Friday, June 22, 2007

Letter from Vegas

Dear friends,

Sorry for the small silence. My dear husband and I have been on a belated anniversary trip to Las Vegas (yay for gifted vacations). It's been a lot of fun, and I've been enjoying it (I'd never really been to Vegas before), and now I am finally tired and feeling ready to go back home (we're returning to our lovely Arizona abode tomorrow). First, though, I shall tell you about the gritty details of our vacationing. Going backwards, starting from things we haven't even done yet.

Today, we are most likely going to go ride on the Stratosphere rides and go shopping around and about various places (mostly window shopping). Other than that, we have nothing to do today! Yay for relaxation!

Yesterday we drove down to...hmmm...I never bothered learning which end of the Strip is in which direction. Anyways, we went down to the opposite end from where we're staying, so that I could look at the Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, and so that we could go see M&M World and see if there were any good games at GameWorks (there weren't). We also went and saw Penn & Teller, who were entertaining. I think my favorite part about Penn & Teller though was reading their little booklet about themselves which was full of little entertaining stories that were very well-told (also, finding out that Teller used to be a high school Latin teacher was pretty awesome).

Wednesday we spent most of the day relaxing. We went and saw Cirque de Soleil's KA show which was absolutely amazing (normal Cirque de Soleil acrobatics mixed with theatrics (storyline and plot) mixed with pyrotechnics, it was Fabulous). I really liked the two main actors/acrobats, and the costuming was Incredible. Full of Asian theatrical influences too, which I really enjoyed being able to notice.

Tuesday was our incredible feats of physical prowess day. I decided that we were perfectly capable of walking the entire day. So, we went and saw Circus Circus and played some of their carnival games (and Mike won me a stuffed frog from the camel racing game). We walked around Ross (yes, the Dress for Less store) and found Mike a very cute new shirt. We walked past (and inside a little bit) the FashionShow mall. We walked and walked, and went through a couple of the casinos for a few minutes to see what they looked like inside. Finally we got to the Monte Carlo, where we ate and saw Lance Burton's magic show (interesting to see a magic show in person, but not quite as amazing as I was hoping it would be...still fun though). After all that, I determined that we still weren't done walking! So we walked back and saw two fountain shows at The Bellagio (very cool), saw the Treasure Island outdoor show (well, most of it...we walked away after awhile once we determined the whole show was going to consist of nothing more than sex references and show girls (and guys) dancing...though I did see a couple explosions in the show, which were definitely the best part). After getting all the way back there, we were both very tired of walking so we crossed the street and walked down a little further to catch the Deuce (double-decker bus) back to near our hotel. I measured the distance when we were driving another day, and determined that all in all, we walked four and a half miles. And neither of us were very sore the next day, which I found absolutely amazing.

Monday, I think was the best day of all. We walked around the Venetian which is pretty cool inside. I don't really remember what else we did that day, other than seeing The Blue Man Group. They are amazing, their show is amazing, it's wild and crazy and hilarious and very, very interactive. We got covered in paper and got to see them get covered in paint, and listen to some awesome percussion peices, and it's all kind of like a giant pantomime because they neither talk nor blink. The blue men came out into the audience several times, and walked among them/climbed over them. At one point in the show they all came out and were wandering around. We were sitting right on the aisle a few rows back. One of them walked past, stopped, turned, and was just staring at us. I couldn't help giggling like crazy. He kept staring at me, no blinking, all blue. I just busted up in giggles every time I looked at him. Eventually the other two blue men wandered over, and then all three of them were staring at me. I, of course, kept giggling. The most amazing part was that they then pulled me up on stage with them. Me, on a stage, in front of hundreds of people, with three guys that have all their exposed skin covered in blue plastic/painted blue who don't blink and play amazing percussion and are hilarious. It was so much freaking fun. I giggled almost the whole time I was up there. They put a funny vest thing on me and had me sit on a bench at a table with them. I ended up getting to share twinkies with them (I had to open all the packages) (also, I improved a bit and did things that made the audience laugh a lot). I tried to light a candle, at their prompting, only to have a fire extinguisher (stage one, not a real foam-filled one) blown all over me. And, when one of them ate his last bite of twinkie, and mashed bananas came out of the tube thing on his chest all over everything, and they scooped it up onto the plates, they gave me some also, and I got to take a bite, after which I, too, had mashed bananas coming out of the tube on my chest that was built into my vest. They took a polaroid of me grimacing while laughing (weird facial expression to say the least), and gave me the leftover twinkie and some mashed banana in a Chinese take-out container to take with me. It was the most fun at a performance I've ever had, and I think I did an okay job on stage, too (my incessant giggling just made the audience laugh more at everything).

