Why I Didn’t Watch ‘Empire’ Season 1

You guys have REALLY laid it on thick with your overwhelming response to ‘Empire’—and it’s your fault I’m not watching it.

Every Wednesday evening, when I log onto Facebook and/or Instagram for my evening dose of updates about your food, workouts, kids, how much you love ‘bae,’ and whoever pissed you off at work that day, you continually solidify my choice to avoid this show.

Because I don’t watch the show, I forget Wednesday night is ‘Empire’ night—but of course I am brutally forced into remembering, because for about an hour leading up to ‘Empire,’ as well as the duration of the episode, the rest of the evening, and maybe the first few posts the next day, all I see is ‘Empire’ this, “Cookie” this, and “Lucius” that.

I don’t know if you know this, but I have a propensity for contrarian thinking.  It really gets under my skin when EVERYONE goes nuts over something at once; more often than not, that kind of behavior drives me further and further away from said beloved thing.

Examples of my contrarian nature—as it relates to film & television:

  • It took me 2 years to start watching ‘Scandal’ because the way you all salivated over that show was unconscionable.  Seriously.  You all needed to check yourselves into a detox program during Season 1 of ‘Scandal.’
  • I saw ‘Frozen’ once, because I was forced to.  I liked it okay, but I’ve never seen it since, and don’t have the desire to see it again.
  • I will not go anywhere near ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ until at least season 2 or 3.

To be clear, I am in no way challenging whether or not these are good shows/films.  Actually, I’m sure there’s a reason so many people like them.  My issue is, there’s just too much excitement, too much passion, too fast.  The speed at which an entire group, consisting of millions of people, can join in this madness seems other-worldly, even supernatural, to me.  So in these cases, I feel the insanity just needs to die down a bit, and the excitement levels need to normalize, before I can fully get on board.

Bottom line for me, when it comes to ‘Empire’—I’ll catch up with you guys in a year or so.  I want to make sure your mental faculties are still in tact and that you’re still able to form a complete sentence after the summer hiatus has come to and end and you’ve been ‘Empire’-free for a few months.

Meanwhile, feel free to drop me a line if you watch any of the following:

  • Walking Dead
  • Mad Men
  • Doctor Who (reboot, not Classic)
  • Scandal
  • Game of Thrones
  • Girls
  • Veep
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The Office (I know it’s over, but for me it’s NEVER over…)

Happy watching!



A Whirlwind Tour of Los Angeles

I’m kind of late with this post—literally, I almost forgot I even went to LA (actually, Burbank) a few weeks ago.  It was a last-minute business trip, and sightseeing was definitely not top of mind.  But between working in the office and working in the hotel, I managed to squeeze in just a little bit of “fun” while I was there.

WTF, United Airlines?!

So, getting there was an absolute NIGHTMARE.  I was originally supposed to go:

  • Orlando to Denver (1 hr layover) to Burbank, and
  • Burbank to San Fran to Orlando on the way back.
Annoyed in Denver.

Annoyed and exhausted in Denver.

Instead, I went:

  • Orlando to Denver (12-hr layover in 19 degree weather—no coat—overnight hotel stay required) to Burbank, and
  • LAX to Orlando on the way back.

I could bore you with the details of that adventure…suffice it to say…it sucked and I’m never flying United again. EVER. EEEEEEVEERRRRRRRRRR.

I’ve got LA Fever!

Once I landed safely in Burbank, I spent the first 3 days with a fever. I wonder, do you think it had anything to do with flying from Orlando (warm) to Denver (arctic) and then having to go outside with no coat to wait for a hotel shuttle for 35 minutes?  Yeah…me neither.

The Silver Lining

In the midst of feeling like a complete loser for arriving a day late to my destination and then having the NERVE to be sick, I dragged myself through the motions and made the most of it for the weekend.  I visited Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure for the first time (small, but cute, and really cool rides) and caught a glimpse of the Hollywood sign while driving (super exciting, but I was terrified to take my eyes off the road due to the insanity of the drivers in LA).  I ate at In-N-Out Burger (pretty good… but it was still just a freakin’ burger).  All of this before I had to spend the week focused on work.  AND with a fever. Not too shabby!

Dinner with celebs (you know, cause that’s how I roll.)

The rest of the trip was, naturally, mostly dedicated to work.  However, my favorite moments of the trip happened in the evenings after work.  The first day of work was horrible—the fever was at its highest the entire day, so I checked into the hotel after work, ordered room service, took some Advil, called my mom, and passed out for the night.

The next day, armed with a good night’s sleep, fever gone (yay!), and a much-needed trip to CVS for meds, hand sanitizer, tissues, and cough drops (oh yes—I also had a full-on cold with nasty cough), I felt much better.  After work, I met up with an old Orlando friend who now lives in LA and just happens to work on my top 5 favorite show, The Mindy Project (squee!!!).  We met at this neat little place called La Ventura, on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

bowenI had no sooner sat down to peruse the menu, when my friend suddenly got an excited gleam in his eye, looked at me and half-whispered, “Do you watch Modern Family?” to which I responded by whipping my head around to see none other than Julie Bowen, who plays Claire Dunphy, walking in. She came in with a couple friends and sat at a table 10 feet from us, and that’s where she remained until we left that night. I can’t tell you how cool I was trying to be!  No, I didn’t go up to bother her during dinner to ask for a picture or autograph. That seemed tacky to me.  I will say though, at one point I definitely heard her exclaim, “I love Wanda Sykes!” really loudly.  So… there’s some insider knowledge for you.  Julie Bowen loves Wanda Sykes.

The Observatory

It’s so funny how much I didn’t know about LA until I got there.  For example, I’d never heard of the Observatory and didn’t know it existed.  But my friend (the one I went to Disneyland with) kept saying how pretty it was, and how it was her favorite place in the city, so I had to try and get out there before I left.  Granted, it didn’t happen until after dark, and I was by myself, but I’m really glad I went anyway. The view from up there is breathtaking, and—even though it’s in complete darkness—you can see the Hollywood sign very well from there.

A Fond Farewell

The night before I left, I managed to link up with my cousin who lives in LA, and we went to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood.  Though I can’t say the place redefined either chicken or waffles for me, it was a tasty meal, I’m glad I can finally say I ate there, and it was great to hang out with my cousin (though I spent the first 20 minutes of our dinner on the phone with freakin’ United, who had cancelled my flight out of Burbank for no good reason, then booked me on some b.s. 6pm flight the next night instead of in the morning so I had to change it to a flight out of LAX which meant waking up at 4am the next morning…okay…woo-sah…I’m calm).  So. Anyway. On the way back to Burbank, he drove me down Hollywood Blvd., and from the car I saw the stars lining the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and got a sense of how exciting it must be to live in a place where the magic of TV and movies happens in your backyard.  If it weren’t for the fact that my entire life is on the East Coast, and the cost of living out there is astronomical, I could totally see moving to the City of Angels.

What was your most memorable trip of last year?