rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
The movie theater in our mall shows vintage movies on weeknights, and I really love that idea. Since they started doing it, I've probably seen more old movies there than new ones! When Sara and I saw Les Miserables on Christmas day, there were previews for all of the old movies that the theater would be showing in January. One of them was The Sound of Music, and ever since then, I'd been looking forward to seeing it almost more than I was Les Miserables! Sara and I grew up watching The Sound of Music, used to act it out as kids (with the two of us playing all seven von Trapp children -- and every other role!), and could probably still recite the whole thing from memory. I was beyond excited at the thought of seeing it on the big screen.

Well, today was the day. Sara and I just got back from seeing it with a friend of hers, and it was so good. I wouldn't've thought seeing it in a theater would give me a new appreciation for a film I know like the back of my hand, but it did. So many wide, sweeping shots, so much beautiful scenery, so many little details that Rebecca had never noticed before! I enjoyed every second -- but not having to wait for the frost on Muse Watson's windshield to melt so we could drive home. That's how cold it's been here!

All day at work I was trying to rewrite "Do You Hear the People Sing?" (from Les Mis) to be about The Sound of Music, but it didn't really work. I only got as far as "Do you hear the von Trapps sing, singing about their favorite things?" Can you guess what I'm doing right now? Yep, writing The Sound of Music fanfiction.

P.S. On the art calendar, I'm looking at Improvisation 27 (The Garden of Love II), a 1912 oil painting by Vasily Kandinsky. Sara bought another page-a-day calendar of art from the Met for 2013. We'll be fine-art connoisseurs by the end of the year! I couldn't find my usual Emily Dickinson calendar in stores this year, so I bought a Jewish calendar instead.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Okay, I kinda did a lot of complaining in my last post, so today I decided to make today a Thankful Thursday. I'm calling this one the "cold weather edition," even though it isn't exactly cold here. It's a typical Louisiana winter, cold one day and warm the next.

Things Rebecca is thankful for during the wintertime:

  • Tovah loves sleeping in bed with us, and on cold nights, it's really nice having a warm cat curled up next to you. (Although she's very obviously about preferring Sara's bed over mine.)
  • The water in this apartment gets hot and stays hot! In fact, I almost burned myself right after we moved in. The hot water never lasted this long in Smallpartment, which had the oldest plumbing known to man, so I try not to take this one for granted.
In other, more embarrassing news... I can't believe I'm posting this, but here goes. I've set a goal for myself to write a fanfiction for fandoms in every letter of the alphabet. I made this goal recently, after realizing that I'd written for fandoms starting with A, B, C, and D. It's going to take some time, but I'm sure that I can do it, since I've already written fandoms in more letters than not. Writing fewer NCIS stories has helped. Make no mistake, I still love NCIS, but writing for new and different fandoms feels kinda liberating. My other goal, to write more stories about Jewish characters in different fandoms (made here), is still going, too.

For my own future reference:
Fandoms I've written stories in: A, B, C, D, G, H, J, L, M, N, P, R, S, X, and Z.
Letters I have yet to write: E, F, I, K, O, Q, T, U, V, W, and Y.

I've never written a fanfic for Star Trek, but recently I browsed around in that category, and the first fic I happened to see was Data/Tasha Yar. When I told Adam and Sara this, they said: Adam: "Well, they were a canon couple. I mean, sorta." Sara: "Well, it could've been worse. It could've been Warf/Troi!" Adam: "I kinda like Warf and Troi together."

P.S. Quvenzhane Wallis, the young actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild, got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress today!!! She's nine years old and the youngest actress to ever get this nomination and she's from Louisiana! What a time to be alive!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
For the most part, I had a very lazy weekend off, but I did do a few things. On Friday night, there was a beautiful Tu Bish'vat seder at the temple after services. We had one of these last year, but I don't think I ever blogged about. The social hall looked as amazing as I'd ever seen it, with rows of tables laid out with seder plates, all complete with personal name places and fancy folded napkins.


This picture of the seder table does it no justice. Jewish Grandmother #1 practically lived at temple all last week, setting everything up. I wish I could've gotten a picture of her, but she was at the front of the hall with the rabbi. I sat with Paul, Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2, and I overheard someone ask him, "Rebecca's your daughter, isn't she?" I've heard him get asked this at least once before. I was tempted to say (but I didn't), "Yeah, Paul, you lost a child, and I lost a parent -- we're made for each other!" Wait, that's actually kinda sad.


