Auld Lang Syne Superlatives

The words of Much Ado About Nothing are so familiar to me.  I watched the 1993 version so many times.  It was the reason I wanted to travel to Italy.  In 2012 Joss Whedon remade it, set in modern day LA and it’s equally fantastic.  The words are the same – the magic is still there.

This is how I am ringing in the New Year.  I’m sitting on my living room floor, surrounded by words and pictures clipped from magazines or printed out.  These are making their way onto the 2015 Vision Board – a favorite annual tradition.  I have the obligatory champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice and jewel-like pomegranate seeds flit around the bubbles of the glass.  Familiar chorus of Shakespeare, favorite drink, fire in the fireplace and Vision Board scraps.  And a feeling of contentment and determination that is strongest on this night.

2015.  A year yet to be defined.  Romantic and mysterious new beginnings!  And all that jazz.

Recapping 2014 is unnecessary.  It’s all here in this silly blog, right?  Let’s take a different approach.

Favorite moment of 2014: The Tinkerbell and Princess 10K/half marathon weekends.  (Recaps here and here)  They were Life To Do List items.  The Tink one led me to one of the best races I’ve run.  The Princess one brought me a super fun vacation with my best friend.

Claire begged and begged for pictures with princesses.  Only, replace Claire with me.

Claire begged and begged for pictures with princesses. Only, replace Claire with me.

The Tink runs were such a great experience  all around.  So happy that was my first runDisney event.

The Tink runs were such a great experience all around. So happy that was my first runDisney event.

Favorite new person of 2014: A tough one since I met so many new friends this year – but hands down the winner is my niece Avery!  I love this tiny person and am so happy to be a part of her life as godmother.

wpid-414.jpeg

Favorite new place I visited: Los Angeles.  I am a person who loves movies and old Hollywood and it is about time I got out that way.  I only spent a very brief time exploring during the time I was out there for the Tinkerbell runs, but I can cross it off as done.

Favorite new place in town: Cray Eatery and Drinkery.  It’s a bar that does a lot of tasty infusions (cranberry gin and tonic was a holiday favorite) and delicious sliders.

Favorite new song: I Wanna Get Better by the Bleachers.  It’s fun to run to. It feels empowering to shout/sing it.

Favorite new skill learned in 2014:  Fire building. Duh.  I can safely say I had never built a fire before this year.  And right now I am staring at a really beautiful and well burning blaze.  One that will not need tending or poking for a while.  It’s so great.

Most frequented location in 2014: Lowe’s.  I’m not proud of that – mostly because sometimes it meant I was there 3 times a day while working on the kitchen and not realizing I needed something.  Thank goodness for living one mile from the place.

Best purchase of 2014: My house.  I have a way of settling in emotionally with places I live.  Loved the last house I shared with Ex Hubs, was practically in a relationship with the apartment above the coffee shop I lived in right before moving to Columbus, and now here.  This is my house.  I knew it for sure just about five weeks ago when some friends came over for dinner, two people who were here for the first time.  Kevin walked in and said, “What a cozy place.”  That is my favorite house compliment.  I want my home to be warm and comfortable to me and to visitors.

myhouse

Most surprising purchase of 2014: Oh man, all the random tools I’ve bought that come with home ownership. Electric tree trimmer and tile saw and such.

And let’s flip the story a little – what am I looking forward to in 2015 right now?

– Two scheduled trips to Las Vegas, both for work – but Vegas is always a good idea and I have some old casino friends I can visit and catch up with.

– Harry Potter murder mystery weekend.  Yup.  That’s a thing and I’m going.  So excited to see this fun castle/lodge south of Columbus and spend a weekend having some silly make believe good times.  In general I want to play more in 2015.

– The big vacation.  I’m currently narrowing down options for a longer vacation later in the year.  The options are Madrid, St. Lucia or Costa Rica.  I had coffee with my friend Lisa yesterday and she made a good point about Costa Rica being a spot that I might want a buddy to take pics of me while I’m ziplining through a rain forest or to know I’ll like at least one person if I’m on a group tour.  They were good points.  Apartment for a week looking out over Madrid or this wellness/health resort in St. Lucia – what to do, what to do.

– Downton Abbey returning!  What happened to Edith’s man?!  Can Anna and John Bates just have a normal life for a while?  Who will Lady Mary choose to woo her?  Man, I love some Downton.

– Group running!  I joined a running group that starts on Jan 10.  I look forward to the schedule and accountability and coaching that this running group offers.

