Saturday, January 28, 2012

Like Montreal, only different...

When I was 20, I went to Montreal for a week.  I went for the comedy.  There's a massive comedy festival there every summer, so I went.  I stayed in a youth hostel - about which, I wrote a joke; "Ten women, one bathroom - you'd be hostile too."

It was great, except that it was a little lonely. Even knowing enough French to get by, there was still a language barrier.  I accepted coffee with a young man, only to realize he meant at his apartment...I figured this out and invented meeting my friends and ran off before we even got close to his place. But aside from that, I didn't have anyone to share my experience with.  And that sucked.  By my last day, I was so ready to come home that I went to the bookstore, bought a Maeve Binchy, went to the airport early and read.

I mention this because I got a similar feeling during my trip to Seattle.  The Space Needle is amazing, but what good is it if you can't elbow someone and say, "Isn't this amazing - that's Mt. Ranier - it's HUUUGE!"  It's also a pain to have to be in charge.  When you're alone, you have to hustle to get the car, get the bags, figure out when to get up, where to have dinner, what to do after dinner.

While there's no rule by committee, there's also no sharing.


Green Screen Backdrop, but I did go to the actual Space Needle



Of course, that means if I order dessert, I don't have to surrender any of it.

I'm home now, and I'm glad to be here.

As it turns out, we have another trip ahead of us.  This one is with some other people - but it's shorter.  Still, it should be fun.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back in Seattle, again...

So.  Big change from the last time I was in Seattle.

And I don't mean the layover from the Alaska trip.

I'm thinking of this post.

I feel like so much has changed.  Like everything.

For one, I'm healthier.

For two - I'm so much happier.

For three - work is stable, and you might even say...amazing.

I'm also doing more.  Went to the market, I've walked all over downtown.

And tomorrow, I'm thinking Space Needle.

Of course you know I went to McPhee.

So maybe not everything has changed.

ae

Sunday, January 22, 2012

That Amaz...on!

I'm headed to Seattle next week for work, and since Southwest doesn't offer in-flight wifi (perhaps the only thing Delta does "better"), I will need some reading material.  I don't want to spend a lot of money, so this morning, I did a search at Amazon for free stuff I could throw onto the Kindle.

Well, as it turns out, I haven't looked at the free stuff in ages.  And...

As it also turns out - you know how we thought I was super cool and hip?  Well...yeah, I'm not.

See, Kindle has a lot of free content that is basically...porn.  And, you know, I like porn - well, I don't actually like porn - I think it's pretty hilarious - but I understand that men are visually stimulated and that men like porn.  So that's fine with me.  

I guess technically, since this is written material, it qualifies as erotica.  Again, I'm down with that.

Except - there was some fairly specific content on Amazon.  I submit, for your amusement:

*A is for Anal

*The Madame X School of Sex

*Elf Bitten; A Taryn Milloy Fantasy

*Stepdad Likes to Watch (Insatiable Stepdaughter)

*Bheca's Time at College With Jennifer [this is the worst title ever, seriously]

*Free Fuck - A Stranger Gangbang

*XXX-Tra Credit

*Skip Day with Brother

*Naughty Puppies [not a mis-shelved Children's Book]

*How to Eat Another Man's Wife

*The married guy's guide to (extra-marital) guilt-free sexual excitement - without cheating [actually, this title is pretty bad, too]


*Rachel Rabbit is Rarin' to Go

*Pounding My Mother-In-Law [author's name is Raminar Dixon...yep]

and possibly, my favorite - the reason I even decided to post...

*Santa Enters Through The Back Door


I could go on here.  For hours.

No, I didn't download any of it.  

But it made me realize that people out there are a lot freakier than I give them credit for.

Different strokes for different folks.

But if they can get that stuff up on Amazon... why again, am I not a bestseller?

Maybe I should crank out some hilarious fictitious sexploits, slap on my porno nom de plume (Wyntri Mixxx) and make a little cash.

And then, you know - finish the great American novel and cement my name in history forever.  Under my real name.

Yeah, I'll let you know...

ae



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love/Hate

There's something you should know about me.  I did not eat at a Cracker Barrel for the first time until I was 23 years old.

