Oh Yeah – New Month, New Year!

Hey! I guess I should send out a request for some January 2011 holidays, shouldn’t I? It’s just around the corner! You know what to do; anything you want celebrated in January, just let me know!

Here are some random stories:

One of my coworkers was whining yesterday while I was pouring myself a cup of coffee. He had a craving for a snack or drink or something, but said that none of the departments had anything available. Then he said, “I need something hot!…..Come here, Tara!” Although I was sort of flattered, I told him to get in line. Then I told him that I brought cookies that my brother’s girlfriend sent us, so that made him happy.

My brother had me laughing hard on Christmas Eve. I was in a goofy, giddy mood. We were all healthy this year, so it’s definitely something to celebrate. After I referenced a line from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and made most of the table crack up laughing, my brother started talking about a salesman from Best Buy. Apparently the guy was suffering from a congested cold, and my brother’s description got me laughing. This encouraged him to go into more detail than any of us needed, but I couldn’t stop laughing.

My hips and ribs hurt at the moment. I woke up the Wii Fit this past week and decided to try the application that simulates the hula hoop. Holy hell. Good workout though!

Tomorrow I’m going to the movies with my mom and my nephew (before he goes back to college) to see “True Grit”. I’m not a Western or Matt Damon fan, but I heard the movie is good and my mom wants to see it. I have been pleasantly surprised before about a movie someone else recommended (last one I remember was “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), so I’ll give it a shot!

I hope all of you have a wonderful, festive start to the New Year, and that the days that follow are all happy and healthy! I’m so grateful that I have the priviledge of knowing all of you.

“I’m in My Office!!”

Thought I’d tell you about my adventures during our campus’s renovation. For the longest time I was able to sit at my usual spot and do my job while watching my coworkers struggle as they changed their desks and phone extensions. I felt a bit like an outsider to the whole thing.

Well that changed! I left work one day with my area of white walls and coffee-stained carpeting, and returned with at least 3.5 walls all wallpapered beautifully with terracotta and mustard yellow! I am so happy with the new colors. Then I left for a brief, Thanksgiving break to come back with new carpeting. Something was missing that day, though. Oh, I know. My desk!

I was missing my desk. It’s a big, reception-style desk, so it’s hard not to notice. All that remained was my phone and switchboard. My friend set up a little card table for me and then my other friend rolled up one of the little filing cabinets I use in the area. I’m happy to report that, on that 1/2 day of work for everyone, I was the main source of amusement! Here’s a photo:

Me, Myself and I

People were wired that day, it was probably due to the fact that we only had a half day of work before Christmas break. I don’t know, but wow, people loosened their lips! My friend and I heard our I.T. guy use the term “cluster f**k” a zillion times, and then came the outpouring of short jokes about yours truly.

The new desk had arrived and people who walk through the main door can barely see me, according to all the people who are taller than 5’10. I love the desk, I still do. As an introvert, I don’t find a problem with the fact that I’m hidden sometimes.

By the end of that short (no pun intended) day, I was fried from all of the jokes. I’ve got brothers, all naturally taller, who have flung the brotherly shit at me about being 5’1. “Coffee stunts your growth, obviously” – “She’s a hobbit” – “Suffers from migititis”, etc. Call it pre-PMS, but I was fed up. I started firing back, but then felt like a bitch later on. I never apologized, though.

Anyway, after all of that fuss, I went on Christmas break for a few days. When I came back, I was able to settle down at my new desk without the short jokes….

But wait…My computer wasn’t set up! The tech assistant tried, but found out that the power had been shut off until tomorrow. I won’t be there tomorrow. Today, though, I sat at my new desk with hardly anything to do but wait for the phone to ring. Thankfully it rang enough. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one on duty this week! Thankfully, the “skeleton crew” who worked today had a sense of humor. I love my skeleton crew. :)

Ribbons and Wrapping Paper

Hello there! I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah, because you deserved something positive and special.

Sooo…what kind of loot do you want to brag about? My brother bought me a new printer/scanner/copier! It’s pretty awesome. I can now print stuff instead of go to a library or to work to print stuff out. The only un-awesome thing was to find out that a much-needed USB cord wasn’t included with the printer. I had to run over to Walmart for a second time to get one, and those aren’t as cheap as I would like them. I buzzed back home and finished installing the gift. Unlike installing something on my old, crusty PC, this installation actually worked without sucking the life blood out of my computer!

To celebrate, here’s a very old, random photo I scanned from my new toy:

Beach Roamers

This was me, my school friend, “S” and my mom in the background having a good time playing on the beach on what seemed to be a day too cold for a swim.

Anyway, Merry Belated Christmas to all of you! Next up is a brand new year! Yay! Pack your bags, 2010!

“Add Some Rum but Just a Drop, Then It’s Time to Stop.”

Our Winter concert went really well! We sang our hearts out and we won the crowd, Maximus. I ordered a CD of the concert, so I’ll be able to pick that up in January.

During our “Fruitcake” song (which I think the audience really enjoyed – I could hear some chuckling in the audience over some of the lyrics), our director, T, put on a chef’s hat and then looked at us with a serious expression, which cracked us up and got us all relaxed. I loved that song even more.

Someone presented T with a gift after our last song, and I think it was a little hippo figurine since we sang the song, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. He was so psyched over that gift that he had us sing that song again. It was an encore presentation. We were so happy and ready because the last three songs were more deep and meaningful than fun. To sing a crazy song again before we left for the season was a bonus.

