Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

The year is coming to an end...again. I feel like it should have more to it, but I'd be fine just watching the X-Men trilogy.

New Years gets the short end of the stick for me. I'm tired from Christmas. I really don't like the parties. And I have a hard time handling the drinking on this night. I just don't feel part of things.

But tomorrow offers a fresh beginning; one of things not yet even thought of. As I began last year, I never would have thought of the new ways our life has changed in just 12 months. Both Larry and I got promoted. I started grad school. Corey began kindergarten. And we made the decision that we'll be moving to Virginia to be within a few miles of Corey (once school ends, of course).

What will next year bring? God only knows, but it's exciting to think of the possibilities.

I had hoped to blog more during the holidays but frankly, I've really enjoyed just doing nothing (other than work full time, host my folks for Christmas, etc.). It's been nice to slow down and just enjoy life.

School begins again January 5. First semester grades:
  • Statistics=B+
  • Organizational Behavior=A
  • Marketing Management=A
  • Managerial Accounting=A
  • Human Resource Management=A
Second semester classes include:
  • Managerial Economics
  • Strategic Management & Leadership
  • Operations Management
  • International Economics
  • Managerial Finance
The holidays were quite enjoyable and my folks learned the joys of Guitar Hero. They laughed at first, then were intrigued, then decided they each had to take a turn. My mom was able to score on 79% on Kansas's Carry on My Wayward Son (set on easy). She said the key is to move your hips. Ummm, sure.

My favorite conversation of the evening.
Corey: Grandma, I can play Guitar Hero too.
Grandma: Really? What's your favorite song?
Corey: Shout at the Devil (and then he majestically strikes the invisible guitar he holds and screams out the best riff he can.)

We saw two movies during the break as well. National Treasure was the favorite of the group. And while I love the music of Sweeney Todd, some things are better suited for the stage. This was the bloodiest movie I've ever seen.

OK, wow... that really isn't much to add to your lives. Luckily, my life will once again become chaotic and filled with material worthy of funny entries.

I wish the best this next year has to offer for you and your families.

Labels: ,

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Meme

My folks arrive today, so my time will be limited for posting. And since school is done for three weeks, my brain is in neutral. I’m just sitting around a lot in my underwear watching reruns of Designing Women.

Enjoy this Christmas meme that comes by way of Clare’s Dad.

1. Wrapping or gift bags? Everything has always been wrapped, though I’m becoming a fan of gift bags. So much easier…and isn’t that what is the holidays are all about?

2. Real or artificial tree? Like Clare’s dad, we grew up with the bottlebrush tree. Each year, we’d stick the colored tips into a pole and PRESTO we’d have a Christmas tree. When I moved in with Larry, we had a real tree for years. Then I got all environmental and cost conscious so we bought one of those pre-lit ones. It’s like opening a patio umbrella. Love it!

3. When do you put up the tree? This year, all the Christmas decorations went up the Friday after Thanksgiving. The tree went up the next weekend. With school, I just didn’t have the time to spare.

4. When do you take down the tree? It can come down as early as New Years or as late as MLK day. This year will probably be early since school begins Jan 5.

5. Do you like eggnog? Nasty. It’s like drinking snot.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Fort Apache. My dad spent an hour setting this up and I awoke that Christmas at 4 am. My parents took turns watching me play with it while the other would catch up on sleep. I think I played with this for three hours before my little brother even got up.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? You’re kidding right? I collect these from other countries or ones that depict the holy family in non-traditional locales. I have 19 nativities. The oldest, on the right, is my grandparents from the 1930 (though a few of the people have been replaced). I usually buy 1-2 each year through eBay or specialty stores.

My favorite was made by a woman in Lancaster, PA. It shows the nativity as Amish. In tradition with the Amish culture, the people are shown without faces. The wise men are bringing gifts of pretzels, corn and bread. (That also would describe my dad’s ideal Christmas dinner.)

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t really think of anything I truly hated. My aunt who lived out of town would always send clothes. Finally, my mom just asked if we could stop exchanging gifts with them.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Over 100 by mail. As Ava will tell you, I actually have to force myself from not mailing them early. I always have them done by Thanksgiving. I’ve reduced it to just a Christmas letter, and frankly since I love to write, it’s easy to generate. This year, I actually started it in July since I was going to be in school.

10. Favorite Christmas movie? I really don’t get into Christmas movies. Would Die Hard count as a Christmas movie?

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? We try to shop all year long and just collect things throughout the year. Some years however (like this one), we did most it these last two weeks.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies. Seriously, I love my cookies.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? We grew up with colored lights, but since we’ve had our own tree, they are all white. The tree is pre-lit with the white lights, but there are sections that keep going out. Larry hates that, but I just think it’s like a holiday dance club.

