Thursday, December 31

Let's Talk Resolutions, People

Across the world, we're all the same. The same kind of person who makes resolutions each year to only blow them by the way side a few weeks later like a worn-out prostitute.

I'm no different. Obviously. Like I'd throw my precious readers to the wolves alone. No. I'm leading the pack. An angry Ging at the forefront, leading into battle, sword drawn. Too much? Least I'm not quoting Braveheart or anything. Dignity still in tact, thanks.

Last year, I tried to make mine generically existential. "To be a nicer person." And that has...well...kind of happened. Except for when I'm driving. In Virginia. Behind Gramps McGee who doesn't get the addition of Speed Limit + 5% Increase = Real Speed. I try though. I give them some courtesy sighs before I get up under their bumper and throw them to the wall. And trust me, I come from a part of Oregon that's known for it's meth addictions. And those people know Nascar. Two and two together, okay, good, on the same page now.

This year, I'm trying something new. Actually resolutions of factual increments.

Lost in translation??

Goal: Read 13 books in 2010. Log 500 miles in 2010.

Pretty beasty I'll say. But let's preface. CNN or BBC or some major news conglomerate stated how the numbers of books being read by adults is dwindling each year. I can agree with that. On average, we watch more television now than ever. And so I read something somewhere (profound, I know) that we should be able to read a book at a leisurely pace every 2 weeks. Okay, 2 weeks, I can get behind that. Now, I know some people (coughMOMMYMCDcough) who go through books like I go through reasons for hating treadmills. I say talent. So I'm here to step up my game.

It's been awhile since I've been forced to scrounge down literature. Over 2 years to be exact. And I don't miss my English Undergrad at all. It's ruined any desire for fiction (minus Chaucer, the man was a genius!). So now I'm left with an interest in only the nonfiction realm. Give me real facts. I want to learn something. Not just how Dan Brown drew out the last 20 pages of The Lost Symbol to wrap up the story with a pretty bow as opposed to ending in on the cliff and letting readers figure shit out on their own. But the man makes a pretty penny, and I only have a lowly English degree, so I believe Point: Dan Brown.

And about those 500 miles. I'd like to throw myself at another challenge. For starters, I signed up for a half marathon. Looking back, probably not the smartest idea I've ever had. Probably not even Top 5. But it's there. Looming on the schedule. Less than 12 weeks away. Running buddy with me. I'll do it. Will I be the fastest? Yes, when pigs fly after shooting liquid cocaine out of their nipples. Reality? No, but hopefully it'll spur me into continuing this cheap form of exercise (I say cheap, because it is compared to personal yoga sessions - it can also be expensive when you tabulate new shoes, gear, entrance fees, massages, and psychological therapy).

I'm not a runner. I mean, some people consider you a "runner" despite the fact you look like Phoebe after being hit by lightning. In that case, yes, I'm a runner. But I've never connected with running the way I do with yoga. I call it a slight bias when I'm just naturally built for yoga. So my goal is to change that. And maybe if I'm lucky/crazy/transformed, I'll add another race or 2 to the 2010 schedule. I think a short distance would be fun. NO, Mommy McD, I will NOT run a FULL marathon. Ever. Thanks. But I'll definitely keep the blogosphere posted.

I mean, what else do I do with my time? Definitely not cook for myself, unless I have to.

Wednesday, December 30

Mrs. Wookie: Head Of Household

It's not acceptable to come home to a house that's at 64 degrees. It's not acceptable to feel warmer in the hallway to our place than it is within our place. And It's not acceptable to have me shiver in the place I share. So I've turned up the thermostat. Hello 72! Much better. Please, come in, stay awhile, you're more than welcome.

Tuesday, December 29

It's Already Happening

I come home from work. Plop onto the couch. Crack open the laptop and refresh Blogger, thinking, So who's posted today??

Usually Mr. Wookie's already home, and if I'm really lucky, he's already started dinner.

But for the next 10 days, I'm roommate-less.

So tonight, as I come home, crash on the couch, start scrolling through Mommy McD's million posts (not judging, we all have backlog somewhere), I had a silent prayer that dinner would just appear for me. Guess what? I was wrong.

And now it's past 7pm, my time, which means Snappers (our local watering hole) is out of the question. I mean, I could still go, but I wouldn't get the $3 Happy Hour burger which is awesome. I'd have to pay $7 for it. So I don't think so.

So as I hunch over the keyboard mercilessly typing in for Gabriel's twin brother, the Archangel of Food Delivery, to arrive, I've made a plate of goat cheese and water crackers hoping for inspiration. And a little fuel for the 3 miles I have to log tonight. Via treadmill (ugh!).

I'm thinking my standby might have to come out of bullpin tonight.

What's my standby? Breakfast, bitches. And tonight, in the form of bacon and eggs. A little bit of protein, a little bit of cholesterol, a whole lot of TASTY!

I can see it now. "Hi, this is Martha Stewart, I love your idea of a goat cheese appy with a bacon-and-egg dinner. Let's put it on my website." Or not.

