Saturday, September 23, 2006

Konnichi wa from Pagosa Springs!

Why Pagosa Springs you ask? we stopped for lunch and I"m downloading DivX so Tiana can watch a movie :)

Therewas a surprisingly LARGE amount of snow on the ground already in the mountains. And boy, was it beautiful!! (33% downloaded). We're close to Farmington, but a couple hours lte becasue the roads were icy (weather was fine) between Fairplay and Buena Vista (GOO GunSmoke, 67% downloaded).

Well, not much else to say at the moment..just taking a breather :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Costumes and Picnics, Casey and 'coons

We had our school Convocation (two a year) yesterday, followed by a much needed picnic/party on our campuses 9th St. park (right next to Tiana's school - the house behind them is an office for our school).

First off, my boss Mr. Ricky Newton Sparks and his wife Karen (and fellow band members) entertaining CCD as always! Karen is just as congenial s Rick, and I love it when I get a chance to talk with her!

Next is my buddy Josh-kun and Tiana! Tiana is very fond of Josh, and not just because he let us go to is Karate class a few times :) Josh is my fellow Japanese/anime addict and Mac genius extrodinarie.

And of course i have to show the totally cute picture of Tiana and Fatma, my office mate. Maya wasn't there though :( Fatma is all geared up for mommyhood! John came a bit later but I didn't get a picture of the both of them together :(

So the last pic I will add is of the Institutional Research crew, as onery as the IT folk :) Walt (the tall one) is my other partner in crime and fellow anime lover, BJ and Margaret is hiding behind Walt. BJ also has impectable taste in movies and books and such and always knows just what we're talking about :D Margaret is just a hoot! She is so fun :)

I had a few other pictures but they didn't turn ut quite as well :/ So now we move on to Tiana's new costume! We hit Kid to Kid this morning for the unveiling of the halloween costumes and found ourselves this cute outfit:

Now that is cute!

Oh, I can't forget to mention that I found the pc 'Over the Hedge' game at Kid to Kid for $5. I nearly cried :D I'm playing it right now in fact....

And now, a moment in time of Casey's evening last night:

Ok, ok that's not really him (could you tell?). But it still nearly happened. A raccoon boldy tried to break in as he was sitting there watching. I'm sure he can take care of himself though, and it's doubtful the events in this photo would actually take place :).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My only commenter is in New Mexico D:

Since Brenda is in NM I haven't got much of a reason to post. So I guess I'll just have to ramble. That's ok, I'm good at it :)

I really need to fix my background now that I added the comic strip. Gaara is all covered up *cry*

Damn...i really have nothing to say at the moment. Thanks to Josh and Walt at work, i found a place to get really cheap memory cards for my phone. Maybe Walter's payday I'll get one. OH I did find my camera card too, so actually I have no excuse for not putting up pictures.

Maybe I shouldn't have said people might actually expect to see Tiana related things here instead of my random thoughts on raccoons and humanity.

Ah, raccoons. How did my brother and I end up so different about animals eh? He came home to his dismay to find a yard of raccoons. Now I would have been thrilled and spent the entire evening watching them. No, i'm not stupid enough to get near them - i know they're mean 'sob's - but I would have loved to just observe them. I bet Casey was chasing them with a water gun >.<

I need a pet....anyone wanna give me something Walter WON'T be allergic to (does it exist?)?????

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A moment of seriousness

I promised to have a blog entry dedicated to David and Josh for their birthdays. That is partially true and I will at least give them a bit :)

Birthday boy #1
David. Nice guy. I like him a lot. I couldn't imagine a better match for Brenda in creativity, brains and spirit. I wish we were all closer so I could get to know him better. I enjoy his stories and art when Brenda shares them with me. I wish she would share more!

Birthdy boy #2 (today)
Josh-kun. Josh I consider one of my two best friends. We don't get to spend a lot of time together, nor do we get a lot of time to talk seriously one on one. But that's part of what a best friend is...someone you don't have to do that with yet you can still pick up where you left off the last time you did. I don't have to have deep conversations with Josh to know him, yet he's still a mystery to me. We live in totally seperate worlds but when I talk to him it's like there is no distance between us. Love you Josh :)

And the real seriousness? In rememberance of 9/11 (which by the way is extremely hard to explain to an almost 5- year old) I can honestly say i have the highest appreciation for all firefighters and rescue workers. Having seen my parents in that line of work most of my life, from volunteer firefighters to mine rescue team captains and the like, I can also say I know what it entails. In the spirit of being prepared and properly trained, I even embarked on my own journey of rescue classes. I learned that, though I feel slightly more confident about emergency situations, I would never, could never be, any kind of resource other than being able to do what i'm told. Days like today in rememberance of the most horrible event in my lifetime make me stop and appreciate and thanks those that can handle the pressure and those that have survived it. Josh, who obviously is not particularly talkative about it, was there and witnessed it first hand. I can't even imagine what it was like, nor do I want to. I don't think I could have walked away with my sanity in tact, being as oversensitive as I am - but Josh did and I admire that.
My parents, my dad in particular have always shown an amazing ability to be in control of the situation and take care of things. More than once (many more) i have watched them react in ways I could only dream of. The ability to jump right in and know what needs to be done (and do it) is a special gift that I can only trust in. It's not easy, I've seen it and tried it, to make order out chaos and save people's lives (or just care for them) is a true blessing. And if anyone has ever wondered about why I love Walter as I do, know that he's one of those people that can do it. I've seen that same reaction from him several time, though never in so critical a situation. It's that trust you have in someone of your life.

So to those who can and do - I applaud you, I love you, and I thank you.

