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lelandtoday my little exposition is going to be about my two new and favouritest obsessions: dog the bounty hunter and survivorman. no – they are not in any way related (aside from being reality television shows) but that is not going to stop me from including both in this posting. and no – i don’t care if you don’t care.

so what i am going to do here (if only i could be this clear in the writing of my dissertation) is compare/contrast the shows and generally tell you what i love about them. and in the spirit of valentine’s day, add another random (and let’s face it) not-that-attractive guy to my list of “celebrity crushes.” you guessed it – leland chapman – or dawg jr to you b*tch.

here goes.

1. i love leland. not cause he is a hawt dawg or because he seems especially smart or engaging. i love him because he says “how’s it” the cutest out of all the members of his much-too-large family. also, he looks nothing like the rest of his family (save possibly his uncle. i’m not making any accusations…i’m just sayin’)

2. i love when survivorman (let’s affectionately call him les, yes?) becomes kind of a whiny b*tch on his show. the premise – for those who don’t know –  is that basically he gets dropped somewhere remote and has to survive for 7 days – without food, water, and (sometimes) shelter. he survives by his wits and sometimes looses his shit. those episodes are my favourite. like the man hasn’t eaten in days, bathed, been warm (or dry, or cool – depending on the climate), had water in some cases, or talked to anyone and the minute he starts complaining about his situation i’m all like – “what a baby!” then i try – but don’t always succeed – in telling myself i seriously wouldn’t last an hour. and i would definitely be dead in two.

3. this season dog has gotten much more violent. dog himself routinely yells “motherf*cker” at his ‘prey’ upon catching them and then he tries to save their souls. this is a somewhat welcomed change from the highly anti climatic run-up to someone turning themselves in and then getting asked if they have jesus in their lives. just my opinion.

4. les – on survivorman, stay with me here – kills at least one wild animal a show. every time he does he gives the same spiel – “i hate the thought of killing any animal. but when survival is at stake, any life is fair game” or something to that effect. every time he kills the animal though i judge (against the cuteness of the animal of course) which one of them i would rather see survive. les buddy, you are like losing three to ten. sorry dude.

5. beth’s breasts are seriously distracting. so are her nails. but i love her insofar as she subscribes to my motto: go big or go home b*tch.

6. okay both shows are highly gendered – just give me this moment’s ranty pants. oh yeah – and classed. oh yeah – and racialized. firstly, beth and baby lisa (can you believe they call their 27-year-old daughter this? but then again, my mother does still introduce me as her baby. so horrifyingly embarrassing. *shudder*) are always sent in to homes to talk to women in order to extract information by the very nature of their womanliness. dog himself is what i like to call a neo-sexist – you know, the older guy who likes to couch sexist (and sometimes misogynist – but always essentializing) comments in ‘joking’ terms – like “women can’t drive” and “men are the boss.” also, beth uses slang with racialized people but talks ‘normally’ with white hawaiians. also, i think the very notion of putting yourself – voluntarily – into survival situations is very gendered – read: ‘masculine.’ the notion that you can survive in the wild reminds me of the rugged (and misogynist) individualism expounded by certain men’s rights groups. also, it is *such* a classed activity. it is like how we go camping to ‘rough it.’ only a culture of plenty seeks to deny ourselves for leisure. k. rant over.

7. 90% of dog is about driving around in suvs and talking shit. it is like the perfect road trip.

8. 90% of survivorman is talking about fire. or making fire. or carrying fire from one place to another. or crying over fires gone out. producers: give the guy a lighter so i can hear him bitch and moan more. cause that is what that show is missing. drama.

9. i might have had a dream where leland and les get it on. first in the bc backwoods, then in a suv filled with people.

10. naw. i’m just messing with you. i’m just hoping to have a dream like that. i’ll keep you posted.

please share your own insights and/or fantasies about the shows. and don’t say that you don’t watch them.

cause i know you’re lyin’ b*tch.

vincentk. so there. i’m doing it too. i actually started a list of 25 things a few weeks ago after creampuff put out a blanket tag to all her bloggy friends (which was obviously only directed at me and my rack – you’re shameless roro!) but i hated them all so i am starting fresh. here goes!

1. when i was 6 i wanted to be a stripper. mostly for the costumes.

2. when people dress overly ironically (e.g., cat-eye glasses with little diamonds in them, horseshoe-patterned old man sweaters, etc.) i want to hurt them a little. you know, like shove-hurt not kick-in-the-junk-hurt.

3. i can smell everything. always.

