Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday afternoon: Food, Rock Band and the Office

Ah, what a Sunday afternoon. Today, I've had the opportunity to eat good food, meet fun new people, play some Rock Band and now I am watching the first season of the Office, which is pretty hilarious. I'd like to state that Rock Band is one of those things that you can suck at and still have fun. There aren't many things in life that are like that...bowling, Guitar Hero, now Rock Band. Sweet.

Yay for a lazy Sunday afternoon, boo for having to do laundry.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Meet Erin Jane. She felt left out.

My friend Erin Jane was a bit bummed that she wasn't mentioned on my blog (incidentally, so was Travis, so apparently, I will need to mention him more as well) To make EJ feel better, I've decided to interview her for my blog because she "has led such an amazing life". It's sort of like a MySpace survey, but in person!

Samantha (SKH): How long did it take you to clear your throat to be prepped for this interview?
Erin Jane (EJP): A few minutes, I wanted to make sure I sounded ready for all your readers, I mean, it is the first time they are all hearing my voice.

SKH: Good point. OK, now into the real questions. Why do you make your friends fill out a friendship application in order to be friends with you?
EJP: else would you know if you want to be their friend or not if they didn't fill out an application? I think it is self-explanatory.

SKH: How much do you like sitting by Samantha?
EJP: [clears throat] On days that she showers, I don't really mind it, but most of the time it is pretty stinky. (AN: that's just unfair and untrue. I smell like roses.]

SKH: Why are you so mean?
EJP: Sometimes you have to mean to people so that they think you are cooler than them and then they understand their true place in the world and my true place in the world. Which is above them. And my friends are above them too.

SKH: You sound...interesting. How would you describe your hair?
EJP: Brown.

SKH: Fair enough. What is your favorite MySpace survey question to answer?
EJP: Who is your best friend?

SKH: OK, last question. Why did you want to be interviewed for this blog? It's not like I have millions of readers or anything. Yet.
EJP: I am not really sure because I thought that the questions would have been a littlemore thought out and I might be introduced to the world in a more positive way. Instead, this just makes me sound mean and not like a fun person to be friends with. BUT I AM FUN AND I AM COOL AND I AM WONDERFUL AND I AM SMRT. AND I AM CUTE. AND I AM...IRISH. And I am [AN: I'm getting sick of this now.] And I am wonderful again. Groovy. (Hehe.) Sexy, sassy.

SKH: And that's all we have time for here on our lunch break.

Back to you, Bob.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wandering Bront

In case you weren't aware, I recently procured the game Rock Band, which is a video game that allows you and your friends to form a rock band and rock out to a bunch of mostly well-known songs. It comes with a drum kit, a wireless guitar and a microphone, and you can apparently hook up another guitar to the game and have a four-person band. (My basement is littered with plastic video game musical instruments, it's awesome, I need to take a photo for posterity.)

Simply put, this game is awesome. I got it on Tuesday, and set it up that night. Travis and I played a few songs (the drums are fun!), but I spent even more time playing it last night with Lisa and Beth. Beth and I had been racking our brains for good band names, and thought we had some original ones with things like "U2", the "Rolling Stones", and the "Wallflowers". Turns out those are already in use - who knew?! Enter the best band name ever: The Wandering Brontosaurus. Due to a glitch with naming length restrictions, this has turned into Wandering Bront, which in my opinion is a freaking sweet band name.

Currently the band members are me (vocals and cowbell/tambourine), Beth (lead guitar/bass guitar, depending on the song) and Lisa (drums). We have a few applicants for the fourth band member, and will be holding auditions soon. Please contact me if you would like to be considered for auditions; if you live out of town, we can arrange an audition for your next trip to Minnesota. We also accept some honorary band members, depending on where you live and just how dedicated you are to the band.

Wandering Bront will have its public debut on May 17, which coincidentally when our drummer graduates from law school. We're in the process of designing t-shirts (check out some of our concepts, we're still in design mode and open to suggestions). We can order a few extra if we have anyone who wants to be a groupie of a confused and lost dinosaur (and really, who wouldn't?)

We've made it through about half of the songs, and boy, they get harder as you go along (isn't that right, Lisa?)

I'm glad to have found a new obsession to get me through the beginning of spring, when it is cold, wet and rainy, and I don't want to spend it outside. Rock Band is pretty dang sweet because everyone can get involved!

Viva la Rock Band and long live Wandering Bront!!!!


Happy birthday, Stacy!

Today is my best friend Stacy's birthday, so I thought I would post in her honor today. Birthdays really are the most fun, it's a whole day devoted to your birth, and who doesn't like that?

If you are lucky enough to know Stacy, you should wish her a happy birthday. If they had the birthday song in Rock Band, the new band (more to come) would play it for her! :)


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ta da! The interview with Amanda (from the AmericInn in Moorhead!)

Hello all! Here is the long-promised interview with Amanda...I wasn't really sure how to type it up, so here is my best effort.

