Things I haven’t had in way too long:

  • sushi (although I’m still a wuss and can’t really do the fresh fish deal)
  • Kopi’s tuna salad salad
  • curry that didn’t come out of a microwaveable packet
  • guacamole from Taco Loco
  • Passover dinner with Hannah and Sarah

Holidays, woo.

Let’s go over these plans once more. Previous options have included:

  • Taking two weeks off and doing an extended road trip, visiting friends and family in Rockford, Chicago, Champaign, and Cleveland, while the cats are visited by a nice pet sitter OR
  • Shane flies to Cleveland, I drive there to pick him up a couple of days later and continue on to Rockford, Chicago, and Champaign, ending up back home around the end, while the cats are visited by a nice pet sitter OR
  • Shane flies to Cleveland, spends a couple of days, then continues on to Chicago. I fly into Chicago, and we both take the bus out to Rockford for 2-3 days. The cats are boarded so that Sid can get the attention she needs to get better.

Instead Shane just spent $120 for a one way flight from Akron to DC, putting him in town the evening of the 24th. I fly out of DC on the 24th at around the same time Shane gets back, returning on the 27th for a low low price of $309ish, offset by $178 my travel voucher from the summer. No boarding or pet sitting is necessary because it’s not available, and because in the last 12 hours airfare got outrageously expensive.

So instead of a nice trip together, we get rushed and stressful trips apart. Instead of spending Christmas together with my family, we’ll be lucky to pass each other in the airport. I’m so tired and stressed out by all of this, and I just want the effing holidays to be over and life to go back to not-extremely-expensive.

On the bright side, Sid ate a bunch of treats and some wet food this morning, and showed some interest in her brother and the basket of toys. Fingers and toes crossed!

Hey thanks!

Today we’re back to work after a long and fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend.  Pictures are forthcoming, but I just wanted to mention how wonderful it was to be surrounded by friends all weekend long.  Thanksgiving is my most favoritest of holidays, and this was the first year in five that I didn’t spend it with my family.  Having friends visiting and to visit went a long way towards diminishing my sadness.

Jason, Sonya, and Keem arrived VERY early Thursday morning and stayed through Saturday morning.  We had our fancy Thanksgiving meal Thursday night – turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, lingonberries (in place of cranberry sauce), and pie.  We did the prep work and dishes around a drawn-out game of trains, so the whole evening felt relaxed and fun rather than stressy and prep-y and clean-up-y.  For once in the history of Thanksgiving, we made just the right amount of food, as all the leftover save one slice of turkey were gone by the end of Friday’s lunch.  We had other small adventures – a failed trip to the zoo in the midst of a windstorm, a Thanksgiving pizza, a trip to the National Gallery – but mainly it was wonderful to pretty much just pick up where we left off the last time we were all together, which was almost a year ago, before J&S moved to Massachusets.

After delivering Keem to the Metro, Shane and I picked up Andy and drove down to the MacDonalds’ for Thanksgiving #2.  Darren and Hannah had driven down from Philly the previous day, and the seven of us enjoyed another dinner, more games, and a great deal of silliness.  Sarah, Hannah, and I have celebrated Thanksgiving together since I moved to Champaign in 2003, so it was nice to carry on that tradition, though it will be harder as we continue moving further apart.

I think it was really good for both of us to have a lot of relaxing and fun time with friends after being pretty lonely in VA so far.  The only down side is that everyone had to go home.  😦

The more I read for this paper, the less clear my ideas are, and the more I feel like I need to keep reading to know what I’m supposed to say in class tomorrow. It’s an interesting quandary.

Also, I lost my phone. So don’t try calling me, as I won’t answer.

Also, I really can’t drink coffee right now. Even decaf makes me sick-ish. This is not good.

Also, if you celebrate Christmas, you might enjoy this online advent calendar made by my friend Leslie. The last few years’ calendars have been really charming, and I look forward to clicking on the new link each day. It’s festive AND won’t rot your teeth.

good things

Thanksgiving has come and gone, though it has been much celebrated around these parts. My family’s most unique tradition is Turkey Notes, which are small rhyming poems written on each guest’s placecard. The poems are almost always eye-rollingly silly, but my family loves them, so we continue to do them, year after year. This year mine was about Sid, and Shane’s was about Herky. With my friends, however, we usually go around the table and list the things for which we’re thankful. I haven’t had a chance to share that list yet this year, so here, in no particular order, are a handful of things for which I’m thankful:

  • ShaneB and all the joy and good things he’s brought into my life this year
  • a great job that I love, even if some days are very hard
  • my family and an awesome crew of friends
  • the impending end of the semester
  • Project Runway and Tim Gunn
  • veggie breakfast sausage
  • Basil’s safe return, and the advent of Sid
  • We love Katamari
  • yellowbike (and maybe RAGBRAI in the new year??)
  • my healing arm
  • Bonnaroo

What are you thankful for?

