Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ends and Beginnings

I've had this blog for several years and I've really loved blogging here. But being a geek and being a parent are only two parts of who I am.

So I've decided to close this blog and move to one that will encompass all who I am.

If you want to follow my shiny adventures from here on out, please go follow my new blog - Chaos Mandy.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sickness and Sailor Moon

Right before Valentine's Day long ago, my dear husband (who I had just started to date at the time) bought me the best present ever for the big V-Day. It wasn't roses, candy or even jewelry  He bought me the first season of Sailor Moon uncut.

I adored it and I watched it a lot. He bought it for me right when my daily chronic headaches were starting and I didn't have a lot of ways to cope with the pain. So on those nights that I couldn't sleep, I would pop in Sailor Moon and watch that.

It's been nearly ten years since my headaches started and I still get the urge to watch Sailor Moon when I am in a lot of pain. I still have that set that my husband bought me all those years ago. It is actually now a rare collectors item - currently the cheapest you can get it on Amazon is $199. Whenever money was really tight in the past, we toyed with the idea of selling it but neither of us could bear to part with it.

Tonight I'm not feeling great so I plan on watching some Sailor Moon. It was one of the best presents my husband has ever given me. I think of him when I watch it and I'm very thankful to have a great husband who is wonderful at picking out gifts.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Problems With "The Hobbit"

I've been a Tolkien fan for most of my life because my dad is a big Tolkien fan. When I was very small, he would read to me from The Lord of the Rings. But my dad never liked The Hobbit as much and that opinion rubbed off on me.

I loved The Lord of the Rings movies and even though I didn't like The Hobbit as much, I went to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at midnight. I adored the movie - you can read my review at GeekMom - and I've seen it five times in the theater so far. But I was fuzzy on the details of what happened next. The last time I had read The Hobbit was for the GeekMom Book Club last year.

Well, I just finished my re-read and I know why my dad and I didn't like The Hobbit as much as The Lord of the Rings books. I'll pause here because there will be book / movie spoilers from this point on.

Everything in The Hobbit seems rushed and not very well fleshed out. I know that it was written to be a kid's book, but the style is so unlike The Lord of the Rings that it turns me off. I am a more is better kind of person which is why I always read all the appendixes when I read The Lord of the Rings.

The climax of the book is the Battle of the Five Armies - a battle that Bilbo spends most of it knocked out. We don't see how Thorin gets mortally injured and his death is really, really anti-climactic. I also didn't remember that Fili and Kili die too. Though their deaths in the book are summed up as pretty much, "oh yeah, Fili and Kili die because they were related to Thorin."

Also BookThorin is kind of a jackass and a jerk. I remember now that I never liked Thorin because his motivation is the gold and the Arkenstone. MovieThorin is so much more fleshed out - his motivation is reclaiming his homeland. I really dislike BookThorin and I love MovieThorin, so I'm really intrigued how the 2nd and 3rd movies are going to play out because BookThorin gets jerkier as the book goes on. Honestly, Bard kills the dragon which something the dwarves don't even try to do but BookThorin is so stubborn about parting with a little gold that is pretty much starts a war. The only reason a full war doesn't break out is because the goblins and wargs attack and then BookThorin (and I'm assuming MovieThorin as well) dies.

After reading The Hobbit again, I have even more respect for Peter Jackson. The book doesn't really flesh out the characters of the dwarves, except jerky Thorin, but Peter Jackson gave them all different personalities that helped bring the characters to life. And not just the dwarves - the Great Goblin in the book only had a few lines of dialogue before he got killed. I liked the movie version of that better as well.

I was looking forward to seeing the next two movies, but I'm really curious now how Peter Jackson is going to handle the story that is set out. Also there is very little mention to what Gandalf does when he leaves the company, just that he and the other wizards defeated the Necromancer. I'm assuming the movie will show what Gandalf does to defeat him - though it isn't a final defeat since the Necromancer is Sauron and thus will be back.

The only other character that is fleshed out at all in the book is Bilbo, since he is the main character. MovieBilbo is much more heroic already than BookBilbo since MovieBilbo decided on his own to go on the adventure and BookBilbo had to be pushed out of his door. I don't really dislike BookBilbo, but the constant "I wish I was home" got a little grating. I adore MovieBilbo (honestly both of them - Martin Freeman and Ian Holm) because he is a little awkward, but tries his best to help the company along.

The character I like best from both the book and the movie is Balin. He has always been my favorite dwarf and the movie solidified that for me. Yes, Fili is awfully nice to look at (and it makes me a little sad that he and Kili are doomed to die for no good reason), but Balin is wise and loyal but still has a sense of humor. I love Balin.

Anyway, that's just to rambling thoughts on The Hobbit. I'm starting to re-read The Lord of the Rings next, which I've probably read over 20 times.. And after that, I'm going to finally tackle The Silmarillion which I have not read before.

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Friday, January 4, 2013


We had a pretty laid back Christmas this year. We have family in GA that we usually go see on the holidays, but it was a really long day when we went down for Thanksgiving. Because I had to work an extra long shift the day after Christmas, we decided to not to go anywhere for Christmas.

I had to work a short shift on Christmas Eve and then there was a little time to relax before going to church. We took some time to take pictures under the tree and then left about an hour early for church.

We went to the 5 pm children friendly service. It was already getting packed when we got there, but we managed to snag our usual spot. By the time the service started, it was standing room only.

