2012 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I attended the midnight premiere of a movie (The Hunger Games), I watched the Twilight movies (so bad, so very very bad), I ate and enjoyed avocado/guacamole and I watched many many episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My 2012 resolutions were to read more books and worry less. I read more books, but I also re-read a lot of books. What is it about the Mumble Mumble Shades of Grey books that force me to re-read them compulsively? Seriously. It’s like a Merry-Go-Round that I can’t get the eff off of. My 2013 resolutions are to read better books from time to time, take more bubble baths, keep taking my meds, dress better and make it to Indiana at least once.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my coworkers and a colleague on another team at work.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. (I’m writing this on 11/21/12 and I hope this stays true for at least the next 40 days).

5. What countries did you visit?

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 14, 2012, my 10th wedding anniversary.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

No one’s fired me from my most recent side-motion at work so I guess that’s a success. Inexplicable, too!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Ugh, I suck at returning phone calls at work. The number of times I say “I’ll call you right back!” does not equal the number of times I actually call someone back. Not by far.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. A pretty healthy year. Ooh I got LASIK!! YAY.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My beautiful anniversary ring.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gene’s. And Denise’s, for getting out of a crappy work situation and ending up in a very cool work situation (well, I think it’s cool but she may disagree). (Update: she disagrees. Sorry D).

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Someone’s ex-something. Puta estupida. (Same answer since at least 2008)

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I got really excited about my anniversary band

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

“Some Nights” by Fun. I’m always so glad when it comes on the radio, even if I’ve just heard it a few minutes before (I have 6 preset stations in the car, about 1/2 play this song). I even looked up the video on YouTube, which is pretty rare for me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier I think. I honestly can’t tell you how much getting decent rest has improved my well being.

18. Thinner or fatter?

Bitch, please. Fatter. I am one pie away from looking like Honey Boo Boo’s mom.

19. Richer or poorer?
Grumble, grumble.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d traveled more. I want to go to Indiana, I want to go on a vacation, I want to stretch out in a chaise lounge on a beach somewhere and chill out.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I’d spent less time reading garbage, but as of right now one of my plans is to hang out here on the sofa and keep reading Fifty Shades of Mumble Mumble. (edited to say that I have now finished Fifty Shades of Mumble Mumble and now I’m not reading anything pretty much).

22. How will you be spending Christmas? Xmas 2012: at home, just Gene and I and the dogs. Christmas is on a Tuesday this year so, whatever.

23. Did you fall in love in 2012?


24. Any one night stands?

All new bedroom furniture someday, baby!

25. What was your favorite TV program?

Gossip Girl, Community, Revenge

26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one new

27. What was the best book you read?

I read Fifty Shades of Mumble Mumble and the other books in the trilogy, the first two books that are supposed to be “The Next! Fifty! Shades!”, various Gossip Girl books, half of Gone Girl before I got bored and a half dozen Sweet Valley Twin short ebooks. It has not been a great literary year for me. I did, however, have a dream that solved the plot conundrum in the book I’m writing so maybe the best book I’ll read in 2013 will also be the book I’m writing.

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?

That Top 40 radio doesn’t always suck. I have also discovered that I really want to be able to use the iPod to play music in the car again.

29. What did you want and get?

My beautiful anniversary ring.

30. What did you want and not get?

The Louis Vuitton Madeleine PM handbag. If I hadn’t found my anniversary band, this handbag was my second choice. I found a bag a lot like it for about 1% of the LV’s price.

31. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Hunger Games

32. What did you do on your birthday? Took two days (!!!!) off work, saw The Hunger Games, went out for a fancy dinner, ate cake, went to the LASIK place, shopped at the Talbots outlet. Those were some fan-tabulous days off!

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

GETTING PREGNANT. My feelings about getting pregnant have receded over the last two years, but it never, ever goes away. This is the third year I’ve written this.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
“How to look terrible and remain upright” (on the bright side, I have thrown out a number of my random Old Navy tshirts, so maybe things will improve?)

