Well it's been about 17 yerars but I'm finally back. Let's put big news in bullet fomat:
- I've lost 41 pounds, and am still going. I look wya better, and I like it.
- I'm single, but OK with it. Matt and I called it quits after we realized we weren't totally in love, and just prolonging the inevitable. We still talk every day, and we're both cool with it. I'm actually really enjoying being unattached at present.
- School year is incredible-- it's like the magic combination of talent and attitude has come together and formed a super-orchestra. We are invincible and I love coming to work each day.
- My parents moved back to Texas in November, but will stay until January and go back to Colorado (they have a vacation home in Texas to be nearer me and my brother and sister, and the real home in Colorado).
- I was hospitalized for a good deal of October and November with critical anemia and mysterious internal bleeding. The bleeding is stopped, the anemia is under control, I'm not fainting dead away after I stand up, and I'm back at work again after two weeks off.
Games I have recently finished: Dishonored (high chaos, sadly- no patience for the other), Walking Dead (episodes 1-3), Skyrim- all main quests except for new DLC this week, Borderlands 2 (Greatest. Game.Ever.- thanks goes out to the Wookie for introducing me to XBOX and Borderlands) , Dead Space, and a few arcade games that were fun.
I actually have very little to report, except that being a size 12 rocks way more than what I was before. :) Onward to an 8!
I took a week long road trip with Matt last week. We drove up to my parents' house in Colorado and from there we went up through Wyoming and into South Dakota to see Mt Rushmore, Deadwood, and Custer State Park. It was a really fun time! All the times I had driven to Colorado with my ex-husband seemed like a cruel form of torture, but with Matt the time flew by and was just a ton of fun. We still liked each other at the end of it so that's good anyway. The trip was fabulous top to bottom, and as icing on the cake we caught 10 trout! (6 for Matt, and all on the same day, 4 for me, spread across two days). Matt had never done fly fishing before so I took him out to the lake and showed him how. Within 5 minutes he'd caught his first trout! I was stunned. Another 5 minutes go by and there's the second fish! It was too small to keep so we tossed it back. He had such a good time! (I had to admit a little jealousy but I finally caught some). I ended up pulling two out of the lake and two out of the river in front of my parents' house. We hiked in the national park- we did a 5.6 mile circuit on a path I'd never done before, so it was nice to see something new. I think I have found my new favorite hike! It was so unspeakably gorgeous.
I'm back home from China, recovering from my trip. Not bad but it was basically a glorified shopping tour sponsored by the Chinese government. Oh well. I got lots of nice things at dirt cheap prices, things that I could never buy in the States. Silk, jade, pearls, tea, tea pots, etc were all at such great prices that I couldn't say no. It was a good trip. Not as much food poisoning luckily (some but brief) and we saw an amazing short opera in Hangzhou.
I am about to reach a big XBOX milestone- 10,000 achievement points! :) Matt and I spent the past two days knocking out Portal 2 achievements, and I'm nearly done with Dead Space also. Next I think I want to go back to Skyrim, but I feel like maybe I should start Dead Space 2. Not sure yet.
I'm sad about BioShock Infinite's delay (again). I almost pre-ordered it but didn't. I am definitely excited to get Borderlands 2. That's been ordered already. On my trip I was talking with one of my students who says Nintendo 3DS is awesome, and then proved it to me. I might have to get one, but it seems like a big expense because what I really want it for are the old school games (Kid Icarus, Mario, Paperboy, etc). I'm hoping Matt will pick up on the hint that it's what I want for my birthday.
The Colorado fires have been pretty bad, and gave us a good scare when my parents were evacuated from their Estes Park home. They were about a mile from the nearest set of flames, but luckily the fire was contained (now 100%) and they could go back home, and everything was fine (for them anyway- 20 homes burnt). Thinking good thoughts about rain reaching that area.
Dieting is going well- I'm down 12 pounds or so. Starving, but smaller.
Summer is off to a fast start- I leave for China in a matter of hours, and have booked my plans to Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota for July. Good thing I like traveling! Matt is trying to convince me to go to Japan with him for two weeks, but I can't come close to enough money for the trip, and I certainly can't carry that kind of debt on my credit card. I have started playing the lottery, just in case. ;) I also just got word that my summer trip next year with the orchestra will be to Taiwan. I was lobbying for Australia, but I guess Taiwan is cool. We'll see. I heard the food is gross, but then I eat nearly anything.
My new furniture has arrived, and my living room looks awesome. I got rid of the old stuff, and got a nice linen chaise lounge in tan and a deep espresso brown leather sectional sofa (smaller than the old one luckily). The cats have not been interested in the leather sofa so far, but they're pretty sure the chaise lounge was purchased just for them.
When I get home is going to be major diet time. I put on way too much weight, sitting around playing Dead Space, Skyrim, etc. You know the feeling. So summer swimming begins right as soon as I'm back.
Happy summer everyone! Details about China trip when I get home.
