Saturday, May 31, 2008

I also <3 books!

I didn't do much today except read, and it was wonderful! I finished off a book that I borrowed from one of the girls at work: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Wow. I've decided that I absolutely love her books. I picked up another of hers, My Sister's Keeper, at the airport on my way back from my cousin's wedding. I couldn't put it down.

I like how she can change perspectives without losing a reader - that's something that I haven't really tried to work on, because it's kind of scary. I would like to be able to do that, and I think that I'll probably start to work on it after I've read a few more of her books. I'm hoping that, at least subconsiously, I'll start to figure out how she's doing it.

In any case, I can't wait to read another! Ashlee has one that she borrowed from the same girl at work, and I'm hoping that she finished hers, so we can trade. So far, both of the books I've read have made me cry. I'm not talking about just getting a little choked up. I mean tears streaming down my face and I have to put the book down because I can't see the words any more. They're amazing. It's been a long time since a book has been able to draw me so fully into the story that I react like that.

If you haven't read anything by Jodi Picoult, I highly recommend that you give it a try!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mmmm... Movies

I love movies. I watch at least one movie every day. If I like a movie enough, I'll watch it over and over again until I can almost recite the whole thing. I enjoy B-movies - Black Belt Jones will always have a special place in my memory, as will Eight-Legged Freaks. A lot of the movies that I really love are not classics, although some are - Casablanca and An Affair to Remember are wonderful, and I'll watch them over and over again.

I tend to prefer 'chick flicks.' I really do like romantic comedies. Actually, I like most comedy. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is definitely one of my top five films. However, it is joined by the likes of The Object of My Affection, a very cheesy Jennifer Aniston flick. So my taste in movies is not necessarily a reflection of society as a whole, but I am very forgiving in my viewing habits. I have only turned off one movie that I can recall - One Hour Photo. I just couldn't get into it. I was bored and uninterested, and I finally had to give up.

I also collect movies (you may recall that I alphabetize my DVDs). I have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 75-100 movies, and a list of many more that I want to get. I have a soft spot for films on sale. The $4.99 and $9.99 deals at Best Buy get me every time - I can't remember the last time I walked out of there without a new movie. I also fall for those 2 for $15 or 4 for $30 sort of deals that movie stores have on previously viewed movies, and that's where I tend to pick up movies that I'm not too sure of. If I've got 3 and the deal is a 4-for, I'll be pretty random about that last movie.

That's how I ended up with tonight's feature: The Weatherman. I almost turned it off. It didn't really go anywhere. I didn't see any sort of development in the characters until the end, and the movie didn't show the development, just pointed out that after a while, they had changed. It was as if it were trying to be American Beauty. I enjoyed that movie, but it did not need copycats. I had really expected more from The Weatherman - the trailers made it seem kind of interesting. It wasn't. I've watched art films before, and while they're not my favourite genre, I can appreciate them for what they are. This looked like someone trying to make a mainstream art film, and failing. It's sad that I spent a big chunk of my evening watching something that I didn't enjoy. That being said, I'll probably still keep it, because I like having a big movie collection. I just won't watch it again. I'm sure someone will want to borrow it. Eventually. Maybe.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Five Minute Fiction

From Hatch's Plot Bank: she sets deadline - a ring now or get out

Anna sat on the edge of the couch, contemplating her life. She had been dating Tim for three years, and they were everybody's idea of the perfect couple. They had been living together for two of those three years, and each had gradually come to love (or at least accept) the irritating little habits that the other had. As far as Anna knew, neither of them had any plans to move out in the near or distant future, and they got along fabulously. They had a joint bank account, they were paying off the house together, they divided up all the household chores... they were living like an old married couple. There was only one difference - they weren't married.

Anna, like most girls, had grown up playing house and playing bride and planning her wedding to a man she hadn't yet met. Now, at thirty-two, she wanted to plan her wedding with the man she loved. Unfortunately, he seemed to have no plans in that direction. For months, Anna had hinted at the idea. She left the newspaper open to the wedding announcements. She wrote the date of the local wedding exhibition on the calendar. She left bridal magazines scattered throughout the house. Still, nothing. It was time, she decided.

"Honey, I'm home!" Tim called out as he returned from work. He sauntered into the living room and leaned over to give his girlfriend a kiss.

"Tim, I want to get married!" Anna blurted out. "We've been together for three years, and I think it's time that we either move forward or move on."

Tim looked at her for a moment, blinking. Then he shrugged. "I guess I'll start packing." Without another word, he headed into the bedroom. Moments later, Anna heard the unmistakable sound of a suitcase zipper opening.

That wasn't quite the reaction she had hoped for.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I <3 Organizing

If you know me at all, you probably already know this, but I like to organize things. I think it's the science major in me - science is nice and orderly, and I think it's very pretty. I like pretty things.

