My ultra-boring life

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Joy of Giving

I typically finish my Christmas shopping rather early, but this year was a bit different. I'm a member of an online LDS forum called Nauvoo, and one of the members who lives near me has a son who has been very sick. So upon some discussion and the brilliant ideation of mini.michaela, we gathered up some money and gift certificates and today I headed out, dressed in full holiday regalia and armed with donated gift certificates.
First I went to Deseret Book. That store kept making me cry today as I looked at pictures of my Savior and I thought of the great things He has done for me and I thought of the young man for whom we were gifting. I bought a CD, a journal, and a book by Neal A. Maxwell and got out of there as quickly as I could.
Then, under duress of one of my gift certificates, I headed for my nemesis, the mall. Parking was crazy but I found a good spot and got some good stuff: a cute stuffed beagle and some really fluffy socks that I was tempted to buy more of because the deals were incredible. No wonder so many people shop on Christmas Eve! Then I grabbed some spicy Chinese food and headed out into the cold again.
Next stop: CompUSA. They have some good deals going on right now because corporate is closing all their stores down, but not as good of deals as I would like, and they don't appear to carry games anymore. Still, that was a dangerous store. I'm lucky I got out of there without a laser printer.
Next was the heart of my shopping: Cost Plus. I call it the heart, but that mostly because that's where I got the basket that everything else went in. :) That place is the BEST place for baskets! And international chocolates. And stuff like that. I got a nice Asian dinner set, since Jordan has been living in China and that's where Brianna is from. Also got some chocolates and a seahorse-shaped bubble gun. Because EVERYONE needs a bubble gun.
Then I walked over to Barnes and Noble. Another dangerous store. Luckily I had to go to the bathroom too badly to be distracted by all the interesting books. Made it out of there without having bought anything, so hooray!
Got into Archiver's 5 minutes before closing and bought a nice photo album, in red, because red is a Good Color in Chinese culture. The fact that they were closing scared me so I rushed to Best Buy for a gift certificate. Considering that I don't even KNOW these people in real life, I think making it through with only one gift certificate is pretty good! It had a nifty LED display that I tried to program to say 'Get Well Soon' but the interface was clumsy and frustrating so I ended up just saying 'Get Wel lhi' or something like that so they will have to be happy with that.
All done, delivery time. It only took about 10 minutes to get to Bonnie's house from the mall area, and they were so excited to see me! It was so nice talking with them and explaining the gifts. Brianna immediately started reading the Maxwell book and Jordan started playing with the bubble gun, so I think I done good. :) We took a picture, which I don't have a copy of, of us with the stuffed dog. Hopefully it will go in the album. I start to see where Santa gets so much joy from.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Music and stuff

First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMO!!! Not that she reads this. But you know, it's out there now. :)

Then I wanted to talk about this uber-cool website for music-type people. It's got the typical cool stuff that any e-commerce site should have: a wishlist (that you can save and even send to other people), recommendations, etc. But the cool thing is the product. As most of you from anything smaller than a major metropolis know, it can sometimes be hard to find good sheet music. Most stores have pretty small collections, esp. if you want more than simple, or classical, or movie music, or anything using different instruments. But MusicNotes.com has just about EVERYTHING (except much female barbershop music. Sigh. Nobody's perfect). You put in what you play, how you want to play it, and it will find music for you. PLUS, one of the nicest things as a contralto vocal performer, I can TRANSPOSE almost everything I buy to a key that sounds better with my voice. Sure, I can get up to the E above middle C if I have to, but I don't sound too good up there. However, give me something that gets to the E BELOW middle C, and I actually sound halfway good! So I transpose it, I can hear a sample, I can see a sample, and I buy it and I get it immediately right off my printer. It's so nice. So go and check it out and buy something. And no, I don't get any commission. ;P

