Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Watch TV 2013-2014 Season:The Broken Road Awards - Part Three

Onward, to Part Three of the Broken Road Awards (winners in red italics)!

A reminder of the shows in contention:

Returning Shows:
Dexter (SHO, final season). Once Upon a Time (ABC). The Good Wife (CBS). The Mentalist (CBS). Mad Men (AMC). How I Met Your Mother (CBS, final season). 2 Broke Girls (CBS). Mike and Molly (CBS). Dallas (TNT). Chicago Fire (NBC). Person of Interest (CBS). Revolution (NBC, cancelled). The Middle (ABC). Law and Order: SVU (NBC). Modern Family (ABC). CSI (CBS). The Big Bang Theory (CBS). Grey's Anatomy (ABC). Scandal (ABC). Elementary (CBS). Parenthood (NBC). Last Man Standing (CBS). The Carrie Diaries (CW, cancelled). Blue Bloods (CBS).

New Shows:
Sleepy Hollow (FOX). Mom (CBS). The Blacklist (NBC). About a Boy (NBC). Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC, single season spinoff). Reign (CW). The Michael J Fox Show (NBC, cancelled midseason).

Summer Shows:
Low Winter Sun (AMC, new, cancelled). The Bridge (FX, new). Unforgettable (CBS). Motive (ABC, new).

Best Wardrobe, Female Character
1. Julia Braverman, Parenthood - She makes comfy-casual look so...put together.
2. Pamela Barnes Ewing, Dallas - Seriously, she can go from cocktail dress to jeans and cowboy boots, and never looks out of place.
3. Olivia Pope, Scandal - I have a crush on her closet. The end.

Best Wardrobe, Male Character
1. Raymond Reddington, The Blacklist - Red just always looks good. Suit. Hoodie and jeans. Trench coat and fedora. It all works.
2. Mr Reese, Person of Interest - Business casual with a side of badass. Bam.
3. Frank Reagan - The Commissioner is impeccable in his three-piece suits. Always.

Best Costume(s)
1. Once Upon a Time, in Fairy Tale Land - Storybrooke is nothing special, but the costumes they put together for our group, back in their home land, are out of this world, especially the outfits they dream up for Regina!
2. Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow - Abbie is constantly making fun of Ichabod's Revolutionary War get-up, but for heaven's sake, stop trying to stuff him into skinny jeans and just let him be. That period costume is played off to perfection!
3. Reign - I am certain these gowns the ladies wear are the furthest thing from historically accurate. I do not care. They are to. die. for.

Strangest Story Arc
1. "Peter Pan," Once Upon a Time - The way they weave fairy tales together is masterful. Finding a way to tie it to Rumplestiltskin was pure genius. But that whole traipsing around Neverland with poison coursing through Charming's veins, fighting over Henry, and Emma acting like a school girl as she goes back and forth between Neal and Hook -- it all just felt kind of goofy to me.
2. "Kristina Braverman running for Mayor," Parenthood - Ok, I am the first one to rave about how they portrayed Kristina's battle with cancer, but this whole "running for Mayor bit? Come on. I don't care how many Bravermans there are in town, it still isn't enough to win her an election.
3. "Jane falls for Lisbon," The Mentalist - I found it completely awkward that, after all this time, Patrick Jane is suddenly staring at Lisbon longingly.

Best Story Arc
1. "Is Red Lizzie's father?" The Blacklist - All season, they danced around this topic. First making it look like maybe he was, the having him deny it, the whole time, dropping clues and subtle comments for the watcher to notice and add to the puzzle. There's still a lot to learn about Lizzie and Red, but this question was visited and revisited the entire season.
2. "Julia and Joel's separation," Parenthood - They nailed this. It felt raw and honest. It covered all the emotions, without glossing them over or speeding up the timeline.
3. "Cristina's farewell," Grey's Anatomy - This show is notorious for farewell to departing characters via the Grim Reaper, so I appreciated that with one of the original cast members making her exit, they took the whole season to tell her story, to say goodbye, to send her out on a high note but with a sense of resolution.

