Friday, June 25, 2010

Week 3 - 4 - Part 1

Greetings and salutations.

It's been nine days since I last took stock of my summer reading list. Nine days in which my husband returned from a month long trip and my best friend came all the way from Albersbach, Germany - and went out of her way to rearrange several days of a rare 3-week visit to the states - just to visit us. Clearly, this was an instance where I had to choose actual human relationships over my beloved addiction to all that is entertaining.

I'm afraid this blog is likely going to lack some humor because it's been so long, updating feels a little like a past-due essay that I'm staying up until 2am to finish. I regret to inform you that all clever quips will be delayed until further notice.

Still, I managed a reasonable amount of progress, so let's just get to it.

The Stand

Yep. I'm still working on it. I thought for sure I'd be through it in 10 - 14 days. I'm on page 746 and I won't discuss it due to plans for a Stand-centric blog entry in the near future. But, I will thank Mr. Stephen King for forcing me to break out my reading glasses for the first time in 2 years.

Holocaust (mini-series)

Holocaust is a made for TV mini series which originally aired in 1978 on CBS. If you haven't heard of Holocaust, I can tell you it was kind of a big deal back in '78.

I chose to watch this series based on a recommendation from my parents. Over Christmas break this past year we were having one of those "what are your all-time favorite movies/TV shows?" conversations. As you may have guessed, this is my favorite type conversation in the history of conversations. It's food for my media-obsession and possibly the best way to learn of new materials without doing any legwork. It's like going to the grocery store and finding a cart full of your favorites set aside without having to walk up and down any of the aisles.

During this conversation Holocaust came up. My parents claim that in 1978, despite the passing of over 30 years, much of the general population was still a bit naive as to what really happened in the Holocaust or possibly knew, but had never actually seen much true footage. The series had clearly had a profound effect on my parents. After all, over thirty-one years had passed since it aired and there we were, sitting around my kitchen table discussing it.

So, I trudged through the eight-hour series.

For a person like myself, born in the very year the series was released, it's hard to judge the effectiveness of a series made during a time when the definition of the term "groundbreaking" was strikingly different than it is today. I've had a lifetime of Schindler's Lists and Diary of Anne Franks. The content, though never less shocking, has presented to my generation widely. I went into it, knowing what I was about to see and therefore it is impossible for me to see it through the eyes of a viewer in 1978.

The series brilliantly incorporates authentic film and photo of the Holocaust into a fictional story of a family, destroyed. What I loved most was its ability to show the events from the point of view of the family and an up-and-coming German military officer, without ever mentioning Hitler himself (other than using the term "The Fuhrer"). It makes for a true viewer-story bond. It certainly kept me coming back to learn more about the fate of each character.

Unfortunately, times have changed, as have film techniques and acting styles. A modern viewer may have some trouble with waning interest and character believability. There's really almost nothing I wouldn't recommend on the Holocaust, short of historically inaccurate depiction, it's a lesson we can never learn enough about. It's a topic that will never cease to force me to question my own beliefs. Overall, I'd recommend it. I'd just ask the viewer the keep in mind the climate in which it was released.

Toy Story 3

What do two adults, four children, an infant, 5 pounds of popcorn and 2 pound of soda have in common? Toy Story 3 - that's what. I can't say enough about my friends over at Pixar. The Toy Story trilogy is just beyond words, the third installment being no exception. Much more bittersweet than the first to, at one point everyone in our party crying (with the exception of my 5-year-old daughter who will cry for two hours over not being allowed to wear her Christmas dress to school, but is seemingly soulless when it comes to emotional content). Any movie that can get a 7-year-old boy to think, if even for just a moment, wins my vote.

On an aside: Ken, of the famed "Barbie and Ken" duo, was one of the greatest character add-ons of all-time.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I just watched this one last night. As I was watching it I had an entire blog planned out about crude humor... but it's going to have to wait. It is so difficult to update a past-due blog and include all of these thoughts I have when they aren't fresh in my mind. I am flat-out exhausted!

I'll sum it up in a few thoughts.

