Sunday, May 27, 2007

New post time! Recent events and summer plans.

Yep. New post time!

Collective Soul was great in concert yet again. Funniest part of the trip was getting carded when we walked into the room. I was with Veng and his parents, and the security lady came and planted herself in front of me, saying, "Ma'am, please come with me" as she herded me over by the wall by the entrance. "Ma'am, can I see your ID, please?" totally serious and grim-faced. I smiled. "Sure!" I said, and pulled out my driver's license. She looked at it, then looked again at it a bit closer, then looked up at me. She said a single word as she handed it back to me, with her mouth and eyes open wide. "Wow." I smiled back at her and turned to go back toward my seat. "Enjoy the concert!" she called. She was quite obviously shocked, while viewing my ID, that I was in fact 24 and not 17 or so (which I suppose is what she had assumed). Veng, on the other hand, a whole year and a half younger than me, has never been carded in his life. I know I told that story horribly, but I still find the memory of it funny.

Something is eating the leaves on my plants. I suspect the ants as I always see them crawling all over every plant in my garden, but do ants eat leaves like caterpillars and snails do? It could be clever snails, I did find a tiny snail shell the other day. I just hope the plants don't all die before I manage to get some tomatoes and cucumbers. I am impatient to consume the fruits of my labor. Horribly, horribly impatient.

I found a new entertaining blog to read, which I have been enjoying the last couple days. Tomorrow I decided I ought to clean my house because it's horribly messy, but Veng's parents are throwing a bbq and swimming party around lunchtime which may keep me from actually getting any of the cleaning done (not that I can't do it on Tuesday instead).

Oh, yes, another enjoyable moment from our one-night trip to Nevada. We were eating dinner on Friday at a buffet where they had fortune cookies available. Being me, I of course took one. It was, in short, the best fortune cookie I've ever gotten. First, it was actually a fortune. Second, it came true. Whoo! Now you're all undoubtedly curious as to what it said. I suppose I can tell you, since it already came true and all. "You will soon have new clothes." I had just gotten a couple of very-on-sale shirts on Thursday, so I thought, hey, retroactively true, cool. But then, after the concert, I gave in and bought a concert t-shirt, only remembering afterwards about the fortune. Yay, new shirts! Yay, fortune cookies! Yay, me saying yay entirely too much!

Forgive me, I'm tired, and my eyes are horribly dry which is keeping me from thinking very clearly. I've decided to start a new regimen of self-improvement this summer. First off on the improvement list is me. Here are my goals, to help motivate myself:
1. Put on a load of lotion every day. This will lead to happy, attractive skin.
2. Brush and floss (flossing being the part that's missing most right now) my teeth every day. Also, use Crest Whitestrips for the next two weeks. Also, swish alternately with anti-cavity flouride, and anti-plaque mouthwash. This will hopefully lead to a nicer, whiter smile, and prevent the need for a trip to the dentist in the near future, which isn't covered by our current insurance.
3. Shave the legs every other day at a minimum. I know I've made this a goal before and never followed through, but I really don't see any conflicts with it for this summer. Also, put on sunscreen and try to get legs slightly more tan by actually (gasp!) exposing them to the light of day while wearing capris or skirts or swimming or whatever. This will help me feel more like my legs might possibly be semi-attractive.
4. Exercise at least three times a week. Pilates or walking or swimming. Make a routine. Pick days and times. Half an hour minimum. This will help me to be happier and healthier and more confident in the shape of my body (and less self-conscious when we're at Hawaii at the end of the summer). Plus, I will hopefully get sick less often and have more energy for going up and down the stairs to clean and such.
5. Take time to relax each day, but also take time to accomplish stuff each day. This will help me feel like I am not a lazy slob. It will also help me feel like I'm not stressed out of my mind.

