Friday, March 15, 2013

The Cutest Baby Ever!

Naturally it's a picture of ME!! That's my mom holding me. (Sorry, it scanned crooked --- I blame the scanner!) Pops recently gave me 3 snapshots from when I was about 6 months old (taken about the time my best friend Lady Chardonnay was born --- I am older if not necessarily wiser).

What's scary is that I look pretty much the same --- cheeks and all --- though I don't generally wear my hair in a top curl anymore. I occasionally wear a Jeannie-style ponytail though!

Not much else going on really. I will shortly head over to the next table to continue work on the vacation scrapbook. I am really excited about getting these scrapbooks done so I can put some major effort into something else.

Last night I ended up entering more data into the family tree which is strangely addicting. Much of this work has already been done by others. I am just bringing it all together in one spiffy computerized format.

I am two generations removed from Greece, about 5 gens from Ireland and about 12 from France. It's all pretty cool!

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Drugs and Alcohol (and other things)

I am taking my 2 week course of antibiotics after the pharmacy and my doctor finally worked out the treatment plan to cure the H. pylori infection. I am now taking 4 pills in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 4 at night. Along with the other 4 I take for various other issues (blood pressure, thyroid and allergies).

I LOATHE taking pills, especially big ones. Ironically, the side effects for all four of the drugs include nausea. Sadly I am experiencing that one three times a day. Ugh.

Another side effect is a "metallic taste" which I also am experiencing. Bleah, bleah, bleah.

One thing I need to avoid while taking one of the medications is alcohol. Now I am not much of a drinker, having about 2 or 3 drinks a year if that. But you know how as soon as someone tells you you can't do something? That's how I feel! Bring on the booze! I am also supposed to avoid any form of alcohol including perfume or cologne. I'll somehow try to manage. :)

Meanwhile I have been using an app from Ancestry.com and filling in the family tree. It is so much easier on the computer because you don't need to cram a bunch of names on a big piece of paper. Ancestry makes you pay a fee to actually look at the records but they give enough of a a peek that I am able to glean quite a bit of information. Once I have done all I can I may need to pay that fee to get the rest of the data.

One of CPA Boy's great-great grandfathers was born in Switzerland. We don't know if that means Swiss or German ancestry though.

I have a lot of my family information to plug in. My mom had done quite a bit of genealogy already. I just need to enter it into the app.

What's crazy is that you end up with so many unanswered questions. Swiss or German? Not sure. Why did people emigrate to the United States?

And another example: One of the sisters of CPA Boy's paternal great-grandfather apparently always lived with her parents. She was one of 8 children. Did she never get an opportunity to marry? Did she feel she needed to stay with her parents? Or??? I don't think we'll ever know because all those people are long gone.

There's a story I learned somewhere along the way in my scrapbook adventures:

  • "How many people here can tell me something about your parents? Raise your hand if the answer is yes."
    • Almost everyone will raise their hand.
  • "How many can tell me something about their grandparents?"
    • Still a majority of hands raised.
  • "How many can tell me something about their great-grandparents?"
    • Very few hands raise.
  • "How many can tell me something about their great-grandparents?"
    • No one raises their hand.
People are forgotten after just 3 or 4 generations! So sad! My mom had this photo of a couple with their 6 children taken sometime in the late 1800s. We don't know who they are! (Anyone recognize them??) We assume they are relatives. Someday that photo will probably be tossed out because there will be no point in keeping a photo of unknown people. (You can see my mom's question mark in the upper left corner.)

I have been working on a vacation scrapbook including all the trips we made as a family from 1999 through 2008. I have finished 4 trips and have about 4 to go.

The picture at the top of this post is from our trip to Disneyland when The Boy was 8. (The scrapbook layout features pictures from Downtown Disney --- the Lego Store --- and some of our meals during the trip.) I know many people take their children to Disneyland when they are toddlers but we chose not to do that. And I think that was the right decision for us.

When I showed The Boy pictures from a private event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a trip taken when I attended a banking conference and brought the boys along) I asked him if he remembered it. He said, "Not really." He was 6 at the time.

He definitely remembers his first trip to Disneyland when he was 8! (I was 12 the first time I went during the first time I moved to California. Yes, I moved to California twice, at 12 and 18.) I did not like the idea of spending money for a trip he wouldn't remember so we waited.

