Random Thoughts on the Winter Olympics

WinterOlympics2014Next week, the Winter Olympics start.  Yes, I know. Russia is evil.  But, the Olympics have been in other evil places too, I mean, do I have to say Hitler?

Now that we have Godwin’s Law out of the way, let’s talk about those awful outfits for Team USA.  Have you seen them?  They look like something Jean Bice of the Quaker Factory (RIP) designed, not some high end schmo…I’m looking at you Ralph Lauren.  What drug were you on when you designed those sweaters?  Or maybe you need to get back on the drugs? Were you ever on drugs?  I don’t know. I can’t afford nor do I like your clothes, regardless. My point is, what the hell?

You know what I enjoy aside from the opening ceremonies? The bobsled, the luge and the skeleton.  Those events are INSANE, especially the skeleton. Going down a bobsled run, headfirst on a tiny little sled? You have to be nuts.

There is one event I wish was in the Winter Olympics. It’s seen on the Red Bull Crashed Ice thingy.  It’s basically a race down a bobsled run…ON HOCKEY SKATES.  That totally rules!

If you couldn’t tell, the Winter Olympics are my favorite Olympics. The summer ones are kind of boring.  Seriously, what’s more exciting? Ski jump or gymnastics? Which one is the symbol of the agony of defeat?

Don’t get your panties in a proverbial bunch. I know gymnastics are tough. I’m just not interested in them.  Give me a slalom any day.

 

Review: Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey

Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey_productThe other day, I received a copy of Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey.  It’s a four episode travel show.  Can I just say that I love her voice? It’s so soothing and British.

I first saw Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous.  She is hilarious!  So, when I got the chance to watch a show with her touring Greece, I said, Of course, darling!

Greece is fascinating. As Joanna says in her Greek Odyssey, so much of western civilization began in Greece.  There is tons of history and culture to see and enjoy in that country despite its current financial state, which Joanna does bring up on occasion.

This series definitely romanticizes Greece, but I enjoy being swept away in its beauty.  There are also moments where the countryside reminded me of California. The beautiful rolling hills and olive trees made me remember warm spring days in Northern California.  Maybe that’s why I liked the video so much…

Also, I learned quite a bit about the country’s history during World War II. I didn’t realize just how much that war effected Greece.

It feels like one of those TV shows that gets shown on public television which I thoroughly enjoy.  It’s educational, entertaining, and soothing.   I’ve always said that if I didn’t have cable, I’d probably do nothing, but watch PBS all day.

I appreciated the animation that helped fill in the blanks at some of the ancient ruins.

It has really beautiful cinematography. The images of Mount Olympus, the various islands in the Mediterranean & Aegean seas are mesmerizing.

If you are looking for a nice break from all the “reality” TV and want to learn a thing or two, I highly recommend this four episode series. You can buy the DVD or watch it online at Acorn TV.  It might even be coming to a local PBS station…again.

I received no compensation for this review.  Opinions are my own.

Five Predictions for 2014

humor, funnyDid you know I have a crystal ball? Seriously. Mostly, it just looks pretty in our home, but today I put it to use. What does the future hold? What will happen in 2014? Yes, I made predictions!

1) A celebrity will do and/or say something stupid, ridiculous, and distracting. Come on, people haven’t you figured this crap out yet? It’s a public relations stunt. Someone somewhere is paying someone else somewhere else to talk about something. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they did. People of all types do and say dumb things all the time. It shouldn’t be newsworthy, but sadly it is. Stop paying attention to the shiny object.

2) Something will be at war that can’t actually be warring. Christmas is usually a good topic, but I think people are bored with that subject. I’ve seen cupcakes, Halloween, and storage lockers go to war on TV. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Apologies to Edwin Starr. Can we just stop having things battle that are not inherently at odds? Why can’t TV shows just teach us something? There are other plots aside from A vs B, even if they are manufactured through the editing process.

3) The government will do something you don’t like. Have you voted? If not, be quiet. If so, do something about it during the next election. Also, pick up a spy novel every now and then. These “revelations” about spying are not revelations to people who read that genre.

4) Some incredibly dumb woman will become famous and have no discernible talent. Unless of course you count the ability to create a sex tape a talent…maybe it is. I don’t know. Here’s a question, how come a man hasn’t become famous by releasing a sex tape?

5) A meme will appear on the internet (Facebook more likely than not) that was disproved 10 years ago by Snopes.com, but one or more of your friends and/or family members will think it’s true. Like this status if you love puppies and kitten, ignore if you’re a heartless asshole.

Bonus: I will assume a reputable news site has reprinted a story from theOnion.com (or other parody site) because truth is stranger than fiction. And in one case, I might be correct!

