Television Binge List 2018 Edition

Okay folks here it is, my updated list of shows to binge.  Full disclosure I didn’t finish all of these shows to completion but I watched enough to recommend and just before anyone comments; No I haven’t watched Haunting of Hill House yet. Enjoy the read!

 

 Game Of Thrones

 

“They are telling human stories in a fantasy world” –Ben Wyatt, Parks and Rec

That’s pretty much it. It’s soapy and sexy and there are dragons.

Things to look forward to: A lot of characters, encompassing world to get into, and Peter Dinklage.

Things to move past: People you love will be brutally killed. Dealing with the fans who have also read the books. Everyone’s name sounds relatively the same (high recommendation of using closed captioning).

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 7 (1 more to go)

Where to watch now: HBO GO, and I honestly got the first few seasons at the library.

 

Schitt’s Creek

 

Kind of Canada’s answer to Arrested Development. Rich family who loses it all and now has to spend all of their time together in poverty.

Things to look forward to: Unlike Arrested Development it might not be as funny but has a lot more tender moments, plus an amazing all-star cast (Catherine O’Hara or death)

Things to move past: Takes a few episodes to hit its stride.

Original Network: Pop (who has even heard of that?)

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix

 True Blood

 

A sultry southern tale of vampires and various supernatural creatures. Based off of mystery novels, HBO just basically sprinkles in a lot more nudity and calls it a show.

Things to look forward to: Mysteries, sexy and humorous, good LGBT representation

Things to look past: Gory, and like many great shows it takes a big dip in quality in the middle.

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch: HBO GO

 

Charmed

 

Three sisters living in San Francisco discover they are witches and have to battle demons on a weekly basis, but also find time to date??

Things to look forward to: Not as dark as other supernatural dramas and it’s really more about sisters who happen to be witches rather than witches who happen to be sisters.

Things to look past: Bad continuity issues, and very campy at times.

Original Network: The WB

Number of seasons: 8

Where to watch now: Netflix

Also The CW is making a revival with new characters this fall that looks good but is controversial at best.

 

Will and Grace

 

Two best friends, one gay lawyer and a Jewish fashion designer living in NYC in 90s sitcom fashion.

Things to look forward to: Progressive and ahead of its time, great celebrity guest appearances, and so funny.

Things to look past: A little corny at times, and not quite as good as Friends.

Original Network: NBC

Number of seasons: 8 and now a reboot that is still going.

Where to watch now: Hulu (original and reboot)

 

One Tree Hill

 

Distant half brothers deal with their differences on the basketball court in a very 2004 high school genre drama.

Things to look forward to: An amazing soundtrack! I still listen to music from that show. The teens are actually pretty charming and engaging. High stakes drama with good fodder too.

Things to look past: It does a time jump that does not serve it well and two main characters leave after season 6.

Original Network: The WB/CW

Number of seasons: 9

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Barry

 

An ex-veteran hitman moves to LA to purse acting as a career.

Things to look forward to: Bill Hader plays Barry and is just adorable. The other actors in his class are very funny. The concept is original.

Things to look past: It’s a little dark and a little dry at times.

Original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: HBO GO

 

Sabrina The Teenage Witch

 

Not to be confused with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This is the original. A young woman learns she is a supernatural witch and has to learn to manage her magic and high school.

Things to look forward to:  Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina is real cute and iconic. The show is also very funny even for adults.

Things to look past: I mean it’s a pretty 90s campy sitcom so if you’re not in the mood for that it’s not going to do you any favors.

Original Network: ABC (Then the WB

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Desperate Housewives

 

Starting with the suicide of housewife Mary Alice Young, her friends set out to solve the circumstances of her death and navigate their suburban lives.

Things to look forward to: A lot going on, not a lot of lulls. New over arching mystery per season. Also it’s just iconic and funny.

Things to move past: Susan Mayer

Original network: ABC

Number of seasons: 8

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Search Party

 

A Brooklyn based millennial decides to make it her job to find an old college acquaintance who has gone missing.

Things to look forward to:  Hilarious, but the mystery is captivating and the side characters are everything.

Things to move past: it’s not available on streaming anywhere that I know.

Original network: TBS

Number of seasons : 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Illegally but just do it, it’s worth the jail time.

 

The Magicians

 

Basically adult American Harry Potter, a show about a graduate college of magic and the students also explore a fantasy world.

Things to look forward to: Funny, smart and will help you cope with the loss of Harry Potter.

Things to move past: A shitty protagonist, and a shift in settings that I don’t totally love.

Original network: Syfy

Number of seasons: 3 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix

 

Daredevil

 

A blind lawyer vigilante with enhanced abilities.

Things to look forward to: Very dark and gritty but in a good way. Kind of Marvel’s answer to Batman.

Things to look past: Kind of dense, hard to binge.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix original

 

The Carrie Diaries

 

A prequel story of a young Carrie Bradshaw set in the 1980s.

Things to look forward to: AnnaSophia Robb is darling, the music is great, it’s a very sweet teen show.

Things to look past: it’s not like the HBO show, so a lot of people were disappointed but I think it holds it own weight well.

Original Network: The CW

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Queer Eye

 

A reboot of the original where 5 gay guys come in and style your life.

Things to look forward to: Jonathon and a lot of the episodes will make you cry.

Things to look past: The season is too short

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix Original

 

Big Mouth

 

A crass animated sitcom about puberty where puberty takes form as a hormone monster.

Things to look forward to: Maya Rudolph as the Hormone Monstress

Things to look past: The pillow episode

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix Original

 

Happy Endings

 

ABC sitcom about six diverse friends living in Chicago.

Things to look forward to: Very quippy and funny, Casey Wilson is highly underrated as Penny Hartz. The chemistry of the whole cast is great.

Things to look past: It lacks a little bit of the tender side of these kind of comedies. Sometimes you just want to say “we get it” with some of the bits.

Number of seasons: 3

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

The Real O’Neal’s

 

Cousin of Modern Family/Speechless/Fresh Off The Boat/Blackish. Family of Chicago Irish Catholics who’s middle son comes out as gay.

