Catching up

I have officially failed miserably at Holidailies this year, though I do have some time to catch up.  I just got back from IL yesterday, and it was a wonderful holiday break.  I didn’t get to see any snow though, which is disappointing.  Quite a bit of ice, however.  Much less fun. 

Back at work this week.  No one’s around, which is alternately awesome and awful.  It’s awesome because it’s quiet and non-stressful and I can do things like catch up on Holidailies.  It’s awful because it gets really boring really really fast.  There is only so much internet you can read during the day.  Well, that you can/should read at work, anyway!  Umm, not that I would read those things.  Or blog at work.  Obviously.

The break was great though.  I think I ate my weight in cheese one day.  It’s my idea of heaven.  Of course, now that I’m back, it’s back to the gym.  I signed up to run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler again this year.  I’m a super slow runner and haven’t been running very much the past few months, so I need to get back into it.  January 1.  I’m going running.  My luck it will be rainy and cold, because that is what D.C. weather does.  But I despise the treadmill, and even though I’ll end up having to use it, I’m not looking forward to it.

I’m also not looking forward to the gym getting crowded after everyone starts their New Year’s Resolutions.  I like my non-crowded gym!  I’m very spoiled about things like that.

Well, perhaps I should check out the Holidailies prompts and see if there’s anything I want to write about.  Hope you all had a great holiday!

Peace in my world

Holidailies Prompt: “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

For those of you who like random facts, the prompt for today is also the title of the first solo I ever sang for vocal contest. I was awesome, of course.

Once you hit a certain age, it’s just expected that one of the things on your Christmas list is World Peace. It’s kind of a joke at this point. Possibly because no one thinks it will ever happen. How do you define World Peace anyway? Does that just mean no more wars and fighting and religious tension? Does that mean that everyone is best friends and there are never arguments, and neighbors don’t let their dogs bark late at night and kids don’t get into fights on the playground? Does it mean there are never disagreements at all? Are 75% of the lawyers in the world suddenly out of a job? Are all the lawyers out of a job? Do you still need a lawyer to write you a will if no one will argue over your possessions after you die?

Does this include animals? Are there suddenly no fights between housepets? And what about animals that kill other animals for food? Do they ask them very nicely to please lay down and die so that they can eat? Do all creatures go vegetarian? I don’t know how my cats would feel about soy.

Are people all suddenly vegetarian too? Or do we all simply eat meat from animals that have been treated well? How does that work?

World Peace sounds complicated. I would like an end to war and violence and suffering, of course. I think most people would agree.

Right now, I think I would just like some peace in my life. I feel like there are conflicts in all areas of my life right now and it would just be nice to have some peace and quiet. It’s nothing extreme, but there’s just a lot of bitterness around me. Work is a circus, as always, but it seems like the low morale has actually caused those of us who are low on the totem pole to really band together. We’re working better as a team than we have in months. We’re nice to each other – but there’s just a lot of conflict between us and upper management. My friends are all in-fighting, though half of them don’t realize it, and there have been a lot of inconsiderate and hurtful comments thrown about lately, which isn’t exactly enjoyable. I can’t say that I’m upset with anyone, but I’m definitely a sympathizer. My family’s doing okay, though as with every family, there are always lingering disagreements, and having to spend a lot of time together at the holidays, especially when there’s alcohol involved, leads to people getting more and more frustrated with each other. Again, no one ever blows up, but it leads to talking behind each other’s backs and quietly seething at the dinner table.

It seems like something so little to complain about. Yes, everyone’s fighting, but I have a job, I have friends, and I have family. And even with the fighting, I wouldn’t trade them (well, I would trade my job, but not all of my co-workers). So I’m lucky. I would just like a little bit more peace.

Gonna Eat for Christmas

Holidailies Prompt: Share a favorite recipe that you like to make (or persuade someone to make for you) at this time of year.

My method of cooking for the holidays is buying a bottle of wine and going to someone else’s house so that they can cook for me.  And then I offer to help with dishes.

I have been requested to make one recipe this year.  I discovered an amazing recipe for Salty Oat Cookies that everyone must try.  These cookies are a delicious blend of salty and sweet and are a little dangerous if you’re trying to not eat too many.  They’re easy to make too, which is my favorite part.

I’m not sure I have a favorite traditional holiday recipe.  I love cookies, but I don’t think there’s anything specific that we make that is only done at Christmas.  We do have a giant Christmas morning breakfast where Mom practically pours mimosas down our throats.  That’s something that only happens on Christmas, but I would be okay with copious amounts of alcohol for breakfast more often than once a year.  Perhaps I will propose that. 

All this talk of food reminds me that I have just over a week to lose a pound or five so that I have room to gain it back while staying with my parents.  I think that my family believes there is no food in D.C.  Or they think I can’t cook (I can, but I rarely do) and feel the need to feed me as much as possible before I go back.  Sure, I could try to turn them down, but when Grandma says she made something special just because she knows I like it, I can’t say no!

The Land of Giant Dogs

Holidailies Prompt: Do you still live in the place where you grew up? How far away are you now, and why?

Nope.  Though I’ll be there in less than two weeks!  I miss living in the land of giant dogs.  Well, until I get a giant goober on my pants.  Then I remember why giant dogs aren’t awesome 100% of the time.

According to my friends, I grew up in the middle of nowhere.  Southern Illinois.  Farm country.  I can identify crops and farm equipment and I can tell you the primary animal on a farm based solely on the odor coming from that farm.  Apparently these are strange skills.  Who knew?

I’m now about 800 miles away, in Washington, D.C.  Why?  I ask myself that question at least once a month.  I’m here because I jumped on a job opportunity, and I can’t complain.  It’s not always easy to get into the federal workforce, so it was a chance I just couldn’t pass up.  Plus I just wanted to try living elsewhere for a while.  D.C. is definitely different.  I’m going to get spoiled with all the restaurants and museums so close.  And the metro, for all its faults, is still pretty great.  I haven’t had to get a cab since I moved here.  Plus the people watching on the metro is a lot of fun.

I do find myself missing the midwest though – mostly midwestern sensibilities.  I don’t know if I can explain it, but it’s just a different way of living.  Even when I compare a major city like St. Louis.  It’s a little slower, a little friendlier, a little less ridiculously competitive.  Here, the first question anyone asks is “Where do you work?”  And the reaction that you get when you respond tells a lot about the person asking.  More than once, I’ve seen people say “Oh… that’s… interesting…” and then go and find someone with a more prestigious job to talk to.  It’s all about networking.  And I agree that networking is important, but at some point, I just want to not think about work and have a little bit of fun.

So sometimes I change the subject by talking about the day when people rode tractors and combines and horses to high school one day.  If nothing else, I get some interesting looks.

T-26 hours

My mother is coming.

*insert sounds of doom*

Umm.. hi Mom.  About that doom comment…

Seriously though, my mom, my sister, and one of my mom’s friends are coming to visit.  They’re driving out tomorrow, and should be here sometime late tomorrow evening.  They’ll be here til Wednesday morning, when they make the crazy drive back.  I’m looking forward to the visit.  I’ve taken off work Monday and Tuesday to go touristing with them, which should be fun.  There’s so much to do in D.C., and it’s hard to do it, even though I live here.  It’s a good excuse to visit the city.  And go back to the Spy Museum.  Because I love it.

However, that also means that I must clean like woah.  Ick.  Happy Friday night to me!