X-Files is back!

“Pretty much anything in the X-Files universe is fine by me. And besides just crossing all of my fingers and toes to help this effort, I wrote a tweet with the #XFiles2015 hashtag tonight. New X-Files must happen!”
1/25/15 webpage post

One year ago today I posted the following on Twitter – “#XFiles2015 must happen!!!” It was such an exciting prospect that one of my all-time favorite television shows might be back on the air and I wanted to do everything I could to help make it happen. (Granted, I didn’t quite go to the extreme of contribute to a Kickstarter like I did for Mystery Science Theater 3000, but at the time tweeting was all I really could do.) And somehow, with an enormous wave of popular support that started from a single podcast, Fox decided to make all of our nerdiest dreams come true. Mulder and Scully were coming back to the small screen! Rejoice! It’s just for six episodes, more like a mini-series, but I’ll take what I can get. Finally, after waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the premiere of this monumental event aired last night. Due to my own craziness, I DVRed it while I was out running and didn’t get to watch it before I went to bed. Much to my despair, I had read some unfavorable reviews of the first episode, and some of my co-workers weren’t all that fond of it either. But I watched it when I got home from work tonight and I thought it was awesome! I’m not sure what all the complaining was about. I’m a big fan already and I can’t wait to see more!

Feeling famous

I missed the birthday party of my friend’s adorable daughter last Sunday because I was dead tired after the Star Wars half marathon. I felt pretty guilty about that, but my legs were like jelly after running 19.3 miles in two days. Luckily I brought home more than just my three race medals from Anaheim. The previous Friday my friend asked me to find a particular birthday present for her daughter – a BB-8 sippy cup from Disneyland. This was perfect since I was going to be spending the whole weekend there. So on Saturday I ate a big breakfast at Carnation CafĂ© after the Star Wars 10K, and then I walked over to Tomorrowland and bought a BB-8 sippy cup from Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port. Isn’t he just too cute? As I was toting him around Disneyland that day, sipping Cherry Coke out of the top of his head, I realized that all of the folks around me were looking at, pointing at, and talking about BB-8. It was crazy! I couldn’t believe how much attention he was getting from absolutely everyone. It was a $12 drink container, and unless Mickey Mouse himself appeared, easily the most popular thing in the parks. After a while I started carrying BB-8 with pride and enjoying all of the attention I was garnering on his behalf. I figured this experience was a little like being a celebrity. I felt famous! I don’t always leave Disneyland with such a memorable story so I wanted to share this one because it was so funny. Now I want my own BB-8 sippy cup!

Potluck Day 2015

Our annual holiday potluck at work was on Tuesday, and it was incredible, as usual. I look forward to the potluck all year, but unfortunately this particular incarnation fell on a very busy day. I had an important meeting at 1:30 PM that afternoon so I had to dress up for work. At 5 AM I rolled out of bed, threw on a dress and cardigan (and my favorite Christmas pin), and dragged all of the necessary items for the potluck to work. I needed to get there by 6 AM to start the Crockpot hot chocolate so that it would be ready for breakfast. My first batch, at least. I used the same recipe as last year because so many people loved it. Until breakfast started I prepared for my afternoon meeting, stirring the hot chocolate every 30 minutes. Do you really need to ask what I had for breakfast at the potluck? Scones, of course! I anticipate those little slices of heaven all year, and they never disappoint. This year was no different. I limited myself to two scones that morning because I wanted to have an appetite at lunchtime, but I hoarded quite a few others for future consumption (dessert, snacks, and breakfast the next day). By 9:30 AM it was obvious that I needed to start a second batch of hot chocolate. Some of my co-workers are serious hot chocolate vultures! Luckily I anticipated this and brought enough ingredients to make another batch that would be ready for lunch.

Lunch started at 11:30 AM. Unfortunately I had to grab a plate of food and eat it at my desk because I was still scrambling to get ready for my meeting. While poring over my charts I feasted on a delicious combination of chicken salad, meatballs, and manicotti. My co-workers are amazing cooks. I made a batch of chili to share, and this time I combined last year’s bacon chili recipe and this year’s Cincinnati style chili recipe. I didn’t get to taste it myself, but it sure smelled good when it was cooking. I got some good feedback too, but one person told me he liked the regular bacon chili better. I’ll remember that for the chili cook-off next year. My afternoon meeting was really difficult because I was sleepy after stuffing myself silly all day. And being the last presenter at the end of 2.5 hours wasn’t ideal either, but I got through it and everyone seemed happy at the conclusion. Personally, I was thrilled to go home after 11 hours at work and put on some comfortable clothes! I didn’t get to relax too much, though, because I was meeting a friend at the movies that night. For the last two years I’ve been going to Rifftrax’s Christmas show by myself so I was excited when my friend expressed interest in joining me this year. And we had so much fun. This year’s movie was “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny” which practically asks to be made fun of. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. Rifftrax has definitely become one of my holiday traditions. So after the potluck, the meeting, and the movie I had a very long Tuesday, but it was worth it. I love the holidays!

#BringBackMST3K

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. When I was in college I used to get up early on Saturdays and watch the new episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel (now called SyFy) while my sorority sisters were sleeping off their hangovers. (This was when we had only two communal cable-equipped TVs in the house. The demand for screen time was basically nonexistent on weekend mornings.) I was so disappointed when MST3K was cancelled in 1999, but the reruns kept me laughing every weekend through graduation. The good news is that these days just about every episode is available on YouTube. There’s even a website that will tell you exactly where to find all of them – MST3K A Day. It certainly saves me a lot of money on DVDs! Not that I need to watch any more television than I already do, but sometimes only an episode of Mystery Science Theater is just what the doctor ordered.

