Thursday, December 30, 2004

So long, 2004...

Happy 2005!

Wow - I can't believe it's already 2005 (on Saturday). Craziness.

It's been fun reading all your blogs and comments!! Keep 'em coming and have a happy, fun, successful, great 2005! I know I plan to.

Chalk that one up

The date. Yeah...met for dinner at 8'ish and was home at 9. I think someone lied about their age and it wasn't me. Must insist on more than one picture from now on. 2004 was just not my year for dating...fresh new hope for 2005!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pin-Stripe Pants Debacle

Well, this is the closest post-able picture I could find of the G.D. pants I want. Except mine will be black or charcoal. I couldn't find any in my size today at Marshall Field's, GAP or Express Men. The Kenneth Coles at MF's only go to 32 length and I need 34. Same at the GAP. Same at Express. In fact, Express didn't even have my waist size. You have to be an anorexic midget to shop there. I *hate* that store now. Karen Carpenter diet, here I come...

So, I'll have to settle for some other pants for tonight's date. We're going to Caiobella in Edina. Kinda nervous...Will report tomorrow.

Looking Back - 2004, A Retrospective

Borrowed from Robert

1. What did you do in 2004 that you’d never done before?
Traveled a lot for work. Got fired.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't have any last year. This year I really want to get rid of the fat on my body. A carving knife may be involved.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? friend Jill had a baby. But since she only gossips about how much I go out (instead of becoming domesticated like she has done), I wouldn't say we're particularly close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope. I don't think so. But my great aunt Jo did just die today. She was 86.

5. What countries did you visit?
I did not leave the good ol' U.S.A. in 2004.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Stability, money, boyfriend, new car, vacation

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Sept. 24, 2004. The day I was canned from a job I really liked and did well at - over politics. December 18, 2004: Going to a bar w/my bro, Mom and 2 sisters - never thought that would happen (will post about it when pics come back)
Oct. 30, 2004: Moved to Minneapolis.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being the number one junior recruiter in the whole company - then getting fired. Another achievement is that I didn't receive any driving/traffic violations! My insurance will be CLEAR in April, I think...for the first time ever, undoubtedly. Oh -- and I paid off two credit cards!! Oh -- and I finally owe the same as my car is worth, instead of being updside down! Yay, me!!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Stopping my gym routine b/c I didn't see a whole lot of results after 2 loyal months

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing beyond the flu/cold.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Both pairs of my Steve Maddens. My brown '70s-ish leather coat.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My brother Rich - I don't think he drank at all in 2003. Or at least kept it in control - for the first time since the '70s. My blind grandma moved to assisted living and learned how to walk to the dining room all by herself (once she found out they were charging her $150/month to come get her and take her back). My friend Paul for finally proposing to Jess. My friends Mike & Jocelyn for moving back to MN from Atlanta. My friend Stacy for first getting her flight attendant job back and moving to Phoenix - then getting called back to work for NWA.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed/disgusted?
The French -- and people who move here from foreign countries and complain about things here. Get out. (That's about as political as I'll be on here...)

14. Where did most of your money go?
New clothes, for sure. And paying off credit cards. Still a LONG way to go...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
When Keane thought they wanted me to move to Boston. When Keane said I'd be a traveling recruiter. When I got a new job and was able to move to Minneapolis. When I met a nice guy.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Several songs that are on Drive 105 a lot - can't think of any right now. Oh, that one where he's like "he looks a girl I dated in February of last year" or something like that. Is that The Killers? I'm bad at lyrics. And the Britney Spears song where she's making out w/ the guy in the plane. And the one where she commits suicide in the bathtub. Hey -- when did I become a Britney fan?!?!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a.) happier of sadder? Happier - MUCH happier b.) fatter or thinner? Same c.) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Travel for pleasure -- work out -- boating in La Crosse, Wis.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Wasting energy/emotion on dumb guys, eat

20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? Downtown Mpls w/ Angela, her sister and friend, and Mandy. Maybe to my bro's for an after-party.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004? Possibly

22. How many one-night stands? Let's not go there...No idea.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Nip/Tuck, Sex and the City, Queer as Folk

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Yes.

