Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Valley Recap: Where the Hell IS DeGraff? (S1:E3)


Welcome back! If you missed my first or second review of The Valley, be sure to check them out.
You may be a surprised as I was to learn that The Valley is a Dayton-produced reality show that airs Sunday nights on Dayton's CW. According to the station's website, The Valley follows "the journey of six high school graduates from the Miami Valley as they prepare for the next big step in their lives."

The cast includes:
Ally –  Attacked Donald with ice cream.
Chris – Dude, I don’t know what’s wrong with Nathan
Stephanie – Flirty with Donald
Donald – Mama’s boy
Alexys – “Let’s start a prank war.”
Nathan – I enrolled in a university I have never visited, even though it is less than a 100 miles away from my high school.

Last episode we learned that Nathan is gay.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) And that Stephanie’s purple hair did not even last long enough to show up in her interview scenes.

Theme song :  Do you have what it takes?  To watch this show a third time? To deal with the inevitable “after school special” treatment of the gay. To look away when Chris shows his abs, because you are NOT a cougar. NOT. A. COUGAR.

First adventure: Donald’s Mama’s House
Donald needs to move out to live with his Grandpa to get more independence. This was teased the past two weeks to look like his Mama was putting him out on the street, of course. The people who blur t-shirt logos always get a workout when Donald is on screen.

Second  adventure: University of Cincinnati
Nathan opens this scene by sharing that he has NEVER visited the university that he is currently enrolled in and will be attending in two months! Are you FREAKING kidding me?

What is WRONG with Nathan? WHERE. THE. HELL. IS. DEGRAFF? Some other planet?
Am I going to have to write another note to the Mayor?

Maybe Nathan’s family situation didn't allow him to drive 100 miles down I-75 very often? (Can you guess by my outrage that this is NOT the case.)

Chris comes along since he is also attending UC. Chris: “It’s great to think how we’re going to be here in two months” [when I will never speak to you again, Nathan].


They gave off a "Saved by the Bell" vibe.


Third adventure: Kings Island
First the Brady Bunch, now The Valley

No one seems to ride any rides. They play carnival games and win lame stuffed dogs. Donald pretends that he has been there before.

They all eat blue ice cream and Alexys decides to corrupt Ally and start a “prank war.”

We learn that Nathan has had a season pass the past few years. SO HE IS VERY ABLE TO DRIVE TO CINCINNATI for rides but not to investigate his future!?!


Fourth adventure: Alexys’s Dad’s condo mansion with pool overlooking the Ohio River
Everyone comes over to swim and just hang out. Ally asks Alexys about her recent “scholarship” pageant. She was Miss North Central Ohio Teen second place, or something.

Stephanie and Donald flirt, with prodding from Alexys.

I guess there is no craft service for this show, because the girls appear to be eating leftovers from Alexys’s fridge for lunch.

OMG. I really can’t stand Nathan this episode. He decides to “come out” to the guys half naked in a hot tub. This is forgivable, but then, after acting all innocent last episode, he brags about how he saw male strippers last weekend. And how his porn-watching helped him understand he was gay.

The terrible-looking lunch is rectified by Alexys’s Daddy’s off-screen offer to take them all to a fancy restaurant in a party bus. Luckily, they all have nice clothes and full make-up with them to put on.


WKRP-like views of the city to show that every 18 year-old in Dayton can’t wait to get the hell out and do something fun elsewhere.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

What Farm Kids do for Fun

There is nothing better than pulling up to the hydrant by the barn to get some farm dirt washed of the family-mobile.
Don't worry, we didn't wash the farm truck. Clean trucks are for city boys.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Valley Recap: There IS a Gay One (S1:E2)

Welcome back! If you missed my first review of The Valley, be sure to check it out.

For those of you who are new, The Valley is a Dayton-produced reality show that airs Sunday nights on Dayton's CW. According to the station's website, The Valley follows "the journey of six high school graduates from the Miami Valley as they prepare for the next big step in their lives."


The cast includes:
Ally – I am leaving for Nashville soon.
Chris – Made it through the first AND SECOND episode without showing his abs.
Stephanie – I have really black hair that I want to be purple now.
Donald – Gags on sushi.
Alexys – Drives a BMW.
Nathan – Ha! You thought we wouldn't have someone gay on this show?

When we last left our group of six carefully selected Dayton suburbanites, they had survived the zipline together and pronounced love for alpacas.

Theme song:  Do you have what it takes? To get your hair dyed purple? To come out of the closet? To watch this show a second time?

First adventure: Hair cut place
Stephanie has body dysmorphic disorder so naturally she is the best person to get her hair cut and dyed purple.  Purple? She wants Alexys and Ally to support her during her haircut but they just go to the other side of the salon and get pedicures.

Important pre-taped foreshadowing that is not resolved:
Ally has a boyfriend named Cory. They have a picnic.

Second adventure: Restaurant
Nathan tells Alexys, Ally and the viewing audience that he is gay. Ally: "Are we allowed to bombard with you with questions?" His family is not supportive. I am assuming right now that much of DeGraff is praying for his salvation.

