Thursday, January 28, 2010
1) At the local level, we elect individuals to represent us in Congress based upon, what we believe to be, shared beliefs, values, and policy positions. We send them off to Washington to deliver on those promises and then, over the next two to six years (depending on whether they are a Congressman/woman or Senator) we judge them on their ability to deliver what they promised during the elections.
2) We do the same thing at the Presidential level. We pick one person based upon what they represent, to get things done.
3) As a citizenry we then spend the next two to six years complaining because these people as a collective group do not "meet in the middle", "compromise", or "work together".
4) #3 requires that the people in #1 and #2 give up something because, let's face it, no matter what words you use to make it sound nice, compromise requires the person on each side of an issue, to let go of/give up something. This, by default, means that some of the things that the people in #1 and #2 promised, cannot be delivered upon, at least to the extent to which they were promised.
5) We make the President a separate branch of government that has really little or no real influence on what goes on in Congress, thus making it all but impossible to affect any real change because he/she needs to persuade a group of more than 500 people fighting at the local level for their own constituents vs. the greater good, and/or playing partisan politics and infighting for their own professional gain.
6) We give the minority in Congress the ability to filibuster bills that the opposing party brings to vote, thus ensuring that the minority can scupper the efforts of the elected majority, and preventing the very changes that the majority of voters mandated by electing the party in the majority in the first place.
7) We then criticize the people in #1 and #2 for not doing what they promised to do, although when they actually do #3, they can't deliver on a lot of what they promised, and when they don't do #3, the opposing party does #6 and kills it anyway.
It's like putting a CEO in charge of a company and then asking him/her to lobby all the employees to create, vote-on, and enact his/her company decisions! No company could ever be run that way. Why do we expect that our country can?
Now, let me be clear: I am not a fan of many of the people in Congress, even on my side of the aisle (I am also not one of those people who thinks it's as simple as saying that everyone is corrupt and/or worthless either). But it seems to me that the system is set-up to have you be damned if you do and damned if you don't.
We say we want change but our system of government is set-up to force centrist policy-making which, more often than not, reinforces the status quo.
I voted for President Obama because he stood on a platform of change but, honestly, I have to say that never ONCE did I think that the system we have in place in this country would actually let him affect much of that change. I'm not surprised that the health-care bill is all-but dead. I never expected it to pass. That's why I haven't been getting all excited this past year about it on this blog. It was dead before it started.
I think it's time to get real in this country. Either you want something to happen, in which case you have to accept that not everyone will agree with the outcome and that's just life (get more votes next time, folks!) or you agree that everything's mostly fine as it is and harmony (or the effort towards it) is more important than results. (Quick pause while I vomit.)
Yes, it is true that you can argue that the current system prevents radical shifts and thus ensures that change, overall, can be incremental. BUT it also discourages big, sensitive issues from being tackled at all - like health care, like social security, like tax reform - all of which have been broached numerous times but always without result.
Although it is a noble goal, it's just not possible to please everyone. We are not kindergardeners playing a "no win/no lose" soccer match. We are grown-ups and the reality of life is that, for change to be enacted, some people are going to end up happy and some people are going to end up pissed off. That's life.
Monday, January 25, 2010
But, I had to post something about it because this weekend I had an awesome ass experience.
Now, if you're a woman (which most of my readers are), you'll know that positive posterior moments don't come around too often, especially after about 28, certainly not as you're careening quickly towards 40, and even less likely (with all that age crap taken into account) after you've had a baby within the last 12 months.
BUT. I. HAD. ONE. (A good moment, not a baby. We already knew that.)
I know, absolutelyfreakin amazing.
So, you ask, what has instigated this sudden self-lovin'?
Well, this weekend I went shopping with a girlfriend and found myself in Gap, a store which I don't usually shop in. Why don't I shop there? Well, it's basically a more expensive Old Navy and, since I like Old Navy just fine thankyouverymuch, I usually pass Gap by. But either which way, Old Navy or Gap, I only ever by tops there. Pants and jeans from these two establishments, I have found, tend to be made for tweens with boyish figures and stick-insect legs. To get my thighs to sausage-squeeze into their pant legs, I usually have to suffer the indignity of going up two sizes and, even then, wind-up with four inches of leg and two inches of waist too much. In short (or long, in this case), these places don't make pants for a short and hippy English gal.
