Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Great Blogging Drought of '07

So sorry to all of you (especially B, who has given me quite a lot of crap for it) that I have been without internet connection for a couple of months. A lot has happened to yours truly since October 4th when I was fondly recalling all my Nintendo fun of years past.

I have read a great many books, the most recent of which was The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner and also The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. I don't feel like reviewing them right this moment, so I will just say 1) that I couldn't put Tourist down and 2) that I also couldn't put Fury down, but was also very confused the whole time. I've also read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith on the recommendation of my sister T (liked it, but personally had a hard time with how sad it was), and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (loved it, couldn't put it down, and was amazed that these things really happened).

I've also driven to Utah and California since October. R's brother and his wife had the biggest-cheeked baby I've ever seen, and we went up to Utah for her blessing. She's so cute! (We got her Weebles for Christmas.) Then we drove to California a few weeks later to my sister's house in San Ramon and had "the miracle, buh-buh-buh-buuuuh!, of Thanksgiving". My brother lives out that way, and my Utah-hair-school-attending other sister M flew in for the occasion too. So we were all together, with the exception of my littlest sister Cade. (We missed her :( and if you want the whole story about my f***ed up family, just ask.) My sister T made the most wonderful turkey and spread ever! Hooray for Italian Thanksgiving!

Another thing I've been up to is teaching the Sunbeams on Sunday. There are two teachers, so we get to trade off. If you're wondering if I was responsible with my new calling and remembered to call subs for the times I was gone to UT and CA, the answer is "no". Oops. My favorite quote so far from Sunbeam class is from a boy named Soren. After I helped him unbutton his pants to go potty he promptly told me to "now, get out". They aren't shy. They also ask us several times during class every week 1) Are we having goldfish? 2) Are we almost done with class? and 3) Did you bring cookies?. I'm glad they're gleaning so much wisdom from class.

In closing I'd like to say that I will write again soon, sooner than last time :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Oldskool: A Postscript

Did you ever have a Game Genie for your NES? We only had that one, not the one for the super NES, but dude it was awesome! I know I know, the cheater in me keeps rearing it's ugly head. So. That's all.

Oldskool

I have been strangely nostalgic today. I busted out the old Super NES and played Super Mario All Stars with M. He mostly thought it was cool that someone else could jump as much as he usually does on a given day. So I battled Bowser only to find that the princess was in another castle, while M jumped around in front of me and I tried not to die.

I also found this list, which is fun. I'm compelled to mention that these are the games I loved playing: Super Mario World, All Stars (with the original Super Mario Bros. 1-3 including the Lost Levels), Mario Kart, Out of this World, Mortal Kombat, F-Zero, Peter Pan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Zoop, Toy Story, Aladdin, etc. I think most of my memories include my sister and my cousin. I remember driving all the way to Clovis to visit, and then S and I would just play video games the whole time. So fun!

On a related and earlier note, how about this list? How old was I when I played these games, like 9? Do you remember playing Duck Hunt on the original NES, with that plastic gun? How about Burgertime? And Bubble Bobble, Donkey Kong, Paperboy, Tetris, Dr. Mario, and Joe & Mac? Did you ever have a Power Pad and play World Class Track Meet? We used to always cheat on that one when it was time for the long jump. We'd just step off the pad and then tap our foot to land. So honest. I never played The Legend of Zelda, or Contra, but those are two of Ryan's favorites. I know I know, I missed out! I do remember playing Goonies II at my friend's house, and always getting stuck. Ah, the memories.

I haven't played anything much past the Super NES, although we did have a Nintendo 64 later on. I think the only game I played on there was Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, (with the Rumble Pak), and Mario Kart 64. But since then I haven't played, or really even wanted to play. Until...I got hooked on Dance Dance Revolution at a friend's house! Now I'm thinking that a purchase might be in order. Should I get a Wii? Or an XBox 360? Maybe you all need to give me advice on the matter. Tell me what you think.

Conclusion? Clearly I have admitted how much I must've played Nintendo over the course of my 27 years. A simple list of games that I remember turned into this entire post. Yikes. I wonder how many hours total I spent in front of my own or somebody else's TV trying to beat games.

And seriously, I want your input about what to buy. Pronto.

Monday, October 01, 2007

In Rainbows

Radiohead has a new album coming out. You can get it either by download in October or physically in-your-hand in December. Check out this article that discusses how they're sticking it to the man.

Can I tell you how excited I am? No. Can I tell you how upset I will be if I don't finally see them live when they go on tour next year? Yes: Angry. So, I WILL be going. In fact, I'm little ashamed to publicly admit that I've never been to Radiohead live. I will feel less shame once I have my ticket in hand, and am wearing proper attire.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

List of music you should be listening to if you value my opinion and feel like doing what I say.


So there you go, another list that proves that I'm more interested in myself than writing anything that might actually be interesting for all of you. "Thai food, feminist prose, and angry girl music of the indie rock persuasion."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From H's Blog

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car): Sox Altima

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Vanilla Molasses Crinkles

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name): K-Mil

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Teal Cat

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born): Lyn Provo

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first): Milke

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink): The Orange Water

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers): Ray Dominic

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Shi Kit Kat

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ): Lyn Dominic

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Keck Kalamazoo

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Halloween Apple Blossom

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”): Blueberry Pantsy

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Banana Bread Cottonwood

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”): The Reading Thunderstorm Tour

So there you go. I hadn't heard most of these, but my favorite is "Blueberry Pantsy", by far.

Monday, September 17, 2007

2 thoughts

I had a Stepford moment today at the gym while ellipticalling (and rocking out to Arcade Fire), when I looked over at 5 or 6 other ellipticallers: all in a row, moving in unison and to the beat of my music on my iPod. Yikes. I think it doesn't say much about my sanity that I'm so easily scared. I imagine that things are breaking the laws of physics all the time, too. I see something out of the corner of my eye and think it's someone flying, like on Heroes. What am I thinking?

I'm breaking out the Halloween box today. Take that R! I don't have to wait until October 1st, I'm a fall birthday. So I get to blame my Halloween obsession on some type of intangible connection with my season of birth, and maybe on being a Virgo, if that applies. Regardless, a-decorating I shall go. I also shall make a trip to the Safeway for some canned pumpkin with which to make Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing, or Pumpkin Bread, or Pumpkin Cheesecake, or other delectable treats. It's time, people! I don't care if the high today is 98. It's fall. Let it be spoken, let it be done.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Heroes

Don't forget all you Heroes fans: season 2 starts Monday September 24 at 9pm! (cheesy announcer voice)

P. S. (I may or may not have gotten hooked on yet another show.)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Jesus Camp

R and I viewed the documentary "Jesus Camp" on Friday. There's a lot of things to think/talk about after seeing it, but I have to separate them into two sets of reactions: did I like it as a film, and what is my reaction to their beliefs?

As a FILM: It's a little sensationalistic with the scary music at times, but for the most part I really enjoyed it as a whole. What they do is very intriguing, and what they believe is very polarizing, so I was interested the whole time while watching it. However, the end result put a negative light on their beliefs, but if you watch the film with director's commentary the feel is different. They speak of the three main child characters with affection and a pretty unbiased interest in their zeal. But if that was their intent for the film without the commentary, then it was lost on me. It seemed that the point of the film was to show how very strange and very conservative these folks are.

There was a good dialogue going back and forth between Becky Fischer (a Pentecostal children's pastor who runs the camp in the movie) and Mike Papantonio (a Christian and a radio talk show host). I think this was one of the best decisions they could have made. The two sides, both of them believing Christians, made a nice clean framework for a complicated issue. In my opinion, this is the most well made documentary I've seen, along with Fahrenheit 9/11.

