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11/29/08
I had the oddest dream last night. I was back in college, but it was either summer, or somewhere warm, because I was wearing my bathing suit, and was putting sunscreen on. I was carrying a big stack of books, and couldn't remember which classes I had on that particular day (this happened all the time in real life, too). I made it to the first class alright, and when I got back to the room I was staying in (which was on the second floor above some kind of memorabilia shop, and it was dusty), my roommate was sleeping. So I went into the other room, and there was Al Leiter. We decided to go swimming. So Al and I walked down the street to the student center, where there was a pool. Apparently a very deep one, since we wound up in the ocean, scuba diving. When we were finished, I looked at my calendar and saw that my night class was cancelled.

I do love me some Al Leiter, no matter when I see him - TV or dream.

later on 11/28/08
Things to do still with the new laptop, that will not get done until I have a day off:

Now I really need to get cracking with paying off the Visa bill. It's a good thing that all of my vacation plans are paid for (except for the car rentals and - of course - the tickets to various events).

And finding a home for my soon-to-be-old TV (not a flat screen, but about 20 inches on the diagonal (it's not one of those 16:9 ratio TV's, either), has a built-in DVD player).

Best part of the new laptop? I'm lying in bed as I type this! I do love it. I already put my "Red Sox logo with the red circle and line through it" sticker on it, so everyone will know it belongs to me.

11/28/08
So I was in the middle of typing up a big piece about the delicious Thanksgiving dinner we had at Aunt Barbara's, when my computer crashed completely. I couldn't get it to power up at all. Crap.

And of course, on the day before Black Friday - a shopping day to dread. So after I worked 11-7 last night, I came home and napped, and then took it to Best Buy to have the Geek Squad take a look at it. Turns out the processor was fried, not the fan or the power supply like I thought. Rather than pay a fortune to have it fixed, I decided to just buy a new computer.

So I have a new laptop. Am in the middle of re-installing everything (which is no fun at all). And I can safely say that I hate Windows Vista. I much prefer XP. And it's taking some getting used to with the laptop keyboard and trackpad. But I have iTunes up and running (thanks to my friend Peter, who schlepped out to NJ to help me set it up), and Eudora (because I will not use a Microsoft mail product), UltraEdit, WSFTP etc. The digital camera works, I still need to set up the Palm Pilot (tho I probably don't, since all I keep in it are addresses, and I can probably get cracking and transfer those to the iPod one of these days) and the printer. And I have to figure out if I can copy DVD's using just the one drive on the laptop or if I need to hook up the external drive.

The big pain in the neck was having the Geek Squad folks take out my old hard drive and copy all of the files I wanted (iTunes stuff, web site backup) to an external flash drive, and then copying it back to the new laptop. That took several hours. And it was also a pain to set up Eudora, because Vista doesn't make it easy to find the "stored email" folders, to import the old emails into. And all of my saved emails from the past 10-11 years are in Eudora's format. Even tho Eudora told me where the folders should be, I just could not find them. I finally managed to import the files manually, but I have to figure out how to export and/or backup my email from now on. I'm sure there's a way, I just want to get everything else set up first. I've already got it mostly customized the way I want it - got the Start Menu back to the "classic" look, and Peter figured out the desktop shortcuts for me.

Anyway.

Mom and I also picked out my holiday present - a flat screen 32" TV to replace the clunky big TV in my room. It's staying in its box until the end of December, says Mom. Since we were already out, we stopped by the arts and crafts store for bows (for the porch), and we also picked up a bunch of new DVD's, including I Am Legend, which I liked for the bits where NYC was deserted. And of course, all of the Will Smith bits, which was most of the movie. I just remember not liking the end too much, the DVD comes with an unrated alternate ending, that'll be cool to see.

So, happy belated Thanksgiving, and stay away from the stores on Black Friday.

11/26/08
Just as I'm saying, "I never win anything," I got picked for the second round of World Baseball Classic tickets pre-sale. Unfortunately - as I mentioned somewhere earlier - altho the games are in San Diego and LA, the dates are when I'll be on vacation (or right when I get back, so I can't fly back across the country). Alas. But now I have to stop saying that I never get picked for anything. I wonder how expensive these tickets are going to be.

