July 26, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Apps

Every once in a while I stumble across something cool.  I have this plan to write a monthly blog featuring a few of my favorite new things. That’s a lot of things. Let’s start with my new favorite apps and where it goes…

Bus NYCBusNYC – I am a big fan of the bus. It’s not cool, I know. I ride the bus. I see who I am riding the bus with. But I get to stay above ground where there is more fresh air and more to see. And when you live on the far east side of NYC, the bus becomes your friend. What makes the bus fun, is the Bus NYC app. This app tells me exactly when the bus is coming! It’s amazing. I can see all of the buses on the route and watch them move along while I obsessively refresh the view. I can pull up the schedule to see exactly when the next bus is coming. I can save my favorite stops so I can pull them up quickly. My current commute to work involves changing from one bus to another so now I can get on bus #1 and try to perfectly time bus #2. So much fun. I paid $3 for this app, but worth every penny.

 

CitymapperCitymapper – Shortly after my life was changed by the BusNYC map, I learned about the CityMapper app. This app takes my real time bus information to a whole new level. Citymapper will show me the fastest transit route to get to any destination in NYC. I have tried other apps that claim to do this (like HopStop) but I never took to them.  A couple of things about Citymapper that got me hooked right away. (1) it includes the path train as a transit option. Not many people know about or use the path for commutes within Manhattan (since it goes to NJ), but Citymapper does (2) The main screen includes an intuitive way to add home and work as short cuts so I can always very quickly find the fastest way to get to the two places I go most.  Very cool.  In addition, the app will also display how long it will take to walk, bike, or cab it to my destination AND how many calories I would burn for walking or biking.  Even MORE, the biking option show options for your own bike or using a bike share. I can see it does even more stuff that I haven’t figured out yet. Seriously, this app is awesome. And it was free. FREE! Unfortunately, Citymapper is telling me my two bus commute is not always the fastest option and I am still in a bit of denial about this.

 

Equanimity TimerEquanimity – My last app is not a transit app.  Equanimity is my meditation timer. Since I have been hitting the meditation pillow (almost) every day for 15 minutes, this one gets a lot of use. I like this app because it is simple and it keeps a record of my meditation. I have a nice log that reminds me I have issues with meditating on Saturday for some reason so I can’t get a good continuous run going. I have tried another app called Insight Timer that does the same things AND shows you who else is mediating with the Insight Timer app around the world (or near you.) That is all well and good, but the Insight Timer app is kind of hideous.  Sure, for most of the time I am meditating, I am not looking at the app, but a nice elegant interface gets me in the right mindset for my 15 minutes of quiet thinking.  Note: Insight Timer is FREE and I paid $5 for Equanimity. I pay for quality. It’s how I roll…

Equanimity Timer 2

What are your favorite apps blog fans?

July 20, 2014

Summer Dating

After a long hiatus from dating, I somehow managed to date three different guys in the past month. I sort of fell back in to it one night when I decided to pop in to Tinder while I was hanging out with my TiVo.

Tinder led me to a really bad date with a guy who wrote an interesting book on the scientific reasons why people believe in God. This guy (The Author) warned me that he was only looking for “erotic fun” and I warned him that “casual sex” was not really my thing, but he somehow convinced me to meet him. Let’s just say that our one hour together did not end well. He was very pushy. I was not interested. He got very annoyed. The only good thing about that experience was that it inspired me to read a very interesting book about science and God.

Often, a bad date sends me back in to dating hibernation but two things inspired me to keep going:

  1. My therapist has been subtly asking me whether I thought I might be lonely when I was 60 and it would be harder to find people to date. (ok, not so subtly)
  2. When I had been complaining to a friend that you have to go on SO many bad dates to get to a good date, he reminded me that it is the same on the other side. That guy that I would eventually go on a good date with was suffering through a lot of bad dates, too. And if one of us gave up, we would never meet. Good point!