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

more stuff and more

No, I'm NOT going to talk about Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for stuff but I try not to be thankful just once a year, so aside from the yumminess of turkey and stuffing, there's not much to talk about there. Maybe once we move to Oklahoma one of these days it will be different.
I AM going to talk about Pushing Daisies real quick, though. Tonight was another brilliant episode. Where do they come up with such clever, unique plots and witticisms? Not only was the overall plot unique and clever, but the side bit about Chuck's aunts dealing with depression was wonderfully profound as well. Man I can hardly handle how much I love this show.
Christmas is coming and it's driving me nuts. There just isn't enough money in the pocketbook to get all of the cool things I want to get for people. And I receive too dang many cool catalogues in the mail. Like Penzey's and Patternworks and King Arthur Flour. Not to mention all the goodies you can still find at Amazon and Costco even without a temptingly colorful catalogue. So hey, you, go to those stores and buy cool stuff and tell me about it. That way I can get my Christmas shopping fix through you at least. :) Happy Holidays!

Oh and speaking of holidays, my barbershop group is performing at the Old Time Christmas pageant thingy in Kuna at the Old High School Gym on the 1st of December at 1:00. Actually -- we'll be singing solos because one of the ladies can't make it but you should come hear us sing anyway!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Funny Old Story...

A friend reminded me that I also have some good old stories I can tell on here so I figure I would regale you with some of my college exploits. Since that's the only time I ever really did anything interesting anyway. ;)

Anyway, it was a Friday night and I was studying and making cinnamon rolls. My roommate Katie and I lived in an old 1920's quadriplex with an old gas stove that was nearly as old as the apartment (that place was AWESOME). The oven's temperature ran about 100 degrees hotter than it said (at least according to the few numbers you could still read on the dial) and it had to be lit with a match, so it was fun (remind me of the time I left my little sister there and she decided to bake something but she didn't know you had to light the oven and she almost blew up the place). ANYWAY, my roommate had accidentally barely left the gas on. I mean, BARELY. Couldn't hear a hiss. Couldn't smell the gas. But it had built up in the oven, so when I went to light the oven I barely had time to think, 'wait, was that all the way off?' and back up before a ball of flame came at my head. I shut my eyes and 'eeped' as I heard a crackle and I started slapping at my head to try and put out any flames (luckily I don't use hairspray!). My roommate heard the 'eep' and came to ask what happened. The conversation went kind of like this:
"Is my hair on fire?"
"What?!"
"IS MY HAIR ON FIRE?!"
"Stick your head in the sink."
"What?"
"STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SINK!"

So I did, and we turned on the water to hear the great sizzle of hot meeting cold and wet. Then we moved to the tub where it was easier to maneuver and really rinsed my hair out. When I was done, there was a ring of singed hair around the tub, my hairline was pushed back about an inch, and my eyelashes looked like I had taken scissors to them. I couldn't stop laughing. Couple of things I learned about that experience:
1. It really IS an eternal law that you're not supposed to study on a Friday night! and
2. I have Eyebrows of Steel, because they weren't the slightest bit singed. What a dumb superpower to have.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chuck and What I Did This Summer

Well, first, I have to say that I love the show Chuck a little more each week. The pilot was only mildly impressive to me -- I just thought the premise of a guy memorizing tons of things simply by being flashed images in the course of a few hours, was kind of stupid. But every week the characterizations just get better, and, let's face it, when it comes right down to it I'm a sucker for the romantical. This week's was just luscious on that front; I just find Chuck's character to be so cute (am I a sucker for the geeky or what?) that I feast upon Sarah's hidden liking of him with great delight, and I relish the fact that she now has to fight for him. Woo hoo!

