Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Ambitions

Now that it's New Year's Eve, I should probably think about what I want to do with 2009. January 1st starts a clean slate. If I want to modify my behaviors and habits, now's a good time. Rob always says that New Year's resolutions are for the weak, but he's just mean. Besides, he's made the "I'm going to have less road rage" resolution about 10 times throughout the last 12 months.

I did a TERRIBLE job of sticking to my goals of last January. But you know what, I had an amazing year anyway! I think my problem was that I might have made the goals too measurable. Instead, I think this year I need to set some ambitions. Suggestions. Keep them vague.

I have one major goal. Do something with Operation NICE.

See? I said "something" which really leaves it quite open for interpretation. Operation NICE is the best thing I've done in 2008, maybe even ever. It has brought me so much happiness, and I can really see this project turning into a significant part of my life. In fact, it already is. So in 2009, I need to develop a plan and figure out exactly what I want to accomplish with Operation NICE. You know, like get on Oprah. (The show, not the woman.)

As far as my other ambitions, there are the standards. Eat better. Exercise (the Wii Fit I got for Christmas should help me out with this one). Spend less. Save more. Be more organized. Be more creative. I try to make those resolutions every morning when I wake up, but I tend to forget them by the time I walk out the door. I think I blow dry them out of my brain or something. So aside from the one mentioned above, I really only have one ambition.

This year, I resolve to be happy, to have fun, and to be as good of a person as I can be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you!

As a major procrastinator, holiday stress is inevitable. This year it was alleviated a bit, due to the fact that the number of gifts purchased decreased due to an increase in charitable donations in lieu of presents. But still, it's tough to plan it all out. Particularly when you have a husband that renounces all things Christmas.

Overall, I'm very happy! My parents gave us a goat and two chickens. (Well, not to us, but in our honor.) I gave them a nice donation to Feeding America. Along with Rob's family, we'll be making a nice donation to Heifer International. I was able to make a donation to Children for Children. So I feel like I got that whole "giving" thing down pat. Not to mention the fabulous gift that is going to make Rob regret putting me through jingle hell throughout this holiday season.

But anyway, since I probably won't have a chance to say it tomorrow, have a wonderful Christmas! I hope Santa brings you everything your heart desires! (And I hope your heart desires some peace and quiet for little ole me!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas, Geeks!

Technology:A Geek's Guide To Surviving Christmas

That girl wish list is pretty accurate, but as a girl geek, I would also enjoy video games and dvd's.

Monday, December 15, 2008

He'll save children...

...but not the British children.

I can't get this song out of my head!

Warning: NSFW due to hysterically foul language and cartoon violence.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dating Catastrophes

My friend told me that she had so many terrible dates that she could write a book about them all. I suggested a blog! (Of course I did, being blog-obsessed and all.) So, after a little encouragement, she signed up.

It was such a fun concept that I couldn't resist designing it for her! I whipped this up in a jiffy.

Dating Catastrophes

I think this could be really fun, don't you?? I personally don't have any bad date stories. Maybe one, and it wasn't even that bad. I met Rob when I was 20, so I didn't do much dating in my life. No one really "dates" in college. I'm excited to see what kind of stories she gets. Her stories alone are worth the read!

Check it out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Photos

Courtesy of the Pho*ho*hoto Booth.

Rob's came out so much better than mine. It's tough to get it to work right with the bangs and the glasses. I know this is something I could easily do using Photoshop, but there's something about their models and backgrounds that just work so well!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mission: Accomplished!

In my opinion, the food drive was a success! I had a fabulous time organizing it, and I really felt like I did something valuable with my time. I'm basically reposting what I wrote on Operation NICE, but here's how it went.

I didn't get any nasty-grams, like I was afraid of. Phew! Last Monday, I came home to a bag of non-perishables on my doorstep, left by my sweetheart neighbors, Jen and Max. My first donation! I was so thrilled! Mid-week I received a call from another neighbor, letting me know he had some items to drop off. Friday rolled around and there were two more donations waiting for me when I got home. Later that night a neighbor dropped off some bags of food and told me that he was going shopping the next day and would pick up some diapers to donate. Wow! The next morning a sweet woman named Marcia came by with a giant plastic container packed with food.

Then I went out for my drive around the neighborhood. I shrieked with delight each time I saw a bag on a doorstep. And as I walked around, filling up my trunk, I had the biggest smile on my face. One household had four full grocery bags on their porch. I was a little nervous that they had their groceries delivered or something and I'd be taking them unknowingly! But they were all in different bags, so I think I'm safe.

Here's the pile of food and goods that I collected, minus the box of diapers which came later and the two bags of food that I grabbed from my own cabinets.

Food Drive

I went to the Food Bank of South Jersey this morning to drop everything off and the grand total was 277 pounds of food and goods! Woohoo! I'm really looking forward to doing this again next year!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Shins, eh?

I was over visiting Cleverly Eleanor, and she had a post about her 25 most played songs in iTunes. Hmm, I never checked. So I took a peek, and it seems I must have gone through a phase where I played Wincing the Night Away on repeat or something. I'm kind of surprised. I definitely thought I'd be Radiohead, which is great work background music, or Maritime, which I honestly did play on repeat for a while there. But no, The Shins and Aqualung edged out the crowd.

(I'm glad my list doesn't reveal my Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch obsession.)

Speaking of tunes, I got some new stuff from eMusic. That is the best service ever. For $15 a month, I have downloaded SO MANY wonderful albums. My most recent fave is Ra Ra Riot's The Rhumb Line. In addition to that, lately I've downloaded The Duke Spirit, Art Brut, The Unicorns, The Spinto Band, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Okkervil River, Marching Band, Los Campesinos!, and others. Super awesome!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

melissahead, in print!

I was contacted a year ago to submit some images of my cards for a book about handmade greetings. Of the cards I submitted, six had been chosen for the book, and I sent 'em in to the author. I eventually forgot about the whole thing, until a few weeks ago. I decided to look into it, and I saw that the book was available for pre-order on Amazon, so I went and ordered it. It wasn't supposed to be available until January, but lo and behold, it arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

So, here it is!

1,000 Handmade Greetings: Creative Cards and Clever Correspondence

I'm pretty stoked! It's really exciting to see my work in a real, life, published book. It makes me wish I was still crafting and not on "hiatus"!

Rockin' Around My Christmas Tree

As you may know from my previous posts, putting up my Christmas tree is a big deal. It connects me to my grandmother, who really was the only person in my family with any holiday spirit. So now that she's gone, I'm all by my lonesome. My husband runs so quickly from me when I'm decorating, you'd think he was allergic to cheer. He might be, actually.

Like I've done the last few years, I put on a Christmas album and carefully placed each ornament, reminiscing on holidays of yore. It's times like this when I wish I had a large family to share in the spirit of Christmas. But I suppose for now, I'm in this alone.

I was disappointed with the way the green ornaments blended into the tree last year, so I went out a bought blue ones. Now I almost feel like my tree is patriotic, but I still love it. All I need is a lovely red, tree skirt and I'll be all set.

Maybe this Christmas will mean something more
Maybe this year love will appear
Deeper than ever before
And maybe forgiveness will ask us to call
Someone we love
Someone we’ve lost
For reasons we can’t quite recall
Mmm, maybe this Christmas

"Maybe This Christmas" by Ron Sexsmith

Look both ways!

I had a scary morning yesterday. I saw a woman get hit by a car.

The street in front of my building is a narrow one way street. People cross it all the time because the door to my building is in the center. No point in walking to a corner cross walk. Well, anyway, walking back from Starbucks at 7:30 am, I had to cross that road but an SUV flew by, so I waited, then I crossed. Afterward, I noticed the SUV, which had almost made it down to the end of the street, had stopped and started to reverse...quickly. Even though my back was to the road, I had to turn around because I was so surprised at how fast the SUV was traveling backwards. I checked to see if anyone was in the middle of the road, and I saw a 40-something woman start to cross. I had just enough time to think, “Oh no,” when he slammed right into her. Thank god he didn’t run her over!! He must have seen her at the last minute and braked.

I dug through my purse for my phone and called 911 while a small crowd formed, including my coworker who gathered the woman’s things and told her that help was on its way. She wasn’t bleeding, but she looked terrible. Shaking and moaning. When the ambulance came, I heard the driver tell the paramedic that he was only going 10 mph, but that was a complete lie. It put a humongous dent in the back of his SUV!!! So it’s not like he gently pushed her over! I made sure to tell the cop that I saw everything, and I gave him my statement. I know it was an accident, but what that driver did was beyond careless.

A few hours later, my coworker came into my office to let me know that the woman was fine! Her husband came by looking for her cell phone and he said she just had a mild concussion and he was taking her home. Crazy! I was so relieved. But I keep replaying that moment in my head, watching her get hit. I'm still a bit freaked out. It might be dramatic, but I keep thinking that I crossed that road 15 seconds earlier, so it could very well have been me. And being as frail and stickly as I am, I definitely would have snapped in half.

Now I'm going to be extra cautious and look both ways before crossing, even one way streets!

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Demon Barber of Nathan Drive

That's me. For some reason last week, I decided that my outgrown bangs were ruining my "look", so I was going to get a blunt cut. But since it was a holiday week, I couldn't score an appointment with my stylist. Drats! So thanks to some coaxing, (thanks a lot, Jeope) I got the idea in my head that I could cut my own hair. I used to do it. And there were rarely any disasters, except for the time my mother took the scissors to my bangs the day before 9th grade class pictures and they ended up a whole inch shorter than I wanted.

I stopped at the grocery story on the way home from work last Wednesday and bought a $20 pair of barber shears. I stormed into the house and shouted to Rob, "I have to take care of something!" SNIP!


That first snip was a little shorter than I wanted. Dammit!!! Well, it was too late now, so I had to do the whole thing. I walked out of the bathroom with a new 'do and said to Rob, "I think I made a terrible mistake."

The next few days I started to get accustomed to my fringe. And now, I don't hate them at all. I might even like them. I think it'll look even better once my non-bang hair grows longer.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was delightful. Spent the day with Rob's family and then went to my parents' house for the weekend. I have instilled a love of Rock Band in my father. I'm so proud.

This morning I went around the neighborhood hanging door hangers for a neighborhood food drive. I got the idea a few weeks ago and I'm pretty excited about it! My only fear is that some crotchety neighbor will leave me an angry voicemail about leaving garbage on their door. But hopefully people are filled with the holiday spirit. Here are the door hangers I whipped up.

Food Drive

So I suppose that's all that's going on right now. I'm also trying to organize our holiday soirée, but it seems that a lot of people already have plans on the 20th, so it may end up being a small group of us pigging out and playing games. I'd be perfectly happy with that!