Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Saturday, November 29

NaNoWriMo Update

Update: Banner removed.

Look to the right of the page. See that? Yup, that's my winner's badge. You know what that means? It means I actually did it. I wrote 50,000 words in one month. In fact, my novel is 50,451 words.

Is it Shakespeare?

No.

Is it publishable?

Um, definitely not.

Is it someone I'd even let my friends read?

Not a chance.

But did I do it?

Yes! Yes I did!

Now maybe I'll do a little more blogging once again, you know, until I have a newborn to take care of in which case my blogging frequency will probably drop considerably.
Friday, November 21

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Last night, as Adam was driving home from the hospital...

What?! Hospital?!

Relax. He's mostly OK. He managed to dislocate his shoulder (again) and chipped a bone in the process. He said it wasn't as painful as usual, in fact he didn't really want to go to the hospital in the first place but needed a doctor's note for disability/work issues. When the doc wanted to do an x-ray he didn't think it was necessary. But, low and behold, a chipped bone. So other than not being able to use his right arm for two weeks (and therefore not being able to work) he's doing fine. He's a little stiff and sore but the sling prevents him from moving it in such a way that would be painful.

Anyhow...he was driving home from the hospital yesterday and suddenly "a bright flash caught [his] attention up ahead. [He] looked up and a streaking fireball hurled out of the clouds towards the ground. It was really a spectacular sight to behold. At first [he] wasn't sure if it was the end of the world. [He] cringed and waited for the shock wave but since the nuke didn't go off [he] assumed it was a meteor instead."

Apparently the celestial light show was seen all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. You can read about it here. As you've probably guessed, the accepted explanation is meteor (though they're hoping it was a meteorite). Of course, there are other theories.
My personal favorite is Wormwood, since it would coincide so nicely with the recent election of the Antichrist (insert eye rolling here).

What are your theories?

ETA:
Thursday, November 20

Peter Pan

Recently Adam and I watched Hook (which I happen to think is quite fun). Adam had never seen Disney's Peter Pan, and I could only remember seeing it once a long time ago. So last night we watched it.

Can I just say that both Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are HUGE jerks?

Peter Pan is self-obsessed and seems to either be completely oblivious to others' feelings or does not care about said feelings.

And Tinkerbell tries to get Wendy killed, and when that fails, Shanghaied.

It just further makes me question people's love affair with Tinkerbell.

Adam's thoughts on the movie were something along the lines of "Well, that just encourages girls to seek out abusive relationships doesn't it?"

He's got a point:
  • Tinkerbell almost gets herself killed trying to rescue her precious Peter Pan despite the fact that he seemed to ignore her very existence the moment he met Wendy (not that that excuses Tinkerbell trying to off the poor girl).
  • Peter then ignores Wendy on multiple occasions as well. Heck, when the mermaids (who also seem to have a fan-worship love affair thing for Pan) completely soak Wendy in jealousy Pan just laughs and acts like it's no big deal. He is either stupid enough to believe them when they claim they were "just having fun" or doesn't really care that Wendy is being bullied. And after rescuing Tiger Lily Wendy gets completely ignored by Peter yet again. The only person who pays her any mind at the Indian camp is an old woman who sends her to fetch firewood. Yet, after returning home and telling her mother about the adventure Wendy gushes about how wonderful Peter Pan is.
  • Mr. Darling clearly has some anger management problems. (When I pointed out to Adam that he apologized and such after calming down Adam made the point that anyone can be loving and apologetic when they're calm...what matters is how people act when they're angry. He's totally right. Even the most abusive boyfriends/spouses/fathers/etc. act sorry once they're calmed down/sobered up/etc.)
  • Then, looking at things from a different perspective, Tinkerbell is kind of abusive/manipulative of Peter. She gets so insanely jealous of him spending time with Wendy that she pouts and, like I mentioned, tries to get her killed. Yet later in the movie Peter insists that Tink is the most important thing in the whole world to him. So even though Tink would have his friends killed and even though Peter seems totally content to ignore Tinkerbell she's "the most important thing in the whole world to him?"
As I thought more and more about it all I started to think "OK. Everybody is going to think you're taking this way too seriously." Yeah. I am, kind of. I mostly point all this out because it's just so silly/ridiculous. But the more you look into it the more wacko the movie becomes. Here are some aspects of abuse (as well as here and here). The following are all applicable to behavior demonstrated (to some extent) by one of more characters in Peter Pan.

  • Rejecting - refusing to acknowledge a person's presence, value or worth.
  • Dominance — Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.
  • Intimidation — Your abuser may use a variety of intimation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.
  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his violence and abuse is your fault.

And some questions that if answered yes indicate an abusive relationship (as seen in Peter Pan):

Does the individual...
  • ignore your feelings?
  • ridicule or insult you then tell you its a joke, or that you have no sense of humor? (And I would add, "or let others insult you then tell you its a joke)
  • present a wonderful face to the world and is well liked by outsiders?
  • threaten to leave, or threaten to throw you out?
  • harass you about imagined affairs?
  • interrupt you; hear but not really listen?
  • give you the silent treatment?
  • treat you like [an]...object?
Wow. That's a whole lot of messed up for a movie that's for kids and about kids. You know there is a problem with your story's protagonists when the antagonist (Hook) inspires more sympathy.