Second on my improvement list is my house. Here are my house-improvement goals for the summer:
1. Clear out some of my craft stuff by either completing it or tossing it. This will help keep my craft room clean and neat which will hopefully result in me feeling more up to working on all my crafty projects for the summer. Like finishing my quilt, my cosplay costumes, and freeing up some space to do some art projects that I've been wanting to do lately.
2. Garden. I love my garden. It's therapeutic, inspecting my plants and seeing how they're doing and seeing them grow and enjoy their little plant lives. Also, it will hopefully save a tiny bit of money on groceries.
3. Clean the complete and total house at least once a week. Not only will my house be a more pleasant place to be, this will also help keep my dust allergies from being so bad. Stupid dust.
4. Do not allow there to ever be any laundry on the bedroom floor. This requires not only doing the laundry regularly, but also putting it away right after doing it. It will make the weekly cleaning a lot easier to accomplish.
5. Repaint furniture. Start with the metal cabinet that's on the patio and paint it a nice creamy orange with white accents, and then put a nice finish on it, so that when we set a TV on it and the SNES inside of it, it won't scratch all the paint off. Drill a hole in the back for cables to go through. Replace the magnets on the doors so they'll actually stay closed. Bring it inside and use it. Proceed to the coffee table. Paint the light wood top black, with some nice simple colored accents (maybe a couple stripes, maybe a border, maybe some large spots). Make it match the room (and it's own black metal legs). Let it dry and put a hard finish on it that will prevent it from being scratched and make it nice and smooth and shiny. Proceed to the kitchen table and chairs. Paint them anything other than white and natural wood, so that they look either classy or fun, whichever, as long as they don't look country-home-ish anymore. Nice hard finish on them too, so they're easy to clean and will hold up to subsequent years of abuse.
6. Make curtains for the windows. The house will look more like the place we live rather than the place we rent.
7. Make slip-covers for the beige couch and chair. Yay for color.

My last goal for the summer:
Make a budget and stick to it, hopefully managing to pay all the bills and buy semi-healthy (yet cheap like beans and rice) food for the entire summer. This may preclude some of my other goals from getting accomplished this summer. Whatever. I don't really like budgeting, maybe I'll make Veng make one for me to stick to.

Obviously, I have plenty to keep my busy all summer (not to mention all our trips coming up). This will be good. Oh yes, I forgot one more goal: make more friends here. That will take up any remaining time. Having so much to do will be nice. Getting into all these good self-care habits will be good (working on spiritual self-care habits too, btw). Getting in the habit of cleaning more frequently will also be good (I forgot to mention the dishes, throw those into the goals list somewhere too). And if I am so busy with all this stuff, Veng will have nothing to do but finish grad school applications! And play video-games, and complete his own summer goals (speaking of video games, I'm planning on doing a decent bit of that this summer too hopefully).

I may have too much planned for myself. Whatever. Leftover projects can wait until fall. It'll be fun implementing my improvement plans over the next few months. Hopefully they'll all turn out okay.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My grandma's doing a lot better today. All that's left, really, is to wait for the lab results.

Colds are running amuck in our house (curse those small cold-infested children at the schools!) which has actually been not too bad as we haven't been getting jobs this week anyway (it being the last week of school and all, I suppose the teachers feel they ought to be there, getting their grades turned in and everything). I do have a job for half of Thursday, substituting an elementary art class that I've substituted before. I've been having nightmares about it though, and so remain conflicted over whether I should go (I should, it's an extra $45, and it's getting awfully close to the point in time where we will be broke all summer). Veng may make a little extra money in the coming months fixing people's computers. I have been contemplating making things and attempting to sell them (having never sold things before other than one box of girl scout cookies, I'm not really sure how to go about selling things, especially things that I myself have made). The main problems, really, with me making and selling things are a) packaging and shipping in such a way as to ensure safe arrival, and b) pricing. What I think my crafts and art are worth may not actually be realistic (but the price would need to be high enough to pay for the costs of materials and shipping, but would anybody pay that much for anything I've made, plus a little extra for profit?). So, we'll see if that turns out or not.

