Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Primetime TV

Finding Myself In Television Shows

Am I the only one who looks at a good deal of my life through a Sex and the City lens? I think if you fall in a certain age range (pretty much anyone born between 1970-2000), there’s a good chance this show occupies a corner of your life. Maybe you were an adult when it came out and watched it as it mirrored your life. Maybe you discovered it because your mother/sister/college roommate was obsessed and insisted you’d love it too. Maybe you stumbled across it like I did, back when Netflix DVDs were still a new and amazing facet of life.

In case you hadn’t heard, last week was the 20th anniversary of the premier of the show. Since I loved it so much in college, I’ve been doing a deep dive. I read old Sex & the City columns for the first time. I read a young Cosmo’s writer take on “living like Carrie.” And I read think pieces arguing about how groundbreaking it was, how it lacked diversity, etc., etc..

I think time has done Samantha well. People appreciate her sex positivity. They love that she didn’t give a damn what anyone thought of her. I think time has been less friendly to Carrie. Look at what came up when I googled “Carrie Bradshaw was trash.”

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. An article all about it popped up on my google feed not too long ago. You can read it for yourself here.

As much as I wanted to binge-watch the entire series over in celebration of the 20th anniversary, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m not putting myself back in the frame of mind that made me grateful for the diversity crumb that saw Jennifer Hudson cast in the SATC movie. No thank you. I’d rather wait for the next season of Insecure to premier (August 12th!!).

But still there’s this:

It’s a piece of “art” I bought on “the street” years ago. I think it was back during one of my first trips to NYC. I drove here, on a rather impromptu road trip with my girls, for an in-person job interview. My husband wanted to move to NYC, and so I wanted to make his dream a reality. I even have a picture of that evening in Times Square when I bought the picture that still hangs on the wall in my bedroom. Want to see it? Of course you do. I looked like I fell out off of a Forever 21 mannequin display and was proud of it. Perhaps the shades of lipstick I used to choose are the reason I was less confident in a bright red lip back then…

Well, the internet has me convinced I do NOT want to be a Carrie, haha. She was far too vanilla for me anyway. The heteronormativity and the barely hidden homo- and biphobia irritate me to no end. And the way she would have these moments of silence (read: silent judgement) whenever one of her friends’ stories got too extra was the worst. Besides, these four white women aren’t the only friendships shown on TV. There are plenty of others for me to figure out which archetype I am.

There’s Living Single:

There’s Girlfriends:

There’s Insecure:

I’m gonna figure out which one of those I am instead on continuing to fuss over SATC. Too bad there aren’t any handy quizzes out there to help me learn if I’m a Joan or a Maxine or an Issa. But wait! There is! Sort Of! Not for Living Single (does the show pre-date Buzzfeed? That’s prolly why), but there are quizzes for the other two.

This 8-Question Quiz Will Tell You Which “Insecure” Character You Are. This quiz covers all the characters, not just the women, but I’ll take what I can get.

Which “Living Single” Character Are You?. Same. All the characters.

Okay, I’mma go off for one quick second. See this is what the fuck I mean about intersectionality! Y’all so busy lumping us into the women category or the black category, there’s no space for black women. I’m looking for the space for just us, but nope, we gotta get in where we fit in. And Buzzfeed tells me that separating me from my brothers isn’t an option. Surprise, sur-fucking-prise. Whatever. Here’s my quiz results.

Nope, not giving you my quiz results yet. What the fuck is this question?!?!?!?!?!?!

Do I need to talk about how the only two options with white folks are “chic and sophisticated” and “preppy and minimalist”???? Really buzzfeed, y’all couldn’t find no black people on Getty Images to represent those styles?? This, ladies and gentleman, is what is referred to as a microaggression. Ugh, okay, back to my quiz results.

Trying not to be irritated by this intergender quiz because my results are actually quite spot on, lol. Whatever.

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Grey’s Anatomy Character Ages

I don’t know why my previous post on this topic, from years ago, is so popular, but I decided to bring that information over into a new post so all the updates and edits read a bit clearer. If you want to struggle through the old post feel free.

