Friday, April 30, 2010

Our 1st Easter

Uka and I went to Maria's and Greg's for Easter this year. Maria was my college roommate during sophomore year, and I've spent many Easters with her over the years; I think this was Uka's 2nd Easter at Maria's. Maria is Martha Stewart incarnate and has sometimes even made handmade menus (which I save and tuck into my journal!) and she's doing a ton of amazing DIY for her September wedding; I know it's going to be beautiful! 

The first couple in the picture is Julie and Tim who got married last year as well; we've known them for years too through Maria. It's so interesting to think when we all first met we were all just dating and now we're "all grows up!" (Or so we think . . .) Anyway, I think my cheeks and legs are SO chunky in this pic; I look like a true mama!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q's Pet Peeves (Yes, I'm Neurotic)

I have to admit: I'm in a constant state of annoyance. I've tried SO hard over the years not to be this way and let things just roll off my back, which my husband Uka is so good at, but for some reason I'm always getting annoyed by something. I remember even being this way as a child and reading my childhood journals (I started journaling at 7), I see that it's only become worse. Anyway, I decided to write down my biggest pet peeves. Not that it'll help me overcome them, but once I compiled this list below on my BlackBerry while walking back from the gym yesterday it made me realize that many of them are hygienic in nature, which I believe are warranted. I just don't want to get sick! Is that abnormal???

Here's the list:
1) Clipping nails in public, especially on the subway 
I encounter this about once a week and to me it's the equivalent of cutting your hair and leaving the clippings lying around - it's GROSS! Plus the constant clipping sound is annoying. I had a co-worker who used to sit behind me and do this everyday; I couldn't believe her nails grew that fast. Finally, she got transferred to another cube and I was SO relieved!

2) Leaving a less than a full serving of anything in a food container then putting it back on the shelf
The worst is with beverages - why leave a teaspoon of juice? Just go ahead and finish it for goodness sake! 

3) Double dipping 
To me this is like kissing; if I wanted to swap spit with you I'd just kiss you 

4) Walking around barefoot in the gym's locker room/shower  
When I see people do this I hope they get fungus feet

5) Licking fingers before handing out papers/turning pages 
The worst was when I saw someone do this with money! Yes, money! We were collecting and counting bills and a man kept licking his fingers as he handled the money. He shoulda just went ahead and licked a toilet seat or payphone receiver! 

6) Wearing outside shoes in the home 
Why bring the outside in then track it all through the house? There are so many microbes and germs on the bottom of shoes and just thinking about the dog poo and spit on the sidewalks that gets tracked into people's homes makes me nauseous. Another reason is the noise. I can't stand the clomping of shoes on a hard floor and if there isn't a hard floor don't get me started on carpeted floors . . . . I grew up with them and I hate them - dust mites galore! 

7) Spitting and blowing nose on the street/subway rails 
This is a pandemic in NYC, and I get grossed out everyday by this especially the blowing of snot out the nose into the open air; I had never seen this until I came to NYC and I do. not. like. it. And all that spitting, mostly by men, has got me wondering why their mouths are so wet and juicy to begin with? Perhaps they should go back to the old days of having spittoons

Another story: I saw a kid about 5 or 6 years old last week spit into the empty seat that separated us while his mother was totally oblivious; I was completely grossed out and my instinct was to slap him, but I remembered that it wasn't my child and I'd get arrested if I did 

8) Commercials that suddenly get louder than the program that preceded them 
This is something that just started in the last 5 years and it's SO jarring and intrusive that I've started following my BFF's habit of muting the commercials; I've been hearing that at some point a law is going to get passed outlawing the loudness but who knows when/if that will actually happen 

9) Not washing hands when coming in from outdoors especially before eating 
With the advent of hand sanitizer this is totally inexcusable and quite disgusting; I had a boss that always refused hand sanitizer and never washed her hands before eating when we went out for business lunches; she would say "Oh it helps my immune system!" Then she'd have frequent colds, hmmmm. . . 

