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Archive for April, 2012

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that this post might anger some people (and to those people I am truly sorry) but I needed to get this out.  The main reason why I wanted to write this post really came from a headline that I read the other day about the Kardashian family and E! signing a 3 year deal for a reported $40 million dollars to keep “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on the air into their ninth season.

Plain and simple this scares me.  Why is it that people are suffering and starving in the world and people like the Kardashians continue to make more and more money.  I have to shake my head because I honestly don’t understand.  Our society has elevated these people to super stardom and I don’t understand why.

That is why I think people need to stop giving celebrities like this family the power.  Take a stand.

So here are the Best 3…Reasons to Stop Watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’:

1.  What have the Kardashians done for you lately?

2.  They are millionaires

3.  They are addicted to fame

Really what have the Kardashians done for me or you lately?  Nothing (or maybe give you one hour of entertainment) – that is all.  Yet, they are they are constantly in the spotlight and constantly getting richer and richer while everyday, average people are struggling to make ends meet.  Do they help those people?  NO…Just think about it – WHAT HAVE THE KARDASHIANS DONE FOR YOU LATELY?  Hopefully that will get you to stop watching them.

They are millionaires who just recently added $40 million to their accumulated wealth.  Does anyone see how bad that is?  Honestly, kids go hungry, people struggle to get through their day and pay the bills – some people have to choose between food or heat.  Millions of people are without a job, having to rely on food banks and the generosity of others…and the Kardashians keep getting richer. Really, really scary.

As for my last Best 3 pick, it is true – this is a family (with some more than others) that are addicted to fame.  Case in point, Kim Kardashian (and maybe in an alternate universe and I had a chance to meet her and get to know her – she would be so nice and friendly) but in reality or right now in the present, this is a woman that marries on tv (to get ratings) and then files for divorce after 72 days.  It was huge news.  Now she is parading around New York (and whatever other city she might be) with Kanye West.  Holding hands – the PDA.  Can you say someone is addicted to fame a little too much!  Just plain scary.

AG

PS:  I truly do apologize to those people that like the Kardashians, I just can’t support them in any way.

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I overhead a conversation today at work that seemed to revolve around reality shows/series (I think the conversation must have started when someone mentioned how much they enjoyed watching The Voice and how they were disappointed in some of the people that have been eliminated).  This got me thinking about the amount of reality series that has invaded cable and how some of these shows are just so hard to stop watching.  Yes I admit, I am one of the millions of people who has tuned in one time or another (or another and another) to one of the reality series.  It also got me thinking that less than a decade  ago – reality tv was a new concept being tested with Survivor.  Then reality shows came in a wave – Amercian Idol, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Big Brother, Fear Factor…I could go on and spend this whole post just listing all of them but that is not what I want to do and just try and think of all the celebrities that are jumping on the chance to have  their own reality series.

Even though there have been some crazy reality series – does anyone remember Temptation Island – where the concept of the show was to send couples to an tropical island –  seperate the couples and let them see whether they would be tempted by other people on the island and then see whether they would still stay together (even after some of them cheated).  It was crazy…really crazy.

It has also been documented that the genre of reality television consists of a variety of subgroups such as:

  • Documentary-style such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real World, The Osbournes, Dog Whisperer, Americab Chopper
  • Competition/game shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Deal or No Deal, The Apprentice, Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance
  • Self-Improvement/Makeover such as The Biggest Loser, The Swan, Extreme Makeover
  • Renovation such as Trading Spaces, Pimp My Ride
  • Social Experient such as Wife Swap
  • Hidden Cameras such as Punk’d
  • Supernatural & paranormal such as Scariest Places on Earth

However, there have been some reality series that are actually interesting (although there are some crazy moments too) but they have not put me off as much as some (Toddlers and Tiaras – really – that is scary reality tv).  They have something that keeps my attention.

