Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 in Review

Let me sum up the year, in bullet points as only I can.

--2008, despite a lot of mud in my face, was a Year of Landry. Yeah, not everything went as planned, but seriously... what does? I learned a lot about myself, dated some interesting people, learned so much about who my true friends are, and did a shit ton of traveling. So while the Justin thing was awful, and I feel in a rut about my job... I'd chock this one up as a win.

--I really like traveling. I went to Nashville, St. Louis, Cleveland, and will be ending the year in Maine. And they were all awesome. It's pricey, and takes a lot out of you, but I say go traveling.

--I got a lot of great CDs. Arcade Fire, Yael Naim, Sigor Ros, Santogold, Ludo, and probably tomorrow I'll be getting Fleet Foxes, MGMT, and Belle and Sebastian. That being said...

--...not nearly enough movies! Wall-E, Dark Knight, and Iron Man top my list. Also big props to Persepolis. But yeah, nothing's left me blown away so far. Hoping to catch a ton in January.

--I love my apartment. Roommate switch up in the middle, but that just proved to me how much I love my apartment, and that Salem is pretty cool for now.

--Erin is the best friend and travel partner ever. We spent a week together traveling for Tim's wedding, and she's helped me out through a ton of stuff this year. It goes both ways, obviously. But she's the sister from another mister I've been looking for. Same goes to Aimee, Shana, and Jess.

--I will be spending the next 10 years at weddings. Two this past summer, and two already on the horizon. Eeeesh it's a good thing I have several cocktail dresses.

--I have great work friends. The Bay/Zumi's crowd is awesome. I am lucky.

--NEVER DATE MUSICIANS. No explanation needed.

Predictions for 2009? Jess thinks it'll be even more awesome. I have to agree with her. I have a feeling there's some awesome in the wind.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Well, I've done it again. I've survived another marathon of a holiday.

I think I've mentioned this before, but what they don't tell you when your mom and dad divorce is that every major holiday expands. Or rather, every family-oriented holiday expands. Thanksgiving turned into three, as did Christmas. I'm looking forward to MLK Jr. Day, as that'll be spent by my lonesome. While I do love my family, by the time holiday #3 rolls around, I am beat.

Christmas Eve brought the dysfunctional at my dad's. Lots of awkward conversations, medium-tasty food, and all that. Great to see my cousin Amanda, though. Brianna, my... well, I guess stepsister, was in true form.

Then back to my mom and Leo's for Christmas. Christmas morning was very nice and relaxing. Then we all headed to the Gorrell/Flory compound in the afternoon. Very fun, but also busy. The Cousins got a Wii, which lead to my mom Wii boxing... which is HILARIOUS. I'll be posting photos of that soon. All the cousins are good and doing well. We also had our crazy DVD Yankee Swap. I brought Persepolis and came back with Elf. So not bad.

Boxing Day was a day of rest. At night I went out with some high school friends and went to a bar... which turned into High School Reunion. Saw tons of people I haven't seen in ages, which was both good and bad. Also ran into Beeman friends, which was surreal but also good. Last time I saw many of them I was 9... and now we're all 24/25 and drinking together. So that was good.

Today was Jegs Family Christmas, which was a lot of activity and energy for a few hours, and then they all leave. So again, quite busy and all over. Then Mom, Leo, and I relaxed at night, which was MUCH needed. Phew!

So I made it through all Christmases. Sunday I hope to check out that yarn store in Gloucester, meet up with more friends for dinner, and get ready for the work day.

Monday, December 22, 2008


So Dustin let me run in the middle of the day to the Northshore Mall to try and get a gift card. Sadly, that resulted in an epic fail, since everyone else had a similar idea and so the traffic was horrific. I did get a lot of shopping done at Newbury Comics, though. I was able to knock off the rest of Erin, the twins, and The Miches. Part of me was telling myself "just make them things and save money" but then I realized that the time for that was months ago. I think next year will be more of a homemade Christmas.

All of this does not result in the craziness. No, that involves a random run-in I had with a high school classmate. I was wandering around trying to think what to get Danielle when I looked up and there was a girl I went to high school with and her baby. It was bizarre. She looked, first off, FANTASTIC for having a 4-month-old baby. I was a little jealous, as I've seen the women in my family, and it will not be pretty if I ever get to that point.