Worst Story Arc
1. The entire last season of Dexter. - What *was* that?? I mean, the Brain Surgeon part with Dr Vogel was certainly intense, but Dexter planning an escape with Hannah and that whole series finale bit, with Deb dying and Dexter burying her at sea during a hurricane and then turning up in a lumber yard in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest or where ever that was supposed to be? What a weird ending.
2. "Molly has a midlife crisis," Mike and Molly - How on earth did they get from that super storm season finale from the previous season and wanting a baby to Molly having a nervous breakdown, fleeing her classroom, and deciding to become a writer? Most abrupt transition ever.
3. "William Lewis," Law and Order: SVU - I thought this thing would never end. Every time they would finish with him (so it seemed), two weeks later he'd pop up again, like some kind of deranged jack-in-the-box. I realize, with the premise of the show, that there will often be uncomfortable subject matter, but this was twisted, the explicit means of torture and the weird obsession with Olivia.

Most Memorable Moment
1. "Ted's proposal," How I Met Your Mother - It was everything I wanted it to be.
2. "Sheldon and Amy's Valentine's Day kiss on the train," The Big Bang Theory - Now *that* was a move I never saw coming.
3. "Red's speech to Janice in the closet," The Blacklist - It's been nearly a year and it still comes up in conversation with friends who also watch. Everything about that scene was perfectly Red and classically Spader.

Biggest Shock
1. "Will Gardner's courtroom murder," The Good Wife - My jaw hung open and I just gaped at the tv. Out of the clear blue, in the middle of all the turmoil with Alicia and Carey leaving to start their own firm.
2. "Carter's death," Person of Interest - I couldn't believe they killed her off like that!
3. "Jake killing James," Scandal - I never expected James to end up dead. Shot maybe and then a recovery but...dead??

Most Disappointing Cancellation
1. The Carrie Diaries - This show was adorable. And they did an amazing job of casting young Carrie and young Samantha. I was looking forward to meeting Charlotte and Miranda, and seeing how these stories were told.
2. How I Met Your Mother - Less "cancellation" than an expected end to this show's run, but oh, how I wish we'd had more time with Tracy.
3.Revolution - This show had the potential to be excellent. Its basis held so much possibility. And then they just muffed the kick. It failed not once, but twice, after they pulled the plug on season one and blew up the whole show for a different direction season two.

Best Opening Song/Credits
1. Once Upon a Time - They are so clever, the way they work that episode's theme into the woods scene of the opening.
2. Dallas - Classic. Same format as the original. Same theme music. I stop and watch, with this goofy nostalgic grin plastered all over my face.
3. Reign - I loved the "long may she reign" voiceover they did for the first half of the season.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Watch TV 2013-2014 Season: The Broken Road Awards - Part Two

Part Two of the Broken Road Awards (winners in red italics)! This is making me look forward to the new television season like crazy!

A reminder of the shows in contention:

Returning Shows:
Dexter (SHO, final season). Once Upon a Time (ABC). The Good Wife (CBS). The Mentalist (CBS). Mad Men (AMC). How I Met Your Mother (CBS, final season). 2 Broke Girls (CBS). Mike and Molly (CBS). Dallas (TNT). Chicago Fire (NBC). Person of Interest (CBS). Revolution (NBC, cancelled). The Middle (ABC). Law and Order: SVU (NBC). Modern Family (ABC). CSI (CBS). The Big Bang Theory (CBS). Grey's Anatomy (ABC). Scandal (ABC). Elementary (CBS). Parenthood (NBC). Last Man Standing (CBS). The Carrie Diaries (CW, cancelled). Blue Bloods (CBS).

New Shows:
Sleepy Hollow (FOX). Mom (CBS). The Blacklist (NBC). About a Boy (NBC). Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC, single season spinoff). Reign (CW). The Michael J Fox Show (NBC, cancelled midseason).

Summer Shows:
Low Winter Sun (AMC, new, cancelled). The Bridge (FX, new). Unforgettable (CBS). Motive (ABC, new).

Best Hair, Female Character
1. Angie Flynn, Motive - I feel like she has a style I could realistically pull off without getting annoyed.
2. Kristina Braverman, Parenthood - Her hair was so ridiculously cute all season. My hair *never* looks that cute.
3. Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife - I don't know what it is about her hair. It's usually pretty no-nonsense. I just love how sleek it looks. And that color.

