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December 30, 2003


Carolyn met her main man, Chris Kirkpatrick, yesterday! And she didn't throw up! Congrats, my friend! <.wink>

I am feeling a lot better today, after many, many drugs. Let's hope it lasts!

December 28, 2003

Another day, another dollar

I'm sick. Evidence: I just tried to take out my contacts, which I didn't put in this morning due to burning eyes.

More evidence: Throat on FIRE, hacking cough, continuous sneezing and eye-watering. That last bit seems to have just started.

Bah. Really, really don't want to be sick this week. Aarti, Sarah and Brad are coming up for New Years. No real plans as of yet, but I haven't seen Sarah and Brad since, I think, Sarah's wedding, and Aarti since.... well, two weeks ago. But still, she lives in another state. Also, plans are to go downtown to eat under the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room and see the windows at Marshall Field's with Mom and Jess on Tuesday. So being sick really doesn't fit into my plans, yo.

Tonight, the fam and I went to the Bulls vs. Wizards game. It was fun! We ate at... the Locker Room, I think it's called, which is an "exclusive" restaurant reserved only for season ticket holders in the 100 level. Which my dad's company is, and one of the bonuses of that is he gets to take his family to one game a year. ;) The game was good. Bulls WON, but it was close for a while. Made it exciting. AND they got 100 points, which gets everyone there a free Big Mac at McDonalds. <.laugh> Too bad I don't like Big Macs. Was fun, though.

Oh, and Nelly was there. Why? No idea. They showed him on the screen during Hot in Herre, and I leaned over to Jess and said, "Who is that? Is that Nelly?" She shrugged. No clue. Well, it was him. He popped up on the screen a few more times, and turns out he was sitting just two rows below us. I suppose that's exciting, too. Too bad it couldn't have been someone I really like! Hee.

Okay, time for a bit of shut-eye. Need my rest if I'm going to be well by Wednesday. ::nods::

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

There's always this huge build-up to Christmas, the rush of picking out the prefect gifts, making cookies, planning this and that... and then it's all over.

First, have you all seen the Google logo doodles? So cute. Hee!

On to Christmas. I had a very nice holiday this year. Tuesday night was the Christmas dinner/food drive with The Gang. Real good to see everyone. Emily did an excellent job organizing everything at Famous Dave's. Food was good, company was great... lots of fun.

I worked Christmas Eve. It was a good day until near the end, when I got "talked to" about something. Grrr. Hate getting in trouble, and this "thing" was not even all my fault. What I hate even more than getting in trouble is the way my boss does it. She made me feel like a complete incompetent idiot, and even said that I was a valuable contributor to the team, insinuating that if I was not, I might not have a job. Way to put me in the Christmas spirit. I have never, ever gotten in trouble at work, I put in 100% effort (almost) all the time, and I take pride in my work ethic, thoroughness, and productivity. To have someone point out one instance when I (along with others, mind you) may not have been at my best, on Christmas Eve, did not put me in the holiday spirit.

And, AND. The Boss did nothing to thank us for the holidays. I don't think bonuses have come out, if we're getting them at all, but those things come from above. The other departments all had a Christmas party, catered, last Friday. If we ever celebrate anything, it's always pot luck. I thought, given that Wednesday was the slowest. day. ever and one of the tellers arranged some Christmas games and a Secret Santa, we might at least get bagels or something from The Boss. But nothing. No thank-you for a good year, nada. Zilch. Way to feel appreciated.

Oo, and what a way for ME to put YOU all in the holiday spirit! My deepest apologies. Back on track, Kate, back on track.

So. Christmas Eve. AFTER work, it was a very good day. The cousins did not come in from Kansas City this year, which was sad. One of my dad's coworkers joined us for Christmas Eve dinner, as he really didn't have anyone else to spend the holidays with, so that was nice. Both sets of grandparents, my great aunt and uncle, and Dad's friend were here. The fact was not lost on me that all our guests are of age to collect Social Security. ;) But it was fun. We did the usual, dinner, reading of the Christmas story from the Bible, singing carols around the tree, and finishing up with Silent Night to candlelight. Then everyone but my mom's parents went home, and the six of us went to the candlelight service of church. It's a very pretty service.