On Friday, we get to make a one-night trip to Las Vegas with Veng's parents, to see Collective Soul in concert (it will be the third concert I have attended in my life). I highly doubt it will prove to be anything other than fun and cool and an entertaining end to the school year. Speaking of school years, I've been wondering lately if there are basic carpentry classes available for taking anytime in the next few years of my life. Not to mention further painting and sculpture classes. I've decided, in terms of sculpture, that there are three things left that I really want to learn how to do: carving, welding, and casting. Yes, I know, those are the basics of almost all sculpture, and I don't know how to do them yet. For painting, I really ought to take a class that deals with color theory sometime. I'd also like to learn how to do watercolors. As for the carpentry, I've always thought it would be cool to be able to make my own furniture (I had this cool idea for a baby bassinet the other day, to be shaped like a boat, with mechanisms allowing it to rock as if it's floating on some waves, but I have no idea where to even start with something like that, it might require a little bit of engineering as well as carpentry, and no, designing a baby bassinet in my head does not mean I'm pregnant). Where do sculptors get their large blocks of wood from anyway? Do they go out and just, I don't know, buy a large log and proceed from there? I have no idea.

I have been having bizarre dreams again lately. Last night each individual's life was controlled by these little android guys who would switch out blocks for different things (new outfit? Switch a few blocks. Want to go somewhere different? Switch a few blocks and you're there). The blocks seemed to be more like squares than blocks, very two dimensional, yet somehow they changed everything. Different androids (they were very short little impish beings with distinct personalities which I recall questioning as they were, in fact, androids, which would take quite a feat of programming) had different responsibilities, one for wardrobe, one for location, etc. I don't remember much else about the dream anymore.

I had a different dream a few nights ago which I still recall bits of quite well though. I'd really like to sketch it out sometime, as I think it would make for a very interesting picture. It started off with me and some friends roaming through a maze of industrial hallways (curvy, dark, dingy, cracks and crevices and nooks and crannies and little spots that led nowhere in particular). The hallways (where they hallways, or were they just walkways?) were around, about, and on top of a volcano. An industrial chocolate and cake-producing volcano. There were liquid chocolate vents which had been piped, rerouted, and shot out into chocolate pools. Around the as-yet unpiped vents (and possibly around the pools as well), thick spongy foam would form, which was then harvested (and later eaten, as it was, in fact, cake of the most delicious light and fluffy type). Not all the cake was chocolate. There was also yellow cake that formed, and vanilla pudding came out at a few spots.

My friends and I were trying to form a triple-layer, spherical dessert with some chocolate cake, yellow cake, and vanilla pudding. It would have been a hit had we been able to get it to stick together in a spherical form. We were also trying to avoid capture from the large wolves that ran the place (the wolves looked oddly similar to Link's wolf form in Twilight Princess). The wolves were more werewolves than wild wolves; if they bit you, you also became a wolf. Yet they could be taken down. If you tackled the wolf from the back, and held onto it so that it couldn't bite you, and continued to hold it for a certain length of time, it would turn back into a human.

The wolves couldn't run the place on their own, though (and this is the part that leads me to the part which I'd dearly like to draw). They had a castle on the craggy summit of the mountain, always dark and stormy outside, lots of jutting rock and stone, lightning crashes, and a very draculan ominous feel to it all. Arrayed on the various levels of jutting rock, around, outside, and inside the castle, the wolves had enslaved large white bunny rabbits. The rabbits had large metal collars around their necks, with heavy chains leading off to somewhere, to keep them enslaved. They had also been hypnotized, so that they would beat in unison on their bongo/congo drums. It was the rhythmic beating by the bunnies on the drums which made the volcano produce its delicious desserts, you see, and so the wolves prowled around the many levels and layers of bunnies and drums, to make sure all ran smoothly. (This ends the part which I'd dearly like to draw.)

While trying to hide from a pack of wolves (and thus abandoning my attempts at dessert creation), I ran into a small room, where I somehow (I think) freed a baby bunny from a few wolves that had been trying to capture, enslave, and hypnotize it as another worker. The baby bunny (oh so white and fluffy), then managed to go and un-hypnotize several adult slave bunnies, and helped break them free of their chains and shackles, and thus began the bunny revolution, large gangs of bunnies taking on individual wolves to free their kind and stop the cruelty and start a more mechanized running of the factory I imagine. I must only imagine what their goals were, as shortly after the rabbit revolution began, I woke up.