We then did the "what are you up to?" and "who do you still talk to?" stuff. And the whole time I'm thinking this:

Wow! WOW! I went to high school with this girl, and at the time we had a ton in common... but now, almost 7 years later, our lives have diverged greatly. She has been married for 5 years, has a baby, and a house, and all that. I can't keep a boyfriend for more than 3 months, but have a good job, a Bachelor's Degree from a very good college, an active social life, and live in a city on my own (relatively speaking). Neither one is right or wrong, but just so different.

It's also odd to think that we're that old that all these things make sense for both of us. Just crazy.

But yes. Great to see her, but also left me thinking "how is it that my high school classmates are married with kids?! Wasn't I in high school like five minutes ago??"

I will say, I kind of can't wait for Christmas to be over, since all this purchasing and gearing up always stresses me out. It's one of my least favorite holidays, since it's so based on commercialism and stuff. I wish there was less focus on that, and more on family and what this day means. Alas... I'm sounding a little bit like Linus right now.
A series of texts between me and my friend Brian about our friend (to save his identity, we'll call him Glenn) and his engagement.

Glenn's listed as engaged on fb. Epic fail!
Brian: Looooooooooool. Epic life commitment fail!
Me: Hear that? That's the sound of Glenn's manhood leaving forever.
Brian: It's as if a thousand voices called out and were suddenly silenced.
Me: Well played star war reference!
Brian: The Jedis felt that one for sure.
Me: The entire galaxy will be feeling this one for quite some time.

Yep, we're nerds who compare an engagement to Alderon blowing up.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Songs for this snow day

Fleet Foxes, White Winter Hymnal

Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

Dr. Dog, My Old Ways

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And if the snow buries my, my neighborhood

A winter bike in front of Pampelmousse. So lovely!

I decided to take a walk around downtown and get one of my beloved lattes from The Gulu Gulu Cafe. I also wanted to see how Salem looked in the snow. I shoveled out my car, and unfortunately Dean the neighbor had not plowed our driveway yet. So I tried to shovel as best as I could, but got stuck in a snow bank. Chris from the first floor told me that his brother plows, so if worst comes to worst, we could hire him to help us out. Then when I got stuck in said bank, he pushed me out and told me how to get out of the bank. So I bought him some beer tonight. Who doesn't love beer, right?

Then I got downtown and about 5 minutes in realized that snow boots are not a maybe, but a necessity. Esp. in New England. Salem was beautiful today. No one was around, so it was so nice. I felt very energized and refreshed, since it's nice to enjoy my town without a ton of tourists and locals around. Photos of this are at the bottom, along with my beautiful latte from Gulu Gulu. So tasty and glorious. Not many people were there today, but per usual... serviced sucked. It's a good thing I want to be a cool hipster and will tolerate lack of service!

Then I sucked it up and went to the mall to start my Christmas shopping. Tons of people were there, but I knocked a few people off of my list. And by a few, I mean... I bought winter boots for myself and some hand cream. So that gets a fail. I'll have to head up there tomorrow or Monday to get the gift cards I wanted and some other stuff.

Then I came back here, got eggs, and made... MATZO BALL SOUP!! I've been brainstorming this bad boy for weeks. And let me tell you, it was totally worth it. Sooo tasty. Here is a photo of my soup... and me drinking Kahlua. It warmed my soul.

Now I'm continuing the domesticity with some shortbread cookies, more Kahlua, and knitting. I love being snowed in by myself!

Downtown, from I believe the front of Rockafellas. I was impressed at how many cars were driving around, but when I started walking there weren't many people walking around.
Delicious, delicious latte.

Matzo Ball Soup! Matzo balls in a chicken broth with carrots, parsley, and celery. I think the next time I may need to make smaller matzo balls. But this is my first time, and I think it's great. I have a ton of leftovers, so I might lightly grill them in a pan and then put them in a soup. I also love how my camera captures the steam coming up from my soup! So cool!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sums up the post-photos blizzard

Just saw my roommate's boyfriend not wearing pants. So I told Tim this via IM:

Me: I just saw Sarah's boyfriend not wearing pants.
Tim: All of Ann's roommates...well all one of them have seen me in such a state.
Tim: Also I'm drunk.
Me: Neither of these things surprise me.

