five sets of keys 40+ library books one period costume from The Frontier Closet one period costume from Barn 10 two rhinestone belts one set of rhinestone hair clips one set of rhinestone earrings four house plants two French horns one giant Dodge Ram truck
1. Finding lost things makes me irrationally happy. (My lost Studio Calico pinwheel stamp and Gracie's lost Rainbow Magic fairy book from the library both turned up today)
2. Few things can't be improved by adding a healthy garnish of green onions and cilantro. (We're having beans + cornbread for dinner)(Not everyone in this house agrees on this point)
3. Wyoming weather is fickle, mean, and spiteful. (60º+ degrees again? And for the next week? It's enough to almost convince us that The Annual Thirteen Days of Spring is just a made up story—but we know better, sadly)
There are many, many reasons for which I love Matt; many of them are music-related. Here are just a few:
1. He introduced me to Ben Folds back in 1997. Albeit with a knowing, slightly annoying smirk because he knew how I would always have to give him credit for finding one of my favorite musicians of all time. But no matter.
2. I was looking back through some unpublished blog posts recently when I found an unfinished Ten on Tuesday from 2008; one of the items on the list was a story about how he had said he was going to go to Target to look for a game of horseshoes.* And how he totally got it when I immediately responded with "a game of HORSESHOOOOOOOOOOOOES!" (Do you get it?)
3. He was really, really sad when Don Cornelius died last month, because when he lived in Germany he watched Soul Train every day after school on the Armed Services Network (or whatever it was called).
4. Last week we made use of a rare 52 minute window of opportunity to go to dinner together on Wednesday night while all three girls were at gymnastics; whatever weird algorithm Chipotle was using that night for its music stream busted out some I Feel For You by Chaka Khan circa 1984, and we both sang along to the entire song including instrumental and vocal solos. Now that's a date.
5. I recently bought an Estelle album (Shine) and though Matt will never on-purpose choose it to listen to first from our vast collection of music, within five seconds of hearing the second song he identified it as sampling George Michael's Faith. And then proceeded to prove it.
6. Because he can sing a mean version of Kelis's Milkshake. But you only get to hear that story in person and if you're really, really lucky.
7. Concerts, concerts, concerts. Almost 23 years worth of concerts. (I need to make a second of these frames!)
8. For identifying the "Edgar Meyer Mafia," which will leave you much poorer but all-around a better person with a greater musical horizon.
9. Every CD we own is imported into iTunes (over 800) and it wasn't because of me. I really, really appreciate that obsessive valiant dedication to getting that job done in 2005.
*I do not know why Matt was interested in buying a game of horseshoes, and as far as I know we've never owned any. Alas, the unfinished blog post did not provide any clues to shed light on this strange story. But! I do have a file photo of a game of horseshoes.
Of all the things you do NOT want to see pop up on your computer screen, any of these are high on the list:
Two weeks ago our trusty iMac wore out. We still think of it as the "new computer" so it was quite a shock—and I am not making this up—to us, that our "new computer" was 4.5 years old. Which is exactly the point we've replaced other computers in the past. But somehow when your life feels like it's constantly running at the speed of a bullet train, details like 4.5 years of hard use simply creep up on you.
In a last ditch effort to save our trusty iMac, I drove it to Longmont, CO, home of 9 billion strip malls, to a computer lady named Raven who operates a Mac repair shop that was highly reviewed online. Raven did her very best to give me better news, but narrowed down the problem to two things: a worn out graphics card or a worn out logic board, both of which would be foolish to toss money at when a 4.5 year old computer is at stake. So I drove back to Longmont, CO, home of 9 billion strip malls, to collect my poor and broken computer. A new one was ordered nearly immediately, because even though a new computer was most definitely not in the budget right now, not having one? Not an option.
In the meantime, here's a little sampling of what I did while computer-less:
1. Imagined a story about Steve Jobs secretly placing a piece of my soul in the old iMac prior to his death, kind of like a horcrux. (I have an active imagination, especially after watching all the Harry Potter movies in quick succession in January)(That and a catastrophic crash of the computer containing all music, photos, and documents I've ever created sure felt like a small piece of my soul was missing) Aside: I had no idea you could actually buy horcrux replications online. Huh.
