I Really Must Get a Hobby

I care waaaay too much who wins some reality programs. If I don’t like you and I think you are going to win I get downright cranky. It seems like the ones I intensely dislike are the ones that win all the time, but I guess that’s not true. But I don’t want them to win. Ever.

Cases in point on two of my favorite reality TV shows: Project Runway and Top Chef. Let me first tell you that it’s truly baffling that I adore these two shows. I am much more of a fashion victim than an aficionado. I don’t even particularly like Sex and the City (then again I don’t have HBO so perhaps the few TBS episodes I’ve seen have really suffered from the required sanitization).

And Top Chef is more haute cuisine and I’m more hawt dog. Really, I’d never go near much of the stuff on that show with a ten foot pole. And just what exactly is ceviche, anyway?

Nevertheless, I started watching each of these shows in their second seasons, and am addicted hooked obsessed mildly and appropriately amused by them. Competition is often fun to watch, and I envy these people their passion for their work (I don’t think it’s possible to be passionate about insurance, and if anyone is I’m sure glad I don’t know them).

With Project Runway the person I was hoping would win has lost two out of four times. Of particular disgust was Season Two, where Jeffrey Sebilia and his Most Hideous Designs Ever In a Runway Show won the day. In fact, I think all most many all of his designs are hideous. Last season’s Christian Siriano also had a lot of whack ideas, but at least I could admire a few of his designs. Still, I was rooting for Jillian.

Top Chef has only had three seasons since I began watching. The second season’s finale featured adorable Ilan and Eddie-Munster-channeler Marcel in the final. I hated Marcel. He’s smarmy and cooks weird food. That finale was stressful entertaining even though I thought Marcel would win. I was so relieved when Ilan took the day! Then last season’s finale featured Anal Retentive Hung vs. Dale and Casey. I would have been happy with either Dale or Casey, but Hung pulled it out, dadgummit. I was very not pleased.

So this year I was hoping for a turnaround. The top 3 were Sweet Stephanie, Rockin’ Richard (each of whom won 4 challenges during the season) and Sourpussy, Arrogant, Bristly Lisa (who was in the bottom two for thirty-seven weeks straight). Guess who I was cheering against? They really kept me on pins and needles until the final second, but Stephanie pulled it out.

Honestly, I think Stephanie was the only one happier than me.

See what I mean? I need a hobby. But it won’t be sewing. Or cooking. I’m amused by these shows, not inspired.


Workout’s Deenie and Gregg – a Lack of Respect

Workout is not a show I usually watch. I did catch part of the show last night, though, and it royally pissed me off.

I have seen it a few times, but usually it’s only on in the background after I’ve moved onto another activity while not bothering to turn the television off.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a reality show set in a gym owned by a woman named Jackie. The show depicts gym life and Jackie’s personal life. As part of the show they run a special, intense boot camp program called Skylab for very out-of-shape people to get into shape.

The portion that caught my eye involved Gregg, one of the trainers, and Deenie, one of the trainees. Deenie went into the assistant manager’s office to voice her concerns about her relationship with Gregg. He was late for their training session that day, and he’d been consistently late. She had a hard time scheduling sessions due to his intense schedule, and he also was not returning her calls in a timely manner.

Deenie is a morbidly obese girl who wants to be able to walk into the Gap and buy a pair of jeans. She wanted a relationship with her trainer that’s warm and supportive, motivating her and making her feel that she’s part of a team – just the way Jackie, the owner, described the program.

As they’re talking Gregg arrives and Deenie and the assistant manager confront him. Deenie’s trying to diplomatically tell him what she wants and Gregg is not open at all. Not even a little bit. He tries to make it all about her lack of commitment. She may or may not have a lack of commitment, but what Deenie is trying to address is his lack of respect. She’s paying him. Be on time.  And she wants a relationship with her trainer like the one Jackie described.

Gregg gets very defensive and starts bellowing about her speaking disrespectfully to him (she commented that the dismissive comment he made was “bullshit”), and at this point my blood pressure is boiling.

He’s dismissive, he keeps cutting her off, even says that Jackie doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And Deenie gets upset because she’s not being understood. At one point she comments that she wants more from him than the three hours per week in the gym and he replies that she can call him any time. She says, “You. Don’t. Call. Me. Back.” He doesn’t address this at all. He says, “Just, first of all, it needs to be understood that, I mean that, as far as this situation goes I am the expert.”


Then the assistant manager tells Gregg, in a misguided attempt to calm things down, that all Deenie wants is some love and attention, and Deenie and I both look at the assistant manager like she’s NUTS. He’s not her Daddy (though part of me wondered if she wasn’t reliving a past conversation in THAT relationship). He’s her trainer!  It’s not about love and affection, it’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T (bow down to Aretha).

That’s NOT it, people. She’s not feeling like her trainer is responsible, and she’s not feeling like they’re a team.

True, she wasn’t effectively communicating her point. Also true, he was not open to listening AT ALL. He’s the expert and she has to trust him. She can’t work out due to injury (which he was derisive about), she tries to reply that there must be other suggestions he can make/things she can do to move things along but she can’t even get it out of her mouth before he gives a dismissive and final “No.”

No? There’s nothing? Nothing?

“There’s got to be a certain respect that comes with us talking or us training together,” Gregg says in an interview later. Exactly, Gregg. Why don’t you start doing that?!!!!!


Later Gregg talks to Jackie, the owner, and totally skews it so that Deenie looks like a lunatic. Jackie totally backs Gregg, but tells him to work it out because he’ll feel good if he does, and if it doesn’t work out at least he’ll know he tried.

