Mr. Sunshine is Hillarious

Mr. Sunshine, which premiered last night on ABC (sorry I forgot to give you a heads up) cracked me up.   Matthew Perry’s sarcastic sense of humor is right up my alley.  I loved his last gig, Studio 60 and the Sunset Strip.

Premise: Depressed, 40 year old manager of a sports facility makes sarcastic comments in the midst of chaos and wacky coworkers, including Allison Janey (West Wing) and Hugo from Lost.

Side note: The combo of Matthew Perry and Alison Janey is making me miss Bradley Whitford !!!  I kind of liked Bradley’s recently canceled show The Good Guys, but not enough to have ever mentioned it before or to have watched it past episode 3.

I had grand plans to list some quotes from the Mr. Sunshine pilot, but when I played it back, I realized you have to actually watch it to get it.  For example, I thought it was hilarious when some guy in a mascot tiger costume asks to be unzipped because he dropped a taco in his suit.  Does that sound funny?

It’s very similar to Better Off Ted, which I initially found hilarious as well, but it got annoying fast.

Mr. Sunshine might get old but it made me laugh out loud a couple of times, so I am going to find a place for it on the list.

IN OTHER TV NEWS:

  • Episodes, Shameless, and Being Human are out
  • The final season of Big Love is fabulous
  • I have checked in to American Idol briefly and I am liking the new judging panel
  • Breaking Bad is AMAZING (what was I thinking not watching until now!)
  • The Office and Parks & Recreation have been stellar lately
  • Damon Salvatore is still hot
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Deep Thoughts on In-Between Clothes

As I was gathering my laundry today I realized I need a better plan for my in-between clothes.  These are clothes that I might wear again before I do my laundry.  I have a fabulous  laundry hamper (pictured right.) It is well designed, sturdy,  attractive, and one of Oprah’s favorite things.  What you can’t see in this photo, is that is has a handle and wheels so I can roll it right down to the laundry room. My neighbors frequently ask about where they can acquire one. (If you are interested, you can buy one here)

As fabulous as this laundry hamper is, I don’t want to put anything in it unless I am 100% certain that I will not wear it again before I do my laundry.  I could wear a pair of jeans many times before I wash them.  T-Shirts could get warn twice.  You get the drift.

But I also refuse to put clothing I have warn back in with my clean clothes.  Besides the fact that the clean clothes would be contaminated, I could forget to take them back out when I do my laundry!  When the laundry is done, I want every article of clothing in my house to be clean (except the laundry outfit unfortunately.)  A clean slate.  My heart sinks when I realize I forgot to put something in the wash.  Sometimes, I will actually hand wash it so I can have my clean slate :).

Because of these neuroses I have about the laundry, I have piles of in-between clothes on the floor in my room and on the floor of my closet.  Everything is out where I can see it, so I don’t forget to wash it and I know what I should wear again before I take out something new. It’s ridiculous.

So I started thinking today that maybe I have an idea for my first invention!  I have a problem that needs to be solved, I just have to come up with the perfect product to solve it and I can start my own business!  Finally, an idea!  Then I realized I might be the only human being on the planet who actually has this problem.

I would love to know if anyone out there has ever given this any thought so I can gauge exactly how neurotic I really am about my in-between laundry.  Please share…

The TV Check In Craze

I have a fun new toy that my brother-in-law introduced me to called IntoNow (not a great name.)  Before I tell you what it is I must catch you up to my history with check-in apps (for those who MAY not be familar.) It all started with FourSquare.

FourSquare allows you to “check in” at a physical location using an app on your phone. Sometimes, you get a virtual “badge” when you check in. (My favorite badge is the “I’m on a Boat Badge” second fav is the “I voted 2010!” badge.) If you are the person who checks in the most at a location, you can become “The Mayor.”

Sometimes “The Mayor” gets a special deal (like a free coffee at Starbucks), but mostly, just bragging rights. (I, for example am the mayor of my office and just got ousted as the mayor of the Lexington Kentucky Bluegrass airport.) Another cool thing about FourSquare is that I can see where my friends are if they share their check ins with me. (Which sometimes makes me feel like a loser when I am home on a Saturday night and they are all out.)

A few months ago, I took the check-in craze to the next level with Get Glue (also introduced to me by my brother-in-law who knows all things tech before I do.) Get Glue allows you to check in to TV shows, movies, books, video games, and (weirdly) conversation topics and wine drinking. On Get Glue, you sometimes get a “sticker” when you check in. “Stickers” are just virtual trophies until you acquire 20 of them at which time (on request) they will actually send you the REAL STICKERS! Crazy right? I just ordered mine and I have no idea why I am excited about that, but I am. I am planning to turn them in to refrigerator magnets. (One of them is the Cher sticker I got for seeing Burlesque on opening weekend!) I have to admit, I have watched things just to get the sticker. I never check in to something I am not watching (except once, when I checked in to Black Swan a week AFTER I saw it to get the sticker because I had no reception at the actual theater and then forgot. OK, I might be a Crazy Pants with my check-ins.)

But Get Glue has competition!

IntoNow is a new app for checking in to TV shows but it has a super cool function. IntoNow will detect the show you ate watching by just listening to it! How cool is that? I pull up the app and press the green button and within seconds, it figures out what I am watching (the actual episode) and checks me in. (It even detected an old episode of Battlestar Galactica from 2005!) IntoNow uses the same functionality the app uses with music, but I got bored of that very quickly.)

Sadly, there does not appear to be any virtual trophies with IntoNow except the thrill I get hitting that green button, which will likely fade. As will my interest in the stickers, I imagine.

This is all good fun, I suppose, but I do wish there was a way to do something more meaningful with my check-ins. If I were a more creative “idea person” I might think of one, buy until it comes to me, it’s a fun diversion!

Mind Bets

I have been thinking about my TV friend Joe on “Met of a Certain Age.” Joe (aka Ray Romano) has a bit of a gambling problem.  He has been on the wagon for a while, but in the last few episodes of the winter mini-season, Joe started placing what he calls “mind bets.”  He bets himself that he can accomplish something (usually golf related) and punishes himself if he does not achieve the goal (no Laker game, no TV, etc.)

In the last episode of the winter mini-season, Joe, Owen, and Terry (the “men of a certain age”) go to Palm Springs for colonoscopies and golf (hilarious that they make a vacation out of colonoscopies.)  They plan in advance to go to a some awesome steak restaurant post-colonoscopy.  Joe makes a “mind bet” that if he does not score high enough during their golf game, he can’t have the steak dinner.   He doesn’t score high enough so he can’t have the steak dinner.

As a result, Terry and Owen lose their reservation (because they are now two instead of three) and Owen ends up in a bar fight while waiting for a table for two.  They get kicked out of the restaurant and all end up eating tacos at a taco stand. (It is so much funnier than I am telling it.)   This all happened because  Joe refused to let the “mind bet” go (he did realize over tacos that he should head back to Gamblers Anonymous because the mind bets were getting a little out of control.)

Why have I been thinking about this and why am I boring you with it?

Earlier this month, I made the mistake of entering some running goals on the Nike+ web site.  I use Nike+ to track my runs, just because I think it is cool.  I wear a little bracelet that talks to a sensor in my shoe to track how far I run.  Then, I plug the bracelet in to my computer and upload the run data to the Nike+ web site. I can see all of my runs on a graph for the past two years.  This really has no purpose, but I am kind of addicted to it.  I like my gadgets.

Nike+ also has a functionality to enter and track goals.  Earlier this month, I decided to set a goal for myself.  It was totally achievable.  Run 10 times in January for a total of 30 miles.

As the end of the month approached, I became aware that I was behind on my goal and it reminded me of Joe’s mind bets.   I would have had to run many times this week to catch up.  It didn’t happen.

One of my excuses you see to the left.  On Wednesday night, my sister and I consumed some large Margaritas as one last hurrah for Gonzales Y Gonzales, a not so fabulous (but festive) Mexican restaurant which is closing its doors this week.   This was my excuse for not running the following day.  A perfectly good excuse.

If I were Joe, there would be some dire consequence for not achieving this goal of running 10 times this month.   I on the other hand, will just learn from this experience and not set any more goals on the Nike+  web site.

I Couldn’t Help It

I was feeling naked without an official list of action items/goals for the year.  Last Spring I spent hours coming up with a mission statement, objectives, and SMART goals for 2010 (reviewed in this blog post.)

When 2011 started, I decided I did not want to spend lots of time coming up with specific measurable goals.  Since I was basically continuing my quest from 2010, I wanted to just get to it and not spend lots of time developing a new list.  My strategy was validated by this post on the Conventional Freedom Blog:  Take Your Smart Goals and Shove Em.

But now, I have much less pleasure when I actually accomplish something, because I have no list on which to check it off.  Let’s face it, I am a Penelope.  (Click here to learn what a Penelope is.  Love this blog.)

So I am going to keep it simple (the original plan was 5 but I am a Penelope so I have 10).  Here is my list:

  1. Seek out and take advantage of opportunities to interact with people that I might find interesting and enjoy spending time with
  2. Cultivate more relationships (platonic & romantic)
  3. Be open and take risks (personal & professional)
  4. Keep my TV watching to a minimum (10 hours or less) to make room in my brain/life for learning new things
  5. Read at least one book/month (alternating between fiction & non-fiction)
  6. Work out at least 3x/week including at least one Yoga workout (preferably at a Yoga studio)
  7. Meditate at least 3x/week
  8. Buy less stuff (not going full on minimalist, but dabbling)
  9. Join the board of a non-profit organization – DONE!!!
  10. Give away a higher % of my salary – DONE!!! (this comes along with #9)

I now feel much better because I can officially say that I have accomplished 2 of my 10 goals!  The remaining items are not all things I can “check off” but I can review the list weekly and ask myself if I am living these “principles.”  These are the actions that I think will help me live my best life and it just makes me feel better to have them on a list.  As January comes to a close, I can safely say that I doing well with most of them.  Go me!

Structured Meditation

I love my new Jon-Kabat Zinn Guided Mindfulness Meditation CDs.  They are the companion CDs to his book “Wherever You Go, There you Are” which I reviewed a while back.

