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Archive for June, 2018


June 27th, 2018 at 01:17 pm

We did our annual family camp trip last week (3 nights). It was DIVINE.

Since then... Ugh!

These are the words I wrote a couple of posts ago:
I feel like NOTHING is going to be easy about this year. *sigh*

Was emotionally exhausted between work mess/health issues/kid's mental health, etc.

That said, I guess stuff on the work front had leveled out a bit. & in particular the, "everyone is dying/seriously ill" stuff. We maybe had a quiet month.

Anyway, I came home to learn:

--My mom had fallen and had to call 9-1-1.

My dad is leaving all the month of July. Which is common (for him to be constantly traveling) but I feel odds are higher that I may have a freakout this time and may drive 100 miles at some point to make sure my mom is okay.

--My sister's health issues seem to be catching up to her.

--Long-term neighbor's 50yo daughter has terminal cancer and just a few months to live. Her 80-something parents are taking care of her in the meantime. Seemed very backwards. (Parents' neighbors ~ she was my babysitter).

--Family friend (who is a total mess) was rushed to the ER in an ambulance, due to chest pains. (He's been a complete mess, regardless. Is dying of cancer. Just more crap for him to deal with).

Oh, and it never really occurred to me anything worse could happen at work, but it did... *sigh* Returned to horrible news. Have to be cryptic for now, but trust me, was horrible. (Is more medical/black cloud stuff, though is of course affecting work situation).

I actually started to type up this post with that info. Little did I know how much worse it could get...

Since then:

MH went to LA over the weekend (which was the silver lining in all this. He has a lot of interest in his script and submitted to one movie studio. You can't submit without a referral, so will consider this a win).

We need some GOOD news!

Supposedly many others were interested and he may get other referrals in the future.

Anyway, DL has been so moody that I just decided to take him out of town this past weekend to distract him. (His mental health bottomed out with MM gone a few weeks ago, and he gets the same way when MH is gone). In the end, the weather was horribly hot and I felt my parents needed me (and their city is much cooler, weather-wise), so the reasons seem to compound. We did have a nice weekend.

--While at my parents' house, their neighbor with cancer passed suddenly.

--Monday night my mom called me to say family friend (the one rushed to the hospital last week) had fallen and no one had found him for FOUR days. HORRIBLE. He is okay, and doing well as can be considering.

--Tuesday night I Was driving home from work and someone slammed into me on the freeway. ??? I didn't see them until about a couple of seconds before they hit me. Logically, they were just hitting cars for kicks. I don't know. Or they were just driving crazy recklessly.

{I was driving full speed on the freeway and absolutely no one was in front of me. Like 5 lanes, so plenty of room to go around. They hit me so squarely it seems to be no accident}.

I didn't really have time to process, but they took off, which is probably for the best. (I can't say I would have pulled over to exchange info in that situation. I probably should have been scared out of my mind, but I didn't have time to be scared before they took off).

The whole thing was traumatic and horrible, but given the week we have had, I can keep it in perspective. If that's my "once every couple of decades" car accident, then I got off lucky.

I edited this down because of the situation. But the short version is that the other vehicle left a perfectly clear license plate imprint on my bumper, so the CHP took a report and documented the evidence. (I thought being in a big city and having no details or witnesses, that I'd probably have to filed an online report. But given the "hit and run" aspect, I called the police first, and by then had figured out I had a license plate imprint).

My first car was rear ended many many times, in my teens/20s, usually when I was not in the car. So it's a similar situation. I don't have full insurance because the vehicle is pretty old and worthless (Same as my car back then). But the damage is probably just cosmetic. Even if I can track down insurance information for the offender, I have to take care of it myself (most likely). Which has never been any big deal the many times I did this with cooperative parties. But in this case, not really sure what I am getting into and how it works. I will get the police report (will take some weeks) and check with my insurance company, etc. But I am guessing I have to take care of filing a claim with the other insurance, if they even have insurance. I am guessing we won't fix the bumper. But our mechanic also does body work and we will make sure it's safe and just cosmetic damage.

