Friday, September 18, 2015

Oh Hey Friday!: September 18, 2015

It's Oh Hey Friday! time, hosted by September FARM. The idea is that you talk about five things -- any five things, themed or random -- and away we go!

The "Brain Dump" Edition! (Volume Two)

I've been spending some of my summer tv time re-watching reruns of Dawson's Creek on ABC Family, as they've been airing the show from the beginning. I will tell you what. I find few things as therapeutic for the daily travails of adulthood as reliving my teen angst. Adulthood can throw you some real curve balls, but I don't miss that life stage. I am the queen of nostalgia, but not for the struggle of adolescence.

Some other tv shows I've been into this summer, when we don't have the Red Sox on tv: re-watching Cheers from the beginning on Netflix; the second season of The Last Ship, which I thought was incredibly well done (I have the final two episodes still on the DVR); and we've really gotten invested in Hell on Wheels via Netflix, which, whoa, far more intense than I anticipated.

Offering opinions in today's society is like stepping onto a minefield. When (not if) someone has an opposing opinion, one can find themselves on the defensive with little to no warning. I'm not sure when we decided that it's ok to viciously condemn people any time they don't feel exactly the way you do, but it sure makes me clamp my mouth shut 95% of the time. Interacting with people has become difficult, since there is no guessing what their individual hot button issues are or when you'll trigger a personal attack. It makes a quiet girl even quieter, is what I'm getting at.

But enough of that.

There is one more weekend standing between me and the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Fest. I'm giddy with anticipation. Top three menus that are intriguing me for this year's Fest are Dominican Republic, Brazil, and South Korea. Which isn't to indicate the others don't hold plenty of delectable possibility. I really don't even know how to decide where I'll begin! Its run goes through eight weekends, and I expect to be there for at least six of them, which I will undoubtedly need to tackle my ambitious list. Here's hoping the Saturday downpours ease up a bit, though, or I'm going to be very soggy.

Nobody cares about anyone else's fantasy sports teams (unless you happen to be in the same league, I would imagine), but I have three different football teams and I finished Week One undefeated across the board. This will never happen again, so I'm noting it for my personal records.

New tv episodes start up again next week. Food and Wine Fest is almost here. We have a family reunion (T's side) coming up the first weekend of October. I have a Festing friend coming in the following weekend. There are roughly six weeks left of summer to endure go. Disney has released a poster art calendar for 2016 (which I am determined to obtain after missing out on the 2014 version). I like having things to look forward to.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Oh Hey Friday!: September 11, 2015

It's Oh Hey Friday! time, hosted by September FARM. The idea is that you talk about five things -- any five things, themed or random -- and away we go!

The Jumping Back In Edition! 

My blog has been quiet for a while. Crickets chirping, dusty cobwebs (like in the Haunted Mansion) quiet. I don't have any substantial reason for this radio silence. It's actually pretty lame. See, I got behind on my weekly recaps and I wanted to get current on those before I tackled anything new. Because I am "lists" sort of girl and I like to cross things off my list before moving on to any related tasks. Only work got a little busy and I found myself falling further and further behind. Oh, the drafts are there, framework ready to be filled in with the minutiae that probably only I care about, but hey, this is my little corner of internet, right? Before I get myself off on a tangent...I came to the conclusion that if I waited to get caught up, I wouldn't do anything except collect unpublished drafts for the rest of time. So I'm jumping back in with current thoughts today, and I'll just back publish those drafts retroactively as I get them fleshed out. My plan is that forward progress will also lead to being caught up. (It makes sense in my head, anyway.)

I wish someone could explain to me the phenomenon that makes short work weeks feel twice as long as regular work weeks. Because, honestly, I thought Tuesday was both Monday *and* Wednesday. I spent Wednesday convinced it was Thursday, only to discover that my least favorite day of the week was going to Groundhog Day me, when, surprise! Look, it's the real Thursday now...only you're going to think it's Friday, like you always do. What I'm taking the scenic route to saying is that I'm done with this week.

