Same Name, Two Different Reasons

I met a girl last night whose boyfriend just got a new puppy named: KUMA! I couldn’t believe it. We were all talking about dogs and she mentioned that her boyfriend just got a new American Bulldog puppy named Kuma. I did a double-take and asked her to repeat that and I told her that our dogs had the same name. How he named his dog: they went on the Internet to try and find names that would aptly fit a dog of that size and stature (stocky, strong, up to 125 pounds) and liked Kuma as a name. How we named our dog: Bob and I used to play Tekken when we were dating and there was this character on the video game that was a big bear named Kuma. We always thought that would be a good name for a dog and said that when we got our first dog, we would name him/her that. It was later on that we found out that Kuma=bear. Their method, boring. Our method, dorky. Either way, it was exciting to find someone else whose dog had the same name.

All I Want for Christmas is a 12 Hour Nap

The best gift that my boss gave us this year (besides our bonuses) was having Christmas Eve off so I was only slightly exhausted versus extremely exhausted if I had to work on Monday. Let’s begin.

Friday: Worked all day and came home to go grocery shopping and pick up Moe’s for dinner. This is a big treat for us because we have not eaten out by ourselves in a very, very long time. While having dinner, Katie graced us with her presence and came bearing gifts of chocolate-covered goodies. We all chatted for a couple of hours until she was too tired to chat any longer and left. I then stayed up to prepare the sugar cookie dough and baked a batch of cookies while Bob rocked out on the GHIII. Yeah, we didn’t get to bed until about 2:30 that night.

Saturday: EARLY morning. Got up around 8 to throw the pot roast in the crock pot so it could cook for 12 hours and began baking cookies. I was a cookie baking machine! I had my system down pat. So, in three hours, I was able to bake three different kinds of cookies and even sat down to watch parts of the Muppet Christmas Carol. We then took a break (Bob from cleaning and me from baking) and took a trip to the airport to pick up Christine. As soon as we got home, I promptly put her to work on making the sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. So, if you enjoyed the lovely decorations on the sugar cookies and the snickerdoodles, say thanks to her. I just baked the cookies and supervised the decorating. When evening rolled around, Bob headed over to his parents’ house for their annual Christmas party and Christine and I stayed behind to slave away on the cookies. Monika joined us around 8 PM, just in time for dinner of pot roast, potato casserole, green bean casserole and homemade macaroni & cheese. Of course, we had to watch Love Actually (I’ve watched that movie four times during this holiday season and I still LOVE it). By the time everything was said and done, I was officially finished with the cookie gift tins around 1:30 AM (I would have been done a lot sooner but I’m easily distracted). Bedtime.

Sunday: Another fairly early morning. I took my mom grocery shopping at the Chinese grocery stores for our Christmas Eve dinner of hotpot. Man, one day I will have to document my trip to Seafood City for you because you would not believe some of the things they sell there. It’s incredible, I won’t ruin it for you, pictures are much better. After that, Bob and I got together with his cousins on his mom’s side of the family for lunch at Trailhead where we caught up with each other’s lives. His only cousin that’s married and has a five-year-old has been giving us shit for having a child so her daughter can have a cousin to play with, now has a second the way! Whew! The pressure’s off! Sonia can play with her little brother/sister and won’t need us to reproduce just so she can have a playmate. Thank goodness! From there, it was off to bowling where we had our league holiday party and kicked some bowling ass! But there was no rest for us after the victory. Bob and I then put on our cookie delivery hats and drove around visiting with everyone and showering them with tins of cookies. I don’t think we made it home until after 1 AM. So sleepy.

Christmas Eve: We got up early again, this time to make the 10 AM show of Juno with Katie and Kim. I definitely recommend that movie, it was awesome! Who would have thought that teenage pregnancy can be sweet and funny? It made you laugh, it made you cry and it also has a great soundtrack (I made Bob download it for me a day later). When we returned home, I was able to get a nap in before we went and spent the night at my mom’s house. I couldn’t believe the amount of crap we packed up for spending less than 24 hours at my mom’s. Man, the dog needed her toys, her bed, her food and treats. We had to bring the Gamecube for my sister, wood for the fireplace, the list just kept going. Spending the night there was really fun. We actually gave my mom a Christmas gift that she was truly excited about (and so were we, good job Bob for finding this). When we bought the iMac, we decided to give my mom our old computer. Well, I came up with the idea of finding some sort of software which enabled her to email her friends in Chinese, Bob did some research and discovered PenPower, a PC writing tablet that recognizes Chinese characters written on it and puts them on the screen. It is very neat and my mom was ecstatic about it! Of course, when Bob tried to install it, the instructions were in Chinese so she had to translate. And then, I had to teach her how to email people. Surprisingly, that process wasn’t as painful as it could have been. :-) We had hotpot for dinner, Mom emailed her friends with her new toy and Bob and I kicked Chris and Rob’s butts in Pictionary, twice. We also made a fire and roasted marshmallows, played the Gamecube and just hung out. It was really nice and relaxing, I think we’ll have to do that again next year.

Christmas Day: Early morning. Bob and I woke up early to make breakfast for everyone. Pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, scrambled eggs. Aren’t we the best people EVER? I think those were my best pancakes yet. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to linger, we had to run home, shower, change and head down to Bob’s uncle and aunt’s for brunch with his side of the family. This event usually consists of Michael showing off his new video games or game system and the young adults would gather around the TV to play. After quite a few hours of GHIII, we went home, only to turn around and go to Bob’s parents’ for chili where we exchanged gifts. Here is another gift that we were excited to give, a digital camera for his parents to use. It’s small, sleek and easy to use (or at least, we hope). Well, we got an Ikea gift card and we are thrilled over that, since we’re heading up to Chi-town for New Year’s and we are going to be hitting Ikea. So, if anybody wants us to pick them up anything (and you will pay us back), let us know.

That’s it, the summary of my weekend. Man, I’m tired. I’m even more tired after thinking and typing this post. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! I think I’m going to hibernate next weekend.

Change, Hopefully for the Better

I’ve been driving the exact same route to and from work for the last three years therefore I know, by heart, the pattern of the stoplight at Ladue and Lindbergh. It’s gotten the the point where I really don’t even pay attention to my light, when the cars start slowing down, I begin my left turn. I’m that good. In the last two weeks, though, I’ve noticed a change to the pattern which is messing with my timing. What do you mean that it’s not my turn to go after the northbound Lindbergh has gone through the intersection? I don’t understand!

Another change: for the past five years, all I have known at the the corner of Ladue and Warson was the faithful stop sign, never failing at clogging up traffic in all four directions. Now, with the new stop light (which was put into use this week), cars have been seamlessly flowing through that intersection. What? No 15 minutes of waiting to go through one stop sign? The city of Ladue just now figured out there needed to be a stoplight there?

This is all in preparation for the ginormous infusion of vehicles on my route due to the 40 shutdown. Damn you 40, why must you do this to me?