Top 10: TV Shows

What makes a great tv show?

  • Consistency: You ever watch a great TV show and it only had one good season? (ex. Heroes). A good TV shows doesn’t necessarily have to be great from begin to end, but I shouldn’t have to feel like I am forcing myself to finish the series.
  • Characters: Characters are everything. If you don’t like the characters then you aren’t going to like the show. One exception for me is Girls. I can’t stand any of the characters. They are the most selfish human beings ever behind Don Draper (Mad Men). Maybe I only watch the show for Ray. Ray is great.
  • Pacing: You want a storyline that takes some time to get through because it wouldn’t be any fun of the twist was revealed in the first few episodes. You also don’t want to go through the entire series before the secret is revealed.
  • Writing/Dialogue
    • If the writing isn’t good, the show isn’t good.

Finally here is the list

10. The Get Down 

This is a new musical drama on Netflix  about the growth of Hip Hop in the Bronx back in the 1970s.  There is only one season so far, so it might be a little too early to say it is one of my favorite shows.  Also, the music is great on the show, which one would expect when Nas is one of the producers.

 

9. Orange is the New Black

This is a Netflix series about a women’s prison. The show is good because even if you don’t like the main character, Piper, there are ton of other characters to enjoy. This show has been pretty solid so far.

 

8. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The theme song alone makes the show great. This another show that is on Netflix and it is about a woman named Kimmy who is trying to make it in NYC after being rescued from a cult that she was held in for 15 years. Also, this show was created by Tina Fey.

 

Theme Song

 

Peeno Noir

 

7. 30 Rock

Tiny Fey plays Liz Lemon in this NBC show about a sketch comedy show writer. The characters on this show are great.Not much to say about it. It is just a really funny show.

I unfortunately could not find a season 1 trailer of the show. So, here are a few of my favorite scenes. I do love the episode where she is stuck on a plane in season 5 episode 14, but I could not find any clips.

 

6.Jane the Virgin

This show is not as ridiculous as the name sounds. It is about a virgin who is accidentally artificially inseminated by her doctor. Stay with me guys. The show is good I promise. It parodies telenovelas and it does a very good job doing that.

 

5. The Office

This is a mockumentary  about employees at a paper company in Scranton. Great characters and great writing. It kind of lost its spunk towards the end, but overall still a very good show. Jim and Dwight’s relationship makes the show and since I can’t find a season 1 trailer here are clips of Jim’s pranks on Dwight.

 

 

 

4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This show is a hidden gem. I don’t know a ton of people who actually watch this series, but it won a Golden Globe for whatever that is worth. The show is a comedy about a police precinct in NYC. Another show with great characters, especially Captain Holt.

 

3.Game of Thrones

I mean who doesn’t know about Game of Thrones. A great story about a bunch of people trying to claim the throne. There are characters you love, characters you hate, and characters you love to hate. What makes this show so great, especially in the first few seasons, is the shock value. If you read the book then you have a good idea of what is going to happen, but for those who have not this show is full of surprises.

 

2.Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is about a single mom and the close relationship she has with her daughter. What you need to know about the show is that the dialogue is really fast, Dean is the worst, Jess is awesome,  and they are doing a brand new season coming out on Netflix in November.

 

Trailer for the new season

 

1.Shameless

I have met a handful of people who have watched this show, but it is the only good thing about Showtime. Shameless is about a family in Chicago that goes through so many issues. You will see a character grow and develop and then they would just fall right back into old habits. It is so frustrating, but honest at the same time. How many times have we all just reverted back to the same bad habits?

 

Honorable Mention: Nashville, Modern Family, Trueblood, Mars (Taiwanese drama), Bob’s Burgers, Laguna Beach, Awkward, Total Divas, The Goldbergs

Shows I want to see

  • Breaking Bad (finished season one)
  • Mr.Robot
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • Silicon Valley
  • Stranger Things

Top 10: Songs

I am introducing Top 10 to my blog. the purpose of these posts are to list my top 10 favorites regarding any subject. Today, the list is my top 10 favorite songs. This list was extremely hard to make and I will probably feel a different way about it tomorrow. I tried to choose songs that I never skip when it comes up on iTunes or Spotify.

