And So It Was

I feel somewhat obliged to make a New Year’s Day post to welcome in 2010. To me, New Year’s is a scammy, half-assed sort of holiday, on the order of Groundhog Day. My new year is on May 10th, so  reflection, introspection and hopes for a new year generally fall on the day in which I am a year older. But the world didn’t ask me, they asked the Gregorian calendar, so the Twitter trending topics aren’t #moreofsame or #anotherday, they are #in2010 and #10yearsago. Incidentally, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I was doing in December 31st, 1999. I would have just completed my first semester at Rutgers and I was working two jobs (Domino’s and at Honors College courtesy of the FWSP). I probably spent New Year’s Eve with friends and family but I have no recollection of the details. Much of my life is like that. Stupid memory! Well, if nothing else, in 10 years time, when Twitter and Facebook have merged, and Facetwitbook is acquired by Google, and Googfacetwitbook sends a query directly to my brain asking what I did in 2009, I will have THIS blog post to reference.

I’ve already written a quasi-year in review post in the beginning of November. At the end of November, Tim and I started going to the gym in place of walking three times a week. I’ve managed to work in a fourth day for all but one of the weeks since we started. Exercising regularly combined with tracking and limiting calories has equated to me losing about two pounds a week (this last week being a wash because I wanted to moderately enjoy Christmas goodies and not obsess about what the scale says). I have a lot more energy AND I’ve only had 20 ounces of soda in the last five weeks. I truly wasn’t sure I could do without caffeine completely. Bananas are now my brain food for the morning.

By way of summary, here is what else happened in 2009:

  • Loss. Tigger, Russ’s Uncle Dennis, Mrs. Simon; all are missed.
  • I read some stuff. I’m not sure that I could even approximate the stats regarding what I’ve read this year but I do know that I made more time for reading than I did in 2008. My three favorites were: Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.
  • I wrote a little. I blogged every day in April (and I just may be crazy enough to do it again in 2010); tried a writing experiment in November.
  • I worked. And got a promotion!
  • Got around a bit. I traveled farther West than ever before! St. Louis is one cool town. Another cool town I visited for the first time in 2009: Columbus.
  • Saw some shows. Theatre, music and in between: Spring Awakening, Wicked, Fantastics, An Ideal Husband, Inherit the Wind, A Night of Lewis Carroll, Cirque du Solei, Duck Soup, Nevermore, Selections from the Spoon River Anthology (Starrynight Productions), Dracula, DCI, Great Big Sea w/Scythian, Joshua Bell w/Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, more that I’m probably forgetting…
  • Saw some family. But never enough! Miss them.

I will save predictions and goals for 2010 for another post. I notice that I didn’t do a prospective post until Jan 2nd of 2009. Better keep to tradition.

On Sunday

I had a good day today. I talked to family back home and then had a very nice dinner with Ann and David. Russell and I met their new mut Lexi for the first time. Initially, she was very territorial and hard to approach but a few treats and a walk around the property later and we were all good friends. I meant to bring my camera, which of course I forgot to do.

I really don’t have much else to say. This blogging every day thing has been a good exercise but quantity doesn’t guarantee quality. I suppose I could have guessed that weekend posts were going to be rubish. Oh and the ‘b’ key on my laptop doesn’t always want to work. I suppose I really ought to be using my wireless keyboard anyway, as the laptop beastie is hardly ergonomically friendly.

I’m a few chapters into Ink Exchange. Leslie wasn’t a stand out character to me in Wicked Lovely (she was the friend of the main character but didn’t feature too prominently) but I’m waiting for her to grow on me. I’m also curious about the timeline. I’m not sure how much time has passed. Hard to tell at the moment.

It just occurred to me that I didn’t pick up a Reese’s peanut butter egg this year. Argh! Maybe I’ll see one on clearance somewhere? Mmm, peanut butter chocolate goodness…

She Makes with Lots of Shiny

You may have read somewhere (on Twitteror maybe I blogged about it?) that Howl, my beloved iPod, died. Tim lent me his for the time being and, knowing my birthday was coming up, suggested that I opt for a Nano or an iPod Touch. I was taken with the Touch: wifi web browsability, mail and calendar syncing? Win.

Tim picks it up and taunts me with this fact via SMS. I call my parents to see if they’d be willing to chip in for my birthday. During the course of this, Dad suggests a hard reset to restore Howl, something I should have guessed existed. A button press combo later and Howl is resurrected. Oh dear.

So now I have a 30 gig iPod that is a bit poky but working (for the moment) and a shiny new 16 gig iPod Touch named Pantalaimon (in keeping with the ‘name Apple devices after book characters’ trend). I haven’t uploaded any music or videos but I did grab some handy apps (Tweetie, Bylines, Pandora and Wikipanion, Bookmarks Delicioussafari (Free)). I’m curious to see how much wifi is available around town. In the meantime, the plan is: if I’m just going out walking and just want some tunes, I take Howl. If I’m going to be in the vicinity of wifi and feel compelled to be chained to the interwebs, I take Pan.

In other news, Tim and I will be taking walk 2009.004 at Bloomington Rail Trail (map). Later, we will be getting our Irish on for movie night with two loosely Irish films: Boondock Saints and Intermission. Irish-related flicks shall be accompanied by Shamrock Shakes (made with Creme De Menthe and Peppermint Schnapps).

Sláinte!