25. What was the best book you read? Angela's Ashes

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? No idea

27. What did you want and get? brown leather vintage-looking coat, my recruiting job back, some random guys, a better apartment

28. What did you want and not get? A new car, more hires, new furniture

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Drama = Monster (even though I think it's from 2003); Comedy = Napoleon Dynamite

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 26 on March 12 and went out in Winona, where I was still living, with friends Tammy, Mike, Paul & Jess

31.What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying? There isn't room to discuss - let's just say several things

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? striped button-down shirts (which I began wearing in '03); western shirts (also continued from '03); V-neck sweaters; plain front pants (continued from '01); jeans w/ flat front dress shoes; scarves (winter)

33. What kept you sane? Friends, paychecks

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I'll have to agree with Robert: Fancy, as in lust after? Probably Chris Meloni (I only recently started watching SVU, and I find mature, well-built, bossy men very hot. probably TMI, right?) I always forget about him when answering these things, but he is ultra-hot.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Criticizing Bush for the economy when it's improved so much in 2004 -- and I know b/c I'm a recruiter -- if the economy isn't good, then companies aren't hiring -- if the economy's so bad then why did recruiters start getting called back to their jobs?? Yeah - we're busy hiring. The economy has turned around.

36. Who did you miss? My friend Tara.

37. Who was the best new person you met? All the Blog friends, of course! Colleagues at Keane -- and current co-worker, Jeff. He's funny as hell.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004. Don't yell at a hotel clerk - even if he's the dumbest, laziest, biggest jerk on earth - if you're there on business. Out of bad, comes better (getting fired and that led to moving to Mpls)

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "How will you make it on your own? This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone. But it's time you started living. It's time you let someone else do some giving! Love is all around, no need to waste it; You can have a town, why don't you take it? You're gonna make it after all ...You're gonna make it after all!" .:: meow ::.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

An update

I only have a few minutes, but wanted to post something today since I didn't yesterday!

Christmas at the Compound was good. Xmas Eve dinner w/ my Dad's parents in Red Wing - thank god none of my weird cousins were there. Although, I'd welcome the chance to meet the volleyball player, Christopher. He's my second-cousin - is it wrong to find him hot?? Oh well. I've never met him, so we may as well not even be related.

Christmas Day at my Mother's in Lake City. In attendance were my Mom, myself, brothers Judge & Rob, sisters Kris (with husband Mike), Marylee (husband Dan), Melissa (husband Curt). Nieces Liz, Sierra, Katy, Megan, Molly, Jillaine. Nephew Michael. And my Grandma. So, it was chaotic like usual. Not in attendance were brother Rich since he lives in San Fran, nor his three boys, since we haven't seen them since 1992. Also, my sister Becky wasn't there b/c she refuses to come - dysfunction junction. Her daughter Cassie did come the next day, but nephew Tyler didn't want to.

The only drama was with one of my sisters the next day. She was mad that we didn't greet her at the door when she came back, so she took her bottle of wine and left. No joke.

My friend Meg is coming to Mpls tonight on her way back to Brooklyn - she spent Xmas back home in Wisconsin and flies out of Mpls tomorrow morning. I used to date her cousin Josh and he'll be with her tonight...should be interesting. I've seen him once since we stopped dating. We dated for a few months summer '03.

Tomorrow night I have a date!!! Yay!! I'm excited. This means I have to go shopping tomorrow over lunch...If I don't find any black/charcoal pin-stripe pants that fit me, I'm going to hurt someone. If you hear of a rampage at Burnsville Center - I probably had something to do with it...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

From Our Compound to Yours

Merry Christmas from the Kennedys!

Joe Sr., Rose, Patricia, Ethel, Peter, Jean, Jack, Bobby, Eunice, R. Schriver, June, Stephen, Ted, Jackie and (not pictured - they're at the bar in the corner of ther room) Reid and HotBabe

It's About Time!!

