Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quiet please

A moment of silence for my Badgers.

Those nasty Hoosiers from Indiana just handed Wisconsin its second loss of the season.

Although I would have loved to see Wisconsin extend its 17-game winning streak, it might be a good thing they lost tonight. No team wants to go from the end of November until March without losing and then wind up on a long, silent bus ride home after getting bounced in the first round of the tournament.

While Indiana may think they have scored the biggest upset of the year, my Badgers will only get better from here on out.

Baby it's cold outside ... and it's gonna get colder

I think I might just want to hibernate in my apartment for the next week.

According to the National Weather Service:
"Frigid conditions expected this weekend into next week. A large arctic air mass is taking aim on the region and will bring the coldest air of the winter to Wisconsin. The bitterly cold air will begin to overspread the state late Friday. This arctic air mass is expected to reside over Northeast Wisconsin into Wednesday... Highs will struggle to reach the single digits above zero during this period. High temperatures on Sunday will struggle to even reach zero."

Temperatures that struggle to reach 0 will do that to a girl. Add in the wind and you get really big numbers which are accompanied by a negative sign. Yeah, definitely sounds like a good week to stay inside.

Except there's that whole work thing. And Krista's birthday celebration. Both require me to leave my apartment. Even though it's bone-chilling cold out.

I shouldn't complain. I'm a Wisconsin girl all the way through. I can handle cold. I can even handle the wind. It's just that my apartment is so nice and toasty warm and outside is just so ... cold.

But I'll pull out the parka, gloves and hat and I'll bundle up. Because work calls. And I can't miss a friend's birthday celebration.

Monday, January 29, 2007

And I'm back

After a two week hiatus, which was entirely due to the absolute craziness at work that I've been dealing with, I made it back to the gym tonight.

Although, I have to admit, I took one look at the incredibly full parking lot and almost turned my car south and headed home. I mean, they were parked in every available space and were even creating renegade parking spaces! That's how full it was! But I managed to sneak into a relatively close parking space, pulled out my bag and went in.

I was greeted by that same funky smell that's always lingering in the cardio room at the Y. Needless to say, I didn't miss the smell the last two weeks. There wasn't even a long wait for a machine either. Just a brief 10 minutes which I used to do some leg stuff and there was an elliptical all for me. Once I put in my half hour, I did a quick mile on the treadmill to nowhere, because honestly, I need to get back into running mode.

And now, it's time to see how Jack's very, very bad day is going.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Add another candle

Remember how when you were younger birthdays used to be like, the biggest day of the year besides Christmas? It was just the presents, but that it was your special day. When you were treated like a princess and had the cool birthday birthday with all your friends.

Yeah, they've kind of lost that magical feeling ever since I've gotten older. My last "cool" kids birthday party was when I turned 23. It was the year I was living in Indiana and although I worked that evening, I went out with my friends and managed to give myself one heck of a hangover (and mental note, covering a double-header basketball game with a pounding hangover headache...not so good. Dribbling basketballs were bad, but the buzzer signaling stoppage in play...that was rough).

Today was one of those "nothing too spectacular" birthdays. I went to work. Had a work day to catch up on some stuff. My Dad left me a message on my voice mail at work, wishing me a happy birthday. I was actually able to leave at 5 p.m. and then Mom came down and took me to dinner and brought a cake (I sent a good chunk home for Dad though). No candles for me though. No gifts either, but that's partially my fault since I don't know what I want, so my birthday gift from my parents is TBD.

But honestly, 27 doesn't feel any different than 26. It's just a number (albeit, one that keeps creeping up, not so sure how I feel about that one).

The rest of my birthday evening consists of watching the rest of the Badger game.

Although I'm a happy girl. Because I just got a phone call from The Boy Who Wants to be a Cop. And that makes me happy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Licensed to drive

It brings me pleasure to tell you that I'm now a licensed driver who is allowed to drive until Jan. 24, 2015.

Yes. 2015. I'll be in my mid-thirties. I don't even want to think about that. But apparently the fine folks at the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles have enough faith in my driving abilities that they feel confident issuing me a driver's license that will not need to be renewed for another eight years.


*walks away, shaking head*

What's this?

I did something today that I haven't done in probably 8 years.

I listened to a cassette tape.

Yes, those rectangular things with the spinning wheels. The thing that if you want to find a particular song, you have play the rewind/fast forward game. And inevitably, you'll never find the actual song you're looking for.

