Love Is ...

Roasted chickens are $5 at Whole Foods on Thursdays.
Brandon, who happens to love him some roasted chicken, is in tech this week, working his job-job from 8 till 6ish, taking the bus up to rehearsal, then rehearsing from 7 till 11. No time for dinner.
So I spent 5 bucks, picked off my dinner, and left the rest for my exhausted husband.

I looked at the leftovers and decided that an important component of marriage is saving half of a dessicated animal carcass for your mate.

This is only one of the many ways in which Brandon and I are much like wild lions on the African veldt.

you may as well enjoy it; "it" in this case being "not actually being able to go to the gym"

Dear Person Who Stole My Gym Shoes From The Gym:

I'll be watching for those silver size 81/2 adidas. Don't think I won't. I'll be watching for them. And WHEN I FIND YOU, bobbing on a Precor, powerwalking on a treadmill or HEAVEN FORBID in a private session (hold me back) with a personal trainer (hold me back), by heaven almighty, I WILL let you know.

Oh, I will bust you. Hard core BUST you.

I will SO do one of the following:
  • Give you a supportive smile and tell you I think it's great that bigger girls like you make the effort to exercise, and one day you'll get rid of all that unsightly fat
  • Give you some workout tips, like focusing on good alignment and NOT STEALING SHIT, BITCH, HAND OVER MY KICKS.
  • Compliment you on your shoes, and mention that I used to have a pair like that, but they really aggravated my acute toenail fungus. And I wore them without socks. A LOT.
  • Cry, "GYMGOERS!!!!" -at which point everyone will take off their headphones, drop their weights, and look - 'THIS WOMAN STOLE MY SHOES!!!' and an instant citizen trial will ensue with everyone on the exercise bikes listening to me go all Law & Order on you, then casting you out of the gym forevermore, hurling bosus at you as you stumble out in tears
  • Compliment you on your shoes, and mention that I used to have a pair like that, but they really aggravated my FOOT HERPES.
  • Challenge you to a pilates-abs-off for the shoes, and everyone will stop working out, gather around, and cheer for me (me and JUSTICE) as I kick your ass and reclaim my shoes and then get a free smoothie from the juice bar
  • Compliment you on your shoes, and mention that I used to have a pair like that and I liked to rub them against my butt. Like, pretty hard. When it itched. And I have a pretty itchy butt. Hey, but great shoes.
  • Look at you really mean, and ... just ... give you some REALLY MEAN LOOKS. Like, uncertain, because maybe I'm mistaken and I'd hate to give dirty looks to the wrong person, but definitely kind of MEAN.
Oh sweet revenge.
It will be mine.
Until then, bits. Until THEN.


look better by covering up 1/3 of your face

Oh Target sunglasses. How I love you.

How else can you go from looking fussy and worried and vaguely remorseful about not going to the gym tonight, again,

to looking like a multilingual expert at money laundering and arms trading who is SO DEFINITELY wearing matching underwear?

(multilingual money launderer and arms trader who hangs out in a messy office with a trombone case and ikea desk in the background)

I booked a voiceover today, thank goodness.
Between my show and running props for another show on my day off, I'm just barely making enough to pay bills. If -if if if- they keep the spot and use it for what they say they're going to use it for, this afternoon's half hour of work should bring in two to three months' rent. In general, I don't count the money until I get the check in my hands, but today I splurged a little.

you may as well enjoy it.

A nice review said nice things about me.

Blog: so do you feel successful?

Me: I hate to say it, but ... FUCK YES I DOOOOOOOO!

Blog: And you know you shouldn't care very much.

Me: I know.

Blog: Because if it had been bad, then you would tell yourself it didn't matter much.

Me: I know.

Blog: Because it really doesn't matter much.

Me: I know. The audiences matter.

Blog: The audiences matter.

Me: Right.


Blog: But good job. This is a nice part of the job. You should enjoy it.


a lone victory in tv vs theater

My grandmother has taken to calling television programming 'plays.'
As in:
Mimi: Well, there's a real good play on the Hallmark Channel tonight.


pros and cons to the best job in the world:

tumbling out of bed and tossing on a coat to go to work
(wardrobe, makeup and hair to be done at the theater)

getting so wrapped up in the physicality of a scene that you fail to notice what you're doing to your own body.

it's nice to share

the graffiti at my el stop makes me optimistic about ways to share success,

in life as in pro wrestling.


if this weren't disgusting, it would make a great survivalist man/nature movie.