Edited to add:

You know it's cold when you freeze on the 50 yard walk to the gym. And yes, some may liken me to a wimp when it comes to lower temperatures. I don't think I have an argument against it. I just take life based on my genetics. Pale redhead. Ideal conditions: temperature, with a slight mix of rain. Some call Seattle-like weather misery. I consider it gorgeous.

And yes, I'm back on the magical couch of if-I-sit-here-long-enough-maybe-dinner-will-magically-materialize. I've relied on the magical powers of this couch long enough, I guess. Onward to the kitchen. Maybe the contents of the fridge will inspire me. Hopefully.

Monday, December 28

2009: You've Been Swell

We've had our ups and downs, haven't we 2009.

It started out with a boring, dismal New Year's Eve back in Oregon. I had just left Mr. Wookie after an exciting Christmas holiday in Nashville and Ohio. Minus the 5 lbs. that acquired to my backside courtesy of Grandmoose's (Mr. Wookie's paternal grandma) cookies, I couldn't have had a better vacation. Next time I'd see him: Not sure.

Then on January 16th, at 5:30pm, I left the keys on my work desk. Locked the door behind me. And walked to my car. Slightly misty eyed, I called Mr. Wookie. There I was. 25, college education, excellent work ethic, with a vast empire of unemployment on her doorstep. Where would I go? What would I do? What's next? And why won't Mr. Wookie answer his phone?? (Story of his life. He never hears his phone. Yet, if you text him right after you call, he'll respond. Men.)

So with this new freedom upon my world, I set out for travels again. Mr. Wookie had recently relocated courtesy of the Navy to this long-lost world of Norfolk, Virginia. All the way on the other coast. Well, it was a warm and welcomed improvement from the cultural shock of Florida. Mr. Wookie enticed me with texts of the market a half block away with organic produce, the Downtown lifestyle of walking everywhere and not needing a car, and his very own yuppy loft.

Norfolk welcomed me with open arms. And so did those friendly neighbors 3 hours north. Mommy McD was beyond ecstatic to have another awesome militarily attached Oregonian out in this time zone. And I definitely missed her offspring (by the way, Happy Birthday Braxton! Little man is 4 today!)

Then my world took a smack. The Sheriff non-chalantly texts, "Call me please." This is usually followed by him having way too many questions for his thumbs to text so he just asks you to call. This time: WRONG. This time it was followed by, "your mom's in the hospital." Cue instant panic. Cue "Do I need to come home?" Followed by, "Since when? Why? How long will she be in? Why did you tell us sooner? Can you go pick up flowers for me?" And all the other questions that flood your mind when you're in the toy room with 2 rambunctious toddlers throwing balls at your head (no, really, they have like a McDonald's ball pit, and those balls can pick up steam).

But thankfully it wasn't anything too serious. She was out after a week and a half. And I stayed put since I was planning on being back in 2 weeks. Had it been anything worthwhile, I would have been on the first Never Ending Story flying dog back home. Guaranteed.

March was great as the family went on another awesome vacation together (minus Brother & Wife). This time a Princess cruise (holy pampered!) to Mexico. A week lounging, drinking, laughing, and entertaining with My Genetics. It was great. Each vacation produces more and more memories and one-liners. And the pictures never lie. I had a great time. Everyone sunburned.

Then I dropped the bombs on my parentals: "I think I'm going to move out to Norfolk."

I initially described it as just trying on the city. Seeing if I liked it. Seeing what their job market held (as in, was it better than here, which truthfully couldn't be any worse).

So I packed 2 carry-on bags, a backpack, and my purse, wiped my snotty nose on the Sheriff's shoulder and boarded that plane, so long Oregon. And that was the beginning of May.

The rest of May and June were spent on Job Search '09, which is always a tumultuous roller coaster of emotion as you get your hopes up with each interview only to be let down when they hire someone without a college education as it's cheaper for them.

June 15, 2009: A day that will last in infamy. 2 temp-to-hire job offers!

After internal deliberation, careful and meticulous debating with the parentals, with insight from Mr. Wookie, I take the Catering Coordinator position for a large company. Without any real catering training, I jump feet first. And I love it. And I'm slowly acquiring the nickname of "Martha (Stewart)" - I could get used to that.

And somehow July, August, September, October, and November flew by!

Between working sometimes long hours (10+ hour days), spending weekends on roadtrips (like 4th of July in D.C.), indulging in the amazingly warm water the Atlantic ocean boasts, a super successful trek back to Oregon, an unfortunately disappointing Beaver Football season, almost half of the year completely passed.

But here we are...the end of December, and I can't believe it. I had such a bad year. But such a good year. Yes, unemployment is not attractive. But thankfully Mr. Wookie isn't judgmental. Just incredibly supportive and willing to let me try out this city, looking for opportunity.

So I'll say goodbye to the last Monday in 2009. It's been great. And I'll miss you.

Friday, December 25

Like One Sister, Like All Sisters

In preparation for our journey to England next year, the Sisters were granted travel pillows for the lengthy trip across the country/Atlantic ocean.

