Bring on 2010

New Years has never been a big holiday for me.  I barely see it as a holiday at all.  I mean, it’s mainly an excuse to drink, which I don’t do, so it has limited appeal to me.  Sure, realizing that you’ve survived another year is special, but still….

I’ve also never really done resolutions, because if I want to change something about me, I usually do it the moment I think of it if I’m going to do it at all.  But, I figured I’d be different this year and see if I can think of one or two:

1.  Put up with less crap, including from my NY friends. 2010 is my last year at Baruch, and I need to be focusing on my studies, not drama. Even if I happen to drive a couple people out of my somewhat small group of friends/acquaintances, that’s okay, because I need minimal distractions anyway.

2.  Make the most of my last year in the City. I started doing this during fall, when I would try to go out somewhere every weekend, even if it was just to different sections of Central Park.  I mean, I plan to visit NYC once or twice a year after I leave, but I might as well take advantage of what I’ve got while I still live here.

3.  Study more often.  Not that I got bad grades this semester–My GPA and I were happy with all but the one which I’m arguing–but there was a lot of last minute cramming and the two weeks before finals were somewhat hellish.  I should be reviewing for finals, not trying to learn everything for every class for the first time.

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Grace

My family has developed quite an annoying habit over the past year or so. That habit is saying grace before dinner. It’s basically thanking the Christian god for the food we’re eating. Which, of course, makes absolutely no sense.

Humans have been farming for about 50,000 years, well before any gods were dreamed up. The process hasn’t changed much. After it’s grown, it gets shipped to the supermarket where I buy it, bring it home, and cook it. No god involved anywhere in that process. So, instead of thanking your invisible friend in the sky, why not thank me? If you don’t, you might just find something not too edible on your next plate. Ask your god to fix that. See what happens.

Random…..

I was downstairs, heard the doorbell ring, rushed upstairs to keep little sis–who was having “quiet time” in the front room–from opening it, opened it myself, and found the above-pictured bag of mini-candy canes on the front mat. At first, I thought maybe it was the kids across the street, but there was no one around, and little kids don’t run that fast.  I carefully picked it up, waiting to see if it would explode or something, and when it didn’t, I looked for a signature on the card.  There was none.

Given the lack of anyone in the vicinity, I feel that the only logical explanation is that Santa exists and came two days late.  Someone should tell him that EK time is not okay for Christmas….

It’s gotta be Karma….

I usually enjoy reading all the facebook status updates about how people dread spending holidays with their crazy relatives.  I laugh at them because I have no such horror stories.  Of course there are relatives I can’t stand, but I just don’t socialize with them more than necessary at the get togethers.  My maternal grandfather is one of those people.  He loves, loves, LOVES to criticize the life choices of everyone around him.  There’s probably a picture of him in the dictionary next to the word ‘downer.’

I usually avoid him as much as I can without making it obvious, and I succeeded yet again this Christmas.  I usually do.  I mean, I’ve practically made an art out of this, after all.  Everything was going according to plan until the day after Christmas, when we dropped my sibs off to spend the night at their house.  We had done our little mandatory small talk and I literally had one foot out the door when he suggests that the two of us go out to lunch when he brings the kids back the next day.  Damn. I. Was. This. Close.  This. Close.

Of course I say sure–because how exactly can I say no?–and as soon as we get outside, my mom starts laughing at me.  Thanks mom.  Love you too.

Well, I spent the whole night and morning dreading it, but it actually wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  We went to Taco Bell and made small talk about college, NYC, careers, etc.  Luckily I know how obsessed he is with houses, so I turned the topic to that to get it off of me, and after lunch he drove me around to see a few houses he wanted to buy.  It was boring, but whatev.  But, of course, everyone has to be true to their nature at least once every hour or so, so he spent part of the drive criticizing my mom for not having her own vet practice, because “she might as well do that if she’s not going to be a real doctor.”  I used the young kid card to defend her–but somewhat quietly, as I was still stuck in a car with the man, and my mom’s heard this all before and says that’s just how he is.  Oh well, at least I got an extra check for $100 out of it…..

TDIP- so timeless and cute :)

A crowd of happy youngsters chase Father Christmas along a London street whilst on his way to a south London store to distribute presents, 2 November 1926.

TDIP

Not a very merry Christmas :(

Well, I got home on Tuesday for the holidays.  The trip wasn’t too bad, except that I had to wake up at 5am to get to the airport for my flight.  In a perplexing reversal, I actually felt really depressed when I got here.  I attribute it to both exhaustion and the defense mechanism my mind seems to have created to make leaving here hurt less–if I never get happy and spend the whole time thinking about how sad I’m going to be that I’m leaving, it hurts less.  Messed up, I know, but I mostly got over that after a good night’s sleep.

All of my problems and feelings took a back seat, however, when we heard that baby cousin Savannah was in the hospital….again.  She was born on October 8, and has been in and out of the hospital for most of her life because of digestive problems.  Not too unusual, especially since she was a premie.  But now the doctors say that she likely has a very rare genetic metabolic disorder called OTC.  Basically, she was born without the enzyme which breaks down protein.  This is why she couldn’t keep food down and didn’t gain any weight.  This morning she got moved to the Pediatric ICU because of the ammonia levels in her blood due to the disease.  If the levels get high enough, she could go into a coma, or worse.  Luckily the levels have gone down, but she’s still in the PICU, and we’re not out of the woods yet.

We still had Christmas eve with that side of the family, because it was baby Riley’s first one (she’s about 11 months old), and the parents of Savannah said they wanted to make sure Riley got the most out of it.  Still, it was a somber affair, and I know the weight will never truly be off all of us until Savannah’s out of the PICU with a specially designed diet and amino supplements to let her function and grow like a completely normal child.

What makes this even worse is that her parents are literally the nicest people ever.  They’re both teachers, and both wanted to have a large family, but now I doubt they’ll have another child, for fear of their genes mixing in just the wrong way again.  I guess if there’s any silver lining, it’s that this disease was caught early enough that Savannah has a fairly good chance of surviving and going on to lead a normal life.  Fingers crossed.