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December 2009

"Oh, the weather outside is weather..."

My fellow dudes.....we have come to the last Ten Happy Things of this year.  Coincidentally, it is also the last Ten Happy Things of this decade, but I don't think that's terribly important.  It's not like I've been writing this thing for ten years...

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Christmas...or whatever winter holiday you celebrate.  I celebrate Christmas.  Mine was pretty alright.  Stressful (as if there's any other way to celebrate it) but alright.  I took a ridiculous amount of time off of work.  I've been at my company for just over ten years so I get a stupid amount of vacation days.  The last day I was at work was December 18th.  I don't have to haul my happy ass back into the office until January 4th.  Yeah, that's how I roll.  I've been keeping such oddball hours during my holiday that I have no idea how I'm going to get myself acclimated to a regular bedtime and rise time.  These are the downfalls of long holidays from work.  ;o)

Before I get started, I would like to take this moment to point out that the December list is totally on time this year.  It's been late every other year.  This year, it's on time......so there!  Now, without further ado...

10.  As I'm sure many of you will agree, 2009 will be very thankfully OVER in about 26 hours from right now.  THANK EVERY DIETY IN CREATION!!!  Frankly, 2009 sucked balls....big time.  Almost every soul I've talked to has expressed joy at seeing this year come to a close.  Were it not for my exceptional Sergio Garcia experience back in September, I think the whole of 2009 would be a complete loss.  It's had its upsides here and there (I mean, there were lists all year so there had to be some glimmers of light), but for the most part 2009 has totally worn out its welcome.  Let's all take a big, happy, deep breath and wish 2009 a fond farewell.......and please, 2009, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!  ;o)

9.  Okay, I'm not one to really laugh at someone's misfortune (unless that someone is a Yankee) but I can't just let this one lay.  For the record, I feel awful for his wife and I know that to her, this is not a laughing matter.  That being said, that whole Tiger Woods mistress debacle was just too funny.  Never in all my 33 years have I seen someone fall so far, so fast.  It was complete overkill in the press and I'm glad to see that the topic has sort of powered down......but good grief was it some priceless momentary entertainment.  Yes, I know, he's human and everyone makes mistakes and it's really bad for golf and blah, blah, blah.  I know...especially the bad for golf part.  Nevertheless, when the story broke and I was sitting on my couch watching coverage of it, I couldn't not laugh.  I don't think there was a woman in America who didn't at least give one good guffaw of sisterly triumph when the news came out that Tiger Woods was in his car at 2:30 in the morning without shoes fleeing from his pretty Swedish wife.  When you're Tiger Woods and you've cheated on your Swedish bikini model wife with a bevy of skank ass ho bags and your wife finds out......and then runs you out of the house by chasing you with a golf club.....that's just funny.  If it was a hammer or a baseball bat or a kitchen knife or some other weapon, it wouldn't be funny.  But a golf club?  It's Tiger Woods and she's going after him with a golf club????  Yeah, that's hilarious.  Good for you, Elin!  Knock him around with every club in his bag! 

8.  I got cool shit for Christmas.  Among other things, I got a really pretty ring, and some Twilight stuff, and the Andre Agassi book, and a steam mop (I know, that's weird....but I'm one of those chicks that really likes cleaning gadgets, especially as gifts, and I really wanted one), and some pink golf balls, and these cool gloves that allow me to work my iPhone without having to take my gloves off, and a brand new version of this Tigger drinking glass that I've had forever that's all faded, and new jammies, and some pearls, and a golf bag organizer rack for the garage, and this gorgeous print called Cherry Blossoms that I can hang in my living room, and a bunch of Fat Chef stuff for my kitchen.  I usually get a lot of gifts that are nice but seem to have been purchased with someone else in mind.  Stuff where I open it and I'm like "oh, that's really nice!  I don't know what would make you think this would be something I'd want...but it's really nice."  Not this year, though.  This year, my family seemed to have remembered who I am and what I like.  Win!

