Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Airing of Grievances

A Festivus tradition!

1. Holiday shopping sucks. I know the holidays are a stressful time for a lot of people, and I can't be the only person for whom finding decent presents is the biggest part of the problem. It seems especially bad within my family, but even if my parents and sister all loved comic books, there's still a lot of difficult thought about gifts compressed into December. Must find something original and personal. Can't be too cheap, nor too extravagant. Now that I have a job that pays well I feel guilty getting my parents anything cheap, especially if I know they're getting me something big. However, they still have a lot more wealth and disposable income than me, so they say they don't mind getting me something that costs a couple hundreds of dollars as long as they "know it's what you'd want". And to top it off, whatever I buy now has to be small and sturdy enough to be put in my checked luggage in a couple days. (Yes, I probably worry about this too much.) I mentioned this to my roommates last night and they said they just don't do it. Failing that, I suppose the best way to prevent the problem is to keep it simple and low-key. Unfortunately, I can hardly suggest either of those to my parents on Christmas Eve.

2. I have a ton of work today. (Don't ask why I'm writing this, then...) No doubt my tendency to procrastinate doesn't help, but it's also partly because of an inadvertent four-day weekend (I took Friday as a personal day, and Monday the government was still snowed in). Another reason is that because I've technically changed jobs - same desk and responsibilities and co-workers, but I'm working for a different contractor now; no, I don't think it makes sense either - and have to fill out all those insurance forms and stuff. And I think another reason is a push in the office to finish stuff before people leave for the holidays. What with all that, I think I've had more to do today than I did all last week.

3. Speaking of insurance forms and stuff, the deadline is getting close. I meant to bring the forms to work today and finish them here, but I forgot. I called in and I technically have until Dec. 31 and of course I won't leave it until then - they're mostly complete anyway, the only reason I didn't fax them in last night was because I had some lingering questions for the HR woman - but it's annoying that I screwed up and was worrisome until I called.

4. Speaking of getting snowed in, most of the sidewalks in my neighborhood still aren't plowed or shoveled. This is really annoying. I wound up taking a different bus for part of my commute because the alternatives would be either walk in the street itself past unplowed sections, or flounder through a foot and a half of snow. Complaining about this is a bit hypocritical, since my roommates and I haven't shoveled the walk outside our house and couldn't even find a decent showshovel, but on the other hand we live on a tiny, one-way side street. It would be nice if the county could be bothered to shovel/plow/snowblow the sidewalk of what is probably the second-biggest street in Arlington, not counting highways. But apparently, no, people around here just aren't prepared for winter weather. And I can't spare myself from that either; I need to buy winter boots.