So, here are the Best 3…Reality Series

1.  My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

2.  Deadliest Catch

3.  Say Yes to the Dress

Ok, if you have never heard of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – you definitely need to find a way to see it.  It is a documentary-style reality series that “offers a window into the secretive, extravagant and surprising world of gypsies and travellers in Britain today.”   Channel 4 was the first to air the series, with TLC rebroadcasting it for North American audiences.  I also happen to hear that there is going to be an American version that will be airing soon.  This show is addictive.  You will be amazed at the wedding preparations, decorations, dresses and the culture of the gypsies and travellers – and these are not what you might picture old-fashioned gypsies to be.  If you need a reference – think of Brad Pitt‘s character in Snatch – just not the way he talked because that was exagerated.

I’ve included some clips from the series I highly encourage you to tune in

The first time I saw the Deadliest Catch – I was amazed that people did this for a living.  I admit I never thought of how the crab ended up in restaurants and grocery stores.  Well, this show surely educated me.  Just seeing the waves and the ships bouncing up and down…and the actually dangerous conditions that these crews battle.  It amazed me and made me watch week after week and season after season.  I thank Discovery Channel for putting the show on the air – it really is one of the best reality shows.

My final best 3 pick is Say Yes to the Dress.  I am a sucker for anything that has to do with weddings and the dress is the show piece of the whole day and is sometimes the hardest thing to find…but when brides do, it’s nice to watch.  That alone makes me watch.  I just love seeing all the dresses.  It’s great.  If you have never seen it, check it out on TLC.   There is also Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaid and that is so crazy, it’s awesome and addictive.

AG

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I don’t know what to make of it but lately my mind has been wondering to the things that I really want to do in my life.  There are career ambitions, personal quests and achievements and finally being able to take a dream vacation.  Now this is not a regular vacation – like taking a week or two out of your life to visit an island, to visit family or whatever vacation you might take to get away.  No, this is a DREAM VACATION.  For me, a dream vacation is a time that you take to visit some place or places and take in the sights, sounds, culture and spend weeks, months fulfilling your dream vacation.

Unfortunately for me (and a few others out there) at this point in my life, a dream vacation is not on the radar (actually it’s not even close).  That doesn’t mean that I don’t take a few moments in my day to daydream about the dream vacations that I would take if money, work, time and other of life’s responsibilities were not an obstacle.  There are few people that have had such a luxury and for those that have, I truly envy them.

So, here are the Best 3…Dream Vacations

1. Touring Europe (and I mean all of Europe)

2. Spending 6 months (or more) in New Zealand

3.  Visiting all of Canada from coast to coast

Touring Europe has always been something that I ‘ve wanted to do – it truly is a dream of mine.  However this would be your typical backpacking trip, no this would be a vacation that focused on taking all the time necessary to see all the countries in Europe and indulging in all the decadence and luxury that would be possible.  No staying in hostels – no, it would mean finding great and comfortable hotels with great beds and your own bathroom.

Europe has so much history and to someone like me (who is a history freak) this would be amazing – hence the first pick.  I can see myself in each country finding something amazing and captivating.  It just gives me shivers to think about it.  There are so many places that I would want to see, I just don’t think it would be fair to list them all.  Just know that my list is long and this dream vacation would take a very long time and a lot of money.

There is something about New Zealand that has always captured my attention – even before the Lord of the Rings movies were released.  I had always had a fascination withe country.  Maybe it was the mountains, the green fields, the breathtaking coast lines and the crystal blue-green waters, or maybe it was the amount of sheep that are there…maybe it was all of these things.  This has been a place that I have always wanted to visit and a dream vacation for me would be to spend 6 months minumum just touring the country.  Going hiking, scuba diving or whatever grabbed my attention.  I could just see myself never getting bored and always being on a new adventure.  I know that I would be seeing some of the most people landscapes in the world.  To me, that would be a dream vacation and one day I hope I will have my chance.  There are so many beautiful pictures that you can find, go and explore…

I’ve also included a New Zealand tourism video:

My last pick might surprise some people but they ovbviously never had the chance to tour some of Canada.  I’ve had the chance to visit some of the country and from the little that I’ve seen, Canada is one beautiful and breathtaking country.  It is made up a such diverse landscapes and people.  It is a vast country and would probably take me months and months to view things in each province and territories.  This is a dream of mine (maybe not visiting in the winter) but to take the time and drive from the West coast to the East coast of vice versa.  It really is a beautiful country and so many places to discover – which makes for a lot of fun in a dream vacation.