So the morning after my really bad date, buckled up and got back out there.  I had been checking out this one guy for a while but wanted to add some more kick to my profile before I wrote to him and hadn’t had time. (You may recall that my friends had helped me with my profile long ago but I was never really happy with it.) That morning, I finally came up with something that really felt like me.

With my super cool new profile up, I wrote to they guy I had my eye on (The Recovering Musician) and a back-up guy (The Filmmaker) who had been checking me out and seemed interesting. They both wrote me back and I miraculously ended up having good first dates with both of them. (I just read a whole book giving a scientific explanation for why people believe in miracles. For the record, I don’t think this was really a miracle, but it was surprising!)

The Filmmaker wrote me back first and was available first so I went out with him first. The first date was good, but the second date was bad.  There was attraction and he was smart and interesting, but he was all about him.  He told really LONG stories about himself. LOTS of them. He was attracted to me, but not that interested in getting to know me. Huge turn off. He also had an odd sense of humor. I tried to tell myself that was no big deal, but can you really spend a lot of time with someone makes jokes that you don’t find funny, at all? Thankfully, I never heard from him after our second date. (This really did feel like a miracle.)

Then I (finally) met The Recovering Musician. It actually felt like I was meeting a famous person because I had my eye on him for so long. (As is turns out, he used to actually be a sort of semi famous singer/songwriter. He’s on Itunes. And he’s not bad.) I had originally thought of him as the Hipster but he does not think of himself as a Hipster and perhaps it is unfair of me to think everyone who lives in Williamsburg and rides a Citibike to work is a Hipster (ironic smiley face here.) I could actually call him the Meditator but that does not really roll off the tongue. We did have a very nice first date and it was actually a CONVERSATION (meaning two people exchange ideas and take turns talking and listening.)  I like conversations.  There is attraction. His sense of humor is aligned with mine, and we seem to have some core stuff in common.  Our second date is on the calendar and I look forward to it, but anything can happen on the second date. (Because I date so much now, I know these things.)

While I was getting a pedicure last week, I read an article about dating in one of those ridiculous women’s magazines that I read when I get pedicures.  The premise was that people are not really dating. They are hooking up and hanging out and watching Netflix together (because the young kids don’t actually have cable, they stream everything..crazy) but not dating.  She specifically said that getting to know people is a cool way to learn about the world outside of you own. So true. After having met an author, a filmmaker, and a recovering musician/mediator this past month, as painful as some of those moments were, it was cool to learn about them and what they do and what they think. And I survived the awkward moments and lived to tell about them.

Let the summer dating continue…

July 6, 2014

So Much Television….

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while. When I started thinking about it, there was a lot more television going on. Now, I suppose,  it is more of a reflection on the highlights of the past six months of television. Now that we have straightened that out, here we go…

Orphan Black – my best new find of 2014 (which is really from 2013.) I missed season one but am now all caught up to season 2.  The most amazing thing about this show is the lead actress who plays at least five cloned versions of herself so well that you forget they are all the same person. Then of course you have mystery and drama and mostly likable characters (including that guy Max Headroom who is not so likable but a cult classic, Sarah’s half brother  who is hilarious and you totally want to be friends with, and the hottie from Nashville and Game of Thrones who I would love to be more than friends with.) Definitely worth watching. Go back and catch up.

The second show I added to my list was Penny Dreadful. I can’t say you should definitely watch this, but the premise is interesting and if you love creepy, monster stuff like I do, you might like it. It is a mish mosh of characters from Irish and British fiction all together in one story…werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray… There was a bit more devil possession going on that I would have liked but there was enough drama to keep me sucked in.

The Walking Dead and Louie were especially awesome this season. It has been so long since The Walking Dead that I can’t remember the details, but I remember being back in to it after not loving it so much last season. That Pamela is a piece of work, but I like her for Louie. The flashback to Louie’s teenage spiral in to the drugs and how he didn’t have the perfect answer to keep his daughter from going down the same path, except a hug. Hugs are awesome. The world could use more hugs.

The Americans had a stellar second season. Being a spy is very complicated. Being a spy in a time of typewriters and land lines is quite a challenge. Being a Russian spy with American children..phew! What will happen to Paige next season? Will she be forced to give up her newly found Christian community to join her parents as a next generation Russian spy?

The Bachelorette – I have given up on pretending I am not going to watch this show.  As ridiculous as it is, I always get sucked in. Every season I wonder..what if I were the Bachelorette? Could I actually pretend to be super excited about all of those dates? Wouldn’t it be cool to have wardrobe and makeup 24×7 for three months? Could I really make out with so many different guys in the same week? How did she not know on Day 1 who she would end up with? What the heck would I do for my hometown date? How does she remember what she is going to say at every rose ceremony? Right now I am wondering….Josh or Nick?

Big Brother – just like the Bachelorette I am once again hooked on this insanity. I am equally fascinated by observing these people’s behaviors as I am about the editing decisions made to tell the story. I think my dream job would be to work on this show. I just want to see how it all works! I could do with fewer competitions though. As creative as they can be, they are ridiculously stupid. Clearly I am not the key demographic for this show. Middle America must love these competitions, because they added a third weekly competition this year. Right now, I am rooting for Frankie, the smartest and most entertaining house guest this year (brother of Ariana Grande but this man stands on his own.)

Mad Med was its usual awesome self.  Parenthood tugged at my heartstrings most weeks. This is one of my absolutely favorite shows that I don’t list on OK Cupid as a fav because its just not as cool as saying, say, Game of Thrones.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, wouldn’t it be fun to see Jamie, Cersie, Tyrion, Arya Stark, Daenerys,Margery, Sansa, Lord Varys, Brienne of Tarth, John Snow, Lord Baelish all in the Big Brother House? Who would be able to build the longest word out of wooden letters shaped like lice (in the Miami Lice competition) that they have to fish through a pool to find? I can say that none of them would have trouble being a “have not” which requires eating an oatmealish food called slop for a week, sleeping in uncomfortable beds, and taking cold showers.

I did not love American Horror Story this season. Jessica Lange was awesome as always but the witch thing just didn’t do it for me. That show tends to go just a little bit too far sometimes, even for me. I got sucked in to 24 Live Another Day (because I loved 24), and initially, I was totally in to it..now it is dragging on and I am ready for it to be over, for good.  Scandal was fun as always with lots of twists and turns.  Definitely a must watch.

Finally watching True Detective. I clearly should have watched this instead of 24: Live Another Day, but sometimes, I make stupid entertainment decisions. I am back on track now, and loving it.

I also finally watched The Normal Heart this weekend on HBO (the story of the start of the AIDS epidemic in NYC and the founding of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Amazing. Watch it if you get the chance.

I had a lot to catch up on. Hopefully you stuck with me. Before I go, I will mention that I just started watching The Leftovers (right up my alley, mysterious, troubled, sad characters, sci fi element to it. If that’s your thing set your DVR.). Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan, and The Bridge will be back soon….but I will try to get out of the house this summer. Really, I will.

June 28, 2014

Catching Up

It’s been a while…again…I know. Shortly after my last post about Creating Possibilities, my work world got turned upside down. Teams split. I was given away and then traded back. I ultimately ended up in a much better place, but it was a crazy whirlwind.

I had been doing all of that work to keep things moving along on my slow, continuous journey for overall overall “betterness” but I hadn’t really figured out what the heck I was going to do next. Then all of these  unexpected changes happened that were mostly out of my control.

That’s kind of the way life goes. I somehow managed to get myself out of a bad spot by continuing to do kick-ass work and saying as little as possible to keep my options open and not piss anyone off (I am REALLY good at both of these things.) I partly got lucky and partly made opportunities for myself by just being me.

I am definitely back on the right track professionally. I don’t know where I want to be in five years, but I do know that I want that promotion I turned down last year. I have earned it. After I tackle this one, maybe I can retire and become a yoga teacher and figure out how to save the world.

