Holidazed

December 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Holy crap, there’s one week until Christmas.

I’ve spent this week working, training at the museum, grabbing holiday drinks with friends, wrapping gifts, making out Christmas cards, purchasing last-minute gifts and then wrapping those, eating, fighting a stupid cold and eating some more. I also have to get ready for Scott’s birthday (it’s next week too), pack up almost everything I own (including all gifts and dirty laundry…literally, not figuratively) for our trip to see my mom for Christmas, prepare to be out of the office for a few days and finish year-end stuff there and actually finish gift-purchasing and gift wrapping. Then I have to strategically avoid looking at my bank account until my next paycheck in case I have a heart attack.

christmas-cookies

Why don’t people exchange vegetables at Christmas? I guess I could try but I’d look like a real fruit. Ha! 

Is it any wonder my brain feels like it’s been strangled with Christmas lights? I feel like I’m forgetting things even though I’ve created numerous lists and checked them way more than twice. How do people with kids do all of this without dashing through the halls and straight out the door into a loony-bin? I don’t know – the only thing I do know is that I’m almost sick of eating my weight in chocolate, pies, cookies and various other baked treats.

Almost. Because let’s be real – that sugar is what’s getting me through all this!

Merry merry holiday and all that jazz – enjoy what you can while you can because this season too will be over before we know it!

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Home for the Holidays

December 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Maybe I’ll even have some home alone time while I’m there!

I get to go home tomorrow!  And spend five nights enjoying friends, family, fun and tons and tons of food.  Whatever you do this week, I hope you and your loved ones enjoy yourselves and have a safe and wonderful holiday and New Year!

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The Holiday Train

December 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Look what I saw today!

The big guy himself!

The big guy himself!

In case you can’t tell, that’s the annual Chicago Transit Authority Holiday train. It features train cars entirely decked out in lights and decorations, Christmas music and of course, Santa and his elves on an open platform, where they great all the commuters who are fortunate enough to have caught this notorious ride. The first time I ever saw it was the first and only time I’ve been aboard but I encountered it last year and again tonight. It puts a smile on everyone’s faces and definitely helps to ring in the holiday season, so thanks to the CTA for my early Christmas present!

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That’s All She Wrote

December 20, 2013 at 10:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Truth.

I was told this morning that today is my last day with the firm because the whole damn place is shutting down.  Obviously not a total surprise, but man it still stinks, especially since I was counting on at least another week’s worth of cash.  Chances of me getting paid for the vacation time I was planning on using are now slim and with Christmas in five days, it’s all just peachy.

The good news is that I’ve had three solid interviews in the last two weeks and I have another phone interview scheduled for right after the new year.  All four places are waiting until basically the second week of January to do call backs so it’ll be a bit before I know anything, but I’m hopeful.  My resolution is to be working someplace full-time by the end of January – now I just need to make it happen!

Scott’s 30th birthday is tomorrow and we have a fun-filled weekend ahead of us, then Monday (after filing for unemployment, apparently) I will be leaving town to spend the week at my mom’s for Christmas.  There’s a lot to look forward to so I’m trying to stay positive but any good vibes that can be sent my way would also be much appreciated!

And since I’ll be out of town/it’s the holidays/I’m dealing with all this work crap, I’ll likely be taking a hiatus from the whole blogging thing for a bit.  Here’s hoping for a super wonderful and fantastic holiday and 2014, for all of us!

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Goodbye 2012

December 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

And another year comes to a close.  Can you believe it’s been 13 years since the year 2000?  I still feel like 1997 was just a few years ago so apparently I have some catching up to do.

Speaking of catching up, I did manage to do lots of that last week while spending Christmas at home.  I ate too many meals out, saw tons of friends and family members, spent some time in a hot tub, got some truly awesome stories on video as told by my grandparents, opened way too many presents and generally had a rocking holiday.  I am blessed, and I know this.  I can’t believe another Christmas has come and gone and I feel extremely lucky that this year left me in an even better spot than last year did.  I can only hope 2013 treats me the same way (though to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of odd-numbered years…but 2011 proved to be one of my best yet so we’ll see what happens).

Here’s to a great one!

