rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
I set my keyboard up in my new room, in front of the bay window -- where, thanks to fertilizer and a sunnier spot, the plant I brought home from Grandma's funeral is growing by leaps and bounds! I might have to transplant it into a bigger pot. It's so nice having enough space for my keyboard, and I hope I can start practicing again and really stick with it this time. One of my Jewish grandmothers gave me the sheet music to some songs we sing at services. I'm slowly learning "Oseh Shalom," the slow version that repeats shalom twice. (There's also a fast version that repeats oseh, a version to be sung in rounds, and about a million others.) I'm as bad at it as I ever was, but it feels good to be playing again.

I'm also still making plarn, and I've already got a pretty big ball of it under my bed. I might even buy a bigger crochet needle and try crocheting it. It's so nice having enough room for hobbies in our new place. I never realized just how cramped we were in Smallpartment.

Sara and I just watched the Season 9 finale of NCIS. Can you believe the season's over already? Overall, I really enjoyed this season's finale arc. This episode felt very solid and old-school; it was definitely way better than that awful, confusing, poorly-paced mess of Pyramid. I should rewatch this one and collect my thoughts on it, but here my initial, jumbled-up notes:

"Those horses back at the farm seemed to know something was up!" )

So, that's the end of NCIS until September -- but not for Rebecca. I never did get around to rewatching Season 8 and writing episode notes for it. I meant to do it inbetween Season 9 episodes, but it got too confusing switching between seasons like that. So, I've decided to spend the summer tackling Season 8! It'll make waiting for September that much easier.
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
Sara bought us two poetry magnet sets for our refrigerator, one with fight-related words and the other with inspirational words. We've had fun making messages like "up your butt sunshine," which we put right next to our magnet of Funshine Bear, and "I am rectifying a situation," which sounds best when read in a Mike Franks voice.

I also went shopping at Grandma's favorite antique store and finally bought myself a nice set of Shabbat candlesticks. (Yes, I've been officially Jewish for 8 months now and only just bought Shabbat candlesticks. Bad, bad Rebecca.)

Today Mom came by and saw our new place. Suffice to say that I'm glad I wasn't here when she visited. Oh, well. Onto happier subjects... tonight's new NCIS!

Notes on 9x23 "Up in Smoke." For some reason, this one is crazy-long! )

Next week (Till Death Do Us Part) is the Season 9 finale! Can you believe?
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
Hallelujah, today I got an e-mail from the volunteer program that I applied to work with this summer! The director said, among other things, "Mark your calendar! We'll see you in July!" I still have more paperwork to fill out, but I got in! I just hope nothing happens between now and then to mess up my trip, and I think I'll be keeping my fingers crossed until July.

In other news, onto tonight's new NCIS!

Notes on 9x22 "Playing with Fire )

On the art calendar, I'm looking at Ferme en Bretagne (Farm in Brittany), an 1894 oil painting by Paul Gauguin.

What a great way to kick off May!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
This might prove to be a very busy week. I'm still in the middle of packing to move, as well as applying for something (not a job, but more of a volunteer position) that I would really like. It seems hard like a hard program to get into, so keep your fingers crossed! And just a few nights ago, I was caught without an inhaler when a bad asthma attack hit. Of course, there are many worse things in this world than having asthma... but when you have to drive to the drug store twice between midnight and one the morning, you sure can't think of any!

Now to fire off a few notes about tonight's NCIS.

Notes for 9x21 "Rekindled" )

P.S. I don't usually do fanfiction recs on my journal (I leave that to Kew), but I do have to recommend to all my fellow NCIS fans that you check out the amazing fic Treading Water, if you haven't already. It's much longer than most stuff I read (+48,000 words and counting) but I've been following it since it was first published, and it is fast becoming one of my favorite stories.
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
Remember that coworker I mentioned who complains all the time? Well, things came to a head yesterday. As soon as I got to work, he started griping about a really minor thing our manager said. I called him out on it, and he snapped back. We started arguing, and to make a long story short, he said that he was never going to speak to me again. (I was really tempted to say, "Promise? Can I get that in writing?" I was so tired of his constant negativity.) He also unfriended me on Facebook. I think he behaved very immaturely, and I'm sure anyone would agree with me, but so far, I've resisted the temptation to discuss it with anyone else I work with. I hate drama and don't want to generate any more. This person and I will have to continue working together, and I hope we can both act like adults. I'm kinda sad over it, because we used to be friends, but then he turned into such a moper. Oh, well. He'll punish himself better than I ever could.

Anyway, onto happier subjects -- tonight's new NCIS episode!

