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What I Learned This Week – 7/21/13

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This week I found two new obsessions.


Which makes it very difficult to fully obsess about either. And finish my novel. But I am trying my hardest 😉

First is Divergent, a dystopian Young Adult book series by Veronica Roth. And, I must say, if I had seen the word “dystopian” first in relation to this book, I probably wouldn’t have read it, because that is not my thing. But instead, these actors are the first thing I saw in relation to the book:

Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Photo: Entertainment Weekly

I am a loyal, long-time Entertainment Weekly subscriber. It is like my weekly bible of new happenings in the entertainment world. And sure, they miss quite a bit. But they also introduce me to things like Divergent and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that I would probably never find on my own. (And EW has WAY less ads than other magazines, including People.)

So, I read the article about the movie adaption of the book in EW, because I usually read every story, whether I am actually interested in it or not. One part of the article described a scene they were shooting on a Ferris wheel, and it gave me the rush of romantic excitement that is the reason I read Young Adult books. I crave that first spark of a new relationship in books, movies, TV. (i.e. The first time Edward actually talks to Bella in Science class in Twilight.) I figured if the magazine article could give me that rush, maybe the book would be worth reading as well. Plus, I really don’t like Shailene Woodley, who stars in the movie adaption. I don’t know why, I just haven’t liked her since she was the first Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C.

I also wanted to read the book because Theo James, the guy who plays the male lead Four in the Divergent movie, is seriously hot. I figured if I could picture him in my head while I read it, I would totally enjoy the book.

Shailene Woodley and Theo James Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Shailene Woodley and Theo James
Photo: Entertainment Weekly

And I did enjoy the book.  So much, that I had to run out and buy book two, titled Insurgent.   (I read both books in about 48hrs time.)  This led my friend to inquire if the 3rd book was to be titled Detergent.  Actually, it will be Allegiant, coming out 10/22/2013.

Many people on the Internet seem to compare Divergent to The Hunger Games.  I did not read Hunger Games.  But I do see similarities to Twilight & The Host.  The Host was a terrible book I hated, but the underground setting and the “world has gone to crap” vibe of Divergent reminds me of it.  Except stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENS in Divergent, unlike in The Host.  I feel like there could have been more description (of everything) in the books, but there was enough to keep me interested.  And Roth spent way too much time telling me about how the light made shadows under the hollows of people’s eyes.  (The editor really should have removed a few of those).  I do not relate to Tris as well as I did to Bella.

I really read the books to hear about how cute Four is.  And I had my doubts about that name, but it is much better than his real first name.  His real last name, on the other hand, was my grandmother’s maiden name, so that makes it kind of cool to read.  While there is no love triangle, Tris and Four do have other issues come between them predictably in book two.  I found book two less enjoyable, because they were already together and there wasn’t that fun, flirty stuff going on.  But, well, that is just the course of any relationship.  Roth does do a good job at setting up the end of each book to make me crave the next one.

…”I’d ask you to hang out with us, but you’re not supposed to see me this way.”
I am tempted to ask him why he wants me to hang out with him, but I suspect the answer has something to do with the bottle in his hand.
“What way?” I ask. “Drunk?”
“Yeah…well, no.” His voice softens. “Real, I guess.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t.”
“Nice of you.” He puts his lips next to my ear and says, “You look good, Tris.”

–Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Copyright 2011, Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins Publishers

I can’t give an in-depth review, because I have only read each book through once.  I plan to start over again soon, though.  I have their world in my head, and I am not ready to let it go yet.  I was shocked that by the end of the two books, I actually could remember what most of the five factions actually were.  So, stay tuned, I might blog about this again someday.

Now, on to…


(You really didn’t see that one coming, did you?)

I watched Scooby-Doo multiple times a day when I was growing up.  I had a Scooby-Doo poster on my wall in my room (until Kirk Cameron and NKOTB came along).  I still have many Scooby-related items around my house.

Recently, my son has discovered that Scooby-Doo was an actual cartoon he could watch, and we have all become a little hooked around here.  First, watching the DVD I bought of the orignal Scooby Doo, Where Are You? episodes.  My husband and I try to predict who the ghost will be and when they will say all the popular catchphrases.  If it was a drinking game, we would be drunk all the time.

Photo: Cartoon Network

Photo: Cartoon Network

But searching on Netflix yesterday (dang, was that just yesterday?), I found a newer version called Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, from 2010.  I started watching it and was in for a shock:


I KNOW! (Monica voice)

Growing up, I would have had a crush on Shaggy if I had believed it possible to have a crush on a cartoon character, which I don’t (I know someone who would strongly disagree).  I always wanted to grow up and be beautiful like Daphne, but realized quickly I was more a Velma.

Photo: Cartoon Network

Photo: Cartoon Network

So far, Scooby keeps getting in the way of Velma and Shaggy’s relationship, but DANG!  (Remember what I said earlier about loving to watch the beginnings of relationships blossom?  Imagine that with characters I have known for 35 years!)  I began to obsessively watch episodes, mostly to see how their relationship might play out.  I am shipping for Velma and Shaggy.

I know, I’m weird.  But it just fills me up with a wonderful glow that Castle and Beckett never will, because I believe he could do better than her.