10) People stopping abruptly on the sidewalk or at the top of stairs/escalator 
OK, if you don't know where you're going move to the side, but don't just stop suddenly! The worst are tourists. When I'm traveling and am unsure of my next move I just immediately get outta the way until I can figure it out then get moving again

11) Coughing/sneezing without covering your mouth/nose
To me, this is like secondhand smoke  

12) Chewing with an open mouth 
If I want to know what you're chewing on I'll ask - no need to show me

So after reading this you're probably thinking, "Quiana, you're crazy! If you're that concerned with hygiene, then just stay inside!" Honestly, I know I'm neurotic and I admit it daily, but I can tell you this: I can count on one hand the # of times I had to call out sick from work or school or was completely bedridden with illness. I don't envy the snifflers and hackers at all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NYC Ladies: Let's Try Something Different

I've touched briefly on the theme of quarter-life-crises before, but after hearing almost daily about the nonsense so many of my peers are going through in their workplaces, I decided I have to do something about it.

When I lived in my first NYC apartment in Harlem, I hosted a Quarter Life Crisis Cocktail as a part of a Wellesley Young Alumnae event. About 15 women showed up and it was a way for those of us who were going through challenging work situations to vent and find camaraderie. We didn't have a set agenda or anything but since that event, I've been thinking about hosting another one.

Now that I'm in a much better space for hosting guests, I'd like to plan one in the month of June and set it up a bit more structured. A peer, who's career I've been following since I moved to NYC, started hosting events like this in her home and has now turned it now into something waaay too new-agey and self-centered. I'd like to flip this model on it's head and start from a perspective of servitude and community involvement. Definitely not tree-hugging or granola crunchy!

Having gone to single-sex institutions from 8th grade through college, I've seen how competitive and unsupportive young women can be towards each other. And don't get me started on the female snakes in the workplace! Let's get away from that; let's try something different. 

Do you want to join me? If so, please send me an e-mail at, and I'll be sure to add you to the Evite. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Smartphones/FB/Twitter But Why Is It So Hard to Communicate?

When I was in middle school I had two pen-pals: one in Mexico and one in South Africa. Although I didn't keep up with them regularly, I took pleasure in writing the letters and anxiously waiting for a reply to come back. Now, I don't even know if traditional pen-pals exist any more, but with Facebook and MySpace it's so easy just to find anyone, anywhere and just start writing to them, or following them, if you have Twitter. There was definitely something more personal about seeing someone's handwriting and knowing that they had to sit down, find a pen and paper and really focus on what they were writing to you, especially if it was in another language.

The first time I ever saw the Internet was when I was in 9th grade and working next to my friend at a computer station in study hall. I happened to glance over at her screen and saw something so strange involving boxes and images on her screen. "What is that?!" I asked. "The Internet!" she answered, then she proceeded to explain that it was being tested out with a few students before giving the entire school access. Well first, I was jealous that she was chosen and not me, but my curiosity was definitely piqued. Soon enough we all had Internet access and our own e-mail accounts on Telnet. Remember Telnet???

I ended up getting a warning because I signed up for too many Listservs and was getting massive amounts of e-mail that was threatening our server. Once I got over the Listservs I started going onto the Internet with my friend to start researching cars. I was getting to the age that I wanted to start driving so I thought the Internet would be a practical tool to help me pick out a car. Now I didn't get my Acura SUV, but I had a good time comparison shopping!

Now that I'm older I find the Internet and my Blackberry is the #1 way that I stay in touch with my friends and family. I've always been quick to adopt new technology, starting with a pager in high school ($5/month!), and I was really responsive to my parents especially when they would beep me 911! Then I'd scramble to find a phone. I was really reluctant to get a Blackberry at first since it appeared that people were attached at the hip to their Blackberries. I definitely didn't want to turn into one of  those people!