Things to look forward to: The LGBT representation is on point. Kenny is a charming protagonist as well as the family being great supporting cast.

Things to look past: Aunt Jody attempting to be Aunt Hilda from Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Once Upon A Time

 

A young woman discovers her birth parents are fairy tale characters and trapped in a cursed town.

Things to look forward to: Disney fans will love seeing their favorite characters in live action with some good twists. Regina is a complex anti-hero you love to root for.

Things to look past: Henry and a super slow first season.

Number of seasons: 7

Original network: ABC

Where to watch now: Hulu/Netflix

 

Bob’s Burgers

 

Animated sitcom about a family running a burger restaurant in a seaside town.

Things to look forward to: Maybe the most hilarious family currently on television.

Things to look past: There are for sure a few bombed episodes. (I’m looking at you toilet episode with Gene)

Number of seasons: 9 and counting (and rumors of a movie)

Original network: Fox

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Future Man

 

A young janitor gets recruited by a video game to save the world in this time traveling sci-fi comedy.

Things to look forward to: Josh Hutcherson plays the protagonist and he is adorable. Haley Joel Osment also has a small role.  The time travel offers good soundtracks, James Cameron.

Things to look past: Comedy can be a little overly crass at times.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu original

 

Please Like Me

 

An Australian millennial comes out as gay.

things to look forward to: Good representation of living with mental health, and funny and it’s cool to see Australian culture.

Things to look past: protagonist Josh is kind of the worst. Also at times it’s just gay hipster nonsense.

Number of seasons: 4

Original network: ABC (but like in Australia or something)

Where to watch now: Netflix/Hulu

 

The Bold Type

 

Three best friends work for a women’s magazine.

Things to look forward to: I mean I’m not a woman but I feel empowered afterwards.

Things to look past: It’s cute but it lacking a little something to make it stand out.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Original network: Freeform

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

BoJack Horseman

 

Animated dramedy about a washed up actor. Also many people are animals instead of humans.

Things to look forward to: Painfully relatable at times. BoJack is a complex character that resonates.

Things to look past: Often very gloomy.

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original

 

The Good Place

 

A young woman dies and goes on to the “good place” only to learn there has been a cosmic screw up.

Things to look forward to: Kristen Bell as the hilarious lead. Ted Danson as the architect is so good too.

Things to look past: It’s a little slow, and repetitive.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Original network: Fox

Where to watch now: Hulu/Netflix

 

Love

 

Mickey and Gus are two emotionally broken LA residents who despite their differences and jaded attitudes seem to find love.

Things to look forward to: It’s a Judd Apatow show and he delivers. Also Gillian Jacobs as Mickey is everything. Birdie.

Things to look past: Every single character is frustrating

Number of seasons: 3

Where to watch now: Netflix Original

 

GLOW

 

Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. Taking place in the 1980s, follows the story of female wrestlers.

Things to look forward to: Jenji Kohan (of Weeds and OITNB) is the creator and it shows.

Things to look past: Not quite as funny as it could be. Like many of Jenji Kohan characters the protagonist is not that likeable (Nancy Botwin, Piper Chapman)

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix Original

 

Riverdale

 

Based on Archie Comics but like a weird dark teen soapy twist.

Things to look forward: The outfits? Honestly I don’t even know.

Things to look past: The humans who botched this concept.

Number of seasons: 3 and counting

Original network: The CW

Where to watch now: Netflix

 

Grace and Frankie

 

Two women in their golden years make an unlikely friendship when their husbands ending up falling in love with each other.

Things to look forward to: great LGBT representation especially for an older generation. Very funny and sweet.

Things to move past: Adorable but the plot lines are slow.

Number of seasons: 4 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original

 

The OA

 

A young girl who went missing many years ago has returned home to Michigan.

Things to look forward: Combines great sci-fi with crime and mystery drama. It also has beautiful imagery and cinematography.

Things to look past: Not in love with the protagonist.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch: Netflix original

 

Master of None

 

Aziz Ansari playing a modern Indian actor trying to make it NYC.

Things to look forward to: Aziz is actually pretty likeable and not as annoying as Tom Haverford. Denise is a kween too.

Things to look past: it’s kind of Hipster Anthem.

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch: Netflix original

 

New Girl

 

A young woman moves in with three bachelors following a bad break up.

Things to look forward to: It’s very quotable and you will definitely be able to make small talk with your coworkers if you watch New Girl.

Things to look past: The adorkable thing gets very played out.

Original Network: Fox

Number of seasons: 7

Where to watch now: Netflix/Hulu

 

Looking

 

A trio of three gay men living in San Francisco struggling with careers, friendship and love. Basically a gay man’s Girls.

Things to look forward to: Wonderful and realistic dialogue. Raw LGBT themes that are very relatable.

Things to look past: sometimes so realistic its’ cringey.

original Network: HBO

Number of seasons: 2 and a made for TV movie

Where to watch now: HBO Go

 

The Defenders

 

Combining the Netflix characters of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron fist. These 4 characters band together to save the city in a mini series.

Things to look forward to: All of these beloved characters coming together and Sigourney Weaver as the villain. Iron Fist wasn’t a good show but he works in an ensemble.

Things to look past: It felt a little biased towards Daredevil’s story.

Number of Seasons: 1 (doesn’t seem they will make more)

Where to watch now: Netflix original

 

Bunheads

 

A short lived Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator of Gilmore Girls) project about a Vegas dancer who gets stuck teaching ballet in a small California town.

Things to look forward to: Sutton Foster should have her own show, she is the new Lorelai (The Reigning Lorelai for you big GG fans), the kids are cute, and Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) is a major character.

Things to look past: The show doesn’t balance itself whether its supposed to be about Michelle (Sutton Foster) or the kids. Also I don’t like the finale.

Original network: ABC Family

Number of seasons: 1

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Wet Hot American Summer

 

Based on the early 00’s movie about camp counselors in the 1980s, two seasons one a prequel and one concluding 10 years after the original movie.

