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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Day Before the Day Before 2011

I am proud to say that I completed a full eight hours at the office without being sent home.

The HR manager in my office is germaphobic to a fault and if you so much as sneeze during flu season around her, you best believe you'll be sent home shortly after. I think the shortest time I've been at work was three minutes: walked in, got set up in my cubicle, coughed for about a minute and a half--which she heard, and was sent home shortly after that. Today I ducked her like crazy and convinced my boss (who wanted to send me home at 8:30am) that I was well enough to stay. Believe you me, I could hear my bed calling from 12 miles away (ahhh the beauty of not having to hit a freeway on the commute to work), but I'm going to Vegas in February and New York in June and I need my hours for pleasure, not pain!

So. Here we are. A mere 31 hours and 47 minutes away from 2011 (if my math is correct). Jordan (Gordon II, if you will--see "After East Coast Snow Storms..." for the Chef Ramsay reference--thanks Ryan!) and I are holed up in our apartment, both sniffling and sneezing and gargling salt water. Our plans for NYE are rapidly dwindling down to a Blockbuster night. Isn't champagne good for sore throats, though??

I was thrilled to receive this link on my Facebook from one of my fellow East Coasters today though. It's true. New Year's is saved and my faith in humanity is restored. I read an article about a month ago that Snooki from the dreaded "Jersey Shore" (which has, by the way, officially made Jersey appear even trashier to the rest of the world. As if we didn't have a hard enough time defending our great state to the other 49 states...) would be in the ball as it dropped in Times Square for the final countdown to 2011. Really? No, seriously. Really?? I was beside myself with shock, as were the other New Jersey folk that I know. (Side note: are we "Jersians"? "Jerseyites"? "Jersey-ers"? I never really was sure...). What better way to ruin a timeless annual tradition, MTV, than to put one of the most ridiculous "stars" from reality tv in the ball? Well, fortunately, I found out today that that will not be happening and I can once again watch the new Dick Clark (Carson Daily, is it?) countdown in Times Square. Whew! You can read the rather amusing article here.

Sorry Snooki... Aint happenin', girlfriend...
photo courtesy of Comedy Central

And of course, the dreaded resolutions are cropping up again: "I'm going start working out"; "I'll quit smoking"; "I'll start eating healthy"... No thank you, ladies and gents. I think my motto for 2011 will just be: Keep going the way things are going. No reason to put any added pressure on myself with a New Year's resolution that I will undoubtedly break within the first two months of 2011. I did try the working out thing last year, buuuut... That didn't work out too well. I know I should work out, but at 5'5" with the metabolism of a twelve-year-old and a scale that fluctuates between 110 & 115 whenever I step on it, it's not that I really need to work out. I did get a Yoga mat and some Yoga DVD's for Christmas, though, so I will be giving them a shot.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Flu, Expendables & UFC... Oh, my.

My boyfriend and I are both down for the count today. Sore throats with just a hint of white spots that suggests strep throat. Of course. I have no problem being sick for Christmas, where you can chill out in your jammies all day and stay warm and cozy. But New Year's?? C'mon...! On New Year's, you want to go out and have a good time and ring in the new year with some panache! Granted, all we were going to do was stay home and have a little "party for two", as Shania would sing (side note: Yes, I love country music. Give me a cowboy hat and a little twang and I am a happy girl). I mean, who wants to drive somewhere only to pay double what you would normally pay for drinks only to drive home dodging check-points and praying that you don't run into stupid drunk drivers on the way home? OK, OK, going out for New Year's is an awesome time but we know how to party-harty at home, too. :)

Oh, and we did watch The Expendables... All in all, a typical shoot-em-up movie. I did enjoy the little jabs here and there about the actors themselves. As Arnold Schwarzenegger was leaving his scene, Bruce Willis's character turned to Sylvestor Stallone's and said, "What's his problem?", to which Stallone's character replied, "He wants to be president." I got a little chuckle out of that. Randy Couture also went off a little about the "Cauliflower ear" that he has from wrestling in the movie and he threw down with WWE's Stone Cold Steve Austin in a classic UFC vs WWE battle for anyone who was smart enough to notice. I got a little chuckle out of that.