Spent most of the afternoon at Paradiso reading Communities in Cyberspace while the NaNo kids worked on their novels. I read until my eyes hurt, and then I had a milkshake with Carl. The semester will be over soon enough – but until then, I think I’ll mainly be in seclusion. Thanksgiving was good. I accomplished nothing over break – absolutely nothing – except some reading and lots of relaxing and some family togetherness. I took pictures of things at thrift stores. I saw Capote. I found out that I went to preschool, and that one of my preschool classmates is a friend I met in Champaign twenty years later. I’m rereading The Gunslinger. I have to give a presentation tomorrow morning and I’m totally stressing.

Less than two weeks til the end of the semester. I can do this, and then I’m going to waste at least three days playing Tetris, sleeping in, and doing nothing. Oh yeah, and then I’ll finish my PhD application. I can do this.

Holidays on Ice

Home after a nice and long weekend. I’m totally fucked as far as the day of the week, and that’s OK with me. Holidays in the middle of the week never work out well for general comprehension.

A nice weekend. To recap:

Wednesday: arrived in Rockford around 4 and chilled with Jen until around 5, when we picked up Newman and joined my family for church (#1). Corn chowder and games after church, including Team Baby Jesus. After a brief liquor adventure, Sarah and Mary J joined us at Jen’s, where we drank wine and hung out until midnight mass (#2). Came home to find Jen and Cass sick as dogs, so crashed pretty quickly. Haven’t shared a bed with Newman since Edinburgh, but we managed.

Thursday: dragged the still-sick Jen to the parentals for Christmassy goodness. I got (among other things) a laptop (which hasn’t arrived), a microwave, Hello Kitty towels (from Coo), and lovely soft flannel sheets. My bed is made with clean sheets, but I’m thinking about changing them. 🙂 Jen gave me a Hello Kitty pirate shirt – well, Cass gave it to Dana, then realized her mistake and I got it later. Some hanging out, then dinner at Oscar’s. Yes, we had pizza at a bar for Christmas dinner. Watched Finding Nemo (sooo cute), then sat up late talking about sex and love and purpose.

Friday: slept in late, then had lunch at Beef-a-Roo. Quite nearly heckled the mint girl for old times’ sake. Some self-Christmas shopping at Barnes & Noble, then Newman hung out at Jen’s while I went to AMCORE to visit my old friends. Half an hour turned into an hour and a half, and the kids met me at Mary’s Market for dinner. Talked to Nicki & Cory for a while, hung out at Jen’s, then met Stalker Dan and his new girlie at the Carlyle Brewing Company – ended up at The Office, where a random man took his pants off and I was hit on by a woman who kicked her chair back from the bar and said “Where have you been all my life?” A really fun night – Dan’s Sara is hilarious, and I’ve really missed Dan.

Saturday: stood up for breakfast by Kevin but had a nice meal at the North End Cafe anyway. Hit the road around 10 and had lunch in Davenport with the family. Got home around 5 and napped until dinner time. Met Ria at the Tumbler – she looks GREAT and it was so nice to hang out. Back to Oscar’s, then EliXur, where we ran into Dan and Sara again. Had a great time despite it being EliXur – I’m glad we went out.

Sunday: breakfast with Jen at IHOP, where our waitress messed up. Finished my laundry at the house, then put Newman on the bus back to the OP. Picked up the cats from Nate – he was civil, but barely. Joe and Dave were there, so it was nice to see them. Hit the road about 2 after allowing Coo and Mark to terrorize the cats a bit – Coo, when told to put some clothes on so he could come see the cats, went outside wearing nothing but underpants and his jacket. Now it’s been unseasonably warm lately – but it was still a little ridiculous and v cute. Got home around 5 and have been unwinding since – unpacking, letting the cats check things out, putting away Christmas presents. I meant to write my thank you notes and maybe finish my remaining present-work, but instead I took a bath and talked to Sarah while she drove – now am thinking about reading a bit, then crashing early.

I’m so glad I got to go home, even though it doesn’t feel so much like home any more. I miss hanging out with Jen the most, I think. Shawn comes home tomorrow – I’m looking forward to seeing him. This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing him since before I moved, so that’s been different. I think I missed him just about the right amount.

What a nice break.

In the rain I held his hand and finished my Christmas shopping. Dinner out, then reading and music in. Some tears with arms wrapped around me, but a sweet goodbye and a sweeter message later when he found out that he got an A on the paper. I will miss him so.

Read and write here.

There and back again

I survived the holiday and the drive without much ado. Left here at 7:30 in Davenport around 10:30 family arrived shortly thereafter – dinner around 2 – going through clothes while the kids played – reading and talking and knitting and eating – left Dav around 5:30 back home with tickets to Return of the King by 8:30. No email AT ALL today – however did find a randomly hidden comment on the old site, which was exciting. Missing my down-here friends as they’re all with family in various places – Newman and Jen bowed out of visiting due to finances – and I think I just lost at my NaNo quest. I have three days to write in excess of 22,000 words in three days and with no plot or character development in mind, it simply isn’t going to happen. You can read my review of my novel, however.. A long, boring, and lonely weekend stretches out in front of me. At least I got to see my family. I forgot how much I adore and miss them.

Oh, and pies may be nice (see 11/15 entry), but if I eat one more piece of any kind of pie in the near future I really might explode and thus have to swear off pies for life. Don’t make me do it.