My friends Jess and Paul finally got engaged last night. Here's the scoop: I met Paul freshmen year of college because he was dating my high school friend, Michelle. Jess and I met at the end of freshmen year thru mutual friends at a party. She was wasted playing Drinking Jenga and so I kept calling her Jen. Even the next school year because I couldn't remember her real name. Anyway, we got to be friends. Then Paul and I lived in the same house my sophomore year and he and Michelle broke up. That spring 1998, we had a huge party on our porch and in our front yard (that was an awesome college house). I introduced Jess and Paul to each other. They commiserated (sp) their relationship that evening. They went on their first real date a few days later. Now they're engaged!! And it's about time b/c Jess has only been asking for a ring for 4 of the last 6 years (almost 7). I hope she doesn't want pink bridesmaid is just not my color.

Do they deserve one?

This year I went nuts. I sent about 57 Xmas cards out - usually I send about 35. And how many do I receive in return? About 20. I'm always tempted to only send to those who send to me, but I kinda like sending cards. It's an excuse to say Hi to those friends who you don't even talk to over e-mail. I do have a lot of friends too, I must say. I like Christmas cards. I don't like it, though, when people just sign them and that's it. Why even bother? You should tell me what's new - how your year went - at least suggest getting together in 2005! Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Great Metropolis - Dodge Center

Welcome to my lovely hometown of Dodge Center, Minnesota. The following should explain why I left and why living there again is just not possible (although I do have to say the new neighborhoods by the golf course are nice...)

See a picture of Main Street on this site. I would just post the picture, but of course, something's wrong with it. There's really nothing else to look at on the city's official site anyway. There's only about 2,500 living there. Notice how the "Events" tab leads to nothing...Same with "City Jobs" and "News". Gotta love it - the town newspaper, "The Star-Record" doesn't even have a website...

Here's a map of the big city. Zoom to 200%. I lived on 2nd Ave NW - close to Trunk Highway 14. It wasn't necessarily the wrong side of the tracks, since both sides were "wrong" in some way or another. My best friend Stanley and his crazy family lived at the corner of 2nd St NE and 1st Ave NW.

Dodge Center's main employer:
They make cement and garbage trucks......No, my Dad didn't work there. He sold insurance in nearby Rochester. I went to high school with a McNeilus, which is odd b/c usually they send the heirs to private, East Coast academies...The one I knew was a cool guy. He drove a yellow Dodge Viper.

Speaking of school. This is my alma-mater, good ol' Triton High School - Home of the Cobras. Class B State Football Champions in 1994 and 2000. Not known for much else, other than a pedophile science teacher (male/male). He was my 7th grade Earth/Life Science teacher. I was even alone in a dark room with him. Nothing happened. Anyway, Triton was formed when I was entering 7th grade by combining Dodge Center High School with two other little towns nearby, West Concord and Claremont. I was from the esteemed Class of 1996. I don't think any of us (about 100) have done anything impressive like law or med school. But, I had a good time going there and still talk to a lot of my classmates.

Probably the most famous native is the real Sybil. Yes, the Sybil who had 16 personalities. The one with the book about her. The one portrayed by Sally Field in the 1976 television movie. Yep, Dodge Center is the real Willow Corners. Her name was Shirley Ardell Mason and she graduated from DCHS in 1941. I used to work with a lady who knew her...she took guitar lessons from Shirley, whom, she said, was "odd." They all knew something was up w/ that mother, my friend said. Here's an article about how she's from Dodge Center (articles from Knight Ridder AP and the Miller/Kantrowitz story appeared in Newsweek in 1999). There's also one from the New Yorker.

Finally, Dodge Center's current most colorful resident has got to be Dougie. Dougie is the autistic town dwarf, whom everybody in a 50-mile radius knows of. He has the biggest collection of license plates in the U.S. (or something like that). Everybody in Dodge Center has given him a ride at some point. He once told my Mom that her license tabs were due - he knows everybody's license plate number. There was even a feature about him on KARE 11. Takes a minute to download, but so worth it. Here's a feature article too.

