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Time Jesus: 12 Monkeys – Season 2

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I do realize that tonight season 3 of 12 Monkeys will premiere on Syfy. But, sad to say, I won’t be able to watch it because I don’t have cable.

This post is about season 2, which I was recently able to catch up on with Hulu. I pray that Season 3 will join its brother and sister, season 1 and season 2, over there very, very soon.

Here is my review of season 1, if you are behind further than I am:

Oh Baby. You can point your gun at me anytime.

I fully admit I was lost in the first season, even after watching all episodes twice. Season 2 seemed much easier for me to understand within the existing framework, while still being complex.

My overwhelming crush on Aaron Stanford, who plays James Cole, only grows with each episode. The first time we see him, he is walking out from behind a car among flames, his trusty gun raised. If there was ever a “proper” remake of The Terminator, Aaron is my number one pick for Kyle Reese, both he can be both vulnerable AND bad ass.

The first season I mostly watched for Cole & Cassie’s (Amanda Schull) chemistry. Season 2 I enjoyed although there was less of them on screen together. While living for an extended time in 2044, Cassie learned to kill to survive. While living in 1944, Cole had time to find out what alcohol he preferred and that maybe killing everyone who got in their way was not the answer to defeating the 12 Monkeys. (It helped that I had peaked at episode summaries beforehand and knew that Cole & Cassie would eventually be “together”, so that helped me to be more patient, knowing that my pay off I wanted so desperately was indeed coming.)

Cole & Cassie together

It was interesting how the interpersonal dynamics changed throughout the season. Cassie made several unlikely alliances. I was surprised how often Deacon, Jennifer, and someone important to Dr. Jones showed up in almost every episode.

I am glad that I read the spoiler ahead of time to find out the identity of the witness which is revealed in the season finale. It made the threats the team made to kill him all season seem more ironic.

Jennifer (Emily Hampshire) became an easy go-to for solving pretty much any problems that arose this season. In our future/their present of 2044, she is nearby and always a friend. She even becomes a time traveler as well. There was more comedy this season than I remembered previously, mostly due to her. Jennifer’s random quotes from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure are priceless. Although Deacon mocking Cole by calling him Time Jesus was also pretty humorous. (I am eagerly awaiting the photo I saw from Season 3 featuring Cole dressed as Marty McFly!!!)

Is that Marty McFly I see in the background?

At the end of every season I wonder how the writers will write themselves out of the corner they seemingly put themselves (and the characters) into. I would love to look at the white board in that writers’ room, with all the different timelines. Actually, I bet they have huge binders for each different “cycle.” That would be a crazy amount of information to be responsible for. But also, totally awesome.

I watched all of season 2 within 24 hours. Now I have a large TV hangover. My brain hurts from trying to follow the conspiracies and my heart hurts from all the feels (I hate that expression).

So what is one to do to cure it?

Go back and watch season 2 over again.

Unless someone wants to befriend me who has Syfy. Anyone? Hello…

Get  your peak at Season 3 here:

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

What I Learned This Week – 10/2/16

This week I learned that Lena’s Italian Restaurant in Blissfield, Michigan still has the best pizza I have ever eaten.

I was told by my asbestos friend, whose opinion on pizza I highly respect, that Pizza Junction in Huntington, Indiana was the best pizza ever. (She is the one who introduced me to Lena’s, afterall*.) She knew of it because she had attended Huntington College back in the day.

She has mentioned several times that Pizza Junction was the best pizza ever. I really wanted to test that theory, but I knew I would never go all that way without her. And when she made the pilgrimage, it was always a family affair.

I looked up Pizza Junction on Facebook, only to discover that it is named that because it located in an old train depot that still has railroad tracks next to it that used to be part of the Wabash line. There were even videos of a classic steam engine roaring by at high speed. Now, if you have stopped by this page very much at all, you will realize that my family is a little crazy about trains. Last year I redid my son’s room to look like a train station. M flipped when he saw the Pizza Junction videos.

My asbestos friend’s husband was out of town. So I snuck into her car and put in a cassette tape with hidden subliminal messages for her to take me to Pizza Junction.

