Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas was awesome, even though I'm totally crazy.

I hope you all enjoyed your little Christmas break.

I ended up staying home and working on numerous Christmas projects including handmade gifts, tons of Christmas treats, and nurturing crippling anxiety.

I'm not sure how the last few years I've gotten it into my head that if I don't: have all my shopping for perfect presents done, presents perfectly wrapped, make at least 4 different kinds of cookies and 3 batches of fudge - all of which are prefect- the world will spontaneously combust because I will have RUINED CHRISTMAS FOREVER.

A few years ago my resolution was to do everything better. (You see, a normal person would not think this was a reasonable resolution. I even blogged about it and only Steve said what I hear so often- "I don't know if that is such a good idea....") This ridiculous resolution gave me license to allow all of my crazy perfectionist tendencies to rear up and bite me (and my loved ones*) in the ass.

This year, my resolution is to calm the hell down. Worry less about the laundry, dishes, and making every little thing perfect. Maybe just worry less in general and try to "be in the moment." (I am not sure what that phrase means, so this may be problematic. How will I know where I am at any given moment with out a color coded spreadsheet to tell me?) Not plan every waking moment of every week and just enjoy time with Muffin. Enjoy reading a book, by myself. Enjoy running on a treadmill and yelling "GAZELLLLLLLE" at Angie.

Can "be less crazy" be a viable resolution? And is that even possible for me? And as I have just recently realized I should, like a scientist, ask myself, is this something I should do? For me, for my friends and family?

Am I going to end up fat and smelly, playing Doctor Mario in my underwear, living off Mountain Dew and cheap pizza like some sort of 15 year old boy version of Howard Hughes? Cause I will straight up tell you that collecting jars of my own urine is not high on my list of interests, also I'm pretty sure that my roommate will object.

Or will this be awesome (not the urine, which I sort of regret bringing up now, the resolution)?

Anyway, my baking of a substandard number of treats, nor my craziness managed to RUIN CHRISTMAS FOREVER, and in fact I had a splendid time hanging out with my family and eating our do-over turkey. (Which, btw, was not poisonous this time, so hooray us!) I got a TON of great gifts, we played fun games, and nobody got food poisoning. Success!

How was your Christmas?


*I'm sorry, Muffin. When you suggested that maybe I didn't need to make bread to send down to your parents and then I tried to use the force to choke you with my mind, I might have been experiencing a bit of Yule Madness**.

** Yule madness, like how I apparently was so keyed up from Christmas that I woke up every hour on boxing day until at 5 something I gave up*** and went shopping****.

*** Steve, so sorry about the 5:50 AM text announcing that you could join me at ANY MINUTE, because I was ALREADY OUT SHOPPING AND IT WAS AWESOME. And actually for my behavior later that day when you joined me at a normal hour and I was SO EXCITED, because those Tianna dress up dolls were TWO FOR TWENTY and doesn't your god-daughter need 15 or so of them, and did I mention I'VE BEEN UP SINCE 5 O'CLOCK AND I AM SO STOKED. AND I GOT ALL THE STUFF ON MY LIST AND DO I NEED THIS (IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE RACCOONS DO NOT TYPICALLY SMOKE!) AND ALSO MAYBE A LATTE? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I DON'T NEED A LATTE! LETS GO RIP OPEN MY NEW PANINI PRESS AND MAKE PANINIS!

**** Hey, did you know that Old Navy opens at 5 AM on boxing day? And that while Target is totally open at 7 and you can pick up those spiffy solar powered light strings you wanted to make this, you are also so tired and out of it that you may think that it is totally fine to buy 7 bags of gift bows, because they are 50! %! Off! But when you sit down later you realize that while is it is totally awesome that you have something like 5 years before you ever need to buy bows again, you now have 210***** bows to store for 5 years.

*****Not hyperbole.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thinking about Gift Cards

I think the key to gift giving is that it should be from the heart.

Every so often I have difficulty picking a good gift for a loved one, but usually, if you know someone well enough that you buy them gifts, you should know them well enough to find something they like. I usually consider gift cards like politically correct language. Both cash and gift cards come from the same place in your heart, which is usually:
"I don't know you well enough or am too lazy to pick out a good gift."
But the gift card says it with glitter and penguins.

I also feel like a gift card is giving someone money and then chiding them to spend it in a specific manner. "Well, Bob, you can't be trusted to make your own spending decisions, so here's a financial training wheel."

Sometimes I do buy gift cards in special circumstances:
1. Money for people who really can't be trusted to spend it wisely: a Safeway gift card is slightly more likely to be used on groceries than something sketchy. Sure you can sell the card at a loss, or you can use the money you save on groceries for drugs- but at least it wasn't my money.
2. Cards to sporting events, restaurants, craft stores: Gives your recipient an understanding that you know what they like, but didn't want to box them in on dates or materials that they wouldn't prefer.
3. Cards to places the recipient frequently uses or is saving to buy something from: I'd love to help contribute to someone's new pool table, or TV.

