howeverbrief: (Temp)
Augh, I think this week is going to be crazy, so let's try again...

Read more... )

Two days seems to be my record for the moment. I'll try again later. Thanks for putting up with my short bursts about this trip. Hopefully headed toward done soon.
howeverbrief: (Temp)
I took the day off today to take Olive to the vet. It really didn't take that long and I could've easily gone back to work, but at the time I requested it at work, I had no time off in sight and really wanted at least something to look forward to since we were still stuck in codification hell. This was before I asked for the time off to go to Vegas weekend before last, and I must say, it's a little weird to have a random Tuesday off.

Anyway, it's been a nice enough day. I slept in a little bit then got up to exercise to an older DVD I have that took 45 minutes of my day and kicked my ass. I had semi-planned on getting the bloodwork my doctor requested during my appointment last Monday, but I realized pretty quickly after that that I wasn't going to be able to continue fasting and be able to stay upright. I'll have to figure out another time to do that now. Yay, being an adult.

We took Olive to the vet after that, and she was really vocal on the way to the office. Otherwise, there's not much to report. She was there for a recheck on her bloodwork to see if the medication she's on has brought her thyroid under control enough for her to have surgery to remove the mass from her leg (which has grown a little bit but doesn't really concern the vet?) and to fix her teeth. We'll find out the results tomorrow. She hasn't lost weight, though, so hopefully it will work out.

After the appointment, Mike took me to breakfast (pupusas for the win) and then got ready to go because he has yet another food show to do, this time in Livermore woo. He's supposed to have a lot of customers there, though, so he should get a lot of followup business out of it (even though he's semi-drowning in followups from his last show). Hopefully it's not too painful, though.

Other than that, I took a long walk, messed around on the internet, and started a knitting project while watching too much TV, so not a very productive day. Hey, if you're going to ditch work for a vet appointment, might as well. I'll get to the bills tomorrow or something.

Some other recent happenings worth noting:
My brother got a new job! He's been very miserable at his current work since new management took over, and his last day there is this Friday. I found out he is going to do part-time work there to help with the transition while working 40 hours a week at the new gig, though, which I think is way too much given the way they've treated him. He's got to figure that out, though.

On a similar note, my younger sister has a few job interviews this week since her job with the university is not being renewed. Fingers crossed those go well. I wish I could say the same for my older sister, but that's neither here nor there.

We went to a show on Friday evening: Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science Tour
It was fun! He did three different segments: Food God (on what he would do if he were Food God, like banning children's menus for example), Pick Your Poison (where an unlucky volunteer from the audience got to test Alton's theory on the best cocktails being three ingredients and how to use science to improve the ensuing rum-brandy-pixie sticks cocktail that ensued from the random nature of choosing the ingredients slot machine style), and Popcorn (where another unlucky volunteer helped build a giant working model of popcorn that popped all over her as well as showed off his giant popcorn maker that makes 4 bushels of popcorn at once). He also sang several songs, pronounced Nevada wrong, and was very, very snarky. Haha. It was a good time. My brother also went to the show, so we saw him afterward. He was convinced the volunteers from the audience were plants, but I wasn't so sure, considering how hard Alton was on them. Also, Alton had some saltier jokes and more of an adult edge to him that was different from his "Good Eats" show though the show was overall kid friendly. Very funny.

My in-laws 50th anniversary is this September. Need to figure out what were doing for that. Hmm... It still kind of boggles my mind that they were married the day before my parents were (11 years before that too, but just an odd coincidence). Our anniversary is very close by too, but we had a little bit more say in that: September 7th is ours. September 9th is Mike's parents. September 10th is my parents. September is, of course, a popular month for weddings, but it's still kind of nuts. That's a long time to be married, too.

But uh, I guess I should try to wind down and get ready for bed.
howeverbrief: (Skull)
I had a dream the other night that I lived in an apartment with my former friend Peter. (I say former because he blocked me on facebook a while back over who knows what, and, well, I'm fairly sure I won't see or hang out with him again because he's kind of crazy.) Anyway, while I was at work, someone broke into the apartment and stole a bunch of my things, including all my clothes. Peter said something about how all my things were in the building next door, and I needed to get them out before the thieves came back for them the next day. I went to look at the building and saw my clothes scattered all over the floor covered in broken glass from the large picture window the thieves broke while putting my stuff in the building. Well, I had to go to work again, and the next day, I came home in time to see Eddie Huang (who I can only think was in my head because of this commercial?) taking the rest of my things and disappearing through the door. Meanwhile, Peter had gotten some things replaced, and I had nothing left. My mom showed up for a visit and asked how I was doing. When I said I was exhausted, she said, "Oh, she's not that tired. She's had five days off."

Yeah, uh, whatever. I guess it beats the dream I had Friday night that I was late for work, my shower was outside, and people kept coming in and interrupting me.

Yesterday, Mike and I went to Smith to celebrate my mom's birthday early. We went to the Heyday and had a nice lunch before heading back to their place to set up the fitbit I got Mom for her birthday because her other one broke a few days ago as well as an account so she could get her DNA sample in the mail. (That one was partially selfish because I want to see how her DNA matches up with mine. Heh.) She also gave us some documents about her dad's family tree, and Mike got a copy of my dad's verb book to send to his dad. (My bad. Mike asked me ages ago to do this, and I forgot.) We also spent some time talking before we had to head out.

It was a good time. Afterward, we got some groceries and headed home for a late dinner, and exhaustion set in.

