Been & Going

[Lessons From The TV People] Till Next Time, U-verse

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Dearest Readers (aka Mom):

I am sad to announce that the U-verse and I will be parting ways in the next coming weeks. My promotional rate ran out a while ago and since then I’ve been ugly crying at each monthly direct debit from my bank account. My cable/internet bundle price more than doubled after the year was up. The only thing that consoled me was the knowledge that I was able to avoid Game Of Thrones spoilers by watching the HBO East Coast feed. Well, GoT is done for the year and June was going to be the month to make the clean break. Thanks a lot, BBC America, for airing the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell mini-series. OK, fine, after that. Well, after the last episode of The Seventies on CNN. Then it’s goodbye…after True Detective since my brother needs to watch the last three eps. Then we are really done, U-verse.


Unless your Retention Department can make me a great deal.

But if not, I am ready and willing to go without cable…

…it’s the DVR I’m really going to miss, man. What a genius invention. Series record. Pausing live TV. Taping up to four shows at the same time—

Stay strong, Ratliff.


Just think, I might get out more. Read some more books. Refigure out how to work my DVD/VCR combo. Oh hell, do they still sell VHS tapes?

Let me take this opportunity to give a little thanks to U-verse for the expansion of my incredulity and the introduction to shows I never needed to see. I’m looking at you, TLC.

But it’s time to go…and hopefully get a really good deal to stay. If not, then it is meant to be. No need to be sad*. U-verse and I had a good time. We’ve shared so many quality Tiny House shows together. Watched a World Cup or two. And spent at least five Harry Potter Weekends side by side. It’ll be an end of an era**.

So to celebrate which may be the last time I watch Independence Day (which is airing this evening for no reason since it is so soon after it ran as a marathon on July 4th), here is my favorite scene that I like to watch over and over. I give you Boomer***:








*Unless they call my bluff and don’t give me a good deal.

**And the start of a new one? Fingers crossed?

***Please. I need Boomer in my life, U-verse. Give me a good deal.

[Lessons From The TV People] The Carbonaro Effect

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Much to my dismay, The Carbonaro Effect is not The Carbonara Effect and no pasta was involved. Yes, in all seriousness, I thought it was a cooking show until I read the description. Something about how a guy makes bubbles into glass ornaments and fools customers. Intriguing but I was apparently really hungry and wanted to look at pasta boiling. But I recorded it and sat down this morning to watch it. This dude is a magician who does sleight of hand stuff LFTTVP-CEbubble1to fool people in a hidden camera show. He’s good. I would have believed the bubble into glass ornament thing, I’m not going to lie. But the gray goo that becomes a live frog when you pulse a light over it? Not so much. The big question in mind would be, “Should I call him out?” Or should I go with it and ask him to cure my ailments? The only correct response would be to scream, “DEVIL!” and run out of the store.

I didn’t even mention how he convinced customers that a goldfish sticker becomes a real one when you put it in water. Only $.25 each. This woman wanted ten of them. My question to her is, “yeah, they’re only a quarter each but what the hell are you going to do with ten live goldfish?” Does she want extras soLFTTVP-CEbubble she never has to teach her kids about death? This is all conjecture since instead she will return super-pissed to the store demanding her quarters back when it doesn’t work. Then it is “ha ha, you were made a fool of on TV! Here’s your $2.50.”

This is where I admit that I live in fear of hidden camera shows. Living in LA, you have a greater chance of it happening to you because they are cheap shows and why make them more expensive by leaving Southern California? So if a checkout person asks me an unusual question, I start looking around for cameras. Like that time I went to a CVS in a different town and was told that they no longer give out plastic bags. My CVS still gave out bags. Why do this to an innocent woman? I WILL NOT SIGN YOUR TV RELEASE.

Turns out, it was town policy. I had to carry out my stuff in my arms.

Later Carbonaro was in a gym posing as a trainer and doing nutty stuff to fool the gym rats. He’s one of those “I can levitate” magicians and tried to get a guy to do that as part of his training. One of two things is happening at this point: LFFTVP-CEcaryou are either trying to levitate yourself or you’re assuming that I tried to do it. You’d be wrong on that second part. I just woke up. Standing on the ground was tough enough. Levitating would take a drink or two.