But I didn't get to listen to music. I had to listen to an hour-long court proceeding. When the clerk told me they had a transcript, but it was audio and not written, I thought, cool. Digital, easy to listen to.

I wasn't expecting the cassette tape that she handed me through the glass window. And since no one at work was expecting a cassette tape, I had to rummage through my stuff looking for my ancient Walkman (which was so cool back in 1990) and batteries.

Then I spent the afternoon listening to a cassette tape. And it was weird.

Now I just have to remember to replace the batteries I confiscated from my TV remote in order to make that ancient Walkman work. Otherwise, I'll forget where they went and for no reason at all I'll be flinging the remote across the room when it isn't changing the channel.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Colts story

I was happy too see the Indianapolis Colts pull it out yesterday and come from behind and beat the New England Patriots for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

When I lived in Indiana (affectionately known as the worst 365 days of my), I was a sports reporter for The Herald Bulletin, and being so close to Indy, I was given the opportunity to go down and cover the Colts.

I remember the first time I went down. I was 22, fresh out of college. Probably not what the team was expecting.

When I walked into the locker room, there were two defensive ends, standing in front of their lockers, shooting the breeze with each other as they got dressed. They saw me come in, their eyes got wide and they looked totally embarrassed as they wrapped their towels around their waists.

Sorry guys, even if I was impressed with what I saw, you didn't have to worry that I'd be going around Indy, bragging about how I saw your package.

Cause I didn't even know who you were.

And honestly, half of the team in the locker room was walking around in a towel. There were many mostly naked men in there and most were quite willing to talk to reporters (both male and female) in very little clothing.

But Peyton. He was a different story.

Of course everyone wanted to talk to the quarterback who just lead the team in a so-so, unexciting win over the Houston Texans (I think the score ended up being 9-6).

But Peyton made us wait.

Apparently Mr. Manning will not even look at a reporter until he's showered, shaved, dried off and fully dressed in shirt, tie and suit jacket. Then Mr. Manning will speak. And the media listens.

I listened to Peyton. His southern drawl. Quite a nice voice.

Then I got brave and tried to ask a question.

Mr. Manning's response.

"What are you trying to ask?"

And I just left it at that, said never mind, backed my way out of the swarm of media surrounding Peyton and ran back up to the press box to wait for the media relations folks to distribute selected quotes and comments from players and coaches.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The snow stopped 5 hours ago

Dear apartment complex manager:

Yes, it snowed today. About 4 inches.

But it stopped snowing around 4 p.m. and it's now 9 p.m. Why then did it take the man who runs the snowplow 5 hours to decide to plow our parking lot areas? Not that I was going anywhere. Because, hello, it snowed today and it's Sunday and I didn't feel like leaving the confines of my cozy apartment.

My bigger question is, why did he have to wait until 9 p.m. to drive back and forth with his plow apparatus down, scraping across the pavement? And the snow blower? These snow removing utensils are quite noisy. And did I mention it's 9 p.m. and within a short hour or so, I'm going to want to drift off to sleep? And these snow removing devices are quite noisy and may keep me awake longer than I want to be. And inevitably, they'll be back in early tomorrow morning, removing the snow they didn't get to tonight. And then I'll get woken up by the snow removing devices.

All of this leads to a somewhat cranky tenant.

Which brings me back to my original question. Why did it take the man in charge of snow removal 5 hours to start doing his job: that is removing snow?

A questioning tenant

Saturday, January 20, 2007

So what if I didn't do anything

Due to the crazy week I had, I don't feel quite so bad about my non-productive day. What did I do? Not a whole lot.

I returned some books to the library and picked up a book and CD that I had reserved.

I came home and watched the Wisconsin/Illinois game and was quite pleased with the outcome.

I went to the grocery store, because I had no food in my house and I was hungry.

And now tonight, I think I'm going to watch High School Musical. I got it from the library to see what all the hype was about. And since it's due back on Monday, I guess I better watch it soon. Or else I'll still be wondering what all the hype is about. Afterwards, I may just settle in and read for the rest of the night.

Yes, I deserve to be lazy this week. And anti-social.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

About George

So that last 15 mintues...the big 15 minutes of Grey's Anatomy. That part with George's dad.

Yeah, I admit.

I bawled like a baby.

I've lost the will to live

The entire week I've been leaving my office at 6 p.m., barely able to think straight after dealing with the horrendous story I've been working on all week.