As a FAITH: The line between politics and religion seemed entirely blurred, both for the pastor and those in the congregation. In the Mormon church there is no official taking of political sides, even if the majority of members are conservatives. But here I found it a little unnerving to hear unflinching talk of abortion over the pulpit, praise of George W. Bush, etc. (Maybe it's because I've heard my share of conservative assumptions when people in the Church talk to each other. I'm not offended, and I've only had liberal views for a few years, but I always think to myself when someone assumes that I'm also a libertarian, "Um, have we ever even talked about anything more than 'how old is your kid' and 'oh, mine is 2'? Maybe we should get to know each other a little better." But this is another post entirely...) Anyways, it was a little hard to hear this type of thing again, mingled in with religion. I had to wonder if there were people in the Pentecostal faith who had liberal political views and struggled with their belief because of all the conservative folks.

On the other hand, I thought their commitment to their faith was admirable. The little girl who passed out fliers and approached a woman while she was bowling, was particularly interesting. But I had to wonder how much of it was that she was a child immersed in a very demanding culture. I worried less about her (because she was older and had more freedom to make her own decisions, and would find out sooner or later in life what she really believed) and more about the younger children. They are encouraged to speak in tongues and have revelatory trances, but what about their desire to please their pastor, or their parents? Did this play into their spiritual experiences when they are so young and less able to know what faith in Christ means?

On the other hand, it's definitely okay to teach your children what you believe to be true. So am I worried just because I believe the Mormon church to be true? I keep remembering one particular scene where the kids were listening to a sermon about abortion and then were waiting for red lengths of tape with "life" written on them so they could put them on their mouths. There was one little girl who must have been between 5-6, and she was touching her mouth while she watched other kids getting theirs. She just wanted a sticker! I found it a little disturbing.

So the bottom line is that it's a great film. It brings up all kinds of interesting questions about faith, reason, politics, freedom, and how to separate them or not separate them. I highly recommend it and welcome any and all comments about what people think after they see it. Happy viewing!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hockety Pockety Wockety?

M and I are experiencing The Sword and the Stone together for the first time. Hooray for the library right across the street. Don't hold your breath for R to be taking a trip down memory lane with this movie though. He claims that this movie is lame and that he even thought so when he was a kid. I however love it! For some reason it just makes me happy. And silly. There are lots of silly things in this one. M, who is now getting a sense of humor of his own, is even giggling at things before I pave the way with my own giggles. Happy viewing any parents of 2-year-olds.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

An Atypical Exchange

It is the third day of sickness at our house. The croup has struck M for the first time, and his cough sounds horrible! He's my little barking seal. I have to say that I'm glad he didn't get it when he was younger or I would've been more unnerved. His case isn't that bad though, and he seems to be running around like usual for the most part. We're basically running two humidifiers throughout the apartment 24/7.

Because of this ailment we haven't gone to the gym or most other places, since M starts coughing a lot in the air-conditioned, and therefore drier, car. So we've both had a little bit of cabin fever. This results in more-than-usual excitement over mundane things:

M, yelling at the top of his lungs:
Bianins! (this means "vitamins")
me:
Okay, let's get vitamins!
M, still yelling:
Bianins! Bianins! 2 Bianins!
me, dispensing, well, vitamins:
Yes, we have 2 vitamins.
M:
3 bianins?!
me:
No, just 2 vitamins, here you go.
M, mouth full of vitamins:
More bianins?
me:
No, we just have 2 vitamins.
M runs off to play with his vacuum.

later that day...

M, saying a bunch of gibberish with real words at the end:
gibber gibber blah, with cowors?!!! (the last word is "colors")
me:
Do you want to take a bath with colors?
M:
Naked a cowors?!!
me:
Yes, we're naked in the bath, and we're taking a bath with colors.
M:
Cowors!! Cowors!!

So there you go. Lots of enthusiasm for lots of things. This is what comes from having croup at the same time it's 111 degrees outside: you never leave the house and end up bouncing off the walls because of baths with colors in the water and some vitamins.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finally, a virtual onramp to the information superhighway of my very own.

After much ado, there is now a cheap and slow internet connection available at the house. Remember when things used to actually plug into the wall? That's what this literal connection entails. It's just plain weird. Still, it's worth it to be able to do really productive things like how right now I should be sleeping, but instead I was playing Bejeweled 2 just for fun.

I'm going to a jewelry party tomorrow night at my sis-in-law's house. I've gotten a little carried away with my self-proclaimed catering of said event and made 5 kinds of cookies. They're from new recipes that I've been wanting to try, but haven't had the excuse to use yet. I also threw in a pan of cheesecake brownies for good measure.

In case there are any foodies out there this is the list: lime-glazed cookies, lemon-glazed cookies, cheesecake brownies, checkerboard cookies, linzer cookies, and two-tone peanut butter thins. I think it's a nice rounded out palette of flavors, thanks to my obsessing over the "menu".(However, the linzer cookies aren't very pretty after my poor attempt to roll them nicely this afternoon, so I'm thinking of trying another recipe instead called apricot almond ruglach. They mostly look like little crescent rolls, but they're cookies. These recipes are largely from a book by Nick Malgieri called Cookies Unlimited. I highly recommend it if you ever want some unique recipes for baking therapy.) In other cookie news, I tried some cookies at a small little bakery across the street from the gym. The best of them was some kind of pecan cinnamon-sugar shortbread yumminess that I'm dying to eat again. But anyways, that's enough of my baking nerdiness.

M and I went to the doctor today: he has croup! It's been over 110 degrees most days this week so I wasn't wild about having to go outside to get in the car. But if you heard the barking cough this kid had today, you would've braved the weather too. M did really well, and didn't even cry! It may have had something to do with how we talked all the way there about what would happen at the doctor's office. My poor little sensitive guy. He's got my genes after all, even if he does have blond hair. And blue eyes.

I started a new journal a few days ago. It's for Things M Says. As I think of all the funny things M does say and then admire him again at the end of the day while I write them, I realize that I'm quite baby hungry, but scared that I might irreversibly screw up my little people if I have another one too soon. I've snapped at M a few times in the last few days, and it feels terrible. It's a good thing that I can apologize and he's so accommodating at the forgiveness.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lots of new things

A lot has happened in the almost month since I've written. It would seem that, as I indicated in my previous post, I still suck. But, amends are on their way, complete with all kinds of new life changes and digital pictures!

Firstly, R is done with the bar. Woohoo! I know that we don't know if he passed yet, but that's okay. At least he's not still studying and worrying. Also, there's a story to go along with the simple sentence that "the bar is over". I call it "The Stressed Out Days Before the Actual Stressful Two Days that R Actually Took the Bar":

It's the Thursday before the bar (which is the following Tuesday and Wednesday). We get the mail. One is from the Arizona Bar. They haven't received R's proof of graduation from U of M (who had assured him a month prior that they had it taken care of), and so his name was removed from the list of bar applicants and he is welcome to take the bar in February of 2008. They have been little helpers by already signing him up for the February bar. Thanks. We call the Arizona Bar people. We can't call Michigan because it's 7pm there. We call Michigan the next day, and they freak out and call Arizona a bunch of times, only to speak to voice mail. Michigan reassures R that they will fix it. Then they call and say they can't and they're really sorry. R and I cry, and M looks at us curiously as we explain that "we're sad".

We fast and pray that someone in AZ will soften their little heart and take pity on this poor R. In the meantime R checks his email to make sure he's not crazy, but that Michigan really did have his information and se
nt him an email telling him that they knew the bar application dates and would get his paperwork in. Once he finds it, he feels a little better, gets a little angry, and forwards his Michigan emails to Arizona and his Arizona emails to Michigan.

The weekend drags by, R studies a little bit, mostly out of fear that if he doesn'
t he'll have to take the bar unprepared and it will be just as awful as not taking the bar at all. Monday comes, we get a call. It's a 602 number! I freak out and run outside to give the phone to R. It's Emily from the Arizona Bar, calling because she read his forwarded email from Michigan and will allow them to fax the missing information and he can take the bar the next day. So basically we cry again because "we're happy", and R drives to Tucson. He takes the bar and comes home Wednesday night. At this point we figure that if he passes, great!, and if not he has the best excuse ever for not passing. Win-win.

