Three things I wish I had done during my pregnancy

Continuing my countdown theme for my pregnancy related posts (see: Five things I’m glad I did during my pregnancy and Four things that helped me survive pregnancy), here are three things I wish I had done during my pregnancy … and maybe will once it comes time to start cooking baby #2 someday.

  1. Known what questions to even ask

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I found the classes we took at the hospital very helpful (and listed them as one of the things I’m really glad I did when I was pregnant.) That being said, during the time for “any questions from the class?” – I had no idea what to even ask because I didn’t know what to expect. Some things I didn’t think of at all and some I assumed would be easy or intuitive since they weren’t mentioned… Here is just a short list of things I wish I would have asked or they would have had the foresight to talk about in my classes:

  • How to express colostrum. During the week of breastfeeding classes, I mentioned to the instructor that I had been ‘leaking’ a little bit here and there for weeks. She said that was a great sign and that I should have no trouble with milk letdown or production. She made a comment in passing about how I could even start saving it now but I didn’t really know what she meant or what follow up questions to ask about how to do that so I let it go and wrote it off, thinking, “Well, it’s such a miniscule amount that is leaking, what good is that?” Plus, I was 6 weeks away from my due date and that felt like a lifetime at that point. I thought I had time.

If I had known that I could express that colostrum by hand, freeze it and save it for those early days when the kiddo was still trying to figure out how to latch on and I was exhausted and couldn’t find a comfortable nursing position and I was constantly nervous he wasn’t getting enough – it would have been nice to have that as a back up. I’ve read that there is some concern about doing this as apparently, nipple stimulation can induce labor (huh) but considering that there are many pregnant moms out there who are still nursing during their pregnancy, I think it would probably be fine. I at least should have thought more about it and had the conversations with my doctor and the breastfeeding class instructor.

  • How to operate a breast pump. It would have been helpful to see a little demo video of how to assemble and operate a pump, as I didn’t get my pump until about a week after Peter was born and had a mini meltdown feeling overwhelmed looking at the parts and the manual, cried, and decided I was doomed to ages of hand cramps from the manual pump until my husband pieced it together for me and showed me how everything worked according to the instruction book. #HesTheBest

In the hospital, a lactation consultant (two, actually) came to talk to me and one brought their super duty hospital grade pump with her so I had that experience but it was a different make and model than the one I got through my insurance. I don’t know, we figured it out but it would have been nice to feel a little more prepared about the whole thing since it’s a part of my routine now and I haul this thing with me to work every. single. day.

  • Baby wearing/carrying. Maybe this is just me but man, you see moms walking around wearing their kids in wraps and slings and carriers and it just seems so effortless, right? I was given a variety of these devices and I had the hardest time figuring them all out! I feel like I still have never quite gotten the hang of it. Maybe it’s my chest, weight, baby’s size – I don’t know. I only used the baby wrap twice, around the house. Never in public. I used the front wearing carrier once out in public and he lasted all of 10 minutes in there before he started crying, I was sweating and we were both uncomfortable and unhappy.

The answer here might just be that it’s not for everyone but it would have been nice if they had spent some time with the baby dolls showing us how to tie the wraps and take babies in and out and tackling practical questions like, If you want to wear the baby around after you drive somewhere, do you tie the wrap around you at home and then get in the car? Or do you take it with you and do the whole miles of fabric intricate wrapping of yourself once you arrive while your baby just waits for you to get through this ritual?

I guess if I had joined a ‘mommy group’ or something, these kinds of questions would be answered but the idea of doing that made my anxiety levels shoot through the roof. I’m an introvert and my own biggest judge and especially during the first few months, I was often very hard on myself and worried that others would be too. Even if no one else is judging me, I look at what they’re doing that I’m not and on my worst days, I think, “She’s obviously so much better at this motherhood thing than I am. She must think I am horrible for XYZ.” I think I also feared going in with a problem to a group like that and having them, probably kindly, offering solutions and me going on the defense as a coping mechanism – “Have you tried…?” “YES, OF COURSE I DID THAT ALREADY, IT DIDN’T WORK!” – which, you know, isn’t the most friendly way to approach things and would just make me feel bad about myself. So. Anyway. I guess this bullet point is … trying to be more aware of questions to ask during pregnancy beyond just the labor and delivery of it all.

2. Perineal massage

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I’m sorry to even mention it but it’s true. Wish I had at least given it a shot. I put it off and I put it off and I put it off and then it was too late. But ouch, guys. And that perineal massage might have helped. I’ve heard it is supposed to. I should have sucked it up and just tried it. They gave us a worksheet and everything and I just filed that thing away and thought, “I’ll get to that later” and then later never happened.

3. Exercise

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I mean, I didn’t really exercise before I got pregnant either and should have. But I’ve heard that exercising helps increase your flexibility for the last few weeks where it’s hard to bend over or get up from a seated position. Even now, I am sore all the time and wish I had more upper body strength for carrying my lovable sack of potatoes baby around everywhere and I think exercise during pregnancy could have helped. Honestly, this kid is 20 lbs of love and I swear I have done something to my back trying to pick him up, set him down and carry him all over the place (in my arms, mostly, because as mentioned above, I have really struggled with baby wearing apparatuses.)

~Maybe eventually I’ll write more about pregnancy or new mom stuff… life is busy 🙂 We’ll see. 

Four things that helped me survive pregnancy

Last week, I posted about the 5 things I’m glad I did during pregnancy. While I’m still in reflective mode looking back on my pregnancy, I thought I’d keep going and write about some of the things that helped me survive some of the rougher portions of my pregnancy.

Yes, it’s a miracle and awesome and I will gladly do it again but damn, it’s hard. Your whole body changes in ways that I can’t even describe. There’s a whole list of rules and things that happen that I had no clue about before I got pregnant. Sure, I knew about no drinking, no sushi, whatever but – No cold lunch meat?! I can’t sleep on my back?! Random aches and pains that aren’t contractions but sure feel like them that go on for months? Cool.

Pregnancy cramps in the middle of the night 😁😖 buy my pregnancy book ❤️link in profile❤️

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Here’s what helped me get through some of the less wonderful parts of growing a human.

1. Trader Joe’s Gingermints

My first sign that I was pregnant was a sore back and sore boobs. I wrote the sore back off to the two vacations I had just been on, including ATX Festival, which was a lot of line standing. The sore boobs thing was new, though. That is not a normal part of my cycle. When I was late, I took a test the next morning and ta-da! Baby.

