December 30, 2009

Stream Of Consciousness

You know how it is if you blog (ahem, Mary Ann), sometimes you just can't focus on one thing to write about, and therefore you have to do something like this.  A stream of consciousness.  Random thoughts as they come into your head.  If you're like me, there are many thoughts running around in that little cranium, and they just have to come out, even if you can't find an organized way to do it.

First of all I can't ignore the fact that there is a woman at my work, Teddy I call her because she looks like a cartoon teddy bear, who has taken to hating me.  See, there was this instance a week or two ago where she pissed me off and I told her so.  Now she won't speak to me and averts her eyes whenever we meet walking toward each other in the office.  It's just so damn childish I can't even get over it.  The thing is, in our despute she got her way and I was essentially scolded by our boss.  I can't understand why she's this upset with me.  And here's the funniest part about it - she unfriended me on Facebook.  And now she can't even bring herself to talk to me face-to-face.  She e-mails every little question she has.  Is she embarrassed or actually mad at me?  Who knows.  But it's making for a very uncomfortable situation.  I'm happy to say I'm big enough to have gotten over the initial "situation" and hold no grudge.  That just proves i > her.

There's also the thing of Boyfriend and me stepping into the 21st century and getting high-speed internet.  It took us a long time to get a computer in the first place, and then we just got dial-up service.  Just this week we made the leap to high-speed, and I also have wireless for my laptop, which isn't such a good thing for Boyfriend as every time he sees me sitting on the couch I'm connected to the computer.  Like right now.  Along with our high-speed we got a cable upgrade, and we're positively whirling with all the channels from which we can choose.  Boyfriend has been digging the Country Classics station.  Good thing I'm distracted by the computer.  Too much country music makes me barf.  We'll probably become one of those couples who never talks to each other.  Oh well, we'll have our technology too keep us warm at night.

One thing that's been heavy on my mind lately is the state of the world.  It may seem like a grandiose worry for someone with such a miniscule little brain, but really, in case you haven't noticed a lot of people are just as concerned as I am.  And I'm almost embarrassed to be part of a country that values crap over virtue, profit over pride, and boobs over wit.  Everything just seems wrong.  I'm surrounded by people who have either lost jobs or are in constant fear of losing the job they have.  Corporations do stupid things like lay off hundreds of people, which makes me wonder why they hired that many people to begin with - if they don't need them now, what did they need them for in the first place?  I've decided the only way someone can be gainfully employed is if they get a job with the military, because obviously this middle eastern shit isn't going away any time soon.  And would you all just stop trying to blow up planes?!  Oh, and back to the employment situation?  WTF is with outsourcing?  The country is struggling with a huge unemployment rate in order to support Chan Yang or Isrib Ysuf?  Global economy is starting to suck for the US, and how come no one is doing anything about it?

And I don't even want you to tell me how uninformed my opinions are.  I'm perfectly aware that I speak of much I know very little about.  It is that ignorance that makes the subject matters so maddening for me.  Getting all mad and worked up isn't such a bad thing once in a while.

What about those aging parents?  GA!  They make me mental.  I chose not to have children for a reason and I'm totally unprepared to take on the regressive nature of aging parental units.  The other day my mother informed me that as long as we can pick her up she will not move to an institution of any kind.  Pick her up?  So I go, "what, I'm going to have to pick you up and put you on the potty seat and in the bathtub?"  She gave an affirmative answer.  Then I said, "ew, I don't want to give you a bath."  To that my dad responded, "why not, it's fun!" 

Lastly, tomorrow is a blue moon.  It's also New Year's Eve.  If you think I'm going to be able to stay awake until midnight you are probably having a stroke right now.

December 29, 2009

The Homecoming


Rated PG for “brief mild language.” Speculations of culprit terminology: “prissy butt” “poop” “piss ants” “bosoms”

It’s become a tradition for Boyfriend and me, thanks to our friends Mary Ann and The Professor, to watch The Homecoming every Christmas season. You remember, the movie that inspired the series The Waltons. The mom and dad were different actors in the series, but we’re mighty grateful John Boy translated from the movie to the TV, big face mole and all. (For the record, John Boy Walton makes my skin crawl.)

