About that Podcast I recommended…

serial-social-logoSo, do y’all remember me writing about how much I loved the podcast Serial awhile back? I’m not sure I stand by that anymore.

(Do I give a Spoiler alert here? I mean, this is a true story that’s out on the internet, not a scripted TV show no one knows the ending of. I don’t know. I guess if you haven’t listened to the podcast and don’t even want to know how they handled the story, then this might spoil things. But if you’re not sure you care, or maybe considering listening to it, then I don’t think this will spoil things. But I DON’T KNOW! POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD?)

I did really like it. And while a lot of people complained when the host went from actual investigating of facts to “discussing of personal opinions” …I didn’t mind that. I felt like that made a lot of the characters, including the host as she was a character herself, 3-dimensional and not just “someone who saw this ________” or “someone who did this _________” BUT! The second the last episode played without any sort of wrap-up reminding the listeners that Hae Min Lee was still dead, it suddenly felt very exploitive.

I think I expected the final episode to kinda remind people of that, since it did feel like culture – as a whole – was discussing this podcast like it was the latest episode of Scandal and forgetting there’s still a dead 18-year old girl at the center of the story. I mean…I understood that excitement, it was a well-done podcast. I didn’t mind the fervor around it at first, but I did feel like it was the job of the podcast to bring everyone back to reality in the end. And they didn’t.

The final episode was fine, I liked that we got to hear from the producers more and I liked that Sarah Koenig was very honest about how often she changed her mind about things, but it surprised me that no one ever said – when discussing other potential suspects, “And it keeps me awake at night knowing the real murderer could be still out there.”

Why didn’t they say that? There were small little things like that, that I expected on the last episode, to bring it all back from the “Law & Order” feel of a TV show you’re trying to guess the ending of, to a REAL story involving a REAL tragic murder. And none of that happened. No thoughts on how – if the wrong guy is in jail – there could be a murderer still roaming free. Not discussion about how, if the right guy is in jail, they’ve dug up a traumatic phase in everyone’s history for nothing. Sarah Koenig did not keep the 4th wall up at all, she often discussed how the popularity of the story led them down new paths of investigation. So why didn’t they discuss how that same popularity made them feel more like they were writing a scripted television show than doing a journalistic piece on a possible botched trial?

I don’t know…I guess I just expected some “real” talk on the last episode, maybe even some discussion about how the popularity of the podcast got weird considering there’s still a tragic murder in the center of it all. Maybe just a gentle reminder to people writing blog posts and podcasting like it is a television show…that it’s NOT a television show. It’s a true story. It might deserve a little more respect than, say, your recap of The Good Wife.

But nope, just a basic wrap-up. Good, but just missing a lot, to me. Missing a lot that would have made me feel comfortable with people joking about their addiction to it. I don’t know, it just went from “Holy Cow…this is an interesting look on crime investigation and murder trials!” to “Why am I saying I’m addicted to a story about a girl’s murder?”

I’ve been sitting on that for weeks, trying to decide how I felt about it all. And then they started offering swag with the show logo – and that felt REALLY weird. Maybe after there’s a second season with a different story it won’t feel weird. But right now, all that logo means to me is “A story about the murder of an 18-year old girl!” And who wants that logo on their coffee mug?

And then there was MORE digging by other journalists and agencies and there were podcasts about podcasts and I DON’T KNOW…It just got weird. REALLY WEIRD.

So, I’ve stopped talking about it completely. I don’t recommend it anymore. I still think it was well done and if it hadn’t gotten so popular, none of this would sit wrong with me. But since it became a pop-culture hit, something that Entertainment Weekly wrote about, I felt like the last few episodes should have maybe brought the people listening back down to earth a bit. I definitely don’t think they should be selling swag until that logo stands for something other than Hae Min Lee’s murder. When someone asks me if I listened to it, I give them this long speech that basically says what I’ve said here.

Yes, I listened to it. I thought it was well done, but the popularity of it all freaked me out and I had trouble listening to the last few episodes without thinking about Hae Min’s family, knowing that I was one of 40 million people listening to the story of their daughter’s murder.

What about you? Did your feelings change about it? Did any of the fanfare sit weird with you?

