Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Oh yes. It’s that time again. The awards season has started and everyone I know is making bets and setting pvr’s and thinking up drinking games and acting like they don’t care (but they still comment and make sure everyone knows they don’t care) and the media hyperventilates and the gossip rags vomit all over us in the grocery store line-up. And to top that THE OLYMPICS are coming, don’t you know! Oh my! Athletes! Sports! Hockey! Curling! Skiing! Skating! Medals! We’re #1! We’re #1! Yay!!! And then two weeks after all the awards have been given out, the athletes have been feted and the stories of inspiration have been read and cried over, we will have forgotten who won and who lost. That is until someone mentions something and our brains will creak into gear and toss out a vague memory of the event.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all this stuff. I love watching the awards shows, The People’s Choice Awards, The Golden Globes, The Oscars, The Emmy’s, The Tony’s, The Grammy’s, the Canadian Screen Awards, the Junos…and, yes, the Olympics. I love watching them but have ceased to believe they mean anything. I mean they mean something to the people involved but as for me personally? Other than an evening of questionable entertainment (unless Neil Patrick Harris is hosting then it’s usually great entertainment), on a day-to-day basis these things don’t impact me at all. They don’t influence me to go see the Oscar-winning movie or play or buy the cd or download the music of whoever won the Grammy or Juno and if we win the most medals, it doesn’t make me any more proud of my country. But I will set my pvr and I will spend countless hours watching.

I haven’t seen any of the movies which will probably be nominated for Best Oscar and I probably won’t. Movies have long ago lost their magical glow for me. I think it was somewhere around the release of Lord of the Rings and the nail-in-the-coffin Inception. I would love to be able to enjoy a movie again. I would love to be transported away from all my cares for a couple of hours and just live in a different world for an afternoon. I can do this at home. I can watch Game of Thrones and be completely captivated by the compassion of Tyrion or revolted by the cruelty of Prince Geoffrey or be totally gutted by the Red Wedding. I can be totally immersed in the struggle of Maggie to regain the love of Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. I can laugh out loud at Tracy Lord, Mike Conner and C.K. Dexter the Third in “The Philadelphia Story”. I can watch “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”, “The Princess Bride”, “Benny and Joon”, “Iris”, “Moonstruck”, “The Shipping News”, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral” or “Good Night and Good Luck” over and over again and enjoy them as much the twentieth time as I did the first. But I can’t sit in a movie theater any more.

I think the thing is that as I have aged I have become very picky about what I want to waste my time on. I’ve also become less inclined to submit my ears to the loudness of the theater and, being short, I find the theater seats very uncomfortable. More and more I resent spending the money on a movie where the dialogue seems to have been written in crayon. I mean, who, in real life says some of the crap the actors are paid to say? Especially the tripe in the Rom-coms. I realize that for a lot of people, they would love to hear someone they love spew that smarmy stuff but if any guy ever said half of that stuff to me I would wonder at his sanity and my own. Oh, and don’t get me started on the sex stuff in movies. I’m no prude but come on. Really?

Movies may turn me off but I do love watching the Olympics. There are certain sports I watch: figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, downhill skiing, aerials, bobsledding…I would say curling and I probably will watch most of it except the games I can avoid that have Canada in them. Yeah, I know, how unpatriotic but I really, really cannot stand Kevin Martin. I may watch just for David Nedohin and Brad Gushue but Kevin Martin? Nope. Don’t like that man. I have my reasons. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was the Kevin Koe did so poorly in the Olympic trials. But that’s the game. A game of inches. But all the other events in the competition? Love it and I love cheering heartily when my team wins. And even then sometimes it’s not so much that country that wins but the excitement of the competition and the closeness of the fight that gets my blood pumping.

I’m sure most of those who knit and crochet have heard of the Knitlympics. If you haven’t here is a brief sum-up: what you do is cast on for a project during the opening ceremonies, knit, or crochet or spin, like a demon for two weeks, and finish it before the flame goes out at the closing ceremonies. The only rules are that the project should be a challenge for you – a new pattern stitch, a new technique, a new type of pattern – but nothing that is going to cause you to have a nervous breakdown to get it completed. Just something fun and something you may never have tried before. A lace shawl might be a bit over-ambitious but a cardigan using fingering weight yarn might do.

