Archive | December, 2011

A Different Holiday Season

30 Dec

I’m two hours away from yet another lovely long weekend to celebrate New Years. This week was pretty awesome, considering that for most of it, it was just me and two or three other people! I left early, took nice afternoon walks, and finally got around to organizing the hell out of my desk! I cleaned and straightened and threw things away and stacked and copied and it looks amazing! And now I can leave work this afternoon through Monday with a clear head to enjoy the paid company holiday! Life is grand, isn’t it?

It’s hard to believe that just last year, I was gearing up to spend New Years Eve at work, after clocking in on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day! It’s hard to believe I even did that at all! It seems like a long time ago that I was sitting at my desk, reading the New York Times for 7 hours straight, sleeping through most of the family festivities and missing out on all the fun. I ended 2010 in a not-so-hopeful mood. I had traded a job I disliked for one I disliked even more, and was finding it difficult to find anything positive about life after college!

2011 has certainly been a roller coaster too, but with many more ups than downs! Looking back, I can’t even believe all the things that have happened this year–trips abroad, a dream job I adore, new friends, a new apartment, JOB SECURITY! Sure, there are still plenty of loose ends in my life, but it finally seems like things are ironing themselves out and have settled down. I’m looking forward to focusing on things in 2012 that don’t involve looking for a new job, stressing about whether I’ll keep said new job, and when I’ll finally be able to move out! All of that was accomplished this year, so I can benefit from the fruits of that labor and have some fun! 2012 will be the year I finally join that co-ed kickball team, I can feel it!

Happy New Year everyone!

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Joy to the World!

27 Dec

What a lovely weekend! Christmas was great this year, mostly because I wasn’t comatose! Last year, I worked the overnight shift at my old job on Christmas Eve and Christmas night, and spent the time in between napping and feeling miserable about life. This year though, I enjoyed our yearly Christmas Eve party, sang Christmas carols at our family sing-a-long, and indulged in holiday french toast and Bloody Mary’s (not at the same time…that would be gross). All and all, the mood this year was rather jovial!

I was in a particularly joyful mood at the start and end of my little Christmas break because Santa was in an especially giving mood and decided to grant me two Christmas miracles to ring in the season. The first was that it only took me an hour and a half to get home the other night. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect on the Thursday before Christmas, and the Port Authority did not disappoint. There were pigeons flying around INSIDE while I was waiting for the bus, and a half-naked crazy person was passed out on a bench I happened to be standing directly in front of. That place is literally the 10th circle of hell. When I finally got on the bus, it was only after practically inhaling a dose of lung cancer from all the bus fumes! But amazingly, we zipped out of the tunnel and onto the parkway and I was eating dinner with my sister and making sugar cookie dough before 7:30! So thank you Santa, for restoring my sanity another day.

The second Christmas miracle occurred yesterday, when my parents drove me back to my apartment. Last week, the place was topping out at at least 90 degrees, and I finally called my landlord in a heatstroke-induced rage and begged him to send a plumber to fix it. On Thursday morning, one finally appeared like a wise man sent to Jesus, equipped with a two-foot long wrench to turn my radiator off. When I walked in yesterday and didn’t see a mirage in the corner, I knew joy had come to the world.

Secret Santa!

23 Dec

Have I mentioned lately how much I ADORE my job?! Between the cube decorating contest, the office holiday party, and the free Christmas cookies that got dropped off yesterday, work life is pretty grand. But throw in a Secret Santa party, and BOOM! Best week ever!

The past few weeks have been really fun, because I’ve been getting to know some of my coworkers a lot better. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been working a lot lately so I see them more often, or because I’ve been so much calmer and happier since moving to the city, but we have quite the little social circle at the office these days. And one of the most brilliant ideas to stem from our scheming was a Secret Santa.

Now the last time I did a Secret Santa was in 6th grade, and I don’t even remember what I received. All I know is that it was NOT a set of milky pens, and I was devastated. My family never really fares well in these random gift exchanges anyway–one year my sister got a bottle of nail polish with bite marks in the cap and a used barrette. Gross! But of course, this Secret Santa was organized to the T–we could even make a wish list, to avoid–as one co-worker put it–that “O…thankssss!!!” moment.

We had our little party yesterday, and everyone loved their gifts! I got my person a gift card, but tried to disguise it in a cupcake box. Despite the fact that she shook the box, flipped in over, and opened it upside down, the cupcake was miraculously still in tact! A Christmas miracle! And I got exactly what I asked for–a new pair of headphones! I’ve been blasting Christmas music all day–I’ve heard Sleigh Ride ten times so far…with full stereo mix in both ears!

It was a fun afternoon, and everyone walked away with some Christmas cheer and another nice work memory. Friends!

The Peppermint Pavilion

21 Dec

So the results are in and I walked away EMPTY HANDED. So upset. I’m drowning my sorrows in peppermint schnapps and my leftover candy canes. Looking back, I think I peaked too early. I was finished with my creation on Tuesday, and people were putting newer things up everyday. Maybe I was the cool kid on the block on Tuesday, but by Friday, it was old news. Plus, the placement of my cube put me at a disadvantage–I was behind the famed “gingercube”, which, sure, was cool….but I wrapped my pencil cup people! Isn’t that worth anything?!

Apparently not. Out of four awards given last night, I didn’t even snag “Most Traditional Christmas.” Perhaps it was my lack of bribes. Unlike my coworkers who plied the judges with cookies and sweets, I was handing out peppermints, like a musty old grandma. Well, I thought it was pretty. AND I THINK I SHOULD HAVE WON SOMETHING.