So, yay! That's been my fun and exciting trip! Blue-Man Group was definitely the best thing we did while here, even if I hadn't gotten to go on stage it still would've been an absolute blast. Even if I did end up with mashed banana all over my pants bottoms and flip-flops. If you ever get to go to Vegas, go see the Blue Man Group, and the fountains at the Bellagio (and perhaps a Cirque de Soleil show as well, there's about six to choose from).

I hope you're all doing well.
With Loves,
Me.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh, the Hugh Manatee!

I have not yet made a manatee named Hugh, but someday, I will.

This post is brought to you by punny projects. I have a list of punny projects to make that I thought up all on my own (well, okay, I got some "inspiration" from some photos on the internet of visual puns) just today. Hugh Manatee is, of course, on the list. Two of the projects are already done. I shall inform you about them, following which I will post the rest of the list for the curiously inclined.

First off, you ought to know that my dad's birthday and Father's Day are very close to one another. As such, I needed two presents for him (to send along with my mother's birthday present which is now rather late, but not too horribly late). Also, my father likes puns. I sincerely believe that his favorite present that I've ever given him was the Cartridge in a Bare Tree that I made him for Christmas one year (it was his idea). So, I decided what better present than to make him more pun-intended gifts? Plus, making presents is very cheap. Nothing better than giving presents that were very cheap, yet are still cool.

The primary present, and the one that took me most of the day today to make, is an iPod, or rather an Eye-Pod. Crocheted out of various yarns, it closely resembles a human eyeball located inside a large round green seed pod. Maybe tomorrow I will remove this description and replace it with a photo (as nothing's quite as better than a thousand words as a photo is). The eyePod is quite large, approximately the size of my fist, though considerably more spherical.

The secondary present is a Blackberry. The pun being between the phone/PDA popular product and an actual blackberry of the berry sort. It is also crocheted, and looks like an overly large dark blue bulgy berry, with some small green leaves at the top, and a stem that doubles as a keychain attachment via its loop at the top. The berry (excluding the stem) is approximately as long as my big toe (please note, my big toe is on the short side as far as big toes go). It is probably a bit more useful than the eyePod as it can be a keychain dongle (though I suppose the eyePod could be a paperweight or somesuch though it's really not very heavy being made entirely of yarn and PolyFil stuffing).

Neither present is nearly as useful as it's technological counterpart, yet they'll hopefully give my dad a laugh at least.

So, on to the list! Remaining presents from puns that have yet to be made (and are just waiting for the right occasion):
1. Hugh Manatee (manatee named Hugh, obviously)
2. A butterfly (stick of butter with wings)
3. A deviled egg (egg with devil's horns and tail)
4. A baseball bat (a mammalian bat with a baseball as its body)
5. An egg plant (plant with fried eggs as the flowers)
6. A card shark (shark made out of cards)
7. A hand-crafted item (item crafted entirely of hands)
8. The light-headed man (man with a lightbulb for a head)
9. Money-laundering. (miniature washing machine with a couple dollars inside it)

I'm looking forward to making all of these (and to posting pictures of the ones already made).

First, though, I have to finish my cosplay costumes.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

TMI

Too Much Information is probably contained below. If you don't want to read it, then you can rest easy knowing that you've missed nothing that cannot be summed up by me telling you I feel like bleh. That is all.










