Saturday, December 22, 2007

The standard "see you later" entry

So is anyone still around and reading blogs, or have we all retreated to our respective relatives' homes for heavy drinking and family infighting warm moments of family togetherness? I'm heading out tomorrow myself, but before I go, I wanted to report that I deservedly won the holiday attire contest (which I mentioned earlier this week) at my good friend Lisa's "Cocktails from Around the World" party last night. I narrowly edged out some fine contenders, including a snowman-printed turtleneck, a sweater tacky enough to feature both a Christmas tree and Winnie the Pooh, and an awesomely retro plaid dinner jacket culled straight from the wearer's dad's closet. It was a very tough call for the judges, I'm sure. I think hand-sewing gold pipe cleaners onto my sweater vest is what secured the prize for me.



Incidentally, I have no idea why every photo taken of me while in this lineup makes me look "special" in a The Other Sister sort of way. Obviously I should watch those mad wild hand gestures, whether I'm holding a cocktail plate and drink or no.

Steve also wanted to see my cheerful Christmas footwear, so here's a shot of that. I actually rather like these bright and stripey socks, and frankly I'm semi-seriously wondering if I can get away with wearing them throughout the entire year. What do you think?



I also have festive snowman socks, which I wore one day earlier this week. I would like to point out that my ankles are not as thick as they look in this photo. You'll just have to take my word on that.



I had several other things to tell you, but I think lack of sleep and poor nutrition is affecting my memory and train of thought. I received an awesome box of treats in the mail from my pal Nabbalicious today, and between those and the leftover cookies from last night's party, I have eaten nothing but sugary carbs nearly all day. I actually wish my family was the usual cooking type. I could probably stand to eat a vegetable or two right now, but where I'm headed, those are even more scarce than in my home.

So with that, I'm out of here, and I'll likely be making myself scarce for the next several days. I expect most of you will be doing the same, but don't worry: our friend Aaron has already pledged to keep the Internet running for all of us while we're gone. You're a good man, Charlie Brown Aaron. I admire that you're still going strong with this post-every-day nonsense.

Merry Christmas if you celebrate it and happy long weekend to you if you don't. Catch you all next week.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Is anyone tired of holiday-related posts yet? If so, I apologize.

First off, a note to Noelle (and to anyone else with a non-Blogger blog who is still having trouble commenting but hasn't been as vocal about it as my good friend on the Christmas tree farm has)... I just saw the following update on the Blogger dashboard, which should (hopefully for real, this time!) fix that pesky "Why can't I leave my damn link?" issue. Blogger says...

Unregistered commenters can once again provide an auto-linked URL... We apologize for having broken this feature for you. Your blogs and Help Group posts showed us the true extent to which you used and cared about this feature, so please let us know if it's still being problematic.

Damn straight, Blogger. Why you be making life difficult for my WordPress friends? I just checked it out myself and it seems to be the real deal. I very much hope I'm not leading you astray by telling you that yet again.

With that little bit of housekeeping out of the way, on to the Friday Five. I am highly anticipating getting the heck out of Dodge (and by "Dodge," I mean my office, of course) for a while, and since the primary reason for this getaway is Christmas, for better or worse the holiday season is on my mind. Let's start with the worse.


Five Christmas-related things I could really do without:
  1. The sound of children singing. Specifically on professionally-recorded tracks getting radio play and being featured on television commercials, I mean--I'm sure your kid singing is angelic and adorable.

  2. Those damn giant inflatable lawn decorations. Specifically the super-sized snowglobe one and Snoopy as the Red Baron. What does Snoopy have to do with Christmas?? (Don't answer that, Aaron. I promise I'm not hating on A Charlie Brown Christmas with this.) Every day on my way to work I pass a house that has three such inflatable eyesores in their yard. Every night, they are fully inflated; every morning, they are lying flat and lifeless on the snow. I'm convinced a neighbor who's as put off by these as I am is responsible for the sabotage. I swear it is not me.

  3. Candy canes. Tell me, do these multiply inexplicably when we leave the room? Why are there so many of them around? And does anyone ever actually eat a whole candy cane? I surely haven't. You have to eat them all in one sitting or you get that sticky mess of tangled wrapper, and really, who wants to hold on to a half-sucked candy for later anyway? I realize I am overanalyzing this. Nevertheless, if you are buying me any Christmas candy, skip the candy canes. More Ghirardelli, please, instead.

