Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas...

I had a good time with the folks in North Carolina. I can't say that I miss that state, but I do miss certain things about it.
Everything was fantastic. The company was great, and the food was good. And the presents were thoughtful and USEFUL. No ugly christmas sweaters here, folks.

We made the 4 hour drive home without incident and I strangely (and promptly) was motivated to change my work area around. I guess with the new items in my life, I felt like I needed to re-arrange my setup.

Other highlights - a gift exchange with my sister Christmas Eve, Chinese food for dinner, and Midnight Mass.

Normally I would be giving you gads of photos, but this was also the Christmas that refused to be photographed. In Maryland a camera broke, and another camera lacked batteries. In North Carolina, a camera EXPLODED (yes, that's right). You'll have to use your imagination.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Last night, right after work, The Cartoon Network aired "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". The cartoon NOT the bastardized live action one. I am a huge fan of this movie and I pretty much wore out the VHS we owned. I was actually quite famous for wearing out VHSes - this was the fate of another Christmas Favorite. Fortunately, there is YouTube.

The Nutcracker: A Fantasy on Ice

This was released in 1983, the year I was born. I'm not sure what it IS about this version of the Nutcracker story, but I loved it when I was little and I can't say that I'm particularly fond of any other Nutcracker rendition. I'm also pretty sure it was entirely responsible for my little-girl-fondess of actual nutcrackers.

At any rate - just a couple of traditional Christmas staples that I can't do without.

(watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas, too).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cult of Yaris

As soon as I got a job after moving back to Maryland I bought my very first car: 2007 Yaris Hatchback. It's a hilarious little vehicle that can fit into any parking space, cost under 15,000 and gets at least 35 MPG. Their ad campaigns were cute, too.

Naturally I keep an eye out for other Yarises (Yari? Yarum?) so imagine my delight when a white hatchback Yaris started becoming a fixture in the apartment parking lot. Silver Yaris (mine) and White Yaris became pals, parking next to eachother and the like.

So this holiday season I got White Yaris a pine tree car freshener. I wrote a little note that said something like "To: White Yaris, From: Silver Yaris" and stuck it under the windsheild wiper.

TODAY I came out to my car and found a note. It said something to the effect of:"Thanks for the air freshener! Maybe we should go grab a cup of gasoline sometime?"

I love it when people (I mean cars) play along.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tis the season

I got a christmas tree! It's a sad, sad plastic 3 foot tall token. But I think it's pretty awesome. And it makes it look like my gifts for people are GIANT and UBIQUITOUS.
My shopping has been complete for weeks now - I'm just waiting on some things to arrive in the mail. I do have to say that USPS has been absolutely terrible this year. I wonder if it has something to do with the postman HATING MY GUTS. I don't know if he actually hates my guts, but I haven't had one positive interaction with this dude yet. On the random chance that I do see him, he usually bitches at me about my mailbox being broken. It's not broken, mind you. Every once in a while a bolt will come loose which effects the open and close of the door, but it's just a quick tightening by hand to fix it. Anyway - I kind of hate this guy and I'm pretty sure he's losing my packages.

I have done some inperson shopping, but it's mostly been for the animals in my life. I am sadly one of those people who gets their pets presents. Nooch and Fish got their presents early: for Nooch there's fancy food, yogies, and chews; for the Fish a cute green plant.

I'm one of those workhorses that didn't take any holiday time off so I'll be driving down to North Carolina on Christmas Day. Pictures to come, I'm sure.

Congratulations: have a steak

Today called for celebration - so we went for the steak.
The venue was oZ. Chophouse. The food was predictably tasty, the wine did its work, and most importantly, good conversation was had.

Locksley appreciated the leftovers.

(also, congratulations to ben).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

merry COOKIES!!

My sister has a holiday tradition of making Christmas Cookies. She didn't do it one year, and there was a mutiny. So now, whether she likes it or not, there MUST BE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. There was a mutiny, of course, because she makes the most brilliant assortment of cookies around.
This year, I came over to help for one day (although it takes at least 3 days to get them all done). Locksley and Melbourne helped.

My favorite recipe is below:

Rum Ball Cookies

Combine in bowl:
1/2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 c. rum

Mix well. Add 3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs. Mix well. Form into small balls. Roll in confectioners' sugar. Store in tin box.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nerd Time.

I need to catch up on my nerding, I think. I say this for two reasons:

1) Holy Cow, new species. has a story about all of the new species that have been discovered (or rediscovered in the case of the Laotian Rock Rat) in the Mekong Delta. It's still possible I could have missed my calling as an "animal-something-or-other" because when articles like this are put out I get all excited. Nature, evolution, biodiversity - it's all pretty amazing. I mean, just check out Nesolagus Timminsi!

1) Web Analytics

At work I've been doing a lot of talking about Web Analytics. It makes me want to hole up with some nonprofit geeks and talk about pageviews, tracking individuals, and whether the numbers actually matter. I've been reading a lot of articles online (this one is pretty fantastic, though a definite wet blanket for folks who are use to working with non-web metrics) and I like what it's doing to my brain. I just wish I had some people to nerd out with. I mean, I do. But not ON DEMAND. It's kind of lonely being the only nerd of this sort at work.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Silkscreening - GOOD RIDDANCE.

This semester has been difficult. Going to school full time (whether online or not) and working full time is always hard, but it at least helps when you're taking classes you're excited about. I had no such luck this semester. My other three classes plodded along well enough but my silkscreening class was absolute murder.

I am happy to report, though, that it is now OVER. I managed to complete my final project and mail it successfully to San Francisco. Now I hope to never think of silkscreening again.

Here is one of the final prints: