Monday, May 25, 2009

Future TV Addict

So, I was thinking (yet again) about Privileged being canceled and thinking (once again) about how devastated I am over this. And I was wondering - why did none of the hardcore fans that knew that there was a possibility that it be canceled start a "send cucumbers to the production team" campaign. You see, in the series, they always drink cucumber water when they study. This would have shown how much the fans loved it, which in turn would have made the CW think "well, if the fans love it this much, other people must love it, too. They've just not seen it."
This is what happened with Roswell. After the first season (the best season of any TV show ever to exist in the history of television - I just finished watching it again, and it is soooooo so so so SO good. I'm definitely going to regive the second season a try), the WB was thinking about canceling the show, and so all of the hardcore fans (minus myself, unfortunately) sent bottles of tabasco to the producers. This is what the aliens put on their food in the show. This showed them what dedicated fans Roswell had, and in the end, because of that, they decided to have a second (and then a third!!!! which I am psyched about finally watching) season.
So why couldn't the fans do this for Privileged? But then, maybe it wouldn't have worked, because apparently they moved the time of the show around and did massive publicity and just couldn't seem to get other people interested.

Anyhow, so yeah. I was super mad at the CW for a little while about that. But now that I have seen the new lineup for the next season of TV, I am over my anger, and I am actually incredibly psyched.
I will, of course, continue watching GOSSIP GIRL. Hopefully it will continue to be awesome. And, of course, I will keep watching SMALLVILLE. I'm with it until the very end.

And then, the show that I am absolutely the most psyched about, there is a new series called the Vampire Diaries coming out!!!! It is based on the books by L.J. Smith. I have never read them (although I am planning on getting on that promptly), but some of my favorite books back in the day were "the Secret Circle" trilogy by the very same author. They are sooooo good, and I am actually midway through rereading them now. Also, Ian Somerhalder, who is incredibly gorgeous, is going to be starring in it. Most of you probably know him from Lost, which I tried to watch, but it bored me. I, however, originally fell for his hotness on a TV show which (incredibly unfortunately) only lasted one summer season (why do I always fall for the shows that don't last?) - Young Americans. On which he is at an all boys school and starts falling for this person at his school, so he thinks he is gay. But it turns out it's a girl disguised as a guy trying to piss off her parents. Something like that. So, anyhow, I love vampires. I love L.J. Smith. Ian Somerhalder is hot and from Louisiana (born in Covington). I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Between me and the Vampire Diaries, if you missed that.

Vampire Diaries Leads

Then, there is "Parental Discretion Advised," which actually looks really cool - about a girl trying to become an emancipated minor who ends up finding her parents in the process. More than all that, though, the awesomest thing about this show is that it stars SHIRI APPLEBY, of Roswell fame (have you noticed how everything always goes back to Roswell with me?)!!!!!!!! I love love love her to death, and I really don't think that anyone could have made a better Liz Parker than her. Unfortunately, though, I have seen her in very little since Roswell (I think Swimfan and Charlie Wilson's War are it, despite her having been in quite a few other things). Anyhow, so I'm really psyched about actually WANTING to see her new show.

And then there's Melrose Place. I'm not sure if I'm going to love it or not, but it seems to be starring Ashlee Simpson, and despite it being mega uncool to like her, I sort of think she's awesome. So I'm going to at least give it a try.
I've decided that I'm also going to give the Beautiful Life a try, although I don't really know why. It's got Corbin Bleu from High School Musical in it, so I am SLIGHTLY tempted, although I am FAR from convinced that I will actually love it.

Then, a TV show which I am more than overly excited about, and which I in no way have the CW to thank, is one that was based on one of the greatest teen movies of all time: 10 Things I Hate About You. That's right - it's becoming a TV show. Thank you ABC Family!!!! It premieres July 7, and I will be there.

Anyhow, that's enough from my TV addicted self today. I've got to finish the book I'm reading (sooooo good - book 1 in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud) and watch the first episode of Smallville Season 7 before Guillaume gets home and we go eat delicious Ehtiopian food.

For the record, I do do things other than watch TV. I taught until 3 PM today and then came home and worked out and took a shower. And then I worked on getting my resume perfect and sent some e-mails asking people to be references for me. And I talked to my Mom on the phone for a while and wrote this blog entry. And I studied Japanese for about an hour. So I really don't spend all of my life just watching TV.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

TV Addict

Yes, that's what I am. A TV Addict. It's sad, really. I remember back in boarding school I used to watch a lot of TV. Everyday after classes I would watch an episode of the Power Rangers and an episode of Young Hercules. Man, how I loved me some Young Hercules.

