Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some of You are Going to be Burgled

Yesterday I went back to work. Not for a real work day, but because the floors needed to be vacuumed before the carpet cleaners came in today. The doors stayed locked, the lights turned off, the computer system off, the music blaring as loud as it would go. I had to move all the furniture around and vacuum and it took longer than expected. Drek went to go play badminton and I was left alone. When I was almost done, a person came and knocked on the door. I knew she could see me, but apparently she couldn't see that the open sign was not lit, and that the sign on the door said closed until Jan 2. She wouldn't leave, so I went and opened the door.
"Do you work here?" She asked.
"No," I answered,"I'm robbing the place."
"Ok." She said and got back in her car.

Ok. That works.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Indoor Plumbing; It's Gonna Be Big

Our bathroom sink works!! It's the best Christmas present ever!! Our landlord came over yesterday to fix our furnace (good thing we didn't go out of town; Acouchi would have been a catsicle) and while he was at it he fixed our leaky toilet and our sink. I didn't think it could be fixed. It's been broken ever since we moved in a year and a half ago. Do you have any idea how great it is to have a bathroom sink that work?!! It is amazing.

Also yesterday Krisling gave me a breadmaker. I am so freakin excited to make bread. It was all I could think about today. Alas, I have no yeast, so bread will have to wait until tomorrow. SO EXCITED!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Three Christmases

Christmas was wonderful.

Christmas eve I worked until three. It was a fun day to work. Cherie gave me a beautiful new jacket that has quickly risen to may favorite piece of clothing. She also gave me an Australia movie poster, and an apron with cute little cherries on it. I love cherries! Josh gave me socks, which was hilarious. Bob gave me MOVIE TICKETS!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!! I want to use them to see Australia. Rissy, you free?

After I got of work Drek and I went up to his family's house. We played games in the gym of the church up there. We played kick ball and basketball and ultimate Frisbee, then I took of my shoes so we could play a form of dodge ball. This game was a blast. Two teams stand on opposite sides of the gym, each team must stay on their own side, divided by the line in the middle. You then throw hings at the other team. What kinds of things? Oh, gloves, stuffed animals, pillows, socks, tennis balls and things like that. Yes. you throw things at each other. That is the point of the game. I ran up to get some ammo, but jumped back to avoid a flying glove. Unfortunately, I jumped back into small corner, my foot catching a piece of metal on the wall. I tore open my foot on a wall. It takes talent.

After that we went back to the house for a fantastic feast. Drek and I then left for my parent's house, where we talked for a little bit before loading up in the car to go look at Christmas lights.
Looking at Christmas lights on Christmas eve has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. We always go in our little car. We drive up hills, we drive down hills. We charge up mountains and through snow drifts. We've gone in good weather and we've gone in blizzards. We have never gotten stuck in the snow. Until now. We got stuck in the snow. Luckily, we weren't that far from Drek's family's house so he just called them and they came and rescued us. It turned out to be great fun. I hope we get stuck again next year.

Drek and I finally came home, snuggled into bed with another feast of breakfast foods, put Acouchi in between us and all three of us watched Pushing Daises until we fell asleep.

Christmas morning came to soon. Our alarm went off at the ridiculous hour of seven am. Drek and I pulled ourselves out of bed and stumbled to the car, where we drove back up to Drek's family's house to open presents. Once we woke up, it was tons of fun. They had something called a hot chocolate bar, which I'm thinking will be a tradition from now on. What a great idea.

Drek's mom loved the calender, and she didn't mind that Amari's (that's the baby's name!! Amari Nakayla. I finally got to meet her. She is gorgeous!!) birthday wasn't marked. She didn't even realize any birthdays were marked. Hooray!!

Mathew, Drek's brother, had drawn my name for presents. He got me gift certificates to my favorite Mexican restaurant, a game called Buccaneer (which we spent most of the day playing. It is a great game. Very easy, very quick) and he got Acouchi the remote controlled catnip-filled mouse. I was blown away. It was so nice of him to do all those things. I still just can't believe it.

We then drove back down the mountain to my family's house to open presents there. My mom liked her calander. I am already thinking of how to design next year's calander.
My mom got me the exact nativity I had been wanting; one made out of olive wood. It is so beautiful!! I can't wait till next Christmas to display it! Drek finally let me open Xirax's present. It is a word game! It's called a Cross Words and it is hilarious. Drek and Kara got on a team against Meimei and me and we played viciously until my sister and her family came over and we opened more presents. When the last present was opened, it was around five. Talk about dragging it out. But in a good way, I really did love every minute of it. That day I finished my dad's scarf that I was knitting. He said he liked it.

