Saturday, January 31, 2015

This Week on My TV: January 31, 2015

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

**(Dallas, S3E13 Boxed In) It always weirds me out when bad guys act kindly. Case in point: Luis toward Ann and Emma (at least when they first arrived). -- I cannot think of a single other time that Judith Ryland has ever show an ounce of weakness. Emma being taken by the drug cartel has Judith turned inside out. -- Pamela has an interesting strategy, choosing to stay married to John Ross for the time being, at least until the time that he has some actual wealth for her to take when she goes. I can never decide whether or not I like her! -- I honestly wasn't sure whether or not Luis had really shot Emma when he pretended to, to make a point to Judith. -- Well then. Of all the people I expected to be responsible for the photographer following Nicolas and Elena, Nicolas' wife never even crossed my mind. -- Everything's bigger in Texas and Bobby went "go big or go home," with that offer to Luis in exchange for Ann and Emma. How is he ever going to choose though, since Luis only agreed to give up one of them??

**(CSI, S15E14 Merchants of Menace) Did I see a "Nate Haskell" t-shirt at that murder fanatics convention? Nice nod to the past, CSI. -- I will give credit where credit is due. I thought it was the Waters victim's father who killed the dealer at the show. And then I was surprised, but bought the mortician as a possible suspect. I *never* expected it to be the kid from the opening scene show.

**(CSI, S3E13 Boxed In) Just didn't hold my attention. Vigilante comic book super heroes? Meh.

**(CSI, S15E16 The Last Ride) CSI does serial killer arcs better than most shows, and they have been my favorite CSI stories (that feels weird to say, given the subject matter...). However, despite the unresolved Gig Harbour Killer arc, this episode was of my other favorite CSI variety: tied to the old "mob scene" in Vegas. I liked the way they wove in the old cars and the old mob hit, and how they tied it all together.

**(The Big Bang Theory, S8E13 The Anxiety Optimization) Sheldon [checking on Penny after he heard groans coming from her apartment]: You sounded in distress. I was worried something unpleasant was happening to you. ... I'd count working out as "something unpleasant." -- Penny: Sheldon, we are just people. We talk about the same things you guys talk about. Sheldon: You talk about if werewolves could swim? -- Why do Sheldon's feet hang off the end of his bed?? Why isn't it a normal length? --

**(Marry Me, S1E11 Friend Me) Annie's having NINE bridesmaids?? -- OMG. The Boyz made me want to gouge my ears out. So. Unbelievably. Annoying. Please tell me they won't be recurring characters. -- Annie has a sleep mask that matches her pajamas? AND ADULT FOOTIE PAJAMAS. Want. (The footie pajamas, to be clear.) -- Pyramid scheme? Seen that a hundred times. ::thumbs down::

**(About a Boy, S2E11 About a Hook) I get that they have to create conflict, because conflict moves a show along and creates opportunity for comedy, but Marcus was being a real butthead. At least they didn;t drag this on endlessly. -- OMG-seriously? moments: Marcus doesn't know how to use a shower. All this nonsense about a "love bubble" between Fiona and Marcus. -- As soon as Fiona started waxing poetic about how she will always have room in her love bubble for Marcus, I knew that was going to be Will's "hook" for his song.

**(Mom, S2E12 Kitty Litter and a Class A Felony) Christy just cannot catch a break. Alvin had a second will that would have left her and Bonnie with a hundred grand. He just never got around to signing it. -- Christy: You can visit him in your heart. Bonnie: No such place! -- I think we said "I still can't believe they killed off Alvin!" a minimum of three times during this episode. -- LOL: Bonnie's dream with Alvin when his ex-wife appears, then gets hit by a speeding truck. We're so twisted we laughed for a good two minutes over that one.

**(The McCarthys, S1E11 The Ref) Aaaaand...Jackie doesn't look pregnant again. -- Best jab at Jackie's red plaid shirt was definitely Sean's "Paula Bunyan." -- Marjorie's excuse for why Arthur can't remember Ronny's birthday is "they had too many kids." Sure, there are four kids, but two of them are twins! -- Aaaaand...Ronny is back to being annoying because he's flirting. -- I have a difficult time getting into the basketball-centric episodes, but Marjorie's insults and snark about Katrina slay me.

**(Sleepy Hollow, S2E14 Kali Yuga) I can't decide: Was Abbie's karaoke scene lip-syncing or real singing? -- My reaction when we first met Camilla: uhhh...who what now? Especially when she...morphed. -- I jumped out of my skin when Camilla the demon freak popped up on Jenny in the tunnels under the archives. This show isn't up to par if I don't jump out of my skin at least once per episode. -- Irving [after the judge showed some concern that his wife (ex-wife?) was representing him legally]: I tried going with an outside firm. That didn't go so well. ... Ha. Ya think? Fee = your soul. -- Hawley: I don't ask questions when I don't want to know the answers. -- Interesting glimpse into Hawley's past, though I'm still not his biggest fan. -- This show is good at leaving loose ends. Camilla escaped without being destroyed. Orion escaped without being destroyed. We haven't seen hide nor hair of Henry since he destroyed (maybe?) Moloch. The Kindred shuffled off after doing battle with the two Horsemen. -- Ichabod: We cannot rely on our bond to last unless we tend to it.  -- Circling back to my earlier question about Abbie's singing, following her duet with Ichabod: I am now firmly in the camp of no way they were really singing. -- I don't care what Katrina says about the binding (or lack thereof) of Irving's soul to the Horseman of War. Even before they showed that Irving has no reflection, I knew something wasn't quite kosher.

**(Scandal, S4E10 Run) That was one of the most stressful tv episodes I have ever watched. Ever. I was exhausted when it was over. I *knew* I didn't trust Ian McLeod though. As soon as he started speaking, the mental alarms went off: SUSPICIOUS. I did like that they backtracked to the final scene of the previous episode, showing what happened while Jake was in the bedroom. I couldn't believe Olivia was RIGHT ACROSS THE HALL for so long. Jake was right: They were *very* professional; so professional, in fact, that they even outsmarted him into thinking he was chasing the abductor's car down the street in his underoos, while memorizing a license plate, all to send him on a wild goose chase. So now we have three questions: Where *is* Olivia? (Showing her in an elaborately constructed set, designed to trick her into thinking she was somewhere else, reminded me of both an old Twilight Zone and, more recently, an episode of The Blacklist, where they played the same sort of mind games.) Who took her? What are they hoping to gain?

**(The Mentalist, S7E9 Copper Bullet) Lena Abbott: Dennis tells me you have one of the trickiest and most devious minds he's worked with. Patrick Jane: He did? Well, I didn't come here to be flattered, but please, go on. -- I love that Jane's old friend, Pete, greets him with "you crazy circus freak." -- Could Vega have been *any* more obvious while she was tailing Peterson, peering around corners and through the crack of a barely opened door? What is she? A cartoon? -- I love how they're in a time crunch with Peterson on his way home, and Jane's just sitting there, having a snack. -- Abbott: I have you, Bill. I have you by the short and curlies. ... ::snort:: I've never heard it put quite that way before. -- Thanks to Jane, Abbott has, quite literally, dodged a bullet. Heh. -- With Abbott moving to DC for his wife's new job, it's a promotion for Cho! Possibly the first time I've ever seen him smile! -- Duh, Lisbon. Jane is overprotective of you, because he's already lost two people he loved more than anything in a horrific way. He's *scared*.

**(Blue Bloods, S5E13 Love Stories) Even the great Frank Reagan stares into fridge, not knowing what he wants. That's actually one of my favorite things about this show. They make the characters real human beings that do things the viewer can understand and identify with. -- Danny: I like t-bones, cold beer and loud burps. ... Of course you do, Danny. LOL -- I called it backward: I thought the wife took out the hit on the husband, not the other way around. -- I like the way Linda and Danny handled Jack's first real crush on a girl. They didn't discouraging or overreact. They just let it play out. I'm not sure I can think of anything more uncomfortable than your parents being actual spectators of my first date ever, but I'm thinking Danny and Linda were pretty wrapped up in each other. Another of my favorite things about this show is how crazy Danny is about his wife, even though they have their struggles from time to time. -- Good call on deciding to give Danny that medal for valor, Frank. I fully approve that the writers made it for an actual case we saw in an earlier episode and not something "off screen," that the viewer couldn't identify with.

**(Last Man Standing, S4E14 Eve's Breakup) Oh no, dress shopping. They're really going to torture me with this Ryan-and-Kristin wedding, aren't they. -- What was with the bridal salon attendant looking over the door while Kristin was trying on a dress?? And why were the doors so short?! -- I had forgotten that Kristin dated Kyle for a while! -- While I appreciate the horrors of The First Break-Up, I'll admit to being a little disappointed that Eve finally caved at the end and called for her mom. Somehow, with Vanessa hovering right outside Eve's door, I would have thought it more appropriate if Eve had called for Mike. -- Best part of this whole episode: The Toy Story poster they had hanging in Ed's home theater. Nicely done, props department!


Friday, January 30, 2015

On the 97th anniversary of his birth.

My Gramp (January 30, 1918 - January 6, 2003)

When I remember him, this is who I see. Rugged, square-jawed, Marlboro-Man-esque. His hair, under that straw hat, was slicked straight back, just as it always was -- I know that even without being able to see it.

I remember that his favorite bird was the cardinal. I know this, not because he ever outright said it, but because, he -- a man of as few words as necessary -- would always take the time to point one out to me.

I remember that his second favorite bird was the robin. I know this, because the return of Robin Redbreast -- he always called them Robin Redbreast --meant that spring was nearing, and soon, soon, he would be back in his element, working the soil and encouraging delicious produce to grow from it.

I remember that he taught me the value of comfortable silence, that not every quiet space in time needed to be filled with words. It's ok to just be, quietly, because you can see more when your mouth isn't moving.

I remember that he also taught me the value of those who wait to speak until they actually have something to say. Perhaps that's why I so often dread "small talk." If I'm talking about the weather, it isn't social filler for me; I actually have something to say about it -- an observation, legitimate commentary, whatever.

I remember that, instead of talking about what he was going to do, he *did* it. You *might* get a brief announcement: "I'm going to pull the weeds" ... as he was pulling the door closed behind himself and heading toward his gardens.

I remember his laugh. It remains one of my favorite sounds of all time.

I remember that his favorite dessert was my Gram's homemade apple pie, so fresh that it was still oven-warm, with a slice (or three) of Monterey Jack cheese. But on his birthday, she would make him a Boston Cream Pie "because that's his favorite." That always confused me, but I trust she knew her husband.