I have a lot of movies. My DVDs are categorized into Musicals, Family, Comedy, Superhero, and Other, and within these categories, they are alphabetized. I have even more CDs, and they're also categorized and alphabetized. My books are separated into fiction and non-fiction, then organized by category (ChickLit, SciFi, Fantasy, Mystery, General Fiction; Biology, Chemistry, Latin, Classics, etc).

My shoes are all stored on a rack in my downstairs closet, sorted by style. My pens/pencils/markers/etc. are in a divided container, and sorted by type. If the container had more divisions, they'd be sorted by colour, too. My D&D characters are each in their own folder, neatly labeled and stored in my gaming chest by frequency of use. I store my knitting needles in their own case, sorted by size. My crochet hooks, however, live with whatever project they belong with, or in a drawer all together.

I compulsively tidy the tech station at the office. I can't stand all the crap that builds up. It makes it very hard for me to work. Luckily, my supervisor feels the same way, so she's okay with me taking the last ten minutes of the day to make it look pretty.

At my last job, I often had to label charts. We had those little letter stickers that medical offices tend to use. There were about 30/sheet. I liked to use up one row, then the next, and so on, until one sheet was done, then move on to the next one. Colleen, a coworker of mine, liked to grab them totally randomly. This broke me. Finally, one day, I had to just sit there and organize the stickers, until there was only one partial sheet of each letter, and the rest were full. This prompted Debbie to use said stickers to label me: OCDanie.

Have I scared you yet?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Look

Ever have one of those days? Actually, that can be taken so many ways... Last night, I had a dream starring a coworker. Today, I ran into said coworker in the hallway and saw the exact same expression that I saw in the dream, and it was kinda creepy in a cool way.

I loved that look, and I totally thought that I had made it up! I never actually expected to see it... it was a smile, with some intensity and a little bit of brooding, and a little bit of something that I can't really put my finger on. Actually, now that I think for more than a few seconds, I've seen that look before - Angel, from BtVS, had a similar look, although his often had a 'kicked puppy' component. Take out the 'kicked puppy,' and that's kind of the look.

I think the weird part was that I had dreamt it the night before, really. I get all sorts of interesting looks at work, mostly because I tend to watch people's faces as they come around the corner towards me. There's nothing more entertaining than almost getting run down by the crazy doctor and catching the wide-eyed panicked look that is there for a fleeting second before he regains his composure and looks like a jerk again. Of course, there's one doctor in the office who always has the exact same expression except for his eyebrows. They jump up and down a lot, but the rest of his face stays the same. It's a bit odd... same smile, same everything, jumpy eyebrows.

Speaking of looks (and Colby will appreciate this one!), I met an infant the other day whose expression was totally vacant. It was as if there was absolutely nothing going on inside it's head. You'd think this child was raised on a steady diet of soap operas, it was that vacant. It was creepy. I don't know if this kid will become a mind reader - there's nothing to read other minds with.

Oh, and the green light on the webcam is still on. Someone's been getting a thrilling look at my office carpet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

More addictions

I started playing Final Fantasy XII yesterday. I played again today. I've spent about six hours playing it. I've died several times. I can't stop playing. I tried, but I can't. I'm afraid I'm going to spend hours again tomorrow... and I don't have hours to play during the week! But I love this game! It's kinda like watching a movie, with a bit of video game in between. I'm actually only playing so I can get from one cut scene to the next. I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying this, given that I'm not really a video game kind of gal. I'll play SingStar and the Sims 2, but that's about all I've really played in the past year. Apparently, it's all about the kind of game you choose.

On a related note, I joined another D&D campaign today. It wasn't really what I'm used to - the group sort of broke up randomly over the course of the game to go take care of kids or eat dinner. It was odd and disjointed, but still fun. I think I'll go back again.

On a completely unrelated note, my computer has been wonky lately. Today, I had to restart it (twice), but this last time, the green light on my webcam came on, and has not gone off yet. I don't have anything running that would make it work. Maybe someone is watching me... not that I'm doing anything interesting! I'm fully clothed and blogging. And sneezing. They're definitely not getting a show... maybe it's Mordthor... he may have found a new way to keep track of my movements!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Five Minute Fiction

From Hatch's Plot Bank: "thinks letter from idol is personal "

"It's here! It's here!" MaryAnn squealed, dropping the other mail as she held aloft the large white envelope. The sun shone from behind it, giving it an almost holy appearance, which seemed rather appropriate in her opinion.

"MaryAnn! Pick up that mail!" her mother called from the front door. She shook her head - rock and roll would be the end of that girl, she was sure.

"Yes, Mother," MaryAnn said. She hurried to pick up the other, unimportant envelopes, careful not to let them touch the pristine surface of the letter clutched in her left hand. She dumped the other envelopes unceremoniously onto the kitchen table before rushing upstairs with her prize.

MaryAnn laid across her bed, just staring at the handwritten address on the envelope. "Miss Mary Ann March," she read aloud. She could just picture Justin writing those very words himself. "Mrs. MaryAnn Timberlake," she said, grinning.