Top Five Reasons Halloween is Awesome

pumpkin, halloween, fall, autumnNot to start a Halloween controversy, but these are the top five reasons why I love Halloween.  Your reasons for enjoying this festival of frights, magic, and possible Celtic rituals, might differ, but this isn’t your blog, so moving on…

  1. Candy. Seriously, this is really the main reason I love Halloween as a kid. Of course, now I can buy my own candy, I don’t have to go around the neighborhood and beg for it, but some really great candy choices are available in giant bags. If I bought a giant bag (or 3) of candy in the middle of July, people would think I’m nuts.
  2. Decorations. I love putting up all sorts of orange, black, brown, pumpkin, witch, cat, stuff all over the place. Oh, yes, and lights! I know, those are really Christmas-y, but I’ve fallen for the marketing and want to put up twinkling orange lights in my windows.
  3. TV Specials. OK, the only one I really look forward to is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but I also enjoy the occasional Halloween themed episode of a sitcom.
  4. No presents. All you have to do is give out candy to kids. They have those already pre-sorted in the store for you. You just have to buy the bag that you will eat after no one shows up at your door. You don’t have to fight crowds, stand in lines at 3:00 AM or search for bargains to do it.
  5. Costumes. I love to see how creative people get. Sure, there are the lazy ones who grab a black witch hat and call it a costume (me), but I thoroughly appreciate a person who put some thought and effort into their get up. Obscure early century cartoons, random historical figures, little known superheros (I’m looking at you Blue Raja), all wonderful.

What’s popular isn’t always good.

FortuneI’m not misquoting Howard Cosell.  I’m waxing philosophical.  KCRA is running their local A List popularity contest again.

And of course, my blog automatically got “nominated” because I put it on there last year and they just keep renewing the nomination status regardless of whether or not I actually continue to blog.

But, then I thought, “What is a blog?”  As I’ve stated before, I incorrectly assume that all bloggers are writers.

They’re not.

I’ve seen many a blog with fair to middling content on it (and that’s being generous) which brands and marketers deem to be popular.  Heck, many people will allegedly read them religiously.  Maybe it’s because they give away free shit or coupons.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the odd product review blog, it’s that I don’t like poor writing.

It’s still difficult for me to reconcile a blogger not being a writer.  I mean isn’t 99% of what’s on a blog written content?  Shouldn’t it be well written?  How can you not enjoy writing and not want to hone your craft if you are a blogger?

But, who am I to judge?  Who’s to say my content is well written?  You would think that if it was good, my blog would be getting more visitors, shared on the interwebs with regularity, and have comment after comment.

Maybe the problem is that I don’t write for an audience.  It’s nice that people read my stuff, but I write to get the shit rolling around in my head out of it.

So, if you are one of the few people who does read my blog and want to cast your vote, please click the link on the right.  But be warned:

  1. You will have to register to vote.  It’s the American way.
  2. You only get to vote once per category. I understand if you like another blogger more than me.
  3. You won’t get an entry in a contest for free shit if you vote for me. I don’t need to violate terms of service anymore.

I will thank you for your vote.  It’s only polite.

TV is getting weird

When I was visiting Paul over the holidays, we stumbled upon this TV show called Amish Mafia.  At first, I wasn’t sure if that was an oxymoron or just odd sounding.  From what I know about the Amish, which isn’t much, they seem like a pretty peaceful people.  Of course, most of what I know about the mafia comes from movies, so there you go.

Obviously, anyone can have bad apples in their community.  It’s naive of me to think the Amish live some sort of Utopia.

When I first watched the show, we kept going, “That guy’s driving a car, aren’t they not allowed to do that?  Now he’s talking on a cell phone?!?  What the hell?  That chick is wearing makeup! I guess if you have no regard for the laws of the city, state, country, why would you care about the rules of your community?”

My curiosity was piqued by learning about a group of people I knew little about, I’m now hooked by the hokey-ness of it all.

There’s been some rumblings in the media as to whether anything on the show is real.  At this point in my life, I think all “reality” shows are fake.  At least this show tells you that there are some re-enactments.

The “acting” in this show is so stiff and awkward.  I mean the fake rage from the guy who has been shunned was just so weirdly timed.  I’ve seen 3 year-olds throw better fake tantrums.  And the exorcism?  OK, that kid could probably be crazy, but praying for him won’t rid him of the demons in his head.  He needs psychiatric help…if he really is mentally ill and not just acting like it because the producers told him to do it.

There was one scene where a guy had just gotten out of prison and he was stalking the guy who put him there in order to plot his revenge.  He was standing in a parking lot in plain sight!  How could you miss this six foot man in black at the edge of an empty parking lot?!?

Of course, the people in this show could all be nefarious in real life, for all I know. Don’t come after me!  I’m one of the people keeping you employed.