Sports Night; College Roommate Selection; Cashews

I am re-watching Sports Night, and although I am laughing/crying less this time because I am less pregnant this time, I still say you should watch it if you haven’t, or re-watch it if you have. Same as the first time through, the first episode or two didn’t quite get me hooked (and the laugh track sounds so dated and dumb), but after several episodes I was so into it (and the laugh track disappears). It has a good slow-burn relationship AND a good gratifyingly-quick-ignition relationship. Well, the slow-burn is more of a medium-slow: there isn’t really time for slow when a show only lasts two seasons. There’s also a “they hate each other so of course they end up in bed,” if you’re into that.

I think Paul thinks I have a thing for Josh Charles now, though, because he (Paul) came into the room, looked suspiciously at the screen, and said “Is that the same guy from The Good Wife?” Yes. But that’s not my type: the Josh Charles characters might as well wear “BAD IDEA JEANS” signs around their necks. (I like Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night, and Eli Gold on The Good Wife.)

[Edited to add: I just started Season 2 and in the second episode Dan is fan-boying about meeting Hillary Clinton. I just thought you should know, in case this affects you as it affects me.]


Rob is doing the College Roommate Selection process now. His college has a program similar to online dating: it suggests available candidates based on your answers to a series of questions, and he’s emailed three of the candidates. It was kind of adorable seeing him work on his letter, picturing these other 18-year-old boys reading it and thinking it over. GAH. CUTE. I so hope he gets a good roommate, and it seems like such a toss-up no matter how many computer programs are involved.

I can’t believe he’ll be living somewhere else in less than four months. I got somewhat distracted by the stress of the college-application process followed by the waiting-to-hear process followed by the deciding-among-the-acceptances process, and now I have a lot more time to focus on the MY-ACTUAL-BABY-WILL-ACTUALLY-LEAVE process. Some days I feel pretty chill about it: it seems like the natural next step. Some days I feel about the same as I did in the time leading up to his first day of first grade, thinking with increasing panic that THIS CAN’T HAPPEN BECAUSE IT IS NOT NATURAL FOR HIM TO BE AWAY FROM ME FOR SEVEN HOURS A DAY, IS EVERYONE INSANE???

But I grew to look forward to the arrival of the school bus, and I am guessing this too will go well after the initial adjustment. I am already feeling enthusiastic about sending care packages, buying a school coffee mug and/or shot glass, etc.

Oh! Thinking about snacks to put in care packages reminded me I have a snack to recommend: Emerald Salt-and-Pepper Cashews.

(image from

The link goes to a Prime Pantry item, because that’s the only way they’re a reasonable price on Amazon. I get them at Target when they go on sale for $3.00. Salt and pepper seems like a not very interesting flavor, but they’re so yum. I have to put some in a bowl and then get a cat to sit on my lap so I don’t get up and refill the bowl.

36 thoughts on “Sports Night; College Roommate Selection; Cashews

  1. Celeste

    I agree on the S&P cashews. I got some jumbo ones at Christmas time from a local nut place, and they were divine. Had they not had samples, I never would have known. It doesn’t sound like it would be good, but it was crazy good.

  2. Kathy

    If you love Sports Night, I assume you’ve watched The West Wing and then Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? Multiple times like me? All Aaron Sorkin, the king of smart fast dialog. Love them all so much.

    1. Swistle Post author

      I have The West Wing ready to go after I’m done re-watching Sports Night! I used to think I didn’t want to watch it because I wasn’t interested in politics, but (1) I’m also not interested in sports, and (2) NOW I HAVE AN INCREASED INTEREST IN POLITICS.

      1. Jenny

        Oh! You will love the West Wing. Its like they took Sports Night, moved it to the White House, made it an hour, and brought in a few more people. It took me a few episodes to be completely sold on it, so make sure you give it 3 or 4 episodes.

