10:37 AM

2007 Has a Nice Ring to It

I was so pleased to just discover that I wrote my 2006 resolutions here, and I'd met all of them. Yay! So in hopes of meeting these new aspirations, I will continue the public, incredibly vain blogging of the 2007 goals.

(1) The Toughness Conundrum. Find a happy medium between trying to be more tough and trying to be more sensitive. I used to have a really hard time being tough (i.e. asking for what I want, not letting myself be taken advantage of, being too soft to avoid hurting people's feelings, etc.), so I worked really hard on that for the last few years -- I think with a pretty decent level of success (though certainly not perfect, hah). That said, I often find myself trying so hard to be more frank that I find myself feeling like a bit of a jerk, like I'm being unnecessarily demanding. I don't know if there is a happy medium, but I'm going to keep working on it.

(2) Professional Maturity. I find myself endlessly and incredibly frustrated by stupidity that doesn't even directly affect me at work -- it's a real waste of energy, stupidly juvenile, and I need to learn to better focus on the things that I have control over and be happy with those successes.

(3) Studiousness. I want to see if I can possibly finish my degree a semester early and, if I'm going to make that happen, I need to buckle down yet again. Even if I decide not to fast-track, I still want to be more focused on my classes -- not a grade-obsesso type, just more focused for the sake of enhanced learning.

(4) It's About Me. I generally don't think I'm a selfish person, per se, though I know I'm rather what many likely consider self-absorbed. I don't have a problem with that, as I think it's good to be aware of oneself and as conscious of your kickass attributes as your personal challenges, and I think it's a big part of what helps me do well with the things I'm good at. However, sometimes I worry that I'm taking it too far and I don't want to turn into something untrue to the kid that my parents raised. I really just need to get with Buddha and find the internal zen.

Get into the Dirty 30s. Enter this new era of my life feeling satisfied that I've achieved the key goals my 19 year old self set out for me. Make another list of reasonable but challenging aspirations for my thirties so that I can come back at 40 feeling as great as I do now.

10:13 PM

The Holidays Ruled

So we had a super fun Christmas season. A few key reasons:

(1) Enough work, already! The last day of work was hilarious. We had dips and cheese and crackers, drank some Veuve, and did a swap-style gift exchange that ended in total hilarity ("I pity the fool that takes Lee for a joke"). Jen and I were The Biggest Losers and were probably the only chumps in our office pointing out which gifts we bought, as they made their way 'round the room most of all. I was thrilled to finally end up stealing her Jen's gift, which will sit on my desk forever.

(2) Cottageness! We got out of town quickly on Friday and arrived at the cottage in time for more cheese, crackers, and kielbasa. Dave's mom and stepdad are awesome and we definitely set the tone for a super holiday. (PS: Finn Crisps are five for one point. Buy them. Eat them.)

(3) Working it. Patti (his mom) and I stuck with our commitment to get in the daily exercise, and I actually even ran most days. I did six kilometres without stopping! I had no idea that I would be able to do this. My legs and abs wanted me dead, but I felt incredibly excited with myself about the whole thing. I even started each morning with abs and either squats/lunges or pushups (girl style). This is a Christmas miracle if ever I experienced one.

(4) Baking! My baked goods were a show-stopping hit with all who ate them. People were indulging in them and raving. I got to give all the props to my mom for teaching me to bake when I was a wee one, and her pastries were a particularly grand success. This made me feel a bit like my family was around, which was sweet.

(5) Fondue and pomegranate martinis! Christmas Eve effing ruled. We started with a delectable cheese fondue with french bread. The main course was oil fondue with meats and veggies -- I'd never tried this before and was amazed by how fun and yummy it all was. Finally, we had a choco-grand-marnier fondue with pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and kiwi. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. (And, yes, they were the Oprah martinis.)

(6) Niece time! The sister-in-law family arrived on Christmas day, and the baby was hysterically fun. I don't think I can think of anything more awesome in the world than an almost two year old. We played "boo", "fly", "sleepies", songs on the flexible roll-up "panano", and she was ec-freakin'-static. THEN! While she's chattered endlessly for what seems like forever, my name has always eluded her. Until... she sat on the couch with us in the evening, and very clearly said: "Hi Dave! Hi Jacquelyn!" She kicks way more ass than anything else.

