Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Are You Watching?

I was talking with some friends recently about how the writer's strike has changed our daily routines. For my part, I usually like to come home, curl up on the couch with my laptop and watch three hours of TV. Especially Thursday nights. It's a perfect way to unwind from the daily stress.

With the writer's strike shutting down Primetime TV, the networks are scheduling competing, knock-off reality shows. Well, I do love a small amount of trash TV, but I just can't waste my limited brain space for "Duel" or "Clash of the Choirs". Particularly when I can get the wrap-up report on The Soup.

The Soup is a gem of a show. Witty, timely, and to the point. I don't need to watch "I love New York", when Joel McHale reenacts his own interpretation of each week's reality offerings. It's unfortunate that New York had to visit the 'parrot zoo' given her fear of parrots. This important tidbit, sure to be a question in future editions of "Trivial Pursuit" (The Reality Show Edition), was gleaned in five minutes, rather than dragged out over the course of an entire VH1 episode.

Of course, a friend of mine has turned me on to a new show on MTV, the inventor of the 'reality program'. It's called, "A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila". Sort of like "The Bachelor", this reality farce poses man vs. woman for the affections of Tila Tequila. For those who may want to watch the full series online (currently not a reasonable source of income for writers, but reality show writers aren't unionized, and so they choose to get screwed so watch online), this is a spoiler. The series ends, according to,

This is it... the final elimination. Tila explains her emotions of excitement and nervousness. A teary-eyed Tila explains to Dani and Bobby that she has come to love the both of them and that this decision was far harder than she expected. She goes on to further explain what qualities she has come to love in both of them and thanks them both for opening their hearts to her. Tila Tequila wants to take a shot at love with... Bobby.

After a long kiss with Bobby, Tila remembers Dani, who has already begun walking back to the house. Tila yells for her and chases down Dani. They embrace and Tila breaks down, explaining that it isn't easy for her.

Tila takes Bobby up to her room, which he has never seen. In the end, she chose a man.

In full disclosure, I haven't watched this show yet. And, despite my displeasure of reality shows, I found myself setting the Tivo for Wednesday's airing of Tila. Maybe it's because I just can't force myself to go to the gym, live healthier, smarter life. No, I need to be home. I need to exercise my Tivo. I need to curl up on my couch with my laptop and forget who I am for a few hours. And hopefully with Tila Tequila, I can forget the troubles of our economy, my personal life, and focus on something more important: someone else's nuttiness.

All this brings me to a very important question. What are you watching in lieu of your favorite TV shows?

LinkedIn, or My Chance at Popularity

Recently, it came to my attention that 2008 will be my 20 year high school reunion. I'm experiencing a lot of mixed emotions, stress, excitement, need to eat, need to starve, etc, etc. I never was a popular kid. I suppose that was a good thing. If you aren't a cool kid, you experience less pressure to do stupid things. I could always shrug off my unpopularity by acting like I didn't care what other people thought of me. I believe that was true for the most part, but I'd also be lying to say that I didn't want to be popular.

I don't generally dwell on my high school dramas, but the realization that my reunion is coming up, I find myself thinking about this question: how is popularity measured among adults?

I signed up for LinkedIn a month ago, for research purposes. I didn't do much with my pages (similar to my approach to blogging, myspace, etc). But I got some invitations to join networks, to my delight. For a few moments, I felt popular.

Tonight, in the absence of real TV, I decided to work on my profile. How exciting it was to find so many of my friends on the site. Way more friends on LinkedIn than are actually reading this silly diatribe. I couldn't help myself. As I was reviewing some profiles, seeing how many people are "linked in", I suddenly had flashbacks to my high school days. No prom date for me. Just a few people - well, my closest friends, in my network.

This time, I'm being more proactive. Because I do care what people think. I do want people to like me. And so, with much glee, I spent much of the night reaching out to old classmates, current and past colleagues, and others whose paths I've crossed. I may not have 500 contacts in my network, as one friend does (she is REALLY popular), but I hope to have more than three.

I share this all with you, the one of you who is reading this, in the hopes that you will sign up for LinkedIn, accept my invitation, or invite me to be in your network. After all, if we work together, we too can be popular!