You know what this blog doesn't have enough of? Talk of eyeliner! Okay, yes it does, but some things have changed in my eyeliner game and I'm no longer recommending what I recommended for years, so I thought an update was in order.
Long-time readers will remember that my eyeliner jam used to be M.A.C.'s PowerPoint eyeliner in Engraved. While Engraved wasn't as black as M.A.C.'s kohl liner, Smolder, it went on smoothly and didn't budge (Smolder tended to make its way to the middle of my eyelid, which was not super cute.)
Unfortunately, being a town where there's no mall (and thus no M.A.C. counter) made it difficult to pick up a replacement when my eyeliner ran out. And of course, M.A.C. isn't sold at Sephora, so if I wanted to buy online, I had to go through M.A.C. directly and pay for shipping, which: No.
So, I began using Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen and found I really liked it. It was great for a cat eye, it wore well, it came off easily when needed, and it was cheap. And I could get it at Target.
But, I am always a sucker for non-drugstore makeup, so when I read a review for Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner in my Allure magazine, I knew I had to try it. I tried it and immediately liked the staying power, although removing it was a challenge, especially because I try to use as little eye makeup remover as possible to minimize irritation--contact lens wearers holla!
My problem was the liner only works well only when it works well. Here's the deal: To get the liner out of the pen, you twist the bottom a few times. Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more, until the (liquid-ish) liner pops out the top of the pen. Unfortunately, all the twisting on the bottom of the pen didn't really work until sometime long after I'd applied the eyeliner. So, cut to the next morning, when a bunch of eyeliner was popping out of the top. And because it would have been sitting for 24 hours or so, the eyeliner would be hard and unusable. It felt wasteful to me, to just get rid of this chunk of eyeliner each day.
I was tagged by my girl K, so here we go.
1) What is my current health-related goal?
I was just thinking about this the other night. In 2013, I ran 388 miles (just shy of my goal of 400.) Last year, I made it to my goal of 500 miles. 500 miles was a pretty good challenge. I felt like there were times when I ran (especially towards the end) because I had to run, to meet the goal, and that sort of defeats the purpose of running for me. I don't like doing something because I have to do it, you know? Anyway, I am thinking maybe I'll just try to exceed 500 miles (which could mean 550 or 501) and try to sign up for more races. NOT half-marathons or marathons, but, like, 10Ks and stuff. I also want to do yoga more than just on Sundays at my studio.
2) What is my biggest irrational fear?
K said clowns and while clowns are pretty much the reason I am not watching this season's American Horror Story, I am not actually very fearful of them. I think they're creepy as fuck, don't get me wrong, but I don't have nightmares about clowns. I do have nightmares about intruders breaking into my house, but that's not super irrational, is it?
3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?
I do! I waited to wrap everything this year until Christmas Eve and I'm thinking next year I'll ration the wrapping out a little more so I can get several days' worth of wrapping fun.
4) What is my favorite cross-training activity?
I'm terrible at cross-training, so I guess I'd have to say yoga (there are pushups!)
5) If you came to visit me, what would we do?
I would take you to Napa for wine/champagne tasting and lunch. If you're here for a few days, I'd take you to my favorite brunch place and then a beer tasting.
6) I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?
I'd go to Israel and I'd bring Chris and LG (I guess we'd have to buy her ticket on our own in this scenario.)
7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?
I don't think too many embarrassing things have happened on a run...Just the usual biffing it on the ground and hoping no one saw.
8) Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind.
The day Chris proposed, the day LG was born, and the day I got my own washer and dryer.
9) Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. Which restaurant would I choose and what do I order?
In 'n Out. If I'm getting really wild, I'll get the Double Double animal style, fries, and a vanilla/strawberry shake.
10) Have I ever met a celebrity?
I've met the President and I've met Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that's it. I typically don't count political people as celebrities (although I don't count Arnold as a political person, so...)
12) If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?
I can't really think of anything I would like to do that I haven't done in some capacity or am not going to do someday. I've always thought it would be awesome to work in the White House (and I'm currently watching The West Wing from the beginning, so my C.J. Cregg obsession is high), but I have basically done that (on a much, MUCH smaller scale, obviously.) I also want to work in show business. I'm not quite sure how/when that'll happen, but I'm putting it out there.
13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?
