Tuesday, March 31, 2009

25 Random Things

Here are 25 random things about myself:

1. I consider it a good day when I haven’t spilled coffee on myself.
2. I have the worst memory in the world. I can be on my way to do something and forget what it is I was going to do.
3. I thought I was going to be an only child until I was 10, when my brother came along.
4. I never in a million years would have thought I would grow up to be a photogrammetrist and love my job so much. (Most of the time.)
5. My childhood heartthrob was Leonardo DiCaprio. I used to think I could converse with him telepathically.
6. I never really knew what college basketball was until I stepped foot on the KU campus. Then I became obsessed.
7. One of my biggest pet peeves is that no one in Denver seems to know what a turn signal is or how to use it.
8. I love “bad” weather. Rain, snow, sleet…it all puts me in a great mood. I only like sunny days when we are camping.
9. If I ever stop being a photogrammetrist, I want to open my own doggy day care. Cats will be welcome too.
10. I am not good at thinking of random things about myself.
11. At least half of my wardrobe comes from Maurices. I love that store, especially the dressy stuff!
12. I love having visitors at our house because I miss everyone and also, I get to do the Colorado touristy stuff that I love but don’t get to do very often.
13. I probably talk more to my dogs than I do to humans on a daily basis (because my husband works evenings). Dogs are good listeners though, unless they are more interested in chewing on your shoes.
14. I am a text-a-holic. I love sending and receiving text messages. Good thing our text message plan is unlimited…
15. The most stressful time in my life to date was moving to Colorado. It was even more stressful than a year’s worth of wedding planning!
16. I don’t know what I’ll ever do if my tire blows out on the road. I failed my tire quiz in driver’s ed at least 6 times before I passed it from memory. (Further proof of #1.)
17. Food for thought: Where does space end and what’s beyond it?
18. If I had 3 wishes, they would be for a cure for cancer, a cure for diabetes, and for a bazillion more Jurassic Park movies to be made.
19. Both of my basketball teams (Kansas and Purdue) made it to the Sweet 16 this year! Neither made it to the Elite 8. :(
20. It is sad that my supervisor now expects a sassy remark from me when he asks a question. For example:
Todd: Hey Laura, do you happen to know how to program ASCII into Binary?
Me: Sure, Todd. I keep a manual for that in my back pocket.
*It’s a good thing we both have a sense of humor.
21. I don’t like books that make me think. If I’m reading for enjoyment, I’d rather read something that lets my imagination go wild instead of analyzing every sentence.
22. I have the BEST friends and family I could ever ask for. And I don’t tell them that enough.
23. I have spent way too long on this list, so I am going to end it at 23.

Hope you enjoyed this a little bit!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blizzard, Dinner And a Movie

