Yearly Archives: 2013

Three great shows

I love a good movie, but I also really love a good show. Just like with novels, I don’t want the world I’ve grown to love to end soon, so I favor installments. I want the story to go on . . . and on . . . and on. So today I’m sharing about three shows that I have been loving recently!

1. My So-Called Life

This show tragically ran for only one season. The main character, 15-year-old Angela Chase, is played by a young Claire Danes. She is stellar in this role–truly stellar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that more honestly captures the feelings and thoughts of a girl in her teenage years. The insecurities–the peer-pressure–the significance of a zit–the paramount effects of the guy you like making eye contact with you. It makes my teenage emotions seem as vivid as they were 10 years ago.

C’mon, guys–the significance of a zit? Are you tracking with me? Anyone?

Ok, maybe that was just me.

Waking up to a ruined day because of a throbbing red spot on my chin that I couldn’t keep picking no matter how many times the Mom-voice in my head said “stop touching it! stop touching it!


The show is basically about Angela’s life, both at home and as she navigates high school. She falls early on for a guy who seems to mean bad news, but in this show no character is black-and-white, good or bad. You start getting a feel for Jordan, why he is the way he is, what his struggles have been, and ultimately how insecure he is despite his confident image. Angela is a bit of a good girl, but that starts changing when she makes some friends on the wilder side and dyes her hair a deep red. Her friends are a little crazy–but they keep it real.

The show isn’t just about Angela, but also focuses on her parents and their relationship. Her mom is a woman who seems to have it all together, successfully works running her dad’s printing business, and is a little on the controlling side. She’s balanced out by a husband who’s a little more artistic, loves to cook, and helps her lighten up. When the show starts, their relationship is really on the rocks, and he’s considering having an affair.

It is not to be missed! The acting is excellent, the script is fabulous, and the themes are always thought-provoking. I watched it on Netflix instant play, and enjoyed every second of it.

2. Battlestar Galactica

My husband and I watched all 5 seasons of the new Battlestar Galactica series–new as in from a couple years ago. It took us about a year to get through–we took our sweet time. There is definitely violence, and definitely some weird sex/torture themes a couple times during which I plugged my ears and shut my eyes. So this is not for the young ones out there!

Even though I never watched the original Battlestar Galactica show, my husband tells me that this new show has some very interesting differences and twists, especially as it relates to the cylons (the evil machines that have tried to destroy humankind) (or ARE they evil?? chan chan chaaaaaan . . .)

My favorite characters are Admiral Adama and the President, Laura Roslyn. Their relationship as they try to rally the survivors and keep the fleet together becomes one of trust and ultimately love.

They are definitely some ‘filler’ episodes that were just duds (we actually skipped a few of those), but overall, the plot is going interesting places, and the last season kept us on the edge of our seats.

We also watched this on Netflix instant play. And no, this whole post is not a covert advertisement for Netflix.

Sign up for Netflix . . . sign up for Netflix . . . [hypnotically rhythmic voice is making you feel veeerrry strange]

3. Parenthood


This is the only show of the three still airing. I’m late to start watching it, but am knee-deep now in Season 2 (again, thanks to Netflix instant play) and loving it. It’s a drama/comedy thingy which centers on 3 generations of the Braverman clan. What happens in this show, you may ask? Well, people go to work, hang out together, raise kids, maybe they get married, or don’t get married, they sometimes cry, tell their daughter not to date so-and-so–you know. Life stuff.

It’s sentimental at times, and (gotta be honest) really overdoes the feel-good ending to episodes in which the whole family is gathered in a heart-warming game of basketball, dance-a-thon or something, but . . . hey, I like feel-good games of basketball and dance-a-thons, so I don’t have a problem with the repetitive emotional stroke.

Overall I love the characters, the subject matter–the whole shindig. Plus, since Lauren Graham is in it, it’s like getting a taste of the Gilmore Girls back.

