Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope it's the best one yet. Remember to tell the people you love that you love them. And be nice-even when the ahole in front of you is driving so slow it's actually making you late to your parents' house gdammit. Even then be nice. I wish I could hug each and every one of you.

And for those that don't celebrate: Happy Thursday! I want to hug you, too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

There's no place like drunk for the holidays

Here's a recap on some of my holiday season so far:

Christmas party at Brian and Anita's - This was awesome because they got a keg of Christmas Ale. I don't know how widely distributed Great Lakes Christmas Ale is, but here in Cleveland it's a big deal. It's only around in the winter time, and the day it finally becomes available is like its own holiday. I am not a beer drinker, as you guys know, but I loooove Christmas Ale season and here's why: I LOVE my friends on Christmas Ale. They are all completely wasted after like two of them. And not a normal drunk, but a hilarious, out of control drunk. And it. is. awesome. See I am usually the biggest jackass at the party. Almost always. But when Christmas Ale is flowing, everyone else becomes the jackasses, and I am the tame one. Unless I drink John Christ's Special Blend wine which is like my personal Christmas Ale. Which I did at Brian and Anita's party after basically drinking a bottle and a half of champagne. Needless to say, the party was awesome. At the end of the night, Renee, Darren, Anita, Diane, Drew and me ended up standing around the bar in the basement screaming Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. Then for a good 45 minutes, Renee and I sang the entire South Park Christmas album word for word while everyone had to watch us. At about 2am we realized the actual hosts of the party had gone upstairs to bed. So naturally we hung around for another half hour. We are pretty annoying party guests. Item of note: There was a Christmas movie trivia quiz, and I am the only one who got all of them right. Obviously because I am awesome. Some quick background, though: last year at AJ and Suz's Halloween party, I won the Halloween movie trivia. This year, I won it again. So when they announced me as the winner at this Christmas party, people actually booed me. My friends booed me at a Christmas party! I think I might have actually felt bad if I wasn't so effing awesome at movie trivia. Eat it, suckers!

Christmas party at Steph's - Steph's party had a theme, of course, because Steph doesn't just have a regular party. There were three unique things about this one:

1. We had to bring canned or boxed goods as our entry fee. Then she took all of the food collected to the Cleveland Food Bank. I've said it before, and I will say it again: drinking + charitable cause = greatest thing ever because normally you feel bad about yourself for being a pathetic drunk but in this case you only did it to help people. No one can judge you for that-for helping starving kids to get a healthly meal. It's a win-win!

2. We were all to wear a cheesy/ugly Christmas shirt/sweater. I wore this horrible kind-of-a-mock-turtleneck shirt absolutely covered in snowmen that I got for $7. I seriously looked like a soccer mom. Aloyd was wearing one of Sharda's old shirts (awesome) that had a huge Goofy x-mas picture on it. He definitely looked like a soccer dad. In fact I went and sat down next to him and said, "I feel like maybe you and me could get a minivan together." Then he was like, "We could totally put a soccer ball sticker above the gas tank. And on Friday nights we could stay in and watch "Cold Case"." Matt had on a green 3-piece leisure suit. Green 3-piece leisure suit! Awesome! Matt and Aloyd won the Christmas outfit contest and rightly so. Their prizes were crap Steph and Matt picked out at a flea market that probably cost them $1.26 total.

3. Steph turned her place into a "winery". We all had to bring two bottles of some kind of wine-$10 or less. The we had a wine tasting contest. She wrapped all the bottles in foil so we couldn't see what they were, and she numbered them. Then we had to vote for best red and best white. So you know how wine tastings are quiet and reserved and you taste roughly 5-7 wines over the period of about an hour? Yeah this was the exact opposite. I'm going to try and set the scene for you, but just know that nothing I write will ever come close to capturing the chaotic, glorious mess that this whole ordeal was. Everyone had one of those big dixie cups which was our tasting cup. We all stood in a circle in Steph's small dining room. There were probably 15-18 of us. It was roughly 300 degrees in her apartment. In about 30 minutes, we tried 14 reds and 3 whites. THIRTY MINUTES!! And everyone just kept shoving their dixie cup at Steph and screaming out numbers, "8! I need to try 8 again!" or "What number are we on? I think I just finished 11!!" "Was that 5 or 6? I'm scared!" It was so loud and so hot and we drank soooo fast. By the time we got to the 8th red, I think most of us were drunk and things just got even more chaotic. Randy was yelling things like, "8 tastes like 6 minus 2 plus 1!!" Jace, Christy and Danielle were by Steph's radiator, and all they could talk about was how hot it was. Danielle kept raising her arms to show the entire party her pit stains. I think at that point, I literally couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. Who does that!? Shows people her pit stains over and over while saying, "Check this out!" I seriously love my friends. Not surprisingly a dance party broke out a little while later. By the way, Steph's dog Kennedy (of course that's his name) was a) wearing a silk dress and b) sleeping through the entire party.

