Wednesday, March 31, 2010

21 Interesting Things about the Duggars Book

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So I really and thoroughly enjoyed The Duggars: 20 and Counting. Especially when you consider how I just read the Gosselin book and wasn't that impressed. I was originally going to list 10 things, but then it was hard to narrow them down. So, I went with 21, since there are now 19 children in the Duggar family, and two parents. (Ironically, this theory worked last week without my thinking about it - there are eight children and two parents, and I listed 10 things, LoL.) Also, I hope that they write another book, since I think there are several topics untouched that would be a good read for their "fans."

Again, no specific order, although it kinda hits from the beginning of the book to the end.

1. We knew that JimBob and Michelle married young, but have you ever done the math? JimBob had just turned 19, and Michelle was two months shy of 18 when they got married. Her family was going to move to North Carolina, and to avoid being apart, JimBob pretty much begged her dad to let him marry her (they got engaged the December of her senior year of high school).

2. They didn't have a television the first year they were married, because their premarital counselor said it would be too big a distraction. I think this is a big part of why they're not big on TV now. However, they also say that they never watch their own show on tv, but we've seen that they sometimes go to JimBob's sister's house to watch.

3. Jana and John-David had bassinettes made from laundry baskets. This isn't really that intriguing to most people, and it may be that the Duggars are frugal and it would be reasonable for them. But I found it amusing just because I had a dream once, where I had a baby and we couldn't afford a crib, so it slept in a laundry basket next to the bed. I had never heard of this so I had no idea why it was in my dream, but it appeared in the book, LoL.

4. JimBob got robbed once. Michelle and Josh were asleep when two alleged customers tied up JimBob at gunpoint. They took $11 (all he had on him) and a car, but they were eventually caught.

5. Snarkers of the show often point out that JimBob does very little fathering when it comes to cooking, helping with the littlest ones, etc. BUT, when there were only four children, he at least dressed the kids, changed them, and sang to them.

6. There are a lot of photos in the book through the years, and I really enjoyed seeing the family portraits grow by one (or two) babies at a time. It's nice to get a look at the family when they were smaller and just above-average, as opposed to the mass that they are now.

7. It irks me that they call the education of a child "training." I mean, I know they get the term from their ATI stuff, but it just bothers me.

8. Jessa was five months old by the time they moved into a three-bedroom home (that they paid $65k for). That meant they had 5 months of 2 parents and 5 kids in a two-bedroom. Yikes. But it got worse. They lived in that house until they had 14 kids... that's 16 people in a 3br/2ba house! (#15 & #16 were born when they lived in an interim rental house.) The house they built started at $82k for the "kit," then another $5k for an addition.

9. The idea that the Duggars don't have debt is kinda an interpretation issue. They do mention that some medical bills take them a while to pay off, so technically they sometimes have debt in that way. But they don't borrow money at all, so no debt in that sense.

10. Michelle doesn't enjoy breastfeeding. Some of the babies didn't have much because of painful mastitis infections. And, up until baby 15, she described breastfeeding as "excruciatingly painful." Sensitive, inverted nipples caused problems, and she'd even try numbing them before feedings. (she washes with Selsun Blue, tried Nystatin, uses Lansinoh, uses Gentian Violet.)

11. The family reads Proverbs EVERY MONTH. There's 31 chapters in it, and they read a chapter every day. I find this to be very interesting. I've heard of companies with Christian missions that go over a psalm or two daily, but a chapter a day and repeating it monthly is so... different. They read it during breakfast.

12. The property that the Duggars live on now (and by now I mean in Tonitown, not the rental they're in to be near the hospital) is 20 acres and adjacent to a chicken hatchery which they converted into rental storage units. It was appraised for a million, and they bought it for $300k.

13. "Bill Gothard's 'Operational Definitions of Character Qualities'" - biblically-based character qualities. The Duggars pick one per month, and memorize the definition, discuss how it applies to everyday life, etc. Similarly, obedience is their number one rule in the house, and it has 4 points for them: Instant, Cheerful, Thorough, Unconditional

14. I really enjoyed reading about JimBob's political career. How he came to run, how he ran, how he ran again, how he tried for US senate, the bills he supported and sponsored, how the family dealt with living in Little Rock, etc.

15. Blanket Training. I know that it's been mentioned a tiny bit on the show, but I was interested in how it's done. Basically, Michelle gets the kid excited about getting to sit on a blanket. It starts at 5 minutes and gradually increases. First, they just had to listen to Michelle talk. Then they got to choose a special toy to play with (the was only available during blanket time). Sometimes this training took place multiple times a day. The older kids know it as sit-down time... but there's nothing that describes when the transition happens, how they deal with blanket time when away from home and without toys, etc.

16. Michelle is probably the first mom I've ever heard of who takes the "if you don't behave, we're going home" super seriously. On more than one occasion, she's left grocery carts in the store while hauling all of the kids back to the van for a "correction."

17. Remember when the show was really new? Like, maybe when they only had those once-in-a-while specials? The kids recited these rules they had. Did you ever think about them after that once? They're in the book, and they were lifted/altered from a friend of the family. Here they are... Always use soft words, even when you don't feel well. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain. Think pure thoughts. Always give a good report of others; never tale-bear (tattle??) unless physical harm will come to someone - use Matthew 18. New raise a hand to hit. Never raise a foot to kick. Never raise an object to throw. Never raise a voice to yell. Never raise an eye to scowl. Use one toy/activity at a time. Never let the sun go down on your wrath. Put Jesus first, others second, yourself last; make serving your family a priority.

18. They started wearing the same colors on the same day to cut down on laundry pre-sorting. When they moved to the big house and had four washing machines, that was no longer a priority, BUT, "they still put the little ones in the same-colored shirts on any given day to make things easier" does imply that the older girls (the team leaders) choose the others' outfits daily.

19. The playroom has lockers. Some of the kids even use locks to keep out others. I find this amusing, since it seems we always see the kids playing outside, on the porch, or in the living room. Oh, and the idea that the kids can "lock up" some items is intriguing. In the playroom they have a climbing wall... so if the kids are used to it, why did Joy struggle so much when they went to a climbing wall for her birthday?

20. I know that a lot of the household items in the Duggar house are homemade (like laundry soap, they showed that on the show and the directions are also in the book), but the idea of making homemade baby wipes kinda grosses me out. Maybe I'd feel differently after I had a child, but at this point I think I'd prefer store-bought, LoL.

21. Okay, there's been a lot of flack about how the Duggars homeschool. On the show, they recently made a point to say that they "school" for six hours a day, from 8 to 4 with two hour-long breaks. But in the book, they have individual lessons or help eachother out from 9am-noon, have Michelle teach from 1:30-4pm, then another hour of individual work/practice. Oh, and ever wonder about all of those music lessons that the kids have? I did. Turns out, two violin instructors come every Friday from 10am-5pm so that everyone gets in. Piano lessons are also done at the house, since the woman comes twice a week to help with laundry. Jana (and the other interested older girls) takes harp lessons elsewhere it seems. Nothing is mentioned about the guitar (Josh and at least one other boy Duggar play it). And, speaking of scheduling, I've often wondered how all of the bath times get in. That's not really addressed, other than mentioning that after a 5pm dinner there's free time until the 8pm snack, and then there's time to brush teeth and pick out tomorrow's clothes before 8:30pm Bible reading with JimBob. Since not everyone can bathe in a 30-minute time period, no clue when it all gets in. Or at what age the kids begin handling their own bathtime routine.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Favorite Episodes: King of Queens

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I don't even remember how I first stumbled upon this show. I know I didn't see a single episode in first-run, but I also know that I knew about it at some point in undergrad (while it was still running new episodes) because I had a friend who enjoyed the show. I actually think I'm a big fan of Kevin James and Leah Remini in general, so the reason I liked the show was for them, not necessarily the concept of the show, LoL.

