TV watching + 3 words

Eking a short one out tonight, despite being super tired and uninspired. Curse you NaBloPoMo …

Matt and I cut the cord a while back, but we still watch television shows on the interwebs. (I’ll write another post later on how we went about cutting the cord and how it’s working out.)

Here’s what we’re watching at the moment, plus three descriptive words:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Joss Whedon devotees.

Parks and Rec – My happy place.

Key and Peele – See yesterday’s post.

Castle – ‘Moonlighting’ for 2010s.

Warehouse 13 – Nerdier X-Files (Lite).

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Hanging with the K & P

A friend posted recently about how much she loves Key and Peele. They are definitely among my favorite comics at the moment. So thrilled that they’re able to do their ridiculously smart comedy that plays in and around race politics with hilarious and astute style. I think the other reason I relate so well to their writing – especially Keegan-Michael Key who is almost exactly the same age as me (he’s 7 days older) and from the neighboring home state of Michigan – is because they nerd out about the same stuff I do. (Others I appreciate in this vein are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Simon Pegg and Joss Whedon, but not many are tackling race as well as K & P.) Plus, I can see how their work is rooted in great improvisation. It’s what makes their comedy go beyond jokes into great stories and interesting characters.

Here are a few of my favorite clips:

A new vampire challenges the sexy vampire status quo

Dude can’t get a word in, even in song

Colorful code names causes offense amongst superheroes

Lots more from their show on the Comedy Central website, including full episodes.

The rosiest open adoption ever

November is actually National Adoption Month.

To kick of the month, the Today Show shared this open adoption story. It’s a very heartwarming story depicting a family who seem to be in the dream open adoption: adoptive family wants complete transparency, birth families are very involved, loving, child feels close to birth mom, everyone adores and respects each other, etc., etc.

I certainly don’t begrudge the family. But it does paint a rosy, idealistic and almost simplistic picture of open adoption which I would expect very few families to be able to fully achieve.

As I wrote about a few days ago, we have a very good relationship with our birth mom. Yet it’s terribly complicated and always evolving. I certainly hope we could evolve to something as seemingly effortless as shown in this Today Show segment. But, at four and a half minutes long, the tv segment can hardly go deeply enough to show any kind of complexity.

Despite my concern that the segment is simplistic, I appreciate that it went out there and that it was shared on such a mainstream program as the Today Show. There are two takeaways I think are most powerful and encouraging:

  1. The adoptive mom in the story says they were, “very hesitant with the idea of having secrets in a family.” I myself would flip that and say that what we do want in our family and in our open adoption is transparency and honesty. That is a very big reason we chose to do an open adoption.
  2. The family in the clip is portrayed as just that, a family, including the birth family. This is how we’re trying to approach our still evolving relationships with the birth mom and her family. Not that we’re Lilli’s adoptive family and they are Lilli’s birth family, but that we are all part of one family connected by this beautiful child.

Would love to hear other thoughts about the Today Show segment. Does this help or hurt the movement toward openness in adoption?

 

Friday’s A to Z: the "Stinky" Edition

a – agism.
b – black friday.
c – comic sans.
d – “don’t ask, don’t tell.” repeal this already!!!
e – education in this country.
f – feet. stinky feet, literally. blech.
g – glenn beck. there’s even a comprehensive glenn-beck-sucks blog.
h – halitosis.
i – ice cream. actually, i love ice cream, but it stinks that i can’t have it after every meal.
j – jealousy.
k – ken buck. he recently received the douchebag decree over at bitchmedia‘s blog.
l – legalese.
m – model minority myth.
n – neo-nazi’s. my friends at circle a radio did a program about the rise of fascism in portland.
o – outsourced, the tv show. hear our commentary on the next apa compass fri dec 6th.
p – pickles. eew.
q – queer-bashing. aka homophobia.
r – racism.
s – sarah palin. here’s a recent blog from huffington post with leaks from her forthcoming book.
t – trafficking, of humans.
u – unemployment.
v – vermin.
w – war.
x – xenophobia.
y – yanni.
z – zealots. of any kind.

how did I become such a dance geek?

Doh. I did not get to post yesterday. So, I’m going to have to cheat a bit on my NaBloPoMo and post twice today….

I, myself, do love to dance. What’s more I’ve been thrilled with the extreme success of dance in pop culture today. It’s one of the “hot” things right now that I actually think is worthy, recognizing dancers as the incredible artists and talents that they are and bringing them to the forefront when they are most traditionally relegated as a backdrop.

Anyhoo, my current dance phenomenon obsession is The LXD – Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. It’s a web-only series on hulu, the most successful one existing. The story is somewhat simplistic: dancers as superheroes and super villains whose power is the dance itself; good vs. evil; recruiting and training of new team members. What makes the series super freaking awesome is the dance. The LXD includes so many genres of dance, from krumping to poi to popping to contemporary to tap. The other thing I love about it is that the series is filled with people of color, both in front of and behind the scenes. I think it could use more women. Regardless, it’s a hip hop ballet circus that kicks ass. I can’t wait for the next episode!

