Monday, March 30, 2009

Vintage Easter Collection

Have you seen Target's Easter cutesies? They are fantastic. I have to work the weekend of Easter, but I am still excited about it - first, because it is the most meaningful holiday to me, and second, because I get to look at these every day and they never fail to make me smile:

The eggs in the nest are salt and pepper shakers! Can you say 'ADORABLE'?! (I'm feeling rather stupid right now because half of my official followers are guys...bear with me, fellas. You know you can appreciate the cuteness too.)

Ryan was out of town all weekend and when he came home Sunday evening, I wanted to be extra cute. So, though I was running late and he ended up pulling into the subdivision right BEFORE I did, I made him circle around and then wait on the front porch while I got into character:

He laughed at me. That means he liked it. Enough to take a picture, anyway.

If you like the adorable things you see in this post, go to Target!

In the Doghouse?

If you get a call from me anytime soon asking you to come bail me out of jail, here's why:

Allow me to explain. I was driving home listening to the Ewan McGregor version of "Your Song" and I wanted to hear the whole thing so I drove around my subdivision a little bit. My husband called, so I started talking to him, and then I saw this dog. "Ohhh! Oooooooh! Oooooh!" I suddenly exclaimed into the phone. (He didn't even question it. He's used to me by now.)

I told him how old, fat and grey the dog was and that I wanted to pat it and feel its arthritic hip creak under my hand. I'm weird. But I love old dogs, and this one was soooo cute. I told him that I had to go because I just HAD to get a picture of the dog; "I don't even care that its owner is outside." He laughed and we got off the phone.

I drove past the house with my phone up to my ear, but on camera mode. I'm sneaky like that. I tried to take a picture. I failed. I drove down another street, then came back to the dog's house going the other way, this time with the phone a little more obviously pointed toward the dog. I snapped the picture. I (as you can see, barely) got it! I continued driving down the street. I looked into my rearview mirror. The owner was staring at me intently. He didn't look away before I turned back onto the street that leads to my house. It was more than a little scary.

Oops. Well, if worst comes to worst, this is probably the best reason ever to be incarcerated.

Some Friends

My husband and I had the following conversation over gtalk this morning:

me: I found some friends
Ryan: yup, there they are
me: are they your friends too?
Ryan: never met 'em
me: yes you have
you did just now
and they like you. they told me.
Ryan: online...
me: but they see you through the screen
their eyes are webcams
Ryan: thats creepy
its making me not want to like them...
me: they can't help it. They don't use it for creepiness. Only social networking.

We are silly. We have fun. We don't pay attention to punctuation or grammar in online communication. But hardly anyone does anyway.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Okay, two posts in one night? You know it's a calm night at work. (Of course, I may have just cursed myself by saying that...) I don't mean that. I don't believe in curses. Actually, though, this is a very good segue into my topic for this post:

Random things I've been thinking about for awhile and always mean to blog about but always manage to forget.

1) Superstitions. I guess people have them because they're taught by example, because they've experienced something that they think gives them reason to have them, because they're bored...who knows? In any case, it absolutely FLOORS me how far the superstition of the number 13 has gone. Every time I see an airplane without a row 13, a list of buttons on an elevator without a 13th floor option, I shake my head and ask myself (and whomever is with me, if I know them) WHY. I can't really explain it, but I guess my thought is that the idea of building any structure involves a certain degree of seriousness and professionalism. The idea of a superstition that 13 is a "bad" number carrying over into building something is just ridiculous to me. Maybe that makes sense; maybe not.

2) I can't brush my teeth like normal people. For this reason, I have a fascination with watching people (on TV, patients in the hospital, etc.) brush their teeth. Normal people can stick the toothbrush into their mouths, close their lips around the toothbrush so its work is not actually seen, and brush like pros. I, on the other hand, have to curl my lips back so my teeth are bared and I can see all of them as I brush them. As a result, the toothpastey foam spills out of my mouth in a very unladylike fashion. I have no idea why this is. I would like to blame it on the fact that my upper gums are totally and completely numb because of a jaw surgery I had as a teenager, and therefore I have no idea if I'm brushing my teeth or my gums unless I look, but I'm pretty sure I had this issue long before that. I have tried to brush my teeth the normal people way. I long to brush my teeth the normal people way. But I just can't do it.

