Maybe it's much too early in the game
Aah, but I thought I'd ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?
Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve
Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
Aah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance:
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?
Monday, December 31, 2007
Ten things I did today:
1. took a shower
2. organized my music playlist
3. uploaded some more of my photos to my Picasa Web Album
4. did three loads of laundry
5. cleaned the bathroom
6. tidied up my apartment
7. made a grilled cheese sandwich & some tomato soup for lunch
8. took out the garbage to the dumpster
9. packaged the pork, beef & chicken i bought yesterday into proper serving sizes & then into the freezer
10. put away some of my Christmas gifts
Nine people I talked with today:
1. my brother
4. and that's it. LOL! for now anyway.
Eight things I was grateful for today:
1. that my cold is almost gone, i can finally breathe again & i don't seem to be getting a cough
2. that Christmas doesn't end on December 25th for me
3. that the Patriots have a bye week this coming weekend so i can take a little mental break
4. that today is a paid holiday for me
5. and so is tomorrow
6. that so many people spoiled me silly for Christmas
7. that my neighbors have been quiet
8. that my cupboards, refrigerator & freezer are so full, i had to really think about what i want for dinner
Seven things I ate today:
1. a maple star cookie
2. a bowl of tomato soup
3. grilled cheese sandwich
5. cranberry juice
6. apple cider
7. a piece of chocolate
Six things I said today:
1. i can't believe i spent $7.50 to do three loads of laundry today
2. i feel better, thank you
3. OMG Wednesday's low is predicted to be 25*!!
4. is it baseball season yet?
5. (singing) Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good...
6. did i just see a little chocolate leftover from *Easter* in my pantry?!
Five things I should have done today that I didn’t get to yet:
1. wash my dishes from lunch
2. put away my clean laundry
3. put away my suitcases
4. answer some email
5. catch up on blogs from being away (you can see i have real pressing things on my to-do list today, huh? LOL! i was very productive already though, if you look at the ten things i did today though!)
Four things said to me today:
1. do you suppose he's eating his heart out? (about one of the fantasy football leagues i am in)
2. what are you doing tonight?
3. are your neighbors being quiet now?
4. you people do more laundry than anyone i know. (totally unwarranted! i haven't done laundry in two weeks!)
Three things that shocked me today:
1. it rained!
2. $7.50 on three loads of laundry. ::shaking my head::
3. i knew we had a cold front moving through tomorrow night, but a low of 25*?!
Two things that I’ve GOT to do tomorrow:
One thing I want to remember about this day:
how pretty my tree looks all lit up. it won't be up for much longer now. =(
it was just an avulsion...
I have to hand it to the offense, though, the comeback in the ninth inning may have been the only thing that could have distracted me from rocking like Francona, muttering not a blister, not a blister, not a blister for the next four days.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
(photo from Yahoo! Sports)
undefeated is meaningless if we don't get another ring.
but what an awesome time to be a Boston sports fan!
good things about last night
** Don Shula didn't get to pop the cork on that bottle of champagne
** 16-0 baby!!
** run defense springs to life
** took a little bit to get it started but there is, in fact, a running game for New England
** the Patriots had to work back from their biggest deficit of the season to get the victory but they did it
** that deficit was twelve points
** single season touchdown record for a QB is now owned by Tom Brady
** single season touchdown record for a WR is now owned by Randy Moss
** Wes Welker was my favorite acquisition for this season
** Junior Seau is still my favorite from last season
** Bruschi, Vrabel & Faulk are my favorite veteran Patriots
** no silly flags thrown on Matt Light
** all AFC roads to the Super Bowl must pass through Foxboro
bad things about last night
** didn't put nearly enough pressure on Eli for two & a half quarters
** we seemed to have traded pass defense for run defense for a while there which i find a bit troubling
** i wish Rodney Harrison could channel that anger into sacks & tackles as opposed to things that lead to big ugly penalties
** oh dear God, there are no more games we can lose...
By the way, I'm pretty sure that if they raced around the bases, Doug Mirabelli would lap Molina. The guy is so slow that time stands still when he runs.
(Touching All the Bases)
Why don't you stay
I'm up off my knees
I'm so tired of being lonely
You can't give me what I need
When she begs you not to go
There is one thing you should know
I don't have to live this way
Baby, why don't you stay
Saturday, December 29, 2007
** how is it possible for one head to produce so much snot? where does it come from?? ugh. actually, i do not feel that terrible. i am just really *really* over blowing my nose.
** ya know what i don't get? why Citizen uses Eli Manning in its Echo Drive watch commercials. they tout him as "unstoppable." ummm... have they actually ever watched him play?
** there is this law when a girl is applying her make up. it states that if she is going to sneeze, it will be immediately after she finishes applying mascara. =P
** proof that life is not fair: not only did i miss seeing Mike Lowell as Grand Marshal at Magic Kingdom but apparently the Cap'n was there on Thursday. and i was off work. had i known, i would have gone, even exhausted, jet-lagged & fighting a cold.
** while i am ecstatic that the NFL will not be limiting the Patriots-Giants game to only the NFL Network (though i would most definitely be camped out in some sports bar tonight if that was the way it stayed), i am confused by the sudden overkill. we went from putting it on a channel that many people don't get to simulcasting it on *both* CBS and NBC?? i am confused. why *two* national networks?
** it always amazes me that my brother & i get along so well now, considering we spent most of our formative years alternately getting along & being at each other's throats. i like to think Gram looks down on us chatting online for over an hour & smiles, perhaps with a bit of "i told you so."
wow, this seems ages ago... 44 days til pitchers & catchers report. ::sigh::
Tragically, it turned out Mike Lowell was a relatively serious casualty in the beanball war, leaving the game after a fastball to the forearm. ("They broke our Lowell!" shrieked Amy.)
(Cursed to First)
Marianne actually did this last year, but i was away for Christmas & couldn't play along in a timely fashion so i saved it for this Christmas.
the idea is to Google the word Christmas followed by the year of your birth & see what kinds of images you can pull up.
i thought these Christmas stamps from New Zealand were pretty cool. i tried to find some from the USA but couldn't seem to find a single one. hmmm...
i thought *this* was especially cool! Disney used to publish a magazine four times a year & this was the cover for Winter 1976.
this was the "Baby's First Christmas" ornament that Hallmark issued for 1976. i actually had this ornament on our tree when i was growing up! not sure if my father still has it or not though...
this was the Christmas supplement for the London News in 1976.
and last but not least, the 1976 Sears Wish Book!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son... (1 John 4:10)
so, here i sit in Houston's airport, composing blog entries with pen & paper, and wishing i had a laptop with a wireless internet connection. i've spent the last hour or so flipping through the December issues of the magazines i subscribe to, seeing gorgeous photos of outdoor holiday decorating ideas -- evergreen & luminaries surrounded by drifts of snow -- and even though i know from years of experience how cold that makes it, i can't help but to wish i could recreate these snow-covered Winter Wonderland scenes. these are the visual associations i have with being "really Christmas."
i feel nostalgic for the things i can't have living in Florida. things like wishing for the magic of a white Christmas, or waking to find the whole world edged in delicate frost. i'm not foolish enough to believe i could tolerate the cold Winter air anymore, at least not without complaint. (if we're being honest, i am reaching for a sweater when the temperature drops below 65 now.) but this time of year often sends us on a journey, revisiting our childhoods and the memories that remain precious to us, long after they have become part of our histories and no longer our present. we grow up. we move forward with our lives, carrying pieces of our treasured traditions with us, weaving them with those we make for ourselves.
we say we love certain aspects of the Christmas season. we find gifts for our loved ones, wrap them with colorful paper & ribbons. we retell the stories of the First Christmas and of Santa Claus, filling our children's eyes & faces with wonder & excitement, transported back to our own childhoods in that same moment. somehow, though the whole spirit of Christmas is to be one of love, i feel like it's so easy to miss the real Love that is at the very core of Christmas. the reason for all of this... *stuff*. we're not supposed to buy & wrap gifts just because we love someone. they are supposed to be reminders. reminders of that one gift of Love we were given on that First Christmas:
A gift of love was given to the world so long ago
Lying in a manger, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes
Now every year, we celebrate and thank the Lord above
And give to one another, our little gifts of love
unless you really make yourself look past all the commercialism, it's so easy to get caught up in the materialistic attributes of Christmas. and that was never the point or purpose. it's not about budgets & lists & quantity. these gifts we exchange are supposed to be reminders to us of the gift we were given, the gift that is at the center of Christmas: one little baby.
so though i miss the snow-covered wonderland, that doesn't make Christmas any less. none of it does. the only awe & amazement i need to feel, the only gift there truly *must* be, is to be reminded that God, made man, out of love beyond my understanding, came to earth as a tiny helpless baby, for me. without *that* -- and that alone -- there is no Christmas.
Joyful and triumphant,
Come ye, O come yes to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord
("O Come, All Ye Faithful," Music: John Francis Wade, 1743.
Words: translation by Frederick Oakely.)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
** i know there were (really incredibly) long lines for security at the airport, but for someone to visit my country, and then proclaim that they "hate this country" while being forced to wait in line really rubs me the wrong way. i am sure no one forced that woman to come here & spend time in my (yes, my! LOL) Happiest Place on Earth, never mind travel during the holidays, but you know what? if you hate it, please don't come back.
Friday, December 21, 2007
i'll be spending Christmas on the West Coast. i should be able to post a little while i am there, but just in case...
Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of Yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10)
Wednesday evening's Advent service was amazing. there were these strings of white Christmas lights hanging from the rafters that looked like the could have been snow falling or stars. the whole church was dark, except for those lights and about a hundred candles. it was breathtaking. instead of the pastor offering up intercessions during the prayer, we kept the church completely silent, except for just a soft piano solo, and we all went up to the front, in a line, to light tea lights from one of the other candles and placed them on a table while we offered up our own personal silent prayers. seeing all those little candles glowing really gives you a visual reminder that while our prayers may sometimes seem small & insignificant, when you gather them all up, they are more powerful than we may think. part of the sermon was about peace. and how it's very easy to find peace when we are in remote seclusion. like living in a rural area, on a large piece of proprty, nestled under trees, against a mountain, by a lake. sometimes it can seem that we are only able to find peace when we retreat to church, especially this time of year. but we should also be able to find peace right in the middle of the world's rush & roar. in the middle of the crowds of shoppers & the traffic. as we run a multitude of errands & attend Christmas parties & decorate our homes & wrap our gifts. the very Gift we are celebrating is the source of the peace we should have.
i find it interesting how our hope in God's promise to send a Savior brings us peace. and in that peace, we find joy because of the wonderful gift we've received.
i left church feeling relaxed & peaceful, but also so full of Christmas spirit. it was almost impossible not to be. it's in allowing yourself to find the peace surrounding Christmas that you are finally able to experience the joy without being harried & frazzled.
and you see, *this* is why i love Advent. it truly does prepare us, step by step, to truly focus & realign ourselves with the reasons this holiday is such a wonderful time of the year. the details lose so much meaning when they are kept as singular entities. it's not just the decorations & the gifts & the parties & the carols, but in constantly reminding ourselves *why* we do those things, what they mean, what they are to remind us of.
and if *that* doesn't make you want to break out in songs of joy like the angels sang, i don't know what does!