Here’s Season 1, Episode 1 (they are currently in the midst of Season 2, with new episodes released on Wednesdays):

Tina and Twain

Thanks to my pal Sarika for pointing me to this! (She’s part of the APA Compass crew and also writes for Hot House.)

Last week, Tina Fey received the venerable Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Whoohoo! Though, I’ve been rather disappointed with 30 Rock of late, I still do ♥ Tina Fey, a most righteous and deserving recipient for this stuffy (Kennedy Center/PBS, represent!), yet impressive award.

A little background on the Mark Twain Prize : The Kennedy Center established the award “to recognize those who create humor from their uniquely American experiences.” Past honorees the prize, which was first awarded in 1998 to Richard Pryor, include other amazing comics, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin.

On a side, statistical note: 3 of the 12 awardees have been African American, and 3 have been women. Not, too shabby. However, only 2 prize winners were given the award when they were age 50 or under, Tina being the youngest at age 40. Due to the “American” nature of the prize, I’m guessing it will be a long time before we see anyone of any other ethnicity honored with this prize (Margaret Cho? Cheech Marin? Mindy Kaling?), especially given the current climate towards immigrants in this country.

Back to the brighter note of Tina Fey’s awesome achievement, here’s her spot-on acceptance speech from this year’s presentation:

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

The full program:

Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

Friday’s A to Z

Building on yesterday’s post, here are some things I ♥ right now:


A – APA Compass. We did a show this morning. We’ll have archives up in the next couple of days.
B – Boots.
C – Community. One of my favorite TV shows right now with one of my favorite characters on TV right now Abed. One of the best episodes of TV ever is Modern Warfare from Season 1, Episode 23, directed by Justin Lin.
D – Danny’s Auto on Halsey and 60th.
E – Energy.
F – Farmers Market. Only 2 more weeks!
G – Gabriel’s Bakery’s herb cheese bagels.
H – Harry Potter. I know, I’m a late bloomer.
I – Improv Theater. Shameless promo: We’re doing a show next week Small Space, Big Stories.
J – Jackets.
K – Kissing hubby.
L – The Library.
M – Milani Nail Lacquer “Cappucino” – described “Light Coffee with Gold Shimmer”
N – The Great Northwest.
O – Owls.
P – Piano. I feel very blessed to have one of my very own. I recently learned how to play “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Here Comes the Sun” on YouTube. Amazing.
Q – Maggie Q, star of Nikita. I watched the show as homework for our APA Compass radio discussion about APAs on TV, and now am fully sucked in.
R – Rest.
S – Slings and Arrows. More on this next week.
T – Time Traveler’s Wife.
U – Upper Horsetail and Triple Falls at the Columbia River Gorge.
V – Vodka Martini. A little dirty.
W – White Tea. Specifically Vanilla Apricot White Tea by Tazo.
X – Extracurriculars. (Close enough to X!) My life is all extracurricular it seems right now.
Y – Soft Yolks. I had my eggs over easy this morning and it was yum.
Z – Portland Zombie Walk.

“A” image is by me.
“Z” image found on Wikimedia Commons: Route sign for Missouri Supplemental Route Z. Based on Image:MO-supp-K.svg by User:PHenry.

what’s on the tube?

I was sad to witness a couple of my favorite tv shows display some cringe-worthy, questionably racist and sexist moments. I’m actually one of those lefties who likes tv and appreciates keeping up with some pop culture. But my enjoyment of the boob tube is always slightly dampened when my media criticism radar starts flashing during 30 Rock or So You Think You Can Dance. And now, there’s a whole new crop of TV shows featuring Asian Pacific American faces including Hawaii Five-0, Nikita and Outsourced. So far, from what I’ve seen it’s both cringe-inducing and encouraging.

The radio collective I’m part of APA Compass is launching a new feature and dedicating our next show to it – APA Pop Watch – commentary and analysis on APA representation in media and pop culture. The program will air Friday morning November 5, 9am PST on KBOO Community Radio. You can listen online or, if you live in the region on the FM dial at 90.7 Portland, 91.9 Hood River, 100.7 Corvallis.

If you’d like to prepare yourself for our discussion, you might want to hulu some of those new shows and check out these recent(-ish) commentaries…

Asian American Sitcom in the Works – Angry Asian Man

Asians in Primetime – by Dmae Roberts, The Asian Reporter

Fall 2010 TV Season Preview – racebending.com

Is 30 Rock Racist? – by Zeesham Aleem, Huffington Post

Beyond Apu by

Slings and Arrows, for the arts administrator

To ring in the new Gregorian year, I’d like to recommend this series…


I stumbled across Slings and Arrows somehow. Someone along the way recommended it to me (thank you, whoever you are!!) and I’ve finally finished the three seasons on DVD. A perfect show for those arts administrators amongst us, the delightful comedy extolls the foibles, earnestness, absurdity and glory of bringing arts to the people.

It follows the creative and administrative teams at the fictional “New Burbage Festival,” a Shakespeare festival, not unlike our fine state’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival (though I believe it’s really modeled after the Stratford Festival.) Complete with lots of great Shakespeare, star-crossed lovers, intrigue, ghosts and great accents – thank you Canadians for your most excellent comedy!