Date Archives December 2009

Look out, 2010! I have some big plans for you. Big. Plans.

Yes, yes, yes. It’s time. You know you sorta hate resolutions but you also sorta can’t help yourself. So here are my big plans for 2010.

  1. Gain no more than 15 pounds before January 14. (I like to start with something achievable.)
  2. Change underwear every day.
  3. First thing every morning, no matter what the weather, get sneakers on, go outside and steal neighbors’ mail in order to intercept personal checks.
  4. Get you-know-who to stop doing you-know-what you-know-where.
  5. Perpetrate international hoax, on par with Loch Ness Monster, crop circles or Kate Gosselin’s hair.
  6. Mastermind international banking crisis. Again.
  7. Get off heroin once and for all. No more excuses.
  8. Finally finish comeback album. Go on tour of Indian casinos. Write tell-all book. Go on Oprah. Become self-help guru. Have massive drug relapse. Rinse and repeat.
  9. Stop lying.
  10. Recover Oceanic Flight 815.
  11. Stop illicit affair with Josh Holloway. After just one more secret meeting in Hawaii. But that’s it.
  12. Get Tiger’s number. I’m sure he just needs someone to listen right now.
  13. Learn how to make a decent meatloaf.
  14. Try my best to have a good BM every day.
  15. Stop making references to my ass in facebook and blog posts.
  16. Be nicer to paparazzi and fans.
  17. Exploit newfound niceness with paparazzi and fans for my own financial gain.
  18. Get into girly bitch-slapping, hair-pulling fight with Ann Coulter. Then take her home, tenderly dress her wounds and make sweet… potatoes for her. She won’t admit it but she loves them. With marshmallows. That kind of evil burns a LOT of calories.
  19. Dryhump Glenn Beck.
  20. Dryhump as many people as possible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are not nearly enough occasions in life for dry humping. (2010. Year of the Dry Hump. I’m sure it’s on an astrological calendar somewhere. Send me a link if you find it.)
  21. Don’t get pregnant.

If anyone wants to team up and help me on any of these (especially #19), give me a shout.

So what are your resolutions?

Do you think the Jews know that it’s Christmas?

Right now I feel like a little piece of towel fuzz that has fallen into the bath water. The water is rushing toward the drain and I’m in the little tidal-wavey part at the end going, “Heeeelp! I’m going under!”

So much for the joy of the season. I’m in the final days of a massive food drive that I’m running out my house (because I’m a complete idiot), plus I have a work deadline. Oh, and the other thing that I have? Christmas. That slobbery, rude beast (according to my last post) is currently sitting in my living room in his underwear with his feet on the table. He’s got the remote and has taken total control of the TV (“Hey! There I am again! Look! I know you’ve seen this a hundred times but it never gets old, does it? Whaddaya know? I’m on THIS channel, too!”) and he keeps asking for refills on his egg nog. He’s trying convince me that I should string my own popcorn and cranberries, and I’m like, “Look, dude, I know that’s very cozy and folksy and all, but did you notice that I have a toddler? We’re already whistling past the graveyard by putting up a tree in the first place. Now would you mind moving for a sec so I can retrieve that pile of clean laundry that you’re sitting on? I know it’s the holidays, er Christmas, whatever… but some of us still have things to do…”

So I’ve been neglecting the little bloggity blog. But I miss you all so much. So right now, when I really, really should be working, I’m  here with you. Christmas just slunk into the kitchen and gave me a thumbs up. He must think I’m working on my Christmas newsletter to the family… Any day now..

But don’t get me wrong. I love him. I do. He’s sort of a high-maintenance houseguest, but we’ve known each other a long time and we’ve had a lot of great memories together. He doesn’t even get mad that I personally wish strangers “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

I’ve been doing that for a long time and not because I’m some self-satisfied whiney liberal but because I’ve always had Jewish friends. I have always been aware that not everyone does the Christmas thing. It just seemed polite that if Ididn’t know any better, I should go neutral. But then the last few years this whole Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays thing has turned into some sort of hot potato. The Sears near us a few years ago was having a “holiday” sale. On the windows facing the parking lot, they had a sign that some employee had obviously just printed out in the office. It said, “Merry Christmas.” Each big black letter filled a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper. My guess is that someone called the store and said that they weren’t going to shop at any “holiday” sales.

