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NCIS: Season 6!

Up to season six now in my crazy attempt to catch up on all episodes of NCIS before the fall.  I really, really enjoyed the season ending of season five, and was surprised with the twist ending of splitting the team up.  I can't figure Vance out... and I'm curious to see where his character goes.  What was that page he shredded out of that file?  I missed if I was supposed to know what it was, or if it's some sort of mystery they are setting up...

I've decided I need some NCIS icons, though.  Off to search!

Alan Rickman

Thou shalt not disturb Alan Rickman whilst he drinks tea!



Nearly done with season 3 of NCIS.  I have to thank my mom and sister for getting me hooked on yet another show.  It didn't take long... I immediately fell in love with Gibbs.  Mark Harmon is fantastic.... I think I developed a crush on him when he was in West Wing for awhile... and I'm pretty sure I'd watch him in anything.  Yes, even Freaky Friday.  :)

I do think that my fave character is McGee, though.  And I really wish they'd give him some more story lines to work with.  I loved "Probie" - fantastic episode for him.  So, I'm crossing my fingers that I'll see some more McGee-centric episodes in the upcoming seasons (I think I have what... 5 more to catch up on?)

Firefly: Season 2

Joss Whedon talking about what would need to happen to make a Season 2 of Firefly:

“Step 2: Cancel Castle. Step 3: Cancel Homeland. Step 4: Generally destroy everybody’s careers. Step 5: Avoid Step 2.”

lol.  :)   Although, I had to imdb "Homeland" because I had no idea who was on it.  Turns out it is Morena Baccarin.  :)

Matt Bomer!

I don't watch Glee, nor have I ever seen Glee, but Matt Bomer is going to be on it next week!  And since I'm kind of in love with him, I may have to watch it.  :)

Lego Extravaganza

Here are some pictures from my son's 8th birthday party.  It was a lot of fun, and most of the decorations and the like I used with items I already had at home, so it was relatively inexpensive.  Cute and cheap... two of my favorite words.  :)

Creation station where the kids could build their own character.

More pictures under the cutCollapse )


Last year, I was very unprepared for my kids birthdays.  They came up so fast, and I was just birthday-ed out at that point, I didn't feel up to making cakes, decorations, and party games.  So this year, my plan was to plan way ahead and actually enjoy myself.  So far so good.  For my son's birthday (in a few weeks), I already have made the goody bags, some decorations, have a plan for the cake, etc.  So I'm feeling good about that!

My daughter, who will turn 5 this April, wants a Tangled/Rapunzel party.  I figure that should be somewhat easy to get supplies for.  I found this amazing cake on Pinterest.  Not sure if I can do it though...

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.

Lemons into LemonadeCollapse )

Next up: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Bromance Forever!

Love this so much!  And though this season hasn't been my favorite, I am still going to miss Chuck a ton once it's off the air.

Fic: Ocean

Title: Ocean
Author: ezzri
Characters: Steve & Danny (not slash)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None

Summary: He looked again out his window and immediately it all made sense.  The car was sinking.

The force of the impact jerked him awake as the violence of the collision quaked his entire body. Steve winced against the pain radiating throughout his chest as his body slammed forward in one bone-jarring instant, every ounce of breath leaving his lungs in a giant whoosh. Then, just as quickly, he was jerked back again, his momentum stopped by a padded seat behind him. He waited a few moments to be sure he was no longer going to be wrenched around like a rag doll before cautiously opening his eyes.
His head was angled down and to the left, his eyes settling on a scratch running along a large formed piece of leather. Though he was stationary, he felt uneasy and nauseous, and he held his gaze on the scratch until the queasiness passed. Blinking slowly, Steve raised his head slightly. The leather, it turned out, was actually the interior of a car door; a car, he realized, he didn’t recognize.  He was settled in the driver’s seat, and the seat was pushed all the way back so that his feet were not able to reach the pedals on the floorboard. Outside, it was dark, though light seemed to be dancing around the car as if they were floating. The illusion of the swirling lights intensified Steve’s dizziness, and he closed his eyes to regain his bearings.
Details of how he got in the car or how the car came to a sudden crashing halt prickled at his memory. Five-0 had been working on a case… an attempted bombing... they had figured out who was responsible… there was a cabin… a flash grenade… Danny had gone down…
Slowly, carefully, he moved his head to the right to peer at the passenger in the car with him. Danny was uncharacteristically still. His eyes were closed; his head tipped forward, chin resting awkwardly against his chest. Other than sporting a large bruise near his left temple, Danny didn’t seem to be seriously injured. 