But my friend, who just had a baby two months ago (and who looks absolutelyfricken amazing already by the way - gag) wanted to try on her first pair of post-baby jeans and I thought it would be a good mark of friendship to undergo the dreaded jean try-on along with her. (I mean, let's face it, next to buying a swimsuit, trying on jeans has to be the next most depressing activity for the average woman.)
Expecting disappointment galore, I picked out two different pairs of jeans in a size 12. (Even when I was at my most svelte, fitting into anything other than a size 8 or 10 jeans in this country proved to be a stretch.)
And I put them on....
And they were...
Gulp. WTF? This never happens this way! Joy of delicious joy, I had to go back for a size smaller!!!!
I put on the size 10s in the shortie length (aka: "Ankle" in Gap) and they fit snug as a bug in a rug - even the length was perfect! I looked in the mirror and I have to say I did not look too shabby at all. Ok, so I'm no Angelina Jolie, but my derrier definitely looked good, my waistband fitted and sitted perfectly (no muffin top!), and there was nothing sausagey at all going on in the thigh department. In fact, after wearing them for an afternoon, I venture to say that I probably could have made it into an 8, if I were so inclined to suffer through an hour or two of stretching time after each wash. (Which, I'm not. I'm past suffering for vanity.)
Of course, I purchased them immediately, despite my vow not to buy too much. Drats, some things you just gotta do for your ego, you know?
On the down side, I should mention that the words "Curvy" did appear in the name of the style AND I wound-up feeling kind of bad for my friend. She didn't have the same positive experience with her jeans as I did and walked away with nothing while I stood in front of the mirror, eyeing my ass with a pleased look on my face. So much for scoring friend points!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Not that the Democrats in Congress don't deserve a fair share of the blame here either. They dragged their feet putting the bill together, weighing it with all kinds of pork-barrel crap and stupid in-fighting, failing to seize the political capital that President Obama had bought for them (and which has now significantly dwindled, not in small part, because of their ineffectiveness.)
It's a national disgrace to be sure on all sides. The Democrats for behaving like school children fighting over the big bag of candy that was dropped in the middle of the room and the Republicans for sulking in a corner because they couldn't have it all their way. Now, of course, they got Mr. Brown who can be sure to gleefully block anything worthwhile just because the Republicans didn't come up with it in the first place.
And, does it bother anyone else that this Fox News anchor seems to have a self-satisfied smirk on his face? It's almost as if he's elated that the richest country in the world cares less that 15% it's residents do not have basic health care.
Then, as for this young fellow, I'm sure his 15 minutes of fame won't be his last. I expect to see him on an FBI wanted poster sometime in the next 10 years. (The part this article failed to mention was his F grades and the fact that he has consistently been in trouble for yelling racial slurs and talking about the KKK. AWESOME. Yup, put a gun in THIS boy's hand for sure.)
(And yes, I did miss last week. Oops!)
Current Weight: 148.6lbs
Body Fat: 36%
Weight Lost this week: 1.2lbs
Total weight lost to date: 12.4lbs
Lbs to Goal: 3.6lbs
Fat % to Goal: 6%
Yay for me. Just under 4lbs to go to my pre-baby weight!
I had so much more to blog about this week - the election results in MA and the impact on the President's agenda (specifically healthcare), the kid who brought a gun to school being defended by the NRA, and the crazy weather to name a few. But, ultimately, I don't have time to sit and write about it these days. I thought about just throwing some rushed and random thoughts on this blog but some of the discussions require thoughtful posts.
I have found that, now I'm a mother, it's not that I care less about political or social issues but more that I don't have the brain or emotional space to let myself get embroiled in them.
So, this is all ya get for now...
Monday, January 11, 2010
This past weekend I was able to make good use of some US airmiles sitting in my frequent flyer account and head-out to Dallas, Texas, to shower one of my best friends in the whole world, Jenny (aka: Nike, like the shoes) with lots of love before her first child is born next month.
My little Nikester (as I fondly refer to her, since she is 7 years younger than me), used to work with Hubby and I back when we were in Southern California. She was a teenager back then and we were her first real job. Her bubbly, sunny personality won us all over, however, and some of my best memories from my time in the OC were with her in the office, zooming around on our office chairs with wheels, and driving Hubby mad while we sang "The hills are alive, with the sound of muuuuuuuuuuusic!" I don't know quite how that became our "thing to do" but it did and it sealed our fate as great friends forever. Whenever Nike is around, I just can't help but smile. Some people make an indelible mark on your life and you just know that, no matter what happens or how far apart you might be, you can always pick-up where you left off. Jenny is one of those few people for me. My friend, E, of TheGurlyLife, is another.