One of these days, I'll roadtrip to San Diego - the ballpark looks gorgeous. Plus, the weather is always beautiful there.

I hate the novocaine needle. I really do. But as my dentist said, "Do you really want me to do it without the novocaine?" Good point. So anyway, my entire lower jaw is numb - he did a filling on each side - so I can't eat or drink (or talk) for a few hours. Not much fun, especially since I didn't eat lunch before I went. I do like my dentist, especially the way he uses terms that make no sense to me: "hand me that distal ploofle," and "number 21, flurfle-sisal." It's another world.

My computer's monitor smells like burnt plastic. It's coming from somewhere, but I can't figure out where. I guess I'll have to wait until it bursts into flames.

The new Dirk Pitt novel arrived today. I'm trying to get through it (not a challenging task in itself), but my jaw is really sore, and I can't concentrate.

2008 is the 25th anniversary of A Christmas Story - the best movie ever. The kid who plays Ralphie looks like my brother Peter did when he was a kid (or vice versa). They're actually having a convention at the house in Cleveland this weekend! Sadly, when my friend Kevin roadtripped to Cleveland and Chicago a few years ago, we did not stop by the house.

11/25/08
The Yankees Spring Training Schedule. Share and enjoy.

And I thoroughly enjoyed Zeljko Ivanek in this week's House. He was brilliant in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial and in the John Adams miniseries, and this was no different. Terrific performance.

Tomorrow I have to go to the dentist to get some fillings replaced. I know, the day before Thanksgiving. It had better not hurt - I've got to be able to chew the turkey!

11/24/08
Er, yeah, typing after two glasses of wine completely guaranteed that I had to re-edit last night's entry. Now it's more coherent.

My updated Guide to Spring Training arrived in the mail (from the folks who run Spring Training Online), so I'm reading it to get ready for March. And the Derek Jeter photo came, too - it's all framed now and I just need to find space on the wall for it.

11/23/08
I had a fantastic time at the White Christmas opening night. I played tag with my friend Paul (who's in the orchestra) before the show - I stopped at the box office to pick up my ticket, but he hadn't dropped it off yet. So I went by the stage door, but he wasn't there yet. Walked around the block, went upstairs to the lobby to kill time, and when I came back to the stage door, the doorman said I had just missed him, but Paul left a message that he just dropped off the ticket. So I managed to pick it up with no problem.

The show itself was cute, and enjoyable. I knew more of the songs than I thought I would. And - as an aside - thank god for Irving Berlin, who assured us of the seventh inning stretch tradition of "God Bless America" for ages to come.

Anyway, the show was fun, I was about ten rows behind Joan Rivers, who really does look like she's made of plastic or wax. It's frightening to see her up close.

After the show, I met up with Paul to go to the party, which was upstairs in the Marriott. I hadn't been up past the 8th floor since it was all renovated, and I have to say, they did a beautiful job with it. The hotel is gorgeous. Good food and good wine. We had a super time.

And there was no traffic at all on the way home, which is why I'm home before midnight.

11/21/08
Despite being done with my holiday shopping, I went out and did even more today. Hit the arts and crafts store for, uh, arts and crafts stuff; Target for little gifts, long underwear and a new pedometer; the pet store for a new cat bed (so I can throw out the blanket they've been curling up on in front of the radiator) and some cat ornaments for the "cat ornament" tree; and the mall, where I found a new pocketbook, some Yankees ornaments, white fuzzy fake snow stuff for under the holiday village buildings, Bath and Body Works stuff, and some Gertrude Hawk chocolates (sugar free).

I was looking for the PB Loco store, which sells all kinds of "gourmet" flavored peanut butter, but the store was gone. According to the website, there's a store in Scottsdale, AZ, tho. I might have to hit that when I'm there. The stuff is awesome. If you like peanut butter, check it out. Sun-dried tomato PB? Banana PB? And the newest one: PB with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Mmm. I'm all over it. Good for dipping pretzels in, too.