– Picking up knitting again.  It’s a hobby I like and I stopped doing it.  Look for it to make a glorious return in 2015.

– Slowing down.  I’m looking forward to being more present this year.  Reading the books that have backed up on my Kindle, getting more sleep, and thinking about how the decisions I make affect not only present me, but future me.  Every decision matters.

Happy New Year, lovelies.  Start strong.

And with that, I need a champagne refill.

Vision 2015

I like Vision boards.  My 2014 board had four themes: get more involved in ACMP, buy a house, get my financial crap together, and health – specifically run a 10K in under 60 minutes.

Three out of four isn’t bad, right?

Claire and I see my 2014 very differently.  I see it as a giant mood swing.  Sooo many great things happened.  Sooo many stressful things happened.  And I can’t decide which feeling is winning out.  At the end of this year I find myself with the right job, super friends, a cozy home, some new bucket list items checked off, a committee position with ACMP…  Claire tends to focus on those things.  I focus on that fourth thing.  Friends – I cannot run the 10K in under 60 minutes.  I’m pretty sure I can’t run a 10K at all.  I’m pretty sure I can’t run a 5K.  I won’t get into the food = love issues I worked through this year – but let’s at least acknowledge them, yeah?  I’ve been unhealthy in my life before, and it doesn’t take the Mosby boys to find the pattern.

The thing that came to me as I watched the credits of Wild last week is that I spent 2014 making over my external environment.  I joined as a full time associate at the end of December last year, so I spent this year learning a new company and job and culture, looked for and bought a house, renovated a kitchen, solidified the friends and social networks and also adjusted to doing things alone…  While there will certainly be stressors in this upcoming year, a lot of the stress was caused by major life changes that I don’t have to do in 2015… I don’t have to buy another house, renovate another kitchen, end a significant relationship, or be new at a company this year…

It can be the Year of Penny.

I get to make over the internal environment.  I get to get back to looking and feeling like a good version of me.  The me that makes me happy when I look in a mirror.

A me who looks good in hats.

A me who looks good in hats.

A me that has fun

A me that has fun anywhere she goes

A me who digs her booty in these pants.

A me who digs her booty in these pants.

The me that finishes shit.

The me that finishes shit.

Me that reads and is interesting

Me that reads and is interesting

Me with the good long super hair

Me with the good long super hair

The me who keeps long distance friends feel special and thought of.

The me who keeps long distance friends feeling special and thought of.

I want to be the me who had a reason to get this dressed up.

I want to be the me who had a reason to get this dressed up.

The me who makes good food choices.

The me who makes good food choices.

The me who can run this distance in that time.

The me who can run this distance in that time.

I just want to look and feel like me again.  I'm pretty cool.

I just want to look and feel like me again. I’m pretty cool.

So that’s that.  It’s not original or that interesting.  But as kids are counted down the days to Christmas day, I am counting down the days to New Years Day.  I know there’s nothing magical about that day.  I know I could start today.  As I said above, I like grand statements.  This year I only have one thing going on the Vision Board – me.

The Imitation Game

All day I’ve been trying to get motivated.  I have this lovely Friday off and I managed to:

– get one load of laundry done

– make pancakes for breakfast

– take a nap

– watch the first 10 minutes of the show “Call the Midwives” before deciding I will most likely strongly dislike that show

– reheat some leftovers

It’s one of those days that make you really hope you don’t die in your sleep so you that wasn’t your last day on earth.

I planned to see The Imitation Game today.  Thought I’d see one movie each day this four day weekend.  (I’m thinking Foxcatcher or Big Eyes tomorrow and Into the Woods on Sunday).  I still hadn’t gotten out of yoga pants and pigtails so by the time 6:30 rolled around and it was now or never to make it to the 7:15 show I leapt off the coach.  I WILL leave the house today!  I added a cable knit cardigan, a pink headband scarf, threw on my uggs and grabbed this green fleece cape I have that may or may not be one of the reasons Ex Hubs and I got divorced.  (He wasn’t a fan of it – in his defense – it does make me look like a lesser Muppet.)  I was somewhere between “homeless chic” and “eccentric cat lady cool”.  I’m not sure which one of those is the one to aspire to.  Moving on…

I get a Christmas Ale and popcorn (note that post on being healthier in the new year is forthcoming) and settle in the dark theatre.  Much less crowded than it was Christmas Day.

I really should preface the movie review with this: I didn’t know anything about Alan Turing before a few weeks ago.  Peter and I were waiting in the theatre lobby for Rex and Kevin to show up before Whiplash.  Peter points at the poster and gives me the rundown on Mr. Turing – creates first known computer, saves millions in the war, most famous decoder ever, inspired modern computer age as we know it…and is gay.  Being gay is illegal in England in the 1950s and Mr. Turing chooses chemical castration over jail time, which makes him sick and unable to work, and eventually he kills himself.  I’m riveted by the history we do not know.  I got home later that night and started to google Mr. Turing.  I find out that more than 180 computer labs or science building at universities around the world are now named for him.  That the Queen of England pardoned him only last year – and that he is the only pardon to be granted to someone who was guilty of breaking the law on the books at the time.  Others to be pardoned were later found innocent.  That it’s strongly suggested that the Mac logo is a tribute to Turing – who killed himself by poisoning an apple and taking a bite out of it.  I couldn’t stop reading about him that night.  I think my Western Civ class in high school might have been more interesting with stories like this one.

The movie is very good.  But, that’s because the subject matter is very good and the story is well acted.  I sat in the theatre during the credits feeling very lonely for this man.  He was a hero.  Historians estimate that because of the work directly related to him WW2 was 2 years shorter and 14 million few people died.  This is a hero.  Why did it ever matter who he wanted to sleep with?  These are things I just cannot wrap my mind around.  He killed himself at 41.  What else could he have discovered?  What else would he have created?  And how much harm have we created in the world by condemning differences instead of accepting them.  “I like strawberries and you’re not a good ice skater,” says Turing in the film.  Why are those differences acceptable?  We’re all wired differently – not better or worse – just different.

For the first time all day I am in my house without any other noise.  No background tv or radio as I write this.  No Netflix streaming in a different window.  I just really want to sit with how this movie made me feel.  How I hope it opens my mind just a bit more to people that think differently than I do.

And lastly, as I was writing the bit about being so sad thinking about what Mr. Turing could have created a line from Arcadia came to me.  Peter (the same who told me the Turing story) and I were recently talking about that play as well.  It’s rare I can find a Stoppard fan who can talk about Arcadia.  I was telling my new pals Jenn and Shawn that I was talking about Arcadia and Jenn proclaims she loves Arcadia.  I’ve found my people.  Back to my point, the line that came to me is this:

“THOMASINA: ….the enemy who burned the great library of Alexandria without so much as a fine for all that is overdue. Oh, Septimus! — can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides — thousands of poems — Aristotle’s own library!….How can we sleep for grief?

SEPTIMUS: By counting our stock. Seven plays from Aeschylus, seven from Sophocles, nineteen from Euripides, my lady! You should no more grieve for the rest than for a buckle lost from your first shoe, or for your lesson book which will be lost when you are old. We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would be at a loss for a corkscrew?”
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Simply meaning – we’ll get there.  Turing wasn’t able to keep at his work yet it continued.  We shed as we pick up.  Sophocles will turn up piece by piece.

“The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.”  I’ve been using this quote for years and always falsely attributing it to FDR.  Turns out it’s Harry Truman.  Well.  We keep learning, we keep getting better.  And there are all of these stories out there that we don’t know.

See The Imitation Game.  If for no other reason than to pay tribute to a long suffering war hero.

Have yourself a merry little…I’m over it

You know that point when you’re on vacation where you think, it’s really nice to be here but I’m ready to go home?  I’m now there with Christmas.  I’m ready for it to be over.  I’m ready to listen to different music, ready to take the tree down, over the Lifetime Christmas movies, and over eating all the cookies.  I’m kind of digging the days off this week and next week, but by then I’ll be ready to get back to my regular work schedule too.

I spent Christmas Eve and Day with the cats.  I was happy to avoid the chaos.  Happy to spend yesterday cooking dirtying nearly every dish I have for the little pancake balls that I insist upon making myself for Christmas morning.

I take the shortcut of buying the Ebelskiver mix from Williams-Sonoma

I take the shortcut of buying the Ebelskiver mix from Williams-Sonoma

The little pancake pan!  A much hinted for Christmas present years ago.

The little pancake pan! A much hinted for Christmas present years ago.

I prepared two different fillings.  Well, I prepared one filling.  I made a quick blueberry compote by simmering fresh blueberries in a bit of water, sugar and cornstarch until thick and bubbly.  I spooned a few blueberries into the center of the pancakes along with a dollop of lemon curd.  In another batch of little pancakes I put a small square of milk chocolate.