Now, I have to repent of the sorry sin of neglecting an exciting tale of What I Did This Summer. It was only a week, actually, but it was still interesting. I went down to Education Week at BYU in August. Originally, it was primarily to meet friends I had met on the LDS online forum at www.nauvoo.com. But once I got there I was pleasantly surprised to find that the classes offered by BYU were insightful and informative, offering handy items on psychology, teaching skills, scriptures, and gospel topics. It was wonderful! I feel like it was something I was meant to be at -- mostly because of the adventure I had getting down there. First, when I was just past Logan on I-84, I was run off the road by a retard in a little blue car. There were posts on the side of the road, but miraculously I was able to barely (and I mean by INCHES) keep between the posts and the retard who ran me off the road. THEN, when I was in Salt Lake on I-15, in the midst of construction, a huge piece of metal was flipped up from the side of the road and bounced off the top of my car, missing my windshield by less than 2 inches. It being in the middle of construction, there was no shoulder so I couldn't pull off the road, and I really couldn't even slow down from the 65 mph speed limit being in th midst of traffic the way I was. I felt very blessed to make it down to Ed Week with only a dent on the roof of my car to show for my adventures!
That was the biggest adventure of the week, but I had a great time while I was down there, seeing my brother, meeting my online friends, and getting to take some great classes for not much money, it was an awesome trip that I hope to make into an annual trek.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scrapbooking and stuff

OK, first, I must disappoint with the fact that I couldn't find any gaping plot holes in Moonlight this week. Admittedly I wasn't paying very much attention, but siiiiiighh. I actually kind of even liked the show, though it fulfilled my lame prediction that his ex-wife was going to come back and cause trouble somehow. But it worries me that I liked it. Either the show is getting smarter or I'm getting dumber. Eep!

If I weren't so busy this week I would be even more sad that there was no Pushing Daisies this week. As it was, Wednesday was a gaping hole of sad emptiness, but I survived.

Now onto scrapbooking. I must mock myself. I am not typically a person who gets onto the popular craft bandwagon. And according to my husband, I have spent much time mocking those who do things like scrapbooking (a fact which I have conveniently forgotten). Spending so much time, money, and space on putting pictures onto fancy pages seemed silly to me, I guess. But as I get older and more nostalgic, I find myself SCRAPPING and LIKING it. I have stacks and stacks of photos that bring back great memories, but as I get older, more and more of the details are becoming lost to me. And so many of them are parts of times that are so important to me that they deserve to be remembered, more than just an image, but labeled and in context. I've been creating a scrapbook of my college years and it's wonderful, remembering and putting things down, and thinking of how my descendants may now look at them someday and hopefully have an idea of what those wonderful years were like to me, so much more than simply photos in a box. I only wish my own ancestors had the ability and forethought to put such things together for us for our records. It's amazing how much is lost in a single generation.

Oh, and I have to put a plug in here for Saturn. I'm not super-keen on their lower-level cars at this point (it was downright EMBARRASSING trying to get up a mountain in Utah in August of this year -- I had no power!). However, their non-commissioned sales staff are TOP NOTCH in my book and we have always appreciated their honest approach. We research blue book values before we go look at cars, and Saturn has always offered us top dollar for our trade-ins without haggling. When we have bought used cars from them, they have typically BEAT the blue book price and have been very honest with us on the value and problems with the vehicle. But the thing that clinched my loyalty this week was this: five years ago we bought a brand-new vehicle from them and purchased the warranty with it, as we were told that we would get the money back at the end of the warranty period if we didn't use it. Well, the warranty expired in September, so a little over a week ago I called to check on the status of the refund. A simple letter giving the status of our payoff was all that was necessary and we already have received the check -- a sizable sum. Now I just wish that the Saturn company sold Priuses!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another plot hole or two

Man, this Moonlight show is just a plethora of plot holes! I love it! It gives me something to blog about like EVERY WEEK.

Ok, this week's main plot was irritatingly contradictory. Two weeks ago the rule was established that the way you are 'turned' into a vampire is by drinking a vampire's blood. Well this week, they brought out a new human drug made of, you guessed it, vampire's blood. There is no explanation as to why this doesn't turn any of the people who drink it, though we are left to assume that the silver (which is poisonous to vampires in this branch of the mythos) in the mixture somehow voids that basic rule. So not exactly completely a plot hole, but enough of a 'gee let's just make up the rules as we go along' item that it's irritating.

