Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 30

Dad nudged me out of bed pretty early this morning and had me relocate to the back guest room because the couch is right out in the open. My grandparents house is basically one giant room with two bedrooms attached to my aunts house. They moved here from Arizona a while back when they figured they were getting old and my grandma was complaining about the heat there. (So why live in Arizona? She just likes to complain I think.)

I was made to get out of bed by 9.30 for a pancake breakfast. Don't you hate the big breakfasts? It always forces you to get out of bed way before you want to, and no one is even really hungry, especially for a stack of pancakes, a runny egg, and a pile of bacon and sausage. Yippe!

Ah, but whatever. I didn't shower until really late. I basically lounged around all day - it was basically a waste. There were some pretty interesting shows on: Top 20 music videos of 2006! The Lost Dinosaur of Minnesota!...and my favorite, Fox News! There are two televisions in this house. One at one end of the long room, another at the other. I stay at the one to the east, constantly. Down at the other end Fox News is on 24/7. It's the only station my grandparents know exists. "Channel 56" my grandma will say. I have probably heard her tell my Dad or sister to return the tv to that station a million times. I wouldn't mind if it was a decent station, but it ruins their minds! It feeds their nasty super conservative ideals. For one, every time some fire burning in the streets of Iraq, my grandma will bark, "Gah those muslims." It's freaking TERRIBLE to witness. You think there's people like this in like, Alabama and Mississipi..but it's weird when people so unintelligent are apart of your family. The James Brown funeral was also a big deal today on the news. I made sure to keep CNN on at the other end of the house because both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were screaming in praise, and of course my grandparents couldn't take it. I..just laugh.

My family went out to do some shopping, but I didn't go. I promised to be showered and dressed by the time they got back - and I was. We went out to a local restaurant "Buffalo Bills". Woo. The food was alright and everyone seemed happy. We got back to the house, it was 7.30 and it was like people were already ready for bed. Well, I wasn't. I fixed the surround sound speakers then sat down with my aunt and watched Little Miss Sunshine - she hadn't seen it yet. Okay I love this movie now. I don't know why I was so reluctant to love it in the beginning. I was taking it too seriously. Taking a step's hilarious! Awesome.

Tomorrow we leave for Florida, probably super early again. Ah'll just sleep in the car. Maybe I can sleep until 11 again and skip half the trip.

December 29

My Dad woke me up this morning at, uh 5.30am? Crazy early! I was very grumpy, but I threw some clothes on and chucked my bag into the back of the van, grabbed a pillow and fell back asleep in the car. When I woke up it was 11am and we were in Tennessee. That little snooze knocked off 1/2 the car ride. Road trips aren't normally that big of a deal, plus the car has a dvd player. I listened to my ipod and watched 'Catch Me If you Can'. That movie is sooo good, I love it - the only time I ever watch it/have time to see it is in the car normally on road trips. AHh it's awesome.

We got here in roughly 10 hours, there was some traffic in Nashville, but we avoided it with use from the road map. When you think about it, city traffic is normally pretty easy to get around. Just get off the damn highway and take a side-street or the frontage road. But I could be just kidding myself. I'm such the city boy.

Arrived here at the grandparents about an hour before dinner. My grandma, "Nanny", and my grandpa, "Poppy", both seemed very happy to see me and my sister. (PS - Don't you love it how every kid makes up some silly nickname for their grandparents? Where did this idea come from? Basically everyone I know does this crazy name calling. I want to know it's source.) Anyway, "Nanny" cooked up some streak for dinner. My Dad cooked it on the grill. It was good and after dinner we had some small deserts, then I attempted the family movie - but soon I understood it just wasn't going to work. Mission Impossible 3 starts out with a torture scene, my Mom couldn't handle that. The sound system was screwing up, and both my grandparents couldn't hear what was going on. The thermostat was somehow stuck on 75 degrees, so the fan above was spinning so fast I thought the whole house was going to take off and lift up past the evergreens outside. REGARDLESS - We finally finished the movie, my grandparents said goodnight about halfway through, my Dad and aunt Janice stayed for the finish.