This was my first shower since becoming a mommy myself and it was fun to be the person imparting tidbits and advice vs. either (a) the clueless one or (b) and most recently, the one on the receiving end of all those "Ohhhh, just you wait and see..." comments.
It was a crazy weekend, not only because of my hell-bent schedule (in Saturday night and out early Monday morning to make it back to my desk for work) but also because Jenny and her husband, Wes, had just (as in, late-Saturday-afternoon-just) moved into their new home - a 3,200 square foot mansion just outside of Fort Worth. (It's true what they say, everything is bigger in Texas!)
Poor thing, 8 months pregnant, the weekend of her baby shower and here she is moving house and home. Unfortunately, it was not of her choosing. They had purchased a newly built home in a new community and it was supposed to be ready last November but, as things tend to, that obviously didn't go according to plan.
I remember that, during my baby shower, the very best gifts I got were the arrival of my mum from England and the surprise arrival of my friend, E, from Southern California. So, it was a great feeling to know that I could pay that forward to my little Nikester and show-up for her.
Incidentally, I think "showing-up" for our friends has become a forgotten art these days, at least in my experience. We Facebook, we email, we text, we may even send a Christmas card (although that all-too-often gets thrown by the wayside in our busy lives), or we'll shop online and ship a gift - we do pretty much anything to pay lip-service to friendship without actually having to give of ourselves. I think that working from home and not having a whole bunch of social contact on a daily basis makes me feel this more acutely than most. But anyway, that's a thought for another day and another post. The point is, I was incredibly happy to be able to be there and she was incredibly happy that I made the effort, which only made me even happier still. So, in short, lots of happiness. Something I needed a shot of, so good timing too.
As for Texas... it's no secret that I'm not a fan. I'm not judging anyone who lives there or moves there or whatever, I'm just saying that it, and the people in it, do not float my boat one little bit. In fact, I would venture to say that it makes my boat sink down, waaaay down, 20,000 leagues under the sea down. It's flat, it's empty, it lacks personality, and the locals are snippy and seem to have chips on their shoulder. This was my 4th visit to the state and I haven't found a reason to like it yet, unless, of course, you count "cheap" as a reason. BUT, Jenny is there and, funnily enough, Hubby's best friend lives just the other side of Dallas, so it seems likely that we are doomed to return later this year for another visit. Maybe I will warm with repeated exposure; like a fungus, it may just grow on me.
I know, sorry... a lot of people like Texas. Don't hate me. I've tried/am trying.
So, now all that's left to do is wait for little Megan to be born. We have about 5 weeks to go and I can't wait to see the first pics of her and her beautiful mama.
Love you, Jen!
Friday, January 08, 2010
The pic on the left is me about three months before my wedding in '06, tanned, skinny, hair perfect, and just made-up by my friend, Kim.
I'm posting the pic of me at the best shape of my life right now because I am upping the ante in the weight-loss stakes. Since I have another 10 weeks before I actually go to Jamaica, I'm setting myself new goals
Henceforth, we're embarking upon Friday Motivation PHASE II (cue theme tune to Rocky).
We begin with good news - I have broken the 150lbs barrier... JUST. (I guess that holiday stress and sickness was good for SOMETHING.)
Now it's time to focus a little less on pounds and a little more on strength, tone, and muscle conditioning.
Therefore, my goal before March 20 is not only to lose those remaining 5 pounds but also to shed an additional 7% of my current body fat, getting me to the top-end of what should be healthy for a woman of my age. Or, in real terms, this means I need to lose, and/or transition to muscle, 11.5lbs of body fat. (Gulp.)
Current Weight: 149.8lbs
Weight Lost To Date: 11.2lbs
Current Body Fat %: 37%
Goal Weight: 145lbs
Goal Body Fat %: 30%
Weeks to Goal: 10
Here's to me making 2010 the best shape of my life!