  4. The phrase "stocking stuffer." Actually, if your family is German like mine, you know that stockings aren't even supposed to be part of Christmas. You get goodies in your stocking on December 6, for St. Nick's Day, not on Christmas. I don't mean to be a stickler about that; feel free to choose your own traditions, of course. It's just that corny phrase I could do without.

  5. Diamond commercials. No one is buying me something very special in a burgundy box; no one is telling me I am his with the diamond Journey pendant; and no one is giving me a gift that prompts me to blurt out "He went to Jarod!!" to all of my friends. I honestly am fully OK with that, but I don't need to be reminded constantly anyway. (Incidentally, this is another reason I so very heart The Current and its member-supported no-commercials format.)

I am not a total Scrooge, however, so here are some things about the holiday season that I really do quite enjoy:

  1. ELEVEN DAYS OFF IN A ROW!! Yes, I have to spend nearly half of them in my parents' house rather than on a warm beach somewhere or even in my own home enjoying peace and solitude, but still--eleven consecutive days with likely no alarm clock is a very good thing indeed.

  2. A Charlie Brown Christmas, which I plan to watch with my little sister at some point while I'm home. (See? Like I said, nothing against Charlie Brown and his holiday special; I just don't think the Red Baron belongs on our lawns.)

  3. Presents. Duh. Yes, I am a grown-up and should be above and beyond such frivolities, but come on. Don't we all still love getting surprises in wrapped packages? To quote Sally in the aforementioned Christmas classic, "All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share..."

  4. The excuse to wear ridiculous socks, which fall into a completely different category than appliqued vests and festive sweaters (in that holiday socks I will wear with no apologies while vests and sweaters I will not). I shall have to take a photo later of the excellent Christmas striped socks I am wearing to a party tonight.

  5. "It's the holidays!" is a perfectly valid reason for a cocktail.

I'm sure I'm forgetting several very important things on both of those lists. So what's on your love/hate list this festive week?

---------------------------------
Edited to add:
I knew I was forgetting something important... Gingerbread lattes! Yum. Which reminds me, I saw a supposedly very tasty recipe for gingerbread cookies on someone's blog recently... I remember the author mentioned it being a good excuse to use the molasses that's been in her cupboard for ages, and I thought, "Hey! I have molasses to use in my cupboard, too! And I was going to make cookies for my snow-blowing neighbor anyway!" And then I promptly forgot whose blog it was and hence, have lost the recipe. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? If so, please fill me in. Thanks!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Tis the season

Tonight is the night I swore I was absolutely, positively, definitely going to write my Christmas cards (as opposed to the last two nights, when I was probably or certainly going to write my Christmas cards). I really need to write those damn Christmas cards. So of course, I am writing a blog entry instead.

It's not even the cards themselves I am so unmotivated to do. Scrawl a "happy holidays" message, sign my name, stamp and address it? Not a problem. I could casually get that done while simultaneously enjoying the second season of Weeds on DVD. It's the damn letter that needs to accompany several of those cards that's the problem.

Yes, I am writing a Christmas card letter. Yes, I realize that might be an unforgivably self-absorbed and lazy thing for a single person with no children or even pets to do. I do not care. I am all about granting Singletons the same rights enjoyed by Marrieds, and it starts with the Christmas letter, I say. As a matter of fact, I made that same very bold declaration in the Christmas letter I sent out last year. I know this because I just opened up last year's letter on my computer in the hopes that it might spark some ideas for this year's letter, and I saw it right there in the first paragraph.

As it turns out, I could probably recycle the same damn letter, as not a lot in my life has changed in the past year. Replace Jamaica and New York with Austin, Columbus, and Seattle in the paragraph about my travels for the year; up the ridiculous number of years I have been with the same company by one more digit... that about covers it, I guess. Still single. Still in Minneapolis. Still sending my Christmas cards mere days before the holiday with not a single present wrapped yet. Do you think anybody would actually notice if I simply sent the same letter again this year? I'd best not dwell on that idea too long. It's entirely too tempting, I think.