I find now that I text more than I actually talk, and at times I miss the camaraderie of phone conversations, but often it's just quick pings: "How r u?"  "TGIF =)" "5 min. late" etc. Of course Facebook and Twitter  changed the dynamic of catching up allowing to quickly scan your friends' statuses to see what they're up to. No need to call when you can scan, right? With all this technology at our disposal, why is it so hard to communicate? Communicate with quality, not quantity.

I'm not advocating abandoning technology, but there are times when it would be nice to send a letter every once in a while or even a note card. It's often a nice surprise when I get something handwritten from my friends even if it is a thank you note. And don't get me started on people that fail to send thank you notes! Oooo weee!

Take a chance and send an actual note to someone you haven't spoken to in a while - really spoken to, not just "pings." You just might brighten someone's day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Family That Cooks Together Stays Together

I know the title quote is not how it officially goes, but for me and Uka it's something that we're starting to believe. We have so much fun in the kitchen together! Although we live in NYC where there are so many amazing restaurants, we cook 99.9% of our meals. After being traumatized by Upton Sinlair's The Jungle in 8th grade, Fast Food Nation in college and now The Omnivore's Dilemma I definitely prefer it this way. 

Food Network's announcement of its Cooking Channel launch has inspired me to provide a round-up of my favorite cooks. I may have a few more to add once I check out the new channel.

Christopher Kimball - America's Test Kitchen

I've posted before about my love for America's Test Kitchen. Well, Christopher is the brains behind the operation. I appreciate his nerdy, no-nonsense manner and I kinda like his matter-of-fact, know-it-all nature (which I admit I can relate to!). What's really interesting is the fact that Christopher was raised on a farm and continues to raise his family on a farm in Vermont. He blogs about his experiences here and the monthly ATK newsletters often include stories from his farm and pictures. His farm sells maple syrup and each year they run out. I keep telling myself I'll buy some, but I'm actually a fan of processed syrup for my pancakes/waffles and only the real stuff for cooking!

Julia Child

Growing up and being the nerdy child that I was, I liked watching Julia on PBS. Also, when Bill Cosby would do his impersonations on The Cosby Show I found it especially funny since my dad liked being in the kitchen too - baking mostly - and it kinda reminded me of him!


While I did read Julie and Julia, I wasn't really interested in seeing the movie. However Julia's book My Life in France was much better than J&J and is now one of my favorite books. Julia beautifully told her and Paul's love story, and while I haven't made any of Julia's recipes, I thoroughly enjoyed her book. 

Ina Garten - Barefoot Contessa

I really appreciate Ina's simplicity and classic recipes. She's not afraid to use "good" ingredients - a generic adjective she frequently uses - and she often reminds me of a more polished Paula Deen in how she doesn't attempt to be health conscious. Her East Coast approach to cooking is easy to relate to, and I often wonder how flavorful her dished really are (I have to admit I haven't made any of her recipes!), but for the most part I just really like her soothing voice and the views of the Hamptons. She frequently has friends as guests on the show and I wish she'd have more diverse friends, especially coming from New York, but I guess that's not her "target audience." 

I did pick up Ina's book Barefoot Contessa at Home from the library recently, and I've found the recipes appear to be very simple and straightforward. There's a recipe for guacamole salad which looks good so perhaps I'll give it a try and post my review this summer. If any of our readers get to it first, please let me know how it turns out!

One quick note: Ina's backstory is very interesting too. She has no formal culinary training and is self-made. I always like women entrepreneurs, and I find her story inspiring. You can read it here.

Giada De Laurentiis

Giada is always in such beautiful kitchens on her show and her recipes really make Italian cooking accessible. Uka finds her quite annoying and thinks she has a bobble head, as do apparently many others (!), but I think she's cute and sweet! One little gripe I do have is when she suddenly gets an Italian accent just for Italian words, almost like "Foreign Accent Syndrome" or something. Like Ina, I've always wished Giada would have more diverse friends as guests on her show. I did get excited when I saw she threw a baby shower for a black girlfriend of hers. It was a rare sighting! I don't know what it is that makes me want to see TV personalities with diverse groups of friends (don't get me started on the show Friends or SATC), but maybe it's just because I enjoy having such a diverse group of friends that I think everyone else should too!

