Happy New Year!

Well, there are 2 hours left in the year 2007, so I feel obligated to post a review to ring in 2008 properly. 2007: a review. Here's the highlights:

* Biked a lot early in the year -- even up to 8 miles at a time on multiple occasions.

* Purchased a roomba, used a roomba, had my roomba die.

* Had my bike stolen. Got a better bike.

* Read all the Harry Potter books -- loved them.

* I lost another 45 pounds on my way to great hotness. As well as 7.5 inches in my chest alone just this year (tune in later for totals).

* Got an engineering job -- real, permanent, career employment.

* Made even more friends (Hello to Chad, Beth & Mike to name a few).

* Came very close to death due to gangrene and a string of incompetent doctors. Related: Had surgery.

* Started running -- even up to a mile :)

* Had an awesome dating experience which included a wonderful 3 months.

* Had the best birthday ever due to an abundance of loved ones in my life.

* Hosted a spiffy Halloween party in my home.

* Had some great new experiences including attending a ballet, a symphony, a quirky art house production, and my first camping experience.

All in all, my best year yet! I hope 2008 is as good -- though I think 2007 is going to be hard to beat.

Yoplait Passion Fruit Yogurt: Review

I just ate a little plastic cup-thingy of this Yoplait yogurt -- and holy shit is it good. I bought mostly strawberry yogurt -- but I think I just should have bought 8 of these passion fruit ones. This is the best yogurt I've ever had and I recommend you buy some. Thats all I wanted to say.

Christmas Cookies!

I know I'm late in posting these pictures -- but you know I just have to share. Here's a few shots of the Christmas cookies I made for a party and as gifts to various people:

And here's the gingerbread cyclops!

I think Nathan got the cyclops. Only because I didn't have time to do a photo-series of the gingerbread cyclops adventures.

Single Again

And on the 3 month anniversary of having met Kyle, my boyfriend** (whom I like very much), we've broken up.

**now ex-boyfriend

Pants and why I'm so picky about them.

For Christmas, my boyfriend gave me the means to buy lots of spiffy new clothes at Old Navy (my favorite store). He's awesome like that. I told my mom this and she was really glad because she hadn't bought me many for Christmas even though thats what I wanted. She cited a few reasons for this: 1, I don't even know my size as it is constantly changing. And 2, I'm so picky about pants.

I'm not really that picky about pants. Not at all. I just automatically veto most of them. This isn't my fault -- this is the pant makers fault. Most pants come in a thin drapey type of fabric or stretchy material. Both of these are unacceptable. Pants should not be drapey. For people with gorgeous legs, thats fine. My legs are fat and shaped like ice-cream cones. I will not where fabric that drapes my fat. I also will not where fabric that stretches over my fat and shows every curve I have. I have a lot of great sexy curves, don't get me wrong -- but not all of them are great.

Most pants are also too light (as in weight). I should be able to feel that I am wearing pants. We used to have good heavy pants -- canvas and heavy denim. Hell, now even jeans are thin and stretchy. Those aren't jeans, people.

I think corduroy pants would be great. I've wanted a great pair of corduroy pants for a long time now. I've never found a pair thats not stretchy. I want a pair of boot-cut or wide-leg heavy corduroy pants. And the thick corduroy too -- not that skinny stuff. How awesome would that be? They make these for very tiny children but not adults. I want some heavy corduroy pants, dammit.

I want a couch in a nice heavy corduroy too. I know that has nothing to do with pants but it would be awesome.

"It's a Good Thing ;)"

1.) I saw I Am Legend at the swanky new Monaco theater last night. Kyle' friend is in town and took us as a Christmas present -- how sweet it that? Of course the movie was terrifying. AWESOME but terrifying. It was incredibly well done and I already knew that Will Smith was a great actor -- but damn. I give it 6 thumbs up (2 for each of the three of us who went). I HIGHLY recommend it.

2.) Finally got my Christmas cards done. Told the boyfriend (sorry, I had to say that) I couldn't hang out with him tonight because I had to get them done. I'm happy with them and they'll be sent off tomorrow.

3.) A.) My neighbors kids went to her with concerns that I am anorexic. They wanted her to confront me. How awesome is THAT? I mean seriously -- that's freaking awesome. Of course neighbor knows about the surgery and she knows I've started running so she was able to explain that I am OK. But then she also expressed that she was concerned and wanted to make sure everything is ok (it is).