I am estimating that in this 12th season, the show has covered just under 9 years of real time. This includes a five year surgical residency for the main core cast (of whom only Meredith and Alex are left), then various career paths that add up to just under 4 years of time. Wikia disagrees with me and thinks it’s been just under 5. You can see my detailed explanation of how Meredith spent her time to see exactly how I’m adding it up.

I wrote the original post in December 2011, during Season 8, right after Derek & Meredith officially adopt Zola. At that time, I estimated Meredith to be around 36 years old.

For this update, I’ll also focus on Meredith Grey. I’m going to say more than I will for the other characters, so you get an idea of how I’m tracking the passing time: Her residency class finished residency and became fellows or attendings in the start of Season 9, where Grey is already 3 weeks pregnant with Derek Bailey Shepherd. She has that baby at the end of Season 9. It seems that she carries her baby to almost-if-not-definitely full term, so Season 10 begins 9 months-ish after Season 9.

We’re to a full year later during season 10 when Matt & April almost get married in the Season 10 mid-winter finale. Derek and Meredith struggle through the rest of Season 10, with her realizing she doesn’t need him, but she wants him. Not too long after that is when Derek comes home for a few weeks/months early in Season 11, then dies a few episodes before the Season 11 finale. In those last few episodes of Season 11, Meredith is gone for the length of a full term pregnancy, let’s just say 9 months because it obviously take a while to find out she’s pregnant, returning to her mother’s house in the season finale.

Season 12 starts approximately 3 months after that.  We lost a few months here and there in single jumps due to Penny showing up, Meredith getting attacked in the ER, suddenly April is 12 weeks pregnant, etc. Total time since Dec 2011:  just shy of 4 years (really like 3 years and ten months), so I estimate Meredith Grey to be 40-ish.

Please see below for the character list, mostly transferred over from my previous blog post about this topic.

CURRENT CAST MEMBERS

Ellen Pompeo: plays Meredith Gray; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 40-ish (completed college at 25, did nothing for 3 or so years, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, just under 2 years attending, just under 1 year “sabbatical”, currently in her 1st year as general surgery chief)

Justin Chambers: plays Alex Karev; actual age is [45]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, few months with Dr. Butthole, currently in his 2nd year as a pediatric surgical attending)

Chandra Wilson: plays Miranda Bailey; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 24, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of surgery)

James Pickens, Jr.: plays Richard Webber; actual age is [61]; character’s age is around 62 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, {1 year residency pre-sleeping with Ellis Grey} + Meredith Grey’s age – 5)

Sara Ramirez: plays Callie Torres; actual age is [40]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 2 years peace corps, 5 year surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of orthopedic surgery)

Kevin McKidd: plays Owen Hunt; actual age is [42] ; character’s age is around 46 (completed college at age 23, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, joined the Army after 9/11/01, discharged in 2008, 4 years as attending, 1-ish year chief of surgery, currently in his 2nd year as chief of trauma surgery)

Jessica Capshaw: plays Arizona Robbins; actual age is [39]; character’s age is around 38 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2-3 years that we know of at Seattle Grace as an attending, currently in her 4th year as pediatric surgery chief, including <12 months accelerated fellowship with Dr. Herman )

Sarah Drew: plays April Kepner; actual age is [35]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, currently in her 4th year as a trauma surgery attending, including sabbaticals to do some Doctors without Borders type situation for at least 12-15 months total that I can calculate)

Jesse Williams: plays Jackson Avery; actual age is [34]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 1-2 years plastic surgery attending, currently in his 2nd year as plastic surgery chief )

Caterina Scorsone: plays Amelia Shepherd; actual age is [34]; character’s age has to be at least 38, more likely 40 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 year neurosurgical residency, 1-3 years teaching fellow, 2-5 years as neurosurgeon on Private Practice, currently in her 2nd year as neurosurgical chief)

Camilla Luddington: plays Jo Wilson; actual age is [32]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Jerrika Hinton; plays Stephanie Edwards; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school,, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Kelly McCreary: plays Maggie Pierce; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 32 (completed college at age 17-ish, 3 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 3 years cardiothoracic surgical fellowship, 2-3 years cardiothoracic surgical head at some other hospital, currently in her 2nd year as cardiothoracic surgical chief… AND we know her actual birthdate)