4. i always want to help tourists. i don’t know if this has to do with my background in tourist industry or my uncontrollable desire to tell everyone what to do.

5. i am disproportionately afraid of farting in yoga class.

6. i love french fries and would eat them every meal of everyday if i could. i secretly wish i was one of those people who was all like “deep-fried stuff – disgusting!” but instead i want to kick-in-the-junk-hurt them.

7. i should always be doing one of two things: i) writing my dissertation, and/or 2) marking/prepping/reading. what i am always doing: watching some kind of former child star have a breakdown on much more music. congrats to those who got that reality show reference.

8. as t-bone always tells me, i have weird celebrity crushes. case in point: vincent d’onofrio (see post pic above). and not when he was thin. (and yes, criminal intent is on in the background. but rest assured. i am using both hands for this post).

9. i was born without a filter (see above). or else it’s broke.

10. i imagine that i have an incredible palate (maybe because of the smelling-everything thing – see above) and that i would make an excellent food critic. so, if anyone’s hiring, me and my beaknose are available.

11. my first kiss – when i was 11 – was ritz-flavoured. and with a boy nicknamed sasquatch.

12. i can touch my tongue to my nose (see beaknose above).

13. i am almost 30 years old and i hate getting in trouble. especially if it is for something trivial like peeing in public places or stealing. (k – for the record the only thing i ever stole was a rubber band from an office when i was young. and i actually think i only had the intent. that’s right. the criminal intent. see above).

14. both hands are still in use.

15. on the keyboard.

16. i believe in true wuv. like princess bride kind.

17. i love standing in front of a classroom. truly.

18. i learned my best dance moves from the dutch.

19. when i was 11, i plagiarized a line from the book – not the movie – arachnophobia and it was the only part the teacher made special mention of.

20. i once poked the eye out of a fish, wrapped it nicely and gave it to my mom as a gift. and then encouraged my cousin to do the same.

21. there is nothing funnier in the world to me than poop jokes. the word poop in fact might be the funniest in the english language.

22. there can never been enough: beer, food, asian-inspired decorations, cats, or potpourri. ever.

23. i turned two months on nude beach into a master’s thesis.

24. i have eaten alpaca. yeah, that’s right. i’m the devil.

25. i think i am a much better cook than i am. and also, i watch the food network endlessly only to have t-bone repeatedly point out that i never, ever write down a recipe or cook anything i learn how to make from watching the channel. he doesn’t understand food porn. poor t-bone.

and i shall tag: dr.beth because she often throws a little tag love my way (and she has a shiny new blog – go look!), chaos because she must blog again!, and lucas because i think he’ll think it’s fun.

k. tagging over. jacks out.

billkurtis2for those of you who don’t watch a&e like it is their lifeblood, bill kurtis is a guy (with a silky-smooth voice btw) who hosts and narrates a variety of crime-related shows on the friggin’ fantastic channel that rocks my world. i am currently obsessed with investigative reports (and have been since roughly 1995), where kurtis leads viewers through tales of intrigue and murder, often featuring the criminals and victim-families involved, that lend themselves to infuriating questions such as “should teens face the death penalty in murder cases?” i say infuriating because they take me back to high school when i would argue against the death penalty in opposition to all my classmates whose arguments were premised on seemingly biological categorizations of “goodness” and “badness.” in any case, i digress. in case you are not an avid watcher of all that is disturbing on television, a&e also has a program called intervention. intervention is a “reality show” that documents actual surprise interventions (the person who is being intervened upon agrees to participate in a documentary and then basically gets hijacked by their family with the help of an interventionist – for a synopsis look here) and, usually, the resultant recovery of the addicted person.

yesterday i was watching intervention when something in my stomach told me to stop. i didn’t. and then paid the price. the intervention was for allison – a young woman with a huffing dependency on computer duster (that she actually ingested – that is, blew directly into her mouth and lungs from.the.can) and who also was an anorexic cutter. in her both her sisters’ paraphrased words, allison is trying to kill herself as loudly as possible by inflicting physical pain on herself to demonstrate to her family and the world just how much pain she herself is in. usually, i get through an episode of intervention, having gone through the emotion of it, but satisfied with the recovery process and the epilogue that states the number of months the intervened has since been sober. allison has haunted me since and i think it has to do with a number of factors.