On November 10th Joel Hodgson started a Kickstarter campaign called Bring Back MST3K. I discovered it a few days later and immediately made a small pledge. I had no idea if the project would get any traction, but I was willing to help out if there was any chance to get new episodes. Then on Thanksgiving as I was binge watching Mystery Science Theater online during the Turkey Day Marathon I saw just how popular the campaign was becoming. So many people love the show and want to see it return. So I decided that this year my Christmas present to myself was going to be contributing to the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter. I increased my pledge quite a bit because what could be a better gift than new episodes of one of my favorite TV shows? Luckily a lot of other people felt the same way because as of the deadline last night the campaign raised more than enough money to fund 14 new episodes! It turned out to be more than $6 million. Wow! I’ll have to wait until sometime next year for Santa to deliver this particular present, but it will be worth the wait.

Once Upon A Time (season 5)

When “Once Upon A Time” started back in 2011 I absolutely loved it. That first season was so much fun. I loved the heroes and I loved the villains (Regina aka the Evil Queen is awesome). Unfortunately seasons 2 and 3 weren’t quite as enchanting, but I kept watching in the hopes that the show would recapture that spark that made it so enjoyable in the beginning. I rarely give up on shows after I’ve gotten invested in them, even when I probably should. There have been exceptions, of course, but I generally soldier on until the show is cancelled and finally put out of its misery. Luckily everything started to turn back around in season 4 of “Once Upon A Time”. The first half of the season included characters from “Frozen” which was just OK, but the second half of the season revolved around the villains. That’s when it got fun again. And season 5 has been great so far. It’s definitely one of my favorite shows this year (probably second to “Doctor Who,” but I’m sure that’s not a surprise). I’ve just got my fingers crossed that “Once Upon A Time” continues to be so entertaining.

As a side note, the actor and actress that play Snow White and Prince Charming on “Once Upon A Time” are also off-screen husband and wife. I read somewhere that they are big Disney fans, which I greatly admired. Then one day this spring I saw them at Disneyland with their new baby! I was star struck, but I didn’t want to bother them by being a fangirl. So I just watched as they walked past me. Imagine seeing Snow White and Prince Charming at Disneyland!

November 21st

I started this morning at the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K. (Yes, I’m crazy enough to have signed up for a pre-Thanksgiving turkey trot in addition to the two races I’m running on Thursday. Don’t worry, I’ve already admitted that I have a problem.) This was the second in a three-part holiday series. The race was at Bonelli Regional Park where I’ve run a couple of other times in the past year. It’s a hilly course so I knew my time wasn’t going to be spectacular, and it turned out to be unseasonably warm so that didn’t help. Needless to say, it wasn’t my fastest 10K, but it wasn’t my slowest either so I was ok with that. No need to push myself too hard before Thanksgiving Day. That’s going to be tough enough! I also got to see a friend of mine and her two adorable kids at the race so was a lot of fun.

On my way home from the turkey trot I listened to the Florida vs. Florida Atlantic football game on the radio. I was still running when it started, but I got to listen to the end of the first half while I was driving. Gotta love satellite radio! Unfortunately the Gators struggled a lot more than they should have this week. At halftime neither team had put any points on the board. But then when Florida scored two touchdowns in the third quarter I thought I could finally relax. Not even close. Florida Atlantic answered with two touchdowns of their own to tie the game and force an overtime. Then things got really nuts. The Gators managed another touchdown in OT, but the extra point afterwards was blocked. This was potentially a disaster. The kicking game has been a thorn in Florida’s side this whole season. A missed extra point could be the only thing that separates victory from defeat. All Florida Atlantic needed to do was score a touchdown and not botch the extra point attempt to beat the #8 team in the country. Much to my delight, they were not able to pull off the upset. I was so relieved!

After the game was over I had to take my car to the Honda dealer for service. I’ve owned it for over six months and it just now needs its first oil change. Living in Seal Beach means that I put much fewer miles on my car every month. When I bought my car I was promised free oil changes for two years, and I did receive the service at no cost, but it took almost two hours. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, I guess. I did get a lot of reading done on my iPad while I was sitting at the dealer, though. That was a plus. The last thing I did today was go see “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” I rarely go see movies at the theater any more, and almost never on opening weekend, but I made an exception this time. My weekends have been so busy so far this fall that I figured I’d better make the most of any free time I can scrounge up. I really enjoyed the movie. It was a fitting end to the franchise. The books are still better for anyone who’s wondering, though.

Now I just have to decide what to do tomorrow!

Thank goodness for technology

Thank goodness for technology. I was getting caught up on this season of “Arrow” this afternoon when I accidentally deleted the most recent episode before watching it. Oops! Obviously I still have some things to learn about my DVR. Luckily cable TV providers aren’t the only game in town anymore. (Actually the first place I looked for the episode was Time Warner’s On Demand catalog, but it wasn’t there. Two strikes for cable TV.) Instead I turned to my iPad. It only took a few minutes to download the CW app and start watching last week’s episode. Not too many years ago I would have had to wait for summer reruns to see whatever I’d missed! But now with readily available episodes of just about every television show you could ever want to see streaming online, my little DVR mistake made no difference at all. I love it! I’ve been under a lot of pressure at work lately and watching TV when I get home each evening helps me unwind. Unfortunately it also keeps me from getting an optimal number of chores done around the house, but it’s a small price to pay for stress relief. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to relax and watch Sunday’s “Once Upon A Time” before going to bed!