Getting this promotion might take a little bit more than staying quiet and working my ass off. I am going to need a bit more of that being brave mixed in but I am going for it!  I don’t know how much writing I will have time for on this quest, but I do have some posts brewing in me. Now that we are caught up, maybe we can talk about some fun stuff! Stay tuned…

May 3, 2014

Creating Possibilities

This phrase has been on my mind all week. Ideas have been dancing around in my head, formulating themselves in to a blog post, finally.

The first few months of this year were not fun. I worked A LOT. I was miserable.

Then, sometime in March, everything became eerily more quiet. Things slowed down just enough at work so I could breathe.

I took weekends off, multiple weekends in a row. It felt very strange (but good!)

I went shopping and bought myself some new clothes and started venturing out of the house again.  I found a yoga studio near my house that I really like and I started going to yoga once a week. Yay! I put my running shoes back on and hit the East River running path once a week.

I spent a week with my sister and her adorable family (including a sweet new baby girl) and relaxed and enjoyed my time with them and, almost completely, ignored work.

I found my way back to meditation. I read 10% Happier about this ABC newscaster who found HIS way to meditation (through a lot of crazy people and then finally some people who made sense) and it reminded me of what meditation CAN do and why I should keep trying.

I have been meeting with my coach. My resume is updated and we hit on some good points about some of the things holding me back from looking for something new and being open to explore before rejecting things.  She also put me on a quest to get 500 linked in connections which has connected me with many long lost old friends and colleagues.  I started having conversations with people to try to figure out what I might want to do with the second half of my life.

I am writing to guys on OK Cupid and got myself on Hinge the newest dating app that connects you with friends of your friends (and their friends) on Facebook.  Nothing has led to an actual date, but I am collecting more funny stories to tell (perhaps in a future post.)

I just keep moving towards something better, one small step at a time. Earlier this week I felt a shift. A small shift, like two tectonic plates settling micro inches in to a new position.

Everything on that list was a bit of a struggle.  I was pretty miserable and tired and part of me wanted to sit on the couch and eat bean dip and drink wine every day, but I didn’t (not every day).  Each thing on its own doesn’t seem like much, but when I look at it all together, I am creating new possibilities. My world is just a little bit bigger. And that makes me, some % happier. I am not prepared to commit to a % (I am still a cautious, perfectionist. It was just a tiny shift.) but definitely happier than I was two months ago.

My sister told me that I work harder at being a better person than anyone she knows. I was quite proud to have that honor. The better person I am the more I can give back to the world and that is my entire reason for being.

OK, things got a little heavy there. Maybe I am on my way to enlightenment? Is that possible after only 5 days back on the meditation? Must be the endorphins from the run I just went on.

 

March 16, 2014

Detoxing Self-Assessment

I’m hungry. I was on a downward spiral in to salami and frozen pizzas, so I decided to start my reset with a juice cleanse. I am almost at the end of day three. I am not thinking 100% clearly, so let’s see how this post goes. At a minimum, it will distract me until my next juice.

I have not met with my executive coach yet (that happens later this week), but before I stopped eating, I did do my pre-coaching homework. This homework included some tests that revealed my top five strengths and my four Tru Value words. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by either of these lists.

My Top Five Strengths:

  1. Caution, prudence, and discretion (this one makes me laugh because it basically keeps me from doing anything and yet it is apparently, a strength!)
  2. Judgement, critical thinking, and open mindedness (I do think things through A LOT. Big thinker.)
  3. Industry, diligence, and perseverance (I do keep trying to climb out of the hole!)
  4. Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness (I don’t know how to be anyone but me. Sometimes I wish I did.)
  5. Modesty and humility (oh yeah)

These were my four Tru Value words. I had a list of 100 words in 15 categories and I had to narrow it down to four.