Giancomo Gianniotti: plays Andrew DeLuca; actual age is [26]; character’s age is at least 28, no more than 31 (completed high school at age 18, 1-4 years as EMT, 4 years college, 4 years medical school, currently is his 1st year as a surgical intern)

Martin Henderson: plays Nathan Riggs; actual age is [41]; character’s age is anywhere between 44-47 based on time spent with Hunt in med school (completed college at age 22-24, 4 years medical school when he met Hunt, 5 years surgical residency, some time with Hunt as an Army trauma surgeon, some time with Kepner while doing her Doctors without Borders thing, currently in his 1st year as a cardiothoracic attending)

Jason George: plays Ben Warren; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 38-ish (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 4 year anesthesia residency, came to Seattle Grace from Mercy West as an attending, so let’s say he was an attending for 2-ish years, then attending at Seattle Grace for 2 years, 1 year surgical residency at UCLA, currently in his 4th (I think…) year surgical residency after the transfer home)

OLD CAST MEMBERS

Sandra Oh: played Cristina Yang; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 36-ish (completed college at 22-ish, somehow completed her PhD and MD in 6 years, she was 28 during her intern year, 5 years surgical residency, 1 year attending, 3rd year as director of hospital in Zurich).

T.R. Knight: played George O’Malley; actual age is [43]; character died at age 29, would be 35 had he lived (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, made it to, but not through his 3rd year of residency).

Katherine Heigl: played Izzie Stevens; actual age is [36]; character left the show at age 30, would be around 35 had she stayed (completed college at 23, 4 years med school, fired during her 3rd year of residency, doing who-the-hell-cares-what is the 6 years since)

Isaiah Washington: played Preston Burke; actual age is [52]; character’s age is 50-something (all they ever mentioned about the character was he is 40-something, and that was during casting, so presumably he’s 50-something as we’re now 9-ish years later in time)

Patrick Dempsey: played Derek Shepherd; actual age is [50]; character died at age 45, would be 47 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, then got married in 1994, 5 year surgical residency, fellowship , etc. Age as of late 2015: deceased at age 45-ish)

Kate Walsh: played Addison Montgomery; actual age is [48]; character’s age is around 48 (completed college at 22, 6 years college + PhD program, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and some other stuff, but she was 39 in the season 8 finale of Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, which matches her supposed birth year of 1967, and technically another 7 years have passed in time since that season which was basically residency year 2, sooooooo weird timing there, just ignore it) [also, I’m not considering her character as really gone from the show, she could come back for a crazy surgery to assist Arizona at any time, it could happen people!]

Eric Dane: played Mark Sloan; actual age is [43] character died at age 44, would be 48 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, basically the same age as Derek and Addison, he ad Derek were friends as kids)

Brooke Smith: played Erica Hahn; actual age is [48]; they never quite got around to her age, but I estimate her as 50-something (completed college around age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and she was in the same year of school as Preston Burke).

Chyler Leigh: played Lexie Grey; actual age is [34]; character died at age 27, would be 31 had she lived (completed college at age 19, 4 years med school, made it to but not through 4th year surgical residency).

Kim Raver: played Teddy Altman; actual age is [47]; they don’t say her age, but her character was at least 40 when she left the show, would be 45 had she stayed (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, joined Army after 9/11/01)

Gaius Charles: played Shane Ross; actual age is [32]; character’s age is completely a guess at 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school 2+ years surgical residency at Seattle Grace before leaving with Yang, currently in his 4th year of surgical residency at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research)

Tess Ferrer: played Leah Murphy; actual age is [30]; character’s age is a guess at 28 (they identified her birth year as 1987, which makes her four years younger than Pierce, so she completed college at age 21-ish, 4 years medical school, fired during her 2nd-ish year of surgical residency, hopefully working in that research Webber sent her to since then)

 


Who Needs Sleep? I Do, But Whatever! Part 1

In the last week, I’ve gone out 4 times, and it should’ve been 6 if I hadn’t canceled at the last minute. For a person who’s kind of a homebody, it’s just so much!

I’ve been having a good time though, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been to some cool spots.

