Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 Wraps Up

Christmas is over and the New Year is almost upon us. Twinkle is going to be very sad when the tree comes down - he's gotten his money's worth out of it for sure. I left him a little cat spot so he could still lay under the tree once the presents were underneath. He enjoyed it.

We had a quiet holiday, with dinner at Kenny's grandparent's house. The picture is of Kenny's mom Linda and Grandma Marge. My grandmother Sophie declined the invite this year, she wanted to stay at home. I figured at 89 she can make up her own mind and I didn't harrass her to come with us. I visited her on Tuesday, the 26th, taking her two plates of leftovers and we went to the cemetary to place flowers on my mother's gravesite. My mom died in the early morn of the 26th eleven years ago. Eleven. That just seems so long ago. So much has happened in the past 11 years, nothing is even the same as it was when she was around. People have come and gone into everyone's lives since then - if she returned today she wouldn't even know many of the players in the game anymore.

This is definately the time when we sit around and think about all that has happened in the past year and make resolutions on how to live a better life in the New Year. Everyone views it as a fresh start, but really it's no different than December 30th or any other day that has passed. But we approach it differently, with new hopes of living our best life. I was watching some chick on some show this week who is some sort of life coach. She said to make an inventory of everything that happened in the past year - including vacations taken, new jobs, fun events, anything learned, the good and the bad - and see what you can channel into the New Year to make your dreams and desires happen. I thought that was a pretty queer exercise at first, but I probably will do it anyway. A lot happened for me in 2006 - with the best thing being reclaiming my name. I'm not sure what my resolutions will be for 2007. I mentioned becoming more ladylike with less use of the word "Fuck" and the girls laughed at me and wanted to take bets on this one. So I said, "fuck it" and will think of some other resolution!

For Christmas Kenny got me a mall gift card in a ridiclously large amount - it would have been cheaper to get me the Tiffany necklace I pointed out to him. He also got me a new Garth Brooks collection, a Happy perfume gift set and an assortment of Elvis DVDs. He knows I watch all the Elvis shows whenever they're on television as I sing very loudly along with them. Now I'm all ready for Elvis Birthday Remberance Day on January 8th. It will be tough to decide which DVD to watch!

Last night was Holiday Card Night at Jill's house. I got to see her new pup, Gracie, for the first time in person. She's a little black cutie. I still think Jill should have named her Cracker - or even better, Glitter like her mother suggested! I still think the cutest dog name is Marlene's Trinket. If I get a new dog and it's small I'm going to name it Trinket. Or Fonzie.

Anyway, I digress....We had our largest crowd ever at cards, with 8 of us showing up to play. Jill, Geri, Frannie, Sally, Meggan, Barb Gondek and Chris Carroll and myself - it was quite the event! It was a white elephant gift exchange and I got first pick. I just happened to be wearing my bedazzled cat sweatshirt that Kenny's mom got me for Christmas so my "gift" couldn't have been more fitting -- a bedazzled watch with a black plastic band. The origin of this grand gift came from Len's mom to Jill for Christmas. I was looking sa-weet! When I got home and showed it to Kenny he said he really liked it, which reinforced my decision to never let him buy me jewelry since he thought the Tiffany piece was too ugly for him to purchase, yet this little beauty got the A-Ok.

Geri got another great gift item, two things she really loves: a candle and a photo frame. Those who know Geri know she hates anything with a scent and never takes a picture (unless it's with her phone), let alone frame one. Jill's prize was a ceramic Victorian shoe in cream and pink, with a little gilt on the heel to jazz it up, and a pink candle to sit inside it.

Fran received a salt & pepper set of, they say, Scrooge & his hat. I thought it looked like the little Monopoly man's head and his hat. What ensued next was a great debate on what the little Monopoly man's name is, with my stating it was "Uncle Rich". Jill called me a jackass and said it was "Uncle Sam". While neither of us were right, I was definately on the right track, with his official name being Rich Uncle Pennybags, as confirmed in the attached link. So, HA! Who's the jackass now, Jackass?!! I defy everyone who saw the supposed Scrooge S&P set to tell me it doesn't look like this little guy's head and his hat:

So suck on that!

Stanley's sleeping beside me while I write. Kenny went to deliver some discs to his friend in Columbus and I stayed home to clean up the house from the Christmas ruins. We have shit everywhere once again. Between my boxes of Avon stuff, the Christmas gifts and wrapping accourterments, and the new surround sound system Kenny's working on installing, the living room is a trip hazard. Rather than cleaning I'm procrastinating....maybe that should be on my Resolutions List!

Mimi had surgery on her lady bits this past Thursday. I was surprised to learn this morning that's she still in the hospital and won't be coming home until Monday. I thought she'd be home within a day. I hope they got her all tuned up and she has a very healthy 2007.