3) "Fingernail clippers" vs. "toenail clippers." WHY does it matter? Unless I'm mistaken, the smaller ones are "fingernail clippers" and the larger ones are "toenail clippers." The way I see it, the toenail clippers are only bigger to accommodate the big toe. Other than that, toenails are smaller than fingernails (unless you're weird). I prefer to use the larger ones on my fingernails and I have no problem using them on ALL of my toenails as well. In fact, it's easier for me because when using the larger ones on my toenails, I only have to make one clip. If all I can find are the "fingernail clippers," those will do, but I have to make three or four clips per fingernail. I must admit that I never knew there was a difference until I noticed my husband asking specifically for the "fingernail clippers" or the "toenail clippers." I thought the smaller ones were...I don't know, travel size or something.

4) Eyebrow plucking. I can't remember the age at which I started caring enough to do this, but I CAN remember someone telling me that it wouldn't hurt after I'd been doing it for awhile. That person was wrong. When I pluck my eyebrows, it has what I imagine to be a similar effect to tear gas. My eyes water, my nose runs like crazy, my mouth waters so much that I (unfortunately) have to spit into the sink, and I sneeze like no tomorrow. Does anyone else have this problem?

5) Water. When I drink it, it's like torture. (Okay, I feel really bad saying that because I recognize that people are ACTUALLY tortured all the time and I can't imagine what that's like. However, I will keep that description because most people know that I'm just exaggerating as usual.) I never get thirsty. Ever. I think it's because I'm rather cold-natured and the idea of drinking anything makes me even colder. It's also got to be because there's a spot between two of my upper back teeth that hurts so badly it's insane when anything cold touches it. I should get that checked out...anyway, I recognize that I DO need to drink water once in awhile, so once in awhile, I do. When I take a drink, it feels like the water all goes straight to my head and sloshes around up there. It honestly messes up my equilibrium. I feel like I'm full and water-logged and it's incredibly unpleasant. Why?

6) Commas. People LOOOOOOOOOVE commas. People love, them so much, that, they find, any place, they can think of, in a sentence, to put them. Weren't people taught when and when not to use commas? Didn't they pay attention? That's probably mean. I know that I'm not a perfect "comma-user." In fact, I think the comma has a certain degree of mystery that renders everyone in the world incapable of being a truly 100% perfect "comma-user." (Exhibit A: I find myself wondering if there should be a comma between "truly" and "100%.") However, with commas, less tends to be more. I say that because, overall, I've observed an insane excess of comma usage. Also, commas and semi-colons: there IS a difference. A semi-colon should be used to divide a sentence when both "sides" of it can be sentences independently. A comma should not take the place of a semi-colon. I should stop here before I get myself into a lecture I can't complete due to lack of knowledge on the subject. All I know is that the unnecessary commas need to stop. But I love you. I promise.

7) This is a last-minute addition that was inspired by "LOOOOOOOOOVE" above. I am all about stretching out words with extra letters for emphasis. However, attention should be paid to the letter you are choosing to stretch out when typing it. Think about saying the word. Would you say "Loooooove" or "lovvvvvve?" The latter would have you pronouncing the letter "v" for an awkwardly long time. My personal (sarcastic) favorite: "Loveeeeeeeee." The "e" is silent, so why stretch it out? Just a thought.

Okay, I should go pass morning meds now. (It's not really 2:09am. It's 5.)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Martha, Martha, Martha....

Why must you reel me in with your adorable crafts, your creative recipes, your guide that tells me where I can get all of the beautiful things I *think* I need in your magazines? Why must you make me daydream of being able to do everything in your magazine for a living?

It only makes going to my real job less pleasant.

Last fall, one of my dear friends let me borrow some old October Marthas for some Halloween ideas. I was immediately hooked. I traded my extra George Foreman grill for all of her old Marthas. (I think I got the better end of the deal.)

Whenever I mention the fact that I can't get enough of Martha Stewart Living magazine, most people respond with shock, disgust, and, inevitably, a mention of her time behind bars. These people obviously haven't seen what she can do to an Easter egg. I don't buy her magazine and save all the issues so I can read them to my future children each night before they go to bed, telling them that my prayer is that they will be like Martha when they grow up. I don't lose sleep over what she does with her money, personal life, etc. - just keep showing me how I can achieve the wonder I see on the pages of her magazine and I'm happy. Is that bad? Maybe...but we're supposed to forgive, right? I forgive you, Martha.

Some time in the next couple of weeks, I shall be attempting to replicate the fabulous Easter eggs on the cover of the April edition. I would post pictures of her eggs here...alas, I am at work and the computer will hardly let me do anything. Besides, I plan on posting pictures of the eggs I decorate and having Martha's eggs and mine on the same page for easy and obvious comparison would just depress me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Whooshing

While this may sound like it could be the title of an M. Night Shyamalan flick, it is instead the name I have given to an odd and scary sensation I have been experiencing off and on for the past four years or so. Once in awhile, sometimes randomly and sometimes when I bend my head low to the ground or over-exert myself, I hear/feel a "whooshing" all around my right ear. It sounds like a baby's heartbeat during an ultrasound, only inside my own head. As a professed hypochondriac (though I'm currently in recovery), it didn't fail to completely freak me out.

When it started, I was in nursing school, so I asked my insanely intelligent professor - we'll call her She-Who-Knows-Everything - about it. She-Who-Knows-Everything told me it was a carotid bruit. Wikipedia told me that a carotid bruit is a noise heard over the carotid artery due to a disruption in the blood flow caused by atherosclerosis. I told me that even though my cholesterol is a little higher than what "they" say it should be, there is no way I had enough plaque in my right carotid artery in my early 20s to cause such a noise. I forgot how, but eventually I convinced myself that it was because I had a tumor or some other abnormality in my brain.

I went to the doctor and the doctor, to my delight, ordered a CT. I got the CT. It was normal. I was relieved, yet even more confused. WHY was this happening if there was nothing wrong with my head? Somehow I shrugged it off. The details are lost on me now.

The Whooshing did not go away. One night at work last summer I was describing it to a fellow nurse, whose eyes widened as she said, "It could be an AVM." An arteriovenous malformation is pretty much self-explanatory...the arteries and veins are laid out in an abnormal way and can form a tangled mass of blood vessels that pretty much bathe each other haphazardly. They can bleed and be fatal. I freaked out again. Even moreso this time because I had found out that my grandmother and ALL of her sisters have abdominal aortic aneurysms, so I didn't find it far-fetched that I could have a blood vessel abnormality of some sort.

Don't ask how or why it took me so long, because honestly even I don't know, but yesterday I went to a different doctor and told her the compelling tale of The Whooshing. The following (paraphrased) conversation ensued:

Dr.: Okay, here's my thing. I'm all about customer service. When you're happy, I'm happy. I can order a test. I can get you any test you want. The thing is, insurance might not cover it. When I order a test, I have to write a reason I'm ordering the test. If I wrote "patient thinks she has an aneurysm" as the reason and you turned out to be fine, they wouldn't cover it - and they can be really expensive. Your CT was fine. An MRI might show something that a CT wouldn't pick up, but if it did, it would probably be tiny and not life-threatening. And it would be three or four thousand bucks. I just don't want you crying about me over your Cheerios because you had to pay four thousand bucks. I know there are some people who are willing to pay just to feel better, and I might recommend it to you for that reason. Heck, I've got a mortgage to pay on my CT machine. Every CT I do pays off a little of that mortgage. You want a CT? Ca-ching! But ethically I have to tell you that I don't think you need the test. And what if we did a test and it DID find something? Then what would we do?
Me: ....Operate?
Dr.: You can't operate on an AVM that isn't currently causing any problems without doing more harm than good.
Me: So...start making my bucket list?
Dr.: Make it anyway. You're gonna die. I'm gonna die.
Me: I just...I don't know if you've ever seen "Jersey Girl," but I'm terrified that I'll be giving birth, and then - pop! I'll be dead on the table.
Dr.: Then don't have babies.
Me: But....but I have to have babies!
Dr.: Well, life is a risk. You could always be pushing, pop a blood vessel on the table and die. There's no way of knowing ahead of time.
Me: Or I could just demand C-sections (something I NEVER thought I'd say).
Dr.: Yeah, and then bleed out from infection. I didn't hear anything over your artery when I listened, which tells me it's NOT a bruit. What you're hearing is just the flow of blood itself, rather than the result of a compromised flow of blood, which is what a bruit is.
Me: But why am I hearing it? And why is it always only on the right side?
Dr.: You've got fair skin and blue eyes. You're probably very susceptible to allergies.
Me: (nods vigorously)
Dr.: It's probably a clogged eustachian tube. Pop your ears.
(I obliged.)
Me: My left one popped, but not my right one.
Dr.: There ya go.

