Whew it's been ages since I did one of these. I am still a reality TV watching fool, I just don't post about it like I used to. But I miss our discussions!

The first thing that's been on my mind, thanks to The Real World: Brooklyn, is the fact that our country has been at war for 7 and a half years. According to my in-house military contact we had people on the ground in Afghanistan by September 13, 2001. So that's just over 7 years and 6 months. Almost twice as long as we were at war for WWII. About half the time we were in Vietnam. That's a lot of soldiers to put through the ringer. And what this war does to our soldiers is hard to ignore. Allen got lucky, I know that and I thank God for it. There are so many out there who didn't. Anyone watching the Real World this season that didn't know it before is getting a look at it now. Ryan, one of the castmates, is a Veteran of Iraq and from the past two episodes is either back in Iraq or in training to go. He's obviously suffering from PTSD. He's trying to cope, but you can tell. It really became obvious to me when he was sitting on his bed talking with one of the girls after he found out one of his friends from the Army had committed suicide. Ryan kept playing the same chords on the guitar, rapidly going "I'm fine. I'm fine." No, honey, you're NOT fine and it's evident! Ryan is the third soldier MTV has cast on a show and ALL of them are veterans of that war and ALL of them have some sort of PTSD. Rachel from Austin had a hard time not losing her stuffings on both shows she's been on so far. Dan the Marine was fine on his Road Rules season, but on the Island he stayed drunk the whole time. Even for that party atomosphere, that was excessive (and as an aside, on an island where they supposedly had no power, how did they have such bright lights and were they drinking WARM beer and liquor????) So, yeah, you've got Rachel who had no control over her emotions, Dan drinking his life away and now Ryan with his wall and his dark movies. That's what's happening to our soldiers coming home. It's scary. This country became famous for how well we cared for our soldiers. I fear they're not getting the same benefits anymore. And yeah, part of that fear is very personal and a little selfish. I'm married to one of those veterans. He's a decorated veteran of a foreign war. Will he be treated accordingly as he gets older? We'll see.....
As for the rest of this season's Real World.... It has been interesting watching Katelynn's journey. She was still recovering from her surgery when she moved in. Kinda like a baby colt or something. I like her, for the most part, but she does have her moments. Like the cleaning thing. I admit, I'm not the neatest person, but good lord, I wash my dishes. Anyway.... She seems pretty cool. Actually, I pretty much like the cast, except for Chet and JD. They're a pair of asses and it's hard to say which is a bigger jerk! Honestly, Chet is one of the most judgemental people I've ever seen. And he sounds off about things that do NOT concern him in the least. "If I were Scott, I'd demand that money back from Katelynn. I'd be angry that I loaned her money and now she's gambling it away." Okay, first of all, Scott GAVE Katelynn the money. She is the one who said she planned on paying it back. It was given as a gift, and therefore, Scott may not LIKE what she did with it, but he GAVE it to her. And two, Chet, NO ONE ASKED YOU. Also "Devyn shouldn't be dating two guys at once." What business is it of yours? You're not one of the guys! I personally think if Chet had not been in the house, there would have been a lot less tension between the "sexes" in the house. Also, Chet is obnoxious to the people he interviews. I'd hate to be interviewed by him for a show. Of course, with my luck, if I ever get famous, Chet will be one of my people I have to talk to and he will probably have found this blog while researching me. So, Chet, if you ever read this, I hope you've grown up since your stint on the Real World. Because you were pretty UN-Christian on that show. And as for JD, he's a real Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde. He gets drunk and trashes his roommates to their faces and tells their secrets to other housemates? I hold the philosophy that our true feelings come out when we're drunk. JD is mister sweet and sensitive when sober, when drunk his manipulative conniving side comes out. Of course, after a few binges, he dropped the act. The whole thing with the rat? What a terrible thing to do. That's not funny. That's just cruel. Cruel to the animal and to the roommates. And they just let him throw tantrums where he breaks things? In other houses, when people act like that, they send them to a hotel for the night. Anyway, I haven't seen the last episode or the reunion yet, but it's been an interesting season.

