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2016 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Friday, October 29, 2010

I'd forgotten...

...how much I really enjoy NCIS.

We got the first disk of season 7 from Netflix yesterday. I had actually followed season 7 online for awhile last year until I just didn't anymore. So I have actually seen all these episodes already.

But I really loved this first episode. It was the conclusion to the season six season finale.

It is my second favorite episode as it shows just how awesome Agent Gibbs truly is. He was a sniper in the Marine Corps previous to his becoming an NCIS agent. We rarely, if ever, see him in sniper mode, but in this ep--oh, yeah--wow, Gibbs is totally hot here.

It's also the episode where we find out just how much Agent Tony Dinozzo cares for Ziva David. It's never said in words, it's all in context. And to me (and at least one online friend of mine) it's perfectly clear that Tony would go to hell and back for her and might have already done so, given the events leading up to this episode.

Anyone else watch NCIS?

(Okay, I do realize that season eight is now airing on regular TV, but as I don't have access to that, I am obviously a bit behind. It might be time to go watch on NBC's site again.)
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let's Review...

Books and Movies

In the past week I have read three books, cover to cover (started #4 last night), and watched three movies.

Books:

HOT by Julia Harper was okay. A small town librarian has been planning revenge for the framing of her uncle in an embezzling case. She develops an attachment to the FBI Special agent assigned to the case as their relationship develops via cell phone while she's on the run and trying to find evidence. I liked it well enough, it kept me interested, although I was able to put it down as needed, like to sleep or eat. :)

Hill Country Holdup by Angi Morgan, my NTRWA chapter mate and dear friend was great. Her first book for Harlequin (or anyone, but her dream publisher). A super smart woman's child is kidnapped and she must go to the child's father, a FBI Special Agent, to help her. Only he doesn't know he's the child's father. Action packed from beginning to end as Jane and Steve travel across the Hill Country of Texas in search of clues. Full of twists and turns until the end. And I didn't guess the villain.

Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas was WOW. Written in first person, which I didn't mind nearly as much as I expected. Rich heroine is cut off from daddy's millions when she marries her boyfriend. Narcissicism and abuse ensues until she finally gets away. A well done PSA on the disease of narcissistic personality disorder of which there's apparently no real cure. Once safely back in the fold, the heroine must learn to set boundaries and enforce them and, of course, learn to love again. Very well told all the way around. That fourth book I mentioned at the beginning is the third book in this series; this book being the second. I'll be after the first one later.

Movies:

Star Trek 2009 - a perennial favorite in our house and I've seen 60+ times at this point. Don't ask me why, but I love this movie. Not going to really write a review per se on it, but I watched it. If you're a fan of the original series, you may or may not enjoy the modernization of the characters and the relationships. I think it was intended as a reboot of the franchise, bringing younger viewers into the fold. Two more movies are planned. Even if you don't like the premise of the reboot, you have to admit, the actors all did a fabulous job with the legendary characters. It's hard to pick a favorite, though. Least favorite of mine was Chris Pine in the Kirk role. I've never been a big fan of Kirk's. Sulu, meh. Uhura, Spock, Chekov and Scott were awesome. The Bones character was great. The music was fabulous and I do have the soundtrack.

Ice Castles - the 2010 remake of the original 1978 film. Believe it or not, I've never seen the original. The remake was blech. Not that the actors weren't fine, performances were fine. But the whole thing was a bit slow. First of all, it took to just past the mid-way point of the film for her to finally have the accident and lose her sight (well, most of it). So I'm supposed to believe that she overcame whatever fears she had and the physical obstacles in less than half the movie? Nope wasn't buying it. I really had to suspend my disbelief on this one. I'm sorta tempted to watch the original just to see how that aspect of the story was presented, but I've got better things to do with two hours (like read Lisa Kleypas's other book ;).

The Young Victoria - The story of Queen Victoria's young life, her ascension to the throne, and the development of her love affair with her husband Prince Albert. Very well done all the way around, except I really didn't get the point of the plot until the movie was over. It was more along the lines of a documentary in movie format. But the actors were wonderfully cast and for a history lover like me, well worth the time investment.

So any good book or movie recommendations?
Monday, October 25, 2010

Gotta love Texas weather!