Tu Bish'vat is the Jewish New Year of the Trees, so we ate foods that grow on trees. Here's a picture of my seder plate, with bits of cranberries, blueberries, grapes, cherries, olives, coconut, banana, pineapple, apple, orange, grapefruit, almond, walnut, pecan, and more! Yum!

The weather here has been very nasty this weekend. It was raining so hard on Saturday morning that I practically had to swim to Torah study. Rabbi W must not have brought his umbrella, because he walked in soaking wet, and somebody said, "Does that count as a mikvah, Rabbi?" Haha. It hasn't stopped raining since then, and now it's cold, too! Ugh! I had to crank up the heater when I woke up this morning, which was no fun. I really don't want to go out in this weather, but I need to go grocery shopping, and it's a nice day to curl up and watch a child actress movie, so maybe I'll pick one up while I'm out.

On the art calendar, I'm looking at Lady of the Lake, a 1936 oil painting by Horace Pippin. The Met website claims it's a literal take on Arthurian legend, but Rebecca doesn't see it.

TWO ... DAYS ... LEFT until NCIS's 200th episode!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
I was off from work today, and I did absolutely nothing with it! It was so frustrating. I just hate the wintertime. What is there to possibly like about a season when it gets dark at 5:30 and your lips are chapped all the time? On top of that, the temperatures dropped earlier this week, so now it's cold too. Maybe not cold compared to most of the country, but definitely too cold for Rebecca. I tried to go for a bike ride today, but it was so cold that I had to turn around and come back after just a few wheezy blocks. (Last week, it was so warm that I was literally swatting at mosquitos while listening to "Sleigh Ride." I prefer that to being cold.) I really miss riding my bike when I can't do it, and I'm starting to feel stir-crazy stuck in this apartment!

Some random thoughts of my week so far:

~ I never realized how many people know my grandma until she got sick. Lately random people have been coming up to me at work and asking, "Rebecca, how's your grandma?" Sometimes, I have absolutely no idea who they are or how they know me! Weird.

~ There is one good thing about this time of year: the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbuck's! It is so delicious. Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1 bought up a cup last week, and I drank almost the whole thing in one go. I also discovered that I can custom-make peppermint hot chocolate at the much closer, cheaper coffee shop, although it isn't quite as good as Starbuck's.

~ Oh, and I still have not even started on my Xmas shopping this year! *shoots self*

~ And for no real reason:



Elle Fanning singing in The Nutcracker. Doesn't she have a surprisingly good singing voice here? It makes me wonder if she was autotuned.

I think I'll go eat some chicken soup now. Maybe that will improve my mood.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)

These photos were taken within a week of each other, right outside my door. I like seeing the seasons change, but geez, it's supposed to take a little while to get from one to the next. Could the weather down here by any crazier? I think not.

You can't really tell, but those are frozen raindrops on the grass in this one. It was so cold! 


This one was taken yesterday. The first little white flowers of spring! And notice how the grass is in focus (although perhaps too sharp, because I had to shrink the photo) while the background is blurry? I'm in geek heaven over this!
 

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring, becomes the rose

rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)

While on her lunch hour today, Rebecca enjoyed the world's most delicious lunch: a cherry Coke, a Snickers bar, and slice of hot, delicious pizza from a gas station! The last two days were absolutely frigid, but today the sun finally came out, and it was even warm enough for me and Sable to eat outside on the grass. (He had a few bites of pizza crust.) If there's any better lunch than that in the world, I don't want to know.

On the drive back from my lunch back, I heard Willow Smith's infuriatingly catchy "Whip My Hair" on the radio, and when I absent-mindedly started singing it at work, one of my co-workers almost died laughing! Hmph.

It was so cold yesterday that a fountain in our neighborhood was frozen solid. The water had frozen in mid-spurt, and it was so beautiful that I wanted to take a picture. So I braved the cold, and I'd walked the whole frigid block before I realized the batteries in my camera were dead! I was so frustrated and freezing that I went back home, climbed into bed, and didn't again emerge until it was time to go to temple. Upon walking in, I almost got run over by one of my sassy Jewish grandfathers asking in horror, "Rebecca, you didn't ride your bike today, did you?" I was tempted to remind him that Rebecca's crazy, not stupid. Yeah, like I'd go bike-riding in 20-degree weather, Jacob. But I guess it was sweet that he cared.

