Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Books are a drug

It's a relatively painless addiction, though, like most addictions it must be fed and that can place a heavy toll on your bank account. You find yourself wandering around used book stores and scanning the book shelves at the local Goodwill for hidden gems, your neck going stiff from reading all the titles sideways. You snatch up even paperback versions of rarer books, just to have a copy, and when you find a beautiful hardcover classic for $15-$25, you justify the purchase as being an investment, even when you realize you just ruined your budget because after all you don't have an "old books that I simply must have" category in it.

Do you smell books? The majority of the time it's a pleasant experience, only marred by mold and cigarette smoke.

Old and new books all have certain smells, and I find that I associate them with past books by their smell. After spending way too many hours with my head on or too close to my textbooks, I can recognize textbook smell. (Side note: I don't think I would have done that if I wasn't homeschooled and my textbooks weren't usually new and clean...yuck) The thin, slick paper and the ink used in textbooks has a certain smell. Rough paper and ink workbooks smell the same as crossword puzzles and coloring books and construction paper. There's the quality paper and ink smell of a well-bound hardcover book, or the basic papery smell that the majority of your paperback 5th-8th grade range books have, the kind you pick up in the childrens' section of Barnes & Noble.

I just pulled an unread old used book off my bookshelf and now I'm struggling to read it instead of burying my nose in it because it smells like books from my childhood, namely Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web and our older set of the Little House On the Prairie books. The book happens to be A Candle For St. Jude and quite honestly I have no idea what it's about, but I recognized the author's name (Rumer Godden) and remembered I'd read some of her books years and years ago, so I picked it up at Goodwill since it was inexpensive but in good condition.

So if you happen to be in a used bookstore here in town and find me totally oblivious to everything but the books that I'm looking at...or possibly smelling...don't worry, I haven't gone crazy. Or at least not any crazier than I already am. ;) I'm merely under the influence of a mildly dangerous drug.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Color-sorted closet

Yes, I'm that OCD. But I read about this sometime back when I used to read more decorating/organizing blogs. You know you have too much time if you read about organizing instead of just doing it. Well, to a certain extent; you can get some helpful tips from reading about it. Anyway, somewhere I saw a suggestion of getting matching hangers and also hanging your clothes sorted by color, to make your closet neater.

And it works! It sounds ridiculous, but it looks nice. Plus, when you go to get a shirt to wear, instead of wearing Blue Shirt No. 1 that you wore three days ago and stuck right back in the front of your closet when it came through the laundry, you notice that you also have Blue Shirt Numbers 2 and 3 right next to it, and maybe would like to wear one of them instead. I mean...if you only have one shirt of each color then that doesn't apply, of course.

I was reminded of it, because I just saw this post today: 31 Days To a Less Messy Nest Day 12: Hanging Clothes Someone posted the link to that one, but I think I'll have to watch and see if any of the other 31 days are helpful as well.

I don't do this to quite my entire closet. The majority of my skirts are patterned, and therefore not definable, besides I have skirts and dresses all on one side where there's enough room for them to hang down. But tops can coexist within color groups: sweaters, sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve. I had all green hangers too at one point, but I ran out of them, so the matching hangers part of the plan kind of fizzled out.

Oh, I took a picture and blogged it after I got the hangers and sorted it by color...two...years ago... Okay, that does it. Time is going way too fast. I could've sworn it was earlier this year, or possibly last when I started doing that.
Nevermind, Blogger doesn't want to load photos again...!

So, obsessive color sorting. But I WILL NOT sort my books by color! I love how it looks, and if you can deal with it, then more power to you, but my books have to be sorted by author. I look at pictures of color-sorted bookshelves, and appreciate them, but I would slowly go crazy trying to find my books. No, I take that back, I have a good idea of what color all my books are anyway, so it wouldn't be so hard to find them, but it would just bug me that they weren't sorted by author. :D I highly recommend sorting your clothes though.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I don't do poetry, but I did write this

I wrote this some afternoon after relaxing outside in the sun. I'm guessing I was probably half asleep and dreamy when I wrote it because typing it up and editing it just now put me to sleep. "3/9/10" is written at the top of the page, so presumably that's when I wrote it, and since it's written on the back of my January calendar page that sounds about right. It must have been an unusually warm day early this year.


Rest and relaxation.

A pause from the cares of life.
A time perhaps to dream.
A time to think of things beyond oneself,
Or consider those that are merely new.

Perhaps a time of actual sleep.
Closing the eyes, resting the mind
Waking to life renewed.

Perhaps a time to gaze into the heavens.
To see the hawk-- gliding, swooping
Bringing remembrance of a kite flown in childhood.

A time to see and feel the sun,
To be thankful for its warmth.
To see a promise of spring all around.

Or even relaxation in the company of a friend.
To talk, or not, as each feels led.
A time to enjoy shared laughter,
Or if alone, even a smile from a stranger.

Perhaps it's a second,
Perhaps a whole day, or longer,
But when it's finished it leaves one refreshed
With strength to handle the certain cares to come.

As I said, I don't really do poetry. There are a few poems I really like, such as "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, or "The Road Goes Ever On" the song/poem from The Hobbit and LOTR...those are the first two that occur to me at the moment. (I seem to like roads.) But apart from that I'm not an avid poetry fan or anything, and I hardly ever write any myself. So, I have no idea if this is even any valid form of poetry...I guess it can be free verse if nothing else, right? It was just something that came to mind, so I scribbled it down.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ultimate Mondays

Mondays are awesome these days. Well, Monday evenings to be exact. The rest of the day can still be awful, there are no guarantees. But for the past few months Mondays have meant playing ultimate frisbee with my friends.

Ultimate frisbee is something like a combination of soccer and football, except with a frisbee. (And technically it's just "ultimate" because "Frisbee" is a brand name...and not even the brand of discs we use.) At least I think I'm correct in saying it's like soccer/football, but I'm not really sure of the rules of either, so don't quote me on that.

I only have a few photos of an ultimate frisbee game, because there was one I didn't play in because I was sunburnt. It wasn't all of our usual crowd either so I'm not even sure who everyone is, but anyway there's a few basic action shots. I'd love to get some really cool close-up shots of throws and catches sometime! Of course, that means not playing. :(

In ultimate you have two end zones; ours are each marked by four small orange cones. To score a point, a player has to catch the disc while in the defense's end zone. You start out with each team standing in their end zone, and when both teams are ready, one player calls "Disc!" and throws the disc. At that point it belongs to the other team until they drop it. Basically anytime the disc is dropped the other team gets it. We usually have 9-14 people playing altogether; last night we had 11.