Half of the holiday decorations are up now, the rest are in piles on the table, the floor, and the stairs. It'll get there.

Oh and the guy at Steiner Sports met me on my price for the Derek Jeter signed "dive into the stands" photo, so I bought a frame for that. Now I just have to find wall space!

I had no idea this website existed!

It cost just over $20.00 to fill up my gas tank today. It's a miracle - $1.79 a gallon.

11/20/08
In the "fiscally conservative" vein (something I haven't been near lately), I shifted most of my ING money into a 12-month CD there, with 4% interest. The current savings account has 2.75% interest, so this will give a little better rate of return. And I still can make deposits into my savings acct there, and have it accessible for emergencies.

And my entire paycheck (except what I'll need for gas and stuff) went to Visa this week. Whew.

Mike Mussina announced his retirement today. Even tho I kind of saw it coming, I was really hoping he would play another few years to get to 300 wins. Maybe he'll un-retire. It's been done before.

11/19/08
Spoils of war from the Macy's one-day sale: beautiful shirt (it sparkles) that will probably be worn to White Christmas instead of the red dress, because it's COLD outside; beautiful dress that will either come to Vegas or be worn to Missy's wedding (or both!); necklace and earrings to match; new facecloths for the bathroom; some holiday gifts (for other people, not just for me); two new long sleeved shirts to wear under scrubs; a brown and white knit sweater that will go great with jeans. I did not find: brown knee-high boots to replace mine that are falling apart (they didn't have them in my size); a pocketbook (Tesse said messenger bags are tacky, but hey, I've used mine for 15 years now); smudge-proof mascara (I don't think it exists).

Then I went to BJ's to stock up on Diet Coke, yogurt, apple juice and Legal Seafood's frozen New England Clam Chowder (yum), and to Stop 'n' Shop to use my turkey voucher from work ($13 off any Butterball turkey, my total bill was 14 cents).

Also picked up WALL-E on DVD. I know what I'm watching tonight. I called out from work because my headache kept me up all night and I got no sleep.

The Visa bill will be staggering. Good thing I signed up for some overtime shifts in December.

11/18/08
I nearly had a breakdown when I couldn't find my flannel sheets in the linen closet. Fortunately, the mental health episode was averted when I found them in the attic (what they were doing there, I have no idea). Now I am happy. The cats will be happy, since Sheeba always has a look on her face that seems to say, "This is OUR comforter" whenever she leaps onto the bed, and Mimi likes to burrow under the sheets. Pippin just lazes around and sheds on everything.

If Spring Training tix going on sale is a harbinger of Spring, then the flannel sheets are a harbinger of Winter. Must get through three months of cold (and possible snow) before I can enjoy the warmth of vacation.

I have such a headache from the stuff they used to clean the floors at work. Ow.

11/17/08
Good thing my vacation time request for the end of March was approved. I think I will be on vacation in March more than I will actually be at work! Gotta think of other things to do in Florida for this trip. I've done the Kennedy Space Center and SeaWorld, and I am just not a Disney person. Tho Animal Kingdom might be bearable.

I bought my first Spring Training ticket, since Oakland's went on sale today. Dodgers vs. A's, March 16th. I'm waiting (patiently, can't you tell?) for the rest of the teams to put theirs on sale. Also still waiting for the Yankees to call about the 2009 season tix, but I saw somewhere online that they may not be contacting partial plan ticket holders until early 2009. I have no patience!

It's supposed to snow (flurry) tonight or tomorrow.

later on 11/16/08
Yes, Tampa. All booked for the last weekend in March (plus the Monday and Tuesday that I'll be taking off as vacation days).

Coworker Julia broke a mirror at home, and I saw a black cat at work. I hope that doesn't bode ill will for the rest of the week.

