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When I Have Grown a Foot or Two.

07 April 2014

For my photography class, I had to submit a picture that told a story. I thought this one was pretty good. Toby's current choices for where he wants to go on a mission are "Brussels, Belgium! and Luxembourg. And Paris, France."

Divergent: The Movie

18 March 2014
So, it's no secret that one of my top five favorite books of all time is Divergent by Veronica Roth. I read it in 2010 when it first came out in one intense all-nighter and then immediately read it three more times. After sleeping. But only a little sleeping.

I have been very nervous about Divergent the movie. Specifically, I do not agree with the casting of Theo James as Four. I think the man is a fine actor, but as Four he is ten years too old. Also I don't think he's attractive. That's my opinion and you don't have to agree with it. Mostly my complaint is his age. He is 28 and Four is meant to be 18. Bleh. I'm also not a huge fan of Summit Entertainment in general.

So as the movie has loomed near, I have been more nervous than excited. I wanted to see the movie, but I was also dreading it.

I am happy to report that I was wrong. (Except about the part where Theo James is too old.)

The movie was fantastic. I won 2 tickets to a prescreening (thanks, Salt Lake Comic Con!) and took my 17 year old sister to see the movie with me. The first five minutes of the film made me scared. But then I got sucked in. And it was an intense ride that did not let go.

I do have some complaints.

  • First, the boys cast as Caleb, Peter, Will and Al all look extremely similar. It was SO HARD to tell them apart - especially Al and Will.
  • The ending with Jeanine and the serum did not make any sense whatsoever. If you think too hard about it, it's ruined.
  • They moved an issue with Caleb from Allegiant to this movie. If you've read the books, that sentence will make sense. If not, GO READ THE BOOKS.
  • I loved that, in the books, Four is the responsible one with regard to...physical...ness. He's the one that sets limits with the make-out session. In the movie, Tris is the responsible one. Taking that bit of awesomeness away from Four hurt my heart a little bit.
  • -Elle Goulding's screeching "wooohhhhaaahhhhaahhhh"'s were so annoying. I am over her and her music.

Now for the good!

THE ACTING WAS PHENOMENAL. Seriously, top notch all over the place. I was so pleased by the acting. Wow, wow. I had heard that Shailene Woodley was a terrible actress and I am so happy to report that she is AMAZING here. Shows so much emotion - in one very painful scene near the end, her expression just about made me cry. Heartbreaking. Beautiful. SO MUCH GOOD ACTING IN ONE PLACE.

Most of us who want our favorite books turned into movies want 20 hour long films with every detail included. This film, at 2.5 hours, was the perfect length. Yes, there were parts left out. Yes, things were glossed over.

But friends, they tried. I want that emphasized because if you know what to look for, you will be so happy. So listen up: there are nods all over to the parts they had to cut out for length. In the beginning of the movie, they show symbols from each of the Factions. Like a scientist looking into a microscope for Erudite, an Abnegation taking the hand of a Factionless. Oh, it was so good.

It's all blurring together for me now, but I know there other parts. I am so proud of the director for making little overtures everywhere. People who are book fans will love it; people who aren't book fans won't notice.

I loved that they showed scenes from Amity and from the Factionless. I thought they'd gloss over the Factionless stuff like crazy, but it was very real and very present.

Did I mention how great Shailene Woodley was? And I know there are many fangirls complaining she's too pretty. Of course she's too pretty - but she's not THAT pretty. She's not movie star gorgeous. She has a chest like a real person. Her eyes are oddly spaced. She's real. I loved that.

Kate Winslet was amazing. The Choosing Ceremony was awesome. The costumes were SO COOL and I really really want a Dauntless outfit. The training scenes, though short, were epic. Every scene in this movie meant something and had something behind it. I've never felt a book-to-movie have this same sort of depth.

The soundtrack was so well done, with the exception of anything involving Elle Goulding.

So. For this Erudite Initiate, the movie was fantastic. I will be seeing it again (and again. And possibly again.) It brought out the best of everything I love about the books. I hope it leads more people to the books. As I was leaving, a heard a viewer say to some kind of reporter person that "purists will be disappointed." You better believe I broke in with "I'm a HUGE purist and I was NOT disappointed at ALL."

And it was so fun hearing my son's name on the big screen. I've never heard a "Tobias" in a movie theater. Now I have. Booyah.

Where Has Kris Been?

23 February 2014
This blog has been haunting me lately. I know the entire Internet is concerned with my whereabouts. What have I been up to?

The truth is, almost nothing. I got sick in January and can't shake the malaise. I have missed a ton of school, and I'm not very motivated to go in the first place. I love my classes (or in one case, I love the teacher but not the class) but I just have the hardest time getting myself to go. Part of that is because I am so sick. But part is also because I just don't feel... mentally there.

