Monday, December 27, 2010

Blog #16: Playoffs a-go-go!

Sometimes the end of Christmas sends me into the pits of depression but not this time. The Chiefs are going to have a home playoff game for the first time in 7 years and this knowledge alone coaxes me away from the whining I want to do because of my lack of sleep and headache this morning and beckons me into joyous proclamations of "CHIIIIIIIEEEEEFFFFSSSS!!!" How fast has 2010 gone? I mean, seriously. I was still just getting used to writing "2010" on the date line of checks and other things that I do and it's already time to write a new year. Aside from a dark few weeks in August/September, 2010 has been pretty kick ass. It was the year I started dating boyfriend (first date Jan. 2... anniversary coming up!), the year I finally moved back to KC, MO, the year I got a great raise, and the year I got another adorable new nephew! Who knows what 2011 will bring? God willing it will be the year I complete my Master's. Maybe the year I find a job in the counseling field and maybe the year I make a couple of other major life changes too. I can only hope that it is as fruitful as 2010. This may or may not be the last post of 2010. I've got all sorts of things going on for this week and onward through NYE. I'm sure I'll be energized and witty to start the new year though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blog #15: The Smoke Alarm Incident and the 95th St. Snafoo

I have two stories to tell you. Both involve me being humiliated, so you know they're good. Before I tell you the humiliating stories about myself, however, I feel the need to remind the world and myself that I am in fact quite a productive and well functioning member of society. I put together a rockin' party for 300 people, confirmed a 4.0 in another semester in grad school (including getting a 99 on a 100 question test that I took in 10 minutes), AND managed to get a whole bunch of kick ass gifts for all my loved ones. So, neither of these stories should be seen as indicative as to my intelligence and usefulness overall as an individual. The Smoke Alarm Incident: I am a decent cook and an excellent baker. I can follow a recipe really well and make things that are pretty delicious. My chocolate chip cookies have been described with words like "epic, wonderful, and best ever." That being said, sometimes I lose a little something in the "attention to detail" area of my life. I was tired, hungry, and ready to curl up on my couch to finally watch the season finale of The Sing Off a day late after traipsing my sister around town shopping for mom's birthday present. All I wanted was to make some pasta and eat my comfort carbs while listening to the beautiful sounds of a Capella serenade me into a food and TV coma. I sat on the couch and lost myself in the musical performances when all of the sudden BEEP BEEP BEEP OMGWTF WHY WHY WHY is this HAPPENING? I run to the stove to see that there is smoke coming from the BACK burner where an empty pan is sitting while my water sits, undisturbed, on the front burner. I fling open some windows and open the door and turn off the burner and what seems like HOURS later (but is likely only a couple of moments), the smoke alarms turn off. Then, I made some rice in the microwave because my stove confidence is now shaken. The 95th St. Snafoo Twas the Wednesday before Christmas, and all down the street folks were headed out for shopping and to grab a bite to eat Cars stopped at lights with turn signals blinking With every passing second waiting, hearts are sinking When what to my mind came a quick little thought Target before dinner with Amy or not? I made a quick glance to the lane to check availability for change lest I get in a wreck. As I returned attention to the lane I was in I saw a line of cars all stopped and much to my chagrin there was not enough space for me to make a full stop and the screech of my breaks ended in a loud clop. With a dent of a fender and a bend of a hood my night changed to rough from good. I apologized profusely embarrassed a bit by a bit I mean a ton and that's not just it. The man was gracious, and patient with me through my sheepish apologies mumbling "oh gosh I'm sorry oh gee" We exchanged information and then I took flight Merry Christmas, dear sir, and sorry for that plight.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blog #14: Correspondence

I'd forgotten* that I'd promised to illustrate to you why my best friend is my best friend. I feel this is best illustrated in showing you an email & reply between the two of us. from Marissa to Cate: "what are you doing tonight?" And on a scale of 1-10, how willing would you be to first: help me find the perfect pair of black booties to wear with my party dress and then assist me in creating a poster that looks like a frosty pole with the words “Triple Dog Dare” at the top for the “stick the tongue to the pole game” as well as possibly cut out some tongues and wrap some fudge with me? Also, have you SEEN A Christmas Story? Part of me feels like you haven’t. We could have it on while we worked. Let me know if your services are available. In other news, I took my final in 10 minutes last night. It was 100 questions. I feel good about it. I’d have to get under a D on it to get less than an A in the class so I’m really not worried. I’ve pretty much been kicking ass and taking names all week long. Apparently, I respond well to heartbreak. from Cate to Marissa: "RE: what are you doing tonight?" Sorry from 9 this morning until 2:30 I was away from my desk running around for the Women in Leadership Holiday Luncheon and TeamWORK’s Holiday project and then from 2:30 until now I was hiding under my desk crying because my feet hurt so bad. Or maybe I was just catching up on work from this morning. Either way, I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet. I am sad because I love making posters and shopping for black booties but Richie and I have plans tonight with Kelly and Steve. Kelly went to Westminster so she’s an old friend who is now in dental school and Steve is her boyfriend. We don’t see them much and have had these plans tonight for a while. I’m sorry I’m going to miss out on wrapping fudge I secretly nibble on while you aren’t looking and cutting out tongues hopefully from the mouths of the Duluth, Minnesota football team you somehow tricked into coming over to your apartment to “hang out”. And that's why she's my best friend. Stay tuned next time for the adventures of Christmas Baking Day. *EDIT: I guess I didn't forget because it looks like yesterday I said "tomorrow" which means that I did this right on time. Disregard the part where I said I forgot. Carry on.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog #13: PJ Pants and Shenanigans.

