Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas, movie houuuse! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!!

I wish I could have gone down and visited your family again this week! Be sure and leave a drunken carol on my voicemail if you're still celebrating.

My Christmas was pretty low-key, but it was nice. I hosted everyone at my apartment this year! I feel like such a grown up!!! It was kind of fun....I spent all day on the 23rd cleaning and baking cookies, and I bought a big ol' air mattress and decorated and everything! The cats have been knocking my tree down almost every day since I put it up right after Thanksgiving, so it was pretty lopsided by the time the "big day" rolled around.

I have also been watching a lot of Christmas movies. I have always felt that the affinity you and I share for Christmas movies is one of the cornerstones of our friendship. I know we tossed around the idea of doing a "best of" list of Christmas movies, so I wanted to go ahead and list my top 5:

5. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. This was a PBS Christmas special made in the 70's. My parents taped it off the TV when I was a kid and it was always my favorite Christmas thing to watch growing up. It starts out with everyone ice skating to "Feliz Navidad," and then Oscar starts teasing Big Bird that Santa couldn't possibly fit down the skinny little chimneys to bring presents. Of course, this causes major drama! It also includes a "Gift of the Magi" subplot with Bert and Ernie. I was thrilled when I found this on VHS at Goodwill. It's about the sweetest thing you can ever watch.

4. Miracle on 34th Street. The 1940's version, of course! This movie is a classic, and you can't avoid seeing it on TV every year when the holidays roll around. The best part is when the Macy's store manager gets his wife drunk so she'll let Kris Kringle stay with them over the holidays. "Helloooo? Yes, we'd LOVE to have Santa Claus stay with us for Christmas. Mmmm-hhmmmmm.........I think it would be SIMPLY CHARMING!!!" Whenever I watch this with Bruce's family, we all say that part together like it's a drinking game.

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol. When a cold wind blows, it chills you....chills you to the bone! I'll admit that when this movie came out I had my doubts. It was one of the first things to come out of the Muppet studios after Jim Henson died, and Disney had bought out the company. I didn't think for a minute that this movie could capture the spirit of the Muppets as they had once been. Thank god I was totally wrong! This movie is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and one of my favorite Muppet movies as well. Michael Kane makes a fantastic Scrooge, and the songs are all amazing.

2. White Christmas. This movie is required reading if you're going to hang out with Libby's family. Everyone knows it by heart, and we always find something new to laugh about every year. (You are welcome to purchase tickets and stay up all night in the, uh, clubcahr) It's sort-of, loosely based on Holiday Inn, another Bing Crosby classic, and uses the same hotel as the set. Bing and Danny Kaye have a famous broadway act, and they meet Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen in Florida performing at a nightclub, and follow them to a Vermont Inn where (gasp) there's no snow! (Isn't this Vermont, New England's winter playground?) I love musicals and I love this movie. Bing does a lot of improvising and throws in all this 1950's slang all over the place. Vera Ellen wears a turtleneck throughout the whole film.

1. It's a Wonderful Life. Classic! This is my Dad's favorite movie of all time. I watch it every year, and I can't watch it with people around anymore because it makes me cry so hard. Usually I start to tear up around the time George runs to the cemetery and Clarence says "You see George, you've really had a wonderful life." And by the time Harry gives the toast and says "to George Baily, the richest man in town," I am full-on doing the ugly cry. Oh god!! It's true, no man is a failure who has friends!!!!!!

So there you all have it. I'm not ashamed to say that Christmas movies are some of my favorite movies of all time, and there are plenty of awesome movies that didn't make the short list. I'm SO excited about New Year's, you can't even believe it! I have a good feeling about 2008...I think it's gonna be a good year.
See you this weekend!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday, celebrate

Hi Brax, hi Gentle Readers,

Merry Christmas! I hope you're all enjoying your holiday season.
I sure am. Favorite present? FANCY NEW CAMERA. Y'all are going to be seeing some niiiiice pictures of my cats doing cute stuff from here on out.

So in honor of the holiday, here is an easy holiday craft. Wrapping paper!
You will need:
Tacky Glue
Some wood blocks
Foamies brand craft foam sheets (you can get this at the craft store)
Plain brown package wrapping paper--they have this at Target, apparently. I think the Scotch company makes it.

Draw shapes on the foam. I can't draw. The ol' ball and chain drew the shapes, he is good at that. He also cut them out, I'm real bad at cutting too. If you don't have an artistic type handy, you could also cut a shape out of a magazine or somethind and trace it.

So draw your shapes on the foam sheets, and then cut them out and use the tacky glue to stick them to the wood blocks. Guess what you have then? Stamps!

I am pretty sure you smart, crafty folks can see where this is going.

Take a little paint, and you know, put it on the stamp and then smack it onto a freshly wrapped gift...

The plain brown paper can stand up pretty well to the paint, it didn't bleed through at all.
Delightful. This was honestly a really fun way to spend an afternoon, and the recipiants of these cleverly packaged gifts tried real hard not to tear the paper.

Brax--see you new years eve!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Everybody funny, you funny too.

braxie: la la la, taking quizzes online.

I just took the personality disorder quiz, and it's a lot different from when I took it 5 years ago.

Back then, the results said I tended more toward histrionic, which is attention seeking, and ocd.

Now, it's an odd mix of avoidant and schizoid, of all things.

I think I accidentally answered some of the questions wrong or something.

me: huh

is it that really long one?

braxie: it's not very long.

(obviously, it's very scientific)

me: I don't think this is a very good test

I haven't finished it yet but I am not sure it's going to diagnose me correctly

braxie: yeah. I mean, the 2 things it said I had were basically mutually exclusive to one another.

me: ok, calculating results

it says I have a high risk for obsessive compulsive

that's weird

braxie: hmmmm

I don't see that at all. Well, I don't think I'm a schizoid personality, either, and it rated me as "high" for that.



it said moderate for histrionic

braxie: ha ha! you have an excessive devotion to work!

oooooh, work, I looooove you!!!!

me: which I think is really weird because just reading about the symptoms of that got on my nerves


yeah, that's me alright!!! (note: I like how the internet accused me of having an excessive devotion to work when I was taking internet psychiatric quizzes at work)

braxie: Mostly, mine was telling me I avoid social situations.

me: ok, NONE of this is me

this test is dumb

braxie: yeah. We need to find another psychiatric quiz to take.

me: I am starting to think I might be at risk for generalized anxiety disorder

braxie: Hmmm, me too.

I've been sort of thinking about it for awhile now.

Oh no!

me: haha, what if we got really, REALLY anxious about having anxiety disorder?

braxie: What if we are both .....what's that word? Fat Josh said it?

me: enablers?

braxie: yeah!

me: hahahah!

braxie: We're enabling each other, like on that show.

We really do talk like this every day:

"Oh man, I hate work. I hate people. Life is hard. I want to put on my pajamas."

Me: we talk to each other and convince each other we're normal!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

the woods

Brax and I and a few other folks stayed at my parents house for Thanksgiving weekend. We had a great time, and if we called you and sang you a drunken song, you're welcome, I know you totally enjoyed that.

My family lives on a farm with 100 acres of woods. On Sunday morning, my mom woke us all up, and we had a nice leisurly cup of coffee. Certain parties had to be dragged out of bed (ahem, Christopher), but in the end we all got our boots on, got the dogs together, and we went on up the hill.

Fall! The woods! It was chilly and muddy. The pond was all electric green...

The dogs were frolicking and romping:

The old fat black dog is Blanche. Blanche is my parents' dog, and she is awesome. I begged my parents for her when I was 17, and then I moved out 8 months later. It must be great to have kids.
Anyway, the black and white dog is my uncle's dog, Sparky. Sparky was a half-grown pup when my uncle's girlfriend found him all alone in the road. They tried to find his parents, but no luck, so now he lives on the farm with my uncle. He's about a year old now, and he is a little maniac. He and Blanche have a love-hate relationship. (In fact, in a hike a few days previous to the one documented here, these two crazies romped up behind me at about 80 MPH and knocked my legs up into the air. I landed flat on my ass about 8 inches from a big steaming cow pie. The dogs didn't even slow down. This incident is, unfortunately, undocumented in photographs. )


Other things we saw on our walk:

Matt and Sparky had a race.

Sparky won.
Christopher fed a cow. Most of these girls are raised by hand by my uncle, so they're used to people, but they're still a little scary up close. Blanche won't go near them. Some guard dog.

Brax crossed a small ravine on a log. It should be noted that my mother fell off of the log right next door to this log and brusied her butt once. But Brax was not to be deterred.

She made it all the way across! All the way until she fell...but she only fell a little bit. See how gracefully she caught herself? Fortunately I was right there to document it.

My dad arrived late, dressed like some kind of mountain man. It was cold! Handknits, man.

It was a great morning. Hiking on the farm is one of the things I miss most about home, so I am so excited when I get to do it. I'm already excited to go home for Christmas, and hike it up with these same jokers.

Hike it up,


Friday, December 7, 2007

Gets My Goat!


I decided to get sushi today at lunch. Such a big mistake! Last time I ordered from them, they gave me a california roll instead of a spicy tuna roll in my vegetable tempura lunchbox. I asked the guy at the bar to double check everything, and he said that yes, indeed, this time they had gotten it right. Spicy tuna roll! Totally in there!

It was in there all right. I guess they decided to go crazy with the tempora-ization of my food. This sushi is fucking DEEP FRIED. mmmmm, seaweed, raw tuna, and rice.....deep fried! Sounds delicious, right?
Seriously, what the fuck. Sakura, on Monroe street in crappy crapville Toledo Ohio, you are dead to me.
They also forgot the wasabi. Which would have been a problem, I guess, if they had not deep fried my sushi and rendered it inedible.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Li'l ol' snowflakes eskimo pie chocolate and vanilla for you and I

Is that a real song? Or did Danny Kaye just make it up in? A cursory Google inquiry reveals nothing. We may never know.

Anyway, It is totally snowing. It's snowin' to beat Hell.

That's the view from the roof tonight. It made me sort of stupidly happy. We bundled up and went on a walk around the neighborhood, and went to Lincoln Park and watched the dogs romping, romp romp romp all over the place. Also there were children throwing snowballs and stuff. The park was like the grand central station of cuteness. Then we went to the market for bread and cheese and wine, and I tell you what, I consumed that stuff. Also, some Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

It is now pajama time. This is what is nice about winter, this right here.

It's all about flannel owl pajamas and cats and couches lips!Man, I really miss snow. Don't let anyone from DC tell you that it snows really doesn't. This here 2 inches is freaking delightful. Keep it up, snow, I'm rootin' for you!

Also, the winter Knitty is up! I am not rarin' to knit any of these things up--socks are completely wasted on me, and I ain't makin' no tams--however, this is absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous. And I think it would be really cool to use that technique in a sweater.

OK, I am going to watch a Christmas movie now!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Another day older and deeper in debt

Spruce Moose,
This post can alternately be called "You're older than you've ever been and now you're even older."

Thanks for the birthday wishes! We're the only ones who get the Gene Kelly one, I know it! My birthday was pretty low-key. By low-key, I mean I didn't really do anything for it yet. At work, I got a bunch of Godiva chocolates in the mail from my boss (she works far away). Sweet!!! Everyone else thought they were from some lover, who they keep teasing me about. Bruce, this is endlessly annoying as I have not taken a lover in quite some time.

After work, I decided to get my oil changed because I had been planning on driving to Columbus over the weekend. During my $15 oil change, the technician noticed that my front left wheel shaking back and forth when it should have been motionless? I ended up needing a tire rod because it was quickly rusting through. The oil change, tire rod, and subsequent wheel alignment set me back $300. Gahahahahhhh!!!!!!! That is what I said inside my head. I ended up enjoying 3/4 of a bottle of wine that I bought at the wine store down the street from the mechanic's.

I decided to celebrate my birthday that weekend. I did try to go to Columbus on Saturday night, but there was this crazy winter storm thing going on!! I tried to valiantly brave the snow in the hopes that it would clear up the further south I drove. It totally did! The snow became freezing rain and the roads became a giant sheet of ice. At one point, I braked very very very slowly, tap-tap-tap, and I slid uncontrollably to the right onto the shoulder. After I slowly slid myself back onto the road, I decided it was not worth it and got off at the next exit to pull through Burger King and turn around.

My birthday: 2 hours, $300 spent on car repair

My birthday (observed): 1.5 hours spent driving 15 miles to go to Burger King in Perrysburg, OH and back.

I know this post is totally whiney, but I wanted to state here and now that next year, I will totally have an excellent birthday. I will hang out with you and all my excellent friends, and I will not, NOT get drunk on red wine while watching TV for the third year in a row. I feel like someday in the future, you and I will be sitting around at some happy hour in the same city, laughing about the comically bad times we had that one time we lived apart.

Best day ever!

Love, Brax