Tomorrow I honestly don't know what we're gonna do. My Dad tries to stay in control all the time and this hose is in such disarray he's about to loose it, plus the fact that he has to watch his Mom and Dad struggle to get around the house. My grandma had a heart attack at thanksgiving this year, my grandpa just had one. Both have been told to stay away from alcohol, but no one can stop their "cocktails" - at least 2 a day. It's actually just really depressing.

Im sleeping on the couch tonight, looks like there's a marathon of 'Run's House' on VH1. I'll watch that. night.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28

Today was pretty chill. Woke up around 11, had my usual frosted flakes and a banana and took a seat in the den. Watched some old AMC movie while I ate. My dad showed up for lunch. He watched the end of "The Game" with me. Awesome movie with Michael Douglas if you've never seen it - check it out. After he left I went out to the garage and played drums and worked out, got a call from Mom. She said she was bringing me home some Subway..yay!

Greeted them and ate the 6inch and cookies. Hung out until 4ish, then got in the shower. I met Clayton at his house around 5 to exchange gifts. I think he liked the book, I got a cool shirt from American Apparel - uh oh.

Dinner at Grandparents. Spaghetti is delicious at the Italians house.

Back at home to chill and pack for tomorrow. Leave bright and early for Florida. I'll try to update from there. If not, see you in a week!

December 27

Today was one of those days where I was faced with the question, "Is it even worth getting cleaned up?" There was literally NOTHING to do this afternoon. I watched two movies, played video games, worked out, played drums, ate food. Those are pretty much the major events of my house. I talked to Kelsey in the afternoon, but she needed to go shopping with Nathan...and I mean, me and her have done that 4 or 5 times since we've been on break. That and go get lost in the country east of Springfield.

Ah well. By 5 o'clock I was cleaned up and watched some tv with my Dad. We then had dinner: hamburgers on sweet, big dinner rolls. It was surprisingly really tasty. I got online and found Kelsey. We both wanted and needed to do something. We planned out to meet at the mall, then see a movie. Drove with the family to the mall and got a pair of jeans at the Gap. Then her and Allison met me at the theater for the 7.30 showing of "The Prestige". Pretty alright/good movie. It didn't blow me away, but it was definitely not awful. It had some very smart and witty plot turns. I liked it.

Back to my house afterwards, we ate cookies and watched the rest of Collateral. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 26

My Mom and sister woke up early this morning to hit the stores and return things. I thought about going with them but it was just too early, and this bed is just way to hard to get out of - especially when you have nothing to do. So I lazily slept until 11, then made myself some cereal and messed around in the garage.

After getting cleaned up I gave Kelsey a call. I drove over and picked her up. We ran into town for a little. We've both got so many gift cards, thought it'd be a good idea to use one or two. Stopped at Best Buy, which was a mad house. I returned the Life Aquatic because I want to buy the Criterion Collection version online. Then we browsed the Dvds. I picked up Amelie but later put it down. I ended up with both Bourne movies and Collateral, which I've never seen. Hopefully it's good..I've heard it is. And Im on a spy movie binge right now - can't get enough.

Allison met up with us at Best Buy. We left her car in the parking and decided to go get some Starbucks and chat. I don't normally buy a drink at Starbucks, and it's a good thing I didn't because the lady behind the counter accidentally made the wrong drink I guess, so she asked if anyone wanted it - I snagged it. A free mocha can be yummy. As we drove back to Best Buy Kelsey realized she had left her purse at Starbucks. So she got in the car with Allison, they drove to Starbucks and got the purse. I told them just to meet me back at my house.

At home we had some actually really tasty chicken fingers and fries, along with carrots and dip, oh and the bread was good. We hung out and played some Wii. We got bored, so we decided to drove to the new arcade plays up on 6th street "Kicks" was sorta lame so we left. We ended up driving out into the country where me and Kelsey always explore. As we were driving this soybean field looked pretty flat, so we were like, "What the hell... lets go for a ride." And we did. Up and around and through the field. It was pretty fun. On our way back to get on the road we discovered a motocross course. We took some of the hill and made my car literally almost flip over..oops. Super fun.

