Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Christmas Well Done
(long-ass entry)

Christmas was indeed wonderful and enjoyable. I did suffer from some of the rushrushrush, but after all was said and done, i feel like i got to spend as much quality time with my family as i would have been able to, and it was really good quality time too.

Dec 23 I brought my car to work with me so i could just leave straight for Maine from there. I drove for a while. Getting out of Boston is a little bit of a nightmare, but what can you do? I stopped in Kennebunk to pick up Kathy at a friend's house, and her friend and i clicked immediately as we talked about the Phish New Year's show i'll be seeing. Kathy and i left, stopped at Border's for coffee, and made it back to Union around 10:30. Not bad! Met up with Dan, and went back to his parents' house to get some shut-eye.

Christmas EveGet up early: 8am, and got on with the day. I went to the Second Read and Rock City Coffee to visit with the family there, say hi, get a drink, and pick up some last minute Christmas gifts of tea and coffee. Good stuff. I skipped directly to Mum's from there to wrap the last minute fifts, and then Mum and i had an awesome time chilling out, catching up, and dipping peanut butter creams in chocolate. Mmmm. I'm glad i managed to get in that part of Christmas too. After that, it was time to get going to Nana's house for Christmas Eve!
I met up with Dan at his house to more or less pick him up (he brought his own car so he could make it to midnight mass with his family) and we set on our way, over the river and through the woods, to my grandmother's house we went. We got there around 4, followed closely by Mum and Rick, and the place was all lit up with Christmas lights, and Nana, my Aunt Kimmie, my cousin Asa, and my Uncle Danda were all there! Five minutes later, my brother showed up with his girlfriend! YAY! We DID Christmas Eve. We ate dinner, sat around and caught up with each other, laughed at my uncle who is hillarious, especially when in the company of someone as hillarious as Dan. We were all rolling with laughter. Then came the presents. Oh boy, was it ever an event. I was glad that my presents of the gift certificate/order form for things that i can knit went over well. They all thought it was a great idea, and i think they're all looking forward to figuring out what they want - mittens, a hat, scarf, or socks?
I got great stuff as well. Mum and Rick got me this fantastic Monet umbrella, replenished my supply of Jet coffee from the Second Read, and my favorite -- a balsam pillow that Mum embroidered and made for me entirely. It's beautiful, and reminds me of her when i look at it and smell it. I won't bother to say everything that i got because that would take too long, but suffice it to say that i loved everything that everyone got me, especially since so much thought went into it. For example, Kimmie gave Dan and i basketfull of cooking ingredients along with a recipe for one of her favorite energy bars that she thinks we would love. All the ingredients are more difficult to come by, so she picked it all up. That really required a lot of thought! And i'm excited about it, and i will think of her whenever i use the recipe or even just when i look at it in its frame.
Eventually it was time for everyone to leave, so Dan and i parted our ways as well, and i went off to Dad's house. Mark and Dad had already hauled out the liquor, and Dad sent on an adventure to get me drunk. So we all drank and opened presents together. Once again, these really required some thought, and he got me a beautiful set of cast iron shelves! They'll go great with the cast iron Chinese teapot that my uncle gave me. (Dan and i are now known by his Mom as the cast iron people since we also have a cast iron bed. It's not bad at all to be known as people who get damned sturdy stuff! Sure! That can be our theme in addition to our beautiful, sturdy oak coffee table and solid oak kitchen table...) Dad also got me a couple of books -- one of them despite the fact that he HATED it in high school -- and some fabulous CD's, one of them i have yet to listen to.

Christmas I wake up at 7am hung over because whatever the hell was in that fishhouse punch he gave me didn't work so well. I was going to go over to his girlfriend's to open presents with her and their adopted daughter Yulia, but... well, Jeanne understood why. Apparently, her dad got her drunk on fishhouse punch one year too, and we both decided it's a bad idea to trust your Dad with alcohol and you. They'll keep ya drinkin'. So i went back to bed and woke up four hours later feeling almost good as new, and i was hungry. Food. Cheerios. He got me Cheerios! I love Cheerios. Then, Dad and i set off for Grammy's in Gardiner. She's doing great, though she is really starting to show her age. Her short-term memory is really not what it used to be, but she's just as spritely as ever. A wonderful soul to be around.