I tell you that because, growing up, they just weren't in my line of sight.  We had a local breakfast place called The Southern Skillet that was a million times yummier in every way - they had lunch and dinner too - and every bite was amazing.  Their bread - biscuits, rolls, cornbread - were all breathtaking.  They made a coconut creme pie that would make you weep.  Their food food - you know, meat loaf, chicken, etc - was just phenomenal.  And it's where the locals would go and it was just great.   They went out of business just over a year ago - I still miss them.

And given a choice, I'd still rather eat there than just about anywhere.

But, in addition to having a better option, we just didn't have any Barrels anywhere near us.  If we wanted  a chain breakfast, Waffle House was the obvious choice.

Even after that inaugural trip to Cracker Barrel,  I was hardly a regular.  In fact, it wasn't til I moved to Nashville that I started hitting it up from time to time.

Here's what I love  - and I use the word love very generically here  - about the Barrel:


- The food is generally good and always the same.  The biscuits at Exit 211A are going to be the same as the biscuits at Exit 79.   

- It's super cheesy, but I like the general store.  I don't ever buy anything, but there's actually a scarf there that I wanted tonight.  I may have to go back.  They also carry Avanti Press greeting cards, which are awesome.

- I have an affinity for being able to order breakfast any time.  One of my favorite things in the world is to go out for breakfast, but Matt doesn't get into that as much as I do.  I also love having breakfast for dinner, which isn't Matt's thing either.  So Cracker Barrel lets me get my bacon on at any time of day.  And for that, I am grateful.

- The service is polite but detached.  The servers are always friendly, and never too familiar.   

- The price is reasonable.  I mean, sometimes, I have to ala carte a little to get what I want - because ideally, I want a biscuit, some bacon, hashbrown casserole and maybe some gravy.  I never want eggs. Because as much as I love breakfast, really, the only eggs I ever seek out are the cheesy eggs from Waffle House.

- I'm always younger, thinner and prettier than the average patron.   Can I say that about Cabana?  No, not on a good day.  But I could easily win a pageant at Cracker Barrel.


It's not all good though - for the things I love about Cracker Barrel, there are just as many things I hate:


- Word is that it's a racist and homophobic company.  Given that, should I really be giving them my money?  No, I shouldn't.   

- Screaming babies.  Cracker Barrel has more screaming babies per capita than any restaurant ever.  And much like the aforementioned consistency - every single location is chock-full of screaming babies, which stresses me out.

- The food isn't that good for you.  I mean, they do post their nutritional info, and if I want to stick to Weight Watchers there, I can.  But remember when I mentioned I was one of their thinner patrons... I think I'm telling you there's a correlation.

- Elderly people with respiratory issues.  There's nothing like being seated next to someone who is recovering from double pneumonia and sounds like he's about to bring up a lung to squelch even the breakfast lovingest of appetites.

- It's a chain.  And shouldn't I be giving my money to local businesses? Cracker Barrel is the Wal-Mart of restaurants.  I also need to break the Wal-Mart habit.

- How sanitary is it to have all that crap up on the walls?  Where did that axe come from, and was it used to slaughter something?  And has it been sterilized?  Also, that creepy woman in the photograph above my table seems to be watching me eat my gravy.  Please make her stop.

- Their cash-out system.  There is nobody monitoring my egress.  I could dine and dash and I bet I'd get away with it.  I have this thought every single time I eat at a Cracker Barrel, and I don't like what that says about my lax moral code.  

- The candy.  One of the things I like about the real world is my relative inability to purchase Fruit Stripe gum and Bit O Honeys.  These are both available here.  And for all the cute things they have for sale, there's some tacky crap there too.  Lots of John Deere stuff.  Not sold ironically, either.


Bottom line... I need to break my Cracker Barrel habit.  

And replace it with...

Long walks on the beach, or something meaningful.

Because no biscuits are worth selling your soul or your cardiac health for.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Like a one-man band of gypsies...

So I'm here in Columbia, SC.  And I'm waiting for Modern Family to come on, and I ate too much at a meat and three called Lizard's Thicket. 

The food was solid - I mean that in every sense.  I ate too much, but damn it was good.

Meanwhile, I'm watching 9 to 5 - possibly the greatest film about women in the workplace...ever.  It's outdated, but it marked the first time I'd ever heard the phrase "piss off", and I still love it.  Right now, Jane Fonda is hunting down Dabney Coleman.


Face it ladies, we're in a pink collar ghetto.


