Thursday, December 28, 2006

Starlight at the Funeral

It's tough, you know? Between the busy holiday season & the normal business of my job, I've found it so difficult to focus on good writing lately. For example, I know my blogging hasn't been stellar of late, despite lots going on. I've been longing to sit down, focus, and craft a really good post, as I know I can.

So, because the quality writing is apparently hiding somewhere in my head, here are some of my thoughts at the moment - in boring bullet form:
  • Nick & I are heading to Manhattan on Saturday morning! We're staying with my best friend at her apartment in the city for the weekend. We're also attending a New Year's Eve party at the apartment of one of my friends from study abroad. She's tons of fun & I haven't seen her since she came to visit me in Boston in '05, so I'm really looking forward to it. I promise pictures next week.
  • You know when you have a song running through your head but you don't mind because you really like it but you feel like it's really getting a bit much and maybe you should chill with listening to/singing it? Yeah. Right now, "Starlight" by Muse and "The Funeral" by Band of Horses are sharing that pole position. Why, yes, that quirky fact was the inspiration for my title, thank you for noticing!
  • I heart Sam Adams Cream Stout. Not usually a stout kinda girl - but I'm liking it. Between the holiday samplers Nick & I have been . . well, sampling and the impending trip to Scotland, I'm looking forward to a good beer winter. :)
  • This one's just for fun. I was watching an episode of 30 Rock tonight & here's an exchange I particularly enjoyed:
    • Tina Fay's character: "Why did you think I was a lesbian?"
    • Alec Baldwin's character: "Your shoes."
    • Tina: "But I'm straight!"
    • Alec: "Those shoes are definitely bi-curious."
COMIC GOLD, people. Tom, I take back my comment about Alec Baldwin not being that funny. ;)

That's all for now, kiddies. Catch you on the flip side of my trip to NYC, also known as next week/year! (As an aside, couldn't you just kill those people who leave places before New Year's Eve & cheerily shout, "See you next year!" Grrrrrr . . . . )

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Baby's First Christmas

Here are the promised pics from Thing 1's first Christmas:

Loads of presents under the tree

I'm not sure about this singing reindeer, people . . .

Wait - now I am and I want to grab it!

"My First Nikes"

His auntie & mommy with their gift cards to Fire & Ice

His new trike (from auntie Stacey)

This picture is just here b/c I think it's hilarious. I look way too excited about my gift & my sister looks distinctly underwhelmed by hers. ;)

Here are the rest of the pictures. Enjoy & a belated Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Overload

Busy with holiday things, blah, blah, yakkity schmakkity. I know it's no excuse for not posting since last Wednesday. I promise photos of Baby W's first Christmas tomorrow. I leave you with this endearing photo of me that might show just how overloaded (or "loaded", whichever you prefer) I was. ;)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thank You, Radio Flyer!

Because of your clearly worded & diagrammed directions, this very un-handy blogger was able to assemble her nephew's tricycle in just 45 minutes! Check out the before:

And the after!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

3-Party Weekend

Three parties in just one weekend - how busy and important am I? :) I kid, I kid. Here's how it all went down:
  • Friday night - raced home after work to change into dressy clothes, zipped to Southie to pick Nick up, and headed south to a friend's Christmas party in Quincy. This is the friend whose wedding I was in back in October. It was nice to see her & her husband's apartment decorated for Christmas. However, I overestimated on the outfit. Nick & I were the only ones not in jeans. I think I lost a few points on that one. ;)
  • Saturday (day) - After a stroll to Joseph's in the morning, Nick & I took the T (free ride inbound from Broadway! Not sure why - but hell yeah!). We wandered around Beacon Hill and the Common, enjoying the Christmas lights & decorations. He took some pics - check them out.
  • Saturday night - We had dinner at the Liberty Bell in Southie, then stopped by the liquor store for Sam Adams Winter Lager & Cherry Wheat Ale. After a quick change, we walked around the corner to his friend's party. I know his close friends, but I also ended up meeting ten or so of his not-as-close college friends. They seemed like a fun group & we played a rousing game of 3-man. Yours truly ended up wearing a beer box helmet for awhile there. Good thing I don't embarrass easily.
  • Sunday - Another morning walk to Joseph's & an afternoon spent watching football. :) I headed home in the evening to round out the weekend with a third & final party. I've been frequenting the People's Republik in Cambridge for about six years now & their annual Christmas party was on Sunday night. Had a great time - drank a few pints (Harpoon Winter Warmer & Dogfish Head Punkin), chatted with old friends, and still made it home by midnight! A few of the guys from the bar (regulars or bartenders) introduced me to their girlfriends as, "old school People's." Ian's girlfriend's reaction was the best: "But you're not that old!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Scotland, Here I Come (Part Deux)

