Thursday, December 29, 2011
Yes, I was finally convinced to try a new game. It's the console version, which means a great deal of the time spent playing was taken up with Damm showing me how to work all the little toggles. Once or twice he laughed at me, but I can't blame him, my character did look funny running into walls and other things. I had created a human warrior but I might be switching-an entire family, including a little boy, dies. It is just a game but stuff like that instantly takes the fun out of it for me. I am guessing most of the plot lines are depressing, though, so Damm might have to play me past the sad parts.
Anyhoo, there you are.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
We are back, loaded with presents and pastries. It was an interesting week, one in which I was deprived of my laptop because it needed repairs, so no posting. I'm not sure I would've remembered to; when we first switch to a new schedule I have a tendency to forget things. Anyhow, here are some snippets from our Christmas Adventures:
1) The trip up was the most delightful twelve hours we've ever driven. When there are four adults in the car it seems they can contrive to keep two little kids happy.
2) I was told, by Damm's grandmother, to help myself to her coffee. It's that newfangled kind, with the little cup that brews one cup of coffee and costs about fifty cents each. I tried, I really did, to get my coffee elsewhere, but I have a suspicion that she didn't know about my "three cups to consciousness and the fourth to converse" habit (quotation shamelessly taken from a Julie Czenerda book and which I have adopted as my own).
3) Speaking of coffee, this is the first Christmas I have been gifted coffee. I've never asked for it, but I'm surprised that it's taken this long for someone to think of it, given my coffee mania.
4) Miniorc threw a fit about having to open a present. He's like me: too many people + new surroundings = disaster. Damm's grandmother had wanted them to open a present a night and the Orclette was delighted. Miniorc was wondering why all the adults were pressuring him to tear some paper apart. When we got to the present part-a book-he threw it down on the ground and yelled "No!"
5) Damm and his brothers played ENDLESS rounds of Settlers of Catan and Shanghai. I think they had fun, although those games can get pretty violent in tone (although I have been told that's how they communicate love to each other).
6) The Orclette proved she can be sensitive. One night, about midway through the visit, Damm's grandmother was visibly tired and, like many people, had gotten a bit snippy (bear in mind that my kids get LOUD and have no volume control). The Orclette fled to our bedroom and asked me to sit with her until her great-grandmother had had her "quiet time". After I got over my initial impulse to defend my poor offspring I realized this was a good thing: she had figured out how to make it quiet enough for her great-grandma without being told.
7) I had an awesome time with my sister-in-law. We went shopping, wrapped gifts, baked cookies (well, she baked cookies and I watched as she masterfully flew threw the kitchen whipping up dainties and delights).
8) My parents came for a couple of days and they brought Damm's favoritist game ever: Diplomacy. Turns out my dad had played the game when he was younger and they eagerly pored over the instructions for a couple of hours.
9) I ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. He ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my dad. My dad ordered 12 Angry Men, Blueray, Criterion edition for my brother. My brother called me later to laugh over our "gift of the Magi" episode.
10) I pulled the muscle I was supposed to be resting by getting out of Damm's grandmother's incredibly comfy couch. No one believed me and defended the couch, but I know when my muscle began to spasm and it was as I got out of the couch.
11) Damm spent two hours putting together the kitchen set his grandmother had gotten the kids. They were properly grateful and spent another two hours playing happily with it, although Miniorc began to open some of the play food that came with it in hopes of eating it.
12) Last night I had planned to stay up after putting the kids to bed. We were going to watch "Conan" (the new one) and enjoy a night alone at last. I had underestimate the power of a 3 a.m. wake up followed by eleven hours of driving. I fell asleep while putting the kids to bed, woke up some time later and dragged myself out to the living room, and then fell asleep cuddled next to Damm while he played a video game. Not exactly romantic, but we did get alone time of a sort.
So there you are. We are back, there's no-place like home etc. I go back to work tonight, we go back to our frugalish diet and we start prepping for the upcoming semester. It's going to be a doozy: Damm's parents are moving due to a familial issue so it's just us now (something I do not fault them for, I'd be moving if I were in their situation). My parents are planning on moving here this summer so the fall semester will hopefully be easier but I'm increasingly glad that I have a very easy course load this semester. Enough of the doldrums. Today I brave the shops to scour the discounted Christmas stuff. It's gonna be fun.
Friday, December 16, 2011
My kids are being SPOILED this year. You see, my mother sent her "12 days of Christmas" package early in December. Then their other grandma did a similar series of presents. We're finally reaching the end, tomorrow will be the last day they open presents before Christmas. Well it would be, except I went to the Dollar Store and grabbed some new toys to pull out at regular intervals during our trip to Grandma's house. I wrapped them too, since I had paper left over from last year.
And when they get to Grandma's house (technically great-grandma, but they don't understand that difference)? MORE presents. She asked for the list in November. The day I sent it she emailed me back explaining everything she had gotten for them, which was every item on the list. They're going to have an AWESOME Christmas. Plus my parents are dropping by and that means even more presents ... sometimes it can be advantageous to be the only grand kids (yet, anyway) on both sides of the family.
But what is really, really cool is the Orclette's reaction to the Salvation Army bell/donation people outside of Walmart (are those ubiquitous?) and the Children's Miracle Network (I think that's the right name). She had asked me what both were for and I explained that they helped little kids and families who need to go to the hospital or don't have enough to celebrate Christmas. She immediately asked me for money so she could help them. It was incredibly heartwarming, since giving, especially at such an iconic time of year, is what I think we all should do.
