Grover, Tampons, Haircuts…OH MY.

SWEETIE HATES LOUD NOISES!

I’m Too Pitiful For Words.

Crazy Week. Crazy Month. Chaos Abounds. I haven’t hit my running deadline for the month and it’s the last day. This is STRESSING ME OUT. I’ve got deadlines and piles of dirty laundry and uncooked food and dirty litter boxes.

(The first time I typed that last sentence it said, “Uncooked dirty litter boxes.” YUM!)

So! We’re cheating in the blog department and throwing out some bullet points! YAY FOR BULLETS!

  • Sweetie is our ONLY dog now and that’s made her a bit clingier than usual. I don’t think we could handle another dog right now, but I do feel bad for her. Anyone had a dog be suddenly alone after a lifetime of companionship? Do they make puppy prozac for those situations?
  • Even though I’ve gotten better about my social anxieties, I’m still a mess when I run into people out in public. I used to avoid people I knew, now I get over-excited about seeing them. I wave WAY too enthusiastically and then just start babbling about whatever was in my head the moment I saw them. LIKE TAMPON COMMERCIALS. (Yes. I talked about that to someone I ran into a Publix.) IT NEVER ENDS WELL. Luckily, I make it widely known that I’m socially inept so no one expects anything better from me.
  • I’m chopping all my hair off tomorrow. Maggie linked a picture of St. Vincent that is more-or-less what I’ve been thinking about in terms of a short hair cut for YEARS. I’m taking the picture with me and we’ll see what happens!
  • I asked for local recommendations of hair people and I went for the one that someone said, “She likes YA fiction,” because – you know – when shopping for a stylist that should be at the top of the MUST HAVES list.
  • Did you see that yesterday Grover took over Twitter and reenacted my favorite childhood book? SO COOL.
  • Also in self-linking: I added more updates to my post about “The Lizzie Bennet” diaries. SHIT WENT DOWN yesterday. And not the kind of shit Austen wrote about – I CAN TELL YOU THAT FOR SURE.
  • Donnie has been monitoring his foot FOOD (I make that typo ALL THE TIME.) intake trying to lose the few pounds he gained over the holidays in order to prep for Tri season. It’s so easy for him that it’s making ME eat MORE because I’m so disappointed that I’ve been trying for years to do what he sits down and just DECIDES TO DO…and DOES IT. Anyone else do that? Stress eat MORE because someone near them is dieting successfully? No? Just me then?
  • I’ve been wearing eye-liner and mascara lately. On some days. This is probably the most “regular” I’ve ever been about wearing makeup. I’ve been doing it relatively consistently for about a month now. And still…STILL…I forget and rub my eyes when I’m tired. And I never realize the mess I’ve made of my face until AFTER the next trip to the bathroom. Let’s hope this never happens when I run into someone I know at Target. Then the spontaneous chat about feminine hygiene products will seem even WEIRDER.

Grover + Twitter = Internet Awesome

groverThis was one of my favorite childhood books. I even used it in a presentation in high school about my journey through depression and loneliness. I had “GROVER” written on the back of my shirt once, BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK. When I think of ONE book that represents my childhood? It was THIS BOOK. I had several stuffed Grovers growing up and I even perfected my elbow-less “NEAR!….FAR!….” Grover impersonation.

(No. You can not see it.)

So…needless to say…watching this happen on Twitter over lunch today? Brought me a lifetime’s worth of flashbacks.

And then, of course, Wil Wheaton had to play along…

And THEN…my FAVORITE PART…

The Future Of Television – “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”

We showed a YouTube video to the inlaws on our TV the other day. We watched the Evening Of Awesome on the TV as well. It’s really hard lately to draw the line between TV and INTERNET as devices like AppleTV and Roku make blending the two so easy.

BUT! For the sake of this post, let’s keep them separate.

I started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries one day out of sheer boredom. I’ll admit…never made it through Pride & Prejudice…the book OR any of the movie adaptations. So, a web series/modern-day adaptation didn’t appeal to me at launch. BUT…I have loved every other thing the Vlogbrothers do online, so one boring day I gave it a shot.

lbd

AND. I. JUST. COULDN’T. STOP.