3.) B.) When I was talking to her and finding this out, I was delivering her Christmas present at 10:00pm. I was in Pajama pants that are at least 3 sizes too big and a huge cable knit cardigan passed down from my momma (also way too big) and I had my very thin hair pulled back into clip but most of it had already fallen out and I was on my way to get my laundry out of the dryer. I realized that I do look kinda sickly wearing clothes that are too big all the time. I really need some clothes.

4.) I got assigned a project at work. My OWN project. For a customer. Also totally awesome. It's a very small thing, but still, it's mine. And way better than the shit I usually have to do. And I get to play with code. And release my code. To a customer. How awesome is that?

Eagle Brand Honey is a totally legitimate measurement of viscosity.

For the two and a half years since I had my gastric bypass, I've searched for an acceptable protein supplement. I've had all the powders, the shakes, the bars, the liquids, even the cereals -- it all tastes like shit. They all taste so horrible that I've not found anything even remotely close to something I'm willing to have every day. It sucks -- a lot. And last week, I placed an online order for a NEW product. A 16oz bottle of protein with 20 grams in a mere ounce. Just 1 ounce a day! I can drink anything in such a small amount! It was the holy grail or protein supplements. I was so excited that I dished out 60 dollars for three bottles. Life is awesome, right?

The UPS man tried to deliver the package 3 times. He's too incompetent to get here during office hours and Kyle always has me busy in the evening -- so I finally just had to go pick it up. I drove out to the boonies to pick it up -- and I was so excited that I wanted to try it the second I got home. So I did.

I ripped open the package and took out one of the bottles -- it was very heavy and didn't make a sound when I shook it. They must fill them up completely, right? What an awesome deal! I open it up and nothing comes out. I see the liquid -- but it's not budging. For some reason, I never considered that they'd concentrate it so much. What a fucking rip.

I held it over a table spoon -- figuring I could still handle such a small amount of anything if it gets me out of those protein drinks! It was a medium - dark amber-y brown color -- not appetizing at all. And it was the consistency of Golden Eagle Honey** But I was going to drink this -- I was committed.

So I bring it up to my mouth and let it slowly start to ooze into my mouth. It was disgusting -- but I was still committed. And then when it finally got about half-way across my tongue, I vomited in the kitchen sink. It was an involuntary action. This is the only thing I've ever had in my life that was so disgusting it made me throw up. Really. And I've had some nasty shit. How the hell do they expect you to eat this stuff? Seriously? And now Iv'e got 3 bottles and I can't even use it! WHAT A RIP.


Footnotes: ** If you've never seen Golden Eagle Honey - this might need explanation. So lets revisit a time I like to refer to as the "dark years." I was helping my father put up his groceries and he had a jar of Golden Eagle Honey. Golden Eagle is a brand. It was a heavy jar and as I was walking to the fridge, I dropped it. The jar shattered completely. And yet... it stayed together. It was a perfectly shattered jar -- the pieces being held in place by the shear thickness of the honey. It was still in the perfect jar shape. Thats how thick it is. It flows -- it just flows extremely slow. It's like a slow computer -- you click it, but you have to wait for the action. You shatter the jar -- but you have to wait a minute for the result.

Must post before I forget details. AKA: Nutcracker.

Tonight was extravagant date night. Kyle and I have had it planned for at least a month when he bought our tickets to the Nutcracker. This is something I really wanted to do. I watch the Nutcracker ballet every year on television -- I have since I was a child. It's a personal tradition that just sort of developed -- I almost always find it while flipping through the channels around Christmas Eve. I love the music -- I know every beat by heart. I mean come on, who doesn't love the Dance of the Sugar Plum Faries? But for some reason, I never really considered seeing it live.