So, hope you enjoyed your visit to my hometown. Just goes to show that every little dump town has some sort of story. I'm glad I grew up in a small town...seems to have more history/character than a suburb. But, apparently -- less hard news and jobs.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Holiday Memories

I've been having a really uneventful week; haven't even argued with any type of store clerk or any of my candidates, thus nothing to Blog about. So I thought of a story instead. And it's a true story that involves me being mortified and wasted at the same time...

Picture it -- New Year's Eve 1993 (about to turn 1994). Rural Kasson, a tiny town in SE Minnesota near Kiddo's hometown of Dodge Center, at a farm house of a wild girl. Her parents are in town drinking at the local bar. It's freezing, freezing cold. The house is full of drunk teenagers - mostly from Kasson. Kiddo is 15, a sophomore in high school. And really, really drunk. He stumbles to a bathroom and is kneeling in front of toilet (in the dark), patiently waiting for the vomit to come forth, gently swaying. Suddenly two guys burst in and say, "The cops are here, dude - just stay in here and don't open the door!" The vomit is even scared away. Brilliantly, Kiddo decides to escape the bathroom rather than hide as suggested by the more wise 17 year-olds. He somehow spies a window. He manages to climb into the bathtub with thoughts of fleeing from the dreaded fuzz. He falls sideways, but still manages to land face first into the tub's water spout. It hurts. The air is really bothering his nerves as he disgustedly spits out bits of teeth. Kiddo manages to climb out of the tub. He exits the bathroom and has only the strength to push past the cop-panicked teens, so much like rats trying to exit a burning chamber. He boldly swings open the kitchen door and makes his exit from the house. One step out the door, he is welcomed by a patch of ice. Face first into ice and gravel Kiddo goes. Although his head is pounding, his hands and wrists are bloodied by gravel, and he's nearly blinded by drunkeness and a flashlight pointed directly at him, he can make out the two black boots of someone standing right in front of him. Kiddo manages to slowly look up at the boot wearer/source of light and decides this person oddly resembles the cop Trihey (small town kids know all the cops). Kiddo knows he must explain.

Kiddo: "It'sh really shlippery out tonight..."

Cop Trihey: "Yeah. It'd help if you weren't so shit-faced."

Trihey proceeded to step over Kiddo and into the house. Dumbfounded and suddenly sober, Kiddo is scraped off the driveway by the two 17-year-olds and peers at his friends at the end of the driveway in a car yelling, "C'mon -- hurry!!" Kiddo is dragged to the car and is saved. They go to Subway and Kiddo sits as they eat. Later they return to the damaged, but re-started party and eventually pass out.

The next morning Kiddo gets a ride home from giggling friends. When he is in the bathroom, he is glad to see that someone had written "VIRGIN" on his forehead in blue marker. And "BOOZE" on his cheek. His teeth didn't hurt much anymore. A couple were chipped a little. Oh well, he thought...There's always the Showcase Showdown.


ADDENDUM: Nearly three years later, as a freshman at Winona State, some guy, always grinning, says hi to Kiddo each time their paths cross on campus. Kiddo has no idea who this strange, but really cute, guy is. They finally meet again at a bar. Kiddo asks who the hell he is and it turns out to be Eric - one of the 17-year-olds from Kasson who helped Kiddo escape the fateful New Year's party leading into 1994...They remain friends.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Miss M is kinda Devine

I was impressed with Bette's show on Sunday night. Had pretty decent seats, but still had to rely on the big screens to see what exactly was going on. She does a lot more than sing songs from Beaches, which was a relief. She does tell some funny stories too. I'd say very entertaining overall. She's pretty good. I can't think of anything specific to talk about, but she did seem to know Minneapolis lore. She talked about Edina cake eaters and mullets from Anoka. Also, Saint Jewish Park, which I don't think I'd ever heard before. She'd be fun to hang out with.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Shanghai Surprise

I recently noticed that you can search strictly for images on Google. I love this feature. I use to have to type in whatever I was looking for, "Betty Ford" for instance, then type image or gallery. All kinds of junk would arise. This is a great solution.