  • To feel good (This was not the same as “have fun” which did not make my top 4. I did find the distinction interesting . Feeling good was in the “to feel” category with words like “emote”, “experience”, “sense”, and “in touch with.”  “Have fun” was in the pleasure category with “be hedonistic”, “play games”, and “be amused”. “To feel good” is WAY more me. I wonder if anyone actually picks “be hedonistic?”)
  • Be connected (connection makes me feel good!)
  • Excellence (I am a recovering perfectionist, of course)
  • Accomplish (nothing better than checking things off the list)

Both tests also concluded that I am not spiritual and don’t really have a zest for life/sense of adventure. Not a shock.

I do like taking tests, but I think I know myself pretty well and I am not sure exactly how these lists will help me get unstuck in my career. I guess this is why I am paying a coach!  Perhaps she can figure out how a super cautious person who likes to get things done but lacks a zest for life and has not found God can find her way out of a mid-life crisis.

Its time for my next juice!

March 9, 2014

Reset

It’s been a while, I know.  What happened, you ask? My job ate me alive.

This was not the plan. I got all brave and said no and went on vacation and everything, but things continued to spiral out of control. Every time I tried to set limits, some new urgent project was dumped on me.  Then, I got moved down the ladder to report to the guy who took the job that I turned down.  This arrangement is not working out well for me. I will leave it at that.

The all-consuming “software emergencies” have prevented me from doing much of anything else for months. No dating. Almost no social engagements. Lot’s of TV that I don’t even have the energy to write about. I know more than I need to about Juan Pablo, Narvik-B, the drama at Downton, and Joe Carroll. I haven’t even been able to get to the movies to see Leonardo DiCaprio!  That’s when you know things are bad.

Yesterday, in an attempt to make more time for me, I went to see a new potential primary care physician for a check-up. She turned out to be a crazy pants. Somehow, in a 45 minute appointment, she never got to an actual physical exam. She did find time to recommend an elimination diet, ask me to join her “plank challenge”, pitch the Nike fitness club app and some 7 minute workout in the NY Times, sell me on gratitude meditation, and give me an assignment to explore the “story” behind why I don’t like grocery shopping. Perhaps I should not have selected my doctor because her office sent me flashy flyers and I could make an appointment online.

What I did take away from this bizarre medical appointment was this idea that I need to “change the story.” I went to find out if I have any vitamin deficiencies (which I still don’t know) but I left with a reminder that my story currently sucks.

Its time for a reset.

Reset: to put back in the correct position for healing

I’ve been here before. I am here again…or I am still here. Sigh. Here are the baby steps I am currently taking to change the story:

  • I am taking the whole weekend off for the first time since Christmas.
  • I am going to start working with an executive coach to figure out what kind of job would actually make me happy.
  • I am pondering a spring juice cleanse or a TVaction to cleanse the body and mind.
  • I am trying to get the dating engine started again. My least favorite activity of them all, but a necessarily evil.
  • I am blogging again. Since I hate writing lots of negative stuff, I am hoping this will force me to get back to doing positive stuff and thinking positively about stuff in general.

Eventually, this blog will have a happy ending (rewritten from, “I don’t know if this blog will have a happy ending, but I hope it does,” as I actively try to visualize a new story.)

You (my readers) are now back in the loop as I climb back out of the hole I keep slipping back in to. Isn’t that what life is? Is anyone actually able to sustain awesome perfection every day? Point me to that person’s blog if they exist.

November 6, 2013

In Limbo and on Vacation

Todos Santos 1It’s been about three weeks since I said no to my boss, turned down more responsibility and more money, and slowed down the train that has been taking me in a direction I don’t want to go. I am still on the train. I still have a job. Everything is cool with my boss. I just bought myself some time to figure out what to do next.

Things have gotten more crazy and stressful since I turned down the additional responsibility (how in the world I would have survived MORE work, I have no idea.) Luckily, I had a vacation planned. Not so lucky for the people covering for me back home in the midst of complete chaos.

