Thank God The Sopranos is done!

So last night was a tale of two Tony’s:  Tony of Broadway and Tony Soprano.

And I didn’t watch either one.

First of all, the Tony Awards, while they are considered by most a “Gay High Holy Day,” have never excited me all that much.  I don’t live in New York, I don’t see many shows as it is, and quite frankly, I don’t usually know most of the people featured on the shows anyway.  So why should I sacrifice my Sunday night to plop in front of the TV and watch yet another awards show– Especially one that is hosted on a warm June night– when I can just read the results in the newspaper the next day?

As for Tony Soprano and his band of mobsters, I never got into the show in the first place.  I’ve always had a sort of aversion to mob dramas.  It took me years to actually watch “The Godfather” series.  And while I now think the first two are some of the most brilliant movies ever made; I still can’t help but feel somewhat insulted, as the grandson of Italian immigrants, that all people think Italian-Americans do is shoot people, make pasta, and fight. 

From the first few moments that I saw of The Sopranos, this was my impression.  Lots of big, fat mobster types sitting around eating Italian sausage and beating each other up.  And then the swearing.  I mean, I’m no prude– my father could swear a blue streak around all of those guys– but it got to be a bit much after a while. 

So when the news came that the show was finally going to end and everyone shrieked in misery, I just cocked my shoulders and said “Fugghedaboddit.”  No big deal.

It always amazes me how wrapped up people get in these TV shows.  I remember when Seinfeld was at its most popular, it seemed that everyone watched it and would talk about it the next day.  Everybody, that is, except me.  I never got what the big deal was.  Of course, I did finally get wrapped up in the hoopla somewhat later, but by then the show was in its creative decline and eventually left the airwaves.  That’s me in a nutshell– a day late and a dollar short, no matter what the situation.

The Sopranos and Seinfeld aren’t the only ones:  Sex in the City, Six Feet Under, Queer As Folk, South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert ReportHeroes and Lost are all examples of other “water-cooler” TV shows that I either just never got into or started watching and lost track of in time.

I suppose in a few years I’ll catch some Sopranos reruns on HBO or whatever cable network they’ll be airing on at the time, and something will click.. and then I’ll realize what I’ve been missing.  But until then, I’ll be happy to stick with my usual fare of Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Project Runway, and Oprah.  My DVR can only hold so much at one time, after all!

Isaiah Washington cut from "Grey's"

wash_knight2.jpgProbably one of the biggest questions at the end of this TV season was whether Isaiah Washington, who made big news by calling Grey’s Anatomy co-star T.R. Knight a “faggot” at least twice– once in a fistfight with co-star Patrick Dempsey and once in front of the press after the show won a Golden Globe award, would be returning to the show for the 2007 fall season.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that it has been confirmed by ABC, if not the show itself that Washington will NOT return to Grey’s Anatomy in the fall. This report is coming just a day after the news broke that T.R. Knight got a hefty pay raise for his role as George O’Malley on the show.

My opinion? I’m sad to see the character leave the show, but it had to happen. ABC absolutely made the right decision, and it was a mighty tough one to make at that. Washington was a major player on the show, and did a great job as the character of Preston Burke. But strong performances do not outweigh unwelcome press, and Washington has given the show plenty of that in the past year. Obviously, the show wanted nothing more to do with that.

And apparently, he has an even further history of causing problems on sets. The EW report states that Washington has “a pattern of suspicious behavior” that goes as far back as 1997, when he was on a TV show called High Incident. The report does not state what transpired, but safe to say it was enough to help support ABC’s decision to let Washington go.

Even though Washington recorded a public service announcement for GLAAD as part of his penance for the situation, the words he said still stung hard enough to disable his career.

Yes, Isaiah, words do hurt, and words do damage. But if you are saying those words to begin with, it means there is something deeper behind them. One can only hope that you will take what has happened to your career and turn it into something positive.

But then, we can only hope. It’s in your hands now. Good luck with that.

Me and my Pedometer, strollin' down the avenue…

My little PedometerFor the next six weeks, a large group of people at work are tracking how many steps they take for a program called “Step It Up!” Each of us was given a pedometer to wear throughout the day and track how many steps we take– from the moment we wake up until we go to bed at night. Then we record the number of steps into a spreadsheet, which calculates the number of miles we have walked for that day.

I was pretty proud of myself when I entered my first couple of days: Saturday I logged 6,127 steps, and Sunday I reached 4,092– which equal out to 3.07 and 2.05 miles, respectively.

I got to work on Monday, proud of my accomplishment– only to be toppled when one of my coworkers proclaimed they had walked 8,000 steps; and another boasted 10,000.

Good Jesus. I have some walkin’ to do!

Here’s how my week is going so far:

Day                  Date                 Steps    Miles

Saturday          6/2/2007           6,137     3.07

Sunday            6/3/2007           4,092     2.05

Monday           6/4/2007           3,300     1.65

Tuesday          6/5/2007           6,566     3.28

Wednesday    6/6/2007           3,060     1.53

As you can see, I really do need to step it up if I’m gonna compete with these young whippersnappers. Even though we are all on the same team (members can step in teams or as individuals), a little inner competition never hurt anyone.

At least this weekend is the Andersonville Midsommarfest. I’m guaranteed to get some good steppin’ in for that.

I’ll be tracking my progress here and proclaiming my goals once I actually set them. As for now, my goal is to at least hit about 6,000 steps every day. Obviously the days where I am much lower than 6,000 show that I am doing way too much sitting around. It’s kind of eye-opening if you really think about it.

Besides, I need to do whatever I can to get myself in better shape this summer. This seems like a good way to start!

Take twenty pills and call me in the morning

PillsI distinctly remember the first time my parents had to take pills for whatever was ailing them.

My dad, he who bequeathed to me the scourge that has affected my life for the past month and a half, was the first. And his was because of kidney stones. He was prescribed a drug called Allopurinol, which prevents uric acid stones from forming and also prevents gout.

I remember him taking a cutting board and a knife and cutting each of the pills in half– because his doctor had prescribed him to do so. Once a month after supper, he would perform this ritual. The “Thunk! Thunk! Thunk” of the blade as it passed through each tablet still resonates in my mind.

From that point on, the pills increased. There were some for high blood pressure, others for various aches and pains, and even more once his Diabetes was diagnosed. But through it all, the half-a-pill remained a constant.

When I was diagnosed with the same ailment, I figured I, too, would have to take that half-a-pill a day. It seemed easy enough, and considering I already take at least 3-4 pills a day to live a normal life, it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

Apparently, since my dad’s initial diagnosis, doctors have found that potassium citrate not only prevents uric acid stones from occurring, it also dissolves stones that have formed. So this new medication is now prescribed for any and all patients suffering from this malady.

Problem is, potassium citrate is not taken lightly. It’s a big ol’ horse pill (as we used to call them). And an afflicted patient does not take just one a day– he or she takes THREE a day. Morning, noon and night.

So my 3-4 pills a day have now doubled to at least SIX a day.

My medicine cabinet is starting to look like a Walgreen’s pharmacy.