Now, the depression thing is kind of par for the course. I quit probably my most helpful medication (for anxiety) and am learning to live without it. My doctor has a new thing for me to try soon, but I'm definitely not the same Kris I was at this time last year. I've been on this medication since 2009. I miss it, but it's better that I stop using it off-label (although it is prescribed and legal and all) and just learn to deal with myself. Because ... I don't want to be addicted to it, and I don't want to be on it forever. I have whole posts that deal with the withdrawal from when I tried to go off back in 2011, so I won't rehash the subject here. I'm just down, and I'm not motivated to do anything, and it's been hard.

Sparrow is doing great. He's very patient, even though I've been so sick and boring. He celebrated his 6th birthday last month. He is brilliant and reading on a 3rd grade level now. He prefers nonfiction books (blasphemy!) and has memorized a National Geographic Kid's United States Facts book. Weird. He lost his second tooth earlier this month. We took him ice skating for the first time on Friday and let's just say that my dreams of him being an Olympic Figure Skater were, in fact, very dashed. But that's okay. He can be the Benedict Cumberbatch of the 2030s, so I'm over it.

We have been watching lots of the Winter Olympics. Pretty sure this is the first time I've ever tuned in to the Olympics, except for the opening ceremonies of 2002 (Salt Lake City) and 2012 (London), where I couldn't really watch either one for being so homesick for those places. I definitely prefer the Winter Olympics to the Summer. Just sayin'. Also watching these games, I realize how old I am getting and how out of shape I am. I'm pretty sure I've reached my athletic potential and will never be an Olympian. Unless they introduce Olympic Napping, in which case I am assured a gold medal.

Over President's Day, my mom took Sparrow, my grandma and me to Colorado on an epic road trip. Mom adopted a ragdoll kitten and we all went to pick him up. I slept most of the time in the car (see previous paragraph regarding constant malaise) but it was a fun adventure and I loved Glenwood Springs, where we spent 2 nights. It was beautiful and I want to take Hawk back there.

Speaking of beautiful, our new home is still amazing. We're still walking around in shock half the time. It's amazing to live here.

I was going to upload some pictures but I don't feel good and don't have the patience to work with Blogger right now. So, that's what's been going on lately. I have a bunch of blood work due back tomorrowish and at this point I am just hoping that something is actually wrong with me so it can be fixed.

On an optimistic note, Hawk is going to take me to England for my 28th birthday. I think this may be the first time I have ever been excited for November.

2014 so far

22 January 2014
I'm back in school. Yay school!

Sparrow will be 6 next week.

I'm still 27 and feeling pretty psyched that I own a house, have a potty trained child, and can make delicious jalapeño mac'n'cheese.

Hawk is kicking butt at work.

And school is kicking my butt. And yet, I keep going back for more. Every day.

Santa Pictures 2013

17 December 2013
We have finally moved into our new home and we love it and it's amazing, but no pictures yet. So instead, enjoy these Christmas pictures. As always, these are done by Fotofly. Man, we love those Fotofly Photo Folks.

2011
2012

2013

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2013-2480-9

This one is my favorite. The man in the photograph is my grandfather, who passed away in September. He was a professional Santa for many years and a fantastic one. Sparrow actually has no idea that this photo of his Papa Dan. He thinks it's just a picture of Santa Claus. Sparrow and my grandpa had a very cute relationship - Grandpa would always say "You are my special boy." Sparrow was the first great-grandchild, and I'm glad he got to know his Papa for 5 years.

2013-2480-1

Hawk got to wear the Santa suit this year.

2013-2480-15

Here we are together. Happy Christmas!

Twenty Seven

06 November 2013
It is my birthday! November 6! 6 November! I love my birthday because it rhymes. 11/6/86. It just has a rhythm to it. Hawk and my anniversary has the same thing goin' on. I'm weird with dates. It's a quirk. Which brings me to the point of this post!

27 Awesome Things About Me!

In an effort to cheer myself up after this wretched week's beginning (note: still no house, pharmacy lost a very important prescription I need, I had to drop another class), I am going to wax poetic about my own awesomeness. Hey, at least I'm telling you up front so you can skip to the next blog in your feed. Here we go:

  1. I'm a Scorpio
  2. A Scorpio born in the year of the Tiger, which means I am EXTRA passionate and...
  3. Born under the FIRE sign (Chinese astrology) which means I am also EXTRA FIERY AND TIGERLIKE.
  4. I died when I was born. But I got better.
  5. Up till I turned 17, I was convinced I would die before I turned 16. I was a morbid child.
  6. I was an AWESOME morbid child.
  7. I read obscenely fast. I finished the last Harry Potter in 3.5 hours.
  8. I have a good ear for music and can pick out the harmony to sing pretty well
  9. I taught myself to play the harmonica
  10. I chose on my own to go back to school and
  11. I am learning how important education is to me.
  12. I have an amazing internship that I love and would do for free every day forever.
  13. Although they cannot see well, my eyes are very pretty and I pride myself in having blue/green/gray/with yellow flecks and one brown dot colored eyes.
  14. I am full of snark.
  15. I got a perfect score on the English section of the ACT
  16. If you tell me your birthday I will NEVER forget it. I accidentally memorize dates.
  17. I have written 4 novels. They are terrible, but I wrote them.
  18. Those who I love, I love fiercely.
  19. I love my short, spiky hair. I will NEVER have long hair.
  20. I decided I wanted to learn to play the violin, so I did.
  21. I decided to track down my birth family, and I did.
  22. When I love something, I collect facts about that something until I know mostly everything. I can regale you with facts about wolves, horses, TV shows/movies, and books I love for hours on end.
  23. I have an undying devotion to Grumpy Cat.
  24. I kind of turned out to be the witty class clown... and I'm okay with that.
  25. I taught myself to knit by using the Internet, Diet Coke and swear words.
  26. I have a ridiculously awesome sense of smell.
  27. I am living a life I never would have imagined for myself. And I love it. I never thought I would get married. I never even thought I'd have a boyfriend. I knew, from the time I was tiny up till I was 19, that I would become a veterinarian and a writer and live alone on a farm with a horse and a dog but no family. And here I am - married, a mom, and not even close to the level of education I thought I'd have by now. And also 3 cats. And I am having a blast. I wouldn't change a thing - except I'd maybe be a real writer by now. That would be good.

Every year since 2005, as the clock turns from 11:59 on 5 Nov to 12:00 on 6 Nov, I play Blackout by Muse (one of my favorite bands.) It's a good way to honor the moment I become just a little bit older. It's a slow, contemplative song - and there are few things I love more than moments of deep contemplation on life, the universe, and everything. Enjoy.

Losing It

03 November 2013
Would that I had good news. If only I could post thousands of pictures about my glorious new home.

Alas, we are still in the Slanty Shanty. Our closing date has been moved back yet again. From September 20th, to October 24. Then October 30. Now it's November 5. Our loan has been approved. We have done the final walkthrough and our house is ready. I don't understand the hold up, but it's making all of us very sad.

With any luck, though, November 5 will really be the day. And then I will get the keys on my 27th birthday.

Twenty-seven!

It sounds so much older than 26. I'll be in my late twenties instead of my mid twenties. Scary. But 26 was a good year for me. I went back to school and aced two semesters. (Seriously, my grades were great. I showed myself that I still have some intelligence left in my dusty old brain.) We visited Disneyland. Bought a house (maybe.) Got a second car. Did 9,000,000 loads of laundry. Went off a medication I've been on since 2009. (Then went back on the medication, but at least I know it's definitely necessary and not just a habit.) Got the world's most amazing internship. Finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up! (Dude, that's a huge deal. I've been at a loss since I graduated high school nine years ago.)

What am I going to do with 27?

My biggest priority, I think, is going to be losing weight and getting healthier. I have a lot of work to do there. I've been obese for 19 years and I don't know what it means to be healthy (or thin. I recognize they are not necessarily the same, but I treat them like they are in my little head.) I realize I'm not going to start running marathons over night. But I am going to continue revamping my diet. Hawk has lost almost 30 lbs since July by following the Paleo method of eating. I'm going to be trying to follow either Paleo or Slow-Carb; I haven't decided which.

I need to do this. I don't want to enter my 30s at the same weight I am now. It'll take me the next 3 years to get down to my goal weight if I do it the healthy way. Of course I am always, always tempted to go back to bulimia. It's so much easier and so much faster. But I'm already messed up enough. I don't need to mess up my body worse with disordered eating. Again. And anyway, my body has been protesting lately. It wants to be healthy. My knees hurt all the time and I know losing weight will help. I want to be strong and I want to be able to chase Sparrow without passing out. I want to be able to walk up the stairs (195 of them) on campus without having an asthma attack at the top.

I think that will be my main goal this year. Other smaller goals will be: finish Suzuki Book 1 for violin, start editing one of my novels to submit for publication, do more laundry and be awesome at it, rock at school some more. Figure out how to become what I want to be when I grow up - an editor at a publishing company.

So, friends in the Internet, everyone cross your fingers that we will actually be able to leave the Slanty Shanty this week. Our Hickory House awaits us and we are pining desperately for it. Let this be the week - the week I get a house for my 27th birthday.