11/16/08
I bought my ticket for the tour of Rent that Anthony and Adam will be in, out in Tempe in March. Spring Training tickets don't go on sale until January or so (except for the cutting-edge Oakland Athletics, who start selling their tix tomorrow). I'm looking at hotels and airfares for Tampa, and I think I can pull off a long weekend at the end of March. Just to bake in the sun, you know. And get my Jeter fix.

later (like 3am) on 11/14/08
I rented Casino Royale again. SO much better.

I think the big problem with Quantum of Solace was a lack of shirtless Daniel Craig.

And plot.

OK, must sleep. Working a double tomorrow and then right into my new crazy, six-days-in-a-row at work schedule.

11/14/08
I still have no idea what a Quantum of Solace is. But it was enjoyable to see Daniel Craig. I liked Casino Royale much better, and want to see that one again. Maybe this one will make more sense on a second viewing, too. I just didn't like it for some reason.

But I loved that the opening scene seemed to be set on the FDR during rush hour traffic.

I went by the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle before the movie to do some browsing (and OK, shopping). They made it snow inside! It was a bit freaky to walk in the building and have white stuff falling from the sky, but it was also very cool.

Lots of previews at the movie (which was sold out, by the way, the best way to see any movie at the Ziegfeld) - Defiance, also starring Daniel Craig; Angels and Demons; and a new one with Will Smith that looks good. They also had a preview for some stupid looking movie with Vin Diesel, and when it was over, a bunch of people clapped. As I turned to my friend Mark to say, "That's our crowd alright," the guy behind us said - at the exact same time - "Well, that's our demographic." Too funny.

11/12/08
How do the cats know when it's V-E-T time? That's the mystery question of the day. The other question of the day was "how much does Pippin weigh?" and the answer is "17 pounds." Fatso.

Al Leiter defects to the MLB Network. I can't wait. I almost wish I wasn't going out of town the first week of January, because I would sit in front of the TV for days. Still have to find out what channel it's going to be on.

The price of gas? $1.99. I'm going to fill up the tank - and the backseat - tomorrow.

later on 11/11/08
I told the hygienist that if I fell asleep during the cleaning, it wasn't her fault. I didn't - but she's very good, and she told me that when she was a student, she did have a woman who fell asleep.

So I have been x-rayed, poked, prodded, scraped and brushed. I'm going back the day before Thanksgiving to have some old fillings - ones I've had since I was a kid - fixed. And then back again in six months for another cleaning. My insurance does cover it as "out of network" and I am just happy to be seeing my own dentist, who knows what he's doing.

I still have to call the oral surgeon about the implant. The dentist is sending over a copy of the panoramic x-ray that they took.

The World Baseball Classic ticket pre-sale info (because I was selected to buy tix early) came in my email today. Even tho I can't go, I took a look in case I wanted to get tix and re-sell them. Not a chance - the cheapest tix for Toronto start at $60 and go up to $1000. For Puerto Rico, tix start at $84 and go to $624. That is outrageous. I will save the money and go see the Trenton Thunder more often.

11/11/08
In retrospect, I'm glad I made my dentist appt for 9am, because I ended up working a double last night, and now I'm awake enough to go. If I had just worked 3-11, I would undoubtedly have slept right through the appt. But it's 8.15am now, so I can go to the dentist and then go to sleep.

In exchange for working last night, I got off today (there was an extra nurse on the schedule), and tomorrow is my regular day off this week, so I don't have to go back to work until Thursday at 3pm. Sweet.

11/9/08
Oh, always nice to come home from AC with slightly more money than I went with!

11/7/08
I love the onDemand thing, you don't have to leave the house to rent a movie. Watched Cobb, which starred Roger Clemens as "opposing pitcher". Real stretch. It was actually a really good movie about a complete asshole.

The big fat paycheck paid my rent, my entire Visa bill, put me over $30K in the ING account, and will subsidize the Atlantic City trip tomorrow. Fantastic. I will not see its (it's?) like again.

The Yankees are currently assigning the full season plan tickets for season ticket holders. Hurry up and get down to Plan F! I want my invoice!

