Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wherein Yoga is Seen by Parents as Promoting Hinduism

Heard this story on NPR about parents objecting to having their elementary age children take yoga as part of their physical education curriculum. They worried that the school or teachers at the school were attempting to brainwash their kids into Hinduism. They feared that the sun salutations would convince their impressionable children to worship gods of the sun.  One mother said "They were being taught to thank the sun for their lives and the warmth that it brought, the life that it brought to the earth and they were told to do that right before they did their sun salutation exercises." She objects to this teaching, because she thinks it has a religious bias. But if she would read even 2 or 3es well-researched articles  about how yoga can help kids to regulate emotion and feel more energized, as well as to have greater focus, maybe she would feel differently.

So much fear all the time from people about stuff they don't understand. It's especially freaky to me when the fear is about something that is mentally and physically beneficial for children and could be a very positive influence, possibly for the rest of their lives if they stick with it. I don't think dodge ball has quite the same lasting effect.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Bachelor, Season 547

I decided to just skip the first hour and guess what? There's still nothing going on. He's still meeting the girls/women/girls and it is just so great to meet all of them, and they're all so beautiful and have such beautiful dental work and such shiny lip gloss that he can't take it. Is it okay to tell someone she looks great when they've just meet? Sarah has had some work done and one of the things she had done was to be poured into a white dress. What is this guy's name anyway? Dustin? Destiny? Three black girls already--that is amazing. The rest are blondes named Giana or Tiarana or Broleena. Diana forgot to tell him her name, but she did remember to braid her hair. Lesley brought a flipping football, and she's making him snap it at her. This is so embarrassing. Why does she keep saying Blue 32? Is that from Toy Story? There are like 300 girls and they all have stupid opening lines. Kristie is from Wisconsin and she's brought the best from the Midwest!! How often did she practice that. Ashley H. also just arrived and she's of unspecified ethnicity. This girl's family owns an Italian restaurant, and she has  message from her dad saying, If you break my heart, he'll break your legs. HAAAHHAA. NO, someone is wearing a wedding dress. The humiliation continues! These women suck. One surprise guest is about to come out of the limo! Thank God, a commercial break.

The surprise guest is Kacie B. I don't know who she is and how would he know who she is? I guess she's there for the right reason sand for a second chance. She's from Ben's season? The other girls don't think it's fair. Desiree, the bridal stylist, might be in tears. They all look like Barbie's. No ordinary girls, all very Hollywood looking, all wearing prom dresses, except for the one in the wedding dress. I wish one of them would not accept the rose. JUST ONCE! He wants them to be theirselves. That's what he said.

He meets first with Kacie, who didn't expect to be there. But then, how did she get there? He gives her his letter jacket. He's not my type. The little brown haired girl, Desire, would of course, accept the rose, Oh, my gosh! She stands out because she has a rose.

I remember now why I stopped watching this show, but why I do hope someone out there is writing her dissertation on this show. It's always the same. The women are always portrayed as slightly desperate to get married, and they never seem to have a choice--or they never make the choice to say no. And they're catty and insecure and superficial. The guys are not that much different; bland, not interesting (one exception: Andrew Firestone. He was the best). It's hard to even be sarcastic about it any more; it's too easy to make fun of.

He has given out four roses so far and all the women are freaking out! He even gave one to the black girl. He's giving the roses to the girls he likes a lot and who have a lot of energy. Ashely H. did not get one, even though she put herself out there, she can barely open her mouth to speak. Lindsay, the wedding dress girl, is hoping he understands the joke, she's totally drunk and wishes she hadn't so much to drink. She begs him for a  kiss and is forcing him to dance. She did not get a rose. She worries that she blew it for doing a ballsy move and she thinks that maybe he didn't get it. Ashley somebody else is dancing like a porn star while he's trying to talk to Paige. I actually love the drunk girls. They're the most fun. She pulls out a tie and says, When you got dumped by Emily, I called my mom and said, Mom, that guy is the guy I'm going to marry. My mom already loves you. She falls down the stairs. I would get drunk too, totally. If I were still drinking.

