Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Acquaintence



The end of the year is almost here. New Year's Day(/Eve) has always been one of my favorite holidays. Never mind that there are usually fantastic parties to be had, and fantastic strangers to kiss, I love the symbolism of it. I completely buy into the idea of the new year bringing a fresh start to... well, everything. Even though the logic side of my brain says that January first is just like any other day, I look at it as a perfect excuse to put the past in the past and start afresh.

Before I box away this year though, some reflection is in order. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, right? So, before I wipe clean the slate, I must look at everything that's written there and see if I can't learn something from it. I'll share it with all of you too. So, tuck in, and enjoy my year in review (complete with visual aids and things to click on!):


JANUARY

2007 started in a less than ideal way. Arrakis and I threw a party that had the potential to be really fantastic, wonderful, classy, relaxing, and amazing. It absolutely didn't live up to its potential. It's easy to point fingers at certain people for this, but the truth is that I would have loved it anyway if I had just relaxed about it. That is something perhaps I could be better about- taking a more zen approach to things. Nearly everyone had fun, that's what should really matter.

At that point, my relationship with El Douche (though at the time he was Boyfriend) was a bit on the fritz. I don't think the party helped things any.

Later in January I went to the Outdoor Retailer Show, which was really awesome, but very tiring. I would actually love to do it again, but no longer have the contacts. Oh well.


FEBRUARY

Bears got slaughtered in the Superbowl. Right after the game E.D. broke up with me. That started a spiral of messiness with him.

Not much else happened to me in February. Things happened to the rest of the world though: Anna Nicole Smith died and I failed at predicting who the next totally bitchcakes celebrity would be. Some asswipe shot people at Trolley Square. Valentines day was in there somewhere. Meh.


MARCH

I quit the restaurant and got a "real" job. I started my receptionist gig early in March. I liked it back then. I think any new job is great at first. The novelty hadn't worn off and I didn't come home smelling of refried beans every day. I guess I'm still pretty happy about that. Beans = nastiness

Saint Patrick's Day found me at Piper Down. Not my favorite place to celebrate the holiday. It was fun, and very Irish, but I would have rather been with friends in a less crowded space.

I spent a quasi-disastrous weekend in Moab with E.D. (I think it was the middle of the cataclysmic end).


APRIL

I have no idea what happened in April.


MAY

It seems I was feeling rather
philosophical in May, based on my blog posts.

I also believe that it was near the end of this month that El Douche earned his title. Looking back now, the first 5 months of 2007 were dealing with him and his bull shit. March, April and May were pretty much just one emotionally charged (on my end) and rhetorically saturated (on his part) fight. Now, of course, I can look back and say that he was absolutely not worth all the drama and heartache, but you know what they say about hindsight. Memorial day weekend brought the final event that broke the camels back. The funny thing was that the straw was such a tiny, petty, little thing. He made a big deal of it, and I didn't have the energy to fight him on it. He is a really difficult person to fight with.

I realize that I haven't written much about him here, so those of you who read this and haven't heard the stories from me in person don't really know exactly what I'm talking about. You'll forgive me if I don't enlighten you. There is a reason why El Douche doesn't get a lot of blog space. First, this being a public blog, anything I would write could possibly get back to him, and you can bet your bottom dollar I would hear no end of it. Second, I don't want to taint my pretty blog with so much negative energy. Third, and last, I don't want to go into it now because I am SO done with the whole thing. I don't want to spend time re-hashing things that have been hashed to death already. I wash my hands of the whole ordeal.

And that shall be the last he is mentioned in regards to this year.


JUNE

June is always a good month. That has a lot to do with the fact that it starts with
my birthday. The weather in June is also usually lovely. I started the month with the Little Red Riding Hood bike ride, which sort of symbolically kicked off the hardcore biking summer. I intended to ride the 75 mile stretch of this ride, but was getting over a cold, so I think I only went about 40. Still, it was a great thing.


JULY

July days were wicked hot. Everything was ready to melt or catch fire this month. I bought my
soul back from Amex. Blogically speaking, I gave this place a make-over, probably long over due.