Thursday, January 07, 2010
In the book, Weiner, who is a correspondent for NPR and a lifelong grouch, trots around the globe trying to find out what makes people happy (or unhappy, in some cases) in different countries and cultures, in an effort to determine whether there are universal conditions for happiness and, if so, where he might be able to find them and, therefore, "be happy."
The book initially appealed to me less from the perspective of really caring about the nature of happiness than because of the travel and culture components. I enjoy reading and learning about other cultures (which, in turn, is one of the reasons I love to travel) and I'm fascinated by how people, culture, and environment feed on and off of one another - also probably a lingering intellectual interest sparked by my degree in Media & Cultural Studies.
It has indeed been stimulating on this front but what has been most thought provoking for me is the way it has me thinking about my own road map for happiness, or, in the spirit of the book, my personal geography of happiness. Not in the sense of whether or not I'm happy but more in the sense of trying to understand what makes me happy and how I differ or identify with the different cultures in the book, especially since many of the countries Weiner visits are in Europe.
I'm not done with the book yet and so I'm saving any conclusions for the last page but here is what has occurred to me so far:
Happiness to me is fleeting and morphous. It's not a destination or a permanent state but a mood, just like sadness, anger, frustration etc... I suppose I could say I would think someone is "happy" based upon whether their general disposition is more happy than sad but I think that's oversimplifying things a tad.
Although we all definitely have our list of things that bring us joy, or make us "happy", I think whether or not those things make us happy greatly depends on many things on any given day - hormones, the weather, the mood of those around us, the news, the time of year, external events or circumstances... For instance, I love to read, it engrosses and stimulates me in a way that no other medium can BUT if I've had a particularly stressful day, reading can actually make me irritated. Similarly, I don't like to drink water as a rule, it makes me feel sick. But, on a really hot day, when I'm physically active, nothing tastes better. These things bring me joy under certain cirumstances and so what happiness is to me is constantly changing.
Yet, happiness should not be confused with joy. Too many people spend their life searching for a constant state of elation and wind up feeling disappointed when it eludes them. Whether it be drug addicts looking for the greater high or consumers trying to buy their way into happiness with the most expensive designer item or coolest gadget, our society encourages us to find "things" to make us happy but leaves us a state of perpetual wanting when the "high" fades. One of the common threads between the happiest countries on earth, Weiner seems to be finding, is contentment through moderation of emotion - highs and lows. The Swiss, for instance, are (based upon data and Weiner's own research) a happy nation but it's not as if they run around in a perpetually happy mood, singing at the tops of their voices and smiling all day. They're just in that nice middle place, perhaps you could say well-balanced.
Balance seems to be the key overall, in fact, although Weiner has not specifically addressed it that way. Balance between home and work life, public and private life, capitalism and socialism, individualism and collectivism, seems to show up in many different ways in the book. As an example, the folks of Iceland consistently score high on the happiness scale, even despite living in a freezing cold country that is pitch black for several months out of the year. One of the reasons they cite for their happiness is the fact that their social safety net gives them the freedom to fail and therefore the freedom to take chances. As an example, many Icelandic people have several different careers throughout the course of their life. Without the concerns we have here in the States like losing health insurance if we quit our job, they lack the fear or dire consequences of trying something new. As a result, there is a thriving spirit of entrepreneurism and artistic talent in Iceland right now - the culture of the starving writer just doesn't exist in their country. All an example of where a more socialist system (than the U.S.) actually promotes greater individualism and risk-taking.
In addition to thinking about the nature of happines, the book has also cued my reticular activator and has started me thinking about when I am happy.
It's been a rough few weeks over here in Randomrantville with things you know and more you don't, and it's tempting to pile one negative event on top of the other, wringing one's hands in despair at the state of life, as well as worrying about all the potential outcomes of the future. But allowing unrelated bad events to build on one another is just like allowing physical pain to build and take over your psyche. Having had two recent surgeries, I know about this and I know you need to get ahead of the pain, take each day as it comes, and not allow yourself to pile-up the bad stuff. The same is true of life in general, I think.
It's funny but when I make a list of the last twelve months and all the events in it, I'd like to bet that my list of happy events at least equals, if not exceeds, my list of unhappy ones. Yet, it's only the bad events that we group together, no matter how unrelated, saying things like we've had "a run of bad luck"; it becomes the story of a period of time in our lives, like, for instance, my last few weeks: Mum breaks hip and has surgery, we cancel our trip, we all get stomach flu for New Year = a bad holiday. But it's very rarely that we line up those positive events and amass them into a narrative. What about if instead I wrote: Bought new car, Daisy's first Christmas, my first time cooking Christmas dinner, saved $3k on vacation and now have something to look forward to in March. These things all happened at the same time as the bad stuff but yet the negative events are the ones that somehow end up defining. I wonder why that is? Misery loves company, I guess.