In honor of New Year’s Eve, the most overrated holiday of the year, I shall review the resolutions I made this time last year:

  • Write and submit a story – hey, I did this!  I won’t know until sometime in February if it’s actually going to be published or bring me any money, but the fact that I actually committed to writing something longer than a blog post and then followed through with it makes me happy.
  • Leave the country – I did this too!  And I have successfully walked on every continent (sans Antarctica, but I never really wanted to go there anyway.  Okay that’s not true, I’d probably check it out if I could, but since I’m not in the military or a scientist, I’ll be satisfied with the continents I have traveled to.  For now.).
  • Read War and Peace, Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov – nope, didn’t do any of those things.  I think the English Major in me thought this sounded like a good idea but I never got around to it.  I did read 20-something other books and enjoyed most of them, so that’ll work for me.  Perhaps putting just one of those three on my resolution list for 2013 will seem less daunting?
  • Add money to my savings account – and it has increased!  No matter how much I added, the fact that it’s larger now than it was at the end of 2011 is an improvement.  Right?
  • Keep going to the gym – hey, this is a success too!  And I go without Scott bribing me or dragging my ass, kicking and screaming.  That said, I’m not looking forward to waiting in line for a locker again during the month of January.
  • Take a potential language class – didn’t do this either, but notice how I said potential?  That gives me an out, so I’ll take it!
  • Keep on growing and learning – well to be honest, this one’s a freebie.  So long as I lived to the end of the year, it was sort of a given.  But since I’m still here I’ll go ahead and call it a success!
  • Make out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt…well, the year isn’t technically over yet!

However, since my NYE plans consist of a dinner and drinks with some friends in the neighborhood, it’s likely that the only person I’ll be kissing at midnight is Scott.  And truth be told, he’s a better match for me than JGL any day!

I hope your year treated you well and that the upcoming one will treat you even better.  And for all you boozehounds out there, stay safe and make sure you have a DD!

 

 

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Bring on the Holidays!

December 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Last week was an extremely busy one at the office (hence my lack of Friday post) and it was followed by an extremely busy weekend.  My mom came in town for our annual December downtown shopping excursion and we pretty much wore ourselves out.  We spent Friday eating at a restaurant where Mom had a dinner that did NOT include meat (which I think she actually liked!), spent Saturday doing our shopping then watching some IU basketball in a neighborhood bar and then Sunday she met Scott’s parents when we all went out for brunch.  Speaking of brunch, we ate at a great little diner Saturday morning and it was so good it will probably get it’s own blog post later this week.  We also passed a huge bar crawl featuring a couple of hundred people dressed as Santa Clause, which is featured in here.

Santas as far as they eye can see!

Santas as far as they eye can see!

It looked like fun but all I could think about is how glad I was that I wasn’t tending bar at any of their stops that morning.  Brunch with all the parents went well too, even though the first place we tried was closed and we had to walk back in the rain and then deal with Scott’s shrieking car alarm before being able to go someplace else.  It all worked out though and the rest of the weekend went well.  I actually took yesterday off of work for doctor’s appointments/recuperation purposes so I’m glad Monday is over and I’m pretty sure I can handle the rest of the week.

Which is good, because it’s going to be busy too.  This has to do with the fact that I’ve got the food pantry and my book club this week, plus the Field Museum on Saturday.  Luckily, not much of the busyness has to do with the holidays.  I pretty much finished all my shopping with Mom and I’m caught up with wrapping for the moment, plus I’m about halfway through my holiday cards.  Yup, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself and on top of things, which is good considering Christmas is 14 days away!

And yet, my next holiday vacation can’t come soon enough…

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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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Ho Ho Ho

December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Is it Christmas already?  Well, it’s close.  This has been a whirlwind past 7 days full of work bar outings, friends’ birthday parties, a walk through with my coordinator of the tour I put together for the Field Museum (she loved it and I even taught her something she didn’t know!), apartment cleaning, shopping, gift wrapping, more shopping, Home Alone watching, anniversaries and the birthday of my boyfriend.  Not to mention the craziness at work, as a HUGE project I’m in charge of will be launching January 2nd and December 22nd (today!) is my last day in the office until that launch date.  Thank you, unpaid vacation time that my office is making me take.  Not that I’m really complaining because the idea of having the next 10 days off to go home and spend time with my awesome family and friends makes it all worthwhile.  It would just be better if I were getting paid for it.  Regardless, I haven’t spent 5 nights in a row at home since…well, I’m pretty sure since high school, so this will be an experience.  And the boyfriend will be with me the entire time so it will be a test of his endurance as well.  I hope he can handle it because he’s my only ride.

So my creative juices aren’t really flowing today since I have so much else on my mind.  This is a pretty lackluster post; my apologies.  I had a long-haired, greasy looking fellow give me a business card in the elevator at work this morning for his Ozzy Osbourne cover band, so that was sort of exciting.  Gross, but entertaining nonetheless.