35. What kept you sane?
Pharmacuetically speaking, Viibryd and Ambien. Recreationally speaking, Words With Friends Named Denise, SongPop, Sunday nights and Monday nights, Gossip Girl on Netflix, leaving the building on my lunch hour for some peace and quiet.

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Blah blah blah Henley c. 1991. I would still hit that if given the chance.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’m glad for how the election went but I’m also worried that for all of the discussion about the Twinkie Bankruptcy and how someone’s going to buy the Twinkie formula no one’s mentioning the Hostess Cupcake. Whatever will become of the Hostess Cupcake??? Fix this, Mr. President!!

38. Who did you miss?
I miss the 27 year old I met in 1997.

39. Who was the best new person you met?

The lady at McDonald’s drive through. She is so nice to me.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

Don’t stop taking your medication and mix with wine. But for fuck’s sake don’t drink too much at your office holiday party!

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that* for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?
-Fun “Some Nights”

* Okay, every lyric source I found on the internet has this lyric written this way but I’m still kind of convinced that he sings “Washed my hands of God for this?” which THEN worries me that I have been accidentally been exposed to Stealth Christian Music which is the worst kind of music because THEN I worry that people will be all “Mmm, listening to Christian music are we?”, all smugly like “HA I knew you wouldn’t be an atheist forever!” and THEN I have to be all “Umm, no, 100% atheist 4-eva” and then they’re “Ha ha, the singer said God so YOU just got back door converted!” and THEN I’m all grumble grumble and I hate that.

25 lbs of owie

So, I picked up Scooby briefly the other day. Gene thinks that’s how I hurt my back but I disagree. However, what the hell, he’s probably right. I still love picking up my Scooby-Doo, even if he currently smells like a petting zoo.

(Rhymes totally unintended)

20 years ago

Yes, its time for another serving of Tales of Little LaineyD…
20 years ago, my mom and I went to see Fleetwood Mac perform in Indianapolis. Except for the shoes, I remember every stitch I had on. Before the show we had dinner at the restaurant attached to the venue, where we had the honor of hearing the roadies do the sound check.
I’ve always preferred Christine McVie, the Melanie to Stevie Nicks’s Scarlett O’Hara
(Did you see what I did there? It’s a Fleetwood Mac slash Gone With the Wind casserole, just for you).
(Ok, nevermind, it’s probably just a thing only a huge dweeb like me gets).
The concert was so awesome. I saw them again about 10 years ago and it was good but not as exciting. I think it was me, not them. Something like a concert is the biggest thing when you’re 14 and whacked out on hormones (and a little extra crazy besides).

Hmm. Wait a minute…I saw them in 1990, not 1991. Did I just lose an entire year?? LOL. Maybe my 4 days of pretending to be retired has given me early onset Alzheimers.

More Fox News

Since we don’t have cable at home, I have really enjoyed watching tv at grandpa’s house. We watch a lot of Fox News (he’s old and there’s a law – do you know any 89 year olds who watch MSNBC? No, because there are none) and I have realized that all of the women on the channel have crazy eyes. Possibly due to Botox.

In other related news, grandpa calls Greta Van Susteren his girlfriend. I don’t care what happens but I’ll never call her grandma. I’ve debated telling him she’s a Scientologist but I’m not sure if I’m up for explaining why that’s bad or what that even is.

I will post more later when I make my triumphant return to Cheesecake City. Typing long words on a virtual keyboard is hard…do you know how many tries it took to get Susteren and Scientologist spelled right? A lot.

The good news is that I brought White Dog with me on this trip and Gene fixed Silver Dog. Then again, did he fix it by loading Windows 7 on it? Shudder.

A few words on journalism…

So, I’ve been reading a bit about the News of the World scandal in the UK (that seems to be spreading to the US) and it just occurred to me…after all of this is over, do you think there will be room for ethical, decent journalists? Not liberal, not conservative, but interested in reporting stories properly? The way I was taught journalism back in college.

Yeah, I know, good luck right?