I had “morning” sickness off and on from about week 8-20 of my pregnancy. It wasn’t every day. Sometimes it was just a wave of nausea and not wanting to eat much of anything. Sometimes it was multiple trips to puke in the stalls at work. The worst times were always when I was away from home and couldn’t just curl up in pajamas and cuddle the puppy. On a trip to DC to visit my best friend, I got sick in the airport bathroom, at her apartment and out to dinner with her boyfriend. At my work’s conference that I helped plan and needed to be ‘on’ for 24/7, puking at the convention center the morning after a big party and having attendees think I had partied too much the night before. The list goes on.

I mean, what I’m saying is, I was basically Princess Kate. #flawless

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No, honestly, I didn’t have it that bad. Near the end, my doctor gave me some medicine that helped quite a bit and by midway through my pregnancy, I felt much better.

But during that period of generally just not feeling well, I lived on Trader Joe’s Gingermints. They helped settle my stomach if I was feeling a little queasy and I always carried them in my purse. Not a cure and maybe just a placebo effect but a big thumbs up from me.

2. Snoogle Mini body pillow

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My preferred sleep position is what I would describe best as a chalk outline of a dead body. Face down, arms and legs akimbo.

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Hard to do that with a growing belly. I decided it would be best then to just flop down on my back but everything I read told me not to do that either. Sleep on your side, they said. It’s best for you and the baby, they said.

It is hard learning how to sleep comfortably on your side if you’ve never slept like that before! Especially when your whole body feels weird, your center of gravity is off and you have to contend with constantly needing to get up and pee. I tried sticking a pillow between my knees but it wasn’t cutting it. I saw a friend that was also pregnant comment about how sleep was difficult and someone mentioned that she needed to buy a Snoogle.

A what now?

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Apparently these pillows are very popular with pregnant ladies and they are massive U-shaped body pillows. If you’ve seen the J-Lo “classic” The Back-Up Plan, basically that pillow. If you haven’t, here’s a visual:

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Those just seemed way too big for me – and crazy expensive, too. I’m too cheap to drop $60 on a pillow, guys. But then I found the Mini-Snoogle.

It really helped the weird body aches and keeping me on my side when I slept. It was the right size for me, since I used my regular pillows for my head. And it’s great because we can still use it now with Mr. Baby. We curl it up like a little donut and pop him in the middle to hang out.

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Hi, buddy. 🙂 

3. Nightgowns

I loved nightgowns when I was young but when I hit puberty, the trend became pajama pants and wearing scrubs as pajamas. With my mom working at a hospital, I had access to steal scrubs she would wear home and from then on, I wore blue hospital scrub pants and t-shirts to bed, along with an array of Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and other character printed pj pants that I bought at Media Play with my employee discount. As I got to college, I started mixing in oversized basketball shorts and miscelleanous sweatpants, yoga pants and other lounge wear.

It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I rediscovered the beauty of nightgowns. An oversized sleep shirt is such a joy. I went on the hunt for this because I hated the feeling of pressure against my pregnant stomach, especially at night, and I was feeling overheated and needed something airy.

My favorite nightgowns:

Blue stripes. Less than $20 from Target (no longer for sale but this one is similar.)

Bump. #surprise! #theresababyinthere #comingfebruary2016 👶🏻❤️🎉

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My 2nd favorite nightgown was this sleep shirt from Old Navy.

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It’s button down, which has proved to be really helpful for nursing now that the baby is here. Here’s one of the many, many times I wore this nightgown during my maternity leave and the lovely aftermath of a spit-up attack.

Neither of those are maternity sized – I just bought them a size larger than I normally wear and they worked out great for me.

4. Milkshakes

I mean, not the healthiest choice but it was probably my biggest craving throughout my pregnancy and man, did a chocolate milkshake always hit just the right spot.

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Props to this handsome guy for going out and fetching me milkshakes on the regular and for being a really awesome dad to our squish faced baby boy.

Coming soon: What I wish I had done during my pregnancy & new mom lessons learned.

Five things I’m glad I did during my pregnancy

So, I’m a mom now, guys. Mr. Baby has made it through 5 months of life all in one piece so that officially makes me a parenting expert now, right?

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Jokes! I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing!

I have two mottos/mantras for myself as a mom:

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I don’t know the original source but I saw this on Instagram & I now repeat this to myself constantly.

That being said, I wanted to write out while it was still somewhat fresh some reflections about my pregnancy. This isn’t an advice column. This isn’t implying that what was right for me is right for anyone else. But I know that I might forget all of this if I don’t write it down so … here it goes.

Five things I’m glad I did during my pregnancy

  1. Take classes at the hospital – Classes helped me feel a lot less anxious. First of all, even if you don’t take classes (which did cost money but I felt was worth the investment), I do highly recommend a hospital tour. Ours offered a free walk through of the labor and delivery floor and calmed my nerves a lot. The nurse even told us exactly where we should park and what doors to enter through so my weird panic nightmares of wandering a hospital with no idea of where to go and no one around to help me subsided.

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The baby classes we took were called Lamaze Plus, which was four weeks of lamaze and information about the actual labor part of things; one week of baby care; one week of breastfeeding.

Important things I took away from those 6 weeks:

  • What signs to look for that labor is starting
  • Your water breaking is not like it is in the movies
  • What kinds of things would be important to me in a birth plan
  • The fact that a birth plan is just that – a plan! If things don’t go exactly as planned, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean you failed if you wanted to try a natural birth and end up needing an epidural or a C-section. The goal is to do whatever you have to do to get a heathy baby out of you!
  • Breathing techniques
  • How to swaddle a baby
  • Breastfeeding is natural but not always easy
  • Breast milk storage guidelines (we got a helpful print out)

I think another important factor was that Andy was there with me. He learned a lot but I think it also helped prepare him for being in the delivery room with me. His stance early in my pregnancy was that he didn’t want to see anything that was going on and being kind of skeeved out by the idea of labor. But after the classes and once the day came, he was right there, helping to hold my legs as I pushed and watching our son’s head crown.

2. Pinterest research – Listen. I know that Pinterest can be a place that can make you feel like a horrible person because you aren’t, like, making your own homemade organic toilet paper. But it did help me and might help you if you know that you have to sift through some of the crazy to find the gold. Here’s what I found most helpful from my pregnancy Pinteresting:

  • Suggestions on what to register for and what to skip. Sure, some of those posts are for the kind of rich ladies who can drop bank on thousand dollar prams or are sponsored for Dr. So and So’s Booger Rags or whatever but if you click through enough of those, especially some from sites like The Bump and not just “mommy blogs”, you’ll get a good idea of what’s standard and what you might not need.
  • What to pack in the hospital bag. I wayyyy overpacked but it gave me peace of mind to pack those bags in the weeks leading up to my delivery.
  • Reading up about what to expect postpartum was eye-opening. Like, that is something I had NO clue about before I got pregnant and wowza. It might freak some people out but it helped me prep psychologically for everything that was going to happen physically.

