Sunday, January 31, 2010


I apologize for the void of meaningful blogging around here lately. I’ve just lacked the motivation to do much more than make a list of movies or post pictures of cats. It’s been busy at work – January is always the busiest month of the year with month-, quarter-, and year-end all hitting at the same time. With the arrival of snow I also stopped going home for lunch which has resulted in me working through it most days, intentionally or not. The days seem to go quickly because I keep my mind working, but when I get home I just want to lay in bed and read a book.

Also hindering my creative posting-ness is that there really hasn’t been much going on. Holidays are over, weather sucks, pretty much your typical mid-winter slump. I’m pretty sure everyone would get totally bored if I just posted “I went to work, I came home, I fed the cats, I made dinner, I read a book, I watched some TV, I went to bed” every day. There are, of course, some deviations from that normality. I have IMA, I have bells, we occasionally go out to dinner. But really, nothing mind-blowing going on here lately.

As previously mentioned, I passed my five-year mark with Bemis a few weeks ago. In addition to a certificate (that has yet to be hung up on the “Wall of Martha”) I also got a flyer with various gifts that I could choose from. Since I ended up with Adam’s five-year gift (the iPod dock/clock/radio I have at work) he took my five-year gift. I think he chose some wind-breaker jacket thing. Fine with me – I didn’t need another jacket I wouldn’t wear or a clock. Why are the gifts always a clock? Anywho, in addition to all that, I also got a third week of vacation and a slight raise. Less than last year, but more than nothing. I can’t complain. Ok, I could, but I doubt it would do me much good.

IMA in January was a mixed bag – attendance was down, we continue to struggle with our venues, but the ethics workshop was a good time and the food didn’t suck. I have high hopes for February – we’ve got a “Sports Accounting” night planned with reps from the Timber Rattlers and a former Packer player speaking. If that doesn’t appeal to students, I don’t know what would.

I find myself being pestered about VP Admin again although I think they’ve relented to let me stay where I am for another year. If, for no other reason, then because no one else wants to do what I do. Since we’ll be out of town in May I’ve already had to arrange for someone to cover that meeting so perhaps that will open a door. I don’t know that I want it to be opened though. I really enjoy my positions. It makes me talk with everyone who attends meetings, it’s organizationally motivated, it keeps me in the know about pretty much everything the chapter is doing, and it apparently makes me the go-to person for questions. It’s likely I can find an answer so I suppose I’m the logical contact. That and my name and email are plastered all over our newsletter and website. No hiding, that’s for sure. Just not sure I want to give up what I’ve arranged to be the face of the chapter.

We had yet another week off from bells because our fearless leader had a conflict. We don’t have a schedule for the spring yet, but we already started in on Easter music two weeks ago. I’m torn because the ladies I stand by up at the top octave are in agreement that things get stale and we’d like to try new music, maybe play with the choir. They tried to elect me to talk to Nancy and suggest things, but I don’t really want to put myself in front of the line of fire since I already seem to have a bad reputation, what with that “bell police” comment and all. But sometimes I almost can’t stand the stupid things that go on. Last week someone suggested we should have a metronome around to make sure we don’t rush. Any guesses as to who suggested it? Yeah, that’d be the person who rushes the most. Gargh! I do my best to keep my comments and annoyances to myself. I remind myself that I’m the youngest member (by my calculations, by at least 15 years), I’m not a member of the church, or even a member of the religion. I guess I could use my experience as a selling point, but I still don’t want to be the one to rock the boat. With all the weirdness that the year began with, I’m thinking we should all just be happy that Nancy didn’t throw herself over the choir loft railing at some point.

I mentioned that I’d been reading a lot lately. Still trying to keep away from too much TV. It helps, that whole Conan/Leno debacle. I had just made the decision to quite DVR-ing Conan every night because it was so hard to keep up with them. Then this whole mess came about so I turned it back on for the last two weeks. I never liked Leno much but Conan was usually too late for me and my old person bedtime. I’m saddened that they couldn’t work something out, but I’m hopeful that Conan will come back ten times better. My one concern is that NBC owns the characters he created on both Late Night and Tonight, so if he can’t take Conando with him, I don’t know what I’m going to do. That, and the Central Time New Years celebration, were two of my favorite parts of his show. We’ll see what happens I guess. I didn’t watch Jay Leno’s bomb and I won’t watch the regressed Tonight Show either.