I also had borrowed from my friend Delilah the video cassettes of Fushigi Yuugi, which I adored and have seen every episode of. And then every Tuesday night I would skip social hour and watch Roswell instead. Even to this day, if asked what my favorite TV show is, I say Roswell. I frickin' LOVED that show! Which is weird, because there were three seasons and yet I could never really get into seasons 2 and 3. So it's really only first season Roswell that I love. I am presently rewatching it now, and I am thinking that with all the TV watching I have been doing lately, I might as well watch the second and third seasons.

Also, on Friday nights at LSMSA (my boarding school), I would occasionally have nothing to do, and so I would watch the WB. If I'm not mistaken, this was back when Popular, of which I saw the occasional episode, was airing along with season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is to this day the only season of Buffy that I have ever seen. I am therefore a Riley fan and not an Angel fan. Weird.

Anyhow, since then, I had sort of given up TV for quite a long time. The only show that I really watched on TV was Mythquest (MAN, what a great show!!!!) every Sunday morning one year at NYU. And, of course, Sex and the City, which I actually only watched after it was all over. I was given the DVDs, and they were basically the only thing that could console me when my loserface ex-boyfriend broke up with me.

Now, though, living in France and having a schedule that leaves plenty of room for laziness, I have become a TV addict like never before. I have seen three seasons of Battlestar Galactica and have just recently started on the fourth. I watched the first two seasons of Dexter. I had had for AGES the first five seasons of Smallville on DVD, and I finally got around to watching those. I also watched the 6th season and am about to start season 7. I'm catching up! I'm about to start Samurai Girl, which was a very short series. I've also started Desperate Housewives, of which I just recently finished the second season. I diligently watch the Secret Life of the American Teenager, Gossip Girl, and Privileged. Oh, and I can't forget that I have also, since arriving in France, watched every episode of Cardcaptor Sakura and have started watching Magic Knight Rayearth and Death Note.

As you can see, I have been watching and enjoying a lot of TV. Because of it, though, I have been really worried. Because it is looking like I will have a lot of free time next year as well. I'm planning on starting with season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and watching them all. And both my sister and brother love One Tree Hill, so I was thinking I would give that a try as well. But I've been sort of feeling afraid that I am going to run out of things to watch. Especially because


Privileged has been canceled. This show actually made me forget about Gossip Girl for a minute, with how good it is. I regularly every week made time in my schedule to watch its awesomeness. And NOW, it has been canceled. I can't get over how sad this makes me. Especially since the director decided that she was going to leave lots of open ends hoping for a second season. So
I can't even believe how sad this makes me. It was SO good. I don't understand why it didn't do better.
I mean, Smallville just finished its EIGHTH season and it got signed up for another season. Even Buffy only had 7 seasons. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Smallville. But seriously people - 9 seasons? And then if I'm not mistaken One Tree Hill was signed on for an 8th season. It's just not fair - couldn't they have given Privileged a second chance?

Anyhow, I am just glad that it looks like there are going to be lots of new awesome shows to help me get over my sadness and to make sure that I have things to watch next year. And, since I am sure everyone is just thrilled beyond belief to get to read about all of the wonderful TV shows that I watch, I will have to write all about them next time, because NOW - I have to go!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Conflict Metals and the Congo

So I recently saw a documentary (Let's Make Money) that touched on quite a few topics that I knew very little
about and that made me really scared for the future and the morality of many countries, especially the United States. It's hard for me to believe some of the things that were said and still be proud to be an American citizen. I'm not planning on going into them all right now, and I don't even know that I would recommend seeing this movie (that was long and seemed to be less for the layman and more for an audience of economic experts that already had a strong background in everything talked about in the movie).
One of the things that was very briefly looked at, though, was some of the horrible things that go on in African countries so that the bigger economic giants can make more money. I became interested and thus began doing some research, and it is from this that I came to learn about CONFLICT METALS. (Click the link for a very good definition of what this means).
Most people know about conflict diamonds (or at least learned about them from the movie Blood Diamond.), but I gather that most people (Americans, at least) are fairly ignorant when it comes to conflict metals.
Basically, any electronic device I own or could buy contains metals (the three T's - tin, tantalum, and tungsten; also copper, cobalt, coltan, and gold) that were originally mined in war and conflict zones in Africa (ESPECIALLY the Congo).
Approximately 45,000 people die horribly every month so that these raw materials (used in our laptops, cell phones, televisions, etc. . .) can be extracted and exported.
Women and children are regularly raped, beaten, and brutally tortured (often in front of their husbands and fathers - sometimes by their husbands and fathers).
I think that it is vitally important that the American (and European and Asian and Australian) people are educated as to what goes on in the Congo (also Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Uganda) and that, as consumers with power, we do something about it.
I have found two great websites that explain the problem in detail and give ideas about what can be done. I would highly recommend checking them out.
The Enough Project was created in 2006 to fight against genocide and crimes against humanity.
Raise Hope for Congo focuses more primarily on raising awareness and fighting against the sex crimes and violence going on in the Congo.

