Sunday, January 29, 2017

My New Favorite Show

I have recently began watching a different show that is new to me and I hate to say it, but I may be addicted. My new favorite show happens to be Rizzoli & Isles, which I am watching on Hulu. (I am even watching it as I write this, starting Season 4.) Rizzoli & Isles is very similar to other crime shows I watch, but it has an unique center and highlights different viewpoints that I rather enjoy.

The main characters, Rizzoli and Isles are both female leads. This is still a rarity,despite the calls for equality. These female leads are independent, run their own lives, and are well established in their careers. Neither one of these women are married or with children, but it doesn't seem to truly affect them, even when persuaded to "settle down" or get married by their families.

Their families aren't exactly "normal" as well. Rizzoli and Isles are the best of friends, that are almost like sisters at times. Isles has a biological and an adoptive family. Her adoptive mother worked a lot when she was growing up. On the show, it is learned that her biological parents met in college, with her father being a mob boss and her mother now being a prestigious doctor. Her biological mother was told that she died at birth by her biological father. Her biological father did this to protect her. Rizzoli's family isn't perfect either. So far, her mother and father divorced after 35 years of marriage despite their Catholic upbringing. She has two brothers, in which one gave her a nephew. The mother of this nephew slept with both one of the brothers and also their father. It temporarily complicated the family dynamic. Rizzoli's mother is currently living with Dr. Isles. She also plays a traditional mother role to Isles, when the need arises.

Another choice that I appreciate by this show is the fashion choices made for the characters. Dr. Isles is very fashionable and classy despite any work circumstances. Even in the episode I recently watched, in which she wound up having to wear rain boots,she remained to look classy and put together. Rizzoli is rather opposite of Isles. Rizzoli loves to be comfortable. She wears sensible shoes, simple basics, and a lot of solid colors. She looks professional most of the time, with her clothes showing hints of masculinity. When the show shows her at home, she can be seen in sweats or lounge wear. When her role requires her to dress up and be feminine, she looks out of place and sometimes awkward, but still beautiful.

As I am halfway through the fourth season, I cannot wait to see how the characters grow, the family dynamic changes, and what else happens. For Rizzoli and Isles' uniqueness to show, I feel they could have been in any profession, however, I feel they would not receive as much respect. I feel like that in any other profession, they would have been considered difficult, rude at times, and too strong. Despite it all, they are great examples of strong independent women on television, even if it is a work of fiction. This is a great show that defies society's expectations.

(Post is no way sponsored by Hulu or any other resource)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tab takes on... The Hardest Letter to Write

Dear Pa,

These holidays were rough. Even though you weren't here with us physically, you were in our thoughts and on our minds. There have been a lot of thoughts on my mind lately that you need to know.

First off, I am so thankful for the skills you taught my husband and the great example you were to him. You taught him the importance of hard work. He tries to tackle anything and everything. If an issue arises, he is ready to find a solution. Just like you were. The time you two spent together made an impact on his life. Because of the example of your and Ma's relationship, he treats me very similar. He will do anything and everything he can for me, even if it means he must sacrifice something he wants or needs. He waits on me hand and foot when he can, just like you did for Ma. I am so glad he had such a great example and that you both were such an influence on my husband's life. We are so glad to know what almost 50 years of marriage looks like.

I am so thankful you were able to come to our wedding. It was so special to have you there. It was an important event of our lives. I am so sad that you won't be here when we start raising a family. You would have so many stories to tell our future children, I am sure. Cody won't be able to come to you for advice on fatherhood and/or other things he would or could come to you for.

Thank you for being the constant man in his life. Cody still says you taught him everything he knows. He also says that even though you were his grandfather, losing you was like losing a father. All I know for sure, is if he becomes half the man you were and can teach our future kids all of the things he learned from you, I will be more than happy. The way he is with the nieces and nephews now shows me that it will be possible but he has some big shoes to fill.

Most of all, I will never forget the last words you said to me. You told me that I was lucky to have married your grandson and that Cody would never know how proud you are of him. Don't worry Pa, he knows. I just wanted you to know what was on my heart and mind. We will all see you later Pa, in heaven. Keep working on those houses with Jesus, as we tell your great grandkids.

Until then,


Monday, January 9, 2017

Tab takes on... Proving that District 13 of The Hunger Games is the Secret City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee

After reading the Hunger Games, especially Mockingjay, it is without a doubt that District 13 is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is to be proven by the aspects of secrets, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, bombs, airborne divisions, and many other ideas to be explored. Some of these ideas may be a different in fiction versus reality, with the potential of the fiction to be a reality at some point if the occasion was to arise.

