31 December 2009

Well, now I won't be nervous.

After spending several days freaking out about meeting the friends of The Boy I Currently Like at the New Year's party tonight, I'm now no longer nervous. As it turned out, many of them ended up at The Independent last night, where I happened to be hanging out with KayGee, The Prison Librarian (because the question came up last night, and others might also be wondering, that's her nickname because that's her job) and a couple of other people.

Not only am I not going to be meeting 20 new people all at once, but I also got to ask the girls what they were going to wear, which also helped with the worrying.

I'm still kind of processing it all (possibly because I was out until 2:00 and still drunk when I woke up this morning), but I can tell you they are all lovely people and I had a fucking blast with them.

30 December 2009

Let the drinking begin.

Oh, who am I kidding? I've been boozing it up all vacation. Today marks the start of actual events involving drinking. There are really only two such events, I guess. But that's probably enough.

I'm heading out in a bit for a little sushi happy hour with KayGee and The Prison Librarian. I cannot wait to see them. Sounds like we'll be doing a little mini Uptown pub crawl, going to The Independent after for their extended happy hour.

You know, I cannot remember the last time I went to happy hour. Being busy and broke will do that to you. Also knowing I can get an entire bottle of Three Buck Chuck for the price of one happy hour glass of wine makes it not seem like such a great deal. I can't get sushi at home, though. So there's that.

Tomorrow is the New Year's Eve party with The Boy I Currently Like's friends. I'm really, really nervous and I'm trying not to think too much about it before I need to. However, I've been peppering The Boy with my silly, neurotic questions for the last couple of days. I want them to like me, you know. I certainly don't want to reflect badly on him.

Eh. I'll worry about it tomorrow. I've got Law & Order to wacth and getting ready to do at the moment.

29 December 2009

Top Albums of the Decade

I wasn't going to do this list, but I started with my favorite singles and albums of 2009, and that got me to reminiscing ... and, well, I kind of had to do it. Plus, I can't spend my entire vacation laying on the couch watching TV and baking. I needed to do something to stimulate my brain. Right?

My first run through iTunes left me with 72 albums. I was hoping to have a Top 10 list, but after only successfully knocking off about 20 entries on the first pass, I set my sights for a Top 20. Once I was down to 32, I decided to go with a Top 25. I'm pretty proud of myself for paring the list down to that, given where I started. Those that remain have been in fairly constant rotation over the years. I can listen to them over and over again and never tire of them. Some have a really special place in my life and very specific and significant memories. These are my favorites, for whatever reason.

The list is in reverse chronological order, by year. I couldn't really rank them, other than to say the top three would be Coldplay, Interpol and Neko Case. Do remember the links are for educational purposes only. Buy the album if you like it.

Metric, Fantasies (2009): I cannot stop playing this album. I've liked Metric since Old World Underground, Where Are You?, but never so completely as I have with this disc.

Neko Case, Middle Cyclone (2009);
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2006): I seriously considered putting Blacklisted on the list, too. I loves me some Neko, y'all. Her voice gives me the chills. Words kind of fail me.

Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (2006): Has it really been almost four years? Oh Amy. How you've fallen. I suppose it's better to have one great album and then fade into drunken, drugged, violent, boob-job-getting obscurity than to never have had one great album at all, right?

Spoon, Gimme Fiction (2005): Choosing just one Spoon album was tough. I very nearly went with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but my favorite song is on Gimme Fiction, so that was what swayed me. One of my show highlights from the decade would be meeting Britt Daniel with KayGee after their show at The 400 Bar in 2004 when we were working for Music For America.

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (2005): Hey look, more Neko Case! So many great songs on this one. I just fucking love it. Wish I had seen them with Neko, but they're still great without her. And they do the best cover of E.L.O.'s "Don't Bring Me Down," I've ever heard.

Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene (2005); Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It In People (2002): Another crossover, with Emily Haines from Metric singing with BSS. I saw Metric open for South in February of 2003 or 2004 and then she made an appearance to do "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl," with BSS at The 400 Bar a month or so later, when I saw BSS with The Stills. I honestly didn't realize how much I love BSS until I saw them last year at First Ave. And I've loved most of their solo projects and related bands. They're so much fun live, too.

Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning (2005): One artist I've never managed to see live, despite all the times they've been in town and all of Conor Oberst's side projects. Again, I love everything he does, but something about this album really worked for me and I listen to it often.

Brendan Benson, Alternative To Love (2005): I cannot believe I haven't seen Brendan Benson live yet. Well, I did see him with The Raconteurs. He makes such great pop music, it's impossible to resist.

The Arcade Fire, Funeral (2004): A simply amazing album.

The Stills, Logic Will Will Break Your Heart (2003): I'm amazed at how a band could make such a great first album and then completely suck with their sophomore effort. I was so disappointed with their second disc and the second time I saw them play. Changing out your lead singer might not have been such a good idea, dudes. They might have even had more albums, but I gave up on them a long time ago.

Snow Patrol, Final Straw (2003): Another band that I went from being absolutely crazy about to not even realizing they have a new album out. Didn't listen to their previous CD, either. I went from having to buy their early albums as imports and seeing them with about 50 people at the former Quest's Ascot Room to seeing them play to a crowd of about 5,000 and not hearing most of the songs I liked. Yeah, I know it smacks of "I liked them before they were cool," but what the fuck can you do?

Longwave, The Strangest Things (2003): How I've not seen these guys yet is beyond me. I love this album, but their most recent, Secrets Are Sinister, almost made the list, too. There is something about their sound that appeals to me, but I can't really explain it. This band has gone through some line-up changes, too, but it hasn't affected their sound in my eyes. And I guess I've seen their guitar player, when he was in town playing in Albert Hammond, Jr.'s band.