photo courtesy of
Speaking of UFC, we've got a few fights comin' up pretty soon! Frankie Edgar is defending his title for the second time against Gray Maynard. Maynard is the only guy that's beaten Edgar, so I'm looking forward to that match-up. Edgar may be from Jersey, but he took the belt from BJ Penn--which I still haven't forgiven him for. The prelim fight I'm most excited about is Brad Tavares versus Phil "The New York Bad*ss" Barrone. I watched Brad fight on the Ultimate Fighter and really liked him. He better have worked on his ground game, though, because that was definitely lacking in his fights on the show. He fought a few months ago--and won, if memory serves me correctly--but they didn't televise the fight. I hope they show this one. We've also got Clay "The Carpenter" Guida fighting... He can always be counted on for some exciting fights! Then... In February...The fight my boyfriend and I have been waiting for... Vitor Belfort vs Anderson "The Spider" Silva. And our money is riding on Belfort's speed to take Silva down! I don't know if any of you caught the Silva/Maya fight in Abu Dabi, but I lost all respect for him as a fighter after that. His behavior in the Octagon was completely inexcusable and I am really hoping Belfort knocks him down a few pegs to teach him some humility. Sonnen came close, but then we found out later he tested positive for one performance enhancing drug or another... So disappointing.

I know. A girl who can speak MMA. Weird, huh? My boyfriend got me into it and now I'm just as excited as he is about the fights.

But enough ranting about UFC. I'm going to curl up under a blanket and keep reading "Cross Fire" (James Patterson never lets me down!!) while my boyfriend battles the undead in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After East Coast Snow Storms & Blizzards in Switzerland...I'm COLD in CA!

Brrrrr! It's cold outside!!

Ok, ok, I know anyone reading this in New York or New Jersey is ready to reach through their laptop and smack me around a bit for saying that. Which would be fair considering I got an e-mail from my aunt in New Jersey with a picture of my uncle shoveling their driveway. In fact...

This is my uncle using the snow blower to shovel his driveway. That was taken on Christmas day when we were enjoying blue skies and sunshine. It is true, though. You do get spoiled when you live in California. I used to live in a little village called Davos in Switzerland. It's famous for its air. Seriously. Doctors send patients with respiratory issues to Davos to breathe its pollutant-free air. Anyway. It snowed up until my birthday in June and it was COLD up there. I even recall being sent home for milk money (stop laughing...) in a  blizzard because--let's face it, it's Switzerland and if they had Snow Days, the schools would hardly ever be open. I survived that, I survived snow storms in New York and New Jersey... And the first thing I said when I walked out the front door this morning was, "It is C-C-C-COLD outside!" It was about forty. Freezing by California Standards. Paradise for East Coasters right now.

Yah. I do not miss the East Coast (or Switzerland, for that matter) right now. Just looking at that picture makes me shiver.

As I write this, Chef Ramsey Jr. (aka my boyfriend) is in the kitchen preparing our latest feast: Tri-Tip Roast that has been marinating for three days in something yummy, corn (**I was asked to make a correction: it's corn on the cob, because "anyone can just pop it out of the can."--::boyfriend nods in approval::), mashed potatoes and artichokes. I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to fit all of that food in my body, but I'll give it the old college effort. You gotta love a boyfriend that knows how to cook (microwaving, I've been told, does not count). Don't get me wrong, I can cook (as proved by last night's spaghetti and meat sauce that I prepared for him and his friend last night while they were "Moving" on the Playstation). I'm too Type A personality to be able to wing it in the kitchen though. I need a recipe to follow; no improvisation. He can make a meal out of three items in the refrigerator. I don't know how he does it, but it is mmm good!

I believe we'll either be enjoying "The Expendables" (with my personal freebie, Randy Couture) or "GI Joe", which always makes me want to dye my hair red because of that one girl in it.


