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Watching ‘The O.C.’, season 4.

Taylor and Ryan. Photo by FOX.

I finished watching season four of “The O.C.” last week, and since there are only four seasons, it’s overrrrrrrrrr!!! I was slowly savoring the episodes when I started on season three, but season four was just… weird.

But, let me offer up the official description from Amazon before I go any further:

High school is over. Time to move on. But events conspire to reunite Ryan, Seth and Summer in posh, seaside Newport. And there may even be a new Core Four. Because after Taylor Townsend says a quick if not passionate au revoir to her education in France, she just might pursue Ryan until he catches her. Time, too, for the series to move on with these 16 Final Episodes. Seth marries Summer? (Maybe.) Ryan goes through life like it’s a steel-cage brawl? (Sometimes.) Kaitlin tries to hook up her mom Julie with a billionaire? (Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) But things happen, sometimes quite unexpectedly. Time to hit the beach for all the surprising events of a cool, compelling and revealing conclusion of The O.C.

Okay, so if you read my review from season three, maybe you guessed that I didn’t realize Marissa DIED. Obviously, I accidentally found out (thanks, Google) that she was going to die, but I didn’t think they’d kill her off with an entire season left!

So, when season four began and everyone was sad and grieving and Ryan was living in the back of a bar participating in cage fights, I was REAL confused.

Also, I know I’ve got a great group of readers here because no one told me that CHRIS BROWN would make a cameo appearance this season – this was perhaps the best thing about season four.

I mean, I wasn’t a huge fan of Marissa, but without her, it just seemed wrong. I couldn’t get into Ryan dating Taylor, and the scenes of them together just weren’t right.

From the reviews I’ve read, it seemed like lots of people stopped watching during season three, and the ratings plummeted for season four.

I am glad that Seth and Summer ended up together, and that everyone survived all of the earthquakes (random plot twist) and the new baby’s arrival.

So, that’s pretty much that! I’m really glad I decided to watch this show – and if I would have watched it in high school, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it quite as much.

The question now is – what should I watch next? I’m thinking “Glee” – I have never seen it (I’m hanging my head in embarrassment right now). But what other shows are oldies but goodies? I also have “The West Wing” on DVD that I have yet to watch.

Let me know your favorite old TV series in the comments!

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Watching: ‘The OC’, season 3.

The core four.

I started watching season 3 of “The OC” during my staycation last week, and I wasn’t surprised when I barreled right through it. I thought season 2 was good, but season 3 was just throwing drama left and right, and you know, I am HERE FOR IT.

Before I go any further, here is the description of season 3 from Amazon.com:

Senior year. Prom. Graduation. College visits. Old friends. New problems. And plenty of Korean popstars. Ryan’s savior complex becomes a recipe for disaster. Seth and Summer’s relationship hits the rocks thanks to Seth’s compulsion to edit the truth. As Kirsten attempts to put her life back together, Sandy assumes leadership of the Newport Group and finds himself the heir-apparent to Caleb Nichol’s legacy of scandal. Marissa spirals out of control after little sis Kaitlin – a Julie Cooper in the making – returns home to stir the pot. And speaking of Julie Cooper, she’s cast out of her Palace – into the slums of the OC.

Please note that the following DOES contain spoilers – I’m assuming I’m the only person who is watching “The OC” for the first time.

Season 2 left off with Marissa just having shot Trey, so season 3 picks up right there. To my shock, Trey was still alive, but obviously in the hospital. There is much controversy over Marissa’s actions and the community questions (and wishes) that Ryan was to blame instead.

Marissa and Ryan get kicked out of Harbor, and its public school for her and Ryan gets a tutor for homeschooling. At her new school, Marissa meets a group of new friends, and you can probably guess what happens next…

The new group of friends has their own trouble, and Marissa gets dragged in, love triangle, and all. Eventually, the group starts to fade away, and the remaining friend dies in an accident. Because of course, right?

Over the course of the season, Marissa and Ryan breakup and get back together, as do Seth and Summer. But the other focus remains on getting Marissa admitted back to Harbor (Ryan gets back in) and applying to college.

College visits brings back a few skeletons – Seth runs into Anna on the Brown campus, and Kirsten sees Teresa at the airport… with a baby that looks a lot like Ryan. Dun, dun, dunnnnn.

In the background of all this, Marissa’s dad disappears after proposing to her mom Julie Cooper, and there is no fortune to be had. This leaves Marissa to live with Summer, and Julie moved into the trailer park, complete with pork rinds and chewing tobacco (!).

In the end, Ryan is still up to his old ways – fighting everyone in sight, and getting involved with Marissa’s ex in stealing a car, which sends Ryan and Marissa into a terrible, flaming car crash in the last few minutes of the season finale.

The season closes with an unclear outcome (of course) – is Marissa alive (I’m thinking yes because we have one more season to go)? Will Ryan go to college? Is Teresa’s baby his?

We will soon see!

Watching: ‘The OC’, Season Two.

Blue like the sea… the o-sea…

You might recall that earlier this year, I’d never seen a single episode of “The OC”, but I watched season one, and after receiving a surprise copy of season two in the mail, I plowed right through season two.

Before I tell you anything else, here’s the description of season two from Amazon:Β Hook up with what’s coming down as the Core Four romances of Ryan-and-Marissa and Seth-and-Summer may (or may not) go from very over to very on, Sandy and Kirsten face choices that could trainwreck their 20-year marriage, felon (and Ryan’s brother) Trey gives Newport living a try, Julie’s lurid past comes back to haunt her, and other new hunks and hotties become part of the coastal scene. Live. Laugh. Lie. Cheat. Grow. Share. Connive. Love. In California’s beach paradise, they do everything under the sun.

…So… yeah. After watching season two, I can say it was WAY better than season one. Season one was a nice, sweet introduction to this group… and season two was basically a slap in the face, “Hello, welcome to crazy!” This is where stuff really starts to fall apart.

The season begins with Seth in Portland after he set sail… but arrived at his destination via Greyhound. It takes some convincing from Sandy and Ryan, but obviously Seth returns to the OC unscathed, and just in time for a new school year to begin.

We are also watching Ryan’s relationship, and his life in Chino, as he awaits the birth of his child… that is until his baby mama starts suspecting something is awry with Ryan, and she tells him she lost the baby.

I KNEW she wasn’t going to end up having the baby on the show, which is half-true, as we later see she does indeed have it, but Ryan doesn’t know. I have to applaud the show writers here for not just cutting off this plot line, and I’m curious to see if it ever comes back up in the later seasons.

Ryan comes back to the OC, as predicted – this show wouldn’t be a thing without him and his unrefined drama.

Sandy has someone from his past reappear, an old love, as her father is looking for her and she arrives in town under disguise from the FBI. He comes reeeeal close to cheating, and his wife has her own little crush, which results in a slew of heavy drinking, an alcohol-related car accident (which she somehow walks away from) and a trip to rehab.

THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Ryan briefly dates someone new, until he finds out she’s related to the Cohens, and this heads down the path of a DNA test, adoption, and then she’s virtually killed off the show when she buys a one-way ticket to Chicago.

Ryan’s brother also finds himself in the OC after he’s released from prison. Naturally, Sandy is there to pick him up and invites him to stay in the pool house. Nothing says trouble like this… drugs, theft, and guns? It gets bad.

But the Cohens are always around to solve everything with a basket full of bagels, and/or a ridiculous order of takeout Chinese.

Regardless, by the end of the season, two people are dead, and I’m not lying when I tell you I purchased the final two seasons within five minutes of the season ending. DAMN.

So, there’s that! I am halfway through the series, and I’m hoping my DVDs will be delivered this week – I can’t stand these cliffhangers!

Watching: ‘Ingrid Goes West’.

…Ingrid goes dark…

Over the long weekend, I did exactly what you’re supposed to do: ate watermelon and burgers (okay, vegan black bean burgers), shopped ’till I dropped, and went to the movies! I finally saw what lots of people have been talking about “Ingrid Goes West”.

“Ingrid Goes West” is the story of Ingrid Thorborn (Aubrey Plaza), who has spent a decent chunk of her life being obsessed with social media.

We’re not talking, oh she likes Instagram or she’s constantly buried in her phone – this is a full blown obsession that leads her to change her entire life, and sometimes, even ruining moments of the lives for whom she’s obsessing over.