10. Hollow by Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly is very underrated. She has a fantastic voice and should be 10x more famous than she is. Her song “Hollow”is apparently Tori’s love song to God, which I didn’t know until I looked it up. I thought it was just your typical love song. I guess I should have caught on when she sings “Only your love can fill up my cup.” I love the song even more now that I know the true meaning.

Her song “Should’ve Been Us” is also great, but not good enough to make this list.

9. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

How do you follow up a love song to God? A song by a bat biting, gothic rockstar. I first heard this song when I played it in marching band in high school, and it was the best marching band song ever. I honestly just like the instrumentals, and I have no idea what the song is talking about.  I also searched for the meaning of this song, but couldn’t find anything.

 

8. Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I saw them at a Jazz Festival in New Orleans and it was amazing. “Otherside” is my favorite song from the group. I know this song is about drug addiction, but I wanted to see if there were any more details about it. Apparently, the song is a tribute to former guitarist Hillel Slovak, who died of a heroin overdose.

This is not my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers video. “Give It Away” takes that crown.

 

7. Drops of Jupiter by Train

As you can tell by now I have a thing for Rock/Alternative music. When I listen to “Drops of Jupiter”, it reminds me of my momma driving my brothers and me to Westmoreland to visit relatives and the only station that came through clearly was WRAR in Tappahannock. WRAR was one of those stations that played hits from “the 80s, 90s, and today”. So much Matchbox Twenty, so much Train.

Anyway, my interpretation of the song is that it is about a girl who leaves her boyfriend to go find herself. However, Pat, the lead singer of Train, has stated that the song was inspired by his late mother who died of lung cancer.

 

6. Fantasy (Remix) by Mariah Carey featuring O.D.B

This song would not have made this list without O.D.B (Ol’ Dirty Bastard), a former member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He died of a drug overdose in 2004. You have Mariah Carey’s fantastic vocals and then O.D.B takes the song to another level. There is a version without O.D.B and it is not the same. It is like “Bad Blood” without Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick made that song.

 

5. Wannabe by Spice Girls

Best girl pop group of all time, and my favorite song from them is “Wannabe” The “rapping” toward the end of the song is the best part. This is also their best music video. When Mel C does that backflip on the table, I thought she was so cool.

So, what is this song about? To me, the song is about a guy who is interested in a girl, but in order for things to move any further he has to get along with her friends. However,, accounts of the “true meaning” of the song were told to British tabloids about the song having more sexual undertones. But, I don’t know how much truth is behind that.

Side note, I am definitely a Sporty Spice, but I really want to be like Ginger. She was the coolest of the group until she decided to abandon them and the group was never able to recover.

 

4. White Flag by Dido

I actually first heard this song when Eminem sampled it for his song “Stan”. I have only started listening to “White Flag” in the past year or so. Here is a fun fact, the lead guy in the tv show Bones is in this music video.

So, I am pretty confident this song is about Dido not wanting to give up on her relationship with her ex, but the guy is just not about it. It turns out that the song is indeed about an ex, her ex fiance.

 

3. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt

This song really pulls at the heart strings. I am not really into country music, but sometimes I will come across a song that grabs my attention. Adele also does a good rendition of this song.

The song is pretty self explanatory. Bonnie loves someone who doesn’t love her back. Simple yet complex like vanilla ice cream. The songwriter, Mike Reid, was inspired to write this song when he read a story in the Nashville Banner about a guy that was drunk on moonshine and shot his girlfriend’s car tires. The judge said, “I hope you learned something from this experience.” And the guy said, “Yeah I learned that I can’t make her love me if she don’t.”

 

2. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

“Don’t Stop Me Now”, “We Are the Champions”, “Somebody to Love”, “We Will Rock You”, “Another One Bites the Dust”. Queen made hit after hit after hit. However, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has to be the greatest Queen song in my opinion. The song has so many layers. It is like listening to three songs in one. And, the build up is awesome.

