Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Picky book reader

I would just like you to know that I am officially ruined forever, and it's all Speak, the Bibliophile and someone I will affectionately refer to as the Blockhead's fault!

You might be asking yourself what these three friends have done to receive my wrath. No, it's nothing serious. All they've really done is make me look at books more critically. Now, instead of just picking up a book and being able to enjoy it, I think about all kinds of different factors such as: character development, plot, word choice, editing and how predictable it is. And if it doesn't fit within a certain "we are the experts bibliophile criteria", I can't enjoy it anymore. * Sigh *

Here is a prime example. I read a book by a certain author back in February. I'd been waiting a long time to read the book so I was pretty excited. On the whole I liked the book even though there were things about it that bothered me. About a month ago, I saw that this same author had recently published another book, and I wanted to read it. In true Bibliophile style, I put a hold on it at the library and had it within a few weeks. I discovered the book had actually been published about 27 years ago under a different name and nowit was being re-released under a different name. I found that slightly strange but didn't let it put me off. And, sadly enough, I found myself completely disenchanted by the story so that I didn't even want to read it. I never, ever don't finish a book, but I disliked this one enough that I didn't bother. I pretty much knew what was going to happen anyway, and (since I peeked at the end) I discovered that it did.

The real problem with the book is that a) it has a wandering viewpoint so it keeps getting into every one's head, even characters that I could care less about; b) it's very predictable, and, in fact, it mirrors very closely both the other books I read by this author; and c) the heroine is too perfect--she doesn't have a flaw to speak of. How interesting is it to read about someone who is perfectly selfless all the time or who is just like the characters from two other books? I found it very boring, and I'm not sorry that I put the book down.

Thanks to Speak and the Bibliophile for encouraging me to be more discerning in my literary tastes. In the long run I'm sure it's a good thing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Help, help I'm trapped on TRAX!

When most people see TRAX, they think, "Ah, public transportation that will get me where I need to go."

After my experience today, I see it and think, "Oh no! A potential prison!"

Have I caught your attention yet? Even if I haven't, here's my story.

Sunday was my dear Smirk's birthday. Of course we didn't see her since we aren't required to work, so today we were having a celebratory lunch. Restaurants in the immediate vicinity of our building are in short supply I'm afraid because of all the construction. As such, we have been to the ones close by many, many times. Smirk wanted to choose somewhere different, which ended up being a restaurant just a few blocks away, or rather one TRAX ride and then a two-block walk, which would be far more convenient than driving.

We took our TRAX ride and had a lovely lunch which lasted a little longer than most of us thought it would. We made our way back up the block and to the TRAX stop. While waiting for the train, Smirk, the Fashionista, the Boss and myself started making up gum flavors for what could be our million-dollar gum company! Okay, not really, but it was fun to think of the silly names anyway. As a side note, it was quite hot out today, even in the shade.

Finally the TRAX train arrived and we all hopped on to take the short ride back to our building. We arrived there without incident and the doors opened. Somehow I got separated from everyone else and made it to the door just as it was closing. I reached my hand out, thinking that would stop it, but, alas, it did not. The people sitting behind me started telling me to press the button. I searched in vain for the button, but unfortunately I couldn't find it before the train started pulling away. I was trapped on TRAX!! Just so you don't think I'm a complete idiot, I should explain that this was an older car, so instead of the very clear "door open" button the newer TRAX cars have, this was just a clear place on the side that didn't say anything about opening the door.

Luckily, the next stop was only about a block and a half away, so I arrived shortly. I had seen the TRAX train going the opposite direction at the same time we turned the corner, so I knew it would be at least a 15 minute wait before another would come. So, I decided to brave the heat and just walk back to my building.

Ordinarily this wouldn't be a big deal; I really do enjoy walking and a block and a half is not that far. However, when it's almost 100 degrees outside, and my feet were already telling me they hated me because I'd stupidly forgotten to change into my sandals before our little jaunt, so I was wearing heels, it was a little bit of a different story. I did make it back to my building safely, albeit a bit, okay more than a bit, sweatier than I had been before.

