Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday Happy Hour (on Monday)

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. In your opinion, at this point in your life, what’s the most rewatchable movie?
~ “Clue.” It’s been my favorite movie since it was released in 1985. I have no idea how many times I’ve watched it, but I know every bit of dialogue, and it still makes me giggle. Yes, it lost money in theaters, but I think it was ahead of its time and/or it wasn’t right for an American audience. Then again, when is anything good right for an American audience?

2. What’s the greatest bridesmaid/groomsman gift you’ve received (or given)?
~ I don’t have a good answer here.

3. Have you ever been to a wedding where, for whatever reason, nobody got married?
~ No, and I hope it never happens.

4. You’ve been tapped to open a new museum in whatever city you’re currently living. You should pick something you’re interested in, but also something that will appeal to your fellow citizens. With those two caveats in mind, what will be the name of your new museum?
~ Since it’s Super Bowl season, I’m going to suggest a museum called Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Exhibits will include “Jerry Jones’ transformation from human to alien through plastic surgery,” “Notorious incidents that Cowboys players/coaches shouldn’t have gotten away with,” “Great coaches fired by Jerry Jones,” and “How Jerry Jones has destroyed America’s Team.”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Happy Hour

From Mental Floss: "Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. On to this week's topics of discussion..."

1. If you could pick any TV series to be running a marathon right now, which show would you pick?
~ I'm going to choose "The Closer." I always thought I would hate it, but J. started watching and then got me watching. Now I'm hoping there will be a marathon soon so we can catch up.

2. A genie has granted you one wish, but there are strict parameters—mainly, your wish can only undo something you’ve already done, and it must be something you did in high school. On what would you like to hit the undo button?

~ I would like to change my senior prom date. I didn't have a boyfriend, so I asked a friend to be my date. Looking back, I wish I'd asked my (now) husband to take me. That would be a really awesome memory for both of us, since I went to both my junior and senior proms with guys who were just friends, and J. didn't go to prom at all.

3. When’s a time you fought the law—and won? (And for our purposes, “the law” can mean your employer, your principal, your parents, etc.)

~ I got my 9th grade history teacher (and football coach) in trouble with the administration. When we were tested on A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, he marked an answer incorrect on my test. A few days later, I realized that the notes he wrote as the "correct answer" were taken from the Cliff's Notes and were, in fact, wrong. I went to the principal and said that if I had to read a book, the teacher damn well ought to have to read it, too - instead of using the Cliff's Notes to write the test.

4. What was the most challenging class you’ve taken? Was it worth it?

~ No schoolwork was ever especially challenging for me, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm good at school or I never really took a difficult class. Probably both. But I like a challenge; maybe I'll try to find a subject that will kick my ass.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This Is Your Life, the 2010 Edition

Many thanks to Heather for this chance to recap 2010!!!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
~ Faced the end of a friendship head-on. See #13, below. I've had relationships that I allowed to wither away, but when I realized I wanted this friendship to be over, I confronted E. directly, and explained why I was making the choice. She didn't like it, but it feels much more honest to have handled it that way.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
~ I don't generally make new year's resolutions. If anything, it's just a general goal to try new things and be the best person I can be.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
~ A somewhat close friend was expected to give birth on 12/31/10, but I haven't been able to reach her to find out if the baby came.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
~ J. lost two of his uncles, one of whom he was very close to when he was younger. I'd never met either one. We did not lose anyone to whom we were close right now, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
~ I did not leave the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
~ Stability. 2010 was full of craziness: I've held four jobs this year and moved twice (plus once in mid-December of 2009). I'm ready for a nice, boring routine.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
~ 1/19/10 - our first "together" anniversary. 4/4/10 - moved back to DFW. 8/2/10 - started a new job as a temp that became a permanent job working for a boss I love. 8/28/10 - our first wedding anniversary.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
~ Staying sane through a huge amount of upheaval. See #6, above and #32, below.

9. What was your biggest failure?
~ Not trusting that things would work out. I believe that things happen for a reason, but in difficult times, it's so hard to trust that the bad may lead to good.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
~ Nothing major. In fact, I think I was sick less in 2010 than I have been in many years.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
~ The night before I interviewed for my current job, I was so nervous. I felt like I needed something new to wear, because this company's dress code is business. I've always been in business-casual atmospheres, so I have almost no clothes that truly conform to the dress code. We had very little money to spare, so I was just hoping to find one piece that I could make work with things I already own. At the third store, I found two dresses I loved. They were regularly $44, but they were marked 50% off. I loved both, so I decided to get them, and return the one I chose not to wear to the interview. When I checked out, one rang up for $9 and the other for $14, so I got to keep them both. I definitely believe someone was looking out for me there!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
~ J. He is in such a good place right now, working on himself and preparing to start school in two weeks. And he has been immeasurably supportive of me, especially the last six weeks when I have been utterly exhausted from work.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
~ I let go of a 20+ year friendship this year. The relationship had been rocky for several years, and I was beginning to realize that if I met E. today, I wouldn't want to be her friend. All that was holding us together was our history. Still, when I found out that she and her husband were separating, I reached out to her. What I heard was shocking. She basically said to me, "Things weren't working, and I've been sleeping with someone else for months." The idea that she could be so cavalier about ending her marriage and hurting the man she has two children with made me physically sick. I wrote her an email, and that was that.