AG

 

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Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced times when we had to turn to food to help comfort us through a difficult time in our life.  Whether it was a break-up, losing your job, financial stress, death…food has the ability to help us get through it.  Why?  I really don’t know.  Maybe its the fact that a lot of our lives revolve around food.

 

 

 

 
Comfort food:  food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal (definition provided by http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Every celebration I know, no matter what culture, religion, food has a major role.  That could be the reason that we find comfort in food when our lives are out of control, we turn to foods that remind us of something special and good.   There are cookbooks even that are devoted to comfort food –  Whatever the reason might be, I wanted to devote a post to these comfort foods – because like many of you, these 3 best foods have gotten me through some tough times and have helped to provide me the comfort I needed.

So, here are the Best 3…Comfort Foods:

1.  Ice Cream

2. Popcorn

3. Macaroni and Cheese (specifically Kraft Dinner)

The first pick shouldn’t surprise to anyone.  Ice cream is a standard comfort food and probably has contributed to the fortunes of all the ice cream companies in the world.  They must make a mint on people like me or any others who have made ice cream a comfort food.

I know personally when I need it, I turn to my favorite – Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough.  This has been a flavor that has been eaten up when I’ve been involved in break-ups, a stressful day, or just worried about the outcome of a certain action.  It has been a constant food in my freezer and has never let me down.  Thank you Ben and Jerry’s!

Yes, I will admit it, I could finish the whole carton myself (I will not be ashamed of that!).

 

Popcorn is another personal comfort food that has been there to get me through some tough times.  Why popcorn?  I don’t know, I just know that it helps and that is all there is too it!

For my third Best 3 pick, Kraft Dinner was the obvious choice.  It’s food that I know I shouldn’t eat because I know it’s not good for me but KD has a way of  reminding me of my childhood.  It was always a snack in our house – not something that we had a lot…and it’s a food I remember and can associate with good times.

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The weekend.   Aahhh the weekend…The time I look forward to, dread having to give up and dream about throughout the week.  It represents two glorious days in which there is no structure, no routine, no deadlines, no demands, no awkward conversations, no office politics and no dressing up.  The time is mine and I can set my schedule how I want.  I can do what I want and that is how I like it.  

I thought about this topic for the post as my weekend was winding down (and I was dreading the start of the work week).  There is just something magical when a person is stripped (methaphorically) of the professional demeanor that we habe to have during the week and can just relax and enjoy the weekend.    I think we become different people.  I know that some of my own co-workers wouldn’t recognize me if they saw me on the weekend. 

So, here are the Best 3…Things to do on a weekend:

1.  Sleep In

2.  Focus on something that makes you happy

3. Go for a walk – somewhere, anywhere

 There is nothing greater than being able to sleep in on a weekend.  I know that as we get older, it seems to be harder.  Our bodies are use to getting up at a certain time (damn that alarm clock!) and that is just awful.  Really, really awful.  So, if you are one of the lucky ones to be able to sleep in…it is just an amazing experience.  I have to say, getting to sleep in and waking up after that sleep, is just divine.

My second Best 3 pick had to be to focus on something that makes you happy.  The weekend is your time.  I know for me, I love to read.  Just absolutely love it and that is what I love to do on weekend.  I grab whatever book I am ready, settle down and just read.  Whatever it is you like to do – just do it!  If it’s going to make you happy, why wouldn’t you spend your weekend time on doing it.

As for the last pick, going for a walk is something I encourage.  First it gets you out of the house, second it can take you to great places and third, it keeps you healthy.  I love walking.  Especially on the weekends when I can discover new places such as a park, walking on a beach, window shopping down a busy avenue…the possibilities are endless.

