Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year to YOU!!!!

Since I couldn’t get my act together to send out holiday cards, I figured I would regale you with a wonderfully entertaining 2008 recap. Of course, the main and most important purpose of this card is to wish you a wonderful and happy new year! Each one of you makes my life wonderful and I truly appreciate you. I hope everything that is good comes your way in 2009!

Last year, I rang in 2008 at home watching Battlestar Galatica with Neill. We were both sick and, after I refused antibiotics, I stayed in bed and missed the first two weeks of 2008 while I watched Neill quickly regain his health. This officially marked the beginning of my belief in modern medicine. Don’t worry though – I still believe “germs” are just part of a large conspiracy to make us spend $$$ on needless antibacterial soaps, scrubs, sprays, and what not. January wasn’t all wasted being sick though. I started interviewing at the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) on January 16th and I was officially hired as a Call Center Supervisor on February 2nd.

February was busy! I went through NRS’ 40 hour crisis intervention training and started transitioning into the working world. Man. Working 8 to 4 was certainly a shock to my system! This is also when I said goodbye to my Saturdays and Sundays and welcomed Tuesdays and Wednesdays as my days off. Weird. As I fully transitioned into working at NRS, I finished off my research assistantships. At DePaul University, I had the chance to work on a paper with other students from Dr. Kathy Grant’s lab on the moderating effects of ethnicity on the relationship between body image and disordered eating. At Loyola University Chicago, I finished working on my poster (with Dr. Colleen Conley and Dr. Maryse Richards) on the safe sex practices and sexual satisfaction of adolescents and emerging adults. Whew.

I presented that poster at the Society for Research on Adolescence in the beginning of March. Other than that, I don’t think much else was going on in March besides my birthday (the big 22 on the 23rd!). AND Miriam and Erica came to visit us in Chicago and we all had a cray cray time at SubT’s free styling night.

April started off right with going to see Explosions in the Sky on April 1st. I also started guitar lessons on April 2nd (which I have since given up). On a more humiliating note, April 9th will forever go down as the day I bowled a TWO. Yes. You have that right. TWO. Oh – and to make it worse – I bowled this horrendously bad game in front of ALL of my new coworkers. And there are pictures. Bummer. Thankfully, I was able to escape to Florida for Passover and relax some days away with Neill, mom, Lanie, and Zadie.

Between April and May, I had the opportunity to attend an eye opening training on commercial sexual exploitation of youth that was based off of a training put together by GEMS . Other highlights of May include: a visit from Jayson, checking out Thrice at the Metro, and seeing Maritime at the Double Door.

In June, I spent a bit of time being disappointed that I wasn’t in Europe like the summer before. Boo. But, on the bright side, I visited Knox for the first time since I graduated to watch some of my best buds get their diplomas! I was hot as hell in Galesburg, but I had such a great time chillin at Knox. I also took a quick trip down to Circle Pines Center with Gracie and Cathy to visit Kevin and Tessa (and drop Cathy off for her summer of fun!). When I was there, I got soooo nostalgic for Circle Pines and I’m definitely hoping to visit again next summer.

In July, we had visitors from Canada and we learned how to play the super fun card game Dutch Blitz. Also, Neill recorded Through This Night (check out their awesome review and then buy the CD!!!!) with his band, Ready the Destroyer. I’m pretty sure July also involved a lot of BBQing and beer drinking J

August was more of the BBQing and drinking. Also, Kurt and Jayson came into town for Lallapalooza. I’m happy that I got a chance to hear about all of the music without actually having to wade around with the masses in Grant Park. On a sad note, we had to say goodbye to Brian when he left for his AmeriCorps program in California L

September 1st, Neill and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary with a three day weekend of relaxation and fun. We bought each other a beautiful floor length mirror after living without one for a year. I remember thinking, “Oh…That’s what I look like!” We also started checking out the stand up comedy show at the Beat Kitchen. Very funny! One guy in particular really made us laugh. His stage name is Hannibal, but I think he has since moved to NYC.

Late September I went back to Florida for Rosh Hoshana and spent time with Lanie and my Grandfather. October was mainly lost to sleeping and TVs because I had my wisdom teeth out. Yuck. Luckily, I was still able to catch Ani DiFranco at the Chicago Theatre. (If you haven’t checked out her new album yet, I highly recommend it!) Seriously though, that’s all for October!

This is of course brining us very close to present day. November was all about THE ELECTION and OBAMA. (Actually, this reminds me, I probably spent waaaay too many hours watching the Rachel Maddow show in October). And, almost as important, Neill has his 30th birthday celebration at Piece. This was when I decided I like stouts (Piece’s flat iron stout is sooo good). Right before Thanksgiving, Neill and I saw LuLu at the Lyric Opera. This was somewhat similar to being tortured (at least for me. I think Neill liked it more). Then, James and Neill made an outrageous Thanksgiving dinner complete with 2 pies and a 20 pound turkey! After, we went to mom’s house to celebrate with my mom, dad, and Ruth.

December has been all about The Holidays and, of course, adjusting to the cold cold cold wet wet wet icey ice icey weather in Chicago. We celebrated Chanukah with my family in Chicago and then went to West Virginia for Christmas to be with his family.

I hope all of you are had a wonderful and warm holiday season! I think 2009 is going to be amazing I and I want to hear all about your wonderful adventures (or misadventures).

Happy New Year!

All my heart,
Alisha O.

1 comment:

neillm said...

i love the recap! Happy New Years to you too! :-D

-neill.