1. Some day, I'll write an entire blog dedicated to why I hate over-the-top crudeness (No, I'm not not-laughing because I don't "get" it, I'm not laughing because it's not funny!). Then I'll dedicate an entire blog to why I hate Sacha Baron Cohen (No, it's not a political satire about American Culture, it's you exploiting the people of Kazakhstan and putting people in horridly awkward situations, then making fun of them while they stumble in an effort to be tactful).

I'm not prude. I'm not afraid of nudity or swearing. I just simply think that crudeness needs to match context. Take for example, Boogie Nights. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my favorite movie. It's crude. It's gross. It's exactly appropriate for it's subject matter. Watching Apatow's The Forty Year Old Virgin made me feel about the "F-word" the way I feel about my kids using the word "poop". It's funny for about .25 seconds and then it's just... annoying. It's every bit as cheap too.

In my opinion, this is the best of the Judd Apatow cache. Which is saying a lot, because in general, I'm not a fan. It's a well-proportioned mixture of crude, stupid, and sweet. It didn't pull too hard in any one direction. It made me laugh. It made me cringe. But it didn't go so far that I couldn't appreciate it. I probably wouldn't watch it with my grandma. But, I'd watch it after my kids are in bed and I need an escape from Legos and breaking up playground fights over who get the next turn on a scooter. Would I recommend it? Sure, to the right audience.

2. I never, never, never get tired of "naked guy as a cheap comedic shot." Naked guys are funny. Naked guys make me laugh. It's like Elaine said on Seinfeld, "The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it's for getting around, it's like a Jeep."

Have you ever seen Sideways? Let me tell you, if you think naked guy is funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you should see overweight naked guy chasing a guy down the street at dawn.


"Holocaust" - mini-series. 8 hours. 3.5/5 stars
"Toy Story 3" - Movie. 5/5 stars
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - Movie. 3.5/5 stars.


"The Stand" by Stephen King. 340 additional pages. 4/5 Stars. 398 to go...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Week 2

Well, week 2 has come to an end and I've failed all four of my followers. I didn't make it through even half of what I'd scheduled for myself. I didn't even get around to making a prioritized viewing schedule with sub-categories and bullets. What's become of me? Here I am, with four fans and I'm on a path to blog-self-destruction.

I blame Stephen King.

I have a real love/hate relationship with the man and his eclectic collection of horror novels. Some of Mr. King's works are near brilliant. The thoughts and ideas so unusual and startling that my mind is forced into a kind of horror-overdrive. A few come to mind The Shining, Misery, The Langoliers, The Long Walk, Secret Window - Secret Garden, Dolan's Cadillac, Insomnia, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (not exactly in the horror genre, but excellent nonetheless), and of course, my all-time favorite: The Stand.
Some of his work... eh... I guess we'll call it average serial horror... It, Carrie, Pet Semetery. (Misspelled intentionally!)

And some of it is just downright bad. Have you ever read Dreamcatcher? Don't. People actually pass creatures during bowel movements in this one. I'm not making this up. B.M. aliens. Or at least, I think they were aliens. Honestly, after the toilet part, I just flat-out gave up.

In my quest to reread The Stand I found myself remembering something about Mr. King's works that I hadn't thought of before I started. The man is wordy. I mean, Wordy with a capital W. This guy can write and write and write. I can't say it's babble, because the fact of the matter is, it's all interesting and usually relevant to the story at hand. Every character gets his fifteen minutes in a Stephen King novel. From the hero to the guy who dies on page eighty-eight. If Stephen King is wordy in the average novel, well then, The Stand isn't really a novel, it's an eleven-hundred page event. An event which this reader reads about about half-speed. It's taken me an entire week and almost all of my precious TV time to weed-through exactly four-hundred and six pages. I'm telling you, this book is not for the casual reader. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best choice as a re-introduction into the reading world - but then, if I can get through it, I can get through anything. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

I'd like to try to catch you, my four fans, up to speed - but that's just an impossibility. I'll tell you what, when I finish, I'll dedicate an entire blog entry to The Stand then we'll talk. So, let's move on to the few other Reading List items I accomplished this week:

The Glee Season Finale:

Our friends in the New Directions show-choir took last place at regionals, mainly due to some shady judging by Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban. I don't think any of us Glee fans thought they'd actually win against those spoiled Audio Adrenaline brats, but losing to Aural Intensity? That was low, Josh Groban. Low.