No response, but the steady rise and fall of his partner’s chest reassured Steve that he was alive. He reached out, grabbed onto Danny’s shoulder and gave him a gentle shake, but he still didn’t rouse. Letting his hand fall back to his side, he took a few calming breaths before assessing their current situation.
Whoever had put them in the car had taken the care to buckle them in. He looked down toward his feet, noticing a large block of concrete that rested against the gas pedal. Steve unclasped his belt and leaned forward to remove the object, picking it up to weigh it in his hands thoughtfully as he leaned back in his seat. Something unsettling washed over Steve, though the pounding in his head and the general unease about his apparent memory loss prevented him from figuring out exactly what was wrong with this situation.
He dropped the concrete back to the floor and looked out of the car. An eerie glow danced around the windows, seeping through the heavy darkness as if they were underwater. Steve blinked a few times, trying to clear his vision to get an idea of exactly where he and Danny had crashed, but nothing he did changed his view outside. His odd vision problems, combined with his rolling stomach, made it difficult to think. No matter how still he forced himself to be, the car still felt like it was rocking. Feeling the need to get out, he tried to open his door, but it wouldn’t budge.  Leaning into it didn’t help matters at all and he closed his eyes, letting out a frustrated sigh.  As he did, a new sound reached his ears… a creaking noise combined with a sort of splashing sound. 
Suddenly the reality of the situation pierced through the dense fog in his mind and his eyes snapped open. The darkness.  The noises.  The “dancing” lights.  He looked again out his window and immediately it all made sense.
The car was sinking.
Steve cursed. He tried to measure how much time had already elapsed. Two… three minutes? Too much time. Now understanding what he was looking at, he could see that the water level outside of the car had already risen to just below the window frames. The front-heavy vehicle groaned under the changing water pressure; the weight of the engine pulled the car forward in a sluggish nose-first dive into the unknown depths of the water.
Steve quelled the panic threatening to overwhelm him as he first tried to lower the window. Nothing happened, as the electrical system in the car must have sputtered out after being submersed in the water for so long. He knew that the door was not an option until the pressure on the inside of the vehicle matched the pressure on the outside.  And without knowing how deep they were sinking, Steve was unwilling to wait that long.  He needed to get himself and Danny out.  Now.
Steve turned toward Danny and climbed over the center dash to reach his partner.  The angle of the car caused Danny’s motionless body to slouch against the strain of the seat belt. His hands, usually so full of energy and frantic movements, dangled limply in front of him.
“I’m gonna get you out of here, Danny, just hold on,” Steve rambled in a low, steady whisper. The silence within the vehicle was unsettling, and he found himself wishing for a good Jersey-sized rant to obscure the sounds of the car creaking and moaning under the increasing weight and pressure of water as it sunk lower into the water’s depths.
He knew he had to unbuckle Danny too, but in his unconscious state, he worried that his friend would slump too far forward for Steve to get a good grip on him when the time came. His only option was to get his partner to wake up before making their escape attempt.
“Time for you to wake up and show me your swimming for survival skills, buddy.”
Steve shook his partner again with little success before resorting to a few face slaps. Eventually the blonde detective’s head lolled in his shoulders as a small moan escaped his lips.
“C’mon, partner,” Steve encouraged. “Wake up.”
Danny’s eyes fluttered open, their unfocused gaze searching around wildly before finally settling on Steve.  His brows furrowed in confusion before he spoke; his voice deep and raspy.
“Steven? Why are you sitting on me?”