So that was my week post vacation... *sigh*

Grammar Question

June 17th, 2018 at 03:56 pm

I know this is completely random, but there are a lot of writers around here. Big Grin

Is this correct grammar?

The unlikely duo pursues their only lead.

MH got a note that this should be:
The unlikely duo pursue their only lead.

I am his unofficial editor, but looking this up is giving me a headache (especially because I only have a few minutes). I think that probably sounds right, but no one giving him notes is a grammar expert by any means. (I am more of a human spell checker).


More Movies

June 16th, 2018 at 06:17 pm

Trying to blog more, and miserably failing. I am trying to break this one down into two blog posts to break it up a bit.

MH, MM and I went to a free movie screening last week.

MH got a free pass to Ocean's 8. We missed the free screening but plan to go today.

I have to go through the Wizard of Oz again. No idea when, but maybe will have time while MH is gone next weekend. I was trying to make a pierogi recipe and it took much longer than I expected and I more half listened to the movie. I realize I need to sit down and really watch the movie. I overall LOVED it though.

I've never baked much when it comes to (homemade) dough. I actually had MH pause the movie a couple of times so that I could look up dough making on Youtube. I thought, "How did we survive before the internet?" I guess I'd be asking someone's mom to help me. I have done a wee bit of dough/baking before but is usually quite a mess. In this case I started with, "What was I thinking!?" & ended up with round pierogie dough and some confidence. Phew! I never did end up making any home made pizza dough, and so I am putting that next on my list. I also have a samosa recipe that looked way too involved, but the first thing I thought was I could totally do a samosa. After doing the pierogis. Same idea, different fillings.

Oh, and I did need a cookie cutter for this recipe. I decided just to measure the cups we already have, and I had the right size. That was my frugal victory. I love a useful kitchen tool, but try to avoid single-taskers if at all possible. I was determined to find something around the house; it didn't take long. I had some plastic cups with 5" openings, that were perfect for cutting dough into round shapes.

Yesterday we watched Swing Time. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I liked it.

The theme from these early movies seems to be how poorly the female lead actresses were treated. Ugh!

Next on the (Top 100) List: The French Connection. (Watching along with a Podcast, but they are not going in order). I get a movie reprieve for the next 10 days or so. With MH gone next weekend, we probably won't watch that one until the following week.

One other thing we do on the entertainment front is try to see more lesser known/up-and-coming acts. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but is also always a much better experience. For example, MH saw the Lumineers open up for one of our favorite artists at a little restaurant. This was right before they hit it big. I think I missed the first time they headlined locally, but MH took me (to a small club) the second time they came around and they were already clearly very frustrated by how crowded the venue was. They wanted to come out into the audience, and tried, but it just wasn't working well. I can not even fathom seeing them in a large stadium or how they must feel about that!

So anyway, though I took DL to the Symphony recently and it was absolutely *amazing*, it was also quite expensive. I don't know why I haven't been paying too much attention to it, but the art museum (we are members) has concerts for $8. I guess one of the performances caught my eye. For reference, the tickets are $10 or $12 to see anything at DL's art school. I just paid $10 per head just to see his spring vocal performance (which was totally amazing; talk about up-and-coming talent). But it just hit me that seeing some of these art museum concerts is cheaper than a student concert! I need to pay more attention in the future.

Edited to add: Don't waste your money on Ocean's 8. Glad we didn't pay for that one.


June 10th, 2018 at 03:57 pm

I feel like NOTHING is going to be easy about this year. *sigh*

MM(15) is always charmed, and his 8-day river rafting trip went GREAT! They did an expensive tour (he went with my dad) and they had a blast.

That said, DL(13) had already been pretty moody in recent weeks and was very stressed about finals. He pretty much completely fell apart with his brother being gone AND finals. UGH! I am hoping things settle down a bit now that school is done for summer and his brother is back. (So far so good...). He had otherwise gone 18 months without any episodes.

