Posts Tagged ‘Survivor’

I can’t count the number of Lassie books, movies and TV programs that have left me in tears. How many of you young oldsters remember this photo? And who the young boy is? And did you know that Lassie was usually portrayed by a male dog.

A Good Old Girls’ Club in the Making

I haven’t seen a movie or television show that has left me crying in at least a couple of years. Now, you should know, when I make this statement, that I have cried a water tank full of tears over the years, beginning with books like Lassie, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Black Beauty to a couple of Marvel movies.

Surprise of all surprises, the crying jag was restarted with Wednesday’s night’s episode of The Challenge All Stars, Season 2.

Now I know that people consider this peace-loving 82-year-old a bit strange — for someone who doesn’t like conflict, nastiness and mean people – because I’m a fan of both Survivor and The Challenge, whose weekly episodes usually display all of these traits.

I excuse myself because the participants are all playing a game, like Poker, in which dirty tricks, lying and outwitting your competitors are all allowed –Actual hitting gets you expelled from the game. I love the outdoor adventures and competitions. And amazingly, I also find memorable minutes of good sportsmanship and of finding some good in even the meanest people.

I’ve watched every episode, so far, of Survivor. I came late to The Challenge, but have watched as many episodes as have been screened.

So, what, you might ask, made me cry in The Challenge. It came at the end of a combined puzzle and weight-pulling competition, where one of the two female competitors simply wasn’t strong enough to do the weight-pulling, The other woman, by the way, outdid even the two men who competed in the same competition earlier, which, of course, thrilled me.

When the female winner finished, she went over to her competitor, and said “Come on, we’ve got this.” She then helped her pull her weight to the finish line so the woman could finish strong. It was one of the best female support actions I’ve ever seen. Even some of the bystander competitors even had tears in their eyes. (Just to note, I have seen men support their losing competitors in similar ways many times.)

But both these two women are mothers – and not so young anymore. The All-Stars episodes brought back players from 15 or more years ago. I found it very inspiring to see women staying active and supportive of their gender. Perhaps it’s the start of a good old girls’ club to compete with the good old boys’ clubs that have been going strong for way too long.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Read Full Post »

When I look at this color sketch I did some years back, I see a Zion Canyon Cliff Wall behind the tree, although I did the sketch from memory. It’s how I perceived a Zion Canyon wall to look.

          Dictionaries give the definition of “perception” as: The ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses … a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something … a mental impression. …intuitive understanding and insight … and memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli.


This makes me think that the multi-polarized perceptions rampantly raging across America today are blurring facts and truths. But what facts. and whose truths?

          I recently watched the second episode of Season 41 of Survivor, a television series that I’ve been a fan of since it first premiered over 20 years ago. The person who outwits, outplays and survives everyone else walks away with a million dollars.

          The program has evolved over time, with contestants better understanding that it’s a game in which lying is almost always crucial to winning. As this is part of the game, it doesn’t bother me, unlike how I feel about liars who don’t speak the truth in real life. To put it bluntly I abhor them.

Anyway, on this recent Survivor episode, three women on the challenge-losing team were discussing who to vote out of the game. Their choices varied, prompting one of the women to note that it was all a matter of individual perception, because each of them viewed what was in their own best interest differently.

          The older I get, the more I come to understand how people, who even can  have the exact same experiences, can see those experiences and events quite differently. This has been especially notable among my own family of five children, who all seem to have grown up with five different mothers. The truth is, time combined with the wisdom of years, has totally changed my own perception of the mother who I thought I had been.

          Another simple example of my coming to understand the power of perception came to me during a recent visit to my doctor because of back pain. One of the first questions I was asked was: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain? I’ve actually been asked that question on many occasions, including when I was giving birth to my children.

          I always thought the question was a silly one because it had no specific comparison value. This time, I actually voiced the thought, and the nurse quickly agreed with me.
          “You’re right. Its only value is how the patient feels about pain. Some never rate severe pain higher than a four, while other patients rate a hangnail as a 12.”    Enlightening, I thought, as my perception of the value of the question changed with the answer. Perceptions, I realized, continually flow like water instead of being poured concrete that hardens as it dries.

          Sadly, thinking about this gave me no answers as to how to solve the destructive, polarized beliefs and actions roaring across America, and the world, today. Perhaps it will have to begin with simply being kind to one another – well, at least that’s my perception. What’s yours?

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Read Full Post »

Oh and yet another reason I like watching Survivor is its settings, like Africa. And the scenes often show birds, like this hammerkop at the foot of the zebras. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Oh and yet another reason I like watching Survivor is its settings, like Africa. And the scenes often show birds, like this hammerkop at the foot of the zebras. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” — Paul Tillich

Gen Xers vs. Millennials

I’m not sure I’ve shared one of my secret vices. I’m an avid Survivor fan who hasn’t missed a single one of its 33 seasons. This year it’s Generation Xers (those born between the mid-1960’s and the early 1980’s ) versus the Millennials, those young whippersnappers now between the ages of 18 and 33

And Survivor provides this wandering-wonderer with some nice armchair travels. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

And Survivor provides this wandering-wonderer with some nice armchair travels. — Photo by Kim Perrin

Being very competitive myself, the competitions are my favorite parts of the show. After that, it’s seeing how people react and relate to one another in stressful situations. Although I didn’t quite understand it during the first few seasons, because I was still of the mentality that the strongest should win, I now appreciate that it takes a combination of skills – strength, intelligence, sociability, staying power and will power to get to the end.