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  • Super prepared mamas on Pinterest inspired me to create a “labor action plan” for scenarios like the following, copied from the actual document I typed up for myself and husband:

If I’m at work when my water breaks or contractions get serious: 1) Call Andy. 2) Try to note COAT (color, odor, amount and time) re: water breaking and/or start timing contractions. 3) Notify manager I’m leaving. 4) If able, drive myself home. If unable, ask available co-worker to drive me home.

My plan included the work scenario, “If I’m home and Andy’s not home”; “What to do once we’re both home and things look serious” and then steps for my husband: Driving to and parking at the hospital; Check-in & what paperwork we might need; Contacting family members to let them know I’m in labor and to go take care of our dog; what to bring in from the car and what to leave in the car; and to say things like this to me to get me through it:

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3. Stockpile shopping – Another idea I got from Pinterest and I’m so glad I did. Stocking up for both the baby and for things for our house helped satiate that nesting instinct that they say kicks in at the end but I feel like I had during my entire pregnancy.

For Mr. Baby, I started buying diapers and wipes pretty regularly on shopping trips, starting in my 2nd trimester. I only bought when I had coupons or there was a sale (Cartwheel FTW, I love Target) so I didn’t feel like I was breaking the bank. I had no clue what brand we would like best so I bought Pampers, Huggies, Seventh Generation, Babyganics, Target brand, Babies R Us brand, and Luvs. I used this post I found on Pinterest as a rough rule of thumb re: pricing and how many diapers we would need and had a good supply of Newborn and Size 1 diapers and a large basket full of wipes by the time he was born. Mind you, he was a 9 lb 3 oz baby so we could have jumped right to size 1 diapers (many people on the internet suggest not buying Newborn size at all for this reason) but even though he was a big baby, the size 1 seemed huge on him at first and newborn worked for us for the first month. We only had to go out and buy diapers maybe … twice… during my maternity leave. With my shopping and what we received from showers, we were set until he moved into size 2 diapers.

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I wouldn’t have thought to do this if it weren’t for Pinterest but having household goods fully stocked was a lifesaver. First, I knew that I was not going to want to leave the house in the dead of winter with a newborn. Second, I knew that I wanted Andy to get home from work ASAP and not spend time out doing needless shopping and away from us. So, I decided to fill our closets and pantry with:

  • Mega rolls of toilet paper and paper towels
  • Multipacks of tissues
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer for every stinking room in the house
  • Gallon jug of hand soap
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Trash bags
  • Slow cooker liners
  • Toothpaste
  • Dog food
  • Pretzels and other snacks that wouldn’t go bad right away
  • Cleaning supplies (many of which we found at the Dollar Tree – great resource for this kind of stockpile shopping)

4. Freezer stocking – I was lucky enough to have a friend organize a girls’ night at my house where they prepared freezer crockpot meals for us and this was AWESOME. While we didn’t eat them all the time and not every recipe was a winner, it was such a relief to know that they were always there if we needed something because God knows, I was not in the mood to cook during the last few weeks of pregnancy and the majority of my maternity leave. Plus, a few turned out great – Lemon Pepper Chicken, Mini Stuffed Peppers and Chicken Tacos were our favorites.

5. SLEEP – People would ask how I was feeling during my pregnancy and I would often respond, “I’m tired” and the parents in the group would always say, “Oh, just you wait.” Man. They were right. Newborn baby tired is a whole new level of tired. I’m so glad that I took the time to just be lazy and sleep in and go to bed early and relax while I could because I’ve been operating on chunks of sleep, ranging from 30 minutes to maybe 6 hours max, for the past 5 months.

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Me, most days.

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Worth it for this dude. Love you, little man.

Coming soon: What I wish I had done during my pregnancy & what helped me get through morning sickness and other pregnancy ailments.

Where you line up, I will follow: ATX TV Fest 2015 (Part 3)

Part 1 recap here || Part 2 recap here

Sunday

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The last day of the fest, we went to the live Dawson’s Creek script reading. The cast was a surprise and there were rumors that actual DC cast members might be in attendance… I doubted that would actually happen. In line, we speculated about who might be reading what parts and I guessed that the festival would pull in favorites like Mae Whitman (Parenthood), Nick Wechsler (Revenge), and Matt Lauria (Friday Night Lights). 

It turns out, we were all partially right. There was a cast member on hand – Kerr Smith, who joined the cast in Season 2 as Jack, participated in the reading. Mae and Nick both were on the panel but instead of Matt Lauria from FNL, they brought in Grandma Saracen, Riggins brother and Tyra’s sister.

We ended up in the front row – amazing – and it was one of my favorite events of the weekend. They gender-flipped the four main characters so Mae Whitman was Dawson Leery and Kerr Smith played Jen (so perfect!). Here’s the full cast and a few pictures:

Mae Whitman as Dawson; Suits‘ Patrick J. Adams as Joey; Rectify‘s Abigail Spencer as Pacey; Dawson’s Creek co-star Kerr Smith — who played Jack — stepping into the role of his former character’s best friend, Jen; Friday Night Lights alum Louanne Stephens as Grams; Derek Phillips as Mitch Leery and Stacey Oristano as Gail Leery; as well as Gilmore Girls’ Arielle Kebbelas Tamara; Orphan Black’s Kristian Bruun as Bessie and Nellie and Revenge‘s Nick Wechsler as Bodie and Mr. Gold. Series creator Kevin Williamson served as the narrator. (Hollywood Reporter)

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Since we were in the front row, we were able to grab some of the name cards when we left and Louanne Stephens (Grams/Grandma Saracen) gave us her name card and the script she read from! Melissa let me keep all of them and I forgive ATX Fest for spelling Jen’s last name wrong. (It’s Lindley, not Linley.) 😉

That was a good way to wrap up the weekend. We wanted to try and sneak into the Fox Comedy Preview with The Grinder and Grandfathered but the script reading ran a little long and we couldn’t make it into the Alamo to see Josh Peck and Fred Savage. We did see Josh Peck walk past us that morning in the hotel lobby. He then walked outside and a gaggle of girls not so discreetly tried to casually follow him down the street.