Technically ultimate is a non-contact sport, but that pretty much means you don't purposely tackle someone and it's a foul if you do so. But people do run into each other or get hit with the frisbee. We've had several close calls with people getting hit or nearly hit in the face or neck, or getting their feet stomped on...those three are the most possibly serious injuries, at least that we've run into so far... Unfortunately, my style of playing ultimate seems to end up with me landing on the ground quite a lot. The sad thing is that probably nearly 75% of the time it's my own fault, either because my feet slipped while trying to stop or turn too fast (I think I need cleats!), or I run into another player when I'm trying to get the disc. Diving for the frisbee is a valid (and impressive) way to play, but I may unintentionally do it more than necessary. Ha! My neck is very sore today because during last night's game I managed to trip over/crash into one of my own teammates while we both went after the disc, and I hit the ground hard which jarred my neck and shoulders pretty good.
However, I've also been run into, elbowed, kicked, tripped, etc. by other players, so it's not always my own fault. I'm just not really afraid to get in there and get dirty and possibly injured and that leads to...well, getting dirty and injured, surprisingly enough. :D It's kinda odd really, because I've never been one to play sports a whole lot, or to get into them much if I did, but I get really competitive about ultimate and end up out there playing hard and yelling when things aren't going well. Weird. I'm positive my game could use more skill and less injury, but it unfortunately hasn't gotten to that point yet. :/

I also still need to learn some more throws and perfect the ones I do know how to do. There are several different ways to throw a frisbee, from the basic backhand throw that most people know, to a hammer throw, which is throwing the disc vertically instead of horizontally...with the ideal finish being that it somehow flattens out by the time it has to be caught. That doesn't always happen though, so you find an extremely dangerous-looking disc hurtling down at your head. :/ (I don't much care for those, if you couldn't tell...) I really need to get myself a decent disc and practice some, because even my basic throw is somewhat unreliable and entirely dependent on how well I happen to be throwing that day.

As far as defense, there are two ways you can block people (as well as several much more complicated defensive maneuvers involving the whole team). You can stand in front of the person who's trying to pass the disc and distract them or try to knock down the disc as soon as they throw it. The other option (that I generally go with) is to block the players who are going to be trying to catch the disc when it's thrown. I find this much more effective. It's really interesting too, because the more you play, either as a group in general or during one game, you realize that there are certain people who will always end up blocking each other, or you can figure out who someone's likely to try to throw to and block that person, which adds some more strategy to the game.

This website has the basic rules, and diagrams of various types of plays: Ultimate Guide to Ultimate Frisbee. After reading through that I realized that there are several rules we don't really follow. We also don't keep score. At least, we kind of have an idea of which team is doing better and try to make sure the teams are even, but we don't keep track of the numbers. It sounds silly to play with no goal in mind, and normally that would bother me, but for some reason it doesn't in this case. 

At any rate, I find it to be a lot of fun! Great stress-relief and exercise because it takes some concentration and there's lots of running around involved. So that makes Monday nights something worth looking forward to. :) Afterward we usually either go hang out at someone's house or at McDonald's. Unfortunately it's getting dark sooner now and colder, so I'm not sure how much longer we'll be able to play. We really need to either find a lighted field to play in, play at some other time, or figure out a way to be more visible in the dark. Last night we had a lighted disc to play with once it got dark, but we could only see the disc and the people who had somewhat light-colored clothes on. The people in dark clothes were invisible or indistinguishable. The two tallest guys were both wearing blue, so it was pretty much impossible to tell them apart in the dark, and one was on my team and the other was not, so it was either going to be a really good thing to throw to one of them, or a dire mistake to do so! The cones marking the end zones were also invisible, so it was pretty hard to tell when anyone actually scored. So we gave up not long after it got dark and headed to McDonald's to eat and get warmed up.

Actually last night was a little crazier than usual because some of us were a bit hyper thanks to coffee from McDonald's. :) I ordered a mocha, expecting it to be hot and they gave me a frozen one instead. Well, they said to just keep that one and they'd make me a hot one too, so several of my friends shared the cold one and we were all, um, obviously caffeinated. Sometimes I think I really need that caffeine to get over my introverted tendencies in a crowd though. Of course it can go too far in the other direction, i.e. being very hyper and random... :D But I had a great time hanging out and talking with friends. We stayed there pretty late too. I guess McDonald's usually closes at eleven, so they would have eventually kicked us out, but we stayed there until a little after ten-thirty. At some point thinking "Oh, it's dark, but wait, it's only eight after all" turned into "Hey, no way it's as late as it looks...oh, nevermind, it is actually". :D

Anyway, that's one of my favorite things to do these days. I probably just bored half of my readers to tears though. Oops. I apologize. *tosses a friendly reconciliatory frisbee to you* What, what do you mean you hate frisbees...?

(I've also really got to figure out what to do about my addiction to emoticons. I ought to be able to write a blog post without these, right? :D :) :/ :P Right??) Hmph. I'm disappointed with myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Minor pet peeve

It's definitely pronounced Or-a-gun. (How you pronounce it doesn't diminish its general awesomeness though.)

Though, speaking of pet peeves, Blogger has a new image posting system and it's not working. So I had to email this post (.jpg file) in and then edit it. Fix it, Blogger, fix it. It's not like you to be troublesome like this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New favorite

Ever heard of Mumford & Sons? My mom told me about this band after it was mentioned in a podcast she was listening to. I think I have a new favorite band. They're a folk band based in London, and they have a slight Irish sound to their music (probably because of the drums) and it's just amazing! On top of that, they're very good singers as well.
(They're not bad-looking guys either, for that matter...) :D

This one is also very very good: Roll Away Your Stone

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Here's my dress and jacket combination that I mentioned in my last post:
Also note the cat lurking behind my legs... :P
Gracie wanted her picture taken too, so I obliged:
Doesn't she look happy?
And this is what I meant when I said I thought it looked Jane Austen-esque...like this:

And now I'm going to go clean my room, because I thought it was clean, but I just realized I have nowhere to set anything down on my desk, and the contents of my closet appear to be trying to escape. And the rest of my family is coughing/sniffling/groaning because they all have colds...so...there's really nothing more exciting to do. :/

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More than ready for fall

Apparently I managed to completely irritate my mom with my last post, because she doesn't like any of that song, and I got the whole song (complete with its bad grammar) stuck in her head.

On the other hand, I'm going to argue that we're even because later in the week, unable to come up with the name of Lewis Carrol (as part of something we were discussing) she proceeded to quote lyrics from "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. (Because if you weren't aware, that song is, in a very trippy way, Alice in Wonderland-related. I mean, sort of...er, nevermind.) My brain being what it is, I knew what she meant, but I also got the song in my head. And let me tell you, there is nothing like getting the sound of Grace Slick shrieking "remember! what the dormouse SAID....FEED YOUR HEAD!!" on a nearly constant loop in your mind. It's still not completely gone. Which is why I say we're even, if not more so.

But, that's not what I was intending to blog about. Excuse my digression.

I was intending to blog about the fact that I have birthday money, and needed a few clothes for this fall, so I did some shopping yesterday. At Goodwill, because that's where I find most of my awesome clothes. Especially since I needed jeans. I may have mentioned this before, but it's hard to find jeans, and apparently the only ones that fit me right are expensive brands. :/ So, I get them at Goodwill instead and pay $5 rather than $50. Only problem is that it's rather hit and miss, so sometimes I find several pairs, or I might find nothing at all. I found one pair yesterday, plus a pair of black pants, two pairs of pajama pants, a brown jacket, a green t-shirt, and another green t-shirt that is too big for me, but I intend to alter. Oh, and two t-shirts for Dad and Colin. All for under $30. If I said things like this, I would say "I heart Goodwill". But...I don't, so "I love Goodwill and bargains!" :D

The jacket I will have to take a picture of tomorrow, because I'm going to wear it to church. I was planning on wearing it with jeans and such, but I discovered that it will also go perfectly over a dress a friend gave me some time ago. I don't wear the dress very often because it's not great colors to have near my face (brown and beige pattern on lots of off-white background) but it will work great with the jacket over it, plus it looks very Jane Austen-esque. :) Edwardian, I suppose the style would be, but "Jane Austen-esque" describes it much better.

