complete randomness / holidays / life / non-work-related uses of time

Winter Broken

Word on the street is that I’m supposed to find Winter Break relaxing.  According to my sources, after a long semester people are supposed to crave the time off, sleep late, and not constantly bitch about how there’s not enough work to do.

Even though I spend 95% of my time trying to do things well (or, at least, adequately), I do break badly.  Right now I feel like I’m writing some sort of hostage dispatch.  If I had a copy of today’s paper, I’d take and post a picture of myself holding it up to let you know that I’m okay.  I thought about doing that for more than 10 seconds.  That’s how much time I have on my hands.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy.  I mean, heck, I’m the only person on the third floor at work these days^.  And I think I’m going to have a nasty shock next week when my world is suddenly populated with the others.  If you hear a struggle on Monday, it’ll probably be me trying to crawl under the department secretary’s desk to hide from everyone while she yells at me to get the hell out from underneath her desk and stop bothering her.

Unlike previous breaks, I didn’t head to Vermont, which is sort of sad for me in that I miss Vermont very much and currently have no reason to go.  This is doubly sad because I have a shirt that is very emphatic about how much I LOVERMONT.  It mocks me from my t-shirt pile.  I definitely don’t miss certain elements of my past trips (ex-boyfriends, Christmases away from my family, stress-related constipation, etc.), but I’m looking forward to (and impatient for) a return to Vermont under better conditions.  I’d love to revisit the things I experienced either on my own or by exerting the full force of my personal reserve of will and determination to get others to actually do something*.

But, while I haven’t been traveling, I’ve been up to stuff.  I’d love to say that stuff includes “no good,” but sadly, I’ve been better behaved than I would have liked.  So, while hell-raising isn’t on my list, here are a few highlights from my time off:

1.  The volunteer spirit was strong in me this December.  If you’ve read anything I wrote during that month, you might be aware of my run-in with an animatronic snowman, the way I drop knowledge on strangers, my public post-semester crash, and how I think candy can be used as an instrument of terror.

2.  Related to #1, but slightly different.  Because I couldn’t remember why I was all worked up about it in the first place, I got over my fear of demonstrating glass in public.  And, since I like to go big or go home, I made both local papers, The Morning Call and The Express Times. Here are the pictures if you don’t want any other information or you’ve maxed out on clicking things and your index finger is currently spasming:

You’ll notice that this picture is sort of badass.  I look kind of blond and intense.  And it looks like I’m working in the shadow of a massive Christmas tree, which is sort of true, sort of not.  On the downside, the photographer spelled my name wrong on the website.  For the cool picture, though, I could forgive.

In this instance, my name was spelled right on the newspaper’s website**, but I could have done without the awkward knees-locked rear angle.  All the same, pretty cool.

3.  I ran another 5k.  My PeepsFest time was two minutes faster than my Turkey Trot time because I didn’t try to keep up with people faster than me, wore a watch, and topped things off with awesome socks.  You know what? More pictures!

That’s my friend Tony, who also ran the race and whose awesome wife, Jen, cheers us on, takes pictures, and stands stoically in the cold*^.

4.  I went out on New Year’s Eve.  But you already knew that.  But I felt like mentioning it again, because you’re all going to get off my back about New Year’s Eve 2012.

5.  I did a little reading. Not as much as I would have liked, but some.  Nothing on my public to-read list***.  All the same, though, it was nice.

6.  I did a little extra glass volunteering.  And halfway through, my glass teacher realized I was incidentally getting some free lessons out of it.  It’s like he had no idea that I’m an evil genius.

7.  I caught up with friends, saw some movies, and started a regular Happy Hour thing.  I didn’t see everyone I wanted to or spend as much time with some people as I would have liked, but I’m working on it.

8.  I had new stuff out on Phillyist about Tastykakes and new stuff is on the way at PopMatters (like, in the editorial queue on the way).

9.  I got antsy and planned my whole English 2 class.  Then, I got antsy again.

10. I went to a delightful vegan brunch the morning after I visited a place called Dickie’s Barbecue Pit.  I felt a lot of meat-eater guilt since I was practically sweating bacon.

11.  I did some other stuff that I can’t talk about here right now because I can’t.  But hopefully I will be able to someday soon.  If it all works out, that post will be entirely in caps because I will be so happy I will be yelling at the internets.  If you live in the Lehigh Valley, you won’t need to read about it because you’ll be able to hear me.  And if you’re within ten feet of me, I’ll be the screaming blurry thing jumping up and down.


^ On a related note, I’ve been thinking about bringing back the “Third Floor Liberation Manifesto.”  There used to be a copy on the bulletin board, but it disappeared a few years ago.  If you know what I’m talking about and know how to get one (or can direct me to/put me in touch with the right channels), I would greatly appreciate it.

*This is to say that I spent a lot of time in Vermont (and I went about twice a year, sometimes more, for about four and a half years) with people who weren’t always interested in doing things I liked to do.  Particularly if those things were stereotypically Vermonty or required putting on shoes.  But I, on the other hand, spent my vacation time doing the following things:

  • Going to the Otter Creek Brewery by myself to buy presents (Which I did.  I am so not — and never will be — the person who doesn’t bring you beer you might like.) and to sample beers and refill one (or both) of my growlers.
  • Standing at the head of a trail, yelling, “Let’s GO! Why do you hate hiking so much!?”
  • Hiking
  • Sailing, and often being stuck in the middle of Lake Dunmore
  • Drinking a lot of beer
  • Snowshoeing
  • Doing some crazy dangerous — but fun — sledding
  • Outrunning others to the free strawberry shortcake samples at farmers’ markets
  • Going on long runs.  Which, in one instance, caused a bit of concern.  Luckily, it was early in the day, I was coated in bug spray, I knew where I was, and I don’t mind an adventure.  Obviously, I managed to drag myself back to the house, bad leg, stray dogs, and all.  So, it all worked out in the end.  And now you can wonder what on earth I’m leaving out of that story.
  • Reading long, time-intensive books like House of Leaves late at night, on the third floor, with all the windows open so that it felt like I was in a tree house
  • Eating at fantabulous places whose food I cannot replicate but crave periodically, like Rosie’s Restaurant, Noonie’s Deli, and American Flatbread (Yes, I know I can buy that frozen.  But who would want to after eating it straight out of the brick oven?)
  • After badgering others into submission, skiing
  • Campaigning for a trip to the Long Trail Brewery (a strong competitor for my favorite brewery EVER).  I still have never been there.  Hint.
  • Wandering around Middlebury and Burlington.

** Which is funny, because this is the photographer I didn’t spell my name for.  My friend Dennis talked to this photographer and I did the whole “spell your name” bit with the one who messed up my relatively easy last name.  It’s not an unlimited festival of “g”s.

*^ Jen is, as they say, awesome.  Did I already say that?  Because it’s totally worth repeating.

*** It’s not time-sensitive, so let’s not get all worked up here.  Everyone just calm down.


2 thoughts on “Winter Broken

  1. Break is never fun. It’s like that long supposedly “fun” time off which always seem to disappear far too quickly and all those things I thought I was going to have to do never get done. For me, I’m a bit conflicted.. I’m not teaching and have no real reason (or desire) to be at the university but my students apparently expect that I live in my office as they show up unannounced, wonder why I’m not there to wipe their noses and then pepper me with emails… I came to you office 7 times and you weren’t there. Really? NSS. This is what we have to work with.

  2. Pingback: Crankypants « Cardigan Enthusiast

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