Things to look forward to: If you loved the movie they really honor the style and humor.

Things to look past: No Bradley Cooper

Number of seasons: 2

Where to watch now: Netflix Original

 

Stranger Things

 

Set in the 1980s, a young boy goes missing and his friends begin the search uncovering monsters and a corrupt government lab.

Things to look forward to: The kids are hella charming and the 1980s setting gives it a real Goonies feel without ripping it off. (I feel like Goonies isn’t even mad because Sean Astin is in the second season.)

Things to look past: As much as I love Winona Ryder, her melodramatic scenes are exhausting.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix Original

 

13 Reasons Why

 

Based on the novel, a young girl commits suicide and leaves cassette tapes for different people documenting what events lead up to her demise.

Things to look forward to: Story is intricate which keeps you involved and there a lot of characters so you don’t get bored.

Things to look past: These kids have no fun and also the last episode of season 1 is brutal.

Number of season: 2

Where to watch now: Netflix original.

 

Westworld

 

A sci-fi remake of the movie about human like androids living in a Western theme park.

Things to look forward to: Major twists, beautiful scores and scenery, if you love reddit theories then this is the show for you.

Things to look past: If you don’t love reddit theories.

Numbers of seasons: 2 and counting

Orignal network: HBO

Where to watch now: HBO Go

 

The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Based on the novel, a dystopian society where birth rates have dropped, America is taken over by a religious government. A caste system is formed and fertile women are imprisoned by families of status.

Things to look forward to: Much more in-depth than the book, great music, visually stunning, constantly moving plot with a lot of questions.

Things to look past: Some of the episodes are so rough they hurt my stomach.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu Original

 

The Runaways

 

Based on the graphic novel, a group of teens discover their parents are in a league of super villains and band together to become heroes.

Things to look forward to: A fresh teen show, not typical  high school drama. Original idea and captivating.

Things to look past: The beginning few episodes are way too slow. Pacing is a problem.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Hulu orignal

 

Alone Together

 

Two young struggling comedians living in LA navigate their millennial issues.

Things to look forward to: The leads are great and have good chemistry. It’s very much a feeling of Freeform saying they aren’t ABC Family anymore with this show.

Things to look past: The bits between the two characters can last too long.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: FreeForm

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Claws 

 

A group of nail technicians living in coastal Florida who reluctantly get involved with the local mafia.

Things to look forward to: Niecy Nash is like the more likable Nancy Botwin (Weeds), fast paced story, great diva women.

Things to look past: It’s one of those shows where you feel like the characters can never get ahead.

Number of seasons: 2

Original Network: TNT (weird, right?)

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

 

A young woman living in 1950s Manhattan discovers a talent for stand up comedy after her husband leaves her family.

Things to look forward to: Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Pallidino takes on this project and it has all the quip and love of Gilmore Girls without the restrictions of basic cable. It’s super funny, the outfits are cute and it’s very original. So many Emmy’s already for this show.

Things to look past: It’s still very new so nothing is terrible at this point, but sometimes the episodes feel a little long.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Where to watch now: Amazon Original

 

 American Horror Story

 

Ryan Murphy phenomenon where in each season he tells a different mini series based around popular horror themes (witches, freak show, murder, asylums, cults, etc)

Things to look forward to: It’s a Ryan Murphy show so there are great one liners, big celebrity names, intriguing story lines and limit pushing ideas. Every season is different so if you don’t like one, you are welcome to try again with a new one. He uses diversity well in his stories.

Things to look past: Like many Ryan Murphy shows, they don’t come together well in the end (even in mini series form).  Rely too much on camp and kitchiness instead of plot.

Number of seasons: 7 (8 is currently running)

Original network: FX

Where to watch now: Netflix and Hulu

 

Cloak and Dagger 

 

Two teenagers learn of a strange link that formed the night of a freak accident.

Things to look forward to: It’s filmed and takes place in the south and it’s often very pretty. Cool duality themes of good and evil.

Things to look past: The kids chemistry is a little shaky and the story is slow.

Number of seasons: 1 and counting

Original Network: Freeform

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Witches of East End

 

A family of female witches navigate their lives, magic and love in this soapy drama.

Things to look forward to: Okay, it sounds really stupid but it’s actually cute and pretty funny. The mythology is solidly built, the characters have good dimensions and the plot is intriguing.

Things to look past: Julia Ormand needs to work on her American accent, and because it is kind of soapy you are dealing with a lot of dudes with waxed chests and feelings.

Number of seasons: 2

Original network: Lifetime (be cool everybody)

Where to watch now: Hulu

 

Luke Cage

 

An ex-convict who has super strength and impenetrable skin sets out to keep Harlem safe.

Things to look forward to: I’m just gonna be real, Luke is such a babe. Also his redemption theme is powerful. Good villains and side characters. Rosario Dawson is around a lot more. An amazing sex scene.

Things to look past: It’s very gritty, can be hard to watch, needs a little more levity.

Number of seasons: 2 and counting

Where to watch now: Netflix original

 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

 

A modern remake of the orignal Sabrina. Not much in common. This version has Sabrina already be magical and deal with the duality of witches and mortals. Very dark and satanic take on the universe.

Things to look forward to: I really like the actress that plays Sabrina, the addition of her gay cousin, the feminist angle.

Things to look past: Very dark, everyone is kinda mean, it’s gloomy and not much fun.

Number of seasons: 1 and undoubtably more

Where to watch now: Netflix Orignal

On Being Chubby Chased

Chubby chasing has long been a topic that has always piqued my curiosity. Trying to understand it and it has felt tricky and talking to my peers about what feels like a touchy subject.  This admittedly is a very hard thing for me to write about. However I have had complex feelings for many years and feel as though writing about it might give me some clarity.

Let’s start with some the definition. A “chubby chaser” is a person (and my experience that person is usually not overweight) who is sexually attracted to someone who is overweight or obese. While this common in heterosexual encounters I can only write to my own experience with other men.

