This, that and the other thing.

I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess lately because of a little known condition, most recognized in first world countries, specifically during the winter months. It presents with generalized anxiety, restlessness, screaming, crying, and laughing until a tiny bit of pee comes out. It’s entertainment overload.

The last month or two of winter culminates with an almost obsessive like desire to break boredom’s kneecaps. And so, I have binge watched, binge read and binge eaten my way through the past month of winter. I went through the entire 5 seasons of Six Feet under in a matter of days. Shows like this aren’t meant to be watched over the course of a few days. They’re meant to be savoured, pondered and looked forward to over a period of years. And doing anything other than that will most assuredly result in mental health issues. I became addicted to watching it. 5 episodes in a row wasn’t enough. I need 6, 7 … MORE. Back to back to back on the couch until the wee hours of the morning when the only other people awake were shift workers and arsonists.

In one instalment of binge watching I could rip through every emotion known to mankind at such a heightened level that I was pretty much manic. I stopped even enjoying the show. It was an addiction plain and simple. The first few episodes were fantastic but then it just became a matter of HAVING to watch them just to feel normal. It’s exactly like smoking crack. I can say that will all the confidence of someone who has binge watched many shows featuring characters who smoked crack.

So to come down from my Six Feet Under emotional roller coaster I’d go to bed and read the best books I could find. The GoldFinch, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Invention of Wings. All SUCH good books (because that’s what you need in the boring, boring last months of winter) they were emotional sponges sucking every last bit of feeling out of me and throwing it around the room like a tornado.

Read, watch, read, watch, read, watch.

I’m a mess.

So this weekend I’m detoxing. I refuse to be entertained or overly excited in any way. I shall be a dullard.

If you find you’ve gone through the same thing this past little while, I suggest you do the same.

But first I suggest you take a look at these favourite things from my sponsors this month.

click map


If you like the “Poverty” photo, follow more of Mauricio Calero’s street shots on Instagram.

See you all on Monday, have a good weekend!


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  1. Christy says:

    What ever you do don’t start with Breaking Bad.

  2. Paula says:

    Okay, you convinced me. I will try Six Feet Under.

  3. Sheryl Powell says:

    I forgot all about 6 feet under. It was great. We were just talking about another great past one, Big Love.

  4. Paula says:

    Incidentally, if you sign up to receive email from the website selling the purse, you get an additional 10% off. If you pick it up in Toronto at Dufferin and Bloor, you don’t have to pay for the shipping charge of $15. How do I know this? I think you can guess.

    • Karen says:

      LOL!! O.K., if you bought that purse a) I’m jealous and b) you got a *really* good deal! It was a great price. I just took a look at LAB and found a pair of Gucci winter boots in my size with shearling lining but they’re sold. 🙁 ~ karen!

  5. Christy says:

    Glad you are on your way to feeling better Karen. Dullardry is underrated imo. But while we’re on the subject, I don’t know who is hotter….Peter Krause or Rachel Griffiths. (I hope that didn’t trigger you!)

  6. Valerie says:

    (1) KAREN, humour is what you require right at this moment. If you can locate the following ancient movie at a video store it will help you. It is called:
    Enter Laughing.

    (2) I simply love street signs as many of them are priceless. I took a copy from the internet last year and it hangs on my fridge and every time I look at it I smile. It is a picture of an extremely homely man without teeth who is smiling and holding cup and a sign that reads:

    • Amber says:

      my favorite “help wanted” sign was a young-ish dreadlocked white guy in Montreal, holding a sign that said:
      “Zombie Apocalypse is Coming!
      Need Money For Chainsaw!”

      I gave him a dollar 🙂

  7. gloria says:

    I hear ya, Karen. I just this minute pried myself away from another 3 hours of Northern Exposure episodes. I’ve been binge watching it ever since I could find it in any form. First it was reruns on A&E for I don’t know how many years (while following a couple web forums in order to fill in all the little details like song playlists and episode titles and who makes Shelley’s earrings and what they mean. Then I graduated to taping said reruns on VHS. And now I have my own copies on DVD (the parka pacs). But just to add to the emotional overload, I throw in a few hours a day of genealogy research online. Only another family historyholic knows the highs and lows of this game. You discover your grandfather did life in the state pen then find out your great uncle was a Pentacostal preacher. I’m exhausted. Spring can’t get here soon enough for me.