(Samantha) SKH: When did you first start having symptoms for multiple sclerosis (MS)? What was it like?
Amanda (AJCRST): My first symptom was optic neuritis - my vision went from 20/20 in one eye to 20/60 in three days. This happened during the summer of 1998. Mom made me go to the eye doctor, and they sent me to the Eye Institute in Minneapolis. They told me that I might have MS, because optic neuritis is a common sympton of the disease. I was referred to a neurologist (Dr. Hiering), who told me to be on the lookout for further symptoms.

SKH: What symptoms did you have next?
AJCRST: Half of my body went numb that summer, 3 days before I was supposed to leave for France to study abroad for a semester. After about a million MRIs, a diagnosis was confirmed. During my bon voyage going away party, Dr. D (our family doctor) called personally to tell me I had multiple sclerosis. I actually ended up not going to France that semester, and went back to college in Moorhead two weeks after classes had begun.

SKH: That sucks. A lot. What kind of treatment did you start off with?
AJCRST: My first medicine was Avonex. I got a shot of this each week at the student health center. After getting the shot, I had flu-like symptoms every time. After six months, I would get fewer symptoms. I took Avonex for five years (1998-2003), and I eventually administered the shot to myself. In 2003, I had an MS relapse.

SKH: Tell me a little bit about your relapse.
AJCRST: My ab muscles hurt after I had been working out, and then they went numb. The numbness spread to the rest of body, and it was hard to walk and hard to go up and down stairs. It was hard to do even the everyday things, like laundry, as the machines in my building were down several flights of stairs. I remember thinking during this bad time that I was doing everything right (with the medication and eating well and taking care of my body) but MS simply doesn't care.

SKH: What happened after your relapse in 2003?
AJCRST: I started taking a new medicine called Beta Seron, which is a subcutaneous shot I give myself every other day. I've been taking it since 2003. During that year, I decided to tell the school district that I had MS. I also stopped directing drama programs at the end of the school year that year - the drain from the programs likely wasn't helping my health. The administration was supportive regarding my MS, but I also found that I received a lot of pity.

SKH: What would you say to someone with MS?
AJCRST: I would tell them that it is not a death sentence, you aren't going to die from it. I also think that is has made me appreciate life a whole lot more.

SKH: Are you involved in the MS movement?
AJCRST: I am not super active in the MS Society up in the Fargo/Moorhead area, but did participate (and encouraged others to participate!) in the 2008 MS Awareness Week this year. I've also attended the MS Women's Luncheon in the Cities, I donate money to the MS Society (supporting my sisters, best friend and dad down in the Twin Cities walk), and I am proud to say that one of my schools is walking in the Fargo walk this year! The staff at Ben Franklin Middle School are showing their Wildcat Pride by raising money for the MS Society and walking on April 19 (SKH: yes, this was today, and 49 people walked for the team!!!) I am the team captain for the Wildcat Walkers.

Interviewing Amanda was interesting for me...we would go from laughing about the silly things to being silent about some of the sobering realities of MS, all within a span of less than a minute. Overall, I think there is a message of determination, and ultimately of hope. As Amanda says, knowing what could happen with MS is very scary, but you absolutely have to live with MS every day, you can't wallow in it. Amanda's defiance against the disease is inspiring...she plans to go skydiving someday soon to prove her point:

Friday, April 18, 2008

With some shame

A quick post tonight...I am SO sorry for the crazy delay in posting, I'm not a good blogger yet. I will be posting the interview tomorrow night when I type it up from my hotel room in Moorhead, MN. That's right, I am going up to Moorhead to see Amanda and Blair!

I'm super sleepy now, and am heading to bed. I'll pack up in the morning and then head on up. I got a new audiobook by Jeffrey Archer to listen to on the drive, so that should be good.

I've had a busy few weeks, with a lot of playoff hockey being watched. I had girls' dinner tonight, and told Hava I would post just for her, so Hava, here you go :)

OK, I can barely keep my eyes open, and this post isn't too coherent, but more to come soon!!!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

A quick update (don't worry, interview coming soon!)

I can't believe how fast this week has gone by...and I can't believe how tired I am.

The family went to Cafe Ena for Jessie's birthday last weekend, and then on to Jersey Boys. The atmosphere at the restaurant was pretty cool, and the food was good as well. The company was the best part there. After dinner, we headed over to Jersey Boys (with a short romp via Uptown, oops) - the show was awesome!! I loved it. The story was good, the singing was good, and I just liked it. I even ended up getting the soundtrack and the greatest hits of Frankie Valli this week. :) My sister Lisa is right, we three sisters and our dates were the youngest people in the audience around us. Crazy.

A great fluke of Facebook status stalking got me and some of the family a private backstage tour after the show - it was cool to see just how much detail and work go into each show.

Other than Jersey Boys, I've been pretty busy at home and work. I did some spring cleaning last weekend, and need to do more this weekend. My best friend Stacy will be in here next weekend, and she's allergic to cats, so I want to get as much cat dander out as possible.

I wanted to put your mind at haven't missed my interview with Amanda, but I haven't figured out exactly how I want to type it up, so it will be coming soon (look for it this weekend). In MS Walk news, our team is at 21% of our $5,000 goal, so keep those donations coming!!

Hoping to enjoy some nice weather this weekend...