Season 1: "Hungry Man." Doug doesn't eat all day, so when he and Carrie go to an elegant party and there's no food being served, he freaks out. He makes it into the kitchen and starts helping himself when Carrie catches him, LoL.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 2: "Assaulted Nuts." Doug and Carrie are working with an accountant to do some mortgage refinancing and whatnot. When Doug gets to the meeting, he's in incredible pain because he shot himself in the genitals with a staple gun at work, LoL.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 3: "Wedding Presence." Doug & Carrie, Kelly & Deacon all get invited to an out-of-state wedding. Carrie and Doug don't want to go, so they send in the RSVP "yes" and just send a present with Deacon and Kelly so it'll look like they were there. But, the day of, one of Deacon's kids is sick so they can't go. Doug and Carrie are left to drive to the wedding at the last minute, but arrive after the happy couple has left. So they have to try to sneak into some photos to make it look like they were there the whole time, LoL.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 4: "Eddie Money." Doug borrows $100 from savings to bet on boxing. When he wins big, he and Deacon must hide their $5k cash winnings from their wives, or Carrie will find out that he took the original $100. So, Doug and Deacon decide to blow it all in one day, and choose to spend the money on a variety of interesting things, LoL. Couldn't find the entire episode, but found three different clips from it, LoL.
Clip 1 Clip 2 Clip 3

Season 5: "Clothes Encounter." I think part of the reason that I like this episode so much is because it takes place soon after the horrible "mold" storyline, where Doug's dad realizes how much money Carrie spends on clothes. In this episode, however, Carrie realizes how easy it can be to return an outfit if the tags are still on it. It gets out of control fast, though, and soon her office is filled like a closet, and she has a system to tell her when to return things. But, when she has to rely on Doug to return something, plans go awry.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 6: "Tank Heaven." Two storylines in this one. First Spence realizes that ladies like it when guys are compassionate toward the elderly, so he starts hanging out with Arthur, who in turn finds an even older man to "care for." Meanwhile, Carrie wants to make couple friends from work, but everyone she brings home, Doug scares away. It takes her awhile, but eventually she finds out his crazy methods.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 7: "Awed Couple." Deacon and Kelly choose to spend more time with a couple who has kids, so Doug and Carrie have to find new couple friends. They go to great lengths to find people, to the point of rooting through a woman's purse and jumping off a boat. They have stories they use to gain others' interest, locations they go to scope people out, the whole nine yards.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 8: "Four Play." Doug hangs out with Kelly, and Deacon hangs out with Carrie. But, Kelly gets tired of Doug, which ruins things for everyone. It gets really funny though, to the point where you truly believe they have swapped partners completely. Oh, and Arthur is at a coffee shop giving advice... only people follow the opposite in order to be happy, haha.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Season 9: "Mama Cast." Carrie acts as a model mother and wife to help sell a house. She gets really happy about it all and (for the hundredth time) contemplates children of her own. Doug takes his tax return and buys an ice cream truck, only to be consistently scared by a rival truck. In the end, he sells it.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
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Friday, March 26, 2010

South Park is Back, Secret Life is Leaving...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer


Minute to Win It
: I don't think it was on last week?

Sons of Tucson (S01E02): it was interesting to see Ron get a friend, the family go to the garage sale, and then Ron making it into living in the house (and out again). This moron is actually smarter than his friend, LoL. HE ROBBED THE WRONG HOUSE?? awesome. "bank error in my favor" = nice. haha, the friend got hooked on robbing!! I love the quirkiness of the kids... heart monitors, crossbows, Twilight, LoL. The man thinks FAST on his feet - when he's lost in the house he plays it off well.

The Simpsons
(S21E15): Interesting springish couch scene. Funny commentary on morons using GPS devices. Firecrackers in pencil sharpeners and spitting in books? The things kids do when there's no teacher around have changed dramatically. Nelson and the blind kid were interesting. Lisa's alarm clock scene was FUNNY!! Bad truth about smart girls vs average girls and attention. Ralph's failure to cheat correctly was eye-rolling. LoL on the last dime. And, LoL on Marge's cooking being able to make garbage good and the 3D comment at the movies. Silly laughing/kissing gag. I'm surprised there's only two classes per grade... I had always thought that the school was larger, I guess. Really? Michelle Obama flew in to aid Lisa? Clever "flotus" screenname for her. Silly little kids and their relationship drama. ANd, Nicky reminded me of Kimi from Rugrats.

Family Guy (S08E14): Yeah, I think it is too soon for a Terri Shiavo musical. Um, not sure about Stewie's stage fright OR why Lois asked Peter about his bowel movement. Funny/weird journalism joke. What in the world was the dolphin scene?? Really? Peter put Quagmire in his clothes and the girl had sex with him instead of Peter?? "someday a white man is going to be elected President again" hahahahaha. yeah, that's a reason to live, LoL.

How I Met Your Mother (S05E18): I also love my birthday. My husband extends it pretty much a week for me (he loves me, LoL). So Lily celebrating her birthday AWESOMELY was amazing. Ted should have known better than to bring a new girl to the party... even if she's a baker, LoL. Special games based on Lily was so cool, I'm gonna need that sometime soon, haha. I think the weirdest thing about the episode was that the black tie party was at their apartment.... I love how Barney has "never taken a bad picture," since NPH is always hott, LoL. AND, Ted doesn't understand why it's not cool to bring random girls to events!?!?!? AHHHH!!! LOOOOOVED Marshall telling Lily that Ted was tricking her, and then the proceeding dialogue about Robin being a "random skank" haha. Whoa, Strawberry WAS a mistake. 42? 42? FORTY-TWO??!? How in the world did she get that?? Lily is officially 32. The allergy to cilantro at the end was classic.

House, M.D.: not this week.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (S02E24): This whole concept that it's been a YEAR since Amy had the baby is kinda strange. Not nearly enough has happened. I also find it interesting that they're not covering any of John's milestones... first steps, teething, etc. It's kinda a little glorified motherhood, but I guess there's so much drama with the high schoolers, there's no room for the actual mothering stuff, LoL. I don't understand why Amy cared so much about her parents being at the birthday party when her grandmother just had a stroke! It's like the way Rachel acted on Friends when it was Emma's first birthday, LoL! Funny way that Ashley talked to George about birth control pills, LoL. Okay, so Adrian told Ashley and Grace about her possible pregnancy. Ashley told George. Grace told Jack. Madison overheard. What the heck was Madison wearing at school?? And why was Ben going around inviting everyone to his dad's wedding? Especially the week of the event!!!! [And I think Lauren and her date had no reason to be at the wedding, much like Anne's mother and her (new) husband... there's no reason for tangential characters to appear there.] Why would George tell Mimzi that he and Anne were eloping in Vegas? LoL. I liked Adrian's mother's hair at her wedding, LoL. Which is good, since the dress was a joke. Madison's hair was looking cute. Amy's got some nice legs, but she NEEDS a new hairstyle!! Dang, if that's her real voice, Madison can SING!!! A horse-drawn carriage? are you KIDDING me?!?!?! Betty's dress was worse than Adrian's mom's! And why did everyone join in on the first dance?!? Griffin and his friend had a cute moment on the dance floor. Ricky wore a funny tie. The final scene seems like Adrian is indeed pregnant, but there was no definitive word, so I guess we wait until next season (June) to find out for sure! Oh, have we lost Jimmy completely? I kinda thought/hoped he'd be back...