I would probably act all verklempt and then I'd grab a mic and make a big speech and I'd probably conjure up some tears during the National Anthem.
14) What do I want for Christmas?
I wanted a Clarisonic and I got one. I wanted gold earrings and I got them. I also got a whole Teavana set-up, which has been AWESOME. As far as non-gifts, I wanted a nice meal with my family (check and check.)
15) What skill do I lack?
None. (Is being humble a skill?)
And now I tag Caitlin, DaisyJD, and Hillary2Ls.
The last time I did one of these, I called the post, "Goodbye 2012, you and your bitch face" and then I didn't do one at all in 2013, so I guess I had a rough few years? But hey, now that 2015 is here, what better time to recap 2014?
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Took an improv class, performed in an improv show, ran 500 miles, watched the Seahawks win the Super Bowl.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any resolutions. I did try to drink 80 oz. of water a day and eat one salad a day and I did pretty well at that, actually. I set a goal of running 500 miles, which I achieved. For this year, I'd like to incorporate more yoga into my life. I don't need to be doing headstands and shit, but I've been practicing for over 10 years and I still only go to yoga maybe once a week. I know (and I know enough yoga) I can do more on my own.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Chris's best friend's wife and Chris's cousin's wife. Two beautiful baby girls (my favorite brand of baby, though I may be biased.)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
None. I haven't visited a country since 2009 and that was just Mexico, so let's go with states. In 2014, I visited Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, and Nevada.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn't have in 2014?
A finished kitchen.
7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
I am so bad with dates, I actually forgot Chris's birthday. So. None of them are etched upon my memory, clearly.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I got into the pay grade I wanted to be in. I ran 500 miles. I enjoyed my marriage (not that I've not enjoyed it in years past, but I especially enjoyed it last year.) I finally figured out a small piece that was missing in my life (improv, although I don't know that that's specifically what was missing, but it's definitely helping me figure out my path.)
9. What was your biggest failure?
I need to put my phone down after, say, 8pm. I really improved on not bringing my phone out during family time, but once LG and Chris are in bed, it's total zombie phone time. No bueno.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No! And considering 2013 was The Year Of Ailments, this was quite the treat.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Airplane tickets to Hawaii.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
LG's! She is always so amenable when we have big life changes going on. Being yanked from school to home with me full time to being back in (a different) school...She just takes it all with ease.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The whole Ferguson thing, and everything stemming from or related to that, was appalling.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, daycare, food.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our Hawaii trip!
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Oh geez, who knows. Was it on NPR? Then I didn't hear it.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: A) happier or sadder? B) thinner or fatter? C) richer or poorer?
B) Fatter, probably. Who the fuck cares?
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Read more at night.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sweeping the floor.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
My parents came over on Christmas Eve and we ate a big dinner and drank A TON of champagne and then spent Christmas morning watching LG enjoy all her spoils.
21. Did you fall in love with 2014?
Sure, why not? It was a damn good year.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, The Affair, all the Real Housewives.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
I guess Life After Life. That was quite the thinker.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I've enjoyed Sam Baker a lot.
26. What did you want and get?
A family vacation!
27. What did you want and not get?
A finished kitchen!
28. What was your favorite film of 2014?
Preeeeeeetty sure I didn't go to the movies at all and I cannot remember any that I saw, even on tv. We got something out of the Redbox, but I can't remember what. I watcher Her on the flight home from Hawaii and it was WEIRD.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Chris and I went to San Francisco and had a blast JUST THE TWO OF US (as nature intended.) I turned 31.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really can't think of anything. Maybe a new car?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?
Swans and pineapples. I have also decided to get back into novelty socks. I don't know why I thought giving those up for plain black socks was the thing to do.
32. What kept you sane?
Running, yoga, crossword puzzles, friends, my mom and dad, and Chris.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I have steered clear of politics this year and it is glorious!
34. Who did you miss?
All my family I don't get to see enough.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
I met some cool people at my job and also some cool people at improv.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"...And this is All Things Considered."
Hey, Happy New Year! What better way to ring in the new year than with an update about what I read last year?
I didn’t finish the year off as strong as I started, but I managed to read more books in the fourth quarter than in the second and third quarters, so there you go.