If you won't go read these web sites, you can always sign the petition asking for companies to sign a pledge to
1. trace the supply chain for all tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold in their products to verify their mines of origin; and
2.conduct independently verifiable supply chain audits to document the routes taken, intermediaries involved, and transactions made from mine of origin to final product.

We can make a difference if we try, and we should.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Go Ghent!!!!

This is the awesomest -

If you don't feel like reading it, a brief summary: Ghent, a small city in Belgium, has instated a weekly veggie day. This basically means that all civil servants and government officials will opt for vegetarian meals one specified day of the week. In September, school children will follow suit. And while I'm guessing that what goes on at the homes of the school children can't be controlled, this means that school cafeterias will offer 100% vegetarian meals at least one day of every week. SOOOOO COOOOOOLLLLL!!!! I am SO proud of Ghent! I just hope that there will also be vegan options. Because they are doing this to try to recognize the impact that livestock has on the environment. And guess what - milk also comes from livestock.
Anyhow, I am SO proud of Ghent!

In other news, I finished and loved the book that I was reading!
the Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
**** 1/2 (4 1/2)
I LOVED this book. It was beautiful and poetic. Each passage was written with so much love that I couldn't help but wonder how she managed to write a whole book's worth of such passages. Kim Edwards delves into and explores what it really means to love and how different people go about loving. This is so vague, something no one really understands, and yet I got the feeling that she really does understand. She also explores people's motivations for doing the things they do, and she manages to find reason without taking away from spontaneity. In a way, though, she goes too far, giving clear reasons when the characters probably had no real reasons.
Again, I repeat, I loved this book. But it's kind of a downer of a book, so it may not be for everyone. After all, it's about a family based on a lie: the father giving away the daughter because she has Down syndrome and then claiming she died. And about the woman who raises the not dead daughter.

I was reading this during my lunch break in front of all of the other teachers at one of the schools I work at, and I couldn't help myself. I just burst into tears. It was kind of embarrassing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Missing Neil Gaiman and Three Day Weekends

So a week ago today, Neil Gaiman signed books at the FNAC at St-Lazare. And guess who wasn't there! Yes, that would be me. Why wasn't I there, you ask? Because I DIDN'T KNOW THAT HE WAS GOING TO BE THERE until 3 days after he was there. And upon learning that I had missed him, I was overwhelmed with a complete and utter devastation. Sadness. Seriously. I mean, we're talking about me, here. A person who once drove 6 hours from Montreal to Toronto just to see him give a reading and then get her books signed. And then who drove the six hours back that same night, arriving in Montreal at around 3 in the morning, because she had an important test the next morning that she couldn't miss.
Okay, that felt weird writing that in the third person about myself. But that's how much I love Neil Gaiman. For serious. So you can imagine how truly devastated I really was about finding out AFTER THE FACT that he did a book signing in Paris. Especially since NO ONE I want to see(author or band) EVER comes to Paris.

Anyhow, this missing of Neil Gaiman resulted in me finally registering for Twitter. Every day lately I hear something new about how Twitter is the new thing and about how it is the greatest thing to hit the internet in ages and how all the stars are using it and how addictive and wonderful it is, etc. etc. etc. . . Yet I really just couldn't see the appeal. Now I get it. I missed Neil Gaiman. If I had been a Twitter user at the time, I would have been following Neil Gaiman on Twitter, and I would have seen his updates and therefore KNOWN that he was going to be in Paris. And then I would have been there, and I would have gotten my copy of "The Graveyard Book" signed. Which, ironically, I haven't actually read yet. I keep putting it off and putting it off because I know how awesome it is going to be, and I am so excited about reading it. But once it is read, it is read, and then I won't get to feel excited about reading it anymore.

