Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

Well December just keeps rollin' along and I feel like I've been incredibly busy. (That and I think it should still be April or something.) The office is doing the food drive thing again with the Alameda County Community Food Bank. We're currently doing the run-of-the-mill food drive with barrels and everything, a virtual money raising drive, having a bake sale on Tuesday to also raise money, and we'll be working at the food bank most likely in February.

I really enjoyed the work we did with them last year and am glad we're doing it again. And this year I've gotten a little more involved—somehow, in a fit of generosity and holiday spirit I suppose, I volunteered to coordinate an email campaign for the food barrel drive. It's really not much but once or twice a week I send out emails to the office about one of the preferred food items from the food bank donations list.

Sounds pretty basic huh? Except that I try to make these emails fun and entertaining—I still haven't figured out an email for canned vegetables, the peanut butter email was easy, but (so far) I think the one for tuna was the best, at least it got some laughs and had a few people talking in the hallways:

Subject: Food Bank—chicken of the sea

I don’t want to start any confusion; I’m talking about tuna here, not chicken—another item high on the Food Bank wish list. In addition to protein, tuna is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid. And with its mild flavor, it is easy to disguise tuna as chicken, just ask Jessica Simpson:

Simpson: Is this chicken what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says Chicken ... by the sea. Is that stupid? [Long pause, with Nick Lachey giving Simpson a dirty look]

Simpson: What? Don’t make fun of me right now. I’m not in the mood.

Lachey: You act like you’ve never had tuna before.

Simpson: I’ve had tuna fish, like, sandwiches and stuff, like this.

Lachey: Baby, you and I have eaten tuna like this before.

Simpson: Why is it called "Chicken by the Sea" or "in the Sea"?

Lachey: "Chicken of the Sea" is the brand.

Simpson: Oh.

Lachey: You know, 'cause a lot of people eat tuna, it's like a lot of people eat chicken? So it's like the chicken of the sea.

Simpson: Okay. I understand now. I was ... I read it wrong.

For a more eloquent take on the tuna, check out Pablo Neruda’s Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market—but please, bring the Simpson version only (canned or vacuum sealed pouches, any brand) for the food barrels, not fresh!

Anyhow, it takes me some time to search for and find these little nuggets and craft them into coherent emails (time I could be using to blog).

In addition to the email thing, I've also done some baking for the bake sale this year—I've got some sweet and savory spiced nuts and some peppermint bark-y kind of stuff—or rather, I will have some peppermint bark-y kind of stuff if I get off my duff and get to the store for the white chocolate. They were totally out of white chocolate—all brands—on my last grocery shopping trip. I know, right.

Oh, but the real time suck this past week or so has been the decorating. I was tapped to decorate the office lobby for the holiday party, which is also on Tuesday—bake sale in the morning and party in the afternoon/evening. That's it, get us so hopped up on sugar in the morning that we can't sit still long enough to do any work then top it off with beer and wine as the sugar crash sets in. Oh, and the COO from the New York office will be in the office—sounds like the perfect recipe for making a good impression.

So anyhow, the decorating. I pulled out the office decorations from storage and they were dismal. Of the 10 regular strands of clear lights a total of zero still worked. I did find 1 strand of clear icicle lights on Friday that worked, so those went up. Other than that, we have a ton of decorative bows and ribbon, so basically I've had to shop for decorations last weekend and after work most nights this past week which has been an experience. Especially since the decorations shouldn't be overtly holiday specific. So that's been a fun, fine line to balance on. Oh, and I was told to make the decorations elegant and classy, not kitschy. I am so hoping to get reimbursed.

We have a wreath and a couple evergreen swags, in my mind these are seasonal and not holiday specific. I've hung some ornaments—snowflakes (I found some cool pressed tin snowflake ornaments in one of the office boxes and I bought some glittery snowflakes in red, green, and purple—bizarrely, they didn't have white or blue or silver) and icicles (which I also bought). I've wrapped the receptionist's desk in wrapping paper and hung a lighted garland across the front. And I'm basically done.

I wanted to wrap a bunch of empty cardboard boxes and scatter them in little piles (Dr. Seuss—style, teetery, wobbly piles) around the lobby but when I sat down to wrap, I realized I only have 2 kinds of holiday wrapping paper, and huge piece of one of those is already on the receptionist's desk. My family always gives me grief because I usually wrap all my presents in the same paper—all Miss Martha (there's Martha again!) matchy-macthy. So anyhow, rather than go out and buy a ton of wrapping paper I sent an email around the office asking people to wrap 1 or 2 smallish empty boxes with whatever holiday appropriate wrapping paper they may have at home. Hopefully that will work out otherwise I'll be wrapping boxes in baby shower and happy birthday paper.

Actually the whole decorating thing has been an experience because I don't decorate for the holidays at home. We're never home on Christmas, so I don't see the point. That and I don't really want to leave the cats alone with all the decorations while we're gone for the holiday. I tried decorating the first year Scoob and I lived together, and it was fun and festive. I had to be creative because we simply don't have room for a tree. But honestly, it would have been more fun if he had helped because it's a lot of work, as is putting away the decorations. If we had children, I would do it, but seeing as we don't I find it hard to see the point.

Anyhow, my Christmas shopping is done! Woo hoo! Except my sister called yesterday to tell me that my step-mom finally thought of something she wants. If I run across it I'll pick it up, but at this point I'm not hunting anything down. I'm still waiting for a few things to be delivered (love shopping online) so I'm debating if I should wrap what I've got now or just wait and do it all at once. I've bought Christmas cards this year, and the stamps to put on them, but I haven't sat down to address the cards yet.

Anyhow, I just feel like I've been doing a lot this holiday season and there's still way more to do, so I suppose I'd better get to it.

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