 

AG

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This is a far cry from some of my other posts but I did say that I would be posting on the best 3 of everything in the world and that includes limericks.  I was at a garage sale this past weekend and there lying in a box was a small little book of limericks.

To be precise, the book I picked up was:

The Little Limerick Book; [an uncensored collection] illustrated by Henry R. Martin (Mount Vernon, N.Y.: The Peter Pauper Press, [c1955])

 For those that are unfamiliar with what a limerick is, I’ve included the definition from dictionary.com

http://dictionary.reference.com/

a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

I started reading some of them as I was waiting for my friends to finish their tour of the garage sale.  I found the limericks to be highly entertaining, with humor that would have seemed ‘risky’ for the year in which it was published.

I’ve also included some information about the publisher and illustrator

The Peter Pauper Press http://www.peterpauper.com/company.php published the book and the illustrations were by Henry R. Martin http://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2009/03/martin.html

 

I’ve also added a link to goodreads.com in which people who have read this limerick book gave it a 4 star rating http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6958210-the-little-limerick-book-an-uncensored-collection

So here are the Best 3…Limericks (from The Little Limerick Book):

1.  He hates to sew, so young Ned,

Rang the bell of his neighbor instead;

         But her husband said, “Vi,

         When you stitched his torn fly,

There is no need to bite off the thread.”

2.  There was a young lady named Kate,

Who necked in the dark with her date;

          When asked how she fared,

          She said she was scared,

But otherwise doing first-rate.

3.  There was a young maid of Havana,

Who stepped on a peel of banana;

            The words she let pass

            As she fell on the grass

Wouldn’t do for a Sunday-school banner.

AG

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For this post, I’ve decided to take a different turn and focus on something that seems to dominate my life lately.  Yes, that is television.  I can’t say why, maybe because it is a nice change from the real world or maybe because it has the ability to make me forget all the things going on in mine…I don’t know why, I just know (lately) I am obsessed and fixated.

Let’s be honest, there are a great deal of “crappy” shows that dominate tv right now and usually they focus on doctors, lawyers and cops.  To me, its really been hard to find characters that I like and respond too.  There have been a few over the last few years, and that is why this post is going to focus on the best 3…tv couples.  To me, these couples are just perfect.  They make me want to stay tuned for more and more and more.  I love watching them together!  and I love the chemistry that the actors are able to provide to make the characters/couple more realistic and likeable.   There will probably be a lot of people that would not agree with my best 3 but that is ok because this is my own opinion and for those that don’t agree or have others, please post your comments – I would like to see what other couples you might like.

So, here are the Best 3…TV Couples:

1.  Jax and Tara (from Sons of Anarchy)

2.  Eric and Sookie (from True Blood)

3. Simon and Alisha (from Misfits)

My first best pick should be obvious, as I’ve listed the Sons of Anarchy in this blog before (Best 3…TV Shows (on tv right now) and one of the reasons that makes the show great is the couple of Jax and Tara.  They were high school sweethearts, she leaves and then comes back and they can’t deny their attraction to one another and they fall in love all over again.  Trust me, if you have not seen the show or them, please do.  There romance is far from perfect…but somehow they just work and that is what makes them the best.

My second best 3 pick gave me some of my most favorite tv moments ever.  Putting these two together was pure genius.  Yes, I am team Eric.  Sookie and Eric together is this last season of True Blood was simply great (and the best season in my mind).  Their chemistry was amazing.  It pains me to think that they may not be together in the upcoming season.  There is just something about them that just makes their time together perfect.  All I can say is that if you were not fortunate to catch some of their scenes together, I encourage you to tune in…not only are they on a great show but together they fired up the season!

The last couple is from a show that many people might not be familiar with.  Like Sons of Anarchy, I have mentioned this show before (Best 3…odd bu excellent British tv shows) and it has been only recently (thanks to my awesome sister) that I have discovered the show and my last best 3 pick.  That honor goes to Simon and Alisha.  They were a couple that you would never imagine together especially after the first season but through great writing they come together.  I won’t go into a lot of details but they have a great story that will go on and on.

Thanks to all the people that posted these awesome videos!

AG

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