Thursday, December 31, 2009
I heard more and more people say that 2009 has been the worse year they've ever experienced. The recession, excessive job loss and swine flu were just a number of potential different causes. For me though, it was a pretty good year, although it definetly had it's low points. My grandma dying was difficult. It was especially noticeable during Christmas.
However, I also made a lot of personal progress this year. Getting into grad school and finishing my first quarter with a B+ and an A were proud moments. I had a fabulous bike summer and I particularly enjoyed the Michael Jackson Tribute ride and the World Naked Bike Ride. Country Fair was pretty damn awesome. The John Day Fossil Beds campout was great. I wish I had gotten out of town more often though.
For this next year, I don't know if I'm making any unusual resolutions. I am planning on going somewhere on a sunny, nice vacation at some point during a school break, either Spring or Summer. I would like to take a train ride too. I resolve to not get too stressed out with work and school. I'm going to push myself but I'm going to pull back from work more if it gets to be to hard. I also plan on getting rid of my car completely. Those are my few goals which are probably attainable. Anyway, I just hope it'll be another good year.
My friends' friend's friend Rianna taught me how to pop Snaps (those lil wrapped up fireworks) with my bare fingers. Whoo.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
This Christmas was a throwback to the days of yesteryear as I got Wii Sports Resort. Today, I tried it out and it was quite addictive. I took Dean for a walk first so I wouldn't feel guilty when I began throwing a virtual frisbee to a virtual dog. My favorite games on it were the Frisbee dog, wake-boarding and the 3 point shot competition which was the most exhausting and hazardous to our ceiling. It was nice to take some time to just have fun before school starts but, when the time comes, I'll have to get all serious and study again. Childish things and all that.
I loved being back with my family and getting snowed in together but it was absolutely delightful walking around Portland without a jacket. While on store visit downtown, I went to buy my books for next quarter and took a nice walk in the sun to do so.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I obviously didn't really examine the flight plans or times when I booked this trip. I think I was primarily concerned with the price. Flying down here to Houston made my trip twice as long but they said that it's the journey that's important & not the destination so here I am.
I've only flown out of Texas one other time from the Indymedia gathering & I had an emotional breakdown that lasted two days. I'm hoping this will be a lot better since I'm more well traveled.
This is also my 1st time flying Continental. So far it's been okay but I still prefer Frontier. Also they're gonna serve a meal which is great cuz all I've had since leaving Omaha is five cookies.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Cabin fever set in and none of us were going to be satisfied with playing board games any longer. We checked the roads, figured out it was do-able and headed to Kearney where we went to a new theater. It's a nice multiplex that wasn't there when I was in college. And we went to see Avatar.
I've been wanting to see this movie for a while and I haven't seen a movie with most of my family in the theater for years. My brother, dad and I liked it. My niece didn't and my grandma got motion sickness from it. It has a great message (although there is problems with about anything if you scrutinize it hard enough) and it's absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to see it in 3-D when I get back to Portland.
My sister and youngest niece got to my parents' house today. My littlest niece has long hair and loves dogs. She's actually worn Oliver out. I'm really grateful to be able to see them before I go home even if it's just for a little bit.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
It's Christmas Eve and the weather is awful out. Luckily, we don't have to go anywhere and we're well stocked up on food, booze and entertainment. Unfortunately, my sister and youngest niece are in Kansas and it's too dangerous for them to make it up here. They reported on the news tonight that there were over 100 cars in ditches on I-80 and so far there have been seven fatalities.
However, knowing that everyone I hold dear in the Midwest is safe is good. Here in Gibbon, we played Monopoly (my dad won), pitch (I won one game and Eric won two), Life (I think Hayleigh or my mom won) and electronic Trivia for the first time (my mom and I won). My mom made meat and cheese lasagna which was wonderful and Hayleigh made red velvet cookies with chocolate chips and a cream frosting. As I've said before, presents are fun and all but this is what I like about holidays. I feel all sappy inside.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Today's new thing was walking Oliver in the snow. I don't think this dog has seen a lot of snow. It's always fun to watch pets experience snow for one of the first times. Oliver tried to walk without letting his back legs touch the ground and, then when he accepted that it was impossible, he dove in face first.