I may have gotten the job that I interviewed for on Thursday. I just don't know if I want it or not. Decisions, decisions. I'm almost hoping that they don't offer me the job, so I'll be able to avoid making one.

P.S. I'm currently on Facebook in another window, and two friends felt the need to tell me that NCIS is on TV right now. Haha, I guess everybody knows what my obsession is. The shrink/flashback episode (A Man Walks Into a Bar) is this Tuesday. The wait is killing me!

rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)

I've had four job interviews in the last three weeks. No one can say I'm not trying. For the one I had on Tuesday, I practically had to drive through the apocalypse to get there. It was ten in the morning, but the sky was practically as black as night, and the rain was falling so hard it was like my car was under a waterfall.

Right after the thunderstorm was over, an arctic cold front rolled in, and ever since then, it's been freezing! Literally. We've had to leave our water dripping the past two nights, schools and businesses all over the parish are closed, and bridges are frozen over. I had another job interview this morning, and just before I left -- bundled up in my coat and scarf and thermal underwear -- it started to rain. Perfect timing, right? I was on the road and driving before I realized it wasn't raining but hailing. Hailing! I think I even saw some snow flurries, but since I've only glimpsed snow a few times in my life (and gotten a good look at it... never), I can't be sure.

Oh, and there were also iciles hanging from the street lights and my side-view mirrors. Me: I'd take hurricanes over weather like this any day. Sara: Don't say that! Me: Well, I would!

Today is Chinese New Year, kicking off the Year of the Rabbit. Hop to it, Rebecca! And while you're at it, take this occasion to reread Watership Down.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

Wow, Rebecca got her haircut today for the first time in nearly three years! (I am not kidding.) I've never really liked getting my haircut, and the last one I had was especially traumatic, which is why I avoided it for so long. But my hair had gotten so messy and ragged-looking, I was glad to see it go. My hairdresser cut off almost ten inches and added it to some hair she was mailing to Locks of Love. I had really wanted to send it to help soak up the gulf oil spill, but I did some research and apparently they're not collecting hair for that anymore.

My new haircut is so different! It's a bit shorter than I had planned, but I'm proud of myself for trying something new. 2011 has already been a good year for new things. Now if Rebecca could just find a new job. I'm kinda dreading going back to work tomorrow with my new haircut, even though I like it and I know the people I work with will have nice things to say. But it's always weird right after changing something about your appearence.

The last few days have been so cold! This monumentally bad news here in Louisiana, where we can deal with hurricanes but not with freezing temperatures (which is what we're supposed to get tonight). I have felt so out-of-it lately, my sore throat is coming and going, I'm behind in my Torah readings, and I blame it all on this weather. If spring wants to make an early appearence, it's just fine with me, and Sable, and Graycat.

One year ago today:

Sara and I wrote our initials in some wet cement across the street. For some reason, I got the date wrong and put 1-2 instead of 1-12.

And because I knew you wouldn't believe it unless you saw it for yourself:

I know it's not the best picture; it was taken in haste in front of the window on our stairwell (I was experimenting with different backgrounds).

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

Yesterday started out as an amazing day. I went to my first Torah study at the temple, which was very enjoyable and educational. I have met some amazing people at the temple, and I'm touched by how far they've gone to make me feel welcome there. Afterwards, I burned a CD for Mom that she'd wanted, then I went for a long, wonderful bike ride (and collected cans; I need the money). It was warm and sunny out, perfect bike riding weather. But yesterday night at work was not pleasant, so the day started out awesome and ended badly. I'm still looking for a new job. A cold front arrived over night, and all day today has been freezing cold, windy and rainy. Looking out the window this afternoon, I honestly could not believe that I went bike riding just yesterday in short sleeves and sunglasses. The hell!

My favorite song of the moment is Firework, by Katy Perry. If you haven't heard it already, go to YouTube and listen to it. Its lyrics are an inspiring, powerful message about accepting and believing in yourself. It's also the first song I added to my iPod in 2011. Speaking of which:

About halfway through 2010, I started keeping a list of songs I had added to my iPod that year. Shortly after midnight on New Year's Eve, I went through the list recorded the playcount for each song. I know I have no life, but it was a fun thing to do. So, here's the musical recount for 2010. The second list is old songs I added to my iPod, and the first list is new music. I was rather impressed with how many songs there were for that list, because I usually don't listen to new music. Rebecca is not a hip person. But no doubt you already knew that, didn't you?



