Archive | Discoveries RSS feed for this section

Dog vs. Cats

24 Jul

For a long time George “The Husband” and I have had this long running dispute over which is better: cats or dogs.  My answer to that question has always been dogs.  Dogs will play with you, go on walks with you (which makes exercising significantly more tolerable), they’ll protect you and your home, they will snuggle with you, and the best part is THEY POOP OUTSIDE!  (What is it with cats and pooping inside?!)  I bet you can’t find a cat that can do all that or even be as awesome to make sure you won’t miss the awesomeness of a dog.*


That is until I saw this kitty. I could stare at that grumpy face all day long.  I wouldn’t even mind the poo smell in my house.

*I feel like I should take a moment here to say that cats are indeed awesome and do some hilarious things.  (IE Keyboard Cat, Grumpy Cat, Neon CAt, ect.)  I love playing with kitties and making them purr, but I am also highly allergic to them so that might explain my bias.  I just don’t want to offend any cat lovers out there.

I think I may have found the proof I need to end the debate once and for all.  First I shall present to the court exhibit A.



Now look at this video.  Exhibit B



Honestly, I think that these videos are all the proof the world needs about the debate.  Dogs love us more and are cuter and more awesome no matter how much Grumpy Cat makes me want to get a kitty.


I’ve been tagged!

16 Apr

I just got tagged to play a game on WordPress!  The positively wonderful blogger over at Manicmation decided to include me in all the fun!  If you haven’t seen her blog you should really check it out.  It’s a pretty spectacular site about animation and the love of it.  I know.  It sounds like heaven right?

You just answer 10 questions that your tagger asked and then ask 10 new ones about anything you want and then tag a few other bloggers that you admire and respect.  It’s a great way to get around the community and actually talk a little with the bloggers you follow.

So here goes!

1. If you could date any super hero, who would it be?

I would so date either Superman (well really Clark Kent) or Captain America.  They are so good and wholesome I just love it!  When I was little my dad and I watched the old Superman movie with Christopher Reeve and and I would play with my toys and ignore the TV when Superman was on, but when that nerdy, adorably awkward Clark Kent was on screen I was glued to the TV.  I have pretty much always had a soft spot for the quiet and nerdy ones.  I have to admit, though, Enrique “The Husband” has this sexy superman hair curl over his forehead that drives me crazy, and he is pretty much a goody two shoes, so I think that I married the real Clark Kent.  He even dressed up as Clark Kent one year for Halloween.  I can’t decide if he was sexier that day or on our wedding day when he wore a James Bond Tuxedo.  It might be a tie.

Yeah… Talk nerdy to me.

As for Captain America, he’s a gorgeous gentleman in a uniform who fights Nazis for ‘Merica!  What is there NOT to love about that man?  ~Swoon~

God bless ‘Merica!

 2. Have you ever cried during an Animated Movie?

All the time.  Here’s a list of some that I cry when I watch.

Up: If you don’t cry almost through the entire movie then you have no heart and I think that you should probably see a doctor about that because you might have a serious condition.

Lion King: It gets me every single time.

Mulan: As a girl who is very close to her family, the idea of wanting to make my dad proud is something that I can really relate to and seeing that scene at the end of the movie where father and daughter are reunited makes me think about how much I love my daddy.  (Yes, I know that I am 25 and still refer to my father as daddy.  I can’t help it.)


The Little Mermaid: I used to watch this with my daddy when I was little and he used to say that I was going to leave him and run off with some prince one day too.  I cry at the end because it reminds me of the exchange I had with my dad on my wedding day and what a beautiful father daughter moment it was.

Monsters Inc.: “Kitty, don’t go!”

Toy Story 3:  It made me feel nostalgic and miss being a kid.  Then I went a dug up some old toys I’ve kept and I played with them.

Dumbo: When Mrs. Jumbo is in jail and she sings to Dumbo and rocks him and sings “Baby of Mine” I lose it.  Especially when Dumbo starts crying…  Oh no.  I am crying just thinking about it.

I love you Mom!

Bambi: Seriously.

Fox and the Hound:  They just want to be friends!  Why can’t they be friends?!  Racism sucks, that’s why.

Beauty and the Beast:  It’s my favorite movie ever and I just find the whole thing so beautiful but the main reason I always cry is because it takes me back to when I was a kid and I get nostalgic remember how awesome my childhood was.

Paperman: I wrote about it here.

Essentially it happens a lot.  I am a big softie and sentimental and it doesn’t take much for me tear up.  I like to at least think that it’s a graceful little cry.

3. Would you rather star in a Western or a Sci Fi Film?

Western!  There is something super intimidating about walking down a dusty road with spurs and watching everyone scatter.  Oh!  It could be both ever like Firefly!  I’d be so down with that.