So that's the bar story, someone's heart being softened can go a looong way.

Secondly, we have a new apartment. It's in AZ, close to a park and ride area for R, only 30 minutes from other family (a good distance), has 2 pools, 3 huge closets and one regular closet, a larger kitchen with more cabinets than I'm used to, is across the street from the library, and has a general feel of homeyness. It's also within minutes of Target, Walmart, Costco, the Chandler mall, a huge park, 3 grocery stores, and the church building. Church on Sunday, while at the most horrible time of 11-2 (guess what time M takes his nap?), was very fun. I'm hoping we'll like the ward so much that we'll stay even after we outgrow this apartment.

Thirdly, we have a new car. We really loved our little silver Hyundai Accent, but it got totaled. So then we got a check that was worth more than the car was and put it towards a new car that should last us a while, even with one more future child. It's a 2007 Nissan Altima in Dark Slate. It's a little bit fancy, but it looked so much better than the current Civics, Carollas, Accords and Camrys, and cost about the same, that we bought it. My favorite part of the fanciness is the Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition. I never take my keys out of my purse anymore. The car knows. I can't lock my keys in the car or trunk, even if I tried. It's magic! Basically now we're super cool driving in our new car to our new apartment. Which brings me to...

Fourthly, I got a new phone. Is it hot pink? Yes. Does my new ringtone play "The Final Countdown" when I get a call? Yes. In case you aren't currently as cool as me and watch Arrested Development nonstop, "The Final Countdown" is a song by a Swedish band called Europe that Gob uses in his magic shows on AD.

So, bar, apartment, car, phone. And M is 2 years old (July 7) now and got lots of toys from two different parties, one in AZ and one in CA. The Snake Cake (below, cake courtesy of Ga/Grandma) was in Arizona, and there was a Bird Cake in California (which I drew myself, thank you very much). Hooray for summer! And new things! And cake! And more posts!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I suck.

I haven't written in this here blog in a long time. There are lots of reasons:
  1. I have been moving states.
  2. I have been living with more people.
  3. Those people are grandparents.
  4. I have gone on vacation.
  5. Those vacationing people are my people, and therefore stay up late a lot, resulting in very little time for me to blog as I need most of my free time for catching up on sleep.
  6. M has been sick.
  7. I have been sick, twice!
  8. R has been studying for the bar, which while stressful is not that interesting to write about. It pretty much sucks the same all the time. It's done at the end of July :)
  9. I have been reading Harry Potter.
  10. R got in a car accident (not his fault, but an 18-year-old's who apparently only looks one way when attempting to left turn through oncoming traffic), and now we have/get to buy a new car with our $6,200 check they are to give to us shortly. R informed me he wants a Toyota Carolla. My sister T informed me that she looked at a Carolla and a Honda Civic 5 years ago, bought the Civic, and doesn't regret it.
  11. We are scouring AZ for an apartment with covered parking, lots of storage, near a gym and a bus stop, a security fence, and located on the second floor so we can store R's bike. Plus lots of other things like a playground, no scorpions, blah blah blah.
  12. And finally, specific to this night, I JUST WATCHED HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Booyah!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some things.

So the last few days have been "fun", if you will. M decided to get a fever, a rash and a sassy new attitude all in a few short days. It's pretty amazing. Then today R comes home and M runs up to him and smiles and eats his dinner willingly. It's like he knows how to set up a good bit for his father. R to M: "Oh, how could Mommy slander your tiny little name? She's just making things up that aren't true." But I had witnesses today! Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt H all witnessed the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing this afternoon.

Of course I love the little man, and I feel genuinely bad about his little viral infection, but the sassy new attitude is quite the new challenge for me, let me tell you. It's easier to give Tylenol and snuggles than to overlook your cute mini-man throwing a little tantrum. It was easy when he used to be this way, because he would still be very sweet as long as I was calm and tried to distract him. Not so any longer. It didn't matter how calm I was, there was a little fit to be had. It didn't stop for about an hour.

So we learned about "taking some time to calm down", and that sometimes Mommies need to do it too (which this Mommy did later). After M took a forced reading break for 45 minutes, things were good for about an hour. But then it went downhill again (something about "ice cream? ice cream!) I could feel the yelling start to come out and promptly plopped into a chair and explained to M that Mommy needed a break. To his little tiny credit he said "break", thought a little about it, and then started whining again.

I don't think I'll give him back though, or sell him to the highest bidder or anything like that. We read a book before bed and when Emmy kissed Timothy the lamb, M said "Mommy kiss!" and jumped down and ran over to me, making smooching noises. Then he quietly listened to scriptures and even knelt down by himself for prayers for the first time. R thinks M is also a wise little shrimp, and that he knows when he's gone too far. I think it's also that Heavenly Father made them adorable on purpose so that even days like this are worth it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm a peacemaker in society

So I discovered today that my life path number is 11, which according to astrology-numerology.com makes me the abovementioned as well as idealistic, intuitive, avante-garde, a fixer, a mediator, etc. R is also a life path number of 11, but he ends up different than me because he's a Capricorn and I'm a Virgo. For example his Birth Tree is a Fir (the Mysterious), but mine is a Weeping Willow (the Melancholy). I think it's fun to read these things, but maybe that's just because I like mine. I can't fully enjoy it without thinking of the very likely possibility that even if I were to have a reading, a website is a far cry from the "real" thing.

p.s. Has anyone got a story about how they don't fit their astrological/numerological signs at all? I'm curious.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31st: (Another) Day of Reckoning

So I'm typing here knowing full well that while I have kept off the 10 pounds I already lost by March 1st, I have yet to get those pesky "6 more". I'm about to go and weigh myself for the official number. I predict that I have not gotten all 6 pounds, but a mere 2 with 4 more to go. I'll be right back...

...I was right. Poo. However, I shall keep going. I'm wearing my Motivational Shorts today, which are new and cute and just barely too tight. It will feel excellent in a few weeks when they are more loose on the old waist. More salads, more fruits and veggies, more will-power!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One more solemn post

Why it is better than it was a few days ago:
  • R is starting bar review classes tomorrow
  • I bought 2 new pairs of capris, and (gasp) a pair of shorts
  • M has his new brown sandals (thanks to generous grandparents :))
  • M has been taking 12-hour nights and 3-hour naps: a better schedule than MI!
  • I'm going to the Medicaid office today to apply
  • I'm calling around for a car repair place to replace our back tires
  • I just need a Wal-mart* trip for groceries and hangers (to make me feel super-duper accomplished)
  • Jess took some amazing pics of M (and even a couple of M and me together), that shall be posted forthwith
  • M liked the nursery in a new ward
  • M went to the gym's day care today for 45 minutes without crying too hard for too long
So it's looking up my friends. I feel like I can just take this one day at a time and eventually settle into loving my new surroundings. (It helps to speculate with R about returning to MI with our kiddos someday for a football game, some cider mill adventuring, and even a trip down to Cedar Point.) (It also helps to think that come November of this year, we won't be gearing up for 5 months of winter. Sorry Ann Arborites :)) So, catch-22.

*Although I have a bit of a moral dilemma when it comes to evil Wal-mart it is overshadowed by our lack of fundage.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

AZ for me

So we're here, and I'm all weirded out by not posting to y'all on my own computer. It's just not the same. I'll have to write more later when we figure out the stupid internet connection for our trusty laptop.