Nigella Lawson

Honestly, I just like watching Nigella for her yummy British accent. She's another one who doesn't care about using heavy cream, butter or mayonnaise, but she takes utter pleasure in her food. Nigella is also quite voluptuous and makes me proud to be curvy! I also like the fact that her dinner table is beautifully decorated and her tastes are very whimsy. Best of all, she always has diverse friends around her table - I'd love to be at one of her dinner parties.

Now maybe it's out there, but I haven't seen it, but I think it'd be fun to have a cooking show where a family with children is actually shown cooking. In reality that's how many families cook - with children underfoot. I know it might be hard to schedule filming cause of school but maybe a web-based cooking program would work. Who knows, we just might start one with the Agbai children in a few years . . .

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning . . . UGHHH

I was born on my mother's birthday September 22, and we're both Virgos through and through. Although her mother was born in November she's a Virgo too by nature as I noticed we all share the same OCD cleaning traits. 

I'm usually very good about cleaning especially cleaning areas that are often neglected like the blades of ceiling fans, the toilet base and the rubber rim of my front loading washing machine, but lately I haven't been motivated like I used to. 

Typically, I'd engage in once weekly thorough cleaning on top of picking up after myself throughout the week. Now I'm to the point that I'm lucky if I can get the bed made every day and the laundry folded weekly. I'm very good though about getting the dishes washed. I've always had a dishwasher in all my NYC apartments so I think that's helped a bit, but because I cook so much many of my pots and pans I wash by hand since I can scrub up the nasty bits.

Now that the baby's coming I've taken to "nesting." I thought it was a myth, like pregnancy brain, but I'm seriously starting to get panicky about making the apartment spic and span for the baby. I'm especially obsessed with cleaning the baseboards. We have SOOOO many long stretches of baseboards in our apartment, and I think I'll have to employ Uka to get down with me to clean them. I've been mentioning to him slowly to get him accustomed to the idea. I came across this video that makes it look easy enough:

If it was up to me I'd hire a cleaning service to come in and do the entire apartment top to bottom including the AC units, windows, floors and baseboards, but it's not in our budget so I won't be doing that. I was a big fan of hiring cleaning companies occasionally when I lived on my own, and I definitely think it's worthwhile, but for now I am my own cleaning company!

Because of pregnancy brain I've created extra messes for myself including dropping an entire gallon of milk on the floor so hard that it splashed up the wall (Uka claims he can still see remnants of it there!) and totally missing the pan when dumping a can of crushed tomatoes into a sauce pan. It went down into the burners and even past the burners into the bottom tray of my range. The good thing is since it's a Viking professional range it comes completely apart for cleaning, but it still took me over an hour to clean it. 

Nevermind that I hadn't gone down there to clean it yet in the 7 months we've lived in the apartment so there was all kinds of gunk down there. I was totally grossed out! The good news is that it will be thoroughly clean and disinfected for the time being, however I have yet to do the oven . . .

Over the years I've 4 basic quick clean tips that have helped at least maintain the appearance of cleanliness when I'm in a hurry:

  • Disinfecting wipes cover a multitude of sins: even when someone is suddenly dropping by in 20 minutes I can quickly wipe down surfaces with the wipes and it freshens things up with both the gleam and the smell
  • No shoes in the home: the thought of bringing the outside in (especially dirty NYC) totally grosses me out, but from a practicality perspective it keeps dirt and grime from being tracked through the home; the worse for me is when workmen enter the apartment and track dusty shoe prints - I've read that I should keep boot covers on hand but I always forget to pick them up at Home Depot
  • Febreeze is magical: apart from the disinfecting wipes, going through the apartment with the Febreeze makes everything a bit fresher especially the sofa and the rugs
  • Swiffer in a jiffy: when I don't have time to run the vacuum I just quickly swipe the Swiffer over my floors; it doesn't get everything but it's good enough for the naked eye
What are your quick clean tips? 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Harlem Men & Pregnancy

