Welcoming 2016!

Well, here we are in 2016.  How are we already in 2016?  In a way it feels like I have done so much in 2015, but on the other hand, it doesn’t seem like another year could possibly be gone!  Let’s go over where Mike and I were this time last year.

  • I was two months into an eight month yoga teacher training class and still a little nervous about actually doing yoga teaching.
  • Mike and I were still living in an apartment with no buying prospects.
  • Piper was not receiving twice daily injections from me.
  • Mike was still working at Fluke.
  • I had just quit Amazon but hadn’t yet started at Groupon.

A lot has happened in 2015!  It will probably be difficult for 2016 to measure up, but we’ll see how it goes.  🙂

I have officially survived the holiday store closures of the Christmas/New Year’s season!  For some reason that is completely unknown to me, I get a little freaked out when the grocery stores are closed on Christmas Day (and to a lesser degree I also freak out a little when they have shorter hours for Christmas Eve, New Year’s, etc).  I have literally no idea why this is.  It’s not as though I go to the grocery store every day.  It’s not as though there aren’t grocery stores that are open, even on Christmas Day (the one that’s right by our house is closed, but if we drove a mile we could get to one that was open).  It’s not as though we have nothing in the house to eat even if I don’t go to the grocery store.  It’s not even as though we’d starve if we literally had nothing to eat on Christmas Day.  But despite all logical, common-sense arguments to the contrary I freak out a little bit inside when I know that I will be unable to run to the store if I unexpectedly run out of something.  What am I afraid of?  “Oops… that was the last of the milk.  OH NO!  Now Mike can’t have milk for 24 hours!  No CEREAL!  No PROTEIN DRINKS!  No MILK AND COOKIES!”  In case you were wondering, this is what is officially meant by the term “first-world problems”: twenty-four hours without the ability to buy anything from a fully-featured grocery store a five-minute walk from one’s house results in a crisis.

Mike and I spent a very quiet New Year’s… we thought about going out at night, but we are both kind of tired of going out when it’s dark outside (which happens almost always this time of year because the days are so short).  It’s much nicer being outside while it’s light outside.  So we went out during the day and then spent a quiet evening at home watching a movie.

Mike and I have been seeing a lot of movies lately.  I’m not sure what’s up with that.  I think the key is that usually Mike wants to watch scary movies, and I don’t, and then we compromise by watching nothing.  (Great compromise, huh?)   Over Christmas/New Year’s though we’ve both opened up our horizons (and Mike has laid off the scary movies at least for now), and we’ve seen several interesting movies together.  We kicked off our movie spree by seeing the new Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight in 70mm film.  In case you don’t know much about film (which I absolutely didn’t), all modern movies are filmed in digital.  Old school movies were filmed in 35mm film.  And a very few epic films were filmed in 70mm film (movies like Ben Hur and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World).  And of course Quentin Tarantino who loves the glorious film days of old, filmed his new movie in 70mm film and wanted it screened in a longer “roadshow” version in select theaters nationwide using a film projector (i.e. not a digital film projector).  The special roadshow version was screening in one of the Seattle theaters, and Mike and I bought tickets immediately and made plans to go with some friends of ours.  We had dinner before the movie with our friends, and got to the movie about fifteen minutes early.  That was clearly not early enough, because the theater was already almost full and we had to sit down in the front row area.  I’ve only sat in that super front area once before when watching Ocean’s Eleven (so obviously a long time ago!).  We settled in our seats, which were really comfortable and enjoyed the show.  Well, enjoyed might be the wrong word.  Tarantino movies are always interesting in that I  never ever have any idea what’s going to happen next, but they’re usually pretty extremely violent so ‘enjoy’ is a strange word to use for them.  About fifteen minutes in, the projector temporarily broke and had to be readjusted (clearly the older film projector is not being maintained these days), but someone got it up and running again in about a minute.  I heard that a lot of theaters had “technical” problems related to the film projector, but our experience was fortunately mostly good.  It was strange to see the flickery artifacts of film on a screen again… I haven’t seen those in a really long time!  All in all, it was a fun evening.

Then Mike wanted to see the new Star Wars, so we went to see that.  And I will say absolutely nothing about it since I’ll just end up spoiling something for someone who hasn’t seen it yet.  Instead I will just say that Mike and I thought it was better than the three prequels but not as good as the three originals.  Which is likely in the range everyone thinks it will fall.  And I will say that I love, love, love BB8!  Cutest droid EVER!  Apparently I’m not alone in thinking this since you can buy your own little motorized BB8 droid from BestBuy and from Brookstone.

