Leisure in Excess

So you would think having two weeks off would result in me posting regularly on my blog. Yeah, not so much. Something about not having to work makes me not want to do ANYTHING, or trying to catch up on EVERYTHING, and then you throw some holidays in there and, well, all this "lady of leisure" stuff turns into me not even wishing you people a Merry Christmas.

We also sucked at taking pictures of the Christmas festivities this year, so I haven't even bothered to upload those pics yet. But I vow to do so before I go back to work on Monday and tell you all about our holidays. At this point I just kind of figured I'd wait until New Year's Eve concludes and jam it all in one. :)

Ooh, and since I am actually posting on a day where it is timely...



Pre-Christmas List

1. Yesterday was my last day of work until January 5. Yes, people. TWO WEEKS OFF! And because I am a state employee who works at a university, I only have to use TWELVE HOURS OF LEAVE! The rest is all holiday pay! Well, wait, I *did* only have to use 12 hours of leave. But then the governor decided to give us an additional 8 hours of holiday leave, so now I only have to use 4. And can I just say, Tim Kaine, that those eight extra hours MORE THAN MAKE UP FOR the fact that you've decided not to give me a raise until 2010? Really.

Ok, not really. But I get that we're in shit shape as far as our state budget goes, so... whatevs, I guess.

2. I have not come close to finishing my Christmas shopping yet. But I had my work holiday party here at our house last weekend, so the week before that was spent frantically cleaning and decorating, then this past week I did get *some* stuff done, but I started realizing that I had this whole weekend plus Monday and Tuesday to get it done, so... my motivation waned. After I finish this I'm going downstairs to make another list, this one of who I have left to buy for and where I might find something awesome to give each of them. The good news is I do generally know what I want to get people. Except maybe 2 people. But it'll come to me! ;)

3. We are not pregnant yet, so please, no one expect baby related gifts this year. And that's all I'm going to say about that. I wasn't going to say anything, but enough people know now that we're trying that I'd rather just have you know ahead of time that there are no little Christmas miracles in my womb. Perhaps a Martin Luther King, Jr. day miracle will occur... or Valentine's Day... or maybe St. Patrick's Day... Easter???? :)

4. I realized yesterday that I am pissed at cnn.com. I was all excited to see the giant-ass moon last night, and when Bryan and I were trying to figure out if he had to stay home for our moon date or if he could go play poker with some of the guys, we looked up the article again and realized the freaking full moon was LAST Friday! And I saw that stupid article in my CNN QuickNews on MONDAY MORNING! Assholes.

Thankfully we realized that we WERE out on a date last Friday night and that we DID see the moon. And we even commented how huge and awesome it was. So... I guess that's alright. :)

5. I have the last three episodes of Dexter to watch at some point over this break. Last night I finished watching this season of True Blood, and thought I might launch right into Dexter, but then I realized that I wanted to watch all three at once, and I didn't want to stay up until 2am. And then now, I am considering turning it on, but Bryan will probably be up before I can get through all three episodes and he doesn't really watch Dexter, so I won't get through all three. The point of all this is that this show is so freaking good that I know I'll be an addict once it's on and so I have to schedule three hours of my life where I can have no interruptions and focus solely on the crazy homicidal life of Dexter Morgan. And even I can admit that's weird. But there's nothing I can do to change it! I'm thinking perhaps Monday... but then again, I doubt I'll be able to hold out that long.

6. Did I mention I have TWO WEEKS OFF?!?!!! Hooray!!!


Party Hoppers

The first weekend of December, Bryan and I were total party hoppers. We had three Christmas parties in two days! You'd think we are a lot more popular than we really are. ;-)

Party #1: Grandma's Annual Tree Trimming Party

Every year, the Grammer family gathers at Grandma's to undertake the giant task of decorating her tree. It's not that the tree is so big, it's that she has about a million ornaments. Okay, I'm exaggerating. No more than 100,000. This year, in spite of being sick and coming straight from work, Bryan was the one to get the ornament-placing moving. He put on three ornaments, starting the trend, and then stepped back and let everyone else do all the work. I thought he was just really motivated to decorate, but then I found out that he was really just trying to get everyone out of the kitchen so he had the table full of food all to himself. Clever, that one.