Other highlights: When Diane was looking for a bowl in which to heat up the dip she brought with her, she noticed Steph doesn't have any bowls. None. Because she sold them all at a garage sale and never replaced them. Diane was like, "Oh Steph-you're so urban." No, Diane, that is not urban. That is weird. And one other thing I absolutely must share: Steph had a note on her door inviting her neighbors to donate food or join the party. Two of them showed up. One of them was a lawyer, and he and Kevin were looking at each other like they sort of recognized one another. Then this conversation happened:

Kevin: "Are you a lawyer?"
Lawyer Guy: "Yes. A defense attorney."
Kevin: "Oh that's why you look familiar. I'm a county prosecutor."
LG: "Oh! I thought you were this one convicted felon that just got paroled."

Kevin totally got mistaken for a convicted felon. Effing-A awesome.

Girls' Christmas - This, of course, was awesome. It's one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Seventeen girls drinking wine, eating lots of food and oohing and ahhing over presents. Fantastic! Nothing out of the ordinary happened this year that I can think of. Oh unless you count that STEPH'S SECRET SANTA PRESENT WAS A GOAT. Yes. Steph's "present" that she bought for the gift exchange was a goat from the Heifer International Project. The goat is donated to a family in desperate need. They drink their milk, used the extra to make dairy goods that can be sold and use the goat's doodies to fertilize their gardens. It's truly a wonderful thing to do and will make a real difference in the lives of these people. But also, um, what the fuck!? She supplemented the gift with other things so Jen, who got the present, wouldn't go home totally emptyhanded. She also wrote poems for every present that Jen read aloud as she opened them. Oh and she wrapped it all in tin foil and stuck a bunch of Valentine's Day heart stickers all over it. Steph, you are truly one of a kind. Awesome sidenote: after Steph bought the present she told Christy that she hoped whoever got it wouldn't be mad, and Christy, not knowing what Steph bought I swear to God, said, "Steph, if you bought a llama we're all gonna be really pissed."

God I love Christmas.

I wish I could punch someone right now

Um...I just spent an hour and a half on a post about our trip to Miami in October and then lost the whole. effing. thing. It is kind of par for the course tonight as I am having a tough night. I won't go into details mostly because they would bore you and also because writing about it gives it power it shouldn't have. Sorry to be cryptic.

Unfortunately, I need to sleep now so I will write more tomorrow. I'll fit it in between all the work I'm doing. And by work I mean reading "Marley & Me" at my desk.

In the meantime, these people should be shot.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I could really use some Kenny Rogers "Through the Years" right now

I mentioned that my friend Scott-who used to blog-is leaving our company. Today is our last day together. I am not handling it well.

Let me give you some background on me and Scott. I've been with the same company since I graduated college in 2004. Okay dammit 1999. Geez I can't get anything past you guys. Anyway, at the very beginning of 2000, I moved to a new department on a new floor in our building. Every day I would see the same group of guys walk by my cube-like a little nerd gang. I thought they were all going to the bathroom together and was naturally scared of them even though they seemed really nice.

Shortly after I joined my group, it just completely started falling apart. I literally had nothing to do. Not "I did nothing". I had NOTHING TO DO. I always thought that would be a perfect scenario: get paid for doing nothing. Guys, it's pretty effing boring, and I was miserable.

This is how I solved it: I found where the bathroom guys sat (down the hall from me), walked in to their "pod" (group of cubes all together) one day, sat down and said, "Hi. I'm Sarah. Can I hang out?" And that became my daily routine. So I mean not only was I completely unproductive, I sucked the productivity from their team. Hey-it's what I do. I'm really good at it. Actually they should pay me to lower the productivity of others. Oh wait-they already do.

Anyway, Scott and I became friends very fast because we had a lot in common. Oh and he's completely fucking awesome in every way. Sweet, kind, HILARIOUS, brilliant, caring, sarcastic, does the best impression of a fax machine ever-I really could go on and on. He and his wife both embraced me as a dear friend so quickly, I really couldn't believe my luck to have found them.

It's 8 years later, and we've been through so much together-the birth of his 3 boys, stupid boyfriends (that's strictly me), family sicknesses, etc. And while our friendship is well beyond just a work relationship, having him at work every day has been a comfort I can't describe.

Because of Scott, I was also introduced to more people who've enriched my life: Johnny Virgil, Dan, Special Dark, Wayne, Erik. More proof of my theory that you can never have too many friends and loved ones. Unless you win the lottery, and they all want money from you.

I haven't mentioned John yet. John joined Scott's group in 2001. We were friends within, maybe, a week. Tops. Scott and John were friends by the end of John's interview. The two of them will hate me for saying this, but I don't care. They have the cutest little bromance. They are two peas in a pod, and I am their work wife (I'm totally a whore of a work wife having two work husbands).

I'm always mentioning how lucky I am. This is more proof. For 8 years, I got to work with two of my very best friends. That just doesn't happen. I always knew someday it would end, but 8 years is a long time, and while I'm obviously devastated one of us is leaving, I cannot help but be anything but grateful. I had a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a guaranteed laugh every day. At work!

Okay I'm getting emotional so I'm just going to copy the letter I wrote to Scott here because if I don't I'll just keep babbling on and on.

"Dear Scott,

Okay first of all about the typing of this letter rather than hand writing it: A) I think better when I type and B) it won't run when I sob all over my keyboard. Also I would just like to say that my outward appearance the past couple weeks would suggest that I’m not happy for you and your new opportunity. I hope you know that is not true. I’m so happy for you and proud of you, and I know you will do amazing things at your new job. It’s just that I’m so very unhappy for me. And we both know this is all about me.

Seriously, though, I don’t even know where to start. You used to just be one of the guys who would walk past my desk in some sort of group ritual bathroom excursion which I later found out was really just a journey for water (thank God), and now 8 years later the thought of not getting to see you everyday makes my heart hurt almost as bad as passing a gall stone. Ouch.

It’s so rare to find people that capture your heart within minutes of meeting them, and you are one of those people for me. Not only that but you came with a wife and, later, children who did the same thing. The way you guys have embraced me as a part of your extended family is something for which I’m eternally grateful. I hope you know I feel the same way about you.

I’m struggling with how to adequately tell you just how important it’s been to me to have you here at work everyday. Nobody gets that lucky to get to work with one of their very best friends. And I got to do it for 8 years. Having you and John here has been a dream come true, and I am not exaggerating when I say that you are literally one of the main reasons I even come to work every day.

At the risk of making you feel guilty for breaking up the band, you should know that there will be a void here without you that can’t be filled by anyone else-even people that look like you (Dan)-because you are one of a kind-in the best possible way. Everyone who knows you would agree. And everyone at your new company-that-shall-remain-nameless will see it, too. It will take them roughly 15 seconds. You’ll quickly become one of the most beloved people there because it’s who you are. Stupid lucky new company.

The one thing that comforts me right now is knowing that we are so much more than just work friends, and you dropping out of my work life doesn’t equal you dropping out of my whole life. You mean so much to me. I love you, Scotty. Good luck at your new stupid job.


Love always,

Scotty, I love you. Good luck at your new job. You'll be awesome and also please don't leave. K thanks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Taking care of "business"

Okay I am working on a post about my weekend, but I have to interrupt myself and give you this breaking update:

I am on a conference call right now. Someone on here forgot to mute, and we heard the toilet flush. Awesome, right? That is straight up Naked Gun gold. However, less than a minute later we heard someone peeing and the toilet flush again. There is only one logical explanation for this:

Someone on this call is in a bathroom, sitting in a stall, taking a dump.