We also witnessed a horribly awkward exchange between some man and this woman who is on the new show RosewoodHe came up to her in the lobby and started effusively saying how much he loved her show and she was so great on it and she had to stop him and say that he had her confused with someone else because her show hadn’t aired yet.

Hahaha. Sorry, Jaina Lee Ortiz. You handled it very gracefully and so sweetly. (I believe she told him, “Oh, I wish I were her. You were so excited!”) We thought it was hilarious.

That wrapped up our #atxseason4 experience for 2015. As always, I had a lot of fun but I felt like maybe it’s getting too big? It was a lot of people and a lot of sweaty line waiting and this year, more than in the previous two, waiting in line and not getting into some things I was hoping to see. The lack of organization was a big issue for me and it bothered me that we weren’t sent an attendee survey this time around to help give feedback and suggestions, like we have in the past. I won’t be attending in 2016 because I’ll have a newborn baby (oh yeah, by the way, I found out I was pregnant three days after getting back from this trip!) but may return for 2017, if badge prices haven’t tripled in price by then. Thanks for the memories, ATX Fest! Hope to see you again in the future. 🙂

How I Met Your Mother: Don’t Let the Finale Ruin the Rest of the Series

I was reading Vulture today and in Margaret Lyon’s Stay Tuned column, she gave advice to someone named Alex who just finished Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother and after hearing that the finale was awful, asked if it was worth continuing to watch the show. Margaret felt so burned by the finale that she said no, stop watching. I disagree.

I was burned by the finale too. In fact, I wrote essentially a dissertation on it and my feelings have not shifted. But I think if I was talking to anyone that was unsure about committing to the full series based on hearing bad things about the finale, even though they loved the first season, I would suggest that they try to sample some of the best episodes of the following seasons. For HIMYM, there are solid episodes throughout every season – even the later years where it gets weird and the tone changes.

My suggested viewing of HIMYM is all of season 1. Hands down, a solid and lovely season that withstands multiple viewings.

   

I’ve limited my list of favorites from the rest of the series to my top 2 per season, plus a bonus episode (or two). I think beyond season 1, seasons 2 and 4 are worth watching in their entirety but if you’re going to take a sampling approach, try these:

Season 2:

  • Slap Bet
  • Swarley
  • Bonus: It’s a tie! Showdown & Lucky Penny

Season 3:

  • How I Met Everyone Else
  • Spoiler Alert
  • Bonus: The Bracket

Season 4:

  • Three Days of Snow
  • The Front Porch
  • Bonus: It’s a tie! Woooo! & Naked Man

Season 5:

  • Duel Citizenship
  • Robots vs. Wrestlers
  • Bonus: Girls vs. Suits

Season 6:

  • Bad News
  • Legendaddy
  • Bonus: Hopeless

Season 7:

  • The Best Man
  • The Magician’s Code
  • Bonus: Ducky Tie

Season 8:

  • The Final Page
  • The Time Travelers
  • Bonus: Something New

Season 9:

  • Unpause
  • How Your Mother Met Me
  • Bonus: Last Forever

Where you line up, I will follow: ATX TV Fest 2015 (Part 2)

Read Part One here.

Saturday

After eating a very quick grab and go breakfast on Friday (we grabbed a banana/muffin from a coffee shop and ate it on the way there), we decided to sit down and get breakfast on Saturday at a crepe place. My crepe can be described as … meh… but it was nice to relax in the morning. That wasn’t our original plan at all. We wanted to go to the Coffee with Amy Sherman-Palladino panel that was Saturday morning but we didn’t even try to make it in because it was scheduled in the smallest room at the hotel and we heard some rumblings that the line was going to be ridiculous. Oh, it was. We saw on Twitter that people started lining up at 5 AM for the 10 AM panel. Not worth it to me, especially when we planned to see her Saturday night at the reunion.

We debated whether we should go to the Empire: The Creatives panel or the discussion about niche audiences vs. ratings and decided on Empire. Totally the right choice! First, the line for the niche audience panel was out the door and around the corner of the hotel. There were plenty of seats for Empire and we didn’t even wait in line – we showed up as they were letting people into the theater about 30 minutes in advance. Danny Strong (Doyle from Gilmore Girls) came up with the original idea for the show and helps run it so he was in attendance, along with writer Wendy Calhoun. Jarrett from Buzzfeed was the moderator again and it was such a great discussion. It made me want to watch more episodes – I’ve only seen the pilot and the finale of season 1. I need to catch up on Hulu. They were both hilarious and insightful and the audience asked amazing questions.

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So glad we went to that. After it let out, Danny Strong was taking pictures with fans outside and we were the last ones to snag him on the street. We introduced ourselves as Melissa and Melissa and he said, “Hi Melissas” very sweetly and it made me kind of giggle, mid picture. Hence the wacky smile on my face.

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(Also, he was standing on a step and we were not because dude is short.)

After Empire, we went to P.Terry’s for lunch (yummmm burgers) and got it to go. We ate on the sidewalk, waiting for the line to form for the Dawson’s Creek Writers Room. Thankfully, we were in the shade for that line and ended up in a decent spot in the non-Fast Pass line. We passed the time in line (about an hour, maybe 90 minutes) by playing Heads Up and drinking a lot of water.

The DC Writers Room group was really interesting. So many writers from that show went on to run their own shows – Rob Thomas was a writer season one and went on to create Veronica Mars and Party Down and iZombie. The woman who moderated the panel was Julie Plec, who created Vampire Diaries. She is a friend of Kevin Williamson and was there for some of the writing of the show in the early seasons and watched as a fan later on so she offered a very cool perspective – inside and outside viewpoints.

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We left during the audience Q&A so we could go to the bathroom, charge my phone and get ready for the Gilmore Girls line. We knew it was going to be insanity. We saw people starting to loiter for the GG line early in the morning and heard rumors of people buying tickets on Craigslist for $1,000. Bananas.

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I had a Fast Pass for the Gilmore Girls reunion. Melissa didn’t. Melissa decided to start loitering with the crowd around 4:30 PM – we were told that no lines could be formed until 5:00 PM and if any lines were formed prior to that, they would not be honored. Many people did what Melissa decided to do and started congregating around the building in the 4 o’clock hour. I waited at the SFA hotel and charged my phone until a few minutes to 5 PM. Even though I had a Fast Pass, I knew the line was going to be long and wanted to try and get a decent spot. I got to the line about 4:58 and it was already wrapped far around the building. There was a huge cluster right at the front and crowds of people lined up like 4-5 deep across, spilling into the street. Fest volunteers were yelling at the crowd to move and get out of the street and it was just a mass of bodies.