That's actually my main goal for 2007 - to get back into good health. First and foremost is to take care of my nerve problem in my back, which is, at times, debilatating me. I missed another day of work on Thursday because of it - I just had no strength to support myself in my right leg and the pain was biting. I've committed to the chiropractor's schedule for treatments and have seen him three times this past week. When I went to see him I burst into tears in his office when he asked me how I was - it hurt that much. I'm now on some new anti-inflammatory, combined with muscle relaxers and Vicadin to help me rest at night. It's quite a combo, I feel as if my stomach lining is being eaten away. So for 2007, I am resolving to do whatever it takes to not be the Chronic Pain Girl. I'm not allowed to do any type of exercise - not even stretching - until I get the go-ahead from Hot Dr. Golsch. Yes, that's his official name. Challenge me and I will find it on the Internet and prove you wrong! Good thing Kenny and I were too lazy to join the gym.

I hope you all have a Rockin' New Year's Eve. Kenny's group The Nitelites are performing at Swingo's on New Years Eve so I'll be hanging out there if anyone's at loose ends and looking for something to do. I just might even tongue-kiss ya at midnight!

Peace Out & Stay Safe.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas is 2 days away now and how did I spend the past weekend? Wrapping presents, last-minute shopping, sending Christmas cards, baking cookies? Of course not! Kenny and I headed to Windsor Saturday night for a weekend of gambling fun. Rod, my Casino hostest with the mostest, got me a casino rate on a room for the night, which made it an affordable $125 for the night. I should get a wing of the hotel for free considering the amount of money I lost up there over my birthday. The picture is from our hotel room and shows Detroit across the river. It was a foggy, hazy morning.

This trip was much better on the gaming front, we won on the first machine we sat down at which is one of Jill's favorites, a $2 Double Bucks slot. Kenny and I put $20 each in and cashed out about 5 minutes later with $300, which we fairly split. Overall the gaming action was quite fun and we didn't get spanked too hard. Well, Kenny did really well and I got spanked a little but not too badly. In the picture he's seen counting his stack of black chips ($100s) from his profitable table action. He would have left with the majority of them had it not been for me - but alas, he had to cover me on more than one occassion so his stack shrank just a bit.

It was a really busy, quick past couple of weeks, gearing up for the holidays. It's Christmas Eve Eve and I have - I believe - all of my shopping complete. I never did get my Christmas cards mailed out, but I hope everyone knows I wish them the best holiday and good health without getting a paper product in the mail. But that's really no excuse since I should be supporting my bread & butter just a little bit better! I did BUY the cards, as well as stamps, but they remain unsigned admidst the rubble of the kitchen. Ah, well. Next year.

The girls and I had our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange and it was really fun as usual. We dined at Macaroni Grill, where we lunch for all our special events. I got some fabulous gifts from the girls, including a Burberry golf towel from Jill, movie money from Frannie and Geri bought us each a Coach umbrella so we remain stylish during inclement weather. Let me tell ya, I couldn't wait for the first rain - lucky for me we've had a few days of it!

Our department luncheon for work was this past Wednesday at Houlihans. The food was good but it was the typical get-together. Eating and socializing with people I don't see other than work. There are a few folks that I really like in my department, and they know they're my friends and we eat and chat all the time. The rest are a purely work relationship and will most likely never amount to more than that. You could definately tell the little "clicks" of friends as they all clustered together at separate tables. The department is very high-schoolish in that way, and I just don't have time - or an interest - in all that. They gossip and spread all sorts of rumors - I'm sure I've been the target at some point - and I'm just not wasting one ounce of my energy on that. Maybe next year we can do something more interactive, such as bowling, to try and break down some of the clickishness and get people to know each other more. But frankly I don't really care. As my friend Vicki once said, "I know enough people". A fine line to remember!

Kenny and I have been seeing a lot of movies in the evenings after work. We recently saw The Pursuit of Happyness, Stranger than Fiction and last night we saw Rocky. Happyness was an average heartwarmer, Stranger than Fiction was really unique and quite enjoyable, and Rocky was.... Yo! Awesome! In a totally Rocky kinda way. We were all hopped up and inspired after seeing it, but as I got up from the movie seat, my hip/crazy leg pain reminded me that not only can I not box nor move quickly, I could barely walk to the car. I'm New Year's Resolutioning to somehow get that fixed. I cannot take it. I'm like House, hooked on Vicadin for my crazy leg pain.

