In case you haven't noticed, I've added a couple of things to the bottom of this blog that you might want to check out. One is a very cool little playlist gadget that has some of my fay-vor-ite songs. Another is some fishies. Click on the fishies and you feed them. Feed them! Feed the fishies!
I'm writing something else. This time I'm trying to work out the plot FIRST so it doesn't unravel my whole story like it did last time. And I've realized that story writing is complicated and takes a lot of research! Man all mighty, I might just be too lazy for all this.
If anyone wants to hear the plot line I've got so far and offer input, please drop me a line!
My husband and I are talking about opening a book and game store here in Kuna. We're still researching possibilities and options. We'd deliver free to the Kuna area, might sell a little bit of software while we're at it, and I'd probably sell some cool pens just because I could. The more we talk about it, the more excited I get about it, though it's also a very scary prospect. I mean, most small businesses fail in the first year. But the more we talk about it, the more excited I get about it. What do you think?
My opinion? New Moon is good. It captured the feel and most of the details of the book while flowing well; I didn't feel like there was too much or too little portrayed; the action scenes were much better (didn't look like people being swung around on lines). I feel like the romance wasn't too heavy and the tension with Jacob was good. Overall I'm quite pleased, though still ashamed of myself for liking it so much.
I don't mean to like the Twilight stuff. I mean, they are cheesy and shallow and annoying. But I just can't help myself. I've read the books twice and I'm going to see New Moon tonight on opening night, hoping that it's better than the first movie but knowing I will probably see it 2 or 3 times anyway. They appeal so much to the 'natural man' that the better, more intelligent, more spiritual part of me looks down on them, but I have to admit that the 'natural man' part of me still holds enough sway that the idea of living forever young, beautiful, strong and amazing is appealing to me. Sigh.
You know what I mean. The shows that have some great goal or premise that the protagonists are constantly trying for, but which they can NEVER attain or else the premise and purpose for the show is over. Like on Gilligan's Island -- they could never get off the island, but every week they tried to. There's really not that many shows that fully meet this definition, and in my opinion none that can really carry it off. Star Trek: Voyager could never get home. V's humans can never defeat the invading aliens. There's even a few romantic shows out there where the 'lovers' can never get together, though that's obviously a much more variable and debatable topic. Why do I bring this up? Because I don't watch much TV and I just decided not to follow V. I just can't stand the fruitlessness of it. What do you think about it? Are there any 'Gilligan's Island' shows that you've found redeemable? Why?
We've discovered a new game. A new MMORPG called Aion, and so far it's very nice. In fact, I just went and canceled my World of Warcraft account for this new game. The graphics are stunning (which makes the gameplay a little choppy, I think -- though the servers are quite full since it's only been out for a month, so they are probably still working out kinks), and the concept is unique. After reaching level 10, players get to fly because they reach something of a demigod status! It's taking some getting used to...some things are similar to WoW which makes the differences all the harder to get used to. So check it out!
For some reason I feel like blogging lately though I don't have anything to blog about. At least nothing that I don't think is too personal to put out on the world wide web. I'm excited about Thanksgiving, which is at my house this year. I'm also excited about my women's barbershop group which has started practicing again. If anyone in the Kuna area wants a group to perform Christmas songs, let us know!
I forgot about Dollhouse. Don't know how I could forget, since Joss Whedon is my master now, but I forgot. It's remarkably cool. Not as cool as Firefly (alas!), but fairly cool nevertheless. Another one of those shows that makes you think of the nature of being, of good and evil. Wait, did I say /another/ one? I can't think of any others! Anyway, you should watch it.
Of COURSE I miss Pushing Daisies because who wouldn't? Luckily my sweet husband just bought me the first season on Blu-Ray and hopefully I'll get the 2nd season for Christmas or something and I can cherish them forever.
On another topic, raising kids is really hard. Just thought I'd mention that.
On the subject of television, I should also mention that I miss the show Life. The last episode last year was one of the best shows I've seen in a long while, though it hinted at closure so it's not a HUGE surprise that the show is gone. I just miss it. It was a unique crime drama and I'm sad it's gone. But hey, it's not like the old days where I would know immediately when a show wasn't renewed and get my britches in an uproar, so I guess I'm getting more mature about such things in my old age.
First, I'd like to apologize for saying, "At least in the US I've been to a lot of states." Because, DUH, where BUT the US will I have been to a lot of states?
Next, I'ma gonna talk about TV. Don't watch it all that much anymore, but hey, there ARE some good things.
