Toronto – day four

Day four focused on just two events:

  1. A taping of The Social
  2. Monday Night Raw

I’m a big fan of The Social. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a Canadian daytime tv talk show. There are four main hosts plus one regular fill-in/correspondent. Each show begins with a round table about 4-5 current events or stories and then usually two segments that feature lifestyle stories, cooking, fashion, beauty, wellness and other topics.

I’ve been a fan for the last several years and have been saying I’d like to go to a taping the next time I was in Toronto. Once we knew we were coming this month, we investigated and set a calendar alarm for the day when we’d be able to try to reserve tickets during our stay.

This morning, we woke up, got spiffed up and once kevin was finished his Monday conference call, we took a cab over to 299 Queen Street West, an address you may remember from the Much Music days.

I’m going to write a post exclusively covering the experience in the future, but for now I’ll just say that it was a lot of fun and even better than I had ever imagined it would be. The topics were great, the hosts were lovely and it was so exciting to be able to see the set I’ve seen hundreds of times on tv.

The taping is live and it’s an hour long show so the set up and the finish take a little extra time. All in all, we were there for about 2.5 hours.

When we were done, we decided to stop for some lunch and then head back to our hotel for a little downtime. This has been a fantastic, but also busy trip.

We had about 90 minutes in our room before we had to get ready to go back to Scotiabank Arena for the third night in a row, this time for Monday Night Raw.

A pay per view is one kind of event, but the fallout on the tv days after can sometimes be even more exciting. In some cases, that was true tonight (Sasha Banks) and in others it was the same old, same old (The Viking Raiders.)

I’m also going to write exclusively about Summer Slam week someday. For today, I need to get some sleep. We’ve got one more full day of adventure to pack in here and I don’t want to miss more of it than I have to.

Night, y’all.

Dramatics, Your Honor

That is the name of the episode of The Good Wife when Will Gardner is killed. I know because I’ve seen it a trillion times.

The date was March 23rd, 2014 and at the end of it, I was devastated. I was thinking about when that episode aired and how masterfully secretive they were about the twist. I remember seeing Josh Charles on The Tonight Show and he said that they weren’t even allowed to tell their families what was coming. There wasn’t even a hint that Will was going anywhere and I preferred it that way.


This episode is actually the only video I have downloaded to my iPad because for some bizarre reason, whenever I’m traveling, i like to watch it on a plane. In fact, it’s the only thing I’d watch on a plane.

I thought about this episode today and I’ve been having some feelings ever since. See you tomorrow, Will.

My favourite love stories are the impossible ones

I’m not sure what it says about me, but the sadder the love story, the more likely I am to enjoy it.

Happily ever after? No, thanks. I want heartbreak, tears, sadness, tragedy. I love a story when two people are forced to separate. I love the mystery of what came after and I relish the chance to cherish what was and what will never be tarnished.

My favourite movies feature impossible love. Some of them are:

Garden State

Almost Famous

Lost in Translation

Brokeback Mountain

500 Days of Summer

Romeo and Juliet

You get my drift. The more I can cry about to – movie, book, song, whatever – the more it is likely to make a mark on my heart.

I just finished one of those impossible love story books tonight. It was sad and I cried and I loved it.

I’ll try anything

Whether it’s related to health care or just beauty, that’s basically my approach.

In preparation for our trip to the show next month, we’ve been catching up on recent episodes of The Social tonight.

As we’re blasting through to see what they’ve been doing and talking about, but mostly checking out what people in the audience are wearing. (They gave some pretty specific suggestions related to that when they confirmed our tickets.)

If you’ve never watched the show, it begins with a panel conversation featuring the 4-5 regular hosts when they break down a series of topics, current events and stories. Later in the show, they welcome guests, review beauty products, talk to fitness, food or health professionals. It’s a typical daytime talk show except Canadian and cooler than any of the others I’ve seen.

Early on, we saw a discussion about Botox. Kevin made a comment about why people would do that. I told him, “I would.” He replied, “but you already look young.” (Bless his heart.) I told him I’d actually been thinking about doing it lately not because I want the results, but because I’m just plain curious about it.

The things I wonder:

  • What is the process?
  • Are you sitting up or laying down when they do it?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it hurt?

I’m not really worried about wrinkles or looking my age. In fact, I don’t actually even know all the benefits (or the risks, for that matter.) But, I would, most definitely, do it.

In the next episode, they talked about spray tans and I found myself thinking, “I should try getting a spray tan.” And I might.

It reminded me of times when I’ve enthusiastically taken part in alternative treatments or procedures. Sure, they have always had intended results, some were successful, some less so, but for me it was often about the process. I like trying new things. I like experimenting with different approaches. If I am offered an alternative, I’ll probably chase it down.

Do you voluntarily try different treatments? Do you experiment with new procedures when you can? Also, anybody know where I can get a good spray tan?

TV people

We celebrated my brother’s birthday yesterday. While we were sitting around the table and talking about what we were all doing today, we told my my mom about our commitments (lacrosse, of course) and she posed the question, “do you guys ever do nothing?”

Well, yeah. We do. At every chance we get.