Watched Bourne Identity when I got back by myself. Then deleted my myspace. Yup.

Monday, December 25, 2006

December 25

Merry Christmas!

This morning I woke up to the family sitting around that tree and the pile of presents. I guess I slept too long, and ignored the countless yells and nudges from my Dad. Finally I awoke and stumbled to the family room. I took a seat and we first all took turns undoing the stockings. Then we tackled the presents under the tree, gift by gift. "Santa" brings me and my sister equal gifts. Which normally means, I ask for some movies, a video games, and a few clothes. So she ends up with way more boxes. Oh well. I know it's fair.

My grandparents stopped by to check out the gifts and have a little breakfast casserole. I guess they stop by every of their kid's houses on Christmas morning. We hear the details on how "crazy" some houses are, or what people got. Woopie. I think the best part of the morning was letting my parents and sister open the gift I bought them. This goes along with that whole christmas spirt-mumbo jumo I was discussing yesterday. But it felt nice! To see them open my gifts.

For the rest of the afternoon everyone basically chilled. Tried on some clothes - adding them to the 'wash pile' or the 'take back' pile. For not helping her one bit, I was pretty happy with what my Mom bought. There's this green jacket she found that's super cool. I tried new Wii game and took a shower.

Headed back to grandparents for Christmas dinner. Only one other family was there. Ham and potatoes for dinner, plus a salad. For desert we all had christmas cookies. Wow...everyone has so many cookies. Later that night Kelsey drove by and picked me up. We came back to my house and played some Wii, then watched Little Miss Sunshine and MI:3. It was my first time seeing Little Miss Sunshine. The movie isn't really what I was expecting, but I liked could grow on me.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24

It's Christmas Eve!

I guess I'm sick. I probably shouldn't have been running around downtown Chicago in that little jacket, but I'll live. These little colds usually go by pretty quick. I normally don't get sick very often. Other than that! It's Christmas time!

Every year we go over to our neighbor's house for a little gathering. There is food and drink, plus Santa comes to visit later and everyone has a chance to sit on his lap. He gives you a little gift, then you retreat to your spot on the couch and open it. All the gifts are naturally supplied by the neighbors: Joe and Louise. They're both in their 80's and some of the nicest people you'll probably ever meet. Everyday in the summer you can find them in the yard working, either tending the flowers or cutting the yard. Also at this party we exchanged gifts with the neighbors two doors down, the Gerberdings. It was nice to see them. I think the last time I saw their family was...last Christmas?

Before heading to the next Christmas party, we had to light the luminaries. I asked my Dad how long our neighborhood has been doing this, and he said for quite awhile..12 years? It's probably a mile stretch of road that we place little bags with sand and a candle in them. We purchase them from a guy down the street. He and his family lines them up, then we go out and light them at dusk. Pretty cool stuff.

Grandma's house for dinner then opened gifts. We take turns, going from youngest to oldest - so I am always last. It's totally fine with me tho. I got Little Miss Sunshine on DVD and MI:3, plus a shirt or two and some cash. After all these present rituals, we play the "present game" or something like that. My grandpa calls it "Grab-bag". Everyone buys a $10 gift and places it in the center of the room. Then everyone draws numbers. The first person has to pick a present from the pile and open it. The second person can either steal that gift or open a new one...and so on. It can get pretty fun.

Now I'm back at home and it's almost midnight. If it was 5 or 6 years ago, i'd be snuggled up in my bed completely excited. I guess Christmas has lost its magic, but when I handed my Grandma a little gift tonight I sort of felt a little of it. So maybe this is where the holiday spirit comes in for adults?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 23

I sort of slept in alot today, but I seriously needed it. The chicago trip and this little cold that I picked up in the city got to me, and a bit extra of sleep I felt was good for me. My Dad tried to wake me up for 9am breakfast - but that did not happen.

Around noon Kelsey came over. I accidentally wasn't dressed yet and she probably felt a bit awkward sitting in the den with my Mom as I changed but she's used to it by now. We had a few errands to attend to. We hit Halmark in the Capital city shopping center. My Mom wanted us to return this little UofI candle thingy. Once that was out of the way, our adventure started.