Today wasn't much. We slept in late, went out for breakfast and ran a few errands before he had to go to Livermore. (He got stuck in a traffic jam because of the incoming snowstorm, though, so he's barely made it after hours on the road. Kinda sucks. Barring bad weather, at least he'll be back tomorrow.) I took a walk after he left and then watched a show about Robert Hawkins that was super depressing. (Spoiler alert: He shot up a mall in Omaha in 2007, but his parents did damn near everything to help him before then.) So now I'm trying to dig myself out of that hole before it's time for bed and work and blah.

Let's see. I got a sleep machine from Amazon, and it has been helping my sleep somewhat. I feel like I've slept more deeply the last few nights, but certain things are still waking me up: Mike snoring, his CPAP machine screwing up, and the heat turning on at night being the big three reasons I'm still waking up. It could be that I just haven't figured out the optimum settings for the machine yet, but I'll keep working with it. For its part, it does help me get back to sleep more easily if I'm not worrying about other things, so that's a plus. We'll see.

There's other stuff going on, but it's more personal. I'm not sure if I want to talk about it just yet.
howeverbrief: (Temp)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Uh.... a big 10-4 there, good buddy. My room was filled with stuffed animals as a kid. Because my dad still lives in the house I grew up in, I think the closet still is. When I was really young, I thought they were alive and talked and did stuff when I was out of the room. I also took special pains to not make others jealous when I was spending a lot of time with a particular stuffed animal.

(Toy Story came out when I was 12, if you're curious. That movie's not the reason I felt that way, though I did identify with that movie a lot. Haha.)

I wouldn't say that I had an absolute favorite. Different times in my life, I was obsessed with different toys. For example, when I had hernia surgery in the second grade, I took my bear Nyla with me. (I remember the nurses put a mask on her and gave her "anesthesia" as well.) Another year for Easter I think, I got a white rabbit in a green velveteen suit that I loved. (I really enjoyed The Velveteen Rabbit as a kid, which is probably more accurately the place I got the idea that toys were real. I think I won the book in a contest at school or the library. That was probably around that time.) A different Christmas, my mom had seen me eyeing a bear that was a chimney sweep named Sooty Sam. (I like Mary Poppins, but I'm not sure why I was so obsessed with this bear in particular. I must have really annoyed them with my screeches about "Sooty Sam!" that year.) When I was a little older, my parents brought back a bear that was wearing a shirt collar and tie. I then became obsessed with finding him a wife. (Not sure why. I was never wedding crazy as a kid. I just didn't want my animals to be without friends and mates.)

And along with all this, there were too many cat stuffed animals to count, some of which I even sewed myself. I'm pretty sure there's a row of them still in the closet at my parents' home because I organized things like that. I could probably still tell you all their life stories. Weirdo.

Do I still enjoy them as an adult? Uh... I don't have a guest room filled with them or anything. I don't talk to Mike with my squishible mini t-rex and the other dinosaurs plus various other characters I own an annoying and unhealthy amount of the time. (Wait, I do. Oops.) Not to mention I bought him a police officer puppet named Cyrus who is a filthy, dirty cop on our honeymoon who likes to talk about drugs and whores and who has since had a barely legal (or illegal?) teen puppet in a cheerleading outfit named Megan join him. (Mike generally voices both of them, though he insists my voice for him is creepier.)

Ah, anyway, I probably have more animals than a self-respecting 32-year-old should have, but there you go.
howeverbrief: (Temp)
The weirdest friendships you find yourself in once you hit 30

Well! That was... kind of depressingly accurate. Food for thought, I suppose. Damn.

EDIT: Haha, this comic was the next entry down on my friends list. Thanks, livegerbil.
howeverbrief: (Ink)
Oh HAI, livejournal. I should update you, but tabular_rasa kindly asked me some questions I'd rather answer before I forget. If you'd like 5 questions, reply "Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock!" in the comments.

What is your favorite thing about where you live? (Take that to mean what you will: your city, your neighborhood, your home itself, etc).
I wish I could say I adjusted to being a city person (if you can even count Reno as a city, with its "Biggest little city!" status), but even though I lived there about ten years, I never quite adjusted. This isn't to say that I would never consider living in a bigger city than I'm used to, but given where I grew up, I'm pretty comfortable with small towns.

This town is particularly nice because it's not big and crowded with people, but it's also not so far away from places that are both less populated (like my parents' place) and places that have much more going on (like Reno or the Bay Area or, you know, an airport). It's pretty much the best of both worlds because I can hide from people when I want to but get to wherever else I'd like to be without much trouble.

Long story short, I like the size of where I live. Plus my house is pretty awesome too.

What is the last new thing you learned?
I think it was that there's another size of bed. I'd never heard of an Olympic Queen before, but I don't think it's very common. Ebay has a buying guide on bedding for them. I guess the difference between a normal queen and an Olympic Queen is about six inches in width. I only learned about this because the bedding we bought had measurements for an Olympic Queen.

(We got our bed today. It's giant and hopefully will be much more awesome than sleeping on the floor.)

If you could know your own future, would you want to know? Why or why not?
Hmmmmm. That is a hard question. On one hand, I'd like to know because I'm pretty paranoid about wanting to do a good job and would like to know that everything turns out okay in the end. On the other, I still want to believe that I can change things for the better if I keep trying to improve. I want to believe that I have control over my life to some extent, and if I knew what happened in the future, I might not strive or try to do other things that weren't in line with what I already know. (I may have some control issues and seen too many movies on time travel, haha.)

