Pop Culture Pep Talk and a belated #TBIthursday

After the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th and my post last week where I reflected about how I felt about what had happened I have decided to lean back into the the lighter fare by discussing pop culture. It’s not that I am not thinking and worried about my country and the division that seems to get greater as the days go on. I AM thinking about it but distracting and comforting myself with pop culture is a technique I have been using since migraines and chronic pain dominated my existence years ago. And I figured since the events of 2020 were traumatic for all of us, I might as well share my technique of soothing with pop culture in this week’s late #TBIthursday.

I was going to talk about Oscar-buzzed about movies but I will save that for another post since I still haven’t watched any that I talked about a few blogs ago.

Instead of movies my pop culture distractions this week are two TV shows. The first show is “Kids Baking Championship” on Food Network here in the US. (I have discussed my love for this show before yet I wanted to mention it again because it’s the perfect lighter and happier tone for right now.) Food Network does their “Baking Championship” series and has different ones throughout the year and they always air Monday nights 9/8 central. There is Halloween, Holiday, Kids, and Spring “Baking Championship” and after one ends it moves to the next one in the order I mentioned. Holiday Baking Championship just ended its run for 2020 in December and then next on the schedule was Kids. These kids are so impressive. They are around 10-13 years old and making fancy pastries and cakes that are elaborately decorated. I remember learning to crack an egg when I was 8 or 9 and feeling really accomplished. 🤣 It is judged and hosted by TV baker Duff Goldman (of “Charm City Cakes”) and actress Valerie Bertinelli. Another reason I highly recommend this show is because of Goldman and Bertinelli. They are fun and have a great rapport with each other and the kids. They also are teaching the kids how to improve through their thoughtful and informative critique. The reality competition shows that revel in belittling and making fun of the contestants have never been enjoyable to me. This show is comforting, uplifting, and entertaining. It will put a pep in your step (but warning: you will crave sweets when you watch it)!

The next pop culture recommendation I have to help soothe and pep you up is called “Escape to the Chateau.” It originally aired in the UK (and still is, I think) and is now airing in the US on HGTV. It’s a documentary series that follows a British couple (Dick and Angel Strawbridge) as they purchased and renovate a French Chateau. It airs Saturday’s and has become a show my parents and I love to watch together.

The show is a design and renovation show but both Dick and Angel are so unique and so is the “house” they’re renovating that this show is so much different than the usual renovation/design shows on TV. Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, an engineer, and a television presenter. As is seen on the show, Lt. Col. Strawbridge is a skilled cook (he apparently appeared on the British version of “MasterChef”) and can figure out and build a lot. Angel is a talented and creative designer who dreams up crazy things for Dick to build. Apparently between the two of them they have published 15 books! And I only just discovered them. Both Dick and Angel have that lovely lightness of spirit that comes from pursuing your dreams. I feel endlessly happy and inspired after watching!

I found the website for the Chateau and recommend perusing it (there is a lot there). Dick, Angel, and their two children are filming homemade videos during the pandemic and they can be found on the Chateau website.

Like Kids Baking Championship, Escape to the Chateau is upbeat and inspiring. These two shows are the kind of shows I gravitate towards when I need a pop culture pep talk. And since the world seems to need a pep talk right now, these two shows are my recommendations.

#TBIthursday Essay (belated)

I usually post on Thursday but yesterday got away from me and quickly turned into an unmanageable brain injury day. Why? I had two virtual meetings each lasting an hour and each requiring me to lip-read (no captions). I used to say that I could do no more than 3 things in a day and really 2 was better than 3. What I realized yesterday was that even though video/virtual meetings and appointments don’t require the strain of going somewhere they are actually almost more taxing on my TBI brain. Since my primary complication from my severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is aural distortions that present as a severe hearing loss I can’t hear without assistance. I primarily read lips and it is a very tiring thing. Add to that the extra fatigue I get from using electronics often and virtual meetings become the perfect storm of TBI brain overstimulation and fatigue. So, I am logging off electronic devices for today and letting my little TBI brain rest.

A Selby Sweetie Conclusion

Selby is in need of a haircut so she is in full “furry face.” It makes me giggle!


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