Too bad this picture didn't come out larger. But it's Skype, it can't be perfect.

Christmas Via Webcam!

When you live 3,000+ miles from those who share genetics with you, you take matters into your own electronic hands. I present you, Skyping Christmas-style.

Middle Sister showing off both her new glasses and her present from Sister Ging.

And the Sheriff got the Margaritaville blender for those tailgating efforts next season. And the family goes crazy. Including this blogger. Can't wait, people.

Merry Christmas Family, Friends, and Readers!

Whether I feel like it's Christmas or not. It's here. Tree and all. Merry Christmas!

And because of the Christmas Eve addition of family presents to the tree, it's filled out nicely below. And I wonder how many other awesome nametags I'll find.

These oddly shaped presents were the result of a recon mission yesterday. (Mom, these are them. Yes, I'll take 'after' shots.) Do you have any idea how difficult it was to wrap odd-shaped presents. Next time, I'm looking for one of those big bags you just throw crap into. Problem solved.

And what arrived Wednesday?? This lovely box. And I'm excited. Why? It's a hardwood vacuum. Yes! You know you're getting antiquated when you want home supplies like a hardwood floor vacuum. But hey, I hate sweeping. And besides, I think you're jealous.

And the last post for this early morning's blog: The obligatory Monkey Bread shot. What is Monkey Bread? Well, for starters, a severe family tradition. Each holiday eve, the Sheriff whips this up for the family to enjoy. And since the family has grown with the addition of the long-term boyfriend of Middle Sister (who has the appetite of a winter-starved Grizzly) and then a Sister-In-Law, we've had to implement 2 bundt pans for this masterpiece. But the recipe is this ooey, gooey hunk of dough, brown sugar, butter, and deliciousness. Bake for 30 minutes, ish. And enjoy. But be warned. Fighting may ensue in big families that have only made 1 pan.

Thursday, December 24

Now It's Looking Like Christmas!!

Thank you to the postal system that expedited the 2 large boxes that were meant for the Wookie & Co. household. It was mucho appreciated.

And, of course, the standard surprise expressions of love from the Best Coast.

And in this family, this is how we do name tags. With style. How do you not like this?

Wednesday, December 23

Who The Heck Wakes Up At 4:50am On A Work Day? the time frame of getting out of work an hour-plus late, scrounging Barnes & Noble for a gift for a coworker (and finding nothing!), rushing home to decompress for 15 minutes before donning Orange and hitting up the Sports Bar: Gator's....I'm officially ready for this spoiling 4-day weekend ahead of me.

But first, the ass-crack of dawn...

Because of all things procrastinating, I still have to make my goodies for the office. Not the whole office, but the few on my team. And what happens when you have a Vegan on your team? Well, the whole recipe is screwed. So I spent most of yesterday's time on the computer (which wasn't much with 2 events on my calendar) Googling, "vegan holiday recipes"..."vegan holiday cookies"...and "Can I just say it's Vegan to make it look like I went the extra effort?"

So I'm settling on Molasses Cookies. They should be quick and relatively painless. The only thing I'm missing is the molasses. Ahhh, you now see why I'm up this early. I needed to be up and ready for the world at the beautiful time of 6:00am. Then 'hello, grocery store.'

Where's Mr. Wookie in all this? He left at 4:50am. For Base. He has to work today. And let me tell you. When you don't let the Wookie start his "holiday beard" before Christmas, it's not a pretty sight. So next time, Navy, please let the Wookie win and have a month off for Christmas. He and his beard will thank you. We promise.

Monday, December 21

Mama Ging, Look What Wook Got Me!

No, Mom, not that. And yes, I know you that well. No, it's not a ring. It's better. :)

It's a real live Christmas tree! Last Wednesday, Mr. Wookie texted me, "I have a surprise for you." He had just went to Costco, so I assumed that Cheerios were already a given. But then I thought, what if he bought us a fake tree (fake is what they do out here on this coast). Maybe there was a killer deal. Turns out, no, on Base had killer deals on REAL trees. Yes! This native Oregonian is not disappointed at all. Well, I mean, it's not a 10ft-plus tree like Mama Ging and the Sheriff have back home, but it'll absolutely do. Yes sirree!

And thank you to Middle Sister's whose 3-Day UPS shipment arrived at work today. And in plenty of time. Thankfully the tree is starting to look a bit more festive as I wrapped Mr. Wookie's presents this weekend. Mama Ging is trying to throw things out today as the time is slowly crunching to Christmas. Good thing this holiday only happens once a year.

Cross your fingers I'll make it back to Oregon next year. I need to. It's been 2 years since I've been back for the holidays. I say blame Mr. Wookie. Last year I skipped town to spend time with him. It had been 7 months and 26 days apart courtesy of Flight School. So I think I deserved it. This year is sadly that I don't have vacation time until January 1st. It's the downside of being the new fish at work and living on the wrong coast.

But let's hope I can make it back in February/March for New Baby '10! This would include introducing Aunt Ashley to the new arrival (gender TBD upon arrival), Partner A hitting up some Partner B/Oregonian love, and potentially side-trekking down to Redding for some delicious In N Out. "Welcome to the family niece or nephew, how do you take your burger? Double doubled? Animalized? Or plain?"

Happy Winter Solstice Day!

Finally, the darkest day of the year has arrived. And perfect timing. Because waking up early to train for a half marathon isn't the greatest when the sun doesn't rise until 7:15am.

And running in the dark behind Mr. Wookie while he's in all black isn't ideal for not stumbling over curbs, branches, and my own feet.

But then again, being forced onto a treadmill doesn't prevent crying from boredom.

Apparently the sun doesn't know I have a job that requires me into the office as early as 7:00am sometimes. Well, maybe I should send a memo.

Sunday, December 20

One Upon A Time I Went Back Home

Some considered it a trip back home. I also considered an early birthday present. I was looking forward to trees, real mountains, good food, no humidity, lots of family, great beer, a lack of sleep, and a Beaver victory. I almost got it all. Damn you, Arizona.

It started with an early ass flight from the Wrong Coast. Yay for window seats.

From there it propelled into 24/7 Family Fest! We were instantly thrown into preparing for the Beaver Victory that was to be had that weekend. Little did we know, there was no victory after all. But good thing we have this motto: "Win or lose, we still booze."

After hitting up the delectable eatery of Local Boys, the family was on a mission.

And with Cupcake Professor Middle Sister taking charge, she prepared an amazing tutorial in Decorating Cupcakes 101. With some time in the Albertsons bakery under her belt, let's just say she can do more than pipe. The bitch can pipe. I swear, if you wanted your cake to look like the back windshield of a Mexican suburban, she could probably do that too.

So the family tries out their flair. I, however, made it look like a 4-year-old did it. No impressive at all. Therefore I stood back and admired those with a bit more creative flair.

Sorry for the liquor bottles being in the way of the orange icing. Gosh, alcoholic.

Thanks Baby Sister! Your enthusiasm is appreciated! Or did you find the liquor cabinet?

The Sheriff trying his hand in the bakery. After all, he's a Food Network buff also.

But then the Sheriff was over the icing and in the living room reading Real Simple.

Then Mama Ging started her own tutorial. Apparently Baby Sister wasn't amused.

And the Master breaking out her skills. I swear she almost wrote Houshmandzadeh on one.

Fun Fact: #84 on the Bengals. Yes, teammate of the Ocho Cinco. Yes, both OSU grads.

Oh yay, Middle Sister's roommate is in on it now. We're thinking of going into business by now.

Mmmmmmm, orange icing. And even though they weren't funfetti, still delish!

And then Baby Sister was over it also. Plus we had to kill a little bit of time before dinner. At McMenamin's. With many PITCHERS of microbrews. And a whopping 16 people out to see me. I know, I know. I'm kinda a big deal. People know me.

But let's focus on game day. What's game day without jello shots? Made by Dr. K.

Dr. Stacey Kervorkian showing off her latest Beaver Gear purchase courtesy of Fred Meyer!

Now like Middle Sister's a professional in the baking department, Dr. K has received her Master's in Jello Shots. A real professional. She even has a cookbook. Okay, not really, but trust me. You want her to make them.

The graceful ballet as she delicately pours the concoction into the totally-not-stolen-from-a-fast-food-joint-and-not-ketchup-containers cups. An. Art. Form.

The worst part? Waiting for those suckers to set. Tick tock tick tock. Lame.

Little cups of awesomeness. So tasty. But don't be careless, they pack a punch.

Fast forward to tailgating time. Those little beauties are ready for testing.

So the trick is you have to get your tongue around the outside to pry it off the plastic...

Then you squeeze the sides together to launch it off the bottom...

And then vacuum any remaining edibles as any part not eaten is surely wasted. And we can't have that. No, not at all.

But then Middle Sister & Co. (definition: all of Middle Sister's friends, all Oregon State students, all awesome drinkers) decide to make this concoction of "Hop, Skip, and Go Naked."

Recipe: Take one Rubbermaid container, cleaned, primed for beverage containment.

Pour in massive amounts of alcohol and beer into container and watch liquid level rise.

Out goes an entire fifth, half a 12-pack of Coors, and some other ungodly amounts of stuff.

Pay no attention to the froth or the fact it looks like a septic system's worse nightmare.

It looks DISGUSTING. It smells even worse. And I wasn't convinced it'd be drinkable.

Top it off with whatever else won't skeeze out your tailgating company.

Stir with ladle and serve. But watch yourself. It's potent. I call it a cousin to Jungle Juice.

And thankfully we had some guests drop by to our tailgate: Uncle Myron & Wife!

And in honor of my birthday that was only a couple days away, I was given an honorary jello shot...the size of my head. Oi ve.

Dig in. And thankfully I had people to share with. Because between Dr. K's jello shots, the Hop, Skip, and Go Naked, and this bowl o' jello, I was feeling very festive.

Cup #? - Let's just say that Dr. K and I (both '07 college grads) did our best in keeping up with the Middle Sister & Friends. I think we handled ourselves quite well. Recovery is where the 25-year-olds differ from the peppy college students. Age doesn't help. Oh, to be young...

