Friday, November 22, 2013

The Mundane Details

It's been more than a week since I last posted. And I, sadly, have no good excuses. Except that there's not much to report. A little bit of Christmas shopping here and there, trying to build my own Christmas list (one of my least favorite things to do). We did go to a late showing of Catching Fire last night (got home around 2:00 - yikes!). :) I am happy to report that I thought it was much better than The Hunger Games.

We've had a strong wind advisory for the last 24 hours or so (set to continue for about another 24 hours). I didn't notice it until I was driving home from the gym last night and it was pushing my little car around on the road. 40-50 mph winds were the average speeds, but with gusts of up to 80 mph. It's supposed to be a little calmer today, but there was a lot of debris all over last night. I cleaned up an entire bucket of fallen apples from the tree this morning (the good thing about this is that there are almost no apples left to fall) and that was just the ones in the driveway. I'll get the rest this evening or tomorrow morning. 

Best news in a few weeks is that we're headed to Tennessee/Alabama tomorrow evening! Finally a break from work, a chance to head home (in almost a year), and a chance to see my family. :) I'm quite excited. And there will finally be some more pictures to post, guaranteed. ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Month Long Week

I don't know why, but this week has felt a month long, and we're not even quite to Friday yet. It might have been the long three hour birthday meal with friends back on Monday. That made it feel like Monday was Friday, but then we jumped from "Friday" back into four more days of work, rather than the anticipated two days of semi-relaxation that usually follow Friday.

Maybe it also has something to do with the somewhat busier evening schedule that we've had this week as well, not allowing for as much Brandon time as I'd like. I'm pretty selfish with my Brandon time.

In fact, with that in mind, I've been considering the whole extroverted/introverted concept. My natural inclination is to say that I'm an outgoing introvert. When in crowds, I can take the crowd energy and run with it and enjoy it, but it is very draining. I need time alone to recharge my energy supplies. With one significant exception. Brandon, a lone anomaly, does something nearly exact the opposite of most people. Instead of feeling drained by him, I now I feel like I need time with him in order to feel fully energized. As in, after long expanses of time (relative to my standards of what "long" is) without seeing him, no matter how much time I get to myself, I can't manage to refill that energy supply. It's quite inconvenient.

I've been slowly working on trying to rebuild my "me" time's capability to recharge my batteries, but it is a slow process. I need to start gearing myself up for the two weeks (and change since I'll be gone a few days before he leaves) he'll be out of the country on an adventure. I'm fairly certain that my excitement for his travels will help me a good amount.

I recognize the significant value of being independent in the things I do, of being able to function on my own with very little input from others, but where I excell at certain aspects of that, I fail rather miserably at others. I'll figure it out. Eventually. ;)

Totally unrelated, I read Steelheart this week (a birthday gift from Brandon). It was excellent. I thoroughly enjoy most of Brandon Sanderson's writing, and this was certainly no exception to that. While I am impatiently anticipating Words of Radiance (another Brandon Sanderson book that is the second in what is meant to be his epic series), it was a good read.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!

And hey, maybe it's my birthday too. ;)

We just got home from a delicious three hour meal at the Melting Pot with eight or nine of our friends. Brandon and I "split" a four course meal (one of their options where you get a cheese fondue, salad, main entree fondue (with meats and vegetables), and a chocolate fondue). Delicious. And (at least for me) super filling. Too filling.

I'm normally the kind of person that inhales my food, eating all the time but in little bits. Even though our meal was spread out over a much longer time and we never ate a great deal at any one time, I felt much fuller after our meal than I usually like to feel. That aside, though it is nice to do other things with my time, there is something refreshing about having a long meal where the empty space has to be filled with conversation.

I didn't take a single picture during the evening, but I enjoyed it immensely. :) A good day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ender's Game?

Much anticipated, we went and watched Ender's Game last Thursday (a week ago) at a "midnight" showing at 8:00 PM. I fully approve of midnight showings now being as early as 8:00. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to go wait in the lines with groups of friends until midnight the opening day of most of the new Star Wars movies and Lord of the Rings, but the ease of being able to pre-select a seat and not be up all night is also quite nice.

