Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye, and good riddance

It's already 2008 in a good portion of the world, and will be here in exactly 6 hours. We were planning to have a couple of good friends over for dinner and game night to ring in the new year, but the cold I came down with has only gotten worse so I had to call it off. So, we'll be spending the evening at home under a blanket while I try not to cough myself to death. While spending the evening with the hubby under a blanket by the fire is a good thing in itself, it seems a fitting end to a year where nothing has gone has planned. As someone at work said, it's been a year where everything has needed to be a Plan B. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I consider 2007 to be the worst year of my life. I won't go into what made it all so bad, but you probably already know. So, as 2007 comes to a close, the best thing I can think to say is "It can't end soon enough!"

Instead of rehashing all the bad things that happened in 2007, to me and the people I care about, I think I should concentrate on the good things that did happen in the last year. Yes, there were plenty of good things, and it would be so easy to let them be overshadowed by the negatives. If there was every any doubt, I'm definitely an optimist. I've taken all the negative things that happened and still managed to find positives in them. As it turns out, most of the positives were things that I learned by trying to cope with the negatives.

The saying that "Wisdom comes from experience" certainly is true. I learned this year that I'm actually a much stronger person than I ever thought possible. I've dealt with things this year that prior to this I wouldn't have thought I could handle. It was dealing with all the crap that made me stronger, so indeed some good did come of it all. I also realized that I'm pretty good at taking control of a situation without being an asshole about it.

I learned that I know how to take things one day at a time, and that the theory really works. I figured out who my real friends were this year and also learned that it's okay to open up to them; if they're true friends, they won't run away. In fact, my true friends rallied around when things were tough and I'm forever grateful to them. I learned that I truly can't fix everything (even though I've often tried) and that it's okay to lean on people. I also learned that I'm pretty good at utilizing my resources to get things done.

I learned this year that my relationship is even stronger than I thought. I always knew we had a very strong bond, but dealing with things together this year cemented that even further. Instead of the bad things tearing us apart like I've seen happen to so many other couples, it brought us closer together. I'm definitely thankful for that.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I've always thought it a bad idea to take on an arbitrary commitment just because we hang up a new calendar. However, I can say that I will be taking the things I learned in 2007 into 2008 in order to make it a good year. Maybe that's something of a resolution after. I'm still counting down the minutes until this wretched year ends, and as it does I would like to say to it: "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Post-nap ramble

I just woke up from a much-needed nap and felt inspired to write, so here I am.

Well, it's day 8 of my 11 day stretch of time off work. The time seemed to go really fast, but that's usually what happens with time off. This is the longest I've had off work since 2004 when we took a two week vacation. I can't say that I have anything to show for the time off, but ask me if I care... ;-)  I go back to work on Wednesday and it's going to be a shock to my system to have to get out of bed and out of the house by a certain time, and to be civil to other humans before 10AM. Wish me luck. 

Most of my time off was spent with our friend Rick who was here for the holiday. I had a great time with him here. We didn't do any touristy things since he's been here so many times, unless you count Pike Place Market. It's nice that we can spend whole days doing nothing but talking (and often-times eating) and still not run out of things to talk about. He's truly family to me and I'm so glad he came up.

Rick has also been looking at applying for a job here in Seattle but he's waffling on it. I would very much like him to move up here...after all, who doesn't want a close friend to live nearby? So, everyone should go to his LiveJournal page here and let him know that he NEEDS to move to Seattle. Maybe others out there can come up with better arguments than I have about why he should move here. Apparently "...because I really really want you to!" isn't enough to convince him. 

Somehow I managed to get a cold this weekend. I think our dinner host on x-mas day had something and he sent me home with it. I'll have to remember not to kiss the host next time. I started feeling crappy on Thursday and by today it's going full force. I did manage to spend some time with a good friend this week, even though I knew I was coming down with something. I really enjoyed the time together. Of course, wandering around downtown in almost-freezing temps and rain might not have helped my situation...oh well. Otherwise, I've been spending a lot of time sleeping and I think it's helping. I've slept over 18 hours in the last 24; I feel like such a slug. This afternoon I just couldn't sleep any more and had to get up and do something so here I am typing this. As it is now, Jayson is still asleep upstairs. I hope that doesn't mean that he's trying to catch what I have.