Resolve

I haven’t formed any New Year’s resolutions because I think it is stupid to wait an entire year to make goals for oneself, when one is perfectly capable mustering up a modicum of resolve on any given day of the year. I have a few long-term goals already: be more organized, minimize clutter in the apartment, be more healthy, etc., but, not to be left out of this honored holiday tradition, I decided to consult the Resolution Randomizer for my New Year’s Resolution. Here are five suggested goals for 2009:

  1. Never be caught singing showtunes with co-workers.
  2. Share my ideas about eating breakfast at any time. Ever.
  3. Explore doing shots when I’m provoked.
  4. Probably stop letting myself go under the table.
  5. Abstain from telling lewd jokes at inappropriate times.

I’ll get right on that. Blueberry Belgian waffles for dinner.

Holiday Break

Update on my previous post: the package turned up. Yay! Call off the dogs, Comrades.

Henk's Christmas Tree
Henk's Christmas Tree

We had a nice Christmas spent at Mom and David’s. I got some nice goodies and I had more than enough money to get a camera. I’m still playing with settings and doing a lot of consulting in the manual but I hope to start playing with it some more. I played with the color shift setting with this image.

Thanks to Tim for camera-shopping help.

And thanks to Plucky for Guitar Hero (I picked it up from the post office on Friday and still haven’t had a chance to play it yet)!

5 Years or $250,000

That’s the maximum penalty for mail fraud. This morning I tracked a package that was evidently delivered yesterday and “left at the front door” because the package didn’t need to be signed for. Russell just called to report that the package, a gift for someone, is no where to be found. In retrospect, I suppose I should have posted a sign directing FedEx, UPS and DHL to leave all packages at the office, whether they need to be signed for or not (the regular drivers know to do this, but the holiday temps do not).

Maybe the box is sitting in some dark corner of the foyer waiting to be found; perhaps a trusted neighbor is holding it until he sees me next. Send positive thoughts, folks because I can’t afford to replace this gift. This is the second time I’ve lost a package that was left out during the holidays. The previous time, I didn’t know a package was coming and I was out of state at the time of its supposed arrival.

Stealing: NOT in the spirit of the holiday. If you are expecting a package and you aren’t going to be home during delivery, leave a note on your door instructing parcels to be held for you at the pick-up facility. I saw several news items reporting that thieves are swiping boxes off of doorsteps.

Sorry Jessie, you may have to settle for homemade baked goods this year : (

NOTE: things sent via USPS ALWAYS get to me. Huzzah for the United State Postal Service (and Dad’s job security)!

Tricks and Treats

Plucky's Puking Pumpkin
Plucky's carving creation: Puking Pumpkin. Too much SoCo?

Happy Halloween!

Rocky Horror Show closed last night. My evenings are mine once again! It was a really fun show and I met some great people but, as always happens right after a show, I’m feeling extremely anti-social. Apologies in advance for un-returned phone calls and emails. Not that I’ll have a lot of time for socializing…

I’ve been tricked more so than treated this year- I work tonight, Sat and Sun. So much for a weekend. It didn’t even occur to me to ask for Sunday off, since I’ve been working a Fri-Sat schedule. I was grumbling about fewer hours but this means I won’t really regain sanity until… a week from now when I hopefully have a day off. In the meantime, I think early bedtimes are in order- and better meals. Hopefully, this will help me muster energy to figure out what the hell to do with all of the stuff in our apartment and car. Does anyone want to purchase an alien costume? Super cheap!

Curiously, as run down as I feel physically, I keep getting spurts of creative energy. I found myself scribbling furiously on the bus ride home from work yesterday. I’m REALLY looking forward to getting my laptop back (it was borrowed to do projection on Rocky)!

Happy Anniversary, Bear!

Equinox

It’s that time of year again! Today marks the autumnal equinox, which in my mind means many things:

Layers! sweaters, cord coats, scarves…
Pumpkin hunting (miss you Mom, Dad, Jes)
Long rides in the woods (miss that too!)
Apple cider
Banned books

Oh yes, Banned Books Week begins September 27th. Head over to your library’s website and place a hold on that “subversive” book you’ve been meaning to read. There’s a list available here or you can read more about banned books from the American Library Association’s website.

Happy fall, Mabon, etc.

Is that a Banana in Your Pocket?

Does anyone have a child I can borrow? I must put him/her in this:

Monkey SuitThere was much in the way of limb flailing and high-pitched sounds, friends. Tim was witness- one of many at an otherwise sleepy Old Navy. Come on, who can’t resist a kid in a monkey suit?

In addition to inappropriate outbursts, Tim was also the victim (willing victim, astonishingly) of a shopping excursion to find something Rocky Horror-appropriate to wear in October (oh yeah, Russ is directing Rocky, info is here). I spent $10 (LOVE secondhand stores) on a skirt that could be altered to work (but I haven’t given up looking yet) and a shirt that I think is a keeper. I’m going for slutty librarian or possibly slutty zombie librarian.

Return your books or I’ll eat your brains.
Return your books AND I’ll eat your brains.

BrAINs!

Said shopping excursion returned a mid-length olive-green corduroy jacket, much like the one in my profile pic. Russell is SO jealous (anyone who has seen this man’s wardrobe will know why). He didn’t say so, but his eyes turned greener and it was not due to the reflection of my cord jacket.

More from the ‘fun with camera phone’ department: unidentified small fuzzy mammal (USFM).

Small and FuzzyI spotted USFM in front of the dumpster at Bloomington Liquors this morning. I’ve seen it a few times on my way to work but this was the first time that USFM didn’t scurry away before I could snap a picture. Apologies for the sucktastic quality. I couldn’t get closer (a twitchy one that USFM!) and had to rely on zoom. Cute, whatever it is.

LISTENING: “Look Who’s Evil Now” from Evil Dead: the Musical