Last night was Family Christmas. Our little group of girlfriends, husbands and sweet baby E had some good food and time together before we spread out to the various corners of the country for Christmas with the biological families. Clearly the little guy was the center of attention. Next year we'll have two more to play with and snuggle.
Thanks girls (and guys). Y'all are awesome and I'm glad you are part of my family.
More pictures up at Flickr.
These thumbs of mine. The nails do look a little sea foamy today...
Basically, everyone wins. There are so few of you.
And I'm a giver like that.
And? I like y'all.
So, you should email me your address if I don't already have it and I'll send you some fabulous ear rings. Also, let me know if you don't do super huge and dangly. I'll try to tone them down some if that is the case. And, I have to say, don't expect much before Christmas. Because I'll be out of town and stuff. But I'll work on it after the first of the year. Scout's honor!
Why have guns come up more in the past week than, say, the whole of this fall semester? Odd, eh? Having pacifist roots, I am decidedly anti-gun. Which isn't to say that I am anti-hunting. I know, a riddle within an enigma and all that. I was even raised in a (half-Quaker) gun owning home. There was a hunting rifle, and probably still is, in a closet somewhere in my parents' house.
I don't know that I agree with the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" statement. Living in an urban area, guns are readily available, to an unfortunate end most times. Last week I was having lunch with a friend and she shared a story about how a loaded gun, safety off, was lying around at some one's house and a six or seven year old picked it up and pointed it at her brother, thinking it was just a toy. Thankfully, disaster was averted in this case. But that doesn't always happen.
See the problem is that stupid people, who leave guns about for children to get into, are able to buy and own them legally. Society has been desensitized to firearms and the damage they can cause through movies and video games and television. I do think that is true. We rarely see the effects of a shooting on the family members left behind or consider the psychological effects on the one who has done the shooting. Some of the PTSD we see in soldiers as they return home is due to this.
I know I don't have an answer to this. But here's the deal, guns are not good in most cases. The proliferation of guns does not make life safer or easier, not in my opinion.
And? I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping. Had the most fabulous idea of a gift for my father so it's ordered and on it's way. Yippee! Mom wasn't quite as easy but I settled on clothes. She's an artist and I totally want her to be like a hip cool artist with a quirky, smart sense of style. Sadly, that has never seemed to take with her. But I can buy her things and push her in this direction.
Also, my brother sent me not one, but two, count them two, pictures of his cat with special collars on - like pearls and diamonds. I'm sure they weren't real but I found it disturbing. This is my brother folks. He dotes on his cat, yes, but he does not dress her up. I suspected that the ex-girlfriend had something to do with it so I called to tell him to run away or have her leave because fraternizing with the ex = not good. But it wasn't her. But be assured it was some other girl.
Which reminds me of the man I saw walking a little dog the other day. It was a little long-haired chihuahua, black and white, reminded me of Lucy, of Sarcomi fame. But this dog had on a pink coat and little black booties with pink stitching. And I wanted to pull this man's guy card and hold it hostage. I have changed my mind on a few things, like fur and dressing animals, while in Chicago. See people, it's gets a little cold here. Fur is warm, it cuts the wind and I can understand why some folks wear it. It's hella expensive but, meh. I won't be the one throwing red paint on someone. Also, the dog wear. Again, the cold. If you are little and have little with which to conserve body heat, it makes sense to have a coat. I still think it looks silly but at least get the dog something that would make you not feel ashamed. Like green corduroy or denim or something. But really, why would you dress up your cat? Why would you want a cat collar with a bell on it for that matter? I don't want to hear every damn movement my cats make. I would be a nervous wreck within a week.
Sad to report that I will not be in Kansas during the holidays. Why?? Why just to OK? It's not OK with me. There's so many more people that I want to see and they hang out in Kansas. Heck, would rather see than silly family people. Actually family people there too that I won't get to see because they are on the wrong side of the family or not "close" enough in the family tree to make a concerted effort to see. This officially sucks. I know, spoiled brat of a child I admit to being.