I'm happy he's at least giving some roses to the black girls. I always feel like they just have one or two for show. This one girl seems to be almost crying, Taryn. He steals Brooke away and Taryn is a little bit drunk. Taryn is surprised that she has to compete for his attention. Hi, that's the whole point. Sarah is insecure and doesn't feel like she should do it, because she only has one arm. WHAT? That's a new one. She explains that she was obviously born with just one arm. He says, Really?I didn't even notice. He gives her a rose. I won't make any jokes about which hand she will use to accept it. Of course he does, he would look like such a jerk if he didn't.

Ting ting ting. Rose ceremony. He confesses that he has some tough decisions to make.  Yawn.

Rose ceremony. Only 7 roses left to hand out.  Sean is the most sincere bachelor ever, says Chris. Sean says, Thank you guys for coming out. It's like he's speaking to the football team.

First rose goes to Amanda. She's got brown hair and a great smile. The other girls just look pissed. I wish one of them would vomit.

Second rose: Lesley M. with her hair in a bun.

Third rose: KC. Of course. They paid her a lot of money to show up again.

Fourth rose: Christie or Kirtsen or Kristen. Another brown haired girl.

5th: Daniella. A blond.

6th: Taryn, the crier who can't believe she has to compete for his attention.

Last rose: please give it the wedding dress crazy girl. Yes, he did! Good, she was fun.

The crazy dancer and the other black girl and the beautiful blond did not get one. The girl who said her dad would kick his ass did not get a rose. The plain girl and Paige did not get a rose. Paige is a jumbtron operator. I don't know what that means. She's forcing herself to cry. The mermaid hair did not get a rose. She says she's embarrassed for getting kicked off the first night. The Southern black girl did not get a rose.

He stands around with all the women and says they are about to embark on a crazy journey. Next, exciting highlights. Beaches, running, snuggling, underwater, making out, a semi famous person singing, the mountains, helicopter, mountain climbing, fairy tale, leaping into the water, waves, in a plane, kissing, more kissing, drama, secrets, she has a boyfriend, not here for the right reasons, fists, open mouth shock, she's not friendly with girls who like the boy she likes, and she will bite, roller derby, the paramedics, a neck brace, the girl with one arm, crying, top knots, hands over faces, tears, tears, tears from the guy, a giant watch, a tuxedo, dropping a rose in slow motion, a monkey on the beach, he knows who his wife is and he's meeting her on a pier surrounded by cacti. Hell yeah I'll tune in next time.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Downton Abbey Season Three Begins (or, How I Know I've Become a Senior Citizen)

Dan's Mom and I are both very excited for the first episode of DA, even though I have, in the intervening months, forgotten what is happening. War? Is that one blond guy still crippled? I think he maybe walked a few steps in the season finale.

Okay, here we go. Two hours of great dresses and minimal interruptions. I hope I don't find Shirley McClaine too annoying. Get on with it! I've learned that I could buy the soundtrack of DA and the PBS versions of "Every Breath You Take." I will pass, thank you. Laura Linney introduces the show, wearing a  too big black man's suit with a sparkly collar. She is set against a blood red background, not sure why, but I still admire her dimples. My favorite character: the lab they show at the beginning. Oh, dear, now I remember that I can't stand the way that Elizabeth McGovern talks, as if she can't open her mouth all the way. They are in the church, preparing for someone's wedding. Andy and Mary? Or whatever his name is. He's not in wheelchair, so that's good news for my memory.

They are reminding us what's gone on---Sybil has run off with the chauffeur and Master Bates is wanted for murder. The old ladies are dressed in opposing colors, red and blue. I do love Maggie Smith and I hope she lives forever.The footman is missing, but Miss O'Brien knows someone who can be a new character--Alfred Nugent, likely a spy!