Also, a new thing today was mixing Bailey's Irish Creme and Buttershot Schnapps. :) I love the snow.
Monday, December 21, 2009
To the best of my knowledge, this is my first time in Gibbon. I did go to some small town school for a career day to represent the Archway Monument years ago but this was the first time getting to see the town. There's not a lot here. The picture above is Gibbon's business district. Still, it'll be a nice place to relax and we bought plenty of liquor to see us through the impending snow storm.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Today, I met my brother's dog Oliver. Oliver rode on my lap all the way home from Omaha (three-four hours). I can easily understand small lap dogs now. He is so sweet. He's just what I needed after a long day of transportation.
I made all of my standby potentials and got to 'Braska just four hours late. The flights were actually okay and I didn't have to pay any extra money. I'm kind of sold on Frontier now. The people I sat between from PDX to Denver were nice too and I was able just to sit there and finish the last Season of Dexter. My vacation commenceth.
Damnit, I wonder what the record is for missing flights because, percentage wise, I probably rank up there. I could have sworn the flight info said I leave around noon. However, while in line at 10:47 am, I checked the info on my phone and found out the plane departs at 10:56 am. D'oh. I should've probably guessed that when I saw that the Southwest Airlines line was 200 people deep (and that's a conservative estimate) while there was only one person in line ahead of me at Frontier. She had missed the flight too.
I've done this a number of times before. Usually one of my siblings has to be getting married though. At least this time, I'm just going for a general visit and Christmas isn't for another five days.
So my new thing obviously wasn't missing my flight. Instead I went to the Beaverton Bakery Stop place at the airport where I slowly worked on a vanilla latte and enjoyed an episode of Dexter. I may have missed my flight but it's still my vacation and I will enjoy it to the fullest extent.
Before checking in, I went to Pizzacato and got a veggie slice. A couple was fighting there. The guy stormed off and left the girl calling his name while his pizza got cold. She waited for about five minutes then left. She came back with him and he tried to talk to her. She wouldn't respond to him so he left again but he took his Coke this time and the Pizzacato people quickly offered a To-Go box. I may have missed my flight but my troubles seem so minimal. These people are going to board a plane together, presumably next to each other. Akwaaaard. I hope they don't end up sitting next to me!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I ended up going to a vendor that I haven't bought anything from before. I'm counting that as my new thing. It was a lovely ride though with mild rainfall. If it hadn't been for the commerce, I think I would have really enjoyed it. I don't mind giving people gifts but, the truth is, if I want something, I buy it. I don't have a large abundance of wealth but I'm thrifty enough that I can save for something if I really need or want it.
December has become about the gifts. I'm not trying to advocate that people remember "the reason for the season" but it sucks to have it all revolve around gifts. I'm also not a scrooge. I can enjoy the company of my loved ones just as well as the next person. To me, it seems like gifting has gotten in the way.
I talked it over with one of my housemates and we agreed that it would just be best if we didn't buy each other gifts but the adults of the house just went in together to get some appliance for the house that we all want. That makes the most sense to me. However, we're also looking at a house on 85th & Alder that rents for the same as our house now and have a lot more room. Maybe we'll just spend our Christmas money on it instead?
Friday, December 18, 2009
I love leaving Portland just so I can come back and love it all over again, rain and all. Plus now that I'm caught up at work, there won't be this dread hanging over me. I can truly relax. I bought a book I need for next quarter yesterday and I plan on reading it on my vacation. Hot cocoa, snow, a book, family...I need this right now.
Part of my going away preparations meant touching base with friends. Sophia and I went to have dinner at Dots and I tried the Garden Burger Border Melt (which was new for me). It was spicy but I've been in a spicy mood as of late.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My subconscious is never ever this nice to me. My dreams usually revolve around some source of stress, like forgetting I have a class or not being able to complete a work assignment. However, my dreams last night were absolutely wonderful. Again, I'll repeat that this never happens.
I dreamt that a friend and I were at a lavish indoor pool and Brad and Angelina Jolie were there. I don't buy into celebrity worship as I feel that worship always leads to disappointment. However, there they were so I was going to go with it. I'll leave out a whole lot of the details but Angelina and my friend quickly disappeared once I asserted that this was my dream. ;)
I ended up hanging out with Bradgelina the whole weekend (no kids were there). Brad wasn't a great kisser but he was a truly lovely guy. And Angelina was very...open minded. I'm just amazed that my subconscious said, "Sure, it's completely plausible that Brad Pitt would make out with you." The only point of stress in the dream came from when I realized nobody was going to believe this and the only camera I could find was my old one which wouldn't take the best photos.
