Monday, March 31, 2008

my (other) sister has a blog! please welcome her to the big bad world of blogging!!

she's my little sister gretchen, we shared a room for much of growing up -- for some reason, we were the two always at each other's throats. notoriously so. there was the masking tape down the middle of the room, even an allowance made for no-man's land -- a way for both of us to be able to exit the room withOUT infringing on the others' space. ah, the good old days. i was horrid. we provoked each other. now, we're quite close. i love her dearly.

and i am SO GLAD she has a blog :) it will be great to keep up with her.

won't you go say hello?

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Sunday, March 30, 2008
recent crochet projects

i've completed two crochet projects in the past month, and i tell you what, they've been fun. i'm pretty sure there's nothing better than making something for a baby girl. i have a new niece, on spencer's side. i just met her the other day. she is darling -- they call her annie.

of course this necessitated a baby blanket. here we have it. the pattern is called a Baby Ripple Afghan. i think next time i would do 2 solid colors instead of the variegated yarn.

the blanket is made of a bunch of long strips, then stitched together.

here it is mid-assembly:

and then all together:
and unfolded:

and then i came across this baby hoodie and i just couldn't resist. i went with plain pink.

and then this is the back of it:
the pom-pon is cute, but was ill-fated.

her parents were kind enough to put it on her, even though it is a bit too big right now. we can get the general idea, right?
adorable. she's just the cutest.

we had to get spencer in for a picture, as well:
that's all she wrote.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

I ran into a great article -- would be especially interesting for those who love music. it's mostly a social experiment, and gave me a lot to think about. go here and check it out. tell me what you thought about it.

this made me think --

1) would i have stopped to listen? i think so. BH (before headaches)? probably not. i would probably have been in too much of a hurry to slow down. but these days, i've got plenty of spare time. listening to music may increase my pain, but i've found that there are things worth extra pain, and a little extra beauty is well worth it.

2) why are we so quick to judge a person's worth by their location and surroundings? why do we assume a street musician is not as worthwhile as another person -- or is it just the discomfort of not wanting to acknowledge those who are worse off and begging for money?

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Friday, March 28, 2008
a movie meme

Ripped off from Blackbird....

Bold the ones you've seen; italicize the ones you've seen part of.

1. The Godfather (1972)
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) beautiful movie.
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
5. Pulp Fiction (1994) could not get into it.
6. Schindler’s List (1993)
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
8.The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
9. Casablanca (1942) can't believe i haven't seen this. i'm ashamed.

10. Seven Samurai (1954)
11. Star Wars (1977)
12. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) i love the LOTR
13. 12 Angry Men (1957)
14. Rear Window (1954)
15. Goodfellas (1990) i didn't really get this movie.

16. Cidade de Deus (2002)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) See #12.
19. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
20. The Usual Suspects (1995)
21. Psycho (1960)
22. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
23. Fight Club (1999)
24. Citizen Kane (1941)
25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) that is one messed up movie.
26. North by Northwest (1959)
27. Memento (2000)
28. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
29. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
30. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
31. The Matrix (1999) -- keanu reeves. seriously.
32. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
33. There Will Be Blood (2007) seriously? no.
34. Se7en (1995) another really messed up movie. i may have seen all of it. can't remember. i think i may have blocked it out of my memory.
35. Apocalypse Now (1979)
36. Taxi Driver (1976)
37. American Beauty (1999) beautiful cinematography.
38. Léon (1994)
39. Vertigo (1958)
40. Amelie (2001) a beautiful film.
41. American History X (1998)
42. No Country for Old Men (2007)
43. The Departed (2006)
44. Paths of Glory (1957)
45. M (1931)
46. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
47. Chinatown (1974)
48. The Third Man (1949)
49. Leben der Anderen, Das (2006) The Lives of Others
50. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) i remember thinking it was weird, but good. i liked it.
51. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
52. Alien (1979) no thank you.
53. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
54. Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)

