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14th-Jan-2011 09:38 am(no subject)
Fridays are the best days because I know the weekend comes next.

But really, stuff's been pretty great.

My orientation at Dominican was last week, and it was good - I got to meet some of the faculty, they gave us the run down on things like the technology center and medical services and outlined the progression of the MLIS program.  I thought my classes started this week, but only Monday classes (that won't be held next week because of Martin Luther King Day) were held - so next Tuesday I have my first official day of class.

I'm feeling pretty awesome in the "I'm an adult" department right now - I got this whole grad school thing squared away, and just recently I finished a several week-long odyssey with health care wherein I decided to change my plan, became thoroughly frustrated with Blue Cross Blue Shield's customer service, found a different provider, applied and was accepted for a plan that costs half of what I'm paying now but still covers everything I need it to.  Every time I do something like that, something so typically "adult," I feel like I've earned a merit badge. 

Last Saturday (I couldn't think of a good segue here, so I just skipped it) I got my fourth tattoo - a sizable piece on the top outside of my left thigh.  It's a pair of goldfinches, a male and female, the male sitting in a tree branch that the female is flying in for a landing on.  It's BEAUTIFUL.  The whole thing took three hours and hurt a shitton (especially the bits toward my hip bone), and it was slightly more expensive than I'd anticipated, but it was completely worth it. 

Pic under the cut!Collapse )

I'm "tattooed out" for the time being, I think.  I know in the wide world of tattoos this particular piece isn't so big and didn't take so much time, but it's the biggest one I have and I was so completely exhausted by the end that I just don't want to do that again for a while.  Not my last tattoo (probably), but I've definitely scratched the itch for a while.
5th-Jan-2011 10:05 am(no subject)
I really want to do my top ten films of 2010, but I feel like there are too many I haven't seen yet for it to be an informed list (The Kids Are Alright, The King's Speech, The Fighter, The Town, Winter's Bone...yeah.).  Also it was a pretty weak year for movies...although I did see some TRULY excellent ones.  We'll see if I can get that list wrapped up inside of January.

I saw Tron last night, and it was...ok.  Visually and auditorily it was stunning - Daft Punk DELIVERS, you guys.  And the depth of the world building deeply impressed and surprised me, but maybe that's because I haven't seen the first one. 

I had two complaints, and one of them seems sillier the further from the movie I get, but it's really hard to shake: I wish things had moved faster.  *spoiler* There's a light cycle race, and when things crash and explode it looks REALLY AWESOME, but when the camera is just following the racers on straight lines, they look like they're going in slow motion.  I found myself nearly leaning forward in my seat, not because I was excited about the race, but because I was urging them to GO FASTER.  When I watch a race, I want it to feel like a race.

My other issue was the end, which I won't spoil here.  Suffice to say, it felt like some Matrix sequel shit, and didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.  But Jeff Bridges was pretty cool and Olivia Wilde was adorable, and it was fun, so I'm glad I went to see it.

Student orientation at Dominican is tomorrow, and I'm EXCITE.  Classes start next Thursday, and mine start the week after (I only have class Tuesday and Wednesday), and I'm ready to get this ball rolling.  I hope it will be good.  I'm pretty sure it will be good.

In other news, I'm getting tattooed on Saturday, which I'm super excited and also kinda nervous about.  It's been about a year and a half since my last one, and the memories of the pain are making me anxious.  But it'll be fine.  It's only a one session piece, so at least I'll only have to do it once.
3rd-Jan-2011 10:31 am - Recap meme
Borrowed from battlepunk , my year in brief:

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Signed up for my own health care, went to Germany, applied to graduate school...adult stuff, mostly.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Honestly, I don't really remember what my resolutions last year were.  If they were sensible, like save money and lose weight, I absolutely did.  I made a couple for the upcoming year, which will improve my life measurably if I can keep them, so hopefully that will be the case.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin's wife had her second son.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandfather died in May.  And Liz.

5. What countries did you visit?
Germany!  It was fun.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
I don't know!  Maybe more personal days?  I like taking days off for no reason other than sleeping or watching movies.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm really, really bad at remembering specific days.  My grandfather's funeral I'll remember, definitely, but I don't remember the date of it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into graduate school!  Also losing almost 40 pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not painting more models.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had maybe two really bad illness weekends, but no injuries outside of toe stubbing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Pokemon SoulSilver

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
BIlly, for putting up with my intense insanity while I was applying for school and being anxious about work, and for supporting me and giving me pep talks when Weight Watchers got me really down.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The government and the oil companies during the Gulf spill.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, bills, going out to eat.  Going to movies.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting into grad school, mostly.  Losing weight I never thought I could.  My dad closing a few HUGE cases.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Soul Sister by Train, even though it's not from 2010.  Anything by Ke$ha.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier?  I think.  I'm in a good place.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner!
iii. richer or poorer? Richer.  One of the benefits to my full time job.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Seen more movies in theaters, made more of an effort to communicate with people.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being lazy on the couch

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas eve with Billy's family and Christmas day at home with my family.