I know that I share some of his personality. That I will size you up, quietly and thoughtfully, while I decide whether or not to engage. That the more silent I become -- and trust me when I say that there is a world of difference between "quiet" and "silent" -- the more displeasure I am conveying. That you can learn a lot about what's taking place inside my head *if* you can learn to read my eyes, the set of my jaw, and my facial expressions.

(How about those puffy Reebok hightops with the two narrow Velcro strips at the ankle? And those shorts that make me choke on a snort-chuckle? Oh, 1988, you were not my friend. We are going to just pretend we don't notice that hair or those glasses, though, ok? Because, good Lord, hold me...those unforgivingly awkward pre-teen years.)


Oh Hey Friday: January 30, 2015

I'm trying something new this week. It's called Oh Hey Friday! (in case you didn't bother to read the title of this post...or the big ol' image just below...ahem) and it's hosted by September FARM. The idea is that you talk about five things -- any five things -- and it can be themed or random. I've been quietly reading this particular blog since something like May of last year and these posts just keep drawing me in. It was time to give it a go!

Everyone has been all about last night's Parenthood series finale. Me? I've watched the show since the very beginning. I watched the first episode of this season, got so sad that this was the last one, and promptly went into a state of denial. The remaining twelve episodes have been collecting on our DVR. But that isn't really what I wanted to talk about. There was this adorable new sitcom that premiered this past autumn called "A to Z," and tv business speak blah blah ratings blah, they decided about six weeks or so in, NBC decided to pull the plug on further production and just air the episodes that had already been made. Which was a bummer because this show was seriously adorable. (Have I mentioned that?) Well, they get to the final episode and...just...that's it. There's no sense of finality or closure. Hi, my name is Dawn, and I don't do well without closure. I do even worse when a show fails to get renewed after the end of the season and there was a cliffhanger (OMG, don't even get me started on Pan Am, Alcatraz, Reckless, or Dallas, which I haven't even watched yet, but I've heard there were multiple cliffhangers and I'm already dying). But I have a solution! Allow these shows to have a two-hour movie grand finale, where loose ends can be tied up and cliffhangers resolved and stories finished being told. Show it over the summer, in place of some of those awful miniseries or that endless parade of reality tv shows. Or don't even air it; just make it available OnDemand or on the network's website. I would even *pay* for this kind of closure. Seriously. Rescue me from my own crazy! Also, I really hope that Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti (oh, girl crush!) land somewhere else, on something I deem even remotely watchable. Because, seriously, they're adorable.

That was really long-winded. I promise the rest will be quick.


Honest to God, the amount of honey we have consumed in this house since the end of December is bordering on insane. I think we might...maybe...please? be done with all the coughing. Of course, I've been saying this for two weeks now. Not the honey's fault. It does actually help.


Add another product to the list of "I love it so they must discontinue it." The woman who cuts my hair specifically recommended it for my hair and the Florida climate, because it is super light and can manage to do its job in the humidity without weighing down my fine-but-oh-so-much-of-it hair. Bonus that I could buy it at Target for $4.99 (full price). And then I noticed it isn't on any shelves anywhere anymore and I only have two bottles left and woe. So much woe. I loathe replacing products I love.


This time last year, my super talented husband was remodeling our master bathroom. 2014 was a fun year to be a homeowner. 2015? Not so much. Home improvements involve having a new drain field installed for our septic system. Necessary, yes. But far less glamorous and not at all fun. Especially when the next fun remodel is going to be our kitchen.

T has officially Facetimed more times than I have. (That would be: once.) I'm not sure how I feel about that.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015: Wishlist

Resolutions, schmesolutions. I do a list of goals and challenges, call it my "self wishlist," and see how they pan out over the course of the year. On the 2015 agenda, after a lot of thought (I take my time with this...obviously, since it's January 29), I have the following:

1. I really want to get my passport this year. I thought about it a good half dozen times in 2014, but never pulled the trigger. 

2. I admire the orchids, every time I walk past them at Lowes. I think I want to get one and see if I can refrain from killing it. 

3. I want to aim for two new recipes per month this year. This seems like a reasonable goal. I don't care if they are main dishes, sides, a dessert. Whatever, so long as they are new. I should try to make a couple of them easy breakfasts for work days though. I think I've been having yogurt and a granola bar every work day for the past five years.

4. We have a very casual dress code at work. Which means it's very easy to slip into the habit of wearing jeans almost every day. Not that I don't dress them up with a nice top and some heeled boots fairly regularly, but still: jeans. I am aiming to dress a little nicer, oh, say, twice a month. (I was originally going to say once a week, but let's not get carried away.)

5. I want to attempt one craft project per season. Something to get my creative juices flowing. And maybe make use of all the neat ideas I've collected on Pinterest.

6. This year's reading challenge: forty books. Same as last year, but I came up a bit short, thanks to putting some hefty books on the list and failing to balance them with something shorter.

7. I'd like to get another fifty old family photos scanned in. I love looking through them and, once I get on a roll, it doesn't take long to do five or ten.

8. I've been contemplating this and I want to try to send out one random happy mail per month. Not associated with any sort of special day. Just the arrival of a little unexpected smile in the mailbox of someone I happen to be thinking of.

9. I didn't manage to eliminate my big ol' stack of magazines in 2014, but I *did* manage to get myself on a good routine with staying current, so there are *no* magazines anywhere in the house that say 2014! Baby steps, right? I also decided not to renew three subscriptions, keeping just my very favorites, which helps. But while I did get *some* of the old stockpile into recycling, I'm going to hope 2015 is the year I can get the rest out the door.

10. Now that I am current on feed reader (within three days, probably the most current I have *ever* been) I want to get back to leaving blog comments regularly. I've missed that type of interaction.

Ten's enough. Let's go, 2015!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014: By the Numbers

Visits to WDW: 19 (further broken down: Magic Kingdom - 3, Epcot - 13, Hollywood Studios - 2, Animal Kingom - 1)
Books read: 34
Trips taken: 4
Blog posts: 199
Photos taken: 1,419
Major life events: 0 (for us, specifically, although there were several "peripheral" major life events with some births and deaths within the family)
Baseball games attended: 1 (during Spring Training)
Magazine subscriptions: 5
Pinterest projects completed: 0
New recipes tried: 20
Dishes eaten at Food and Wine Fest: 44
Miles driven: 6897
House guests: 3 (one came as a pair though)
Movies seen at the theater: 3 (Jack Reacher: Shadow Recruit. The Monuments Men. The Judge.)
New babies in the family: 2 (one niece on my side, one great-nephew on T's)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014: Resolutions My Way

My resolutions are based on fun. And nothing inspires more fun for me than a visit to one of my favorite places: Disney! It has become the inspiration for my one of my "January kick-off/year-in-review" posts. I'm in the parks enough that they should be quite do-able for me, as well as adding a new "dimension" to something I enjoy already.

My 2014 Disney Resolutions

1. This year, there *will* be a cupcake!
Yes there was! At it was. so. good. Red Velvet with the requisite cream cheese frosting. I have several others on my radar as a result.

2. Attempt two: I want to find at least five new details or perspectives to photograph WDW that I haven't before.
I'd call this a success!

3. Attempt two: I want to eat at two restaurants I haven't yet. There are so many amazing places to eat on property that it's easy to return again and again to the same locations. But each of these places was a "first time" once. I wonder what else I am missing!
Fail fail fail. I went with all kinds old favorites and no place new, *but* I did manage to say goodbye to one favorite, Kouzzina, before it closed!

4. Upon mental review, I neglected following attractions in 2013 and will make a point to do so this year: The Enchanted Tiki Room. Mickey's PhilharMagic. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Reflections of China. Toy Story Midway Mania.
I totally forgot about these. I needed a to-do list!

5. Attempt two: This year, I will visit at least five resort hotels when they are decked out in their Christmas finery, and at least one of them will be one from the list I haven't been to before.
I wanted to, but this just didn't happen. I did manage to see the decor at one resort hotel I'd never seen before at Christmas, Port Orleans Riverside. Decorated with pure old southern charm.


My 2015 Disney Resolutions

1. Make a concerted effort to spend time in more parks than just Epcot. Due to the two Fests, which I love, I spend an awful lot of time there. That leaves the other three fairly neglected. I need to get reacquainted.

2. I recently read The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Since it's my least favorite of the four parks, I tend to spend the least amount of time there. Reading the book showed me there are a ton of details I've missed in this park, as a result of spending minimal time exploring it. So, armed with my new knowledge, I want to make a point of spending some time wandering around in Hollywood Studios.

3. I want to eat at the following restaurants - Old favorites: Biergarten, and The Wave, because I haven't been in forever. Places I haven't tried yet: The Plaza Restaurant, and Flame Tree Barbecue.

4. Attractions I haven't visited since 2012: The Enchanted Tiki Room. Mickey's PhilharMagic. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Reflections of China. Toy Story Midway Mania. Attractions I haven't visited since 2013: The Great Movie Ride. The Hall of Presidents. Liberty Square Riverboat. Walt Disney World Railroad.

5. Aiming a little lower, I'd like to visit three resort hotels at Christmastime, one of them new to me.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Never Have I Ever...

...been able to wear flipflops (or any kind of thong sandal that has a strap that goes between my toes ::shudder::)

... successfully used a dustpan. I sweep up a pile and then break out the vacuum or the dustbuster. Dustpan = a line or debris that I cannot ever seem to get over the edge and into the actual dustpan.

...craved a cold beer on a hot day. Beer is yeast water. Blech.

...been able to handle caffeinated beverages. They make me feel jittery. One cup of coffee threatens that you may need to peel me off the ceiling. The lone exception to the rule: a can of Pepsi if I have a headache that just. won't. quit.

...tried Nutella. (I have enough food-related vices. Maybe I just need to leave well enough alone?)

...gotten the appeal of podcasts. Perhaps I am just at my social media/blogging/internet/information maximum?

...learned to style my hair on purpose. I bend to the mercy of its whims. Picking my battles, I suppose.

...watched a single episode of Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, Scrubs, South Park, Doctor Who, 24, Lost, or Game of Thrones.

...managed to do a real push-up. I can do girlie push-ups and I can plank, but when I lower myself into a real push-up, that's it. I land on my face, cannot stop laughing, and there I stay.

...even remotely considered getting a tattoo. There are few things to which one can confidently say "that will never happen." This, for me, is one of those things.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

This Week on My TV: January 24, 2015

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

**(2 Broke Girls, S4E9 And the Past and the Furious) Did Caroline really ask Max "did you roofie me again?" Again?! -- As soon as Caroline got out of the car at the beach, all I could think of was all the sand they were about to get in that car. -- We've decided that Caroline is showing marginal improvement in her line delivery, but Max is *not*. -- What?? Not a single Sophie "hey. everybody!" FAIL. -- Sophie and Oleg, engaged? I can't decide if their wedding will be hilarious or horrifying.