2 men survive 25 days at sea bobbing in a cooler

By ROD McGUIRK – 1 day ago

Authorities did not say what the men ate or drank during their ordeal.

The Sydney Morning Herald's Wednesday edition said the younger man, Ko Ko Oo, reported that he and his companion, Haung Htaik, survived on only monsoon rainwater for the first 10 days.

"Then two big seabirds came and vomited some small fish — about six or seven little fish, and that's all," Oo told the newspaper through an interpreter during an interview at the Thursday Island Hospital before the pair was discharged Tuesday afternoon.


but can I just say:


AND CRACKED UP at my "Mrs Question Mark" character.

That happened.

And I won't brag about it anymore.

**update: You too, Tai. He was delighted by you too.

homeless folks become a challenge

The people 2 floors above us were robbed a day or two ago. Today we got this email from the building developer:
Today we found a homeless man & women sleeping in our 1428-3S model unit. Man said the gate was open and door unlocked last Friday. He did not have any master keys. Police were called and he was arrested. Though possible, I do not think he was involved in the robbery. He will be questioned by detectives.

Homeless folks become a challenge during periods of extreme cold. Please be sure gates & front doors are closed and LOCKED. Locks stick when it is very cold.
Successful ways to be compassionate and take care of each other.
And realize that you can't just, okay, no really, you can't just LEAVE the door open and look the other way so someone can have a warm place to sleep.

but people need a warm place to sleep.

but that's someone else's job, right?

Ugh. I live in this community. This is now sort of my job. As someone who actually has a warm place to sleep.

{musical interlude for Internet Research}

Thanks for holding.
The nearest homeless shelter, REST (Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions) is about 3 miles away, which doesn't make a lot of sense. I live in a pretty poor neighborhood. Not only that, but check THIS out:


EXCLUSIVE - THE BENCH - Four aldermen on Chicago's north side flatly refused another alderman's pleas to help find space for an endangered homeless shelter.

The men's shelter in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood will be shut down on December 1 and evicted from the church that has housed it for 25 years. The City of Chicago said it would pay for a temporary space for the shelter until May 1, 2009.
Four aldermen, you say.
Alderman Joe Moore (49th Ward)
Alderman Eugene Schulter (47th Ward)

Helen Shiller (46th Ward)
Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward)
That top one? Joe Moore? That would be my alderman.

Well hell. If I could wear this

on the CTA, maybe I can also call my alderman.
And find room to kick a humble portion of my pathetic actor's salary to REST.

Challenge on.

things to blog about.

  • first performance in front of an audience today
  • official opening this saturday
  • the water pipe that burst last saturday night (subpost: HOW MUCH WATER can come out of such a SMALL SMALL pipe)
  • filing an insurance claim for a bed, mattress, bedding, and chair, and destroyed drywall and ceiling
  • how much water a chandelier can safely hold (?)
  • how much bedding costs
  • taking advantage of your insurance in a prudent and shrewd way, and TAKING ADVANTAGE of your insurance in an illegal fraud way
  • making homemade chicken and dumplings

I'll get on it soon. It's coming. With well-crafted sentences, too.


Exceeds expectations

A year ago I wasn't even REMOTELY sold on Obama. Like a lot of people, any enthusiasm I started to feel was mitigated -that is to say, coldcocked in the face then slammed into ice water by my certainty -absolute CERTAINTY- that the United States of America was just not ready to elect a black president.

Given the bigotry and idiocy that we have proved ourselves capable of, as a nation and as a species, it seemed NAIVE to support this guy.


I was wrong.
I shouldn't have doubted us.

My cousin's status update says: is thinking that it will never again be as good as it is at this very moment.

He's probably right. This moment is all potential and possibility. Tomorrow is dealing with Gaza and the Mexican drug wars and oh yeah, the economy. Tomorrow is guaranteed struggle and setbacks.

But then again, maybe we'll surprise ourselves and we'll be even more amazing than we thought.

It's happened before.


it's finally 1/19/09

Image: U.S. President George W. Bush
Don't let the door fly off its hinges and punish you in a level of brutality and vengeance commonly found in Greek mythology ON YOUR WAY OUT.


quality vs quantity

I think the point of a blog -for me, anyway- IS quantity over quality, with a general faith that quality will eventually bob to the surface. Emphasizing quantity also helps me keep from judging myself into paralysis.

