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About Us: ChrisB

Ladies, gentlemen, penguins of all sizes: here is the next installment in our About Us Interview series. ChrisB!

Chris reviews Castle, and is currently watching Lost for the first time. (Let’s keep her in the dark about the great stuff that happens in Season Four through Six!)

What area of the world do you live in, and what do you do? (Because we all know you don't make any money doing this.)

I am an expat Yank living in London. I came over for two weeks in 2000 for work and never left. A lawyer by training, I am right now gainfully unemployed, but seeking same. I pay the rent by doing odd jobs such as nannying, cat sitting and party planning. My dream is to get paid for writing.

If we just handed you a million dollars (you never know), what would you spend it on?

All the stuff I care about fits into one box. I would pack up that box and store it in my best friend’s spare bedroom closet. I would give away everything else and hand the keys to my flat back to my landlady. I’d pack a backpack with my camera, my iPad filled with books, my well-worn copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, a bathing suit, a pair of jeans, a couple of t-shirts and a fleece and go off around the world, circling it as often as I could before the money ran out.

What random skill would our readers be surprised to know you have?

I’m a good cook. My lasagna and my lamb stew are my signature dishes, most often requested by the people I feed on a regular basis.

Are you a dog person or a cat person, or is there another animal involved?

I love both dogs and cats, but my favorite animals are penguins. They remind me of myself -- waddling and clumsy on land, but great surfers and graceful in water. I once spent three weeks traveling to Antarctica just to see them in the wild. One of the great experiences of my life.

What show would recommend everyone finally get around to watching this summer?

Although we don’t review it, Homeland was one of the great shows of last year. It is based on an Israeli show called Prisoners of War that is currently showing here. Although some of the elements between the two shows are the same, the original is better. Highly recommended.

Of all the shows we don't cover, list your: (1) guilty pleasure, (2) favorite reality show, and (3) favorite from childhood.

Those of you who read my comments already know what my guilty pleasure is because I have taken some grief about it here -- Hart of Dixie. Yes, I know it’s silly and that the medical stuff is a stretch at best, but I just love the characters. They make me laugh out loud every week.

Reality show is tough, but I would have to go with Strictly Come Dancing. I get completely wrapped up in it, although I must admit that I have never paid to cast a vote.

Childhood is easy. It would have to be the Christmas shows. Rudolph and Hermey the dentist on the Island of Misfit Toys, Frosty and Karen, The Grinch with Cindy Lou Who, the Little Drummer Boy (that makes me cry every year), but especially Charlie Brown. Every year, my family would buy a “Charlie Brown tree” to accompany the real one.

Fill in the blanks: If ___ weren't already reviewing ___, I'd want to do it.

Jess, The X-Files.

Which character do you identify with the most?

CJ Cregg from The West Wing. A woman in a male dominated world, she has found a way to succeed without losing her femininity. She is great friends with the men with whom she works without becoming even remotely romantically involved with them. She mentors young people, but especially women and she is a good boss. She has a great sense of humor and she can lip-synch with the best of them. I like to think I have all of these qualities.

What's your favorite television show of all time? (Okay, top five will do if you can't narrow it down to one.)

My original list had fifteen shows on it. I can’t narrow it down to just five so I will take the plunge and say that my desert island show would have to be The X-Files. Of course, by the time you read this, I will probably have changed my mind -- again!

Windows or Mac?

Mac all the way. Desktop, laptop, iPad, iPod and iPhone all have the same, half eaten logo. Sounds a bit obsessive when I see it written down like that!

You are hosting a dinner party for 8 TV characters and/or actors. Who would you invite?

(1)Jim Ignatowski (Taxi), because no one has ever made me laugh harder, except maybe (2)Karen Walker (Will & Grace). Additionally, she and I could drink martinis together. (3) Murphy Brown, because she is both very smart and very funny. (4) Spike (Buffy and Angel), because he and I could sneak off to smoke cigarettes together. (5) Lady Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey) as her one liners would keep me amused all night long. (6) Jim Rockford (The Rockford Files), because he’s always a good man in a pinch. (7)Hawkeye Pierce (M*A*S*H), simply for his irreverence. (8) President Josiah Bartlet (The West Wing), but as he would be most likely be unable to attend, any of his staff would be more than welcome.

Next week: DrNanaMom!


  1. My Mon makes a SPECTACULAR lasagna : we'd have to make a comparative study.

    I wanna go yo your supper too LOL

    I was shocked and at the same time not surprised to learn that Homeland is based on something already existing.

  2. Chris, I'm soooo jealous that you've gotten to visit Antarctica! My husband and I are big penguin fans, too (hockey and creatures), and hope one day to make that trip. Maybe if Josie ponies up that cool million we can set some aside to travel south. After we've covered all the practical things, of course.

