Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year In Review

Courtesy of my friend Scott, here are the year in Review questions and answers:

  1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? I started writing this blog. And I never thought I would be a blog person.
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any last year, and I don't have any this year.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.
  4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.
  5. What countries did you visit? The United States of America. More specifically, Michigan, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
  6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A less painful right knee.
  7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 4, the day I adopted Tiger. And November 17, a big milestone at work.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Finally finishing the major move project at work.
  9. What was your biggest failure? There are a couple of things that I didn't handle well under stress. I still replay the conversations in my head, trying to figure out how I could have handled it better.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No.
  11. What was the best thing you bought? Although I did not actually buy it myself (it was a gift from my Mom), I want to say my new coffee machine because it is my best new "thing".
  12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Trevor. He is the best boy ever.
  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I can't answer this question.
  14. Where did most of your money go? Property Taxes.
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Indiana as a blue state. My Netflix subscription. Re-connecting with old friends. My new coffee machine.
  16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up.
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? About the same. b) thinner or fatter? About the same. c) richer or poorer? About the same.
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Activities with my dog.
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Computer games.
  20. How did you spend Christmas? At my sister's in Evansville.
  21. Did you fall in love in 2008? No.
  22. What was your favorite TV program? The Big Bang Theory? It is the only thing I can think of right now. Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.
  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.
  24. What was the best book you read? Practical Praying, A Guide to Using the Rosary.
  25. What was your greatest musical discovery? The All 70's Internet radio channel.
  26. What did you want and get? Have I mentioned the new coffee machine?
  27. What did you want and not get? The elusive winning lottery ticket.
  28. What was your favorite film of this year? The only one that I can remember is Bolt. Probably because it was the last one I saw.
  29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 44, and I believe that I had a very long day at work that day.
  30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Hiring the "Lawn Mower Man" earlier in the summer? But really, I'm pretty satisfied.
  31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Khakis are good.
  32. What kept you sane? Trevor.
  33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I don't really know exactly what "fancy" means in this question. But I really like Michelle Obama and I am excited to see her in action as first lady.
  34. What political issue stirred you the most? Property Taxes and the Economy.
  35. Who did you miss? My Dad.
  36. Who was the best new person you met? Since I started a new job, I have met quite a few new people at work this year. Best? Well you know I can never pick favorites of anything.
  37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. When in doubt, rent the mini-van.
  38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. If I had words to make a day for you, I'd sing a morning golden & true. I would make this day last for all time then fill the night deep with moonshine.

Monday, December 22, 2008

If Christmas Shopping was a Competitive Sport...

I would definitely be cut from the team.

This may be my last post for a while. Definitely not feeling like the Lucky Girl today. I actually shed a few tears. With "few" being classified as over 3, but under 15. So, don't worry that much about me.

I really left today with a good attitude. Dropped the last package for CA off at the post office and headed to lunch with a friend. Then, it was off to shop in the dreaded Greenwood area of town. Now, on a side note, I ALWAYS get lost in Greenwood. I got lost there just 2 weeks ago trying to find our office party at the Cheesecake Factory. So, I have no idea why I thought today would be better, but I'm going to share my escapades purely for the comedic value of it all. It really is funny, looking back on it.

My Mom asked me for a bedspread for Christmas, and she was pretty specific about it. She wanted one like the one she had before the last one that I bought for her. So, since that was 1986 and I had no idea what she was talking about, I headed directly to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They had to have it, right?

The specifics Mom gave me, other than the "it was the one from the 80's" description, was she wanted it to be a blue bedspread, not a comforter. Specifically not one of those bed in a bag things with all the stuff that goes with it. She wanted an old fashioned bedspread, where she didn't have to use a bed skirt.

If there was a bedding quiz today, do you think you'd know the definitions of quilt, coverlet, comforter, and bedspread? What are the specifications on each and what makes one different than the other? What if the package says "Quilted Bedspread"? How does that work into the definitions, or more importantly the expectations of my Mom? Because she told me on the phone when I called her from B B andB today that she did not want a quilt. "Quilts are for summer." Who knew? I left and headed to JCPenney, where she said I should have gone in the first place.

