Post Christmas Reflections

So Christmas is over for another year. And this means that I've had my dosage of Turkey (more than 3 dinners) and Ham for December. I got to munch on amazing squash, and so many other yummy vegetables. And of course I spent time with family.

We opened gifts together and got things we all really wanted. I especially like the one I'm sitting on right now: my new computer chair! And of course I've received a few other amazing gifts including that of great friendship and conversation. Emotional ups and lows, exhaustion and of course too much food pepper the holidays with joy.

Technology has also provided ups and downs. My computer is as usual deciding to act up — so I'm seriously contemplating what to get as a replacement. It's high time for a new machine — given how much time I spend using this darn thing! I have at least three people telling me to get a Mac (which would probably be more stable among other things — of course nearly anything would be more stable than this machine, but still!). So we'll see. Going home for the holidays provided the ups and downs of my parents' computer — which didn't like Facebook as much as I did. And then there's the crazy TV related technology. I never watch more TV than I do at my parents' house. And it's fun to do so as a treat. Especially when the TV is this awesome. Plus the Wii is always fun as is the Wii Fit — I'm dreadfully sore from the hula-hooping game on the Wii Fit (among other activities). Honestly, if I ever had a gaming system it would be the Wii. And the Wii Fit is pretty stellar in my humble opinion — I found it much more approachable (and fun!) than most other physical activities I've taken up recently… not that those aren't fun too (they are) but the novelty of the computer game aspect is NOT lost on me!

And I saw some pretty good movies too… The Dark Knight was awesome as usual, Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium was fun, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has provided much to think about.

So I'm back to my workday world (and to my apartment) and ready for a week which poses the pleasant aspect of most of my evenings being available since I'm working day shifts for the most part. Cool, eh?

25 Things About Me (Since Scott Jenkins tagged me)

(Rules: Once youΓÇÖve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged . You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, itΓÇÖs because I want to know more about you.) If you don't want to do this, don't feel obligated.

1. I hate cilantro.

2. My favorite holiday is the whole Christmas/winter holiday season.

3. I love holiday music… particularly the really unusual (but good) songs like Maybe this Christmas by Ron Sexsmith, or Sometime You Have to Work on Xmas [Sometimes] by Harvey Danger, or The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams

4. My favorite colour is red.

5. I've wanted to be a librarian and an author since I was in second grade. And I still do.

6. I want to circumnavigate the globe… or otherwise travel the world.

7. I like investing.

8. I procrastinate a lot.

9. I am often still and sore — I used to think that I was almost always in pain, and have learned to ignore most headaches, stabbing chest pains, and breathing problems. I'm actually a really healthy person.

10. I would rather wear skirts and dresses than pants.

11. I love to read books of pretty much all types.

12. I enjoy donating time and money to causes that are dear to me.

13. I fear 'being alone forever' despite the fact that I have a large network of friends, most of whom actually live on my continent and are only one phone call away.

14. I still write letters, Christmas cards, and look with glee at my full mailbox almost every weekday.

15. I do not own a cordless phone. Yes, this means I'm not cellphone enabled either. Despite this, I have digital phone service.

16. I have never actually taken any of my clothing to be drycleaned. Maybe I should change this at some point.

17. I still think that the third Harry Potter book is my favorite BECAUSE of the Time Turner aspect, and still really want one (preferably one that works, but a piece of jewelry that looks like one and can be worn on a daily basis around my neck would be cool too).

18. I didn't know I enjoyed rollercoasters until I went to Six Flags at La Ronde, and didn't realize how much I would enjoy amusement parks until I went to Disney World and Universal Studios this past summer.

19. I have indeed been worse than heptuple scheduled. I think my record is being scheduled to be in 12 places at once. Fortunately I was able to make some decisions and that this doesn't happen as frequently as it once did.

20. My University education has included everything from biochem to the Marquis de Sade and realistically has included such a variety of subjects that I rather enjoy the fact that random classes come in handy on a regular basis: particularly the evolutionary psychology of beauty, social psychology, banned books, virology, and popular literature/culture among others.

21. I have been working at my current job for over 7 years, and don't plan on leaving until I finish my education at this point.

22. I actually socialize with people who are more than twice my age quite frequently. And we get along great.

23. When I was a kid, I enjoyed multiplying numbers by 2 for the fun of it.

24. Because I wear a uniform to work, I find it even MORE fun to dress up.

25. I ballroom dance when no one's watching (and quite often when people are).

People tagged: Scott Jenkins, verlaine, chibifrieza, kitcat5227, redheaded_1, mostlycrazy, oneswordsworn, 1istener, alfvaen, kelessa, Others to be tagged on Facebook most likely.