4. I'm being a dick on purpose.

Furthermore, gift cards seem environmentally unsound.
Cash gift:
Greeting card

Gift Card:
Greeting card
Gift card

The end result of cash gift is paper to recycle and your stuff. The end result of gift card giving is more to recycle, your stuff, and either -$ from where you spent more than the card or $0.37 left on the card, and of course the card that the cashier throws away when it's empty.

I also read a Slate article that describes gift cards as interest free short term loans from consumers. Coupling that with the fact that you almost always spend more money than the gift card's denomination, gift cards are a great deal for the conglomerates, to whom, we already give a lot of money. It seems a bit like the exact opposite of interest- one consumer gives the loan and the other pays the company a little extra later.

In closing, ba humbug!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Asshole" not acceptable Post Office language.

Dear USPS Customers,

Get your shit together. I can drop any bad word I want on this blog, because people can choose to read this or not. But, dear fellow humans, when you are at the post office, I do not care how long the line is, paste on a happy face and just wait. I know it sucks. Nobody wants to be here. But it really sucks for everyone when you are a d-bag.

Don't be rude to the workers there. Accept your fate. You are at the post office on the 13th of December. This is your fault.

And you, chivalrous guy who stepped up top defend the post lady and ended up in a yelling match that looked like it might become physical, your heart was totally in the right place, but your language was in the Marines.

Yes, that other guy was an enormous sphincter, but when you curse him out in front of young children and ladies older than my granny, you join the asshole parade. Earmuffs, buddy. Earmuffs.

There was a time where people wore hats. And your hat reminded you that you are in public. Your hat reminded you to be a member of a society with rules for appropriate behavior.

I think we need hats again. To tip. To hold in our hands, preventing hands curling into fists. A hat, to worry about losing should you set it own to smack some guy at the post office in front of some preschoolers, nervous office ladies, and God.

If you can't behave appropriately amongst society, stay home. Use Amazon. Don't threaten other people at the post-office. I was dialing 911 and edging towards the door to shut both of you idiots out and away from the regular people.

Get some self-respect. Do you really want to be the kind of dude who gets arrested at the post office? You're already the dude there in sweats.

Where's dignity gone? Graciousness? Are they out there with the hats? Lost forever?

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little something for Steve.

Don't forget about your friends in Seattle while you're away.

This will help:

Click play, Sucker.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Helen Mirren, my hero.

She is so smart. So funny. So sophisticated and graceful in a way that implies strength, knowledge, and charm. It is hard to be candid, smart, and relatable while still holding on to an air of grace as she does.

She is a person I watch when I think of the kind of person I want to be.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BEHOLD: The mighty power of graphs.

I'll be weeping silently under my bed if you need me. Thanks for nothing, Internet:

To enbiggen original chart from smart people.

With subtitles courtesy of SUC:

There, I fixed it. Yes, I do make charts for living, why do you ask?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Who is this guy?

Because that is not John McCain.

Like John Stewart, I've become increasingly disenchanted with John McCain, going from a full out crush to a festering dislike. John McCain has become a man I can't respect. His recent behavior has really made me thankful for my vote for Obama- a decision I did not make lightly and that was directly caused by John McCain's unexpected and sudden reluctance to be John McCain.

Listening to his deluded and desperate comments during the Don't Ask Don't Tell senate hearings has been the pinnacle of my disillusionment. As James Fallows asks in The Atlantic, where did the strong and principled John McCain go and why was he replaced with a man who, unlike so many others, is more conservative and ineffective in his old age. Isn't the knowledge that comes with old age the wisdom to better understand your fellow humans and differentiate between truth and prejudice?

Joe Lieberman has clearer understanding of just what this legislation means in America's development:

12/2/10- SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: We‘re on the front lines of a turning point in American history. And we have these in every generation. This country, from the beginning, was defined not by its borders, but by our values.

The Declaration of Independence says, you know, we‘re all endowed by God with those equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And every generation has realized those rights better, because they weren‘t realized at the beginning. In 1776, for women, for people of color, et cetera, et cetera.

In our time, one of the great transitions occurring is the growing readiness and understanding among the American people that you simply—it‘s just wrong and un-American to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.


The Daily show had a most interesting segment about this that I highly recommend you watch. John Stewart is a very diverting and sexy man.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaypocalypse Now
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorThe Daily Show on Facebook

Friday, December 03, 2010

Just because it is confusing and bewildering...

doesn't mean it isn't totally awesome.

See the un-aired musical dance number wherein Craig Ferguson explains what Americans need to know about Doctor Who. I'm going to have to insist that you watch this.

Thanks for the link, i09. For reals.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, because rabid otters are attacking everyone out here.

Rabid. Otter. Attacks.

Thanks for nothing, Nature.

There have been three recent attacks on humans, including two passers-by, and one man filming the otter in his own yard.

Most disturbingly, this otter crime wave was kicked off when, and I'm not shitting you, an otter broke into someone's house and bit their dog, Chester, on the nose.

Otters, right? Total assholes.

Photo credit.