On the up side, I do believe I have all of my Christmas shopping done, and thanks to a desperate email to Amazon customer service, I may even actually receive all of my purchases on time. (I've often heard that sometimes it helps to complain, but rarely has it actually panned out for me. This time it did. Yay!) Of course, I do not have any of said purchases wrapped yet, but surely that will take just a moment or three, right? (File "wrapping Christmas gifts" under that list of things I always remember as being far less time consuming than it actually is. Whoops.)

Also on my list for this week was to find some holiday flair to wear to my friend Lisa's party on Friday night. It turns out my local Goodwill had a "Tacky Sweater Event" two weekends ago, so their inventory was decidedly lacking in festive Christmas apparel when I stopped in tonight. Consequently, I did not find the appliqu├ęd vest and the turtleneck printed with tiny candy canes or gingerbread men that I'd so hoped to find there. I was more than a bit disappointed, but I think I've assembled some pieces that will give me a sure-fire shot at the prize anyway. The items I purchased were not overtly Christmasy on their own, but the cashier who rung them up actually raised her eyebrows when she saw them together on the counter and said, "Well, you're just going to be the happiest elf at the party, aren't you?" Indeed, I am, miss. Thanks for noticing.

In other good news, I survived my company's holiday party Saturday, thanks at least in part to the male friend who was kind enough to accompany me even though I am no longer dating him. (Hey! The invitation said "Stefanie and Guest"; it did not say "Stefanie and Boyfriend, if You Have One." Everybody likes a free meal and free drinks, right?) It was a mostly uneventful event; for all my sublimated worrying about it, I barely even made eye contact with my ex-boyfriend coworker and his new wife. And while I did get a bit unexpectedly drunk and subsequently found myself nursing a nearly two-day hangover, at least I had the good sense to do most of my drinking after the party, with some friends at a bar in an entirely different city, rather than with my coworkers. When I walked into work Monday morning, I felt that hazy cloud of shamefulness shadowing my thoughts, but thankfully no one in that building is any the wiser about it. Whew.

And with that, I really, really must get to that Christmas letter. Tell me, what holiday-related chores are you procrastinating on as you're reading this?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Seven

About a hundred years ago (or maybe only a month ago), 3Carnations tagged me for that "seven things" meme. I was caught up in NaBloPoMo at the time, but in the spirit of "better late than never," let's take care of that now, shall we?

Seven random/weird/miscellaneous facts about Stefanie (you know, in addition to the 327 already buried somewhere in my archives):

  1. I have never been anywhere close to fluent in Spanish, and yet, certain Spanish phrases regularly pop into my head in response to various things. "Que ganga," I'll think, when something is particularly a bargain. "Listos?" I'll ask instead of just saying, "We ready?" Possibly the strangest, though, is how often I start an inner dialog with "El eso es..." I'm not examining the rest of my thoughts in Spanish, so I have no idea why my brain begins with, "The thing is..." in Spanish, and yet, for some reason, it often does.

  2. A few weeks ago, in my Stations of the Cross post, I mentioned playing the flute in grade school, and the woman I know as "Vermont Stefanie" left what was one of my favorite comments ever in reply. "I'd have pegged you more as an oboist, or maybe a cellist. Something more mysterious and complicated," she said. Mysterious and complicated. I love it. Again, if I were a tag line sort of girl, "I'm mysterious and complicated" would be another fine tag line for my blog. Anyway, in response to that comment, I thought I should explain exactly why I picked the flute, way back when fifth-grade me signed up for band. I had actually been leaning towards the saxophone, but since several of my friends were taking flute, that seemed like a good choice, too. So how did I pick? Well, I rode the bus to and from school every day, and I thought about carrying a saxophone case on the bus several times a week, and then thought about carrying a much smaller and less cumbersome flute case instead, and flute seemed like the obvious choice. You know, it's memories like those that make me realize I have always been the practical-to-a-fault over-thinker I am today. I didn't grow into this as an adult; even as a kid I was too sensible for my own good.

  3. Somewhere buried in the "100 Things" list I wrote ages ago is a line that says "You will never, ever hear me say 'Let's go dancing!'" This is true. I hate to dance in public. I will attempt to play along and be a good sport on occasion, particularly at weddings or when sufficient alcohol is involved, but I never feel comfortable or confident about it. At home, though? At home, when the right song comes on the radio, I love to dance. Unfortunately, the dancing I do is in no way suitable for public viewing. There is kicking and jumping and side-to-side bopping. There are many wild arm gestures. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way dancing is fun, but I will not let anyone (except possibly--inadvertently--my across-the-street neighbors) see me do it.