Dancing with the Stars (Season 10, Week 1): this was a random one for me, and not sure I'd make it a regular thing. I caught the second half, just as Lysacek was getting his scores and such. Fun little ditty from the International Space Station. I had never heard of that Nicole girl before. HATE Kate's hair like that. And leave it to her to be primping her partner moments before they go on. It was also a shame they showed an old (read: last September) pic/vid of her kids, why not anything newer (unless Jon has managed to not let the kids be filmed at all by anyone, LoL)? oooh, and what's with Kate's makeup?? Overall, I feel like they should all do the cha-cha one week, then all do the waltz the next, etc. This semi-random crap isn't that great.

Table for 12 (S03E01): I am SO glad this show is back, LoL! Meghan looks like she's gained some weight. But, the onset of puberty is upon her, LoL. And, that makes sense, given the fact that she also doesn't want to hang out with her entire family in public, LoL. It was funny that all of the kids remembered the spiral staircase... those are awesome until you get about five and a half feet tall, LoL. OMG!! They went to the same ski resort in the Poconos (Camelback) that I did a few weeks ago! Small world, LoL. Whoa, it's "L, 7, wienie" now? haha. It was nice to see Rebecca got to participate in the tubing. I loved watching them play Scrabble Slam and Guesstures, I wouldn't have thought 5-year-olds would have been that good, but it worked out pretty well.

missing the eps "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school"

19 Kids and Counting (S04E08): Josie's at 54 days, so less than a week since the last episode. Filmed (the Josie segment specifically) around February 2nd. It's nice that they allow a couple of the kids to ride with the production assistant when he goes to film some stuff at the regular house. It's also nice that the younger ones write letters to those who are in the other location. I don't know how I feel about Josh teaching Joseph to drive. Interesting angle by having him learn all about insurance first. I had to learn about checking oil and changing tires first, LoL. Anna was really quiet this episode. We haven't seen Cousin Amy much, either. Anna had Joseph and Josiah take down Christmas lights, so I assume this is actually earlier than Feb 2nd in that part of the episode.

16 and Pregnant (S02E06): Samantha from Texas. She shares a room with her brother, her mom's having a baby, and so is she. Go figure. September at 24 weeks, I think this is the earliest we've seen an episode start in a while. Not crazy about this couple. The projector screen was a little creepy for an ultrasound. I was surprised that she would be so adamant about having sex, knowing that her mother was a teenage mother and also being aware of how hard it was. I'm glad that her parents made her move to live with her dad and change schools, but I'm sorry that it didn't help. A grandmother at 33.... that's awful. I can't even tell you I'll be a mother by 33, LoL. Jordynn is an interesting spelling. Their corsages for the homecoming dance were UGLY. Another induction. Sam was really in some pain, and screaming a ton... and she was only at 2cm. She just wasn't dilating. At 21 hours, she was only 3cm. At 25 hours, they're going for a c-section (her mother had to have cesareans as well). She couldn't see her baby right away because of her fever. It was clear that there was a heavy focus on the labor and delivery rather than caring for a newborn, since they didn't leave the hospital until more than three-quarters of the way through the episode. I think this was a good episode for that "scare" factor, since Sam flat-out points out that her own mother told her how hard it would be, and that she didn't listen.

South Park (S14E01 & S14E02): Last week's: interesting opener with the video gaming, LoL. Ewwww to Clinton's cigars comment. Sheen's internet porn was funny. haha Duchovny, although I didn't completely get the berries reference... And Tiger. And Michael Douglas.

This week's: I thought it was funny that Cartman was so excited to read the book, and that all of the kids were finishing it on the first day. There was definitely a funny underlying commentary on how certain things have become so commonplace that they're no longer banned for those reasons... like how the kids were accustomed to the language in Catcher in the Rye. Although, I must admit, I read the book as a freshman in high school... and don't remember anything awful... but it's been over a decade. The vomiting made me laugh. I loved how Butters became the scapegoat... as always, LoL. You'd think they'd put buckets on the floors of the bookstore if "everyone vomits before finishing the first paragraph" LoL. I loved how Butters got grounded for the language in the book, yet it's selling in 26 languages, LoL. The reading of Butter's (second) book made me gag.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season:
Jon and Kate Plus Eight: still missing the finale, "It's a Crazy Life, But it's Our Life"
Wipeout (summer)
Little People, Big World (April)
The Goode Family (Mondays at 10pm on Comedy Central)
Futurama (June 24th)
Cake Boss
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 Interesting Things about Multiple Bles8ings

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I read a lot when I travel. I love to read on flights, in the airport, on buses/trains. I like to read before bed in hotels (rather than watch tv before bed like I do at home). And, when I'm at my Florida house, we read before bed since we don't have a television in the bedroom (theoretically, we don't really own a tv, which makes this blog rather funny, but that's beside the point).

Anyway... I usually read magazines, and pack a single book. But, since I haven't flown in almost three months (which is rare for me, I feel like I normally fly at least every eight weeks or so), I had a stack of magazines and TWO books ready to go. I finished the first one today, and I rather enjoyed it. It was the first of Kate Gosselin's books, Multiple Bles8ings. It's the story of Jon and Kate, from the day they met through the sextuplets turning three. Remember, the show began when they were only two (and they'll be six in May), so the book is written by an already-in-the-media Kate (with Jon as well as Beth Carson). There were a lot of interesting things in the book, and several ideas that I will carry with me through the next ten years or so, as I hope to have young children of my own in that time period. But, here are ten things I liked/found interesting in the book (in no particular order):

10. Apparently, a pregnant woman's HCG level doubles every thirty hours for the first eight weeks of her pregnancy. So, if yours isn't high enough (25), test again in two days... you're bound to know then!

9. In Pennsylvania, child care center ratios are 3 children per adult. So low! No wonder Kate lobbies to have a nurse part-time for a full year, she deserved one!

8. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34) I learned this lesson when I was a senior in high school, and I look back on the epiphany often. The whole idea of taking one day at a time is remarkable.

7. Kate mentioned surprisingly little about her cooking habits. On the show, it's very clear that she's into organic and into healthy cooking and whatnot, but in the book it's not even mentioned if she makes the babies' food herself or not. Perhaps this will be covered in the next book.

6. We know that the family was on Medicaid, and that bills were high, but no numbers are given, nor was there much information on exactly how they managed everything while Jon was out of work (which was a substantially long time).

5. There's NOTHING in there about Kate returning to work after the babies are born. On the show it's clear that she was working as a nurse here and there (I think it was just Saturdays in the beginning?), but the babies are already three at the end of the book and no mention of it? It doesn't really fit, especially since it would work great in ending and how God provides, etc.

4. I was glad we got the full story on their possible adoption. It had been mentioned several times on the show and in other interviews that Kate did, but I had no idea that the baby in question was one of a patient of Kate's from the hospital, etc.

3. I was really rather shocked by the fact that Kate had volunteers coming and going without a set schedule. I would have figured that she would be the first one to organize something like that. Perhaps she was just so awed by the volunteers that it didn't occur to her?

2. Now, after all of the backlash about whether or not the kids should be on tv, how they were pulled, yada yada, it was interesting to read that Jon was against filming the kids in the very beginning... he even initially said "no" to the documentary that would later lead to the Jon and Kate Plus Eight show.

1. We heard about the order of the babies in crawling and walking... what I really wanted was a list of their first words. I was really curious to find out if most of them said the same thing, or if they were all different, and how close together they were, etc.

