Saturday, May 31, 2014

This Week on My TV: May 31, 2014

Disclaimer: Some shows I watch live and with others, I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. All I can do is lead in with the show and episode. You read at your own risk!

**(Mike and Molly, S4E22 "Eight Is Enough"How many people can they fit in that little house?? -- I think I actually like Carl with Victoria. -- I'm kind of indifferent to the "cliffhanger." So Molly is leaving Mike with the house of crazy, while she goes off to a writing workshop. I was hoping for some sort of forward motion on the road back to somewhat more normal. This season's departure to slapstick was lost on me.

**(Law and Order: SVU, S15E21 "Post-Mortem Blues"William Lewis may actually be my least favorite television character *ever*. I hope this is the end of his story line for good. -- I wonder what the chances are that Detective Murphy becomes a series regular. I *really* like him. -- So Cassidy tells Liv he loves her a few episodes ago and then poof!, we don't see him again?

**(Law and Order: SVU, S15E22 "Reasonable Doubt") Barba is cranky. What a shocker. Heh. -- "Consciously uncouple?" So that is just a blatant nudge at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, then, huh? -- Emma Bell sure plays some sleazy characters. Emma Ryland on Dallas, a raunchy woman on this show. -- Still no Cassidy. Still love Murphy. The end.

**(Modern Family, S5E24 "The Wedding (Part 2)"::snort:: Pepper Saltsman. I never caught that before. -- Phillip Humphrey Dumpfy? Like HUMPTY DUMPTY?? -- Cam's father [about Cam's mother]: She's been a loose canon ever since she started going to that Sunday service at 10:30 when they play a guitar. -- A fire, a flood, a swarm of Lucases, a famine, four hoarse men. Apocalypse. Oh Cam. -- Alex [to Haley]: Here's the thing about nice white dorks like Andy: you get over us way easier than we get over you. -- The best marriages *do* contain a little bit of magic. -- Luke and Manny acting like an old married couple following Phil "marrying" them under the arch as the wedding fled the wildfire. Bahaha! -- I cried. Weddings, man.

**(The Good Wife, S5E22 "A Weird Year") Why do characters on tv never have phone cases on their super expensive phones? -- Wow. I can't even begin to imagine how betrayed Cary feels by Kalinda. I wonder how he's going to play this out. -- I don't know what I was expecting, but Diane's proposal to join Florrick Agos and bring her high-paying clients with her wasn't it. This will turn everything on its head with Lockhart Gardner. -- When Eli was staring at Alicia in the final scene, I expected him to make a move on her, not ask her if she wants to run for State's Attorney. -- With Finn Palmore no longer running for State's Attorney, I hope we don't lose his character. I like him very much.

**(The Mentalist, S6E21 "Black Hearts"I'm not used to the actor who played the ME on CSI:NY being such a stumbling, bumbling man when he was so cool under pressure and confident as his former character. -- Scenes where one person watches another person sleeping always give me the willies. As do hangings, both homicidal and suicidal. -- Agent Pike *proposed* to Lisbon?? After she had such a difficult time just deciding to move to Washington DC with him?! I am so over him. He's either a fool or has ill intent.

**(Person of Interest, S3E22 "A House Divided"None of the people standing around the body of the Decima guy that jumped off the building rather than talk to Shaw and Mr Reese questioned Root walking up and removing the car keys from his pocket? -- What was with that behemoth of a cell phone Root gave Shaw? -- I can't figure out what Mr Greer's accent is. -- New York City going totally dark. I never really thought about it before, but that would be utter chaos. -- They certainly gave Vigilance a sympathetic back story. It's too bad they are coming off as stark raving lunatics now. -- Who sent Peter Brandt that text message, telling him they have the answers to what really happened to his brother?? And what really happened?? Man, this show does cliffhangers well. I wish I could effectively capture the expression on my face when an episode ends without resolution.


What I Learned in May: 2014

I was all set to fire off a rant this morning, when I realized that I didn't really *want* to. After pausing for a beat, it occurred to me that what I actually felt was grateful for a lesson I was taught, subtly, all through my formative years.

Last night, after an emotionally charged baseball game that involved intentionally hitting a player, multiple ejections, and some glaring double standards, a prominent baseball player made a statement, very likely not using his better judgment. I was scrolling social media, looking for information on one of my team's injured players, when a random sports writer decided to "stir the pot" by bringing up what the player said, and then chastising the media present for not taking him to task. Immediately, the social media masses brandished their pitchforks and raised their torches.

Here's the thing: said baseball player called the pitcher who hit him "a little girl." Certainly, he could have chosen a better way to say "you're a chump and a wuss" (like, for instance, calling him a chump and a wuss). But I also know that while the definition of "girl" is neither "chump" nor "wuss," that's what the turn of phrase *means*. I got his point and I am not so thin-skinned that I find this to be damaging to my ego. It wasn't a personal attack against me.

I'm not interested in moral high ground from the media. I want the news to give me facts. I don't need to be spoon fed someone else's agenda. I am capable of gathering facts, intelligent enough to sift through them, and have enough mental fortitude to form my own assessment of a situation. Stirring the pot in such a safe environment as a social media platform, sitting indignantly atop a high horse where the speaker looks no one in the eye, is juvenile and spineless. I don't respect that sort of behavior, because it isn't designed to fix what the issuer sees as a problem, but to insight rage. My ego isn't so fragile that I need the world's approval -- I save that for the people whose direct opinion means something to me and with whom I wish to have some type of relationship -- nor do I need to world to battle for what *it* feels is an affront to me, because most of the time, the battles the world thinks I need fought on my behalf are of no matter to me, personally, whatsoever.

I truly don't believe it is the job of the media, or really even the public masses, to "call out" this player, this *human being's* behavior. Public humiliation never garners true change. At best, you get an insincere PR apology. Not worth a plugged nickel. This is the responsibility of friends, of family, of teammates, to quietly and privately approach someone, about whom they care and have vested interest, to say, "Dude, you probably could have said that better." I know I give far more true consideration when someone who has a vested interest in making sure *I'm* the best sort of person I can be takes the time to say "you could have handled yourself better there" than I do when I'm shamed in front of an audience. If anything, I am *less* likely to perform self-examination and improve my future behavior, and more likely to scowl, lick my wounds, and internally cling more tightly to the "I didn't do anything wrong" mentality.

But now I've gone off an a tangent and I don't want to miss my own point.

I've learned that those responsible for raising me gave me the armor of a thick skin when it comes to the world, saving my thin skin for when it comes to the opinions of those who matter to me. I care what my loved ones think. I don't care what some internet troll or holier-than-thou sports columnist thinks, because their judgment comes in incomplete snapshots and 140-character snippets. I keep my skin thin for those people in my life who I know make me a better person every time I learn another life lesson.

I also learned that becoming fruitlessly rage-y over every little thing accomplishes nothing. Not everyone has to embrace every "cause." In fact, we'll get more done if we don't! Not everyone needs to post a quote from a newly deceased public figure. Not everyone needs to publicly rebuke every misspoken word or ill-conceived action. Not every "Twitter hashtag trend" needs to be granted participation. Not everyone needs to openly mourn every horrifying incident that takes place. Just because it isn't posted to social media for the world to see indicates that an individual doesn't care to see the world around them. Most of the time, when I see person after person leaping onto the "cause du jour," I wonder if they genuinely feel passionately about what they're saying or if it's just the cool thing to do. Because, man, if they feel this passionately about everything they claim to, in this very public venue, I'm not sure how they don't either explode from the internal pressure or collapse under its enormous burden. Picking and choosing the issues that truly *matter* to me gives me focus. Having to keep up with every new "issue," just to be "cool," is both insincere and unproductive, especially with the pace modern society and technology barrage us with this moment's "breaking news."

And finally, I understood that I was taught an incredibly valuable lesson by my elders: People will always say things that I may not like or with which I do not agree. More often than not, it isn't personal, unless it was said directly to or about me. (Sometimes, even then, it's not entirely personal, but that requires a thick enough skin to look below the surface and at the bigger picture and all that jargon.)

It is with these priceless life lessons in my arsenal that I consider a turn of phrase used by a well-known athlete. I take into account the words of an emotionally charged man, with a microphone in his face, and a dozen journalists asking questions intended to fuel the fire, waiting to pounce on the first unfortunate thing to exit the mouth of an angry person. (I believe my Gram called me an instigator when I behaved that way and told me I was more part of the problem than the solution.) I know I've said plenty of things, while upset, from which I had to learn. I'm no better or worse than this man, simply because he occupies a spotlight, and I am lucky my countless flaws aren't daily on display before the Judge and Jury of Public Opinion. My upbringing whispers in my ear: "He shouldn't have said what he did, perhaps, but angry people often don't think before they speak. Try hard to think before *you* speak, and have compassion when others make mistakes, because you will too, and you will wish for that compassion dozens of times every day. If you can, help them to see how to do better next time, but not everything is a personal attack. Emotions of any sort make us say and do things, that in  retrospect and from a cooler perspective, we'll wish we had handled differently. Learn from it, from the mistakes you observe and the mistakes you commit."