Two years ago I knit this for the Knitlympics:

Whisper Cardigan

This year I’m not sure what I will knit. I’ve been looking through my books and magazines and have some things in mind but what I really want is to knit a t-shirt of some kind out of linen. I love the look and feel of linen and I can always use a cool summer shirt so I thought this might kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Most of the patterns I’m finding that use a linen yarn are also sleeveless, a big no-no for someone whose arms flap like a pelicans so I’m looking for something with 3/4 sleeves. I’m thinking this one would do but I would have to lengthen the sleeves which doesn’t look to be a big problem for this design.

My oldest daughter gave me this yarn for Christmas:

DSCN0202

and so I’m thinking I might make something out of it but I think I would have to then make something else because there really is only enough for a pair of handwarmers or fingerless gloves. It will make a nice, cozy pair for sure, it’s 94 grams of Alpaca/Merino/Bamboo from my favourite alpaca farm, Meadowview. My youngest daughter owes me two skeins of yarn and I’m still trying to decide what I want. It can’t be too expensive because she doesn’t have a lot of money and she has to feed a dog but I figure I could possibly go with some nice Cascade 220 or Madeline Tosh sock yarn. I could make some hand warmers and a pair of socks over the course of the Olympics, I’m sure.

So with an awards show approx. every two weeks until the Oscars in April and the Olympics next month I figure I should be able to get some of these projects that have been hanging around far too long off the needles and on my body. And I’m actually looking forward to knitting for the Knitlympics and seeing just what I can do in two weeks. I may have to do some fast juggling if February turns out to be a busy month at work, they won’t let me have anything sharp and pointy if I’m working a dance competition so knitting at work is out. But if I decide to knit that linen t-shirt I’m pretty confident I could have it done in two weeks. Fingers crossed. Well, fingers and toes…and maybe eyes as well…and a rabbits foot or two…still on the rabbit though…Think rubbing a cat will bring me luck?

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Day 11- Ah, crap.

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Ah, crap. It’s only day eleven and I already can’t think of something to write about. I started several posts, one about TV, one about The Good Wife, and the last one was about how I would love to be a casting agent or script-writer. I mean have you seen what passes for entertainment on the ole tube these days? Well, at least I seem to have a theme going. All my aborted posts seem to be about television.

My affair with TV started when I was young. We had one of those ancient TV’s that you see in old black and white sit-coms. It was a vacuum tube TV with a screen the size of your iPhone. I can’t remember what we watched on it but I always remember making the trip to, I think, Allen’s Drug Store in Bronte because they had a machine that tested vacuum tubes and Dad would take the suspicious one there for confirmation. We slowly graduated from that old dinosaur to a 24″ black and white and eventually (gasp!) colour! It was like the Wizard of Oz where things magically transformed into bright colours. Was it my imagination or were things actually more colourful on TV than in the real world.

We watched all kinds of things when I was growing up but mostly I remember the music shows – The Jack Benny Show; Perry Como; Andy Williams; Sonny & Cher; Donny & Marie; Bing Crosby; Mickey Finn (where I first saw the incomparable Eubie Blake); Dean Martin; Glen Campbell; The Smothers Brothers; Ed Sullivan…So many good shows where music took center stage. They were my favourites. Now it seems it would be too expensive and then the copyright issues…No one even thought about copyrights back then. I’m sure they existed it’s just that the musicians were probably happy to have a venue as large as national TV to showcase their music. The only places at that time to have a large audience exposed to your music was either TV or radio. Now, with TV and radio having far less influence on how we listen to music, it seems that shows like Solid Gold or The Midnight Special are needed again.

I loved watching sit-coms as well. I loved My Three Sons, My Favourite Martian, The Danny Thomas Show, Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, I Love Lucy…Of course I was what you would call a captive audience since I didn’t really have a choice, Dad controlled the TV and when he wasn’t around my Mum did. The only time I remember picking my own shows was when my Mum went to work and I had the house to myself when I came home from school. What did I watch? Cartoons mostly. Roger Ramjet (I can still sing the theme song). The Flintstones (I can still sing that theme song as well). Beanie and Cecil (Don’t remember that one). Gilligan’s Island (Yep, I can still sing that)…I can embarrass myself over several decades if I wanted to.