My dad took a picture with him even though he was wearing his Eagles Santa hat:

And, of course, had to get the Grammer Family Elders in a picture... here's Aunt Irma, Uncle George, and Grandma:

Party #2: Chesterfield Power Station Christmas Party

Saturday night we had two parties, the first of which was Bryan's work party. We figured we wouldn't stay long, because only one of our normal crew was going to be there. Everyone else was either just out of the hospital, home with their 3 month old, on their honeymoon, or not working there anymore. What we failed to remember, though, is that people who work at the power station know how to throw down. So I got caught up in the dancing and we ended up staying for quite a while.

Party #3: Todd & Sarah's Christmas Party

Thankfully, our last party of the weekend was just down the street from the work party. Todd & Sarah used to live in our neighborhood, and their Christmas party is always a good time. Usually it involves a fair bit of drinking and the night ending in Sarah and I (and whoever else we can drag in) dancing in the living room. This year was no different. Although I think it does get tamer and tamer the older we get...


PSA: Your Friday Night Plans

If you love an awesome full moon as much as I do, mark your calendar for this Friday evening and make plans to do a little moongazing.

According to this article on cnn.com, it's going to be an awesome spectacle. There's some scientific mumbo jumbo about why, but the gist is that the Earth and the Moon are going to be getting up close and personal Friday night, so the moon is going to look like a "cosmic flood lamp." (NASA's words, not mine.)

I, for one, am pretty excited. Hopefully by emailing that article to my husband and blogging about it, I'll remember it's happening on Friday! :) Or hell, the way it sounds, maybe it'll be hard to miss, even if I do forget!


Deep Thoughts from Lydia

Driving home from work today, I happened to glance at my inspection sticker and think, "Wow, the next one of those I get will say '10' for the year for renewal! How in the world is it already so close to 2010?!" And in my internal conversation, I pronounced that "two-thousand-ten." Which got me to thinkin'... 'cause that's what I do best...

Does anyone say "twenty-oh-eight" for the current year? I don't. I hear people say that sometimes, but it is a very rare occurrence, and it makes me think they're weird (SORRY! Geez. I ask you to confess and then tell you I think you're weird...). But the thing is, when talking about history, I never say "one-thousand-nine-hundred-and-eight." I don't even say "nineteen-hundred-and-eight." So why the hell do I feel the need to be all formal with this decade?? And I mean, seriously, I'm not the only one.

So I wondered, when it's the tens decade, will we finally start saying "twenty-ten?" Because when I think it, I think "two-thousand-ten."

What do you guys think? Should we get back to our 1900's habit and start calling it "twenty-whatever"?

It just sounds so WEIRD that way to me. Wonder if I'll ever get used to it...


Morning Happiness: Cleaning?!

After the title of this entry, it's probably going to sound weird for me to tell you that I hate cleaning. I mean, you probably already knew that. Me and housekeeping is a constant battle. In the past I've found various tricks to coerce myself into doing it regularly (such as the 15 minutes a day stint), and then I get out of the routine and the whole house goes the way of frat houses across the nation. That is to say, we end up with crap everywhere except where it's supposed to be. And then I get all funky because I actually HATE a messy house, and then I get all overwhelmed because I have no interest in spending hours cleaning my house when I could be catching up on Dexter or True Blood.

Well, the day before my brother and I went to the Bahamas, I went in to work a little late because it made sense for me to stay at work later before going to pick him up from my mom's. I still got up with Bryan, because I hadn't finished packing or picking up around the house so my little brother wouldn't think it was okay to be a total slob as a grown person. I spent about an hour and a half either cleaning or packing, and something mildly miraculous occurred when I got in the car to go to work: I felt AWESOME. Like, wait a minute, what happened to that crabby woman that has just run around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to get ready for work in as little time as possible and wishes she was still in bed?! That wasn't me that day! I was "Woo, baby, I have just accomplished enough that I could just come home and veg out all evening if I wanted to!"

This revelation led me to the idea that perhaps I would start getting up a little early and cleaning for anywhere between 15-30 minutes before going to work. Bryan thought I was crazy. I thought he might be right, but it didn't hurt to try it out. Bryan has to leave for work typically about 20 minutes before I have to get up (for the chicken-sans-head routine... although that routine typically included anywhere between two and four whacks of the snooze button), so I decided my goal would be to get up when he left (or even when he got up) and do stuff around the house until my alarm went off, then I would proceed as usual.