4. Which language do you wish you were fluent in?

I used to be pretty fluent in German but over the years of not using it I have lost quite a bit of it.  I wish that I hadn’t.  It would be neat to visit the mother land someday.

5. How is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

They both produce a few notes, all very flat, and are almost never turned the wrong way front.

6. What’s one quote that really inspires you?

“It is hard to fail, but it worse never to have tried to succeed.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

(I kind of have a love for all things Teddy.)

7. How many States in the United States have you been to?

I am going to guess about 13(ish).

8. Which Disney character are you most like?

I think that I am the most like Belle.  Now whether that’s because I was obsessed with her from a young age and became like her or if it’s because I am naturally like Belle is up for debate.  “The Husband” seems to think that I willed myself to be like her because I think she’s the bee’s knees.

Like a boss.

We’re both avid readers that love adventure and want more than a small town life.  We are considered the odd balls in our home towns.   We both fell in love with men who are can get very grumpy but are excellent dancers.

9. What is the cheesiest movie you’ve ever seen?

Cry Baby.  I cannot take that movie seriously.   It is just too much.  I watched it at a slumber party and I regret it.  She drinks her own tears for goodness sake!  It wasn’t even the good kind of cheesy.

10. If you could be a bird, which bird would you be?

I’d be a bald eagle.  They are just so majestic!

11. What is one job that you’d be terrible at?

Professional Football player…  That was the first thing I could think of and I think it rings pretty true.

This is what would happen.

Now for my questions!  Muahahahaha!

1.  What is your biggest pet peeve?

2.  What is your favorite movie of all time?

3.  What is your favorite song of all time?

4.  What is the best memory from your childhood?

5.  What internet meme are you most like?

6.  If you could learn any new hobby what would you choose?

7.  What is your oddest yet most endearing quirk?

8.  If you could have dinner with 3 people (living or dead) who would you invite?

9.  If you had a time machine (or a tardis) what period in time would you most want to visit or live?

10.  What is the absolute perfect day out?

And I tag all of you!  I would love to get to know more people and share the love of animation and food and essentially all things awesome.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


Are You an Organ Donor?

3 Apr

April is National Donate Life Month.  In honor of that, I want to take a minute to talk to you about something that is very important to me and very close to my heart.  I want to talk about being organ donor.

To start my story I want you to take a look at this amazing and beautiful woman.


I am pretty sure that she’s either laughing at a really dirty joke or my dad is flashing her just off camera.

That foxy lady is my mom.  And she’s pretty awesome.  Awesome Sauce awesome.  I’ve got tons of stories that I could tell you about her that will convince you that she is the coolest mom ever.  When I was in high school she drove the get away car so we could toilet paper a classmate’s house who had decorated our trees first.  I remember her introducing herself to some of my friends with a dirty joke, which shocked and awed the crowd. She once made an entire feast of Gross Grub for a school Halloween party and completely creeped out my entire class.  See?  Pretty awesome, right?  Who wouldn’t love a mom like that?


Sammich time!

I just had to share this picture because it’s my favorite picture of me and Mom.  That little cutie on the right, the one with the mullet, is me.  The average looking squirt on the left is my twin brother.  We love our Mom a lot and she’s always been really special to us.  We used to kiss her on either side of her face and giggle and say we were making a “Mommy Sammich”.

So by now, you are reading this and thinking, “a woman this awesome surely cannot really be alive!

She is and all because of a kind stranger who put the words “organ donor” on his driver’s license.

My mother has an autoimmune disease called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, or PBC .  The easiest way to explain the disease is that the body slowly attacks the liver for no reason, because sometimes our bodies can be jerks like that.  I am sure that all of you are incredibly intelligent people, but I want to take a moment to address some comments I have received in the past from ignorant people.  This disease is an autoimmune disease.  You automatically have it.  It cannot be transmitted from one person to another.  Also, this disease has nothing to do with substance or alcohol abuse.  Sadly, you would not believe the number of people who have made comments assuming my mother is an alcoholic or promiscuous – neither of which are the case.  Her body is just a jerk.

A PBC diagnosis is not a death sentence.  You can live your whole life and never suffer from it.  When my mother was diagnosed there wasn’t much known about it and she had watched her father suffer and pass away because of it.   She handled it gracefully and healthily for years without anyone being the wiser.  I was 11 years old when she told my brothers and me about her disease; almost 13 years after she was diagnosed.  She had hit a rough patch and wanted to let us know what was happening, so that we would be prepared.  The amazing thing about the liver though, is that it can heal and rebuild itself.