Today I booked a trip to Atlantic City for January. We'll be joining my friends Geri & Rusty, and their friends Chis & Dave. It was super-cheap, at $250 each for 2 nights at Harrah's and airfare. The gambling, of course, is what will get ya...I'm bound to get lucky one of these times if I keep trying. It's the law of averages!

Twinkle has been hard at work in the Christmas tree and the branch finally gave up.

That's about it from here. I'm hoping to see my nephews sometime during the holidays, but Melinda & Trevor are leaving for Florida on Christmas Day and she's busy getting ready for her travels on Sunday so that didn't work out. She suggested I mail the boys their gift cards, but that's not going to happen. I'd at least like to see them, if that's not asking too much. The family's already disjointed enough. I haven't heard a word from my father since I reached out over a year ago with a phone call. We all make our choices in the world and have to live with the consequences. I've had a lot of disappointments, I guess, and as Rocky said, life will beat you up and pound you down, but it's not how many times you get knocked down that matters, what matters is that you keep getting back up and moving forward. That's all I'm trying to do: keep getting up and keep moving forward.

Peace out and stay safe this holiday!!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Let It Snow!

Snow arrived in a flurry this past week, getting the Christmas spirit awakened. The first snow is always interesting because traffic just comes to a standstill. For some reason, people forgot what to do, even though it happens every single year. I live about 15 minutes from work under normal conditions and it took me a good 45 minutes to get there on Wednesday. Everyone else I know who lives further from me had a good 2-hour drive that day. The picture is the view from my front window Thursday morning - it is Cleveland in December for sure!

The story that haunted me this week was the search for the missing family in Oregon. It was just a really bad decision that didn't end well at all for the family. Taking a wrong turn. I guess that's what life is really all about, though: trying not to go down the wrong road. Sometimes we make wrong decisions that end up costing us dearly. Then you just have to get back in the drivers seat, sometimes without those you love, and keep going.

Fran's husband was so freaked out by the story he immediately went out and bought an emergency kit and a space suit of some sort to keep in the car.
Work finally returned to a normal pace. I was home on time - or thereabouts - each day, and I actually got to go to lunch with the girls 3 times!! Yahoo, we got to finally catch up!
Wednesday night Kenny & I went to meet my friend Lora & her husband Tom for dinner at Applebees in Macedonia. I was dead-tired when I came home Wednesday but was looking forward to seeing them. I took a 15 minute cat nap (with a cat, of course!) before getting up and refreshed for dinner. We got to Applebees on time and as I looked around and didn't see them I asked Kenny if it was the 12th....he said "you've got to be kidding me..." of course it wasn't the 12th, I was an entire week early. That either shows how hard I've been working that I've lost track of time, or that I'm really 40. So we had dinner and enjoyed the smoke-free bar environment before we went to Akron to play some "games of skill" since we were practically there anyway. Next week we'll be dining with the Oborn's, but we've since picked the Outback since Kenny and I just had dinner at Applebees. Good lord, what's wrong with me!??
Things were slow enough at work that I took an impromptu vacation day on Thursday. We didn't do anything very exciting during the day, but I was able to rummage through all my stuff from storage and find some of my Christmas wrap and decorations. That evening was a party at the Blue Moose in Parma for my golf league. We do a $10 gift exchange which is always fun. I took the smallest package because I just don't need more crap in the house. My prize was a can of Pringles & lottery tickets. I was thrilled - two things I like! I was a lucky winner of $8. Kenny said the gift I purchased was the worst thing ever. I don't want to reveal it in case someone who knows the gift is reading this.....Kenny said I bought a Zoink. I thought it was kitchy when I bought it, but now think he's right and it was a Zoink. Oh, well. I'm sure it will be regifted.

Friday night I put the Christmas tree up, much to the delight of the cats. I have it sitting on an end table in front of the picture window and I've had to duct-tape it down under the tree skirt. The shiny cat toys hanging off the tree are quite a temptation and hard for Twinkle & Caesar to resist, but so far they've respected the spirit of Christmas. We'll see if it actually makes it to the 25th intact. It may be asking too much.

I watched 2 good movies this week, which is really a surprise because I rarely watch movies at home. I stick to the sitcoms or hour long dramas usually. Friday night I watched a movie on HBO, A History of Violence. It was really .... hm ...good I guess, in a dark way. It really drove home the point that you don't really know anyone. And it had some very graphic sex scenes which kept me thinking all night. And today. And now. I guess I would recommend it!
This evening I watched Crash on Showtime. I hadn't seen it when it was out, but I'm really glad I caught it. The story was thought-provoking and it was a lot better than doing the piles of laundry waiting for me in the basement.
Kenny's off running the sound for a show at Swingo's tonight. He wanted me to go with him but I opted for the couch instead. Boy, I really am 40!!
Peace & stay safe!