**(Mike and Molly, S5E7 Support Your Local Samuel) I was a little worried we were going to have to stop calling him Samuel, but I see potential for humor in Samuel going into business with Vince.

**(Madam Secretary, S1E13 Chains of Command) I may or may not be Nadine-ish when one of my pens goes missing at work. Except I don't ask for mine back, because...ew. Dawn doesn't share pens. -- LOL: The look on Blake's face when Elizabeth speaks with familiarity and grabs Prince Yousif for a hug, not realizing they went to boarding school together. -- Interesting that Elizabeth was encouraging Yousif to push back against his father, while she wishes Stevie wouldn't push back against her. Not that I'm condoning Stevie's behavior, because I'd like nothing more than to smack her silly. -- I did not expect Prince Yousif to get assassinated during his announcement that he would prosecute the diplomat and his wife for the inhumane way they treated their housekeeper as a slave. Elizabeth has to feel a complicated mix of emotion: proud of her friend for standing up for the right thing and heartbroken that it resulted in his death and defeated that a progressive new leader would never take the throne and conflicted about whether to attend her friend's funeral in a way that makes it look bad for the United States or skip it, feel guilty, and potentially insult a culture. ... Henry: Friendship that insists upon agreement on all things isn't worth the name. That's Gandhi. Elizabeth: That one I get. Thank you. But Gandhi doesn't have to pick between his country and his friend in one hour. -- Stevie [to Elizabeth]: I need to stop defining you by your worst moments. It's like you said when I left, you know, life is complicated and I can hate some things you've done, but I can still respect you for everything else.

**(Blue Bloods, S5E12 Home Sweet Home) Pop's been cranky and oversensitive lately. What's his deal? Maybe he needs to find himself a lady friend. -- Frank at home, losing his mind, because he needs to stay off his injured foot. Exactly how I would have imagined: frustrated, exasperated, and stir crazy. -- This moral breakdown McCoy suffered has to spell the end to his clandestine relationship with Erin, right? -- Baez's informant [to Danny, about Baez]: She might bat her eyes and look pretty, but I'm telling you, it's better to be locked up than owe this girl a favor! ... LOL -- How long before all this digging around, investigating something that powerful people want to remain buried, results in Erin finding herself in a dangerous situation? -- I kind of felt like Linda could have listened to Danny a little better than she did, rather than lashing out. Even if she had some valid points and concerns about his priorities, she could have shown a little more compassion and paid attention to what Danny *is* doing for his family. -- I love that Danny went to Frank for marriage advice. The Reagans are the kind of family you just want to be a part of.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E7 Could We Start Again, Please?) Nothing like starting an episode bawling my eyes out for the man who tried to save his wife from a fire by holding her and jumping out of a building and then they had to tell him she died in his arms and he was so heartbroken...except, then they found a weak pulse, and just, oh, my heart. -- How horrible for Amelia, having that woman from Narcotics Anonymous blow her anonymity in front of the entire ER. I loved Richard counseling and supporting her, though. He's a good man to have on her side. -- It was really great seeing Bailey back to teaching the baby surgeons with tough love. -- Yay, budding relationship between Mer and Maggie! -- That bonding evening at Mer's old house was the best. The. Best. The reminiscing and the laughter at the awkward past and it was just awesome. -- Meredith [voice over monologue]: It's hard to give second chances. It's even harder to ask for them. A chance to do it again, knowing what you know now, what you've learned. A chance to do it completely differently. A chance to right our wrongs, to try and correct our mistakes. A chance to try and start over...from scratch. -- Two random thoughts: One, Dr Herman has THE Derek Shepard, neurosurgeon extraordinaire at her disposal, so why don't they have *him* check out this terminal inoperable tumor? Two, having this specialty of Dr Herman's, with Arizona under her instruction, right when Jackson and April are expecting a baby is foreboding, no? Especially with him saying that she and their baby were going to be "just fine."

**(The Mentalist, S7E8 The Whites of His Eyes) The mother who was the suspect: You can sneer at me all you like. Jane: Thank you, I will. -- Of course, Jane wears two-piece pajamas. It's strange seeing so much of his personal side, though, after this show mostly avoided personal lives for most of its duration. -- Lisbon singing "Livin' on a Prayer" to Jane was painful. -- Cringe-worthy: The assassin getting into disguise and sticking himself in the face with a needle. -- I didn't feel like the story of "save the key witness from the assassin" was anything new, but it definitely upped the tension of the episode to a level the show doesn't often hit. -- Lisbon and Jane attempting to navigate how to be in love usually feels awkward to me.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E8 Risk) I had to laugh when Dr Herman told Arizona "You are so annoying!" because that's pretty much how I've always felt about her character. -- I knew it about Jackson and April's baby. I knew something was going to go wrong. I didn't expect it to be fatal though. So the question is: Will they deal with heartbreak or will Dr Herman and/or Arizona come up with a Hail Mary Miracle to save baby (boy)? Avery? -- Love the Alex, Mer, Maggie, Callie lunch table. I feel like we're capturing some of the early seasons magic, with a dynamic I didn't consciously realize was missing. -- Dude. Arizona. You lied to get your hands on Dr Herman's medical records, which breaks all sorts of ethics. And now Amelia thinks she might be able to save Dr Herman from her fatal brain tumor. So...How do you explain to Dr Herman? Because can you really keep your mouth shut about this? -- Hmmmm. Budding friendship between Owen and Amelia? I could get on board with that. -- Well, crap. Jackson overheard just enough about Stephanie's conversation with Dr Herman about his baby's ultrasound to be concerned and know that it was his baby they were discussing. Now what? -- Something else that feels like a throwback to early seasons: Mer-Der angst. I'm ambivalent on this one though. It brings a familiar tension, but I miss them being in love.

**(Mom, S2E11 Three Smiles and an Unpainted Ceiling) They killed off Alvin?! And who the heck does his EX-wife think she is telling Bonnie, Christy and the kids not to come to the funeral?! But seriously. Alvin is dead?! This was possibly the most depressing episode of a sitcom since HIMYM killed off The Mother.

**(Reign, S2E11 Getaway) Catherine's illusion of Henry: I've missed the way you mix garlic with arsenic. -- My, my. The Cardinal has himself a little secret. -- Conde's brother has an interesting idea games. -- Mary's vulnerability makes her look so young. -- I think my heart might have shattered into a million pieces for Conde, listening to Mary tell him that she read the letter confessing his love to her and telling him it makes her wary of anything he tells her, wondering if its colored by his love for her. -- Oh, Kenna. You have to let the long distant Back-and-Claude thing go. You have him now. He's grown to love you. Focus on that. After all, he knows you were his father's mistress, so you both have unfortunate pasts. -- Francis: That's love, when you care more about someone's suffering than your own. -- Leith has a point. Greer's jealousy is enough to encourage even a spark of hope and it's unintentionally cruel. -- I wonder if that's the last we'll see of Henry and the twins, now that Catherine seems to have made her peace with the twins dying. -- Oof. Every time Mary seems ready to mend her relationship with Francis, something stands in the way. Even if it's something as innocent as two people exhausted from caring for a fussy baby. And in the wings, she knows Conde loves her.

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E12 Padre Sandunguero) A couple weeks ago, we learned about Rollins' personal past. Amaro's turn now, it seems. -- I was so sure this was not the same little girl who played Zara in the past, but I looked it up, and it's her. I stand corrected. -- The accents in this episode were so heavy that I understood only about half of what was said. -- Was IAB guy (imdb says his character name is Ed Tucker) hitting on Liv when they met in the car? -- Amaro's father made my skin crawl. *Crawl*.

**(A to Z, S1E13 M is for Meant to Be) Ah, yes. An ex-girlfriend is in town and wants to stay with Andrew. Let the hilarity ensue! -- Madeline: Sorry, I just got off the plane and did a quick ten-miler. Zelda: Ha. What a coincidence. I just ate onion rings at a red light. ... I heart Zelda. The girl crush marches on! -- Dear, sweet Andrew, you are *so* naive. All that intentional physical contact Madeline kept initiating was a dead giveaway. I appreciate that they allowed the story to be that Zelda was right about Madeline and Madeline confirmed it, rather than making Zelda unnecessarily "that jealous girlfriend." -- Lora: We all sensed it the moment we saw her. Andrew's ex is a complete boyfriend-stealer. Lydia: Takes one to know one. Back in the day, if I had a notch on my bedpost for every boyfriend I stole, you would have thought my roommate was a beaver. -- LOL at Zelda trying to explain how she ended up making out with her ex. She is so awkward and rambly when she gets frazzled. I DO THAT! -- Actual words that came out of my mouth following Andrew and Zelda's last window phone conversation about his "meant to be"line and her promotion that would move her to New York: "They have seven minutes left to fix this!!!" -- That ending was perfection. I love the voice mail Andrew was leaving Zelda from the bar where they went on their first date, while she is supposed to be in New York but is really walking into the bar, wearing the silver dress she had on the first time he ever saw her. -- Andrew: What are you doing back? Zelda: I didn't like the view from my office. ... And the my shattered into a zillion happy pieces. That was *almost* as good as Ross and Rachel and "I got off the plane," which, if you don't know, is the highest praise coming from me. -- I'm confused. Why was Stephie dropping pens in the office and snuggling up with Stu at the end? What happened to Joseph?! -- I am so sad this show is all but confirmed-by-NBC over. I thought the show and Andrew and Zelda were the cutest thing ever. Also, I hate lack of closure. I'll be pouting for a while over this.

**(Dallas, S3E12 Victims of Love) I'd love to know who is busy snapping all those photos of Elena and Nicolas. The gloved hands suggest Bum, to me, but that would be too obvious, no? I also wonder who they're doing it for and what this person hopes to gain, since isn't everyone in the Ewing family already aware that Elena and Nicolas are a thing? -- Carmen calling Nicolas a "good boy" compared to those "dirty, scheming Ewings" to Christopher's face was about the most backward statement possible. She's going to feel foolish later, when she learns the truth. -- LOL at John Ross's definition of bribery: "I prefer to call it a significant liquidity opportunity." That boy is a chip off his Daddy's block, albeit without the smooth charm only JR possessed. -- They've gotten very "artistic" with their between-scenes scenery shots, in a way that reminds me a lot of Scandal. -- There are so many parties after the Ewing Energies IPO that I can't keep track of who they all are, who is with which party, and who is doublecrossing the party they are with for personal benefit or for another party! Arg. Now I just confused myself more, trying to put it into words. -- Hunter McKay is (was) kinda douche-y. -- They have not been very smooth about conveying the details of backstory. They discuss history, for the sake of the audience, like the characters don't already know it. It feels awkward. -- I don't know whether or not I'm shocked by Pamela leaving Cliff to rot in Mexican prison, but I do know that Cliff's apology for making her lose her babies was the least sincere expression of remorse ever. Cliff Barnes has never been sorry for anything. -- Judith Ryland [to John Ross]: Time for you to get back to that pit of broken marriages you call Southfork. -- Ew, at the hands the drug cartel brought as a gift for Judith. Two things about that. One: How was she not immediately concerned by a box from a drug cartel? Was she expecting fancy chocolates? Boxes from drug cartels are always bad news. Even I know that. Two: Those hands supposedly belonged to Candace, the former girl who worked in Judith's high end brothel? They looked far too large, un-manicured, and masculine for me to buy that. Either the cartel is bluffing or the props department dropped the ball.

**(Sleepy Hollow, S2E13 Pittura Infamante) Abbie: No name-dropping Founding Fathers tonight. No firsthand accounts of your apprenticeship with Ben Franklin or your fling with Betsy Ross. Katrina [opening the bedroom door after getting ready for date night]: You had a dalliance with Betsy Ross? Ichabod [looking appreciatively at Katrina]: Betsy who? Abbie: Good answer... -- Died. Laughing. Died. When Ichabod explained to Katrina that physical contact was permitted in modern society and she grabbed his butt. -- Katrina: Since when have you been reading the tarot? Ichabod: Since someone left a deck in our parlor one summer. I assumed it was for recreation. Katrina: Well, now you know better. -- It's a very good thing I didn't watch this at night, because holy creep factor. -- I think Abbie is right to question Irving's return. The fact that they watched him die, buried him themselves, and know Henry owns his soul is enough to treat his return with caution, if not outright suspicion. -- I don't know which was the most creepy: James Colby as the murderer in the painting, Miller getting sucked into the painting, Katrina and Ichabod walking around inside the painting/mind of a murderer, or that zombie that grabbed Jenny when she was pulled the last "bullet made from the gates of hell" out of his decaying corpse. -- I actually jumped and screamed when Colby's hand came out of that painting and grabbed Ichabod's throat. -- Just when I thought I could consider disliking the sheriff a little less, after she spoke nicely of Ichabod to Katrina...and then she reprimands Abbie for talking to Irving without listening to what Abbie has to say, and...nope!

**(The Last Ship, S1E10 No Place Like Home) I knew it was bad news when Chandler's wife was acting like she didn't feel well at the end of the last episode. I hope the Nathan James' crew can reach her in time! -- When Rachel was about to vaccinate Chandler, I thought he was going to kiss her there, for a second. -- LOL: Tex slays me. "You make me want to love again. I actually *said* that." -- The stuff going on on the mainland reminds me of what the show Revolution wanted to be, but couldn't get out of its own way to accomplish. -- The look on Chandler's face as he watched Amy Granderson talk to her daughter via webcam makes me wonder if he doesn't consider the possibility that she may not quite be the friendly face she seems to be. -- I saw that "no likey" look you gave Tex when he flirted with that girl, Rachel. -- There's something about the way Chandler carried himself, a quiet pride, that I just love. -- Way to leave a girl longing for you, Tex. What a kiss for Rachel! (This cannot be the last we see of him!) -- I can't figure out who the bigger threat is: Granderson or the war lords? -- OMG they are *exterminating* the sick people at Olympia?! Thank God, Chandler got to his family in time to lose only his wife. But can he get back to the Nathan James in time?! And can they collect Rachel and all the crew from Granderson's grasp, eradicate the siege on the ship, and get the heck out before they lose anyone else? AAAAHHHHH!! (Thank God this show was renewed.)

**(Elementary, S3E11 The Illustrious Client (1)) When they busted into the place where Kitty's attacker was keeping all his women, they found a girl there that was shown earlier in the episode. But when they first showed that woman, I thought it was a flashback of when he attacked Kitty. That was a bit confusing. -- Sherlock: My name is Sherlock and I have allowed empathetic thoughts to clutter my mind and reduce the clarity of my perception. ... ::snort:: Only Sherlock would find kindness to be a hindrance. -- As T is my witness, before Kitty revealed that Watson's new boss was the man who raped and tortured her, I said "I bet it's that guy" when Joan was on the phone with Del at the insurance agency where she has her new job.


Friday, January 23, 2015

2014: I Read Books

A little more 2014 wrap-up. I challenged myself to read 40 books in 2014. I managed to finish 34.

1. Best Book(s) You Read In 2014? 
The Kommandant's Girl.

2. Most Disappointing Book?
Toxic Bachelors.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book?
My Husband's Sweethearts.

4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2014?
I don't think I actually recommended any books to anyone. It would be tough for me to pick one, in general, from what I read in 2014. It would vary depending on the person.

5. Best series you discovered in 2014?
The Kommandant's Girl. Timber Ridge Reflections.

6. Favorite new author(s) you discovered in 2014?
Pam Jenoff.

7. Most thrilling, un-put-down-able book in 2014?
The Other Life.

8. Book you most anticipated in 2014?
The Diplomat's Wife.

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

10. Most memorable character in 2014?
John Bessom (My Husband's Sweethearts). Paul (The Diplomat's Wife). James McPherson (Beyond This Moment).

11. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Dreams of Joy.

12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014?
The Lady of the Rivers.

13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Eat, Pray, Love.

14. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?
“Your peers when you’re a teenager will always be the keepers of your embarrassment and regret. It was one of life’s great injustices, that you can move on and be accomplished and happy, but the moment you see someone from high school you immediately become the person you were then, not the person you are now.” (from "The Girl Who Chased the Moon" by Sarah Addison Allen)

"Willpower and dedication are good words," Roland remarked. "There's a bad one, though, that means the same thing. That one is 'obsession'." (from "Wizard and Glass," by Stephen King)

15. Authors you'd like to read more of in 2015? 
Philippa Gregory. Pam Jenoff. Both made history come alive for me.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Daydreaming on a Thursday.

Well-documented fact: Thursdays are not my favorite. Mostly because they're mean and make me think they're Friday and then "ha ha, no, it's not," twirl the mustache, "gotcha again!" I'mma take a little field trip in my mind today.

Shall we?

I'd like about three rounds of Midway Mania.

I could go for some Confit de Canard and Pommes de Terre Sarladaise from the Fleur de Lys Flower and Garden Fest Outdoor Kitchen...

...but I'll stick to being realistic. Since it's not yet Flower and Garden Fest (and, though I am hoping against hope that this delicious dish makes a reprise appearance, the 2015 menus haven't even been released yet), I'd like to cobble together a meal. I'd like a La Maiala plate from Tutto Gusto...

...the Wok-Fried Green Beans from Yak and Yeti (which, apparently, I scarf down like an animal, because I have not a single photo of the actual dish, pretty insane, when you consider how many photos I take of, well, everything)...

...and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich from Sleepy Hollow.

Some quiet time is required for all that food to digest, I would think. A little time travel and a catchy tune is a good place to start.

And the zippy little Peoplemover.

And then, finally, a giggle-inducing spin on the wildest ride in the wilderness!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Not Over It.

Don't sweat the small stuff blah blah blah! Here are a handful of inconsequential injustices that I'm simply just not over.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich - This was, after the Dole Whip, my favorite treat at WDW. Fact: On more than one occasion, I trekked over to WDW solely because I had a craving for this delicious confection. Sure, it's still available at Disneyland, but it's nowhere near as easy to justify airfare, nine hours in the air, and park admission, all for the sake of a tasty treat. Not over it.

Friends - I know. It's been more than ten years since that final fade-to-black. I miss this show. C'mon, even after all this time, it remains so relate-able, applicable, and quotable! It was like the worst friendship break-up of all time. Not over it.

Bath and Body Works Apricot Vanilla scent - For ages, my signature lotion scent was Vanilla Bean Noel, with an occasional foray into Twisted Peppermint. I'd buy enough during the Christmas sales to last me for the year, and that was that. Then, one spring, they released the most delicious scent ever. It smelled like peaches and cream, and I wore it all spring and summer. And the next year they released it again. I foolishly expected this to become a tradition, like the Christmas scents, but after that second year, it simply vanished, never to be seen again. Every year, I look, hopes raised, only to be dashed in utter disappointment, and I continue to ration out my last bottle in ever more miserly proportions. Not over it. (Although, in full disclosure, they did bring it back for a limited 24-hour release just a couple of weeks ago, which I saw and pounced on it. Three brand new bottles in my stash. And I'll have to ration those too since now I must assume they will be the very last.)

The Mother on How I Met Your Mother - Let it be known, near and far, that I have a major girl crush on Cristin Milioti. Both of the characters she's played in recent sitcoms -- Tracy McConnell on HIMYM and Zelda Vasco on A to Z -- have been characters I would love to befriend. She's funny and quirky and so darn adorable. The fact that they (spoiler alert!) KILLED HER OFF on HIMYM? Inexcusable. How could they have taunted and teased for eight seasons and then given us the best character ever for ninth, only to make her dead? Heartless. Don't even get me started on how NBC didn't give her new show a fighting chance. This world needs more Cristin Milioti playing adorable roles that make me want to be her friend. Not over it.

Jon Lester - First, the Red Sox give him a joke offer during Spring Training, instead of paying him soundly and locking him up. Then, they trade him away to Oakland, arrogantly assuming they would just talk new contract over the winter. And *then* they allowed him to get away, to all places, the Cubs, where Theo smirks in our general direction, because the Red Sox rotation is now anchored by the enigmatic and fragile Clay Buchholz. He was ours, Red Sox front office, and you let him walk away like he way yesterday's news. Not over it. Not over it. Not over it.

The Moo sign - While I am, admittedly, in many cases, resistant to change at worst, and slow to warm to it at best, I quickly embraced the update Test Track received at Epcot several years ago. My only concern, at the time, was that they maintain the bare bones idea and structure of the attraction, which they did. However, they made one cosmetic change that I felt could have easily been incorporated with the updated, high-tech neon look of revamped Test Track, which is the only change made to that entire sign. Not over it.

Maelstrom - I still can't believe they removed a thematically appropriate attraction from the Norway pavilion at Epcot in favor of putting a new Frozen ride in its place. I take no issue with Disney wanting to capitalize on Frozen. I just don't think it belongs where they're putting it. Every time I walk past Norway now, I fume. Not over it.

