Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m so sad that the holiday season is so close to being over. While it’s been crazy and hectic and I have had quite a few experiences of frustration and desperation at the busy mall trying to get all of our shopping done, I thoroughly have enjoyed this last month. It’s the little stuff that I just love: chatting with co-workers about our holiday plans, random homemade treats in the office, 24-hour Christmas music on the local easy listening station, making plans with my dad to watch White Christmas, the holiday parties at work that we dread going to but where we always end up having a really nice time, driving around in the blistering cold looking for holiday-shaped pretzels and red and green sprinkles (ultimately hitting up 4 stores), and sorting through the usual junk mail and dreaded bills to find delightful cards and pictures from loved ones wishing us a happy holiday season. I can’t forget to give a shout out to the requisite “holiday sweater lady” in the office who, while during the rest of the year you find quite irritating, always makes you smile this time of year with her random office drop-ins sporting jingly reindeer earrings and bearing gifts of chocolate gold coins and red and green Hershey kisses. I so love that lady right now.

So it’s certainly bittersweet to look at the calendar and realize Christmas Eve is less than a week away. All of the craziness this month has lead up to this weekend, and it will be over so quickly! We say goodbye to paid holidays (after New Years) until Memorial Day, there will be no more Sears commercials advertising tools adorned with red velvet bows, no more fudge in the break room, no more Bing Crosby on the radio, and no more ladies with little Christmas trees on the folded down collars of their white turtle-necks (worn under their festive sweater-vests of course).

And I can’t find my Ally McBeal Christmas soundtrack CD! Actually, to be honest, I lost mine a few years ago, and then borrowed my aunt’s, which is the one I currently have frustratingly misplaced.

Do you know what else we have to look forward to once this holiday season wraps up? No, I’m not talking about the fact that we still have three months of this bitter cold winter to survive or that the suckiest let-down of a day, Valentines Day, is the closest thing to a holiday we have to look forward to; I’m talking about that other unfortunate realization that will come in January when the Visa bill arrives in the mail. Yup, holiday-fueled credit card debt, I’m totally looking forward to that happy day of realization.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


In an effort to avoid any semblance of work today, I've gone and created Bella her own little webpage on dogster. This further supports my admission of lameness yesterday. I don't think I'll use the blogging function though, because just about the only thing dorkier than creating a webpage for your dog would be to update it with periodic diary posts about their life. I had no idea there were actually people out there who would blog in first person from their dog's perspective, but 'tis true. Seriously, check it out, it's pretty amusing, in a sad sort of way.

Ok, enough judging, I'm one of them now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I'm just way too lazy these days to come up with something to write that sounds somewhat intelligent. I don't know what my deal is, sometimes I think I try WAY too hard at this blogging thing, I'm seriously so lame. In the last three days I've started to write about the Christmas party with my college girls last Friday (7th annual!), several anecdotes about time spent with Lisa since she's come back in town, about my lack of time and energy to finish shopping for Christmas, and a reencountmant of a sorta-scary/sorta-cool incident at the Chinese buffet down the street from my house involving a couple police officers with rifles (yea I said rifles, not just their handguns, they broke out the big guns... literally) doing army crawls and crazy maneuvers around the restaurant that WE were dining in! (Wow, do I get some sort of prize for longest and most pointless run-on sentence ever written?)

Anyways, I think all I can handle right now is some pictures, and maybe a few captions.

Yup, that's right, I'm putting out on the web a picture showing my white icky stomach in the middle of the winter. Well whatever... this proves that I'm not making up the whole bellydancing thing.

We went here (Café Latte in St. Paul)...

... for some yummy desserts and coffee on our first night with Lisa back in town! (Wow, I am looking shiny, I think I need to start making a habit of re-applying the pressed powder a little more often throughout the day.)

Liz's lovely holiday table set-up for the girls' Christmas party/dinner. She made us each our own green and red personalized placemat, isn't that sweet?! Notice the pomegranate martinis on the table - - those mothers were delish. (I had about six.)

Hee! Here we are doing our "Heeeey!" picture, a must-take-photo at all buddy events. I'm pretty sure noone really knows the origin of this tradition, but I don't mind it a bit because it gives me an excuse to look really strange in a picture. I pretty much look ridiculous in every picture I am in, so at least with these guys, I can laugh at it and claim it was on purpose. (Front row starting on the left: Betsy and Liz; 2nd row: Kate and Angela; Back row: me and Heidi.)

And finally, a shot of my sweet little pup, Bella (who's not really a pup I suppose, considering she'll be 1 year old at the beginning of January). She is so cute and snuggly and precious, I just cannot handle it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree!

Last week we got our Christmas tree all up and pretty, doesn’t it look festive and sparkly and amazingly symmetrical?

Christmas Tree 2005

I picked it out, and if I must say, I am evidently “the shit” at picking out Christmas trees, thank you very much. Actually, this picture doesn’t do it justice, I’m still trying to figure out how to take a good picture with my new and tiny and wonderful little digital camera (an early Christmas present from my lovely husband). On closer inspection, the tree seems to be a little bit sparse, but I swear that’s got to be my poor photography skills, because in real life it seemed cluttered to the max with funky mismatched ornaments, gold and red glass bulbs, and glittery white lights.

