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OK, so the other day I fessed up about my two latest Netflix obsessions. At a quick glance, the obsession with Felicity and Dance Academy may make me seem like a boy-crazy girly girl, but the truth is that my Netflix history is…a bit schizophrenic. It’s one of the reasons I love Netflix–it has everything! Teen dramas! Nature documentaries! Reality TV! Indie films!

If the FBI or CIA or a stalker was trying to pull together a profile of me based on what I’ve recently watched on Netflix, here’s what they’d find (we’ll start with the obvious first):

Girly Girl Nonsense

Felicity, Dance Academy, and…

Blue Crush 2

Do you know I actually own the original Blue Crush on DVD? I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing, that or the fact I sat down to watch this hideous sequel. Any sequel that features zero of the original’s characters is set up for disappointment. Also, I love how the 16-year-old main character runs away from her LA mansion and flies to South Africa on her own, on a whim. I hate how I get so mad at dumb movies.

Picture Me

Yes, this is technically a documentary but it’s one about runway models and the drama that goes on behind the cameras. I felt like I was watching “America’s Next Top Model: The Movie.” Ick.

Smart Comedy

Parks and Recreation

Sit down and talk to each during dinner? Bah! Bryan and I settle back in our IKEA chairs and watch 24 minutes of rib-busting comedy. Any time Ron Swanson says anything about meat or bacon or breakfast food, there is a good chance my living room companion is going to laugh so hard that the cushion falls off the chair with him.

30 Rock

The pre-Parks and Recreation joint TV series that I always thought was the funniest show on the planet…until I met Leslie Knope et al. Still, I’m not going to deny the award-winning dynamics between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

Portlandia

I may not live in Portland, but I’m at Whole Foods and yoga studios and farmers markets enough that I totally get the hippie humor.

Nostalgia

Santa Claus: The Movie

This movie defined my childhood Christmases, and oh!, I had such a love-hate relationship with Dudley Moore as Patch, the traitor elf. I always envisioned the guy who played Santa in this movie to be the REAL Santa, ’cause he was just so perfect in the role. Every other movie Santa is just a fraud.

Giorgio Moroder presents Metropolis

As a kid, I remember seeing my dad watch this at home and it kind of freaked me out. What’s with the olde tyme film? The lack of sound? That robot lady is creepy! So when I found it on Netflix, of course I had to watch it. I’ve never seen the original film, but this 1980s presentation of a German silent movie from the 20s–complete with Pat Benetar and Freddy Mercury soundtrack–is just as creepy now as it was for me as an 8-year-old.

Twin Peaks

Again, this is something I remember my dad being very interested in, but at the time it was on TV I was at no age to be watching such a creepy/messed up/whacked out/WTF show. We whipped through the series late last year, and I can safely say it is the weirdest show we’ve ever watched. But…I kind of loved it too? Or maybe I just loved Kyle MacLachlan. And finally–FINALLY!–I understand the Red Room dream sequence in the “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” episode of The Simpsons. Burns suit, burns suit…Burns’ suit!!

Disturbing Documentaries/Real-Life TV

The Sun Behind the Clouds

I’ve been to Tibet and know the situation. The Dalai Lama’s escape, the influx of Chinese, the loss of culture, the threat of imprisonment for standing up for Buddhist beliefs. Watching this documentary was a bit masochistic, because I know there is no happy ending for Tibet. I kind of lost it when they starting showing footage of monks being beaten.

Frontline–Facing Death

Hey, so nothing is more depressing than a PBS special about end-of-life decisions. But one of the publications I edit is about geriatric care, and since I’m always reading about these difficult situations I thought that watching a true-life documentary about them may give me a new perspective when working with such material. Also, unfortunately, I have a few friends with family members who are approaching end of life, and I thought it may be beneficial to at least be familiar with their situation.

Waiting for “Superman”

I have a lot of friends who work in education, and I remember there being quite a buzz on Facebook when this movie came out in theaters, because, basically, it slams the current state of public schools. This movie did what every documentary does to me…leaves me feeling helpless and crying, “It’s not fairrrrrrr!!!!!!”

