Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Thoughts After a Week of Travel

In no particular order, things about the last week that make/made me happy.

1. Seeing lots of family.
2. Getting to experience a more mature and grown up baby brother. (It doesn't matter how grown up he gets, he's still my baby brother.)
3. Being in DCA airport during the Redskins - Dallas game. People singing "Hail to the Redskins" made me feel very much at home in my own town.
4. Getting to just sleep and sleep and sleep.
5. Did I mention hanging out with my family?
6. Seeing friends.
7. My new LCD TV.
8. Getting home after a miserable flight and delays and turbulence, just to trip the alarm on my house. And the same police officer that came last time showed up. Why is it a happy thought? I was fully clothed this time, but my living room was covered in scattered electronics and looked like I may be robbing my own house.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Chrismakwanzakkuh

I'm in Virginia, visiting the family and enjoying myself immensely. I don't feel like blogging. But I will say hit to Tami, Jon, Jon and Sara. Jon- we missed you. I think your kids are cute. To the others- maybe if our family wasn't so stinking big we'd get more time to talk. But it was fun to see you in the passing fleeting moments anyway.

Horatio and his 22 brothers and sisters (oh yes, I am actually going up in numbers, not down) are still here. In spite of the growing size of my kidney stone collection, I'm feeling better, thanks to my new drug collection and just plain mind over matter.

Now back to our regularly scheduled napping and holiday. Pictures and fun stuff to follow sooner or later.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas With Horatio

It appears I will be taking Horatio et al home with me for Christmas. I will also be taking a large supply of Lortab home with me. Earlier this week my doctor switched me from Percocet to Lortab. And oh what a difference it has made!! With both medications I've been dealing with all of the side effects associated with them. The Percocet made me completely loopy, stoned and an emotional roller coaster. I was crying every few minutes and unable to escape the feelings of misery. 12 hours off the Percocet and on the Lortab and I was the happiest girl on the planet. Side effects of Lortab? "Unexplained happiness." I can live with this. I'm still in some pain, but I don't care much because I'm so dang happy. I wasn't functioning at all on Percocet- couldn't go to work, etc. But I'm at work and able to think on Lortab. Well, sort of. I'm a total space cadet, distracted by everything. And I'm so forgetful that I have to be careful. "Did I take my Lortab yet?" "Where's my keys?" And I'm a complete klutz. I fell down the stairs at work (nobody saw me). I've got bruises all over my arms and legs from running into walls and bed frames. Needless to say I'm not driving much. Oh, and I got lost in Wal-Mart. And by lost I mean I couldn't even tell you what store I was in, or why I was standing there holding a bag of chocolate chips. Okay, maybe I could explain the chips- to eat them of course. I also keep forgetting about Horatio. I think I'm cured and that somehow miraculously I passed all 20 stones without feeling a thing. But then the 4 hours of Lortab magic wear off and I am very painfully reminded of Horatio. I can't really forget him. But if he stays much longer I'm going to start charging him rent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'd Be Lucky to Have Strep

Grocery Store Clerk, eyeballing the 5 cans of soup and 3 kinds of juice on the belt: Uh oh! Someone's got the flu!

Me: I wish.

Day 10 of Horatio and counting.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!

I am very ready and excited for Christmas. Waiting for the next week to pass is going to kill me (if Horatio doesn't first). I am more than ready and excited to fly back to Virginia to see my family (Dec 24-30).

Things I am excited about-
1. Getting out of my bed and Springville and seeing something new!
2. Seeing my parents' new house for the first time. (It's really hard to picture Christmas when you don't know what the house looks like.)
3. Visiting the amazing Marti who is working in DC temporarily.
4. Hearing my brother speak Arabic for the first time.
5. Riding our horse with my sister Steph. (but only if Horatio is dead)
6. Getting out of my bed and Springville.
7. Seeing the beautiful Old Town section of Fredericksburg all decked out for Christmas.
8. Gift giving! I am giving some very fun presents this year using an adage someone once taught me. "Always give something they either need, want, or cherish." And this year, every gift I am giving falls into one of those categories. I'm really excited to see them get opened.
9. Every year on the day after Christmas all my cousins get-together. I'm looking forward to seeing the new babies, the bigger babies, and all the "big kid" cousins. We have around 70 cousins all get together every year (just the first cousins on Dad's side), so it's always a big old party!
10. The Washington DC Temple Visitors Center! It's just not Christmas until we've gone to see the lights.
11. Talking to my nephews (on the phone) about Santa. We have some really great conversations.
12. Downtown DC- I've been making a list and calling my mother every time I think of another restaurant I want to go visit. And see the Capitol Building and White House. And take a minute to see the FDR monument.