Eventually, it was time for me to leave and head off to Dan's house for his family's Christmas dinner, where we stuffed ourselves silly with cheesebread, cheezy broccoli soup, and other festive treatsf. Mmm. Presents: I like the theme of everyone feeding us this year. Luke and Kristi gave us a jar with cookie ingredients in it along with a recipe for the other things it would need (basically eggs and an oven), and Nate and Tara gave us some great cookbooks, as did Debbie and Maurice.

Finally, the present i was most nervous about giving, Dan's gift. I got him a black messenger bag. Now, he's very picky about them, so i was quite nervous about whether it would meet his ramifications for a great messenger bag. But it did! And he was totally surprised! Yay! And what he got me was romantic. His gift to his family this year were series of paintings that tell a story. He has been sharing this with me all along, but i missed out on a great deal while i was sleeping. It turns out that there was another frame that i wasn't aware of, which is the end, and it's the couple kissing happily! And the princess looks like ME! It's incredibly sweet. And it's a beautiful painting. I love his art. His sense of composition is rare and unusual, and it's especially great that he gave me a piece of his art because i'm always trying to convince him that people really do love his work. He is able to acheive so much with just the simplest line. It's wonderful, and always talked about how he gave other people art for gifts but not me. Well, i was lucky this year and got some too :)

OK, so this should wrap up a big entry. I have so much more to write about Christmas, which just goes to show you how much i simply love Christmas. I didn't even begin to talk about the days after Christmas that i spent with my friends from Maine, how i saw people i haven't seen for years that still mean so much to me, and how much love i felt in general with just being around everyone again with the sense of celebration. Or the fact that this year being economically difficult forced people to be more creative about Christmas gifts than they usually are, and i sincerely appreciate the amount of thought that went into them all.

This holiday season has meant so much to me because i am blessed just to have warm, loving people in my life who fill me with joy when i am around them. The only thing that could have been better would have been to not have a sinus infection. Grr. Still getting over that one.

Hopefully being in FLORIDA will help me to get better. FLORIDA! I'm visiting one of my best friend's from the college days right now. It's great. Florida is kind of like Vegas, except with more trees and humidity and without the casinos. More later.

Monday, December 22, 2003

A Christmas Wish
Happy Holidays

I just read my friend 's blog and realized that my priorities for posting tonite were in the wrong place. This is not the time of year for bitching and moaning, though a lot of people take plenty of opportunities for it.

However. Christmas is very important to me. Not the Christ part, because i really don't care. It works for some people, and i'm really glad about that. If i were to select a religion that were closest to my beliefs, it would be a cross between Buddhism for the philosophy and Judaism for the community -- both for the ritual. But the joyous spirit of Christmas -- the colors of deep reds and greens and the festivals of lights, the smiles on people's faces when they see the breathtaking change in decor, and the beautiful Christmas music that sings to my soul in its familiar cantor and chime -- those are among the many treasures of the Christmas season that touch me. But it's enjoying those things with loved ones that i cherish the most. I wish you all (once again, all two of you, thanks for reading) the happiest of holidays. The merriest of Christmases, the happiest of Channukahs, and the Festive-est of Festivus (It's for the Rest of Us!) (Thank you, Seinfeld.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
A Venting Session

This entry is going to be more on the utilitarian side, this past day having been rather difficult causing me the need to vent. Cause and effect. The main problem with having an office job, or really, any normal job as opposed to being a student is that i personally like the academic lifestyle. I work really really hard, and then ideally break really really hard. I honestly put my full self into whatever the hell i'm doing, even if it's making an espresso or paying our bills on time. The platonic ideal of ephemeral "me" qua "me" goes into any and all task that i undertake. Because of this, it behooves me to take some pretty hefty breaks. Like a break in the winter, and then a major break in the summer when it's too damned hot to think or accomplish anything anyway. Sure, i have had summer jobs since i was twelve, but it was still a break from what i had been doing. Therefore, the academic schedule suits me qua me in a way that no other kind of job really can. It's perfect. Work insanely hard for a couple months, and then take a break to do something different, even if it's working on a book. Not to mention the obvious advantages of not having to be to work at 9 every morning. (See post from Saturday, Dec 20 12:43:16 AM.) QED (Quod Est Demonstratum, trans. Because It Is Shown -- a rather lovely part of geometry that i always enjoyed. I'm a bit of a Latin and French junkie. If i can ever get my hands on the time and resources to learn another one, i'd be a junkie for that too. Gift idea: pooling together enough cash to get me the Pimsleur language CD's for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, ... really, anything. Irish? Yeah.)