And here I echo the wise sentiments of my old college roomie, Renee, who commented under the Christmas Song Game post: Don’t we all have better things to worry about? If someone innocently wishes you incorrect holiday wishes, so what? Now if someone is purposely being ignorant about it and only says “Merry Christmas” to people simply because it’s December, that’s another story. (No, I don’t know of anyone doing that. Although I’m sure that guy is out and about somewhere, scowling as he walks around public places just waiting for someone to say the wrong thing.)

Now I will offer a guilty confession: I have sent many of my Jewish friends Christmas cards on purpose. And here’s why: When I’m sitting there, sending out greetings to everyone I love in the world, I want to acknowledge my Jewish friends, too. The problem is that I was born with a sad birth defect in which I lack “the shopping gene.” I’m sure that I’ll tell you more about this in future blogs, but what it means for our topic today is that I never have any Chanukah cards. So I take Christmas cards and cross out the word “Christmas” with a black marker and scribble in the word “Chanukah.” It’s incredibly stupid. But I also think hilarious. And I have great, funny friends.  They already know that I’m a goon and that I have a weird sense of humor. I think they probably laughed. (Did they? I hope so…)

To me, the Christmas/Holday things seems more like a marketing problem. The people in my life are aware of what holiday I celebrate and I am aware of what holiday they celebrate. Sears and the mall don’t know us. They just want us to come in and shop. The whole “holiday sale” thing has always been a wink-wink thing anyway — it’s a bit disingenuous to say that they’re covering all of the holidays when the mall nearby is festooned (love that word) from top to bottom in red and green and then there is one menorah on the second level, so plain and unobtrusive that it could be part of a safety railing.

My Jewish friends tell me that Chanukah isn’t the same caliber holiday as Christmas, in that it’s not one of the big-deal holidays, religion-wise. I think it’s funny that marketers have tried to make it so in order to appeal to everyone. It’s like all the Christmas people are sitting down to stuff themselves silly with gorgeous filet mignons — and on their plates, the Jews each have one Slim Jim. As the Christmas people take their first bite, moaning at how good their steak are, they look at the Jews’ plates and go, “Oh, that looks good, too. Bet you can’t wait to dig in.” It’s not the same and we’re not kidding anyone to pretend that it is. That’s not to say that Chanukah is an inferior holiday. I’m just saying that it’s not the holiday where they’re breaking out the fancy food. In fact, a lot of my Jewish friends say that they order Chinese on Christmas day.

Doesn’t the whole debate seem kind of pointless as Christmas has become so secular, anyway? Do you really need to believe that Jesus was the son of God in order to cash in when a big, fat man is offering free presents? And here, I’m going to defer to my friend Stephen’s awesome write-up about “Krismas,” which is in the comments section of the Christmas Song Game post. He wrote up a great explanation of why Christmas is now a secular holiday and to that I say, “Amen.”

Let’s keep our eye on the ball: this can be a beautiful time of year. Let’s use it to come together and show our love to the people around us, friends and strangers alike.

Just one last thing: Keep in mind that if you are going to be so insistent that people respect your holiday and only wish you a Merry Christmas, you must return the favor and be respectful of their holidays, even if you don’t understand them. Even if it’s Kwanzaa — a holiday that someone made up. (But aren’t all holidays made up?) But how are you supposed to know if someone celebrates Kwanzaa anyway? It’s not like they wear signs or anything. How can you tell?

Exactly. So Happy Holidays to you all!

Yourself the Elf

Consider this a sub-post of the last blog. That way I can say that I did not break my promise about the Christmas/holiday debate being the topic of my next blog. (See Santa? I was a good girl on a technicality.)