    I love that you mostly went "old school" with your dinner party choices! Jim Ignatowski used to make me laugh pretty hard, too. I remember laughing to the point of pain when the gang took him for his driver's test. Oh, so funny!

  3. Well looks like those 8 you've invited are in for a treat! Lasagna.... yam! And you saw penguins in wild! How cool is that! Jealous - but in a very good way :) Thanks for interesting read.

  4. Josie -- I simply love that photo! It made me smile.

    Jess -- the driver's test scene is, in my opinion, the single funniest thing ever put to film. All my brother and I have to say to each other is "What does a yellow light mean?" and the two of us are laughing for a very, very long time.

    Thanks, all, for the comments. And a happy 4th to those of you in the USofA.

  5. "WHAT.... DOES.... THE.... YELLOW.... LIGHT.... MEAN!" One of the funniest sketches I've ever seen on television. I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes. Classic.

    Umm. Lasagna. One of my favorite foods ever.

  6. You beat me to the penguin picture! I also love penguins but probably not enough to go to the Antarctica -you win. So fun to learn about you but now I have to find some way to see that episode of Taxi (I never watched it) so I won't be out of the loop. I admire your sense of adventure, going to London and just staying there. You have inspired me to include an adventure in my holidays this year.

  7. drnanamom -- what a lovely comment. Thank you.

    For your (and anyone's) viewing pleasure, here is the alluded scene from Taxi. I would think it impossible to watch without laughing until you cry.


  8. I saw the youtube vid this morning at 5 before going to work. Masochist ? Nope, early bird.

    I would have had LMAO back then. But now, after allllll these years of movie and TV watching, I'm a tougher nut to crack. But the idea remains brilliant.

    Shame on me, never watched Taxi back then, oh heck. M*A*S*H, yes. Mork & Mindy , yes.

    But Christopher Lloyd, and with the rest of that cast of course, is (are) simply superb.

  9. crap

    I still reread myself and there is still a typo here and there. Sorry folks.

  10. Woohoo! ChrisB back when you first started here I was already smiling because we share initials (my Cris is without an 'H', Spanish spelling), and now I find out we've got more in common! Gender and Penguins!!! I've been to the Antarctic, was on an island just off the mainland in Terre Adélie in the midst of oh, I don't know... 50'000 Adélie penguins? ;o) And I got paid to go there!!! TWICE!!! And I'd do just about anything to go back! :o)

    Then there's the fact that if I had a million dollars I'd do pretty much the same thing you would (I've been 'round the world once already, but was only 6 so doesn't count much)... except I spend part on a nice little apartment or house here in Spain on the beach and set it up to my liking, so I'd have a pied à terre to come home to and rest in between all the travelling. And I'd spend part of of my travelling time working as a volunteer on environmental/biology projects (preferably involving marine mammals).

    I'm sneaking into your dinner party when you host it! I don't know what's better: the prospect of those guests or diving into lasagna and lamb stew! :o)


  11. Cris -- what a great comment. Thanks.

    I am so jealous that you got to work on Antarctica. It's certainly up there as one of my favourite places on God's green earth and I can't wait to go back.

    I do like your idea of a house on the beach in Spain. I have a very soft spot for Spain as my family lived there for a year on the south coast. I go back, to the same village, at least once a year.

    Thanks again for posting.

  12. really ChrisB?! Where? What's the name of the village? The coincidences just never stop! :o)

  13. Cris -- you will love this coincidence. I am writing this comment from a small place in Ibiza that has, we'll be polite and call it, limited internet access. What it does have is 35 degrees instead of 16 and access to the sea.

    The village is called La Herradura. I'm sure you've never heard of it, but drop straight down fron Granada to the coast, turn to the west and you're there.

  14. Granadaaaaaa, I'm falling under your spell, and if you could speak, what a fascinating tale you would tell.

    Jealous +2

  15. ChrisB you're right, another fabulous coincidence!!! If your return home takes you through Alicante let me know, you're not that far! (I've seen Ibiza from the coast around here in winter)

    As for the village, no the name doesn't ring a bell... but the directions do! My mom has cousins living in a small town that you get to by dropping down to the coast from Granada and then heading west! I've stayed with them once when visiting Granada (my favourite city in Spain, have been 5-6 times!)!!! I'll ask my mom about the name... who knows??? ;o)

  16. What a fun read Chris! Hart of Dixie seems kind of Gilmore Girls-y. Should I give it a go if I'm a fan of that kind of thing, or am I wrong in that comparison?

    I love your million dollar question, too. That sounds like the perfect plan =)

  17. Panda -- I never watched Gilmore Girls, so hard to say. Hart of Dixie is very much about a fish out of water. I often compare it to My Cousin Vinny in terms of a New Yorker caught up in the ways of the south. It is a bit silly, but it makes me laugh every week.


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