She wasn't entirely sure what his reply would be, but it would be absolutely perfect, she was certain. After all, MaryAnn knew that she truly was his biggest fan, and the letter she had sent him had been the best letter he could ever have received - after all, she had spent nearly a month writing and rewriting it, trying to get the wording perfet. Justin deserved the best, and that's what she wanted to offer him. She knew that, after reading her declaration of love and admiration, there was no way he could do anything but respond in kind!

Taking a deep breath, MaryAnn opened the envelope carefully, trying to preserve it for her scrapbook. She reached inside and pulled out... an 8x10 glossy photograph with a signature in the bottom corner. Just a signature - not even her name! 'Well, he is busy,' she thought. 'Maybe he forgot to personalize the photo.' Behind it was a piece of paper, and her heart leapt - of course he had written back.

"'My dear fan,'" she began to read out loud. "'Thank you for taking the time to send me a letter...' Wait a second! This is typed!" Her eyes widened with the realization that this was a form letter. He probably hadn't even read the letter she had worked so hard on...

"Stupid musicians!" she shouted, throwing down the envelope, photo and letter. MaryAnn heaved a great sigh, then looked at the bulletin board over her desk. A smile began to cross her face once more. "Musicians are not the way to go... but actors!" In a flash, she was at her desk, composing a fervent declaration of her love for Matthew McConaughy. HE would definitely write back!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ouch... Brain...

I hurt. My head is about to explode and leave little bits of brain all over the walls. It won't be pretty.

In the spirit of headaches, here is a list of things that I managed to do while in agony today (and notes about why I will never do some of them again!):

1. Read half of a book (I will have to reread it, as I can't remember a darn thing)
2. Lie on the floor hoping my head wouldn't explode (The lying down part was good, the floor was not)
3. Watch 3 movies
4. Go out for dinner (Not making food was good, being in a noisy restaurant was not)
5. Get a head and back rub - definitely recommending this one!
6. Play with the puppy (Hard work, but she's totally worth it - and she seemed to know I was sucky today, and just wanted to cuddle)
7. Blog about having a headache

And now, the best part of the day... going to bed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gaming provides such fodder!

Some of my favourite quotes have come out of D&D sessions. For those of you who aren't cool enough to know what D&D is, I shake my head. It is Dungeons & Dragons, an awesome role-playing game. It's often thought of as a very geeky past time, but it's actually really cool. Think of those 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books that you read back in elementary school - it's kinda like that, only live.

I play in a couple of different campaigns - Bloodwars runs mostly on Saturdays, but not every week because a few of our players come in from out of town. Poor Bastards is relatively new, and was started because not everyone from Bloodwars can come in every week. I've only played in Hemlock Creek once, because it's almost impossible to get everyone there together. Tonight, we started a new campaign, but it doesn't have a name yet. Wait for it, though, because we'll figure it out soon!

In any case, D&D generates awesome quotes. Here are some of my favourites:

"Buy me a drink, I'll kill you tomorrow!" (said cheerfully)

"Torture is like the Diet Coke of evil." (while trying to defend the use of torture to get information from a captive)

"It's crack in a can!" (describing 2nd edition D&D, which is totally inaccurate - 3.5 is the way to go!)

"You're not sliding down the slope towards evil. You're wearing skis and a jet pack!"

See? Lots of fun reasons to play D&D!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Disappointment

So I didn't make it. That sucks.

Auditions for Guys and Dolls were earlier this week, and I was really psyched about it because, while I wasn't happy with my singing audition, I thought I did well with the dancing. Apparently I was wrong.

Luckily, I deal relatively well with rejection. *goes and cries in a corner*

In other news, I learned several new things today. I can now change a tire and pump my own gas. I learned these things in that order. A car is an interesting thing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rewards

Today's post is all about rewards. It turns out, I'm a reward-based person. Actually, I knew this long ago. If I know I've got something good waiting for me, I'll put up with the crap that I have to do to get it.

My puppy is a very food-motivated creature. If there's a cookie waiting for her, she'll learn to sit or come or pee outside. It's very handy to know this. I'm trying to use treats to teach her to stay OFF of the couch. Treats are food, so I know that it will [eventually] work.

I like many different types of rewards. Today, a food reward (cookies from Subway) helped me get through the tedium of cleaning and stocking my rooms at the office. I've got a stash of chocolate in my kitchen, and when I'm trying to organize my apartment, I'll reward myself with a bite-size bar of somethingorother. In November, when I'm doing NaNoWriMo, I'll reward myself with Smarties - one Smartie for every 250 words. I am, of course, talking about the good Canadian Smarties, not the icky American ones. The Canadian ones are 'candy-coated chocolate,' similar to M&Ms, but a million times better.

I'll also reward myself with stickers during NaNo. I keep a poster beside my computer, and for every 1000 words, I get a shiny star on the chart. After 50000 words, that's a lot of bling! And speaking of bling, I often like to reward myself with shopping. I tend to buy movies or yarn - my two favourite things to hoard. I'll also buy Avon jewelery (love it!) or iPod accessories. I've gone for books in the past (I also love to hoard those), but lately I've been borrowing books from coworkers, so I've had stuff to read without purchase.

