Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mood Swings! Mood Swings!

This reminds me of...well, me.

And, on a more serious note, this is one of the best things I have ever read, and I think everyone else should, too.

This message was brought to you by Bipolar Disorder!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

She's A Good Bebby

It's been a while since we had some good bebby pictures!

Nyah is ahead of her age in nearly everything. Her motor skills and strength are incredible! If you prop her up she's able to keep herself sitting up:

She can stand for a long time, too, as long as you're holding her hands. She doesn't have the balance down yet.

Playing with toys:

Sitting with Daddy:

She's so cute in her little jeans!

And holding herself up during tummy time:

This little girl has me totally charmed!

Plus she's starting to get giant baby fat rolls on her legs. It's so cute I might just pass out.

Thanks, Kwiddens, for always sending me cute pictures!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moving To The Next Phase!

Scott and I are totally ready for the next phase of our renovation. We've been paying off the deck and our new bed and we're finally ready to jump back in.

Saturday we decided to go in to Home Depot and design our kitchen cabinets. It took two and a half hours, but we chose what cabinets we wanted, colors, hardware, and set up plans. We got the total: more than $6,000. Ouch. But Home Depot has a price match guarantee, so we took the plans over to Lowe's to see if they could beat it. We were incredibly surprised to find that their quote came to almost $2000 less than Home Depot's!

We like Home Depot better than Lowe's, though.

So we took out the printed list of all the different cabinet pieces and their prices and brought it back to Home Depot, where they were happy to replace all their prices with Lowe's prices, saving us tons of cash. They were also having a sale on their custom cabinetry, so we got an extra $1000 off our order! Total, after taxes and delivery fees and all the little extras we got, we ended up paying only $4600, and they threw in the hardware for free.

We freaking LOVE Home Depot!

We'll have the cabinets delivered sometime at the end of October, and then we'll start ripping everything up in the kitchen. We'll be really careful with our current cabinets, since Mim wants them when we're done for her downstairs kitchen. They're so old and ugly, so she'll have to refinish them, so we're just going to give them to her for free. She also wants our appliances when we get new ones, but that will be a long time from now.

So we'll rip out the cabinets and move the appliances out of the way, then we need to finish up the drywall where the back door used to be (which means we'll need the inspector to come over sometime very soon) and build the little half-wall the peninsula will be up against. After that we can paint at least the part of the kitchen where the new stuff will be (it's a huge room, so there's really no need to paint it all at once) and then we'll need the countertops.

The countertops are going to end up being almost as expensive as the cabinets themselves, and it looks like Lowe's won't have lower prices to match on this one. They'll be a speckled Corian acrylic that goes SO WELL with the cabinets, flooring, and paint we've chosen. So until we get the cabinets delivered, we're going to have to scrimp a bit so we can afford to order the countertops soon after we get the cabinets put in.

Our kitchen will be gutted for a while. I'm going to have to figure out where to put all of our dishes and such while we don't have any functional cabinets.

After we finish all this, we're going to have to wait a while and make money for the next phase: flooring. Brazilian Cherry!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Check Out All The Pix!

I finally got off my butt and transferred a ton of pictures to baby pink lappie, so HERE WE GO!

A few weeks ago Scott and I finally got around to buying a new bed. RC Willey was having an amazing sale, with a couple hundred dollars off plus a free headboard, a free sheet set, free pillows, and a free little HDTV:

Scott's been using it as a computer monitor (surprise, surprise). It actually died on him the other day, but when he brought it back in to the store they were happy to replace it so no harm done.

 So here's our beautiful, soft, comfy, BIG, king-sized bed:

Buster has been getting really good at holding treats on his nose until we say "ok".

The gorgeous Em has gone platinum blonde! She looks amazing:

She and I have similar coloring, so that makes me wonder if I would look good blonde...hmmm...

When we went to Maddox with Li I took a picture of the rolls, because YUM:

I bought a new purse, and it totally makes me think of Indiana Jones. I love it and it smells so good:

I took a picture of the swelling on my ankle last week:

Fortunately, it's getting much, much better. I think I might be back in the gym by tomorrow!

When Scott gets sad (say, when we spend $4600...) he hugs Buster, even though Buster doesn't like being hugged:

We found a new mask for Scott to wear under his cloak when he passes out candy this Halloween:

Of course, we had to put it on Buster, who was not amused:

And that's it!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

No Pain, No Gain, Right?

Sometime on Wednesday my left ankle started hurting. It wasn't too bad; mostly just a little ache that went away when I sat down. It felt like maybe something had popped out of joint, or I had bent it too far, or something small like that.

Thursday while I was at work it started getting worse. I shifted all my weight onto my right foot and limped a bit, and when I got home I wrapped it up in an Ace bandage and elevated it for the rest of the night. As long as I wasn't standing on it, it felt fine.

Then I woke up this morning, and from the very first step I knew I would have to see a doctor. It had changed from a dull ache to a STABBING! PAIN! every time I stepped on it. I planned on getting to work, getting everything done as quickly as I could, then going into InstaCare to get it looked at. Work wasn't so bad. I was pretty busy, so I was standing and walking all day, but I could rest my weight on my right foot and the left wouldn't hurt so much (unfortunately, this meant my right foot started to ache...), and I limped around until everything was all set up to run by itself. I asked my boss to report my results when they were finished, and he's super nice so he said he would, and I headed over to see the doctor.

Fortunately, the doctor on call was a sports medicine doctor that I had seen before. I had thought initially that maybe it was a sprain, and then later when the pain was sharper I thought it might be a stress fracture (I had had one like six years ago and it felt remarkably similar), but it turns out I have Bursitis. Basically, there's a little sac in between the Achilles tendon and the bones in the heel of the foot, and mine got inflamed. The doctor thinks it's because I started exercising too aggressively, with the incline on the treadmill too high. Oops.  I suppose over enthusiasm can be a bad thing...

So, I'm supposed to ice it, do stretches, take naproxen, and stay off it for a few days, then be more conservative with my treadmilling. Sad. Really pumping up the incline was what was really increasing my heart rate and making me burn more calories. I'll have to work on going faster to make up for it (or maybe I'll be bad and work the incline back in, gradually so as not to injure myself again...)!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chromium Sucks!

So we have one lab we contract with that sends us samples to be tested for chromium on the MS. Time after time after time, they send us samples, we test them, and then they demand a retest because they aren't happy with the results. Every time. For many months. If it were me, I would send them to a different lab if I weren't happy with the results. It's not that I don't trust our methods, but every method has a flaw, and perhaps their specific types of samples just don't work with ours, or else their samples really don't have the proper amount of Cr in them.

My coworker and I both run these, and we both get different results, and both our results are out of spec: too low. We're a bit tired of it all...

But at least every time we run them, the samples have some Cr in them. When I ran a million of them last night while I was at home, I came in this morning to find that they all had 0.000 something wasn't right. The very same method had worked fine the day before. It was reading the Cr QC just fine. I figured maybe there had been a clog last night and started it up again this morning, but I had the same results! Good calibration, good QC, BAD results. ZERO results, actually.

So, my boss and I decided to keep trying different things. First up, we decided to test other isotopes of Cr. We had only been looking at mass 53, but we set it up to read 50, 51, and 54 as well. We started it up again, and VOILA, it was reading and calibrating very well on masses 50 and 51 (53 was crappy, and 54 was completely worthless). HOWEVER. The results were still out of spec, but instead of being too low like they always were with mass 53 they were too high! FRUSTRATION!

First I made a new QC, just to make sure. It was a little high, but still fine. Then I made new standards and started the whole thing over again. Still a little high, but now in the acceptable +/- 10% range. I made a new blank as well. Everything was now working AWESOMELY, but we were still getting high results with 50 and 51, and low results with 53, and complete garbage with 54.


I left it running this afternoon while I went to see a doctor. I hope it behaved for my boss. We'll see if they call us, demanding retests...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vacationy Things

So these past few weeks have been quite busy! On Wednesday the 8th I picked Li up at the airport. I left for work the next morning and didn't see her before I left. She and Scott hung out all day on Thursday (Scott was able to get more days off than I did) and when I got home we talked and made dinner and watched videos on YouTube. It was just really relaxing and fun. Friday she was picked up by a friend, and she spent the next several days with friends in Provo, and then with her sister in Plymouth.

The following Friday, the 17th, I had taken the day off work so I got up in the morning, went to the gym (and got a great workout in!) and then went to pick Li up in Plymouth. Scott suggested we go to Maddox for lunch, so he came along with me. Lunch was SO TASTY. We almost never go there, since it's such a long drive, but it was on the way home from Li's sister's house. I had forgotten how good their rolls were! I ate WAY too much, but we only go there every couple of years so it's totally ok, right?

When we all got home from that Li and I hunkered down on the couch with munchies and watched movies for the rest of the night. Saturday morning I brought Li along with me to the gym, then we showered and headed down to Salt Lake for the State Fair. We went first thing in the morning, so there weren't too many people, and we didn't have to wait in line for anything until we were about to leave. It was pretty hot, but there were shady spots where we could sit down so it wasn't too bad. We had put on sunscreen, but both of us forgot our chests, so now I have this weird sunburn with my purse strap across it.

I was really excited about fair food. A fair is like the one chance I get all year to eat cotton candy and funnel cake (although we didn't end up getting either of those; we settled on fresh mini-donuts with sugar, a slushie, gyros (the best I've ever had, I think), and fudge). We rode rides, too, which was very fun! I forgot how much fun it is to act like a kid. I also forgot how nauseating some of those rides stomach could handle more than Li's, though, so when Li wanted a rest I would go ride one she didn't want to ride (she doesn't like up and down ones where she feels like she's falling). After we had been there about four hours I was definitely done. I was tired, hot, sick, and thirsty. We headed on home and got frozen custard from Nielsen's on the way, and when we got home it was JAMMIE TIME! and we sacked out on the couch for the rest of the night, watching more movies and some Bones.

Sunday morning Li wanted to go to church, and I didn't want her to have to go alone, so I went along. We went to the building that's only a few blocks from us. Since I'm a heathen, I had no idea what time church was supposed to start, but everywhere I've lived there has been a meeting at 9:00, so I figured that was a safe assumption. Well, there was a meeting at 9:00, but it was a Tongan ward...oops. We figured we were already there, so we stayed. The service was half in English, half in Tongan, which, it turns out, is a very pretty, melodic sort of language. There was a translator, so we weren't totally in the dark, but it felt a little awkward all the same.

We came home, changed back into pajamas, and set up a LAN. For the rest of the day the three of us played Warcraft 3 (nerdy!), since it's sort of a tradition that we play every time Li visits.

Monday we slept in, then watched more Bones while we waited for it to be time for our SPA APPOINTMENTS, OH YES. We went to a spa I had never been to before, but will definitely visit again, because for only $65 we got our hands, feet, backs, arms, and faces massaged and exfoliated and steamed...we were soft like buttah. We smelled good, too! After that we went to Zupas for lunch, where we had the most awesome salads and sandwiches, and we even split a brownie, but it wasn't as tasty as it looked. When we got home we decided that we should watch Pride And Prejudice (the BBC version), so we started that, and we were only half watching it while we talked about boys and such. Around 7:00 the three of us decided we were hungry, so we went to Olive Garden for dinner, and then when we got home we finished our movie and then went to bed.

Tuesday morning I drove Li to the airport, after which I went to Nyah's three-month doctor appointment with Kwiddens and Isaac. Poor Nyah had to get shots, and she was NOT happy about it. We all went to lunch, and then at that point I was really starting to feel sick, so I headed home and napped.

So that was my mini-vacation with Li. It was really fun, and so nice to see her, and now the next time I see her will probably be next summer, when I'll fly out to Boston for a change.

Other, semi-related or un-related things:

Taking three days off work is apparently a really really bad idea, since I came back to utter chaos and a giant pile of samples. I'm not even close to caught up. It doesn't help that we had people cleaning in the lab today, so we didn't have use of the hood until around noon (usually I start working in there around you can see how far behind I was). I'm sure I'll get a lot more done tomorrow, and I'll probably be completely caught up.

I've been slowly getting sick over the past week or so. Whatever it was, it hit Scott and Jon much harder than it hit me, thank goodness. I think it's just a mild flu, but I really lucked out, since all I have is a very sore throat, a stuffy/runny nose, and body aches. I can deal with that and still go to work.

Buster desperately needs a bath, but I'm too lazy, so I'm thinking about just spending the $35 to have it professionally done.

I found a really good deal on a heart rate monitor watch. It has a calorie counter thing in it, too. I'm really excited to try it out, but I'm going to have to wait until I don't feel like I got hit by a bus to go back to the gym.

I finally got a new purse last week while Li and I were shopping. It's from New York and Company, and it was on clearance for only $10. I win. It looks like a slightly more fashionable Indiana Jones bag. It smells lovely. I love the smell of new leather.

I think now is a good time to go collapse into a hot bath, then drag myself to bed early. I hope I can beat this bug, and soon. I want my voice back.

Monday, September 20, 2010


So I was at the grocery store the other day and I was waiting so I was looking at the magazines and I noticed something that made me laugh out loud and people stared at me.

The store had covered up "Cosmopolitan":

But had left "Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition" uncovered:

I know Cosmo can be a bit risque, but at least it isn't bordering on porn.

People make no sense to me.

I'm still on vacation with my dearest friend Li, so this is all you get.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Text Time 9

This Text Time is brought to you by Kwiddens's mother-in-law, whom we...ahem...dislike.

Kwiddens: Isaac's mom pronounces Hercule Poirot "Haircool parrot".
Kwiddens: Oh wait. "Haircool purroh".

Kwiddens: I am going to kill Isaac's mom.
Me: How?
Kwiddens: Any ideas?
Me: There are lots of guns there.
Kwiddens: Too messy.
Me: Rat poison?
Kwiddens: Is that easily traceable?
Me: Probably.

Kwiddens: How many birthday cakes does it take to satisfy a bitchy mother-in-law?
Me: How many?
Kwiddens: I'll let you know when I find out.

Kwiddens: When I go to jail for killing her will you visit me?
Me: Absolutely. I'll bring cake...whom do you want to kill?
Kwiddens: Isaac's mom :)
Me: I should have known.

Kwiddens: Did hell just freeze over?
Me: ???
Kwiddens: Isaac's mom took out the trash
Me: I love you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Musings

Last night at about 2:00 a.m. Scott and I were woken up by people yelling outside our window. Scott got up and looked, and it looked like it was just two people yelling, but not physically fighting or anything, so he just got back in bed and ignored it. BUT, after a minute or so, the woman started screaming bloody murder "Help! Help! Get away from me! Help! Let go of me! Help! Help!"...basically what I would be yelling if I were being attacked, so Scott got up, grabbed his gun just in case (concealed, of course), and went outside to see if he could get a better look and make sure nobody got murdered right in front of our house. Meanwhile, I called the police.

They sent a few officers our way while I described what was happening to the emergency operator. While the police were on their way, Scott went out toward the fighting couple as soon as it was apparent that there wasn't any physical violence. They talked a bit, and the man seemed upset and was pacing around, but nobody was yelling any more. I just stayed inside the house, watching what was going on, but unable to hear anything at all.

Two cruisers showed up and one cop went to talk to Scott, while the other went to question the two people who had been yelling. A third person appeared seemingly out of nowhere (he had been inside a car parked on the street) and soon enough Scott headed back inside and told me the whole story.

It turns out the two of them were insanely drunk, and had come from a party down the street. They were bickering, and the woman was overreacting to the man following her. She had left the party, claiming she was just going to walk home (but she lived in Ogden, around 15 miles away) and the man had followed her to try to get her to come back so their designated driver (the guy in the parked car) could take her home. So, really it wasn't a big deal. We did find out that the guy had fallen pretty badly at the party and had a few broken ribs, so the police let them go and take him to the hospital.