But I am not in the middle of all of that chaos right now, I am in Mexico.

I didn’t think I had the energy for a fitness vacation with strangers that involves boats and sun (none of which are my favorite), but I was happy to get away from the chaos. These Escape to Shape trips are always an amazing experience, but a little exhausting (you can read about my former E2S trips to Sicily, Bali, and Hudson, NY if you are so inclined)

A typical day on my fitness vacation starts at 7:30am with exercise of some kind before breakfast and possibly climbing in to a van to drive to more exercise or adventure or shopping. We follow that up with lunch and more exercise, adventure, or shopping. We might have a couple of hours of downtime or a massage in there somewhere. We eat dinner at 7pm and are all wiped out and in bed by 9pm.

When I first arrived, I was feeling very stressed and anxious about tackling all of this exercise and adventure. I was exhausted and faced an onslaught of huge cockroaches in my room on the first night. I was not a happy camper.

Then I had a couple of yoga classes and got myself grounded and decided to look at this week as an opportunity to get in the right mind set start my next life shift. Yes, I am tired, but I am going to do it anyway. Yes, boats sometimes make me sea sick, but not always. It is a risk that might pan out in to a beautiful day with amazing experiences, or it might completely suck. There is no way to know unless I do it. Yes, talking to strangers can sometimes be boring or suck your energy but opportunity comes from expanding your horizons and your circle of connections. Yes, cockroaches are gross but they won’t hurt me and they are flexing my creativity as I have developed a whole process for capturing and killing them (side note: I wasn’t originally killing them, just putting them outside, but I think they kept finding their way back. Now I squash them. Sorry cucarachas.)

The group I am with this week is a very sweet group of women (and one sweet young man – gay, not a prospect.) They are easy to be with and one is even going through the same exact mid-life crisis as I am with her job. Our yoga teachers are awesome and have an amazing energy. Our fearless leader Erica is inspiring with her love of what she does every day.

I got my ass on the boat and some of it was not pleasant, but I did not get full on sea sick and I did see colony of sea lions in the middle of the ocean (pretty cool) and walked/swam on two different beautiful beaches on islands in the Sea of Cortez. That is an experience that I am very glad that I had. I am not, however, rushing to get on a boat again. I had to use a lot of yoga breathing and “appreciating the moment” to keep my cool through some very rough water.

I am more than halfway through the week and I said no to a couple of things (like boot camp class and a three hour hike in the blazing hot Mexican sun) but have tackled the rest and am surprisingly, finally feeling relaxed (the one hour massage I just had might have something to do with that.)

I might just return with the strength that I need to figure out what’s next and take it on. That is a tall order, but at a minimum I will return with some color and some beautiful photos.

October 16, 2013

Brave

A couple of months ago I saw a video for the song “Brave” by Sarah Barielles.  The song is about being brave and speaking your mind.  The video shows people “happy dancing” in public. They are dancing and happy because dancing is fun, and happy people dance. They seemed so free.

Then the bridge came on and it goes like this:

“Maybe there’s a way of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in and show me…how big your brave is.” 

I started to cry.

This song has been with me (literally on my iphone and figuratively in my head) every since that day. It inspired my post to get unstuck. I have been trying to take baby steps with being less of a perfectionist, but, to be honest, I have still been working a lot and keeping everyone happy except myself.

But I was also doing a lot of thinking.

I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago that I don’t like managing people doing stuff, I like to do stuff. I have zero interest in deciding what someone else should work on, telling them what to do, giving them feedback on it, and sometimes redoing it. I like to come up with a plan and execute the plan. I like working WITH other people, and I like helping people and taking care of people, but I don’t want to be responsible for their work. I don’t want to climb the ladder. I don’t need a promotion. I want LESS. Less work that I don’t like, less stress, more happy.

I had big plans to go in and tell my boss this (when she returned from her travels) because she keeps planning for me to run large teams and every time it comes up, I just stay quiet and internally pray that it does not happen (and things change SO fast all the time that I have learned not to make a stink until it happens.)