Things I’m Currently Loving

  • Agent Carter: If you like Action movies with badass female leads? Then this is will be your new favorite TV show. She’s an independent badass who has to fight one helluva patriarchy in her workplace environment. It seems that I might be the only person watching this show – if the ratings are any indication – so get yourself to Hulu where I think all episodes are still free, even if you’re not a Hulu Plus subscriber. And I’m 90% sure you can watch them on ABC.com. GO! There are so many crappy women characters on television – go watch one that kicks a whole lot of ass.
  • The Subtraction Project: I know I’ve talked about loving this here before, but there are so MANY ways to love it now I wanted to talk about it again. There’s the 30-day challenge but it’s ON Demand! And there’s a podcast! And there’s a book coming out! As someone who has been downsizing her “stuff” for years so that she can EVENTUALLY downsize her house (we may die in this very empty house before it ever even makes it on the market) – your life can ONLY be improved by subtracting. There is no better feeling than just letting go. Whether it’s getting rid of half of the 12 giant serving spoons you have (REALLY? When was the last time you needed ALL 12?) or narrowing your 15 pen cups to 3…you’ll be lighter with every prompt, I guarantee you.
  • U.S. District Judge Callie Granade: She has ruled FOR gay marriage TWICE in the last week in Alabama. And while there have been copious amounts of negative responses…they have been WAY overshadowed by positive responses. Even when I’ve perused comments on local news Facebook pages, the negative stuff is no where near as common as then, “Holy Shit. So we may not be the 50th state on this wagon after all!” type of comments. People are shocked, but in a good way. And while there’s a stay and many are not optimistic we won’t see our way out of it, I’m still super euphoric that this happened to begin with. This judge was appointed by Bush. These cases were on no one’s radar because no one expected them to be ruled on in this way. AND SHE DID IT TWICE. Gay marriage may not be legal in our state at the end of this stay, but Judge Granade did her part and she did it beautifully and I will forever be grateful for her.
  • Afterlight Photo Ap: If you like playing with actions in Photoshop? This app will give you what Instagram never could: CONTROL! I can adjust temperature, sharpness, light, AND it gives a bunch of awesome filters. I still upload my photos to Instagram, but I don’t use the filters or anything anymore, I do it all in Afterlight. I love it too because you can leave the photos the size they are, or crop them to a different size, and THEN you can add the white background around it to make it square. I don’t want all of my photos to be square, but you have to in order to put them on Instagram. Now I can make them any size I want, or leave them the original size, and then Afterlight just adds the white border around it to fill in the area to make it square. BOOM.

    We don't often get a chance for snow pictures, so glad Gregg Gelmis got this shot yesterday!

    A photo posted by Kim Holmes (@misszoot) on

    This picture is the perfect example. Because it had other people in it, I didn’t necessarily want to put it on Instagram without their permission (I try to avoid that if possible, unless it’s a big group shot that I’m seeing other people share across their social media) so I cropped only myself and made it square in Afterlight! Way easier than trying to work within Instagram rigid square framework.

So! What are you loving right now?

Fall Television Is Here!

This is our second FALL TV Season starting without cable. We turned it off some time last summer so the Fall Season wasn’t too blind for us as we had been seeing premier commercials for a bit. But this Fall? I have NO idea what new shows are starting. Unless it’s featured on a Netflix or Hulu ad, the only way I hear about it is if it shows up on my Twitter or Facebook feeds. So…am I trying any new shows this season? Only one: Flash.

I’ve been following Grant Gustin’s career since he played a small-but-important role on Glee, giving us a gay male character who was confident and masculine. It was nice to see. He did a few small things after that but when they cast him as Barry Allen for a two-episode arc on Arrow to introduce him for a new show, I was SO EXCITED. And from the moment we saw him rushing to the scene, obviously late, I thought this guy really is Barry Allen! He played the character PERFECTLY and I was so excited to see him take the stage this year.

It is NO SECRET that I’m a superhero fan. I love all superhero movies and television. I will give it a chance every time and most times I stick with it. Superman has always been my least favorite because I grew up with Christopher Reeves and no TV show or movie since has compared to how much I adored him. I didn’t even try to stick with Smallville or Louis & Clark. I like the more recent attempt – Man of Steel – better than anything I’ve seen since I was a kid but probably because it felt SO DIFFERENT that I didn’t long for my childhood Superman.

But – for the most part? I love it all. So I am very biased.

BUT FLASH WAS SO GOOD. EEK. I loved Iris, I loved the team at S.T.A.R. Labs, I love Grant Gustin who feels so much like comic book Barry Allen that it’s just weird. I love it all. It’s the one and only new show I’ve committed to watching and I’m so glad because it was SO GOOD!

I also watched Arrow which never disappoints, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which almost lost me a bit last year before it gained it’s momentum. This new season seems to already have some interested character shifts and I’m pulled back in immediately.

Like I said, I love my superhero shows.