We seem to attract trouble. I suppose that's what we get for being the unofficial neighborhood watch.

The gym I go to is closed on Sunday, much like many businesses here in Utah. Saturday I got in a really good workout (I'm still sore), and then spent the rest of the day with Kwiddens. Sunday morning I woke up and the whole day I just felt...blah. I really missed working out! It's only been two weeks, but every day I wake up and don't even have to debate with myself whether I'll go to the gym or not; it's always a yes. It's only a matter of when I can fit it into my day.

I am really loving my X-Biking classes, so I invested in a gel seat cover, which will hopefully make it easier on my derriere. I also bought some new shoes, since the shoes I have been wearing are really old and slightly too big. I wanted to pick up a heart rate monitor watch, but they cost more than I'm willing to spend right now.

We went to a new Chinese restaurant that opened recently a few blocks away from our house. I wasn't impressed. The worst part, however, was the CHRISTMAS MUSIC. It's SEPTEMBER. Also, Wal-Mart was putting up Thanksgiving stuff even before the Halloween stuff.

We bought more tombstones for our Halloween graveyard and materials to make a creepy rickety fence to go around it. We went to a seasonal Halloween store in the mall to check to see if they had anything that would add to the effects, but we were very disappointed to find almost the entire store dedicated to costumes, and just a tiny corner had decorations, which were all overpriced or cheap-looking (or both) anyway.

Halloween this year is on a Sunday, and for Utah that means that everyone will go trick-or-treating on Saturday. This would be fine with me if everyone in the community who wanted to participate were Mormon, or some other religion that prevents things like that on Sundays, but that isn't the case. So I'm not sure if I'm going to have to do Halloween on Saturday and Sunday, for the Mormons and non-Mormons, respectively.

Saturday when Kwiddens came over we tried to dye my hair back to my natural color. I'm tired of the pink streaks. We picked out a color that matched my own, applied it according to the directions...and it didn't work. The blonde bits are still would think they would pick up the color just fine and become brown but NOOOO, that would be too easy. So I think after work today I'm going to head over to the beauty school and have a new color put on, just one color all over. Maybe I'll go a little bit darker for fall. We'll see.

That's about it. It's a Monday. The end.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shooting My Gun FINALLY

The other day Scott and Jon decided to go shooting, and I decided to tag along. I hadn't actually shot my gun since I bought it forever ago. In fact, I hadn't shot anything in more than two years! I wasn't sure how rusty I was going to be, but since I carry for self-defense, I figured I ought to make sure I'm an effective self-defender.

We went to the indoor range at Impact Guns in Ogden. I had never been to an indoor range before; it was a lot louder than I expected, especially because there was a guy in the booth next to us shooting the giantest gun I have ever seen. It shook my bones. Also, there was no wind to dissipate the smell, so even though I like the smell of gunpowder, it was too strong and was stinging my eyes a little.

Scott got a picture of me shooting my gun, but it was blurry, so here's the picture of me shooting his (smaller) gun:

And when I say smaller I mean smaller caliber. His is physically bigger than mine, but lighter and quieter.

Here's my target:

The smallest holes are from Scott's gun, the medium ones are from my gun, and the giant ones are from Jon's gun. Only two of my shots the whole time went off the "man", so I am deadly, even though I'm a terrible shot. I hope I never have to actually defend myself. I would feel so horrible actually shooting someone, even if he were trying to kill me.

The end.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Please Remember

I remember on September 11, 2001 I was in choir class when I found out. The entire rest of the day nobody in the entire school did any work. We were so intent on watching and waiting, grasping for any news we could. I can remember not being sure it was real, like someone had to have come up with the most elaborate hoax in history.

I had a friend whose mother was supposed to be working in one of those buildings that day, out of town on a business trip. Someone was watching over her, because somehow she got into a minor car accident on her way to the building and was running late, and even a few minutes earlier she would have been gone.

Everyone in America had some kind of connection. There were so many people killed and hurt, and nearly everyone lost someone they knew, even someone they loved.

It is because of this that I support building a mosque near Ground Zero. Only by promoting religious freedom and tolerance will we be able to come together as a nation and do our best to prevent this from happening again. The world isn't perfect; it never will be. But every time we discriminate against people just because they're associated with the religion that the terrorists hide behind, all we're doing is adding to the chaos and fueling the terror.

Even though it was horrible, we have an opportunity to learn from the past. Sometimes that's all we can hope for.

I hope everyone finds a few minutes today for quiet reflection on what we lost, how we came together and became stronger, and how we need to continue to strive for harmony between people all around the world, no matter their race or religion.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What The Hell?!

My dad and I don't speak to each other. Occasionally I feel sad about this, because I think he used to love me, back when he adopted me, but now I think he feels the same way about me that I finally feel about him: I nothing him.

When I say I nothing him, it's like saying I hate him or I care about him or I (insert verb indicating feelings here) him. Except, I feel nothing toward him most of the time, so I nothing him.

Sometimes, though, I get angry and want to go punch his face in, because if I ever tried to tell him how I feel he would get angry and defensive and call me terrible names and such or he would just walk away, ignoring me completely. Really mature, right? Either way, he wouldn't even care to hear about it. But it's pretty hard to ignore a strong punch in the face.