As proof, I present that I spent an inordinate amount of time this weekend wondering if there is a tv friend group I’d want to be a part of more that the Southern Charm (orignal, tyvm) friend group. (There isn’t.)

I also contemplated, and subsequently ranked, which I’d want to be friends with most. If I had to choose just one, that is.

  1. Cameran. Easy.
  2. Chelsea. Her friendship would make me justas happy and I’d finally get a haircut.
  3. Naomie. She’s lost the Craig-related ire and she’s way cooler for it.
  4. Shep. How could I not? And as far as dudes go, he is really the only option.

So, yeah, while I can’t say we did nothing today, some of the things I did do shouldn’t really count, you know?

Big Brother 21

Okay, here we go. Another season of Big Brother. Telus already outed me as a watcher (as you know) and I’m geared up to start afresh.

I’m not a long-time watcher and I’m certainly not a super fan. I’ve watched three seasons is regular BB and one season of celebrity BB (which I actually preferred.) I tend to like it at the beginning and like it at the end, but there is a middle part that’s just agony. It’s the time when people get supremely shitty with one another. I swear I won’t watch it anymore, I rant about the bullying and targeted mistreatment and then eventually, after a few skipped episodes, eliminations and updates from Kevin who continues to watch it without me, I’ll start watching again.

The show is a fascinating look at human nature and how people interact with/respond to one another. It undoubtedly involves a lot of deceit and manipulation and every group astounds me with their ability to think in such merciless ways.

I’m following my girl Yvonne‘s lead from a few seasons ago – I’m pretty sure it was season 19 – when she made a prediction on day one about who would go out and when.

We are just finishing up tonight’s episode and here’s the order that I came up with while watching it. These are predictions based entirely on first impressions and not at all who I like and who I don’t. (I don’t even know yet!) There is no science or even strategy to this. I may as well have just picked these names out of a hat.


What are your predictions?


Real Housewives of New York. I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes. There was a time when I’d have done the same thing. But I’m a true convert.

I love RHONY. Not enough, apparently, to know that a new season started nearly three months ago, but that’s all the better because I won’t have to week full weeks between each episode.

I never really envisioned myself watching a show like this. The closest I’d come to reality tv was Amazing Race. Then I listened to a couple of really smart, productive and successful women I respect talking about how hooked they were on various shows in the Real Housewives franchise. I made the decision to start watching one, but I didn’t know where to start. I asked around a little and sampled a few. Finally, I decided on New York.

Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Few, of any, of the women are actually housewives.
  1. While it has its high points, it isn’t nearly as dramatic as it’s made out to be.
  2. They drink a lot of alcohol.

It took a while for me to get the hang of what was going on and who was who, but I was pretty instantly down with it. Here’s why:

  • They are amazingly put together. As someone with no patience for giving a shit about clothes or makeup or even haircuts, I actually love to look at them and see what they wear and how they compose themselves. From clothing to homes to etiquette. It’s feels like I’m at a museum or watching a documentary.
  • I like that they don’t all like each other all the time. There is the odd blowout, sure, but they have mostly mastered the art of getting along. Not always getting along well, but they get along. They argue, they get over it. They fight, they get over it. They insult each other, they get over it. They don’t feel any need to love or be loved and that’s refreshing.
  • They get real way more than regular people. No matter what happens, no matter how obnoxious, they all, at some point or another, they will all humbly apologize, admit their wrongs and really, deeply talk it out. They own their feelings and behaviours like no real person I’ve ever known.
  • They do super fun stuff. They have parties and put on costumes (they dresses as mermaids just to hang around the house one day this season!) and have crab bakes. They bring entertaining to a new level and I love watching that, too.
  • My favourite housewife is constantly changing. It never stays the same for long.

So, yes, I do watch Real Housewives of New York City and I will not apologize for it.

I have one other guilty pleasure show, but I won’t reveal it yet.

What are your guilty pleasure tv shows?


We watched a lot of TV today (and we don’t even watch Game of Thrones!) Part of it was planned and part of it just kind of happened. It isn’t something we do too often, so it was kind of fun.

The WWE pay per view Money In The Bank was today so that was our big plan for the afternoon. It was fun and it was exciting and I’m not just saying that because my big prediction came true. There were actually fewer disappointing results than normal so that’s a win in my book.

Midway through, I noticed on Twitter that the Raptors game was going into OT so we took a pause and flipped over there for ten minutes of OT (that take more like thirty, of course.) It was edge of your seat basketball and 

We went back and watched MITB and its surprise, not terrible (for once) ending.

Once that was over and done with, we switched over to the final few episodes of Veep. Now, Veep has been one of my favourite shows ever since we started watching it a few years ago. I ADORE Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for one, but the writing is so sharp and so witty and also so tragically brutal.

Veep Season 7, episode 7 photo: Colleen Hayes/HBO

The ending? It was good and complicated and messy and I cried my eyes out for Gary. Honestly. That was an ending that kind of changed the way I felt about all 65 episodes.

And once we got through that, we moved on to Dead To Me. Kevin had heard some good things about it and, though we’ve only watched a few episodes, the stories check out.

Even though we don’t watch Game of Thrones (or so I thought), but I actually have a funny story about it.

Just last week, Kevin called to me in the kitchen saying, “did you hear what happened on Game of Thrones?” To which I replied, “Yeah,yeah. Arya killed the winter king or whatever and…” He screamed back, “don’t tell me spoilers! I was talking about the coffee cup!” Apparently *I* don’t watch it, but he does (although I’m not sure when.) How could I have known he wasn’t talking about what *actually* happened?!?! Come on, man.

And now our brains are fried, but we’re going to watch just one more episode…

What are you watching these days? What are you loving?

Amazing Race 31

I started to hear some murmurings on the weekend – a new season of the Amazing Race. Of all the reality shows out there, this is the only one I really enjoy most of the time.

Over the years, they’ve experimented with different styles of races – all-star alumni teams, families, matchmaking, teams that know each other, teams that don’t. Some have been better than others.

I don’t remember a lot of the details of shows once I’ve watched them. I guess I save that part of my brain for the phone numbers of my childhood friends and every birthday I’ve ever known. I remember thinking that the last season was an improvement over the more recent years. The tasks were getting more challenging than they had been in years.

Since its inception, Amazing Race Canada has been putting its parent show to shame with legitimately arduous tasks that made fans feel like any winning team had more than earned their title. Meanwhile on the Amazing Race, the activities got softer and softer and the road blocks were decreasing in difficulty. The show started to flounder.

Last season, they ramped it back up a little and that made for a much more entertaining show. My hopes are high that they’ll keep it up.

This season they’re doing an all-star kind of approach, only the all-stars come from a number of shows – previous Amazing Race contestants, some from Survivor, others from Big Brother. I’ve only ever watched one season of Survivor and three seasons of Big Brother. I recognize a handful of contestants, but not all of them.

I’m just putting the finishing touches on our Amazing Race pool and getting the draft started. It’s going to be tough when it comes time to pick my team, but I’ll figure it out.

Haven’t heard anything about the season? Check out the show’s website and study up. Here’s the rundown on the teams.

Art Velez (49) and John James ā€œJJā€ Carrell (49)

Friends from Temecula and San Marcos, Calif.

Previous season: The Amazing Race 20

Colin Guinn (38) and Christie Woods (40)

Life Partners from Austin

Previous season: The Amazing Race 5

Becca Droz (28) and Floyd Pierce (23)

Friends from Boulder and Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Previous season: The Amazing Race 29

Leo Temory (31) and Jamal Zadran (30)

Cousins from Pasadena, Calif. and Houston

Previous seasons: The Amazing Race 23 and The Amazing Race: All-Stars

Tyler Oakley (31) and Korey Kuhl (33)

Friends from Los Angeles and San Francisco

Previous season: The Amazing Race 28

Chris Hammons (40) and Bret Labelle (44)

Friends from Moore, Okla. and Dedham, Mass.

Previous season: Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Corinne Kaplan (39) and Eliza Orlins (35)

Friends from Denver. and New York

Previous seasons: Survivor: Gabon and Survivor: Caramoan (Corinne); Survivor: Vanuatu and Survivor: Micronesia (Eliza)

Rupert (54) and Laura (49) Boneham

Married from Indianapolis

Previous seasons: Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and Survivor: Blood vs. Water (Rupert); Survivor: Blood vs. Water (Laura)

Janelle Pierzina (38) and Britney Haynes (30)

Friends from Lakeville, Minn. and Tulsa, Okla.

Previous seasons: Big Brother 6, Big Brother All-Stars and Big Brother 14 (Janelle); Big Brother 12 and Big Brother 14 (Britney)

Rachel Reilly (34) and Elissa Slater (32)

Sisters from Van Nuys, Calif. and Las Vegas

Previous Seasons: Big Brother 12, winner Big Brother 13, The Amazing Race 20 and The Amazing Race: All-Stars (Rachel); Big Brother 15 (Elissa)

Nicole Franzel (26) and Victor Arroyo (28)

Dating from Ubly, Mich.

Previous seasons: Big Brother 16, winner of Big Brother 18 (Nicole); Big Brother 18 (Victor)

Who do you think will win?

Silent All These Years

Once again, the first thing I saw this morning was news from a tv show. I didn’t watch last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but I did see this and even without any context, it made me cry.

I have a love/hate thing with Grey’s. I started watching it to mock it. Kevin came to me hooked on the show and as we started spending more time together, Thursday nights were more and more frequently populated with one hour of ridiculous hospital drama. Eventually, and unbeknownst to me, I started to chirp less and invest more.

There are a couple of changes that have really turned things around for me. Mainly, they scaled back the Meredith focus and spread the attention around and welcomed a few new characters. Is it groundbreaking, life-changing television? No, it is not usually. But last night’s episode was different. It was some of the most meaningful tv I’ve seen in a while.

It wasn’t easy to watch and it wasn’t pleasant. If I’m honest, I was in tears by about the seven minute mark and I’m not sure I stopped until after it was over.

Even if you don’t watch the show regularly, you should really watch this episode.