Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye, 2007

Apologies for missing posts awhile...I spent Christmas in Houston with Mustang's family. I'll recap in a later post, but overall, it was great.

Today is the last day of 2007. The introspective, "carpe diem" side of me stops for a moment to ponder the year. There will never be a 2007 again. Hmmm... Some years, I've been ready to put the previous year behind me and never look back. But 2007 was actually a very good year. So I'd like to reflect & enjoy:

  • In January, I got engaged. I also returned to my previous employer, which I learned from experience, was a very good thing. Cue 80's rock ballad, "Don't know whatcha got till it's gone."
  • In February through March, I got strep throat enough times that I was labeled a "carrier" by my doctor and ultimately led to my tonsils getting removed. It also led to getting a new doctor, since the previous one didn't realize that 4 rounds of the same antibiotic wasn't working.
  • In June, I traveled to Chicago for work, which was exciting because it was the next "big city" on my list of places to visit. Authentic deep dish pizza is delish, and I realized the Great Lakes are so massive that you can't see the opposite shoreline. Chi town was cool. I'd like to go back.
  • (Brace yourself for this next nerdy comment.) In August, Oklahoma got hit by a tropical storm in the middle of the night. Did we ever think that could happen? Awesome.
  • In September, I married Mustang. Okay, okay....I'll try to spare you the mushiness.
  • In October, I also achieved other life goals: I got a passport and FINALLY traveled outside the U.S. when we went to Aruba for our honeymoon. Now there's a place I'd love to return to....but not in October. Too hot. Maybe during Carnival.
  • In November, my nephew Justus was born on Thanksgiving Day. He's healthy, happy, and already spoiled rotten. (whispering) Also in November, I turned 30. It's a good thing. I'd like to think I'm a bit wiser now.
  • In December, I'm still unpacking into Mustang's (oops, I should say my) house. While sometimes I fear I'm turning into those women on Oprah who chronically hoard things, I should be thankful I have everything I need.
Finally, I admit 2007 is a year that I'm feeling, pop-culture-wise, um, old. Some realizations:
  • I don't have a page on MySpace/Facebook/whatever.
  • I somehow never heard the songs "Umbrella" by Rihanna or "Souljaboy" by some rap kid, until I saw those "Year in Review" shows on VH1, or my flabbergasted brother played them for me.
  • I've never seen The O.C., The Hills or Gossip Girl.
  • I took Wild 97.9 off my programmed stations in my car stereo. Stereo seems to be on Magic 104 or K-Love a lot.
  • I considered buying toys at Dollar Tree for Toys for Tots, but hesitated because they were made in China and could be part of the lead recall.
  • I went in Abercrombie for the first time ever this weekend, not to shop for me, but for my 12-year-old nephew. Why the loud music? Why the dim lights? Then I saw the infamous half-naked Abercrombie models and felt guilty for taking young nephew there.
What will 2008 hold? I'm excited to see. Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Remember the registries

I have a new social cause that I'm spearheading. My life and observing my sister-in-law's life has led me to my quest.

I received two items as a wedding gifts that were not on my registry and had no gift receipts with them. They are lovely, but I already have other items similar to them. THAT'S WHY I REGISTERED.

So I'm toting these gifts in my backseat of my car, going into stores, heading to the customer service counters and asking "Do you sell this XXX?" It's a fun game. Most of the workers laugh with me and sympathize. But so far I can't find the gifts' homes.

Please, help the homeless gifts. They're so sad, they'll never fulfill their usefulness destinies, because they were given without considering the consequences. What will happen to them? We may never know. Please, remember the registries.

Not only do registries help gifts find a good home, it also helps the gift recipient. In my case, as a 30-year-old marrying another 30-something, we both had established homes. So we carefully registered for items we really needed. The registries help us complete our nest.

To aid in your shopping convenience, many brides and moms-to-be register at multiple places. I registered at three stores. I posted the registries on our website. Gifts could be purchased online.

When my SIL had her baby showers, she received every baby-boy outfit under the sun. But no bottles. Two Boppy covers, but no Boppy. Tons of diapers, but no diaper pail. My nephew would be the most stylin' kid in OKC, but he didn't have basic necessities.

So, please help spread the word. If you or someone you love is shopping for a bride or mom-to-be, please remember the registry. Chances are, the registry isn't about want they want, it's about what they NEED. Creativity is overrated. Be practical. Remember the registries.

This message does not necessarily reflect the views of Blogger, the author's sister-in-law, or her husband. Void where prohibited. Please drink responsibly.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shabby school, lost and costumes

Sweet. I've been anticipating this post. I've realized recently that my blog used to have a theme (eHarmony) and it really doesn't anymore. So I'm wondering if I should narrow it to a few themes (and if anyone would want to read about those) and one theme popped up: dreams.

I have very vivid dreams and used to entertain a DC coworker with my recount of the night before. So perhaps that would make good blog fodder. And last night had some doozies!

Things started off with two HS friends (C, one was your old neighbor) and I substitute teaching at a very run-down school. We were supposed to teach 5th graders, and we realized the school's quality was awful because their lesson plans were coloring. We also noticed their only computer monitor was old-fashioned, didn't work, and scribbled all over it. We finally left the school and went to a nearby mall.

At the mall, we were required to put on security devices when we entered the front door. And what were these? Big, chunky necklaces. We shopped for a while, realized the mall had bad stores (ala Crossroads or Heritage Park) and left. On our way out, when we returned to the old lady who gave us our security necklaces, she told us we were nice girls so we could keep them.