My memories of my dad consist of three things:

5% Warm and fuzzy memories of when he actually listened to me or said something nice to or about me,

60% Not being home, out doing other things with other people, ignoring his family's emotional (and sometimes physical) needs,

35% Being home and yelling at or criticising me (or all of us) about something stupid that either isn't even true or is something no person in his right mind would get angry about (one time I got in huge trouble for getting ice out of the freezer without asking...not even kidding).

When I took the ACT and got a 34 (out of 36) he basically told me I was stupid and I should have done better. And for a while there, I did think I was stupid because I thought he was so smart and he knew so much about the world and the way things should be. Apparently, I was incredible naive. I pushed myself to my limits in school and got all sorts of awards along with my perfect grades and the mountains of extracurricular activities I put on my transcript, and he never acknowledged that I was doing well (Mim, however, was always very proud of me and supported me in everything I tried to do. Even gymnastics, which was a total failure, but she was proud of me for trying).

One of our running family jokes was that if something would make him mad, we would all get the silent treatment for exactly 3.5 days, to the hour. I'm not even kidding. It was so perfectly consistent that we actually found it funny. The exception was the summer before I left for college, when he refused to talk to Mim for three months, resulting in her breaking down and ending up in the psych ward for a week. He, of course, denies he ever did that. Now I find it both funny and pathetic (not the Mim in the hospital part, the 3.5 days part).

Sadly, he was such a "good person" in my eyes that I wanted to be just like him, so I immersed myself in religion and science and wanted to be a doctor just like him. It took me years to figure out that he is a selfish, arrogant, holier-than-thou, racist (very very racist) person, and once I realized that I was able to let go of a lot of things I had been very angry and hurt about. I even feel sorry for him sometimes. But, once again, for the most part I nothing him.

All this aside, the reason I sometimes get so angry at him is this:

He cheated on Mim and nearly destroyed our family. Em was so torn up about it she tried to commit suicide and ended up in the psych ward for a week (I'm thinking there's a pattern to this). Jorg lost his faith in God, because he prayed and prayed and prayed and God never answered his prayers that our family might somehow be mended. I had to deal with a lot of this during my first year of marriage, which was hard enough in and of itself, with my being sick and our being broke and my not being able to find a job. Mim was so heartsick she couldn't eat anything for months and lost about 50 lbs.

He used Kwiddens. She knew about the other woman and he was nice to her for the first time ever and so Kwiddens felt obligated to stay out of it and not tell Mim about the affair. He would have Kwiddens tell Mim he was hanging out with her when he was actually with the other woman. I used to be angry at Kwiddens for this but now I understand how horrible the whole situation was and that staying out of it was probably for the better.

Everyone in my family went through hell and a half.

So about the other woman: her name is Cambria (total stripper name...) and she was (get this): his patient. Ethics apparently be damned. Even to this day, he lies to all of us and claims they are "just friends", even though we all know from outside sources that they are engaged. That just drives me crazy: that he thinks we will just fall for his stupid lies, and that he's not man enough to admit that he's done something wrong, even when we all caught him with his hands in the cookie jar.

Every time I think I am over this, something new comes up. Usually it involves the way he treats Em, Jorg, and Kwiddens, especially Kwiddens. For some reason he has always had it out for her, ever since the day he married Mim. I had it bad, but she had it way worse. He picked on her relentlessly and I don't know how she gets past that on a daily basis. I understand that Kwiddens's getting pregnant wasn't the best thing to happen, but things happen and we move on and make the best of it, yes? Our whole family is now in love with this beautiful little baby and we are so proud of Kwiddens for making such a beautiful little baby and being an amazing mother, and we are happy to have Isaac in the family. All of us except for Dad. Dad now refuses to even speak to Kwiddens and has no desire to see the baby, which I find totally heartbreaking, because there will come a time when Nyah will ask, "Why don't I have two grandpas?" (or three, depending on if you count our BioDad) and someone will have to say "Well, he doesn't love you" (or something) (how would you even answer that question??).

So, something else happened that brought it all back and I feel like I have to start all over again.

Yesterday I found out that he's getting married. Tomorrow. He didn't bother to tell me, Kwiddens, or Mim. We only found out because he invited Em and Jorg.

I don't resent Em and Jorg at all for this. I'm even proud of them that they're mature and kind enough to rise above it all and wish him happiness. But I can't help but think that maybe if I were actually his biological child maybe he would love me enough to invite me to his wedding.

It seems I'm not meant to have a father figure in my life. I'm usually fine with that. But sometimes I get so jealous of people who spend time with their fathers and look up to and respect them. I just can't respect him. I think I might even stop calling him Dad. It seems harsh I suppose, but apparently he doesn't think of me as his daughter any more, so from now on, he's just Jason.

What a prick.

Also, you would not believe how many awful words I used in my first draft of this post. Extensive editing brought it back down to a PG-13 level.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Better Turn Into A Freaking Skeleton

I don't like exercising.

Actually, I love exercising. It's just, I hate exercising.

The thing is, once I get going, it may be difficult but it feels great and gives me energy and happy exercise chemicals for a few days. But getting going is often an obstacle that just doesn't get overcome.