Hunting Shadows, by Charles Todd
This was a Twitter rec (thanks, Natalie!) and I really enjoyed it. It was a British murder mystery (and Ian Rutledge book) and I would definitely read more by this author/the Ian Rutledge series. The only thing missing was a love interest storyline, which I guess not every book needs to have, but which I generally enjoy. That said, there were hints at a love interest storyline, so waiting to see if that got fleshed (heh) out added a certain element to the book.
Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner
I love everything Jennifer Weiner writes. I found this on my library’s shelves and didn’t think I’d read it (I hadn’t) and I liked it a lot. It was kind of cheeky and not as serious as some of her other books (although the main plot point was very serious, there was a lot of humor.) Recommend.
Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan has five kids and lives in a walk-up in NYC. Just sit with that for a second. I thought this book was fun—although it was a lot of his stand-up jokes in written form, so if you’ve seen any of his standup, then that won’t be new material for you—but I loved his perspective on parenting. (Especially parenting in NYC, which seems…Intense.) The book also contained several diagrams detailing how they put five children and two adults to bed in a two-bedroom apartment, which had me giggling.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
I loved this! I didn’t know a ton about Tina Fey, minus what I learned on Inside The Actor’s Studio, so I liked reading about her history and start in comedy (improv!), as well as the steps she took to get where she is. Good inspiration.
These are books I started that didn’t or haven’t yet finished.
The Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett
After hearing the author on Fresh Air, I became obsessed and immediately checked this book out from the library. It’s a collection of essays (some old, from Patchett’s magazine writing days; some new, for the book.) I will liken it to paddling through the Colorado River, if the river was made of tar: Gorgeous views along the way, but nearly impossible to get through. I would like to give it another go, because I did love her writing and her, but we’ll see.
Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, by Billy Collins
I think I heard about Billy Collins first in yoga and then on NPR and like Patchett above, I checked this book out from the library immediately. I would read a few poems a night before bed, but just never finished the book before it was due back. I do want to re-check it out. Until then, my favorite poem for you:
By Billy Collins
In a rush this weekday morning,
I tap the horn as I speed past the cemetery
where my parents are buried
side by side beneath a slab of smooth granite.
Then, all day, I think of him rising up
to give me that look
of knowing disapproval
while my mother calmly tells him to lie back down.
Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
I am currently reading this and plan to finish soon!
True Evil, by Greg Iles
I always buy a cheap Kindle book to read on my app when Chris is already in bed. I am about 11% through this book, so I expect I’ll finish it maybe before the end of 2015.
And that’s it! What did you read and love this year?
Since we didn’t get a chance to cook on Thanksgiving (no complaints!), we took extra care in planning our Christmas menu this year. Here’s what we’re having:
Christmas Eve day
When Chris gets off “early” (at 11am…after working 8 hours), we will have bloody marys and appetizers, including:
- Bay shrimp/cream cheese dip with crackers
- Vegetables and ranch dip
- Assortment of cured meats
- Wheel of cheese
- Mini sausages
After A Christmas Story has begun, we’ll sit down for dinner, which includes:
- Grilled tri-tip (hallelujah California winters!)
- Mashed potatoes
- Roasted broccoli with olives and lemon
- Green salad with feta and poppyseed dressing
- Hawaiian rolls
None of us are huge dessert people, so we’ll just snack on the turtle candies, peppermint bark, and matzoh roca that we made last weekend.
Drinks include champagne and maybe wine. I also bought Fireball and cinnamon apple tea if anyone needs a toasty nightcap.
- Irish coffees (with Jameson and homemade whipped cream)
- Cinnamon rolls (from a can)
Chris works early on Friday, so we’ll probably just eat leftovers for Christmas dinner and turn in early that evening.
What are you dining on this Christmas? I hope everyone has a great day filled with food, family, and naps!
It's been a minute since I did an LG update. It's getting harder and harder to give updates because things change so quickly. One day she says "tomorrlow" for tomorrow and the next day she doesn't. (I, of course, keep saying "tomorrlow" because TOMORROLO. How cute is that.)
LG is obsessed with babies. If she hears a baby laughing/crying/whatever, her head perks up and her eyes dart around and she says, "I think I hear a baby."
She's still very suspicious of, well, pretty much anyone. I hate when others say she's shy, because she is not shy; she simply has a very discerning personality. We ran into a colleague of mine at Target a few weeks ago and she just stared him down. He still laughs about it.