So anyhow, the entire point of the entry today was to just say that work was hard because i always work hard, but it makes it that much more difficult when i feel responsible for getting a lot of shit done before the holiday, especially when some people at work seem to have selective hearing when it comes to the fact that no, i WON'T be there for Christmas Eve! For the umpteenth time! Oy gevault. It's not as if it isn't easy to forget, because it's a tremendously busy office. My family DOES Christmas Eve. We have actually stopped contuing the celebration into Christmas day now because of other families to visit. Like my Dad, for example. It would be nice if i actually got to spend quality time with any of them. I'mn quite used to being able to hop around with a little more time to spare instead of having to pack it all into to such a short span of time. This is also the first year that i won't be there to help Mom with dipping the chocolates and being able to wrap presents with her -- stuff that i really value. Instead, it's rushrushrush, and that's very difficult for me. Great reason #3 for me to work in academia. I don't mean to make this sound as if i don't like where i work. Because i sincerely do. I almost always have a great time there, and i'm certainly never bored. It really makes the time pass by. But i have to tell ya: not being home for the holidays is really hard on me.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Adventures of City Life to Quaint Country Folk

spokeschicken: i got to pull a knife on someone today!
sabreisromance: you did! woah! linds!
sabreisromance: what happened?
spokeschicken: wait... um. dan and i were in an art store, and the dude behind the counter was bringing out more bags, but they were tied up and he had nothing to cut them with. after a little deliberation, i said, 'Um, i have a knife."
sabreisromance: hahahaha...god, you gave me a scare!
spokeschicken: hehehehe
sabreisromance: i thought some freak on a subway. great story!
After i have had a good night's sleep:

There are two showers in this apartment. Rockin', right? One would think. However, they are two of the most inferior showers i have ever encountered in my nigh quarter of a century long life. The shower next to my room is great! It's a full shower with enough power to rinse most of the shampoo out of my formidable hair. I love it. Except for the part where disgusting filth from however-many-years-ago backs out from the pipes into the shower, not only preventing it from draining, but adding to it with its smelly filth! The landlord insists that this was the fault of the past tenants from not cleaning the hair out of their drains properly. OK, fine. But that's not what it smells like, and it's certainly not OUR fault. So today i go take shower in the other shower, which is a stand-up shower with not as much power as the other. But i figured it was worth it not to wade in stench in the other one. Welllllll, not so sure. I was almost more miserable in the stand-up, not because i didn't have enough space, but simply because i'm not tall enough for the water coming out of the showerhead to actually rinse any of me off! It gets my head real good, which is just spectacular when you're trying to keep it dry. So i'm standing there trying to encourage the water on my stomach to, perhaps, make it way down to the lower half of my body, if it's not too inconvenient...but if not, well, it wasn't that important to me anyway... not really. Just some suds and dry skin, that's all. Ok, i'll just try to flick the water onto that big spot of soap over there... oh, this sucks.

Tomorrow i think i might suggest to the landlady that she gets around to fixing our pipes.
later that same night:

two blogs in one day. don't get too excited, everyone. i've just been experimenting with html. fortunately, dan had the good sense to teach me some this summer, so i'm not totally up shit creek without a paddle when i look at the template and try to change the colors and add some links. speaking of links, i have some now! this page is officially not as lame.
Sat Dec 20, 12:43:16 AM | Lindsay LeClair

good morning to all. this is going to be in all lowercase as i am feeling far too lazy to bother with capitalizing things. FAR too lazy -- with the exception for capitalization for emphasis.

