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I’m always behind

I realize that we are probably the last people on earth to have discovered Sherlock, but OMG, are you watching Sherlock?? I’ve never really understood all the fuss about Benedict Cumberbatch—I mean, fine, he’s an actor? Who acts well? And I have always enjoyed this ridiculousness—but now I get it. I GET IT. TEAM SHERLOCK 4EVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Seriously, if there’s an evening I think we’re going to watch it and then it turns out we can’t for some reason, I become despondent. And I’m probably headed for a full nervous breakdown, because we’re almost done with Season 3 and then what am I going to do with my life? I just love it more than anything I’ve seen on television in forever. I love it more than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (don’t tell Monkey), which is saying something, because I really love S.H.I.E.L.D. more than is probably normal.

Better late than never, right? I think so.

Right. CUE THE AWKWARD SEGUE: I want to say “Why didn’t you tell me??” about Sherlock, except that I’m sure you did and I didn’t listen. And many of you warned me about all of these pesky FEELINGS I would be having this year and I was all NOPE, NOT ME! And of course I was wrong, because I am often wrong. Also I am behind (per usual) on figuring things out. I feel like I’m just starting to figure out just how hard this whole releasing-my-kid-into-the-world thing is, and “Why didn’t you tell me?” is the wrong question, I know. The right question is, “Why didn’t I listen?” or maybe “How do I make it more bearable?” You’re welcome to read more on Alpha Mom, but fair warning, it’s a little sappy. I’m sorry. We can always go back to talking about Sherlock, if you’d rather.

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The name’s Bond. Jerkface Bond.

Once upon a time there was this incredible deal at Amazon on the Bond 50 Blu-ray Collection—22 James Bond movies (that’s all of them except for the one that just came out last year, Skyfall). And my darling husband purchased it because he really loves Bond films. Truthfully, I think he really loves the CARS in Bond films, but whatever. Details.

Here let us pause while I note that of the 23 James Bond movies in existence, I had seen maybe… three? Two or three, prior to Otto and his Bond enthusiasm. We saw Casino Royale together and I think I liked it. I don’t really remember anything about it. Then we saw Quantum of Solace together and I spent the whole movie going “What’s going on?” and “Who is that?” and “What the heck just happened??” When the lights went up in the theater, I turned to Otto and said THAT WAS TERRIBLE. He agreed that it was “disappointing for a Bond film.” And so it was with GREAT TREPIDATION that we ventured out to see Skyfall, and yet, that one was really very entertaining. So when the opportunity to get all the films for very little money came up, I thought what harm could it do? Sure, let’s watch all things Bond!

Let me just insert a small spoiler here and tell you that this has been a real test of our marriage. Because apparently I had never seen a really old Bond film before and I had NO IDEA what I was in for. (more…)

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What’s on?

Remember when getting a color TV was a big deal? And when getting a television with a remote was a big deal? Remember when more than a dozen channels was a big deal?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re my people. (Of course, if you answered “no” to all of them, probably you should get off my lawn.) I cannot tell a lie: I grew up slack-jawed in the glow of the television, wasting countless hours of my life watching reruns. (Some might argue that not much has changed. Heh.)

As a parent, I limit screen time. As a person, though, I still have more than a few twinges of “I watched a ton of TV and it didn’t hurt me” going on. And now you know what I wrote about today over at Feel More Better, because TV is still one of my guilty pleasures.

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It’s… educational!

You guys. I… I can’t even. Because words fail.

A couple of weeks ago someone posted this on Facebook, and I watched it with a mix of horror and delight. Because LOOK:

And I made Otto watch it, too. And Otto said, “No. YOU ARE NOT WATCHING THAT WHEN IT COMES ON TV.” And I argued, and he kept saying no, and then last night I was channel-surfing and it was on and he was upstairs, so I watched it. With Chickadee. (more…)

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Battle of the terrible commercials

On Friday night I collapsed into bed feeling decidedly off. It had been a long day and we’d been out in the heat and I figured I was just hot and tired. But on Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed and was considering a nap about five minutes later. Basically, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. There was no denying it: I was sick.

Otto, who was skeptical of my crazy diet plan from the start, was convinced I had somehow poisoned myself with the restrictive eating plan I’d been following. He lectured me about how I had “completely obliterated my immune system” and was now reaping the results. I rolled my eyes and agreed to drop the diet to placate him, although that was an easy thing to do as eating ANYTHING would clearly interfere with SLEEPING, which was the only thing I wanted to do for the next two days.

So I slept for most of the day, and then spent the evening on the couch watching quality television with my family. Read: We watched a Hoarders marathon. I don’t know that any of us consciously chose to watch it, it just sort of happened. And then we made an interesting discovery: The target audience for these shows are apparently women with digestive issues. (more…)

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Movie reviews courtesy of cheese and livestreaming

The weekend quickly disappeared in a fast-forward WHOOSH of chatting and talking and discussing and many other synonyms for flapping our gums endlessly at one another. True, Kira and I speak several times a week on the computer, anyway, but something about being together, in person, for that one weekend a year makes it suddenly VERY IMPORTANT that we discuss everything from the Good Old Days That Really Were Kind Of Sucky back when we were both single moms and despaired of life ever getting better to how we can possible arrange for her Max to marry my Chickadee and the kids to think it was all their idea and we had nothing to do with it.