Best Hair, Male Character
1. Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow - Honest to God, I cannot believe a man with long hair is even on my list, but I would *kill* for his hair. For *myself*.
2. Hook, Once Upon a Time - I think it's the facial scruff that does me in, especially when his hair is a little messy.
3. Jake Ballard, Scandal - Clean cut, yes, please.

Most Enviable Style, Female Character
1. Olivia Pope, Scandal - No joke, I have a crush on the style she pretty much radiates. She has more style in one stray hair than I have had in my entire life, combined.
2. Joan Holloway Harris, Mad Men - I love the way Joan carries herself. She's ladylike and strong and very at ease in her own skin.
3. Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife - I like that she pulls off professional and sexy at the same time, but never looks trashy.

Creepiest Character
1. Peter Pan, Once Upon a Time - There was something one hundred percent unnerving about his eyes and his shadow. Pure evil.
2. Oliver Saxon aka "The Brain Surgeon," Dexter - There is something unspeakably unsettling about a person who can look and act so normal on the outside and be a brain-cutting serial killer in his free time.
3. The flying monkeys, Once Upon a Time - Straight out of my childhood nightmares!!

Best Villain
1. Rumplestiltskin, Once Upon a Time - He speaks out of both sides of his mouth. You never know whether or not to believe him. You *definitely* never trust him! And that cackle. ::shudder::
2. Catherine de' Medici, Reign - That woman stops at *nothing*. Finding yourself on her bad side can have no good ending.
3. Rowan "Eli" Pope, Scandal - Every single time I think maybe he's got Olivia's best interests in mind, he does something utterly ruthless.

Most Twisted Character
1. David Tate, The Bridge - All the ways he toyed with Marco, purely for revenge.
2. William Lewis, Law and Order: SVU - The numerous ways he tortured his victims, the way he worked his charms on so many women, the way he mercilessly tormented Olivia. Possibly one of the most terrifying characters I've ever encountered on television.
3. Cyrus Beene, Scandal - Is there anyone Cyrus *hasn't* tried to have knocked off?!

Character with the Most Straight-Up Crazy
1. Root, Person of Interest - There is something so humorous in the way she moves around, semi-detached and only half explaining herself while she talks to "Her."
2. Emma Ryland, Dallas - She bought the exact same lingerie as Pamela, wore it for John Ross, made him perform certain acts, then sent him home to kiss his wife. Are you kidding me?!
3. Maya Lewis, Scandal - Chewed through her own wrist. Need I say more?

Most Badass Character
1. Snow White, Once Upon a Time - Snow, before she became Mrs Charming and, later, Mary Margaret, was cheer-worthy levels of awesome.
2. Mr Reese, Person of Interest - He materializes out of the thin, exactly at the crucial moment, shoots without missing, then cracks a bemused half smile. That's the guy *I* want having my back!
3. Sebastian, Reign - He isn't afraid to declare his love *or* fight The Darkness.

Most Friend-Worthy Character
1. The Mother aka Tracy McConnell, How I Met Your Mother - Clever, funny, wise, direct, sweet, quirky.
2. April Kepner, Grey's Anatomy - I try to be annoyed by her, but, secretly, she's exactly the kind of upbeat, optimistic person I'm drawn to.
3. Sue Heck, The Middle - Sue Heck is high school me. I'd be friends with me.

Most Swoon-Worthy Character
1. Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow - His bewildered disdain for modern life is only part of his charm. I could also listen to him talk all. day. long.
2. Sebastian, Reign - Holy crap, those eyes look right through a girl, even from the other side of a television screen. And the way he treats his lady? That's the kind of "hot" a real woman goes for!
3. Hook, Once Upon a Time - I don't usually go for bad boys, but that smoldering stare? ::fans self::


Monday, September 15, 2014

I Watch TV 2013-2014 Season: The Broken Road Awards - Part One

I wanted to change things up a bit for my "tv season review" but I've struggled to figure out how, exactly, I wanted it to be constructed. After much consideration, I present: The Broken Road Awards.

And since the new television season is set to start on September 21, it's time to launch this baby! It will run in four parts, with the winner of each category in red italics.