This month, as it winds to a close, I learned something about myself and my upbringing that makes my world a good place in which to exist -- a world where not everything needs to be An Issue of Epic Proportion, a world where kindness and compassion make a large difference, both in how I treat others and in my own day-to-day happiness, a world where I can breathe easy and learn from error and afford others the same opportunity.

Every month, Chatting at the Sky shares what she learned. Big things and little things. Life lessons from the serious to the silly. I've decided I want to participate. Just another means of capturing who am I along this broken little road called life.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Currently: May 29, 2014

This week at the Broken Road house...

Feeling... less and less ambitious as this week wears on. It's a four-day work week. It shouldn't feel eight days long! How quickly I am spoiled by an extra day off.

Questioning... whether or not we can pare down the data plan even further than the small package we have now for our new phones. I think, perhaps, I will give it a couple of billing cycles, just to be sure.

Longing... for the daily afternoon storms to start rolling through. If it's going to be Hades hot, then I want the rains that come with it. The green things require daily watering in this climate and I'm ready for Mother Nature to provide and not so much the water bill.

Watching... the Red Sox take four straight games from the Braves has allowed the anguish of enduring that ten-game losing streak to quickly fade.

Moving... out the spring decorations and bringing the summer. How is it almost June already?! I used to think adults were crazy when I was a kid, always talking about how the time flies faster and faster. It felt interminably long to my childish mind. Isn't that the way it goes though? You want nothing more to get older and it takes forever...and then you get there and suddenly it's all whizzing by you, like the landscape did when you flew down a hill on a bike when you were a kid: out of focus and too fast to make sense of it before it was behind you.

"Currently" is a weekly link-up, hosted by Ot & Et.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Flower and Garden Fest 2014: Best of the Fest

The 2014 Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot concluded earlier this month. Four rounds and many tasty treats later, I have conducted extensive research, used scientific calculations, compiled data, and... No, I haven't. I put together my Top Five list from this Fest, in an entirely and decidedly unscientific manner. And it wasn't easy. It never is. (Woe is me.)

5. Eggplant "Scallop" with Romesco Sauce and Spaghetti Squash (Urban Farm Eats).

4. Kumquat Pie (Florida Fresh).

3. Confit de Canard and Pommes de Terre Sarladaise (Fleur de Lys).

2. Field Greens with Strawberries, Toasted Almonds and Stilton (Buttercup Cottage).

1. Lemon Scones with Berry Preserves and Creme Fraiche (Buttercup Cottage).

Desert Rose (Taste of Marrakesh).

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Pineapple Soft Serve (Pineapple Promenade).


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Five Things: May 27, 2014

Long weekend holiday weekend, concluded. That makes Tuesday into Monday. And even though it is now a shortened work week, that doesn't make coming back any more fun. So, today I shall daydream.

Five Places I've Always Wanted to Visit

There are places I've been to which I would love to return, but I'm taking this list in the direction of the road never traveled.

1. Hawaii - Tropical locations seem to hold very little appeal to me anymore, probably as a result of where I live. Palm trees? Meh. I can stand on my back porch for those. And yet Hawaii has always intrigued me.

2. Charleston, SC - There's an aquarium. Gardens and plantations. Architecture and parks. A minor league baseball field. History. Sounds like camera paradise! (Runner up: Savannah, GA)

3. St Louis, MO - An aquarium *and* a zoo. Landmarks and museums and historical sites. An opportunity to cross another MLB park off my list. (Runner up: Denver, CO)

4. (for the sake of not copping out and taking up two spaces with one theme) Either Tokyo Disney or Hong Kong Disneyland - It's not a shock to you that Disney parks are my happy place. I've read trip reviews on my favorite Disney blogs and pored over scads of photos, devouring the details from afar. If I were going to do Disney internationally, it would have to be one of these two parks. Nothing against Disneyland Paris (which I wouldn't turn down), but I am so curious about some of the unique attractions and technologies in the two Asian resorts.

5. The Grand Canyon - Sure, it's cliche, I suppose. But I have a bunch of my grandparents' old photos and this is someplace they stopped on their travels. I'd love to see it with my own two eyes and get some photos of my own. But more than that, nature is astounding. Sometimes you just need to stand in awe. (Runners up: Jackson Hole, WY, and the Finger Lakes, NY)


Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Week on My TV: May 24, 2014

Disclaimer: Some shows I watch live and with others, I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. All I can do is lead in with the show and episode. You read at your own risk!

**(Once Upon a Time, S3E18 "Bleeding Through"Har, har. Zelena gifted Regina a basket of *green* apples. -- Ohhh. What an impossible choice for Robin: the life of his son or protecting Regina's heart, which she gave him to keep safe, from Rumplestiltskin and Zelena. -- Belle [to Regina]: Why on earth, or *any* realm, would I help you? -- Young Cora: Someone once told me to act like what you plan to be, so I try to be a little better than what I am. -- David: Emma, will you please tell your mother we are not going to name your brother Leopold. Mary Margaret: Why not? It was my father's name! David: People will make fun of him. Mary Margaret: My father was a king. David: Which is why nobody made fun of him. -- Of course. David's courage. Regina's heart. Brains courtesy of Rumple. -- Wow. We knew Snow caused Regina to lose the love of her life because she spilled a secret, but apparently the apple (hahaha) doesn't fall far from the tree, because Snow's mother, Ava, spilled a secret to Prince Leopold that prevented him from marrying Cora, forcing her to give up Zelena. Without that secret being revealed, Leopold and Ava would not have married, and neither Regina nor Snow may have ever been born! Nicely woven. -- Yay! A Robin and Regina kiss!

**(The Big Bang Theory, S7E24 "The Status Quo Combustion"I feel kind of bad for Leonard and Penny. I might be the happiest person to learn the news of their engagement, judging by everyone else's reactions. -- I feel like the living arrangements conversation between Leonard, Penny, and Sheldon is a variation on the same conversation between Chandler, Monica, and Joey. -- Leonard: Now that Penny and I are engaged, I thought we might want to talk about our living arrangements. Sheldon: Of course. She's spent many nights here and you're worried about preserving the myth of her virginity before the wedding. Leonard: I'm not. Sheldon: Good, because not only has that ship sailed, if it hit an iceberg, countless men would perish. -- Sheldon: Did you take a marijuana? Leonard: No. Sheldon: Did you get hit on the head with a coconut? Leonard: No! Sheldon: Well then I'm all out of guesses! -- Poor Amy. She tries so hard to move her relationship forward with Sheldon and he's just on his own timetable. He'll get there, Amy. -- I find it hilarious that Leonard tracks Sheldon's phone to locate him. -- Stewart's comic book shop caught on fire?? I would never in a million years have guessed that was coming. But it is fall-on-the-ground hysterical that he loves his new work/living arrangement taking care of Mrs Wolowitz. -- Sheldon: You tracked my phone? Leonard: Yes... Sheldon: Boy, you chase one balloon for three miles... -- I wonder what will come of Sheldon's adventure, getting away to think about how much and how quickly everything is changing. What will we get when he comes back?

**(Modern Family, S5E23 "The Wedding (Part One)"As soon as I saw the night drop box at the dry cleaner where Cam's tux was locked inside (due to family emergency), I knew Lily was going in. I also knew she'd get stuck on the moving rack. -- Something is clearly going to happen between Haley and Andy the Nanny. -- I can't wait to see how the rest of this plays out, between Cam's parents threatening to split up and the wildfire threatening to ruin the wedding.

**(Chicago Fire, S2E21 "One More Shot"Finally! I thought we'd never address Boden's baby. -- I don't want another new guy. I miss Clarke. -- I do love that everyone pulled together so that Dawson could get from the call she was on to her firefighter's test on time. -- Sheesh, Boden. Mills had to tell you how to properly propose??

**(Chicago Fire, S2E22 "Real Never Waits"Casey has very green eyes. -- Oh come *on*, Casey. You picked out a ring and are planning a proposal. And you tell Dawson to answer your phone?? Of course it was going to be about the ring. Idiot. -- Ah, crap. Weddings apparently mean I will cry now. Even those that happen at firehouses. I am such a sap. -- And also proposals. But Dawson didn't answer before the alarm rang for a call?! -- Yay! Maybe a little love at first sight for Mouch? -- I wonder what the story is between Casey and Dawson's lieutenant (Walsh? Welch?) at her new house?  -- Well, that was quite an ending for the season, with half the cast in a building that just exploded and no answering Boden over the radio.