14. Where did most of your money go?
~ To bills, but we are in a much better financial position today than we were a year ago, and the outlook for 2011 is good.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
~ Next year, we are spending Christmas at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. J. and I have never taken a trip together, and the idea of it being just the two of us for Christmas is so exciting. I hate that we have to wait a year!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
~ I love music, but I'm not sure what I'll associate with this time in my life. There are songs that take me back to other points in my life, such as my senior year of high school, but they're not necessarily songs that were released that year. They just remind me of something that happened at that time. It'll be a while before I start to "go back" to 2010 when I hear a song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? ~ Happier, if only because our lives are more stable
b) thinner or fatter? ~ Fatter. J. is a great cook, and we like food.
c) richer or poorer? ~ Richer; not by much, but things are steadily improving.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
~ Reading. I read one less book in 2010 than I did in 2009, but I feel like I went long stretches without reading. In 2011, I'm going to try to actually take lunch breaks and spend them with a book instead of my computer.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
~ Worrying about things I can't change. I know it's pointless, but sometimes I can't help myself.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
~ J. and I spent Christmas at home. My in-laws came over for about an hour, but we didn't have a meal. It was very low-stress, which is just what we wanted.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
~ Yes. Well, I fell in love again. I don't know what I did to deserve my husband, but I'm not giving him back!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
~ J. and I generally like the same kinds of shows; we'll watch the same ones for a while and then switch to new ones. What we're watching now: The Closer and lots of old Law & Order, Modern Family and Better With You, Ghost Adventures (even though Zak annoys the crap out of us), The Haunted and Fatal Attractions, Decoded, and Mysteries at the Museum.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
~ I really try not to hate anyone, ever. Hatred has zero effect on the hated, but it's a cancer to the hater. If someone hurts me, I let it go (even if I have to work to make that happen). Why let them continue to hurt me?

24. What was the best book you read?
~ I keep a list of all the books I read, and I use a 5-point scale to rank them, so I can remember what I liked and didn't like. Those that got a 5 in 2010 were: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, What on Earth Have I Done? by Robert Fulghum, A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias, and Every Last One by Anna Quindlen.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
~ That I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers after all. I've always appreciated their music without really liking it, but J. is a fan. As I've been exposed to more of their music, I've found I like it. They'll never be my favorite band, but I don't immediately change the radio station when they come on like I used to.

26. What did you want and get?
~ Our life to begin to stabilize. I have a permanent job that I enjoy, although it's crazy and stressful at times. We're finally beginning to get into a routine, which is something I really need in my life.

27. What did you want and not get?
~ To win the MegaMillions on Christmas Eve. That would've been the best Christmas present ever. Then's only money.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
~ I'm so disgusted with the modern film industry and the way it perpetuates the dumbing down of Americans, but there were a few I liked this year. Some that I enjoyed were: Inception, Toy Story 3, Get Him to the Greek, and Despicable Me. (Caveat: we don't go to the theater, and there are quite a few that I want to see that have not yet been released on DVD.)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
~ My birthday was a celebration, but not in the traditional sense. It fell on a Friday; I worked until about 10 pm. J. and I got up at 4 am on Saturday, drove 200 miles, loaded everything from our apartment into a truck, drove 200 miles back, and unloaded everything into a storage unit. We worked non-stop from 4:30 am to 7:30 pm. The next morning, we got up early to watch the implosion of Texas Stadium. J. found us the perfect spot to see the demolition; we could see it clearly but didn't have to fight traffic when it was over. The weekend was exhausting, but being back in DFW was an awesome 34th birthday present!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
~ See #27, above.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
~ Personal fashion concept? Umm...I like pretty clothes but hate shopping. I wear what I already have until it literally falls apart. If I happen to see something I like that fits well, I'll buy it in five colors.

32. What kept you sane?
~ J. Being with him gives me a sense of peace I've never known before. After the craziest day, coming home to him is the best feeling in the world.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
~ I have zero interest in celebrity gossip, but I've already requested vacation from work on April 29 so I can watch the royal wedding. People think it's funny - I guess it's not something they expect from me.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
~ I'm going to skip this question. This blog entry is already ridiculously long, and if I get started on politics it'll be much worse. I'll address this in a separate blog entry, somewhere down the road.

35. Who did you miss?
~ My friends. Even though I've been back in DFW for 9 months, I haven't gotten to spend much time with them, and there are some I still haven't seen. Between crazy work schedules and lack of money, we just haven't made it happen. And it's harder because I don't just have one group of friends - they're scattered all over.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
~ My current boss, M.B. She's an amazing woman, and it's often hard to get any work done because we enjoy talking to each other so much.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
~ I learned this lesson before 2010, but I didn't really begin living it until 2010. Making everyone else happy is impossible; make yourself happy. First example of this life lesson in action: we're traveling next Christmas.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
~ See #16, above. I'll have to table this question as well.