Ah, the mall. There was a time when I felt comfort from being in a mall. Today, was not that day. I found the JCP entrance and a parking place and headed in. Do you know that mall stores no longer have the store department map at the entrances. Much like casinos in Las Vegas, I don't think they want you to find your way out. I went upstairs and looked for bedding, but after walking around the entire 2nd floor, I couldn't find any. I asked the 15 year old with the JCPenney employee badge where I could go to find the bedding department and she said, "Oh, that's at the Penney's Home Store. It's down by blah blah blah store." She tried to tell me the other many stores it was near to which I replied, "Pretend I'm from New York and tell me how to get to that store." (Because really your random New Yorker has spent as much time as I have in the Greenwood Park Mall.) And off I started to the JCPenney Home store.

Except for one more thing. When I was in the JCPenney looking for the bedding department, I got myself so turned around that I went out a different door than I came in. All that stuff really looks the same in those stores, you know. So, I was in the parking lot, walking up row by row, looking like that poor woman who can't remember where she parked. I remembered where I parked, my car was just not there.

After getting my daily exercise and finding my car, I headed to the JCP Home Store. I got smarter and asked the clerk where the bedspreads were. She said, we don't have them in the store and that I would have to order through the catalog. And she said, for a little more money, I could have it shipped to my home. Whatever. Hasn't she heard of free shipping?

I went to Macy's which was next door. I paid attention to what was by the door when I entered so as not to repeat the lost car experience. After circling that store and finding no bedspread, it still didn't work. I had to ask an employee how to get out of the store. I said "There were some jeans on my right when I walked in." The employee was of little help, she kept saying street names thinking again that I knew where I was. I decided to go against my instincts, and magically I found the correct door. Headed home, with no bedspread.

I decided to look online at JCP at home. I found a bedspread on back order (which means it wouldn't ship until January 24). With that date, it would be almost quilt weather before she got it. So, I called Mom to talk to her. She said, "Do you want me to give you the catalog number of the one I picked out?" Hmmm...well, yes that would be helpful. So, I order the one she wanted online (in stock) and it is being shipped to my sister's house and will be there for Christmas.

Anyway, all worked out okay today. It just took a while. Maybe Santa will bring me a map of Greenwood.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Backstage at the IRT

Early this morning, I had the very unique and very cool opportunity of touring backstage at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. The current show at the IRT is "A Christmas Carol", and I have always wanted to see that show ever since I moved back to Indianapolis. But, it is one of those things that I have just never made time for.

So, I heard on my radio station's morning show (WIBC), that they were offering to give people the behind the scenes tour, and you also got 2 tickets to see the show. I emailed in and I got on the list. It was an early morning (7:00 a.m.), but that made parking super easy and they had coffee and donuts there for us. I was the first to arrive, as I had the big jury duty assignment at 8:00, and wanted to make sure that I got there in time to see as much as possible.

A very nice lady who was on the staff of the IRT gave us a tour. I wish I could remember her name. She talked about the history of the building and what they have done to restore it and what it may have been like coming to a movie in the 1920's when the building was built. And then...we got to go on stage and play in the snow! The snow is awesome! It is made of recycled plastic and the staff of the IRT says that once you are in the snow, you carry it with you for a while. They find it in their cars, their homes, and all over. They made it snow on stage while we were up there, and I thought that was great. However, a couple of the staff members immediately ran to the side saying "I don't want to be snowed on today!". I guess once you get it in your hair, it will be there for the day.

I had time to snap a few pictures with Terri Stacy and Big Joe Staysniak. (See the 3 of us pictured above). And I also got one of Joe and his legs. Joe is famous for wearing shorts in any weather, and as you can see, he was wearing them this morning at only 22 degrees.

And then, it was time to take off for my next assignment of the day, jury duty.

All about Jury Duty

About a month ago, I got my jury duty summons in the mail, which explained that my week for Jury Duty would be December 15 -19. It seems that everyone that I have told about my Jury Duty responsibilities has tried to give me some sort of excuse that could be used to get me out of the service. "Tell them you believe in the Death Penalty", "tell them you are in the NRA", "tell them you just got out of a hospital", etc.

I'm not so sure any one of those excuses would definitely keep you off of a jury. But, jury duty is never anything that I was looking to get out of anyway. About 10 years ago or so when I lived in Bloomington, I was actually selected for a jury. I learned so much from the experience about our legal process in the U.S. and really how juries "work" to make decisions. I really think that it is something that everyone should do.

So, the way it works in Marion County is that you are assigned a Juror Number and Group Number which is all printed on your summons. It is kind of cool that everything is bar-coded and all. Not exactly what I expected, but I guess this is 2008. Every night you have to call in to the Clerk's Office and listen to the recording to see if your group is required to report the next day. My group number was 6.