July was a really good month for friends. I bonded with Aaron over bike training for the ULCER (see August). A huge gaggle of buddies went to Lagoon (local theme park). This may seem like a silly, immature thing to do, but don't you dare knock it. Roller coasters are great fun, and why not spend the day outside with a bunch of friends? I can't think of a better way to spend a day. I also went to my first
Roller Derby in July. It was what they call a smashing good time.

(Right: The lot of us doing the ye olde photo at Lagoon)


AUGUST

The big event of August (and probably the whole year) was the
ULCER ride. Kudos to me for riding my first century! Training for it ate up my weekends (not so good to wake up at 5a.m. on Sunday to ride 60 miles if you're up 'til 3 the night before drinking), but it was totally worth sacrificing a little bit of my social life. Props also go to Aaron for riding it with me. Next year I have great plans for several epic bike rides (including at least one century and the MS 150). That reminds me, I should be spending more time at the gym now....

Also in August, my 91 year old grandmother moved out here from New York. That involved the whole (immediate) family going up there to pack and visit with the NY relatives.


SEPTEMBER

Dad and I finally made it to Durango for the beer trip we've been meaning to take since I stopped going to school there.

I didn't miss
WG Vasculitis Awareness Week for the first time since I was diagnosed. That's something to cheer about. That triad of posts also brought a few readers out of the woodwork. Friends of mine who read this blog thingy without comment actually talked to me about what I had written. It's always interesting to see how people respond the it. I'm totally jaded about the whole thing and it's really refreshing to have other people react to it sometimes. It gives me a fresh perspective.

And of course there was
International Talk Like a Pirate Day how is that not teh awesome?


OCTOBER

Halloween was, of course, the highlight of October. I always love Halloween. Not much to say now on that subject, but feel free to wander through the archives. I would post links, but it seems I wrote about it a lot. It is easier for you to just click on October in the sidebar.

(Left: Arrakis and Me on Halloween. We were Halloween Faeries. And we kicked teh ass)

October was the month that the bookstore thing was set into motion. A very bookie month in general actually. What with
banned book week and the random book meme I did. Actually, I think that may be the most responded to post I've done. Perhaps I should do meme thingies more often. Or book thingies. Hmmmmm


NOVEMBER

November was the month I grabbed life by the horns and carpe-ed the fucking diem. I decided to do new things and meet new people, so I went to the
symphony (with Vivace) and I started going to Swing (dance) Club at the U(niversity). I think I only made it to Swing Club once in Nov. but it was thrilling and I've since gone several times and met many fun new people.

I also
went to Vegas with friends, and that was awesome. I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Arches with Dad. It was one of our better Thanksgiving-weekend camping trips.

Cut down my hours at Job from Hell.

Meeting new people and doing new things. That's what makes life so wonderful, and that's what I did in November.


DECEMBER

Craziness has been this month. Moved out. Started working two jobs. Christmas. I don't feel like going into much detail because, well, it all just happened. Things have been insanely busy.



So now, I guess it's time to sum up the year and make a few profound statements about what I've learned and such. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself. I've come a long way from the beginning of the year. I'm no longer involved with someone who caused me nothing but grief. I've ventured into the real world of full time jobs and responsibilities. Hell, I'm out of my parent's house (finally). I'm also out doing new things and just enjoying myself.

I think November is a good model for next year. I should venture forth and try new things that interest me. I should spend time doing things that I really like, and spend as little time as possible doing things I really dislike. 2008 will be about living life as it should be lived. Seizing the day and what not.