I’m on vacation for most of this week. I have to work for a half day on Thursday, but I don’t really take that too seriously. I’ll work, but it might be one of those fun, goofy days. Two things my mom ordered for our family finally came in, so we’re all officially done and ready for the holiday! I am ready for Christmas. I hope all of you are too!

“Let’s Dance!”

This weekend has been busy for me! I will admit to only you that my weekends aren’t usually action packed. Maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t.

Anyway, our choir’s dress rehearsal was on Saturday. The Cackler wasn’t there to “help” us out, but we survived, had some laughs and got in some practice before the big day.

Afterwards, I zoomed home, got all beautified for my company’s Christmas party, and then waited for my friend and her husband to pick me up. I was very impressed with their car, it was pretty cool (by cool I mean that the door handle to the back seat wasn’t located in the normal place).

The food at the party was delicious, that’s all there is to it. I wish I had gathered up some for a take-home box. I did try to fill up my plate with as much of the food as possible. I didn’t care that I looked like I made myself a trough.

There was a dance floor, and so we danced. I encourage crazy dancing, but will admit that if nobody else is out there, I will not be the one to start the dancing. I need encouragement. After that, though, I’m so there. Thankfully there were many people at the party who needed to dance it all out. We did the “Electric Slide” and some other random dances. We also tried to start a long train by dancing to the song “The Locomotion”, but too many people were party poopers. I’m very disappointed, actually. Next year I hope to see more dancing to what could be one of the easiest dances ever. Lighten up, people!

I was amused over the Christmassy disco lighting on the ceiling. I was caught staring at it in wonderment, but sadly not on camera.

These are some of my ultra-fabulous coworkers. These were the people who encouraged me to get out there and dance, one of those people being my manager. She is a fun person.

My coworker, C, and myself. She was one of those people who didn’t get out there and dance. Grr.

This is another friend/coworker and her husband dancing to a song I had never heard. Those two were very good at coaxing others to dance.

Jazz Hands! This is another coworker. I’m disappointed that he didn’t join us for the Locomotion dance, but at least he could give me this pose.

Turn in Your Permission Slips!

Okay, class! It’s time to go on an excursion! Find your partner, line up and make sure I have your signed permission slip. If you have to use the restrooms, now would be a good time.

1. Of excursions you remember taking in elementary school, which was your favorite?

I liked the trip to Hale Farm, one of our historical villages. The main reason I liked that particular trip was because the kid I had a crush on asked me to be field trip partners.

2. Of excursions you remember taking in elementary school, which was your least favorite?

The one trip I didn’t like was to the local school during a Halloween while I was in Elementary school (not a field trip). I went with my friend and her parents, and I remember being terrified of the people dressed as witches leading me into a room with an operating table. Blergh. My friend’s dad was holding me, and he turned around as soon as I freaked.

3. What seems like a really good school excursion destination that nobody seems to take?

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on a school excursion, but I think it would be cool to take kids to the science center we have, or to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. Oh, and to Progressive Field! As a kid, I would’ve loved to have been able to walk out onto the baseball field, even though I wasn’t a sports fan then, either.

4. Which of your recent activities might pass for an educational excursion?

Going to Walmart is always educational – one way or the other. :)

5. When a sack lunch was needed for a field trip, what was most likely in your brown paper bag? How about now?

A peanut butter sandwich, a piece of fruit and a bag of chips or Fritos. Almost the same nowadays, except maybe instead of a PB sandwich, I would accept a tunafish or turkey with mayo.

Snow Happens

This week has been dragging. It hasn’t helped that for at least three of those days, we’ve had freezing temps and wind chills that slap you from head to toe through your core.

We were also welcomed by some snow that lasted from Sunday through Tuesday (into Wednesday for some other areas). Monday was the heaviest snow day, but we all showed up for work. I’d say 95% of the calls that came in were from either parents of students or the students themselves asking if the school was closed. Morning classes were delayed two hours, but aside from that we were open for business. I heard exhausted sighs over the phone, disgusted tones and one mother called in and was, and I quote; “LIVID” that we weren’t closed and that her son had to drive to school in the snow. I just listened intently at her rant, knowing that she wasn’t really blaming me for the weather or that the school was still open. Then a student called and this was our conversation:

Student: “Is the school open tonight?”
Me: “Yes, so far we’re open.”
Student: “How will we know if the school closes?”
Me (by that time of day I probably sounded like either a broken record or a commercial) “You can check out Channel 3…”
Student (Angry and under the assumption I have mental telepathy): “I can’t watch TV, I’ll be at work!”
Me: “Okay, you can check the school closings on the channel’s website then, if..”
Student: “I work in a factory, there’s no internet!”
Me (running out of ideas): “You can also call our school later to check…”
Student: (angry mumble) *CLICK*

I understand the frustration, though. I understand that it was worse in some areas than it was in ours, and some students drive a long distance to get to school. It’s even worse if they do drive up to the school only to find out that classes were canceled. Night classes started on time that night, though.

I also heard, “Hey, the other school (he meant the campus on the east side) is closed, how come you ain’t?” I’ll just leave that one open for comments.

The sun is out now and we have a very brief hiatus before the next storm rolls in. The next one is due next week when I’m on vacation. Woo hoo!