The Homecoming was one of those recurring holiday movies back in the olden days of my childhood, like Elf and The Santa Clause are today, and was required viewing. It depicted good values, family togetherness and an accurate account of how things were in hillbilly country during the depression, which is something every city kid should know.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is how everyone is so suspicious of John Boy locking himself in his room. His mother suspects he’s smoking cigarettes. I’m sure she also suspected he was jerking off to girlie magazines when she demanded he reveal what he had hidden under his mattress. John Boy made a fool of her when he told her how he was merely writing down all of his private thoughts. He’s just so sensitive, having a diary and all.

And what about when John Boy is driving through the snowy woods to find his daddy who could very well be dead in a ditch from the bus accident? He starts having auditory hallucinations of his slave-driving daddy demanding his boy do manly things and John Boy responding to his father’s barks with “I’m trying daddy, I’m trying.” Didn’t John Man know his son was destined to be an effeminate author?

I tease, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do while watching The Homecoming. Let me just say in all my kidding about the fancy John Boy that there is definitely a hottie in the movie. Cleavon Little is just about as delicious as they come as the Reverend Hawthorne. And you know, it is true what they say about those guys. Oh it’s twue, it’s twue!

And what of the Frankenstein-headed daddy? Yikes. His head is huge! And plus he tells a dreadful story about “wrastling” with Santa after throwing a rock at him. Well, at least in the end he comes to terms with his namesake going into the business of writing instead of living out his life on Walton Mountain.

If you haven’t seen The Homecoming you really should for the reasons my parents made me watch it. If you’re one of those oldsters like me who have already watched it for the reverent reasons you should watch it again and poke fun. If nothing more you can pull quotes from the movie and use them in your everyday lives, such as Boyfriend and I, along with Mary Ann and The Professor have. Some favorites:

“You take it out yonder and pour it on the ground!”

“Old woman you’re not the boss of me.”

“I think it’s a doll!”

I’m really surprised this film hasn’t been made into a cult classic. Christmastime midnight showings at the theater would surely draw hundreds. Now what can I do to get that pesky theme song out of my head?

December 28, 2009

Christmas Cards

One thing I like to do every year is send out Christmas cards. I don’t send out too many, no more than a couple dozen. I know some who send out upwards to a hundred, but I’ve just never been popular enough to know that many people.


For some reason I'm compelled to tell you this is not a card I would send out, but merely an example of a Christmas card chosen solely for the purpose of illustrating "Christmas Card."  It's a blogger thing - having a picture in your post.  Not that I think this is a horrible card or anything, but I probably would never send it myself.  Let's say it's an example of the cards other people send me.  Okay, read on...

It doesn’t matter how many Christmas cards you send out, or if you send any at all. What matters is the motivation behind your actions.  My motivation for sending cards to anyone: an acknowledgement at the end of the year that I’m thinking about you, I’m glad to know you, I want you to have a wonderful season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Then there are those people who have completely different motivations than I. I especially love Faux Ma’s approach to the card-giving practice. Every year she keeps the cards she received and only sends cards the following year to those who gave her a card the previous year. It doesn’t matter if the card sender is suffering from a major illness and is unable to send a card, or if the card got lost in the mail, or even if they just decided to not send cards to anyone they are deemed unworthy to receive one of her precious Christmas cards the following year.

Others send “the letter” under the guise of a year-end update when really they just want to brag about their fabulous vacation, their smart children, or even better write them in the voice of their pets. Personally I love getting “the letter” because when I read it I just assume everything is the complete opposite of what is written.

The best  worst  stupidest cards I receive are the ones sent merely as a reflex to receiving one from me. I’m not on their list to begin with, but because I sent them one, they frantically send one out to me, thinking they owe me one. It’s especially wonderful when I get my cards out just before Christmas and those lame people who feel they need to reciprocate send one out to me after the holiday. Geez.

I send cards because I want to. Not because I think I have to. Not because you gave one to me. If you don’t send one to me I’m not going to snub you next year. I don’t expect anything in return. To that Faux Ma says, “I guess you know the real meaning of giving.”

December 18, 2009

lieTunes

Music is a huge part of the Christmas experience. There are all sorts of offerings, everything from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Steve and Eydie, Silent Night to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Everyone, including famous Jews like Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, has put out a Christmas cut, if not a whole Christmas album (CDs to you youngsters).

I was talking with Charlotte the other day and she told me her husband just adores the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and she’s about ready to snap that CD in two because it just drives her nuts. I can totally relate, as Boyfriend also loves that CD. It’s a guy thing. That annoying jazz piano is probably the last thing a girl would want to listen to while trimming the tree or wrapping presents.