Yeah - it makes a lot.  It is easier to make all of them and then freeze some than to try and keep the batter.  The chocolate ones got a little sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Yeah – it makes a lot. It is easier to make all of them and then freeze some than to try and keep the batter. The chocolate ones got a little sprinkle of powdered sugar.

After the carbs and bacon (not pictured) for breakfast I caught some of the Christmas special from Disney, padded about the house for a bit and then went down the street to see Wild. I was not expecting such a crowd at a 2pm movie on Christmas day.  It was the busiest I had ever seen the little theatre.

Wild was very good.  I enjoyed the book a good deal and was curious how it would translate to the screen.  I think it captured the spirit of the book very well.  It’s easy to get a little jealous at a movie like this, or Eat, Pray, Love – and I’m sure others.  These women who just took a break from their lives to figure themselves out in such a grand way.  I do love grand.  I’m not so broken that I think I need a year away in Bali (although wouldn’t turn it down), it’s just kind of an exciting idea.  Then again, two days on my own at Christmas and I’m starting to get a little cabin fever.  The point is simply – wow – what a journey.  I did a little thinking on the way home from the movie and had a good idea.  Maybe good idea is the wrong phrase – I found an answer in the back of my head.  No doubt inspired by all the thinking the character on screen had done – I wanted in on some of the fun.

I was welcomed by the smells of dinner upon coming back home.  I had put short ribs in the slow cooker after the pancake ball feast.  They smelled amazing.  Perhaps one of the best things to ever come out of my kitchen.  I got the recipe here and read through many of the comments and made some of the adjustments several posters recommended.

I shook the short ribs in a mix of flour, salt, pepper and thyme and then browned them in a skillet before adding to a slow cooker.  Once they were all in, I added the onion to the skillet, and added the garlic once the onion was soft.  Then threw that on top of the ribs.  I poured a couple glugs of red wine and a few of beef stock into that skillet and reduced by half.  Then that went into the slow cooker.

Two fresh bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme went in.

Two fresh bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme went in, along with a can of diced tomatoes that I drained some of the juice from. 

Last layer is sliced mushrooms and a palmful of fresh parsley.

Last layer is sliced mushrooms and a palmful of fresh parsley.

8 hours on low later...

8 hours on low later…

I made some creamy polenta to spoon the delicious short ribs over.  Roasted brussel sprouts on the side, and because after my breakfast of all the carbs vegetables were a good idea.

And that’s how Christmas dinner was done.  It was very delicious.

I went back for more carbs this morning.  There are a few ingredients that I needed to use up that are only here because of holiday baking – mostly milk and heavy cream.  I decided pumpkin pancakes were the answer to these ingredients.  I decided instead of topping them with maple syrup, I would top them with cinnamon maple syrup spiked whipped cream.  As one does.

Oh yeah, I toasted some walnuts and added those, too.  Breakfast of champions.

Oh yeah, I toasted some walnuts and added those, too. Breakfast of champions.

Merry getting back to normal, friends.

Do you hear what I hear?

It’s the sound of a quiet Christmas Eve.

My mom decided to host my immediate family for Christmas the Saturday before.  It’s a good plan.  Now that 3 of 4 of the siblings are hitched – there are a lot of in-laws to contend with, plus 2 of the sibs have kids and want their own Christmas mornings.  We always start around 3, have drinks and appetizers, open presents, eat dinner and just hang out.

With last Saturday and Christmas being so many days apart it wasn’t possible to stay home through the actual holiday.  I drove back to STL last Friday and came back to Columbus Monday.  I worked yesterday and this morning.  Now I’m looking at a nice long weekend.

This is my baby niece’s first Christmas.  At 10 months old she’s getting some personality and can put toys and wrapping paper in her mouth.  I only got her one Ohio themed present, I thought that was a win.

Baby Avery still doesn't do a lot of smiling for Aunt Sarah

Baby Avery still doesn’t do a lot of smiling for Aunt Sarah

Or for anyone, really.

Or for anyone, really.

But I love her!

But I love her!

I had every intention of snapping a photo of each person I saw outside of my family Christmas last weekend.  I managed to pack a lot in.  I did not live up to my intentions.

My cousin Anna and I had dinner at Pastaria (delicious!) and then I went to see their renovated kitchen.  It’s gorgeous.

I met Angela for brunch on Sunday and Claire for dinner.  Both ladies make me so incredibly happy.  Non-stop chatter with each one and I thought of so many more things to talk about with them after I left.  Never enough time.  In between I snuck in some time with my grandparents.  I wrapped up the trip with breakfast with Ex Hubs as I made my way out of town.  Again – pictures of none of it.  Not even of the food.  Whoa.

I’m joining a book club of women who like to read young adult fiction in 2015 and I downloaded the first pick of the new year’s audio book for my drive home.  I have about an hour and a half left of the book.  The book is called The Selection and it was described to me as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games and that is a wonderfully apt description.  It’s very much set in the obvious class society post some major world war like the Hunger Games.  I wondered, as I listened, why would happen if we set these things in the present day.  This class system exists today – are we not acknowledging it?  Probably a question I’ll be asking the ladies of book club soon.  My only real complaint about this book so far is that the main character’s name is America, which I think is just unnecessary.

Back to it being Christmas Eve.  I met Rex for lunch at this lovely, warm little bistro tucked off High Street.  This seems like a lovely tradition in the making.  We chatted for over an hour over our lunch and then went our separate ways.  Me, to the grocery store to pick up some items for tomorrow.  I’m going to make Short Ribs and polenta for dinner.  I am planning on making Ebelskivers for breakfast and needed some blueberries for the filling.  The pan was a Christmas gift I not-so-subtly asked for years ago and I only use it once a year.  But when I do, it is very, very good.

I came home and took a hot shower because I had a headache and thought that might make it go away.  And now here I am.  Christmas tree and mantle lit, peppermint and pine candles burning, hot chocolate and Christmas Ale awaiting rotation throughout the afternoon, and me typing away.

(As a Bonus Christmas present from the nice people at Apple – my laptop is super spiffy.  I had to bring it in to get a new logic board and when I picked it up they also replaced the upper panel, replaced the keys, and cleaned the screen in a way I didn’t know was possible for no extra charge – just because they were kind of scruffy.  Thanks, Apple!)

I’ll turn on the movie White Christmas in a little bit.  I may clean out the drawers of my tv stand while I watch.  I’ll start a fire in a little while.  I’ll keep track of Santa with NORAD’s Santa tracker (the back story on how this got started in 1955 is so cute).

Merry Christmas, darlings.

Room for Improvement

I have said that the first casino company I worked for was awesome because they developed me.  They brought me along.  I was given opportunities that were beyond me, and given mentors to learn from.  I had a really good career there.  As I was exposed to other companies, I realized not everyone does this.

Today, I had that kind of day at my current employer.  I was given the opportunity to develop new behaviors, become aware of some skill gaps, and in the long run, be a better leader.

I am considered a fairly successful speaker/trainer/facilitator.  I worked hard at it years ago with my first training job, was open to feedback anyone would give me on my presentations, and have never forgotten the best piece of advice I was given when presenting: Have I earned the right to be in front of that group today?  That means, did I prepare?  Understand their roles?  Understand what their day is like?  Understand what they see and hear and think on the job – where are the constraints, etc.  I know my material, I anticipate questions, and I often do some discretionary research so I can drop in interesting facts or stories.  (Did you know Bill Harrah was the first person to put carpet on the casino floor?  Did you know the creator of the DiSC profile created the lie detector test? Fun facts!)  Recently, I’ve given a string of key note addresses to large internal groups of leaders.  My presence was specifically requested.

That last sentence sounds braggy.  I don’t mean it.  I say it to illustrate the point that I am considered to be a successful speaker.

Guys.  I’m not that great.

For the last two days I’ve been in an intense “speaking with impact” workshop.  The audience was a small group of Sr. Consultants or Business Directors.  There were eight presentations recorded, three 1-1 feedback sessions, 3 in the moment group feedback sessions, seven on the fly presentations, one planned presentation and did I mention the recordings?

I have recorded myself before.  I have had job interviews that were audition based and I recorded myself before those to watch and learn.  At Prosci training this past February we were recorded and did group playback.  I get it.  It’s effective.

New groups of peers do intimdate me.  There were some presentations I felt I could barely string two sentences together because I was also focused on posture, gesture, volume, inflection, what I do with my face, the weird thing my eyes do while I’m talking, how much I’m walking around the front of the room and how much “eye connection” (not eye contact – that is soo last season) I’m making.

I used to think I was good. Then I saw the tapes.  Now, I just think I have a lot of quirky presentation qualities.  But none more obnoxious (to me) than the T-Rex arms.  I gesture a lot with my hands, but I keep my elbows locked at my sides.  All I could see was this scene from the movie Meet the Robinsons:

To this day I still refer to poorly thought out plans as “little arms plans.”