55. The Shining (1980) what could i possibly say about this movie? there is nothing.
56. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) Spirited Away
57. The Pianist (2002)
58. Double Indemnity (1944)
59. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
60. Forrest Gump (1994)
61. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
62. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
63. L.A. Confidential (1997)
64. Boot, Das (1981)
65. Requiem for a Dream (2000) cannot recommend this movie.
66. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
67. Untergang, Der (2004)
68. Aliens (1986) didn't we already have this one? was there another alien movie on here?
69. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
70. Raging Bull (1980)
71. Metropolis (1927)
72. Rashômon (1950)
73. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) i feel lucky to have not seen any of the terminator movies.
74. Modern Times (1936)
75. Hotel Rwanda (2004) painful, beautiful, and difficult to watch. one of those movies i'll probably never watch again but am glad to have seen.
76. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) i actually love this movie. i think it's hilarious and that the music is great.
77. Sin City (2005)
78. Rebecca (1940) ?? may or may not have seen this movie. can't decide.
79. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
80. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
81. All About Eve (1950)
82. Some Like It Hot (1959) so funny. i need to own this.

83. City Lights (1931)
84. Amadeus (1984) i'm a pianist, how could i NOT see this movie? it's impossible, i tell you.
85. Vita è bella, La (1997)

86. On the Waterfront (1954)
87. The Great Escape (1963)
88. Touch of Evil (1958)
89. The Prestige (2006) i thought this was a fun movie. :) i think blackbird and i have completely opposite movie tastes. except we both hate horror movies.
90. The Elephant Man (1980)
91. Jaws (1975)
92. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
93. The Sting (1973)
94. Nuovo Paradiso (1988)

95. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
96. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) crazy.
97. The Apartment (1960)
98. Braveheart (1995) a really intense movie. loved it.
99. Blade Runner (1982)

100. The Great Dictator (1940)
101. Strangers on a Train (1951)
102. Batman Begins (2005)
103. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

104. Ladri di biciclette (1948) Bicycle Thieves
105. Salaire de la peur, Le (1953) Wages of Fear
106. High Noon (1952)
107. Ran (1985)
108. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
109. The Big Sleep (1946)
110. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

111. Notorious (1946)
112. Back to the Future (1985)

113. Fargo (1996)
114. Oldboy (2003)
115. Unforgiven (1992) i actually watched this edited, and it was so chopped up it was hard to follow. sooo i kind of feel like i didn't see the whole thing.
116. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
117. Donnie Darko (2001)
118. Ratatouille (2007)
119. Mononoke-hime (1997)
120. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
121. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) possibly the most violent movie i've ever seen.
122. Yojimbo (1961)
123. Per qualche dollaro in più (1965)
124. The Green Mile (1999) i thought this was a great movie.
125. Million Dollar Baby (2004) haven't seen the end.
126. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) my husband loves these movies. i like them pretty well -- as action movies go. :)
127. Notti di Cabiria, Le (1957)
128. Gladiator (2000)
129. Battaglia di Algeri, La (1966) The Battle of Algiers.
130. Annie Hall (1977)
131. Die Hard (1988)
132. Into the Wild (2007)
133. Ben-Hur (1959) i remember watching this as a kid, especially the chariot race scene.
134. The Deer Hunter (1978)

135. The Sixth Sense (1999)
136. It Happened One Night (1934)
137. The General (1927)
138. Platoon (1986)

139. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
140. Life of Brian (1979)
141. The Killing (1956)
142. Smultronstället (1957) Wild Strawberries
143. Amores perros (2000) Love's a B'tch
144. Finding Nemo (2003)
145. Diaboliques, Les (1955)
146. The Incredibles (2004) Edna. and guest. hilarious. i love this movie.
147. V for Vendetta (2005)
148. The Wild Bunch (1969)
149. Heat (1995)
150. Children of Men (2006)
151. Brief Encounter (1945)
152. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
153. Juno (2007)
154. The Princess Bride (1987) classic. i love it. Sooooo quotable.
155. 8½ (1963)
156. The Graduate (1967)
157. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
158. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
159. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
160. The Big Lebowski (1998) i feel like everyone loves this movie. i just didn't get it.
161. Crash (2004/I)

162. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
163. Stand by Me (1986)
164. Gandhi (1982)
165. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
166. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
167. Snatch. (2000)
168. Harvey (1950)
169. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) ugh.
170. The African Queen (1951)
171. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
172. The Thing (1982)
173. Trainspotting (1996)
174. Gone with the Wind (1939) i love this movie. and the book, for that matter.
175. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
176. Wo hu cang long (2000) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
177. Belle et la bête, La (1946)
178. The Gold Rush (1925)
179. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
180. Groundhog Day (1993) in italian, too!
181. The Conversation (1974)
182. American Gangster (2007)
183. Scarface (1983)
184. Patton (1970)
185. Duck Soup (1933)
186. Toy Story (1995)
187. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)

188. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
189. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
190. The Terminator (1984)
191. Cabinet des Dr. Caligari., Das (1920)
192. Sleuth (1972)
193. The Hustler (1961)

194. Umberto D. (1952)
195. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
196. Stalker (1979)
197. Glory (1989) beautifully written score
198. Ed Wood (1994)
199. King Kong (1933)
200. Grindhouse (2007)
201. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
202. The Exorcist (1973)
203. The Lion King (1994)
204. Hotaru no haka (1988)
205. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
206. Spartacus (1960)
207. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
208. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
209. The Lost Weekend (1945)
210. Stalag 17 (1953)
211. Magnolia (1999)
i remember it was one of the strangest and most thought provoking movies i'd seen at the time.
212. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
213. Lola rennt (1998) Run Lola Run
214. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
215. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
216. Frankenstein (1931)
217. Out of the Past (1947)
218. Big Fish (2003)
219. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
220. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
221. Casino (1995)
222. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
223. Toy Story 2 (1999)
224. Mystic River (2003)
225. Du rififi chez les hommes (1955)
226. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
227. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
228. Hot Fuzz (2007)
229. A Christmas Story (1983)
230. Ikiru (1952)
231. Mou gaan dou (2002)
232. Manhattan (1979)
233. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
234. Young Frankenstein (1974) -- one of my dad's favorite movies, watching it always reminds me of him.
235. Dial M for Murder (1954)
236. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
237. Rope (1948)

238. Once (2006)
239. Roman Holiday (1953) on my list of audrey hepburn movies to own...
240. Quatre cents coups, Les (1959) The 400 Blows
241. The Searchers (1956)
242. In Cold Blood (1967)
243. Ying xiong (2002)
244. His Girl Friday (1940) ?? not sure.
245. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

246. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
247. Samouraï, Le (1967)
248. Strada, La (1954)
249. Harold and Maude (1971) weird movie.
250. Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972) Aguire, The Wrath of God

a very interesting list. i wonder who made it. let me know if you do this at your place!

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Monday, March 24, 2008
new hair!

that's right - new hair again.

i took my own pictures, so they're not very.....good. but i think you can get the general idea. hopefully yes. here's the side view.and kind of the front view. my muum (i saw her yesterday for easter) said she liked it, but i looked like a completely different person.

about this point in the picture taking process i realized i should be smiling.
ignore that thing growing out of the side of my head. i don't know what's going on there.
and now a little bit from the top-ish.
and really the top -- the blond color is the same, the black chunks are actually a blue-black. it looks more blueish purplish in the sunlight. and the underneath part of my hair is that same black color, as well.

i mainly look like a fish here.
bad angle.

but the shirt is great, right? it was an Easter present from my MIL -- next week spencer and i will get a picture of us in our cute matching clothes.

that's it for the new hair -- i like it, and am glad to have a change. : )


Tuesday, March 18, 2008
ugly shoe alert

we're done talking about chicago for now! i will be going back in a few weeks, although not to be admitted to the hospital, just for a follow up appointment.

meanwhile, i happened upon some of the ugliest shoes EVER. imagine if crocs were made during the 70s -- a disco croc, as it were. truly heinous.

these are brought to us courtesy of dr. scholls:
these gems are called dr. scholl's dance. ....i don't even know what to say. they make me want to cry. the good people at dr. scholl's have so much power to do good, why have they chosen to use their shoe-making prowess for evil? have you seen their exercise sandals? i think they're way cute:
simple, preppy, cute.

but then this monstrosity -- this PLATFORM CROC. where did this idea come from and how did it make it to market? most bewildering of all, people are buying it and LIKING it! don't believe me? feast your eyes on the comments here. "My only regret is that I did not buy two pair..."

that just about blows my mind.

and in a similar vein, we have the dr. scholls harmony
these have the potential to be slightly less hideous, since they don't have that irridescent strap, but somehow i hate them just as much.

please tell me you aren't buying these. please tell me these shoes are as ugly as i think they are. 39 dollars?! 49 dollars? that's even more tragic.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008
chicago post -- part 3

i think this is the last one.

here i am having a DHE infusion:
good times. and here's an even worse picture of the same thing.
i'm obviously expounding on some point of immense importance.

this is my room -- it was *tiny*
i did have one of those beds where you could make either end life up or whatever, that was kind of nice. unfortunately, it felt like a piece of hard styrofoam covered in plastic. not my favorite.
and there's my little window -- they had 3 different lights in the room, which was nice, one big overhead one (never on), a set of recessed lights (on during the times i was feeling best), and that reading lamp you can see in the photo above (on for the nurse to put in or change my IV). a very good plan for a headache wing.

and lastly, here is the best view from the hospital:
i was at Saint Joseph's hospital, and it overlooks lake michigan. very pretty. the hospital has its own floor just for headache patients, and while i was there we had classes and although i didn't learn a lot of new information, i did learn some new information. and i was reminded of a lot of things i knew. it's important to reprocess them and maybe bring them back to the forefront of my mind now and again.

i've still been up and down with headache pain since i got home; yesterday and today haven't been good, probably because of the storms coming through. i'm hoping that's the reason, and that it's not a real setback. hoping that once the storms move through i'll go back to having some good hours again.

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Friday, March 14, 2008
chicago part 2 -- headache business

hello again!

here i am again on my own -- going down the only road i've ever known!

people, i've been listening to music again. it's like a revelation. ah, i love it. i miss it.

back on topic.

so i won't bore you with all the details of the appointment. but suffice it to say that the doctor heard all about my headaches, the history of them, and the everyday-ness of them.

after all that, he decided he'd change basically all my medicines. 2 or 3 have remained the same, but most are changed. i was a bit nervous about changing one particularly - the tegretol is one of the only things i've gotten relief from on a daily basis. it also was controlling the seizure disorder.

but this doctor has dealt with many patients like me, whose migraines and headaches are resistant to treatment. i'm willing to try anything, you know -- it's not a lifetime commitment, just a commitment to try something for a while.

so i went into the hospital, and i went off the old meds, and slowly onto the new meds. surprisingly, there are even more pills than there were before. i have magnesium, a couple anti-seizure, a sedative, an anti-psychotic, a beta-blocker, anti-depressant, and magnesium. so wow. but like i said. the man has done this before, and seen good results before. oftentimes the key for cracking this is in combinations of meds and other treatments.

so those are the meds -- while i was in the hospital, the first days were spent with DHE infusions every 8 hours. i was hating the IV (even more than the rest of the stay), but enjoying the relief the infusions brought. they also brought a great deal of nausea, the first anti-nausea drug didn't work. but we got a hold on that and it was smooth sailing for a while. then after 3 days, the course of DHE was done, and it was time to start trying other things -- the ones i remember offhand were depacon, norflex, benadryl & inapsin, and magnesium..... eh, that's all i can think of. so the only one of those that offered any relief was magnesium. that was surprising because i had tried (for 3 months) daily magnesium tablets without any results. but these magnesium infusions brought a great deal of relief. so once we figured that out, we started those every 8 hours.

as the stay progressed, we started to see this change -- instead of waking up every morning with some of the worst pain of the day, i wake up with the lowest pain a 3 or 4 out of 10. my headaches have NEVER in the whole of the past 3 years gone down (without painkillers or triptans) that low. so that's major. they only stay low for a few hours BUT it is progress.

progress is progress and we haven't had much of that before now, have we? so while it's frustrating to see my pain levels climb through the day, i need to try and remain grateful for the good time and the things i can get done doing those good hours.

one of the other things i've been doing since i got back is waking up a lot earlier -- i'm trying to wake up at the same time everyday. i've done that once before without any results. but it'll be much easier to do when i feel good in the mornings. also, i learned about biofeedback and will be practicing that everyday for 20 minutes. at first, even though i was achieving the goals (physically) of biofeedback, i wasn't seeing any results on my headache. HOWEVER, a few days before i left i started seeing some relief from using biofeedback. not a lot, but some.

so that's the deal! give yourself a major pat on the back if you've made it this far. :) and thanks for all your positive thoughts and prayers. they were greatly appreciated.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Chicago post! part 1

and so i'm back! from outer space!

no, just kidding.

but i am back from chicago! and out of the hospital! i can't decide if the best part of being out of the hospital is

a) having no IV
b) the food
c) my bed/pillows/sheets/blankets
d) being w/my husband again
e) seeing my sister and her kids
f) being reunited with my good friend, mr. laptop.

really, it's just fabulous.

it's great to be back.

what was surprisingly UNgreat was the sheer volume of reading that awaited me.....

181 + 56 unread emails = 237

aaaand let's not forget blog entries. google reader just says i have 1000+ to catch up on. i think it's their way of saying 'don't even try, you've passed the point of no return'. so i'm still deciding what to do on that front. maybe read the most recent of everyone's entries? that seems like a cop-out. we shall see.

so there was really only one night i was out and about in chicago -- spencer and i went to a great place called renaldi's for some deep dish pizza. we were hoping to make it over to gino's east for their legendary pizza, but by the time we were in town, we were ravenous and not willing to schlep across town. another time.

yummm....lots of cheese is hiding under that sauce.

there you can kinda see it.

and here's spencer working on his:
we didn't totally finish the pizza.

and here's pictures of us, which were actually taken to show the arches behind us. they were very interesting.

i look like an idiot.

tomorrow -- tune in for the information you all actually *wanted*. am i fixed? (short answer: no)

are there improvements? (short answer: yes)

i will tell you much more and all about the hospital -- i'm off to catch up on email and blogs!

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Saturday, March 01, 2008
Writing from the hospital

I'm surprised and pleased to be able to make a blog entry. I don't have my laptop with me -- I'm here in the hospital -- but Spencer agreed to type up an entry for me if I wrote one out. And so I'm writing!

I miss reading all your blogs. I feel out of the loop. But I'll go ahead and tell you what I'm up to.

My doctor's appointment on Thursday went well, and my doctor said he thought we could do a lot to improve the situation. I'm hopeful, but my expectations still aren't high -- I've heard more than one Dr. tell me they could fix this, and end up being wrong.

So I'm in the hospital -- they have a floor just for headache patients here. I have done a biofeedback session, and will do more everyday until I leave. I will also be seeing their physical therapist sometime soon.

The first night I slept badly, that made my first full day hard. Last night's sleep was better, and today has been better. My doctor said I'd be in for probably a week, but on Monday we'll be able to determine when I can go home.

The hope is that some pain free time will help give my body a running start on the new preventative drugs.

Hopefully that answers any questions you might have -- I'll be back blogging soon!

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.



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