Disregard last year... this time, we REALLY mean that this is the storm of the century

At right, me just getting home from work early at 3pm for THE STORM OF THE CENTURY. OOOOOOOO AAAAAAA PANIC!!!!

So I'm sitting at home enjoying another snow storm. I really don't mind being snowed in, nor do I flip out. It seems, though, that everyone else in New England freaks the hell out about snow. I spent a lot of time this afternoon watching Storm Coverage, which is news casters rehashing the storm. "Oh my God, it's still snowing... I'm still on the side of this highway freezing my ass off..."

Why is it that every storm is the worst and filled with hyperbole and freaking out? I know you need to create news, and in this day and age, that means drama, but seriously? Don't report on nothing, and don't try to hype people up into freaking out. It's snow. It falls every year. Just be smart on the roads and keep your houses warm.

This DJ in Boston has made the same joke two years in a row, but it's very accurate "It's a snow storm, let's all run out to the store and buy milk and bread for your fat children". And sure enough, on my drive home, Shaw's was chaos with people trying to buy groceries. There was a line onto the street of people trying to get in. I made mistake of going last year during that blizzard where it took 2 hours to get home... insanity in the store. People running around with staples and what not. I went last night, and still nuts... but not as bad.

Sarah, my roommate, started dating a guy. Much to my surprise, it seems he's also hunkering down with us for the weekend. Ohhhh to always manage to find roommates with boyfriends so you're a third wheel in your own apartment.

I managed to get home in about 45 minutes, with the roads only getting bad in Salem. I must say, I think I'm pretty good at driving in bad weather thanks to all these storms and having to get to work. Granted, I did hydroplane and total a minivan one winter, but other than that... smooth sailing.

Tomorrow it's supposed to die down, which is good. I am supposed to have a Christmas Party in Cambridge tomorrow, but I'm concerned about the roads and parking, so I may need to bail. If that's the case, I might trek to Beverly to hang out with Crystal and her posse.

I took a walk to get away from the love birds and to also take some photos of the neighborhood. Usually it is hopping on a Friday night at 9pm around here, but it's very much a ghost town tonight.

I'm standing in the middle of Jefferson, taking a shot of the street with no cars coming. As you can see, not a very good job at plowing, but still not terrible.

On Arthur, looking up the street to the neighbors. The flash is on, so you can see it's still snowing.

At 3, when it was just beginning to pick up. Now plowing yet, nor will there be for a bit. But still, not all that bad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cute animals

No griping today, even though I'm stressed by work and getting sick.

No, today I am posting a very cute picture I saw someone else post on Facebook. It's a Mama hippo with a baby hippo. It warms my heart with its cuteness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogger Guilt

From Thanksgiving to now, it's been bat shit crazy! And I keep thinking "man, I should post something", but then I'm so tired or sick of looking at a computer monitor, that I don't want to. So I don't.

Well, it's already the middle of December! What have I been up to?

Training, training, training!
As part of my job, I need to learn more about other databases and interfaces. I have absolutely no clue how and when this will come into play, but I've been living in conference rooms many hours a day for the last two weeks. Fortunately the two people who are getting trained in this full time are awesome and really nice and my age. We all agreed today that we're glad we're in this together. I'll be glad when next Monday comes, since I won't have as many meetings to take up my time.

I also found out I will be learning a new analysis/coding language next year as part of my job. It'll be good to learn this, since it'll look amazing on my resume. I'm worried about time stuff, but I'll figure that out later. And maybe when I have no time, they'll actually take some things off of my plate!

I definitely think my job is still a catch all for all the stuff in the department no one wants to do, but I'm realizing that this will not change, so I need to make it change for myself.

Roommate Sarah is dating someone?!
It's true. Sarah has a gent. His name is Matt. He's good people.

As for me...
Still single, so it's not like I've been busy in THAT realm of my personal life.

General whining about my other friends being busy
The inner posse is, pretty much, all in happy relationships, so they haven't been around much. Which is annoying, since I've been spending a lot of time by myself as a result, or as a third wheel. Trying hard not to get down because of it, or to keep myself busy and active. It's hard, but I soldier on.

Craft fair = BIG success
I'll post pictures soon, but w00t!

Is it Christmas yet?
No, better yet... is it NYE yet???

Yep, that's all.