rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
On Thursday night, I accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of an aspirin for a headache and slept for twelve hours. But I'm glad I got some rest in then, because I feel like I've barely slowed down all weekend! But it was fun, so I can't complain. On Friday night, I did my laundry, crocheted, and watched Star Trek at Mom's house. I finished my second plarn mat! It took me about two months to crochet, and its final measurements were 26" x 84". (My first one took about six months and its measurements were 22" x 76".)

Saturday was a full day. That afternoon, I walked the mall again with Briana; we hit a few bumps that I might need to contact our case worker about. Then I drove by Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2's house to drop off some hamantashen. He just had surgery and won't be able to come to temple for a while. I was happy to bring them to him, but I didn't have the best directions to his house and finding it was kinda stressful. Then Sara and I went over to CJ & Co's to visit Athena.

But Sunday was really the big day - PURIM! The Purim carnival that we'd working on for so long was finally upon us! Making noise on Purim is a mitzvot, and Maggie couldn't believe we were letting her get away with making noise in the temple sanctuary. All the kids loved booing Haman and banging those groggers during the Megillah reading. After the Megillah, we turned the kids loose in the social hall, where we had pinatas, face-painting, horseshoe throws, balloon animals, cookie-decorating, pin-the-crown-on-Esther, and more! It was so much fun, it should've been illegal. I think these smiling faces speak for themselves. (I took a ton of photos.)



Me and Sarah in our cowgirl costumes. I almost said to her mom, "Hurry up and take the photo so we can eat these hamantashen!"


Maggie the Cat. Those two girls are always so much fun.

And Sunday evening, of course, was the Oscars! I missed the pre-shows and first hour or so because I had to attend a long boring meeting at work, but after that, I went over to Mom's house and watched them there with Sara. I was most excited about two child actresses attending (and one of them with a nomination!!) and all the nominations for Les Miserables. Even though the medley was a rather odd mash-up of Suddenly, I Dreamed a Dream, and One Day More, it was so exciting to see it performed onstage! Samantha Barks (Eponine) looked so sexy in that black dress, and I love her voice. I think she's definitely the best singer out of the entire cast. Seth McFarland's spoof of The Sound of Music when he was introducing Christopher Plummer just killed me! Especially since we just saw it on the big screen! The only two Oscar movies I saw this year were Les Mis and Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I want to see Lincoln and Django Unchained once they're released.


Samantha's posing was kinda odd, yeah, but she's a relatively new star, so it's understandable.

Ahhh, good times. But I was up very late for three nights in a row, and I was so busy that I never got around to washing my hair. It's getting kinda gross.
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
Sara and I dropped Tovah off at Mom's house last night. When we packed up her dishes, litter box, and cat tree, she got so scared that she hid under Sara's bed and spent the whole drive meowing like she was begging for her life. Maybe she thought she was going back to the pound. But once she saw that she was just going to another house where she's still the only cat, she seemed okay. Sara has put up more of a fuss than Tovah did. "My poor BABY! I miss her so MUCH!" When we dropped her off, Adam and I quoted the exchange from that episode of Star Trek where Data has to leave Spot with Warf. Hahaha!

Our trip up here was uneventful, just looong. And the stretch from northern Louisiana into southern Arkansas almost did me in. About forty miles of highway that had signs every five feet reading Speed Limit 55, Speed limit enforced by radar, and Speed Zone Ahead. Ugh! We drove from here to Little Rock, but we only had to map the route between Natchitoches and Little Rock, because we still remember the way to Natchitoches that well. It felt so good to get out of the truck after we finally found Athena and Josh's place. Athena was standing in her front lawn waving -- haha, I love her! We had dinner at the Red Lobster here (Sara insisted, of course) and watched Taken 2.

