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Jan. 15th, 2017

Charmed sisters

Fairy Tales

I *love* fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales, folk tales, myths, etc. Most of them feature female characters. (And as a child, I didn't care if said female character needed to be rescued. Just the fact that she was there was enough for me.) And no, I don't care about the Disneyfication of many fairy tales. In some cases, Disney made the fairy tale better. ESPECIALLY when adapting anything written by Hans Christian Anderson. In the original "Little Mermaid," the mermaid dies. Or "becomes sea-foam," and a "Daughter of the Air" after dying, because mermaids don't have souls, but her selfless act (in not murdering her prince) allowed her to "earn" a soul. Seriously. That is the end of the original tale. It's depressing as hell. Anderson is a bit of a downer as far as fairy tales are concerned.

The other source of modern fairy tales were, of course, the Brother Grimm. Who were prudes. They cut out the sexual imagery and situations of their stories, and seriously beefed up the violence of the stories. Originally, the oral tales that the Brothers Grimm collected were not actually tales for children, even though the Victorians eventually decided that they were, in turning the tale of "Little Red Riding Hood" into a cautionary tale for little girls rather than the coming-of-age story for girls becoming women. (In the oldest versions, the heroine saved herself. Of course, the oldest version of the tale also involved a strip tease, poop, and cannibalism.) They were stories for adults. The originals included far more details than what eventually made it to the pages of the Brothers Grimm. Nowhere is the more obvious than the tale of "Rumpelstiltskin." When I was a child, the story made perfect sense. By the time I got to be a teenager, I realized that there are so many details missing in that story that it really doesn't make much sense. Some of it does have to do with cultural context. If the character of Rumpelstiltskin is a Fae, his actions make a lot more sense, in understanding the culture of European fairies. But still, there is a lot missing from that tale.

What's really odd is how male names are the ones who are known for the fairy tales. Brothers Grimm. Hans Christian Anderson. Now Walt Disney. But for centuries before that, fairy tales were the domain of women. A woman orginally wrote the tale of "Beauty and the Beast." And there is a lot of evidence that shows she wasn't alone.

Anyway, reading an article about the 1985 weird fairy tale Legend starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, and Tim Curry, comparing the theatrical version to the Director's Cut made me think about this.

Jan. 14th, 2017

Charmed sisters

Writing Program

Thursday night, I went to an amazing writing program held at Highland's Ranch Library. It was run by local author Jessica Brody. She was hilarious! She really knew how to hold the room. She also knew what she was talking about, in that she has managed to sell fifteen books in less than ten years. That's really impressive.

The class itself focused on how to come up "high concept" ideas, and everything that goes into it. She pointed out that most popular stories (not all, there are exceptions) but most carry four ingrediants that she talked about. One of them is the fish out of water, where the character is taken out of an environment they are used to, and forced to live in an environment or into circumstances they have trouble dealing with. The next is the "hook," what makes that story interesting enough to read it. Unfortunately, I don't have my notes with me, so I can't go into detail on what all of her definitions were, and how they worked. But the class got me really excited. It also helped me in my current story idea. I figured out a high concept statement that helped me to focus the idea. I was having trouble in figuring out why my Phoenix was in the story. Initially, she seemed to already know all about the supernatural world, and seemed nonplussed by it. But I realized that while she might know about these things, she doesn't know all of it, and she really needs to accept her world and her place in it. Struggles make characters more interesting, in my opinion.