I have listened to this song a million times and I can’t really figure out what the song is exactly about yet. I don’t know if the song had something to do with Freddie’s past or something he was experiencing at the time he created the song or both. Apparently, Freddie was mum about the meaning of the song.

 

1.Juicy by Notorious B.I.G

R.I.P to one of the greatest rappers of all time. He was only 24 years old when he was murdered. This song is the real “started from the bottom” anthem (sorry Drake).  Biggie pretty much raps his autobiography. I love rap music, but I have a hard time remembering the lyrics of songs, especially rap. However, I can remember at least half of the lyrics of this song, which is saying something. My three favorite lines of the song are:

  • It was all a dream/I used to read Word Up magazine/Salt’n’Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine
  • Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis/When I was dead broke, man I couldn’t picture this
  • Birthdays was the worst days/Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay

 

Honorable Mentions (in no order): Freakum Dress (Beyonce), Love on Top (Beyonce), Touch the Sky (Kanye), Seasons of Love (cast of Rent), Burn (Usher), Come On Over Baby (Christina Aguilera), Almost is Never Enough (Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes), Changes (Tupac)

Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

This dish was very good. Roasting is the best way to cook veggies in my opinion, and the sauce placed on the chicken was very flavorful. I love tangy so I was all about mixing vinegar with more vinegar (balsamic vinegar + Italian dressing). I added red potatoes to the dish because potatoes are just so freaking great.

I added a new criteria on the scorecard because why not.

Balsalmic Chicken and Veggies Scorecard

Easiness: 6. I had to cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces and I am not a big fan of touching raw chicken. I also had to marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes. It wasn’t hard to do, but I am comparing this to sticking a frozen pizza in the oven.

Taste: 9. For all the reasons mentioned previously

Presentation: 8. All the veggies made this dish super colorful.

Would I serve to others: Yeah I would. My mom would even eat this and she is extremely picky and doesn’t usually eat the food I cook.

20160818_205245

http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/one-pan-balsamic-chicken-veggies/

Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet

Sooooo this was not great. It wasn’t disgusting, but it wasn’t good either. I had to put sriracha on it to save it. It was just not very flavorful. I used chicken stock instead of chicken broth because that is what I had.Maybe chicken broth is more flavorful. I don’t know. Is it the worst thing I have made so far? No. The stuffed peppers still has that title.

Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet Scorecard

Easiness: 7.

Taste: 6. It was just edible.

Would I serve to others: Absolutely not

http://www.primaverakitchen.com/asparagus-sweet-potato-chicken-skillet/

 

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is defined as the inability to move or speak when falling asleep or waking up. I have had this occur to me a handful of times in my life. It occurred the most times while in grad school and the few months I was unemployed. Since I have started working, I no longer get them. It isn’t a terrible thing to get. It is just annoying. So, imagine waking up, but you can’t move any part of your body. I wouldn’t be able to open my eyes or anything. The only thing I could do was think and breathe.  I do like to sleep on my stomach so it does get scary when I find my face halfway in the pillow and I can’t move from that position. I mean I was sleeping the whole time with my face in the pillow and I can start moving within two minutes, so at the end of the day it is not big deal.

I have read that some people feel a “presence” or a “demon” looming over them when they are in sleep paralysis, but I have only felt a presence once. It just felt like someone was sitting on my bed.

Apparently some causes of sleep paralysis are:

  • sleep deprivation
  • narcolepsy
  • sleep apnea
  • stress

So, if you ever suffer from sleep paralysis just let it happen. Focus on your breathing and don’t panic.

Here is a fun Buzzfeed article about it because who doesn’t like lists?

All About the Benjamins

It is interesting what people are willing and not willing to spend money on. Some people value living for the now instead of saving for the future. Some would pay for a $30 meal, but would not pay for a $2.99 shipping fee. You know how many people have Amazon Prime and never buy enough products to validate the $100 annual subscription fee just because of the appeal of having free two day shipping?  I love traveling and doing activities so I am all about dishing out money on experiences. But, I wonder what are some things that I hesistate to spend money on?