Top Model has been interesting to watch. Tyra is so crazy. Crazy as in Joan Crawford crazy, except I don't think she's beating the models with wire coathangers. Well, not literally. No, her words are her wire coathangers. And riddle me this friends, why have the three girls from Africa that have been contestants on this show been the biggest bitches on the show? Seriously, Nneena was terrible, although she hid it when she started. Fatima was just awful, at least from the gate. I think she got a little better as the show went on. But this Sondra girl is just.... a real piece of work and not in a good way. She pushes peoples buttons. Some of them realize it, other haven't and it cost them. Of course, Sondra's performance has been lackluster lately, so maybe she won't stick around too long. So far, my favorites are Aminat, Tahlia, London (how could you NOT love a street preacher?), Fo and Tiana. I liked Celia until she pulled the little "Tyra, it's not fair, Tahlia said all week she wanted to go home" thing. The judges obviously hadn't heard about it and so it looked like Celia was doing it out of jealousy, even though it was true. It wasn't brought up before the judges made their decision, so it made Celia look bad and probably caused tension in the house. I haven't watched last night's episode yet (I love my DVR) but I know it was probably chock full of cat fights. My favorite discussion blog is Four Four. Google him and prepare to laugh!

Survivor has been it's same old dramafied self. Honestly, I don't think I could ever do that show because 1) I love the conveniences of A/C, a modern bathroom and my washer and dryer. I could probably handle the foods, but not the other "roughing it" crap. And B) the people would made me totally lose my stuffings. I am a lot better than I used to be, but I still get frustrated by difficult people. My anger management issues would probably re-surface full force the first time Coach went all condescending on me. Seriously, the challenge on that show is not killing a tribe-mate. Starting out, my favorites were Taj, JD and Jerry. Poor Jerry got sick and was voted out. Too bad, he's a soldier, so I bet he knew a trick or two about surviving. As the show has gone on, I've come to like Sierra more. I think she's a good person. I still dig Taj and JD. I just wish they didn't seem to be at odds! It's going to be interesting to see how the rest of this season plays out.
Oh, and Deborah the Principal? Totally crushing on Tyson the Mormon. Here's another aside, what's up with the Mormons on reality TV these days? Although if I had to choose, I'd take Tyson over Chet any day. As long as he promised to keep his clothes on. And who else's gaydar has been pinging with him?

One of my favorite reality shows is The Amazing Race because I think it's one of the most intelligent ones they've come up with. I'd love to do that show, because I'm pretty sure they get showers and the use of washers and dryers on the pit stops! And I'd love to see the world. I think if I could conquer my emotions, Allen and I would be a great team. Anyway.... we'll see what happens with this Curves thing. ;) As for this season's cast, of the teams left, my favorite is probably the sisters, Kisha and Jen. I also like Tammy and Victor and the brothers, Mike and Mark. I liked Luke and Margie until the whole yield thing. That was completely unneccessary. They didn't do it to save themselves. They did it for the rude redheads. And I don't think the RRs would do it for them! That one redhead, I just want to smack her. How dare she treat the natives like she does in their country? Thanks for reinforcing all the "Rude American" stereotypes. I can't wait for them to be eliminated. I can only hope it comes soon. I also liked the dad and son and the flight attendants. I was sorry to see them go. What I loved about Mike and Mel was how much of a team they became. I really loved Mike on the leg when they came in first. He held his dad's hand when they ran up the hill to the Pit Stop mat. It was nice to see him be so respectful and loving. Anyway, go sibling teams!!!!

I've been watching the TVLand show High School Reunion this season. I didn't watch the last one (that was the first one, no?) but I caught the first episode one Saturday night (cause broke couples like us don't go out, we stay at home and take advantage of the cable TV we pay for) and got hooked. It's been interesting to see. I wonder how it'd been to have a high school reunion with my class. I've found several of them on Facebook (and some on myspace in the past few years - before the FB craze) and it's been cool to reconnect. I wonder if I'd even be chosen for the show? I don't know. Heh, like my school would ever be selected. Anyway, it's interesting to see how people in their late 30s can still act like teenagers fresh off the school bus. I'm actually three episodes behind, but there is a marathon Saturday and I've set the TV to record the episodes so by Sunday, I'll be all caught up. I do think Tom and Kara are still in love and it'd be nice to see them reunite. I also hope Maricela and Scott can work out their issues, because they're a cute couple.

Now on to the BEST show: Dancing with the Stars!!!!! I've been a lover of the show for several years now, but this season has been even more personal because Steve-O is on there! For those of you that don't know, my sister-in-law and good friend Jennifer is good friends with Steve and lives in Hollywood. She was his personal assistant for a year. She and Steve are like siblings and so it's been like watching a family member on TV. He got her tickets for every episode and it's been so cool to see her in the crowd cheering him on! I've been so proud of him. He's been sober for just over a year and he looks so healthy and amazing. I'm so happy he's stayed in as long as he has and I hope this week he's able to overcome the injuries that plagued him the first couple of weeks and also his nerves. It's great to see him and I think each week he stays in is another stomp in the face of his addiction. He does have talent and I think he'll get better, now that he knows he can make it through a routine without missing a step. He's getting there. If you're watching, please toss a vote or two his way! My other favorite is Ty Murray, the bullrider. I have a soft spot for cowboys ANYWAY, but Ty has shown that he is a good dancer. I hope he makes it to the final four. I actually get teary when he does well, because it moves me so much. Steve and Ty get all my votes. :) I think Gilles is an amazing dancer, though, and I think the trophy might be his to lose.
Shawn and Melissa are both good, but Shawn has her age and her "gymnast hands" to overcome. Melissa might be the contender that can swipe the trophy if Gilles isn't looking. Imagine how good she'd've been that first night if she had had the full four weeks to train. She went out and got second place with TWO DAYS worth of practice time. Wow. So I've enjoyed watching her. Surprisingly, I also have enjoyed Lil'Kim. She is very good. The other night, I was watching her and Derek's Argentine Tango and there were several moments where I just said "Wow, that's pretty!" It was just so nice to watch! I almost like her.
The one thing that I just can't STAND, though, is the Chuck-Julianne situation. Julianne had said she was taking a break from the show at the end of last season. And then she comes back dancing with her real life boyfriend? That is MESSED UP on so many levels. First of all, they didn't have the chemistry challenge the other couples face. They know they have chemistry because they're dating. Imagine how tough it has been for Shawn to have that chemistry with Mark. She's still so young. But then Julianne and Chuck already have it. And then there is Chuck's attitude of "dancing isn't manly." Oh really? Have you MET Maksim or did you just drift along beside him. Maks EXUDES manhood. So does Tony and Jonathan and Alec. You don't see Lawrence and Ty, two total tough guys if there ever were any, bitching about how it doesn't make them look manly! And honestly, Chuck wasn't that manly to begin with. Really, eliminate him and set him adrift with the RRs from the Amazing Race!!! Anyway, my final four prediction is Gilles, Shawn and Melissa with either Kim, DAG or Ty. Although I'd love it to be Gilles, Melissa, Steve and Ty. Well, actually, honestly, Melissa and Shawn are interchangeable to me. I think the finale will be Gilles and one of the girls, although I'd love it to be Steve and Ty! I don't know if Steve can get it together for that, though. His injuries set him back. :( But I think Ty has a real shot at it! We'll see! PLEASE VOTE for Steve and Ty! :)

Oh, and shows that are coming soon that I'm looking forward to: Pretty Wicked on Oxygen Network. Mia Tyler is involved with this and I'm eager to see it. The first episode already aired. I have it on my beloved DVR. And they're running repeats all weekend. Basically, it's a Top Model style show, but it's about who has the most INNER BEAUTY. Caridee from ANTM Cycle 7 is the host. Deadliest Catch is back on Tuesday April 14th on Discovery Channel. I'm excited! I love those Alaskan Crabmen! I can't wait to find out how Capn Phil is and see the Time Bandit crew again!!!! Set your DVRs!!!! :) Also, a new RW/RR Challenge is coming up! That starts next week!!! I'm excited because RUTHIE is going to be on it. Ruthie is my GIRL! She was on RW Hawaii and I cannot WAIT to see her in action again. I hope she does well on this show and shows all the newbies a thing or two. Also, Mr "I'm retired from the Challenges" Mark Long is back. We'll see how he fares. Better watch it Mark, you might become the next Beth. By the way, that RR stands for Road Rules, not to be confused with the Rude Redheads from The Race.

Whew, my fingers are tired. :)
my mom called me last night and said she could get a chocolate pound cake. i was like "Whatever." tonight i decided to email her. because i really want my cake to be the way i want it to be. i even talked to allen's mother about it and she said you have to have soft icing and the cake chilled a bit, but you COULD do it. so here's what i wrote to my mom and BCC'd to allen.
i've been thinking this over and i do not want
chocolate pound cake. i want regular chocolate cake.
please think about what i'm saying. the argument that
the cake will bleed through the icing does not make
sense. you see regular birthday cakes that are
chocolate with white icing all the time. the cake you
had at john's rehersal dinner was chocolate with white
icing and that did not bleed through. aimee had a
chocolate layer in her cake and it did not bleed
through. it does not make sense to say chocolate will
bleed through, but then be able to get red velvet.
there's not that much difference between the red and
the chocolate.
who made the cake at john's rehersal dinner? is it
possible to use them again? i really don't see why
it's a big deal for me to have what i want for my
wedding. after all, it is MY wedding. telling me that
what i want for my wedding doesn't matter isn't right.
because it is my big day. if it's an issue of money
then we will help cover the cost of the cake. there is
a way to have the cake we want. and i don't care what
people EXPECT, this is what i WANT.
i just wanted to let you know how i felt and what i
want.
Hope

john is my older brother for anyone who doesn't know. and aimee is a friend of mine from college. my mom called me later on, she hasn't gotten this email yet, telling me about how her friends are getting a plain cake to put on my stand to take a picture so i can see what it will look like. i feel a little bad about the whole cake thing, but dammit, i want what i want and her argument just does NOT make sense. ("the bakeries say they only make white cake." along with the above)
i got a little annoyed with allen. he just sits there when i try to talk to my mom about this. i need him to back me up and he's just SITTING there. and i KNOW she'll listen to him. but he was just sitting there like a knot on a log. i need him to back me up on this and he wouldn't. i asked him about it friday night after dinner. we had already talked about it on the way there and he said we could get the chocolate. but he didn't SAY anything to her. he's like "We'll just get another cake." we don't need another damn cake! so friday i talked to him. but sunday when i tried to talk to her about it, again he just SAT there.... and when i asked him later he's like "i told you what we'll do about that." gaaaaaaaaaaah..... i need him backing me up on this.
my head hurts. it always hurts. i think it's the weather. it was in the 70s this weekend and today it was in the 40s. or maybe it's just stress. i didn't want to come to work. actually i was late. i hate work these days. and my stomach was sore. every time i go to the bathroom there's a soreness in the left side of my abdomen and i don't know if something's wrong or if it's just because of these damned pants all being too tight. *sigh* my mom made some little comment. allen's gained his weight back and he has a cute little pot belly. and my uncle's were teasing one another about their bellies and she said some shit about allen's and then she said something about ME too.
i mailed allen's sister's bridesmaids dress almost two weeks again and it still hasn't gotten there yet. i'm starting to get really worried about that. if they don't get it tomorrow i'm going to have to put a tracker on it. dammit.
i'm BACK! did you miss me???? :)
okay, i'm home from my mom's..... gaaaaah..... what a weekend....
friday night we get into town and meet them at a fish restaurant. we had to have fish cause it was meatless friday for allen. no biggie i guess, except i got enough food to feed a family of 4. and it was fried, which isn't all that great. so we're sitting there talking and my mom keeps blabbing on and on about how no bakery she's talked to can do chocolate wedding cake. now that's bullshit cause i've been at a wedding that HAD one! but they were giving her some kinda crap about the chocolate would "bleed through" the icing. but then she tells me i will get to have a red velvet layer. if red velvet won't bleed through, the chocolate shouldn't either, right? so we come to a standoff and neither of us give in. we leave the restaurant and head home. we get there and there's a cake stand and two presents waiting on us. the cake stand was AWESOME. it reminds me of a wrought iron circular staircase. very nice. my mom's friend MADE it. so it's way cool. well, the two packages were a glass salad serving set. not what we registered for, but still pretty. the other was a dominoes set we DID register for. well then we went to bed and i could not sleep to save my life. i read for a little while but when i turned off the light to sleep i couldn't. i was up til 5:30 in the morning! i just couldn't sleep. i wound up turning on the light again and reading more. the book, good in bed, was SOOOOOO good. maybe if it had been boring i could have slept.... and i had to leave the light on to sleep. weird stuff...
so saturday was a special day. it was the anniversary of our first date, the first day i met him. the day that changed my life. so we celebrate by going to the marriage preparation seminar. we walk in and our names aren't on the list because we were orginally registered for an earlier seminar that we missed. so we rescheduled for this one. well we weren't on the list, but they let us in anyway. we walk in and i felt SO OLD. everyone looked so young. it was like a bunch of 20 year olds were in there. we wound up sitting up front because that was the only table with no one at it. i felt a little nervous, being a baptist in a catholic group. but the two other couples who sat at our table were both also "interfaith couples" so i didn't feel so bad. allen and i were "guinea pigs" tho. we were the first couple that had to stand up and introduce ourselves ("my name is allen. i'm a plumber. we're from raleigh. our wedding date is june *pauses and looks at me* 28." so then i went though that and had to come up with the unique fact about our engagement. i told everyone we met right before he went overseas).... oh well... it was a very well taught and interesting seminar. extremely informative. i honestly think it will help us.... except for the session on natural family planning. basically it's where allen and i both get to know my monthly cycle and either we abstain or not on my fertile days, depending on what we're aiming for. no birth control. now he gets squeamish about my cycle, i seriously don't see this as a viable option for us. but they have this deal about no scientific barrier coming between your body and God's will. the chicks leading the seminar swore by it and showed this video of all these couples talking about how it was the greatest thing in the bedroom since edible undies. they're like "there's no need for harmful chemicals in the woman's body." yadda yadda. but hey, i'd have to be on something to regulate my cycle anyway, so i told allen that i'm staying on the pill until we're ready to start trying. actually, i leaned over during the video and whispered in his ear "do you actually believe this bullshit?" he chuckled. he's told me in the past he doesn't agree with the church's view on birth control anyway and i reminded him of that. so there.... lunchtime was interesting. they told the caterers 36 COUPLES, they got food for 36 PEOPLE. so they got pizza and told us we could leave if we wanted to. so allen and i went and had burgers and fries. he said he was feeling claustophobic and needed to get out. the rest of the afternoon drug a little. my sleep deprivation caught up with me big time. they're showing all these videos and i'm just drooping.... the conflict resolution section was pretty good. then we got to the financial planning section and that just FREAKED ME OUT. now i'm toting a college loan debt that could buy a fucking brand new tbird.... plus my car loan. allen's just bought a new truck for work and his personal truck, plus HIS college loans. we could buy a HOUSE for our total combined debt. and i've got NO savings. the money he has left from his stint overseas is for wedding expenses. i'm sitting there going "we're screwed. we're royally screwed! look at what we owe!!!" and he's like "shhh, don't worry." my hugest worry is money to begin with and this did NOT help me one damn bit! but i felt better later, at dinner....we held hands or something the entire time. he was rubbing my back during the money section. i love that about him. he always touches me in some way. and it feels good.