I reward myself for writing in my blog every night by letting myself read any comments on previous entries, and then looking at my friends' blogs. So help me reward myself - leave comments!

In summary, rewards are good. I will work for rewards.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Short post!

It's storming outside, so I will be turning off the computer ASAP, but I couldn't post earlier because tonight was Movie Night (TM). We watched the final installment of the Pirates trilogy, and it was great! I love that monkey. And the parrot. I'm still not sure if I'm really happy with the ending, but I'm not nearly as unhappy with it as others were!

P.S. Mia hates thunderstorms.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Five minute fiction

From Hatch's Plot Bank: "fails to report robbery until 3 days later "

"And when did this alleged robbery take place, Ms. Banks?" the detective asked, surveying the scene around him. It certainly looked as if the apartment had been ransacked, but the young woman's story just didn't sound right.

"March 14," replied the young blonde woman, blinking innocently. The almost-vacant look in her eyes made the detective wonder if perhaps she truly was telling the truth.

"March 14," Detective Stone repeated. "Three days ago?"

"Yes," Anna Banks said with a nod. "That's right."

"And what have you been doing for the past three days?"

"Oh, you know how it is... I had to go in to the restaurant, and then I had my headshots redone, and oh, I had my singing lessons. Oh! And there were some speech lessons, too." Anna's eyes surveyed the ceiling as she tried to recount what she had done. "And I went to the gym a lot."

"Is there any particular reason that you did not report this robbery sooner?" Detective Stone asked.

"I was awfully busy," Anna told him, sounding almost exasperated. "I had to work, and all those lessons and working out - it's hard work, trying to be an actress in Vancouver."

"And you saw your apartment like this?" the detective asked, trying to wrap his brain around the young woman's attempt at logic.

"I did," she replied. "And I didn't touch a thing - I was an extra on CSI two years ago, and all of them kept telling you not to touch anything, because it would be tampering with evidence. I even kept my kitty locked in the bedroom so she wouldn't move anything. I'd hate to ruin evidence."

The detective stared at her. She was dead serious. The guys would laugh their asses off at this one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I can't believe I've kept forgetting!

I made it a whole month without missing a blog entry! The only pseudo-exception was when the tornados knocked out my power, but I still did a vlog and posted it as soon as I could, so I count that as a hit. I've meant to comment on it for, like, five days, but I've remembered after I finished blogging and turned off the computer for the night. So today, I celebrate!

WOOT! One whole month!

On a side note, it's sad that Colby and I have such different monkeys in our lives. Hers is the battered-wife style battle monkey, who crosses swords with her at every chance... it reminds me a bit of the undead monkey from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Mine is just a happy monkey who hangs from trees and eats bananas... more like Curious George, except less troublesome. Our monkeys will never be able to be friends, because I don't want mine to learn all of those crazy ninja tricks. I can barely sleep worrying about Mordthor. I don't need to worry about a ninja monkey, too.

And related to Colby, auditions for "Guys and Dolls" at MLT started tonight. I didn't know there would be a dance audition, so I dressed for a singing audition - jeans, cute little shoes, semi-warm shirt. Let's just say, I'm SOOOO glad I'm a dancer! Despite not being dressed for it, mentally prepared for it, and not having taken a real dance class since this time last year, I think I did pretty well. Apparently, I can still do the splits. Yay! Well... we'll see how my groin feels tomorrow before I cheer too much. But the singing part... ick. I can't sing at auditions. I can sing later, in rehearsals, and I can sing before. Just not at auditions. Oh well. We'll see how it goes. Cast list goes up on Friday... a very long time to wait!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Preggo brain, puppy brain

Today, Shane said that he thought that you had to be pregnant first to end up with 'Mommy brain,' but that I seemed to have developed it since getting Mia (the puppy).

I have several friends in various stages of pregnancy and motherhood, and the preggo brain/mommy brain seems to be a fairly consistant feature in all of them. They completely lose their ability to remember things, and it's not unusual to hear one item of news seven or eight times, but not hear something else until months after it happened. I think Shane accused me of this because I kept trying to tell him the same thing over and over again. However, I think that I kept trying to tell him the same thing because it still applied - I needed to get new ink for my printer.

But I thought about it, and I think I have developed 'Puppy brain,' which is similar to Mommy brain - my attention is now constantly divided. I'll be on the phone with someone, and they hear me telling Mia to sit, or that she's a good girl, or any number of other things. My attention span has decreased to match the puppy's - I don't know if this is a good thing or not. I didn't have a particularly long attention span to start with.

Oo! And I should tell you about the cup!

But back to puppy brain... I think I've developed it. Heaven help me if I ever have kids!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Question:

From http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/prompts.html: What would you do if you found a magic wand?

