Wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year's Eve!

Tonight I'll head over to a friend's place for the early bit of the evening, and then come home to host people for board games starting at around 10pm. If you're interested in joining in the board game fun, please feel free to contact me (email, message, phone etc. all work) if you need the address or other information, otherwise come on over after 10pm! I have plenty of games and if there are too many of us to play in one room (there's room to have up to two games running in the main room as it is) I have space for people to play in the spare bedroom too.

But yeah 2010 has been a good year filled with ups and downs, and I hope that 2011 is at least as awesome if not better! All the best to everyone for the new year!

Why not make lemonade?

Today was one of those days where the whole life gives me lemons and I make lemonade saying seemed to be my motto of the day. The morning began with me sleeping in luxuriously (heck it's the time between Christmas and New Years, I'm allowed some relaxing moments), of course I awoke sore from all the exercising I've been doing lately with my EA Sports Active 2 game, but that is only a tiny inconvenience, really. I exercised, ate some food (not much but I wasn't starving or anything), and talked to JD (and caught up on some Internet things) before leaving the house for the post office (actually to pick up my wonderful new Quirky Broom Groomer). There was QUITE a line for package pick up (unsurprising considering the post office was closed on the 27 and 28 for deliveries anyway).

It was in this line that I remembered that I had left my cell phone at home (on this desk that I type at even now, drat!) and worried whether I'd be able to meet up with Shuby on time (we were going skating at West Edmonton Mall hypothetically) or even find her after putting her number in my phone and forgetting my phone at home (oups!). Anyway I did finally meet up with Shuby so all was well. And we went to WEM to go skating, except there were no skates to rent — and I generally don't bring my hockey skates if I could rent figure skates instead, so we didn't go skating (or rather the girls who hadn't brought skates didn't go skating, we played putt'n'glow mini golf, Shuby and the guys skated).

Well mini golf is okay but not perfect if you had been expecting to skate, but apparently WEM does not stock enough pairs of womens size 6, 7, or 8 skates so whatever. After mini golf I left the group (who had also participated in projects such as attempting to exchange merchandise — unsuccessfully as couldn't find the right stuff to exchange and otherwise), and went to Delux Burger Bar (my favorite Edmonton burger restaurant!) and had a Naughty but Nice burger (Santa's burger actually… it was one of the last two days to order one, it being the burger of the month), and a side salad (the salad was remarkably good, I was even impressed by that aspect of my meal!).

Then I was going to head home but stopped in at the Seasonal Calendar and Games/Toys store. I was hoping to spot a game or two that I wanted, and wasn't disappointed — at 25% off (which is pretty decent considering games that I want rarely go on sale) I found Boggle and a Settlers of Catan card game (I didn't even know there was a card/dice version of Settlers of Catan! It looks like a tonne of fun and can be even played by 1 or 2 players — not just the 3 or 4 player version!) and picked those up on the way home.

Then I watched 4 more episodes of Castle (I've seen 8 in the last two days. Gosh I adore the characters in this show! — Thanks to Luke for the awesome present!), before coming back online. While I could certainly have gotten rather down from my disappointment at not being able to skate or that I forgot my cell phone (or many other reasons actually) today, I enjoyed many moments and hopefully this will be a trend that I can follow through with in the coming weeks and months — it's high time I made my lemons into lemonade! 🙂

Spoiled this Christmas! :)

It's been a great Christmas! I feel very lucky and very spoiled. I think my family got a lot of great gifts (there were only a few duplicates), and I received some wonderful items myself. Mom (I helped a bit but not that much) made a wonderful turkey dinner which we enjoyed and there is certainly a lot of yummy treats to munch on! I brought some of JD's chocolate and licorice for people to enjoy so they've been eating that plus mom and my baking, and so much more!

There was no tree this year, but I still have my little one at my apartment waiting for JD so that he can open his last presents. Everyone seemed to enjoy their presents though! Dad got lots of chocolate, Mom got a cell phone, and a camera (both items she has to learn a lot about using). Luke got three blenders (among other things) so he'll have to figure out what to return and what to keep etc. Logan got lots of outdoorsy stuff, and Seth got a good assortment of fun toys and books and more! 🙂

But I feel lucky: I got a necklace (from me but made by Lauren), EA Sports Active 2 for the Wii (which I think is already better than Wii Fit Plus — at least for now — it has a heart rate monitor and everything! JD got me such a good gift — as I really wanted it!), Mario Party 8 for the Wii (which means I have a good party game), Monopoly, Carcassonne, and Civilization board games (more excuses for fun board game gatherings!), the first two seasons of Castle on DVD and a new robe/housecoat to replace my melted-ish one! Lots of great gifts essentially. I feel appropriately spoiled.

And today I played my EA Sports Active 2 and really felt like it was a good fun workout! 🙂 Fun stuff!