The most interesting part is what my colleagues thought had happened to me. They all filed off the train and were crossing the street when a lady who was running to catch the train tripped right in front of them. They kindly helped her up, and the Boss flagged the train so she made it on. Suddenly they realized I wasn't with them, and they had no idea where I was. They wondered if somehow the lady tripping had been a distraction for someone to (gasp) kidnap me!

But, as you well know, I was not kidnapped but just trapped on TRAX. I finally rejoined them, and all was well.

The end!

The offending party:
I was trying to upload this image, but it's just not cooperating, so here's a link to a page that shows the offending party:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not as serious as it sounded

Oh dear! I think I might've made my last post a bit too dramatic! Sorry about that everyone! I wrote the post because a) I've never had anything like that done before and b) I wanted to make sure I wouldn't forget the experience. Perhaps I'd better clarify so I don't panic anyone out.

The procedure I had done was an Upper GI Endoscopy. Basically it means that they sedate you in order to stick a probe with a camera down your throat to check out your esophagus and stomach. It's a routine procedure that only takes about 5-15 minutes to complete. Of course I had to be sedated so I wouldn't choke on the probe when they put it down my throat.

The reason I had it done is to find out the cause of a mystery pain that I've been having in my left side for three months. An ultrasound in June didn't show anything, but I was told a visit with a GI doctor might shed some light on the situation. He gave me some medicines that appear to be helping the problem. The pain hasn't gone away, but it's now at a more bearable level. My "magic pills" help make it go away. :)

The doctor did take some samples during the procedure to send off for further testing, but I won't know the results of those for 7-10 days. I guess we'll just have to see what, if anything, those tests show. Perhaps they might help solve the mystery. Only time will tell.

I just want to say thanks to everyone who has expressed their concern. I honestly am a little shocked by such a response, but I feel grateful to have such supportive friends and family!! I love you all! Happy Pioneer Day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Through Tammy's hospital visit

So there I was, lying flat on a gurney, the room a beehive of activity around me. One nurse was busy putting little heart monitor patches on me (five to be exact and another on my finger) while another fitted an oxygen cannula into my nostrils. Next came a blood pressure cuff on my upper left arm, which, unfortunately, came un-velcroed the first time it tried to take my blood pressure. Apparently this is a common problem with the automatic blood pressure machine. As soon as one of the nurses spotted the problem, she fixed it.

The door to the room was curtained off, and the doctor was sitting on one side, busily talking on the phone. In fact, he talked on the phone until right before the actual procedure started, but I guess it couldn't start without him since he would be the one doing it. I decided it was good that he had the nurses to do all the necessary prep work. I also wondered who in the world he could be talking to until right before he started, but he did come talk to me briefly.

He laid a hand on my arm and asked if the medicines he had given me at our visit two weeks before were working out. I told him one was really helping, but the other didn't work out so well since it gave me terrible heartburn, the opposite of what it's supposed to do. He looked surprised at this, and I told him that he had prescribed a second pill for me that seemed to be working just fine. I was slightly taken aback that he didn't realize the switch in pills since, apparently, he was the one who authorized it. . . oh well.

The nurse who had fitted the cannula into my nose came over again and pumped a little juice into into my vein through the IV in my right hand. I thought it was interesting how the lights in the room suddenly started looking strange and I was aware of everything and yet nothing all at once. I also felt slightly dizzy. Good thing I was lying down already.

In my half drugged state, the activity and the lights were getting to be a bit too much, so I closed my eyes, not sure if this was the sedative and if so, how long it was going to be before I went completely under. Not yet, since the nurse next instructed me to turn onto my left side and curl into a ball, then adjusted the pillow underneath me.

I suddenly noticed that my right hand seemed to be burning and slightly sore. I rubbed my thumb gently with the other hand, and the nurse must've seen the motion. She explained that my hand might be slightly sore from the medicine. The nurse who had put the IV in had told me that it would be uncomfortable to have the IV in my hand because the pain medication tended to burn, but since my veins are tiny and hard to find, there wasn't much to be done about it.

