2008 in Review

Time for my annual “year in review” post, where I take the first sentence of my first blog post of each month (unless that was a Linky Thursday post, in which case I’ve used the second post of the month) and put together some sort of list of how depressing my year was. It’s actually a really inaccurate way to do a review of the year, so please don’t try to figure out how the last twelve months were just based on these twelve sentences. My comments are in italics.

January: So, New Year’s was interesting. (And cold, and boring…)

February: Got my hair cut this morning, trimmed back to the original cute bob I got in November. (I believe that was my last haircut of the year, but I just got another on December 27.)

March: Yesterday they had potato soup in the cafeteria at lunch. (The infamous “potato pants” incident!)

April: I’ve come to the realization that my life is super-boring and just… dull. (Still is.)

May: I worked from home on Friday because we got our new glass block basement windows installed! (That was a good home improvement!)

June: Well, a kind of awful day yesterday gave way to a really beautiful and fun night! (This was about Jess’ wedding, and was kind of misleading because the day wasn’t really “awful,” it was just that we were in a rush and running kind of late.)

July: GG and I decided kind of at the last minute to celebrate the 6-year anniversary of our first date by going out to dinner at Hibachi (which also happens to be where we went after we got married, if you recall). (Hibachi isn’t my favorite restaurant ever. But the rice is amazing.)

August: I’ve had a good weekend so far, though my opinion may be tainted by the nice breeze blowing in the window next to me. (I don’t know what I was talking about here. Guess it was cool enough to have the window open?)

September: Hello AOL visitor on a Windows NT computer! (Just remember, I am always watching you.)

October: If you hadn’t heard yet, Josh Duggar, the oldest Duggar child at 20, married a girl named Anna (also 20) last Friday night. (This has gone on to become without a doubt my most popular post ever. LolaBlog, your source for the latest Duggar news!)

November: I took Friday off work to do some things. (I then go on to list the things I did, obviously.)

December: Last night the whole back of my leg was tingling. (At least I wasn’t about to die! But now my foot’s being stupid.)

Food, Movie, Food, Movie, Food

Last night we finally went to see Australia. But first, we went to Pizzeria Uno for dinner, and I think that’s the last time we’ll be eating there. We don’t usually go there, but it’s in the same parking lot as the movie theater (and there’s not many other restaurants near that theater), and GG likes their pizza dough, so we went. It was about 5:30 on a Monday night, and the place was pretty empty, but the guy sat us at this tiny table in the middle of the room, elbow-distance away from another table full of people. I was kind of whining about it, so after we’d been sitting there for a minute, GG asked if we could be moved to one of the (empty!) booths, which we were. Then the waiter was like, boom!, ready to take our order. And GG was ready pretty quickly. But I wanted a couple minutes to read the huge menu! So I wasn’t ready until like the third time the waiter came over. We were waiting for our food for a while, and actually if they hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have known there was any problem, but the manager came over and said they’d accidentally put spinach on my pizza, which I’d asked for without spinach. So it would be 3 or 4 minutes until it came out, but GG’s was ready so did he want it in the meantime? Without thinking, GG said sure, so they brought his pizza out and it sat there taunting him for several minutes until mine was ready, because of course he wouldn’t have just dug in without me. Finally we all had our food, we ate, we were just about ready to go over to the movie, and the waiter asks if we’d like dessert. Sure, we’ll look at the menu, maybe get one thing to share. Well they have these little mini desserts, and without my involvement, GG ordered one for me and that one plus a second dessert for himself! That is three desserts total. It’s really getting to be time to go at this point, the waiter brings the check and says the desserts should be out in just a minute, we pay, and… it takes forever to get, like, two brownies! By the time they came out, we had to wolf them down and literally run out of there. And we got to the theater exactly in time.

So the much-anticipated Australia! I’m a big fan of Baz Luhrmann, plus there were potentially koalas, so we had to go. Well, there were no koalas, but there were a couple baby kangaroos, so it wasn’t a total bust. As for the story, it was a romantic comedy where the mismatched couple falls in love during a cattle dive across the Australian outback. I mean, it was a story of love and loss in World War II. No wait, it was a political statement about the treatment of Aboriginal children in Australia. Uh, I’m not sure what it was all about, it could have ended about three times before the actual end, but when it was over I turned to GG and said, “I thought that was supposed to be about cows?!”

Today we had planned to go to DiBruno Brothers, a famous cheese shop that has over 1000 different cheeses. Since they have a new location in the Comcast Center, we decided to go there so we could also walk to the Reading Terminal for lunch. We parked in Chinatown, walked to the Comcast building, and happened to enter just as their awesome lobby light show that everyone talks about was starting. It was really pretty cool. Part of one of the lobby walls (83 feet wide by 25 feet high) is actually a giant HD screen, and most of the time it displays a picture of wood paneling that matches the rest of the walls. But then every hour they put on this show (currently it’s a holiday show) and a crowd gathers in the lobby to watch. It was neat, and I’m glad we got to see it. So then we went downstairs for cheese, and… it turns out that this location of DiBruno Brothers is more of a sandwich stand than a cheese shop. They did have a few cheeses, nothing crazy, but mostly it’s a place to pick up lunch. Oh well. So we headed on to the Reading Terminal Market. Oh my gosh! We got cheesesteaks (and had a nice talk with the steak guy about the cheesesteak situation in Philadelphia, Wiz vs Provalone, etc.), we had fruit smoothies to wash them down, then we got Amish apple dumplings for dessert, and followed up the whole thing with fresh squeezed orange juice – literally, the guy threw the oranges into the machine while we watched! (The Amish are usually only in the market on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but they were there today because of the holiday, so we lucked out again!) We went straight back to the car afterward and headed home, and for some reason traffic on 76 West was so slow, it took over an hour to get back!

When we got home, GG put The Da Vinci Code on, which I didn’t really want to get sucked into because I wanted to take a nap, but I ended up watching the whole thing while he napped. Oh well, guess now I won’t have to read the book! So now we’re waiting to go out for dinner in a little bit with some of GG’s friends. Yes, more food! And I’m still stuffed from lunch! And I’m getting a cold for real. GG was getting sick a couple days ago, so there’s no denying it now. Blahh.

Really poorly written Christmas recap

It’s been a busy couple of days but it’s been nice. Christmas was such a long day – we went to GG’s parents’ house at 9am for breakfast and presents, then went to my mom’s place for a while (and more food and presents), then back to his parents’ house for dinner. And we left around 9pm. It was a long day. We didn’t actually get overloaded with presents, which was nice for a change. Mostly cash and gift cards (always appreciated), edible things, and useful stuff like soap or pajamas. Also, I took my library book with me and finished reading it while waiting for dinner, yay!

Friday GG and his dad went to see a movie. I had another doctor’s appointment for my foot. I’m taking this anti-inflammatory for a month, then going back again to get it checked out. Also these pills can give you an upset stomach, so I’m taking a second prescription to try to prevent that. Yay. So far, so good, so we’ll see how I am in a month. Then we went back to his parents’ house for Christmas leftovers for dinner, followed by much-awaited food shopping at Trader Joe’s.

GG and I each had different errands to do Saturday, mine included getting a haircut! It was my annual haircut, so you know, it was a big one. I think my hairdresser went a little crazy, she took off a bit more than I would have liked. I wasn’t upset or anything, I know it’ll grow, but I was not happy with it when I got home. Also she made it really smooth and flat, and it just made my head look really fat, so I was not digging it. Then later we went out to dinner with Ed and Kate, who moved to Arlington, VA, but were up visiting for Christmas. That was nice, I couldn’t even remember the last time we’d seen them! They want us to come visit them in DC sometime, which I am totally up for, and they want GG to paint a small mural in their bedroom, which sounds really cool. After dinner, GG and I went to Barnes and Noble to drink coffee and browse the books. Then I kind of was able to stay up to watch SNL.

Today I am much happier with my hair. Now that I was able to style it myself, I was able to get some more volume to balance out the fatness of my head, and it looks much cuter. I went to check out the yarn sale at Jo Ann’s, but the selection was pitiful, so I didn’t get anything. So I’ve been home doing stuff.

Other plans for our time off include a visit to Di Bruno Brothers and the Reading Terminal Market, dinners with several other friends we haven’t seen in a while, and of course TMBG! I still can’t believe I have another whole week off work! I’m going to forget how to get to the office by the time I go back!

I’m a Photojournalist?, Christmas Eve

My “Hip Hop Zombie” photo was featured on this Yahoo! blog about bad holiday gifts. Sort of funny, considering it was a picture I took around Halloween (but the item was so ambiguous…).

I wasn’t planning on leaving the house today but I had to exchange a Christmas gift – GG’s grandmother wanted a fruit basket, which I picked up yesterday, but GG noticed this morning that one of the fruits was moldy, so I had to go get a different one. But now I am home for the rest of the day, until we go out for Christmas Eve dinner. We’re having ham this year, that’s all I know (usually it’s a lot of seafood, with some chicken for me). And then tomorrow will be a long day of switching between families and eating non-stop. Yippee!