I caught up to the “real” world in no time at all. Ashley Clements is a compelling actor and I loved the personality she gave Lizzie. I loved her sisters and I loved Bing Lee. I just couldn’t wait for each episode to push the story along so I finished all of the videos in a few days. (I think, at the time, there were about 50.)

As I started having to wait between episodes, I began exploring the LBD universe. Lydia had her own channel that was TOTES COOL of course. Charlotte had a Twitter. Everywhere I clicked there was more of the universe I could explore and before I knew it I had THREE YouTube subscriptions and a Twitter List filled with character accounts, actor accounts, and writer accounts associated with the show.

I even familiarized myself with the actual book Pride & Prejudice, even if the modernization of it proved many of the storylines ineffective.

That’s the cool thing about this adaption. You can know the story, but you don’t know how they’ll translate it to this environment. So…there is still mystery and surprise.

But – the series really started taking it to the next level last weekend. The characters Lizzie, Darcy (Mr. Darcy from the book), and his sister Gigi (who is trying her BEST to get her brother and Lizzie together) went exploring in San Francisco. In the story they did. Viewers understood that was going to be happening. But what actually DID happen? Is that the character Gigi started tweeting about it. Photos AND ALL.

(The management of all of those accounts on Twitter and Tumblr and YouTube FASCINATE ME, BTW.)

HOW COOL IS THAT? I was refreshing that feed on my phone ALL DAY LONG. She was posting pictures and making great meta comments like:

(If you don’t get that one, you don’t spend as much time on Tumblr as I do. Here’s the definition of “shipping”.)

It was GREAT. We – as fans – were able to watch this story unfold IN REAL TIME. And we could “SQUUUUEEEEEE!” about it and it was just SO FUN.

And the actors? Are BRILLIANT. Lydia (Lizzie’s sister) has started her downward spiral which is unfolding in this adaptation in ways very different from the book. And watching that actress (Mary Kate Wiles) who rocked the Text Speak with such voraciousness – take it to a dark and almost twisted level? Has been beautiful and devastatingly sad. The difference between her first video and her most recent should win her all of the awards.

And just as I started to really worry about how this story could possibly keep unfolding in the illusion of a YouTube Vlog, the team behind the series launched a Twitter account for Darcy’s Company and that faux enterprise launched another YouTube Channel to promote this fancy new video app.

Basically? The writers opened up an entire new world of video setups for their audience. AND IT IS DAMN GENIUS.

The term being thrown around is “Transmedia” which I think is PERFECT. They are taking us around different YouTube channels, through Twitter, over yFrog for photos, microblogs, videos…giving the fans an all-around interactive experience. The showrunner, Bernie Su, did an AMA at Reddit that’s full of tons of great information, if you want to read more about how he approaches the transmedia aspect of the show.

All of the media babble aside? I’m not sure if I’ve ever had anywhere close to this much fun with a TV show before. If you want to join in (I don’t think it’s supposed to run much longer, maybe a few months?) then you should start here. But, be prepared to be sucked into the world beyond any scope of your imagination.

I really hope this is what is in store for those of us avid TV fans. The potential is endless.

Edited to Add: SHIT JUST GOT REAL Y’ALL!

(Here’s a rundown from the showrunner of the chaos that unfolded in the LBD world yesterday.)

Missing Out

charlieblogI’ll be honest – sometimes I make mistakes that I am VERY glad my Dad is not alive to see. Like that one time I backed into the brick retainer wall lining my driveway. Or the time I almost got the utilities cut off because I forgot the pay the utility bill while we were in the middle of a show at E’s school.

Yeah. Those things? Completely fine with him never knowing about.

However – MAN – I wish he could see my oldest child rock the stage these next few months. I’ve always wished he could see E perform, the shows themselves would be amazing enough to wow him. But this year he has lead rolls! I really wish he could see those.

First up, next month? He’s Charlie Bucket in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”! How cool is that? A LEAD! His name IN THE TITLE!

He’s all cool and nonchalant about it – just going to rehearsals and learning his lines and his blocking – like…NBD. Whereas, every day I’m like, “HOW DID IT GO? ARE YOU HAVING FUN? WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART? HOW ARE THE COSTUMES? DO YOU NEED ME TO READ LINES WITH YOU?”

I…am NOT reserved. Obviously. I’m just screaming, “MY KID IS CHARLIE! AS IN – AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!” from the rooftops. I’m the most embarrassing theatre Mom ever. Seriously. If you don’t believe me? Ask about my screaming being on the recording of a performance last year. After EVERY SONG you could hear me screaming in the audience. “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

I’m not saying my Dad would be that enthusiastic, but his mind would be blown.

And then…THEN…in March? He’s playing “Young George” in “Our Town” with Theatre Huntsville. His first non-school play! And another good part! I can’t wait for that one either. Although, I’m not a volunteer for that production so I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to embarrass him like I do at the school shows.

I would love for my Dad to see BOTH shows. He wouldn’t embarrass E at all. It would be a good counterbalance to his screaming Mom in the audience every night.

Of course – I’d also love for my Dad to meet his new grandchild, born in November. I’m grateful my kids all got to at least meet him, although Was doesn’t have any memories of him, being 10 months old when he died. But I’m glad I have pictures of them together – and I’m grateful for that, even when I’m simultaneously sad for the other things he’s missing.

That’s just part of life after death, the things we continue doing that the dead can’t see.

But YOU can see it all! If you’re local, come to the shows! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is next weekend and “Our Town” in March!

(Sorry to end the blog plugging my kid’s shows. Had to lighten things up a bit around here!)

Old Age And Kicking Ass

This is what "getting older" looks like.

This is what “getting older” looks like.

MY HOUSE HAS A LOT OF DAMN STAIRS. I counted once, I think it’s 13 stairs from my car to my front door. And then? If I want to go upstairs? Another 13 or so more.

A LOT OF DAMN STAIRS.

When we bought this house a few years ago – I immediately started having knee and hip pains. CONSTANTLY. And I cursed those stairs every. single. day. I thought GREAT. This is our forever home, and I have to accept my forever pained knee hips. I mean, I WAS ALWAYS HURTING. Every step made me curse this house I was in love with. EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.

And that was that. Me. In pain. Forever. That’s just part of getting old, right?

(Except, that I added a lot more curse words into those statements.)

I don’t know when the regular knee and hip pain went away, but I know it was awhile after I started boot camp because the connection was not lost on me. Boot camp made me better. Being strong made me better. I didn’t have to succumb to the whole (*curse words*) “getting old” thing, not yet anyway.

It’s easy to write off aches and pains with getting older. That’s a fact of life we all know – so I just assumed those pains were the start for me. But, I remember my Dad groaned with every moment at times and just blamed his age. The thing about Dad is that we found out his bones had been riddled with microfractures thanks to the cancer – and that was why he was in so much pain for so long. So, how much of his pain was actually due to old age?

I woke up this morning SORE AS HELL. I ran a crazy trail run with hills on Sunday and then did a rough boot camp with lots of squats and pushups yesterday. EVERY PART OF ME HURTS.

But, I keep thinking: THIS PAIN IS SO MUCH BETTER. I don’t look at this pain as forever pain. Sometimes my knees and hips still hurt. Quite a bit, actually. But it’s not permanent and it’s not as much pain as I felt before.

I know we’re all going to feel pain as we get older. And as much as I run, and as I get older, these pains will surely stick around longer and become more permanent. BUT – if I have to accept pain as part of getting older – I’d much rather be able to blame the pain on something more than old age. I’d like to blame it on 15 miles of trails through the mountain. Or a tough density training workout.

I don’t might accepting the pains of old age. But I’d like to pepper it with the pains of kicking ass once in awhile too.