Moving on to my origins. I was not a fat child, I was pretty slim and even kind of short and runt like. Around puberty I didn’t really have a signficant growth spurt and because I didn’t stretch out that much I started to accumulate a little fat. Not a lot but I wasn’t used to it and I didn’t adjust my lifestyle to accommodate the change. Through the course of middle school and high school I was very self-conscious about my weight (even though looking back it wasn’t a problem but teenage hormones you know?). I have numerous journal entries about my body issues and I remember having long talks with my female friends about dieting and exercise.

By the time college started I was full on obsessed with losing weight and I managed to slim down a decent amount due to poverty and the fact that WMU is a constant incline for walking. However when I would dip down weight wise, I would always bring myself back up. By the time I was in my mid twenties I had kind of plateaued in a higher BMI range and currently live there now.

Obviously feeling self-conscious can be such a barrier to dating and it’s a universal experience. I remember the first time I encountered chubby chasing (that I knew of), I was 22 and was on Okcupid (I might not be as young as I think I am) and I was talking to this cute guy for a couple of weeks and we started exchanging more pictures and his response to mine was “Oh man…I just love bigger guys”. I was struck. I hadn’t ever heard anything like that before and if straight love stories on television taught me anything it was that you never comment on a lady’s weight.

This exact formula happened a few more times on this dating site. It was always the same, talk to a handsome (thinner) guy for a week or two and then out of nowhere he would say the phrase “into bigger guys”. Never the word “fat” just bigger. Regardless of the term, I was always greatly offended and hurt and would stop talking. I should go on to say the language is never “I love your body” or “I’m just so attracted to you” which is so much better but it’s always bigger.

As I got older you would think I would be less naive but I was a moth to the flame. The sites just grew into tindr, grindr and real life occurrences. Some of these guys I even dated for a while and the notorious line would slip from their lips. It’s always been an instant turn off for me and I felt like I never look at the guy the same way again.

Now as I get older it feels more complicated.  I think the thing is I meet these guys and I like them a lot and in the course of trying to impress them and conceal my flaws like my weight and hoping I can win them over with my personality. Instead the thing I think I’m hiding so well calls to them like a lighthouse beacon from under my shirt (and to think I bought all those slimming black clothes for nothing). It just makes me feel so exposed and vulnerable to know they’re fixating on something that honestly bears a lot of shame for me.

I think with the men I’ve encountered it’s not just a physical preference (like Gentleman Prefers Blondes or something) but almost like an objectification bordering fetish. Not that there is anything wrong with a healthy fetish but when you’re at the receiving end of it, it can feel a little overwhelming. Once some of these men would talk to me for a while and even date for a time eventually they felt comfortable enough to reveal themselves as chasers, and the iconic line “I just really love bigger guys” would come into play.

As I got older I wasn’t as quick to be dismissive because a part of me wondered if I was being hasty. Maybe it’s just being into bear/cub type guys (a gay man who is hairy and chubby for those not in the know) and honestly liking “bear” types is so much less offensive in my mind and there are guys who I think who genuinely like a bear type. It’s not the same as the “chasers”.

After I didn’t leave a guy after learning they are a chaser. They felt that I was into their “chasing”  and the men grew a lot more comfortable letting their freak flag fly so to speak. I would start to get a cascade of “compliments” which would often get perverse which I’ll spare you the details because I’m a gentlemen. I’ve been discouraged from working out, swayed to gain more weight, and even a friend of a “chaser” guy I was seeing brought me food saying his friend the chaser wants me bigger. It gets to a point where you say a line to yourself that I never thought I would say “Do you even like me? Or do you just like me for my body?”

This raises a new thing for me with the men who have encouraged me to gain weight. Also known as “feeders” which is a whole other thing and I haven’t met many but basically they don’t just like bigger guys but really obese men. I have always been curious about this specific archetype but while you may like the size, are the health complications as sexy? Full transparency, I’m a type 1 diabetic and I already have poor cholesterol and blood pressure. Are you going to love me when they amputate one of my feet or I keep you up all night with my sleep apnea?

One of my biggest qualms with being chased is that it’s like a reality check to my current weight situation. When you already feel shitty about your weight and everyone is assuring you you’re not fat and some ding-dong dude comes along and thinks you’re a candidate to make over into My 600lb Life. That’s a gut punch because strangers are less bias than your friends. It’s a struggle because I consider myself to be a pretty active adult. I rode my bike across America and down the East Coast. I have a run a couple of 5ks, I go to the gym a normal amount. I’m not on the cover of Men’s Health or anything but I think I’m pretty average. I take vitamins, take preworkout, attempt to diet and genuinely care about my health so it hurts to feel like any work I do still puts me in the bigger category.

If you’ve read this far, first of all thank you and second of all I’m sure you think “why even talk to these guys? Well I’m a human man and I can’t pretend there isn’t a temptation. Most of these men are very attractive and you’re hoping it’s a Laney Boggs situation from She’s All That and you’re cuter than you think, you just have dorky glasses. Even the most jaded part of me wants to hope it’s not the chasing thing. These attractive men desire you and even if it feels tainted it still feels good to be wanted especially when you’re self-esteem is low. So the older I got and more lonely I felt, I started to wait it out these relationships as opposed to bailing at first sight of “chasing”. I would try to see if I adjusted but in my bones it just never felt like a good thing.

I think one of the questions in the back of my brain was always “Would you like me if I lost the weight?” I feel like my goal since the age of about 15 has been to be more comfortable in my body and weight loss is always on my mind. During different times in my life I have taken diet and fitness more seriously and  have had some success. If I finally got to that magic number would my hypothetical chasing boyfriend still want me? I feel like a lot of my discomfort with being chased comes from not loving myself at this weight so it feels uncomfortable for someone else to love me for it.

I want to back pedal and say that I don’t think every man who has a bigger boyfriend is a chaser. I think there are some genuine couples who just love each other for who they are despite appearance. I also feel like I need to advocate for chasers because I have met men who love being chased, it makes them feel empowered and sexy and they should! I have met great men (who I haven’t dated) who love bigger guys and they have found happiness. I’m not saying this whole thing is inherently sinister, it can be a beautiful thing but I can only speak to my only experience and feelings. Everyone is different and I just have never felt it’s the path for me. Do I think it’s possible some man might approach me because of my weight but fall in love with me the person and the rest won’t matter? I sure as hell hope so.