Another vampire 'fact' that has been established is that they cannot eat human food. Why they can't is never explained, but it has come up in multiple episodes that often vampires pine for the food they enjoyed when they were human. If this were simply a case of the food doing them no good, logic dictates that they could still enjoy the food, eat it, pass it, whatever, even if they couldn't get anything from it, but no, we are told that they cannot eat it. Dumb rule if you ask me (esp. since it contradicts all other vampire mythos I have seen, though I will admit I am no expert), but ok. It is often shown that Mick won't even drink coffee or the like. However, near the end of this week's episode, Mick is seen drinking some alcoholic beverage and sharing it with his vampire friend. Um, if you can't eat human food or drink human drink, when did alcohol become ok? Another handy rule made up on the spot? And don't tell me it was fermented blood, because this stuff was the color of apple juice, not even looking like red wine, so forget that.

Knitting addiction and catching up


First, let's catch up. I did ok on the GRE. Got a 680 on the verbal, and I only needed a 500 for the program I'm trying to get into, so I think I'm good. Hooray! I won't mention my computational score. It's horrifically embarrassing, esp. for someone who took calculus in college for an easy 'A'.

Otherwise, I'm in a knitting frenzy lately. I keep buying yarn and making stuff with it. The Christmas projects I can excuse, even though I committed myself to too many of them. But every time I see a baby lately I feel compelled to knit them little fruit hats like this one pictured here. And why, yes, it IS pictured on a cute little kitty! So my hands are cramping up from too much knitting. But it's so ding-danged compelling. Look, ma, I made my own material into something cute, just from this piece of string!

Monday, October 29, 2007

testing...testing...123

Tomorrow I take the GRE. I'm taking it as part of my attempt to get into the MFA program in Creative Writing at BSU. It's just the standard test, and the only thing the MFA program looks at is the verbal, but I am scared stiff.

Standardized tests used to be easy for me. I have never studied for one in my life, yet I consistently scored in the 98th-99th percentile on both verbal and mathematics throughout my primary and secondary education. It was the one thing in life that I was really good at, and though I've learned since then that it doesn't matter nearly as much as it seemed to when I was in school, I still took a lot of pride in the fact that I could test well. But it's been 15 years since I've gone to any type of schooling, and I've spent the last ten years of my life with the world telling me I'm stupid and me believing it, so now even the practice tests I've taken intimidate me. The verbal portions haven't been too bad, but the computational are AWFUL -- it's so much easier to practice reading and writing on your way than it is to practice geometry and algebra. And I'm wondering if it is really possible for a person's brain to melt.

Even more important though -- I think the world tells EVERYONE that they are stupid, that they can't do things, that they should just give up. I don't know why, it just seems that way. And I wonder, how do people get past that? Are they just particularly strong to be able to rise above it, or particularly stupid to be ignorant of it, or what? And how in the world do you get past that and not get cocky or cruel?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The bestest show ever

Pushing Daisies is the best show on television right now. I have to say it's even better than House. This week they even featured a song by They Might Be Giants quintessential album, "Flood". This means that the makers of Pushing Daisies are TEH AWESOME. So if you haven't caught any episodes go here and catch up. Now! Do it! Doooooo iiiiiiiiit! (Might work better with IE than Firefox though, sorry. :( )

Plot Hole O' the Week

For some reason, sometimes I like to watch dumb shows. You know, the shows that are so incredibly stupid that you can find huge problems in them without even thinking about it, and you can't even say why you watch it, but you watch it anyway? Maybe it's just for a reason to complain, I don't know. But right now the show that falls under this category is 'Moonlight' on Friday nights on CBS. It's dumb. REALLY dumb. But I keep watching it. And just about every week I find some huge gaping plot hole or other dumbness to whine about, but I still watch it. Sigh.