But soon it was time to make it back up to Portland. After a teary goodbye to Corvallis and Middle Sister, we ventured north. But what's a sleep out with Baby Sister without appropriate Beaver pajamas? Now if these pants aren't awesome, I don't know what it is. I think they're stellar. Just wait until the MC Hammer comeback tour hits. You won't be laughing then.

And in case you ever wanted to see Chicago from the air. Now that's a city.

And lastly, the view that doesn't impress me at all. Of the flat, lacking-of-any-terrain Virginia. While it's home, it's not Oregon. People don't die here. Well, I mean, they do. Usually in means other than getting lost on Mount Hood or in the mountains of Southern Oregon. Nature can't kill you out here. Just other people. Or ladders. That's it.

We've Got A Busy Day Today, Folks

My list is long. My patience patience - usually shorter than desired.

While I knocked out my family shopping and had the box Fed Ex'd last Tuesday, it still leaves this roommate of mine completely unaccounted for. Now don't get me wrong. I have a running list going of what I want to get him. But then take into consideration the fact that they may be out, wrong color, wrong size, just plain uglier in person, etc., and my day have more of a turn to it.

But today's goal is to get started at least.

And I'm thinking today is going well already. I'm up. Cheerios in belly. Hot shower had. Phlegm coughed up and waved at while it danced down the drain. Sounds like a pretty good start to any morning. Especially that last part. Goodbye coagulated snot!

Next stop: clothes. And lots. Last night's low was 21. Geesh. And this morning? Currently 30, feels like 23. Alright, alright, enough with the frigid. I still have 3 blocks to walk this morning to the mall. Better dry my hair all the way. No one wants split ends for Christmas.

Friday, December 18

The Inconveniences Of My Illness

As you may know, I'm the Queen of Mucus. The Queen of Sneezing. The Queen of Snotty Face. The Queen of OMG, Just Kill Me - No Need For 6 Feet Under Even.

But great story...

So I'm on my commute home, paying careful attention to both ladders and Gramps McGee (the usual suspects that delay my quick and painless drive home)....when all of a sudden, the worst happened.

*Cough* *Gag* *Loogie*

I just hawked up a loogie mid-commute. A chewy loogie. How do I know it's chewy? Well, because I was there. That's how. Plus I grew up with a big brother. He taught me lots. Not all of it educational. But Loogies 101 was definitely covered. That was my first year while waiting for the bus for Lone Pine Elementary. Thanks, Brother, by the way!

Anyways, back to the loogie...

I hawk up this loogie. With still 2+ miles in my commute. On the freeway. Yes, the same freeway that housed the freakin' ladder incident. So here I am driving. Still maintaining my +7 over the speed limit (Mama Ging, Sheriff, I'm with the flow of traffic, don't worry). And I'm holding this loogie in my mouth. It was awful. And you know how you start to salivate when you don't swallow. Well, this wad of disgusting nasal coagulations was growing in size. Awesome. So it started out as a chewy loogie and is now the size of a small dog.

When I finally make it off the freeway, in the Downtown area, I'm praying for a red light. And thankfully I get it. Open door. Let little phlegm friend go. So long.

Now the people behind me were probably thinking I drank too much at my office party and am pouring myself home. No. Not the case. Instead I'm fighting the winter illness and suffering when I have to house phlegm in my mouth because my timing is that superb.

I'm wondering how much more fun this weekend can hold for me.

I've already put lotion on my poor, red nose and cried because it burned so much. Why didn't I use my cloth handkerchiefs? I did. I have so much snot, I soaked through them. Quickly. Yes, I'm a snotty machine. Who wants to date me now?? Make a line!

And I've even attempted "nasal irrigation." As I found a blog post to further describe, "it's like douching your nose." Douche or not, I'm desperate. So up goes the stream of liquid, out comes my laughter. Really? People swear by this? Now I just feel like Snuffelufugus - I have a perma-leak of snot/saline draining out both sides of nose. I don't even think Urkel would find this attractive. But I'll try it again. It felt liberating for about 10 minutes, before my snotting supply revamped. It's non-stop. Now I know how Michelle Duggar's uterus feels. (Too much?)

Maybe I'll try another hot shower. I'm not optimistic. But it will give me a reason to put on my fleece pajama pants afterwards. I'll do almost anything for pajamas. Even killing a man. Just tell me he lost a ladder on I-264...he'll be a dead man.

Thursday, December 17

How Do I Spell Misery? M-U-C-U-S

Ever woke up at 2:45am with more mucus thank a banana slug in the Redwoods?

Ever tried desperately to milk your sinuses so they'd drain and you could sleep again?

Ever rain-danced after taking an allergy pill and hoping it works immediately?

Ever hopped in to the shower, cranked up the heat and steam, but then have it fail miserably and you're back at Square One?

Ever spent an hour and a half thinking of ways to stop your man-made mucus?

I can say I have.

