Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Reality TV

On Forcing Myself to Watch Reality TV

It isn’t honest of me to say that I don’t like reality TV. I like some of it. Pretty much anything on Food Network interests me. I also religiously watch Dancing with the Stars, America’s Next Top Model, and American Idol.

But I tend to stay away from reality TV shows that are just following someone around with a camera all day. I’ve only ever seen half of one episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. I’ve never seen an episode of Real Housewives of anything, and proud of it. I’ve been out of loop on shows like this since the Real World became a phenomenon on MTV (or was it VH1?)

I noticed that my co-workers are always discussing something related to one of these shows. People act like they know celebrities if they are exposed to personal information about their lives. But for reality TV stars, you really do get personal details about their lives. It’s still framed however the producers want it to go, but it’s a glimpse into these people’s world. It’s the type of glimpse I’ve never really be interested in.

Seriously, my only interest in reality TV is maybe participating in a show one day myself. And the only reason for that is that if the show is successful, it’s pretty much my only shot at ever competing on Dancing with the Stars. Derek Hough would be my partner, and we would totally win that Season. But first, I’d have to be on a reality TV show because I’ll never be famous otherwise.

That being said, I realized I was missing out on a whole cultural phenomenon by not watching these types of TV shows. So when one of my best friends came up with the bucket list idea, I thought reality TV would be the perfect thing to choose for the category titled, “All the Kids Are Doing It”.

I’ve already discussed my efforts to find a soy/tofu dish or food item that I really genuinely like. That’s still an ongoing process. I’m taking Catskill Blogger‘s advice, and I’m going to try chocolate flavored soy milk next.

But since this post is about reality TV, let’s discuss that. I took a poll amongst people I know who watch these types of shows. They seemed to think Love & Hip Hop would be the best, but I just couldn’t do it. I had decided I was going to watch an entire season of whatever show I picked, and I just couldn’t commit to watching an entire season of that show. Nothing about who I am as a person could allow that.

So I went with a second choice: The Bad Girls Club. This show is still awful. It jams 7 women from different backgrounds into a house where the only thing they have in common is a desire to “turn up” and a willingness to “pop off” if the feel offended. I’m putting it in caps only because I feel like they took those two terms to a whole new level. They said the words turn, up, pop, and off at least 100 times each episode.

When I decided to just deal with my hesitancy and watch the damn show already, they were in the middle of Season 12, which was filmed in Chicago. I really didn’t want to watch all that rachetness in my hometown, nor did I want to commit to having to keep up with episodes for an ongoing season. So I just watched all of Season 11, which was filmed in Miami, in about a week.

There were some moments that I loved, like when they did a fake commercial for 1-800-kick-a-ho-out. I still chuckle when I think of that. But these girls were so mean. And they were boring. If they were drinking or plotting to kick another girl out of the house, there was nothing going on with them.

I have to admit that I wasn’t bored while watching the show, I was mostly just nonplussed. Why these women would want to go on national TV to show the most stereotypical versions of themselves, I will never understand. But they made some pretty good friendships, and they had a lot of fun together. I get the appeal, and I get why the reality TV show industry is still growing.

People like to see other people living. I get it. It’s not for me really, but I’m glad I put it on the bucket list. Otherwise I would never have experienced it. And I would never have seen all that rachetness up close and personal. And really, what’s your 20s without a little bit of rachetness?

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On Making A Bucket List… Sort Of

God willing, I’m not going anywhere any time soon, so I don’t have a bucket list in the traditional sense. However, I am turning 30 this year, and when one of my best friends suggested we do a 30th Birthday Bucket List, I immediately loved the idea.

This was at the end of last summer, around August-ish. There are a number of folks we know who are turning 30 this year or who have already turned 30 this year. So we put together some fun categories that we could each pick something from to embrace and bid farewell to our 20s.

I won’t bore you with all the categories now– there are 10– but I will talk about them as I cross them off the list. Even though we set this up over 6 months ago, it’s been slow going for me to really start crossing things off.

I enjoyed my 20s tremendously, and I’m really looking forward to my 30th birthday. Even though I chose bucket list items that pushed my comfort zone, I still had to dig to find the motivation to just make it happen.

But enough about my 20-something hesitancy, let’s talk about what I’ve actually done (or rather, tried to do).

One of the categories is Culinary Exploration. This category came out of the idea that we all have some food item we were afraid to try. Your 20s is a time where you embrace new experiences and expand your horizons. It’s kind of hard to expand your horizons when there are things you won’t even try.

For me, culinary exploration only had one option: tofu/soy. I decided to find one tofu/soy item that I could truly enjoy and maybe even love.