I'm not going to go over past plot holes, but I'll tell you this week's, just for kicks. OK, so they are after this teenage vampire, right? And they find this clue in his apartment of a picture of him with some 19th century prostitutes. Well, in past episodes they reaffirmed the 'vampire fact' of not being able to take traditional pictures of vampires (though they can take 'digital' pictures of them. DUMB! OK sorry that was past weeks...anyway...), so we know that that picture had to be taken of the vampire BEFORE he was turned into a vampire. But later in the show, this vampire reveals that he is 197 years old. Assuming that he was 16 when he was turned, then he was born in about 1826 and the picture was taken about 1842. However, if you research photography, you can see that photography wasn't developed well enough by 1842 for widespread use (and this was a photograph, not a daguerreotype) , and certainly not common enough for taking a picture of a farmhand and a bunch of prostitutes that are obviously dressed in LATE nineteenth-century garb. IOW, big plot oops. Unless one of y'alls has a good explanation and wants to share it with the rest of the class. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Barbershopping

I don't know if I've mentioned this here (and I'm far too lazy to look it up in the archives) but I sing bass in a barbershop group and I LOVE it. It's just four ladies from church with a smidge of musical talent and training and we get together and sing songs put together in the barbershop style (usually we buy them from Sweet Adelines, the female branch of SPEBSQSA). It's hard, because the harmonies are not your typical 'thirds' and you're always singing a cappella and we even try to memorize and add in a little theatrics every now and again. But ding-dang it's FUN!!! Something about the way those harmonies hit, and being able to perform without accompaniment, just thrills me to my core. I would join Sweet Adelines myself if it weren't for the fact that they are so expensive. I know we're not a perfect group, and I don't know all the rules for 'proper' barbershop singing. But there is something to being able to put something together that sounds good to the average ear. I'm utilizing my talents. I'm putting something good in the world. Hooray!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

television

Television is a guilty pleasure for me. As with most of my life, it goes very much in waves. Most of my growing up years were supremely addicted. College quickly was so invigorating that I decided that real life was much better than television, so I abandoned it for a few years. Moving to Idaho, however, was so stressful on me that I found myself turning back to my faithful friend on occasion again -- not as an addiction this time, but as an occasional stress relief it seemed I could barely live without. In the last year or two of being unemployed, I have gone through spurts of addiction and spurts of simple stress relief. TiVo, the blessed bit of genius that it is, has given me far greater control of my television watching than I have ever had before, so it's hard to compare to the earlier years, but I know I'm not as controlled by the television schedule as I once was, long ago.

It's been an interesting year for TV, though. I have my old favorites, House and Heroes. House is not always very uplifting but it is always thought provoking, which is delightful to me. Heroes is sort of a love/hate thing with me. It feels trite and cheap, but it pulls things together well enough that I can't really say that it IS trite and cheap, science be damned. But the intensity of it is stressful to me and I have the most intense, whacked-out dreams about it. Sometimes I can't watch a full episode or I miss for weeks because of a mix of stress and boredom. But I always go back to the darned thing. This year I am most intrigued by Chuck, Life, and Pushing Daisies. Chuck is somewhat lacking in logic to the point that I have a hard time with suspending disbelief (though really, I have some of that same problem with Heroes as well). But the character is very likable and the potential romance is likable so I'll probably keep watching for at least a while. Life's pilot was WONDERFUL, bringing in the Zen, and I definitely think that the unique characters and character situations will drive the show, but I am really afraid of the lingering, never-solvable conspiracy lurking in the background. I don't know if I've mentioned 'Gilligan's Island syndrome' before, but I HATE it. That's where the main goal of the show is something that everyone wants but they can never, ever have because then the main purpose of the show is eliminated. If you can find alternate goals that are equally compelling, that's great. But most don't. So they either drag on forever and get very contrived dancing around 'almost' reaching their goal, or they jump the shark and reach the goal in an anticlimactic manner, or they are canceled and leave the viewers hanging because the goal is never realized. Life may survive because it also has the focus of solving murders, but we shall see how the conspiracy plays out.
My very favorite show of the new season, however, is Pushing Daisies. It's absurd. Interesting. Beautiful, funny, witty, and intriguing. And the lead's grin is so ding-dang engaging! I LOVED the pilot ('pie-latte') and am looking forward to the show. I hope it lasts. If not, at least I have my TiVo'd episodes. What a nice birthday present! You should go look it up. It's on ABC on Wednesday nights.