Our block

The weather here in NYC's been cold lately, but a couple weeks ago when we had a warm spell I don't know what it was but the men of Harlem became a little bit more frisky and started feeling free to make fresh comments towards me - a round, pregnant lady! 

At the beginning of the pregnancy when I looked as though I had just overeaten a bit and wasn't quite visibly pregnant yet, I could understand when guys on the street would make comments but now that I'm looking like this . . .

it's completely out of hand!

I was walking up St. Nicholas AVE and two young guys in their late teens/early twenties were approaching me. As I passed one of them said: "Ooooh sexy!" I was like, "WHA?!" I tried to pretend he was talking to someone else. Later I was running errands and had to go to the grocery store and library. During that trip 2 older men stopped to give me compliments. One older gentleman said, "I hope your day is as beautiful as you are!"

Personally, I just brush these compliments off and pretend somewhere in their upbringing Harlem men were taught that pregnant women feel awful about themselves so they need to be bolstered with false compliments but still I do have to admit it's nice sometimes.

Besides the compliments there's another type of commentary I get from Harlem men and it happens in the gym . . .

Ever since my dr. started telling me I'm morbidly obese (mild exaggeration there on my part!) I've been trying to get to the gym at least 3x a week and on the days I don't go at lest get over to Riverside Park for a walk. I go to NYSC and noticed that I am the only visibly pregnant woman who goes. I'm very careful with my workouts and I monitor my heartrate, but it's very surprising all the stares I get. 

Well, usually no one really comes over to say anything to me but lately MEN have been getting vocal with their commentary. I was on the outer thigh machine and there was a middle-aged man on the inner though machine beside me. As he got off the machine he turned to me and offered, "Keep it tight!" I was like, "Huh?!" He then went on to lament how his wife let herself go and never went to the gym while pregnant then got so depressed about how big she was getting that she never bothered to go back again and now she's huge. O. . .K. . . . I just looked at him. He then explained how much he still loves her and how he's not going anywhere. "Great! Have a nice day!"

Then another time a man came over and told me that walking was the best way to tone my legs during pregnancy. I looked at him blankly and he explained, "I'm a trainer." "Well good for you!" is what I thought, but I just said, "Ohhh. Well, I alternate gym time with walks at Riverside Park." Then off he went.

I don't know what it is about being pregnant that makes Harlem men open their mouths, but so far it's been an interesting experience. I'll see what happens as the weather continues to warm up, and I continue to expand. I'm sure it'll be quite fun.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Wonders of 80s TV

Uka's recent post about the old vs. new TLC and the mention of Zoobilee Zoo made me long for the TV shows of my childhood so I've decided to devote a post to the wonders of 80s TV. 

There were very few programs my parents allowed me to watch so as I wouldn't be poisoned by secular influences, but the programs I do remember watching I treasured dearly! Off the top of my head here are my favs:


Strawberry Shortcake 

Care Bears

There's a really good website called Retro Junk that re-hashes all the old shows, showing clips, theme songs and even commercials. Sometimes for fun Uka and I will go to the website and watch clips just for nostalgia's sake. Remember Picture Pages?

I wanted it SO bad and just about every other mail-in product. I would furiously write down the addresses for the items I wanted, but I could never get them down in time!

Now the nerd in me LOVED science shows like 3-2-1 Contact and Mr. Wizard. I haven't met anyone who remembers Mr. Wizard on Nickelodeon. but he really did exist! 

The website Classic Nick is like Retro Junk but focuses only on Nickelodeon. I think there's even been a petition to get a classic Nick channel on cable TV but I highly doubt it'll ever come to pass.