I also have a couple of sitcoms that made me laugh this week. Modern Family which always seems like a hit or miss for me. I never hate an entire episode but there’s often storylines that make me irritable. But, on the flip side, there’s always storylines that I love too and the Pilot was GREAT because I loved the “Summer of Fun Without Alex!” storyline and the “Jay doesn’t put any effort into his appearance” storyline. The “Lily’s smile is crazy” storyline wasn’t great…but like I said, there’s always one that irks me. Brooklyn Nine-Nine also cracked me up and I’m really glad Hulu reminded me of it or else I wouldn’t have even thought to pull it up.

I think that’s all I’m watching so for. I’m weeks behind on Doctor Who if that tells you how little I’ve been watching TV lately. The only show I pull up anymore just because is Drunk History because A) It cracks me up and B) It requires no commitment. The episodes stand alone. I used to keep the TV on while I worked on my laptop in my bedroom but my laptop has been crapping out on me so I don’t even have it playing in the background anymore. That means I’m not even watching a lot of my favorite late night TV (in the morning) anymore. TV is a weird thing for me lately. I have to make a conscious decision to set aside time to watch it, so it needs to either be something I just love, and something I can watch with the kids so it can be our snuggle time. I don’t watch any “adult” TV for that reason, even though I really want to check out Transparent that everyone is talking about. But it’s hard to find time without the kids to sit and watch TV, so that show will be put on the back burner for now.

Are you watching anything new this season? What about old? Since I don’t have cable can you tell me what I might need to watch that I haven’t heard about yet?

I Don’t Do Scary Movies

I went to a daycare when I was a kid where you could choose “Movie” as an activity and they had a room where they played an assortment of Disney-type movies. Things like the ORIGINAL Freaky Friday. However, they also showed The Watcher In The Woods and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I remember the later of the two scared me SO MUCH I would NEVER do the “Movie” activity again if they were showing that. The Watcher In The Woods scared the crap out of me, but I enjoyed the resolution of the story enough that I would watch it again. The scaring in the movie had a PURPOSE that in the end – gave everyone a happy ending. I was completely okay with that ONE scary movie. (Scary DISNEY movie. Because, you know, that’s how my bravery works.)

But still. Not a fan.

Then I got to the age where we were doing slumber parties and I believe the first real scary movie I saw at a slumber party was The Nightmare on Elm Street and must have fallen asleep or something. Because I didn’t get to actually see it and EVERYONE was talking about it the next morning so I made my Mom rent it on the weekend I visited her (my Dad didn’t have a VCR) and I couldn’t even make it about 20 minutes into the movie before I was so freaked out that I demanded we stop it. From there on out, when scary movies were on at Slumber parties? I found an excuse NOT to watch them. I would either encourage someone else to do another activity with me (hair braiding, nail painting, etc) or I’d just feign being asleep and cover my head so as to try NOT to watch it. The only one I think I ever made it through successfully (I think) was Poltergeist so that was what I would always say was the SCARIEST MOVIE I HAD EVER SEEN. Because it was the only one I had ever seen all the way through.

Once I got to high school I had no problem just proclaiming, “I don’t watch scary movies.” And that’s kinda where I’ve been since. I never watched ANY of the token horror flicks from the 80s. I never remember who is who in terms of Freddie or Michael. I don’t even know the guys name with the needles in his face/mask. Was that a horror thing? Either way – there’s huge chunks of pop culture references I don’t get because of my refusal to watch scary movies.

When E started watching them, they were rated R, and he had to have an adult present to see them at the theater. His friends’ parents would all take rotations as to who would be the official “chaperone”. They finally asked me on a not-so-scary, more-of-a-thriller movie and I still embarrassed them SO MUCH at screaming bloody murder at something SO INNOCENT that they never asked me again.

I just don’t like being scared. I don’t WANT to be scared. I don’t do haunted houses. I have no desire to jump out of an airplane. I don’t even do roller coasters anymore (I used to as a teenager). I just feel like that – as an adult – I get to choose how to spend my free time and I would much rather choose an activity that makes me smile (I love the swings at amusement parks!) than something that makes me pee in my pants.

Sailor Moon, Boob Sweat, Foot Cramps…OH MY!

It is 2:42am.

There was a time where I used to stay up that late. But now? Now I’m getting up for the day. While I like this life of mine much better than life back then, I do sometimes look at the clock and say: Cool people are still up from the night before.

It’s sad no longer being a cool person.

(HA! I like the implication that I used to be a cool person at some point in time.)

Being a morning person has a HUGE downside. And that is, it’s hard to convince yourself to “go back to sleep” if you wake up any time after 2:30am because that is too close to your normal wakeup time to make it worth it. I actually woke up before 2am, as Wes had a foot cramp. (Sidenote: First draft of this post said “food cramp” and that made me giggle for some reason.) I told myself if I could get back to sleep by 2:30 then I’d be fine, but the quick remedies of a heating pad and a massage did not work and he wanted to take a hot bath. So, it was 2:15am before I was finally getting him back to sleep.