What are your thoughts on nudity? Do you like being naked? Does it depend on the context?
I think nudity is okay to some extent, though I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out it depends on the context. I am pretty modest, all things considered. The most skin I'll show is usually when I'm wearing workout clothes, and even then, it's nothing too scandalous. Since I don't have much in the way of curves to show off (and clothes don't always fit my proportions right), I don't tend to show a lot of skin to begin with, and I think I'd feel pretty uncomfortable being nude in public. I'm okay with nudity in the right situation, but I don't seek out time to be naked. I'm usually fine with it when it happens for the right reason, though. ;)

In the first round of a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock! which would you choose, and why?
I have to admit that even though I have heard of this variant of rock, paper, scissors, I had to look up the rules to find out what Spock and lizard can do. Usually, I'd pick scissors, as it's my go-to in the traditional game, but given Leonard Nimoy's recent passing and what the sign can do, I'd say Spock.
howeverbrief: (Black)
I see the Writer's Block involves vaccination. I rolled my eyes and didn't read the whole thing. My brother and Mike's nephew Alex are both on the autism scale, with my brother leaning more toward what was called Asperger's and Alex leaning more toward very high-functioning autism. I entirely doubt this has anything to do with the fact they were vaccinated, especially given the science that has discredited the initial study that suggested vaccination causes autism. I'm also very glad they both were vaccinated because they are some of the best people I know. They are who they are, autism spectrum or not, and they're also still alive. Autism isn't the enemy, and people shouldn't be scared of it. When it comes to diseases that have been already cured for many years, I'm always going to argue for the cure. I've tried to see the other side's point of view, and I just can't. I think it is dangerous and misinformed at best. If this makes me hypocritical about this particular issue, I don't care.

Last weekend was Valentine's day and our three-year anniversary of the day we met. (It seems both longer and shorter than that somehow.) Mike made dinner on Valentine's day, and we had lunch with my parents on our anniversary so we could spend the evening together as well. It was nice that we had the whole weekend off, even if I had to use some of it to do general maintenance, which is what happens when you don't have too many days off in a row-- stuff like get haircuts and clean house and try to recharge while also spend time with people you don't get to see otherwise. It's a bit hard to manage to be honest, but it works, I guess.

More on Valentine's day: Mike got me this dude (Steggy) because I'm weird and obsessed with dinosaurs lately. Also, heh, something sexy. I got him AIDS and a Jesse, also because I'm weird. (AIDS is forever!) Mike made Oysters Rockefeller and tried and failed to make pizza (frozen and thawed pizza dough is the devil), and I made raspberry claufoutis which turned out pretty tasty (even though Mike still cooks way more than I do).

More on the 15th: Mom is doing pretty well. Her grip is coming back, and since she doesn't have a cast and doesn't have to wear a sling, it's not readily apparent she broke her arm. We had a very nice lunch at Tahoe Ridge Winery (a local winery in Minden that is opening a branch very close to our house soon), and afterward, it was fun to do a little infused olive oil tasting (they have a lot of different olive and balsamic oils). Mike ended up getting basil oil and cinnamon pear balsamic for other cooking adventures. After running more errands, we had dinner and watched Punch Drunk Love because our TV was still broken.

Hmm, what else happened this week? Right, a technician came out and fixed the TV. From what Mike said, the screen and motherboard had to be replaced entirely, and when I came home on Tuesday, the screen stayed on for more than five minutes! Just subtract from that the fact that the colors still get inverted from time to time. Ugh. We're pretty sure that the HD cables are to blame now, but if we replace those and are still having problems, we're going to have a serious talk with Directv, mostly because this has been going on for far too long and we have a bit of a background noise addiction that has been highlighted in recent weeks.

However, we encountered a new problem Wednesday that needed a more immediate fix this weekend. I had noticed that our queen-sized bed, which I've had since I was about 14, has been very squeaky lately. The baseboard has been separating from the sideboard, and I've been pushing them back together in the hopes that they won't break.

You know where I'm going with this.

Mike hopped on the bed Wednesday night, and I noticed that the joint was separated more than usual. I made him get off the bed to check out the situation and see if I could strengthen it somehow, but Mike hopped on it again, and the screws gave and tore right out of the wood, banging that corner of the bed onto the floor. I panicked and called my mom, thinking she might have an idea on how to fix it but to no avail. It's done. We dismantled it, put the pieces in the guest room, and have been sleeping on the mattress on the floor since. We're going to try to find a way to donate the headboard and baseboard somewhere, but we have no way to make it work for us again.

That did give us a chance to upgrade to a king bed with a new mattress yesterday, though. ;) The actual buying of the bed and mattress process wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, but trying to find a comforter set proved to be much more complicated than I thought, maybe because I thought Mike wouldn't care at all but surprised me by giving me lots of input and searching several stores then the internet with me until we found what would work.

What's funny about that is he actually just ordered the set we're going to use as I was typing this, so that's a bit of a ridiculous two-day process over what's basically a blanket and pillows. It's pretty though.

Poor Mike. Sorry you've been stuck in domestic hell lately. We ought to be set up by next Saturday hopefully.

Other than that, Mike's in Livermore for the monthly sales meeting. I worked two hours today. This is mostly babbling without a point. The cat is snoring behind me, and my feet are freezing. So it goes.
howeverbrief: (Smile)
Jeezy creezy, how long has it been? Well, I looked at the grease burn on my hand yesterday and remembered I got it last week, and even that feels like it happened so long ago that I could barely believe it.

I guess I should back up.

Last Thursday, Nevada's governor held a press conference that basically said that Tesla (the big fancy electric car company) had finally chosen our state for their huge gigafactory after months of dicking us, California, New Mexico, and Texas around. This has the potential to be great news, as it would be a huge economic boom for Nevada in terms of jobs and investments. However, in order to broker this deal, the Governor had to get the legislature to approve it.

Ah ha, there's the catch. The governor had to call a special session to do that.

