Friday, December 24, 2010

So, I Had Some Surgery...

...and it went well, or so I assume, given the fact that I'm not dead. Although, when I first woke up, I felt as if I'd rather be. Pain and I are not close friends. I don't like it and it doesn't like me. However, it came to visit, and it brought its friend nausea along. Jerks. Thankfully, the whole ordeal didn't last too long. I was in there at 7:30 A.M. and home by 4:00P.M. I don't think my bed has ever felt better.

The doctor said I was an easy surgery, and that I should heal up quickly. My reply was something along the lines of  "I want drugs."  ...And drugs he gave me! Drugs that are right now making my head swimmy and my thoughts all wobbledygook, and I'm not going to lie, it's awesome. I really don't even know what I'm writing, so I hope it's coherent. I just popped another Percocet so I'm not long for the waking world, I bet.

What's great though, is that for the first time since before Thanksgiving, I can eat without being in tremendous pain afterward. Granted, I'm not eating a lot and I've lost 7 lbs in a little under a week, but what little I can eat, doesn't hurt me. I forgot how that felt. The incisions still hurt, quite a lot, and I feel like I've done a million crunches, but that'll fade. I'm just glad it's done with. The doctor said I needed to have it done as soon as possible. I didn't realize it was as serious as it was, but that seems to be the way I roll.

I'm hoping, later tonight, I can post a Christmas blog like I usually do, but if I fail to, thanks to my love affair with narcotics at the moment, know that I wish anyone who reads this a joyous, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Raise Your Hand if You're Not Having Surgery...

Not so fast Liz! Not so fast.

Well, it's official. I'm having my Gallbladder removed Wednesday Thursday morning at 7:30 A.M.

Merry. Christmas.

Still, I can't say as I'm all that upset; I just wish it wasn't TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I've been in a lot of pain for a while now. I can't eat without stomach cramps or nausea, and really, as long as I'm awake, I feel pretty bad. I finally broke down and went to the doctor, assuming I was dealing with something like a stomach ulcer from the stress of the past few months...all related to the insanity that is home ownership. However, they did an ultrasound and found it's actually gallstones. yay.

My mother and sister have both had this surgery, so maybe the condition is genetic. I don't know. I just want to feel better. If anyone is reading this, please pray that there are no complications. They both had some and I'd really, really like to avoid keeping up the family tradition.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grinch That Stole Christmas...

...has apparently moved from the top of Mount Crumpit to Birmingham Alabama, or a surrounding suburb.

Crews clean up the debris from the city of Birmingham's Christmas tree in Linn Park, which was set afire by thieves early Wednesday.

Apparently, the person that did this was looking to strip the tree of its lights, and the lights of the copper in their wiring. I can't imagine that the wiring from a few strings of lights would yield a great enough quantity of copper to make such an undertaking worth the time and effort involved, but I suppose when you're short on both scruples and brains, even the most idiotic of schemes seems like a gem.

City officials didn't have many details Wednesday, but they said that, about 4 a.m., someone took the lights off the tree and apparently began using gasoline to try to separate the copper from the plastic casing. 

The fuel ignited.

"The fuel ignited." Imagine that. By the time the firefighters showed up, the tree was in ashes. The tree, which cost $7,500 was not going to be replaced by the city, the charred stump instead being covered by another symbol of the holiday season...

...the festive holiday Christmas cone. Feel the wonder. This guy did.

...And this is where the story gets good. You see, like in The Grinch, Christmas couldn't be stolen by someone whose heart was three sizes to small. The citizens of the city, the businesses, and radio stations all came together to make sure that the people of Birmingham could see a tree shining from Linn Park again, and soon.

As a result, little more than 24 hours after the tree was destroyed, shining holiday lights and ornaments will return to Linn Park this morning, a donation of radio station 98.7 Kiss FM and a quickly formed consortium of neighboring cities, business and individuals.

(I'm tricky, tricky with the crop tool! There's the new tree now!)
It wasn't so much about the tree as it was that people felt compelled to do something, to take something sad and make it glad. Now, to me, as a Christian, Christmas is about more than a fancy tree, pretty lights, or beautiful gifts, and nothing can steal that, not a Grinch, not a thief, not getting stuck with a fruitcake at the family gift exchange, but still, in a time when so many are concerned with the economy, terrorism, and the strife of politics, it's nice to see people come together, put their differences aside, and make sure that at least for a little while, all is bright.

acnatta's flickr (Linn Park 2006)
"Christmas day will always be
Just so long as we have we
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome Christmas bring your light."
 Dr. Seuss-The Grinch That Stole Christmas

All quotes and images from The Birmingham News unless otherwise noted.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Very Potter Christmas!

In keeping with the Harry Potter theme, I thought I'd do a quick post showing a few items I made last year for some friends for Christmas. Every once in a while, I manage to tear myself away from the digital medium and make something tangible. All of this stuff was a lot of fun to make...and of course I kept some for myself as well. 

The first things I made were some personalized signs, Honeydukes for myself, Flourish and Blotts for my friend Carrie, and Hogsmeade Apothecary for my friend Cindi.

Honeydukes of Hogsmeade

Flourish and Blotts of Diagon Alley

Hogsmeade Apothecary
Each sign was painstakingly done by hand. I'm telling you, painting all that fancy text is no easy task! However, it was a lot of fun to see them materialize. I'm probably going to make a couple more just for the heck of it. 

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean
Thankfully, I've yet to run across anything gross...except "jalapeno," that should never be in bean form! Ever!
("Flavor,"  spelled the American way for yanks! ...Not because I just totally forgot to spell it the proper, British way. "Flavour" Brits and your superflous usage of 'u'!)

Acid Pops, a special Christmas edition

 Honeydukes Best Chocolate
"Mildly sweet chocolate for pleasure and use against dementor effects"

Honeydukes Ice Mice. These were especially fun to make.

Honeydukes Holiday Collection!
So there you go, fun with packaging design! The best part, each of the packs contains actual candy...of course! The Acid Pops contain green, Christmas tree shaped pops, the beans are of course, beans, the chocolate bar is a huge chocolate bar, and yes, the ice mice pack is actually filled with white gummy mice!

I included a few other things as well, just your basic Hogwarts necessities...

Hogwarts Letter and school supply list!
Easily done with some sketchbook paper, a little tea, and a printer, oh and minor skills with a quill. 

A wand, of course! 
What Wizard or Witch worth their salt would be caught without one? Yep, made these as well...even cored them! Ollivander, you got nothing on me! ;)

Now, to make sure all of these items got to their respective destinations, I didn't bother with the Muggle Postal Service. Thankfully, the wizarding world has its own delivery systems...
Owl Post boxes!
(The Owl Post image is from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Postcard Book, so I can't take credit for that. I did however clean it up, vectorize it, and apply it to the boxes.)

It was a very fun project and Cindi and Carrie were both happy with their gifts. Stuff like this makes me realize how very much I 'd love design, especially something with a strong theme. I haven't gotten to do much this year since I'm still in the middle of the world's most ridiculous house purchase/move, but maybe I'll get a few Christmas ornaments made before the year's out. I've really only got one more post until I'm caught up and it's been what I've been doing with my life since July.