When a show has been on as long as Supernatural with the same cast and recurring characters and actors, many things make it into the finished project that weren’t scripted.
Love it or hate it, it will give you a headache.
I think the most apt description I’ve ever found for time are a combination of Quantum Leap which relies on the string theory that time is like a ball of yarn and you can jump from one to the other, and Doctor Who where time is a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ball of stuff, which really sums it up nicely and succinctly.
I thought there were many more time travel episodes in the Supernatural universe, and I could only remember about five. The rest that were in my head were more of flashbacks, which aren’t time travel per se, but in doing my research in the Supernatural wiki, I saw that they counted twelve, which I will list here even though there are a couple that I didn’t particularly consider them for my personal list. For example, in As Time Goes By, Henry Winchester travels forward from 1958 to 2013 and in Lebanon John Winchester travels to current day Kansas despite his being dead canonically. I was looking for the episodes where the brothers traveled through time.
At any rate, these all have something to love, and yes, they will still give you a headache.
1. In the Beginning [4.03]
2. The End [5.04]
3. The Song Remains the Same [5.13]
4. My Heart Will Go On [6.17]
5. Frontierland [6.18]
6. The Man Who Would Be King [6.20]
7. Time After Time [7.12]
8. As Time Goes By [8.12]
9. King of the Damned [9.21]
10. The Vessel [11.14]
11. Family Feud [12.13]
12. Lebanon [14.13]
As you may have noticed if you’ve been in the checkout lane of the supermarket or read your weekly Target ad, January is the time to get everything organized, from matching your towels, boxing up your winter clothes, cleaning your bathroom, and traveling with your baby. January is the time that all of those things go on sale. Maybe they think you’ve put things off for the holidays, and now you need their expertise and sales to get things back in order. Some of that is probably true. We’re getting prepared for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend, and my husband asked about putting the Christmas tree away. My answer was an emphatic NO! For one thing, I like the tree. For another, it went up late, so I want it to remain a little bit longer. And for the last thing, if we put away the tree, we’ll have to put away the presents that are neatly being kept under it and it will take two weeks to get rid of all the pine needles (even artificial trees shed). I prefer the “Christmas mess” over the real cluttered mess that we usually have. However, there are other ways to begin the new year’s organization process even if you still want it to be Christmas.
1. The Mail. Deal with it! Bring it in the house, open it, read it, file it. If it’s junk, throw it away. Yes, now. If it’s sensitive information, shred it and then throw it away. You don’t have a shredder? Rip it into little pieces and mix it in with your food garbage. Make identity thieves work for it.
2. Lists. I swear by lists all year long, but January is the worst. Some things aren’t on the calendar yet. Things from school come home at the last minute (like tonight’s dance and sleepover – thanks for the notice!). My current list is too long to include, but some of the items are food shopping, vacuuming, workshop tomorrow, unpacking from last weekend’s retreat, clean off table for party, make goody bags, and take a shower.
3. Plan your week’s meals from what’s on sale in the supermarket ad. Go shopping once for the week, although you may need to replenish milk and bread. For a great sale, buy two and put one in the freezer for next week.
4. Take advantage of January’s stock up sales. If you have the space, it is much cheaper (and easier) to buy the huge package of toilet paper rather than the four pack that will run out before you’re barely home. Target has a lot of buy two of this, get a $5 gift card. Paper towels, garbage bags, laundry detergent, dish washing liquid, shampoo, soap. You save the money from buying the larger item and you also save the gas from not going when you run out.
5. Clear out the pantry and freezer. How many of your items are expired? And I don’t mean by a couple of weeks, but I bet there’s stuff from a couple of months, even a couple of years. While you’re clearing these out, do not donate expired or near-expired items to food pantries. They will only have to throw them out. Try and donate longer lasting items. The fall is the big rush to donate for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but food items are needed year round.
What are your best organizing tips for the new year?
This is part of an ongoing series in homage to the series finale of Supernatural, ending its run with its fifteenth season. The first of these lists was Characters Who’ve Died and Come Back. This new list include some of the more special episodes they’ve shown over the years: black and white, musical, meta. If I’ve left any out, please add them in comments and I’ll include them in a later update. Supernatural returns to The CW network on Thursday, January 16 at 8 P.M.
Just in time for the weekend! What follows is the list of all the books I’ve read in 2019, followed by two graphics describing President Obama’s 2019 reading list. Please add your own recommendations in the comments. I’m always looking for a new book to enjoy!