The finished product! Listen, you can’t say I didn’t stick to my theme!

HOW DID THIS NOT WIN AN AWARD? Like, for serious. I hung streamers from the ceiling in a visually pleasing way! I hand-crafted thirty peppermints! I HUNG TINSIL! The world is unfair.

I lifted my computer up to paper underneath, and I have zero upper body strength. And all for naught!

Of course, everyone’s favorite detail was my screen saver, something that took me 3 seconds to choose. Disregard the fact that I spent 3 hours decorating my cube and suspended things from the ceiling. The highlight was obviously this screen saver. Obviously.

The Inferno

19 Dec

Boiling lava. The surface of the sun. The inside of a Hot Pocket.

What do these three things have in common, you may ask. Well, they are exactly the same temperature as my apartment right now. For the past week, I have boiled in the inferno that is my studio, my radiator churning out the heat with the fervor of the burning depths of hell. It is so uncomfortable, I’ve barely slept in three days. I take ice-cold showers before bed, sleep on top of the covers, and last night, started treating my heat stroke with ice packs strategically placed on my pressure points, a technique I learned as a lifeguard at a water park. When I worked there in the SUMMER.

It’s not like I haven’t been trying to cool the place down. Every window in my apartment is wide open, and I’ve called the landlord four times so far to get someone to come and fix it. The first time I called, he asked if I had tried to turn it off by twisting the valve. O, that would be a grand idea, if there was one! The only thing attached to the radiator is a pipe with a metal spigot, which is approximately 500 degrees. I know this because I touched it, and watched my hand immediately burst into flames.

Since last week, I’ve been getting empty promises from my landlord that someone would fix the valve, but each night, I return home to an apartment that is giving me a sunburn. O well, in a few days I’ll be back in New Jersey for the holidays, in the other extreme–my mom keeps the house so cold I can see my breath before I go to bed.  Whatever happened to room temperature?!?!

Merry Christmas Bitches

13 Dec

IT IS ON! Last Friday, it was announced that there would be an office decorating contest for the holidays, and like wild-fire, ideas were brainstormed,  Youtube how-tos were viewed, and dollar stores were ransacked. In the haze of my life last week, I spent an unacceptable amount of time trying to think of ways to build an architectural model of an igloo that would be suspended above my cube, before realizing that idea was a. Crazy and b. Logistically impossible given the time constraints and my complete lack of architecture knowledge. So I settled on the next best thing: Turning my cube into a giant peppermint.

Of course, this idea came after many minutes of plotting and formulating with my coworkers, who had already gotten started wallpapering every free surface with wrapping paper and had snipped snowflakes from leftover computer paper. I was so wired after my insane work week I ended up staying up until 5 am Friday night, ideas whirling through my brain at rapid speed. While I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, sometime between the hours of 3 and 4 am I drew out my master plan, made a list of materials, and fashioned a to-do list. Type A, anyone??

The stakes for this contest are pretty high (although yet to be known!), and everyone has stepped up to the plate. There is a giant inflatable snowman in a cubicle upstairs, an entire office wrapped in wrapping paper and bows, a gingerbread house currently in progress, and lots of hanging lights and tinsel. There was even talk of a live nativity in place for the judging on Friday! I stayed late last night lining my cube with a red tablecloth and whipping out paper peppermints with an artist’s hand. And the pièce de résistance is the canopy of crepe paper I have suspended above my desk. It looks AWESOME. (Pictures to come!)

I may have a healthy sense of competition, but it has become a throw down around here! It’s floor against floor, cube against cube! We do not mess around in this office! Let’s just hope I can get it all done by Friday..I still have at least 20 peppermints to crank out before all is said and done! And can I really compete against my colleague who spent SEVENTY DOLLARS on decorations? Only time will tell….Friday is judgement day. BOOM.

A Very Long Day

8 Dec

What a day! I just got home from work–it’s midnight, and I got in at 8 am! Do the math…that’s like two work days in one, serving as a monster, crazy-busy, ah-WOAH span of time! It’s been awhile since I had such a whopper of a day, and this has been an accelerating week of craziness. Monday started off with one project on the pike, Tuesday added another, Wednesday another….until today I was saddled with 4 different projects, working with 4 different groups, with one message: ALL OF THIS IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND NEEDS TO BE DONE ASAP!

Usually, I am a pretty fast worker. Put my mind to something, and I can knock it out in no time. But when my mind is being plied to act quickly, it freezes up and I can barely think straight. It’s hard to think through a single task when you have five others fighting for top billing, so I spend precious moments at the start trying to gather my thoughts. Once the fog clears and I make my lists and take some breathes, I’m good to go! And of course, you do get a lot done over the course of fifteen and a half hours, so at least there’s that.

My favorite part of a busy day is when everything finally clicks, and I really start to crank it out. Ask and you shall receive! Send and I will deliver! Tell me to jump and I’ll say how high! …I think you get the point. But at the end of the day, I can go to bed knowing I earned my keep. There is not a single item left uncrossed on my expansive to-do list. Yay journalism!

Of course, my second favorite part of a busy day is when I finally get home and promptly pass out from sheer exhaustion. Who cares that I’ll be up in less than eight hours to do it all over again! But no more thinking…time for sleep. That’s something my brain can focus on.