Most-Played New Songs of 2010. And the winner is: "With you, I'd run through a storm in my best dress, fearless." )

And...

Most-Played New (to my iPod) Songs of 2010. And the winner is: "Brighter than the noonday sun, and all your sheep awaking." )
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)

Any guesses as to where Rebecca was at five this morning? She was lying in bed, eating chocolate chip cookie dough out of tub! And at five this evening, I was listening to my bad-ass Cajun grandma mumble to herself in French while she cooked pumpkin muffins. Not a bad day.

So far this weekend, we've turned off our air conditioning and turned on the heater, I've gotten out my thermal underwear again, and tomorrow we turn our clocks back an hour. I guess there's no more denying that winter is upon us. I still managed to ride my bike to the temple on Friday night, but it was so cold and dark, I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up. Fortunately there was a dinner of lentil soup after the service (because we read the Torah portion where Esau trades his birthright for a bowl of lentils) that stuck to my ribs and kept me warm on the way home. I let Graycat in for part of the night, because it was so cold where he was sleeping on the stairs, but I had to put him out again when I started wheezing. Sable hasn't had hair in so long that I'd forgotten how much of a problem pet hair used to be for me.

Rebecca hates winter! *grumble grumble* Why is it that summer seemed to drag on forever, but fall was over before I could blink? Oh wait, because I live in Louisiana. In the final words of my Emily Dickinson calendar:
     It can't be Summer! That got through!
     Too early, yet, for Spring!
     There's that long town of White to cross
     Before the Blackbirds sing.

rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)
Our pilot light somehow went out last night, causing our heater to shut down. When I woke up, everything in the apartment was like ice. (I am not exaggerating.) I threw a blanket over Sable, relit the pilot light, cranked up the heater, and got back in bed until it was -- well, not warm, but less cold. I can't wait until this damned cold weather is over. Sable shit all over the floor a few days ago, probably because the weather was so terrible (cold and wet and windy) that he didn't want to go out. Either that, or he's so old that his plumbing doesn't work anymore. And I really hope it's not the latter, because I can't deal with that.

I am a tiny bit excited that the Saints are going to the Superbowl, but I also will be very happy when it's over and everyone stops talking about it. A lot of my customers today were wearing Saints shirts and/or black-and-gold Mardi Gras beads. I'm scheduled to close tomorrow, no doubt because my managers knew that I don't pay attention to football and wouldn't care.

I had a dream a few days ago that one of my managers -- one of my nicest managers, actually -- went drunk-driving and crashed his car into our apartment building (or a house nearby, I can't quite remember). He was okay even though he was covered in blood, and when he saw me, he slurred, "Rebecca, you can't tell anyone at work about this!" I began to suspect I was dreaming at that point, because he's the last co-worker I'd expect that from. I told him about it at work the next day -- which I maybe shouldn't have done, in retrospect -- and he was weirded out.

rebecca_in_blue: (shocked)

The first words I heard upon entering work yesterday morning, from my manager: "...deal with this absolute craziness. Hi, Rebecca! Have you seen my glasses?" Typical Sally.

The last few days were the hardest, most bitter freeze in my grandma's recent memory. Everyone covered their plants with plastic and blankets, and when I walked Sable in the mornings, the puddles on the street were actually frozen. It sucked because as long as the sun was out, Sable didn't seem to mind the cold and wanted to go on long walks, and I came back in freezing. But the cold snap is over for now, and yesterday was so warm and sunny that I went bike-riding for the first time all year! Sara gave me a headlight to put on my handlebar for when I go riding at night, so now it's officially the coolest bike ever.

rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
The other night, Rebecca came as close as she's ever been to cooking a real dinner. By which I mean that I bought a box of scalloped potatoes and a can of chicken meat, mixed it all together in a dish, and threw it in the oven for twenty minutes. It was pretty tasty, and while I was putting it all together, Sara started organizing her LJ tags and I went on about the fun and joy of organizing things. I realized later how fitting it was when I said, "I don't think this chicken is evenly distributed through the potatoes."

