Wednesday, December 30, 2015

When NOT to Be Sick

In case you were considering planning an illness - one of the sort that saps your energy and makes it unlikely that you'll want to leave the house unless it's mandatory - might I make a few suggestions?

  1. Don't do it before a family event. After all, low energy and family stress are a bad combo - and may result in you feeling worse, not better. 
  2. Don't do it on a weekend. After all - isn't that what paid sick time is for? What's the point of having it if you get sick on the weekend and simply miss out on doing stuff you like to do? 
  3. Don't do it right in the middle of the last events of the year you've been invited to, because then you'll end up having to decide between staying home (and making yourself - and your partner - miserable), or going out and possibly making everyone else miserable as you whine about wanting to go home to bed (or simply fall asleep).
So, if we put this all together, let's see how it all adds up:

Maybe it's not so great to start fighting off the flu right before Christmas, and to end up having to miss out on Christmas and New Year's Eve parties because of it.

Yes, I know I should have gotten a flu shot earlier this year, but it was on my list for January because there has been such a low incidence of the flu in Minnesota this year.

And, yes, I know that no one worth their salt faults you for missing events (or falling asleep during them) when you're sick.

But none of that makes me feel any better at the moment.

Instead, I'm going to be thrilled that I was awake all the way to 9:30 tonight, and then go take some Vitamin C and go to bed. After all, just imagine the partying we could be doing tomorrow night if I get plenty of rest, tonight.

We could go out and paint the town a "slightly feverish" shade of red. Or go out to dinner somewhere where the Early Bird Special would guarantee I'd be home in time for a nightcap glass of Airborne. Heck, I might even stay up until 10 (wrapped up in an afghan on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate)!

Only time - and some well-timed meds - will tell.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Preparing for the New Year

I was answering a question for an online acquaintance earlier this evening, and I decided that I kind of liked what I said. So I'm sharing it here:

I think there is a layer of angst built into the perceived pressure of a new year. It's bliss because it's a new, blank state, but it's also terrifying. The same fear of the blank page that causes writer's block. All we can do is... do. And the next day will dawn, and we'll move into that one and start the new day as we shake off the old.

So... Here's to moving into the new year--and scribbling gloriously all over the blank pages.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Expectations Versus Reality

I seem to be having some issues with getting my expectations and reality to align, lately.

Typically, I can let things like this pretty much just slide off and I can keep going. But the past couple of weeks things have just been kind of "off." I don't know how else to put it.

That's a large part of why I haven't been blogging - I just haven't had anything upbeat to write about and those of you who do take the time to read this really don't need to deal with my random existential angst.

I'm not going to lie - having this happen in the weeks around Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a bit of a bummer. (I'm sure the people I've been interacting with lately would agree.)

We'll see what the next few weeks have in store. Or - you know - the next few hours, since those expectations might be easier to manage.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bad Quote Quotient - Punctuation Pointers

I highly recommend learning some of the basics of punctuation to pretty much every author. After all, spellcheck doesn't often point out those errors.

Today's error is all about the apostrophe. It's a little tiny mark on the screen, but oh, so important.

Here's what I found:

"Branding began as a simple solution for a person to differentiate his cattle from his neighbors."

It does make me wonder what the neighbors looked like, if they couldn't be recognized as non-bovine... And whether they were branding the neighbors or the cows.

Punctuation. It's important to your neighborliness.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Back Soon...

Sorry I've been out of touch, lately.

Life got a bit crazy and busy, and with the approaching Holidays I kind of spent most evenings focused on other things.

I hope to be back to regular posting soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bad Quote Quotient - Not on My List

It's been a while since I've offered something from the Bad Quote Quotient file, but this one struck me as a cautionary tale about people not to write to.

Among the papers decorating the walls were correspondents, memos from his personal staff, and pages out of old textbooks.

I mean... really... if all it takes is writing to someone to end up hanging on his wall - that sounds like someone you might not want to send a Christmas card to.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hanukkah Lights

At work today we had a ceremony to light the third candle on our office menorah. It's a small menorah - especially when compared to the eight-foot Christmas tree - but it's there, nonetheless.

It was a nice few minutes of semi-solemn time, with a reading of the basic story behind Hanukkah, as well as the recitation of the prayer that goes along with the lighting. All of which was prefaced with a caution that we had to do this right on time because the candle lighter's grandmother had always worried about being late for sundown.

There are actually only two people in the office who are Jewish (out of 28 people in the office - with various Christian religions, a lot of religious apathy, and at least one Atheist), but there were about a dozen people gathered for the lighting.

At the end, everyone wished each other Happy Hanukkah and an early Merry Christmas, and we tried to run down the list of other things we might wish each other ("Festive Solstice," and the like).

We're a strange little office 90% of the time. More dysfunctional family than corporate entity, really.

But there was something kind of beautiful about ending our workday celebrating traditions together, even though they weren't our own.

For a moment or two, the four little candles on the menorah were brighter than all of the twinkle lights on the tree.

Happy Hanukkah to all - may your lantern's oil burn for eight days, though you have only enough for one.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Subjective Success

Yesterday, I had one of the most successful trips to Target that I've had in ages.

No. I didn't find the perfect sale on the perfect items.

No. I didn't win the lottery while I was there.

I didn't even find everything I needed, when you come right down to it.

What I did do was - three weeks before Christmas - get in and out of Target on a Saturday morning in under 30 minutes.

And I even had a pleasant conversation with my cashier, who wished me a nice rest-of-the-weekend.

If that's not a successful Target run, I don't know what is.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

...honestly, I'm not sure what it's beginning to look like around here.

I'm having one of those years where I know that Christmas is only 3 weeks away, but I haven't really done any prep for it. I've done a little shopping, but no baking and no decorating. I haven't even dug out all of my Christmas CDs yet.

My work Christmas party is next week, and I haven't even signed up for what I'm going to take to the potluck. That's how far out of the holiday loop I'm feeling.

I think part of my problem is that the weather has been so weird. Kind of warm, kind of cold, kind of snowy, but not really. It's hard to get into the spirit of it when the weather feels more like November.

Overall, though, I'm just not really into it this year. I'm hoping to get there soon, but I guess this is going to have to be a wait-and-see year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Internal Calendar Is Out of W(h)ack

Lately, I seem to have more and more days when in my mind I think it's a different day of the week than it is.

On the way home from work tonight (the 1st of December), I was asking Christopher (who was riding with me - so this was a real conversation, not a hypothetical one) what he was up to tomorrow night. He said "Well, on Thursday, I'm . . . " (Yes, I could hear the italics.)

This has been happening a lot lately. And, unfortunately, it always seems to happen the wrong direction. I never think that it's Thursday when it's actually Friday. I always seem to be pushing myself forward through the week, only to find that I haven't gone as far as I'd thought.

Tonight I've decided to try treating it like jetlag. And we all know what to do about jetlag, right? You do your best to go to sleep at a "normal" time - and then get a solid night's sleep. Of course, since I'm trying to fight back 24 hours, instead of just one or two timezones, I'm taking this opportunity to go to bed an hour or so earlier than usual.

That should work, right?

(Oh - and that whole "W(h)ack" thing from the title? That's because depending on where you look on line the phrase is either "out of whack" or "out of wack" - so I'm hedging my bets.)

Happy mid-week. Whatever day it is.