My spot in line was near an alley on the side of the building. The volunteer/line coordinator decided that they needed to declutter the crowd up front so their solution was to have everyone in the Fast Pass line move back to accommodate straightening out that cluster. While a good idea in theory, I suppose… in practice, not so much. They started telling everyone near the front and middle of the line to move back before they got to the back of the line. Hard to move back if no one else is moving back. No volunteers had walkie-talkies or each other’s cell phone numbers apparently so people were physically running back and forth and there was zero communication between people working at different points. Every person told us something different. We moved back. Then moved forward. Moved back again. And back again. Got yelled at by another volunteer who asked why we had moved back and told us to step forward 10 paces. Someone else started alerting us that we were going to move back again but then we never moved. It was sooooo hot that I honestly had to ask if that actually happened or I hallucinated it in a state of sweaty delirium. The non-Fast Pass got to stand/sit in some shade – we were not as lucky. It was direct sunlight, no break, for over two hours. We weren’t let in until after 7:00 PM. Thankfully, I had a giant water bottle and a hand fan but that only did so much. I am grateful for my morning sunscreen which I thought had sweated off but I didn’t burn too badly – only a little pink on my back. They passed out some water to the crowd and the guys from Gilmore Guys bought Pop-Tarts for some of the line, which was awesome. Generally, we were all just miserable but nice to each other. Little victories.

We spotted two girls dressed up as Rory and Lorelai from the first episode – Rory in the Chilton uniform and Lorelai in the pink shirt, short shorts and cowboy boots. We felt bad for “Rory” because she had on long sleeves and a sweater vest! I’m shocked she didn’t pass out.

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blurry cos-play Lorelai and Rory from the first episode

Speaking of… I’m pretty sure people were fainting because an ambulance came at some point while we were waiting near the front of the line. We also heard a massive car crash but didn’t see it happen. The lines were so long that they wrapped entirely around the building. Hundreds of people were in that line. Maybe even a thousand. It seemed like the volunteers were counting at some point but if they were keeping a headcount, they should have known the following:

  1. How many seats are in the theater total.
  2. How many Fast Passes were given out.
  3. How many single tickets were sold in the balcony.
  4. How many reserved seats were needed for press, cast, sponsors, etc.

While I admit that last one was probably a little flexible for them and might not been as easy to judge, they knew how many tickets and Fast Passes were distributed. Take that number, subtract it from the total seats and then do a rough guess of how many reserved seats you’ll need. What is the number left over? That number should have been counted out in line by staff/volunteers for everyone in the non-Fast Pass line.

Say the rough number was 200 and to give a little wiggle room, they rounded up to 250. Only allow that many people to line up. After that, have a volunteer at the end saying, “There will not be space in the theater for anyone past this point.” Seems simple. Pass out numbers. Pass out wrist bands. Do something to assign spaces to people who line up and then let them not stand in the sun for 2 hours and get heat stroke!

Too many people that paid good money for a weekend badge waited for a long time in a difficult line and didn’t get in. That sucks. I heard a rough estimate that about 100 people didn’t get in to the theater. Thankfully, Melissa made it in and we got seats together but they weren’t great seats at all – the first 30 rows or so were all reserved and not open to general admission seating. We ended up about 5 rows from the back and unfortunately, near some VERY annoying girls who were loudly yelling things at the stage. One girl was getting very defensive about seat saving (even though she got a seat and we were all in crappy spots) and they both were such loud, interrupting yellers that they were disturbing everyone around them. We started shushing both of them so we could hear the people on stage talk.

Before I get into the reunion, some more thoughts and hopefully constructive feedback points about the line situation and the overall management issues/crowd control throughout the weekend:

Volunteers need to be trained better. Period. We ran into this last year too. Most volunteers were friendly and I can tell the fest really values them which is great. I volunteer for various causes and events and appreciate that love is shown for volunteers. HOWEVER. There are some serious issues. Like I mentioned above, there seemed to be no communication between the staff about what was going on for the GG line. When needing to yell things to the crowd, they didn’t have a blow horn or megaphone. The lines were not roped off in any way. We were not let into the theater in time. They had some “Security” guards that looked like they were 12 years old. I witnessed them actively not doing their jobs multiple times when actors were getting bum rushed in the hotel and they were standing idly by instead of assisting them, when they clearly needed someone to help manage the crowd and tell them to chill. Crowds of volunteers would just huddle together and chat instead of directing people to the appropriate lines when at the hotel and there were often multiple lines at the same time. I found myself doing their job for them so much once on Sunday that I went up to one and had to ask her if she could please go stand in the lobby and make herself useful. Like, I shouldn’t have to be managing this and common sense should tell anyone working that you would be more efficient directing traffic at the end of the line instead of standing at the front of the line, where everyone already knows where they are. Right?

The Cleveland International Film Festival is a good example of how to manage crowd control and have a better grasp on volunteers. I have been attending and volunteering for several years and I am going to share tips from CIFF with ATX Fest if they ever send out their attendee survey.

Lines need to be clearly defined and labeled. They should be roped off somehow. Get stands with signs or have volunteers hold signs to indicate where people should be standing. If possible, the guaranteed entry (Fast Pass) line should not be standing directly next to the “stand by” line. And if you’re going to schedule things and treat non-Fast Pass holders as “stand by”, be up front and call it that. Don’t give false hope that they are likely to get in if they aren’t, when you oversell and venues can’t hold everyone that wants to go to something. If you are going to have something like the Gilmore Girls reunion that you think is going to be a packed house and people may not be able to get in, consider offering an alternative event that night to help divert some of the crowd. The review in AV Club really highlighted a lot of my other thoughts on this topic so just go read that now: avc.lu/1cKe3Uy .

OKAY. Enough of that. Let’s get into the Gilmore Girls Reunion.

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A large panel discussion with that many people is hard to manage. I think that it went well but there were some annoying and awkward audience members (some of the Q&A questions were rough). It was amazing seeing all of those people in one place at the same time – in the above photo, from left to right, are:

Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly (moderator)
Amy Sherman-Palladino (show creator)
Lauren Graham (Lorelai)
Alexis Bledel (Rory)
Kelly Bishop (Emily)
Daniel Palladino (show writer/producer/maybe co-creator?)
Scott Patterson (Luke)
Milo Ventimiglia (Jess)
Keiko Agena (Lane)
Yanic Truesdale (Michel)
Liza Weil (Paris)
Matt Czuchry (Logan)
Liz Torres (Miss Patty)
Jared Padalecki (Dean)
Danny Strong (Doyle)
Jackson Douglas (Jackson)
Todd Lowe (Zack)
John Cabrera (Brian)
and an empty seat in honor of Edward Hermann (Richard)

Highlights:

  • The Edward Hermann tribute video that ASP created
  • Hearing the whole audience sing along to the theme song at the beginning of the panel
  • Rory’s love interests choosing Team Dean/Team Jess/Team Logan
  • Watching the small moments of the cast tearing up talking about Edward Hermann
  • The overwhelming love in the room and even though there were some weirdos in the audience, the majority of people were awesome and I knew like… THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! So many people around our age who grew up the same age as Rory and the show just meant a lot to them. I can relate to that and it’s nice to be in a room with people who understand that a piece of entertainment can be important and it can help shape who you are as a person and it can get you through hard times. It was just a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so glad I got to go. It made the line standing, heat exhaustion, frustration and everything else almost worth it.

After the panel, we went to the hotel bar for a drink and then tried to stalk out the official after-party at another location (which was on the way back to our Airbnb anyway). We didn’t want to be one of the weirdos standing around, waiting for autographs outside so we didn’t linger but we did almost walk right into Kevin McKidd from Grey’s Anatomy. He has blonde hair in real life, not red hair… although maybe it’s strawberry blond and just kinda looks red on TV?

Read Part 3 here. 

Where you line up, I will follow: ATX TV Fest 2015 (Part 1)

Getting through ATX Television Festival is like running a marathon. Mind you, I’ve never run a marathon. Running isn’t my thing. But I imagine a marathon would be exhausting, often thrilling, sometimes challenging and you would sweat a lot but overall, you would feel rewarded by the experience. Which is a decent way to summarize my ATX Fest trips. Throw in some BBQ and queso and that paints a picture.

This was my third visit to Austin and the festival’s fourth “season”. (Read about previous experiences here.) My best friend and I have been making the yearly trip to ATX Fest ever since they announced the Boy Meets World reunion in 2013. This year, they sold out of weekend badges and the crowd seemed to nearly double in size. We found it wasn’t uncommon throughout the weekend to discover that most people we met had never even heard of the festival before a few months ago — this was very much a newcomers year due to the Gilmore Girls reunion (more on that later).

We bought our badges to attend this year at last year’s fest. They were $99 (a discount only available during the festival and that went up this year – again, more on that later) and even though programming wouldn’t be announced until much later, we had high hopes. We trusted that it would be awesome because the girls running ATX Fest (Caitlyn and Emily) had done so well in the past – Boy Meets World, Everwood, Orange is the New Black, Archer, Parenthood, writers and creatives from New Girl, The Mindy Project, Community… I could go on and on. Plus, there were some signs that this year could be the year for Gilmore Girls. Amy Sherman-Palladino was scheduled to be at last year’s fest but had to back out. Lauren Graham was a surprise guest at the Parenthood panel. We felt like something was in the works and had our fingers crossed… and it totally panned out.

When they first made the announcement, I was so excited but we knew we wanted more. The original plan was to have showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino and the two leads, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. We immediately started wishing that they would add in other cast members – that show was such an amazing ensemble and the townspeople of Stars Hollow would so great. Our wishes came true and they added in like 15 other cast members. We were thrilled but the press the reunion received leading up to the weekend made me realize that Gilmore Girls was a much bigger show than I realized. I knew I loved it and how important it was to me growing up and that definitely was the case for about a thousand other people in attendance too. I’ll circle back (in part 2 of this blog post). Let me take this chronologically.

Thursday

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I never go to the Thursday night events. The first year we came (2013) it wasn’t open to the public but there was a party you could go to. Skipped it. Last year, it was some TNT show I wasn’t interested in and an after-party and we chose to go eat migas instead. This year, it was some USA show I didn’t care about and instead, I met up with a Twitter friend turned human life friend and fellow ATX Fest goer Lynn and her friend Kayla to go eat delicious BBQ at Salt Lick. Solid choice. They didn’t host any official parties this year because it was just too many people so didn’t miss anything there. Plus, brisket. No regrets.

Friday

We started Friday bright and early going to pick up our badges from the registration table. Melissa didn’t get in town until late Thursday so we missed the Thursday pick up times. I’m going to write this a lot in this post and it was my general feeling throughout but … things were different in previous years. Before, we just walked up and got our badges, no lines, it was a quick and painless process. This year, not so much. We waited in the first of many, many long lines throughout the weekend. It took us about 30-45 minutes to get our badge. The system they had wasn’t flowing very efficiently – bags were not pre-stuffed with the program or copies of Entertainment Weekly, you had to fill out a slip of paper to verify your information and they had to print out your Fast Passes.

Constructive feedback #1: Why didn’t the mass of volunteers pre-stuff attendee bags? Why weren’t Fast Passes printed out in advance and then just set up a separate “Help” desk if they were wrong or something on a badge had to be adjusted?

We finally got our badges and booked it to a new venue for the fest, the Google Fiber building for Brooklyn Nine-Nine (one of my wishlist shows for the fest this year!). Not too far away but definitely a much farther walk than the distance between the Alamo Drafthouse on 6th and the SFA Hotel. I liked the Google Fiber building and the Google staff/ATX volunteers on hand were smart and efficient. We had no problems with lines or finding a seat and didn’t have to wait long before we were let in the building.

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They showed the season finale and then showrunner Dan Goor and actresses Chelsea Peretti and Melissa Fumero answered questions on stage. The moderator was only okay – I felt he sometimes talked in circles and directed the majority of his questions to Dan Goor but Dan and Chelsea were both really funny. Melissa didn’t talk as much (it seemed like it was a long night the night before) but was a good addition to the panel. Stephanie Beatriz was supposed to be there but had to cancel. Audience questions took a weird turn when someone got on an incredibly random soapbox about female characters on TV getting pregnant (not applicable in any way to B99) but the panelists were good sports about it.

After B99, we made our way back to the hotel and got in line for The Final Finale panel with Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) and the creators of Queer as Folk. The moderator Jarrett Weisselman from Buzzfeed was great and one of my faves throughout the fest. You can tell he loves TV, he was passionate with his questions, asked good follow-ups and seemed to really listen. Some moderators seemed like they had everything plotted out on their notepad and were just preparing for the next question instead of listening to the answer. I thought the Final Finale panel was fascinating but we couldn’t see anything because it wasn’t a very elevated stage. I don’t think anyone other than the first few rows could see. I think my favorite tidbit from that panel was Marta Kauffman revealing that Chandler and Monica sleeping together was going to be a funny, one-time thing but the reaction of the live audience while they were filming it was so enormous, they had to stop production for a while to let everyone collect themselves and she said it was like the audience realized they had been waiting for them to get together. They weren’t “shipping” them or begging the creators to pair them up but when they did, it was like something clicked in the collective minds of the audience to decide they were meant to be.

