A Nonrunning post – The Amazing Race

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday (or a relaxing last week of December and first week of January). I pretty much did not do anything that I had planned to during my self-imposed staycation, besides watch old episodes of The Amazing Race. I think it is fitting that The Amazing Race should be the subject of this post. Again, I know that I’m about 17 years late talking about this show. But hey, during this staycation, I pretty much watched seasons 2 – 17. Well . . . I skipped the family edition season. 

Just as an aside: Come to think of it, this has been the first time for as long as I can remember that I was not expected to do anything over Christmas break. Yes, I know that this is a 1st world problem. Just looking back on my facebook memories, I realized that I have worked every Dec. 31st since 2003. So yes, I took a little time for myself although I’m a little disappointed that I have gained about 5-7 pounds during this “break” (far too many eggnog martinis, gin and gingers, and champagne-based beverages).

Most of these views may have already been shared by the millions of people who regularly watch The Amazing Race, but I’m going to list some things that I love/hate about this show

Hate: The general ignorance/borderline racism of many of the contestants. 

  • Don’t these folks understand that the entire world does not speak or does not have to speak English? The way how some of these contestants speak to many of the host countries’ inhabitants is downright disgusting. 
  • In one episode the following statements were made. “He [refering to Joan of Arc] was the one that put the animals on the ark?”; “How do they make champagne? Do they mix wine with club soda?” “Man, I did you know that there is a town called Champagne in France?” Where in the hell are these people found? More importantly, where did they attend high school or college?  
  • One of my favorite contestant/taxi dispatcher (Oakland, CA) exchange so far. 
    • [Contestant] Hurry up! We need a taxi, NOW. This is for a million dollars. 
    • [Dispatcher] I don’t care! I ain’t getting any of it. 

Love: The desire to acquire even more stamps on my passport. 

  • I’m looking at you, Seychelles. That place is BEAUTIFUL.seychelles_beach_bridge

Hate: The couples that go on this show to make or break their relationship. 

  • If you cannot stand your partner in everyday, normal life, then you probably will not like the motherfucker after being with him/her 24/7 for ~30 days. One exception: if the couple is kicked off early in the competition because they will not have as much time to get on each other’s nerves. 

Hate: Dumb folks who haven’t watch previous seasons. This sentiment is more for the later seasons. 

  • From seasons 1 – 5, you have seen people drive cars with manual transmissions, bungee jump, climb crazy heights, swim, use road maps, and travel to various African, Latin American and Asian countries. Wouldn’t one learn how to drive stick and how to swim, get over certain fears, and memorize common phrases in other languages (especially Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Hindi, Bengali, and/or Punjabi) BEFORE applying to the damn show?

Annoyance: Especially in later seasons, the show seemed to be more Asian-centric. I swear there was one season that had five episodes in Asia (that could have been due to editing). For a few seasons, the show did not even visit the continent of Africa. Perhaps, it is tough to produce an American show in many African nations. 

Hate: Some of the contestants with disabilities. Hear me out. 

  • Many of the disabled contestants go on and on about showing the world that people with disabilities can do everything that someone without any disabilities can do. However, many use their disability to get every possible advantage. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t, but just call a spade a spade and keep it moving. I understand that production may tell these contestants to talk about their disability throughout the season so the fault may not fall entirely on the contestants. From the grapevine, I have learned that many of these types of shows give you a label and want you to keep it throughout the entire season (e.g. token gay couple, bitchy pretty blondes, dumb jocks, old couple, country bumpkins, etc.).

Love: Watching the whinny contestants bitch, moan, and have potential meltdowns. 

  • Did they think that they were going on a glamorous vacation? 

Love: Phil’s low-key shade with the contestants. ar17-051

Love: TV foreshadowing magic (damn, this could have been a post all on to itself).  

  • Teams that say they have a foolproof plan of getting into the top three, only to be eliminated one or two episodes later. 
  • Teams saying that they are super organized and meticulous, only to lose their passports and all of their money or not read a clue in its entirety. 
  • When you can tell that the episode will have a non-elimination leg. 
  • The team with all of this travel experience will book a connecting flight with a 15-min layover and miss the flight. Since the show pretty much makes sure everyone is on the same flights in later seasons, this really is not an issue any more 😦

One of my friends floated the idea of auditioning for this show back in 2011. It probably would have been a hot ass mess if we were contestants. I can see it now.

Me to my friend: This is some bullshit, and I’m not doing it. It’s too DAMN HOT OUT HERE.

My friend to me: Yeah, this blows. Let’s use the rest of the money to find a bar because I want a martini. 