I also try to keep the entries short as a means of damage control. Ten or less poorly-written, boring sentences are easier to forgive, as a reader, than an entire screen full of poorly-written, boring paragraphs.

Occasionally I wonder if I shouldn't labor over these entries a little more, though. When you have so few words, it shouldn't be that hard to make them completely excellent. Bloggers I admire seem to make every sentence pack a huge punch.

For examples. From Dooce and James Lileks, respectively:
Several weeks ago we were wiling away an early Sunday evening in the living room, the two of us watching the national news while Leta pretended that her Sleeping Beauty Barbie was dead.
There’s nothing as surreal as cigarette ads. I don’t even know where to begin with this, except to note that 9 out of 10 doctors recommend that you light your cigarette before you start waterskiing, just as you should stir your drink before heading up Mount Everest.
I'm not a fan of new-year's resolutions; I think they should be an ongoing thing no matter where they fall in the year. So I January 17 resolve to craft me some better sentences.

Starting tomorrow.


this is not successful

this is irresponsible and embarrassing.

my first day in my lovely, designed-and-built-just-for-me costume, I dumped an entire cup of coffee all over the special-ordered-silk skirt.


by the way,

Totally did it. CTA red line and #65 bus.

And yes, that thing is actually REALLY warm.

okay, but is YOUR mom immortal and wear panniers?

Talk about totally gilding the success lily.

The woman playing Hippolyta/Titania brought her 5-year-old to rehearsal yesterday. He was very well behaved ("I put the fear of god into him this morning," she whispered), but when his mom was up and rehearsing, he couldn't keep himself from stomping, flying in place, and making sound effects along with the fairies from his little station at the back of the house.

Seriously, when you're 5 years old and your mom is already the smartest most beautiful person in the world, what could be cooler than watching her command an entire army of fairies?

I'm pleased to say that I tie for second place in the Awesome Lady Pageant; apparently he wants to marry both me AND Hermia.


At work today, my cousin and I stood together in the back of the room, watching the guy playing the comedic lead of our play. The dude is just so good. Rattles off Shakespearean verse as if it were the simplest thing in the world to speak and understand. Throws new bits and gags in that punch up the play without stealing focus from someone else's moment.

He also happens to be one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

He's a well-known, well-loved actor around town. I wonder if having so many people knowing and loving your work, I wonder if that feels like pressure to him. It must. I wonder if a good reputation hangs on you just as heavily as a bad one.

I wonder what more he wants in order to feel successful. Maybe by the end of the run I'll get to know him well enough to ask him.

self-satisfied, successful, succulent

Maybe it's a little pathetic how much I like my own cooking. It definitely doesn't help me in my quest for a willowy, athletic figure.

But, I mean, I figure if anyone should like my cooking, it might as well be me, right?


Parsnip chowder with watercress and yams

Cat majestically surveying Parsnip Forest


humble accomplishments

So, um, I made a masthead for my blog.
and I'm kind of proud of it for looking a little less like the pre-fab, ACME u-blog-it kit that Wile E. Coyote would get delivered to him in a wooden crate before tragically blogging himself to a gruesome yet delightfully logical death.

If you're on one of them there readers and just get the feed of my typings, click through and check it out, why dontcha.

(realtime interruption)

Rachel: The masthead is awesome. I think you're missing one word and a capital
me: oh shit

Okay, NOW you can click it through and check it out.
(I mean, if you want.)


My college roommate Hilary promised to mail me a "sock critter" she'd made a few days ago. She's one of the most talented visual artists I've ever known so I knew I was in for something neato. I got a text from her this afternoon asking if it had arrived yet. It hadn't.
Hilary: He may have just frozen to death on the way.

Me: I'm going to open a package and find the cold pale lifeless body of a frozen sock critter.
Instead, when I got home, I found this:

aaaaand the tight shot:

c'est adorable.

And I was real, real impressed by this:

well looky looky, miss independent book store manager, gallery art showin artist type, and now entrepreneur.
My amazing friends keep me on my toes and constantly amazed.

