Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

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Emmys Shout-Out To Fall TV And “Girls”

Some of the shows I’m glad are back this season include “Community,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Revenge,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The New Girl.” For a great new show, watch “Go On.”

The Emmy Awards are tomorrow night and the fall TV season has begun! I may be one of the rare viewers who’s glad the networks have spread out their premiere dates. I can dip my toes back into the waters slowly and figure out which new shows are worth watching.

Here’s how I realized I watch way too much television: As I wrote my viewing schedule by hand on a hotel notepad, I had to flip to the backside of the page before I got through writing Thursday’s shows. And those were just shows on the broadcast stations. The list didn’t even include my cable-to-online guilty pleasures (“Switched At Birth,” “Project Runway,” “Degrassi” and so on). Granted, I already crossed off “The X Factor” (sorry, Brit!) because I can’t watch it live or online, and a few new shows may get the boot a couple episodes in.

While in Colorado, Dad convinced me it would be perfectly all right for me to log-in to his HBO account. OK, it didn’t take that much convincing after we marathoned “Flight of the Conchords” on my last day in town. But there was one show I was eager to see: “Girls.”

Lena Dunham as Hannah in the HBO series "Girls"

Lena Dunham as Hannah in the HBO series “Girls.”

I dove into this multiple-Emmy-nominated, Lena Dunham-centric production without any expectations. All I really knew was Entertainment Weekly loves the show, Dunham is a spring chicken in the creating-producing-directing-writing world, and Brian Williams’ daughter is one of the stars. I also knew there would be loads of sex, but I didn’t give it two thoughts. You’re looking at the proud owner of this. Oh, and that’s not a click if you dare link. It a DVD set, sheesh!

On a Saturday morning, just after midnight, I fell head over heels for the pilot. Two days and 10 episodes later I finished the first season, but for days following I couldn’t stop thinking about the show.

Something about the intense relationships depicted at the forefront on “Girls” has stuck with me. I never thought about it so much before, but relationships — familial, friendly, romantic — are incredibly complicated. Think of how hard it is to begin a friendship. Now that you’re friends, try maintaining that when the two of you have opposite schedules, different tastes, a lower/higher income, clashing values and morals. Now move to a different state or country and keep that relationship going. Multiply that times the number of friends to whom you consider to be close. What about all the things that have to go right to transition from friendship to romance? How ridiculous is it to then wade that new territory and dance that dance?

As I said while dining with friends a few weeks ago, anyone who has even one friend is brave. I was told that was a good quote, so that’s why I’m repeating it here. I truly admire anyone who has strong, healthy relationships with other humans, because there may not be anything more terrifying to me than disappointing those I love.

Now while these friendships/familyships/loveships are bizarre, time-consuming, and a never-ending load of work, they are fantastic, beautiful, enriching, and completely necessary keys to living a full life. After all the heartaches, arguments, and bad days, I am thankful for family, for friends, for all the opportunities I’m given to show God’s love. I don’t always succeed in this, as I don’t always find success in my relations with others. But I’ll tell you what. I sure enjoy the time we have together, and while people may not be around forever, the imprint of the people I’ve known are on my heart. Like the subjects of Hannah’s essays weave together the pieces of her life, you, dear friends, are my thread.

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Filed under: Colorado, Entertainment, Fall TV, Internet, News, Television, TV on DVD

I Quit Sugar: Week 8

Eight weeks! It has come and gone in a flash. I have to remember the things I’ve learned and not slip out of my new ways. I have come too far to relapse.

And just in time for a big trial — traveling and eating. It’s hard to eat well when eating out and not cooking for oneself. I have promised myself I will make a conscious effort to look for the best choice on a menu, and to ask questions so I know what I’m putting in my mouth. No hidden sugars for me!

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I expect I will be dining like this every night, bib and hat included. Senator Owen Brewster (left) and Ann (Mrs. Oscar) Chapman chow down on seafood at the Maine State Society lobster dinner in the Department of the Interior cafeteria in 1951.

I expect I will be dining like this every night, bib and hat included. Senator Owen Brewster (left) and Ann (Mrs. Oscar) Chapman chow down on seafood at the Maine State Society lobster dinner in the Department of the Interior cafeteria in 1951.

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Now time for the giveaway! Selected randomly from the tons of comments, the winner is … Myra Ann! Congrats! I’ll be emailing your copy of Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” very soon. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

 

Thanks for following me on this journey. The encouragement, the questions, all of you, have helped make these last eight weeks an education!

 

 

Filed under: Books, Colorado, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , ,

Picks Of The Week

Obsession of the week: Colorado

How much do I love this 39th Telluride Film Festival poster by Dave Eggers? Oh so much.

How much do I love this 39th Telluride Film Festival poster by Dave Eggers? Oh so much.

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How could I not be obsessed? I head to the beautiful mountain state in just about a week for the first time since I moved to Arkansas in October 2010. Also, it’s my first vacation longer than four days since then, so needless to say, I am ready for a temporary change of pace.