JanuaryVery Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling (on the 1st)Women of the Bible: A One Year Devotional Study – Ann Spangler and Jean E. SyswerdaThe President is Missing – A Novel by Bill Clinton and James PattersonThe Last Good Heist: The Inside Story of the Single Biggest Payday in the Criminal History of the Northeast – Tim White, Randall Richard, and Wayne WorcesterThe View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction – Neil GaimanFebruaryThe Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero – Timothy EganMarchThe Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump – Andrew G. McCabeBelieve Me: a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens – Eddie Izzard
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance – Barack ObamaAprilA Holy Mosaic: Love, Diversity, and the Family: Inspiration from a Pope Francis – Michael O’Neill Mcgrath OSFSDoing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law – Preet BhararaSeven Last Words: An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus – James Martin, SJNot by Bread Alone: Daily Reflections for Lent 2019 – Mary DeTurris PoustLenten Reflections – Bishop Robert BarronThe Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain – Bill Bryson
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey – Kamala D. HarrisGaudete et Exsultate – Pope FrancisJuneIn Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines who Dared to Break the Rules – Karen KarboDaily Reflections for Easter: Rejoice and Be Glad 2019 – Various AuthorsEnemies: A History off the FBI – Tim Weiner
Cronkite – Douglas BrinkleyThe Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey – Margaret Leslie DavisJuly
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry PratchettShortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for the Future – Pete ButtigeigNo Dream is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon – Buzz Aldrin with Ken Abraham
The Library Book – Susan OrleanAugust
Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy – Dan Abrams and David FisherThe Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl – Timothy EganSeptemberAccidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America – Jared CohenThe Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars – Paul Collins
Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream – Carson VaughnDutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II – Robert MatzenOctoberGirl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her – Melanie RehakYour Fourth Day – National Cursillo MovementCity of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York – Tyler AnbinderNovemberCatch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators – Ronan FarrowDecemberThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall SmithThe Education of an Idealist: A Memoir – Samantha PowerImpeach: The Case Against Donald Trump – Neal Katyal & Sam KoppelmanDreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style – Benjamin DreyerA Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals – Thomas MertonOur Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Pope Francis
President Barack Obama’s 2019 Book Reads and Recommendations:
In the US, Thanksgiving is the biggest eating holiday of the year. And still, our kids want to eat on the way to dinner or in the days before while we’re traveling to Grandma’s or wherever you spend your holidays.
1. Pretzels. I personally love cheese doodles, but I never eat them in the car. Too messy. Pretzels are simple, fat-free, and easy to brush off when you get out of the car.
2. Bottle of water. The heat in the car can be very drying. Be prepared for complaints.
3. M&Ms. The candy that melts in your mouth, and not in your hands. (TM) Small, easy to carry, not messy if you don’t let them melt, and honestly, who does?
4. Twizzlers. A punch of sugar without the sticky fingers.
5. Popcorn. Also not messy, easy to brush off and clean up, but be sure to remember that bottle of water!
This is an ongoing series in honor of the final season of Supernatural. They will appear throughout the season. This first one shows how much the show relies on the supernatural as well as the old soap opera trope that no one ever really dies on television. This list are the characters who died and then came back, sometimes more than once! If I’ve forgotten anyone, please remind me in the comments.
It may be the aspect of traveling with children, but I have always found that planning for a vacation is practically a full time job, and if you already have a full time job, whether that’s out of the house or in the house, it’s even worse. I have also found that it doesn’t matter if the vacation is a weekend, a long weekend, or a week long holiday. It still takes the same amount of work for the preparation of a short time away or a long rest.
Some items may seem obvious, but we’ve all gotten halfway to our destination and wondered about leaving the stove on, and that thought continues over the entire course of the vacation regardless of how many times we absolutely, positively know that we turned off the oven. One way my family avoids this is that we get our coffee and morning drinks out of the house. NO COOKING! No oven, no stove top, no toaster, no coffee maker. No argument.
Our last three vacations have been to foreign countries (twice to Canada and once to the United Kingdom) and those take on slightly more planning prior to leaving. I’m including those details to eliminate missing items. As you read this (and other writings that I have on traveling), you’ll weed out what you don’t need or will not use, and hopefully you’ll comment on things that you did need that I haven’t included. I love the community we have here online so we can collaborate and advise each other. We are in a wonderful time, and we should embrace to positive aspects of it. This networking and sharing is one of those positive things.