Definitely one of the more interesting dreams I've had lately (though I've had several other quite bizarre ones). Recounting all that delicious dessert creation has made me very hungry, so I'm off to consume an instant breakfast drink and probably water the garden (the horribly hot Arizona sun has been threatening to kill all my more tender plants off, though I don't think the tomatoes or cucumber plants will suffer much). Anybody have any ideas what I can do with massive amounts of tomatoes and cucumbers in a few weeks when they're all finally ripe? All the tomatoes I planted this year are Roma tomatoes, and I have decided that it's very important that I plant several different kinds of tomatoes next year (preferrably the kinds that produce fruit all summer long rather than one large crop all at once like my Romas). Six tomato plants is too many for two people. Maybe I'll do three next year, each one a different kind.

Monday, May 21, 2007

short

My grandma with lung cancer who had surgery a month ago or so seems to be recovering well, though she has a lot of pain.

Today, it's my other grandma I'm worried about. She went to the hospital a few days ago with congestive heart failure, and not being able to eat anything. They've finally gotten her heart rate kind of under control, and she's been trying hard to eat a little bit of food. However, they noticed she was having problems with her lungs, so today they're going to do a biopsy to see if they can figure out what's wrong. So, I'm worried about her today.

There's not really anything else interesting going on in my life right now. I finally seem to have gotten my computer all fixed and working again (it was broken for a while and I had to reinstall Windows). I've been playing a lot of Phoenix Wright on my DS (I think I'm almost done with the fourth case now). It's the last week of school here this week, and I am looking forward to not having to substitute (or feel guilty about not substituting) all summer long. I think that pretty much covers it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

When I woke up yesterday, I was expecting it to be a horrible, no good, very bad day. But, due to the efforts of my loving husband, and some friends showing up unexpectedly, it turned out to be a very nice birthday. Veng convinced me (after sneaking out of the house, running to the store, coming back and ringing the doorbell with roses in his hand when I didn't even know he had left) that we should still have the party we'd been planning since Monday, even though only one person had said they *might* be able to come. So I made a chocolate sheet cake, and some salads, and we borrowed my in-laws barbeque, and cleaned the whole house, and got everything set up. (Veng surprised me about halfway through the cooking and cleaning process with a new t-shirt.)

So, shortly after 6:30, Veng's parents arrived. A few minutes later, his grandparents and aunt came (his mom had invited them and I had no idea they were coming, so it was a nice surprise). Since there were actually guests there, we went ahead and got started with barbequing (everybody brought their own meat) and eating. When it looked like everybody was finishing up, I got out the cookies and cake, and started slicing the cake, only to have everybody declare that they had to sing to me. We had no birthday candles, so Veng got out a two-wicked scented candle and lit it. They sang to me, I blew out the candle, and we had dessert. Just as we were finishing, the doorbell rang, and two of our friends came in with another friend of theirs (one of the three was the one who'd said he *might* come). They came in and got started cooking their food and eating while I opened presents from Veng's family (yay, presents!). By the time they got to dessert, the doorbell rang again with another friend who brought someone with him as well. A few minutes later, one additional person showed up. So, it turned into a pretty lively party (after Veng's extended family left, we spent the rest of the evening playing Wii and our DSes and then Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution). Everybody finally left and we got to bed at about 1:30 this morning, after which I made poor Veng stay up and talk to me for about another hour.

We're both very tired today, but I'm quite satisfied with how yesterday went. It was not at all a no good, horrible, very bad day, which was very nice.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

There's so many things I want to convey, and I can't quite think of how to say them. I type a sentence, delete it, retype it, delete it, over and over, because it doesn't do the emotion justice, and I know that the emotions are overly heightened right now anyway and so am scared of whether I actually want to say what I want to say or if I will look back on it in a few days when my hormones are normal again and wish I had said something else instead. There is a particular difficulty in expressing a lot of what I'm feeling because it involves apologizing for my faults and shortcomings, and while I think apology is a very important part of life, I don't particularly want to point out to myself my faults and shortcomings right now. Whenever I do that I get all depressed, so I try hard to not do it anymore. I know I have a lot of faults, I'm very aware of them, but I am hopeful at the moment that if you're reading this you're willing to put up with them or look past them or however you, personally, deal with other people's faults.

