Milestones, Music & Meditation

I was happy to discover that this particular post happens to be my 400th. In just under 3 years, that is far more than I ever thought I would write or share.

At this very moment I am on a writing retreat, sitting in front of the ocean on a foggy Saturday morning. The setting and environment are picture perfect, along with the weather and tranquility.

Fresh air is something I tend to overlook and ignore, but it certainly awakens introspection and inspiration. Every few years I remove myself from work, home and life for a few days. It is a healthy and necessary mental break. Perspective is essential in order to embrace change, at least for me.

What is my point?

This morning I took a walk along the beach, and my iPod was clearly in sync with my spirit. Although on random shuffle, the songs could not have been more appropriate for exactly where I am right now, location-wise and emotionally.

So I had to share. Here are some suggestions for your own contemplative road trip or hike:

  1. The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice (O)
  2. City of Blinding Lights – U2 (How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
  3. Chocolate – Snow Patrol (The Last Kiss: Original Soundtrack)
  4. Cold Wind – Arcade Fire (Six Feet Under: Everything Ends, Vol. 2)
  5. Heartbreak World – Matt Nathanson (Some Mad Hope)
  6. I Will Possess Your Heart – Death Cab for Cutie (Narrow Stairs)
  7. Private Universe – Crowded House (Afterglow)
  8. Read My Mind [Like Rebel Diamonds Mix] – The Killers (Read My Mind – EP)
  9. Remember Me As a Time of Day – Explosions in the Sky (How Strange, Innocence)
  10. Scared – Liz Phair (Liz Phair)
  11. Walking After You – Foo Fighters (The X-Files: The Album)
  12. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi – Radiohead (In Rainbows)
  13. When Your Mind’s Made Up – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (Once soundtrack)

See you next week. Time to pack up the laptop (a cold mist is moving in quickly) and enjoy the scenery instead.

p.s. I will be taking my very first yoga class this week. wish me luck; I am not the most flexible or fit kid on the block or in the office.

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Shortest. Review. Ever: Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It was:

  • Entertaining and exactly what I expected.
  • Great cinematography accompanied by cheesy dialog.  

Shia LaBeouf was a pleasant surprise, and Cate Blanchett was hysterical and perfect as the villain.  Karen Allen looked like she had the most fun filming the movie, and perhaps the best time of her life. I don’t care how old Harrison Ford is; he fills the iconic hat and role like no other.

The end.

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Callie & Hahn: It’s On (Grey’s Anatomy Season Finale)

[Again, before I begin...a polite request. Just
as I choose to click away rather than respond when I strongly disagree
with someone's written opinion, I hope you do the same. If you leave an
offensive comment or personal attack, I will not approve or post it.
That is my prerogative as the owner of this site. There are plenty of
other online outlets for you to share those sentiments.]

It’s all
about chemistry.


You can’t
help who you’re attracted to. It’s chemical, it’s human nature, it’s inevitable
and it’s beautiful. 


On Grey’s
, Dr. Callie Torres and Dr. Erica Hahn are two of the finest surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital. They also happen to be drawn to one another in ways
that seem as surprising to them as they are to some of the fans.


Here is
what I love about this storyline:


I love
that their friendship and connection was established before May Sweeps; this
relationship was not a ratings stunt. The sexual tension between Callie and
Hahn is palpable; it’s all about chemistry.


I love
that after Hahn planted one on her in the elevator last week, Callie hesitated
before following Sloan rather than Hahn.


I love
that in last night’s finale, Callie was so flummoxed by her feelings for Hahn
that she just took a deep breath and kissed her because she wasn’t able to
express in simple words how she was feeling at that moment. We’ve all been
there, and it is fantastic to be on the receiving end of that passion. It’s all
about chemistry.


I love
that Hahn kissed her back.


I love
that the writers have handled their story with respect and grace. We do not
know if Hahn is gay, and up until now, we’ve only seen Callie date men. Both of
them may turn out to be bisexual or lesbian or neither, but it’s not important
to label their relationship at this stage. Not everyone is fortunate enough to
figure out exactly who they are from birth or early on; for some, it only
becomes obvious much later in life. It’s all about chemistry, and it isn’t
always easy to find and/or admit.


I also
love that the writers do not back down when faced with negative fan feedback. They
didn’t fold when the George/Izzie outrage was deafening, and they won’t give in
now. With Callie and Hahn, they have provided us with the opportunity to cheer
for yet another equally challenging and entertaining relationship. Their interaction will
look and feel familiar, regardless of whom you happen to share your life with. It’s
all about chemistry.


Gay and
lesbian characters are prevalent on most television and cable networks now, and
it is refreshing to watch a slice of my own reality unfold onscreen. That
Shonda Rhimes and the Grey’s writing staff have so accurately presented the
beginning of a relationship and true chemistry between two women on TV is brave
and encouraging. They are changing the lives of countless women and men of all
ages who have not had the courage to admit who they are just yet, teenagers and
adults alike who might be more likely to actually talk about it because a
similar situation presented itself on their favorite show.

I applaud the actors and everyone involved with Grey’s Anatomy for taking us down this path, and look forward to the next season more than ever before.

I originally wrote a lengthy response to the general ire that many have expressed about Callie and Hahn on various message boards since last night’s season finale aired. However, it became too personal and I didn’t want to sound preachy, so I chose not to post it.

For those of you who are also fans of the show, I encourage you to read Grey Matter, the official Grey’s Anatomy writers’ blog.  Creator and show runner Shonda Rhimes wrote the finale, and she blogged about it there. I also recommend Grey’s Anatomy News, a great fan and news site for all things Seattle Grace.

