Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy (early) new year!

2010-10-17-E&J_224It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so just popping in quickly to say that 2010 turned out to be a pretty good year (with some great surprises along the way, i.e. unexpected job satisfaction, the occasion for the photo at right), and I’m hoping 2011 will be even better. There’ll be the Big Event in July, of course, but there are other great or at least big things to look forward to: getting to know a friend’s new baby, supporting another friend as she introduces her boyfriend to her parents and gets engaged, and perhaps some career changes next year as well.

I’m a little apprehensive about creating a detailed list of the things I expect to happen in the next year just in case they don’t happen or the year sucks or something, so I’ll leave with a snapshot of the good things happening right now: there’s a mug of ice cream in my belly, a glass of mulled mead is waiting for me to take a typing break, and I’m surrounded by some of my best and oldest friends as we celebrate the new year together. Good times.

Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year

Ah, December—the festive time when I come down with a voice-stealing cold just in time for a string of choir concerts; the magical days when I somehow squeeze Christmas presents, travel expenses, charity giving and the occasional treat for myself out of one paycheck; the joyous weekends when I ask my fellow drivers to please GET OUT OF THE WAY so I can finish my shopping and make it home before the snow starts and the roads become undriveable until Puget Sound’s three snowplow operators remember how their vehicles work and start sloooooowly clearing the highways. Isn’t this time of year *great*?

Annoyances aside, though, I really do like the holidays. I like that my office makes up for a lack of party budget by throwing a potluck white-elephant gift swap (even though I’ve yet to enjoy the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader audiobook[!] that I “won” last year), I love having an excuse to bake Christmas-colored cookies, and I enjoy figuring out which decorations I can put up that our cats won’t eat or otherwise destroy. (I learned to be careful when I returned after the holiday to find that Sabrina had batted every single ornament down from the tree. I was still finding them under furniture when I moved out of that apartment last summer.) The Boy’s workgroup is having a crazy-go-nuts holiday party tomorrow, and I’m so excited to break out my awesome (but not wearable at any other time of year) bright red plaid skirt that looks exactly like a wool blanket we had when I was a kid.

This time of year also brings back memories of Christmases past—buying what is to this day my favorite holiday album (Ren & Stimpy’s Crock o’ Christmas, featuring the classics “Cat Hairballs” and “The Twelve Days of Yaksmas”), playing “Carol of the Bells” in a handbell quartet on Christmas Eve on a couple of hours of rehearsal and very little sleep since I’d just flown back to LA after finals, wearing my most festive holiday headgear while singing (croaking…I was usually sick, remember) in the Yale Glee Club concerts, singing nearly every women’s part in my high school’s and college’s respective traditional holiday concert closing songs, stumbling across “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and/or “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV…yes, good times.

And then the rest of me realizes that it is only December *2nd* and it is very likely I will burn out on Christmas music by the 25th if I start listening to it now, so I’ll go concentrate on getting my voice back by Saturday’s concert. And also decide whether to wear my red plaid skirt to work tomorrow, or change into it closer to party time. Tough call.