And the black pants will have to be hemmed, because apparently pants have to be extremely long these days. (Hmm, I noticed that the tag does say "long" on it, so that explains some of the extra length, but they're still awfully long. Hello, extra 5 inches of fabric...)

Anyway, I'm very happy to have found some nice clothes at Goodwill for this fall! If it ever is fall...it's supposed to be in the 80s still this week. :( But I think that's really about right; it cools off around my birthday, but then it really starts getting cool the first week of October, in time for the fair. October is my favorite month. :)

Oh, I bought some boots on sale at Target a couple weeks ago too:

Haha, they look huge in that picture! Ah well, plenty of room if I decide to put my pants legs inside them, and they'll keep my feet warm this winter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Even though we ain't got lyrics...

...we've got a hit with this chorus!"

Know what song should be better than it is? Danny's Song by Loggins and Messina. I mean, how obvious is it that they came up with the catchy chorus and then had to come up with verses to go with it? And failed horribly? The music is nice enough, but it sounds like they're making up the words as they go, and it ends up utterly ridiculous apart from the chorus:

"Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya, honey, and everything will bring a chain of love... And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything's gonna be alright."

Sorry, I just heard the whole song for the first time today and I'm a bit disappointed. :D

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not quite

Guitar chords always make me wish I could actually play guitar.

So, on a whim I picked up a guitar and tried again, because it's been something over a year (or two, or three...) since I last gave it a shot. Well...mixed results.

My fingertips still don't want to cooperate and prefer to drag on all the strings and not switch chords very fast. Switching takes practice; getting my fingertips off the strings...I don't know what the answer for that is.

I still can't quite come up with an appropriate strumming rhythm.

On the plus side:
I can actually hear the sound I should be getting...muddled greatly by the awful strumming and my fingers slipping, but I can hear something, which I couldn't before.

I can't get exactly the right rhythm, but I do feel like I have a better sense of what it should be.

So I'm wondering what's changed? Perhaps listening to more folk music helped? Or dancing? As clueless as I thought I was about rhythm, something's managed to slip in and plant itself in my brain?

I was happy to find that "Down To the River To Pray" has very easy chords.
I also attempted "I Would Be Sad" and "Swept Away" by The Avett Brothers, but I think they must pick the strings, and not so much strum, because I was having a lot more trouble with those. Not to mention their sound is very unique, so I'm not sure I'd get it anyway.

So, it gave me hope that maybe five years from now or something, I might be able to finally figure out how to play. It just irks me, because it's not supposed to be hard to just play a little bit.

My fingertips are gonna hate me tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Labor Day/ Birthday Weekend

Well, I finally got some sleep last night and a chance to sleep in this morning, so I'm back on track after this long weekend! However, I keep forgetting what day it is, so maybe I'm only back on track as far as sleep goes. And it was a busy weekend.

Kyle came up here for the weekend and during the course of the weekend we watched the original Star Wars trilogy, because I had sadly never watched any of them and something had to be done about that. :) I liked them a lot! And they were funny too! Paisley also liked them...no, actually she liked there being people sitting in the living room who obviously had nothing better to do than pet her. R2-D2's noises made her a little jumpy though. (Incidentally: Han Solo's much better than Luke Skywalker. Luke's a whiny little boy. Granted, he did get a little better by the third movie.)

Saturday we went hiking at Hanging Rock, and I discovered that Kyle is apparently the one person I know who will go even closer to the edge of a mountain than I will anymore. Plus it was very windy up there, so he was really scaring me. :P

I stayed a bit further from the edge, though you can't really tell in this photo:

How sad is it that I don't really know how to do anything crazy or make funny faces in a photo? My reaction to being told "Do something crazy!" is "Uhhh.......I dunno what to do...". Comes from being a photographer's daughter, I guess. When you're getting your photo taken, you look photogenic, not crazy. Or, not purposely crazy at least.

That was Saturday, which of course was my birthday, so that night Mom made tacos (my favorite!), Grandma and Grandpa came over, and I opened presents and the 20 bazillion cards that I got. Okay, I exaggerate, but it seemed like I got a lot of birthday cards this year! I don't have any birthday pictures on my camera, but Dad took a few, so I got them off their computer.

Cake (and I blew out all the candles at once, which I haven't done for a long time!)

Hehe, Grandma got me Hello Kitty pajamas. I'm not really a Hello Kitty kind of girl, if you didn't know that. But they are warm and fuzzy... :)

I got a telephoto lens for my camera!

Let's see, the next day was Sunday. (Really, Sunday came after Saturday?! Whaaat?) We went to the same church we visited last week, and this week the regular pastor was back in town. It was a really great sermon and great music! We sang a few choruses I'd never sung before, and some that I'd forgotten that I knew and loved.

Sunday afternoon consisted of wandering around Reynolda Gardens and Old Salem, and making plans for Monday.

There's usually Ultimate Frisbee on Monday nights, but some of the frisbee crowd were planning on hiking Monday morning...at Hanging Rock. Ha! So, more hiking up there! :D We went on a different trail though, one I actually hadn't ever been on at all, so that was cool for a change.

Not quite as close to the edge...

Then, despite all the hiking we all went and played frisbee that evening, and as usual got hot and sweaty and slightly beat up and injured (er, well, I did anyway). It was a good game; really, the ones that involve a bit of injury seem to end up being the best. Unfortunately...?

I don't feel 21. Apart from feeling a bit stiff and sore the past few days anyway, but that's from hiking & frisbee and that would've happened last year too. :P It's really weird too, it doesn't feel like it was very long ago at all that I turned 20. Wow. What a crazy year it's been. 21...that's going to take a while to sink in. I really should go and drink something sometime, just because. (Did have wine for communion on Sunday...and wished I hadn't. That was not a pleasant red wine.)

One last photo from hiking:

All in all it was a simply awesome weekend. :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Distraction #74

Since I just mentioned listening to The Avett Brothers, I wanted to share this song I found that cracks me up every time I hear it. It reminds of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" when they do a hoedown or Irish drinking song sketch. :D

Monday, August 30, 2010

A word of advice

We have a salad spinner.

Exhibit A:

Said salad spinner is something we got recently and is pretty cool really. However, I haven't used it a whole lot. It's not hard to use, you wash the lettuce, tear it up, put it in the bowl/basket combo, put the lid on, push down on the thing to spin it dry. It also has a brake which doesn't work right anymore because of an unfortunate dishwasher incident, but if you push really hard it will slow it down, or you wait until it stops spinning.

Except...I didn't. Without thinking through the consequences, I took the lid off while the inside basket was still spinning and guess what the consequences are? Let's just say I was picking lettuce off the floor and out of the toaster.

For future reference, either get the brake to work or wait until it stops spinning. Unless lettuce everywhere is a look you're going for. (Thankfully it wasn't all the lettuce...)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some things that make me happy lately...

