Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm a Gleek and I'm Mad

So I love Glee. From the first episode I was hooked.  The singing and dancing.  It's like a musical and a soap opera all in one.  In the beginning it was great but it has slowly started to lose it's way.  I was excited when they had the 'Become a Glee Cast Member' contest this summer.  With a handful of the cast slated to graduate from high school and leave the show at the end of the season, they had to get on to developing new characters to keep the show going.  The show wasn't an American Idol type show with a bunch of rejects and a few talented people.  It was all talented people that were chosen to compete, a welcome change from most of the reality shows. 

My top pick from the summer actually was one of the winners which I loved.  His name is Damian and he is  this Irish guy with amazing eyes who sings old school, rat pack sort of standards.  He is charming and vulnerable and has a awesome accent.  So of course Ryan Murphy and the rest of the team can't figure out what to do with him despite talking about how much they could do with him during the contest.  He's just been in the background with no story line no character development and honestly I feel sorry for him.  It's embarrassing to watch someone who so many Gleeks grew to love over the summer just wallow in "extra-dom".  He is essentially part of the pit crew.  So we wasted the summer listening to him sing and rooting for him as struggled to learn to dance dance moves.  Why have a contest if you weren't going to do anything of substance with the winners.  Any fan could have been plucked off the street and inserted into the show with the role he's been given.  

Another complaint is the diminished role of Chris Coffer, the gay kid.  He is one of the greatest talents on the show and he rarely gets a solo any more.  Maybe they are trying to help us get used to not having him featured since he's supposed to graduate but they did this for a lot of last season too and Rachel, Finn and the other seniors seem to be getting plenty of face time.  It all started when they added Blaine to the show.  I get it, Blaine is talented and the ladies love him but he is no Kurt and really he's basically a one trick pony with his boy band moves and head tosses.  I need to see Kurt him signing and dancing every episode, as a lead, not part of the chorus.  He is the heart of the show and idol for a lot of gay kids who have no one else to look up to in Hollywood.  Not featuring him in the show any more is criminal. 

And while I'm on it, where in the hell are Rachel's adopted parents?  You've been talking non-stop about her 2 gay dads since the beginning of time.  When are we going to meet them?  How hard is it to find 2 gay man who can sing, dance and act in Hollywood? I mean seriously.  Step up to the plate. 

Glee has lost a least 1.5 stars over the past years by not living up to the standard that they set.  They need to get it together or they will lose fans.  That's all I'm saying.  It's still on my DVR but it might not be next year.    

He Said What?

I ran on my first track team when I was in 5th grade (I attended private school where intercollegiate sports started in 3rd grade).  I was a sprinter, running 50-400 meter races.  I continued running track until I graduated from high school.  I was never a star but I was always solidly in the middle of the pack.  I was a consistent runner and a hard worker which won me a lot of sportsmanship awards and lead to me being team captain of my high school track team.  I started running road races when I was 15 because a lot of my friends were on the cross country team.  Running long distances is meditative.  It gives you time to organize your thoughts and relax.  Distance running for me was a welcome change to the stressful, fast-paced sprint races.    

At my fittest I was a size 10.  Not large by general population standards but definitely plus size for a runner.  Over the years my pants size has grown but my love for running has not.  I run a road race most months and attend local running events.  At this point I have been a serious runner for almost 25 years.  I typically run in 5Ks with the occasional 10 K.  Twice a year I pick a long race (10-13 miles) and  spend 3-4 months building up my mileage for those races.  At my training peak I run 25-30 miles per week.  Setting a running goal keeps me motivated.  I rarely place in a race unless there are only a handful of people in my age group.  But realistically, I don't run for any prizes, I run for the satisfaction of finishing the race.  My finisher t-shirt is my medal.    

People who know me, know that I'm a runner and often ask for my advice about shoes, training, etc.  But people who do not know me, do not think I am a runner.  Despite attending multiple events in my area and shopping at the same stores over and over again, no one ever remembers me or cares to treat me with respect.  I am usually asked if I am there for walking shoes.  For the last half marathon that I ran, a race official assumed I was picking up someone else's number at registration and was very vocal (and condescending) about how surprised he was that I was running the race.  When I got a pedicure yesterday I was treated to a monologue from the pedicurist on how serious a runner she was and how fast she runs, etc. so that she could prove to me that whatever I did wasn't on par with what she did.  

Over the years I have come to expect this bias but it still gets to me.  I buy all of my running supplies online unless I need something urgently.  On the internet I find an endless supply of information and products available to me without bias.  The reviews are from runners of all shapes and sizes and help me better pick products that suit my body-type and running style.  In online forums I find that many other runners have been treated to the same ignorant behavior and some of them have even taken a stand and told people off.  I wish that I could do that but generally I am so upset and surprised when it happens that I don't gather my thoughts until several minutes later and then I obsess over it when there isn't anything that I can do about it. 

Anyone who has every attended a road race will tell you that participants vary greatly in age, size, race and fitness level.  I have never been the largest/oldest/youngest person to complete a race and I can't imagine I ever will.  When I look at the race results I am generally in the middle of the pack.  I average any where from 10:30-12:30 minute miles depending on the distance and the consistency of my training.  There are always people who are in the 15-20+ minute mile pace.  I would never think that I am better than those people just because I am faster.  Their goal, like mine, is to be the best them that they can be and surpass personal milestones.  I remember every time someone has called me fat, has devalued my dedication to running or judged me in some other biased way.  I wish that those ignorant people would just shut up if they don't have anything constructive to say.