Seeing my bad behavior reflected in others : It’s never too late to change!


When I was a little kid, I used to tattle on my sisters,  even when they didn’t really do anything wrong. I’d say, “mommy she’s hitting me, or pinching me, or kicking me.” Sometimes those things would happen, but more often they didn’t. After all, siblings do regularly plummet each other.

One day I was playing at a neighbor’s house. I was about 7 or 8.  I distinctly remember sitting in a treehouse.  I was listening to the little sister constantly complain about her brother. I suddenly realized that was how I was acting. It didn’t make me happy to see my own annoying behavior mirrored back at me. After that day, I stopped the tattling.

Another thing I’m still not good at is accepting apologies. My husband can say, “I’m sorry” and I still go on. I think I’ve done that with other people too.

I took me until today to realize that is not good behavior. I won’t give you the details, but I apologized to someone about a minor infraction and they were still upset.

From this day on, I will be accepting people’s apologies. Really accepting them.

Who says it’s never too late to change? I’m 63 and 1/2.

Is there a behavior you display that you can change. Did you ever have one of those wake up moments.

My two older sisters and me!

My two older sisters and me!

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I’ve been out of touch with some TV and it’s probably a good thing! Yuck


no-cable-tv

no-cable-tv (Photo credit: hjl)

Some of the TV shows on cable television are shocking. I started watching some tonight while I tried to crochet. I figured I could listen and figure out what I was doing at the same time. It really didn’t work.  I ended up ripping out my crocheting, but I realized TV has come a long way. A long way downwards.

I won’t pretend I don’t watch TV, and  that some of my choices aren’t  terrific.  I seem to like competitions and weight shows.  I am a regular viewer of Jon Stewart and the Colbert show.  I used to watch the news shows, but they are just people repeating the same things over and over. The news isn’t too good lately anyway.  Talk about a rehash fest.  It’s nothing like the newscasters of old who actually seemed qualified  to comment on the World’s events.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Tonight, I listened to Kim and  whoever Khardasian live in Miami.  They eat at fancy restaurants, and run around being famous.  I won’t even tell you what they were discussing on the show tonight. It was too gross.

The husband of one of the sisters seems as dumb as a box of rocks. However, I guess he’s smart enough to live with the Khardasian’s and just play. He doesn’t seem to have a job or anything like that. He also was harassing his girlfriend (a Khardasian)  because she weighed 115 pounds instead of 95. She hadn’t taken off her “baby weight” yet. Yes, they have two children, of course, they’re not married.  I am guessing they deserve each other.

I know the Khardasians are wildly popular and have tons of followers on Twitter. Why is this? They are attractive girls, but exactly what do they do?  I guess their show gives the viewers a chance to pretend they’re famous for doing absolutely nothing. What would it be like to have all that money?

I realized that I must be out of touch with society if this is what is going on in real life. Are people really acting like this?  This TV watching was even worse than the Fox channel which I didn’t think was possible.

Then I watched ( and listened) to  some other disgusting shows. They weren’t trying to be reality shows.  Writers actually write this stuff. Are they high on drugs or drunk when they do this?

All they were talking about was sex. How to do it, and who to do it with, what positions to use. They also loved describing body parts. It reminded me of a sophisticated version of sixth grade jokes.  I didn’t get much of a story going on here. Many of the characters were shallow, superficial, and not very likable.

I didn’t get any inspiring type of messages, or positive feelings.
One of the shows I do  watch is “Shameless”, but some of the stuff is getting to rank for me. I will probably keep watching it because there is enough good acting  going on to keep me interested. They do touch on some issues.  Some of the story lines turn me off. (An Indian with a sexual perversion problem, a daughter using her mother to help her have a baby.) Maybe I’m missing something.

Am I just getting old, or has the morality of society really gone down the tubes. It doesn’t seem that we can get much lower than this.

I’m thinking maybe I’d be better off without TV.   But, like many people, I am addicted.  I guess that makes me no better than Kim and her sister taking Miami or whatever they were supposed to be doing.

What do you think about TV?

Weigh in on “The Biggest Loser”: Gimmicky or Real?


I hate to admit it, but I am a regular watcher of “The Biggest Loser.” I use it to motivate myself to keep on a good eating and exercise program, but I have some problems with the show.

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner (Photo credit: audiovisualjunkie)

Problems I have with this show

First of all, trainer Jillian is a real witch. She’s really mean to people, then she does  pop psychology on them. She seems like she has a split-personality. On one hand, she is nasty, then she puts on her happy face and sweet voice. (She calls everyone sweetie when she’s being nice.)   I really hate when she gets contestants to drag her around as a weight. Plus, her smile is crooked which gives her a devious look.