Here's a quick rundown of what we've accomplished in the last few days:

  • had movers come to our house on Monday to pack everything
  • had our car moved from MI to AZ
  • flown from MI to AZ with M and very heavy, nearly-bursting luggage in tow
  • settled into the basement at R's parent's house
  • gotten M to go to bed at 7pm local time and stay in bed until the next morning at 6:45am (even if he did wake up at 5:55)
  • seen lots of cousins and family

Here's a quick rundown of what's hanging over my head to get finished:

  • put together the real crib so M doesn't have to sleep in the Pack 'n' Play
  • call the Medicaid office so we're covered for the summer (M has a 2 year appointment to keep)
  • oh yeah, pick a freaking pediatrician
  • buy hangers
  • buy some pants that fit that aren't long, but capri-ish so I don't die when the heat picks up soon (it's actually only around 80-90 the last few days we've been here)
  • buy M some brown sandals and some khakis for church

The stress level has lowered, and I've been lucky enough to score a free gym membership to the gym R's family goes to. (Not as much luck to the men that married into the family.) This is great, because they have lots of good cardio classes every day at 8 or 8:30, and they're just around the corner, and I've been able to work out most of the moving stress by getting, well, moving. More to come after further settling...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Book List: A List of Books

My friend K recently inspired me to return to my journal-writing tendencies, which I had lost a few years ago. I bought some composition books for about 89 cents apiece and labeled them: Books I've Read and Scripture Journal. I figure that between those two and this here blog, I should be trying to keep myself well-documented enough to qualify for adequate family history coverage. But as I wrote in my book journal (basically a paragraph blurb of each book I read as I go, so I will remember more about each one) I got to making a list of books I wanted to read. Then I realized that I got more excited about current and future books if I listed them. Something to look forward to makes the difference for me.

Plus if I list them here, I hope to generate any and all interest in more of you recommending even more books to read. I love the Friend Recommendation, so please feel free to suggest, coerce, and even threaten, depending on how much you like the book you're recommending. And without further ado...

...these are the books I want to read in the near future:
  • The Book of Mormon (seriously, I've been slacking, and now it's on my list)
  • The Doctrine and Covenants (see above)
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds
  • Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • Democracy In America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross
  • Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee
  • In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too! by Sal Severe (yes you read the last name correctly)
  • How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  • What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning by E. D. Jr. Hirsch
  • The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine Aron
  • The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
So there you go. A strange list in some ways, but it's true, this is my list.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

As M would say: BOOM!

There's a really cool thunderstorm going on outside my window right now. The thunder is so close that you don't have much warning and end up jumping now and then. I just finished The Secret Life of Bees on the recommendation of my sister T who loves it. It's set in South Carolina for the most part, and whenever I read stories set in the South (like the Flannery O'Connor stories that I just read) I get to imagine all the humidity, heat, lemonade, farms, porches, drawls, big yellow fields, etc. And then summertime kicks in wherever I am and it just makes my imaginings even more tangible, because of the thunderstorms.

In CA growing up there weren't as many as in UT, MI or AZ, so it's not like I can remain as cool as a cucumber when they come around. I get all excited like a big nerd and watch and listen and revel in the awesomeness of them. And I picture the storms as a Southern thing, which I don't even know for sure is the case. Now my Southern reading kick is complete with real life cooperation from the weather.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So. Soapbox.

This may or may not be entirely related to the PBS documentary, but I've been thinking things. As most of us do. But the thing(s) that keep coming up is (are) all about how I fit in the church as a woman, as an artist, as a dancer, as a mother, as a calling-holder, etc. It's all about me! But honestly, it's interesting to think about how we fit in to our ward families, our home families, and the roles set forth for our sexes.

As a woman: I feel like there is a combination of things happening in a ward. There is what I feel a good part of the time, which is acceptance and love. But then there's the feeling of the most obvious gender exclusion, which a woman on the documentary talked about: I don't have the priesthood and am therefore not as important in decision-making, nor do I have power that is equal. I don't get as caught up in this as Margaret Toscano (the documentary woman), but I think it may affect a lot of women in the church. Women who might be thinking that there's got to be a better answer to the question of equality.

One thing I will say: women in the church cannot be expected to accept the simple distinction of "men have priesthood, and women have motherhood" as a catch-all for any feelings of doubt or inferiority. For some this is enough. But for others it might not fully address all the questions. Is it wrong to go further? I mean, men do have the priesthood, and women do have motherhood. But not all women are mothers. And men have fatherhood. So we only have part of an answer.

I'm not sure what the whole answer is myself. But I would like to feel comfortable enough in a ward where we could talk about it free from the fear of sounding ungrateful, non-spiritual, and stupid for wondering. Personal feeling: I love being a mother. It's hard, boring, heart-wrenching, wonderful, scary, meaningful, and generally the most important thing I will ever do. I respect the priesthood, I think it's important, my husband is worthy of it, and our family can have a blessing if we ever need one. But even though I believe these things, I would still hesitate to openly discuss gender role issues in the church, for fear of ridicule. And that is the problem.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

PBS Documentary

Has anyone been watching the PBS documentary called The Mormons? The first installment dealt with the Church's history (Joseph Smith, polygamy, Mountain Meadows Massacre, Book of Mormon). The second installment is tonight and deals with more contemporary topics. I'm assuming that they will address homosexuality in the Church and also blacks and the priesthood among other things. Both installments are on PBS from 9pm-11pm Eastern time. Even if you are in another time zone do not fear if you can't find the right to watch it, it will be available online on Wednesday. Highly recommended, especially if you like meaty subject matter to think/talk about.

I've been impressed so far with the balanced view they have presented, and also with their fearless attitude to difficult topics. There are interviews with those of many different backgrounds: historians in and out of the church, apostles, current members, former members, etc. Even those who disagree with the Church's teachings have interesting, well thought out arguments. R read several interview transcripts today, which give even more information than the four hour documentary itself. He said that Jeffery Holland's is particularly amazing, since he clearly states both his conviction in the faith as an apostle and his understanding of those who have opposing views.

So in order to celebrate this type of media attention, whether good or bad, we had a mormon party last night, ate mormon-themed foods, and generally had lots to talk about after the first installment was over. Tonight there won't be quite as much casserole and Jello, but still a lot to talk about. In my next post I will share some of my thoughts, and possibly get up on my soapbox a little. (Preview: I'm thinking mostly about women in the church and the disconnect between The Perfect Wife/Church Lady/Cook and who we all really are. And also how feminism comes in. You know, just one of those little topics.) Stay tuned.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Going back in time

I'm thinking of renouncing my dependence on our stupid, expensive car. Gas is pricey even when the rest of the car is working, which it soon will not be. Our steering wheel was wobbling, and I took it in this morning, and now it's $534 to get the wobble to stop. It's some reasonable explanation, like our tires are worn out and the tire rods are loose, but still! Alright, so it's really the type of thing that is basic maintenance and we shouldn't be so mad about. But come on car! Don't you know we're poor and could use a few more months before $500 is needed? Sheesh. It's becoming one of those "growing" times where we have to get creative. Here's my idea: to get back to basics and walk/bike everywhere. Like people did in the good ol' days.

R is just fine riding his bike in 70 degree weather to school. He does it anyways. Plus, the only place I really ever drive is the grocery store and the library, which are right next to each other. And around the corner. So M and I could forsake the evil car and walk every day over there. Good exercise, fun for M, and necessary! Possible cons: what if we buy popsicles and then walk home in 80 degrees? What if I want to go to the gym, usually a 10 minute drive? But is that so bad? So I buy icy things in bulk so they won't melt. So I use the apartment elliptical machine from now until May 23rd instead of going to the gym which I kind of hate anyways. I think this could work. Plus out car is getting towed to AZ when we move, and we can figure out what to do after it gets there. More walking to grocery stores, and use of public transportation. Although we may need a car for Ryan to get home from work some days. But that isn't until August when he'll start getting paid. Which means...we can pay for this stupid set of new tires! I think it's a good plan :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

P.S.