14. Favorite Christmas song? I did a post on this last year. Here are my 10 favorite songs.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Every 4th year we travel to Chicago, otherwise we stay here.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes.

17. Angel on the treetop or a star? We have the angel from when Larry was a little boy. Growing up, we had this pointy thing that topped the tree. I think it used to be on my dad’s tree when he was little.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Always Christmas day. When we were little, we could open a gift on Christmas Eve, but for someone reason, it could only be from people who lived out of town. That's when I got those strange clothes from my aunt.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? All the people who didn’t give a shit about you for 11 months want you to come to their house for parties. Our rule is that we will only go if we’ve seen them other times throughout the year.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Our ornaments are all red, white and gold. We didn’t set out to do that. It has just evolved that way.

21. What do you leave for Santa? Ummm, Santa visits my son at his moms’ house and they leave cookies and milk.

22. Least favorite holiday song? I’ll be Home for Christmas. Not sure why, but it’s never done anything for me.

23. Favorite ornament? The starfish Santas. Our beagle has eaten two of them and every year, we recall the story of him barfing them back up. Who can’t love a memory like that?

Growing up though, we had this one we fondly called ‘Helen’. It’s a doll’s head. She is tin and came from my dad’s tree. However, her eyes have fallen off so we named her after Helen Keller. We’d put her front & center and my mom would always move her to back of the tree. It was a constant battle, but we finally wore mom down.

Hope your Christmas is filled with memories just as special as these.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Here Comes the Muffin Man

Remember that story from last year? The guy that used to run Larry's office who sent us a Christmas gift after he retired?

He did it again.

We just got another 24 muffins delivered. What is it with this guy? Do you think he still believes he works there?

I wonder if he just doesn't realize it. Every January, he probably looks at the Visa bill and says, "Cathy, what's this charge for $4700?"

If we ever move we should definitely include that as part of the asking price. "The muffins convey with the house."

On a plus note, they came in a basket that I will totally use again.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Heat is on in Saigon

Congrats to Phil who correctly guessed Vietnam. In theory, I could probably get you all gifts with the value of the dollar, but then I couldn't pay for this MBA by selling all the stuff I buy on eBay.

We'll be spending a week in Hanoi and a week in Ho Chi Minh city. See, this is the part of grad school I love.

Honestly I know nothing of this county aside from having seen Miss Saigon twice, so I'm really looking forward to the adventure.

(Mrs. Chili, you nearly made me pee myself with your comments.)


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Break

School is done this semester...well, I still have one 4-page paper to write for that creepy HR class, but I'm halfway done with it.

I cannot believe I have finished 25% of this program already. It went so slowly and yet so fast. God love you all for sticking by me through this. And God love Larry for dealing with my weekly psychotic episodes.

My group hasn't met in 7 weeks or even really talked. Other groups are petitioning the organizer to keep the cohorts the same because none of them want to get any one of my team mates. We are officially the Breakfast Club of cohorts. I totally understand, but I've made certain we are changing in May.

Some of us have formed an impromptu study group. We meet on Wednesday nights and for the first time, I really understand the value of groups. It was agreed upon that we'd meet weekly and that we wouldn't tell anyone about it.

Three things to celebrate from yesterday.
  1. I totally jammed on my accounting final. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this class. During undergrad, I didn't take any finance courses. Man, this stuff was fascinating.
  2. J, the surgeon in our group is quitting. Remember how I complained about the woman who didn't speak English very well? She & I have been getting along (despite her really not contributing), however the doctor and I despise each other. She has hated this program from day one, so it may just help our group dynamics to have her go.
  3. We have a destination for our international residency. May 24ish - June 7ish, I will be traveling to two cities (in the same country) and learning about international business practices. See if you can guess where I'm going. The first correct answer gets a small gift from the trip.
"The average age of the combat solider was na-na-na-na-na-nineteen"

OK, back to writing this paper. Hope you have a great weekend.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

iTunes Meme

OK, finals are tomorrow, so more posts after that. Meanwhile chew on this iTunes meme for some entertainment.

How many total songs?
6520 Songs
34 Photos
2 TV Shows
5 Podcasts

Sort by song title - First and Last…
Abacab - Genesis
99.9% Sure (I've Never Been Here Before) - Brian McComas

Sort by Time - Shortest and Longest
Declaration- The Alarm (:43)
Bolero – Ravel (14:48)
(however, the Little Einstein’s Halloween episode technically goes 24:05)

Sort by Album - First and Last
Abacab - Genesis
99 Luftballons - Nena

Sort by Artist - First and Last…
Aaron Copland
38 Special

Top Five Most Played Songs…
Dreams – Van Halen (54)
Everything Can Change – Gotthard (49)
We Live on Borrowed Time – Nancy Lamott (45)
Free Man – Angie Aparo (43)
Giveaway – American Pearl (34)

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 12, Death: 2 , Love: 469, You: 917, Home: 130, Boy: 125, Girl: 146, Baby: 56

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle…
ummm…it’s not working. Why isn’t it working, people?