“I’m not sitting on you.” Steve rolled his eyes, but moved so he wasn’t hovering so close over Danny. “I’m waking you up. We have to get out of here.”
“Where are we?” Danny asked as he leaned his head back.
“We’re uh…” Steve stumbled, pretty sure how his partner was going to react to finding out that they were currently in a sinking car.  “I don’t know.”  It wasn’t a lie, but he figured a half-truth was better than taking the time to fully explain their predicament.  “But we need to move. Now.”
“Okay, okay,” Danny mumbled. “Just give me a sec.”

“Nope, no time, partner,” Steve said as he reached across Danny’s torso to unbuckle him. Keeping one hand on his friend’s shoulder to prevent him from flopping forward once he was no longer restrained by the seatbelt, Steve used his other hand to press down on the release.  With each passing moment, the car continued to lean forward at a downward angle, and it was getting more and more difficult to keep balanced in the small space. 
“Whoa, whoa,” Danny threw his arms out to prevent Steve from invading his personal space further. “What are you doing?”

Steve huffed out an exasperated sigh and figured he’d better spit it all out at once and get it over with.
“I don’t know how or when, but we were knocked unconscious and stuffed into this car. The car was then driven into the ocean, Danny, and now it is sinking. We need to get out now before we get too deep.  I’m helping you get out of your seat, seeing as you are still a little out of it, so we can break the rear window and swim to the surface.”
Danny’s face registered some shock before it quickly contorted into anger.

“The car was driven into the ocean,” he repeated.
“Yes,” Steve replied, opening the glove box and the center dash, looking for any tools or objects that may come in handy. “Or maybe dropped off a cargo ship. Look, the details really don’t matter right now. What’s important is that we need to get out of the car as quickly as possible.”
“The details don’t matter?”

“Are you going to just repeat everything I say, or are you going to get yourself out of the seat and help me?”

Danny opened his mouth to say something, but quickly clamped it shut after another large creaking sound echoed through the car. Bracing his feet against the floorboard, Danny unbuckled himself and turned around so he was kneeling on his seat and facing the rear of the car.
“What are you looking for?” he asked as Steve continued to search the car’s interior.
“Something to help me break through the rear window. I’m not sure if I will be able to with just my boots.”
Danny aided with the search, looking under his seat and into the rear of the car, but came up empty.  Steve, on the other hand, reached down near his feet and came up with a large chunk of concrete, a grin forming across his face.
“Where did that come from?”
“When I came to, it was pressing down the gas pedal,” Steve explained as he removed the headrest from his seat and climbed into the rear of the vehicle.
“So let me get this straight,” Danny began, his arms already moving in a whirlwind. “Someone knocked us out, shoved us in this car, and then proceeded to drive us into the ocean?”

“Didn’t I just say that, Danny?” Steve asked from the back seat.
“Yes, but now that I confirmed it, I find that I’m really pissed off!” he shouted back.
“Well, we can discuss the injustices of the situation when we get out of here,” Steve retorted, reaching out a hand for Danny. “Now climb back here.”