Monday, December 27, 2010

I've Lost My Boyfriend to Playstation Move ;)

Hi All.

Yes, two posts in one day. One could call me overeager. Personally, though, I prefer chatty which is a much more accurate description. I am quite talkative (although I am capable of holding a conversation without inserting the word "like" in between every word).

Right now my boyfriend is enjoying his new Playstation Move (courtesy of his lovely girlfriend for Christmas) with one of his friends from work, rocking out to GURU's Jazzmataz, Volume 1 (also courtesy of Yours Truly). Meanwhile, I am curled up on my favorite armchair with Usher snoozin' right next to me as usual. Syd is hiding under the table because he's a neurotic mess and loud music scares him.

Anyhoo. My current project is perfecting my first short story for submission to a literary magazine. The deadline is Jan 2nd to Glimmer Train. For all you aspiring writers, it's a great publication to start off with. There are year-round "reading periods" for you to submit your stories for considerations and they do (!!) offer paid compenstation if you get published. There is a fee you have to pay to submit your work, but it's only $18. I'm almost ready to submit it--just working a few finishing touches. If there are any writers out there would would like to bounce ideas back and forth with me, please don't be shy!

I was also fortunate enough to get Cross Fire by James Patterson for Christmas. This is the next installment in the Alex Cross series and it's with Kyle Craig! I love, love, love the Alex Cross novels and can't wait to really start digging into this book. Now's the time for me to do it since I'm on winter break from school. Then I have The Gift (also by James Patterson), Magic Study, and Fire Study--both by Maria V. Snyder. They fall in the Fantasy category, I would say. It's set in a different world, but not so much so that it distracts from the story. Any book recommendations out there? I have to fit all my 'pleasure' reading in now before school starts because I won't have any time for reading after that.

Alright, well in between writing this post, I've cooked dinner, cleaned up and thrown in a load of laundry so I think now I'm going to kick back with a glass of New Age (some bomb Argentinian white wine) and work on my writing and watch my boyfriend play volleyball on the Move--still.

Enjoy your evening!

A new year is a-knockin'

I've wracked my brains to find some witty, snappy opening line that will grab your attention and have you hooked on my blog the way coffee addicts are hooked on Starbucks. Unfortunately, it is far too early in the morning for me to be uber-creative. So a simple 'hello and welcome' will have to do.

I cannot believe that another year is over. So, so much has happened in the last three hundred and sixty-one days that it makes my head spin. I have definitely come a far way since December 27, 2009. Wow, even writing that year feels weird. very first blog. Well, to be perfectly honest, I actually do write another blog for my school's website. You can check it out here. That blog is primarily school related and I mainly discuss the crazy rantics I go through as a DL student. That's Distance Learning student since I mainly take most of my courses online.

By the way. Rantics is my little made-up word. It's a combination of rants and antics. It seemed to fit for this blog and has officially stuck in my vocabulary. Who knows? Maybe it will catch on like "bling" and "EVOO" did. We'll see.

I guess I'll start by giving the basic, first-date kind of information.

I'm MJ. I live in south Orange County with my boyfriend, his seven-year-old son, and two cats (Usher "Gus" and Syd). Just for the record, Usher a) came with the name and b) is not named after the Usher you're thinking of. He was named after Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. Or maybe his former owner really did name him after the pop artist and was just trying to sound sophisticated when she met me in the parking lot of a diner in New Jersey to give him to me. Sophisticated indeed.

I have a few slight obsessions: Languages (I speak four and have a list of languages I still want to learn), books (huge fan of James Patterson, Dan Brown, Kate Moss--not the model--and Emily Giffin), Man vs. Wild, Hell's Kitchen, MMA/UFC, traveling, writing, wine, chocolate and fuzzy socks. In fact, my fuzzy sock obsession is so well-known that I got five new pairs of them as Christmas gifts. I am thrilled!

My future posts will, of course, have more pointed themes and topics but I just wanted you to get to know me a little better. :)