Quiet, Cold, Sleepy, Presents

I’m so glad today is my last day of work for the year. I do enjoy working on the days leading up to a holiday because hardly anyone’s here and I can get a lot done, but it is so quiet and depressing here this morning. Plus, my car had a layer of ice on it from yesterday and I barely scraped off enough to drive to work, and it sounded like my car was shattering apart the whole way here.

One of the side effects of cortisone is that it can make it hard to sleep, which I wasn’t worried about because I’m amazing at sleeping. Friday night I slept just fine, but Saturday and last night I woke up around 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I might’ve made things worse by napping around yesterday evening, instead of sticking to a regular schedule, but I am just exhausted feeling today. (And it doesn’t help that when I wake up in the middle of the night, there is a big hot cat on me who doesn’t want to let me reposition myself.) Luckily, starting today my dose is tapering off, so maybe the sleeping problems will go away? My foot looks almost completely normal, anyway!

I am still really enjoying the heating pad part of my foot treatment – for example, right now it’s nice because my toes are still freezing from being outside two hours ago! I’d be happy to sit with my feet stuck in that thing all day. Actually, I could probably get by without going to the cafeteria for lunch today – I’m sure I have enough cookies and leftover party snacks around to tide me over, and I could just sit up here warming my toes!

Three more days until Christmas! I’m mostly excited because I love giving presents, and I think I got some good ones for people this year. We just need to pick up the last couple things for GG’s family (liquor and perishable foods, so we don’t have them yet), and then there’s a few late-arrival gifts I’ll still need to wrap, and then we’ll be ready.

Quick Review: The Return of Mark Kissink!

A few years ago when Avon launched their Mark catalog, aimed at younger consumers, they introduced the Kissink lip marker – if it wasn’t in the first catalogs, it was at least sold during that first year. I had one of the original ones in a shade called Foxy Brown, which was just a nice dark/neutral color. The markers were great, they would really stain your lips for the whole day (as well as outside of your lips, so you had to apply carefully). The only problem was that the markers dried up pretty quickly. Even though I have that original marker still, it doesn’t really work at all.

So I was very excited to see in the last Mark preview catalog for Avon representatives that they have brought Kissink back! There is a very small color selection, just two shades: Berry Bitten and Red Siren. I ordered the Berry Bitten, which was the more pale color, and it arrived yesterday, so I got to try it out today. Like its predecessor, it’s a long-lasting lip marker, which has really stained my lips a nice berry color. It comes in a significantly smaller tube than the original, but both say they contain 2.5 ml/.09 fl oz, so maybe the smaller size will keep it from drying up as quickly?

size comparison – new version on top, original underneath

Here’s a helpful tip – apply some lip balm before using the marker, it will help you draw it on more smoothly, thereby avoiding blotchy application and making it easier to stay inside the lines. Kissink will (re)debut for $7 each in Mark Magalog 1, which corresponds to Avon campaigns 2 and 3, aka January.

Oh foot!

Are you sick of hearing about this appendage yet?

I went to the doctor this afternoon. Based on where the swelling is, he now thinks I have tendonitis in my foot. HOW?! He said I could have just stepped funny or something. The tendon should get better on its own, but because it’s inflammed, it’s causing me to retain water in my toes and top of my foot.

So I’m taking a tapering dose of cortisone for the next week, which should reduce the inflammation and therefore the sausage toes, and then I’m seeing him again in a week. Also I’m supposed to use a heating pad on my foot for 15 minutes four times a day (or more if I can). That’s not bad, I’m sitting here right now with the pad wrapped around my foot, it’s lovely. And wear comfy shoes, don’t pull the laces too tight, bla bla bla.

I got my prescription for the pills filled, it was only like $3 at CVS?! That was cool, my co-pay is like $20!

It’s a big eating time. Wednesday night was my band holiday party after our last concert of the year. Thursday my group went out for a holiday lunch (we went to this new restaurant in Phoenixville, it was lovely, and all their plates and stuff are from Ikea, which I recognized right away!); Thursday night I met GG at this bar where his class was celebrating after their final exam; and tonight we’re planning on using a gift card I got to go out and celebrate his assumed good grades. Oh and then there is still Christmas coming up (aka “The Day of Eating”)!