21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
We had a party!  It was fun.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I stayed in love in 2010.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV program?
True Blood, Community, Glee, The Walking Dead

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate?  No.  Strongly irritated with?  Yes.

26. What was the best book you read?
Hrrrrm.  It's a close one, but I think Airman by Eoin Colfer was my favorite.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Metric.  It's a work in progress, but I really liked their work on the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack.

28. What did you want and get?
Weight loss, grad school acceptance.  Probably some littler things too, but those are the big ones.

29.What did you want and not get?
To live in my apartment without a third roommate, but I didn't get a raise this year.

30. What was your favourite film that you saw for the first time this year?
AUGH.  How To Train Your Dragon, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Toy Story 3, Inception.  I'm mentally incapable of choosing just one.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23.  There was a party - we played whirlyball.  It was AWESOME.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Jeez, I dunno.  It was pretty good.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Slacks for work, jeans for home.  Zip-up hoodies over brightly colored tank tops.  Skirts in the summer.

34. What kept you sane?
Billy, my sister, movie night.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chris Evans

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The oil spill made me the most angry.

37. Who did you miss?
Iowa City folk and my expat friends.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I didn't meet a whole lot of new people... Emily, my friend Ian's girlfriend, is pretty rad.  And Alan, my supervisor at the library when I volunteer, is really cool and helpful.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Feeling anxious does not mean things are actually going to go wrong.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
You've come far, and though you're far from the end
You don't mind where you are, cause you know where you've been

from "Let Your Troubles Roll By" by Carbon Leaf
30th-Dec-2010 03:09 pm(no subject)
Counting stars
New Year's Resolutions!

1. Keep in touch with people better.  I've already started working on this - sending more messages, responding to more LJ entries, etc.  I just have to stop being lazy and, if I'm wondering how someone is doing, shoot them an e-mail and ask.

2. Work out regularly.  Weight Watchers has helped me with this, and I'm sporadically good about it, but I really need to keep to a four-day-a-week routine.  If I make it a habit there's always time - as soon as I get out of the habit, there's never time.

3. Get out of the house more.  I'm a homebody, which is ridiculous, because I live in an amazing city.  I need to see more of it and go on more adventures.

4. Stop biting my nails.  It's gross, it hurts my teeth, and it makes scratching itches unexpectedly painful.

5. Be more assertive.  Self explanatory - currently, my bark is worse than my bite.  I gotta stop just rolling over when there's a conflict.

6. Paint more.  I have many, many unfinished and unpainted models.  I need to stop being lazy about getting my figures done.

7. Game more.  Attached to the above - I would like to roll more dice this year, and get some use out of my figs more than once a month.

8. Learn to cook one really complicated dish.  I have found that I deeply enjoy cooking.  I think it would be fun to learn one thing that has like 800 steps but tastes amazing.

9. Go easier on myself at work.  The stress stomach aches HAVE to stop.
Pudding cup
Let me tell you about mine.

My holiday started on Thursday - the office closed early and my movie group had our Secret Santa party that evening.  It was super fun - lots of cookies and pasta and Love Actually.  My friend Alison gave me Finding Neverland, which is one of those movies I didn't buy when it first came out but constantly lament its absence from my collection.

Housecleaning antics and my first domestic emergencyCollapse )

tl;dr version: Dish soap is not the same as dishwasher soap, and my mother is a saint.

Also: new blog post up at Boycott BluRay: True Grit, or, Jeff Bridges is Awesome
21st-Dec-2010 09:51 am - I'm all emotional and crap
Soot sprite
I have my weight watcher weigh-ins and meetings on Mondays at 12:00, and yesterday I was not feeling good about things AT ALL - I really, really love cookies, and what with it being the holidays, I've found it extremely hard to be good around all the baked things that people keep bringing into the office.  I've been able to get to the gym with some frequency, but my office holiday party was on Friday (little burgers!  and tiny milk shakes!  EGG NOG SHAKES OM NOM NOM) so I was anticipating if not a gain, then not much progress.

But I guess going to the gym made more difference than I thought, because I weighed in at just under 150lbs - which is the first time that's been true of me since I graduated high school.  I almost started crying in the meeting room, I NEVER expected that I could lose this much weight like this.  Not easily and not quickly, but definitively and in such a way that I'm confident I can keep it off.

As my reward I'm going to Insight Studios on January 2nd to talk to them about getting my next tattoo.  I was planning on doing this much earlier, but for one reason or another I didn't do it, and I just received my holiday bonus and I'm feeling really great about things.  

Tonight I'm buying the very last gift for Christmas on my list (a restaurant gift certificate and a bottle of wine for Billy's parents) and then I can chill out for the rest of the week.  I still have to be at work, but it's so quiet in the office and the Loop is so empty of people that not a whole lot is getting down.

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend celebrating the winter festival of their choice!
17th-Dec-2010 09:46 am - Christmas is in a WEEK, guys
Counting stars
If you would like a Christmas card from me, let me know!  They're getting mailed this weekend.