Things to do in the new year (not resolutions, mind you. No one ever keeps resolutions):
1. Find a new job. I'd love to just do the bookstore thing, but I can't afford it. I need something to replace the receptionist gig so I can pay my rent.
2. Get into hardcore biking shape again
3. Eat veggies
4. Shrink my "to-read" list... by reading.
5. Make new friends and strengthen the friendships I already have

Things to NOT do in the new year:
1. Date complete douchewads
2. Waste away in my death job
3. Go on a psycho mass murdering tour de world
4. Waste all my time watching TV and adding books to my "to-read" list that I will never get around to because I'm wasting all my time watching TV.
5. Eat meat (that's right kids, I'm going to give the vegetarian thing a try)


All things considered, 2007 was a good year, I'm sure 2008 will be just as good if not better. I'm rooting for better. I like things when they are better, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Interim

I'm working on an epic year-in-review post. In the mean time, enjoy John Cusack being remarkably cool to an interviewer who is... well, an idiot.



John Cusack is teh awesome. Even if some of his latest movies haven't been that great. How can you not love High Fidelity (I actually know people who don't like that movie much. But I think it's great and highly recommend checking out the book too)? And who could have possibly played the part better? No one. (switch to tone that conveys mocking sincerity) Plus, look how down to earth he is. It's so nice to see a celebrity who still has his humanity and hasn't flown off to divaville. He's just so real, you know? (as I simultaneously smirk and choke on my clichés. Now that takes talent.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

So.... it's over. I've been home now for a while and all the crazy christmas traditions have played out successfully. It was not too bad this year. I have to say that it all seemed rather anti-climatic, what with all the working two jobs and moving. But that's not really such a bad thing. Christmas tends to be over-done and over-wrought.

As per tradition, we did the big christmas stuff on christmas eve. I went over to my grandma's in the morning to bake pie (minced-meat pie. Homemade from scratch with real minced-meat). Evening brought the whole famn damily (which is now only 7) over at my parent's house for the big x-mas dinner and presents.

Christmas morning dawned at 9:00 with christmas breakfast. When Luke and I were little we used to open our presents from Mom, Dad and Grandma M on christmas morning, but that ritual died out a few years ago. It's nice having a real good breakfast and taking it easy though.

For christmas dinner, we went over to Grandma D's for a light feast (ham, turkey, various salads) followed by stockings and pie. It's a nice couple days with the family. There are many nice things about having such a small clan; holiday gatherings are really easy and pretty stress free, as is holiday shopping and eating.

Leading up to the holiday itself things were pretty busy. The parents had their big party. I went to a party for Aaron, who is in town for the holidays (he's run off to Washington). I went on a hot date on Sunday.

Well, I suppose the only thing left to do is ask the question: What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Invincible Sun God!

Happy solstice everybody. We've made it to that point in the Earth's revolution around the sun where the north pole is pointed sorta away from the great big star. Thank the pagan gods that we're heading around to warmer (and longer) days. In the mean time, bring on the snow! I love it.

I don't have much to say today, but if you want to be entertained by the blogosphere, I recommend following the yellow brick road over to Cracked to check out some christmas origin stuff. I found it very entertaining.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

im a gemini and i like long walks on the beech

I just met a walking, talking personal add. And not the kind of personal add that makes you actually want to meet the person (not sure those actually exist, but I've heard rumors so you never know). It was the kind you read just to make fun of it.

So, this personal add manifested itself in the form of the guy who delivers the big water jugs for the water cooler. After asking me if I had a boyfriend (no), and asking "why don't you go out with me?" (no), he proceeded to tell me all about himself. I stared at him trying really hard not to laugh. He's a really good guy, you know, he's single, don't got no kids, just moved here from California and he's just looking for friends you know. He works a lot, from like 7 until 5 and then he likes to go work out an the gym and party with his friends. We could text for a while or something. He's a really good guy.

Of course, if his spiel had been written down, it would have been all lowercase letters, completely devoid of any punctuation and various words would be misspelled. If it were on an online site, I'm sure it would go along with a picture of him shirtless taken with his camera phone in front of the bathroom mirror. It's so much fun to meet walking clichés!

I was tempted to ask him his sign. But, you know, he is a really good guy, because if he says so, it must be true. And wow, he works so he has lots of money to spend on me, goody! And he goes to the gym, so he's obviously in really good shape. And he likes to party so he must be pretty laid back and fun to be around. Man, how could resist such a catch?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wintery Wonders of the Webnets

Just some random fun from the interwebs for your enjoyment. Exercise your clicking muscles and check them out.