In this year’s competition, Survivor host Jeff Probst asked a question that showed the difference between the two competing age groups , and I found the answers intriguing.

How do you spell the word you when you text? Jeff asked.

“Y.O.U” answered the Gen Xers. “Just U” said the Millennials, and said the other way was “behind the times and old-style.” “But there’s a grace to the language,” said the Xers.

As someone who led the Baby Boomers in to this world, I cheered that rebuttal. I always spell out the word you – and all other words besides. I find it difficult when tweeting to even use the & sign when forced because of the limited number of letters.

Not that there is anything wrong with “U,” but simply because I enjoy the proper use of language that I was taught as a youngster. Change doesn’t come easy.

So how do you spell the word you when texting?

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Wandering Cows http://tinyurl.com/hewo3na Take an armchair trip on a Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland.




Read Full Post »

   “When all of us are acknowledged as the human equals that we really are, there will be no space left for bullying. It will no longer be wrong to choose one thing over another.” – Jason Mraz

Kim Novak, when she was young and fit Americans' standards of beauty.

Kim Novak, when she was young and fit Americans’ standards of beauty.

Soapbox Time

Public judgments of how people dress, what they eat, what they believe, how they act and  how they look, have been bothering me for a long time, like a chigger bite that won’t stop itching.

Most recently, it happened on “Survivor,” of which I’ve long been a fan despite its goal of outwitting and lying to other players. I see that as part of the game. What I don’t see as a game is when one player makes fun of another because they’re not young and beautiful, which one beautiful on-the-outside-but-not-on-the-inside contestant did to another older female contestant in recent weeks.

That’s also exactly what was done by public figures to Kim Novak after her appearance on Oscar night. For crying out loud, why wasn’t she celebrated for being an old broad who was brave enough to appear in public?

Kim Novak today. May I look this good when I'm 81.

Kim Novak today, and in my eyes still beautiful. May I look this good when I’m 81. Heck, I don’t look this good at 75

And by the way, Kim, I say old broad with great respect because I am one — and proud of it.

We Americans are currently fighting, or so we say, to end bullying of young people. At the same time, I daily see  bullying by public figures against those who don’t look like they’re 17, have perfect features and so much money they can afford to never wear the same outfit twice. Did anyone ever hear of the philosophy of role modeling?

Kim, who I think looks fantastic for 81, was taunted with such comments as “she should sue her plastic surgeon.” — How rude!!!!!!!!!! She said she hid herself away for days, but finally decided to call the hurtful judgments by their true name – Bullying.   

            Thank you Kim for being so brave.

How about the rest of us?  Can we tell all the comedians and self-appointed critics that we‘re not laughing anymore?

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: This one’s for you Kim.  “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be  trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs



Read Full Post »

A real "Survivor" moment in Kenya. This young male lion actually scratched its back on the tire of the Land Rover just beneath my feet. -- Photo by Pat Bean

  “I don’t want to be thought of as a survivor because you have to continue getting involved in difficult situations to show off that particular gift, and I’m not interested in doing that anymore.” — Carrie Fisher

Travels With Maggie

I’m hooked on the TV series, “Survivor.” I’m not proud of the addiction. It means I can no longer boast that I’ve never watched a soap opera. “Survivor,” with all its melodrama, plotting and backstabbing, is certainly that.

It’s a rare contestant who doesn’t lie, cheat, gossip maliciously and betray. That’s the way to play the game. Being a good guy or gal usually means you get voted out early because the competition knows you’ll most likely be the one to win the million-dollar prize.

I’m a peace-loving person who wants everybody on the planet to get along and respect each other. More than once I’ve gotten up on a soapbox to spread this message. Yet Survivor nights find me watching a group of rowdy, inconsiderate, half-naked – sometimes even naked although CBS censors the privates — buffoons make war against each other.

Why am I hooked? It’s a question I’ve asked myself. When I do, this old-broad traveler actually comes up with answers. .

No adrenalin moment here, but an elephant coming out of a river at Tarangire National Park in Tanzania looked for awhile like it was going to charge our vehicle. While I didn't pee my pants, I was too afraid to move to take a picture during that "Survivor" moment. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

First there’s the exotic settings, like Australia and Africa, that appeal to my wanderlusted soul. Then there’s the idea of surviving the new and the strange, which on a more sedate scale, my dog, Maggie, and I do every time we head down the road to places we’ve never been or seen before.

“Survivor” is arm-chair travel at its adrenalin best. I find myself living vicariously through the actions of the players, standing in their shoes – or standing shoeless beside them – asking myself what I would do if I were them.

Sitting in front of my motor home’s small TV, or watching the show on my computer when I have no digital or cable connections, I fantasize winning each immunity challenge while still being the good gal who doesn’t lie, cheat or betray. Of course I always win. Such fantasy keeps my brain stimulated – and that’s a good thing. Or so I tell myself.

According to the ratings I have a lot of company. So why do you watch “Survivor?”

Read Full Post »