Still, I woke up after the weekend was over and felt completely at peace. Yesterday at work SUCKED bad so this was a complete karma dream. I was due. Hell, if my nights get to be like this, I will suffer through all of the bad days I can get my hands on.
Work was great. Compared to yesterday, I had it easy. I did a lot of running around too, treated myself to my favorite burrito place and got a considerable amount of my Christmas shopping done.
Also, since I was on cloud nine, I headed to the gym. I put in a great workout, primarily due to the fact that a hottie wanted me to spot for him. In all of the time I've been going to the gym, a stranger has never asked me to spot for them. This is a wonderous day.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I'm conflicted about this 'new thing' though. I've been slacking off on doing new things. This means I've been counting a new soda or window-shopping in a new store as my new things. That's why I haven't really been writing a lot. It just hasn't been that interesting. I think it's the weather too. It's been dull, cold and sometimes rainy.
Today, I was determined to do something new that scared me. I'm not talking about actually piss-myself scared but something that would make me uncomfortable. I'm actually uncomfortable with being too comfortable. However, in the end, I wasn't creative or invigorating at all and settled for this event my housemates were going to. I'm glad I went but I just wish I could have done something more jarring this weekend. Eh, there's always tomorrow.
My throat is sore from belting out several songs on Rock Band. I scared all of the animals out of the room when I sang "Hey Man, Nice Shot," and I was actually bizarrely humbled when Jimi Hendrix came to the stage and I got to sing as him. Weird.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Over the past few years, we've developed traditions. We do the YMCA, I lead everyone in the macarena, we do Christmas carols and this one little lady sings Happy Birthday to her roommate. It may be repetitious but it saves me from having to download more music. Also this year we added hopefully a new tradition. The guy that's not in the picture on my right is singing Sweet Caroline. It's his turn around song and I will forever love Neil Diamond for it. This guy can start off grumpy as all hell and I'll put on this song. By the time he gets to the chorus, he's yelling, "I feel FINE!" and he does feel fine. Today, we played Sweet Caroline and he agreed to come up on stage and it was wonderful.
The party ended with a bang...literally. A co-worker's car was hit. Another co-worker grabbed me and we ran out the door to go meet up with her. A drunk driver (at 2 pm!) ran a stop sign and smashed up her front end. Fortunately, everyone had insurance and she's not in trouble or anything.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I've been bored and boring lately. That's why there hasn't been posts for the past week. It's odd not to have the need to study looming over me. I actually have free time. Besides work stuff, I haven't done much with that time. Plus it's been cold & I haven't wanted to leave the house.
However, we have a video showing tonight (Where's Molly?) & a lot of people showed up just for it. I can feel the onset of sickness so I'm combating it with Red & Black's deluxe vegan chili & an orange juice (mixed with champagne). Next step is a steam room if I'm not feeling better by tomorrow.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I took my first A.E.D. class today. This stands for something Electrical Difibulator. I could easily look it up and find out what the A stands for but I'm not that interested. Plus, the machine does it all for you so why do I need to know the acronym? All you have to do is make sure the skin is dry, follow the diagram on the back of the paddles to show where to stick them and turn on the on button. The machine will decide, based upon the person's heart palpatations if they need to be shocked or not. If they do, it says, "Push the shock button." That's relying on technology a bit much but it's good if it can help save lives.
Apparently it's going to be a state-wide and then federal policy, similar to having first aid kits in every business. They'll have to have these machines there too. I've taken so many CPR classes in my life. Now, with my job, I have to have it every year. I hope I never need to use these skills but you never know. One of my favorite managers whom I have worked with in a number of different capacities throughout the years saved a small child (who incidentally had swine flu) a few weeks ago. The kid was in the parent's shopping cart and just stopped breathing so the manager put her up on the counter and started giving her mouth to mouth. Pretty damn amazing day at work at your thrift store retail job when you can save a toddler's life.