Sunday, June 27, 2010

Watching Television Without a Plan

It has been years since I considered myself to be a true television viewer. When I was a kid, my life revolved around the television. I didn't realize this back then, but this meant that the time during my childhood when I wasn't in school was planned for me by a team of network executives. Except during Lent of course. It was an annual tradition in our household to give up television for Lent. Around the time I started high school I stopped watching television almost entirely. Ironically, it was around this time when I began my journey toward becoming an ex-Catholic.

During the last decade I would have told you that I only watch Lost and Jeopardy, but in the last year my TV watching has sky-rocketed. For the sake of this blog and because it is timely and relevant, I will blame my new found interest in television on the economy. Because of this I have found myself with quite a bit more free time on my hands. In this time, I have started watching all sorts of crap. For starters, I watched one full season of American Idol and actually found myself caring how it all turned out. The same goes for one cycle of America's Next Top Model. I know nothing about fashion, but WOW I love that show! I've gotten into some of the reality programming on VH-1 and I will always watch any show that starts with Dr. Drew' the title. I also love what Dr. Tolin is doing as well as Dr. Oz. I Do not watch Dr. Phil. I have to draw the line somewhere. I do not subscribe to Showtime or HBO, but I have managed to find ways to keep up with Dexter, Weeds and True Blood. The History Channel has gotten amazing and branched out with their shows. It's no longer all documentaries about WWII. They have have decided to compete with another great show Antiques Road Show with their American Pickers and Pawn Stars. Both are amazing and I watch those now. And finally, after Lost ended I started watching V. I never saw the old series from the 80's but I did get into this new one. It's incredibly predictable and really cheesy, but it is so entertaining.

I think that's it. Those are the only shows I watch. And I don't even have a DVR. Most of this is technically not even television watching that I'm doing. I usually only turn on a TV while I'm eating or doing the dishes. The rest is seen on a computer. And for the record, I am not unemployed. I just don't go out much.

Did I mention that I also have Netflix? Netflix has introduced me to some shows that I would have never bothered watching otherwise. Because of netflix I finaly watched all three seasons of Arrested Development. I was also introduced to the brilliant british documentary series Up. If you don't know what that show is I will probably blog about it some other time, but you can read about it here. My most recent thing I've gotten into is Dark Shadows. I avoided it for years because it's a soap opera, but I watched a few episodes on Netflix and now I'm hooked. Will Maggie Evans become Josette DuPres? I have to watch to find out. Or I could probably just read about it on wikipedia.

I'm not sure where I was going with all of this, I guess I do watch TV. It's kind of ridiculous when I see it all written down. Maybe I'll cut a few out. I'm still learning the concept of moderation. Maybe I need the help of Dr. Drew. Or perhaps the need to watch everything is an OCD and Dr. Tolin can help. I guess I'll have to watch the rest of The OCD Project to find out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

obit blogs

Even though this is my fourth entry that has touched on the topic of death, I swear I'm not obsessed with it. At least not in a Harold and Maude "I go to funerals" kind of way.

I will admit to being somewhat fascinated by death as well as pretty scared of it too. But one thing that I actually enjoy and find a kind of comfort in is obituaries. I love the idea that everyone's life is a story and after you die it can all be summed up into a few paragraphs to be shared with everyone. With celebrities, it's always interesting to see what aspects of their lives are focused on. Even if said celebrity (I'm not mentioning names, but I'm sure you can guess) lived a life of secrecy and accusation of things we will never know if they were guilty of or not, their obituary will only remember what was good about them. In fact, we can end up feeling really good about a celebrity on a personal level after reading their obituary.

I noticed a while back that the Los Angeles Times has an obituary blog in the blogs section of their website. Brilliant! This makes even more sense than their paper obits. It seems like a more permanent and meaningful tribute to the deceased. Sometimes the blog will be about the anniversary of someone's death or sometimes it will just be a simple link to a story that has something to do with obituaries in general. today I found such a link...Stint On the Obit Beat Reveals Dangers of Incuriosity.

A happy story about obituary writing with a positive message at the end. We should all remember to be curious and to go out and live our lives.

"A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they're not dead, really. They're just... backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt, even! Play as well as you can. Go team! Go! Give me an L! Give me an I! Give me a V! Give me an E! L. I. V. E. LIVE! ...Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room."

-Maude (Ruth Gordon) in Harold and Maude

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday again.

Remember when people actually used Myspace? I know it wasn't that long ago, but for some reason it feels like it's been forever. You go on there now and it's like a ghost town of abandoned profiles with status updates frozen in time. They had a really great feature on there called Bulletins. It's probably where the Twitter guys got their idea and now Facebook works pretty much the same way. It was just a way to write something short or share a link and all of the people on your friends list see it at the same time. Kind of like sky writing on the internet. When I was at my most active on Myspace, back when I had lots of time on my hands (oh like I don't still have too much time on my hands) I had a daily bulletin that I would post called Quin's Daily Youtube Bulletin. I would post everything from old music videos to short films to trailers or just something bizarre and random. I enjoyed it and i actually got tons of feedback from people. That was where I came up with the idea for this blog. I figured it was more space to post things and write about them and that there would be a potentially bigger audience. I'm sure that's still a possibility but it hasn't happened yet. So until all of the people show up this is just a place for me to work on my writing skills and be a little silly. It's so much easier to be silly when there's no one watching, even though you know there's a possibility that someone might walk in at any time.

So I was thinking back on some of the youtube videos I had found and posted and thought I would put together a few that stand out as some of my favorites.

old music video:

Yello "I Love You"

short film:

Bambi Meets Godzilla


"Who's Afraid of VIrginia Woolf?"


"Skateboarding Girls"

Well, I think that's about all for today. Class is dismissed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rest in Peace, John Wooden

There are going to be a lot of these in the next few days. Many will be more personal, with more detail. Most of them will be more well written. But the one thing they will all have in common is the honesty. It's hard to feel great sadness when someone who lived for 99 years passes away. Thinking back on what I know about John Wooden, I feel mostly gratitude. I am grateful that I was fortunate enough to get his message. There is a John Wooden quote that pertains to almost any situation. All of these words will live forever and will hopefully continue to inspire people. Thank you, John Wooden.

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
-John Wooden

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Awakening The Beast

In the past few months my interest in creative writing has popped back up again. I've always enjoyed the process of writing, but sometimes my laziness takes over and the writing just stays inside my head. Until they figure out a way to hook a brain up to a printer, this is just called thinking. This week I finally decided to take action. I was thinking about how to start the process up again when the lightbulb went on...I HAVE A BLOG!!! Yes, my neglected blog is clearly the best place to practice my writing and to create the discipline I need so badly (desperately) to make sure I do it every day.

This is an experiment. But I really need to do this. I'm even taking extra measures this time and having a few people check up on me here to see that I am keeping up the daily writing. The great thing about this blog is that it can be about pretty much anything that I think is cool that I find somewhere on the internet. There is obviously an endless amount of material for this. But in the next few days I will also be starting a second blog that is a bit more focused. That blog will specifically feature film reviews. I watch a ton of movies and I always have something to say about them. As soon as I have something written and I think of a catchy name for the blog, I will post a link here.

See you tomorrow.