(8) The peeps. Dave's family and their friends are so crazy fun. We laughed for five days straight, I swear. Between trashy magazines, Balderdash, Greek mythology about winter, demented dream analyses, and discussions of what Britney is doing to the new generation of young women, the whole thing kicked ass.

(7) Home again, home again. We came back today and I still have days and days of lounging around the house ahead of me before I have to go back to work.

This has been my favourite holiday season of all time. Awesomeness, awesomeness, awesomeness.

3:11 PM

One More Party

Two things yesterday: I finished my fifth semester of the MBA (finals = done!) and we had our work Christmas party directly afterwards. We had casino games, yummy food (though I am very grumpy about having missed dessert), prizes (we won awesome steak knives which, believe it or not, we were stupidly giddy about -- sure it wasn't the 42" LCD TV, but it was good), a number of drinks, and all kinds of fun.

Naturally, you know what this means. Yes, the only time I update is when I have new pictures.

Ready to go:

Me and Jen:

Boss scandal!

Everyone loves a stole:

Boys being nice:


El presidente:

The big winners:

Cousin, husband, and coworker:

Directors unite:

Their eyes match:

Boys club:

I always hate when the night ends, then promptly fall asleep within five minutes:

So there you have it. Fun!

4:48 PM

Shopping = Done and Done

I think I've got everyone now. We had more people than ever to shop for this year: my parents, Dave's mom and stepdad, Dave's dad, my sister and her husband, Dave's sister and her husband, our much-adored niece, my grandparents, my cousin's kids, the partners at my company, my mom from my dad, Dave's mom and stepdad from my parents, and Dave's dad from my parents. Oh yeah, and Dave.


Oh, well, except for my work gift exchange gift. I have no ideas here. I want something silly and fun, but have yet to find anything entertaining enough for the $20 limit. If all else fails, some poor sucker will be getting a Starbucks gift card.

In any case, the whole shebang is effectively donesville. I got a few ideas from the giftees, a few ideas from friends (mostly stealing Jen's ideas and using them as my own, hah), and a few of them came from my own frenzied little head. I am particularly pleased with myself on two counts:

(1) Dave's main gift is really fun and I thought of it all on my own. He hasn't asked for it, but did mention about six months ago that he'd like one. It'll be a fun surprise!
(2) I don't usually finish 'til Christmas Eve. I have wrapping paper and ribbon and even real Christmas cards for all recipients. Now that is organization.
(3) I'm putting everything under my own tree for the day. It looks bloody spectacular.

I generally have a distaste for shopping. I find it painfully time-consuming and hate it more than anything when the malls are busy. But at Christmas? I intentionally go when I know things will be bizarre and out of control with holiday madness. I giggle at those who are waiting in line with grumpy faces. I snicker at disgruntled drivers who just missed a key spot in the parking lot. I love the dads sitting on benches half-asleep while their wives spend half an hour deciding between two different shades of sweaters for their in-laws. I find the exhausted, terrified, sobbing children waiting in the Santa line-up endlessly hysterical. I am amused by the couples who do the 007 mall split to shop for each other and are peeking around every corner to make sure their other half won't see the bags. There is major entertainment at every step.

Yep, the holidays truly are the most wonderful time of the year -- at least for those of us who love gift shopping.

11:48 PM

Let the Good Times Roll...

Client party. More dress-up than our company party, so I have pictures. I had an exam Saturday morning so there are only a few (we left a little after 10PM).

There's my tree in the background. I love getting my hair and stuff all done:

Me in my dress. I love my shoes more than anything:

I look weird here but the boy is cute:

Jen and her boytoy. Her hair and makeup looked flippin' awesome:

Our sweetest coworker and her husband:

That's it for today. I have an exam at 10AM tomorrow and have to get up early to study. Saturday afternoon will be in-law holiday get-together fun and Sunday will be endless Christmas shopping, as I have nearly nothing done.

8:25 PM

Oh, Christmas Tree...

For the first time since the year before we got hitched, we have our own tree!

I know, I know, the quality of the picture is crap. I'm too lazy to do more than a camera phone shot. And, yes, we still have to get a topper. And, yes again, we need to hunt through the storage locker for the skirt. And -- enough already! -- we still have to put the presents at the bottom.

In any case, here's the deal: he's a faker. In all my life, I've only ever had real trees. I grew up in the country, where nobody had fake trees except on TV. We cut our tree out of our massive forest of a backyard. It was endless fun, traipsing through the snowy woods, hats and mitts and snowsuits and bright eyes. As we got older, we stopped the woodland hunt and started buying them from the grocery store. There is nothing better than the smell of a freshly cut tree in your house.