In the end Gregg calls Deenie and says, “Let’s let bygones be bygones,” and she agrees. And then he admits he doesn’t like her.

I would so not work out with him again. He would be so fired. I think Deenie is setting herself up to fail by staying with a trainer who has no respect for her. It shouldn’t be about him, but at the same time part of the motivation to keep working is knowing you have someone who will walk with you, sweat with you and kick your butt if need be.

Jackie should give this girl a refund. I don’t even need to see another show to know that this girl, who probably should never have been accepted to such an intense program to begin with (for medical reasons), will likely not succeed.

I know that there are good trainers out there who are not only educated in exercise physiology but also in how to keep individuals motivate. Having been a member of several gyms, though, I’ve run across attitudes like Gregg’s before. Why is it that so many trainers have contempt for the people that pay them? Of course many of the students lack consistent commitment. Of course they’re going to get discouraged and want to quit.

If they knew how to keep themselves motivated and knew what exercises to do and how to do them correctly they wouldn’t need to hire a trainer.

If all you want to do is train hardbodies to be harder than only have them as clients. Leave the really challenged people alone. But if you want to really make a difference in someone’s life let go of your contempt and your judgments and ride the wave of emotions to help create a healthier life with a fat chick.

Deal of the Day April 4, 2008

 Best Buy has released a printable coupon good for 10% off almost any one item. Contrary to their opening statement of “any one item”, there are some exclusions and minimums that must be met. See coupon for details. Valid on in-store purchases only. Expires 04/30/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Deal of the Day April 1, 2008

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

We’ve had our TiVo for 5 years now, and we bought the lifetime service (they don’t normally offer in any more). It’s well worth it to get it when you can!

If you don’t have TiVo yet but covet it, now is the time to jump in. For a limited time TiVo is offering a Tivo HDTV DVR, TiVo Wireless Adapter, and – here’s the best part – lifetime TiVo service (for the lifetime of the DVR, anyway!!!) ,all for only $698.99, including shipping.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Three Cheers for the Sadistic Killer!

A few years ago I read a book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, about a serial killer who only kills other killers. His foster father had discovered his proclivity for taking life, and instead of turning him in or getting him treated, he trained him to kill only those who are so depraved they don’t deserve to live. He’s a sadistic killer with a bad childhood, and he is so devoid of feeling he fakes every social interaction. A perfect solution to so many nasty little problems, no? So, he was an antagonistic protagonist, sort of.

I find myself fascinated with this character. He forces me to challenge my own beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong.
What’s moral and just? How does this sit in the biblical context of an eye for an eye?   I feel empathy for his bad childhood, and he really seems to want to do as his foster father asked and kill no innocents. But still it bothers me that a stone cold killer is the supposed good guy, on our side. We can’t cheer him on as he’s cutting a child molester to pieces! Or can we?

On one hand, what a great way to bypass a little thing called due process. On the other hand, am I really going to cry if nasty people who know how to manipulate the system are exterminated?  But even the roaches I loathe aren’t killed by the exterminator by being chopped up in little pieces (though I really don’t know any exterminators so I can’t really say that with any degree of certainty).  And does it really matter if the extermination is humane?  Dead is dead.   And then, of course, I start thinking about the death penalty and, well, now you have a little glimpse into how my mind works.

Like many books I’ve read in my lifetime it’s stayed with me, and every once in awhile I’ll think about it, ponder the issues it ignites, and put it away. I like it that way. I wonder if other people are as disturbed as I am, and I argue each side. My own private little debates, most of which have no resolution.

My private little debate is going public, though. Why? Because they’ve created a television series based on the character, Dexter. It’s disturbing and powerful and pushes many envelopes. But will it start a dialogue similar to my own inner debates?

It makes me wonder what everyone thinks of this book, this show, this “solution”.

What say you?

Guilty Pleasure – Tila’s Shot at Love Finale

Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

I cannot wait until tonight, when Tila Tequila lets us know which way her wind blows, at least for now.

Tila, someone famous for being on MySpace, for goodness sake, extended her 15 minutes of Warholian fame by signing on with MTV to become the Bi-chelorette on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The show’s hook?

Tila is bisexual. So twelve males and twelve females compete for a Shot at Tila. Yes. And as the prospective winners were winnowed down to the final two, they all had to sleep on one very large bed.


So, now that Tila eliminated all but two, will she choose the mostly-male Bobby, a twenty-something student of…something, who apparently has stolen Richard Dreyfus’ voice? Or Dani, a firefighter with a somewhat odd forehead curl, who is decidedly NOT a “lipstick lesbian” (I just looove that term!), in whom she could theoretically get the best of both worlds?

And am I the only one who didn’t miss the irony that the two finalists have sexually ambiguous names?

Oh, yes. A very guilty pleasure. And I’m apparently not the only one, if the frequency of the reruns and the pre-finale hype are any indication.

My normally quite sane sister confided to me that she watches the show, and that she’s rooting for Dani. When I told her that Dani’s firehouse is less than a mile from my home she advised me to start a fire in the hopes that Dani would be the one to come and put out the flames, just so I could tell her my sister was rooting for her.


Not that I haven’t thought about dropping by the firehouse so that my son could see the fire trucks, and if Dani just happens to be there…but I SWEAR I was thinking about it even before I ever heard of Dani!

So, who am I rooting for? Bobby. Why?

I like Dani. I think she seems really, really sweet. And I think she deserves better than Tila, who still doesn’t know which way she’s twisting.

And I hate the haircut, Tila. HATE IT.

I will be watching tonight.

I know you will be too, you naughty, naughty guilty pleasure seeker, you.

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