Sometimes I'll pick up an episode of the Smurfs on Boomerang, and I realize how poor the video quality was and how the creators were probably under the influence of drugs! But then I catch a glimpse of today's Saturday's cartoons and I realize just how more innocent the shows of the 80s were. 

I hope to get some episodes of my favorite shows online for Baby Agbai to watch as she gets older (Ebay has some great finds!). I know it's not the 80s, but Uka and I even want to go back as far as The Little Rascals

Let us know what your favorite shows were!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The B.K. Life or Love & Basketball

Some of our blog followers don't know all the details of our B.K. (before kids) life, although I guess technically, we're still "before kids," but I thought it would be helpful to give a bit of background on us:

Uka and I met September '99 at a college party; he was an incoming freshman, and I was a sophomore. We started as friends but ended up dating each other, much to the squeals of my Wellesley friends! Over the years, we had lots of break ups and make ups, but it wasn't until around 2000 that I really believed that we could spend our lives together. 

Wellesley is on a suburban campus as is BC and our campuses were relatively close to each other. I enjoyed going to the BC games to see Uka play and would usually bring a Wellesley friend or two along with me. It was very exciting to see the buzz of a D-1 atheltic program. I mean, Wellesley's mascot was The Wellesley Blue - how excited could I get over that?! The BC Eagles were waaay cooler!

In 2002 I graduated from Wellesley and started a career in advertising. Uka was set to graduate in 2003, but suffered a neck injury that gave him another year of eligibility, so he completed his masters in record timing and in the fall of 2004 started his career abroad. 

Uka played in Germany, followed by Finland. When his mother passed away suddenly on Christmas Day 2005 he decided to take a year off of basketball and coach at Northeastern University. We lived less than 10 minutes apart but hardly saw each other due to the hectic coaching/recruiting schedule. 

That spring Uka returned to basketball playing his first season in Puerto Rico. From there it was Japan, back to Puerto Rico, briefly France and Finland Venezuela, Puerto Rico again then most recently, Argentina. Whew!

During this time, I moved from Boston to New York City, where I've wanted to live since I was about 11 years old. NYC is the center of the advertising media world and it was finally exciting to be in the midst of the excitement! Also, with Uka's family in NYC I got to spend more time getting to know them. 

In 2007, Uka proposed on a trip to Las Vegas before he flew to start his season in Japan. Our wedding took place at El Conquistador Resort on June 26, 2009 in Puerto Rico, where Uka's played 3 seasons. You can view our guests' wedding pictures here.

Before our wedding, in 2008 I entered the Modern Bride of the Year contest. I was chosen out of 2,500 applicants to be one of 5 finalists to appear on the Early Show to compete for the title of Modern Bride of the Year. Unfortunately, the magazine has since folded, but it was a lot of fun! Here's a video from my experience (watch all the way to the end to see who wins the $2K shopping challenge - hint, hint!):

With Baby Agbai on the way, Uka and I look back and can't believe we've known each other for nearly 11 years! We've had so much fun, but we're best friends first and foremost. 

(Eventually, I'll get a scanner and will upload some of our pre-digital camera pictures.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

No Pets for Us . . . Just Babies!

Ever since I was little I've failed to create an affinity towards animals. I think it may have started with my parents' dog Spanky, a Brittany Spaniel. 

Now Spanky ruled the house before I got there, and I don't have any early memories of him, but I recall my mom telling me that he pushed me over with his paw when I started walking. In my little baby brain this probably subconsciously started me off on the track of not liking animals. My parents ended up getting rid of Spanky when we moved to Connecticut when I was 3.