Best. Day. Ever.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I wear my snow boots pretty much 24/7

I think my horoscope for today is telling me to take off a week of work to devote to blogging:

"You are likely aware of your writing abilities, Sarah, but you may not realize just how talented you are. It would be worthwhile for you to consider devoting more time to honing your craft. You can't expect to improve much when your writing time is scattered in between other obligations. You need large blocks of uninterrupted time in order to really produce something of value. Why not give it a try, even if just for a week or so, to see what you are capable of."

I am totally on board with this idea, horoscope! Can you tell my boss for me?

Here are some updates for y'all:

- I got a new laptop at work which is awesomely fast and doesn't make me want to break into a homicidal rage because it takes 12 minutes to open a freaking email. I love you, new work laptop, even though it takes me-literally-10 minutes to get you locked into your docking station!

- I got a new home laptop. And it is beautiful and amazing and makes me want to be a better man. I am literally obsessed with it, you guys. And honestly it will make blogging a whole hell of a lot easier-I just have to be home to do it, and I have not been home very much recently. One more reason to listen to my horoscope.

- One of my best friends in the entire world who happens to work with me, Scott, is leaving to go to another company. I can't really talk about this right now because I am too emotional. He is one of the main reasons I even get up and go to work, and I am not even exaggerating. I will dedicate an entire post to this next week since his last day is next Friday.

- Jace made dinner for my sister and me. Pot roast, fancy mashed potatoes, noodles, broccoli with bacon, salad, wine and beer. Hello best dinner invite ever! It was just a Wednesday night, and I was like, "I'll pick us up some takeout." and he goes, "Why don't you come over? I have a pot roast." And I was like, "Grandma?" This dinner was awesome for several reasons: 1 - I love Jace an inordinate amount, 2 - See aforementioned list of prepared food, 3 - Diane and Jace totally got kind of drunk. I don't know what happened, but at one point Jace got out his Dyson vaccuum cleaner and demonstrated it's amazing cleaning power. Par-tay!! We are out of control here in Cleveland!

- I wrapped Woody's Christmas presents for him. Seriously. The kid hates wrapping presents so I volunteered since wrapping Christmas presents makes me so happy it's embarassing. Interesting sidenote: he needed me to bring my own scissors. What? He doesn't have scissors? What's that about, Woody?

- I turned 29+3. Whatever. I'm completely nonchalant and uncaring about the whole thing. Hold me.

- My friends and family, as usual, were amazing to me on my birthday-buying me presents, giving me cards, going out in crappy weather just to celebrate with me. I know I say this all the time, but I will never stop: I am the luckiest person on the planet because of the people I have in my life. They are as awesome as it gets. Oh and an awesome sidenote: John's kids made me homemade bday cards and made a video singing me "Happy Birthday" which John played for me on Monday. OHMYGOD. It was the cutest thing ever. I almost cried. Do you see what I am dealing with here? Amazing people everywhere I turn!

- I saw previews for "Lost" and peed my pants.

Here are my plans for the next couple weeks:

Be merry.
Catch up on Gossip Girl because I am 14 years old.
Blog...probably while drinking.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Still thankful

I forgot to post about things I am thankful for this year, and since tomorrow I turn 29+3 and am thisclose to a semi-meltdown about it, I think today would be a good day to remind myself what I'm thankful for.

1. Family, friends, readers, Henry (the dog), S&V Pringles, Cherry Coke, pumpkin bread-you know, the usual.

2. I still have a job.

3. My new Christmas tree (it is so pretty, you guys)

4. My new laptop which I am setting up tonight and which is going to be awesome because now I can do iTunes from my recliner and I will be able to blog more often because I can do it in front of the TV (how I do most other things).

5. Friday Night Lights. January 16th.

6. Twilight

7. Dan who is 26 and who keeps telling me that I am really young. Also he has a beard and promised he wouldn't shave it before my birthday. What is it with my guy friends, my birthday and their facial hair?

8. Grilled cheese restaurants

9. Christmas parties

10. Woody for leaving this voicemail on my phone Wednesday: "Hey, Sarah. It's Woody. So listen I know you hurt yourself a lot. Do you have any crutches? I hurt my ankle at basketball and figured you had some since you're always hurt. Call me back." Awesome.