This is just something I’m trying to get more comfortable talking about, and understand how I feel. I’m hoping writing this will create some clarity and dialogue. I also hope I’m not the only one who is sorting it out.

 

 

 

Rob Review: Night Shift

I have been working night shift in a hospital for the past 6 months and as it comes to a close I reflect on what I took away from this experience.

 

It’s way more chill.

v mars

First and foremost is that people of the night are so chill. The culture of night shift is definitely not for the high-strung. There is less family, no extra hospital staff (linens, CSR, nutrition, therapy) it’s pretty much just nursing for the majority of the shift.  The night staff is generally observes a culture that thrives when there is harmony and wants to do their best to keep that rolling. Not that day shift doesn’t love harmony but harder to achieve when there are so many other services all working at the same time.

 

Wake up to so many messages.

Lady gaga telephone

Since you sleep during the day, when you wake up the whole world has been active. So when you check your phone there are some many emails and texts, and weird voicemails like Walgreens telling your prescription is ready. Since so many of them are from hours ago you feel really compelled to answer quickly. It’s a little exhausting and overwhelming first thing.

 

It can feel isolating.

Castaway

It’s hard because around 10 PM no one returns your texts anymore. You end up addicted to Buzzfeed figuring out which SATC character you are based on your pizza topping choices. Everyone wants to do things around dinner time and I’m like I don’t want happy hour, I just woke up. It will feel like day drinking. On your off nights you stay up late watching tv and playing video games (which isn’t the worst life).

 

You have beer and soda at weird times.

30 rock beer

I eat my breakfast at 4 PM and sometimes getting a beer at 8 AM is the coolest part of working at night. You just feel like a boss. I also drink a Diet Coke before I go to bed in the AM  with the justification it’s my night-time but I also have one when I wake up with the justification it’s 4 PM so that is pretty sweet.

 

It takes a little medical intervention in the beginning.

Pills

I basically take melatonin to regulate my sleep and it’s always in my backpack and I also have Tylenol because until my body adjusted to third shift, I would get migraines at night.

 

Schmuck waking up at 4 PM. 

Daria sleeping

No matter how many shifts in a row you work or how hard you work, you feel like a schmuck when you wake up past 4. Even it’s only been 7 hours of sleep. You just feel like a dipshit.

 

Planning your sleep is a thing.

math gif

Third shifters are amazing at sleep math! They are like if I go to bed for four hours and then wake up and take a nap later I can go to the concert and be okay!

 

Being single is an extra challenge.

Lone wolf

Especially challenging being single. People want to meet for a drink or dinner at like 5 or 6 and you’ve been awake for like 90 minutes and your brain is mush. Then when you are waking up and feeling good a few hours later, they are wiped from their day life and want to go to bed. Then if you are getting to a place of sleeping over, it’s especially awkward because you might not want to go to bed at their early hour.

 

Walking at night is not as scary. 

Hannah Horvath

I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood but I have no reluctance of walking at night because third shift has made me the shadow king and I have no fear.

 

After hours meals is a god send.

Night cheese

I’m very aware of what late night things around me. Who delivers late and where I can get ice cream at 3 AM.

 

I have a new list of enemies.

abbi nightmare

Lawnmowers! My newest enemy. Although the list ranges from children who aren’t in school and play outside my window to anyone who rings the doorbell and generally the sun.

 

Vacations are a little trickier.

vacation

They take a little bit more planning because you need a few days before and after to adjust to day life and then back to night life.

 

Caffeine game is strong.

Nancy coffee

There is no coffee shame, you can basically slam an entire red bull while eating espresso beans and talk about how you had a caffeine enema earlier and you are still just at rookie status.

 

Traffic is very much not a problem.

car alone gif

Being on an off schedule of the world you basically have the road to yourself and Meijer is significantly less annoying at night. A 24 hour gym is great in the middle of the night and seeing week day movies are chill.

 

Weight gain is an issue.

weight gain

You eat at weird times and your metabolism is so out of funk. Plus I think I’m just always tired so the gym fell to the wayside. I also love treats (plus there was that whole thing about soda and beer and Redbull earlier).

 

Comradery is the best part. 

glee friends

Third shift people just get it. It’s like weird army buddies. When you see them at night and see them coming into work. You give them a knowing head nod and a non verbal look that says “I know your pain, but we are Vikings! People of the night! We can handle anything!”

Dine-isms Explained

So like many families The Dines have formed their own colloquial phrases specific to our family. For many of our friends you have heard many of these phrases and I thought it was time for some definitions.

 

Maddy Brat: My dad’s term for when someone is being difficult.

Example: Don’t be a maddy brat.

 

Dine Family rules: The main family rule which dictates you cannot sit in the car while somebody pumps gas. It’s courtesy for at least one person to get out of the car and keep the person company while they pump gas.

Example: *Somebody is in the car still once you’ve parked at a gas station* Who is getting out? Dine Family rules.

For whatever reason you have to say the phrase “Dine Family rules” a lot.

 

Sous Chef: probably the most used of them all. This phrase means if you are being a sous chef, you are just keeping another person company while they work.

Example 1:

Rob: Hey Mary, will you sous chef me while I clean my room?

Example 2:

Beau: Hey I need some helping moving some furniture and you can’t just sous chef.

 

The Game: Probably the most important, my family likes to play this game where you pretend to not know what something basic is in order to watch somebody react.

Example:

Rob: Did you see Avengers this weekend?

Mary: What’s that?

Rob: Avengers? You know like the big giant super hero movie.

Mary: Don’t know it.

2 minutes later I’m still ranting…

Rob: Okay and then we have the Guardians of the Galaxy with Chris Pratt from Parks and Rec. Are you serious??

Mary: Nah, I’m just playing the game.

Rob: sigh.