When we left the mall, we were ready to go home but realized we were lost. We were in some town in NW Oklahoma because we kept looking at a map and seeing Okarche and Northwest Expressway. But we were arguing if we were going north or south.

Another dream. This one's short. Two kiddos I know (Anna & Jeremy) were dressed in costumes for Christmas. I'm not sure what Christmas event would have them wearing costumes, but anyway, it did. And here's the best part. Jeremy was dressed as a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. Anna was dressed as a red cocktail napkin. Her costume was made from a baby mattress (worn vertically) covered with red fabric.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ironies of the ice

Well, the winter ice storm of 2007 indeed arrived (as predicted in my Oct. 24 post). Oklahoma is doing what we do best....helping each other cope through weather craziness, and comparing stories of "who has the worst damage."

I was driving around last night, shopping for new nephew Justus' Christmas presents (yes, that's plural) and I noticed some ironies of the ice.

At the intersection of Penn and 63rd in OKC, the traffic light was out and cars had to stop and go. However, the creepy Waterford people-sculptures overlooking the intersection were glowing with lit-up Santa hats and white lights.

Tacky houses decorated like Christmas Vacation now look downright gluttonous while down the block, the entire street is dark from the lack of power. Too bad just one string of those lights can't be loaned to a suffering neighbor.

Of course, the local TV stations are always a source of amusement:
"So far, the deadly ice storm has claimed 21 lives in Oklahoma."
"And be sure to email us your pictures of the ice at tv.com! Oh! Look at that beautiful shot from Sherri in Yukon!"

Much of the power is getting restored. Thank goodness. Some people suffering without power were rather cranky to their employees. But seriously, I hope they make a lot of progress today restoring the power.

Because tomorrow, much progress won't happen. Why? Oh, 2-4 inches of snow. Maybe around 9 inches in Enid.

Let's hope our meteorologists are way off.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Awake now - we'll see at 7 a.m.

Odd.....ever since my post about me being sleepy, I've had a surge of energy. At work, I'm not wanting to doze at my desk.

And at home, I've unpacked boxes! Finally I have an organized kitchen. It is glorious. And an extra surprise....how excited I am about the space. After cooking in an apartment kitchen for the past eight (!) years, it is so freakin' wonderful to cook in a normal-sized kitchen! Sure, as an apartment-dweller, I coveted garages.....back yards.....and not carrying groceries up stairs.........but I never thought about the giant kitchen with glorious counter space. Look, I can use a normal-sized cutting board now. Ahhhhh!

Anyway, back to my sleep issues....my normal sleep patterns have made my sleep diary rather non-eventful. Instead, I've realized how much caffeine I'm drinking. I don't like pop much, so I believed I didn't use much caffeine. How I am wrong. I'm supposed to mark each hour with a "C" when I have caffeine, and too many Cs are all over the diary. I guess that's better than too many A's, which I'm supposed to mark if I have alcohol.

During my sleep research, I discovered many suggestions for how to wake up in the morning. I HATE getting out of bed - well, the problem isn't only hatred; it's also whether or not it's possible. I can turn off my alarm clock in my sleep and never know.

What if I move my alarm clock to the other side of the room? Tried that. But here's an even more physical solution: the moving alarm clock. Choose from one that runs around (right) or one that flies. I don't own these, but I'm intrigued.

How did I wake up when I was younger? Mom would always turn on my overhead light. And sunlight wakes me. Hmm...light....and guess what? They make alarm clocks with lights. But instead of shelling out $50 for this Skymall-esque gizmo, I've plugged my bedside lamp into a timer. I have to say, it works pretty well (although I use it in 2-part system). The light turns on about 10 minutes before the buzzer alarm clock. Sometimes I wake up before the buzzer. Those are the good days, when I'm only 10 minutes late to work. =)

The lamp timer is also handy because it's programmed for M-F only - and it has auto shut-off at 8:15, to tell me it's time to leave the house. So that's pretty cool.

But waking up is a mental issue as much as a physical one, and in another post, I'll talk about some interesting suggestions I've encountered to help program my brain.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Caffeine, wake me today!

As a child, I liked to reenact TV commercials and this title plays off one of my favorites (Calgon). Another favorite was "Madge, I soaked in it," complete with dipping my fingers in a bowl, but I digress....

The real reason for this post is to express my growing concern for being so freakin' sleepy all the time.

At home, I have turned into my mother. I come home, I eat dinner, I go to bed. We're talking bedtime at 8:30 or 9. Not at all the lifestyle you'd imagine for a 30-year-old newlywed. I'm terrible company to Mustang and can't get any projects done (unpacking, putting up Christmas tree, finishing wedding Thank-You notes...).

At work, I struggle to stay alert. We're not talking narcolepsy, where I doze off involuntarily, but just a general fog that sets in about 2 p.m. Like I'm a zombie to the computer screen. Like hypnosis. Like if I could get horizontal, I could be asleep in 2 minutes.

So, as when any problem plagues us these days, I Google "sleepiness" and learn several things:
  1. A cause of daytime sleepiness is being overweight. Um, yeah. I need to deal with that...
  2. Maybe I have a sleep disorder. Perhaps one called PLMD where I kick around a lot. Mustang says my kicking is horrible, and sometimes the sheets are off my side of the bed when I wake up.
  3. I should keep a sleep diary (this one uses sleepy faces) for two weeks, and share it with my doctor. Interesting.

I've also learned several other sleepy things and will post them tomorrow.

Until then, it's time to get some more iced tea.