little things {#3}

{I’m going to be away on vacation for the next few days, starting today, and I won’t be bringing my laptop with me, so *horrors* I won’t be able to be online for that time period.  Unfortunately, this means that I won’t be able to answer emails or comments or do this week’s Friday Finds.  But I hope to be back by Saturday, rested, rejuvenated, and ready to write some new blog posts.  See you then!}

Love the book they picked for this!

~fresh sheets

~behind-the-scenes photos (most any movie)

~word search puzzles

~getting mentioned in a blog post

~pretty pens

~books WITHOUT love triangles


~writing/editing/reading fan-fiction

~ordering books online


~discovering two new favorite books in two days

~coffee + cream

~the Unbroken movie (SO. MANY. EMOTIONS.)


~the word ‘glittery’

~classic TV shows




friday finds {#3}

Ingrid Bergman with Alfred Hitchcock

Well, duh.

Am I the only one who spends wayyyy too much time gazing upon photos of charming little bookstores like this one?

SO beautiful. I couldn’t be happier with this cover.

Me and Elisabeth. Definitely.

Combat! episode script which I assume is from “Glow Against The Sky”.

I love this screenshot.

Behind the scenes – Mag7. The awesome thing is that I know who everyone is.

A US M4 Sherman Tank that was stranded on a reef during the invasion of the island of Saipan during WWII.

Just take a minute and gaze at the sheer loveliness of this veil.


combat! episode review/analysis: “masquerade”

{This post is part of A Shroud of Thoughts’ Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon.}

Ah, “Masquerade”.  One of my top five favorite Combat! episodes, and for good reason.  Episodes that feature German infiltrators are always tense and interesting (“The Long Walk”, “Mockingbird”…), and “Masquerade” is no exception.  Added to all the tension is some great dialogue, excellent acting (both regulars and non-regulars), and a rather famous guest star, which makes for a top-notch episode.  There are so many things I could write about it, maybe focusing on one or two specific parts or talking about the subtle symbolism in various scenes, but I’ve decided to take a different route.  There are too many good things about “Masquerade” to just discuss a few specifics so I’ll be giving you all a very long, very detailed plot synopsis, interspersed with my own opinions and observations. (WARNING: This post will be rife with spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this episode yet, continue at your own risk.)

Oh, and remember what I said about ‘a rather famous guest star’?  Well, he’s probably the main reason I love this episode so much.

Because it’s JAMES COBURN.  And I’ll be talking about him quite a bit throughout the post.

*muffled fangirl screams*


Anyway.  On to the post.

Our story starts out on a dusty road, flanked on either side by shady trees.  The Squad is trudging down that road, all tired and and disheveled, when a jeep drives up.  Driving the jeep is an American corporal, sitting shotgun is a German colonel, and in the back seat, the officer in charge – a lieutenant.  I’m going to take a break from my scintillating narrative here to point how all the guys on the road (with the exception of Saunders) start thumbing for a ride as soon as the jeep drives up.  It’s one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bits of humour.  Saunders & Co. learn that the lieutenant and corporal are anxious to get to Battalion and drop off the colonel – he’s an important prisoner with information that HQ needs.  Saunders directs them to King Company’s CP, and the jeep drives off.  And then…

Lieutenant Comstock: *says something in German that I’m not even going to try to spell out here*
Corporal Kanger: “English!  From now on we speak only English!” (said in a German accent, I might add)

Slam to black.

The antagonism between Comstock and Kanger is shown right from their very first scene (“All right, corporal.”  “…Yes, sir.”).  Theirs is a tense relationship, lacking in trust, which is kind of a crucial element, considering the type of mission they’re on.  Comstock keeps making mistakes, mainly because he’s just not infiltrator material, mistakes that eventually lead to his death.  But that comes later.  So, after the opening credits, we come back to Comstock, Kanger, and the German colonel.  The jeep has halted long enough for all the infantry on the road earlier to catch up with it, so Kanger gives one of his charming smiles (honestly, how can a smile be both disturbing and disarming at the same time?) and heads down what I assume is the wrong road because everyone else takes the other one at the fork.  A few moments later, an explosion is heard.  Our Guys turn and run toward the direction of the explosion and find the jeep on its side, its occupants flung to the ground a few feet away.