It was snowing like crazy (after snowing like crazy for several days) so Drek, Meimei and I went into the back yard and built the best snowfort ever. It was amazing. Drek built a smaller one up on a hill and we had several snowball wars. We then buried Drek alive. Giggle giggle.

We played games, ate personal calzones and then said good-bye. We headed back to our house with our loot and to spend time with Acouchi. There, we finally opened our stockings and mostly played with Acouchi's stuff. Guess what I got in my stocking?? VODKA!!!! SO EXCITED!! It's a tiny little bottle straight from Russia! Russian writing and everything! I've been wanting Vodka because I read that if you mix Vodka with deep conditioner, it makes your hair really healthy and shiny. I'm so excited!!

Christmas was so much fun this year!! Not only did we get to spend a lot of time with family, but we now have our year's supply of food storage!! Hooray!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Acouchi's Christmas

Acouchi had a great Christmas. Her stocking was stuffed full of treats from Santa Paws, and once Drek and I actually got home, she was given a lot of attention.

This is her looking over her loot:
Lots of yummy canned food, bacon treats (her favorite, even though they are supposed to be dog treats) a container of catnip, a laser pointer (the one from last year was lost) and, the best toy of all; Matthew gave Acouchi a remote controlled catnip mouse. We named the mouse crackers.
Notice that once we opened the can of yummy chicken and shrimp cat food, she dived right in and would not stop eating, even to get her picture taken.

I keep trying to get a video of Acouchi playing with Crackers, but she will not cooperate. I will keep trying.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ah, Insurance Salesman

On Saturday, a guy came into the store. He was young (late 20's) and dressed like he was trying to dress well. He told me he had just opened up his own insurance company. He wanted to look at massage chairs. I put him in a Zero Gravity chair and went on to explain to him what Zero Gravity was:
Zero Gravity is a position in which your muscles are not extended or retracted. All your muscles are completely relaxed. The higher up your feet are, the more pressure is taken off of your back. So, as you can feel, it's a very comfortable position because you sort of melt. It's also very healthy for you; you have improved circulation and improved oxygen.

He didn't really seem to get it (he didn't seem too bright) so I left him to enjoy the massage. When it finished, I came over to see how he liked it. He asked about the position again, saying he really didn't get it. So I said this:
Zero Gravity position is the position that astronauts sleep in when they are in space, when they sleep in zero gravity. It's the position the body naturally goes to because it puts the least amount of pressure on your body. You'll also notice that it's the position you sleep in on your side, again, this is because it is the position your body is most comfortable in.

He answered: So, Zero Gravity is a pillow between your legs?


What? Me: Um, zero gravity is this position, that you are in right now, but yes, when you sleep on your side it is good to put a pillow between your legs. That will help take pressure off of your lower back.

He didn't seem to get this. He thought for a second, then got that look in his eye. You know when you have found a catch, a question the will prove that the sale person or the witeness in a murder trial is lying. That's the look he got. This is the question he asked: "But I've never been in outer space. So how does my body know it should be relaxed in this position?" and then he sat back with a "gotcha" expression on his face.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You Know I Think This Christmas Thing Is Not As Tricky As It Seems

My work Christmas party was last night. It was so much fun! That morning, Bob told me I was in charge of the games. Surprise!! Josh and I looked online to find good Christmas party games and found a good one. Cherie wanted to play Charades, and I came up with the other game.

We finally all made it to the restaurant and the fun began! We had the most delicious appetizers and talked and talked. We played the first game:
Everyone writes the name of a celebrity, famous person or character on a Post-It note which they stick to the forehead of the player on their left. Make sure they don’t see the name. Everyone else can see your forehead. The objective is to work out who you are. Going around the table, each payer takes a turn to ask the party questions about who they are - answers can be YES or NO only. If you get a YES you may continue asking, if you get a NO play moves on to the left.
I made Drek be Simba, and I was SpoungeBob. The game was hilarious. Next up was our white elephant gift exchange! For some reason, last year the game went on for almost an hour! This time it was over in ten minutes. I guess we were all content with what we got.