Anne or whatever her name is goes to see Master Bates in prison. She has some papers that might be of interest. They are still so much in love and she'd rather work to get him free "than dine with the Earl of Buckingham palace." And, "Never make an enemy by accident." Foreshadowing? He looks at her with the same love that Mr. Darcy had in the PBS version of Pride and Prejudice.

The new valet, Nugent, stands very tall. They are checking his credentials. Mr. Carson must accept his fate. Does he have a love interest? I can't recall.

By the way, you can purchase these amazing dog portraits of Downton characters at Toadbriar on Etsy. 

Now Andy and Mary are talking about having sex in front of her father while walking on the foggy lea in matching gray outfits.

Lord Grantham is meeting with a man with a large white  mustache and learning he's made some crappy investments in a bankrupt railroad. He can scarcely believe his ears when he (and we) learn that the lion share of Cora's fortune is gone. But he refuses to be the Earl "who dropped the torch and let the flame go out." It's not that he's worried about Downton, but the people in it.

Poor Edith wears a lavendar jacket and is meeting with this old guy who is awkward and asks, "How's it going?" We learn that Sybil will show up later. Duh, no duh.

For dinner, Andy dresses in a white tux as he announces to his valet/butler that he won't be taking him along for the marriage, because he wants to live more simply. In just the one tux.

Cora, the dunce, has no idea that hiring a new valet will ruin them. Cora is perplexed, an emotion she shows by pinching her mouth together. Carson is dismayed that Nugent trained in a hotel. Maggie gets off her first zinger against Cora's mother. Edith is the only one at the table who finds her funny. Because she too is a meanie. Alfred Nugent looks just like that other guy the little maid was into.

I must break now to have some marshmellow oaties. This might be too fatiguing to keep up--it's only 9:20 and so much has happened!!

Sybil returns, knocked up and her new Irish husband is quite a handful at dinner, mouthy and such. Andy has inherited a ton of money but doesn't want to admit to it. Mr. Downton confesses to Cora that he's lost her entire fortune and he cries, and she purses her lips to show disappointment and love. She says, "Have gun, will travel," while kneeling at his feet like a Pekinese. She reminds him to just enjoy this last wedding and the remainder of their fortune. This is total fantasy. The Irish guy goes to the pub because he can't handle the pressure of not having his own tux. Andy tells him to buck up. 

Cocktail party and the Irish guy gets insulted but zings back that he has not forgotten his manners. Edith is making eyes at Sir Anthony, who is 40 years older than her. His teeth just fell out into the martini. The Irish guy is arguing about the Black and Tan or something. But it seems that Larry has given the Irish bloke a roofie to misbehave, and Andy announces that he wants him to be his best man. A hero! Edith's hair is in 500 tight waves and she's making out with Sir Anthony, who I think is wearing his arm in a sling for no reason.

Mary wears a blue riding suit for the wedding with a too tilted hat. Papa decides to ruin her day by talling her that he's lost the fortune. Could he not wait unilt after the affair? Oh, I am wrong. It's the day before the wedding.

Tom arrives in the sitting room and Thomas arrives to apologize for his behavior. Maggie takes it well. The Irish man says he doesn't want to wear the blasted coat because it contains the chains of oppression, but Maggie says, "Are you quite finished?" And that shuts him up.

And now, Shirley McClain arrives in a brocaded curtain and swaddled in furs. She greets all the girls by insulting them and letting them know how much better everything is in America. Character development done! Mary tells her mother that she will soon be doing lots of things with Andy in the bedroom. Cora pinches her face together. Andy has a telegram that Mary reads out loud for all of us. The guy who would inherit the money is dead, but the heirs are all part of it. She tells Andy that Papa has gambled the fortune away on horses and railroads. But Andy can save them! Except he won't becuase of morals annd how he broke Lavinia's heart and killed her. They have a fight with music swelling in the background. "Andy, how can you be so disappointing?You're not on our side." She throws down the telegram and flees in her sensible brown heels. Edith watches and smiles.

Shirley and Maggie have a bit of a showdown. "She is like a honing pidgeon. She finds our underbelly every time."

They are eating soup and Maggie admits she sent the money to allow the Irish man to come to Mary's wedding. It was a secret, but now it's out. Perhaps we will learn that Maggie has a secret past and was once in love with a horse rider. Mary breaks down because Andy won't give her the money. Daisy is pouting at the end of the table, refusing to check the pudding. Edith tells everyone at dinner that Mary thinks Andy isn't on her side. The Irish says that he will go find Andy.

Mary suggests they cancel the wedding. She is sick of all their sexual banter. He says that he will never be happy with anyone else as long as she walks the earth. He wants to kiss her, but it's bad luck. She refuses. He puts his penis throw the door instead. I can't help it!! It would be funny if she had the maid kiss him instead. That closed eye kiss was the corniest thing I've seen in a long, long time.

Day of the wedding. The man of the house compliments Tom on his top coat. They kiss passionately. Another wrinkle in the plot!

Cora asks Mary if there's anything she wants to know about anything in the bedroom, such as Terrier style. "Yes, Yes!" Edith says. Cora is dressed as a Athena, with a wreath of wheat in her hair. She floats down the stairwell like an Edwardian ghost and Carson and Daly star open mouth at her. Edith throws herself at the old guy again. I bet he drops dead at the reception and she will be foiled again. All the help are in the chapel. Maggie and Shirley are trying to outdo each other in their feathers. Mary arrives in a wagon to crowds of cheering, starving peasants waving flags and handkerchiefs. A tomato splats the window. Mary holds calla lilies in her arms. They banter at the altar. Someone is racing in a car, God, please don't let them be killed in a terrible wreck.  I don't know who this is, but they brought a rocking roadster.

Back at the dinner table; what about the party? Maggie tells Mr. Grantham to tell the old man to drop Edith. The men retire to the drawing room to pet the dog and smoke a cigar. Andy tells Mr. G. that he knows they're destitute. Everyone is talking about it. They're also talking about prostitution and helping fallen women. This is racy! Everyone hates Shirley and her feathers and rudeness. One of the help has a lump in her breast.

Wait, no scene of the wedding night? Just the maid picking up the lambskin condoms and some loud kissing. Edith throws herself at the man with the wilted arm and tells him he must come to dinner.

Anna goes back to the prison. I am fatigued by this plot line. Something about a book with information. Mrs. Hughes goes to the doctor to see about her cancer and the doctor tells her that it's probably benign.

Maggie is begging Mary to ask for money from the Shirley. They must show her how vital Downton is for the community. The tall guy seems to be flirting with Shirley's uptight maid. Andy sits at a writing desk and Mary asks about any news from the lawyer. He is definitely Reggie's heir. I don't like this plot line either. It seems tedious. Maggie asks about Shirley's brother, and she pretends to like America so that they can get the money. I don't think she will bite. At least not in this one episode.Mr. G. tells the old guy to lay off Edith.

The new valet has been betrayed by the evil valet, but I doubt that he will go down that easy. Mrs. O'Brien says she will make him sorry; can't wait to see how. It's okay though, because Shirley's maid just kissed him to make him feel better. Daisy is aghast.

That one slutty maid has returned as she has become a prostitute. The cancer test was inconclusive. Edith is upset that Sir Anthony has thrown her aside.But then Mr. G relents and invites the old guy back.

Disaster! The oven is broken and they must think fast and just serve bread and cheese and wine like a picnic. It will be great fun! The maids are making out all over the place. The guests are so excited to be able to eat wherever they like. Shirley sings "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" around the piano. The entire countryside is charmed, except for Maggie, who is falling asleep while Shirley serenades her and kisses her hand. It is quite extraordinary. Sir Anthony professes that Edith has given him back his life and she kisses him passionately on his pasty old cheek. They are planning to get married. He will drop dead soon.