I spent most of Friday worried that I wouldn't be able to go on the weekend trip that Mike had planned for our anniversary, which was Sunday. We were lucky, though. Work told us Friday afternoon that we would have to come in on Sunday at noon to prepare for special session, which gave me and Mike time to stay at the beautiful condo Mike rented for two nights. We ended up barbecuing, using their jacuzzi, running around Tahoe a bit and generally enjoying what time we had. The only real downside to the trip was the aforementioned grease burns on my hand and foot, which happened when Mike was frying bacon next to me for breakfast, but given the rest of the trip and all he did while I was neck deep in work (cooking, grocery shopping, and laundry!), I can't really hold it against him. He's really very sweet. Hopefully the scrapbook I made (which arrived after our anniversary, so he got to open it while I was working late one night) was an acceptable consolation prize. He did get year-old frozen cake out of the deal too. Haha.

Work from Sunday at noon on was insane. I think I worked more hours of overtime from Monday to Thursday than I did regular hours; and we had more than our fair share of hiccups because certain parts of our program hadn't been tested completely for the random out-of-nowhere session; but we made it through somehow. Hell, considering we had less than half of the staff we usually have during a regular session (because of temporary positions, people on vacation, and a sudden death in the family of one of our managers), I think we did pretty well. The legislature passed their four bills, and now it's up to Tesla to follow through. We'll see what happens.

What's more important for me is session ended Thursday around 10:00 at night, so now maybe we can get back to the projects we were working on before. My boss was kind enough to get Friday off for our unit, which was probably pretty wise because we wouldn't have been very productive after all that. I've still managed to overdo it this weekend with the projects (and the fitbit), but it's still been nice to have the time off to kind of pick up where I left off on personal things as well as continue to organize parts of the house which aren't so efficient right now. We also bought more furniture, but I think we're nearing the end of our upgrades in that department. Neverending tasks, you know.

Anyway, life is pretty positive at the moment. I'm running short of motivation at the moment, but hopefully we can keep this momentum going.
howeverbrief: (Ink)
I've been listening to Against Me!'s newest album, "Transgender Dysphoria Blues" quite a bit lately. As you might guess from the title, the album deals a lot with transgender issues, as the band's frontwoman, Laura Jane Grace (formerly Tom Gabel), came out as transgender a few years ago. I've written about her previously, probably because I relate to her themes of alienation, depression, awkwardness and loneliness on a certain level, but I also feel like there are parts of her music I will never understand. As a woman who is not overly feminine but has also never questioned her gender, I can't imagine what it's like to trans. I ask myself how she does it, what it would be like, and I just don't know.

I suppose it's selfish to ask those kinds of questions, as if that hypothetical would somehow make me seem more compassionate when it really just centers the discussion around me again. That's just a round-about way of being self-obsessed, and yet I've managed to do this repeatedly even as I've become more aware of it anyway.

But aside from that navel gazing, I wanted to post this song, probably because it sounds like a morbid love song at first.

Lyrics )

All that might be true. Two coffins could be for anyone, especially for you and a significant other because who wants to think about the impossible eternity of death and losing the partner you've agreed to share your life with. 'Til death being a pretty prominent part of the traditional vows and all.

Still, the word "little" being thrown into the mix makes me wonder if she's singing to her daughter, who would be about five now. (And looking up links in the course of writing this entry, I've confirmed this.) That interpretation of the song makes me more sad if it's true, like trying to explain this to a child makes it all the more tragic. At least your significant other understands death on the same level you do.

Given life lately, these lines has been kind of soothing: "All the things I have yet to lose will someday be gone too/Back into annihilation." It matters now, but it won't always. Regardless of what's remains, there's something to be said for the passage of time.

Now I'm 31

Jul. 28th, 2014 06:48 pm
howeverbrief: (Black)
But on a lighter note, my birthday was very nice. When midnight struck, Mike mentioned that one of my gifts hadn't shipped yet and showed me this online. Haha, very good.

When we woke up to get ready, Mike showed me my other gift-- a small Jelly Tiger. He's super cute, though the tag says he's bashful. Considering how obsessed I have been with my T-rex lately, I have declined to make him talk so far. Heh.

We went to Reno to meet my parents and younger siblings for breakfast, specifically for Stonehouse Cafe's amazing breakfast. (Seriously, check out those menus. So tasty.) I had the Bing Cherry french toast, and it's as delicious as the description implies-- "Three slices of Ciabatta bread dredged through Stone House batter. Topped with cherries and Leopold Bing Cherry liqueur sauce and whipped cream." Drool. Mike had the chile verde omelet. Pretty much everyone's food looked scrumptious. Much better than when I was there for my brother's birthday, when I'd just had my wisdom teeth out. Sheesh. (Who am I kidding? It was delicious then too, just a little harder to eat.)

My sister had to go to work, so she gave me her gift (a mason jar coffee mug which is pretty cool) then split. My brother was very tired from the night before (his work is putting him through the ringer lately, boo), but he stuck around to watch me unwrap presents and give me a gift card. My parents gave me several really nice gifts, which kind of surprised me. (I had only asked for some more dishes because my mom had suggested it. I didn't know she had other stuff in mind.) So I was very surprised and thankful for that. Unfortunately, Mike had to leave for the monthly sales meeting in Livermore that afternoon, so he took off after that. The remaining four of us ducked into a local store to see what they had, and then my brother split, probably for a nap.

My parents were nice enough to take me all over the place shopping. Since I recently cleaned out my closet, it was good to pick up a few more pieces of clothing, somewhat because I get bored with what I have but more because session is coming up and I won't have time to deal with much once that hits. It was nice to spend time with them as well. Doesn't happen too often anymore, just because that's how life's been shaking out lately.

