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Everything I Need to Know I Have Learned From Judge Judy

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Ok.  So my title is a little tongue n cheeky.

However I have come away with some good common sense basic principals from these tv judge shows.

1 –  Money.  Never ever ever lend or borrow money individually.  I don’t care who it is – bff, significant other,  roomate, relative, coworker.  Just don’t – no matter how much you trust them.  If it can’t be avoided : get something in writing that specifically states it is meant as a loan (not a gift).  Also the time frame in which it is expected to be paid back and the payment amount.   Keep that documentation – forever.   Never cosign a loan for anyone else either!

Also with any personal property (like a computer).   If you let someone else “borrow it” make sure there is documentation what the understanding is.   Likely you are not “giving” it to them – just letting them use it for a while.

2 – Vehicles.  Never ever ever let another individual borrow your car.   Never cosign a loan for another person for a car.  Just don’t.   Always maintain your license, registration and insurance in good standing and have those on you at all times.   You may think nothing will ever happen but it can and likely will.   The sale of a vehicle should always have some sort of written documentation.   Parties need to clear on any warranties (if applicable) and conditional issues.  It goes without saying, but never, ever drive under the influence.

3.  Contracts.  Never rely on a verbal agreement for goods or services.   Always always have some sort of written agreement.  As Judge Milian (People’s Court) has said – if you have to get it on toilet paper and written in crayon (paraphrasing) that is better than a verbal.

4.  Renters and Landlords:  First, know the laws in your area regarding evictions, security deposits, who is responsible for maintenance issues etc.   Always have some sort of written rental agreement, even if it is a very casual situation.   Take date and time stamped pictures of the rental property at move in and move out.   If you get into a dispute re: the security deposit or maintenance issue pictures will be worth 1000 words.   Roomates .   You don’t have to be Sheldon Cooper about it but I don’t think it is a bad idea to have a written “roomate agreement’ so there is an understanding how things will be taken care of and what is expected.  How will rent and other common expenses be split?  How will it  be handled if things go south and someone moves out?    And above all, make sure everyone living in the place gets their name on and signs the lease.

5.  Become OCD about documentation.   Take pictures.  Keep receipts and paperwork.  Keep track of names and dates.   I think that is what so much of this comes down to.    In civil court, the one who has sufficiently documented their side of things almost always gets the ruling in their favor.   These days it is better to have it and never need it, than vice versa.

6.  “Um”, “kind of” – vague responses are not an answer to a judge’s question.  If you don’t remember or don’t know – simply say so honestly.  Don’t waste a judges time.   Tell your story truthfully, factually and concisely.   Be prepared.  Dress appropriately.   Whether it is in an actual small claims situation or you get on one of these shows, don’t make a fool of yourself.

7.    Judge Milian pointed out recently that a sincere apology for something that happened is never followed by “but”.    I thought truer words were never spoken. (paraphrased)

8.   Pets – always keep your pet(s) secure and under your control.   It protects them and you.  No matter how sweet you think your furball is, things can happen.  Or something could happen to them.   You as the pet owner or caretaker are responsible for their safety and behavior.

I am sure there is far more to be said, so feel free to add your own tips!   I haven’t really addressed parents and kids.   I am single and never been a parent.   So don’t feel I should speak about what I don’t know first hand.

Final thought:  If people really practiced the golden rule, a lot of these small disputes could be totally avoided.

White Collar “Honor Among Thieves” Reflux (Season 4, Episode 5)

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I am having such a major negative reaction to this most recently aired episode.  Forgive me for a bit of rant here.

I enjoyed the first couple seasons of White Collar.  However, Neal’s shtick begins to wear thin after a while. Even those devilishly good looks aren’t enough to redeem him in my eyes.  I told myself when this newest season started, that Neal would have to prove himself to me.  He would have to be loyal to Peter and demonstrate by his actions he had indeed changed.  If I didn’t see that, I would stop tuning in to the show. I thought that was the direction Neal was headed when he helped Peter return to White Collar division.  How disappointed I am in the turn this seems to have taken.  Here we have Neal once again pulling a con and completely betraying Peter’s trust.  Once again, we see Peter pulling strings, having to bail him out to avoid jail. No honor to be found IMO.

Predictable Prediction: Now that Neal has the drive, he will find Sam and in turn, Ellen’s killer.  He will pursue them on his own, placing Neal in an extremely dangerous situation.  Peter will come to Neal’s rescue just in time and save him as he done several times before.

