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Life is Tough, How to Cope

I remember the first time I read the book The Road Less Traveled, and one of the first lines is “Life is Difficult”.  Now I maybe a practical psychic, but personally I like to see the glass half full.  So for a long time, in my own distorted thinking,  I would have rather ignored that, the responsibility and buried my head.

23 year ago I had to face and recover from all of the rebellion and disease of my life.  I began to learn the hard way why struggle and difficulty can be the door that unlocks joy.  With a healthier life people and animals are included in your life. At least for me they were.  Once you bring in them in, you are not in control anymore.

How can you control your sister getting cancer?  Or losing your beloved dog or your husband leaving you for someone else?   You cannot control life.  Everything that feels painful and difficult in your life can be used for the good, your good.  You may need a new pair of glasses to see it that way.

The first thing you need to do is surrender to the facts at hand.  It is called acceptance. Sometimes I simply hate having to accept things I want to be different.  It is a key to unlocking the healing you need to cope.

Prayer is the process by which you bring in the divine healing energy into your life.  It allows you to ask for help.  Whether you have a great relationship with your God and guides, or you don’t even believe it can still work.  All you need is the open mind that says I can’t do this, maybe you can help, and I will allow it. Suspend your “I don’t believe” thoughts, just for now.  Sometimes it is harder for those who think they know God or their guides.  They ask how this could have happened when I read it so differently.  It did and now you need their help.

Next take responsibility for yourself and your own actions.  Feelings are feelings, they are not intuition, and they are not facts.  If you are ever confused about the concept of feelings being intuition there is a way to tell the difference.  Intuition is that still small voice.  Feelings are loud, and want to take charge of your life. So get up and do the next right thing in front of you. If it is paying the electric bill, do that.  Do not sit still and do nothing.

Get support.  I don’t care if it is online or by the phone get some help.  We are not meant to be alone.  If you have to volunteer to be around people do that.  Do not isolate yourself. God will bring at least one or two people that will show up in some form. They are not always the people you want them to be or in the way you want them, but they will be there.

Remember to be patient with yourself.  Healing from loss or betrayal takes time, so if you are not up to speed, or you are slightly bitter or angry, give it time.  I know that is not a quick fix or cool like our culture wants, but it is the truth anyway. As long as you are showing up doing what you need to, and talking to someone it will gradually improve. You will eventually heal.

The last is the hardest, forgive.  Forgive yourself for being stuck, not being the best mother, wife, employee. No one is.  We are human.  Forgive him or her for leaving. Their leaving may lead you into a better life, a better relationship.  Everything happens for a reason. That does not require you being friends with someone who hurt or damaged your life. It requires you finding a way to let it go, and accepting the situation the way it is. He is human, pets don’t live that long and life will always bring hardship and immense joy.

Many people turn tragedy into something positive, like the mother whose child died and caused her to create MADD.  There are countless stories about people translating their grief into something positive. Megan’s Law came about because of the horrible murder of a little girl named Megan Kanka. It now provides information to parents regarding sexual predators in their neighborhood.   Even if your story is that you are just coping, it is enough. With patience it will improve.  Time takes time.  You will grieve your lost dog and probably eventually get a new one. It will never replace your loss, but it will bring renewed hope.  The same is true about love. You will find love again.  Clichés are clichés for a reason they are true. So with that my last cliché is that when you face loss, hurt and pain. It is not what happens that counts, but what you do with it. My suggestion is you heal and love again.

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Well that’s Life

So I guess my point is, how can the reality shows rack up viewers and one of my fave shows get yanked off the schedule.  That must be the new Hollywood way of discreetly getting rid of shows.  Ben and Kate, I am so sorry I did not discover you sooner, and see more of you. I did see your episodes are on Itunes, and that will help.

Alas, it will only comfort me for a while until I yearn for new episodes.  where I see how  Ben’s (Nat Faxon) RailMall is coming along? What about Kate (Dakota Johnson) ?  Will the sensitive baker win her heart?  Will Tommy’s (Echo Kellum)love life continue on the peaceful path, and what about Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones)?  Now that she is 9 will I have to wait for another movie to come out?  Will BJ (Lucy Punch) ever get a commercial? Is this just over?  Ok, I get it. I am not great with change.  There are about 5 reality shows that could be cancelled immediately as far as I am concerned. At least I DVR’d a couple of episodes, I had more, but my DVR box broke and Cox brought me a new one sans, saved Ben and Kate episodes.

