Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holidays! Wedding! Doctor Who!

Some thoughts

  • "The Day of the Doctor" rocked. It needs a full review, but I need to watch "An Adventure in Space and Time" So I can comment on the 50th as a whole...
  • ... because the 50th isn't just the one special, it's also the docudrama mentioned above, the radio drama (which sadly I have no way to experience) AND the amazing spoof "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot" which is probably the most fantastic thing ever for a Whovian and Go Watch It Now.
  • First official holiday with the In-Laws-To-Be is this weekend and so I'm going to be away from the blog for a bit. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
  • My mother-in-law-to-be surprised me by driving in from two states away to attend my wedding shower this weekend.
  • My aunts, cousin and sister threw me an absolutely amazing shower, complete with miniature china teacups and tons of gluten-free goodness.
  • I was surrounded by the love of 30 women in person and more in spirit who God has placed as blessings in my life. The presents were amazing, but even more wonderful is the fact that I will be reminded of this love every time I see one of their gifts.
  • I'm trying to get as many thank yous done before I leave tomorrow morning... and pack... and, gosh, so many other things. Getting married is crazy and wonderful and there's only 51 days until I get to marry Nathan... I hope I can stay sane until then! 

Friday, November 22, 2013


I just finished reading this book called "Moloka'i" by Alan Brennert. It tells the story of young Rachel, a girl who is diagnosed with leprosy in Hawaii in the late 1800's. Though just five years old, she is torn from her family and sent to the leper settlement on the island of Molokai to live out the rest of her life.

But rather than give into death, the inhabitants of Moloka'i and their caretakers choose to celebrate life, strive after a cure, and look past the deformities of the body to the realities of the soul. Rachel grows up and wrestles with questions of religion, sexuality and family just as all humans do, in a rapidly changing world.

The discovery of this book was the result of a church rummage sale, and I've had it floating around my room for a few months. Although it was a New York Times Bestseller, I'd never heard of it before, but the premise was interesting, and I was curious to learn more about Hawaii's history. Although this is set after the death of Father Damian, his legacy is imprinted on the island, and Mother Marianne is a character in the book. Brennert does a superb job of writing respectful portrayals of the different religious backgrounds of all his characters - Catholic, Protestant, Morman, Hawaiian, and Buddist. 

Life in the midst of death also means the creation of life, and leprosy doesn't bar the characters from having normal sexual lives. However there are a few scenes that make this book only suitable for adult readers. There is also a plotline involving a transgender character, which at first may seem an odd interjection, but in it's resolution you understand why it was an important part of telling a story of a leper colony. 

Looking for a good book to read over Christmas break? I'd recommend this one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sound of a Bridal Entrance

Who knew picking the right music was going to be so hard? Or that I would be so picky? Everything else about the wedding has come together fairly easily, but choosing the bridal entrance music is just about giving me a headache. I have this nagging feeling that there is a piece of music I'm forgetting that would be absolutely perfect. The problem is I have no clue what it could be. It's driving me nuts!

We've picked some of the pieces though, I'm just a little stressed because I have to get the selections to our musicians soon so that they can practice.

I'm not a huge fan of the traditional bridal entrance selections, but I also don't like any of the non-traditional stuff either. I keep going "that's nice, but..." and there's always a reason why I'm not sold on it. Which makes me feel really picky. I can't visualize myself walking down the aisle to anything I've listened to so far. People have been giving me suggestions too, but honestly hearing "I saw this at a wedding once!" doesn't do wonders for my individualistic tendencies. Which is lame because I really do appreciate help!

I wonder if part of this is because I'm so visually and kinetically wired. Audio is harder for me to process, and I most appreciate music that I have an emotional connection to via story or culture (I like ethnic instrumentals better than traditional classical). Unfortunately, picking something with lyrics isn't going to work for the wedding we have planned. And the movie scores I like are - well, a little too dramatic/foreboding/sad for a happy wedding day!