Will I get to do everything? Probably not. But it is nice to think about anyway.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Screaming, Kicking and Fighting

Well, Mr. Osbourne, it may not be kidney stones after all.

It is screaming, kicking and fighting that I go into my second weekend of bed rest and fluids. Why am I back on bed rest? Because I wasn't supposed to be off of it in the first place. After being told my kidney stone wasn't a kidney stone and talking to a specialist who wouldn't see me, and being passed around the medical community, I called my own doctor back and demanded someone actually HELP ME NOW. He was confused and said he had to go look up my scans again.
And oops.
Somehow someone somewhere misunderstood the notes. I still have the 2 big word thingys -that wasn't a mistake. But they are fairly insignificant. It's the 20 kidney stones that are the bigger and more painful problem. For reasons unknown, the nurse misread the notes to me and failed to mention the 20 kidney stones. On the "bright side," they are tiny stones that should pass without blockage. But as my doctor so kindly said, "but they are probably still quite painful." I would really like to kick him for that astute observation. Ya think? You think after 8 days of bed rest and percocet I haven't noticed that they hurt???
Treatment? Bed rest, fluids and painkillers. If you know me, you know that just sitting here with nothing to do is just as painful for me as the actual stones themselves.
So seriously, if you have ANY fun "bed rest" activities that I can do while stranded here alone, I'd love some suggestions- websites, downloads, games, ANYTHING. (reading doesn't work so well for me when i'm stoned on the percocet)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Me and My Woot

I joined the rest of the world today with the arrival of my first woot. It's a Samsung Media Player, with lots of gadgets and things I don't think I'll ever use. But so far, I love it. I've put a few hundred pictures and nearly 1,000 songs on it. And rumor has it I can put driving directions on it somehow. Maybe someday I'll find a 10 yr old who can show me how to do all of that.

Yes, I know I look awful in the picture. But let's see you do any better after a week (and still going) of being on bed rest with massive kidney pain. But isn't my woot cute?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Muerte Horatio!

Horatio continues to be the bane of my existence. Except as it turns out, Horatio is not a stone. He's something else. A big word I don't feel like spelling or explaining. Nothing has changed except he's not a stone. He still hurts and it still sucks, and I'm still taking Percocet. And I should probably stop blogging before some of the more interesting Percocet-induced thoughts slip out of my head.

Thoughts like, "It's a good Kiera Knightley is so freaking skinny, cause with her posture, if she weighed even 5 lbs more she'd have a potbelly. Not that there's anything wrong with a potbelly. I'm rather proud of my genetically inherited potbelly. One good thing about getting stoned every day on medically prescribed narcotics is that it has made me a very creative gift wrapper. All the gifts I am giving are wrapped. But they're not under a tree, cause I don't have a tree. I'm too cheap and lazy for a tree. But my sister found a cool pink one that she didn't buy for me. But I like the idea of a pink tree. It makes me giggle. Pushing Daisies hasn't gone to writer's strike reruns yet. That's bizarre. It's a really bizarre show to watch when you are stoned. Really bizarre. And why do people in Christmas commercials always wear such perfect plaid clothes? Does anyone's family really get dressed up like that? Or do they sit around in pajamas all day? Dang, that Kiera Knightley commercial is back on again. I should put the computer away before I say something too dumb."

Wordless Wednesday, Why Not?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kidney Stones, Percocet, Stoned Thoughts and Happy Thoughts

I am discovering that I do very strange things when I'm stoned. I have been on Percocet for 4 days now. And woah. The hallucinations are insane. The dreams (where I don't really know I'm asleep which is ever more disturbing) are over the top bizarre. Oh, and I have total blackouts where I have no recollection of phone calls or text messages my phone says I have sent. Not good.

For example-
1. There was the dream where I was trying to dig through a public trash can trying to find some new clothes. And then once I found them, Sweet Pea and I went to the backyard of the Church and watched dogs hump.

2. I stood over the kitchen sink for several minutes absolutely convinced I had lost the soup in the sink. (the can was on the table)

3. There are 4 outgoing calls on my phone I have no recollection of making.

4. I forgot how to scramble eggs and vaguely recall considering scrambling them in the frying pan with my finger. I woke up as I washed my hands prior to the scrambling. The eggs were burning.

5. Never try to watch "the Matrix" while stoned and confused on narcotics. It gets very weird.

6. I can't tell if I bought a $50 toy online. I remember very vaguely looking at it and thinking about it. And then falling asleep. But when I woke back up the computer was on the check out screen. I haven't received an email saying I bought it. But who knows what email address I would have put in? And what mailing address I gave it??

The happy thought in all of this is that I think Horatio (my kidney stone's name) just might leave me tonight. And compared to what I've seen other people go through with stones, I don't think mine hurts all that bad. It sucks and I am in pain. But I'm not in horrific pain and I have Percocet. And for that, I am very grateful.

