Friday, August 27, 2010

One-Hit Wonders: August 2010 terms inexplicably pulling up this blog...
  • "the whole universe is against me" george
  • landmark crazy self help
  • milla goldenberg boyfriend
  • ferris bueller looking at art#i=1
  • "jdate horror stories"
  • a reasonable life is the lowest form of living
  • tiny milky tit
  • sears tower spilt cigarette
  • how to diaper a teenager
  • lab puppy with french manicure
  • does satan smell like a skunk

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Metacritic Triple Feature

here’s proof that all the time i’ve spent neglecting this blog has been time well spent. i’m pretty stoked to be writing about reality television, a long-standing guilty pleasure of mine. now if i could only figure out how to parlay my addiction to taco sauce into a career, i’d be set.

the first article ranks the 10 best and 5 worst reality TV competitions of all time. i’ll confess only to you guys that i haven’t seen all the shows i ranked, just read about them online, but i definitely plan to see VH1’s “Tool Academy” because a show that turns douchebag reform into a competitive sport sounds awesome.
Ranked: TV’s Best and Worst Reality Competition Shows
When Survivor and Big Brother premiered in 2000, the competitive reality show was all but unheard of. By 2003, the Emmys had created an award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, which followed on the heels of the award for Outstanding Reality Program, created in 2001. In 2008, the hosts of reality programs were honored with a category of their own.

Today, there are schools for people who aspire to be contestants on reality competitions. And there are competitions that test virtually everything — from one’s kitchen skills to modeling chops to design expertise, with prizes that include professional contracts, cash money and even the chance to...

next up is a ranking of “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” seasons, which didn’t go over very well with the Metacritic crowd, who left very few comments on the piece, most of which amounted to “these shows suck and i can’t believe you bothered to rank them.” whatever, cool guys. i had fun writing this and, most importantly, i got paid to do it.
Ranked: Best and Worst Seasons of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
We can only imagine how insane industry types thought the idea for The Bachelor was when they first heard it in 2001. Find love on a reality TV competition? Who would sign up for that? And the final couple is supposed to get engaged at the end of the season after dating for only six weeks? Surely, no one is that foolish. But foolish they were and they did sign up in droves, producing 14 seasons of the hit series and six of its spin-off, The Bachelorette.

Hosted by the timeless Chris Harrison, the franchise has kept a loyal following through the years of contestant cattiness, whirlwind dates in faraway places, hot tub make-out sessions and, of course, the most dramatic rose ceremonies...

finally, we have a list of must-see reality TV premiering this fall. worst thing about this article is that the “Untitled David Hasselhoff Project” had not yet released details at presstime so the show had to be omitted from the list. (i’ll catch you next season, Hoff!) best thing about this article is the first comment: “Cool, more partisan leftist ideological hackery soaking through even the most politcally irrelevant articles. And the left wonders why the rest of America is so fed up.” i love the internet!
Fall Reality TV Preview: 15 New & Returning Shows
As the summer winds down and kids start getting ready for school, the fall lineup of reality TV programming follows, with the networks rolling out a show for every night of the week. The crop of returning series this season is mostly predictable, with tried-and-true reality favorites such as Survivor, The Apprentice, America’s Next Top Model and The Amazing Race — all of which are premiering a double-digit season. Shows featuring trainwrecks are also making a comeback, as evidenced by Hoarders and Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.

The new series include Sarah Palin’s shamelessly self-promoting TLC special on the great state of Alaska, plus MTV’s intriguing take on documentary filmmaking, The World of Jenks. This season also debuts recession-themed programming, seen in the WE’s new series Downsized and the unemployed executives competing on...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chakra Kadabra

needless to say, these past few months have been a bit wonky for me, with fallout that i’m still trying to process. if i’m proud of anything at all, it’s that my process as a 34-year-old is so much healthier than it was at 24 when i was more prone to self-destructive behavior. all i will say about that time is thank god this blog didn’t exist back then.

today, my process is much tamer, borderline boring even, as i meditate and do yoga through my stress. i’ve also been spending a lot of time alone, working mostly, but also sitting and thinking, with a restlessness pulling at my insides. it’s a restlessness i know all too well, nondescript but imposing, this time pulling me toward something rather than spinning in place as it has before. until about a month ago, it had been pulling at me nonstop. my choice to attend the Landmark Forum in april was likely a part of its pull, drawing me toward anything that looked like it could help me through my flux.

it’s a mixed bag for me, this self-help stuff. generally, i like some of it, up until the point that i begin to hate it, at which point i hate all of it with a passion. Landmark was a good example of this hatred, with its churchy dogma and stupid lingo of affirmations that required me to submit to them at the expense of everything i knew to be true. fuck that.

self-help books also evoke this hatred, as i cannot get through a single chapter of a self-help book without wanting to vomit. to me, they are like romantic comedies — with the same predictable formula dressed up in new packaging. uninspired and insipid. you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. fuck them, too.

i hear therapy is good, though i’ve never been despite all my closest friends telling me i should go. (what’s up with that, anyway?) but i worry that my bachelors in psychology will render me the Worst Patient Ever, one who will get up and leave the instant i hear the shrink say, “that must have been really hard for you. talk to me about how that made you feel.” yeah, fuck you, too.

