End of Year Update

Dear Readers,

After some contemplation and a bit of persuasion from a friend of mine, I’ve decided to write something I could properly classify as an end-of-year update. Then, I thought about the fact that I had a lot of catching up to do, and promptly started avoiding the idea. I then thought, “To hell with it, I’m going to write a post before the year ends, just because.” So, to fill the end-of-year update criteria, here is a list of highlights before I move on to my next topic.

1. January 1. I think this is the New Year holiday I spent at a virtual party online with a bunch of people on a roleplaying game I no longer frequent. Actually, it was New Year’s Eve, but still! It was an enthusiastic start to the year in any case, provided that it was actually this year I did it and not last year.

2. February 26. My now 10-month old Brother Nicolai was born. This actually covers a lot of material in one giant box, but it just *had* to be mentioned. I’d go all girly on you and say that he is the cutest, most fun, most favorite baby in the world (which is most definitely the case), but that would be a bit cliché, so I won’t. I will say, however, that having him around has been an amazing experience for me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. There is a ton of fun stuff to cover in this area, so I will write things as I think of them in later blog posts. I can tell you, however, that since he’s been with us, we’ve discovered that he loves anything to do with Winnie the Pooh, and enjoys the engagement and interaction of other people around him. He is definitely not a morning person (thumbs up for commonalities), has grown four new teeth in the past few weeks, and has just started to figure out how to crawl forward rather than backward. He’s a babbler (yay), wonderful to cuddle with (specially in his new pajamas), and is most likely going to grow up far faster than any of us would like. We won’t talk about that last one though.

3. Sometime in March. The culmination of this month happened to be the 1-year anniversary of buying my Lenovo laptop. Not particularly exciting, but I just found out today that I’ve had this laptop for 2 years instead of 1. The result: I am quite certain that I am not going to win life’s race with Time, but damn it, I’m determined to make it a good race, even if I don’t cross the finish line before he does. Screw you Time!

4. May 8. Version 2.8 of program Bobbi Blood was released. Change log: See past blog entries, tweets, and secretly recorded Skype conversations between her friends for more info. Translation: I turned 28. No, I am not about to list all the changes that have occurred in my life up to that point. I did have a really great steak and lobster dinner with the family though (thanks Dad and Lisa).

5. Sometime in June. This is when I realized that I’ve been studying medical transcription for a year. Um, excuse me Time, no taunting allowed in this race! Just because you run fast enough to look over your shoulder and throw insults at me doesn’t mean you can actually go around doing it! I already said I don’t really care if he reaches the finish line before I do, so I’m not going to say it again. In short, I’m still running, even though I might stop to enjoy the scenery a bit. Screw you again, Time!

6. Halloween. This was the first year I didn’t get any trick-or-treaters knocking on the front door (our lights were off). It was also the first Halloween I spent by myself. Granted, I did feel a little guilty at first for not going to the little party at my aunt’s house, but then I found out that said party consisted of dressing up Nicolai in several different (though very cute) Pooh Bear costumes and showing him off. I’ll admit, part of me would have had fun just because I was around Nicolai, but part of me wanted to experience Halloween alone watching some scary movies instead, just because. So, I ended up getting filled in the next day on what I’d missed, and had my share of fun from the party anyway. I watched “The Exorcist” and found myself chuckling at some of the sounds in it, rather than getting scared out of my gourd like I usually do. Then I fell asleep to a much happier movie. Okay… so I did get a little jumpy after that first movie, but hey, I didn’t have nightmares, so I still win (and I didn’t get scared out of my gourd). I seriously only just got a little case of the creeps this time. Yep, I’m definitely growing older here…

7. November 26. Thanksgiving. I remember feeling unusually crabby at first for some reason, but that didn’t last very long. I ended up getting lots of time with Nicolai while my folks prepared a delectable meal of turkey, potatoes and gravy, potato salad (with and without egg), lots of hors d’oeuvres (cheese and crackers, olives, pickles, artichoke hearts, cheeses, bread, etc.), stuffing, eggnog, wine (thankfully not mixed with the eggnog), and Oreo pie (which we didn’t get around to eating until later, if I remember right). It felt really quite odd having nine people in our house (me, my two sisters, their significant others, Nicolai, Dad, Lisa, and my alter ego (which may or may not actually exist). I did have a lot of fun, though, and thankfully ended up sleeping peacefully rather than in the zombified state of a food coma. I’ll close this highlight by saying that I looked up the word “hors d’oeuvres” (pronounced “or “dervs”)just for you guys. You should now commence feeling special for the 5.7 seconds it will take you to move on to the next highlight. Shows you just how French cooking terminology is, doesn’t it? Granted, it also shows you that I don’t know very much about cooking terminology.