Kanger’s resourcefulness and quick thinking never fail to surprise and amaze me.  Of course, in his worry about the colonel (who’s hurt quite badly), he forgets about his lieutenant momentarily, but when he does get over to Comstock, he repeats his (fake) name and Comstock’s name, in English, so that he won’t lapse into German once he wakes up.  And it works – quite brilliantly, I might add.  So far, there haven’t been any real slip-ups.  (So far.)  They load the colonel onto a stretcher (to Kirby’s disgust…”They always ride.”) and set off for the CP.

Once there, Comstock paces nervously back and forth (in a delightful contrast to Hanley, who’s relaxedly leaning back against a wall, and Kanger who’s calm, cool, and collected as usual) while a doctor examines the colonel.  Hanley suggests that Kanger and Comstock get themselves ‘some java’ and the look on Comstock’s face is priceless.  He half turns and looks back at Kanger with a “Help me because I have no idea what java is” expression on his face.  Kanger, of course, smooths things over with a “No coffee for me, lieutenant.  If you’d like some, I’ll be glad to stick it out here.”  I’m telling you, Comstock doesn’t know the first thing about infiltrating.  He’s so stilted and and, well, fake with his discussion of baseball and how he’s so unsure with using slang terms like “cup of java” or “a real tough joe” (unlike Kanger, who kind of overdoes it with all his slang).  It’s no wonder Saunders get suspicious.  You’d have to be blind and deaf not to know there was something a least a little odd about Comstock.

So, the doctor comes out and says that the colonel will probably be fine, but he can’t be moved for a few hours.  Which doesn’t sit well with Kanger, but he hides his anger/disappointment quite well.  Comstock comes back with Saunders (I love Hanley’s little wave to Saunders as he drives off in the doctor’s jeep) and Kanger joins a poker game that Kirby, Littlejohn, and a couple other random guys have going.  All is going well until Kanger pulls out a bill stained with blood and everyone deserts the game.  Comstock and Kanger go in to see the colonel and Saunders gets suspicious all over again, especially when Comstock demonstrates an uncommon grasp of the German language. (Also, the tension between the two infiltrators rises another notch when Comstock turns down Saunders’ somewhat backhanded offer to let them take off for Battalion right then and there.  Kanger is only interested in the success of the mission, but Comstock doesn’t want to see the colonel die.)

They go off for a quick meal (which Kanger eats in a thoroughly unappetizing manner), and here’s where you really start getting a sense of just how cold and brutal and ruthless Kanger really is.  James Coburn really knows how to play mean, unscrupulous characters, and he plays them quite often – which makes those few wonderful good guy roles all the more awesome to watch. (I tend to get rather attached to those roles, too, particularly Henshaw and Britt.)

Comstock: “You’re inhuman.  A machine!  A machine with a certain facility for American words and no more.”
Kanger:  “You know, lieutenant, you may be right.  Maybe the group leaders thought of me that way – inhuman.  Let me tell you something about us inhumans.  We all have one thing in common: an instinct for survival.  Now one more slip lieutenant, and I may have to kill you.  Just so this animal can survive.”

Caje comes running up, sounding the alarm – Germans have slipped into the village.  Everyone grabs their gear, including Kanger and Comstock, and makes for the far end of town, almost immediately becoming engaged in a huge firefight.  Kanger has no compunctions about shooting Germans, throwing grenades into windows after them, etc., etc., but Comstock sure does.  At one point, he has a clear line of fire at a couple of soldiers, but freezes up, refusing to shoot.  Kanger gets on his case right away, and you know, you just know that the resentment and anger that has been simmering under the surface of Kanger’s outer calm is just about to explode.  And explode it does, after Comstock responds when Kanger calls out to him in German – the fatal, last mistake.  Kanger shoots Comstock in cold blood.

Ugh.  “Masquerade” was the first thing I saw James Coburn in, and therefore it will always be…not special, I suppose, but unique to me, and sometimes I wish he wouldn’t play easy-to-hate characters so often.

(And that was totally unrelated to the episode analysis, I know.  Sorry.)