I'm tired of school, kids are tired of it, and it shows on all of us. Glad we're down to the last week!
To celebrate my liberation from school for the summer, I bought a new living room suite. :) For the first time ever I will have a leather couch, and a beautiful linen chaise (henceforth to be known as my XBOX Throne). I'm worried about leather because my cats will do some damage, but on the other hand I'm not going to be inspected by Better Homes & Gardens anytime soon either. Also, Texas is HOT in the summer! I fear I'll be sticking to the seat through the hot months (also known as Spring, Summer and Fall). I may wind up putting a throw blanket on it to keep from sweating on my cushions. We'll see. The cats tend to play under blankets and that could lead to more holes and rips.
Tonight the chaise is being delivered (very glad my dad is in town and can help me pick it up), and next Saturday the rest of it arrives. :)
2 weeks until I go to China--- looking forward to more good food. I have been craving Chinese and actually haven't eaten any since I was there last summer. I suspect it will be the same this coming year. Chinese food is good- just tiresome when it's every day, all day long. But I still relaly am looking forward to it.
Dead Space continues to be awesome, and Skyrim is about to get another visit before I go out of town. I have missed playing that one.
I've discovered Dead Space! What a great game. I didn't think I'd like it. I watched Matt playing it, and then I tried it a little at his house and got hooked. I've finished the first playthrough and am working on the remaining acheivements now in another playthrough. I like that it can make me jump, like Limbo did. I'm definitely planning on playing Dead Space 2.
I also DLd Walking Dead. I watch the series, and Matt has told me about the comic. I really liked the game. It's enough of a puzzle to be interesting, but what's better is the psychological impact. I like that your choices affect your game play. Very cool concept. I dislike that they come out in waves of episodes. Already awaiting the second installment.
School is almost out (11 days!!!) and I'm so ready for it. It's been a hard month and a half. China plans are taken care of, visa has been received, and I'm just ready to get going. No big travel plans besides that, other than to Colorado so see my parents, and then Matt and I are driving on up to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. I loved it last time I went. So cool, and plenty to do there. I hadn't realized South Dakota was so lovely til I went. This time we're doing Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park and Jewel Cave (debating on that last bit). We might stop in Deadwood also. I vote for Deadwood (because of the history-- Aces n Eights!).
And now I must go to yet another concert. 8 down, only a few more to go. Whew!
After an extended absence, I'm back at 2O2P. It's been nuts around here, but for very good reasons: 1) I've been promoted in my youth orchestra leadership capacity (now a member of The Board, and have opened a second ensemble under my leadership), and I am being published mid-October (aiming for it anyway). This is for music I wrote. Third, I have done a lot of drawing recently and got some commissions to do work for a company my mom set me up with. I did cover art for a local philanthropic organization, and the president liked it so much she got this whole thing started. Consequently, I have a line of greeting cards coming out in the summer which will be available in her town at a couple stores, and if it goes well then who knows what will happen!
Still seeing Matt- we decided to ignore the "no future" aspect and simply enjoy being together for what it's worth. I'm actually happy with it at present. I hear the groans already, and I don't care.
I bought Mortal Kombat and feel like my life is a bit better. :) I LOVE that game! The moves are all different now (since SNES MK2) but way better, and I'm having a blast kicking Matt's behind every time we play. We have a new rule in the house now- I have to have had a gin & tonic or two before I'm allowed to play against him. (He gets a little upset that I slaughter him every time... hehehehehe).
Dead Space has turned out to be an interesting game too. I like that it makes me jump. It reminded me of the first time I played Limbo when that great spider skewered my character suddenly.
My trip to Italy (and a very brief stint in other parts of Europe) was just fantastic! Pics coming to my FB soon. I'm not adjusting to the time difference very well, now that I'm back. I had no trouble over there, but here is kicking my butt.
Since I'm sleepy I won't stay to tell about the trip, but instead leave you in suspense until I can be bothered to get on my computer at a normal time of day. I'm exhausted.
Short synopsis: I came, I saw, I ate, and I took hundreds of pictures and really enjoyed seeing my best friend after 11 months of absence!
Like an idiot I forgot to say things about Skyrim. Sorry for the double post!
So I've been finishing off little side quests and tidying up my miscellaneous category. I have found a few glitches or bugs or something-- the Amulet of Arkay: I have like 3 of those things, and I'm pretty sure I got the first one in the area I'm supposed to find one in, but no matter what, I can't convince the guy to take it (the one who assigned me the task). Anyone else facing that issue?
I have also been randomly attacked in Solitude, but I'm not sure if it's because I pissed someone off when I originally went to the Blue Tower or if it's because I'm a Stormcloak and they took exception to it upon my entry to the Tower. As I'm trying to execute an exchange (story line related) with some characters, out of nowhere an axe crashes down on me and my follower starts zapping people right and left! Suddenly I'm being slaughtered as someone's trying tpo tell me something about who knows what... I had to fight, exit, re-enter without my follower, fight again, et cetera ad nauseum until it seemed to even out. It was funny though- the guy who I was dialoguing with finished his statement then knifed me! I said my bit and he got all calm again, then when we concluded business he knifed me some more! Weird.
