This Has Been: September Edition

September has been a month of settling.  I didn’t quite realize how insane it was going to be when I started out.  I figured I’d take a week or so to get settled into my new apartment and then I’d be calm and rationally ready for classes to start.  I imagined having all the textbooks before classes started.  Well… no.

The end of September marks week four of school.  Week four of working on this new show that they’ve given me and I still barely have it figured out.  I’m going to be spending the entire weekend writing scripts.  I haven’t figured out what day is Grocery day, laundry day, ect. and I’m afraid that as soon as I figure it out it’s going to have to change.  This month has been madness.

In the middle of it though I spent a day in retreat with my school’s InterVarsity chapter and began the process of taking Sunday’s as a Sabbath.  Through the month I’ve began to do more of my work on Friday and Saturday in order to leave time on Sunday afternoons for long lunches out and evenings fangirling the Emmys.  I’m glad to say that that portion of the month has worked quite well.  As has setting a pattern of daily devotionals.

In fact, just this week I read an essay by a woman in ministry talking about how her path of seminary was influenced by both Buffy and Angel which just blew me away.  I have been wanting to talk about how Joss’ works relate to faith and my perspective on them as a Christian, but have been nervous since I haven’t finished Angel or Dollhouse yet.  I’m still holding out to write that post, but I’ve never been more excited to talk to people about these shows because now I can see it so much more clearly through the lens of my faith.

This of course is making me all the more motivated to finish Angel especially.  I managed to get through quite a bit of it this month.  I think I managed nearly a full season this month while also watching a handful of new and old shows premiering and falling completely in love with Leverage.  You’ll be hearing a lot about what I’ve been watching in the next month I’m sure, but I’ll save that look ahead for next week.

As far as blogging goes I was just able to hang on by a thread.  I’ve been writing some posts up the day they were published which is nerve-wracking to me.  I also didn’t get to doing any re-design elements that I was hoping to this month in actuality.  I have a lot of what I’m planning all set in my head, but not yet done in the real world.  I’ve noticed that that’s a thing that I do and it may not be very helpful in my future.  I should probably work on that.

They Win Some They Lose Some (a review of this year’s Emmys)

I’m not much one for awards shows, but I’m going to say something that you’ll probably all see coming.  I love the Emmys.  Of course I love the Emmys.  They’re my awards show.  Some people go nuts over the Oscars or the Tonys.  The Grammys have their musical following, but I love the Emmys.  I’m majoring in TV, I watch the Emmys.

They Emmys serve the dual purpose of a yearly review of what happened in TV this year and getting me hyped up for all sorts of awesome that is sure to come.  I especially enjoyed the montages they did this year of “The Year in _” (Comedy, Drama, Reality, ect.).

Overall I have two sides of the Emmys.  I have personal reactions to who won and how awesome everyone is.  Mostly these consist of “OMG Congratulations! I’m so excited!!”  Granted there are a few “I’m sure you’re awesome, but I wanted [name of other nominee] to win.” punctuated by a frowny face.  I also have much more professional reactions and questions.  Mostly theories on the winners.

Going into the night, it’s no surprise or secret what my favorites were.  Downton Abbey, Sherlock, The Big Bang Theory, and The Good Wife were my favorites at the start.  I was glad to see a few wins in among my favorites, but I was also excited to see that a show I hadn’t heard of was winning a lot of things too.  So now I have to look up and watch Homeland and Game Change.

Let’s face it though, only half the reasoning for watching an awards show is the actual awards.  We watch because of the people presenting and the mishaps that occur during the show.  We watch waiting for exciting things to happen, and they nearly always do.  Highlights of this year included Jimmy Kimmel telling us to tweet about Tracy Morgan passing out even though he didn’t and Ricky Gervais calling Louie CK out on winning all the awards.

I also enjoy the technical aspects (because I’m a nerd).  When a presenter dosn’t stand in front of the mic and getting to see the backstage cameras online.  When someone wasn’t there to claim their award and give a speech I could practically hear the control room cheering at gaining that time.

In the background I heard the music being played and I’m rushing to finish this post, because while I don’t actually run out of time on the internet, I do have things to do and places to be.  In the vein of nerdiness, I am off to listen to a lecture on social media in television and I’m kind of excited.  Thank you so much for coming out today and thank you for reading.