  4. Much as I complain about shoveling when it snows, I actually sort of like shoveling at night. It's so dark and peaceful--the only light is from the streetlights and the only noise is the sound of my shovel scraping against the sidewalk and the similar scrapes from neighbors' shovels down the block. It's almost meditative, and though I have no interest in making time for shoveling every night (You hear that, snow? Don't go getting any ideas, OK??), as a once-in-a-while thing, it's actually sort of calming and nice.

  5. Jingle Bell Rock has long been one of my very least favorite Christmas songs, but at some point in my childhood, I must have actually liked it, because I chose it to play for the Christmas piano recital one year. Our teacher believed in the Suzuki "learn by ear" method, and she instructed us all to pick a Christmas song and learn to play it without any sheet music. Our parents and other guests at the recital were to guess what each song was. My sister won some sort of prize for stumping the audience... not because she wrote her song so poorly it was unrecognizable but because she picked a relatively obscure one--the song the Whos of Whoville sang in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

  6. As a kid I was irrationally afraid of flies. Not even the giant biting kind, but just regular tiny houseflies. My mom still enjoys telling people about the day she came running outside to my blood-curdling scream expecting to see me missing a limb or something, only to find that I was wailing only because a fly had landed on my arm. I cannot explain this; all I can say is thankfully I'm over it by now.

  7. Whenever I'm on an airplane, I order orange juice or ginger ale. Planes are typically the only place I drink either of those.

The follow-up to this meme is that I'm to tag five other people to participate, but I think most of you have probably already done this one by now. If you haven't (or if you have but want to do it again), feel free to consider yourself tagged. Leave me a note in the comments if you do it and I'll be sure to stop by to see your list!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa's got nothin' on me

As you know, I was on a plane last week. Well, two planes, actually, if we're going to be precise. Do you know what that means? Lots of things, I'm sure, but the one I have in mind is that I got to peruse the Skymall catalog. Usually this is a fun diversion for me. This time, however, it didn't really hold my interest. Maybe the creepy animatronic Elvis on the cover irrevocably put me off. Or maybe the fact that I now regularly receive catalogs in my own home that are filled with items easily rivaling Skymall's fabulously unnecessary wares sort of dimmed the novelty of Skymall in my mind. Last year, I listed several such items in a probably not-too-helpful holiday gift guide for all of you. This year, how about I list some things people you know might actually want? That is, if the people you know are anything like people like me. Because personally, I think all of these are excellent ideas. I could put plenty of things on this list, but since it is Friday, I shall stop at only five of them.


Five fine gifts for the nerd/girly-girl/wino on your list:
  1. My friend Carrie has often commented on what she calls my "animated hand gestures." If I do talk with my hands more often than the average person, perhaps that is why I always feel I am one hand short when circulating about parties. More likely, though, I think it's that if you have a drink in one hand and a plate of snacks in the other, it's generally frowned upon to lean forward and retrieve those snacks from the plate using only your mouth. Clearly we need a third hand. OR! Or, we need cocktail plates cleverly designed to hold your wine or martini glass while you gesture madly or recover appetizers from your plate. Problem solved! Amen.

    Here. Let me hold that for you.
    Note: These are currently ON SALE, and at this price, you should really buy at least two sets. If there are only four people at your party, they'll probably have no trouble finding a flat surface on which to set their wine while they snack. Get eight or twelve people in the room, though, and look out! Lassoing your glass on your plate becomes much more useful at that point.

  2. Last week, I looked down at my keyboard and decided it was high time I did something about the layer of dust between all the keys. Unfortunately, since the supplies I had on hand were minimal and my attention span was short, this means what I did about it was run the edge of a damp cleaning rag between each row in a haphazard and half-assed fashion. I'm looking down at my keyboard now and realizing my efforts really didn't do a whole lot of good at all. But if I had THIS! If I had this, then I'd have no excuse for messy and revolting keys. Generally I am opposed to single-purpose gadgets and gimmicks. The fact that this item is sold out, however, tells me I'm not the only one who thinks this one's a fine idea.

    Suck on this.