Here are the shows in contention:

Returning Shows:
Dexter (SHO, final season). Once Upon a Time (ABC). The Good Wife (CBS). The Mentalist (CBS). Mad Men (AMC). How I Met Your Mother (CBS, final season). 2 Broke Girls (CBS). Mike and Molly (CBS). Dallas (TNT). Chicago Fire (NBC). Person of Interest (CBS). Revolution (NBC, cancelled). The Middle (ABC). Law and Order: SVU (NBC). Modern Family (ABC). CSI (CBS). The Big Bang Theory (CBS). Grey's Anatomy (ABC). Scandal (ABC). Elementary (CBS). Parenthood (NBC). Last Man Standing (CBS). The Carrie Diaries (CW, cancelled). Blue Bloods (CBS).

New Shows:
Sleepy Hollow (FOX). Mom (CBS). The Blacklist (NBC). About a Boy (NBC). Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC, single season spinoff). Reign (CW). The Michael J Fox Show (NBC, cancelled midseason).

Summer Shows:
Low Winter Sun (AMC, new, cancelled). The Bridge (FX, new). Unforgettable (CBS). Motive (ABC, new).

Favorite Character, Drama
1. James Spader as Raymond Reddington, The Blacklist - This character was made for Spader. Every line out of his mouth is pure gold. Every amused expression that passes over his face is genius.
2. Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, Blue Bloods - As smooth, tough, and respectable as Frank is, I love that he also comes across as extremely real.
3. Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni, The Good Wife - It's like she's straight out of one of my all-time favorite shows, Boston Legal. Quirky and smart.

Favorite Character, Comedy
1. Cristin Miliotti as The Mother (Tracy McConnell), How I Met Your Mother - I don't think I've ever loved a character as quickly as I did her.
2. Eden Sher as Sue Heck, The Middle - Oh, Sue Heck, I get you. It's rough to have a heart of gold and a totally awkward demeanor.
3. Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler, The Big Bang Theory - Pure hilarity.

Most Annoying Character Drama
1. Desmond Harrington as Joey Quinn, Dexter - I can't think of a more useless addition to a cast. He was constantly in a secondary role and that's exactly what he felt like: filler.
2. Tony Regbo as Prince Francis, Reign - Nowhere near as strong as he'd like to make everyone believe, he changes allegiance with the direction of the wind, even with his own wife.
3. Emilie de Ravin as Belle, Once Upon a Time - Three words: Grow a backbone. I don't care for the way they portray Belle. She doesn't come across as intelligent or curious, at all.

Most Annoying Character Comedy
1. Minnie Driver as Fiona, About a Boy - Holy helicopter mom.
2. Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn-Biggs, Mike and Molly - I know they decided to capitalize on Melissa McCarthy's slapstick movie humor payday, but the direction they've taken this show by reinventing Molly midstream feels caricature-ish.
3. Kat Dennings as Max Black, 2 Broke Girls - Hard to say which annoys me more: the stiff delivery of every line she's had over three seasons or The Joker lips painted on her face.

Best New Character on an Existing Show
1. The Mother aka Tracy McCarthy, How I Met Your Mother - Every appearance by The Mother, and they didn't come nearly often enough, was magic.
2. Zelena, Once Upon a Time - I enjoyed the way the writers wove the details of The Wizard of Oz in with the existing story and tied it to Regina.
3. Finn Polmar, The Good Wife - I immediately liked Finn. There's something humble about him, which is refreshing among so many huge (character) egos.

Favorite Couple
1. Sue and Darrin, The Middle - I was so sad when they broke up and was cheering (literally) when they decided to get back together.
2. Ted and Tracy, How I Met Your Mother - They are fifteen different kinds of adorable. So worth the wait for Ted.
3. Meredith and Derek, Grey's Anatomy - I appreciate that, even though they hit bumps and things aren't always easy, they stick together, fight through it together, and their marriage ends up stronger. It's so easy to just split marriages up on tv to create turmoil and change up the story. I like that they've survived.

Most Annoying Couple
1. Robin and Barney, How I Met Your Mother - I never really liked them together. They became more of a joke than anything else.
2. Kristin and Ryan, Last Man Standing - They set my teeth on edge the second they are on the screen.
3. Carrie and Sebastian, The Carrie Diaries - Too needy!