Amazingly, I found that I really LIKED doing this. Apparently it's not being up early that I don't like, it's the actual GETTING UP part. Once I'm past that, I am good to go.

So this has only lasted for a week and a couple days so far, but it works so well that I'm hoping I can actually keep on doing this for a long time to come... only time will tell!


Morning Annoyance: Piss-Poor Parkers

Today I drove to work, and because I'm feeling under the weather, I came in late. Since I don't drive to work usually, I don't have parking here, so I'm forced to park with the masses in the giant pay parking deck.

The thing about this parking deck is all of the spots are laid out in a diagonal pattern. You know, like this: \ \ \ \ \ \. It's not that difficult. You just turn the wheel at a 45 degree angle instead of making a 90 degree turn.

And yet...

I had to drive around and around, down five levels before I could find a spot. And not because all of them were full--because 1) there are idiots who just get their vehicles in the general vicinity of "between the lines" and hop out, or 2) there are assholes who take up two spots without a second thought. This behavior pisses me off royally.

I was finally forced to squeeze my Eclipse between a minivan and an SUV. I had several bags to bring in, and as there was no way in hell I was getting my body AND those bags out at the same time, I opened the door and started swinging them out onto the pavement, trying to leave a foot or two of open space for me to crawl out onto. As I was reaching over into the passenger seat floorboard, I noticed that my side view mirror was basically directly across from where the person to my right would be opening their door. While I had already decided I didn't care that this person was going to have to squish into his or her vehicle, I realized that even a tiny child wouldn't be able to get in with the mirror right there. So I turned the car back on and backed up just a little bit. At least now they can open their door a good 10 or 12 inches. If they are wider than that, well... you shouldn't have parked over the yellow line, jerk.

I will end this with a plea. If you ever find yourself in a tight fitting parking deck, especially if it's one that will most likely fill up at some point during the day, park between the freaking lines. And by park between the lines I mean park your car, then open the door or get out and LOOK AT WHERE YOU HAVE PARKED. There should be roughly equal amounts of space between your car and the yellow lines on BOTH SIDES.

And those little white paint marks that might be on the minivan to the left of where my car is parked now? Dude, you asked for it. I tried to be gentle, but a girl has got to get her ass out of the car at some point.


Congratulations, Rich and Kristy!

Phew! Over the weekend, we attended the sixth and final wedding of our Whrilwind Wedding Tour, which commenced back at the beginning of August. We think we are done for a while, as we don't know any other engaged people right now.

This weekend's festivities were in celebration of the marriage of our friends Rich and Kristy. Rich and Bryan work together at Chesterfield Power Station, and we spent a few days with the two of them at Snowshoe last winter (you recall the skiing debacle?) and then again when we were in Vegas/the Grand Canyon this summer. They are adorable and totally smitten with each other, and both are just great people. It was truly a joy to see them say their vows!

Maria, another of Bryan's co-workers from CPS, was the only other person in the Dominion crew to make it up, so we banded together and enjoyed the evening. Possibly the best part was the homemade Amish peanut butter and homemade bread that Kristy's mom made for EVERYONE AT THE WEDDING to take home as our wedding favor. Let me tell you, those Amish know a thing or two about peanut butter!!!!!

Congratulations to the newlyweds! You can check out the rest of my pictures by clicking on this link.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I need to get a laptop. For reals. Because I hate posting so freaking long after things happen!

I hope everyone had a very nice Turkey Day. Mine was spent in Pennsylvania with my lovely in-laws. The food was great and the company excellent, too. (Although, of course, I missed seeing the rest of my VA family!)

And as a Thanksgiving Day bonus, my brother-in-law Kevin managed to score tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles game that evening, so after we stuffed ourselves to beyond our gastrointestinal limits, we bundled up and headed south for some football!

I was a little worried that I was going to freeze my patootie off, so we stopped at K-Mart (perhaps the ONLY place open on T-giving?) and bought a stash of hand and foot warmers. What a great idea! Between those and the six layers of clothes I had on, I didn't get cold at all until the fourth quarter!

Of course, we may have warmed up a bit by singing the Eagles fight song EIGHT TIMES, after each score! Man, it's good to see my Birds win... 48-20. And the fact that our seats were on the 48 yard line at the very lowest part of the second section made the game all the better!

You can check out the rest of the photos from the Eagles game (and a few of my adorable niece and nephew!) here.