2007 in Review

I did this last year – I’m listing the first sentence of my first post of each month for the past year. Which will maybe give some insight into how my year went.

January
So, now it’s 2007.

February
When I was at the dermatologist’s on Tuesday, I got weighed.

March
News on GG’s car: the insurance adjuster wasn’t able to get out to see it yesterday, so if he comes today they probably won’t be able to work on it until tomorrow, which means he’ll be without a car at least over the weekend.

April
Spamalot was so good!

May
Well, everyone’s really going crazy over last night’s episode, though I have to say it wasn’t as awesome to me.

June
Hey, fans of The Office!

July
I’ve been in Lancaster since Thursday for Julia’s wedding!

August
Well it’s been a big week for the stars of TLC/Discovery/Discovery Health.

September
It’s been a pretty relaxing weekend.

October
Another busy weekend!

November
Hey, I’m finally writing about the Comedians of Comedy!

December
Ivan might be sick again.

Wow, looking back on all these, it looks like I just had a terrible year where I was fat and watched a lot of TV! I think in 2008 I should watch what I write at the beginning of each month! (Also, I amazingly wrote the first post of most months on the actual first of the month.)

Shoes, Movies and Stuff, Holiday Party

I feel the need to justify the four pairs of shoes I bought yesterday. So, FYI, I spent ~$50 on all four.

  • Cute Chinese Laundry flats at Ross for $12.99. I had to get them out of principle! (Can’t find a picture online and don’t know the name of the style.)
  • Crazy strappy “athleisure” shoes from Target that I caught a glimpse of the other day and had to go back to check out. On clearance for like $8.99.
  • Adorable Sable “ribbon” flats at Target for $14.99, I really look forward to wearing these!
  • Ankle boots from Target for $13.98, the one pair of shoes that were actually on my shoe shopping list, and GG likes them because they have a little heel.

Also, we saw Sweeney Todd, which I kind of didn’t like as much as I was expecting to, and Juno, which I really enjoyed. Excellent acting and the story was great, the twist was not something I saw coming at all. (Oh, and Moldy Peaches?! I was waiting for “Who’s Got the Crack” to turn up in the soundtrack, actually.) And, we installed new curtain rods in our bedroom this morning! They’re silver with little round finials on the ends, much classier than the white adjustable rods we have been using since we moved in (and easier to open and close the curtains, too!).

Tomorrow I’m going to this holiday get-together hosted by a girl I went to high school with. There’s going to be a bunch of girls from high school, actually. They were mostly freshmen (a couple were sophomores) when I was a senior, but I somehow got to be friends with them through marching band, and I haven’t seen most of them for several years, so it’ll be good to visit with them! GG was going to go with me, but his extended family was planning some kind of get-together of their own, so this works out well for both of us because I think neither wanted to go to the other one’s party. (Oh and I will definitely be wearing some new shoes.)

My Christmas Vacation (So Far)

I am in the middle of my vacation and have enjoyed it so far. Friday through Monday were spent being lazy around the house and also wrapping presents. On Monday night we went to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at GG’s grandmother’s house. Oh, and she has this giant orange cat (like, the size of two Ivans!) and usually he’s very scared and hiding whenever people come over, but he was actually in the same room with us for most of the time we were there and he let me pet him and stuff!

Christmas day was very busy. When GG and I woke up, we exchanged our gifts for each other in bed. He did like all of his shopping online at half.com this year, so I ended up with a lot of books, CDs, and DVDs. (Oh, including Pete & Pete seasons 1 and 2?!) After all that, we went over to GG’s parents’ house and exchanged gifts there, then had brunch and lounged around for a while, reading new books and whatnot. We went to my mom’s apartment around 3 PM to visit with her and her fiance and my brother, and exchanged all our gifts. She cooked a full Christmas dinner, and at the last minute her fiance mentioned that his brother might be coming by, possibly with his girlfriend. So my mom was kind of ticked because she hadn’t set enough places at the table and might not have made enough food. But it worked out fine, and the brother, a musician, got along really great with GG. Dinner was delicious, that might have been the first time she actually cooked a Christmas dinner herself. Also, she made my grandmother’s egg nog, and I had a cup first thing when we got there and did not feel good after that. I felt sick pretty much for the rest of the night. After that dinner, it was back to GG’s parents’ for their dinner, which was also good (and I made my broiled asparagus dish again, because they liked it so much at Thanksgiving). We sat around some more after the meal, but I really wasn’t feeling good, and finally got GG to take me home around 9:30 PM.