I don't have a closing thought here, these are just random ramblings right now, spurred by the book.
One idea I am going to put into action, provoked by the book, is journaling things that make me happy every day. In research, people who kept a journal of things that made them happy every day are more likely to report increased levels of overall happiness, than those who do not keep a journal. Since I have two blogs, two twitter accounts, and two Facebook accounts, I don't think a journal, per se, is needed, so what I'm going to do instead is create a list here on this site of things that have made me happy each day. You can see it over there on the right. We'll see if it reveals anything about me, my life, or my levels of happiness.
Anyway, it's late (for me late is 9pm) and I need to go wind-down before bed. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on happiness!
1/8/09 - Edited to add: although the book spends all it's time talking specifically about happiness, the book itself is actually called "The Geography of Bliss", if you're looking for it.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
It's just as well because I needed a savings account of self-esteem for the afternoon when at the pediatrician's, as I was making our co-payment, the twenty-something receptionist asked me "When are you due?"
I laughed because I knew she would be mortified when I told her "I'm not pregnant."
Now, at this point, most people would go beet red, apologize profusely and move on quickly to save face.
You guessed it, that is not what happened in this case.
"Are you serious?" she asked me, in a tone that demonstrated that she thought I was being coy or toying with her or something. "You are pregnant, aren't you?" She then continued to defend her position by saying "I can see your belly!" repeating some words to the effect that she thought I was messing with her.
Had it not have been for the fact that I was feeling pretty good about myself today and actually was thinking that my stomach was getting flatter all of a sudden, I would probably have disappeared into tears or reacted with hurt anger at this point. But I didn't, I kept smiling, convinced that, at some point this poor girl would realize her horrible faux pas and be incredibly embarassed. Yet, she continued.
"Seriously? You're not pregnant?" she asked again and I, smiling (barely at this point) once again affirmed no. Now she started to go all shades of red and began to apologize, which I was kind of glad of because I was beginning to think that I had developed some kind of reverse anorexia and what I thought saw in the mirror that morning was actually 30lbs lighter than what other people were seeing.
The other girls behind the counter were beginning to tune into our conversation now, either incredulous that she was continuing this line of questioning or that I wasn't actually pregnant - it was difficult to determine which but they were definitely eyeing me doubtfully.
Then, the unthinkable happened - the girl grabbed her foot and proceeded to not only put it further in her mouth, but, by the time she was done, had probably swallowed it for dinner. "It must be that dress you're wearing that makes your stomach look big," she said.
WTF!? Seriously? Had this girl somehow skipped every life lesson on women's weight and social etiquette?
(Not that it should have had anything to do with it but I would like to point out that (a) I was standing behind a waist-high counter and (b) I was not wearing a dress. I was wearing a long-line, tailored shirt, a nice shirt (Cabi), over black leggings and a pair of knee-high black boots. The shirt wasn't even form-fitting, so it didn't even show the outline of my figure!)
At this point, I was, understandably, a bit flabberghasted. Less so at the slight and more so at the fact that she was continuing to add insult to injury. I told her I had actually lost 10lbs since the last time I saw her and didn't know what she was talking about but AGAIN she asked me if I was kidding with her!?
Now one of the other girls behind the counter tried to come to her defense. "Even so," she said, in what had to be the world's worst attempt to dig a friend out of a deeply muddy hole, "sometimes, when you lose weight after a baby, you don't lose it evenly from everywhere. It goes faster from some places than others."
I looked at her incredulously and said "I would stop trying to dig her out of a hole if I were you because you basically just said I have a fat stomach."
There was an awkward silence, of course. I was still smiling and things were still jolly but the undertone to my voice was clear - you're crossing a line, bitch! (I venture to say that, for many people, the line would already have been not only crossed, but a distance speck by then.) I finished paying, all the while, the women sort of looking at me oddly, as if to determine whether or not their friends' initial assessment of my condition was an understandable mistake based upon my appearance.