On the first episode this season she threw most of her team out the door and told them to consider leaving.  (The poor people were all throwing up because the tasks she made them start out with were too hard.) Did she have to start them out with such difficulty?   Several contestants considered their options and went home. Can you blame them?

Last week she made some poor woman go in a coffin for a few minutes. It was to help her realize that she needed a new lease on life. She was fooling around with serious stuff. It’s a good thing the woman, who is claustrophobic, didn’t end up going crazy.

The other trainers are easier to take. Why Bob has tattoos going all over his arms and everywhere is beyond me.  Why get your body in shape, than disfigure yourself.  I like Dolvett, who is the boxer. He seems to have his head on straight. He, like Bob, have a more positive approach then Jillian.

The challenges

I have to hand it to the writers for thinking up those bizarre challenges. Traveling through bubble gum, slogging through mud. throwing them off heights. Contestants on that show are either desperate for money or attention. Some of the stuff they make them do seems downright life threatening. Last week they had to hold up weight, and when they couldn’t anymore they were dumped into water.

It does manage to hold my attention, so I guess the writers know what they’re doing.

The weigh- in

What kind of person would get up with all their flab hanging out to millions of people? All the contestants on “The Biggest Loser.” The weigh-ins are really odd. Who loses 12 pounds in one week? Either they’re starving them to death or working them too hard. They make it seem that this is a healthy weight loss. If someone loses 4 or 5 pounds in one week, you’d think the world had come to an end. I think this give people the idea that losing 10 to 12 pounds a week is normal. I wonder how many of the contestants end up with eating disorders after the show is over?

You know, some of those people are going to regain most of their weight after the show is over. They never talk about that.

Although I find some real serious  problems with this show, it does manage to motivate me. I think about what I look like, my health and what I’m eating.

I do like the promotion of exercise, but at my age, I’d never attempt half the stuff they do on the show. I do a lot of water aerobics, elliptical machines, and walking. I would never be willing to leap off of high places. Not even for money.

They added kids this season

Thank goodness they’re not making the kids put on embarrassing clothes, and put them on the scale. It’s mostly a promotion of exercise and healthy eating. Naturally, some of the parents of these kids are also overweight. Last week, they showed a teenager pleading with her mother to also try to lose weight, so she won’t die. Wasn’t it real exploitation  to show this on national TV?

Do you think this show is exploitation or it’s an earnest attempt to motivate the viewers? Or just get ratings? Is it ethical to humiliate people on TV to get good ratings, and people like me watch?

 

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Les Miserable


If you’ve never seen the Broadway play of Les Miserable, maybe you’ll appreciate this clip from a 10th anniversary special. These were all the professionals who played the main parts.

I did enjoy the movie, but I was a little haunted by all the big voices I was used to hearing when I saw it live. This play is a particular favorite of mine.    I’ve seen it several times. What do you think?

“Parental Guidance”: Movie Review” Nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal!


Do you think Billy Crystal is hilarious? Then, go see Parental Guidance. I both laughed and cried during this movie. But, nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal. He plays Arte Decker, an over-the-hill baseball announcer, who has been fired for being old and out of touch with the newest generation.  There were some poignant moments in this movie interspersed with all the laughs.

I laughed a lot more than I cried. Bette Midler plays Crystal’s adoring put-together wife (Diane) who sees the chance to babysit their three grandchildren as another opportunity to win their grandchildren’s love. Currently, their photo is pushed aside on the mantle because the “other grandparents” take center stage.

Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) is  their only daughter  who is married to Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott) he’s handsome, understanding and smart.  He’s a gadget computer guy who’s completely made their house user friendly.  Crystal’s awkwardness around all this stuff felt familiar to me.

Alice and Phil direct the parents on their modern child rearing methods. Use positive reinforcement and don’t ever say no. “We let them ‘use their words and make choices.” says Tomei.

The three kids are adorable, but they have their problems. The oldest girl, Harper, (Bailee Madison)  is too serious,  the middle child, Turner, (Joshua Rush)  has a stutter, and the littlest guy, Barker (Kyle Harrison Breikopf)   has an imaginary friend. They all play straight guys to Billy Crystal. He’s great with them, especially Barker, but there is a moment in the film when Turner steals the movie.
There are a few slap-stick gags that are old, familiar and predictable, but they still work.

Crystal does one scene by himself that I found particularly touching. You’ll have to see the movie because I don’t want to ruin it.

What I was glad to see were all the kids, mostly preteens or early teens,  in the movie theater. A clean-cut movie with no monsters, guns and violence. They seemed to be enjoying it too.

If you’re looking for depth, there isn’t a whole lot in this movie. But, if you’re looking for laughter, you’ll find it here.  And if you’re trying to reconcile your place in the universe, it’s reassuring to know you’re in the same age category as Midler and Crystal.

Do you agree with my review? Comments are welcomed.