Carbonaro also convinces a gym dude that he had a can of Spray Towel. He sprays the foam into his hand and then sleight-of-hand! it becomes a towel. He sprays again and blows into his hand to “make” a sock. Kind of handy. Spray Clothes would delay going to the laundromat for a bit.

The final segment was a fake raffle prize set up. Carbonaro “won” a car in a raffle and an unsuspecting guy has to sign it out to him. Carbonaro “forgets” his ticket and walks home to get it. The poor security guy watches him go and then turns around and the car is gone. He freaks. Curses a bit as he should. Then Carbonaro drives up in the car. “You’re on a hidden camera show!” Security guy takes out his gun and—OK that last part didn’t happen. But we don’t see the outtakes so…

Actually the guy had a good sense of humor and took it well.


You can see Mike Carbonaro exploit gullible people on TRU TV.

But you won’t see me. I WILL REMEMBER HIS FACE.

[Lessons From The TV People] Diagnose Me

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Let me back up. I was catching up on some random Uverse offerings on my DVR the other night when I went down the TLC black hole. You see, I had gotten pissed off at a History Channel show about Medusa. Yeah, Medusa didn’t just offend Athena and that’s why she was turned into a monster. Poseidon raped the virgin priestess in the temple and Athena blamed her! Can you believe that? I was furious! Then on top of all of that, we are supposed to root for Perseus to cut her head off? That’s some bullshit right there. Thanks, History Channel, for forever changing my viewings of Clash of the Titans. Team Medusa all the way.

Go get 'em, girl!

Go get ’em, girl!

Anyway, my anger was such that I turned to TLC. That says something doesn’t it? If you don’t understand, just know that TLC is the home of Hoarders, My 600-lb Life, Breaking Amish, Kate Plus Eight, the creepy Duggar Family show, makeover shows, plus many others that don’t qualify for TLC’s original moniker The Learning Channel. However, this particular night I did luck into some shows that were very educational. Just not what I expected to learn on a Wednesday evening. I caught the tail end of I Still Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. This follows a woman who thought she had food poisoning but instead gave birth. And if the title wasn’t a tip off: this is not the first time it has happened. Man, if I was her, I would assume every little ache or pain was another pregnancy. “My neck is stiff. I must have slept on it—I’M GOING TO HAVE A BABY!”


“I can’t get to my Post Its!”

After Wow, That Burrito I Just Had Is Kicking ended came the show Diagnose Me. Diagnose Me is about mysterious illnesses that are misdiagnosed for longer than necessary before these poor people actually get cured.  The first story on this episode was about a woman who had dizzy spells that led to mysterious symptoms that made it seem like she was possessed by the devil. She would pace and yell and repeat what people said like an annoying ten-year-old and knock trays out of nurses’ hands. But what really concerned her father was all the Post Its in her apartment. Because that is the first sign of a demon possession. You know when you are in the office supply closet and you are tempted to take those pink sticky notes? That’s the devil working through you.

Well, spoiler: it wasn’t a demon possession. Her brain was producing too much of a certain antibody.  It only took three false diagnoses before her doctor decided to “do some research”. Thank you, TLC, for teaching me to tell my doctor to Google.

The second story was about A WOMAN WITH FINGERNAILS ON HER FACE.

On her face.


On her scalp, too.


Finger. Nails. On. Her. Face.

Before I get further into the Fingernail Face, I would like to give a shout out to the actress playing Shayna. The Demon Possessed Post It Lady had more action but Reenactment Shayna really got to the meat of the role. She nailed it.

Because she had fingernails on her face.

Poor Shayna went for over a year with this condition before it was properly diagnosed. One doc thought it was reaction to a steroid for an asthma attack. Another thought it was psoriasis. While a

Fingernails On Her Face!

Fingernails On Her Face!

third did a bunch of biopsies because of suspected lymphoma. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Meanwhile, Shayna became a recluse. Her mother tried to get her out by taking to the store. That didn’t go well. An old woman saw her and said, “Oh my goodness. What is she doing out? She could get us sick!” So intolerant, these Reenactment Old Ladies.