    • Karen says:

      Northern Exposure is SUCH a great show. UCH. Now I’m gonna have to rewatch it. THANKS for that Gloria. ~ karen! p.s. I’ve always, always wanted to find out more about my ancestors but have never had the time.

    • Sera says:

      Why is Northern Exposure not streaming????

      • gloria says:

        I know!! They must have some serious copyright issues, or something. I remember it took years for them to finally put a few seasons out on DVD, even though it had run for a long time on reruns. I think you can get them all now (though, sadly, I don’t have them all yet).

  8. Mumo3kids says:

    That final ‘Six Feet Under’ episode with the Sia track ‘Breathe Me’… Gets me every time (and I have seen it more than once – just watched an alternative ending too!)
    Also reading ‘The Invention of Wings’ (in tandem with ‘Lonesome Dove’), and trying to still interact with my family!!

    • Kitten Caboodle says:

      That series finale is the standard I hold all other long-running series to. It was simply the most-fitting ending to a show I have ever seen. And the Sia song over the closing montage was perfect. I DVR’d the show at the time and I kept that episode on my TiVo for well over a year, I loved it that much. My boyfriend caught me watching it (and bawling) for the umpteenth time and told me I had a problem. He didn’t watch it, so he didn’t know HE had the problem. It was just perfect.

    • Sera says:

      Ugh. I agree, that series finale is the ultimate. Better than any other show. But I cried so hard I don’t think I could ever watch it again. Especially not now in my post partum state of hormones. I cry at the dumbest stuff.

  9. Amber says:

    Um. Did you know that the 3rd season of House of Cards starts Saturday? The whole 3rd season… online… on Netflix. All at once. You know what I mean.

    Maybe you should reconsider, and start your non-binge next week? Just so you don’t feel bad.

    I’m trying to help. Really!

    • Laurie says:

      Haha, that’s what I was going to say – bad time to quit bingeing! Before I read this post I had just emailed my husband the HoC Netflix notification, “are you up for a binge weekend?”

      Hilarious post!

    • Debbie says:

      Our oldest son has a bad case of flu. He called to tell us he watched the entire season today! We’ve never seen an episode.

  10. Ann says:

    I finally broke down and bought a tablet just so I could watch Netflix in bed at night. I am a very good little girl who only watches 1 episode a night. Most nights. Most series.

    But I binged watched Call the Midwife because it was so good. Betchley Circle, Tomorrow People, and I am just getting started since I got the tablet for Christmas!!

    Just read the “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks” an awesome non-fiction read about a black woman whose cells were the first to actually be able to live in a petri dish and what they did with the cells to change medicine. Also about her family and how they dealt with the immortality of their mother after her death. Such a great story and well narrated if you are an audio book type person

  11. Darlene Cox says:

    Good Morning
    Since I don’t own a blog I am going to use your forum to let everyone know why I LOVE your blog the best. While you have been binging on tv and books, your fellow bloggers have taken to showing me everyone elses; redecorated mantle, redone bathroom, family room, bedroom, kitchen garage and even other parts of homes that aren’t theirs we shouldn’t see. It is as if they have given up and just shoved other bloggers pictures down our throats. So I have decided to binge delete bloggers that can’t think for themselves nor squeek that last bit of creativeness out of the marrow in their bones to show me something NEW and EXCITING to get over this winter.

    One more thing – please never take the easy way out on your blog to have that once a week “PARTY” post where you get out of working by having other people post junk, ugly things they have made or baked, pictures of their children and landscapes that mean nothing to anyone other than themselves.

    Happy almost end of the winter! I live in Maryland and have enough winter so I am headed to Miami for 5 days tomorrow, I suggest everyone else do the same and we meet up in a beachside bar…….

  12. Cindy says:

    So, seriously. Was the last scenes of Six Feet Under with the Sia song the best ever ????

  13. Tigersmom says:

    What is this Netflix you speak of?

    I actually know what it is. I just don’t have it and it’s for a good reason. I missed a lot of TV in my years in the restaurant business and catching up would mean that I never got another thing done. Ever.

    Good luck with your entertainment detox.

  14. Su says:

    Justified….. one of the best shows ever…. last season on FX… if you haven’t found it, take the time to get absorbed into the story set in Harlan, Kentucky. It will haunt your dreams.
    Raylan (Timothy Olypant) in tight jeans and hat is worth the watch alone, but the story writing, the music, the twisted characters are so good. Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliot are this season’s bad guys and a joy to watch….
    I am so over winter. The snow has ceased to be pretty. It’s annoying and hurts my eyes. I am a child of the earth and NEED GREEN. And flip flops.

