New TV Season Planning Session

Yes, I’m a TV Addict.. I also read more books a year than most people thing possible so don’t be all judge-y. God Bless the DVR.

So I sat down to make a comment back on Miss Zoot’s blog entry for the new season and I realized once you start doing research about what you’re going to say, it’s not a comment anymore, it’s a blog entry so here it is.

Shows I’m Dying for To Start:

Dr. Who: Some people plan and train and run marathons. Instead I plan and watch Dr Who marathons. Over the summer I planned out and executed a full on Dr Who marathon in where I re-watched every regular episode and special from the first six seasons. It finished up about 2 weeks ago and have been experiencing withdrawal. Pond Life has at least launched this week to get me by.

Season 2 of The Newsroom: Ok, I know season 1 just ended this week but OMG, I’m dying for a new season of this already.  Yes I love the anti tea party political ranting as much as anyone but what I really really loved was the scene where Maggie screams at a whole bus load of Sex In The City Tourists about what being a single working girl in NYC is REALLY like.

Downton Abby: Which doesn’t start for some time now dammit. They better figure out a way to get Sybil back from Ireland or I’m going to be very disappointed. To me her relationship with the family personifies the old ways vs. modern times struggle that is the most interesting thing about the time period.  How she went from being an early suffragette and then insisting on a nursing career – to running off to get married and have babies – I don’t understand.

Old Friends I’m Happy To Be Spending Time With Again

Big Bang: I have adored these geeks since the second they aired the first show. I loved how they finished up last season with the small wedding and sending Howard into space. Can’t wait to find out what happened up there. The one thing I will say is that Sheldon is sitting dangerously on the edge of becoming a joke that’s no longer funny. They have taken his character to such an extreme that he’s in danger of becoming “Joey” from friends – a weird cartoon hanging out with other wise likeable characters. Don’t believe me – go back and watch shows from early seasons – Sheldon wasn’t as weird as he is now.

Whitney – Admitted;y I did not like this show and particularly the character of Whitney at first. Honestly I kept it on the DVR because  Alex is just so damn cute and likable and Roxanne cracks me up. However, after having let a bunch of episodes pile up on the DVR I watch a bunch back to back and she grew on me.  Or maybe she got more likable. Who knows but if I hadn’t watched so much marathon style and started liking it more I would have dropped it this year.

Suburgatory: This wins the award for best show you might not be watching.. if I ever had to go back in time and be a teenager I would model myself after Tessa. She just rocks. And her Dad is hot. It’s The Office /Scrubs – but for Cul De Sacs.


The Good Wife (I aspire to be as cool and calm as Alisha), The Mentalist (my one exception to my hatred of cop shows), Cougar Town (Yes I’m the one person who watches this), Modern Family (Of course), Gossip Girl (Guilty Pleasure), Hart of Dixie (Just to see Lemon’s vintage clothes)

Shows That Are On The Bubble with Me:

Grey’s Anatomy – seriously a plane crash? Either the writers are completely out of ideas or the entire cast was up for contract renewal and they had to wait to see who got deals.  GA has turned into Party of Five without the cute precocious kids. My commitment to tuning into the guaranteed lack of joy has almost run out.

How I Met Your Mother – they seriously need to start wrapping a few things up here and moving things along. The writers are showing signs of knowing that – which is surprising. It’s time to get on with the big reveal. We know and love them enough to learn who the girl with the yellow umbrella is and watch Ted fall in love with her. Without her Ted is starting to feel sad and desperate and at this rate he’ll be 50 when he has those kids.

New Shows That Will Get A Chance

Go On: And only the because they showed the pilot during the Olympics and I watched it and found it to be better than I expected. We’ll see if they carry it off, grief can only be funny for so long.

Emily Owens MD, it does star Meryl Streep’s daughter so how bad could it be.

The Carrie Diaries: Teenage Carrie Bradshaw – I’ll either love it or hate it.

Shows Haven’t Even Aired and  I’m Already Ignoring/Protesting/Hating

Revolution: So evidently when the electricity went out 15 years ago, our cast of characters made it a priority to loot all the clothing, hair product, and lipstick they could get their hands on because they still have a strong supply. Seriously, just look at the images that have been released for that show and ask yourself you – even you are a bad ass freedom fighter warrior chick/dude – 15 years in a dystopic world with no electricity, would you dressed like that and would your hair look be so awesome?

The New Normal: Looks like some at jerk at NBC said quick we need a “Modern Family”  and some hack wrote up a version of it. A better show already exists, without Ellen Barkin trying to pretend she’s Archie Bunker.