Softlips - One of the selling points for me with Softlips was their slim tube. They debuted the Softlips Cube a while back, which, fine. But now I can't find the classic tube anywhere anymore, and I don't care for the cube style. There isn't even another comparable product to which I can switch my purchasing. The other slim tube products offer no SPF (a must for me, here in Florida) and the products that do have SPF come in fatter tubes. I want my classic Softlips back. Not over it.

All this nonsense with the Patriots - I am withholding my full reaction until after the investigation is complete, because I *always* take my media with an extra large grain of salt, but if this football deflation nonsense is true without some sort of reasonable explanation that I can't even imagine at this moment, I am going to be forced to ask why the Patriots must continually test my loyalty. *If* the Patriots are found guilty of tampering following the *conclusion* of this investigation, then I think the punishment they should receive depends on who is responsible. If it's someone on the coaching staff or one of the players, I think that person (those people) should be suspended, *without* pay, for a game or two -- yes, perhaps even for the Super Bowl. If it was someone on the support staff, then they ought to be released from their employment. If the specific blame cannot be determined, then I think the team should be fined heavily, above the "minimum amount" stated in the rules, and should also lose draft picks as appropriate. And keep in mind, I am a Patriots fan, but I'm tired of being made to look like a fool, being embarrassed, being mocked and ridiculed by fans of other teams, for rooting for a team that repeatedly acts as though they are above the rules. What I'd *like* them to do is win without shady antics, because they are good enough that they don't need to do things that take away from their accomplishments. Trick plays don't bother me; cheating does. Enough is enough. If the one enjoyment that gets me through the eternally long baseball-less winter gets taken away from me by repeated foolishness, I'm not going to be over it for a long time.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

38 has been weird.

I've made no secret of the fact that my thirties have been my favorite decade of life so far. I found my footing, a quiet sense of confidence my teens and twenties decidedly lacked, and the kind of love that startles you with its depth and leaves you a sort of grateful you didn't know you could feel for the mere presence of someone being in your life. This has been a good decade. *Really* good.

38, though, has been...weird.

When I was a naive and floundering young lass, I picture-planned my life, right down to the smallest detail. We all know how *that* plays out. Finding someone...later in life than I had scripted for myself changes some of those Big Life Plans. And you know? I'm ok with that. Truly. When you wait a lot longer than most people to find the kind of love that is real and lasts, it doesn't leave much room for being ungrateful. Not when you know what a gift you've been given, when you've gone so long without it. I am "fall down on my knees, feel tears of gratitude drip off my chin" levels of thankful for who I've been given to love.
And here's where it gets difficult to translate raw thought into actual words. Because 38 has been weird.

I'm at the age where having a child isn't a given. (Is it ever, really?) On the one hand, life is good. I don't feel pangs or longing or regrets for what isn't, because I'm too busy being amazed by what *is*. That man is enough for me. Enough in the way that says "I don't even deserve this, but here it is and it's mine."
But as the clock starts to slowly wind down --because that's how time works, no matter how we'd like to pretend it doesn't -- there's this...whisper. I don't even notice it, unless I'm still and listening intently. But in those quietest moments, I pause, as one ought to, for contemplation, and wonder what it would be like to see that man hold a tiny little piece of himself and it about knocks me over. (Honestly, it darn near kills me dead when I see him holding one of his nieces' babies, because there is something about the contrast of soft, new, little person being held by a man with strong, work-toughened hands. What I'm saying is that I can only imagine it amplifies from there.) There are days I give the possibility a serious Side Eye...and other days I want my life to remain just the way it is.

I know that what mostly holds me back -- what mostly holds *any* of us back from anything, if we're deep-down truthful with ourselves -- is that scene between Charlie Brown and Lucy in "A Charlie Brown Christmas": 
Lucy Van Pelt: Or maybe you have pantophobia. Do you think you have pantophobia?
Charlie Brown: What's pantophobia?
Lucy Van Pelt: The fear of everything.
Charlie Brown: THAT'S IT!
Fear. The kind of fear you can't even necessarily name and, when you do, you sound silly or selfish, so you just leave it unnamed. It's something and nothing and everything.

Also, selfishness. We can do things like renew our Disney passes without batting a financial eyelash, or decide at the last minute that it's date night without needing to find a sitter. I can shower in peace, don't have to share "a bite?" of everything I eat, and no one is leaving bodily fluids on my clothing. I can pack my suitcase and get on a plane to visit a friend without needing to tote along a child or feel guilty for leaving my husband to solo parent while I play. I can spend my Saturday mornings lazily browsing the internet, watch anything I want on tv, have ice cream for dinner, or declare that right now is "me time," because I don't have to feed a healthy breakfast or prevent someone entirely dependent on me from damaging themselves. After 38 years, I like to think I'm not selfish toward the people already in my life, but I'm old enough to be set in my ways, and the thought of disrupting my easy lifestyle is unsettling, even in theory. See? Selfish.

Selfishness and fear. Not the qualities one hopes to display as a parent, right? It's not that think I truly couldn't, if I had to. I could. And I have no doubt that I would love and care for a child quite well. I *like* kids. I just also like my life the way it is and I know a child would change that. I look at the things that my parent-friends bemoan and get cranky about...and I catch myself thinking "but my life is so easy..."

38 has been weird. It offers this strange middle ground perspective of being able to appreciate exactly what I have, while acknowledging that there are miracles of life I could also appreciate, if they came to be.

And people have their opinions, which they're more than willing to share. Anxious to, even, pouncing on even the smallest opportunity, sometimes to the point of manufacturing one. "When will you have kids? You're not getting any younger..." (I'm aware. Thanks for stating the obvious.) "Just do it, you'll never regret it." (I'm not concerned with regret, but I'll never be convinced *that* is a good reason to make oneself responsible for a whole new human being.) "It's the best decision I ever made." (Yes, *you*, but I am not you, I am me, and I assure you that our lives are quite likely very different, as the trajectories we took could not be more opposite, so I can't make my life decisions based on what was best for you.)

38 has been weird. It feels like do-or-die time for decisions I don't know how to reach. Many days, I think "oops" would be the only way I'm ever propelled in this direction, because "oops" takes the need to make a decision out of my hands (as much of a decision as it can be anyway), and oh dear Lord, I'm so very bad at decisions, and the days of  "oops" are dwindling. The thing is, I can't figure out if that makes me relieved or sad. I come back, again and again, to one of Charlotte's lines in the "Sex and the City" movie: "I have everything I ever wanted. I am so happy that I'm terrified. Nobody gets everything that they want."

But the probing curiosity, however genuine and heartfelt, and the admonitions not to allow fear to be a factor? They don't actually *help*, if you can understand what I'm saying. Maybe this will put an end to all the wondering people seem to be doing about the topic, some vocal, some more passive-aggressive. I don't have an answer and I'm not looking for anyone to tell me what to do. What will be, will be, and there will either one day be a wee person...or there won't. I am at peace with that much, for myself, and I rather hope that you can be as well. If you asked me point blank, my unequivocal truth is that I will be grateful however my life continues to unfold, because it's already given me so much more than I could have hoped for.

Speaking of terrifying, I suspect I'll stare at that orange publish button for a long time before I work up the nerve to click it. I so rarely make myself vulnerable with thoughts and emotions that are tender and profoundly personal. It's so far from my comfort zone of "hold my cards close to my vest," that my comfort zone isn't even on the radar at this point. My comfort zone, in case you were wondering, would be to type this all out and then save it as a draft. But, you know, 38 has been weird, might as well embrace it. Because it's been a *good* weird.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

This Week on My TV: January 17, 2015

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

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E10 Forgiving Rollins) And now we know why Rollins has so many issues. You can't suppress a rape for five years and expect there to be no emotional and mental repercussions. I will say one thing: Rollins sure worked with and for some real dirtbags in Atlanta.

**(The Mentalist, S7E6 Green Light) I think Lisbon telling Jane she got him something for his birthday but is keeping it a secret til then is pretty much asking Jane to guess what it is. After six-plus seasons of this show, I'm betting on Jane. And I would have lost, since he admitted to having no idea. -- Pretty clever "drugs for sale" signal at that restaurant: light in the sign on = business is open, light off = not today. -- When DEA Gonzalez turned up dead, I commented to T: now the question is, who silenced him: the restaurant owner, the drug cartel, or Peterson from the DEA? The only thing not on my list: a dirty member of his DEA team.

**(Mike and Molly, S5E6 The Last Temptation of Mike) The look on Mike's face when the female rookie cop kissed him in the bar was just the right combination of perfect and hilarious. I'm pretty sure that's about what my own face would look like in that sort of awkward and unexpected situation. Molly's reaction, when Mike told her, was also perfectly executed...and a little predictable that she had the same sort of situation when she was at writing school. -- I like that Mike so clearly loves Molly. It's refreshing, seeing love portrayed so openly on a sitcom.

**(The Good Wife, S6E12 The Debate) Great episode, other than I felt like I was stuck watching the evening news again, instead of one of my favorite shows. -- The debate was really well done. I loved the camera angles they used. I *loved* Alicia's response to the questions about Peter's infidelity. I loved the impromptu debate in the kitchen at the debate site between Alicia and Prady. -- Wow, I wonder what finally caused Peter to break it off with Ramona. Judging by her reaction, she was as unprepared for that as I was.  -- That whole exchange between Eli and Franny (the Mayor's Chief of Staff) when she informed him "you don't want to make an enemy" and he pretty much said "right back at ya," in not so many words, was another excellent scene. I have to say, I'd rather make an enemy out of her than Eli. And speaking of making enemies, I don't think Cary and Diane want to make an enemy out of an Alicia, considering she could be on the opposite side of the courtroom, if she wins this election. *That* is a mighty powerful enemy to make. Adding David Lee is about the stupidest thing imaginable. But without even mentioning it to Alicia first? Them's fightin' words. Also: David Lee. ::shudder:: -- This was the first time we've seen Alicia with a fire in her belly to win. -- Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Is it possible Johnny Elfman has feelings for Alicia?? He's sure reacting to her brushing off that kiss like it wasn't nothing for him!

**(Blue Bloods, S5E11 Baggage) If that unclaimed bag Jamie and Jenko found *had* been a bomb, it sure seems like maybe they should have backed that crowd up a bit further. -- After listening to Garrett and Gormley get into a shouting match over the inflatable art not-a-bomb and what should be done about it, Frank told them they were hurting his head. That's one of my personal coined lines. -- Garrett is suddenly acting like the jilted work wife over Frank's new working relationship with Gormley. -- The closest thing I ever remember seeing to a chink in Danny's armor is when he admitted he came back from serving in Fallujah in one piece...on the outside.