There's always something. I can't run; my knees don't allow for it. Bad knees seem to run in my family. Em is probably going to have to have surgery on her knee again (this will be the fourth time). So, I do the next best thing (and some experts say it's just as good or better for weight loss): power walking. Walk as fast and hard as I can while keeping good form and steady breathing. It's actually a great workout.

I hate exercising outside because it's too hot, or too cold, or too humid, and there are allergens, and there are people watching. I don't like people watching me when I'm all sweaty and gross.

So, I bought a treadmill. I love using a treadmill because I can control my speed and add incline, making the workout much harder. I've used it off and on, but it's in my basement and I don't like my basement. Furthermore, Scott's computer, and now Jon's computer, are in the basement, which means I could only exercise when they're not there (which isn't that often) because I don't like people watching me.

I was complaining about this last Monday, because I really do want to be in shape, and Scott suggested I join a gym. I had briefly considered this before, but the idea never stuck. Gyms have huge enrollment fees and large monthly dues and there are people watching.

But I got online and looked up all the gyms in the area, and it turns out there is a ladies-only gym two blocks from my house. I never knew it was there, just sitting behind Target. I went over and asked for more info, and they gave me a tour and showed me all the classes they offer and went over pricing with me.


They were having a sale. A big one! Usually they have an enrollment fee of $150 and then a monthly fee of $45 (when you sign up for a year). For a few days, until September 1, so until the day after I went there, the enrollment fee was waived and the monthly contract price would be $35. Happy!

So I signed up. This gym doesn't take checks or credit cards; they pull the money directly from your account every month. I was allowed to set the date, so I asked for it to come out on the 5th of every month, since that's the day Scott gets paid and that way there would always be money in there in the cataclysmic event that something happens and we have less that $35 in the account. Since that was only in a few days, they didn't think the paperwork would go through on time, so they decided to just give me a free month and not charge me until October. Happy!

I don't like signing contracts. I don't like being locked into something. I feel like I never know when something might happen and I might need that money, or I might not want something in a few months...worry, worry, worry. In this case, I decided that first of all, if I were actually paying a fee to belong to this gym I would be more likely to go use it (instead of letting it sit in my basement...) and secondly, this is my health I'm talking about, and if I want to make comparisons, I can just take a look at my $35: it's less than Scott spends a month on soda.

So I went almost every day last week! I went to a class called Boot Camp, and they call it Boot Camp for a reason; I was so sore the next day I didn't exercise at all. I went to a few X-Biking classes, which is like spinning but the handlebars on the bikes rock back and forth for an upper body workout as well. Those kicked my butt, but I really enjoyed them. I did cardio on the treadmills several times and got a free session with a personal trainer. She was really great; we went through my goals and did a few measurements and talked about the best ways for me to reach those goals. I also got an appointment with one of the employees to go through all the weight training machines and show me how to use them and help me decide how much weight, how many reps, etc. I did upper body on Tuesday and I will be learning lower body today after work.

I'm thinking that I'll probably go a little less over the next few weeks while Li is here, since I'll want to spend as much time with her as I can, but I have been feeling so great for the last week that I'm hooked.

It turns out it doesn't bother me when it's other women around me while I exercise, and I think it also helps that there are women there of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels, so I don't feel like a total failure when I have to take a break while everyone else keeps pedaling. The instructors are really great and helpful and I'm just really happy I made this decision.

I better get skinny.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Universe Wins Again

Singing has always been something I enjoyed immensely. I remember when I was very very small I had all the musical movies I watched memorized (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc.) and I would sit around and play with toys and sing to myself. There even came a time when I wouldn't stop singing music from The Nightmare Before Christmas and it was driving Mim so crazy that she told me I wasn't allowed to sing that music anymore.

Mim has played the piano since she was very young, and when I was old enough she started teaching me to play. I hated it. HATED. I just always felt like there were better uses for my time, and why should I learn this because it will never help me in the real world or anything-basically any little kid's thoughts when they're made to practice something over and over again.

Eventually I quit (Mim wasn't happy about that) and now that I'm grown I regret quitting terribly. I can still read music, albeit very slowly, and I still have a few sonatinas memorized, but other than that I really can't play anymore. But music didn't disappear from my life.

In 7th grade I took my first choir class and from the very beginning I was hooked. I continued to take choir until my senior year in high school, when I didn't participate. I joined the Jazz choir junior year (as an alto, strangely enough)(I usually sing high soprano)(apparently if I sing low I sound sultry and jazzish) and senior year I did a song for the homecoming week talent show ("Winter" by Tori Amos).

In my high school there were basically three levels of choir classes: open choir, Warrior Chorus, and Concert Choir. The last two required an audition, but the first was open to anyone who wished to enroll. So freshman and sophomore years I was in open choir, and junior year I auditioned to be in Warrior Chorus and made it in, and when senior year rolled around I auditioned for Concert Choir. I didn't make it in. I should have. In junior year we had a Christmas concert and I had gotten a solo, beating out all the Concert Choir sopranos who auditioned. When it came time for the concert, I (somehow) got hand, foot, and mouth disease, and was forced to stay home and give up my solo to someone else. Universe: 1, Anna: 0. Either way, it was clear to everyone that I should have made it into Concert Choir. I think the director must have had something against me (and I don't want you to think I'm just saying that to make myself look better or anything, it's just truly what happened).

