Friday Favorite – Bones

I gave my sister and her husband the first season of Bones on dvd for Christmas a couple years ago. I’d never seen a single episode, but a friend of Amy’s highly recommended it. And I found it on sale on Amazon. They watched and enjoyed it, so I asked if I could borrow it a couple months back. I hung onto it for months without watching it, but as Christmas drew closer, I knew I should return it, so I started watching it.david-and-emily-bones

Bones is an hour-long drama about FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel). Brennan, who Booth calls Bones, is a forensic anthropologist–the best in her field in the country–for the Jeffersonian. Brennan and Booth team up to solve homicides for the FBI.

Sound like your typical procedural? Kind of.

But what sets Bones apart from its peers is the relationship between Booth and Bones. Bones is a certified genius, who’s people skills are … well … lacking. She’s blunt and often harsh and sometimes downright rude. And that’s where Booth excels. Smoothing things over, getting suspects to open up to him. Bones is all about pure logic. Booth often relies on intuition and his gut. Together they play off each other, making the show all kinds of fun.

Also unlike many other procedurals, Bones explores the character’s back stories. Bones’s parent disappeared when she was 15 and Booth was a former Army sniper in the Middle East. This adds depth to their characters, making them way more interesting than the characters on CSI, which I watched faithfully for the first 5 seasons.

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I also love the supporting cast. T.J. Thyne as the conspiracy theorist Dr. Jack Hodgins and Michaela Conlin as Angela Montenagro, the team’s artist, are hilarious and oh-so-fun. Hodgins is especially fantastic with his curly hair and who’d believe it theories. Zach Addy, the overly brilliant intern/doctoral student, is so socially awkward that at first it feels painful, and then becomes totally endearing. I love it when he and Booth have an understanding in the first season where Booth doesn’t speak to him. Ever. And when he finally does it feels so strained, that they go back to the old habit.

The characters and their relationships are developed and entertaining. And the mysteries aren’t completely obvious. But they’re definitely gruesome. I don’t recommend this show for anyone with a weak stomach, but if seeing burn victims and decomposed bodies doesn’t bother you, then this show is fantastic.

I confess that the first half of the first season was a bit of a struggle for me to get through. Bones was so socially abrasive that I wasn’t sure I could stick it out. But because David Boreanaz (see picture) is … well David Boreanaz, I stuck it out. And I’m really glad that I did! I’ve just started the fourth season on dvd, and it continues to surprise me with its heart and humor.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend! Catch new episodes Thursdays on Fox and reruns on TNT.

Does it ever drive you crazy?

I think of myself as a pretty easy going kind of gal. I’m usually pretty flexible about stuff, but lately there’s one thing that is driving me absolutely crazy lately!diet-dr-pepper-com

There’s a commercial about my favorite drink ever–diet Dr. Pepper–on TV right now. It shows a support group type set up with Santa, the Easter Bunny, Big Foot, and other imaginary figures complaining about how they can’t convince people that they exist. Then there’s a diet Dr. Pepper delivery man, who says he can’t convince people that a diet drink actually tastes as good at the original (better, in my humble opinion).

Then the Easter Bunny takes a drink and says there’s no way this is diet. Then all the characters laugh at the delivery man saying no one will ever believe him.

Now I think the commercial is actually pretty creative, entertaining, and it definitely does it’s job. That is, it doesn’t lose sight of the product it’s pushing in favor of a big production.

So what is it that’s driving me so crazy?

It’s the actor who voices the DDP delivery man. I know I recognize that voice, but I can’t place it! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out who that is.

My proposed solution? Credits for commercials. Just a brief flash of the key players in commercials. Is that too much to ask? It would really help me out, and maybe I wouldn’t be as crazy as I am now.

If you happen to recognize mr. delivery man’s voice, would you let me know?

Teaser Tuesday – A Valentine’s Wish

teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

Here are the rules:
* Grab your current read
* Let the book fall open to a random page
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
* Please avoid spoilers!