Finally, Shayna was taken to John Hopkins to meet with the Medical Mysteries Team (Assemble!). They looked at her and came to this conclusion: “Hey, it looks like fingernails growing out of the hair follicles. Fingernails are made of keratin like hair is.  We should look at the number of cells in each follicle. Perhaps she is producing more keratin than normal.” And that’s what happened. Shayna was given some Vitamin A medicine that is normally used for severe acne and now she is 60% back to normal. And I’m 60% sure I’m going to have reoccurring Fingernail Face nightmares.

Diagnose Me is on TLC where you can see other educational shows like Grandmother Lovers.

(Confession: I saw a bit of that one. I’m not proud. It was about two guys in their thirties who are sexually attracted to women over 60. I swear they even had a scene of one of them going to visit an old flame’s grave. Classic.)


[Lessons From The TV People] Outrageous Kid Parties

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While channel surfing through the U-verse last night, I came across a show called Outrageous Kid Parties. It was on the Discovery Family Channel where I’m assuming you discover families who spend $29,860 on their 8-year-old’s birthday. That’s exactly what happens in this ISIS recruitment video episode. The 8-year-old in question is Aniston. I’m not kidding. Her mother, Cindy, describes Aniston as “a little diva”. She means this as a compliment. She also says her only daughter has “that It Factor” which I’m assuming here means “Entitlement”. “I want a Rock Star Party!” Aniston screams in her IMG_0817diva tone. She screams everything actually. At one point, there was the necessity for subtitles. I believe it was when she was screaming to her dad over Skype that there was going to be carnival rides and a hummer limo at her party. Dad says, “What?” I said, “I know!” And Connor the middle son bursts in with, “Dad, Mom is spending a lot of money!” Poor Connor. He alludes to the fact that they spent barely $100 on his birthday but his mom is going all out for Aniston. My reaction was “$100!?! For a kid’s birthday?” I’m out of touch.

There’s an eighteen year old eldest son who is pretty much MIA the entire episode. He’s my favorite.

Now on to the party specifics. Cindy hires party planners who quote her $10,000 for the soiree. IMG_0815(“That’s ridiculous” to quote her sensible neighbor.) What does $10k buy you for a birthday? Well, Aniston wants first and foremost a Hummer limo to take her to her Rock Star party. This is when I wanted to demand that her family write a formal apology to Jennifer Aniston for sullying her name. Spoiler: the little diva gets her Hummer limo, which stops at a red carpet where Aniston gets to strut the stuff she learned in her catwalk lessons.

Yes, you read that right. Her mom bought her catwalk lessons for $250.

This is when I have the urge to apologize to Jennifer Aniston for witnessing this.

Aniston also got Rock Star Lessons because she is going to sing on stage the night of her party. Spoiler: she screamed into a microphone. Those lessons were $1500.

IMG_0818Later on, Cindy takes Aniston and Connor for cake tasting. “My cake is going to be really expensive and really big,” says the It Factor Girl. Because that’s what you want in a cake you eat. While sampling, Aniston screams something about the chocolate cake being Rock Star or something. The cake designer shows her a sketch of a big guitar cake. She loves it! Then mom asks how much it is. $2500. That’s more than she had planned on paying. But Aniston wants it! So she gets it.

Pro tip: ask how much the cake is before you let them show it to your spoiled child. In fact, leave them at home. In fact, bake your own cake. You will save $2492.

Word has gotten around that this family is planning a ridiculous, carnival, rock concert party. The Home Owner’s Association Representative comes by to tell Cindy that they are “putting the kibosh on this party.” I want my ringtone to be Carol from the HOA saying “KI-bosh”.

Cindy freaks. Her best friend, Linda, comes to the rescue and says that she’ll host the party. Then she finds out what that entails. Pro Tip: always ask Cindy the specifics before agreeing to do anything for Aniston. Because, Linda, you know Aniston. You know Cindy. She hired a stylist and tattoo artist for her 8-year-old. $1500 by the way.

After freak dancing in her limo, Aniston struts on the red carpet, demands the bottom of the guitar IMG_0819cake, and then finally gets on stage to be a rock star. Before I can lose myself in heaving sobs as I weep for the future of mankind, there are fireworks!