It was a very successful Christmas, as well. I got a carry-on suitcase so that I can have my OWN when I TRAVEL. Love traveling. Watched the Disney Christmas Parade this morning, and it made me miss WDW SO MUCH. Have to go back soon. And use my new suitcase! I got a really pretty ring to replace the one I smashed when looking through extremely heavy framed posters for my dad, and two beautiful necklaces.

The best gift, by far, was the CD player Jess and I got for my grandparents. I gave them two CDs at the beginning of the morning, which they liked, but were a bit confused on (the only CD player they had was in the car). Then, after everything had been opened, we brought out the CD player. They were so surprised!! They've never owned such a thing. It was a priceless moment trying to teach my grandma how to work it. To think I bought that particular one because I thought it would be EASIEST to use! I can't imagine what would have happened had I gone for a different one. She finally got the hang of it, and promptly got up to dance with my grandfather to one of her favorite Anne Murray songs. A Christmas moment to remember forever!

All in all, a good day. The only slight hitch was going to my aunt's house (40 minutes away) and forgetting ALL the gifts at home. Oops! My dad had to go back for them. What a stand-up guy he is! But it was good to see everyone once again. Being that this *might* be my last Christmas living here, I'm glad everyone was so happy this year, and that I got to see so much of my family.

Hope you all had a great day, too! I know it's almost over, but a little something I made playing around with PSP:

December 22, 2003

Christmas is nearly here!

I realize that I, once again, have not updated in nearly a week. Bad Kate.

See, the thing is, nothing really noteworthy happens to me. I worked all week. Worked LATE all week. We had a Call Night Tuesday, joy of joys. Get to stay late and make sales calls! Imagine my enthusiasm!

I actually left early Wednesday. Not early as in, before we closed, but I was out the door before 5, that's for sure. I hadn't been feeling well at all (dizzy and headachey and generally not too good) and I just needed to go home. Jess and I borrowed Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers from the library, so we watched that (although, due to the not-feeling-well, I slept through a good hour in the middle... oops! Good thing I'd watched it at Heather's earlier in the week).

Thursday was a late day at work again, as I tried to save a big account. And failed. It was another branch's account, though, so I wasn't too torn up about it. Thursday night, Mom and I put in Bend it Like Beckham (great movie) and wrapped presents until our little fingers were raw. I could tell I was feeling better, because I was able to stay up until 11:30 wrapping, whereas I'd been about knocked out by 9 the previous couple days.

Friday was another late night at work, wherein we had a huge discussion about the referral program and why it needs to be changed, we were laughed at and generally not taken seriously by the Boss, and I left not feeling so good about things. But Mom came out to N-ville and we went to Naper Settlement's Christmas Memories, which was very cool. A bit chilly out, but a good time nonetheless.

Saturday was busy once again. I worked, rushed to Grandma's for lunch (lasagna, with snow men for dessert... yum!), and rushed again to my final fitting (an hour away) for Jamie's wedding. I now have the dress hanging in my closet, and it's so pretty! I can't wait to wear it. I just need to watch the holiday goodies so that I still fit into it come January. <.g>

Sunday was the Day of Making Cookies. Mom and I slaved in the kitchen for hours with Christmas music on. It was fun. Then Meghan and I went to see Mona Lisa Smile, which was very good, and then out for coffee. Good to catch up with her, as I hadn't seen her since our birthday bowling.

Today, I was off. I went to work out, and then Mom, Jess and I went to see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. VERY good! Probably my favorite of the three. I can't decide which character I like the best, but I'm about to update my sidebar with a little LotR Christmas goodness. ;) Those books will be next on my list of reading, once I finish the book I'm in the middle of. After the movie, we met Dad for dinner at Brass, which was very nice. Yummy. I'm STUFFED, and I have most of my meal left over for lunch tomorrow.

So, that was that. I probably really should update more often, because looking back, that's a lot for one entry. Hmmm. As it's happening, it doesn't feel significant at all. But then I go back and write all the insignificant little things, and a week's worth of insignificance adds up.

December 15, 2003

Home again, home again...

...Jiggity jig.

[I just typed a WHOLE entry on my vacation and lost it. Argh!! So discouraging. Man. <.sigh> Here we go again...]

It was not a very relaxing week, but it was a GREAT week. I got to see two old roommates of mine! So much fun. I'm going to try to remember all of it.

Ye be warned!

Saturday, Dec 6

First stop, Illinois basketball! The good old Fighting Illini vs. Arkansas. I went with my dad, and what a good time it was. Great to be seeing mah boys in action once again. It was a great game, with a couple fabulous plays. The Illini won 80-something to 60-something, I think. Good times.

After the game, I started the trek to Ohio. I talked to Heather from somewhere north of Indianapolis to somewhere east of Dayton, which made the drive quite enjoyable. I made it to Columbus about 8:30, and Aarti and I headed out for Columbus's version of Dos Reales, El Vachero (spelled... possibly not right). YUM! Good food! After dinner, we headed out to Brothers with Donna and Aaron, and met up with some of their other friends. I was twirled (and twirled and twirled) by Spinny Guy, which was... interesting. And a bit frightening. Aaron had to finally step in and save me, especially when Spinny Guy tried to dip me. A big N-O! Scary! Afterwards, we all headed home to crash in front of Pirates.

Sunday, Dec 7

Aarti and I headed out for some shopping, and the Great H Hunt of 2003. After many unsuccessful trips to malls around here for the perfect Christmas gift, I finally, FINALLY found it. Whew! Then Aarti headed to work, and I headed out on another Great Hunt, this time for fondue ingredients (and gas for my car). One gas station, two grocery stores, a bread store, a wine store, and about two hours later, I returned with all but one "vital" ingredient for the fondue. Discouraged, I took a little nappy-nap, watched some TV, chatted with Aarti's roommate, and waited for her to return with apple juice as a substitute for kirsche. We made fondue (YUM!!) and had a grand old night.

Monday, Dec 8

I'm blanking on Monday morning. Hmm. Anyway. Monday afternoon, I went to work with Aarti. It was very cool to meet all her coworkers and finally put faces to names. I also got to see what she does all day (Aarti is a Very Important part of the whole operation), which was very educational for me, as we do not get trained in that aspect of the bank in my job. An all around good experience. We left around 9 and grabbed some dinner (California Pizza Kitchen) and a movie (School of Rock). Good times!

Tuesday, Dec 9

I had to leave for home, much too quickly. The weather was bad, bad, bad, which did not make for a fun drive. I made it, though, in time for my dress fitting. I was pleasantly surprised for the dress to zip after all the Thanksgiving and birthday feeding frenzy. Whew! It was a monsoon outside all day and all night, which thankfully did not turn to snow.

Wednesday, Dec 10

There was a bit of trauma when, Wednesday morning, I noticed that I was booked on a return flight from Huntsville to Chicago on both Dec 15 and 17. After a phonecall to Travelocity, it was confirmed that the flight my ticket was *actually* for was the 17th. Bad bad bad!!! I have to work on the 16th!! After a looooooong time on the phone with Travelocity, American, and Travelocity again, I was told that to change the flight to the 15th, it would cost $1,100, or to purchase a new ticket, $600. ACK!!! I was stuck between not going at all, or calling in sick for two days from Alabama. Neither of which were grand options.