  3. Strange as this sounds, I am often envious of girls with perfect, medium-sized breasts who can wear cheapo sports bras and can don low v-neck shirts and wrap tops without hazard. Me, I've got to layer sports bras or pony up for a pricey, genuinely supportive one, and I have to spend ten minutes wrangling a safety pin across a wrap neck if I want to avoid looking like a tramp. That's why the Bosom Button is such a fabulous idea. This surely falls into the "Why didn't I think of that??" category, which means that if I just wait a few years for the patent to expire, equally useful knockoffs will be everywhere for a fraction of the price. Meanwhile, I wonder if Craftster has some ideas for a make-your-own version for me.

    Bosom Buddy

  4. Despite possible evidence to the contrary, I maintain some modicum of confidence that I am a catch, dammit, and should I ever actually get a boyfriend again, he will be lucky to have me. I base this statement on several points of proof, only one of which is that although I would very much like some new jewelry, the diamond "Journey" pendant I keep seeing on TV is really not for me. I'm a girl with somewhat quirkier and less conventional tastes, and while I'll admit that someday I actually would like a genuine diamond on my ring finger, until then, I'd actually much prefer something like one of these.













  5. And finally, a gift that is maybe more a good idea in theory than in practice... You know how all of us library-loving nerds smile fondly at the mere thought of the scent of books? Well, apparently someone's captured that in a perfume. And while I have to question whether I truly want to smell like musty old paper, I still definitely love the romantic ideal of this product. Too bad Macy's likely doesn't have a tester I can try.

    Smells like library spirit


So I hope that helps you all with your holiday shopping dilemmas. In addition, in case you hadn't yet noticed, Blogger's got a Christmas present for us, too! It looks like my friends with WordPress blogs can comment with a link again! How about you test that out right now by leaving a note to say hello, OK?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hey there, strangers

Woo! Two hours after I first sat down to "just take a quick skim through Bloglines," and finally I am all caught up! Unfortunately, that means the time I had allotted to write a post on my own blog was instead spent reading everyone else's blog, but such is the life of an Internet addict. It's all take and no give some days; am I right?

In any case, I had a lovely time in Seattle... It was a brief trip, and I don't really feel like I fully experienced Seattle by any means, but I did very much enjoy getting to know a friend-of-a-friend better... she's a friend-of-a-friend who's actually moving here next month, and I can certainly see her becoming a full-fledged friend (with no hyphens attaching that word to other words) quite shortly. So yay for that.

Unfortunately, I did probably a worse job photo-documenting this trip than any other in recent memory, but if you're interested in the not-so-interesting photos anyway, you can find them in this Flickr set. Try not to get too excited, if uneventful and craptastic photos aren't exactly your thing.

In addition to gallivanting about Seattle and Seattle-adjacent, I've been busy with various other things lately. Things like getting damn-near all of my Christmas shopping done in three hours flat (at only two stores plus the Internet... God bless you, dear, sweet friend the Internet), and having dinner with friends both near and far (dinner that included lobster macaroni & cheese TWO nights in the same week! Check out me and my decadent rock star life...). I also had Guinness ice cream, which bears mentioning if we're talking decadent and unnecessary food indulgences. Me = not a fan of Guinness (or any beer, really... I know--if I hadn't moved out of Wisconsin on my own volition, they'd have excommunicated me by now for sure), but that stuff was damn tasty anyway.

And on an entirely unrelated note that I mention only because I've gotten a few e-mails asking about it, my grandma is still hanging in there like the invincible and fabulous old biddy that she is. Judging from the video my little sister sent me earlier, she's looking worse for wear and it breaks my heart more than a little bit, but she's still charmingly ornery as always, and I'm still convinced that woman is going to outlive all of us, despite all her sad hopes and best intentions. Thanks for all your kind thoughts for her well-being. I do appreciate it, more than you know.

And that about catches you up, I guess. I'm still in catch-up mode myself after a few days mostly offline. More of a "real" post to follow eventually, I'm sure. Meanwhile, what have all of you been up to (what that I haven't already read and possibly not commented on due to speed feed-reading, I mean)?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

P.S.

I finally got around to adding an "I did it" NaBlo badge to my sidebar, and I cannot tell you how excited I was to find a Mary Tyler Moore badge as an option.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

I think sometimes about adding a tag line to my blog header, but I've resisted thus far because 1) Tag lines are for more clever people and 2) Given that my blog is named "Stefanie Says," any tag line that follows would sound like I'm making a direct quote. (I am a nerd. I overthink these sorts of things.)