Last night was misery. But I don't think I get to stop there. My Faucet Nose is still oozing out it's slime. I feel like my face is the crime scene for a Ghostbusters movie. Ooze everywhere. I don't know how else to stop it minus shoving 2 wine corks up there and hoping for the best.

I may just have to go to the market and pick up some severe drug action.

And haven't I mentioned that today is my office party? Nothing says, HAPPY HOLIDAYS like a nose like Rudoph because I've been forced to wipe it so many times.

So while I had my first breakfast at 3:00am because I was starving and wide awake, I thankfully was able to fall back asleep at 4:15 until 7:15am. I don't know what I would have done had my morning officially started at 2:45am. Probably make the news by throwing ladders in front of cars and chucking buckets of my mucus on Prom Queens. Yes, that's how.

Monday, December 14

Ladders, Kias, Soiled Underwear, and Stiff Drinks

Woke up with a sore throat. Thought, great! Too bad I can't take the day off.

Spent the day looking up ideas for this roommate of mine for Christmas.

Went over to Dick's Sporting Goods to try on some running supplies so Mama Ging knows what sizes and colors to buy this budding runner.

Got in car, made my way for home, merged onto on-ramp, SEE MINIVAN in front of me SWERVE, SEE LADDER in the middle of ON-RAMP, SEE NO WAY around ladder on ON-RAMP, HIT FREAKIN' LADDER ON ON-RAMP. Screech to halt. "Oh, shit, Mom! I hit a f***in' ladder!"

Panic ensues.

Oh my god, what do I do now? Do I call the roadside crew to pick up this freakin' trashed piece of metal? Who the f**k leaves a ladder in the middle of the road!? OMG, is my car okay? What will my insurance say? What will the State of Oregon say? OMG, I hit a freakin' ladder! Okay, hazard lights on. Carefully drive car off of ladder. Pull over as close to the barricade/retaining wall so I'm not smooshed like a cockroach in New Orleans. Carefully get out of car. Try and look at underbelly damage. Realize a car could rear-end Smurfette and I'd be a human speed bump. Pull ladder as far off the side of the freeway as possible. Continually curse. Tell my mom I'll let her know when I'm home.

Mama Ging, I'm home. I'm having a cocktail. Wook checked out the car. The undercarriage took a small hit. Some scrape marks. A small knick in my driver's side wheel well. But no cosmetic damage that Wook saw in his initial inspection. And no air leakage in my front tire. Yet. I'll let you know tomorrow morning.

Ugh. I think I'm allowed to have a case of the Mondays with this shenanigan.

Sunday, December 13

Mission Accomplished!

I'm sitting here, eating some cinnamon toast, thinking of making yogurt with frosted mini wheats, some wheat germ, raisins, and whatever else I find in the fridge, and I'm under my 2-hour dream of shopping for the Left Coast. High five, me!

There were a couple phone calls, making sure sizes and colors were appropriate. There was scorning at a person ringing me up because they were slightly retarded. I had my hand shook in one store when I told them I did my entire shopping for my family in less than 2 hours. Apparently I'm awesome. I know.

Now some could say I scrimped on time spent shopping and I could have missed that perfect gift. But I'll rebuttal by saying I spent a good amount of yesterday perusing online for that perfect gift. Perfection is in the eye of the beer holder. Or is that beauty? Nevermind.

Overall, I'm very impressed I was able to get in and out without any real hassle. There were never more than a half dozen people in the same store/floor as me. It was relatively quiet. Minus Harry & David. Which is weird. This small store that overflows with Moose Munch was the single-handedly busiest store of the mall. People like their tastes of Oregon. I can't really blame them.

Next mission: WRAP JOB! But this is by the easiest of the holiday responsibilities. I'm a pro. It runs in the family. We put Mexican work ethic to shame with the Fields Sisters ability to wrap, ribbon, and bow each present in record speed. We're like a Nascar pit crew, done in under 60 seconds.

And then there are those pesky cards laying on my coffee table. I started on them last night. And by started, I mean, I wrote out one card. So, technically, yes, they're started. Sometimes I just don't know what to write either. Or how I'm going to incorporate shameless promoting of my blog. I don't know, I just feel like people should have the option to stalk my blog as opposed to occasionally stalking me on Facebook (if they even have FB). Because at least I'm funny on my blog. And I can cuss. And I talk about drinking. And it's pretty with an orange and black background. And it's mine! And I feel as if I should let people know there's a little slice of heaven on the internet.

But first, lunch. Then, maybe, laundry. And those 4 miles that need to be logged. In this drizzle of storm. Oh yay, soggy feet, my favorite.

Operation: Christmas Shopping

For those who don't know, I'm a chipper piece of shit in the morning when I don't have an alarm to wake me out of my delicate slumber. And today's no different. Well, actually it could be now that I think about it.

I'm taking a break from my usual Sunday ritual of all-day pajamas and laundry.

Today, I'm hitting up the mall. RIGHT as they open. This blogger has a list of stuff to pick up and she doesn't want to deal with lunch-time stroller mafias cramping her style.