I recently searched for my last name, Gisslen (Stalkers/Killers: my apartment complex has a security door and cameras), and these are some of the more interesting items I found:

That's my second cousin from Red Wing, Christopher, whom I've never met, but plays for the U.S. Men's Volleyball team.

That's my Dad's cousin. He's a chef and pretty well-known cookbook author. And I've never cooked anything in my life...

Apparently there's some sort of company in Sweden that makes trucks and cranes & stuff. Or maybe they just sell them...Anyway, so not my style.

And last, but certainly not least, my favorite: REX GISSLEN, who was in the Swedish '80s hair band, Shanghai. He was the keyboardist.

I knew there was some reason that I had an affinity for '80s hair bands...I was practically in one!!

Johnny Carson loves her, anyway...

The group of friends I went to Canada with have tickets to Bette Midler for this Sunday night and asked if I cared to join...I don't really know what she sings, except that Wind/Wings song, but figured what the hell - I usually just sit at home alone on Sundays anyway! I bet I'll see a lot of "the gays" there! I hope Bette is drunk...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

We can drink here??

I was supposed to have my one-on-one with boss at 3:00 today. Instead the CEO told everyone to get down to the conference room for a party. She was happy so brought two bottles of champagne and a pie from Baker's Square. I've never drank at work before - it was odd. Well, once my co-workers and I were working late so we got pizza and each had 2 beers...but that was a big secret. Now my CEO is bringing booze to work *and* pie. I think I love it here. Except drinking in front of the boss and CEO is not high on my list. I don't want to drink too fast like I normally would otherwise they'll know what I do every weekend. And I don't think they'd be too impressed if I got buzzed and my Betty Ford eyes started to appear...(my eyes sometimes get weird looking when I drink. I used to call them my Bette Davis eyes, then decided that Betty Ford was more appropriate...that old drunk floozy). We had our office holiday party at CEO's big house last weekend - some of the people can really throw 'em back! I waited patiently b/c Angela and I were going out afterwards anyway, so I only had 2 drinks. That's the night A. wound up making out with "Derrik" in my kitchen...

Who's got more drunk eyes??


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Take a breath, Barbara!

The music intercom at work is playing all X-mas music today - usually they don't turn it on. I'm not sure what the occassion is, but maybe they turned it on today b/c some of the ladies are going to go buy gifts for the needy at Target and wrap them here later on...I would help, but I have to leave at 1:00. Am returning to my alma-mater, Winona State, with friend Jocelyn to talk to their student chapter of Int'l Assoc of Biz Communicators (IABC). I was the president my junior year. They asked us to come talk to them about finding PR jobs...even though I don't work in PR anymore. But, whatevah...

ANYAY, that really fast version of Jingle Bells by Barbara Streisand just played. I remember that song from being little and getting out of breath just listening to her. Now that is some fast singin'. It's like Jingle Bells for crack addicts.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Jesus, give me strength

Okay - so my friend/co-worker Angela and I went out tonight after our CEO's Xmas party....there is currently some cute straight boy in my kitchen making out w/ her. I've been banished to my room. I just hope they're not drinking my booze...I'm gonna need it to get thru this night (and thank god my 'puter is playing loud music to dull the sucking noises). Breeders.....I swear....horniest white folk I ever saw.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Wow, I'm healthy today - kinda

So, I've only had 2 cigarettes so far today and it's almost 3:00. I don't really like to go smoke that much when it's cold. That's one good thing about winter. Then, for lunch, I had half a ham wrap thing, then an hour later, a Healthy Choice meal (Chicken Fettucine) and 3 orange slices. Isn't that healthy?! To top it all off, I had 4 Snackwells cookies (they're the healthier ones), which is much better than my usual handful of M&Ms from VP's office and an eventual trip to the vending machine for chocolate.

I've been so good that I think I'll reward myself with a smoke break and a trip to the vendy...