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

ROCKin' Around the Christmas tree

We put our Christmas tree this weekend. For some reason, Larry and I had both imagined this Norman Rockwell moment (you know, the painting with the two gay dads putting up holiday decorations with their son).

For those of you with younger kids, 5 is that magic age when they going from all adorable to just plain goofy.

Luckily the tee shirt I bought him last year now fits. What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Angus Young.

AC/DC tee shirt or not, Corey was hysterical (if not painful) at times. Here are some snippets of our conversations.

C: I'm going to hang all the ornaments.
S: You can hang the ones that aren't glass.
C: Why?
L: Because you'll break them and think it's funny.
C: Oh yeah.

S: What are you doing?
C: Nothing.
S: Dude, stop licking the ornaments.
C: OK dude.

L: Hey buddy, you can't put all of the ornaments on one branch.
C: But I need to.
L: How come?
C: They are friends.

S: The tree looks pretty, doesn't it?
C: ICK! Pretty is a girl word.
S: Fine. How do you think it looks?
C: It looks awesome cool.

(Regarding my collection of nativity sets.)
C: Look, there's Jesus...and there's Jesus.. and there's Jesus.
S: Jesus was born on Christmas. That's why we celebrate this holiday.
C: Yep, I open all his birthday presents from Santa.

C: Can we put a star on the tree?
L: We put up the angel that I had a little boy. It's very old.
C: Then you should buy a new star instead.

S: Did you have fun putting up the tree?
C: Yeah, it rocked dude.

That it did.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Career Changes

The joy of living in Washington DC is that politics always makes the headlines. And right behind those stories are the scandals.

This morning, I was in the kitchen reading the paper as Larry came down the stairs.

S: Well, there's more about the senator's sex scandal.
L: Which senator?
S: It seems that two more guys have come forth claiming that Daniel Craig paid them money for sex.
L: I think you mean Larry Craig. Daniel Craig is the James Bond guy.
S: Oh...same thing.
L: The rest of the world might differ with you.
S: Whatever. One of the guys is that Mike Jones guy who also had sex with Ted Haggard. He seems to be doing everyone these days. How is this guy not knowing he hooks up with famous married guys?
L: Some people are more popular than others.
S: Did you know he gets $200 an hour? I'm totally in the wrong job.
L: You make good money. (He began to calculate my hourly wage.) OK, I was wrong. He makes at least 75% more per hour than you.
S: How great would that be? I could do that an hour or so each day and still watch Ellen.
L: Are you thinking of a career change?
S: I'm just saying, we could write off the guest room as a business expense.
L: You may not be able to command the same salary.
S: Who wouldn't pay $200 for a body like this?

(With that I make a muscle man pose that pretty much looks exactly like what Corey does when showing people how strong he is.)

L: (pauses) You're learning about economies of scale in your finance class, right?
S: Yep.
L: Perhaps you should look over that chapter again. Besides, you'd have to have sex with old decrepit men.
S: James bond is not old and decrepit.
L: I don't think Daniel Craig would need to pay anyone for sex.
S: You're probably right.

And so our morning began.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Face to Face

I am a total geek...or just really looking for a diversion with two finals in less than 14 days. Any excuse I can get, I'll let my mind wander.

The other day, I'm catching up on MetroDad; he's like the JD Salinger of daddy blogging (the brilliant recluse writer in Manhattan). If you're not reading him, you should be.

I'll pretty much do anything he recommends. In fact, any time I have a dilemma, I often say to myself, "What Would MetroDad Do?"

Last week, what does he talk about...well honestly, a lot of stuff. But in that post he mentions he's now on Facebook. I think to myself, "Facebook? I thought that was for high schoolers. Shit, if he's on it, I need to do it."

With that, I create a profile. I upload 8 pictures until I'm happy with the one that balances anonymity and the slightly sexy, but obviously off-limits 40 (but tauntingly looks 32) year old. I once again, continue to struggle with programs made for people half my age as I attempt to load address books and join networks. Crap, what this man puts me through to look cool.

Once I got my profile all set, I load in everyone I can find. This whole program is based on the number of friends you have connected to your profile. For the love of God, I send out over a 100 Christmas cards. That has to count for something.

I locate almost 50 people and send out requests. I'm dying for some validation that I'm cool. I wait almost 5 hours for someone to confirm me. (Seriously, where are you guys when I need you most?)

Finally my email buzzes that I've been connected with someone.

Turns out my first friend was Ava's 16 year old daughter. Cripes, I was in her parent's wedding. (yeah, that's me on the left side back in 1991.)

Veronica, thanks for taking one for your dad's old friend. Hopefully, I didn't embarrass you too much at school.