"Now you're all going to watch me walk away to see if I actually do look pregnant," I said, as I tucked my credit card receipt in my wallet and shook my head at them in dismay.
I was honestly so shocked by their comments and behavior that I couldn't regain my sense of indignation and get angry. I'm still actually not angry right now, although I have every right to be. I'm just 100% gobsmacked, quite frankly. I'm not just 100% certain that I do not look pregnant (maybe a little squidgy but certainly not preggers), I'm also in complete disbelief at their insensitivity and cluelessness.
And all this just added to a day that mingled with all the other crappy ones in the past few weeks. It started with losing our childcare to sickness at 7am this morning, meaning Hubby had to take the morning off because I had to go into the office for a meeting, and continued with Daisy having almost non-stop diarrhea.
To top it all off, I had one hour in the early afternoon where my glands, throat, and inner-ears were throbbing like crazy, as if I was coming down with yet another bug. I called my doc and she prescribed an antibiotic for me over the phone (without an examination, something which just bothers me - I don't like to take antibiotics needlessly and I don't appreciate having drugs thrown at me in lieu of actual medical care). I feel better this evening, however, and so I'm going to wait to see how I feel in the morning before I decide to take anything. Hopefully it was the stomach flu thing of last week still working it's way slowly out of my system. Fingers crossed!
And so, we hope for a better day tomorrow, or at least one in which I don't get asked if I'm carrying twins or something.
Monday, January 04, 2010
So, for those of you who are not connected to me on FB, here is the non-emotional, non-kvetchy version, just to get you up-to-speed:
- December 18th - last day of work
- December 19th - Mum rushed to hospital with broken hip
- December 20th - Mum has partial hip replacement surgery. Vacation to Jamaica cancelled.
- December 20th - 23rd - rushing to-and-from the hospital and trying to get everything ready for Xmas, especially since I would now be hosting @ Mum and Dad's house.
- December 23rd - Mum home from hospital
- December 25th - Christmas a success - yay!
- December 26th - 29th - blissful four days of no drama.
- December 30th - Daisy projectile vomits
- December 31st - Daisy projectile vomits in her crib. Plan to skip midnight and go to bed early is skuppered by dogs barking at firecrackers. In bed @ 3am, get 4 hours of sleep. Ouch.
- January 1st - we all wake up sick with a killer stomach flu that leaves us rolling around on the floor in misery. Hubby ends up in Emergency Room with dehydration. Daisy goes to urgent care but is told to ride it out.
- January 2nd - 3rd - nursing poor Daisy slowly back to health to avoid a recurrence of the vomiting cycle. Poor thing is mad and unhappy when awake but sleeps 18 out of 24 hours each day. Hubby and I thoroughly exhausted.
Yay ... and now I'm back to work and very happy to be there. So, let's move on with some positivity.
My favorite things from 2009...
- Events: Daisy being born. Mum and Dad moving out here.
- TV: Modern Family - a comedy show that actually makes me laugh - yay! Vampire Diaries - my Thursday night guilty pleasure.
- Music: Adam Lambert's new CD. I'm playing it endlessly. I don't really care that he kissed some guy on TV, btw, so don't even go there.
What I'm planning to achieve in 2010...
- That photography class - finally! Oh, and probably a Photoshop class too. I'd like to be taking my friends' family's holiday pics in October/November for some extra cash.
- Health for my hip - mission one is strengthen and prevent injury. First step: change doctors and medical groups. Get a different perspective. Watch this space.
- Better health for my finances - sell the Altima, reduce my credit card debt, watch what I spend, go on mini-vacations instead of big ones in '10. Save.
- Sell more @ work. Move some mountains. Find the fire to reach my potential in my current job.
- Rebook my vacation to Jamaica and get the hell out of dodge. (This doesn't count against #3 because the money is already spent.)
- Work in the back yard with Hubby and make it a great play space for Daisy in 2010.
- Go through every room and every cupboard in the house and throw out unnecessary crap. Organize and declutter.
- Continue the weight loss process and focus more on strength/muscle-tone. Get bikini abs for #5.
- Enjoy Daisy. Love my husband. Spend time with my parents. Appreciate the ones I love.
And with that, I bid you a Happy New Year. Hope your 2010 turns out to be everything you hoped it would be when that clock stuck midnight. For me, I was just hoping for a good night's sleep, so it's only up from there!