Family That Makes You Wish You Were One of Them
1. The Reagans, Blue Bloods - I want to go to family Sunday dinner!
2. The Pritchetts, Modern Family - I'd really just like to sit back and watch Phil's antics, and take some of these family vacations.
3. The Bravermans, Parenthood - I'm really just not sure how you wouldn't want to be part of this family.

Best Cast Chemistry
1. Parenthood - I can't think of a single line situation that has felt forced or awkward (unless it was *supposed* to feel that way). It doesn't even matter who is on the screen. They actually feel like a family.
2. The Good Wife - With such a high emotional intensity on this show, and the number of characters that may be on for an episode or a longer story arc, it's easy to pick up people who don't feel like they fit. This show never seems to miss a beat.
3. The Big Bang Theory - Even when they added new characters in previous seasons, it felt like they were always part of the gang. And their characters have continued to evolve in sync, which is really rather impressive.

Worst Cast Chemistry
1. 2 Broke Girls - Has there ever been a single episode of this show that the characters haven't felt as if they were reading off cue cards? After three seasons, they should feel more fluid in their delivery, at the very least.
2. The Michael J Fox Show - New shows, especially new comedies, seem to struggle to feel comfortable in their own skin. This one never seemed to get there.
3. Revolution - I never felt like this cast was cohesive. I understood that in season one, between being a new show and having characters killed off at an alarming pace, but that seemed to ease off a bit in the second season, and they still seemed to lack that spark that makes you want to suspend disbelief and feel as though they are real.

Part two, coming tomorrow...


Saturday, September 13, 2014

This Week on My TV: September 13, 2014

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

**(The BridgeS2E9 "Rakshasa") I'm not sure how to process that Eleanor had a son. I wonder if he was the result of her father's abuse? -- When the Mexican police brought in the high girl, I did not expect her father to be that CLIO guy, Sebastian Cerisola (or whatever his name is)! -- I can't quite figure out why Fausto thinks Eleanor betrayed him. Why doesn't he suspect Sebastian? Or does he think Eleanor is working for Sebastian now? -- I guess Sonya will be back to trusting Marco again, now that he saved her from The Chopper. -- Still trying to piece the timeline together. Is this shootout that resulted in the bloody scene Monte walked into at the start of the season? Is this another gruesome scene? And now Charlotte is dead and Hank's...dead? Missing? Holy. Crap. -- Marco [to Sonya]: That war is here now. And the border won't be able to stop it.

**(MotiveS2E13 "For You I Die"I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get the full story on whatever case is resurfacing from Angie and Mark's past. -- I did NOT expect Samantha to be this week's victim! -- If Rule Number One of a horror movie is never run upstairs, then Rule Number One of a crime show is never find yourself alone in a dark alley. Either way, no good will come of you. -- Why didn't they just test Mark's hands against the handprints on the two victims? -- Angie can't really quit...can she??

**(The Last ShipS1E6 "Lockdown"I sure hope the crew monitoring the transmissions is getting counseled by someone, because that has got to become severely depressing in a very short period of time. -- Rachel: The biggest breakthroughs almost always come after the most enormous setbacks. You just need to be patient. ... True about much more in life than scientific research on vaccines. -- I really like Tex. But I'm still not sure if he or CMC Jeter is my favorite. -- Eric Dane: master of indignant brooding. -- Quincy is a real pot stirrer. -- Tex: I'd follow you into the gates of hell. CO Chandler: That's only because you think it'd be exciting. -- Predictability: I knew Green wouldn't have the virus. And I knew none of the sailors would end up leaving the ship. I still understand why they have to set up tensions though. -- Teary eyes and goosebumps: when the sixteen sailors whose enlistment was up showed up on deck at the time appointed to get on their boat and leave, and one stepped forward to the CO with a folded flag...and said they all requested to re-enlist. I didn't know whether to cheer or weep, but I was moved. -- CO Chandler [to Quincy]: I hear you and Chandler have been doing a lot of talking. [pregnant pause with a smoldering stare] No more talking. ... Now *that* made me want to cheer, no question!