Yep, love it.

This time next week, I'll be landing in Seattle for a 2 day training class.  As glad as I am to be doing well in my work, I get a little anxious about the training until I'm up in there doing it.

Now, in the meantime, my aforementioned acne problem has gotten worse - I am breaking out like a fifteen year old the morning of class pictures.

I ended up finding a Walgreens and buying a nice little concealer - it won't do much, but psychologically, maybe I'll feel better.

And this time tomorrow, I'll be home.  And I can take the weekend and let my skin heal, do a little exercise, drink some water...

I need to detox from the rigors of visiting three southern state capitals in a single day - oh - and mad props to me - I sent my sweet nephew a nice postcard.

Aunt of The Year?  No, probably not.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A true daily double


I had to buy some acne cream today, and the guy at the register was eyeballing me to see where the zits were – apparently, he didn’t know that women of a certain age still get acne.  Right here on the chin, kid – the Mount St. Helen sized bump… makes me wonder though – where would his eyes have wandered if I’d come up there with a box of Monistat.  Eyes up, Junior!  Also, if you’re ever in Germany and find yourself in need – their version of Monistat is called Kadefungin.  Ask for it by name – or, do like I did – scour your husband’s German dictionary and memorize a short monologue that either explains what you need or outlines the steps needed to brew beer – they’re remarkably similar.


Bitten Sie um es Namentlich (ask for it by name)


I had yesterday off, thanks to Dr. King, and in true spirit of the day, I went shopping.  At one store, I’m browsing the sale rack, and out of nowhere, this kid, who I’m guessing to be 4 or 5, who is running around the store comes flying around the corner and smacks right into my leg.  HARD.  And he falls flat on his ass.  In my surprise, I let out a sharp, “Excuse me!”  I look over and the kid is just laying there.  Not moving.  After a few seconds he gets up and kind of eyeballs me like I should be concerned that I got in his way and made him fall or something.  Let me be clear, I didn’t trip the kid – I didn’t even see him coming.   He banged into me – I was stationary.  And so, I wasn’t going to fawn over him for being an idiot.   I never did see his mother, but he kept running around the store.  So the next time a kid runs into me at full-force, I’m going to cry out in pain and make a complete jackass of myself.  Scream and moan until the mother comes over and makes her precious angel behave.   Look, I don’t hate kids.  No, really.  I swear.  I do hate shopping, and I hate being plowed into by people who have spatial awareness issues.  I’m sure Dr. King would have been proud of my non-violent reaction.

We went to my dermatologist yesterday – not for my aforementioned uber-pimple, but to check on Matt’s hives.  Long story.  Anyway, the dermato, Dr. P only met me three times:  once to look at the bump on my head, once to remove it, and once to tell me it was cancer – and yet –she totally remembered me.   And she and Dr. S want to write a paper about my case.  I always knew I’d be famous.


I head to Columbia, SC for a training class tomorrow, so I’m going to weigh in a little early – as in, today.  I think it will be good.  I’ve been compliant this week, except for an incident involving an Angel Food Cake. Which, if you’re going to deviate, that’s a pretty safe binge. 


I had to kind of throw a hissy on a process today at work.  Now, I don’t usually get beat up over details, but this one matters to me, and I’m not going to yield on it.  I also sent in a summary of some information I received for a focus group and I’m pretty sure that’s going to raise some eyebrows too.  I don’t care.

I did two classes at the Y yesterday, also in honor of Dr. King.  Because I have a dream… of eventually wearing a size 12.  Point being, I am so sore from Dance Blast in the morning and Zumba in the evening.  I can move, but it isn’t pretty.

This guy on Jeopardy last night answered a question (incorrectly).  Turns out Alex Trebek is  a huge perv, because you can hear him chuckle…



A donkey punch is when you’re having sex, and at the moment of climax, you punch the person in the back of the head so s/he clenches and make things tighter,  which increases your pleasure.   Ah, Trebek, you’re a bad boy!
 
And, that’s all.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I want.

I've been hardcore dieting this week and the results are so far, so good.  But the problem is - with this cold weather, I'm craving rich, hearty food.  Stews, casseroles, bread, gravy.

And since none of these are entirely Weight Watchery, I'm getting creative.