Just forged my first set of Daedric weaponry- that's heavy stuff but powerful! Right about to get 100 in smithing skill and will be able to create Dragon armor. Yay! :D Oooh I got Mehrunes Dagon's Razor- that is kind of a shitty weapon, except for the fact that it comes with the possibility to kill upon first strike. Hehehe. It's now my #2.
My students and I talk about Skyrim at length after school, and I"m becoming increasingly convinced that mage class is the way to go. I may start a new profile and try some of their suggestions. These kids don't care about the story line or completing stuff, they just want instantly powerful slaughtering machines, and they've gotten creative in how they do it. ONe has a level 9 mage Khajiit (I think he said Khajiit- if not, then high elf) who already has 50 bow skill and 100 sneak skill. They told me about spamming daggers to improve smithing skills (which I hate to admit I did) and about a way to improve Sneak at High Hrothgar (sneak up behind the main priest, punch him in the back of the head, recede into shadows, repeat and don't get caught). But how does one improve bows so quickly? GOnna work on that one, however my level 45 high elf has a glass bow (damage 63 with a potion, 52 otherwise) that takes down dragons in about 4 shots. I'm using daedric arrows mostly.
The Forsworn are giving me a headache- they're vicious! 2 good hits and I'm out for the count. I've been recently learning the art of "save after each kill", which I think is a waste of time and kinda cheap, but when I died for like the 30th time in a row I was pissed off enough to do it. I went from 170ish saves (since I got the game) to 205 in about 2 hours. LOL Skyrim is definitely one of my favorite games of all time.
I just started played Dead Space-- I think I like it. I haven't gone but maybe 20 minutes into the game, so until I play some more I won't really know if it's one worth pursuing. Next on my plate: Fallout 3.
Contest day was yesterday- this was the little contest before the big state contest.
Monday- I find out the assistant principal is suddenly and suspiciously no longer available to chaperone on the 2nd bus, thus leaving me without any adults riding bus #2. The other asst. principal sends me a heads up that he won't be able to come either. I ask why and he said the principal "forbade" them to help us. .....
A principal is forbidding staff members to HELP a school activity do something that ultimately is good for the students? I marched my ass down to his office and said it sounds like the principal has a personal agenda against me or the orchestra and it doesn't feel good. He said to calm down and not get worked up- it's not personal, he assured me. He said she just doesn't think about things when she fires answers in a hurry. He said she told them "it's not something we do". I'm still livid about it but am trying not to let it get under my skin. Right after I met with the asst. principal I fired off an email to all the parents saying please help, otherwise your kids won't be able to go to their own contest.
I'm secretly proud of myself for having not mentioned anything about the principal's last minute decree that we shouldn't be helped.
Crisis averted, bus ride was fine, nobody got lost, hurt, or left behind. The contest ratings, on the other hand...
The advanced group (my pride and joy) came away with a rating of a 2, overall. At this point we should be hitting a solid 1, but according to all three judges it was a shaky 2. I listened to the recording and read the comments, then did it all again with the class today and we all saw that the ratings of 2's were definitely justified. We have some damage control to do- lots of hard work in the next two weeks before the big state contest.
The Intermediate group played later in the day. They also surprised me, but in a good way. We came away with 1's from each judge!!! That is a first for this group, in the history of the school. THe second group has NEVER had top marks at any contest so I'm thrilled for them. We are still polishing things up for the next contest, but we'll be ready for it. :)
Matt situation: I've kinda let it slide to a limbo-like state. I have too much on my mind with school and money and everything else that fankly, I can't deal with not having someone there to talk things out with. We've agreed to just hang out as needed with the understanding that it's going nowhere. I don't know how to feel about it yet, but after March 10 I can start thinking about it. For now, I need him around. Don't even start with me on it- I'm already anticipating commentary that makes me want to rip my eyes from their sockets. I know he needs to go, and I know I need to face it, just not today, and not until my state contest is over.
American Airlines still sucks- they haven't refunded me my ticket (cancelled in December) so the bank is now going to be filing a dispute on my behalf. What other options do I have when AA can't be bothered to make their refund phone line available? I've called over 20 times in 4 weeks and have not once gotten through. Of those times, only three times did I ever even get put on hold, and for longer than I was availble to hold so I had to hang up. Stupid bankrupt airline!! I doubt I'll see that $1000 again but one can hope.
My parents just rolled into town tonight so we are going to go see Phantom of the Opera at my local high school and take me out to dinner tomorrow. Should be nice. There will be drinks involved so that's making it a bit better.
Only 3 weeks til Italy! I'm getting very excited. Now taking suggestions on what to see on the Amalfi coast!
As I'm about to sign off, I suddenly had the urge to write "Auto out" LOL. Yes, I read your blog!