Category Archives: lists

Things that currently bug me, grammar edition

In an effort to prove that I have more things to talk about than running and derby, here are some grammar gripes.   All of them (with the exception of #2) were witnessed in ONE day of facebook postings.  I’d like to copy/paste the postings here, but there’s always a chance  I could embarrass someone and lose a reader.   And I can’t really afford that!

#1–  People who don’t know how to use an apostrophe.  And I’m not talking about whether it’s James or James’.   I’m talking about people putting apostrophes in normal words.  Like Friday’s.   Not the restaurant chain, either.   Like “I have Friday’s off this summer.”   Here’s a handy guide in case you need it:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe/.

#2– The number of times I used “like” in #1.

#3– Nouns as verbs. I get it… let’s Google someone.  Let’s facebook our relationship status.  Whatever.  But people do not verse one another in sporting events.  They PLAY one another.   Verse is a paragraph in poetry or a part of a song.  Not an action. 

#4– Pretending people are your family, when they’re not.  Or calling out one’s relationship when talking directly to them.   Examples:  calling someone a “sister” if they’re not, using the word “girlfriend” to describe a female friend, referring to a group of unrelated people (coworkers, teammates) as a family.  (I realize this isn’t technically a grammar issue, but roll with it).

#5– Extraneous letters, especially the letter ‘d.’    It’s congratulations or congrats, not congradulations or congrads.  Yes, even if the person who is being congratulated happens to be a graduate.  Also, just because we shorten it to “fridge,” doesn’t mean there’s a d in refrigerator.

Note 2:  I’m sure there are typos/grammatical errors in this post.  Feel free to point them out.  I deserve it.

Carich Likes/Dislikes

LIKES . . .

DISLIKES . . .

Modern Family, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory American Idol, Jersey Shore, Grey’s Anatomy*
Being home to make dinner every night Working out at 5 a.m., cleaning up from dinner
My Real Friends Facebook-only “friends”
Working out at the gym—yes, even the treadmill! Being sore from working out 4 days in a row
Sleeping Work
Sporcle, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Scramble Facebook “games,” Xbox 360 shoot-em-up games
Blog lurking Blog writing
My incredibly unfashionable snow boots, striped purple cardigan, oversized hoodies, and wooly red socks Just about every other item of clothing in my closet
Warmer weather, no snow Rain (and corresponding headaches)

*to be fair, I’ve only watched 1-2 episodes of each of these shows… but enough to know I don’t get what the fuss is about!

Resolutions 2009: How’d I do?

Let’s see how well I stacked up on my New Years Resolutions, shall we?   (if you’re really bored, you can find the  original post here… and “check up” post here.)

Resolutions 2009 were as follows:

Be 100% smoke free– SUCCESS!

I can say with 100% certainty that I do not smoke. I don’t even know the last time I wanted to smoke.  My lungs are happy.

Avoid fast food– FAIL

It seems that I succumb to fast food more than ever these days. In fact, on my last trip to Chicago, I ate it for lunch AND dinner.  Big fat FAIL (with emphasis on the “fat.”)

Finish more books– FAIL

One would think that being surrounded by books, being a member of a book club, and being a self-proclaimed “book nerd” would mean I would actually read every once in a while.  But I haven’t.  At least not enough.   The last book I finished was a 250 page YA novel. Go me!

Learn to write fiction– FAIL

They say the best way to learn to write is to write…. And even though I took a fiction writing class, I haven’t “practiced” much since then. And I haven’t really felt the desire to get back into it.  Maybe over the winter (?)

Watch more movies– FAIL

I gave up my Netflix subscription and can count on one hand the number of movies I saw in the theater this year.  It’s sad, really, when you can’t even accomplish your “fun” resolutions.

Be more honest– SUCCESS!

I marked this off the list months ago.  Kind of a lame resolution anyway.

Learn to appreciate poetry– FAIL

I’ve tried… really.  And I like to make up birthday poems for my friends.  But it’s really not the same.

Get back to a fighting weight– SUCCESS!

Although I’d still like to lose 20-25 lbs, I’m at *roughly* my “low” weight from a couple of years ago.  And I’ve recently started buying a smaller size (thanks to my friends who told me my “tight” jeans really weren’t that tight!);

Get control of debt– QUESTIONABLE

I’d say I’m in control of my debt… but I’m not out of debt, and I certainly am not where I want to be.  This will be a carry-over resolution next year.

Be more responsible– QUESTIONABLE

I think I’ve been a bit more responsible this year… but I still dont’ really feel like an adult, even though I’m 30.  I wonder when you start feeling grown-up– is it when you have kids?? 

So, there you have it:  my resolution recap for 2009.  Look for a 2010 resolution post sometime before February!!

Long time, no blog

I know the “too busy to blog” excuse is getting lame.  But it’s true.  I was hoping to write some proper blog posts, but since some of you like lists (shout out to Harley Quinn– I loved your last comment!), I figured I’d save myself the trouble of actually having to write anything.

