Thursday, December 22, 2005

The One with a Holiday Wish

I am leaving this morning to go home for Christmas. If you remember, my mother is not electronically inclined, so I won't be doing much blogging until I return. A few words before I go. In our current times of political correctness, it seems that Christmas has lost some sense of itself in order to not offend anyone. Go check out my blog friend Keb's Thursday Thirteen post for a hilarious rant about this topic. For me personally, Christmas is about giving and spending time with my loved ones. So, I would just like to wish every one a merry holiday whether for you that is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan (which I know is already over this year), or whatever.
Even though it is futile, I will still be wishing for a little of this outside my window.

Goodbye for now and may there be


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The One with a Hanukkah Party, the Trail of Lights, and Martha Stewart

This holiday season I have been trying to be Martha Stewart. I have decorated my entire apartment, I've made fudge and cookies for gifts, and I've been entertaining. All of this has kept me very busy, and it has taken it's toll on my body. I have completely lost my voice. To begin with, my voice is high pitched and soft, and I'm often mistaken for a child when on the phone. I've been told by several guys that this is sexy. I guess it could be if you're a pedifile, but that's not who I'm looking to attract. Now, if any sound comes out at all when I speak, it is only a mouse squeak. I went to the doctor today and learned that I just have to wait for it to come back. I was also given a lecture about drinking enough water and getting enough sleep to keep my immune system going. Sleep? Are you kidding me? I just don't have time for that!

Saturday I got up early to finish up some Christmas shopping, and then I came home to begin preparing for the dinner party I was hosting on Sunday. Next, I got dressed to go to my friend Adina'a Hanukkah party. You may remember her from my post about her band, the Shim Shams. She has this party every year, and it is not so much about Hanukkah as it is just a party with some kosher food. I had brought the ingredients to make pomegranate martinis. This was very dangerous because they are very good and easy to drink. The Hanukkah party sort of died down around midnight, and the other members of her band asked me to go along with them to another party. At this party I began chatting with a nice guy who asked for my number (more on this later). I also continued drinking pomegranate martinis, and let me just say that I learned they can get you into situations that you did not intend. Don't be alarmed. I got myself out of it and home in one piece. However, I didn't get home until about 4am, and you remember I'm having people over later that day.

So, Sunday I wake up a few hours later and a little hungover and go meet Holly to rent the space for the joint birthday party we are having in January. Yes, I have an impending birthday. Let's not talk about it. Then I came home and began making the rest of the food for my dinner party. I was having my family and a few close friends over for dinner followed by a trip to the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park. I had to make two of some dishes because one of my friends, Special K, is vegetarian. My menu included Garlic Artichoke dip, a Ham and Black Olive Cheese Ball, plus a veggie version of the same, Chili, Veggie chili, two kinds of cornbread, Brownie Bourbon Balls, White Chocolate Peppermint fudge, and sugar cookies. I somehow managed to get everything done and on time. Everyone enjoyed the conversation and loved the food. Next, we took the kids down to the Trail of Lights which is an anuual event at Zilker Park that ends with a big tree of lights at the moon tower. Despite the fact that it was very crowded, the trail is always an enjoyable sight. I pulled off a successful evening! I love entertaining even though I get completely stressed out and in this case lost my voice.

So, an update about the boy. He called me on Monday evening (apparently he is a follower of the two day rule). I couldn't very well answer because, I have no voice. I decided to try to send him a text even though I wasn't sure if he had this feature or not. He responded and asked if I would like to have dinner. Yea! I told him yes and that I would call as soon as I can speak again. Since I am leaving on Thursday to go home for Christmas, our dinner probably won't take place until next week. I will keep you somewhat updated, but not too much. I have to keep some secrets!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The One with Humanity