Finally, it was time. The nurse on my right side asked the doctor if he was ready, explaining to me that it only took about 30 seconds for the anesthetic to take affect. My eyes were already partially closed, but I didn't even realize I was completely out until I woke up in the recovery room.

My first recollection was someone saying something about the procedure. Despite being quite out of it, this made it into my consciousness as well as the fact that the doctor would soon be in to talk to me. I turned to my friend, K, who had driven me to my appointment (because I would be heavily sedated I was not allowed to drive for 12 hours, so someone had to give me a ride there and back) and made small conversation. She mentioned something about how she could tell I was still drugged by how much I was giggling. She must not know me very well yet or she would wonder how much was drugs and how much was my normal behavior. :)

I didn't giggle when the doctor came into the room. He explained the results of this procedure, as much as they were available, and told me to continue taking my pills and schedule a visit to his office in two months. I questioned him if this would make my pain go away and he told me there was a good chance it would. I can only hope so!

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my minor medical procedure. It's been almost 7 hours since it happened, and I feel pretty good. My stomach was in terrible pain a little while ago, and my throat is sore, but both of those are relatively normal. Wish me luck with getting the results soon and that they show something conclusive!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How in the World Could this Be?

Oh my goodness! I have something exciting to report. The seemingly impossible has happened! No, it doesn't have anything to do with dating or marriage. Sorry for anyone who thought I was making a big announcement through my blog. I'm actually writing to tell you that I saw the sixth Harry Potter movie on Saturday (gasp!) and I actually liked it!!

I should clarify so you know why this is so significant. I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books. I was first introduced to them back in the day when only the first three had been released. Like millions of other fans around the world, I waited in anticipation for 4, 5, 6 and, finally, 7. And I was not disappointed with how it all turned out. J.K. Rowling did a masterful job of crafting the series and Jim Dale does a fabulous job with the narration on the CDs. The problem is that I have been less than impressed with the movie adaptations. The first one just felt rushed because it felt like they tried to squeeze every bit into it so fans would be pleased. I liked the second movie well enough, but I was disappointed with the third through fifth movies.

When a friend and I decided we wanted to get together on Saturday and that our get together should involve seeing Harry Potter, I felt only lukewarm about it. I wanted to see it because I like to know what the hype is about, but now I'm glad I did because the movie was great!

For anyone who's not familiar with the Harry Potter storyline, the sixth book involves Harry working with Dumbledore to piece together Tom Riddle's life before he became Lord Voldemort, so he will know how to defeat him. It also deals with teenage angst over relationships, especially liking someone else when they seem to be interested in someone else. I'm not going to give away the end here, but the book ends sadly, especially as it was setting things up for the seventh book.

This was hands down the best movie adaptation of any of the books! I was impressed with the way they managed to incorporate most of the important elements into the movie. They changed a few things, a couple of which I wasn't crazy about, but on the whole I was pleased with the movie! It has enough humor to balance out the darker parts of the film. The action is well supplemented with strong dialogue. And I thought the acting was great! The kids who play the main characters are starting to get older, but the only one who's looking dangerously close to being too old (as my very dear Speak pointed out) is Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy. Even so he manages to pull it off.

Surprisingly enough, I would highly recommend Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I know, shocking!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not so bad

It's getting late, so I might head to bed shortly, but I have one more experience to share before I do.

Today I ran into someone that I thought might be awkward to see and/or talk to for various reasons. Their offense wasn't against me, but I still worried that my knowledge of it might affect my interaction with them. I am pleased to report that all went well, and it wasn't awkward at all.

I guess that all I can say is ignorance is bliss, and I'll leave it at that. G'night everyone!


Today is Friday which means I have officially reached the end of another week. I find myself in a reflective mood, so you'll just have to bear with me as I think back on this week.

First of all, I was quite excited because my nights were going to be my own again. For the last two weeks I've been doing an intensive project for my freelance client, which pretty much meant my evenings were occupied. I was relieved to finish everything up last Saturday so my time was my own again, but commitments have a way of creeping in, so in some ways it didn't feel like it was my time. It's okay though because I filled it up with good things.