Now that Christmas is over, we’re trying to get through our list of movies we wanted to see this week. We saw Walk Hard last night – so funny! We laughed literally through the entire thing, and quoted it for the rest of the night. Tonight we plan to see Sweeney Todd, and maybe tomorrow we’ll see Juno.

Also, I’ve been cooking us dinners. Last night we had beef stroganoff. Tonight I plan to make steaks with blue cheese butter (well, blue cheese for me, herbed butter for GG), and tomorrow should be some sort of fajita salad. Lots of beef!

So, now I’m off to do some errands and spend some gift cards…

Grains, Cubes, Big Ivan Update

My new favorite quick meal is this Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s. It’s a little bland on its own, so you can either spice it up with your favorite seasonings, or do what I do and sautee an onion in your pot before you add the grains and water. On Trader Joe’s Fan, they also recommend adding mushrooms or mixed vegetables, using chicken broth instead of plain water, serving with chicken on top, etc. Healthy and filling, and a little bit goes a long way!

They’ve been doing this construction next to my desk at work for a week now. When we came in on Monday, there was just a tarp across everything, and then on Wednesday the tarp was gone and there was a huge open space in the middle of the floor where there used to be three conference rooms with like, walls and doors. They spent all day yesterday building cubes in the space, so now there are about a million half-size cubicles that seat two people each. We feel back for whoever has to sit there now, but they are for contractors who do editing and document technology stuff, and most of those people are only in the office a couple days a week anyway, and mostly work from home, so it’s not so bad. (Though we’re all afraid that those kind of cubes may be in our future, to save space.)

And finally, to wrap up the Ivan saga of the past two weeks: Remember when I picked him up from the vet two weeks ago, they said they wanted him back in 14 days for another urine sample? And I said that the trip to the vet was so stressful to him, couldn’t I just lock him in a room with some of that non-absorbant litter? So they gave me some, and on Monday night we locked him by himself in our bedroom with a clean litter box filled with NoSorb. The little cup they gave me wasn’t even enough to cover the bottom of the litter box, but I scratched around and showed him where it was, and I know he got in the box at some point because I found a few of the little granules on the floor nearby. He was being stubborn about using the box, but he was eating and drinking so I figured at some point overnight he’d use the box. Well, the next morning there was still nothing in there. So we left him locked there all day Tuesday while we were at work. Tuesday morning I called the vet’s office to see if they had any tricks to get cats to use the NoSorb. They didn’t, and said if he hadn’t used the box by the afternoon, to bring him in and they’d get the sample from him. Meanwhile, I searched the internet and found a couple tips: 1) put a little bit of regular litter in the middle of the box (so they can see and scratch it, but it won’t absorb much), and 2) fill the litter box with (unsalted!) popcorn kernels. When I got home, I tried the regular litter trick, and Ivan still wasn’t having it. It had now been nearly 24 hours since he’d last used the box, and I was getting worried, especially since the point of testing the urine was because of his cystitis condition. So I called the vet to see if it was too late to bring him in, and it wasn’t, so we drove down there, where they got a urine sample directly out of his bladder with a needle! Poor boy… I’d read about this procedure and apparently it’s not painful to the cat (though I think I’d feel it if someone tried to stick a needle into my bladder, so whatever). Anyway, that just took a few minutes and then they brought him back out to me, and I think he must have leaked or finished relieving himself on the towel in his cat carrier, because it stunk. They said the urine looked nice and clear, and the vet called me the next morning to let me know that the lab results came back and he’s perfectly fine, no trace of crystals or anything else. So, everything worked out and he’s over his respiratory infection and perfectly healthy, but I guess I learned my lesson about trying to save time and stress by collecting a urine sample at home from a stubborn and uncooperative cat, since it ended up taking more time and causing more stress. He’s so forgiving, though. That night he came and snuggled right back up on my lap :o)

Vacation begins for me in one hour, and then I’m not back at work until January 2! What will I do with all my time off..?