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Words & Music: Traditional English)
when it rains off & on all night, but stops just about the time the sun starts to come up, and then sun peeks over the breaking clouds to shine down on the wet world, everything looks so freshly washed & refreshed, bathed in warm morning light. it's absolutely beautiful.
and then the sun glares off some standing water & nearly blinds you. =P
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
** i heard on the radio this morning that Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister has announced that she is pregnant. they said the father is her "long time boyfriend." i ask you this: exactly how "long time" can this boyfriend be when she's only sixteen???
** i keep hearing this commercial on the radio as i drive to & from work or while i run errands. it keeps telling me that i can get all my holiday shopping done at AutoZone. i'm thinking... not so much.
** why is it that when i turn on the radio in my car, i hear the same five Christmas songs on the radio? and why does one of them have to be The Twelve Days of Christmas? i *hate* that song.
** i really should be working right now. but i spent most of the day editing our revised Employee Handbook. my brain is the consistency of applesauce. and i have the attention span of a two-year-old after eating a bag of candy. not the energy of one though.
** i could really go for a nap after work but i've just got too much stuff to do. =/
this girlie is the first *real* friend i made as an adult.
this girlie is one of the best mommies i have ever seen.
this girlie makes me laugh so hard.
this girlie makes some of the most beautiful babies ever.
this girlie got me through a very tough time when i questioned a lot of things about my life.
this girlie understands the value of sharing two pieces of cake & calling it lunch.
this girlie is so much like me that it's scary sometimes.
this girlie & i joke about how bad we are at finding *good* guys (OMG... you don't even want to know some of our history & God bless the few of you that do...)
this girlie & i can not talk for two months and the next phone conversation is like we just hung out yesterday.
last night, my phone rang.
and this girlie was on the other end.
she called to tell me that she just got engaged.
i have never heard her sound so happy.
i love this girlie with all my heart and she *so* deserves happiness.
and to be loved.
and to be treated well.
i can't wait to see what a beautiful bride you will be.
and give you a great big hug.
and see your sparkly.
and laugh with you on your wedding day.
i promised, like a week ago already (where is the time going??), to post some of my favorite photos from Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. i bet most of you forgot. or were fine waiting. or think i need some sort of Disney 12-Step Program. but i *know* that Debi will remember that & because she is so sweet to get excited every time i share some WDW photos, i am posting them for her, even if no one else gives a flip. ;-)
the Christmas tree in Town Square on Main Street
and looking alllllll the way up to the top...
from the parade
this one is for Lisa because i love her sooooo much. ;-) i just couldn't resist posting this one. LOL!
my view for the fireworks
it's kind of difficult to tell, unfortunately, but while they had one of the Santa-related Christmas songs playing during the fireworks -- i can't remember if it was "Here Comes Santa Claus" or "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" -- they lit up the Castel to look like a Santa hat, with white lights on the base & the very top spire and red on the rest. during "O Christmas Tree," the Castle was green with stars projected at it (that photo came out horribly when someone walked right through it). and then they made snowflakes fall on it after that.
looking back up Main Street from Town Square, with everything decorated, and the Castle peeking through
the entrance to Magic Kingdom, looking past the Christmas tree, all the way Main Street to the Castle
this is my mantra (and i should not need to tell you who this refers to). my change of heart regarding Julian between 2006 and 2007 will *not* be repeated.
I will continue not to like him so long as he continues not to be Alex Gonzalez.
Monday, December 17, 2007
His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
i find it somewhat ironic that this is the Advent post i didn't get to on time. it seems this time of year is anything but peaceful, what with all the running around, the extra holiday activities, the preparations. we all seem to have these lists of things to do & places to go that exceeds the amount of time available between Thanksgiving and Christmas. we are pulled in a hundred different directions. we are scattered & busy & rushing. our days our hectic, our nights full. the *last* thing we think of is peace.
i have to think that the town of Bethlehem, just before the birth of Jesus, was a lot like that. the census was bringing even more people to what, i imagine, was already a busy city. all the additional travelers would have added to the already busy city atmosphere. Bethlehem was bustling. noisy. bursting at the seams. so much so that the inns were full. absolutely packed to the rafters. things were certainly not peaceful.
once Bethlehem settled down for the night, to sleep, resting for the next day, when the streets would again be full, things would have been still & peaceful. quiet. slumbering.
if you've ever been up in the middle of the night, by yourself, you know what i am picturing. utter silence. that stillness that happens in the wee hours of morning when the world sleeps. that is about the most peaceful time i can think of.
as Bethlehem lay sleeping, it missed the world changing forever. all that hustle & bustle wore out all those people, and they were not awake when the Christ child entered the world. they missed it.
it made me think about how we rush around before Christmas. we run ourselves ragged with activity. and if we're not careful, we'll miss it too. maybe not the actual day, but the *meaning* of it all. the "why" we celebrate can get lost in the details & the lists & the places we "have" to be. we run around & we miss those moments of true peace.
i was so happy when i finally spent Saturday evening, just laying on my couch, looking at my Christmas tree, with all the other lights off. we have to make time to experience that elusive peace that can so easily get lost in the shuffle. i'm telling you, is there anything in this world more peaceful than laying on your couch, looking at your version of this, and thinking about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place?
and when you take the time to truly enjoy this season, to sit down & just soak in the beauty around you, isn't that when you really feel peaceful?
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
("O Little Town of Bethlehem," Words: Phillips Brooks, 1867.
Music: Lewis H. Redner, 1868.)
He's just very dashing, that Mike Lowell.
ok, so a while ago, Blogger had removed the option for blog visitors who don't use Blogger to link to their own blogs when they left a comment. i was pretty sad, since i think when someone comments, they should be able to link to their own blog. well, now, if you have Typepad or WordPress (and a couple others), you can sign in for leaving comments with (i believe) your blog id!! when you leave comments, the place where it says to sign in with your Blogger/Google account is now a drop-down menu!! if you open up that little menu, you can see the options for signing in with your own blog info & then the link to your blog will work again!
** egad, have i been busy! between year-end projects at work & all the running around that coincides with the holidays, i feel like i haven't sat down since i got off the plane after Thanksgiving. (no, driving around does not count.)
** i love the commercials Garmin has out for Christmastime, set to the tune of Carol of the Bells! whoever wrote those jingles did an awesome job.
** you know what i wonder about? how did we survive childhood with lunches in brown paper bags or in lunchboxes without icepacks? the way we worry about food spoilage these days, this is just another reason i marvel at how humans have survived. ;-)
** i want to know in what world it is not considered cruel & unusual punishment that not only were my still undefeated Patriots *not* televised locally yesterday (don't *even* get me started about the last game of the season being on the NFL Network -- potentially record-breaking game & only limited viewing) but my choices for football yesterday were as follows: the Bucs (the only 1pm game for me since the Bucs have a contract stating no other game can be shown in our viewing area while they are playing). at 4pm, i could choose between the Colts or Joe Buck. and then of course there was John Madden for Sunday Night Football. it's a wonder i have *any* shred of sanity left at all.
** speaking of John Madden. i know he has a habit of saying things that really could go without saying but when talking about the next play an offense is going to make, informing us that "they're either going to throw the ball or run it" about takes the cake. gee, John, ya think?? ::slaps forehead::
** i was very happy that the Redskins won their game yesterday. not only because they beat the Lesser Manning Spawn, but because that team really needed *something* to go well.
** hooray for Green Bay & New England wins!
** 56 days til pitchers & catchers report. ::sigh::
** it just climbed up to 52* here today. it was 35* when i woke up this morning. this is just a *tad* too chilly for Florida, if you ask me. it's very good snuggling up on the couch weather though!
** in my travels over the weekend, i managed to find a pretty nice 7.5-foot pre-lit tree at Target, on clearance for $45. i am not, as a rule, a fan of artificial trees, but real ones are outrageously expensive in Florida. so, i jumped on it. now i have a tree (photos to follow in the next post) & it's very pretty. it makes me happy.
** in case you were wondering, Walmart is out of ornament hangers. so is Home Depot. save yourself some time & just go to Walgreens.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
so. what am i doing blogging at this hour?
well. i woke up after having a really bad dream. if i have a bad enough dream, i get out of bed & do something to break the cycle. so i got up & started checking some random blogs i enjoy.
i saw something that made me want to check it out for myself, so i Blingo-ed it.
people. you see that little blue button over on the right sidebar there? the one right under my photo?
CLICK ON IT.
why? well, if you don't know the concept of Blingo, it works like any other search engine. BUT you can win random prizes just by searching. Amazon.com gift certificates. Fandango movie tickets. all sorts of little fun things. they also have a special daily prize each day. it doesn't cost you anything. you don't get any spam or email from them at all. all you do is create a profile & sign in, then search just like you do when you use any other search engine. if you get selected, you will know it because you get a very special screen that tells you that you won. it's easy. it's free. and you might win something. what's not to like? even if you don't win anything, you *might* -- and that's not something your usual search engine can say, right?
i signed up back in May. i've never won anything from Blingo, but i still search using it, because there's always a chance.
the short of it: i just searched something completely random & won my choice of a brand new Dell computer or $750 cash. (i took the cash, in case you were wondering. i can pick out my own computer & have more control over what i'm getting, if the need arises, but my computer is working just fine right now.) and the cool part? if someone refers you & you win something, they win it too! (which is why you need to click my blue button over there so i will be listed as the person who invited you! LOL!)
go on. click that blue button & get yourself signed up.
then Blingo away people.
Friday, December 14, 2007
oh how JFL makes me miss the beauty that is A-Gon's defense at short stop...
Last year, lots of time was spent discussing Alex Gonzalez’s defense…and indeed, in the several decades I’ve been watching Red Sox baseball, I’d never seen a shortstop make so many challenging plays look effortless. (I’m not the most trained viewer, but at times Gonzalez’s grace reminded me a bit of the beauty that was Carlos Beltran when he patrolled center field for the Royals.) A-Gon was, in the field, a sort of anti-Jeter, who should get some kind of lifetime award for making routine plays looking insanely difficult.
(Feeding the Monster)
by the way. 59 days til pitchers & catchers report, for those of you also suffering Sox withdrawals.
that would be the sound of Dawn's head exploding due to excessive application of year-end projects being greater than the amount of time remaining in which to complete them.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The List (the infamous Mitchell Report, which you've probably heard of by now, even if you don't follow sports) comes out today.
on one hand, i'm ready for it just to be out in the open so we can stop the rumor mill already. on the other, i feel kind of sick, having seen an uncomfirmed list of names.
names of players, of *Sox*, both past & present, who are near & dear to my heart. none of the names i saw would shock me all that much when i take the facts i know into account. i could see how it would be true -- and why the names i saw would have done it, whether to come back faster from an injury or to play through one. in fact, some i already suspect on my own. i guess we'll know for sure in under an hour...
if it's real, i will just say this: i love my boys just the same. but it makes me very very sad.
3:00pm: whew. scrolled through the entire 400+ page document. no Trot. no Tek. (the two names i had heard come up, that due to injury, i feared might come up.) no one of extreme importance to me. relief does not even begin to describe it...
i know it's rapidly becoming a case of the pot (Boston) calling the kettle (NY) black, but with the recent contracts signed for Slappy, Posada & Mo (and would you be shocked if Rogah ends up in the Bronx again at another outrageous dollar amount? yeah, neither would i.), all at ridiculous time lengths & prices for players those ages, this still makes me
Georgie Porgie's Traveling Gazillionaires
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
i don't think it's safe to laugh at The Evil Empire, even in the off-season, but remember when no one on the Yankees could hit last year, except for Slappy?
Line O The Day: George King, Post: " ... a band of Yankee hitters who can't hit sand if they fell off a camel."
(The Joy of Sox)
ok, on Sunday, i wore this button-down shirt to church. the last time i had worn it, it fit just fine, but on Sunday, the sleeves felt too short. to the point that i kept tugging them down. Sunday afternoon, i did my laundry & this shirt was washed.
i just realized i am wearing that same shirt again today. and the sleeves are fine.
were my arms like a half-inch longer on Sunday or something??
**i really hate when people litter. i don't mean when a piece of paper or a wrapper drops to the ground without being noticed. i am sure i may have unintentionally & unknowingly had that happen to me at some point. what i am talking about are people who roll down their car windows while driving down the road & let go of a handful of fast food napkins. WTH. >=[
**if you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that one of the things i miss most about living in New England is Autumn. i thought of another while i was driving home last night. i miss the way lights look at night in the snow. the way houses look all lit up at night with the warm light spilling out of the their windows onto the snowdrifts. the way Christmas lights on trees & bushes look when they glow through the snow that has fallen on them. the way traffic lights shine out red & green on the softly falling snow. something so peaceful about that...
**ok, exactly how helpless do you have to be to ask someone else to put labels (the labels *they* already had to make for you, no less) onto the file folders? seriously.
**i am addicted to Reese's Peanut Butter Trees. just in case you were wondering.
**i went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party last night. i have now been to all three "hard ticket special events" that WDW offers. my assessment? the Pirates & Princesses Party has the best fireworks i have ever seen, no contest -- but the atmosphere is only so-so & the parade is just ok. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party has the best atmosphere by far, the parade is pretty good & so are the fireworks -- plus the trick-or-treating stops make it great if you bring kids! last night's party: mobbed to the point that you could barely walk. the parade was good but i can see the exact same parade if i go during the day one of the days surrounding Christmas. the fireworks were actually just... eh. the atmosphere was good, but that alone would not justify the price of admission for me. i am glad i went once. photos to follow...
**you wanna talk about good use of time? in order to get good seats for a Disney parade, especially on a sold out night event, you have to stake out your spot about an hour in advance. so i collected my complimentary cup of hot chocolate & settled down to wait. while i sat there, i broke out my Christmas cards & got them all signed & addressed! ha!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
on Saturday, i met up with Michelle to check out the Spectacle of Dancing Lights at The Park With the Hat (MGM Studios or Disney Studios or whatever the heck they are calling it these days -- hence the nickname Michelle & i have given this park). it always amazes me to see the million lights all twinkling & shining.
Monday, December 10, 2007
**for some reason, i had a random flash of Christmas at my grandparents' house. they would put candles in their windows & used blue bulbs in them. it always looked so peaceful from the street.
**Reese's Peanut Butter Trees are very yummy. so are Candy Cane Kisses. and the bag of Hershey's Miniatures that they have out in mint variations.
**i am awaiting only two more deliveries on Christmas gifts i have ordered! the tracking looks like they might both be here tomorrow! then i will be busy wrapping them all up pretty & mailing them out to their destinations on Saturday.
**whether they are delivered to my post office box or my email inbox, photos of my friends' babies never ever fail to make my day.
Gail posted this over on her blog, so, since i am in terrible need of a break from all my year-end projects here at work, i am playing along.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
if the gift is at all wrappable, paper.
2. Real tree or artificial?
real, if it's up to me!
3. When do you put up the tree?
not til the beginning of Advent.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Epiphany, if it stays alive that long...
5. Do you like eggnog?
::shudder:: no thanks.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
oh wow... i don't know that i had a favorite. i always loved all my gifts.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
several! i have a Precious Moments one. and a Hallmark miniatures one. and i believe i have one more as well...
8. Hardest person to buy for?
this year? it was Baby Girl. my usual plan for my god daughter was thwarted by the fact that WDW did not have *any* cute clothes in her size, which has never happened to me before. i just can't see a three-and-a-half year old in "High School Musical" clothes though!
9. Easiest person to buy for?
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
i can't remember what it was, exactly. i know it was a Secret Santa gift from work, back when i lived in Connecticut. whoever it was swung & missed.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
email Christmas cards?? wow... and i feel guilty that i didn't (technically) *make* my cards this year...
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
It’s a Wonderful Life, for an actual movie. but i really prefer the Christmas kids' specials on tv: Charlie Brown Christmas. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? i shop all year. you never know when you'll make the perfect discovery!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
mmmm... gingerbread men.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
i like colored lights, because that's what we had growing up. but no flashing or blinking. and i don't like the pink lights. i like just red-blue-green-yellow. my favorite thing is seeing someone's house decorated (in tasteful moderation please!) with white lights & a colorfully lit tree in their window.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
O Little Town of Bethlehem.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
i travelled last year. and i am this year as well.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
of course i can!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
we used to just open one on Christmas Eve, then spend Christmas morning opening gifts at home, before heading up to my grandparents' for still more gifts that afternoon. then we started celebrating Christmas Eve at Gram & Gramp's, so we would open our gifts from them on Christmas Eve, and then our gifts at home on Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
23. What I love most about Christmas?
*truly* celebrating Christmas.
after two completely frustrating nailbiters, i have to thank Anthony Smith (who?) for lighting the spark under the powder keg with his guarantee of a Pittsburgh victory. Bill Belichick's post-game thoughts on Smith's guarantee? “We’ve played a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you that.”
it was close in the first half. the two teams actually seemed pretty evenly matched. and as much as i like "He's Not a Coach Anymore" Cowher, i have to admit i was starting to raise an eyebrow at all his going on & on about "we" are going to do this and "we" look good doing that. while he was on the air during the halftime broadcast. he knows he's not part of the "we" anymore, right?
but what he daydreamed about during halftime turned out to be nothing more than, well, exactly that: daydreams. the Patriots came out & pretty much leveled the Steelers during the second half. Pittsburgh never scored again after leaving the field at the end of the second quarter.
34-17, New England.
13-0 for the season.
anyone else with a guarantee? i wouldn't mind seeing the Patrtios got into the last three games just as fired up.
someone on the Jets have some trash to talk, maybe?
perhaps someone on the Dolphins wants to declare their sole win for the season will take place in New England?
Eli have some confidence he'd like to share with us about what will happen Week 17?
don't misunderstand. i'm not at all being cocky. i just know that good things happen with the Patriots get angry. they save it for the field & then spend 60 minutes ramming those words down the throat of their opponent. channeled anger has served them well.
three games left in the regular season. and somehow, i would be shocked if we don't see the starters out there for the vast majority of remaining 180 minutes.
this really drives home the magnitude of a Santana acquisition in Boston, no? (but i am still not willing to give up Ellsbury for it.)
As an NL exec told Jayson Stark, a rotation that consisted of Beckett, Dice-K, and Santana, to say nothing of Schilling and Clay “Oh No-No You Don’t” Buchholz, “might just be the best team in the history of the frigging universe.” It would also complicate Tito’s job. Seriously: which of these guys do you sit down to tell he’s going to be a fifth starter?
(Feeding the Monster)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Friday Fill-in #48
1. I love the weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas.
2. multi-colored lights in red, green, yellow & blue (no pink please!) is/are my favorite color(s) for the Christmas tree lights.
3. The candles in the window have white bulbs.
4. It's a Wonderful Life is one of my most favorite Christmas movies.
5. My favorite Christmas lyric(s) is/are the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem".
6. I'm dreaming of a cool front finally coming to Florida.
7. And as for the weekend,
tonight I'm Friday night I was looking forward to a glass of wine & getting away from the troll , tomorrow my plans include Saturday my plans included a haircut & hanging out with Michelle at WDW to see the Spectacle of Dancing Lights at The Park With the Hat and Sunday, I want to today, I wanted to see the Patriots beat the Steelers!
Friday Fun: The Four Edition
1. the last 4 books you have read?
The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers. The Imagineering Field Guide to Animal Kingdom. Return of the King (currently reading).
2. the last 4 websites you have visited?
Bloglines. Blogger. Gmail. Yahoo Fantasy Football.
3. 4 favorite items of clothing?
my Trot Nixon jersey. my Mike Lowell jersey. my favorite pair of jeans. my new red & white striped sweater.
4. 4 favorite things to eat?
ice cream. warm chocolate chip cookies. mashed potatoes with gravy. a really good cheeseburger.
5. 4 favorite movies?
Ocean's Eleven. Fever Pitch. Serendipity. Hitch.
6. 4 favorite books?
"Couplehood" (Paul Reiser). "Phantom" (Susan Kay). hmmm... that's all i can think of right now...
7. 4 favorite TV shows?
Grey's Anatomy. Samantha Who? Private Practice. Men in Trees.
8. 4 things you ate yesterday?
chocolate chip cookie. slice of pizza. granola bar. ravioli.
9. 4 things you need to do today?
how about four things that were on my to-do list for today: church. grocery shopping. laundry. tidy up my apartment.
10. 4 gifts you want during the holiday season?
i don't know that i particularly have anything i want so badly i would actually ask for it. i have a wish list over there in the right sidebar that has random items i've found that i like.
I say ... and you think ... ?
Master :: of ceremonies
Tour :: band
Input :: collaboration
Downtown :: Disney
Pricey :: airfare
Acceptable :: tolerable
Terrace :: patio
Sunday :: church
Payoff :: buy my silence
Jack and Jill :: went up a hill
Friday, December 7, 2007
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
i will not kill him. orange jumpsuits are not flattering.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
saw this on Jenny's Journal a while back. tucked it away for later inspiration...
First Best Pal: Heather -- we met when we were three!
First Hamster: never had one.
First Piercing: ears -- i had them done when i was 19. and that's the only piercing thanks.
First Crush: Josh Miller. second grade.
First CD: i can't remember... i am sure it was Christmas music though!
First Car: black 98 Nissan Altima -- leased brand new, all by myself.
First Love: the first time i "loved" was Dan Bernier.
First Stuffed Animal: it was a bear... but that's all i remember.
First Teacher: not counting nursery school, it was Mrs Koschmann. kindergarten.
First Watch: it had a red leather band... maybe it was Strawberry Shortcake?
Last Beverage: water
Last Vehicle Ride: to the post office, and on an errand, both on my way home from work this afternoon.
Last Movie Seen: part of Elf.
Last Phone Call: Heather!
Last CD Played: a mix cd in the car that i switch to when i don't like anything on the radio.
Last Bubble Bath: can't take bubble baths.
Last Time You Cried: a couple of weeks ago
Last Person who gave you a hug: it's been too long since the last one...
Last Time you rang your mum/dad/guardian: i called my Dad in August...
EIGHT HAVE YOU EVERS
Have you ever dated one of your best friends: no
Have you ever been arrested: heck no!
Have you ever skinny dipped: nope.
Have you ever been on TV: not that i am aware of...
Have you ever kissed someone and then regretted it: OMG yes.
Have you ever had a dream about someone you knew: of course
Have you ever been in love: absolutely
Have you ever wanted to slap/punch a friend: no, i am not a physically violent person.
SEVEN THINGS YOU'RE WEARING
1. pj pants
2. tank top
5. that would be all...
SIX THINGS YOU'VE DONE TODAY
(in no particular order)
1. hand-wrote a message, signed, stamped & applied return address labels for 100 Christmas cards for work.
2. watched tv
3. answered the phone
4. cooked ravioli for dinner
5. checked my email
6. lit a candle
FIVE FAVORITE THINGS
(in no particular order)
1. Disney World
2. visiting California
3. being snuggled up
4. holding babies
5. watching the Sox
hmmmm... no four...
1. Eat or drink: eat
2. Blonde or brunette: brunette
3. Pink or black: black
TWO THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE
1. see a Red Sox World Series game, live.
2. visit all the Disney parks.
ALL PARTS OF ONE DAWN =)
Dustin, when not writing letters to Santa asking to be three inches taller, is batting over .300 and becoming everybody's favorite little brother. Tell me you couldn't see him setting up a lemonade stand right in the basepath between first and second? Because I totally could.
i love when opposing teams spend the week before they play us running their mouths.
"People keep asking me if we're ready for the Patriots," [DB Anthonty] Smith said. "They should be asking if they're ready for us." ... "We're going to win," Smith said. "Yeah, I can guarantee a win...."
as i recall, this may have happened a time or two in the past. and i am pretty sure the team with "the promises" didn't end up living up to their end of "the deal." so without being cocky about it, the more Anthony Smith stands by his guarantee, the more the past gives me a little bit of hope that New England could actually move one more small step forward in this already amazing season.
anyone else on the Steelers have something to add?
because i am fairly certain that if we've learned anything this season, it's that the Patriots thrive on reasons to get fired up & play games that result in accusations of running up the score.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
all right. that is enough.
two sloppy games in a row. i know they still managed to win, but i hope like hell that's out of their system now. i know every good team will suffer through a period when they struggle, and that the fans have been very spoiled by the string of high-scoring victories. the Patriots were lucky to come out of both those games without a loss.
i can't be sure, but i think i stopped breathing for about a half hour as the Patriots (finally!) put together a scoring drive. and my heart may have stopped too, when Kyle Boller threw that bomb down the field & it got caught just outside the endzone. the longest second of my life was waiting for that clock to click to zeros.
they looked *bad* though. the offensive line seems to have forgotten how to protect Brady. the receivers are suddenly bouncing balls off their chests. the defense is watching the opponent basically walk past them for first down after first down. but in the end, it was the Ravens who lost the game, not the Patriots winning it. (and not the refs "stealing" the game either.) how do you blame the referees for penalizing a player for
having a tantrum unsportsmanlike conduct by throwing the penalty flag into the stands. "almost beaten" or "barely squeaked out a win" or whatever you want to call it, the Patriots still managed to pull that win off after playing for the whole sixty minutes -- although i don't know that the first 52 minutes could really be counted as *playing*. whether or not the Patriots got "breaks" though is irrelevant, because isn't it the other team's job to make sure they don't? you don't give up penalty yards on fourth downs that allow for a second attempt. you don't allow multiple fourth-down conversions. oh & when your coaching staff calls a time out? that's no one's doing but their own. the Patriots & the refs are not responsible for that.
so. as it stands, New England remains undefeated. and apparently, also with a run-defense that does not appear for the first three-and-a-half quarters of the game. it was nice that they finally stopped the run with eight minutes remaining in the game. ::rolls eyes::
all i know is that the Patriots better start playing again like they mean it. exciting though it is to watch them on their mission for perfection, it would really stink if they start trending in this direction with only four games left that won't result in sudden-death elimination... plus, i don't think it's healthy for me to stop breathing.
if you pay any attention whatsoever to sports news, you've heard all the Johan Santana talk. no way the sports media has let you miss it. for my two cents, i would prefer the Twins focus on the trade that involves Lester-Coco & the minor leaguers, as opposed to the one that includes Ellsbury & the minor leaguers. i do like Lester, but if given the choice between the two, i would absolutely hold onto Ellsbury, after the spark he provided for Boston coming down the stretch & into the post season. and i have not forgotten that i was ok with Lester going to the Rangers instead of Kason Gabbard at the trade deadline. i love Coco's all out defense, but i feel bad watching him struggle offensively. i can't help but wonder if he wouldn't do better with a fresh start somewhere else. and you'd have to be insane not to pick Santana over Lester. i am hoping that if this is going to happen, that the fact the Twins & Sox exchanged medical information on Santana & Lester means they are leaning in the four-man deal over the three-man one. but i would be ok with the Twins just opting to keep him after all. or trading him elsewhere. as long as elsewhere is not the Bronx.
but in other interesting baseball news, i hear the Orioles are shopping Bedard around. i really like Bedard. that intrigues me even more than Santana, i think. Santana is going to tie up a lot of money for quite a few years, where Bedard won't command *that* kind of commitment. looks like he might end up in Toronto though. i'm ok with that. just not to New York, because i hate when players i like from non-Boston teams end up in pinstripes.
and just tonight, i read that the Rays are possibly trying to acquire my Trot! doesn't make me more of a fan, but that means i could see Trot play locally!
the baseball offseason is never boring. especially in Boston. if we aren't having a Manny drama, then we're trying to acquire a hundred million dollar pitcher from Japan & courting fragile right fielders. or hot & heavy in the negotiations for a two-time Cy Young Award winner. or going insane, hoping our classy third baseman will be given a new contract to stay where he's loved best.
it's not enough though. man, do i miss my boys.
69 days til pitchers & catchers report. in case you're counting too.
1. What two things do you “have” to wear when it is chilly/cold outside?
warm socks & a sweater
2. What are two good things about wintry weather?
i'm going to have to refer back to when i lived in Connecticut to answer this one. we don't really get Winter here in Florida. but wintry weather back in New England is beautiful to look at & good for being snuggly.
3. What two things do you really dislike about wintry weather?
stepping unexpectedly into slush puddles so it comes pouring into your shoe & driving on ice.
4. On average, how cold does it get in your city/town and how long does the cold weather last?
here in Florida it gets down into the lower s40s & 30s for a few weeks. we'll probably even get frost once or twice when it dips into the upper 20s. it feels colder than that down here for some reason though. i don't know if it's the extra humidity in the air or if it's just that we're used to it being so much warmer. it doesn't last long though. mid-January til the end of February at the most.
5. Would you rather be stuck at home because of a blizzard or flooding?
blizzard. it's cozy. outside looks so peaceful. i've been stuck at home because of a blizzard before. flooding does not sound fun at all.
1. Are you almost finished with your holiday shopping or you haven’t started yet?
i've started. i'm not quite done yet, but i do know exactly what i need to get.
2. What do the holidays mean to you? How does this affect how you celebrate the holidays?
being that i was raised Christian, i believe in the real reason we celebrate Christmas. we celebrate the birth of Christ. that means i go to Advent services & be sure to remember the story of The First Christmas & the gift i was given.
3. Are you going away for the holidays or staying home?
going to California to spend Christmas at my other home. =)
4. What two things do you like about this time of year?
midweek Advent services & the way that people can so much nicer to each other in the spirit of Christmas.
5. What two things do you dislike about this time of year?
the fact that commercialism has caused Christmas to arrive in the retail industry earlier every year & the way all the holiday stress can also bring out the worst in people as well as the best.
Forgetting all I'm lacking
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me
("Hanging By a Moment," Lifehouse)
Monday, December 3, 2007
yesterday started one of my two favorite times of the year. i have always loved Advent & Lent. i love the midweek evening church services, which are not as heavily attended, so they feel more peaceful & intimate. i love the extra thought these two seasons provoke, and the feeling of preparation that is deceptively the same for both -- the internal preparation that leads up to great joy.
the First Sunday of Advent focused on John the Baptist. the angle being: unexpected. at the point in the service when the sermon would normally begin, out of nowhere came the sound of the bagpipes playing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." i don't know if you've ever heard bagpipes in person, but not only are they a sound unlike any other, but they are *loud*. using that lead in, the pastor spoke about how John the Baptist was very unexpected. not just by his mother, Elizabeth, who was thought to be unable to bear children, but by the people to whom he later announced the coming Christ. he was an unusual man, proclaiming an unusual message.
that thought kept bouncing around in my head all day. unexpected. so much of the Christmas story revolves around the unexpected.
like Joseph. i'm sure he wasn't expecting that Mary would be pregnant before they were married. that the Child would not be his.
like the shepherds. i am almost certain those angels that appeared, shouting & praising & celebrating, were about the last thing they expected that night.
like the people of Israel. when they were promised a Savior to deliver them, i don't think they were envisioning a tiny baby, born to a girl, betrothed to a carpenter. i bet they expected trumpets & power & might, someone to deliver them from Rome. but not a helpless newborn.
and like Mary. i bet she didn't expect to be visited by an angel. or that she would be a virgin with child. or that she would be riding around on a donkey when she was close to being due. or that there would be no room at the inn, forcing her to give birth in a stable.
i'm going to take a bit of a detour for a moment, give a little background, if you will, but i'm going to come back to this theme of unexpected, if you'll just bear with me.
if you know me at all, or if you've read deeply enough here, you know that i am a big fan of traditional worship. i was raised in a traditional church, that worshipped out of a hymnal, followed an Order of Service, sang traditional hymns, and the most out of the ordinary instruments heard in church were the piano instead of the organ, and maybe a flute (actually, i was one of the two people playing, if that was the case) and a trumpet on very special days, like near Christmas or on Easter.
it should come as no surprise, then, that i am particularly partial to traditional Christmas music. the traditional Christmas carols are some of my very favorite. don't get me wrong, i like the "fun songs" too -- White Christmas (when not sung like a dying goat, Daniel) is one of my favorite secular Christmas songs -- but even then, the music i am most drawn to has been around for some time. listening to Christmas music on the radio, though, you tend to get a lot of newer, original songs along with the old favorites. a lot of them make me roll my eyes, being so traditional & all, but one really makes me stop to think, in regard to what i was saying about Mary, and the unexpected. the song, Mary, Did You Know, really seems to capture this very theme, with lyrics like: "This Child that you've delivered will soon deliver you." and "Did you know, that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God." and "Did you know, that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you're holding, is the great I AM." i'm sure Mary never dreamed that her firstborn child would be the Son of God.
two thousand years later, as Christmas approaches, we know what to expect. it is no surprise to us that Christmas morning will come. but still, an element of the unexpected exists. if you don't believe in the religious aspect of Christmas, then the unexpected lies only under your Christmas tree. but for those of us that celebrate Christmas in the true sense, our unexpected is even bigger. Advent prepares us for the coming celebration of Christ's birth, but also for a coming celebration that is far bigger... one for which the arrival is not known. and so we prepare our hearts for the unexpected with as much hope & excitement as we do for the celebration of each Christmas.
Their old familiar carols play.
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair, I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song,
Of Peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With Peace on earth, good will to men."
("I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," Words: Henry W. Longfellow, 1864.
Music: Waltham (Calkin), John B. Calkin, 1872)