The program also focused on various brainstorming techniques. She had some really funny names for them, such as "Extra! Extra! Read All About It!" "The People Zoo," and "Mish-Mash." There was one more, but I can't remember the name for it. "Extra" is about looking at headlines, and just the headlines, and coming up with stories based on what might have happened. Jessica Brody's Unremembered came from this technique. "The People Zoo" comes from people-watching, from going someplace where it's really crowded and coming up with backstories for the most interesting people you see. "Mish-Mash" is a lot of fun. It's taking titles of two movies, tv shows, or books, and combining them to make something new. Apparently, Hollywood and publishers really like the "Mish-Mash" because it makes it easier to sell. She had us play the game by putting two titles into a bowl, then choosing two. I got "Cinderella" and "Rogue One." Instantly, I got a story idea that I could actually use (after laughing like a loon over it.) I even started getting ideas based on the two I put in the bowl, which were "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gone with the Wind." So I can attest to the fact that the idea works! The other brainstorming method whose name I can't remember uses looking at your own life, taking your most interesting memories, the people involved, and coming up with a story based on what the other people saw. You could also think of the most interesting people you know, and come up with your own backstory for them.

All in all, I really enjoyed the class. It's making me more excited about writing than I have been in a long time. So yay!
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Jan. 12th, 2017

Charmed sisters

Scrivener, Writing, and Theatre, oh my!

For Christmas, my mother-in-law got me the writing software Scrivener. It is awesome! It does an amazing job of organizing your thoughts. It was cool, being able to create an individual file for each character in the document, even small characters that exist merely as background characters. I think I am truly going to enjoy using this gift.

I started using it for my new Phoenix story. I have expanded on some of the ideas. There's going to be a lot on family issues, particularly between the older sister and the Phoenix character. There's going to be romance. And there are going to be some of the tropes from urban fantasy, though I will try to break some as I go. We shall see. I'm just glad I have a story to work on right now.

Last night, hubby and I went to see the musical play Fun Home. I knew nothing about it, other than that it was the Tony award winner of 2015. The play was incredibly powerful, all about the relationship between the main character, Alison, and her father. The story is framed with a middle-aged Alison remembering her life at different times. Two other actresses also play Alison, one as a child, and the other as a new college student. The show is incredibly powerful, full of subtext, and centers around many different themes, some overt, some not. I would really recommend it.

I'm still obsessed with playing with Skyrim. I downloaded the special edition from Steam, which I was able to get for free, due to already having the original on Steam. The new one looks really nice, but I kind of prefer the mods I have with the original version. I've gotten used to working with that one, and it does make gameplay a lot easier. Especially Skyrim UI. I love that mod. The original interface sucks! Especially when you're putting items of different types away into drawers and chests. It makes it really hard to find anything. While playing Skyrim, I started one of the DLC packs, called "Dragonborn." It turned out to be a little...strange. I really like the aesthetic of the island the character is sent to, Solstheim. It's volcanic, and more of a sand deser than the rest of the game. However, things got really weird once I had my character start reading the crazy books for the quests. Suddenly, my character is thrust into a world surrounded by crazy black books, with papers flying up in strange permanent tornadoes, black liquid where tentacles pop out to whip the character, weird creatures called "Seekers" and "Lurkers", and then my character is faced with a giant tentacled eyeball. I'm like, when did I leave high fantasy and go into Lovecraftian horror? I knew the makers of the Elder Scrolls games (Skyrim is number 5) were influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. At least some of the super-powerful evil characters called Daedric Princes had aspects of Lovecraft to them. But this DLC embraces all of the Lovecraftian madness with gusto. It's really fun, if a bit challenging. Luckily, I have a follower called Ludwig (a modded housecarl), a creepy zombie dog that I call "Puppy," and the last two Blades who are there for a separate quest, but won't leave me alone until I finish that particular quest.

My emotions in regards to Spike are getting easier. I don't feel quite as raw as I once did. I still can't think much about it without falling into depression, though, so I don't think about it much. Right now, it still hurts too much to dwell on it.

My other cats are helping, though. Craven is a cuddly tomcat. He loves being picked up and held. He is also the most easy-going cat I have ever met in my life. He's chill with just about anything, except water, and the bed. If he is on the bed, and any human comes near it, it's kitty-cat playtime! He turns into a mini-panther, stalking, swatting, and biting. Beware your fingers, lol. Harley is just funny. She only likes cuddling on *her* time. Most of the time, her attitude is, "Pet me...with your eyes!" However, she has wanted attention from me several times today. And when she's napping on the bed, she's perfectly content to let me pet her, as long as I don't try to pick her up. She also really enjoys chasing shadows and lights on the walls. We know she's hunting when she starts meowing at inanimate objects. It is completely adorable.