Notes for 9x20 "The Missionary Position" )

Can you believe Season 9 is almost over already? Only four new episodes left!
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
My landlords came by the apartment today to install a new window unit. Our old one stopped working a few weeks ago. It didn't matter at first because it was so cool outside, but it warmed up fast last week, and Sara and I were sweating like pigs! (It made me thankful that Sable didn't have to suffer the heat.) Who knew that installing a window unit would take two people almost 6 hours?! They arrived at ten and didn't leave until almost four! Ugh! But at least we have air-conditioning again. It's so nice being cooler inside than outside.

This evening Sara and I went to the movies and saw The Hunger Games. It wasn't as good as the book (movies never are), but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I will probably post more about that later. When we got home, I watched tonight's new NCIS.

Notes on 9x19 "The Good Son" )
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
A busy, productive day here, topped off by a new NCIS episode! My review for this one is very random hodge-podge of notes. We're having a lot of rain over here, so the show got interrupted by severe thunderstorm warnings! My sister left her window open during the rain, and she walked in a minute ago and said, "Oh, dirty darn! My Ricky Nelson poster is ruined!" (We're constantly quoting movies to each other - I'm not sure if anyone will recognize that one.) Haha, she cracks me up.

Episode notes on 9x18 "The Tell" )

On the art calendar, I'm looking at The New Bonnet, an 1858 oil painting by Francis William Edmonds. I really like this one because it's interesting on different levels. At first glance, it depicts a pretty, charming domestic scene... that becomes a serious commentary on the middle class when you look a little deeper. I imagine the girl in the center exclaiming, "What a very pretty hat!" like in Mary Poppins.
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
Tonight's new episode was a good one, but for some reason, I found it a bit... strange. But I wasn't in the best of moods when I watched it, which may have had something to do with it. I also never actually saw Agar Bayar's last episode, which led to some confusion on my part. Still, I enjoyed it.

More notes on 9x17 "Need to Know" )
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
I had a very quiet weekend here. On Sunday, I went over to JC & Co's and copied some songs from their iTunes library. Mine is now back up to 172 songs, down from the about 600 I had before the virus hit. I did not participate in any of the Mardi Gras festivities. I've never been a big fan of that holiday, but today the weather was so nice and warm that I went on a bike ride and took photos of some of the Mardi Gras decorations (which you can see here). Mardi Gras is so unique to southern Louisiana. There are quite a lot of decorations in my neighborhood, and many of them have been up since right after Christmas. There were two Mardi Gras parades today, and I live pretty near the parade route, but I didn't go. The noise, crowds, traffic, and litter were too much for me from here!

I also did not do any Jew stuff, which is unusual for me on the weekend. There was no Torah study with the rabbi or Hebrew school with the kids. I know I always complain about waking up early when I have Jew stuff, but I sure was bored without it. Even though NCIS's 200th episode had some badly executed "what-if" scenarios, it made me wonder about what-ifs in my own life. Like, what if I had never converted to Judaism? Maybe no one else would notice the difference, but I sure would. Looking forward to our Purim session in Hebrew school next weekend!

And speaking of NCIS, there was a new episode tonight! I think [ profile] jelenamichel said it best in her review: "It wasn't bad, exactly. It was just really, really boring. And that's saying something when you’ve got Jamie Lee Curtis working for you."

Notes on episode 9x16 "Psych Out" )

I NEED to get my hair cut this week. I've been putting it off for too long now. But in the meantime, I've been trying the sock bun. The woman in the video makes it look so darn easy.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I wasn't looking forward to meeting Wendy, but I enjoyed this episode more than I thought I would.

Notes on episode 9x15 "Secrets" )
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
Well, it's finally here. Tonight's new NCIS was the show's 200th episode. The writers and producers have been promoting it since the season started +4 months ago. For a long time, I was very wary about the big 200. I didn't like the spoilers or how big a deal everyone was making of it. But right before it aired, I started getting excited. It was an effect of NCIS-deprivation more than anything else. This was our first new episode in four weeks! That's the longest hiatus we've had this season.

Well, I should've listened to my instincts. I think the showrunners made a fatal flaw in promoting the life out of this episode. There was no way it could've lived up to so much hype. No, it wasn't the worst episode, and yes, there were things I liked about it, but for me, the bad outweighed the good. Needless to say, I have a very long and somewhat angry review for this one. You've been warned.

Notes on 9x14 "Life Before His Eyes," Part 1: The episode in general and stuff Rebecca liked )

Part 2: What Rebecca didn't like! >:( )

P.S. Based on that promo, next week's episode (Secrets) looks plain silly. We'll see.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
All hail Rebecca, who actually did something with her day off! First, I woke up way too early this morning and had coffee with Sassy Jewish #1. He's in another play, The Odd Couple this time, and I read through Acts I and II with him to help him learn his lines. He's playing Oscar (the slobby one) and only has about half his lines memorized with three weeks till opening night!