This month's issue of Real Simple, one of my favorite magazines, had a really good article about random acts of kindness which I thought was really appropriate for the season. I have given you a couple of songs to listen to as you read this that are not only holiday songs but also fit my message today. I know that I don't live in New York, but it is the rest of the lyrics that I want you to hear. Sometimes it seems like humanity and compassion have been lost in today's society. I personally don't think that this is because people aren't compassionate anymore. I just think that we get so caught up and busy in our own lives that we don't notice those around us that need some help or even just a smile. In the article, some of their suggestions are common courtesy in my opinion such as waiting for your friends to make it inside their home when you drop them off. I was raised with this not being an option. Others though I thought were worth trying out. I particularly liked the idea to leave your extra change in the machine when you buy a soda from a vending machine. I have been doing this a lot at work lately. It's just a little thing that puts a smile on someone's face. One suggestion that I have been too scared to try yet is to pay for the order of the car behind you at a drivethrough. I want to do this one, but I'm afraid that I would freak someone out. Another idea that I like is to take cookies or something edible for the workers when you drop off an in-person donation to a charity. It's something thoughtful for the people that do so much for others. This week I performed my own random act of kindness at the grocery store. I had to pop in to pick up a couple of last minute items for our holiday party at work. I was there around 10:30am which apparently is when most of the elderly population goes to the grocery store probably to avoid crowds. I was in line at one of the quick registers and had already put my items on the conveyer belt. There was a little older lady behind me with a cart, and I offered to put her items on the belt for her. She was so happy and thanked me repeatedly and told me what a nice young lady I was. This was just a common courtesy, but I took the time to notice her and that is what I want you to get from this. So, please not just in the next week during the holidays, but every day from now on, remember this and look around you and try to do a kind deed for someone. Find your own way to do a random act of kindness and spread humanity.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The One with Howard's Farewell

So today was Howard Stern's last day on free radio. A very large crowd gathered in New York to bid him farewell. I will really miss him! At least until I get Sirius which I will be doing before January. I have an impending birthday, and I always buy myself a pair of shoes. This year I'm going to get Sirius instead because I can't get through the morning without Howard. I know a lot of people don't like him, but I think he's brilliant. Not only is he hilarious, he's also very intelligent. I especially loved listening to him during our last presidential election. I also think he does great celebrity interviews 'cause he asks questions that others won't. And not just sexual stuff. One of my personal favorites was his interview with Vincent Gallo, the director and star of The Brown Bunny and Buffalo 66, both of which are films I recommend. If people would just get their panties out of a their asses and listen to his show, they would see that there's actually a lot more to it than just farting and strippers. I also think the FCC has gotten out of control. If you don't want to listen to something, then don't. If you don't want to see sex and violence on the tv, then change the channel. It's a free country! I think it's really sad that Howard is being forced to move to satellite in order to express himself as he wants. So, goodbye Howard, goodbye Robin, goodbye Artie, and goodbye High Pitch Eric, Jeff the Drunk, Wendy the Retard, and Bong Hit Eric. Until we meet again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The One with the Nutcracker

This past weekend was a very busy one for me. On Friday, I babysat my niece and nephew so their parents could go to a holiday party. We all ate chicken nuggets from McDonald's, and then they made me watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas THREE times. I hate that movie! I didn't like it as a child, and I don't like it now, but you try to argue with 2 and 3 year olds. At 9 when I told them it was time to go night night, my nephew got very upset with me, but who was the first one to fall asleep. You guessed it, TRISTAN!

On Saturday, I spent the day running errands and Christmas shopping, then I fixed dinner and got dressed for the Nutcracker. This year I took my friend Debs and her daughter, Ellie, to see Ballet Austin's performance of the Nutcracker. I love the ballet, and I had only seen this performance on PBS, so I was very excited. I had bought a new outfit for the occasion. We were all dressed up and looked very pretty, if I do say so myself. The performance was wonderful! My favorite part was the second act at the Sugar Plum Fairy's court. Ellie did very well sitting through the performance. Afterwards we drove down 37th St. to look at the Christmas lights. This is an Austin tradition. This one neighborhood goes all out stringing lights everywhere, and there's lots of artsy pieces and crazy things like an old stove covered in Christmas lights. Keep Austin weird and all that.