When they posted the lists of who got in to which choir, and my name wasn't on there, many many people were outraged. When senior year started I went to the director (who was new; the old one got fired for BIG TIME extortion) and asked to re-audition and he refused, so I decided that the drama wasn't worth it, and I didn't want to settle for being in Warrior Chorus again, so I quit. That was it. I'd had it. So senior year I didn't sing in a choir at all. Universe: 2, Anna: 0.

Then I went to college, and immediately signed up to audition for the many choirs there. And you know what? Auditions were right before the semester started and Utah has a very high elevation compared to South Dakota, and guess who got altitude sickness and couldn't sing? Yep. Universe: 3, Anna: 0.

So, I did the next best thing: I signed up for a small group vocal music class, and I loved it. It was nice because I got a lot of personal instruction from the grad student who was teaching the class (because the class was so small) and I improved my classical technique, determined to try again next year. I then spent the following summer taking private voice lessons back in Sioux Falls. I was ready to audition, and when I got to campus in the fall I went to sign up for auditions. BUT, every single choir was scheduled to meet for practice at the exact times I was in a chemistry (and therefore necessary) class, so even if I did get into a choir I wouldn't be able to come to practice unless I gave up chemistry. Universe: 4, Anna: 0.

I love singing. I always have. And I tried for eight years to make it work. But it just isn't meant to be. I got the message, Universe. You win. You freaking win.

I hope you're happy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

This past weekend was long because of Labor Day. Hooray for pointless holidays!

Scott had scheduled his (late) birthday LAN party, so Friday after work I stopped by the store and got treats, then came home and helped clean up the house a bit. It wasn't much of a job, since we usually keep things pretty tidy anyway. Our only consistent messes are on the coffee table and the kitchen table, and those didn't take long. He and his friends played from Friday night to Monday night. I don't know how he does it; my eyes get tired enough staring at a computer screen for a few hours.

I tried to arrange something fun with Kwiddens for Friday night but nobody could babysit Nyah and Nyah was sick of the car seat, since they just taken a road trip down to Arkansas to visit our grandparents. It was so sad; Nyah only had to look at her car seat to make her start crying. So I had Friday night to myself, and I just snuggled up on the couch and read "The Hobbit", one of my favorite books.

Saturday morning I got some exercise in, the came home and showered and did a little grocery shopping. Then at 3:00 some friends and I had planned a Lecture Prep reunion at Bicentennial Park in Provo. It was me, Kirk and Angie, Nate, Sarah and her boyfriend Nate and one other guy who worked there after I had already graduated whose name escapes me at the moment. We grilled and had the most amazing sweet corn and talked for 2.5 hours, sharing stories about work and remembering some of the funny things that had happened, and talking about how the Chemistry Department has changed, etc. It was just so nice to see everyone, but it made me miss working there more than ever. Oh well. I have a great job now, too.

Since I was in Provo anyway, I then drove down to Mim's house and met up with her and Em and Jorg and we all went to dinner at The Pizza Factory. After that we were talking about movies and shows we like, and Jorg suggested that some time we should get together and have a Stargate marathon, since he had never seen it. We decided to do it this weekend, since I had work off on Monday, so after dinner I drove Em and Jorg back up to my house. We watched Stargate and ate yummies and talked and it was really fun. They stayed over two nights, and Mim came to get them Monday morning. At one point Sunday night Jorg started to get sick of Stargate, so we played Phase 10 and then went to dinner at Applebee's, which ended up being a little disappointing foodwise, but the company was great. When we got back Jorg went downstairs and played Starcraft 2 with Scott and Jon. Em and I decided it was a good opportunity for chick flicking, so we watched "Moulin Rouge" and "27 Dresses". Jorg came upstairs to grab a drink and asked what Moulin Rouge was about, and I said "um...prostitutes..." and he gave me a funny look and went back downstairs. It was amusing.

Monday after Em and Jorg were gone Jon, Scott and I went and had lunch at MacCool's and then we tackled the downstairs storage room so we could clear it out because LI IS COMING TOMORROW! I'm super excited about that. We're going to have so much fun! We also went to the dollar store to get some candles and the Halloween stuff was out and there were more tombstones for our graveyard for only a dollar each (of course, it's the dollar store), so this year our graveyard will be much better. I love Halloween.

So that was my Labor Day weekend. And now I don't get another day off until Thanksgiving.

Except the few days I'll be taking off for when Li is here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I'm thinking about switching away from Blogger, probably to Wordpress. Blogger screws up my formatting all the time and it's bugging the hell out of me.



A few days ago I got a few good questions to answer, so I'm using them to make a post! I didn't make it to 20 for August, but maybe I can for September.

magnolia (it takes everything in me not to capitalize this...) asked:

money is no object, nor is time. where are you going on your dream trip? what are you doing when you get there?

Well, magnolia, it would be a four-phase trip. First would be a tour of Scotland etc., to see all the castles. I would also go visit Nessie. I probably would spend mucho $$ to get non-English food, because I hear their native foods are...well, disgusting.

Second would be a trip south, through Rome (where I would stay for a few days and see some of the really old, really pretty stuff) on my way to Egypt.

Egypt. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go. I would grease a few palms to make sure I could get up close and personal into tombs and other restricted areas...people generally let you do more when you give them money. I'd also hire a bodyguard. I'd also buy a million presents for all my friends and family (and myself!).