We have three children and the youngest are teenagers. While they are certainly [th] more independent [th] and actually better able to help with packing than they were during their elementary years and younger, it is almost more work to get them ready for a vacation. They never think they need as much as we parents think they’ll need…like underwear and socks. Some people do laundry on vacation; I do not. I prefer my vacations to be vacations.
Where to start?
1. The first thing is to use timers for lights so they go on. Many of them can be set to go on and off randomly. Another option is to set one to turn one off in one room and then turn the light on in another room, so you’re showing movement as well as the lights aren’t in a set pattern.
2. Hold your mail. Do not let your mail pile up on your front porch or in the mailbox. You could have your neighbor collect it for you or you can go to your local post office or set it up online to stop your mail until you return. They will deliver it on the day you request. Go to usps.com, click on Quick Tools, and then click Hold Mail.
3. Same for your newspaper delivery.
4. Unplug your toaster oven and your other electronics that aren’t quite off when they’re “off”. Some of those items are computers, wifi routers, remote control televisions (who doesn’t have these?), chargers that are not being used. Mentally walk through your house and figure out which plugs need to be unplugged.
5. Set your thermostat higher. We usually set it for 79/80F in the summer and lower it to 65F in the winter.
6. Do you have pets? Will they be coming with you? Will you be kennelling them?
7. I go to Starbucks on a regular basis, and have their card. Will I be able to use it in Canada? I couldn’t use it in the UK, so I left it home. A small thing, but I still need to find out.
8. Will you be driving? Even in the UK, we rented a car and drove. Will we be using the rental company’s insurance or your own? We couldn’t use our own in the UK, but we can use it driving in Canada, including using a rental car. However, we did need a special insurance identification card for use in Canada (Canada Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card). This can be obtained from your insurance company.
9. Cell phone service. The last time we went to Canada (2015), we were in Niagara Falls and for the most part, our phone calls and texts bounced off the Buffalo cell towers so we didn’t pay roaming charges. Now, for the most part, roaming charges don’t exist in North America; at least with Verizon Wireless, Canada and Mexico are included in our regular wireless plan, so no roaming, no long distance, no fees. Check with your carrier.
10. Call your bank about using your credit and debit cards. You will be able to use them, but you’ll have to notify most banks so they don’t flag your cards as stolen. This is important even if you don’t leave the country. If you live in New York, and you’re visiting San Francisco, your card will be flagged and if it’s the weekend it will take time to sort out. There may also be usage fees. Again, check with your bank.
11. Currency Exchanges can be done at airports, most large banks, and AAA offices. Often, however, they need to be ordered and will take a few days to receive. There are more than likely fees.
Politics are everywhere these days. I’m a political junkie, and even for me it can be a little exasperating. In the US we have an unhinged narcissist who can’t control his Twitter fingers and the media who used ot have journalistic integrity churning out pieces on his nicknaming habits, no follow up questions for outrageous lies, and more twattle than I thought humanly possilble. In the UK, Brexit is a disaster, no one gave a thought to Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May has resigned. The EU is in the middle of elections and fascists are everywhere. The Austrian government has basically fallen apart. And of course, there’s Iran and North Korea.
Amid this frenzy, I offer five ways to bring your blood pressure down and cope with the news of the day, no matter your normal comfort level:
1. Turn it off. Turn off the television, turn off your phone notifications, take a break from Twitter.
2. If you must stay on Twitter, only read Lin-Manuel Miranda exclusively. He is positive and uplifting and always says the one thing you needed to hear. Monday through Friday, he has Good Morning and Good Night tweets for his followers.
3. Read a book. NOT The Handmaid’s Tale. NOT 1984 or Lord of the Flies. Try Bill Bryson. Or James Martin, SJ. Or Becoming by Michelle Obama.
4. Treat yourself to a movie. Avengers: End Game is still in theatres. Other options: A Dog’s Journey, Aladdin, Detective Pikachu, and in the coming weeks: Men in Black and Toy Story 4!
5. Try a new podcast: The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe wherever you get your podcasts. I listen on Player.FM.
One of the prompts in this season’s memoir writing workshop was to think about all of the excuses we make to NOT write; to avoid the writing that we love so much. This list is not all inclusive, but this is what came forward for me on this topic. What are some of your excuses not to write?