Secrets is one topic that Oak Ridge and District 13 both share. The best example of this from District 13 is found in chapter 2 where it is mentioned that almost all new construction of the district was done under the surface and that most of their citizens spent most of their day underground. There are many reasons District 13 was this way. The main reason was because they did not need to be detected so that they could win against the Capitol. District 13 needed the Capitol to believe that they were gone and wiped off the Earth. Oak Ridge and its importance for the atomic bomb was and still partially is one of the best-kept secrets around. At its start in the 40s, as the area we know it as today, very few residents out of 75,000 knew what was actually going on. (New Republic) The workers only knew the exact tasks expected on themselves. (The Atlantic) The land used to make these areas were to be used for the "war effort" as the people and farmers living on the land at the time were told. (Secret Cities) In a way, both District 13 and Oak Ridge were kept secret. Just as District 13 was kept a secret from the capitol and the rest of the districts before the uprising, Oak Ridge was kept secret from the rest of the world as well. Oak Ridge was unknown of as well. It was "the city that didn't exist". It wasn't on any map. To entice workers to come, it was simply known as Clinton Engineering Works. ( Still today, it is labeled as the Secret City. It stayed a secret for many years or decades.

Another common factor that District 13 in Oak Ridge share somewhat is an Airborne Division. District 13 has an Airborne Division that is housed separately. (Chapter 5) While Oak Ridge does not have an Airborne Division, there are two options that Suzanne Collins could have been considering when she was writing Mockingjay. The more likely option would be the 101st Airborne Division, located in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which is about 3.5 hours away when driving. A more local option would be the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard base, which takes about thirty minutes to get to when driving.(Mapquest) There is not a specific distance or time it takes mentioned in Mockingjay to how far the Airborne Division is from District 13, but if District 13 what is to be in the Oak Ridge area, these would be the only options.

A drastic difference between District 13 and Oak Ridge is how long it took to be built upon and developed. Chapter 14 of Mockingjay states that District 13 is the work of centuries. Oak Ridge, however, was a community built with speed in mind. It was intended to be temporary. (Secret Cities) Many buildings and structures from then are still here today and are still being used, less than a century later.

The most important factor in both of these areas would have to be the role they each played or could play on nuclear weapons and on nuclear war. In chapter two, it is said that District 13 was the face of a nuclear weapons program for the Capitol before the Dark Days with another nuclear arsenal out West. In reality, similar circumstances were at hand in the 1940s. Oak Ridge had and still has massive facilities to modify and create nuclear materials for weapons. (The Atlantic) There also was a location out west, in Los Alamos, New Mexico that armed, tested, and built the bombs that is now defunct.(Secret Cities) None of this had been attempted before. Despite that, there was no time for mistakes or practice trials. Whatever happened, happened. Today, Oak Ridge holds two of the neutron science research centers in the world with the government still being the main employer. (

While District 13 may be a fictionalized area, it is still possible that it was based on Oak Ridge. The common subjects of secrets, airborne divisions, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, and other similar interests make reality set in to this fictionalized world. For what may not be possible today, could become our future tomorrow. More advancements in technology and science could make it happen before we know it.


1. The Atlantic article - The Secret City by Alan Taylor, June 25, 2012. (The Atlantic)

2. article - Oak Ridge and the Town the Atomic Bomb Built by Kay Grant, June 1, 2010. (

3. (Mapquest)

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. (Chapter)

5. New Republic article - A Visit to the Secret Town in Tennessee That Gave Birth to the Atomic Bomb by Lewis Falstein, November 12th, 1945. (New Republic)

6. Secret Cities of the Atomic Bomb Documentary part 1 & 2, YouTube. (Secret Cities)

Friday, January 6, 2017

A letter to an author

Dear Suzanne Collins,                                      I have read all three of the Hunger Games book now. I am an avid reader but your books seemed to bypass me until I had to read the first Hunger Games for one of my college courses. I became instantly hooked. (The only reason it had taken me so long to finish the series is because I couldn't find Mockingjay.)
I know all series must come to an end, but I was saddened for the Hunger Games series to be over. It left me with questions and wanting to know more. What happens to Katniss' and Prim's mother,Gale, and Haymitch after chapter 27 of Mockingjay? Does their mother come back to District 12 ever to see her grandkids or does she know that they exist? Does Haymitch ever sober up completely or does he die of alcohol poisoning? Does Gale find love again? Does Gale start a family of his own? Was there a Hunger Games with only the Capitol's children or did that idea go away after Katniss shoots President Coin? How is the new Capitol? What all happens in the time between the end of the final chapter of Mockingjay and its epilogue? What are Peeta and Katniss' children taught about the Hunger Games in school? Are the victors of the Hunger Games still honored as they were before or is it different now?                                      I know that is a lot of questions, especially all at once. I also know that the Hunger Games series was written for older children and teens mostly. But as an adult reader,I just seemed to be asking myself more and more questions. I am glad to find books like these that can make you think as a reader but also can be interesting for more than just the intended audience. This series will definitely be seen as a classic in the future.
A fan