Let’s skip a few years and go to January 2006.  My mom’s latest check up showed that her liver wasn’t in bad state and she’d be okay until her next check up.  She had steadily and slightly had been getting worse (but still not bad) in the years since her diagnosis.  Towards the end of that month something happened and she got really sick and starting turning yellow.  We’re not quite sure what happened.  At the time it was thought that maybe she had a gall stone, but we never really found out one way or another.  Within a few weeks her liver function levels just dropped.  She went from a slightly less than healthy liver to liver failure within a matter of weeks.  The doctors told her that her only chance of survival was a liver transplant.

There are a lot of serious rules and regulations about going on the transplant list.  They base it on need, blood type, health, and a whole slew of different factors.  It is completely anonymous.  People’s ranking on the list can change based on the need of another.  Also, people can wait for years for a transplant only to be deemed too unhealthy for surgery; you have to be healthy enough to survive the transplant in order to be on the list.

My mom got so sick so fast, that once her testing and paperwork went through and her case was evaluated, she became the first person on the waiting list for a liver transplant.  3 days after she went on the list she was in surgery getting her new liver.  If that isn’t a true miracle I don’t know what is.

It was a hard few months.  I was getting ready to turn 18 and graduate from high school when all this was happening.  My mom spent some time planning her own funeral and getting her last wishes together in the event that she never got called in for surgery.  It was an incredibly hard time for my entire family, and can’t think of any other event that brought us closer to each other.  We were always a strong and close family, but at the threat of losing Mom brought us even closer and made us even stronger.  Through the entire process I think the strongest and most graceful person was Mom.  While we all tried to stay strong and calm for her, but she was strong for us.

We never spoke in “ifs” – only in “whens”.  It was never “if” she got the transplant it was “when”.   As a matter of fact, the only time I remember anyone coming close to the word “if” was my Mom on the night she got called to the hospital.  I was at school pretty late, at the dress rehearsal for a play I was in.  One of my instructors (bless her heart) walked across campus to tell me that my brother had called the office to let me know about the call. She sat with me while I called Mom to find out the news.  The last words she said to me before she hung up were this:

“Ellie, I want you to know that no matter what happens I have always and will always love you.  Forever and a day.”

It took me a while to stop crying enough to tell her that I loved her too, and that I would see her as soon as she came out of surgery.

She went into surgery at around 1:00 AM on April 20, 2006.  At around 3:30 PM that same day the doctor came in the waiting room to tell us that she was out of surgery and we could see her, 2 at a time, in the ICU.  My dad and I were the first to go in.  I held her hand and tried not to cry and told her I loved her.  It was one of the roughest moments of my life.  She told me a few days later that she remembered hearing my voice.


This is the two of us in December 2007. We look dang fine in those hats too if I must say so myself.

He recovery process was a hard one.  We had to be extra careful about cleanliness and she needed a lot of help for a while.  She was in and out of the hospital for a couple months with various issues that would pop up.  I found my first white hairs the day I turned 18 – one month after her transplant.  I am pretty sure that my premature graying is entirely her fault.

This year will be the 7th anniversary of her transplant and we celebrate every year as if it were another birthday.  We eat cake and ice cream and she always gets a ton of cards in the mail.

Every year around this time I think about how lucky I am to still have my Mom and all the events that she’s been able to be a part of since she was given her second chance at life.  Although she was too sick to see me graduate from high school we still threw a big party to celebrate when she was healthy enough to be around people.  She was there when I graduated college, and the two of us planned a spectacular wedding and had a blast doing it.


This is me and my mom on my wedding day.

My wedding day was a few days before the fifth anniversary of her transplant which made an already super emotional day into a crazy madness emotional day.  When she helped me put on my dress and clasped her pearls around my neck for my something borrowed we were struggling not to cry.  She whispered that 5 years prior, when she was so sick, she had thought that she wouldn’t live long enough to see this day.  I asked her tearfully if she thought there wasn’t a man crazy enough to marry me.  And we laughed, because that’s us.  We laugh big, loudly, and as often as we can.

Mom’s disease is in remission and she is doing amazingly well and feistier than ever.  We are all thankful that someone was so generous and donated a liver to my mom.  She got to be there for some many important events in our lives – high school graduations, going to college, watching me and my brothers all fall in love and get married, and she got to meet her first grandchild (my adorable nephew) and she’ll be here for all the rest.

So now that you’ve read the story of how an organ donor saved my mom and my family I would like to ask you to consider becoming one yourself.  If you already are, you are the coolest!  If you are not, I’d like you to consider it.  Here are some great sources where you can learn more about the process and how to register.

The Gift of a Lifetime – this site talks about the process of being put on the list and is a great source for information for educators.

Donate Life – This organization is dedicated to educating people on organ transplantation and helping people register to become a donor.  They do a lot of work dispelling a lot of harmful myths and misconceptions around organ donation.

Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network –  This is a government site that collects and maintains data as well as more detailed information regarding the regulations of transplantation.

I shall leave you with one last thought.

Waiting list candidates 117,704 as of today 3:18pm

Let’s see if we can make a difference.