The party is a success. “My party rocked!” screeches Aniston. While Cindy says, “Seeing my daughter on stage just fulfilled my dreams.”


Connor, please keep this video on hand to show your therapist. Actually, make a copy for Aniston, too.

Outrageous Kid Parties airs on the Discovery Family Channel.

[Lessons From The TV People] Survivor Challenges

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Every Survivor Challenge Ever:

“On my go, you’ll run down the beach and swim out to the platform.

From the platform, you will get in a rowboat.

You will then row to a buoy.

Tied to the buoy at the bottom of the ocean is a set of keys.

Once you swim down and untie the keys, you will swim back to the beach, pulling the rowboat behind you with the keys in your teeth.

Pull the boat onto the mat then run to the bamboo cage.

The door to the cage is secured with a series of locks.

Which key will unlock which lock?

None of them. It’s a combination lock.

On each key is a Roman numeral.

It is up to you to determine which three keys with which three Roman Numerals in which order is the combination.

Once the cage is open, get in and lock yourself in.

You will then use the keys to saw yourself out of the cage.

Be careful because all but one key will disintegrate in your hand.

Once you’ve cut yourself out, take the bamboo pieces and the pile of vines to make a pole.

Use that pole to vault over the mud pit.

Be careful: the pit is six feet across and six feet deep so plan your pole accordingly.

Once you and your partner are over the pit

—Oh you’ve been tied to another person this whole time—

crawl through the trenches, cross the balance beam and climb over the rope wall.

You and your partner will then use the disassembled bamboo pole

—You brought that with you, right?—

to make rungs for the ladder.

Warning: the bamboo pieces will only fit in one way even though you made them by hacking through them haphazardly with a key.

As you climb up the ladder, there will be bags of puzzle pieces.

Grab all five bags as you drag another human being up the insanely tall and precarious bamboo-shard ladder.

At the top, you will open the bags of pieces so your partner can put the puzzle together.

Meanwhile you will hold onto a string tied to a terra cotta vase of water that is perched over your head.

You must instruct your partner on where to put the pieces

—Yes, he’s been blindfolded this entire time—

that when completed will reveal the Survivor motto.

You know the motto, right? I don’t have to say it?

Once your partner puts all the pieces together, you will notice that there is one piece missing.

While cursing, you will let go of the string and the vase of water will dump on you.

Just because.

Where is the missing piece?

It’s at the bottom of a bucket filled with sand.

You will uncover the piece by removing mouthfuls of sand and then spitting them into a clear tube.

Yes, with your mouth.

Once the tube of spitty sand is filled to the top, you can grab the final piece out of the bucket.

Putting in the final piece of the puzzle will open the curtain on an elaborate diorama where a mouse goes through a tiny replica of the challenge.

Once he and his tethered blindfolded mouse partner have completed the miniature puzzle, they will eat it to reveal a nail file.

Use that nail file to cut a string…

that releases a ball…

that smashes a tile…

that spills small ball bearings into a pan…

that teeters a seesaw…

that unlatches a latch…

that releases a flock of doves…

that create a gentle breeze…

that fans a flame…

that burns a rope that…”

<Everyone all together now>

“Raises a flag.”

[Lessons From The TV People] I Read A Book

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I read a book. A real one. Not one on my phone. It wasn’t from the library. I bought it. It was a hardcover book. I read it.

How did this happen? How did I go for several hours in the last few days and not turn on the tv but instead opened a book. A real one.

I was cat sitting at my brother’s place. They have a TV. Two in fact. Yes, I knew how to use the remote control to turn it on. (Because let’s be honest: other people’s remote controls are stupidly complicated, even if they are the rare people who only use one control for everything [the average is two controls just to watch the local news]. You can write detailed instructions, you can draw all the diagrams in the world but the guest will always manage to hit something out of sequence and then the screen goes blank. It stays that way until the owners return.) But I treated this as a mini-vacation. I read a book like you do poolside at an all-inclusive resort. Except this resort was off of Sunset Boulevard, had three cats and a half full box of Crunch Berries.

The book was The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. It was good. Even though I figured out who did it, I still enjoyed it. Very quick read. Like a beach read. Except no sand save for some kitty litter granules that made it out of the box.