I won’t miss this place over the next 10 days.

I’m not sure what the holidays hold for you and yours but I hope you find happiness and joy somewhere along the way.  Don’t be a Scrooge and try to remember the reason for the season – food.  Or wine, I’m not sure which.  Whatever it is, I hope it’s merry!

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Love for My Friends

December 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

My friends are awesome.  Three of them (one includes my sister but most of the time I consider her a friend too so whatever) saved me from having to go down to the post office and open a can of whoop ass over the weekend by letting me know sooner rather than later that their holiday cards did in fact arrive.  So USPS gets to live…this time.  A separate, equally awesome friend mailed me my first Christmas gift of the year over the weekend and it’s the best one I’ve gotten so far this season.  And not just because it’s the only one either – in fact, every other gift this year is going to have quite a lot to live up to, because he sent me 4 MASSIVE BAGS OF CHEEZ-ITS.  That’s right, he basically boxed up a slice of my version of heaven and had FedEx deliver it straight to my door.  I can only imagine that these two large boxes with two bags each originally came from someplace wonderful like Costco but it’s possible they passed through the hands of baby Jesus himself.  I have officially received enough of these addictive little crackers to last me through the rest of the year (probably…if I keep eating them like I did this weekend there’s just no telling.  I felt like Scrooge McDuck swimming through a pool of coins, only my pool involved Cheez-Its).

This is the look my boyfriend gets when he tries to eat my Cheez-Its

Also this weekend, a good friend of mine finished his secondary education and graduated.  He’s been in Chicago while his lovely bride lived 5 hours away and I am so happy that they’re finally back together and able to move forward in the direction they want.  I’m pretty bummed I wasn’t able to visit with them this weekend but I know how crazy busy they were and I understand.  I blew them kisses which of course I’m sure they received.

Speaking of couples that I adore, another gal pal of mine became engaged on Friday.  I was one of the lucky few to find out before Facebook so I consider myself privileged and I’ve seen this pair move in with each other and grow as a couple over the last year so I’m thrilled for them as well.  And since their big news will probably involve free food and booze for my face at some point down the road, I’m even happier.

A different lovely lady in my circle also had news this weekend but it’s of a different sort.  She’s moving to China.  This isn’t a massive shock but it’s happening sooner than we were ready for and it doesn’t look like I’ll get to see her before she goes.  Luckily, I would love to visit China so she’ll have me to deal with sometime soon (maybe before 2012 is out?  Only time will tell).

Big things are happening with the people I know and there seems to be something in the air.  I’m hoping this means that 2012 is a great year all around for everyone I know – the last few weeks of 2011 are certainly off to a good start!

And in totally unrelated news, I’m still going to the gym!  But my body kind of hates me.

 

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Webpaige’s Day Off

December 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

This year is the first time that I’ve found myself in the grown-up position of having to “use or lose” vacation days before the end of the year.  That means that today I slept until noon and opened a beer before 5 o’clock.  It was a pretty great way to spend a Monday and I’m grateful for the other days I’ve earned as well.  I have one more to use before Christmas and while it will likely be spent traveling down to Indiana a little bit early, for now I can pretend I could also use it sleeping in, enjoying adult beverages and eating snack foods while wearing my pajamas and commandeering my couch for an obscene amount of time.  It is the holiday season, after all.

Is it a coincidence that I live in this city? I think not.

So it’s obviously nice to have a day where you’re off and getting paid for it but this month I’m also in the unique position of having some furlough time ahead of me as well.  Oh boy.  It’s the first time my company has had to do such a thing but it’s better than pay cuts or lay offs, and speaking as someone who once went through a year long 10% company-wide pay cut in a former position, I can say I’d much rather some unpaid time off.  I’m thankful I still have a job, blah blah blah recession recession.  Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it so I’m going to sit back and enjoy having the week between Christmas and New Year’s off like I’m some kind of school girl.  Whatever shall I do?  While I wish I could spend my days sledding and running around like I did a decade (two decades? shudder) ago, this time will now consist of longer visits with friends and family, getting a cavity filled at my new dentist (I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this) and finally implementing the tour I’ve been working on all year at The Field Museum.  Oh boy indeed!

Back to today.  Right now I would still be on the train, making my nightly commute and fighting off the waves of weariness typically associated with the first day of the week.  Instead, I’m sitting on my couch in the glow of my tree, with my feet up and bra off.  I have a good book by my side and a good beer next to that.

I think I’m ready for my vacation.

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