**(Marry Me, S1E10 Spoil Me) There are so totally show rules for couples. No watching ahead! -- That female cop's name was Laguna Matata? Uhhh. -- T won't admit it's true, but I'm pretty sure that much like Kevin-Tim wants to hit Kevin-Dan with a hammer because he asks questions every five minutes throughout their shows, T would like to do the same to me. I ask a lot of questions while I watch tv. -- *What* was with that cop couple Denneh and Gil were dating? I did not see their open marriage thing coming. At all.

**(Dallas, S3E11 Hurt) Elena sure has the Ewings over a barrel. It's strange seeing her with all the power. Too bad she doesn't realize Nicolas is such a scoundrel. -- I'm not sure Ann has much moral high ground to stand on, berating Bobby for his part in JR's final masterpiece. In fact, I love how they all act indignant, when someone's flaws are exposed, like they would *never*. -- Ann's dress for Drew's funeral looked like it was being worn backward. -- John Ross doesn't like people beating him at his own game. -- Pamela [to John Ross]: I don't want you to fix things. I want you to stop breaking them. -- Sure, you stole that letter from John Ross's wallet at work. Not after you seduced him. So much for hating all the secrets, Elena. -- Those were two severe blows to Bobby. Sue Ellen telling him Miss Ellie would be so disappointed in him. Pamela telling him she expects lies from John Ross, but expects better from Bobby. -- Bum: I was taking JR down to Mexico for his treatments. And of course, he was worried all his hair was gonna fall out 'cause of the chemo. And he said to me, "Bum, if I should lose these wondrous eyebrows of mine, please don't tell Sue Ellen. She and her tweezers have been circling around these furry devils for half a century and she would just be devastated if she thought chemo got to 'em first." -- I don't know why Elena looked so stricken while she listened to Cliff Barnes say when he got out of Mexican prison, he was going to take down every last one of the Ewings, How else did she expect that phone call to go? Cliff's been trying to take down the Ewings since birth. I did not expect her to ask for the piece of property that belonged to Pamela's family, though, and I cannot figure out Elena's endgame if she actually gave that property to Pamela, along with the pardon to set her father free...or not. -- It turned my stomach to see Elena begging Nicolas to forgive *her*.

**(Person of Interest, S6E12 The Big Guns) I'm trying to figure out how I felt about this episode. It was the third part of a trilogy arc, yet it felt like it had no closure. We still don't know if Shaw is dead or alive (all signs point to alive, so much for the shocking cliffhanger ending of the previous episode) and Root is still fuming. It was interesting to see how little control Control actually has, now that Samaritan has put itself in charge. While I am guessing we're supposed to be edge-of-seat on Reese and Root's Roadtrip Rescue, I'm more curious about three things: the little Samaritan boy/living "avatar," Grice and his connection to Shaw and whether this will potentially make him an asset to Team Machine, and what Control will do after discovering the wet paint in the bowels of the stock exchange where last week's shootout took place and was obviously covered up quite literally.

**(About a Boy, S2E10 About a Boy Becoming a Man) Mr Chris arriving in Will's apartment, in the middle of a poker game, via the dumbwaiter, in nothing but his oddly small boxers = AWKWARD. -- Will and Andy's fake gaydom at the bar mitzvah was also awkward. Painfully so. -- I kept expecting Will to bump into Marcus the party crasher, not the other way around. -- Fiona's dress...rather small. Or as Marcus put it "a don't respect yourself dress." Fiona better figure out what she's going to do or Mr Chris is going to get away and that would be a shame, because how many people can appreciate her...uniqueness?

**(The Middle, S6E11 A Quarry Story) LOL: The guy at the quarry calling Sue "little girl Mike." -- What a great direction, with Mike's dad teaching Axl some life lessons. -- Grandpa Heck: You need to know so you'll know. ... *Exactly*. -- Mike looked pretty badass strolling into not-Sue's-quarry-party. -- Sue's reaction to being in trouble? SO ME. (I wish I could say "at that age," but...well... ::shrugs::)

**(The Mentalist, S7E7 Little Yellow House) I just realized that seven seasons into this show. we know next to nothing about who the core characters are outside of work, other than Jane. It was a different twist to meet Lisbon's family. -- It still strikes me as odd, seeing Lisbon play along with Jane's trickery so willingly now. She used to fight it, be so critical and dismissive. Call me crazy, but she seems to be enjoying herself now. -- Awww. Lisbon loves Jane.

**(Modern Family, S6E12 The Big Guns) Jay: You know I raised two fully functional kids. Gloria: You have children I don't know about? -- Phil [to Ronnie and Amber]: We see your tacky boat and raise you a convoy of retirees. -- Fizbo usually annoys me (this has nothing to do with fear but clowns just aren't funny to me), however, Lily as the mean-spirited Lizbo kept making me laugh, mostly because of Cam's and Mitchell's reactions. Wa-waaaa.

**(Last Man Standing, S4E13 Mike Hires Chuck) I think Mandy doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen was the first time I've ever seen one of the girls actually pitch in on the housework. And then Eve took credit for it. ::shakes head:: And then the laundry too? LOL at Eve's visit from Karma though, since Mandy accidentally shrunk Vanessa's favorite James Taylor tee. -- Mike: I've seen fire. I've seen rain. But I have never seen a black man at a James Taylor concert. -- No Kristin, Ryan, or Boyd! Score!

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E11 Agent Provocateur) How weird that the person who left the suitcase unzipped it to expose the girl stuffed inside. As if they were hoping she'd be found. -- Adderson: I just played a lawyer, I can't lie to the police. ... What?! LOL!Because *that's* why you shouldn't lie to the police. -- That was a strange case. Between all the lying, acting, and cover-ups, I kind of got lost on what actually happened. I know Fin was pretty hilarious as "Big G," though.

**(Mom, S2E10 Nudes and a Six-Day Cleanse) Alvin: Bonnie, everyone gets old. You saw Steven Tyler. Dude looks like a raisin. -- Did Alvin sort of propose to Bonnie in the car after the concert, right before they got arrested? -- I wonder if Christy really will try to become a lawyer.

**(The McCarthys, S1E10 Hall of Fame) Wait, what? The father of Jackie's baby is Arthur's dead former assistant coach, Fatty? Did we know this?! (T keeps telling me they brought it up right in the pilot. I have zero recollection of this. But at least now I can a) stop wondering what I missed and b) be assured that this is what actually happened and not just what we're saying "happened" to save face.) -- Still being shown out of order, as tracked by Jackie's increasing and decreasing belly size. --  Pretty by-the-books episode with a few chuckles. I like Sean, despite his simplicity, and Marjorie's snark when someone in the family shows their feeeeeelings. Also, the look on everyone's faces when she tells Gerard he got into the high school hall of fame too, so he won't feel left out.

**(Chicago Fire, S3E12 Ambush Predator) Because nothing at 51 is easy: while Donna and Boden are figuring out how to be new parents, Boden's father is interfering with the best of intentions, so Donna asks Boden to say something, and before he can, learns his father has four months to live.Do you side with your new wife who just birthed the child you never thought you'd have or your terminally ill father? -- And because everyone who is even so much as associated with 51 must be affected by their curse, the Chaplain gets into a car accident, suffers a head injury that renders him unconscious, and he has no next of kin. -- I'm questioning exactly why it is that it takes Severide and Dawson to discover and investigate the possibility that Shay's death was caused by an arsonist. The fact that they keep heading back to that location, without telling anyone, makes me wonder how long until they get attacked. Because that's how we roll at 51. -- I'm left wondering what the repercussions will be of Mills' little side trip to punch the abusive husband.

**(Elementary, S3E10 Seed Money) At one point in this episode, Sherlock was working out without a shirt. I have to say, he has far more upper body definition than I would have expected, given how skinny he looks when he is fully dressed. -- I can't figure out what to make of Watson folding her private investigation business to work as an insurance investigator...or Sherlock's reaction to the news, as if he had something to say but withheld it. -- Sherlock: An honest politician is rare. A marriage worth the bother is rare. This is the only orchid of its kind in existence. -- Sherlock: Decorum forbids me from showing my emotions during an interview such as this one, but I assure you on the inside, I am doubled over with laughter. -- I initially felt a bit disinterested in this episode. Another drug dealer killed, blah blah blah. But then it turned on a dime and became about cloned rare flowers and a love story gone bad, and I was sucked right in. -- The person responsible for Kitty's assault has surfaced in New York. Things with Kitty just (finally) got interesting.

**(A to Z, S1E12 L is for LikeabilityWhen Zelda freaked out over the drone flying by her office window, I could totally picture myself doing that. -- Andrew's dad said "it was quite a night," the sun was shining outside the window like it was high noon. Oops. -- Yes, you *are* likable Zelda. So so likable. I would be your friend! (If, ya know, you were a real person and whatnot.)


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Currently: January 15, 2015

I keep staring at the blinking cursor, missing my blog, knowing the answer is to just start but unable to figure out how or where.

Here. I start here.

We've been plagued with various illness since right after Christmas. It started December 27 with T as the flu, which turned into a throat and double ear infection and a nasty cough, and necessitated a Z-pack. On the evening of January 6, I started feeling a sort throat. It was bad enough to keep me awake most of the night. I was sent home from work at noon on January 7 and didn't come back until January 9. (I felt kinda bad about that, since I had just returned from a long holiday vacation on January 5.) My only symptoms were a horrible sore throat and feeling exhausted. On the 9th, I had no symptoms. On January 12, I had a vaguely sore throat, which turned into a slightly stuffed up nose, and is now a nagging, tickly dry cough. This morning T texted me and thinks he's catching my (thankfully) mild cold.

To sum up: we are done with the being sick already, please make it stop.

In addition to all the malaise, we've also been...

Making … a concentrated effort to walk most days, while the temperature is not of summer proportions. Except when we've been feeling too cruddy. And when it's been dreary and damp and dismal.

Cooking … again, after an illness-induced hiatus that resulted in no one feeling like messing up the kitchen and lots of takeout.

Drinking … my usual water. I'd really like it to be a steaming cup of hot chocolate from Dunkin tonight. This dampness has me feeling chilled.

Reading … a book that's been on my Goodreads "to read" shelf since 2011, These Things Hidden, and really enjoying it.

Wanting … to stop coughing, to play at Disney, and to stay as nearly current as I have managed to get on my feed reader and the DVR.

Looking … forward to our Valentine's Day plans, the start of Spring Training, Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot, and the final seven episodes of Mad Men.

Playing … the radio on my commutes recently. I need to "discover" some new music.

Enjoying … the few remaining NFL games left on the calendar. Especially since the Patriots are still alive!

Waiting … for the new spring Yankee Candle scents to be released in Sampler size. I've earned two gift certificates in the customer loyalty program and I'm saving them to round out my spring scent stash.

Liking … that we're finally getting some Florida winter. It annoys me that we have to pay to run the a/c for six months. It *really* annoys me when we have to pay for a/c in January.

Wondering … what 2015 holds in store. We can make all the plans we want, set goals, dream dreams, but I've found that old saying holds true more often than not: if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

Thinking … is one of those proverbial double edged swords. Both necessary and overrated. Next?

Loving … my new Thirty-One bag that I got for toting back and forth to work, even more than I expected. It's a bit more pricey than what I typically spend (for a good cause, though -- one of T's nieces sells it for supplemental income while she stays home to care for her two little boys), but it's roomy and durable. And I can finally fit even my two big refillable water bottles.

Smelling … peppermint, pine, cranberry, red velvet, sage, fresh snow. I classify my candle and lotion scents by season, and we're deep in the heart of winter right now.

Buying … very little right now, after all the Christmas spending. I'll get the aforementioned spring candles with my vouchers and next month, I renew my WDW Annual Pass (my tax return gift to myself) but other than that, no unbudgeted spending for a bit.

Watching … tv shows that are within a week old! I cannot believe how empty I got the DVR over my Christmas break. The only shows I'm behind on now are Parenthood (only watched one episode so far), the season one finale of The Last Ship, the final episodes of Dallas (intentional because I'm so bummed they canceled it), and two episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

Disliking … illness and running the a/c in January, both of which will, with any luck, be a thing of the past very soon.

Snacking … on peach slices with cinnamon. Trying to limit my sweets intake so my immune system can focus all its energy on fighting off these germs, instead of wasting time, helping to process sugar.

Hearing … sirens on the main road. Always. I swear, every emergency vehicle must travel that road when they get a call. And the sound of my own typing, punctuated by coughs by one or the other of us. It's pretty quiet in here.

And with that, I believe it's bedtime. My book is calling my name.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

This Week on My TV: January 10, 2015

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

**(Blue Bloods, S5E10 Sins of the Father) I have to be completely up front on this one. I was kind of distracted while watching this one, so I'm not sure if I was only mindlessly half-watching or if this episode was truly unmemorable. I remember there being a lot of shooting in this episode, more than typical, and that the opening scene, when a bullet shattered something glass, at the hot dog stand where Danny and Baez were getting lunch, was especially startling. I remember feeling slightly skeptical that Frank was able to recognize a man who killed an officer forty years ago, on Pops' watch, because he had been checking age progression photos on the guy for years, because are age progression photos really *that* accurate? I remember thinking he put the guy's son, a police officer himself, who had just received a promotion (the one his father showed up to see where Frank recognized him), in a terribly awkward position by asking him to wear a wire and get a confession, although I appreciate that Frank told the father he ordered the son to do, so he wouldn't know his son willingly wore the wire that put him away. In Jamie and Jenko's case, where a father took responsibility for running over a girl with a car to protect to his son (who was actually the one responsible), I remember thinking the detective on the case (did they ever actually give her a name?) was a real jerk and that the mother making the father and son do the right thing was a nice twist (if only more people had this mentality about owning your mistakes), especially when it made that jerky detective look like a fool for not listening to Jamie and Jenko's concerns about the father's "confession." And the story about the parents who were killing people in the adult film industry, for whom they blamed the death of their daughter, felt very "Law and Order: SVU," in both content and the theatrical elements. It wasn't a bad episode, because I enjoy the Reagans, but it almost felt like they forced a little too hard to make every element of the episode cram into a little box that fit the episode's title.

**(The Last Ship, S1E9 Trials) It's a nice (can you really call it nice, given the subject matter?) to see some of what's going on only peripherally related to the ship. In this case, with the Chandler's family. Terrifying though it may be. Danger is everywhere, barring the way of survival. I don't know which was more scary: the law enforcement shooting the sick people in the streets or the fact that the Chandler's wife was near a diseased corpse while looting the parts her father in law needs to get his radio working again. It was inevitable that she was going to end up infected. And of course, she served the whole family and did the whole "clean her son's face by licking her finger and scrubbing" bit, all while looking like someone who doesn't feel up to par. That final scene is surely setting the stage for both the finale, its certain cliffhanger, and season two. -- It was honorable of Quincy to admit he didn't deserve what Chandler did to get his family back from the Russians. -- Chandler [about Tex, as the volunteers are getting ready to go into quarantine to test the potential vaccine]: Ladies and gentlemen, your entertainment for the next three days. ... If you're going to be in the ultimate crappy situation, Tex is certainly the guy I'd want for my entertainment, because I cannot even start to wrap my head around how utterly and positively terrifying it would be to be injected with a deadly virus to test a vaccine's effectiveness. -- LOL: Tex's Sean Connery James Bond impression. -- You know circumstances are dire when Tex stops cracking jokes. -- Did Chandler really tell Danny that Kara was pregnant?? Even if she somehow survives and doesn't miscarry, this exposure can *not* be good news for a developing baby. And yet Rachels' response was only that it would be born immune? How does she know there will be no ill effects? -- I'm not sure I followed Rachel's explanation for how to trick the body from turning on itself when the immune system tries to fight the virus. Sometimes they rush too quickly through explanations for the sake of conveying urgency on this show. -- As difficult as it was to watch the six in quarantine struggle with their illness, even to the point of death, it was even harder for me to watch Chandler struggling to hold his emotions in check when Rachel told him that they not only had a vaccine but a cure.

**(The Good Wife, S6E11 Hail Mary) I had no idea they had "prison coaches." I wonder if that's really a thing. -- Cary was "prison coached" to "uncomplicate that today" with Kalinda. Excuse me while I fall on the ground laughing. -- Bishop is a real jerk. He basically threw Cary under the bus and Cary never once wavered or turned on Bishop to save his own skin, he's on his way to prison as a result, and Bishop isn't willing to find Cary someone to have his back without asking a favor in return? -- Eli confiscated Alicia's phone at her debate rehearsal like he was an angry school teacher. -- It's sort of ridiculous how excited I get whenever Finn appears on the screen. Have I mentioned just how much I like him? -- Kalinda cares about Cary more than she wants to admit. I can't remember any other time she showed an emotion other than anger. To see her eyes fill with tears after leaving Cary at the hotel was so very telling. -- I wonder what string of expletives was going through Kalinda's head when she realized Diane handed her "hack job" to the judge as evidence of a Brady violation. -- That was some stellar acting on the part of Matt Czuchry, as Cary realized all the charges were being dropped and he wasn't going to prison. Haggard disbelief and weary relief. -- I cracked wise when Alicia was in the parking garage with Elfman, rejoicing over Cary's good news, saying "she's going to kiss him." I never expected to be right! But, Alicia, what about Finn??

**(2 Broke Girls, S4E8 And the Fun Factory) OMG. Sophie's...errr...wig business. -- So their new plot for this show is to make the cast more likable by surrounding them with guest actors that are somehow (and I don't even know how, to be be honest) even more obnoxious. I know, right? (Just imagine me saying that last part in a nasal whine.) -- Now this is a way to make me happier with this show. *Two* Sophie arrivals in the diner. "Hey, everybody!"-- What is with this show's obsession with dropping things out of the female characters' skirts this season?! Newsflash: still not funny.

**(Madam Secretary, S1E12 Standoff) I can't believe I didn't catch til now that Henry's NSA contact played Jamie on Reckless. I'm so glad to see she landed somewhere. I hope we haven't seen the last of her, because it sure looked like Henry was less than thrilled that his mission was complete and he was being dismissed. -- Nadine: Blake's a little rattled. His message has a typo. -- Nothing like a cliche "having a fight on what should be a romantic anniversary weekend" bit. Of course most of them don't involve the fear that your Secretary of State wife may be assassinated by the guy you're spying on for missions so secret, your wife doesn't even know you're on them. (Follow that?) -- Moral of the story: Elizabeth can't go away for even a weekend without everything falling apart. Jason sprains his ankle. Texas violates Mexico's extradition rules and then gets in a standoff with the FBI. Nothing like making the woman believe she can never get a break. -- I like the real-world way they allow Elizabeth and Henry to make up from their fight. It's believable and relateable.

**(Mike and Molly, S5E5 Molly's Neverending Story) Mike [about his mother]: Her words don't just cut. They burrow in and lay eggs. -- I laughed right out loud at the "interrupting your coven" line. -- I'm not sure how that exercise ball a) fits into that tiny bedroom Mike and Molly share, and b) how it didn't do more damage when she chucked it. -- I get Mike's frustration. *I'm* ready for Molly to finish the book already.

**(Marry Me, S1E9 Test Me) There was a taxidermy owl in the nursery?! -- Mmmmmm...bellini. -- That scene where Annie and Kay are trying to steal the nanny cam would have been funnier if they hadn't made Annie act *so* weird. -- Gil telling Jake to "go to the doctor who will tell you if you have to worry about the thing you're worried about"...Why is Gil making sense? What is happening??  -- Annie: I mean, what if it's me that can't have kids? What if I find out it's just tumbleweeds down there?

**(About a Boy, S2E9 About a Manniversary) OMG Fiona coming on to Mr Chris. Could she be any more awkward? -- A surprise Brazilian would equal NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!! -- Fiona's Marcus-faced teddy bear = crazy creepy. -- Will: In what universe am *I* the weird neighbor?! -- LOL: Fiona gloating that finally got some.

**(CSI, S15E13 The Greater Good) I'm not sure which was more unnerving: Maya's opening dream sequence with the Gig Harbor Twins, or Shaw listening in on Maya and DB's phone call that was designed to be bait. -- The best laid plans, huh, DB? What an intense episode. I can't believe Maya had the presence of mind to leave the CSIs so many clues to follow. Her wedding ring. Paint flecks. Tire tread marks. I would have been a total blubbering wreck. -- When Shaw was strangling Jared, I kept expecting Paul to pop up from being shot and clock him over the head. I did not expect Paul to shoot Shaw. -- What Crawford lacks in personality, he makes up for in a kindness Brass never really showed. -- I'm glad Shaw was not really Paul's partner in crime, but a pawn, trading DB's daughter for the life of his own. -- Wait, Paul got away, despite Maya shooting him??

**(Chicago Fire, S3E11 Let Him Die) I'm not sure what was up with Brett wanting Mills to let one of their captors die rather than save him. She seemed pretty adamant though. I'm not completely convinced those guys worked for Lulo, though. -- I really hope Mills doesn't move in on Cruz's territory with Brett, because he seems to be giving some signals. However, as much as I want Cruz to be with Brett, I don't think he should have let her call that shady guy using his phone. That's all he needs associated with him. -- Because having breathing problems isn't enough for Baby Boden, they need to worry about brain damage from oxygen deprivation too. -- If Dawson is willing to walk out on her relationship instead of working on it, she probably *shouldn't* be marrying Casey. Marriage means you stay and fight for your relationship. -- And another explosion. One that looked kind of intentional, if you ask me, given the contents of that storage locker.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E2 Puzzle With a Piece Missing) I like the comparison between medicine and puzzles. I also like getting to know Maggie. It makes her more sympathetic than "just the new doctor who won't give Mer a chance." -- Made me laugh right out loud, because, actually, yeah. ... Maggie: I'm sorry, is everyone in this room somehow related? -- Richard [to Maggie about Mer]: I think she's more than you bargained for. But I think when the world gives you more than you bargained for, you usually end up glad you got it.

**(The Middle, S6E10 Pam Freakin' Staggs) Hooray! A Devin Levin appearance! And I love that Axl was the one chasing her. He's actually pretty cute and sweet, when his ego is in check. -- Mike: This hose water is really making the coffee taste weird. -- Devin Levin. Pam Staggs. What is with the Hecks calling everyone by their first and last names? -- Pam Staggs was annoying. How, exactly, was she one of "the popular kids" from Frankie's high school? Is this what happens to the popular kids after graduation and a dose of real life?

**(Person of Interest, S4E11 If-Then-Else) Mr Reese: Sorry, I'm busy making death threats to Samaritan operatives. ... Never change, Mr Reese. Never ever change. -- Mr Finch: What's the point in saving the world if you cant enjoy it? ... Indeed. -- I'm always amused that Root's "thing" is that she gets to have two guns when the bullets fly. -- T didn't care for the format of this episode, how it showed The Machine looking for the best possible scenario to direct the team. The back-and-forth and the replaying of the lead-in scene started to annoy him. It didn't bother me so much, once I knew what it was doing...and I recovered from thinking Mr Finch was dead. After that, it was kind of fun for me. Especially the scene where, to save time in the thought process, The Machine just had the team say things like "witty banter" or "biting retort," instead of actually creating lines for them to say. I also enjoyed the time travel back to when Mr Finch was teaching The Machine about infinite choices by playing a game of chess. -- Of all the crazy possible scenarios The Machine played out, the Fusco-Root kiss was my favorite. Never saw it coming and I laghed so hard. -- Is Shaw really dead??

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E3 Got to Be Real) Jo: I am a doctor. I am a surgeon. I deserve respect. Stephanie: You're a girl in her pajamas with her ear to the door of a bathroom. How much respect can anyone give you right now? -- Yeah, because if Callie and Arizona are having entirely separate conversations about their individual work lives, wrapped up in themselves and not remotely hearing the other, things aren't going to go terribly awry once they start seriously trying to add a baby to the family. /sarcasm -- Things I would like to do: Slap Mer for being a brat about about Derek's decision to stay in Seattle. Slap Amelia for being a brat about Derek's decision to stay in Seattle. -- Alex isn't Cristina, but I like what he offers Mer as her new Person. -- It was heartbreaking to listen to Owen talk about Cristina and how she lit up his darkness. -- Alex has grown up. I hate that they have to choose between Alex and Bailey, because I think they could both be valuable assets as board members. -- Meredith [voice over, closing monologue]: Vulnerability isn't the opposite of  the strength, It's the necessary part. We have to force ourselves to open up, to expose ourselves, to offer up everything we have and just pray that it's good enough, otherwise we'll never succeed.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E4 Only Mama Knows) Young Richard and Ellis were not...visually convincing. -- This is the second time they've used the analogy of a side road as a method for making a medical procedure work. -- I wonder if there's a chance Mer and  Maggie will warm up to each other at some point. -- Meredith [voice over, closing monologue]: They say we can repress our memories. I wonder if we're just keeping them safe somewhere. Because no matter how painful they are, they are our most valuable possessions. "Our lives are built on our mistakes as much as our successes." They made us who we are. -- I wonder what Richard was thinking as he watched Mer and Maggie, side by side, over Ellis's journal. That maybe there was still a chance for him to know Maggie? That watching those two grow up might have been his life?

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E5 Bend and Break) I miss the day when the opening and closing monologue voice overs were only Mer. Now I have to think too hard about whose voice I'm hearing. -- I just don't much care for the "on a break" solution for exactly the reasons Callie listed. -- The timeline's back and forth wasn't always very clear. I don't know if I just missed the notation of which day we were on in the Arizona-Callie Break or if they only bothered to show it every other timeline switch. -- So Callie and Arizona are, presumably, over. I'm kind of tired of all their whiny behavior anyway.

**(The Big Bang Theory, S8E12 The Space Probe Disintegration) Sheldon: If you want to live with Penny, I think you should. Leonard: You really mean that? Sheldon: Yes, just put on your squeaky shoes and eee-eee-eee right out of my life. -- I appreciated Raj's views on how one can be a scientist but still have a strong faith. -- Wow. Big step forward for Sheldon, who compromised (yet again! LOL) and "allowed' Penny and Leonard to start living night a week...with him sleeping on the couch.

**(Modern Family, S6E11 The Day We Almost Died) I don't know which part of the Dunpnys post-near-accident revelations was funnier: Alex thinking Haley was going to hug her, wailing how "I almost lost you!" and going on a girls' day that led to her walking in painful shoes and sporting facial rashes in all the places she was waxed. Or Cam wondering if Phil was, maybe, sexy.

**(Mom, S2E9 Godzilla and a Sprig of Mint) How do Christy and Bonnie have an upstairs neighbor in their building when their apartment has an upstairs? -- Awww, I was hoping Christy had found a sweet guy to date. But if there was going to be a deal breaker with him, though, I wasn't going to guess he was into kinky bedroom stuff. Namely pretending to be a dog. -- Christy [singing as she escapes Andy's apartment]: I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, but I'm not murdered! ... LOL

**(The McCarthys, S1E9 Sister Act) Ronny: Per usual we are embracing change with grace and dignity. -- Jackie's belly is all over the place in size. They really can't show these episodes out of order without it being completely obvious. -- [phone rings] Gerard [checking the phone]: No caller id? [answering] Who's this? ... That is my dream phone answering etiquette. If only it were acceptable.

**(A to Z, S1E11 K Is for Keep Out) That was a lot of people in the bathroom in that opening scene. -- I'm somewhat impressed that they showed Stephie and Joseph looking realistically sleep-rumpled. You know, like people actually look in the morning, rather than hair perfectly styled and makeup intact. -- Who surprised who? Andrew thought he was surprising Zelda with *his* new apartment, so they could finally have alone time...and somehow she thought that this was a great place for *them* to live together...surprise! -- Awww! Stephie and Stu made some alone time for Andrew and Zelda. They really are good, if needy. best friends. And speaking of friends, I think I almost like Big Bird and Lora, after their "girl talk" turned freiendship.

**(Last Man Standing, S4E12 Helen Potts) All the Home Improvement jokes were spot on and hilarious. 8 long years being with her husband. Amping up appliances and destroying their home. The conversation at the fence. -- Oh look. Kristin is here to do laundry at her parents' house. ::eye roll:: -- Mike: Right is tight. Left is you don't know what you're doing. ... ::snicker:: -- Confession: I totally teared up when they showed Ed helping the vets fill out paperwork and Eve realizing you didn't have to be in combat to be a war hero. -- Randy from Kristin's old restaurant is Helen Potts' son?? Please, oh please, let them both be recurring characters!

**(Sleepy Hollow, S2E12 Paradise Lost) Despite the fact that he appeared a bit loony for parts of it, I have to agree with Ichabod at the farmers market. I think we're way too busy, sometimes, searching for "the next greatest thing," often to our own detriment. There are just some things that don't need to be changed, because the further you get from the original, the more damage is being done. -- Interesting how, when talking to Abbie about Abraham, he takes the stance of "beneath the monster is a man," but when discussing Abraham with Katrina, he insists that Abraham is pure evil. -- Katrina appears to have expanded her wardrobe from her bustier to include a snugly fitting sheer top. -- I am not sure how I feel about the addition of Orion. It seems silly to consider him "over the top" in a show filled to the brim with demons and the supernatural. I will say that he has some startlingly intense eyes, and his desire to destroy the Horseman of Death is certainly going to create a conflict of interest with Katrina. Katrina's emotional investments in Henry and Abraham are turning her into a liability. -- I suspect this may not be the last we've seen of Orion. And I wonder how sparing Abraham's life is going to play out for Abbie and Ichabod. -- I KNEW IT!! I knew Irving wasn't going to be gone from the story. Seems few people are ever *really* dead on this show.

**(Elementary, S3E9 The Eternity Injection) Watson: So, how are you doing? Sherlock: Beg your pardon? Watson: How *are* you? Sherlock: Well, my heart rate is normal for a man my age, and my blood pressure is good to excellent, the last time I checked. You know better than to ask me such a nonspecific question. ... LOL! I love when he cracks wise. -- Time dialtion drugs? Is this for real? -- That was a moving explanation Sherlock gave Watson about why he's been so down in the dumps lately. -- LOL: Reveille on the bugle played by Sherlock for Watson after she spent the night and his gleeful admission that he missed rousing her. And then when she asked if he was going to wake Kitty, his indignant "Of course not. I am a courteous housemate." -- When they stumbled upon Mr Connaughton in his bed, under the influence of his time dilation drug, his rapid and exaggerated eye movement was way creepy.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E6 Don't Let's Start) I like that they allow April to look in control and efficient when she runs the ER. They went out of their way to make her look flaky and ruled too much by emotion for so long that it undermined the fact that she *is* a doctor. -- Ewww! I was NOT prepared for the geyser of blood when Owen performed the emergency laparotomy in the ER on that carjacking victim. -- Are we supposed to feel bad for Arizona, that her marriage is ending and her fellowship mentor(?) is berating her at every turn? Because...I don't. -- I like that Owen pulled military rank on the carjacked veteran to help her, since it was probably the only way she would accept the help she needed and deserved. -- Derek Shepherd. Family matchmaker. -- Sometimes I don't recognize this new Alex Karev. I like him. I like that Alex has grown up, quietly, under the radar. -- It's been a long while since Mer-Der sexytimes caused anyone to lose track of time. -- Whoa. Dr Herman (Geena Davis) has terminal brain cancer. Did not see that coming. -- True for more than just doctors: "You don't know the secrets the body in front of you holds." -- What was with the fades to grainy black and white at pivotal moments in the episode? Is this a thing we're doing now?


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