When I got home, I found my older sister and aunt had called, so I called them back and had very nice conversations with both of them which lasted longer than they usually do, probably good because I wasn't exactly sure what to do with myself otherwise. Mike also got into Livermore safely, and I talked to him for a little while before he went to dinner. After that was pretty boring but relaxing--walk, PT exercises, dinner, more leftover cake that my mom made, checking facebook and responding to birthday messages (including many very nice ones from Mike's family), TV, a shower then bed.

All in all, it was a pretty good birthday, especially since I had absolutely no expectations for it. I heard from people who care, and I had a good day. Can't ask for anything more.
howeverbrief: (Winter)
+Walked almost 40 minutes this morning, which is close to the pace I used to have, because my physical therapist suggested I start trying to take longer strides again.
-Got pretty sunburned in the process.
+Ate delicious food at Villa Basque Deli and Cafe, which doesn't have a proper website but has been up and running for 30 years. Pretty good odds for repeat visits, I'd say.
+Got a steam mop for cleaning the hardwood floors, which was a little spendy but totally a delight to work with. I cleaned the floors in about the time it took to wash a load of clothes, which is a vast improvement considering how much I hate mopping. Would do again.
-The cat food we buy in bulk (specifically, their indoor, advanced age and hairball treatment food that they love) was only being sold in a small bag at the pet store. Mike had to find a way to order some online. First world problems.
+Didn't spend too much on groceries because we were full and didn't have a lot on our list. This might backfire later in the week when we don't know what to have for dinner, but it was nice to save a little money.
+/-It rained. (Plus because it's good for our drought. Minus because it's making all my joints scream.)
-I managed to trip on my computer cord and fall pretty hard on my knees and somehow scrape up the toes on my good foot at the same time. That sucked. Hopefully it won't be too bad tomorrow.
+Mike made sausage and grits for dinner. He's feeling a little better after his endoscopy procedure on Thursday, and it looks promising that he doesn't have Celiac's Disease, though his stomach is inflamed, the doctor took a polyp from the bottom of his esophagus and he might have ulcers. Still waiting for the results on that, but he seems okay if not sore.
+Mike also got a different C-PAP machine which seems to be working better for him and not waking me up as much. So far, so good.
-The ceiling fan in our master bedroom is semi-broken and only works when it wants to right now, which is unfortunate because we can't simultaneously leave the sliding door open at night (which would help with the heat in the room) and set the alarm (which helps calm my anxiety concerning other people). Boo.
-My sister's dog (who I looked after for two years and was a little over eleven years old) died a few days ago from a heart condition. :(
+The laundry just dinged, so that means I can go to bed soon.

And I still haven't updated about our recent vacation to Cedar City, but hopefully I'll get motivated to do so before too many other things happen and I forget. There are at least some nice pictures up on facebook. Shrug.

Hello, July

Jul. 5th, 2014 01:18 pm
howeverbrief: (Temp)
We had a fun couple of days with the Nelsons (my sister-in-law and her family) in and around the 4th of July. We spent some time in Tahoe (when she wasn't sick, poor thing), ate some nice meals together and took a nice catamaran ride to see fireworks on the 3rd. We also hung out, played games and had barbeque with my mom, brother and younger sister in Reno yesterday for the holiday proper. It was all very nice and fun. There are some pictures of the catamaran ride on facebook if you're interested, though I didn't get any from yesterday. Mike is on Instagram too. He tends to take a lot more pictures than I do these days.

Hope you all had a great holiday if you celebrate! :) As you might be able to tell from my lack of description, I am currently in "super-drained-because-I'm-an-introvert" mode and hardly want to do anything now. Wish there was an easier way to combat that besides spending time not interacting for a while. I think today's probably going to be pretty unproductive. Woo.
howeverbrief: (Temp)
Let's see.

I shaved 8 minutes off my mile walk time since last week. Not too shabby.
(45 minutes two weeks ago. 40 minutes one week ago. 32 minutes this morning.)

I sat with the kitties for a while this morning, which doesn't happen too often for too long.

I also lifted weights and did my physical therapy exercises.
(Damn, I've gotten weak. It's almost like I used to work with weights twice a week then stopped doing it for three months because I couldn't use my arms. Weird.)

I started laundry because that's a given Saturday task.
(Still incomplete right now.)

I went through the clothes in my closet, chest of drawers and storage containers, and I managed to put together four garbage bags full of clothes to give to charity.
(Good lord. Why do I have so many clothes? Oh right, I'm a friggin' yuppie.)

Mike and I cleaned out the meat and cheese drawer in the fridge then went grocery shopping even though we didn't need a lot.
(Managed to spend more than we do when we actually need stuff. Mike laughed and said it's always that way.)

I haven't been on the internet since about 3:00 yesterday, which is odd.
(After work and therapy, we ate at IHOP because Mike's so carb-starved, he's now craving pancakes, which he doesn't really like normally. We also watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on a VHS tape Mike brought when he moved because I still have a TV with a VHS player in it in the bedroom. Haha, good times.)

Now Mike's making a low-carb casserole, partially because I wondered if it was possible to have such a thing since the binders in casseroles are usually pretty starchy. He found a recipe that seems promising, though--sausage, cauliflower, mushroom, chicken casserole with cheese. Sounds tasty anyway.

The dryer is beeping upstairs, so that's probably about enough of that.

EDIT: Oh, and I bought this guy last week, and it's one of my new favorite things. No foolin'.
howeverbrief: (Winter)
I hate you, new livejournal layout. Haaaate you.

Now that that's over with, commence with the other complaining.