Actually, Velma has some control issues.  Maybe Shaggy could do better as well.  But there is just all that room in the back of the Mystery Machine.  It would be so convenient for them to make out back there, for Shaggy to get up her orange sweater.

Wait…did I just invent Scooby porn?

Don’t blame me.  Blame the creators of this knew version for putting such things into my innocent, Scooby-loving head.

In this version, they all live in a Crystal Cove, and you see them in high school and their parents are a part of their lives.  In the original, while I didn’t mind it, they were kind of just a group of transients.  Who, now that i think about it, if they slept in the Mystery Machine all the time, probably didn’t shower often and smelled bad.

This new version has new voices for the characters.  Shaggy doesn’t quite sound right, but he is voiced by Matthew Lillard, who I don’t really like, but he did play Shaggy very convincingly in the movies, so I am alright with it.  Scooby’s voice is gravelier than it used to be.  But hey, he is a 44 year old dog.  That makes him 308 in dog years.  We gotta cut the pooch some slack.  I do get distracted that Velma is voiced by Mindy Cohn, so that if I don’t look at the screen, I only hear Natalie from the Facts of Life.  But I do like that Casey Kasem from the original series does the voice of Shaggy’s dad.  I love that Patrick Warburton is the voice of the Sheriff who is always annoyed with them for getting in the way and solving mysteries.

The characters’ appearances are updated too, but in a way that is still true to the original.  The tone of the series is a little scarier than the original.  But my son doesn’t seem too bothered by it.

So, ya.  My love for Scooby has been reignited.

This photo doesn’t go with anything, but it is totally bitchin’.



What I Learned This Week – 4/14/13

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This week I may have learned what my perfect job might be. I had an interview at a local botanical spot. It was only part-time, and the hours would have been perfect for my husband to work a 2nd shift job. (Alas, the new job he started a few weeks ago just didn’t work out, for multiple reasons. He really did try. Poor baby.) Lots of time to still spend with my son and not have to mess with daycare. It didn’t pay much, but it also would have been pretty low-stress work as well. I liked the boss and she seemed to like me a lot. But, the catch is that there is actually NO POSITION OPEN right now. She just suspects one of her employees is going to possibly quit soon. Ugh. Frustrating.

My favorite Olivia & Peter kiss-the first one, Season 2 Finale in the alternate universe. Photo:

My favorite Olivia & Peter kiss-the first one, Season 2 Finale in the alternate universe.

The other thing I learned this week is that Fringe is highly addictive. I watched the series during it’s regular run. I missed very few episodes. It was “Must-See TV” for me. (I know, wrong network!) Today the SCI channel (who knew that even existed?) was running a marathon. I watched like 6 hours of Season 3 straight through. I was not fond of the final season of Fringe. It was very depressing. But while watching those doomsday episodes, I had forgot how much I had enjoyed all the earlier episodes. And how watching Peter, Walter, Olivia, and Astrid become a deeply caring family really was a joy for the first four seasons.

And as a chronic shipper, it was amazing for me to actually be delightfully surprised when Peter and Olivia got together.

I am a Shipper, and I didn’t even know it.

I have watched Fringe from the beginning. Sometimes the science-fiction element begins to lose me. But I continued to watch because I like Joshua Jackson. And when it started to look like Olivia and Peter could be love interests, I totally rooted for it. Week after week, I found myself frustrated that the writers teased me, and kept them apart yet again.

I often find myself in this situation. I refer to it as the “Moonlighting Effect”. On Moonlighting, David and Maddie got together in the third season. In that case, it ended up pretty much killing the show. I feel like because of that instance, TV writers across the country are now afraid to ever get their male and female leads together. They are so afraid to lose viewers. Well, I am here to tell you, you will lose viewers if you continue to keep characters apart!

I am also rooting for the leads on Castle and Bones to get together. (On Bones, they finally have—thank God! But I feel totally cheated out of seeing their early relationship: post-sex to birth of baby. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows that the first six months or year together is the most fun and exciting.) I have felt SO passionate about this for years, with many shows. I never dreamed it had a name. Or a presence on the Internet. I just always thought I was being a silly romantic recovering TV addict.

Then in my Entertainment Weekly a few weeks ago, they had an article on “shippers”. I started reading it. I had no idea such a thing existed. I had no idea that I WAS ONE OF THEM!!! According to the article “Just Do It” (click here for a related article), the word shipper is “Derived from the word ‘relationship’, a fan who’s deeply invested in romance – or the possibility of romance – between two characters. Shipping runs the gamut between ‘just having fun’ [to] ‘scary-stalker serious’.” I learned from the article that hardcore shippers talk online about their passion, or even write fan-fiction about it. I don’t go that far. But for the right TV-potential-romance, I could. The only time I ever wrote fan-fiction was for the Fearless series of Young Adult books. (More on Fearless in a future post.)

The article mentioned all the shows I have mentioned above: Fringe, Moonlighting, Castle, Bones. Probably the audience for most of these series are drawn to the tangible “will they or won’t they” element because they lack enough romance in their real lives. Why make the audience suffer more? I can be a control freak. I totally should have become a TV writer like I dreamed, so that I could control all these characters and make them do what I want them to.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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