Today, it happened. I got the call that someone quit and my boss just started talking about me taking his job. I protested. I told her about my plans to come in and talk to her about not managing people. I was almost crying. At one point she said “I feel like I am talking you off a bridge.” But she continued to try to sell me on it! She is an amazing sales person and me taking this job would make her life so much easier. I was not brave this morning, and I caved in and told her I would take the job.

All day, I was panicked and miserable. I couldn’t eat. Could barely work. I pictured people congratulating me on my promotion and me starting to cry. I could not picture how I could fly to Germany and rally a team of people I had no interest in managing. This was not good. Why in the world would I agree to me MORE miserable!!! I was already SO miserable!!

But what would happen if I called her back and said no? I would piss her off. I would make her life harder. I might damage our relationship. I might be committing career suicide. I might have to find a new job. I might get a new boss. It was all scary but it all sounded better than actually DOING the job I had been praying would not land in my lap.

I called her back tonight and told her I didn’t want the job. The conversation was short. She was not happy. I have no idea what will happen next, but I might have just broken out of my cage.

Check out my inspiration, here…

October 13, 2013

Initial Thoughts: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is only one week out the gate and TV by the Numbers already has it on the cancellation bubble! If you like Once Upon a Time, you will like this show (I actually think this one is better.) The question is, how many hours of fantasy, fairy tale drama TV can a person watch? Sunday night feels like the right night to watch something Disney-ish (because, as I have mentioned before, The Wonderful World of Disney used to be on Sunday nights.)  Thursday night is more like a Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal kind of night (in my TV world.)  People are getting ready for the weekend and want to watch drama and scandal and pretend their weekend will be full of the same. (None of this applies to me of course, because I record everything and watch it when I feel like it, but apparently, lots of people still watch things real time!)

That being said, I liked it. The story is told by bouncing around from present day to past (different times in the past, even) so you have to stay on your toes to follow the story. I like some intellectual challenge in my TV. What is the story? Let me tell you..(spoiler alert)

The whole things starts AFTER Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. When she returned from Wonderland, she had apparently been gone for a long time (not just like a nap) so everyone thought she was dead. No one believed her story so they institutionalized her. At some point (we don’t know the details exactly), as a young woman Alice escaped and went back to Wonderland to get proof that it exists. On this return journey, she fell in love with a genie. The genie was supposedly killed by the evil Red Queen (we don’t really know why) and Alice was devastated. When she returned to the “real world” from Wonderland, she was despondent. She told her doctors she did make it all up and then she agreed to electroshock therapy to forget everything (we are now in the present day that is not really the present day, because they still do electroshock therapy. Its a vague time period.)

BUT..before she goes in for the procedure, the Knave of Hearts and the White Rabbit (remember that people and animals can travel between worlds) tell her that her genie love (Cyrus) is alive and that she should go back to Wonderland to find him. BUT..when she gets there, we learn that the evil Red Queen made up the whole story of Cyrus being alive to get her back to Wonderland. BUT…then we learn that Cyrus really IS still alive and being held prisoner by the evil genie Jafar (we don’t know why) who is working with the Red Queen (at the moment. He also wants to kill her.)

So there you have it. Many mysteries to unravel and a romantic quest to find lost love in a fantasy land where there are lots of mushrooms and things can grow big and be made small. The dialog is actually smart and witty and the visuals are appealing. And Alice kicks ass, literally, with swords and karate moves.

Watching this show made me give some thought to what is is about Alice in Wonderland that appealed to me as a small child. I think it was because Alice was brave and curious and spoke her mind. She made her way, on her own, through this strange land and she wasn’t scared, she just rolled with it. She was nice to those who were nice to her but didn’t put up with any shit. She did get upset once and cry a river of tears, but she pulled herself together and got out of her predicament. No one came to save her, she just figured it out. She was smart.

Maybe Alice was my first feminist heroine!

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