Linky Thursday – 12/20

PurseGuard Ultra: You’ve probably seen commercials for the basic purse hook, which all the Hollywood stars use to hang their purse off the side of restaurant tables, apparently. Well, this one has an alarm in case someone tries to steal it!

How (Not) to Ship a Cupcake: They’ve tried four different shipping methods here. Gee, do you think popping one into an envelope by itself will work? Check the results here!

Digital Picture Frame Guide: Jess was telling me about a really fancy one she’s giving her grandmother for Christmas, and I thought it sounded like a good idea for my grandmother too, since she’s always complaining that she never gets to see any of my pictures, because they’re all digital and she doesn’t have a computer. Maybe your grandmom would like one?

Construction, Cleaning, Car, Cell

Have I mentioned this construction they’re doing at work? There was this big conference room next to my desk. A year ago, they built a wall down the middle, added a second door, and turned it into two smaller rooms. Now they’re tearing the wall down and making it one big room again, plus they’re tearing the wall down from the other side of my floor to make it a huge room (there was an equivalent sized conference room on the other side of the floor). They’ve been working on it since last week, getting things cleared out of the room. This morning I see that there’s a big plastic tarp across both sides. So I’m next to this tarp, and there’s a cold wind blowing out of the non-existant room, and there’s guys working in there and talking and being loud. Yay. Hopefully I just have to suffer through this week, and then the construction will be finished over the holidays.

GG was gone for most of this weekend, playing Friday and Saturday nights in Atlantic City. I was going to go out on Friday to try to do some errands, but I was so tired! So instead I got up early Saturday and did all my shopping ahead of the crowds. I think I’m done with Christmas presents now..? (Plus I got a new purse. Shh! It’s from Ross – good deal!) I stayed in the rest of the day cleaning and avoiding the ice storm we supposedly had..? (Just looked like rain, to me.) GG was home by like 6 AM Sunday, so we slept in Sunday morning and then I did laundry and finished cleaning, and also I baked my famous mint chocolate chip cookies. (So cute – when I said I was going to bake, GG was like, “Are these cookies I can eat?” I’ll be taking about half to work, but there’s plenty left for him.) Also, we watched The Pursuit of Happiness, which was good, and we watched closely for the real Chris Gardner (who doesn’t show up until the very end). I still don’t understand exactly what this guy does, though – how did he make his money?!

So today my car is in for state inspection. Luckily, the new place I’m taking it is in the same town where I work, and they have a shuttle that could drive me to my office. Now I just need to find someone to give me a ride back to the dealership when it’s finished…

And finally, I think The Internet has convinced me to change my mind again about the cell phone I want. If I can wait until next month, T-Mobile will be releasing the Samsung t819 – pretty much the same as the one I already liked, except it’s 3G capable. (Which T-Mobile doesn’t have yet, but with all these 3G phones, will probably be announcing soon!)

Are cats and cell phones all I ever write about?!

Ivan is doing so much better today! This morning he was waiting with Katrina and Sacha to get breakfast – the first time in several days he was excited about eating. He wolfed down his food, actually ate more than usual and didn’t let the others barge in and finish his meal. He’s been out and about today, not hiding under that table, and he let me give him both of his pills and his eye ointment this afternoon. I’m sitting on the sofa with my laptop right now, and he’s been snuggled up against me, and rolling onto his back so I could scratch his tummy. For the last couple days he hasn’t even cared if we’re scratching him or what, so that’s an excellent sign :o) I can tell he’s feeling better, so hopefully he’ll continue to improve, and hopefully Sacha and Katrina don’t get sick (they both seem fine).

So remember how I was trying to decide between the Samsung t629 and the Samsung Katalyst? I’ve been reading everything I can about both phones, and posting my question on every cell phone message board I come across, and based on what I’ve read and what people are telling me, I’m actually better off with the t629 (even though it’s obsolete, technically). On the other hand, the more I’m reading, the more I’m seeing that there’s other cool phones coming out soon if I can just wait a little longer. But isn’t that how it’ll always be? As soon as I decide on something, they’re always going to be releasing something better!