I don't think anyone was surprised to find that Sue Sylvester was secretly rooting for our Glee friends. She's the villain you love to hate and we all know that deep down, she's a good person. Her good side doesn't show itself often, but when it does, it's refreshing and welcome.

I give the finale-writers a lot of credit for daring to let New Directions fail. I know I was expecting them to place just high enough to eek by. A hero's failure is not often depicted, but in the end, I suspect we'll admire them more for it.

Son of Rambow:

Here's a movie I'd been looking forward to watching for quite some time. It had been sitting, neatly packaged in a Netflix envelope for seven months, just waiting to be watched. It was with me through Christmas and New Years. It moved with me from Arkansas to Nebraska. Then finally, last Wednesday, I dared open it's red envelope and began to watch.

After all this Netflix dvd and I had been through, I was almost hurt when I discovered the movie wasn't much to my liking. It surely had it's fun moments, but I just didn't connect to the characters. Much of the humor felt forced, contrived. The obvious "weren't-the-80's-so-stupid?" jokes were played out. It's hard to place what was missing from the movie, but I just didn't feel much for it at all. It was far from bad. If you want to see bad, go rent a copy of Dreamcatcher, the movie. And... If you think reading about alien bowel movements is bad, you should try watching it. How did Jason Lee and Morgan Freeman end up in that heap of garbage? I hope they got new agents.

But, I digress. I know the movie was a surprise indy-hit. I know thousands of reviews say otherwise, but the first word that comes to mind when I think about Son of Rambow is - cold. I was never able to form that emotional attachment that is so critical in movie-viewing. Or maybe I'm just old and don't have an eye for quirky anymore? Maybe I've just because the kind of person that can only appreciate Jennifer Aniston comedies? No, wait. I don't think anyone appreciates those...

In the end, that Netflix dvd wound up back in the mailbox, just like all the others... alone, waiting to move on to another (and possibly more appreciative) viewer.


"Glee" - 1 episodes, finale. Still holding at 4.5/5 Stars.
"Son of Rambow" - Movie. 2.5/5 Stars. Boring. Cold.
"King of the Hill" - 2 episodes. This wasn't on my list. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I frequently catch the 2-episode run on Cartoon Network from 9-10pm.

"The Missing Girls: A Shocking True Story of Abduction and Murder" by Linda O'Neal, Rick Watson, and Philip Tennyson. 3/5 Stars. Complete 06/08/10. It's a true crime book. What more can I say?

"The Stand" by Stephen King. 406 pages. 4/5 Stars. I will finish if it kills me. 700 to go...

Other News:
I have chosen to italicize titles for ease from here on out. My recap will continue to use quotation marks. Blogging is an art form and my style will take time to master.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 1 - part 2

Well, here I am. Writing my fourth blog entry in 24 hours. It is my intention in the future, to post just twice a week - but you see, I'm having trouble catching up with myself and so, for this week you are stuck with four entries.

A couple of comments for my friends and followers. First off, thank you for the suggestions. Now, I will never disclose my list, (and I reserve the right to change it at any time) but I can tell you that many of your great suggestions have already made the list. I have plans to dive into "The Big Bang Theory" in the next week or so as well as enter into a few vintage documentaries.

I have also decided, in the spirit of my new-found relationship with blogging, that I will keep track of everything (and I mean everything) that I watch on TV.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about yesterday's media intake. I had plans to finish "The Missing Girls" but they went down the drain after I dove back into "Glee" and managed to watch the final six episodes. I am now caught-up to real time and can watch the season finale on Tuesday with the rest of the world.

After wrapping-up my overindulgent Glee-a-thon last night, I caught myself wondering "Just what is it that I love so much about this show? Is it my obvious resemblance to Rachel Berry?" After all, I once attempted to direct an independent production of "The Sword of Suva," a play written by one of my sister's high school friends... in my back yard... when I was ten. But alas, I am not a Streisand fan and therefore, lack a critical Rachel-esque element. Well then, is it that I relate to all of the characters? What is it that makes this show irresistible to me?