**My sock critter needs a name. Any ideas? I'm thinking of Mr. Dandy, but he looks like a reluctant fop. Maybe something more bookish.

in demand

Set list for the open-mic section of the Chicago Sketchfest, which Brandon hosts every year.

For the past few weeks Brandon's had a hell of a schedule: leaving around 8am and getting home after 11pm (on Sketchfest nights, after 3am).

A drawback to an adventurous and curious personality is an inability to say no to any project that might sound really exciting, and unfortunately, an adventurous and curious personality tends to find EVERY project exciting.

As we get older, we're trying to balance enthusiasm with health, with income requirements, and now, Time Spent With Spouse. I miss him, I'm proud of him, I'm happy for him.

I'll also be really glad when he has a better schedule.

warmth from the Incan sun god

With tomorrow's forecast of windchills between -20 and -30, I've been trying to think of THE WARMEST things I can layer on my body to and from work tomorrow.

I decided that one of them is probably this 100% wool Inti Raymi mask/headdress thing I bought in Ecuador this summer.

Seriously, would it weird you out to take the train with someone wearing one of these? Get back to me on it.

Iiiiiiiiii... I'm actually kind of thinking about it.

It's double-faced, by the way. So there's the same face in the back of my head. Doubly awesome.



As long as I can remember, I've been delighted by the random crap you'll find sitting around in theaters.

Like boob shirts.
Huge, pendulous, withered-dewlap boob shirts.


You should know something about me.
I am a cheap-ass mofo.

You should know something else about me.
Last year it somehow escaped the notice of People's Gas that they were heating my entire apartment AND CHARGING ME $17.60 A MONTH. And no more.

This has since changed, and believe me, life has gotten a whole lot pricier. Like, ten times pricier ---well, actually, ironically, exactly ten times pricier.

Ergo, the following two photos.

My hallway usually:

My hallway now:

You say hideous decorating choice, I say cutting down on heating an unused chunk of my apartment.

I'm on the search for a lovelier piece of fabric to hang in front of the blanket... and probably something a little nicer than binder clips.

One reason I supported/support Obama so strongly was his honest emphasis on the importance of individual accountability. I guess that's a Republican touch of salt to an otherwise Liberal Democrat souffle. Anyway, I was like, F yeah, and it's about time we realized that in order to actually get anything done, everyone's gotta do something. Even if it is just to lower the damn gas bill.

***update: It's been a couple of days, and it seems like we can now comfortably keep the apartment set to about 5 degrees lower on the thermostat. Huzzah!!!

seriously, cut it OUTTTTT.

! Blizzard Watch, Blizzard Warning, Winter Weather Advisory in IL: Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, La Salle, Lake, McHenry, Will Blizzard Watch, Winter Weather Advisory in IL: Kankakee Blizzard Watch, Blizzard Warning, Winter Weather Advisory in IN: Lake, Porter Blizzard Watch, Winter Weather Advisory in IN: Jasper, Newton Winter Weather Advisory in WI: Kenosha, Racine, Walworth

Something about these nights and these storms makes me feel like I'm preparing for an epic battle; a mighty clash between vicious arctic winds and the Forces of Light and warmth and blankets.

The battle is only just beginning. Thursday the enemy will keep us below zero all day. Will Stanton speaks to me in the Old Speech and advises me to throw vanity to the icy winds and layer up with abandon. He leaves behind a basket of cheese and heavy beer, saying only, "You'll need more body fat."

To leap to another dearly beloved series, I have the nagging feeling that I should be outside tying a rope between the house and the barn so Pa doesn't get lost and freeze to death mere yards away from home when he has to go feed the livestock.


things to stress over

An important boss-man works on seating for opening night.

Who knows, maybe this is actually a delightful and frivolous task, but to me it bears the keen and treacherous scent of potentially bruised egos on the part of haughty board members, scandalously awkward meetings between various corporate sponsors and endowment executors, and any number of society-page social disasters in general.
I do not envy this man his job.

At the end of the day, should it feel comforting or discouraging that the things that keep us up at night are actually very inconsequential?

it's better if we don't talk.

We had an 'open rehearsal' today.

If you're a teacher at a school that is paying to see our play, you can come watch us rehearse and observe us in the middle of our 'process,' or, self-consciously flounder in a terrified manner as we desperately try to pretend we don't have an audience, which we are in NO. WAY. ready for.