With the way things were scheduled, we had to miss the Pitch Competition this year because it was the same time as Brooklyn Nine-Nine. We’ve gone to the pitches the past two years because they were always on Sunday and at a good time programming wise where we felt like we could without missing much. It didn’t work out that way this year. Thankfully, we met a guy in line who had gone and gave us a few summaries of the pitches so we felt like we were kinda there in spirit.

After the Final Finale pitch, I wanted to go to the Boy Meets Girl Meets World panel because yes, I am a 30 year old woman who sometimes watches and enjoys Girl Meets World. We saw the two adorable stars of that show in the lobby and later saw Ben Savage walking around the hotel but everyone was mobbing poor Cory Matthews so we left him alone. Anyway, the line was so long for the GMW panel that there was no chance of getting in after ours was done so we decided to go get food instead. We walked outside the hotel and up to the corner and spotted Marta Kauffman taking a picture with some fans. There were only about 3 girls there so we decided that she didn’t seem mobbed or in a rush to leave and waited to talk to her. We thanked her for coming and told her how much we liked the Final Finale panel and asked for a selfie, which she very kindly agreed to.

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NBD, hanging with the creator of “Friends”

After we met Marta, we took a cab to South Congress. If we had more time and it wasn’t 90+, we would have just walked – it’s not that far. But we were sweating, hungry and didn’t want to take too long so we opted for convenience. We went to Gueros for fantastic tacos and mucho queso and that was a good call. We took pictures near the “I love you so much” wall and then pretty much needed to get back so we could make it to Drunk History at 4:30.

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Melissa had a Fast Pass and I didn’t so we had to wait in separate lines and wanted to get there early. Apparently, it wasn’t early enough. We got in line around 3:45 and the non-Fast Pass line was already around the building and almost about to turn a corner. I wasn’t too far back but the Fast Pass line was long too and after waiting for awhile, we were told we weren’t getting in. (Melissa got in because a Fast Pass guarantees your spot.) I was bummed because I wanted to go but I went back to the hotel lobby at SFA and charged my phone, which badly needed it. My battery throughout the weekend was constantly nearing 0% so it was nice to have some charging stations available.

I met a girl who also didn’t make it into Drunk History and was charging her phone in the lobby and we talked for a bit. She was very nice and bought me a drink so we had afternoon cocktails and chatted until Melissa came back. When Melissa returned, we spotted Kevin from the Gilmore Guys podcast (he has bright red hair and I recognized him from Twitter) walking with EMILY FREAKIN’ GILMORE. Obviously we were excited. Kelly Bishop is awesome. (Also, listening to the podcast, I know he’s a huge fan of hers so I was also excited for him. Ha.) A few people were asking for pictures but we didn’t want to bother her so we waited and then the crowd seemed to thin a bit when she was alone by the elevators and we made our move. There were 3-4 girls in front of us and then we politely asked if we could take a picture with her too. She smiled and agreed and said she had to find her angle before we took the selfie so we all tried to adjust our faces to find the most flattering angle.

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Emily freakin’ Gilmore

We thanked her for coming and told her how excited we were for the reunion and she said that she was thrilled and couldn’t wait for it. Kelly Bishop! She was on my favorite TV show and my favorite movie (Dirty Dancing!) and I got to talk to her and that alone made the weekend worth it for me. Just very cool.

We sat back down in the upstairs lobby area and Melissa ran to the bathroom. When she came back, she told me that Judy Greer was going in the bathroom when she was coming out and told me I should go in there so of course, I did. I had to pee too so that worked out well. Judy Greer! The frenemy/best friend/sassy assistant/guest star in everything – her IMDb page is ridiculous.

When I came out to wash my hands, she was standing at the sink, touching up some makeup. I looked over and said, “Oh, hey – I loved your audiobook, by the way.” And she smiled and we talked for a few minutes about her book and how much her mom likes to listen to it. I said I was looking forward to seeing her show and thanked her for coming and she was very sweet. We were in the bathroom so you know, I didn’t ask her for a picture or anything because that’s awkward and I’m not a weirdo. But we talked casually and that was cool.

After that, we felt obligated to go to the FX Comedy Night Showcase, which featured her show Married and also You’re the Worst and a new show, Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll. Plus, the alternative was the annual Friday Night Lights tailgate and it was so hot and neither of us were FNL watchers so we opted for air-conditioning instead. I slightly regretted that decision when they announced a last minute surprise Hep Alien (Gilmore Girls band) show at the tailgate BUT the whole thing ended up on YouTube anyway so it’s okay. More comfortable indoors but still… #HepAlienForever.

I’ve been meaning to watch You’re the Worst for a while now but have just never gotten around to it – once it starts streaming on Hulu, I’ll catch up on the first season. It was a critically acclaimed show and I loooovvee telling people that they are the worst but the ads just never appealed to me so I didn’t watch it. They showed the season 1 finale which I probably would have enjoyed more if I knew more about the show. It wasn’t my favorite thing ever but I’ll give it a chance. The cast were charming during the Q&A after and I was surprised that the main guy is British. That’s how little I knew about that show. Very pleasant accent, that one.

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I’ve seen a few episodes of Married with Judy Greer, Nat Faxon, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate, Paul Reiser… there are a lot of random people on that show. I wasn’t 100% sold on it. It’s a pretty dark comedy and maybe I’m just not jaded enough or haven’t been married long enough, but it wasn’t the greatest thing to watch even though I like everyone on it. They showed the season 2 premiere and it was okay. The Q&A was funny.

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They are adding a new cast member this season, this actress named Sarah Burns and she was hilarious. She is kind of like Judy Greer in that she has played the best friend in several movies that I love and own (like I Love You, Man and Going the Distance).

See? Sarah Burns, the brunette standing there next to Rashida Jones.

She wasn’t even in the episode they screened but she really livened up the panel. Brett Gelman was also great – he ended their panel with an intense verbatim monologue from Scandal. If you can’t picture who Brett Gelman is, he was on the series finale of Mad Men. This guy.