Anyway, if I were a tag line sort of girl, surely by now I would have used "Like Mary Tyler Moore, but without the great legs and anachronistic gender roles." But then, since I am one of only five people in my generation to appreciate MTM, I would also be the only one to get that line. So. No tag line for me. But I do love my new NaBloPoMo badge anyway.

OK. Seriously. Must pack now. Later, all.

I've got questions; you've got answers (don't you?)

First off, it is snowing. Again. I guess I'm sort of embracing it at this point. If it's going to be teeth-chatteringly cold outside, it might as well be all pretty and sparkly and white, too. It's weird because I don't remember any time in my adult life when we've had this much snow in December, but I have to admit, Christmas decorations look a lot more festive when there's snow.

That said, I am happy to be getting out of town today and getting on a plane bound for someplace warmer. Of course, by "warmer," I mean it will be 40 degrees instead of 3. To call Seattle in December "balmy" would be a stretch.

Oh. That's right. Did I not mention I'm going to Seattle? I don't think I did. I was all caught up in NaBloPoMo when I booked it--too busy detailing my life in alphabet form to stop and rattle on about a trip. By the way, I realize I still have X, Y, and Z to do in my Encyclopedia, and I intend to do that eventually... even if my friend who rarely reads and never mentions my blog did make a point of bringing it up recently just to say, "You know, I don't really like the alphabet posts." The nerve. (Kidding. Love you, Lisa.)

Anyway, so I am off to Seattle, and it all seems a bit silly, because it is a very brief trip (only two full days) and I didn't even make any effort to contact the very few Seattle blog-folks I know are out there to ask for suggestions or possibly see about meeting for a drink. Oh well. Perhaps I will run into them anyway. Notorious T.O.G., if you see me wandering about your city this weekend, feel free to flag me down and say hi. Of course, I have no idea what you look like, so if you would actually prefer to avoid me, that shouldn't be a problem either.

Short trip or no, it will be good to get away for a bit. Given the fact that I had 115 hours of unused vacation time left at the beginning of this month, I obviously don't do this enough.

I'd love to give you some things to ponder during my absence, and since I won't be near a computer to post a Friday Five tomorrow, how about a Thursday Three instead? Here are three things I am wondering this week. If you have answers to any of these questions, by all means let me know.

  1. Why do I forget my gym socks only on the days I've worn black socks to work? And furthermore, why is it only on the days when I am actually feeling motivated to run on the treadmill, rather than being content to just lift a few weights standing in one place? Wearing running shoes without socks isn't terribly uncomfortable. Actually running in them without socks definitely is.

  2. Why does every "Dad" birthday card that isn't sappy involve jokes about farts, fishing, or fixing things? I would like to wish my father a happy birthday next week without once again alluding to a little elephant running by (his bizarre code phrase for passing gas), but what am I to do when he's also not a fisherman or in any way handy? Hallmark, get on that, would you?

  3. Why do I keep getting email from a music publicist mentioning bands I've never heard of and videos and press packs I've never received? If she's actually a blog reader, I don't want to offend the woman by ignoring her, but if that's the case, I wish she would identify herself as such. If not, I would like to know how I got on her mailing list and why she thinks Stefanie Says is a music blog. (Oh. Right. Because I go on and on about things like dinner with near Bob Schneider and my undying love of my fake boyfriend Rhett Miller. I see her point, I guess. But really--are any of the rest of you getting mail like this?)

And with that, I'd better pack and get moving. Happy (early) weekend, all.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Weekend Update

Surely by now we're all familiar with the bullet-point weekend recap, aren't we? I mean, it's almost a meme, right? Right. Well here's another one.


Things I did NOT do this weekend:
  • Get any Christmas shopping done. (Damn you, No Coast, with all your clever, pretty things that were calling MY name but not the names of any of my friends! It's back to proverbial Square One for me on gifts.)

  • Get any grocery shopping done. (Do you ever end up with random non-perishable food that has been in your cupboard or freezer for so long, you do not actually remember purchasing it? Since it has already been so long since I went shopping, I suddenly have this twisted idea that maybe I should not go grocery shopping again until all of those items are gone. I am running out of food that does not fit into this category, and rather than shop, perhaps this is a good excuse to do some forced using-up of neglected food. Hell, who needs fresh produce when I have Lipton cup-a-soup from the late 90s and mini corn dogs that expired last summer? Surely not me!)