This week’s teaser is:
“Unemployed. Single. And out of brownie mix.'”
pg. 7   – A Valentine’s Wish by Betsy St. Amant

– I usually pick a random couple lines for Tuesday Teasers, but I just absolutely loved the opening line of this sweet romance by my friend Betsy St. Amant. You’ll remember that I interviewed Betsy last summer when her first book with Steeple Hill Return to Love came out. A Valentine’s Wish is a follow up to Return to Love, but it’s definitely its own story. I’m only a chapter in, and really enjoying it! Lori is a funny heroine, and Andy is a strong hero. I can’t wait to finish it, and you’ll hear more about it from me when I finish. Looking forward to it! If you’re looking for a sweet Valentine’s romance, be sure to pick this up at Amazon, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, or CBD.com.

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Online Mocha Club – Brandon Heath, Matt Wertz, and Dave Barnes

So my friend Ashley told me about this great online concert/chat tomorrow night. Check out the Live Online Mocha Club Event for only $1.50 to support clean water for Africa. More details below, or visit Brandon’s website at www.brandonheath.net for an awesome promo video including Brandon’s new beard. Ewww!!!

Who: Brandon Heath, Matt Wertz, and Dave Barnes
What: Mocha Club Live Online Event where Brandon, Matt, and Dave will each be playing some songs, interviewing one another, and answering your questions LIVE submitted through Twitter (@mochaclub)
Where: MochaClub.org
When: Tuesday, January 26th at 9pm ET/8pm CT
Why: Benefitting Mocha Club’s Clean Water projects in Africa, helping to build water wells in Sudan
How: Register NOW at http://live.MochaClub.org. Admission is $1.50

Friday Favorite – Casting Crowns – Until the Whole World Hears

It’s been a while since I posted a Friday Favorite about music, but lately I just can’t get enough of the new Casting Crowns album called Until the Whole World Hears. The title track is addicting, but really all of the songs are amazing.

Maybe my favorite song on the album is an old hymn written by Avis M. Christiansen in 1920–Blessed Redeemer. Check it out here.

Funny story about this album. Everyone in my family knows my sister loves Casting Crowns. For her birthday last year, I sent her and her husband to their concert in Phoenix. So I thought I’d be all thoughtful and get her this album for Christmas. Turns out her husband figured he’d do the same thing. My mom did too. So Hannah ended up with three copies of the cd on Christmas morning. Oh, well! There are certainly worse things to get. 🙂

Anyway, as previously mentioned, I recommend the entire album, which is on sale on itunes right now for $7.99. Be encouraged. Be uplifted. Be brought to your knees before the grace of God.

Monday Movie: The Young Victoria

the-young-victoriaIn 1838 the king of England’s health was failing, and the only heir to the throne was the 17-year-old niece of the king.

Victoria.

This gorgeously filmed and acted period piece is the story of how the young Queen Victoria came to power, the political power struggles that ensued, and the love that she discovered. The love story of Victoria and Prince Albert is stunningly beautiful.

In 2010 Jess Barnes asked me if I wanted to go see The Young Victoria with her. Of course I was interested. What’s not to love about Emily Blunt’s amazing acting in beautiful dresses in literally Victoria’s England?

And it was AMAZING!

I was completely enchanted at the end of the two hours. The dresses were lovely and flowy and satin-y. The dancing was graceful and oh, so sweet. Emily Blunt was brilliant and so believable as the uncertain young woman who grew into England’s longest reigning monarch. And the romance between Victoria and Albert made my tummy fill with butterflies.

I confess that I wasn’t quite sold on Rupert Friend as Albert when I first heard about the movie. If you don’t recognize his name, you might remember him as the awful Mr. Wickham in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice. How could I possibly enjoy him in another performance?

Well, turns out I could. He’s amazing–strong and gentle at the same time. And even though it looks like his mustache is eating his upper lip on several occasions, I can forgive that because he’s just so lovely.

According to my friend Rachel (who reads this blog regularly and can be found at A Thinking Girl’s Guide to Christian Fiction), the history in the movie isn’t exactly 100% accurate. But as you might know, I have a terrible habit of researching for my novels and then throwing it out the window for the sake of the story. It’s a bad habit to get into, I know. 🙂 But fiction is just that.