Jan. 9th, 2017

Pain

Universe takes away, universe gives

On Saturday night, I didn't sleep very well, for obvious reasons. I miss my cat. A lot. But when I finally did get to sleep, I had a very vivid dream, the first I've had in a long time. (Well, my dreams themselves are always pretty vivid; it's just lately they have been either mundane or utter nonsense.) But this dream was more like dreams I used to have growing up, with a plot and a story. I think with some tweaking I could turn it into a story. It began with fairly typical werewolf paranormal romance stuff, with a male werewolf who fell in love with what he thought was a human girl. Her dad freaked, and tried to keep them apart. There was also a villain involved, who was trying to keep them apart, and working on the dad's fears. However, the werewolf pack had a very powerful ally in a girl who was a Phoenix. Her powers were fueled by people's pain, and as a result, she could read the reasons for that pain. She could read people's secrets because of that, and due to all the turmoil being caused by the villain and the dad, she is super powerful. During a battle with two of the villain's flunkies, she reveals just how powerful she is. She also reveals that the girl was not turned into a werewolf by her lover, but she was always going to turn into a werewolf because her father was one. Her dad was not an alpha male, and was a bit on the cowardly side. His wife didn't even know what he was, even after she was introduced to the world of the supernatural. I woke up at about that point. I stayed awake for a little while, long enough to think about the Phoenix character. I thought becoming a Phoenix is inheritted after a certain number of generations. The Phoenix will live for a long time, but they're not immortal. And when they die, the very next baby born to the direct bloodline will be the next Phoenix. So the Phoenix could just as easily be a boy as a girl.

I found it strange that I had a vivid storyline type of dream the night after I had one of the worst losses in my life. It feels like having a fortune ripped away, and being given a pittance in return. However, I am no less grateful for said pittance. I've been having trouble with writing ideas for the last year or so. It's been really frustrating. So just having some sort of idea is nice.

My heart is still broken. I might be in the ballpark of okay, but I'm not quite there yet. I know to some it might be silly to have this much grief for a cat, but I can't pretend I don't have this much grief for a cat. I'm incredibly angry that there was no warning, nothing. One minute he was there, the next he wasn't. I would give anything to have some extra time, one more moment, one more time to have held him, gotten a really nice kitty hug from him. Just a little more time. And I wish one of us had been able to be with him as he died. His heart had already stopped by the time the vets let us go in the back. He was gone, surrounded by strangers. At least when animals are put to sleep, you can be in the room with them! It's planned. This...fucking sucks.

I now have a lot more sympathy for necromancy and for stories like Pet Sematary by Stephen King. If it was possible, I don't know if I could ignore the temptation. I want him back so much. He wasn't in pain. His skin condition had even cleared up over the last few months. There is no reason for it, other than the universe just arbitrarily decided it was time.

Jan. 8th, 2017

Depressed

Broken Heart

I have a giant hole in my heart now.



My adorable, big, fur baby died today. Technically, he was no longer mine. When I moved out, I chose to leave him with my parents, because my house is so much smaller than theirs. But I was originally his person. He loved me, trusted me. And now he's gone.

It was so fast. So fucking fast.

