I rather dislike dishpan hands…

… and while I don't imagine that anyone really likes them or housework in general, housework and chores in general are a necessary part of living (well, I guess except if you're so exceedingly rich that you choose to spend your money on being waited on hand and foot, but even most rich folks don't choose to expend their money this way… there's a reason why they're rich after all!)… and I'm waiting for folks to show up to a quiet board game night at my apartment to play many great games (I believe that Cards Against Humanity will make an appearance but there are tons of other good ones like Elder Sign [did I mention that I got gifted with the awesome game, Elder Sign, yesterday?!? I'm so very pleased as I've wanted it for quite a while!] and many more to play depending on attendance!

When thinking of housework, I don't often think of just how old some tools are (and how newfangled others are) to accomplish certain tasks. And I use a great straw broom to sweep the floors, a great sturdy Electrolux vacuum to vacuum them, a newfangled Norwex mop to scrub them, and some other great Quirky products to help in these tasks. Likewise washing dishes includes a mix of tools from new to old fashioned. And you know what? Sometimes these products do in fact help or improve on that which has come before, but at other points I just wonder 'what were they thinking?' when they came up with one item or another, whether I'm seeing it in a store or whether I'm attempting to use it (or use it up for that matter). It's really interesting how the product development journey works when it comes to completing chores.

I don't always have complete control over what tools I am using (for example the washer and dryer in my apartment building are pretty much my best choice for laundry but they often leave something to be desired, whether in the time they take to accomplish a task, or the residue left behind from other tenants in the building etc.)… but when I do have the choice it's often an interesting balance between new and old, tried and true and new and improved etc. And it's not always the item that I expect that will win the battle to be the one I'll use most often for household chores!

It's that holiday time o' year I guess…

And while there's probably a ton I could write about, including my improving mood (but still my inability to feel well rested, warm, or not plagued by procrastination — most of which I could easily blame on the days being short and not getting enough sunlight, and my apartment feeling unusually cool this holiday season, resulting in my needing to wear PANTS and sweaters [the horror!])… but well, I don't entirely know about the well-rested bit… and there is the occasionally worrying doctor's visit, but whatever. It's the holiday season and I generally adore the holidays.

Christmas with the family this year was a short sojourn, and my youngest brother hosted Christmas eve. We totally spoiled each other with gifts! I'm really pleased with the Tim Minchin CDs I got (which I listened to this afternoon) for example! Other noteworthy gifts include two Misto sprayers, a great Looney Spoons cookbook, a spa gift certificate, a couple seasons of tv shows, a graphic novel I had been wanting plus The Absolute Sandman volumes 2 and 3 (I already had 1), a great bracelet and quite a few other smaller gifts. I still have a few gifts yet to receive/exchange so I'm pretty darn pleased. The fact that this season has included spending time with friends and family, some of whom I hadn't really reconnected with in a long while has gone a long way to rekindling my better spirits (though I do still get into the occasional mental funk) and while my work schedule has resulted in a bit of burning the candle at both ends so to speak, I'm making my way in the world appropriately I think. If only I could iron out an appropriate balance between being motivated and not being too busy or not busy enough! That plus more energy and mental acuity would make for a much more lovely time I think.

Still it's been a good holiday season including some grand gatherings (both for and against Christmas, the end of the world, and to warm homes to list a few reasons), some good food and drink (my actual complete discovery that I like WARM alcoholic beverages was a neat one), and the occasional successful cooking experiment. It seems I still have a ways to go in many respects, but I think I'm slowly getting back on track to where I want to be and well, the holidays are going a long way to getting there (plus the days are indeed getting longer, yay!).

I guess it's the holidays… so the traditional 'what I want for Christmas' post is in order

And well, I have a bunch of things I could talk about both physical and non, I guess.

I maintain two wishlists online: one is on Amazon.ca and only consists of things I stumble upon on Amazon.ca so it's pretty limited but does include a selection of items that I do actually want. http://www.amazon.ca/registry/wishlist/KL451NLK7LUL
The other is on my Board Game Geek profile and basically lists a wishlist of sorts of board games (pretty much only board games): http://boardgamegeek.com/wishlist/AliKira

