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later on 12/28/06
Oh my, the Dreamgirls movie was amazingly fantastic. Loved it. It made me come home and watch the Actor's Fund concert version - the one with Heather Headley, Audra McDonald, Lilias White and the always-wonderful Norm Lewis.

12/28/06
Done - March 19th is my surgery. I will have new boobs! My pre-operative appt is for the 8th, and I can bring in the paperwork for my LOA with me. I have to ask on Monday about the dates for the LOA (since I'm off today and tomorrow and am not going in just for that).

And it's perfect timing, because I'll be in Tampa for Spring Training the week before the surgery, should get home from Florida on Sunday the 18th. I think the game tix for Spring Training go on sale on Jan 6th, but I'm not definite on that. Once they do, I can buy my plane tix and book a hotel.

12/26/06
Our lights are coming down today, the holidays are officially over. I worked the past five days, so I'm just plain old tired. Today I slept til 2.30pm and made to work just in time.

12/23/06
I'm bummed about working the weekend, because I wanted to go see Eve and the little ones tomorrow, but that won't work.

Dad, Ann and I had a great time last night (even tho it was pouring rain, so schlepping to the car was real fun). Everyone must think I love the Yankees, because I definitely sensed a theme with gifts this year. Hrm.

And today, I'm just in for 16 hours of work.

12/22/06
It's the first day of Winter. Could it hurry up and feel like it?

Today was errands day - went to Wal-Mart, went to get my hair cut (which is now suffering from hat hair, so I have to go wash it again). Tonight I'm going to Dad's to do presents with him and Ann, and that'll bring a nice end to my holiday weekend.

Mom and I cheated and did presents early - we both have to work the weekend, and then I'm working Christmas Day as well, so we did a middle-of-Hanukah gift opening extravaganza. Thank you cards will be coming as soon as I have time to write them. Mom said it's a good thing no one watched us open them this year, because then my secret love of the Yankees would be revealed - what with the fuzzy dice (yes! just like in the commercial!), floor mat, pile of books etc.

Next on the planning schedule: tickets for the Trenton Thunder and (newly moved) Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees. The Thunder have a nice deal where if you buy a 5 or 6 game package, you can get a free pair of tix to a Yankees or Phillies game. I'd love to go to a Philles game again this year, the stadium is beautiful. Plus, one of their packages is five games against the minor league Mets team. That would work. The ticket office is closed until Jan 2nd, so I'll wait until then to get tickets.

12/21/06
Going to Fenway! They have single-game tickets to "select games" (i.e. not the Yankees games) on sale already, so I got tickets to two Tigers games in May. And since the point of going there is to root against the Red Sox, I'll be packing my Yankees jacket. I haven't been to Boston in about ten years, so I'm looking forward to the trip.

I went out to dinner at B. Cafe on the UES with Missy and Liz tonight - hadn't seen Liz since last New Year's. We had a really fantastic time. I miss seeing the girls - that's one of the big things I miss about living in the city.

12/18/06
Gah, completely spaced on asking about the LOA at work. Will have to do that tomorrow.

My "holiday pack" Yankees tickets came today - funny, since the actual season tickets don't come until late March or early April. I guess they want you to have them for the actual holidays in case some of them are gifts. I say bah humbug, they're mine ;-) (tho I'll be looking for companions for a handful of games, if anyone suddenly develops a Derek Jeter fetish)

This warm weather (it was 60 today) doesn't feel at all like the holidays. The last of my presents arrived in the mail today (the ones I'm giving), so that's all finished. And in a mild case of schadenfreude, Seattle, where Peter always brags that it's so mild all year round, is stuck in a massive blackout. I kind of feel bad, but it's funny at the same time. Not a good time to go visit, I guess.

I guess we can hope for a white Purim, instead of a white Christmas. It really looks doubtful that it'll snow this year.

One of the websites I use just started a new password scheme, where you have to pick a validation question and put in an answer. The question was, "When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?" I wrote, "Young." Whatever happened to mother's maiden name and all that?

The Neal Stephenson book is losing interest. I have no idea how I'm going to finish the first volume and get through the other two. I've already put it down several times to read the new Clive Cussler books and a book on baseball and the media (which I'm also really in the middle of and really isn't too engaging).

12/16/06
I'm still full from dinner last night.

The more I think about it, I think I'm going to have my surgery after Spring Training. That way I'm not flying as a post-op patient, and I can enjoy the trip more instead of getting used to having extra body mass. I'm going to talk to HR Monday and figure out the leave of absence papers, and then make the appointment.

Now that the White Sox DVD's have arrived, and my (no, I didn't open it but I know what it is) eagerly awaited holiday gift from Pete and Corrie has arrived, I have to go work my five shifts in a row, so I don't have time off to watch any of them til Wednesday. Bad timing!

later on 12/15/06
Mmm, one four-hour dinner later, and I am stuffed. I had a great time at Tesse's folks down in Princeton - except for the traffic on the way there. Delicious latkes, salmon and chocolate cake, and no traffic on the way home. Perfect.

I bought the 2005 World Series videos from amazon.com, because - believe it or not - I was getting tired of being able to recite along with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan and Jon Miller on the Yankees DVD collection that I have. So now I can re-live the White Sox kicking butt. Especially good since they include the ALDS win over the Red Sox. Always a pleasure to watch the Red Sox lose. Also picked up a DVD set of Yankees World Series videos - the ones they make that recap the season after they win - that goes back to 1943. But I really want to watch those and pay attention to them, instead of just putting on a game and falling asleep somewhere in the sixth inning.

12/15/06
Happy first night of Hanukah. I'm going down to Princeton to have dinner at Tesse's parents'.

Met up last night with Missy (ex-roomie Missy). She has disaster follow her, but I hope that's about to change. She moved from NYC after 9/11 down to New Orleans, only to be struck by Hurricane Katrina. After that mess, she decided to visit a girlfriend in Edinburgh, fell in love at first sight, and is getting married and moving there. She's moving next week, and the wedding is in March. I told her to send pictures.

After exchanging the "what's new with you" bits, it started to wane, and I realized that however little we had in common before, we have less in common now. So we wrapped things up after a drink, and parted ways in Times Square.

I walked over to the Ninth Ave Bistro, which was turned in Marie's Crisis North. It's normally a gay piano bar like MC, but tonight was filled with regulars and people I hadn't seen in years, all there to celebrate Jay's 27th birthday. It was warm and cozy and friendly and everything a birthday gathering should be. I stayed until 1am or so, and then came home and promptly fell into insomnia, tossing and turning (and watching Game 4 of the 2001 World Series) until 5am. Finally fell asleep, and now I can get ready to drive down to Tesse's.

12/14/06
It's not that I have the flu or even any flu-like symptoms, but man did that shot hurt. My right deltoid is still aching and it's been two days.

So I saw the plastic surgeon this morning, who was very nice. They did all kinds of measurements and said, yes, I have excellent muscle tone and am a good candidate for saline implants. I went down my list of questions for him (including the all-important, can I get on an airplane three weeks post-op to go to Florida), and I'm happy with the answers I got. And the cost is less than I was expecting, which means I can probably afford to pay cash instead of putting it on my Visa bill. So I have to look at my calendar, and call to schedule an appointment, and then get the paperwork together for a leave of absence from work. Will call tomorrow.

I'm going to see ex-roomie Missy tonight at O'Lunney's for a drink and to catch up, and then going to meet Jay, who's in town for his birthday. Too exciting!

12/13/06
I got my flu shot yesterday, let's hope that it doesn't bring on the actual flu.

High Fidelity is closing this weekend. I feel bad for Will, but honestly, I didn't enjoy the show at all.

12/12/06
Fantastic, I was able to pay the season ticket invoice online. Now I just need to go pay Visa.

12/11/06
There are very few things that will get me up early on a work day, but the Yankees Holiday Ticket Pack going on sale is one of them. I managed to snag two tickets (for which online payments were available, how about that) to a six-pack, which includes two Boston games. One of the games is the one Missy and I had tix to already, so I'm giving her those and I think I can manage to find someone to go with me. The other Boston game is a Thursday afternoon in August. Hey, I don't work on Thursdays, that's perfect!

12/9/06
Of course, having received the invoice would be so much sweeter if mlb.com were ready to accept online payments - there's a message saying that they can't accept them right now. No more info. That's kind of annoying. Well, I have until January 5th to pay for them.

Yankees.com is so overloaded - with people trying to pay their invoices, I'll bet - that I can't connect to it right now. I'll try later from work, where we have the fast connection.

I found out I can take a leave of absence from work, for the surgery (and if I time it right, vacation ;-). I collected all of the paperwork, and even got the answer I needed on the insurance. You just pay the amount that would normally be taken out from each check - it's not like they cut your insurance if you're on a LOA. That was my big worry, what with my insurance issues this year. So now I just have to do the scheduling. I'm seeing the surgeon on this coming Thursday morning, so I'll have a better idea of when we can do it, the recovery time - and above all, the cost. I figure whatever it is, I have a good chunk in my savings account, and there's nothing on my Visa card (except the Yankees tickets) at all. And the only other thing I have coming up to pay for is vacation in March and my Geico bill in January, so it looks like I can come sailing through in a reasonably fiscally responsible manner.

If blowing one's money on elective surgery can be considered responsible. Which, last time I checked with People magazine, it can.

12/8/06
Oh yay, Andy Pettitte back with the Yankees! And my invoice for this year's season tickets came today in my email. I'm going to get the same plan I had last year - the Friday night home games - so if anyone wants to go to a game, let me know.

Happy birthday Tesse, and happy belated birthday Michael.

12/7/06
I know I've posted this quote before, but I just love it:

"People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." -- Rogers Hornsby
Countdown to March trip: three months and five days (or six, depends on if I can get tix to the Red Sox/Yankees game, and that'll determine what day I fly down). Can't wait for the sun. Can't wait to wear shorts and eat hot dogs and sit in the ballpark and cheer. Can't wait to meet other stir crazy New Yorkers in Florida and get out of the cold, snowy North for a week. Can't wait to ignore local fans who are trying to do the wave. Oh, March can't come soon enough.