.....Oh. THAT's a relief.

Although my imagination is still insistent that there's something very weird going on.

Still, I have half a mind to write a letter to She-Who-Does-Not-Know-Everything and sarcastically thank her for the havoc she's wreaked by putting that idea in my head.

I was advised by my new (favorite) doctor to try popping my ears the next time I experience The Whooshing and see if it doesn't immediately go away. Expect either a frantic or jubilant update at that time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


In case there is someone out there who does not know, my husband is making a movie. It is called Greyscale (yes, that is Mr. Turner from "Boy Meets World" you see listed in the cast) and although it is not finished, it has already changed our lives in a permanent way.

I won't go into what the movie is about or any major details here. Rather, I will try and undoubtedly fail to encapsulate what this experience and the people it's brought into my life have meant to me.

Filming is dying down now (we didn't realize it at the time, but we wrapped on my character this past weekend...) but for awhile we were filming every weekend and a lot of weeknights. I cheat when I say "we" because I couldn't be there very often due to my inconsistent schedule at work (which is putting it lightly, as I have worked nights, days, and nights again while on this project). I am very sorry to say that I don't think I've been able to form quite the bond that everyone else has formed due to my frequent absences and often - I'll say it - downright bratty attitude. It has been very difficult to be in a new marriage and have something come along that suddenly pushes everything aside. I was also (and still kind of am) in a new career and a new home hours away from my family. I have never doubted that my husband has my best interest at heart, but with the hectic schedule and priority changes, it was difficult for awhile.

Now it's difficult to imagine what I'm going to do with myself after it's over.

Greyscale has exhausted me. It has stressed me out. It has taken things away from me. It has blown cold wind on me, rained on me, and angered me. It has taught me things about myself that I didn't want to know.

It has taught me that things worth doing are never easy. It has brought me friends when I was miserably lonely. It has given me things I never asked for but am now so glad to have. It has changed me forever.

We have literally thousands of pictures from the making of this movie. Way too many for me to look all over my computer and Facebook for, anyway. So I will show you some pictures that (mostly) I took this past weekend. They are mainly of us just hanging out while the filming was going on in a hotel room - no, it's not that kind of movie, though some guy at the hotel DID ask - but I hope this gives you all a glimpse into the awesome times we have had.

These are our Kruses. They are the grips and they totally rock. Justin is in the Star Wars shirt, and Aaron in the Popeye shirt. Aaron has a role in the movie as well.

Okay, I just have to include this one as well - it's too fantastic:

This is Fred. She is wardrobe/make-up artist extraordinaire. She is the sister of Gloria, our assistant director.
And this is my love for Fred:

This is the aforementioned Gloria. She had a cane this weekend due to an injury. I called her Dr. House because she was just as gimpy and just as intimidating - but only when she needs to be. ;)

This is Mark, our sound/Winston man. He does not supply us with cigarettes. Rather, he portrays a hilariously lovable character (not unlike Mark himself) named Winston. His initials are MAG so I started calling him Mag. This weekend it transformed somehow into Crazy Uncle Maggie. (Mark, if that ever starts to drive you nuts, let me know - I've been known to make people hate me with the nicknames I give them!) He also likes to point guns, but don't worry, they are not loaded.

This is Marisa. Ryan has known her for years, while I have gotten to know her better on this project. She plays Rachel, the femme fatale. She was rather busy on this day, but I managed to get a picture:

And this is my husband. He is the writerdirectorproducereditorstar of this movie. That's what happens when you want to make a movie but aren't able to ask/pay anyone else to give the time, energy, and dedication you know it will you do it all yourself.
I don't think he's too burned out on it, though ;)

There was another actor that day who had a pretty important scene. I would be nervous too:

These are some new additions to the crew. They are great guys and always bring the laughs.