Other than that my viewing week has been good!  RuPaul the queen of drag is back with season 5, can you believe 5 seasons?  I love this years queens. My fave is already Jade Jolie, what a great personality.  There is already a conflict between 2 queens that have competed and had scandal.  There is a major secret around Alyssa Edwards who was forced to forfeit her title. I am dying to know what happened.

Switched at Birth is also wonderful.   Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano-you know Luke’s daughter April on Gilmore Girls?) is the 16 year old artist who was switched in the hospital at birth. She grew up rich with a pool, in Kansas City.  Daphne (katie Leclerc) did not have it as well, she grew up poor in the hood, got an infection and went deaf at 3.  Angelo (Gilles Marini) abandon Regina and the child thinking Regina (Constance Marie) cheated on him.  Speaking of Angelo, he really needs therapy.  He has another baby mama running around 8 months pregnant.  Something tells me that baby is going to be in that family. Which family? The Kennish/Vasquez family.

Finally my great new find is Elementary. This is the story of Sherlock Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller), the modern updated version. He is a recovering Heroin addict, with a sober companion named, guess? That is right her name is Watson (Lucy Liu).  He is a consultant to the NY police department where the police captain is one of my all time faves, Adian Quinn.  He is smarter than everyone else, and knows it. The show is marvelous. You may remember Johnny Lee Miller as Eli Stone and the first Mr. Angelina Jolie.  He deserved a hit.

Ok, I have a lot of homework to do tomorrow as well as work.  So I will have to sign off tonight, and have a great super bowl day!!  Where is my Mad Men? I am just asking.

Jamie Lee Curtis can Halloween Like no Other

 

Here we are at another Ghoulish night, I replaced my outside light for the little trick or treaters, only a week away. Maybe I should have let them come in the dark. Anyway my favorite Halloween movie of all time is on the AMC channel tonight. Halloween, not the new one, but the original with Jamie Lee Curtis. It for me is the most scary movie.

Who can forget that opening music with the light sound followed by the low dark haunting music.  Whenever it comes on, it is a tingle that runs down my back. This was a time when walking home from school was safe, or at least we thought it was. This movie once and for all reminded me you never know who lurks behind bushes, even Michael Myers. 

All Hallows Eve is a holiday celebrated around the world, and to those who celebrate it, it has evolved in to a night of children trick or treating for candy in costumes.  It is also the night the veil between here and the other side is at its thickest and ghouls walk the night.

When the original Halloween came out in 1978, it was a low budget slasher movie from John Carpenter.  It was Jamie Lee Curtis’ breakout role.  No a stranger to thriller films, her mother Janet Leigh was famous as the blond stab victim Marion Crane of Psycho’s Anthony Perkins.  Donald Pleasance plays Dr. Sam Loomis, the psychiatrist in the film.

Michael Myers is 6 when he stabs his sister to death and is hospitalized in the mental institution in Haddonfield, Illinois.  Michael (Tony Moran) escapes the mental institution years later right before Halloween. What are the odds of that?  It was the first of the slasher films to come, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween it’s self had a few sequels.  Even hacking up Laurie’s friends across the street was pretty racy for the time, and quite tame these days.  However, Michael brought the message I never forgot, “the boogeyman never dies”.  When you look beneath the clothes line on the  grass where Laurie was just pushed Michael, and see nothing, and hear that music. You know it is true. The fear you feel from this film is the fear of what is in the dark, just out of sight. It is stronger, than most of the violence that followed after.

 

What about Johnny Depp?

It is Halloween, and I think I will have to blog daily from here on out.  There is just so much good stuff I want to address. The Walking Dead, all the classics, The horror and the fun of Halloween. As I flipped from channel to channel tonight I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of blogging material. Tonight lets start with Johnny Depp.