Ah, not entirely. I took a walk today. I went a little over a mile in 45 minutes. This is still pretty pathetic compared to what I used to do (3+ miles in an hour), but it's better than using crutches. It's just disheartening when someone rolls by on a bicycle and asks, "Did you pull a muscle or something?" No, no. It's okay. I just broke my foot the beginning of the year. Carry on.

(Also the lady at work who told me I look lopsided can kiss my ass.)

I've been trying to walk a lot more because at my last appointment, the doctor said I have osteopenia, which means the bones are not as dense as they should be. The doctor called them "moth eaten" again and said he hoped I'd be off the crutches by the time I see him again in a couple of weeks. Mission accomplished on that one at least. He said the osteopenia is from disuse, and I can reverse it by walking. (Also, osteopenia is what the astronauts get! Breaking your foot is totally like going to the space station! LOL.)

I still have quite a bit of pain, so it's hard to walk normally. At physical therapy, the therapist told me to try not to limp as well as take smaller steps, which I'm finding difficult on top of trying to focus on putting my heel on the ground first and following through to my toes. (Apparently I've been walking wrong my whole life, which I guess isn't surprising since I had to wear Stride Rites as a kid because I was slightly pigeon-toed.) When I mentioned the osteopenia, the therapist tried to tell me it wasn't causing me any pain and that that might have been what broke my foot in the first place. (Haha, no. I have a hard time believing my bones were that weak with how much I walked and exercised before I was clumsy and stupid on the stairs. Try again.)

Any kid (girl) Mike and I have is most likely going to have foot/leg problems, considering my issues, my family's general problem with weak ankles/joint problems, and both Mike's mother and sister having foot and leg casts in the past. Woo! Good thing we don't have to think about that for a few years? I dunno. Great topics to have on hand.

I keep trying to find a suitable place for this to go, but I have a massive sinus headache right now. Also fun! Curse you for trying to take care of your foot before you take care of your face, past Fiona.

(Don't worry. I'll still thank you later. Probably.)
howeverbrief: (Black)
I keep meaning to update about Utah, but my sinus infection has come back full force (with prednisone completely out of my system and round seven of antibiotics finished on Monday), and I have felt pretty tired and awful. Still, here's a start to that. If I don't end up finishing it in one go (and you're still interested), come back for edits and updates. (Also, if you're friends with me on facebook, you'll have already seen the avalanche of pictures. Haha, oops.)

Read more... )

EDIT: And wow, I think that's pretty much it.
howeverbrief: (Ink)
So last night, I had a dream I had a baby, only I was the dad. I was holding my new baby, and while his mother was getting ready for church (which we were late for), I not only couldn't find anything to change his diaper, I also couldn't convince her that we needed a car seat to take the baby in the car. Somehow, I was the stereotypical, clueless dad, and I was fairly sure our kid was going to get damaged somehow.

I also dreamed I was in a shopping mall. While there, I heard an advertisement about "jelly clips" and how they help teenagers' social lives. A teenaged girl happened to be walking by, and she was fretting over what to do about prom. I steered her toward the clips in this store, and when she thanked me, I told her not to because all I had done was listen to an ad.

After that, I went toward the bathrooms, and a woman with her young child approached me and talked about how she needed to feed her child. I was friends with this woman in the dream, and when we went in the bathroom, there was a cat there that was a combination of Olive and Squeaky who I called Kiki (thereby making a mix of all three major cats I've had in my life) hanging out on the changing table who hissed at us. I went in another room and somehow ended up in space, where actual Kiki was sleeping on top of the world, and a narrator said something like, "And that's how Kiki gets her reward."

Whatever. This is the same cat who in real life likes to shit on the rug to get attention though her litter box is cleaned very regularly. Ugh.

We got to go to my friend Aurora's kid's second birthday party today. It was pretty fun, different from last year because I think Ayla was a bit more aware of what was happening. Very cute. She is so big, it's ridiculous. Hard to believe that she was born not too long after Mike and I met, and Mike and I went to her first birthday party last year. Sheesh.

Since it is Aries birthday season, we also went to sushi afterward to celebrate Mike's birthday early. We had originally planned on going up to Tahoe tomorrow to a different sushi place, but Mike decided he wanted a day to just veg at home this weekend, which suits me just fine. I'd do anything he wants, but I admit I'm glad to have a day a little closer to home, especially with my foot not being 100% yet. He's a good husband. His actual birthday is on Tuesday, which is a bit of a bummer, but it'll be fun nonetheless (hopefully).

Yaaaaaawn. Okay, well, that's about where we're at right now. More later.
howeverbrief: (Ink)
Now for something different, though topical.

If you haven't heard by now from numerous news outlets, Fred Phelps, Sr., founder of the Westboro Baptist Church has died. (Oh yes, they of the "God hates fags" picketing fame.) One of his estranged sons reported that he was near death a few days ago, and since then, certain news about him has trickled out.

What's interesting, however, is the own church's media response to his death. Most notable to me is the last paragraph of their statement:

God forbid, if every little soul at the Westboro Baptist Church were to die at this instant, or to turn from serving the true and living God, it would not change one thing about the judgments of God that await this deeply corrupted nation and world. That is the pinnacle of your hopes, and by far the most vain. Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, or the power of God.

If this is true, then they can feel free to stay silent for the rest of their days, but I digress a little. Let me back up.

What I found telling is the news that within the last few years, Fred Phelps, Sr. had been excommunicated from his own church by a board of directors that had among its members three of his own sons. In fact, most of the Westboro congregation is made of his own family (with thirteen children, I suppose this is understandable), and the family who have left the church were mostly estranged from him. Still, he persisted in his faith-based railing against the supposed evils of the modern world until he was ejected from his post by his own family, all the while being despised by other members of his family for starting the church in the first place. Here's a man who was moved from the church he worked so hard to build to a house away from the church to live out his dying days mostly hated by those around him, it seems.

And why? Why did this man, who led this church since the 1950s, become so hated by his own members? Because after the church bounced their longtime spokeswoman, who not only spoke for the church but also defended it in their high-profile cases involving their right to picket military funerals because it constituted free speech, Phelps called for the members of his church to be kinder to each other. After all that picketing, Fred Phelps, Sr. wanted more kindness! This was apparently too much for the board to bear.

It's hard to imagine this man was once was a prominent civil rights attorney. It's even harder to think that this man, who advocated the picketing of basically anything to stay in the public eye no matter how much it incensed other people in order to espouse his very hateful message under the guise of religious superiority, could be ousted by his own flesh and blood for saying they should be kinder to each other.

I don't know how the man died because I wasn't there, if he suffered, if he had any idea of the damage he had done to other people or if he understood even a little of what it felt like to stand on the other side of the hate his family spreads, and given that all my facts have come from the media, it's difficult to really understand what happened or where he came from.

Still, in a very sad way, with all the turmoil over the course of his life, Fred Phelps, Sr.'s lonely death seems almost fitting.

EDIT: And if you're all, TLDR, here's a comic that sums it up pretty nicely.
howeverbrief: (Winter)
I think my last entry touched on anxiety. This is nothing new for me. For some reason, it reminded me about several incidents throughout my life where I've been obsessed with things that scared me, which meant I thought about them all the time even though I knew I was freaked out by them for no reason I could explain. Here's a list of certain movies, songs, and other media that have freaked me out for short periods of time along with anecdotes about each. I almost always end up looking back on these periods and wondering why they had such a strong effect on me, probably because I don't feel that way at all currently. Luckily, I am not as prone to these bouts of anxiety, but as I was reminded earlier in the week, I am not immune to new disturbances cropping up from time to time even now.

Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain
I loved Fantasia as a kid. Coming from a family who had so much music in their background, I suppose this isn't a surprise. (My father is a near-prodigy at piano, has perfect pitch and plays by ear to this day though he's going deaf; my mother also played piano; all of my siblings had piano lessons, but in addition, my brother has perfect pitch, sang, and played tuba; my older sister played drums; my younger sister plays guitar; and I played flute and clarinet, which I ought to try picking up again one of these days.) My parents tried to instill in all of us an appreciation for all kinds of music, and one of the easiest ways to introduce us to classical music was through Disney. I adored most of Fantasia, from The Nutcracker Suite to Dance of the Hours, because most of it involved happy, dancing animals or other anthropomorphized animals.

Then we got to Night on Bald Mountain, and I would hide in another room. I don't know what it was about the segment, but all the demons running around with the culmination of the devil being revealed set to that music managed to break my little brain every single time. I'd lay awake after watching it and run it over and over in my mind, thinking about how evil it was and how the devil was everywhere waiting to pull me into his grasp. I'd heard about the devil at church, but I think having him represented that way in all his fire and brimstoney glory crystallized something in my brain and stayed with me a long time. I still can't think about it without feeling kind of sheepish about the whole thing, probably because I am not very religious these days.

My dad had a lot of movies. He tended to buy whatever he thought looked interesting so he could watch it later, which could range from action to drama to comedy. He got to where he wouldn't let my siblings and I watch them until we "checked them out" with him first, but before that, we had pretty much free reign of whatever ended up in the movie cabinet. One of those movies was Toys. With a family history of liking Robin Williams movies (Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, etc.), it seemed reassuring that he was on the cover, especially in a funny looking hat and under a innocuous sounding title. Boy, was I lulled into a false sense of security. The movie is about an eccentric toymaker who dies and wills his toy factory to his brother, who is a military general. The toymaker's son, played by Robin Williams of course, is more like his father and wishes to see the factory continue to make toys, while the general is very serious and begins to make weapons instead of toys. When Robin William's character decides to fight back against his uncle and storms the factory, my brain broke. I can't find video of the exact scene that gave me anxiety, but here's the trailer.

I have no idea why I found the scene (which involved exploding wind-up toys in a very dark setting) so upsetting. I think it has to do with my strange latent pacifism even as a kid. Through most of my childhood, any time I saw something that involved very overt conflict, even if it wasn't very violent, I would be very uncomfortable. I haven't watched the movie since that time, but watching the trailer makes me think I might find the metaphors and story-telling very ham-handed and ridiculous now. However, I still can't see why this movie was even remotely marketed toward children. Very odd.

Ed Gein
In college, I spent way too much time looking up random stuff on the internet. (That's not to say I've stopped, only that it's slowed way down because I don't have as much time or interest these days.) As I was surfing the web one evening, I ran across a link talking about a documentary that was being made that talked about Ed Gein. Having never heard of him before (and the link saying that this was the man who inspired both Silence of the Lambs and Buffalo Bill in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), I did a search for Ed Gein and was subsequently horrified at what I found.
This might even have been the first site I ran across.
The more I read on various sites about his crimes (necrophilia, skinning, and woman suits, oh my!), capture and trial along with seeing pictures of the crime scene and Ed Gein himself, the more I felt deeply disturbed by it.

However, a few days later, I was barely fazed by it. I've even gone on to read about other serial killers and found their stories fascinating rather than repelling, probably because I have more separation from it now, and these days, Mike and I watch a lot of ID Discovery, which has a lot of true crime stories of a similar nature. Shrug.