Of course, we are working with her on simple things like ordering her own food at a restaurant, saying please and thank you to others (she's very good about saying it to us.) Maybe this means, okay, she is a little shy, but shy or not, she will order her own pizza and say thank when it gets placed in front of her, so help me.
She still naps at school (herd mentality?) but only rarely naps at home on the weekends. While we'd love an hour or two of Mom and Dad time (the DVR isn't going to clear itself) this is actually kind of freeing because I remember not so long ago living and dying by the nap schedule. It's nice to know we can go without (although going without means a 6:30pm bedtime because hello exhausted child.)
Every teacher at school comments on how smart she is and how much she loves to help. "She has her moments," her favorite teacher told me the other day, which, YES SHE DOES, but most of the time, she is a total helper girl. Setting the table, putting the mustard back in the fridge, anything I happen to need at that time, LG's my go-to gal.
(This to me is the best part of raising a kid. Raising them to (please god) be a good human being. I've said before that my forte is not workbooks or crafts or playing on the floor with my kid. But giving her a task and helping her complete it? Or encouraging her that yes she can do it when she says it's too hard? Or explaining the process of asking for help if it is too hard? That's my jam.)
When I get these comments about her smarts (talk to me about how she knows every single body part in Spanish. I didn't know "rodilla" is knee, did you?) I get very Proud Momma. Because cute is fine and nice is good, but smart! Smart and funny are my two top compliments.
She still has those cheeks! And she still lets me kiss them every day when I drop her off at school.
Her favorite shows are Doc McStuffins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She's getting more into real live movies (Look Who's Talking, aka: Mikey Baby, is her favorite), so this Christmas I've been showing her some of my favorites like The Santa Clause, Elf, and Home Alone. She, unfortunately, is terrified of Marv and Harry ("It's SCAWY!"), so we've been fast-forwarding their scenes. (We've been doing a lot of fast-forwarding.) I'm also looking forward to 24 hours of A Christmas Story in just a few short nights. I think she'll enjoy Randy and Ralphie.
She continues to love all foods except onions and tomatoes. Last night we had Hanukkah at my parents' house and she was done with her second plate of food before most people were done with their first plates.
She's a fun little girl, and so sweet. She does have her moments, YES, but they're few and far between.
I survived my improv show. That took up a lot of mental space for awhile there (although not much space here, so you may not know that I was freaking out about it, but I was totally freaking out about it.) Anyway, it was a lot of fun and now of course, three classes into my 201 class, where we learn A LOT more, I'm like hmm why hasn't my eye stopped twitching in two months OOOH GOT IT.
How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Ours was delightful. We went to the Northwest to spend the holiday with Chris's entire family. I ate a ton of food and went on a few runs along the Puget Sound. I drank port and ate fancy chocolates and went to a dive bar. The Seahawks won their game and we all slept in until 7:55am one morning. See? Delightful.
My sister-in-law has a great singing voice and while she was trying to get our girls to nap one day, she asked LG what song LG would like her to sing and LG said, "The ABCs!" Chris and I have joked that that has always been LG's favorite song, but, uhh, I guess it really is.
LG's Christmas gifts are bought and are currently squirreled away in Chris's restoration car in the garage, the downstairs closet, and our bedroom closet. We got all her gifts at the greatest store in America. I don't know if you've heard of it. It's called Costco. Here's what she's getting:
- A baby stroller (like, FOR her babies)
It comes with a little removable carrier thing. I actually remember having almost the exact same thing when I was her age.
- Two different art kits with approximately 1.2 millions stickers each
One is Doc McStuffins themed and one is various Disney princess themed. One also comes with stamps and stamp pads. That should blow her mind.
- Giant stuffed Olaf
So maybe two days after we bought her a giant stuffed Olaf, LG told us, "I'm getting a stuffed Olaf for Christmas!" and we were like, "What! No!" and then to one another we were like, "How the fuck does she know that?!" The only thing I can think is a few weeks before, LG and I were at Bed Bath & Beyond, where she saw a similar Olaf, and maybe I said something like, "If you're good, maybe you'll get one for Christmas!" but that's not usually my style, so who knows. Maybe LG has a touch of the ESP like her ma.