Actually, the character who inspires the most sympathy is Nana, the poor dog. All her efforts to tidy the Darling nursery are promptly destroyed by the human members of the family and then she gets punished for no reason other than Mr. Darling's anger management issues. And she gets left behind while the children fly off to Neverland, and man can she really pull off the "sad puppy dog eyes!"

I probably don't even need to mention how incredibly offensive the portrayal of Native Americans in Peter Pan is. Aside from the controversy over the word squaw* the movie just reeks of politically incorrectness. Now, don't get me wrong. I know political correctness can definitely go to far. But when one of your main characters gets to call all "Indjuns" unintelligent I think it's fair to say there's a bit of a problem.

All in all the movie is pretty messed up. People have been pointing out issues with various Disney movies for decades (I once had a classmate who wrote a research paper on how anti-feminist many Disney movies are). Sometimes concerns are pretty valid (yeah...maybe Disney needed to stop making quite so many movies in which the heroine accomplished nothing but falling in love and being rescued by the man). Sometimes concerns were just too silly (like the hubbub over the hyenas in Lion King being voiced by African Americans...um...so was Mufasa and he was definitely a good guy). But I think it's safe to say that when your movie is sufficiently messed up enough that the audience can't enjoy watching it (because they're so annoyed by the characters) that you might want to reevaluate things. I mean, at least with most of the movies people have complaints about the movie is still fun to watch. But, sorry, watching Tinkerbell pout for 77 minutes is just not fun.

So there's my two cents on an issue that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

*"the word has been used in a very racist and sexually abusive way, so it definitely has negative implications now. Like "nigger," the word "squaw" should be retired from public use. It is also not an Indian word and no Indians ever use it among themselves."
Monday, November 17

Nesting Is a Lie

I've been waiting and waiting for my nesting instinct to kick in. Other moms in my online due date club are so caught up in it they're getting the urge to clean, organize, install the car seat, etc. at un-holy hours. And I sit and wonder (with dread) if I'm going to be one of those women who never gets the nesting instinct because, quite frankly, I could use a little extra motivation to finish preparing for this baby.

This is how I'd *like* things to be...

This is the reality.

Oh well...I've still got over a month until my due date. Maybe there is still hope?

But for now this would be an accurate depiction of how I'm feeling.
Thursday, November 13

Freecycle Abuse

I love Freecycle. I have gotten some great stuff on there (namely lots and lots of baby clothes). But, like most people who use it on a regular basis, I have my Freecycle pet peeves. The biggest of which is this: people making ridiculous requests.

See, here is how Freecycle works, after you've posted an item to give you are allowed to post requests for items you want/need. All offers and requests must be strictly for FREE items (no selling stuff). So you'd think most people would realize that certain requests are just *NOT* going to happen...but apparently some people don't get it.

One person in my local Freecycle group seems to really have no idea of what is an acceptable request - and no idea of how obnoxious it is to make lots and lots of requests (something Freecycle discourages). Here are just some of the things he's asked for in the last 30 days.

Hot Tub (or shell)
Snowmobile
Pool Table
Patio Heater
Chevette
Portable Dishwasher

Seriously? You want someone to give you a free hot tub? A free pool table? Geesh. And remember, those are just SOME of the things he's requested in the last 30 days.

Here are the items he has offered in the same time period.


*crickets chirping*


Yeah, that's right: nothing.

Do you see why this annoys me?

I'm just waiting for the day when I see a request for a Wii.

Be A Part of A Miracle

A few years ago, after Adam and I got married and started attending the BYU 105th Ward we met the Jacksons. We loved them. They were very fun and friendly! Sadly (for us) they moved out of our ward and to the East far too soon for our tastes...but we've been keeping tabs on them through their (very funny) blog. They've recently started the search for another family member through adoption. They're great parents to their son Ian, who they found through a friend. The banner to the right links to one of their adoption profiles. So if you know someone looking to place a baby for adoption please think of the Jacksons!
Monday, November 10

Big Baby Bump

Time for another belly picture (and here's your chance to see my haircut). These are at 33w5d. We got maternity photos done tonight as well (THANK YOU MOM)! Adam and I cannot wait to see how they turn out! It was a blast to have them done. We did some nice traditional maternity poses, and some fun, quirky ones. And we both really liked our photographer (Rachel from Madchen Studios). She's very friendly, and makes you feel very comfortable. Incidentally she's due a week or two before me. As part of our photo package we'll also be getting newborn photos, and either 6 month or 1 year photos (our choice).


My hair is still nice and long, but the layers make it seem shorter from the front. I haven't had a haircut in 2 years, so I was pretty nervous when I got it done, especially since I only had a vague idea of what I wanted and no experience at this salon (Master Cuts at the mall). But I'm very happy with it!
Saturday, November 8

Global Exposure

Well, as of today I've been able to add Africa to my list (I previously added South America). Now I just need Antarctica. So if you know any researchers, or computer savvy penguins, link them to my blog! Actually...I may get a reader there and never realize it, as my map widget only keeps a record of each day and there is no way to view past days' traffic. And while I'm interested in how many people are reading my blog, I'm not obsessive enough to check the map every, single day.

