Monday, December 24, 2007

December 24th, 9 AM, Eastern Standard Time

So my weekend was full of the various get-togethers and celebrations of the season. Or as many as I'm going to stomach. On Friday I swiftly (or not so much) made my way shopping for this and that, which was wonderful. I'm now the proud owner of a gorgeous gold-on-gold Winnie the Pooh from the Disney store. It's soft and festive in a classy sort of way.

I've also seen Sweeney Todd, which is one of the best Burton films, and certainly the best one he's whipped out in at least a decade. I've been kind of dissatisfied with most of his lately. They were good, but they were always leaving me feeling as if they lacked. With three hours of material to work with, this film is chock full of stuff, even if it's slightly condensed from the stage show. But the violence is wonderful and the film is beautiful in that gorgeous darkly-impressionistic sort of way that every moody period film should strive for. Ha!

Not to mention the most wonderful performances by actors who aren't known for their singing. When Johnny Depp is your weak link vocally, you know you're doing all right. And that's mostly just because he doesn't get as much material. His Sweeney is very understates and stoic. Like Johnny Depp doing a Hannibal-Lecter-meets-Beetlejuice kind of character. I immediately rushed out and bought the soundtrack, which is so rare for me as to be seen as the highest recommendation.

And then on Saturday I floated about with Tony, who is visiting the Big O for the holidays (I truly wish Omaha could claim a title like the Big O. It tries, but Midwesterners seem opposed to anything quite as full of abandon as a Big O, though I blame the influence of the Bible Belt and the coldness of the weather rather than some inherent prudishness on the sake of the population).

Tony purchased for me a wonderful book on finding your strengths. The StrengthFinder test/book put out by Gallup. It's mostly done for businessmen and whatnot, it's certainly career-oriented, but the advice is all pretty decent if you can alter it to fit everyday life. He explained his results when someone had gifted the book to him, and I was incredibly intrigued. So he paid it forward and I took the test. The results were, to say the least, amusing.

Everything points towards me being an incredible ideas person. Full of philosophy and opinion and insight, absorbing and learning information at an absolutely feverish pace and then turning it all into a very individualistic philosophy that I apply to the world to wring everything I can out of it. That this all strikes me as true is encouraging, as this is the path I've been going down lately, anyway. The only oddity is that it claims one of my strengths is strategy, and I would never claim that in a million years. I've been wrong before, though, so … we shall see. We shall see.

In other news, tonight is Christmas Eve. I don't really do christmas celebrations in the typical sense of the word. I don't dislike this holiday, but this year I'm just not feeling particularly festive. This winter's been rough and I'd rather celebrate with good company than anything resembling traditional holiday activities. It's actually been rather refreshing to feel no obligation to pay lip service to an expected Christmas.

Tonight, as my post also alludes to, is the night where the bulk of Rent takes place. To celebrate, I'm heading over to have a fantabulous musical night with Adam and Katie, singing Rent and lamenting the fact that the film version (which we'll be watching) cut out my two favorite musical numbers from the stage show. Oh well. It's a pretty movie, and the remastered songs sound lovely. I wouldn't be surprised if we forewent the movie at some point in favor of just the broadway soundtrack, though.

This week will prove to be a slow one at work, I fear. The goal for the blog is to provide some sort of insight/recap on the year. 2008 is going to prove to be full for me, I certainly hope, so I'd like to neatly examine this past year and put it all out there in preparation of the first of January. So expect some sort of thoughts. I expect they'll be lengthy, but they might not be. It's one of those things that's very hard to figure out until you're doing it.

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