Deck the Halls!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where I work is already decked out in a ton of decorations. Each building has it's own unique theme. For example, I work in the building with a Scandinavian theme, and frequent a Jungle themed building that has an "Indiana Jones" hallway. There's also a New York-themed building with a Subway hallway, a Western themed building with a huge snake statue outside, and an Asian themed building with the dragons I posted here.

Anyway, you get the idea. All the buildings are carefully decorated with beautiful art meticulously placed. Now that Christmas is quickly approaching, there are Christmas decorations up too! Be warned: this post has a lot of pictures :) And yes, co-workers, I am that girl walking around campus unapologetically snapping pictures on my iPhone camera. #sorrynotsorry :)

Here are some pictures from the main building, where the receptionists welcome visitors, recruits, etc. As you can see in the first picture, there is the standard tree behind the Christmas tree!

And here's the huge tree in our cafeteria (it's hard to tell how big it is from this shot), I like this picture because it shows the cafeteria empty - between 11:30-1 it is bustling with people, and smelling great!:

Each building has a tree to match its theme, and I wanted to share a couple of those with you:

Here's the tree from the Western-themed building:

And the one from my Scandinavian themed building:

And, although I haven't seen all the trees yet, I'm pretty sure this is my favorite (from the garden-themed building):

here's a close-up. I love the bird and butterfly ornaments :)
I just love the blue and pink! And the detail that went into decorating each of these trees. Another reason I like this particular tree is that it is right by the coffee cart - where I buy a special drink and a pastry, yogurt or oatmeal every morning :)

I know my sisters and mom decorated my house today - and my mom is working on putting thousands of lights on our tree! I tried to spice up my office a little bit:

Don't worry, the marker board count down is now up-to-date!

And I wrapped some gifts for my fam tonight:

I am excited to give my sister and parents their gifts - but am afraid they will take up all the space in my luggage!

Wishing you all the best with your last minute Christmas decorating and gift buying/wrapping :)

Christmas Songs Gone Wrong

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let me start this post by saying, generally speaking, I love Christmas songs. And if you don't believe me, here's my tweet from yesterday morning:
If twitter isn't the ultimate source of truth, I don't know what is. I know some people tweet entertaining things about their day. I seem to err on the side of tweeting about activities of daily living. Waking up? Totally tweet worthy in my book. I must sincerely apologize to both of my followers. Today I tweeted about health insurance. The light at the end of the tunnel is clearly the "unfollow" button.

Regardless, although I'm not the joyful psychopath who starts blasting Jingle Bells the first day of November, I appreciate a good Christmas tune to put me in the holiday spirit. However, I've stumbled upon some highly questionable Christmas lyrics over the years, so without further ado, I present to you:

The Top 3 Most Senseless Christmas Lyrics
3. Later on, we'll conspire     
     As we dream, by the fire
       To face unafraid, the plans that we made
          Walking in a winter wonderland.

Someone needs a vocabulary lesson. According to

If the word "conspire" was intentionally used, I find this an interesting twist to a seemingly innocent song about playing in the snow. Perhaps they were doing more than knocking down snowmen? 

2. There'll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories
     of Christmases long, long ago
      It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Correct me if I'm missing some prevailing Christmas tradition, but does anyone use this "time of the year" as a venue for telling ghost stories?  First and foremost, I hate ghost stories and have to change the channel when a preview for a scary movie comes on. (Read about how you never want to watch Law and Order with me here).

Second and second most, if I did want to pencil in ghost-story telling onto my Advent calendar exactly when should I do this supposedly "festive" activity? In between the stockings and the presents? Before the Christmas Even Candlelight Service? 

Although everything else in this song sounds, more or less, wonderful, the whole ghost story bit sounds a little less wonderful and a little more "horrifying." Even if one person somewhere does exchange spooky stories over egg nog, I say leave it out of the song because it's not helping your case of proving this time of the year superior to all others.

1. The ox and lamb kept time
       Pa rum pa pum pum

This one truly takes the cake. I believe in the story of Christmas. But now the barnyard animals are acting as musical conductors? Also, isn't the entire point of percussion instruments at large that they keep time? Do we really need to recruit four-legged creatures for this task? Clearly, you demonstrated the drum's time-keeping ability by saying pa rum pa pum pum 57,000 times already. 

And, of all animals to direct the little boy's song, how did we settle on the ox and lamb combo? Seems like a fairly unlikely team, if you ask me.


I hope that I didn't permanently ruin your appreciation for these songs :) I will end with some holiday pictures to prove that I am not a scrooge:

centerpieces my crafty roomie made!!
pretty Christmas tree from a hotel lobby in St. Louis (where I just traveled for work)

I have many more Christmas decoration pics that I have been embarrassingly snapping on my iPhone in public - so maybe I will share some more in my next post! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night :)

People Problems Part 1

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recently, the human species has just been constantly annoying me. I'm starting to prefer almost any other species. Like, dogs. Or rocks. Or...pillows. What's that? Pillows and rocks aren't species? I must assume you're an obnoxious human because, if I had a dog, it sure as hell wouldn't be criticizing my classification of beings on earth. It would be licking my face and trying to make me throw the tennis ball for the one hundred millionth time. I'm sure you cheated your way through one baby Biology or (dare I say) rocks for jocks science class in college and now you think you're a certified Einstein. Whatever. I like inanimate objects more than I like you anyway, remember.

The weird part is, I definitely consider myself a people person. Every time I take a personality assessment it's one thousand percent sure that I'm extroverted. Usually, it's not really certain about much else about me. But I get an A+ for being out-going. (Which is the politically correct way of saying "loud and obnoxious.") But lately, I've just had no patience with people. I'm trying to narrow it down to why, and I think it's all stemming from my commute to and from work.

I'm convinced that there are no driver's license tests in the state of Wisconsin. They simply make all their residents sign a binding contract agreeing to always drive 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. Which, I guess would be okay if people here followed what I assumed to be a basic driving commandment:

But apparently, although this concept prevails in the northeast, it's totally unacknowledged here. There is no concept of a passing lane.  The other day I was on a three lane highway and all three lanes had cars going 50 miles per hour. It was like they were holding hands through their windows and singing Kumbaya together. Which was cute and all except, I WAS TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE. Which is usually what I'm doing when I'm driving. I'm starting to feel like I'm in the minority. At least gas is cheap.

I don't know who taught you to drive, but I distinctly remember my dad telling me, "Remember, Joyce, it ends in 5. So you always round up."

See? My engineer father was teaching me math and how not to be annoying at the same time.

I'm seriously considering writing a book called, "'If You're Driving 57 miles per hour Get the Hell out of the Passing Lane' and Other Pearls of Wisdom to live By." Either that or driving around holding up this sign: 

In conclusion, I think my commute is definitely one reason I'm generally becoming pretty irritable lately. Perhaps those of you who know me well found this post somewhat hypocritical because I'm not the world's best driver. But, seriously, I'm starting to think I'm one of the best drivers here. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. It's like that one bball season where for a time period I had the best free throw percentage on the team. We didn't exactly have a winning record.

But, honestly, most of my problems come with parking, curb hitting, backing in, three point turns, things like that. I'll admit that I may be in the running for world's worst parker. Even so, if I'm ever going 57 in the fast lane I give you full permission to never read one of my blog posts ever again. I'm sure my imaginary dog will continue to loyally follow me :)