And now let us remember the cute and furry to lighten things up a bit:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cartoon offenses

So the paper at the Uni of Virginia very quickly appologized for a cartoon making fun of homosexuals. They then just as quickly refused to appologize for a cartoon making fun of Christians. Makes you wonder what our world is coming to.

I, if you're curious, think we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and think they needn't appologize for either, but it's interesting how quickly they appologized for one and refused to for the other.


And honestly, I just contributed to the ridiculousness of it by even mentioning what the particular groups in question was making fun of two groups and appologizing for one but not the other that bothers me, not which they did or did not appologize for.

Now I never want to type the word 'appologize' again >.<

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Think Calvin in Hobbes' body

So I'll give my little commentary on OTH and hope that it's the last we hear of it (but I doubt it). First let me say this - we all know I'm predisposed to like any animated film with witty jokes, unique perspective, and cute furry animals with hearts much bigger than humans. I'm also more willing than most to enjoy the simpleness of bits of humor meant for kids around Tiana's age. I'm notoriously faithful to feel-good and the idea that people are at their best when they have something they love that they need to protect (or teach in this case). Am I in the minority? Of course not. I mean, look at Christianity as a whole, devoted to a guy who happily gave up his life to save even those who didn't care about him. I just like the cute fuzzy less graphic and more innocent versions as entertainment. Don't get me wrong - I don't think hyperactive squirells are better than God or anything :) I'm just saying the appeal is the same as a good story with a solid moral lesson about family and love, be it of spiritual importance or just cute and furry.

So we see Over the Hedge, having all of those qualities, is obviously going to be a favorite of mine. If you are cynical about family, don't find humor in poking fun at human consumerism (but not preachingly so by any means -it's just to get a laugh), or don't care for fuzzly tails and cute little noses, then this is definiitely not for you. But, if you liked Shrek and Madagascar enough to let out a laugh once in awhile, then it's worth a watch. I'd be more than happy to get you a copy....or buy you one after Oct. 17.

Anyway, I've noticed that the more harsh critics (who didn't like Madagascar and thought Shrek was a waste of time incidentally) aren't readers of the comic strip either. In my quest for more of the little not-so-talented-as-actual-animals family, I've learned something. The animals in the comic strip really live in a kind of Eden. Though they are as wrapped up in twinkies and tv as we all are, they are still untouched by the harsher realities of the world and eager to embrace the good. For instance, they don't understand how rabbits seem to just come out of nowhere in mass, nor so they care. When one animal figures it out by reading a book on reproduction and runs to tell the rest he realizes (as the group sits and watches Sponge Bob Square Pants) that letting them in on the secret would take away one of the few innocent realities they still have. And when the christmas killjoy (the official title one year for the turtle) tries to bring everyone down by calling christmas a commercially generated holiday about greed, the raccoon (the true heart and spirit of the group as well as the most detached from being an animal) digs through trash can after trash can to find a small nativity scene to show everyone the true meaning of christmas with no words. Very Charlie Brown-ish.

So that nearly ends my soap box. Almost. I'm really just talking (typing) for the sake of hearing myself (type) becasue it costs money to do anything else. So the movie is a genesis story. The characters are different than in the strip but you can easily see how they will become what they now are. Verne, the paternal leader who knows it all will easily become unsure of himself and as dependant on humnas as the rest of the group as he realizes how much he doesn't know and how little he can now help his friends. Once he loses his position as 'father knows best' he doesn't get upset over it, but embraces his new world to the point of becoming more like a human than the rest of them because he's just too smart for his own good. RJ, the other paternal leader of the crew, leaves his life of 'crime' to enjoy what suburbia is all about - not just the food he adores but a family that lives in a nice neighborhood with nice houses and plenty of everything. He doesn't change that much really but it's obvious that he enjoys the easy life and having a family to care about and to care about him. Unlike Verne who thinks everything through to the point of it being a bad thing, RJ simply does what feels right, which generally is right, and maintains his position as the moral center of their universe at the same time that he steals, critisizes and prides himself on being as lazy as possible. Through all his misguided wisdom, questionable ideas about ownership he is really innocent and spiritual and embodies the raw qualities of goodness. He equates the sunset to a tv show, but revels in its beauty none the less. And the squirrel? I'm waiting to read about that one. I know the one in the movie "Hammy" was in the comic for awhile but was turned into roadkill for some reason or other and was replaced by "Sammy", a carbon copy of "Hammy". I'm sure that time had a lot of thoughtful dialogue that I'm eager to read :) Throw in the sassy skunk that doesn't change a lick when she gets a 'makeover', a cat who loves her for who she is, a father/daughter opossum duo that is truly endearing, a trio of porcupine kids who excel at 'Auto homicide 3' (yes a take on Walter's favorite PS2 game 'Grand Theft Auto'), nemisises such as the Verminator (who NOT in character but in profession resembles my own brother) and the president of the local HOA (Walter being the VP just makes the character funnier) and the real bad guy - a grizzly hungry bear and what's not to enjoy??

So why waste my time with this? Like I said, it costs money to do anything else. The weather won't allow us to go to the pool or walk to the park, it takes gas to get anywhere fun, money to do anything fun if it close by, and honestly it's nice to just stay home once in awhile - even if it leads to pointless mini-essays like this one. I suppose I should help Tiana clean her room or something or other but that no more exciting for me than for her. She's enjoying making ice-pops anyway. Maybe one day I'll show how to use kool-aid or juice but for now, I'm enjoying the innocence of liking a popcicle just for the idea of being a popcicle and not because it's been tainted with sugar.

And let us not forget, on the issue of stem cell research, RJ's simple mind just crashes, having had the first serious thought in its life as Verne watches, amused.