And since my last paragraph was about giving I thought I'd segue into something very dear to me (this is not sponsored, I don't know if either of these organizations do that, but just so you know): Compassion , an organization devoted to lifting children out of poverty (among other things). It's certainly not the only organization out there that does this but I like it because it is a Christian organization that works through local churches to reach the communities. I also appreciate World Vision, another organization that is unashamedly Christian but that works with any organization in a community in order to aid them (both of these descriptions are what I've gleaned from reading their sites and hopefully they're accurate). I think both approaches are valid and needed; churches should be strengthened, Christians should be helping anyone who needs help, regardless of race/religion/etc.
This is dear to me because we are involved with Compassion. After my kids were born I found that I could no longer even contemplate harm being done to little children. I won't watch movies or read books that place little children in harm's way (although I did read The Hunger Games Trilogy). This feeling developed into a desire to help kids who didn't have enough to eat/were orphaned/etc. Compassion has enabled us to do that, and it is just so incredible to know that we are actually having an impact, we are actually doing something to help alleviate the grievous conditions some of these children are in. It helps me in my history classes when I read about the horrific things that people have done to each other, to the littlest among us. I remember that we are helping, and that we are not the only ones, that others are also doing everything they can to help. It's the greatest present, in my opinion, that you can ever give yourself.
So there you go. I hope that didn't sound like an infomercial (I have a tendency to do that); I attempted to actually write what I felt about the whole thing. May everyone have a lovely Christmas, may your children have presents waiting for them under the tree and may everyone have joy.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
So I guess we'll see about the school remaining open. I know those of you in the North are laughing but we here in Las Cruces are woefully unprepared for cold weather. Heck, I saw girls walking around in non-winterish looking skirts today. We were so not expecting this.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
So I read the Hunger Games Trilogy and felt absolutely awful Monday morning. Book hangover. Definitely don't drive while under the influence-trying to navigate the car while reading what happened next just doesn't work. Anyway, I was on our school's online thingymajig (it's called Blackboard but I have no idea what you call it in computer parlance-platform?) and noticed that our final essay assignment had been posted for my mythology class. Turns out I can write about any hero/heroine from any novel/movie. Score, right? I'm totally writing about Katniss Everdeen. My reading marathon over the weekend turned out to be just the right thing.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
First, the Oatmeal. I was out shopping the other day in the middle of the afternoon. I had actually made a shopping list and was going to stick to my budget so I was feeling pretty good about life. We (meaning myself, Orclette and Miniorc) got to the cereal aisle and I thought about buying some. Cereal is rather expensive, however, when you compare it to Oatmeal, so I decided that I was going to be virtuous and buy the cheaper option. It was a great idea until the next morning when my morning brain threw a fit against my afternoon brain because my morning brain DOES NOT COOK. Not even the minuscule amount of cooking that it takes to make Oatmeal. So the moral is: do not do your breakfast shopping with your afternoon brain.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
I'm thinking orange. Orange pumpkins, orange candles, orange foliage. Mixed in with a few other fall colors, of course. Rather than jump immediately into Christmas-planning mode (like I usually do) I've been mustering up enthusiasm for Thanksgiving, and even in some measure Halloween. I do not celebrate Halloween because I am not enthused about the origins of that particular celebration but we do participate in festivities if they are kid-friendly. For instance, this year Damm and the Orclette will be participating in the ROTC Halloween Run dressed as (we're thinking) Dorothy and the Tin Man/Straw Man. It'll be awesome.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Love the name. Schlock Mercenary is still the comic that draws me in the most and enraptures my attention. I avoid the archives because I can easily lose days there. Props to Howard for an awesome comic that lives on the strength of its story telling despite early struggles with art(I like his art now).
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Piggyback rides on daddy. Very big hit. Giddyup horsey! :)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
It all started at 13, suddenly jerked out of bed and started doing pushups and sit-ups with no control over his body. Other events happened along the same time as well. Walked past a sign up for swim club when his body stopped listening and he just walked over and signed up. Random sudden loss of control became common. He’d lose control every morning and night for what was apparently a regular workout session; same with swimming; same with weekend runs. He had no control over what he ate but only ate healthy. Side effects of this were nice, a healthy strong body with excellent form and reflexes. But loss of control was harsh. Testing showed he could slightly hold back intensity or contribute to it but mostly control wasn’t his. His hobby was apparently to be a puppet, a glove to someone else’s hand.
Standing in line to pay for his gas, he idly wondered how much longer it would take. There were at least five people in line in front of him and no one seemed in any kind of hurry…especially the lone cashier. He let loose a long slow sigh, and settled into wait when the door opened and he lost control.
His hand reached back and grabbed the knife he’d been forced to buy about three years ago. It was gone and thrown before the door chime had gone off. He was too shocked at this sudden loss of control to follow what was going on for a second or two. By the time he caught up to the action not-him had him laying on the ground behind an shelf and of the three men he had seen coming in one was dead with a knife in the eye, another was half blind to a sharply thrown pair of glass bottles. The third had a gun out and was yelling into his phone.
Half-way through a reflexive recitation of “Now sleeps the crimson petal” he recognize the feeling of muscles building up and then not-him was moving in a high arcing forward flip over the shelves, his hand flashing with a pair of knives that had been purchased when he turned 17. The gun flashed twice as the phone was dropped. Both flashes were too early, before the gun had come on line. The knives slashed downwards through throat and arm respectively before continuing on their way in a twirling stab into the blinded man’s neck.
Not-him sheathed the knives and grabbed the first one he’d thrown at a dead sprint out the door. He stopped the Tennyson and swapped to Euclid. Not-him settled into a good pace and ran about three miles before stopping at a random suburban house to use their water hose to wash off his knives and the majority of the blood. As soon as the wash was done not-him ran another two miles. They walked the rest of the way home after that at a brisk pace.
Once home to his apartment he changed rapidly gathered a few more knives and grabbed a small pre-packed bag. Two hours later he was on a bus to another district. Only once he was on the bus did he regain control and begin shaking violently and weeping internally.