Me: Word! I hope this city has Tanqueray. 

Phil:  KOS and A, you are the only team in the entire history of The Amazing Race that actively chose to use your money to bar hop and not do any of the challenges on this leg.

Ok, on to Season 18: Unfinished Business. 

I hope your holiday season was a “productive” as mine. 😉

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(Late) Random Thursdays: TV Edition

Here are some of my favorite (and not so favorite) shows .  . . thanks to Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube

Shows that I typically watch on a weekly basis – in no particular order.

Oldies but goodies that I can’t get enough – the shows that one watches so many times that you can recite dialogue from the shows.

My guilty pleasures (just a taste)

I’m pretty much a fan of most forensic-type of show on Investigation Discovery. Other  shows include Blood, Lies, and Alibis, Southern Fried Homicide, Homicide Hunter, Betrayed, Snapped, Forensic Files, and Nightmare Next Door. I know there are a couple that I’m forgetting. The sad thing is that many of the stories are repeated on the various TV shows.

My Youtube vids

I do not really “watch” these Youtubers; I mainly listen to them while doing stuff. Basically, this is where I get all of my gossip information and recaps of shows that I do not really watch (especially, the ratchety reality TV shows). Since some of my shows have gotten a little stale over the past few years/seasons,  I will listen to their recaps before watching the actual show. Sometimes the damn recaps are better than the damn show. 4 its rox probably is my favorite, because her commentary is very easy to listen to/watch without all of the over the top frills and she is very laid back. Recently, the Queen’s Court was getting very popular but they (Khai and TS Madison) had a HUGE setback that I hope they can come back from.

Shows that I kind of hate but watch anyway. 

I know “This is Us” is everyone favorite, but it’s waaaaay to sappy for me. Honestly, I never get too emotionally invested in TV shows (maybe the majority of shows that I watch are kinda of dumb and sitcomy). What’s the point? I have too  much crap to worry about in real life. For “This is Us”, I find many of the characters (not the actors) very annoying, except for Beth, Toby, Rebecca, and (to some extent) Randall. Wait a minute. Basically, I am annoyed with any of the characters that have Pearson DNA.

Oh, I forgot to add Fuller House, but that is on the list because the BF watches that show in the morning.

What shows  do you love or hate? Any guilty pleasure shows? You know, the shows where you  delete  your Hulu or Netflix viewing history after watching them. 

Rants and Raves

Rants: Why do people congregate the front of the bus instead of walking toward the back? It gives the impression that there are no seats at the back of the bus.

Another public transportation rant: Why do people try to sneak on the bus without paying the fare and get pissy when the bus driver kick them off?

Rave: I’m so excited for the start of fall TV – Empire, Law and Order SVU, Blackish, (maybe) Star, This is Us, and The Middle. 

Rant: Speaking of fall line ups, what is with the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” (one of my not so secret guilty pleasures? Did ABC use too much money for last year’s cast? From this season, I only recognize the actor from Malcolm in the Middle, Nick Lachey, and Deborah Gibson (or does she go by Debbie, now?). 

I am still a little annoyed that the blonde girl from Glee, who used to be a backup dancer for Beyonce, was on last season’s cast. 

Rave: I’m really enjoying the Ken Burns documentary about the Vietnam War. Actually, “enjoying” may be the wrong word for it. Watching this documentary and witnessing some of the events that are going on in the world today make me think that we really have not learn from our past mistakes. 

Rants: If you are against players in the NFL kneeling, then stop watching the games and more importantly stop bitching about it. Everyone has different ways and reasons for both protesting and showing patriotism to his/her country. I’m just going to leave it at that. 

Rave/Rant: Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a tuition-free college program that should benefit the middle and lower classes in New York. I thought this was a great idea when I read about it back in January. Actually, I think that still is a good idea. One, education is a good thing. Two, college enrollment is up, which means I will get assigned more classes and more classes means more cash for me. However, I have noticed thatITmeme there are a lot more students academically, compared to those from last semester. Last week, I administered my first exam and the scores were very low for both of my sections. The scores were so low that I am going to administer a make-up exam and take the average of the two exams (I rarely do this). I think the average was around a 52 for this exam; whereas, the average was around 69% last semester. I model my exams from the previous semester’s exams, so last week’s exam was not super difficult. Also, I provide a sample exam, which is the exam from the previous semester. I do think that some adjustments may need to be made for this college program. Now, it seems students are going to 2- or 4-year colleges just because they can. My City of New York (CUNY) school is more of a community college type of school, so many of my students are coming from high schools with lower standards for academic achievement. This may lead to even more unprepared students coming into the college, not doing well in their coursework, and then dropping out. The point is to get students into AND have them complete college with a degree. Another thing that may happen is something similar to what is going on in various public school. Administration may start asking educators to skew or inflate grades to keep enrollment up, so schools will receive money from the city and the state. 