Despite her past (in a mental institution), Ingrid discovers a new quest: Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Taylor is the girl we’ve all seen on Instagram – her life appears perfect (in that California vintage way), complete with a wedding, bearded husband, and sponsored Instagram posts to feed her thousands of followers.

So, Ingrid… you guessed it… goes west in order to start a new life and embody Taylor’s. You might have an idea how this ends – but don’t worry, I’m not going to offer any spoilers.

I will say that a clear B plot is here, offering us Ingrid’s landlord and pseudo boyfriend Dan Pinto (O’shea Jackson Jr.), and the banter between them is the sparkle in this otherwise dark flick. Yes, Ingrid goes there.

While those who’ve seen it agree it’s a little…well, psychotic… I have to say that it’s probably a little more real than we’d all like to admit.

Our culture has become obsessed with perfection and this displays itself all over social media, and it has ugly consequences. We’re all comparing ourselves to people we don’t know personally, and trying to be these people, all based on a set of pictures that most likely doesn’t represent their R E A L life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this given a book I read last week (more on this in the coming weeks), so it’s heavy on my mind.

The other bright spot of “Ingrid Goes West”? I saw it at the Drafthouse and they had a split menu specifically for the movie. It had items for Taylor, which were refined and vegan, and options for Ingrid, which were indulgent and sloppy. Obviously I got the Cali fries from Ingrid’s side, and they were a delicious take on In-N-Out’s animal style fries. Fucking YUM.

Should you see this movie? Yep. Recommendations all around – especially if you are an Aubrey Plaza fan.

Also… there’s new items in my Etsy shop! I made several new items over the weekend, and I’m rolling them out a few at a time, but check them out!

Hand-Picked: Better late than never…

I wish this would have scanned better!

I wish this would have scanned better!

Whew! I’m so sorry I’m just getting around to posting this, and it’s almost Friday, when a new post will be up, but yesterday was a crazy day and I barely even made it home before midnight. So, yes, I know this picture above is hardly legible.

But, when I found this note, it’s the whole reason I thought about doing this series in the first place. It’s a letter from a guy I went to high school with, Evan, and I had a crush on him for what seems like FOREVER! I’m actually just now sort of getting over him, which probably seems crazy, but hey.

So I found this note in my filing cabinet; it was handwritten by him, but it has no date on it. I’m pretty sure it’s from college, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, it says that he hopes all is well with my boyfriend (so I was obviously dating someone at the time), and that if my boyfriend isn’t treating me right, to let him know.

He also says, “Thanks for taking this shirt” – so I was obviously bringing a shirt to someone? I also don’t know why I don’t remember this better! I blame it on the alcohol.

Notebook cover.

Notebook cover.

This is another one of my “notebooks” I kept with a friend, obviously in 1999, which was the latter-half of my 8th grade year. I do love the glitter on the cover, but I don’t understand Ben Affleck.

A sweet thank you!

A sweet thank you!

After I started my class, “Blogging for Beginners” at LSU, I was asked by many different groups to speak on blogging best practices. It has become one of my favorite things – teaching and speaking to others about my passion for blogging – and now my course is offered at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as online.

So pretty!

So pretty!

When I was in college, one of my best friends and her husband moved to San Diego. I’d never been, but flew there for Thanksgiving and we had a BLAST! For starters, San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. We also went to Balboa Park, ate a delicious dinner (complete with caramel apple martinis), and even got to see “The Grinch” as a play. In Balboa Park, they do not play when it comes to this annual production – they turned the entire theatre area into Whoville, and it even snowed inside the theatre! I bought a little Grinch doll while I was there, and place it inside my Christmas tree each year. It is one of my favorite memories.

Old loves.

Old loves.

Yep, I still have my od iPod (the original) and my Blackberry. My iPod definitely doesn’t even turn on anymore, and it was loaded with 10K songs that were lost on a computer during a hurricane. I was able to listen to it for a little while afterward, but it was eventually just too old. If anyone knows how to get it to work again, I’d owe you FOR LIFE.

Ah, I will be an advocate for Blackberries until I die. I only recently switched to an iPhone (within the last two years), when it became necessary to have apps and be able to blog better from my phone. But my heart is still with the Blackberry, and I’m not ashamed!

I’ll have the final batch of “Hand-Picked” goodies for you, right here, tomorrow!