So, when I was a little girl (I would refer to myself as Lil Elaine, but the word “Lil” makes me want to puke), I had a Grandma. Well, of course I had two Grandmas, both of whom were splendid in their own (and very, very, verrrrry different) ways. I have only the best memories of both of them and I miss them both intensely.

But this is a tale of Grandma A, my Dad’s mom. She was…one hell of a lady. The thing is, she passed away when I was in the 6th grade so many of my memories of her are a little fuzzy. Both because they happened when I was no older than 11 years old and because I do have some pictures from that era, which of course makes me wonder if I remember or if I am just thinking of the picture.

When Grandma was alive, she and Grandpa lived in Illinois. A few times she took me to Chicago on the train. I don’t remember a thing about those trips other than the times she took me to lunch (dinner? snack?) at the restaurant on the 95th floor of…well, some big building in Chicago. It was where I was introduced to the greatness that is chocolate mousse (thanks Grandma…).

And as the years passed, I would think of the restaurant and the mousse and the fact that it was located nearly 100 floors above the ground and as always, the memory seemed kind of murky. Did I get it confused with a children’s book? Did I dream this happening? Really, 95 floors up? No way.

And then, one day I was reading the comments to a blog post on another blog and someone referenced the restaurant on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago as a great place to eat. Thanks to Google (which I’d never thought to try before for this), I found the site for what is now called the “Signature Room at the 95th” and for once I had my memories vindicated. The dim recesses of my memory recognized it. It existed, I had eaten there (even though the mousse is MIA on the current menu), and a little piece of my childhood (and with it, Grandma A) came back to me.

20 Years Ago Today…

Twenty years ago today Mom took me to see Fleetwood Mac. I wore (going from head to toe): the worst perm of my life, a black and white checked ‘boyfriend jacket’ (with some sort of tshirt underneath), a hilariously short skirt and….well, I don’t remember the shoes.

Before the concert, we went to dinner at the restaurant attached to Market Square Arena. They had the windows covered so we couldn’t see the stage, but we did get to hear the roadies check all the instruments.

The concert was magical and wonderful and awesome. The iteration of Fleetwood Mac playing that night was the band after Lindsey Buckingham left but before he rejoined, but it was still 1000000% awesome. Music means so much to me. I walked out of there with a t-shirt that I adored so much that I never wore it so it would never get worn out.

Sidebar: Apparently we bought dad a tshirt at that show. He unearthed it sometime early this year and sent it with Mom when she came down for my birthday this year. I should wear that shirt today! (My shirt from that show would never, ever fit me now…might be too snug on Betty the corgle!)

2009 Year in Review

Okay, so I steal this from Erin every year, but this time I’m going to edit it so I don’t look even more moony and pathetic. 2009 was kind of a single issue year for me. You’re welcome.

Edited to add: Apparently I edited out the question about “Anyone close to you give birth?” and I didn’t mean to. Gene’s best friend’s wife had a little girl in 2009. And in 2010, there are two new babies to welcome: my niece and Brandy’s second child (gender still TBD). Fraaaankly, I think there’s a third pregnancy lurking out there (and by “out there”, I do not mean “in here”). Fingers crossed!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Had an HSG, took a paycut, suspended my Fertility Friend membership, attended Gene’s family reunion.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Apparently my 2009 resolutions were the same as my 2008 resolutions: get pregnant, get a new job, read more books, fold laundry and reduce clutter. Hey, the laundry gets folded usually on time, I have been reading a little more, and we have a little less clutter than before. Gene says he wants to reduce clutter in 2010, so it looks like that’s one of our resolutions. For me, my resolutions will be the same as 2008-2009, but I will replace the first one with “finish my novel.”

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Infertility and the Clomid Crazies (I was going to edit this one out, but this is a great band name).

11. What was the best thing you bought?

How about the things I didn’t buy? We paid off one of our credit cards this year, and hopefully the other will be paid off in 2011.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Doctors. Seriously. Between the baby chase and the Boy’s two (maybe more) surgeries, you do not want to know how much we paid to doctors, labs and hospitals.