I have tried tofu on many occasions, with several cuisines, in multiple countries. My mouth just no likey.

One or two (or five) had experiences with it, and I had given up. I lived in a world where soy sauce was the only soy product to cross my lips. I’ve never tried soy milk, I can barely swallow tofu of any kind.

I hated feeling defeated by food. I’ll eat pretty much anything. Except white sweet potatoes from Asia or the Caribbean. I just don’t like that grainy texture, yuck. I’m a texture person, and there’s no saving that awful veggie.

But tofu was a different story. People who eat it talk about its ability to take on whatever you want to give it. Grilling, frying, baking, etc. it supposedly has a lot of options.

In my experience tofu just always tasted like flavorless powdered scrambled eggs. No matter how they cooked it. But upon further review, I realized the majority of the way I’ve tried it is sautéed in Asian food.

Since tofu/soy ended up on my 30th Birthday Bucket list, I’ve tried. I ordered a tofu roti, which is a delicious dish from Trinidad at this amazing West Indian restaurant. I mentioned it in a previous post. I got the tofu on the side, and while I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, which is a huge step forward.

I’m thinking if I could get it cut into even tinier pieces, kind of like how I get Easy to eat tomatoes and onions, I could maybe make it work.

I’m not giving up on soy yet though. I think my next attempt is soy milk. Maybe I’ll love it and then I’ll be done with this bucket list item.

I’m not holding my breath, but I”m also not giving up.

You hear that soy? I’m not giving up.

At some point soon, I’ll talk about the second 30th Birthday Bucket List item I tackled, which is reality TV. I never watch reality TV that’s not a competition (i.e., American Idol and Dancing with the Stars), but I went there.

Three words. Bad. Girls. Club.

Screenshot from one of many fights. Image via fanpop


I Hold In My Hand

An Easter Egg

-Easter was fun this year. My brother’s birthday fell on the day, as it does every handful of years. Making a birthday dinner fitting his tastes while also making our typical Easter food was a fun challenge. Before dinner was a great church service. I had a meeting at work in the morning before church, so I was on time to church for the first time in months. Perhaps if I went to church seven days a week, I’d actually leave work at a reasonable hour.

The praise team and the choir were pretty good. The new drummer at the church does not like to let a song end. He isn’t entirely new, but I work a lot of Sundays, so he’s new to me. But imagine any Tyler Perry movie you’ve seen. We don’t have anyone back-flipping down the aisles like Mr. Brown, but there’s definitely some Holy Ghost party stuff happening when the drummer hits that reprise.

After church was crazy because the Sunday School, of which my mother is superintendent, made Easter baskets for all the children. Imagine over 50 kids age 0-18 running around hopped up on sugar. I was standing in a corner with my fingers crossed as if avoiding a jinx. All those children running around scared me. I felt it might be contagious, so I avoided anyone too young for school and definitely all those with parasites pregnant women. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and I read all the mommy blogs, I just like to watch from afar and avoid joining the ranks for now.

Your Job

-This weekend was full of meetings and evaluations. I’m still getting adjusted to this part of being a supervisor. Almost everyone who knows me will tell you I’m a bossy person. I like to tell folks what to do. But I’m no Donald Trump. Saying you’re fired doesn’t come easily for me. I haven’t had to fire anyone, but I’ve had some get-it-together-so-you-don’t get-fired talks.

I like people to keep their jobs, so I focus on the meetings where I inform someone they’ve earned a raise. I suppose this part of it will get easier with time, but I was happy to get back to work today and escape to my spreadsheets and reports. The numbers never need to hear “get it together.”

A Glass of Champagne

-As I said earlier, Easter was also my brother’s birthday. It was his 30th birthday. It was nice to have a party with close friends and family there. My brother isn’t really big on family, so it was nice when he wanted to have a party that included family. His godfather came with his family. The older daughter of the family was one of my best friends when we were children. She was there with her husband and son. Even though her son is only 3, I made an exception to my earlier rule and uncrossed my fingers to hang out with him. Although I did have to tell little man to stay away from my husband once the husband hugged him and said, “I want one!”

We had a really enjoyable time, and the drinks were flowing. Mimosa, beers, and champagne gave everyone a happy buzz. Nothing goes with lamb, crab legs, turkey wings, ham, pot roast, and prime rib like champagne. We had a few vegetables as well. But only a very few.