  • Clean my bathroom.

  • Clean my living room.

  • Clean my ANYTHING in my house. (Seriously, do not come over until further notice. Even hobos might shake their heads at the filth and squalor I'm living in currently.)

Things I DID do this weekend:
  • Get in a fight with H about the Catholic Church's view on birth control. (Kidding. It was not a fight at all, and I was actually sort of hoping H was right and my very Catholic mother was wrong. This site suggests otherwise, however. Incidentally, for some reason I thought it might be funny to pretend that H threatened to throw down with me over something so unlikely, but it now occurs to me that joking about religious warfare is maybe not so funny at all. In that case, you can go here for the much more accurate and complete recap of the overall delightful dinner that H and R and I had at Nye's Polonaise. H, can I still come over to play Guitar Hero sometime? Because playing Guitar Hero is on the list of things I did NOT do this weekend, too, and from what I hear, I need to remedy that.)

  • Win the first game of Balderdash I've convinced anyone to play with me in the past five years. And now I would like to revise my answer to the very important question Malia posed recently and say that if I had to save the world from aliens or giant robots using only my prowess in one board game, I think I'd place the fate of the planet on Balderdash. Seriously, I could totally kick some robot/alien ass. In the event of a tie-breaker situation, however, Boggle remains my very close backup choice.

  • Shovel my way out of the first big snowfall of the year (made a lot easier by my helpful neighbor, "Reed," snowblowing my driveway and front sidewalk again... seriously, I won the neighbor jackpot with that guy... I would like to ask that he please, please never move).

  • Have dinner with Bob Schneider. OK, so he was at the next table eating dinner with other people, but he was a mere foot and a half away from me(!!)--close enough to actually see what he was eating and ask him to pass the salt, if I'd felt so inclined. My friend Lisa and I are big fans, but we managed not to bother him at all during his dinner--only caught his eye and said, "Hi, we're coming to your show tonight!" when he was getting up to leave. I was all proud of myself for maintaining my composure and not saying anything too ridiculous whilst talking to a bona fide famous person (particularly one I routinely refer to as one of my fake boyfriends). But then Bob kindly and graciously asked if we had any requests for the show, and I drew a complete blank and forgot the title to any and every of my favorite Bob songs. Because I am smooth like that. So instead of answering, "Sure! How about A Long Way to Get?" or "The Way Life is Supposed to Be" or "God is My Friend" or "Round and Round" or any number of songs I could have suggested I'd like, I said, "Well, Batman, of course" (which is pretty much like requesting Birdhouse in Your Soul at a TMBG show, I think--he's going to play it, but he's likely sick to death of it at this point), and followed that with, "and, um... you know, whatever; I like almost everything you do." Almost? Almost? And then, because I am insane and obviously self-centered, I spent the next two hours convinced that Bob was worrying his pretty little head over which of his songs I don't think were worth recording. You know, because the opinion of one random girl in Minnesota is obviously so important to him. Lord. I need help.

    I actually thought about posting the footage from Batman that I recorded for my own amusement during last night's show, but that would involve file compression or "multi-video upload" or some other fancy term I read about in You Tube's help files but have no idea at the moment how to accomplish. Besides that, recording at the show was probably illegal, and I think I've offended Bob enough for one week, don't you? So you'll just have to settle for someone else's video instead. Looks like there's plenty of it out there to choose from.

And that about wraps up my weekend. Tell me, what did you do with yours?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It's like a sickness at this point

For some reason, I actually felt compelled to stop in today to say, "I don't have to post today!!"

Also, it is snowing. The weather people are getting everyone riled up as though it will be the storm of the century. I am pretty sure people are running out for supplies and then changing all plans so they can stay holed up in their homes all weekend. Me? I'm going out. Because I throw caution to the wind like that. Oh, and because No Coast is today. I didn't get my picture in the paper before it this year, but I intend to stop in anyway. If you are a "real life" friend, there's a good chance you're getting a clever little hand-made gift for Christmas that I shall be purchasing today. Hope you like it!

Buy local; buy often, as they say.