Lawrence O'Donnell, Hatred, Big Love, McLaughlin, Pat Buchanan, and Mormons

Simply put, I have a new and abiding fierce dislike for Lawrence O'Donnell. Who is Lawrence O'Donnell? Good question. He is a very liberal political commentator and analyst, and sometimes actor and TV show writer. He's currently a small character on Big Love. And apparently that is what makes him an expert on Mormons. He's played an attorney to a fake Mormon on TV. Education by HBO. God help us all.

To all you people who will find this blog today by way of Google and keywords, I am here to tell you, Mr. O'Donnell is full of crap. I am a Mormon and the man is off his rocker.
Watch this clip and you'll soon see why.

First and foremost, let me say this and correct his complete ignorance. Joseph Smith was in no way pro-slavery. Mormons are not racists. It is in no way our doctrine. Who are you going to believe, me- the actual Mormon, or the guy who plays one on TV?

Second, I am just a tiny bit annoyed at Pat Buchanan. I used to work for Pat. I know what a very good man he is. I also happen to be on a first name basis with his sister, Bay. I also worked for Bay Buchanan. She is one of my personal role models, and someone I look up to in every way. She's a Mormon convert of over 20 years. Her family, including her brother, are all devout Catholics. I am not surprised Bay has not been at the forefront of the Mormon debates lately, as she is the campaign manager for Tom Tancredo. But Pat does know a lot more about Mormons and while he did stand up a little for them, it bothers me that he didn't stand up more for them. Not that O'Donnell gave him much of a chance.

Third, if you want a real education about Mormons and Christianity, one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject ran in today's Washington Post On Faith section. It was entitled, "Are Mormons Christians?" And was written by an actual Mormon. Not just any Mormon, but by our church's public affairs office. In other words, someone who actually knows what to say and how to write. It is very well written and explains things beautifully. (Of course, I am a little biased.) If you want to know about Mormons, ASK A MORMON. (you may need a free registration/account with the Post to read that article.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Super Diaper Baby

In the last 3 days, 7 different people from around the world have Googled "Super Diaper Baby" to find this blog. France, UK, Japan, and some other places. Bizarre. Who knew my nephews were so famous?

Worth Keeping in Your Prayers

For several years now I have been following the blog of a sweet little girl named Rebekah and her family. Rebekah was only 3 years old when diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She is now 6 years old and cancer free. Her birthday was yesterday. It should have been a great celebration, right? Sadly her family lost their home in a fire. If you have a little extra room in your heart to pray for a stranger, the Adams Family could use it right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Things I Can't Live Without (Apparently)

I stayed at home sick from work today. The kidney stone has actually let up quite a bit, but the side effects of the Percoset kept me sidelined and miserable all day.

So what do you do when you are too sick to really do anything? And the only position that is comfortable is laying on your right side without a pillow for your head?

No, really, what do you do?

Thankfully I had new Netflix to watch, so that kept me partially entertained for 6 hours. And then I started wooting. Wooting? Yes, wooting. Wooting is now my new favorite and most addictive hobby. Basically it works like this, on the site there is one product for sale at a time. It's usually something of a techie or electronic nature. And they sell it for a ridiculously low price. How low? REALLY low. For instance, earlier this week I found this little gem on woot for a mere $39 plus $5 shipping. I quickly went to Amazon and found it on sale there for $129. Obviously, woot was a good deal. So I bought it. Of course, the part where I didn't have a compatible mp3 player was irrelevant. At the time I was thinking eBay or a gift for someone else.

So today while stuck here on the couch, on my side, with my laptop tilted to the side, I spent several hours today watching cool stuff go by on Woot. Woot only has a set number of items they are going to sell. (For instance, only 100 robots, selling at $5 each.) So sometimes things go by FAST! I tried to buy several different things today- mostly gifts. And then fate came home to me, and I saw THIS and didn't even wait to check it against Amazon. Even tech-deficient Erin knows that a video and mp3 player for $49 is a good price. And now it is MINE! (Insert evil laugh here.)

Yes, wooting was a big part of the day. But credit must be given to my DVR player (I call him George) (the kidney stone's name is Horatio) (it's fun to yell 'Muerte Horatio!' when it really hurts) for keeping me from going too stir-crazy today. How did we ever survive without DVR/TiVo's? I've been watching lots of Project Runway and Gossip Girl today. I now feel that my wardrobe is inadequate.

I just heard that we may get 10-16 inches of wet snow down here tomorrow. This is not good. My house is short on good food that I can handle eating. And I'm already going stir-crazy. I hate being sick.

Someone really ought to give me this for Christmas

It's a freaking pink taser. Seriously, I need one.

Mitt Romney is the MAN!