This past Sunday, T went to WDW with me for the second time in three weekends. I typically Disney solo (unless I have someone visiting from out of town -- I really need some local passholders to befriend or something), so for T to go twice with me, while we're still entrenched in summer was like I'd won the lottery. We'll overlook the fact that we ate dinner, walked around World Showcase, rode Spaceship Earth, and then donned our ponchos for the return trek to the truck because, being the rainy season (and an extra rainy one at that), it decided to let loose on us, and our Fast Pass for Test Track was rained out. Even so, there's nothing like being at my favorite place with my favorite person.

Opening Night for the 2015 NFL season was last night. Yes, I'm a fan of the most hated team in football. I have no desire to attend a live NFL game, ever, but man, that crowd in Foxborough last night was electric. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Angry Brady on the field. If the defense can sort itself out -- and I think it can, because it showed glimpses of being good, between allowing Big Ben opportunities to launch the ball halfway down the field -- I think this team can be crazy good. Only time will tell, but if they keep playing angry, this is going to be a heck of an interesting season.

I bought a couple of new long sleeve tops from Gap, when I was able to combine a sale with a promo code. My closet is top heavy with short sleeved and sleeveless tops (for obvious reasons), but we do get our share of chillier days scattered throughout the six months of not-summer, plus I travel to places outside of Florida, so something a smidge warmer is necessary to have on hand. I had to retire a couple of long sleeve tops when summer started, so they needed replacing, is what I'm  getting at. I kept one of them, but I had to send the other one back, because the way it was cut made it look like I had bat wings and that would be a no. Just no.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nailed it!

This morning, I plugged my iPod into my car and tapped "shuffle." Some days, this results in more "next track" requests than actual music, because, let's be honest, while I love the music I have chosen to have on my device, I'm not always in the mood to listen to (screech along to) all of them. Today, though, the iPod delivered with a feel-good morning commute soundtrack. My day started on exactly the right note.*

1. Home (Phillip Phillips) -
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble, it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone

I find something so reassuring about this part of the song. Also, it's right in the wheelhouse of my alto-ness, so I can almost feel like I'm sort of on key as I sing along. At least I'm not straining to (not at all) hit a high note I have no chance at ever hitting. I wasn't feeling particularly alone this morning, not lost, not wrestling with any confusion or chain of thoughts leading to irrational fear. That doesn't mean I don't welcome the reminders this song offers.

2. Letter to Me (Brad Paisley) -
And, oh, you got so much going for you, going right
But I know at seventeen, it's hard to see past Friday night
I wish you'd study Spanish
I wish you'd take a typing class
I wish you wouldn't worry, let it be
I'd say have a little faith and you'll see

This isn't actually my favorite part of the song ("And I'd end up saying have no fear, These are nowhere near the best years of your life'), but I love the sentiment behind this entire song. It makes me nostalgic. It makes me wonder what I'd say to myself at seventeen. This morning, I was also drawn to this part of the song, especially the last part. I can't count how many times I've worried needlessly. It makes me think of that adage, asking how many things you've worried about actually came to pass. Another great reminder to start the day.

3. Don't Blink (Kenny Chesney) -
I've been tryin' to slow it down
I've been tryin' to take it in
In this here today gone tomorrow world we're livin' in

The message of this entire song is one of my favorites. It's so true. It all goes so fast. It's easy to get caught up in it, life speeding past in a blur. Every word of this song resonates with me. This part is how I try to live my life. Slowly enough to be present, observe, remember, be grateful.

4. I Won't Give Up (Jason Mraz) -
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am

I love every single part of this song. It's one I can (and have) listened to multiple times in a row. I love the hope, the commitment, the quiet determination. This part, hands down, is in my top five favorite song lyrics of all time. It's not a lesson with a definitive end and a final exam. I think it's what life *is*. This constant progression of life rolling forward, shaping who we are, and learning how that forms and reforms who we become.

5. The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert) -
You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.

This song transports me right back to my grandparents' house. It's a time machine. It also reminds me about where I've been since I left that place in my life, how lost I found myself, how far I've come since then. It comes across so melancholy, but really, it doesn't feel that way to me. I feel strong and at peace. Like in "Home," if you get lost, you can always be found. Like in "I Won't Give Up," I had to relearn who I was and who I had become.

6. Hey Pretty Girl (Kip Moore) -
Life's a long and winding ride
Better have the right one by your side
And happiness don't drag its feet
Time moves faster than you think

Oh, man. This song. This is what love and romance boils down to, for me. It makes me catch my breath. The first time I heard this song, all I could think is I hope that's how my husband has thought about me in those deep, quiet parts of his mind, because it's how he makes me feel. One thing I know for sure is that I have the right one by my side. I hear that and I smile, because I've never been more certain of anything.

*That pun was totally intended. I'd pretend to be sorry, but we all know I'm not.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

This Week on My TV: August 8, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(The Last Ship, S2E7 Alone and Unafraid) After getting a couple of episodes to see how they fit in, I fully endorse the addition of the two new crew members. -- The XO looks as if he's losing his mind, trying to handle the sub, and keep track of the three teams that has gone off to infiltrate the immunes. -- When they show shiny, relatively new vehicles, sometimes I get confused. I keep forgetting that this virus was recent and swift...and that, despite what Baltimore looked like, this isn't Revolution. -- I feel like Chandler and company are being way too conspicuous in their mission. -- Chandler [about the President]: If he's here on his own will, it means he has power. If he has power, he can be manipulated. -- And I just realized that the President is Duck, from Mad Men. I *knew* I recognized him! -- That whole kidnap/escort the President to the meet point, with Neils in tow, and the immunes hot on their heels, shooting...way intense.

**(The Astronaut Wives Club, S1E7 Rendezvous) I was cracking up over the instructions NASA had for the wives. I'm sure there are people who are outraged and offended just watching this, but hey, different times. The wives' reactions were what killed me. -- Marge Slayton: Damn, there's a lot of wives here. ... Something about the tone of her voice, which of course cannot be captured here. But the combination of annoyance and "get me outta here" was something I just identified with. -- I know there's a lot of story to cram into ten episodes, but the rapid fast forwards in time are somewhat disconcerting. -- I miss Max. -- Wow, NASA was a real administrative mess. The wives were onto something, demanding more efficiency, timeliness, and accountability to the wives and families of the astronauts. -- OMG, Gus. Poor Betty. I will admit that I had a bad feeling with the foreshadowing of this episode, so when the anniversary Paris trip got delayed, I Googled "Gus Grissom" and saw the year of his death. It was still a gut-punch when Betty got the news.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

This Week on My TV: August 1, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(The Last Ship, S2E6 Long Day's Journey) Chaplain [to Captain]: Don't let this sub become your white whale. -- I can't help but think this plan to infiltrate the immunes is not a smart one. At least Tex blends in, because Chandler sure doesn't. -- Rachel: At which point, exactly, did I lose you? Bacon: About two hours ago. -- I was disproportionately amused when the Nathan James took out that communication buoy (or whatever it was) that allowed the sub to talk to the immunes on land. Click!....dial tone. Everyone's reaction just struck me as so.flipping.funny. -- How long til Ned recognizes Chandler in the crowd of that rally? -- This episode ended so abruptly that was left staring at the DVR's "save? restart? delete?" screen, thinking that's it?!

**(The Astronaut Wives Club, S1E6 In the Blind) Wow, eight months since JFK died. Time flies on this show. -- So, it looks like the Shepherds worked things out? Ish? That relationship doesn't even look that great in public, much less behind closed doors.-- Pat: Oh, I don't drink during the day. Jo: But half your life is during the day! -- So, I'm confused. Did Gus really cheat on Betty with the obsessed fan or not? -- It's so funny, to me, watching the struggles of Shepherd and Glenn, talking about how they were never getting to launch into space again. -- I think, so far, this was least favorite episode. It just felt dark and uncomfortable the entire time.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