This has affected me in multiple ways.

One: I have not been to the YMCA in a week. Yes. Remember how last week I was excited that I went two days in a row and I was finally back into my old gym habits? Well scratch that. Because of my work craziness, I haven't gone to the gym. Once I leave the office at 6 p.m., I don't have the energy or will power to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill running to nowhere or an elliptical. I just want to go home and sit and stare. Preferably at the bright pictures that glow from my TV.

Two: Because all I want to do when I get home is stare at the TV, I don't have the energy, or concentration to read. My mind wanders aimlessly, making it hard to follow the words in my books. And it's not because I don't have good books to read. I have less than 100 pages left in "Truck: A Love Story" by Michael Perry and I can't bring myself to sit down and concentrate long enough for me to be able to read it. And the longer it takes me to finish this book means the less time I have to finish the other 6 books that are currently in my pile to be read by Feb. 10. That's not good. Thankfully the library allows for renewals.

Now it's time for me to find something in my house to eat and stare at the pretty pictures being broadcast on my TV. At least tonight's TV schedule doesn't require much analyzing and thinking. Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty are pretty straight forward.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

And this is all I have to say

All I'm going to say is that work the past two days has driven me to drink.

And now I'm going to go, get a beer and sit in my recliner for the next two hours and watch Wisconsin take on Purdue.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Just for kicks

Just because I find it humorous and I referenced it in my last post, here's the guest column that my work generated back in 2002.

Lyrics are crude in more ways than one (May 18, 2002)
By Gay Davidson-Zielske
Last Sunday - Mother's Day - I was lounging in bed, enjoying the double latte and brownie breakfast my husband had brought me, perusing the Wisconsin State Journal's Showcase section when, being a poet myself, I was arrested by the three sets of lyrics printed that day.

The first one, J-Lo's "I'm gonna be Alright" was soggy pap with forced rhymes like "because I love you I just tried to stay" rhyming with "get away." But {Badgergirl}, who compiles the lyrics, had arranged her choices in order of drama, it appeared. Next was Nelly's "Not in here," which starts off sounding like Dr. Seuss on illegal substances - rhyming "gracious, bodacious, flirtatious, and faces" in the first line and continuing in that silly vein until it gets to the inevitable blanked out place in the last two lines: "why you at the bar if you/ain't poppin' the bottles. What good is all the fame if/ you ain't f----- the models."

Now, unless that f-blank was for fraternizin'" I think that song just may be slightly offensive.
But {Badgergirl} was savin' the beast (yes, I meant it) for last with something by one Ja Rule called simply and elegantly "Down Ass Bitch." I reflected that there was only one word in the title that I could repeat to my mother without fear of a foamy mouthwash.

It starts out all philosophical - musing about how tempis does fugit, but cheers up right away by noting that the author has a woman who shows no fear of "tuck[ing] the toast in the escalade" - a sentiment oft thought but ne'er so well expressed.

From there, the images and metaphors build into a dizzying remoulade, echoing, I'm sure, the author's angst and confusion in a world in which one can be subjected to a "nigga showin' [him] shade," but content that his "down ass bitch" will "pop on" the shade-showin' "nigga," "with one on the hip, one in the holsta/niggas will toast you quick."

How concise! How pertinent for breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. So I offer you my latest lyrics in response:

To say that I was pleased / would not get at it, girl. / I didn' jiss dismiss it, and I didn' diss it / I took that f--in' paper / and I give it a good hurl.

Thanks to the review for her choices on behalf of all "toast-tuckin' mamas."

Editor's note: Each Sunday in Showcase the Wisconsin State Journal prints samples of lyrics from popular songs - even objectionable ones - so parents can know what their children are listening to.

Monday, January 15, 2007

But the avocado did it

My head hurts.

Sure, it might be because I'm somewhat squinting as I sit at my desk due to the brightness that's flooding in the windows here at work. That might be part of it. But I think there's a bigger reason.

I haven't eaten.

I know it's bad. I know when I don't eat I'm just going to give myself a headache. Because that's what happens with me. No food equals a migraine for me. And having this bit of information, I should know I can't skip lunch.

But I didn't intentionally do it today. I really tried to have lunch.