2. Cleaned up my craft room from that book I wrote. In 2007. Three houses ago.
3. Watched lots of Portlandia with Matt. Good distraction. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, you are hilarious.
4. Was increasingly unpleasant to live with.
5. Played a lot of Words With Friends. It doesn't matter whether I'm playing Scrabble face-to-face or Words with Friends on iPhones/iPads, I cannot beat Matt to save my life. Actually, I haven't beaten anyone yet. But I hold out hope that someday I will.
6. Got momentarily super-excited for a snowstorm, finally, until said snowstorm coincided with Fed Ex delivery of new computer.
7. Cursed snow.
8. Obsessively followed tracking information. Cursed Fed Ex for playing a game called "we're going to let you think we're going to deliver that computer right up until the end of the day, when we will then CHANGE THE STATUS." Fed Ex played this game Friday, Saturday, and again on Monday. I can live with Friday because there really was a lot of snow in Colorado, but Saturday and Monday... hmph. Computer was delivered today via Budget Rental truck. Fed Ex will not be receiving chocolates from me this Valentine's Day.
I'm nearly up and running again machine-wise, though no one told me that my FireWire external hard drive cord would now be obsolete (it won't fit into the new and improved FireWire port). A while ago we bought a USB external hard drive for cheap to use as the Time Machine backup, and though it took six hours to transfer everything, everything appears to be here. WHEW.
To say this December has been a little busy would be the understatement of the century—so busy, in fact, that it has made May, the month that historically has done our family in, look like a vacation. On the beaches of a Caribbean island. It was busy with many fun things, of course, and a few decidedly not-fun things (dental trauma for Matt and Maddie + a visit to Urgent Care on December 23 for me, Merrrrrrrrry Christmas). My plan to be ahead of the game this year was working really well through November and into the first few days of December, but the calendar that literally had 3-4 extra things per day in some instances shut that plan down quickly.
A few highlights from some of the pictures here:
+ going to the Christmas House at Hereford Ranch with friends
+ introducing myself to former WY first lady Sheri Geringer who was working at the Christmas House (you may remember I met her husband, former WY governor Jim Geringer, while dressed as Cat in the Hat some ten+ years ago); I told her how thrilled Maddie was to have a certificate issued after her birth that she signed, and she seemed genuinely thrilled to hear that
+ annual gingerbread party at Olivia's
+ buying our tree at Riverbend for the 6th time
+ live music while decorating the tree
+ touring the Historic Governor's Mansion with my parents, then visiting City News after
+ ordering the full Blu-Ray Harry Potter box set with extras from the UK Amazon store for under $50 USD, shipped
+ special projects for Big Picture Classes, wrapping up the Take Twelve Project for Ella Publishing Co. (more on that next week!)
+ Christmas programs at Maddie's and Gracie's schools
+ Operation Provide Joy
+ visiting our favorite Christmas lights
+ Maddie's mini-recital at her piano teacher's house (and getting to play two duets with her!)
+ chocolate-covered cherry making (over 150 this year total, whew)
+ Tuba Christmas with Abby and Wes
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: Captain John Smith and Ursula, requested by Bridget from Santa Claus
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: books and a box of chocolate, requested by Maddie from Santa Claus
+ the joy of Christmas surprises: a new dress and some accessories for Kaya (Gracie didn't really request anything from Santa Claus so it was a general surprise this year)
+ Hogwarts Express! We've had a lot of fun playing trains this week.
+ beautiful handmade dolls from Abby and Wes (only one pictured here)
+ contentment and downtime after Christmas—while I love the hustle and bustle (to some extent) of December, I found myself really hanging on for the week after Christmas this year. With almost nothing on the calendar, we've mostly stayed in jammies for extended mornings, worked on recovering from the year in general and illness in particular, and hung out with each other. It's been wonderful.
It's a little frightening to consider that this doesn't even cover half of what went on around here this month ; )