O Christmas Tree

November 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday, as I was reading at a table near the lobby in The Tower Formerly Known as Sears during my lunch break, I began to hear singing.  After determining I wasn’t having a stroke of some kind, I realized there were a group of carolers in the lobby near a giant Christmas tree and a crowd was gathering.  Apparently there was a Chicago Cubs player (don’t ask me who) and he was helping turn the lights on in an annual celebration.  So of course I walked down to check it out.

Fa la la la la

Kind of puts my tree at home to shame.

I didn’t stick around for the actual lighting but I did listen to a few songs and it warmed my heart, which was nice because when I left the building it was roughly 20 degrees and all exposed body parts immediately began to freeze.  The tree is a lovely sight and yet I’m still able to appreciate the one in my living room so I’ll continue to bask in the holiday spirit wherever I go.  At least until I have to navigate icy sidewalks and mounds of gray, frozen snow each morning on my walk to the train.

 

 

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Peggy Who?

November 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Just an update…the new accountant is still calling me Peggy.  I really don’t want to correct him now because 1) he’ll probably feel kind of silly and 2) it’s been going on so long now that I feel kind of silly telling him the truth.  Henceforth, to one employee who sits diagonally from me, I shall be known as Peggy.

If and when this changes you can be sure I’ll let you know.

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Thanksgiving Recap

November 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Even though it seems like I just left for vacation about an hour ago, I am indeed back and in the swing of things.  Here’s how my holiday went down:

The Good:

  • That I found $20 in my back pocket as I navigated security at O’Hare Airport.  Definitely got the trip off on the right foot!
  • The visiting with family, of course.  I normally only see the Southern side of my family once a year (twice if I’m truly lucky) so it’s always good to catch up.  My dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sister and I were able to spend some quality time together around a fire pit and it was awesome.  However, after spending the week in the company of my 10-year-old male cousin, I’m now even more weary of ever having children.
  • The meeting my dad’s coworkers…it wasn’t good so much as very interesting.  I’m pretty sure they were all on their best behavior.
  • The weather was awesome, as usual.  Highs in the 70’s made me glad I brought my flip-flops out of hibernation and I enjoyed the warm sunshine on my face each and every day.  I did not enjoy returning to the 30 degree temperature in Chicago and it was a rude awakening back to the real world.
  • The Nook.  I received a hand-me-down Nook from an aunt of mine and while I was skeptical at first, so far it’s been really handy at the gym.  I’m still carrying around my paperback and likely always will but it’s nice to have options and I can’t help but feel a little more technologically savvy.
  • The fact that I went to the Mall of Louisiana with my family and spent less than $25, which bought lunch and a new work skirt.  My checking account thanked me later.
  • The food, which is last here but certainly not least.  Being a vegetarian never stops me from fully enjoying my Thanksgiving meal and a plate full of stuffing, sweet potatoes, vegetable casserole, green bean casserole, cranberries and apples and a family speciality called corn casserole proved that once again.  Not to mention the chocolate cheesecake and pecan pie…I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it!

This was the first of two plates, both this size. No shame.

The Bad:

  • Almost being late for my flight because construction caused the bus routes near my apartment to be all messed up and a well-meaning, idiotic couple gave me wrong directions.  Luckily I always give myself ample time and have superior navigational skills so I was still able to enjoy an overpriced beer before my flight took off.
  • We didn’t make our annual trip to the local dive bar Fluidz, mostly because it’s under new ownership and we were told it’s just not the same.  We still drank plenty of wine though so all was not lost.
  • Sharing a bed with my sister is never fun.  Enough said.
  • On my way home, I got stopped at security in the Baton Rouge airport.  They made me produce another form of identification because apparently they’d never seen an Illinois license before.  I gave them the photo ID I have for work and then, because I’m a bit of a smart ass even when dealing with TSA, I also produced a really old military ID from the time I spent on an Air Force base in South Korea.  I guess that did the trick because they let me through after that, though they did look at me like I was a bit strange.