- Two puzzles
The girl loves puzzles.
She also likes/needs socks.
- As yet to be determined stocking stuffers
Whatever I find at Target the next time I'm there.
- She told me last night that she wanted Frozen pjs, so dammit, that may also make it in there. I am a sucker.
If I run 47 miles in December, I'll hit 500 miles for the year. It's five days in and I've run none so far. It's looking good, I'd say.
Chris and I are having my parents over for Christmas, so we're currently discussing Christmas menu options. We didn't get to do this for Thanksgiving and as people who like to plan their next night's dinner while they're eating their current dinner, you can imagine this has been quite the topic of conversation.
I went on a shopping spree recently and bought a ton of new clothes. Clothes that actually fit! I also went through my closet and got rid of everything ill-fitting, even items that are so soft and cozy they're hard to part with. Done! Adios, too-big t-shirt!
I got a handful of new sweaters/cardigans, a blouse with swans on it, a pair of jeans, t-shirts (one of which I ruined THE FIRST DAY I wore it. No more white tees for me), leggings, ankle boots, leopard print sneakers, and I think that's it. I'd still like a new pair of colored pants (red?) and a new blazer/jacket, but I can probably put that off until springtime. Ooh I also got something called a "cocoon" sweater from Old Navy that is fleece (god bless ON fleece.) It has a pouch in the front and a loose turtleneck-like neck and it covers my butt, so I can wear it with leggings. It's the best.
That's basically all that's new with me. How are you?
Hillary tagged me to write five things! Here are five things!
1. Tonight I start Improv 201. I'm not even done with 101 yet (but will be this week), but another 201 class wasn't starting until January and I didn't want to get rusty and they were offering a deal, so boom: 201.
2. Chris and I spent my lunch hour today first eating In 'N Out in his Jeep in a Costco parking lot (only the best!) and then power Christmas shopping. We got LG a bunch of gifts, now hidden away in the garage, and also a 7.5' pre-lit tree, which better be worth it, because WOOF.
3. I need to make something for a work potluck on Wednesday. As the organizer of the potluck, I let everyone else sign up first, which naturally means all that's left is dessert and ugh, I am not a baker. I sometimes get the urge to bake and what I make usually turns out okay, but I don't have any go-to recipes. Do you? Something without pumpkin because pumpkin is gross. (For a moment at Costco, I contemplated buying something pre-made, but my coworkers go ALL OUT for these potlucks, so I can't go that route. Someone's bringing a soufflé, for god's sake.)
4. We've been watching this Foo Fighters special (Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways) on HBO the past few weeks and boy is it great. They travel to a different city each week and interview various industry people (producers, music studio heads, sound engineers, artists, DJs; all famous or famous in their circle) and then at the end, they write and perform a song inspired by their visit. It's insane. Dave Grohl just keeps getting better with age.
Snagged this from K. Here's some stuff I've been doing and thinking...
Making... Like a tree and getting out of the office for a lunchtime walk.
Cooking... Breakfast for dinner tonight.
Drinking... Water and tea and sparky water. I like choices.
Reading... Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner.
Wanting... A Clarisonic.
Looking... Like it's going to rain on Halloween. Boo. No pun intended.
Playing... The "Scottish Traditional" station on Pandora. I blame Outlander.
Wishing... For a vacation.
Enjoying... The crisp mornings. So crisp.
Waiting... Patiently for daylight savings time to be over. I'll take dark at 5pm over dark at 7:30am any day of the week.
Wondering... What my next job will be.
Loving... My improv class! It's super fun times, even though every time I think about five weeks from now (the student show), I have to all of a sudden run to the bathroom.
Hoping... We can make a trip to San Diego sometime soon.
Marveling... At my kid! She sang me a song in Spanish this morning. Like, when is she learning Spanish how is this even happening etc.?
Needing... Some new clothes. (Not wanting to do the shopping, though.)
Wearing... A shirt and boots my mom gave me. Also a scarf that made my cube mate ask me if I'd injured my neck. Soooo, not a great look, maybe?
Following... Everyone from three years ago and finally checking out Bossypants from the library.
Noticing... That recently my tum hurts after I have dairy. Say it ain't so!
Knowing... As much as I want to see Gone Girl in the theater, it'll never happen. KIDS, man.