I have gone through a blogging hiatus recently! I really need to update today because of the recent blizzard and weekend activities we have been through. First of all, I want to say thanks to all of you Facebook users who expressed concern over my status update on Thursday. It was something to the effect of “Laura has been stuck in her car for 1.5 hours in a blizzard and isn’t even halfway home!”
Here’s the story: All week, we had been hearing forecasts of a huge snowstorm that would hit Denver on Thursday. When that day rolled around, I got up and went to work as usual. The roads were clear, nothing had happened yet, but Matt let me take the Highlander so I would have 4WD. It started snowing at my work around 9 am. It was a “pretty” snow, with huge flakes falling lightly. An hour later, I looked outside and saw a completely different scene. High winds were blowing snow in a complete white out blizzard and we were all warned to go home early so we wouldn’t get stuck.
Apparently, the rest of Denver was told the same thing. Between the “pretty” snow and the blizzard, Matt had come and switched the cars at my insistence because I was worried about how bad things would get while he was at work so late. So I was now faced with driving home in the Civic, which worried me. However, this turned out to be no bid deal at all. Traffic was barely moving, so I didn’t have the chance to slide or get stuck. I just kind of idled home. It took me close to 2.5 hours on a normal 15 minute commute. I should have stayed at work…the blizzard let up just as I arrived home.
We got between 8 and 10 inches in Centennial, which turned out to be on the lighter side of what other areas around us got. But Friday evening, I had the pleasure of shoveling those 10 inches of now wet snow and ice off the driveway. What a workout!
The snow melted quickly this weekend in the 50 and 60 degree weather, which has been a great blessing for our yard (which is now a swamp)! We really needed the snow melt to get things growing and green again. We had another mini-snow today, about 3 inches. It seems winter has decided to show up after all!
Matt is working this coming weekend, so he took me out for an early birthday celebration on Saturday. We went to a wonderful steakhouse downtown called Sullivan’s. It was very fancy. The waitor asked us what kind of “water service” we wanted. I had never heard that question before. It’s basically a choice between bottled sparkling water or tap water. (We just had the tap water). But we did order a bottle of wine, which Matt sampled like a pro.
We ended up ordering the “Sullivan’s Stimulus Package” which was a 3 course dinner for two, which was reasonably priced. We were so full after our salads, filet minon, mashed potatoes and asparagus that we could barely finish our dessert which was a rich chocolate mousse.
After dinner, we went to a popular dueling piano bar called Sing Sing. I have been to one of these before (in St. Louis) and they are always so much fun. It’s basically two guys playing two pianos and they take requests from the people in the bar. The more you pay them, the better performance they make of your song. Sometimes, people pay them to stop playing a song. :) Also, people pay them to embarrass their friends on their birthday or bachelor/bachelorette party. Luckily, Matt was nice and just let me enjoy the others getting embarrassed.
I ran in to my roommate at KU from my freshman year at Sing Sing. I hadn’t seen her since the end of freshman year. Let’s just say, we were two very different people. Anyhow, we talked for a couple minutes. She and her husband moved to Denver in January. It was fun to see someone I knew!
Last night, Matt and I rented a movie called Changeling. It had a really profound effect on me, but I wouldn’t recommend it for people who can’t watch movies about kidnappings (MOM!). Changeling involves a mother whose child is abducted while she is at work. A corrupt police force tries to convince her that they found her son, but she knows they have the wrong kid and that her son is still missing. The atrocities that the police put on this woman for the sake of hiding their mistake is astounding. Changeling was very disturbing at times but kept my interest for 2.5 hours and I found myself getting emotionally involved. I couldn’t wait to see how the movie ended.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birthday Blog

