Friday, December 26, 2008

Old guitar & New Year's Resolutions

Look out world, I got a guitar. I am not talking about a plastic guitar that plugs into a Play Station - although that would qualify as cool, too; I am talking about a real musical instrument! And I am determined to learn how to play.

The piano will probably always be my favorite instrument that-I-never-formally-learned-how to play – and one I would still like to learn. But it's just not practical given the size and expense of a piano. A guitar - on the other hand - I can bring into the house without a moving van and roid-raging dudes. And because it is in my house, I can practice any time I want!

I stole the guitar from my Dad. He used to play. When he was younger, in a band; and when he was older, in the basement of our house (I think to unwind.) When we were growing up he would play and sing songs by America and I would dance around in front of a blinking disco-style light. They were good times. My favorite song to dance to was the one that had the words: "Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man." Probably because it was a Wizard of Oz reference so I understood it. I still don't know the name of that song...

Anyway, I asked Dad if I could steal his guitar. He couldn't really say no, because he hasn't played it in years (I think?) but he looked a bit hesitant. Perhaps he was contemplating how much he would want to play the guitar when he no longer had access to it anymore... that seems to be the way men operate...

He authorized the transaction and into the back seat of my car went the old guitar. I don't know anything about guitars so this should be interesting. I plan to find somewhere in town where I can get it tuned and perhaps get some advice on maintenance, then I will head to the bookstore and get a "For Dummies" book on playing guitar. I know Sheryl Crow taught herself how to play and she probably didn't have the "Dummies" book to guide her, so I am optimistic.

I don't expect to be Sheryl Crow caliber in 6 months, but I would like to be able to play SOMETHING. I think that is an attainable goal. This is part of a larger New Year's Resolution: this is the year I kick the stage fright. I am done with you, stage fright. I expect this will be REALLY hard... but I am going to do my best. I have to if I am going to make a toast at my baby sister's wedding...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crazy at Christmas

Merry Christmas, Blog Friend(s) (i.e. Trish)

The weather was a bit scary and the roads very harrowing, but I made it home for Christmas! What a relief. The past two days are going by in a blur. It's a little hard to let your guard down and just go crazy with Christmas enjoyment when you know you have to work the day after Christmas. This is the first year I've had to do that. (I am so spoiled.)

This was a weird Christmas, because Little Sister is a million miles away (or it feels like it) in Mexico. Christmas morning was not the same, although still enjoyable and I am happy that she is happy. Christmas Eve was also weird, because my cousin is in Indiana. First Christmas without her, too. Boo.

Grandma must not have gotten the memo that there would be so few people for dinner because she cooked up quite a feast. Wow. It was SOME spread, let me tell ya. Ribs, chicken, seafood salad, calico beans and fruit salad (super yummy). We also had "pigs in a blanket" for appetizers - my favorite.

Today my mom's family is headed over here to continue the celebration. We don't exchange gifts on this side of the family anymore, which I think is pretty progressive. I still usually end up with $20 bills stuffed into my pockets, though. You won't hear me complaining about that.

It will be nice to see everyone, even though it sounds like Grandma & Grandpa are both sick with head colds and coughs.

I am psyched to do some shopping this weekend, with my Christmas windfall - gift cards and $$ galore. I know I should stick some of the money in the bank... We'll see...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So this is love

I recently *met a new musician (new only to me) who I cannot get enough of. His name is Butch Walker. It might be because he kind of reminds me of Ben Folds, who I had a love affair with during high school - so there is the nostalgia factor. I am not sure how you describe Butch Walker - except to say he rocks in every way - at least that is my first impression. He is witty, clever and a great musician. I spent the day listening to him via YouTube videos because apparently I need a more sophistocated flash to use

I am going to kill my computer. It sucks at staying connected to the Internet for more than 45 second intervals. Yeay.

Merry (Almost) Christmas.

More snow is supposed to be coming. I am going to try to head home if I can stand it and there is the possibility that I could come out of the roadtrip into winter hell unscathed.

I HEART Butch Walker. Google him. I really like "Ships in a Bottle" and "The Weight of Her" - both of which I downloaded via itunes.