So much of the advice and guidelines the facilitators gave was familiar.  I know that some of it I’ve heard before.  I had this moment where I thought, “I’ve forgotten more about great presenting than some people will ever know!”  They did this bit about handling hostile/resistant meeting participants and that’s my thing!  I was the best at coaching leaders on handling resistance.  I wrote the model for my last casino company!  I can talk about that with some sense of expertise.  Until I got in front of this group.

Ultimately, it’s good news.  I have some very actionable things to work on.  I have increased awareness.

I realize I’ve started to speak like I write.  It doesn’t take long to realize I write run on sentences, use a lot of ands, elipses, and parenthetical references.  Other than the t-rex arms, that is what I’m taking away the most.  Create more, succinct sentences.  Stop adding connector words and phrases.

“You know what the trick is?

No, what?

You gotta make it shorter!”  (One of my most quoted Sports Night bits – just for fun.)

Benny Batch, Hans Gruber and me

I asked my sister what I should do for dinner Friday night and her response was takeout while watching Sherlock Holmes, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought that sounded like as good a suggestion as any. The show is on my watch list and no time like the present. The show is good, but not a binge watching show for me. I watched two episodes Friday night and can see how they might all be a little bit the same. Space is needed between episodes.  This does get me incredibly excited about Benny’s upcoming movie, The Imitation Game.  I think he’s great, I can just see how the plots of Sherlock are going to get redundant.

Saturday I finished wrapping all the presents. I made a Christmas cookie staple, Cyndi’s Amaretto chocolate chip cookie.

Coconut!  Almonds!  Amaretto!

Coconut! Almonds! Amaretto!

Holiday tradition also dictates that I post this picture of the recipe.  Cyndi often comments that she does not like this picture.

Holiday tradition also dictates that I post this picture of the recipe. Cyndi often comments that she does not like this picture.

To even things up this year, I"ll post what I look like while making the cookies Saturday morning.

To even things up this year, I”ll post what I look like while making the cookies Saturday morning. Looking good, Sarah.

Saturday afternoon I had plans to attend a Die Hard trilogy viewing party.  Having never seen any of the Die Hard movies, I knew for sure I had to go watch the first one.  I had every intention of watching the first one and then moving on with my day – leaving the remainder of the trilogy to the Die Hard fans (see what I did there?! No?  Okay…).  Turns out a Die Hard trilogy viewing party can actually be a pretty good time, especially when accompanied by fun people and all the beer in Central Ohio, of which I drank my fair share of.

I can’t tell a lie.  My fair share of all the beer in Central Ohio did not make Die Hard a good movie.  I enjoyed watching, but mostly because young Alan Rickman is kind of hot.  Must find man with husky British accent.  I know this movie is the father of modern action movies.  So many of my favorite pop culture things reference Die Hard.  Both Friends and HIMYM make significant references to it.  I really wanted to feel a connection.  Mostly, I just had a lot of fun watching it.  We moved onto Die Hard 3 (apparently Die Hard 2 is no bueno, and we were not allowed to speak of Live Free or Die Hard at any time, lest you be pelted with candy and verbally assaulted.  All in good fun.).  After the two Die Hards we watched Speed.  At this point, everyone watching has had their fair share of beer and that makes Keanu’s acting amazing.  Speed is really good, guys.

Sunday started as per usual – coffee, newspaper, slight hangover.  (Changes coming in 2015 on that – I promise.)

It continued with something I’ve been saying I wanted to do for a year – find a local theatre group and go see a play.  My pal Jenn sent a link to a small theatre company, the Available Light Theatre, and the show they are doing now called, She Kills Monsters.  The show description said it was about a girl in the early 90’s who was a geek and a gamer.  I like geeky stuff, it sounded fun.  The show was 1000 times better than the description of the show.  I’m so happy we went to see it.  It was touching, it was funny, and it was relevant.  I loved it, loved seeing some live theatre, love a little eager theatre group.  In the spirit of theme days, after the show my group went to the board game bar, KingMakers.  This was my second trip there (the first was a blind date – and while the date was a dud – it made for good first date activity.)  There are board game attendants and they have a library of more than 500 games.  I had no idea how interesting or complex board games could get.  We played one called King of Tokyo last night.  I won both rounds.  Not to brag…. but I did.  I had a good strategy – everyone else wanted their Godzilla monster to attack all the time – I let my empire slowly build and then attacked like mad once I was fortified.  Duh.  Basic King of Tokyo strategy.  Dinner at my favorite taco place in town wrapped up a great night.

I also got my first Christmas present last night!  Jenn and Shawn are doing their part to make me a proud Ohioan:

New necklace!

New necklace!