Category Archives: holidays

I still want a hula hoop!

Mom. Mom. Mommee. MommE. I Help with blogge today? A litle bit?

Mom. Mom. Mommee. MommE. I Help with blogge today? A litle bit?

Happy Christmas Eve, people of the bloggiverse! I know, this is posting at a weird time. It’s been a (typical, for me) strange Christmas Eve: I had to work half a day, then it was all the running around, and now I’m loafing and enjoying the rest of the day from the comfort of my couch. I don’t plan on moving until bedtime. OK, fine. I’ll probably move a little. I mean, or else I’ll get bedsores. Couchsores. Something along those lines. Right?

And who wants couchsores on the happiest of days before the most happy day, I ask you? No one. The answer is no one.

So Dad was coming up today, because he and Mom couldn’t come up this weekend as planned due to the gigantic ice storm up north. So he made a whole plan-like scheme-thing to come up today, meet me after work, drop off presents, pick UP presents, take me to lunch, and then hit the road. This is because he loves me, and I am spoiled rotten. I’m grateful for the former and surprisingly ok with the latter.

I rushed home after work (after a quick stop in the parking lot because friend K. was picking up friend A. and I HAD to give her Christmas hugs! I mean, come on, who could stop themselves from doing that?) and who did you think was waiting for me at home?



She told her boss that my dad was coming down and her boss was all, “Then why are you here?” and she was all, “No one else is here to cover the department!” and her boss said, “No one’s here anyway. GO HOME” and so Mom DID! And got in the car with Dad and came WITH him! Aw, what a happy surprise!

So Mom and Dad brought in THREE LOADS OF GIFTS! Because, as mentioned, I AM SPOILED! One of the loads was all the food I need to make myself Christmas dinner just like they’re having at home tomorrow. I know, right? SO SWEET!

And as for the rest of it…


Look at all those presents, yo!

Some are for Dumbcat (because he’s Mom’s grandcat so of COURSE he gets gifts!) but the rest are for me me me! Some from BFF and one from my grandmother and the rest from Santa! That’s what the tags say. Who am I to call gift tags liars, I ask you?

I think this means I have been a very good girl this year. I don’t think someone naughty would get all these gifts, would they?

(My family tends to go a little overboard with gifts. Anyone who knows me knows, upon receiving a gift from me, that it’s usually kind of out of control. I get a lot of “you went a little crazy here” emails once people start getting gifts. Here’s the thing: it’s what my family does. It’s what we’ve ALWAYS done. Christmases, birthdays, whatever. We do a lot of gifts on special occasions. It’s our thing. I have a little trouble NOT doing that. So anyone that’s ever freaked out about getting too many gifts from me – please look at that tree and realize it’s apparently genetic or something.)

Then we had Chinese food (and no one was at the restaurant and Dad LOVED that and was all, “IT IS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!”) and they hit the road because Dad doesn’t like to be late to get home or something, I’m not really sure.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. WHY HAVEN’T YOU OPENED ALL THESE GIFTS YET?

Because I like to make things last. If I were to open them all now, Christmas would be over! And Christmas only happens once a year, yo. You have to wait until NEXT year for another tree with all those gifts under it! So why NOT make it last?

So, tomorrow, actual Christmas Day, first thing in the morning, I’m off to visit The Nephew and his mom for Christmas brunch and the exchanging of gifts. I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks. Want to see why? Here. I’ll show you.

OMG YOU GUYS. Can you imagine a BETTER person to spend Christmas morning with? LOOK AT THAT FACE! He’s going to be so excited about gifts and brunch and LIFE!

Then after a couple hours of brunching and seeing all of The Nephew’s new toys, I will head home so they can go to Christmas at his other grandma’s house, and it will be time for…MY OPENING OF GIFTS!

That will make my Christmas Day last longer, and give me something to do while I’m watching A Christmas Story on repeat over and over. (That’s my Christmas Day movie. I’ve already watched the rest of my Christmas movies: Love, Actually and It’s a Wonderful Life and A Wish for Wings That Work and The Grinch, but the CARTOON Grinch, not the terrible Jim Carrey Grinch who looked like he was wearing a scruffy puke-green bath mat. These movies all make me cry  to a different extent. Christmas movies and cartoons make me weepy, what can I say.)