This week is a big week for birthdays in the family, so I am going to dedicate this post to birthdays! As usual, we are late getting both cards and birthday blogs up and out in time! Here goes…
First up, Matt’s dad’s birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday, Bill! Anyone that knows Bill, also knows how much of a “car fanatic” he is. I remember one of the first times I met Bill. I think it was during one of my visits to KC with Matt during our freshman or sophomore year and he and Matt had put me up for the night. In the morning by the time I got up, Bill had already washed my car’s windows and aired up the tires for me (and probably more)! I was so impressed that he had taken the time to do all of that, even though we barely knew each other. I certainly felt a lot safer driving back to Lawrence that day.
I also remember being present at his birthday last year, which happened to fall on Easter. Barbara had a special "Cars" birthday party all planned out and it was a lot of fun. I went to work the next day with a fake "Cars" tatoo on my arm. :) I wish that I was as passionate and knowledgable about something the way Bill is about cars. I really admire that, and also appreciate always feeling so welcome in his home.
Next up, but certainly not less important: today is my little brother Brennan's birthday! I can't believe he is 16! I don't want to embarass him too much with memories on here, but what are big sisters for if not for that? :)
SO, 16 years ago on this day my little brother was born. My first impression of him was that he was "so cute!" And he was...just about the cutest little boy you can imagine! My mom and I used to really get Brennan upset when we tried to convince him that his name was really "Frennan." He did not like that one bit!
Brennan always had different aspirations from other kids. (Well, after his really intense train obsession when all he wanted to be was a conductor.) From conductor, he eventually moved on to wanting to be Secretary of Transportation for the state of Kansas. Why? Because his poor big sister had to ride the KC Roadrunner shuttle one time home from Lawrence when she was between cars, and this must have really effected him; he wanted to become the Secretary of Transportation so that he could build a commuter train between Lawrence and Manhattan in case that ever happenened again! I just think that is such a great story.
Anyhow, we are all still waiting to see what Brennan actually becomes, but whatever it is, he will be great at it. My prediction is that he will be a lifelong Manhattan citizen and politician. He is so involved in the city's politics...he goes to city commission meetings for fun and socializes at local campaign parties. (One time, this got him kicked out of a bar in Aggieville...hehe.) AND, he gets into lots and lots of political debates on Facebook, which is always fun to check in on. Yes Brennan, big sister is STILL watching you. :)
Well I think that is about enough about Brennan. I have to save some for future posts!
Other birthdays of note: (spring is a big birthday time on my side of the family)
-My cousin Jenny's birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday in advance, Jenny! And I hope Luke does something really special for you!
-My aunt Alice's birthday was March 4, quite a while back. But I have to mention her because she is my Godmother and has always been a wonderful role model in my life. Alice is one of the most creative and artistic people I know. She designed and MADE the beautiful invitations and programs for our wedding, and it was no small undertaking! I still don't think she knows how much I appreciate that. I sure miss being around to watch Audrey and Jack. We had some fun nights in Louisburg!
And I know I am forgetting half a dozen or more people who have or have had birthdays recently. I am nowhere near being organized enough to have a calendar with all these important days written out and it is not my intention to forget or offend anyone. This is a risk I take with these birthday posts, I suppose. Someday I will get myself in gear and get all these birthdays in one place!
Off to bed...goodnight all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beware: Wisdom Teeth Photos

Disclaimer: If you did not vote in my last post and do not want to see these pictures, please don't read this post! The teeth have dried blood on them and are not overly pleasant looking. :D

For those of you who DID vote, (thanks Anna and Erin!) here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Here are the four of them! The penny is for a size reference. I couldn't take the shot from straight overhead because of the shadows, so the front ones look bigger.

This one was the biggest. It was wider around at the top than my pinky finger!

This one had a HUGE hole in it, yet it hadn't even broken the surface of my gum, so it seems odd that it would be a cavity! It could have been from the oral surgeon, but I doubt it.

So there you have it, all you curious folks out there! This is what wisdom teeth look like!
I wonder what the tooth fairy would give me for these babies!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Hello, everyone. With as long as it's been since my last post, you are probably wondering if I made it through my wisdom tooth extraction alright! Well, I am fine but it has been one crazy experience so far.
I must say I was a little nervous about the whole operation. Thursday evening, Matt called on his way home from work and asked if I wanted anything for my “last meal.” What he meant was to ask if I wanted anything in particular since I wouldn’t be eating solid foods for a while, but it certainly didn’t ease my worries. :)
Friday morning, I got up and showered and then took my valium, which took effect almost at once! I was pretty loopy on the way to the oral surgeon (luckily, Matt was driving). They took me back right away and about all I can remember is the prick of the IV going into my arm and the oral surgeon talking about KU Basketball and how unfortunate it was that they lost so early in the Big 12 tournament.
I woke up about 45 minutes later to Matt holding my hand. It was so nice to have him be the first thing I saw when I woke up. I was still really groggy when I needed to leave and the nurse pushed me out in a wheelchair. (The recovery room was occupied). I don’t even really remember picking Alissa up from the airport or getting Juice Stop on the way home. All I know was that my bed felt SOOOO good as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I probably slept for 3 hours, and then the pain woke me up. So I got up and took my meds and laid on the couch, watching a movie with Matt and Alissa.
I guess what amazes me the most is how I have NO recollection of the operation at all. Why This makes sense, since I was completely out? It was just so startling to go to sleep one minute with my wisdom teeth snug my mouth and wake up (seemingly) the next moment with them gone.
I did manage to get a souvenir of my experience. Apparently when I was drowsy and groggy and unable to remember anything, I asked the oral surgeon if I could keep my teeth. So he sent me home with a sterile bag with 4 huge teeth wrapped in gauze. I think I will take a vote in today’s comments and see how many people want me to post a picture of them here! :)
They ARE pretty cool...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Matt's Picture Post

So, I will keep the writing short because it is half time of KU's Big 12 Tournament game and I have to get back in time to watch it. But, I do have a bunch of great pictures of the puppies and want to share them with everyone.