By some miracle, I was over at my parents' today. My mom wanted me to help her put the Christmas decorations away. I got over there around 1:00 p.m. I had no idea anything out of the ordinary was going to happen. Spike was sitting on the couch. I walked over, held out my hand to him. He let me pet him. Mom and I got to work. We put away most of the decorations, then ate some cinnamon rolls. We got back to work. I was happy. We were talking, laughing, finishing up. All of a sudden, at right around 3:40 p.m., we started hearing a really loud cry coming from the upstairs landing. I had two pictures in my hand, but I ran up there. What I saw turned my blood to ice in my veins. Spike was panting heavily. It is *never* a good sign when a cat is panting. He continued crying. Poop was coming out of his behind. He wasn't moving his back legs. I dropped what I was holding in the bathroom. Dad stayed with Spike while Mom tried calling the vet. Since it's a Saturday, the vet wasn't around. So instead, we decided to take Spike to the animal hospital off of Holly and County Line. We put a towell in a basket, and carried him in the basket. He cried almost the whole way to the vet. I sat in the backseat, petting him, trying to comfort him. As soon as we got in, they took him back. Then they took us into a room. A few minutes later, they came back, asking if we wanted them to use CPR, to try to revive him. They tried. It didn't work. We asked to say good-bye, but by the time we got back there, he was gone. His heart had stopped. It was around 4:20 p.m. He was gone in less than an hour. After we explained the circumstances, the vet said that it was probably a blood clot, an embolism of some kind. There was nothing they could do.

Thank all of the gods that I was there today. I think I would hurt even more if I hadn't had a final chance to pet him, and if I hadn't been there. I needed to be there.

It was so sudden, I feel like I have whiplash. I can't believe I woke up this morning, thinking it would just be an ordinary day. Instead, I now have to learn how to live in a new reality. A reality in which Spike is no longer alive.

I've lost other pets before. Red, Wick, Winston, Remington, Bugs, Zoe, Squeaker, Wile E., and Rudy, not to mention my fish and Otis the tarantula. But this is different. I don't know if it's because I'm older, or because it's Spike. I would say Spike was mine, but it's more accurate to say that I was his. I was his human. He decided that fairly early on (like within the first week or so after we got him.) He loved me. He would let me comfort him when he had to go to the vet, in a way he wouldn't let anyone else.

Spike had a big personality, if a bit on the grumpy side. He did not like any other cats, other than his own brother...and even then, he could get really cranky towards him too. Picking him up meant getting a quite satisfying squeeze. He was very vocal. If he didn't like something, he would let you know. We had to take him to the hospital when he was still pretty young. We could hear him crying the whole way down the hallway, and the whole way back.

I want him back. I would give just about everything I have to get a little more time with him. I know, he's just a cat. But he was *my* cat. I love him. And I hurt. I don't want to get used to this new hole in my heart. I will. I know I will. But gods above and below, it's going to be so fucking hard. I wasn't ready to lose him. I wasn't.

Good-bye, Spikey-baby. I will always miss you.
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Jan. 4th, 2017

Charmed sisters

2016: Reflections

I know a lot of people have said how much 2016 sucked. And indeed, for several people I know personally, it did. However, it did not suck for me. And since I was raised Catholic, and feel guilty for breathing, I do feel guilty that what was horrible for a lot of other people was not horrible for me.

Cut for length.Collapse )

New Year's Goals:

1) Do whatever is possible for me to have a child.
2) Write at least three livejournal entries a week.
3) Keep a reading blog of every book I read from start to finish. (I'm curious about how much I actually read.)
4) Get a start on some big project by the end of the year to write.

Jan. 3rd, 2017

Charmed sisters

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Lately, I've been re-watching Star Trek: the Next Generation. I say re-watching, because I was raised on watching this show. It was our family show, and we never missed an episode. I remember the night the series finale aired, and my family watched it together. BUT, I know I don't remember watching it in order. I was two years old when the show aired. I remember a lot more episodes in order starting in season four, more so than the other seasons. Though I have watched re-runs many times in my life, this is the first time I've watched it in order.

My reactions to this show as an adult are very different from the ones I had as a child. As a child, I loved Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise. I hated Wesley Crusher. My favorite character would probably have been Data. Things have changed a lot.