...or life is good. In no particular order:
  • Dropping gas prices. At the moment anything $2.55 or cheaper is awesome and Costco has it for $2.52.
  • Getting 19-20 mpg out of a tank of gas...it doesn't always happen, unfortunately.
  • Text messages and emails. :)
  • A clean desk. Oh look, I forgot what color it was...
  • Cool breezes promising cooler weather is on the way soon. Yay, fall!
  • Driving with the windows down more often because of said cooler breezes.
  • The fact that my birthday's next weekend. 21! Really? I mean, really? Wow.
  • Getting some knitting done and remembering how much I like finishing projects. Need to be finishing about...three projects all at once too.
  • Dark chocolate. Wait, that always makes me happy...
  • Finding new recipes to make, some better than others. The recipe from an old cookbook for chocolate cupcakes was...bleah. Baked chocolate substance, yes; cupcake, no.
  • My Avett Brothers station on Pandora.com. I only have one of their CDs and I'm finding more of their awesome music this way, besides music from similar artists. Oh, my Irish music station too, of course.
  • Pronouncements and hugs from the opinionated little two year old I take care of. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2nd part of vacation

So I've failed to blog about the Cincinnati portion of my vacation yet, both because I've been busy, and I'm not sure how to split the difference between making a long story short, and talking about the whole thing in details that nobody cares about. However, to make a long story short: I went to Cincinnati, went with my relatives to Chicago for a wedding, stayed up there for the weekend, got back to Cincinnati and sat around with my cousins who were sick, caught their cold, flew home, and have been coughing ever since. Not that I'm bitter or anything. No, really I'm not. ;) But, I am in my third week of coughing...

To expand on that story a little, I got back from the beach, worked that Tuesday, then flew to Cincinnati on Wednesday. To be more exact, I flew from Greensboro to Philadelphia, where they informed me that my flight had been canceled and sent me back to Charlotte. Um, really?? After sitting around in Charlotte for a while I flew directly to Cincinnati, while my luggage stayed in Philly and US Air poured water on it. I knew United breaks guitars, but apparently US Air does your laundry for you...minus the dryer. Sooo helpful. At any rate, they delivered it to my cousins' house that evening and I had time to dry things before the next day. (With some muttering and complaining.)

Then the next day we drove to Chicago for the wedding. My (half-cousin? Step-cousin? something like that, I'm not sure what he is technically) was getting married. Thursday we did miscellaneous things, Friday was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (my cousin John was a groomsman, so he was involved in all that), and then Saturday was the wedding.

I took some photos while I was there, and they're on Facebook: Cincinnati/Chicago Trip

By Saturday night, after having been in the same hotel room and very busy and stressed my cousins and I were all about to snap though. We all made it home without killing each other though. :P

When we got back to Cincinnati they were all out of it because they had colds, so we mostly sat around watching movies. We watched The Princess Diaries (there was nothing else in the house to watch), Waking Ned Devine, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Terminal, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Sherlock Holmes.

I'd watched Waking Ned Devine years ago, and when we started watching it I was worried at first that I wasn't going to be able to understand a word they were saying. It's a bunch of Irish people and they were mumbling in thick accents (and I didn't remember that from last time!), but they finally started talking more clearly. :D Anyway, funny movie.  

Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House I'd also seen a long time ago, and it didn't seem as funny as I remember. Perhaps because I've read the book it's based on and it just wasn't quite the same. It does star Cary Grant, so you can't go too far wrong there, but the actress playing his wife was very annoying.

The Terminal was very cute and funny at the same time. Tom Hanks, playing a foreigner with a vaguely Russian accent, stuck in an airport, was surprisingly hilarious. :) I'd definitely recommend it. I think my dad (who can't stand Tom Hanks) would even like it.

The Importance of Being Earnest: If you've ever read the Oscar Wilde play, or an adaptation of it, you know it's very amusing and satirical. The movie, while a little hard to follow simply because of the story, was very good as well and the characters seemed well-portrayed. Colin Firth is in it...and who knew Colin Firth could smile?? Not I. But he smiles quite a bit in this movie.

Sherlock Holmes: well, that required some mental distancing from the books to just enjoy it as a movie. I'm not exactly sure the characters were accurate to the books, but it was fascinating and set in a sort of steampunk England (which may have been accurate for the time? I'm not clear on the origins of that). I'd say it was probably best for the (setting? scenery? costumes? sets?)...all the stuff of a movie apart from the storyline, whatever that's called. The storyline didn't strike me as being terribly great, but I was too busy looking at the movie to notice a whole lot. Visually splendid, just don't pick it apart too much.

Okay, now that I've digressed into brief movie reviews... That's what we did in Cincinnati. My cousins also pulled out an old home video of us at our grandparents house when I was about...six, and my cousin James and I were bossing each other around. :D That then led to finding a box of old pictures and going through them. I found a couple pictures of myself as a baby, and a really cute photo of my parents when they were dating. :) Then the day before I left we went and played baseball and volleyball in the heat, and my uncle took Rebecca, Andrea, and I bowling in the evening. I can't bowl worth a darn either; I lost all three games. I blame it on not having much shoulder strength...or bowling skill. :) Despite that it was a good end to the vacation, especially since we were all tired and hyper at the end of the night, so the ride back to the house was hilarious.

Then Thursday morning I woke up feeling utterly crappy because I caught the cold, and flew home (uneventfully this time, thankfully) and collapsed on the couch. Odd vacation that I ended up having to rest from it, but it was a fun adventure. And I was extremely thankful for all the Starbucks in the Charlotte airport because I needed hot tea to make it home!

That was about a month ago, and I don't feel like I've slowed down since then, what with one thing or another. Ah well. I can put up with that. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, C.S. Lewis was awesome

Dad has been reading to Colin from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, and they're in the middle of reading The Silver Chair right now. Anyway, the one part I heard last night made me stop and listen because it's been a while since I read the books.

For some context (and it will probably only make sense if you've read the books I'm afraid) the children and Puddleglum the marshwiggle are looking for the giants' ruined city and words to tell them where to go to rescue Prince Rilian.

They discovered the words "Under Me" in the rocks, and it led them to the underground world where the prince (who is bewitched and clueless of who he really is) is being kept. They get there, and upon finding him, tell him what their quest is, and about how Aslan told them to look for the words, and they found them, right above where they fell down into the underworld. Prince Rilian proceeds to laugh at them and informs them that what they saw is the remains of the engraving on an old tombstone of a giant king, and in full the verse was:

Though under Earth and throneless now I be,
Yet, while I lived, all Earth was under me.

and that it was carved long ago, and not meant as any sign to them.

Upon hearing this, the children are extremely disheartened and figure they probably haven't found the right place after all, at which point Puddleglum interjects with the passage that made me stop and say "Wow!":

"Don't you mind him," said Puddleglum. "There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan; and he was there when the giant King caused the letters to be cut, and he knew already all things that would come of them; including this."

I knew The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was allegorical, we all know that, but I didn't remember that clear reference to God's sovereignty in this book! Simply amazing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sand, sun, sea...see?

So, the beach was very nice, my only complaint being that it was so salty. For whatever strange reason that fact hadn't even crossed my mind, so when I got splashed in the face with salty water something very suddenly (and rather painfully) clicked. Right. The ocean is salty. I knew that. And salty water in one's throat, nose, and eyes is painful. So I didn't end up going in very deep for very long. If it had been freshwater I would have put up with getting water over my head once in a while, but that was just too painful. I stayed kind of on or near the edge instead.

But the beach itself was still fun. It was nice to get wet, and sit on the edge of the beach, and get nicely sunburnt... Not my back though, I religiously applied sunscreen to my back, but figured my legs never burn anyway, so they didn't need any. Ha. I applied sunscreen later, but probably too late at that point. My face got burnt too, which I'm not sure how to explain because I did definitely put sunscreen on it. But wow, I don't recall ever burning the back of my legs before, and I was pretty much unable to stand up straight Sunday night because it pulled the skin too much. Yeah, don't mind me, I'll just be sitting on the floor. (Yes, seriously.) I think almost everyone in our group got burnt though, even the ones who applied sunscreen multiple times, so I'm not sure what was up with that.

