Monday, October 26, 2009

Clash of the TV Viewing Habits

When the new TV season started - FlashForward looked like an interesting show. Mr. Burns and I found ourselves aboard an airplane on the evening of it's premire, so we set the DVR that night and every Thursday night since.

Now, Mr. Burns doesn't find much he likes on regular network TV (ironic - as that is where I work, local TV - on the low numbered channels - that is) so it's a big effort to get him to agree to watch a series with me. This weekend, we sat down to watch the first two episodes. I found it intriguing. He isn't so impressed with drama - particularly the type that drags out.

In addition to that, we have different TV/Movie-watching styles. I'm a "I-didn't-hear-what-they-said-let's-rewind."- type of viewer. (I mean, what is rewind for if not that?) He is a "Let's-not-take-a-whole-hour-to-watch-an-hour-show"- type of viewer.
These two types can clash.
So after I twice asked for a rewind to make out some mumbled dialogue... I tried really hard not to miss anything for the rest of an episode. Just the sort of thing you do to make someone happy.

As the episode came to an end and a bit of information was revealed to answer a built-up mystery and keep you hooked for next week -- I said, "I pretty-much guessed that would happen."

Mr. Burns, declared that unfair. "You can't say you predicted something after it happens. That's cheating. You have to say so before it happens, or you could claim to have predicted everything!"

This is an annoyance he has voiced before. But, I felt caught in cross hairs.
"You don't want me to talk during the program, and you don't like to pause or rewind." I figured I had him.
He smirked and said, "Well, you can interrupt to tell me a prediction!"
(Okay, but some other people hate when people do that! - namely me!)
So we mockingly bickered back and forth about TV viewing etiquette - and he tried to trump me with his sound reasoning. Until I shot back... "You know, if I have to spend the rest of my life dancing around your delicate eco-system - this just isn't going to work!!"

I thought I had him.
Then he said, "I'd prefer it if you tip-toed around my eco-system."


Monday, October 19, 2009

Airport Observations

I took another trip with Mr. Burns this weekend. He's making the rounds with me - making sure the people most important to him see just how fabulous I am! (at least that's my story)

The trip was great. We travel well together and just spending time together is good because he's been away for work so much lately.

So we spent some time in airports and let me tell you ... that's a fine place to find people doing stupid things!

Maybe not everyone has spent as much time in DIA as I... but I can tell you that the women's restrooms in the terminals all have the same layout. You walk in through a little curve and the first section is sinks only. You bypass the wash area to get to the toilet stalls.

That would be the blue line in this diagram.

Then you do your business and move on to the sinks.

I really don't see how anyone can miss this. It's pretty easy to surmise the layout the second you are in the room. There is even the benefit of mirrors to confirm that there is nothing in that first section but sinks.

I'm guessing tons of women are just looking at their feet! Those feet watching women follow the red line - walking straight in without paying attention. Then when I come out for the sinks (the orange line) I have to stand there and get all tangled up as they figure out what they missed, and head toward the toilet area! Gah! So annoying.

I wonder if I'm just more observant (and possibly more impatient). Or if it's really that tricky?
Just stay to the left going in.. and to the left again heading to the sinks and everyone stays out of every one's way!


But the real annoyance was a mom in the Austin airport.

Her two kids were happily doing a little maypole dance around a group of those little line barriers... the kind where the strap retracts to inside the pole. When the TSA wants to form a nice little mouse maze - they connect the poles by pulling the strap out and sliding it onto the next pole.
Anyway, there were about 4 poles corralled, out-of-use. The girl was 3 or 4 and the boy was 6 or 7 years old. They played follow-the-leader and London Bridge type games. The were reasonably quiet - to the point that they weren't annoying any neighboring passengers.

All a mom could dream of. No?

Not this mom. She ceaselessly barked orders. "Don't push your brother." "Don't pull on that strap." "Don't make your sister scream." (okay that was a good one, but she wasn't screaming!) "I said, don't touch that." "Do as I say."

I couldn't believe it. Here, her kids were A) burning off energy (good for pre-boarding) B) Entertaining themselves C) Reasonably quiet D) not hurting each other and E) not damaging property. For some reason this mom couldn't see that. She just barked and barked at them.