And then I had it.


When was the last time you saw teenagers (or anyone) having fun? I'm not talking about pretend, "look-how-cool-I-am-in-an-effort-to-impress-my-friends" fun. I'm talking about honest-to-goodness, carefree fun.

Probably not recently.

"Glee" in it's simplicity has achieved something somewhat remarkable. It's brought fun and song back into our lives. Sure, some of the songs they sing make me want to gouge my eyes out with a sharp stick, but that's simply a matter of taste. I'm sure not everyone loved the Neil Patrick Harris duet of "Dream on" as much as I did either. Point being, there's something for everyone in this show. I can sit through a few Christina Aguilera songs to get to pieces I want to want to hear and others can sit through my favorites to get what they want.

Fun is not something I had a lot of in high school. Now, thanks to "Glee" it's social acceptable. What's more? We're learning about others and ourselves while watching. Every show contains a powerful "after school special" type of message. And I do love those messages. Whether that message be that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes or the need for self-expression, the show is packed full of them. You can tell those messages to high schoolers all day long, but the fact of the matter is, unless cleverly disguised as a fun TV show, they just aren't going to get it.

In high school, I was fairly neutral. I hung with what was referred to as the "alternative" or "grunge" crowd back in the day. I had purple hair for a time. I wasn't terribly bullied nor was I terribly popular. I floated through. So then why why was I so terrified all of the time? Who was I terrified of?

My friends.

It's true. My own friends were my biggest fear. What if the music I was listening to was too mainstream? What if I liked something that wasn't dark enough? What if they all wanted to become vegetarians and I didn't? What if I thought something from GAP was cute? Forget about being petrified of jocks and popular kids, I was scared of the very social group of which I was a member! I spent years checking out what my friends were doing and then copying it. But only a little. Because in high school, copying someone is treason. You've got to be just like everyone else, but not so much that you're stealing. There's a fine line. Ironically, the girl who took such pride in being a social outcast was doing everything that everyone told her to do.

When I was about to head off to college, I received the most fateful advice I have ever accepted. A actor whom I was in a community theatre production of "The Taming of the Shrew" with, and whom I admired deeply, told me that a degree in Theatre Arts was a waste of time. It was impractical and useless in the long run, that I'd end up as a waitress... etc. And so, I didn't.

I am 31 years old. Do you know what I wish I had? A degree in Theatre Arts.

When you're in high school, you never know how life is to turn out. I never dreamed I'd be a stay at home mom. Am I sad? Not ONE TINY BIT. Would I change it? NEVER. See, no matter how much we change or how things turn out, what we're wearing, or what music we're listeinging we're still the same people. And that same person in me still loves to perform. The fact of the matter is, any degree would have landed me in the same place, because I'm still the same person.

It was somewhere during the "Women are Strong" Madonna-themed episode that I realized - anyone can find a crowd and stick with it, but only the strongest can reinvent themselves based on where they are in life. I like how I've turned out. I like that I wear big jewelry and bright colors. I like that I like thinks that other people don't like. I love that I love television and that my neighbors are frequently treated to loud solo performances of the music of "Les Miserable" or "Rent" - by yours truly of course. I like that some day I might not like my costume jewelry and sport a different look altogether.

The best part about this story? Those friends I was so terrified of. They're still my friends. It turns out they really didn't care all that much what I was doing all along. They probably don't care that I secretly like Lady Gaga and write a dorky TV blog.

This epiphany brought to you by "Glee."

And now, I move on to my next projects. Tomorrow, I delve into "The Stand." Have you seen this book? It's 1200 pages and I swear, 3 inches thick. I'm going to have to get through 100 pages a day to finish it in under 2 weeks. Wish me luck and be prepared to discuss the battle between good and evil.


"Glee" - 6 episodes. Current with live broadcast. Bumped from 4/5 stars to 4.5/5 stars.
"I'm Pregnant and... 'insert horrible life-circumstance here'" - 1 episode (I'm pregnant and... homeless!). I'm not giving this one a rating because, wow. This is one of those shows people watch to feel better about themselves. How about funneling those production costs into a home for that poor woman?