We drove over to the beach (Atlantic Beach) Saturday afternoon, and got there in the middle of a rainstorm. So we checked in to the hotel and proceeded to get settled in and then went down to the lobby area and played games. We didn't end up going out on the beach until after dark, but then we stayed out there until around eleven, walking on the beach and the pier...and then still stayed up later talking and eating popcorn when we got back, I think. We got up Sunday morning and stayed out on the beach until mid-afternoon (yes, decided to be heathens and not go to church), then went to a friend's house and cooked shrimp and potatoes and talked and played Scattergories into the evening.

Then Monday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed at five to go to the beach and watch the sunrise (after stopping in the lobby to get large cups of coffee of course). It was definitely a "Why are we doing this, again??" moment. It was certainly worth it though.

I built a sandcastle. :)

Then after we got back we ate breakfast and headed home, stopping to see friends and drop people off on the way, which made going home seem like less of a bad thing.

All in all it was a great three days, lots of fun and laughter. When I get together with this group I always seem to end up laughing my head off or giggling helplessly. I kind of wonder whether some of them even have any idea how reasonably quiet and sane I can be. :D It somehow worked out really well, all the people we had. We all (nine people) managed to get along well all weekend, so I guess it was a good mix of personalities.

Also, the beach seems to insist on lingering with me...I'm still finding sand in things. Ugh. I'm not a big fan of sand where it's not supposed to be. Oh, interesting note: I think I actually tanned! I thought my legs were tan after the burn wore off, but then they started peeling as bad sunburn always does. But that cleared up pretty fast and when I got back from the gym tonight my mom was pointing out that I am actually at least a little bit tan. Wow, well okay, I've got the beach to thank for the fact that I'm not quite as blindingly white as I usually am. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Valerie's Happy Restroom

I unknowingly wandered into Valerie's Happy Restroom in the Charlotte airport, and thanks to the fact that she also self-promotes, I looked up her video on YouTube like she suggested. ;)

I've been annoyed by bathroom attendants before, but she was actually keeping the restroom clean and was very nice. A couple of the little kids in the bathroom really liked her singing too. :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Busyness and even more to come

It is...Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday. I finally figured that out for sure, after wandering around the house for a little while last night, holding my alarm clock and trying to remember if I needed to set it so I could get up in the morning or not. Long weekends really mess up my calendar...yesterday felt like another Saturday because Dad was home. Yes, it's Tuesday, and I'm going dancing tonight, which I'm looking forward to, because I haven't been in a long time and the next two weeks I will either be gone or very busy. I'm hoping to maybe go to contra in Cincinnati though...

Ah, let's see. For starters, I'm going to the beach next weekend with some friends! I'm very excited about this because I haven't been to the beach since I was about two, and of course I don't remember that. Mom was sort of feeling bad about that, but I pointed out that this trip will be all the more exciting because of that.

I'll get back Monday night and then I'm leaving Wednesday to fly up to Ohio to see my cousins, drive to Chicago with them for a wedding, and then back to Cincinnati for a few days before I fly home again. I'm quite excited about this too. :) I get to see a new airport in the process and see all the interesting people in the airport. Interesting/weird/however you want to put it.

So that's what's up with that. Travel! And I think my cousin Rebecca is just a bit excited that I'm coming... See? :D

On Saturday I went shopping because I realized that not only did I not have a nice dress to wear to the wedding, but I was rather low on dressier summer clothes anyway. Most of my summer stuff is skirts that I've made and such, and some of it is...well, more casual. So I went to Goodwill first of course, got up way too late for such a venture and was there at the busiest time of the day. I found a pile of dresses to try on, then found that the dressing rooms were all very full. *sigh* Finally got one (with no mirror), narrowed down the selection to four dresses, and was able to come back later and find a dressing room with a mirror...and got one dress out of the deal. :P It's a nice pale blue sleeveless linen dress that is a little bit too big, but I washed it and that made it shrink a bit. I also found a men's shirt to use as a swimsuit coverup.

But still I didn't have anything that would really work for the wedding. So I went to a few more places...found a pair of black sandals, which is nice because all I had were some with about 2.5 inch heels, and you know those weren't comfortable! But still no dress. I finally went back home, picked up Mom, and we went to a consignment store near us. The lady (and her daughter) there helped us look around and I ended up finding one dress there. It's a sort of burgundy...tunic sort of thing. I'd post a picture here, but the photo didn't turn out very well. Mom and I decided to still go look at Target too, and I found a black sleeveless dress that fits very nicely and looks very classy. Score! Two nice dresses, a pair of shoes, and I'm all set now! And both dresses are material that won't wrinkle much, so I should be able to smoosh them into my suitcase without worry.

Friday night we all went to watch the fireworks after the baseball game downtown. That turned out to be a disappointment. We watched from the parking garage up at the hospital, so we had a good view, but the fireworks were very insignificant. So Dad and Colin and I went up to King on Sunday night and saw some much better ones! I took pictures (of course).

You can see all of the pictures here: Fireworks 2010

In other news, we visited a church Sunday morning. Now, I don't mind more modern worship, as long as what they're singing has good words, but oh my. I felt horribly out of place because I didn't know most of the songs, so I couldn't sing, and the music was VERY loud. You know, music that's almost concert-level loud, and you can feel your whole body vibrating so that it feels like your heart can't beat properly? I don't find that particularly enjoyable. Goodness knows I listen to music fairly loudly, but nowhere near that loud. So yeah, that was a bit different. They finally sang two songs that I knew, "Blessed Be The Name" and a hymn with the tune modernized a bit. I want to say it was "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross", but that doesn't sound quite right. Anyway, the sermon was very very good, which I was quite honestly a little surprised by, but I don't know if I could deal with being deafened every Sunday. But anyway, that was an interesting first experience, and I'm going to be gone the next two Sundays, so I don't know where the rest of the family is planning on going.

Ah, what else? Oh, I'm trying to sew a sunhat, and I'm hoping to have it done by this weekend. I figured out last night that I needed some stiffer interfacing to get the brim to stay up, so I got that this morning. With any luck I will have a hat by the end of Wednesday.

Now, I need to take a quick nap and then find some paper and starting writing a packing list. No, make that two packing lists. Packing is going to be logistical nightmare, since I'll have a suitcase of stuff when I get back from the beach and will probably need to wash and repack some of it, adding it to other stuff (which I should have packed already) in my suitcase to go to Ohio. So yeah, I need to find some paper and start writing. Yes, I have a computer but I cannot write a packing list on the computer. I have to have real pen and paper. :D

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A few thoughts from my brain

Oh great, I decided to write a blog post and every thought immediately left my brain. Hmm...let's see.

iPads: I got to see one in person the other weekend and I was a little more impressed than I expected. Usually I have trouble with touchscreens, and on Mom's iPod Touch, the keyboard is so small I can't use it at all because I always hit the wrong keys. But this had a large enough keyboard on the touch-screen that I could actually use it. On the other hand, it worked fine sitting on the little plastic stand in the Apple store, but it was too big for me to hold in one hand comfortably (kind of defeats the purpose of the nice big keyboard too, if you have to type with one hand) and I can see how using it either flat on a desk, or on your lap could really mess up your neck and back from looking down at it all the time.