And then ask any guy what his favorite Christmas song is. Eighty percent of the time they’ll answer Little Drummer Boy.

See a pattern?

Over the years I’ve known a lot of guys and by now in my ripe mid-age I have it all figured out. Here’s the deal – the guys are trying to brainwash the girls and are subversively trying to inflict guilt upon us.

You see, they want you to think they’re all sensitive, but the truth is, they want to create the illusion that they’re identifying with the losers. Charlie Brown? Loser. The music on that CD doesn’t move them, it’s all about Charlie Brown. Jazz? Jazz is not Christmas. And I’ll bet you the guy who says he likes the Charlie Brown soundtrack doesn’t listen to jazz at all throughout the rest of the year. What the guys assume is that girls like to take care of the loser, the pitiful Charlie Brown figure. The hope is that the girl’s nurturing instincts will kick in and the guy will never want for a thing, because the girl will pity the loser, pamper him, and give him never-ending validation so he doesn’t feel like the Charlie Brown loser he is convincing you he is. It’s all very Jungian and archetypal.



What about that Little Drummer Boy? Well here’s the thing on that - “I have no gift to bring…” Another loser. That the little drummer boy merely offered baby Jesus his drumming talent and himself, is exactly what your guy wants you to expect from him this Christmas. Okay? 1) Tell me what girl wants to hear a drum solo, and 2) giving of himself? Give me a break. He’s only trying to get out of buying you diamonds and furs, things you totally deserve. Don’t let him send subliminal messages that you should feel guilty for wanting the fine things in life.



So girls, don’t fall for it. It’s not sensitivity or vulnerability these guys are revealing with their Christmas “favorites.” It’s trickery. I’ve been around the block and have it all figured out. They’re secretly loving the song Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, and you can go ahead and let them know you’re on to them with their Charlie Brown and Drummer Boy fa├žade.

December 04, 2009

Holidays, Phase II

Well, I’ve finally gotten over the Thanksgiving blues set off by the Fauxs. Things aren’t good, but they’re as good as they’re going to be, so I’ve decided to just suck it up and be a good little Faux DIL. I’ve taken on the project of making Faux Ma’s remaining days tolerable, if not thought-provoking. I mean, I can’t imagine the absence of some self-examination when you’re looking straight into the light at the face of Jesus. I’m just helping that self-examination along, for better or worse.

So next comes Christmas. Who isn’t jolly at Christmastime? I’ll tell you who. Those fools who went shopping at 3:00 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. They’re as pathetic as the retailers are greedy. While I was snug in my bed wrapped in a cozy quilt sinking into the downy goodness of my featherbed the mental, sleep deprived, still-stuffed-with-turkey-and-gravy fans of the –Marts were clawing each other to get the best deal on toys designed to keep their kids sedentary and hypnotized. The obnoxious TV ads for the obscene door-buster sales positively ruin the week before Thanksgiving. Thank God the stores are now advertising door-buster sales at a much more reasonable hour, 7:00 a.m. Still way too early for me on a Saturday morning. It’s a good thing though, because I wouldn’t want those kinds of people getting in my way when I’m doing my leisurely albeit more expensive shopping at reasonable hours of the day.


This weekend I undertake the decorating project. The tree is up unfurling its branches to receive hundreds of lights, ornaments, and tinsel. The entire cluttered house is crying to be declutterfied in preparation of the Nativities, Santas, angels, snowmen, and elves anticipating their freedom from the myriad of Rubbermaid tubs in which they have been stored for the past eleven months. A friend of mine once said my holiday house looks as though someone puked Christmas all over it. In my defense I would not say my house looks puked upon so much as being aggressively festive, and not in a bad way.

There will also be some Christmas baking done this weekend. I’ll be baking for two this year as Faux Ma most likely won’t be able to find the energy to do much cookie mixing. In my quest to become the Faux DIL they never had I’m going to cast aside my culinary principals and make a batch of Faux Ma’s fudge for her and Faux Pa. I’m morally opposed to making fudge with graham crackers, but that’s her recipe and I’m going to bite the bullet for a sick old lady. Damn I’m nice.


As judgmental as I may seem, I truly hope everyone can celebrate the season in whatever way makes them happy. I may be all shrimp cocktail and champagne when others are pickled pigs’ feet and Ripple but in the end we’re all thinking the same thing – who the hell invented fruitcake and eggnog? And what’s with graham crackers in fudge? (OK, that last one is just me.)