    • Lynn (really spelled w/ an "e", but somebody else already has that spelling on here) says:

      Su, Justified, yes! Well written snappy dialogue, and so fabulously acted by everyone in the cast. Shout out to fellow Georgian, Walton Goggins too. P.S. Are you fearing for Ava’s life?

      • Su says:

        OMG poor Ava….. I am afraid she is going to just crack up, lose it and put Boyd’s gun in her mouth for him! So used to her being one tough, bad-assed lady …. you can feel her pain and fear!
        Do I sound emotionally invested in the story?? LOL

  15. Ev Wilcox says:

    Not that I would binge watch anything, but House of cards is here. Yay! Did watch Six Feet Under when it was on, and sorta binged on Dexter…. also been watching a lot of Poirot. Love the cars, clothes, Art Deco furnishings. Change the clocks in a week–where’s spring?

  16. Patti H says:

    I usually just watch one episode a day so the series lasts longer. Not so with Season 2 of The Paridise on Netflix. Too bad there will be no more. The BBC cancelled it.

    Plaid tile! I’m in heaven.

  17. Mary Werner says:

    My whole family has been addicted to the british series Faulty Towers for years and years – back when John Cleese was young! We own the series and didn’t realize there were only 13 episodes! Still watch them over and over – his humor is timeless. No stress, no underlying momentous themes, no thought provoking endings, just laughter – good for your soul laughter. We have every word memorized and still watch and still laugh. I just want to escape for a while from “stuff” and not watch someone else’s “stuff” which usually makes me feel worse. Fawlty Towers does that it for me every time.

    • JMC says:

      Love Fawlty Towers. Especially the episode when the chef gets drunk and Basil has to go to another restaurant to get the meal, and his car breaks down and he threatens to thrash it if it doesn’t start and then runs off screen – when he comes back with the branch and starts beating the hood of the car I always lose it. Ha thanks for making me remember that.

      • Mary Werner says:

        I love that one also. My family also has a pickle prize on Christmas for the person that finds the pickle hidden in the tree. One year it was a tiny replica of Basil with a big branch in his hands and also a tiny car just like his. We have this in a honored place for everyone to see. So funny! Next year someone won the glass moose drinking mugs from Christmas Vacation and a white “dickie” just like Cousin Eddie had.

  18. Rebecca says:

    You’re absolutely right but I can’t quit. I’m really looking forward to binging on House of Cards this weekend. Maybe I’ll get to the quitting part on Monday…

  19. Deb says:

    Heaven help me, I have fallen down the Downton Abbey hole! When I began speaking with a British accent my friends called an intervention. If this winter doesn’t end soon I’m headed straight to re-hab and Weight Watchers. Spring! Come forth!

  20. RosieW says:

    Glad you read The Invention of Wings. I think it is brilliant. Not many laughs, but a very accurate depiction of what the lives of slaves and their owners were like. So wrong, so sad, so true. My book group is reading this next month. I may have to kill anyone who asks what was so wrong with slavery: “They got free room and board” sort of comment.

    Off my high horse.

    Rosie, who would have been an Abolitionist had I lived in that era.

  21. jainegayer says:

    I have been binge reading Pinterest. I seriously need an intervention or something else to binge on. Only Spring can save me now I think.

    ps- tried the sesame noodle recipe for dinner. OMG, Karen. BEST I’ve ever had. I even dreamed about eating the leftovers last night. I never dream about food. Yes, only spring can save me now.

  22. calliek says:

    You and I have had pretty much the same winter it appears. When you come up for more, I suggest Wolf Hall, both the book and the recently aired on BBC series (it’s only 6 episodes so it will be a short binge).

    Also, if you ever do want to look into your family tree, feel free to message me- that’s my other source of winter amusement and I’ve already paid for all the subscriptions.

  23. Manisha says:

    I read the Goldfinch in February. It was so good and it changed my life by slightly altering my perspective. Now I am mourning the end of it, not the actual ending but that I am finished and can’t read it anymore. I feel so sick about it that I can’t pick up another book and enjoy it. Which is awful because reading the Goldfinch effected my reading addiction. I love sitting down to 900+ page books. I’m totally jonesing to read and I just can’t do it. Withdrawal sucks as much as an addiction!!