So why the fakey? Well, I was dead set on the real deal 'til I started to think about cleaning up after him in my little condo. This guy is every bit as pretty as his less artifical brethren, and saves me from buying a vacuum for just a little longer.

11:52 AM


So recently, someone posted this on Hitched. I was sucked in to the deal, though I've really never read either Chatelaine or LouLou. I figured for fifteen bucks, I'd surely get a few good recipes out of it, so it was probably worth it, and it would save me from my occasional desire to magazine it up for $4 every couple of weeks.

In any case, I've gotten a few issues of both and am totally pleased. In particular, Chatelaine is awesome. This makes me feel a bit like my mom, but dude. They have some good articles, fiction, gift ideas, recipes, etc. I'm pretty satisfied with the whole thing and will likely remain a subscriber well into the future.

In the most recent issue, they had an article called The Myth of Multi-Tasking. Now, my husband is an habitual ranter. One of his favourite topics is multitasking, and how it's likely the bane of our culture. He goes on and on forever and a day about how it's got to be creating psychological problems for us as a society, as we surely can't have been meant to function this way. Whenever I sulk about how crazy my day is, and how I'm emailing while chatting with clients on the phone and signalling changes to coworkers, he flies into his usual tirade about the evils of doing-too-much-at-once. Needless to say, he was intensely pleased with himself when I brought this article to his attention.

Basically, the author talks about how women are more built to multitask than men, given our historical positions. While men were responsible for FIND FOOD FIND FOOD FIND FOOD, women were responsible for PROTECT CHILDREN KEEP HOME SAFE MAKE FOOD CLEAN BABIES. That said, she speaks with psychologists and they explain to her that while, yes, we are more geared to doing many things at once, we're not geared towards doing so very much at once.

Apparently, multitasking isn't an issue when you're using different parts of your brain at the same time. I loved this particular example.

How many words are in the following sentence: Now is the time for a few good men to come to the aid of their country?

No cheating. Count it out before you read on.

Okay, got your answer? Good. It doesn't matter what it is. The psychologist's question to the author: Did you count the words on your fingers?

You know you did. I sure did. And my husband did too when I pulled this one on him. It's because we can't think the numbers and think the sentence efficiently at the same time. It's much easier to use two parts of our brains.

This is also, she goes on to explain, why we turn the music down in the car when we're in complicated driving situations. We can't listen to the music and think about reverse parking between two poles at the same time.

The article also pointed out that the level of multitasking required today also has an impact on our short-term memory, and that people can develop symptoms similar to ADD because of it. She even goes as far as to suggest that we're losing our capacity to generate unique, innovative ideas because of the way we work. Interesting stuff.

All this considered, I think that we all probably have to figure out how to multitask less -- how to focus better and still get our jobs done and our personal lives managed well. It's tough, given the competitive and frantic climate that we all work and live in, but the idea that I could be losing my ability to think well has got my head in a bit of a knot.

11:26 AM

Birthday Hair

Okay, I am super late with this post (like you were obsessing over it -- WHERE IS THE NEW HAIR?), as I entered my thirtieth year (29th b-day) on November 9, but I did my traditional Birthday Hair that weekend.

I haven't had bangs in ages and am really starting to dig them.

4:43 PM

The Event of the Year

Alright, so last night was the Celebrity Gala. It was super fun. Naturally, a photo montage is is order.

Jen, me, and our client (AS) went to get our hair and makeup done. I took no pictures. Then AS went to deal with her volunteers and Jen and I got ready, then AS showed up at my place to do the same.

Jen pre-event:

The girls enjoy a little pre-party champagne:

Jen and I grab a licorice flavoured cocktail with cinnamon jelly lips:

The show:

Crazy outfits:

Making friends with Marilyn Dennis:

Marilyn wants me dead:

Our video:

Jen and the boss:

Me and the boss:


Marilyn and Tie Domi are crazy text messagers:

Clients with Raine Maida:

After some wine, Tie is forgiven:

The fashion show feels neverending:

Music and crazy clothes together again:

Belinda Carlisle does all my third grade favourites:

And hits the big screen:

Silliness starts to ensue:

I have a deranged love for confetti:

The boss gets into the pose-striking:

Alrightie, that's it!