Some lol's of our trip so far...
Sara: "Look, look!" Both of us, in unison: "It's black silhouetted cowboy leaning against fencepost!"
Me: "We need a trash bag." Sara: "There's no room for a trash bag! There's barely enough room for us!"
Sara: "Wait a minute. Is this... One Direction?" Me: [singing along with You Don't Know You're Beautiful] "Yes!" (Sara refused to listen to any "Jew songs" or Les Miserables, but I did have to listen to "Merry Go 'Round" and "Begin Again" three times each! Hmph.)
Me: [ranking the best Jean Valjeans] "It goes like this. Alfie Boe, Hugh Jackman, and then, if there's any room left at the bottom, Colm Wilkinson." Athena: [gasp] "Blasphemy!"
Sara: "What sort of gun is it? I mean, what does it shoot?" Athena: "It shoots bullets, Sara." Sara: "Well, I thought maybe it shot beanbags or something." Rebecca: [dies laughing]

P.S. It's so cold up here! You know you're from the south when Arkansas is too cold for you!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Yesterday was Grandma's deathiversary. At services this evening, the lay leader read her name from the bema as part of the yahrzeit list. That was hard. In recent years, the start of a new year always depresses me, and this didn't help. I have to remind myself that there are still good times to be had. NCIS will be back with new episodes next week, and that's just what I need to distract me from all this funk. (Also at services this evening, I sat in the back and crocheted plarn through the whole thing.)

Below the cut is another list for 2012, of young actress movies that I saw that year. (Last year's list is here.) Once again, I kinda dropped the ball on watching one a month.


Young Actress Movies of 2012 )

And finally, my 2012 in a nutshell: Grandma died. Sable died. We moved. I learned how to crochet with plastic bags. I discovered and became scarily obsessed with the musical Les Miserables. We got Tovah. I spent a week at a wonderful Jewish summer camp. I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, which I'm proud of myself for, even if the experience hasn't been exactly what I'd expected. I served as a lay leader at my temple. Just think, at this time last year, I had never crocheted with or even heard of “plarn,” and the only song I knew from Les Miserables was “I Dreamed a Dream!” CRAZY!

Also, I probably ate more peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas in 2012 than I did over the rest of my life combined. And I have no idea why I felt that was noteworthy.

Right now I'm trying to think up something to do with Briana soon. I'm almost starting to feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. Literally all she ever wants to do is go to the mall. I don't know how much more I can take of that place! *grinds teeth*
rebecca_in_blue: (downcast eyes)
To get 2013 off to a good start, today I went to the movies and saw Les Miserables again! And apparently, everyone in town had the same idea, because the theater was almost as packed as when Sara and I saw it on Christmas! Ugh! Still, I enjoyed it... and I haven't stopped singing the songs yet! I never really loved “Stars” before, but the movie sold me on it, and on its new original song “Suddenly.” The movie puts in so many little details that the stage can't; I noticed on the second viewing that when Valjean lets Javert go, Javert has the same head wound that Valjean did when the Bishop let him go. Aunt Connie couldn't come with me, so I saw it with Eva instead. She's not a hard-core fan of the music like me and her mom, but she seemed to enjoy it. And she totally cried when Valjean died.

Aside from that, today was kinda stressful. I got my asthma medicine refilled (it hasn't bothered me much yet this winter, but only because I've been taking my preventative medication religiously), renewed Muse Watson's lisence plates (which expired at the end of 2012), and my phone is giving me very frustrating problems.

Below the cut is my annual list of the most-played songs on my iPod. Songs released in 2011 or later qualify as recent, but I didn't listen to much new music this year because I was too busy listening to Les Miserables. No one should be surprised by this. Last year's list is here.


Most-Played Songs on Rebecca's iPod (2012) )

Most-Played Songs on Rebecca's iPod (2012): Recently-released )
rebecca_in_blue: (dishevelled hair)
Adam got Sara and me a flowering cactus plant for Christmas. We'd wanted a new plant to put on our bay window, so we appreciated it. But instead of saying "you're welcome" when we thanked him for it, he had to say, "I was going to get you a plant in a hanging basket, but they were too expensive. Like, as soon as they put a plant in a hanging basket, they mark up the price ten bucks." And so he proves again that he has no gift-giving manners. Some things never change.

In other news, today is Peter Pan's birthday! Although Pan debuted by name in Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird, most Barriologists recognize December 27, the anniversary of the play's 1904 premiere, as Peter Pan's birthday. On This Day in History: Peter Pan opens in London.

