Monthly Archives: December 2005

White Flag

Okay, okay, fine. FEHYNE. You got me. I like Christmas.

I thought I had escaped the whole “Christmas tragedy” thing this year. I mean, no one close to me died, and lately I’ve been the one doing the heart breaking, so I assumed all was well in Stephieland. It turns out that some bad things happened to a couple of my friends, but I didn’t hear about it until the next day. So, it’s sad, but not CHRISTMAS sad.

Perhaps the only Christmas tragedy affecting me this time around was the fact that my roommate has strep throat… but then again, she hit the motherload when it comes to Christmas presents, so I think she’ll survive. Damn, Niki. And I mean Daaaaaaammn.

And as long as I continue treating my apartment like the nursery from “The Velveteen Rabbit”, I think I’ll avoid getting the plague. I’ve recently discovered that hands are kind of overrated… I can pretty much open/shut/switch on/turn/pick up everything with either my elbows or my toes. My lifelong boycott of shoes has made my feet pretty dexterous over the years. I can even write legibly.

The last day of work was hilarious… we took pictures with Santa, exchanged white elephant gifts, the whole nine yards. There is, however, a tradition of making the “newbies” sing in front of everyone. While wearing ridiculous hats. The less said about that, the better.

My parents, Grandma and I did the whole presents thing on Christmas Eve. My mom just bought a digital video camera, and she’s obsessed with filming everything for my brother and his wife, complete with commentary: “And there’s the tree and there’s Grandma and we’re all in the living room…” My mom is precious, but good lord. I played “Jingle Bells” on the harmonica and did a holiday interpretive dance to make the tape more entertaining. All in all, it was a good time. My dad gave himself a sweet Medieval mask. We are the knights who say Nee! Hee! My dad rules.

Sunday we drove out to Illinois and hung out at my Aunt’s house which, like I said, we haven’t done in years. It was the first time I’ve hung out with my cousins Tiffany and Brian since we’ve outgrown the Kids’ Table, and they’ve inherited the Party Animal Genes from my aunt and uncle, for sure. Sandy made killer margeritas, everyone loved my spinach, and Tiff’s fiancé convinced Grandma to do a shot. Needless to say, it was the best Christmas ever, and it rivaled my Thanksgiving at Tony’s as the Party of the Year.

Between rediscovering my dad’s side of the family (which includes Pammy’s EX-BOYFRIEND and lead singer of The Pubes – hands down the weirdest revelation of the year) and returning to Aunt Sandy’s for Christmas, I’ve discovered that my family is huge, funny, and full of kids my age. All of a sudden, the holidays have become as exciting as they were when I was a little kid – and this time I can drink. Yay, family! Woo!

I don’t think I’ve ever partied this much over the holidays. This may or may not have to do with the fact that Ra’s in town, and I’ve been guilt-tripped into going to bars with her practically every night. Yesterday I told her I wanted to go to Ice & Fuel a little early. So she called me at four fucking thirty, like, “We’re here!” This morning was ROUGH. *groan*

TSGoC made it to his new city safely, and he wants to plan my next visit immediately. Maybe I’ll go up there for my birthday. He LOVES to tease me about how I’m SO much younger than him (a whopping eight months), so maybe this way I won’t feel so OLD. Twenty fucking five. I have known Rachael for TWENTY YEARS. She pointed this out to her boyfriend last night, and then we cringed and cried because we are OLD. OOOOOOLLLLLDDDD.

This week is going to be insane, what with the Jersey Boys (who are coming TOMORROW!!!), the Frat Boys, Ra, Mark, and (surprise!!) Liz all in town. For the first time since I moved, I really wish that I still lived at home because they all want to stay with me, and man, that would’ve been so much fun. At least I’ll have time to see them all, as well as to introduce the friends who have never met. I’ve run in so many circles of friends over the years (I’m OOOOOLD) and I’m that friend who kind of stays in touch with everybody, and I’ve always wondered what would happen if they could all party together under the same roof. I guess we’ll find out. And presents, schmesents. Honestly, between my visiting friends and my growing family, I couldn’t ask for anything else.

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Santa Writes Like Your Mom

Have I ever told you guys how much I hate Christmas?