Stay tuned next week, as I hope to have finished my other book for this trip - The Duggars: 20 and Counting!
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Seinfeld

So I was never a Seinfeld fan when it aired originally. I wasn't even a fan when it began airing regularly on TBS and the like. Honestly, I only got into Seinfeld at the very end of my graduate coursework. But, I've seen every episode now, and many of them twice (since there's not really anything else on when my husband first gets home from work and likes to relax, LoL). Choosing favorites from various seasons was only slightly tricky (in comparison to other shows I've been working on, LoL), and it became clear that seasons 3 and 4 are my favorites. There's also a website somewhere where you can watch ALL of the episodes (I made my way through them this way), but I can't seem to find it anymore. Anyway, without further ado:

Season 1: "The Stake Out." I actually was under the impression that this was the first episode, when in fact it is the second. I think TBS airs it often, since I've seen it about five times. Jerry and Elaine are at a dinner party, and Jerry flirts with a woman he doesn't know. He doesn't know her name, but he knows where she works. He doesn't want to ask Elaine about her, so he decides to try hanging out around the building hoping to run into her, and that works. Clip from near the beginning:

Season 2: "The Pony Remark." Jerry and Elaine are again at a dinner party, where Jerry mentions that he hates anyone who had a pony growing up. Turns out that the hostess had a pony, and she ends up dying shortly thereafter. Jerry feels guilty, and has to decide between going to her funeral and playing in a championship softball game. Oh, and Kramer wants to build levels in his apartment... Jerry bets he won't do it... and when Kramer doesn't follow through, he argues that the bet was invalidated since he never attempted it, LoL. Ep in full.

Season 3: "The Subway." This is the first full-length season of Seinfeld. And, as such, it was really difficult for me to make this decision (especially considering that "The Parking Garage" is such a good episode as well!). But, each character has a separate (and funny) storyline in this one, so that's why it won out. George is headed to a job interview but gets seduced, robbed, and tied up instead. Kramer is going to pay parking tickets but ends up betting on a horse race before an undercover cop saves him. Elaine is supposed to be in a wedding, but gets claustrophobic after train delays. Jerry is heading out to Coney Island and becomes friends with a nudist. Yeah, good times.

Season 4: "The Movie." I really consider this to be a classic Seinfeld episode. Totally slice-of-life, and fitting to the theme "a show about nothing." Basically, the characters are in a comedy of errors. They plan on seeing a movie together. Jerry is supposed to do two comedy acts, but when he misses the first one, he tried to tell everyone he won't make it (he actually goes to the theater to do this, since it's still 1993 and nobody has a cell phone yet except Zach Morris, LoL). The others all get separated (and have a devil of a time trying to describe what the others look like), and only Kramer sees the originally-intended movie. There are a ton of links for this one, but none actually work in the US, LoL. So, here's the script.

Season 5: "The Stall." It's really an episode about voices. Jerry is dating someone whose voice reminds Kramer of a phone sex operator. Elaine is screwed out of toilet paper by a woman who she later hears in Monk's, so she steals her toilet paper in return. (oh, the infamous "I don't have a square to spare," LoL.) Oh, and Elaine's boyfriend gets injured badly while rockclimbing with George and Kramer. I can only offer you the tiniest of clips, but it is the one for which the episode is named.

Season 6: "The Secretary." George hires an ugly secretary so he won't sleep with her. But that doesn't work. Elaine believes that a store has "skinny mirrors" and tries to see what clothes look like on her in other ways. Kramer gets Uma Thurman's phone number, but he writes it down on Jerry's dry-cleaning slip. Jerry realizes his dry-cleaner's wife is wearing clothes he dropped off, so he confronts the situation. Kramer sells the clothes off his back in the dressing room. Such a funny episode, but I've never understood why the title places the emphasis on George's storyline, LoL. Full Ep.

Season 7: "The Pool Guy." George freaks out when Elaine and Susan become friends. Kramer's new phone number is very close to Moviefone (omg, remember that!!?!?), so he starts giving out movie times. Jerry sees the pool guy at the movies, and then can't get rid of him. Unfortunately, the best clip only deals with George (and Elaine to a certain extent), and that's the worst of the three.
Here's a funny Kramer (and George) clip, lmao:

Season 8: "The Bizarro Jerry." Elaine is dating a guy kinda like Jerry, and meets his friends, who are similar to Kramer and George, and even Newman. It freaks everyone out, but in the end there are certain differences that Elaine can't get over, so she goes back to her normal crowd. Meanwhile, Jerry dates a woman with large, bulky hands. Kramer uses a restroom in a skyscraper and gets roped into working there, causing him all sorts of problems. Lastly, George uses a photo of the woman Jerry's dating to get others to like him, acting like his dead fiance was gorgeous. As always, his plan eventually backfires. Two clips, the first handles some of Kramer's storyline.

This is actually like the episode broken up with some commentary, but it's not bad.

Season 9: "The Strong Box." Jerry is going to make some jokes about a pair of Jerry Lewis cufflinks. He allows Kramer to put them in his new strongbox, but Kramer is paranoid about someone finding the key. Kramer ends up putting the key inside a neighbor's birdcage, but the bird eats the key and dies. Kramer and Jerry are forced to dig up the grave to get the key to open the box, which doesn't bode well for being friendly to the new neighbors. Plus, George tries to break up with a woman who just won't allow that to happen. Full Ep. But the quality is poor, so here's a clip.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Two New Shows!!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer


Minute to Win It
: I actually wrote a special post about this new show, since it needed some explanation.

Sons of Tucson (S01E01): also a new show, this comedy is about three brothers whose dad has gone to prison, so they hire a random guy to play their father. The youngest brother doesn't look like the other two, but when your dad's in prison, who knows how trustworthy he was, LoL. The fakedad demonstrates his lying abilities pretty early on. But he's not a great liar, since his first lie would be discovered in absolutely no time. You get the story of the realdad being in prison pretty quickly... white collar crimes... sounded like insider trading or embezzlement. The story they use is that they're from NOLA, when the boys made it across the country by train and bus from NJ. It's clear that fakedad is an over-actor, but he seems to be working it so far so good. He thought fast on his feet when he broke the neighbor's window with a rock in order to make things rough on the kids, LoL. It's clearly September due to the Fall Fest and the calendar, plus the fact that school just started. The boys' last name is Gunderson, unique. And the lies about baseball based on the photos in the office were good. The rollerblader being a teacher at the school was an okay twist. Oh, and the fact that the fakedad is wanted for taking out loans or making bad bets or something is fun. Oh, and the Chuck Norris poster in the bedroom was great. "I'm a teacher. I don't have a house" combined with the fact it's taken her two weeks to get her car out of the impound speaks truth about how poorly teachers are paid in this country (I personally don't know much about how AZ educators in particular are compensated). Fakedad then managed to get himself a more permanent gig and a room in the shed. Nice ending, makes you want to see what antics they'll all have to deal wit next week. I think the show has some great potential.

The Simpsons
(S21E14): An old and random film strip to start, LoL. oooh! I built a pueblo in fourth grade for my Native American project! It was fun and I used Little People, hehe. Nice "scarlet A" LoL. I feel like Mrs. Krabappel has changed her hair, LoL. That need to lock the box onto Martin's hand was disturbing, and he's the most trustworthy kid in that class! How rarely do they do outgoing mail if the sack was that full??!? LoL, I like how Marge had thermometers in her robe, LoL. After twenty years, the school finally cares that Bart doesn't do homework? LoL. Funny House reference for Itchy & Scratchy. "3 nights in the 'mall jail'" ???????? what in the world?? Weird sex-quite/sex-fire joke. Hated the mutual apology in the middle of the road, LoL. Funny bag of photoheads, LoL. I LOVED the jokes about Shining Time Station (or is it just Thomas the Tank Engine now?) And the idea of an old, abandoned subway under Springfield was interesting. I liked how Lisa pointed how Bart wanted to get caught but she's cover for him at the end. A nice sibling moment.