So yeah, that's what this bride-to-be is going through today. I'll get back to broadcasting some nice tv reviews soon.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Snowstorm Stories

 The first snowstorm of the year hit us Tuesday night. Thanks to my weather app on my new phone I was able to track the progress all day, but although the start time moved from 3 to 7, and the number of estimated inches dropped from 4-6 to 3-5, I knew it was still going to be more stress than it was worth to drive myself to my premarital counseling appointment.

Thankfully the timing was such that Nathan could drive out, eat supper with me, and we could go into the appointment together, and my father graciously agreed to come pick me up afterwards. We set off and the snow was coming down, but although Nathan had to drive carefully, it wasn't extremely scary. The roads were snowy, but not slick.

We got to our appointment, delved into stuff with our Pastor, and then I got a text from my Dad. Our power had gone out! The county electric was working on it, but there was no telling when we were going to have heat, light or running water again.

So I got home and my sister was practically buzzing with excitement as she ran around lighting candles. Normally lighting candles in our bedrooms is verboten, but now we got to light as many as we needed. We just had to be careful. Thankfully I had quite a nice stash of pretty safe candles that we were able to set up.

Thanks to my new phone, I was able to take pictures of the cool ambiance and upload them to the internet right away. Which was bizarre, to say the least!

However before I had a chance to start straining my eyes reading in the low light, the power came back on. It was still a bit chilly, but at least we could flush the toilet!

It was all pretty worth it though when I woke up the next morning to a gorgeous winter wonderland outside my window.

Even for this far north, it's really unusual to get snow this early. Even more unusual for it to stay, and there was still snow on the ground when the sun set today, almost 48 hours after it had started. I'm a little worried about what this means for the rest of the winter, but at least after I get through the next 70 days I won't have to worry about driving through bad weather to see Nathan!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Self - Congratulations on a New Phone

So I got a new phone. I feel like I should say "I'm finally in the 21st Century!" but considering that we're already 13 years into the century and how phones have progressed during that time, it would hardly convey exactly how awesome my phone is.

It's not an iPhone. I'm one of those people for whom Apple software just does not work intuitively. When I've been on Macs or iPhones I get so confused. I've finally trained the older members of my family to go to my other siblings (who have ipads, phones and macbooks) for Apple help. I'm a Windows girl.

Not to mention that fiance has had a Windows phone that I've been able to test drive, and the overall functionality and the navigational system had me very impressed. So it was important when we were figuring out our phone plans that we pick something that had a Windows option. We both went with the Nokia Lumia 521, which is a lower end phone (just $99 at Wal-Mart right now). The downside is that it doesn't have a great camera (neither in pixels or forwards facing), but otherwise it works really well, and even the camera is such a step up from what I was working with that it's pretty awesome for me.

Amazon picture looks almost like my phone - my layout is teal.
And it was important to get a cheaper phone, because we were switching to T-Mobile's $30 a month unlimited Text&Web plan. T-Mobile has decent coverage in our area, and neither of us are big phone talkers (deaf here! Engaged to a deaf girl there!) so the 100 minutes of talk that come with the plan are plenty for us. I know there are going to be times when I miss Verizon's coverage, but paying twice as much per month simply was not a good option for us (and would still be less data than the T-Mobile plan). So far I've found the T-Mobile data to be very fast, although we've had a couple times when texts were delayed or lost... but we think that was weather related.

Of course, having the same phone has been a bit confusing, but I just got a cool case for mine. It's not a super heavy-duty rubber one, but then it's not a fragile Apple phone that needs the protecting. It's a $7.50 soft plastic case I got from Amazon. It's cheap, but it's what I need right now and it's very pretty. The soft plastic had me concerned at first, but then my sister pointed out that it would better absorb any impacts, so that works in it's favor after all.

So we'll see how I feel after I've had the phone and the plan a year, but overall I'm pretty optimistic about the cellular situation. (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to access the internet anywhere.)