**(The Middle, S5E22 "Heck on a Hard Body") The shower curtains Rusty made that were not NFL-approved so they were missing one letter that supposedly the brain would just "fill in and no one would even notice"? How about the "Cincinnati Begals" helmets without stripes?? -- Sue's last-person-with-their-hand-on-the-car-wins contest is right up there with my worst nightmare: sunburns and bee stings. Yikes. -- Sue: I'm going to win this thing, Darrin. Darrin: Yeah, but what if you don't? Sue: I don't know the word don't. Darrin: Oh, it means 'do not'. They just put that little thingy in place of the 'o'. It's not short for donut. I learned that the hard way. ... Oh, Darrin. LOL. -- This just makes me love her more. ... Sue: Really? You think I should...give up? Let me tell you something about me. I never *ever* give up. I have not made a hundred things but I still try out! When they tell me I didn't make the team, I show up and ask to be manager. When there are no parts in the play for me, I ask to make the programs! The more I fail, the stronger I get! My whole life has led me to this moment, so I will here on my one burning leg for as long as it takes. So ha, hahaha... [buzzz...gulp] I think I just swallowed a fly. But I am still not giving up. -- SUE WON! She's going to Disney World!

**(Revolution, S2E19 "$... Happens"Gunfight followed by sword fight. Texas meets Revolution. -- Nanotech are straight up creepy. -- Did Neville really ask Charlie if her ass was made of candy?! -- Umm, that was some awfully fresh blood Rachel stuck her hands in when she and Bass found Miles' jacket. -- Nanotech are also very bossy. -- It's kind of sad that I couldn't even recall whether or not we knew why Miles was so haunted by the shed he set on fire. I'm guessing the nanotech were responsible for that flashback of Ben?

**(About a Boy, S1E12 "About a Hammer"Based on what we know of Will, I'm not buying that Will built that tree house. -- Will's freakout over Dr Sam moving in when her apartment building is condemned better not cost him the relationship. I really like her. (Even if she does have some crazy eyes.) -- Dr Sam's moving to New York for work?! But Will *loves* her! NOOOOO!!

**(About a Boy, S1E13 "About a Rib Chute"Awww. I love what Will did to Marcus's tree house before moving to New York. But I'm bummed, because even though he chose to be with Dr Sam, I can't believe they will keep him on the opposite coast from the rest of the show's characters. So either Dr Sam needs to find a job back in San Francisco or I'm betting it won't work out with them, and I like her.

**(The Mentalist, S6E20 "Il Tavolo Bianco"That attorney who was trying to indict Patrick for Red John's murder in front of the Grand Jury looks like a gargoyle. -- Abbot is so totally on to Patrick's feelings for Lisbon. -- I wonder why I call all the characters on this show by their last names...except Patrick. -- When Fischer was watching Patrick hit on the mob guy's fiancee in order to get the mob guy to take a hit out on him, so you suppose she realized how he charmed her the same way back in the islands when she was tracking him? -- Only Patrick Jane would be happy to discover there was a hit taken out on him. He is such an amusing character. -- If I had to choose anyone on this show to have my back, it would be Cho. His sense of humor slays me and he takes his job very seriously. -- Looks like we aren't done with this story yet. The human traffickers are harvesting organs from the abducted girls?!

**(The Good Wife, S5E21 "The One Percent") Alicia: A hundred and forty thousand isn't that much. Mr Paisley: It's a lot of money. Alicia: To *me*. To you, it's what you made sitting here. -- It continues to bother me, tremendously, that September from Fringe is such an unlikable character as the State's Attorney. I especially don't like the way he is playing Peter with a lie about Alicia and Finn. -- Oh for Pete's (Peter's?) sake. You really think Alicia is involved with Finn?? -- The only time I like Eli better than when he's running a campaign is when he is protecting Peter's integrity from himself. -- Louis Canning aligning with David Lee and Howard Lyman? Between that and the utter contempt Kalinda has for him, I guess the writers are being clear that we DO NOT LIKE Canning. -- Rayna Hecht sure plays musical law firms. You'd think that would make her more unappealing. -- Oh, Peter, what are you thinking about doing?? You better not, if you ever want a shot at reconciling with Alicia.

**(Two Broke Girls, S5E21 "The One Percent"Caroline: Now is not a good time, Sophie. Max is mad at me because I went behind her back to try to help her graduate from high school. Sophie: Are you sure she's not just mad at you for the way you chew? ... Every time Sophie opens her mouth, there is a high probability that I will ask "What??" at the random nature of her commentary, and also that I will laugh. -- This show has the most awkward line delivery EVER. And after THREE SEASONS!!

**(Mike and Molly, S4E21 "This Old Peggy") Judging by the job Mike did when he was remodeling the basement into an apartment for himself and Molly, I can't see it going well as he fixes the hole his mother's bathtub made falling through the ceiling. Especially with Carl and Samuel helping. -- How many people can they actually fit in that clown car of a house??

**(The Middle, S5E23 "Orlando"Sue's level of excitement matches a) how I feel about Disney and b) counting down to vacation. -- Confession: Sue's troubles maneuvering tight spaces while driving is pretty much my secret driving fear. -- Sir Axl, Duke of Awesomeness. ::snort:: -- Wow. Brick's girlfriend. And her family. Just wow. -- I've never seen that "welcome to Orlando" sign. Just sayin'.

**(The Middle, S5E24 "The Wonderful World of Hecks"I've totally seen a "Frankie Heck" freaking on her family at Disney. -- I'm the girl who says "wrong direction!" when Frankie and Mike head to Epcot by turning toward Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom. Also, I said "there aren't tables there!" when Mike and Frankie were dining in the France pavilion.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Broken Road Confessionals: May 23, 2014

**You can say or feel what you will about former President George W Bush's politics (elsewhere though, because this is not a platform for political debate), but I am wholly impressed with the man's painting abilities. And his attitude about this little venture. I mean, the man took up painting because he "wanted to make sure the last chapters of my life are full." He doesn't claim to be the best, but says he is driven to improve. It's kind of inspiring. (Also, it makes me feel like a slug.) And on painting his father's portrait? " I always admired him as a man. It was a joyful experience to paint him. I painted a gentle soul." If that doesn't tug a little at your heart, well...

**I like to own my favorite television series on DVD. This is fact. I have Friends, Dexter, Sex and the City, and Boston Legal, in their entirety. I also have parts of Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, and Scandal, with plans to complete them as "fun money" and gift-receiving occasions allow. (Also on my wishlist are Everybody Loves Raymond, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Parenthood, Dallas, and The Blacklist.) I am now adding How I Met Your Mother to the wishlist. Why? Because apparently the boxed series set includes an alternate ending and I really want to know what it is. (I'm kind of hoping I like it better, truth be told.)

**It seems that pants with bright, bold patterns must be in style this spring, because they seem to be front and center in every sale email I glance at these days. I suppose I am destined not to be fashion-trendy, because, truthfully, when I see them, I think they all look like pajama bottoms.

**It grates on my nerves when someone types the word "ugh" and then proceeds to talk about how excited they are or how much they love something. "Ugh" is a sound of disgust. "Ugh, I just saw that layer of dust lurking on top of my refrigerator." (Hush, you. You have one of those too and we both know it.) "Ugh, a flock of birds just flew over my car and bombed it with bird doo." "Ugh, it's not Friday. It's Thursday. Again." Ugh means NOT pleasing. Maybe you want "ahhhh" or "ohhhh" but for the love of Pete, stop typing a sound that means "yuck" before you tell me about this awesome ice cream place you found or how you just won the lottery. Because it makes me want to beat you with a two-by-four, while screaming "UUUGGGGHHH!!!" (See what I did there?)

**That Thursday thing I just mentioned? Every. Single. Week. I am convinced that it's Friday. On Thursday. At least once, but typically multiple times. It makes me profoundly sad when I realize my faulty thinking. It also makes Thursday my least favorite day of the week. Consequently, it is the day I am most likely to be cranky. (Unless I have Friday off from work. Then, Thursday *is* Friday. Bam!)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Currently: May 22, 2014

This week at the Broken Road house...

Writing... a bit more regularly gives me more ideas. Weird how that works.

Visiting... with my sister-in-law and her husband last weekend was fun! They were totally easy house guests. And that makes three sets of guests we've entertained overnight, since buying the house. I feel like we're officially homeowners or grownups or something now!

Learning... that what I said last week about "scratching the surface" was actually something else entirely. As it so often does, revelations emerge in the mindless morning ritual of the shower: It turns out I've felt and realized all I need to about the situation in question. What I'm feeling now is, plain and simple, missing the person I thought I knew. And, well, that's terribly unproductive. Perhaps I am just mourning what became an illustration of my own poor judgment? Time to carry on.

Wanting... to figure out this new phone. I have had an iPod Touch for years. I've had an iPad for eighteen months. I feel like the transition to iPhone should be painless...and yet there appears to be just enough of a learning curve to make me feel like I need a remedial class in smartphone. ::sigh:: Nothing like new technology to humble a girl.

Loving... how quickly this week has gone by. Sometimes the week leading up to a long holiday weekend can drag on endlessly, but I've been just that perfect amount of busy that the day flies by without feeling overly harried. Just one more day and then a three-day break.

"Currently" is a weekly link-up, hosted by Ot & Et.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

This Week on My TV: May 17, 2014

Disclaimer: Some shows I watch live and with others, I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. All I can do is lead in with the show and episode. You read at your own risk!

**(Modern Family, S5E21 "The Sleeper"I get you, Mitchell! Being the steady one makes you invisible to a lot of people. -- Phil's guilt driven narcolepsy was weird but pretty amusing. -- I don't understand Gloria's obsession with Joe needing color! He's a baby!! -- Stella on the skateboard! HAAA!

**(CSI, S14E21 "Kitty"They have done some very cool camera work this season. This time it was shooting from the ground looking up at crime scene tape. I love new and interesting ways to show scenes done a million times. -- This was the pre-premiere of CSI: Cyber Crimes. It was interesting as a single episode, but I'm not convinced it can go for the long haul.

**(The Good Wife, S5E20 "The Deep Web") I feel bad for Finn. This campaign is turning into something he clearly never wanted. And I'm pretty sure Eli's "assistance" is reinforcing that feeling. -- Daniel Irwin's effect on Alicia was...interesting. -- It's pretty amusing watching Alicia fumble through a day off. Girlfriend does *not* know what to do with herself! -- David Lee, you claim you were just being nice. You have *never* been nice. I'm not sure who you think you're kidding. -- Why do persons of interest always say the authorities "have to believe" them? If they have enough information and evidence to be there, I'm pretty sure they believe the opposite. -- I wouldn't trust Louis Canning any further than I could throw him. -- Eli needs a good campaign to run. He lights up like a little lightning bug. -- What was with the quiet talkers in this episode? Sheesh. I was starting to wonder if I was watching Elementary.

**(The Mentalist, S6E19 "Brown Eyed Girls") I don't much care for Lisbon's boyfriend, Pike. -- You know, Lisbon, if you hadn't been giving Patrick a hard time about ruining your date with that guy I don't even like, maybe you could have saved that girl. -- Many things about this show make me laugh. Cho's trucker impression deadpan. Abbot in the little black hat, looking like a pimp. The way Jane messes with people.

**(The Middle, S5E20 "Office Hours") Frankie: Why would somebody steal our crappy car? Mike: For parts. Nobody would want it as a whole. -- Sue and Darrin were so exactly as obnoxious as I bet I was in a high school relationship. (Gag me.) -- I *roared* when that woman told Frankie her car had been parked all week in the rear parking lot. -- Axl-in-the-laptop this episode was a genius way to work him in.

**(Parenthood, S5E20 "Cold Feet") I felt like Zeke and Camille signing off on the contract to sell their house should have been sprinkled with a heavy dose of sappy memory flashbacks of a lifetime. I feel a little gypped. -- Julia with Ed? Blergh. But seeing her put on her lawyer persona again is awesome. *Awesome*. -- I very rarely get into any of the stories that involve the Luncheonette. I wonder why that is? -- After all the discomfort Zeke was feeling about selling the house, I think it's pretty cool that he's encouraging Camille through her cold feet now that she realizes what signing on the bottom line means: packing and paring down a lifetime of sentimentally valuable "stuff" and trying to find a new place to live. -- I continue to have Kristina hair envy. -- Julia and Mr Knight...Evan...whoever?? What?! -- Not a single tear. Huh.

**(Mike and Molly, S4E20 "Sex, Lies, and Helicopters"So. Carl and Victoria. I'm going to go out on a limb and say a) they're going to end up an item and b) Victoria is going to end up pregnant (which wouldn't bother me, because maybe that would circle us back to the dangling thread of Season Three that was so blatantly ignored in favor of Molly's breakdown and a rebranding of the show to her slapstick movie style).

**(The Blacklist, S1E22 "Berlin: Conclusion"Whoa. Covering the plane crash using Matt Lauer and the Today Show. Very official! -- OMG. Meera is dead! That was so abrupt. I even saw it coming, said "this is going to be bad news for her," but when her throat was slit, I still gasped. -- Red: Oh goodness, no. I'm not a monster. You really think I'd harm a dog? [throws knife into the ambassador's leg] You on the other hand... -- Alan Fitch: He makes Putin look like a Christmas elf. -- Red. Marching down the street with a gun. Shooting people in broad daylight. Bad. ASS. I don't have much of a thing for bad boys, but that was...kinda sexy. Ahem. -- Ummm. Where did Tom go?! Did someone remove his body? Was he not really dead? -- OMG, Red's back. Burn scars. And here's where I am going to get wordy with my personal theory: I'm still not convinced Red is her father. He told her he wasn't when she explicitly asked, and then he later swore to her that, though he has withheld information from her, he's never lied to her. I think her father did die in the fire, whether from the actual fire or because Red killed him first and set the fire to destroy the evidence. I believe Red is the one who carried her from the fire (which is how he received the burns), not her father, which would be an easy mistake for a young girl to make in a scary and chaotic scene like that. (Remember, she was young enough to say that was her only memory of her real father, so she was obviously very small.) Maybe Red didn't know she was there when he started it, and he feesl responsible for making her an orphan. So he brought her to Sam and he still feels he owes her his eternal and "father like" protection? Also, if Lizzie's childhood home burned when she was very young, recall that the house *Red* lived in with his family was still standing, because he purchased it, revisited his memories, looked at the growth marks of his daughter penciled on the wall...and then blew it up. That wouldn't fit with Lizzie's childhood timelines. I just think it's too obvious to make him be the father. As for the girl in the photos both Red and Berlin have: That was the photo Red slipped out of The Stewmaker's trophy album. I'm sure of it. I'm not sure how old Berlin is supposed to be (he looked a lot older before he shaved). But could his daughter have been Red's wife and now he holds Red responsible for her death? We haven't learned what happened to Red's wife and daughter. Perhaps coming after Lizzie is Berlin's revenge because it's the only way that remains to truly hurt Red?

**(Blue Bloods, S4E21 "Above and Beyond"Good lesson, Frank, telling Nicky she had to choose between checking her phone or having a conversation with him. ... Nicky: But what if it's important? Frank: *Choose*. -- Frank: Thank God it wasn't Danny. There. I said it. -- I expected a dirty cop or that the murdered undercover cop was keeping homosexuality from his wife and daughters. I didn't expect him to have a second family. And the girlfriend had no idea he was even married. -- How thick is that kitchen door that the kids won't be able to hear the adults-only conversation going on in the dining room? -- I called it: The wife, thinking she was calling her husband's girlfriend to speak her mind, is the one who git him killed, because the number she called was a member of the drug gang with whom he was undercover.

**(Modern Family, S5E22 "Message Received") Jay: I've never heard of anyone not liking pickles. Gloria: This is a big day for you then. -- Luke: What's Zima? Phil: Oh, just a party in a bottle. -- Bahahaha! Claire and the kids listening to an old answering machine of Phil's, and a big secret comes out: Claire got pregnant with Haley before they were married! -- Wow. Phil was just a little too excited about Claire being pregnant when he feel for the kids' prank. -- I died laughing when Mitchell freaked out after walking face first into a spider web. Mostly because I know that's exactly how *I* look. -- I know it's supposed to create tension that Mitchell told Jay not to come to the wedding, but of course Jay will be there.

**(About a Boy, S1E11 "About a Birthday Party"I don't even know what to make of Fiona's plan to have the birthday party guests blow bubbles and whisper hopes and dreams into them, and I'm not exactly sure how riding around in an ambulance was supposed to make Marcus's birthday party less lame, but I'm relieved that Will leaving Dr Sam at her gala didn't end up breaking them up.

**(CSI, S14E22 "Dead in His Tracks"I don't typically like flashback-based episodes of any show, but this one was kind of good. Nice twist on the former deputy's daughter being the actual murderer too. I didn't see that coming. -- It was fairly well publicized that this was the final episode for Captain Brass. I *really* didn't understand the ambiguity of that final scene though. As if he were contemplating and undecided. Is he just going to be gone at the beginning of next season?


Friday, May 16, 2014

Currently: May 16, 2014

This week at the Broken Road house...

Wishing... there were a better likelihood that we'd have more days like today, when it comes to summer in the deepest south. Yesterday, some storms rolled through ahead of a cool front. Today, it's less humid, plenty breezy, and a forecast high of 81 (it's only 75 just after 2pm!). The temperature and humidity will crawl back up again, day by day, but I could handle the summers here with more grace if I knew that every few weeks I would get a blissful little reprieve to refresh me.

Celebrating... the birth of my niece, Isabelle Ruth, on Thursday to my brother and his wife. Sweet little fuzzy-headed peanut.

Wasting... valuable mental resources trying to come up with a new password for work. I know the dreaded prompt is coming and I have used up all my ideas. Every three months, a new password, can't reuse for seven years, must have uppercase letters and a number and a symbol. My brain is hurty.

Scratching... the surface on some thoughts and feelings. I've felt jumbled for most of the past year. I don't care much for feeling emotionally disrupted. I'm not naive enough to believe life won't come with its share of challenges and hiccups, and they're usually the catalyst for some growth, but that doesn't mean I have to like the whole process. Anyway, I think I've reached a point where I'm able sort some of it out. I'm not at all sure what any of it *means*, exactly, but we have to start somewhere, right?

