Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sister is in the air!

They bought tickets last night, and they are here through Friday.  They should be over the friendly skies of Salt Lake City right now, and I will see them around 5pm.  They are even braving the el system all by their selves.
Tonight we head out to dinner at a Brazilian style steak house called Zed451, and I feel that a mega feast of meat, meat, meat, some not meat, and a lot more meat will make them very, very happy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

So much has passed

The first holiday vacation with Sam's family.  His lucid grandmother is ADORABLE!--a spunky fun 80 something, and I would love to be like that when I grow up.  His other grandmother is not so lucid and in her 90's and very fragile, but I am very glad I got to meet her if for no other reason than it seems to make Sam feel better (she had a fall and a health scare about 10 days before we got to Tulsa that made it seem as if I would not get to meet her without an unexpected and very sudden adjustment to our trip).  His parents are wonderful as always, and his brother is no where near as awful as they make him out to be.  It was 76 the last full day we were there and we filled it with good Meixcan food and a walk with the dog.
My brother called me as Sam and I sat in the plane at Midway for the 18 or so years it seemed like we were tracked there.  He just got engaged and will be married on the 4th of July.  This all seems very sudden to me, and he is my younger brother so I of course project the fact that I have been dating my significant other for a year and a half ish and am not quite prepared to actually marry him and I am old, so obviously he cannot possibly be prepared to marry his significant other of a few months at his age.  I get that there are some serious flaws to that logic, but I have not seen this brother since he started dating this woman (who we have all know for something like 20 years), and I did see him in August, so I think that my difficulty in dealing with this information should not be read as a meanness on my part.  This is a whole lot of change to believe in while having no concrete evidence in front of me.  I just want him to be happy and have very little with which to reassure myself.  When I see them in February, my hopes are that all will be assuaged.
Oh yeah, and I "get" to be in the wedding.  I HATE being in weddings, and I think I would rather NOT be in the wedding, but I also am fairly certain that my brother and future sister-in-law will be VERY disappointed if I were to have told them no (to be fair I have been in 2 weddings in my whole life--as a flower girl at 5 and a maid of honor at 23--and after the second one I swore that I would never been in one ever again much to my sister's utter abject horror because OF COURSE I meant no other wedding except hers at which point I told her  yeah I don't want to be in yours either because it will be a wedding right? so it isn't against their wedding it is a general anti-participation prejudice against weddings, I find them far more enjoyable as an audience member and NOTHING more).  Theoretically, I won't have to wear a hideous dress.  Supposedly I get to pick a knee length black dress for myself.  Oh and that sister will be in wedding with me.  But so will sorority girls and actual cheerleaders.  Seriously, my brother is marrying a sorority girl who was a college cheerleader and is now a cheer coach.  I have nothing more to add to that.
Also, it seems likely that my sister and her boyfriend will come in to town tomorrow for a few days.  Sam will meet her for the first time and her boyfriend will meet me for the first time.  This will be totally AWESOME!

Friday, December 26, 2008

oops, forgot to tell you I AM in Tulsa

We arrived at 10am on Christmas Eve.  But only after another hour or so of delay.  But that was one hell of a storm.  We were rewarded today with 75 degree weather here in Tulsa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yes, I am still NOT in Tulsa

So, 5 hours of waiting in Midway plus three hours of waiting on the plane at Midway (because we were about to take off but we had been de-iced so long ago that the wings had refrozen so we had to go back to the gate which took forever since all the gates were full, so we needed more fuel, so they had to recalculate our load, and we needed more water and then we headed back out to be de-iced AGAIN and finally got in the air), finally flying to St. Louis and then being told (after hanging out on the flight for a half an hour or so since our southwest flight was continuing to Tulsa) that they were NOT flying us to Tulsa because our crew was over its hours.  Yeah.  Because it was weather no free hotels or food (well they brought us crackers and water and pop).
At this point it was past 1am, and they needed to help us rebook for today.  It took them a half an hour or so to tell us that in fact there would be a replacement flight created for us first thing in the morning at which point we looked into renting a car and freaking driving the last six hours (because FYI if we had driven to Tulsa we would have already BEEN there).  So we wait in line for a good hour and a half to get rebooked.  Book a room at a local Marriot and grab a few hours of sleep before heading back to the airport.
Where MORE indignities occur.  See, we "bought" our tickets less than 24 hours in advance, so the TSA needed us to get extra special searched when we went back through security.  So that was awesome, and then we discover that our 8 am flight is now an 8:30 flight because the crew did not get enough rest.  Well, no shit sherlock, we didn't either.  Also couldn't simple math have figured that out last night?  But whatever!
So here I am at the gate in St. Louis (hi Ken and Mandy) waiting to board in the next twenty minutes, so that hopefully we will get to Tulsa before 2009.  Here's hoping.  At this point I will not believe that we will get to Tulsa until we land on the freaking ground.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holy Airport Hell

It is about 6pm.  I have been in Midway airport since about 2:30 pm.  I should've left on a flight to Tulsa via St. Louis at 4:45pm.  It didn't.  I has been delayed many, many, many times.  The airport sucks balls and is totally crowded (which may have to do with its inability to allow me to enjoy anything about it right now, oh yeah that and the delayed plane.  In fact the only worse airport to be stuck in at this moment is probably O'Hare where Southwest does not fly.
However, I just received good news as I started to type this rant blog.  The good news is that our plane, coming in from Pittsburgh is in the air!  Midway and the FAA have serious restrictions on planes they are letting come here, so if it is on the way, it should (oh please oh please oh please dear deity) land here, and then we get on it and then we get to St. Louis and then to Tulsa all before midnight.  Although it turns out that I may not have needed to take off work today anyway.  I guess I just wanted to hang out at an airport ALL DAY AND NIGHT.
OK, that's all.  I hope all of your holiday travel adventures are nicer (right about now Sally and Dave are very, very glad they killed theirs early and I cannot say that I blame them).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

The first one is the glass globe ornament that I loved but that didn't seem to sell as quickly as other ones last year, either that or they way overstocked. The other two are a series of ladies that Pier 1 has been having. The flamenca was from last year, and the Indian woman in the sari was this year (this year also has a Japanese woman in a kimono, but she isn't as pretty as the Indian woman).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Busy weeks

I had a work holiday party Friday night, Sam and I threw our own holiday party Saturday night, Sunday I went to a matinee of "Dirty Dancing the Musical" which is the most awesomely bad thing I have ever EVER seen and which made me shake with glee for most of it, Monday we had our very last performance of the musical episode of the Ville where we rocked the house, and Tuesday I went shopping for my work's operation Santa Claus.  Yesterday I rested and took the kitty to the vet and got a fever from Sam who was sick with a fever.
Yeah, busy.  Tonight I gift wrap (for Operation Santa at work) and holiday gift/winter boot shop.  Then Friday and Saturday I have to somehow get to a a party, two plays and work at pier 1.  And then we are in the home stretch to holidays in Oklahoma.  Whew.
Although I won my friend Sallyacious' 1,000 comment contest and I get a cool book!  Pictures of ornaments this weekend or early next week.  Maybe tonight.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poking around on the internet can be bad

It can be.  It sometimes is.  Or not bad so much as unsettling.  Like when you find the you tube page of an ex boyfriend who now dresses up like Jesus and ministers to people in Virginia, that is unsettling.  Although instead of getting really angry, like I used to whenever talk of him and Jesus connected (this is the ex now known as Jesus boy), I was mostly really proud and happy for him.  Even if I disagree with a lot of what he espouses as the true way to follow Christ and be a believer, I am proud of him for really making something of his life and happy that he seems to have found a peace which he never had when I knew him.  He was a deeply unrooted person when I knew him, and I think that fed a lot of his general unease with the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Online Shopping

I ordered a book online for the boyfriend's dad for Christmas, and so of course I ordered some books online for me too.  In fact, I realized I could get the whole set of Thursday Next books for like $18 plus like $12 more in shipping and handling, so I did of course (I was getting them all used thus the excessive shipping from amazon).  Then they all start arriving, and actually every single one of the 5 separate shipments is delivered on the same day (which is way impressive on its own) EXCEPT one.  There are 5 books in a series right, coming from 5 different locations.  Guess which book in the series didn't come? 
That's right!  The very first one is the only one missing.  I have yet to receive "The Eyre Affair" which I was hoping to start and then read on the planes and trip to Tulsa and back.  I mean I still have time, but they said it could come as late as December 23rd at which point I will be at work and leave from there to go catch my flight so I won't be able to grab the mail back at Sam's house hoping it would be too big to fit in the mailbox that I do not have a key too so it would be shelved below.  Ugh.  It better come soon.  I don't want to reread them out of order!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Laptop Recovered

So I am typing this on my very own unharmed totally returned laptop--which is what happens when a friend of a friend who is a total jackass and idiot gets drunk with a few others altogether late at night in the living room.

Needless to say some people just got disinvited from this house permanently. But laptop is back as with everything in it. I guess I might try backing things up.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Latop Stolen

So, very long story. That I may or may not get to ever writing down here because it is not a good stroy. My laptop was stolen last night, and I am not entirely sure when I will be getting another one. Or if I will be getting another one in a reasonable time frame.

Fortunatly I didn't have anything too irreplaceable on it. Some photographs, but I am not as prolific a photog as some so it is probably only a couple of hundred--most of which I have saved onto photosharing websites but some that are long, long gone.

Today there will be filing of a police report, and we will see. Sam is looking at the bright side of how shopping for a laptop is fun--he is suggesting a really thin mac.

Anyway, not sure how much I will be able to post for a while.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Tree decorating tips

As several of you (and others who saw my tree or the picture of my tree) have commented on it being lovely and "elaborate" I think Chrissy called it, I thought I would include some tips on how to take your own tree into the realm of fabulous without losing the I am a real person's real tree feel.
Tip #1--try to make everything you put on the tree coordinate.  Make them all one or two colors, or all metallic, or have a similar element or color through out.  I stuck to red and gold and white/iridescent, although making it a normal tree meant that when I really liked an ornament I said fuck it and put up whatever I want (there is an bright blue sari on the Indian lady that matches the flamenco lady on the front of the tree).
Tip #2--vary the sizes and shapes of stuff you put on the tree.  Or make them all identical.  But I used at least 4 sizes of round balls.  I have 5 or 6 very vertical ornaments, and when I hung all the ornaments on the tree I looked at the hole to balance and fill out.
Tip #3--have a basic ornament or two that you repeat multiple times throughout the tree.  I have a big glass globe, glass stars, clear gems, and gold jingle bells that are all over.  Buy these in bulk like 20 or so at a time--jingle bells are usually a dollar or less at pier one or target, and the others often come in packages or can be scavenged post Christmas for a steal.
Tip #4--know what looks good on your lighted tree.  Some ornaments that look cheap and are cheap at the store look way better than the expensive ones.  Look for ornaments that will reflect light with glitter, beading, facets, sparkle, shimmer, reflective surfaces.  Even when these look really lame and CHEAP in the store, they often look the best when integrated into the tree.  Unless you have a very specific theme like all wooden ornaments or toy trains, these are what start to bring your tree to the next level.  Also, if you have lots of matte or fabric or wood ornaments, use white lights and less of them to set them off rather than upstage them.
Tip #5--don't skimp on a garland.  My tree looks LOADS more awesome this year with very little changed.  There are a few more ornaments, but in the exact same vein as the ones there before.  The main change was having a garland.  And garlands can be easy, this was a ribbon (well two spools) that I bought at Home Depot for not terribly much money (for garland).  Ribbon with some metallic elements and wire are the most impressive of this kind of garland (in my opinion) although if you have a homier tree (like my friend Robyn's advent tree with hand knit ornaments, a paper chain or popcorn or cranberries on a string might be even better (also cheaper).
Tip #6--this might take a few years, so think of it as a long term goal.  OK, yes I thought about my tree this way, and it has been three Pier 1 holiday seasons in the making for my tree to look this nice.  Year one was some inexpensive basics and cheap plain glass bulbs from target.  Plus stocking up on my favorites when they went on sale after the holidays.  Year two was pretty much year one (with the after Christmas bargain additions) and some glittery gift tags to fill in.  Year three was the addition of some LED lights as well as some new ornaments from after Christmas year two and new new ones (because I had a better job), plus a major, major post Christmas discount win because NO ONE else liked my favorite ornament.  I bought like 5 of them for about $5 total instead of closer to $5 each.  Year four I have only added garland, some more jingle bells (on sale!), the glass gems (in a package, on sale!), and a few more ornaments (mostly to mix it up with some vertical and because I went from a 5 foot tree to a 7 and 1/2 foot tree) and also because I just like them.  I like Christmas ornaments.  So sue me.
Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy any other holiday out there that you celebrate this time of year!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Christmas Tree

Or rather, Sam and my Christmas tree! This picture doesn't quite do it justice. There are LED lights on it, and lots of the ornaments are clear or transparent which not so much show up well in picture, but they look lovely on the tree! And there is a wreath on the door. Very nice indeed.

I am very proud of it. Most of the ornaments are Pier 1 (except for some plain glass balls from a value pack from Target.

There are the target balls, enormous prop glitter balls, teeny tiny mini tree balls, jingle bells, clear gems, transparent stars, these great transparent balls with diamond studs, a few long skinny glass ones, hand painted ones, beaded ones, to birds, a Spanish lady, and an Indian lady (sari and all). The garland is some big wired ribbon that I thought was really pretty at Home Depot where we bought this "slim" 7 and a half foot tall faker. Boy do we need a tree skirt! And a topper. Looking at my local Walgreens for that.

I feel like it is themed and coordinated while still being pretty eclectic which is what I was going for. Quite frankly the use of garland this year (which is new) is my favorite part, and even though the mini tree balls almost disappear they do an great job of filling in color and light. Yea Christmas!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ponderings for this week

Things I have pondered lately.  I was SO a fish out of water where I grew up.  My perspective on ok and right and wrong were even different this is beginning to dawn on me now that I live in a corner of the world where I am surrounded by people with similar life views.  I am not saying I am surrounded by yes men (or women), but I am surrounded by people who start from the same point as me.
That Prop 8 in California is totally and egregiously wrong is a given with my my coworkers and friends and neighbors.  Well, some of them may actually agree with it, but they take the anti view seriously enough to not let on if they do.  Back home I know I would face frowns and faces and going to hells for loudly proclaiming equality full equality for homosexuals.  Even from some of the liberals.  I mean they would say that they like gay people but marriage would be coming on a little strong.
Here, I live in a place where gay men and lesbians holding hands, having children, and being very open and public about it isn't weird.  I mean I would imagine in some neighborhoods in Chicago it would be, but in the ones where I travel, it is just the way it is and no one seems to mind.  I mean they treat it exactly the same as hetero couples doing it (for the most part, I am sure Chris will speak up to correct me). 
I am sure there are some here who hate in the same way people did back home and in Idaho, but they are the quiet minority.  Exactly the opposite of what I saw back home.
It is nice.  One day it will be like that everywhere and people will shake their heads that Americans used to not let gays marry.  How silly and wrongheaded we once were.