In Which I Go On About How Much I Like My New Apartment

Upon first moving to my new apartment I quickly realized that something wasn’t going to work.  My phone.  My cell phone recives no service at my new apartment.  In my neighborhood.  Nothing.  Okay, not quite literally nothing, but very, very close to nothing.

After a week of dropped calls and buffering Netflix (at the time this was also my sole source of entertainment due to lack of internet access) I was implored – nay, commanded – to acquire a land line phone.  This of course sparked a trip to Target (because honestly, what self-respecting college student has a phone handy in their back pocket?), and then a phone call to Comcast.  And unnecessary deposit, an afternoon spent waiting in line to get a modem, and an hour connecting plugs and installing wifi.

I’ll admit that I am oddly excited about my home phone.  It has a curly cord that almost but not quite reaches my entire apartment.  It doesn’t have voice mail, and it actually plugs into the wall.  It’s like something out of the 90’s.  And when I sit on the couch to talk to whoever I’m calling I feel like I am in the 90’s.  It’s wonderful in it’s own strange way.  Kinda weird, but I love it anyway.

Weirder?  I’m calling people more now and it’s much more enjoyable.  I make a list of people I need to call, sit down with a cup or tea and call everyone on the list.  It’s a wonderful way to relax.

There are so many ways that calling people is awesome.  For one, since my cell phone doesn’t get very good service it’s easier to call someone on the land line and talk for a minute than to deal with twenty minutes of painful texting and having to resend nearly every message.  I was also moving towards calling people more anyway.  Texting is great and all, but I like to make more human connections.  Plus it’s also quicker.  If the person isn’t going to answer the phone then you know that in a minute as opposed to the waiting game of will they answer your text.

Weirdest?  I’m actually leaving my cell phone at home when I leave the house.  Some days this is completely unintentional.  Because it’s spending so much time searching for a signal, it also looses battery power quicker which means it constantly needs to be plugged in.  There have been a few times when I get halfway to the El before realizing that my phone is still plugged into a wall and charging.

It’s also leading to intentionally leaving my phone at home sometimes.  What do I need a phone for at church anyway?  So that it can go off in the middle of a sermon and I can look like a fool?  I’ll just start taking an actual bible with me instead of relying on my bible app.  It would spend half the time searching for signal anyway.

As strange as it is, I’m loving my lack of cell phone/land line equation lately and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  Well, if the internet ever craps out on me I’ll want my cell to watch Netflix on, but for the time being.  Life is pretty good right now and I’ll take what I can get.

Writing About Writing (week of September 17)

Monday: school – TV log
Tuesday: school – Malcolm in the Middle
school – WDP
blog – cable TV
Wednesday: nothing
Thursday: work – a monstrous amount of emails
Friday: nothing
Saturday: nothing
Sunday: live tweeting Emmys

And before you say it, I am going against my normal rules by including the tweets about the Emmys in this week’s writing log, but I’m going to call it extraordinary circumstances.  I was tweeting through the entire three hours at a pretty steady stream the whole time.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how I somehow tend not to write much on Mondays fairly consistently.  I don’t know how I feel about that, but I think bringing awareness to it is good for me to start changing that.  My goal with this is to make writing an everyday habit and so far that’s not really happening.  I think part of of the bit may be that I’m not setting out a specific time to write each day, and I believe that will be a next step in solidifying this writing habit.

All that being said I’m not sure that I have a solid goal for this coming week.  I want to have balance overall.  So I think more than a writing goal I have an organization goal of figuring out where my “big rocks” of a daily writing habit and daily bible time will fit in next to my other “big rocks” of school and work that seem immobile.  Neatly fitting with that goal is getting a handle on my TV watching.  I keep watching two or three episodes of Angel off Netflix everyday and it’s a habit that I need to break.

Meanwhile, it’s just past midnight and I have a longer than I’d like list of things to do before I go to bed tonight and I have to get up early to head to class tomorrow morning.

“22 Before 22” Goals for the Year

I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a 22 Before 22 list of things to do, but when I read over the 18 that I had I realized that a good quarter of them I knew I wasn’t going to get to.  There are still some that I am interested in trying, including some goals that factor in to things I want to do in the coming years, but I don’t think a 22 Before 22 list is the way to go for this year’s goals.

The goals from the list that I like are mostly having to do with being intentional about my choices.  From there is goes in multiple directions from trying to establish a habit of daily devotionals, of scheduling myself ahead of time (and especially of making sure that I have everything I need on my schedule ahead of time).  I want to create routines that run the gambit from beauty and health to photography and blogging.

