux play any sport. However, it’s not a sport I understand so well, or have any emotion for.

So what to do when this big event is happening if you could really care less who wins, let alone about the game in general? Here’s a list reasons to watch the Super Bowl, whether you like football or not.

1.The commercials – Companies pay big bucks to wow us during this big event, and generally come up with some pretty imaginative stuff. I’m looking forward to what they’ve come up with this year.

2. The National Anthem sung live – I’m a sucker for our National Anthem, and I love to hear it done well. This year, I just heard Kelly Clarkson, backed up by a children’s choir and drum band, sing a fabulous rendition of it. A+!

3. Since you don’t like football, and won’t be watching the actual game, it’s a great time to get stuff done around the house, between the commercials: I’m a big fan of what I like to call “Commercial Cleanup”, where you get up and do chores while commercials are on, especially if you have been waiting for a particular show and don’t want to miss it. In the case of the Super Bowl, I just turn it around and make sure I come back to the living room in time for the commercials. It’s a win-win!

4. If you have been invited to hang out with friends for the Super Bowl, no reason to stay home if you don’t care for the game:

A. Take a hand craft with you – I love to crochet, and those types of projects are small enough you can take them with you and work on it between the commercials

B. You are not alone…there will most likely be another friend at the party who could care less about the game, and would love to chat, play cards, etc…

C. Super Bowl food is fabulous. That alone is reason enough to sit through hours of a game that just does nothing for you. Make sure to take lots of whatever you are bringing,  go hungry, and  leave happy!

5. Halftime entertainment: There is always something interesting to see during half-time, and I am not talking about costume malfunctions. The entertainment is usually decent and is at least worth checking out.

Well, there it is… just a few reasons to watch the Super Bowl, when you generally could really care less about the game. Here’s wishing you a good time, and for those who do enjoy the game, I hope your team wins!

 

 

Hi, I’m Sparrow, and I’m a Torchwood junkie…


I don’t get a lot of time to watch TV, but there is one show that has caught my attention recently: Torchwood. 

Torchwood was originally a BBC production, a spinoff from the Dr. Who series. I haven’t invested any real-time in watching the most recent incarnation of Dr. Who, but I think I will. Having watched Torchwood, I think I have not given British television enough credit. Not only does Torchwood give me a good Sci Fi fix (very much like Falling Skies and its mooing evil alien robots), but it’s so easy to become emotionally invested in the characters because they written so well. Each episode, while dealing with something extraterrestrial, is character driven and deals with the humanity of the issue at hand.

The first three seasons of Torchwood can be found on Netflix, and I am sure on other sites as well. Apparently it was cancelled by BBC, (Editor’s Note: I hear now it wasn’t cancelled, just relocated to the US) and Starz has picked it up. The fourth season has begun in earnest and I’ve spent an hour trying to find episodes 2-4. Episode one can be watched at Starz.com for free, but none of the others can be. I did manage to find the rest of the existing episodes (episode five comes out this Friday), but I see that the place I found it is having trouble streaming it, and it cuts out quite a bit. So, I watch a little bit, and the I write a little bit. And then, I watch a little bit more and curse soundly at the inability of the video to just load all the way so I can watch  it all in one go.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there other Torchwood junkies just like me who have stumbled onto the rest of the this season’s episodes on this free website and they are all trying to get their fix too.  I might be up a little late tonight watching episodes three and four as well before The Powers That Be have it taken down.

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a show that has caught my interest this completely.  As little time as I have to watch tv, it’s probably a good thing that most of the tv produced in this day and age is complete garbage, or I’d get nothing done.

So who’s my favorite character? It’s a tough call between Gwen and Captain Jack, but I think I’d have to decide on Gwen. She kicks ask and takes names. The world needs more good female characters. She’s not perfect, none of the characters are written without flaws, but she’ll do.

If you’re looking for something good to watch, especially which doesn’t involve any kind of  so-called “reality” tv, check out Torchwood. It’s a fabulous bit of escapism.

Let me put in a bit of a disclaimer here. British television is not for the puritanical. Europeans are less squeamish about swearing and homosexual situations than Americans are. Is there swearing in Torchwood? Yes. How about guys and girls kissing guys and girls? All the time. It doesn’t bother me, but it may bother others, and I thought fair warning was appropriate.

Cliffhangers and aliens that moo


I love a good cliffhanger. I don’t get to watch a lot of  T.V. in recent days, but one show I’ve been making time for is Falling Skies, starring Noah Wylie.  This show is right up my alley given that I am a Science Fiction fan. Without giving too much away, I will say that this show is about the Earth being invaded by aliens and how humans react and survive. One of my favorite things about this show is the “mechs”, or mechanized aliens. They are giant alien machines that stomp about on two legs, mooing as they go. That’s right… mooing alien robots. They are supposed to be menacing and evil, but I can’t help but chuckle every time one of those comes on the scene. This show ended its first season tonight with one humdinger of a cliff hanger, which is how good television ought to be. I’ll be looking forward to season two next summer.

This show is an interesting study of how humans cling together, and fight each other, when disaster happens. I can’t help but wonder what kind of bad things are coming given that there is so much in the news about survivalism. Even NASA has sent an email to their employees with a video link showing one of their administrators asking them to make a preparedness plan for their families. I’m not going to worry too much about it, as having an emergency preparedness plan is a good idea for everyone, but I think it’s interesting that it’s such a hot topic these days.