  • Mid to High Grade Gas
    • I know it isn’t good for your car to use low grade gas, but I will worry about that when the time comes. So far my car has been doing alright except for the time it stopped in the middle of the road, but it’s all fine now.
  • Shipping
    • I have Amazon Prime and I like to think I get my money’s worth. But I loathe paying for shipping. If I desperately need something then I will pay for it.
  • Drinks
    • This is any drink. Soda, alcohol, water, anything. When I go to a restaurant, I always get water because I don’t want to pay for soda or tea. When I went to Europe, I wanted to cry every time I had to pay for water at a restaurant. With alcohol, I feel like I can’t survive socially if I don’t spend money on alcoholic drinks. I mean what do you do with your hands when everyone else is holding on to a glass? So, most times I just get one drink and try to make it last.
  • Tupperware
    • I have never bought a piece of tupperware. My mom has either bought them or they are containers that held other food at one point (ex. butter containers). Every time I go to the grocery I look at the tupperware and can never get myself to buy more. Most of my tupperware is stained because I microwave those suckers like it is nobody’s business.
  • Cell Phone
    • I have been rocking my Galaxy S4 for awhile now. I have never paid for a cell phone in my life. The phone screen is cracked and I fear the worst. I am going to see how long I can make it, but I just can’t find it in my heart to buy a new one.
  • Getting My Hair Done
    • Unless I am in a wedding I never get my hair done. I hate sitting in the chair for hours and paying $60+ for something that I can do at my home. I am not saying I am great at doing my hair, but I would rather do it myself and have my hair look like a hot mess than fork up that cash.

 

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

The sweet potato shepherd’s pie has to be my favorite Pinterest recipe thus far. It has even beat out the zucchini lasagna I love so much. Oh man, I could have eaten the entire pan. I thought having the sweet potato topping instead of a mashed potato topping would make the dish taste weird, but I almost prefer the sweet potato version. Also, I omitted a good amount of the ingredients from the original recipe like ground beef, onion, green pepper, flaxseed meal, rosemary, and garlic cloves, and instead put in ground turkey, corn, peas, red pepper, and garlic powder.  I do wish that I had baked the dish a little bit longer so that the sweet potato topping had more of a crunch.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Scorecard

Easiness: 7. I had to chop a lot of vegetables and I had to bring out the mixer.

Taste: 10

Would I serve to others: Yes

https://therealfoodrds.com/shepherds-pie/

20160806_180739-1

 

Fear

Last weekend I went skydiving and I felt strangely calm throughout the whole experience. I’m not afraid of heights and I do love planes, but that still doesn’t explain why I didn’t mind jumping out of a plane that was 12,000 feet high. So, it made me wonder what I do fear.

My number one fear is failure. When I was in the 2nd grade, I thought I did terrible on a reading assignment and during my school’s Skate Night at Skate America I sat in a booth with my skates on and cried the whole time. I was so worried about my grade on that reading assignment. I ended up getting a B so I cried for nothing.My parents never pressured me to make good grades. I put that pressure on myself. Every time I would take a test I would be so scared to find out the results even though I did well most of the time.

My number two fear is talking to strangers. I don’t know how I have friends because they were all strangers at one point. Meeting new people is such a terrifying experience. This is incredibly difficult when you want to start dating, but you don’t want to talk to anybody. One, I can barely hold a conversation. I don’t do a ton of interesting things so I wouldn’t have topics to rattle off. Two, I don’t want to face rejection. It is such a blow to your self-esteem. That is why I am mentally preparing myself for a life alone.

The third thing I am scared of is pain. No one likes pain obviously, but I really try to avoid it at all costs. For example, my eyebrows are really bushy and they are that way because I don’t want to go through the pain of waxing and plucking. I love that my eyebrows are thick, but they are kind of wild. Below is the first and last time I got my eyebrows done. It looks good, but I will probably never do it again. It wasn’t terribly painful, but it was pain nonetheless. They say beauty is pain, but I would rather be ugly.

