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I had to work 17+ hours between Thursday & Friday with another 3 on Saturday morning to make it happen, but I got my work squared away for the day by noon on Friday and was completely done by 12:30pm on Saturday, giving me the equivalent of one regular person weekend.  It was amazing and I celebrated by, between the 2 days...

making it to 5 estate sales, a few garage sales, 2 antique stores and a walking tour around a historic neighborhood, admiring beautiful houses. I also acquired many coveted things. I started to write about it in detail last night but then I got bogged down because there was just too much to cover and I stayed up until 2am and borked up my Sunday (which has been spent with Chris at a fall festival + rural walking trail, once I finally got my butt out of the house at 1:45). So in sum, here are the treasures I got:

-Lovely pair of purple earrings

-3 yearbooks (1939, 1958 and 1959 from the same sale), because they were absolutely coated in long messages and yearbooks full of long messages are my crack. Also, the 1939 was really cool on its own and made me want to read a bunch of 1930s teen novels because these kids knew how to have fun designing a yearbook)

-A My Little Pony! (Bubbles, to be precise)

-THE MY LITTLE PONY STABLE CARRYING CASE! I used to have this when I was a kid -- I acquired it from a family friend's daughter along with her 9 or 10 ponies -- but it got so torn up that we eventually trashed it, a decision I came to deeply regret. So happy to have one again. This is the later version, with a pink handle

-Muley Ears, Nobody's Dog -- one of the few Marguerite Henry books I have never held in my hands. So happy to finally have it!

-Where the Heart Is, in paperback. I have passed up at least 7 copies of this in the past year because it's always $2 and I just refuse to pay $2 for something as common as an Oprah's Book Club selection. But at last, I pounced upon a copy for 50 cents! And it's in perfect condition to boot.

-A really cool book first published in 1909 (and possibly from that era as well, given its pasted-on lithograph cover image), From My Youth Up, a fascinating autobiography describing this woman' personal experiences throughout the fast-changing 19th century. She was born in 1838, and from what I paged through it's frankly really amazing to have such a firsthand account of such a faraway time period. I am not sure if she's famous or not -- her Wikipedia entry is not very long and the book has, weirdly, NO reviews or even a cover on Goodreads -- but I guess she was a prolific writer/magazine editor and I am excited to learn about her.

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Now can I pleeeeeease talk about TV while I wait for my NCIS: LA ship to roll in? (I haven't been actually excited for a TV show to air live for almost a month. Probably a bad sign.)
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Survivor has started, and thankfully it looks like they'll be switching teams in episode 3 because it is honestly just embarrassing how hard they are trying to make everybody use tired "MILLENIALS VERSUS OLDSTERS/NORMALS" phrasing and a make a big Thing out of it when it pretty quickly becomes apparent that there is not much of a generational divide between Gen X and Millenials as a whole.

As is usual at the beginning, I am ready to throw the whole thing out the door right now, and am only hanging on because a couple of bright lights have caught my eye, and tragically they are all Millenials. Specifically, they are the fivesome consisting of the 3 love triangle morons, their hippie missionary pal, and hanger-on Hannah, in reverse order of how much I like them. They are all of the ingredients you need for a YA beach novel, and the vague parallel universe that unfolds before my eyes when watching them is pretty great, on par with Jen/Hailey/Joe.

The guys are totally uninteresting to me except as props, between the doofus and the guy who comes across as a stoner, but that's fine. I really like Flirty Figgy -- not on her own merit, exactly, as much as how much she reminds me of a younger Kathryn Hahn. And I love the way Hannah is sort of attached to/awed by them and clearly shipping the lovebirds on Pretty Factor. (they are sort of pretty. I did not hate the producers deciding to put their embarrassing makeout session on national television)

What I'm not understanding is why Hannah threw over her nerd friend to go with The Beautiful People -- unless it's what I suspect, which is that aligning with the outcasts because they'll have you doesn't mean it's where you ultimately want to be. I am pretty sure it's out of loyalty to Hippie Chick Michelle, who is actually the most interesting person in this story. She seems like one of those quiet people who isn't naturally inclined to hang with the dumb popular crowd, but whose looks get her in there. Don't get me wrong, I think she's comfortable there and I'm not sure how genuine her overtures to Hannah are, but I at least like the idea of her & Jay being on the practical end of this friend group and rolling their eyes at their nauseating hookup friends.

Also, I kind of love that Micheala is hate-watching the lovebird proceedings and ready to frontstab them both. That's like backstab, but when you really want them to see it coming and you don't want to have to be nice to them first.


