Year in Review

December 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Another year ends and another year begins. Didn’t we just go through all of this? Time flies when you’re having fun!

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This year was a pretty good one for me. Scott and I got engaged at the end of January which was pretty cool, then in February I went to California with my mom and aunt to visit a cousin of mine. I didn’t do much other traveling this year besides that, sans a wedding in Texas and a few trips to Louisiana and Indiana to see family, but that’s okay. At this point I’m saving for a super awesome and likely super pricey honeymoon so I can wait a bit on some more big trips! Let’s see, what else…my job is still going really well and I can’t imagine finding a better place to work. A few friends of mine had babies and I even became an aunt (on Scott’s side…but I wish my sister would pop out one of her own!) and at Christmas yet another close friend announced she’s pregnant, too! So lots of babies and lots of love, which is great. Most of the things that happened in 2015 were good things so I don’t have much to complain about!

Of course, nothing is ever perfect. My dad battled lung cancer (again…) and while he’s healthy now we all know that could change at any time. I also lost my godfather, an uncle who was especially near and dear to my heart. But he had been in pain for a long time so while it’s easy to be sad that he’s gone, it’s also easy to be relieved that he doesn’t hurt anymore. But really, considering how many people I know and love, the fact that I didn’t deal with more losses is pretty rad. And all four of my grandparents are still kicking, which is something I’m grateful for every day!

2016 should be an interesting year, what with an election and my marriage and all. Actually, my marriage will take place just a few days before the election, so that’ll be interesting. Maybe the open bar is a bad idea? Only time will tell, with that and with so many other things. But I’ll continue to enjoy it while it passes and my celebration with various friends this evening will be a great way to ring in the New Year!

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Make Room for Roomba

December 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

My trip home for Christmas was a success! We even survived driving many hours through a freezing rain/sleet storm, only to pass out on our couch at like 8pm that night because our bodies were so exhausted from sheer stress of the drive. But we made it!

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Maybe The Dude will do this if I buy him a shark costume?

Santa was far too good to me, per usual, but one of the gifts getting the most traction in our household was actually gifted to me a little before Christmas. One of my bosses is moving into a new place and decided she didn’t want her iRobot/Roomba to move with her so she generously passed it along to me. I had actually been googling Roomba’s for the hell of it a few weeks before she mentioned it and I was quickly and completely turned off by their price, so getting one for free was pretty darn perfect! If you know me, you know I have a love of keeping things clean and also a love of saving lots of cash so this situation pretty much made my 2015. And my 2016 too!

I’m not sure our downstairs neighbor is such a fan but you know what? That’s apartment living for ya. And I will admit that our furry feline friend does not much care for the new gadget either. The Dude basically stares at Robo (aka Roomba) while it motors around and does not seem to trust the machine not to suck up his little fuzzy tail. Though I guess I can sympathize with that because if I had a tail I’d worry about it too. That said, I am a little disappointed that Dude hasn’t taken to riding it around the apartment ala that cat video I’m sure you may have seen. But there’s still time.

Robo doesn’t entirely eliminate the need for sweeping but he does a pretty good job of it. His services are especially handy for picking up errant pieces of kitty litter and he’s only gotten himself stuck once or twice. Sidenote: why do I call Robo a ‘he’? I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with my fetish of a man constantly cleaning my house.

Now if I can train Robo to do my laundry I’d be all set!

 

 

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Merry Merry!

December 24, 2015 at 9:24 am (Uncategorized)

Holy crap, it’s one DAY until Christmas!

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Stay safe this holiday!

I’ll be heading back to the old homestead to spend some quality time with my family and I cannot wait! I hope wherever you are and whatever you do for this holiday, you’re surrounded by warmth and love. Even if that means you’re hunkered down under a blanket by yourself with your favorite book, movie and bottle of wine.

Have fun and be Merry!

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Holidazed

December 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Holy crap, there’s one week until Christmas.

I’ve spent this week working, training at the museum, grabbing holiday drinks with friends, wrapping gifts, making out Christmas cards, purchasing last-minute gifts and then wrapping those, eating, fighting a stupid cold and eating some more. I also have to get ready for Scott’s birthday (it’s next week too), pack up almost everything I own (including all gifts and dirty laundry…literally, not figuratively) for our trip to see my mom for Christmas, prepare to be out of the office for a few days and finish year-end stuff there and actually finish gift-purchasing and gift wrapping. Then I have to strategically avoid looking at my bank account until my next paycheck in case I have a heart attack.

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Why don’t people exchange vegetables at Christmas? I guess I could try but I’d look like a real fruit. Ha! 

Is it any wonder my brain feels like it’s been strangled with Christmas lights? I feel like I’m forgetting things even though I’ve created numerous lists and checked them way more than twice. How do people with kids do all of this without dashing through the halls and straight out the door into a loony-bin? I don’t know – the only thing I do know is that I’m almost sick of eating my weight in chocolate, pies, cookies and various other baked treats.

Almost. Because let’s be real – that sugar is what’s getting me through all this!

Merry merry holiday and all that jazz – enjoy what you can while you can because this season too will be over before we know it!

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Who You Callin’ Shrimp?

December 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I received a few holiday gifts from my bosses this week, mostly in the form of very generous gift cards. However, one person in particular clearly gets me because she gave me tiny little living creatures that I can keep on my desk!

Dinner! No, not really.