We’re supposed to be getting some sort of ice storm Saturday night into Sunday, so I’ll be out early tomorrow morning to take care of a bunch of errands, hopefully finishing up my Christmas shopping. Other than that, I plan to clean, change the sheets, and maybe bake some cookies. I’ll have a lot of time to myself this weekend…

Concert, Cat, Cancer

Last night was my band’s only public holiday concert of the year. I e-mailed a bunch of people from work about it, and a couple said they might try to make it. In the end, I brought my grandmother, Jess came, and GG’s parents were there. Not that we were lacking a crowd or anything, we were in a mall and of course everyone was out shopping. GG, however was not there…

He was going to meet me at the show, but called me as I was about halfway there, driving with my grandmother. He was about to leave, and noticed that Ivan was breathing funny and seemed wheezy and congested, and also one of his eyes was watering a lot. I told him not to come to the concert if he felt like he should stay home and keep an eye on Ivan, or he could take him to the emergency vet (our regular vet’s office had just closed). GG ended up calling the regular vet, who was still there and answered some questions about what he should be looking for. I found out after the show, from Jess (who tried to call GG when she arrived at the mall), that he’d taken Ivan to the emergency vet after all. I had to take my grandmother back to her house, and by the time I got home GG and Ivan were already back. They said Ivan has an upper respiratory infection, possibly caught from another cat when he was at the vet for the day last week, or possibly caused by stress (stress of traveling to the vet, I imagine). It takes 5-7 days to see symptoms, so this makes sense. They basically said to just watch him and keep giving him the medicine our regular vet gave us for his cyctitis, and we also have this ointment to put on his eyes for the watering. It is so sad! He has a table he likes to sleep under when he’s not feeling good, and that’s where he’s been almost the whole time since he’s been home. Though he is eating and drinking, and the emergency vet checked his bladder and said that’s fine and he’s not blocked. So that’s good news at least … now we just have this new problem to worry about! (Also, I hope he hasn’t made the other kitties sick!)

So I’m working from home today to keep an eye on Ivan, and I was supposed to have two meetings at work this morning for a total of two hours, but I just teleconferenced in to them. If I didn’t have a brain tumor before, I certainly do now after holding the cell phone to my head for that long!

Hello mystery fan from Wilmington, DE. I know you’ve been reading my blog regularly for quite a while now. Do I know you?

[Edit – 12:48 PM] I was reading about feline upper respiratory infection online, and it looks like it’s highly contagious to other cats. So I called the vet to ask, since Ivan’s already probably been infected for a week, should I now bother trying to quarantine Katrina and Sacha, or have they probably been exposed already? They said yeah, the other two have been exposed at this point, so don’t bother. Great. Watch for more sniffle cat stories coming soon, I guess! Also, I just made a little plate of wet cat food and put in the microwave to get it good and pungent, then sat it and a bowl of water by the table where Ivan’s been all day. He came out and ate the entire plate! And I think he’s still hanging around out from under his table! When he does decide to go back into hiding, I’ve set up a little nest for him there, with a fleece blanket so hopefully he stays a little warmer and more comfy, because it’s cold down on the floor! [/Edit]

Linky Thursday – 12/13

Leftover Chef: Select all the ingredients you have on hand, and this web site will give you a recipe to use them up! Perfect for me, as we always seem to have weird combinations of food in the house and I can never think of what to cook.

Remember The Milk: Enter tasks via e-mail, text message, the web site, offline, Twitter… and this site will remind you to do them in via one of those modes of communication. Map them, share them, publish them, organize them… No more excuses for forgetting!

Net Granny: Choose an actual Swiss grandmother to knit your socks for you! (I think Annelies looks sweet, too bad she’s ausgebucht, whatever that means – I think “unavailable.”) Oh also, a pair of socks is like $40.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of ’07: “w00t”: Yet another sign that we are losing our grip on the English language in favor of internet jargon and l33t-speak. Another contender for WotY was “facebook” (as a verb).

Star Wars Toys that Never Made It: Including Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen (smouldering corpse) action figures, as well as a box of The Force (not an empty box!).