Not sure why this entertained me so much, but here it is: A-team fun

Dear Santa: All I really want for christmas is This

Keeping in the spirit of x-mas: Jesus is one very angry baby

Hee Hee buffalo I for one am really glad this information is out there.

Seriously, it doesn't really get better than this:


Spidey and MJ getting their swing on. Weeee! She even has red hair!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Swank New Pad

Holy crap what a busy weekend!

Friday work was actually not too bad. We had our holiday luncheon so I was able to escape my prison desk for a few hours and hang with people from the office. The people I work with (except El Douche, of course) are good people. I don't think I would really hate my job if I actually got to interact with them on occasion. I'm just really not a fan of being stuck out in the foyer by myself all day. After work I went to... well, work. When I got off my receptionist job, I went straight to the bookstore for a 7 hour shift. It was fun, actually, sort of stimulating in fact. It was my first shift there, so it was kind of half intensive training and half trying to use that training. It was kind of overwhelming. I got home around 12:30 and finished packing a few things.

Saturday I got up at 8 and went to sign the lease for my new apartment (more on that later), then I went back to the bookstore for an 8 hour shift. I'm kind of starting to get the hang of it. My favorite part of this job is selling people books they didn't even know they wanted. It's great fun because it gives me a chance to geek out about a book I've read. It's a good thing. Plus the people I work with are a lot of fun. It's kind of the polar opposite of Job#1 - totally a good thing. As much as I am loathe to fall back in the world of retail again, it's really not that bad. We'll see how long I actually like it though. Usually any new job is fun and exciting until the novelty wears off. I don't really see myself getting tired of books though. Of course, there's always the possibility that I'll get sacked after the holidays- hazard of job hunting around x-mas.

After work I took two car-loads of crap over to my new apartment. I went to bed, happy but tired, at 11:30.

Sunday I got up at the ass-crack of dawn (6:30) to get the hardcore moving done. My brother's girlfriend's parents let us use a truck (and actually her father helped too) that they borrowed from friends to move her (girlfriend) brother on Saturday. They only had the truck until 2:00 so we had to start the hauling process early.

I have a lot of furniture and stuff that we brought back from my grandmother's house when she moved this summer. My little apartment is actually very nicely furnished (or will be when things get settled. We had gathered all my stuff from various ends of the valley and dumped it in my new living room by 10:30. The rest of the day was spent opening boxes, assembling things that were in pieces, and finding a place for everything. All that is very tiring work. Between waking up early, moving all day, and generally staying busy all weekend, I completely ran out of energy around 6:00. I actually nearly fell asleep at the dinner table. I did manage to get a few more things put away after that, but by 9 I could barely move. I don't remember the last time I went to bed before ten. Usually there's no way I can fall asleep that early. But I was dead to the world by 9:15 last night.

I suppose I should tell you a little about my new flat. It's a cute (I hate cute as an adjective, usually, but it really is appropriate here) little place near the University and close to public transportation. Two bedrooms, reasonable kitchen, living room, tiny bathroom, hardwood floors, old-school radiators. It's in an old building so it creaks a little. It has a lot of character and it's really cozy. There is quite a lot of storage space (several closets and a cupboard in the hall). One of the bedrooms is smaller than the other (Clea, wonderful person that she is, took the smaller room). The landlord/property manager is good people too. To my friends who read this: You have to come see it!


The process will continue when I get off work today. I'm very much looking forward to everything settling down. Please, don't ever let me move during the holiday season ever again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Duke

Impulse buy of the week (last week, actually, but it came today):
Duke Ellington Three Suites

Purchased because:
The first of the three suites is Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.