Now I have watched him from 21 Jump Street, as the young narc, Tom Hanson. That was a show written by Stephen J. Cannell who I also adored.  I loved Johnny in so many films from the original Nightmare on Elm Street in his hip 80’s short tee, to Cry Baby in his leather jacket as the biker who showed emotion. He had me from the start. I could go on with Benny and Joon, Whats eating Gilbert Grape?, Ed Wood, Secret Window, Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland, the Tourist, and all the Pirates of the Caribbean, well as you can see the man has had a great career. Tonight since it is the season of weird, I want to talk about the marvelous Edward Scissorhands.

I sat down to grab a bite and there it was, Johnny as the Frankenstein monster meets Pinocchio.  I loved that, the spooktacular Vincent Price played the scientist, who in the creation of this boy dies and leaves him alone in this giant Gothic castle overlooking the suburbs. Since he did not have time to finish Edward, his master leaves him with only scissors for hands. The cast is marvelous, and guess who produced it, come on I bet you can’t. Ok, you are right, Tim Burton.

The cast in this film is wonderful. Edward is taken into the home of a suburban housewife, Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist). The cast also includes, Alan Arkin as Peg’s husband Bill, they has a teen age daughter Kim (Wynona Rider, his real life girlfriend at the time) and a young son Kevin (Robert Oliveri).  The story is about being unique, and being embraced by these suburbanites. Edward is a master sculpture with his hands both shrubs and hair. He starts doing all the women’s hair and is a hit.

Then there are the 2 people that don’t like him out of fear, Esmeralda (O-Lan Jones- the backward christian) and Jim (Michael Anthony Hall- Kim’s boyfriend). Though the boyfriend’s anger creates discord around the family, truly Edward’s loving, and naive personality aid him in coping. There is one scene I always remember about this film.  Edward is focused on making this ice sculpture for Christmas, while he is flailing around in the dark creating the sculpture, it creates ice shavings that look like snow. Kim is turning circles as it snows falls around her. It is a beautiful scene. Now of course they couldn’t make it work with Edward, or there would be no plot.  Edward is accused of raping a woman when he rejects her advances, so he is outcast again, and runs to the safety of his Gothic castle on the hill.

The story is told by Kim to her granddaughter.  It is legend  that he creates the snow from the castle that falls on the town. She never saw him again. Edward was never going to age, as he was a creation, and she wanted him to remember her as she was. Through the timeless story of acceptance and fear of being different, it is a great kids Halloween movie. For me it was a visit to a wonderful film with a wonderful man that has been at the fringes of my life, all my adult life.  We all have moments where there is a  little Edward in us. I am a little Edward. have been my whole life. Only now I really appreciate it!!

So this is only the beginning of my 2nd favorite season, there are so many wonderful films, TV shows and even books with ghoulish characters and timeless stories. Have a good day tomorrow.

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Buffy and The Scooby gang

 
           I just discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books recently.  I watched and adored it all 7 seasons on television. This year my son watched and adored all 7 seasons.  Though I am now reading the comic books,  I still yearn for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s portrayal of Buffy. The spunky blond girl doing a flip over a grave stone and kicking a vampire in the head, then when he down, staking him in the heart.  Sigh….The film came first. It is where the idea of  Buffy the Vampire Slayer” came from.
 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 
             I personally will never watch the movie. The story goes that in the world, at any one time, there is only one slayer to fight vampires, demons and dark entities.  A watcher helps train her and guides her in her battles.  The slayers are chosen from birth, or “fated”, and usually they lead a short, lonely existence. That is until Buffy Summers transfers to Sunnydale, California from Los Angeles. She was in a lot of trouble, so her mother moved her to the suburbs to give her a fresh start.  This slayer is fresh all the way around.  Petite, blond, rather cynically perky ( I know that is a contradiction in description, but true nonetheless), and she can kick the butt of any or all the demons and vamps necessary.  Sunnydale sits on top of Hellmouth. The portal to hell is in the HS library, also known as the lair of librarian Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)Giles, is Buffy’s watcher. So the demons and evil creatures are constantly available to fight.

 

 
              Buffy unlike most slayers has friends, her side kicks helped her fight demons. She calls them the Scooby gang. On a slightly interesting note, Sarah Michele eventually plays in a Scooby Doo movie with her real life husband Freddie Prinze Jr.  Anyway, I am veering off topic.   She meets Xander (Nicholas Brendan) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) when she first comes to Sunnydale High.  Xander and Willow have been friends for a long time, and are socially nerds.  Willow has a secret crush on Xander, who pretends not to notice mostly.  A couple of seasons go by and they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other until they are caught and damage their own relationships.  Xander also always is crushed on Buffy but they remain  friends. Well except for that episode when Xander does a spell that  makes all the women love him. 

 

 
              The characters that appear in the show are some of my most favorites in television.  Buffy dies twice in the show. Once very briefly, which introduces Kendra Young (Bianca Lawson), a new slayer.  For the first time ever in history there are 2 slayers.  She is killed by vampire Druscilla. When Kendra dies, obviously “the powers that be” have not caught up as to what is happening, and that generates Faith (Eliza Dushku), the dark slayer.  Faith appears in the books, and the comic books. At first she tries to fit in with Buffy, and then goes Rogue. She is as bad as some of the vampires she kills. Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), and Harmony (Mercedes McNab) are the two popular girls who play rivals to Buffy during high school. Cordelia eventually dates Xander for a time, until he hooks up with Willow and is caught in a compromising position. Willow finds a quiet boyfriend in OZ (Seth Green) who plays a band and is a werewolf.  Eventually he needs to find himself and leaves Sunnydale.  Willow then meets Tara (Amber Benson), falls in love and is forever more a lesbian. Willow also becomes a powerful witch during the show. Now I almost forgot one of the most interesting characters, Dawn (Michele Trachtenberg).  One day Buffy comes home to find out she has a sister.  She is the only one who remembers a time before Dawn. To everyone else she has always been there. She was not a real person, but a “Key” created to protect Buffy From the villainous Glory ( Claire Kramer).
 
           The high school is destroyed after graduation, Cordelia goes to Los Angeles and works for Angel (David Boreanaz) in his spin off. I actually like Cordelia, as she grows and evolves in Angel.  One of my favorite characters is Anya Jenkins (Emma Caufield) the vengence demon that dated, almost married Xander.  She was hilarious.  I read Joss Whedon considered her comic relief. She was a cross between socially awkward and a girlfriend from the 1960’s. She seemed to struggle with being human.  She was a vengeance demon, turned human afraid of bunny rabbits, that’s right I said bunny rabbits. Then there is Druscilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (James Marsters).  A pair of co-dependent vampires that come to Sunnydale. Druscilla is gone and leaves Spike behind. Spike really needs a blog of his own. He is a bane of Buffy, and helps eventually save the world.
 
              Buffy has really 3 lovers (except for the creepy guy freshman year) during the show. Angel is the first. Their story line is a Romeo and Juliet kind of love. I say that because Angel is a Vampire with a soul.  When he sleeps with Buffy the pure joy makes him lose his soul, and eventually Buffy has to send him to hell.  Not to fear, he comes back, and when it is unbearable to be around a woman he loves but can’t have, he moves to LA and has his own show. Angel then helps the helpless. Riley Finn (Marc Blucas) is a straight arrow, boy scout-military type guy, Buffy meets in college. Where Angel was elusive and mysterious, Riley was reliable.  He is participant in a covert government project to rid the world of Vampires and demons. He was was written out of the show, and off he went. Which brings me to my favorite lover of Buffy’s– Spike. He was a complex character which seemed to be a bit of  martyr. He seemed lack character, was selfish and yet he truly loved Buffy. For a long time Buffy hated him, then they were lovers. Buffy seemed to hate herself for her feelings for Spike, and was not afraid to let him know that constantly. In the end Spike sacrificed his life to save the world, proving him to be a true hero.  Then he showed up in LA and was in Angel’s show.

That is the basics, and if you have not had the pleasure of meeting or viewing Buffy and the Gang please do, I will introduce the comics later.  I could go on and on with the topic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The comics start after (SPOILER ALERT)the demise of Sunnydale and the television show. You can find these seasons on Amazon.com. I am sure they are on Ebay, and probably your local second hand entertainment store.  So, Happy viewing and have a great week!!