Then I will spend the rest of the day doing NOTHING. Maybe playing with my new presents, depending on what they are, I suppose. Chatting with my friends about THEIR Christmases. Then it’s back to work on Thursday! And Christmas is over for another year! Well, except for the planning for NEXT year. I’m always planning for next year’s Christmas. I want each Christmas to be better than the last Christmas for the people I love. It might be a bit of an obsession with me. I’m ok with that.

Hope you’re all having the best Christmas Eve! Even if you don’t celebrate it. In which case: I hope you’re having the best Tuesday night! I’ll come back soon and do a little gifty-gift show and tell at some point. Dumbcat says I can share his gifts with the interwebs. He doesn’t mind.

I am PRETIE, Momme! I am gud boye. I will shaer my prezents with interwebz! HAPPEE CHRISTMES EEVE INTERWEBZ!

The most wonderful time of the year to not repeat the mistakes of last year

The weather’s getting colder (and, although I’ve been resisting it, I think it’s about time I turn on the heat in here. The cat’s been all up in my business over the past few days, and although it’s flattering, I think it’s less “LOVE YOU, MOM!” and more “ZOMG WOMAN! I AM CHILLY!”) Thanksgiving’s just a few weeks away, and you know what THAT means. Christmas is right around the corner.

Haven’t decided what I’m doing about Thanksgiving this year. I get two days off, but have to be here Friday night for a theater review (and Saturday for work.) But since I’m not able to go home for Christmas again this year (sincerely, Christmas on a Wednesday? HIGHLY unhelpful, especially since we don’t get the day before or after off) it might be nice to jet home quickly, see my family, get some delicious foodstuffs, and then come back in time to review the show Friday night. I don’t usually go home for Thanksgiving, and my family’s not expecting me, but it might be a nice surprise. (And it’d be really nice to have home cooking one night. Thanksgiving dinner is the best.)

Yes, please. Thank you.

Yes, please. Thank you.

But since it’s Christmas alone again this year, I’m not going to fall into the trap of last year. Last year’s Christmas was just about the worst Christmas ever. I had the flu; I was super-depressed on TOP of the flu; I didn’t get to go home so my parents came to visit and gave me gifts but I was so sick with the flu I barely remembered their visit and after they left I fell asleep for 6 hours in the middle of the day; and once I opened presents on Christmas day I went back to bed for the rest of the day, pretty much, and also cried a little and took a lot of Nyquil hoping it would make the fever go away (it didn’t.) I also couldn’t do presents or cards, because I’d been unemployed for months leading up to the holiday and didn’t have enough money to do Christmas right. Or at all, actually.



THIS year, I have PLANS. First, I totally got my flu shot. BAM, FLU! Unless some weird flu not covered by the flu shot shows up, I am COVERED. I will not spend four days alternately freezing and sweating and eating and then vomiting toast. MERRY CHRISTMAS HERE’S THE FLU, said 2012.

(Also, this is the first year I’ve gotten a flu shot that I haven’t immediately gotten sick afterward. So either that was a flu shot that didn’t work or I’ve become titanium and IMPERVIOUS TO ILLNESS. I’m going to go with the latter. That’d be nice, right? Because last winter I had the flu and then like three random colds one on top of the other and I think I spent more on Dayquil and Kleenex than I did on anything else. They should have let me write those off on my tax return.)

I also have all the plans for Christmas. Lists have already been made. Some gifts have already been purchased; as soon as I write this, more will be purchased. (Can I just say thank goodness for the interwebs? I hate shopping in stores. I love shopping from the comfort of my couch. THANK YOU, INTERWEBS!) My Christmas card list is made. Addresses all in a little row. I know what I’m getting for everyone; I know how much delight everyone will have upon opening their gifts. I know what I’m baking and I know what I’m crafting. I have a plan for my free time between now and December 25. Decorating and baking and shopping and watching of Christmas movies and wrapping and mailing and totally making up for being an absentee human last Christmas.