Once the sun went down so did the book. Because if I read a book after 7pm, I fall asleep in ten minutes. So the TV went on. And the volume would go up and down every few minutes. The reason being is that the TV had to compete with the outside noise. For those of you who’ve never been to Hollywood, picture a place like any other but drown out the noise with the sound of hovering helicopters. At one point I thought, does this building have a helipad?

So yes, I did watch a little TV. Two of the cats and I watched X-Men: Days Of Future Past from the recliner. I had seen it but the cats had not. Ramses recognized Beast from the Jaguar commercials while Anna Paquin getting credited as high as she did for not having any lines confused Anubis. The third cat, Ollie, was asleep.

The other thing we watched was Harry Potter And the Goblet Of Fire. I thought it was weird that HBO was running that one again because that was the last HP film in rotation a few months ago. But really, does it matter? An HP film was on so I was watching it. To be honest, this is not my favorite of the films, as I explained to the cats. Yes, it is the turning point in the series when it becomes one story from here on out. Yes, they did a good job of consolidating the events and making it coherent. I agree on those points. It’s the weird hair. Harry, Ron and the Weasley Twins have weird long hair while Viktor Krum has a crew cut. Out of all the things to change from the book, why this? Krum has the long hair!


The cats, however, didn’t care. They are feminists cats who didn’t like that Fleur, the lone female champion, was written to forfeit the second event and then get swallowed by the hedge maze in the final event. I guess that is straight out of the books but the kitties could not be consoled on this matter. Why couldn’t Krum get overtaken by the Grindylows in the Black Lake? BECAUSE HE HAD NO HAIR TO GRAB ONTO.





At this point, I realized I should pick up the remote and turn off the TV and go back to reading the real book.

If only I could remember how to do that.

[Lessons From The TV People] House Hunters International

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{Life has been scowling upon me the last couple of weeks so instead of a long rant of my woes, please enjoy an old post from my site. Consider it a companion piece to my last post on My City Is Being Aloof, Did He Say Anything To You? My City’s Just Not That Into Me.

I do love watching people look at houses…}

I just returned from visiting my mom for a week.  And like all good moms, she had dvr’d at least 20 House Hunters Internationals for me to gorge on while we hid in the air conditioning…for it ’twas Florida in August. Almost every night, we watched at least three. So I got quite good at imitating the “X” sound effect when the couple eliminate one of the housing choices. I plan on bringing it out at parties.

Quick tutorial: if you don’t know House Hunters, turn on HGTV right now. It will be on. The show features a couple who are looking to buy a home and are shown three options based on their wish list. They go through each house and complain about every little detail and the real estate agent rethinks their career decision. Then the viewer guesses which one they will choose. Then the viewer cusses out the couple because they pick the one that doesn’t make any sense. I mean, you insisted that you had to have three bedrooms so why go with the two bedroom, twenty miles outside of town? Those episodes end with a disdainful “pfft!” from me.

The International version features Americans buying/renting a property overseas. Now I love this show because I want to see what homes look like in other countries. More specifically in Europe.HHI goes everywhere but you see one beach house in Costa Rica, you’ve seen them all. Am I right? So Mom recorded only European episodes. Turns out lots of people want to live in Paris. Who knew?

Which brings me to this:

What I’ve Learned About Americans By Watching House Hunters International

  • All Americans love to cook and must have big kitchens
  • Related: small European half-fridges are ridiculous and worthy of an American’s derision (e.g. “This is the freezer? Well, I can store one ice cube.”)
  • Americans want a classic (French/British/Italian/Spanish/German, etc.) style home that exudes the country’s character
  • Americans want modern conveniences and don’t like dated decor
  • Americans want outdoor space for their dog or child
  • Correction: Americans want a large outdoor space for dog or child that doesn’t normally exist in Europe
  • Americans want to live in the city center, close to all the action
  • Americans don’t want to live in a noisy area
  • Americans need at least one extra bedroom because they are positive that their friends from home will be able to afford to visit often
  • The views from the windows are very important to Americans because I’m assuming that they want to look at Europe through the windows and not go outsideNow I kid my fellow Americans but those HHI editors do paint us as being a wee bit inflexible and culturally unaware. And yes, I heard that the whole thing is staged and that the home buyers have already chosen their places. But that still doesn’t change the fact that I feel superior to them when they obviously choose the wrong property. Pfft!