It made me wonder if she thought she was showing off her mom skills by micro-managing her kids' every move.

I thought she was doing a good job of turning them into little neurotics!

I don't want to judge other people's parenting - but come on - this lady probably watches them sleep and then gives them pointers in the morning!! Lighten up!!!

I asked Mr. Burns to make sure I never act like that if I have kids. He promised.

Well, now I feel compelled to end on a positive note - so... ummm.... I found no offenders of my baggage claim rule. I hate it when people crowd around the baggage carousel - creating a barrier for anyone who actually SEES their bag! I say, 5- 10 feet buffer between the crowd and the carousel... so that people can actually get in and claim their bag.

We didn't have to step on anyone the whole trip! Success!

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Hypothetical Question & Something Very Good

I have a pretty large extended family, being Catholic and all. Most of my cousins are more than 15 years older than me - and only a handful of cousins in my age group. The beauty of this generational spread is the ability to learn life lessons from peers with a great deal more maturity and life experience.

My oldest cousin on my mom's side of the family is a brilliant and brilliantly witty man - married to a woman who is clever enough to keep him on his toes.

Shortly after their daughter was married, my cousin's wife posed a hypothetical question: "If you and (our daughter's husband) are both drowning... who do you want me to save?"

This question flabbergasted him. Suddenly, he was torn between being the man charged with caring for and protecting this lovely young girl for the past 25 years - and the knowledge that there was another man, whom God has chosen for her, given the same charge.

Perhaps more so, he was struck with the realization that his loving daughter's life might be affected much more dramatically from the loss of this 'new guy' than it might if he himself met an untimely demise.

It's an incredible, thought-provoking hypothetical.
Just what is love? What are you willing to sacrifice for the people you love the most? How do you determine what is best for them?

Last week, Mr. Burns shared his own realization with me. Said he; "I'm learning that I'm more concerned about your well-being than my own."

In the words of the incomparable Bridget Jones, "An excellent year's progress."

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm a Little Peeved at Matt Damon Right Now

Mr. Burns and I rarely see movies at the movie theatre - so last night we thought it would be a treat.

We decided to go see "The Invention of Lying", but the only available showtime was later than we wanted. So Mr. Burns suggested "The Informant" and I agreed. Neither of us knew much about the movie except for a few clips that looked funny. And we figured, it's Matt Damon - how can ya go wrong?

Yeah. If you click that link and watch the trailer... funny funny funny.
Yet, at the movie theatre, the only laugh in the whole film was provided when Damon tugged on his toupee! Seriously, for the rest of the audience too!
It's not just the lack of laughs. While the movie was interesting it was dry dry dry. Now, I love dry humor but this was mostly just uncomfortable.

It was like a dry, made for TV movie about a guy ratting out his company - except with exceptional acting.

A friend tells me this morning that it's supposed to based on a "This American Life" episode that detailed the story of this guy who worked with the FBI to take down Agri-Giant ADM. That the TAL episode was a riot and the movie was supposed be spot on.

I asked him to please go see the movie and report back - whether we just missed the point - or if the movie really does stink!

From where I stand... Matt Damon owes us $31.50 for the movie tickets, popcorn and soda.

Ah yes... I also wanted to share with you a lesson learned from this movie.
Damon's character, Mark Whitacre is working with the FBI to uncover a price-fixing plot in his company. Based on a true story. Whitacre is caught up in the excitement of being an informant. Whenever they reach what appears to be a dead-end, he either makes up something, or reveals information that can only hurt him worse. His wife wants to stand by him, but you start to think there is no way she can respect him.

It made me think... if my husband (presumably Mr. Burns) acted that stupidly, it would be really really hard to stand by him. I am confident that Mr. Burns is not that stupid, or arrogant, or selfish - but it was also a hard realization to think "Man, I would HAVE to leave!"
I told him so... and he said, "Thanks a lot!"
But seriously, please don't be that stupid.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Thanks for checking in on me.
I'm fine, just lacking for time and inspiration.

I have updates coming soon!