My, my the last couple of days have been swamped. It all started Friday night when I facilitated the our office holiday party. Everyone seemed to have a good time. It went smoothly, we all enjoyed our Chinese food and the Christmas Story playing in the background and the games for awesome prizes. However, my problem is that because of the massive amount of blood, sweat and tears that I had invested in this party, I had massive expectations. In fact, short of being carried out on the shoulders of the employees while they're chanting "Marissa! Marissa! Marissa!" I was bound to feel as though it was a failure. Obviously, that didn't happen. Maybe next year. Saturday was 6 total hours of driving for 5 total hours of boyfriend's family time. It was worth it though because they're great. Out of nowhere, on the way back, there was some really thick snow causing poor visibility and white knuckles on the steering wheel. I don't watch the weather so I had no clue it was coming so I called my mom to see what else I could expect, and it turns out the weathermen had said NOTHING about it anyway. Shenanigans. And THAT my friends, is why I don't bother watching the weather. Of course, as I think blogging technology has yet to make it to the hereafter, I made it home alive. Yesterday was annual Christmas bunko (or bunco?) day at Grandma Jones. Bunko/bunco is a fun dice game that mainly housewives and old ladies seem to play but I think it should get more attention because it is a BLAST. People get prizes for most wins, losses, and triples. Anyhow, we play every year and in the 5+ years that this has been going on, the only thing I have ever "won" is most losses. NOT THIS TIME MY FRIENDS. Thanks to a 7 game winning streak in the middle of the 3 rounds, I am now the holder of the "Most Wins" title. That's right, I'm a champion. Today is the legendary annual Christmas Baking Day with Mom. It starts at noon, so in the meantime I've got to get some work done in my PJ pants, finish a little bit of Christmas shopping (because I keep thinking I'm done and more people keep jumping out of the woodwork that need gifts). Tomorrow I'm taking my little sister out shopping for Mom's gift. Then Wednesday it is dinner with a long lost friend, Thursday Christmas dinner with my dad, Friday is Christmas Eve with my family, Saturday is Christmas Day with Todd's family... and then we have a couple of days off before New Year's festivities commence. I. LOVE. THIS. TIME. OF. YEAR. Tomorrow I'm going to share an email with you that illustrates why my best friend is my best friend.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blog #12: Hot Glue Gunning

Yesterday I spent a few hours making centerpieces for our office Christmas party. (Okay, so it's technically a "year-end gathering" but everyone knows what that means in non-terrorist speak, right?) (just kidding, I don't think everyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas is a terrorist. It was actually a 30 rock Christmas episode reference cunningly placed in a way that makes me look cool and hip) Anyhow, I spent a few hours making some centerpieces for our office year end gathering, and it got really intense. There I was, elbow deep in greenery, ornaments, pine cones, and candy canes armed with only a hot glue gun doing my best to create something with at least a modicum of style for our tables. It's been a long time since I've done this kind of work. To be honest, it's a big step for me. I've been really nervous about making homemade decorations ever since I was 16 helping out with my little sister's 4th birthday party. My poor, naive, 16 year old soul fashioned balloons into what can only be described as an... unfortunately phallic shape. I didn't notice until my brother said to me, "Riss, you know what these look like, right?" I pretended to be disgusted at his dirty mind but was really just mortified. None of the 4 year olds noticed but my brothers and the parents around got a chuckle out of it and I was incredibly embarrassed. Ever since then, I've avoided making things for fear that they would be inadvertently dirty in nature, and that's what was in the back of my mind for the duration of my centerpiece designing. Hopefully, 10 years worth of life experiences are enough to guard me against making the same kind of mistake again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog #11: Football Heartbreak & Free Chocolate

So everything I've read about being a successful blogger (which, oddly enough, was from several different blogs) says that to get a good readership you should update your blog regularly and consistently. I was all about this. I was going to write every Thursday. But then I got excited about it and wanted to write more. But then every day was just too overwhelming. And then I got busy with holiday stuff and work and finals. And then my Bearcats lost in the semifinals and I sunk to the pit of despair. I haven't quite pulled myself all the way out of the throws of depression but I'm trying. It's the first time since 2004 that the guys in green haven't played for the title. It is so upsetting. I was so upset that I drank 3 sweet tea vodkas (that were probably doubles in size) over the course of about 2 hours. Then I wasn't upset so much as I was drunk and sick. Boyfriend handled it well. At one point when I knew it was over and I jumped up and down and threw myself on the ground, somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking "he's just going to leave now" and he didn't. Must be love. Anyhow, I'm slowly recovering from the devastation and to help, my boss sent me out with the company card yesterday to purchase all of the decorations for our Christmas party and then the prizes. Shopping is especially therapeutic when it is with someone else's money, though I don't think I get to keep any part of the $1500 dollars in merchandise that I purchased. I also placed a very large fudge order with Russel Stovers and thus got 2 boxes of free chocolate. FREE. CHOCOLATE. From Russel Stovers. I have eaten most of the first box by myself, but have been sharing just enough that people don't think I'm a pig. Here's to picking up the shattered pieces of life after a devastating football heartbreak and moving on.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blog #10: Mojo and Long Underwear

How many times in a row is too many times to watch an episode of Glee? Don't answer that. The answer will only shame me. Between Glee, the return of The Sing Off (OMG TALENT), and the upcoming animated Christmas episode of Community, TV is looking REALLY good this week. I never watched this much TV until I graduated. Now I somehow manage to watch like 15 shows a week while working and maintaining my grad school 4.0 and mid distance boyfriend. And my Wednesday class teacher says 4.0 students aren't well rounded. I have a dinky three page paper due Thursday. Obviously, I'll start that tomorrow. My only other semester ending responsibility is a test NEXT Wednesday so I've got some atypical free time. I'll use it to plan our office winter gathering and send every possible positive mojo vibe to my Bearcats. Semifinals on Saturday. 5:00pm. In Duluth, MN. The high temperature is 15. Please send your mojo too. We need mojo. And possibly some long underwear.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blog #9: FOOTBALL!!!!

If football bores you, this is not the post for you. I am halfway through probably what has the potential to be the greatest football weekend of all time. Today, I traveled to Maryville to watch the heroes in green (the Northwest Missouri State University BEARRRRRRRCATS as the announcer calls them) take on the UCM Mules. Again. This time at home and for the right to go to the National Semifinals. After breaking their hearts in their own house by stealing a game away from them with a last second field goal. (That was the game in which Mrs. Coach T introduced me to "lucky licorice.") This game has had me nervous all week. I did everything I could to summon good Bearcat mojo. I changed my facebook profile picture to our last UCM victory picture. I even did some minor trash talking with some help from the song "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch." ("You nauseate me, UCM. With a nauseous super 'NAUS'") I read the d2football.com messageboards every day looking for hope. Then, the day came. I put on my warm winter coat and my Bearcat hat, packed my lucky licorice, and went on the road with my partner in Bearcat fannage, my stepdad. AND THE BEARCATS WERE AWESOME. I however, need to seriously rethink my layering strategy. I was so cold I thought I might freeze to death and never get to live to see my boys win another game by more than 4 points. It's important that I get my warm dressing figured out and adjusted though, because tomorrow I'll be outside all afternoon for yet another football game - our heroes in red, The Kansas City Chiefs! I'M GOING TO THE BRONCOS GAME BECAUSE MY BOSS IS A MAN OF MEN AND GAVE ME HIS AWESOME TICKETS OMGKDFJA;LKARIA;J!!!!!! I better stop. I'm going to gather warm clothes now. Later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog #8: A different kind of "'Tis the Season"

I've been so busy at work the past two days that my boss actually told me to chill because I was stressing him out. I can't help myself, I have to get everything on my daily whiteboard done or we will face Armageddon and then Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis would have to save the world and I really can't ask that of someone just because I didn't answer a few emails. Besides, that movie makes me weep every time and I don't have time to cry right now. When busy at work meets end-of-semester pressure at grad school, you get a Marissa with really tight muscles in the neck/shoulder area. It would be easily solved if I didn't have this weird thing with massages. I just don't like strangers touching me. However, I had to figure out a way to be happy and cheerful and not demonstrate any tension because as the assistant I can't stress my boss out. Sounds a little silly but it's the nature of the job. I'm managing today by arriving at work super early and listening to my Christmas playlist on my iPod while I work leisurely to get caught up. When Josh Groban sings "O Holy Night" it's like the heavens open up and God smiles down on me. I always feel so vindicated in my Christmas music listening just after Thanksgiving because in all honesty I've been listening to it since November 1st and now everyone else is joining in. It's back to work now. Any ideas on stress relief? I have a morning yoga DVD still in its original wrapping because I can't manage to get up even 20 minutes earlier to try it.