Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last night wrapped up Christmas as I got to visit with the Laws.  I need not reiterate how awesome of a time it always is to sit and talk with them, or how easy it is to converse, or how delightful the homemade yummies were spread out before us.  I was blessed with some homemade goodies in my stocking as well, so bonus there!
I don't think I mentioned that my dearest mother purchased some perfume for me - which of course has a story.  Several of my scents dear mother does not like, so she bought me one she does!  I did agree that I will wear it periodically and see how it goes.  It doesn't smell bad, it just doesn't enthrall me.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to last super long either.  I'm still waiting for the multitude of compliments she proclaimed I would get and starting to gather feedback from others for mom.  I bring this up because it's kind of funny that my mom would buy me perfume from one of those lines often featured in stores (Lancome) whereas my friends instead select a lovely Dior sampler as part of my gift.  Who knows me and loves me for who I am?!  I know mom loves me and means well, don't get me wrong - I just enjoy getting a laugh out of some of the antics.
So, I've heard of project 365 before, known others that have partaken, but I may very well be glomming on to the Laws group of folks who are undertaking it in 2012.  Anyone who's completed this in the past with tips is welcome to speak up!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Owning a home is often like a well thought out torture.  Someone definitely gets their share of chuckles at your expense.  Tonight my low voltage lights did not come on, AGAIN.  I looked and it appears this happened in September last.  Keep in mind, they were just put in this summer and it cost me $50 to buy a new power supply when it died the last time (after that storm that tortured a good portion of my house).  Not cool laws of nature, not cool.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I almost forgot to fess up.  I actually cried a little when I opened my one Christmas gift.  I had the Seventh Void album on my wish list as it is where Johnny and Kenny are now playing since the closing of the chapter for Type O.  I made the mistake of opening the cd case and looking to the art on the inside where I saw a photo of the four band members, which immediatly brought tears to my eyes.  It's just not right.
I am glad to report that the dead Christmas tree was, in fact, due to a burned out bulb.  My tree was set on a timer to turn on every evening around 5 and back off again around 11.  This went off without a hitch until Christmas eve when the string of poinsetta bulbs also on the timer turned on but the tree did not.  Of course, in order to assess this the whole thing needed over turned, which means the ornaments all came off yesterday.  Either way, she's away with a new bulb and ready to rock next year.  I used my last day off to take everything else down and put it away.  Don't misconstrue this for the grinch overtaking my home... I just needed it out of the way so I can focus on my other tasks for the next week and a half.
I made some progress on my notes for the class this spring, but still have a couple of weeks to fully tackle, the ones that didn't have notes I could recycle in any way, so they'll be a bit more of a challenge.
Last night I also got to do a quick Christmas with Rex and head out for Orchard (again - but it was his choice, I can't deny him the Orchard).  It was heck of a wait for our food but it was yummy doing down, even if it did leave me feeling quite disturbed this morning in bed.  Meh.
I suspect I'll be trying to get into the swing all week at work.  I'm just mentally struggling with my current task.  Fingers crossed.  At least it should be pretty empty here, so I won't have as many people to distract me from my targets.  I'm ripping my new tunes first thing, so I'll have those to get me through (mind you I got 7 new CDs for Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas world.  I must say, I made out like a bandit this year.  The new man is way too nice, but as a result I will soon have a warm and toasty car to crawl into in the morning and after work as the weather gets nasty.  There are lots of cds and DVDs to throw in, a new scent, some books I was eyeing, and a beautiful photo of my beloved niecey poo.  Mother nature was even nice, mid-40s and the sun shining.  I'll take it.

Christmas bonus?  Loving the things I see that were clearly from a time of "us" being imposed on the new norm.  Yep, you're living my life... but now I get to laugh about this fact.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I was feeling rather brave on my first day off for Christmas and inspiration struck when I got up... the weather isn't perfect, but it's decent, so why not a drive to Greensburg to hit Pier One, Burlington, Barnes and Noble, and the Olive Garden?!  I only bought a few little things, two out of three will be gifts, one more thing fro mom to unwrap.

The bigger thing to note today is about discrepancies.  Sometimes I don't understand the point in telling people senseless inaccuracies.  I've always railed against being lied to, it's a sign of distrust, a sign of lack of respect, and the easiest way to tell me you think I'm stupid - that never bodes well for someone.  Is that just the norm anymore?