If I found a magic wand, I would be very careful with it. After all, you don't want to go randomly waving around magic wands or tapping things with it. Mycroft found a magic wand and she didn't know what it was for. She didn't do anything with it until she and her friends found themselves walking on this squishy face thing. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time... she tapped the mouth bit with her wand, and suddenly, it was huge! What had been a somewhat intimidating mouth in the floor was now a huge and terrifying mouth in the floor. Luckily, they managed to get away, but they learned their lesson! When you find a magic wand, carefully put it away until you can show your wizard friend and get him to identify it, because you never know when you'll end up with a wand of bigness!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Five minute fiction

Five minutes to think, five minutes to write...

From the Imagination Prompt Generator:

Brainstorm 10 titles to your autobiography.
1. Crossing Borders
2. Falling Over
3. Tales from a Broken Girl
4. Confessions of a Yarn Whore
5. Walking Contradiction
6. Everything and Nothing: Who Am I, Really?
7. Danielle's Guide to Housebreaking (Dogs, Men, and more)
8. Black and White: My Life in Photographs
9. Dancing in Circles
10. What I Did For Love

Name five things in your freezer.
1. Toffee-flavoured ice cream bars
2. Two apple pies and a meat pie. Or two meat pies and an apple pie. Unlabeled.
3. Homemade chicken soup
4. Kroger brand chicken tenders
5. Ice


From chrisbrogan.com:

Ten Guilty Pleasures
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. People magazine
3. Dove chocolate
4. US magazine
5. OK magazine
6. Tabloids in general
7. D&D (in some circles - with others, there is no guilt)
8. I really can't think of any more...
9.
10.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lots to celebrate!

What a day! There's so much to celebrate!

First, I learned how to parallel park today. Woot! I practiced downtown tonight, and I had to imagine cars based on where the lines on the road were. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the lines on the road because I was inside the car. But I got the theory of it. Then, as we were on the way home for the night, Shane saw a spot right between two cars, so I got to practice with real cars! It was soooo much easier - apparently I am no good at all at imagining cars, but I can handle the real thing. Just a bit more practice, and I'll be ready to take my road test!

Second, and more important (in my opinion), my puppy did not have any accidents while I was home tonight! Even better, while she was crated (while we were driving), she didn't have any accidents in the crate! She's done her business (I love puppy euphemisms) every time I've taken her outside tonight. I'm so proud of her! Things are finally starting to click with her, I think. Ring bell, go outside, THEN pee, THEN come back in. For a while, she had the order wrong...

So hurray for today! Only problem is, driving (while fun) still stresses me out a bit, so I'm exhausted and going to bed. But I've started formulating the idea for a new story... we'll see what percolates while I'm sleeping. I'll let the idea marinate overnight. I love using marinate in a non-food context - I heard it in the movie "Kissing Jessica Stein" and I wish I had more opportunities to use it in everyday life. Off to percolate and marinate!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I like to drive

I like to drive. To some of you, this may seem like an odd statement to make. I think most people like to drive. Driving gets you from point A to point B very efficiently. It may be a tad expensive with the current gas prices, but it's still relatively efficient. In the time it takes me to walk to the store (not in the store or back home, just to the store), I can drive, shop and get home. Efficient.



Most people over the age of fifteen drive on a regular basis. Up until last month, I was not most people. I have had a learner's permit (or beginner's license or whatever you want to call it) for thirteen years. Yes, thirteen years. In the city where I used to live, I could get everywhere either by walking or by using public transportation. The buses were reliable, clean, and safe, and most people used them at least occasionally. There was truly no need for me to learn how to drive. Since I couldn't afford a car, I didn't bother getting my license.

In Georgia, you need a car. It takes 45 minutes to walk to the nearest grocery store. By the time I get home in the summer, the milk would be spoiled. So I have found it rather important to learn to drive.

I never really liked the idea of driving. I preferred to let someone else be behind the wheel. There was less responsibility and less concentration required on my part. I was lazy, I suppose. There was also the fact that I had seen other people driving. Many, many drivers are idiots. No, that's being generous. In any case, I had no real desire to share the road with any of them.


In the last several weeks, though, I have been driving more and more. I have a car now, though technically I don't own it on my own, because they won't sell you a car if you don't have a driver's license. That was a bit frustrating, but really, it's a good policy. Anyways, it turns out that I like driving! Who'd have thought? So I'm hoping to do my road test in a few weeks and get a full license, after thirteen years. Crazy!

It helps that I love my car. That's her, off to the right. Ruby (that's her name) is a 1999 Volkswagon New Beetle. She's got heated leather (or possibly fake leather) seats, which is kind of redundant in Georgia, especially in the summer, but it'll be nice if I take her up north. She has a pink gerbera daisy in the flower vase, and she's just a cute girly car. I've got a harness for my dog, so when she's big enough, I'll drive around in my girly red Beetle with a pink flower and a Miniature Pinscher. I feel like a stereotype. But somehow, I really don't mind!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mordthor strikes again

Some of you may be familiar with the evil that is Mordthor. If you are not, I recommend that you go visit Colby to get the full story. The gist of it, however, is that Mordthor is evil.

