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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Sun, Feb. 19th, 2017 08:16 pm

It seems like every year I spend longer on my taxes for less of a refund. I itemize like crazy, trying to maximize my money back, but it never seems to help. I did my filing earlier than usual this year (on Saturday) and spent a total of 5 hours going through paperwork and filing a whole lot of extra forms.

My refund's a bit less than it was last year, probably because I didn't have a full year of double tuition, but at least the money back will help with my graduation trip planning. I've been trying to find a good vacation to take to celebrate graduating college. Think I've found a good 2-week journey that will cover a few places I've never been and experiences I've never had, but want to get the whole thing booked and guaranteed before I get my hopes up. Just wanna have a good celebration of myself :D

Also, it's very un-February-like weather around NC. Weekends are hovering around 75 degrees, weekdays between 65 and 70 degrees. It's been great to have the windows and doors open, but it feels like we missed winter entirely because of the mild temperatures. Aside from the one snow event in January we haven't had a long trend of cold temperatures or winter weather. Oh well, maybe in 2018.

And I'm making great progress on my novel. Only four more chapters to go before it's editing time! Looking forward to having my agent read it. One thing I love about delving into Liam and Mikael's backstory is the fact that all those nods to their history in the other novel get to be expanded on. And there's some surprises for me when they reveal things I never knew. Ah, my lovely characters. Always taking on a life of their own and leaving me to transcribe.

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Sun, Feb. 12th, 2017 01:45 pm

Back in February 2014, I got the most exciting letter that started a fantastic journey for me.



I kept that letter on my fridge throughout my entire grad school career (and it's still there). When classwork and reading and research felt like it was too much, I looked at that letter and reassured myself that I did belong, that I was chosen to do this work and represent UNC's high level of scholarship. And it was exhausting at times, since I was working FT while going to grad school, but it was always exciting. Plus, I got to spend 2.5 years doing fandom research. Getting a Masters degree with fandom ties? Win-win! I had a wonderful thesis defense, and officially graduated in December 2016 (ceremony to be held this May).

Three years after I got my grad school acceptance letter, in February 2017, I got an even more exciting piece of mail.



It's been a wonderful journey and I hope that my fandom research does not end. There's so much potential areas of exploration out there, and I'm just getting started :)

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Television

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Thu, Feb. 9th, 2017 11:03 pm

(Had to take a post-SPN break to watch JDM on Live!...I could've done without Kelly ;)

Anyway! Dean losing his memory! Jensen Ackles knocking it out of the park with his acting! Sadness and happiness all rolled into one!

[He may forget a lot, but he will never forget Sammy.]
So, I was going to just refer to the witches as dead man-witch, alive man-witch, and sister-witch, but I will try to use their appropriate names. Though, considering Gideon didn't really last very long in the episode, we're only down to two dangerous witches. I did like that Gideon was able to get off one last, horrible curse before he kicked the bucket. And so begins the journey of Dean losing his memory in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

The stripping away of what makes Dean who he is was hard to watch. Every memory lost, the less baggage he carries. It was almost like watching time run backwards and getting a glimpse of early seasons Dean. He used to go out and drink, have sex, enjoy life. Now he's just trudging through the day and trying not to let the depression get the best of him. But, his experiences is what makes him who he is. Without them, he's just a shell of his former self.

I had this fear that he was going to forget Sam. I mean, he pretty much did, and himself as well, with the breakdown in the bathroom. That mirror scene was phenomenal, as was the aftermath of when Sam told him what would become of him if they couldn't break the spell. Jensen is a great actor, and I like to repeat that fact whenever possible. He can make you feel things without saying a word. And he showed that, despite everything else being taken away, he could still hold onto the memory of Sam. This is his brother, and it's carved deep in his soul. Never forget.

Rowena, as usual, was great. I wonder if Dean really doesn't remember what she told him, or if he's holding it in his memory for later use. He's done some bad things in his life, all for the greater good, but she's done some bad things only for her personal advancement. She's not going to get the eternal happiness or the ultimate power, no matter how long she tries to achieve it. It's an endless cycle of surival for her, but still she perseveres and remains while others have fallen. Keep on, Rowena. You're a valuable asset to all who know you.

Catriona, to me, wasn't as engaging as she could have been, and Boyd even less so. We didn't get enough of their interworkings to really invest any time or emotion into them. Their brother is dead, they want revenge, and their plan to revive Gideon was confusing. Boyd said they were going to switch Sam's soul for Gideon's, so...did that mean Gideon would inhabit Sam's body? Or that if they sacrified Sam Gideon would rise up again? I wasn't very clear on that. But, no matter, since it didn't happen anyway.

And, of course, Dean got his memory back in the end. But not before getting to take out both witches, thanks to Sam's cleverly placed post-it notes to help out. Go, Dean, go! Now that they have the spell book, which I assume will be going into the Men of Letters library, will they use it again in the future? Or will the British Men of Letters take possession of it? Whatever their purpose, at least Rowena doesn't have it at the moment. That much power could seriously go to her head ;)


Overall, a good episode with great acting. Maybe even worth a rewatch this weekend.

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: Windchimes

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Thu, Feb. 2nd, 2017 11:13 pm

Ah, angels. Not so bright and shiny as the legends would lead humans to believe.

[Revenge, not just for humans]
A Cas-centric episode with more angel drama. It's a trend that no matter which angel we come into contact with, they're all going to be uncaring toward humans and basically vengeful toward their family. However, it was really nice to get to see Cas in his former vessel and how he was as a soldier back in the day. Nephilim are an abomination, so they have to kill them, with no care for the innoncence of the child. The dynamic of how he acted back then to what he's facing now, with the potential of Lucifer's child, will be interesting. I doubt he will be so quick to kill.

But, of course, nothing is as straight-forward as "has mission, complete mission" when it comes to this show. Not only did Lily survive on Enochian power, but she had a reason for targeting and killing the angels that she did. They destroyed her life by killing her husband, as well as her child. But their mission was ill-guided, as Ishim lied (surprise!) and actually killed an innocent human child because of his perceived betrayal of Lily and her love. I have to wonder, as Cas has gone two weeks in a row killing cosmic beings, what the ramifications of his actions will be. He seems to be in a fatalistic mindset, though. He will go to any lengths to protect others, even if it means sacrificing himself. I'm sure Billie's death, at least, will cause problems for the Winchesters.

The drive out and the tenseness between Dean and Cas was interesting to watch. And poor Sam in the middle. It's not my pairing, but I can see how Dean/Cas fans can see the undertones with the way they're playing this. But at the heart of it is the deep devotion Cas has for the Winchesters and, in turn, how Dean and Sam feel he is family. And if they don't stick together, they're not going to make it through the ever-growing list of problems. Lucifer's kid, the British Men of Letters, the ramifications of killing Billie...the list goes on. Angels aren't going to help them now, only one angel, and that's the way it will always be.

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: Late Show

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Thu, Jan. 26th, 2017 10:02 pm

You know it's a ground-breaking episode when Cas impresses me.

[Go angel, go!]
Okay, I'm still confused and a bit miffed that the boys didn't just run after the whole President thing, but I guess if they did they'd still be hunted and tracked. And we wouldn't have the lovely emotional turmoil of the episode. Rick Sanchez, the aide, and Camp, the superior guy, made quite a dynamic team, and Camp was scary in his understated way. They don't have to torture the boys because silence and darkness for weeks, months, years will do the job for them. I loved seeing Dean marking off the days on the wall, though I knew they had to have something up their sleeves.

The whole sacrificial nature of the Winchesters seems like a family trait. I figured that Dean and Sam made a deal with Billie to appear dead, but I have to wonder how they thought just one of them could die. They've proven again and again that one cannot live without the other, so thinking that one of them would continue the fight was not going to work. Plus, of course Mary would sacrifice herself for her boys. John first, then Mary, their boys will remain safe as long as their parents can make it so.

And Cas, oh Cas. I am often frustrated with him and his purpose, but in this episode he impressed me with his empowered speech. No more Winchesters will die, no more will sacrifice themselves, because the world needs them. And if that means Cas will have to cause cosmic destruction from breaking a blood bond, then he will do it. Oh, Cas.

Finally, the whole British Men of Letters deal. While it's good for business for Mick and Mr. Ketch to help save the Winchesters, I'm sure Mary's team-up will prove problematic for the family. But I am definitely looking forward to more Mr. Ketch. He knows how to tie up loose ends! And looks good doing it ;) It's excitng to think about where that storyline will lead.


And I guess they didn't show a preview for next week? I haven't watched Riverdale yet, but hoping it lives up to the hype. I grew up on Archie comics, so the bar is high.

Current Mood: good good
Current Music: Teachers

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Sun, Jan. 15th, 2017 02:18 pm

In the middle of my holiday weekend and enjoying it so far. Been streaming some Netflix things and need to go through my DVDs as well. Also, the temperatures are up and down, but at least we're not suffering through an ice storm like some of the country.

Also, I just made a really good deal, thanks to a Best Buy sale. They sent out a $10 gift certificate to email subscribers and I've been debating what to get. I was thinking of picking up another wifi outlet for downstairs, since I love the one I have upstairs on my bedside lamp. However, the ones I like aren't in stock or on sale right now (plus, I don't have a lamp for downstairs yet), so that's a buy for another day. But, I was alerted to the fact that they put their $40 Insignia™ - Portable Wireless Speaker on sale for $9.99. Score! I've been watching bluetooth speakers ever since I got my Dot because I wanted to extend it to listening in the home office or the shower if I'm not in my bedroom, but hadn't yet pulled the trigger on buying anything. Thanks to the gift certificate and sale, though, now I have one for free! I just tested it out and streamed Tragically Hip without a problem. SO GREAT!

PS: While TuneIn has failed to fix their CBC Radio 2 feed, so I can no longer listen to that on the Echo / Dot (listening to Indie 88 instead), CBC Radio has integrated their news broadcast into the flash briefing, so now I have a wonderful stream of weather, CBC News, local news, and CNN when I get ready in the morning. I love that they're constantly adding skills and making improvements. [They also just added "Computer" as a wake word, which should make some fell ST:TNG fans happy....I'm sticking with Alexa myself.]

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Tragically Hip

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Sat, Jan. 7th, 2017 09:14 pm

The snow came to North Carolina and we got around 8 inches in Mebane. It's very pretty and peaceful, especially since our state virtually shuts down for winter weather (or, the governor advises us to stay put...some don't take the warning). I'm not going ANYWHERE!


[More pretty snow pictures!]






Thankfully we did not get any freezing rain or much sleet, so the trees aren't iced over and I don't have to worry about trees falling on me / cutting off my power for more than five days like the last bad storm. [My parents, on the NC coast, have been without power since this morning, however, so it's getting really cold in their house.]

But the main problem for me, at this time, is the night-time lows that are coming. Tonight's low is 6 degrees and tomorrow night's low is 0 degrees. My kitchen water line is the only one that goes along an exposed wall, which means it's got a tendency to freeze when the temperatures drop. I keep the water dripping to try to head it off, or at least cut down on the pressure should a freeze-up happen, but there are some temperature levels that are just unavoidable for a freeze. After every time it freezes, I have it wrapped again and try to insulate it more. Last time I managed to make it to 12 degrees before it froze, so here's hoping it can hold out for lower this time around :( I fear a burst pipe every time it freezes.