On top of all that, I have some medical issues. We are just watching things and seeing what to do next. (I don't think anything major, but who knows). Just female stuff, or mostly TMI. But this is just adding to my emotional exhaustion of late.

Work is as weird as it ever was. I don't really know anything more than my last post on the subject. *sigh* I've been very much in 9-5 mode, especially with endless doctor appointments and so on.

MH is done with work for summer. Phew! I can't even fathom him working full-time right now. That is very much on the back burner, for now. Original plan for him to work part-time another 12 months? We are back to that. {Back in January: 18 months + completely job uncertainty, I wasn't so sure about}. But knowing that I at least have a job, and that we are only facing 12 more months on our original timeline... Is all good. He's been working the equivalent of full-time lately anyway, and it's been pretty traumatic on our household. (Maybe working 35+ hours at job +12 hours on movie set. Sometimes more, so I guess it's just been a lot).

On Friday the kids were whisked off to some last minute party. We were both completely exhausted, as we settled back into some sort of normalcy. DL had his last final Thursday, and MM came home that day. Anyway, I wanted to just go out and have a nice dinner. My expectations were low on a Friday night. But I still have tons of gift cards we never used. So we went to Seasons 52 and just completely pigged out. I ordered Prosecco. We ordered several appetizers. The restaurant can be hit or miss, but was *so good* on Friday. The waiter even commented we must like the food because we completely cleared our plates. I don't know how often we splurge on dinners like that and it's kind of "meh". I mean, it's not often. But I think it's that much more disappointing when you have saved up a very long time for a treat. I guess I should say that more often than not, these things end up being kind of "meh". So we really enjoyed having such an amazing meal. I had a $50 gift card, so we ate like a $100 meal with that. $50 out of pocket. Made it easier to splurge.

So I mentioned in my last post that we were watching the Top 100 movies (AFI) along with a new podcast called 'Unspooled'. I was really skeptical about my long-term participation. We watched Citizen Kane (#1) and that was okay. Certainly very relevant in this day and age. But I was dreading the second movie (#100), Ben Hur. It's almost 4 hours long! Anyway, in the end, I surprisingly enjoyed it. I don't even know if I can tell you why. I just wasn't bored at all though I expected it to be quite boring. The plot was predictable and the acting was "meh", but I guess it was just all so grand. There was certainly some incredible highlights, like the boat/slave scenes and the Chariot race. I guess every movie race ever pulls from that one race. & I also noticed the music sounded a heck of a lot like Star Wars. Star Wars is clearly very much inspired by Ben Hur. The downside to all the discussions is that you want to watch like 5 more movies for every one movie you see. Since I've committed to watch one classic movie every week, will just have to let it go. There are only so many hours in a day! But I can tell you that I think I will enjoy this more than I thought I would. Citizen Kane was a little harder to get through. But Ben Hur was entertaining and really opened my eyes to how much it influenced future cinema. (After watching Ben Hur, 1959 version, I'd be interested to see the earlier silent version which everyone mostly says is better, and the more recent version ~ 2016? Also, Life of Brian might be fun to watch again, as it was mentioned how much it pulls from Ben Hur. & on and on and on).

Today we watch the Wizard of Oz. This will be one of the very few (Top 100) movies that I have seen before. It's on Amazon Prime right now.

I guess if there is a theme to this year, it's going to be "culture", for my household. I do think I will be attending the Symphony more this year. I received an incredible deal on the last musical we went to because I had liked the event or page on Facebook. So I made sure to "like" every musical production I was interested in this year. Will see... & now we are doing this movie project.

So far, most of these movies we are borrowing from the library. (Er, we borrowed Citizen Kane from in-laws' cable, but I guess the library was an option for that one). MH is usually pretty picky about film format, but he likes the DVD option because they do come with a lot of extras usually. We didn't watch any extras after the 4-hour movie. Wink