Family Office Hi-jinx

18 Sep

For the past couple of months I have been working for my family’s business as the secretary.  My mom works on a lot of design and the tech stuff while my two brothers and my dad are traveling salesmen.  Or at least that’s just Dad’s cover.  I still have my theories about international espionage.

Today all five of us are in the office without the supervision of our other co-workers.  I say “supervision” because we all tend to drift to the silly and inappropriate conversation topics.  Today’s topic?  The Kate Middleton topless photo scandal.

Earlier this week I saw this photo on Pinterest and had myself quite the giggle over the pun.  I am pretty well known for my love of lame jokes and puns make the cut.  During the discussion of today’s topic I couldn’t help but think of this image and start scheming.

I decided to email my brothers and dad the picture with the subject line “Hi-Res Kate Middleton Topless Photo”.  In the text area I typed, “I thought that you might like to have this picture for all those long trips away from home.  ;)”.  Then this picture:

Ooooo, Baby!

I think the giggling while I typed might have given me away a little with my twin brother, but the bad joke paid off handsomely when the subject line caught the eye of my older brother.

Big Brah:  “No way!  How did you find this?!  Incredible!”

Me:  “I am the master of the Googles.  It obeys my every command.”  Lighting shoots out of my keyboard as further proof of my mastery.

Twin Brah: “You haven’t opened it yet, have you.”

Big Brah: “Opening now.”

I watch his face in anticipation…

And was greeted with roaring laughter!

Big Brah: “You got me, Elle.  That was pretty good.”

Will the hi-jinx end there?  Oh no.  I sent another email that says this.

“Hey guys.
I feel kind of bad that you were disappointed that you didn’t get to see Kate’s boobies in HD, so I did a little extra digging.  I didn’t find any stills, but I did find a video someone posted from their camera phone.  I thought you might like that better anyways.”

Then I added a link.  What’s at the end of that link, you ask?  Rick Astley.  Because a good old fashioned Rick Roll is always called for.


My Accidental Hipster Old Person Moment

21 Aug

So I am about to get real on you for a brief moment.  AND I am going to be discussing a hot-topic – Hipsters.  If you find the topic of hipsters and their subculture offensive, I apologize in advance.

I was cruising the internet and I cam across this picture.


There are two things that I don’t understand about this picture that I shall detail below.

The 1st Bothersome Thing

First, after all the time spent making such lovely quality renders of an under water environment, how could anyone think they could improve it with a cheap photoshop filter?  Come on!  It’s Pixar.  You think you can make it look better than Pixar?

As an artist, color is a HUGE deal to me.  Messed up colors actually really make me anxious.  It makes me want to retouch it and send it back so that people know what good images are supposed to look like.  The invention of cheap filters and digital cameras has made everyone think that good photography is easy.  It’s not.  Instagram does not a good photographer make.  My only comfort is in articles like this one, where the writer describes an app whose only purpose is to reverse Instagram filters.  Hope is alive, my friends.  Hope is alive.  So I will continue to take pride in my real photography and someday I will be able to say that I was doing it before it was cool again.

Aw, damn.

Then the earth shook.  Did you feel it?  It was the single-most horrifying moment of my life, because I had an epiphany.  I am an accidental hipster.

Now I am a conventional girl.  I have long come to term with the fact that I am slowly becoming my mother but there is no preparation for becoming a hipster.  There needs to be a hotline or something with a telethon raising awareness.  The more I thought of it though, the more I think it’s not completely terrible.

Because of the shift in cultures, overly saturated, filtered images are the norm, the “cool” thing to do.  Everywhere on the internet there are people posting images of extremely processed photos.  It almost seems like the world has flipped upside down.  Hipster culture is now mainstream, and what once was mainstream is now hipster.  Woah…   Which makes me a hipster?

My thoughts exactly, Vadar.

The 2nd Bothersome Thing

My second thought is “who the crap-doodle came up with ‘yolo’?”  Have we become so lazy that we speak only in acronyms?  This bothers me and I don’t know why.  It’s what’s wrong with the world these days.  People can’t communicate because they don’t use real words.

I’ll prove how true the sentiment is if you say it again!

I sat and pondered why this particular phase of modern culture bothers me and certain phrases came to mind.  Ones like “whipper snappers”, and “young punks”, and even “get off my lawn” though no one is on my lawn currently.  It just seems like something hipsters would do.  Then it occurred to me that I am becoming a Nixon era old man.  The only explanation I can think of is that driving 88 miles an hour has some extra side-effects that were not properly explained in the Back to the Future trilogy.

Just ask Checkers.

I am going to keep my head up high and be proud of command of the English language.  I will never use silly popular acronyms, unless, of course, I am using them ironically like I do that sweater I wear around Christmas time.


%d bloggers like this: