‘Tis the Season

December 23, 2016 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Okay so I’m still dealing with some of the same things from my last post but no matter. It’s nearly Christmas and so it’s time to focus on the positive!

One of my very best friends just had her first baby and while it was a little sooner than c8127968079a6deea834b3994205b441anticipated, everyone is doing well and I’m hoping to see them over the next few days. It’s crazy – in the time I went to the gym on Sunday she had a whole freaking baby! So new life is always something to celebrate and I’m happy to do just that.

I’m also happy to be visiting all of my family and friends over Christmas – I’m leaving town in approximately two hours and ready to go now! I’ve got presents wrapped and loaded and I’ve gained about 10 pounds this week with all of the holiday food sitting around the office so I guess you could say I’m prepared!

In other news, the weather has warmed up and my honeymoon gets ever closer. Scott had a birthday this week so that was fun to celebrate and our cat is holding steady (for now…). I received some very nice and generous gifts from my bosses for Christmas and have the promise of a bonus to look forward to when I get back from Thailand. Oh, and I basically have two days left of work until January 17th. So not even Trump can get me in the dumps!

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanza/Happy New Year/Merry Festivus/Merry Everything!!

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Is It Over Yet?

December 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

God this is the year that just won’t end.

It goes on and on my friend.

(If you now have a tune involving a sheep puppet in your head, I apologize).

But really, this year just keeps going and going and just when you think you’ve had enough, it goes along some more. I’m dealing with some personal stress and then of course there’s the national stress leftover from the election (and looks like it’s going to hang around for at least another four years), things can be tough. I’m trying to stay positive though and so I will say that I’m thankful for the fact that this year is creeping ever so slowly to its end and I’m looking at a significant time out of the office for Christmas and then our honeymoon. Because if I can get through these next few weeks, Thailand awaits!

Of course, the issues and stressors that are in my life will be waiting for me when I return. But hopefully a vacation will help them from being so damn daunting! After all, life always seems a little brighter when you’re sporting a tan.

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Hail to the Chief

Just ask our President-elect…

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‘Tis the Season

December 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This is the first year in all of my years that I attended a holiday work party. I’ve had many jobs during the course of my lifetime but the only one that ever did anything for the holidays was when I worked with young kids in college and that was with all of said kids anyway. The whole get-drunk-and-eat-food-on-the-company’s-dime thing seemed to me a thing of myths and dreams. Hell, last year the firm I was working for was sued and filed bankruptcy the Friday before Christmas so there was obviously no celebrating going on over there. This year, everything’s different!

My current firm had a company-wide holiday party at the ballroom of a fancy-schmancy hotel down the street a couple of weeks ago. There are something like 1,000 people who work here so it was a pretty big event, complete with multiple buffet tables, open bar and even kids singing Christmas carols in the halls. They served all kinds of seafood and meats in addition to a table of Mexican fare, a ton of pasta and individual flatbread pizzas. There were also tables full of different kinds of dessert and like I mentioned, the open bar. Open bar! Yeah, the whole thing was pretty awesome.

Sadly, they didn’t serve any goat cheese.

THEN I realized that my department has their own holiday party as well. So last week those I work with more directly were treated to another night of free food and booze, this time at The Girl and the Goat. This is a super-trendy restaurant in Chicago that’s owned and operated by Stephanie Izard, who I think won the first season of Top Chef. She was there bossing her crew around as they hustled out the food and beverages, which were aplenty. Unfortunately, much of the menu revolves around meat (yes, including goat) so my options were a little limited. However, the salad, bread and cauliflower dish I had were all amazing and I absolutely got seconds. And if I’m going to be honest, I had more than seconds on the drinks!

On top of all that – the administrative assistants had a catered lunch from some completely delicious Italian place today. And apparently our bosses are very generous during this time of the year – I put together little “Cajun Care Packages” for all of those I work for, which consisted of roasted pecans that were grown, shelled and bagged in the Louisiana town where my dad’s family lives, plus some hot sauces and seasonings. Not much, but a little something. I really don’t care if my bosses get me anything in return but I’ve had a few hints that they will, which is super generous, thoughtful and appreciated. And yesterday, a guy I only semi-work for took me and another admin out to lunch and gave me a gift certificate for a massage. I mean, who wouldn’t love that?

Sure beats getting a pink slip and becoming unemployed, that’s for damn sure!

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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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Vacation Recap

December 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Here’s what I’ve been up to since the last time I posted:

  • Was out of town for 7 nights.
  • Spent 2,328 miles in a car (roughly 38 hours).
  • Drove through 7 states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana).
  • Slept in 4 different beds (two nights in a sorta dingy motel where my family was the only guests…it was like something out of a bad horror movie…then one night in a nice French Quarter hotel, one night at my grandparent’s house and one night with my momma).
  • Visited with 12 family members and only had to yell at my dad once or twice.
  • Sat in one strip club with my sister and cousins…talk about awkward.
  • Indulged in one couples reading at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo – apparently Scott and I are good for each other and I should never bother with LASIK surgery, though it would be good for him.  Also my sister and I might both wind up with twins.  Holy crap.
  • Ate roughly my own weight in Thanksgiving deliciousness (and I have leftovers!  The one and only perk of driving).
  • Had a few too many New Orleans adult beverages.
  • Managed to see all four of my grandparents and both of my parents in the same day, despite them living on opposite sides of the country.
  • Cleaned the apartment, unpacked everything, put up the Christmas tree and had a friend over for dinner, all on my last night off before returning to work.
  • Spent two and a half hours upgrading my phone to an iPhone.  I guess there’s no going back from this.
Happy Holidays from Bourbon Street!

Happy Holidays from Bourbon Street!

As you can see, I’ve been fairly busy.  The trip was a really good time though that drive was LONG.  At least it was semi-entertaining, what with Kendra’s boyfriend almost letting us run out of gas in the Middle of Nowhere, Alabama at 4:30 in the morning and my own boyfriend leaving a gas station with the gas pump still hooked in the car.  My sister and I are proud that we didn’t have any driving mishaps and that we didn’t kill each other, which I think we were both worried about.  I’m also fairly comfortable behind the wheel once again, as I did more driving in the last week than I’ve done in years.

Other highlights: my tofurkey was surprisingly delicious, I didn’t have to go to a Wal-Mart while in Louisiana, my aunt is sending me a new(er) Nook and I’ve made a slight dent in my current book, The Count of Monte Cristo.  Now for this week: coming back to work, volunteering at the food pantry, attending a fancy Holiday party at the Art Institute with a friend and volunteering at the museum this weekend.  And that’s just between now and Saturday!

No rest for the wicked, but then again why would I want to rest when everything I’m doing is so damn awesome?  Hope your holiday was just as good as mine, if not slightly less chaotic.  And here’s hoping I can get back to Louisiana sometime before next Thanksgiving!

 

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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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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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December Madness

December 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

It’s that time of year again!  The time to revel in the holiday spirit and be thankful that people are generally nice to one another throughout the month.  It’s also the time to decorate, trim the tree, bake cookies and pies, send Christmas cards, sing carols, wrap presents and pretend you’ve been good for the last 11 months when anyone asks.  In honor of the season, I present to you my tree:

Not so diabetic this year!

Actually since I have a live-in boyfriend/roommate now, I guess I should say our tree.  I finally threw out the monstrosity I have had for the last few years and purchased a brand spanking new (fake) tree, seeing as how my delicate senses won’t allow for a real one.  I think it turned out fairly well, if I do say so myself!  There aren’t a ton of gifts under it yet so if you want to donate, feel free.  And have a great first weekend of December!

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Fall into Fall

September 23, 2011 at 10:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

It’s official – summer is over.

