Thursday, December 04, 2008

All the way home I'll be warm

I'm doing a few things at once -- two of which involve typing, one reading, but this has to take precedence, as it's long overdue. I got a comment on one of my posts urging me to keep writing, and so keep writing I shall. Perhaps I'll have to make it so there's no "anonymous" choice in the comments section, but then I have to ask myself if that would only deter people from commenting. I suppose my appetite for knowing who's looking at/commenting on my blog will have to go by the wayside for now.

We're four days into December, and I can hardly believe how fast time has flown between now and back in May, when I graduated from college and moved out here. I thought the time between semesters at Syracuse University seemed to dwindle with each year; now every month seems to fly by, and before I can get used to being in one month, time has already moved on to the next, and I can only drag along behind it. They say the older you get, the faster time seems to elapse, and it's totally true. Why, in about a week, I'll officially be 23.

I've been put in charge of organizing the office holiday party, and I've spent the past month ruminating over venues, menus and other such delightful things. I finally settled on The Chateau, a locally owned Italian restaurant right down the road. It's a big place across from a giant autoplex, but when you look in the back, it's all beautiful trees and golf course. We'll be downstairs in the function room, which looks pretty nice. I've eaten in the restaurant area with Darren once for lunch; maybe it was just the day or time of day that we went, but the place seemed packed with older people. Still, the food was delicious, the service amiable, and the prices reasonable.

Last week, I took a half day the day before Thanksgiving so Darren and I could travel over to Herkimer to celebrate Thanksgiving at Aunt Mo's. I guess they decided to have it there because it would have only been five people, since Darren and I were planning on going to Tennessee, which obviously didn't pan out. The space at Aunt Mo's is small, and her oven is even smaller, but we made do, even with two extra guests. My parents let me open my birthday presents from them early, since they weren't sure if I'd be there for my/Grampy's birthday. The gifts were more gifts for both Darren and me: a 4-foot-tall fake Christmas tree with lights and a bunch of Christmas candles and tree decorations. Some of the decorations looked really pretty and cute -- I distinctly remember a really cute snowman and a little ornament bear my mom made by hand. (I took some of her business cards back with me and posted one on the board right before the entrance to the locker rooms at the gym; another went on the fridge at work -- I've already gotten questions about it from my coworkers!) The meal itself was delicious and plentiful, as usual. The highlight would have to be when a ceramic bird Aunt Mo had hanging on a shelf got jostled by someone's movement and flipped off its perch, landing feet-first right in the mashed potatoes. I saw the entire thing, and it set off a wave of laughter that filled the house and probably seeped over to the neighbors' houses. It was great to be with family and share those moments, even though I'm sure Darren missed seeing his sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew. I would have loved to get the chance to meet them over the holiday. I really hope we can get down there soon.

The drive to New York was horrendous, given the terrible traffic jam around Worcester, which was made even worse by the Thanksgiving travelers who all had the same idea as we did. Going back was a complete nightmare: The traffic was exponentially more backed up, and the last 50 miles or so were plagued with darkness combined with pouring rain. I nearly panicked as I drove through it all. The traffic and rain alone added about three hours to our trip, so it took us seven hours to get home, whereas it normally takes three and a half or four. I was so grateful when we finally made it back in one piece.

Speaking of cars, Darren's broke down the other day as he was on his way home from work. The car just shut off as he was in the middle of a major intersection in Dedham. Thankfully, he was able to maneuver it into a liquor store parking lot and called AAA for a tow, though the idiot running it was a big jerk about the whole thing, causing a big fuss that he had to break down and take up space in his parking lot, even though there were plenty of spaces available. His car was towed and is being stored while the repair guys look at it. They said it was the distributor that gave out, but when Darren called his mechanic in Rhode Island, he said those guys were trying to rip him off; it's probably just the ignition coil within the distributor. He's still not sure what to do: His mechanic said he could probably replace it himself for far less; he could dictate exactly what to do over the phone. Or, he could have the car towed all the way to Rhode Island and have his mechanic fix it. Lastly, he asked the repair guys to take a look at the ignition coil. If that's truly the only problem, he'd have them do it. Until then, I've been his chauffer. We carpool to and from work, which is actually pretty fun and enjoyable. It's extra time for us to spend together before we go to our separate offices. It's cute to see him off for once instead of me always being the first to leave the house in the morning. Of course, this also means Darren has to wake up at the same time as me and can't spend time dilly-dallying on the Web or fixing video-game consoles before strolling into work around 10 a.m.! I think he kind of likes being able to get more done during his work day by arriving there at 8:30. "If I got here this early every morning, I'd always have a good parking spot!" he said when I drove up to the almost-empty parking lot in his part of the building that's usually packed full when I go there to join him for our weekly lunch together. Despite it all, I'm glad his car isn't totally broken (I always assume the worst with these things, because it usually is) and that it should be fixed soon.


At 9:41 AM , Anonymous Elyse said...

Hey Liz, I'm glad someone told you to keep writing because I was going to soon. Glad to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving!

At 1:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to this so much. I love the similes. Please use more metaphors.


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