Friday, January 27, 2012

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..."

What is your all-time favorite fact?

~ Best useless trivia ever: Chevy Chase was the original drummer for the band that later became Steely Dan.

If you had to add a non-traditional pet to your life — no cats, dogs, fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters, or anything you’ve ever owned before — what would you choose, and what would you name it?

~ In addition to cats and dogs, I will someday have pygmy goats, donkeys, and a raccoon. Ooooh, and maybe a hedgehog! No idea what any of them will be named; I have to wait and see what name fits each animal.

What is the one niche subject you believe you know more about than anyone else reading this post?

~ Eh, these questions are always so hard to answer; I’m sure it would be much easier for my friends to answer this for me. Hmm…oh! I am the queen of random movie quotes.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

MiA seems that I have wandered away from my own blog again. Not all that surprising, when you consider the ease with which I get distracted, but it still makes me sad. I want to write! This blog is an outlet for me, and I often want to put up a new post but just can't decide what to write about.

A while back I bought a book of exercises for training your brain to write. I may do some of those and post the results here. I'm also going to start writing in a journal again, and I may translate some of those musings into posts. And I've got some other ideas to jump-start my writing, including working with some of my favorite quotes.

I don't want the few followers I have to give up on me. Not that I have anything especially important to say, but I like knowing that when I put up a new post, one (or more) of my friends might read it. If you have suggestions for me, I'm all ears. I hope you'll stay tuned...I'll try to give you something soon.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This Is Your Life - 2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

~ Had a really awesome Christmas with J. I found him some amazing stocking stuffers online, and was so excited to give him all his gifts. The best part was that I had a large credit with Amazon, so I got everything for very little cash.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

~ I don’t make resolutions, but I am going to quit smoking this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

~ Yes, a close friend finally had a boy (after having two girls).

4. Did anyone close to you die?

~ I lost my grandmother on November 2. It has been difficult for all of us, and we’re still adjusting, but I can already see that some good has come from her illness. My family is closer than we’ve been in at least ten years.

5. What countries did you visit?

~ I did not travel outside the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

~ I would like for my stepsons to be a part of our life.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

~ I don’t know that any dates will stick in my mind, but I’ll always remember being forced to move because our lives were threatened by our landlord, and dealing with my grandmother’s illness and death.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

~ Making a good impression on three different bosses. I started the year under a property manager I’d been with since November 2010. In August, I was moved under an interim property manager. She can’t say enough good things about me, and wants very much to see my career advance. In September, the interim manager was replaced by the new manager. She has also been very impressed with me, and began talking about me being promoted within a week of beginning to work with me.

9. What was your biggest failure?

~ I don’t know if it is really a failure, but I’m having an extremely hard time being patient with my mom. She handled my grandmother’s illness so well, and I let myself believe that she was not going to fall apart the way I had feared. As the numbness has worn off and reality has begun to set in, her mood swings are off the charts, and I’m having a very hard time dealing with it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

~ Nothing serious. I had a tooth pulled in July, and the recovery was much more difficult than anticipated.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

~ J. was my rock in 2011. From the recurrence of depression in the spring, to my recovery from having a tooth pulled, to my grandmother’s passing, he was by my side. I am continually amazed by how very much he loves me, and how good our relationship is.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

~ My mom’s. I’ll have to talk about that later.

14. Where did most of your money go?

~ Bills and things we needed. Each of us lost a lot in our divorces, and the first two years of our relationship, we had zero extra money. In 2011, we were finally able to get things we really needed: a computer, new clothes, and a few things for our home.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

~ J. got me a Kindle for Christmas, and I’m still very excited about that! I love it even more than I thought I would, and it has made me fall even more in love with reading.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

~ “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? ~ Happier
b) thinner or fatter? ~ About the same
c) richer or poorer? ~ Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

~ Taking time for myself

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

~ Worrying

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

~ We were not able to travel for Christmas in 2011, as we originally planned. However, several of the things that prevented us from going this year are now out of the way (or will be by Christmas 2012), so we have already re-booked our trip.

We spent Christmas 2011 at our home with the kitties. We opened presents, played with the cats’ new toys, and watched season one of Dexter all day. It was wonderful!

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

~ Yes, I fell even more in love with J.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

~ “Modern Family”

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

~ No. Hatred only hurts the hater; the person who is hated doesn’t care. I do my best to work through and let go of negative feelings about others.

25. What was the best book you read?

~ Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

~ I didn’t fall in love with any new artists in 2011. I’m getting to the age where all the new music just sounds like crap, so I’m listening to old favorites almost exclusively.

27. What did you want and get?

~ Another year with J. Even though there were some stressful times during the year, our marriage is strong, and we are happy – individually and together. Nothing else matters.

28. What did you want and not get?

~ To become fabulously wealthy

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

~ We watch lots of movies that I like, so I don’t know if I could pick one. I’ll answer this way: we went to one movie in the theater in 2011 (our first time going to the theater together). We saw “127 Hours.”

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

~ I turned 35 in April. We went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant with J.’s sister and brother-in-law and some other friends.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

~ See #28.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

~ Comfortable and classic – I don’t like fashion.

33. What kept you sane?

~ J., as always

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

~ Princess Catherine

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

~ It wasn’t an issue, but a person. Texas governor Rick Perry is running for the GOP nomination. A rotten tomato would be a better choice for President. I believe that he is not just incompetent, but dangerous. It seems that the rest of the country agrees with me, since he’s currently dead last in the polls.

36. Who did you miss?

~ My Mema

37. Who was the best new person you met?

~ My current boss

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

~ I learned that sometimes - when you get the chance to say goodbye, and you know the person is ready to go - letting a loved one pass into the next life can feel like a (bittersweet) celebration.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

~ From “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band:

“I wouldn't last a single day
I'd probably just fade away
Without you I'd lose my mind

Before you ever came along
I was living life all wrong
The smartest thing I ever did was make you all mine”

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 2011 Book List

Everyone knows I’m a voracious reader, and I’m often asked for recommendations. I decided that on or around the first of each month, I’ll post a list of the books I read the month before. I give each book a numeric rating, from 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent.

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich - Rating: 4.5

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry - Rating: 5

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – Rating: 5

Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston – Rating: 4

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris - Rating: 4