Thoughts:
Extremely worthwhile purchase. The Nutcracker (the normal way) is kind of overplayed this time of year, or at least as overplayed as classical music ever is. Duke's version peps it up and turns it into something different enough to be fresh and interesting but familiar enough to be, well, familiar. Plus it's less ballet and more swing. Which kind of dancing do you prefer? Me, I dig the latter. Nothing against Tchaikovsky, mind, it's just nice to hear such a refreshing take on a classic. Besides, Ellington makes me want to get up and dance Tchaik (name is too long, fingers are lazy), as pretty as it is, doesn't.
Brian Setzer Orchestra also has a version of the Nutcracker Suite, which also swings, but isn't nearly as good as the Duke. Not really surprising, considering Ellington is one of the greatest greats.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pfffttttt

This is the third time I've started writing today. Hopefully this time I'll get enough down before I get bored with it that I can actually post. Actually, the first time I started, I wrote the title of the post and then stared at the screen for a few minutes before I went off and did something else.

The thing is, my job has become suddenly deathly boring again (no surprise there) and therefore I'm going nuts at my desk but have nothing immediately interesting to inspire me to write. In theory, writing this little blog thingy should alleviate some of the boredom. And, actually, now that I've actually started typing, it kind of is. Not for you though, this post is boring.

That there is the rub, so to speak. Despite the common perception of me, I am not, in fact, so self aggrandizing that I think everyone will be enthralled with whatever I write. I am not so interesting that even the most meaningless drivel that is created by moi is worth reading and will be studied by scholars in years future. *tee hee* I can see it now! Some hoity-toity institution offers the class: Blog Literature of the Early 21st Century. It can be taken as an enhancement to Modern Classics: Literature of the Early 21st Century and, of course, I will be studied in both classes having made it as a famous authoress shortly after quiting my job as a receptionist.

I have cut back my hours here. I now get to leave at 2:00 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The idea was that this would allow me to work afternoons at the bookstore. This week I'm working there Friday evening and all day Saturday. I can't say I'm unhappy about spending less time here though. It's already really nice having time in the afternoon to do stuff, and heaven knows I'm going to need it what with moving soon. Speaking of which, yesterday I used my newly empty afternoon to go take a look at the apartment that we're (hopefully) going to get. It's a sweet little place, quaint even. The manager said that he should be finished processing our applications by Wednesday and that he didn't think there would be any reason we wouldn't get it. That means we might get to move in this weekend. And I guess that would mean Sunday for me, since I'm going to be a the bookstore most of the day Saturday.

Enough of this now. I'm going to eat lunch. Mmmmm lunch.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lite Fried Hay Hew More

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some Quick News

Last Saturday I took my car to my mechanic to get my emissions and inspection done (tags expire in Nov. I'm not sure I've ever done this on time). Yesterday he called and told me just the news I wanted to hear. In order to pass I have to do about $700 of work on the thing. Stupid car.

Today Clea (soon to be roomie) wandered around the valley looking at apartments. She found one that she really likes and it sounds awesome. It's at a nearly perfect location for both of us and it's an extremely reasonable price. I haven't seen it, but I trust her judgement and frankly don't have a lot of time to go look. The catch is that we would have to move in pretty much right away. Which isn't so bad, I guess, but a hassle on top of all the holiday crap. It's also something else to eat the money out of my bank account.

So between car and apartment I may be getting broke for christmas (I refuse to capitalize it for many reasons I may or may not go into later).

I have a test tonight- a final, I guess, but it's not cumulative nor is it during finals week. Wish me luck. Then later I'm going to the Swing Club. I'm so happy to be dancing again and meeting people I might be able to go out dancing with (like on the weekend).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

That Time of Year Again

Every December things get crazy busy for me. At least half of the busy is not related to the holidays either. Just December fills up with activities and I find myself running around like the proverbial beheaded chicken.

Even work is busy. Yesterday and today I have had enough projects that I really have to focus to get them done by the end of the day. I'm not used to it, but it actually make my job interesting. It's a nice change, but I know it wont last and the torture will again ensue. But for the last few days I haven't really hated it here.

One really bad thing: being so busy I don't really have time to look for an apartment. Could be a problem. Anyone want to do it for me? I'll make you cookies.