Monday, December 11, 2017

Light the World (Again)

I guess last year's Light the World went really well, because my church is doing it again this year.

Let's review: For Light the World, you do 25 acts of service over 25 days. Last year I shared my acts of service every day on Twitter. This year, I decided to do the service but not post about it daily. Also, last year I just did any kind of service and didn't follow the suggested themes (particularly because I was in Disneyland for four days and had to just grab service opportunities as they appeared). I'm following the themes each day this year, though. In some ways it makes it some ways it makes it harder.

In any case, 'tis a wonderful way to spend Christ's season!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Every Day I'm Timehoppin'

Late last year, Baby Brother became obsessed with Timehop.

I think it was during our trip to Arizona that he became so engrossed. We were all together for three days straight, and at some point or another I showed him Timehop.

Around this time, Timehop starting doing "streaks." That is, if you checked Timehop for a certain number of days in a row, you got a streak.

Baby Brother was curious about what would happen if I got a month-long Timehop streak. So I set out to check Timehop every day for a month.

At the end, Baby Brother was underwhelmed by whatever it was that Timehop did to acknowledge a streak of one month. However, his curiosity peaked (not piqued, although that's also relevant in this situation) at the thought of what might happen when one checked Timehop every day for a year.

A really awesome sister would then proceed to check Timehop every day for a year...right?

Well, please give me the really awesome sister award, because I did just that.

Through horrible snowstorms and sweltering summer and my birthday and holidays and good days and bad days I kept checking Timehop—and yesterday, I finally got me a year streak.

I let Baby Brother know right away. (He's allowed to use Baby Sister's phone on a limited basis while she is on her mission.)

...underwhelmed again.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Remember, Remember the End of November

My plans for the evening were to wrap up on some stuff for the month. Namely, attend the temple (I do this at least twice monthly but had only gone once this month), finish up with NaNoWriMo, and write this blog post.

What actually happened was that I was in the temple about half as long as I'd planned, and directly after I went to the doctor.

I've been to the doctor soooo many times this year. This time, the health concern of the day was a UTI. I've had UTIs twice before, so I know the symptoms. Also, I've gone to my mom's place of work for treatment before, but I've never had her actually be the RN on duty before. Tonight she was the one who took my blood pressure and weighed me and stuff.

MY MOTHER THE RN: You're so tiny!


Long story short, that's how about 100 of the 1,000 words I wrote tonight were jotted down on a crumpled index card while I was hanging around the doctor's office.

What's that? You want to know how NaNoWriMo went this year? My goal was 32,000 words, and I pulled 26,000. Not bad! (Especially since that's about double what I wrote last year.) I have high hopes that I'll be done with the entire novel soon, although I'm slacking off a little starting tomorrow because of the Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Lost Socks

The Blogger app is finally kaput. For a while there, I was having an excessively rough time getting photos off my phone and onto the Blogger platform for your perusal.

After poking around in a few alternatives, I landed on using a photo-sharing Google feature to get the photos loaded directly from my phone to my Blogger library. Pretty neat!

One of the recent photos on my phone is these socks:

They're a strange medley of frogs and hearts, and they've been sitting on the counter in the laundry room for about three years.

I'm pretty into weird socks, and my mom often buys her kids Valentine-themed socks for Valentine's Day, so there's a chance that they're mine.

BUT I don't recognize them. Like, at all. And I'm pretty sure I would.

There's also a chance that they were left behind by La Petite or Snacktime. Probably more likely to be La Petite's than Snacktime's, since I replaced Snacktime in the apartment and I didn't see the socks around until a while after I moved in.

They could also be the Seamstress's or Pepper's, but since both of them have lived here without claiming them for three years, that seems not likely.

If you have any ideas of they could belong to...or if they belong to you...let me know. I won't ask questions, even if there's no way they could possibly belong to you. *wink wink*



(In case it's not clear, I'm basically saying that YOU CAN HAVE THE SOCKS FOR FREE IF YOU GET THEM OFF OUR HANDS (OR FEET, RATHER).)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wirth It

Context: This post is about my second day at Comic Con 2017.

I've been wondering lately: why is Comic Con a thing?

Think about it. We go to this massive event in hopes of seeing some random people most of us have never seen personally or met before and will probably never see personally or meet again. And we don't just go—some sacrifice ludicrous amounts of time and money to do it.

Why do we even care? Why does it matter?