Ah, yes. I can remember the themes to a lot of the older shows actually. Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, The Addams Family, The Monkees, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Batman…yep, I’m an entertainment trivia walking nightmare. Then there’s The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, All in the Family, Maude, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Three’s Company. So much of my time spent in front of the TV. And how can I forget Murphy Brown, The Cosby Show, Full House, Roseanne, Designing Women, WKRP in Cincinnati, Home Improvement, Mad About You, Frasier, Will & Grace, Becker and, of course, Cheers? I have to confess that I don’t remember all those theme songs but I would bet that if someone played them for me I could name that tune in six notes, Tom.

Now I just watch a few. Most aren’t really that funny anymore. I think the last truly funny sit-com I watched, and still rewatch no matter how many times I’ve seen it, is Friends. My favourite line, and one I use when I eat something I don’t like, is the one Ross uses to describe Rachel’s attempt at a trifle – “It tastes like feet!”. The character of Ross doesn’t wear well. He seems more whiney as time goes by and Rachel, although still quite funny, comes across as way too self-absorbed, it was the other characters that elevated Friends to its status as a classic. Phoebe especially. Most of the best lines were hers. And I find that a lot with sit-coms, I can forgive a badly written main character if the peripheral characters are good. I mean, the character of Ted on How I Met Your Mother I would gladly smack if I could but Barney? Love, love, love him. Robin? Very funny especially when playing up the Canadian stereotypes and the whole gun thing. Marshal? Meh. But Lily? Love, love, love her. A bit whiney and when she calls Marshal “baby” in that nails-on-blackboard mewl and I want to chew my ears off so I can’t hear her anymore, but mostly she gets the best lines.

The sit-coms I’m finding funny now are: Mom, Sean Saves the World, The Crazy Ones, The Big Bang Theory (although I’m not a loyal follower), Corner Gas (although it is in reruns now), Arrested Development, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I honestly don’t understand how some of the other ones are still on the air. 2 Broke Girls? Really? Mike and Molly? The New Girl? I just don’t find them funny. But to each their own. I’ve always been someone who is a bit on the fringe, only dipping my toes into the mainstream after the fact. I don’t expect that Mom or Sean Saves the World will last into next season, shows I like rarely do but I am enjoying them just the same. More so Sean Saves the World than Mom. I mean, the Sean in question is Sean Hayes who played Jack McFarland on Will & Grace. How can you not love him? Rhetorical question because I can well understand why some people might have a problem with him, but I don’t and this is my blog and I think he’s brilliant. So there.

I can’t say that I have all that much time to watch TV these days. I have shows that I never miss, thank goodness for my pvr. Shows like The Good Wife, Rick Mercer, The Daily Show, How I Met Your Mother, House Hunters International, Downton Abbey (can you believe they killed Matthew? I mean, wtf? Wtf?!?)…um…er…I’m thinking…I guess not much else. There are some I watch more often than not – The Big Bang Theory, Law & Order: SVU…um…er…I’m finding I’m turning more towards documentaries or history shows. Things like The Edwardian Farm, Time Team, The Story of Scotland, Coast…those kinds of shows are what I find interesting now.

I don’t know why my tastes have changed. I find I’m much more entertained by a good curling match than I am by most of the stuff they show on TV now. Even the movies don’t excite me as much as they used to. I have to admit that I may have been the only one to have been excited by the prospects of Sharknado 2. I am an unashamed fan of really bad disaster movies and Sharknado 1 knocked my perennial favourite, Twister, out of the #1 position. How could it not? There are sharks! There’s a tornado! What can possibly be better than combining the two? I mean, really?

So with the long hard winter stretching out before me and few prospects on the old boob tube to keep me entertained and laughing, you will probably find me doing more reading (I already have two books started), more knitting, more baking and more whining about the lack of anything to watch on TV. I don’t have 400 cable channels to choose from, mostly because I refuse to give Rogers any more of my money than I absolutely have to so I have to resort to scouring the stacks at the library for movies and such or searching YouTube. I also can find stuff on the broadcasters websites to keep me entertained and as a last resort there are sites that offer complete TV shows for free. You know the sites I mean. And in February I have the Olympics to look forward to. Go Canada!