[Lessons From The TV People] My City’s Just Not That Into Me

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My City’s Just Not That Into Me. It’s kind of a misnomer really. It’s you who’s over the city. The city has no feelings whatsoever about you. It’s kind of egotistical to think your city has decided that it’s so done with you. It’s not like Philadelphia says, “I just need some space. It’s not you. It’s me.” Don’t put your bullshit on your town. Own up to your ennui.

Now that’s out of the way, I discovered a new house hunting show! The premise is like this: homeowners are tired of their town for whatever reason and want a change. The city’s too small. They have lived there their whole LFTTVP-MyCityCourtneylives. They have money and some kind of magic job where they can relocate on a whim. Which makes me think: perhaps the title is right and the city truly is over them. They are some fickle folks. So in walks Courtney the real estate personality expert. She’s got tattoos and a great haircut that I couldn’t pull off. Plus she has the My City Personality Quiz. It is based on years of data complied by Cambridge University that matches your personality to compatible states. Questions are random like: “Your car broke down. What do you do? Cry? Break out a map? Or flag someone down?”  Well, this gal from Washington DC answered “break out a map”. So one of her compatible states was Kansas because apparently it’s a self-reliant state. If you say so, My City Is Giving Me The Cold Shoulder! The clients are given two states so the DC lady also got Colorado. Courtney tells her that she picked Denver and Kansas City for Nicole to visit and house hunt.

I have to take a moment to say how incredibly jarring it is to watch a non-Tiny House show. These My City Is Rolling Its Eyes At Me people are thinking 2000 square feet is cramped. Cramped! That’s ten tiny houses! To Nicole from DC’s credit, she thought 5000 square feet was a bit too big for her. Yeah, because that’s twenty-five tiny houses!

OK. Back to My City’s Making Faces At Me Behind My Back. While the homeowners are checking out the two cities that were matched with them, Tatted Courtney is finding a perfect house that checks all their boxes in their current hometown. Yeah, a place in the town that’s been talking smack about them (according to the title). That’s the twist! She tries to tempt them into not moving. What will they do? Will they continue this one-sided relationship with their city even though the town is looking at its watch and shuffling their feet, itching for them to leave? Or will they move to one of the personality matched cities?

This is where I take a moment to ponder some points about My City Hasn’t Called Or Texted In At Least Two Days. It’s pretty well known that House Hunters folks were already approved for the place they “picked” during the show. Have these folks already picked out a town? I’ve watched four episodes and not one opted to stay in their city. The people in the last two episodes did not even buy the house that they highlighted in the show.  They rented something. Much to Asymmetrical Haired Courtney’s chagrin. She even calls out Nicole (now of Denver) on her commitment issues. I kind of like her.

Intrigued by the My City Personality Quiz? I was, too! Thankfully, My City’s Been Seen With Someone Else And When I Confront Him About It He Says Why Are You All In My Business? has a smaller version of the quiz on their website. Hell yeah, I took it. My results:


The first two make sense but Charleston? Not sure if I could swing a Carolina (yes, I know which Carolina…I just wanted to see if you knew). Which begs the question: what if the My City Personality Quiz totally screws you and gives you Maynard, Arkansas. No offense to Maynard. I’ve been there but THERE’S NO MOVIE THEATER. At least I could wave to my dad on his way to the state line to buy a lotto ticket. But what I’m saying is, I want to see someone on this show be visibly disappointed when the cities are revealed. I want to see a freak out. “ATLANTA?!? GEORGIA??! I DON’T LIKE PEACHES. OR CNN. OR COCA COLA. GONE WITH THE WIND WAS NOT ACCURATE! JIMMY CARTER DIDN’T HANDLE THE IRAN HOSTAGE SITUATION TO MY LIKING!”  Then maybe a table flip or two.

I took the quiz again. I was happy with my results but was curious to see what my second-choice-answer cities would be.  They are:


Dang, Portland. Play a little hard to get, will you? Not that I’m complaining. Los Angeles has spending a lot of time at work and why do I bother cooking dinner, it just gets cold.