After that, Sara and I drove downtown to the park. Remember when I spent a day helping rebuild a playground that burnt down? Well, it's finally finished and open to the public! Since I'd seen some of the under-construction phase, I couldn't wait to see the finished product. The new playground is massive and so cool. Heck, I'm glad the old one burnt down because this one is even better! I played on the spinner and see-saw that I'd worked on, and it was sweet to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. After the spinner made me dizzy enough to puke, Sara and I walked over the lake and fed some stale bread to the ducks and seagulls.

Me on the spinner. Sara spun me around so hard that I flew off, and now I have bruises on my arm and hip.

Me lying across the tire swing. Like my hair?

And now, about last night's new NCIS episode. I'm still watching one old Season 8 episode for every week that we don't get a new one. Since I began writing these episode notes (my first one was for Restless), I've been under assault from fanfic plot bunnies! I've never really lacked plot bunnies, I've only lacked the time and talent to turn them into good fics. But now, this one particular bunny refuses to leave me alone, and it's for a very uncanon pairing that I would never ordinarily write -- Zibbs! Yeah, as in Ziva/Gibbs! And heaven help me, I think I might actually end up writing the story!

Observations on 9x13 "A Desperate Man" )

Go, fanfiction writers! To your keyboards! A new world of possibilities awaits you!

Random P.S. On Sara's page-a-day art calendar, I'm currently looking at Surf, Isles of Shoals, a 1913 oil painting by Childe Hassam. It's quite lovely.
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)

I'm kinda late on posting my review for this week's new NCIS, but I at least I have a good excuse. I didn't get to see whole episode properly when it aired because Sable needed to be walked at the most inconvenient moment, and people from temple kept calling to express their condolences about Grandma. I'm not very good at accepting such things, but I need to get better at that. Her funeral is tomorrow! NCIS, distract me!

Notes on 9x12 "Housekeeping" )
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
On Monday night, Sable and I slept over at JC & Co's so Eva wouldn't have to stay home alone (her dad was working nights, and her mom was spending the night with Grandma, who can't be left alone anymore). I love them and visiting their house, so I was happy to do it. I'm not sure if Sable was, though; in all the years I've had him, I'd never brought him to their house before, and he doesn't adapt well to strange places in his old age. He and their sweet puppy Eleanor didn't know what to make of each other, but Sable enjoyed sniffing around their back yard so much that I had trouble bringing him back inside!

I got some bad news about Grandma before we left -- she's in hospice care now, and the doctor thinks she has about three months left. It hasn't really sunk in yet. And I'm not gonna lie, the first thing I thought about was when the doctor said that Aunt Carolyn had about six months left, and she died a few weeks later. We visited Grandma later that evening, and it was painfully uncomfortable. I wish I could do more for that poor, sweet old lady.

To distract myself from that -- NCIS! Yesterday's was our first new episode in a while, but Rebecca hasn't taken a break from her notes. I decided that for each week we don't get a new episode, I'll go back and rewatch an old one. I started at the beginning of Season 8. I'm not sure if I'll go back and write reviews for every old episode -- I'd have to rewatch close to 200! -- but I do wish I had started writing these reviews sooner.

Anyway, as for last night's episode. Perhaps because I was already so depressed going in, it didn't thrill me. NCIS does not have a good history with Christmas episodes.

Humbug! Notes on episode 9x11 "Newborn King" )
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
It took me forever to figure out whether the new NCIS episode was airing today or next week. And it was posted online later than usual, which only added to my confusion. But I finally saw it after I got off work tonight, and I'm so glad I did! There were a few flaws, but for the most part, this was a really good episode.

Notes on episode 9x10 "Sins of the Father" )
rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)
My grandma is in the hospital (has been since yesterday) because she's had so much pain in her legs and trouble walking lately. Some relatives have been trying to get in touch with my mom about Grandma, and I feel like I'm being put in the middle again. It is not a pleasant position to be in, and one person even seems to blame me for my mom's behavior. I've had to make and receive some very snippy phone calls lately. Honestly, it's times like this when I can understand why Mom cut off contact with her family. For Hanukkah this year, I think I'd like a new family consisting only of members of my temple and NCIS characters.

The day got even worse when I got in my car after work and discovered that the battery in Muse Watson had died at the worst possible time! I made several calls for a ride but got no answers, and even more depressing, every single time, I got the message "Sorry, but the person you are trying to reach has a voice mailbox that hasn't been set up yet." Ugh! So I had to walk home! (Work is not right around the corner, nor was my walk through the most well-lit, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.) At least the weather's still warm. After I finally got home, I had to drive back to work in the truck, get Muse Watson jump-started, and buy a new battery for him. It was the biggest, most inconvenient hassle, and I missed seeing NCIS live! I watched the new episode online later, and it was the only thing that got me through the day.