In the last week and a half or so I:

  • Witnessed masked Mexican wrestling in Chicago.  It was awesome.
  • Tasted cucumber-flavored candy.  It was awful.
  • Learned that you really can’t just miss your connecting flight or your entire ticket is invalidated.
  • Re-booked my ticket.  Twice.
  • Got hit on by a Greek waiter in Chicago and a Mexican bar patron in Minneapolis.
  • Spent entirely too much time on Sporcle.  Finally learned the correct spelling of Kazakhstan.  It comes in handy.
  • Ate some killer Malaysian food in MPLS.  Heard a great (albeit very broken) story about a fire in a Malaysian place in Chicago.
  • Witnessed and responded to an on-the-job accident. Not real common in my line of work.
  • Learned I like tamales.
  • Congratulated a friend on her recent engagement. Yay Keem!
  • Almost forgot, and then lost, and then found my journal/notebook.
  • Saw Star Trek. Loved it, despite zero familiarity with the original.  Reminded me a lot of Star Wars, actually.  And Lost.
  • Met (and held!) another newborn baby.
  • Picked up a new nickname (which I’m trying HARD to not let stick).
  • Ran my second 5K, less than a month after my first, with no iPod. After being gone for a week and out drinking the night before.
  • Mowed my lawn immediately after the 5K.  Bad idea.
  • Learned that I was selected to be a Nielsen “family.”  I can’t wait to report my 2.5 hours of TV watching a week.
  • Improved my ability to ride public transportation.
  • Received a comped dessert because dinner took so long.  Waited about 20 mins for said dessert.
  • Had multiple weird conversations about weight loss.  Including one that started with “I hope you’re not offended, but…”  Um, no, not offended!
  • Took a photo next to a statue of Mary Tyler Moore.
  • Met a friend’s new boyf.
  • Spent Mother’s Day with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law. Against our advice, my mom insisted on having it at her house and making all the food.
  • Ran in Chicago.  Gave unsuspecting motorist directional advice.  Felt really bad afterward.
  • Attended a baby shower and graduation party.
  • Received invitations to two other baby showers.
  • Witnessed teachers literally FIGHTING over free books.
  • Engaged in some tipsy shopping.  Bought books and a belt between happy hour and an awesome wine-fueled dinner.

Things I haven’t done

  • unpacked
  • watched last week’s Lost
  • slept, at least not much

30 Days of 30: By the Numbers

Those of you paying close attention may have noticed that the 30 days of 30 technically lasted only 29 days (Jan 5-Feb 2).  There were also a couple of unclaimed days in there, but I filled them by hanging out with my mom and a co-worker.  

BUT… the 30 days aren’t really over yet.  When this blog goes live, I’ll be in Chicago for the finale, so I’m counting my party on Saturday as the 30th day.

If my calculations are correct, here are some other interesting numbers about my 30 days:

60– Number of people I celebrated with this month.* 

36– Number of locations– 16 restaurants, 11 bars**, 1 bakery,  1 arena, 1 bowling alley, 1 movie theater, 1 out of town location (Galena), 1 shopping center, and 3 private residences.  

The most common location for 30 days activities was Bunny’s, followed closely by a tie between Crane Alley and Boltini.   This is notable because I probably haven’t been to either of these places much in the past year, but I really like them.  Houlihan’s and the Courier were the most popular non-drinking establishments. 

6– Number of places I’d never been before: Galena, Bridget’s house, La Gourmandise Bistro, The Brass Rail, The Sandwich shop (whose name I’ve yet to look for), Cakes on Walnut.

14-  Number of different activites: lunch,  dinner, drinks, dessert, Illinois game, bowling, LOST watch, movie, snowboarding, Superbowl party, live band, book club, story teller, trivia

15– Number of times I went out for lunch

13-- Number of times I went out for drinks

6– Number of times I went out for dinner***

2– Number of times I went out for dessert.  Again, notable because I rarely go out just for dessert.

2– Number of Illini games watched**** (one at the Assembly Hall, one at Bunny’s)

2– Number of things I’d never done before:  go snowboarding and listen to a professional story teller

0– Number of pounds I’ve gained.  Seriously. I definitely feel fatter/less healthy, but according to the scale, my weight is the same.

I don’t even want to think about the number of drinks or calories I consumed.  Thank goodness I didn’t have this “by the numbers” idea earlier or else I really would turn into the guy from Supersize Me. Lol.

More importantly, though, I’m amazed at the number of things I was able to cram into one month… and the number of people I convinced to “play along.”  It was really a great experiment and I’m glad I did it.  I highly doubt 31 days of 31 are in my future, though :)

In case you missed them (or just want to relive the fun), here are the weekly recaps:

——————-

Notes on the Methodology

*Includes only people in “my party” and does not include repeats (i.e. if I had lunch with Lisa one day and happy hour another, she is only counted once).