I still owe everyone pics of the NYC trip from almost 2 weeks ago. The camera is still in the luggage and (this is very embarrassing) we haven't yet unpacked from the trip. The luggage is sitting in the bedroom near the closet entrance and we've been stepping over it for so long now that it has kind of become part of the room decor. I'm usually not this bad when it comes to putting things away, but we were busy from the time we got home, then had a house guest, then had x-mas, and now I'm sick. Yes yes yes...I know I'm rationalizing, but I'm good at it and I enjoy it. I'm thinking we'll get it taken care of this weekend since we're both tired of looking at it, and we're running out of socks. Soon as I get the camera out of the luggage I'll post the pics. They won't be timely, but at least they'll be.

I wish I had more to talk about, but that's all that's going on. We're planning to spend New Year's Eve with some friends having a game night, something we had been doing monthly but let lapse for some unknown reason. I'm looking forward to it since we always have fun with these guys. Our previous game nights were a great time. I hope we can make this the beginning of a new regular trend. If nothing else, it will be a nice way to ring in the new year, and I'll be so glad to see this year end.

Well, I think that's all I've got at the moment. Don't forget to stop by Rick's page and argue for him to move to Seattle. ;-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day

It's been quite a while since I posted anything here; the last few weeks have been VERY busy. The New York trip took went really well and was a lot of fun. Jayson and I were there on our from Wednesday to Friday afternoon and enjoyed doing whatever sounded good at the time. Wednesday we merely wandered around the village and then headed out for dinner after a nap. We spent part of the evening at Rock Center taking pics and just enjoying the energy that was there. The next day the weather was amazingly bad (sleet, snow, heavy rain) so we spent much of the day sitting drinking tea watching the city go by. Of all the things we did, that was one of the most enjoyable. B & C arrived in town on Friday and we spent the rest of the weekend with them. We all had a great time it seemed. We did lots of tourist things, but in NYC even those are fun.

After NYC I had a busy week getting ready for the holiday. Our friend was arriving in town on Saturday and we had a lot of things to do to be prepared for that. Unfortunately we weren't able to get everything done, but that's okay. He's as close to family as possible, so he understands if the house isn't "just so". As it is, we still haven't unpacked the luggage from NYC (and we've been home 10 days...ugh). It's been a really good weekend and holiday. We spent X-mas eve out at dinner with friends. Surprisingly, Jayson and I had two margaritas (okay, Italian margaritas, whatever those are)...I didn't think I'd have those again for a long time. In any event, the evening was a lot of fun. X-mas day we got up early, opened our gifts, dug into our stockings, which is always the most fun), and then went to dinner at some friends' house. We spent the entire afternoon and evening there and had a really good time. They made an amazing meal and I appreciate all the effort they went to.

My friend is here until this afternoon and I'm sure we'll be doing very little today until lunch time. I'm off work until next Wednesday and I'm loving it. It's been a couple of years since I've had 11 days in a row off work. I think I need to take time off more often!

I think that's all I've got right now. I thought after not posting anything for so long I'd have more to talk about, and be wittier about it. Hmmm.... I could go into great detail about some of the NYC trip, but that would be entirely uninteresting, and mildly embarrassing as well. I'll post some pics of the trip in the next day or two, soon as I pull them off the camera (which is still in the luggage).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Isn't Jesus busier than this?

I would think the christian messiah would have better things to do than to appear on an x-ray for some guy in Florida. Surely he’s got a much fuller schedule that doesn’t allow him the free time to randomly appear in places like this. I would think planning for the apocalypse and his second coming would already fill most of his time. Yet somehow he can find the time to appear on things like pancakes, trees, and x-rays. If he’s trying to communicate with the world, it would be so much more efficient to come right out and say “Hello” and make a personal appearance. Maybe heaven isn’t nearly as exciting as we’ve been led be believe and Jesus is just bored. At least he’s finally using technology for a change.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Santa is a pedophile

What a nice idea this was. Take technology, add some Christmas (and Microsoft) automagic and voila, you can talk to Santa. Only problem: Santa can be a dirty old man. Ho, ho, ho indeed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hanukkah joke

I didn't make this up, so don't complain if you think it's bad (which it is).