first, her youth. both her and her sister were young women, and very young when they were sexually abused (a reality that later resulted in all of allison’s addictions and problems). they were just regular girls, both hurt, and one hurt beyond recognition. second, her multiple addictions. i am not an expert in the field of anorexia, but i was recently reading about the advent of so-called “drunkorexics” who drink their calories instead of eat them. while this is a tenuous title, and one that many health experts might be wary of, it indicates the integrated nature of addiction – that anorexics often have substance abuse issues, and perhaps vice versa. and third, it makes me think about vancouver’s downtown eastside (dtes) and how all these issue coincide there: abuse and victimization, skeletally-thin addicted women (who i am not implying are anorexic, but are starving nonetheless), and just how easy it is – or would be for people like allison – to end up on the streets without caring people like her family, who of course, have to be in a position to be able to help. this post was originally intended to be about how the bodies of women in the dtes, those skeletal, emaciated bodies, ravaged with years of drug use and misuse by others, are actually held up as a beauty ideal in magazines (to make an obvious, if not disturbing, point). but instead, allison’s story, and damaged body, continues to haunt me, because it could have been me. it could have been any of us who someone decided to mistreat, in ways that are difficult to recover from.

i think it ultimately speaks to the correlation between treatment of our bodies and understandings of ourselves. and if one is too young to have autonomy over themselves and are mistreated, they will often mistreat themselves. a long time ago i was in a car accident and i was hospitalized for almost two months. at fourteen years old, my roommates fell into one of only three categories: anorexics and bulimics, cancer and accident patients, and suicides. i had one of each, although i got to know my roommate C., the best. she had survived not only rape, but her attempt to kill herself after that rape. i decided then, and was reminded now, that there is something wrong in a world where young women’s bodies are mistreated, by others, and themselves as a result of pain. pain over hurt, pain over not being perfect, pain over not being enough. it is often said that young girls live in a scary world, and they should be protected. but i am going to suggest that young women are the real survivors. they are the ones who have to contend with a world that denies them autonomy, and then asks them to apologize.

as you can see, i need my own intervention. an intervention to not watch intervention.

oh. and i’d like bill kurtis to host it.

i recently got this saying on a pin from my equally-fabulous friend chaos (um, dude, post something new already!) and i thought i’d begin on a high note cause you know it is all going downhill from here. well, not really. i have just been thinking about how it is coming up on my first year blogiversary and i am still a bag blogger. that’s right kids. welcome to why i am a bad blogger installment…um…i dunno. #6? a lot? a billion?

so there is the obvious situation of my random, some would say, spotty blogging habits. to which i reply, quite haughtily, “i am a blog artiste. and plus, i cannot help that big brother was on all summer followed by a new season of biggest loser (this time with families!) not to mention i am doing this dissertation thing which is REALLY cutting into america’s next top model (go isis you hot bitch!)” or something to that effect.

there is a somewhat related issue regarding my tags. or categories. or whatever. the thing is i have no idea really what they are. or what they do. i just like when categories pop up under my post titles and if there is nothing that strikes my fancy as an appropriate category, i make another. this happens a lot. (okay, now don’t go to my list of taggy categories cause it will cause me shame. do you think i can pay someone to clean that up for me? or make it relevant? or somethin’?).

there is the issue of ‘being on the market,’ which in academicese means trying to finally become employed after years and years (and years) of unemployment (cause face it kids, being a teaching or research assistant is really just about cushy slavery). i am not gonna lie. it is the biggest job undertaking EVER. and i don’t care if some of you are doctors (you know, the kind that actually help people) or executives (yeah, like executives read my blog) and had to go through completely tumultuous application processes. it is not as bad as trying to put together the past 10 years of unemployment in terms that make you seem employable. i’m just sayin’.

there is also the issue of the weather turning. i mean, summer is busy. there are fun things to do. you know when there aren’t as many fun things to do? when it is pouring and doesn’t get light enough for you to differentiate between dawn and dusk. that’s right folks. september in vancouver. but don’t get me wrong. i heart vancouver. i am just a twit who always forgets what the weather is like here in the winter.

and there is my general obsession with fat which i haven’t spoken about in a while. right now i am cooking up a new project which contains the key words: obesity, internet, new media, activism, community, fat phobia, social inclusion, and civic engagement. sounds fancy, huh? it isn’t really a secret so much as i don’t feel like regurgitating all the hours viciously robbed from hell’s kitchen to prepare it.

i am going to end this post with a question – which again goes to demonstrate why i am a bag blogger. i always assume people are going to respond (and those of you who do – i love you more than reality t.v. well, it is VERY close) enthusiastically and verbosely. the fact that i only get a few responses (despite the fact that i think i have hundreds of adoring audience members. yes, i am a delusional egomaniac. thank you for noticing cutie;) means a) i ask the wrong questions; or b) i ask questions that are not compelling enough for people to go through the bother of creating a false name only to have me reveal their true identities in the comments section. sound familiar robinmasters?