Wearing... new clothes! Well, tops and shoes. This is a big deal for me. a) I like my "uniform" and I'm a creature of habit, so I have to make a conscious effort to change things up or I will just look the same forever. b) I'm not a heavy shopper -- I suppose that's a "chicken or the egg" debate with point A -- so I wear things until they need to be retired, forcing me to seek out good sales, so I don't break the bank. (I really should look for a couple more pairs of khakis, though, I think.)

"Currently" is a weekly link-up, hosted by Ot & Et.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Flower and Garden Fest 2014: Round Four

The final round was upon me, last weekend. Hot and humid. I gathered my trusty Fest-ing pal and off we set for tasty treats and regular ventures into air-conditioned spaces, because did I mention it was hot? For real. Hot enough that I honestly nearly passed out at one point and needed to retreat to Innoventions for some extended cooling. (Huh. So *that's* what Innoventions is good for!) At first, I felt bad that I was out playing with my friend, while T was back at the homestead, slaving away over our bathroom remodel project...but then I realized he was in an air-conditioned bubble of coolness and would have been hellishly miserable being in a crowd of people, sweating in all the places. Even if he was hard at work, he was much *much* happier.


Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Pineapple Soft Serve.

Have. Mercy. Just a hint of spice, far more mellow and subtle than the "pumpkin spice" trend of the past few years, and the barely creamy, sweet-with-a-hint-of-zing signature Dole Whip was unexpectedly yummy. I mean, I wasn't worried or anything (c'mon, it's DOLE WHIP), but I couldn't quite conjure up what I thought it might actually taste like. It was just exactly perfect, both the complimentary flavors *and* textures. It was apple pie a la mode's summer-y cousin. (Remember how I said it was hot? That photo is not out of focus. In the time it took us to gather a spoon, a couple of napkins, walk about twenty steps to a bench, and get my camera in hand, the perfect soft serve swirls had melted into smooth surfaces and little pineapple rivers.)

Taste buds were awake! Bee line due...ummm...I have no internal compass. It may have been west. Ish. Whatever.


Pickled Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Cream, Mizuna, and Pistachios.

I'm a childhood fan of pickled beets. I still find myself getting a hankering for my Gram's (which I have very nearly recreated). Needless to say, this dish was going to be on my list. The beets were perfect. A little tang from the pickling balanced nicely with the goat cheese cream (sort of like a thinned out sour cream with additional zip). I had never even heard of mizuna before, but it was a fairly mild baby green (read: it was a vehicle for the cream) and the nuts provided crunch, but the beets and the goat cheese cream were the stars of the show.

Ghost Pepper-Dusted Tilapia with Crisp Winter Melon Slaw and Mint Oil. Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer.

Now, this is where tag-team fest-ing has its biggest benefit: The Swap. More room to try more stuff when you're only eating half! Despite its name, this one was more bark than bite. The ghost pepper provided just a little bit of back-of-the-throat heat without scalding anything important. (That would be a bad move when you have a whole bunch more to taste.) The slaw was tasty and cool -- a contrast in temperature and texture -- and I kind of wish I had paid better attention to the menu, because I have nothing to really share about "winter melon," other than it makes a tasty slaw. I didn't even taste the mint oil. STOP THE PRESSES. That beer up there? I actually liked it. (It was super light and very mild and not at all yeasty. So there you go.) I don't even know who I am anymore.

Contemplating the upending of all I thought to be true about myself... (Daniel had some things I didn't share in the mean time) ...we descended upon...


Caprese (Fior di Latte mozzarella, roasted peppers, olio verde). White Peach Bellini (Prosecco and white peach puree).

His (with a Moretti Lager) and hers (with the Bellini). Because some things can't be shared. Not even in the name of high value stomach real estate. Every caprese I have ever had has been the classic version (tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil). It's probably one of my favorite things on earth. So there was some mild trepidation-laced curiosity on my part, but I do like roasted peppers, so I figured it would still be ok. And it was. Because when you involve things like a slab of mozzarella and some fresh basil, it's difficult to go wrong. I will leave my criticism simply at the fact that this salad should get its own name, and that's all. The Bellini was a repeat from last year. Sweet white peaches and bubbles? Just right for cutting through the robust flavor of roasted peppers and the olive oil coating on the tongue. Also? Bubbles. (By the way, I took a sip of that beer, and *no*. Whew. My world stopped tipping in a scary direction.)

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay...


Macaron a la Fleur d'Oranger (orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache).

I had never had a macaron before. God's honest truth. I could pretend to tell you about textures and details, but it would all be fabricated, because my internal monologue went something like this: "Umm. Yum. Orange creamsicle. Yum. Slurp. Gulp. Yes. More. Yum. Oops, save the last bite for Daniel." By the way, my personal rule of "thou shalt not combine citrus with chocolate" does not apply to *white* chocolate. That creaminess may partner with all the citrus it likes. Yum.

And then we were full, so we decided to ride some rides (Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land, in case you wondered), before I determined that I had space for just one more thing.


Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch.

I'm going to be honest. I had some healthy skepticism regarding bacon in my dessert. I still haven't tried any chocolate-covered bacon, and my bacon consumption has been limited to appearing in actual meals. So, wielding my plastic fork, I took a bite-sized cross section, taking care to have representation from each component. The best thing I can compare it to, taste wise, is pancakes with maple syrup with a side of bacon, presenting in the form and textures of a frosted cupcake. (The pretzel doesn't fit there and I'm still unsure of its purpose, but whatever.) The more I ate, the more I liked it. Like we say at my house: you either like bacon or you're wrong.

Remember how I said I had room for just one more thing? Well, I still had something else on my list to try. I had to tack it on to the next day though, for fear of exploding, so consider this a really (really) long intermission.

::intermission music playing::
(For effect, you could go get yourself a snack or something.)


Confit de Canard, Pommes de Terre Sarladaise (pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes). La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush (Grey Goose Orange Vodka, St Germain Liquor, white and red cranberry juices).

I'm going to work in reverse here and talk about the slush first. Mostly because (as you can see in the photo), I sucked a bunch of it down on the way to where we camped out to eat (when it was handed to me, the slush was mounded up higher than the rim of the glass). Remember when I said it was hot? Well, if I thought the Dole Whip succumbed to the heat quickly, that was nothing compared to this slush which was melting literally before my eyes. I couldn't risk cup overflow, so I took one for the team. (What? Why are you rolling your eyes at me like that?) This was another revisit from last year. I always love the French slushes from the Fests. This one is more fresh and delicate than her Food and Wine Fest counterpart. Ok, that's a lot of talk about a rapidly melting beverage, when I really need to talk about the *food*. That duck was incredible. Bordering on life altering. We split it and just kept taking bites and giving one another this wide-eyed stare (we would have been jaw-dropped, but that would have been gross -- we aren't animals, you guys!) of delighted amazement that, if it could talk (its mouth was full and that's impolite), would have said "Can you even believe this? So so good. Not even sure it's legal to be this delicious. Pass that fork, I need more." (Actually, that last part we may have actually said, since, you know, our mouths would have been empty at that point.) The duck had so much flavor and it was so tender, it practically melted in your mouth. Combined with those thin slices of potato heaven, perfectly seasoned and crispy around the edges in exactly the most perfect way. I am not even kidding you when I say I am salivating right now, just *writing* about it. I might be willing to fight you for this dish. If I had had more room at the time this was consumed, I might have given Daniel the Gollum-reaction, stabbing at him wildly with my fork, and telling him to get his own because myyyy preeeeecioussssss. Look. Just *look*.

And then we were so full. And it was hot. And after some necessary cooling in aforementioned Innoventions air conditioning, we rode Test Track. And I made a ridiculous face for the camera. I am a dork. The end.

I'll be back with my Best of the Fest post.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

This Week on My TV: May 10, 2014

Disclaimer: Some shows I watch live and with others, I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. All I can do is lead in with the show and episode. You read at your own risk!

**(Unforgettable, s2E10 "Manhunt"If I've learned nothing from watching crime procedurals, it's that I shouldn't wander around outside alone in the middle of the night. -- When the doctor tripped and face planted, running away from who she believes to be her former assailant, they showed her with a tiny scratch over her eyebrow. When they came back from commercial break, it was a huge bloody gash. What the heck? -- I didn't follow what the purpose of the horseback officer was, but I liked the ending, where the doctor offered the man who wrongly went to prison for raping her thirteen years ago a job as an orderly where she works and told him even though the pay wasn't great, he would have a friend there.