I am SO glad that Christmas is finally over! Sara and I went to the earliest showing of Les Miserables on Christmas morning, and it was amazing! I'm glad I ordered advance tickets for us, because the theater was pretty packed (ugh, I hate crowded movie theaters - I guess that's why I hardly ever go). I think I might have to go back soon and see it again. I need to find a near-empty showing so I can sing along with all the songs!

P.S. On the art calendar, I'm looking at The Right Hand of God Protecting the Faithful Against the Demons, a circa 1460 parchment piece by Jean Fouquet. Attempts to find out its original French title have been unsuccessful.
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
I'm grateful to have been off work for the last weekend before Christmas. I know all the stores were madhouses this weekend. It was still a pretty busy weekend for me, though. On Saturday, I went to the bookstore and browsed through Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. As much as I love the musical (ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT!), I'd never read the novel before, and it's so massive that I'm amazed anyone anywhere ever actually read the whole thing. I was glad to see that the musical made some much-needed changes and improvements. The book is packed with confusing subplots, pointless extra characters, even more unrealistic coincidences than the musical, and worst of all, a showdown between Valjean and Marius (who despise each other in the book!) fighting for "ownership" of Cosette. Ugh!

This afternoon, "Briana" and I went ice-skating at a very swanky local hotel who turned their swimming pool into an ice-skating rink for the winter (Big Brothers Big Sisters had given us a coupon to the place). I had fun, but once again, I'm not sure Briana did. She was excited on the way there, but once on the ice, she got very hesitant and nervous. She probably spent more time sitting and watching everyone else than she did skating. She's not very eager to try new things or go new places, and I don't know what to do about that. She literally only ever wants to do the same thing (walk the mall). We've now been matched for six months, half of the year that BBBS asks of you. I feel bad saying this, but I'm glad we're halfway done. God help me get through the next six months.

In other news, a few years ago, as part of a French project, I recorded an interview with Grandma talking about her early life and speaking Cajun French. Over the past week, I converted the cassette tape into a digital music file, spliced it into tracks in iTunes, and burned them onto CDs to give out as Christmas gifts. After ice-skating, I drove out to my cousin's place to give one to him, then to CJ & Company's, then to Aunt Carla's. I had wrapped Aunt Carla's in paper and ribbon and asked her to wait until Christmas to open it, but Adam opened his big mouth and told her what it was, and she started bawling. I just about socked him. It was exhausting to run all those errands, but I'm glad I could give my relatives a preservation of Grandma talking, laughing, and describing her life in her own words. It's a lot more meaningful than most Christmas gifts. And I got junk food and fresh, home-grown lemons out of it -- yum!

P.S. Just pre-ordered our tickets to Les Miserables on December 25th!
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
I made my once-a-year trek into Target yesterday (okay, I'm exaggerating - but not much) and hallelujah, I'm finally done with my Christmas shopping! My only reservation is that my gift for Mom seems kinda... cheap, but she's never been an easy person to buy for. Adam and Sara at least don't ask for the same stuff for nearly every birthday and Christmas. I was so tired when I got home that I conked out and slept right through yesterday's new NCIS episode. The weird thing is, I dremt that I got up and went into the living room to watch it (I have a lot of very literal dreams - they get annoying) and what was happening on the show happened to be the fanfic I'm currently writing.

Today Sara and I went out to lunch with Mom and got a little cup of the trail mix Athena went crazy for. Her family is going up to Little Rock this weekend to visit her, and I was planning to send it with them as her Christmas present. Then, lo and behold, I discovered that they're leaving bright and early tomorrow morning! So I will be getting out of bed very early to drop it off with them before they leave. Ugh! Athena so owes me for this.

Tonight I spent the evening at Mom's house, making bacon & eggs, wrapping my Christmas gifts, and watching Star Trek. We saw the episode The Most Toys, and it was darn good. I kept shouting things at the TV: "You messed with the wrong sentient android, buster!" "Data is not an it!" "Go, Data! Kick his ass!" I've tried watching episodes online, but I can't really watch it by myself because 1) I don't have anyone to explain it to me, and 2) I don't have anyone to make comments like, "Is Data the sweet invention of a scientist's dream? Or is he really as sentient as he seems?" And now, onto my NCIS notes.