Here are a few questions that were missed by many students. Keep in mind that I’m teaching a Biology 101 laboratory course. Honestly, these would be questions asked on a test for students in a 6th grade biology class. 

In the metric system, the _ is the correct unit for volume. 

A) ounce, B) meter, C) liter, D) pint

The _ of a microscope  is used to carry the instrument from point A to point B. 

A) arm, B) diaphragm, C) nosepiece, D) stage

From the acids and bases laboratory exercise, acetic acid [CH3COOH] can best be described as a _. 

A) strong acid, B) weak acid, C) strong base, D) weak base

C’mon! For the last question, two of the answer choices had the word “acid” in the question. 

Rave: Two of my favorite holidays are around the corner. That would be Halloween and Thanksgiving. I like Christmas, but there is too much to do and I do not even have kids. Although I do love watching Christmas movies from my childhood.

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Rave: Two fun reunions. In October, I will meet some old friends from high school in Philly. They will be going to the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert. I’m still on the fence if I will pay money to see him in concert (I’ll see how much tickets are on Stubhub, closer to the date). It will be nice to hangout because I have not been to Virginia since Thanksgiving. Reunion 2: Three of my classmates from my comparative ecology study abroad program will be visiting New York. It may be nice to hang out . . . IF they keep the kid talk to a minimum.

Tuesday Article (s)

Just a couple of quite articles

Getting your sleep on

During this training season, adequate sleep is one of the things that I have beendownload (4) struggling with. Going forward, I am going to modify my develop some sleep routines to get more sleep.

Just a quick background. I always have been on of those people who could get by with 3-5 hours of sleep a night. And no, I am not one of those people who needs caffeine to jump start his day. Typically, I plan to go to sleep around 11 PM, but I get distracted by something (Facebook, Word Streak, IMDB, Hulu/Netflix, Wikipedia, and the list goes on), which keeps me up til 1 or 2 AM (last night, I went to sleep around 2:45 AM). My latest distraction has been rewatching the telenovela “Amigas y Rivales” on the Novelas Youtube channel.

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I used to watch this Mexican soap opera back in 2001, while I was studying abroad in Ecuador. Man, this telenovela is so damn INTENSE!!! Plot lines include rape, incest, HIV, drug use, prostitution for drug use (golfa drogadicta = crack whore for my translating), murder, all of which occurred within the first three episodes. Last night, I was like OK one more episode. Next thing I know, it’s 2:45 AM

The National Sleep Foundation (I did not know there was a foundation for sleep) has some suggestions for getting more sleep.

  1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. I assume drinking gin is not suggested.
  3. Exercise daily. Eh, I kind of already do that.
  4. Evaluate your room.
  5. Use bright light to manage circadian rhythms.
  6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evenings. The tip may be an issue for me, because I typically finish work around 7 – 8 PM and I eat dinner around 9 PM. So, if I cannot have a meal 2-3 hour before going to bed, then this suggestion puts my bedtime at midnight. Also, I do find myself eating more with my later bedtime, because I will have a couple of snacks before going to sleep. I try to keep the snacks healthy, but we all know that it does not workout that well. Last night, I was “good”, because I had two hard boiled eggs and a cup of yogurt.
  7. If you can’t sleep go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. I think this is my issue, because I will get distracted and stay awake doing crap.

I will give some of these tips a shot. I’m going to set a goal of getting at least 6 hours of sleep before attempt 8 – 10 hours. I highly doubt that the 10 hours of sleep will happen.

Moving my iPhone and iPad to the other side of the room is something else that I will do to prevent potential distractions. Plus, I use my phone as an alarm clock, so it will make me get out of bed to shut it off.

Celebrites run marathons too.

Runner’s World has posted a list of celebs who will be taking to the streets through the five boroughs of NYC for this years marathon. I would have assume there would be more celebs running this year’s marathon. Perhaps, the full list has not be posted yet:

  • Keven Hart – comedian (but I think everyone knew that)

Kevin Hart, Ride Along Red Carpet Premiere, Sydney Australia

  • Prince Royce – singer (can’t stand his voice)

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  • Nev Schulman – the “Catfish” guy

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  • Tiki Barber – football player. It’s interesting that, for a professional athlete, it took him 5+ hours to run his first marathon.

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Any other tips to get more sleep while marathon training?