Go back to sleep in the next 15 minutes and you’re golden!

Except that I couldn’t. I was awake. I had started thinking about what I was going to blog about, and what work I could cram in before the 8am award’s ceremony in Nikki’s class. I was thinking about what I would wear to the Award’s ceremony as Nikki’s second grade class has the most beautiful and fashionable set of Mothers I’ve ever seen in my LIFE. I always feel like a sloth when I’m at events at her school. I started to think about the wet clothes in the dryer (my dryer only dries in 15 minute increments) and the birthday presents that needed wrapping by Wednesday. Fifteen minutes ticked by and BAM! I’m still not asleep. And since I often wake up before 4am, then I was getting close to that hour mark and, well, who can go back to sleep for just an hour?

Not me.

I find myself staring at a blank blogging screen at 2:42am. I’ve not been writing as much lately as I used to, and I think that’s because more real world people know about my blog and I’m second guessing a lot of my blogging topics in case they’re reading it. Do I want to blabber about the sudden revisit of the sadness over not having any more kids and the anger over having a body that refused to give me the family I wanted? No. My real world friends will think that’s too personal. Do I talk about the 8lbs I gained and how I am so angry at myself and how I watch my husband so disciplined and feel like he is ashamed of me? No. My real world friends will think that’s too insane. Do I talk about the stress I feel that I’m not spending enough time on academics with my kids outside of school?

NO WAY. That’s just boring as shit.

I need to learn how to turn that off so I can write again because I think the cathartic ritual of daily blogging is therapeutic and a lot of my emotional instability lately is due to not having that crutch to depend on. I mean, let’s be honest, just because my real world friends know about the blog doesn’t mean they’re reading it. And let’s be honest again, they’re all my friends because they’re a little bit insane anyway, why would I hide that just because they might pop over while they drink their morning coffee?

I’m going to go back to my NaBloPoMo habits and just write. If I have a topic on hand I want to discuss? I’ll do it. But if I don’t? I’ll write anyway. Not processing my days on this blog is having hugely negative side effects on my life, so I need to just get back into the habit. Even if I’m just writing about boob sweat, it’s something, right?


And really, aren’t these random stream-of-consciousness blog entries the BEST?

No. No they are not. I know that. You know that. But at least it’s something, right?

I do want to end this on a few, fun, notes of pop culture.

Sailor Moon

10350444_10152424082947188_6479818951402335112_nE stumbled upon Sailor Moon as a kid and I loved it dearly. We only watched the Americanized version we found at Blockbuster, and only the few VHS tapes they had, but we watched those a million times over. We watched them with some of my college friends and E would assign us all characters. I have VERY fond memories of this weird show and I’m so excited that Hulu is bringing the original episodes in all of their weirdo glory back to my accessible reach.

Late Night TV

latenight It is weird how addicted I am to late night television now that it’s hosted by Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. I watched the old Jimmy Fallon show periodically but I do NOT miss his shows now. Of course, I’m watching them at 5:30am when they show up on Hulu – BUT STILL. I adore them! If it’s a guest I don’t care about I might not watch the interview, but I always watch his solo stuff in the beginning. And Seth Meyers – I watch his interviews even if it’s someone I don’t care about because he’s a GREAT interviewer! He interviewed SJP and that Vogue lady about the MET Ball thingy and I was ENGROSSED. It seemed so interesting! What the hell? And he seems so well-prepared, like when he interviewed Eddie Izzard he asked about a lot of the cool things I knew about but didn’t think would be “top” billing on interview questions. Like his 40+ marathons in a row! He did a really good job with that interview. But yeah! Me! A Late Night person now, who knew? (A late night/early morning person?)

A Book For The Favorites Shelf

download (3)Are we friends on Goodreads? If so, you maybe have seen my “FAVORITES” shelf that I created. I’m weird about rating books because I feel like 3 means I did not like it so if I even remotely liked it – it’s at least a 4 star book. Therefore, it’s hard to know how MUCH I liked it because I give so many books 4 and 5 stars. BUT! If I put it on my FAVORITES shelf? Then it’s top-notch and I just added The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry to my FAVORITES shelf a few weeks ago. It is SO GOOD. A book for book lovers, for sure! It was an easy read and several things didn’t happen that I expected to happen which I found WONDERFULLY surprising. It’s lovely to expect something formulaic and then BAM! It doesn’t happen! If you’re looking for a nice easy read that is not too saccharine but just saccharine enough? This is it! Check it out!

ALRIGHT THEN. This seems like a wonderful assortment of nonsense for a blog post…MY WORK HERE IS DONE.