Then I heard Beth mention wanting to go. Turns out it was playing in Birmingham -- one of only 6 companies in the world licensed to perform it. So I suggested it to Kyle -- it's right up his alley. He loved the idea and purchased a set of tickets. Cut to tonight:

We drove down to Birmingham in time to make our dinner reservation at 5:30. He had reserved us a table at Veranda -- a restaurant I'd never heard of. When we finally found it, it turned out to a be a gorgeous house in a not-so-great location. Location, in this case, was quite deceiving. I've never been to a restaurant that even comes close to Veranda -- it's a completely different class of restaurant than I've even had the pleasure of dining in. The restaurant itself, interior and exterior, was adorable and quite exsquiset. Inside, the white linen tables were set with different goblets and perfectly folded napkins and your many forks and spoons and knives all laid out at each seat, ready to serve. The host escorted us to our table and kindly pulled out my chair and pushed me in and even laid my napkin across my lap. When we were addressed, they always looked at me as they spoke and always addressed me first (being the lady) -- which was quite enjoyable, actually. The service was beyond wonderful -- it really felt like we had 5 people just waiting to have the pleasure of speaking with or doing something for us.

When I excused myself from the table, I asked the host where a bathroom was -- he escorted me there and opened the door for me. And he was waiting to again seat me when I returned (again pulling moving my chair and placing my napkin). And when I had stepped up and left my napkin folded in my seat, someone was quick to come over and fold it and place it neatly on the edge of that table (as Kyle tells me).

The food was... honestly perhaps the best I've ever had. We had an appetizer of crab on flap jacks -- which sounds odd but could not have been executed more artfully -- it was delicious. As were our entrees and the chefs own eggnog creme brulee we shared for dessert. It was a wonderful experience and one I've no doubt we will have again.

The Nutcracker was also beyond expectations. The performance was top-notch and truly amazing. There were many surprises that just wowed you. In the opening, Fritz and Clara were fighting over who got to use the peephole in the door to glimpse the Christmas tree. The door and wall and hall itself was obviously a backdrop -- a simple curtain as is usual. But then when Clara looked through the hole, the lights behind the curtain were lit and it became a faint overlay over the scene behind it. This effect couldn't have been done better had it been a film.

The best part was towards then end of the first act when Clara and the Nutcracker are in the forest and snow is coming down. There was actually snow coming down on the stage -- which was awesome. Then came intermission ... and the snow began to fall on the audience! There is no way to convey how awesome those minutes were. It was pure joy -- a ton of snow pouring down on us (remember folks, Alabama doesn't get snow so the stuff amazes us). It was worth everything just for the snow. It made the show for me. The "snow" appeared to be glycerine bubbles, but it looked just like the real thing falling from the ceiling. Just looking up towards the ceiling and seeing that tiny blizzard snowing down -- it was incredible. We were both totally amazed and both wished our loved ones could be there to see it with us.

The dancers were also great. It amazed me how young the children were -- the stars themselves were very young and their poise and skill and performance just blew me away. Who knew kids could do that? I'll say it again -- the whole thing just blew my expectations out of the water. I hope I'll be able to see it again next year!

Oh and to top off the evening, Kyle bought me a Nutcracker ornament for me Christmas tree! It's Clara dancing with the toy Nutcracker. I love it! Now I can remember tonight and how wonderful it was every year when I get it out and remember that Kyle bought me this when we went to see the Nutcracker :) I've given it a spot right in the middle of the tree. It makes me happy.

Naked men shop for Skittles

No, I've not gone away -- I'm just busy busy at the moment.  My weekdays are filled to the brim with school and work and socialness which leaves me never getting home in time for a nice relaxing evening which might include a blogging rant.  The weekends lately have been booked up as well.  The next weekend I have free will be the second weekend in the new year.  Maybe.  Don't hold me to that.  And this week is finals week so it's obvious why I've been occupied on that front.  I was at Nathans last night working on homework until 1:30 when I finally just gave in and went home. 
Still seeing Kyle -- who has been upgraded to boyfriend status.  He has the remarkable ability to sooth my anxiety attacks -- but you know I still like to freak out about everything.  I've got to talk to him tonight and I'm DREADING it.  So much so that I'm posting about it.  See? 
Works going... well... I suppose.  It's not going badly -- I hate having a job in general -- but this is at least workable.  I've signed up for my spring classes already and it's going to be a TOUGH semester.  I'm taking two 400 level classes:  Programming languages (where I'll probably have to write my own language) and Computer Graphics (of which I've heard nightmare stories and not a single good thing).  So looking forward to that.  Yep.  At least my schedule will be a little nicer.  I've had to completly forgo my day off, but I'll be getting home a lot earlier on "school nights." 

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