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We ducked out before the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll screening. It was late. We were tired. We were starving. And we just didn’t care that much about Denis Leary’s new show. So before the next screening started, we took off and made our way to the Roaring Fork, the restaurant inside the SFA hotel. We both ordered salads (and a side of fries) and my body was thankful for some vegetables. At the table behind us, the cast of You’re the Worst was having a big group dinner and the two female leads went outside to smoke and stood directly at the window next to where we were eating. We realized with that proximity that we couldn’t discreetly IMDb either of them because they could legit turn and see our phones. So, we held off on doing that until they left and realized one of the girls was in Pitch Perfect. That will help with six degrees of separation games.

After we ate, we met up with one of my old work friends Cassie who moved down to Austin and had a drink before crashing at our Airbnb for the night. That was one day that felt like it was packed with 3 days worth of activity. I was covered in a thick layers of musky sweat and my feet were tired, blistered and filthy from wearing flip flops. I definitely needed to crash before Saturday.

Part 2 here || Part 3 here

kelly clarkson week on idol

Next week, the theme on American Idol is Kelly Clarkson and I am jazzed. So many great songs! If I picked the songs for the contestants (ranked in order of my current voting preference), I would choose:

  1. Tyanna – Walk Away  
  2. Clark – Stronger  
  3. Joey – My Life Would Suck Without You  
  4. Quentin – Since U Been Gone  
  5. Nick – Heartbeat Song  
  6. Qaasim – Because of You  
  7. Jax – Miss Independent  
  8. Rayvon – Behind These Hazel Eyes  
  9. Daniel – Catch My Breath  

The lowest vote getter doesn’t get to perform this season and I’d be fine with not hearing Daniel, Rayvon or Jax next week. Meh. I could take or leave all of them.

My biggest question is who will choose the fast songs and who will go with the ballads. None of the contestants have Kelly’s vocal range so they can’t sing just like her but I am excited to hear how they interpret the songs.

#ImANerdThatStillCaresAboutAmericanIdol

I had an idea for a story in the shower this morning.

Maybe this has been done before but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it… It would be told in different, interspersed parts – 1) first person, woman working on a novel that is heavily influenced by the events in her real life, including falling for her editor and the ups and downs of their relationship, and 2) excerpts from that novel and communication with the editor about the book, with proofreading and notes and input from his perspective of their relationship. 

Now, I just have to figure out how to write it. 

I write for a website that produces the kind of fast, fluffy content that old grizzled newspapermen write condescending editorial pieces about in the Wall Street Journal, bemoaning the current state of capital J Journalism. “Listicles” is the bulk of what I do all day – you know, those pieces you see shared on your aunt’s Facebook wall with numbers in the title like, 10 Puppies That Think They’re Kittens, 12 of the Most Tumblr Things to Ever Tumblr, 25 Epic Moments from Beyonce’s VMA Performance.

I used to work for a site that shared other people’s content and I would write an attention grabbing “click-bait” headline. I was called a curator at that job. As if I worked at a museum or something. Fancy title, considering I once was responsible for posting a video of a subpar children’s dance recital with the headline, Everyone doubted her but this 4-Year-Old will blow your mind

I didn’t feel great about myself.

Not that I’m going to win a Pulitzer anytime soon for listicles but it’s fun, I like the company (most of the time) and my co-workers (although most are babies). Seriously, most of the people I work with are right out of college, looking like fresh-faced 15 year olds. It’s enough to make you feel like you have kids, even though I’m only about 5-10 years older than most people. There’s also the small fact that I’m so painfully single and childless that the actual idea of having kids is both terrifying and hilarious to me at this point of my life.

When I was right out of college, my job now wasn’t a thing. I could never have imagined I’d make money doing this but alas, here I am at 30 and getting paid enough to basically make rent every month. Plus, I have time to work on my novel that I’ve been attempting to finish for the better part of a decade. It’s so easy for me to slap together nonsense with my name on it that gets shared and seen by thousands of people every day but I keep hitting road blocks when I try to get words on paper for my own story.

fall 2014 TV roundup: Sunday Funday

For my last entry in this thread, I’m skipping ahead to Sunday because I don’t watch anything live on Friday (although they have moved Glee to Fridays, which means I have another show that I watch sometime during the weekend) and only watch SNL on Saturdays.

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I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s hilarious, a true ensemble and feels fresh to me every week. I was worried when I heard Andy Samberg was going to star in his own TV show because I didn’t love his character work on SNL (beyond his stellar Mark Wahlberg impression and his work with the Lonely Island).

“Say hi to your mother for me.”

 

I also knew his movie roles, with the exception of the understated Celeste & Jesse Forever and a great small role in I Love You Man, were broad and not really my taste (see Hot Rod and That’s My Boy). But wow, Mike Schur has the magic touch. Everything he is involved with becomes one of my favorite shows – The Office, Parks and Rec, and now Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I even give him partial credit for the success of my beloved Mindy Project because of his friendship with Mindy Kaling. God bless you, Mose.

Here, enjoy some Brooklyn Nine-Nine gifs:

 

 

I feel like I’ve said my piece about Mulaney in the past so I won’t go into it here other than to say – it’s not so bad that I can’t watch it. I think some people have made it sound like it’s a truckload of garbage. It’s not. I am just disappointed by it every week because I know how funny he is and the show is just blahhhh.

Mulaney, the human, is great. Watch his stand-up, please. Looks like Fox is burning off the episodes at 7:00 PM on Sundays so I doubt it will see a second season but if there was going to be, a major retooling would be required.

Still love you, John. Thanks for being dreamy and a really nice guy when we met. I will continue to follow your comedy (and you, your wife and your adorable puppy on Instagram.)

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Oh, Revenge. I’ve pretty much stopped watching this season because it was too much of the same, although the twist at the end of last season was pretty awesome. (No spoilers.) It’s campy fun but not enough for me to watch live and I found even though I was recording it, I was just not getting around to watching the episodes. I occasionally read recaps to keep me up to date on what’s happening and maybe during the summer, I’ll binge on Hulu or something but for now, I know that Emily will keep scheming, Nolan will be quippy, everyone will dress fabulously and I’m sure at least one more person will die this season. #drama

We don’t subscribe to HBO currently (we have done 3 free months here and there in the past) but like, many other Americans, have a friends’ HBO Go password so I can actually watch this season of Girls and the new show, Togetherness. The first episodes of both shows this season were good – not amazing but I’ll probably keep up with the episodes as the season goes on. And when Veep and Silicon Valley come back on Sundays in April, we’ll watch those too.

That’s it for my fall TV posts… and it’s about damn time, considering it’s January. 🙂