My City’s Just Not Ever Going to Pop the Question and Now I’ll Die a Spinster airs on FYI.

[Lessons From The TV People] MeTV

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MeTV is a television channel that shows classic shows*. Jonsin’ for some Brady Bunch? MeTV. Hankering for the original Hawaii 5-0? Book ‘em, Dano, and watch MeTV. Don’t feel like going past channel 3 on the U-Verse guide? Well, then you are wasting money on extraneous channels. Whatever the case, MeTV is there for you. It’s for nostalgia-minded folks, people who don’t like change and aliens who are just now picking up satellite signals from decades ago. I count myself in the first group sometimes. Yeah I watched a Love Boat a few months back. Sure, it still perplexes me how Isaac can be in the Acapulco Lounge and on the Lido Deck almost simultaneously. But I got to see Sherman Hemsley, Jaclyn Smith and John Ritter in drag. Not bad for a day when I should have been figuring out my life.

Well, today was another day like that. It’s raining. I’m hoping my dog doesn’t need to go out. I have lots of movies on my DVR but instead I watch an episode of Remington Steele. Yes! The show that kept Pierce Brosnan from being Bond for a few years.  You remember the conceit: Stephanie Zimbalist creates the Remington Steele character for her agency because she wasn’t being taken seriously as a woman detective (Thank goodness those days are over! Amirite, ladies? <sad trombone>). Brosnan shows up, says he’s Remington Steele and together they solve mysteries. It was another of those “Will they? Won’t they?” shows. Well, they will apparently because the episode today ended with the two of them cuddling by the fire. It ends with an awkward “Is that your foot on my leg?” Giggle. Kiss. Black out. Henry Mancini outro music.**

Besides being a light-hearted mystery romp with lines like “Follow that mourner!” and “Stop that nun!”, Remington Steele also provided a framework for some wonderful basic cable-type commercials. Rudy Guiliani for LifeLock, identity theft security. Genie Francis (from General Hospital) for NutriSystem. Debra Messing for Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford.  Which surprised me because you’d think it would be Cindy Crawford for Cindy Crawford beauty products. But instead she is regulated to fashion clips with no lines. That’s a bold strategy.

But the pièce de résistance of the MeTV ads today was The Eggstractor. Why take one minute to peel a hard boiled egg when you can search through your cabinets, find the Eggstractor, remember how to assemble it, look for the instructions when you can’t, it’s not in the junk drawer, we must have thrown it out, oh well, I think you just put the egg in it like this and…? Well, the ad tries to make a case for its ease of use. “It’s Pure Science!” it says. A diagram pops up of the space inside the top of the egg called the “Air Cell” The “peeling bellow” puts pressure on that air cell end causing the shell to instantly separate from the egg.  Then you are lucky enough to get to clean the Eggstractor!


They’ll double your order and give you an egg-shaped microwave hard boil egg cooker. Which honestly doesn’t look it could fit in any microwave I’ve ever seen.

Only $14.95

Don’t know if you have MeTV? Look for Emergency, Mod Squad and Streets Of San Francisco and you’re there.

*According to Wikipedia, MeTV is a backronym for “Memorable Entertainment Television”. What is a backronym? Good question. I had never heard of the word. But according to the backronym page on Wikipedia, it is an acronym specifically constructed to fit an existing word (and it’s a portmanteau of backward acronym). The example the page uses is the International Space Station treadmill COLBERT (Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill). NASA named it that because Stephen Colbert got his fans to vote in an online naming poll. He must have also gotten his fans to write this Wikipedia page. Colbsome. (Portmaneau of Colbert and awesome.)

**Wikipedia was also helpful with info about the episode called “Beg, Borrowed & Steeled”. How fortunate to come across an episode with a Remington Steele pun in the title? Come to find out it wasn’t a fluke. Every episode has the name Steele in it: “Thou Shalt Not Steele”, “Steele Crazy After All These Years” and “Scene Steelers”. What came first? The name? Or the title? I’m steeling myself for the answer. Thank you! I’ll be here until it stops raining!