The whole trip was planned around attending the Telluride Film Festival during Labor Day weekend. I had a taste of the event a few years back but didn’t get to attend any movies. After my parents sat in front of director Michael Hazanavicius at the Telluride screening of his film, “The Artist,” I knew I couldn’t miss 2012’s fest. My mom also waved at George Clooney — who she says waved back — and she and my dad ate dinner in the same room as Tilda Swinton.

Neither the attendees nor films are announced until days before, so I’m looking forward to being surprised, rubbing elbows with industry greats (if I’m so lucky) and seeing what I expect will be fabulous cinematic gems.

Don’t even think about robbing my apartment while I’m away, folks. The roommate is still around and she’s good at beating off intruders (by sleep-talking them away). She’s fierce. Like the University of Colorado fight song, which I grew up singing at women’s basketball games (because I didn’t attend the school in the end).

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Viral video of the week: “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra”

Wally, aka Gotye, emailed to his fans this video compilation he put together. It mixes some of the best YouTube covers of his smash hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” I was very happy to see Pentatonix, an absolutely amazing a capella group, get some generous screen time. There’s also a smooth sax, Ingrid Michaelson and a choir in formalwear.

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Note to my dear readers: It is time I took a little hiatus, what with vacation and my twice-a-year teaching gig fast approaching. I will not post Picks of the Week for the next four weeks. I’ll miss all y’all’s comments!

There will be one final I Quit Sugar post Sunday. Don’t forget, it’s a giveaway. Bust over to last week’s post and comment for a chance to win Sarah Wilson’s e-book. You can read it on your computer, e-reader, tablet, laptop hooked to your TV, whatever!

Filed under: Academy Awards, Colorado, Design, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Music, News, Oscars, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Quit Sugar: Week 7

My experiment is winding down. But I’ve learned so much! I haven’t had the time lately to try the recipes Sarah Wilson has in her book, but that’s OK. I have the rest of my life.

I fell off the wagon one day this week. It was a bad day and I was weak. I put chocolate creamer in my coffee at work, then ate a salad with a sugar-filled dressing. The good news is I didn’t get down on myself but realized how what I did affected my body. If I feel like crap after eating sugar, what’s the point in eating it?

I fell off a wagon similar to this one from Aug. 1909. I feel bad for that wee littl' piggy. But those dogs are lucky to hitch a ride to wherever they're going.

I fell off a wagon similar to this one from August 1909. I feel bad for that wee lil’ piggy. But those dogs are lucky to hitch a ride to wherever they’re going.

My mom (who is also working to cut sugar from her diet) commented to me about how treats don’t tempt her anymore. I’ve noticed the same thing. I look at the sweets, and think, “Mmm, yum, that looks delicious!” But I don’t need nor want to eat it. I think I’ll make it to the winter holidays without falling too far away from where I’ve come. Christmastime is expected to be difficult, but I’ll deal with that come December.

Giveaway time! While one reader suggested I give away the bag of brown sugar in the back of my pantry, and another (who voted twice … can’t imagine who it is) said “A magical unicorn” and “I already told you I want a magical unicorn,” I am giving away …

A copy of Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” e-book! Here’s how it’s going to work:

  • Comment below about your favorite no-sugar snack. What is it and why do you love it? I want to hear your suggestions!
  • I will randomly choose a name from those who comment (I will email the winner their gift, so use a valid email when you log in!).
  • Deadline to comment is Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Central. So get to commenting!

Filed under: Books, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Quit Sugar: Week 6

Week six! Two more weeks and I’ll have completed the experiment. I’m looking forward to continuing this new lifestyle, though, because I feel pretty amazing.

It takes an army to pick a berry. Actually, these folks admire Stanley Boyer, kneeling, as he picks strawberries in 1946. Boyer was one of the best strawberry pickers in the Portland area. His record was 21 crates of strawberries in a six-hour day, which I suppose is quite a lot.

It takes an army to pick a berry. Actually, these folks admire Stanley Boyer, kneeling, as he gathers strawberries in 1946. Boyer was one of the best strawberry pickers in the Portland area. His record was 21 crates of strawberries in a six-hour day, which I suppose is quite a lot.

Sarah Wilson, author of “I Quit Sugar,” gives some good tips about adding some sweetness back in during week six, specifically what you can get to eatin’.

  • Fruit! I was so, so, so excited to get back to fruit! Blueberries, kiwi and strawberries are all low in fructose, so I gobbled them up.
  • Stevia. This is a natural sugar that comes from the stevia leaf. It’s super sweet in small amounts, but is kind of expensive. I bought the Truvia brand and don’t expect to be using it all that often, so the initial cost will even out over the months.
  • Coconut water. I didn’t like this stuff at first, but I have tried several different kinds. I love the bottles with coconut pulp in them!

Wilson’s book has a recipe for coconut “granola,” which includes coconut flakes, ground almonds and cashews/peanuts/walnuts, but I haven’t gotten to try it yet.

I really don’t have many more updates this week because I have gotten to a state of balance. So exciting! I even comfortably wore a swimsuit today, which I haven’t done in a long, long time.

Anyway … give-a-way! Give-a-way! Look for this on my week eight post. In the meantime, let me know what you want to see me give away!

Filed under: Books, Health, News, Products, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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