**(Chicago Fire, S2E20 "A Dark Day"Hey! The pediatrician character was Grace Van Pelt from The Mentalist! And the doctor in the hospital is Colin Sweeney on The Good Wife. Wait a second...didn't we already meet this doctor on this show when they had the train crash? (Oh, dear God, please don't let them be thinking about a "Chicago Hospital" spinoff too.) -- I'm not sure how I feel about the plot of a bombing of a running event... Too soon to have so much in common with Boston in 2013. -- I've said it before, I'll say it again: I thought the cast of Grey's Anatomy was cursed, but Firehouse 51 has them beat by a landslide. Two seasons in, there have been multiple deaths, several firefighters with injury-caused drug addictions, life threatening situations, career threatening injuries, a guy with a head injury that has either been forgotten or miraculously cured, someone contemplating suicide, someone committing suicide, and now this bombing, which I haven't seen more than twenty minutes of at this point, but already Casey was thrown to the ground and had a ceiling fall on him (that can't help a maybe-head-injury), Dawson is missing, and Shay just fell on a piece of metal sticking out of a broken piece of the building, so you know *someone's* life will end up in major jeopardy before all is said and done. -- Basic conversation that took place: "Do you have the power to consent?" "Consent? I don't know." "Good enough for me! Off to operate on your niece's liver!" There's an emergency, a parent can't be reached, and the child will likely die without surgery, WHO NEEDS CONSENT?? -- Do people attempting to diffuse live bombs really have to be told to be careful? And does any character ever pull the *wrong* wire? -- Of course they just happened to be clearing debris directly above where Dawson was trapped. -- Drop the pregnancy bombshell on Boden last week and then just no mention of it at all? What is *that*?

**(Chicago PD, S1E12 "8:30PM"It really ticks me off when they do crossover events. I am watching this under protest because I can't deal with the lack of closure. I need to know what happens to Shay. ::sigh:: -- That was quite an age gap between Holly the pediatrician and her brain dead nine-year-old sister. And if those were her parents, they looked like they birthed her ten minutes after their own births. Weird. -- It really bugs me that Voight was a dirty cop when he was a recurring character on Chicago Fire, but now he's the hero main character on this show. That's...quite a turnaround. -- Of *course* Shay is ok. No biggie. I'm so annoyed I wasted an hour on this show. -- I totally called that the little sister was going to be a perfect match for the liver the other little girl needed stat. -- Was that Severide hooking up with one of the cops??

**(Blue Bloods, S4E20 "Custody Battle"Those Reagans sure have some hot heads. Someone's always cranky with someone else in the family. -- I share Nicky's skepticism about corned beef. -- Danny: Erin's name came up and Dad made a face. Jamie: Was that the "I've got the weight of the world on my shoulders" face or the "I wish I never had kids" face? -- This is exactly how family works! ... Danny: Reagans can talk smack all night long. Outsiders talk smack and there's going to be a fight. -- I can't believe that sniveling little cop thought he was going to whine his way back into the NYPD. Not on Frank's watch, pal!

**(The Big Bang Theory, S7E22 "The Proton Transmogrification") Professor Proton is dead?! Awww. -- It's funny cuz it's true. Heh. ... Amy: Do you want me to go with you to the funeral? Sheldon: Oh, I'm not going to the funeral. Amy: Are you sure? Sheldon: Are you kidding? All those people blowing their noses? You can't tell the sad from the sick!

**(Modern Family, S5E20 "Australia"This was a great episode. From Phil's jellyfish stings to his getting punched in the face by a kangaroo to proclaiming himself Crocodile Dun-phee. And the work Claire was doing, calling it her baby...and then the wild dog stole her laptop...the dingo stole her baby. BAHAHAHAHA!!

**(The Middle, S5E20 "The Optimist") Sue's stress over getting into college was stressing *me* out. -- I'm not sure which situation was more uncomfortable: Brick wanting Mike to apologize to his friend for confronting her when he thought she was being mean to Brick, or that spa Frankie took Sue to.

**(Mike and Molly, S4E18 "Mike's Manifold Destiny") Carl [to Mike]: Your mother ain't giving you this car out of the goodness of her heart. You know why? Samuel: Because she has no goodness and she has no heart? -- Carl is a good friend to Mike. -- The exchanges between Molly and Mike's mother are guaranteed hilarious.

**(The Mentalist, S6E18 "Forest Green"Maybe this disqualifies me as a twenty-first century woman, but I honestly don't care if there are "men only" clubs. What's wrong with a place for dudes to go and just be with other men? Sometimes it's nice to just have time and space without the opposite sex. ::shrugs:: -- So the victim was both a lesbian *and* a prostitute (for men)? That seems...odd. -- I'm not certain I like Lisbon's new love interest (Pike, is it?) and I'm not sure why I don't. They wouldn't reuse the same plot they did with Grace Van Pelt and the very much a bad guy suitor, would they?

**(The Good Wife, S5E18 "All Tapped Out"These NSA guys are weird. -- Louis Canning at Lockhart Gardner? Kalinda is going to make this interesting. -- It's good to have Alicia back on her game. Also good to see Peter on his game, calling off the NSA. And hilarious that Eli was bowing down to Peter's awesomeness. -- That final scene. Alicia and Peter working on scheduling together. Are they ok again or something?

**(Last Man Standing, S3E22 "Mutton Busting") Mike: Stick to your guns! Or the UN. Or...whatever you liberals use to defend yourselves. -- Kristin is a real *itch. End of story. -- Oh dear Lord. Kristin and Ryan are engaged??

**(Once Upon a Time, S3E17 "The Jolly Roger"This bouncing back and forth between now and the "missing year" is getting mentally exhausting. -- Regina and Emma "girl talking" about how Hook is pining after Emma was...different. -- Eric's floating cape with the "locator spell" was pushing the envelope, I think. (She says about a show built around fairy tales and magic and curses and flying monkeys.) -- Oh, poor broken-hearted Hook. I think he needs a big hug. (Ahem.) -- What is it Hook remembers about the "missing year" that he isn't sharing? And why does Zelena want Baby Charming?

**(The Good Wife, S5E19 "Tying the Knot"What is with all those women who look exactly the same at Colin Sweeney's house? Every time he surfaces, something weird happens. -- I really like the way they played out this episode, with Alicia playing and replaying what she witnessed in her mind. It lent an interesting and rather unique perspective to being a witness instead of just a lawyer. -- I am feeling bad for Finn. I like him. And clearly he is still suffering some trauma from the Will Gardner courtroom murder. But I like that after seeming so despondent, he finally stiffened up his backbone. -- I am conflicted. I don't care for the State's Attorney, but I can't seem to separate him from being September on Fringe whom I loved. -- Speaking of conflicted, I think Alicia wishes Colin Sweeney weren't such a crucially important client to her firm.

**(2 Broke Girls, S3E23 "And the Free Money"Let me get something straight. Max and Caroline don't have enough money to pay the bills, but they have enough money to buy alcohol for doing shots while they stress over how to pay the bills? -- I can't believe it, but I actually legitimately laughed more than once (even though the "bet-win-bet again-lose big-win bigger at the last second" story was totally predictable). -- This episode made me like Earl.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S10E21 "Change of Heart"I like that they have some longer term patients this season. It's been a while since there was something to balance the steady stream of one-episode characters parading through the season. That being said, I hope we get some answers as to what's causing the hearts of that family's children to fail. -- Amelia Shepard is back for a visit! I like Amelia. But it's weird for me every time Derek calls her "Amy." -- A MerDer date consists of a joint surgery. They are so funny. -- I really like who Cristina is becoming as a surgeon. She was always strong and confident, but she has become a touch more compassionate and was able to become an actual teacher to the interns. -- I am beginning to see how they are going to spin Cristina's departure. And I think they've chosen well (assuming I'm right). -- I did *not* see Richard's proposal to Catherine Avery coming at *all*. I wonder where it stands now, though, with that argument about what happened with Cristina not winning the Harper Avery Award...and why no one at Grey Sloan Memorial ever will. -- There are times when Jo reminds me a little too much of Izzie. -- April is pregnant? Well that puts a new spin on her fight with Jackson.

**(The Blacklist, S1E21 "Berlin"Bleeding from your ears is never a good sign. That was a very Fringe-ish opening scene. -- So, Lizzie is going to give Red the silent treatment? "Tell Reddington..." while he is sitting in the same room. That's mature. -- Special Agent Martin and captive Dr Vogel look just enough alike to have confused me momentarily. -- The FBI Task Force finally sees the connection that the viewer, if they paid attention, was seeing all along: each of the numbers Red has provided them has led to information that has benefited Red in his search for Berlin. -- The scene where Liz is trying to prevent the FBI from taking Red into custody after they rescinded his immunity contingent with Lizzie's resignation and they are playing cat-and-mouse over Lizzie's feelings about Red's involvement in her father's death? Holy intense. I was starting to suffer some serious anxiety. -- Red: Now its begins. ... What??? Now *what* begins? I feel like I can't even catch my breath. Who is Berlin, what is his/her problem with Red, and what is the end game here??

**(Scandal, S3E17 "Flesh and Blood"I was completely cracking up at Liv's gladiators sequestered in that office while Fitz was at OPA, like spectators in a fishbowl, their faces pressed to the windows, trying to hear or see anything. -- Mellie is back to being a shrew. I know she is in emotional pain, never telling anyone about Big Jerry raping her and her firstborn possibly being his (he is, but, here's a stack of hundreds, no, he isn't), but she is taking it out on the wrong Grant man. On the other hand, Fitz is getting on my last nerve, being a raging hypocrite, so maybe he deserves some shrew-ish-ness. -- Holy crap, Rowan actually shot Maya's lover in Liv's office. -- Oof. Tough conversation, Liv admitting to Jake (who is so obviously smitten with her) that she's in love with Fitz. I don't even know how to feel about that. -- That was...quite the steamy scene in the parking garage between Huck and Quinn. AND MAYA JUST MARCHED RIGHT PAST THEM. -- Maya attacked Rowan?! Cyrus is going to let the bomb take out Sally?! What the what?!