Next would be the trip through Central and South America: after I've seen Egyptian tombs and pyramids, then I want to go see the more amazing Mayan and Incan pyramids, you know, the ones so deep into the jungle you need a skilled and experienced guide to not get lost and die. A significant amount of money would be invested in this guide and, once again, a bodyguard (it's getting scary down there) (terrorism sucks!), as well as bug spray. LOTS of bug spray.

The last phase would be Alaska, in the fall so the snow begins but it isn't the dead of winter with no sunlight and happiness. I would want to see glaciers and polar bears don't know. What else is in Alaska? All I know is that it's gorgeous there and I would love to go again sometime, in a tourist capacity. I would definitely need to cool off after traipsing through the jungle.

Kim asked:

1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
Well, Kim, I wanted to be a fashion model. Look how well that turned out. As soon as I had a reality check though, I've always wanted to be a scientist, and secretly a singer.

2. What made you fall in love with your husband?
So many things! The previous "serious" relationship I had had went south for a number of reasons, but one of them was my ex's arrogance. He was in love with himself. Scott is nothing like that, which immediately attracted me. He's adorable. He is reliable and completely honest. He's the most selfless person I know, and he would do anything to make me happy. I think the biggest thing was that he made me want to be a better person.

3. What's your favorite book?
I know I should say something like Vanity Fair (which I detested) or Pride and Prejudice (which I do love), you know, something that would make me look well-read and elegant, but I'm going to have to go with the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings (along with the hobbit). It's a tie.

4. When do you normally go to bed?
I usually get in bed around 8:00 and read or surf the internet or watch videos with Scott until 9:00, then I try to sleep.

5. You get to meet a celebrity--who is it?
Honestly, I wouldn't really want to meet anyone. If it were someone I thought was really cool and talented or attractive I would just be kinda awkward and I wouldn't want to be one of those people who fawns over celebrities. That being said, I wouldn't mind having lunch with Mike Rowe.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Movies I Can Always Watch

Ever After
I first watched this movie in high school over at my friend Jacee's house. I loved it! It has the whole fairy tale thing, plus some amusing moments, and I really like Drew Barrymore. I do think that the guy who plays Henry isn't attractive, though.

The Fountain
It took me like three times watching this movie before everything totally made sense. It's beautiful. There are very few movies that I would actually call a film, and this is one of them. It's beautiful from a philosophical standpoint, from an astronomical standpoint, from a spiritual standpoint...this movie is a must-see. The soundtrack is amazing as well; Clint Mansell teamed up with the band Mogwai and they came together so perfectly.

What Dreams May Come
This is another sort of movie like The Fountain. Robin Williams plays one of his better, and less obnoxious, roles. There are dark themes, like death and suicide, but everything comes together in the end in a very happy sort of way, so I love this movie.

P.S. I Love You
This movie makes me cry every time. I love how there are two timelines running simultaneously, the present being shown alongside the past. Gerard Butler is SEXY in this movie. Seriously, I dare you to watch the movie and not fall in love with him. The movie is funny and touching, and is the perfect chick flick, but better. Plus you get to see that one guy's butt. And it's a nice one.

The Phantom of the Opera
Oh look, it's Gerard Butler again. I can't help myself. The costumes! The music! The opulence of the set! I'm always wary of films that are made from plays or books or whatever, because the book is almost always better. I can honestly say I like the movie more than the book in this case. Of course, they're completely different stories, but this movie was extremely well done so I don't mind.

Another musical, adapted from a Broadway play which I've never seen, so I don't know how it compares to the original. But I love the music, and it reminds me of Shelby a bit.

Pride and Prejudice
I love all three versions: The Pink One, The Keira Knightley One, and, of course, the best, The BBC Miniseries, which is the best, but I don't get to watch it often because Scott finds it obnoxious and I don't usually have 5 hours at once to watch a movie.

The Producers
There's something very funny about a guy singing songs about sleeping with old ladies for money. Also, it's a play about Hitler that accidentally turns him into a lovable can't go wrong with that.

Moulin Rouge
I'm impressed to find that Ewan McGregor can sing and dance and play something other than a Jedi. Again, like Phantom, the costumes! And then there's the score, which is made of remakes of many different sorts of songs. I have both discs of the soundtrack and I think there's only like one song I'm not in love with.

John Cusack, HELLO. Though I don't believe in Fate, there is a bit of romance attached to it, and watching a flick about two strangers who are made for each other but don't realize it for several years goes perfectly with hot cocoa. I've always had a thing for John Cusack. It started when I first saw Better Off Dead, and then there was his role in Anastasia, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah love.

Becoming Jane
I love Anne Hathaway. I think she's talented, beautiful and graceful. I'd kill for her figure. Either way, then when you add in James McAvoy and KABOOM, I'm hooked. I liked him better in Wanted, and he was perfectly charming as Mr. Tumnus, and will make an excellent Xavier in the next X-Men movie (X-Men: First Class, in pre-production for sometime in 2011) and he was rumored to play Bilbo in The Hobbit in 2012, but then IMDB changed its mind, so I'm not sure, but that's a very long way of saying I REALLY LIKE THIS GUY, and when you add in 19th century dress and manners, HOO BOY. I mean, come on, look what Pride and Prejudice did to Colin Firth. As if he weren't attractive already.

What are your favorites?