Our Transcendent Bodies

So You Think You Can Dance is back on TV and once again, I am amazed, humbled, and in awe of what the human body can do. I am also treated to daily attempts by Gamera to do contemporary dance. It is a hilarious, sweet, and lovely thing to behold.

What I love most, though, isn’t so much that I get to watch amazing people showcase their talent and watch judges who actually know their craft be kind, even in the face of “not good enough for the show.” I love how my children get to see bodies do things that bodies are capable of doing. They watch sports with Hapa Papa and run and jump and climb and do lots of things with their bodies already, so it’s not like there is any lack of knowledge in that sense. But there is something transforming in dance and I am thankful my children get to watch dance as the main focus vs. dance in a music video or whatever. (And let’s face it, lots of that dance is inappropriate for young children.)

I read somewhere how sports and dance are especially good for little girls to combat body image issues because they realize the body is made to be used: running, jumping, dancing, playing, hitting, singing, moving, etc. It is not just an object for people to look at and consume greedily with their eyes. This message is good for girls and boys – not to mention men and women.

Too often, I worry about what my body looks like versus what my body can do. And while what I can do seems to be shrinking (due to my increasing injuries), my body is still capable of many things. Least of which was growing three fantastic and tiny human beings.

I know our bodies can seem so ordinary and sometimes, even subpar. But when you consider how even “ordinary” is dependent on so many vital processes, chemical and mechanical and electrical, the fact that we’re not constantly falling apart is miraculous. The fact that we can communicate is amazing. Even when it seems as if our bodies are breaking (Cookie Monster has spent all morning throwing up), there is a reason for all the vomit or snot or leakage. That is pretty awesome, too.

I know it’s a short post today (and rather blathery), but it’s what I’ve got today. My own body is still producing an amazing amount of snot. With that, have a wonderful weekend.

My Top Internet Time Sucks

Everyone has their Achilles’ Heel when it comes to wasting time on the internet. For Hapa Papa, it’s ESPN or Yahoo News. For me, it’s the usual suspects: Facebook, Huffington Post, miscellaneous blogs, and the New York Times. Occasionally, I’ll read The Economist. You know, when I’m trying to seem smart. But mostly, I “Wiki Walk” (a term I didn’t know until just now, but immediately recognized in the depths of my being as 95% of my interactions with the internet).

I originally was going to list out all my major time sucks, but I realize it would be an extremely short list. Basically, other than the obvious ones I just listed, I Google and Wikipedia. What do I Google and Wiki? Occasionally, major topics or controversial news items, but mostly, my internet black holes involve analyzing or discussing TV shows, movies, and books. Particularly fandoms and show/book specific wikis/forums.

Oh gracious. I just realized. I read about things I watch or want to watch. Not only that, I read about reading. When I say it like that, it makes me kind of sad. 

Whatever. Too late to change now.

At any rate, I can’t even overemphasize how much I am on Wikipedia. I really should donate money. Sometimes, I skip Google and go straight here when I want to know a quick, overall summary on a subject. Yes, at times, it can be unreliable, but let’s face it. I’m rarely on here researching important things. I’m usually here to look up minor celebrities, bands, and of course, TV shows, movies, and books.

I find it particularly helpful when I want to know the general plot about a movie (especially horror) that I have no intention of watching but still want to know what happened. I do this for books, too (eg: Twilight and 50 Shades). Sometimes, I want to remind myself of what happened in books or shows that I’ve already consumed but am too lazy to re-read or re-watch. Sometimes, I use it to bone up my geek cred in graphic novels and series. There are SO MANY applications!

Other than Wikipedia, I also frequent episode summary sites (my favorite of which is TWoP). Why would I read and discuss shows I just watched? If you have to ask, YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. But for the case of bridging the divide, I love reading the summaries for the snark, to see what I missed (in terms of making random esoteric connections), and to feel loved and understood by fellow crazies. Reading discussions on forums (I am really much more of a lurker than a contributor) makes it seem as if I’m hanging out with my friends, discussing my favorite shows. I furiously text with some of my friends who love the same shows I do and this is more of the same. Except, of course, that they are all strangers. DON’T JUDGE ME.

I haven’t even gotten into fan fiction and fan art. Perhaps I should just quit while I’m ahead. Needless to say, tumblr and deviantART are not unknown to me.

Seriously, I can’t believe how much time I spend on fan-related subjects. This is somewhat alarming.

Well, since I’m outing myself as a total dork (although, really, not much of a surprise), I might as well tell you about TV Tropes. I can’t even go to this site anymore. I think I originally stumbled upon this site when I was Googling and devouring all things related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (incidentally, what started the site off in the first place). I highly recommend this site if you want to kill an entire afternoon/evening/day/life. Basically, it’s a wiki that collects and expands on various conventions and devices (tropes) in TV shows (and many other creative works). 

Plus, if you’re into writing stories of any kind, this site is particularly helpful for plot ideas, common pitfalls, and incredibly detailed analysis. (Yes, that’s the reason I love this site. Research! Yes, research…)

Alright. I showed you mine. Now, show me yours. I promise not to judge (much).

When TV Feels Like Homework

Ever since I had kids (ok, ok… if I’m honest, even before I had kids), I have a mental queue of TV series and movies that I “should” watch. You know, the entertainment equivalent of eating fancy meals (not vegetables because that would be documentaries and the History Channel). Like, I should totally watch The SopranosLost, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, etc. But just the thought of it is mentally exhausting and feels insurmountable.

At least before I had kids, I could binge watch series (and believe me, I have!) but now that I have kids, it seems almost impossible. Unless, of course, I’m binge watching something kid friendly. That’s what we call business as usual in our house. In the rare moments when I have free time, I’m too tired to invest it into watching a series where I’ll be hooked and need to know what happens next and due to my extremely addictive nature, will lay aside all other life-giving duties just to splay out on my couch and zone out to five seasons of some awesome show. It’s even too exhausting to think about watching a movie (let alone remember what movie I wanted to watch).

Currently, I have in my DVR queue the last 4-5 episodes of Burn Notice which ended last summer, at least half of last season’s Covert Affairs, several episodes each of Vampire Diaries and The Originals, and this does not include all the shows that I gave up any pretense of watching and deleted from my DVR to make room for more Dragon Riders of Berk for the kiddos.

want to watch these episodes, but the reason I don’t is because I know myself. They’re like potato chips. I can’t just watch one. If I finally sit down to watch one, I will have to immediately WATCH THEM ALL. Then before I know it, it’s 2am, Hapa Papa is annoyed at me, asking things like, “What are you, a teenager? You think you’re still in college? YOU HAVE BABIES!” and I’m exhausted and cranky the next two or three days.

Yes, I know. A TV Bender leaves me out of sorts for days.

Those shows better be the most awesome things my eyeballs have ever seen. EVAR.

As a result, I end up watching shows that I like and love, but aren’t full of sex and violence so I can watch them around the kids. Even then, sometimes, it gets dicey. Plus the kids get annoyed and I get manipulated into watching Dragons for the billionth time. Again.

It’s easier to leave the TV off.

Please tell me I’m not the only person who finds consuming entertainment hard work!