**(Person of Interest, S3E21 "Beta") Shaw [to Mr Reese]: Who died and made you Finch? -- Root: What our Machine sees, Samaritan sees. Two gods playing with the same deck of cards. ... Powerful imagery. -- Boy, you don't think about just how much "you are being watched" until you watch Shaw, Root, and Mr Reese try to Frogger through the city, undetected by camera surveillance. -- Targeting Grace. Harold's love. And the only connection we know he has to someone outside our little band of fearless protectors. If anything gets Harold to come out of hiding, this would be it, right? -- Root [looking at a tablet with a bullet hole through it that they retrieved from the man who tried to shoot her]: You couldn't aim two inches higher? Shaw: Everybody's a critic today. -- Hooboy. Grace is safe but in exchange, Decima has Harold. Can he be rescued yet again?

**(Mike and Molly, S4E19 "Who's Afraid of J.C. Small?"Susan Sarandon's character is more pathetic than funny. However, the mayhem she caused among the family was pretty amusing. -- Ewww, Molly. You got into your bed in the same clothes you wore to jump into that nasty river?

**(About a Boy, S1E10 "About a Boy's Dad"What is that sound coming out of Marcus?? Fiona has really raised herself an obnoxious little dork. Moving next door to Will may be Marcus' only hope of eventually acting somewhat socially acceptable. -- I cannot believe Fiona made a child with this weirdo, Hugh. I mean, he calls her Fifi?? Seriously? -- Will's reaction to waking up to naked Hugh in his bed was both predictable and hilarious. So was Dr Sam finally showing up ready for some loving.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S10E22 "We Are Never Getting Back Together"The separation of conjoined twins really foreshadowed Cristina's coming departure for Mer, I think. -- So. Burke. At Cristina's talk in Zurich. That lead to some good old-fashioned girltalk on the phone with Mer. I've missed that. -- What a contrast between Arizona and April regarding pregnancy. -- Talk about an awkward, uncomfortable, emotionally charged exchange between Burke and Cristina, when she asked him if this was a ploy to get her back and he showed her photos of his wife and kids and said they are his world. And again when she turned down his offer because she couldn't work for him, and he told her he didn't want her to, because the way he loved her, it would only be a matter of time before she was the dangling carrot he would follow anywhere and that he wants the life he has, that his offer was to take over his hospital so he could give his wife what she wanted after all she has sacrificed for his dreams. -- Oh, I hope Amelia is coming to Grey's on more than just a guest pass! -- I like they way April and Jackson are trying to work through their differences. -- OMG Mer's face when she saw Cristina and just knew Cristina would be leaving.

**(The Big Bang Theory, S7E23 "The Gorilla Dissolution"Howard: I'm what my people would call a putz. -- ::snort:: Bridge of nose herpes. Oh, Sheldon. -- Raj can't really be upset about Emily out with someone else since they had agreed they wouldn't be exclusive. But hey, what happened to the vet? Didn't he think Cinnamon's vet was cute? -- I find it hysterical every time Howard mimics Bernadette's voice. -- Emily: If I saw you out with another woman, I'd be pretty upset. Raj: Thank you. And not just for saying you'd be upset, but for thinking that's possible. -- Aww! Are Raj and Emily going to make their little dating arrangement a little more exclusive?? Yay, Raj! Raj deserves some happiness. -- AWWWWW!!! Penny and Leonard are engaged! I totally didn't see that coming! And I just about died when Leonard extracted the ring from his wallet and proposed after whatever that weird half-proposal exchange was, initiated by Penny.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Currently: May 8, 2014

This week at the Broken Road house...

Learning... which of my tv shows are getting renewed. So far, no surprises. A disappointment, perhaps, but not really a shocker.

Wanting... it not to be summer. It's so hot already. And that reminds me of an old saying my Gramp used to recite. But maybe that's better saved for a full blog post trip down memory lane?

Enjoying... the descriptiveness of the book I am reading. Feeding the five sense purely through the written word is not easy to achieve, but this book has managed to do so.

Missing... my Gram. She's been passing through my thoughts frequently over recent days. Nostalgia is bittersweet.

Playing... at Disney for the second weekend in a row. It will be my final tours (Saturday and Sunday) of Flower and Garden Fest. I am on a mission!

"Currently" is a weekly link-up, hosted by Ot & Et.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: May 6, 2014

In honor of ten years since the Friends series finale, I provide you with (in no particular order) the top ten quotes I still use from the show. And then a bonus ten. And then ten more. Because yes, the show remains that applicable and quotable in everyday life. I think that's what you call a success.

1. It's moo. Like a cow's opinion.
2. Could I *be* anymore [fill in the blank]??
3. Joey Dawn doesn't share food!
4. I wanna quit the [fill in the blank].
5. Pivot! PIVOT!!
6. You should never be allowed to talk to people.
7. I'm doin' good, baby. How you doin'?
9. I have a feeling something is wrong with the left philange!
10. Hold up. This just. got. interesting.

1. I'm not so good with the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?
2. Ducks is heads because ducks have heads.
3. (coupled with the previous quote) What kind of scary ass clowns came to your birthday party?
5. They don't know we know they know we know.
6. (from the same scene as above) Couldn't if I wanted to.
7. Oh no. (said like Phoebe)
8. Oh. My. Gawd.
9. Isn't that just kick you in the crotch, spit on your neck fantastic.
10. I KNOW!! (said like Monica)

1. Paper. Snow. A GHOST!
2. That's not even a word! (Monica)
3. I *knew* it!! (said like Chandler)
4. This must be so hard...My wallet's too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight.
6. Tastes like *feet*.
7. I mean, what's not to like? Custard...good. Jam...good. Meat...gooooood.
8. Well smack my ass and call me Judy.
9. Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E means "you are." Y-O-U-R means *your*!!
10. You could not be any more wrong. You could try but you would not be successful!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

This Week on My TV: May 3, 2014

Disclaimer: Some shows I watch live and with others, I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. All I can do is lead in with the show and episode. You read at your own risk!

**(The Mentalist, S6E17 "Silver Wings of Time"Why do shows always realize an innocent man was sentenced to death mere hours before execution and have to race a clock to find the evidence to save him? -- I love the random questions Patrick Jane asks potential suspects and then learning why he asked them as the episode moves along. -- Cho's dry humor and his total disinterest in everyone's personal lives. Quite possibly one of my very favorite things about this show. -- How long til Jane and Lisbon admit they have feelings for each other?

**(Last Man Standing, S3E21 "April, Come She Will") Vanessa: No one is getting money to leave this house until I do it and then I'm taking half. -- Vanessa's sister is 40 and that means she can no longer have children? -- Mike Baxter's exchanges with Larabee are like a well-choreographed, amusing dance.

**(Once Upon a Time, S3E16 "It's Not Easy Being Green") I thought they did a good job telling Zelena's backstory. I especially liked the touches of the cyclone and why she is green. -- So...Zelena stole David's courage (the Cowardly Lion) and wants Regina's heart (the Tin Man). Whose brain will she require to fulfill the role of the Scarecrow? -- Awww!! Regina gave her heart to Robin!

**(Chicago Fire, S2E19 "A Heavy Weight"I'm not sure why they hinted it was such a big deal that Casey doesn't know Dawson's ring size while picking out an engagement ring. I don't even know my own ring size. -- Clarke is gone?? Just like that? Figures. He was the one character I actually liked. -- I don't remember Boden ditching his lady. Interesting that they decided to make her pregnant.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S10E19 "I'm Winning"I do kinda love April and Jackson together. I feel as if despite their differences or more accurately because of their differences, they balance each other out. -- So Callie and Arizona have decided to have another baby. I keep flashing back on scenes that show Arizona not handling a miscarriage well in a new house and it taking a huge toll. Am I imagining it? Was it a "what if" type scenario? Something from the past that we've moved on from? Or do we already know how this story plays out? -- The exchange between Miranda and Cristina was awesome, when Miranda reminded Cristina not to shrug off congratulations, but to look the giver in the eye, smile and say thank you. I feel like that's a reminder most of us can use. -- Derek's "emotional lie detector" machine thingy scares me a little. Says the queen of "doesn't show emotion unless she wants it seen."

**(Grey's Anatomy, S10E20 "Go It Alone"No sooner do I state that I love April and Jackson together than their all-nighter puts a giant rift between them? And not just that, but it is their very differences that are at the root. ::sigh:: -- Question asked and answered: Arizona *did* have a miscarriage in the past. -- What on earth is causing the heart issues for that one family? -- Of course Owen and Mer would be there for Cristina at the Harper Avery Award banquet. I have to admit, I was a bit shocked that Cristina didn't win.

**(Unforgettable, S2E9 "Flesh and Blood"I appreciate when shows tie up loose ends. Jackie was definitely a loose end. This was something of a predictable plot, but I enjoyed the banter and chemistry between Carrie and Al.