Notes on 10x10 "You Better Watch Out" )

SIX DAYS MORE TILL LES MISERABLES!
Six days more
Another day, another destiny
This never-ending road to the movie
This film will surely be sublime, I'll go and see it fifty times
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Our non-Christmas tree has been a bit sparsely-decorated since I upgraded from a 4' to a 6'. Last year, I bought a glittery red key from the antique store as a new ornament. This year, I made an ornament out my mom's old skate key. Grandma held onto it for all these years, and I found it at my aunt's house when I went over there to do my laundry this morning. God only knows why Grandma kept it, but then, she could never throw anything away.


Skate keys were used to put on old metal roller skates. (If you've ever read The Catcher in the Rye, there's a scene where Phoebe uses a skate key to put on her roller skates.) This one is at least 45 years old. My Grandma and Aunt Carla told me Mom used to spend hours skating up and down the sidewalk. It's almost impossible for me to imagine her that young.

Happy second night of Hanukkah! PBS is broadcasting the (several hours long) 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables tonight, and I'm watching it right now. SQUEE! I love this version of Les Mis. It stars my very favorite Valjean and Fantine, Alfie Boe and Lea Salonga -- and, unfortunately, one of the Jonas Brothers as Marius. :\


Ni Hao Yall
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
2012 might be known in the future as the year Rebecca become obsessed with Les Miserables. (2011 was the year she became a Jew, and 2010 was the year she became obsessed with NCIS. There are worse things for years to be known by.) The other night, I was almost asleep in bed when Sara came in and told me Entertainment Weekly had released five new clips of songs from the Les Miserables movie that's coming out this month. So I stayed up late watching and rewatching them, then listening to all the Les Mis songs I have on my iPod. It's hard to say which song I'm most excited to see in the movie, but when Hugh Jackman sang "He gave me hope when hope was gone / He gave me strength to journey on" and the music started to swell behind him, I just about squee'ed. I hope Sara and I can celebrate December 25th in true Jew fashion and go see the movie (and maybe to a Chinese restaurant that day).

We had another session of our temple's religious school over the weekend. It didn't go very well, which kinda depresses me. I feel like there's nothing left to do except watch the school slowly peter down to nothing. Honestly, I don't think Rabbi W should be allowed to teach. Does he try to as boring as he possibly can? I guess I shouldn't let one awful class get me down, but it's hard.

Last night, I made another dish of nacho casserole and Sara made cupcakes while we watched old NCIS reruns. Good times. I'm off today and looking at the lights of our tree (I only bought one strand, so they're sparse this year, but soon it'll be time to light the menorah!), listening to the rain fall, and watching Criminal Minds reruns that I actually get to see the ending of!
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Sara and I went back to Blue Bayou yesterday. This trip went much better than our last one -- there was no rain, so we arrived earlier (even though traffic over the Mississippi River bridge was a crawl) and stayed later. We even ate lunch at the park, which we've never done before. The park has added some new stuff, but a lot of it is still exactly the same as when we were kids. It's like it's in a time-warp! We went on two new rides, the Azuka and the Voodoo, that were both really scary and fun. I swallowed too much water -- somehow this always happens to me, no matter how hard I try to keep my mouth closed -- and felt sick later, but I still ate dinner at Pluckers. Sara read Divergent to me in the truck, and it's really good so far.

A few other bits of recent news:

~ We just hired a new girl at work. I've been training her a lot. The funny thing is, she and I happen to wear identical necklace chains, only hers has a big silver cross pendant and mine has a big silver Star of David.

~ I bought a new digital camera to replace the one that fell down the stairs. I hadn't meant to buy one so soon -- the pet deposit and adoption fee for Tovah were only one-time, but they were hefty -- but I found an insane deal at work that I just couldn't pass up. It's a pretty swanky camera for me. I'm loving the wide lens, high zoom, and auto focus.

~ I've been listening to the soundtrack of Les Miserables since I heard Aunt Connie and Athena's cover of The Confrontation. I really like Who Am I, Valjean's Confession, and When Tomorrow Comes, which gives me goosebumps almost every time. It probably wasn't intended to be a Jewish song -- or maybe it was, since it does reference Micah 4:03 -- but it sure comes off as one to me. Substitute meshiach for tomorrow, and it could've been written by the Orthodox.

Tovah is curled up in my lap as I type this. :)

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