8. December 15. This was the day I performed with Dad for for a convalescence center known as Heritage Assisted Living. This was something I ended up worrying about for a month, then finding out that I worried for no reason. I fretted over carols, looked up the lyrics to more carols, found carols that were fun to sing along with, cried over carols I didn’t know I liked, cried some more over carols I ended up discovering the lyrics for, and researching the history for all the carols I decided to put in the program. Then I fussed over program order, changed it at the last minute, drank a small glass of courage on the way to the center, and ended up putting on one of the best Christmas performances I’ve ever done (thanks Dad)! The program order ended up pretty much getting thrown out the window, and I didn’t care. The audience sang along with those songs they knew, enjoyed the ones they didn’t, and were very receptive to those messages we hoped to convey. Dad and I were particularly surprised when Santa came in and sang a little ditty with us (Jingle Bells isn’t so annoying now). Yep, this one’s definitely going down in the books. Thanks for the invite, Heritage, and thanks Nona for introducing us to them!

9. December 25. This was Nicolai’s first Christmas. I wasn’t sure how well it’d turn out, given that he’s only 10 months. It’s not that I thought it was going to go badly; I just wasn’t really sure how he would react. So, when Christmas eve rolled around, I ended up really excited and I spent the day being generally cheery because it was fun and I felt like it. I ended up being sort of a hermit for a lot of the day though, but the family didn’t seem to mind. We had some company for a bit, then later we did the traditional Christmas Eve present thing later that evening. Nicolai got these really cute pajamas that I wish he could wear all the time because he looks so cuddly in them. Actually, he got 2 pairs; one with feet and one without. The one without feet (hmm that sounds kinda funny) has this cute little hood on it. I love Nicolai’s hair, but there’s something about him wearing a hood or hat that puts me into squee mode. Anyway, we eventually went to bed. Well, everyone but Dad went to bed. Then the rest of us woke up at 7 something and brought Nicolai out for presents (Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eore, Tigger, lots of bath toys, and one of those kiddie cars you push around or have the kid push around with his feet). We ended up taking a nap in the middle of opening presents, which was a first, and later ate a nice dinner of potatoes, glazed ham, and other things I unfortunately can’t remember but tasted good anyway (Dad’s a scary good cook). Our tree (beautiful artificial prelit tree decorated some days before) is still up, and I can’t get enough of the scent of pine right now. Hurray for Very Snowy Spruce (shameless Scentsy plug).

So, I actually sent out a call to Twitter folks and a few other friends for topics that they might want to include in this post, but I think what I am going to do is make note of the responses I have gotten and use them for future posts. I have a feeling that writing a few posts based on other people’s questions may give me just enough inspiration for later posts about things other than major turning points/really exciting times in my life. Waiting for those really big moments seems to result in my neglecting the little ones, which sometimes (at least for me) can be really fun to read about.

Speaking of little moments, there’s a particular series of audio dramas called “Dreadtime Stories” that I was introduced to a while ago (thanks Davy). The acting can be cheesy at times, and perhaps for some they could have been put together better, but the stories are great. Each story (all of them horror related) lasts from 45 minutes to an hour. While some of them are kind of silly rather than frightening, I’ve found that the four I’ve heard so far have had their share of humor, cheese, and downright scary moments.

“Living Space”, for example, is a great story about a young couple who move into an apartment in New York at a discounted price and find that they get much more than they bargained for. As the story progresses, it seems very predictable, but then you find out something quite unexpected. The best part? You don’t find out until the last 3 to 5 minutes of the story. Absolutely riveting. Then you have the story about a common fungus that goes evil and mutant at the same time, which is one of those more stories that is more amusing than frightening. Granted, it does have a concept in it that plays off of some people’s greatest fears, so I can give these guys some slack for that.

Long story short, Davy and I’ve just bought the rest of the dramas. Long story even shorter, I’m really looking forward to listening to them! It’s also about 15 minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve, so I’m going to close here for the present. To all my readers reading this on New Year’s Day, happy New Year. To all those who are reading it at some other day, take care, and enjoy the rest of your day (or night if you happen to be nocturnal). Now, I am going to go have a nice glass of wine, watch the apple drop, and grab a quick bite of food. Then I will spend 10 or 15 minutes of 2016 listening to fireworks.

Carpe Diam,

B