Season one was bloody painful to watch. It took me over a year to finish that season, and that's even with having the series in the background while I played video games. I can see why Wesley Crusher was not a popular character, because they wrote him as a bit of an insufferable know-it-all. But he's not nearly as bad as everyone thought. Because everyone was badly written in season one. The episode "Datalore" that introduced Data's brother, Lore, made all of these supposedly smart look incredibly stupid. Wesley was the *only* character who seemed to notice that there was something wrong with "Data's" behavior, and was the only one who figured out that Lore was running around pretending to be Data. It was infuriatingly bad writing. And season one is chockful of examples of it.

Season two got a lot better, though there were still mishaps. Dr. Pulaski's initial introduction to the cast was incredibly annoying. She, too, was an insufferable know-it-all. I grew up not liking her, though not exactly being sure. Now, as an adult, I know exactly why I don't like her. She had the same problem everyone else has: she started off being badly written. She did get better by the end, though I see it less as character growth, and more as the character being softened. (Piper has a pretty good argument for the character having growth, in how her character changed from the beginning of season two to the end of season two. However, I don't necessarily agree. I think the writing just got better, and whatever character growth Pulaski had was accidental.) Season two did feature a lot of really good episodes, "The Measure of a Man," "Q Who," and "The Emissary," being examples of them. However, it still suffered from a lot of odd and off writing. Season two is also the first season to show the Borg.

Season three is where things really start getting going. The show found its stride, and figured out what it wanted to be. Dr. Beverly Crusher makes an incredibly welcome return. As an adult, she is now one of my favorite characters from the show. I just love how she is a widow, a mom, and a dedicated career woman. The writers have done a really good job in writing all of these things in such a seemless way that you don't even think about it. I also love the friendship between Troi and Crusher, and the relationship between Picard and Crusher. It is this season where the characters really settle into who they are going to be for the rest of the show. Chief Miles O'Brien starts becoming a bigger character, which eventually leads to him becoming one of the main characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And season three is notable for featuring the capture of Captain Picard by the Borg in "The Best of Both Worlds" part one. "The Best of Both Worlds" parts one and two are two of the best episodes of this series.

I am now about halfway through season four. One of the things that I'm realizing is that I don't really like Picard that much. ^_^; I feel terrible saying that, since he is such an iconic character. I do love Patrick Stewart. But I'm just not liking Picard. He's too...Starfleet, too rigid, too adhering to the Prime Directive, which I'm finding as an adult, I don't necessarily agree with all the time.

So that's my thoughts so far. More as I continue watching.

Dec. 28th, 2016

not gravedigger

Horror Fest

I've been specifically thinking about writing this entry about horror movies. Specifically, about the horror movies that have truly terrified me in my life. So, here they are, in order of about when-ish they appeared in my life. In order to make it on this list, the movie needed to have made a significant impact in my life, in my behaviors, or even just given me an incredibly memorable nightmare. With no further adieu, here they are.

1) The Big Bad Wolf from "The Three Little Pigs" and "Little Red Riding Hood." Okay, this one breaks the rules, because it's not from a specific movie per se. But the Big Bad Wolf was my first boogey man. I was terrified of him as a child. I had recurring nightmares between the ages of three and six about the Big Bad Wolf. We had the Disney version of "The Three Little Pigs" on cassette tape. I couldn't listen to it as a child. The wolf scared me so bad. It eventually went away, after my final nightmare about it, when I was about six years old. And then I could listen to "The Three Little Pigs" with a fun little shiver, rather than the true terror I knew before it.

2) Jaws and Jaws 2. I'm not 100% percent sure which movie I saw first, so I'm just putting them together. These movies are on this list because I spent much of my youth terrified of deep water as a result of these movies. I once freaked out in a swimming pool because my imagination ran away with me, and I believed the shark from Jaws was after me. This lasted for years. Now, of course, I think Great White Sharks are the coolest fish ever. I've done a lot of studying of them. I would love to see one in real life, though I would rather not be bitten by one. Their bite radius is a bit much, even for a gentle test bite.

3) Dracula. I think I saw this movie when I was about nine or ten. And yes, I'm talking about the black and white, 1931, Bela Lugosi film. It might be a bit silly and cheesy to modern audiences, but by the time I saw it, I hadn't seen all that many horror movies yet. This movie scared the living daylights out of me. I got into the habit of pulling the sheet over my head. In my mind, that would somehow keep the vampire from sucking my blood, since he couldn't get to my neck. Of course, now I love vampires, especially scary vampires of the variety of Dracula or 30 Days of Night

4) Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Gods, I feel stupid putting this one on the list. This movie is a really cheesy Don Knotts film from 1966. It's also a comedy film. But I had a really bad nightmare as a child that I can still remember. The movie does involve a human killer. In my dream, he said he would kill the first person who made a sound. I, of course, peeped. He slowly walked over to me, and was about to slam something on my head when I woke up. I have never forgotten this dream, since it kept me up for the rest of the night.

5)Halloween and Halloween 2. These two are the only ones of the big slasher film franchises to give me nightmares. Michael Myers is the only one of the major slasher killers to chase me in my dreams. I think a lot of this has to do with where I was when I saw these films. For most horror movies I've seen, I've been able to go home and sleep in my own bed. But for these two, I was on vacation. I saw the first one in Atlanta, GA, and the second one in Phoenix, AZ, each time visiting relatives. I think that's why I had the nightmares. They came from not being in my safe place when I saw them.

6) The Grudge. By the time I saw this movie, I was looking for the "scariest movie ever." I'd seen all the classics by that point Exorcist, Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween. But none of them had given me the "true" scare I was looking for. I wanted to know what it was like to get the shit scared out of me by a movie. My mom and I went to see this one in theaters. It was late at night. After the movie was over, I asked my mom if I could sleep in her room. (I was in college.) She allowed it. After I went back to college, I didn't sleep for a week after seeing this movie. It scared me so bad. I quit looking for the scariest film after that.

7) The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Of course, I wasn't counting on this film coming into my life. I watched this movie late at night when it was on Starz. I was the only one awake. This movie terrified me. It got into my bones and into my mind in a way that none of the other scary movies I'd ever seen had. It's atmosphere-heavy, and incredibly well-written. You're never quite sure of what's real and what's not. Jennifer Carpenter gave an amazing performance as Emily Rose. I highly recommend this movie, though I never want to see it again. To this day, if I am still awake at 3 a.m., I will stay awake until 4 a.m. because of this movie.

So there it is, the films that have scared me the most in my life. Since fear is so subjective, I thought it would be interesting to write about it.
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Dec. 26th, 2016

Charmed sisters

Christmas, Christmas

Busy, busy Christmastime. On Christmas Eve, I worked for about six hours before going home. Then hubby and I got our stuff together to go to his parents' house for dinner. It was a fun evening of dinner, conversation, and presents. We face-timed his sister (who is currently in Vegas) while we were opening presents. My mother-in-law gave me the gift of writing. I am now a proud member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and I own Scrivener. :-) Hubby got a really nice drill and some great drill bits, which he will be able to use once he becomes an electrician. Which is utterly awesome. It was a fun, though very late night.

Christmas Day, we got up early to go to my parents' house. We opened gifts with them. My parents got us a very nice comforter. It is a light gray-purple in color, with flounces. It looks really old-fashioned, but isn't too girly. It is so soft. The kitties, especially Craven, loved it. After opening presents there, we went to one of my aunt's, for Christmas dinner. The food was utterly delicious. I ate *way* too much, and probably gained about thirty thousand pounds. But it was worth it! After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity and a new game that hubby's sister got us called Joking Hazard. Both games are played similarly, with one judge who plays one card, then judges whose card they like the best. Lots of laughter, to the point where hubby very nearly lost his voice, lol. It was a fun, but very tiring day.