5th Grade

f3ad01c4ebab11e18ce622000a1e880e_7How we got here I have not a clue…

But this week Puddin’ started 5th grade. There has been so much else going on this year that I haven’t really sat down and thought about that until now. 5th Freakin’ grade.

A grade I actually remember details about. Not just who my teacher was or who was in my class but actual details, schoolwork, books I read, boys who were cute, girls who were mean.

5th grade changed everything. 5th grade was the year I sort of geeked out when the rest of the world suddenly became cool.  A girl named Hope literally said to my face that “no one likes you you know” A girl named Jodi literally said to me that my school picture was going to “ruin the class page in the yearbook.”  I remember it as clear as if it were on video tape. I wore glasses, I got braces, and I had no hope of ever getting boobs.

But 5th grade was also the year I really, truly discovered books. The first chapter of our reading book that year was an excerpt from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  From there I was hooked. It was also the year I discovered Judy Bloom. Iggie and Sally, and Margaret and Deannie,  and then there was Forever. My one small moment of coolness the entire year came when my mother inadvertently let me buy Forever. Being the girl with a book that has kissing and blow jobs will do that for you in 5th grade.

It was also the year I discovered Saturday Night Live. I remember staying up late at night and watching it on my small black & white TV with the sound turned down long after I was supposed to be asleep.  I laughed when Dan called Jane an ignorant slut.  I knew what it meant, and why it was funny in the context in which it was said.  I began my life long crush on Steve Martin and asked for and received  both his comedy albums and then proceeded to memorize every. single. line.  I understood the irony of the Let’s Get Small routine and to this day I can sing Grandma’s song. The thought that Puddin’ would even begin to understand that kind of humor.. impossible.

My brother had graduated high school the year before, and left home. I was latch key before latch key was a thing. I let myself in after school, I fed myself, I did (or didn’t do) my homework on my own. No one considered this strange. After all I was in 5th grade now.

And there is another element. While all that went on, my mother disappeared.  First emotionally, then physically.  It’s something I never talk about, but it happened. And it happened in 5th grade.

I turned into a dorky kid who had her head buried in a book and quoted age inappropriate comedy routines. My mother clearly did not inspect my wardrobe. I became a loner.

5th grade was the year let go of childhood and became a new me. Like The Doctor regenerating, I became a new Melissa in 5th grade. It would happen again at 19 and then again at 27 and if I’m honest it’s happening again right now but that is a story for a different day.

So how is it I am here at 5th grade without seeing it coming once again.

I feel like I should suddenly be in a panic, panic that Puddin’ is standing at the edge of major turning points – in personality, in socialization, in life. Up till now the Mom stuff has for the most part been easy, sometimes exhausting, but mostly easy. Feed her, cloth her, take her to Sunday School – talk about the Golden Rule, make sure she eats breakfast, drinks milk and brushes her teeth.  Kiss boo boos, practice spelling words, learn multiplication tables.

But I’m starting to get the notion that this, this precipice,  is where the real “parenting:” starts. Where the moldable parts of the person who she will be begin to take form. Where the things I do or don’t do as her mother will have ripple effects for years to come.

And it’s the worst possible time for that to start mattering. My head has not been in the game for the last 8 months. I’ve been on auto-pilot. The Thing has been a distraction and while that won’t stop, it’s got to be managed.  Because she’s in 5th grade, The year that changed me. The year that changed everything. And I don’t want a new Puddin’. Not yet anyway. 

I’m on a mission to not let it change her. 5th grade will not take the toll on her that it took on me if I can help it.

And yet I also worry that hyper-vigilance on my part will also cause it’s own consequence.  There is a part of me that knows I have survived the last 8 months in large part due to the strength 5th grade required of me then.  There is a sword and crucible metaphor there that I don’t care to indulge in at the moment but you get the general idea. In 5th grade I learned I was the strongest person I would ever need.

So I walk a line. I watch and try not to hover. Coach and lead but try not to manage. I will let her fall, but I will also dust her off. I let her wear the shirt I’m quite certain will get her made fun of, because she well and truly loves it.  But I will also throw in few Aeropostale and Abercrombie logos because nothing staves off the mean girl fashonista wannabees like a few blatant labels. I will listen to my inner Tina Fey and see the value in a good long rough patch. But I will also make her play Lacrosse and go to Swim Team because team sports, by their very nature, help you learn to fit in. I will find balance.

Because strength like that shouldn’t have to be built in one year. It costs too much that way. And  I won’t require that price of her.