Two things about the game: if someone asks if you’re playing the game, you have to answer honestly and I’m literally almost never playing the game just a victim.

 

“Arthur Doesn’t Listen”: A phrase coined by my dad from a book I had in preschool. The story is about a first day of school and you can guess it, Arthur is a problem child. He doesn’t listen. It’s literally one page, one sentence in the whole book. Now it is said in place of “I told you so”

Example:

Rob: Ugh, I forgot to get my license renewed and now it’s more money.

Dad: Arthur doesn’t listen.

 

“I think Reed is done now”: This is a favorite. I used to babysit a kid named Reed who was nonverbal. Sometimes his sister would be there too. If we were doing a group activity that was losing her interest instead of saying she was bored she would look at her brother and say “I think Reed is done now” in order to get us to move on. Now as Dines we use anytime we passively want to reference being over an activity.

Example:

Rob and Sam are at a Target and there are too many people and making too much noise.

Rob looks defeated

Sam: I think Reed is done now

 

Sailor’s on a ship: This is what my mom calls the thing where you cut out the middle of a piece of bread and fry an egg in the middle.  No idea where it comes from.

Example:

Kids: What are we having?

Mom: Sailors on a ship!

 

Aliens!: My mom invented this when I was in junior high. If somebody left pop cans out or ignored a chore she would say “I know my kids could never have done this, I know aliens must have beamed down and down this” followed by a Sandy Dine cackle.

It got to the point where she stopped using our names and just said Alien 1,2,3 and 4. She would leave notes like:

Alien 1: finish the gutters

Alien 2: Vacuum all common areas

Aliens 3&4: Straighten up storage room.

 

0 to 1: This is a sliding scale of how many kids Sam Dine and I could handle raising in our lives based on our current ability.

Example 1: Kids are having a tantrum at Meijer.

Sam looks at me: Zero.

Example 2: Our nephew is being cuddly and smiling.

Sam looks at me: One.

 

Mermaid swim: This is specific to Lake Michigan and us camping. My mom always had a rule that if you want hot breakfast you have to get up early and wash your hair in Lake Michigan and don’t even think about showering after.

Example

Mom: Who is coming down for Mermaid Swim?

All kids resist but mostly do it because we want the fore mentioned sailors on a ship.

 

The Polycart: It’s just our family’s term for the trash bin outside. I’ve just never heard anyone else call it that.

 

“Goddamn Ham sandwiches”: A drunken complaint from my father one Christmas party in reference to the food.

Origin:

My dad looks around at the food at a family party.

Dad: All they have are goddamn ham sandwiches.

Now it used to reference any unsatisfactory food situation whether there are sandwiches or not.

Example:

Sam: how was the work meeting?

Rob: Nothing good to eat, just goddamn ham sandwiches.

 

Animals at midnight: I don’t know why but on Christmas Eve at midnight my parents will tell us how this is the one hour a year that humans can communicate with animals. None of the animals ever filed a grievance when given this hour.

 

“Too much birthday”: Stolen from The Berenstain’s Bears about when one of the kids stretches out their birthday party and gets over saturated. Now it is said anytime you have too many days of social interactions.

Example:

Mary: I just need to chill today, I’ve just been out everyday spending too much money and drinking too much.

Rob: Too much birthday?

Mary: Too much birthday.

 

“Little nepotis”: The origin of this comes from Jack Black’s School of Rock, which upon reflection of writing this I’m reminded that my family freaking loves Jack Black. Anyways there is a line where he is referencing nepotism in the music business and shortens it to “little nepotis” and now we tend to say the phrase in place of “FYI” or just to grab someone’s attention even though that seems to make zero sense.

Example:

Sam: Little nepotis! I can’t meet you on Thursday because I have to watch the baby. 

 

Dine 1-1: This is a great play on 9-1-1 because we are so adorably witty, however mostly this is saved for situations in which you have a runaway child. We haven’t had to use it in a bit but baby BJDJ is so close to walking so it might come back into vogue.

Example: 

(Circa 1991, baby Robin is running off in a store)

Bob: Oh damn, we got a Dine 1-1. 

 

Friday night crying: Formed in 2010 when Sam and I worked as camp counselors and after a long grueling week our coworkers would want to go out to blow off some steam. Often though we (Sam more often than me) would fall asleep after work and be so cranky from our naps and resist leaving the house due to exhaustion but we would put on an episode of television and pout and get ready. We always had a good time once we were out but now have dubbed any resistance to going out as “Friday night crying”

Example:

Rob: Are you going to Alexis’s birthday party on Saturday?

Sam: Yes, but its been a week so I will probably need to do a little Friday night crying first. 

 

Going to Buddy’s: This was a Beau Dine inspired phrase. Anytime Beau wanted you to sous chef him (see that reference in a reference?) on some errands. He would always say “We just gotta stop at Buddy’s real quick”. Buddy was Beau’s friend growing up and while you thought you were gonna be out with Beau for like 45 minutes it ended up being 4 hours and now used to talk about going on a long errand with somebody

Example:

Mary: Did you end up going to Target with Sam?

Rob: Yeah, but like we had to stop at Buddy’s real quick. 

 

“No judgement at Denny’s”:  At the height of my binge drinking, my favorite hangover spot was Denny’s (just be cool, I can feel some of you rolling your eyes but also I’m just glad you read this far). It’s just nice to get a crisp Diet Coke, french fries and also bacon. Anyways my friends and I would often order too much food and be self-conscious.

Origin:

Victoria: Is it weird if I order pancakes and mashed potatoes?

Rob: There is no judgment at Denny’s.

Now it is used anytime we are in public and need reassurance we aren’t being judged.

Example:

Rob: Are you going to be mad if I pick Coldplay song for the jukebox?

Sam: No judgment at Denny’s. 

 

“Don’t miss a beat”: A phrased meant to shame someone when they didn’t learn gossip fast enough.

Example:

Rob: Sam told me that Mom said Sunday dinner isn’t happening.

Mary: I know. Mom and I don’t miss a beat.