Hanley comes back and he and Saunders discover Kanger kneeling over Comstock’s body, in a rather convincing manner.  He doesn’t really overdo things there.  Anyway, there’s a couple scenes which show that Saunders’ suspicions continue to rise, and then Saunders finally acts on those suspicions and hunts up Hanley in the CP headquarters.  Only, Hanley doesn’t really believe all of Saunders’ ‘little reasons’ and actually brushes him off a couple of times.  A bit out of character, in my mind, but he does act on those suspicions later, so I can’t really complain too much.  And their conversation includes one of my favorite Hanley lines in the entire show, one that makes me grin (if not laugh) every time I hear him say it.

Saunders: “What about the way they’re trying to get this wounded colonel back to Battalion?  They scream at every delay.”
Hanley: “They want to get him back alive.”
Saunders: “Lieutenant, it just doesn’t add up.  A four hour delay?  Now, I talked to Lieutenant Comstock before he was killed, and I don’t know what it is, Lieutenant, but there’s something strange about him.”
Hanley: “A lot of second lieutenants are strange.”

The way he says it and the expression on his face – it’s priceless!

And then Cooper, a medic, pulls into the courtyard and there’s a bunch of cheering ’cause he’s everyone’s favorite ambulance driver (and one of my favorite incidental characters).  He’s been sent to take the German colonel to Battalion, but when he and Kanger enter Hanley’s little HQ, they’re met with the news that the colonel will have to wait because Hanley put through a call to Battalion and he’s waiting for a reply.  Kanger is frustrated and furious but, again, he manages to hide it.  Cooper settles down beside Doc, who’s watching over the colonel.  I know I haven’t mentioned Doc yet…he doesn’t do much in this episode, but he and Cooper do have a nice little exchange.  Always makes me smile. (I always imagine Doc and Cooper to be good friends.  The fact that they’re both Southern medics miiiiight have something to do with that notion.)

Cooper: “How you doin’, Doc?”
Doc: “All right.  How’re you doing, Doc?”
Cooper: “Oh, all right.”

Saunders then wanders (purposefully wanders) over to Kanger, and starts questioning him then and there, and not very subtly either.  And he’s right – Kanger’s story just doesn’t add up.  First he agrees with Saunders about how tough it was waiting for D-Day (and how his company…?  Squad?  Platoon?) kept being shuffled around to a bunch of different camps in Britain, and then he says he came over to France later as a replacement.  Weird.  And highly suspicious. (I love how Saunders has his Thompson pointed at Kanger throughout their conversation.)  Even Hanley starts to pick up on the fact that this guy might not be What He Seems.  But when the call comes through from Battalion, he lets Kanger go.  Both Kanger and Comstock were listed on the roster of the 594th.

But Saunders still thinks Kanger is an infiltrator. (And after that lame excuse for a cover story, who wouldn’t?)

After that, things start to happen very fast, especially considering the slow burn of tension and suspense that reigned for the first three-fourths or so of the episode.  Triumphant at last, Kanger leaves with Cooper and the colonel.  Hanley informs Saunders the squad has been ordered to pull out and, as an addendum, that Kanger and Comstock were reported MIA three days ago. (The vicious way Saunders slams that door when he finds out…ouch.)  Saunders is sent ahead to Battalion because he can identify Kanger on sight (my question is: Why couldn’t the rest of the squad have gone with him?  It would’ve been safer, and they all could have recognized Kanger on sight too, if the need arose.) and also because he can make a thorough report on how the infiltrators work.

Everything goes even more downhill after that.  The camera briefly cuts to Kanger when the colonel dies and Kanger calls Cooper around back to check him (the colonel).  And then he STRANGLES Cooper.  Whyyyyyyy? (Also, it’s rather frightening to think of what would’ve happened if Doc had been the one driving, as he jokingly suggested.)  Saunders discovers that the road to Battalion is out, and the MP at the the roadblock tells Saunders that an ambulance tried to go cross-country and ended up breaking a wheel.  When he gets to the ambulance, he finds Cooper’s body wearing Kanger’s tags.  So, naturally, Saunders goes after Kanger, despite the MP’s protestations that “there’s Krauts moving up on that flank!” (Since when has that ever stopped Saunders?)

Kanger shoots Saunders (in the leg, I believe) and then goes off on a long spiel about how all Americans are suckers, Germans are not, and how, because he’s a good soldier, he’s going to turn Saunders over to a German patrol he’d spotted instead of killing him.  How nice.  And then Kanger, who’s ordinarily so cautious and smart, pulls the Stupid Bad Guy move of completely ignoring Saunders while he hails the German patrol.  This allows Saunders to pull a grenade off the dead body of a GI next to him and throw it at the patrol, which ultimately leads to Kanger’s death as one of the dying Germans shoots him in the back.  Kanger tumbles down the hill, landing right in the middle of all the dead Germans.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Saunders crawls along the ground (for once, a leg wound has him down) until he comes across a couple of American sentries.  He tells them he’s wounded, he can’t make it any further, that he’s an American, but instead of being the suckers that Kanger said all Americans were, they question him about where he’s from in the States and so on.  When Saunders goes all quiet (because he’s exhausted and in pain, you know), they come out and help him up.  The first time I watched “Masquerade” and Saunders whispered “Suckers…” right at the end, I didn’t understand why he said that.  But now I do.

A few final remarks:

  • As a point of interest, “Masquerade” was originally entitled “Operation Grief”.  I’m glad they changed the title, as I think “Masquerade” fits the theme of the episode much better.  
  • I’m also glad that James Coburn got a great guest star role, especially since I feel like other favorite guests (Charles Bronson, most notably) were somewhat wasted in the roles they got.  Kanger is more than a one-note villain and Coburn plays him with a chilling combination of creepy and casual that’s fascinating to watch.  Even if he was rather stupid at the end. (And I’ve never understood why he didn’t just let Cooper drive on to Battalion instead of strangling him.)  
  • And, based on what I could pick up from the one-sided conversation Kanger has with the German patrol near the end, he’s an SS sergeant.  I kind of wish we’d have learned what his real name was too.

And to end this post: A quote that just about sums up the whole episode in a nice little package.

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ~Robert Burns



P.S. You can watch “Masquerade” here, on Youtube.

happy birthday to the king of cool

Steve McQueen

“I’ll never be as good an actor as I want to be. But I’ll be good.” ~Steve McQueen

A little over a month ago, I didn’t understand what was so special about Steve McQueen.  I’d seen him in only one role – as the surly, taciturn Reese in Hell Is For Heroes – and he hadn’t made much of a good impression on me.  And then I watched The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven and those two films changed my opinion of McQueen entirely.  Not to mention Wanted: Dead or Alive, a show that is one of the wonderful, nearly forgotten gems of 60’s television.  Now it’s not like I have a major crush on Steve McQueen  or anything like that (one of the main reasons I never idolize actors or actresses is because if you start digging into their past, you usually find out they’ve done some pretty rotten things), but he is a fantastic actor, and I don’t see anything wrong with acknowledging that fact.  I don’t have much time today for writing a blog post, so I’ll just be sharing a few favorite pictures/video clips that I’ve rounded up in my browsing this last month.

After all, to use an old cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words.

(This bit never fails to put a grin on my face.)

Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, and James Coburn on the set of The Magnificent Seven.

(“I took a job in a grocery store. Fella says I’ll make a crackerjack clerk. Crackerjack.”)

I love this picture. 🙂


As Josh Randall.

(This just might be my favorite scene in the whole film.)

Production still from The Great Escape

(This is mostly Chris’ scene, but it’s the little things Vin does in the background that make all the difference.) 

Now I’m off to watch some of those clips I just shared with all of you, along with watching Wanted: Dead or Alive later on tonight with my sister.  Because nothing is better than watching Steve McQueen play a lonely, honourable bounty hunter with a sense of humour and an impossibly epic scatter gun. (I wasn’t able to embed the video of the Season 1 opening credits, but if you’re a McQueen fan, you need to at least watch that, if not a full episode or two.  The way he rips the poster off the window and then glares at the camera? *faints*)

(Fun fact: Today is also the anniversary of the real Great Escape.  How cool is that?)


P.S. I’d like to point out that the theme for The Great Escape not only fits the movie perfectly, but also Hilts’ character and, by extension, Steve McQueen himself.

P.P.S. Read this post.  It’s beautiful.

friday finds {#2}

Favorite thing EVER.