The service was cute - it was the children's choirs telling the Christmas story along with lots of Christmas carols to for us to sing. Emily didn't know most of them, but she sang with gusto when it came time to sing "Away in the Manger".

Once we got home, Emily got to open her one Christmas Eve present which was her Christmas pj's. Then we watched the Christmas episode of "Phineas and Ferb" before going to bed.

Santa came and brought all of Emily's presents. Then Todd and I watched the original "Miracle on 34th Street" on TV. I knew Emily was going to be up early, so I went to bed once the movie was done.

Emily did get up around her usual time at 6:30 am. We roused Todd for a little bit so she could open her presents.

She got lots of things she had asked Santa for, but the one she was most excited about was the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Pirate Ship. Though now that it is over a week after
Christmas, she plays with her Doc McStuffins puzzle that was a last minute addition from Santa more than anything.

Todd got some sleep after presents and Emily played with her toys. At 10, we watched the Disney Christmas Parade which is more a 2 hour long Disney commercial than a parade. But Emily and I enjoyed it, especially since this is the year we are going to Walt Disney World. While the parade was going on, Todd started lunch which was a ham dinner with all the fixings.

We talked to Todd's parents and his grandma and we talked to my dad and his wife. Then after Emily got up from her nap, we Skyped with Todd's parents, sister-in-law and Emily's cousins. It was a lot of the kids showing each other what they got for Christmas, but they enjoyed being able to see and talk to each other.

It was a pretty laid back holiday and I enjoyed it. It would be nice to go back to Michigan or even down to GA for the holidays but that gets really hectic.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Riddance 2012!

Me... falling on ice
2012 has really been a bad year for me for a lot of reasons. It's been a year where I had to cut people out of my life, a year where I started having panic attacks, and just not a lot good happened this year.

2013 is shaping up to be a great year. I'm gainfully employed from home. We are going to Disney World in October. Todd found a horror con in Charlotte that is taking place the weekend after my birthday that has Bruce Campbell as a guest that we are going to go to. I'm also planning on going to ConCarolinas and of course Dragon*Con.

I think that 2012 might be out to get me though. Right before Christmas, I was carrying Emily to the car. I tripped and fell hard on our carport, which is made of cement. I managed to protect Emily so I took the brunt of the fall. I was very sore for a few days and my left arm was still a little bit tender.

Yesterday I went to see The Hobbit and I was walking through the covered parking garage when I slipped and fell on a tiny patch of ice. I think someone dumped their drink and it froze. I fell again on cement and now both my knees hurt as well as my left arm again.

I hope I don't fall again soon and I'm so glad that 2012 is almost done!

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Preschool Christmas Program

It's been a super busy holiday season this year, especially since this is the first year I've been back to work. So I'm a little behind on my posts.

Emily started preschool this year and she had her first preschool Christmas program. Since she goes to preschool at our church, the program was about the birth of Jesus.

I had to work in the morning so Todd and I got there right before the program was going to start. The church was packed but we managed to snag a seat on the end in the back.

Each class paraded into the church and sat down. The oldest class, which was the kindergarten class, got speaking parts and acted out the nativity. Each of the other classes got a song to sing and were dressed up as different parts of the nativity scene.

The youngest classes went first so Emily's class was in the middle of the program. They played the part of shepherds and sang "Away in the Manger" which was very adorable. Emily had been singing the song all the time at home, but I think she got a little stage fright and didn't sing much.
The whole program lasted less than a half hour but it was super cute. After it was done, the kids went back to their classrooms where we could pick them up (since we have to sign them out). Then there was a cookie reception in the fellowship hall with a special guest.

Since we had been sitting in the back, we were one of the first to get out of the church and pick up our kid. So she was one of the first kids to see Santa.

I know some Christians don't do Santa but we do and it was refreshing to see him at the reception. The kids were really excited and lined up to see him. This is the first year that Emily actually sat on Santa's lap without having either Todd or I be right next to her.

Once she saw Santa and got her candy cane, we had some cookies. Every family brought cookies (including us - I had made chocolate chip cookies the night before) so there was a ton. Emily had a really good time, especially when one of her friends came and sat with us.

She's been experiencing a lot of firsts this year and this one was great. She was adorable and so were the other kids. The local news station even came and did a story on it. You can see the video at their website if you want - Emily is shown a couple of times.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm Going To Disney World

I'm going to Disney World! In October 2013 :)

Disney World is my favorite place in the whole world. I love it so much. When Todd gave me the option of Vegas or Disney World for our honeymoon, it took me about five minutes to decide.

Three months after we returned from our wonderful Disney honeymoon, I became pregnant. This was when I started dreaming about taking Miss  Emily to Disney World.

Now when we were on our honeymoon, we saw what a pain in the butt hauling around strollers was. So we decided that we would wait until any child we had was out of strollers. We also decided that 6 would be the magical age for a first trip to Disney.

Emily is currently four, and her birthday is in October. Because of the cutoff for kindergarten in NC, she will still be in preschool next year. So I talked Todd into doing Disney next year because it would be easier to take her out of school.

Last month we booked our trip and we will be driving down to Disney World on October 11th. We are staying in the newest Disney resort, Art of Animation, in a Finding Nemo family suite.

I'm very excited, though I keep crying at Disney commercials  The one on the big screen when I went to the movies last week made me sob. Todd thinks I'm crazy, but this is Emily's first trip so it's super special.

Don't be surprised at a large amount of Disney posts in 2013. I'm really looking forward to this trip!

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