On a break, guy on his cell phone followed me up the stairs.

Guy: Hey. Hey. Good job today.

Me: Oh, thank you so much. (DUDE, I have no clue what I'm doing in the play right now.)

Guy: Hey, you've been in other plays here, right?

Me: I have, yeah.

Guy: Uh huh! Were you in - what were you in?

Me: (name of obscure play I was in 2 years ago)


Guy: Uh. Were you in Romeo and Juliet?

Me: No, I wasn't in that one. (not even asked to audition)

Guy: Then you were in Taming of the Shrew. Were you in that one?

Me: No. I wasn't in that either. (asked to understudy, couldn't do it)

Guy: Well how about Othello? Were you in Othello?

Me: NO. (again, not even asked to audition)


(guy has clearly run out of plays to ask me if I was in.)

Me: Okay, well, thanks.

Guy: Yeah.


GRRR to sobs to better. Thanks blog.

Cat: What. the fuck. is your problem.


Cat: No, seriously. Tell me what's with the petulant-4-year-old bullshit so you can get it out of your system and actually enjoy the one evening you get with your husband.

Me: my ipod is broken
it's snowy, and cold,
and THEY SAID MY VOICE IS FLAT! AND TOO QUIET! MY VOICE IS NOT FLAT AND TOO QUIET! I am LOUD, I can BE LOUD, but I'm not going to fucking SCREAM IN A REHEARSAL ROOM because that's ridiculous, and I DO NOT HAVE ISSUES WITH VOLUME. Why would they SAY that? behind my BACK? To stupid text and voice coaches? And why do I have to have these fucking text coaching sessions, it is a fucking LINE READING SESSION, is all it is, and I'm not at all pretending that I know everything but it's LINE. READINGS. I know, folio technique, I know, using punctuation, but you are giving me LINE. READINGS. and that is fucking annoying when you mimic what i just said and then tell me it's totally wrong and confusing and suggest that I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING???

(huge storm clouds gathering)

Cat: you are kind of a crazy bitch right now. And I can't help but notice this is pretty much 100% ego damage that has you all upset.

Me: but I CAN be loud. I'm always loud enough. I just unconsciously adjust to rehearsal rooms.
And it's a terrible, awful feeling that my boss was talking about how i suck, behind my back.
and it's SO. DAMN. HARD. doing something so important, and never, never knowing if you're doing it right.

Cat: kid. this is just a touring shakesp---

Me: IMPORTANT TO ME. And what if I totally fuck it up? And you know what? You go through the whole process to get the job, and then you get it, and then, one week into rehearsal they might honestly wish they had never cast you. You DON'T KNOW. MAYBE THEY DO.

Cat: Let me be clear: you are being a moron. But I do feel kind of bad for you.

Me: I FEEL BAD FOR ME TOOOOOooooooooooooo (continued sobbing)

Cat: ...Okay, less so now.


oh no

Since I wear a skirt in the show and am climbing up on ladders, taking endless spills, etc., I requested a pair of rehearsal shorts to wear under my skirt.

I did not expect these.

occupational hazards

A friend's gchat status this afternoon:
[Name of Friend] survived more layoffs today...
As much as I hate scrapping for work and constantly worrying what I'll do when the next gig runs out, I feel really, really bad for people who have to work under that cloud of pending layoffs.

I heard a soundbite of Obama talking about the stimulus package today. Talking about how this situation we're in is so unique: so much work to be done and so many people who need work.


also I thought this today

Maybe 'being happy' isn't success.
I thought today that maybe it's satisfaction. Feeling satisfied is success.

chew on that. maybe it's too broad. maybe i'm trying to fit angels on pin heads here. I am dissatisfied. Grr!!! Unsuccessful blog entry!!!!

there, but by the grace of god, goes my headshot

Today at work my cousin Alex brought in this book:

A compendium of hilariously bad headshots and their accompanying resumes.
All of people who are, in a word, jokes. Without meaning to be jokes.

We all passed the book around. Some were just amazingly bad-idea, wtf headshots.

One man's resume was just a paragraph on how he felt he would play a very good villain/cannibal/Confederate soldier in the Civil War who rapes women.

Some, on the other hand, were heartbreakingly naive. Nikolay, below, instead of a resume just wrote a list of his favorite actors with a humbly polite note in bad English. Thanks for interesting, he wrote at the bottom.