1. The Mentalist. Really like it, esp. the main guy. It's just fun to watch the interactions between the characters. 2. Castle. Liked it okay last season, this season I LOVE it. And not just for my crush on Nathan Fillion. It's just plain fun to watch, and funny. It's hard to find original crimes in these shows these days -- and this one is really no exception to that rule -- but if you can give me another good gimmick, that's good enough. 3. Chuck. Apparently not coming back until March, which is just plain cruel, but it IS coming back. Yes, Chuck is my other tele-crush. 4. House. I was almost over watching this, but this season they pulled me back in with the mental health angle. The depictions of the repercussions of mental illness, and the depiction of the mental health industry, were spot-on according to my experience. We need to get rid of the stigma of not only mental illness in our society but the stigma of the medications and personnel equipped to HELP us through mental illness. I'm still watching with trepidation, but so far so good. 5. Everything else. I watch a few other things, but not much worth mentioning, really. You'll have to tell me if there are any new shows that are outstandingly fun to watch.
I'm sick today. Thought it was allergies but last night I started feeling feverish, so STAY AWAY FROM ME. cough cough haaaaaaaaaack cough cough cough don't you love cold and flu season? And I was supposed to perform with my barbershop quartet tomorrow evening. :(
Man, I've had a busy summer. Chicago, Oklahoma, and Utah thrice all make for a fair amount of traveling! It's been fun, but a little stressful too. I'm in Utah again right now, visiting my newest little nephew, who is incredibly cute, as you can see here. Otherwise, life progresses. I'm looking forward to Annual Dyany Day here in a few short weeks, or, the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday, or, The Last Birthday Ever. I'm not looking forward to getting old. To make it better, you can buy me stuff. After all, I keep you entertained every few months with my exciting blog posts, right? :b
no, not cars. Vegetables. Last year we planted zucchini and white pumpkin. Both turned out okay. But this year we had an interesting 'volunteer' crop up in the garden that both Jake and I wanted to see what it was. Well, it grew big and fast and very hardy and you know what it was? White zucchini! They are fatter than normal zucchini, and mostly white (just a hint of green). Not many seeds in 'em. And, oddly enough, they taste kind of like peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter.
OK, we're in Chicago and so far it's been AWESOME. At first, I was a little worried. The two days of driving were very long, thanks to lots of construction and heavy rains, and then the hotel we had originally booked (the Days Inn in Niles/Skokie) was AWFUL. Like, blood on the walls, no towels, internet not working, bad shower curtain AWFUL. So today we checked out of that hotel and moved to the downtown Howard Johnson's. It's old and obviously 'economical', but it's well-maintained and the people are nice so we consider it a big improvement, even though we're paying more for the convenience of being downtown. We went to the Sears tower this morning which was pretty cool though the weather was hazy. I started getting souvenir-crazy then, though luckily I've been able to say 'no' to most everything so far. Then we went to Giordano's for some real Chicago deep-dish pizza that was ever so tasty. Then we went to Grant Park and saw Buckingham Fountain, easily the most impressive fountain I have ever seen, though some might consider it overly ornate. Then we went to Millennium Park and saw sculptures and fountains and gardens and the Giant Silver Bean (I believe it is officially called the cloud sculpture or something like that) and I was duly impressed. This evening we headed out to Wrigleyville for a Cubs game. It was AWESOME. It's amazing how everything, absolutely EVERYTHING there is built and geared around the Cubs. It was awesome! I got a new Cubs shirt and we ate hot dogs and popcorn and got rained out and the CUBBIES WON!! Hooray! Now I'm bushed, though we still have 2 more days here. So fun!
I have what some would call an unhealthy respect for authority. I don't believe EVERYTHING I see/hear, but by golly if someone who's done a lot of validated research comes to me and tells me that the sky isn't blue, I begin to wonder if blue means what I think it means. This is the opposite of my husband. If he didn't think of it, or if he can't understand it, then he generally blows it off or disparages it. This produced a lot of conflict in our early marriage. So I begin to wonder: what is a HEALTHY level of respect for authority? If you don't respect any authority, then not only does it make certain social interactions (like work) difficult, but you are doomed to repeat many mistakes and not be able to learn beyond what you are able to test for yourself. But if you believe everything you are told, well, you'll end up buying a lot of Brooklyn bridges. Either extreme, you get hurt. I don't know the answer. (HA! You came here looking for answers?! Sucker!) I like my level, imperfect though it is. I suppose everyone has to find their own level. But from what I've seen in the world of late, I would recommend erring on the side of healthy respect for authority. So many people throw away authority simply because it is what it is, forgetting that authority became that way through experience and gaining knowledge. It's not always right, and sometimes it is even taking advantage of you, but if you show people respect you at least improve relations with them and might learn something in the process as well.
OK, this has been on my mind for a while, and I know I'll get a lot of hate mail for this, but I just wanna speak my mind.
Marriage is an interesting institution. Our government and society has assigned a lot of legal baggage to go along with the institution, but barring that, it's a social institution that defines a basic unit of a family and therefore a basic unit of learning, living, and society at large. The authority for defining this basic institution comes from one of two places: 1) God, or, if you don't believe in Him, 2) society (which only makes sense, since it's a societal institution).
Since we live in a non-theocratic republic, we cannot say that one person's religious beliefs are more valuable than another person's. So we must use the societal definition of the institution -- majority rules. It doesn't matter what influences each individual's definition -- we cannot dictate another person's conscience -- but when polled/voted for the majority's definition, we need to try to accept it graciously. Government shouldn't get involved because marriage isn't a 'right'. It's a social construct, defined by the society in which we live. If you don't like it, then you're free to live the way you want without the 'social stamp of approval' or move someplace where the society defines things more to your liking. Don't go spewing hate against the people where you live.
I have many nieces and nephews on the way, so I am a knitting fiend. Here is a picture of the baby blanket I am currently working on. Isn't it cute? Please ignore the camera strap on the right and the evidence of my messy messy house on the left. Anyway, I use Karabella Aurora 8 yarn, which is this luscious pre-shrunk merino wool that is very soft. I also have yarn in lilac purple and seafoam green for the other blankets. I doubt I'll get them all done in time but if you're waiting for one, be patient! This much knitting is hard work!
I just realized I have a follower, and it's not my husband, so now I feel pressure to perform. Ahem.
We're putting together an HTPC -- that is, a Home Theater PC -- and having some fun and some grief with it. Basically, it's a computer you connect to your television setup so you can watch things like youtube videos or Hulu shows or downloaded Netflix movies on your TV. You can also connect a TV tuner card to the PC and turn the HTPC into a DVR, but we haven't gotten that far yet. We want to walk before we run. Anyway, being cheapskates AND geeks, we bought the nice little entertainment-center-compatible case and micro-ATX motherboard and all that and put it together ourselves. We are going to use Linux on it, but right now we're on our 2nd distro and we seem to be having problems with the DVD drive we're using, as we keep getting I/O errors. We're also looking for a way to get our wireless keyboard -- a Belkin Mediapilot -- working with it, which is proving difficult because it requires drivers and Belkin doesn't support Linux at this time (the heathens!). Jake is far more excited and determined about this than I am, but we're having fun with it nevertheless. If anyone out there knows how to get the keyboard working with Linux, let us know! In the meantime, I'll keep searching the 'net for solutions.
After 15 years of the table I got for free after some friends had left it outside for 6 months, dropped it from the back of a pickup onto the road where it split in two, and another friend put it back together for me, we finally have a new table. We took our tax refund for this year, went down to RC Willey and found a lovely rustic table and some nice leather chairs to go with it. We only have 5 chairs for now, because that's what the budget allowed, but we should be getting 3 more in the next few months. It's completely huge with the leaf in (the pictures are without the leaf), but should do nicely for Thanksgiving. And it has a nice couple of drawers in the stand which will be very nice for tablecloths and such. Hurrah!
Just checking in. The house is still pretty clean, mostly. Though I need to clean the bathrooms again. I still play World of Warcraft, though only about 30-60 minutes/day, max. Writing is slow. Have switched to a new book about the spirit world. May be interesting. May not. Depression still sucks. Haven't been exercising enough lately. Been listening to a LOT of music lately, especially a lot of Girlyman and The Weepies. And Coldplay. And a little R.E.M. thrown in for good measure, as always. Our ward was just split. They made 2 new wards in our stake and adjusted the boundaries on almost every ward in it. We lost some good acquaintances, as our old neighborhood is now in a brand new ward and we're still in the old ward. Even though the growth around here has slowed considerably, our stake is still bursting at the seams, as we now have SIXTEEN wards! Crazy! Oh, I found something cool yesterday called restaurant.com. You can buy gift certificates for lots of good restaurants for CHEAP. There's restrictions, but for the most part they seem pretty reasonable. Otherwise I'm ready for the winter to be over. While I like the cold, the darkness and lack of green is getting to me. I want to see some life again.
We finished our Foster Parent training tonight and I'm really excited now to be a foster parent. It looks hard and scary but oh so rewarding. There's such a great need for good foster parents out there! Go and investigate fostering in your area and see if you can lend a hand! Ees gud!
For 2007 we had a great reunion in the Lake of the Ozarks for the Dittmer side of my family. While we were there we videotaped all the kids remembrances of grandma and grandpa Dittmer. Well we finally got the video digitized and it's being uploaded as I type so if you want to see it go here. If you happen to be reading this ultra fast it might not be uploaded yet, but it should be finished uploading later tonight. And be careful with it, we're not made of bandwidth, ya know!