When I got to first grade a classmate of mine brought in her pet bird for show and tell. I still had a relatively open mind regarding animals and when she asked if I'd like to hold the bird on my arm, I gladly said, "Yes!" With the little birdy perched on my arm, I looked up to smile at my friend then felt something warm suddenly on my arm. I looked down and saw poo, the color and consistency of Jiffy cornbread batter! I was utterly grossed out and proceeded to check "birds" off my child mind list of pets I could tolerate.

Next, when I was 11, we went on the annual sixth grade trip to Marmon Valley Farm. This is one of the fondest memory of my childhood! We had a real farm experience and it felt SO far away from home. My dad even came too as a chaperone for the boys and returned in later years with my siblings' sixth grade classes.

As one of our activities we went on a horseback trail ride. I had never been on a horse before, but since it wasn't on my list of bad animal experiences, I hadn't built up a resistance yet. The day of the horseback ride arrived and we got to pick out the horse we wanted to ride. Now, I don't remember exactly what my horse looked like (I think I was just excited to get on any horse!). What I do remember is falling off the horse as we proceeded to climb a hill and I rolled down it. Now it didn't hurt too bad and it wasn't because the horse bucked me off. Instead, the conniving horse had bloated it's belly to resist the saddle and when it release the air, the saddle slid and I fell off. So much for horses!

Now what about cats you may ask?

Something about cats just strikes me as sly and evil. In the times that I've been around them I just feel like they have something up their sleeves. And it doesn't help that Uka often breaks out in hives when we're around them. Also, just the thought of changing a litter box grosses me out. Now I know some people have taught their cats to use the toilet but please! I don't want to share my toilet with an animal!

Overall, my philosophy is that animals look best in pictures, especially on sites like Cute Overlaod and not around me. The smells, the fur, the maintenance. . . UGHHH!

What about companionship you ask? I have a husband, soon a baby and tons of family and friends for that. Besides, it's just a pain to have to find a pet sitter or travel with the animal.

For now it's just babies for us! (We'll have to see what happens when the kids ask for pets . . .)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Remember when TLC (The Learning Channel) was about learning?

What ever happened to the time when you could watch The Learning Channel (TLC) and leave your couch with at least a gram of new knowledge? A time when the 'learning' in 'The LEARNING Channel' meant you would LEARN something. Those days are long gone and I fear will never return. Now we have the pleasure of viewing low-brow nonsense. The countdown to the dumbing down of America, and maybe even the world, has begun. 5-4-3-2.....DUMB.

I remember watching TLC when I was a child and they would have shows about science, nature and history. If I got up early enough, I could watch one of my all-time favorite children shows, Zoobilee Zoo starring the great Ben Vereen (if you didn't know what Zoobies were, you probably wasn't one of the cool kids).

As time went on, there were more shows about styling homes, getting married and having babies. Those shows, although lesser in intelligence to their predecessors, I would still consider 'learning shows'. I learned how to have more feng shui in my room and how extremely nasty childbirth looks (Sorry ladies, the life is beautiful, but the gunk is NASTY).

The newer TLC is quite a disappointment. I understand that high ratings and commercial sponsors pay the bills, but seriously, how many Ewoks do you need on one channel? How many shows can you have with wombs that were created during the Industrial Era that have the ability to manufacture children like a Twinkie factory?

I'm just being humorous and I may sound offensive, but, I am not saying anything different than many former fans already think. Just because The Learning Channel has become an acronym doesn't mean they are not THE LEARNING CHANNEL. I propose they change their name altogether. Maybe, THE LITTLE PEOPLE/UNSTOPPABLE WOMBS NETWORK would suffice.

Side note: Scrabble are coming out with a new version of the classic game, Scrabble Trickster. Trickster allows you to use proper nouns and spell words backwards. Although only to be sold in Europe, the DUMBING DOWN has began. Examples of high scoring words....JAY-Z: 23 points, BEYONCE: 64 points, SHAKIRA: 64 points. These are the words our children will be trying to spell when the play, instead of ZYMURGY: 75pts (Zymurgy-the scientific study of alcoholic brewing...spelling bee, here I come).


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