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Cheers to 2008

Happy Hour
It's time for the requisite year's end meme... copied-and-pasted the questions from last year's!

What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?  Applied for a mortgage and went house shopping!

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My one resolution was to maintain my weight, and I have done a very good job of that... though it's been very challenging at times! (Christmastime in particular... were there always so many cookies?!?!) For next year I'll stick with the same resolution, only because I'm feeling lazy :D

Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope

Did anyone close to you die? Nope

What countries did you visit? I went to Toronto in January... and really, not many other places.

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? I'll leave last year's answer here: "A million dollars would be good. I'm not too picky."

What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 15 - the day our lease began and we moved to Marlborough.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Again, leaving last year's answer here: "Gaining more responsibility at work."

What was your biggest failure? Not realizing how expensive gas heat is... and moving away from an apartment where heat was included in the rent. D'oh!

Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing but a nasty stomach bug in May... used my first sick day since Christmas Eve 2003.

What was the best thing you bought? A good quality watch.

Where did most of your money go? Well, most of it went towards rent, utilities, groceries, etc etc. Fortunately, a good chunk of what was left went right in to the bank. With regards to my 401(k), the answer to this question is "up in a poof of smoke"... :/

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Starting the house hunting process.

What song will always remind you of 2008? Oh man, I have no idea.

Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? Leaving last year's answer: "I think about the same, if not happier. This time last year I was glowing from being newly engaged. Now I'm glowing from being newly married." Just delete the "newly engaged" part. Hey, we're still newlyweds if you follow "Newlywed Show" criteria... :D

What do you wish you'd done more of? Clean the fish tank. But hey, the fish seems to love that dirty water. It must be a Red Sox fan. :)

What do you wish you'd done less of? Can't think of anything.

Did you fall in love in 2008? From last year: "Of course, I fall in love all the time!" :)

How many one-night stands? From last year: "Yeah, that would be zero."

What was your favorite TV program? Pretty much anything on HGTV, Discovery, or the Science Channel. If it's a show about how common everyday items are produced ("How It's Made," "Deconstructed," etc), I'm all over it.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Possibly, but I won't go in to detail.

What was the best book you read? I'm still working my way through Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. That book is way too long for the amount of free time I don't have.

What was your greatest musical discovery? A local radio station that basically just plays the songs I used to listen to in high school.

What did you want and get? A crack berry!

What did you want and not get? a house, but we're working on that.

What was your favorite film of this year? I only went to the movies a few times. I remember I Am Legend being pretty good.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28, and I had a big pile of cupcakes.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? My downstairs neighbors moved out and weren't replaced... it would be super awesome if my upstairs neighbors did the same. Lately they've taken to throwing stuff off their porch (3 stories up, mind you), possibly including some furniture.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Try to dress as cute as possible, but include layers to stay warm in the office.

What kept you sane? A combination of our new pet bunny, cups of tea, and Wii games.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Still loving George Clooney.

What political issue stirred you the most? The election, but thankfully that's over now.

Who did you miss? My coworker Deb, who was laid off in November. She's a real spitfire and an inspiration to me both in and out of the office.

Who was the best new person you met? My coworkers Deb, Sharon, and Jackie. They make (or, made) work much more fun.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008? When the going gets tough, be thankful for what you have.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "It's just another day in paradise, well there's no place I'd rather be... with two hearts and one dream, I wouldn't trade it for anything..." (Phil Vassar)


Writer's Block: Coast Range

Rodney Yee

If you had to choose, would you rather live in the mountains or by the ocean?

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Ocean. Pisces = Water sign. Nuff said.

Things I've Done

Ferris: Stop and Look
Fun meme stolen from etoilepb , who stole it from someone else, who probably stole it from someone else, and so on and so on...

1. Started your own blog (I've got this one and now PORK!)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
(I walked through Downtown Disney, does that count?)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (Photoshop/Illustrator counts, I hope!)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (maybe someday, I hope)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (had to ask midnightcoder on this one, hehe)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (lots of them in fact!)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (the Wilmington paper, but hey, that totally counts!)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (only saw the outside)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury (for a whole 2 minutes until they pulled me off and replaced me with someone else)

91. Met someone famous (just met Natasha Bedingfield at a CD signing a few weeks ago)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (only once, but damn did it hurt!!)
100. Read an entire book in one day (The Shining by Stephen King - back when I was in HS but had no summer job - so I had the time!)



Testing mobile post

Rubik&#39;s Cube
I has a crackberry... Hehehehe.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Cookie Monster

Have you ever gone back and re-read a book you loved as a child only to find it incredibly disturbing now that you're an adult? Like The Giving Tree, for example: a terrifying tale of self-sacrifice or a reassuring story of maternal love?

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One of my favorite books growing up was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. When I was a kid, I found it to be a very entertaining book. A few years ago I bought a fresh copy and read it again. Now I see the entire book is just hitting you over the head with morals and comments against modern society - the average family with 2.58 children and 1.3 cars, for instance. (The .58 child is the only one small enough to drive the .3 car, so he's cool with it.)

I also re-read many fairy tales and children's books in a comparative literature class at UMass appropriately titled "Myth, Folklore and Children's Literature." Taking a critical academic eye to Aesop or A.A. Milne was quite amazing. My final paper in that class was about the personification of animals in children's literature... probably one of the best - and most fun - papers I've ever written.


New Kids
... and speaking of this user icon, I AM SO TOTALLY GOING TO SEE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK NEXT MONTH. Yep, seriously. I am so freakin excited!