But now onto the big news: It SNOWED last night! Frickin' snowed! I worked a close, and the store was pretty dead, as you can imagine -- I think I had a grand total of five customers after seven, not counting Moe and Tracey, who kept coming up to buy slim jims -- so we all kept running outside to look at it. It actually kept up for most of the evening, and the flakes were falling thick and fast at some points. It rained all day yesterday, so it was too wet for it to stick, but just watching it fall was so pretty and cool. But damn, has it been absolutely frigid since then. Today the sun came out (finally!), so it wasn't that bad, but earlier this evening, I went out to walk Sable with no shoes (just flip-flops) and my feet felt practically frozen when I came back in. Sara and I spent the night flipping between three good movies (Dirty Dancing, The Incredibles, and Wayne's World). She still has a nagging cough.

Sara and I went shopping at Target yesterday morning, and I'm now almost all done with my Christmas shopping. The only people I have to buy for are Mom (still have no idea what to get her) and Ben. Oh, and I'm going to get something for Sable too, of course.

rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)

The weather for the past few days has been awful, very cold and rainy. When I walk Sable now, he runs outside, pees, runs back in, and goes straight to his bed. I was off from work today and meant to ride my bike to the library, but it's so cold and wet that I've been staying inside being lazy. I watched The Nativity Story, with Keisha Castle-Hughes (scratch one from my list of young actress films to watch).

On Sunday night, we trimmed our Christmas tree and watched It Happened One Night -- a very touching, funny old movie, classic without feeling dated. The tree I bought is small (4'6") and artificial, but that suites us since we don't have many ornaments. We've never had an artificial tree before; our mom had them when she was a kid and hated them, and she's also obsessed with the smell of pine. I also got a little miniature Christmas stocking for Sable. I'll try to put some pictures up soon.

Sara is celebrating her birthday this Friday. (She'll be 26! OMG, she's, like, so old!) Mom and Adam are supposed to be arriving from North Carolina sometime on Friday night. I don't know how long they'll be in town, but we're all supposed to exchange Christmas gifts while they're here, and I have yet to buy anything for either of them. I don't know when I'm going to; I'll be working a lot for the next few days, because one of my co-workers, who's also my distant cousin, just quit.

Work is okay. I'm slowly getting better at my sales pitches, and the manager I hate is becoming more tolerable.

rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
The weather forecast on CNN International says that a cold front is moving across Europe, and believe me, Rebecca is feeling it. I don't think it's been this cold here since December, if ever. And I know it has never been this cold in Louisiana, at least not in my lifetime.

Snow was predicted for yesterday, which gave me fantasies of snowball fights the entire town blanketed in white. But there was no snow yesterday, just a lot of wind. It was still cold today, although it wasn't quite as bad since the sun came out. Maybe the sunshine is one reason why I caught so off-guard during lunch. Halfway through another gross cafeteria meal (it was a pile of beans and a piece of sausage so oily that oil literally spurted out when I pierced it with my fork), I happened to look out the window. What I saw made me nudge Sarah and point. "Sarah, what is that? Out there, do you see it? That white stuff falling from the sky, what is that?"

That's right, the first time Rebecca saw snow, she didn't even recognize it. But neither did Sarah, since she's used to the big snowflakes of Beijing, not these light, tiny ones that disappeared as soon as they hit the ground. I stood at the window and watched it for as long as I could, but it only lasted a few minutes. At least my first reaction to snow was a bit better than Scout Finch's.

After lunch Sarah and I went to the library, which we do every Wednesday. First we walked to Nakeisha's room to borrow the key to her gate, because it's much quicker getting to the library by her gate (we borrow it from her every Wednesday, and in return we check her out a movie from the library). But Nakeisha wasn't in her room, so we walked back to the main building and left through the front gate. We were almost to the library when Sarah realized that she had forgotten her card and I had forgotten the disc of the DVD I checked out last week (I had only brought the case, which was empty). So we walked all the way back to the school, picked up the things we had forgotten, and left for the library again. I spent the whole time saying, "Jesus, it's cold," to which Sarah always replied, "You do not know what is cold. You come to Beijing, you will know." That maybe true, but I told Sarah she doesn't know hot until she comes to Louisiana in June to August.

An American French teacher visited the school yesterday; he's from a prep school in Connecticut that does a student exchange with the lycée every year. He worked as an assistant a few years ago, and when I mentioned to him that I haven't noticed much improvement in my French, he said that he didn't only realized how much better his French had gotten after he came back to the United States.

P.S. Would somebody please ask Grandma if she ever got a package from me with some candies and photos in it?

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