Have a great weekend, and thank you for reading.

- Jo

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Rome If You Want To: Live-Blogging the Ugly Betty Season Finale

I rarely do this, because…

  1. I hate commercials and am spoiled by fast-forward
  2. It’s not as exciting to read if it’s not actually posted ‘live’ in real time; I’m sure you’re reading this days later

However, given that my usual Thursday evenings are devoted entirely to Lost, I find myself with more time on my hands. So here we are and here we go.

[sidenote: I also avoid spoilers for favorite shows at all costs. it is far more enjoyable watching  everything unfold and reacting to it accordingly.]

Seriously?! Lindsday Lohan, and in the first scene? There’s sweeps and stunt casting, and then there’s this. What happened to the talented young actress who ruled Mean Girls? I don’t know..this reeks of rehabbing her image (pun intended). The real question is – did she ask to be on the show or was she asked?

Ok, I love Freddy Rodriguez. Six Feet Under is one of my favorite shows of all time, but it’s nice to see him in a more expressive role.  And frankly, I find him to be a far better character match for Betty than Henry was.

And then there’s Judith Light. Yes, I watched Who’s the Boss back in the day, and she’s still fabulous. I like that they’ve expanded her character to more than occasional appearances.

Eddie Cibrian – good casting and chemistry with Hilda. I’m also a fan of the new and improved Hilda. Between the two of them, that is a hell of lot of dimples.

As for Eric Mabius…I loathed how his character transitioned into a class-A tool on The L Word, so it took me a long time to adjust to him as Daniel on Ugly Betty. But he plays the not-too-sharp straight man pretty convincingly on this show.

Mark and Amanda are like the new Jack and Karen (from Will & Grace), except more flamboyant every single time. I love listening to Michael Urie and Becky Newton’s podcast/vodcast on iTunes. Those two are hysterical. Go check it out for yourselves.

America Ferrera is fearless.  Such a cute girl, such a terrible wardrobe.

Are they already edging Rebecca Romijn out? She’s barely had any scenes lately, and now just seems to appear in scenes without much to say. She’s another brave one…not many actresses (let alone supermodels) would have the guts to play a transgendered character. She more than pulled it off.

Bribery via softball. Now that’s a new one.

Vanessa Williams is the queen of camp. She truly enjoys this role and vamps it up with every ounce of her being.

Do you shorten words too? Natch for naturally, tots for totally. I admit, sometimes I do. As an anal retentive Lit major who always bitches about the desecration of the English language, I should hang my head in shame.

How old is Gio supposed to be?

Doesn’t he know that he’s the rebound guy? Rome, huh?

Oh jeez, Daniel has a son. Shocker. Yawn. He’s a man-whore, what do you expect? Will the little French kid now be on the show next season? DNA test, Daniel. It’s not rocket science.

It’s like on Lost, when Walt’s mom died. He was then stuck with dad Michael. Or not.

There you go, big boy. A blood test. What a surprise, they said the results would return in a few weeks…which is true.

Could they have picked a boy who looked less like Daniel?

It’s nice to see that even after Justin grew up, he hasn’t changed a bit. Not his passions, not his love for fashion, not his mannerisms. Refreshing. But I do NOT like skinny jeans on anyone, especially men.

Henry completes the triangle. Reappears conveniently. With a ring. Um…don’t do it Betty. Obviously she won’t. The show is moving to NY, not Tucson. And don’t forget about his psycho baby mama.

Let’s see, marry the nerdy hot accountant and relocate to Arizona, or start anew with a man who adores you in the city where you work and live with your family. WWBD? What will Betty do?

LOL. Little Orphan Danny.

Um, Judith Light resembles Tweety Bird in that outfit.

You go, Hilda.

Betty is like a Greek chorus; always speaking the truth, even when unsolicited.

Do we know why Gio is going to Rome?

If I did wear dresses, I’d totally be drawn to the ones with pockets.

Are we even going to see Christina tonight, or find out about her husband’s health?

Here we go…Coach has a bombshell. Lame!  That’s a shame of a storyline.

I smell a Mets or Yankees game in that kid’s future.

There is such a strong sense of family at the core of this show. It’s not subtle but it’s not preachy either. Kind of sweet, actually.

Oh here we go, the softball game. Cue the Naomi Campbell cameo.

Mark’s shorts…oh my.

No one looks good in those uniforms. Just like professional baseball players, ditch the white pants and tucked in jerseys.

Man fight?! Let’s hope so. Bring it, boys. [aside: favorite onscreen man fights have included: Aidan v. Big on Sex & the City and Hugh Grant v. Colin Firth in Bridget Jones' Diary]

Perfect. They’re playing a new Madonna song during Naomi Campbell’s appearance.

LOL. They all ducked when she pulled out her cell phone. Way to be self-deprecating, NC. Another image makeover? Check.

Is anyone going to watch The Mole when it returns this summer? Not me.

Tell me this scene is a dream. Regarding Henry? Eh.

Ok good. Dream sequence.

When in Rome, Betty…

Love the stock footage backdrops in both scenes. Cheap yet effective.

More Madonna.

Geez, hasn’t Hilda been through enough? Why prolong her happiness?

I see…Rebecca Romijn’s character will be pushed out by mommy.

Will this be like the series finale of Felicity, where we see Betty get into a cab but we aren’t sure whether she’s headed toward Henry or Gio? I hope not. p.s. I was always on Team Noel.

Indeed it is. Oh well.

I enjoyed this episode, but it wasn’t exactly suspenseful. I think I prefer dramatic season finales much better.

I was going to live-blog the Grey’s Anatomy finale as well, but I’d rather pay more attention to the show.

Good night!

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