Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy New Year! Are you still writing "08" on everything like me? It'll take at least a month before writing "09" becomes a subconscious thing for me. Happens every year, man.

I had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas back home in Cincinnati with the family. It was just the four of us, which isn't something that happens very often for holidays. We ended up eating dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Kyoto, on Christmas Day. If Mom had cooked us the Christmas dinner she was planning, we wouldn't have eaten until 10pm because we didn't get back until early evening from seeing a movie (a tradition that has been upheld since I was little). I guess that makes us psuedo-Jewish, right? Or does that only count if you eat Chinese food on Christmas?

My parents and family came through again with fabulous gifts. Here I present an awards show for what some gifts won in certain categories.

Most Hilarious: the cell phone "corset" my aunt and uncle got me (a cell phone carrier in the shape of a ladies' bodice)
Most Nefarious: iTunes gift cards (dammit, now I have to give in to Jobs's evil empire ever so slightly!)
Most Practical: new bras (all the girls out there are with me on this one--so essential)
Most Erin-appropriate: Shark Week--The 20th Anniversary DVD Collection
Best Attempt (& Subsequently Returned): 2 super cute wool sweaters (I just...can't...wear...wool)

Like I said, it was a great Christmas. The present I'm the most obsessed with--bought with the money gained in the return of some items--is my red 30GB Zune. I'm fully aware that everyone considers the iPod to be the Epitome Of All That is MP3, and Zunes are supposedly for dorks. But since I'm not really interested in playing Solitaire or browsing the internet while I'm listening to music, the Zune was the obvious choice. Also, have I mentioned how much I hate Apple? If people ask, I'll detail all the reasons why in a future post.

Right now I'm in the laborious process of ripping all the CD's I want on my Zune to my computer. Oh, CD's. I remember when you were so cool, you were ice cold. I pray you come back in vogue someday, like original LP's, so I can impress my grandkids with my nearly mint edition of the Black Eyed Peas "Monkey Business" CD.

And because I am my mother's daughter, I've already sent out all my Thank You cards for presents received. Happy now, Mother?

I also saw/watched a lot of movies over the holidays. A lot. Like 7 in 4 days. What can I say? My family's idea of quality bonding time is sitting down to watch a Brendan Frasier film or seeing the latest Jim Carrey movie. Which is all fine by me, as I secretly want to see all these things but am either 1) too cheap to see them, 2) too ashamed to see them, or 3) a combination of 1 & 2.

2009 feels a lot like 2008, although that may be because January 1st was a Thursday and I had to go back to work today. So the old year and the new year fell in the same work week, and something magical is lost when you have to enter it on your timesheet that way. I did, however, have a rockin' New Year's Eve, though not with Dick Clark (aka the Cylons' latest model). First Yuval and I hit up a party in Newton Center at the house of some of his co-workers and my friends from kickball. It was great to see them, now that we don't have a weekly game of kick-ass to play until Spring.

Then we braved the T for over an hour to get up to Davis Square, and made it to Tim's house 30 seconds before the ball dropped. I barely had time to drop my coat and grab a plastic cup of Andre before Times Square exploded in confetti and performances by Fergie. We stayed until about 2am, when we had to leave before the T shut down for the night. The walk back to Yuval's house from Porter Square left my feet both numb and frozen in pain from the cold. It was to the point where the only remedy was a soak in hot water, a pair of wool socks over a pair of regular socks, and Yuval lying on my feet to warm them with body heat. Times like that are why I have come to loathe winter and weep during the last days of autumn.

In honor of the new year, I've decided to list the things that I see as my major accomplishments of 2008. Kitschy, but I get a slight feeling of pride from comparing where I am now to where I was a year ago.

- Started exclusively dating a guy I met via the Internet. Am with that same guy still. :o)
- Filed my income taxes by myself for the first time. Ever.
- Quit my first real grown-up job.
- Saw a Bruins game at TD Banknorth Garden.
- Got my second real grown-up job.
- Negotiated/planned/paid for everything for moving out of my first apartment and into my second.
- Found a fabulous apartment via Craigslist.
- Furnished said apartment.
- Bought a gardenia plant, and have kept it alive.
- Opened a 403 (b) retirement investment account.
- Started swimming again.
- Took a Chinese class on a whim, and discovered that I liked learning the language.
- Voted in my first Primary election.
- Voted in the first General election where my guy won.
- Got two opinion letters published in Boston Metro.
- Bought a new laptop completely with my own money.
- Started repaying my student loans.
- Realized that I was making too big a deal of where/what I wasn't instead of focusing on where/what I am.

Anyone else got any big accomplishments they'd post on the fridge if they were translated into kindergarten drawings?

I hope everyone has a totally rad start to 2009. And don't freak out if you've already broken your New Year's Resolution--they were never meant to be taken seriously.

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey

Yes Man
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Get Smart
A Christmas Story
Tropic Thunder

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