South, From Here On In (2002): Their sound has changed fairly significantly over the course of their career. It's become less instrumental, less electronic and much more straight-up indie/Brit pop. Unlike other bands on this list, I've followed all of those changes and I like the way they've progressed. I wish I could understand why that works for some bands but not others, but understanding why I like something and not something else is never going to happen.

Interpol, Turn On The Bright Lights (2002): I fell in love with this album the on the very first listen. I was worried I wouldn't like it after hearing the first single, "PDA." When I saw them for the first time at First Ave on a cold January night (for $10!), I was blown away. I've seen them many times since and I love all of their albums, but I don't think they'll ever do anything like Turn On The Bright Lights ever again. I don't know how they could replicate that. And I don't think I'd want them to, anyway. I can listen to it endlessly and at any time, but it is so perfect for cold, gray Novembers and winter nights driving for a while.

Gomez, In Our Gun (2002): Again, I could have put Split the Difference or How We Operate on the list, but this is the album that made me really like Gomez. I saw them on a very, very cold January night in 2004 at the Quest. It was nearly 30 below, but I braved that shit. I've seen interviews where they talked about that show, because it was so cold. Sadly, Gomez is now another example of a band that suddenly comes out with a shitty CD after I've liked them for a while. I'm beginning to think I'm the problem here.

... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Source Tags & Codes (2002): GREAT shows. Seeing them with Queens of the Stone Age was definitely an experience. I was filthy and covered with spilled and thrown drinks after. Saw them another time when they had two complete drum kits/drummers. Watching that all in sync was so very cool.

The Strokes, Is This It? (2001): God, I hope they have gotten their solo projects out of the way. Save for Albert Hammond, Jr.'s first album, they've all sucked so much ass. Clearly, the whole is much better than the sum of the parts in this case.

Ryan Adams, Gold (2001): So much material from which to choose, but this album again was from a very specific time in my life and helped to shape this decade, musically, for me. God, I love this crazy motherfucker and everything he's done.

Elbow, Asleep In The Back (2001): I bought this album without ever having heard a note. It is amazing and Elbow are one of my very favorite bands ever. Guy Garvey has a voice to die for. I don't care that The Boy I Currently Like thinks he sounds like Peter Gabriel. I haven't let that ruin my beloved Elbow for me.

Doves, Lost Souls (2000): Doves and Elbow kind of go together for me, for some reason. One of the best shows I've ever seen was Doves and Elbow at The Fine Line (shitty venue, but I'll brave it for amazing bands). This album is so beautiful and expansive. I love everything they've done, but again, this is on I fell in love with on my very first listen.

Coldplay, Parachutes (2000): It's amazing that probably my favorite album of the decade comes from a band I now hate. And good lord, do I fucking hate Coldplay. But Parachutes? Simply amazing. My former love of Coldplay led me meeting some really wonderful people I love dearly. I saw the band at the Vic Theater in Chicago, The 9:30 Club in DC, First Ave and at the University of Illinois Chicago. Those were all in one summer and I've not seen them since. As much as I hate the band now, this album (and the material that came before it) will always have a special place in my heart.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, B.R.M.C. (2000): It took me a while to get into BRMC. But they've consistently put out amazing material since their debut. They put on really fucking incredible shows. When I first saw them at The 400 Bar, the experience was exactly what I felt when hearing their music -- it just felt like you should be in a small, dark, smoky bar, packed in like sardines with other sweaty show-goers. It was so fucking perfect.

Badly Drawn Boy, The Hour of Bewilderbeast (2000): Just a lovely, lovely album that never gets old. It's perfect to listen to at any time.

28 December 2009

Top albums of 2009.

I Voted in 89.3 The Current's Top 89 Albums of 2006

I seem to recall The Current's Top 89 being albums in the past, but I could be wrong. This year, it was singles. So, I chose my favorite songs from the year. They are listed below, in no particular order. Well, I guess its alphabetical.

The Avett Brothers, "I and Love and You" (I and Love and You)
The Big Pink, "Crystal Visions" (A Brief History Of Love)
Brendan Benson, "A Whole Lot Better" (My Old, Familiar Friend)
Doves, "Kingdom of Rust" (Kingdom of Rust)
Feist and Ben Gibbard, "Train Song" (Dark Was The Night)
Magnolia Electric Co., "Little Sad Eyes" (Josephine)
Metric, "Gimme Sympathy" (Fantasies)
Neko Case, "Fever" (Middle Cyclone)
Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, "When We Swam" (Know Better Learn Faster)
White Rabbits, "Percussion Gun" (It's Frightening)

I had a really tough time deciding which songs from Fantasies and Middle Cyclone to include in my list, and that is because those are, hands down, my favorite albums of the year. I've listened to both so much, I've worried about wearing the CDs out. I love both of these discs so much, they will appear on my top albums of the decade list (coming soon!).

Again, these are my favorite albums. I'm sure there are plenty of entries missing. Like Grizzly Bear, which appeared on a lot of "top" lists. But I liked their first disc better. I'm fickle that way.

White Rabbits, It's Frightening
Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
Mos Def, The Ecstatic
Magnolia Electric Co., Josephine
Doves, Kingdom of Rust
Brendan Benson, My Old Familiar Friend
The Big Pink, A Brief History of Love
The Avett Brothers, I And Love And You
A.C. Newman, Get Guilty
Metric, Fantasies

Please note: links are for educational purposes only. If you like it, buy the album.

27 December 2009

Dirty.

There are a great many things one can hate about Winter -- the shortened days, the cold, the snow and the lack of activities are some of the bigger ones. However, I think the worst thing about Winter, in my eyes, is the fact that everything is dirty. CONSTANTLY.