 

Michael Weston and His Merry Band of Men

 

 
Last year I seemed to be on a Netflix kick. I was watching TV shows I never caught for one reason or another while they were on TV.  Then I discovered Burn Notice. I saw ads, it just never looked that appealing from the ads.  Well, on Netflix, I watched all 4 seasons they had to offer and almost expired waiting for the release of season 5. Which was unfair, because they did not release it until right before season 6. Grrr…
 Burn-Notice
 
It is like good ice cream.  That would be Haagen Das, for me.  Sweet, rich and can not be replaced by cheap imitations. So Michael Weston (Jeffery Donovan) is a spy given a “Burn Notice” from the CIA. For those who don’t know what a burn notice is, the intelligence agency discredits or basically fire agents.  In this case Michael Weston is dumped in Miami, Florida, no bank accounts (they are frozen), no I.D. nothing.  In the show an old girl friend, Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar, Love Her!!), is called to come to his aid, as he awakens bruised and battered in a cheap motel.  Fiona (who sticks around, God only knows why),  is joined by Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) a drunken, semi retired Navy Seal who a has a penchant for rich middle aged women. Michael is Robin Hood and they are his merry band of men. Later they are joined by his chain smoking mother, Maddie (who finds out he is in Florida), and  his slightly ne’er do well younger brother Nate. His mother is the wonderful actress  Sharon Gless who won my heart in Cagney and Lacey, and his brother Nate is Seth Peterson. This is the basic line up until later when Jesse Porter (Coby Bell), a spy Michael accidentally burns, joins the band. He eventually finds out Michael burned him, is angry for a while but then forgives him.
 
The premise of the show was to find out why Michael was burned and get him back into the CIA, it is the only life Michael can imagine. Even when he and Fiona rekindle their relationship and she questions why he can not just have a regular life, he tells her it is all that he is. Anyway, He rents a $200 a month ratty loft in a warehouse building behind a club. It kinda grows on you after awhile, and they go to work doing odd jobs that require the wonderful sleuthing skills he acquired while in the CIA.
 
Fiona is an former IRA bomber, who has extensive knowledge of making homemade bombs, she also buys and sells guns. She makes herself very useful to Michael, which provides them the opportunity to grow close again. Sam Axe is charming in his tropicals shirts, and unshaven manly man appearance.  He provides contact with people he knows at the “agency”.  He helps Michael in his jobs too and sometimes goes undercover as “Chuck”.  He and Fiona become friends, though at times they seem to be at each others throats. One character I love is Barry (Paul Tei) He is the metro-sexual  bookie, fake ID maker and money laundering genius that helps them, and even goes to them for help. He is also called “Bad Checks Barry”.
 
I love this show, this year in sadness, I had a hard time watching the first few episodes this season.  They put Fiona in prison. I glanced at the show a few times, but until the episode came that let her out of prison, I did not watch them all the way through.  Sadly the episode she is released, Nate, Michael’s brother is shot and killed while helping them catch Michael’s arch nemesis, Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns).  Seth Peterson did a great job, my only hope is that they will find a way to bring him back.  TV can bring anyone back from the dead.

 

One of my favorite parts of the show is the narrating during the show.  When they are assembling bombs, or bugging cell phones, Michael narrates spies techniques,  used in surveillance and espionage.  In my next life I want to be a high tech spy. So every  Thursday, when I am not watching Project Runway you can find me at Burn Notice, on the USA Network.  If not there I will be on Netflix watching the reruns, or my purchased copy of season 5.
 Burn Notice

It’s Sunday Again

Sharks

I  have said it before, but I love Sundays on TV. As I get ready to settle in for a few of my favorite shows, there is an additional treat for me. For those of us who loved the movie Jaws, and  love the water, it is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Once a year the Discovery Channel presents a whole week,  of  different shows of sharks, their attacks on humans, their feeding habits and their patrols. Sharks, Sharks, Sharks!!