Linky Thursday – 12/18

Hooked on Houses Fall House Tour: Do you like open house tours, or just peeking into people’s homes? Then check out almost 50 online tours of bloggers’ homes from all over!

How to Prepare a Cheese Board: I love cheese! OM NOM NOM NOM …Makes me want to go out to a nice cheese shop and sample some stuff.

Drunk History: If you enjoy American history and/or laughing at drunk people, you will really enjoy these videos. I watched them all Monday night and was laughing so hard that GG wanted to know what I was watching, so we watched them together on Tuesday and they were still hilarious. We’ve been quoting them the last couple days.

Heroes S3 E13, My Foot

All my favorite shows are slowly dying off until next year. So sad. Anyway, some thought’s from last night’s Heroes, which wraps up Chapter 3: Villains:

  • They’ve burned down both Primatech and Pinehurst, and killed off all the new second-string characters that were introduced this season (except Flint, I don’t think I saw him die?), as well as possibly Meredith (but she’s survived fires before) and Sylar (but probably not).
  • Sylar was totally awesome as the Jigsaw Killer in this “Saw” episode. Haha no it was a total rip-off, but Sylar is still awesome. Will we ever find out who is real parents are? Dun dun dun!
  • Ando, who has been dying for a power of his own this whole time so he’s not just a sidekick… got the ultimate sidekick power! It is his destiny!
  • I was really enjoying useless, powerless Peter. Now that he’s injected himself, did he get a new power (flight), or did he get his old power back (mimicry, which picked up on Nathan’s flight power)?
  • Was that supposed to be Obama (or an Obama-like president)? Did they have an alternate ending shot with an old white guy in case McCain won? (Which old Star Trek actor do you think they would have picked for that role, considering they’re going with Worf for president?)
  • Some favorite quotes from the evening:
    • “We can’t be damaged. I mean… except for a broken heart.”
    • “Pigeon. Help me.”
    • “Nemesis. You have a chance to make up for your past.”
    • “Sorry, I’ve got plans for this little piece of paper, Pikachu.” “Pikachu?!”
    • “You’re not the son of a watchmaker and a woman who collected snowglobes.”

And since I’m sure everyone is very concerned, my leg is totally totally better. My foot still hurts a lot, and now my toes and part of my foot are swollen, moreso after I’ve been walking a bit. I can’t wiggle the toes on my left foot, but I can move them more now than I could a week ago. I stopped taking Advil for my foot – the doctor said to take 4 Advil 3-4 times a day, and I was doing 3x/day for a couple days, then twice, then just once, and since Friday I haven’t taken any. So, I guess I’m getting better, slowly. But if this was just a nerve thing, should I be all swollen?

“Milk,” Winter Market

Woo hoo! Another of my quotes from The Troll made it onto OitO! Yes, life is much more boring now that that lady is gone.

GG and I went to see Milk last night. Really good movie, and of course I was tearing up at the end, even though I knew what was going to happen. (And even if you didn’t know what was going to happen, they said it right in the beginning of the movie, soo…) At the end they showed photos of the actual people who were in the movie, and wow, Sean Penn looked just like Harvey Milk. I had a couple complaints, though. First of all, there were no women in the movie. Well, there were like three. But were there really no women living in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco in the 1970s? Was it really just gay men? Even the one lesbian woman they brought in as a campaign manager didn’t even get a girlfriend or anything! My other problem was in the very beginning when Harvey met his boyfriend Scott, they bumped into each other in the subway and Harvey just started talking to him and kissed him right there and then they went back to Harvey’s place! Now, maybe they were condensing actual events for time’s sake, but can you imagine if a man did that to a woman in the subway at 11 PM? Just started talking to her and kissed her? I am guessing that guy would end up with a face full of pepper spray. But anyway, it was a very good movie, and of course lots of parallels to the present day (fundamentalist Christians, anti-gay legislation, “hope,” etc.).

We went to the farmers’ market this morning. They do this “winter market” thing after Thanksgiving or so. I thought it would be indoors somewhere, but it was actually outside, and it was 31 degrees and windy! Vendors’ stuff was blowing all around, and I felt really sorry for them having to stand out there for two hours (plus their set-up and break-down time). We ended up buying some soaps for Christmas presents, and GG got some buffalo jerky, and we got some cookies. There wasn’t much produce at this point (one vendor had apples), it was mostly crafts, baked goods, and meat products.

One last thing, don’t you think GG looks like Emile Hirsch? I thought this when I started seeing him everywhere for the Speed Racer movie, and seeing him in Milk last night reminded me. GG doesn’t see it.