Lookingglass Alice

Yesterday, Gene and I watched a performance called Lookingglass Alice. It was one of those acrobatic-type shows. My work provided discounted tickets so I thought why not, let’s go.

So glad I did. This show was WONDERFUL! As Gene told me last night, it was basically the perfect kind of show for me. It was whimsical, magical, involved childhood make-believe, and had fantastic acrobatics.

I loved it. Lauren Hirte, the actress who played Alice, was amazing. She was such a great Alice, I’m not sure anyone could have done a better job. The way she smiled, talked, laughed, moved, combined to become the 7 1/2 year old Alice.

The other actors and actresses were just as amazing and impressive. They were funny and so talented. It was such a fun performance. Throughout, the actors interacted with the audience. They ran around, sat on people’s laps, and once gave the audience giant balloons to play with. It was especially touching when Alice had a pretend tea party with three girls sitting in the front row. The Chesire Cat stood behind me at one point!

By the way, Gene and I were in the second row. It was really cool.

Oh it was just so lovely and fun. So magical.

If you happen to be in Denver the next week, see if you can buy some tickets. It’s worth it. It sounds like it’s a traveling show so hopefully it’ll come to all of you that aren’t in Colorado!

The Martian: movie review

After Gene had read The Martian book aloud to me back in December, I was nervous when he told me a movie was being made.

The Martian is one of my favorite books, top 3 I’d say, so I didn’t want to see its beauty be destroyed like so many other books are when they’re made into movies, especially since I love it so much.

I am happy to say that this film did an excellent job as an adaptation. I was not disappointed.

Yes, there were scenes from the book that were not included in the movie. There were two specifically that I thought should have been kept in, however, with the movie already being at 2 1/2 hours, I can understand why they were left out. It would have easily pushed the movie to 3 hours, possibly even 3 1/2. Although, I probably wouldn’t have minded. ;)

One scene was changed slightly where the problem was slightly different. That was a small bummer to me because the scene in the book was so scary, so emotional, and the one in the movie was over in a minute with minimal emotions. However, yet again I understand it was likely because of time constraints. And there was plenty of emotions throughout the rest of the movie to be enough.

One more negative thought about the movie, there was one character switch. In the book, X character did the action, in the movie Y character did it. I thought the change was unnecessary. Not only that, but I felt it didn’t add anything to the story.

Of course, all of these negatives are fairly minor, the movie stole my heart. In fact, I was crying within the first 5 minutes of it and cried throughout. It did a great job of not adding any fluff, I’m not sure if it added any extra, non-book scenes at all, actually.

Matt Damon did a wonderful job portraying Mark Watney. I’m thoroughly impressed with the rest of the actors as well. The characters were smart and were pretty spot on to the characters in the book. It felt like a very realistic movie.

If you’re going to see the movie (which you totally should) then read the book. It doesn’t have to be before since the movie did a great job. Just read it. Even if it doesn’t become your favorite book, I don’t think you’ll regret spending your time.

My grandma

Yesterday Pippin and I went to Colorado Springs to visit my parents and my grandma.
My aunt, grandma, and cousin had all come to visit last weekend for my grandma’s birthday. While driving back to my parents’ house from lunch at Kaitlin’s last Sunday, they got into a car accident. My aunt and cousin are okay, but my grandma took the brunt of the impact (they were t-boned on the passenger side). She has broken ribs and fractures throughout her body. She was hospitalized for a couple of days and then transferred to a rehab center in Colorado Springs. She will now be staying there for 4 to 6 weeks while she goes through rehab and heals.

So I went down yesterday in order to visit her and to help out my parents. I took Pippin because I figured it would be nice for him to get out of our house for a bit.

I’m glad I got to see my grandma. She’s in a lot of pain but when she moved from the chair to the bed in the evening (she had been sitting in her chair all day), it was the best she had done the whole week. I will take that as a small sign that she is improving. Sadly, the accident has caused her to have a difficult time staying in reality. When I saw her at lunchtime, she thought she was back in her home in Texas. She thought my aunt and mom had held a garage sale earlier and were selling all her possessions. It was kind of a shock, very odd. I had known that her memory was going (it’s believed she has Alzheimer’s) but I had never seen her act like that in person. She was definitely not like this when I saw her before the crash. I hope that once she gets back home in a month or so, she’ll do better.

The brain is such a complicated thing. It’s sad to think that one day, years and years from now, there will probably be a cure for Alzheimer’s, and my grandma won’t be one of the people to benefit from it. But others will, and that’s good. And you know what, as long as my grandma is happy, it doesn’t matter if she thinks she’s 63 or if she can’t remember what she had for breakfast. Who cares about that stuff anyway?

(By the way, she remembered who I was yesterday. Take that world! :) )

Standing desk at work

After video chatting with my friend Katie yesterday, I decided (because of her encouragement) that I should try to write more blog posts. So I will try.


Awesome moment of today: I got a standing desk

A secretary in my department left for a new job earlier this week so the head secretary said I could take the other’s standing desk.

I’m honored that she thought to give me the desk above others. It’s probably because I stand up every once in a while and complain about sitting too long. :D

Still, I know there are others who have worked here longer who want one so thanks teammate, you rock!