And speaking of birthday presents -- another present I received was the first 3 seasons of Moonlighting on DVD. A guilty pleasure of my heavily addicted years, I was worried that my infatuation with the show wouldn't have withstood the test of time, but even after twenty years the genius holds strong, and I can still quote the occasional episode. :) It makes me feel old, which I DON'T like, but seeing Bruce Willis in all his young, follicled glory is totally worth it. It's something I will be happy to share with my children.

Happy Birthday to me!

Well OK my birthday was officially yesterday, but it was still a fun day. I went and had Thai food for the first time. 37 years is too long to go without Thai food. While I will admit I wasn't daring, it was TASTY and I'm going to have to go back again soon. The place we went -- Pad Thai restaurant in West Boise -- had great food, good prices and good service but the cooking was a bit slow. I'll chalk it up to a bad night because the food was so great I definitely want to go back there.

Otherwise, it was a great day. Everyone seemed to remember my birthday! From my neighbor/walking friend to both of my college roommates to church members to family members, I had a great day! It's not about the presents -- though admittedly I am a great sucker for gifts -- I just really really love having one day a year that is mine. I share it with other people in the world, sure, but for the most part the day is mine and I can be special. And if I explain it to myself that way to keep myself from adding a candle to the cake every year, so be it. :)

It's brought out a lot of the hobbyist in me again. I'm such a dilettante, it's very frustrating to friends and family who never know what to expect from me or what to get for me. What's my hobby of the week? Well this week it's knitting and music. I have been evil and increased my yarn and needle stash yet AGAIN while I work on at least 3 hats and plot evil things like shawls. It frustrates me as well as anyone, because I would really like to get so many things knitted and really increase my skill. However, I can't seem to banish the lusts of my eyes towards things like music, knitting, cross stitch, writing, great gardens, amazing baked goods, scrapbooks, and, upon rare occasion, ceramics. Many of those projects require so much endurance of time that I inevitably fail; gardens die as my interest wanes, ingredients go stale as my focus is distracted. But I just can't commit myself to a single hobby. I love them all.

Speaking of hobbies, I mentioned that this week has also been music week. I have been voraciously bidding on oboes on e-bay, trying to revive a high school bit of fun that has been nagging at me for the past few years. Well my brother suggested I try Craigslist once again and lo and behold, there was an oboe for a deliciously cheap price! So my other birthday present will most likely be an oboe that I will pick up tomorrow. I am delighted, though it is only a cheap plastic student thing. It's still an oboe! If you hear any delightfully ducky music wafting through the air, it may just be me. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

'Journaling'

I am kind of geeky. Despite this, I still have a paper journal. I can see a lot of advantages to electronic journals -- easily searchable, cheap, easy to back up, no writer's cramp, etc., but I just can't get past the wonderful thing that is a paper journal. Paper journals are more portable, work without electricity, no worries about file formats, and there's just something wonderful about sitting and actually physically writing your life out on paper, in a real book that often reflects your personality as much as the writing does. I have dozens of journals that I've filled over the years, and I love seeing them on the shelf: easily accessible, physical evidence of years of my life. The only thing I have to worry about is fire or flood, which would destroy my electronics and backups as well as my physical journals. I sometimes have mementos stuffed between the pages, even. And I hope that someday some of my descendants will open the musty pages of those journals, revel in the scent and feel of them as I have other old books, and remember me.