The ball run track toy thingy they had in the nursery was perhaps the best toy that M has ever seen. I know this because he sobbed all the way to the car, and halfway home until he finally stopped whimpering the word "balls? balls!" And because I can't think of a real name for it, I cannot find it ANYWHERE online. It's like a little roller coaster for a plastic ball, where you drop it in the top, and then it goes down all the little plastic chutes (like a water slide?!) until it drops to the bottom and you start all over again. Can anyone think of a good name for this? I have tried.

Basically I would like to buy my child's love and I can't do that very well unless you all help me find this bleeping toy. If you actually find it you will be giving M a really great birthday or Christmas present, depending on the price.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting to know UU

UU stands for Unitarian Universalist. The full name is Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and was our outing of choice this Sunday morning. Our friends Corey and Taryn belong this congregation, and R was invited to play The Jazz with Corey, who plays bass. So they jazzed it up, and we all experienced a new church.

You can't really call it church, since they changed the name this past year. Corey was telling us that they aren't sure what to say anymore when they "go to church". They've toyed with the idea of "going to congregation", or "attending the worshiptorium", which is my favorite.

Also, I guess there were about four families that stopped going to our ward about seven years ago and now attend the Unitarian congregation. Corey said that he knew one of them, and I was looking forward to seeing some of these folks, just because. But then M needed to make use of the crying room. And then the nursery. So. No nosiness for me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

compulsions

so i'm not sure if anyone else suffers from this affliction, but I cannot shut up when it comes to leaving a voice mail. if my friend Kristen is reading this, she knows from the last 2-3 days that I've had a recurrence of my ailment. twice have i called and just blabbed until my original point was beyond recognition. i'm a moron.

i have been mercilessly teased by a certain spouse of mine because of this. most times if i leave a message on an answering machine (remember those?) i run out of time and have to call back and finish my message. and a few times i've even had to call back twice. r does an impression that can only be done justice if you enjoy it live. you can request it sometime when you see him.

i apologize if you are expecting a phone call from me in the future and have the misfortune of not answering your phone in time. beware.

random things, listed

  • I love The Cars. Especially while lifting the weights. Especially "Tonight She Comes". And most especially, the lovely synthesized beats.
  • If you're prone to liking brownies, you should try making some and putting Cadbury's Mini Eggs on top about halfway through baking. So tastlich!
  • M finally said "Hi" yesterday to his little mini-me (a neighbor's child who was visiting and looks quite similar to M at that age), Kurt. He also said "wow" and "choo-choo" and "car" and "ham" for the first time in the last few days. He also continues to say "ball" and "balls" about 200 times a day.
  • I really like Thomas Hardy. One of my favorite books is Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and now I've picked up Return of the Native. He writes in such a way that I want to savor the words and read a little more slowly.
  • I watched my friend's baby yesterday morning and it was good birth control. Not because he was bad, or that M was bad, but mostly because I can't imagine juggling two little people simultaneously. I think I'll be ready for this a little later...
  • Yesterday morning there was snow and ice on my car. It simply isn't fair to have a week of 70 degrees and then have to go backwards in time to winter. Why? I bought T-shirts at Target for M, and their cuteness keeps getting covered up by sweatshirts.
  • At the influence of my well-(dance)-educated pal Robin, I have felt the pull to read Making Connections by Peggy Hackney. I'm rediscovering my inner dance nerd. (In case you're wondering what it's all about, here you go: Bartenieff Fundamentals and Laban Movement Analysis are discussed in detail in ways to make you rethink the way you use/think of your body. In my case, I've been less slouchy while ellipticalling and now my left knee feels better. Also, I've been stretching and breathing with more focus on enjoying my time. It's rejuvenating, making your body more energized, and I recommend it.)
  • Speaking of the previous bullet point, I'm thinking it might be a good choice for me to pursue becoming a movement analyst and bridging it to further study in psychology. Of course, it's one thing to say this, and quite another to have the time/money to do it. Am I crazy to think I can do this? Is it stupid?
  • R has a pen. It's a Parker pen. Weirdly, R's grandpa used Parker pens, and Ryan didn't know until after he also got hooked using them back at BYU. So, possible pen gene.
  • Correction: there didn't used to be snow and ice on my car, now there is snow and ice on my car. Again.
  • I love blossomy trees.

Monday, April 02, 2007

it's only 9:32 and I can say with certainty that this is the funniest thing i will see/hear all day

M was watching Shrek (i know it's rated PG, but I screen it at some parts) and the scene where Cameron Diaz is singing with the bird was on. as she sang the fateful last note that blows up the cute little bird, i heard M sing along with her. he was shaking his head back and forth and yelling "ahhhhhhhhhhh!"

Friday, March 30, 2007

5 Telling Questions

My favorite M has a very witty, well-written blog. You should go there and partake of the funny. Also, you should read these questions she asked me (below), and see if the answers amuse you.

Name your top five movies of all time.
I'm going to have to count 3 movies as one, because they are the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I do mean the extended cuts. I'm not kidding. I don't know if it's just because I saw it recently, but I love Little Miss Sunshine. I have a special place in my heart for Hook, as well as The 'Burbs. To finish it off, I'll go with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder). The concept of "top five" is pretty fluid with me, by the way.

How did you come to major in dance at BYU?
I declared my major as civil engineering when filling out paperwork before leaving for BYU. Not sure why. I was told growing up that I was good at science (mostly by my family). I did well on the science reasoning section of the ACT, but other than that I'm not sure where this information came from considering that my grades were average. I think it was a misguided attempt at various family members to give me some self-esteem. Unfortunately that only works until you realize how good you actually are at something. But that's another story entirely. So after changing to microbiology upon BYU arrival I soon realized I couldn't get very good grades while also staying up until 4am most nights. Not to mention that microbiologists just sit in labs with fluorescent lighting. Which made me feel better about switching to psychology.

Now here was something I could enjoy! A nice soft science with plenty of room for self-discovery and lots of feelings. And the talking! Oh, the talking! Those of you who know me now, and especially those who knew me then, can appreciate how much of a good fit this was. (In fact, all joking aside, I'm planning on returning to school one of these days. I'm thinking of becoming some kind of counselor/therapist.)

I was missing something. Something ridiculously artistic and time-consuming. Something to be taken seriously, to pour my soul into, and to also take a chance with. I had barely any dance training, and even the training I had wasn't good, or recent. Plus I'd never done Modern dance before. But when I took my first class, I knew that I would be a part of it in any way I could. I found out that I'm an average dancer, but a good choreographer. I finally made the student choreography company after 4 consecutive semesters of being told I wasn't good enough. I've come away from the completion of my major with mixed feelings. It boils down to the love of the dancing/choreographing vs. the vast amount of selfish/difficult people you meet. It was hard. I'm still deciding how I feel about it.

What was your most unique experience working at the MOA?
Definitely when I caught the couple making out in a closed gallery. As if we wouldn't notice with all the cameras blinking around them, or care that they had clearly undone the partition to get back there. Not to mention that everyone was called into Control to watch the whole thing on camera while I took care of it, since it was my position at that hour. Cripes!

What will you miss about living in Michigan?
The diversity: lots of different foods, religions, skin colors, bumper stickers. And our good friends that live 2 doors down, who have a blog here, and quote Arrested Development as much as we do. And going on walks with (said friend) Kristen. And the falls and springs. And even the winters! And all the trees, which are everywhere. And the AADL.

*Warning, rant ahead: But NOT Bally Total Fitness, who I hate. You guys sucked before, and now you suck even more. Your new schedule is terrible. And I'm glad my contract is lapsing and I'm moving to a new place where I can join a better gym. The kind with nice people and good classes and, you know, space to work out in.