Anyway, Rachel highly recommended The Young Victoria. I’m glad I took her advice.

So take mine. Go see it!

Haiti Disaster Relief

Hi Friends,

In lieu of my normal Friday Favorite this week, I thought that I’d just make a quick comment about the earthquake this week in Haiti. I was watching CNN tonight, and my heart just absolutely breaks for the tragedy there. I saw a segment about a 15-day-old baby, whose mother had died in the initial earthquake. The baby had a head injury, and the CNN medical correspondant stopped to help the baby, who needed antibiotics, but there are none to be easily found.

CNN was also reporting that the relief effort is so disorganzied that as bodies are being recovered, they aren’t be marked or tagged. They’re beeing burried in mass graves, and their families will probably never know where they’ve been laid to rest.

Watching the reports tonight just broke my heart, and it reminded me of something that Mark Batterson said in his new book Primal. He asks if our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God? I believe that God’s heart is broken for the people in Haiti who so desperately need Him, and I pray that that’s why my heart is broken now too.

This isn’t a plea for your money or guilt trip or anything like that. I wish only to say that if God is moving you to pray, please do so. If He’s moving in your heart to give, and you’re not sure who to give to, may I recommend Compassion International. They have set up a Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund to provide necessary essentials for those in children and families in need in the name of Jesus. If you want more information, check them out here.

May God make His glory known through this diaster–whether it be through the majesty of His power that controls 7.0 magnitude earthquakes or the kindess and help given in His name.

Teaser Tuesday – The Boyfriend Game

teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

Here are the rules:
* Grab your current read
* Let the book fall open to a random page
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
* Please avoid spoilers!

This week’s teaser is:
“I coughed to stifle a laugh. ‘You’re like one of my girlfriends, except you like sports as much as I do. I can talk about anything with you, and we have fun and stuff.’ I nodded. ‘Yep, you’re like a girlfriend with hairy legs.'”
pg. 126   – The Boyfriend Game by Stephie Davis

– I got this book on Paperbackswap, and I confess to reading all 157 pages in one night. It’s a super-cute YA about a girl who loves soccer … and maybe the boy she practices with. It’s fast and easy, and so high school. Not that I’m so into the sports, but this was a really sweet story.

boyfriend-game

Movie Monday – Leap Year

As promised last week, this weekend I totally went to see Leap Year, the new chick flick/romantic comedy. I went leap-year-moviewith Amy, Katie, Steph, and Jess Barnes, but before you go thinking that we all just gushed over the movie, let me say that Jess is not a fan of chick flicks. At all. And Steph? She thinks that romantic comedies are too heavy on the romance with not enough comedy.

But since this blog doesn’t belong to Steph or Jess, I’ll tell you my thoughts.

I loved it!

It doesn’t break any molds in the genre, but Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are delightful as Anna and Declan. Anna, an uptight real estate stager from Boston, is forced to ask Declan, a pub owner from small-town Ireland, for a ride to Dublin when the weather prevents her from getting there to propose to her boyfriend on February 29th.

Jess, who I forced to join us for the movie because she has a little (HUGE) thing for Matthew Goode, was, I think, suitably impressed with his grumpy, once heart-broken Irishman. I certainly had a thing for his scraggly beard, which isn’t usually my cup of tea. 🙂 And Amy Adams couldn’t be any cuter if she tried.

My sister was looking for a movie to see with her husband on their anniversary, and I suggested Leap Year before realizing it wouldn’t be out in time. But Hannah said she was afraid that it would turn into one of those movies where the girl is with a perfectly wonderful man, but then she meet someone else and just leaves the other guy in her dust. (Hannah’s not a fan of those flicks.) But I’m super-pleased to report that Anna’s boyfriend proves himself a most unworthy match, and I was so happy to see her leave him in the dust.

Rated PG, this is the first romantic comedy I’ve seen in years with almost no swearing, and no sex. Such a pleasure not to have to deal with those things. It’s true that the comedy isn’t as shocking as say The Proposal, but it’s sweet and oh, so enjoyable. So grab your man–or your girlfriends and catch this one soon.

Loving the goreous Irish countryside until next time.  -LJ