Okay, enough bellyaching. Things haven't been all bad lately. On Thursday night, Margaret came over for dinner, and it was great to get to catch up. It had been a long time. We had homemade lentil burgers (from the recipe in How it All Vegan) with homemade French fries - the SEB fryer that only uses one tablespoon of oil is AWESOME! For dessert we had delicious chocolate hazelnut fondue with apples and bananas. Scrumptious! Guillaume and I got into a fondue fork fight. :-) Margaret seems to be doing well here in Paris, and I'm looking forward to dinner at her place this upcoming Thursday.

Then this weekend was a three day weekend - the second in a row, and Guillaume and I had a great time. We went to a little market at Bastille and we cooked delicious food (This website of Ethiopian recipes is becoming a favorite of mine.) and watched Death Note and went to see "Star Trek" and "Wolverine: Origins," both of which I thought were fantastic. Star Trek was really amazing, though. The story was just fantastic!, and the special effects were amazing and the acting was amazing (even if Spock was a little rounder than I thought he should have been), and yeah, it was just wonderful. I'm really thinking I might need to download all the old episodes of the original and of "the Next Generation" to watch them all again. Or buy them. I think I might want to own them. I'm thinking I definitely have to go see the movie again in the theatre. Awesomeness.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

fuji sama no pazuru

So, I just finished a half hour Wii Fit Workout, and now I am all sweaty and gross. It's funny how playing a video game can make you sweaty and gross. Although I don't know if we can really call Wii Fit a video game. But there are some parts of it that are very fun.

I also had a job interview today. And granted - it is a job that will take me one hour a week and pay me 15€ for that hour, so I don't know if we can call it a real job. But that doesn't change the fact that I had to interview for it. And I was all nervous, but I think I did really well despite that. For those of you wondering, it's a job giving a private English lesson to a 9 year old. Like I said, I think it went really well, and the family was in awe over my fantastic French speaking skills (which, I know, will help me in no way, shape, or form at teaching English), but I don't think it was enough to actually get me the job. Because I told them that there is a possibility that I will be leaving next February, and I think they want someone a little more long term than that. Oh well. It's probably best if I don't get it, given that it's a whole 45 minute or more commute to get there.

In other news, I finished the puzzle that I started working on before I became distracted by the impossipuzzle. It's so beautiful, isn't it? And it was so so so so SO much easier. It was like floating on clouds, working on it, as opposed to yanking out teeth (which is how it was to do the impossipuzzle). I can't wait to go see Mount Fuji next year when I will be living in Japan for a few months (fingers crossed for me on that one).

This weekend is a three day weekend, and I am very excited about it. This weekend, I will watch tv then read then sleep. Kondono shuumatsu, watashi wa terebi o mite hon o yonde nemasu.
Okay, I just needed to say that because I know how to say it in Japanese! YAY! I am so psyched about how much I love my Japanese classes. I think that, when finished with my present book in progess aka book number two, my third book will have to take place in Japan. Which means that I will DEFINITELY have to move there some day.

Oh, also, I finally got around to reading Tara Duncan, which has been on my bookshelf for ages, and I just finished this morning a book that I FINALLY got around to reading and that enormously exceeded my expectations:

Tara Duncan: Les Sortceliers - Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian
**** (4)
First of all, WHAT kind of last name is Audoin-Mamikonian. I can't help but wonder if she made it up. Secondly, this book is adorable! It took me a little while to get into it, because in the beginning I couldn't help non-stop comparing it to Harry Potter. This was hard not to do because there are just so many similarities. But the fact is that, while Tara Duncan is a French female Harry Potter, she is also someone else entirely. And in the end I became captivated by her and her friends and their adventures, and I'm looking forward to reading about the next of her adventures. Unfortunately for those who don't read French, though, it hasn't yet been translated to English. Or at least not that I can find.

Ransom My Heart - Mia Thermopolis with help from Meg Cabot
***** (5)
I should have expected that this book exceed my expectations, given that it was written by Meg Cabot. But still, it's a ROMANCE novel. And I couldn't really except to L<3VE a ROMANCE novel. But I managed to get past the rare and occasional "lewd" scene and love this romance novel. The story was so good, and it was amazing how Meg made it seem as if it really was written by Mia. There were parts that were just so cute and touching, and I totally fell for the characters. This is a romance for teens while not being a teen romance. If that makes sense.

The end.