Large touch-screen

Wonderful for Google Maps. I'm very very fond of Google Maps, and this was just about the perfect device for that. Large enough that you could see a pretty big piece of map at a time, and very easy and intuitive to move around on. Easier even than on a computer where you have to click and drag with the mouse to see more of the map.

Slightly more portable than a laptop...I could probably fit one in my purse. 

Touch-screens get smeared up very fast, and it's a glossy screen so it really needs to be clean to see it properly.

Awkward to use

Not the most convenient thing for getting typical computer stuff done...not if you already have a laptop anyway.

I can't justify paying $600+ for something just because it's awesome for Google Maps. :) BUT I finally got to see one anyway! And it really was great for maps...

In other news...there are extreme disadvantages to being pale. Because of wearing two different swimsuits to the pool (switching up the strap placement on my back), I now have an awful sunburn right where my back had been protected by the straps on one swimsuit and therefore had no sun-exposure until the other day. It burnt, then it blistered and peeled, and right now it's getting better, but I'm avoiding normal shirts as much as possible and having Mom put cortisone cream on the burnt part. Ouch. Why, oh why do I always have ridiculous injuries like this? Oh, and I get to go to the pool because it's days I work and I take the little girl to the pool. :) So much more enjoyable than playing outside or walking in this heat!

I cleaned my room up the other day, getting rid of some stuff and organizing the rest, and I'm very glad to be able to see the top of my desk now. As usual, I'll see how long that actually lasts...

I'm also trying to make plans for next month. I have some time off and I want to go see my cousins, and then there's also a beach trip with some friends somewhat tentatively planned. So, fun stuff. I think this may be the busiest summer I've ever had. Which is fine with me. :)

So I guess life in a nutshell right now is work, reading, getting together with friends. Except, surely there are more things going on than that...? I guess that's the public version of what's going on. This was going to be a good post, but as I said, every decent thought left my brain and I'm left with, well, that up there. :D

Oh, to people who are commenting: I'm sorry about the annoying word-verification thing. I turned it on a while back to deal with all the spam comments I was getting, just turned it off last week and immediately started getting spammed again. So, I know it's annoying, but I have to have it on.

Monday, June 21, 2010

From Psalm 42

This hymn was in my head all day yesterday...I think I read something that referenced Psalm 42 or something, and immediately thought of this.

It's a beautiful hymn, both the words and music. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a recording of it anywhere online, so I took a picture of it from my hymnal, so if you can read music you'll have an idea of what it sounds like anyway. 662 in the Trinity Hymnal if you have one.

(Click to enlarge.)

As the hart longs for flowing streams,
So longs my soul for thee, O God.
My soul does thirst for the living God;
When shall I come to see thy face?

My tears have fed me day and night,
while men have said, "Where is your God?"
But I recall as my soul pours dry,
The days of praise within thy house

Why do I mourn and toil within,
When it is mine to hope in God?
I shall again sing praise to Him;
He is my help, He is my God.

Friday, June 18, 2010

They taste good too

I made these yesterday afternoon:

The sesame ones turned out better than the cinnamon raisin ones...looks-wise anyway.

Yum, bagels. They're the most bizarre things to make too, since you boil them before you bake them...

Friday, June 11, 2010

My latest knitting project

I finally finished my knitting project! It was going to be a whole dress, this pattern: Little Black Dress but I didn't have enough yarn, plus I knit very tightly, so it was ending up smaller than it was supposed to be anyway. So I made a tunic-y top instead. I finished it last week I think, and finally got around to taking photos of it.

(Speaking of which, I'm annoyed at how fuzzy the pictures came out. I'm guessing it was because I was using the 2 sec. remote setting, so it wasn't able to focus very clearly, or I managed to move after it did.)

Another disadvantage of the timer? Looking tense because you're trying to take the picture and hold still at the same time. Oh, and I look like I have a Barbie doll hand, because I'm holding the remote in my right hand. :D (Seriously, Barbie dolls always have their hands partially open like that...always makes sure the sleeves of their outfits get caught on the thumb...very annoying. But I digress.) 

And could my arms look any longer and skinnier?? Goodness. Maybe sleeveless isn't such a good look after all. :P

I couldn't figure out what other color of ribbon to put in it, so I just went with black. Anyway, I finally got that done, and now my only knitting project is a pair of socks that I started knitting and will have to make myself finish. I'm not too fond of how the first sock is turning out, but I'll have to make another one the same. And then I can go onto a different pattern and some awesome green sock yarn I got. Unless...hmm. Maybe I'll start on the green yarn with a different pattern and if I like how they turn out then I'll rip out the current sock and make a different pattern with that yarn! Yeah...that's sounding like a better plan.

Monday, June 07, 2010

8-15 depending on how you count

I'm never quite sure what constitutes having been to a state...staying there for a day or more? Staying overnight on a drive through? Stopping for 30+ minutes? Driving through?

I've been to 8 states if you count staying there for at least a day/sightseeing, etc.

visited 8 states (16%)

15 states if you count driving through or layovers on the way to other places/staying overnight. I'm not sure about Tennessee; it's not the most direct route, but I'm guessing we've gone through there to get to Illinois at least once.

visited 15 states (30%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Friday, June 04, 2010

Extremely long weekend

I haven't blogged much about what I've been up to the past, er, month or so, but just last weekend will require a whole blog post to itself. A whole...long...blog post.

The homeschool conference was Thursday through Saturday and there were several things I wanted to go to there, plus Mom and Dad and Colin actually ended up going this year too. I think Colin was a little disappointed in the conference; I'm not really quite sure what he expected, but he seemed a bit surprised about what it was. We all went two years ago, but apparently it was somehow much more exciting that year.

I also got to meet Lizzie and Sarah from The Random Digressors! We've been online friends for...what, two years or so? and finally got to meet in person, so that was fun! We went out for supper together Thursday evening. (I'm obviously terribly attached to my computer...and phone...and camera...)

Thursday night at the conference was the teen and alumni dance, which I went to last year and enjoyed despite the fact that I was older than a lot of the kids there. This year I think I was older than most of the kids there even though they split it up so that there was nobody younger than fifteen in that group. I don't have any problem hanging out with any age group, but it wasn't a whole lot of fun having hardly anyone my age to dance with. Plus I think I slightly freaked out a seventeen year old when I told him my age. We were talking some and I asked how old he was, because I thought maybe he was a little older.
Him: *cheerfully* "I'm seventeen"
Me: "Oh, I'm twenty..."
Him: *awkward silence* "Oh...! I see..." *awkward silence resumes until I get a new partner*

Um, okay then. Well, I complain about people saying I'm young, but that just made me feel old and creepy. :D Sheesh, only a three year difference (and I usually get along well with anyone younger than me!) but apparently this guy had a problem with that. At any rate, it didn't improve my feeling that I was older than just about everybody there and didn't exactly belong.

The dance was okay, but nobody ever really got a chance to figure out what they were supposed to be doing, so it was all a bit chaotic and not really in a fun way, at least not for me. It was supposed to be line dancing and swing dancing, but my friends who have gone swing dancing before said it wasn't the usual type, and that I need to try real swing dancing sometime. :D Comparing notes later, my we came to the conclusion that we had all three been thinking "This is making my legs hurt and isn't really that fun...why am I doing this?" So, no dance next year, I think.

