Monthly Archives: December 2006

end of the year list, clarie’s, guns

As promised, Uncle Tim took us to the shooting range. We all had a pretty rad time. If we were not shooting, then we were sitting in fear watching a man two tables down shoot round after round after round from his handgun, and being on target every time. Normally he would not have phased us, but he just looked so angry. There was also a man in an electric wheelchair who was exercising his second amendment right. I never thought I would ever see a man in a wheelchair carting around a rifle. The most impressive thing about him was watching him drive a minivan. Tim also took us out on the shotgun range, which was also pretty fun. I was sore for almost two days from the kickback on that gun. Yay guns!

Other things I have done over the past few days: drank coffee and dogsat.

Candice came down on Friday night to hang out and get some free Subway and walk around The Greene. At The Greene (or, as I like to call it, Easton Jr.) we dealt with a very obnoxious assistant manager with a staring problem at Claire’s. While in the store for about fifteen minutes, I was informed no less than three times that all earrings were buy two and get the third pair free, and that “the sale” included all earrings in the store, earring backs, and rings. For anyone who is not a frequent shopper at Claire’s, that isn’t a sale, that’s just actually the way they are always priced. She did not appreciate that we pointed out the ridiculousness of many of their items. ie: felt reindeer antler headband with stringy black curly fake hair attached, although I am starting to think that this accessory was just a wonderful dream, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere.

It’s the last day of 2006, and as always, it hasn’t hit me. Because every year I seem to be missing this feeling that so many people apparently have about the new year, I am starting to think that I should pay less attention to the actual date of January 1st. Over the past few years, I have really come to love CBS Sunday Morning, especially their end of year special. I think it has fantastic commentary on the year. Every year they do a “Hail and Farewell” as Charles Osgood pays homage to many of the great people who have passed on over the past year. I watched this this morning and wept.

Anyway, my end of the year list. I’ve been reading a lot of these on blogs and message boards, and I’ve always had a hard time with listing things in order, especially when they span the past 365 days. So, you will not get to hear my picks for music of the year and movie of the year. Here is my list:

Best Times of 2006:
(in sort of chronological order)

  • Seeing The New Pornographers open for Belle & Sebastian with Matt in Louisville
  • Trying to ride all of the elevators on campus in one night
  • “Hot Summer Days”
  • Spending the night in Candice and Meg’s room on the last night of school in May, listening to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in the dark, and singing every word, and Leaving my no-good futon in the courtyard of the Rodgers Quadrangle with a sign that simply read “FREE: JUST TAKE IT”
  • Working as a camp counselor for the Girl Scout Challenge and Change program
  • Several trips to Athens
  • Quitting my job at DSW
  • The Ohio State Fair (this one always makes the list)
  • Riding in the back of Mike’s truck late one night in August, realizing the majesty of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Decorating my first apartment in the most ridiculous way
  • Riding in the back of Mike’s truck late one night in August, realizing the majesty of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • The rise of themed parties (This includes Trashy Prom, BisCasFri, The Rock and Roll Party, The Red Party, Party at the Moon Tower, and Halloween)
  • Finding out that Grace was going to be alright
  • Seeing Ben Kweller four times
  • Making the BITCHSLAP movie
  • Two trips to Grand Rapids
  • Realizing that I have created a new family from my friends, and feeling loved by all of them
  • Family get-togethers
  • A trip to Delta
  • UFO Benefit show
  • The lights at the zoo
  • Winter breaking with no real plans

There you have it. My most memorable times of 2006.

Now I am going to eat some Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese, as recomended by the ladies of Heat. Eat. Review.

Break: Days 8-11

I found a new Wikipedia article today to add to my “Favorite Wikipedia Articles.”

List of Objects Dropped on New Year’s Eve

Others:

Fan Death (My #1 favorite, I go back and reread it a lot.)
Ohio State Fair
Mothman

On to more “What Emily Does Over Break” updates:

Day 7, Christmas Eve:

  • Sat and read at Starbucks for a while (#1 activity of the break)
  • Braved Best Buy and Borders for the second day in a row
  • Saw The Pursuit of Happyness with my family and grandparents. Got dinner at the Cheesecake Factory afterwards. We were all stuffed, and almost everyone brought home a big box of food with them.
  • Opened presents (I finally have my own suitcase!)
  • Watched more songs scrobble on my last.fm page

Day 8, Christmas:

  • Sat around with my parents and enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada. The weirdest thing about that is my dad was the one who insisted that we watch it, and he also enjoyed it the most.
  • Headed to Al and Lydia’s house, where the Berens clan gathered.
    • Watched the “little” (everyone under college-age) cousins open gifts
      • Annual wrapping paper fight happens at this time, while the kiddies open their presents.
    • “Adult” gift exchange (not adult gifts, the adults gave gifts.)
      • I got a mug with a quasi-creepy face on it. I like it a lot, and it will hold pencils on my desk.
    • Second cousins came, including Brian and his new wife, Heather, who were in from Colorado. I like her a lot, I’m glad she’s family now.
    • Listened to two unnamed uncles talk (in all seriousness) about how when/if there is a nuclear strike against the country, the family will gather together at one of these unnamed uncle’s home. Also that ammunition will be used as currency. This was my favorite part of Christmas.
    • Listened to an unnamed drunk aunt carry on about how “smokin’ hot” George Clooney is, and how sad she was that his pet pig recently died.
    • Looked at photos with my BFF cousin, Sarah

(Anyone wanting more information on the Berens Family Christmas Freak Show, just ask.)

  • Drove to Athens with Amy at 11PM to turn her heat back on.
    • This was a delightful little trip. Amy and I got two hours of quality time on the way to Athens, then sat and watched a few episodes of Next and played with her new computer (mostly with Photobooth.)

Day 9, Boxing Day:

  • Drove back from Athens, more quality time with Amy
  • Sat around for a long time, watching scrobbling
  • Went out to see The History Boys with Amy. I enjoyed this flick a lot. I’d like to see it again sometime soon.
    • I thought that Samuel Barnett was fantastic. I hope to see him in many more roles.

Day 10, The day after Boxing Day:

  • Sat and read some more.
  • Walked around the mall for a while, ran into Danetta and chatted
  • Got some lunch with Ratie
  • Had to deal with Bandit, the Devil Dog.
    • I am currently dog sitting for a family, and their 5 pound Yorkie mix is one of the meanest things I’ve ever dealt with. After more than an hour, I got him to go outside to go to the bathroom, but not before getting bitten…a lot.
  • Val is in town. We went to Skyline in her honor.
  • Got an unexpected phone call from Matthew Wagner: they were coming down from Lancaster to visit. Two hours later, April, Matthew, and Seth were in Dayton. I had not seen any of them in a long while, and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Tomorrow my Uncle Tim is taking the older cousins out to a shooting range to play with his guns. Had the invitation come from anyone but Tim, I would have politely declined. Jazz musician + guns + nature + my family = a good time.

My New Year’s Resolution(s)

  1. Learn to use chopsticks
  2. Listen more, speak less
  3. Keep on top of my tasks
  4. ‚ÄúPreach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” -St Francis
  5. Cook for myself more

Break: Days 5 & 6

Friday:

  • Lunch with Grandma and “The Grandgirls” (Josie, Sarah, and I)
  • Nice, long nap
  • Dinner and gossip with Centerville Woodbourne Troop #1087
    • Congrats to Laura and Jenni on their engagements!

Saturday:

  • Braved the mall area (Dayton Mall, Best Buy, Circuit City, Half Priced Books, Target)
  • Had Taco Bell for the first time in months with Merek
  • Ran into an old friend from church
  • Hung out at my cousins’ for a while
    • Aunt Becky gave me a sneak-peak at the cookbook my grandmother has been putting together for the past six months. It is a large compilation of our family recipes. Also included was a short history of my Great Great Grandmother.
  • Ventured back to the mall area for a trip to Borders
  • Contemplated having the words “FAITH, FAMILY, COUNTRY” tattooed somewhere on my body; it was quickly ruled out
  • Saw The Good Shepherd with Amy
    • Matt Damon’s performance was excellent. I wish he would have been a little bit older.
    • Lee Pace (of Wonderfalls fame) was also very, very good.
    • Alec Baldwin did not charm me as much as he did in The Departed, or his role on 30 Rock, but I enjoyed him nonetheless.
    • Joe Pesci’s age shocked me. I think that he had some great dialogue, though. He said: “We Italians have our families and The Church. The Irish have their homeland […]”

And so tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Merek and I discussed for a little while, and we both agree that it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas this year. Both of us are unsure why. I think by tomorrow we will both be a little more in the spirit.

I apologize for these somewhat boring entries. I know that I simply compile the things I’ve done over the days. Maybe I’ll make some “Best of 2006” lists.

Break: Days 4 & 5

Yesterday was spent mostly at Starbucks (as usual) and with Katie. We also braved Wal-Mart to buy supplies to make Power Puff Girl costumes. (She is going to a conference, and they have to dress up like superheros…or so she tells me.) Since we are both craft geniuses, I think the costumes are going to be pretty swell.

Today was a bit more exciting. I took more pictures of myself in the mirror in the garage for a while longer, and got some coffee and enjoyed a little more of The Screwtape Letters. After a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, Nothing But Noodles, Candice and I went down to the Dayton Art Institute. My favorite piece was a small room-sized sculpture of two people made out of jelly beans, surrounded by butterflies on the walls behind it. When you passed this censor, the butterflies started moving. Candice and I stood by it for a long time. We also sat in the Asian Art wing for a while on a nice couch staring at a tapestry, but mostly talking about how funny it would be to take a nap at the museum. It was a lot of fun.


(more photos)

Also, I made the Dean’s List again.

Break: Day 3

Today was much more busy. The run-down:

  • Woke up early and finished Queen of the Oddballs by Hillary Carlip. Funniest book I read all year. As I was reading it yesterday at Starbucks, I laughed out loud multiple times while reading. I recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs about ordinary people with extraordinary situations arising in their lives. I sent a message her way, and have already received a response. I like her. I want to be friends with her. I’m a creep.

  • Started into The Screwtape Letters.
  • Headed over to CHS to see Mr. Barry Peters. We chatted for a while about what I was up to, his classes, what movies we have seen. Both of us agreed that Jackass 2 was very entertaining. He almost started crying he was laughing so hard just thinking about it. I recommended that he see The Departed, and I told him that I thought it was the best movie of the year. He says he will see it.
  • Noticed that there is now a mirror in our garage that used to be in the bathroom. Took a picture of myself in it.
  • Got coffee with Daniel. There’s a new cafe open down by UD, and they have reasonably priced coffee and free popcorn.
  • Went to Trivia Night at Harrigan’s with my father and little brother. Dad drank a few beers. Let’s not forget how fun Alan is after a few beers. (File Photo) Eventually would do anything Merek and I told him to do. This includes an acapella version of “Dog Pound Hop” (the Ren and Stimpy theme song) that sounded nothing like it, and also the Pee Wee Herman dance when the DJ played “Tequila.” For anyone unfamiliar with this dance, see below:

I wonder what great adventure will be in store for me tomorrow afternoon. Target maybe? More sitting at a coffee shop alone reading? I can only hope.

Break: Days 1 & 2

Well, it’s officially Winter Break, and I am unemployed, and have no real plans. I have been home from BG for two full days now, and there has been a lot of excitement:

  • Mavis took me shopping, she bought me a sweater, some jeans, and a few other wintry things I needed, as well as a copy of The Screwtape Letters, and lunch at Panera. Thanks to my mother.
  • Got some lunch with Ratie, walked down to Gustin’s Hallmark and played “Guess that Scent” with all of the candles. In the end, there was a lot less vomiting than the time my brothers and I played this in the car on our way back from a family vacation.
  • Spent about seven hours at my old Girl Scout leader’s house watching DVR-ed episodes of our favorite show, Dog the Bounty Hunter, as well as a rerun of House, a few Dr. 90210, and any celebrity trash that was featured on VH1 at the moment. Sia and Kristin were there as well.

I have a feeling that the rest of break will be spent sitting at my desk watching as last.fm scrobbles my iTunes. If you were wondering what was my top artists this week, here you go:

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Maybe I’ll catch a movie or two down at The Neon on my afternoons. I was also thinking of stopping in to see Mr. Peters tomorrow during my brother’s class. Partly so I can make a big deal of seeing my brother in his natural habitat: Centerville High School, but mostly so that I can see Mr. Peters, my favorite teacher ever.

“it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e. cumings