The next game was one Anna taught me when we were in Texas over the summer:
Different candy bars are put in the middle. One person rolls two dice. If he does not roll doubles, he passes the dice to the next player. If he rolls doubles, he picks a candy bar from the middle, announces what he picked and hides it so no one can see. Then the next person rolls. Same thing, except if he rolls doubles he can say what candy bar person one has, and if he is right he steals the candy bar. Play continues until all the candy is gone.
Drek almost always rolled doubles! He ended up with five out of the seven candy bars!! I need to take that man to Vegas.

The last game we played was Christmas Charades. It was hilarious. All of this was done over delicious food and even yummier deserts. I had such a wonderful time!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Qinghaosu: An anti-Malarial Substance Used in Chinese Medicine

It is snowing like crazy here. I do like snow, I just wish is wasn't so cold. Then snow would be delightful. I had my very first snowball fight of the year today. Drek hit me in the head with an ice ball. Xirax hit me in the face. I got Xirax back by distracting him while Alexis sneaked up on him and pelted him. I got Drek back by beating him at Alhambra. Bwahahaha.

A few weeks ago Krisling finally convinced me to join facebook. She only did this by bribing me with online Scrabble. So, I joined, and have been sucked in to the relm of facebook. Hey, did you know Jeremy is married? And Aaron hates Christmas?? Everyone is on facebook! It is amazing!! You know what else is amazing? That no one else is on facebook for the Scrabble. Not even Krisling, who has not played a word in nine days. I started searching for an open game. Alas, no one on facebook plays Scrabble. No one. There are no open games. I created one, but I am less than hopeful.

For some reason, I am going through a word-game phase. It started with Scrabble, but then I played Balderdash and my obsession exploded. I am now looking up random words all over the place, This might be an attempt to beat Drek and his sister, Anna, at a word game. These two are word fiends. At any given time, they can rattle off lists of English words with Q's that do not require U's. But I am getting closer...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just the Chance that Maybe We'll Have Better Days

Ah, Christmas wish lists, what would we do without them?

This year for Christmas, I am asking for two things:

1) That you donate the money you were going to spend on a present to me. I have two favorite charities: Humanitarian aid and ucpets.com.

2) Food storage. You can either give the food to a food drive, or to me, for my food storage. You know, a bag of rice, a can of tuna, a 10 can of Morning Moo's dried fruit or Taco TVP. Maybe a few MRE's. Whatever.

So, that's my wish list. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Point Taken

We can't let Acouchi go outside. This is because there are stray cats wandering our neighborhood in hordes and we don't want her bringing home flees or viruses. Also, she is de-clawed, and can't defend herself. Also, I don't want her getting lost, hit by a car, or eaten by a dog. Also, it's freezing outside.

Acouchi does not understand this. She will stand by the door and whine and whine and whine for HOURS because there is a closed door, and she does not like closed doors. This got really annoying, really fast. Now, when Acouchi stands by the front door and whines to go outside, we shoot her with a water gun.

Today I was complaining to Drek about a website being slow, and he shot me with a watergun.

Monday, December 08, 2008

And God Bless What's His Face

Christmas presents, for my parents-in-law and my parents, are homemade calenders from Shutterfly. They were supposed to be easy projects. They were not. Still, it could have been worse.

The hardest part was gathering information from Drek's side of the family. Last year I did a calender for them, so the majority of the dates (By which I mean birthdays) were done. I just needed to know the birthdays of the two babies born this year.

The first one, little baby girl Sammy, was born in the summer. Her birth date was easy, not only because I remembered the date, but because her mother confirmed the date. Easy.

The second, little baby girl...uh, I don't know her name. Amari? Maybe? Her middle name is a mystery. It might be Nakayla. It might be Nekeely. No one is really sure. She was born the end of November. Drek and I were informed when her mother was in labor, but not informed when the child was actually born. Her parents don't like to answer phones, so they won't return our repeated request to come and visit them and our new niece. Nor will they answer what her name is or when she was born. Last night I was over at the family's house, and a cousin took out his iphone and shows me pictures of her. Apparently, she was born with six fingers on one hand. How does this information not get passed along? I then got to see a camera-phone video of her. She looks cute. At least, she looks cute on the tiny screen. I'm sure she's gorgeous in real life.

I finished my calenders today. The only thing missing was the name and birthday of grandchild #5. Alas, no luck. And I can't very well put "Six fingered child born sometime around this date". I don't think that would go over well.