One man's 'dream' is another man's nightmare

We are going to be having a really White Christmas; as a result I will not be going home for Christmas Eve and I will instead be working all day.

White Christmases also mean shoveling is a part of every day activities.

I hate you snow. You truly truly suck.

I don't know why I live here.

I want to move.

I am now convinced the only way a person could romanticize the snow is by never actually experiencing it. Shoveling snow and driving in it are surely not the stuff of great Christmas songs.

I highly suspect Irving Berlin never lifted a shovel in his life, nor did he ever make the morning commute going 25 mph trying not to end up in a ditch.

So, Mr. Berlin, this year I say "Pishaw" to your "dreaming of a white Christmas." You don't know what you are talking about.

This year, I will be taking a deep breath and wishing everyone a "Mele Kalikimaka."

Monday, December 22, 2008

No weigh!

I got on the scale this morning and I weigh only three pounds more than I weighed (on average) in high school! I am psyched. Over the past month and a half I have lost 11 pounds!

I guess going to the gym and not eating Subway chocolate chip cookies every single day is finally paying off!

I still have about 8 more pounds I want to lose before Becky's wedding... but the good news is I know I can keep off the 11 pounds I lost because I haven't really changed my life that much. Just not eating as many cookies or as much fatty fast food.

I can't believe I lost weight in DECEMBER!!! The hard part will be going home for Christmas and not gorging myself on those tasty Christmas cookies....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Color me bad

I got a hair cut yesterday. My stylist, Calli, is super cool so with the instruction not to take off too much length, I told her to have at it. I think she did a pretty bang-up job, but after she offered me a hand-held mirror so that I might inspect the back, I made an appalling discovery: oh the roots, the roots! My dye job needs dire help! Unfortunately, dye jobs are something I can only budget for every 6-8 months, so root pain is something that I must live with...unless.... Santa baby brings me some loot!

In any case, I *will get my hair colored again eventually. I think I am going to have it done at Regis though, and I am going to ask them to make my hair look like this:

I have long been an admirer of Jennifer Aniston. She has got it all, in my opinion. (Except for big ol' knockers). There are lots of women out there that are worthy of admiration for their physical beauty, of course, Eva Mendes, Beyonce Knowles, Rose McGowan... but I have always really been fond of Jennifer Aniston's hair. Besides, I don't know if I do a very good job of pulling off the darker hair color hues.

Stress - the gift that keeps on giving

I am afraid that holiday stress coupled with the ever-increasing amount of snow is quickly turning me into a version of Scrooge. Funny enough, that was always the Christmas story that gave me the most nightmares: when I was growing up, I used to think the three ghosts were going to come for me.

I blame this on my Catholic upbringing.

What other religious denomination trains children from early on to be so acutely aware of their sins and guilt – before they even really exist? How *else* could an 8 or even 10 year old child draw the conclusion that he or she is some how on the same spiritual level as an elderly man who accrued a lifetime of miserly misdeeds?

Thank you, Sr. Mary Beth and Fr. Ed.

Another side affect of my Catholic education is the long held the belief that I am going to hell.

There were a few short, fleeting years when all of the nuns were talking about how much Jesus loved the little children, and how everyone must be like little children to enter into the Kingdom of God. I fell into the "little children" category at this time, so I felt (at this time and at this time only) my spot in Heaven was safe. I dreaded the day when I would no longer literally be a "child" of God. Then I would have the heavy burden of a life riddled with adult problems and sin; and of course, a one-way ticket to the land of fire and brimstone.

Which brings us to present day and the adult stresses that are keeping me from enjoying the holiday season and those really great gifts that *God* has given me in my life thus far. I don't know why my enjoyment of the good things in my life must always be tainted by the possibility that they might come to an end.

My gift to myself this holiday season is a promise to make the most of the good things that come to me, accept them graciously, and enjoy them without fear, suspicion and doubt. Merry Christmas to me!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top 10: It wouldn't be Christmas without...

10. Gifts in pretty paper
9. My favorite movie: Scroodged
8. Piles of Christmas cookies
7. Snow
6. Decorations
5. Warm blankets, slippers and sweaters
4. Fire places
3. Music
2. Family and friends
1. Jesus