Christmas Stuff

Dec 28, 2010 7 comments

Well, I've had a lovely afternoon.  I finally went to see Harry Potter, and it was amazing.  I've heard people complain that "they're in the woods the whole time!  It's so boring!"  First of all, they're in the woods the whole time in the book, so it's not like they can change that.  Secondly, they didn't exactly spend a whole bunch of time just sitting around in the woods.  There was lots of other stuff going on.  The scenery was beautiful, the story moved along at a nice pace, and it was just awesome.  I really liked how they did the story of the three brothers.  Very simple and tasteful.  And of course, I could not ignore the geology.  In one scene they were sitting on some limestone cliffs, but the tops of them sort of looked like stromatolites.  I thought that was cool.

Anyhoo...I haven't written about Christmas yet.  We usually have it at our house but my grandpa wanted to have it at his house this year, so I wasn't sure what it would be like.  But it actually turned out really well.  My mom brought along our usual games that we play, and we had lots of fun with that.

These are our two games, all set up.  Guess the number of candies in the jars and the wine tasting contest.  We started out with the candy game, each using our own "scientific" methods of quantification.

The wine game also utilized our top analytical skills.

I actually guessed a lot of them right this year.  The only ones I got mixed up were the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  I really should have been able to tell the difference, because I generally like the Cab a lot better, but I guess this was just a really good Merlot... or something.  All I know is that the wine began disappearing out of the bottles rather quickly after the contest was over, and my cousin was extra giddy when we went upstairs for our gift exchange.

The Cheerios were for the dog

This year, we decided that we didn't want to spend much, but we still wanted to do something.  So we ended up giving each other $5 gifts.  Most of these were wine and chocolate.  I got my person a 1.5 liter bottle of wine for $4.50.  Not sure how high quality of wine that is but it's what she wanted.  My brother gave me a Swiss chocolate bar and a little assortment of chocolates.

We also spent a considerable amount of time eating food.  The main courses were chicken noodle soup and ham sandwiches.  We had enough soup to supply a small soup kitchen.

It was really good, though.  My mom makes the best soup.  We spent the rest of the night watching Harry Potter 5 (we watched the last two in preparation for today) and then went home.  

Sometimes, it's hard to see the effects of change and of people getting older.  It has happened in our family and it will continue to happen.  But it's nice to know that I have these people in my life and have been able to experience so many Christmases with them.  I have been blessed with many good things.

Cat & Mouse

Dec 24, 2010 3 comments

Since I haven't had much time to post since I've been back in Michigan, here's Jazmine playing catch with her mice. 

And what the heck, here's a picture of my sister and I with the same exact presents.  Vera Bradley wallets from each other and Kohl's gift cards from my brother.

Merry Christmas!

day sixteen: things you crave a lot

Dec 16, 2010 2 comments

This is probably supposed to be about food/drink, so I will say that I crave one thing in particular and that is this:

Mountain Dew.  (Or soda in general) I was first introduced to this carbonated wonder back in grad school.  A few days out of the week, my friends Nate and TT and I would each get a bottle for some socialization time and an afternoon pick-me-up.  If one person was not there, we would spill out a little bit for them, kind of like with a 40.  (Actually, now that I think about it, I probably should have done that with the 40 I drank.  Might have lessened the effects...Ahh, never again.  Anyway!) It has been very difficult for me to kick this afternoon habit, especially since we have like 3 soda machines downstairs.  Very, very difficult.

I honestly cannot think of a particular food that I crave. I like everything.  I asked Matt and he said, "Uhhhh... Mexican?  I don't know."  Mexican is actually what I was thinking of but I want to put that in a different post.

A couple times a year, what I really crave is to get on an airplane and get out of here.  Lucky for me, this is happening next week!  Dear snowy Michigan, I will see you soon!

Las Cruces

Dec 13, 2010 1 comments

This weekend, I went to Las Cruces for Matt's sister's graduation.  The first thing I noticed about Las Cruces was that it was WARM.  Probably about 70 degrees.  Oh, it was so nice!  I mean, even these guys can grow there.

Ahh.  It was like being back in Vegas.  Except without the Vegas part.  After the graduation ceremony, we took about a million pictures (I think all dads are alike in that respect) and then went to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.  I thought it was pretty good.  Not the best Mexican food I've had, but not bad either.

At Sharon's apartment, I got a pretty good view of the Organ Mountains.  They're basically the same as the Sandias and Manzanos in terms of geology type and formation, except they're younger, giving them their characteristic jagged look, like organ pipes.

Sorry it's a bit fuzzy.  I was experimenting with the zoom, and my picture taking skills are crappy.  But you get the point.  And they're pink!  They stop being pink a lot faster than the Sandias during the sunset.  The sun isn't the same in Las Cruces as it is in Albuquerque.  It just feels different.  I like it.

We didn't have a ton of time to spend exploring the city, but I'd like to get back there soon and see some more of what it's like.  Hopefully this sign is not an indication, though.

Hamburgers, breakfast, Mexican food... and donuts.  The recipe for success, right there.


day fourteen: plans/dreams/goals you have

Dec 8, 2010 4 comments

The past two days, I took a break from my normal job and went to NEPA training.  In case you're wondering, NEPA stands for National Environmental Policy Act.  Before this training, I knew absolutely nothing about it except for the vague idea that it was this terribly boring thing that some people in my office had to do all day. 

The way it began was interesting to say the least.  Since the training was in a different building, on Monday, I checked the schedule to see what time the class started on Tuesday.  It said it would begin at 10:30 and end at 6:30.  That seemed like a weird schedule but I figured they had their reasons.  I spent Tuesday morning at my office and left for the training around 10.  When I arrived at about 10:15, I thought I was early, but everyone was already in the conference room and the class had started.  What the heck? 

One of my co-workers from Silver City was also at the training, so I talked to him about what happened at lunch.  He said he would've thought the same thing as me except another co-worker had told him that the time listed on the schedule was in New York time, and therefore two hours earlier than here.  Awesome.  This kind of thing seems to happen to me a lot.  Somehow everyone else figures stuff like that out and I am totally clueless.  Why is that?  I'm going to make it my goal to figure it out and try to make it not happen anymore.

Anyway, back to the training... while parts of it were admittedly dull, I can't help but liking the idea of NEPA just a little.  One thing I really like about it is that it involves writing.  I like writing and I think I'm good at it.  But I never do any writing for my job.  Ever.  I don't think I'd like my job to solely be devoted to NEPA, but I think it would be interesting to get in on a project, and maybe it will help me figure out where I want to ultimately take my career.  I do have a tiny little sparkle of a goal in mind, but I'm not exactly ready to share it with the internet yet.  I want it to feel closer to real first.  Hopefully it will happen someday.

And just for fun, some other goals:
I want to travel to lots of different places around the world, learn French, have a house with lots of windows, a big kitchen and a backyard, throw a really great party, lose 20lbs., go dancing, make my favorite chocolate chip cupcakes, do the laundry.


Dec 6, 2010 3 comments

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

day eleven: put your iPod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play

Dec 1, 2010 5 comments

See?  I told you I'd get back to it.  I didn't do this one the other day because I was at Matt's house and didn't have access to my music.  I'm going to start off by admitting I'm not terribly familiar with all of my music, because Matt gave me a whole bunch fairly recently, which I just put on shuffle when I drove down to the Gila without really looking at the titles or anything.  So, let's see, first ten songs...

Gator Bay - Monte la Rue, from The End of the Rainbow Album.  I don't think I've listened to this one before.  It's super chill and laid back. 

Jade (Original Mix) - Jens Buchert, from Time Beyond.  This one has a cool, trippy outer space-like sound.  I like Jens Buchert a lot.  He's right on par with Charles Afton.

Audiobox (Original) - Jens Buchert, from Trilobyte EP.  Hey, another one by Jens Buchert!  Apparently I have a lot of his music.  But anyway... I like that the album is called Trilobyte, nice play on words there.

Bee (Sunflower Mix) - Lemongrass, from Fleur Solaire.  This one is nice and peppy and has a girl singing about honey.

In The Mirror (Original Mix) - Jens Buchert, from Cafe Solaire.  Wow, another Jens Buchert.  Who would have guessed?  My iTunes likes him today, apparently.  It's kinda dub-steppy, I think.  Or is it drum & bass?

Drink More Tea (Herbal Mix) - Slack Baba, from Psymeditation 2.  Haha, clever title!  See, I really don't know any of the names for these songs.

Peaceful Life - Clelia Felix, from Cafe Brazillia: The Cream of Latino Lounge.  Fancy!

Kinda Going Crazy - Groove Matter, from Jazzelicious Presents.  Oh, I have actually heard this song before several times.  I like it.  It has a cool jazz feel with a chick saying she's "kinda going crazy" in a sexy voice.

Inbetween Your Choice (Original Mix) - 16B, How to Live For 100 Years.  This is one of my favorite types of this kind of music.  Because it starts out with a simple pattern and then keeps layering in more and more parts to add to the whole.

Bossa Del Nueva (Original Mix) - Jens Buchert, Fruit Machine.  Ok, Ok, another Jens Buchert.  But this is probably my favorite of his albums.  Or at least the one I listen to the most.

Organic Walk - Greg Long, from South Beach: Lincoln Road.  I really like this one.  It has a nice, sunny feel to it.  Like walking on a beach.  Good job with matching the title to the music, Greg Long!

I honestly do have other music besides this electronic stuff, but my iTunes just didn't want to play it today.  Also, this genre greatly outnumbers the rest because I haven't transferred all my other music onto this computer yet.  I know, I've had a year, right!?