It’s not that I hate the idea of it or anything, I just hate how when something bad happens around Christmas, it feels 10 times worse BECAUSE it happens around Christmas. And you know it’s true… just watch the news sometime this week. I guarantee that you’ll hear some story about a house burning down or someone dying, and you’ll be like, “aww… right before Christmas!”

I don’t have the worst life; I know that for the most part I’m incredibly lucky and I try not to focus on the bad. Most of the things that bum me out aren’t even really things that I have to deal with personally, they’re things that the people I love have to deal with. But around Christmas, it’s hard to stay positive because everything magically becomes 10 times sadder, and it feels like I have this massive righteous bummer covered in tinsel and lights hovering over my head, like a Christmassy Eeyore or something.

For the past six or seven years, I’ve had something hovering over me on Christmas. Someone is always either in the hospital or dying or recently dead or moving or breaking my heart or whatever. And it’s always, you know, “aww… right before Christmas.” So it makes it THAT much more depressing. And I suppose it’s just the weather and the environment this time around – things like that tend to trigger memories, whether they’re good or bad.

I can’t really remember being happy on Christmas. I just remember being obligated to PRETEND that I was happy BECAUSE it was Christmas.

I haven’t found a way to blame this on the mall yet, but I’m working on it.

This year, however, we’re going to my Aunt’s house, which is something that my family hasn’t done since I was little. So maybe this year, I won’t have to pretend. I hope so.

~~~*~~~

My Christmas Hate might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never believed in Santa Claus. Ever.

I mean, my family tried to play that game with me, and all of my neighborhood friends were thoroughly convinced that he existed, but I just couldn’t buy it. I mean, COME ON. I knew that it took almost a day to drive to Florida from my house, and the rest of the world had to stretch out for at least like, two more days. Ergo, no Santa.

I got in a huge fight with my friend Peggy about the impossibility of flying reindeer: “They DON’T HAVE WINGS. What is WRONG WITH YOU?!”

Peggy’s rebuttal was that, actually, Santa prefers a one horse open sleigh. I was like, “Okay, first of all, that’s a totally different song. And second, ocean? Doy?”

When my parents finally sat me down to tell me the truth, they looked so sad and guilty, like, “Should we do this? Is it too soon?” It made me furious and I threw a Buster-worthy tantrum. Not because I thought there was a Santa, mind you. I just couldn’t believe that my parents thought I was that stupid.

I guess you could call me precocious. I don’t know. But I can’t believe kids actually fall for it. There’s a big difference between imagination and illogical stupidity, and I recognized that right off the bat.

~~~*~~~

The one thing that is really making me happy this Christmas is the fact that Tony is back in town for good. And when Niki gets whisked away by some Major League Baseball team or the NFL, he gets to be my new roommate.

Warren: “Sweeeeet! We’ll be like Melrose Place!”

Last night I introduced Tony to Arrested Development, and we talked and drank and watched Extreme Dodgeball, and basically just sat around and hung out without any urgency, which we haven’t done in forever. And for a little while, I forgot to be sad about Christmas.

~~~*~~~

Okay, so do you remember playing Super Mario Brothers? Everybody wanted to be Mario because he had the power to pause Luigi’s game. And it’s always funny to pause Luigi mid-jump and piss off your friends.

Riding shotgun in Tony’s car is a lot like being Mario. Because Tony’s dad uses the car for Driver’s Ed, so if you’re sitting shotgun, YOU GET YOUR OWN BRAKE.

Tony and I went on a beer run last night, and I was silly drunk and the streets were hella empty, so he gave me permission to use my brake pedal freely. Every time I slammed on the break Tony would giggle his ass off, which makes everything twice as funny. I haven’t had the giggles like that in a long time. It probably took us ten minutes to drive two blocks, but it was worth it.

~~~*~~~

Another reason to hate Christmas: people send you stuff like this . This is my biggest phobia of all time. I’m going to have visions of this crap running through my head. Thanks, Christmas.

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Sitting in My Snowglobe

If you want funny, you should skip down to yesterday’s entry, because today’s is retrospective and more for me than anything else.

I’m at a really weird place in my life right now.

When I was little, my mom quit her job to go to grad school. Soon after, my dad lost most of his vision due to diabetes, and he lost his job, too. Our family lost a lot of money, I was thrown into public school, and life was pretty hard on my parents. I had to sit back and watch all of that happen without being able to control it or help in any way.

I became very scared of growing up, of having to pay for things like college and rent and all the rest, because if my parents couldn’t do it, how could I? I learned firsthand what happens when people fall behind or can’t make it, no matter how hard they work or how good of a person they are. I saw that bad things could come out of nowhere and hit you at any time, changing your life forever. I became terrified of change, because I had been through a lot of changes in a short amount of time, and none of them had a positive affect.

Growing up, I was really anxious and worried about the future, and this affected everything I did, from the way I slept to the way that I ate, and to the way that I treated other people. This really came to a head during the times when huge changes were about to occur, like graduating high school or finishing grad school and having to look for a job.

But now I’m here. I’ve arrived and it’s okay, and although I have loans and leases and requirements and commitments, there’s a strange freedom to it all because I’m not worried anymore. If I can’t sleep at night, it’s because I’m wired, not because I’m upset. If I start to stress, I’ve learned to take a step back, see the situation for what it is, and make the solutions tangible, because they always are.

Before now, I had always been secure in the fact that I was in love. I’ve basically been in love with someone, or loved someone, or had someone love me since I was sixteen. Everything else in my life was chaotic and too much to handle, but that was the one constant in my life. And right now, I’m realistic about the relationships that I have, and none of them really equate the love that I had or that I want, but that’s okay.

It’s weird how that all worked out. I like being on my own and exploring the options, and maybe I needed to strip myself of that security before I could really be okay. .

Now that those big clouds over my head are gone, and I know I can weather anything, it’d be nice to share that happiness with someone else. I’m a better person right now than I used to be, much more relaxed and mellow, and I don’t worry about the unforeseen or other people’s problems like I used to. I don’t cry and I don’t freak out and I don’t… care. It’s okay.

And while I’m constantly finding ways to change things up or make life interesting, my life feels pretty complete, because all the stress and anxiety and goals that I had were leading up to right now. And I’m really excited about what’s to come. It’s weird to have one aspect of your life in a solid and secure place while the rest is out of control, only to find yourself in the opposite position in the span of a few months. Everything is there except for that one little spot, that one little void, and that’s really okay. I know the best is yet to come, and I get to experience it all from the beginning when it’s fresh and new, and that’s the most exciting part about it. Sometimes I envy the people who already have that person, but at the same time, they’ll never get to experience that newness again. And maybe it’ll happen here, maybe it’ll happen when I move, but either way, I’m ready, and I’m having a lot of fun in the meantime, while I still can.

I don’t know why I’m feeling so profound right now… it might be because we’re having the first major snowfall of the season, and that always has a weird calming and reflective effect on people.

Just one of the many perks/downsides about having an office with a wall of windows, I guess. Other perks/downsides include the fact that it’s huge, so they put the department cutting table and light table in here. It’s also the warmest office in the winter and the coldest in the summer. And, as I’ve said before, it looks like a crayon box exploded in here, so it’s more fun than the average office.

So needless to say, I get a lot of visitors. It’s fun having the “cool office”, but it’s hard to concentrate sometimes. Especially right now, because it’s beautiful outside, and all I want to do is stare out the window and smile and feel happy that, for right now at least, I’m exactly where I want to be.

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Champs and Chumps II: The Fellowship of the Chumps

A few of my friends asked for more, so here we go:

CHAMPS cards

The man who recently sang “Foxy Lady” to me, Garth-style: Because you’re the cutest and I love you.

TSGoC: For a fantastic weekend, and for always being so honest and sincere. And you get an extra one for being the most fascinating person I’ve ever met.

My Family: Because they love to debate through e-mails (if they were younger I’d create a message board for them) and the most recent political debate pissed me off and I called them all crazy. I’ll tell you what I wrote verbatim in the CHUMPS section. I thought I would get about 50 loving “screw you” e-mails today, but instead I got a “right on” or a “solid” from all of them, including my dad. So yay family! Maybe I can rap about the government with you guys after all.

Fruit Salad: Sometimes when people are pissed off, they get violent. Sometimes when people are upset, they eat. I’ve discovered a way to stay healthy and merrily stabstabstab my problems away. Huzzah!

Veronica Mars: For being so totallyfreakingawesomeOMG. I heard that they’re killing off a character tonight and after the Harry Potter Incident, I’m scared. But as long as it isn’t Weevil or Logan, I’ll be okay.