The main thing which I wish to get across, which I know is not coming out in a very eloquent way, is that I miss you. You are cool people, and I miss you. I haven't seen some of you in a very long time, and I still miss you. Some of you that I miss don't ever read my blog, you probably don't even know this exists, but I miss you. You were good friends. I always enjoyed hanging out with you, talking with you, playing games with you, laughing with you. I miss our friendship. I miss your quirks and oddities and all the things that make you so interesting.

There's a lot more I want to say, to apologize, to excuse myself, but I'm not going to say it, because if I think about it right now in my current emotional state I will end up disappointed in myself. So, let's leave it at that. You are missed.

Monday, May 07, 2007

For everyone else

Something not so mushy for everybody else to read. :)

We had a nice anniversary, even if it did fall on a Fast Sunday. We celebrated by going out to eat on Saturday, playing Zelda: Twilight Princess, reminiscing for several hours, and overall just having a nice relaxing day.

My garden is growing great. It's nice and big and green and lush, and I need to take some pictures of it so I can show it off. We used our first bit of it the other day. I pulled up one of the green onions, and chopped off some of the onion chives, and put them in one of the dishes we had for dinner last week, and it was very tasty. I am excited for when the tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers are finally ready to eat (which will probably be another couple of weeks from now).

I finally finished my present for my older brother's birthday (which was last month). I made him a crocheted Ewok, and an origami Yoda, both of which I think turned out quite well. I'll be mailing them off today if all goes well, after which I won't feel guilty about posting pictures in here of them.

Life is overall going well. I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing birthday/Mother's Day weekend this weekend, with lots of time spent playing my birthday present (the Wii) and lots of time spent doing whatever else I feel like doing, and lots of sleep and relaxation.

I have lots of upcoming projects that I'll be working on over the next several weeks. I think I'll hold off on posting about them until I'm done with them, as an incentive to complete them.

Dear Mike

I love it when you open my door for me.
I love that you fix food for me to eat when I'm feeling sick and not up to doing the same for you.
I love your laugh, and that you use it so often.
I love how much you enjoy it when I play games with you, even if I make you do the hard parts for me.
I love that you're always willing to let me try to explain myself, even if I don't make any sense at the time.
I love being able to be completely silly and ridiculous and how you laugh at me and tell me I'm cute instead of thinking I'm weird or annoying.
I love how you always encourage me to try new things, even if I'm not feeling quite ready to tackle them yet.
I love that our first year of being married has been the best year of my life.
I love how happy you make me, and that you're willing to work around my irrationality when I'm depressed.
I love kissing you goodbye before either of us leaves for the day.
I love kissing you hello when both of us are back at home.
I love kissing you goodnight right before we go to sleep.
I love kissing you for no reason whatsoever.
I also love poking you for no reason whatsoever, and that you don't mind my fake gut punches.
I love hugging you tight, hanging on, pretending I'm never going to let go.
I love that you always catch me when I tip over near you just to see what you'll do.
I love seeing you read, and I love how you love to share the exciting parts with me.
I love seeing new things, hearing new things, experiencing new things, with you there also to share them with.
I love being able to remember the same things as you.
I love the comfort of knowing that if I was ever in trouble, you would rescue me (even if all you had available to use was a hard plastic plate and some dirt).
I love watching movies with you, snuggled up in our throne chair together, slightly squished yet very comfortable.
I love when you come up with new compliments for me, like that I'm cuter than a kitten.
I love how you love to play with kids, yet you don't let them get away with whatever they want.
I love that we can cry together when something is hard, then find something to laugh at together right afterwards.
I love living with you, I love smiling at you, I love walking next to you.

I love you, Mike. For forever and ever, I love you. Happy Anniversary. :)