i don’t do pills either. i don’t doubt that others need theirs and i don’t judge them for it. they can take their xanax, valium, prozac, lithium and oxycontin. i really don’t care. personal choices are personal. and my personal choices will have me finding joy in my dogs, my friends, fine food, good music, books and art. the meditation, yoga and time alone have also worked wonders. but still, that damn restlessness keeps pulling.

recently, its pull led me to the door of a psychic, who was really more of a healer. she came highly recommended, so i traveled to Cambria for an overnight trip with a friend to see her. i met her for about an hour and a half of conversation and a clearing of the chakras. i’ve seen my fair share of psychics before, one of them very good, but most of them bad to average.

as a psychic, Darcy wasn’t particularly extraordinary. she did see a few things about the future, none of which i care to share here and all of which she qualified with the disclaimer that she’s taking my temperature only on that day and that we could have a different reading on another day. free will and those pesky personal choices make very few things in life preordained.

we talked a little about the past, which i already know, so there’s little point in talking about it. she did see a few things, among them my father’s recent heart problem, which she said has resolved itself for now, which is good. she said my own health was also good. then she told me that one of the “guides” watching over me is a grandmother whose name has an E and N in it. (my maternal grandma’s name was Eugenia.)

then i laid down on a massage table for the chakra clearing and that’s when she really earned her wage. the seven chakras are new agey shit i can really get behind. yoga and meditation had introduced me to them already, but i never had them cleared so i didn’t know what to expect.

Darcy started at my base chakra and worked her way up to my head, her hands not really touching me, just hovering over my body. as she moved up my spine, she would stop and see things. she saw where i was in my cycle, she saw that the titanium rods in my back were near my heart chakra. she said i was too tethered to the past and needed to let it all go, and at one point “pulled out the tethers.” she saw where there were blockages (my third eye chakra) and where there were none (my throat chakra, which she said was clear because i “speak my truth”). she finished by “shooting some light into my spine” and sending positive energy through my body.

the clearing must have lasted less than half an hour. oddly, i didn’t really feel any sensation in my body during the process, not even tingles. but when she was done, wow, did i ever feel amazing. my back felt super straight, my head clear and light, my body perfectly balanced. i was relaxed but awake, calm but energized, as though i had just emerged from a spa. and that pesky restlessness had finally ceased. i took a walk in town afterwards, drank tea (which i rarely drink) and bought a moonstone ring at a local shop. everything was wonderful and illuminated. i was happy and serene.

that evening, i enjoyed a laughter-filled dinner with my friend and a night of dreamless sleep. as we drove back to LA the following day, the goodness didn’t subside, staying with me for an additional few days. then the tide turned and the bloodletting began.

apparently, chakra clearings can produce some intense side effects that include crying fits, feelings of dread and obsessive thoughts about failed relationships. of course, this disclaimer was nowhere on the warning label. but here came the sorrow, pouring out of me like a fountain of vomit and, despite my best efforts, i could not stuff that genie back in the bottle. i was a mess. so i let it pour and pour it did. for two solid weeks, there were tears, vodka drinks and the replaying of far too many sad songs. it was awesome!

actually, it sucked ass, but it also needed to happen. i knew i had been avoiding the heavy processing i needed to do — taking refuge in work, in my bravado, anything that would distract me from the restless pull that needed to pull me to the ground. of course it won out in the end, as it always has, pulling me to the door of the healer who worked her magic on me and gave me not what i wanted, but what i needed.

now, four weeks after the clearing, i am feeling loads better despite the occasional pulls into mess mode. but i don’t fight them anymore. i let the visits come and snake around me, suffocating me momentarily before releasing their grip and taking the sorrow with them when they leave. i know the visits will become less frequent with time. and i know i’ll keep pushing through them because i have to.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Gone, Baby, Gone

all the comments from the first seven years of this blog have vanished. i’m trying to be all zen about it, but i’m royally pissed off. i’m mostly pissed at myself for ignoring the emails i got notifying me that my old comments service provider, Haloscan, was being taken over and dissolved, taking its database of comments with it.

i should have paid more attention to it, i realize, but i was busy breaking up with my boyfriend and trying to keep my head screwed on. i couldn’t be bothered. so now i’ve been bothering the customer service reps who work for Haloscan’s new owner, Echo, who keep telling me, “your comments are now GONE. didn’t you get our emails?” yes, yes, i got them but aren’t they tucked away somewhere safe? nothing ever really disappears from the internets, right?

ok, so no comments. i’m sure i’ve reread them more than anyone else did, and i will miss them more than anyone else will. it’s all very sad. RIP, my little friends. maybe i should throw them a funeral. or maybe you all should go back and leave some new comments on old posts. we can re-live 2005 together.

in other news, something else important has disappeared: my free time. these past few weeks have buried me under a pile of freelance work that i’m not even close to digging my way out of. august will be my busiest month of this year, with looming deadlines for a magazine i copy edit, a website i’m helping to launch and articles i’ve promised to write. this means blogging will be light this month, which sucks because i have news to share about my awesome new roommate, my visit to a psychic and even a new home improvement chronicle.

on the bright side, my wallet will be heavy, which is good because mama needs a new couch. i also need a massage, a facial, a vacation, a gardener and a cabana boy to peel me grapes. for now, though, i’ll settle for just a little more sleep. the past few weeks have been stressful and the next few will be even worse. but when they’re done, hopefully i can have some serious fun.