If you could be a superhero, what would your power be?
Flying, and seeing the future. I look forward sooo much to having flying dreams. It's the best feeling ever! Plus, then I could not worry so much about saving various family members from certain death, because I could foresee it and then fly to their rescue. (It seems cooler in my head, and more satisfying. But this paragraph just sounds like pretty much what Superman already does. Still.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Leave me a comment saying, "I too am an egomaniac."
2. I'll respond by asking you up to five questions. You will answer them, because you like talking about yourself.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tiny Terror (in a good way)

I have prided myself on my ability to admit when I don't know something about raising a child. I'm clueless, and I'm a worrier and I over-think things. So I admit that I read books with a feverish fear of screwing M up, and then I feel better. I have faithfully worried about M ability to sleep well from the time he was only 8 weeks old. He responded really well to the ploys from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I followed the rules, age appropriately, and found myself enjoying a sleep schedule. Joyous occasion!

I've enjoyed this schedule, though it has changed as M has grown, nearly every day of M's sleepy little life. Of course there was the flu in winter of aught 6, and the 2-3 times he decided to shock us by falling asleep at 8pm (gasp! not the usual 7pm!) after the time change. But the vast majority of nights have been uneventful, confident sleep routines that end with a sleeping ball on the TV screen of our baby monitor. And jokes about how cute he is, and shouldn't we wake him up and play with him? ha ha. But even when we joked about it, laughing heartily, it always managed to trail off into a nervous remembering chuckle of when he was younger. Colicky. Not so sleepy. We the parent zombies. Yikes.

Well, let's just say that all those jokes caught up with us. Maybe it was karma that was coming to collect it's rightful dues. Maybe it was M's understanding of our conversations, more than we realized. No matter the reason, last night was a roller coaster of worrying-mother emotion. The Boy pushed himself so far by the time we went in to get him, that he (luckily) ended up with "utter astonishment" and "head-shaking exasperation" and even "giggling tiredness" as his mother's prime emotions. Had he given up earlier in the night, he may have chanced upon some "frazzled patience" or even some "loving frustration".

Those of you who might hear this and think, "Ha! It can't be true. We've met M and he's a lovely, mellow child not capable of such shenanigans!" must please view the picture I have attached as proof of said shenanigans. I rest my case. And just in case you can't read the sticker I placed on his pajamas, it reads: "It's 11:39pm and I'm awake. And did I mention I'm a stinker?" You'll notice the content look on The Boy's face as he happily counts to three with me while we take the picture.

In an unrelated incident, I thought I would point out that M is generally getting in touch with genes I may or may not have given to him in terms of pestery hi-jinks. It's just good natured curiosity. And if it isn't the funniest thing I've seen since M has been born.

I have to admit that I'm a little bit proud of this imaginative whirlwind. My mom always joked that I would get a crazy kid after all the silliness and energetic activities she had to put up with. Even R seems somewhat pleased that I'm getting what I deserve.

But the joke's on them! I think it's funny, and even a little impressive. Not to mention a source of pride, that one so young would want to follow in his mother's fun-loving footsteps.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

not-so-happy naptime

well, today M is still rebelling the time change (from a couple of weeks ago), and refused to take his nap until 2 hours later than usual. i'm not sure what to do with the little guy! i think he broke my spirits a little though, because usually i can be strong and just leave him in there until he falls asleep. but after an hour of trying to leave him in there (knowing full well that he knew it was sleepy time) i caved and got him up. and he was just so cute playing with his noah's ark that i couldn't stay mad for too long :) so he played for about 20 minutes and then started holding his blanket and sucking his little fingers. and now he's sleeping, so i can't really claim that it's been that bad.

(this whole terrible 2's thing isn't very fun at all. he is just getting too smart for his own good. and yes, i know that it could be worse. in fact, i know other 2-year-olds that are more difficult. but it's still kind of...challenging.)

(also, i know that M isn't 2 yet. so the terrible 2's won't be official until July 7.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy (nerdy) St. Paddy's!

so first of all, i AM a nerd. although nerd might not be the best way to put it. it's more like a combination of being a nerd, being a little embarrassed, and being a little bit proud. so here it is: i love holidays. i love all that Martha Stewart, house- and food-decorating, making crafty little thingys, looking forward to excuses to bake cookies and take them to the neighbors, stuff. and so i refer to it as nerdiness. but on the other hand, i'm a little embarrassed to like that sort of thing when i clearly DON'T like other assumptions about housewifery. (example: i have no love for housecleaning. and sometimes i get bored staying home with M. i admit these things freely.) thus bringing us to the pride. i'm proud that the reason i'm doing all these nerdy things is because i really want to, because i'm a holiday nerd. so brace yourselves if you're reading this and live nearby. you may get some green heart-shaped sugar cookies in the design of a shamrock on a plate brought to your door. and if i had brought them over today, i would've been in my green pants and a green shirt. fairly warned be ye, says I.

i suppose i could rationalize this one, since i am 1/4 Irish. but it's not like i'm doing any truly Irish things for the sake of my heritage. i'm mostly being as Americanized as possible, only knowing about shamrocks and wearing green. and that most everyone else drinks a lot and is wasted by noon (especially in Ann Arbor). we are making corned beef and cabbage today though. so that's something. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Three Topics (in boldface, for your convenience)

so i went to the doctor today in an effort to be more responsible. i actually went in for preventative reasons, as opposed to "i'm sick now, i feel yucky, help me!" randomly, all my concerns were in the dermatological realm:
1. i have 2 moles, one on each arm, that used to be just freckles, but are now a little raised.
2. i have a little bump/cyst on the top of my head that doesn't hurt and just sits there doing nothing. until a couple of months ago when it got ever so slightly bigger. but now it's not doing anything again. i looked it up online, and it sounds like the worst case scenario is that it won't stay the same and i have to have it removed. (my dad had one in almost the same place and he eventually had it removed. i'm all for avoiding a shot in the head for a while though, as long as the doc ok's it.)
3. i think i have the eczema that runs on my mom's side of the family. i just wanted it confirmed so that i didn't wonder whenever i claimed that name for my upper-arm ailment. (side note: Aquaphor is a good helper in this regard.)
so after having the doctor look at everything and wondering if she would refer me to a dermatologist that would insist on my having the thingy removed, she just said "well, i wouldn't worry about any of these". whew! i don't have any pressing dermatological concerns anymore AND i've been responsible. good job me.

the book club met at my house tonight and talked all about 100 Years. it was nice, because we're all about halfway through the book and having similar interest/disinterest in the book at different times. but the meeting actually got me more excited to keep on truckin'. it's nice to hear a little about the author, a little about speculation from previous readers and what meanings they place on characters, events, etc. i'm genuinely looking forward to picking up that book tomorrow. hurrah!

i did have a little case of the Monday's today (name that movie anyone?!), in that A) going to the doctor isn't jolly happy fun time and B) M had several shenanigans today that were more than a little maddening. i honestly love that little guy, and even immediately before and after doing obnoxious things he still looked very cute and i wanted to smooch his chubby cheeks. but that doesn't mean that he can't test his mother here and there. i blame the time change for the general grumpiness, but i blame myself for the rest. example: i should not have trusted M with a bowl of pasta shells and tomato sauce AND his new Easter egg placemat. he likes to throw one of them on the floor, and the other ended up with it. and then, he decided he didn't want the replacement dinner and spit it out several times. until i busted out the ketchup for dipping (or catsup, depending on your preferred spelling), then it was smooth sailing.

i wouldn't have been so affected by these minor babyisms, except that i immediately had to drive through 5:30 pm downtown Ann Arbor traffic to pick up R. i'm not the most in control of my road rage right after trying not to be mad at a little man for throwing red sauce on the carpet. now, with the benefit of a few hours, i realize that it's not my carpet, that he didn't do it on purpose, and that ketchup made dinner okay in the end. but while driving, i had had none of these soothing thoughts yet. so i muttered to myself and ended up honking for a long time at this lady in a big SUV chatting it up on a cell phone who cut me off. for crying out loud!