Feeling... A little blue finding out today that my yoga studio is changing ownership. I had an actual nightmare the other night that my favorite teacher moved to Oregon (I spent the entire dream sobbing), so I feel like I must have had a touch of the ESP with this one. (I don't think the change in ownership will affect the class schedule/my beloved teacher, but it still makes me a little on edge.)
Bookmarking... The Serial podcast. I hear it's all the rage, but I'm waiting to tune in until Chris and I can listen together--gathered around the iPhone, 1930s-old-timey-radio style--which at this rate should be sometime in 2017.
My friend Elizabeth recently posted about her top 10 TV shows and I thought, Hey, I like TV, I should do one of these too. So here we are, in chronological-ish order.
I Love Lucy
I was maybe five or so when I told my mom about a "new," hilarious TV show I'd discovered. It was right about then when I also discovered "reruns."
Seinfeld was maybe what turned me into a funny snob. To this day, if people say they don't like Seinfeld, I assume they have a terrible sense of humor because how do you not like Seinfeld? I watched this every Thursday night with my parents and maybe we cried a little when it was over.
Will & Grace
While most people were obsessively watching Friends during this time, I was a Will & Grace fan. This is a series that has held up, too. If I catch a rerun now, it's still as funny and on point as when it originally aired.
Sex and the City
My parents and I watched this every Sunday, and sometimes that was very awkward, but I feel like this show set the stage for all the great TV we have now on the premium channels; this sort of no rules television where you can say fuck because normal people in that situation would say fuck, so they should be able to say fuck and we should be able to see it on our TV. My favorite episode of the series is episode two of season four, when Carrie is a model. A cameo by Kevyn Aucoin, can you ask for more?
Friday Night Lights
Chris and I binge-watched FNL when we were both on leave when LG was first born. It will always hold a special place in my heart because of that, but I do sort of wonder if it would hold up for me now. As luck would have it, this is one of those shows that is not in reruns anywhere, so I guess all I have are my mem'ries.
I think the single greatest first episode of a TV show ever was the first episode of Mad Men. I'll be mourning its end next year. (Also, if you're not reading Entertainment Weekly's recaps on this show each week, you're missing out. They catch all the little nuances--what's on Don Draper's TV or what song was playing during a particular scene, what was going on historically that week--and they break down all the details Matthew Weiner wants us to see.)
Sons of Anarchy and Homeland
I'm lumping these together because Homeland is still pretty new and I was a little late to the game on SOA, so I feel like I can't really claim ownership of it like I can with other shows. Anyway, both these shows do big things that others are afraid to. They kill off characters when it makes sense, even if it devastates the audience. SOA is horribly violent and Homeland is a little terrifying in the sense that I'm sure a lot of it is very true to what goes on internationally right now, but both shows are very real, with real people who you can relate to, even if you're not in the CIA or a motorcycle club. (Kurt Sutter has said he puts a ton of work into vetting the storylines/details with actual members of MCs to make sure it's authentic.)
Okay, so we weren't hip to this show from the start, but we binge-watched all 62 episodes earlier this year, so I think you can say we committed in the end.
How I Met Your Mother
When it was good, it was really good (the Barney Stinson/Doogie Howser throwback scene was genius.) While I was happy with the series ending, I was not happy about the last season as a whole. Win some, lose some. Regardless, this is one of the few sitcoms I've gotten into in recent years, which is sad because I love sitcoms and most of them suck now.
Honorable Mentions (aka: Shows I Never Finished But Still Loved)
I did love this show, although it petered out for me around the time Joey and Rachel started dating. The gang's trip to Vegas remains some of the best episodes on television, however. "I found my hand twin!" ... "Oh you're so lucky."
I started watching this when it first premiered. I'd just moved to San Diego and here were people my age-ish, being adults that I could relate to (more my age/demographic than SATC or Friends.) I stopped watching during the writers' strike and never got back into it (I actually can't believe it's still on the air), but if I see a rerun, I'll watch it for fun and remember 2005 fondly.
This was another one my parents and I watched religiously together. Then I moved out and didn't have cable and never finished the series (although I do know how it ends.) Maybe this is one Chris and I will need to rewatch from the beginning.
I feel like I missed so many shows that I should add to this list. I may need to do a part two. Anyway, What about you? What are your top TV shows?