If you have been paying any attention to my feelings on religion and politics at all, you know that I would love to be blogging about Mitt Romney's big faith speech today. Unfortunately, tonight I have yet another kidney stone, and am basically incapable of such thought thanks to the painkillers.

So I'll make this short and sweet. From the perspective of an LDS Republican, I really liked what Mitt said. Do I think it will resonate with everyone everywhere? Of course not. Do I think the speech helped? Absolutely- to those who were open-minded. Of the criticisms I have read thus far (from readers of different news sites), most seemed to have made up their minds about him already.

A few of the quotes I really liked-
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."
(I personally think this will become one of the quotes that he will always be remembered for. At least, it will always be the quote I will remember him by.)

"In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion - rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith."

"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'"

All in all, I was impressed. I am looking forward to hearing my uncle's point of view. The campaign flew him to Texas for the event today. He got the chance to see Mitt and rub shoulders with several great men I am told.

I'd really love to hear other thoughts on this speech- especially from my politically active LDS friends!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mormons, Christianity, and the Washington Post

I can't recall a time when I was more outraged by something I read in the national free press than I was today when I read the article, "Un-Mormon and Unchristian," in the Washington Post by Richard Cohen.

It is an opinion piece, but one I feel should not have been linked from the front/top of the page of a major paper and opinion leader. His comments are so heavily biased and yet stated with fact that I am left with an ill taste in my mouth.

For instance, Cohen says, "The Republican presidential field has some feeble minds and some dangerous ones as well, but none has done as much damage as Huckabee has. Religion does not belong in the political arena. It does not lend itself to compromise. It is about belief, not reason, and is ordinarily immutable. Romney is a shifty fellow, but he will always be a Mormon, and it will never make a difference."

Feeble minds? Dangerous feeble minds? Why doesn't he just say "Republicans bad, Democrats good?" Religion is ordinarily immutable? Since when was religion unchanging? Look around at the new religions popping up. Or how some churches change policies every day, with the exception of a few churches. For instance, the Mormon Church which rarely changes positions. It adopts positions as the world changes, but it rarely changes position. So wouldn't by Mr. Cohen's very biased view that give more credit to the Mormon Church? It is more "immutable" than other churches? (Starting with Gov. Huckabee's?)

And to call Gov. Romney a shifty fellow? Why is that written in a major paper? If we were talking about a criminal or otherwise negative figure in the world, sure, use the description. But to describe a viable presidential candidate this way is libel, in my opinion.

Also, Cohen's obvious disgust and contempt for all persons of faith is evident in this one small comment, "... faith is no substitute for thought. A mind honed on the whetstone of doubt might have kept us out of Iraq." Is he really implying that those who have faith do not think?? I find this a great offense to anyone who has ever studied scripture and/or wrestled with faith. His narrow minded comment only shows how little he truly knows about faith and religion.

This entire column appalled me. Beyond that, many of the absolutely false comments left in response to it appalled me even more. I encourage you to read the article and decide for yourself. And to leave your comments as well. To my LDS friends, I hope you will take the chance to correct some of the outright blasphemously wrong information left in the comments section.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Thought

Today a sweet little baby held my finger for almost an hour during church. It made my whole day.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

5 Things

Five Things

5 things I was doing 10 years ago

Let's see that was 1997-98, right?

1.So I was just about to graduate from GMU and applying to law schools,

2. taking 18 credits,

3. living in Fairfax with Julipalooza,

4. working 20-30 hours a week for a tech newspaper,

5. and on the Institute Council. 

I didn't get much sleep back then.

5 things on my to-do list

1. Return  more than half of the Christmas presents I bought (my family decided today that we'll just draw names this year)

2. Finish up the Original Christmas Story

3. Not just do the laundry, but put it away this week

4. Research cost of living in Norway

5. buy a plane ticket to Reno

5 things I would do if I was a millionaire

1. Buy a cute little condo on the FL coast and be a full-time writer

2. Give more than half of it away to charities

3. Adopt a baby 

4. Spend a ridiculous amount on shoes and designer jeans

5. Hire a personal trainer to help me overcome the evil thyroid so I can work out better

5 things I'll never do again

1. Take diet pills

2. Be in debt, with the exception of a mortgage or car loan

3. Eat "stomach soup"

4. Get caught in a land war in Asia

5. I can't think of anything!

5 things I've read recently

1. Dummies Guide to Getting Published

2. The Economist (I LOVE reading their job announcements in the back. Funniest thing you'll read all week. Want to buy a train company? Be the Minister of Finance in a small African nation? They have these jobs!)

2. Rick Steves Guide to Scandinavia

3. The CRCPD classification of X-ray equipment (riveting stuff!)

4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (along with every other woman in Utah)

5. CNN, WashingtonPost, and a dozen other newspapers online

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