In non-baseball news, saw the musical adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, my second-favorite holiday movie. It was - barring the school groups in the audience - highly enjoyable. Better than the dreck that is Mary Poppins across the street.

later on 12/6/06
Oh, on the list of "things I'm sorry I'll have to miss" - Mano, of "Steve, you have to see Catherine's tattoo" fame - is doing Sunday in LA. Love the show, he'll be fantastic, but I am not going to LA to see it.

I will, however, take advantage of the new JetBlue fares to Chicago to try and finally get to Wrigley Field this year. And I will go to a game at Fenway, even tho it means I have to watch the (retch) Red Sox in order to go to a game there.

12/6/06
Baby! Benjamin Cedric. And he's adorable, according to the photos Jason already has online.

You know how some people say it's all bunk that people act strangely during a full moon? Having worked overnight last night during a full moon, I can say that the bunk is bunk. We have someone there who did everything short of turn into a werewolf (and I would not be surprised it if happened tonight). I've never been so happy/amused to see the day shift walk in, if only for the pleasure of reading aloud my three pages of nurses' notes to an appreciative audience.

Not one, but TWO Clive Cussler books out this week (well, one came out in Oct, but I missed it somehow). And one is a Dirk Pitt book! I'm set for reading now.

12/5/06
My friend Paula's having her baby! Her hubby Jason reports that she's in labor. Too exciting!

later on 12/4/06
Yes, I am already planning my March trip. I looked at my Spring Training book and looked online, and realized that the Braves (Tanyon!), Astros (Roger? Andy?) and Yankees are all within an hour of each other - the Braves and Astros are right next to each other. And the Red Sox have a game against the Yankees that week, but that will probably sell out. So if I plan it right, I could see something like seven games in four days and only need three vacation days from work to do it in. That's a bit much, but if I can catch four or five, I'd be happy (and tan).

Now the big question is do I do the new boob surgery before or after my vacation. I have to ask at work about the medical leave/disability thing, because it should apply even tho it's elective surgery. If there's lots of paperwork involved tho, I may try to do it with just sick days and vacation days. In that case, I should wait until I have more sick time accrued, so it would be after my vacation. Eh, we'll see.

Oh I'm so excited to have things to plan for.

Especially since it's freezing here and Florida is warm.

Oh - and get this - my friend Jon in Florida tells me there's a shuttle launch scheduled for the Friday of that week in March. I SO want to go to Kennedy Space Center (I always want to say "space station" but that's not right). But I have to come home on Friday so I don't screw up my vacation time, so unless it's in the morning, I couldn't do it. They don't have the time posted yet. It's looking likely that I'll fly in and out of Orlando instead of Tampa, especially if Friday is the shuttle launch (or failing that, an Astros game). It's cheaper too, to fly from LaGuardia to Orlando than it is to fly from Newark to Tampa for those dates, anyway.

12/4/06
No! The worst news ever! Tanyon is going to the Atlanta Braves. I'm so bummed. You'll always be a Yankee to me, Tanyon. There's no interleague play against the Braves, but Atlanta does play the Mets, I'll go to some of those games - not a bad idea, since I do kind of like both teams (was just in Atlanta, remember?). The Yankees released their 2007 schedule, so now I know when my season tix games will be for.

The Mets released theirs, too, and they play the Braves nine times at home.

Oh, and the Yankees Spring Training schedule is out - so I can start to plan my trip. And one of them in the likely week that I'll go is against the Braves! I'll pack my John Smoltz Braves t-shirt and my Tanyon Sturtze Yankees jersey. Will probably get kicked out of Legends Field. I want to find out what other games are going on that week, so I can go and see some other Spring Training fields (which I hear are all crappy compared to Legends Field, but so what). Not all of the teams have released their schedules yet.

Now can we please get rid of Carl Pavano?

12/2/06
Happy bithday, Eve!

12/1/06
Nothing like waking up to an email from your ex that he's remarried and has a year old baby boy. Now that was a shock. But speaking of babies, Eve is having a holiday shindig and I can't wait to see the little monsters. I have adorable presents for the cuties.

I forgot that this year, Christmas and New Year's Day are both on Mondays - so I'm off on New Year's Day, which is my holiday from work (even tho, grumble grumble, it's already my day off), and I didn't realize that New Year's Eve is a Sunday that I have to work on. So I can't go out anyway, since I don't get off work until 11.30pm, and who wants to drive anywhere at midnight on NYE. Maybe I can get that switched so I can have off on the eve and work on the day. I'll have to find out.

I can't believe it's December already! It's supposed to turn cold and rainy overnight tonight, time to plug in the electric blanket in the car (which I LOVE) and find some warm socks.

Oh, this perfume - it's called Bright Crystal by Versace - smells fantastic!

I'm finally getting around to reading the Baroque Cycle novels by Neal Stephenson. I go back and forth on his books. I loved The Diamond Age, but Snow Crash didn't do anything for me. I bought this trilogy of books when it came out, and so far I'm liking it. Oh, and Cryptonomicon was excellent, too, so I guess I like more than I dislike of his books.

-catherine

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