What amused me was that after dancing, standing around talking, taking my friends home (Laura to the house she was house-sitting and her little brother back to their house), I didn't get home myself until nearly midnight I think. Whoo, I was out late after a....homeschool conference? Isn't that supposed to be all conservative and sedate, etc.? Well, maybe not...homeschoolers, ya know...unpredictable.

Friday I went to several sessions, bought books in the bookfair, and went to the talent show in the evening. Decided once again that I do not understand worship/liturgical dance at all, and that the videographers they had taping the show were going to have a very cheesy finished product if it looked like it did on the screens. :P I was lucky to be sitting by Laura's younger brother though, so we were able to make faces at each other about the acts that were...sarcasm-inducing, shall we say? Nah, there were some really good ones too. Some little kids who played the piano wonderfully, a group of girls who did fancy jump-rope tricks, and some guys who played guitar.

Saturday was busy: I went to one session with my brother, walked around the bookfair with the rest of my family, got lunch on the way home, got home, changed clothes, turned around and went back to meet up with Laura for the graduation. Our friend Lauren was graduating, as was Lizzie. Anyway, we sat through that and it was very, very long! It was amazing how many people were graduating, and that was only half of the group in that room because they divided it up. Then we all squished into the crowd in the hall afterward and took photos.

After the graduation Laura and I met up with her brothers and a group of college students/alumni that they hang out with and we had supper at Wendy's (I ate entirely too much fast food this past weekend. Bleah.) then went and hung out at Laura's house for a while.
One of the girls who was there is an osteopathic medicine student and she was able to do something to my neck/shoulder to make it feel a whole lot better. I'm not sure what the technical term is, but she moved my arm so that the muscles could go back to where they were supposed to be, and held it there long enough for them to relax. My back felt great after that! Laura was a little worried though...she walked in and decided it looked more like I was being tortured. "Ahh, why did I ask my friend to come over with all of you here?! Maybe that was a bad idea!" I assured her that Kim was by no means torturing me and that I was perfectly fine. :D

After we relaxed for a while and drank tea we went to play ultimate frisbee by the light of parking lot lights at Reynolda Gardens. The frisbees had lights in them too, like these: LED discs (maybe they weren't those exact ones, but something similar.) Pretty awesome!

Now, I enjoy throwing frisbees and ultimate frisbee even though I'm not very good at it, so I was having fun until I reached up (to actually catch one, surprise, surprise) and it hit my fingernails instead, bending my right ring finger fingernail back about a 1/4 inch. Not fun. At all. So after yelling in pain as it hit, and trying not to use any very bad language, I managed to tell everybody what had happened and a couple people took charge since I couldn't think straight to know what to do. Oh, and since the usual male reaction to injuries seems to be "SOMEONE'S BLEEDING?! Let me see!" several of the guys had to see my finger. :D

Stop reading if you get grossed out easily......but Laura had to bend my fingernail back for me. It hadn't broken, just bent backwards and stayed there, and there was no way I could make myself endure the pain and push it back myself. Thank goodness she's not grossed out by stuff like that. I'd been fine up until that point (I mean, apart from being in pain and bleeding!), but after that I started feeling faint. I don't pass out right away from a painful injury, but if it keeps up it's too much for me. So I sat down in the grass with my head down while Laura and our friend Rachael went to find something to wrap my finger with. Anyway, after all that I was still feeling sick and light-headed, so I didn't think I could drive home. So someone helped me to the car and Rachael and Laura took me home, although once I got sitting down I was starting to feel a little bit better. Anyway, they were all so nice about it, but I hated to ruin the game and all. Last thing I wanted was to be the drama queen getting injured and passing out. Ugh, me and my freak hand injuries. A broken finger from volleyball and now this. Yet I've played volleyball and ultimate both several times without injury, so it's not that I can't play sports or something.

So that was Saturday, I got home late, Sunday was church, a nap in the afternoon, and then Monday I pretty much sat around all day. Well, no, I made waffles for breakfast and brownies sometime in the afternoon, but other than that I think I sat around editing photos from the past few weeks. Not, however, 365 photos, because I've sadly stalled on that. I may start up again the beginning of next month, but I'm not sure. I hate to not finish that, but it seems like I've been busy with lots of little things and had hardly even taken any photos at all until the past few weeks.

To top it all off I woke up Tuesday morning a half hour after my alarm was set for, and had to rush to get ready for work, sniffling and sneezing multiple times in the process. At some point last weekend I managed to pick up a nice cold, so now I have an annoying summer cold. :D *cough, cough*

And that, was last weekend. All in all an awesome weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nearing an overabundance of catitude

So, I mentioned we have a kitten and I thought I should give a few more details on why we got her. Because we needed another cat... Ahh, not so much. An elderly lady in our church has a cat who had kittens, and she had two she couldn't find homes for, so we ended up taking one of them.

So we now have three girl cats (girl cats are very catty, btw) and just this week our oldest one (Petunia) is finally getting along with the kitten. The other cat, Gracie, is perpetually cranky now. And by perpetually cranky I mean growling and spitting at me if I even get near her, and if I do get within reach, attempting to take an arm or leg off. She is not adjusting well, to put it lightly. I'm guessing she'll eventually get over it though; I certainly hope so anyway!

This is Paisley:

She's finally letting me sleep at night, and she really is a sweet little cat. She also squeaks. Loudly. Since she's so small she doesn't have much of a voice, but man, is she whiny! You pick her up and she says "Meeeeeeep!" "Meep" and "meh" are about all she says. (And yes, I swear she's saying "meh". "I don't want to be held....mehh...!")

I was pretty ambivalent about getting another cat, but she is hilarious to have around. If nothing else I get a kick out of technically, I suppose, annoying her...except, it's really amusing her because she's so little. :) For instance, she'll watch the cursor on the computer screen until her neck must surely be hurting:

What I didn't get a video of was her sitting on my bed, wobbling back and forth, until she quite literally tipped over and fell asleep. That was pretty funny. :D

And right now I'm holding her with my left arm because she's sound asleep (as will be my arm fairly soon!) and I'm too kind to wake her up by putting her down somewhere. I should, I suppose, after she's woken me up so many times. :D

See? this was a few minutes ago.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"I don't know you..."

"...but I want you, all the more for that."

I still haven't seen the movie Once, but I so love this song from it, rivaled in the "Haunting Songs" category (in my head) only by the song Hallelujah. (And incidentally, isn't it reassuring to know I have a "Haunting Songs" category in my mental playlist? No? Yeah, I thought maybe not.) :D

(Yes, I have real things to blog about, but I haven't gotten my thoughts in order for those posts yet, so in the meantime...enjoy!)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Dash it all, they've found my kryptonite!

I generally sleep like the metaphorical log. But apparently there is one good way to wake me up immediately: tickling. Along with being a sound sleeper I am extremely ticklish...really, act like you're going to tickle me and I will cringe and possibly shriek "Noo!!"

About a month ago I was at some friends' house for a birthday party/sleepover, and seeing as it was Friday, and I had had a long week, and I no longer have the energy of the usual sleepover-aged person I laid down on the couch to rest for a while when nothing was going on. (Nevermind the fact that my friend five years older and going through med school was wide awake...she probably had coffee earlier and I had not!)

At any rate, I laid down to rest and fell asleep of course, because that seems to be what I do anymore when I lie down on a couch. Soporific things, couches. I was rudely awakened some time later, pulled off of the couch, and beaten with couch pillows. I say! Once I had my wits about me I gave as good as I got of course. ;)

But how did they manage to wake me up? When I sleep so terribly soundly? They tickled me! It's not fair, I tell you...

Then the other night I was trying to sleep...what a novel concept! And the kitten (yes, we got a kitten; more on that later) not only walked all over me like she likes to do, she sat on me and poked me in the side to wake me up. Yes, poked me in the side. Which tickled immensely and woke me up right away. It's wonder I didn't wake everyone else up also with my combination giggling and Ahh!!-ing.

So, I despair of ever getting any sleep anymore. Although, the kitten left me alone and bothered my parents last night instead. I'm sorry to report that I only laughed when they told me the kitten had kept them up...it shows how close I was to cracking if she'd pestered me one more night. :P

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Look what I got!

Or what I bought, rather. I wasn't really thinking I'd end up buying a car until this fall, but we went by the dealership Monday night and saw this car. It's a 2000 Nissan Altima, but it only has 81K miles on it! Plus it came with a warranty, so that's pretty awesome too.

Dad and I stopped by after work yesterday and test-drove it and the only problem I found with it was that it pulled to the right, but they did an alignment on it today, and it was fine when I drove it again.

So I have an awesome car! I'm so happy I can't stop grinning. :D

Two things:

I started wishing my name was shorter after signing my full name to multiple papers. Dang, my full name has a lot of letters in it...

Also, the car salesman who did all the paperwork made some remark about me being so young. I'm getting ever so slightly tired of hearing that. Yes, I'm only twenty, but really? Since when is that SO terribly young? Ah well. :D

But I have my own car. For real. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet...I suppose it might sink in when I see the chunk missing out of my bank account. ;) And now I need to wash and wax it, get the battery checked, and get a second key made...and probably some other stuff...like adjusting my budget to pay for gas and such.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh seriously

I think I've become one of those annoying adults. You know, one that remembers things from when they were younger and insists on reminiscing about when "they were your age...", to the utter boredom of the kids listening.

A couple weeks ago, one of the little girls at church was wearing a yellow dress with a lace collar and I while was looking at it, it suddenly dawned on me that it was "one of those dresses!". When I was her age (9-10ish) there were these dresses, made by My Michelle, I think; they came in various colors and fabrics, but they all had the same exact lace collar. As I recall, all the other girls my age also had one in one of the many colors they came in.

This was the only photo I could find of one of those collars.

So I of course had to tell this girl about those dresses being around when I was little. To her credit she didn't look bored. Maybe I was just an easily irritated little kid. I guess I am and always have been sensitive to anything that seems condescending, which in retrospect, stories like that are not. :P At any rate, I'll try to remember to keep my irritating exclamations to myself...or just say what the heck, and be an annoying older person... Hmm, sounds like a plan. :D

Have done this? And if you're a girl, did you have one of those dresses when you were a kid?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hi, it's Saturday

And I made another vlog. It came out a little rough because it picked up every bump I went over, and I must not have had the iPod strapped to the sun visor very well.

Oh, and to make a long story short, when I say "the cheese guy", I'm referring to a time a few years ago when my cousins were here to visit. We were a little hyper, as usually happens when we get together, and we went to the grocery store, didn't pick up enough bags of cheese, realized this in the checkout lane, and the guy working in that lane had to wait while we consulted/dithered/ran to get more cheese. Meanwhile, he stood there looking baffled and thoroughly convinced we were crazy.

Moral of the story: don't go grocery shopping with five people, and if you do, avoid making the grocery store clerk's life confusing...they can't handle it.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Okay, that's pretty funny

Or maybe I'm easily amused. I've heard the ABBA song "Take a Chance On Me" several times before and thought it was kind of a cute song. Heard it at the gym the other day and thought I'd look up the video for it. Okay, I now have a completely different view of the song after watching the video. The video is almost making fun of the song, or making it more ridiculous than it already sounds, and I just kept laughing while I was watching it. :D

It also occurred to me that "Why Not Me" by the Judds is almost the same premise. What's up with that?

Overabundance of makeup either way. :D

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Well, it occurred to me

On a scale of 1 to 10, how morbid is it that I was thinking about cremation the other day? I wasn't really thinking about it morbidly though, it was just something that occurred to me, possibly because we've met for church in a funeral home chapel the past few weeks. (While that sounds a bit strange, it's really not...it's a lovely chapel, away from the rest of the funeral home and it's certainly much quieter than the hotel meeting room where we were meeting, where there were pans being thrown around in the kitchen on the other side of the wall.)

At any rate, it suddenly occurred to me that I would much prefer cremation to a typical casket burial (is there an exact term for that?), which got me thinking about why more people aren't cremated and trying to think if there was any Biblical reason why that wouldn't be a good thing.

After a little bit of reading about it, the only things I can come up with is that it is somewhat similar to a pagan funeral pyre, which I had thought of, or that it shows some denial of belief in the resurrection of the body. The former sounds more valid than the latter to me. No matter how we're buried, the body is dead and will decompose.

It seems to me like it would be rather symbolic for the body to be returned to dust, such as it was formed from. Is there something I'm missing? Some scriptural/traditional/comforting reason that people have to see the body and it has to be embalmed and buried?

I've only been to three visitations, two of which were relatives, so I had no option but to see the person's body both of those times. Granted, both times I was fairly young, and maybe as an adult this would make more sense. As a kid, I didn't want to go up there...not out of any particular fear, per se, but I just found it extremely weird. And obviously I had no morbid curiosity either. I knew the person was dead, and didn't see what viewing the body one more time was going to accomplish other than making me cry more. As I said, not having been to a funeral in the past nine years or so, I may completely understand if I had to go to one now. In my mind though, I don't.

That's why I wonder if there's something I'm missing. Some reason my loved ones would not want me to be cremated when I die, which, barring a tragic accident/health problem probably isn't going to be anytime soon. :P Cremation, and having the ashes buried in a cemetery seems much nicer to me. But perhaps there's some comfort or some sort of closure (hate that term, by the way) in seeing the deceased person's body? If any of my close relatives died (which is a horribly sad thought) I don't feel as if I would want to be a part of an open casket funeral/visitation. Anyway, with my pondering of this I guess I sort of decided I want to be cremated, provided there's not some horrific reason why that's not an option.

And in closing, death isn't morbid really, not for Christians. When we die we're going to heaven, to be with the Lord, forever away from the curse of sin, which is truly wonderful, more wonderful than anything on this earth!

All the same, this was a slightly weird post...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Just thought I'd share

I just ran across this blog and entry recently and it thoroughly cracked me up. I'm giggling because she's so spot on! :D

How to Impress a Boy by Baking

And yes, pie seems to be quite impressive. I don't know what it is, but pie is always raved over. Some guys don't like chocolate things, or cake, or even to bother with cookies, but there's probably some sort of pie they adore!

Unless for some strange reason they don't like any baked goods, there's always at least one dessert they really, really like and would be thrilled to have made for them. Girls, please don't abuse that though...it's not fair to the guys. ;) Unless of course you have a really good reason...but...yeah...*cough* I'm just saying it doesn't hurt to have a sort of mental list of what desserts your male acquaintances like, but use it responsibly please. :D

Which reminds me, I should make some oatmeal cookies sometime soon. My dad really really likes them...and I should also make some chocolate chip cookies because, well, I rather like them and want some myself!