p.s. i'll end with a random story: my friend's cousin, who was little, around 5 years old, was carrying some lunch once and was bumped by a sibling who wasn't paying attention. and this tiny funny person said, in all indignance, "for crying out loud, i have a jam sandwich!"
p.p.s. (*snort* it's funny because it sounds like "damn sandwich"!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

happyness

1.) i'm home watching Anne of Green Gables (which I got for Christmas and haven't watched yet).
2.) i have a book club meeting tomorrow at my house; have i mentioned that my favorite pastime is talking?
3.) i just made a new goody to serve at tomorrow's meeting. it's so nice to have an excuse to bake (i'm not kidding).
4.) it's been in the 40s and 50s today. do you know what that feels like after 2 months of snow and icky below freezing weather? i, very giddily, wore flip flops to the grocery store yesterday!
5.) i really like my neighbors. when you're married, it's really nice to find two other people that the two of you both like. it's harder than you think. or maybe it's just because Ryan's a little antisocial. or both :)
6.) i'm burning some Vanilla Spice oil and it smells homey and warm.
7.) M did several funny things today: went happily to nursery after a rocky few weeks, got shy when people waved at him and promptly tried to bury his head in the carpet (we refer to him as doing Downward-facing Dog for all you yoga buffs, or as a little ostrich), and ate ice cream at a birthday party and frantically signed and asked for "more" to anyone who would look/listen.
8.) i already have all my Easter decorations up in all their pastel glory. i must admit that it genuinely brings joy to my heart. i love all that kind of crap.
9.) speaking of Easter, i'm planning on having an egg-dyeing party in a couple of weeks. i have bought a package of Paas dye every year for the last 3 years, forgetting that i already have one at home, and we NEVER actually dye eggs. so to motivate a husband who thinks it's not very fun/cool, i'm inviting over friends to force him!
10.) Gilbert just made the mistake of calling Anne "carrots" and broke her slate over his head. One of my favorite moments!
11.) My hair is growing to one of my favorite lengths, so I get to use all my fun bobby pins.
12.) We had a really cool lesson today in church about the temple. The teacher was really moving and honest, and so it caught my attention more than usual. I thought about some of my recent experiences there, and felt buoyed up to the challenge of doing better in few areas. Scripture-reading comes to mind...
13.) Along with the cool lesson were some first rate sugar cookies. Why oh why are sugar cookies sooooo yummy?
14.) I'm almost done with 100 Years of Solitude, and get to choose another book. Yipee!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What I'm Watching


Currently, it's season 5 of "24". I'm enjoying my frivolous indulgence. I should probably be reading a book. But not tonight, tonight it's Jack Bauer saving the world. Or at least the people of LA being threatened with nerve gas. If you've never seen the show, rent it. Tell me what your favorite season is. Mine is season 2. Sorry season 5, but it's true. Gotta go, Chloe is doing some tense, important computer stuff I should probably pay attention to.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1st: Day of Reckoning

well, as i've written in my profile "about me" i had set a goal to lose 10 pounds by today. i was fairly convinced as of a week ago that i wouldn't quite be able to reach it. i knew i had 6 pounds (not) under my belt, but could possibly only reach about 8. now i don't know if it's because i weighed myself this morning with only half a banana in my tummy, but i actually made it! it was exactly 10 pounds. eerie, huh? anyways, i know that if i were to weigh myself tonight i wouldn't quite be to 10 pounds, but i'm celebrating anyways!! now it's time to set the new goal. i'll decide by tomorrow and commit myself publicly again. i think it helps motive me to work hard and then have to report.

in unrelated news, i also have another reason to be having a great day. when M wakes up from the nap, r and him and i are driving a half hour south to Cabela's. i think M will really dig it. there are fish there, what more could he ask? plus, it's supposed to be quite the experience. they carry every kind of camping equipment you could imagine, and have displays up all over. the largest one is in nebraska or something, if any of you are able to go and see it. but for us, we'll go to the southern Michigan store and call it good. hooray for cheap vacations!

Monday, February 26, 2007

the oscars

so last night i watched part of the oscars. ryan and i got rid of our cable, so i went to a neighbors house. but even though it was pretty fun to watch (Will Ferrell singing, Ellen hosting, Alan Arkin winning for Best Supporting Actor, An Inconvenient Truth winning for documentary) it's pretty long and not that fun to listen to people give crazy-boring speeches. plus, no offense, but i really don't care about the guy who won for sound editing and can't come up with anything to say other than "um, and, um, and so-and-so" for 45 seconds or whatever. plus, the people i was with are actually responsible and had to get up this morning for work. of course, i also have to get up for work but i'm not that responsible. i'll stay up late watching sub-par entertainment if it means being in your pajamas with friends, and eating ice cream.

so alas, i did not see the end of the show since i left with everyone else early. so i missed best director and best film. but i checked this morning as to who won, and it was The Departed in both categories, and i haven't seen the film. in fact, i was rooting for Little Miss Sunshine since i just saw it and loved it. Alan Arkin is in it, who i love and is in 2 other favorite movies of mine: The In-Laws, and Wait Until Dark. And there's Abigail Breslin, the young girl, from such fame as Signs, and also Toni Collette, who is pretty great in everything. the whole cast is well chosen: Steve Carrell, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano. the songs are good too, by a band call DeVotchKa, whose name means "little girl" in Russian (as informed by r).

you should go here and click on the "behind the scenes" to see a much shorter version of the awards with highlights and speeches. good times.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I heart documentaries


the most recent documentary that i have seen was one i just finished watching about 20 minutes ago. it's called "Unknown White Male" and was released in 2006, i think. what's interesting about it is simply the premise at first. a man wakes up at age 35 on the subway to Coney Island, with no memory of who he is, just a British accent and a backpack. the documentary includes video taken from a few days afterward, and then picks up when, 8-9 months later, and old friend of his asks to make the film. and now there is the film. well, at the end of the film he still hasn't gained his memory back, and after looking it up on the internet it looks like it's still the case. but here's where it gets more interesting, i think. i was looking the film up on wikipedia and found that there is some question as to the film's, and the subject's, authenticity.

i would recommend seeing the film yourself before reading this article about it, since it might make you view the film with a certain bias. but if you do check out the film first, read the article and see what you think after. i'm all abuzz thinking about it.
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another documentary i've seen lately, and subsequently feel quite strongly about is An Inconvenient Truth. if you haven't heard of it (highly unlikely, regardless of how you might feel about the issue) it addresses the problem of global warming and what is to be done about it. i personally adored the film. this is mostly because i knew it was important to see, but then we rented it, and i really didn't want to see it, but then it won me over. before, i felt like it was too much information to be responsible for, and couldn't bring myself to feel up to it for over a week. R was much braver and insisted one night that we finally see it.