The TV Remote

-I feel like I will never catch up with American Idol. Why they insist on having no way to view episodes after airing other than DVR is beyond me. I have 22 episodes queued up to watch on the DVR at my parents’ house. I only managed to watch one on Sunday after dinner. What crazy person decided they should take up 4-6 hours of television every week. I’ll never catch up. So I’m avoiding all news and media reports of who the Top 10 and Top 8 are and all that. I’ll probably be purchasing the CD of the winner before I even finish watching Hollywood week. There must exist some bootleg website (THAT I WOULD NEVER SUPPORT) that can help me so I can watch this show without taking over my parents’ TV.


Shrinking Underpants

In honor of the holiday season, I haven’t even bothered to get back up on the exercise wagon. When my next Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis DVD arrived, I looked at it as it judged me. I felt bad. Then I added it to the stack of DVDs with the promise of returning to it. One of these days. One day real soon, I promise. I’d like to be an inspiration to myself. And I’d really like to wear this backless micro mini dress I own that I haven’t worn in over 2 years before I’m thirty.

With all of my not-exercising, I’ve been pleased to notice I don’t have to go up in a size of jeans. Those size 3 jeans I was so happy to wear last month (or was that September) are back in the closet on time out, but at least I’m not having to purchase new, even larger clothing. The only problem is my underwear. It seems to be shrinking.

I could’ve sworn my panties covered more of my ass. Obviously, I’m washing my mostly cotton underwear in water that’s too hot. Or possibly drying them too long. I mean, that has to be it, right? It can’t be that my ass, etc. is expanding, yet somehow still fitting into the same clothes, can it? Seriously, how can my pants fit, but my underwear suddenly feel skimpier?

I’m going to go completely irrational here and blame the lack of sleep. Today is the first day at work since I started that I actually feel well rested. It’s an amazing feeling and I want it again and again. Adjusting to being awake early in the morning has been no easy task, but I think I’ve found the perfect combination. Before I reveal my fool proof plan for falling asleep, I want to discuss the causes of my lack of sleep and my shrinking underwear.

Washing clothes has the potential to be the bane of my life. It would be an exxaggeration to say that now, but trust that there is potential. The husband and I own way too many clothes. And we wear them all. So they need to be washed. There’s never time to wash, so I get it in where I can. Like at the parents’ house while we rake leaves. The point is, they take up too much time and take away from more important things. Like TV. And sleep. I’ve only recently stopped skipping sleep to wash clothes because it just wasn’t worth it. So much for getting a couple loads done each week…

Also, my cats are jerks. Well, they were. Actually, they still are, but they are less jerky than they previously were. Are you following? Well, they used to run around the apartment at 1:00 am at high speeds, and the little one, Jazz, used to purr loud as hell sitting right on my chest while I was trying to sleep. They don’t do that anymore. Now they run around at 1:00 pm, and Jazz naps on the bags of not-yet-put-away laundry out in the hall. The running still sucks, but at least it doesn’t interrupt sleep. And I’m sure that Jazz’s naps are somehow related to the shrinking underpants.

Our property manager is taking their sweet ass time fixing things in our apartment. Like our dishwasher. The husband does all the dishes, but I think we both really miss having a functioning dishwasher. The manager used to call me with all these issues. After a few calls and e-mails, we finally got its sorted out earlier this month, and now they bug the husband with these calls, since he’s the one at home during the day. Our dishwasher is still not fixed, but at least my naps or work time aren’t getting interrupted by someone outside an apartment I’m not there to open the door of.

The last couple nights, the husband has been really busy. He’s had gigs, and he’s had plans with his friends. I like when he’s out and about, though part of me misses him when he’s not home with me. But since he’s been gone, all I’ve had to think about was how to amuse and feed myself the last couple nights. The husband and I are very compatible usually with preferred activities, but a couple changes and voila, I had no trouble falling asleep.

I accidentally stumbled across the perfect combination. I drank water with my dinner instead of wine or juice or milk. Usually the husband and I have a glass of wine, and no one should drink alone (unless it’s their birthday), so I had water. I’ve also been working on my nails. Instead of waiting until the polish chips or it’s time to file them down, I’ve been doing maintenance each day. A polish fix on one nail can be surprisingly relaxing. And lastly, I watch The First Wives Club each night. The husband can’t sleep if there’s a TV on. This only applies to the bed because he has no problem falling asleep on the couch or in a theater during a movie. But I love it. When I lived alone, I’d watch Hairspray or The Holiday or See Jane Date.

Perhaps when the husband finally runs out of steam and is with me at bedtime, I’ll switch to reading the books that half of these movies were based on. But I need either a light to read my paperback of The First Wives Club or my backlit phone/Kindle to read my ebook of See Jane Date. Or maybe since it’s a movie and not television, the husband will be able to fall asleep. Either way, I’ve got to get continue to get enough sleep because I’m quite sure, that is the only way to make my underpants un-shrink.