In May, I wrote about a potential trip back to Scotland for my friends' wedding. However, due to lack of vacation time & money, it didn't pan out. But never fear, gentle readers! There's a new plan in the works. :)

Nick & I are planning a trip to my dear auld country in March! I've informed my friends in Scotland & Wales. Iain & Sarah have generously offered to put us up for the nights that we'll spend in Edinburgh. I've planned out a rough itinerary, including a night in Inverness and another on the Isle of Skye.

All that's left to do is buy the airline tix, request the vacation time, and book the hostel rooms. Scotland, here I come! (for real this time) :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Being a Grown-Up

Or, "Really? Am I really sending out sixty-one holiday cards?" ;)

Things I did today that made me feel entirely grown-up:

  1. Sent a million emails to friends and family about addresses for Christmas cards. I think I said, "Please give my love to your family and have a very Merry Christmas" about sixty times!
  2. Signed 135 holiday cards for the people who work for my company.
  3. Emailed three of my undergraduate professors, thanking them for writing recommendations for me & promising to let them know "when I hear something." (Scary!)
  4. Bought three Dr. Seuss books - two for the nephew & one for my boss' holiday party, where he & his wife are collecting children's books for "Reach Out & Read". I can't attend the party, but it's such a good cause - I felt I had to contribute anyway.
Things I did that made me feel just like a kid again:
  1. Snuck into my co-worker's office every five minutes to "accidentally" steal chocolates from his candy bowl.
  2. Giggled with joy at a road chock-full of Christmas-lit houses on the way to my student's house.
  3. Bought three Dr. Seuss books. :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

When the Boys Just "Get It"

Sometimes, God bless them, the boys just get it. :) On Sunday, I rushed home from NH to meet Nick & go pick out my Christmas tree. I whirled into town a few minutes after the Pats game ended and called him at his friend's house. "OK, honey, I'm here. Let's go get the tree!" He said, "I'm gonna spend a little more time with E. and the kids, ok? I'll pick you up at 5:30." Disappointed, I said, "OK, but I have to tutor at 7:30, so we'll only have a couple of hours." He agreed to come get me at 5 instead.

Cut to 5:00 pm. As he's pulling up out front, I call the first-choice tree place to make sure they're still open. Gloom & doom - they've just closed. I quickly check the closing time on the second-choice place & run down the stairs. I get into his truck with a sad look & explain what happened. I mention that I rushed home from NH to get the tree with him & now we can't go to the first-choice place. His response: "Oh, honey, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were rushing. What are you doing next Sunday?" I reply, "Nothing - and it's actually our 3-month anniversary." He says, "Whatever Christmas-y thing you want to do, we'll do it. You're going to have Christmas coming out your ears!"