Although all of us were really schadenfreuderifically excited to see the book, no one's excitement lasted long. Every actor featured in this book agreed to be in it, and presumably knew what the premise was, but ...
those headshots and resumes truly were (are?) their genuine best attempt at chasing their dream. We all started feeling like assholes for scoffing at them.
Especially when all of us are chasing the same one, more or less, and have felt pretty damn pathetic ourselves.

This is turning into a longer post. I'll try and keep this part short. But here's a sort of interesting counterpoint, while I'm feeling douchey about laughing at these people.

I have a piece in the "Mortified" series of books, which are similarly all about making fun of heartfelt, very earnest and idiotic things written by teenagers. Come to think about it, my entry, specifically, is about chasing my dream. It's incredibly stupid and naive and hilarious (I planned to run away to England, lose weight by being homeless, and find a way to work in a music store that only sold Smiths/Morrissey merchandise. Or learn how to do hair wraps. Yes. This was my plan.) but I now think it's hilarious and I absolutely welcome people laughing their heads off at my utter idiocy.

Perhaps these are old headshots (a lot of them do look really dated), submitted with the same sense of humor and self-ridicule that I have about my amazingly stupid diary entry when I was 13.


If you're interested, by the way, you should check out Mortified. It really is funny, funny stuff.



It's rare and wonderful that my director's sense of humor and my sense of humor match up so beautifully.

When she gave another actor this bit of direction in a scene where he is particularly disgusted, I thought it was worth writing down.
These things make for quality theater.

(in case you can't read my scribbling, it says: 'I would basically have the desire to vomit and speak at the same time.')


In addition to rehearsing my own show, I'm also subbing occasionally for my friend who runs props for ... COUGH ... a wealthily produced farce that just opened.

Blog: Pardon me. Is that the farce you auditioned for a few months ago?

Me: yes.

Blog: The one that you BOMBED the audition for?

Me: yes.

Blog: Where they cut you off MID-SCENE because you were eating it so badl---

Me: YES.


Blog: I heard thatt's getting GREAT reviews. From EVERYONE.

One of the actresses was the lead in a TV show I loved in high school. I haven't said anything to her. I have less and less confidence in my character lately.

This fortune is on the fridge in the green room at the theater where this farce is routinely delighting sold out crowds, where I wash and set various cocktail glasses and sexy aprons. I can't decide if I agree with it or not, but for now I'm following its advice.

hard at work

I'm very, very happy that my cousin Alex is in the show with me.
We aren't in many scenes together, but from what I've seen, he spends a lot of time manipulating puppets and taking direction like "okay! Now, sing something!"

Alex: Yeah. (sighs) Yeah. My wife calls my job "Adult Gymboree."


we have a text coach.

Text Coach: (to stage manager) Well, I know I'm going to need more time with Lacy ... *

I thought a lot today about how you have two options when someone points out how much you have to learn. You can:

1. quit. And not have to deal with people pointing out your shortcomings in very embarrassing and painful ways


2. grit your teeth and listen to it, then try not to beat yourself up too much, then take the advice and get better.

*in all fairness, I do have a pretty sizable monologue, and any monologue demands a text coach's attention. But it wasn't nice to be heard as singled out for after-school tutoring. Dammit. Why can't I know everything, now.


things that will lead you to my blog

apparently, a google search for "soledad o'brien's breast."

(just one?)

my year in pictures

In January, I got to be [a very small] part of one of my favorite pieces of theater ever ever

I tried to have a part time day job but discovered I hated it and thought it was a total waste of time

I did a neat play, survived my first good and bad reviews without really caring that much, but most of all met some wonderful new friends

Then there was this

which led to this

and then we went here

and then when I came back I had a job doing this

then got totally obsessed with this whole thing and got to be there when it all happened

finished it out with some lovely holidays with my new family

and now have a wonderful job wearing this.

On all fronts, a successful year.

Of course, these are events, not people.
If I tried to fill this with all the people who have made my year I'd crash blogger. But be assured, I'm so, so grateful for you, o beloved reader, including whoever randomly read the blog in Ohio for hours at a time (who on earth IS that?), the people in Canada and whoever must work at that OfficeMax in Oswego. Thanks.

I've had a wonderful year and I'm so grateful. Happy, happiest of happy 2009s to you.