Shirley explains that the world has changed and she can't support Downtown but she can give the girls a dress allowance. It's not because she won't, but the money is tied up. It looks like Mr. Bates or whatever his name is will be about to get the shit kicked out of him in prison. I guess we will have to end on a cliffhanger. Oh, maybe not, maybe he just saw something bad happening and he's being threatened. So, wait, instead, he strangles the guy. Go Bates! "Don't ever threaten me!" The man says he forgot he was in a cell with a murderer and Bates says, "Don't forget it again."

Shirley is advising Mr. G. to adapt to the new times. Clink of whiskey glasses. It must be ending soon, right? It's not going to be two hours every time, will it? I can't bear it!

Next week, more intrigue and lovely parasols. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No New Year's Resolutions

I didn't make any this year, even after watching a Dr. Phil show about how to succeed (accidentally watching it, okay? Nothing else was on). His remarks are all super common sense like, Have a specific goal in mind, don't buy Twinkies if you're sick of being fat, plan a date night with your partner if you need to feel closer together. I know what the secret to losing weigh is for me: stop eating candy every single day and marshmallow cereal for dinner. Hey, but that Whole Foods organic Three Sister's cereal is so good and only a few thousands of calories per bowl. And the marshmallows are made from free range marshes.YUM!

Also, perhaps get back into the habit of going to the gym. But I so hate the gym... It's boring and I get all sweaty and don't arrive home until late. I should think about going at lunch time and/or in the morning like some very organized people I know do.

I haven't made myself promise to write more, because I'm still getting up in the mornings to do the 750 words thing and have a 336 day streak going (more or less. I sometimes cheat on the weekends by cutting and pasting text). I haven't even made a promise to write in this blog more, because it gets tiresome. I feel like I should only write if I have something interesting to say and that happens so rarely.

Dan and I have not promised to make video parodies of the new season of The Bachelor, because he still can't stay over at my house during the week while he's filling in at Princeton M-F (truthfully, even when that job ends, he won't stay over during the week b/c he has Luke every night).

But in case you're wondering, here's Sean Lowe (no relation to Rob Lowe,  I don't think), who is the newest bachelor extraoridinaire.

Molly and I have decided that the following things will happen this season:

1. Pretty much no one is there for the "right reasons."
2. Sean will feel vulnerable.
3. 50% of the scenes will be shot poolside/backlit by a sunset/on a helicopter.
4. One of the women will drink way too much on the first night and slur her regrets when she's rejected.
5. Most every episode will feature these words,"the hardest decision I've ever had to make" and Chris Harrison saying, "Unlike anything you've ever seen before in Bachelor history..." and "most dramatic rose ceremony in history" (neither statement of which is true).
6. Someone will return from bachelor past to fight for Sean's love. Molly knows this from a commercial.
7. No one will ever say, "No, I will not accept this stupid rose."
8. 787 bottles of Pinot Grigio will be consumed, but no one will be shown snorting coke, though they're all doing it to suppress their appetites.
9. Group hot tub scene with one woman leaving, hoping she will be pursued by Sean.
10. Tears.

Here is something I promise to do--more pictures. This is me and Dan on our way to Supper.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mummer's Parade

This update is way past due, so I don't feel like writing a lot, except that on New Year's Day, we went to the Mummer's Parade for a few hours and saw some great costumes and floats and heard good marching bands and saw old white Philadelphia ladies smoking cigarettes and shouting for beads from the paraders. I believe a good time was had by all, at least until we started to freeze to death and had to go to the diner for breakfast. That was cool too though, because we got a front row seat to the street and could continue watching the carrying-on.
French bulldog named Frannie in a red sweater. Get it? Red bull?

Charlie Chaplin

Lovely drag queen ladies.

Check out all the Elvises. Elvi? What do you call a pack of Elvis look-a-likes, the Vegas years?

Peacock Pride.

Can't recall the theme of this group, but he was the best of the bunch.

Philly cops look the other way as people walk by drinking Bud Light.