A Very Merry Christmas to you and you and yes, you!

So, as the temperatures continue to be ridiculously frigid, I venture more and more often out of my apartment (which honestly isn't as warm as I would like it to be. Mind you, I don't trust my internal thermometer, but the building hallway is SO MUCH warmer than my apartment, which I find rather strange).

Candy Cane Lane was MUCH nicer on foot than on the bus. Sure, a lot of it was the company, but even as we were freezing out there on foot, it was beautiful to take it all in.

And I guess with Christmas nearly upon us, it feels awesome to be done my preparations: gifts are bought and wrapped, cards are all sent, the apartment is as decorated as it ever gets (of course seeing as I don't spend Christmas here, it doesn't need much by way of decor), and I'm finally allowed to open some gifts.

The Goldfishlegs Christmas Gift exchange day is today so I got to open my first package (wrapping gifts in packing tape is annoying btw, if you're ever contemplating trying this). It was nice to get a mix of useful and superfluous gifts. Sure not everything is perfect (it never is) but I always find a use for most things I get at this Canada-wide Secret Santa!

And I'm looking forward to exchanging gifts with my roommate tonight — as I'll be departing for home early on the 24th and have plans on the evening of the 23rd, and don't want to keep her up late (or maybe I'm just impatient or something).

On another note, I got the Twilight soundtrack that I won from TeenFlare in the mail today. It's surprisingly not bad. Of course I rather do have a tendency to enjoy soundtracks from movies I've never seen — I own soundtracks for Juno, and Charlie's Angels as well, both movies I've also never seen.

I like my 'winning contests' bad habit sometimes… especially when it works to my advantage, as much as I often win things I don't particularly have a hankering for, it does open my eyes to possibilities and exposes me to things I would have not otherwise considered.

It'll be nice to finish work tonight, and have four glorious days off. The sad part is always that I can't really wear my Santa hat after Christmas at work.

If my computer were human… it would be ancient…

So today I tried to start up Firefox. And it wouldn't start up properly. In fact that whole window just disappeared. And then the whole computer decided it wouldn't like me anymore — Ctrl Alt Delete didn't even bring up the appropriate screen. So I reset the computer, as it appeared to be frozen, but no luck. It went back to what it used to do 2 years ago now where it decided not to completely reboot. A third attempt got the computer working with a screen resolution that sucks.

Something tells me that I need to seriously consider getting a new computer. Sure this one does me okay, but… *sighs*

In other news, the gift wrap went great on Friday. I completely relaxed out of some of the ridiculous stress I was putting myself through, plus we raised some good money for the Bissell (I do wonder how much of that was due to the increased media attention though).

And yesterday I finished ALL of my Christmas cards (or at least the ones I planned to do. All 64 of them. They're really not difficult once I got started. Something tells me I'll need to hit Boxing Day sales again this year to buy more cards for next year however.

So that feels good. What doesn't feel good is that it's ridiculously cold. Which I don't often mind. Except it makes the walk to work really annoying. I feel like an abominable snowperson. Which realistically isn't half wrong — of course this abominable snowperson is clad in a santa hat, so at least she's seasonally appropriate!

I'm totally looking forward to spoiling my family with gifts this Christmas. It'll be nice to get the time off from work to relax. And I won't even worry about Grad School scholarship applications for a few days.

Quick Holiday update

So it's my Favorite Season of the year: yes, that's right, the Christmas/holiday season. And no, that doesn't mean I'm religious or anything (I'm not). I just happen to rather like the holiday season, and the Christmas music rocks (what can I say, I'm addicted), well at least most of it's pretty good (there's some newfangled holiday songs that seriously grate on my nerves). Plus I get to wear a nifty Santa hat all I want before the big day. And believe you me, it allows for some great conversations at work… though I'm not sure what I think about being called Mrs. Santa… Regardless most reactions to the hat are ALWAYS positive (well except for the one gentleman, likely of the camp who gets offended that a woman should be named Ali in Canada, who insisted that because my name was Ali I couldn't wear a Santa hat).

This year I participated in a cookie exchange — which was a fun excuse to do baking for the first time in years — and ended up with WAY too many cookies. Of course I've had occasions to feed them to people, and I am rather enjoying occasionally eating a few myself (but with Beth on her diet and me with no real hankering for sweets, they're not disappearing at all quickly). So the family will be getting a LOT of Christmas baking when I eventually come home!

And I'm super happy with my Christmas shopping which is all completed! I think my family and roommate will be suitably spoiled. I completed the most of it on two trips: one to Whyte and one to City Centre mall. Of course I had a few side trips before those (one downtown and one to the Butterdome Craft Sale, a holiday tradition) but it was probably some of the most enjoyable Christmas shopping seasons yet. [Then again that could be chalked up to great company and general luck finding gifts once people provided their wish-lists] With the exception of the awkwardness of carrying really heavy bags through the mall and bus, it was a great time! And my gifts are even all wrapped… with one large package waiting and tantalizing my roommate. Hee Hee…!

And I have a tree (sure it's a tiny white centerpiece from Winter Waltz but still!). And my bedroom doorknocker is decorated as usual. And the Christmas cards have been begun (well I'm MAYBE halfway there. I'm hoping to be done by New Year's. It's just how things work this year).

And then there are the Christmas parties. Some have been super small and casual… others have been much more involved. Regardless, overeating has been a pattern (maybe that's why I've often had no appetite at other times?).

The lights in Edmonton have also been awesome: Bright Nights was a slight disappointment (too many burnt out lights for my happiness) but Candy Cane Lane, the Legislature and Maisie's Christmas House are worth a second look. Especially Maisie's Christmas House.

Maybe the reason why I get so excited about Christmas is because it's a change from the everyday. Maybe it's because it's just plain fun. Maybe it's some complete other reason. But I'm having a good time!

That was easy! :)

Another semester of school is finished for me. Of course this one doesn't necessarily LEAD to anything, but it was highly educational/fun, and that counts for something, right? Regardless, I was rather pleased with the ease of completing my final exam.

Also: I clearly have too many cookies. And they're not getting eaten terribly quickly. Fortunately I'm down to one container of MY cookies and more than one of cookies others have made… my house has FAR too much junk food in it.

That said it was fun writing my exam with a candy cane in my mouth. Yay for CAPS giving out free candy canes.

So I'm typing a lot of these er LJ posts or something

But I'm starting to annoy myself. Which likely means it's time to get off the computer. And since I'm all of a sudden working at 7am, I had better do so soon. Because it's important that I get sleep. Because I'm driving myself batty.

If that wasn't bad, 'studying', which really isn't necessary for more than like an hour or so, hasn't yet happened. It should happen tomorrow though, given that all of a sudden I've got more than 4 hrs between work and the cookie exchange. I'm getting tired of being double (or more) booked though. And I thought being heptuple booked was bad… well… I think sometimes days like tomorrow can be more frustrating. Mostly because I'd be going yay, I have more time off in the evening, except for the fact that well, I have a commitment right smack dab in the middle of this time off. Which would be fine and all (because I've been looking forward to the cookie exchange and all), but I know that I'll likely fritter my time away during the rest of the evening. Which is really a waste of my time. And I'll want to be in two places at once (but since when was that new?).

And there's that Christmas thing. Well, I've finally started shopping. Which will have to get done, of course. And I've a few of the things from my list already… but I still don't know what to get everyone (not that that's new or anything). And someone keeps asking me to add stuff to my own personal wish list.

And then there's Christmas cards. Which I've finally started. Which is good. (ye gads I'm writing in sentence fragments!) But I'm also pretty certain I don't have accurate addresses for a LOT of people. Which is frustrating to say the least.

The lights are warm and aesthetically pleasing…

Last night Robin and I volunteered at the Devonian Garden's Luminaria event. And the weather couldn't have been better: certainly it was cool (cold even) but the snow was light, the wind was nearly absent, and it wasn't raining. Not only that, but things cooperated for us very well: our glow stick sales table was right near the first fire pit (or rather bonfire in an old washing machine repurposed into a fire drum?).

The candles really lit up the Japanese garden beautifully. I think I might just have to see the gardens at some time in the summer months… it was gorgeous. The snow provided just the right effect when combined with the 2000 little paper lanterns with candles… and the little Japanese lanterns were a nice touch too.

Bridget demonstrated her juggling with Robin near the end of the night, using some of the glow sticks. Of course we sold quite a few. And the fire was wonderful.

From a volunteering perspective, I thought the event went incredibly smoothly. The food was great, the company awesome, and well, we made it to and from the event in one piece (despite the ice).

Wondering how the economy is affecting scholarships… or otherwise…

So if things were being run the way they normally are regarding my Grad school application, the deadline for scholarship applications would be December 15th. Which is in oh… just over a week. Which isn't much time.

Of course the application isn't available (nor are the details) regarding any of the general awards competition scholarships. At this point, one would imagine that having such a thing available would be a rather good idea, if indeed the money is there to award said scholarships.

But with the market down 40%… is there any money there? That's my most forgiving look at it really. Because otherwise there would have to be another cause for the lack of application availability. And it better be a darn good one.

In other news… I successfully have too many cookies. For this I thank Kim very much for her help in the kitchen! YAY cookies! Many cookies! (did I mention yet that I probably have too many?