Not only did I have several very productive days at work, but I also attended several social events with my ward (I'm still proving that I am not, in fact, inactive), had a nice visit with a good friend that I haven't chatted with for some time, went to the temple, surprised Speak with her favorite ice cream, exercised, finished a really great book and, oh yeah, got a new medicine so my insides don't feel like they're on fire all the time. Trust me, it's already making a world of difference! And perhaps next week I might find out something else that will help me. We'll just have to see! Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay!

Anyway, it almost makes me tired writing about all these things I've done, much less having actually done them. But all in all, it's been a good week. I've learned that time is a precious gift and must not be wasted, so I hope that I've used the time I was given this week as wisely as I should have. If not, I suppose there's always next week. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Prodigal Child Returns!

For anyone who's confused by my last entry, my only advice is to just roll with it. That's all the explanation I'm going to give. :)

But I do have a story for you, so enjoy! Once upon a time there was a girl named Tammy. Tammy was a faithful church attender and did her best to go to all of her church meetings. Seasons passed, as they often do, and soon it was summer. As I'm sure you know, summer is a common time for vacations, little weekend trips, visiting family and holidays.This meant that sometimes Tammy was out of town on Sundays. Even though she was still faithfully attending church, it wasn't in her assigned ward.

After three weeks of not seeing Tammy, those in her ward started worrying that perhaps Tammy didn't like coming to church anymore, had gotten lost on the way or that her roommate, Speak, had managed to lock her in the cellar. They decided it was time to make contact. The first point of contact was going to be Tammy's home teacher, Sir Brad. He sent out a text message to see if everything was okay and received a grateful message saying everything was fine. Tammy was touched by the gesture and thought that would be the end of it.

Sunday rolled around, and for the first time in three weeks, she planned to attend her ward. One of the first people she saw upon entering the chapel was Sir Brad himself, who warmly welcomed her back. (Such a nice knight!) Once Sacrament meeting was over, Tammy had to deliver her tithing envelope to the bishop who mentioned that she had been missed and, again, asked if everything was all right. She assured him everything was fine.

Before Sunday School started, both other members of the bishopric (and several ward members) told Tammy she had been missed and said they were happy to see her back. Tammy honestly had no idea so many people would notice her absence but felt good to know she had been missed. And she recommitted herself to regular church attendance in her assigned ward (which was possible now that she wasn't planning to go anywhere for awhile).

As Sunday drew to a close (this entry was actually written last night but my Internet was being stupid and wouldn't let me post it--sad day!), Tammy approached her bedtime with gratitude in her heart for such a wonderful Sabbath and that her ward had been kind enough to be so concerned about her.

The End!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just to clarify

If there was such an organization as The Little Women of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (I protest the man haters part), it would not, in fact, necessarily be against the He-Man Woman Haters Club. Yes, the clubs might have two very different purposes, but just because He-Man's organization likes to hate women, doesn't mean the Sisterhood hates men. On the contrary, we are very open to men and (ahem) susceptible to their charms at times, but we do not appreciate it when they bash us, so we might find ways to strike back. If that involves rhetoric, then you'd better watch out, particularly if Speak is involved.

As much as we appreciate the invite to your (gag) Beers and Babes night, we feel it would not be in our best interest to attend. We would invite you to our weekly chick flick viewing, but this week we're branching out by going to see Transformers, which, we're pretty sure you won't like. We also feel you would be much too awkward to attend such a refined event. We are aware you'd rather be out chopping wood, hunting big game or having a woman-bashing session. Perhaps there is some other way to establish peace between our two organizations. Only time will tell.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Baseball games and woman haters (okay, not really)

Again, it's been a long time since I've written in here. I had every intention of writing last night, but I was too tired by the time I finished editing so I didn't get to it. However, the project that's been keeping me so busy is quickly drawing to a close and then my evenings will be my own again. Yay!

