Sarah's Personal Place

Read my thoughts and announcements on topics that are important to me

Month: September 2017

What are some of the best and affordable ways to chill in summer?

If you have enough money to travel to fancy beaches and mountains, good for you, and you probably shouldn’t be reading this tutorial i’m about to write, but if you’re stuck in the city like me, you might want to hear the tips i’m going to give you to escape the heat and spend your summer chilling like a rock. I’ll start with the obvious and finish with more original ideas that i (or someone else) came up with.

 First one, would obviously be buying AC. I never got around to actually doing it last summer, as i waited until weather got insufferable in August, and then i was like “is it good idea to buy this appliance for just one month”? So i decided to wait it out. But it was one of the hardest 30 days i had to endure. This year, i headed to Amazon and bought the best rated AC i could find, and it was totally worth the investment. But i couldn’t make a buying decisions without weighing pros and cons and reading dozens of reviews, that’s how paranoid i am. Conditioners have one flaw, though – they only work indoors. So if you’re kind of person who likes staying at home more than going out, like i do, you’re definitely going to love the comfort AC provides. But if you’re not, you might as well skip this step.  

 My second secret is less obvious, but just as simple – taking showers. I’ve noticed this one time when i was dirty with mud and had to shower in afternoon, instead of my traditional time slot – 9 PM, before going to sleep. And one shower kept me cool for like two hours! My mind was blown, and i think i hadn’t spent any daytime without showering ever since. This was one of the tricks i used to survive the insufferable august i mentioned above.

 The last one is getting inflatable pools. I know it sounds obvious but i couldn’t even think of this myself, neither did i read it on some blog. It was after visiting my friend and finding out how convenient inflatable swimming pools are that i decided to get one for myself as well. Before that, i was very skeptical about upkeep and quality. But i gotta say, with proper tools, above ground swimming pools are perfect little addition to my backyard. Don’t take little too literally, because it was 8 meters wide.

And the last, but not least – If you live in a region like mine, where are frozen cold places even in summer, you can go out ice fishing. But don’t forget to take good one man ice shelter and other ice fishing gear with you – it’s going to be chilly!

 The last one is a little weird, but this is what i use – i changed my sleeping patterns so i would be awake at night and sleeping during the hot day. But that only works if you work from home and have no social life like me. But i thought it would still be worth the mention.

Why do great comedy series get cancelled?

I’ve seen too many hilarious tv shows getting canceled to not get curious about the reasons behind it. I’m talking about the shows that receive super positive reviews from the viewers, but still get cancelled. And there are probably so many more hilarious pilots that didn’t get picked up and we don’t even know about them. So i started my research, and picked Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Arrested Development as my test examples. Even Seinfeld, the most successful tv show of all time, was barely saved from cancellation after its first season.

 The obvious reason for networks cancelling these excellent tv shows were low ratings. And low ratings were mostly caused by networks changing their time slots. When these tv shows didn’t seem to attract enough viewers, networks treated their promotion poorly, and shows ratings got even worse until they got canceled. So it is kind of similar to chicken and the egg problem. Undeclared even went off-screen for a month or two, and when it returned, it never had same ratings. So i think the networks are the problem. They should listen to the critics and when show is well liked, should focus on marketing it much actively than other poorly rated tv shows. Especially if a show is Emmy and golden globe winner like Arrested Development. David Cross, who played Tobias in Fox series, has put it perfectly : if you can’t get audience for golden globe-winning show, you should probably fire your whole marketing crew and get new one.

And main reason for watching comedies is to have a good time, but it’s not the only way. If you ever go ice fishing, you’ll need decent ice auger, and you can’t find those without reading the reviews.

 Rarely, the problem is that show is too complicated for average viewer, which also happened in Arrested Development’s case. The running gags and subtle jokes were funny as hell, but even i didn’t catch most of them until i re-watched the series for second time. While on the other hand, more broadly popular tv shows have laugh tracks, which kind of serve as reminders to laugh. I personally hate them, but they seem to work well for gaining wide audience.

 Even creators of Seinfeld, who took the world of comedy by storm, had to give up a lot of creative control to keep the series alive. Originally it was intended to be one camera comedy, but it was changed to three-camera and laugh tracks were added. Although Larry David, Executive producer of seinfeld, still got to make one camera comedy – Curb Your Enthusiasm. And it’s hilarious – if you haven’t watched it, i highly recommend it.

 Seinfeld was saved by guy who wasn’t even working in sitcoms but in variety and specials. He saw the potential that experienced NBC executives missed. So experience can sometimes work against you – it can keep you from appreciating original ideas, the ones who don’t comply with what worked before.