Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Chill In The Air and Elsewhere

The last week or so has been an interesting one, and not simply because the weather has been incredibly cold, windy and filled with snow. That's part of it, naturally, but mainly the excitement factor sees me running around trying to get everything addressed and wrapped up before this week ends.

Every year, the Christmas holiday is a pleasant one for me. Usually the weather isn't this terrible, but even with the weather being downright awful, the weather rarely plays a factor. This year, however, it has; I've had to spend a lot of time outside the office at various City agencies, as well as meeting with several big-time clients for end-of-year face-time.

So with temperatures, including wind chills, that approach the single-digits, it's not a lot of fun carrying ten pounds of files and paper through a subway station filled with cranky, overeager shoppers ready to not work for a few days.

Moreover, while we're on the subject, since the economy has tanked and many people are extra-desperate, it seems like I'm getting 150 e-mails a day offering sales, last-minute savings, free shipping and extended hours. Normally that's a minor irritant; however, 90% of those e-mails are, essentially, stuff I ignore, and the other 10% is repetitive in a major way. I get e-mails from so many different stores, companies and/or entities that it's hard to determine if I've seen the same one sent to three different addresses or if there's something new, so invariably I don't bother ignoring them and check 'em out. Problem is when you've got eight e-mail addresses synced to a Blackberry and your hip vibrates every 41 seconds, it's sort of hard to get anything done beyond checking quasi-spam. And to add insult to injury, most of these e-mails have all sorts of pretty graphics that look like crap on Blackberry e-mail.

I'm hoping that next year's Christmas economy isn't this balls-to-the-wall desperate, because if it is I'm shitcanning every single company's e-mails starting November 15th and, if I'm amenable, I'll re-up with them somewhere around February 1st. It's not like I'll really miss the e-mails, but every so often I see something therein I want to pick up for my other half or for my parents or a friend, so it's sort of a Catch 22 -- if I dump the e-mails I'll retain my sanity, but lose a lot of opportunities to score goodies for people about whom I care. Oh well...such are the woes of the US consumer.

The one nice thing about this year's holiday season, of course, is that both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Thursday, which pretty much guarantees that the weeks during which these holidays fall are cupcakes. Monday and Tuesday are work-days, but Wednesday is a half-day in both cases, and Friday in both cases is an off-day. So it's a half-week in each case, and I'm sure that most, if not all, people celebrating these holidays (or celebrating not working on these days) already had their heads wrapped around the upcoming holiday(s) and are barely there, mentally (if not physically). I've got lots to get done before Kaia gets here early next week -- prep, wrapping, cleaning, laundry, organizing, etc. -- so the extra few days off will come in mighty handy. Plus I'm bringing home a shitload of work to get done via our newly-fangled remote office network, so I'm pretty jazzed about being able to make progress without having to log miles in commute time in the great, chilly, windy, snowy outdoors.

In either case, I hope each of you and your families has a great holiday -- no matter what your beliefs -- and stays safe, happy, healthy and warm. I'd include the term "Peace on Earth" but, thankfully, my penis is still attached and fully-functional, so you'll understand my reticence to do so.

Happy holidays!

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