Archive for December, 2009

First order of business: Yesterday’s trivia question (and drink promise) still holds. I’ll post the answers on Monday.

Next order: Ringing in the New Year!

I looked at what I wrote last year at this time, and I realized that I ended it with, “Here’s to fewer miscommunications in 2009.

I don’t know that I would call 2009 a year of fewer miscommunications. There were definitely some big ones – some far worse than others. But overall? 2009 was not terrible. I know, I know – that’s not the greatest praise. But it’s something.

  • 2009 is the year that I really became a runner. And I have the t-shirts, the medals, and the injuries to prove it.
  • It was the first time that I filed my own taxes – with minimal adult supervision.
  • It was the year that the first of our high school girlfriends got married, and we all took a pole-dancing class as part of her bachelorette party.

2009 was fun, exciting, sometimes painful and heartbreaking, but ultimately positive. And it feels like it just flew by.

I’ve been hearing people say that they feel that 2010 is going to be a good year, and I have to agree. I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes.

2010 will be the year that I run my first marathon, see another friend get married, see my nephew get married (that makes me feel old), and turn 25. A whole quarter century!

And I can’t wait to see what else it’ll bring.

Happy New Year!

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This past Sunday I went to a trivia night with some friends. Another friend of ours was hosting and we were curious to see what kinds of questions he’d come up with. We did try to get the inside scoop on the categories from his girlfriend, but she wouldn’t budge. (She also didn’t know.)

We had a lot of fun – and even ended up winning by one point (which was rewarded with $50 off our bar tab – yay!). And I loved the categories. I could hold my own in some of them (Sports Scandals, 2009 Celebrity Deaths), and one was just a guessing game the entire way (East Coast State Mottos). But for the last category, I was practically useless:

1980s Sitcoms

We were given three characters from the show, and had to come up with the title. Bonus point if you could get the year it premiered. Now, there were a few shows on the list that I’d actually watched/seen once or twice (Growing Pains, Cheers, Designing Women), but there were two that I’d never even heard of: 227 and Mr. Belvedere. (Even looking at IMDB didn’t ring any bells on either of them.)

I thought to myself, I’d be much better at 90s trivia. Plus, 90s sitcoms were so much better anyway. So I did a little research (read: took an internet quiz).

Only 58%…I guess I’m not as 90s savvy as I thought. But let’s see if you are.

I’ve chosen 5 quality 90s sitcoms, and given you 3 characters from each. I can’t offer you $50 off your bar tab, but if you get all of them right – without using the interwebs – honor system here, folks – I’ll buy you a drink at the next blogger happy hour.

Do it to it!

1. Penny Baker, Rich Halke, Jean-Luc Rieupeyroux

2. Lisa Wilkes, Geoffrey, Vy Smith

3. Susan Bunch, Gavin, Pete Becker

4. Fay Evelyn Schlob Dumbly DeVay Cochran, Antonio Scarpacci, Lowell Mather

5. Stingray, Jake Sommers, Sly Winkle

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A real quick side note because I can’t help myself, even though I’m sure you all are tired of hearing about my fantasy team, but…I won my league! If we had a Shiva, it would be mine. Glorious.

Shivakamini Somarkandarkram! (Anyone?)

Anyway, now that that’s out of my system, there’s something I’m much more excited about:

My best friend is getting married!

JB and I have known each other since 3rd grade and, at this point, are more like sisters. She can read me like a book and, even if we don’t see each other often, we always pick up right where we left off.

In fact, one of the reasons I look forward to Christmas every year (aside from the obvious), is that JB has been spending Christmas Eve and part of Christmas morning with me and my family since 7th or 8th grade.

This is us last year. See? She even gets her own stocking.

She and her family are Jewish, so, growing up, I would occasionally spend one night of Hanukkah with her, as well. But even when that ended, I could always count on a sleepover on Christmas Eve. Even when I was abroad in Paris and my family came to visit me for the holidays, JB came, too, so we wouldn’t miss out on a year of our tradition.

But this year, along with the happy news of the engagement, I got a little sad news, too. Apparently, when you have a fiancé, you also have to do what he wants – honor his traditions. Like, go to his family’s house for Christmas.

Who knew?

In the end, though, I’m so very happy and excited for her. And after having met her fiancé, I see that she couldn’t have asked for a better guy.

I guess some things are worth giving up sleepovers for.

Love you, JB. And congratulations again!

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I’ve been behind in my blog reading and writing, and was going to wait to post until I was all caught up. But, after scanning my Google Reader this morning and seeing this same plea pop up several times, I thought that I’d take a cue from several other bloggers and re-post it:

My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

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It’s amazing how lovely, unexpected snow days (and then travel) will keep you away for your computer. It’s almost liberating. For a little while, anyway.