I also got a bit of a Christmas miracle, though it was a bit of a two-edged sword. About a month ago, I went to the OB/GYN about possible infertility problems. I have very infrequent periods, and hadn't had one since late August. Since hubby and I are trying to jump on this crazy baby boom happening next year (seriously, I just found out about two more women on facebook that are having babies next year O_O) I thought it was worth looking into for some help, with some pushing from Neptune and Mercury. The doctor put me on natural progesterone, which I was to take to try to force my body into having a period. I took it faithfully. Then waited. And waited. And waited. After I still hadn't gotten one on Friday, I was like, crap, I'm going to need to call the doctor on Tuesday (I assumed they wouldn't be open today), and find out what was going on. It made me even more depressed, especially since my hormones have been all over the place the last two weeks, so I knew there was some kind of weird chemical cocktail going on in my body. Then on Saturday, while at work, I finally, *finally* saw blood. Thank you, to all the fertility gods and goddesses. So now, after day 20, 21, or 22, I can go in to get my blood drawn for all the tests the doctor needs to do, and then we can be on our way. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will have a bouncing baby Ellie or Gabriel. :-)
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Dec. 20th, 2016

Dreamer

Party Time

Friday night was my work holiday party. It was a lot of fun. We did a potluck, where everyone brought something. One of the MHT's brought delicious, delicious chicken wings that were *amazing*. We all brought gifts for a white elephant exchange. I brought a bottle of pink Moscato wine, and a set of sombrero shot glasses. They were a hit, lol. Hubby and I ended up with a Snickers mug and a stuffed moose with a Target gift card. Then we sang Chrismas carols. In fact, one of the PSTs and her husband tried to leave early, and one of the other PSTs made them sing before they could go. I laughed a lot that night. One of the other PSTs pulled out a ukulele, and we all sang "I Want a Hippotamus for Christmas."

Saturday night was my big friend Christmas party. God, it was freezing that day. And we were running around like crazy. We went to see Star Wars: Rogue One, then ran a couple of errands before the party, and drove to the party. It was a crazy day. I was exhausted before we even got to the party. ^_^; But it was still fun. We all brought presents for one another, and the party was held at Saturn's house. They made taco soup and lasagna (for me and one of their other roommates who can't eat spicy either.) We had mulled cider and several different kinds of wine. I tried a very nice white wine. It was fun, just hanging out. Plus I got baby time with Neptune's wee one. :-) She is so cute! She liked playing pony ride, where you bounce her on your knees. She thought that was the funniest thing ever, lol. We opened presents. I got a really pretty pink and white scarf, a Sailor Moon bow, some doll clothes (including an adorable pair of stockings with kitties on them!) some gift cards, a homemade doll rosary, and an IOU for a pair of angel wings for my doll. (My friends and I are into the BJD hobby from Asia. It stands for Ball-Jointed Dolls. These things are freakin' gorgeous! They're also really customizable, where you can choose skin color, make-up color, eye color, get wigs, clothing, accessories, etc for them. In fact, two people could get the same doll model, and end up with a completely different doll.) After the boys finished divvying up Magic cards (their Christmas present), the party kind of wound down. Hubby and I left, because, as was stated in my posts yesterday, I wasn't really feeling mentally well.

Sunday afternoon was my grandma's 80th birthday party. She's so funny. She couldn't believe that we were doing all that just for her. And everyone was there: both her daughters, her son, their spouses, and all of her grandchildren and their spouses. As I said earlier, I got more baby time with my cousin B, who is a cuddly bear. They ended up watching the Patriots vs Broncos game, which I was *not* happy with. (Football, ugh!) But I always enjoy spending time with my family, especially my mom and brother. I also had a nice conversation with my aunt about infertility. She struggled with it too, and ultimately ended up not being able to have kids. So there really is no one better to talk to about it. She understands in a way that no one else does. It was a nice night, though I struggled. Honestly, I struggled through all of the parties this weekend. For one thing, three parties is not easy when you're an introvert, even when you enjoy the company. Which I do. There wasn't a single time this weekend where I dreaded going to the parties, since I love my co-workers, my friends, and my family. It's just hard, especially when I know there is something wrong with my body, in particularly my brain.

Overall, though, the weekend was good. 
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