 

Downton Abbey makes an American splash in newest series debut: A review


I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I tuned into Downton Abbey on PBS. This British series actually held my attention. It was a combination of the good acting, intrigue and fantastic costumes.

The show is about the interplay between the aristocracy and their servants. The family is the Crawley Family. According to Wikipedia , “ The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the Edwardian and post-Edwardian era — with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

In the opening episode of Season 2,  they were all really worried that their huge old mansion would have to be sold because  Lord Grantham, owner of the estate, made a bad investment in a railroad.  The time is now 1920.

Despite the fact that Lord Grantham is about to lose everything, he throws a huge audacious wedding for his daughter and fiance.   She drove to the church in a horse-driven  carriage.  To make matters worse, her soon-to-be husband has suddenly inherited a pile of money that he refuses to use to salvage her family’s mansion.

Maggie Smith, a seasoned British actress, plays the main English grandmamma Violet Crawley. On this episode, she clashed with the American grandmamma, Martha Levinson, played by  Shirley MacLaine. They couldn’t find better actresses to play these parts. Smith was properly snobby, and MacLaine played an inappropriate loud American who says what’s on her mind. Maclaine is finally showing her age despite her obvious plastic surgery. Smith has let herself age. I think she looks more real.( They’re both the same age in real life, 78.)

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

The servants live downstairs, and help the aristocracy dress and feed themselves. (They put the food on their plates). The higher class has to get dressed for dinner, and the servants also have to wear proper servant’s attire. There is all kinds of drama going on between the servants.  In this episode one of  daughters brought home her Irish husband who used to be the chauffeur.

I also liked seeing Elizabeth McGovern, mother, Cora Crawley,  who I haven’t see since she played a teenager in Ordinary People in 1980. Luckily, she still looks pretty good . She’s not that old.

The acting was so good that I will catch up on it next week on Sunday night on PBS at 9:00.

According to Reuters,  I’m not the only one who tuned in because it scored a record 7.9 million viewers for public broadcasting.  This quadrupled the average ratings for a premiere episode. The show is also nominated for some Golden Globe awards.

It just goes to show you, that Americans love gossip about the English, even if it’s make-believe. Besides, we all like to see filthy rich people squirm. (Unless your filthy rich too).

Did you watch the opening show of this season?  What did you think? Did you stay tuned the whole time? Why do you think this show is so popular with American audiences?

“Liz and Dick” movie on Lifetime: Boring, boring and more boring


Cropped screenshot of Richard Burton and Eliza...

Cropped screenshot of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor from the trailer for the film Cleopatra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are probably rolling over in their graves. I’m sure they would not be happy with the portrayal of their lives in the “Lifetime” movie “Liz and Dick.”

I usually enjoy Lindsay Lohan’s performances although she is a little crazy in her real life.  She doesn’t get a pass this time. Lohan plays Taylor too sweet and restrained.  Taylor’s temper tantrums don’t come across as violent or crazy enough. Plus, Lohan hardly varies her tone of voice. I would say it’s time for her to take a few refresher acting lessons, or stay off the booze and pills. She should also do something about her hoarse voice.

The actor who plays Richard Burton, Grant Bowler, was mediocre to bad. He had Burton’s voice down but, he’s just about as boring as Lohan. The two actors had absolutely no chemistry between them. It was impossible to see them as the two hottest lovers of the 20th century.

I watched the whole thing, and I kept hoping it would get interesting. It never delivered.

I remember the Taylor and Burton Scandal

Back in 1963, everyone was scandalized by the Taylor Burton love affair. At the time Taylor was a real vixen who’d broken up the marriage of Debbie Reynolds (actress)  and Eddie Fisher (a well-known singer.)  They were the  all American couple.  Then Elizabeth’s Taylor husband, Mike Todd, died in an airplane crash. Eddie Fisher comforted her and dumped Debbie and married Liz.

During the making of the movie, Cleopatra, Burton and Taylor fell madly in love.  If you watch this too long movie, there is obvious chemistry between them.

I remember reading about the torrid affair in Photoplay Magazine when I was a teenager.   It was the hottest affair of the 60’s. Burton had a stable marriage, and his wife, Sybil,  didn’t easily let him go. She was used to his affairs, but he usually returned home after he was done making a movie. She couldn’t keep him this time.

Taylor was the  glamorous diva actress of the 60’s. People were consumed with this scandal.  (At least teenagers liked to read about it.)

People finally accepted the Burton’s marriage after about 10 years. But wouldn’t you know it, just when people accepted it, they got sick of each other and got divorced. It was sweet when they got remarried a second time. That didn’t last long. (So much for true love.)
Conclusion

If you watch this movie, realize it’s a watered down version of what probably happened.  Better yet, change the channel. Burton and Taylor deserve better.

What did you think of the movie? Anyone like it?