7.  My boy Evgeni Malkin (who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, for those of you who don't know) got his fourth career hat trick last week.  A hat trick is one player scoring three goals in the same hockey game (again, for those of you who don't know).  The best part of Evgeni Malkin getting a hat trick is the mandatory post-game interview.  Evgeni Malkin interviews are HILARIOUS.  Evgeni is Russian.  Like, really Russian.  Like, off the boat Russian.  He understands English just fine but his ability to speak English is not so great.  He's only been in America for three or so years, so I give him a break because English, frankly, is difficult to learn and he's at least giving it the old college try.  I think I may have touched on this sometime last year when he happened to get a hat trick.  Someone will ask him a question and he understands what he's being asked but then his answers leave you saying "uh.....what?"  You can kind of get the jist of what he's trying to say....but not really.  He just sort of strings words and thoughts together that don't necessarily go together.  For example, the interviewer asked him how it felt to get the hat trick and he came back with "well, I saw open through ice defending and then to help team and with puck so I score."  I'm not kidding.  That's a direct quote.  I recorded it.  You get that he's trying to say he took all the scoring opportunities he could to help the team......but good grief, what a sentence!  The best thing about it is that he totally knows.  He knows that his syntax is just a complete mess so he'll end every response with this facial expression that is just priceless.  He looks at the interviewer like "yeah, I know that's not right but I just played 60 minutes of hockey and I'm tired."  It's great stuff.

6.  Ah, the glory that is Facebook.  Years ago, I had a sort of pen pal buddy that I sadly lost touch with over the years.  Thanks to Facebook, I have located the chap and have found him happy and healthy.  Pen pal resurfacing win!  A couple of days later, Facebook did it again.  You know how the right-hand side of Facebook will suggest possible friends to you?  They're usually friends of someone on your friends list or someone who went to the same school as you or whatever.  Back in junior high, I was friends with this kid, Joe.  Joe was a complete lunatic, insanely funny, and probably one of my most favorite people ever.  He was one of those dudes that could make you laugh to the point of pain.  We graduated from 8th grade and went on to different high schools.  With the exception of a few stories told to me by a college friend who knew Joe in high school, Joe was completely lost to me for a good 20 years.  Then one day I logged onto Facebook and whammo!  There was Joe big as day on the right-hand side of my Facebook page under the "people you may know" heading.  I just about fell off the chair.  Since locating him through Facebook, I am happy to say that Joe and I have played many a Scrabble game via iPhone and I have totally owned him in every game but one.  ;o)  Nine times out of ten, Facebook is going to help you find somone you'd really rather not find or, worse, help someone find you that you'd rather stay hidden from.  These two cases, however, were fantastic exceptions to that rule.....and not the first of thier kind.  I've happily reconnected with all kinds of people via Facebook....from childhood pals to my first ever boyfriend to cousins that live far away.  Facebook win!

5.  Will you just stop and look at this child:

Is that not the most precious thing you've ever seen in your entire life?  That's little Colin.  He's the son of my friends Jay and Yvonne.  He is such a little peanut, I can't even stand it.  Yvonne emailed me this shot (which was later featured on their Christmas card) and when I opened it, I just about died.  Look at that face!!!!  I could just eat his little cheeks!  He better not learn the power of that face because if he does, he's going to get away with murder!  ;o)

4.  Speaking of babies, people have been cracking me up lately with their "ohmigod, Mer must be pregnant!" epiphanies.  Apparently there's some kind of Meredith Pregnancy Watch Group that I wasn't aware of.  A couple of weeks ago, I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to accompany my Gram down to Rush Medical Center for surgery.  Let me just tell you, 3:30 am is in no way a normal starting time in Merland.  As a result, my body clock was completely off kilter for a couple of days.  I happened to post a status on Facebook that said something like "I have a body clock that is totally playing tricks on me."  The first comment I got back was "does that mean what I think it means?!?!?"  I had to chuckle.  Then, just a few days ago, my sister was insisting I was pregnant because I could smell tomato basil soup.  I was bringing soup from Cosi over to my Gram and the aroma was filling my car.  My sister could not smell the soup.  I could.  The logical conclusion to this is that I must be pregnant.  She was bellowing in my car "preggo!  You're totally preggo!"  All this time I thought you needed to do that whole pee on a stick thing to tell whether or not you're pregnant.  Who knew that you could determine such a thing by examining one's ability to smell soup.  It gets better!  First, let me set the stage.  I make my own Christmas cards.  This year, at my friend Andrea's urging, I made two different cards.  The majority received a card that had a picture of my friends' son Owen on it.  It's one of the funniest Christmas pictures ever.  It's a picture of the boy in front of a lit Christmas tree with a look on his face that can only be described as "the most pissed off Christmas ever."  Considering how totally un-awesome 2009 was for most people, I thought the picture was rather fitting.  I digress.  The second card, which was only sent to a select few and was done at Andrea's request, was a Twilight themed card.  I did some Photoshopping and came up with a play on the Twilight book cover.  Here:

Get it?  Usually, there's an apple there.....but I Photoshopped an ornament in.  Inside, it said something like "May your Christmas sparkle, dazzle, and glow!"  Something along those lines.  Anyone who has seen or read Twilight should have gotten the pun.....because, you know, Edward the Vampire is described as being sparkly, and dazzling, and glowy.  For some unknown reason, however, one particular chick thought the card was a latent pregnancy hint.  I don't know how she came to that conclusion, especially considering that she's both read and seen Twilight.....but that's what she got from the card.  When she told me this, I cracked up.  She's so cute.  She's literally the most unintentionally funny person I know.....and unintentional funny is my favorite kind of funny.

Let me just say this now........when and if I'm ever pregnant, I promise that I'll let everyone know in a fairly direct manner.   I won't be all cryptic about it with Facebook statuses or subliminal Christmas card messages or whatever.  I won't be like "hey, I can totally smell your soup from here!  You know what that means...."  ;o)

3.  Have you seen Sherlock Holmes?  No?  Go see Sherlock Holmes.  Somewhere in England, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is rolling over in his grave because as far as the books are concerned, this movie is not Sherlock Holmes.  Holmes was not some kind of hygiene-optional, ninja grade pugilist Jedi dandy.  He was cultured and refined and precise and brilliant.  Furthermore, Watson was not debonaire and dashing.  He was short and chubby and bumbling (but terribly loyal and helpful).  That being said....who cares?  The movie is AWESOME.  Guy Ritchie is such a gift to cinema.  His movies are so clever and so fun.  He did such a great job with this film.  Mind you, he did turn both Holmes and Watson into characters that are vastly different from a purist interpretation of Holmes and Watson......but the changes are not unwelcome.  The movie is clever and engaging and well acted.  Go see it.  It's such fun!

2.  Let me just preclude this by saying I know that I am a complete dork and I embrace my dorkness with vigor and verve.  Now that I've gotten that out there, look what I totally bought myself:

You know what that is?  That is my Team Jacob New Moon water bottle featuring Mr. Taylor Lautner.....or, as I like to call it, my "jail bait water bottle."  I don't care how stupid it is.  That kid is hot as hell and I get great enjoyment from drinking out of a water bottle with his face on it.  I don't care that he's only 17 and lusting after him makes me some kind of dirty cougar.  I don't care if Twilight is lame.  I don't care if I'm too old to have a Team Jacob water bottle.  The boy is smokin' hot, the bottle is eco friendly, and I'm just a huge dork that way.  It's the little things in life.  Truly it is.

By the way, Taylor Lautner will be 18 in February....  ;o)

1.  As I touched on earlier, my Gram had some surgery earlier this month.  To be specific, she had hysterectomy surgery made necessary by cancer.  She came through it like a champ.  What the doctors found via the surgery was not the greatest news.  The cancer was more evident than originally anticipated and it has moved to other parts of her body.  Nevertheless, the surgery was a success, they were able to remove about 90% of the cancer from her body, and the doctors are positive about her prognosis.  She'll have to have some chemotherapy, which won't be easy, but she's positive and in good spirits and she's ready to kick cancer in the face.  The doctors pretty much sawed the lady in half and took all kinds of body parts out of her......and six days following surgery, she was off heavy duty pain meds and was up and walking around like she hadn't just been sawed in half six days earlier.  She was home for Christmas, she's getting her appetite back, and she's saying things like "I don't plan on dying any time soon."  Rock on!  Check out my Gram being all Lance Armstrongish and kicking cancer in the face!  Booyah!

So, there you go.  The last Ten Happy Things of 2009.  Per usual, I'll be doing some kind of Best Of list in the very near future.  I will see you all in the new decade!  Be well, my morsels!  :o)

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