Thursday, October 29, 2009

Its Been Awhile

Wow, its been quite awhile since my last blog. A lot has happened in that time, Im not sure even what my last blogs were about, so I hope I dont repeat myself at all.

Id like to start off by dedicating a small portion of my blog to my Grandma. We're quickly approaching the 6 month mark, life feels so different without her around. I sat down with a cooking question yesterday, flipping through my betty crocker cookbook. I question I wanted answered was a simple one, one that I would have asked my grandma about.

I still miss her so much, it was particularly hard when the boys came back from Arizona. Almost every dinner they spoke about her, it was unbearable at first. Tears would come to my eyes at the dinner table. After a week or two I started getting used to it, even though it effected me I encouraged the kids to keep it up.

They have so many wonderful memories with her, fond memories that they will never forget. It keeps her alive in many ways, the dark side of this is that it keeps her death fresh in our minds as well.

Here and there, generally about once a week, Tristan still has breakdowns about her, he just starts crying and comes to me and tells me how much he misses her...

Still whenever I bring up her death, my eyes glaze over, tears beginning to form, then I let out a breath that I feel I have been holding for months, and I go about my day.

What else can we do but go about our days. This is not over though, the effects of her passing will remain sensitive for quite some time, this december in particular will be very difficult to bear.

My grandma's birthday, I believe her 68th, will be coming up on December 1st. She was born 6 days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. I believe her birth name may have been Kathleen Rae Harris, Harris was her biological fathers last name, but I dont know if it was the name she was given at birth. It may have been Long, which is my Great Grandmother's maiden name. Later she was adopted and I believe her name became Bircher after that, but now I feel as though I am rambling. We'll save family history until after I have researched my grandma's papers a bit more.

I started school, Im about halfway through my first quarter. I am taking just one class this quarter, my advisor suggested I start small so that I get used to doing things online and get used to being in school again. I've been doing decently, Im a little behind on my homework at the moment, but I havent exceeded any deadlines yet. Ive done very well on all of my quizes so far, the only negative thing would be my first major test. I didnt do very well on it, I was very frustrated and disappointed.

Forgive me, I must rant about this. Is it more important that I learn how to use formulas or how to remember formulas? Ive always been really good at math, but never good at remembering formulas. I find it frustrating that some Math Teachers give you the formulas for Tests and some dont. Shouldn't the point be for me to know how to use it? I could have scored much much higher on this test if only there had been a small non-descript listing of the formulas we had learned in this section.

Its not like you're giving out the answers. The formulas are merely tools, the goal is to figure out how to use those tools effectively and properly. If I ever needed a formula I guarantee I will be in a situation that I can easily find it on the internet or in a book, in which case through my Math Classes I will remember how to USE the formula.

But my current teacher doesnt seem to think that same way. And while I passed my math test I estimate that I could have scored 15%-20% higher if I hadnt had to summon the formulas from memory.

Either way I am just going to put extra effort into getting those formulas into my mind, hopefully they stick long enough to take the next two tests and the final. But I can honestly tell you I wont have any need to remember these formulas at any given time in my life. Im not saying I wont need to use them, I may need to.

Next quarter I will take another math class and an english class. I wanted to start with some basic courses as they are generally very structured and that will help ease me back into school very well.

I've been getting more into boardgames this year, I've purchased several really good ones that I recommend. Here is a quick list of 3 that I very highly recommend that are sitting right next to my desk: Carcassonne, Smallworld, Ticket to Ride.

Ok, so I will be just talking about random things for a bit.

First off, Michael Bumpus, former Cougar player was dumped from the Seahawks at the beginning of the year. Brandon Gibson was picked up by the Philidelpia Eagles in the draft, he saw some good play time in the preseason.

The Cougs are having another bad year, but we found a new person to lead our team. We have started a True Freshman Quarterback, Tuel, the last 3 games, he has a long way to go but he is showing some serious promise. WSU hasnt started a True Freshman since Drew Bledsoe, that shows us all that we have some faith in him and that we are also desperate for some improvement.

We are getting excited for Cougar Basketball to start up soon, Bennett left us for another team, so this will be our new Coaches first year, we'll see how things go.

My reading started to really slow down again, I had been doing good for awhile, but it started taking me months to read a single book again. Finally I finished a book and I decided I needed something easy to read that I know I enjoyed. So I picked up some Star Wars books. I hadnt read any Star Wars since High School, its the male equivilent of romance novels. I got through about 5 star wars books in 7-8 weeks and now Im taking a break from those to read the new Dan Brown novel that just came out.

I loved the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, I've been eagerly awaiting Brown's latest novel. I am only about 60 pages into The Lost Symbol so far, but I was hooked by page 20. I can't wait to get through this book.

I like the movie The Da Vinci Code, its not nearly as good as the book was. I also like the movie Angels & Demons, I think it was alot more exciting than the first movie. After watching the Harry Potter movies, when I read those books I always pictured the characters as if they looked like the actors from the movies. Even though I think Tom Hanks plays a great Robert Langdon, I dont picture him when I read these books (yes, The Lost Symbol followed the same character, but this time in Washington DC).

Something I learned recently has really piqued my interest. I did not realize the the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was not Egyptian. I was shocked to find out she was Greek, or more specifically Macedonian. She was apparently a direct descendant of one of Alexander the Great's captains. I also did not know that her first born son was said to be the son of Julius Caesar, prior to her love affair with Marc Antony.

Well I guess I should talk about Television. The shows I am watching right now are Fringe, Castle, Supernatural, Flash Forward, Heroes, Californication, Smallville, and Dollhouse. In a couple of months I will add Lost to that list as well.

Fringe is still going strong, more interesting than ever actually. Castle has been hit and miss so far this season, but the episodes that have been a hit have been on par with the best episodes from last season.

Supernatural is still an addiction for me, Samantha watched the whole series on DVD with me and Ive got her hooked on it too now.

Flash Forward is a new show this year, I get more impressed with each episode, I like the actors, I like the characters, I like the mystery, so far so good.

Heroes I like better than the last two seasons so far, but I still dont think they have recaptured the magic. I half think they have the ability, but are held back by the mistakes they made the last two years with their continuity.

Smallville is going good, Im surprised its lasted this long, I still think it suffers from the lack of Lex Luthor, he was a huge part of the puzzle for Smallville, both the actor and the character. So many of the storylines they have used would be enhanced if he was still involved.

Californication has been F'ing awesome this year. The first two seasons are just plain amazing and the third is shaping up to be just as good or better.

Dollhouse is ok, I want to like it more than it deserves. I am behind on episodes, I have 3 on my DVR waiting to be watched. I may drop it soon, depending on how those episodes go, we'll see. He has made some amazing shows in the past, this one has potential.

Overall recommendations, I would say first and foremost Supernatural. The actors and storylines are great, it gets better each season. second I would say Californication, this show is serious, hilarious, sexy, and just plain awesome from beginning to end. Then I would say a 2 way tie between Flash Forward and Fringe.

Ive seen lots of great movies this year, but im not going to talk about that right now. A brief statement about the 2nd Transformers movie that came out recently though. Visually this movie is amazing, I was throuroughly entertained by the action in it. The storyline was enough to keep me into it, but when I sit down and think about it, I think they pissed all over anyone who is a fan of the 80s transformer cartoon, they could have done so much better. I think the movie was cheesy as hell and while I still like it, I also find it insulting.

Gosh its been so long since my last blog Im having trouble remembering everything I want to talk about.

Things are still going really well between Samantha and I. We are coming up on 5 months soon. She is spending Thanksgiving with my family and I am spending Christmas with hers.

We went out to eat on our three month and we dressed up, my profile pic is from that night.

She gave me an amazing gift. Let me start by saying that shortly after my grandma passed we all met up at my Great Great Grandma Long's grave to spread my Grandma's ashes, along with my family I was fortunate to have the support of my friend Sarah as well.

My mom brought roses for all of us to lay on my grandma's grave, before laying mine down, I plucked a petal from the rose and kissed the petal. I wanted to keep it. Well it dried in my car and I was afraid of touching it, so I would warn people about it so they wouldnt crush it accidently.

Samantha got a little tiny wooden box and decorated it and snuck this dried rose petal out of my car and put it into this box and gave it to me as a present on our 3 month anniversary. It was an amazing gift. Mine didnt even hold a candle to it.

But just to mention what my gift was, we weren't planning on eating anywhere fancy, we just wanted to basically go out and have a date night to celebrate our 3 months together. But I developed a plan for my gift. I waited until I believe either the day before or the day of and half suggested we dress up all fancy-like for our date, even though we weren't going anywhere fancy. It was all part of a bigger plan to get a staff member at the restaurant to take some pictures of us all dressed up, I gave Samantha a really nice picture from for our 3 month, and a card with a little something written in it.

The boys are doing really well, they are both in cub scouts now. Tristan is going to start basketball in just about 2 weeks. Jadon's age group starts in January.

I just had parent/teacher conferences today, both the boys are doing really well.

Jadon has been struggling with his reading, the way they measure reading, Jadon was at a 14 reading level at the end of last year, they want the average 1st grader to be at lvl 18. He made some good progress last year but he struggled quite a bit. Well, after summer time his teacher said he had dropped from a 14 to an 8 reading level, it was an alarming difference.

We worked hard, I rearranged our home study schedule, and now he has jumped up to an 18 level, almost a 20. Not quite where he needs to be yet, but we have been amazed at his progress and we think he is starting to get on track. He just finished his first chapter book and he is really really excited.

He is most excited about Math and Writing.

Tristan is doing well, his teacher said he is one of the best readers in his 1st grade class. His scores on the various reading assessments showed that he was at more than double the skill level of the average 1st grader. Tristan only reads chapter books at home now, he has been doing really well.

Im not sure Ive got much else to say tonight, between school, family, work, and that special someone I cant say Ill post another blog soon, but I want to keep posting about once every week or two if I can fit it in.

Levante el vaso para muchos sale el sol más, beben de muchos conjuntos de más sol

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