Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I *really* want for Christmas...

OK, yeah, I really was feeling all "peace and goodwill"-ish the other day, but I got over that. ;-) So, having spent Christmas with my sister's family, I've decided that there are some things I really do want for Christmas, or birthday, or whatever. So, here's my materialistic side:
  1. I want a Wii! My favorite bar has one and I learned how to play Wii bowling over a year ago and had a great time. Then my company set up a Wii bowling competition as incentive to get people to contribute to the internal Wiki. Man-o-man, do I love that game! (AND, btw, I rock!) Speaking of rocking, on Christmas day, I played Rock Band... FUN FUN FUN! (And got to introduce my niece and nephew to the Talking Heads... Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est, fafafaFAfa fafafaFAfa *ahem* Sorry...) So yeah... I want a Wii! And I could really use the Wii Fit too so I can lose some weight.
  2. Speaking of weight loss, I also want the Jillian Michaels exercise DVDs. My niece and her roommates have been doing them all semester, and she and my nephew did the advanced exercises on Christmas (while their parents and I relaxed in the La-Z-Boys and watched them - it was great!). I've never really been a fan of exercise tapes, but I like the fact that most of the exercises require you and a floor and that's about it! So... I want to be a smaller Biggest Loser!
  3. Ooooo, and a flat screen HDTV (and HDTV cable, at no extra cost hahahaha, I crack me up) to watch all of it on!
  4. Although I've been arguing on the side of physical books ever since they got competition, I think I'd really like a Kindle. It would be great for reading on the Metro and travelling (if I ever went anywhere anymore), because you would only have to take ONE book-sized object and still be able to read several books. Of course, the down-side is that you can't really share an e-book, and that's part of why I love physical books. *sigh* what's book-aholic to do? heeheehee
  5. And I really do want a kitten for my cat, Calypso. He's lonely!
OK, that's all I can think of at this point. It's almost the end of 2009, so I'm sure I'll have a New Year's post. Can't believe this year went by so fast!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I started this blog at Thanksgiving and completely thought I would be writing every day, or at least every couple of days. I've had MANY stories and posts running around in my head, but they just haven't seemed to get written down! A lot has happened since my last post: at work, we got the update release out the door and published, we had several "holiday" parties, including a "white elephant" party which was lots of fun, and I'm now on vacation. I started on the 17th, but did go into the office on the 18th for a Wii Bowling Tournament which was a sort of prize for participating in a company event.

Personally, I've emceed several trivia nights, did not win the one in which I competed, had lots of fun and laughs with my friends and have seen several movies, "The Blind Side" and "The Princess and the Frog". But yesterday was the best day, because my niece and nephew came into DC to see "Avatar" with me at "my" movie theatre, The Uptown, in Cleveland Park. They got there a little late, so instead of the 11:30 movie and lunch, we had lunch at Nanny O'Briens, then walked through Wake Up Little Suzie for lots of giggles and headed down to Firehook for a coffee and just to "hang." We still had some time, so we went down to the Zoo for a bit before heading back for the 3:15 movie. It was a really great afternoon, and topped off by a really fun movie – very cool story and AWESOME special effects.

Oh, and there was this snow storm thingie… Did you hear about that? Sixth largest snowstorm in DC recorded history, and we were STILL digging out four days later! I know, those of you in the Northeast or Montana are going "18 inches? That's a big storm??!?" Well, yeah, for DC, it is. Our normal "big" storms are about 6" of snow, so having three times that makes it a little difficult for our planners. I will say that the main streets were cleaned up pretty well and pretty quickly (luckily, the main storm was on a Saturday), but the sidewalks? Not so much! DC is very much a pedestrian city – yes, the roads are extremely important so that all of the suburban residents (you know, the ones in Maryland and Virginia) can drive into work or shop, but most of the DC residents are dependent on walking to the Metro or taking the bus.

Cleaning the sidewalks is ostensibly the responsibility of the property owners, so many of them are fairly well cleared. But the sidewalks next to parks and all of the corners are a complete mess! Two pedestrians have been killed in the last two days because "cars have gone out of control" (because cars obviously have minds of their own) and the pedestrians were in the road… BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT WALK ON THE SIDEWALK. Also, no matter how clear the sidewalks are, the snow plows have pushed all of the excess snow onto the corners so that pedestrians have had to either climb over two to three feet of packed ice and snow or trudge through a foot (or more) of slush to simply cross the street.

As for taking the bus, it took two days for WMATA to clear the bus stops, but there are still four foot high mountains of ice and snow piled up between the stop and the road! At some stops, riders have stamped out a path from the sidewalk to the street, but it is still slippery and dangerous. A couple of nights ago, I had to stand in the street at the corner to flag down a bus because there was NO way to get to the bus otherwise. Ridiculous!


Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now (carefully, so I don't slip on the ice)... Today is Christmas Eve and I'm heading over to my sister's house for Christmas. We'll have Chinese food for dinner, go to a new church this year (because their regular church has a band instead of a choir, and last year's experience was not QUITE the thing...), and then it's back for hot chocolate as we drive around to look at the lights. I'm really looking forward to the Dancing Trees, where the people have set up the lights to go on and off in time to music. Tomorrow, I'll run down the stairs with my "kids" to open our presents and then eat lots of turkey and ham and probably take a nap on the La-Z-Boy with Patti in my lap. (Ha, I'm a poet!)

So, Merry Christmas! If you don't believe in the Nativity story, just treat the day as a day of peace and hopefully good will. Enjoy the day, enjoy the people around you, enjoy yourself, and smile.

All I want for Christmas...

For my cat, Calypso
A pet kitten


For me:
Can't we all just get along? I would love for the wars in the Middle East to be over and all of our troops to be home, but I know that's not possible at this point. In the meantime, I send my support to the troops who are fighting those wars, as well as those protecting the homeland and military posts around the world. You stand between danger and the rest of America, and for that I cannot thank you enough.

Good will toward all: My niece is going on a mission trip to Belize the week after Christmas, to provide help and support to an orphanage. She has arranged the trip, including travel arrangement and toy/gift donations for the orphanage. My family has a huge "helping people" gene, but I could not be more proud of the example she provides to the world.

Since we can't all go with her to Belize, my hope is for those who have a little extra money to help out those who don't. Check out the Modest Needs website and see what a $10 or $20 donation can do. Or look around locally! One of my friends went to the Army/Navy store to buy socks and then distributed them to the homeless. Go to your local Food Bank and help pack or serve meals. Go to the local VA hospital and say thank you to a Vet. They deserve it!

Obviously this isn't a funny post, but it's how I feel. Or as Elvis Costello so aptly put it... What's so funny about peace, love, and understanding.? (Woah oh!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A little poetry for a yucky day

Peanut M&Ms
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways
1. Yummity Yum Yum
2. Yummy Yummy
3. *snarf*
Oh darn, they're gone!