Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Holidays

Well the 2008 Holidays are almost over; just a couple more days and 2009 will be here and it'll be time to start everything all over again. This year was a bit different than most for the family though. First, I decided that I didn't want any gifts this year. I'm very disillusioned with organized religion and the greed that seems to overcome people this time of year, and decided I didn't want anything to do with it. My parents had already got a few gifts for me but otherwise I asked people not to get me anything. They didn't care for it much, but I'm happy that they respected my beliefs and wishes.

There were also a few absences this year. My sister received the last minute gift of a trip to Alaska to visit her husband's family, so they're spending two weeks in the frozen wonderland of Wasilla, AK (a town made famous earlier this year due to its apparent proximity to Siberia, or some such). I'm very jealous of her right now though, I think of Alaska as a fantasy land of sorts as it's one of the places I would love to move to and live for a while. Snow, huge tracts of open wilderness, glaciers, screwed up days/nights, and icebergs floating in the ocean. It sounds almost perfect.

My oldest nephew, David, was also absent this year. He had to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital on IVs recovering from mono. Poor kid. It was the first time since he was born that he didn't spend the Eve with my brother too, so that bummed them out even more.

Unfortunately that wasn't the only trip to a hospital either. My youngest niece, Victoria, was attacked by a dog and had to get a few stitches in her cheek because of it. She and the dog had been playing with each other most of the day without incident, but the dog apparently didn't like Vic picking up one of its toys and it suddenly latched on to her head. Thankfully she's fine and doesn't seem to be holding a grudge or fear of dogs from the ordeal, but my sister is more than a bit freaked out by it all and probably will be for a few decades to come.

And to top everything off, my car decided to be finicky too. To the tune of an estimated $4,500 in repair costs. Which aren't going to happen since that's more than the actual worth of the car at this point, so my vehicle situation is a bit spotty right now.

So it's been a rather interesting few weeks. Overall everyone's fine, and that's the important thing. But I'm thinking the new year couldn't get here any sooner.

(Tree in my parents' yard on a foggy Christmas morning)

Friday, December 12, 2008

12 of 12

Thanks to Chad for the cool "12 of 12" concept. On the 12th of the month you take 12 pictures to show how you spent your day. Go here for bigger versions of the pics.

Chad's recently started a fight with cancer, so it's amazing to me that he's even up to the task of doing this again this month. I've had, and have, my own health issues but the Big C isn't one of them and hopefully never will be. My thoughts and best wishes go out to him.

At any rate, here's how I spent the 12th this month:

7:34 am
Woke up late again this morning. This has been one of those weeks when I've overslept almost almost every day for some reason.

8:17 am
On the way to work. One of the perks of being late for work is that most of the morning traffic has thinned a bit.

12:01 pm
A cool sculpture in a yard near work.

12:08 pm
Lunch at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company.
Great pizza and amazing micro-brews, although I didn't drink at lunch today...that annoying "go back to work" thing.
Try their "Shiva" beer if you're ever here. It's very tasty.

12:20 pm
A sample of the cool hand-painted walls inside.

12:53 pm
The "Wall of Remote Controls".
I really enjoy the creativity and uniqueness of this place and this town.

1:11 pm
The sundial at the entrance to work, just outside the window to my office.

4:23 pm
The sparsely decorated Holiday Tree in the lobby at work. Huge controversy over its decorations this year, but I won't get into that. Note the crooked pictures and lampshade, and the holiday cards strewn about.

4:46 pm
(Yup, came in late and left early today)
View from my bank's parking lot. This is the last bits of the storm that dumped record snowfall everywhere else but here.

5:17 pm
Stopping by FedEx to drop off some packages.

5:25 pm
Looking back towards Asheville on my way home.
(Ignore the ugly parking lot)

6:03 pm
Leftovers for supper on a Friday night.
Such a glamorous life I lead, no?
It's not the prettiest lasagna I've ever made, but the taste makes up for what it lacks in looks.