I don't think there is anyone else that I can share these photo adventures with. Somehow me and Kelsey always end up finding the coolest little places and locales. We discovered this barren farm bassin basically, with a bunch of old oil pumps and wells. We drove east from Rochester, ending up in some small town called Edendburg. The end of our trip took us to downtown Spfld for an ice cream and a walk through the Praire Archives.

Dinner tonight with the neighbors. Christmas dinner. It was pretty good, but I think my favorite was the cookies!

December 22

Samantha's house
-woke up
-goodbye's/thank yous

Drive to Bolingbrook
-crazy tolls
-woah fast

-caitlin's house
-food at taco bell
-explore IKEA
-see the town
-huge highschool
-drinks at starbucks

-drop caitlin off
-forgot the cookies!
-her and karen are coming to spfld f'realz

Drive home
-went pretty fast
-rest stops


-spfld isn't that bad
--none of those towns are any better
---except maybe the city
-missed family/friends
-Xmas is soon!

December 21

Day 2 in chi town.

Lunch at the buzz cafe.
-lana working
-art work
-blt yum

shops around town
-bead shop
-record store

drove to ria's house with issac
-rap mix
-w. randolf

walk to the train station
-issac and clayton
-party shop
-rainy/busy/lot of umbrellas

-pick up from train
-walk back to home
-tour of crazy amazing home

-wicker park
-dinner at flash taco
-ice cream
-gift certificate

-almost robbed

<3 Karen Loda
-samantha's home

December 20

Wednesday - Today marked the first day in me and Clayton's trip up to Chicago. I figured it was time to get up to the city and spend some time there. Hang with some kids that grew up there and experience the chi town. Just because I had never really before. I know right?! It's so close.

I packed everything up in the morning, then drove and picked up clayton. We loaded up the Jeep and headed out. Got some gas, took the ramp onto I55 and headed North. The drive didn't take too long - before we knew it we were navigating our way with the aid of some GoogleMaps print-outs. Traffic wasn't bad and Oak Park was coming up pretty fast. We located Katherine's house after getting of the highway a little earlier than we probably should have - rough neighborhoods can be a bit scary.

We found her just as we pulled up to her house. She had just gotten back. We said the hellos and jumped into her car. And from this point on it was nonstop adventures and fun. Katherine gave us a tour of Oak Park. It sort of resembles Springfield's North side. Big old homes - but it's all good neighborhoods. The downtown is quaint but nicely put together and clean. Christmas lights covered all the buildings and trees that lined the road - It was a pretty sight. We stopped at her friend's house to say hello, got a few things from my car back at her house, then headed toward the city and Wicker Park.

Wicker Park is probably where we spent most of our time. Lots of artsy shops and restaurants. Urban Outfitters/American Apparel has some outlets there WOOO! Haha. We had dinner at the EarWax Cafe. Small little lunch/dinner place. The food was good. The walls were covered with posters and art. I had a cheeseburger which was pretty yummy.

Hit up some shops on the street. Lots of thrift stores and old record shops. Picked up this old velvet blazer - only 10 bucks. After we roamed the streets for a bit, we got back in the car and headed back to Oak Park. We stopped at this Jazz place called Fitzgerald's. Katherine knew some guys in the jazz band that were playing, but we were late and the cover was $4. It was definitely a really cool place though. Headed back to Katherine's house and got in my car and drove over to Lana's house. She had just gotten back from a ski trip with her friends and needed some time to shower. We arrived at her house and moved a bunch of stuff into the side room where the couch was.

Earlier that day we made some plans to meet up with Caitlin and Karen in the city around 9.30ish. So were decided against driving and took a ride into downtown on the train. Haha that was an experience. $2 ride into the city on line? I dunno for sure. But we arrived right downtown and next to the Macy's windows. It was really dreary downtown and raining, but the atmosphere was really cool. A bit chilly but not too bad. We wondered - waiting for a call from Caitlin that they had arrived in the city.