        And I’ve found in the current political climate that watching the West Wing and (oddly) Parks and Rec make me feel better about the current situation ;)

  3. Ruby

    Rob’s school’s roommate-assignment system sounds brilliant. At my college, we filled out a short questionnaire that mostly had questions like, “What time do you usually go to bed?” and “How much quiet study time do you need per day?” instead of questions that told you anything at all about the questionnaire-taker’s personality. Also, the questions were pretty hard to answer for someone who had never actually been to college. (For example, how would I know how much study time I need per day when I don’t know what my classes are yet? And do I have to study in my room or is there a quiet area I can go to if my roommate is being annoying?) Then they’d assign roommates (allegedly) based on the answers they gave, although to be honest I’m not entirely sure that they even looked at the questionnaires. I ended up with a roommate I did not get along with at all. If there had been a system like this in place, we might have have both ended up with roommates we were really happy with!

    1. Ruby

      That said, I once did a thing where we had roommates that were totally randomly assigned (no questionnaire or anything), and my roommates were GREAT and I’m still friends with both of them to this day. So it’s luck of the draw, really.

  4. AnnabelleSpeaks

    I loooooved Sports Night. Is that on Netflix or the like, or did you buy it? I should look that up myself, hm?

    Peter Krause (Casey McCall in that show) was from my area and I worked with his then-retired parents at a part-time job in early high school. They were so nice! And they were DELIGHTED that their son, who was then not well known (yet), had A FAN. They made him send me an autographed script from the show Cybil that he was on at the time.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Oh, man, CYBILL! I’d forgotten about Cybill!

      The first time I watched it, I got it from Netflix. But now I can get it at my library, which is good because I remember the pain and suffering of waiting for the next disc to arrive in the mail!

  5. Jenny

    I love Sports Night. One of my favorites. It is kind of dated, but in a fun way (i.e. one plot line had to do with an internet poll that had HUNDREDS of responses!)

    Good luck to Rob on the roommate. In general, I think boys are much more easy going about things and tend to have less problems with roommates. However, I was randomly assigned a roommate 20 years ago and I think the only thing we could specify is if we smoked or not. And it worked out great. We lived together for 4 years during college (3 in a tiny dorm room) and are still really great friends today. We just got back from a trip to New Orleans with other college friends and have traveled to Europe and Hawaii and lots of other places. I always hope people end up with the same random roommate situation that I did : )

  6. Shawna

    I hope Rob’s freshman roomate is better than my first one. She had loud sex when I was in the room ALL THE TIME! Plus, I am very neat and it’s so hard to keep that tiny overstuffed room clean. Luckily, those problems drove me to mostly stay with new friends who had a house off campus and I ended up moving in there second semester. We had so much fun there and they became life long friends. Oh I hope Rob really loves it, college was the best time of my life!

  7. StephLove

    I love your portion control strategy.

    My oldest is two years younger than yours so I am reading all these college posts with interest.

  8. Tessie

    My mom sent the best care packages when I was in college. You are going to be SO GOOD at this!

    1. Leeann

      So Swistle, I ask that you share your care package ideas with us.. what you are going to put in them, soliciting ideas etc.

      I have one going to college too and I need the help (and motivation.. I suck at crap like this!)

  9. Lindsey

    I have never seen Sports Night! But I love Josh Charles (and I love Eli Gold from the Good Wife too, but in a different way). And I also love the West Wing, so I am excited to check this out!

    I wasn’t in college all that long ago (it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, anyway) but I think my roommate was randomly assigned. I think all we chose as a preference was which type of dorm we wanted to live in. But anyway, even though my roommate and I were very different it all worked out very well. Exciting times for Rob, and I agree, you will be fantastic at care packaging!

    1. Lindsey

      Oh bummer. It doesn’t look like Sports Night is available for streaming through Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. Do you have another (inexpensive-ish) way of watching to recommend?

      1. Swistle Post author

        My library has it on DVD, so if you have a DVD player you could check your library.

          1. Chrissy

            It’s on Hulu! I am excited to watch it. It like a lot of the actors. And I’ve been pro Josh Charles since he was Knox Overstreet in Dead Poet’s Society. 13 year old me is still swooning.

  10. Shawna

    My first year at the dorms there was no questionnaire as far as I can recall (second year you got your own little room). I got a roommate I nicknamed “the poodle” because, well, she looked like a poodle: bad perm she pulled into a round ponytail, thin face, watery eyes, etc. I know her name was Tracey but couldn’t even tell you her last name despite living with her for 8 months because she spent that entire 8 months either at her boyfriend’s university, or the two of them took over our room and kicked me out when she was around. She transferred to his university after 1st year.