**(The BridgeS2E10 "Eidolon"Finally some missing puzzle pieces in the timeline. What happened in that car with Eleanor's first thug. The moments leading up to Monte arriving at the bloody shootout and those after he looks up to see a woman looking back down at him from the landing. -- I'm so conflicted about how I feel regarding Cesar. He's been one of my favorite characters on this show, but working for Eleanor, I feel very uncomfortable liking him, though I do pity him. -- Lyle Lovett may be one of the best random characters on this show. So well cast! -- I feel really bad for Jaime. I don't know that he's actually done anything wrong, since I don't believe he really has any idea of right or wrong. His mind is too simple. I felt a little better when Sonya was able to communicate with him about why he was carting around all those bodies. -- Frye: C'mon you gotta give me something! Detective Cooper: I'm going to give you a boot in your ass if you don't get off my crime scene. -- Was Eleanor staring at Marco before she dropped to the ground, or was she just staring off into space?

**(RecklessS1E7 "Deep Waters"Roy kinda has a point. Jamie seems to like them on opposite sides of as many cases as she doesn't have to face her feelings for him? -- That new judge brings new meaning to "no nonsense." -- I typically like the way Roy dresses, but, subtle or not, there was too much plaid going on with that suit, shirt, and tie, during the first part of this episode. -- I'm rather over Arliss and his "poor me" attitude. -- I can't figure out if Joyce Reed is sincerely trying to help Lee Anne or sabotage her case against the city. -- The dress Lee Anne wore for the ball looked like she had a dinner napkin poking up from her waistline. -- Because of course fancy-dressed Jamie and Roy had to dance, all slow and intimate, at the ball. Good glory, that was some steamy exchange. The sparks nearly shot off the screen of my tv. HOW DO YOU RESIST HIM, JAMIE?? -- I did not expect that steamy scene between Terry and Lee Anne. Jaw. On. Floor.

**(RecklessS1E8 "When the Smoke Clears"Roy just has all the pretty ladies throwing themselves at his feet. -- I don't think I could actually care any less about Preston's undercover gun trade arc. -- Vi found Terry's spy cam that he blackmailed her daughter into installing! And if he's the one who installed it, shouldn't he have remembered that before he got all hot and heavy with Lee Anne in Jamie's office? Or...was that the idea?! -- ::pointing at screen:: Roy caught Lee Anne and Terry kissing in secret!! -- Ed, the computer geek, looks like a young Ray Barone (from Everybody Loves Raymond). -- That gun exchange shootout location looked like a bad video game scene come to life. -- I get the impression I was supposed to feel some kind of anxiety over Preston getting shot...except...nothing. Not even with Terry standing over him, telling him he planned to use the final two bullets in his gun on him.

**(UnforgettableS3E9 "Admissions"When Carrie scans a bunch of framed photos, I always wonder which one she'll recall later and why. -- I'm always a sucker for a crime procedural episode that takes place in a private school, though I'm not sure why. -- The girl who did the hacking at the center of this case, Kendall, with the blonde hair, the dark thick eyebrows, and the huge black-rimmed glasses...that look was all a little much, all together. -- I pretty much loved the exchanges Eliot had with Jay and Cherie. They're humanizing him more, since the case that revealed he was having problems with his wife.

**(RecklessS1E9 "Damage Control"They sure go out of their way to make sure we know what a lech Dec is. -- I'm not sure how I feel about them trying to make Dec more of a prominent character on the show, with his wife, his open marriage, his pregnant mistress, by putting him in the court room opposite Jamie, but I loved when she used one of his old case arguments against him to win. -- Who leaked Lee Anne's tape?? And what's happened to Arliss??


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5. 10. 15. 20.

1994, 20 years ago - Don't let that smile fool you. I was terrified. Uncertain of looming adulthood. Unsure of the direction I was going, into the complete unknown, out of the nest, shoved into thin air, where the options were either flight or gravity. I felt small, invisible, inadequate. I was the girl no one really saw. I lacked any degree of confidence, was uncomfortable in my own skin, and had no clue who I wanted to be.

1999, 15 years ago - Don't let that smile fool you. I was faking confidence. Even though I was gainfully employed, I felt like a fraud, like there was no way I was an adult. I slapped on that smile like it was part of my uniform. I learned to look sure of myself while I quaked inside. I was hesitant, but I never wanted it to show. I drew the conclusion that adulthood was an act in making everyone else believe you had confidence and some kind of clue, but I had no more definition than I did at seventeen.