Tonight I really wanted to go do something and was hoping I could come up with something fun to do. I was delighted when I received a text from a good friend inviting me to go to a Bees game tonight with some friends. Yay! Problem solved! I had something to do and didn't even have to plan it myself. The weather was beautiful, the game turned out successful (the Bees won--5 to 3) and I got to spend time with great friends who make me happy. It was nice to be out among friends again and not feel like I'm in isolation or something.

I should just take a few minutes to explain a few things about one of the friends who came to the game tonight, whom I will refer to as He-Man. He's pretty much hysterical for a variety of reasons. First of all, he likes to tease and has a great sense of humor, so he has the ability to make people laugh (phone conversations with him are always entertaining). Secondly, he is one of the kindest most caring people and is always willing to help out, especially in an emergency, but he doesn't always like to show that side of himself. I can't really blame him for that because there are just parts of yourself that you don't want to share with everyone. Third, sometimes he has this little club he forms called the He-Man Woman Haters Club. He likes to go on rants or make sexist comments (jokingly of course) about the differences between men and women and relationships in general. I know these often directly correlate with experiences he's had that have left him scarred and some of it is said jokingly so mostly I just listen and correct him when he gets blatantly wrong. . .

Sometimes I think he has graduated from the He-Man Woman Haters Club and then he goes on a rant, and I can see that he is still president and CEO, which is kind of what happened tonight. I just roll my eyes and laugh because what else can you really do, and most of the time I think it's funny even though he's wr-wr-wrong!! And the comments aren't meant to be offensive anyway. Tonight he started calling himself Superman and when I asked why, he said it was because nobody else will do it for him. I found it funny, partially because he had yet to hear that his euphemism in my blog is He-Man, who's kind of a superhero. :)

I promise this entry had a point when I started it but it's too late now and I'm not making sense to myself, so I think I'd better close. Good night everyone! (Actually, I should probably say Good morning because I'm sure that's when most of you will be reading this.) Here's a picture of us at the baseball game, sans me of course since I took the picture.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Limbo Land. Social Siberia and hope's bright shining face

Wow! It's been awhile since I've written in here. It's not for lack of subject matter that I have chosen not to write--it's more lack of time. And I always wonder why is it that everything seems to happen all at once?

Last week was somewhat of a hell week for me, I'm afraid. I've been doing a major project for my freelancing client that has taken up oodles of my time. It has a fairly tight deadline and I agreed to do it even though I knew it would stress me out. It wouldn't have been quite so bad if that was the only thing, but I also had a lot of company last week, some of which I hadn't planned on. Mind you, all of my company was very much welcome, but it was just hard when I had this project hanging over my head. I felt I didn't enjoy seeing my family as much as I would have ordinarily because I knew I needed to get this project done.

But I have forged bravely ahead and the end of the project is in sight. It's going to take much of my strength to put my nose to the grindstone for the next few days, but I have no fear that I'll be able to ride it out. :) I haven't figured out what my reward will be for finishing it, but I'll think of something good I'm sure. And I can't wait to leave the Social Siberia this project has placed me in! Soon I'll be free!

Tonight I was a little bit between editing so I ended up with some free time (gasp!) and even though it's what I've wanted, it felt weird to me. This could've been because I knew more work would arrive shortly, but the reprieve was nice. I'm feeling refreshed and anxious all at the same time. Why do I have to be so complicated and feel so many things at once?!

Anyway, the purpose of this entry is not to whine about my busyness (and, yes, I might've just made that word up) but to talk about the fact that I feel like I'm in limbo land. I'm feeling like something is missing, but I'm just not sure what. Thanks to an important session in the temple with my parents last Friday, I'm feeling like I have something concrete to work toward, but I'm still figuring out how to get there. This goal is something that is definitely going to stretch me, which is why it'll take so much preparation, but if I'm supposed to do it, as I felt strongly that I am, the way will be opened for me as long as I do my part.

Despite feeling somewhat lost and in limbo, I'm also hopeful that everything is going to be okay. Along with faith, hope is a strong emotion that can carry us through almost anything. This I have discovered many times over, especially in the last year and a half. My exile to Social Siberia (or editing prison as the case may be) will soon be over and my evenings will once again be mine. Yay! That's a happy thought!