Take, for example, the gym. There are a great many assholes who wear their gym shoes outside or wear their outside shoes to work out. This means there is water, gravel, sand and salt EVERYWHERE in that place. I don't enjoy walking through dirty puddles in my socks or in my clean gym shoes. You people are assholes.

Things aren't any better at home, though I do try to minimize the damage to the areas nearest my two doors. But trying to keep my shoes on the rug while also removing them and/or trying to close the door and get all my shit inside sometimes means that I get dirty puddles around the rug instead of on the rug.

Then, there is my car. I park on a busy street. On a day like today, where there is a bunch of slushy snow on the street, I end up with the driver's side of my car plastered with salt, sand and slush. And there is no point in washing my car. Even if the temperature was to remain (relatively) balmy and I wouldn't have frozen doors and locks, my car would still be dirty again 30 seconds after I parked it. Car filth often transfers to bags, purses and coats. And the filth gets in the car via boots, too.

It's a losing battle, so I pretty much don't try. Oh, I'll clean my car windows when I get gas. And if there is a blatant puddle on the floor, I'll clean it up. I take my boots off right away when I walk into the locker room at the gym (even though most don't) and avoid walking in others' puddles so as to minimize tracking, but it's so fucking futile. What can you do?

26 December 2009

Sweet solitude.

Ah, home. How I missed you so.

Somehow, I made it through three days at home without too much mental anguish and without anyone really getting hurt. Christmas Eve was unpleasant, but you've already read about that. Yesterday wasn't too bad. My nephew enjoyed his gifts and my sister-in-law-to-be had her two-year-old niece over with her, so at least there was something around to distract my mom. Spending most of the last two nights in a room away from the rest of the fam watching what I wanted to watch on TV helped, as well.

Today we were all able to get out, as my dad spent a considerable amount of yesterday plowing out the yard. My sister and I went shopping with my mom, but only after we stopped to visit the grandparents. Holy. Shit. Look, I only went because my mom insisted. I've made it clear I don't like those people, but it turns out that I think they're actually being treated really shittily by my aunt. She insists they're okay to stay in their house, but that's just not fucking true. Not. At. All. She apparently thinks her "support" will somehow get her their house when they finally do leave, or something.

Bah. Whatever. It was mercifully brief. Shopping wasn't too bad either. I got a cardigan and a pair of boots. I returned my too-big pair of jeans from Old Navy. Would have exchanged them or bought more, since all the jeans were $15 today (I KNEW that was going to happen, yet I couldn't wait), however, they didn't have my damn size. Bastards.

But now I am home in my lovely apartment. The street was plowed, our sidewalks have been shoveled (though, I did clear a path on my deck and back to the back door so I don't have to wade through drifts to do laundry tomorrow) and I've washed the stink of Janesville off me. I feel (and look, despite half-assed hair and half-washed off makeup) so much better. That could be the wine, but I felt a million times better before I had a drink.

All is mostly well. Mostly because my stupid cable box shit the bed at some point in the last couple of days. Not shocking, given it's penchant for turning off and on and rebooting itself at random times (and not including the remote where half the buttons don't work). I'd welcome a new cable box and remote when the cable guy comes tomorrow (on a Sunday, y'all!), but that would mean I'd lose all those episodes of Ab Fab and 2 Stupid Dogs. They'll be on again, though.

Despite some lingering cramps and spotting, I'm recovered from the IUD procedure and can get back to the gym this week. And I'll get to see The World's Worst Wing Woman tomorrow and will be seeing KayGee and The Prison Librarian for sushi happy hour sometime this week. All that is good, because I need something to distract me from the whole New Year's Eve thing that is fast approaching.

Oh, and I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas. I will be baking the fuck out of some shit this week. Baked goods for everyone!

24 December 2009

Serenity now.

Somehow, I managed to make it through day one of Snowmageddon '09/Family Christmas yesterday with really very little in the way of snarkiness/sarcasm/criticism/yelling. However, things don't seem to be going quite as well today.

Everything started out alright, when my sister and I went on over to Mankato so I could finish my shopping this morning shortly after waking up. The roads weren't very bad at all (and were just wet by the time we came home) and there was very little in the way of fellow shoppers. AWESOME. We were back to the farm in about two hours, and that was with some shopping for ourselves thrown in for good measure.

Things started to unravel a bit after we got home. For whatever reason, my mom decided she needed our input on every. single. meal. we were having over the next several days. Mind you, she'd asked for recipes and told us what she was making weeks ago. Then she gets all pissy when I we asked why she was changing this shit up. And why the fuck is it suddenly our decision? I would have certainly figured all that shit out before I came down IF SHE'D ONLY TOLD ME.

Look, it's bad enough that I have to come home for Christmas. And it's worse that I have to be here for like, three-plus days. You start with the bitching and criticizing and freaking the fuck out when I ask a simple question, and things aren't going to go very well. I quickly retreated to my room to read. However, my book was downstairs, so I stared at the wall for a while.

Then it was time to go to Mass. We were there for TWO HOURS. Had to get there early to get a seat, dontcha know. It was hot and there were roughly a billion noisy, crying children. I had more post-IUD insertion cramping. Oh, and it was fucking church. It was fucking awful. AWFUL.

(Side note: There seemed to be quite the rash of modified Kate Gosselinesque asymmetrical porcupine 'dos. So much ugly hair in church. It was a sin, quite frankly.)

I opened a bottle of wine as soon as I got home and it's mostly gone. I think I'll be getting drunk tonight. For whatever reason, I couldn't even get a buzz yesterday. And I started drinking at like, 1:30 in the afternoon. So, yay for that anyway.