Family Guy (S08E13): Meg is so awkward, and I think the writers make it that way as much as possible. Funny cameo and line by Cleveland. Peter was being really weird around Meg, making her kiss him on the lips and such. Lois laughing at the fact that Meg and the boy were making out on the couch (and then fantasizing herself making out with the boy was creepy, too. That risky move with the bomb in Times Square was dumb. I also don't like Stewie in the female role, but whatever. Brian made it clear that his lifespan is only 13 years, so I wonder if they'll eventually have to write him off the show.... not like they appropriately age the characters anyway, LoL. Who plays Russian Roulette with the grandfather while driving a car? LoL. ewwwwwwwww, Lois making out with Meg's boyfriend. WTF was the point of Meg pulling out a tooth??!?!??!??

How I Met Your Mother: no new ep this week.

House, M.D. (S06E16): damn teenagers drinking. and double-damn them having sex. and even if Taub works for an abnormal boss, his wife should know better than to expect him to text all day at work. and then, damn kids in high school getting engaged. and, worst salesperson EVER at the furniture store! neat cognitive test to see what she's thinking. WHO SLEEPS WITH THEIR BOYFRIEND'S FATHER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (S02E23): LoL that Ashley is afraid that George will make her talk to Amy every week, LoL. What game were Ben and Grace playing near the beginning of the ep? And why is Grace being so forward these days?? I don't understand why everyone wanted to argue for Amy in the video?? oh for crying out loud... Madison offered Jack oral sex so he'd testify for Amy?!?? I'm tired of the raspiness of Amy's voice. oh goody, Adrian will have to deal with the possibility of pregnancy. seriously.

Table for 12: season 2 is starting soon.

missing the eps "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school"

19 Kids and Counting (S04E07): what's the matter with Josh? Some of his siblings come to visit and he says he's running a "homeless shelter"?!?!? Josie is 47 days old now, so this is a week after last week's episode, and probably filmed around January 26th. BUT, the episode is clearly spliced together since one of the girls mentioned that the Christmas decorations are still up "in the middle of February." That purple bow was GIGANTIC on Josie. "The girls volunteered" meaning they really needed the stuff, and nobody was going to go if they didn't, LoL. "Anytime us girls are going on a roadtrip, dad fixes the car" ... um, how often do they go someplace besides the grocery store or Josh & Anna's, LoL? Jim Bob actually only took James to the auto parts store?? JUST James!!?? BUT, this did put more work on the girls, who are trying to pack to leave, LoL. What kind of random stuff did they bring back? LoL. We saw JimBob hug Jana goodbye, but you can't see her in the car when they pull out, and she's not seen in the regular house cleaning at all, either. So was she on a special assignment, or did they drop her off at Josh's before they got to the house (but she walks in with the rest of the Duggar girls...). We saw the recipe for chicken-etti, but I thought the biscuits looked better, LoL. Why did we have to see one of the boys buttoning his pants? LoL. And the whole "I guess The Today Show are early morning people" makes it seem like they've never watched one of the shows they've done, since they're on early, LoL. Michelle wears that green shirt a lot, I feel. If she was "7 weeks old today" on The Today Show, then this was for January 28th or so (so the girls didn't rush back to be on the television appearance). Now it makes sense that Jill talked live, since the Today Show clip (not seen on this show) mentioned that Jill often visits Josie at the hospital.

1 pkg spaghetti Noodles
3 c. chicken
1/4 c. green pepper
1 c. chicken broth
1 lb cheese (although I think Anna said "half a block" at another point)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup

boil the noodles, cook the chicken, melt the cheese, pour everything onto the noodles in a baking pan (they use Rotel instead of individual peppers and tomatoes), sprinkle on more cheese, bake.

16 and Pregnant (S02E05): Lori from Kentucky. She speaks like she has a big tongue, LoL. She kinda looks like a pig, LoL. She goes to a Catholic school, and broke up with the boy long ago, but they're friends. Starts off at 27 weeks. Lori is adopted, but wants to keep the baby (apparent immediately that it's a boy). She doesn't have a lot of parental support in this decision, as her parents think she should put it up for adoption. She seems kinda surprised that her pregnancy is accepted for the most part at her high school. She's blaming the pregnancy on taking antibiotics along with birth control pills. Interesting concept that Lori's mom doesn't want a baby shower to take place because the circumstance should not be celebrated. Why are they looking forward to Spring Break in September? Why not countdown to Christmas, LoL? Talking to that woman who gave up her child for adoption was interesting, and it seems to be the babydaddy who is making things difficult. It was good to talk about an open adoption with perspective adoptive parents. But nobody has a baby shower unless they're keeping the baby! (except Phoebe on Friends, LoL) Wait, so Corey has been wanting the baby the whole time, but when Lori's dad calls him, all of a sudden he thinks parenting won't work?? But that doesn't matter, the adoptive parents backed out less than a month before the due date, so Lori has to find another couple. LoL, Lori picked a portfolio because of a cute dog?? She didn't feel the contractions AND went with an epidural... sounds like a good way to go, LoL. She didn't even scream. Wow, that was one of those babies with a super-elongated head, LoL. And I'll still never get over mothers who wear tons of makeup for labor and delivery... Lots of drama with Corey, of course. Who would've guessed, LoL.

South Park: I missed it, but it's DVR'd for the future.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season:
Jon and Kate Plus Eight: still missing the finale, "It's a Crazy Life, But it's Our Life"
Wipeout (summer)
Little People, Big World (April)
The Goode Family (watch it Mondays at 10pm on Comedy Central!!)
Futurama (June 24th)
Cake Boss (I guess this is off-season... they didn't act like the most recent episode was a finale of any sort, LoL.)
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NBC's Minute to Win It

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Yes, yes. I know. Today you're supposed to get a brilliant list from me. And I started writing one. But 4 points into it I got distracted and forgot where I was going with it. And now I can't think of the other points (I had at least two more), and I'm too tired to search the internet for some (I am out of town). But, I watched that new game show the other night, and wanted to give it a full review anyway, so you get it today instead of Friday. :)
Minute to Win It (Season 1, Week 1, 2 Episodes): A new game show on NBC, 7-8pm, it seems. I first saw commercials for it during the Olympics, and I was curious, no lie. So I watched it.

The idea is that there are ten one-minute games (there are 65 total games they could be), and if you can complete all of them, you will a million dollars (you actually have 3 "lives" so you only have to beat 7 of the challenges). The games are all made from household items, so you can kinda practice all you want, but you only have one chance here! The prize money is leveled, so you do win some after each level, and you have the chance to walk away before trying the next challenge. And, like in Who Wants to be a Millionaire, there's a safety net of $50,000 that you can keep no matter what as long as you complete that fifth game.

Game 1: You have one minute to get every tissue (160) out of a box, using just one hand. The first guy made it with less than 10 seconds to go.
Game 2: With a pedometer on your head, you have to jerk around 125 times in a minute. Unclear on the best way to do this, but the first guy nodded his way there... I think I would shake from side to side, but I don't know what the rules are. They also need to figure out a better way to keep the pedometer screen hidden as soon as he finishes, the host's hand ain't gonna do forever. Consequently, the first guy made it, with 135.
Game 3: You have to stretch a rubberband to hit six empty soda cans arranged in a pyramid. [FirstGuy was pouring with sweat by now, LoL] You don't have to reset the pyramid, so just keep shooting, LoL. FirstGuy got it with like 15 seconds to go.
Game 4: Bounce ping pong balls onto three plates in a row and into a bowl. Complete this 3 times in 60 seconds. The plates aren't super-close together, either. FirstGuy only got one in. Admittedly, this one looked pretty hard. He had quite a few get really close, but only one went in. So, he lost a life. HE HAD TO TRY IT AGAIN. that sucks. I should have seen it coming, LoL. On the second try, he got all three in just 22 seconds. He kept going for no reason, LoL, until the host put his foot over the bowl.
Game 5: six pushlights are lit up. you have to throw beanbags (underhand) at them to turn them all off. If one turns back on again, you have to turn it off again. [Host said something untrue here, giving off the impression that the money is tax-free, LoL. "$50,000 bankable dollars" can't be true. Also, host only has a few phrases of encouragement, LoL. FirstGuy did it with like 20 seconds to go or so.
Game 6: ten nuts are on a chopstick. you have to hold the chopstick, slide off one at a time (no touching it), and stack them ten-tall on the ends (not flat). [omg this one looks SUPER hard!!] Takes a skillful hand, but he had a great methodology. On his first try he got 7 of them in 45 seconds when it toppled. [at least he got a sweatrag!] Second try, he didn't even get that far.

Second Episode:
Game 1: You blow up a balloon and then let out the air a little at a time to knock over 15 plastic cups. You can use as many balloons as you want, but you still only have 60 seconds. [Girl's method of blowing the balloon per cup was a little flawed, I felt] She did it in like 45 seconds.
Game 2: drop a quarter into a bowl of water, having the quarter land in a shot glass in the water. Do it 3 times (in different bowls) in one minute. You have to stand up, and the bowl is on the ground, making this one pretty hard. Basically, just keep dropping them, since you can't do much to help figure out the trajectory a quarter will follow underwater. She did it with a little time to spare.
Game 3: you use a yo-yo to knock over six soda cans (on individual platforms). But the yo-yo is tied behind you, LoL. The platforms were about three feet high, I'd guess. Girl's method was just to spin in circle, mainly. She finished in about 40 seconds.
Game 4: you have to stack 5 apples in one minute. you have as many tries as you want, but the final stack has to stay up for three seconds. There are more than five apples to pick from, so you can look for certain sizes if you want, LoL. She pulled almost all of them out of the bowl to get a feel for how they stood. She got four of them in forty seconds, the fifth one with less than ten seconds to go.
Game 5: this one is the first truly weird one. you have two pencils next to eachother, tied with strings. You loop the strings over your ears, and pull them to raise the pencils up to your mouth. On the pencils, are three M&Ms that you have to bring up into your mouth without letting them fall off of the pencil. You stand on a platform, so the candies actually have to travel like six or seven feet, or more if you're standing straighter. She did it on the first try.
Game 6: you have to blow a bubble (with a wand and dish soap), then guide it (using your own air) across the stage and into a big ring. It's about fifteen feet away, and the ring is like two feet in diameter. You can blow as many bubbles as you want, but you still only have one minute. She got it, at the very last second. They even had to look at the video, LoL.
Game 7: There's a deck of cards on a bottleneck. You blow 51 off, leaving the bottom card (joker). You have 5 tries in one minute. On her first try, every card on every bottle was blown off. She came close (like within ten cards) on like bottle 2 or 3. [It was funny that she apologized for making a mess, LoL] Her second try was good starting but rough finishing. Her third attempt was sad, too. I think part of the strategy needs to be changing the direction you're blowing, maybe?

Second Contestant, Second Episode:
Game 1: 39 blue cups are inside a red cup. You move one cup at a time, using alternating hands, from the top to the bottom, so all cups move a full rotation in one minute. Hard to explain, but the guy did it okay.
Game 2:
A, K, Q, J, 10s are in a deck. Grab cards that are face-down on one table and bring them to the correct tables. One at a time, and you have sixty seconds to sort the twenty cards. He claimed he had never lost this one before, but I doubt that the platforms were this far apart in his practice, LoL. He got it on the second try. And, from here it's a to be continued.

Some General Commentary: I hate the commercial timing in this show. That's kinda annoying enough to not want to watch it again, LoL. I don't know how I feel about the ability of your family to coach you from the audience, LoL. I also don't care for the host's facial hair pattern, I like how the floor lights up to show how many seconds are left by the outside of the circle turning increments from white to red one at a time.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

No Favorites this Week

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

um. I forgot it was Monday until I was in the shower ten minutes ago. And my next three choices for Mondays are shows that have run 8+ years so the choosing and posting won't be quick. So, I'm not doing a post today, my apologies. Here's a video I saw today that was amusing. Enjoy.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Where did Cake Boss go??!?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer


The Simpsons
: not this week. The Oscars were on.

Family Guy: not new this week. The Oscars were on.

How I Met Your Mother (S05E17): Barney is supposed to be 34. 17 dates until sex?? Now, I'm old-fashioned, but I know that many other people would laugh that in the face and say something more akin to half that many, LoL. Barney realizing that he was a bad ex-boyfriend was intriguing, and his giving away the mega-date to Robin and that news guy was strange. I wanted him to take her herself, LoL. But J-Lo going back on all of her "rules" was just plain dumb. And the end of the episode wasn't that great either. Overall, one of the biggest duds of the season.

House, M.D. (S06E15): nice Scarlet Letter reference thrown in there. Chase not realizing how good-looking he is was funny, and House's comment about how Wilson should've brought an ugly date was good. The whole speed dating scene was hilariously good writing. House getting off to Wilson's family photos was funny. Wilson getting tormented by House over the porno he was part of in college was funny. The Taylor-Franki scene where she decides to go with the plastic valve was pretty moving, too. Awkward convo when Wilson confronted House about the book. This episode was a little too Mac-centric for me... Season Finale to be May 17th.

Cake Boss: not new this week.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (S02E22): Ben didn't have any idea how hurtful it was to be hit?? lmao. What in the WORLD was Anne wearing this episode?? Strange song for Grace to walk in to... that Avril "I Don't Like Your Girlfriend" song. AND, why are Grace's storylines so disconnected to the rest of the kids now? At least Amy has finally realized that she has to do what's best for John, even if that means she has to talk to Ricky. I think we're getting to the point where we need to write off Lauren and Madison... they're getting useless. How can Grace get a ride home from school from Ben? I thought we've gone over that the kids can't drive with other kids in the car (which apparently doesn't count for siblings, since nobody yells at Amy for driving Ashley).

Table for 12: no idea. and not sure why not.

missing the eps "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school"

19 Kids and Counting (S04E06): What does everyone else think of Anna's hair straightened? I just realized it, but then thought about it and it's been straight a little while now. I think it distinguishes her from the Duggar girls, but I'm not sure it's flattering on her. I don't know that we needed to spend this much time looking at how the Duggars homeschool AGAIN... we've seen this quite a lot now. I think Josh's hair has gotten a lot darker since the show began... dunno why. I've thought about this on and off but never mentioned it on here bedore... why are the girls so partial to denim skirts? Other fabrics are much prettier and allow for more choice in look, and still come in the modest length. Anna, in particular, wears very little else. Jessa was wearing a skirt that was only just below the knee, so that was certainly different! Fun the Jill has her own little eight-kid choir, haha. Josie is 40 days old at the end of this episode... which is rather funny when you remember that she was 39 days old last week, LoL. Again, this means we're still at about the third week of January. I wonder what Josie will look like as she ages, since all of the kids have one of two faces, LoL. (Jana, Jeremiah, James, Justin, and Johanna have the broader face, the rest all have the thinner face.)

16 and Pregnant (S02E04): okay, Chelsea from South Dakota. She's definitely one of the uglier girls, LoL. She starts off at 28 weeks, the summer before her senior year of high school. And her biggest concern is defecating during delivery... geez. It happens, girl. Be more mature. I thought it was interesting that her dad guessed it when her mom said "we have a problem," LoL. That pink paint on her walls is killing me. At least Chelsea is knowledgeable about Braxton Hicks and dilation and how it's all gonna go down. Aubree Skye is a cute name (would've been better if spelled "Aubrey"...). ewwwww they're putting the baby's clothes on the dog. what a waste. Her hair is always a mess!! And, speaking of which, who still uses that much hairspray?? It's not 1987 anymore. I still don't understand why Adam was mad that she went to the party... She went into labor on the first day of school!?!?!?! crazy. I felt bad that she couldn't fit in her desk, tho. But more interestingly, was she gonna roll her ball from class to class? Was that her plan? Sounds like a short labor, but five weeks early is never ideal. Adam using the breast pump was funny. I think it would be really rough to have to leave your baby in the hospital for a while when you get discharged. Like, I'd feel guilty that I wasn't there for her 24/7 like a regular mom would be. Adam wanted to go out the first day that Aubree was home from the hospital!!?!??!? Wow her dad's house is huge!! Why did she put random clothes in the crib?? Why would Chelsea call Adam about going to the appointment once the baby was already being seen by the doctor?? Whoa, more than halfway through the show, we find out that Chelsea has a sister! Now the baby is 10 weeks old and Chelsea is depressed... why doesn't she seek help?? And why is the baby at school with her?? And more of the freaking hairspray?? Chelsea feels bad about going out one night to her homecoming game... such a different attitude from the girls who go out multiple nights each week... that's good variety. What's with the bandanna headbands?? Wow, that text from Adam was INTENSE. Also interesting that she demanded her father come home instead of enlisting a friend to come over. It was also good that we got to see a little bit about the process in changing the baby's last name. But why was her friend with her at the lawyer's office?? WAIT.A.MINUTE. She missed TWELVE WEEKS of school and she can manage to graduate on-time??!?!?!?!! I mean, I guess you can get Cs and Ds or something at that rate, but whatever. I think that's ridiculous... at my high school if you missed more than 10 days in 9 weeks, you were in serious academic danger. And, AGAIN, we didn't see anything about why she stopped breastfeeding/pumping, but at some point she switched over because we saw her with formula mix at the end of the episode.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season:
Jon and Kate Plus Eight: still missing the finale, "It's a Crazy Life, But it's Our Life"
Wipeout (summer)
Little People, Big World (April)
The Goode Family (watch it Mondays at 10pm on Comedy Central!!)
South Park (new episode next Wednesday)
Futurama (June 24th)
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2009 Oscars are Over.

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Okay, let's see who won! [My votes]

Best Motion Picture of the Year :
- The Hurt Locker
Oh my goodness gracious. Who saw this coming? The movie buffs, maybe. But the general public, no. Avatar got soooo much press and commentary (even throughout this broadcast), only a few people (and, most of those just wanted Avatar NOT to win) were staking claim on this to win. Kudos to one and all.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role :
- Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Even my husband saw this one coming. I still never remember who Jeff Bridges is. #fail for me. Oh, and double fail in that I don't know what Crazy Heart is about.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role :
- Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
If I set aside my personal bias, I would have picked the woman. But I didn't, and that's okay. I have mixed feelings on her gown, but that's besides the point. I truly congratulate her. It was beautiful that she mentioned the other nominees in her short speech as well. Which leads me to ask... are there no limits to how long the Lead Actor and Lead Actress can speak? It sure didn't seem like they had a limit this time!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role :
- Christopher Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
I had gone with Matt Damon for no good reason.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role :
- Mo'Nique for Precious
well, I could say I saw it coming. But, I don't think there's a reason for that. I will say, however, that I hated Mo'Nique's dress and hair.

Best Achievement in Directing :
- Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
well, James Cameron (or Jim, as his friends seem to call him) didn't win. BUT, a WOMAN did. That's a win for humanity, folks.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen :
- The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)
I managed to actually miss this one being awarded, but I guess this makes it official... I'll have to see this movie.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published :
- Precious (Geoffrey Fletcher) [I did vote for this one]
Strange clips shown in some of these selections, including the winner. But, maybe I'll check the book out of the library... I need a new reading selection anyway.

Best Achievement in Cinematography :
- Avatar [I did vote for this one]
Um, I got it right... but should it count since everyone on Earth knew who would win this category?

Best Achievement in Editing :
- The Hurt Locker
hmmm... no comment.

Best Achievement in Art Direction :
- Avatar
I do not agree with this. And this is one of my favorite categories. boo on them.

Best Achievement in Costume Design :
- The Young Victoria (Sandy Powell)
Again, nothing to say except, for a costuming award, Sarah Jessica Parker AND the winner both looked atrocious. And, starting your speech with "well, I already have two of these" ain't cool.

Best Achievement in Makeup :
- Star Trek [I did vote for this one]
Ben Stiller was really cool-looking as a Na'vi from Avatar, hehe. And he had some good jokes. I'm also happy that Star Trek won, and rather intrigued that the other two nominees' videos were so strangely non-makeup-y.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score :
- Up (Michael Giacchino)
Everyone saw this coming, and I should have as well. But I held out hope for the beauty of Hans Zimmer's music until the bitter end. Nice speech by Giacchino, I like encouraging kids in the arts.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song :
- Crazy Heart - Ryan Bingham & T Bone Burnett ("The Weary Kind")
A lot of people voted for this one. I was not in that majority.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing :
- The Hurt Locker
Um, the one film in this category I didn't see, won. I guess it must have blown the other four away in this category, in a way that I must not be able to imagine.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing :
- The Hurt Locker
I thought Samuel L. Jackson did a good job of explaining everything about sound, and it was nice to see some Dark Knight again, LoL. This movie had a lot of people pushing for it, so although I didn't see it, I agree it must be good, LoL.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects :
- Avatar [I did vote for this one]
I'm sorry... was there a single voter for the Academy who even bothered to read the list of nominees? Avatar was so purely perfect in this area. Cheers to it winning.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year :
- Up
The only one I saw ended up winning. Too bad I voted for something else.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year :
- El Secreto de sus Ojos (Argentina)
At least the winner gave a speech (mostly) in English, LoL. Nice joke about Na'vi being a foreign language, lmao.

Best Documentary Feature :
- The Cove
Well, with all of the press on SeaWorld right now, I guess it's good that people will go out and learn more.

Best Documentary Short Subject :
- Music by Prudence
All I really have to say about this one is that I didn't like the winners' words at the mic.

Best Animated Short Film :
- Logorama
This was my second choice, if I had to pick one. I'm a little sad that Wallace & Gromit didn't win, but what I've seen of Logorama was really neat, so I guess I'm happy for them.

Best Live Action Short Film :
- The New Tenants
um, ok.

Last thoughts:
42 men and 1 woman got recognition at the SciTech awards... we need more females out there, folks.
Avatar walked away with just 3 wins... don't know how expected that was!
A woman finally won for Best Director.
I managed to do WAY WORSE than last year, with just 4 correct... I had 10 last year!! oh well.

Further Reading:
Critical Confabulations did a very comprehensive examination over several posts. It links to the first one.
Tea to Pour wrote about actors. and actresses. and supporting actors. and supporting actresses.
Katie has some great and concise thoughts.
The Critical Condition is always good. Here's more from him. And more.
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Frasier

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

During the early years of Frasier, I thought it was junk. In fact, I didn't watch it solely because those I knew who did also watched Seinfeld, and I thought that was the worst, most boring show ever. Of course, now I know that Seinfeld is funny, and that Frasier is downright hilarious. I haven't fallen in love with a show in the way that I love Frasier since I first found 7th Heaven, or when I stumbled upon the glories of ER before that. Theoretically, this means my sister should like Frasier, since she and I have fairly similar television favorites. But, the level of some of the jokes would be rough on her (and many, many others), since a good deal of them I only "get" because of graduate school and other specialty arts, literature, and music courses I've taken.