It's just that the person who made my sandwich heard, "just the turkey, cheese and lettuce" decided that really meant I wanted avocado on my sub as well. And I don't do avocado. It's green and slimy and I don't like it. So I don't order it on my food. But apparently the sandwich maker thinks I don't really know what I like. So she put it on my sandwich, thinking I'd become an avocado convert. But news flash, it's not happening. I could have salvaged part of my sandwich if she had only put avocado on one half of the bread. But no, she slopped it on both halves of the bread which was so not good.

So my lunch, which was supposed to be a sandwich and Cheetos, ended up just being some Cheetos. And that my friend, doesn't quite cut it. So now I'm left with a headache and a growling stomach.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Laundry, books and Jack

I have quite a lazy Sunday planned.

I'm supposed to do some laundry, because having clean clothes is a good idea. And I should vacuum, because the carpet in my apartment gets all matted and funky looking if I don't vacuum once a week.

Other than that, I may just curl up with a book this afternoon. The library has been doing a fabulous job on getting me the items I have on my hold list. Almost too fabulous in fact since I now have a stack of five books sitting by my recliner that are all due by Feb. 10 at the latest. And the new additions I picked up yesterday, Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield are both due by the end of January, I had to revamp my reading list, moving them to the top and demoting a few others to be read later.

And it's supposed to snow, which would be wonderful, since it is winter. And being from Wisconsin, I do like snow.

But the thing I'm looking forward to the most? The return of Jack Bauer and 24. Because who doesn't like Jack Bauer? And I'm anxious to see what Day 6 has in store for him. Only 7 hours until his hectic day begins.

Friday, January 12, 2007

What time did the clock say?

Normally I'm just rolling out of bed when the clock hits 7:10 a.m.

Today I dragged myself out of my nice, comfy, warm bed at 5 o'clock in the freaking morning! All in the name of filling in for our fearless morning reporter who's decided to take the day off.

I'm not a fan of showering in the dark, but if I was, I would have. I don't have many lights in my bathroom, but they were painful when I turned them on this morning. Painful and bright. But I got used to them after the first wave of water hit me from the showerhead. Then it wasn't so bad. And surprisingly, I even felt a little awake.

So far it hasn't been too bad. I made my cop calls, wrote a weather forecast and found out gas prices. And I felt semi-awake. Instead of the pitch black darkness of 6:15 a.m., it felt like it was already 8:30 and I was starting my day as usual.

But now that I've eaten my Frosted Mini Wheats I'm starting to get that, "Why am I at work and not in my bed?" feeling. Tired, yawning and sluggish.

Hopefully it's only temporary. Maybe the sugary-frosted goodness of the Mini Wheats will kick in soon and I'll get a sudden burst of energy. Because, hello, I can't be tired today. It's Friday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I want my music

I want my MP3 player. I can't have my MP3 player.

For some reason, my MP3 player ate all my music. As in all of the music that I had loaded onto the player is now gone. Vanished. Missing in action. And it wasn't my fault. It was fully loaded with music when I plugged it into the wall last night to recharge the battery. This afternoon, empty. And there is no delete button on the player.

Leaving me with silence. And at this moment, I don't want silence. I want music. This is a problem.

And it's a problem I've had before. A mere two months ago my MP3 player decided to eat my music, leaving me with nothing. The only difference then? It decided to do in my presence, meaning I saw when it happened, so I was able to load some stuff on it immediately and I didn't have to be surprised at work.

Two months and it's eaten my music twice. I'm not very happy with the MP3 player. If I were that electronic device, I would be very worried. You all have heard about my threats to the tempermental VCR. The same ones are going out to the MP3 player.

Be afraid, be very afraid Mr. MP3 player.

So now I have to work with the normal office background noise. And I wanted to listen to tunes. And I can't.

And to think, the battery is even fully charged.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Countdown to tip off

Anxiously counting down the minutes until the Flordia/Arkansas game is done.

Because then, my Badgers will take the floor against the evil Buckeyes from Ohio State. And it will be one heck of a game, because, hello, a match-up between two top 5 teams? And it's the Badgers. My pick to win? What a silly question. Of course Wisconsin will.

So for the next two hours, I will be sacked out in my recliner, watching basketball and giddy from the excitment of the game. Sure, it's not sitting in the stands at the Kohl Center, I won't get that tingly feeling. But I will enjoy watching it.

And to anyone who dare tries to call you have a death wish?

I did it again

It hurts to lift my arms above my shoulders.

But at least I made to the YMCA for a second straight day. That's two days in a row. I haven't been to the gym two consecutive days since I lived in the 'burg. Mark Jan. 8 on your calendar, because that may be the day Jennifer regained her gym habits.

But it still hurts to lift my arms above my shoulders.

Monday, January 8, 2007

I have a muscle there?

There are muscles on my body that are sore that I didn't even know I had.

I made it to the YMCA after work. I only had to circle the parking lot once before I found a spot (and it wasn't in Timbuktu!).

I went in, changed and went up to the workout area, only to find every single cardio machine was taken. So I penciled my name in to reserve an elliptical that would be available in 20 minutes and headed over to the weight machines.

I don't like weights. I know I should do them more often. It's good for me to mix weights with cardio, blah, blah, blah.

I know how to use a majority of the weight machines (thanks in part to the weightlifting section in my sophomore gym class), it's just some of them are kind of intimidating and I'm not always sure which machines I should be using to target the areas I want to fix.

I could solve that problem by signing up for my free "orientation" thing that came with my YMCA membership, I just haven't done it.

But I put all that behind me and lifted some weights tonight. Cause I wasn't going to just sit around for 20 minutes, waiting for the elliptical to be available.

And now I'm sore, cause I used muscles I haven't really used in probably 5 months. It might be worse tomorrow, but I'll deal with it. And it stop me from going back tomorrow night. I just hope there's a treadmill or elliptical free for me when I get there.

My own private addiction meeting

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a chapstick addict.

I admit, I have a chapstick habit. I apply a lot of chapstick to my lips throughout the day. As I was applying chapstick for probably the tenth time this afternoon, I got to wondering, is it possible to apply too much chapstick?

I never used to be as bad as I am now. But that was before my latest chapstick purchase, Burt's Bees beeswax lip balm. I like the smell. I like the "soothing, cooloing, refreshing" feel it leaves on my lips after a new application. Is that a problem? Is my overuse of chapstick causing my lips harm? Hmmm. I dunno.

But excuse, I need a fresh application before I leave work tonight.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

I should legally change my name

You could call me Miss Productivity if you wanted to.

I got a lot of stuff done today. The Christmas tree got taken down and all the other Christmas-y things put away. I did leave the snowmen up, cause they can be considered winter decorations. And we definitely need something winter related since there is no snow on the ground!

After a quick Target run to get duct tape (to tape up the Christmas tree box), I then cleaned my apartment. I vacuumed, cleaned my kitchen and even took the 409 cleaner to the bathroom! Plus all of my clothes are now clean. And that was all before dinner, when I made tacos with enough leftover for lunch and one dinner.

And I finished The Time Traveler's Wife last night, so I was able to start a new book today. Tonight I'm just planning on relaxing. I might watch Ice Age, especially since I've seen the end about six times, but have never seen the beginning or middle, and then read for a bit.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Planning my Sunday

I have the entire day off tomorrow. All to myself. Too bad I have a laundry list of things that really should get done.

I'm planning on using up my Sunday to:
* Do my laundry, because clean clothes are always a good thing
* Take down my Christmas tree
* Clean my apartment, including the kitchen, bathroom and running the vacuum cleaner
* Go to the library and pick up the two books I have on hold
* Make a somewhat decent dinner. I'm thinking maybe tacos, since that could be dinner or lunch for a day or two
* If I don't finish it after I get home from work tonight, I want to finish The Time Traveler's Wife, because, hello, I only have like 100 pages left.

I think that's it. That seems quite ambitious to me. Knowing my luck, I might be lucky to be able to cross three of those things off the list.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Bowing down to the medical gods

While it's never a good thing to wish you were sick, I'm not completely comfortable coming down with some type of sickness or breaking some bone.


Because after playing the risky, I'm going to live my life without any type of health insurance whatsoever game, I'm finally completely insured again :)

My health insurance from my old job ran out at the end of September and rather than pay the astronomical prices to continue that coverage until my new employer's stuff kicked in, I played the risky game. And I crossed many fingers and toes in hopes that I would get deathly sick or break a bone or require some kind of major medical attention.

But the little insurance card came in the mail today, meaning I don't have to worry anymore.

Granted, just because I have the little card in my hands and my employer is taking a chunk out of my paycheck, this doesn't mean I want to become sick, break a bone or require major medical attention.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Pages and pages


As in 159 pages. That's all I've read since Jan. 1. Kind of disappointing.

The pages I've read so far this year are in The Time Traveler's Wife, which by the way is a fantastic book so far. But with the book clocking in at 518 pages, the bookmark isn't moving very fast. I want to read more, I just haven't found the time to devote to it yet. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to make a serious dent in the book.

It's not only my lack of progress. It's also the pile of books to be read that are slowly accumulating by my end table. I have Twentysomething: The Quarter Life Crisis of Jack Lancaster by Iain Hollingshead and Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot sitting on the floor and today the library sends me one of their lovely e-mail notices that two more books that I've had on hold are now ready to be picked up.

In terms of library due dates, that's five books that I'll have to finish by this time next month. Kind of crazy. Hopefully I'll be able to do it!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I made it!

Despite having to make three circles around the parking lot and thinking to myself "I should just go home," I parked in the boonies and made it to the YMCA after work. After seeing how far away I had to park, I seriously considered just parking at work and walking over. It might've been closer.

Sadly, I didn't run on a treadmill to nowhere. Instead I used the elliptical since every treadmill was taken. Actually, every machine, except the one I snagged, was taken when I got to the YMCA. And there was a rather unpleasant, funky odor.

But I held my breath, which is quite hard to do when you're exercising, stepped on the elliptical and did my stuff.

No reason to worry

It turns out my worries about where I was supposed to be today were all for nothing.

I got to work, checked my calendar...Nothing.

Now I need to motivate myself to make it two blocks north so that I can run on the treadmill to nowhere. There's never a better time to start my New Year's resolution than on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I'll have to check with my secretary

I know I'm supposed to be somewhere tomorrow for work. I just don't have a clue when, where or for what.

That could potentially be a problem. Especially since my calendar is at work. I could chance it and just go in at the normal time. But knowing my luck, the thing I'm supposed to be at is probably at 8:30 in the morning.

So now I'm faced with getting to work earlier than I normally would, just so I can check my calendar and figure out where I'm supposed to be and when I'm supposed to be there.

It's nights like this that I start thinking that I really need to bring my calendar home with me daily, even if it just sits in my bag.

The end of laziness is near

It's back to the working world tomorrow.

With New Year's and having to take an extra day off this week since I'm the weekend reporter, I had given myself a four-day weekend. And although it was nice to have a chunk of time off, I have to say, I'm actually looking forward to going back to work and getting back into a routine.

I didn't do anything too exciting. I slept in, watched some TV, went to the library and picked up a few items which came in that I had reserved and went to the grocery store. I then came home and cleaned out my filing cabinet, because somehow I don't think health insurance plans from two jobs ago in Indiana are going to be very useful anymore. To cap off the evening, Mom came down and I made her dinner.

Now I think it's time to hop into bed and read The Time Traveler's Wife before dozing off and going back to the daily grind tomorrow.

Monday, January 1, 2007

I suppose I should make some resolutions

I supposed I should make some of those New Year's Resolutions.

In 2007 I resolve to...

*Get back into my gym-going habit. I was doing really well until I moved away from the 'burg. I no longer have any excuses. I will make it to the YMCA at least 3 times a week.

* Run a 5K.

* Stop biting my fingernails. I admit I've been a nail biter for my entire life. But last year I successful in not biting my nails for about 3 months. Then something slipped, I got nervous or something and I reverted back to my bad habit.

* Lose the last 10 pounds. In October 2004, I put my foot down and vowed to lose the weight I had put on since I graduated from college. Forty-five pounds later, I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish, but I've been plateauing for the past year or so. I want to lose the last 10 pounds I was aiming to lose back when I started this. I'm sure getting back into the gym habit will help me out here.

* Be more patient.

* Read 40 books.

Yeah, that sounds OK for now.

Because my New Year's was super exiciting

Happy New Year.

Yeah, I know, I'm 17 hours late, but too bad. Deal with it.

I'd like to say that my lateness is due to my rip-roaring amazingly great time I had New Year's Eve. But yeah, I was a party-pooper.

I did some shopping early in the day with my mom, watched the Badger basketball game, read a bit and then headed to a local bar with my parents for a while, where we rung in the New Year at 4 p.m. (I'm sure it was midnight somewhere, maybe Iraq or some European country). Afterwards, Mom left to watch the Rugrats and I decided to stay in for the evening. I could have gone out, but I didn't really feel like spending the night in some loud, noisy bar that was super packed. Instead, I stayed home, put on my comfy PJs, read some more and watched the Packer game. Then I channel surfed until midnight, stayed up a half hour longer and went to sleep.