Everyone told me that because I had such a low number, I was sure to be one of the first groups called in. Because I had a lot going on at work, and I was scheduled to start vacation on Wednesday at noon, I was trying to work out all the nuances of how to get everything done, not mess up my vacation, and still do my civic duty all at the same time.

So, the "I'm the Lucky Girl" part of this story happens because I said early in the week, that if there was a day this week that was good for Jury Duty, it would be Wednesday. And so it was Wednesday that just happened to be the day my group was called.

I had prepared for Jury Duty as if I was going to be sequestered for a couple of days. I bought a paperback by an author I hadn't ever read. (I didn't think it would look good for me to carry in either the Sue Grafton or John Grisham books I am reading now.) I also packed a lunch consisting of a Diet Pepsi, Chicken Sandwich, Baked Cheetos and some cheese and crackers. The lunch and my book fit nicely in my purse. And off I went.

I reported to the Public Assembly room (the one you always see on TV for City Council Meetings), checked in and they showed us a video about jury service. The lady in charge said that the court would be down to get us around 9:00, but 9 came and went and we were all still waiting. I'm glad I had that book. We waited for a while, and then around 11, the lady came back and excused all of us. She said they had reached a plea agreement, and they wouldn't need a jury today. She explained that showing up counts as our jury service for the next 2 years, so if we get another summons we can serve if we want to, but we don't have to do it.

After I was released, I went upstairs to the Auditor's office and popped in on Cherrish Pryor, one of my former student staff at I.U. She is going to be a State Representative for Indiana's 94th District. It was nice to run into her and I think I'll try to make it over to see her at the state capitol building next spring.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Disney on Ice Extravaganza

I really have been doing more than uploading little heads of family and friends in the middle of the night, but you'd never be able to tell that by reading this blog. This time, I'm up in the middle of the night because my smoke detector started beeping. Nothing like changing batteries at 3:00 a.m. to wake you all the way up.

Trevor is with me this weekend and last night we went to see Disney on Ice. I had never been before, but always wanted to go. That is the greatest thing about having Trevor on the weekends, because I am able to do all the cool things that I remember doing as a kid, or didn't have a chance to do.

I must say that when I bought the tickets for the performance, I thought about which performance would be the best to go to. Somehow, I chose last night's 7 p.m. show, probably more for convenience of the time, and thinking it would be nice to see all the lights out in the evening. It is very cool to see the Monument Circle from the top of the Conseco Fieldhouse parking garage. I wish I had taken my camera.

It was a good show. A little heavy on the princesses for both of us, but nothing to the point of you thinking it was a princess show. What is up with all that princess stuff anyway? My favorite characters (other than Mickey and Minnie) were The Incredibles and Edna. Edna on ice was great! I think it's also the first time I realized that Edna really looks like Anna Wintour. I also liked the Toy Story part, because I always liked the music in that movie.

Ok. It's 4:00. Back to bed for me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Middle of the Night Amusements

So, I've posted a few too many of these JibJab things here, at least for most of my audience. No need to watch, they are for family. The dogs have been getting me up in the middle of the night to go out, and when they come upstairs, they naturally turn right to go in the office. For some reason, I have been following. The result has been some 20 or so JibJab videos for the amusement of co-workers, family, and mainly myself.

So, no need for most of you to look at them, but for some reason they play better after being posted to my blog, so they are mainly here for my amusement. A little holiday cheer for me.

JibJab for Family

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

JibJab for Family

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Too Much Time with Jib Jab

Courtesy of my friend Scott at "All I'm Saying...", I have spent too many hours uploading elves for the amusement of co-workers and friends. In the next post is "The Five Trevors" which is what I made this evening. So many ideas on what to make next.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Piggy Banks

Courtesy of the One Minute Writer....What is the first thing that you remember saving money to buy?

When I was 14 or so, I was quite the babysitter. I had a few customers and during the summer I had a regular all-day babysitting job for some neighbors. So, it was a pretty steady income. In those days, I made 50 cents per hour.

I can't remember what triggered my interest in photography. I'm sure my brother had something to do with it, but I also think there had to be more to it. All I know is that I had my eye on a Canon AE-1 camera with all the gadgets that went with it. I remember it being $400 for the whole set. I saved up and we ordered it through the Spiegel catalog (60609).

I bought that camera in about 1977, and it was the only camera that I used for about 25 years. I still have it, although I don't use it now. Now I've gone to the digital age, and it has officially gone on the shelf.