Third (non-Dayton) adventure: Cincinnati City Hall
Nathan is driving to Cincy with the crew in his car. Oh, snap! Did he just OUT a Cincinnati City Councilman? Whew, the guy is openly gay. So gay, in fact, that he takes Nathan to the Cincinnati pride day parade.


Fourth adventure: Sinclair Community College
Donald visits and Alexys tags along. He does career exploration, but not really because he has already decided to be a famous rapper some day. That's cool because we all know all the famous rappers get their start at community college.

Alexys, the rich blonde girl who drives a new BMW and eats sushi five times a week really wants people to know she is much more than a stereotype. So she makes Donald eat sushi.

Lots. Of. Faux-edited. Drama. In the coming episodes. Stay tuned. Sunday nights on Dayton’s CW or just come here for the recap.



Note from Holly:
Just for the record, I am personally opposed to purple hair and sushi eating. While I have no direct experience to draw upon, I am pretty cool with rapping and homosexuality.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sign of the Farmpocalypse

Every issue of Sports Illustrated has a brief quote titled Sign of the Apocalypse, a humorous but true news item that makes you wonder--have we gone too far? In that spirit, I present another installment of Sign of the Farmpocalypse, because I just can't make this stuff up.


Citing an increase in births every April, the Clark County (Ohio) Health District proposed handing out condoms at the county fair in July--nine months before the annual baby boom. The proposal was rejected by the Fair Board. Full article (with charts!) in the Dayton Daily News.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Valley Recap: Yes, This is Really Happening (S1:E1)

Did you know that Dayton has its own reality show? It’s called The Real Housewives of Sherwood Forest. Ha! Just kidding. The show is actually called The Valley, brought to you by the same Dayton TV casting geniuses who developed Living Dayton.

Unlike Living Dayton, which promised a show with locally grown hosts, and then launched with two dingbats who had once been to Columbus, The Valley does seem to have real people from Dayton's nicer suburbs in it, so far. 

The Valley follows “the journey of six high school graduates from the Miami Valley as they prepare for the next big step in their lives,” according to Dayton’s CW website.


The cast includes:
Ally – “I love alpacas.”
Chris – Made it through the first episode without showing his abs.
Stephanie – “Dayton has no traffic or Hispanics.”
Donald – Oh, we probably should have a black guy.
Alexys – So. Much. Drama. in the previews.
Nathan – “Hi, I’m Nathan, from the country.”




Let’s all awkwardly meet for the first time at Riverscape.

Chris and Alexys, both Centerville HS grads, arrive together and immediately get asked if they are a couple. “We would never date,” Chris says quickly. “We have zero compatibility.” Yeah, we’ll see.

Theme song, “Do you have what it takes…” To live in Dayton? To be on a locally produced reality show? To make it through a whole season watching?  I guess we’ll find out.

First (non-Dayton) adventure: Camp Kern.
Everyone except Alexys is afraid of the zipline. Nathan gets to talk for two more seconds and is done for the episode.

Second adventure: Planet Fitness
Chris and Donald work out together. Chris is a gym rat. Donald is a normal person.

Third adventure: Human RaceTheater
Ally brings her guitar for a session with some guy from NY who is only in Dayton for two weeks. Talks about her dead Dad, plays a cool song. NY guy, wanting to talk music: “Tell me more. Tell me things.”  Ally: “I love alpacas.”


Money shot of Carillon Park.  Then five minutes of previews. Lots. Of. Drama. In the coming episodes. Stay tuned. Sunday nights on Dayton’s CW or just come here for the recap.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Snapshots on the Farm

A beautiful spring sunset on the farm. 


In the foreground, weeds and manure. We will deal with that another day; for a few moments, at least, Husband and I were able to stop and enjoy the view.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pig Sale Load-out: Claude' and the Supervisory Grandmas

Tonight we are hosting our annual pig auction, which means we need to transport more than 100 little pigs to the fairgrounds for the sale.


Fortunately, we had world-renowned pig groomer and wrangler, Claude', on hand to help us get all the pigs loaded into the FIVE trailers we used to get them over to the auction site.



Here, Claude' is assisted by junior barn crew members Justin and Morgan, who sprang (sprung?) out of bed this morning, excited for a morning of pig loading and a day of pig washing.



As exciting as it is to work with Claude', Husband and the other farmers on hand couldn't get too out of control this morning. The supervisory Grandmas saw to that.


The Grandmas performed the critical functions of ensuring no members of the junior barn crew were run over by the trailers, providing tasty doughnuts and handing out strings (I don't know why strings are an important part of pig loading, but by God they were handed out.*).



As I type this Morgan, Justin, Ryan, their cousins and some other 4-H helpers are at the fairgrounds giving every pig a bath. After their bath, each pig is placed in a pen of nice, clean pine shavings. Tonight we will auction off the pigs and they will go home with excited 4-H'ers who will raise them this summer for the fair.

And if anyone needs help getting their pigs loaded to take to the fair this fall, please feel free to call upon Claude' or the supervisory Grandmas. You never know when you will need some string.


*NOTE: It is possible that the straw bale twine (string) was being recycled for use binding together gates inside the trailers.