These practice CDs are fabulous because they provide structure which makes me actually do it!  (not every day, but  3-4 days/week for 10-20 minutes)

Here is my mini review of the 4 CD package:

1. Sitting Meditations (10, 20 and 30 minutes) –  You can select a track based on how long you want to sit and he does some talking and some silence during the practice.  He does have a weird accent which I can’t quite place.  Unfortunately, I wonder about this during almost every sitting when I am not supposed to be thinking about anything.

2. Lying Down Meditations (10, 20, and 30 minutes) – these are nice.  It feels more like a “calgon take me away” activity if you get to lie down while you are doing it.  There is a whole CD dedicated to this which means it is totally OK!

3. Mountain Meditation and Lake Meditations – I tried the Mountain Meditation once. 30 whole minutes of trying to envision your self as a mountain.  Strong and solid and ever changing with the seasons, is what I recall.  A little bit out there, but kind of nice for a city girl to imagine she is nature for a bit.  Good to mix it up. I like the idea of being a mountain or a lake.  Sounds peaceful, right?

4. Silence with Bells – I have not tried this one yet.  It has one 30 minute practice where bells ring at set intervals and a second where bells ring at random times,  “sometimes quite chaotic”.  The CD cover says something about “cultivating equanimity in the face of the unexpected.”  This seems like something I might need to work up to.  I will start with the set internals of course (structure!), maybe this weekend, and eventually graduate to the chaos.  The good thing is, no distracting accent!

The CD cover also says “CAUTION: Do not use these programs while you are driving”.  That cracks me up.

And yes, CDs do still actually exist.  Kabat Zinn has upgraded from cassette tapes, but has not made the leap to digital tracks yet.  Luckily, I was bequeathed an old stereo w/CD player a while back which the universe must have intended for just for this purpose.

I did actually consider Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge which started yesterday (that my cyber blog friend Christa gave me a heads up about in her blog.)  They e-mail one guided meditation each day, but I could not find information about how long each session was.  How could I plan time to do these meditations with no specific time?  See, I need structure!  I got frustrated and realized I could just use my CDs that I love and just try to stick with it for 21 days (the amount of time it takes to develop a new habit.)  Not sure I am ready for every day, but now it is out there on the internet so I guess I have to try.

Click here to purchase the Jon-Kabat Zinn CDs or learn more.

Out and About in the Freezing Cold

There was quite a bit of out and about this week.  Some very cool, some less cool.

Tuesday night I attended the NY Tech Mixer Meet-Up.  Well, I attended the fist half hour, had one drink, attempted to chat with some young tech geeks, realized this was not my crowd, and bolted before the demos began (it seemed to be only the young and geeky attendees from the NY Tech Meet-up.)  Making conversation with strangers is hard enough.  When you have nothing in common with the strangers and neither has anything to gain from the conversation, it is painful.  But, I gave it a shot.

Thursday night I ventured out in to the freezing cold again for a Voterbook Manhattan Meet-Up (a “grassroots organization to encourage participation in politics” formerly named “ObamaNYC.”)  I have had my eye on them for a while but have never made it to an event.  This was much more my crowd.  It was a small group gathered at the back of a bar.  People were supposed to bring ideas for getting Obama Re-elected.  I was there to learn and listen so I had no great ideas, but it seemed to be an intelligent, friendly group of people that I might enjoy spending time with.  Now I have to keep up with politics a bit more so the let me keep attending!

Saturday (I know, this was a big week!) I attended a very cool event called One Day University.  Renowned professors from top universities give 1 hour lectures at the Hilton hotel in NYC. It was a very well organized event with about 800 people in attendance.  Mostly around my parent’s age with a smattering of younger folks.   I LOVED four of the six lectures I heard.

The president of Bard College (a seriously impressive dude who is also a principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra) spoke about “What’s Right and Wrong About American Education.”  I have been reading a lot on this topic lately but he had some interesting unique ideas.  He was a very good speaker and a funny guy.

Richard Pious from Columbia gave a talk called “Obama’s Plan B: What to Expect in the Next Two Years.”  I took copious notes and learned a lot about “no drama Obama.”  Professor Pious broke it down in a way that made complete sense to someone who is trying to catch up on all of this.  Another awesome speaker.  I will be more informed at my next Voterbook meet-up!

Dr Harry Segal from Cornell gave an amazing talk on how psychotherapy works.  He presented a case study from four different perspectives of  how a student who can’t motivate himself to study might be treated.  He explained counseling (therapy “light”), medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy.  He broke it down so well.  I am hoping the next time someone asks me how therapy works I can explain it as well as he did.

The “key note” speaker was former mayor Ed Koch.  He is 86 years old, busier than I am, and hilarious.  I am very glad I got to see him speak in person.

Overall, an awesome and tiring week of getting out there an learning new stuff.  I am especially proud of this because it is SO cold with non stop precipitation which makes everything require more energy.  As a reward to myself, today, I am hanging out with my TiVo and my Kindle and I am NOT leaving the house (except maybe to go to the gym because I was not jumping up and down while sipping wine and mingling this week.)