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Criminal Minds has also started, and what I thought was going to be a really interesting "time to go catch 13 escaped serial killers at once!" premiere turned out to be a much more realistic and mundane "so we've been gradually rounding them up all summer, making slow but steady progress." With continuing focus on the boring Mr. Scratch, which makes me think that Thomas Gibson's firing borked up somebody's season-long-arc plans but good. At least, I hope it did. This firing is the gift that keeps on giving.

Luckily, both things are nullified by the sheer damn awesomeness of Hot New Team Member Luke Alvez, who threw Reid right out of the frame to capture 100% of my attention. The only thing that diverted me even slightly was Garcia's hostility toward his unflinching and bewildered politeness that was never explained. Is someone going to explain this soon, or should we just assume that she's so hot and bothered by his hotness she can't trust herself to look directly at him / be in his presence for more than 5 minutes? I know which one I want.

P.S. Tara's hair looks decent now, makes me accept her sudden shift from recurring to permanent cast member.
P.P.S. Where is the show getting all this money for series regulars. Is it from Gibson's former salary? Please say yes. See also: gift that keeps on giving.
(some of it is probably also from Shemar's exit, I realize, but let me have my fun)
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In "shows that are dumb" news, why can't I stop seeing The Good Place. Every time I turn the TV on, it's there. I'm not exaggerating.Thursday night. Friday night. Saturday night. ALWAYS THIS SHOW. This is like Law & Order: SVU levels of saturation despite only having 4 episodes. And the show isn't even getting any better! This is the oatmeal of television shows. It will suffice if the other breakfast option is, like, expired milk. But it is like 497th on the "if I could have anything" list. Not like Superstore, which is still a 30-minute shot of wonder and joy that I continue to refuse to talk about in further detail, lest I spoil it.

I have also seen an episode of Kevin Can Wait. It's...serviceable. On par with the above. Not actually funny and not as good as King of Queens reruns, obviously. But his daughter's Super Emotional British Boyfriend is pretty cute, and the ladies on this show are fantastic. The wife was the wife on my beloved dorky idiot show Worst Week, the older daughter (Taylor Spreitler) had a super memorable guest spot on the Pariahville episode of Criminal Minds last year, and the other one (Mary-Charles Jones) had a super memorable guest spot as Young Melanie on Hot in Cleveland.
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My ship content has rolled in, by the way, so let's dissect it. In more words than I've probably written about this show in my entire blog tenture.

NCIS: LA, 8x03, "The Queen's Gambit"
First of all, ET gave me that first hospital scene with Julia as a sneak peek this morning, which was immensely helpful in taking the edge off my rabid ship hunger this morning. It was just in the past week that I realized they are both only children with super-awesome moms, and I love the idea of them becoming equally close with their future mothers-in-law, so knowing that Kensi's mom is there alongside him throughout this made for a really nice scene all on its own. Even before the focus shifted to Kensi with the "baby" and handholding and tucking her hair behind her ear and kicked the squee up a notch or ten.

Second of all, I love everything in that doctor's review. No stroke, none of the usual suspects that lead to brain damage in play. Not total paralysis. But possible partial/left side paralysis. I don't know about you but that sounds like something we can really dig into and mine for conflict and character growth for a good long time without doing any structural damage.

Third of all, I'm very partial to the idea of Deeks going to work (more on that later) as a way to help pass the interminable waiting time, while also doing some good for the world, but committing all his spare time to the hospital.

Fourth of all, well played. That was indeed an "unconventional proposal." Mainly because it's pretty accepted convention that both parties should be conscious when it takes place. Still...did I swoon? Yes.

"Will you please wake up and marry me?" I listened to the first 5 words of that promo a hundred times this week, and it was clearly oddly cut so I assumed it was taken out of context to make it sound like he was talking to Kensi when he was actually talking to someone else. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be better than it sounded.

Fifth of all can we just appreciate Deeks' magnificent Sad Puppy Face and how much more magnificent it is when it is not a result of Kensi purposely pulling away or him being an idiot and pushing her away? It is on full display every second he's at the hospital. Speaking of, I also quite like him alternately taking charge and getting the information he needs from doctors, and being babbly/overexcited over her minor movement, only to deflate when gently told it doesn't really mean anything.

On the "gently" note: I never see really great patient/doctor interaction on crime shows -- it's always either characters getting hysterical or shoutily demanding answers, or doctors brushing them off -- and it was so nice to see them actually building a mutually respectful relationship.

