Random (but not really)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where Greatness is Learned

These are some of the wireless networks available from my living room.
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Rocks and Shoals

More bits and pieces.

Yesterday my Great Aunt–my grandmother’s sister–went into the hospital. They’re still not sure what happened, but she should be stepped down to a regular room tomorrow.

Michael’s grandmother is still in the skilled care facility, and her kidney function is still poor.

On a positive note, we just started watching season 6 of Deep Space Nine. My all time favorite.

Everyone needs something to look forward to.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Aziz! Light!

Helped our friend Kim rewire her basement on Saturday. She needed a new outlet for a chest freezer, so it made sense since we were already adding a new breaker and outlet, to go ahead and have more outlets (you can never have too many electrical outlets) and fix some of her lights, so they were all on a switch.

I was startled to discover just how much I’ve finally learned about wiring and electricity and other household maintenance. Michael installed the breaker, cut a length of wire to the junction box and then on for the new outlet, and then said, “Michelle, go ahead and wire up this outlet for me,” and without a second thought I did it.

Then I ran the wire for the second outlet and wired up the second outlet, explaining to Kim everything I was doing, and then helped Kim wire up the third.

Then I realized that I’d managed to do it all without having to ask Michael anything.

I felt so… useful!

As an added bonus, Kim (who does not particularly like Science Fiction) did not kill us, when Michael, Mike, and I (yes, that does get a bit confusing) kept saying, “Aziz! Light!” anytime a flashlight was needed.

But I do think she was starting to consider it.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Quizzy Goodness – The Bible

I think what I found most amusing, was that the last question was, “Do you read the bible” and my answer was “No.”

I just read a lot about religion is all.

Too bad it doesn’t tell me what I missed. I’m pretty sure it was one or both of the “which book follows which book” questions.
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Written by Michelle at 11:50 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Religion & Philosophy  

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just a Bit About Other Things

As I mentioned earlier, Michael’s Grandmother’s health is failing. In fact, that’s an optimistic way of putting it I think. She’s lost kidney function and has refused dialysis. When we traveled to see her, she was barely coherent, and spent most of our visit asleep.

As a small update, she’s been moved into a skilled nursing facility, which is a facility that’s between a hospital and a nursing home. They’re giving her 30 days to show signs of improvement, and then they’re most likely going to place her into hospice.

It’s hard, putting those words down like that. They sound cold and hard–and I suppose in a way they are. They don’t really share the details of the situation, such as how unhappy his grandmother has been since the death of her husband (Michael’s grandfather, just to be clear.)

What do you do with someone who has lost all interest in living?

Theoretically, her depression should have been treated. However, depression in the elderly often goes untreated, so this came less as a surprise and more as a disappointment. For some reason people seem to assume that the elderly should be depressed.

This is, of course, patently false. They elderly should be no more depressed than any average person. However a variety of circumstances, from failing health, to the deaths of friends and spouses, to the loss of independence, to over-medication and drug interactions, conspire to place elders in a fragile state.

And now as my grandmother has moved in with us, I wonder and fear whether I’ll miss the signs if and when they appear. I have knowledge, but that doesn’t mean I’ll know enough to take action.

It’s a hard line to walk, allowing someone to live their own life, and knowing when to take action to improve their quality of life. When someone reaches the state Michael’s grandmother has, where she no longer enjoys life, it seems cruel to take any steps to increase her life span. Yet, wasn’t it our responsibility to keep her from reaching that state in the first place?

Despite all I have read and studied and pondered, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I know what I believe, which is that life is to be valued. But I still don’t know what that means, what actions I should take in response to that belief.

Life is a funny thing. You have to laugh at it. I just don’t know what to do when someone has stopped laughing.

Written by Michelle at 10:55 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Depression  

Curse of the Golden Flower

curse_golden_flower2.jpgMichael and I went to see Curse of the Golden Flower last night. (Why we got that and not Fearless [despite the fact they had a huge poster up for Fearless] is beyond my comprehension.)

It wasn’t bad. But it was even more depressing than The House of Flying Daggers. So it wasn’t precisely what I was in the mood for.

However, the thing that really surprised me was the costuming. The costumes were incredibly lavish. Beyond anything I could have imagined.

And that was really the problem. I simply couldn’t imagine these costumes as fitting into the proposed time period.

curse_golden_flower1.jpgNow if I’m wrong, I’d love to be corrected–I’m fascinated by history, and love to learn little historical details–but the dresses seemed almost Elizabethan to me, what with the smooshed breast look.

Which I found quite distracting, since every time I saw someone trying to do something– anything– in one of those dresses, all I could think was, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” and “How is she not falling out of that?!”

curse_golden_flower3.jpgNor was I sure about the armor. Could someone really fight–and fight well–in that armour? If it was metal–and it certainly looked like metal–wouldn’t have it been too heavy for them to move easily?

