Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I have not been the most faithful as far as blogging is concerned, but I have enough thoughts in my head to share. So here goes.

  • The Bull City Connector. People around town were getting really really excited about this new program. It would be a fare-free route from Duke University to the Golden Belt. The route includes Ninth Street and Downtown Durham. This would be absolutely perfect for me: I live very close to Duke's East Campus, and the bus stops are convenient to home and work (both the M-F and the Sunday/weekend sites). So I could leave the car at home and get myself to move more, which I really, really need.

    So last Monday, I decided to give this new route a go; after all, it did say it was going to start then. So I stood there and waited. And waited. And waited some more. I kept glancing at the clock and got more nervous. Half an hour passed, and I only saw one bus, which was the DATA Bus #9. This certainly did not look good. What ever happened to "bus service every 15 minutes?" So I walked back home and drove into work.

    One of my co-workers, who also works as Director of Community Engagement at Duke, called in and said he had the pleasure of riding this bus into Downtown. You can imagine how green with envy I became. He admitted the service had its inaugural run at 10.30 am.


    Oh well. He did tell me to give it another go; the service will be running, he promises it. I said okay. We'll see. I think I'll try it next week and see how it goes. At least I have some comfort in the fact that someone else who lives two blocks north of me tried to wait for the bus that never came, so he, too, had given up.
  • Masterchef Australia. My friend, Father Roderick loves this show. A couple of my other Aussie friends were also singing its praises as well. So being the foodie I was, I was curious to know what it was like. Unfortunately, I couldn't watch it from the Masterchef Australia site. Thank goodness for YouTube. I've just watched the first seven episodes, and I am hooked. Yes, I already know who won, but it is fun to watch the episodes and to see how these people have grown and developed as chefs. I know there is still a very long way until I get to the end, but that's okay. I'll consider it my bonbon for the end of the day.

    What I really liked about this show: not only did it showcase the cooking talents of fifty of Australia's most talented home and amateur cooks, it also showed just how supportive the judges were of the contestants, as well as how supportive the contestants were of each other. That is an aspect I really find appealing. Plus, I get to download the wonderful recipes that are posted on the Masterchef Australia site.
  • On the other hand, I just could not get interested in Masterchef USA. I tried to watch the first episode. I absolutely hated it. I could not stand the judges, and I hated how they treated the contestants. In my opinion, it was a very, very pale imitation of the Australian version. I couldn't even watch more than ten minutes of it before I got so disgusted, I wanted to throw things at my computer screen. So sorry, Masterchef USA. I have absolutely no interest in following that show.
  • While I'm on the topic of Reality Cooking Shows, I will admit to following Season Six of The Next Food Network Star. Somehow, I got really involved in either cheering or intensely disliking these candidates. I really liked Aarti from the very beginning. I'll admit that I also thought Aria was very warm on-screen as well. There were two I absolutely could not stand: Dzintra and Paul. Dzintra was definitely the chef you loved to hate. She was just so scattered, and I absolutely could not even consider watching anything featuring her. Paul... let's just say he was too aggressive and didn't even have a clear idea of what he wanted to talk about.

    Eventually, Dzintra and Aria made it on my "I really dislike you" list. Why? Those two ended up being really rude to their fellow competitors. (It's a direct contrast to how completely supportive the Masterchef Australia competitors are towards each other.) Plus, as the season wore on, I started liking Aria less and less. She did not come across as genuine to me, and admittedly, I could only take the kind of food she cooks so far before I get sick of it.

    I think the right three were asked to make pilots for the show. Why not Brad? I would have watched him, but then again, it's very easy to forget just how young Brad was. I'm sure with more experience and more seasoning, he would be absolutely fantastic on the screen. I, for one, would hope to see him on a screen near me. :)

    So congratulations to Aarti! I'm sure she will do very well on her new show, Aarti Paarti.
  • Finally... The community that prays together stays together. Many of my friends went to Boston and the Catholic New Media Celebration that took place on August 6-7. It was really cool that for those of us experiencing con envy, we could watch and join with those physically in Boston via uStream. When I noticed the tweet pointing us to Sean's ambitious CNMC Online Catholic Community rosary, I went straight away to that page (and it is linked above) and downloaded the podcast. It was really, really nice to hear familiar voices praying the very familiar prayers of the Rosary. It was also nice to hear the voices of my Facebook and Twitter friends give reflections on each of the Mysteries of the Rosary. Even if you are not Catholic, it is still a wonderful thing to hear the voices of these people—bloggers, podcasters, New Media creators and users—lifting their voices in prayer. Well done, Sean, and thanks for this beautiful gift. ♥

Sigh. Here is one situation where I wish there was something like an LJ cut on Blogger. Maybe there is. If you know how to do it on Blogger, I'd be more than happy to hear it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)

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