11. Chocolate milk

12. Scott for buying me this book for my birthday and leaving it on my desk to surprise me today. I found it in Borders after lunch one day, and we were absolutely losing our minds. Seriously it is effing hilarious. They're just really cute pictures of baby animals with horrible confessions on them. Example:

Picture: Three little kittens in a box together.
Saying: The donor backed out.

Holy crap. I can't believe Scott remembered this and got it for me! He is the best. Also a couple years ago our information security department handed out these stamps that we're supposed to use to classify our printed materials as Internal, Confidential, etc. You know-the stupid corporate crap that anyone who works in a big company understands. Well Scott wrapped the book and marked it Highly Confidential. Awe-some. When I brought it up, he goes, "That is the first (and only) time I have ever used that stamp." I love my friends.

13. No cavities!

14. My "Office" calendar that John gave me for my birthday last year which right now has a picture of Meredith and this quote: "For my New Year's resolution, I gave up drinking...during the week."

15. I'm totally wearing slippers at my desk. Shh.

There are a million bajillion other things I am thankful for, but right now I need to go get some pop because I just drank all my chocolate milk like a good kindergartner. 29+3, you guys. Ugh. Vodka. Need it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving is over but pumpkin bread lives on

How I helped with Thanksgiving dinner:

1. Relish tray
2. Stirred gravy
3. Put out bread plates
4. Yelled at Diane for not mashing the potatoes enough

You may be wondering, "But, Sarah, who filled the water glasses? That seems like such a natural fit for you." And it is, believe me. But this year my cousin's 23 year old daughter was with us. Obviously she was put on water glass duty. At dinner-the first time in Thanksgiving history that she was at the adult table, by the way-any time someone would ask, "Who made this?", she would quickly say, "I did!" because a) she wanted to take credit for more than just ice water and b) she is hilarious like most members of my family are. I was like, "Meaghan, don't worry-someday you will work your way up to relish tray. But I mean it won't be until you're almost 32."

As usual my Thanksgiving was wonderful because I got to spend time with my family, listen to Christmas music, stuff my face with good food and watch Risk Astley sing in the Macy's parade!!!!!! Seriously did you guys see that? I almost pooped my pants. If you didn't, it was on a Cartoon Network float for a show called "Foster's Home" or something. And all the characters started singing a song about "Have you met my best friend?" and then the music stopped suddenly and out came Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up". Rick totally rickrolled us! It was maybe the single greatest thing I have ever witnessed. Look for it on YouTube. It is awesome. I can't link to it because I'm at work and work doesn't let me get to any sites that are fun and/or feature Rick Astley.

Friday we did our family shopping day (yes we do that). I know, I know-why did you pick Black Friday? Well, Drew really wanted to go this year and that is the only day he could go. I haven't been out shopping on Black Friday in like 15 years, and I just want to say holy effing crap. What is wrong with people? It was seriously insane, and none of us actually bought any presents for anyone except for me because obviously I am the least selfish person in my family. Even though everything else I bought was totally just for me. Then we went to dinner and saw "Four Christmases" which was pretty cute. One question: why is Vince Vaughn so awesome?

Saturday everyone went out and by everyone I mean everyone except me and Sharda because I was sick with some weird stomach virus and Sharda threw out her back standing up off her couch. Don't feel bad, Sharda-in college I threw out my back shaving my legs in the shower.

A couple items to note:

- It's cheesy Christmas movie time again. Who watched "Moonlight and Mistletoe" with Candance Cameron? Come on, you guys-I know some of you did. God I love cheesy made for TV Christmas movies.

- Last night Steph, Meg and I ate at Melt Bar and Grille which is a grilled cheese restaurant (awesome). Steph and I ordered the sandwich of the month which was just a regular grilled cheese sandwich with a patty of breadcrumb covered macaroni and cheese inside of it. Macaroni and cheese inside a grilled cheese! Doesn't it seem like that breaks all kinds of laws of the universe and such? I'm surprised we didn't cause the universe to collapse on itself.

- "Friday Night Lights" starts on NBC on January 16th so those of you have still have to catch up, do it now. I will never stop trying to get you all to watch it so you might as well just do it. Best show on television.

- Also "Chuck" is really awesome. Start watching that, too.

- How was your Thanksgiving?