Mental Exercise

This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, but I thought would lay it out here.
Since my surgery, my muscles have been really weak. They atrophied a lot in the many weeks I was down and out. I have had to get going slowly to build up my strength again and even to help myself heal. It's hard work.
With my depression, it's a lot the same thing. I was so incapable of action for so long that my 'mental muscles' atrophied, making it difficult to function and do the things I used to do even though the depression is pretty much gone. I have to slowly exercise my brain, forcing myself to do things on a daily basis, to get back to a functional level again. And I don't just mean mental acuity tests like logic or crossword puzzles or math or English, but the ability to discipline myself to get things done, to organize, to plan and to generally think about what I am doing. It's even harder than physical exercise if you ask me. There are constant reminders that my physical body is not doing as well as it should, but once you've been stuck in a mental hole for a while there aren't as many reminders. And besides, the part of your brain that forces you to do the mental exercises is the part that is broken!
Have any of you noticed the same kind of thing in your life? Do you have areas wherein you have allowed your acumen to 'slide' and not be as 'fit' as once it was? Do you have areas in your life where you just 'go through the motions' or ignore the details you once covered because you're just too tired or apathetic to bother anymore? How do you 'get back into shape', or do you even try to do that?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fontitis

I am going to be redesigning my site soon. Whee! But of course, me being me, I am not content with the many site templates I've been looking through, so I am looking into designing my own (or basically, figuring out what I want and telling my husband to do it. :) ). So back to the 'me being me' thing, I don't like any of the fonts on our computer, so I am looking for good free fonts. Did you know that there are a CRAZY amount of free fonts out there? It's insane! I've been looking at them for only about an hour and I already have a headache and a stomachache. Or maybe I'm coming down with something. I don't know. But hopefully it will be worth it with a spectacular new site design.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Old pictures



Well I was looking for a picture tonight and I found these. Didn't find the one I was looking for, but I suppose that's what happens when you keep most of your pictures in a box. I'm trying to learn how to scrapbook, but who wants a scrapbook with 150 pictures of Disneyland? OK I have a few other pictures but most of these days my pictures are digital. I just don't know if I should feel guilty or not. Anyway, the baby is me, playing with coins from my parents' piggy bank. I totally remember that plastic piggy bank and I LOVED that thing. I still love coins. They are cool. The other picture is about 15 years old of me and my sisters. I am the one in the peach colored sweater. The sad thing is, I STILL HAVE THAT SWEATER. How embarrassing. I need to give more stuff to thrift stores.

Family Reunion



Oooo, look! 2 posts in one week! I'm trying to start a better trend here, especially since I want any potential birth mothers to feel comfortable contacting us.

We had a great family reunion for my Dad's side of the family at the beginning of July. We went to our resort club in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and we had a BLAST. There were over 60 of us there at the peak time, and we had cooking contests and recorded family memories and went hiking and swimming and to the lake and built sandcastles and all sorts of fun stuff. Mostly I think it was great to see everyone that I hardly get to see, cousins and their kids and all of my aunts and uncles. They are such smart, kind, interesting people. I just love them. Here are a couple of pictures of us playing games and the view from the deck of our condo.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Adoption

We are currently in Salt Lake attending a conference for Families Supporting Adoption. It has been quite inspirational to me. So I'm going to use this opportunity to reach out to all of you (ok, like all 4 of you or so) to help us with our adoption process. The best way to find resources is to network, so that's what I'm trying to do.

So, first, if you know a young lady (or older lady, I don't care) who is pregnant and single and doesn't know what to do, please send her to this site . It's a great, unbiased source of help and counseling to help her through this difficult time. If she is interested, she can check out our profile by clicking on 'Search Adoption Profiles' on the left and putting JakeAndDyany (no spaces and it's case sensitive) in the adoptive profile name and clicking 'view profile'. The more you can get the word out about this site, the more it could help us. If she wants to contact us directly, she can send us an e-mail at munsonadoption(at)cableone.net

The other thing is something that is hard to ask. Adoption is really expensive. We have been saving for years, but we still only have a couple of thousand saved up and we need thousands more. If any of my friends and family are interested in helping us out financially with this project, please send us an e-mail to the above mentioned address.