What, you don’t believe me? She totally has a cassette player in her car.

Actually, I just sent her a suggestive text or two about how lovely it would be to go. So when the opportunity presented itself to us the very next day to accompany my asbestos friend and her brood to Indiana, we took her up on it.

The road trip was awesome, even being squeezed six into a car. We saw two Norfolk Southern trains go by as we ate in the station, and they were flying. The bruschetta was excellent. The pizza was great, but not quite as good as Lena’s, in my humble opinion. We explored a place called the Sunken Gardens, photos from which you will see below.

Sidenote: Last weekend a memorial was erected in our local cemetery to honor the long-ignored Italian immigrant victims of the 1901 Wabash crash just north of Seneca in Lenawee County, MI. Then my family went about figuring out about where the crash might have occurred. That track is now run by  Norfolk Southern.

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

I could have stayed her for a very long time...until it started to get cold.

I could have stayed here for a very long time…until it started to get cold.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

If we could have traveled by train, we may have gotten to Pizza Junction quicker.

And consuming orange juice is like drinking sunshine.

*Expressing “afterall” as one word is a conscious, stylistic decision made by the blogger.


Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

Fleas Bite Dog: An Un-News Story

My post on Boxelder Bugs still stand one of my most popular, with 2,450 views. So, I thought I would add to my insect cannon and talk a little about fleas.

Now, I had two dogs in my house for nine years, and I never, ever saw a flea.

I didn’t even know what one looked like.

There were never any fleas on him. R.I.P. Parker

There were never any fleas on him. R.I.P. Parker

I always used Frontline Plus on both dogs. I don’t know if it is still made the same way, but when I first started using it on my favorest Dave dog back in 2004, is said it would provide tick prevention for one month, and flea protection for three. So, I usually waited at least eight weeks between doses (that stuff is expensive), sometimes almost the full three months.

Please, for the love of god, scratch my butt!!!

Please, for the love of god, scratch my butt!!!

Then last winter while I was low on funds, there was a lull in my flea prevention efforts of my one remaining dog of longer than three months. And it was a terribly mild winter here in Michigan. So, I found myself with a flea problem at Christmas. I bought Dave some new Frontline Plus, and they seemed to disappear again.

Then a dry summer hit. According to a flea expert (my mother-in-law), it is the kind of weather that fleas love. Suddenly, it was like the Frontline Plus had stopped working altogether. And, having just dosed her, I couldn’t try another product so soon for fear of side effects. My poor 13-year-old dog had to suffer through the indignity of fleas for four more weeks. Frontline Plus features fipronil (9.8%) and S-methoprene (8.8%).

A picture of a flea. Ugly little sucker, isn't he?

A picture of a flea. Ugly little sucker, isn’t he?

When the time arrived, I tried a brand called Adams Flea and Tick Spot On for Dogs. I was trying to find something with a different active ingredient than the Frontline Plus, that kept failing me. Adams Flea and Tick Spot On contains Etofenprox (30.0%), (S)-Methoprene (3.6%), and Piperonyl Butoxide (5.0%). I must admit, I was drawn to it because it came with an applicator. I always hated how Frontline got all over my hands when applying it—it even happened once while I was pregnant. But, well, after using the applicator I had flea preventative running down my arm and a dog that still had fleas. Adams is gel, rather than liquid like Frontline. But this just meant that the five places I had put it along my dog’s back, as the directions had indicated? Now she left five wet spots every time she laid on my hardwood floor. For a WEEK.

I never tried a flea collar, because I didn’t want to mix flea prevention products, and because she already wears her regular collar with her ID and her choker chain daily. I really didn’t want to add a third. I also never tried flea shampoo. I felt like if I couldn’t apply it to my dog without wearing gloves (as the directions warned), then maybe it shouldn’t touch her skin either.

As the Adams wasn’t having any effect anyway, I gave her a regular bath with dog oatmeal shampoo. That washed off all the eggs and gave her some temporary relief, before the adult fleas began to feast on her flesh again.

Finally, we were far enough out from the Adams treatment that I tried Pet Armor Advanced 2. It had different active ingredients, being Imidacloprid (9.10%) and Pyriproxyfen (.46%). (Who names this shit?) Within about 12 hours, you could see the fleas on her fur, because they didn’t want to be next to her skin anymore. Some became lethargic. The Pet Armor had helped drastically, but we had still not returned to the flea-free life we once enjoyed. Dave can now sleep through the night, but there are still enough that you can pick them off of her. I have tried sweeping all the floors and the couch and washing all places she sleeps. But I really think all the fleas just live in her luxurious Chow undercoat, because the humans don’t have any bites on them. I was worried that the remaining eggs on her might hatch, and that they were irritating her, so I gave her a bath. Just in the few days she had depleted skin oils, the fleas were all over her. I picked off and smooshed 25, just last night. So, we live in a delicate balance. She won’t be due for a redose of Pet Armor Advanced 2 until September 22nd. I hope it doesn’t poop out at the end like ibuprofen does—4-6 hours, my ass. It only lasts 3 hours, tops.

I guess I will keep using Pet Armor Advanced 2 for a while, since I had to buy 4 doses to try it. I know there are new fancy oral flea preventatives out now, but my dog is old and I don’t want to kill her in the process of trying to kill her fleas.

Has anyone else out there who was a long-time Frontline Plus user find it is failing them? And why does the Frontline site now advertise something called Frontline Gold? “Curious,” as Les Nessman would say.

UPDATE 11/28/16: After I wrote this post, I talked to my vet. They recommended Vectra 3D, a topical which contains Dinotefuran, Pyriproxyfen, and Permethrin. I only tried it for a month, but in that month she was flea-free, and they came back after I dosed her with Pet Armor Advanced 2 again. Vectra 3D was around $18 a monthly dose, and comes with a discount if you buy a large quantity at one time, as most pet medications do.

Good luck! I hope you all find your own solution.


My sweet gurl.

My sweet gurl.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!


When Movies Were Magical

My mother took me to see the movie Gremlins in the theater. I was probably way too young to be seeing it. I think it was maybe the second time it came around in theaters. (Back in the olden days of my youth, if a movie was really, really popular, they used to send it around in theaters again after the initial run. There was still a demand for it, and people weren’t able to just go out and buy a VHS tape of it to watch in their home endlessly at their leisure. VHS—see, I dated myself again.) It wasn’t a giant multiplex like they have now. It was a small theater downtown with only two screens, one theater was not much bigger than the average living room. Somehow this made the viewing experience more intimate.

Okay, I may have shown my own son Gremlins too early as well.

Okay, I may have shown my own son Gremlins too early as well.

And I would not even have suspected walking out of the theater that the movie had affected me at all. But then we went to go eat at McDonald’s. We ate in our car, because my mom is weird like that, then she sent me over with the empty bag and wrappers to the garbage can, a duty I usually loved. But suddenly I didn’t want to push open the little brown swinging door and leave my hand so exposed like that. The scene from Gremlins flashed in my head where the guy is trying to mail a letter and a gremlin pops out of the mailbox and starts chewing on the guy’s hand. My overactive child’s imagination could picture that happening, and it scared me.

How many movies now a days do that for you? For any child, even? Do they believe that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will really pop up out of the manholes in the street?

I remember when my mom took me to the same theater to see The NeverEnding Story. I don’t even remember any marketing for it. I don’t think there were ads on television; I didn’t beg to go see it. She just took me because she thought I would like it. Or maybe because she wanted to see it, I don’t know.

"It's not real; it's only a story!"

“It’s not real; it’s only a story!”

Because the theater was downtown in our closest, but small local city, we had to walk down a block, through an alley, and back to the parking lot where our car was after the movie. The tallest buildings are probably only four stories, tops. But the alley and the tall buildings were enough to give me the impression of the city Bastian lived in in the movie. And so I looked up in the blue, sunny sky at the smattering of clouds, and I BELIEVED that Falkor could fly over us at any moment, as he had at the conclusion of the movie. It was thrilling. I felt it in my blood. I have NEVER forgotten that feeling.

And I am not sure that I have ever experienced it since.