I love it when he knows just what I need. :)

(Flickr nod to
sushiesque for the photo of Christmas lights on the Common.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Getting To Know You - Holiday Edition

Courtesy of Jen at Jenny Sais Quoi . . .
  1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate, with a little bit of peppermint . . .
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just place them under the tree? In my experience, Santa wraps presents carefully and even writes out the tags! ;)
  3. Colored or white lights on tree and/or house? Grew up with colored on tree, white on house. We recently discovered that all of us would have preferred white on both!
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yup - above the door right now. Snuck a kiss from Nick the other night!
  5. When do you put up decorations? I start the day after Thanksgiving.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Tie between stuffing and mashed potatoes.
  7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? How do you pick just one? Driving around Boston with my family to see the Christmas lights (bolstered by hot cocoa from DD's), attending my church's candlelit Christmas Eve services, watching "The Grinch" and "Rudolf" on TV, lying on the family room floor & staring up at the tree, reading "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve with my father & sister . . .
  8. How and when did you learn the truth about Santa? Wait - what "truth"? Did I miss something???
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope, wasn't a tradition in our family.
  10. How do you decorate your tree? When I moved out on my own, my mother gave me all of "my" ornaments - ones that my parents had given me, ones that I had picked out, or ones that I had just loved. I love seeing them on my own little tree (above).
  11. Snow - love it or dread it? Love it at first, sick of it by March.
  12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but haven't done so in a very long time. Nick & I might attempt it next weekend on the frog pond - wish us luck!
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not sure - might be my digital camera. Thanks, Mum & Dad!
  14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with family and celebrating the wonder of Jesus' birth.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Not much of a pie person, so I'd say candy canes and the like.
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? See #7. However, I'm also looking forward to creating new holiday traditions eventually with a husband & children.
  17. What tops your tree? A little red-haired angel. My parents used to alternate her and a blonde one (for my sister). Now that she's with me, though, she gets pride of place every year!
  18. Which do you prefer - giving or receiving? Probably giving. I can see that even more so in the future, now that I have an adorable nephew to spoil!
  19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Too hard to pick just one, but the top contenders would be: Baby It's Cold Outside, All I Want for Christmas is You, Silver Bells, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Good King Wenceslas, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
  20. Favorite Christmas movie? Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sooo Sleepy . . .

This is going to be a short & sweet post. My warm, snuggly bed is siren-calling me.

It's been a hectic couple of days since I last posted. My office holiday party (Not Your Average Joe's, two pints of Sam Adams, Secret Santas) was Wednesday night.

Thursday was a busy rush of buying holiday decorations for the open house I hosted at work tonight, lunching with my co-workers from the DC office, and baking cupcakes at Nick's apartment for afore-mentioned open house.

Today was a dizzying haze of prepping for the open house & then soldiering through four hours of small talk. The event was a rousing success and I have yummy leftovers, but I am so tired. And I didn't get to see Nick tonight, which made me sad. :(

I have to be back at the office at 8:30 am for a weekend training. Then, it's into the car for a 90-minute drive to NH to celebrate my sister & grandmother's birthdays. I'm tired again already.

Sunday - I have to sort through an entire shed's worth of my things at my parents' house, drive back down to MA, and tutor a student in the evening. The one bright spot is buying my Christmas tree on Sunday afternoon with Nick. :)

I hope you all have slower, more relaxing weekends planned. ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1-Year Blogiversary!

I was sitting around at work earlier today, with nothing to do since our server was down. I started thinking, "Hey, I think I've been blogging for about a year now." So, I checked the date of the first entry on my old blog. Lo & behold, today is exactly one year since I began this adventure called blogging!

I've come a long way, baby. I posted on the old blog, a Friendster offshoot, from December 6, 2005 to March 27, 2006. I wrote 29 posts and received 1 (count it - 1) comment.

At the end of March, I was getting a little more serious about this blogging thing, so I switched to a Blogger account. Very little traffic the first few months. In June, I started tracking visits through Site Meter. In the whole month of July, I got 150 hits. In the month of November - nearly 950.

Now, I average 35 hits per day and around 240 per week. I realize this is teensy-tiny compared to many bloggers I know, but I'm kinda proud, so back off! ;)

Many nice things have happened as a result of blogging - meeting all of the great bloggers at Blogtoberfest, keeping peripheral friends updated on my life, building a (very small) readership in Edinburgh, getting picked up on Universal Hub once or twice. But most of all, it's been really satisfying to have a creative outlet.