But man, so many people made us feel like ogreish parents for not taking our son to Disneyland sooner!

The Boys are at a hockey game in San Jose tonight so I'm off to park myself in front of the TV for a new episode of "Community" and the Greer Garson/Ronald Colman movie "Random Harvest". An interesting double feature to be sure!

PS: Spell check wants me to change the spelling of "Monterey" to "Monterrey". Lame. The one in Mexico has two R's but the one in California has only one. Guh.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books, Disease and Growing Older

Spring is SO CLOSE!
Let's start with disease! On Friday, February 15 I thought I might have a case of food poisoning. I had awful stomach cramps. I had eaten two cheeseburgers at McDonald's that day so who knows.

The cramps somewhat subsided over the weekend and by Tuesday I felt okay. Then as that week went on I started having cramps for 4 to 5 hours every time I ate.

My birthday was Sunday the 24th and normally we would have gone out to eat at someplace like Outback or The Cheesecake Factory. I felt terrible and we just ate at home: plain grilled chicken breast, a slice of French bread and some fresh mozzarella cheese. Ugh. I was crampy all through the Oscars and couldn't even face the idea of eating any of my birthday cake.

I went to see my doctor on Tuesday and she sent me for blood work. My liver enzyme levels came back really high so she thought I might have hepatitis!

But I don't! Instead I have H. pylori, the bacterium that can cause ulcers. Fun! So I will need to take a course of antibiotics to get rid of it.

Tuesday night was the worst night and since then I've felt back to normal. I can still feel a little rumbling in my stomach though.

Meanwhile, as usual for me, I have been reading my usual mountain of books. Here's a list of the latest pile:

  • Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury by Stephan Pastis
  • Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom (Book 4) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez*
  • House of Holes by Nicholson Baker*
  • Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall*
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis*
  • Legend by Marie Lu*
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu*
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver*
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver*
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
  • Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses and Other Incredibly Critical People by Neil Lavender & Alan Cavaiola*
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • I am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist by Kirk Douglas*
  • Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan*
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi*
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*
Books with asterisks came from the library. I am on a BIG library kick right now! I have 15 books checked out right now.

The books I liked the best were The Book Thief, I am Spartacus! and Redshirts.

The Book Thief takes place in Nazi Germany and has an interesting twist for a Holocaust-related novel. None of the story takes place in the death camps but they are always present in their existence. The book's narrator is Death and he tells Liesel's story. I shed a few tears at the end and there are few books that actually make me cry (Little Women is one of those).

I am Spartacus! was fun because Kirk Douglas is a good storyteller and the whole blacklist era history is just horrifyingly fascinating. I haven't actually seen the movie "Spartacus" in about 25 years though. I will try to catch it again at some point. I forgot that it was an early Stanley Kubrick movie. You always think of him sort of appearing with "2001: A Space Odyssey" but he had directed several things by then (including "Paths of Glory", "Lolita" and "Dr. Strangelove").

Redshirts was a book based on a spaceship very like the Enterprise in "Star Trek". In this story, however, the main characters are not the Kirks, Spocks or Picards but the anonymous crew members in the background. The cover's tag line is "They were expendable...until they started comparing notes."

The new crew members start to notice odd behavior: the captain, his second-in-command officer and the doctor never get killed on away missions but whichever crewman they bring along always dies; crew members hide from the captain when he comes looking for away mission members; and so on. Then there's time travel, humor and a magic box.

If you've ever watched any "Star Trek" episodes and enjoyed them, this book is for you.

Legend and Prodigy are books 1 & 2 of a series, as are Delirium & Pandemonium (Book 3 of this series, called Requiem, is on order at the library) and Shades of Earth was book 3 of a series I started earlier this year. Hooray, a finished series! I think Circus Galacticus is a multi-part series starter too as it ended with all sorts of unanswered questions. If it was a stand-alone book, it was not good. As part of a new series, it is promising.

The Night Circus is one of those books that every book reviewer went gaga over. It was interesting and enjoyable (not a series!) and I enjoyed it but I didn't adore it. The Flight of Gemma Hardy was good. It was a version of Jane Eyre set in the 1960s. My only problem with it was that because I know Jane Eyre pretty well I pretty much knew how it was going to end!

Now it's time to work on another project this afternoon: Disneyland pictures from our vacation in 2001. It will be nice to get caught up one day.