Nothing irritates me more than strollers, old people with fresh hip replacements, gaggles of teenage girls, the group of boys who just stare at anything with 2 legs, an ass, and something resembling boobs...pretty much anyone with a pulse at the mall who's not on A MISSION FROM GOD.

Move out of my way, people. I'm a Ging. I make way for myself whether you like it or not. And I will give you a good eye roll and sigh if you're in my way. So save yourself the issues, and step aside. I'm walking here.

To help me with my mission today, I spent most of yesterday analyzing the lists of those on the Left Coast, deciding what's possible to ship back for a low fee, and then making that list. Sadly, the cast-iron skillet that the Sheriff wants is not coming from this blogger. Shorry.

The mall opens at 11am. I'll be there right before, at least that's what I'm planning. I'll analyze my store layout so I know what ordered to hit things. My goal...okay, well...the time frame I think would be awesome: 1 hour. Definitely no more than 2 hours. I have 4 miles to log today. I am not waiting until dark and treadmilling it like a hamster.

If I can get everything purchased and wrapped today, and then sent out tomorrow, that'd be great. That's my underlying goal at least. There's only so much more time that can be alloted to shopping because those gifts have got to get across this expansive country.

So until I get my list crossed off, people, watch out. Crazy Ging on a warpath.

Saturday, December 12

Tonight's Dinner Music Brought To You By...

The One. The Only. The best Christmas album EVER! The Queen herself...

Say what you will, but to me it holds the title of Best Music for the holiday season.

And Family, an updated Wish List went out this afternoon. Let me know if there are Q's.

Thursday, December 10

Maybe Medicine Isn't His Calling

I may have jumped the gun in expressing how the Sheriff should study Medicine.

Apparently Surgeon Sheriff missed his target, slicing his finger instead. Way to go.

Sheriff, are we going to have to get your those dull kind of knives they give children to carve pumpkins? What other toys do we have to take away also? And please don't try to saber off the top of a champagne bottle. I fear that will end tragically. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 9

The Blog Post Worked

I come home from work. Plug my phone in. Turn it on. And zero missed calls/texts.

I know smart people. Well done, folks, well done.

Phone Down, Repeat: Phone Down

Apparently my phone didn't charge itself even though it was plugged in last night. So until the mean time, no communication methods with me. Shorry!

Tuesday, December 8

Yesterday = Not My Favorite Day Of The Week

Beware, ranting and raving to follow. But you should be used to it by now. Yes, you!

First off, the butt-crack of O-Dark:Thirty for waking up. For anyone else, I would have probably made them get a cab to the airport that early. But since it was those who gave me life, and haven't taken it away yet by either a frying pan to the skull or a shove off a cliff, I decided to be hospitable and Gymkana them to the airport. And that's after I missed the turn and had to GPS our way back.

Secondly, I thought it might be a good idea to hit the gym yesterday morning after my taxi duties were relieved since I had time to kill before getting ready for work. Well, Ashley + lack of sleep + treadmill + 2 miles = not good. Yesterday morning affirmed me that I'm am NOT a morning worker-outter. Too much effort. Not enough pay off. I still had eye boogies probably and hadn't had my morning bowl of Cheerios. That just screams that my day is not started the right way. So back to evening running, it is. Besides, in the morning, I'm not frustrated/irritated/annoyed with life. How can I burn off steam without pent-up energy? My points, exactly.

Thirdly, I had leftover Mama Ging's casserole for lunch. Not a bad part in my day at all. Just wanted to say that my lunch was delicious. Now you know.

Fourthly, I was scheduled off at 5:00pm...but moseyed out of work at 5:30pm. Because I wasn't in last Friday, some of my duties weren't properly done. So I had to back-track on the work. Yay me.

Fifthly, I'm starting to feel the buzz/tickle/ache/feeling that I'm getting a slight cold in my face, so I head to the nearest Walgreens/Rite Aid on a mission. My mission: Elderberry extract. If you have no idea what it is, you can Google it for a severe definition, but short story: it's a plant that's derived from the Middle East that's used as an immune system booster. Once you feel like you're catching something, jump on this liquid 3 times a day and you'll feel better in usually 24 hours. But...there's a catch. Where I'm from...Oregon...kinda hippie. Where I live...Downtown Yuppie...kinda not hippie. Both Walgreens and Rite Aid had nooooooo idea what I was talking about. So I'll try the Vitamin Shoppe tonight on my way home from work and hope I score there. Wish me luck, because I need it!

Sixthly, and unrelated to feeling like I'm catching a small bug, I had a doctor's appointment last night at 7:00pm. No, I don't have cancer. No, I'm not losing a limb. I just figured since I have this amazing thing called insurance now, I might as well put it to use! Well while I'm there meeting my new doctor, she asks questions I don't want to hear.

"So, would you like a flu shot?"

"When was the last time you had your blood work done?"

Umm, flu shot...yes, I should have one. I missed the office one during my trip back to Oregon for that pitiful loss to Arizona. So...yes...I'll have a flu shot. Well, technically it's been since Sophomore year in college during HHS Whatever-It-Is. But I lie, yes, I lied to my new doctor, and say it's only been 3 years. Maybe that'll take the heat off me.