Happy Christmas one and all! :)

I go home to my parents' house tonight. The presents I'm bringing will arrive after me (many will be sent with my brother as I highly doubt I can carry them all). I'll bring some stuff with me to the LRT (someone will pick me up from the LRT station) but the majority will arrive afterward I believe.

I do adore Christmas, and look forward to spending time with my family. It's a hectic time of year, certainly, but I do look forward to it as always! It's even fun working at the grocery store when everyone's filling their carts with holiday treats for the big meals and other entertaining. I'm going to have a good time this holiday season — no idea how long I'll spend in the Fort, but I'll eventually make it back to my apt and my regular daily life, and I'll be ready for it by then, but for now, I'm looking forward to pausing my regular everyday life and enjoying Christmas! 🙂

Wrapping up the Christmas Season! :)

So I'm slowly accomplishing my Christmas to-do list, and totally enjoying it all the while! I did some Christmas baking (ginger sugar cookies — very unusual but yummy!), I did all my Christmas shopping and wrapping (yay!) and today was even the official opening day for the gift exchange I participate in (at http://goldfishlegs.ca )! I feel kind of spoiled!

My man comes home on January 31st (yay yay and triple yay!) so I'm totally looking forward to that! There are even gifts here waiting for him! I have one wrapped gift from him which I'm not to open until Christmas, but that's awesome as it gives me something great to look forward to!

Yesterday was the first year anniversary of the day we met and started seeing each other. He made me my own website (with email accounts even!), and a very cute and amusing wiki with facts about me! It can be all found at the awesome url of http://alikira.com No really! 🙂 I have the bestest boyfriend… I just wish the gift I sent him would arrive (maybe by Christmas?)!

Tomorrow I wrap gifts at the Bay in City Centre for donations to the Bissell Centre (this is a CKI project every year). I think they're shorter on volunteers this year than ever (AND they have four locations: Kingsway, City Centre, Southgate and West Edmonton Mall), and definitely would love the support/volunteer help! Regardless, if you would like to see me and have your gifts wrapped in exchange for a donation, please come out tomorrow!

I'm still working on my Christmas cards, so I'd be surprised if they all arrived before Christmas day, though some most certainly will (as some are in the mail, and some might go out today). It's a busy holiday season, but I love it just the same!

Annual Christmas Wish List (by request)

Every year I put one of these up, mostly to help my family with Christmas shopping and whatnot, but it also becomes a good record of where I am in life I guess, particularly because of the regularity with which I post this. So here goes (in no particular order):

– I want JD to come back from Norway sooner rather than later. (I want this more than the rest of the things I have listed, for the most part, but he's the only one who can really control this!)

– That planned obsolescence goes out of style

– DVDs/Blu-ray: Season 8 of That '70s Show, the Angels in America mini-series, Castle, Criminal Minds, Firefly

– Books: The Guild graphic novel, All 4 volumes of the Absolute Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Jellaby: Monster in the City

– Music: Light Organ Records: Our First Christmas (album), Here Comes My Baby – EP by Sons of Admirals, k.d. lang's album Songs of the 49th Parallel, Charlie McDonnell's This is me music album, music by Paul & Storm, music by Tim Minchin, Crash Test Dummies' music (as I associate good memories with their songs), Joel Plaskett's album Three

– Board Games that I don't have already (If you need suggestions, here are some that might be awesome: Agricola, Puerto Rico, Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game, Power Grid, Dominion, Caylus, Pandemic, Thebes, Ticket to Ride (I already have the card game: the board game would be awesome), Settlers of Catan, Twilight Struggle, San Juan, Ingenious, YINSH, A Game of Thrones, Santiago, Carcassone, Traders of Genoa, DVONN, RA, Bohnanza, Monopoly card game (or board game as I don't have that either), Steam, etc. Honestly there are a lot that I don't have, and I do adore board games!)

– a better system to store my board games (as my shelves are needed for books and I have more board games than can fit anyway)

– for my wireless router to work again (not a huge deal but eventually I should get it working again… this can wait until JD comes back though)

– a non-meltable but SOFT luxurious robe/housecoat (mine got a bit melted-ish)

– Wii Games: Mario Party 8 (there are others I would love to have but that's one I really do want a lot and am unlikely to purchase for myself.

– World Peace — or at least World Understanding! 🙂

– To get somewheres with my thesis

– More hours in the day or a time turner (a real working one! but a model of one would be cool too)

– an eliptical machine

– pampering (at a spa or otherwise)

– to be in better physical shape

– great experiences with awesome people

– the ability to be in more than one place simultaneously

– uh, surprises?

So yeah, that ought to help those people who have been asking (and haven't already been awesome and spoiling me with awesome gifts like my blu-ray drive for my computer, and the Scott Pilgrim film!). Realistically, I'm doing well, and don't have too many pressing wants and needs, but do have a busy 2011 coming up with travel, school work etc., so I wouldn't mind some more awesomeness.

Yummy food, sock puppets and unhappy bus stops (I should have had a sock puppet!)