One of the TV channels was showing the movie of Hair, which I had never seen, so I stayed up to watch it. I was absolutely stunned by the ending. And I am in love with John Savage (circa 1979). So good to see Annie Golden, who looks the same, too. Twyla Tharp's choreography? Fantastic.

My friend Paul, who's a musician, is playing in White Christmas this year. He asked if I want to go to the opening (and par-tay) on the 23rd. It's a day I happen to be off from work (yay!) so of course I said yes. I haven't been to a Broadway opening in ages. I'm going to bring the dress I'm planning to wear with me to AC tomorrow, so I can give it a test run (that is, can I wear it comfortably for longer than ten minutes). It's very cleavage-y, maybe we will get more free drinks than usual. Or free food or something.

11/6/08
The opera was fantastic. I liked it for many of the same reasons I liked Copenhagen - physics and morality. Plus, for being a "modern" opera, it had some beautiful orchestral parts. And the ending was just stunning. I highly recommend going to see it at the Met or watching it when they broadcast it on Channel 13.

Working a double shift today/tonight, and then I am off for my first scheduled weekend off in two years. I cannot wait.

11/5/08
I was picked for the ticket pre-sale for Round 1 of the World Baseball Classic (with convenient games in Toronto, Mexico and Puerto Rico, less-convenient ones in Japan). But the games are on the weekend before I go to Vegas, so I couldn't make a roadtrip. Maybe I'll try to get tix anyway, and sell them on StubHub. I signed up for Round 2 pre-sale, even tho I'll actually be in Vegas when those games are being played, so I couldn't go to those games, either. And the final round is in LA (convenient! yes!), but it's on the weekend after my vacation, so I can't take off from work and jet off. I'll watch it on TV.

Going to the Met tonight, to see Doctor Atomic, an opera based on Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb. It's the only "new" production at the Met this season that I wanted to go to, and it got excellent reviews.

While still delighted about the presidential election, I am so disappointed in the voters who chose to ban gay marriage, gay adoption etc. While I'm not gay or married, I have plenty of friends who are one or the other (or both), and this is just a huge step backwards. It's legalized discrimination.

And now that Election Day is over, we can go back to seeing House on next Tuesday.

later on 11/4/08
OBAMA!!!

We had CNN on all day at work in the dayroom, and stayed late to hear the concession speech by McCain (yay!) and the acceptance speech by Obama (YAY!). It was a glorious, historic day.

11/4/08
Always sad when there's no line at the polling place. But my friends in the city said there lines up to two hours long, and that's either a) encouraging because lots of people are voting or b) sad because that means there's a mechanical screwup somewhere that's holding up the line. In any case, get out and vote. In the city, they're giving out coupons for free ice cream, sandwiches and sex toys once you've voted. Here, you get a sense of civic pride and the hope that the Republicans will be out of office real quick now.

I would kind of love to curl up on the couch with a bag of popcorn and watch CNN's unrelenting election coverage, but instead, I will be working and catching glimpses on TV. It's kind of pointless to watch now, however, since the result at the end is what we care about.

11/3/08
Don't forget to vote tomorrow. Tho I still don't see the point of the general election, when it's the electoral college that casts the "electoral ballots," and lord knows they're all cast before the general votes are still in.

But since your vote counts (really), go out and vote.

Just don't talk to me again if you vote for McCain/Palin.

In preparation for the new James Bond movie, I rented Casino Royale from the iO onDemand service. Oh, Daniel Craig! In a tux! Or in nothing at all. I swooned all the way through it. They said in the Times that the new movie is sort of a sequel to this one, so I'm looking forward to seeing it next week. I hardly ever go to the movies, but I'll definitely be there.

11/1/08
The costume worked brilliantly, and the old folks loved it. I ended up wearing it for the entire shift, since I was the supervisor (and therefore was doing tons of paperwork as opposed to pushing the med cart down the hall).

Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight. Enjoy that extra hour of sleeping, drinking, or like me, watching little old ladies sleep.

I can't believe Studs Terkel died. If you haven't read any of his books, run - don't walk - to buy them. He will truly be missed.

-catherine

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