Old and Cranky

Well, my week away from the internet kind of destroyed any chance I had at completing Holidailies.


So I thought I’d catch up on some prompts.

How do you feel about outdoor holiday decorations? Are you a fan of the giant inflatables? Prefer a minimalist approach? Have firm preferences on the color of the lights?

I think outdoor lights are awesome.  There are two ways to do them:

  1. classic white or colored lights (no blinking) neatly lining the house

There is no other option.

Of course, at my own house, there are no decorations save for a wreath on the door because I don’t trust myself to climb on a ladder.  Maybe next year.  I do own some of those fancy clips that go onto your gutters… but my gutters are 2 stories up.  Kind of makes it tough.

But the “too much of everything” house is sort of my favorite.  My high school driving instructor used to do his house up with insane amounts of decorations, including a rocket that “launched.”  As someone with a January birthday, my driving lessons occasionally involved a trip to go buy more lights.  (And we had a giant Wakko doll (Animaniacs, anyone?) buckled into the back seat of the car.  The man was eccentric, but I have yet to wreck my car, so I guess it worked.)

What will you miss about 2013 (or alternatively, what will you *not* miss)?

Well, I can’t say that 2013 had anything that 2014 won’t have, really.  Job, house, bills…  But I am hoping that 2014 is a better year.  2013 was definitely a year of ups and downs, which I will likely write about in more detail later, but here are just a few things that happened this year.

  • Ran a marathon
  • Completed a triathlon (and another one)
  • Aunt passed away from cancer
  • Mom got cancer

So, you know.  Major highs and lows.  It was an excellent year for me personally, but a terrible year for my family.  Here’s hoping 2014 is better.

What is your favorite way to celebrate New Year’s Eve?

I am old and cranky, so staying up til midnight is no longer fun.  I prefer to celebrate by curling up on the couch with a movie, having a drink at midnight in London, and going to bed by 10.  Old and cranky.


Creeper on the Shelf

Hey, another Holidailies post!  Elf on a Shelf – adorable childhood tradition, or creepy stalker? Discuss!

Creepy.  Creepy, creepy stalker.

Actually, no.  Weird parental trick, in many ways.

I mean, I don’t have kids.  But it just seems so strange to me that the way to keep your kids in line during the holiday season is to tell them that this creepy elf is watching them.  I mean, that’s the sort of thing that nightmares are made of.

Chucky, anyone?

Okay, so maybe Toy Story has made toys that come to life not so scary.  But an elf whose job it is to stare at you and watch you when no one else is?  That’s very stalkery behavior.

And a little Edward Cullenish, but I also find him to be a creepy stalker, so…

I don’t know.  I guess it is cute that parents find all sorts of places to put their elf to surprise the kids in the morning, but the whole concept just rubs me wrong.  Also, once the elf gets put away after the holidays, does that mean that kids are free to do whatever they want til he comes back?

Admittedly, Mom just used “Santa is watching” on us from time to time.  Which I guess is similar.  But slightly less creepy because we never turned around to find him staring at us.

Invisible creepers are way better.


Time Flies at Christmas

Hey look, a Holidailies writing prompt!

What do you miss the most from your childhood holidays, now that you are an adult?

I’m not sure about this whole “adult” thing.  I have a mortgage and a job, so I guess I really can’t continue to avoid it.

I think having a job is the biggest problem here though.  As a kid, it felt like the lead-up to Christmas lasted forever!  This could have been for a couple of reasons.

1.  In school, we spent months preparing for holiday concerts (first, Christmas concerts, then, when my Catholic school decided to be uber-Catholic, Advent concerts). Playing Christmas music for so many months definitely helped start the spirit early.

2. The arrival of the Sears Catalog!  Does that thing even exist anymore?  I used to love reading that.  But only the toy section.  The other parts were just boring.

3.  Christmas crafts!  So many crafty things to make!

And now, as a grown-up, Christmas sneaks up on me every year.  It’s like I don’t have time to prepare and it’s suddenly all over and January is here.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that I now have responsibilities other than going to school and homework.  Plus, as a kid, a month seems like forever.  Now, I regularly lose months.  I’m still not sure where May went.  I’m pretty sure that time sped up at some point this year.

So while traditions have changed and evolved (and Christmas morning involves much more alcohol, which is a good evolution), the thing I miss the most is the lead-up to the holiday.  Maybe I’ll be better about it next year.  Maybe I should follow the trend of the retailers and put up the tree in September.

Maybe not.


I Love Grinch Week!

As much as I love the holidays, I also very much love the latest prompt from Holidailies:

Grinch Week!
What currently popular meme / trend do you just not get?

My boss is obsessed with the “What does the fox say” video.  I have seen the first minute of it and I just don’t get it.  It’s entirely possible that I am just choosing to dislike it because it’s so popular.   Or because I haven’t seen it in its entirety yet and now I am just being stubborn about not watching it.  Yes, I am just a little bit stubborn sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong.  I typically love stupid things.  But I guess I often don’t get the uber popular memes.

In terms of other things I don’t get, the radio station I listen to does prank calling that I really don’t find funny.   Well, they do two types of prank calling.  One is called War of the Roses, where they catch cheaters in lies.  Those I love.  But I feel like those people set themselves up for it.  The other type is where a person contacts the radio station and says “Hey, let’s prank my friend.”

I just don’t find it funny.  Maybe because I don’t want to be the person pranked, but I just don’t like it.  And you hear it a lot.  This could also be why I have a love/hate relationship with April Fool’s Day.

So those are things I don’t get.

(And yes, I am aware I am now going to get rick rolled (another awesome meme) by What Does the Fox Say.)

18 Miler Musings

Yesterday, I ran my 18 miler.  One more long run left til race day.

It wasn’t bad.  I didn’t worry about my pace, just ran whatever felt best.  And when I got home, I was bummed at just how much speed I’ve lost over the past year.  My pace dropped by about 45 seconds per mile, which is pretty awful.  Some of that has to do with the fact that I’ve gained around ten pounds since this time last year.  Some of it is just the lackluster training.

I’m glad I’m not planning to run another marathon until 2016.  I need time to really focus on my training and get back into shape.

The run itself was nice though.  Calm before the storm.  Today, we’re supposed to get hit with snow and ice (the snow has just started, in fact), though nothing like the Midwest has been getting.  Enough that I don’t want to be out running in it, though.  There weren’t a ton of people out on the trail, which made for a calm run.  Did see a number of deer running through the park though. I always worry about them – there is a road running through the park that people always speed down.  The deer are typically smart enough to stay off of the road, but that’s never a guarantee.

While running, I was mentally planning my next few weeks.  With Thanksgiving coming so late this year, I’m really shocked that Christmas is coming so soon.  This week, I have choir practice MWF, leading up to our holiday concert series next weekend.  Next weekend is also a local 5 mile race.  The week after, I work 4 days, take Friday off to run 20 miles, then fly to my parents’ house for the holiday.

(I actually just stopped at this point to place an order for one last gift – perishable, so it needed to wait.)

As a kid, it seemed like the holiday season stretched on forever.  Maybe it’s because in school, we spent so much time preparing for holiday concerts and most of December was filled with preparing for Christmas.  I went to a Catholic grade school (and high school and college and law school), so weekly mass was filled with Advent preparations.  Somehow, as a grown-up, holiday preparations aren’t as fun.  Instead of spending the days decorating, I spend my days cramming in all of the projects that need to get done before the holidays.  I didn’t even get the Christmas tree up at the office this year.  Maybe next year, I should put it up in August, just to be sure it happens.