"Well, it's been 3 years, you're due."

UUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Omg, this is NOT happening to me.

So I pony up for the flu shot since those are relatively painless. Stab. And we're done.

But blood work makes me cringe. But let me just set it straight. Yes, needles scare the CRAP outta me. I blame that wench of a nurse when I was getting my Kingergarten Boosters. The bitch stabbed me like I was a Zodiak Killer victim. So now I'm tormented. And then there's the issue of where you draw blood work from. That cute little piece of your elbow. JAB! Right there, a sewer pipe in your arm. My thoughts are, what if I bend my elbow, will the needle go right through???? These are the thoughts in my warped brain.

So I agree to the blood work with some conditions. A.) The bitch better be good. I mean, goooooood. One stick. That's all you get. I'm not signing up for the position of Human Pin Cushion. When I hear about how people can't find the vein, I just want to kick them in the ovaries. Or testicles. Either/or, doesn't matter. And B.) Inconspicuously bring the needle in. Please don't show it off like it's a prized 10-point elk head. I will not be excited. I'll be passed out.

And I love how they try to make small talk while I'm clearly focusing on how soon this will be over.

"So how many siblings do you have?"

*Lamaze breathing techniques*

Listen lady, I'm breathing like I'm dying. To me, this is dying. I'd rather return back to when I was 12, wrestling with Brother, the time my head smashed into the hearth, and he paid me $5 to not tell my parents. Hi Mama Ging and Sheriff, you didn't read this, mmmmkay?!

But I make it out alive. Bandages everywhere. Feeling like a heroin addict.

The first person I call: The Sheriff

"Hey, I just had blood work done. Is it okay for me to have a drink?"

"Well you need to replenish your liquids somehow."

Maybe the Sheriff should pursue a career in Medicine. Dr. Sheriff. It's got a ring to it.

Monday, December 7

Hello Chicagoland!

Dear Midwest Weather,

Courtesy of Mama Ging's cell phone

I'm pretty sure my parents don't appreciate the conditions at O'Hare International. They'd like to make it home to Psycho Cat, Si Casa Flores, and the Future Grandbaby.

And if you could dust the Hampton Roads area with just a bit of white over the Christmas holiday weekend, I'd be very grateful/happy/excited/inspired.

Thanks so much, Weather, look forward to hearing from you.


Mrs. Wookie

The Downside of Airport Taxis

It's 3:37am and I'm up. Why? Because when you have family come in for Navy events like we had, there comes a time when they have to jump in those metal tubes back home. And unfortunately, their flight leaves at 6:00am from Norfolk.

So good morning.

And excuse me if I'm not doing back handsprings. I haven't had my Cheerios yet.

Sunday, December 6

Surviving a Winging Party 314

As I mentioned before, the Winging is a ceremony that is followed by Drunk Fest '09.

This Winging, no different from another ceremony.

This time it was held at our watering hole: Snappers. Since the boys were in control of the location, it might as well be where most of us live and not in some far-off bar in Virginia Beach.

There was live music. Our favorite bartenders working. A good showing of people. Very stiff drinks. And lots of family and friends.

I even met a guy from Roseburg, Oregon, of all places!

It started out with dinner with the family, where they got to experience the excellent calamari that we rave over at Snappers. And to say a few drinks were had is an understatement. The Sheriff, alone, had 7 gin and tonics over the night. And a beefy cigar.

I lost track at my drink count. But I remember all the night, which is great.

And sadly I only took a handle of pictures. I was way too busy mingling, watching one husband get way too drunk to function, hear about Wook having to pour said husband into the vehicle that took him (but that was after this one husband was having digestive regurgitations in a corner in the bar), listen to the live music, talk football with the fellow Pac-10ers (from USC), and not counting my drinks.

Here's Wook's mug in all its glory. The boys are part of the "Mug Club." It's an invite-only group of Snappers regulars. And for those who know the show "Three Sheets," this is his Pleeplius Kong. Now, you, drink.

The night was a legen...dary one. Around 1:30am was last call. At 2:00am, Tiffany and Erin (our bartenders) start kicking everyone out. At 2:15am, this butt-puppet tries to buy another drink. Tiffany has to get angry. And to see a sweet North Carolina girl get angry was cute at best.

At 2:16am, we head outside so they can lock the doors and start their massive clean-up operation. It's pouring outside. There's about 8-10 of us there. One instructors recommends Bugatti's - this skeeeeeeeezy after-hours club. We've heard if you end your night there, you're making a big mistake. So I bid Wook adieu as I'm not crossing that threshold.

I head home, put in How I Met Your Mother, grab some pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, and call it a night. Wook comes home 20 minutes after me, having not gone to Bugatti's, made a quesadilla, and watched HIMYM also. But that was after I fell asleep. It was a long night.

But overall, it was a great night. And the first time a Winging Party closed down their venue. Points for my boys. They're trained drinkers. I'm proud of them. Both their livers and their Wings. I love my boys.