The Ugly:

  • Scott turned into a crazy cat lady while I was gone.  Each time we spoke, he held the phone up for me to talk to the Dude and he swears the Dude knew my voice.  I’m not sure I should leave them alone together any more.
  • Speaking of pets, my grandparents’ poor dog is a bit of a mess.  He’s like 14 years old and totally blind and deaf.  Other than that he’s still healthy so they feel guilty thinking of putting him down, but watching him stumble into chairs that he wasn’t expecting was a sad sight indeed.  Just not for him, since he’s blind.  Yeah I’m going to hell.
  • One of my cousins is on kidney dialysis and has home treatments for three hours a day, six days a week.  She brought her giant blood-cleansing machine with her and shipped most of her medical stuff.  I always knew she was one of the strongest women I’ve ever met, but damn.  Seeing her stick herself with huge 15 gauge needles and just sit back while all of her blood was sucked through tubes and put back again really put things in perspective.  She’s beautiful but the stuff she deals with certainly is not.  It definitely gave me more to be thankful for.

All in all, the trip was another great one.  I’m really lucky to have such a wonderful family and I’m glad another fairly good year has come and gone for all of us.  The only thing that could have made it any better was if I had been sent home with leftovers…but they’re weren’t any, because I ate them all.  Now bring on the Christmas feast!

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Thanksgiving Vacation

November 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Almost there!  I will be taking next week off work (well, furlough time, so this wasn’t really up to me but I can’t do anything about it so enjoy it I shall) and heading to Louisiana for my annual Southern Thanksgiving.  I’ve mentioned this before and feel free to do a search of November’s past to read all about it.  I was lucky this year and was able to take Scott down south to meet my dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins way back in May and that means that I get to see all those lovely people not just once this year but twice – unfortunately, Scott won’t be joining me this time but I’m sure I’ll eat enough tofurkey for the both of us.

Here I come!

Thanksgivings in Louisiana mean wearing t-shirts and shorts, taking naps and hanging out at a local dive bar.  Yes, I’m excited.  Before I go, I have a fun-filled weekend ahead of me including meeting a college friend for lunch tomorrow and (finally!) getting to meet her boyfriend.  Then tomorrow night we’re having a few friends over for breakfast for dinner (Belgian waffles, veggie sausage, eggs and mimosas) and a viewing of a holiday movie.  Sunday I will be hanging at the Field Museum then prepping for my trip and I’ll be leaving on my jet plane Monday afternoon!  Since I had the extra time off work I’ll be down there until Friday, so I’m looking forward to just about everything.  Minus sleeping in the same bed with my sister, of course.

Whatever your Thanksgiving traditions are, I hope you’re able to continue them next week and that you and yours have a great holiday.  I’ll probably post once or twice in my absence but I might just be too relaxed and carefree to bother with the internet.  Either way, I just want to say that I’m thankful for all of the friends, family and love that make my life so worth living.  I’m a lucky girl and I never forget it!

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Black Thursday?

November 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Really?!  By now we’re all familiar with the concept of Black Friday, where millions of people go crazy and trample each other to buy things on the day after giving thanks for everything they already have.  Yes, I know there are some good deals but no, I don’t participate.  And now I’m hearing that some retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, Old Navy, Gap and Kmart, just to name a few) will be opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving night to try to take advantage of the greedy holiday spirit.  That means countless retail workers will be helping demanding, overstuffed customers all evening instead of spending just a little time with their own loved ones.  In case you haven’t picked up on it, I won’t be shopping next Thursday either.

Watch out, Grandma!

Actually, most of my shopping has been done via the internet and I’d say I’m roughly 80% finished at this point.  Yup, it’s a pretty great feeling.  I don’t usually shop online because I just can’t live my life that close to the edge but an especially slow day at work a few weeks ago prompted an Amazon perusal.  I found everything I was looking for (and more, of course) with just a few clicks of my mouse.  Since most of it has arrived (there was one thing that won’t be coming after all but once I get my refund, I’ll be able to move on), I think I’m now an online-holiday-shopping convert.  Why would I want to deal with long lines, horrendously moody/cranky/rabid shoppers, the anxiety of not finding that gift or deal that I’ve been holding out for and waking up at like 3am just for a few gifts?  I think some people turn it into a sport and I guess that’s okay but I’d rather sleep in, play online and have everything arrive at my office without further adieu.

Why do I get things shipped to my office?  Well, I don’t fully trust my neighbors, or my boyfriend.  Someone can easily nab an Amazon package before I get home and since I’m usually the last person to check the mail, that’s a distinct possibility.  Plus, it’s fun to get packages at work!  If you’re someone who really enjoys battling the crowds and craziness on Black Friday (or even the upcoming Black Thursday), good luck and Godspeed.  I think you’re crazy but respect your madness.  If you’re like me and now prefer doing your shopping from the comfort of your own office chair couch, welcome to the 21st century!  I’ll take the danger of carpel tunnel over being trampled to death any day.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m pretty sure a new coworker of mine has been calling me Peggy instead of my actual name.  I think I’m just going to roll with it.