Preparedness is something that’s really been on my mind a lot lately. I’m terribly unprepared for any emergency, so stocking up on things is on the next order of things to do. I’ve been redoing things in my basement, and a new pantry is one of the things that’s top on the list.  I’ll be taking pictures of that project as I go along, so more on that later.

For right now, the world is safe as there are no mooing evil aliens outside. I guess it’s time to throw a load of laundry in and get some shuteye. Good night all!

You have all the weapons you need…now fight!


I just got home from taking the boys to see Sucker Punch.

When I asked the boys what they thought about it, Younger Son said: “Hot girls with weapons. What’s not to like?”  I asked Older Son what he thought, and he indicated that it was “pretty good”, but that was only because there are hot girls with weapons. This is what I get for asking teenage boys what they think about a movie with hot girls kicking ass like hot knives through butter. Not only that, but there was lots of good explosions and other interesting special effects.

What did I think about it? It was a different movie, very existential and layered with symbolism; a story that is actually stacked about three stories deep, almost an Inception style concept. My favorite part of the movie was this recurring phrase: “You have all the weapons you need…now fight!” I like this theme. I like it a lot.

Another theme that ran through this movie was that you never know when help will arrive, or what form it will take. You must keep your eyes open and think on your feet.

I don’t know that it was worth paying theater rates, but it would definitely be a good rental. While this movie displays a lot of violence and cruelty, it also has an interesting undercurrent of empowerment in the face of adversity…albeit in a cheese-tastic sort of way. And, while I tend to be a lover of happy endings, this one had a mixed ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that it’s not going to be the ending you think it might be…or should be. It’s certainly not the ending I would have chosen, but it did work.

I’ll give this movie one big thumb up, out of a possible two. Good movie, but not worth the theater charges. Make this one a rental.

 

The only tv show my family agrees on


I have fond memories of sitting around the living room with my whole family watching our favorite shows when I was a kid. It was easy back then as the shows were good and there were so few of them that it was an event to sit down to your favorites. Some of my favorites were the Flip Wilson Show (yes, I’m that old), Happy Days and Mash. Oh, and lets not forget classics like Mork & Mindy, and Taxi.

These days, it’s a little harder to find programing that the whole family can sit down to watch. Not only do we all have different taste in television programming, but there’s just not much on these days that’s terribly good for family viewing. There’s so much garbage on tv these days. If it isn’t provoked drama (“reality” shows), it’s sex and other things that aren’t appropriate for viewers of all ages.

So, I finally found a show that we can all watch together: Wipeout. Or, in the case of this season, Winter Wipeout. This show can be found on your local ABC channel, and is funny the same way America’s Funniest Videos is. Where AFV is all about people catching each other and their pets doing silly things, Wipeout is a about people trying to get through several levels of an obstacle course. It’s modeled after MXC which originated in Japan, but Wipeout is a little more family friendly.

I don’t know where they get the contestants for Wipeout, but they are all pretty good sports. Very silly people, but good sports nonetheless. And they are terribly unbreakable. It’s astonishing to me how these folks can take such a beating and still keep going. Here is a good example from an earlier season:

There’s lots of silliness to be had,

and lots, and LOTS of mud:

I am not sure why I find this show so funny, but I do. Even better, it’s something the three of us have in common, and we can all laugh together about. The nice thing about this show is simple humor that perks me up at the end of a long day. These clips aren’t near as funny as watching a whole show, as they generally have a theme. There’s a lot more on You Tube…give it a whirl if you’re looking for some cheap laughs.

Paying it backwards at Starbucks


The other morning, I had some extra time so I stopped at Starbucks to pick up a Dark Cherry Mocha…hmm…yummy!

Unfortunately, they replaced my favorite coffee with Pumpkin Spice Latte. I definitely got the impression that the Coffee Gods had abandoned me. Well, what to do? Order the next best thing, a White Chocolate Mocha.

When I got up to the window, the lady told me that the person in the car ahead of me had paid for my coffee!! I love it when this happens. Not because I get a free coffee, because I don’t. If someone in the car ahead of me pays for my coffee, I always put my money toward the coffee in the car behind me. It’s like a great big chain of coffee-laden generosity that just keeps gaining momentum. Last year, while in the middle of one of these occurrences, the Starbucks Lady told me that I was car #20 that had participated that morning. I hoped it went all day long.

Paying it backward, if you’ll forgive the turn of phrase, is a good way to get yourself out of a crabby funk. One day I went there to pick up a coffee, and I was feeling so completely miserable I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I pulled out a $20, paid  my coffee, the coffee in the car behind me, and gave the rest to the Starbucks Lady.  It didn’t necessarily make me feel better that I paid for someone else’s coffee, but it did make me feel better to think about the smile on the Starbucks Lady’s face, and about the surprise the car behind me was going to get. It also made me feel better to think that perhaps I started a chain of coffee-laden happiness that lasted for more than just a few cars. I doubt that it went on all day, but one can hope.

If you haven’t ever done this before, give it a try. You don’t have to wait until Christmas, though that is the most common time of year to experience it, and you don’t have to only do it at Starbucks. This should work in pretty much any drive through. Give it a try. I bet it will make your day.