In the end, I went to the airport in hopes of talking my way out of the situation, being that it was Travelocity's fault, not mine. I got a real nice woman at the American ticket counter who was able to do the switch for a mere $146. Not perfect, but a helluva lot better than the alternatives! The plan was the freaking smallest thing I'd ever been on, with one seat along one side and two along the other, and just enough overhead space for a jacket or small bag (carry-on suitcases were valet checked at the gate... how's THAT for rock star treatment?)

I arrived in Alabama on schedule and met up with HEATHER!!! SO good to see her. We went shopping at the Huntsville mall, where I picked up some Christmas presents (which I didn't consider having to fit into my already-full carry-on suitcase) and ate at Chick-Fil-A! YUM! When we were all shopped out, I went back to meet the fam. Heather's mom and sister are the sweetest things in the whole world. Liked them a lot.

Thursday, Dec 11

A day of running around. First, we went to Heather's school to see where she works and attends classes. Looks like a real nice place, although it was empty of most students, being that it's winter break. We met the lions, Leo and Una, which were so cute! We had Mexican for lunch (yum) and did a bit of shopping at the Purse Guy and a couple of dollar stores. Then we stopped by the pet store to see the kittens (adorable!), and, having Animal Fever, we went by the shelter, too. There were SO many precious kitties and puppies there for adoption, and I just wanted to take them ALL home. I don't think my parents would have enjoyed that nearly as much as I would!

We came home and did a bit of a collaging project. Then we went to O'Charley's for dinner with some of Heather's friends, Jennifer, Joseph, Lindsey and Terry. The service was horrible, but the food and company were good. After dinner, Jennifer, Joseph, Heather and I went for some bowling. Good times!

Friday, Dec 12

Friday is a bit of a blur to me. Oh, Heather's mom took us for lunch! We went to Trowbridge's, a really cute ice cream parlor/sandwich shop that has been in Florence forever. Really good food, really nice atmosphere. Then Heather and I went out to the old railroad bridge over the Tennessee River, which was very pretty (if not a bit chilly). Great place to film a movie, as Heather and I discussed. ;) We had to go back to The Purse Guy so that I could get my "Alabama Souvenir," a wallet with a K on it. The Purse Guy is so nice, I HAD to get something from him. I love my wallet!

Heather's Grandad took us all out for dinner at Ricatoni's (I hope I spelled that right) where I had some delicious chicken parmesan (can you see that a running theme here is FOOD?). It was a really good restaurant. After dinner, we were so stuffed that we went home and watched movies. I finally got to see the first Lord of the Rings movie! That was a long time in coming!

Saturday, Dec 13

We got up early-ish and headed out to Joseph's graduation ceremony. We didn't arrive in time for a seat, so we had to join the crowd in the back. We couldn't see too well, but we yelled for him when his name was announced. It was rainy and cold, and after the ceremony (and once we made it OUT of the parking garage), we tried to eat at Logan's Roadhouse. Too crowded! Lindsey, Heather and I went back to the mall for Chick-Fil-A (can't get enough of that stuff). We went back to Heather's for a bit before meeting Lindsey, Terry and Joseph for dinner at Logan's. Ha. Food really WAS one of the main attractions! Lol.

After dinner, the five of us plus Alison, Kyle (Alison's friend from Disney who was also visiting), and later a couple more people, went back to Terry's for some Balderdash and Twister. I had not played Balderdash before, so that was fun. Twister was a HOOT! We played it the regular way and then in teams, and the most amusing thing ever was when Joseph had to lay himself on top of Kyle to reach a dot. There is photographic evidence.

After games, Alison, Kyle, Joseph, Jennifer, Lindsey, Heather and I went to Sidepocket's for karaoke. SO fun! I miss that stuff. "The Girls" sang Lady Marmalade, and then Joseph and I did Summer Nights from Grease. Everyone had a go at singing, and Heather, Jennifer and Lindsey competed in a Booty Dancing competition while Kyle did Baby Got Back. Hee! Quite entertaining.