I made myself some butternut squash soup with curry for lunch, and for dinner, we're having a stew I found in the WW Magazine - involving parsnips, sweet potatoes and dried fruit.  I don't know - I would love to bake a macaroni and cheese casserole the size of a double bed, crawl inside and eat till I'm full.  Then pass out in the warm pasta until I woke up hungry again.

I'm easy.

And after that, I'd be cheesy, greasy, and probably queasy.

Beyond that, it's been a weekend of rest.  And that's putting it mildly.  Sloth would be more accurate.  I bought myself a new MP3 player, and I loaded a ton of music on it - that would be the most industrious act I've perpetrated.

I did go by the Home Depot today to pick up paint samples.  We are contemplating a change of color in the kitchen - I've also been thinking about a fresh coat in our mud/laundry room, and I've harbored a few fantasies about turning our upstairs bathroom pink.  Pale, sweet, fresh pink.  Nothing too Pepto or gaudy.

I also want to lay down linoleum tile in the upstairs bathroom.  Stick on tiles, nothing too ambitious.

And since I was dreaming, I might as well look at the countertops,  Corian, Granite?  Laminate?  Never again.

So, it's all about I want, I want, I want.

Meanwhile, Matt and I are watching The Marx Brothers.

And that's how you kill a Sunday.

ae


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Brought to you by the letter M

I saw this bumper sticker on the way into work one morning this week that said, "Quit Your Meanness".  It was paired with a few others similar in tone - random acts of kindness, etc.

But it kind of spoke to me.  I've realized recently, in the name of humor, in the name of ingratiating myself to people, I may have gone a little mean.  Catty.  Bitchy, even.  No, really- it's true.

And yes, it was kind of funny to call that new blonde 40-something employee Long In The Tooth Barbie, but she's nice.  She wants to succeed.  Why did I feel compelled to put her down?  I mean, obviously, I didn't say it to her face - I said it to three people who will never repeat it to her (we hope).  But that doesn't make it ok.

Now, you may wonder why I'm suddenly concerned.  Well, it's part of my genetic predisposition.  My great grandmother, who I'll simply identify as MFP was a known bitch.  Her husband left her because she was such a cold and unkind woman.  I believe it's documented in the Library of Congress.

Her daughter, my grandmother MPB, was a bitch.  I loved her, yes, but she was mean.  She was mean as hell to my father.  I have first hand accounts.  She was mean to me.  She was mean to my mother and my sister.  She was mean to strangers and friends.  When she died, one of her friends came to my parents house to bring a pie, and dissolved into tears sobbing, "She was such a bitch!"

Her daughter, MBA, is my aunt.  She has a little meanness to her.  She did something once at a Christmas party to set my father off, and he spent the night calling her, somewhat jokingly, "Mmmmeeeeean Bitch". Believe it or not, it was one of the better parties we've had.

There are a few things in my favor.  The gene seems to weaken as it moves down the lineage.  I am not a direct female descendant - in that I am not MBA's daughter - I am her niece.  Is my father a carrier?  He has some mean tendencies, but in his case, it doesn't seem calculated, merely absent-minded or maybe a little socially awkward.

Also, there's the apparent saving grace that my name doesn't start with an M.  In fact, there are no Ms in any of my names or aliases.  Score!

But the point is, I need to be aware.  I need to be mindful of what I say, and work to get my laughs and my warm fuzzies more honestly.

And apparently, once I have my meanness under control, I need to work on this:




Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Well, that's a good question.

I walked into Zumba the other night, and from a distance, my friend Susannah appeared to have dyed her blonde hair blue.

On closer inspection,  she was wearing a headband and I need glasses.

I told her what I thought I'd seen, and we started talking about hair (she cut hers for Locks of Love last month) and I mentioned I wanted to make a change, but had no idea where to start.

She asked one of the best questions I've ever been asked;

"Well, what intrigues you?"

And isn't that a nice way to look at it?

Well, in terms of style, lots of things intrigue me.

- Brazilian blowouts

- Eyebrow threading

- Bikini Waxes (I don't want to look 8, but I'd love to neaten it up a bit)

- Nose piercing (a tiny little stud)

- Covering my gray with lowlights - a nice chestnut or mahogany

- I'd like to decide whether I look better in flowy soft clothes or something more structured.  Ideally, I'd like to find a way to mix soft and structured so that I have what you might call a "look".