I chose The Intern to watch.  It’s a movie starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in which Anne Hathaway’s character owns a startup internet-based business and Robert De Niro comes in as part of a senior intern program.  Really interesting and left Mike and me with lots of food for thought!  And of course, it’s basically impossible for either Anne Hathaway or Robert De Niro to pull off a bad acting performance, so the acting was really good.

For our final movie of 2015, we watched The Hidden Fortress.  And I really don’t know what to say about it.  It’s a 1958 Japanese movie (but with English subtitles).  It was a good story, but it was definitely a really old movie.  I think overall I feel that it was very well-done, but wouldn’t work well with the short attention spans of modern mainstream audiences.  There were long stretches where nothing significant seemed to happen, and Mike and I watched it in several chunks.  Still, a very interesting movie to round out our 2015 movie watching!

Also, in the spirit of closing out 2015 with a bang, Mike and I started a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle.  This was most definitely my idea, but Mike was fairly ok with it even though he had no great desire to spend time doing a jigsaw puzzle.  I can now say that I finally understand why people need dining room tables; they need a place to spread out 1500 similarly-sized jigsaw puzzle pieces.  I literally don’t know how you could do a puzzle this big without a pretty large table.  So, for the moment, there’s only one end of the table that we can actually eat on and instead of being a dining table it’s really turned into a puzzle table which we occasionally also use for eating.

Mike and I have also been doing some cleaning in the spirit of entering 2016 with more of a clean slate.  Last night Mike wanted me to come downstairs to see his cleaning progress on his room.  I had Piper in my lap and told him I’d be down later when Piper wasn’t on my lap anymore.  Mike walked straight to the kitchen, got out a salmon treat from the fridge, left the fridge door open, and put the salmon treat next to Piper’s food dish.  Piper and I both jumped up immediately, Piper to get the salmon treat and me to close the fridge door.  Mike grinned mischievously.

“Looks like I got you both up at once,” he said.  “Want to come see my cleaning progress downstairs?”

Score one for Mike.  😉

The weather here has been really cold lately!  It hasn’t been precipitating, but if it were it would be snowing.  As it is, there is frost on the leaves in the morning (and the frost pretty much stays there until the sun hits the leaves… which given how short our days are sometimes doesn’t happen).  I’ve still been running (in fact, this is actually pretty great running weather since it’s been dry and sunny, even though it’s cold).

I wanted to make New Year’s resolutions this year (and pretty much every year).  Mike didn’t want to, but I remembered that when I talked about New Year’s resolutions to one of the personal trainers at our gym, the trainer said he didn’t like ‘resolutions’ because it sounded weak.  He preferred ‘goals’.  So I asked Mike if we could set New Year’s ‘goals’, and Mike agreed right away.

Score one for Karena.  😉

As far as Piper goes, she is feeling much, much better.  She’s back to playing, tearing around the house, and spending a lot of time looking out the windows and watching people and dogs go by.  I took her to the follow-up appointment at the vet, and she no longer has a UTI which is awesome and means that these antibiotic injections are working.  To make sure the bacteria is 100% gone, I’ll be continuing to give her injections for the next month and then she’ll go back to the vet for a final follow-up appointment.  And the injections are really ‘old hat’ at this point, as surprising as that seems to me.  It helps a lot that Piper is really cooperative.  She hates the injections but she sits still for them.  And who knew I would become so adept at changing needles on syringes, mixing up antibiotics, and giving injections?  Certainly not one of my aspirations for 2015, but things happen!  I called the vet so many times with questions over the first few weeks that I think they were probably ready to block my calls entirely.

I suppose Mike and I will have to take down our Christmas tree soon.  *Sigh*  We have really enjoyed it, and I loved having all the twinkly lights from the tree on when I came downstairs in the morning, but oh well.  Mike says we need to put it away soon so that it’s special when we put it up next year.  True, and even a little profound.  🙂  Happy 2016!



Filed under Cats, Holidays, Weather, Winter

2 responses to “Welcoming 2016!

  1. Karen

    Karena, Happy New Year to you and Mike also. Are you excited about Cathy and the girls coming to stay in Seattle for awhile? At least that was the last plan I heard. Could have changed!
    Thanks for the movie recommendations. It is almost impossible to know what to go see anymore. You don’t see a lot of previews on TV unless its a huge movie like Star Wars. And since I retired this last year, I don’t get the casual chatter.
    I also wanted to mention that I also love puzzles. I got hooked up with some digital puzzles sites (don’t need a huge dining room table for that) but it was so addictive I had to quit. I mean, hours on the computer. I guess that’s what happens when people get hooked on video games.
    Love to all. Aunt Karen

    • We are very excited that they are out here! We got to see them for the first time last week, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of them in general! I am so addicted to the puzzle… I got a 1500 piece one and it’s taking a long time to complete, but it feels so therapeutic at the end of a long day! 🙂 Love, Karena

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