I think we do it because humans are reciprocal creatures. These people have touched our lives from beyond the page or in front of the camera. Some of them have even indirectly changed us. So we go seeking them in hopes that in some way, we might return the favor. We want to be part of their lives the way they're part of ours, even if we only shake their hands or tell them our names or stand beside them for a ten-second photo op.

After day one, Heather Dixon, and Jess Harnell, it was day two with Elijah Wood, the voice of Wirt.

A little background: one time when I was younger, my second cousin told me that I had Elijah Wood's eyes. You know, big. Blue. Intense. I could see it, but I also had my doubts. Now, years later, I had the perfect way to settle the question. The plan was that after I got my picture taken with Elijah Wood, I would be able to look directly at the photo and compare our eyes.

Well, guess what? Towards the end of our first day at Comic Con, my eye started swelling. I assumed it was allergies, so I took a six-hour generic of Benadryl. That seemed to help a little, but the next morning my eye was still somewhat swollen.

I don't like having a swollen eye on any day, but it was especially bothersome on this day of all days when I was going to get a photo op with Elijah Wood. I couldn't have my eyes swelling when I needed them be nice and normal so that I could determine if I actually did have Elijah Wood's eyes! Ya know? So I took another pill for good measure.

Satisfied that the crisis was averted, I proceeded to get myself ready for the day. I was wearing a new Over the Garden Wall shirt that I'd purchased especially for the occasion. Not being able to say hello during our photo op last year was abnormal. Favorite Cousin told me that his experience was that usually you got to exchange greetings with the celebrity before the photo. With this in mind, I'd spawned a second but almost-as-important photo op plan: Elijah Wood would see my shirt as we approached him, and he'd say, "Nice shirt!" Because how could the voice of Wirt not appreciate a shirt with Wirt on it, I ask you?! It was a brilliant plan. Foolproof.

Our photo op wasn't until the afternoon, so Favorite Cousin and I started our day by hitting Elijah Wood's panel.

News flash: Elijah Wood's normal-person voice is just Wirt's voice!

I had no idea! He's faking that prissy Frodo accent in The Lord of the Rings, so I didn't know what his regular voice was like. But I grabbed a few videos of him and it basically just sounds like Wirt talking and aaaaaah it's amazing.

I was really excited to hear more about Elijah's work on Over the Garden Wall. This was Comic Con, so I figured everybody would be into some really obscure stuff. But no. No. Almost every question was about The Lord of the Rings. And I was just like, "People! There are literally hours and hours of bonus material about these films that you can find on the Special Feature menu on your DVDs! There is many an interview about them! There is at least one book about them that I know of! I already know the answer to most of these questions, and so should you! Ask Elijah Wood some questions about things we don't already know everything about!"

But alas, as this tirade was completely in my head, it did no good. Almost every question was about The Lord of the Rings, and Elijah Wood got kind of awkward about it. He said it was hard to "articulate" (he probably said the word "articulate" like ten times), and I think he even said that being a part of filming the series was kind of isolating because so few people could relate to the unique experience.

After that, Favorite Cousin and I puttered around a bit. We shopped for Captain America t-shirts and Hogwarts watches. We looked at many a piece of artwork and ate funnel cake, if memory serves.

Then it was time for our photo op.

I kept thinking that some kind of disaster would strike, but it didn't. We got in line behind these people who were dressed in impressive full-on Tolkien elf costumes, ears and everything. Who does that?! They do that, apparently.

Last year, Evanna Lynch was trying to catch a flight, we were super-rushed through the line. Like I said, we weren't allowed to really talk to Evanna or anything.

I guess that memory made Favorite Cousin determined not to waste any of Elijah Wood's time, because when we were still a few people back in line, he turned to me and asked what side of the picture I wanted to be on.

It seemed like we would have a minute to figure that out when we got to the front of the line, but no big deal. We got closer...and closer...and closer.

The elves strode up to Elijah Wood. He looked at them and said something like, "Nice costumes, guys!"

He was totally going to compliment my shirt! I just knew it.

Then it was our turn. Favorite Cousin rushed forward...and so did I.

"Hi—oh. Okay," said Elijah Wood. We were on either side of him before he could even look at us...or at our shirts.


We got our photo. Then, to be polite, I said, "Thank you!"

Then Elijah Wood looked at me. I was just a couple inches shorter than him, so I got a full-on blast of the famous eyes.

And...whoooaaa. I was stunned. They were so blue. So intense and mesmerizing. I was, like, frozen solid for a second or two under the sheer force of them.

"Oh," he said. He sounded as dazed as I felt, but he also sounded confused. "You're welcome."

And was over. Favorite Cousin and I went to claim our photo. While I was let down that Elijah Wood hadn't even seen my shirt, I was excited to compare his eyes to mine in the photo. Plus he'd looked me right in the eye and talked to me, so that was cool! Except he'd been so dazed and confused! Why was he so dazed and confused?

As we waited, I told Favorite Cousin about my plan to compare my eyes with Elijah Wood's. Favorite Cousin understood and seemed to think this was important. When we claimed our photos, he helped me conduct the comparison.

My assessment was that our eyes were similar, except that mine were greener and looked a lot darker.

Favorite Cousin agreed. In fact... "It almost looks in the picture like your pupils are dilated."

Wait. What? "Are they dilated now?"

He said that they were.

What the—I contacted my mother the RN. Was it possible that dilated eyes were a side effect of Benadryl generics?

As it turned out, it was possible. It was factual. My eyes were really dilated, I discovered upon looking in a mirror.

I remembered how dazed and confused Elijah Wood had seemed.

I'd gotten a really good look at his eyes. He must have gotten a really good look at mine.

Although I'll never know for sure, I have a sneaking suspicion that Elijah Wood was so dazed and confused because he saw my dilated eyes and thought I was stoned.

If that's the case, though, at least I did make an just wasn't with my t-shirt.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Day of Thanks

Older Sister used to make stuffed mushrooms every year for Thanksgiving. When she left on her mission, Baby Brother took over, and he refused to step down when she returned. (This was a source of tension for a while, especially since Baby Brother doesn't even like mushrooms. Now that Older Sister lives in NYC, though, the dispute is moot.)

Baby Sister's Thanksgiving job is making a homemade cheese ball or two. She can make a few different varieties to go with our annual assortment of crackers. I had this vague vision of Baby Brother taking over that job this year and then slowly taking over everyone else's jobs (due to various circumstances of absenteeism) until he and he alone is preparing the entire Thanksgiving meal. Didn't happen, though. My mom instead bought a couple of homemade cheese balls, so I guess Baby Sister's job is secure until she returns.

My job varies from year to year. I'm just one person, so instead of receiving an official assignment, I usually bring some miscellaneous appetizer or dessert. This time around, I volunteered to make the Whopper pie.

If you haven't had the pleasure of ever trying Whopper pie, you should. My aunt introduced our family to it (though I'm not sure if it's something she brought from her family or if it's just something she discovered after marrying my uncle). She used to make it every year, but after my cousins were diagnosed with lactose intolerance, she stopped bringing it around. The kids grew out of their allergies, though, so it's made a comeback in recent year.

Usually either my aunt or my mom makes it, but since they also have annual assignments of turkey, potatoes, and homemade stuffing (my aunt) and rolls, green bean casserole, and all the appetizers (my mom), I thought I could do it this year.

Here's how you do: take chocolate cookie pie crust. Mix crushed Whoppers with either vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Scoop the ice cream-Whopper confection into the pie crust. Garnish with whole Whoppers and whipped cream. Freeze. And then eat the most delicious pie you've dreamed of in your life.

I actually struggled with feeling grateful this year. I didn't have my usual happy Thanksgiving glow. But at least I'm always grateful for Whopper pie.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Teardrops On My Keyboard

Weekends are rough.

I go go go all week long. What I can do, I do. What I can't do, I save for the weekend.

By the time the weekend comes around, I'm too tired. I often can't do even half of what I've planned to do, even though it really needs to be done. I tell myself that I'll go to bed and make a fresh start in the morning. But what really happens is that I lie awake, paralyzed by all I haven't accomplished, perhaps mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed to keep my anxiety at bay.

It's not uncommon for me to accidentally stay up until two or three in the morning this way.

Last night, I was trying to cram in all that I could before going to bed. I sat down to work on my novel for NaNoWriMo, only to find that due to an error on my computer, the last 700 words that I'd written had not been saved.

I cried. I cried profusely, and when I reached up to wipe away my tears, the mascara smeared on my fingertips...which I only discovered after I started to make up those 700 words using my laptop's white keyboard.

Other than the egregious weekend crunch...things are going well.