 - Accessorizing

-  Advanced eye makeup techniques

- Finding better shoes

- Teeth whitening

I have issues.

ae


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I still ain't had no sleep.

So, as I think you know, I'm a huge Arlo Guthrie fan.  Ok, he's no Woody, but how hard would it be to live in that shadow? 

I had the distinct joy of seeing him last month at The Ryman, and it was AWESOME, and I loved it.

He sang two of my favorite of his songs - no, not Ring Around The Rosie Rag (which is about smoking dope), and not Alice's Restaurant.

Dig deeper, friends.

He did Highway in the Wind, which, I'd consider learning to play guitar so I could whip it out on camping trips and impress the shit out of people with my mad vocals.

I actually have a decent voice, a second alto with decent pitch, timbre and whatnot.  But living in Nashville, I'd be hard-pressed to call myself a singer.  Anyway, here's Highway in the Wind:



But that's not what I came to tell you about.

He also pulled out this gem, which I heard for the first time back in college when Arlo played it at the 40 Watt, and I fell in love.  To the point of using it in a writing class to adapt into a scene.  Which was terrible.  Really bad.  Actually, it was OK - but the teacher, Ralph, hated it - he didn't like a lot of my choices.  That class was about making bad choices, really.  It should have been Terrible Decisions 201H (Honors).  But that's again, not what I came to tell you about.

Here is, in honor of it being the Tenth of January, Arlo Guthrie's In My Darkest Hour:


Because this song is just beautiful.  And OK, Bob Dylan was the clear winner of Iron Chef: Battle Folk Music, but he's kind of a dick.  Whereas, Guthrie fils is a nice guy.  I have his autograph.  A special friend got it for me (see also, Terrible Decisions 201H).

Thankfully, I was able to dissect the memories of that class/that year from this song.  No, really.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gym, Tan, Laundry - hold the Tan.

There's not a whole lot I can say about the first week of the year, except that it's coming to an end.  We kind of slept away our New Years Day, and the day after, I had lunch with my friends Natae and James.  I am grateful for my friends because they make life more fun, and we all need more fun, don't we?

I returned to work Tuesday and wrestled my Inbox into submission.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent in St. Louis.  I didn't get to go to the Arch, but I got closer than last time:  


Some day, I'll get there.  And for some reason, I'm craving steak.


I ate like a maniac while we were there - to wit;


I like cake, for heaven's sake.


Yes, that's a slab of coconut cake and it was so tasty.

My jeans fit, but I have got to get back in the saddle.

Anyway, we met with our customer, we got back on the plane and came on home.    Friday was more getting things in order  - both at work, then at home.  Matt's friend Chris came and visited this weekend.

For the most part, we chilled, and that was perfectly fine with me.  The first level of the house is in good shape.  The attic is reminiscent of an episode of Hoarders, but I'll manage that sooner rather than later.

Chris left a few minutes ago, I'm doing laundry, and we have some crock-pot Chicken Tikka Masala bubbling away to be eaten at our convenience.

And that's the first week of 2012 in review.  I mean, slow, kind of not much worth mentioning - but so far, so good.

Oh, and I guess - I should mention that Lola turned 13 this week.  Estimated, of course.

Since she was believed to be 6 weeks old when my parents found her on 2/13/1999, we can extrapolate and estimate her birthday to be 1/1/1999.  Why not?  Alternately, she could share a birthday with Dad, or she could have been a true Christmas puppy.  Point being, she is now 13.

I'm too young to have a teenaged dog.  Sob!

Lola acts too young to be 13.  I took her to PetSmart for a nail trim Saturday, then since we were in the neighborhood, I tried out Dizzy's Dog Wash - as it turns out, I prefer Wags and Whiskers in East Nashville, but Dizzy's is waaaaay more convenient, so guess where we'll go back...

Anyway - when she's all clean and fancy, she feels so good and acts far younger than she is.   If only it worked that way for me.  I mean, I do stand taller after a good pedicure or haircut.

Spa - the universal fountain of youth.

I'm going to check on my Masala now...

ae


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tell me no lies...


I would be a terrible advice columnist.