19. Richer or poorer?

I don’t really know. I feel poorer – with the paycuts, we were down a lot of $ this year, but we have had some financial successes due to budgeting and being smarter financially (both of which were Gene’s idea – I must give him credit for that). We definitely (fortunately) have enough money to pay our bills but not quite enough to live on one salary.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d pressed for escalating the infertility issue sooner in 2009. I sincerely believe that if I’d done something other than twiddle my thumbs in the first half of the year… ugh, well, anyway.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Reading BabyCenter, Baby Bargains and most of the mommy blogs I read (other than the Erins’ blogs).

22. How will you be spending Christmas?

So, I just realized that this question is referring to Christmas 2009, not to a future Christmas. Therefore, I will be spending Christmas 2009 with my family. If the question is really for 2010, I don’t know the answer to that one yet. Let’s assume we’ll be with family up in the Frozen North.

23. Did you fall in love in 2009?

With Dr. K – Alas, it was short lived.

24. Any one night stands?

YES! We finally have one night stand. I bought it at Home Goods but I could only find one 🙁 So, maybe next year we’ll have two night stands. I have been looking forward to this question since I bought the night stand.

25. What was your favorite TV program?


26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one new.

27. What was the best book you read?

Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan.

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?


29. What did you want and get?

We’ll see. I’m actually starting this before Xmas this year, so maybe I’ll get something awesome for Xmas. The State DVDs from my brother and an IOU for a massage from Gene. YAY!

30. What did you want and not get?

Stephen Beckett D.un.n and/or Frances Pearl Du.nn.

31. What was your favorite film of this year?

Up. It could have ended after the opening montage and I would have been OK (a puddle, but OK).

32. What did you do on your birthday?

Mom was in town and she and Gene and I went to a nice dinner. Lovely!

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?


34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Cheap. Old Navy t-shirts and pants that hopefully fit mostly okay. I have GOT to fix this in 2010 – now that my life is no longer ruled by the idea that I’ll just get pregnant anyway, I have the leeway to change stuff.

35. What kept you sane?

The Almighty D. (In 2010, The Almighty D and Wellbutrin, possibly with a Paxil chaser).

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Blah blah blah Henley c. 1991. Ooh, and David Boreanz from Bones. YUM.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?

Political issue??

38. Who did you miss?

The Boy. The Boy. The Boy. (2008 answer, but I do not feel the need to change it).

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

Never buy Zhu Zhu pets on eBay. And vote Yes on honeymoon babies.

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Still working on this one…

2010 has been HUGE already!

So, 2010 has gone well so far. We woke up early-ish (especially since I was wide awake until 5 am) and I started trying to declutter a teeny bit. I started off with the Crossroads of Clutter (a/k/a our dining room table). My goal was to get to the point where the table only held one thing: a peace lily we were sent after Blanche passed away. Everything went well until I noticed that some of the papers on the table were damp. Hmmm, I thought. Perhaps Gene spilled something when he was working on installing something on a laptop a few weeks ago.

Oh, nooo. Oh no no no no no nooooo. That darn peace lily was leaking – apparently it had died (due to neglect? I hope not) and all the water I’d dumped on it for an unspecified amount of time ended up leaking on things that were on the table.

(HOLY SHIT, I just realized my camera was on that table…oh, fuuuuuuuck. If I ruined our camera…eeeeek!).

I lifted up the peace lily and damn if it wasn’t a gross moldy disaster. Hmm, I think, I wonder how far down this goes? Tentatively, I lift up the table cloth and look at the pad. Also gross and moldy. Now, Gene had told me multiple times to pitch the peace lily, so if that damn thing ruined our dining room table, I would be toast. Even tentatively-ier, I lift up the table pad to look at the table.

Clean as a whistle. Wahoo!

(So, yeah, after I got everything else off the table, I basically gathered the plant, the tablecloth and the pad and scooped it up and into the outside garbage. Au revoir, peace lily and tablecloth that matched my dishes!)

(And then I went on eBay and bought a new pad – $23 is cheap peace of mind when the alternative is trying to replace a table that has been used less than 50 times in 10 years).

(And in even better news, Chick-Fil-A gave us a free milkshake!)