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Beauty Sleep

November 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Scott and I broke down over the weekend and made a purchase we’ve discussed before but never actually gone through with.  It started with talks of getting a new mattress, as mine is more than a few years old and leaves a little to be desired.  However, after pursuing prices and even prices including sales, we decided that an entirely new mattress will need to wait until, say, retirement.  What we did agree on is one of those fancy, 3 inch memory foam mattress pad deals.  And let me tell you, it was the right choice to make.

Worth. It.

We actually went so far as to visit a mattress store and I asked the guy there if they sold mattress pads.  He said they didn’t anymore and then let us know that they’re only good for about a month before they start to lose their shape and that anyone who wants a quality night’s sleep would choose one of his $3,000 mattresses instead.  Oh, and if we bought it in the next 15 minutes we could get an early bird discount and save $100.  Well that didn’t work on us and so we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond with one of those handy 20% coupons that never expires instead.  We found a great mattress pad (and it had a 15 year warranty, so take that Mr. Salesman) and went home happy.  It’s my guess that the reason the mattress store quit selling these pads is because they were putting them out of business but Scott wouldn’t let me go back to the store to share my opinion with the guy who worked there.  Instead, we went home and opened the vacuumed sealed bag, then watched in amazement as the whole thing inflated and turned our bed into a magical new sleeping spot.

I slept more soundly than I have in…well, a long time, and I almost called into work today to continue to test the whole thing out.  I guess we’ll see if we’re still happy in six months, a year or 5 years but as of right now, we’re both thrilled.  So if you’re looking for a cheaper solution to a bed of problems, consider giving this a whirl.  So far, my back and my wallet are both thanking me!

 

 

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600th Post Rock (to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock)

November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am (Uncategorized) (, )

600th post, 600th post, 600th post rock

Creative writing and web blog posting,

Fingers typing up paragraphs for fun

You could say my posting has more than begun.

Wow that is a lot

600th post, 600th post, 600th post rock

Posting in rhyme, some of the time,

Rapping and story-telling and venting with care

To the cyberspace air!

What a pastime, it’s not the last time

I write the day away.

Blogging time is a swell time

For me to get out all I want to say!

C’mon reader, consider it a treat

Read around the clock!

Peruse this post and tap your feet

That’s why the 600th post

That’s why all the posts

That’s why webpaige’s blog rocks!!

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Warning: Political Post Ahead

November 7, 2012 at 11:51 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Well, I think we can all agree that we’re glad this election season is over.  And while I’m satisfied that the person I think is best fit to run this country will continue to do so, I’m also thrilled at some of the other big strides that were made in this election:

At least this is over

  • Two men who don’t know near enough about actual science to be talking about anything related to sex are no longer in the race for the Senate.  Todd Akin (who said that in cases of legitimate rape [which is what, exactly?], the woman’s body has a way of shutting down pregnancy) and Richard Mourdock (who said that pregnancy from rape is something God intended) both talked themselves out of a Senate seat and I think that’s a good thing.  I believe Akin is just an idiot who needs to take a high school biology class and while I understand that Mourdock was trying to say he’s pro-life, he needs to realize that we’re supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country.  I wonder what a woman who didn’t believe in God would think about getting pregnant via rape.  So yes, I’m glad these men are not making decisions for our country.
  • The first openly gay person was elected to the Senate!  Wisconsinite Tammy Baldwin’s sexual orientation didn’t come up much during the campaign and it was largely her track record and ideas that won her the seat.  Which is how it should be, and I’m so happy to see it happen.
  • Along those lines, Maryland and Maine both voted to approve same-sex marriage, which is a HUGE deal.  This is because, while it’s legal in a handful of other states, this is the first time in history that actual voters called for this measure of equality rather than having it awarded by the courts.  This is a great step in the right direction and I hope more voters follow suit.
  • Voters also approved legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in both Colorado and Washington.  The federal law still says it’s illegal but chances are people will be able to smoke freely fairly soon.  I’ve never understood why legalizing alcohol but criminalizing marijuana has been accepted for so many years and I think legalization is a good way to increase tax dividends for any particular state, not to mention it’s kind of common sense to have both substances treated the same way.  Plus, I bet those states see an uptick in tourists once all is said and done.

I believe major changes are taking place in this country (more happened last night alone but I don’t have the time to detail all of it) and I think that if Republicans want to stay relevant, they’re going to need to become more moderate in the long run.  This is no longer a country where entitled, old white men get to have the say in everything and I for one am glad of it.  However, regardless of your political affiliation, I hope we can all work together to make this country a safe and prosperous place to live and work in, for ourselves and for our children.  That’s what it should be all about, after all!

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What a Nightmare

November 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Do you ever have a dream about work?  Waking up to realize you’ve spent your precious hours of freedom unconsciously thinking about your job is a blow to the morale, that’s for sure.  Now what about this – do you ever have dreams about working at a job you haven’t held in years?  Even though I’ve worked in over a dozen places of employment over the past 14 years, I luckily don’t tend to dream about any of them very often.  However, when I do, it’s always about one place and one place only:  Dairy Queen.

Oh god why

I was THE Dairy Queen during my entire high school career and I suppose the reason it makes unwanted appearances in my dreams is because I worked there the longest.  I like to think that over the fact that I worked there during my most formative years because, well, that’s depressing.  Last night, I dreamed that I was back wearing my visor and uniform because, for some reason, they needed me to work for a few hours as they were so short staffed.  My sister was there (she worked with me briefly in real life too) and she needed the back up so I resigned myself to help out for a bit.  At one point, when faced with empty boxes of ice cream cones (because no one ordered enough supplies) and a horribly dirty ice cream counter, I made the comment that the place wouldn’t have been so bad off if I had never left.  Because clearly it’s my life’s goal to stay on as an assistant manager of a locally owned fast food joint.  In the dream, the manager was freaking out because the person coming in to relieve me wasn’t showing up (ironically, the missing worker was the confused accountant we briefly had at my current real job, who didn’t last longer than a month) and they were begging me to stay to close the store.  I asked how much they would pay me and when they said “at least $20 for the whole night” I laughed in their face and walked out the door, meeting my mom in the parking lot so we could go do some shopping.  While walking to our car I found a bag containing $90 cash and realized my decision to quit was a good one, and that was that.

But what does it mean?!  Probably that I’ll make more money doing just about anything (including walking around semi-full parking lots) than I ever would have if I had stayed on at DQ.  Of course, the mystery of why I still dream about that place has not been solved and I don’t know that it ever will be.  I hope that eventually I can get these dreams out of my system but I suppose they’re better than dreaming about wading through dirty underwear in clothing donations at Goodwill or delivering pizzas to a seedy strip club on the south side of Bloomington during college.  Those were the days…not.

As much as I complain about my current job, it’s definitely a step up from the ones I’ve had in the past!  But maybe tonight, just for fun, I can dream about winning the lottery and swimming in a pool full of money with the cast from Magic Mike.  Here’s hoping!

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Done and Done!

November 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Well, I’ve done my civic duty for this election period.

Not a fancy sticker but it will do.

This whole early voting thing is mighty handy, I will admit.  Scott and I attempted to take care of this last Sunday but the wait was running over an hour and we simply didn’t have that sort of time to kill.  I went to the downtown polling location yesterday on my lunch break and the lines were much better – I only waited about 20 minutes before being able to cast my ballot.  I have memories of elections gone by and of my mom having to wake up my sister and I super early so she could take care of her voting at the buttcrack of dawn.  It’s pretty nice knowing I’ll be sticking to my usual routine on Tuesday and enjoying that extra hour of sleep that the end of Daylight Savings Time will provide.

This election is a very divisive one (but really, which election isn’t?) and I’m glad to know that my little vote will eventually be heard.  Of course I wish there was more I could do to get this country on the track I think it should be on but short of running for office myself, voting is a good place to start.  And seeing as how I gave up my dreams of presidency long ago (thanks for those skeletons in my closet, college), I’ll be content with watching someone else go prematurely gray as they try to solve the country’s problems.

As I’ve mentioned before here, I think it’s important to be aware of the issues at hand and make responsible voting decisions.  And while I don’t exactly see how any educated mind can believe some of the stuff being spouted by one particular candidate, I know for a fact that neither man is perfect and neither can keep all they promises he’s made.  All I can do is hope that whomever is elected does his best and helps this country become a place that I’m not so hesitant to bring a new life into (…eventually).  Of course I’d like for “my guy” to win but since there isn’t much I can do other than what I’ve already done, I’ll just sit back and watch the chaos ensue.  And either way, I bet I’ll be having a drink come Tuesday night just to celebrate the fact that this election season is finally over.

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