Oh, and, right–sign up for Netflix–ba dan ba dan ba dan–sign up for Netflix–ba dan ba dan ba dan . . . hmmm, it’s kinda hard to get the whole hypnotic thing to work through a computer screen, but they can’t say I didn’t give it my best shot.

“They”? Who’s “they”? Uh . . .

Over and out.

Christmas morning: cake for breakfast

It’s time to dredge up a post from a few years ago for two reasons:

1) Everyone deserves to have cake for breakfast at least once a year.

2) Making angel food cake is a Christmas tradition that I stubbornly adhere to, world without end, amen, amen. And I encourage everyone else to stubbornly adhere to it, too. It’s fluffity, it’s puffity. It will kick off your Christmas morning with a cloud of whipped cream happiness.

3) It has a Word document attached (click here to skip to it) that I think is a beautiful summary of Christmas readings.

So from the archives, here is Christmas cake!


We spent this past Christmas with my in-laws in Indiana. It was such a relaxing time–we temporarily got to push the pause button on this whole ‘being adults’ thing and simply chill out. Be fed. Be taken care of. I love passing the adult baton when staying with parents. It’s so nice.

The manger scene had, as usual, been invaded.

If there weren’t little plastic army guys around, it just wouldn’t feel right. It’s tradition!

At least the Hulk didn’t make the cut this year. He was a little . . . distracting.

The other staple in my in-laws’ household is this Christmas tree. They swear it’s the last year for it–the tree is at least half a century old, and is held upright by a string attached to the corner cabinet.

And every year, it’s covered in ornaments. Plastered. Coated. This is necessary in order to cover the old and bare branches.

Another holiday tradition is this fruit salad.

It’s been in the family for years, and it’s always the guys’ responsibility to make it. Or so I gather. Or choose to gather.

A potential Christmas tradition in the making–playing games. My parents gave me both Dominion and Blokus for Christmas, and the fun-loving violence they generate is a holiday must. Have I mentioned that I’m competitive?

Oh, there’s my stick of Burt’s Bees! If you see some Burt’s hanging around, you can bet your bonnet I’m somewhere closeby.

However, my absolute favorite Christmas tradition is eating angel food cake for breakfast on Christmas morning. I make it Christmas Eve, and leave it to cool overnight, hanging upside down over a beer bottle.

It all started when we were young things. To get us little tykes to focus on Jesus’s birth instead of just the enticing pile of presents, my parents would make a birthday cake for Jesus, and we would sing him “happy birthday.”

In the words of my Mom, “Having a candle and singing Happy Birthday is something young children can relate to, and helps keep the ‘real meaning of Christmas’–Jesus’ birthday–in the picture for them even if they don’t get all the theology.”

The angel food cake is white to represent how God created us in his image, perfect beings in a beautiful garden.

Dad would read from Genesis:

God saw all that he had made and it was very good.  (Gen 1:31)

Then we smeared the cake with raspberry jam.

This represents sin entering the world and tarring humanity, so we would read about Adam and Eve’s disobedience in Genesis chapter 3. There’s probably a deep metaphor underlying it all about sin tasting delicious, but let’s leave that for future ponderings.

Finally, we top the whole thing off with generous poofs of freshly whipped cream. We put the metal bowl and mixer attachments in the freezer for maybe 20 minutes prior to the whipping process–I’m told it helps the cream poof better.

Slather on that cream! We have to cover every bit of that raspberry jam! This repesents Jesus coming to earth and making us righteous and pure through his perfect life and death.

We read from Isaiah:

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”  (Is 1:18)

And then we serve it up!

Over the years we have stopped singing happy birthday, but we continue to make the cake and read the Scriptures. If you’re interested, my diligent mother typed up a Word document with the complete passages we’ve read throughout the years. Thanks Mom! Now I don’t have to scratch my head every year and ask myself “Now what is it exactly we read?”

I leave you with a picture of my husband with his brother and dad. I just love Christmas, and I just love these guys!