Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Inside you time moves, and she don't fade away

Alrighty, I'm finally getting around to doing this. I figured that being home with a cold, I could at least put my time to good use. Soo much to write about!

So...Christmas parties. Matt and I both attended his office party and Carly and Eric's party. Both were really fun...I won holiday trivia, but then my team choked in the guessing game (I don't remember what it was called) and Matt ended up eeking out the lead. He won a santa hat (which he wore for the rest of the night) and a Starbucks gift card (which he promptly handed to me). We ended up taking home gift cards to Best Buy and iTunes in the gift exchange; Carly appropriately got the pi(e) plate, and I forget who ended up with the sudoku-a-day calendar we brought. Matt played video games downstairs while I watched A Mickey Christmas Carol and The Simpsons Holiday Special upstairs with Carly and other people. I liked it better than last year...it was fun getting really dressed up and everything. I also went to my lab's and department's holiday parties, which weren't as good, but hey, free food.

We went to my parents' on the 23rd and spent Christmas eve and Christmas morning with them. We went to Catholic mass (which I felt was an exercise in anthropology for me, haha) and then had stuffed shrimp for dinner. Christmas morning brunch was apple cinnamon french toast casserole, scrambled eggs, sausage and fruit salad...yum. Matt and I opened gifts from my family and half of the gifts to each other. He got me the iHome stereo to replace my old Aiwa system...it's really awesome! And I had no clue that he had bought it either. I also got a sweater and a black blazer, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the two Postsecret books and two books on digital photography, pearl earrings (I lost one this year that my parents gave me for graduation), a Borders gift card and some little stuff in my "santa bag" (mom couldn't find the stockings).

We left for BWI around 1:15...it was a little slow because of all the rain but we got there in plenty of time. However, all the outer economy lots were full, so we had to park in the hourly garage (which had fortunately been reduced from $20 max/day to $10). Our flight was a little bumpy during takeoff but otherwise uneventful. Matt's dad picked us up from the airport, and I thought we were doing Christmas round two that evening. We ended up doing it the next day, however. Matt gave me the bracelet I had asked for (a silver cuff with three raised daisies on the top, and it says "...and she lived happily ever after..." on the inside). I also got more Christmas money, a white purse filled with B&BW sweet pea stuff, two pairs of silver hoop earrings, Walk the Line, some little Christmas figurines (I jokingly pointed out later in the week that I have never needed to buy myself a single Christmas decoration or ornament), and money to pick out a bathrobe and slippers. We also did stockings here; mine included chocolate and Burt's Bees stuff. While we were down in SC, we had lunch with a friend of Matt's from high school, went out to dinner with his family at Olive Garden, and went with Julie to see Night at the Museum (which was a pretty good movie) and to one of her physical therapy sessions.

Our flight back to Maryland was overbooked, so we took off late because they had to find people who were willing to wait for the next flight (not us, we had a game to catch!) They also made us check carry-ons at the gate. Getting home from BWI was an experience...Ford's funeral procession + game at FedEx field = every major southbound highway backed up for 15+ miles. We ended up weaving around back and forth on side roads to get around it all. By the time we finally got home we were starving, so we threw all the stuff into the house and headed over to the Washingtonian center. We had planned to try out Red Rock Canyon Grill, but the wait there was 60-70 minutes so we went to California Pizza Kitchen instead. We came home to watch the game and I set up my iHome system. The Hokies looked great during the first half...I don't know what happened in the second half. 'Tis the VT bowl game curse, I suppose.

We went to church on Sunday morning, got some lunch at Boston Market (their turkey sandwich is so yummy) and then went over to Matt's aunt's house for New Year's festivities. His uncle cooked a yummy beef tenderloin for dinner, and then we did gift exchange #3. His extended family gave me a cute mixing bowl with gingerbread men on the outside and a matching spatula, the necklace stand I had asked Matt for (he told his mom, and then his mom told his aunt), a Christmas ornament and an angel figurine, and a gift card to Blockbuster. His uncle had brought over a big screen monitor to watch TV on, so we caught a couple of football games and then rung in the new year with Carson Daly (ugh). We couldn't find Dick Clark anywhere, but I heard he looked terrible. I won the last Greed game of 2006 and the first game of 2007, which earned me yet another cute little Christmas figurine (do you see what I mean??)

We finally made it to bed around 1:30, slept in the next morning, and played some games of Sequence. Matt and I went to see The Good Shepherd with his cousin Robbie. I thought it was a really good movie, even though I ended up getting confused about several parts, trying to figure out where they were in the time sequence of the story and which of the Russians were the good and bad guys. I'm going to need to see that movie again. Afterwards, we met up with everyone again to have dinner at TGI Fridays.

And now we're back to the mundane stuff. Max has regressed in his litter box training (I have no clue why) so he's currently locked in the spare bedroom with a new litter box for a couple of days until he gets it through his head that peeing on my Christmas tree (or anywhere else in the house) is unacceptable. On that same note, we're cleaning our carpets this week. Grr.

I've spent about 2/3 of my Christmas money buying clothes from Old Navy and JC Penney, The Wedding Singer and The Princess Bride on DVD, and Brain Age for the Nintendo DS. I'm still trying to decide if I want to buy my own DS, but in the meantime Matt's letting me use his (and I'm letting him play my game, of course). Brain Age is really fun...there's little "training exercises" that you do every day and it measures and keeps track of your Brain Age. 20 is the best you can get...I started off at 46, but I'm already down to 28.

I went to the post office yesterday to drop off a return package of some things I bought from amazon.com. I realized when I got there and the gates were all still down that the post office was closed because of the national day of mourning for President Ford. Well, no problem, I thought! I had a pre-paid shipping label, so I just needed to drop it in a bin or whatever. Well, not only did they not have a package drop-off area (even though they had a scale to weigh and buy postage on smaller things) but they had LOCKED THE MAIL SLOTS. What the heck?? I ended up having to go back today, and I could feel my soul burning from the 15 people in line glaring at me as I walked past them all and handed my package to one of the people behind the counter. Sorry, guys...pre-paid shipping labels rock! I also mailed our vacation money to Carly this week for the beach trip this summer. I haven't been to the beach in a really long time, so I'm looking forward to it!

I went to work yesterday, but the week after vacation is always pretty much a wash in terms of actually getting things accomplished. I don't think I slept very well last night, and woke up with a sore throat, headache and a bit of a stuffy nose. I ended up sleeping until 11, and my nose and throat feel better at least. Now if I can just get rid of this headache.

So, 2006, not such a great year for me as a whole. The better part of the year was incredibly trying. However, I'm feeling much better now, and if the past 7-8 weeks are any indication of the forecast, I think 2007 will be a much better year.

"And that's all I have to say about that." - Forrest Gump

It's been a long December, and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean...I guess I should
-Counting Crows

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