You tell me you want to know how to figure out your Elf names. No problem. A good way to start is to think of something your body does or a way that your body appears. For example my Elf name, Crinkles, came from the little lines next to my eyes. Following that logic, here are some other names that might apply to some of you out there (be sure to add “the Elf” after each name):

Stubbles

Droopy

Saggy

Scar

Smushy

Drippy

Oops

Darkroots

Scaly

None of these apply? Maybe you’re more in this category:

Vavoom

Jugsy

Pecks

Thighmaster

Bunsy

Tushiekins

Nipples (Yes, we all have them but maybe yours are really something to see.)

Botox

Lipo

Collagen

You get the idea. Feel to claim any of the above as your own. If you need me, I’ll be busy working on my next Elf invention, which will surely be at the top of everyone’s Christmas lists next year: The Kegelmaster. (Like a Thighmaster, but much, much smaller. Look out Suzanne Somers! There’s a new girl in the home shopping game!)

A new classic: the Christmas song game

Hey! I made a game. I’m so creative sometimes. Look at me: I’m like a little Christmas Elf in Santa’s workshop. If I were an Elf, my Elf name would be Crinkles the Elf.

I originally intended this as a drinking game, but since I imagine that most people will play in their cars I had to modify it a little bit.

Here’s how you play: First, tune your radio to one of those stations that plays all holiday songs from now until Christmas. Next, punch yourself in the eye every time you hear “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Please Come Home for Christmas,” or “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Every single second-rate pop star from the last two decades seems to have recorded a version of at least one of these songs. (Note to self: Record one of these songs to include on comeback album in order to solidify status as washed-up pop icon.) Coming in close second are “Santa, Baby,” and “Last Christmas.” Since those aren’t quite as prevalent, substitute a titty twister for the punch in the eye.  You win the game if you can give yourself a black eye by the time you arrive at your destination. Ask the kids to join in, too. It’s fun for the whole family.

There are so many beautiful Christmas songs out there, why does everyone pigpile on just a few? Do pop stars assume that a song needs to have some sort of sexual or romantic content in order to make it palatable for their fans? Why not do something truly creative and take one of the old classics and rework it to something new and powerful? Or — dare I say it — why doesn’t someone write a new Christmas song? Aren’t these people supposed to be recording artists? Make some art. Please. 

There is one song that I haven’t yet heard this year that drives me so out-of-my-mind crazy. I know that this song is waiting for me. It’s waiting until a very cold night when I’m out, alone, running to Walgreens or some other fluorescent-lighted sort of place to get some stupid thing that we need THAT NIGHT. I’ll be tired and cranky. I’ll look tired and cranky. I’ll just want to get home and corral the monkeys into bed so I can collapse. And then “The Christmas Shoes” will come on. I will probably make some sort of snorty-sounding sound. I will want to change the station. But I won’t. You know this song, yes? The one with the kid who is out by himself on Christmas Eve. He wants to buy shoes for his momma but he doesn’t have enough money. Turns out, the kid is alone because his mom is busy dying at that particular moment. So the dude singing the song gives the kid the rest of the money so that his momma can looks nice at her appointment to meet Jesus later that night. This song makes me feel like an absolute schlub.  As I sob in my car (seriously, every time) I curse the people responsible for this piece of garbage. My bet is that a bunch of so-called hitmakers sat around in a room and said, “Let’s make a Christmas song that will make people cry.” I do not want to be taken in by their formulaic bullshit. I want to go, “Your saccharine cannot penetrate my heart. I am only moved by things that are genuine.” I start saying that and then I choke on my sobs. Grrrr.

Coming up: My next bloggity blog is going to be all about Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays. I think it’s pretty clear that I tend to lean liberalish. My take on it might surprise you.

In the meantime, I have some homework for the Jews and other non-Christians in the audience: Please tell me (via comment or email) if you feel offended by Christmas parties, Christmas sales, etc. and if you feel more included by the phrase, “Happy Holidays.” I’d love your input.

And with that I say: Please, please come home for Christmas. If not for Christmas, by New Year’s night.

Dear Facebook: Poke this.

Dear Facebook,

 If I really wanted to poke my ex-boyfriend from high school, I probably wouldn’t have broken up with him in the first place. But thanks for the suggestion. Also, if he needs more friends, is it really my place to suggest them? I imagine that when we were going out I had lots of helpful suggestions for him. Clearly, he didn’t take them or we’d probably be married and possibly divorced by now. I don’t know. And the thing is, facebook, neither do you. So get off it, would ya? 

Now that I think about it, you really have a lot of nerve suggesting how I should conduct my friendships. Especially with exes. You do realize that I’m 37 years old? A 37-year old woman should not have to look at a picture of her ex-boyfriend from high school every single day of her life. (Although I will say for the record, just in case ex-boyfriend-from-high-school ever reads this — which he probably won’t because he’s clearly never online — that I think he has aged very well and that he is actually better looking now than he was in high school.) (Let me also just state for the record that even though I said that I do not have any designs on ex-boyfriend-from-high-school as I am a happily married woman.) (Let me also just state that I think my husband has also aged very well and that he is also better-looking than he was in high school. I didn’t know him when he was in high school but  judging by the yearbook photo, I’d say his hair has come a long way.)

SEE? See that, facebook? See the trouble you’re getting me into with your constant meddling? Look, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just looked up an ex-boyfriend or two or twelve or WHATEVER on facebook. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone does it. I shouldn’t have to go feeling all guilty about it. But I feel very, very weird and wrong when I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop open and hubby walks in the room and there, on my screen, is ex-boyfriend-from-high-school with the suggestion, “Make Facebook better for him!” Not that husband has any inkling that the person he’s looking at is the same person who… well… that’s a story for another time, dears. Let’s not smutty up the blog in the first week. There’s time for all of that nasty bidness later.

My point is this: Yes, I cracked open the ex-boyfriend door. I took a peek inside. I said hello. Got a little hello in return. It was pleasant to catch up. Then I was perfectly content to back out of the door and close it softly behind me. But I didn’t know that you, dear, sweet, stupid facebook would forever be pointing at the door and going, “HEY! ISN’T SO-AND-SO IN THERE? DON’T YOU WANT TO TALK TO HIM? WHY DON’T YOU SHOW HIS PICTURE TO YOUR KIDS?”

To be honest, facebook, I don’t know if I can really trust you. You act like we’re great friends and all that, but you seem far too willing to make me feel uncomfortable. Take your “Friend Suggestion” tool, for example. I have long contended that that should be renamed to “Remember this Jackass?” And if you want to help me out with my friendships so badly, why not provide a little more info about these people that I’m supposed to know? For example, you could include helpful sub-categories such as, “People you may have slept with,” or “People who made you cry yourself to sleep,” or “People you were only pretending to like.” Honestly, I don’t even know half of the people you want me to associate with. What’s the deal with that, anyway? Then you go and suggest some mercy friend like the Philly Phanatic. (No, he’s not in the “People you may have slept with” category. Yet.) Are you trying to make me feel bad and unpopular? If so, high school beat you to the punch.

Facebook, you are a blessing and a curse to me. I have good time with you. You make me laugh. You get me to put my guard down and tell you things that I wouldn’t necessarily let fly with just anyone. But then I wonder how pure your intentions are. You’re like that coworker who pals around with someone until they’re up against you for a promotion. Then you go tell the boss that your supposed friend has been doinking the mailroom guy behind the dumpster during lunch. Since you’re facebook, you will have photos of these dalliances, complete with snarky captions. Then later you’ll try to get your sadsack coworker to laugh it off. You’ll say she’s too sensitive and that it was all in fun.

And with that I shall sign off for the evening, having “poked” no one. I look forward to tomorrow’s suggestions, facebook. Until the day you totally screw me over, I guess we’re still friends. Call me.

Trish