Sunday, I woke up early and began preparing brunch for my family. We were exchanging presents with my sister since we won't be seeing them at Christmas. I made Cranberry Orange muffins from scratch for the first time, and they were delicious! That afternoon, my SIL and I went shopping while the kids and Etienne napped. I spent enitrely too much money at Marshall's, mostly on Christmas bags. And I've already wrapped all my presents! Oh well, I can use them next year. I also bought a really cute pair of shoes that I love even though I can't feel my toes after about 30 minutes of wearing them. SIL bought me a green cashmere hoodie for Christmas which I'm very excited about. I had asked for something cashmere, and a green hoodie was exactly what I had envisioned. I can't believe we found one. Later that evening I made fudge for my neighbors. I used this recipe from Rachel Ray that I had seen on Oprah. It was so easy and very yummy! TTFN!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The One with the Ice

Uh-oh, I'm posting two days in a row! Someone alert the media! I'm conducting a test to see if I can be a regular blogger and still have a life away from my computer. Alot of you out there in the blog world have kids, spouses, and careers. If you can do it, so can I. So, last night I went to bed with visions of snowflakes dancing in my head. I awoke at 7am (very early for me) to find ice, not snow, and alot of it. As you know, in Texas our weather changes at the drop of a hat. On Saturday we had temps in the 80's, and yesterday afternoon, they began dropping rapidly into the 20's along with this slushy stuff, not really rain but not snow. I had to pry my door open to get into my car, and then search frantically for my ice scraper so that I could get home last night. When I arrived home I tried to rescue my poor container garden, but I'm afraid my hydrangeas may never recover. I decided to brave the ice this morning and try to make it to work around 10. Now, I love my state, but I must admit Texans can't drive. Things come to a stand still when it rains. Throw some ice into the mix, and you're just asking for trouble. TexDOT does not know how to handle this kind of weather either, and the road I live on was not sanded. Keep in mind that this is a major road that turns into a freeway. Things were going well until I got closer to the first light and had to brake. Then I began sliding, which freaked me out. Once I got to the light, I decided to turn and pull over for awhile. I called in to work and said I was going back home, but then I spoke to my SIL and found out that I-35 was in good condition. At this point I was afraid to go back from whence I came, so I made my way over to 35 and had no problems getting to work. At work, there were only about 5 people there, and only one of our support staff showed up, so I had to help them out all day since I used to be one of them before my elevation to cytotech. It was kinda nice to have a break from the microscope for awhile. More people showed up around noon, and everyone was complaining. I could do without having to thaw my car before driving and the sliding on the roads, but I, for one, am glad to have a December that feels like December. My drive home was very uneventful, not even the normal traffic got in my way. The pictures that I took this morning were not very good, so I tried to find you all something else pretty to look at. Tonight our temperature is supposed to get to 17. SEVENTEEN! I don't think that's ever happened since I've been alive. Alright, I'm off to drink some hot chocolate and snuggle under a blanket, or three.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The One with the Big 12 Champions

We are the CHAMPIONS, my friends. This past weekend I went to Houston to watch the Big 12 Championship. It was the best $400 dollars I ever spent. Texas totally kicked Colorado's ass winning the game 70-3. Even though the game was kind of boring after the first half, it was so much fun! My fellow Longhorn friend, Histo, and I went to Katy on Friday to stay with a friend of mine from college, Bud. We got up early on Saturday, drove to Reliant stadium, and kicked back with a couple of Lonestars before the game while watching the crowd come in. The stadium was packed with a sea of burnt orange. I myself was wearing one of four new Longhorn shirts I bought last week (you can never have too many) in honor of the occasion. It's the one with Mack Brown's slogan Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late, Wear Orange. And that is exactly what we did. I made a sign to hold hoping that we would get on TV, but to no avail. After the game we were stuck on the freeway for hours, even though we didn't leave for about an hour after the game. We had planned on going out that night with Bud, but we were so tired from the all day affair that we just went to dinner and stayed in with a movie. The next day we made a special trip to IKEA before heaing back to Austin. I LOVE that store! I found a buffet for my dining room that I have been looking for forever. Everything there is so cheap! I could have stayed for hours. They are building one in Round Rock, and I can't wait for it to open. So, now my Longhorns are going to the Rose Bowl on Jan 4th to play for the National Championship. Look out USC! The Eyes of Texas are upon you!