I’m also not suffering the bigtime sadness I was last year; this is a little bit situation-based and a little bit pharmaceutical-based (PRESCRIPTION pharmaceuticals, I’m not sitting here taking ‘shrooms and licking the walls or something), but however it came about, I’ll take it. That’s a total Merry Christmas to ME, right there.

And when Christmas day comes, and I have the day off, I can sit back and open presents and turn on the tree lights and wear comfy pajamas and it will not at all be the saddest Christmas ever. I can make my own happiness, and I can share that with the people I love, which (surprise!) increases your own happiness beyond measure.

But until then: lots to do. Only 42 days left! Plotting and planning and scheming take time, my little candy canes! Time to go buy some presents! *whoosh*

Halloween: becoming less fun as you get old and cranky

Well, here we are at Halloween week. I used to love Halloween, back in the day. Halloween is the best when you’re young. You get to dress up as someone you’re not and the weather’s getting all nippy and you get to go to stranger’s homes and they HAVE to give you candy. They can’t even refuse! That would be the rudest!

Gimme your candy, yo!

Gimme your candy, yo!

When I magically turned into a grownup, Halloween stopped being the most fun. Mostly that’s because I live in an area that gets no trick-or-treaters. When I first moved here and lived with C., we got maybe 4 or 5 a year, which was VERY exciting, and we’d take turns giving out the candy (and we gave those kids a LOT of candy because there were so few kids and we always bought way too much candy.) When I moved HERE, I was all excited because there are a lot of kids around, so I got a big old bowl of candy and waited for ALL THE KNOCKS and then there weren’t any so I went on the porch and there were kids in the parking lot and I was like “DO YOU KIDS WANT CANDY? I HAVE ALL THE CANDY!” and they (and their parents) gave me the weirdest look and it wasn’t until they’d left and I’d given them so much candy with the biggest goofiest grin I realized that I’d totally broken every law of Stranger Danger and I’m pretty sure everyone’s petrified of me now because I’m the porch version of a weird guy with a van so I never gave out candy again.

I think I gave out candy wrong. Dammit.

I think I gave out candy wrong. Dammit.

I don’t go to Halloween parties and I don’t care for dressing up because I’m a grownup and who would I dress up for, the cat? He wouldn’t care. He’d just sit on my lap and get whatever costume I’d wear all covered in fur. Unless I wanted to go as a crazy cat lady or as Amy on a Normal Day, being covered in cat fur isn’t really the look I would be going for, I wouldn’t think.

This looks like a very comfortable costume.

This looks like a very comfortable costume.

We’re having a Halloween celebration at work where we’re supposed to decorate a pumpkin and then we have doughnuts and cider and a food day. I’m kind of meh on the pumpkin decoration. I thought about it but I don’t feel like doing it. I am not feeling creative. We’re not allowed to carve or puncture the pumpkin in any way so it doesn’t get all rotty in the workplace. I suppose I could paint it or drape it in fabric or something but my brain feels kind of broken so I think I’ll just put the damn thing on my porch and opt out. Sorry, workplace. (I suppose I have to make some sort of cookie or something for Thursday. I’m feeling a general holiday-related malaise. I assume this is because this is when the holiday season starts and I’m not going home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas this year and that’s kind of sad-times, right? Probably.)

I should just do this. It seems very low-maintenance.

I should just do this. It seems very low-maintenance.

I think this week I need to watch some scary movies and get in the Halloween mood or something. I can’t decide whether or not they should be BAD Halloween movies or actually-scary Halloween movies. I do love a good stupid horror movie I can mock, but I also like to be scared.

And there’s always Friday to look forward to. What’s Friday, you may ask? Well! Friday is HALF-PRICE HALLOWEEN CANDY DAY. That’s the day you run to the drugstore at work and load up on what’s left. Hopefully Reese’s Pumpkins, because they are my jam. They are, however, also MOST people’s jams, and tend to go quickly. I should start a rumor like “Reese’s Pumpkins lower testosterone while also making you less attractive to men!” to cover ALL my gender-related bases but I don’t know that anyone would fall for it. Those pumpkins just that good. Sigh.