So, I have decided I am done watching White Collar.

Please alert me if Neal ever gets over himself, his daddy issues and his Peter (no pun intended) Pan complex.  Call me immediately if there is ever a Mozzie spin off (which I would die for.) Peter needs to stop enabling Neal!  I know Peter loves Neal like a son and as a partner. He doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him. Understandable.  Peter is such a wonderful stand up guy.  But maybe Peter needs to let Neal face the harsh consequences of his actions for once. Only way Neal will ever mature and change.  Or at least one would hope.

I’ve said my peace and counted to three.

Oh Alcatraz, We Hardly Got To Know Thee

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment

“In March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only that’s not what happened…not at all…” 

Shivers run down my spine thinking about Sam Neill’s voice (Hauser) in that opening sequence.

Plot Summary (via Wikipedia Alcatraz TV page)

On March 21, 1963, 256 inmates and 46 guards disappeared from the Alcatraz Island prison without a trace. To cover up the disappearance, the government invented a cover story about the prison’s being closed, due to unsafe conditions, and officially reported that the inmates had been transferred. However, federal agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), a young San Francisco police officer tasked with transferring inmates to the island in 1963, is one of the first to discover that the inmates are actually missing and not transferred. In present-day San Francisco, the “63s” (as the missing inmates and guards are called) begin returning, one by one. Strangely, they haven’t aged at all, and they have no clues about their missing time or their whereabouts during their missing years; however, they appear to be returning with compulsions to find certain objects and to continue their criminal habits. Even more strangely, the government has been expecting their return, and Hauser now runs a secret government unit dedicated to finding the returning prisoners; this unit was set up long ago in anticipation of the prisoners’ returns. To help track down the returning prisoners and capture them, Hauser enlists police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), a published expert on the history of Alcatraz and its inmates.

I DON’T KNOW THIS SHOW – WHERE CAN I SEE IT?

(If you are not familiar with the show, you can get the basics from the Alcatraz TV Wikipedia page or Fox Broadcasting).  Better yet, download the series, watch and get caught up.  But then you might get as pissed off as I am that it got axed!  You can preorder the DVDs from Amazon to be released October here in the US.

SAVE OUR SHOW?

To my knowledge there has been no concrete movement for Alcatraz getting picked up by another network or any other realistic chance for “saving” the show.  Defies logic, but I am not hearing anything.  There has been some valiant fan based efforts, which I wholeheartedly applaud.   The cast and show runners seemed to have moved on.  Not sure I will ever get over it – not completely.  I don’t understand the “it was the ratings” reasoning for the cancellation.   Certainly there has been a fairly vocal fan outcry if twitter has been any indication.  Not saying a miraculous pickup couldn’t happen – never say never – but just doesn’t seem in the cards.

WHY I FEEL IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A CHANCE/SECOND SEASON:

We only got 13 episodes of this fascinating series before it was cancelled by Fox.  [To make room for more Gordon Ramsey (Hotel Hell) and singing competition shows, apparently.]

Alcatraz was untimely cut short.  Sam Neill tweeted “we were just getting started.”  For me that says it in a nutshell.

Reason 1:  Think for a moment about what they were attempting to do.  The story they were starting to tell.  A prison with an incredible real history and mythology all its own.  That made the prison a main character in and of itself.   The development of the team:  Hauser, Soto, Madsen and Lucy.  Their interactions and relationships with each other were just beginning to take shape.  The main plot line of the time travel/disappearance/reappearance of the inmates (63’s).    Alcatraz was trying to tell a very big story in the most excellent way.    Did we as an audience not give it enough chance?   I did hear some rumblings about the show’s pace being too slow – more and faster reveals needed.   Probably too many people gave up on it early on.   Something this huge takes time to develop if you are going to do it right, people.

Even the Season 1 (now Series) Finale was larger than life.  They recreated the freakin’ Bullitt car chase for Pete’s sake.

Reason 2:  The incredible performances:

Jonny Coyne as the Warden.   Brilliant portrayal.  Always waxing poetic with a philosophical (albeit twisted) point of view.  So eloquent and completely Emmy worthy!

Leon Rippy as the chain smoking Dr. Milton Beauregard.   Sadly we never really got HIS back story, how he ended up in either timelines or much further on him personally.  Always outstanding.