Image:Aninconvenienttruth.jpg
i was reassured about halfway through when i realized that i didn't feel bombarded with scare tactics by Al Gore and the filmmakers. it was much more even-handed than i had feared. i realize that Al Gore himself is obviously outspoken about the fact that something must be done. but he's realistic, in my opinion, about what that may be for each person. at the end of the film several suggestions are given, many of which i think are VERY doable. for example: buying energy-efficient household appliances, when available. R and I will be purchasing a washer and dryer in the next 5 years, i'm sure. so we'll probably be on the lookout for an energy-efficient one. plus, there are even simpler things to do, like replacing normal light bulbs with compact flourescent light bulbs (cfl). i don't personally own a corporation that is contributing X number of tons of CO2 per annum, so i am content with switching out my light bulbs for now and feeling pretty darn helpful. between that and encouraging everyone i can to see the movie/visit the website, anyways.

so don't be afraid. the film ends with hope, and faith that we can fix the problem we've created. get informed and accept my documentary recommendation :) please visit www.climatecrisis.net where a lot more information is, too. go on. click on the link. it's painless!
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other documentaries that i've enjoyed (in varying degrees), and cannot be held responsible for their differences in accuracy (which in each film's case is usually disputed):

  • The Smartest Guys in the Room (about Enron)
  • Super-Size Me (lots of controversy, but fun to watch)
  • 7 Up, 7 plus 7, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up, 49 Up; also called The Up Series (series of films starting with a group of 7-year-olds (in England from different backgrounds) and checking on their lives at intervals of 7 years)
  • Baraka (visually beautiful! art film about various cultures from all over the world)
  • Lost Boys of Sudan (i couldn't get into it much, it was okay)
  • Hands on a Hard Body (it sounds like a porno, but it's really about a small town car dealership that has a contest to win a new truck by keeping your hand on the truck the longest--my favorite moment is when one guy admits to eating nothing the whole time, "except maybe a Snicker")
  • Spellbound (about the national spelling bee in DC)
  • Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (sooo interesting, but not the most well made)
two that i would like to see:
  • Fast Food Nation--not really a documentary, but...(I read the book and enjoyed it immensely; it's by Eric Schlosser)
  • Wordplay (about Will Shortz, maker of the New York Times corssword puzzles)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

iPod-Elliptical-Workout Trifecta

Just in case anyone wondered what my playlist was while I work out here at my apartment complex's elliptical machine, (and thought, hmm I wish I had some songs that were the right tempo for working out on the elliptical) then today's your lucky day. I was visiting a friend's blog and she had posted her list of songs for just such an occasion. It's nice to know that other folks also prefer working out to a beat that coincides with the workout. It's much more synergistic, and dance-nerdy. Enjoy! (the album names are in parentheses):

"This is Such a Pity" by Weezer (Make Believe)
"Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab for Cutie (Plans)
"The First Single" by The Format (The Format)
"Canned Heat" by Jamiroquai (Synkronized)
"Where Do I Go From Here" by Jamiroquai (Synkronized)
"Now or Never" by Zebrahead (Playmate of the Year)
"Sexx Laws" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse (Absolution)
"Love Foolosophy" by Jamiroquai (A Funk Odyssey)
"Life During Wartime" by The Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense)
"Why Bother" by Weezer (Pinkerton)
"Mixed Bizness" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"Pressure Zone" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"You Might Think" by The Cars (Greatest Hits)
"Shake it Up" by The Cars (Greatest Hits)
"Got to Get You Into My Life" by Earth, Wind, and Fire
"Electric Mistress" by Jamiroquai (Dynamite)
"Don't Let Go" by Weezer (The Green Album)
also probably some Crystal Method, if I could find my CD...

(faster-paced songs for the occasional interval of crazy-fast ellipticalling:)
"Feel Good, Inc." by Gorillaz (Demon Days)
"Staring at the Sun" by The Offspring (Americana)
"I Am" by Zebrahead (Playmate of the Year)--a few profanities, beware
"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers (Hot Fuss)
"Cars & Calories" by Saves the Day (Stay What You Are)
"Girl" by Beck (Guero)
"Hey Jealousy" by Gin Blossoms (New Miserable Experience)
"Stickshifts and Safteybelts" by Cake (Fashion Nugget)
"Don't Let's Talk About Lisa" by Lonestar (Lonely Grill)
"Everything is Alright" by Motion City Soundtrack (Commit this to Memory)--few profanities
"When 'You're' Around" by Motion City Soundtrack (Commit this to Memory)--more profanities
"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by The Offspring (Americana)
"Idioteque" by Radiohead (Kid A)

*Disclaimer: I do the elliptical at an arbitrary pace of 6.0-6.5 as set by the machine's manufacturers. Also, I usually have the resistance up to the equally arbitrary number of "10". I'm not sure what these numbers mean to anyone else, but I DO know that the pace of these songs works for me, and said numbers. Hopefully they will for you too, even if you might have to tweak them. And hopefully you won't find yourself reading the list above and thinking that I am a huge weenie and don't challenge myself.

So there you go. My playlist. It tells a lot about a person. But keep in mind that there are several artists that I listen to regularly in normal, non-working-out life that aren't adequately listed here because of their lack correct speed and intensity. I need always loud, sometimes angry music to work out to. There are probably many other good choices. I would appreciate any suggestions by those who want to contribute their musical preferences. You will be improving my workout enjoyment and ability to be distracted for 45-50 minutes. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

love/hate

i love this funny shirt that my friend Melissa found. Which is ironic...that i love it. Hmmm.
i love my little Chubber. Especially when he falls down and needs his mommy and lays his head on my shoulder. :( This happened twice today.
i love my R. He's all studious and cute, and plays volleyball and can jump really high. And we like the same shows and watch them at night while eating dinner. And we love to talk to each other and vent. It's great. Sigh!
i love that G and B is paying for our moving expenses so we don't have to. And we don't have to drive our car out, since that's also covered. Booyah!

i hate looking for a mover. I just want to pick one and have it be over!
i hate looking for housing sight unseen. I, again, just want to pick one and have it be over.
i hate the lotion i'm trying to get rid of. it's waaaay too strong. it's much better for just hands, but as i've mentioned in a previous post, i'm trying to rid myself of the excess bottles.
i hate the cable company. they're supposed to be here yesterday, but they aren't even here today. whatever.

i love/hate Arc of Justice. it's still quite good, and very interesting, but the topic is sometimes hard to face. the degree of racism, even still lingering about today, is staggering. i would still recommend it though. important stuff.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

zero

I just checked the weather on my Google account, and it says that it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit. this is without wind chill factors of any kind. and it's windy, let me tell you. so it probably feels like negative 50 or something out there right now. plus, the way the snow looks outside after being blown around is akin to how desert sand looks, all bleak and horrible. only here we're frozen, not dehydrated and sun stroked. and our windows suck. you can feel a frigid "breeze" while standing within feet of any window. they sound terrible too, like you're in the attic of a rickety country house during a tornado. it's kind of exciting actually. although annoyingly cold.

and poor little M just wants to go play in the snow, but his tiny face keeps getting chapped and bright red after only 10 minutes. so that makes him cry, but then so does bringing him back inside which he doesn't want to do. it's a hard knock life for that chubber.

solution: take your tiny man to the mall, before any of the stores open even, and then let him run down the shiny floors to his heart's content. we're not cold, we're not cooped up at home, we take excellent naps from being properly exercised and fed a warm lunch. this is indeed how the day has gone so far. the Boy is still napping peacefully in several layers of clothing, most of which are fleece. and i am trying to get up the courage to go and change into church clothes instead of staying wrapped up in this blanket on my bed, blogging.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bones

I'm into a new show. A show by the name of "Bones", which airs on Fox on Wednesdays at 8pm. Some reasons to watch:

1. David Boreanaz. He's funny, he's been on Buffy and Angel, and I love (I challenge you to make fun, I'm being serious) those 2 shows. In fact, I would love to get someone else hooked on them, via renting from Netflix or checking them out from the library. The library was how I discovered Buffy, and I'm not sorry.
David Boreanaz as Special Agent Seeley Booth
2. Emily Deschanel. I think her character is interesting and funny. She's a big word using smarty-pants with lots of funny interactions with people more hip than she is. It's quite entertaining. Plus, she's based off a real person, which is kind of neat.
Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan

3. The opening title is written by The Crystal Method (love the Crystal Method, especially while rocking out in the car--without Miles, don't worry), and isn't nearly as stupid sounding as most TV show's themes.
4. The mystery. It's a crime show, and true to American television demographics I fit right in and like shows like Law and Order, CSI, and now, Bones.
5. Because you have nothing to do on Wednesdays.
6. Because you have the same taste as I do, don't mind admitting to liking these types of shows, and will do as I say.

p.s. I'm watching disc 5 of season one this very minute!
p.p.s. other shows I have fallen in love with this past year TBA