(And I suppose, if you miss half-price candy day, you only have to wait about a week and the Reese’s Trees go on the shelves. And if you miss THOSE, after CHRISTMAS, you only have to wait a month or so before the Reese’s EGGS go on sale. It’s the time between Easter and Halloween that’s the long dry period for Reese’s related holiday items.)

Now I’m going to go haunt the television for something Halloween-themed. Let’s see what I find. It’s really the luck of the draw at this point. I just looked and the only thing Halloweeny right now is The Happening. Marky Mark running from evil plants = unscary and I don’t think I can sit through that again, to be honest. Sigh.

I miss when I was young and dressing up like a hobo and begging from door-to-door was like, the best thing EVER.

A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.

It wouldn’t be October unless we took a look at what’s on offer in the sex-ay laydeez costuming arena, would it? I mean, seriously. I know I’m super-late on this. I’ve done these in a MUCH more timely fashion in the past. I’m sure you’ve already planned out what you want to be this year. Sexy Sponge Bob, or Sexy Zombie, or Sexy Axe Murderess, or Sexy Tea Party Member. (Shut up, I’m sure someone out there has a Sexy Tea Party Member costume. I would assume it comes with an optional ball-gag, for when they start running at the mouth about FOX News too much.)

The lovely Mer sent me this recently, so we know we always have this option…

We can be SEXY GHOSTS!

We can be SEXY GHOSTS!

Usually I go to Party City for my sexy costume needs, but this year I was trolling Spirit, just to shake things up a bit. Spirit worries me. Do people really shop there? Those stores always pop up at the end of September and then disappear, like tumbling tumbleweeds. They’re like haunted stores. Here one minute, gone the next, and with them, they take…YOUR SOUL!

Or at least your dignity, or your sense of self-worth.

So! What does Spirit want the laydeez to be this Halloween? Well! Let’s see!

This is a sexy panda. No, I don’t know what’s sexy about pandas, either. I think an accessory for this could be eucalyptus. You could just gnaw on it all night. Now THAT, my friends, is SEXYTIMES. (Also, this costume would be hot and scratchy. Who wears a furry hood all night long? And mukluks? My word. You’d be all sweaty and gross.)

Because a., death is sexy, and b., nothing says “KISS ON MY FACE RIGHT NOW” than a whole face full of white paint. You’re gonna get smeary, Senorita Death. (I didn’t make up that name. That’s straight from Spirit. SENORITA DEATH.)

Well, if you thought a panda was sexy, how about a raccoon? I mean, I don’t know about you, but rooting through trash cans says “DO ME BABY!” like, super-loud. Also, this costume would ALSO be hot. In a sweaty way, I mean. Stop wearing fur to parties. Parties are always too hot as it is. All that body heat and crowding and such.

I’m confused why this one is even INCLUDED in the sexy costume section. It covers way too much flesh, and there’s not much sexy about some sort of graveyard ghost. I think even the raccoon might be sexier than someone in a ripped filthy gramma nightgown.

There’s no crying in baseball. But there would be crying if you showed up wearing this and attempted to PLAY baseball, because you’d sprain your ankle in your fuck-me maryjanes and get grassburn all over your midsection.

This is…some sort of furry sexy monster Muppet thing? I haven’t even the foggiest guess. I feel if someone comes up to you wearing this you run, because this is the kind of person you writes in bubble-letters and cries a lot. Possibly DURING sex.

OMG COME ON. This one’s not even TRYING. Who can guess what this is supposed to be? Anyone? IT IS A SEXY NINJA TURTLE. The only thing that tells us this is the sort-of shell-like iron-on on the tummy. THIS IS A TANK-TOP DRESS WITH AN IRON-ON. Give me a break.

What’s hysterical about this to me is a., the very, VERY small hat, all precariously perched on her head, and b., the unfortunate choice of color in the crotchal region. It’s like a peek-a-boo private area.

Apparently, animals are very sexy this year, which goes into a weird bestiality area I’m not at all interested in discussing. This one’s apparently a sexy zebra? Huh. I would think zebras were more stompy than sexy, but what the hell do I know.

Because MERKA! Also sex.

