2008/12/31

Oh, I am this bored.

2008 in Review:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I travelled outside of Canada and the U.S.. Got out from under my former manager's thumb.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember making any last year; I usually don't.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, a few of them. Damn reproducers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my Grandpa.

5. What countries did you visit?
Cuba, the United States.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
My masters' degree. Less debt.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't believe I didn't think of this first -- November 21, date we signed the papers to buy our first house.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the research paper at the same time as buying and moving into the new house. Oh yeah, I like to stack all of my stresses together at once.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Scraping my dad's car against another, resulting in some good damage... and holy shit, I just realized I forgot to pay my ticket on that. Fuck.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Dear Boyfriend's love. Or a house.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The DB and I, for moving without any fighting whatsoever. His cousin and friend, for helping us move (again), without any complaints.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own, for a few epic breakdowns (though there was only the one when we moved, so that was awesome). A friend or two, for stuff I won't put here.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, debts, the house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Buying the house (notice a theme?), although I'm honestly still a bit mellow about that. It'll sink in when I have to pay something major on it. Finishing the research paper, though again, I'm mellow -- it ain't done until I see the official statement that it's been accepted by all the right peeps.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
No clue.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier overall.
ii. thinner or fatter? Oh, fatter, certainly.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer and poorer; higher salary take-home, slightly increased expenses.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Sleeping, crafting, focusing on school and debt repayment.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spending on stupid things, slacking off.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I went home for Christmas.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I didn't fall, but it certainly grew. Little moments help -- like last night's kindnesses, despite my initial crabbiness (though I did try to keep a lid on most of it).

23. How many one-night stands?
Zero. 

24. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI, House, Reaper, ER and sort of Pushing Daisies.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Naw, I'm too tired to hate anyone new. Doesn't stop me from getting pissed off at people, though.

26. What was the best book you read?
Most of the stand-outs I think I read in years past. I'm sure I read something this time around I loved, but I can't recall.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My musical tastes declined this year, so I'm not sure I want to share. I've been listening to a lot of crap the last few months, mainly because it keeps me up and going. Otherwise, I'd say perhaps Symphony No. 3 'Organ', 4th Movement" by Saint-Saëns.

28. What did you want and get?
The end of my research paper, the house, a flat-screen tv (I'm shallow, shut up), my books unpacked and organized (still in progress).

29. What did you want and not get?
Some people know the answer to this. All in good time.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Iron Man.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I'm now an ancient 28, and I threw a barbecue on one of the few nice days in August at our first place.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Confirmation I graduated, vindication against my past enemies, possibly the answer to a previous question.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
It classed up a bit work-wise, now that I've cut back on my jeans. Outside of work, it varied between lazy-slob (at home in the evenings) and cover-up-the-fat-oh-god-there's-so-much-of-it.

34. What kept you sane?
The DB, the cats, leaving my last job.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I've reignited my love of Dean Cain.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Canadian election, since I monitored it fairly closely through work.

37. Who did you miss?
Some of my friends who moved away ages ago and suck at keeping in touch.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
The majority of my coworkers are pretty great. I hit it off with a classmate pretty well.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
If you don't think you have enough space to move the car somewhere, you probably don't. Treasure your family and/or friends, they can disappear in an instant. Someone who can stand you through some pretty epic breakdowns is probably going to stick by you for the long haul -- provided they're the exception and not the norm, I would assume. Kitties are cute and funny.

2008/12/30

Dear person sending me work,

There is no point in telling me that you don't need something posted until next week when the email below yours indicates that the text hasn't been sent to you because it is not yet final.

It's all well and good to tell me that 'next week is fine,' but I hate to break it to you -- updates to the Intranet are not something I'm waiting on tenterhooks to do.

I don't know why, some of this just rubs me funny.

Also, I'm wondering if the summer is too soon to go back to school. I may have a sickness.

2008/12/29

I've come to the conclusion that my cats may be slightly spoiled, and they may know this, too.

I was looking for candles the other day, and came across the pyjama string that, for many months, represented Venus' favourite ever toy (though the laser pointer comes close to tying it). She has now taken to demanding play time in both her passive and aggressive ways; either by sitting by it, staring at it, until someone caves and starts playing with her, or by telling you that she wants you to play through varying commands. She also loves to sit on my lap desk while I'm trying to cross stitch, thereby blocking me from seeing the pattern and ensuring that I can't really do much other than pat her.

Then there's Thena. In the mornings when I shower, I don't bother closing the door all the way. Thena generally comes in sometime between when I get in the shower and when I shut the water off, and she's perched on the lid of the toilet waiting for me. While I do my morning preparations, she likes to climb into the sink and lie down in it, meaning I can't do anything that involves water (like washing my hands after doing my hair). However, the previous owners did put some kind of directional spout addition on the tap, so I can point it slightly away from her and fill a glass at least. Anyhow, I'm convinced Thena knows how unlikely I am to disrupt her, because the other day she was in the sink with the smuggest expression on her face... although this is the same cat that twisted her head upside down and stared at me with her tongue sticking out, so maybe I'm giving her too much credit.

And for the record, I'm not the only one that spoils the beasts; the DB said last night that he hoped Venus would give him more leg room in bed. When I suggested he could push her off the bed, he said that would be mean -- which is usually my response, but clearly I am turning him to the dark side as well.

That all sounded better last night when I was thinking about it. I fail at entertaining writing.

Anyhow, work this month has been crazy. I've logged over 20 hours of overtime in less than three weeks, and that's nothing compared to many of my coworkers. I took some of the time in leave and some in pay, and I was going to possibly use the money to pay for an iPod Touch, but I'm going to simply put it towards the new flat-screen television we purchased the other day. It's nothing terribly over the top or fancy; there was a good deal via the DB's store for Sony Bravias, so we opted to go for the middle one, 37". It fits nicely in the living room without looking ridiculously large, and now that I have HD cables, it looks good. The cables themselves were discount ($10 marked down to $4), so the quality is lacking overall, but they'll do for now.

Otherwise, Christmas was a pretty decent time. I was apparently rather lacking in sleep, since I'm pretty sure that's all I did every chance I got. We have a small sitting area set up in/off the kitchen (it makes sense if you see the arrangement) near the fireplace, and I spent many hours sitting in our laz-y-boys with the laptop, the fire going, and more often than not, a Thena sitting on the foot rest. I'm choosing to believe that my narcolepsy was out of need and not gas leaking, and it was quite lovely.

I also brought out the cross-stitching again, and I've been working on a Christmas towel (with about 10 minutes left of backstitching to do before it's finished), and an overall larger piece that I've had for some time. Combined with the Reaper season 1 box set I picked up after Christmas and the reading light from the floor lamp, and I'm usually quite content. At least until Venus comes along and sits on the pattern.

In other news, I hate twitter. I hate that some of my friends have resorted to doing twitter updates in lieu of actual detailed updates that provide context. I'm sure I'm thrilled for you that you're stuck in traffic, but what am I to do with this exiting tidbit? How about the twitter updates that are directed at someone else -- thanks for sharing, I'm sure, but why not simply text message or call that person directly? I don't know, it's your blog, do with it what you will, but at the same time... I just don't see the point. Then again, maybe that's because I use way too many words to say something simple.

"My cats are spoiled. I slept a lot over the holidays. I'm crafting. @bob: OMG that's so unbelievable that she did that."

"At concert. Musician is awesome and loud! Can't wait to post pictures. Stupid person is stupid."

Woo Twitter.

My city is in day 20 of its transit strike (yes, I just gave away my city and location. Stalk on, you crazy four fans of mine, three of whom live in my city already), and it's driving me insane. I actually had a dream a few nights ago that I was back on my regular express route and having a conversation with one of the regulars. I've had sad dreams before, but that's a good one.

They're saying in the news today that they might get Ambrose and Baird to use their federal powers to force a vote from the union on the city's last proposal; the only thing is, even if the drivers do go ahead and vote, there's no guarantee that they'll accept the proposal. It's a ridiculous pissing match between a businessman-turned-bureaucrat who has probably never ridden a bus in his life, who is, according to reports, anti-union (and appears to be ridiculously bullheaded) and the unions, who have not done well in the PR battle.

I support the drivers in this battle, but my pocketbook is hurting. The nearest parking lot to me is $18/day (higher if I'm there past 6 p.m.), and that doesn't include the cost of gas, the stress of the drive in heavy traffic, and the stress of driving in bad weather conditions -- of which there have been many this week. Sure, when I'm driving I don't have to wait for connections, but I don't exactly enjoy the thrill of sliding on icy or snowy roads or driving in first gear. Not to mention, I know the DB isn't exactly thrilled about having to lend me his car for days on end -- especially on days when I'm stuck at work late. Add to that my inability to do anything downtown after work because I have to get back home before the DB's day is over, and it's not exactly a blast anywhere.

I didn't vote for the mayor, and I think after his huge mishandling of last year's snowclearing, and this year's transit battle, he isn't likely to see another term. I hope he isn't going to see another term. Though I have to admit, I can't recall another mayor who had as many pejorative nicknames as this guy has... that at least has been entertaining.

I've been spending a lot of time these holidays catching up on the Comics Curmudgeon website. There are some great bits in there, if you haven't ever read the site. I only have a few minor grumbles about it, but one of the major ones is that I now want to add Mary Worth and Apartment 3-G to my daily lineup so I can keep up with the storylines when he doesn't talk about them. It's also leading me to want to go and critique For Better or For Worse, especially the reimagined strips that were published after everyone's story tied up... some of them really do show she hated her husband early on. Of course, I doubt that I could do as well as Josh does, so it's unlikely to be something I do regularly (especially as I dropped the strip in frustration some time ago).

I was going to go on about passive-aggressive tendencies in relationships and my frustrations with some of my friendships at the moment, but I think I've blathered enough. I don't even have anything exciting to report on my paper, though I will probably be hosting it as a pdf for those of you who really want to read through it once it gets approved. Thrill to my mastery of the academic language, and glory as I try to shoehorn in references to semiotics, Jung, and Joseph Campbell!

2008/12/25

I'll be more verbose later, but for now, Merry Christmas everyone.

2008/12/04

Well, I don't know what it says about me, but before heading out for the fire alarm, I locked up the ATIP package I was examining. Clearly, I am a public servant.

2008/12/02

Ah, progress. Progress is my middle name -- re-elect Mayor Goldie Wilson.

Erm, sorry. I'd been wanting to watch Back to the Future again recently, so the DB and I had thrown it on Sunday night to watch with dinner. Family Guy actually referenced it at one point, so it had been stuck in my head for awhile thereafter, and I have to say, I still have lines and their deliveries memorized. I was nice and didn't quote as we watched, though.

I think what keeps me watching Family Guy is twofold; one, to see what new shocking thing they'll try, and two, to see what other pop culture reference they'll make. Say what you will about Seth MacFarlane, he enjoys musicals and drops references to them in his show regularly enough to keep me entertained... or the opening credit sequence that spoofs Police Squad. Sure, the show is regularly fairly goofy, and the plot usually veers off into a totally different direction from where it started, but there are some neat throwaway references that I can appreciate. There are also some gags they beat into the ground, like the chicken fight, or the knee gasping, or the ipecac... but at the same time, I loved the Vaudeville guys, and I'm sure they weren't everyone's favourite.

I also love whenever Adam West appears on the show, 'cause he gets the most ridiculous things to say, and the man does it. While I don't watch American Dad, I love that Patrick Stewart appears on it and also says goofy-ass stuff.

I have no idea why I just went off on Family Guy as long as I did. I'm simply enjoying some peace and quiet for a change, I think.

I did the first draft of changes to the paper last night and sent it back to the prof. The end is in sight, provided he's okay with what I've done. I may have to add more, but I'm hopeful... urgh. My classmate has been pretty awesome through this experience, and I'm thinking of picking her up a small gift for the holidays as a token of thanks. She's Jewish, so if I can do something that has an 8 theme (or even 8 of something) and related to school, I'm golden. Hannukah starts pretty late this year (December 22nd, I just checked), so that also gives me some time to think about this.

Anyhow, we haven't done any more unpacking since the weekend of madness. The DB's parents were in town from Friday to Sunday, and we had a fairly nice visit. We went out shopping Saturday afternoon and bought our washer and dryer set (the washer was the Christmas gift from them), and those will be delivered this Saturday -- due to the delay, Sunday the DB did some laundry at the old house before we returned the keys and bought some new bedding (which we can't wash until the weekend). Apparently they don't do much in the way of set-up, so I just hope that the damn things are on wheels or something so that we can move them around.

This Saturday is also the DB's Christmas party, and Sunday the 14th is the dinner with my friends. The holidays this year look to be fairly quiet, which will be great. We get to spend Christmas Eve in our home together, and then Christmas Day we'll do presents and dinner with my parents, sister and her boyfriend.

It's one of the first years that I'm slow in buying Christmas gifts, but I'm not terribly concerned about it at this point. I've ordered the DB's main gift online, and in all honesty, I just don't have as many people to buy for this year as in years past. It's the DB, his parents, the sister and her boyfriend, my parents, my Nanny, my aunt Dorothy and my uncle Billy. Maybe I can get away with doing a lot of it online.