 

Lightbulbs: My mom’s answer to anyone asking her what is for dinner. I don’t know the origin.

Example:

Mary: Mommmmmmmmmmm….what’s for dinner?

Sandy: Lightbulbs. 

 

What I Learned Working At The Center For Autism

So as many of you know I have worked for Hope Network’s Center for Autism for the past year. I have since transitioned back to working at the hospital full-time to achieve my goal of being an RN.

I worked at CFA (Center For Autism) as a Behavior Technician. The center is an outpatient therapy service for young children with autism. The center uses ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy to help children manage their behaviors. My job was to work one on one with a kid and run their therapy that was created by their BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). I loved my job at CFA and learned a lot and here is what I took away.

 

Kids with Autism will “stim” on some very obscure things.

High celings

Stimming is never something that was actually defined to me but from what I can tell it’s just the object/phrase/noise/self stimulation the child enjoys.

 

ABA Therapy is built for perfectionists.

swish and flick

ABA is very particular.  The programs are very thorough and detailed. It requires an analytic mind, attention to detail and patience.

 

I’ve seen Trolls more time than I want to.

TROLLS.gif

Like when Trolls 2 comes out, I already resent it so much that I want to see it in theaters and then destroy myself at the bar after. Like bad, like I want to make a YouTube video I’m so drunk where I basically threaten Justin Timberlake.

 

These kids will do literally anything for candy.

cookie gif

It’s a big motivator and reinforcement for their programs.

“Oh you took a poop on the potty? Well here is an Oreo!”

 

They also get very excited for random things.

Pll excited

A tech’s hair being in a pony tail, bubbles, finding pinecones outside.

 

These kids see something they want, they will probably take it.

joanna eggs.gif

Most of these kids would make amazing pick pockets. They love their candy and you aren’t going to get in their way.

 

Autism really is a spectrum. 

sisters sentence

What works for one kid, may not work for another. There is nothing universal about these kids, they are individuals who are not defined by their disorder. Except they all go bananas for Trolls.

 

Kids are always sick.

Liz Lemon gif

I’ve never been more sick in my life since working with kids. I went 28 years without ever getting strep throat but my streak of that died in CFA.

 

Compared to my other jobs in the health field, the violence was less.

Helga Pataki hitting

I mean these kids get mad, have tantrums, scratch, bite and hit but they are young so it’s an improvement over my experience with adults. Not to take away from any former coworker’s pain but I don’t miss the violence of adults.

 

You take pride in your regular kids.

Look at my kids

I mostly worked with the same few kids during my time at CFA. Some times progress was slow as ABA has a lot of repetition in its success which is great for long-term but the day-to-day could get boring. However on that day when they mastered a trial you have been working on for months, my heart would grow with joy and pride.

 

I never adjusted to working business hours

Mondays

I have worked in health care since I graduated college and I’m used to working nights, weekends, and holidays. Since this was an outpatient facility it operated Monday through Friday 8-5. I feel like I never got used to waking up 5 days in a row for work or dealing with 5 o’clock traffic. Obviously there are perks to this schedule but I never stopped missing being able to go to Target on a Monday afternoon with no people, or stay up late on a Wednesday because I have Thursday off. Also in an 8-5 you have to get used to office etiquette like people brining in bagels on random mornings but also getting passive aggressive notes about not washing dishes.

 

I will miss that place, those kids, and my coworkers. I valued my entire year there and look forward to what’s next for me.

The Drunkest 10 Years Of My Life: An Ode To 10 Years With Victoria Frederick

It’s my long time friend/roommate’s birthday and we also met now officially ten years ago. So I thought paying proper tribute was necessary.

Victoria and I met in the fall of 2007 (you remember that time? Britney had a shaved head and we thought George Bush was going to be the biggest problem in politics). We both attended Western Michigan University and lived in freshman housing affectionately called “The Valleys”. I lived in Valley 1 and Victoria lived on top on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Valley 2. Despite our elevation differences we still met through a mutual friend.

Halloween was one of first outings together. Victoria dressed as a cat which I would come to learn would not be the first time she will do that costume. Some guy starting hooting at her and I totally left her hanging because she was basically a stranger and I was 18 years old making me the worst.

She quickly looked past my cowardice and we began to bond over our mutual love of The Office and talking shit about people in the dorm.  Thus begins the time line of our friendship.

I was just like to add that for a good portion of these photos we did not have iPhones to take them (we might not be young). We had to rely on people bringing their digital cameras and uploading them and tagging the photos online. I never had a camera so I had to rely on the people around me until about photo number 13 so everyone just be cool.

 

  1. Winter 2008 (our first photo) 

Vic first photo Jan 13 2008

Look at our baby faces. So young and fresh, I remember this was a party at Sigma Chi in January and we did not wear coats which looking back was ridiculous. This was back when Vic would carefully measure her shots into her pop so she could keep tally.

 

 2. Fall 2008 (Halloween) 

Halloween Sophomore year

Now we are 19 and just abysmal people. I don’t smoke and never did but was wasted and in case you weren’t reading carefully was an abysmal person. I remember this semester because it was the only time we took a class together. It was Art History and I spent most mornings convincing Vic it would be better to skip and watch The Price Is Right and eat hamburgers in the caf.

If you pay attention to context clues you can guess that class wasn’t actually very early but like I said before: abysmal person.

 

 3. Fall 2008 (Alexis’s Birthday) 

Lex birthday sophomore year

This was just a week later at our friend Alexis’s birthday party at MSU. We did pudding shots for the first time and acted accordingly.

 

 4. Christmas 2009 

Junior Year Xmas

This was Christmas of junior year. The theme was “Classy Christmas” If you look carefully you can see I’m drinking out of a Hannah Montana cup so you can pretty much draw your own conclusion to how the night went.

 

 5. Winter 2010 

Junior Year SpringJunior Spring pr 2

This was right after I moved back to WMU after taking a semester off and we were just glad to be reunited.

 

 6. Spring 2010 (My 21st) 

21st birthday

This is the only picture where I included other people but it’s such an auspicious moment because while this is my 21st birthday it’s also Victoria’s half birthday. So we are definitely making sure to celebrate that as well.