after the seminar and we got our certificates to give the priest proving we went to it, we called my aunt lana who lives in belmont, the town where we were. she met us at the christian bookstore to pick out paper for our programs. they have church program styles so we found one we liked. then my uncle dan joined us. we went to dinner (at a delicious italian place coincidentally right next to the bookstore where again i got enough food to feed several folks). aunt lana and uncle dan are my godparents, so we're fairly close. we talked about the money and how upset i was. and they said alot to calm me down. they pointed out that everyone has to start and that we need to save money and let it build up and just pay off as much as we can as quick as we can. after dinner, they took us to michael's, the craft store, and we found a unity candle set and a cake topper. altho, it wasn't the one i liked the most... part of me wants to keep looking and see if we can find the one i liked. *sigh* but we bought the other one, well, they bought it. they spoiled the hell out of me. aunt lana is already addressing my invitations in caligraphy. plus she's making some wedding favors. and now they're buying us all this???? i feel so spoiled!!! after the store we went back to their house for desert. we didn't leave until 10:30. on the hour long drive back to my mom's my sleep deprivation REALLY caught up with me. i kept dozing off. we finally got to my mom's and i got to sleep. it didn't help that last night was spring forward. i didn't make it to church with allen this morning. i didn't even get up. luckily my mom listened to him and left me alone until almost 11.
we had lunch at my grandma's. my brother and his family met us there. my sister in law's birthday is wednesday so my mom had her a cake. my nephew was WIDE OPEN. i just don't like the fact that kids are just all out all the time. they don't seem to chill out or listen. i don't know if i'll be able to stand that. that's part of the reason that i don't own a dog. they're too much trouble. i like the independence of cats. but anyway. my sister in law got a chuckle out of her present. i got her some linen napkins when allen and i were in new orleans at new years. i put them in the box for my NC State bobblehead i got at mcdonalds. she unwraps that box and she's like "is this what it is?" this was funny because she went to NC State's biggest rival, UNC chapel hill. of course she knew it wasn't. and she liked the napkins. my mom got her a cake and gave her 20 bucks. it was funny. my nephew ripped open the card and dropped the dead president on the floor. and my uncle was teasing saying he'd probably think it was trash and clayton looks at him and says "this is money!" hehe and uncle ramsey goes laughs and says "yep, he's looking at me going 'you're crazy! my mom works at a bank mister, i KNOW what money is!'" it was really cute.
at dinner i asked my mom how a chocolate cake would bleed through but a red velvet was okay. and she gets all bitchy and says "we're not going to discuss this! i'm not going to argue with you." and i'm like "i'm not trying to argue. i'm just asking." again she blew it off and was like "we're not going to discuss it!" i whispered to allen that HE should have asked the question. she fucking respects him. the men in my family are more respected than the women by some people. my mom fawned over my brother growing up. my grandma fawns over my uncles. they all fawn over allen. probably thought i'd never find anyone. we finally left at 3. got home a couple hours later and went to the used bookstore. i found a few books i've been wanting. then we came home and unloaded the truck. then we went to the store and got pizza on the way home. after dinner i unpacked while allen put together our new microwave cart. man is it nice!!! we were so excited to get that. then he took a shower and i put him to bed in an oh so sweet way. and here i sit. my mom is pissing me off about this cake thing... i wish she'd just chill out and get the damn chocolate cake. it's MY wedding. it should be what *I* want. *sigh*
ah well, in an hour or so, i can go to bed. hopefully i can sleep tonight.

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