Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday season

With the holidays approaching, not only is there excitement, but also anxiety for me. I'm sure many people feel the same way. There's a lot of things to get done before December 24th, after all. Here's my list (and yes, I make a list) of things I need to do. Not necessarily in order.

1. The house needs to get cleaned really well before I bring out the Christmas garb.
2. I need to make Chex-mix. It's the one thing I make well. And it is expected for both Thanksgiving and Christmas on both sides of the family. So the Thanksgiving batch needs to be made soon. (note to self, make sure I have enough garlic salt)
3. After the house is cleaned, it is time for the annual hauling up of said Christmas garb from the basement. At last count, there are about 20 bins worth. (And last year, I donated many items - I just can't help it.)
4. Some furniture needs to rearranged to fit the tree(s). (Yes, I put up more than one tree - don't judge me - at least they're not those gay matchy trees. My trees are cool)
5. The trees go up and are decorated.
6. Decorate the house. Sometimes the house goes first, then the trees - depends on the mood.
7. The regular stuff that is around the house goes into the bins BACK into the basement.
8. Watch the weather for decent day then put up outside lights.
9. Shopping, shopping and more shopping. (this is an entire post in itself)
10. Christmas cards
11. Wrapping with the help of 3 cats. They are about as much help as M.

As you can see, most of this list everyone has in one shape or another. And the majority of the list is my responsibility. (some because it is just that way, and some I put on myself). I'm sure I've forgotten many things off the list, but they'll fall into place. Many things on the list get done out of order and done more than one time. But I'll manage, as I always do. All the hard work is worth it when everything is great on the 24th and 25th.

So it only one more day until the official kick-off of the holiday season - I'll be ready. (I hope)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What I've eaten...

From Princess Mombi's blog... (can you tell I'm having writer's block?)

Here’s what I want you to do: 1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions. 2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. 3) Mark any items that you would never consider eating. The Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile - tastes like chicken
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht - blech!
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari - can you say rubberbands?
12. Pho - pho sho - ha ha - actually I tried it once and thought it was gross 13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - fancy cheese = of course
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - ice wine?
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream - I'm sure I've run into this in my ice cream experiences
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese - Thanks, Grandpa
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - a bite, just to remind me I don't like it
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut - my weapon of choice
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - Jello-shot?.. who hasn't?
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - not by choice
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk - only as cheese
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel - ack!
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - about my weight's worth
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - sadly, yes.
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine - fries with gravy & curds!
60. Carob chips = fake chocolate - I wasn't fooled
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - I used to sneak out and buy these!
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare - no, but Hair unfortunately, yes
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake - I don't do anything that has to do with snakes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Should I stay or should I go?

I'm taking a college animation class in the evenings. Because I work full time and have a life, I decided to take the course as an audit. I paid the same amount of money as everyone else and I paid with my own money. The only difference is I'm not going for a grade.

I've audited several college courses since I've gotten my degree – just wanted to take the class and didn't care about a grade. Not only do I not need the credit, I don't want the anxiety of taking a quiz or being graded any more. I simply want to learn. So my animation course is for a software I was familiar with, but wanted more hands on experience. (One can never be too ready for the unexpected).

The software has quite a learning curve and I couldn't nail it on my own. So a college level course is the way to go. And I've definitely gotten my $266 worth. (pretty reasonable for a semester). I've learned what I needed to be able to put the software on my resume and to be able to use it for work.

Here's my dilemma - the course is now at a place where the credit students are working on a huge project. I am not. The class is no longer a learning session, but merely an open lab with the professor. I'm totally cool with that - as the project needs this type of time and assistance from her. But for me auditing and not creating the final project for a grade, I think my time in the class has run its course. One other fellow auditor announced his last day was on Monday. His work is conflicting and he told me he's not learning much more as-is.

Don't get me wrong - in no way am I a quitter. I just don't have anything to do there anymore. And getting home at 9:15 on Mondays and Wednesdays is really getting old. But I also really enjoy the class and the instructor. So it is really easy to just say "I'm done for the semester" and leave. We have nine more classes left this semester, so I do feel as if I'm "quitting". But sitting around in school is a waste of my time now that I've gotten what I needed out of the class. Should I stay or should I go? I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas $

I finally spent my Christmas $... from last year. Those of us with January birthdays have difficulty with Christmas/birthday gifts. It is really hard to come up with your gift wish list crammed into 3 weeks of the year. Plus, I'm really hard to shop for. Double whammy.