As for me, I'll be spending a chunk of today getting notes in order for my upcoming class.  Fingers crossed that I can make good progress this weekend.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My coworkers are evil.  I figured I should maintain consistency since this is like another bullet to the previous post.  This morning I was offered fresh baked cookies (can't resist that, so they took the place of my normal breakfast), the offered donuts not once but twice by different people (I successfully declined), then after lunch was offered a cupcake (again a fail in my resistence, but I did earn it offering my input for a document to 'earn' a cupcake).
My mailman is evil.  I do wonder how long the items I found sitting on the apartment porch have been sitting there, since I've been wondering where they were since the middle of last week.  The mailbox over there is clearly marked "No tenant, forward or return all mail to sender."  Further, these items were addressed clearly to me, at my address.  How hard is this?  I still get the old tenant's mail in my box and now he's putting my packages on the apartment porch.  I know before I had the porch put on they would often place my packages there to keep them dry and I appreciate that, but the days of me not having a roof under which to put the larger items is long gone.
At least I finally have the book for the class I am teaching in hand.  I think I got the schedule in order last night, now to do the notes and clean up the assignment based on this revised schedule.  If I didn't have a new book every time I teach I wouldn't need to invest countless hours prior to the class' start date.
So how did I notice the packages over there you may ask?  Well, I can thank another would-be tenant who didn't bother to show up to view the apartment at the time we scheduled.  Getting tired of THAT happening too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Two late nights in a row here... and I'm actually keeping pace.  Not like I did when I was 25, but I'm not doing bad.  Friday night we gathered Beff and Philly and headed to the hockey game.  This is, I'll admit, the first game I've gone to since the Nailers started playing here.  It wasn't preferred hockey, felt very surreal, and left us sitting in the dreaded section 7 (cheapest seats - what's up w/ different pricing anyhow).  I didn't actively cheer, but the clapping was for the Royals, as odd as that was, it is better than the Nailers.  From there we spent a second Friday in a row at the 'Bi drinking a few long islands and talking.  It was a good night.

Saturday the holidays kicked into swing starting with the infamous Slips-Beff lunch.  This year we went to Off the Rak, since it's finally back in order after the fire that prevented our holiday visit a few years ago.  Had a good meal, good catching up conversation, and - as always - left with way too many awesome goodies.  There were numerous cds and a book off of my wish list, a cute skull scarf, and a red Keurig all my own!  I guess I'll be back on the caffeine wagon in no time.  That'll make the folks in at work happy.

Saturday night continued the infamy with the holiday party formerly known as the politically incorrect Christmas celebration.  It has definitely calmed down through the years, but remains a good chance to see a few people I don't see all that often.  The weather has been so agreeable, but just in time for this event the snow came.  Only a couple of inches, but it just wouldn't be Scott's party night w/o some crappy roads.

So here it is Sunday morning, I'm actually awake long before noon, and I have a small list of things to get accomplished.  Wish me luck.  Gratefully the week that is starting is a short one.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Only my mother...
So I called her quickly last night to verify something with her.  She then starts to tell me about this and that.
M: "Guess who's pregnant!?"
J: "I have no idea, who?"
M: "AA...."
discussion ensuse
M: "Also... AW...."
J:  "Yes, I saw that one on Facebook"
[Note that the first gal is a year or two older than me, the other my age]
M: "Yeah, it's going around.  So you might want to be careful."
Ok, I so did not have that conversation with my mother.  Needless to say I am horrified at her implication.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Funny.  I feel the exact same way about the Red Wings.
The other night Mithy told us about a house here in Johnstown that has their holiday lights synched up with music.  So, my dearie being who he is, he brought it up last night and we headed out to watch.  Sure, it wasn't what you'd find in some videos on youtube but it was pretty darn nice.  How does Mithy find out about these things.  Jingletown people... turn on the road by Rey Azteca and go to the bottom/end of the road.  You can't miss it!  They have it running from 5:30-10 each night.  Tune in to 107.7 as you get close.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The rest of my past weekend was busy enough, but not cleaning like it probably should have been, or working out... instead quite the opposite - cooking/baking, making dirty dishes, and getting fat.  It is the holiday season so I made two batches of cookies (chocolate chip and no bakes) and then I brewed up one of Slips' cassaroles and a batch of Alton's mac and cheese.  Not sounding light are they?
Between all of that and then going out to eat for both lunch and dinner yesterday here I am feeling bloated and gross, nevermind up 5 lbs.  Ugh.  Didn't sleep well either.  I dunno what my issue is. Maybe I just need to wear myself out walking and cleaning so I'll wipe out properly again, the benefits to that route are numerous.  I think it's time to eat what's at the house and then spin back up on the uber diet. 
My excuse for last night's dinner out (a salad even) was a good one however, as I got to do my Christmas with Mithy and Addie.  We grubbed at Applebees and played some of the games from the set I got for Addie (bingo, tic tac toe, hangman - kangaroo being the key word, connect 4).  Hung out alone with them for a little while until the man came, so at least Mithy has been introduced now too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Headed out last night, taking in the Rat Pack performance at Richland High's performing arts center.  The first couple of minutes had me worried, but it stepped up and was a pretty darn good performance.  I think I was one of the youngest people there of my own free will, but that's okay.  And while it's not nice to laugh at older people, I did get a few chuckles out of the folks sitting behind us... one whistling along, another that would respond to the performers like they were talking directly to him, another that was tired and just wanted to go, etc.

From there it was time for a drink, so a quick stop at the 'bi turned into a long stop and 3 or 4 long islands, but by golly they were good.  A bit of a late night, but I was a bit overdue for doing some howling at the moon.  I really should be cleaning and being very busy today, but I think I'm going to keep it mellow.  No, I'm not hung over!  I think Saffy's happy with this idea as she is already laying with her head on my leg.

