Tomorrow, we'll have to learn how to write "2004". Hard to believe another year has come and gone. It's been a good one, but there's plenty of room for improvement. The resolutions go into effect next Monday.
Here's to new beginnings.
Before blogging was cool (and I'm using the word "cool" rather loosely), there was Strange Happenings. What was Strange Happenings? Well, it was a periodical e-zine sort of thing written by some of my friends, including a precious few contributions by yours truly (a.k.a. C-Note).
No matter how you slice it, moving is not fun. I spent my day yesterday getting as much stuff as possible out of the old place and into the new place. I got more accomplished than I expected (thanks to Rachel's friends and their trucks), but I still have enough left to make me dread Thursday. I sent 6 bags of clothes to the Goodwill. That will have to count as my random act of kindness for the year instead of the blood donation I kept intending to make.
This will be the 5th apartment I've lived in. You would think I would've learned to look for particular things before I sign a lease. I realized yesterday that our new kitchen has a drawer in it. That's right: one drawer. I never noticed that or thought to look before we moved in. It also has a lack of kitchen cabinets (which does not go well with our abundance of dishes that we don't want to part with), so we'll be turning the conveniently located coat closet into a pantry. Oh well. The couch went in without a problem...if we can only get my bed up the stairs, all will be well.
I got a new computer for Christmas. I'm sure it does everything I need it to do, but I was reminded last night just how little I really know about computers. It's kind of sad since I sit in front of a computer all day, yet when it comes to things like setting up my wireless internet, I'm clueless. I guess it's no worse than driving a car all the time and not knowing how to change the oil. Anyway, I drove back to Monroe last night after almost a week in Texas. I planned to get everything off my old computer (and when I say "old", I mean serial number 00000001*) and set up my internet conection on the new computer so I could at least check my e-mail and post a little something here. That should have taken me about 30 minutes (max), but that was not the case. After spending over an hour trying to get my new computer to recognize the modem in the next room, I decided to give it a rest. So I went to set up the new printer/scanner/copier combo** and after doing that, the internet connection miraculously fixed itself (though it's still really slow, but I have some ideas on how to fix it...I think). Of course at that point, I was too frustrated to even think about answering e-mails or blogging - which was the point of this whole story to begin with: I intended to post about my Christmas vacation, but I lost all of that information in my attempt to be techno-savvy.
*okay, it's not that old, but since computer years are even shorter than dog years, it is almost geriatric.
**now that I have a scanner, I could actually post pictures on my blog...if only I had a camera. Maybe I'll invest in a disposable camera or I'll just post pictures that Rachel takes.
You might be surprised to find out I haven't rushed out to see ROTK yet. My costume isn't ready yet.
The weeks have been full lately: full of work, shopping, parties, driving...pretty much everything but sleep. After tomorrow, I'm on vacation until the day after Christmas. Plus, I found out I have an extra vacation day I have to use before the end of the year, so now I'll have no excuse for not having my stuff packed and ready to move on the first. I wish I would have known I had that extra day earlier so we wouldn't have had to rush home from San Antonio on Sunday.
Emily and I are having a Christmas party tonight, so if you live in Monroe (or even if you don't and you're up for a road trip) and you want to come over, it's at 7. We don't promise anything exciting, just a last harrah at our apartment and maybe (if you're lucky) we'll spike the punch.
I only have one Christmas present left to buy. Everything else is wrapped and ready to go to one of the three family Christmas events.
December is not a good month for me, work-wise. I've been embarrassingly unproductive (thought it's not my fault). I'm looking forward to the beginning of the year when I will (hopefully) be busy again.
Overheard at Emily's shower last night:
"I like to find a nice balance between tastelessness and functionality."
The summer after I graduated college, I made my first car purchase. I had a car before that, but it was owned by my parents and it was the kind of car that if something major happened to it, it wouldn't have been a big loss. I did love that college car, though. There's something endearing about having a less than perfect car. It's maladies somehow give it personality.
Anyway, I bought a car in the summer of 2001. A week after I bought it, I ran over a nine-inch-nail (well, maybe 7 or 8 inches, but it was large, nontheless). I was upset because I had just spent all this money on a car, and I was already having to spend more money on it. I remember my dad saying, "welcome to the joys of car ownership." Hmm. The nail completely ruined my tire, so the spare had to be put on. So I had the spare on and drove around with that for a few days until I could get the other one replaced. Well, as it turned out, the spare took different lugnuts than the regular tires: a fact I was suddenly alerted to when my tire FELL OFF while I was driving. Thankfully, that didn't turn out as badly as it could have, but it was still quite a traumatic experience.
