Getting Caught Up: TV Edition

As you may or may not know, my favorite time of year is fast approaching! Fall? I do like it, but it’s not my favorite. My birthday? Pretty darn good, but still not my favorite. New television? HELL to the YES! I got my Fall TV Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly last Monday and I’ve been saving it for just the right time. But before I unleash the onslaught of new TV upon you, I figured I’d catch you up on television that I’ve discovered during the past year. I’m definitely a latecomer to a few of these, but hopefully at least one will be a new jewel of a recommendation for you.

Quick Draw (Hulu/Hulu Plus)

OMG, I loooooove Quick Draw so much! It’s a mostly improvised fish-out-of-water story – Sheriff John Henry Hoyle is Harvard-educated (as he is always quick to mention) and is attempting to bring law and order to the Wild West town of Great Bend, Kansas in 1875. The supporting cast are great and they’re all hilarious. I honestly can’t recommend Quick Draw enough – go watch it!

The League (Wednesdays @ 9:00-9:30 CST, F/XX, past seasons available on Netflix or Amazon Prime)

I don’t remember what made me turn to The League one evening on Netflix, but it seemed that I’d heard good things about it. After the first episode, I thought ‘Wow, these characters are SUPER unlikable… I’m going to watch another episode.’ Five seasons later and I still don’t know why I’m hooked, but I am. Hooked!

Archer (F/X, season 6 begins in early 2015, past seasons available on Netflix)

I’ve been trying to watch this show for ages – so many people whose tastes I really respect absolutely adore Archer. I tried a year or two ago and just couldn’t get into it. For whatever reason, the timing just wasn’t right. But a few months ago, the stars must have aligned because I love it – it’s so funny! Highly, highly recommended.

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, season 3 begins in mid-2015)

Yet another one that i’d heard was good from a lot of different people and yet had never really had much interest in. But we signed up for Netflix as part of our fuck-you to the cable company and one day while I was dog sitting and waiting for said dog to remember me and stop trying to eat me I decided to just check this out. So glad I did! It’s not a perfect show – I have conflicting feelings about the main character, Piper – but we’re really enjoying it!

Game of Thrones (HBO, season 5 begins in spring of 2015)

I think we may be the very last people on the planet to watch Game of Thrones. I had been planning on attempting to read the books before watching the show, but given that we’re already in season 5 of the show and each of those books is a doorstopper, I figured it just wasn’t going to happen and we dove in. There are a TON of people to keep track of – lots of men with beards – and lots of different story lines going all at once, but once we had sort of figured out who was who, we mainlined the rest of the series in a couple of weeks. So good! And it’s so much fun to gasp at each twist and turn and unexpected beheading! (It can be just the teensiest bit gory at times…) I’m Team Daenerys at the moment – well, really I’m Team Arya, but I don’t think she’s going to ascend to the throne of Westeros any time soon. Watch it!

House of Cards (Netflix, season 3 begins February of 2015…probably)

Drew was very excited to watch this one – I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised given how much he loved West Wing. It took me a little longer to get into – I was still overwhelmed from the flurry of Game of Thrones episodes we were coming off of – but once I figured out which middle-aged white dude was which, I was in! So twisty and plotty and good – and quite a few OMG moments which are always fun (I was spoiled for one thing but another thing took me completely by surprise – I definitely did not see that coming!)! Very, very good – can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

@midnight (Monday-Thursday @ 11:00 CST, Comedy Central)

My next edition of Getting Caught Up will be a podcasts edition – I’ve really gotten into podcasts lately – and I stumbled across this show as a result of my favorite podcast, Doug Loves Movies. In one episode, the host, Doug Benson, mentioned that he was going to be on an episode of @midnight, so I thought I should look into it. It’s sort of a comedy panel game show type thing hosted by Chris Hardwick. Basically he and three comedians riff on various pop culture happenings. It’s funny and features a lot of comedians that we enjoy from other podcasts (it’s a very incestuous group of comedians that we seem to gravitate toward) and is a good way to keep up with Internet goings-on! Squatch what happens! ;)

I CAN FUCKING DO THIS!

Oh, dear, it’s been so long… Is anybody still out there? Well, it has been absolute aaaaaages since I last posted anything on my blog. It’s been a bit of a rough year, though I think things are on the way back up again. At least, that’s what I’m determined to make happen! So let me do my best to catch you up:

  1. Drew got a job teaching saxophone in Wisconsin.
  2. I got a temporary-potentially-permanent job at the same place as their music librarian.
  3. We moved and started our jobs in the span of about two days which was super-duper stressful.
  4. My condo didn’t sell. And didn’t sell. And still didn’t sell.
  5. I got depressed.
  6. I was really missing my friends and family.
  7. I got more depressed.
  8. The winter here SUCKED. Like, seriously sucked.
  9. My depression got the better of me.

But then:

  1. Spring finally came!
  2. I switched to a new antidepressant that, along with my vitamin D, has made a huge difference!
  3. My condo sold!
  4. We made it through the summer even though money was tight!
  5. I got the permanent version of my job!
  6. I’m still missing my friends and family and I can’t really say that the depression is gone – some days are better than others – but I’m taking it day by day and things are getting better.
  7. I managed to rekindle my passion for reading – I didn’t realize just how much I missed it!
  8. I’ve made a plan to pay off my credit card debt and start saving money!
  9. I’m working to get rid of these extra 40 pounds that showed up – it’s hard dealing with a completely different 30-some-odd-year-old metabolism stacked on depression stacked on a winter that was made for carbs and warm blankets – and I’m going to do my darnedest to eat better and get back into shape (such as it was)!