**For this purpose a bar is defined as a place primarily for drinking whereas a restaurant is an eating establishment.  I chose to count them based on why/when I was there.  (i.e. Farren’s is a bar/restaurant, but I was only there for lunch, so it gets counted as a restaurant.)

*** This number is probably lower than it should be.  I counted an event as drinks if drinking was the primary purpose of the activity (i.e. happy hour). It’s more than likely that dinner was also consumed.

**** Again, possibly artificially deflated.  There may have been an Illini game on during a happy hour that I did not record as a “game watch”

2008: A Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd half of my year. I just realized that I probably should’ve done these in reverse chronological order, but whatever.

July–I took my blog public, making it a whole lot easier to remember what I did for the rest of the year.  I also started biking to work and we had Kristi’s Bachelorette Party Boat Trip:

 

100_1185

August– I took two vacations this month, plus a Tour de Philo.  First up was my staycation and then a second trip to Nawlins for Kristi’s wedding:

 

bestfriends.jpg

September– I started running, became obsessed with Mad Men and reconnected with an old friend via Facebook.  We also had Bunco at Erin’s in conjunction with Philo Fest, but-unfortunately- I have no corresponding photos :-(

 

I do, however, have a photo of this thing that I found on my fence (I know you all needed to see it again)

 

squirrell

 

October– was downright insane.   There was a crazy gas station incidentmy cat died, and I was involved in train accident on the way home from seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Carbondale.  To top off the craziness, this was the first year in a long time that I *didn’t* dress up for Halloween.  Odd.

 

And then there was the trip to Chicago to see the New Kids on the Block:

 

100_1652

 

November– is always a busy month.  This year, I went to San Antonio for work. And had the usual Thanksgiving with the family.  Oh, and there was that whole historic election thing.


I also made a trip to Chicago for Nikki’s Big Ten Bar Crawl:

bigten

 

And attended my only (gasp!) U of I tailgate of the season

tgate08

December–

 

Family and friends of Ryann Smith held a benefit in Tuscola and raised a bunch of money. I realize that I haven’t blogged about Ryann at all.  She was born a couple days after Christmas with a rare birth defect called CDH.  She is a fighter.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to know more, visit her caring bridge page:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryannsmith.

 

I also had Christmases with my Grannie Rich,  my brother, and the rest of my extended family.

 

(And, because I know you can’t get enough of me and firearms, here’s the infamous gun shot one more time…)

 

doublefistin

I spent my Christmas break lounging, watching movies (Marley and Me and Seven Pounds), reading (still making it through the Twilight saga… I’ll reserve judgment until I’m finished with all the books), and spending time with friends and family.

 

I rang in the New Year in Chicago, but failed to take a single photo.  Maybe I should resolve to be a better chronicler this year :)

 

Reflections on 2008

All in all, the year turned out pretty good.  In some ways, this is one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much.   I’ve learned how to ask for help from those closest to me.  I’ve learned to say “no” on occasion and I’ve learned to enjoy myself in less-than-ideal circumstances. I’ve made some new friends, reconnected with others, and have spent more time with some of my family members than ever before.

 

This blog has really been a great outlet for me and I appreciate each and every reader, hit, and comment you all have given me.

 

Here’s to happiness and prosperity in 2009!


2008: The Year in Review, Part 1

I was without internet for a little over a week, so I’m a bit behind on my blogging.  But I didn’t want 2008 to go un-documented, so here is part 1 of my month-by-month account of my life’s activities.   Luckily, I have this handy little blog to help me remember what I did!!

January started with New Year’s eve in Tuscola.
466
Then it was Cops & Robbers Bunco at Kim’s
522
And a wine tasting at my house:
470
February, of course, is my birthday month, what more do you need??
603
5651
March–  I started blogging, albeit covertly.
We had Bunco at Tonyas:
672I went to Vegas with my family:
100_0754
And Cooper Philip Pollard was born:
100_0838
April– I got a new car, saw a baby left alone in a car seat; and Backyard Tire Fire at Highdive; there was an earthquake and Lost came back on the air after a much-too-long writers strike.

I also went to New Orleans for work (yes, there are better pix of this trip, but I’ll just post this one to spare the, uh, innocent!!)
wpa4eva

May--  We celebrated Lisa’s birthday with a happy hour, I went to  Atlanta for work, and took in a stray dog.
My dog had surgery:
surgery
I saw Chicago in Peoria with Jen:
chi
And went to St. Louis to celebrate Jeff’s 30th birthday:
13
June- Can you believe the only thing on my calendar is that I started boot camp? I’m sure there were other things going on, but I didn’t write it down.
So, there you have it– the first 6 months of 2008 as told through photos and blog posts.  I’m sure there are plenty of things that I’m missing, but those are some of the high points.
Stay tuned for part 2 and a New Year’s Resolution post.  Then, it will be back to your regularly scheduled programming :)