2004, 10 years ago - Don't let that smile fool you. I could snap it onto my face just like Mr Potato Head over there. Adulthood was proving to be as terrifying as my worst nightmares when I wore that graduation cap a decade earlier. My skin was thin and my confidence was thinner. A decade had given me no more direction, just some baggage stuffed full of realized fears and underdeveloped confidence...and not much leading me to believe that this wasn't what life was just going to be like. Plaster on that smile and pretend it's all under control. Inner peace was, as far as I knew, a scam.

2009, 5 years ago - Don't let that small smile fool you. For the first time in my life, I thought I was maybe in on the secret. Pieces were clicking into place. I was more tentative than uncertain. I was more curious than afraid. I'd hit my thirties and suddenly, it was occurring to me that maybe, just maybe, I was someone worth knowing, no pretense, no act.

2014, present - That smile is the real deal. I feel no more need to justify the things I enjoy, pretend to be someone I'm not, or impress people who think I should be someone or something different. I've traded a thin skin and a shaky interior for a soft heart and a quiet confidence. Not everyone will love me, but not everyone needs to; I'm seen by the people who matter and who love me *because* I'm me. I know who I am, what I like, and how to use my own voice. When I'm shaken, I rebalance quickly. I'm comfortable moving in my own space, at my own pace. I've learned to look in the mirror and work hard to be a person I can look in the eye: genuine, pleasant, silly, cheerful, strong, grateful. A girl at peace is a beautiful thing.

Oh, what a difference the passage of time makes. If I could just reassure that poor girl in 1994 that it would all be ok, that she'd grow into herself, and look at life as an adventure, and hold her head high as she laughed from the tips of her toes to the top of her head...


Monday, September 8, 2014

On: September 8, 2014


VANITY | Our bathroom vanity is one long stretch of counter with his-and-hers sinks. On my half, my toothbrush and a bottle of hand soap (Method Sweetwater). On his, a bottle of hand soap, his toothbrush and a little square white ceramic dish where he puts his wedding ring when he isn't wearing it. In the middle, a box of Puffs tissues in a brushed nickel cover, a matching cup filled with Q-tips, and a matching covered container with cotton rounds inside. The less stuff that's out all the time, the easier it is to keep clean!

PERENNIAL TO DO LIST | Exercise and make the bed first thing in the morning. Wipe down the bathroom sinks after getting ready for the day. Either cook or clean up after dinner (whoever cooks, the other cleans). Zap the sponge in the microwave (on high, 30 seconds) and get my lunch bag prepped before shutting down the house for the night. Balance-bills-budget every Sunday evening. Make sure my photos are backed up the first of every month.

REFRIGERATOR SHELVES | Yogurt. Eggs. Sour cream. Salad dressing. Pickles. Tomorrow's lunches for work. A big bowl of salad. A bottle of grape juice and a bottle of milk.

ITINERARY | Saturday - Haircut, library run, Bath and Body Works. Later this month - Food and Wine Fest at Epcot, a Disney weekend for our anniversary, belated birthday meal for my guy (he was waiting til we were closer to Orlando before he cashed in on his request).

FANTASY ITINERARY | I'd love to get back to San Francisco again sometime. Another trip to Fenway. Really wanting to go museum and monument hopping in Washington DC. Hawaii.

PLAYLIST | I'm all over the place, as usual: Glitter in the Air (P!nk). The Shape of Us (Ian Britt). Glass (Thompson Square). I Won't Give Up (Jason Mraz). Made to Be Free (Tim McMorris). Home (Phillip Phillips). All My Days (Alexi Murdoch). In My Life (The Beatles). Good to Go (Jason Aldean). Strong (Will Hoge). Blessings (Laura Story). Future Days (Pearl Jam). Luck Be a Lady (Frank Sinatra). Overwhelmed (Tim McMorris). How Great Thou Art (Carrie Underwood).

NIGHTSTAND | Lamp. Glasses case. "Wolves of the Calla" (Stephen King). Another stack of books I've been wanting to work into the rotation. A wooden "memory" box. Box of Puffs tissues. Photo of me and my Gram that she used to keep on her own nightstand.