It was Hanukkah and the tiny village was in fear of not having any latkes because they had run out of flour. Rudi, the rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem.

He said, "don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour and the latkes will be just as delicious!"

Sheila looks to her husband and says, "Mortey, you think it'll work?"

"Of course! Everybody knows Rudolph the Rab knows grain, dear!"

I apologize to any Jewish readers (and for that matter, any non-Jewish ones) for how bad that joke is. Happy Hannukkah anyway!

Big art

From Burning Man this year, this has to be one of the coolest works of art I’ve ever seen.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend wrap-up

What a great weekend. The trip to the WA coast was really nice. It started on Friday right after work sitting in traffic on our way south. We still got Long Beach at about 21:00 which wasn’t bad. Surprisingly the entire group was still up drinking whiskey and just hanging out in one of the living rooms. We spent some time with everyone and then the group broke up for bed time. The weekend at the inn was different than it would normally have been. The first weekend after Thanksgiving, Bill and Suzie (the innkeepers) invite some of their favorite guests as well as some of their friends and everyone helps decorate the inn for the holidays. It’s nice because it feels more like a family gathering than just a group of guests.

Saturday we woke up to it snowing really hard and it continued all through breakfast. I’ve never seen it snow at the beach before and it was beautiful. After breakfast we headed down to Astoria for a drive and to pick up some stuff we needed from the store. When we got back to the inn it was time to decorate. It was a lot of fun with everyone (okay, almost everyone except for one Jewish guy) taking part. We worked for about 3 hours and the place looked great when we were done. After a quick nap we re-joined everyone and went to dinner at The Port Bistro in Ilwaco for a great meal. Everyone going out after the decorating is another tradition of the weekend and it’s always a lot of fun. Jayson and I wanted to spend time in the hot tub so we took some time after dinner. It was great to be in it with the storm going on outside.

We hit it off with a really nice couple from Portland. Robert is a police sergeant and Cindy is a veterinarian. Cindy is going through chemotherapy so she’s lost her hair. Robert, Jayson, and I all have shaved or buzzed heads so we made an interesting foursome. We seemed to continually gravitate towards each other all weekend long and hopefully we’ll get to meet up with them again sometime. Jayson and I commented to each other that out of the many times we’ve been to the inn and had a great time, this was by far the most social and fun group.

After breakfast on Sunday we drove down to the beach to watch the waves. Not only was the rain being blown horizontally, so was the sand. It wasn’t too pleasant getting out of the car on the beach so we drove to Cape Disappointment to check out the waves. There’s a great spot across Waikiki cove with a view to the lighthouse. I took a few pics you can check out in the album. The waves were really impressive. At that point the winds were steady at about 45 MPH with gusts that were easily 60 MPH and the waves were 15 to 20 feet high. I had trouble standing in one place because of the wind; I felt like one of those reporters we always see on the news when a hurricane is hitting someplace. Tonight and tomorrow morning the winds are supposed to get up to about 100 MPH and the waves to 45 feet. I really wish we could have stayed to see that, but maybe another time. Ever since we discovered the Long Beach area we’ve wanted to be there for a storm so this was better than we’d ever seen. After some pics and being impressed by the waves we headed home. The drive home was pretty interesting; we had torrential rains, incredible winds, and for about 20 miles lots of snow on the ground. At one point I noticed as we were doing about 50 MPH, the spray from our tires was passing us and blowing faster than the car was moving. If nothing else, the trip wasn’t boring.

So that was our weekend. I expected to enjoy ourselves, but it was nicer than I had anticipated. Jayson was in good spirits all weekend and I think having some new people to be around helped with that. I felt like I was able to decompress, de-stress, and really relax for a while. I definitely needed that.  

Long Beach - December 2007