Not that it’s ever going to come up – but here are three sample questions and how I’d answer them:

From Slate.com's Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence:  I dread the approaching holiday meals with my family, as they always include disparaging remarks about my choice to be vegan. They range from snarky ("I'd love to see the animal you're doing this for") to just silly ("If God wanted you to eat soy, then why did he make cows?"). I am 29 years old and don't need my parents telling me what to eat. Adding to my frustration is the fact that my parents are so unhealthy. Both are obese, never exercise, and don't eat any vegetables. My mother has diabetes. They have made no effort to change their eating habits or lose weight, despite warnings from their doctors. I am healthy. When met with criticism from my family, I have tried explaining my reasons for being vegan, but they just roll their eyes or laugh. I've cooked delicious food for them, but they turn up their noses at it. Prudie, I need a simple, blunt remark that will put an end to this. What do you suggest?

Dear Black Sheep:

Parents can be a pain in the ass, and yes – they’re obese, but that’s not your business to judge any more that than they should judge your desire to deprave yourself of everything that tastes good.  Vegans are notoriously annoying to deal with.  I mean – it’s a pain in the ass to have to deal with anyone who has special food needs.  At least you’re not doing gluten free-  so you can eat some dinner rolls with your tofurkey and just be glad your parents haven’t disowned you for not shaving your armpits.  Also, I’m told vegans have terrible breath – so you know – load up on Listerine before the holidays.  As for a pithy response?  Try, some variation of “… and the cruelty-free horse you rode in on”.


From the Nationally Syndicated Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem that happens once a year -- my birthday at work. There's a huge potluck with cake, banners, gifts and a card that has been circulating around the office for a week. I cringe at the attention. Everyone means well, but these celebrations are pure torture for me. I'm a 7-year-old all over again, trying my best to keep the anxiety and waterworks in check. 

It goes back to my childhood. Growing up, we were very poor, and my parents made it clear that sacrifices had been made for my "big day," which always ended up with me guilt-ridden and in tears. 

As an adult, I celebrate my birthday with my husband and son. We keep it low-key and I'm surrounded by the unconditional love I craved as a child. 

I have tried bowing out and asked that gifts be made to charity instead, but I am told, "Oh, come on! We all have to go through this." I went so far as to confide to the party planners why I'm so uncomfortable. To my horror, a few of them began complaining about how hard they worked pulling everything together or how late they stayed up baking the cake, etc. It was like hearing my parents all over again. 

Am I being too sensitive? I'd appreciate your opinion. -- SPARE ME IN MICHIGAN 

Dear Michigander:
You do realize that the party has very little to do with you, right?  Your colleagues want to have a party, and conveniently, you happen to have a birthday.  Suck it up, get some therapy to get over your issues and eat cake like a big girl.  Jeez.  Freak.

And finally, from Sex Questions Q&A with Dr. Hilda (Redbook Magazine)

Dear Hilda: My partner loves to masturbate with women's magazines — and I love to watch. Is this okay?

Dear Pornlover’s Partner:  Well, I’d question what exactly you mean by women’s magazines.  If you’re telling me he’s spanking it to Menopause Monthly or (god forbid) Martha Stewart Living, I’d say you have a problem – and by that I’m not just talking about the pages sticking together.  Look, if you’re both enjoying it, it’s not wrong.  Period.  Did you really have to ask this?  If so, your bigger question is how can you avoid having kids as mentally backwards as yourself.  And the answer to that is, you can’t.  Get some good birth control.  There’s nothing wrong with a good sterilization procedure.  You’re welcome.


And that's why I shouldn't be allowed to advise people on a widespread basis.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Gnu Year

So, I have to say, so far, 2012 has been pretty laid back.

I actually slept a lot of the day away, and more is the pity - this would have been an ideal day for kicking it old school at a brunch with a lot of Bloody Marys.

That said, the night that preceded the first day of the new year was epic.

I somehow managed to get 17 other people, some of whom I'd never met, to join me in four hours of bowling at one of the local lanes.

Here's some photos from our escapade:


Not the best picture ever, but it's a start!
Artsy Photo of Noise Makers

Note my strike.  I made 2, total.

Jim, his ball, and a new beard.
And doesn't my new makeup look nice?



Two of my favorite peeps.

Some boys and their balls.

Pretty sure we all saw this shot coming...
I did garner an invitation from this to go clubbing/dancing with some of the guys.  I also ended up with a sore knuckle.  But mostly, I ended up with a lot of happy memories of a fun NYE.

Welcome, new year.