Also, my newest roommate will be in the same town as me at the same time over the holidays. We are both flying to Tejas. How funny is that? We talked of going bar hopping. Might be just the break I need. Did I mention I've seen my parents TWICE as many times this year as usual? Because I have. And they are moving so I will hear a lot of "We just can't move all this stuff. We'll have to get rid of a lot of it" which will stress me out to no end because right now, I just don't have any place to store another set of dishes but I will want them someday.
So, if you are reading, drop a note and say hi please.
And, as a reward two randomly selected commentors get, well, earings if you're a girl, handmade by yours truly. Or something equally groovy if you are a guy.
First person to get up and hand it in. Followed closely by the girl who I sat by all semester long and with whom I did my group work. I am thankful for her and the other person in our little group. They kept it the feeling light and doable. Oddly, all three of us work at the school as well. Hmm...
The professor went over one of the questions on Monday, trying to help us know how to study for the final. I knew that the example he used was going to be one of the two essays. He's awesome like that. And, I think he's desperate for some folks to get their grades up.
But it's over for the semester, which requires the ululating.
Well, mostly. I'm incredibly tired and incredibly unprepared for my final tonight. Perhaps I should have skipped housegroup. Or studied more last night. But I was so tired. The sunrise was so pretty this morning though.
Tuesday was the whole work Christmas party. It's when they give out the "hey thanks for sticking with us for X number of years" gifts. It is incredibly hard to believe that I have been in my job for five years. Five years and a bit actually. It's enough to make me feel a bit queasy, in truth. Or maybe that's all the food I just ate.
Because today was the people in my office Christmas potluck. Which is sometimes painful. I don't like everyone in my department and so to have to spend social time with them is rather tedious in all honesty. There are also people who I like & it's fun to spend a smidge more extra time with those folks.
A couple more things that I should share with you, my faithful readers.
1) My father has a job! He starts in January and he's so excited. It's a little different than what he had been doing in the past but it's the direction in which he was hoping to move so it's really wonderful and hopefully it will afford them a bit more annonymity in the scheme of things and my mother might do better without having to worry about stepping in things verbally and she can just be normal. And I don't care if that doesn't make sense to you, it does to me. And I'm really, really happy for him!
2) My cousin had a baby! It's a boy.
But I had to ask my parents about it because, if I got an email about it, it was lost in the spam filter. And he was born November 30. November 30 people! Small detail of my cousin having a baby and noone bothers to tell me! I apologize for all the excalmation points but it seems necessary to convey the lack of communication and my annoyance with the parentals.
So I'm excited for Christmas and the possibility of getting to see and hold him.
Do you know what tomorrow is though? Besides payday, I mean.
Do you? Huh? Huh?
It's my One Year Blogiversary!
Just like JLo, I've made it past the year mark. Actually, I'm pretty sure she's on year two with Marc Anthony, so well done there JLo and Marc. I'm glad y'all finally hooked up and seem happy enough and all that, because JLo, while you are gorgeous, the multiple marriages that end in a few months, getting to be ridiculous. Clearly sleep deprived. So, so sorry. But really, what that means is that tomorrow you must stop by and say howdy and let me know that you are out there reading because so few of you comment and I'm pretty sure there are more than two of you.
So I'l be here tomorrow to celebrate. You should stop by. Perhaps fabulous parting gifts for like the 5 and 10th comments or something like that. I should work on that...
I took a picture of my attempt to do this type of studying once in the past.
I'll share.Leo saws "Rawr" except he also might be saying "purr." Leo is a little schizophrenic like that.
Also included, free, in this very picture, part of my boob.
But perhaps this illustration shows just how hard it is to study with said cats pawing at one and at one's computer. Just last night, actually early this morning, he was walking across it. Typing all sorts of random, not so nice things! But I'm really not surprised. He's like that. And in this picture? How incredibly messy my nightstand might be. Although I think I've cleaned it up a little since then...
No tears, a little welling, but no full-on tears. Day 2. Again, a small victory.
And I got to wish two lovely ladies happy birthday in person. That's always fun.