I went into the theater with high hopes but low expectations. I love the books (if you haven't read Ender's Game, go read it - I don't care who you are, how old you are, or what you normally read - it is worth your time), and as a logical result was concerned with how they would recreate the many excellent qualities and depth of the book. There were already some weird details from the trailers (like the tattoo on Mazer's face) that had me a little on edge.

Entirely surprised, while the movie was most certainly not perfect, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and though it was much more balance than I would have expected. The book is made up of a great deal of character development on Ender's part, several fairly flushed out side character developments, lots of battle game action, lots of conversations between the adults observing, and lots of time spent on the battles at the end. The movie took out almost all the side character development and focused nearly entirely on Ender's character development, the conversations between Graff and Anderson (also helping Ender's character development), and the general arc of the movie. There was hardly any time spent on the battle games (sad!) and not even that much time spent of the battles at the end. All of the main characters were introduced but there was essentially no character development for most of them. While I can definitely complain about the absence of many of the important things from the book, as well as the depth of the book, I feel like the movie was still able to accomplish a shallow retelling of the messages from the book. And even a shallow retelling of those was moving.

Again, not perfect, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Remember, Remember!

We celebrated the 5th of November (Guy Fawkes Day) yesterday. I'd been planning a little party for about a month, but yesterday morning I came outside to four inches of snow on the ground. Not exactly the best outdoor party weather.

All the same, when I got home after work, while there was still some snow on the ground, it wasn't as bad as the morning had been. I'd picked up some wood from my roommate Katy's parent's house (they have a massive pile of wood, mounded easily higher than my head) over lunch and once that was over by the outside fireplace, I attacked the various delicious things in turn in the kitchen. Brandon, incredible as he is, showed up around 6:00 and helped me with the several recipes I had going at once. I'd already made parkin and bonfire toffee, which just left bangers, six can soup, and gunpowder punch. I also had fresh bread that had just come out of the breadmaker, carrots, licorice, starbursts (for roasting) rollos, and other sodas to drink. Lots and lots of food. There were about 15 people RSVP'd, but by the end of the evening I think only about ten made it (including my roommates). A little bit of a let down, only in that there was too much food. But at least it was delicious food. ;)

Brandon, between helping make the edibles, also got the fire going in our little outdoor fireplace. He said that when he initially started it there was briefly a moment of concern about the tree branches above the chimney of the fireplace, as the flames licked through the top of the shoot. But the fire relaxed and returned to a normal size fairly quickly. He also snuggled all the chairs up closer to the fire, making the entire thing much cozier.

The party got a late start and was a little sparse, but we ate, chatted, roasted starbursts, and warmed ourselves by the fire for quite awhile. After most everyone had left one of our surprise guests (someone who I didn't know) decided that it was time to burn his little Guy Fawkes effigy. And so we did, reading the "Remember, Remember" poem as he burned. It was surprisingly fun.

We'd also planned and set up to watch V for Vendetta (in retrospect, we should have tried to make that happen outside where we could sit by the fire and simultaneously watch the movie), but by the time we got to a good space for that, we only had two party guests left. They generously helped us clean up before heading home and then we went over to Brandon's and watched the movie there. I only got about half way before the exhaustion of the day won over and I headed home to bed. Fun day, though!

Brandon and I have fully entered a space where most of our friends are married and besides hanging out with those friends (who have obvious obligations in other areas), we're not particularly social. The somewhat weak draw of people to the gathering could have been a result of it being a Tuesday night and cold outside, but I think it's more likely that we've simply narrowed down our circle of intimate friends to a number that warrants smaller gatherings. I'll have to remember that for next time!

November Halloween

Happy November! 

We celebrated "Halloween" on November 1st by way of a blues dancing down in Provo. There are some years where I'm really in the mood for Halloween and other years where I'm just...not. This year was more on the not in the mood side.

So, aiming for an easy costume, I opted to go for Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina.

I got my hair cut the week before and so I decided to just curl it and pin it up to simulate the short hair look (sans Audrey's bangs, which I opted out of).

Brandon chose an even easier costume and simply went as a Wombat. :)