I think that is the theme of this next year: to live with intention.  I am always looking forward to the future so intently that I often forget to see what’s right in front of me. This is not uncommon, I’m sure, but doesn’t change that it’s not how I want to be living my life.  I want to be firmly grounded in the present.  And perhaps just in knowing that I already am, but knowing and acknowledging can sometimes be different.

Other things that were on the list that I’m still interested in: dressing up in a “geek” costume (I’m thinking Zelda), learning how to drive a scooter, making the dean’s list, and going on a proper date (though I’m pretty old-fashioned so that one isn’t really all up to me).

Oh Cable Television, How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!

So, it seems to be that this month is the month of TV schedules here on the blog, and while that wasn’t necessarily the original plan, I think I like it slightly better.  It is impractical to talk about cable shows by the day they are on the air, so instead I will be talking about these under the slightly broader heading of networks.  In Reverse alphabetical order:

USA has consistently served up shows that I don’t think are going to work and then manage to prove me wrong to the tune of five or six seasons.  It’s one of those cases where I love being wrong.  Seriously though, a football psychiatrist (Necessary Roughness)?  A doctor who only makes house calls (Royal Pains)?  Do those exist?  Couples therapy for cops (Common Law)?  And of course, a fake psychic detective (Psych).

Okay, I’ll admit that the only one of these shows that I consistently watch is Psych, but still, USA has so many cool concepts, and so many great characters.  Bonus, all the people who work on these shows seem to be the chillest people ever.  Proof?  They Psych cast at Comic Con this year.  Okay, even I’m seeing that this is a little pineapple heavy, time to move on.  I’ll watch: Psych.

TNT is the network that I would most like to work for someday.  Well, I’d like to work for anyone who would hire me, but I feel like I would really get along with the people at TNT (in my head everyone who works there is somewhat serious with a dark sense of humor; they wear a lot of black).  Their shows include The Closer and it’s step-child Major Crimes, as well as Leverage, Rizzoli & Isles, a reboot of Dallas, and a show called Perception.

Of most note to me here is Leverage.  You guys. I have seen a grand total of three episodes of this show and I’m already in love.  Gina Bellman!  Christian Kane!  Crime!  I’m overwhelmed by how much I love this show, and I know it’s only going to get better when I, you know, watch more of it.

I’ve also seen bits of Major Crimes, and so many ads for Perception I may as well have seen the whole show.  Both seem good, if not quite my usual style.  I love that Sasha Alexandra is in Rizzoli and Isles.  I missed her when she left NCIS oh way back when.  Overall TNT is pretty awesome.  Because when they aren’t showing their own content they’re playing repeats of The Mentalist, which is also awesome.  I’ll watch: Leverage when it comes back and Major Crimes when I’m at my parents house.

HBO is… heavy.  Everything they do is a huge production, and everything is well done.  The production value on everything they come out with is through the roof and that in and of itself is noteworthy (so here I am taking note).  Comedy and Drama, HBO is the real deal.  Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Veep are only the beginnings of comedy; and Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, Game of Thrones, and The Newsroom are all fabulous.

As previously discussed, I have mixed feelings on Girls.  It’s a working relationship.  Game of Thrones is one of the most talked about shows in the TV department and I can’t even start with my frustration over having been away while The Newsroom was airing this summer.  I still haven’t seen all of it.  Terrible television student, I know.  I’ll watch: The Newsroom.  And probably Girls.

The Discovery Channel is where I get my “reality” TV.  While I love scripted TV the most, there is a special place in my heart for shows that are unscripted and are actually able to teach me something in the process.  Or at least be wonderfully interesting and full of fun facts to spout out to strangers at a later point in time.

My favorites are most definitely Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs.  Teaching me randoms stuff and being wildly entertaining.  I also think I saw Grant once on the street in San Francisco.  NBD.  I’ll watch Deadliest Catch in a pinch every once in a while too, but for the most part, I’ll watch: Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs (on repeat, forever).

BBCAmerica.  I love the BBC.  I love that they exist and use government funding to make cool shows.  I love that it’s British.  I just love it.  I don’t know that I can actually explain why.  I just do.  I love Doctor Who and Torchwood and The Hour and Sherlock and anything staring Gordon Ramsey.  Really.