Like I said, the world keeps turning, and against a backdrop of France trying to whoops ass at all the ISIS targets the apparently already knew about, bombings in Nigeria, and America fucking up by deciding not to let in refugees, I’ve still been living my life.

I don’t know how people who are so committed to these causes go through their days. Do they feel bad if they take time to go to a birthday party? Do they stop on Thursdays for TGIT? Do they every re-tweet a funny cat video?

I don’t know. Y’all know I’m struggling with feeling like I should be doing something more, saying something more. How do other personal bloggers just ignore this in their posts and only talk about their fun new recipe for peppermint pumpkin spice chai mocha martinis or whatever?

Talking about this stuff starts to give me existential angst, so I’m going to move on.

My week of not-staying-in-the-house-ness has resulted in two things that I know must frustrate Chris.

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I think he’s taken the if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em approach. On top of the unpacked travel bags is his saxophone case. I bug him constantly about not leaving it right by the front door, but clearly I’m not saying anything about it this week.

He’s going to New Orleans this weekend for his friend’s birthday, and him travelling is usually my cue to get the house together. Something about returning home to a wonderful clean house, I don’t know, ask my mother for the details of why that’s a great way to treat your husband. She’s been married for over 35 years, so I’m listening to her advice on this one.

But what have I been up to if not staying home and organizing my house? And what about those two days I didn’t go out? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Last Thursday was a music showcase by the bae of one of my favorite co-workers. It was at Manhattan Brew & Vine, which I’ve been trying to make my way to since it opened. I’m so mad I didn’t go. Everyone says it was so much fun, and the music was great. They went to Corner Social after to hang, which is always a good late night spot if you don’t care about not hearing anything except the music. So basically… double fail on my part.

Friday is when I was supposed to meet my friends who were visiting NYC in Times Square. Y’all already know how that turned out. We were supposed to go to this bar in Times Square I love called Havana Central. Instead they went to this hookah bar one of their Cali people recommended. I wish I could remember the name of it because I would put it on blast for their weak drinks.

Saturday was great though. My girl Sara came out with me to take these girls to Liberty Theater, and my promoter friend Jay Jay hooked us up. I love the look of this place because it really used to be a theater, so it still has the stage, tiered floor, and box seats. I don’t really do clubs like this very often, but I had a blast. We danced and drank and had a really good time. There are a ton of videos and photos because millennials. I think I can find a couple to show you. I wish I had one of Sara getting proposed too. That was a fun laugh when some random man decided he was in love with her and literally tried to give her  a ring.

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Sunday  night I was at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club. Our friends Willerm, Henry, and like 2 other people, were celebrating their birthdays. Willerm’s band was playing (including Chris), and he wanted a soul train line in the club after the set. He requested my presence there, so I took a nap after brunch-turned dinner.

About this brunch-turned-dinner. My friends who I took to Liberty Theater were supposed to meet us for brunch by our house in Brooklyn. By the time they woke up, got ready, checked out of their hotel, decided against the subway, took a Lyft, got through traffic, it was 4 hours and one restaurant later. That’s all I’ll say on that topic.

The gig Sunday night at Smoke was amazing, and these guys always sound good together. Chris was the “DJ,” playing songs on his iPhone through the speaker. We had the soul train line, including some confused but thoroughly entertained tourists, and all was right in the world. Then I took my butt home and got exactly 1 hour of sleep before getting up for work.

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Groid Collective 8 out of 12

Monday night, I stayed my sleepy self at home after work. My best friend David and I watch a lot of TV together even though he lives in St. Louis. We are on the phone watching the same episode at the same time. It’s a great way to spend time together because we both watch so much TV.

I was also trying to help with suggestions of what his family could do when they visit New York the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They’ll all be nearby visiting one of his sisters who just moved, so they’re coming in to the city for a day. I’m mostly excited for his dad, who’s never been here. Should be a good time next week.

This post is getting long, So I’m gonna stop here. I’ll post Part 2 tomorrow.


Giving, Receiving, And Leaving Town

Because we live in a sitcom, the plan the husband and I had for our Super Bowl party didn’t go so well, but it turned out alright in the end.

Our first mistake was not going grocery shopping ahead of time. We waited until Sunday after church.

Saturday night, I went to bed early-ish, which was nice. I got ten whole hours of sleep, which basically made up for the extreme lack of sleep from the week.

The husband was out super late Saturday night. He’s so friendly that he was hanging out with his old friends as well as making some new ones. He came home with this.

dollars

Where do you think he was? Strip club? Chuck E. Cheese? Playing for tips in Times Square? The options are humorous and endless.

So we get to church for morning service. It turns out there are two meetings scheduled after church. One for new members and one for the young adult ministry. Both are meeting the husband and I were to attend.

I didn’t want to go to either meeting. Because seriously, who calls a meeting on Super Bowl Sunday? Seriously?

But to the meetings we went. We didn’t leave church until after 3pm. We didn’t get home from the grocery store until after 4:30pm.

Did I mention the store had run out of chicken wings? I don’t just buy a bag of frozen wings and throw it in the oven. I cook fresh wings and make sauce to go with it. I get fancy, y’all.

So I sent the husband out in search of fresh wings and started on my sauces.

The guests started arriving and there was no food ready to eat. I felt badly, but there wasn’t much I could do. Luckily one of his friend made home-made humus and flatbread chips to go with it. And they were delicious!

I’m sure you all know how the game went down. All I’m going to say about the game is that I enjoyed watching the team I wanted to win whoop ass up and down the field. Oh, and the commercials were great too.

As the food started trickling out of the kitchen, everyone dug in. I was pretty satisfied with the final products: taco salad with sweet pepper sour cream topping; tortilla chips with ground turkey queso dip; loaded fresh-cut french fries with bacon and cheese; and chicken wings with a choice of spicy BBQ, honey mustard, or ranch sauce.

And of course I made my everything punch. When I say this is everything punch, I mean it. It has everything in it.

Don’t tell me you can’t mix certain types of alcohol. Don’t tell me dark & light liquors get into a fight in your stomach. I don’t wanna hear it!

I make this punch at most big parties we throw. I know the night is a success when people who I’ve seen drink several glasses of straight whiskey out at jazz clubs can only drink 2-3 cups of my punch before they’re really tipsy.

After the game ended, people still stayed to hang out a bit. We ended up playing a few hilarious rounds of cell-phone based Taboo. It was nice to not have to clean up all the cards and game pieces after we’re done playing.

Trying to guess the name of Oscar-nominated actors when you’re on your fifth cup of everything punch is no joke y’all. I tried to remember to take a picture of it, but I kinda forgot, so this is the best I have, a punch bowl only filled a third of the way with poor lighting.

everything punch

Looks harmless, doesn’t it? All a part of my master plan, mwah ha ha.

The good use I put my chemistry degree to is making a strong yet tasty drink that won’t leave you hung over. As long as you have a good electrolyte balance going before you start drinking, you can drink a half-gallon of this stuff and be fine.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, the husband gets on a plane later today to head to Chicago, assuming his flight isn’t delayed because of all the Monday travel issues. He’s gone for a whole month. I won’t see him until I meet him in Chicago for a wedding on March 1st. When he’s gone, we’re both so busy that we have to work hard to make time to talk. I’m sure we’ll manage though.

I’m going to miss him, but I do have something to distract me for a bit. I wrote a post recently about how I was looking forward to eventually getting my birthday gifts. I figured it would help jumpstart my efforts to stay healthy.

Guess what I got in the mail?

fitbit

A lovely lady I met in Chicago bought it for me. I met her while out with the husband at a jazz club, which makes sense because she’s a singer.

I was so excited about it, I forgot how sleepy I was and immediately got it setup. It’s as cool as advertised. I didn’t even have to take it off to have one of my marathon baths.

This is my first ever gift received purely because of something I wrote in my blog. It’s a moment for me, and I promise I’ll put it to good use girl!

I’d say I had a pretty amazing weekend. I’ll probably be a bit more low-key in the coming days. I’ll need to make time to workout so I can stay on track with my new healthy plan.

I think I may have someone to go rock climbing with. It’s one of the random cool people I’ve met while out at a jazz club with the husband. We shall see.

And I think this couple I met another time out is going to join me at the soup kitchen next weekend when I go to volunteer.

At this rate, I may actually have friends in NYC, but I won’t get my hopes up too soon.