I have now looked that evil in its beady little eyes. Last night, as I was heading upstairs to my room, I noticed movement on the ceiling in the hallway. I looked up, and I was horrified to see a red roach moseying its way across my ceiling. It wasn't skittering or looking particularly purposeful - it was moseying. I think it was just watching me as it moseyed. I panicked - partly because I know about the evil of Mordthor, partly because roaches creep me out, and partly because the prospect of a roach falling on my head freaks me out more than words can impart. In any case, because I am short, I had to call the brave and mighty killer of things on the ceiling, Shane. Brave and mighty Shane made short work of the roach, but not before it left a clear message - Mordthor knows where I am.


I don't know why he knows where I am. Perhaps he knows the fear that he and his minions can strike into my heart. However, I suspect that his intentions are not directed at me. No, I think that he is still hunting Colby - somehow, he found out that she was over here on Saturday night, and this was a message to her. He knows how to find her. So Colby, consider yourself warned - Mordthor knows all!!!!!!


P.S. Here is the evidence:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stupid tornado!

It knocked out my power and my internet access, but a tornado can't keep me from blogging, darn it! Here's the vlog I did just to keep my streak of daily blogging:

video

Edit: Bonus! I can change the date to reflect the true date of the blog! But I swear, I will only use this when Mother Nature and other forces conspire to deprive me of internet access, and only if I truly do blog on that day, even if it's only on paper and then gets transcribed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Singing with the girls

Tonight rocked! Ashlee, Colby, and Kaitlin (in alphabetical order, so as not to imply any sort of preference!) came over and we played SingStar, and it makes such a difference to have singers playing it! Until Kaitlin killed Colby's dreams, of course. But Colby and I still kicked Ashlee and Kaitlin's butts! We'll definitely have to do it again.


And my puppy was so well-behaved! She didn't bite anyone, and while she peed on the carpet twice, she went outside twice, too, so it was a better day than it has been. I also now have a bottle of "Nature's Miracle," which is supposed to help enzymatically clean her accidents, so she won't keep going in the same spot inside. We'll see how that works out. She also has a new harness, but it's a bit too big, because she keeps gnawing at it, so I'll wait and let her grow into it a bit more. And she has a car harness, so we can go for drives together, but it is also too big. She's still growing, though, so we'll be fine.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's not dead yet!


I thought my camera was dead - it was stuck in limbo between on and off, with the lens bit sticking out, and the screen black. However, it was just stuck! I brought it out to show my photographer friend, to see if she could do anything with it, and I somehow bumped the lens bit. It went back in, so I hit the power button, and it worked! Now, it's still close to dead - it's been putting these icky lines across random photos if it has anything but full power - but I can still use it! So today's blog is full of all those pictures that I've been meaning to post!


First up, above and to your left, is the awesome monkey bedspread that I talked about a few posts back ('a few posts back' is like 'the other day' in that it could be yesterday, or it could be two weeks ago). The sheets, which are mostly hidden by the duvet, are blue and teal striped, with a little monkey border. I love them.

Next up: the monkey rug! According to the tag on the rug, it's supposed to be a bathmat. While I tend to follow the manufacturer's suggestions about the intended uses of most items, this one is an exception to the rule. Why? Because I don't have monkeys in my bathroom. If I did, this would certainly be the bathmat of choice. However, my bathroom has a more... Barbie doll feeling to it. Yes, my bathroom is filled with Barbie-pink accessories - you know, that bright, not-quite-neon-not-really-magenta colour that's on all of the Barbie doll and accessory packages. You can see how the monkey bathmat really doesn't fit with that scheme. Instead, it is a monkey beside-the-bed mat. And my puppy enjoys trying to eat its ears.




Finally, my puppy! This is Mia, the unhousebroken. In this photo, she is located in my lap, which is her favourite place to be. Isn't she adorable? Even if she does poop everywhere...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Doctor

"Good morning, Mr. Smith," he said, an ominous tone in his voice. "Let's get started." With a sharp nod of his head, the doctor indicated that he was about to start. Across the room, a nurse flipped off the overhead lights. The glow from the television screen filled the room, and two spotlights illuminated the surgical field and the instrument tray. The not-so-relaxing sound of adult contemporary music was an eerie background to the sounds of the machinery in the room.

"The fifteen and the point one-twos," the doctor said sharply, holding out his hands. The nurse hurried to place the instruments, careful to keep the points facing her, rather than the doctor, terrified of incurring his wrath. Looking through his scope, the doctor placed the forceps against Mr. Smith's eye, then slid the fifteen blade into the tissue at the greyish line that separated the white of his eye from the clear front portion. A small amount of liquid oozed from the fresh wound, though there was a complete lack of blood. The doctor handed back the instruments and waited for the next piece. Again, the nurse hurried, placing a syringe filled with a viscous material into his hand. With a deft movement, the doctor depressed the stopper, and a thin snake of the material began to fill the front portion of Mr. Smith's eye. In only moments, the natural fluid of his eye had been forced out and replaced with this thick substance.

