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29 November 2010
Hey, want a free $25 gift card to Amazon.com?

Go here and sign up. It takes less than 20 seconds. And $25 free bucks? So worth it.

Woot.

28 November 2010
I have written a "novel." I fought for every single word ten times over. It was a battle every single step of the way. I am not kidding, I thought I was going to die rather than finish this sucker. But I have 50,096 words, and I am done baby. I hate my novel and it's crap, but it's done.

I'm going to go sleep for 6 months and then start the editing process.

Booyah.

Not relaxing!

24 November 2010
I thought Thanksgiving was supposed to be kind of calm and easy. No running around like a headless chicken. Ha ha, silly me.

Firstly, I have to deep clean my entire house. Like, by the end of the day. I also have to sell several pieces of furniture that are cluttering up my life. Before the end of the day.

I am leaving in a few minutes to go pick up my grandma from Ogden and take her to my mom's house. That will take a big chunk of time out of the day, but it's worth it because I love my grandma.

I also want to go see my paternal side of the family; they are staying in Ogden but I don't think I will get to see them until tomorrow.

I have to write 5000 words to get caught up on NaNoWriMo. I also need to figure out how to unlock my iPhone and get it done or else list it on eBay. I need to lose approximately 5000 lbs before tomorrow as well.

I need to read 18 library books and return them.

Mostly I just need to get the house clean, but my motivation is ... nonexistent. Hence, I blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Letter to Natural Health Magazine

19 November 2010
Dear Natural Health Magazine,

I would love to renew my subscription to your magazine. I enjoy reading your articles and find the information you present relevant to my daily life and informative as well as engaging.

However, for the last few issues there has been a full-page advertisement in your magazine that is pornographic and inappropriate.

At first, I thought it was a one-time thing, and that surely you wouldn't reprint that ad or any like it again. I was highly disappointed to find that I was wrong.

Natural Health is a magazine I used to keep on my coffee table to flip through. I can no longer do that for fear my young son will try to look at the pictures and come across this disgusting page.

I used to pass my copy of the magazine along to several friends and relative, including my own grandmother. After the inclusion of this lewd advertisement, I have felt unable to do so. And while I had considered buying magazine subscriptions for several friends as Christmas gifts, the continued presence of pornography in your magazine has turned me OFF.

If in the future you decide to keep your advertisements G or even PG rated, then I would be happy to re-subscribe to Natural Health. Until then, it is with regret and a little anger that I will not be renewing my subscription.

Jerkfaces.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows review

18 November 2010
(Part 1 obviously)

So, Hawk's work sent us to see Harry Potter tonight. I haven't even been out of the theater for half an hour yet, that's how much I love you Internet peeps and how much I wish to tell you of this movie.

First off, I was highly concerned after hearing rumors of a nude scene. These rumors scared me but as it turns out, it wasn't too bad. No full-on nudity is present, however! There are 2 parts where we see naked-but-for-underpants Harry, including a scene where Harry is wearing a bra (not kidding.) There is also a scene with Harry and Hermione getting "passionate" and neither of them are clothed. That part was totally unnecessary and made me irritated, but it lasts for about 15 seconds.

Now that that's over with. Let me just say one thing:

THIS IS NOT A HAPPY MOVIE.

This is a VERY depressing film. The book is too, but at least at the end of the book there's closure and everyone goes on their merry way. Here it's, "see you 6 months kids!" By the way, this is not a movie I would take a child to. Maybe if your child has read the books and is a mature 10 year old. Maybe. But there's the aforementioned passionate scene, and there's also very scary and intense images throughout the film. Hawk is terrified of snakes and had a very hard time handling the numerous snake-jumping-out-at-you scenes. There was also a scene with spiders. Ew.

I was impressed with all of the actors and I think everyone did an amazing job. I do wish I had read the book before going to see the film, as I haven't read it since the night it came out and did a skim job then. I will be reading it before part two is released for certain.

I don't remember the Snatchers from the book at all, and I really hated the scenes with them. It's like they tried to make the main Snatcher a Captain Jack Sparrow rip-off, and it was lame. I rolled my eyes many, many times. Oh well.

It's hard to say if I liked it or not. I think it was well done (though seriously, I could have done without seeing Daniel Radcliffe's "harry" chest ha ha I made a funny), and I'm not sorry I saw it. It was just really... dark. I would go see it again, certainly, but I would wait until the hype dies down because yikes the theater was scary packed tonight.

David Yates is by far my favorite Potter director. Three cheers for him. I am looking forward to Part II in July!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review, I did it out of the goodness of my heart. I'm also not awesome at writing reviews so take this with a grain of salt. I mostly just wanted to clear up the nude scene confusion. I haven't read the book in depth so I'm not qualified to say how well it matches up with that. And while I enjoy the other characters, the main trio is what I am most interested in, so the fact that everyone else gets very little screen time didn't matter much to me.
14 November 2010
I wish I had something intelligent today, but alas, I don't. I'm channeling all creative forces into my NaNoWriMo novel, where I am 5,000 words behind schedule. Bah!

Without further ado, the grand prize winner of The Price of Freedom CD is Lara! Good thing you visited my blog, Lara :) Email me your info and I'll send you your bounty. (booty? bounty? treasure stuff.)

Sometime in the next week or so I'm doing another giveaway with more prizes, so keep checking in!

The Price of Freedom + giveaway!

11 November 2010
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go see a stage musical called "The Price of Freedom" with my grandpa and grandma. It was amazing. It wasn't a musical like you'd normally think of one, but there was an orchestra on the stage, and then 7 singers that portrayed real life people from World War II. There was a newlywed wife and her husband who fought in Germany, and while he was gone the wife gave birth to his son. There was a mom and her two soldier sons, and then a soldier who asked his girlfriend to wait for him. They sang parts and read excerpts from real letters. There was also two movie-like screens where images from the war and pictures of soldiers were displayed in tandem with the music. Believe me when I say, it was incredible.

But the best part, for me, was the time I was able to spend with my grandpa. He served in the Air Force and flew helicopters to rescue stranded soldiers. I haven't known him for very long, just four years (I'm adopted), so when he tells me stories about his past I hang on every word. During the intermission, he told me that he related very well to the soldier whose son was born while he was at war. Grandpa was flying a helicopter in Vietnam when someone got on the radio-thing and told him that he had a brand new baby daughter and Mommy and daughter were healthy and fine. He said it got hard to fly, because he was crying so much.

Yeah, my favorite part of the night was definitely when the veterans in the audience were asked to stand - once at the beginning, just so everyone could see how many were in the audience, and then at the end, when a special song was played just for them. My grandpa stood tall and proud. I admire him greatly and I am so glad that I have the chance to get to know him. I know Sparrow loves his Papa Dan and will someday love to sit at grandpa's knee and hear his stories.

In honor of my grandpa and Veteran's Day, I am giving away one CD of "The Price of Freedom." This has all the orchestra music and singing, but not the speaking parts. It's still amazing though, and I have to skip two of the songs if I am in the car because they make me cry. So in order to win this giveway, just leave a comment. I'm not doing extra entries because A) I'm lazy and B) they bug me. But you can spread the word if you want. I'll pick a winner on Saturday at 8:00 pm Mountain time.

I hope to instill in my son a sense of gratitude and admiration for those who have served our country. I am grateful for our soldiers who put their lives on the line to keep us free and safe. God bless America!

Birthday wishes!

10 November 2010
Happy birthday to my littlest brother J who turned 4 on Monday. I can't believe he is getting so old! That makes ME old! J, I hope you are working hard at driving your daddy crazy. But be nice to your mom!

And happy birthday to my littlest sister E who will turn 6 tomorrow. Holy cannoli! E, you are so smart! You are a fantastic little girl and I am so happy you are my sister.

Sparrow, Hawk and I are all very excited to see you soon!


For the rest of you who aren't cool enough to have birthdays this month (we Scorpios can kick your pants!), check back here tomorrow for a special Veteran's Day giveaway!

24

06 November 2010
It is my birthday today. I was born 24 years ago. Wow. That is a long time to think about. My mom says I was born during the only good TV show during the 80s (The Cosby Show.) She should have known then what she was getting herself into, mwahaha.

I don't really like birthdays because I feel like most of my time has been wasted. No matter what I do, I feel that way. I got my associate's degree when I was 17 and when I turned 18 I felt like my whole life had been a waste and I had accomplished nothing.

I am setting 25 small goals this year. This will be the Year of Kestrel. I need to focus on getting myself healthy, on getting some baggage cleaned out, and you know other general stuff. I'll keep you posted on the goals. In the meantime,

happy birthday to me,
happy birthday to me!
It is my birthday!
Happy birthday to me!

(PS You know what the best present I got was? This morning, I tried on a shirt I bought 2 years ago that has always been too small for me. It fit, and I looked great. I wore it with pride all day. I have lost 20 lbs since my 23rd birthday. Not a huge amount, but it's a sustainable one. Woot!)

Why I love Shutterfly

04 November 2010
Previously I have used Shutterfly for their scrapbooks. Their product quality is a great deal for the price, and the ease of putting my scrapbook together using their system can't be beat. Seriously, I've tried.

It's getting close to Christmas, and I've been thinking I have to start getting ready to make some Christmas cards. I don't really want to get store-bought ones, because usually ones you get at Target or Walmart are boring and/or lame. Enter Shutterfly.

Their Christmas cards are so stinkin' cute! Look at this one! And this one! I love them. Also, this style rocks my socks because you can write your whole Christmas letter on the card itself! AWESOME.

As a side note, I send a lot of packages out during the course of the year and especially lots of mail during the holidays. It's a pain in the butt addressing 20 packages by hand, especially the return address. Shutterfly has adorable address labels that are perfect to save my sad little Sharpie - guess who's investing in bazillions of these little suckers?

If you're trying to think of a perfect Christmas present for your in-laws or your parents, making a Shutterfly photo calendar is a genius idea. I've never made one of these, but I have several friends who swear by their quality and usefulness. You can personalize and add anniversaries and birthdays so if someone forgets to send you a present, you can call them up and pretend to be upset, since they clearly have no excuse, what with your perfect calendar right there and all.

When Sparrow was born, I looked EVERYWHERE for baby announcements. I finally ended up making 20 by hand and it was a huge pain in the butt. Well guess what? Shutterfly has baby announcements-you just upload the picture, enter in the birth information and whatever else you want, and ta-da! Yeah, that could have come in handy 3 years ago. If I ever have another baby, or heck, adopt a kitten, I am totally using their birth announcements. They even have a "first birthday" announcement section. Too bad Sparrow is almost 3.

Anyway, I highly recommend Shutterfly. I really have tried Winkflash, MyPublisher and Snapfish, and Shutterfly is by far the best book for the best price. Now I have to go get some holiday pictures taken, so I can order me some of these cards!

This post brought to you by Shutterfly's holiday card promotion, where bloggers review Shutterfly's holiday cards and receive 50 free cards. I learned of this program from Chocolate on my Cranium, so you can blame her for everything.

What have I done???

03 November 2010
Oh crap. Okay, see, Sparrow's hair is SO curly that the back gets matted into tangled snarls very quickly. There is no stopping it. I have tried everything. The only thing that works is getting him a haircut. Yesterday I decided I didn't want to pay $20 for his haircut (they charge $10 but I always tip them $10 because they are SO patient and good with my squirmy nerdbird) so I pulled out the buzzers and prayed.

I didn't pray hard enough.

Before:
DSC02951

After:
DSC03095

Holy crap, his grandmothers (he has 6) are going to kill me. Dead.

I hope it grows back to Cute-ness by Christmas. Still though, his hair was so matted this time that only the number 3 buzzer would even touch it enough for it to untangle. I inspected some matted locks close up after he was done being...gulp....shaven, and it seriously looks like he sleeps in gum. Weird. And annoying.

This may be my last post ever. Nana is coming to visit this afternoon. I have to go find Sparrow a hat...