At the moment Dramaville includes Luther and Copper, both of which have landed themselves on my too watch list.  I was underwhelmed with Copper upon first viewing, but I feel like I need to give it a second shot.  In the meantime, I’ll watch Doctor Who and Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.

AMC is here so that it doesn’t feel neglected.  Though, with all the talk of their shows (especially Mad Men), I doubt that will happen.  I don’t actually watch any AMC shows for reasons that may or may not be legitimate, but I won’t know how much so until I get around to watching The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad or Mad Men.  Until then, I can’t make much of a judgement call other than to say that they all come fabulously recommended from people who’s taste in television I trust explicitly.

And that’s it.  I think, all cards on the table, I have to say that I don’t actually have cable.  I get TNT for now, though I’m not sure I’m supposed to (not complaining).  I go to my friend’s place and we rent out the media center to watch Doctor Who on BBCA every Saturday.  I get snippets of these shows from classes, loaned DVD’s, friends houses, Netflix, and the shows that are on Hulu or a network’s web player.  What can I tell you, I’m in college.  I can’t afford cable right now as sad as that is to me.  One day.

Cable provides an awesome place for creators to play.  There are less limits and bigger budgets which allows things to happen on a larger scale with more raunchiness or violence.  Neither of those things are elements that I’m always in favor of, but I do think that there is a place for it and in this world, that place is cable TV.

Mar-ri-age

There has been a lot of thinking in my head as of late about marriage.  Let’s be clear and concise right away in that I have not met anyone who I plan to marry (at least not that I know of yet), nor do I plan on jumping on a marriage boat with the next clean cut, good-looking guy who comes into my life.  But there have been thoughts.  Conversations.  With friends and with God of what it would be like to married.  Who I will be married to.

Conversations with Allason about how while I was never a girl to plan my entire wedding at eight, I do have some ideas on the matter now.  Simple and homemade-looking, which I realize writing it now sounds extremely vague and nondescript.  I have it all in my head to be sure.  The feeling for it.  She seems quite excited for my future wedding despite neither of us knowing much about it.

A very long conversation with roommate Emma (ex-roommate Emma?) about the decision to be married or not to be.  This stemming from a couple I know who have been together as long as I’ve known them, but are not married.  Why do some people choose not to get married and some feel the need to get married so urgently?  This of course morphed into a conversation about… well eventually we got to watching the pilot of Leverage, but even I don’t remember what came between the two.

Short and spread out conversations with God where I ask so many questions and get only a handful of replies.  Who will I marry?  Have I met them?  Where are they?  What will our story look like?  What does he look like?  Will I even get married?  What will my wedding look like?  And how long do I have to wait for these questions to be answered concretely?

Perhaps this was brought on by a new awareness and feelings of and on gay relationships in my life.  And without getting into the see-saw war that is religious views and political views on gay marriage and gay relationships in general, I’ll say that, yes, I do think gay people should be allowed to get married if only because people need to get this separation of church and state thing through to their heads.

Writing About Writing (week of Sepetember 10)

Monday: NBN
Tuesday: Things I learn on the CTA
Wednesday: blog – Internet TV
work – emails
Thursday: nothing
Friday: Thank You note
Saturday: journalling
Sunday:

Not to thrilled with this week, but I’m giving myself a pass because there were a lot of things going on.  Early in the week I moved the last of my stuff into the apartment, and this weekend was Columbia and SAIC’s InterVarsity retreat.  Admittedly I have not done enough homework this week and so next week will likely be spent in part catching up.

Next week I am hoping to get more into a routine.  I have some catching up to do (as mentioned) and I have a lot of writing that I should do for work as well.  I have to write two 15 page scripts which is quite daunting.  And they should be done in two weeks.  Even more daunting.  Thankfully they are for a talk show and should be pretty straight forward.  Now if only graphics, set design, and a host were as straight forward.  Yeah, right.

A Humble Request

Today is my birthday.  I don’t know what most people do for their birthday but so far my plan is go to class and possibly to Incarnation.  Mind blowing huh?  In the meantime, I submit this to you all.

I am officially 21 years old.  I take 16 credit hours a week and hold down a job where I’m clocking in around 20 hours a week on top of that (as the so-called executive producer of a show I helped develop).  I live alone and manage to feed myself and keep house pretty well if I do say so myself.  I’m never embarrassed to have company over to say the least.