Anyway, Frasier ran for a very, very long time. Eleven seasons, all with the same main cast. I should have written about it way back when I was writing about long-running series, but I knew remarkably little about the show then. I only started watching it after I moved to Pennsylvania. But, I got addicted rather quickly, and started catching it for an hour each morning on Lifetime. Then, my husband got the entire set for me about a week before my birthday in January, and it took less than a month to catch up. Seasons 4, 5, and 6 are the funniest (I swear, season 6 is some of the funniest television EVER), although I love every episode with a good Niles storyline, hehe. And now, without further ado, my list of favorites:

Season 1: "Travels with Martin." Daphne still doesn't have her green card, so when the family takes a roadtrip in a Winnebago, they run into problems when they wind up in Canada. Some pretty funny antics on the road, and Niles is adorable in his obsessive ways.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 2: "Daphne's Room." This episode just has me rolling. Frasier ducks into Daphne's room to get a book, but his curiosity gets the best of him, and he has to get in there again and again, trying to remain unseen. Well, that doesn't work, and he has to find a way to make it up to Daphne.

Watch Frasier S02E17 Daphne's room in Comedy | View More Free Videos Online at

Season 3: "Moon Dance." Maris and Niles are on the out-and-out, so Niles needs to attend a fancy ball with another woman. But, she backs out at the last minute, and so he takes Daphne, which works out great since they dance well together. However, Niles hopes to read more into the night than Daphne does.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 4: "Ham Radio." Frasier wants to commemorate old radio dramas by re-staging the first one KACL ever did. Of course, he ends up re-writing, directing, and playing the lead. He alienates one actor after another, and the resulting show is a great few minutes in comedic television history.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 5: "The Gift Horse." Niles and Frasier always seem to be in competition to see who can get Martin the better gift for his birthday. When Niles goes over the pre-agreed limit, things get out of control, with Frasier eventually buying him a giant television with surround sound, and Niles buying him his old police horse. I couldn't find the whole episode of this one, and the longest clip is really poor quality, so no video, sorry. Here's the script.

Season 6: "Decoys." Niles invites everyone to his cabin for the weekend. He's hoping that Donny and Roz will get back together, but he ends up making people think he's into Roz. ("The Seal Who Came to Dinner" is sooooo close to winning this season.)
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Season 7: I came really close to choosing "Something Borrowed, Something Blue" since it's the episode where Niles and Daphne finally get together, but I think that would be too obvious and overdone. Besides, "The Dark Side of the Moon" is actually much funnier, and in half the time. Daphne tells the story in a flashback, since she's been mandated to do some anger management therapy. She admits that she has feelings for Niles, and we learn that Simon is everyone's least-favorite Moon. But when Daphne hits the fan with the laundry scene, I about die in laughter. I could only find a rather small (and not that interesting) clip.

Season 8: "Motor Skills." Niles and Frasier attend a night school auto maintenance course. They're remarkably bad at it, and want to quit, but Daphne and Martin are too excited about the boys' learning. So, they take Roz's advice and try "coasting," but that turns into being "class clowns" and they end up being thrown out. They make their own certificates, which is hilarious. Oh, and while all of this is going on, Roz gets a puppy for Alice, but Martin takes control. Here's a funny part from the middle, where the boys are in class and not doing so well.

Season 9: "The Return of Martin Crane." Martin is starting work as a security guard, so he is flashing back to when he was shot and forced to retire from the police force. Daphne, Niles, Frasier, and Roz all want to go to various events that night, but someone has to be home exactly at 10pm to walk Eddie. The funny part is when Roz wants to go to Billy Joel, so Niles jumps on the Hungarian Throat-Singing bandwagon, which solves nothing, haha.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Season 10: "Daphne Does Dinner." Niles has a new painting and wants to unveil it at a party. Since he and Frasier have a bad history of hosting together, he decides to host it with Daphne, who ends up needing Roz and Frasier (who in turn needs Martin) to help. So much more happens, but there's no quick and easy explanation. Watch it. ...unfortunately, the best I could find was the script.

Season 11: "No Sex Please, We're Skittish." I love Niles in this episode. From the early menage a trois jokes with Roz and Daphne to doing everything in his power to increase the likelihood that he'll be able to father a child, he's great. Meanwhile, Roz returns to KACL as if nothing had happened, and Frasier demands to know what caused this change of heart.

Please tell me you adore this show like I do. What are your favorite episodes?
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

I need more stuff making more episodes.

by Amy K. Bredemeyer


The Simpsons
: not this week.

Family Guy: not new this week.

How I Met Your Mother (S05E16): funny opening gag. Teacup pig was unexpected. Lily's issues with Scooter came out of nowhere, and, as usual the misunderstanding between Marshall and Lily was funny. I couldn't believe Ted did that to Henrietta, and her parents looked so excited to be meeting him. It was funny that Barney thought that all female pharmaceutical representatives were hott, LoL. My jaw dropped when the ring falling out of the jacket caused an unexpected proposal.

House, M.D.: not new this week. Finale to be May 17th.

Cake Boss: not new this week.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (S02E21): I liked Ashley's hair much better when it was wavy and volume-y. It's so boring straight like this. I don't know that I understand why Ricky wants to talk to his mom. And why would Betty ask BEN to help her pick out a china pattern??!? WEIRD. overall, this episode was really boring.

Table for 12: no idea. and not sure why not.

missing the eps "summer," "busy day," "jumping in," "brace yourself," "back to school"

16 and Pregnant (S02E03): wow, big family! and quite a testament to fostering. I'm interested in her choice to become pregnant to get negative attention from her family. Again with the 32 weeks start. Nevaeh is a pretty name, and I like how she/they came up with it. Valerie was problematic enough that she has to do homeschool (but still had a real teacher)... that sucks. And, this one is only 15 and in the ninth grade. Who the hell waits until they are 39 weeks pregnant to have a baby shower?? haha, she didn't know what a "bowel movement" was, LoL. It always amuses me when the girls are like "it hurts," as if they never before believed that labor and delivery were painful. I was impressed that Matt showed up from 200 miles away. 5 hours into labor and she was already 5 cm dilated, that's pretty good for a first baby. She did have several hours of active pushing it seemed, and that's rough. This is the first episode we've seen where a baby had some critical issues just after birth. (sidenote, I wish Valerie wasn't so ugly. she's hard to look at when she's the only one on-screen, especially when her mouth is open, LoL. Again with bad examples of cribs... this one had a blanket on the baby at only three weeks old, plus non-mesh crib bumpers and a stuffed animal. $189-210/week for daycare for a 2-month old is a lot of money for anyone, regardless of age. But childcare is not cheap in this country, and I guess Valerie didn't know that, LoL. It was strange that the title mentioned "October" a bit after she had already crossed off every day for the month of October on her calendar. That's a really white baby... I wasn't expecting that, LoL.

19 Kids and Counting (S04E05): Little Josie is 39 days old at the start of this episode, which means it was taped around January 18th, so the progress is over a month behind. I found it interesting how John David knew how to fix everything. I once was at a party where ten or so grown men stood around a hole spouting out water while my now-husband (then eighteen) drove off, came back twenty minutes later with a truck and a toolbox, and proceeded to fix the problem. This whole episode really made John David look like a much better catch than Josh, LoL. I wonder if that's why they're putting a focus on him, haha.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Off season:
Jon and Kate Plus Eight: still missing the finale, "It's a Crazy Life, But it's Our Life"
Wipeout (summer)
Little People, Big World (April)
The Goode Family (watch it Monday nights at 10 on Comedy Central!!)
South Park (next new episode will be on St. Patrick's Day, March 17)
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