Saturday we had a lovely cold front move through. Temps dropped and it was stormy almost all day. Perfect for the home made chicken soup I'd planned for Sunday.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, however. No clouds, perfect temps, and a lovely breeze. The soup was still made, despite it being almost too warm.

No wonder my knees have been acting up for the last three/four days!
Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday!

Well...this week's football game was last night and our team whooped some butt! It was also parent night and the band members honored their parents and others who have helped support them by playing "Wind Beneath My Wings." It was a very nice gesture, but I really dislike that song. It was way overplayed when it first came out.

The band director bought individually packaged fake roses for the kids to hand out to their parents or others who support them. I got MBB's of course. And one other sweet young man said if he had a second one he'd give it to me. Aww...!

And we parents didn't have to haul anything around during half-time. No props, no drum major stand, nothing. Of course, before and after half time, it was business as usual. One dad drives the truck that hauls the instruments to and from events, and DD and I provide the snacks and hand them out right after their half time performance. And make sure they all throw their trash away rather than leave it on the ground. And amazingly enough, even after I've hollered about doing just that, I still find random empty wrappers or soda cans or water bottles on the ground after they've all trooped back to the stands.

But it's Friday. We've survived another week.

Have a great weekend.
Monday, October 18, 2010

Potpourri...

It's fall, it's fall here in Texas and, while it's fairly short-lived, it's beautiful and wonderful and fall. It's my favorite season. Man, now I wish I had a picture. The leaves are turning colors and the acorns are dropping like, well, acorns. The day temperatures fluctuate but the nights are blessedly cool and I love to sleep with the windows open. Canned pumpkin should be hitting the shelves any day now and I will be stocking up! I haven't had pumpkin cake in over a year. Argh!

Marching band season has come to a close. (Thank goodness!) Marching band boy and his marching band compadres competed at UIL this past Saturday, scoring a 1-2-2, despite my section of the prop falling forward. The band director was well pleased and so, then, were the rest of us. Our poor little band had quite a few hurdles to overcome so the score were a testament to how hard this little-band-that-could worked. Construction at the high school over the summer meant they had to move to one of the middle schools for practices. Then there was the Texas heat; August here is hot, hot, hot, so sometimes it was just too hot to practice outside on the field. Then the district instituted an A/B schedule at the high school this year which meant band itself officially met only every other day: three days one week, two days the next, and so on. To their credit, every member attended every extra practice even when it was called last minute. And last but not least, the six-week grading period ended October 1st and the band lost five members, bringing its number down to like thirty members. This meant some finagling of the program to account for the missing bodies/instruments. So now...we have three more football games to play unless our football team makes it to the playoffs and I really have no idea what their chances are. I hope they make it, but then again... :)

I watched most of the second Harry Potter movie on Thursday, but started falling asleep, so I still have that to finish and move on to the others. Friday night was the football game and home late, Saturday MBB had friends over so they were busy doing what boys do: playing video games, wrestling, making a mess in the kitchen, Sunday night was read, rest, relax in preparation for the work week. We may get to the next film tonight, we may not. I'm suddenly in reading mode.

And how about those Texas Rangers?? This is their first time in the American League playoffs ever. With a win and a loss against the NY Yankees, they play tonight in New York. Go Rangers!
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harry Potter

In a run to the release of the latest Harry Potter movie on Nov. 19, 2010 my children have decided to have a Harry Potter fest. They started last night and I decided to watch with them. I've seen it before, but remember very little of it. I haven't read the books.

Being in a musically-minded mode, specifically marching band program music, I was enthralled with the musical score. I think a very fun and popular program could be created using several of the songs and symbols from the movie. But convincing the band director might be another thing altogether.

As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it very much and Daniel Radcliffe was a cutie patootie as an eleven-year-old.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Since when do I have allergies...? :)

I've been pretty healthy and malady free all my life. I grew up in Southern California and moved to the Omaha, NE area as a young adult. Never suffered an allergy in my life. Now, eleven years in Texas and I am an annual allergy sufferer.

I realize I'm older now and my body's changed over the years, and the "stuff" here in Texas is different than the "stuff" in California or Nebraska.