It’s a mobile one, which is great. It also can be set to different levels so people of multiple heights can use it. It’s pretty cool. I think I’m going to like it. I did run into a snaffoo, however, and was unable to lower it once I got it up. :/

I had to ask the head secretary to come help me. She had a difficult time of it too so I think I might need to bring in my WD40. It always does the trick, right? ;)

I’ll have to update you all in a couple weeks to let you know how it all works out.


Wildstar art a success

Sidney’s art above my desk

A few months ago, I got some great pieces of digital art. First, my best friend Elisabeth commissioned artwork for our characters in Wildstar, the online game we play. Then, my best friend Sidney drew our Wildstar characters together based off of a request I made.

I loved it all. So much so that I decided I wanted to print them out and display them in my new house.

After months of procrastination and waiting for Costco’s photo site to work, I FINALLY ordered prints. I was nervous because I had never printed photos let alone drawings before and I was worried that they wouldn’t turn out well. But Costco’s site helped ensure that the sizes would work to display the art correctly and the prices were reasonable so I took the plunge and placed the order.

I am so happy I did. The prints turned out mostly wonderfully. The colors were slightly off in the commissioned pieces but they still look great (Gene thinks the printing system was trying to balance colors. Everything looks fine, but the background colors don’t quite match). Sidney’s art printed perfectly. I could not be more happy with it except perhaps if I had gotten it in a larger size.

Close up of Sidney’s art

Commissioned art at top of stairs

I bought cheap frames at WalMart the next week and this past weekend Gene and I hung everything up.

I am so glad the first time I printed anything it was a success.

Gene now predicts that as the years go by our walls will fill up with art like this. If that’s how it turns out, so be it. Instead of having pictures of our family or children (since that’s not in the plans) we’ll have pictures of our video game characters and art that our friends draw. I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

Close up of commissioned art

Couch to 5k program: complete

Let me start by saying that I’ve never been a jogger. I was never great at running the mile in school. In fact, I was always one of the last five or so students to finish every time my class had to run the mile in PE.

I was relieved, when, I moved high schools and learned I wouldn’t be required to run the 4 miles every freshman was required to in the new school. “Thank goodness,” I thought, “there’s no way I’d be able to run 4 miles in two hours.” (I COULD have done it of course, but my self at the time thought it was impossible.)

In college I tried to improve my jogging skills for a short period of time. I remember running on the track and timing myself to see how long it took me to run a mile. I don’t remember how long that lasted or how successful it was but it clearly didn’t last long enough to create a habit.

Fast forward to June. I decided I wanted to take up jogging. I hadn’t been exercising steadily for the past year and I was FINALLY ready to try again. I talked to one of my best friends about my idea and she mentioned the Couch to 5K program. I put it on my phone and the next Monday morning I got up early and started the program.

It was difficult. I got cramps for a long time. Heck, sometimes I still get cramps. The first day, after running for less than 30 seconds, I got a cramp. It was embarrassing. Thank goodness no one was there to see me clutch my side. But one day, the cramps never came. And I began to have more and more of those days to now where I rarely have one.

Then there was the day I had to jog for 20 minutes straight for the first time. I was scared. But I did it. After that I just had to get used to the idea for running for longer periods of time.

Today, I finished the Couch to 5K program. I jogged for 30 minutes straight, and although I only ran 2.8 miles instead of the 3.1 miles that make up a 5k, I am still proud of myself and consider myself successful. I plan on continuing to jog every morning and improve my speed and stamina. I don’t think I’ll run for 30 minutes, but I’ll run for at least 15. I think it’s a great way to start my day and as long as it’s not cold, I like being up earlier, it’s pretty in the morning.

I’m really glad I began this program and I’m really glad I finished it. If you were thinking about doing it, I support the decision. Although the program seemed to increase in difficulty faster than I thought it should, it actually worked pretty dang well.

Thanks Couch to 5K for teaching me my body IS capable of jogging. I actually kind of enjoy it!

Two packages in one day

Two packages came for me today.

Games from Worldbuilder fundraiserFirst, a box filled with four games from the Worldbuilders fundraiser I was a part of back in the summer. Yay for more board games. I don’t recognize any of the games, but that doesn’t mean much since I don’t recognize most games. I’m just excited to have some new games to try out and the money went to a good cause.

Swatches from JoybirdThe second package was much smaller and contained loads of fabric swatches. On Labor Day I bought a couch online from a company called Joybird. Their Labor Day sale meant the couches were hundreds of dollars off. Combine that with me researching couches for the past couple of weeks and just getting really tired of the idea of going to multiple stores to find the right couch. After thinking over it for an hour or so, I ended up buying one. Figured I could always cancel the order since the company wasn’t going to the make couch for another month or two (they make it when you order it, and they’re a bit backed up right now). So I purchased the couch and asked that they send me fabric swatches so I could determine the color of the couch.

And the swatches came today!

Now Gene and I have to sift through them all and decide 1. If we still want the couch and 2. What fabric and color to choose. So many options. If we do end up getting the couch (which we probably will), then we’ll have to wait until December to get it. What a great Christmas present for ourselves!