Nathan from Tell Him Fred & Erin from Pink & Green Girl both posted last week about blogging as a life choice. What would cause you to stop blogging?, they asked. My response: "
My first instinct was to say I would stop blogging if something huge happened in my life, like a big career change, getting married, having a baby, etc. But then, I reconsidered. I’ve loved how the blog has been an ongoing chronicle of my life this past year. Why wouldn’t I want to continue that chronicle for other important events?"

Here's to continuing this chronicle, this account of my journey through life (i.e. hodoeporicon)!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekend Update

Pretty busy weekend! After getting caught in the rainstorm on Friday night, I slept in on Saturday morning. 12:30 pm, kittens! Can you believe it?

My friend L. was going through some shit with her boyfriend, so she camped out at my apartment from Saturday afternoon until Sunday around noon. In an effort to distract her from her relationship drama, I searched high & low for a board game or playing cards or something. All I found was a set of mini Uno cards that I got for my birthday as a joke gift from my family. And yes, we used them! Can you picture two twenty-somethings sitting on the couch, playing Uno with teeny little cards? Yeah, it was pretty much that funny. :)

Spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon with Nick in Southie, watching the Pats & cuddling. December is going to be a crazy month for both of us, so we're carving out any time we can. I headed over to my sister's house in Hometown in the late afternoon. Sunday was her birthday, so I presented her with a bouquet of mango-colored roses from the whole family & baby-sat Thing 1 while she & her hubby went out to dinner at P.F. Chang's. L. joined us for awhile & helped me keep the munchkin (and the dog) in order.

Around 9 pm, I drove home, sat down at the computer, and proceeded to spend all of this month's food money on Christmas gifts & cards. But my nephew just has to get a tricycle, right??? I know - I lack will power, people. ;)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Day #. . . Wait, Who Cares?!?

Hey kids. Hope you all had a nice day-off-from-blogging yesterday. I hadn't intended to return so quickly, but Nick & I had a funny adventure last night that I thought I'd share.

After a long work week, he came over to my place around 6:30pm. We ate dinner, then sat on the couch trying to decide whether to watch the remainder of the first Harry Potter film or go for a walk. Since it was so nice & warm & windy, I argued for the walk. Thus, the sneakers went on & off we went.

We wandered leisurely towards Hometown Center, to which I live very close. We looked at the Christmas lights in the center & I pointed out the various establishments at which I'd worked in high school. We ended up at a bookstore downtown, where I decided that Baby W is definitely getting a couple of Dr. Seuss books for Christmas!

While in the bookstore, the heavens let loose. We looked up & saw what I imagine Noah & his wife would have seen - torrential downpour outside the window. As the store was closing shortly, we had to leave - but where could we go? We ended up in the small hallway of the building (where I'd smoked cigarettes with friends in high school) & pondered our options.

Being short of money, we decided against waiting it out with a beer at a nearby restaurant. That was the first mistake. ;) Since it was still quite warm, we figured we'd just get wet & walk home. That, of course, was the second mistake.

Off we went into the downpour. Within seconds, we were thoroughly soaked & walking through deep puddles. We kept up a walking pace for quite awhile, making jokes ("Just taking a romantic walk in the rain. What are you looking at, sir?"). Deciding to take a shortcut across a lawn, we realized we were now wading through a sea of mud. That's when we started to run.

At one point, the rain was so heavy, I ran underneath a pine tree to get some cover. Nick joined me & yelled, laughing, "This isn't any better!" Off we went again. We ran home to my apartment & snuck upstairs (I live in an old mansion and leaving puddles in the front hallway is not something my landlords would enjoy). Since the walk was initially my idea, I don't think I'll ever live it down. But as Nick said, "Always an adventure with you, kiddo!"