Okay, this whole change of seasons thing is okay after all

I’m dealing with this about as well as can be expected and have begun slowly bringing the sweaters and sneakers back into my life.  I always hate putting away the sandals for the year and I’m still stubbornly wearing them as much as I can but today’s chilly temps might soon make me think otherwise.  This summer was a great one (even if it did rain way too much for my liking) and I’m sad to see it go but since Fall is pretty much my favorite season, I think I’ll manage.  What makes Fall so great?  Shocker of shockers, I’ve got a Top 5 list:

  1. New clothes!  Or at least, clothes that feel new.  Hell, if I haven’t worn something in two or three months it’s new to me so every time the temperatures drastically change I bust out a more appropriate wardrobe and pretend that I just went on a shopping spree.  This may or may not include me rolling around on top of clothing on my bed.
  2. Cute accessories!  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a girly girl (though the two reasons listed so far seem to prove otherwise…) but I do love me some scarves and jackets.  I like to mix and match and since the Fall is perfect for layers, it’s a great time to play dress-up.  I’m also excited to bust out some boots again, especially since they’re so made for walkin’.
  3. Soup!  Mmm soup.  I’ve already had tomato soup and grilled cheese like three times in the past two weeks and that won’t be letting up soon.  A friend of mine keeps a super-intimidating yet amazing food blog and she’s recently posted some good looking soups that I may have to finally break down and attempt to cook.  Fall is also good for things like pumpkins, squash, apple cider and other warm and delicious treats.  Who doesn’t like that?
  4. Holidays! Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season and I like holidays.  Especially since that means more time off work, more time with my family and more time having a good time.  Bring it on!
  5. Changing Leaves! Now, I don’t get to enjoy this so much now that I live in the city but I can still appreciate it to an extent.  There are actual, real trees just outside my living room windows and I live just down the street from a park so I’m still able to get out and watch Mother Nature do her presto-chango act.  And in my near-28 years, I still get the urge frolic and jump in big piles of leaves.

Obviously, the end of summer isn’t all bad.  And I’m not too down about the plunging temps because I know it’ll be warmer in Guatemala and that’s just around the corner.  So I’ll spend this weekend enjoying comfy sweaters, warm beverages and who knows…maybe some soup.  We’ll see if I can handle such craziness!

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Christmas Tree Down

January 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

And I don’t mean that it has fallen, though it did that twice during its duration in my living room this winter.  The first time was because I got the lights tangled around my large clumsy feet, which I didn’t realize until the tree was on the floor and numerous ornaments had been smashed.  That was fun to clean up, especially since I was slightly inebriated and quite sleepy when it happened.  The second time it fell it didn’t actually fall all the way – my hell cat jumped over it and I managed to catch it right before it hit the ground.  I was pretty proud of that deft maneuver but of course no one but the cat was around to appreciate it.  Story of my life.

Timber!

Anyway, my tree is officially dismantled and back in the storage unit in my basement.  I truly love the cozy glow that Christmas lights give off and I never want to take down my decorations but all good things must come to an end.  Last night I realized that I wasn’t going to have much time to devote to deconstructing Christmas over the next few weeks and that if it was going to get done before Valentine’s Day, it needed to be taken care of soon.  Now I have what feels like a large hole in my heart living room and my mantle seems unbearably bare.  And seeing how the next major holiday is one that, as a single, I won’t really be celebrating, it looks like my apartment will be sans decorations of any kind until St. Patrick’s Day.  And who decorates for that?  What I really mean is Halloween.  I suppose I could decorate for my birthday but I wouldn’t really know how to do that (unless I found some pinatas).  Besides, I walk around in my birthday suit enough and that has to count for something.

Have I mentioned that I love living alone?  I doubt any roommates would’ve allowed me to keep up the tree as long as I did and while some may or may not be okay with me walking around in the buff, I prefer to keep my nudity where only I can see it.  And while it makes me sad to think I won’t be decorating this current apartment ever again (I’ll be moved out long before Halloween), perhaps I can create a new holiday and decorate for that.  Arbitrary Day, anyone?  Bring it on!

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