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, MP3 Player, or whatever on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Post this in your notes

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
"Irreplaceable" (Beyonce)
How would you describe yourself?
"Cat's in the Cradle" (Harry Chapin)
What do you like in a guy/girl?
"Weak" (SWV) [lol... so not true]
How do you feel today?
"Warning Sign" (Coldplay)
What is your life’s purpose?
"Smooth Operator" (Sade) [ummmm.....]
What is your motto?
"Life Goes to a Party" (Swing Kids soundtrack) [niiiiice]
What do your friends think of you?
"Where is Your Heart At?" (Jamie Cullum) [oh snap! lol]
What do you think of your parents?
"Kiss" (Prince)
What do you think about very often?
"You're My Best Friend" (Queen) [awwww]
What is 2 + 2?
"Superstition" (Stevie Wonder) [not making this up, hahaha]
What do you think of your best friend?
"The River of Dreams" (Billy Joel)
What do you think of the person you like?
"I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" (Spiral Staircase) [now everyone say: AWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!]
What is your life story?
"Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" (TLC) [hahaha]
What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" (Michael Jackson) [just to set the record straight, (a) I am already grown up and (b) I do not want to be MJ! k thx bye.]
What do you think of when you see the person you like?
"On Repeat" (LCD Soundsystem) [errrrr...]
What will you dance to at your wedding?
"Halloween" (DMB) [already happened and not true]
What will they play at your funeral?
"It Don't Hurt" (Sheryl Crow) [lol]
What is your hobby/interest?
"All I Really Want" (Alanis Morrissette)
What is your biggest fear?
"Rhythm of My Heart" (Rod Stewart) [ok, now that's sad]
What is your biggest secret?
"The Meaning of Being Lonely" (Backstreet Boys) [apparantly I know?? whatev]
What do you think of your friends?
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (Hall & Oates) [??????]
What will you post this as?
"Layla" (Eric Clapton) [the unplugged version, oh yeah!]

Writer's Block: A.A. Milne

Penfold: Crumbs!!

Some people find Eeyore’s gloomy outlook charming. Others prefer the bouncy enthusiasm of Tigger. Who would you rather be trapped in an elevator with: Eeyore or Tigger?

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Tough call. Tigger could bounce and bounce and get the elevator unstuck. While Eeyore would be doom and gloom just like me... "Oh well.... bound to happen anyway."

How about Pooh instead... he could call the honey bees over, everyone would wonder where the buzzing was coming from, then realize the elevator is stuck. Um... yeah.

A 10-year-old school paper

I've been meaning to post this paper for a while - you'll see why...

In the fall of 1998 - my first semester at UMass - I took an introductory course in Women's Studies. (It got me a Diversity credit, even though half the world are women - whatever!) One of my favorite assignments - and probably the one that brought the most controversial debate in the smaller discussion classes - was the following. I finally dug it up and read it today, and am very surprised to see that the questions and ideas I brought up then are now all over the news today. And honestly, I'm surprised it only took another 10 years for the question to become a reality. I would have pegged it to take much longer. So, here it is...

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

November 13, 1998 - Women's Studies 187

Which presidential elect do you think the American people are more prepared to vote for at this point in American history, a white female or a black male?

I think that at this point in history, the American people are more prepared to vote for a black man than for a white woman. This is based purely on the fact that the political system in this country is, in essence, a patriarchy. Most American people would think having a female president would be too "strange."

Most people want a president who is going to seem strong and independent. In the eyes of most men, the typical woman has neither of these qualities (think of the "Cult of True Womanhood," which stresses a woman's submissiveness and reserve). Therefore, a woman may seem ill suited for the presidency to them.

Even if a political party were to pick a military woman as a candidate, people would find a problem with her, too. They would see her as too masculine, and therefore un-womanlike. But, being womanlike would scare some people off, too. It’s a catch-22 situation.

Then again, there are some women who may vote for a woman simply because she is a woman. And, of course, there is also the black community, who may vote for a black man simply because he is black. Both candidates would have almost guaranteed votes from these groups.

Still, in the long run, a black male would have more of a chance in an election, especially when you consider that one has already run (Colin Powell). The fact that he is a man is an instant plus. A woman with some sort of power or influence (for instance, Hillary Clinton or Janet Reno) is often not taken very seriously, or even mocked.

I find it sad that the question did not mention a black woman, or any other minorities. Yes, they have a longer history of oppression (especially the minority women, who have "the double bind of oppression" – being female and of a minority race), and their chances are slimmer than those of other groups, but the possibility is still there. I feel that they should be recognized as such.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I stand up and applaud my 18-year-old self!


Writer's Block: 9/11


What were you doing on September 11th, 2001? How do the events of that day hold meaning for you now?

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My 9/11 Story

I thought my reposting of this was an annual tradition... but last year I was too busy planning the wedding... and the year before, I was in Chicago on a business trip.

As sad a day 9/11 is, it seems like it's usually a day of important changes for me. In 2005 I decided to look at the Boxborough apartment... 2006, my first business trip...

... and today, 9/11/08, I accepted a new, higher-level position at work.


Kimbly - leafy lunch
This blog post was linked in my daily MarketingProfs "marketing inspiration" email. When I saw this title, I *had* to click on it... I just *had* to. And yes, the title really doesn't lie.

Big Boobs, Erotic Vegetables, and Burger King's European Ad Campaign

I love how the author keeps trying to bring the conversation back to whether it's an effective marketing campaign.... hahahahahahahaha.


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