Well, I don’t know about you, but back when I was little and eating my Happy Meals, nothing made me hotter than the Hamburglar. RAWR.

Yes, even ladybugs are sexy if you make their skirts short enough. Insect sex, anyone? YES PLEASE.

This is a sexy garden gnome. I don’t even…this creeps me out. Like, sincerely. I don’t know if it’s the costume or the shit-eating grin on her face or what, but I find this psychotically distressing.

Yep. Sexy Tin Man, baby. Also, a good idea for your one-night stand? Have them be wielding an axe. Nothing better than a whorey girl you don’t know with a murder implement.

This one doesn’t know if it wants to be sexy or zombie-y so it went both ways and it’s just a hot damn mess. “I’m a zombie waitress! Because after I died, all I wanted to do was…um…continue to work my soul-sucking job where they made me wear a really short skirt! Want to feel me up in the guest bathroom?”


TASTE THE RAINBOW. (The rainbow is a euphemism.)

Anyone ever want to hook up with Rainbow Brite? WELL NOW YOU CAN. Because that’s not at all creepy and worrisome. And again with the fur trim. ITCHY AND HOT.

And in case Rainbow Brite doesn’t rev your engine, here’s Strawberry Shortcake. I’m so glad people are sexualizing my childhood toys. Where’s sexy Mrs. Potato Head, or sexy Cabbage Patch Kid? Ugh, I’m not even going to ask, they totally probably exist. *shudder*


And, now for the MOST SEXY COSTUME EVER, the one that will make every man at the party want to plow you like a snow-covered road…

YEAH BABY! Nothing sexier than this. Nothing at all. I! Want to rock and roll! All night! And get tested for chlamydia EVERY DAY!

I hope this was very helpful, my little pumpkin pies. Remember, Halloween is for tricks, treats, and having ill-advised sex with someone dressed like a sexy animal of some sort. I recommend a sexy wombat. Why? Well, why not? Wombats are ALWAYS sexy, yo.

I hold these truths to be self-evident (even though I am on the wrong team)

I know that sometimes it’s very hard to love America.

I mean, sincerely. We have a war on women that’s putting us back to suffragette-times, and we have the government doing random nefarious things like listening to us telling our loved ones about our days (EVEN WHEN THEY’RE BORING, seriously, wouldn’t listening to these tapped calls be the WORST?), and we have so much religious shoutery you want to get earplugs permanently implanted, and we have so much insane hatred of the gay community it makes me want to attack someone with nunchucks and we have things like Twilight and Honey Boo Boo.

MERKA! We are the butt of INTERNATIONAL JOKERY! This is embarrassing, sincerely. People in other lands say things like “OMG, so happy I don’t live in America” and “WTH is happening in America” and “HA HA MERKA.”


Yes. America has problems. We yell a lot about a lot of things. We can’t seem to agree on ANYTHING. Everyone seems to really, really enjoy being angry. Like, ALL THE DAMN TIME. Just drive around a little, even if you’re in a good mood, and you’ll catch some good old American anger. I think we might hand it out to new citizens along with their certificates or something. “Here you go! ALL THE ANGER YOU WILL EVER NEED! WELCOME TO MERKA!” The haves are always yelling at the have nots for being lazy teat-suckers, and the have nots are trying REALLY HARD to make ends meet and ignore the yelling. And we’re not very trusting. And why should we be? Our government seems to be kind of like the villain in one those old cartoons that ties the ingenue to the train tracks. Snidely Whiplash. Our government, lately, is like Snidely Whiplash.

I’m more than willing to point out that the Emperor has come out of the palace in his birthday suit. Anyone who reads my blog is aware that I’m not all rah, rah America. Mostly because I like to call it Merka. And pick on it for doing very stupid things. And muse about how it might be nicer to go live in Finland, where they have Midsummer poles (which are most definitely a euphemism.)

However, I’ll tell you something that might surprise some of you.

I love the hell out of my country.

I think it is an amazing place. Sometimes I love it so much it makes me have tears. Sometimes I get so stupidly proud of this sprawling piece of dirt I get GOOSEBUMPS. I know. You’re totally shocked right now. Dad finds it amazing. “No one on the wrong team loves their country as much as you do,” he marvels on a regular basis. “I think there might be something wrong with you.”