We waited inside a Dunkin' Donuts by Millennium Park. We finally got a call from them around 10 and told them were we were hanging. They met up with us and we headed into the Park. The bean is totally cool! And it was at night and no one else was there except us. Pretty awesome. The faces were also way cool. We were the only ones standing in front of these massive walls of faces. I loved it.

By now it was really raining and we were getting pretty soaked. It was 11pm and everything was closed, we didn't know what to do. Apparently Issac Bloom was going to meet us downtown so we went over to the train stop to greet him. Caitlin and Karen couldn't drive us back to Oak Park and there was nothing else to do downtown except hang in Dunkin' Donuts, so we said our goodbye's and took the train home. We actually got a return on our train ticket, so we only had to add 25 cents to the card. We had to wait up on the track, but we could stand under the little heat lamps. haha.

Back in Oak Park we all cuddled in the side room and watched a movie. "Happiness" I think. It was sort of strange, but I liked it. I never got to see the whole thing because I fell asleep. I was crazy tired. Issac ended up staying too. He and Lana slept on the floor. Katherine walked back home after the movie, her house was only a couple blocks to the east.

December 19

The holidays are in full swing and you know what that means....Christmas parties! Wooooo (Not really - I find them sort of annoying but big fun parties are always fun). It was my Dad's office party downtown today around noon. Christin didn't have to go because she's still in school. My Mom went with my Dad around 9am to go setup...I didn't haha. I got up at 11.30 and raced downtown - got there just in time.

My Mom makes some pretty awesome snack food. She could/should seriously open a restaurant or something. She slaved away in the kitchen for days to make all this food. 100+ people. Soup, sandwiches, cookies, desert. The best part is there's a ton of leftovers for us at home.

Later tonight I visited Kristin. Mallory and Clayton were there. We just talked, hung out, listen to music. Kristin did some gift wrapping. Around 11.30 me and Clayton became super hungry so ran to taco bell. Tbell is pretty yummy late.

Friday, December 22, 2006

December 18

Got to hang out with Kelsey today. I gave her a call around noon. She was naturally already dressed. I wasn't but said I was just to get her over here quicker. I jumped in the shower and when I got out and dressed I found her and my Mom discussing things at the kitchen table. I missed her! We did some major Christmas shopping. Like we filled up the entire back seat and trunk of my car with bags. But isn't that how the holidays are supposed to be??

Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17

That's our "Xmas 2006 family photo". MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE CUDMORES. That shot was one of like, 100+ photos. Every pictures I thought I looked good in, my sister complained she didn't look good enough. Finally we arrived on a compromise. I also had to do a hella ton of photoshoping. However the end result seems pretty nice. I hope all those people on my Mom's mailing list enjoy this little picture - it took a lot of work lol.

Other than that, I stayed in my pajamas all day. I play alot of Smash Bros. It's so weird, that game is almost 3 years old and it's got a new place in my heart now. Ever since college, Smash is seriously the shit. So I've been working on getting all the trophies and beating each individual target test. The target tests can be a serious bitch, but by 4pm I was very satisfied when each character had a high score and completion.

Nothing seems to be going on...I feel as if I should spontaneously go up to chicago and visit/see the city. I better get this idea to the folks as soon as possible...Or else it probably won't happen.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16

Sisters Sweater party

Erik's going away party
-maggie & molly
-food and Wii

Hung with Kristin
-Guitar Hero
-Drove around

December 15

Woke up at Noon
-Decided to come home today
-Lunch and goodbyes
-Intense packing
-More goodbyes

Drive home
-Lady sov and old mix cds
-House pretty with xmas decors and tree

-Called dan
-High School Hockey game
-hung with dan back at home
-kicked his ass in melee

Sleeping in my bed at home is so nice.

December 14

Last test was tonight: Physics. It went pretty good I think. I can miss 20 questions and still get an A? Well since there's 96 questions total...the probability of that happening is probably pretty slim, but I can cross my fingers can't I? Afterwards me and Kristin stopped at ISR late night for some quick treats and foods because this was our last final, and tomorrow we got home!