Sixth of all, can we switch gears and talk about NELL, THE GREATEST SPUNKY PUP EVER TO SUB IN FOR THE QUEEN.

Nell-a-saurus! Nellverine! "Give 'Em Hell" Nell!
I don't know if you remember waaaaay back when I first saw this show in a Deeks-inclusive world, but after 2 episodes I noted I wasn't sure if I was supposed to ship him with Kensi or Nell. The romantic possibility for the latter is gone, but the spark-tastic partner chemistry is still as high up in the stratosphere now as it was then. Maybe higher.

His focus is so completely on Kensi all of the time that there just isn't any room for him to have a one-on-one dynamic with Nell, so when the opportunity came along tonight, I was basically a cat rolling in a pile of catnip. Can they please be partners always until Kensi comes back? I like his dynamic with women better than men, and because he already knows her there is no room for resentment about having Kensi "replaced," nor any awkward new partner dynamics. Best of all, not even under orders will my brain ship them anymore, she is such a Girl Bro in this moment. But a tiny one, despite her apparent fierceness, so the potential for her to get knocked around or otherwise need saving is still very much on the table.

For the time being, I am pretty content with his general delight in everything she does.

I'm babbling because I'm still in a daze over how much I like Nell's determination to prove herself capable of living up to Kensi's legend, Nell being freaking awesome by tackling and punching out people bigger than her until pulled off by her team, and most of all their spectacularly easy partner banter. That's it, that's the stuff I need.

But then it gets better. With the serious side. That conversation in the storage locker, her awkward but sincere acknowledgment of his pain and wanting to help however she can, while acknowledging that it affects her too. This feels very much like the dynamic that Reid and Garcia have on Criminal Minds, bonded by their individually close connections to third party Derek Morgan. Not that Nell is anywhere near that close to Kensi per se, but in my completely uninformed newbie outsider opinion, it seems like she very much admires and respects her as a person/role model, so close enough.

And may I just say, Deeks sincerely confirming that as much as he can't wait for Kensi to come back, Nell is amazing and a great partner and he's glad she's there? Sorry, there seems to be a waterfall on my face.

Other Thoughts
* When did Nell qualify to be a field agent and why? It's awesome, but I don't understand where her fierceness came from. I watched the preview for this episode a hundred times and every time I saw her jump over that staircase I was like, "IS THAT NELL? No, that wouldn't make any sense. It must be some dumb temporary lady agent they've hired who just looks like Nell; the scene is moving too fast to tell for sure," and you have no idea how happy I am to be wrong.

* Eric, gun-training. For reasons I'm unclear about. I'm gonna assume "so he can offer to be the rotating field agent if Nell wants the option to stay safe in the lab" like the misguided white knight he is.

* I think I like Sam now? As long as I don't have to look at or care about his personal life, I'm getting to be real charmed by his smooth, easygoing manner and consistently pleasant face when it comes to plot stuff.

* Callen is now the one I'm starting to dislike more. Him and his bland / roughshod face that was supposed to die (according to me) in the backdoor pilot. And yet, when he spent half the episode bitching about the price of Persian rugs (see also: Sam being awesome in response with
"You're embarrassing"), I had to laugh.

* Incidentally the rug store was called "Lawrence of La Brea." Why is this so funny to me? It's not even a rhyming pun.

* OH MAN I already got one of my Zoo babies as a guest star! The suckiest one, newbie Dariela (here going by Gabriela), but still.

* I love Drunk IA Chick. She's such a kook. Can I be her best friend? Can we steal her for Ops and have her keep Eric company while Nell is busy with her awesome new partner? Or maybe just replace Hetty? I'm just spitballing here, but I need more of her in a setting that encourages her unhibited side.

* To borrow the structure of one of my all-time favorite Glee recap quotes (from AfterElton, on 4x03), because I can't stop thinking it every time I replay the scene, I present to you the cap of tonight's Deluxe Transcripts:

As the doctor leaves, taking Deeks' temporary hope with him, Deeks takes Kensi's hand again and smooths his thumb over it. His face is regular sad, but when her hand (involuntarily) twitches away from his, his face goes to saddest.

Up next: they are already taking a break for some reason, after two weeks, but that's actually okay because I'd much rather have gotten these 3 in early. Normally this would be the perfect opportunity for the show to disappear off my radar for a year, but IDK, I'm planning to watch kind of a lot of CBS this fall and I suspect the previews will keep it at the forefront. Plus, I don't have anything else to obsess over. I believe I'll elect to torture myself through the waiting game.

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