Back to the reading though. (Geesh, you’d think I had ADD or something.) For Christmas my mom sent me a stack of books – mostly mysteries with cheesy titles about cooking and cats (Crepes of Wrath? Bwahahaha.)

Cheesy titles aside, they’re TOTALLY ADDICTIVE! I’m especially enjoying the books by Diane Mott Davidson about Goldy, the caterer who solves murders with her cop husband on the side, and those by Tamar Myers, about a Menonnite B&B owner who assists her incompetent brother-in-law with his job as sheriff. The books include recipes and enough WTF moments to keep you on your toes. The plots are completely ridiculous, but they pull you in. I’ve already burned through the ones from my mom and I’m 6.25 books into a 7 book stack from the library. Who needs deep, classic literary works when you have kitschy murder mysteries?

In cat news, we’ve gotten into a groove I think. Carly is a pain, JC is a pain, Ted is a pain, Connor is somewhat less of a pain. Most of the time. Unless he’s climbing the furniture, then he’s a big pain.

Thankfully we’ve moved on from the “let’s scratch Martha as much as possible” game with Carly and she’s figured out how to jump onto my shoulders without tearing my back up. She still has regular “Carly Ferry” trips to and from the cat room both during the day and at night. One of these days I’m going to “forget” to bring her to bed and see what happens. Almost every day I’m reminded that she definitely prefers Adam and just kind of puts up with my presence.

Ted is obsessed with being petted. After lurking under beds and chairs for so long, he’s suddenly decided he wants attention and he wants it NOW. He yowls, he whines, he’s generally obnoxious. I try and make a point of petting him every night before bed, but I’m usually done before he wants me to be. My excuse? He drools and that’s totally gross. He’s also started jumping up on the bed on top of Adam. This in and of itself is pretty impressive, but then he creeps toward me, sneaking a glance at Adam every once in a while to make sure he’s not looking at him. It’s pretty funny.

Connor is still stand-offish, even with me. Adam’s gotten pretty good at sneaking up behind him and catching some petting time before Connor realizes what’s going on. He likes to cuddle, that’s for sure, but generally behind my knees where I can’t touch him. He’s been eating better lately too. I usually open his door first and he wanders for a little bit, but then goes back and eats some more. He’s a strange one.

JC… well he’s just crazy. His favorite pastimes these days are staring at himself in the plasma TV, sitting in the kitchen sink, and watching bubbles in the humidifier, water dish, and soda bottles. I swear a few days ago he was watching ice cubes melt. Oh, and trying to kill me by tripping me. Evil, evil cat. He’s got a lot of energy and has random stampede parties with Ted each evening. He still sleeps part of the night next to me most nights. He’s not very cuddly under normal circumstances. He struggles when I pick him up to hug him but eventually relents to being cuddled with.

We kind of struck out in the “cuddly cat” lottery. None of them like to sit on our laps or cuddle much. Carly will sometimes sit in the crack of the couch between us, but she much prefers curling up on the back of the couch.

Coming up:

Month-end is upon us again. Seems like just yesterday I was working on year-end. Apparently everyone (but me, of course) is going to be out of the office for SAP for like three weeks in February. Fun!

We’ll be going to try a newer Norwegian restaurant (Oslo’s) on the 5th with Dad and Cheryl. Kind of an early birthday celebration.

Another unofficial birthday thing at The Monkey Bar on the 6th.

We plan to use a great coupon at The Melting Pot on the 11th, an early Valentine’s Day night out since we generally try to avoid restaurants on Valentine’s Day. I still need to figure out what I’ll be making at home the 14th though. Ideas?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globe Review

So awards season is here. I spent most of last evening watching the Golden Globes. Adam was...under the weather, so I had no shame and watched the pre-Red Carpet as well as the Live from the Red Carpet on E! Ok, so I was reading a book with it on in the background. I glanced up occasionally when I heard something interesting. I thought that it was rude that they cut off Lea Michelle from "Glee" to go to Sandra Bullock. Also, Guiliana whatever your last name is now (seriously, she has a new one every time I see her...) you are an idiot. You've been working for E! for how long now and you're still yelling out "George!" to get Clooney's attention? Sad.

Anyway. The actual ceremony was kind of boring. I don't like Ricky Gervais so I was ok with the fact that he was on screen for maybe 10 minutes total. He didn't really even have any good jokes aside from the jab at Mel Gibson about the beer. Before the show I printed out the nominations and made my predictions.

Best Picture - Drama: I chose Avatar, I was right!

Best Actress - Drama: I chose Sandra, I was right!

Best Actor - Drama: I chose George, I was wrong. I knew Jeff Bridges had a good chance, but I went with the more mainstream choice.

Best Picture - Comedy/Musical: I chose Julie & Julia, I was wrong. Seriously people, I don't get the hype over The Hangover. Go to Blockbuster, rent Dude, Where's My Car?, come back here and try to tell me that there isn't some kind of rip-offage going on here. Llamas! (Yes, I've watched that movie way too many times.)

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical: I chose Meryl Streep, I was right! Considering she was two of the five...pretty good odds there.

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical: I chose Daniel Day-Lewis, I was wrong. He's usually an awards favorite, but I guess Robert Downey Jr. probably gave a better speech than Daniel would have.

Best Animated Film: I chose Up, I was right! Funniest intro of the night - Paul McCartney: Animation isn't just for kids, it's also for adults on drugs. Bwahahaha.

Best Foreign Language: While I didn't officially make a guess here (I usually ignore this category), I figured war movies usually do pretty well so I figured Germany would win - and they did.

Best Supporting Actress: I chose Mo'Nique and I was right! Secretly glad Penelope Cruz didn't win because I CANNOT STAND HER ACCENT!

Best Supporting Actor: I chose Stanley Tucci, but I was wrong. I guess Inglourious Basterds needed to win at least one...

Best Director: I chose James Cameron and I was right! Is James Cameron really that big of a dork though? "I have to pee?" Have some dignity!

Best Screenplay: I chose Inglourious Basterds. I was wrong. I really thought Quentin Tarantino would do better than he did last night. I haven't seen Up in the Air yet so I have to reserve judgement.

Best Score: I chose Up and I was right!

Best Song: I had no idea since I haven't seen any of the movies yet, so I just went with U2. I was wrong. T Bone? Dude was white...

Best TV Drama: I chose "Dexter", I was wrong. "Mad Men"? - I just don't get it. And Jon Hamm is hosting SNL again? He wasn't that good the first time...

Best Actress, TV Drama: I chose Juliana Marguiles and I was right! I'm absolutely loving "The Good Wife."

Best Actor, TV Drama: I chose Michael C Hall and I was right! Never watch any of the shows, but I was just glad Bill Paxton didn't win. I don't like him... Him and Bill Murray. There's something about their voices and their line delivery that bugs me...

Best TV Comedy/Musical: I chose Glee and I was right!

Best Actress, TV Comedy/Musical: I chose Toni Collette and I was right! I don't watch the show (although I'm considering it) but I knew Lea Michelle was a long shot.

Best Actor, TV Comedy/Musical: I chose Steve Carell, I was wrong. Alec Baldwin was the only winner who wasn't there. "Previously scheduled charity event." Likely...

Best Mini-Series/TV Movie and corresponding best actor/actress: I had no idea - never even heard of any of them. But what was up with Drew's dress?

Best Supporting Actress, TV: I chose Jane Lynch but I was wrong. Chloe Sevigny? I don't get that either. And what an awful dress. There were a lot of one shoulder, ruffly-looking things, but hers was just ugly.

Best Supporting Actor, TV: I chose Neil Patrick Harris but I was wrong. I like John Lithgow and am just glad Jeremy Piven didn't win. Another guy who seems like a schmuck.

So, overall, 11 right, 9 wrong, 5 non-guesses. Good thing I didn't put any money on any of them!

The ceremony actually ended a few minutes early and the pace was good. Not many people got played off the stage, no one really stands out as having rambled. I wasn't in the room for the Martin Scorsese thing and I've read that he went off a little. What I mostly noticed was how inconvenient it seemed to be to get from your seat to the stage when you won. I think I commented on that last year as well. Who sets up the room? It's like a cruel maze. Also, they kept using these weird camera angles looking up from the edge of the stage at the person at the microphone. Not sure what was up with that.

Looking forward to Oscar nominations in a few weeks. Doing pretty well on my list over on the right there as well. Right now I've got District 9 on the coffee table, waiting.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Carly helps with some canning...

JC decides the toaster oven is a good spot to lounge. Thankfully it wasn't on. Otherwise we might have had roasted cat for dinner...

Connor is still loving the heating vents. There are so many around the house you're bound to find him in front of one of them...

I never seem to get any pictures of Ted doing interesting things. So here he is sleeping...

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Five years ago this week I finished up my internship at Presto and started my "real" job at Milprint. Given their different close schedules, I got to go through the 2004 year-end process twice. Lucky me!

Five years (and a few weeks - I totally forgot - but my offical graduation date was sometime mid-January) ago I graduated from college with two diplomas - a BBA in Accounting and a BA in French:

Notice that I was pimped out with honor cords - magna cum laude, thankyouverymuch. Might have had a shot at the summa if it hadn't been for that C in Modern Russia. Or my complete lack of motivation during my last two semesters - and my metal for graduating from UWO's "Honor Program." Kind of a joke if you ask me - I got to register early each semester if I maintained a certain GPA and took two seminars - one as a first-semester freshman and one as a last-semester senior - both of which were total wastes of time. But that's a post for another time...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Work it Out

In my previous post I mentioned I rock out to Miley and Britney while on the treadmill. I've been meaning to do this for awhile, so I suppose now is as good time as any.

When I first started using the treadmill semi-regularly again I took my iPod downstairs with me and just let it play. Then, when I was really starting to get tired during my first session the t.A.T.u. version of The Smith's "How Soon is Now" came on. (Don't ask why I even have this song on my iPod. And don't worry - I have the original as well.) For some reason this perked me up and I actively started looking for songs with good beats or that I liked to sing along to. It made time go much faster and made the whole thing more fun. Kind of like I was dancing to the song rather than exercising on a treadmill...

Anywho, after a few weeks of skipping 95% of the songs on the iPod because they sucked or were too slow, I created a "Work-out" playlist. Here's what's on it:

Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round - Most awesome 80s song ever. I don't think a single actual instrument was used in the creation of this track. And the video? Also awesome(-ly bad.)

Miley Cyrus - See You Again - great beat, good chorus to wave your arms around to...And yes, I realize I'm 27.

Cher - Believe - the Xenomania Mix - has a much better background beat than the original. Let's hear it for Auto Tone!

The Veronicas - Take me on the Floor - da da da da da da da da!

Britney Spears - Radar - stupid lyrics, but if you ignore them the beat is good.

The Pussycat Dolls - Jai Ho - yeah, I'm still annoyed this won the Oscar, but it has a good beat. Also annoying? Nicole's constant mispronounciation of the title of the song. Argh.

Celine Dion - I Drove All Night - Once again, strong bass, very sing-along-able.

Muse - Uprising - awesome song even if some of the lyrics are unintelligble - singer seems to channel his inner Bob Dylan at times. Also these guys were one of the best SNL performances in recent memory.

Hannah Montana (aka Miley Cyrus) - He Could be the One - Yeah, I know, 27. But seriously, the songs from this show are pretty good.

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough - Another awesome 80s song that makes me wish I were born in 1968. Oh well...

Britney Spears - Womanizer - Nothing much to say about this other than I'm glad she survived whatever went on and could make more upbeat songs.

The Smiths - How Soon is Now - the original.

Owl City - Fireflies - so neat - you should watch the video even if you don't like the song.

Kristin Chenoweth & Matthew Morrison - Alone - from "Glee." I always play this song last as I'm cooling down.

Do you have any favorite work-out songs I should add to my list?