270902_2217062628716_3379845_n

 

 

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

My first experience with spaghetti squash was two or three years ago when my friend let me try some she had made for her dinner. I was a little hesitate to taste it, but it ended up tasting better than I thought it would. I later tried making my own spaghetti squash, but I used yellow squash not knowing there was a squash actually called spaghetti squash. It was so mushy and gross, and I never tried making it again until now. I almost made the same mistake, but someone at work told me that you don’t make spaghetti squash out of yellow squash. I felt like a real dummy. I thought it was called spaghetti squash because you eat the squash like spaghetti. So, I gave my yellow squash away and bought an actual spaghetti squash. I also made some homemade turkey meatballs to add to my dish. I put in some spinach and pasta sauce and I created a pretty good meal for myself. So far, my only meal failure was the stuffed peppers so I am 4 for 5. Not bad.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs Scorecard

Easiness: 7. It was a struggle to cut that squash in half. I loathe cutting/chopping food.

Taste: 8. It was very good. Good substitute for pasta.

Would I serve to others: Yes

http://community.qvc.com/t5/Blogs/Spaghetti-Squash/ba-p/2314919?cm_ven=PIN&cm_cat=LINK&cm_pla=7EP_20151216_id:SPAGHETTISQUASH&cm_ite=KIT_COMMUNITY_2314919_ai:2314919_BLUEJEANCHEF&cvosrc=social%2Bnetwork.pinterest-LINK.20151216-COMMUNITY-2314919

 

Friendship Part 2: Unrequited Friendship

I like to start this topic with a story. When I was in elementary school, I had this friend who always wanted to hang around me. We rode the same bus and she lived really close to my house. She would always come over and ask to play. I didn’t like this friend very much. She was pretty weird and I really wanted to spend time with the more popular kids. When she wanted to hang out, I didn’t say no. However, I did make attempts to avoid her so that she wouldn’t get the opportunity to even ask. Now, as an adult I realize that it doesn’t matter that she was weird. She wasn’t cool or popular, but she treated me better than any of those other kids did and I should have appreciated our friendship more. This is an example of unrequited friendship. To her, we were really close friends, but I did not feel the same way. Throughout the years I have found myself in her shoes. Thanks karma.

Unrequited friendship is not as cruel as unrequited love. It isn’t something that is heartbreaking, but it is still kind of sad when you realize you are in that type of relationship. You think you are close with someone  until you realize that they don’t do certain things for you or invite you to certain places/events. When that realization hits you, you almost don’t want to do things with that person anymore. You start to wonder why you even bother inviting this person to places or why you go out of your way to do certain things for them.  You realize you spent all this time and energy on a friend that you thought you were close with.

Is this something you brought upon yourself? What I mean when I say this is did you want to be close friends with this person so badly that you were willing to do all this stuff for them thinking that they would feel the same way about you? And when they don’t, who should you be upset with? When you realize that you are in an unrequited relationship, don’t stop being friends with that person. You all are still friends, but just not as close as you thought. You have to adjust your expectations of the relationship. Maybe you are okay with the friendship being unbalanced. When I was in college, I had this friend (barely) that I would let use my meal swipes and that I would invite to certain events. This guy never did anything for me. But, I knew from the jump the type of relationship it was. I enjoyed the conversations we had in the dining halls and I just thought he was really cool to hang out with. I knew he only hung out with me for the free meals, but I was perfectly fine with that.

Now, if you are not okay with the unbalance then you have to stop doing certain things for that person. It’s hard because the other person has no idea how you are feeling and are unaware of what is happening. You can address it, but that could cause more issues because that person didn’t really do anything wrong. It’s tough, but you have to respect yourself first and foremost. It is like eating. We eat because when we exert energy we need to refuel. If you exert all this energy in a friendship that is not feeding you in return then you are going to be drained and starving.