I haven't had any tires fall off again (and I carry the right lugnuts in the trunk, just in case) but whenever I have to take the car in for anything, whether it's getting the oil changed or getting the tires replaced, instead of being irritated, try I think about "the joys of car ownership" and try to be thankful: I have something to drive whenever I need it. It really is a joy. It's not like paying rent, where I write the check and think, "there's a bunch of money I'll never see again." When I pay for my car, I'm paying for something that's really mine.
Last week, I took my car to have the tires rotated and rather than the 15-20 minutes it should have taken, it took an hour and forty five minutes! Time is money, of course, but an hour and forty five minutes is cheaper than ruined tires, right? So now, I'm having my brakes repaired, because, well, I like brakes. Brakes are my favorite. It's inconvenient to have them fixed. I don't like paying for car maintenance, but hey, it's my car.
And I still don't care.
*I'm not an Elvis fan (though the picture of me with the Elvis statue in Memphis might make you think otherwise), but I can't help but enjoy the king's Christmas album.
*For those of you who like to clean (and even for those who don't), I've got two words for you: Swiffer. Wet.
*As my sister pointed out, there are entirely too many Walmart shoppers purchasing that Santa-inspired lingerie.
As I've mentioned before, I watch a lot of Fox News at work. And, though he's no Shepard Smith, I appreciate Neil Cavuto, too. The other day, Neil had a list of tips for men who were Christmas shopping for women. His list was good, though I can't remember all of it and can't find the list online. However, someone wrote to him and had these other tips which I thought were good:
Aaron's idea about the end o' the year CD got me thinking: what songs would I include on such a disc? If we're actually going to do the swap (which remains to be seen), should we include only songs that came out in 2003 or can it be any songs that we listened to a lot this year? For example, thanks to Emily, I really enjoyed Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" this past year. I also enjoyed new music, like Ben Folds' short EP, Speed Graphic (especially "Give Judy My Notice"). Even if we're only speaking about hypothetical end of the year CD's, does anyone have songs to recommend?
I am participating in Holiday CD swap this year, so I've been working on my CD. Here's how it works: 11 people are participating in the swap, so I mixed one CD, but made 10 copies - one for each other person participating. We're also supposed to make notes telling why we chose each particular song. That's where I'm having trouble. Honestly, if I had more Christmas music, some of my current selections wouldn't have made the cut, but I was stuck with them because of my limited choices. I guess I'll just have to wing it on the liner notes and be kind of vague as to why I chose those songs. I feel kind of schmaltzy making notes about what the songs "mean to me," but that's part of the deal, so I'm going to do it. I really need to get them in the mail today or tomorrow, so people can listen to the Christmas music while it's still Christmas. The CDs are made, the covers are made (and they're very sleek, I must say), the envelopes are addressed...liner notes: not done.
I have already received 3 CDs and I've really enjoyed what I've gotten to listen to, plus, it's fun to get stuff in the mail 3 days in a row.
Okay, so he's no Dell Dude, but I did see second place Survivor Clay Jordan at Dillard's yesterday. I would say something about how he was talking really loudly on his cell phone and seemed kind of irritated with whoever he was talking to, but since he seems like the kind of guy who would Google his name to see who's talking about him, I won't say all that stuff.
I had a great time in Nacogdoches. It was really nice to have a long weekend with no pressing engagements (other than Thanksgiving dinner, of course). Most of the group went back home Thursday night, but Annie, Jonathan, Emma and I stayed until Sunday afternoon. We did our obligatory shopping on Friday and Saturday, but I still have quite a bit of Christmas shopping left to do. "The Small" (as we affectionately call the mall in Nacogdoches) doesn't have a lot to offer.
I can't believe it's December already. The calender is filling up with parties. Tomorrow night is the beginning of party season. The bank's Christmas party kicks it all off, and let me tell you, it will be quite a party. Emily and I are still trying to have a Christmas party at our place too, but I'm not sure if it's going to work out. Somehow, in the midst of Christmas partying, Emily's wedding partying, and our regular routines, we both have to move during the first week of January. (Any volunteers?)
I love how the whole nation really celebrates Christmas whether we mean to or not. I love how the radio stations that usually play mediocre music with questionable morality start playing "Joy to the World! The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King."
As evidenced by this random post, I've got the Monday morning drag going on. (Yes, I'm dressed up like a woman, but that's not what I meant by "drag".) I feel like I'm still half-sleeping. The coffee isn't working. Since I was in Nacogdoches, I was spoiled by having good coffee waiting for me when I got up every morning. Now I'm back to having average coffee at work. (What the bank has in Christmas Party, they lack in coffee.) I guess I need another cup. Maybe that will do the trick.