Here goes.

A closeup of Perdi, because I love her eyes. They didn't turn out was well as I would have liked, but I ended up with a really cool picture.

Now, a pretty good picture of her eyes.

Next is Pongo. He has been hanging out for some reason under the desk and it is really cute. Here is what he looks like

Now Perdi and Laura @ the Dog Park.

And Finally, Perdi streching out

Have a great day and we will let you know how Laura's Mouth is soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doggy Picture Purge

For those of you who are going through P&P withdrawl, here are a few funny pictures I have taken lately. Matt has many more wonderful photos on his camera, which I might get to eventually, or see if he will do a photo post of his own soon.

Yesterday, it was so warm that they just wanted to lounge in the sun on our back deck.

Perdi is ALMOST as big as Pongo now, and she's only 5 1/2 months! She's going to be a big girl by our standards, but not more than 25 pounds. (That was her vet's projection.)

Perdi would stay out in the sun all day if she could. We still don't trust her to do so, since she tries to dig under the fence and eat the side of the house.

Pongo likes his bed, and sometimes Perdi's bed. It depends on the night. (The green one is his.)

Perdi is completely healed from her operation and she likes to show it off. She has really enjoyed getting back out to the dog park. They go almost every day!

Yesterday, I looked and looked for Perdi. I thought maybe she had finally gotten under the backyard fence and I about to launch a search in the neighborhood. But I finally found her sleeping in Pongo's kennel. She was in there for hours and didn't want to be anywhere else. She loves her brother!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oral Surgery

Yesterday, I had my consultation appointment for my wisdom teeth extraction. I rebelled against my horrible dentist and found my own oral surgeon, other than the one she recommended. I really like this guy. He has a lot of experience and has a really small practice in Cherry Creek. He was very straight forward with me with worries and recommendations. Basically, he said my operation would be very easy after looking at my panoramic x-ray. There is one tooth with its roots very near a nerve, so he said that might cause me some additional pain.
I am surprised that the operation will only take 45 minutes to an hour. I thought it would take longer. I was also pleasantly surprised that it will cost LESS THAN A CROWN for one tooth, to have 4 wisdom teeth taken out. My oral surgeon also pre-wrote my percriptions, so that we don't have to go fill them after I come out of surgery and am groggy and in pain. Very thoughtful...Matt says he gave me "the good stuff." :)
I opted for general sedation rather than local or moderate sedation. Dr. Waggoner was highly in favor of this, even though I went through oral surgery before with only moderate sedation. I am pretty sure I'd rather just be out and not aware of what is going on. I don't want to feel huge teeth being broken in my mouth even with moderate sedation.
I left the consult with a very good feeling. First impressions are everything and I had no worries about this guy. We'll see how the operation goes though. If he does well, he will get Matt's business in addition to mine. Looking back, I should have listened to my gut feeling about the bad dentist and just left...but I was really worried about my tooth and didn't want to wait any longer to get it looked at.
So there's the update on the upcoming excitement with my teeth! Terribly dull and broing, I know. Hopefully I will be feeling well enough over the weekend to be able to have some fun with Matt and Alissa! And speaking of that, I better get myself in gear and start getting ready for her visit. The countdown is down to 6 days until her arrival!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