But there are evidently other things that I want and wish for, as per the usual. Many of which do not fit squarely into the categories of Amazon.ca items or board games (as awesome as both tend to be!) And no, this list is not in any particular order but for an order of things that I've managed to come up with I guess:
-Jonathan Coulton's new album: One Christmas At a Time https://secure.jonathancoulton.com/ocaat/
-a better carry on travel bag (not that I know what that would be!), as mine are great but one that fits within carryon restrictions and is more useful and light and durable than the ones I already have would be ideal (pipe dream?)
-great times with awesome friends (yes I'm working on this)
-a glass pen (with ink of course) for my letter writing hobby (which I don't do enough of, but I've wanted one for SO LONG!)
-ideally someday I would own an eliptical machine, but I will admit that these are large and cumbersome and that I probably don't have adequate space for one, particularly as I've come up with better ideas as to how to use the extra room in my place… but someday, eh?
-a great board gaming table and chairs, along with board game storage cabinets to outfit either the spare room (currently) or someday in an awesomer home a games room… realistically I'm not going to worry about the gaming table and chairs at the moment, as I have no idea as to decor and whatnot for an eventual such room but I wouldn't mind getting some awesome wardrobes (IKEA) to use for board game storage (one to start with most likely with glass doors and shelves in it… as for colour not white, I'm unsure about choices to be honest or styles or anything unless I were to see it in person but damn it I do need better board game storage!).
-True love! 😉 (yes I don't believe in love at first sight, I believe in lust at first sight… but hey companionship and romance would always be nice… that said, I'm perfectly happy with the friends I already have though it would always be nice to have more awesome folks in my life!)
-less stress (yes stress has been occasionally negatively impacting me this past year. I'm working on it).
-more motivation to get my thesis work done (more motivation in general would be exquisite!)
-the money and time to have a true vacation [and not a vacation alone](I'll admit that this won't happen until I'm at least finished school, and that finishing school might cause me to be less likely to have the finances that I WANT to spend on a true vacation. I do still plan to finish within the next year though).
-some awesome made-to-measure boots! http://poppybarley.com/ no, I can't really afford this right now, but my stylish boots are starting to really wear out so I'll need to replace them eventually… and this keeps coming to mind!
-in fact made to measure footwear in general is awfully appealing! As are most clothing items!
-I really want to get a new winter coat one of these years (mine is slowly wearing out though it has another year or two in it if need be).
-newfangled snowshoes (I have the old fashioned kind but they're kind of too big for my frame and damn it I want to go snowshoeing more often!) (on that same note: snow pants, cross-country skis and poles and the wherewithall to use them, and really other trips into the great outdoors without freezing myself silly would be great!
-delicious hot chocolate (mine is running out) that is marginally healthy (sans extra preservatives if I could!) and did I mention delicious?
-Okay I really should get my skates sharpened, but someday I also want to own figure skates again (not just hockey ones!) and I wanna go skating this winter!
-and doing something about my movie watching deficit (with company as I suck at watching suspenseful movies alone apparently if yesterday is any indication) might be wise!
-I want to get some heavier dumbbells (probably an adjustable set (of two) that starts at 5 pounds and goes up from there to 25 or 30 pounds each (or more) in 5 pound increments would be ideal). I really don't need anything super heavy (I don't think I could handle it right now) but my light weights are on the verge of being too light again and I like lifting them!
-Awesome things, experiences, happenings etc. I mean I don't actually always know what I want/need.
-Great food… I'm doing better at cooking for myself these days without getting overly bored of my leftovers, and I do occasionally use Groupons and the like to entertain folks and eat some delicious creations, but I do adore good foodstuffs and so that's rather appreciated.
-pampering (a la Spa or otherwise) as this would also probably help with the stress issue.
-balance in life (working on it, but others have helped too!)
-thick warm tights or long socks (that actually stay up or have some method of staying up) such that I can still wear my skirts in the winter, please!! Geeky ones are awesome too… like literary tights or otherwise!

That's what I can manage to come up with at the moment. And I think that that will do for now. I mean, sure there's other things but given that this is a Christmas wishlist I won't actually focus on the whole 'world peace', and other huge wishes that no single person can even fathomably gift. And no I don't expect receiving ANY of these above things (though some would be rather welcomed), because that's not what it's all about. I much prefer finding gifts for others rather than asking for stuff for myself… but seeing as I've been asking folks what they want, I may as well answer their questions too! And I like to be a whole heck of a lot more comprehensive than well some folks (who I shall not name here) who haven't answered the questions with enough information, particularly when they're gift exchanges that traverse a considerable distance, are for people I don't know well enough, or are for very particular people!

I know that the second I hit 'post' on this, I will immediately think of other things that I might want be they items or experiences, but whatever. I try to put this list together every year. And only do a mediocre job. But I do very much love the holiday season, and gift giving is such fun!