okay, my question is: what has been preoccupying you lately? work? school? a hobby? fat? i hope you all say fat so that we can be bffs. for reals forevs.


during this past week (and a bit) of procrasinate-y goodness, which was inflected with bouts of hardcore writing (my theory chapter of all things), and which resulted in my new nickname: jacks the vamp-paper slayer, i realize that i can multi-task. no. i kick ass at multi-tasking. what are these things i can do at once, you ask? i can watch food network food porn AND write academic papers.

impressive, no?

i have had a recent personal victory. after many, many months of trying to convince t-bone that we do in fact need more television, and not less, as he ridiculously suggests, i managed to score us classic cable. well, more specifically, i trapped t-bone with a cableman and basically forced the cableman to install classic cable while my poor dear love could only politely scowl from the corner. ah, passive aggression. keeps the love alive. there are two points that need clarification here: while t-bone likes television, he thinks it is perhaps mind numbing and that we should do talky/thinky activities instead (noble, but misguided); and classic cable is just one step up from basic cable. the main difference is that with basic cable there is no food network. and no food network means no food porn. you see my dilemma.

so while i have been diligently working away at my theory chapter, i have also been marking time if you will, with copious amounts of food network. i love the southern lady who can’t keep food out her mouth long enough to talk to the camera, let alone her many grown sons that she seemingly forces to cook with her. i love the skinny italian woman who makes the richest italian dishes but never seems to gain a pound. i think she’s magic. and i also love the really tall atlantic canadian dude who cooks off the top of his head in his own kitchen for his family. how do i get a gig like that? i mean he prolly writes off his kid he’s got such a sweetass deal. i once saw him at a winery in the niagara wine region in ontario and i want to talk to him so bad. but i could figure out what to say and knowing me it would have been something really lame like, “dude you are tall. like really tall. taller than you appear on t.v.” and then realizing that was stupid i would have gone on to ask him if his relative tallness interferes with his cooking. it would have been seriously humiliating. kind of like the time i was eating at the table next to brian orser and i couldn’t stop staring at him. poor dude was just trying to have brunch with his mom and his partner and all i could think about was how i wanted to tell him i wrote a speech about him in grade 5. that he was my hero. i was like 25 at the time. thankfully, t-bone and others saved me from that doomed interaction.

so basically, getting back to food porn, i realized that what your parents always told you is untrue. you can and should watch television while working. more employers need to get behind this idea. especially if it is something that significantly motivates. like yummy, yummy food. t-bone remains puzzled about why i watch hours and hours of the food channel and never cook anything i see on there. never write down a recipe. never reproduce the pornographic goodness that is the food network. i tell him that i am getting inspiration. but perhaps this inspiration is not only food-focused but reaches into the innermost corner of my psyche and makes me productive. i hope i didn’t write anything provocative for my supervisor to see. thank gawd my dissertation isn’t about food.

for interwebs porn for those of you without the food network (poor darlings) there is this great new blog – patent and the pantry. enjoy!

i thought it might be time for another rousing rendition of my mediocrity at crafting and maintaining this beautiful blog. since this is my like, fortieth-ish post, i am now an expert on why my blog pales in comparison to those that people read religiously and comment on. some of this list may seem familiar while other aspects of suckage will be entirely new. as always, comments for improvement are welcomed but will resultantly make you unlikeable. just so you know. enjoy.

1. this blog continues to be about nothing. i have recently refurbished my “about me” and “interests” sections. it made me feel better despite the fact that you didn’t notice. don’t pretend you did.

2. because this blog is about nothing, i will never be paid consultancy fees for anything. shitbags of hell.

3. t-bone has recently pointed out that i not only frequently have spelling errors, but that i always do. thanks for that tidbit.

4. i may or may not have mis-named my blog. i mean seriously, even i skip over blogs with titles like hate in them because i am trying to spare myself the entitled vitriol of others. what was i thinking? i hated my other blog. however, i am desperately in love with this one.

5. do people even blog in the summer? i mean, is this blog going to contribute to my pastiness? i really need a tan – like even a spray-on one. seriously.

6. i am even starting to think the minutiae of my life is interesting. is this a blog-induced state equivalent to navel-gazing in the social sciences (mainly anthropology – i mean, i’m not judging, i’m just saying…)?

