OK, seriously. December already? Could someone tell me how exactly that happened? Pipe down, smartasses; you don't actually need to explain the intricacies of the Gregorian calendar to me. Rhetorical questions are still valid ones sometimes, I say.
So it's December, and I'm supposed to be all glowy with the warmth of the damn holiday spirit, but alas, December is stressing me out. Yes, on only the second day. The whole month stretches ahead of me, and yet, all I can think about are the hand-knit gifts that I was going to start IN JULY but that remain only half finished three weeks before Christmas. Or the salted chocolate truffles that I made recently, thinking that they'd be lovely little tokens for my friends and family, but that for some reason have already grown ugly, mottled light spots like year-old Halloween candy. (Not that anyone would know what that looks like, I assume.) So at the moment, my half-finished and failure-ridden home-made gift efforts seem most well suited to the Island of Misfit Toys (and, er, Candy and Scarves). Woe is me and my dashed hopes of from-the-heart thriftiness.
So I have Christmas shopping to do, and in an instance of excellent timing, I was recently told that my company is maybe not doing quite as well as we've been told all year (read: apparently nowhere NEAR as well as we've been told all year), and instead of getting a raise on what was, awesomely coincidentally, my 12-year employment anniversary, I got a 10% pay cut. Hurrah. Mind you, it was not just a "Happy anniversary" prize for me alone. Word is we all got pay cuts. Or, all of us who were lucky enough to keep our jobs (for now). An undisclosed number were actually laid off or had their hours cut instead. Happy holidays!
[Side note/Disclaimer of sorts: I do realize that the previous paragraph falls squarely and solidly in the category of "Things I should not blog about" (i.e., "Things I could get fired for"). At the moment and for the record, I sort of feel it's a fair breech. This is my blog, about my life, which I write on my own time, and this is what's going on in my life right now. I will never, ever mention my company's name in this space, nor give any details identifying enough to reveal said name. So I'm sorry to anyone who someday finds this blog and shouldn't, but at the moment, with all due respect, I say kindly suck it.]
On top of that, I still cannot be trusted with a damn checkbook, and one measly little error has caused me TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS in NSF fees. Good grief. As some of you may have seen me complain on Facebook this evening, I am well aware that banks need to find ways to turn a profit, but I would much prefer that TCF Bank find a way to do so without coldly bleeding me dry. Yes, that's right, I said TCF. I have few qualms stating that particular company by name. Because seriously, if you are going to punish me EIGHT TIMES for what was quite obviously one single mistake, I am going to tell the Internet (or at least, my tiny corner of it) how disgruntled I am. I am not the sort of societal and financial delinquent you might see on the likes of the Judge Judy or Jerry Springer show. I am a smart, almost wearyingly responsible girl with her head screwed on nearly entirely straight. Would I keep using my check card if I knew there was actually no money in my account? Of course not. But if my unfortunately erroneous checkbook balance indicates all clear, all systems go, I'm going to carry on as usual, and penalizing me charge by charge while your old school paper notices make their way by Pony Express to my house really does me no good at all.Gah.
Sigh. It's time to stop this futile rant, I realize. Times are lean for all of us. Or, times are lean for most of us. I suspect the president of TCF is still doing just fine. In any case, moving on.
I should note that is it not all tears over banking injustices and tight purse strings around here. I did have a lovely Thanksgiving with some lovely friends. More than two people in attendance confidently proclaimed it the Best Thanksgiving Ever, and I dare say I must agree with them. I mean, no eleven hours on the road round-trip back home, no tense conversation with family members who I love but drive me batty, and no day-old KFC biscuits or year-old apple pie! It was a win-win-win, I say. Seriously, people. Look at this spread! Tell me you don't want to have Thanksgiving with my urban family next year.
Note: Those are prosciutto-wrapped sweet potatoes in the lower-left there, people. Essentially, sweet potatoes wrapped in bacon. I know how much the Internet likes bacon. If you're not sufficiently excited about this buffet line, it's only because I failed to photograph the desserts. Apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake (courtesy of me, and both delicious, if I do say so myself). Mmmm.
On a loosely related note, not that my Thanksgiving Day wardrobe should be of any interest to you, but since I am bragging about things I made, how about I return momentarily to those skirts I mentioned making a few posts back? Shana Who Lacks a Link requested pictures, and while I still have no photos of the skirts in action (or at least, in use), I do have some flat, static, "wowsa, are my hips really that wide?" pics for you...
This is the first skirt I made, which is a lovely albeit a bit cumbersome little wrap dealie-o...
And here is the one I made in the Intermediate/Advanced skirt class, which features both a lining and an invisible (or, nearly invisible) back zipper. In other words, I rock.
That second skirt I decided should be my Thanksgiving skirt, so I actually do have a picture of it in use, albeit a not very helpful and showcasey picture at that. Still. Are you up for a game of "Where's Waldo"? Minus the Waldo and plus a skirt? All right. Here you go then.
Do you see it? If so, good work.
By the way, also in that picture? The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past. Or possibly my pal Carrie's mom's arm, at low shutter speed. You decide.
So then. How was your Thanksgiving? I know it was nearly a full week ago at this point, but dwelling on the past is what I do, folks. Timeliness is not always how I roll. So do tell. Any high points or low points for me?