The other thing that surprised me was that there was very little marshal arts in this movie. There were huge, giant, monster, gory battle scenes. But very little of the gorgeous hand-to-hand fight scenes that I was expecting. So instead of skill and technique, that I like and find fascinating to watch, I got gore and blood and lots of hacking and slashing.

Which I don’t like.

Additionally, some of the scenes were pretty obviously CGI. Which isn’t bad in and of itself, except that whenever I see CGI battle scenes, I always think, “Look! Orcs! They’re too dumb to run away from the battle!” Which was also distracting.

So, it was interesting, but it was no where near is good as House of Flying Daggers or Hero. Mostly because my disbelief kept being unsuspended.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out and About

Grandmom and I just got back from visiting Andy’s parents, where I got to finally meet Natalie!

Cute! Cute! Cute!

Hard to imagine that Andy of all people has such a cute baby!

Unfortunately, I left the camera in the car, so no pictures. Sorry.

But seriously.

Cute! Cute! Cute!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Battlestar Galactica

I got Michael the mini-series pilot and season one of Battlestar Galactica, so yesterday as a break from watching Deep Space Nine (my all time favorite) with my grandmother, we watched the Battlestar Galactica miniseries.

I realize that this is out of the ordinary for us, since not only is the show not several years old, but they’re still making it. (This is a problem, since we’ll have to watch slowly, or we’ll catch up to the current season and then be done for.)

Aside from too much boinking (did I mention we were watching this with my grandmother?) it wasn’t bad.

What surprised me was how much parts of it reminded me of Firefly. Primarily the space shots and the way they were filmed and cut. It’s funny how I never particularly paid much attention to things like how scenes are shot, until we watched Babylon 5, in which the cinematography of the first season was abysmal (or worse). The I started to pay a bit more attention to things that were good, and things that were bad. Not a lot mind you, because I’m not that interested in filming and direction and all that, but I do find it interesting how the way a scene or show is filmed and scored can make a tremendous difference in the overall feel of the story.

So, they did a good job with that with Battlestar Galactica. I’m not quite sure yet how I feel about the story arc, but I very much liked the writing and story telling I saw so far. Lots of bad things happened, and bad things have consequences.

I like that.

So feel free to tell me whether we’ll continue to enjoy it, but DON’T tell me about the story. We’ve only got season one so far. Plus we’ve got three more seasons of Deep Space Nine to watch with my grandmother, and at some point we have to finsh Farscape. (We started season 3 of Farscape, but got annoyed with the story, and so put that on hold for something we definitely liked.)

At some point we’re going to run out of science fiction to watch on DVD. Not sure what we’re going to do then.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Damn Murphy’s Law

Today’s plans were to finish cleaning the house and to go to the moves. (Although Morgantown never got Fearless in the theaters, we have Curse of the Golden Flower. I will never understand how these things work.)

When Michael got up, the bedroom light had stopped working, and needed to be replaced. When we left the house to go buy a new fixture, there was already an inch of snow on the ground, and it still hasn’t stopped snowing.

So no movie for us. Maybe later–assuming Curse of the Golden Flower stays around that long.

On the plus side: SNOW!

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Life Is What It Is

It’s Saturday morning, and I can’t bring myself to get out of bed.

Normally I love the possibility of the weekend, but now, all I can think of are the tasks that loom before me, things that have remained undone because of work, because of travel, because of who knows why.

It’s not that I’m lazy, but I like–maybe even need–to have a certain amount of down time. Time to myself to do things like read and write. But I haven’t really written in a year. Not really. And my reading has come snatched in bits and pieces.

For the past several weeks, when we get home from work, the days have been so long, and so busy, that I’m too tired to do much more than collapse on the sofa, eat chocolate, and watch a couple of episodes of DS9. Because it’s mindless. Because it requires nothing of me other than to sit and stare and enjoy. And because it’s something we can all do together. I don’t feel like I’m ignoring everyone. It’s an escape we can all make together.

Even now, as I take the time to write this–to do something I love to do–it’s hard to enjoy it, because I’m looking around at all the things undone, and thinking of everything I need to do. Everyone but me is still in bed, so I’m not ignoring anyone with my writing, but the list of tasks is still there: go grocery shopping, finish putting way everything from last weeks travels, clean the house (boy does the house need cleaned), do laundry. All the little tasks that you do all the time, only you do them in bits in pieces during the week, instead of letting them pile up at once.

I don’t know what all this means. I’m tired–but it’s to be expected. Work is incredibly busy right now, but I know things will get better. The situation with Michael’s grandmother will eventually resolve, although none of the possibilities seem to be good ones. And the multiple situations with my own family that are gnawing at my mind will resolve as well, one way or another.

Somehow, I’m going to learn to manage my time. To set aside time for writing. To set aside time for reading. Don’t quite know how I’m going to do it. But I’m going to try.

Written by Michelle at 8:21 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
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