Saturday, May 16, 2009

confessions of a chuckoholic

Hi, I'm Laurie and I'm a Chuckoholic. I have become obsessed with and addicted to a television show. Never before in my life have I done anything like this but I was vulnerable and in need of serious escapism and comedic relief in my life during the past year. I hate to sound so dramatic but the NBC show Chuck sorta saved my sanity even while inducing an insanity of it's own into my life.
With all the drama associated with what has been happening with my grandmother's deteriorating health, this silly little techy fantasy (which combines comedy, romance and spy action and a tiny bit of drama with colorful, endearing characters that are surprisingly well acted) became my weekly escape from reality and a bit of a tonic for my mental and emotional well-being.

I discovered it last spring while house sitting for my daughter in Colorado. I never would've seen it at home because at the time we didn't have local channels. After returning to NM, I watched online so we could see the episodes I had missed but the more I watched it the more I enjoyed it so that soon I had to resubscribe to local channels on DirectTV, just so I could watch season two of Chuck. Pretty soon that wasn't enough and I had to buy the season one DVD so I could enjoy the episodes on a larger screen and any time I wanted to see them again. Just this past January, when Gramma's health began the intense decline and I never knew where I would be or what might be happening on Monday evenings at 7 pm, I finally subscribed to the show on Amazon Video on Demand so I'd never miss an episode and could rewatch season two whenever I needed a fix. I even joined some Chuck forums online so I could see what other "Chucksters" were saying about each episode. I became very much like a drug pusher, successfully convincing my husband and some family members to become viewers. Just like any addiction, there was a progression into the insanity.

The show became one of NBC's "bubble shows" and in danger of cancellation this spring (largely due to the extremely competitive time slot when it aired) but a group of incredibly loyal and crazy fans (and critics) banded together to fight for their favorite show. Sometime this spring during the darkest hours of my grandmother's decline I finally crossed over that fine line between being fond of something or being obsessed with it and joined the cause to "SAVE CHUCK". I wrote letters to NBC, I pre-ordered season two on DVD, I made sure to watch online just in case viewing it on Hulu or counted toward anything in the ratings game and I downloaded every episode onto my computer so I would never, for one moment be without Chuck if I needed to rewatch an episode. I've annoyed all my FB friends with an endless assault of Chuck-related updates. We even stayed with my son and his wife in Albuquerque the night of the finale just so we could buy Subway sandwiches and participate in the "Finale and a Footlong" aspect of the Save Chuck campaign to show Chuck's sponsor Subway that we meant business and paid attention to commercials and product placement in the show.

Two days after the finale, Gramma passed away but I continued to self-medicate with Chuck. I scoured the internet for news about renewal and anxiously awaited the day of NBC's Infront announcement of it's fall lineup only to be disappointed, along with millions of other Chuck Fanatics, that NBC was postponing it's decision and would announce Chuck's fate on May 19th. About a week after Gramma's passing I was on the NBC Chuck forum and we were discussing what more could be done to Save Chuck. If you'd like to know the rest of the story and hear about my involvement in the Have A Heart - Renew Chuck AHA Campaign go here to read an online article by Brian Howard.

The craziness continues as we await news of Chuck's future but we are hopeful and cautiously confident that we have been heard. If not, and Chuck isn't renewed for a third season, at the very least, perhaps our obsession has benefited someone. Click below to go directly to the We Heart Chuck blog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Leona Mae Killoy. 3-25-1914 to 4-29-2009

I feel so sad and relieved all at the same time but Gramma passed away this week on Wednesday. I didn't know it was possible to feel both emotions to this extent, all at the same time.

What a fighter she was. CHF, diabetes, heart valve issues etc., and 95 years of age but man, such a fierce little thing. She actually had a fever of over 108 degrees before she finally gave it up the other was crazy. Her nurse said he had never seen anything like it.

She was always so fussy about her appearance and grooming she would've hated the way her hair looked that day. She was also very, very picky about her personal comfort. We were always fluffing pillows and changing her sleeping (beds, bedding, etc.) and resting (chairs, couches, recliners, etc.) accoutrements because it seemed her opinions about such things changed weekly. Her food preferences changed frequently also and she preferred a varied menu up until the last week or so. Except for a few standbys. If nothing else sounded good, most of the time either mashed potatoes and gravy or buttered toast, scrambled eggs (made with half and half, of course) and coffee with cream would do. She also drank multiple glasses of "zippy water" (gingerale and perrier water mixed together) throughout each day for the past three months since her stay in the hospital in January. I asked the funeral home director on Thursday morning, when Mom and I went to make arrangements, if she had given them any trouble the night before because she was always so persnickety about her accommodations. I was glad he laughed and didn't look at me strangely for trying to interject a little humor into the situation.

Anyway, gonna miss her like crazy. I hope there is pinochle and feather pillows in eternity. She'll probably be pissed if there isn't. :)