06 January 2009
Yikes, I didn't even realize it had been two weeks about since my last post until I saw that it had been about two weeks since my last post! (Think about it....) I guess I've been fairly busy since my last post for Christmas, even though I didn't know it. Either way, to catch y'all up, here's the skinny: Christmas was great - mostly quiet, spent with family. I was awakened at the traditional 8am by my little sister, who wanted to open presents before coffee-time, so we did that first and foremost. I received a nice luggage set, some cooking tools and an apron, a nice up-to-date version of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from Scott, and some books I've been wanting for a while now (one on the House of Representatives' history, one on the Library of Congress' history, and a couple other general history/government). I also (finally) got to give the presents I've been holding onto since pre-Thanksgiving. I got my mom and dad a nice matted and framed Charles Wysocki print (See Link), and I got my siblings a couple nice board games which we ended up playing later that day. My fave gift to give though was to my friends Scott and Abigail. Okay, the gift itself was kind of lame - just a bottle of wine for the two of them and a nice book for Scott - but it was all about the presentation. See, Scott's a writer, and back in the day, he wrote an amazingly good story entitled "The Saga of the Evil Dude Penguins" in which a couple of Dr. Pepper-loving pals (one a penguin, the other a polar bear) learn to find the good things in life, despite some adversity. One of the tales is about "The Masked Penguin" - a shadowy do-gooder much akin to the human version of Santa Claus. Dressed in a blue cape and mask, the Masked Penguin brings gifts to the child-penguins during the holidays. So, when I found a plastic penguin doorstop (the kind you fill up a bit with sand), I just knew I had to make it seem as though the Masked Penguin were visiting Scott and Abigail on Christmas Eve! I, with the sewing genius of my sister Sarah, dressed my penguin in a royal blue cape and mask, and set him out on Scott's doorstep one night. I knocked and ran off to hide around the corner while Scott found him and the bottle of wine next to him! Then I came back and revealed myself. It went off well, and it was way fun for me to do! Fast forward 7 days: New Years' Eve was spent also with Scott and Abigail, as well as some of our other friends: Matt, Angela, Kim, and Travis. We ended up staying up until 2am or so before I left playing a game called Quelf - which I totally encourage you to check out if you haven't already. It's hilarious! The game's rules feature wacky "Roolz" which you must do lest you lose points, stunts, charades, trivia, etc. Matt ended up having to be a sad weeping willow humming sad movie music (though I'm not sure the mix of Star Wars and Titanic really counts as sad....) every time someone rolled a four, I had to translate everything I said into a foreign language of my choice, and Scott ended up being asked to give himself a wedgie before all was said and done. (Note: owing to the fact that I have no dignity or shame, I ended up winning this game.... I was the best of the whackos!) It was a great time, and I definitely have to thank Matt and Angela once more for graciously inviting me to spend the evening with them at their apartment! Fast forward another 5 days: Yesterday was back-to-school/work day for the family, meaning I'm back to the job hunt. I also started back with cooking weekday dinners with the aid of my new cooking tools from Christmas. Actually, I just made something from Scott's cookbook this evening: cheese tortellini with roasted red pepper and garlic sauce and a key lime yogurt pie for dessert. It turned out okay, though I think next time I will use less garlic and onion. I had to adapt the recipe a bit, since it was written for 4 servings, and I needed 6 for my family. All-in-all, not too bad. Tomorrow is Pepper-Lime Chickcn with stuffed baked potatoes! Fast forward to today: I finally got my GPS receiver in the mail, which I sent away for just before New Years. I plan to start a sport called "geocaching" - like a high-tech treasure hunt. You download GPS coordinates to the receiver, then hike out to the location and attempt to find a "cache" - a hidden container of some sort containing a logbook to sign indicating you have completed that quest. The ultimate goal is to get out of the house more and start getting in shape. If I can hike a little bit each week, that's only beneficial in the long run. Who knows, I might start enjoying Phoenix for a change, too! Anyway, now that I'm caught up, I will work on more regular updates again. I hope all my friends reading this are well!