And Dustin:

Didn't get a picture of him this weekend but here is one of Joseph, who has been around to help out and get behind-the-scenes footage. He's a good buddy:

Okay, I had to dig for these next two pictures because these people haven't been with us in awhile. This is Johnny, our incredibly talented director of photography (at least until he went gallivanting around the US - luckyyyy):

And this is Mr. Brian Shoop, our great friend and an experienced actor/writer. He plays Gabe. He and his wife, Marybeth, have been beyond wonderful:
(One night in December, it was seventeen degrees and hailing outside - that's what the last three pics were from - and we were shooting outside. Suffice it to say, everyone was going to die of hypothermia, but the Shoops very kindly brought - and served - homemade hot chocolate! Regular AND mint!)

This puny little post, while it has taken me three-and-a-half hours to complete (and I am therefore cheating by timing it for the time I started it since I promised a "tomorrow" post two days ago), cannot begin to do justice to how wonderful this experience has been. I know we all feel that way, so we'd BETTER mean it when we say that we'll still hang out and make short films when this is over. I'm serious, guys. I cried at the end of "High School Musical 3"; you can imagine what it would do to me if we pulled a high school graduation and promised to keep in touch but never did.

That's a wrap for tonight! (You cringe, but it had to be said.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yuck. I hate going a week without posting. Alas, I had to work Wednesday and Thursday nights, then we were busy filming all weekend. Then I forgot last night. (Just getting the lame excuse part over with.)

If anyone out there was waiting for a knock-your-socks-off comeback, I am sorry to disappoint but I cannot find the cable to transfer pictures from this weekend onto the computer to show you. I promise to do it tomorrow though!

For now, I will tell you an awkward story.

Today I was walking into Hobby Lobby. In the Hobby Lobby lobby stood an employee. When she saw me, her jaw dropped. Within a fraction of a second I knew the situation: she had thought I was someone she knew, she quickly realized I wasn't, and she didn't want to look stupid so she pretended that she had dropped her jaw for another reason or just to be silly. (I know this because I've done similar things many, many times.) Not wanting to embarrass her, I pretended I hadn't noticed a thing and continued into the store. (This made me wonder how many times I've thought I'd gotten away unnoticed when the "victim" was just being polite.)

After walking around the store looking at the cute knick-knacks, trying to find a picture frame to match one I'd already bought, getting excited that garden gnomes were 50% off again, and realizing I'd never be able to choose the "perfect" gnome, I'd forgotten all about the incident.

I was browsing in the floral section when the employee came up to me and patted my shoulder. She said, "I thought you were someone I knew when you came into the store, but you weren't!" Then she laughed. My plan was to smile and laugh along with her, but my chapped lips had another idea. Before I could fully crack a grin, my top lip split and it hurt so badly that I couldn't smile - but a laugh escaped anyway. I can only imagine how disturbing this looked to the employee. She just bustled away.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There are no words (except these).

For my birthday back in January, Ryan got me tickets to what was sure to be the most mind-blowing concert I'd ever experience.

It was. And I'm pretty sure it will always hold that title (these guys being a very close second).

Billy Joel and Elton John were - what else? AMAZING. For decades they've been musical icons and I really love that their appeal spans generations. When the twin grand pianos were raised onto the stage, I began to scream. Then when they came out...oh man. It would be embarrassing to describe how I reacted, but it's probably along the lines of what you're imagining.

Singing along to great songs I've grown up listening to felt just as incredible as I had anticipated. I loved that they played together, then separately, then together again. Elton John didn't say much between his songs, but he very frequently gave these adorable "Look what I'm doing! Isn't it cool?!" open-mouthed, jubilant little boy looks. He seemed genuinely ecstatic to be up there. I told Ryan that I want him to always wear a top hat and his flamboyant coat and tails and live in a big magical tree in my backyard. I would have special chimes that I would ring when I wanted him to come out with his piano and entertain me. I would feed him on berries and twigs - not to be mean, but because it'd only be appropriate given the rest of the circumstances.

Yes, that he does. (Photo credit goes to Ryan.)