Sam Neill as Hauser.  Wow.  You don’t even have say much more for me to be interested. I would pay to listen/watch the man read a phone book. Riveting and mysterious as the curmudgeonly agent tasked with solving the mystery of the 63’s.   Once told by a Chinese herbalist that his ch’i was murky. We’ll never know if it got cleared up!

Jorge Garcia as Doc Soto.    I think my favorite parts were Soto attempting to shadow & follow Hauser – trying to figure everything out (good luck with that).   Some comic relief as Jorge is great at providing.  But also sweet, endearing and smart!   The resident geek and expert on all things Alcatraz prison and the inmates.   Many times his knowledge and insight saved the day.   I think given time we would’ve seen a father/son thing happen between Soto and Hauser – slightly antagonistic – but there.    I loved Soto’s fascination with everything – like the bat cave within the bat cave.

Gorgeous Sarah Jones as Rebecca Madsen.   The center of it all.  Talk about family issues she’d have to deal  with.   Tough, smart, capable.

Parminder Nagra as Lucy.    We honestly didn’t get to know her too well because she spent most of the time in a coma.  But I will never forget *spoiler caution* the camera zooming in on her lovely face as she awakened!

Reason 3 – Cliffhangers and burning questions left unanswered.

*CAUTION POSSIBLE MAJOR SPOILAGE AHEAD*

This is a biggy for me.  So much we’ll just never know.    I would die for a handful of episodes, a special, TV movie, animated series or even graphic novel depicting the show runner’s vision of what would have played out if we had gotten Season 2.  At very least to give some issues closure.  The finale was one big 2 hour cliffhanger (although it did give some answers, left us with even bigger questions).   I think this is what makes it so hard to let go.  It was just left that way.  Way to go Fox!

Obviously, the main mystery of the show.   WHY and HOW were the 63’s returning and who was behind it all?

The mysterious Mr. K played by Matt Craven.  He would’ve been a huge part of Season 2 I am thinking.   What was the deal with him?

The last we saw Rebecca she was presumably dead, killed by her own grandfather!  Would she be saved by the good (?) doctor, much like Lucy?  What would be Madsen’s fate?  Or would Ray take over her spot on the team hunting the 63’s (given that Hauser tried to recruit him to do just that several years prior!)

Lucy and Hauser’s relationship.   We find out that Lucy and Hauser dated and fell in love at Alcatraz in 1963 before the jump.   She apparently got caught in it, disappeared and returned at some point like the inmates.   Emerson has aged and lived a life, making him a different person.  She has not .  Their feelings for each other are still there, strong and evident (very sweet).  But how would they resolve a 50 year gap!  Could they?  Were Hauser’s visits to the Chinese doctors an effort to turn the clock back on himself?   It seems most of Hauser’s motivation was stemming from his love for Lucy.  Who’d a thunk he was such a romantic soul?

What was the intent of Lucy’s psych experiments on the inmates?   What role did they play and did they have a negative effect on her?  In relation to that – the Dr’s role – pumping the inmates with silver?  How did they get caught in the time jump?  Was it deemed necessary by whoever is controlling the 63’s that those two be part of it as well?

On the procedural crime level, there was potential to continue as well.  We learn the 63’s are returning – not just in modern day San Francisco – but in places all over.   That gave a great reason to branch out – Nationwide? Worldwide? –  as the team continued to pursue the 63’s.   Were those locations strategic and purposeful in nature?  Fascinating to learn about the inmates, their crimes and subsequent capture.

FINAL NOTE:

For all these reasons and more, Alcatraz deserved to be given more of a chance.  FOX BROADCASTING – one thing’s for sure.    You literally broke my heart with the cancellations of both Terra Nova and Alcatraz.  I will be all the more hesitant to invest myself in any new programming as the new fall broadcast season gets ready to begin.   Fox seems particularly eager to cancel things that are not immediate hits without giving them a chance.   I will tune in for the final episodes of Fringe.  Thank God for that!  I will also watch Touch for as long as it remains.   They are really trying to do something unique and beautiful there – I don’t give it much of a chance for commercial appeal sadly.  But other than those 2 being grandfathered in, I am done watching Fox network.  There is nothing else on that network that interests me in the slightest – either returning programming or new.

What are your thoughts?   Will you miss Alcatraz as much as I still do?

Thank you for reading.  I am not a professional blogger/ writer (obviously).  This is all straight from the heart.