    I’ve actually kind of wished I could remember her last name so I could look her up on FB and see if she married that guy: they were a terrible, co-dependent couple and he was emotionally abusive to her, and I’d love to know if she ever managed to get away from him.

  11. Blythe

    Sports Night is just the best. And Jeremy is my favorite too. Whenever I see that actor in anything else (currently Scandal), I just call his character Jeremy because I loved him.

  12. Holly

    I’m confused about the roommate selection process. What happens after he emails them? Do they get to say yes or no? That sounds harsh to me, imagining walking around campus and bumping into someone who rejected you as a roommate? (Maybe that’s just my new-to-dating-after-divorce insecurities, but I don’t like that!) I was randomly thrown in with three other girls 26 years ago, ended up living with one of them all four years and we still get together every year).

    1. Swistle Post author

      I don’t really know how it works, but it seems lower-pressure than that: the process is done with screen names (no surnames) and no photo, so my guess is that no one knows which students are the ones who didn’t work out as roommates.

  13. Laura

    Dill pickle cashews and m&ms are also a delicious combination. Tastes much better than it sounds.

  14. Jill

    You should all try Emerald salt and vinegar almonds. I don’t even really *like* almonds and yet I have been obsessively snacking on these for months. Also delicious are the habanero bbq, which are not nearly as spicy as the habanero implies.
    I haven’t seen the cashews but will have to seek them out b/c they are my favorite and the first thing I pick out in a thing of mixed nuts.

  15. Gigi

    I think my son did a similar process to get his roommate in college. It worked out really well for him (and us). He ended up with a great kid and they chose to room together again the following year. The only reason they didn’t room together the third year is because the kid’s parents moved into the area and he lived at home. They are still close friends today.

  16. Jesabes

    I haven’t seen Sports Night – other than once watching the first two episodes and bailing…I guess I should try again. I 100% have a thing for Josh Charles, though. Will Gardner forever.

  17. Chrissy

    I’ve always been secretly jealous of people who clicked with their college roommates. I remember getting a snail-mail info sheet on mine (pre-internet) and she and I got along but were never really friends. She was two years older and very introverted. We roomed together for two years simply because I couldn’t get up the nerve to ‘break up’ with her. I roomed with my BFF from high school after she left, and we had a really good time.

    And I also want to reiterate: Will Gardner, aka Knox Overstreet, 4 EVA.

  18. Carrie

    I’m excited for you to watch The West Wing. It isone of my all time favorite shows and I think you will love it! There is a podcast called The West Wing Weekly and Josh Malina (the actor who plays Jeremy and also has a role in the later seasons of TWW) is one of the hosts. I’ll admit I was never a big fan of his but this podcast has changed my opinion – I now find him smart, funny and endearing. The podcast discusses each episode in chronological order (they are currently at the beginning of season 3) and then they usually interview one of the actors, or take a deeper dive related to one of the political topics of the episode. It’s really good.

    1. Swistle Post author

      I AM SO HAPPY YOU MENTIONED THIS PODCAST. I never would have thought to look for such a thing! I am on the second season of The West Wing and suddenly remembered that you’d mentioned it, and started listening to it. I’m only on their episode about the first episode, but this is going to make it SO MUCH EASIER to make myself go on walks.

  19. Eleanor

    What happens if somebody doesn’t find a roommate on their own? Are they randomly assigned a roommate?

    This process is so different from the processes I went through in college decades ago!

    1. Swistle Post author

      I haven’t looked into it, but my guess is that it’s assigned—probably using the classic smoker/non, clean/messy, late/early questionnaire.

  20. Lisa Ann Nusynowitz

    Oh man (IMO) Sports Night is the one best (and under-rated) shows ever. Any scene with Isaac is a great scene. And I can’t hear “Boogie Shoes” without picturing Dana dancing!

  21. Maureen

    My daughter was one of the only girls in her graduating class to go to her college, so she had the roommate lottery. She had to fill out a form, that did ask quite a few pertinent questions-and she was paired up with a great girl. They became fast friends, and even though her roommate became an RA her second year, they still get together all the time. It was very stressful though, not knowing who she would be living with in that tiny room. I am still very thankful that she had such a nice person as her first roommate!

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