30 Days

What happens when an atheist has to live in a Christian household for 30 days? Or a redneck moves in with a Muslim family? OK, so perhaps this show is a bit like Wife Swap, but what I like about 30 Days is that it’s much more realistic. People actually know what they’re getting into and don’t act “surprised” or angry when they have to do something outside of their comfort zone. The angle isn’t so confrontational, there aren’t any “rules changing” ceremonies, and the participants actually seem open to learning about something new.

Life In a Day

A collection of YouTube videos from all over the world documenting 24 hours from one day, from people brushing their teeth to sheep farming to a family dealing with cancer. The concept is so simple, the result a captivating movie about how “any old day” is anything but.

Miscellaneous

Fireplace For Your Home

So I made fun of this when I first saw it was available on Netflix, but I ended up using for real when I needed something calming to accompany a cold-night home yoga practice. Dude, sometimes a candle just isn’t enough, OK?!

What surprising things are on your Recently Watched list?

Thanks to a sleet/snow/sleet storm on early Saturday morning, “long walks outside” have temporarily been suspended as a potential exercise option. The weekend is usually my time to bundle up, fire up my podcast-stuffed iPod, and head out for a long walk, but Mother Nature dumped just enough crap on the streets and sidewalks that any “walk” would be more of a waddle as I try to stay upright on an uneven surface of leftover crusty ice.

Day 1, Saturday, was bearable. I spent most of the morning/early afternoon taking down Christmas decorations and cleaning the downstairs and went swimming at the gym an hour before closing. Actually getting myself to the pool was a feat straight out of my previous post, having to drive down slushy streets and tip-toe over a parking lot of black ice before stripping down to barely nothing and jumping in a large body of water.

I don’t like swimming on consecutive days, so Sunday I woke up with a challenge. How to earn those endorphins?

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the most desperate workout in history: Living room walking!

Materials needed: (a) a long living room, clear of furniture; (b) a 10-pound weighted vest, to increase the chances of actually sweating and getting a workout; (c) an optional set of stairs, to add some glute/quad action; and–the most critical element–(d) a TV, to kill the time that will seem to drag on forever and ever…and ever.

I walked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for 2.93 miles. For people who run, that number is nothing. For people who living room walk, that’s a freakin’ marathon.

It could not have been done without support from one of my favorite people of the moment:

I’m looking at you, Felicity. And Noel, Ben, Julie, and Elena. A Netflix subscription with wifi streaming makes living room walking soooo much more bearable. Felicity is one of my latest Netflix guilty pleasures. I don’t know why I’m so into it. I watched it in college (her school years coincided with mine), but I stopped watching it after Season 2. And now, at age 31, I’m totally hooked. It’s so cheesy! Ben, Noel, Ben, Noel. Ugh, just make up your mind, girl!

I don’t know if my other current guilty pleasure is better or worse:

Only Netflix would introduce me to an Australian teen drama that’s essentially a TV version of Center Stage. Sure, there’s some legitimate dancing involved, but for the most part this show is about unrequited love, schoolgirl crushes, prima donna ballerina snobs, and rough-and-tough boys who are ashamed to admit they love ballet. I’m hooked. And–100% totally true confession–I used the show as inspiration to get myself to the pool on Saturday, pretending I was a serious student at the “Swim Academy” and had to get to practice. Just swap a leotard for a Speedo, pointe shoes for flippers…same difference.

So, there you have it. Living room walking with Felicity and Australian teen drama-inspired swim workout. I just need to add a Golden Girls squat-and-lunge routine, and I’m on my way to becoming the triathlete of geekdom.

About the Author

Name: Jennifer

Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

Blog Mission:
SHARE my practice experience in conscious dance and yoga,

EXPAND my network of like-minded individuals,

FULFILL my desire to work with words in a more creative and community-building capacity;

FLOW and GROW with the world around me!

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