  24. Laura Bee says:

    Loved Six Feet Under. Recently binge watched the first four seasons of Dexter – that’ll mess you up.
    My favourite binge was Twin Peaks + Fire Walk with Me. When it aired originally I was sans tv. I have been thinking of doing it again lately…
    Enjoy your detox. Perhaps spend some time with pen & paper Zen doodling. I have been a doodler forever, but now I doodle with a purpose! Kind of- still mindless, but thoughtful. Does that make sense?

  25. Stephanie says:

    Oh! Does this mean we won’t be seeing you at the Sexapalooza Show on this weekend in Mississauga? Are you sure you don’t want to hold off being dullard for one more weekend?

  26. Bambi Mayer says:

    Guess it’s an epidemic! My binge watching has been “Sons of Anarchy”. How did I ever not watch this show when it came out. I have the last season left to watch and am freaking out wondering what I will do without it every night! When I finally turn off the SOA and go to bed, it is with my mountaineering adventure books (memoirs of expeditions to huge mountains where inevitably someone falls into a crevasse or gets buried in an avalanche). At least when I’m reading about those crazy nuts freezing, it makes me feel warmer!. Won’t run out of those books because I have been downloading them at a frightening rate when they are mentioned in the book I’m currently reading (it must be a Barnes and Noble conspiracy to stay in business).
    Stay warm!

  27. Cindy says:

    I also just finished reading the Invention of Wings. Good book. Actually it’s for our book club which discusses it tonight over two pots of homemade soup and bread. What is the “Wolves” about? Small review would be great. Your posts are pure entertainment…..

  28. Sally says:

    This much be a joke, considering netflix just released house of cards. I’m patiently waiting for my husband who has a *stupid job* to get home to I can mainline the entire season tonight and into how-ever-far-into-tomorrow it will take me. I totally did this with the Gilmore Girls last week, I still feel like my friends are missing.

  29. millie dunn says:

    Love your blog, Karen! I think we’re all going a little bit bonkers this winter….come to think of it, last winter wasn’t so great either…and it was a rainy, cool spring and summer. Is this global warming??? Must admit I never saw Six Feet Under. But I’ve binged on Kindle books, PBS shows (like Downton Abbey, Grantchester, Poirot…how come American TV is so inferior??). AND I got a smart phone for Christmas so my newest binge is Words with Friends and Scrabble. At least we can laugh at ourselves….and maybe the weather (although -25 and frozen pipes isn’t all that hilarious!)

  30. sandra says:

    Oh Lordy! I must have watched the series finale of Six Feet Under at least a dozen times. Loved that series and so glad it ended the way it did. If anyone needs a great read, and I mean GREAT, might I suggest “The Tigers Wife”. Beautifully written. Verges on poetic. Could not put it down. Would love to know what others think. Just about to start reading “While Beauty Slept”. Can’t think of a better way to pass the winter blahs!

  31. JMC says:

    Karen thanks so much for that link to Danielle’s blog – love both the image and what she had to say.

  32. gloria says:

    If you want funny for a change of pace, may I suggest you get your hands on the British series, Jam and Jerusalem (British title Clatterford). I have watched all seasons no less than 4 times, but I’m thinking it may actually be 5, because I distinctly remember getting to the final ep. of the final season and looping right back to season 1: ep. 1. I so wanted to go live in that town and hang out in that pub, and I don’t even drink. It is British humor at its quirky ensemble best.

  33. Desiree says:

    Sorry guys, I just have to disagree. I read Golfinch and though I loved it in the beginning I was so happy to get to the end.

  34. Desiree says:

    Sorry everyone. I just have to disagree. The Golfinch started out with so much potential to be great but the characters just disappointed so much. I wanted to love them. They all led such tragic lives. It was the most depressing book I may have ever read. Please read “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. It was so much better!


    • Kim Steinmetz says:

      Thanks, Desiree. #58 on list of 19 copies available from my library–It must be good. I liked Goldfinch, but I agree it was depressing….and the drug problems…big sigh.

  35. Lis says:

    ‘Bored to Death’ All 3 seasons this weekend. Winter storm tonight, need another mindless comedic relief.

  36. zoe says:

    Reading Tell the Wolves I’m Home – what a GREAT book!! Thank you 🙂

  37. MARY WILHELMSU says:

    Where are you?

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