I did receive an invitation to teach again for the Spring term.  I debated passing on it, but it is the class I prefer, the new book looks good, and - frankly - I still don't have a tenant so that extra coupe of bucks are welcome too.  Not like I intended a cruise during that time frame either.

Friday, December 09, 2011

How displeased am I that I can't even TRY to fix my tattoo for a year.  Yeah.  A year w/ a damage O-negative on my ankle.  So not happy about that.  It definitely amps up the frustration and bother I will express at the whole situation when relaying the costs and what I've gone through to heal it to this point to the doctor who did the damage.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

While each day this week has crawled along I have still managed to be surprised that it's Thursday night.  How does that happen?  It's been a busy one trying to get things back in order.  Still an open apartment, but a few more contacts on it.  Dropped the boxes at the post office today, so that's one more big thing off of my list... too bad I forgot to toss the Christmas cards in the car too.

So, the trip.  First I'll say that it was quite relaxing.  We had excellent travels, superior stateroom and wait staff, and the most awesome folks at our table for dinner.  RC usually does a good job matching me up at a dinner table, but this one took the cake - so much so that we were even looking for each other at shows and hanging out after dinner.  We did meet some other really nice folks while on board too.  Loved the Christmas tree decorated along the promenade too.  A good time indeed.

Let's start out at the top, headed to mom's on Tgiving then back up the mountain to fetch the Beff so we could get to Dulles for the night.  We flew out on Friday and spent the day/night in FLL with some shopping and then heading to the Panthers/Lightning game.  One purchase was two cute little stuffed siberian husky puppies that we dubbed Lily and Honey, our mascots for the trip.  Good start, right?  Onto the ship Saturday and here was the one glitch/negative. I guess the coast guard was doing some inspections, long story short, it resulted in a HUGE snaking line in the parking lot at the pier and a lot of unhappy people.  There was no diamond line outside, needless to say, quite displeasing!

We hit a few standard fares onboard like art auctions, the ice show, other shows (including a DBK comedian that was bleeting at people for leaving when he ran 20 minutes into the late dinner time, a magician, a Temptations tribute band, and a comedian/singer/impersonator named Finis who was phenominal).  The newlywed-type show is another regular occurrence that is a must attend and this one left me shocked.  Man, the two younger couples demonstrated clearly the sad state of dating for young people.  *shakes head*

We started with two days at sea and then into St Maarten, the only stop on this cruise that I had been to before, where we went on one of Bernard's Tours.  Sure, they're popular and get great reviews on Cruise Critic, but I was still expecting we'd be with Bernard, so I was slightly disappointed.  We did stop at Orient beach and YES, I have the photos to prove that the girls saw the sun (briefly).  I came home with a bottle of guavaberry rum in tow from there, I'll need to experiment at some point.

The next day we were in St Kitts, which was nice, but seemed a little less 'built up' and designed for tourism than St Maarten.  We had a most awesome tour with Thenford Grey, which made up for me being bummed the day before.  Thenford really was pretty awesome.  We did see some monkeys, but  not drunken ones, the fortress and botanical gardens, and then to a beautiful little beach where we were to snorkel, but no one else on the tour wanted to stay at the beach.  Now, Thenford was more than happy to return for just us, but we just didn't want to leave our things sitting on the beach and be the only ones there from the group we were with all day, so we headed back.

That night we headed up to hang out with our table mates at the midnight buffet on deck, and spent some time sitting on the balcony enjoying the multitude of stars that were everywhere - including a shooting one.  We still had two more days in port coming up behind it.. so the tired was soon to start setting in.  Next up was Puerto Rico. I was nervous about this stop as a friend had been there and truly hated it.  I thought it was pretty decent.  We didn't have a tour, we just wandered near the port a bit and did some shopping and sight seeing, but it was good.  Beff left with a new tanzanite ring and I left with a beauti-mus ruby ring!  I wanted to buy towels at Cariloha, as if you do so in the store they'll ship them home for you for free, but alas they didn't have the black in stock right now and the other colors just weren't doing it for me and my bathroom decor.  So, I'll be waiting and emailing the store directly in a few weeks, thanks to the guy who gave me his card there.

Last port day was Labadee, a private area in Haiti.  It was nice, but I definitely like Cococay way more.  It was just a bit too busy and commercially by comparison.  We shared the visit w/ Enchantment, as she was also in port.  We did manage to put on the snorkel equipment here, but there wasn't too much to see along the beach.

At last one more day at sea and a feeble attempt to get a little more sun.  I got some, but not much.  I guess it's for the best but it's nice to not be neon white.  We did an early as possible flight, so we were glad to get off the ship smoothly and back into Dulles.  Made the drive, getting home with 20 minutes to spare to go get the girls.  Definitely had travel blessings around us all the way.  It's good be home, for sure.  It's even better to not be jealous of the people I saw there holding hands etc, and to be able to come home and do that myself.  Neiner neiner world.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I'm alive and well... got back from a cruise on Navigator this past Sunday.  I'll be posting soon with some details, but for now I'm trying to get caught up on laundry, runs to the grocery store and getting holiday decorations up.  Getting back into the grind at work has been interesting at best.  I expect things to have shifted while I was away, but yet it still tends to surprise me every time for some reason.