I'm not really complaining. I mean, I don't feel bad. I just have mildly itchy eyes and nose and am doing a lot of sneezing. My ears are a bit itchy today, so it may be morphing into a cold. I can go without taking allergy medication unless I'm outside for extended periods of time--which I have been with marching band boy's football games and competitions. (Last competition--the big one--is this coming Saturday.)

I wonder if marching band boy will develop allergies at some point in his life. And the only reason I mention it is because we moved to Texas from Nebraska when he was 31/2 years old; and right before we left, he'd had an ear infection. (He had his fair share, though not chronically.) He got antibiotics and the doctor said to bring him back in a couple of weeks for a re-check. And when I mentioned we were moving to Texas the doctor basically said that my son would probably never have another ear infection then. And once we moved to Texas he never did. Amazing!
Friday, October 8, 2010

One of those days...

The day started off with potential, but that quickly went out the window when not one, but two clients called with serious issues. Issues that can be directly related to one certain employee. One we wanted to disemploy but now can't, at least not right away, because one other employee gave notice. Another employee texted in sick. How convenient that it's Friday. I hope he's looking for a job, 'cause I really have no use for this guy.

Hubby was going to try to go out on the boat today, but those plans have probably been derailed due to the above mentioned client issues. One client has now lost faith in said employee's competence and no longer wants him to service their company. Can't say as I blame her. However, this now means that hubby is the only one left to do so. Being a PC tech is not what he wants to do with his time.

As for me, cranky hubby means stressed Jen, so hopefully the issues can be resolved in a timely fashion and hubby can try to get that trip to the lake. Plus, we haz football game/marching band tonight. I have to be out of the office by 5ish (although I'd rather leave earlier if I can) in order to get home, eat dinner, get DD and band snacks and get to the school to help load and then get on the bus.

Tomorrow is a marching band competition almost 2 hours away. We have to be at the school by 8:30 am. I will get to sleep in since I'm usually up by 6:30, but since I probably won't get home and sleepy before 11 or 12 tonight, that 'sleeping in' isn't going to mean much. :)

And Sunday is a Cowboy event--the Dallas Cowboys play and the band is working a concession stand at the game. The band director has put out a call for workers, but I can't answer this one. I have been at/worked every band event so far. I'm talking football games, band competitions, AND Cowboy's events. Every single one. And after tonight's game and tomorrow's competition, I'm not going to be in any condition to be on my feet and working my ass off for nine hours. I feel a bit bad, but I just can't do it. A few other parents need to step up.

That is all.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

School District Competition

Last night, our marching band performed their program, Ocean Quest, at the school district's inter-city competition. This time, unlike Saturday, we competed against at least two other schools. And we brought home some gold!!

Both our color guard and our drum line took first place. WOOT!! Quite a feat for the color guard considering there are only two of them. :)

Now they need a little work on their music, toning the drums down and getting the woodwinds to play louder, but the director thinks they'll be able get that worked out in time for Saturday's competition.

Now, if we could just get the hauling of the prop on and off the field a little more finessed. Of course it would help if we always had the same people every time. But what can you do?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Will wonders never cease?

I got home from work last night to find DD holding a mug in her hand.

"Whatcha drinking?" I asked.

"Yes, mom, I'm drinking hot tea," she replied with a bit of friendly sarcasm. "My throat was hurting a little so I finally did what you always tell me and made some hot tea."

Wow, what? Amazing. They do listen and at some point realize you know what you're talking about. (Hi Mom! :)
Monday, October 4, 2010

Potpourri...

Marching band boy and his band competed in their first competition this past Saturday. They competed first and were the only school in their class, hence they took first place and got to bring home a huge trophy. They did good. They accomplished what the band director had hoped for. They got some feedback on their program and know where/what to fix. The next competition is Tuesday evening then the next two Saturdays. I'm pooped just thinking about it.

Back to Friday Night Lights. I finally got to see season four. I was expecting a wait for the physical disks, but by some miracle I discovered it had become available in the "Watch Instantly" section. WOOT. So between 7pm Saturday and 1PM Sunday, I watched all thirteen episodes of season four, crying through almost all of them. They were that intense and heart-wrenching. Kudos to Zach Gilford whose performances were just amazing. In a short story arc, Matt's father is killed by an IED in Iraq and his range of anger and sadness and confusion is just beautiful. I can't recommend this show enough.

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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America