 

 7. Fall 2010 (Victoria’s First Legal Drink) 

First legal drink for vic

Awwww Shakespeare’s Pub, were we both had our first legal drink at midnight. Such a special place.

 

8. Fall 2010 (Victoria’s Birthday Party) 

21st birthday party

It was 2010 so I’m trying to get Victoria to “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”

 

kissing through the phone

This is me getting her to do it

 

 9. Christmas 2010 

Fall 2010

We are older now so we are trying to get more dignified which means not getting super wasted in the pregame phase.

Fall 2010 pr 3

Okay so it didn’t go great.

Fall 2010 pr 2

Yeah…well maybe next year.

 

10. Winter 2011 (Mega’s 21st Party Bus) 

Mega Party bus 21

Fun fact: The next day we will play Tony Hawk on an air mattress and fight to the death over a red Gatorade in the worst hangover ever. We also tried to commit credit card fraud this night.

 

11. Winter 2011 (Girl Talk Concert) 

Girl Talk 2011

I remember this winter distinctly because it’s when Victoria went through one of her brunette phases.

 

12. Spring 2011 (My 22nd) 

My 22nd

A sophomore called me old at this party. I was literally 22.  Also her hair is already starting to lighten up.

 

13. Fall 2011 (Victoria’s 22nd/First Real GR Visit) 

First GR Visit

This was our first year apart. I moved back to Grand Rapids and Victoria went home to Farmington Hills. This was one of her first visits and we went out for her 22nd birthday.

 

14. Halloween 2011 

VIc halloween fail

Just a few weeks later we had this amazing Halloween Party and my group of friends did a Pokemon theme. I tried to get Victoria to be Meowth because spoiler alert she is always a cat for Halloween.

 

me mad pr 2

She came as Dorothy and she is still living that missed opportunity down but at least her hair is it’s classic blonde.

 

15. Christmas 2011 

Christmas 2011

We are starting to look more adult, and I think this is when I learned how to grow a beard.

 

16. Winter 2012 (Sam’s Birthday) 

Sam's birthday 2012

This was the visit I feel like we all worked on trying to get Victoria to move to Grand Rapids.

 

17. St. Patty’s Day 2012

St Pattys 2012

Unseasonably warm and the best St. Patty’s to date.

 

18. Fall 2012 (Victoria’s 23rd Birthday) 

Vic first GR Bday 2012

Victoria had just moved into an apartment with me and our friend Alexis and we are celebrating her first Grand Rapids birthday.

 

19. New Year’s Eve (Reigning in 2013) 

Reigning in 2013

Billy’s Lounge and the later pictures of that night are painful.

 

20. Spring 2013 (My 24th Birthday) 

My 24th

Meanwhile Bar and my first birthday as roommates

 

21. Bonnaroo (Day 1) 2013

Bonnaroo day 1 2013

This was our first full day at Bonnaroo we were so full of energy even though I can already see my sun burn forming in this picture.

 

Bonnarroo immersed

Day 2: A little more sweaty but still having fun

 

Bonarroo go home

Day 3: Zero sleep, very hot, had sunblock in my eye

 

22. New Year’s Eve (Reigning in 2014)

Reigning in 2014

I aspire to lose 15 lbs just so I can wear that sweater again.

 

23. Winter 2014 (Our Fist Instagram Photo)

First instagram maybe

Billy’s Lounge and I can’t be 100% accurate but I think this is our first official Instagram photograph. Now if that isn’t a painful millennial statement, I don’t know what is

 

24. Fall 2015 (Alexis’s Wedding) 

Lex Wedding

I gave a speech inspired by One Tree Hill and Victoria played the piano. If you have been paying attention you will take note that it’s the same Alexis where we did our first pudding shots. #growingup

 

25. St. Patty’s 2016 

St patt 2016

I know later on this day I’ll do the worm on cement.

 

26. Fall 2016 (My brother’s wedding)

Brothers wedding

I mean not saying we were the cutest couple there but we might have been the cutest couple there.

 

27. Spring 2017 (Katie’s Wedding) 

katie's wedding

This was a month before we were going to move in together again and reunite the band.

 

28. Summer 2017 (Wilderness Trip) 

Wilderness 2017

Just this past August at my family and friend’s annual camping trip.

 

So there you have it folks. 28 photos for 28 years of Victoria being alive.For me its been 10 years with a great girl, and I’m hoping for many more decades to go. Happy Birthday Victoria! I love you!

 

 

Excerpt From My 2003 Journal With Footnotes From 2017

Journal except from my 2003 journal with footnotes from 2017

 

September 29, 2003 (Age 14)

 

Yeesh busy week…[1]Tomorrow I have to record Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill both are quality shows.[2] Wednesdays and Thursdays I have half days and on Wednesday I’m working at Carol’s with Beau.[3] I could use the money. Thursday I’m going to Sheely’s to watch Now&Then and Degrassi season premiere is on Friday. [4] Saturday is the JDRF walk and on Sunday I’m setting up a phone jack so the computer will be in my room. [5] I really need to get the PS2 back in my room.[6] I love playing Final Fantasy X and I can’t wait to beat it! [7] This diet thing is going so bad by the way it’s so hard to stick with it.[8]   

 

 

 

[1] I’m already annoyed.

[2] Ahhh Tuesdays on The WB will always hold a special place in my heart.

[3] Carol is still my parent’s neighbor and Beau is my brother who is a carpenter for those who aren’t in the know.

[4] So far most of my plans are based around television for this “busy week”

[5] A few years later after that I will get a mini fridge and will live out of my introverted dreams.

[6] Man….check your privilege Robin Dine.

[7] Have since beat it and am currently working on the HD remaster.

[8] Oh you sweet naive fool. It will only get worse.

 

 

Down below is a picture from my 14th birthday just so everyone knows where we are at in life. Thanks Lindsey Duvall for doing my hair, I still haven’t totally figured out what I’m doing.

Lindsay Duvall