New Mockingjay poster!

Rommel – I’ve seen most of the photos taken of him, but this was a new one (for me), which was neat.


This skirt is unbelievably gorgeous.

Ingrid Bergman 🙂

New life quote.

SO cool.

One of the best things ever.

June 6th, 1944.  No. Words.


tv show review: combat! {season 1}

(I was originally going to just write one big post reviewing the entire series, but I realized it would make more sense to review each season individually.  Because each post will be pretty long, and focus on mostly the same things each time – characters and episodes – I’ve decided to make this post series a little more formally structured than my other reviews.  Just so you know. :))

Combat!, a one-hour WWII drama series on television, followed a frontline American infantry squad as they battled their way across Europe. With mud-splattered realism, the show offered character studies of men striving to maintain their own humanity in the midst of a world torn by war.


Almost every TV show I’ve ever watched has suffered from what I call ‘first installment weirdness’.  You know what I’m talking about – the first episode or two of pretty much any given TV show is a bit odd, in terms of characterization and/or the general focus of the show itself.  However, even though the first episode of Combat! (“A Day In June”, if you’re watching the episodes chronologically, or “Forgotten Front” if you’re taking on the show by production order) is odd, I’d say that the series has a bit of first season weirdness.  Part (or most) of this was due to the fact that there were battles behind the scenes regarding what’s the show’s focus/atmosphere should be.  Robert Altman, one of the directors, wanted Combat! to have an anthology feel to it, which is why there are more single character episodes in Season 1 than, I believe, any other season, while on the other hand, most of the other writers/directors wanted the series to be mainly about The Squad. (A vision I applaud.)  Ultimately, Altman was kicked off of the show (after he defied the producers by filming “Survival”) and Combat! began to be all about the squad working together as a team, something I love.

Main characters: To begin with…Saunders.  He really is the person that the entire show revolves around, more or less, and so it’s only right to start off by discussing him.  For a time, I don’t think the scriptwriters knew quite what they wanted Saunders to be like.  He was very cheery and friendly and he cracks jokes a lot in the first few episodes, and frankly, it’s kind of weird. (Especially in “The Squad” and “A Day In June”.)  It took a little while for everyone to realize that that’s simply not Saunders’ personality.  In the later episodes/seasons, he’s quite different. (Lots of fans say – and I agree – that, in-universe, it was Grady Long’s death that made all the difference in how he acted.  But that’s a whole other story.)  Overall, I like Normal Saunders better, even if he can be very gruff and even a bit unpleasant at times.

Speaking of unpleasantness, Kirby’s quite a jerk in Season 1. (“Forgotten Front”, anyone?  “Far From The Brave” is a good example too – I understand his frustration with Saunders and Delaney, but the way he treats Delaney at times… I can’t excuse him there.)  Mouthing off, sneaking liquor on patrols, making jokes at other people’s expense, etc., etc.  BUT it does provide an amazing contrast to how his character develops and changes throughout the series, and he is highly entertaining, so I can’t complain too much.  And on the other side of the spectrum is Caje, who could possibly be called Saunders’ right hand man.  Caje goes through some tough things in Season 1, mainly in the first (losing Theo) and last (killing a civilian) episodes, and that always plays on my sympathies hugely.  One thing Combat! never fails to deliver a good, emotional kick.

Hanley!  How could I have forgotten him?  He’s great, and I like him very much indeed (though not half as much as Elisabeth does), mainly because he’s a good leader – not like the ‘ninety day wonders’ the New Guys always grouse about.  Sure, he sends the squad out on a bunch of lousy missions, but it’s not like he wants to or anything.  It’s just his job.