Speaking of lights, until last week, I have never in my life had to put the lights on a Christmas tree. Traditionally, that was always my dad’s job growing up, and last year Dan naturally stepped up as the “man of the house” and took on the task. This year, however, he threw a bit of a stink about not wanting to have anything to do with stringing the lights on the tree, and being incredibly naïve I didn’t understand what the big deal was, so I agreed to do it. Just the fact that he offered, in exchange, to make dinner and do the dishes should have raised a red flag, but evidently I can be pretty oblivious to glaringly obvious signs of impending danger. (Doesn’t that seem like an easy and absurdly clear choice – do the dishes or decorate for Christmas?)

Anyways, putting lights on the Christmas tree, well apparently it sucks, and now I know. There are a variety of reasons why this seemingly simple task is so sucky, (each reason requiring its own bullet on account of the high suckiness levels going on there):

  • It might just be the tree we bought this year (a balsam), but holy crap, putting the lights on our tree f-ing HURT! I started out wearing just a short-sleeve t-shirt and quickly put on a sweatshirt and mittens in an effort to spare the poor skin on my hands and arms any further torture from those prickly, scraping needles! I still got a little red rash on my wrists, and almost drew blood through my mittens a few times, but it helped a little. And let me tell you, I certainly didn’t keep my pain to myself, I was wincing and crying and complaining the whole way through, because if I’m suffering, so must all around me. Who knew those pine needles would feel like prickly death on my poor sensitive skin? I certainly DID NOT!
  • There is truly no way to keep strands of lights from getting all tangled into one giant mess from one holiday season to the next. Dan swears he was ultra-careful about putting them away last year, specifically rolling them up, each strand individually, but the box of jumbled-up mess I opened prove that his efforts were futile. Are there magical little trolls decked out in camouflage who sneak into unsuspecting people’s storage closets and basements after the holiday season, making a mess of those once-a-year-appearing items which their victims have painstakingly worked at keeping organized? Do they thrive on witnessing the sweaty exasperation of a poor woman at her wit’s end buried in a sea of green cords? It’s a conspiracy… it’s got to be!
  • I’m pretty sure there’s no simple or structured way of actually stringing those damn lights onto the tree - - at least I haven’t found one. It seriously took me like two hours, and I was trying so hard to not be picky, but there was always some patch looking horribly bare or green cords hanging very visibly off the front of the tree. Even worse than tediously working to avoiding these issues, is fixing them after-the-fact, which is almost impossible to do without unraveling the entire strand from the tree. Argh.

Ok, lesson learned. Next time pick the dishes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lisa Lisa Bo-Bisa

In honor of my best friend Lisa’s impending arrival back in the lovely yet freezing crap-hole that is Minnesota, I have compiled a little list of what makes Lisa so f-ing awesome that she is deserving of such a list.

  • Lisa is, unquestionably, the NICEST, kindest, sweetest, most caring person you could ever meet. Seriously, I am not exaggerating. Very rarely does she say anything nasty or ugly about anyone, and when she does it can be assumed that it is certainly deserved, and even more, it is highly likely that it has been squeezed out of her by her very gossipy and ill-tempered friend. (Who, me? No way.)
  • This chick has some serious balls, or the feminine equivalent of them anyway. Just a few months after graduation from college, she moved down to Costa Rica, by herself, all alone, knowing no-one, to work and live. Who does that? Certainly not me, the woman who bought a house less than five miles from the home she grew up in and the high school at which she received her education. And not only did Lisa make a huge leap of faith by moving to a new country all on her own, but she made a life for herself down there. She became a teacher, she made some amazing life-long friends, fell in love, and became the godmother to a gorgeous little Tico baby.
  • As you can imagine, everyone loves her. She is genuine, sincere, and a great listener. She is one of those people who asks you questions, and actually cares about listening to what you have to say.
  • She is beautiful, gorgeous actually, and is always smiling. Her smile and her joyful exuberance are absolutely contagious, and there is never a shortage of laughter when she’s around.
  • She is so missed when she’s not around. I feel so lucky to be able to have her back home in just a few short days, and I know that Beronica, Freddy, little Daniel, and especially Alvaro will miss her just as much as so many of us have over the past few years.
  • She always makes everything look so easy. Her appearance is both simple and striking at the same time, she speaks Spanish so beautifully and fluently you’d think she had been speaking it since birth, she can navigate the crazy streets of San Jose and avoid potholes like a pro, and I believe she has aced every fricken test she has ever taken since around 1st grade.
  • She is the definition of a “best friend”. She has always been there for me when I needed her, she has always listened with a compassionate ear, she has never judged me, she has never acted selfishly (as I know I so often do), and she knows more about me than pretty much anyone in this world knows. We’ve laughed together and cried together, grew up together, done each other’s hair, borrowed each other’s clothes, and asked each other’s advice. I trust her completely, and love her as a sister.

Have a safe flight Lis, I love you, and see you soon!