so it turns out: no matter how long in life i wake up before 10, i will NEVER get used to it. oh sure, sometimes i wake up at 9 or even 8:30 on a weekend as a result of waking up at 7...ish everyday (the later side of "ish," to be fair) but NEVER would i just so happen to wake up at 7. EVER. that's far too early. it doesn't matter how early i go to bed. yet again, let's allow that i can't actually fall asleep earlier than midnight... which renders the whole situation difficult. even when i was waking up "early" -- translate 8:30 -- every morning, i never would have imagined of getting up at 7. let's face it: i'm just a night person. no matter how tired i am, i get a second wind around 9pm, and that's it for the rest of the night until midnight. i TRY to wind down around 11, but it doesn't always work. or even usually.

so i spill into work every morning at what i hope to god is 9am, noticeably earlier than i would like to be awake, and even though i have been out of bed for 2 hours, i am still not what my co-workers would expect of me. poor steve got the brunt of it this morning when i shook my head in confusion as he tried talking at me before i had encountered caffiene. that's not nearly as bad as what dan gets every morning, but at least he gets the somewhat cute part of it. i mean, seriously. you EXPECT someone to be adorably groggy when they first come to consciousness. but a full two hours after that point? not so much. that's called simply, "NOT a morning person." because mornings in general are unpleasant experiences when involving other members of humanity in any way.

this is the atmosphere that colored my day. it is a friday, which means that i was tremendously restless and ultimately ready to not be in the office anymore. what that also meant that i welcomed any kind of distraction, which ranged from listening to the woes of the recently re-located temp accountant we have there, to briefly glancing at the porn mag we have to rifle through to make sure they're still running our ad, to taking a much longer lunchbreak than usual and enjoying the company of davin (prez) and steve while they reminisced about their high school deliquencies, and i cleverly didn't talk much about mine.

tonite has been incredibly nice though. dan and i have the place to ourselves tonite (both roommies are out of town) and we had a nice evening just sitting in front of the beautiful christmas tree and writing christmas cards and working on knitting and such. it was just so nice. we have also been enjoying NOT having television on in the background. don't get me wrong. free cable is cool and all, and i love south park, the daily show, and the simpsons. but those are the only three reasons i'll ever turn on the tv or want it to be on at all. but dan and i realize that we are not the typical american folk, and therefore must be tolerant of the television being on what seems to us like obscene amounts. i'm just glad we get a break for a few days. because i'm damned sick of stupid shows and even more stupid ads blaring from the next room. it makes me not want to go out there. i actually ate breakfast on the kitchen floor last weekend because i didn't want to be in front of 90210, as smashing of a show as that was in its time.

sooooo.... no tv. just me and dan and the christmas tree. yay tree! i love christmas. back to knitting.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Another day in the life of the spokeschicken. It's not easy being as young and attractive as I am in an office filled with near middle-aged co-workers, but somehow i manage. Mostly because they're all awesome cynical assholes, and i'm not all that young and attractive. And I'm looking forward to being middle-aged, in a strange kind of way. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is FAR more middle-aged than I am. He's even more of a homebody than I am! And that's saying a lot. (It's really sweet, actually.) He's really looking forward to being endearingly out of touch. And i'm looking forward to being endearingly almost-in-touch like the VP at work Steve. My dad, on the other hand? Totally hip. Really knows what's going on. He keeps ME up to date. Thank gods! Someone has to.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

So here it is. At some point in one's life, one must finally concede to the trends, and now as a young adult hippie-turned-bookkeeper/office assistant, I will commence with my first online journal. (Alors, je vais commencer avec l'ecrivant.) Those of you readers (both of you, I'm sure) who feel persuaded to read this must be forewarned that I will occassionally (oh no! not a split verb!) write things in French sometimes. Sorry.

A day in the life of a bookkeeper/receptionist may or may not be so interesting to the common folk, unless you like to hear about condoms and all the jokes we actively AVOID making at the workplace. And a lot of times, work is really fun because of what we all know we're chosing NOT to say. However, work was really fun today in a mostly honest sort of way. For whatever reason, everyone was in a pretty good mood, and we cracked the jokes. Furthermore, i started off my day on the right foot: plenty of Moxie (Moxie Makes Mainers Mighty!) followed by plenty of Rock City Coffee. (warning number two: i have a stinking fuckton of Maine pride including but not limited to, real Maine products. And i don't just mean lobsters and lobster necklaces and little lighthouse figurines.)

However, I must take my leave of this vile desk and start working on my Christmas present stuff. Perhaps getting rid of the bra would be a good incentive to move.