I got moved down to the Children's Lit section at the library - I've been doing volunteer shelf-reading for the past few months, mainly in nonfiction and the YA graphic novel section (which I'm weirdly concerned about, now that I've been shifted downstairs - who will keep things tidy now?), but I guess they've never had a consistent shelf-reader in the Children's section, and I've proved myself dependable, so there I am.  It's actually a lot of fun; my section is smaller than the nonfiction shelves, so I can actually get the whole thing down in two hours (I get the Fiction section, which is AWESOME). 

Really what this means is that I'm going to be reading more kid's lit in the foreseeable future, because I kept finding books I loved the first time around and now I want to read them again.  Stuff like A Wrinkle in Time, The Golden Compass books, the Tripod series...they won't take long, and I need a break from the soul-sucking despair I'm experiencing re-reading A Game of Thrones (why, George Martin, whyyyyyyy). 

I've been having really awful dreams lately...thematically, they all revolve around boys I used to be involved with, and they're all pretty emotionally devastating.  Last night I dreamed that a guy I used to be friends with in high school (tl;dr version: he was interested, I wasn't, so he quietly went about sabotaging every relationship I had during high school) was shot and killed in a gas station drive-by.  I went to the funeral, where I and every girl who had wronged him were called up by the casket and mocked and verbally abused by all the funeral  attendees.  I woke up drenched in cold sweat, it was pretty awful.

I don't even know what's causing these dreams - usually, when I have nightmares, they're pretty directly related to anxiety I'm experiencing or some worry I have.  But right now, I'm doing really well.  There's nothing I'm worried or anxious about, and I'm certainly not anxious about my relationship.  So I dunno what's going on in my brain, but I really wish it would stop.

In happier news, my office holiday party is today, and we're going to the Urban Burger Bar which is DELICIOUS.  SO EXCITE. 
15th-Dec-2010 12:11 pm - Also I really want to see Unstoppable
Pudding cup
Mostly what I've been doing in the last week or so is playing Pokemon.  Lots and lots and lots of Pokemon.  And I've learned something new about it, something that most people already know but that I was pretty late in coming to.

Pokemon is more fun with friends.

My apartment has been overloaded with people playing, trading, battling and discussing Pokemon.  I'm closer than I've ever been in my pocket monster career (eleven years and counting, no joke) to Catching Them All.  And I am eagerly anticipating the new set of games (Black/White) that's being released in the spring.

I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to most video games, but Pokemon's got me pretty firmly in hand.

In other news, I'm nearly done with my Christmas shopping.  Our office holiday party is on Friday, which is awesome for both the half-day of work I get and also the delicious burgers I'll be consuming.  Plus, my sister comes home for break this weekend!  She's turning 21 on the 29th (OH MY GOD), so I'm in the midst of planning a party so epic she'll be hungover until she leaves for Australia in February.

Liz is gonna be in Australia for four months - I'm sad, because I'll get to see her even less than I normally do when she's at school, but I think she's gonna have an absolute blast.  At least, I hope so; I chickened out of my own study abroad (something I still don't regret not doing, so there's that at least), but she's still totally excited and looking forward to it.  I told her to bring me back a boomerang, or a wallaby.
16th-Nov-2010 08:41 pm - Not a whole lot of news
A post!  I has one. 

I get to register for classes tomorrow!  And show up late for work so that I CAN register for classes.  I'll be taking two classes at Dominican starting on January 13th, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  My entire work schedule is shifting from 9-5 to 8-4, which I'm excited about because I'll have more quiet time in the mornings to take care of calls and e-mails and any document work I have to do, and it'll FEEL like I'm in the office for less time because I'll get to leave before everyone else.  I'll have more time in the evenings to do homework and other stuff.  It'll be good, I think.  (Even though I'll have to wake up an hour earlier.)

The holiday season is HERE and I am SO EXCITED.  I love everything about the holidays: the music, the baked goods, the cold weather, the family time, the baked goods, the food, candy canes, etc.  Mostly the baked goods, which is going to make it much harder to stay on plan, but I think I can do it.  I just have to be much more moderate in the baked goods I eat, and maybe make/eat my own Weight Watchers-approved baking recipes more than other people's.  Then I'll know definitively what the points for stuff is, at least.

I desperately need to start my Christmas shopping...I don't even really know what I'm getting for people.  Or even what I want my ownself...

(BTW, I know I didn't finish the Disney meme.  But the ending questions were much less exciting for me, especially the ones about Disney attractions, since Space Mountain is just the best but it's not based on a movie.  But it was fun while it lasted.)
28th-Oct-2010 09:27 pm - Another 2fer!
Happy face
Day #23: A movie that makes you laugh

Can I use a Pixar movie?  Because A Bug's Life always makes me giggle like a little girl.

Day #24: A movie that makes you cry

Toy Story 3.  Also I cried when I saw The Lion King on an IMAX screen, because the opening sequence was overwhelmingly beautiful

Day #25: Your favorite scene from your favorite movie
Day #26: Saddest death
Day #27: Your favorite quote
Day #28: Your favorite theme park
Day #29: Your favorite theme attraction Series
Day #30: Your favorite theme park show
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