"The diamond blade," the doctor demanded, sounding impatient. He deftly opened the sharp instrument, momentarily admiring how the light glinted off of the perfectly shaped blade. Holding the eye carefully, he smoothly made the second, larger incision. Withdrawing the blade, he looked at it again, almost disappointed that he would have to put it away. Slowly, at least relative to his other movements, he handed the blade back to the nurse and accepted the next instrument, a sort of pick. He made a small nick in the membrane in Mr. Smith's eye, then carefully peeled a hole in it with a pair of forceps. Taking a syring filled with saline, he injected the fluid behind the hole he had just created. Behind his mask, the doctor grinned as he watched the zonules breaking as the saline swirled around, making little eddies in Mr. Smith's eye. This was his favourite part. He prodded inside the eye until the newly-freed lens began to twist gently.

"Phaco," he said, his voice getting softer. The nurse handed over the heavy, silver-toned instrument, carefully arranging the cords so they would not interfere with the doctor's reach. With a slight pressure on the footswitch, the phaco leapt to life in the doctor's hand, humming as he began to remove tissue from within the eye. The humming changed in pitch as he worked, making its own little tune, contrasting with the music that played over the speakers. The doctor preferred the hum of the phaco, though he would never admit that to anyone else. All too soon, it was over, and he had to hand it back to the nurse. She replaced it with a smaller instrument, and he removed the last of the offending tissue from within the eye.

"Lens," the doctor said, feeling more cheerful than he had when he started. "Lens!" he repeated, looking up from his scope to glare at the nurse. Above her mask, her eyes looked terrified as she fumbled with the injector mechanism. "I don't have all day. Lens."

The nurse managed to finish loading the injector and handed it over, nearly in tears. The doctor glared at her once more, his good mood vanishing as quickly as it had started to appear. Almost roughly, he inserted the tip of the injector into the patient's eye. Twisting the end of the injector, he watched as the yellow plastic piece entered Mr. Smith's eye. Handing the injector back to the nurse, the doctor was pleased to note that she had the Sensky in his hand immediately. Carefully, the doctor manipulated the two haptics, the little curved pieces that came off of the middle circle of plastic, manouevering them into place.

It took only a few moments longer to remove the remaining viscous substance from the eye and replace it with saline, then inject another medication to constrict the eye. As the doctor checked his incisions one last time, the nurse across the room turned the lights back on and the nurse beside him began to clean her instruments.

"That's it, Mr. Smith," the doctor said, pulling the sticky drape from the patient's face with little regard for the pieces of eyebrow that now found a home on the drape rather than on Mr. Smith's face. "We'll see you tomorrow." He rose from his stool and tore off his surgical gown and gloves, shoving them into the trash as the two nurses turned their attentions to the patient.

"That's it?" Mr. Smith asked. "He's not going to do anything else?"

"That's it," one of the nurses replied, looking at her coworker with a meaningful glance. "We'll take care of the rest of it."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

House Breaking Me

I love my puppy. I hate housebreaking.

I decided to try Colby's suggestion about how to train her - take her out for 3 minutes, if she does nothing, bring her in and crate her for 5 minutes, then repeat. We did this for about an hour after work. I started to wonder if there was a time to stop trying, so during one of the 5-minute crate breaks, I went upstairs to try to find Colby's message to see if there was a time limit that I should follow. It took a while to look (and I never did find it), so the five minutes turned into about fifteen. When I came downstairs, Mia had pooed in her crate. So I let her out so I could disassemble and clean it. While I was cleaning it out, she peed on the carpet.

Crap.

So we'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Forgetting things, and the South

Have you ever had one of those days when you knew you needed to pick something up at the store, but you couldn't remember what it was, but you went out anyways, figuring you'd remember by the time you got there? And then you got to the store, but still couldn't remember, so you decided it wasn't really that important after all? And then you got home and remembered what it was, and it turned out that it actually was quite important? I did that today. The quite important thing? Toilet paper.

I was watching the news tonight with Shane, and he pointed out something interesting. You know you're in the South (with a capital S) when a man who was bleeding, beaten, appeared to have attempted suicide, and was the prime suspect in the brutal stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend is referred to on the news as "the gentleman fleeing the scene." Personally, I would have left off the 'gentle' part...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pirates rock!

I think pirates might just be the coolest thing ever.

I watched Pirates of the Caribbean again tonight (hooray for Movie Night!), and it was awesome. I've been thinking about it since I got home (about ten minutes ago), and I don't think I've ever seen a pirate movie or read a pirate story that I didn't like. I think that the next NaNovel I do should be about pirates. At the very least, it should have pirates in it. I really enjoyed the skeleton pirates in the movie, but they've been done, so I think I'll have to find something else.

This, of course, means that I need to learn a little more about pirates. This is a good thing, because I like learning, and I love an excuse to buy new books. So I shall begin studying pirates and related subjects like swordplay, parrots, and monkeys. Have I mentioned that I also like monkeys?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A mildly productive day

I like Sundays. On Sunday, I get to take care of the stuff that I need to take care of. Today, I did a crapload of laundry and almost finished a baby blanket - I should get it completely done by tomorrow, which is good, because the baby is due on the 14th. However, I got more yarn than I needed, so now I need to figure out something else to do with it... suggestions are welcome!