Inbetween all of that talking, and also sometimes DURING it, we figured that another benefit of our time together with NO CHILDREN OR SPOUSES was that we could partake of some movies we otherwise might not see. This would’ve been fine if we’d been hitting up our local movie store, but instead, we settled in with my Netflix account to see what was available via livestreaming.

I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to Netflix, it turns out. (more…)

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The good ol’ days were frightening

I know it seems like I’m starting this out with a digression, but I promise it’s related: Recently someone suggested a girls’ night out to me, and asked me what I’d like to go do, and I had to explain that it has been SO LONG since I left the house purely for fun and without my children, I could probably go sit at Taco Bell and watch people consume their not-beef tacos and find that totally entertaining. (Oddly enough, I haven’t heard back since I shared that little tidbit. Huh.)

The thing of it is, I’m kind of a homebody, and most of the time I’m very easily entertained. I watch a lot of television. Probably too much television, quite honestly, but I find it soothing and mindless and a good way to unwind after a day of working and child-wrangling.

Okay. All of that is preface to explaining that ZOMG THE ROKU IS THE BEST THING EVER. I was already dangerously dependent on the television before we got the Roku, but now, man, NETFLIX STREAMING. Our typical Netflix M.O. is to receive a disc in the mail and then bicker over WHO put THAT in the queue, and then we leave the disc sitting next to the television for four months before we finally concede defeat and send it back in for the next disc we won’t watch. But we use the live streaming all the time. Which means we are simultaneously reliving our glory days AND finally catching up on modern pop culture. (more…)

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No alcohol necessary

We have reached the part of our program—school is closed for the third day in a row, and we are more or less housebound, and the children are crabby and everybody is sick of everybody else—where I am back to my standard coping mechanisms. This means that by the time the kids go to bed at night, I am basically non-verbal and can only handle a bare minimum of human interaction, provided it occurs during the commercial breaks (or fast-forwarding through the recorded commercials) of mindless shows on the television.

In other words: The kids go to bed, I go to the couch. I grunt or mutter in response to whatever Otto says to me, but mostly, the extent of what I can process or react to ends with pointed snickering during CSI: Miami.

I tend to think of this evening couch time as deeply therapeutic. After all, I’m curled up with the dog, I often have a square of good chocolate, I’m decompressing from the day because who can think about anything important while partaking in what passes for entertainment in this country? Sure, I’m probably not very good company, but it beats the evenings when we decide to talk and I just cry all over Otto for an hour or two. (more…)

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Dueling smart-alecs

We have been recording Life on the DVR and then watching it as a family on weekends, as time allows, and everyone has really been enjoying it. What’s not to like about slow-motion views of really long, slimy tongues shooting out to grab bugs, for example? Or watching a bullfrog dig a connective waterway so that the tadpoles stranded in a puddle can get back to the pond?

Much like Planet Earth, Life has stunning visuals, fascinating tidbits about the animal kingdom, and even gets a pass as being educational. Unlike Planet Earth, however, Life is narrated by Oprah Winfrey. Now, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched Oprah, which—to me, anyway—makes the children’s pop-culture-by-osmosis comments even funnier.

So we’d just watched a pack (herd? flock?) of komodo dragons take down and devour a water buffalo, and Oprah solemnly intoned, “This is one family that’s absolutely single-minded,” or something like that.

“Next time, on Oprah!” Chickadee immediately chimed in, getting the coming-attractions inflection just right.

As Otto and I chuckled at her, Monkey threw his arms into the air.

“YOU’RE ALL WINNERS!” he exclaimed.

We lost it. Maybe it was just because he even knew that was the next logical follow-on, or maybe it was because we’d just watched a water buffalo being stripped to the bone and that didn’t seem, well, all that winner-ful. Either way, I feel comfortable declaring our viewings of Life pretty awesome entertainment.

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Wild and crazyish

This past week was Spring Break, here in the land of Start School Halfway Through The Summer And Then Finish When Everyone Else Still Has A Month To Go, and that of course meant that the kids went off to visit their dad while Otto and I spent the week in Bacchanalian revelry and various states of undress.

That’s a total lie, of course. The closest we got to a bacchanal was a little wine-and-cheese gathering we had for some colleagues, wherein I tried my hand at a baked Brie thing with candied walnuts and we all ended up face-down in the cheese plate. (Also: When the kids called the next night and asked about it, we told them we ate slices of Muenster and whined about them for hours on end.)

The “various states of undress” part is true, though, if you count “putting on our pajamas and sitting on the couch to watch hours of television,” because sometimes I would, you know, take my socks off during that. Wooooo!

It was last week that we discovered our DVR had a nervous breakdown. Poor thing. I probably should’ve given it some of that Brie. (more…)

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