Knowing how nerdy and into science I am, she gave me one of these. Basically, it’s a small, self-contained ecosystem that houses four tiny shrimp. They eat the algae that grows on the inside of their little dome and they just need some artificial light a few hours a day (perfect for the office!). Apparently they can reproduce, though that’s rare, and while their average lifespan is 2 years they can live up to 15. Holy crap! These things could still be kickin’ when I’m in my 40’s!

And yes, I’ve named them. You’re looking at Big Red, Little Red, Casper and Jacque. Actually, you’re not looking at much of anything because they swim too damn fast to get a good picture, but you get the idea (and you can see Big Red down there in the bottom right hand corner). They’re my new desk pets and I can’t seem to stop talking to them, which makes me look crazy since it appears that I’m talking to a dildo-shaped glass full of water. I feel bad leaving them here overnight but then I remember that they’re essentially sea-monkeys in a fancy container and that helps. But I’m already quite fond of them and hopeful that they have a longer lifespan than average. Apparently when one dies they others will eat him up because that’s the circle of life and that’s what I’ve got going on in this dome. And I think it’s awesome!

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Like Mother Like Daughter

December 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

My momma came to visit over the weekend and of course, we had the best time. She helped me decorate our Christmas tree, we toured the ZooLights festival at the local zoo, we did a bunch of shopping and enjoyed all of the decorations that the city has to offer. We also managed to watch a few classic Christmas movies, get manicures and eat a ton of delicious food. I always have a good time when my mom comes to town but I have noticed that the older I get, the more I act just like her.

And that’s not a bad thing!

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She can decorate a mean Christmas tree, too!

Case in point: my mom has always gifted my sister and I will little presents on St. Nicholas Day. A small toy, a card, some holiday stamps – this has been a tradition for as long as I can remember. This year St. Nick Day was on one of the days she was in town and we both surprised each other with gifts at exact same time – obviously, great minds think alike. Then later we went to get our manicures and each grabbed a shade of polish we liked. As we were trying to nail one down (see what I did there?), we both grabbed duplicates of the colors we already had in our hands – clearly, we should both go with our gut and our first choices in things as serious as nail polish.

I am a lucky girl in that my mom is one of my very best friends and I truly do enjoy spending time with her. I’m not sure either one of us would ever want to live together again, but our visits sure are great!  And I get to see her again in just a few short weeks for the holiday, so that’s just one more thing to look forward to. And if I can look forward to acting like her in 30 years, well…I’ll be damn lucky indeed.

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Another One Bites the Dust!

December 4, 2015 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Guys, this is a big day for me. I just paid off one of my student loans!!

Of course, I still have four more and I’ll be paying those down over the course of the rest of my life, but this is a damn good feeling. My student loan situation is the stuff nightmares are made of and I’m among the way too many people out there who have monthly payments roughly equivalent to a home mortgage. I feel like my ordeal with my student loans gave me an education after the education they actually paid for and it’s taught me a lot about finances, budgeting, perseverance and the power of Ramen noodles. Mistakes were definitely made when financing my college education and I’ll be paying for them for quite a while but I have to admit that I’m further ahead than I once thought I’d be. Hell, when I graduated and was presented with interest accruing at nearly $30 a day on top of my principal, I was thisclose to becoming a stripper. Thankfully that’s a path I never had to take – but it’s a good thing I can’t really dance.

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It’s the game that never ends.

While it may border on hubris, I’m quite proud of myself for how I’ve been maintaining life with my loans. Can I take a minute to brag? Because I’m going to. I’ve never missed a payment (even when I was laid off) and I consistently pay more than what is actually due. There were times I had to work up to four jobs at once but I have always paid this bill (and all others, to be fair). My credit is great and my parents have never had to pick up the slack because I couldn’t carry it on my own. And I still have a quite decent quality of life! I’m not wearing new clothes every day and ordering bar service on weekends but I can afford an occasional night out or trip out of the city.

You can’t see it right now but I’m patting myself on the back.

And if I could reach down a little further, I could pick my own pocket – much like the company who owns the rest of my student loans!

 

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Holiday Recap

December 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This time last week, I was enjoying sunshine and temperatures in the 80’s. Today I walked to work in a snowstorm. This time last week I was eating every single thing put in front of my face. Today I’m utilizing a new food/exercise tracker and imputing everything I eat.

Have we invented time travel yet?

No matter. My Thanksgiving was another one for the books and I was lucky in that no one shoved anyone else into the bayou and that there were enough Thanksgiving leftovers for two additional meals (for yours truly…I don’t know what anyone else ate).

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If I ever shot something that was alive I think I would throw up

My trip to Louisiana included:

  • touring the historic Point Coupee Museum (all two rooms of it)
  • purchasing pecans from the factory where they’re shelled
  • shooting four different types of guns at a plastic gopher target in the middle of nowhere
  • eating an obscene amount of food
  • drinking an obscene amount of wine
  • drinking a beer at a bar called Fluidz
  • NOT getting drunk in New Orleans – a Thanksgiving miracle!
  • eating a decidedly non-vegetarian raw oyster to get my sister to buy me a few also decidedly expensive drinks
  • almost vomiting up said oyster and reinforcing my vegetarian ideals
  • seriously raw oysters taste like chewy snot
  • finding a vegetarian hot dog place in New Orleans and having a giant fauxdog even though I wasn’t even hungry – just excited to see it existing
  • nearly bearing witness to a shooting on Bourbon Street
  • NOT trying to fly out of the wrong airport like my sister (sorry, sis)

All in all it was another successful trip and I’m extremely thankful for the time spent with loved ones. And food. Did I mention how much I ate? I’m also thankful for a strong stomach and now that I’ve returned to reality, my gym membership. Bring on the Christmas cookies!

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