So this morning I went to the annual GELA brunch. It was delicious! I ate so many yummy things! I also talked to some great people, listened to a good keynote, and learned about putting sock puppets at bus stops to brighten people's days.

On the way home, unfortunately, the bus drove past me (waiting at the bus stop for this bus) so I walked most of the way home from the Edmonton Petroleum Club. I was not happy with this, but whatever, I didn't freeze (for the most part). It was a pretty unhappy bus stop, as I had thought to get home all toasty warm and such but this was not to occur.

In other news, I apparently partially melted my housecoat at some point. No idea how I managed this but whatever. I guess I will need to get a new house coat — at least this means I can pick out precisely the one I want when I go shopping (probably January sales).

NAHLA Luncheon and Kiwanis Young Professionals Satellite Holiday potluck!

So today was a busy day — not a terribly productive one outside of networking and socializing and cleaning though… but still a very useful one! I got a tonne of cleaning done though and cooking, and entertaining and fun!

Today was the NAHLA Holiday Luncheon and Regift Exchange. I think I'm doing a rather decent job of networking with Health Sciences Librarians, as I recognized most (though not all) of the librarians who were at this event. The event was held at the Hardware Grill (which I had never been to prior to today). The food was great: I had a fabulous butternut squash soup and swordfish with Asian inspired coleslaw dish with green beans. I had never had swordfish and it was pretty good — it would have been better without the cilantro garnish (which I didn't expect) but I was able to remove the majority of it.

I also drank mint tea and had a sandwich cookie for dessert which was nice. The regift exchange was awesome though: I came home with Cranium! This was fabulous as it was a board game I didn't already own. I do think, however that I'm going to have to figure out a different/better board game storage system as they now take up much more room than before (and I still want more board games!).

Speaking of board games, this evening was the Kiwanis Young Professionals Satellite's annual Holiday gathering. We had five people in attendance and ate a great meal together (potluck) and played board games (Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, and Monty Python Fluxx). It was a great night!

And now, I want to go play some Wii Sports Resort (which I've borrowed from Angela), before I head to bed. Tomorrow is the GELA Holiday Brunch, and then I must buckle down (or at least SHOULD buckle down) and pick a topic/start writing the paper for my post-humanism class. But what to write on?

My annual jaunt to the craft sale!

So usually I don't actually start the bulk of my Christmas shopping and whatnot until the Butterdome Craft Sale. I also know that the majority of what I actually purchase at the craft sale is usually for myself, but I always do get my shopping started. And that I did, purchasing for three people in the process. It was fun — it always is — and I spent a bit of money but heck, I can afford it, I guess.

One of these days I'll type up my annual Christmas wish list — partially because I really want to know what my family wants for Christmas. I've gotten them SOME gifts, but by no means all that I need/want to get them at this point. As it is, JD has been doing a darn good job of spoiling me. I have my little mini White Christmas tree up in the corner with the few wrapped gifts I've gotten beneath it (one from JD — the others came unwrapped, and many small presents from a gift exchange partner who lives in Ontario — yay for gift exchanges!).

My apartment will likely remain a mess until tomorrow when I'm hosting some Kiwanis folks for our Young Professionals satellite's Christmas board games potluck thing. I do hope to get some more cleaning/whatnot done before then!

But yes, the craft sale! I adore it and always come out with treats: this year is no exception! I'm getting a custom made poncho/shawl that I was dreaming about this past week in the days before the Craft sale (I mean if I'm dreaming about getting one more than a year after I last saw a similar garment, I probably should do something about it, eh?). It won't arrive until January but hey, I'm not complaining! I picked up an AWESOME shirt (dressy) from Babs, which was serendipitously on sale for well I think about 20% of the normal retail price. It fit PERFECTLY and was red and flattering — plus I do still need more of this kind of clothing so why not eh? Other essential purchases were a new purse from Fuschia Factory (formerly Bootyfly bags), a mirror for my purse, some non-alcoholic champagne, some no salt maple vinaigrette, oven mitts, hand towels, microwave mits/potholders and a necklace. Yes the rest were Christmas presents, but I'm happy with my treats too. It was a good (though long) day!

Wrapping up another school semester…

I don't really start prepping for Christmas, etc. until the Butterdome Craft Sale (and this year it does not happen until this Thursday), I have started listening to Christmas music. I won't get around to writing Christmas cards until after the 13th when I hand in my final paper (which SHOULD be done on that date), but the Christmas season is definitely getting underway.

When it comes to school itself, I'm in my day of classes of the semester. I've only two more papers to complete (and one is almost done as it is), and well, time is ticking down. There is certainly at LOT to be done, this busy holiday season what with social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, and much more, but I do enjoy these aspects of the holiday season.

I've enjoyed the three classes I've taken this fall. I'm looking forward to the courses I will take in winter term. I'm looking forward to Christmas and the holidays. I will enjoy the break from school stress, but this does not mean that I dislike the stuff that I am learning or anything. But yeah this is where I sit — looking forward to the different kind of busy-ness that is the holidays.