My parents give all of us a fantastic Christmas (yes, I'm still a "kid") and on top of that, they give us the all and mighty envelope. We always get an envelope after all the gifts are open. Lately, it is a check to buy whatever you want. In years past, it has been a trip to Cancun and even cruises. (And yes, my parents are the coolest gifters ever!). I immediately deposited my check in the bank, having no clue how to spend it. Of course, M spent it in his head a million times even before Dec. 24th. But that is another post.

I put it away for the right time. And
now it is November and it was still there. And good thing, because I actually NEED some things that are a bit expensive. It is also extremely unlike me to buy anything for myself after Halloween. It is officially holiday-mode, aka gift buying season.
I have made 3 major purchases in the past weeks (ok, anything over $50 for myself is "major"). I bought an awesome down coat (a size smaller, yeah), a super nice Christmas tree (why we had to get another one is another post) and a really guilty purchase - bad ass leather high boots from Eddie Bauer. I never been able to wear high boots with my ridiculous 17" calves, and have been afraid to even try any high boots - not even the wide-calf ones (when you can find them in a store). But I decided to try for the first time squish my hulk calves into boots. They arrived last night - and they fit! Not only do they fit, but they actually make my legs look skinnier! Just an illusion, I know, but I'll take it. Now I have to find some brown tights so I can show them off. Very cool presents, don't you think?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Germaphobe?

This week has been a hard one for me – I'm really busy with a tight deadline and I've had numerous distractions. For whatever reasons, everything is at my last nerve at work. Probably about said tight deadline.

Besides my previous rantings, the team next to me is moving their cubes. Ok, this is noisy, but expected. But don't park your dumpster right in front of MY cube. But I'm the jerk when I move it towards them.

Speaking of jerks, the same team has been coughing all over the place. One of them doesn't cover her mouth when she coughs. Totally not cool. As I walked in today, I saw a co-worker from another area and she said she has whooping cough. Uh, what?! And you're at work? She claimed she was antibiotics and not contagious... but that is only one person. I'd hate to see what the team across me really has.

I have fear that the creepy crud will ooze right over my cube wall and get me. Like the death that seeps into homes and gets the first born sons in "The Ten Commandments". I could put lamb's blood on my door to stop it, but that would get me sent home.

In the meantime, I'm bathing in Purell® and hoping for the best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Grandma is famous

This video is from Fox's Talkshow with Spike Feresten.
This is proof that years ago, someone taped my Grandma J installing her digital converter. I love the "wuh wuh wuh"!


It was good while it lasted...

Today is the first day back for some team members. They've been out of the office for over a week. And in cube-time, that feels like eternity of pure heaven. You see, I work mostly with men in my department... a good thing... usually.

Put simply, my coworkers are guys. Most of the time, this is a good thing. Guys aren't petty. They don't care about your shoes or your hair. They don't hate you because you are skinnier than them. They talk sports, music and tell funny jokes. When they talk about their kids, it isn't long and winded. It usually doesn't involve showing you pictures. Their cubes are dusty and their calendars are off by a month.

But they are also loud, messy and have no clue how obnoxious this can be. They leave empty boxes and equipment in the hallways... for months. They leave lights on and don't shut doors. They make loud noises for their work (editing videos). And they are just simply – guys.


One of my biggest pet peeves at work is people talking over cube walls. This is really distracting and annoying. And immediately at 8:10 it began today. (It's going on right now). They've been told how distracting it is, but they don't care. And it is hard for me as I can turn on the bitch-mode fast. So I try not to say anything when it is going on. I have to remember, they are guys.

Another annoying thing is that guys think it is perfectly fine to bring out the nail clippers any time of day. PING! PING! PING!. It is not only gross, but the sound is rude – especially when I'm on the phone. I don't bring out my hair dryer or my nail polish, etc. So neither should they. Totally not cool.

My last venting of the day is that the guys also like toys. Techy toys. Yes, I, too bring my beloved iPod and such to work, but I WEAR HEADPHONES. I also don't have my cell phone ringing all efing day. Hey, here's an idea - take the damn thing with you! Don't leave it at your desk for it to ring every 4 mintues. "Da Da Da Duh Dah! Da Da Da Duh Dah!" Ever hear of vibrate? Geez. And turn off your IM and email alert sounds. Not only are they annoying to those around you, but total proof you are a dork.

Now I have to put my headphones on to try to get some work done. In an hour, I'll be used to the caos again. I have to remember that this is a great group of guys to work with. But the quiet and peace was good while it lasted.