In any case, since I missed the chance before I left for home, I wanted to leave you now with this little Christmas message, from one of my favorite holiday movies:

Merry Christmas!

(Or, alternatively, enjoy your federal holiday!)

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Thank you guys for everything yesterday. It was just what I needed. But more distractions are still (and always) welcome.

In the meantime, I feel compelled to share with you a video that a friend showed me the other week, that had me laughing out loud. Who knew history could be so entertaining?

And that’s just Volume One. Out of four.

What I want to know is how he got the actors involved. And when the next volume is coming out. There’s still so much left to learn!

Happy Friday! Get ready for the snow!

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Last week a friend’s gchat status was this:

I could really use a hug and a xanax.

And now I’m stealing it.

I, myself, am fine. But some of my friends are not. And it runs the gamut from “you’ll get over it” to “that sucks” to “holy shit, this was never supposed to happen – why can’t we fix this?” And frankly, I feel helpless.

So, I’m throwing it out there. Whatever you believe in, if anything, if you could just throw some prayers, thoughts, good karma, etc. their way, I would appreciate it.

I have to believe that every little bit helps.

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I feel as though I am behind in the Christmas holiday spirit department. I posted yesterday about my procrastination in buying the Secret Santa gift. (Thank you all for your ideas, by the way. Absolutely phenomenal.) But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

  • I haven’t bought any advent calendars this year, and we’re halfway through the season. Last year, I had one for home and one for the office. And one that I gave away. You know, to spread the seasonal cheer.
  • I haven’t set up my nativity scenes. I have two, one from Mama, which resembles a pop-up book, and the other that I bought back in February, from a little market in Buenos Aires. But have I set that beautifully-crafted, hand-painted, complete-with-livestock crèche out on display yet? No, of course not.
  • I haven’t made my traditional Christmas cookies – shortbread, lace cookies, and meringues. (Or the gingerbread train that I bought the other week.)
  • I haven’t put any other decorations up in my apartment.
  • And I haven’t even begun to shop for my family and friends. (Which will probably result in this again.)

Something is just not right. It’s not that I’m anti the holidays this year; I just feel like I’m too busy and they’re coming too fast, and there’s still so much to do.

Is it just me? Or is December going by a lot faster than expected?


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I know that some of you have posted gift-giving guides and I’m grateful. I really am. But I need your expertise for one more thing.

You see, in our office, we do a Secret Santa gift exchange. We pulled names out of a hat a few weeks ago and are having the big to-do at our next staff meeting.

I felt like I had so much time, but now, that to-do is this Friday and I’ve yet to get my gift. Mostly because I have one of the senior fellows and shopping for a 50-something-year-old PhD who has lived all over the world is a little daunting. I also don’t work with him directly, so I’m kind of drawing a blank.

I don’t really like giving gift cards (even though I know they’re more practical), but that’s the direction I’m headed, unless someone here comes up with something truly inspiring.

So, please, help me out and think like an academic: what would you ask Santa for?

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I don’t know who exactly in the office was responsible for choosing Thursday as the night for the holiday party, but I’d like to find out. And suggest that they try very hard for a Friday next year.

Even after the deliciousness that was my bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, and the Aleve that’s trying so hard to work its way through my body, I’m still not quite at 100%. I am, however, enjoying the recap with some coworkers about both the party and the after party.

One highlight from the party (aside from the fantastic food – crab cakes, bacon wrapped dates, mini pizzas – *drool*), was a conversation between a few of us and El Jefe, where we tried to convince him to give us today off. “So, you don’t mind if we come in late then?” we kept trying to confirm, after he implied that he would at least look the other way if we weren’t at our desks by 9am sharp. “But do you pinky swear?” Miche asked, holding out her little finger.

He really wasn’t quite sure how to respond.

As the official party was winding down, we began the round-up for the after party. It’s always a challenge to see just how many senior staffers we can get to come out with us, and last night was no exception. I was working on getting one of our associate directors to join, and it was obvious she wanted to. She kept looking at her husband and saying, “Are you sure? If I go, you can’t be mad at me.

Go for it,” he said.

You should probably get him to sign something, so he doesn’t get mad at you later,” I joked. And with that, she grabbed a card from the table and a pen from her purse and wrote:

I, Ken, promise not to be mad at Barbie for going out tonight.

Sign here – – ->

And because, as I’m learning, men never grow up, he took it, took the pen, signed it and chuckled. And it read:

Sign here – – – > Blo Me

How sweet. I bet she fell in love with him all over again after that.

Wuv…twue wuv…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go chug some water so I’ll be in any sort of shape to be social again tonight.

Rough life, I know.

Happy Friday!

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