The Missing Girls: A Shocking True Story of Abduction and Murder" by Linda O'Neal, Rick Watson, and Philip Tennyson. 3/5 Stars thus far... scheduled to finish this evening.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 1

I am now just 4 days into Week 1 of my summer reading list (I am no longer using quotation marks around this term, it's not an error, I have decided that they are extraneous and therefore, unnecessary). I will have you know, that I am desperately trying to catch up to present day and that, writing in past tense is not a strong suit for me. Also, my dog is chasing a fly and it's very distracting, you know.

I started my adventure with the "Glee" pilot. The decided advantage of watching "Glee" is that it's a relatively new show which allows me to catch up to current episodes and fill a spot left over from one of the dropped shows from my fall TV queue. What's also unique and exciting about "Glee" for me, is that it's a comedy (mostly) and recently comedy has been in short supply on television. I have been inundated by the macabre- which I love, but comedy, I desperately need. I haven't watched anything even remotely funny since "Friends" wrapped up in 2004.

As the show began, I found myself looking over my shoulder self-consciously. Picture me sitting on my couch thinking "This is really cheesy. I'm alone and yet, embarrassed." But, once the show moved on and I got used to the format (which I think is a refreshing change from crime drama), I was hooked and watched more episodes than any person should ever watch in one week... "Glee," you had me at "Don't Stop Believin'."

Now, in and out of my "Glee" spree (yes, I know, it rhymes) I did make time for a few documentaries that I had been eyeballing. I started by watching the BBC's recent reproduction of "The Diary of Anne Frank". The reviews were very favorable, but it wasn't my favorite production. I felt that the Frank family came off a bit whiny versus courageous. And even though Anne's diary clearly indicates that she was a teenager, who was well... self-centered, as all teenagers are- I felt less of a connection to her and was less inspired than by previous versions. I still have to say, the best-ever production I have seen of the Anne Frank diaries was a live production featuring Natalie Portman, which I saw on Broadway around 1998. On an aside: Rachel Miner, who played Anne's sister, Margot, was engaged to Macualy Culkin at the time and one of the friends bumped into him outside the theatre... which seemed really, really funny at the time.

I also made time to watch not one, but two documentaries regarding the Westboro Baptist Church. If you're unfortunate enough to know who they are, then I'm sorry. I'd only recommend watching if you like to torment yourself. If you don't know who they are, consider yourself forewarned.

The first of the documentaries was "The Most Hated Family in America". In this BBC documentary, a reporter is actually allowed to live with the church (most of which is comprised by a single family) for two weeks. It is certainly an interesting insider's view, but I felt it lacked in storytelling. Now, the second of the documentaries "Fall from Grace" was more of a traditional documentary format, and certainly had more of a storytelling feel to it, but lacked the personal contact the BBC conveyed. That being said, I don't recommend either of them. If there's one thing I did learn from both documentaries, it's that the church loves to be hated. In a roundabout way, by watching either documentary you're giving them what they want - because trust me, you will hate them.

And lastly, I easing my way back into the world of reading with a true crime book entitled "The Missing Girls: A Shocking True Story of Abduction and Murder" by Linda O'Neal, Rick Watson, and Philip Tennyson. This book was selected totally at random. The cover caught my eye at Borders and as it turned out, the events unfolded near the Portland, Oregon area in areas that I am very familiar with. I just so happen to have grown up in the area. As far as literature goes, it's not particularly well-written - but really, are any true crime books? It serves almost no function as far as teaching or self-improvement... but it does make for interesting reading and as a parent, it certainly reassures me that I can never, ever be too over-protective. I have exactly 183 pages read and hope to finish tonight.

In other news, after a failed attempt at mid-air fly catching, my dog had nestled down to sleep in on her favorite chair... until just as I was typing that last sentence, when the fly had the audacity to land on her face. The chase has resumed in full force


"Glee" - 15 episodes complete 4/5 Stars thus far
"The Diary of Anne Frank" BBC production 3/5 Stars
"The Most Hated Family in America" BBC production 3/5 Stars
"Fall from Grace" 4/5 Stars

The Missing Girls: A Shocking True Story of Abduction and Murder" by Linda O'Neal, Rick Watson, and Philip Tennyson. 3/5 Stars thus far

A List is Born

I've just experienced a minor crisis. I have used the last of my Bounce dryer sheets and will be forced to use a generic substitute for the remainder of the day. In an effort to further my blog, I am resisting the urge to make an immediate trip to Target in search of a synthetic summer scent, which will give my clothes the perfect mix of freshness and softness.

I suppose I'll begin my first true entry with spring 2010, television Finale season, the time in which the "Summer Reading List" was composed. Now, during network television season, I am an avid follower of:

2. FlashForward
3. House
4. Law and Order: SVU
5. Grey's Anatomy
6. Private Practice
7. American Idol
8. Dancing with the Stars
9. Many, many syndicated programs on cable.

I have to admit, it was difficult for me to fess up to "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars"- specifically because this is the first season I've watched either of them and until now, had taken pride in my aversion to reality-TV. But, in the spirit of blog honesty, I came clean. (Applause!) Hello, my name is Amy, and I watch bad TV.

In brief recap: LOST has come to a close and "FlashForward" has been canceled. Though, I have it on good authority that the folks over at the Facebook "SAVE FLASHFORWARD" page have arranged to send 20,000 friendship bracelets to the head of programming at ABC, in an act of willful defiance...
*"House" was somewhat subdued this season and ended on a very subdued note.
*"Law and Order: SVU" is hard to really look at from a season-to-season standpoint, because every episode opens and closes an entire mystery- that being said, it was decent season, filled with an apt amount of surprise and horror.
*"Grey's Anatomy" was rather dull this season, but the finale... Wow! Unrealistic, but fantastic! Bravo!
*I'm not speaking to "Private Practice" right now. They killed off Dell. I have nothing to say to them.
*Someone won both "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars" one was more surprising that the other. Neither too surprising at all.

So, there I was. The season had ended. My all-time favorite show, LOST, had ended. I felt oddly, alone. Given that I had just completed a multi-state move and had to start my life over from scratch (and the unpacking... oh, the unpacking!)... reading hadn't been high on my priority list. After much deliberation, I decided that, in the interest of filling hours- I'd simply look into catching up on a few shows and books that had been recommended to me.

At first, I started with Netflix, where I quickly came up with a handful of TV shows and movies. Then I moved on to, where I tracked down a few interesting books. And that was that.

It wasn't until a few days later, when my son requested more "Magic Tree House" books, that I found myself inside a large Borders store in Omaha. It was at this Borders bookstore that I stumbled into a True Crime section, which peaked my curiosity (and prompted the purchase of a few frivolous books) and passed by a "Staff Recommends!" shelf. On that shelf were copies of "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini and "The Stand" by Stephen King. Both of which, I am intimately familiar with. You see, "The Kite Runner" has the distinct honor of being named my number-1 favorite book of all time. And "The Stand", well, it's a guilty pleasure I suppose. I've never been a huge fan of Stephen King, but every once in a while his style just sort of "clicks" with me. I made a mental note to reread "The Kite runner, threw "The Stand" in my basket and left the store with $42 worth of new literature and a "Magic Tree House" book for my son.

Later that evening, as I poured over the new books I'd bought I began thinking about other books that I'd read and loved or had started and never finished. By midnight, my thoughts had overwhelmed me, and the list was born. At this point, it's grown to such epic proportions, it's almost comical.

But, comical or not, I am excited about reading again. I am excited about the amazing television and film that surrounds me. I am excited about learning... And so I begin...


I have a problem. An addiction.





In that order.

I am an unabashed television enthusiast. I post random, unimportant-but-all-too-often-comical Facebook quips on a regular basis. I prowl the aisles of Borders looking for books I can't live without. I am the owner of a Netflix queue so lengthy a person couldn't get through it without a month of solid television-watching.

I am a chronic list-maker and lover of everything. I love every subject. Drama. History. Comedy. Documentary. True Crime. Biography.

It's June of 2010, and my mass media addiction has become so great that I've actually made a list for myself. I call it my "Summer Reading List," and though I know the odds of completing it in a single summer are physically impossible, I still hang on the notion that this addiction is somehow temporary and might fade come fall.

Now, this list is not handwritten on post-it note, I'm talking a Word document, here. In my life a Word document is a list of the utmost importance. I have three categories of list. 1. Post-it or iphone note. Typically, these are items of low importance and can be accomplished with a quick trip to Target 2. The notepad. The notepad is typically where I itemize my day. I do this every day. I try to include everything minus eating and getting dressed. A typical entry might include "water flowers" or "clean upstairs bathrooms." The more I can include on this list, the better. I can lay down at night, look at the list and feel as if I accomplished quite a bit. Last, of course, there's list number 3. The Word Document. The Word Document is reserved for lofty and often unobtainable goals. Long term. Seasonal. Impractical.

Is this all-important list worth of a blog? I'm not sure. I'm certainly not cooking my way through Julia Child's cookbook or chronicling a journey of self-recovery. I suspect I may make a few people laugh along the way. That's worth something, right?

Now, before we begin, I have to address one issue. I know from a lot of personal experience, that when hidden behind the anonymity of a screen name, people can be cruel. If you ever want to know how people are really feeling about things, check out a message board. I have a sneaking suspicion people are going to ask me how, as a mother of two young children, I can possibly find time to cram this much media into my life without being outright neglectful. Or, God forbid, my absolute worse fear, someone my accuse me of being lazy. So, I suppose I'll just go ahead and address those issues upfront so we can all be on the same page. I'd like to address said issues with the following 6-point, list:

1. I'm new in town.
-I recently relocated from the greater Little Rock, AR region to the greater Omaha, NE region. I'm under-friended, under-obligated, and under-committed. Simply put, I haven't had time to overwhelmingly over-commit myself yet.

2. It's summer.
-The weather is nice, there is a park mere feet from my back door, there are about 10 million kids for my kids to play with outside. I am not invited to participate, but I do tend to supervise from the comfort of a park bench. I may as well read a book while keeping one ear tuned in to any elementary aged potty humor and or inappropriate behavior.

3. I am organized.
-If you're imagining me sitting in front of the TV all day long, in messy home, ignoring the laundry and dishes, you're wrong. I have a freakishly clean house. I never, ever pick up a book or turn on the TV until my to do list is complete. If it's laundry that needs tending to, I read or watch between cycles.

4. I take breaks.
-I just took 30 minute break from this blog to play school with my daughter. I received an informative lesson on paper plate painting, along with a select group of My Little Ponies. I took my kids to the pool for almost four hours yesterday, 3.5 of which, I played directly with them. The other .5 I sat on the edge of the pool next to them. You get the point...

5. I'm well prepared.
-I have several computers, some portable, some not. I have an iphone. I keep media ready at all times. I can check Facebook mobile at a moment's notice. I have a backup book on my kindle app. There's usually a book in my purse. I can watch, post, or read from anywhere at any time, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

6. I drink a lot of coffee, I'm an insomniac, and I'm alone a lot.
-I do drink a lot of coffee. That's just a fact. My husband is gone on trips or works night, I'd say... 50% of the time, give or take. I have low sleep needs. Think of this as an equation of sorts, when you put your kids in bed at 8:30- some of you may spend time with your significant others. I don't. He's not here. This frees me up until about 12:30am when inevitably, I am smacked in the face, reminding me that I have one again fallen asleep with a book in my hand. I can accomplish a lot in 4 hours. With the help of a DVR or free online services, a sitcom takes just 22 minutes, a drama, just 43. That's more than ten sitcoms or five dramas. It's two movies or two-hundred pages in a book. And that's just after my kids are asleep! That even include the park bench!

I've been told many times that I should start this blog, but I haven't due to fear that someone would accuse me of being lazy or needing to do something more productive with my time. The fact of the matter is, I do quite a lot of volunteer work, I am heavily involved in community theatre, and I have held part time job for the last 4 years. Generally speaking, none of those things had that much of an effect on how much media I consumed. There's just too much out there that I want to be a part of! If you don't like me after that charming 6-point presentation of why I am not a drain on society, well, I just can't help you.

If you've somehow managed to get through this prologue, I commend you. I will be taking a quick break to work on some laundry, at which point I will return for a recap of last week.