**(The Blacklist, S1E20 "The Kingmaker"So the contents of the envelope were photos of Red entering the hospital where Lizzie's father died. Why was that supposed to be such a shocker? Liz may not have known about it, but the viewer does. -- Hahahaha! Dembe with the munchies as he helps Red try out some "product" he is considering bankrolling. -- Red: Ahhh... Smells like decadence and vice. -- Red: As bad as you may think I am, as far as you think I am willing to go to protect that which I hold most dear, you can't possibly fathom how deep that well of mine truly goes. -- You can be as angry as you want that the Kingmaker was killed, Red, but you know darn well you would have put the bullet in his head yourself, if you'd seen that Liz was in danger. -- So now Liz knows that Red killed her adoptive father and claims to be done. You're never done with Red, Lizzie. Might as well just accept it.

**(2 Broke Girls, S2E22 "And the New Lease on Life"Sophie was amusing. I have to admit I can't even remember if Max and Caroline get to keep their illegally sublet apartment or if they are looking for somewhere new to live now.

**(About a Boy, S1E9 "About a Kiss") Sheesh. Is everyone obsessed with Fiona's chest? -- OMG, there is a little girl version of Marcus at the babysitter's house! Hahaha! -- Andy's wife thinks TJ is hot? Really? -- I suspect the purpose of this show is to get Will and Fiona together, but I really like Dr Sam. I would rather he end up with her.

**(The Big Bang Theory, S7E21 "The Anything Can Happen Recurrence") Leonard: Should we call the girls and see if they want to come? Penny: Bernadette's working late. Sheldon: Amy's sick. Leonard: Awww. What's wrong with her? Sheldon: Well, she talks a lot, she always wants to hold hands. Leonard: That's not what I meant. Sheldon: Well if you were referring to her illness, your question should have been 'what ails her?'  -- Preach it, Sheldon: Penny. there's only one cookie with something in the middle that solves life's problems...and that's an Oreo. -- The psychic's reading for Sheldon, implying that committing to Amy holds all the answers to Sheldon's life, both personal *and* professional. Hmmm...

**(Person of Interest, S3E20 "Death Benefit") Haaaaa! Mr Reese packs weaponry, trip wire, a booby trap for the door, and a toothbrush when he takes a trip. -- John Greer: Surely you didn't think in a world where you're surveilling everyone that no one was watching you? -- Is Shaw the only person in the world who is unhappy when a fruity adult beverage with a little paper umbrella is in front of her? -- That is quite a convoluted message from The Machine. The number is in danger from Reese, Shaw, and Finch, because The Machine needs him dead due to his relationship with Decima and the danger that relationship poses to so  many other people. -- Did Mr Finch really jump ship?!

**(The Middle, S5E19 "The Wind Chimes"Sue and Darrin! Maybe others are threatened by your joy, Darrin, but I'm not! -- ::snort:: Rita Glossner poked Mike in the eye for attempting to take down her wind chimes. -- Mike and Frankie, if you try to break up Darrin and Sue, I will bring the fisticuffs!

**(Reign, S5E19 "The Wind Chimes"Initial thoughts: I don't care for Kenna's headpiece. Lola's wedding joy makes me smile, yet I can't help but feel like no one is allowed to be happy for very long on this show and that makes me sad for her. I keep thinking that Greer and Kenna could actually be happy if they would try to make the best of their circumstances, when the former has someone who adores her and the latter has, well, Bash (yum). -- Hmmm. Mary's half-brother is...interesting. And so is his suggestion that she needs to make an appearance in Scotland. -- Whoa. Olivia in bed with Nostradamus?! And Catherine won't allow him to be with her. Sad. -- Henry is a mess. Who was that vision he was having? -- Revisiting some of my initial thoughts: So, Lola's husband has a secret in his past, and the question is: does it involve the deaths of his former wives or does it involve wealth? I'm glad Kenna appears to be making a real marriage with Bash. -- Oh boy. Francis locked Mary in the tower for, he feels, her own safety because he suspects an English plot against her life using her half brother. I wonder how he's going to get back in her good graces after this?


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Currently: May 1, 2014

This week at the Broken Road house...

Buying... T's Disney World Annual Pass renewal this weekend. I love when he comes up to Disney with me.

Snapping... lots of everyday photos. 97 in April!

Scoring... some excellent savings at Target. Red card + Cartwheel app + manufacturer coupons stacked with Target coupons adds up quickly!

Struggling... find my rhythm after returning from our trip. I have just lost all motivation. I need to remedy that.

Losing... sleep lately. I have an annoying dry cough that is lingering from this mild cold I picked up while traveling. It wakes me out of a deep sleep and once I start coughing, I have a hard time stopping.

"Currently" is a weekly link-up, hosted by Ot & Et.


Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: April 2014

A photo of me:

1) Candle scents* this month:
Peppermint Swirls. Lavender Vanilla. Lilac Blossoms. Vanilla Cupcake. Beachwood. Tulips. Strawberry Buttercream. Ocean Blossom.

2) What I am reading this month (you can find me on Goodreads!):
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Alan Bradley) - I really enjoy this series. The stories move right along. Flavia is a humorous, engaging, unique voice. Though I guessed correctly whodunnit, I did not see the "why" coming at all. Definitely looking forward to reading more of her adventures.
90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life (Don Piper with Cecil Murphey) - I found this book very moving. The relating of events was a little disjointed but I think that made it feel a bit more authentic, more like how a conversation might feel. It may have felt less real to me if it had been laid out like a novel. Don Piper's personal experiences certainly made me pause to think about some things, that's for sure.
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship (Lisa Verge Higgins) - I wasn't really sure where this book was going, at first, and then I wasn't sure how it was going to get there. By the time I reached the last third of the story, I finally got it: We all have a fear. Maybe we won't admit to having it. Maybe we call it one thing, when in reality it's something else. Maybe we truly just can't see it. But it's there. And the only way through it, the only way to beat it, is to leap. It's terrifying. We might be wrong. We might mess up. We might get hurt. But if we're lucky, we don't leap alone. This book was a love story, but not in the traditional romantic sense. (Well, maybe just a little.) It actually reminded me a lot of the core of the show "Sex and the City": This book was a love story each character has with herself, with her biggest fears and deepest hopes, and with Her People. It was both predictable and unpredictable. A good read.
Night Road (Kristin Hannah) - The story felt somewhat predictable to me, though there were a few details that caught me off guard. However, the characters were overall likable and despite the inevitable path the story took, it was still engaging.
A Killer Maize (Paige Shelton) - Most of the way done with this one. Enjoying it quite a bit.

3) Movies I saw:
Not a single one. The DVR is jam-packed and baseball season is in full swing.

4) Calendar image for the month:


I can never resist saying moo when I see cows. I say it short and succinct. No drawing out the "oo." The reason is this:

RIP Test Track moo sign.

5) New recipes tried this month:
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Citrus - My sister-in-law made these for Thanksgiving, using a recipe her daughter shared with her. I thought they would be a nice bright addition to our Easter menu.
Buttery Garlic Green Beans - So easy and so yummy. These will definitely be added to our regular rotation of veggie sides. We have veggies with just about every meal. It's nice to have some variation!

6) Restaurants where I ate:
Perkins (Corry, PA). A couple of restaurants in the Cleveland airport on our way to and from Pennsylvania.

7) Five things I am loving this month:
1. Baseball season. The off season is lonely.
2. The smell of Easter lilies.
3. Florida strawberries. We managed to buy a flat just as the season was winding down. Into the freezer they go for shortcake over the next year!
4. The skies. They have been crazy gorgeous this month. Sunrises. Sunsets. Blue skies with white puffy clouds. Interesting cloud patterns. Storms rolling in.
5. Photos that make me bounce and squeal when I see how they came out.

8) Three goals I had this month and three goals for next month:
1. Find a slab of granite for the bathroom vanity counter. (Chosen, paid for, cut, and installed.)

2. I'd like to find a little new-to-me music for my iPod. It's been far too long since I've added anything new to the playlist. (I found seven songs to add to the iPod and I'm building a list of more.)
3. I'm going to be modest on magazines this month and shoot for twelve, because I will be traveling again in April, and clearly that poses an issue. (Half. Only *six*. ::sigh:: Travel and returning home with a cold foiled me.)

1. I need to start weeding through my nail polish, now that it's sandal season again, and tossing all the bottles that are goopy, separating, or so low in the bottle that they are a chore to use so I keep skipping over them anyway.
2. I think it's time to invest in some more wooden hangers.
3. Eighteen magazines this month. I need to make up for lost time. There's no travel scheduled and other than plans for one weekend, I have nothing on the calendar.

9) The best part of this month and the worst part of this month:
The best: I know it seems as if they shouldn't be enjoyed, but I really enjoyed the Holy Week services at church.
The worst: The rain for the outdoor Sunrise Easter Service. That made for a soggy, chilly morning!

10) A photo I took this month:

*All scents are Yankee Candle, unless otherwise noted.


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