Monday: I am just so annoyed, because I didn't want to spend Xmas all tired and irritable, and here it is, and I feel like I've been ground up and spat out. I know what you're saying, chill, it's no big deal.
To hell with that, I'm mad as hell. I'm surprised the building manager hasn't had to reattach the doors since I was told I wasn't getting my gazetted Xmas eve off. I work 12 hour days, of which I only get paid for sevenof those hours. That's not counting travelling time and housework and my own web admin stuff that'll keep me up til midnight and past it. That's just pure clocking on and clocking off. Then I get nagged over all the stuff I'm not doing, which I probably could do in those 25 hours I lose per week, like cleaning my room, cataloguing my tapes, getting those tapes I promised in the post, updating my website, weeding the garden, finishing that fic, painting the back steps - and that's before I get up to anything fun.
I'm mad because I'm so tired and worn out and I've lost my temper and pissed everyone off, again, and all I wanted to do was go laughing at the Xmas lights. Too much to ask? Obviously.
So I'm sitting and waiting for the bus, having forgotten the whole holiday timetable thang, watching the bus stop opposite gently wash up and down in the evening light. Yep, I'm that tired. Good thing I don't drive. If I'm walking into poles, imagine me behind a wheel. Not pretty. The bus finally arrives and it just takes one corner to bring back that queasy feeling. I'm stuck here too because the only alternative is to get out and walk home, missing Roswell, which I don't want to do. I squeak home in time for Roswell, dinner and feeding the birds before their bedtime. Not the best Roswell, and still with the Darla of it, so it's okay that I miss bits. After that I decide to hell with it, pull on my boots and jumper and go out to look for Xmas lights.
I know what you're thinking. Jumper? Umbrella? But wasn't she melting under the unforgiving sun just the day before? Yup. From 41C to 14C. No wonder I'm crabby - I'm certain I've a cold coming. Whine, whimper. Armed with torch, a large branch for beating the spiders into submission and one Aged Parent, we set off in search of Xmas lights. They're spread out here, only about one house per three streets has them, so it's more like a treasure hunt than a stroll. We walked for an hour and a half, roaming over both sides of the highway, and we found some beauts. On the nice side one house had gone the full Santa: inflatable Santas and snowmen, lighted trees, tinny jingle bell muzak, flashing lights everywhere. Magic, just magic. Lots of Santas, sleighs and faux icicles - so ironic when strung from palm trees. We clocked only one nativity scene (a lone traditionalist) and several houses had a star theme going which I really liked, especially the net of star shaped lights strung out between two trees like an electric spider web.
One thing I really noticed this yar and I swear it hasn't been quite so noticeable in previous years, but now I know why people always ask me which side of the highway I live on, because the houses on one side are big and immaculately kept with lush gardens and sweeping lawns, while [singing] on the street where I live [/singing] it's all run down pokey housing commission fibros with weeds for gardens and peeling paint. Used to be a one tax bracket difference at best. Now it's two if not three. It's like another country, just across the highway. It's even quieter, so much quieter. Weird. Maybe it's all the big old trees and big brick houses, instead of no trees and carboard thin walls (not to mention quiet and restrained middle class sensibilities as opposed to screaming fights several doors down). Still, at least some of those rich buggers put on a bit of a display for those peasants who dared to chicken run across six lanes.
Saw a few cars doing an xmas lights crawl, too, as we trudged. We used to do that as very little kids, once upon a time. It was exciting because it was the one night I was allowed to stay up late, remembering that Xmas falls three days after the summer solstice here so it doesn't get dark til late. It didn't get properly dark until we were back on our own side of the highway last night. Still, at least some people on our side had thrown a few coloured lights about and made an effort, if somewhat abstract. It was appreciated. I love coloured lights. I love them lots. It did the trick, with the long walk and fresh air, and I felt so much better. Still not happy about my life but no longer wound as tight as a ball of rubber bands. Nearly killed Aged Parent though cause I got my second wind and we covered a lot more ground than AP had anticipated we would with fat girl in tow. Can't help it, I always perk up late at night, it's an old uni thing, from coming home after evening classes.
So I get back, catch a few carols on the telly, decide to put up my own string of lights - finally, get out the Tia Maria and settle back to watch the Lost World and I'm feeling fine. Especially as one of the lads had to go shirtless for the entire episode. He's been working out and it was very much appreciated. The embarressed Oz thesp this week was Alan Dale, late of Neighbours and the X Files (oy - one degree betwixt Neighbours and X Files - grin). Last year I was happy enough to write Jack/Daniel while similiarly ensconced, but this year I was just happy enough to be able to unclench my jaw. It'll do.
Didn't put up the Aragorn poster I'd brought on the way home - had ducked into the newsagent for torch batteries and saw a pic of Aragorn looking as tired and cranky as I felt. All my e-pals are going dippy over Aragorn and I thought they must be getting excited waiting then I realised those bastards aren't waiting, they've already seen it. No, we're the ones who have to wait until after the rest of the world has seen it. Hmph. More punishment. No drooling over Aragorn until you've finished your homework and eaten all your greens. Double hmph.
Tuesday: It's cold, wet and misty today but I was still in a good mood, until I heard about Joe. Now I'm sad. I loved Joe. Just the other day I was jigging about in my seat when they played London Calling, like the sad old bastard that I am. Sigh. Vale Joe.
So it's 2.30pm. So much for my half day off. Had to stay back and bury multiple reports on Xmas Eve for the Minister. Scrooge! May he have three ghostly visitors tonight to teach him the error of his ways. So this Thomasina Cratchit ducked out to the mall, yep, braving the mall on Xmas Eve, though it was strangely deserted because everyone was told it was the building most likely to be bombed on Xmas Eve (yadda yadda yadda) and I managed to find a fine spread of snack foods, and two tiny silver trees as table decorations, all for under $40. Well, damn it, if I'm working all Xmas Eve I'm having bloody well having my chips n dip.
Remember that little alien critter that could sniff out a chip from twenty kms away, a gobbledok, if I remember rightly? Well I reckon most people in this Dept are part gobbledok because I've never seen public servants sniff out chippies so fast before. Even the Helpdesk person just happened to stop by for a chat, to give you an idea of how they all scuttled out of the woodwork. Not that I minded, that's what it was for. It wasn't like the lavish tables we used to spread back in the Reg (on occassion), but it'll do. Of course now I think I've had too much pate and dip (diet be damned, it's Xmas). Burp. Gurgle. Another hour til quittin' time, she says, bored, having pretty much uploaded everything now.
Merry Xmas one and all.