(“The wrong team” = Democrats, in case that needed explanation.)

I believe, despite all the problems, America is an amazing place. It is a country full of potential, and beauty, and power, and majesty. It’s a country that, were it to live up to its potential, would be so good. So FINE. A country that other countries could look up to and a country that we could be proud to live in ALL the time, not just some of the time, not just when we get it right, but ALL the time.

Dad says we’re not allowed to say “Happy Fourth of July” today because that’s liberal propaganda. “If you say ‘Happy Fourth of July,” Dad said, because Fox News told him to, “you are shitting on everything our forefathers worked so hard for. It’s not just a DAY. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY.”

“What if I say Happy Birthday Merka?” I asked.

Dad grumbled. “I don’t know. The Real News didn’t say what to do if someone called it America’s Birthday.”

“Because that’s what I like to say. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERKA! Because you know what everyone likes. BIRTHDAYS!”

Dad grumbled some more. “Well, it’s really Independence Day. That’s what The Real News says.”


“You’re insane.”

“I love birthdays. Also Merka.”

“Fine. Just remember it’s also Independence Day. And don’t bake America a cake because I don’t think America has a mouth.”

“It DOES. Probably the mouth would be the Grand Canyon. I could throw the cake in the Grand Canyon.”

“You. Are. Insane.”

Happy birthday, America.

Happy birthday to the country that brings us Wendy Davis, who knew what was right, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for it, even though the amount of hatred for her in that room would have scared away almost anyone else in the world.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us E. E. Cummings.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded on giving us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Katelyn Campbell, who said, “you know what? I might be only a high school senior, but this abstinence-only education is factually incorrect, and I’m going to protest it” even though the school’s principal threatened to make sure she wouldn’t get accepted to college if she did so.

(P.S. - it didn't work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Kate.)

(P.S. – It didn’t work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Katelyn.)

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Edward Hopper, who understood what it was to be very, very alone.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded by a bunch of rebellious yahoos who wanted things to be better than where they came from (and who, I’m quite sure, would be horrified with what we’ve done with what they left us; they would, very likely, tell us we’re the reason we can’t have nice things.)

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Rosa Parks, who’d just had enough, and who just wanted to sit the hell down, and didn’t want to have to walk all the way to the back of the bus to do it;

Alice Paul, who asked Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty, even when they put her in jail, even when they force-fed her when she wouldn’t eat, even when it seemed everyone had turned against her;

and Harriet Tubman, who risked her life time and time again to bring others to freedom.

Happy birthday to the country that has beautiful large things…

…and beautiful small things…

…and things that are ridiculous, and wonderful, and beautiful just because they exist, and are filled with whimsy.

Happy birthday to the country that allows me to be as loud as I want, and as wild as I want, and to speak up against what it’s doing…and not go to jail for it, because for all of our faults, we do still have free speech here. We have the Bill of Rights. Which, when I read it, when I read it out loud, I weep. Because it’s beautiful. There are all different types of poetry. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s poetry. That’s a group of people who’d had enough, who didn’t want anyone after them to go through what they’d been through; enough so that they made it one of our inalienable rights as Americans.

Happy birthday, and happy independence, Merka. I love you, even though you frustrate me. You’re like a beloved child; no matter how angry I get at you, no matter how much you upset me, no matter HOW MUCH I disagree with your choices, I still love you. I love you furiously. I love you so much it makes me crazy. I love you so much I’d defend you with my life. I love you so damn much I want the absolute best for you.

You are my country, and sometimes you’re a big old weirdo, and yet I still adore you.

(Even though right now I think you’re in that awkward adolescent phase where you’re smoking too much pot and drinking too much and sleeping with questionable partners who are just bound to give you the herp.)

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Merkans. Give your country a hug today, yeah? It’s trying really hard not to be a jerk, sometimes. There’s still some of that glory in there. There’s still wonder. There’s still beauty. There’s still magic.

You just have to look a little harder to find it.

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