Amanda Gates
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A Musings - August 2011

Oh, the networks try so hard each fall, don’t they? Or do they? The past few seasons, TV execs were trying to create the new Lost; this year, it’s Mad Men. Each year they fail miserably, it seems. And then oftentimes when they do wind up with a winner, they can’t sustain the winning-ness of it (Glee).

I’m looking forward to very few new shows this year, but I am excited for my favorites to return (Big Bang, Parks & Rec, Modern Family, Parenthood). It’s the only reason I can get onboard with summer ending. Here are some of my initial thoughts of the Fall TV Schedule – things I yell at the TV when these (sometimes awful) previews come on:

The Playboy Club: Really, NBC? Really? You think this is a good idea? It is NOT a good idea. (Salon says we should give it a try.) But because it’s been in third and fourth place in recent years, NBC tends to hold onto its shows a bit longer than most networks. 6-8 episodes before cancellation.

Last Man Standing: I could go on and on about the “dumb husband” role on TV (which goes perfectly with the “shrill wife” role): Raymond, King of Queens, According to Jim, Home Improvement, etc. Sometimes funny, but mostly frustratingly unfunny. I think Tim Allen might find he’s like Kelsey Grammar with Fraiser and already had his hit sitcom. 10 episodes before cancellation.

New Girl: OK, so I love Zooey. I do. I really want her to succeed, but not as a dumb girl who’s surrounded by dumb guys. Because this falls between Glee (which I’m not giving up on yet – Darren Criss) and Raising Hope (best new comedy of last year), I will watch it, and I think Fox will keep it around.

Suburgatory: The previews have made me laugh. The girl is darling; Jeremy Sisto is good as well. It falls between The Middle (really great) and Modern Family (a home run), so I think it’s golden.

Up All Night: This just hits too close to home to not watch it. I’m not quite sure why Maya Rudolph is in it, but I love both Will Arnett and Christina Applegate. How can they keep the premise going as the baby ages? Probably by having more babies. We’ll DVR it.

The X Factor: I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. Plus, while I don’t watch much American Idol but for the auditions, I miss Simon and his brutal honesty. And Piers on AGT just isn’t the same. Anyway, it's obviously an instant hit.

Charlie’s Angels: After The Playboy Club, this is the other show that causes me to yell at the TV. Why? WHY? Minka Kelly, you’ll be reprising your role on Parenthood by January.

Whitney: She seems crass and kind of sex-crazed, so I’m not really drawn to her. I’ll try it out though, since I’ll already be on that channel.

Prime Suspect: After Zooey, Maria Bello gets my love. She’s gorgeous and talented. I’ll DVR this just for her.

Once Upon a Time: Ugh, I’m torn. It’s ambitious, it really is. But does it have legs? I just don’t know, and Home Makeover fits so much better on Sunday nights. 5-6 episodes before cancellation.

Pam Am: Along with The Playboy Club, this just screams: We’re trying to make our own Mad Men! Yet, we can’t smoke! How interesting can this be? 8 episodes before cancellation.

Posted: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 09:36 | Comments: 2

I discovered Kendi's 30 for 30 Remix Challenge late last year. Take 30 items from your closet and mix and match only those 30 items for 30 days. I decided to make it a goal for 2011 to complete this challenge. I started it on July 6 and finished it yesterday. Here's what I learned/experienced:

+ Because my weekends are spent in sweats and tanks chasing a child, I decided to only do this challenge on work days. So, it took six weeks to complete.

+ I compiled 11 shirts, two blazers, three cardigans, five skirts, a black dress, four pairs of pants & four pairs of shoes. (Supporting garments like tanks and tights don't count.)

+ As we experienced two straight weeks of 90+ temps and 110+ heat indexes, I realized July probably isn't the best month to do this challenge. Layering is not ideal when it's so hot, but layering is what adds options and depth to a wardrobe! The heat led to the following...

+ I actually did this challenge with 24 items instead of 30. It was too hot for my black boots or either jacket I had picked out; I only used one pair of jeans; one skirt I never wore and one shirt I never felt like wearing either. So, if I were to do this again in a different season or something, maybe I would have to think a bit harder about my choices. However, sometimes you just don't feel like wearing something, and I don't think I could've predicted that.

+ Other people who have done this challenge say they get really tired of their 30 items by the end. Well, I really only have about 30 items in my closet anyway, so that wasn't really a problem for me. The part that got tiring was thinking up new combos to wear.

+ I created a list of 30 outfits at the beginning and crossed them off as I went. The weather affected this a bit. I also had quite a few outfits relying on just a few particular pieces - which seemd repetitive - so that ended up limiting me some mornings. Plus, I own a lot of purple and blue. I need to add new colors!

+ You wouldn't think wearing a different outfit every day would mean anything to anybody else. (And only a few people at work knew I was doing this.) However, I received MORE compliments on my outfits than ever before. Sometimes, "Ooh, I love that outfit, is it new?" When in actuality, I'd worn that outfit many times, but because I only wore it once during several weeks, it seemed new! Or, just by mixing different items together (instead of wearing the same things together all the time), old items seemed new or looked better or stood out or whatever.

+ I didn't go out of my comfort zone too much, but I think that's OK. I think the challenge was more about thinking about what I was wearing each day - because it had to be different - than being lazy and thinking, 'Well, I wore this shirt and pants together last week, but who cares? Not me.' I plan to keep thinking harder about what I'm putting together rather than taking the easy way out. Plus, I developed some great new combos that I can add to the rotation.

+ It definitely made me want to accessorize more than I ever have before. Accessories can really add to and change an outfit. (DUH, I know. But really, I'm challenged in the art of accessorizing, so this was an interesting discovery.) I'm loving necklaces and bracelets. I want to start wearing belts. I need more! (Money is tight, of course. Who wants to swap?)

+ It's been a difficult few months emotionally and when I told myself I would start this challenge on July 6, I really thought about skipping it once the time came. The effort of taking pictures, blogging about it, and just thinking so hard about what I wore seemed like just too much. But, I'm very glad I did it. It feels good to accomplish something, and while this isn't like running a marathon or losing weight or learning to cook, figuring out my style and feeling good about how I look is definitely important, too.

Posted: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 09:28 | Comments: 1