And then there’s Billy, Littlejohn, and Doc1.  You can’t mention Billy without mentioning Littlejohn too.  They go together like bacon and eggs.  Or hot chocolate and fuzzy blankets. (A fact I was reminded of just last night after watching “Night Patrol”.)  Burt Kennedy was the one who first got the ball rolling when it came to those wonderful Billy and Littlejohn scenes, and even though the trend died out after Season 1 (a crying shame), I’ll forever be indebted to him for that. (Short note on Burt Kennedy: This guy.  My favorite director after Vic Morrow, and by far my favorite writer.  There are three episodes that he both wrote and directed, and each of them is a gem – “The Walking Wounded”, “Far From The Brave”, and “Next In Command”.)  Now, I won’t spend much time on Doc1, because, honestly, there isn’t much to say.  Season 1 already has a black mark against it (in my eyes) because my beloved Doc2 isn’t the squad’s medic (although Conlan Carter does appear in both “Hill 256” and “Survival”), which wouldn’t be too bad if it weren’t for the fact that Doc1 is so…bland.  And non-competent. *sigh*


Minor characters: One of the [many] things I love about Combat! is how the entire show is peppered with amazing minor characters (many of whom appear in just one episode – like Moseby Lovelace, pictured above), ones that you can get quite attached to in a short amount of time.  As much as I love all the regulars (and that’s very much), it’s always great to have some scene-stealing, one-shot characters.  Season 1 has its share of minor characters, including a couple recurring ones: Braddock and Brockmeyer.  To be honest, Braddock isn’t one of my favorite characters (mostly since his style of humour doesn’t really fit the show’s atmosphere) but, surprisingly, I really like his focus episode, “The Prisoner”.  His bit parts in other episodes I can live without, except maybe his conversation with Delaney in “Far From The Brave”.  Brockmeyer, on the other hand, is one of my absolute favorite minor characters on the show.  He gets maybe ten lines of dialogue in the five or so episodes he’s in (and that’s probably being generous), but he’s still AWESOME.  Fletcher Fist did an excellent job with what little he was given to work with. (It’s great to see him pop up in later seasons too, even though the character of Brockmeyer is confined to Season 1.)

Other recurring characters are Crown and Temple (first appearance – “Rear Echelon Commandos”) and I like both of them, especially Crown.  Seeing how he goes from cocky kid to a more mature young man (and a good soldier) is great.  Concerning characters who only appear in one episode but I still really like, Moseby Lovelace from “The Squad” has to go at the very top of my list.  It took me a couple re-watchs of the episode to fully appreciate him, but he’s now closely tied with Avery and Brockmeyer for favorite minor character because HE’S JUST SO ADORABLE. *grins hugely*  A couple other characters I nearly forgot to mention are Ann and David (“Any Second Now”).  I watch the episode as much for them as I do for Hanley being all heroic and epic.  They’re the sweetest couple.  Oh, and Grady Long has to be mentioned too.  He only appears for a couple of seconds at the very beginning of “Far From The Brave”, and you never get to know much about him, but after reading the fanfiction story White Queen wrote about him, I love him dearly. (Plus, it makes watching FFTB even more heartbreaking.)  I made up a nifty little picture collage from what meager screenshots I could snag, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Favorite/Least Favorite episodes: (Well, I’ll be talking about least favorite first, just to get it out of the way.)  There are several episodes in Season 1 that I don’t have a great liking for, but the worst in the season – maybe the entire series – is “The Chateau”.  No Saunders, no Hanley or Caje or Kirby.  Just Braddock and Doc1 and some random lieutenant, which makes for less than scintillating characterization and dialogue.  Plus, the episode itself is rather dull, so one viewing was more than enough for me.  I also don’t really like “Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd”, “Missing In Action”, “Forgotten Front”, or “High Named Today”.  All more or less uninteresting episodes with less than compelling characters.  And then there’s the episode that has superb acting, an interesting story, and pretty much the whole squad, but it’ll probably be a long time before I watch it again – “Survival”.  Why?  The premise.  Saunders is stuck in a burning building, is severely (severely) burned, and wanders around in extreme pain for nearly the whole episode.  It’s practically all my worst fears (getting badly burned, being stuck in a burning building, getting lost…) all rolled into one.  The episode is painful just to watch.