I also managed to convince my computer that it really does know how to rip DVDs. Soon, I'll be able to watch all of my movies on my iPod! *cackles* There's nothing more fun than surreptitiously watching a movie instead of working... Not that I can really pull that off, since all of my working is with patients and they would probably notice if I stopped doing an eye exam to stare at my iPod.

I even considered writing today, but I realized that I could work on my novel pretty much whenever I want to after this blanket is done, because it has no deadline. So the novel waited, and I crocheted. All day. Except for breaks for laundry. But I have felt very productive, and this is a good thing.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cow Clock

From http://www.angelfire.com/nc/tcrpress/plots1.html : "stupid cow clock with swinging tail has to go!"

Tick. Tick. Tick. Swish. Swish. Swish. Tick. Swish. Tick. Swish. Tick. Swish. Twitch. Tick. Swish. Twitch.

The vein in Lise's forehead appeared to keep time with the ticking of the clock. Her left eyelid twitched rhythmically. Her eyes kept darting back to the monstrosity hanging on the wall across from her.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

Her head cocked slightly to one side, then back to the centre, as if following the tail of the cow clock.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

Her hands balled up into fists, then relaxed, then balled up again.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

The seconds passed slowly, and Lise still kept watching the clock, as if by staring at it for long enough, she could will it out of existance.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

"Honey?" Phillip called as he walked through the front door, wondering where his new bride was.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

"In. Here." The reply came as stacatto as the second hand.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

Phillip slowly looked into the kitchen, feeling a bit apprehensive at Lise's tone. He stared at her staring at the clock, watching the balling of her fists, the twitching of her eye, and the pulsing of her vein.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

"Honey? Is everything okay?" Phillip asked, hoping that he was not about to get himself killed by asking.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

Eye still twitching, Lise turned towards her husband. "It has to go."

"But it was a wedding present," Phillip tried to protest.

Tick. Swish. Twitch. Twitch. Twitch.

"That stupid cow clock with the swinging tail has to go," she repeated. For a brief moment, Phillip considered protesting again. After all, the clock had been a gift from his mother. Another glance at Lise convinced him to let it go - the twitching was now double-time, and the vein looked as if it might pop.

"All right," he replied, backing away from her. Slowly, so as not to upset her further, Phillip reached up to the clock, very much aware of Lise's eyes trying to bore holes into him. He took it down from the wall.

Tick. Swish. Twitch.

Still moving slowly, he pulled out the batteries.

Twitch. Twitch... twitch... ... ...

"Better?" he asked, almost afraid of the response.

"Much!" Lise replied brightly, hopping down from the chair and crossing the room to plant a kiss on his cheek before leaving with a wide grin on her face.

Phillip looked down at the clock, his expression somewhere between confusion and horror. "I think you'll go live in the attic," he told the clock.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sleeeeepy Danie

It's been a long day - I still don't like my job. But after work, I came home, iced a cake, fed a puppy, got gussied up (I love that phrase!), went to dinner with friends, came home, ate cake, chit chatted, played with a puppy, and now am getting ready for bed.

Shane's birthday fun was full of much fun - we ate tons of food at Carrabba's (though I forgot my to-go box on the table!) and had a really good time. Everyone then piled back to my place for chocolate cake, and I've decided that this particular recipe is a definite keeper. Shane opened presents (always fun!), and we hung out for hours. Pat and Anna's puppy came for a visit, too, and Mia totally dominated and scared her, which was funny because Mia is barely more than half the size of Una. I do like the similarity of the names, though.

However, it will be a short blog tonight, because I have two men staying with me tonight (*giggle*) and I have to make up the couch and the spare bedroom for them. And I have to figure out what I'm doing with the puppy. So goodnight!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I knowed that

My father was a great dad. He still is. He was, and is, however, a stickler for proper grammar. Actually, stickler is too gentle a term. He's a grammar nazi. I love it. He is the one who taught me how to speak properly, and because I know how to speak properly, I am comfortable with intentionally breaking the rules of proper grammar in order to prove a point. Because of him, I also have very little patience for people who cannot speak properly. I currently live in the south. I work with old people. This is not a good combination.

I am perfectly willing to accept that, because of the lifestyle in the south, and the historical professions of many of the patients who come into the office, they have not had the same educational opportunities as the majority of the people who lived in my previous hometown. When a little old lady comes in and leaves off half of the letters in all of her words, I'm willing to chalk it up to Alzheimer's or poor-fitting dentures or growing up on a plantation in the middle of nowhere. However. If you are an RN, you have obviously had some type of formal education, and there is no excuse for butchering the language so thoroughly that I can barely comprehend you. You didn't 'knowed' something. You 'knew' it. Learn some freaking English!!!

*end rant*