Sunday, Dec 14

I woke up a bit before Heather and started watching the second Lord of the Rings movie. I liked this one a bit better, as it didn't take half the film for Orlando to show up. heh. Moved a bit faster, too. Anyway. We took our time in getting ready, and then went to see Haunted Mansion, which was very enjoyable as well. I liked it more than I had expected to. Good movie!

After the movie, Kelly, Heather and I went for Mexican again, and then home to watch Survivor and play some Disney Trivia. Good times!! Then we stuck in What's Eating Gilbert Grape to fall asleep to, but ended up getting sucked in and watching the whole thing.

Monday, Dec 15

The trip was over WAY too soon. After FAR too little sleep, we got up at the butt-crack of dawn to head back to the Huntsville airport. I had SUCH a fantastic time in Florence visiting Heather. Her family is awesome, and I just missed her so much. Hopefully we will live together again someday soon. Everyone in Alabama was wonderful, and I learned to say "Bah!" (bye) in the true Alabama fashion. Hee!

The plane trip home was none too thrilling, as we ended up sitting on the runway for an hour before leaving (why couldn't they figure this out BEFORE we board the plane?) and then circling O'Hare for 20 minutes before landing. Argh. That was a LONG time on the plane, yo! My butt was numb. Ha. But I made it!!

All in all, a fantabulous vacation. I wish I could have spent more time with everyone, but I'm glad I got to at least see Aarti and Heather. Someday hopefully we will ALL live in the same state.

December 05, 2003

Vacation Time!

I am FULL of glitter. Never, ever buy sparkly Christmas cards if you can help it. Eeep!

As of this moment, I am ON VACATION for the next ten days. Woohoo! I'm very excited. Ten days! In a row! Of course, it won't be at all relaxing, as I'll be movingmovingmoving from start to finish, but it'll be great to not be at work. And to see friends. Yay!

Tomorrow begins with the Illini game at the United Center. So excited! I'll leave straight from there to Columbus to visit Aarti. Of course, at this moment, I haven't got a clue how I'm supposed to get there.... *ahem* An email has been promised, multiple times, over the course of a week... *cough*Aarti*cough* But I get to meet her friends, and see her work, and hang out for a couple of days.

I'll come home Tuesday in time for my bridesmaid dress fitting. Jamie, can you make it? Can you manage to tape 24? ;) And Wednesday, I'm off again, this time to the airport to visit HEATHER. ::bouncebounce:: Very excited. I'll be flying back Monday from that.

Such a great week! I can't wait to see everyone. I only wish I had enough time (and money!) to see ALL my friends.

Oh, and funny thing. I got two more comp tickets in the mail today from Disney. These are for Pleasure Island, DisneyQuest, and the waterparks. Odd, that! My first program I got NO comp tickets. Now, an entire year after my second program ended, I'm STILL getting them! Hee! I won't complain, not in the slightest, because this means I will have to take a trip to WDW sometime before summer '05. And that's just plain happiness.

Okay, need to pack, need to finish Christmas cards, need to go to bed.

December 01, 2003

Vow to be productive!

Yesterday was, quite possibly, the laziest day in the history of days. I did nothing. Literally nothing. I didn't get out of my pajamas all day. I watched a couple movies, read my book, listened to Christmas music, and bummed around online. I didn't even get any inside-things done, like Christmas cards or cleaning of the room or wrapping of my mother's birthday present. None of that. I was completely and utterly lazy. It felt pretty darn good, too.

But today will be the opposite. I got up at 7:30 and did pilates. I had my SlimFast shake, took a shower, threw in a load of laundry and changed my bedsheets. Actually, the other way around on those last two. <.g> I have to clean my room, put a large dent in Christmas cards, finish my mother's present and wrap it, go work out, bake some No Pudge brownies for mom's birthday tomorrow (I hope we still have a box, because I haven't a clue where you buy them!), and hopefully finish up my Christmas shopping.

Yes. I can do it. I can be the Queen of Productivity on this glorious day off!