I am pretty excited about packing up and seeing the family. I have a feeling this break is going to be good. Looking forward to seeing Kelsey and lots of friends. Some photo adventures I'm sure will happen, Daniel will most likely be out of control, and my grandma will fix up some yummy food.

I still don't know if I should depart tomorrow or just depends on whether something fun is going on friday night. Later tonight we all hung out at Daves and said goodbye. Little celebrations and some quick dancing..Ahhh I'm going to miss the dance parties.

December 13

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday. Yesterday included final after final and some intense 1 hour cram sessions. Today I didn't have any tests. So I focused on getting my physics review down and making a quick little outline. Im not too worred about the test. Tomorrow, if everything goes as planned...the test should go by fairly well and then I will be completely done!

There were these older movies on AMC tonight. Why can't new movies have the charm of those classic movies? Is it the actors, the way it was filmed, or just simply the idea in our brains that isn't a vintage movie and therefore it's super cool? Who knows...but a dude could waste his life watching old films - and it wouldn't be a wasted one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12

Got up super early (6.30am!?) and showered, grabbed econ notes and went down to breakfast. Oh it was good! Bacon tasted yummy and I got some review done before walking over to the Wholer's Hall place for the Econ Final. I walked in pretty prepared and did fairly well. 13 questions = write 13 pages. YAY.

December 11



December 10



December 9



December 8



December 7

Almost done with classes for this semester. Tomorrow is one last Econ quiz then the weekend - hopefully filled with lots of fun ahem..and studying!! If I can do good on this last quiz, it might help out my grade. The prof said he drops the lowest quiz grade, only taking the highest 3.

Tonight was OC night with Gina. That show is really different now, but I won't stop watching. I don't know why...the OC has been a part of life seems like forever. I have faith it can turn around. We'll see...Today also involved a bunch of studying. Altho I also spent alot of time playing Zelda of course. Oops.

65th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Weird how long ago that was, but yet...not.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 6

Happy birthday Miss Virginia! She's actually 18 now - and in college! Haha. Virginia was the first real college bud I made. We met at the Allen bubble dance party. We noticed each other because we were the only ones dancing with sweet skillz - we showed up everyone else. From then on...we were buds.

Anyway, tonight after some exams/homework/studying we all met in my room. I gave her my little present (Christmas DVD) and she brought a cookie cake her Mom had sent her. Steph and Nico arrived later. Steph was a little bummed about her Chemistry exam that night, so we cheered her up with some hugs and cookie cake.

Later to celebrate, we smoked a cigar outside the dorm and then walked over to Dave's house to hang out.

Happy birthday.

December 5

2nd Day of studies
-Psych outlines
-Not worrying about physics until next week
-Finals schedule

Snow still here!
-not very much
-I guess spfld got SNOWEDXZ with ice
-wonder if it'll stay 'till Xmas

Dinner lunch with the fam as usual

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4

This week is filled with studying for finals and being slightly stressed. Big finals are coming up and I don't want anything to screw up my grades. Im going to be studying every night until next week. I got alot of little things accomplished today, then jumped right into Psych learning objectives - got up to 3 chapters done. Soon I need to look at History and Econ. I am not really worried about Physics, I can study that next week.

Tonight Steph sat with me and we talked about things. I showed her like at least 500 pics of the last year with family and friends. Then she helped me get my blog back up to date (sorta). She left then came back all bundled up to go see Dave. Look at the cute little eskimo!

LOL RIA. She's an RA guys.

December 3

Goodbye to clayton

Studies begin
-dads talk
-crazy outlines
-last Aplia/Econ hw submit

Long week of studies ahead

Xmas break is so close!

December 2

Clayton Visits
-kelsey and nathan should come!
-makes a pot

-walk hella far
-large house
-own the dance floor

After Party
-dance 'till 5.30am with Ria
-hellz yea

December 1

Friday classes
-go well
-quick afternoon

Clayton and Ryan visit
-didn't see ryan tonight

Friday night
-dance party at Marks
-ryan showed up and found it lame
-told some people off
-danced forever