GG Allin
Later on, I remember a certain journal I read (who was authored by someone I went on to meet and marry one day ;) ) spent a lot of time talking about various punk bands as well as a man named GG Allin.
GG Allin's Official Site
I spent a couple of nights pouring over GG Allin's story, from his terrible upbringing to videos of him with underage girls on talk shows to his shows where he cut and abused himself in various ways to his death and funeral. It all seemed so crazy to me that I came back to it again and again for a while, trying to understand why someone would live that kind of life. I think I eventually came to the conclusion that I couldn't really understand, though I find it interesting that I never really listened to much of his music, which was disturbing enough, though that's why I went searching in the first place. It's probably better that youtube wasn't as active back then or I might have gotten more into his music. I find it funny that I've had dreams about GG Allin since Mike has moved in, though, because my subconscious remembers somehow. Heh.

EDIT: And Mike just played me a GG Allin song, and I had to laugh at the whole thing, so I guess I'm cured. ;)

I've had several minor obsessions since then, though most of those are situational rather than media-based. For example, I was very weirded out by Carnival's 'Poop Cruise' last year, maybe because I kept thinking about how horrible that would be to experience. I also was very horrified by Robert Swift's foreclosed mansion, again because I couldn't imagine how someone would allow that kind of situation to happen or understand why anyone would destroy such a beautiful home and life. However, these stories also tend to take on a flavor of the week, as my obsession with them is short-lived and I'm easily distracted after a few days, which is good. I don't know what I'd do if I had to live with these odd obsessions all the time, and I'm glad they eventually are overtaken by daily concerns and life.

Obsession: Dark Desires
Still, like I said when I began, I am still vulnerable to these feelings, and I was reminded of this earlier this week. Mike and I watched an episode of Obsession: Dark Desires the other evening, and even though it's a stupid TV show in that soft-documentary style that has the victim telling her story to the camera with reenactments of what happened to her played by ridiculous actors, I was scandalized.
I like what you've done
I don't know if it was the woman's craziness, her stalking or the story of what happened to her victim in general (or the fact that this runs parallel to my own sister's stalker killing himself recently, which brought up a host of anxiety-triggering memories from years ago), but I ended the evening telling Mike that I never wanted to watch that show again. That was probably an overreaction in retrospect, though I don't really feel like I need to see more shows about stalking. I'm still feeling kind of jittery about it, but I'm sure that feeling will go away.

If memory serves, it all does eventually.
howeverbrief: (Temp)
It's been a month since I broke my foot. (And yes, my year-in-review post at the end of the year is already looking pretty repetitive.)

I seem to be doing better. After last weekend's continual valium fest, I finally was able to kick my charlie-horse/pulled muscle problem, and when I went to lunch with the family last Sunday, Siobhan gave me some tips that have been helping a bit. (She had to be on crutches for a month years ago after surgery on her ankle.) I even made it through the entire workweek without having to go home early, which was my goal. It wasn't because work was demanding it. Work was actually fairly slow and boring this week. I just really want to build up the stamina to be able to do that again, probably because being home when I should be at work drives me nuts. I might enjoy it more if I could be more productive, but given my useless foot, it's hard to get around and do even basic things by myself a lot of the time, which makes it mostly frustrating.

That's not to say I didn't pay for achieving that goal. Mike and I went out for dinner last night at Mi Casa Too (an American-Mexican joint I hadn't taken Mike to yet) after work, which was very nice. When we got home and changed into pajamas to go wait out the time before bed, I fell asleep in my chair around 9:30. Mike woke me up twice before he could get me to go upstairs to bed, and I stayed there until 9 or 9:30 this morning.

Today hasn't been very productive either. Mike made me breakfast. I made a shopping list. We did laundry in the background while he shopped for tomorrow's snackfest, I mean Superbowl, and I played Sims 3 for way too many hours. Oh, there was also a bath and getting dressed in there somewhere. What's ridiculous about the Sims situation is I've had the university expansion pack for a while now, and I spent most of my time today trying to grow a teen up just so I could actually mess around with that expansion. By the time Mike called me for dinner (which, if you love buffalo chicken wings and tater tots, you'll probably love this too), I had just gotten this silly nerd to grow up and enroll, which means I still haven't gotten to play that particular expansion. Oh well. It was still fun.

Just so you don't think I didn't do anything else today, I made onion dip and carrot cake for the game tomorrow, but even that took a lot out of me. I am constantly amazed and kind of embarrassed at how much more energy and time it takes me to do pretty much everything. At least it feels like I'm getting a little better at it, and I'm taking a lot less pills (mostly Tylenol when I need it). The final frontier seems to be sleep. Hopefully I'll sleep okay tonight. Sleeping is also still very hard because my foot hates me sleeping certain ways and I tend to have dreams at least once a night about walking in my cast and screwing everything up just because I have to go to the bathroom, d'oh).

Anyway, that's probably quite enough for now. I don't know when I stopped being able to conclude entries, but I guess I'll just have to practice more. Maybe the cake is cool enough to frost. I'm going to wander off and see. G'night.


Jan. 5th, 2014 08:47 pm
howeverbrief: (Skull)
It seems to be one of those weird, selfish facts of my life recently that I won't remember much of the new words I learn unless I can directly connect them to my life. This isn't on purpose, but my memory seems to escape me more than it used to. Case in point, I read about hypnagogic jerks (or hypnic jerks) on a list of rarely used terms for everyday experiences. It means a small involuntary motion that happens when you're just about to fall asleep. I thought it was very interesting (and appropriately goofy sounding), but I promptly forgot about it right after reading until a few days ago.

Now that these jerks produce a pretty painful shock almost every time I'm falling asleep right now, I'm having trouble getting the term off my mind.


howeverbrief: (Default)

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