This summer I flew to Germany by myself and spent seven weeks in countries where I don’t speak the language.  I planned and saved for this trip mostly on my own with some help from friends (planning) and family (some money and airline miles).  Other accomplishments this summer include spending a week in LA working as a Production Assistant on a professional set, and getting a fair amount of writing done on my own accord (I’ll refer you to the Writing About Writing series I’ve been doing and will continue).

I’m not saying this to brag.  I promise I’m not.  I’m telling you all of this to convince you that I am a functioning young adult who is able to take care of myself, and that I know how to ask for help when I need it.  It is with all this in mind that I present to you a humble request.

Please don’t treat me like a child.

I understand that I do have a lot of growing up to do.  I’m not claiming to know it all.  The more I grow up the more I find things I don’t understand.  There are a lot of parts of being a grown up that I haven’t experienced yet.  I’ve never been in an adult relationship or navigated a lease on my own.  These are all things that I likely will do in the future, but I haven’t yet, and I’m acknowledging that here.

But, I have already grown up a lot in the past 21 years and it would be awesome if people would acknowledge that too.  I am constantly embarrassed for my former self.  I am no longer a six-year-old in a mommy-made bunny costume (though that was one killer costume).  I am a 21-year-old who can balance a full schedule and make a pretty mean veggie lasagna.

Will there be times when I screw up?  Absolutely.  But doesn’t everyone screw up once and a while?  So please, when I do screw up, feel free to call me out on it.  But say it with the dignity and respect that is deserved for a girl who’s managed to get through twenty years of life relatively unscathed.  I would much appreciate it.

Internet Killed the TV Star

In the past week or so I have interacted with no less than four new TV series that made their premiere’s on the internet.  These shows would have originally been called “web series,” but lately they more and more likely to be called television.

There are many people saying — out loud or in their head — that these new medias, this internet content is going to bully television out of the running.  That’s not going to happen.  Not the way they’re thinking at least.  That argument has been proved wrong so many times before, it’s nearly hysterical to hear people still use it.

The internet will not kill television, because TV did not make film obsolete.  The invention of film did not make everyone throw away their radios.  The move to cable did not turn network television into a thing of the past.  All these things still exist in some way or another, but they will change.  Yes, internet based content will change the way the TV world works.  Have changed.  This must been seen as it is: something that has started, is happening, and will continue as the relationship between traditional television and internet based television evolves.

The new relationship depends entirely on how the viewer consumes new content as it is created.  In the past few weeks I have interacted with no less than five internet based television shows.  I subscribe to their channels on YouTube, follow them on Twitter or Tumblr, and have even run across ones that I have no idea how I found.

Actually, I’m going to do this similar to last week’s post on all the network show’s I’m watching and tell you about all the web TV I’ve been keeping up with.  There are tons of shows out there, and these are just some of my favorites.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries — It’s a modern version of Pride & Prejudice done with Elizabeth as a video blogger.  It’s fantastic.  I will reluctantly admit that I’ve never read Pride & Prejudice, but I think this show is fantastic.  Hank Green of the VlogBrothers is the Executive Producer which is awesome.  And awesome.

Husbands — A new take on the traditional just-married sitcom done by “Cheeks” and Jane Espenson.  Keep an eye out for the many cameos embedded in the show.  This one is near and dear to my heart because… well, this.  It’s funny, relevant, and awesome (if you’re sensing a trend of awesome you’re sensing correctly.

The Guild — By this point everyone and their mother has heard of The Guild, and rightly so.  It’s well-written and nerd-tastic.  Felicia Day heads the team and I think they just finished producing something like season six.  It’s fantastic, and bonus, this one is on Netflix (they have each season as a really long episode which is great).

Daybreak — This one is a little random in that I legitimately cannot remember how I found it.  I haven’t seen it all yet, but what I have seems fantastic.  I love that they are building on science fiction-ish idea and making into an all action show.  If you watch the same shows as I do you’ll recognize a few players too.  Eugene Byrd (Bones) and Ryan McPartlin (Chuck) to be exact.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog — Of course I couldn’t possibly talk about web television and not mention Dr. Horrible.  This was a one-time deal, but is undeniably amazing.  As the title implies, it’s a musical and it’s full of big names.  Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, and Joss Whedon all play major parts.

I’ve also been following an upcoming one called The Incident on twitter.  They are still in production, but the idea seems pretty cool from what I can tell.  Web shows are just awesome.