Danny swatted Steve’s hand away as he climbed into the back seat. Steve could sense his partner’s concern and anxiety, even though he could tell he was trying hard to hide it.  But Steve didn’t have time to calm his friend down.  Too much time had already elapsed, and there was no way of knowing how far below the surface they already were.
“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Steve explained quickly.  “After I knock out this window, water is going to rush in.  But it still shouldn’t be a problem to swim up and out through the torrent.” 
Steve waited as Danny nodded. 
“You’ll go first.  Use the car if you can to help propel yourself to the surface. Just follow the bubbles up if it gets disorienting.”  Steve paused to let Danny digest the information, his partner’s skin draining of all color.  He reached out and put a reassuring hand on Danny’s shoulder.  “I’ll be right behind you if you need help.”
Danny took a deep breath and held it, preparing for the worst.  Steve shook his head.
“Don’t hold your breath just yet.  Wait until the last possible moment.  Are you ready?”
“Oh yeah sure, looking forward to it,” Danny’s retort fell a bit flat, his nervousness seeping through the attempt at deflection.
Steve offered him a thin smile before he swung back the piece of concrete and slammed it into the center of the window. The glass cracked and webbed out in all directions and he wasted no time in slamming the concrete into it again.  The glass burst and instantly the cold water flooded into the car.
“Go! Go!” Steve shouted. Danny stepped up onto the seat and scrambled out through the window. Steve waited a moment and then followed him up and out, careful to avoid Danny’s legs which were kicking out ahead of him. 
The darkness made it difficult to keep his eyes on Danny, and the salt water stung his eyes as he tracked his movements.  His partner was struggling against the current and Steve could tell that his energy was draining rapidly.  Steve surged forward and he came up alongside his friend, quickly interlocking his outstretched arm around Danny’s flailing one, and tugging him toward the surface. Together they kicked and lunged upward through the icy water until finally they breached the surface together, taking in large gulps of fresh air as they bobbed and kicked to keep their heads afloat. 
Steve first checked to make sure Danny was okay, and at a silent nod from his partner, he turned to get his bearings. Bright lights illuminated a large dock situated about fifty yards from where the two partners waded in the ocean. Steve pointed, and without a word, he and Danny began swimming toward the shore.  It was slow going… Steve reducing his pace considerably to stick as close to Danny as possible.  Finally, Steve could touch the murky bottom, and he used the support it offered to lend a hand to his exhausted partner.  The fact that Danny silently accepted the aid was a large indicator at how tired he really was. 
The water clung to their clothes like weights as they drug themselves out of the water and onto the rocky shore next to the long dock.  Danny flopped himself down onto his back, heaving in large breaths in an attempt to calm his shaking body.  Steve sat down next to him, pulling his knees up and resting his head on his hands. Though his SEAL training had put him through worse situations than what he had just experienced, he could still feel the adrenaline beginning to wean from his body, and he began to tremble slightly against the cold.
He reached out and put a hand on Danny’s shoulder, giving it a small squeeze.
“You okay?”

His hair was matted down and his clothes tightly hugged his frame and Steve could see the small quakes racking through his body.  But with effort, Danny sat up and shook his head.
“No,” he said quietly.  “No, I am not okay. I hate swimming. I hate the ocean. And, above all, I hate this island.”
Steve expected nothing less than a large rant from his partner, but the outburst lacked venom and vitality. Steve stood and without warning, bent over and pulled Danny to his feet.  He swayed slightly, but together they walked toward the dock, Steve hoping they would be able to find a phone.
“Think we drove off that dock?” Danny asked, nodding his head toward the long pier that jetted out into the water.
“Yeah,” Steve acknowledged, shifting a little bit more of Danny’s weight onto his side.
They walked in silence until they crested a small hill that overlooked a small shipping company that seemed to operate out of this small port.  Steve looked up and saw several cameras mounted on the side of a few buildings and he smiled. Once he and Danny were fixed up, they’d be able to pull footage and find out who had attempted to drown them.
“Told you.”

“What?” Steve asked, looking to his right to see Danny looking back at him.
“Told you I could swim.”
Steve grunted as he helped Danny continue forward in their search for a phone.  It was true that Steve had harbored doubts that his partner could swim, despite Danny’s arguments to the contrary. But Danny did prove today that he could swim for survival.
“I don’t suppose this experience will help convince you to go swimming for fun anytime soon.”
Danny shook his head. “Don’t hold your breath just yet.”