So, yeah, I have things that I’m excited about and that I look forward to every day – reading, practicing my French and Spanish, practicing the upright bass and the bass recorder – that keep me going, along with support from Drew and my family and new and old friends.

I think you can guess my new mantra – say it with me:

Mantra

Yeah, we went a little overboard…

Jillian and I had a TV party a couple of weeks ago, too, and we…went a little crazy with the food that we made.

I made Cherry Cheesecake Scones (white chocolate-cherry scones with chunks of actual cheesecake baked in them), Apple Cheddar Beer (Cider) Bread (very nice – sweet and savory at the same time), Blueberry Goat Cheese Focaccia (also tasty – and pretty easy, too, which was a nice surprise), and a Chocolate Babka (which was unexpectedly and hilariously huge – but also very tasty, sweet but not too sweet, though I think the cream cheese filling could have actually used a bit of sugar). Jillian brought her famous cheesy bread, adapted from this version at Simply Recipes, Shrimp With Fennel (which was very yummy – with a nice bit of heat to it), and gorgeous Corn Cakes With Avocado Salsa (holy cats, yum!).

We could barely make it through two rounds of food, but it was worth the food comas we had by the time we were done. And they didn’t stop us from picking away at thirds (and fourths). Combine all this yummy food with an afternoon of Parks and Rec and Veep and it was very nearly a perfect day!

Who knew people from Bement were so speedy?!

I’m behind and getting caught up!

Two, wait…three Saturdays ago, Mom and I headed out to Bement to run in the Bement Old Glory Days 5K. It was a fairly small group, compared to the races we’ve been doing – they didn’t even have chip timing, just a bunch of guys at the finish line with stop watches! We all lined up, ready to go, the guy in charge said “On your marks,” everyone took a very professional-looking starting posture, Mom and I said “What the–” and we were off! And when I say off, I mean off – people were sprinting away from the start line. We kept to our usual pace – “We’ll catch up to them, they’ll get tired, you’ll see,” I said. Except we only passed two people! Who knew!

The course was very nice – flat and scenic – but the day ended up being hotter than I’d anticipated when I got up, so I was a bit overdressed which I think really affected my time. We were much slower than we’ve been the last few times. I can’t actually tell you what our time was because they haven’t posted our times yet, but I think it was maybe around 37 minutes or so? So not terrible for us, but not as good as we’ve been doing. But Mom still came second in her age group – I just have to stick with running for 30 more years and then I’ll start getting medals!

Wanna see something gross?

This weekend, Drew and I drove to Columbus to go to a wedding reception for two of his friends. I got to meet some of Drew’s close friends from MSU and we had a lot of fun at the wedding reception!

Or we did until I got bitten by something. At first I figured it was just a mosquito bite – the reception had been open to the outdoors – and when my foot started to get a bit puffy, I figured it was just because I’d been wearing heels and dancing and generally o

n my feet for the last few hours. When it didn’t go down over the next two days, Drew started to worry and convinced me to go to Convenient Care.

Can you tell which one is the puffy one?

Thank goodness he did – the doctor there said that if I’d waited a day or so longer, they would have had to lance my foot open to drain it! D: As it is, I’ve got some antibiotics and I’m supposed to keep it iced, elevated, and wrapped in an Ace bandage (which I’ll have to get on my way to work tomorrow). If it doesn’t start looking better in the next day or two, I’m supposed to head back in and *gulp* hope they don’t have to lance anything…

Cross your fingers for my feet!

I didn’t choose the Girl Scout life, the Girl Scout life chose me…

Friday night brought some fairly serious weather to the midwest – I was staying out at my parents’ house since Mom and I were going to be up early the next morning for our 5K and at 10:30pm, the tornado sirens went off. We grabbed the pets and headed to the basement for the next 15 minutes or so during which the wind really whipped up a storm! When all was clear, we headed back to bed, hoping to get at least a little sleep that night.

At 4:30 the next morning we were up and on the road to the SIU-Edwardsville campus for the Thin Mint Sprint 5K to benefit the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. As we got closer to our destination, we started noticing trees that seemed to have been snapped in half along with downed and bent telephone poles. We even saw one or two barns that had been destroyed during the night! By the time we arrived, noticing that the power seemed to be out all over Edwardsville, it was raining again. When we checked in, they told us that, due to storm damage and debris, the half marathon had been changed to a 10K (they would just do the 5K route twice). As the start time neared, they made another announcement – there was now too much debris on the 5K route, so they were busy remarking a new route that the 5K runners would run twice while the 10K runners would run 4 times.

It was still raining, so Mom and I waited in the car.

P to the L to the G to the S! I told Mom to look tough, but she just looks sort of uncomfortable…

There was a bit of confusion about the route once the races started – apparently, the signs that they’d put out to mark the new route blew away and the volunteers weren’t really sure where we were supposed to go either! But I think they eventually got us all sorted out.

By the time we finished, we were soaked through! It was cool but not too chilly since we were moving around. After I accidentally stepped in my first puddle, I gave up worrying about it and just splorshed my way for the rest of the race. When we’d started, we said to ourselves “Well, we won’t be setting any personal bests today, it’s just for fun.” But sure enough, when they posted the results this morning…we set new personal bests! Mom left me behind and finished in 33:17 which is a 10:44/mile pace and came third in her age category and I finished in 33:29 which is a 10:48/mile pace! Woo hoo!