This Week on My TV: July 25, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(The Last Ship, S2E5 Achilles) Captain Chandler: Only one thing I hate more than seeing a sub on SONAR. XO Slattery: What's that? Captain Chandler: Not seeing one. -- Predictable enemy composition: One evil mastermind and one hothead. -- I knew that prisoner the Nathan James took from the hospital boat was going to turn out to be bad news. -- Going into silent mode on the Nathan James was crazy intense. Loved when the knife almost got knocked off the counter but was caught with catlike reflexes! -- When they still assumed what was inside the prisoner was a beacon for the guys on the sub, at one point, the XO suggested just tossing him overboard, when Rachel was insisting they bring him below deck to operate on him. Slattery was saying that would basically give away their exact location so it was on deck or nothing. I would think tossing him into the water would be no different that bringing him below deck, no? -- I cannot believe they just plugged that flash drive they cut out of the prisoner right into the computer without concern that it might be loaded with some kind of virus that could take down the entire operation of the Nathan James! -- Holy crap, the whackos just took out all the labs in the U.S. other than the two missiles the Nathan James was able to shoot down?? -- Bunch of crazies looking to take over the world on a nuclear submarine that will never run out of fuel. Methinks Captain Chandler has a huge headache right now.

**(Murder in the First, S2E7 State of the Union) Hildy's brother (what the heck is his name? Junior?) is into quite clearly something dirty but who is "the Union"?? -- Ummm...I though this kid was going with a guilty plea?? Wouldn't that preclude the need for a trial all together? Or is this trial-without-jury simply to determine the sentence? -- That kid's uncle is an interesting character. Whoa. -- I did not anticipate such a large passage of time between seasons one and two, but based on Hildy's daughter, a significant amount of time has gone by. Wasn't she like six years old in season one?


Saturday, July 18, 2015

This Week on My TV: July 18, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Murder in the First, S2E6 Oh, Mexico) For the life of me, I cannot figure out how these cases are all connected yet. The gang activity. The bus shooting. The two dead cops. The missing undercover cop. Navarro and his brother. I see a few lines drawn between cases, but I'm convinced they all end up being related, because that's how season one was presented. Maybe I'm just assuming too much. -- I did not fully expect that box to contain Sugar's sister, what with Jalil Thompson's body went missing from the morgue.

**(The Astronaut Wives Club, S1E5 Flashpoint) Of course, Max notices Louise's new hair when Alan doesn't. -- I just want to hug Annie and be her friend every time someone shrinks back from her when she stutters. -- I so feel Betty's and Jo's agony over the Houston heat and humidity. I cannot even imagine the misery of enduring it without central air. -- Max [to Louise about his invitation for her to come to his hotel room]: I had to ask. No one gets what they want if they don't ever ask. -- Oh, Trudy, you know you want to take Gordo back already. -- Amazing how quickly, even now, the announcement of JFK's shooting can immediately have an effect. I was just thinking that I didn't expect Louise to spill her heart out to Alan about wanting him all to herself and being unable to be The Rock any longer, and that I was kind of impressed with how Rene handled that newspaper editor, and how I hope we haven't seen the last of Max yet, and then Kennedy is shot and the whole bunch of superficial nonsense screeches to a halt.

**(Madam Secretary, 2x04 Solace) The British ship in the opening scene and the hospital ship the Nathan James was seeking were apparently two different ships manned by two different groups of people. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out. -- So...did they stock up on things like mini boxes of Frosted Flakes when they were in port or did the Nathan James have a ridiculous amount of provisions on board when they were first sent out on their secret mission to find the primordial strain of the virus? -- Hold up just one minute. The British guys trying to take over the hospital the ship are somehow connected to that crazy immune commune? -- Holy intensity on board that hospital ship. I nearly suffered multiple heart attacks. -- Thus far, I have decided that I like the two new soldiers who've joined Captain Chandler's crew. -- Captain Chandler: They don't ambush us. We ambush them. -- Bavis [spotting a bomb]: Uh oh. Tex: I hope that's Hebrew for a-ok. 



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