Thanks for your time and attention and we hope to hear from you soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World of Warcraft

For my husband's birthday last month I got him the software and a 2-month subscription to the immensely popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. We used to play those types of things, text-based mostly, years ago and frankly I was quite addicted, but I've found that as I've gotten older and the repressed fuddy-duddy gene has manifested itself, that type of thing doesn't appeal to me as much anymore. Still, Jake showed some interest in it so I got it for him.

It's been a wild success. In fact, since I've been in bed so much recovering from surgery, I've not only played some myself, but had to set up my own account so that we can play together. I still don't get into the social aspects that were so appealing to me in my 20's, but it's still fun. And having to quantify things like this, here are some of the reasons I've been able to identify as to why it's fun:
1. No mindless repetition needed to level up. At least not like the other MMORPGs we've played. You just play, and you level. It's simple.
2. The quest system is excellent. It adds variety and purpose to the game in well-gradated stages that keep things interesting and help you level up.
3. Professions add another level of character development and variety.
4. Unlike the free MMORPGs out there, the players are, for the most part, really nice and helpful!
5. The duel system is a beautiful thing, especially compared to rampant player killing on some systems. I think this also has to do with item #4.

And of course, the graphics and interface are all excellent, making for a smooth, enjoyable foray into pure fantasy escapism. All in all the only thing I really don't like so far is the price, so we may have to close one of our accounts after I get past this surgery recovery.

Surgery aftermath

Well it's about time I posted. I'm such a slacker sometimes.
The surgery went fine. Very little pain, and it's a relief to know that I won't have the problems I've had for years, I went from a high chance to no chance of uterine cancer, and I still have my ovaries so no side-effects from HRT.

HOWEVER...there was a little matter involving a previously unknown reaction of mine to NSAIDs. Apparently, I'm one of the few people for whom NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium) cause the platelets to go skeewampus and not clot. Since ibuprofen was part of my post-surgery pain regimen, this caused bleeding into my abdomen. The blood then became infected and I got peritonitis. I had to go in for emergency abdominal surgery a little over a week after the hysterectomy to find the source of the infection and this second recovery is not nearly the cake walk the first recovery was. Ugh. I have an incision a foot long and I don' feel so hot. Sigh. Still, I feel blessed. Why? Well, lots of reasons. One, my doctor is AWESOME. Very thorough, very caring. Two, now I know about that NSAID thing, which is a pain because it's banned the most effective painkillers for me, but it's good because now I know to avoid them and that will avoid things like slow brain-bleeds and other scary reactions. Three, family and people from my church congregation have been AWESOME showing me support and bringing in meals and helping around the house, and that just feels good. I had over 40 people visit me in the hospital (though frankly I can't remember them all...ahhhh morphine). And Fourth, it helped renew my faith in God. Simply because I could see and feel His hand helping me through this, which gives me something to remember and lean on when I'm dealing with other, harder issues like my depression. Oh, and fifth -- it could have been SO MUCH WORSE. Man it's scary going in for exploratory surgery, not knowing what to expect when you wake up!

So thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and prayers, they helped! Now I just need a way to fight the ennui while in recovery....

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Interesting few months ahead

Well, at least they are interesting for me.

I get to start out by having a hysterectomy on valiumtimes day. Because nothing says 'I love you' like having your reproductive organs removed.

Then I get a month or two off. Then my brother gets married in Hawaii in June. Then we have a family reunion in Missouri the first week of July. Then my sister gets married in Utah the third week of July. Hooray, but man! So much going on! Everybody say YAY for weddings!