WORKOUT PLAN | Anywhere from 15-30 minutes in the morning, depending on how much time I have, before I start getting ready for work. I change it up. Something cardio to get my heart pumping. Choose an area for the day to target on toning. Some planking or (girlie) push-ups. Finish with a little more cardio and then some stretching to cool down.

IPHONE | Texts. Photos. MLB At Bat. Instagram and PicTapGo. Tweetbot. Cartwheel. Disney app.

TOP 5 LIST | That man I married. Disney. Red Sox. Photos. Laughter.

BUCKET LIST | Take an actual sleighride in the snow. See a game at every ballpark in MLB. Stay at the Wilderness Lodge at WDW.

MIND | How unbelievably blessed I am. Missing my girls (I haven't seen them in almost two years! Booooo...).

WALLS OF YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE | Barn red paint and nothing else. Our living room has limited all space!

LIQUOR SHELF | A bottle of port Daniel left behind at Christmas and some Chardonnay in the fridge.

LAST CREDIT CARD STATEMENT | A zero balance on one and a healthy payment on the other, thank you very much!

SCREENSAVER | A slide show of favorite Red Sox photos I've both taken and collected.

TV EVERY NIGHT | Around the Horn. PTI. Local news. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Red Sox baseball.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

This Week on My TV: September 6, 2014

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

**(UnforgettableS3E7 "Throwing Shade") Why is Al acting like wearing a shirt and tie is some kind of torture when he wears one in every episode? -- You're my kinda girl, Carrie!...Al: Too cool for a name tag? Carrie: Yeah, I'm too cool for a name tag. Name tags are designed to make other people feel comfortable so they can come up and talk to you. I want other people to feel really *uncomfortable* so they don't come up and talk to me at all. -- Eliot: grey suit (charcoal, this time), lavender shirt, (different) purple tie. -- A mobster eating a fat steak with a rack full of wine bottles behind him: *that's* original. Heh. -- Whoa! Eliot wore a navy suit, with a pink windowpane-pattern shirt and a navy-blue-and-pink striped tie, and then a light blue shirt with a burgundy tie in the second half of this episode...what?? -- That was a really sweet moment at the end, between Eliot and his wife.

**(The BridgeS2E8 "Goliath"Was that junkie Sonya went to see her mother? I thought her mother was dead. -- We learned some interesting history about Marco and Fausto, that they grew up together, their fathers "did business" together. Yeah, I'll bet Marco doesn't like that getting out. -- Sometimes this show is so over-the-top disgusting. -- There are some seriously messed up people on this show. Horrible, twisted  personal histories. -- Gah! I hate when you can see someone lurking in the shadows! And now "The Chopper" has Sonya. Marco isn't going to be very happy with Fausto when he realizes Fausto put a hit out on Sonya.

**(MotiveS2E11 "A Bullet for Joey") Detective Lucas [while searching the victim's files for a connection to his murder]: Our vic had a lot of contempt for the alphabet. -- The story fell a little flat for me. The "firing squad" thing with the brothers in defense of their sister. Meh. What I want to know is what this case is involving Cross? We are getting only the tiniest snippets, and now Angie has been served by the defense...except all along, I've been thinking Cross was being accused of something. I wish they'd give me enough to actually be interested in this arc rather than merely confused by it.

**(MotiveS2E12 "Kiss of Death"Called that she was being poisoned in the first scene, when she acted "off" and took a sip of water. -- So, if the defense can subpoena Angie as a witness, why can't Samantha? And if Samantha can, and needs Angie's testimony so badly, why doesn't she? -- This was a really good episode. Well-placed twists. Good plot. Not your expected ending. -- A few more details on this case involving Cross. Or at least how Cross and Angie's past fits in with the testimony Samantha kept trying to get from Angie.

**(UnforgettableS3E8 "The Island") Al [to Eliot]: Think about it as camping. Or what you've read about camping. -- That deserted "Typhoid Mary" island was creepy. I wonder if all of its history was true? Kind of makes me want to look it up and find out. -- The case felt a little far-fetched to me, but points for being unique. -- My two favorite things about this show: Jo, and the way Carrie and Al drive each other nuts (which is far better than the contentiousness of Season One).



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