Billy Joel - wow. I have to admit that I was a little more excited to see him than Elton, and my intuition was right on. I knew how much I loved his music, but I had no idea what a fantastic entertainer he was. He was hilarious, he was real, he was A-MAZING. And he stopped "River of Dreams" (EDIT: I cannot believe I called it "In the Middle of the Night" at first - I promise I knew it was called River of Dreams. I guess this concert really DID blow my mind) mid-song to play "Oklahoma" - then continued where he'd left off with the song. He came out from behind the piano and played the guitar for "We Didn't Start the Fire." Then for another song (that I don't remember right now...) it was just him and the mic, which I didn't expect, but wow - he spun the stand around and threw it up in the air and halfway across the stage for someone else to catch. Nothing that hasn't been done at a concert before, but I was impressed that he was just as fun to watch without the piano.
(He's behind the piano in this case.)

Some dude somehow got onstage and proposed to his girlfriend. I've always kind of wanted to witness a public proposal, but this was kind of like "...what just happened? Why is he in the front row when the girl to whom he's proposing is behind the stage in the nosebleeds?" As much as I love proposals, it was by far one of the least exciting moments of the show. Am I starting to paint an accurate picture?

And the jamming - oh, the jamming. I think the piano is the most beautiful instrument out there and when I hear someone who can REALLY play....oh man. It's just insane. And two of them on the same stage? I'm surprised downtown Tulsa didn't implode. Of course, they ended with "Piano Man." We were a little disappointed that there was no encore, but as I told Ryan, you just can't follow "Piano Man." When they play that song, you know it's over.

No "Pressure" and no "For the Longest Time"....sigh. Even so, I was humbled to be there; to be entertained live by two of the greatest musicians of our (and our parents' - which is SO GREAT!) time. Thanks, Billy and Elton. And THANK YOU RYAN!!!

Saying bye-bye.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gather 'round, children. It's story time.

Sarah saw something furry sticking out from the sheets on the guest bed.

"Hmm, that's curious," she speculated. So she daringly pulled back the covers a bit.

"I do wonder what it could be!" Her imagination running wild, she pulled back the covers some more to reveal the mysterious specimen.

"Why, it's my sweet little kitty cat! Caspian, you silly dear, I'm ever so glad to see you." So she brought him out to the couch to cuddle.

And Caspian told Sarah a secret.

And Sarah pondered the secret.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From Sun to Snow.....

Ryan and I got back from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico a little after 7 last night. We had SUCH a wonderful time. The weather was absolutely perfect from arrival to departure. (It's just too bad we had to come back to 34-DEGREE WEATHER. C'mon, Oklahoma. For real.)

While checking in pre-bright and early last Saturday morning, we made the very upsetting discovery that our DSLR was on top of the piano at home. Devastating for a girl whose livelihood partially depends on being able to take awesome pics of everything. However, I was determined to have a good attitude so I looked at the bright side - at least my iPhone takes pretty good pictures.

Also, Ryan's dad generously allowed us to use his 5-megapixel point-and-shoot - so that was nice.

Without further ado, some (okay, a LOT of) photos of our trip:

The food and drinks were, of course, amazing.
Teehee! This was a drink that my mother-in-law got. Afterward we did silly things with its face, but I won't bore you with those pictures.

The resort is BEAUTIFUL!

And there were beautiful flowers EVERYWHERE.

I frolicked in the ocean

and chilled by the pool

and collected seashells

and happened upon an iguana

and took the obligatory "feet on the beach" picture. (Okay, I'm really posting this one to show off my awesome little girls' section at Target flip-flops. Dig 'em?)

One day, we went fishing (read: my husband and in-laws went fishing and I went trying-not-to-cry-at-watching-fishies-dying). The boat ride was sooooo wonderful.

My father-in-law is silly. Well, at least around me.

And my husband is cute.
Like that transition I did there? Also, this picture is from before we started bothering to turn off the flash - but yes, I really am that white. I am a vampire.

My mother-in-law bought me this dress I eyed from a vendor on the beach. Also, Ariel's voice is in my necklace.

One day, Ryan and I walked to this pier

and admired the view.

The pools were AMAZING.

Goodbye, Mexico, and thanks for the wonderful vacation!