On Some Of My Favorites

Just a short post tonight. I haven't been blogging as much as I should lately. I just don't feel like I have much to say beyond the usual. However, I have had a very productive past couple of days. I got all caught up on homework and lectures and planned out the next few semesters of classes at Purdue. I think this one-class-per-semester way should be managable, so long as the courses are similar to the one I have now. For some reason, I REALLY enjoy statistics. I had an excellent professor at KU in the geography department who explained it so well that I still understand what's going on, even though it's an entirely different application of statistics. If it was practical, I would just do my Master's in stats. I don't think my company would pay for that though.
I made a big mistake on Sunday night. Matt and I watched this scary zombie movie called Quarantine. I really love scary movies for some reason, especially ones that impact me enough that I keep thinking about them. Quarantine was one of those. Well, I'm glad I have my doggies to protect me from all of the crazy freak-outs I have been having during the recent evenings regarding zombies. I have a really vivid imagination, which is probably why I most people consider my favorite movies to be "bad" movies. For example: Jurassic Park and Twister. I can imagine my way past anything that seems unrealistic, which is why I love them so much.
When I was maybe 10 years old, my dad took me to see the original Jurassic Park in the theater. Critics of JP warned that young children could have nightmares after seeing the movie, but we went anyway. It turns out that I had plenty of dreams about dinosaurs chasing me around after seeing that movie. But the funny thing was, I LOVED those dreams! I would always think of the best places to hide from each kind of dinosaur. Nerdy, I know! But I don't have Jurassic Park dreams anymore and I wish I miss them!
As for Twister, my friend Stephanie and I saw that movie a couple times in the theater and then watched the VHS at least 50 times in high school! We memorized that movie and could quote it line by line, no joking! I am pretty sure that movie was at least 75% of the reason I studied meteorology in college. :) Our imaginations got us past the MANY impossibilities of that movie that I now recognize a little more clearly.
Ahh, reminiscing always makes for a good blog post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wild Irishman

Things have been pretty uneventful around our house lately. We did manage to get up into the mountains for some skiing on Saturday. We went with a couple of our friends to Keystone, which is pretty much the only place we’ve gone this season. I didn’t think I wanted to go down any blue runs after the last time we went night skiing. They are still a little intimidating to me. However, I hate holding people back and since I was by far the worst skier of the group, I got adventurous and did some easy blues.
After a while, I went off by myself so that Matt could try his first black. I was definitely not going to attempt that. The green runs were really super crowded so I veered off on a blue called “Wild Irishman” which turned out to be a big mistake. Lesson learned: when a run is empty, there is a good reason. Wild Irishman was SO STEEP. I can’t believe they even classify it as a blue. So essentially, I ended up doing a near black run by myself. At least I wasn’t the only one going down the slope on my bum…one guy was skiing with his friend. It’s was his friend’s first time ever to ski. The friend was inching his way down, but at least standing up. The first guy told me “I thought this was a green!” He felt so bad for leading his friend down a near black on his first ski trip.
In dog news, Perdi has decided that rocks are tasty things to eat. Apparently, we don’t feed her enough, even though she gets more food than Pongo on a daily basis. We have some landscaping gravel under our deck. The other night, she threw up and it had a rather large rock in it! I can’t believe she got in into her belly without choking. That little dog is such a handful…we’re lucky she is still alive! We have been watching her and there doesn’t appear to be any more rocks in her belly. She is “functioning” properly.
And finally, I have to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom. I am a couple days late with this, imagine that. Her birthday was March 1. Living so far away from family makes it hard to send proper birthday wishes. You can send cards and flowers, but it’s still not the same as actually physically being in their presence on birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.
I wish I could have been in Manhattan to see my mom on her birthday. She is a strong woman who is devoted to her career more than anyone I know. I am sure that I have learned to be committed to my job and work hard from her example. It is also partly because of my mom that I moved to Colorado. I have fond childhood memories of taking a random road trip out here with no particular plan. We had lots of fun staying in cabins and hotels with drippy faucets and making “boats” out of sticks to float down mountain rivers. I wish my husband and I could find the time to take a random and unplanned trip like that and then I could re-live some of those memories.
My goal is to get my mom to read this blog. I know she doesn’t read it right now because she is really busy with lots of things and it just slips her mind to find the website. I do the exact same thing. But I just wanted everyone who DOES read this to know how awesome my mom is!