My weekend will be full of writing and studying. The final paper is due Monday night. The final exam has been moved up to Thursday, thanks to the whiniest bunch of grad students ever known to man. I know I could have certainly used one more day to study. And I'm doing OK in the class. They? Are mostly not.
Happy weekend everyone.
On a happier note, Miss Doxie has opened up her own litte internet shop. Which doesn't have a lot in it yet but some things definitely worth buying. Just placed my order and I'm way excited about getting them!
Clearly, retail therapy works for me sometimes.
Also, Threadless has some great $10 shirts and I've ordered a couple for the Brother for Christmas.
One person down. But he's pretty easy. The parental units though, that's a whole nother story.
Oh, did I start whining again? Sorry.
I'm sure not so great after upsetting my roommate this morning and not meaning to.
I'm sure not so great after realizing that my hopes of moving up the ladder where I work are not moving anywhere except perhaps down.
I'm sure not so great because I may not have had enough sleep last night because I stayed up figuring out bills and sorting through some other stuff.
I'm sure not so great because class last night was full of absolutely ridiculous people with ridiculous excuses - I actually laughed at someone's stupid question during class.
I'm sure not so great because I take on other people's pain more than I should. I want to make it better but I can't.
I'm sure not so great because I feel as though expectations are not being met everywhere in my life; I am often easily and strongly disappointed in myself and others.
I'm sure not so great because someone needs to hire my father already - at least 12 interviews since May and nothing. He's fabulous I tell you. So what if you think he's old.
This emotional quagmire after writing the following for my job yesterday:
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, oh Israel
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas often feels like it is the busiest time of the year—cards to write, gifts to buy, parties to attend, travel, family, friends. The list goes on and on. But it is Advent—a time of anticipation and expectation. We wait expectantly, actively for the arrival of the Messiah, not only reenacting Jesus’ initial foray into humanity, God-With-Us, but we wait with eager hearts for his return.
This semester I’ve been taking a class that covers the gospels including the historical events surrounding the life of Jesus. The region was in turmoil. Israel was ruled by a Roman appointee who taxed the people severely. The Temple system was often considered corrupt. The people were longing for deliverance from this. So-called Messiahs were camped out in the desert all the time, removed by the Roman army when they became a threat.
It is this environment into which Jesus was born, a world in chaos, full of injustice and poverty, sickness and hunger. Israel was searching for some good news, a leader to follow, someone that would change their situation. They just didn’t expect their deliverer to arrive as a baby, humbly born, of little note until he hit 30.
As I write this I wonder at how little has changed. Chaos, famine, war, injustice seem to stream through the television and radio. But there is hope in the knowledge that our deliverer has already come. Advent reminds us of this. And reminds us that he has promised to return to set the world to right.
What are you anticipating or hoping for this season? The next job promotion, an “A” in your class, a new car? Are the things you hope for causing you to worry or are they the things that, like the song says, cause you to rejoice? May you find joyful anticipation in your heart this Advent season.
So, Friday was the big party to celebrate (mourn?) my entrance into the next decade of my life. Sigh. I'm getting Ooooold . And considering I'd been thirty for a whole week with little consequence, well, I was happy to celebrate.
I came home to the apartment decorated in redness of a magnitude rarely seen outside of Valentine's Day or Christmas.
Who are you people?
I'm not sure that I even knew them all.
No really, with the exception of one person, a friend of a friend that I did meet for the first time, they are all pretty dear to me.
That is a great gift - knowing there are so many people in my life that want to celebrate with me. Fabulous, wonderful people. Most dressed in something red to humor the theme. Stretching for some (see my friend dressed in the red bathrobe). Liberating for some (Red running tights). Time to buck the system - (see the person dressed in the khakis and blue shirt)- What the heck is that thing around your wrist, so shiny and apparently trying to break my camera?
But I got my traditional cake, chocolate with lemon frosting. Also good is lemon cake with chocolate frosting, in case you need some suggestions. Quite yummy. Thankfully only number candles, not 30 candles to blow out and set off the fire alarm.
And? A little dancing.
More pictures up at Flickr for your viewing pleasure.