TV guide says Shark Week starts at 9pm today. However there have been shows on about sharks from 9am.  In fact my favorite was at 1pm pacific standard time, called “The Summer of the Shark”.  It was filmed in Australia, about the summer of 2008 when 18 shark attacks happened in Australia. 15 of them were great white sharks. I love watching the gigantic white shark leap from the water and grab at a seal in mid air. So I am having a shark fest all week long.  I have always wanted to say this. I have an issue when scientists say they are just biting us to see if we are edible, they don’t feed on humans.  I don’t believe it matters.  It is minimizing a behavior that can kill us. I don’t think I care what their motivation is. They are still biting us.  With their steel trap jaws.

Enough shark week, I want to talk about Drop Dead Diva, one of my Sunday faves.  Brook Elliot stars as Jane Bingum a Los Angeles attorney.  Jane died protecting her boss, Jay Parker (Josh Stamberg), and she was revived. Now shehas the spirit of Deb Dobkins living in her, the original Jane passed on. Deb was a model/actress killed in a traffic accident.  Deb hits the button for return and comes back to earth.   Jane Bingum is a plus sized attorney who is brilliant, charitable, and a productive attorney. Watching Jane morph into the shallow Deb, and back to Jane is hilarious.  She becomes more clothes conscious, and I love to watch her flip her hair back, with a flick of her wrist. That shows Deb is still alive and well in Jane. You really can’t keep a good shopper down.

 
One twist, is that Deb was engaged to Greyson Kent (Jackson Hurst), a handsome, very sad attorney who works in the same office as Jane. He and Jane are good friends. He started to catch on that Jane could be Deb, and so Jane had to throw him off. One of the provisions of her return is that she doesn’t get the guy.  Jane is now engaged to Owen French (Lex medlin) a court judge with a heart problem.  Deb’s best friend was Stacy (April Bowlby), and she is also the only person, besides Jane’s guardian angel who knows her secret. Stacy is a slightly vapid blond, with a good heart. She is Jane’sroommate and best friend (obviously, after all she very loyal).The premise of the show is that Deb assumes Jane’s life and develops herself.  One character I love is Jane’s secretary, Teri Lee, who is always up to something wacky. Her goal now is to become a singer, so she is donning wacky clothes. She is played by comedienne Margaret Cho.  This week was great, they had cast members from Abby Lee Millers Dance Studio, in particular, Abby Lee, and Maddy. You know them from the reality show on Lifetime, Dance Moms!!  I still hold out hope that Greyson and Jane will get together, damned be the guardian angel. I liked the old one Fred (Ben Feldman- he left when he got a job on MAD MEN).  Who can blame him?  I don’t like the new one.
The other show I love on Lifetime Sundays is Army Wives.  Now I have absolutely no ties to the American military.  I have never been that interested. That is until this show.  It shows the nobility of the military that keeps us safe, and the wives who sacrifice to be their mates.  I have a whole new view on patriotism and the military.  The wives, Claudia Joy Holden (played by a fave Kim Delaney-NYPD), Denise Sherwood (the famous Catherine Bell), Roxy LeBlanc (Sally Pressman), Pamela Moran (Brigid Brannagh, who has moved to California), new transplant Jackie Clark (Kelli Williams),  Joan Burton (Wendy Davis- Joan is actually an officer, it is her husband that hangs out with the wives), Roland Burton, (Sterling K.Brown, therapist on base-civilian), and the privates wife, Gloria (Alyssa Diaz). Wow, a lot of cast mates, and I didn’t even include the husbands, well except Roland.

 armywives.jpg image by sashac86
The focus of the show is the wives, how they band together and their experiences in the military.  They deal with many topics the real military faces from terrorism to the closure of bases due to budget cuts, deployment, post traumatic stress disorder, addictions and Denise Sherwood loses her son in battle, as he enlisted like his father. One of my favorite story lines is gay soldier Army Captain Nicole Galassin (Kelli Martin), and her girlfriend  Tonya (whom I could not find the name of). Kelli Martin was in a wonderful show in the 1990’a called Life Goes On, with Patty LuPone as her mother. There is an episode where Captain Galassin comes out to her mother, and they bring in Patty LuPone. I loved it.

Well that’s it for tonight. As I sit with popcorn on lap, watching my shows, I know tomorrow I must rise to the occasion of a new week, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Tonight I am TV girl. I now disappear into Fort Marshall, home of Army Wives. Have a good week.