I had a break in the monotony yesterday by having dinner with my cousin. Of the 8 cousins on my mom's side, she is closest in age to myself. I hadn't seen her in years because her work schedule always kept her busy. Seeing that she was just laid off from her job, however, there was finally time to reconnect. We had a nice dinner at an Irish pub in LaGrange. For the first time I actually felt a little Xmas spirit because they have a very nice "traditional" downtown that was all decorated. The pub was very cozy with Xmas carols in the background. We talked for hours enjoying our food and drink. I felt sorry for her that she had lost her job because she is in that tough spot of being just too young to retire but just too old to be attractive to companies looking for fresh (i.e. cheaper) faces with cutting-edge skills. She has always had a positive attitude about life, however, so I'm sure she'll be fine. It was nice to get caught up with family. I had been neglectful because we're all leading our own busy lives. I suppose there is a lesson in there somewhere.