Oh well. I am DONE!! She'll be in next year's calender.
This means I am done with all my Christmas shopping!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Deer Crossing

S0 there we were, driving up the hill when suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared THIS!! We had the camera, and thus a shaky home video was born.
It's like we've never seen a deer before. I mean, honestly.

P.S. If Cloverfield made you camera-sick, maybe you shouldn't watch this.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Some of Us Didn't Survive

Last night I had the most amazing dinner. Drek and I were still talking about it when we got home. It was just so good. And he doen't even like black beans.

Also last night, I was laughing to hard tears were streaming down my face. See? This, Krisling is why we need to move in together. Delicious dinners and not being able to breathe.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Slightly Shotgunned!!!

Drek's birthday!!!

In the morning I made Drek breakfast in bed, and then he worked all day while I ran errands. My first present to him was that I cleaned the car. Outside, inside: happy clean car. And of course it rained. The outside is now not clean.

For lunch Drek, Kara and I went to a Chinese buffet and talked and had fun. A few hours later it was finally time to take Drek on his birthday adventure!!

We went shooting!! We went shooting with guns!! Like, shotguns (actually, they were .22 rifels. don't I sound so smart?) It was crazy fun!! We did so well! Drek was a lot better shot than me.
Afterwards we had dinner and desert (cherry cream pie) over at my mom's house.
Everything was delicious and we had a great time. Later that night, Rissy and Ismael came over and we played speed Scrabble and Munchkin late into the night.

Happy birthday, love of my life. I adore you, this year and always.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I LIVE!!!!!

Phew! December is here and I can blog again! Do you have any idea how hard it is not to blog after you have blogging for three years?? Well, it's not that hard, but still, there were lots of things I wanted to post that I couldn't.

I knitted. A lot. How much is a lot? I got very close to finishing my first ever project, and I started and finished a knitted scarf for Krisling for her birthday. It was my first ever finished knitting project!!!
Her birthday was lots of fun. We ate sushi, and it was soooo yummy. She got a baby kitty and named her Sushi. Sushi came and stayed at out house for a little bit. She was so so so cute!!

On the subject of Thanksgiving; Kara, Lani, Ben and I cooked the whole meal. My mom set the table and Mei-mei did clean-up. I've never liked Thanksgiving, but this one wasn't too bad. Drek made stuffed mushrooms (which were a huge hit) and this:Cranberry sauce. which was also good. The item I was most proud of was lemon meringue pie. My mom told me the secret of meringue, and my sister helped implement the secret. It turned out perfect!!!
Rissy's birthday was SO MUCH FUN!!!! As usual. This year was different as Rissy wanted me to do a little bit of the planning. So we set it up like a cruise, with a casino on board (she was turning 21) and we played poker, 21 and roulette. We drank Shirley Temples and Daiquiris and watched the movie 21. Of course, we had tater tots and chicken nuggets. What would Rissy's birthday be without them?
I LOVE Christmas music!!!! Oh, Christmas music of Josh Groban and TSO, how have I lived without you all these long months?

Today is Drek's birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARLING!!!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

November BAMC: Eat Pray Love

Ah, November. I wasn't supposed to be reading, I was supposed to be writing. I did a little of both. I only read one book this month: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
November's word was giving, but, again, I only read one book so I'm making it count. Let's see. . . this book, is about . . . giving . . . back to yourself! And back to the world! And back to the universe! Wow. This book just screams giving!

It's a memoir. Liz Gilbert has just divorced her husband. Her life is in shambles, she has no identity, and is in a deep dark hole of depression and self-loathing. What does she do? She signs a book deal and spends four months in Italy learning Italian eating Italian food and being overall self indulgent. Up next is four months in India at Yoga retreat, eating only healthy vegetarian food, meditating, scrubbing Temple floors and learning self-control and self peace. To top it off she spends the next four months in Bali, Indonesia with a witch doctor, learning how to balance her life between self-indulgence and self-control and where she fits in the world.

This book will: 1) Give you a craving pizza 2) leave you wanting to meditate and do yoga 3) make you want to spend a grand vacation in Bali and 3) CHANGE YOUR LIFE

This book was amazing. I'm so glad Krisling recommended it to me. I loved this book! Not only was it hilariously funny, deep and philosophical, but my soul just loved to read it.

Liz finds out that the world is at her fingertips, waiting and wanting to giver her everything. After she discovers who she is and how to live, she can then give back to the world.