And my nephew got to open a present tonight. It was the Snuggie I gave him. He loves it. So, there's that. Oh, and I bought new jeans today. I'd thought maybe I'd gained a good bit of weight back, so I grabbed a size up to try. They were way too big. Even one of the pairs I got that is the current size I'm wearing was too big. Thank goodness. I'd say that was a bump to my self-esteem, but it's pretty much continually in the shitter when I'm home.

Thankfully, it feels like everyone might be going to bed early tonight, so I'll get some quasi-alone time. I'd give anything to be KayGee and The Prison Librarian right now. They're doing Christmas themselves in Minneapolis because of the weather. I'd love to be doing that right now. But what can you do? I'm hoping against hope that Minneapolis declares a snow emergency to start at 9:00 tomorrow night, because then I can head to my home sweet home Saturday and not have to worry about getting stuck or anything.

I really do hope y'all are having a better time than I am and you're safe and sound if you're in these parts getting walloped by Snowmageddon '09. Merry Christmas, y'all.

22 December 2009

With the physical pain finished, the mental anguish can begin.

My IUD placement was successful! Holy fucking shit, did it hurt. It was enough to make me gasp and say "Holy crap!" More telling, however, might be the fact that I was sweaty, shaky and dizzy. It took me several minutes to get steady enough to climb off the table and get dressed.

Now, I've been home for about an hour and the cramping has settled down to slightly worse than the cramping I had earlier (due to the misorprostol). Probably about the same as the worst cramps I've ever had, which isn't that bad. I don't get them often and I don't get them very badly, so this is highly unpleasant. But I'm not immobilized or anything. I'm not even laying on the couch at the moment (though I will be soon).

I probably didn't need The Boy I Currently Like to drive me home, but I felt shaky enough that I was very glad to have him there. At one point in recent weeks, I was claiming I'd be fine and able to do it myself if he was too busy at work to get away. However, he didn't think that was such a good idea and made sure he could drive. He's a good one.

Thankfully, I feel good enough to start drinking in the very near future and celebrate my little bit of time to myself. This motherfucking weather is going to have me spending three days at home, at least. It's going to make me crazy. I'm SO tempted to just not go. I'm dreading it. DREADING, y'all. I don't know if I can be nice that long. I'll have to be drunk, I guess. That probably won't be enough.

Damn. I am a broken fucking record. Time for a Bloody Mary and some Law & Order to tide me over until college hoops start.

Edit/Update: In an effort to make myself stop dreading being at home, I've tried to think of some good things about being on the farm.

1. Free booze.
2. Free food.
3. Wii with my nephew.
4. Wireless interwebs.
5. Free booze.
6. Sweet TV on which to watch the Gopher game tomorrow night (if I can commandeer said sweet TV).
7. Machine shed to park my car so as to avoid digging it out from under a foot of snow.
8. Free booze.
9. Dad/brother to do the aforementioned digging if we can't get all the vehicles in the machine shed.
10. Dishwasher to wash dishes after I'm done baking.
11. Free booze.
12. Free booze.

21 December 2009

There must not be a moment of rest.

I'm not entirely sure what I've done to piss off The Universe (or the Baby Jebus). I guess the possibilities are endless, quite frankly. That kind of thing happens when you're an awful, awful person.

One might think that your last day of work for the year would mean a burden lifted from your shoulders. And I did feel that way for a bit yesterday. Of course, that dissolved very quickly when I got to work and read a bitchy e-mail from my mom.

We're supposed to get snow Wednesday through Friday. Awesome for holiday travel! Mom was all, "You need to come home on Wednesday. If you insist on waiting to do your shopping until Thursday, you can take the 4x4 pick-up or our SUV to Mankato. That is, if you want to be home for Christmas." (Note: I hate driving those monstrous fucking vehicles when conditions are good.)

It took every fucking ounce of my willpower to not say, "You know what? I don't want to be home for Christmas. So, I'll catch you later." And I'm not insisting on waiting to do all of my shopping on Christmas Eve. I don't get paid until then, so I have no choice but to wait until then to get my last few gifts. And I'm not going to tell her that tomorrow and likely Wednesday are going to be shot because I'm getting an IUD.

I DO NOT NEED THIS. Honest to Christ, right now, the last thing I want to do is go home for Christmas. And my mom wants me to stay all weekend for a "mother-daughter weekend?" Jesus Christ, lady. Are you trying to kill me? I mentioned this in my post yesterday, but she said "Do you have a boyfriend? Is that why you can't spend any time with your family?" when I said I couldn't do the mother-daughter weekend. I SEE YOU PEOPLE ALMOST EVERY FUCKING WEEKEND. What the fuck more do they need? At the moment, I have no plans for Christmas or the 26th or really any time. I just don't want to be around those people.

The worst thing about today, though? Not the fact that the doctor's office fucked up and called in my cooter pill to a Walgreens that was a seven-mile round-trip away (instead of the Walgreens seven blocks from here). No. I had a slice of bacon I was going to bring to work to add to my turkey pita with cranberry relish and wasabi mayo. However, I not only forgot it at home; I also left it on the kitchen table. So I lost a piece of bacon. Nooooooooooo!

Blergh. January generally fucking blows, but it can't get here fast enough at this point.

20 December 2009

Almost there.

I have one day of work left in 2009. I have two family Christmas events down, with ... two to go, I guess. If my grandparents don't make it out to the farm for dinner on Christmas Eve, we have to go in and see them. I'm hoping to avoid that.

What else? IUD goes in (tentatively) on Tuesday. The remainder of my shopping will have to wait until Christmas Eve morning. Yeah, I know. I'm figuring on going very early and getting it done while other people are still in bed. I'd rather the misery be packed into one day -- shopping, Mass, family.

Yesterday was Christmas with my dad's side of the family. It can be overwhelming even if it's what you've known your entire life. I think I'm especially anti-family this year, because it was unpleasant for me. I was thrilled when it was time for me to leave to watch football with The Boy I Currently Like. (I think my mom is on to me. She was all, "Do you have a boyfriend? Why can't you spend any time with your family?" I didn't answer.)

Goodness, what a fantastic fucking time I had with him. I didn't want to leave today, but I'll see him again Tuesday, when he takes me to the doctor. I can't even tell you how awesome it felt to watch NFL RedZone with him this afternoon, knowing I didn't have to work when I got home and knowing I only had to work one. more. day. this week. It feels as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders, if only temporarily.

The only thing I had to do tonight was laundry. I didn't even have to make dinner or anything to have for leftovers tomorrow. There are plenty of leftovers from the weekend to have for lunch at least tomorrow when I'm actually at work. YAY. It's just football, basketball, shit from the DVR and laying on the couch tonight. Well, I did throw together some scones and I also cooked up bacon. And made a Bloody Mary. Certainly worth the work, but I'll switch to wine after this. Too much work for another.

I'm gonna get through this, dammit. And then I'll have a good week or so to really focus on freaking out about meeting more of The Boy's friends. But not yet.

Oh, my fantasy football season is over. But whatever. I can't win every year.

17 December 2009

That's real trust.

I was driving to the gym after work tonight and realized I'd forgotten to update my fantasy football line-up. I thought about it while I was doing my picks, but then spaced. I've been spacing on a lot of shit lately.

There was no way I was going to skip yoga to go home and change my line-up, so I decided to call The Boy I Currently Like and ask him for a favor. I gave him my login information and asked him to make the change.

He has my username and password now, y'all. For the fantasy football site, anyway.

Of course, I neglected to specify which receiver I wanted to bench in favor of DeSean Jackson. After several weeks of me bitching about Vincent Jackson getting like, two fucking points, he sat Robert Meacham instead. He claims to have made the judgement call on purpose, but I don't know.

At this point, I don't give a shit at all about what happens with my team. I do know that The Boy is awfully nice, though.

(I'm not even going to proof this. I should, but I'm not sure it would do any good. My brain is completely fried. If I manage to get to work tomorrow, I will be amazed.)

And the winner is ...

Becky! Her profanity-laced haiku came in with 57 votes, which was 57 percent of the total. Here's her entry, once again:

I like winning shit...
What the fuck is a popchip?
Bring it on, sucka.


I'm not entirely sure what the folks at popchips! will think of the cursing, but what can you do? They said there were no rules on their part.

The runner-up, with 35 votes (29 percent of the total), was Reuben. Reuben will receive a fabulous Bacon Salt prize pack from yours truly. His entry, in case you forgot:

Tired of greasy chips,
I yearn for something better.
Popchips save the day.


Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating. Becky and Reuben, if you could e-mail your contact information to iwastoldtherewouldbebacon@gmail.com, I can get to work on getting you your prizes. Or at least getting Reuben his prize. Becky's prize is on popchips.

16 December 2009

Fuck you, work.

Fuck you very much. I really needed that vacation day on Friday. Having to work now is totally fucking my shit up. God, I was so disheartened this afternoon.

My last profile should be done by 10:00 tomorrow, at the latest. I can spend the rest of the day proofreading; that's fine. However, having to switch my vacation day so I can finish up the other profiles? That ain't right.

What confuses me most is why I have to do a good job, but no one else has to do even a marginally good job. They can turn in a complete piece of shit, but no worries -- Jess will just rewrite the whole thing. And do the research again. I'm especially annoyed at the guy on my team whose work I'm constantly having to clean up. I wish I knew how to broach that subject with my boss.

But whatever. I guess this way, I'll hopefully end up with two weeks straight off from work. That's if I can schedule my IUD placement for Monday. *crossing fingers* I feel better after getting my fat ass into the splits in yoga tonight. I'd have gotten to the floor on the left side this week if I'd only had about 30 more seconds to ease into it. Next time.

Plus, there are other distractions. My brother got engaged (my sister is not happy) and my crazy grandma is drinking. 'Tis the season.

15 December 2009

Gym conversation.

Jess, to the people behind the front counter: Two of the three toilets in the women's locker room are unusable.

Woman who, as far as I know, does not work at the gym: And why is that?

Jess: Blood and/or feces, smeared all over the seats.

Gym Dude 1: [sarcasm]Sweet![/sarcasm]

Gym Dude 2: Shit.

Jess: Exactly.

14 December 2009

Complaining about corporatation-y type things.

Shockingly, this is NOT about work. And given the "Gabbo is coming!"/Dunder-Mifflin Infinity shit that's going on at the moment, it's not like work isn't ripe for ripping.

But there will always be time for ripping on my job. This is about companies I patronize. First, I wrote on Friday about an item I ordered from Amazon from a non-Amazon vendor. Amazon urged me quite strongly to choose expedited shipping because the company's shipping schedule made it look like maybe my item wouldn't arrive in time for Christmas. Oh noes!

However, Christmas was still two weeks away and quite frankly, I was willing to take my chances. It's for The Boy I Currently Like and I would have been okay giving him a portion of his gift separate from the rest.

So, I ordered this thing Friday night. After business hours, mind you; on the weekend, technically. About an hour later, I had an e-mail saying my item had shipped. When I got home from the gym about a half hour ago, it was waiting at my door.

Hold the fuck up. You wanted me to pay twice as much for expedited shipping when it arrived the next business day? When would it have arrived if I chose expedited shipping? Do they have a teleporting machine? Would it have appeared on my coffee table instantaneously? Maybe a time machine? It would have been sitting here all along? Honestly. You fucking suck.

My other beef is with companies reformulating things that worked just fine before you went and fucked with them, thankyouverymuch. Changing tampon design and forcing me to use the My First Period (TM) size, for example. Reformulating your decongestant so it can be available on the shelves instead of the behind the pharmacy counter. Because now it doesn't work. I'm willing to wait in line at the pharmacy and sign over my first-born child, because I ENJOY BREATHING.

The newest company to draw my ire? Oil of Olay. I've been using their moisturizer for combination/oily skin for years. It is Olay Complete these days.

The package looks different from the last one I had, but the real indication I had of a reformulation was the fact that IT BURNS when it touches my skin now. IT FUCKING BURNS. And it feels like it is exfoliating my skin while burning it. I suppose that part isn't surprising. Also, it reeks. The good part is, I'm not alone, which means it's less likely that I'm crazy.

So, now I need to see if I can get my $7 back from Ulta, which is doubtful, because I threw away the box. I'd totes take a store credit, though. But worse than that, I need to find a new facial moisturizer. This is not an easy task. For as awful as my skin is, it is also fairly sensitive (see above: burning). Many oil-free/oily skin/oil-controlling moisturizers dry my skin, which leaves it flaky and even more oily. Sounds weird, but it's true. When you strip too much moisture from oily skin, your skin compensates by producing even more oil. You're left with a flaky, greasy, disgusting mess.

I will be giving a shitty review, contacting Oil of Olay and their parent (P&G?) to complain and letting them know I've already slammed them on my blog (which has shown a significant uptick in traffic, thanks to that contest ... I approve of y'all whoring yourselves out for free shit). I doubt they care that they've lost a customer, but I'm doing what I can.

In the meantime, does anyone have any moisturizer recs?

13 December 2009

Vote now!

Check it out -- I got the poll up. (HA!)

There were two people who submitted the limit of three. I chose my favorite of the three. That's where my decision-making ends. Unless there is a tie, I guess. Then I'll have to choose. I hope I don't have to choose.

Anyway, vote early and vote often. Except I'm not sure you can vote more than once. Feel free to shamelessly plug your entry (that's what she said). Winner gets the popchips! case o' tasty. Runner-up gets Bacon Salt-y randomness from my kitchen.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday (December 16). Central time, bitches.

11 December 2009

Oh God, I hate shopping so freakin' much.

Why does it have to be bad form to give everyone cash for Christmas? I'm better at birthdays and other types of gift-giving occasions. Christmas is just too much all at once. I hate shopping for myself, for fuck's sake.

The saddest thing about today is, I went to the mall to get gel. Just gel. I figured, since I was there I could get at least one gift, right? It just so happened that my sister was also doing some shopping, so I got to be on the phone with her for a considerable amount of time discussing gifts for Little Brother's Girlfriend and ... I don't know, some other people.

Okay, maybe that's not sad, per se. But it's something.

I really do hate shopping and Christmas shopping is hateful shopping on crack. Work has got my ass busy and completely freakin' exhausted. It was all I could do to go to the damn mall today and go to two stores today. As awful as it is going to be, I'm pretty sure that the rest of my shopping will be on Christmas Eve, which is my next payday.

Yes, shopping on Christmas Eve is not pleasant. However, it is banging pretty much everything out in one day. And if I get started early, it shouldn't be too bad. Also, that keeps me from having to go home too early. Bonus!

That's not to say I've not done/am not doing some online shopping. I placed an order with Amazon earlier today. One of the items I ordered was through a non-Amazon vendor and of course, I got this message saying "Oh, their shipping schedule indicates you need to choose expedited shipping so you can get it in time for Christmas." Dudes, it's TWO WEEKS AWAY.

Of course, I got a message an hour after I ordered, saying it was shipped. Fuck you assholes. Honestly.

I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up now. Exhaustion plus two glasses of wine has me absolutely loopy. I'm sure none of this makes any sense. And unfortunately, I got lots of shit to do this weekend. Just six days of work left this month. I can do it. Maybe.

10 December 2009

That contest thing.

You still have a bit of time to submit your food haiku. Don't expect the poll to be up tomorrow or anything, though. Work has me barely able to put together a coherent thought (seriously, you have no idea how long it is taking me to type this and I'm NOT EVEN DRUNK).

I'll try to get it up (HA!) over the weekend. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go to bed.

09 December 2009

Booooooooooooooooo!

No, I was not saying "Boo-urns."

It's official -- The Bob Saget Fan Club is missing the playoffs for only the second time in its existence. Granted, this is only my sixth season. God, is it really the sixth? Counting on my fingers tells me that, yes, it is. However, I've been working for the better part of 12 hours and a good bit of it has been math-y, so I can't say for sure if I'm correct.

Whatever. I was playing with house money all season, since the stupid fucking stoner douchebags in my league can't pay their goddamn entry fee. In fact, despite not making the playoffs, I'm still owed money. Should I somehow manage to win the Toilet Bowl, I'll have about the same amount of money I had when the season started. I mean, I had the entry fee and I made all of three or four moves at a dollar a pop. I can't remember if we get money for weekly high point total, but if we do, I have two of those coming my way.

The playing with house money thing was part of what led me to do a few things differently this season. Basically, I took The Boy I Currently Like's advice on a few picks, including drafting Drew Brees much, much earlier than I've ever drafted a quarterback. I didn't want to do it. But dammit, he's so cute and he was so excited about my draft. I just couldn't say, "Yeah, fuck your advice. I'm going to do what I've always done."

Next year, I'm doing my draft at home, alone. I don't blame him for my season. Or, at the very least, I'm not going to say that anywhere he might read it or hear about it.

08 December 2009

Run for your lives, IT'S SNOWING.

It's all anyone can talk about. I'm not entirely sure why. I mean, this is Minnesota. We do get snow here. It is December, after all.

And yet, here we are. My Facebook status updates are about 75 percent snow-related. It has been all over whatever news I've read/heard over the last couple of days. Oh, and I'm writing about it, too! Because I cannot help myself, dammit. What else is there to talk about?

I was one of the last people to leave the office today -- at 4:30. It wasn't even that bad at that time (or even too terrible now, really). My drive was slow and I saw some sort of accident on my way home. I don't know if someone was hit or spun out, but I saw a car shoot across three lanes of traffic and up the embankment. It almost looked like they were trying to drive up it. They were not successful.

Quite frankly, I'm not too upset about this storm. That is because I'm working from home tomorrow, along with apparently most of the office. IT was working feverishly to clear up space on the server so there would be room for us all to connect remotely. Because I trust them so much, I made sure to e-mail a shit-ton of stuff to my Gmail account.

So, I'm home and finally taking a break from work (gross) to make tacos. That's right. I'm having tacos. Jealous? I can stay up late(ish) because my commute will take all of five seconds. I can work uninterrupted tomorrow and get lots done. I'm going to have a good breakfast, too. Leisurely mornings RULE.

We got an extra week on this god-awful project, which is AWESOME. It's also shocking given the complete and utter stupidity of these people. Honest to Christ. I'm writing to a third-grade level now. If I could represent everything in pictures, I would. Oh God. It's so awful. This does mean that I really shouldn't have to worry about leaving anything hanging before I go "on vacation." So, that's good.

Wow. What a boring post. Eh. What can you do? My life, she is boring.

Don't forget, you still have time to submit a food-related haiku to win a case of popchips! or some Bacon Salt-y stuff. But if you don't want to entertain me and maybe win some tasty stuff for yourself, fine. See if I care!

07 December 2009

Bah, I say.

If I can make it through the next two weeks (actually, only nine working days) without suffering some sort of breakdown, I will be amazed. I don't think that will happen, but you never know.

Things didn't exactly go well this weekend. I managed to get my H1N1 vaccination quite easily. And I was entertained by wailing, screaming children while I waited a few minutes to get my shot. My arm wasn't ever even sore. I suppose that's good, because it's very sore for another reason today. The Boy I Currently Like and I had a bit of a mishap Saturday night that involved me half falling off the bed and into the nightstand. I have an awful bruise on my arm, my thigh (with a scratch through the middle, even!) and a not-nearly-as-bad bruise on my cheek. Thankfully, I have a couple of zits to distract from what the makeup can't quite cover, so no one should think I'm being beaten at home.

Before I went to The Boy's on Saturday, I was heading to Northeast for Idris Arslanian's surprise birthday party at Nye's. The bar is 3.7 miles from my house, so I figured 30 minutes should be plenty of time to get there. I mean, that's eight minutes per mile. How could it take that fucking long? I was still asking myself that when I'd gone about two miles in half an hour.

Clearly, I was an idiot to not take the long route, but honestly. How the fuck was I supposed to know traffic would be that bad? Was it the new two-way traffic on Hennepin? The Holidazzle? I haven't a fucking clue. But I can tell you I won't be driving downtown ever again if I can help it (not that I ever did). Since the bus ahead of me wasn't going anywhere either, I apparently won't be going downtown any more at all if I can help it. So, I missed the celebration. I was only going to stay for a bit, but I still feel like a jerk. I put on lip gloss, for fuck's sake. I imagine it was a fabulous time.

Now it's Monday and I'm back at work (after working on the weekend at home, of course) and sweet, buttery Christ, how I don't want to be here. I just read through client comments on a couple of these things I've been working on and apparently I'm not quite writing dumb enough yet. There are only so many ways to say "the data isn't available at that level." Can you tell I'm in a hurry to get back to work on it? I'm not procrastinating, or anything.

I'm going to try to just let it roll off my back; to not take it personally. But God, that is so hard for me. I'll try my best, though. I'll do what I can in the time I have and that will have to be good enough, god dammit. I'm not going to work while I'm using up my vacation time, dammit.

At least with all this work shit and then the family shit starting as soon as work is done, I don't have a lot of time yet to start freaking out about meeting more of The Boy's friends later this month. To his credit, he admitted being pleased that he told me now so I could have a few weeks to have to think about it. My plan is to get drunk so I won't be nervous. How can it fail?

04 December 2009

Oh, for the love of Christ.

Please tell me what the point of using a template is, when you really can't use the template? "Hey, we're going to use this template for each of these 15 documents. Except they all need to be totally different, or no one will read them."

And the people reading it? Apparently, they can barely fucking read. Oh, I don't need to write to a third grade level, but no higher than sixth grade. I can't use my nephew as an example, though, because he's smart. I need to write to dumb sixth graders. Do you know how difficult that is to do when you're discussing the utility industry? It's not easy, I'll tell you that much.

Oh, and thanks for getting back to us with all of these changes three weeks after we sent you the original documents and 10 days before everything else is due. This, of course, is well after you cut six weeks off the original project schedule and doubled the workload.

Let me tell you how much I love chatting with my colleague three or four times a day about how much work we have and how stressed he is and how he doesn't know how we're all going to get this done and do you have any suggestions on how to do this and I need this done today and you're not going to get it done and oh, hey, you totally got it done and OH MY GOD, WOULD YOU SHUT UP AND LET ME WORK?

I just have one full week of work left this month. I can do this. I have booze, I have the gym, I have ... I'm sure I have other things. Oh yeah, Christmas shopping and no money to do so and all kinds of family obligations. I'm just going to hide under my bed until January 2, if no one minds.

03 December 2009

Hey, you wanna win something?

It's the first-ever (I think) contest at I was told there would be bacon. What an exciting day!

After I reviewed popchips! last month, Buzz Marketing Manager Corinne said that if I wanted to do a giveaway this month, they would send a mixed case of 24 single-serve bags of popchips! to the winner.

It took me this long to come up with an idea, because I suck and am not creative. My idea really isn't creative, either. But what can you do? Work has made my brain melty, so you're lucky I even remembered to come up with an idea. Besides, you can try to win stuff, right? Who doesn't love free stuff?

Since the prize is food and 'tis the season of eating, I thought you all could submit your food-themed haiku. Depending on how many entries I get, I might choose my favorites and then give y'all the opportunity to choose the winner. I just have to figure out how to do a poll (help?).

Submit your entries in the comments of this post, or e-mail them to iwastoldtherewouldbebacon@gmail.com. Maybe I should set a limit? No more than three haiku per person. The deadline is Thursday, December 10 at midnight central. Voting will commence shortly after, I suppose. And I'll even throw in a runner-up prize of Bacon Salt-y things I have around the house.

So, what are you waiting for? Make me laugh, jerks.

02 December 2009

Small improvement.

Tonight in yoga, we did Monkey Pose. That is the splits for those who don't feel like clicking on the link. I requested it. Stephanie usually asks if there is anything in particular we want to do, and I've requested working the hip area a few times, but not with anywhere near the frequency I did when Renee was our instructor.

Anyway, it's been about six months (at least) since I last attempted the pose. I've been very close in the past -- just a couple of inches of space between the mat and my thighs. But not anymore. I slid my way flat to the floor on the right side in class tonight. And it felt pretty damn easy. I'm still two to three inches away on the left side, but my left side is just tighter than my right.

It's only a matter of inches, but I feel like I've accomplished something. I've been at this consistently for almost three years now and I don't necessarily see a lot of change or progress. It's all pretty incremental, so when the day comes I can do something properly, it's pretty exciting.

The other thing about tonight was that it was a really good class. It's the first class I've really enjoyed. I was dripping sweat, my hair is still wet (okay, that's more about my hair taking forever to dry than anything else), I worked hard. But I feel so good.

I realize it's not a big deal and it's a very small thing. But that doesn't matter right now. I have to take what I can get, you know? And if this little thing boosts my mood, then I'm going to take it and you can fuck the fuck off if you think it's lame.

Completely unrelated side note: Former FSN personality Clay Matvick (he's got his own website! which is under construction) is doing play-by-play for the Gopher basketball game on ESPNU. Good for Clay. It's nice to see him working. I can't remember if it is The Boy I Currently Like or his friend who does not remember Clay Matvick. I remember him liberally applying Chapstick before interviewing Ben & Jerry (yes, that Ben & Jerry) in the Xcel Energy suite at the X when I was there with Ben & Jerry for work.

01 December 2009

Bits and bobs.

I had every intention of working tonight when I got home from the gym. However, I'm just sitting down at 9:20 p.m., so fuck that shit. I'm so tired and I really loathe work at the moment, so doing it in my free time seems less-than-fun.

So, work: There's another project to be started right after this one finishes and the guy heading up these projects seemed to be attempting to give me something of a guilt trip when I told him I would be out most of the last two weeks of December. Look, pal, it's not my fault we have to use up our vacation time by the end of the year. If I could get a waiver to use it next year, I'd totally do it. But the Powers That Be don't seem to be interested in that. I can't wait to see what happens when I end up being out from the 18th through the end of the year. I'd like to warn them about my sick time that I'll be taking for my IUD placement, but a) I don't really know how to explain that and b) I can't call to make an appointment until Aunt Flo shows up. It's going to have to be last minute.

I don't know why it's so much worse this year than in other years, but Christmas is totally making me stabby. Hearing Christmas songs in the bathroom at work is icky. The fucking commercials, though. Sweet buttery Christ, they are going to make me go on a rampage. The ... Miller Lite or Bud Light commercial with the glasses clinking to some Christmas carol drove me to change the channel after about five seconds. Holy terrible, Batman. And the jewelry commercials. Dear God. The Kay Jeweler spots are just so fucking dumb, but it's the Everlon? Everlong? collection commercial that makes me insane. It's a spot for the jewelry, because I've seen a Macy's and J.C. Penney tag on the ad. The commercial features a couple ice skating and when the dude pulls out the ugly diamond whatever, the woman looks like she is going to totally lose her shit. Lady, it's UGLY. Who cares if it's a diamond? Diamonds are bad, anyway. I don't know how I'm going to make it through the season. The Vikings-related Continental Diamond commercial that is on at the moment makes me want to shove a fork in my eyes, too.

I've been doing a lot of baking this week, and it's only Tuesday. I made my Grandma's bread last night. Tonight it was cornbread, as I'm going to be eating chili later in the week. Couldn't do it tomorrow night, as I'm going to watch the Gopher basketball game as soon as I get home from yoga (recorded, so no one tell me what happened!). Later this week, or possibly this weekend, I have a pumpkin cranberry bread recipe I need to try. That bag of fresh cranberries I bought last week isn't going to last forever.

Speaking of this weekend, I'm getting my H1N1 vaccination on Saturday. They've opened it up to people under 64 with underlying health conditions, which is me. It's also my sister and brother. Yay us. Asthma is sexy, you know. I haven't been particularly worried -- especially since I found out we had a round of it go through the office already -- but I think I'll feel a bit more at ease once I've been vaccinated.

There were probably some other bits and bobs I wanted to mention, but my brain isn't working any more. Something about how I should feel sheepish about running into friends at the grocery store after I work out and look like shit. But I don't, because I don't care. And some other things. Meh.