Because of the frigid temperatures and no thaw in sight, the National Weather Service has advised everyone to stay off the roads until mid-day on Tuesday, so there's that. I've watched all my Netflix movies (Born To Be Blue is really good for some Callum Keith Rennie screen-time!), read Kindle books, done an academic journal review, and watched the snow fall. Tomorrow I'll likely do a repeat if weather-releated issues don't arise.

Current Mood: worried worried
Current Music: Justice Channel

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Fri, Dec. 30th, 2016 08:51 pm

It's turn very frigid around here, though no snow (as I often wish for). I got two new additions to the house, though.

"Collegiate Colors" by Patsy Gullett (UNC-Chapel Hill)


She actually specializes in college work, and I luckily found a UNC-Chapel Hill piece in the thrift store today. It's a 3D piece, though you can't see it well in the picture. Here's her process, from her website:

The first task at hand is to visit the places I want to draw. I create a pen and ink drawing from photos that I take on site. Watercolor is then added to the drawing and it is now ready to print. An x-acto knife is used to hand cut thee layers of my prints to create the unique three-dimensional look of my work. The technique allows me to portray the buildings as they actually exist. Porches stand away from the buildings; steeples and turrets bend to their actual shapes. The buildings come alive.

And I also had to replace / reincarnate my Sam fish :( Those who have seen my old Sam knows he was HUGE - grew from 1 inch to over 8 inches in only a year and a half. He perhaps also overate, gobbling up food from both his brother Dean and the bottom feeder Impala. He died on Christmas Eve. Now I've reincarnated him with a new fish of the same name, who looks tiny against his brother now.



Pretend he's college Sammy :) He's the same size as what original Dean and Sam were, so I expect him to grow into a comparable size over the next year.

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: PBS

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Sun, Dec. 25th, 2016 09:49 am

I hope everyone's having a lovely Christmas morning. We just finished opening presents, so I took a picture of my collection. Lots of clothes, a few DVDs, and some odds and ends. Gonna set up the Dot upstairs later today to pair with my Echo downstairs :)


Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Alexa Piping Out Christmas Carols

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kimberlyfdr
kimberlyfdr
KimberlyFDR
Thu, Dec. 8th, 2016 10:46 pm

Interesting way to end the mid-season of SPN. I am hoping two certain someones help out with resolving the mess the Winchesters have gotten themselves into.

[They should have run.]
I would have actually spread this episode out into two, just to give us more time to focus on specific possessions. I wanted to see more of the possessed archbishop. I found his control of the church, how he was able to turn the crosses upside down and cause such devastation to the priests and nuns, to be interesting. They could have followed him for a lot longer before hopping over to the President. Oh well, that's what fanfic is for.

Interesting that Lucifer's trying to hop from one powerful figure to the next. Rock star, business guru, archbishop, and finally the President. He's moving up in the world. Though, again, the power he gained from possessing the President was lost in the quickness of the event, along with the confined nature of the setting. Sure, he was able to procreate, and that might cause a lot more destruction than any political acts, but we had to potential to see him cause tremendous damage before the vessel was used up or released. Instead, though, it was a one-episode event and we're done.

Though, we were left with some loose ends. What will become of Kelly and the baby? If it's allowed to be born, there will be danger to the world and everyone in it. But Kelly doesn't want to kill it. How is that going to be resolved? And Rick's going to be a problem, too, with his control of the Winchesters' fate. They're completely off the grid, locked up so no one can find them. It's up to Mary and perhaps Mr. Ketch to get them out. [I really like Mr. Ketch. He's got style and interesting gadgets. Use him for good!]

So, overall, I felt like we rushed through a lot of events that could have gotten a more in-depth look. And we know the boys will get out of jail somehow. The only real cliffhanger is the baby, but even that doesn't seem immediately pressing. It's a wait and see game for everything. Somehow, the month and a half hiatus won't seem so daunting.

Current Mood: mellow mellow
Current Music: Comedy Central

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