Of course, Adam's probably right about the following: I will probably never get a reader form Antarctica. That's OK. I'm quite capable of coming up with any old excuse to have cake. My favorite stand-by reason for cake is "I want some." In fact, that's the very one I used yesterday. And now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go enjoy some of that cake.

And here are some cakes for you to enjoy (warning: do not view site while consuming a beverage unless you want said beverage to exit your body via your nose).
Thursday, November 6

NaNoWriMo and Other Goings On

As my little progress bar to the right will show you, I'm currently at 15,452 words of 50,000, almost a third of the way done. I'm actually ahead of the game, despite not having written yesterday. As of today I'm supposed to be at 10,000 to finish on time. I like being farther than I need to be. I'm finding 50,000 words to be a LOT less than it sounds like.

As for what my book is about? Eh...I'd rather not say. I'm not writing this for publication or anything. I'm writing it because I've always wanted to write a book, because I've previously dreamed about doing NaNoWriMo, and just because I want to be able to say "I did it!" I'll tell you this much; it's realistic fiction, and the main character has a cat named Voldemort (a fact which amuses me to no end...who names a cat after "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?"). It's mostly literary rubbish, which is kind of the point. NaNoWriMo is about word count, about just doing it and ignoring your inner editor. If you try to right a best seller, or if you even try to write cohesively your chances of reaching 50,000 words grows smaller and smaller. It's actually *fun* to be able to write utter fluff with no expecations and no plans to do anything with it once I'm done.

~*~

We met with our doula, Loree, again last night. Have I mentioned how awesome I think she is? I highly recommend a doula for anyone planning on having a baby, and especially recommend Loree for anyone having a baby in the area. She was going to bring along a doula-in-training but apparently, of the three doulas-in-training in Medicine Hat not one of them wanted to get training in on a mom with a December 24th due date! Ha ha! I can't blame them...but at the same time they're going to have to get over that some day. Babies arrive when babies arrive. And you can't be a success in the birthing industry if you're too picky about timing. Of course, we don't mind not having a doula-in-training. We had agreed to one as a way to "pay forward" Loree's generosity (she's working for us pro-bono). Anyhow, we'll meet with Loree one more time (in early December). Then we'll see her when I go into labor! It's coming up so soon!

Loree checked the position of Lovey. She's almost in the perfect position for birth. She just needs to move her butt over to the left. Something I can help her do by sitting correctly and spending a little time each day in some funny looking, but not uncomfortable, poses. Baby's position is important for a myriad of reasons (one of which is avoiding painful back labor like the kind I gave my mom). For example, if baby doesn't present right they may try to come forhead first. The problem with that is that the forehead isn't meant to mold like other parts of the head. So you're trying to fit an unflexible larger diameter through...which can be problematic. And, unfortunately, most doctors are not trained in how to get baby to turn, or "spin" into the right position during labor. Then they blame the problem on the mom's body being somehow inadequate.

~*~

Lily has been SUPER cuddly lately. She goes beserk if I don't let her sit in my lap. And both she and Girla were sleeping on top of me when I woke up this morning. It's lovely to be loved...though I don't know if they're just using me for my body heat. It's been getting colder and we leave the thermostat at 50 degrees F. Once winter gets here we'll probably have to keep it warmer (especially once we've got a babe in the house). But in the meantime it's good to save on the utlity bill. It's rare that the furnace even kicks on. Which is why I freaked out when we got a HUGE gas bill last week (and I mean HUGE). Apparently they were billing us based on what had been billed last November. Adam called them and they rebilled us based on our actual meter reading so it's all worked out now. But for a while I was panicked because I could not figure out how on earth our heating bill was that high when the furnace had only kicked on two days out the month.

~*~

I know it isn't until the 27th (which is also Adam's birthday) but I've been thinking about American Thanksgiving. I hope all my stateside friends and family have a good one. These Canucks really miss out on the "Fall/Winter Holiday Trifecta" (as I've decided to call it): October=Halloween, November=Thanksgiving, December=Christmas. They cram Thanksgiving and Halloween into the same month since the harvest comes earlier up north. But I'm going to have to say I like the USA's timing better (and their postal system). Of course, most years we'll probably just celebrate both. ;)
Tuesday, November 4

JOY!



At the start of the year I didn't believe America was ready to do it. I didn't think they'd elect a black man, even if he was the best choice. Thank you, America. Thank you for proving me wrong! And thank you for electing Barack Obama! I am proud of the United States, and proud of my home state of Ohio for making up for a poor choice the last 8 years.

There is so much I want to say, so many feelings I'm feeling tonight. I am so looking forward to telling my grandchildren some day about what I witnessed tonight. But nothing I have to say won't be said more eloquently by someone else. So I will leave you with these two links (the first of which is for humor, the second of which inspires me).

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/4/213412/858/705/653220

http://www.patrickmoberg.com/november-4-2008.jpg
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