My Roomate: For being the strongest, hardest working person that I know, for making the apartment Christmas-y, and for making it to level 5 in Super Mario Bros. 2 last night.

Identifying Fallacies: Because it’s fun pointing out when people are wrong and being able to logically prove it. Note to the frat boys: don’t let me argue with Peter when we’re drunk.

Christina: For finally getting a two-button mouse for my computer at work. Suck it, Control key!

Jeremy: Because when I got serenaded the other day, it reminded me of that time in 8th grade that you sang “Cryin’” to Erin during lunch and everybody knew that you were going to do it so when you walked over to her, the entire cafeteria bum-rushed the table. You sang it anyway and Erin shot you down, but it was okay because you held your head high and all the other girls loved you for it. 20th Century Aerosmith rocks, dude, and everybody knows it. And also, you get a CHAMPS card for having serious moxie and bigger balls pre-puberty than most men will have in a lifetime.

The Bee Season: Because I CANNOT PUT IT DOWN. Writers that I respect have told me that they cried when they finished this book, because they missed the characters and their world so much. Honestly, how can you ignore a recommendation like that?

CHUMPS cards

Erin: Because damn, girl. You couldn’t go to the roller rink with him ONE TIME?

Republicans: For voting for religious candidates because you feel like you “have to” or because pro-life is just 1 of 100 points on their agenda. Voting for the best overall candidate will not make you a bad Christian, I promise. And if we’re going to have a billion extra babies running around that you refuse to abort, can’t you let more people adopt, regardless of their sexual preference or marital status? And most of my friends are not looking to get married right now, but in case they do, I’d like for ALL of them to have the option, capisce?

Democrats: Because you’re like the mean girls in the junior high cafeteria. Say what you want about Fox News and I’ll probably agree, but they’re really just treading water in a sea of 500 liberally-biased channels that have no qualms ripping on anyone who remotely leans towards the right, regardless of what they’ve said, done, or believe in. And guess what? Not EVERYONE in the blue states voted for your guy and your states were just as close of a call as the rest, so can you stop using “Red State” as a euphemism for ignorance?

Both Sides: Because you’re all whiners that spend too much time pointing fingers as opposed to fighting for the greater good. Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate the source of problems rather than bitching about the possible solutions? I’d much rather work towards providing free accessible birth control and sex-ed classes with permission slips (so both sides can shut up about how to teach their kids) instead of just plastering pro-life/pro-choice bumper stickers all over my car.

The Mall: Because I drove by you today and I’m still pissed off. Eff you for existing.

Lost: For going on a 6 week hiatus, causing extreme pain and withdrawal for myself, my friends, and the 8 million other people that you have successfully hooked. Your show is like crack, and to take it away for that long is just plain cruel. Also (and this concerns every episode to date) WTF.

Static Electricity: I don’t know what the hell is up with my apartment. I have never been shocked this much in my life. When I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch, I can literally HEAR myself charging. I swear to god, I’m going to start a fire one day. I have honestly seen sparks shooting out of my fingers like I’m Jubilee from X-Men. Human hands were not created to scintillate. It hurts, yo, and I have a TOUCH LAMP so this is going to be a long, painful winter.

Motion-Activated Paper Towel Dispensers: They have these at my work and they’ve spoiled me to the point where sometimes, if I am in a public restroom (at a bar) and I am preoccupied (drunk), I’ll find myself tapping my toes expectantly in front of the paper towels with Jazz Hands until I get busted.

People Watchers: Don’t get me wrong, I love people watching, especially when I’m in another country or basically anywhere with an interesting tableau of people. And I know that people watching at the airport is a total cliché, so everyone assumes that it’s acceptable. But I don’t like it when people are shamelessly staring at me, especially everybody, especially at terminals like in Detroit and Charlotte where everybody basically sits in a massive semi-circle and the shops are miles away and there are no TVs and nothing to do but stare at me like that parking lot scene in “The Faculty”.

So what if I’m reading about Nick and Jessica in US Weekly? Maybe I finished my two books on my original flight, and maybe I bought three more in Michigan and I finished two of THOSE on the way here and I can’t really run around O’Hare with any more shit, because O’Hare looooves to make me sprint from Terminal A to Terminal Z at any given time. Yes, I am wearing a tank top in December. Yes, I probably need to brush my hair. Yes, I am reading about Gyllenheath’s cowboy movie and eating Combos. Why is that so interesting? Are you jealous? I know my Combos look hella good, that’s because they are so get your own. What the fucSTOP LOOKING AT ME.

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The Ways of a Woman In Love

My memories of Belize are still so vivid, even though it’s been almost fifteen years since my visit.

I remember the boarding school we lived at, and the huge river that ran behind it. The boys had tied a long rope to a tree on the bank, and we would swing high above the river and shriek as we fell while the boys cheered for us in Creole. I remember the girls in the orphanage and the games they taught us, and how they were so fascinated about singing “white” instead of “brown” when we skipped around a circle to “Sugar in the Plum”.

I remember a giant field of tiny plants with two leaves that, when touched, would curl together the way hands do when they’re cradling a chin. I would run across the field on my way to milk the cows, and if I turned around quickly I could see a path of tiny footprints, and then slowly, one by one, the leaves would unfold and the prints would disappear.

But what I remember the most about Belize is singing – we spent a lot of time driving to and from the orphanages, camps and shelters in a giant caravan of pick-up trucks, and we loved to sing to pass the time.

Practically every trip, the girls would break into a heartfelt rendition of “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Brian Adams. Sometimes, if we were on our way to a church, we would sing “Losing My Religion” softly and break into dorky “we’re SO bad” giggles. And I still laugh when I think about the day in San Pedro when we snorkeled in the Caribbean, and as we were sunbathing on the roof of a glass-bottomed boat, my brother and Kennis beat-boxed while David rapped DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two”, and then broke out into the chorus with Bee Gee-worthy falsetto.

But my warmest, fuzziest memory of Belize is the night that we stayed out later than usual – I remember lying in a pile of blankets in the bed of a pick-up truck on the way home from the refugee camp, and I was staring up at the sky. I had never seen that many stars in my life, and I could barely breathe because it was so beautiful.

Eventually my eyes grew tired from picking out the constellations, and my eyelids started to grow heavy. And just then, Kennis decided to test out the brand new bass in his voice by singing “Ring of Fire”. And for the first time on any of our trips, it was completely quiet except for Kennis and the road, and it was dark except for the stars, and that was the most peaceful feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Thus began my love affair with Johnny Cash.

If you’ve never heard his cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”, go look for it. I taped it off of the radio ten years ago and I still have it. It’s unbelievable.

TSGoC and I are about to go see “Walk the Line”, and I’m feeling slightly suspicious and overprotective, but I’m sure the film will do Johnny and June justice.

If it does, then I’ll be able to rest easy, at least until “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” comes out. My feelings for the Chronicles of Narnia are practically visceral (or rather, almost as strong as Jen’s), and I really hope it lives up to my imagination. We’ll see.

The Detroit Booty has thankfully been replaced with some Parisian House. Also, Pazu the cat has a human face, and he kind of freaks me out. He looks like Marlon Brando in “Apocalypse Now”. But Mishy-Gan is fantastic and there are plenty more stories to tell, although most of them will probably not be told here. Later!

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Detroit Booty

The hottest thing to hit Michigan in years is apparently Detroit Booty.

It’s kind of hard to describe Detroit Booty.

The beats are pretty dope, and there’s a lot of room for DJs to… okay, you know what? I have no idea what I’m talking about. But I DO know that it evolved from Chicago House. And basically, it’s house and hip hop except instead of rapping, they just pick one choice lyric, a la Parliament or techno, and repeat it over and over. It sounds a lot like “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”, if you know what I’m talking about. Some choice selections include:

“Hennessey and Coke”
“I Wanna Go Down”
“Throw (Dick at These Hoes)”
“Suck It”
“Pump on the Floor”
“Still Bangin'”

And don’t forget the classic:

“If You Ride In My Truck, Bitch We’re Gonna Fuck” (which TSGoC is playing right now to “set the mood”. Thanks, TSGoC)

I’m not joking when I say Detroit Booty is hot. They play this shit on the RADIO. During LUNCH. DeTROIT!

Last night I got a stern lecture from TSGoC and Marty because I confused the song “Ass and Titties” with “Titties and Ass”.

Oh, hold up: TSGoC wants me to add that Detroit Booty is “strictly ladies choice”. Eh.

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