Okay, so I feel like bleh. (This is your last warning before I get to the Too Much Information part). I feel like bleh because my period started today and that always makes me feel like bleh. In good news, my hormones have apparently decided to even themselves out in the past few months, which means that now I only have to suffer through this horribleness every 25 days instead of the 23 days it used to be. It still sucks. In addition to physically feeling horrible for days, I also feel emotionally horrible for days. The emotional horribleness starts before the bleeding does. I suspect that I am one of those women who actually PMS, as in the Syndrome variety, rather than just a few symptoms that are inconvenient yet don't hamper normal life. I still do stuff, true, but only when I HAVE to. Between the physical and emotional trauma, I just don't want to do anything that involves, say, moving. Or thinking.

I don't want to go into all the disgusting details of how miserable my body feels right now, but I feel no qualms over going into all the details of what my stupid hormones have been doing to me emotionally every 25 days or so for the last several months. I get cranky, snippity, lethargic, apathetic, depressed, and prone to random crying fits. I don't want to get out of bed, but I have to because I have to use the bathroom. Then I don't feel like eating. Not eating does not help my emotional state. I also don't feel like cooking, which doesn't help the emotional state of my poor hungry husband. Luckily for me, he's nice and understands and is willing to fend for himself on days like today. I don't feel like doing any chores, yet looking at my dirty house depresses me even more. I don't feel like hanging out with friends, which is also hard on my poor husband, and I don't want to go shopping, and I just want to sit at home and watch silly movies and eat loads of sugar or salad or whatever I'm craving that week and cry without worrying about why I'm crying. But I always worry about why I'm crying. Most of why I cry is probably just because my hormones are freaking nuts. There's also the dirty house, the lack of food, the dehydration, the hot and cold spells, the moderate abdominal pain, all the other physical symptoms. I cry because I miss my family. I cry because I got mad at my husband over something inanely stupid. I cry because of babies.

This last one has been getting worse lately. I honestly think we're the only couple in our ward of child-rearing years who neither has any children nor is expecting any in less than nine months. And it makes me lonely, because it often seems like I'm not part of the mommy club. I don't have disgusting delivery stories or poop stories or adorable child stories. I don't have any children who can use all my crayons with me during Sacrament Meeting (I've resorted to making Mike allow me to draw him things to use in nursery). I don't have a baby to cuddle and smell its head that's full of baby smells. I don't have a toddler to chase down or play games with. I don't have any kids. And I want them. Badly. I want to be somebody's mommy. I want to experience the joys and horrors of pregnancy and motherhood. I'm 24. When my older sisters were this age, they both had two kids already. I should probably stop reading all these mommy blogs that I've taken to reading lately. They're fascinating, and funny, and sometimes gross, and there's something inherently real about their lives and the stories they share and the bond they have with each other simply because they're moms. And every 25 days, I get this horrible reminder of doom that I am not pregnant yet, and I start thinking of all sorts of awful reasons as to why that might be so (it is obviously, to my hormone-deranged mind, when I'm crying about it, all my fault, because I'm stressing too much, not trying often enough, sitting in front of my computer with my feet up, not eating right, the list of reasons that don't make any sense that I can come up with as to why it's my fault that I am still babyless is endless). I cry because of the immense disappointment that I feel, because of the horrible let-down each month, because no matter how hard I try not to, every 23rd day or so of the cycle I start thinking that maybe, this month, maybe I'm pregnant. I promise myself that I'll wait until such and such a day to take my pregnancy test that I have carefully tucked away in the medicine cabinet. I never get to use it.

It's been especially hard lately because I have been feeling in general kind of sick. Every time I get nauseous, or something that I'd normally like doesn't taste good or smells funny, every time I'm overly tired for no apparent reason and need extra sleep, every time I crave something slightly unusual, I get my hopes up. Whatever symptom it is, I have undoubtedly recently read something about it being a symptom of pregnancy. I start planning how I'll tell various people, what I'll write in my blog, the things I'll convince my in-laws that their grandchild will absolutely need to have. I smile at my husband with the secret thought that maybe, maybe I'm pregnant right then at that very instant, and maybe in a few days I'll get to tell him for sure that, yes, in nine or ten months we too will be parents. And then I start bleeding, right on schedule. It was really bad when my hormones were switching between 23 and 25 days, because then I would be thinking it was two days late, and I would get away with it not happening this time, that I'd finally get to use that funny little stick with the two little lines, and then, without fail, the day I planned on using the pregnancy test was always the day it started. After several months of that, I finally figured out that, oh, my cycle changed. How silly of me, to go and get so excited.

So, I feel bleh. Being around my nephews here is the worst. There's a toddler, an infant, and another on the way. Very fertile parents, I guess. I get jealous of that. My mother-in-law wants us to have a baby, too, to have both of her little boys be daddies, babies are her greatest joy in life. She asks me, every time my nephews are there, if I want to hold the youngest. I usually don't. It's not my baby. I don't want to hold every baby ever, I want to hold MY baby, darnit. Sometimes I give in, and hold him in my arms, and bounce him a bit like I did with my first-ever nephew when I babysat him. My mother-in-law oohs over how cute it is, me holding a little baby. She takes pictures of me with my nephews. She tells me that she thinks our first will be a girl. I start thinking about how, if it was, I could use my quilt I'm making as her baby quilt. She had a feeling one night that somebody was missing when we were on a family outing, and confided that she thought it meant that maybe we were next in line to have a baby. Then my sister-in-law announced, a few weeks later, that she was pregnant again, with her infant only a few months old. And me? My period started again.

It's hard, and I know, intellectually speaking, that this is really quite normal, that I only have like a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month anyway, that it hasn't been long enough yet for me to start to worry and go see the doctor about it, but it's still hard. I don't know if it would be quite so hard if it weren't piled on top of all the other horribleness that is already there because of the very thing that's supposed to make it possible for me to have children. I feel very not-great, and I am finally admitting it to people other than my husband. I don't need any advice, or sympathy. We'll keep trying, and I'll undoubtedly get all excited again 23 days from today about June maybe being The Month, and I will continue to hope that maybe I'm placing a positive jinx on myself just by writing about this. Eventually we'll have kids, one way or another, and maybe eventually I'll look back on this and think about how naive I was to think that this monthly disappointment was so hard. I've got a good life right now, and it will continue, and maybe it's even a good thing that I'm not pregnant right now, I'm sure I could quickly come up with reasons why it's good, and I often list them to myself, but it doesn't make me feel any better. All I really want with this entry is to finally admit that I feel bleh. It's kind of nice to let it out. Maybe it will help me deal with it better. Who knows. At least I've said it now though.

It's my mom's birthday today, and I'm missing her a lot, so I think I best be off to bed to try and not cry and get some sleep.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Not Enough

A lot of my goals have not been happening as regularly as they need to be to become habits. Nothing to do but keep trying, I guess.

Mike and I both woke up very early this morning and neither of us could get back to sleep. I stayed in bed and kept trying until 8am and he eventually just went downstairs to do stuff. I don't think we'll be staying up late tonight. I think I woke up at about 5, but am not sure (my sense of time when I'm lying in bed with the lights off and my husband is asleep still is not very good).

I made some good chicken salad yesterday. It has parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in it. So, yes, they did in fact name it Scarborough Fair Salad. It also has oregano and garlic in it. And chicken and apple and celery and mayonnaise. Yummy.

Mike's costume for AX is almost completely done. I need to get working on mine. Still need to finish my MIL's mother's day present though, and my mom's birthday is in a couple of days and she needs a present, and my dad's birthday is next week and he needs a present...I need to find quicker presents to make for people.

I made the bestest-ever pancakes for breakfast a couple days ago. They were delicious. I have been horribly spoiled my entire life by homemade buttermilk pancakes. Eating the leftover ones cold out of a baggy was also just as tasty as I remember it being when I was younger. I think I should try them next time with bananas in them possibly, and strawberry jam on top. I don't see how they could be anything but more delicious.

Time to go get started on goals! (Who knows, maybe I'll actually get around to that exercising one today!)