7. i think all lists must contain 10 items.

8. all i want to blog about is big brother – till death do us part. hey – you know how i feel about being judged about my reality television choices. so stop it. now.

9. i have ceased and desisted sharing my blog. that can’t be good. and if i do i always tell people that they won’t want to read it. how is that for a sales pitch?

10. i can’t seem to talk about anything related to my dissertation which is both a positive and a negative thing. i mean, this blog is about procrastination, right? suggested to me by the one and only dr. beth, who has in fact completed a dissertation, hence the dr. appellation. almost dr. jacks can’t even talk about online dating much less have a blog about it. poor almost dr. jacks. is this what i should rename my blog? methinks i am on to something.

okay, so what has this installment of bad bloggerness taught all of us? not much. but it does suggest that i maybe should change the name of my blog and perhaps share it will others with the same kind of resounding endorsement i give to referrals to my hairdresser or for people to watch flight of the conchords. seriously. watch it. its friggin’ awesome folks.

vote now if you think i should change my blog title to “almost dr. jacks changes the world” or some other fabulous suggestion you wonderful people have.

11. i change my blog so often, people can’t even find it, let alone figure out what it is about (just a preview of bag blogger installment #6).


the impossible dreariness of today compels me to write on my beloved blog. i have been thinking lately about the function of procrastination and i believe graduate students excel at the art of procrastination like no other (what else is graduate school if not the procrastination of many of the socially proscribed compulsions of life – partnering, procreation, post post-secondary life in general – or at least this is how i imagine my grandmother sees it). today i want to comment on my other love, that is, television. an aside: i have a friend, S., who i have known a long time. whenever i call S. and ask what she is doing, she says, “watching television.” never t.v., never ‘the tube,’ never anything but that lovely word: television. i love calling television television because it harks back to a fictional time when television was an art, an alternate way of seeing, a transporter to other lives, loves, maybe even lurid, sordid, and unspoken yearnings. anyhoo. my televisual eyes were not fully opened until i discovered, and fell desperately, consumingly, all-encompassingly in love with reality television. when i was thirteen or so i discovered the real world but that was just the beginning. i think my reality television love really began with the onset of the survivor era. when EVERYTHING became fodder for the lens of the reality phenomenon. what i love most about reality television is that it actually provokes discussion about what is “real” and what is not. in effect it exposes the lie that we are not always already mediated by that which surrounds us. frames us. alters us. for me, reality television cannot be about reality but must be. that is its central paradox. why it cannot be ‘real’ is of course a matter of modern truth-making in a postmodern world. but why it must be is the more compelling concern. when i see discussions about the ethics or problematics of how to correctly capture the ‘real’ and properly package it for television, i listen intently. for example, the recent kafuffle about the new american series kid nation provides an interesting example. cries of child labour, exploitation, enslavement and the like. as though relatively well-off children having the opportunity to demonstrate that children are in fact capable, able, and not desperately in need of suffocating ‘protection’ for cameras (and the entertainment of the masses) is damaging. as though putting children in a former ghost-town with bunches of rules and no adults is somehow real. or is it not? isn’t the problem that actual child exploitation is a little too much to bear? a little discomfiting on a wednesday night at 8pm when we’d rather watch t.v.? isn’t a show like kid nation a distraction, a simulation of what passes as ‘normal’ childhood these days in the face of child poverty and such? this post is far too cerebral. it was intended as a meditation on my favourite reality television shows. so before i list them with accompanying witty commentary, i will just say that reality television is my favourite because it upends the notion of the real by rubbing in your face the constructions (simulations? fantasies? de/i/llusions?) of everyday life.

* big brother – the quintessential reality show for the consummate addict. one day i will 1) stop claiming that this is the summer that i will resist it and, 2) stop being too cheap to pay for the live feed.

* the real world – this show NEVER gets old. how could it? egomaniacal americans in their late teens and early twenties in close quarters. please. this shit is genius.

* america’s next top model – pick what is not to like about this show: beautiful women, drama, clothes, make-up, and did i mention drama?

* everything on mtv – mtv is the mother of all reality shows. those of us obsessed with anything from the hills to a shot a love with tila tequila should petition to give this channel a medal. or a nobel peace prize. or SOMETHING!

* beauty and the geek – two of my favourite things.

* daytime talk shows – from oprah to rachael ray – it’s gold people. gold. (don’t judge me dammit!).

* the food network – reality food shows – what can i say? i’m in heaven, i’m in heaven…

jacks out.