Are children going to walk out of the theater and believe that Transformers can really fly through the sky over their heads?  Maybe. But they also can go home and play with plastic toy versions on the floor in their bedrooms.

Part of Falkor’s magic was that you could not go buy a stuffed one in the store then. (You probably can now. If so, buy me one and then call 555-GUN-GLOW for the address to ship it to.)

This weekend the Rave theater near us had special showings of The NeverEnding Story. It might be greedy or stupid, but I yearned to be in that theater again when the theme song blared through the speakers, blocking out all the other sounds of popcorn and candy wrappers and slurping straws as clouds churned on the screen. I wanted to walk out of that theater again and believe that Falkor could be flying in the sky. Really, I was hoping my son would have a similar experience to what I had in 1984*. It turned out he wasn’t as impressed by it as I was. There could be several factors to that, including that he has seen the movie before on DVD in his own living room.

But, seeing it again was AWESOME. Maybe, sometimes, movies can still be magic.

Ever wonder what happened to Bastian, played by Barret Oliver? So did I. So I found out and wrote a post about it. It angers the dreadlock community. You can read it here:

Just a reminder I have an event this Sunday: The Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more details, click here:

*All the awesome things came out in 1984: The NeverEnding Story, Punky Brewster, Night Court

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!



Why Does Michael J. Fox Never Come to Our House?

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I’ll start by saying my son loves Back to the Future. He even dressed like Marty McFly for Halloween, to the delight of others of my generation. His generation? They were a little baffled. After all, BTTF has not been remade as everything else from the 1980s has been.

And thank God for that.

The McFly-est Marty

The McFly-est Marty

To be more specific, my son likes the last 40 minutes or so of Back to the Future III, because it contains a long sequence with trains: people stealing them, crawling on them, and eventually blowing them up. So, by now you understand that Michael J. Fox is pretty common in our household. We even celebrated Back to the Future day last October 21st. (The futuremost point in the trilogy, duh.) My son kept asking me why Michael J. Fox never comes over to our house.

How does a parent even begin to explain that one?

So, it wasn’t that strange that I should pick up Fox’s audiobook version of his book Always Looking Up from the library. It is read by the author himself, which was a big factor in getting it. I like him. I never had his picture hung on my bedroom walls, but he is highly likeable. Ashton Kutcher fills that void nowadays.

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

Fox explains right away that the title has a double meaning. First, he is short and has to look up at everyone. He is so short that I am actually a quarter of an inch taller than him! The second is that he is an optimist.

I must admit I picked up this book hoping it would be some sort of “how to” book on how to convert me into being an optimist. No such luck. He does talk about a stool with three legs. The legs are Optimism, Hope, and Faith. He says if you are missing any of them, then your stool will collapse. I am not sure I even have a half a leg. Maybe that is why I am always falling on my ass.

Not being a guide, he instead tells stories about how his optimism pulled him through. The book includes how when he realized there needed to be more funding for Parkinson’s research, he started his own foundation. Then as government regulations put up huge roadblocks to further research, he began to get involved politically for candidates who were pro-stem cell research.

I have learned way more about Parkinson’s than I ever thought I would and hopefully more than I will ever need to. The swaying, talkative Michael J. Fox we have seen for the last couple decades on camera is more of a side effect of his medication than his actual disease. Parkinson’s actually makes you freeze up. It makes it hard to have facial expressions, to walk, talking to slurred. Fox takes carbidopa/levodopa to ease these symptoms. He has to calculate when to take the medicine so that it will be in effect when he will be on camera. Sometimes he gets it right. Sometimes he gets it wrong.

Always Looking Up makes me wish I had read his previous book, Lucky Man, first. Listening to him talk I wish he was my next door neighbor and I could hang out with him and be his friend. He is both intelligent (which cannot always be said for the character of Marty McFly) and funny. He is so affable that while listening to the CD in the car, my son asked since Michael J. Fox was talking to us, if we could talk back to him.

Sadly, no. He might be a Lucky Man, but he is also a busy man with a very full plate of activism, acting, and family.

I am glad Fox took time out to share it all with the rest of us.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

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