Anywho.  On to the happier topic of my favorite episodes.  There are several, even if this is Season 1.  “Any Second Now” – Hanley is brilliantly awesome in this one, plus, as I mentioned before, Ann and David make an adorable couple.  “The Squad” – Just because of Lovelace.  “The Prisoner” – Colonel Clyde is hilarious. (Not to mention Braddock.)  Also, Tom Skerritt makes a cameo appearance and the little band of Col. Clyde’s friends worrying about him back at HQ is the BEST.  “Far From The Brave” – Everything about this episode is wonderful.  And sad, too.  “Next In Command” – My personal favorite episode from Season 1.  Billy and Littlejohn scenes, Brockmeyer actually getting some lines, great acting, and a great plot.  So, so good.  “Hill 256” – Courtroom drama!  Conlan Carter as an MP!  Caje and Saunders sticking up for Kirby!  It’s all perfect.  “One More For The Road” – Feels.  And then more feels.  And then even MORE feels.  Vic Morrow’s acting throughout this episode never cease to amaze me + make me tear up.

Overall: While Season 1 isn’t my favorite season, I’d say it’s more hit than miss.  Some truly outstanding episodes, mixed with good ones, and a few not-so-good ones make for an interesting, electic mix of fresh storylines.  While I’d probably recommend an episode from a later season for a first time viewer, Season 1 is full of excellent episodes that make sticking it out through the first few completely worthwhile.  Highly recommended for anyone and everyone.


my daily schedule

Randomly nice picture because I can’t seem to start off a blog post without one.

  • 7:30ish – Wake up, get dressed, start schoolwork. (Note: Mom has the four oldest kids on a rotation chart, which means that once every four days I have to make breakfast [which is always oatmeal].  If it’s my day to do breakfast, I’ll juggle boiling grain and schoolwork with relative ease, but I’d rather not.)
  • 8:00 or 8:45 (it all depends) – Eat breakfast.
  • 8:45 to 9:30 – If it’s my day to wash dishes, that’s what I’ll be doing.  If not, I usually read or finish up leftover schoolwork.
  • 9:30 to 10:00 – Family devotions, Bible memorization, and copywork.
  • 10:00 to 11:00 – Write.
  • 11:00 to 11:30 – Read. (Usually recreational reading, although I do still have several books to read for school.)
  • 11:30 to 12:00 – Practice on the piano. (Sigh.)
  • 12:00 to 12:30 – Prepare/eat lunch.
  • 12:30 to 2:00 – Computer.  Write blog posts, answer emails, catch up on all the Youtube channels I follow.
  • 2:00 to 3:00 – Wash dishes if I’m on duty for the day.  Read. (I should be reading Books For School, but right now I’m in the middle of a SUPER book series…)
  • 3:00 to 6:00 – What I do in these three hours is highly varied from day to day.  If I’m prepared, I’ll write a book report or short biography for my WWII history course.  Several times a week I’ll go to the mall and/or library with Elisabeth, and when I get back, I either read until it’s supper (or until I have to help prepare supper) or watch a movie with everyone.
  • 6:00 to 6:30 – Eat supper.
  • 6:30 to 7:30 or 8:00 – Wash dishes if applicable.  Read.  Play games with siblings.  Colour with Younger Siblings.
  • 8:00 to 9:00 – Computer.  This is the best time for me to chat with friends, unless I have a blog post from the afternoon that I’m putting the finishing touches on (and that certainly wouldn’t take the full hour).  I’m generally free for this hour.
  • 9:00 to 10:00 or 10:30 – Watch a varied amount of TV shows with siblings.  We have it all divided up neatly: Saturday to Monday are the boys’ nights for picking what to watch, Tuesday to Thursday is for me and Elisabeth to decide, and we alternate on Friday which is Movie Night (actually, it’s gotten a bit more complicated, but that’s the basic premise).  Elisabeth and I always decide on Combat! and Wanted: Dead Or Alive, by the way.
  • 10:30 to Whatever Hour I Go To Sleep – Personal devotions, shower (every other night), study for my upcoming Spanish exam, and play Uno with Elisabeth.  Lights out.  Talk in the dark for another ten minutes.  Sleep.

Of course, there are plenty of variations to this schedule, and a few of those variations would include…

  • The entire family goes to the mall after supper.
  • A visitor comes over unexpectedly. (Usually my grandparents.)
  • Prayer meeting on Tuesday.
  • An impromptu road trip on the weekend.
  • And Sunday is a whole new schedule in and of itself.

But, overall, the schedule above is how most of my days go, and it feels good to get it all down on paper (virtual paper?).  Lists really are wonderful for keeping things organized and accessible; I don’t know what I’d do without them.