On the other hand, it all kinda emphasized that I still have my good health and relative youth to be thankful for. I mean, Grandma is in the hospital because she can't walk, but I got an opportunity to put my legs to good use today.

"McGee, I have decided that I'm not gonna complain about anything ever, ever again. How could I whine about the cost of my DVD by mail service when there's real problems in this world?" )
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Can you believe that I've never photographed one of the oldest cemeteries in town, even though it's within bike-riding distance? Yeah, I couldn't believe it either, so today I finally hopped on my bike and corrected that. The cemetery is very well-kept for its age, and I was able to do some research for Find a Grave and even fulfill some photo requests. And I'm almost never able to fulfill photo requests, but this cemetery was relatively small and had a fairly long list of requests.

While I was wondering around photographing the graves, I got a call from one of my aunts, saying that Grandma's had bad pain in her legs and trouble walking recently. She and my other aunt arranged for a doctor to visit her tomorrow, but in the meantime, they wanted me to ask my mom, a nurse, if she would go by Grandma's sometime today and check on her. (They can't call her themselves because my mom refuses to speak to her sole surviving parent or any of her siblings directly and has for a few years now. I'm pretty damn sick of being their go-between.) So I called my mom and left a voicemail relaying this, but I'm willing to bet any amount of money that she won't go. It makes me kinda sick. I'm tempted to ask mom how she would like it if she were old, in pain, and I refused to see her. I'm not the best daughter (oh no, far from it!) but I've done things for my mom when she was feeling bad -- one of them directly after she yelled at me for no real reason. Ugh. On the other hand, I'm tempted to say nothing because I know I can't change her behavior. Cue the crankly old grandfather from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: "No one can!"

It all got me so depresesd that I laid down on the grass in the cemetery, sang the Mi Sheberach, and stared at the clouds until I felt like I was falling. I haven't done that since I was a kid.

Tonight's episode of NCIS also felt me feeling blah. Essay-length notes on 9x08 "Engaged: Part 1." )

It's been overcast all day, but it didn't start raining until just now. Some scary thunder and lightning outside my window.
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
My asthma has been worse since the weather turned colder, and I finally called the pharmacy to get my inhaler refilled. Of course, my prescription has expired! So this morning I drove to the doctor's (and he is not right around the corner) to get a new one. It took forever. I didn't even have time to bring the prescription to the pharmacy afterwards; I'll have to do that tomorrow. And during my long, boring stay in the waiting room, I tried to make an important phone call, but the woman I'm trying to reach didn't answer her phone once! I was frustrated almost to tears. Great way to kick off November, huh?

But I shouldn't complain. Things could always be worse. My poor sister has had a very sore jaw and gums recently. The other day, she said something like, "With my luck, I probably have jaw cancer! Isn't that what Arthur Llewellyn Davies died of? Of course, I don't have some crazy, rich little Scottish playwright to swoop in and pay all my medical bills!" I have to say, I was pretty shocked. Who knew she actually did listen when I rambled on about JM Barrie?

Oh, and let's not forget the pick-me-up for the day: Tonight's episode of NCIS!

Notes on 9x07 "Devil's Triangle" (Rebecca loved it!) )

Next week, Engaged: Part 1 kicks off our November arc! And it's going to have a Gibbs flashback!!
rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)
My appetite has been so wonky lately. Today I was starving by the time I got off work (which doesn't usually happen) and had to make a big plate of spaghetti as soon as I got home. I've gotten better at making spaghetti lately; you might ask how difficult it could really be, but you don't know how badly my first attempt went.

Our internet service has been spotty tonight, so I called our provider to try to find out what was up. And my sister got mad at me for making the call on speaker phone and she "didn't want to listen to it." (I don't like holding the phone to my head for long conversations, it feels like I'm frying my brain.) Hmph.

Anyway, onto my notes for last night's NCIS.

Are you serious, writers? (Notes on episode 9x06 "Thirst") )
rebecca_in_blue: (G-d loves a duck)
After warm-as-summer temperatures in the fall, a wet, windy cold front rolled in last night. My awesome manager who's from Britain and lived in Germany and Florida before settling in Louisiana, says that he's never seen a place where weather changes as rapidly as it does here.

One thing I did not like about tonight's NCIS was that I had to watch it with Sara. I enjoy her commentary on just about everything else, but with NCIS, it was just annoying and distracting. As for the actual epsiode, I'm using emoticons for my notes this week:

A mixed bag of nuts on episode 9x05 "Safe Harbor" )


rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

March 2013



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