Holiday Adventures.

The holidays are over!

I went to visit my mom toting a giant bag of tinsel, ornaments and lights, intent on tarting up her room in accordance with the season.

I also brought her beer and cookies, because the holidays are for getting drunk and fat.

We chatted for a bit, she sipped at her beer and then had a nurse bring her some pain meds for her arthritis. This resulted in her nodding off before I could get to the decorating – not a problem, as I felt pretty confident in my ability to string some lights without oversight.

As she slept, I deployed a payload of holiday cheer an order of magnitude more than most people might consider necessary. Or reasonable. It was aggressively, devistatingly festive.

I set up a tiny christmas tree with a full skirt and emptied a pack of candy canes on it’s branches. It looked like a toddler tree playing dress-up with its mom’s clothes. Then I made a tree on the wall with tinsel and lights. I was going to call it a day after hanging some stockings, then I realized I hadn’t used half of what I brought. I just kept finding another string of lights in the bag, and then another empty outlet in the room, and that is some pretty simple math.

Most of the things in her room are wrapped in lights and fringed mylar now.

While I was making some final adjustments, my mom’s eyes opened slightly, then immediately snapped wide open. She looked mildly confused – not totally surprising as she fell asleep to the dim glow of the tv, and woke up to a Christmas disco.

Day off – lounging, baking, chili-making.

Delivered fudge to mom. Mom demands more fudge.

Video gaming – John introduced me to Saint’s Row IV. Multiplayer is hilarious fun. We are the president. We have very important decisions to make.

Packing. Sweeping the house to make sure no gifts are left behind. Nervous dog prances in front of door to make sure he is not left behind. Mail baked goods. Fail to realize how packed the post office will be two days before Christmas. Wait in post office. Leave late. Curse the holidays, post office, self and others.

Load car, start driving. Fail to realize how packed highways are going to be at 5PM two days before Christmas. Curse holidays, driving, self and others.

At least John updated all the driving music.

Christmas Eve – Italian family festivities. Everyone gathers at my Aunt’s house to eat shrimp and cookies, gossip and exchange gift cards.

Then we head back to my smom and dad’s house to continue eating and gossiping. We wait for my niece and nephew (4 and 6 years old, respectively) to go to bed, then start dragging out massive piles of gifts to put under the tree. By the time it is done, the entrance is completely blocked with gifts. The back door, is similarly barricaded with boxes, gift wrap and cookies.

I mention to my family that, in the event of a fire, we will all die, as we have left no avenue of escape. Everyone is tired and drinking wine, so this information does not seem to have much impact.

A few minutes later, my niece wanders sleepily into the living room to make an announcement:


While my smom and sister make with the cleanup, my niece climbs onto the couch, curls into the smallest possible ball, and passes out. Some time later, the rest of us manage to pass out as well.

Mostly a blur starting with toddlers kicking my door in at 7 AM to inform me that Santa had performed his stealthy duties while we slept. Highlights include:

  • a great deal of tearing and crumpling paper
  • my nephew having a meltdown because he was out of gifts to open
  • my niece attempting to chew the face off of penguin
  • my niece attempting to chew the face off of several dolls
  • my niece having a meltdown because she couldn’t play with her brother’s toys
  • my dog having a meltdown due to the stress of being in a strange, noisy environment with two small children, one of whom is going through a “chew the faces off of things” phase
  • a dog bite puncturing two of my fingers (related to the item immediately above this one)
  • friends chilling at my apartment, playing A Murder of Crows
  • friends from out of town visiting

I wake up early because my intestines are telling me that my niece shared whatever horrid illness she had with me. Twelve hours of liquishits ensue. (Thanks, Allaena)

For most of us, it makes a lot more sense than a harvest festival.

Make Election Day a Holiday

I was discussing this earlier today after having a look at this site:

Rather than move it to a weekend, just make it a holiday. No working on election day, you have a civic duty to perform. Followed by festivities, because having a voice in your government is something that was hard won, and ought to be respected and celebrated.

nnnhhrrr, hrrmble muurrmble frrmble YOO ESS AYYYYayay!

Hung out at the nursing home this evening with my mom to watch fireworks. On tv. Because fuck everything about downtown Columbus this evening.

It may be that something of the atmosphere was lost by not being downtown1, but the fireworks were unimpressive. I wanted to say it was just explosions set to music, but that implies more attention to detail than was given in this case. It was just explosions while at the same time music was happening, with no apparent relationship between the two events.

After a ten minute patriotism megamix2, the music stopped, and a generically enthusiastic voice booms out “Now it’s time for the grand finale, brought to you by Marathon Oil!”. At which point the pyrotechnicians presumably just started blasting skyward whatever rockets and snap bangs they could lay hands on as quickly as possible. The end result of this was a cloud of smoke illuminated here and there by the now hidden display.


Artistry? Fuck no. This is ‘murrca. Excess.


Before the fireworks there was Master Chef eliminations3, Big Brother4 and we watched Egypt collectively fire their president. People getting voted off the Island left and right tonight.




1And drunk.
2God Bless The USA might be the perfect patriotic song – especially for rallying a sort of generic patriotic fervor that has no specific direction. Lines like “Cause the flag still stands for freedom/And they can’t take that away” call out to your identity and suggest that someone means to take it from you. It provokes a defensive mindset with the threat of the ever-present “they”. The others. You know the ones. The ones that are not like you. The ones that hate you just because they are jealous of how awesome you are, and freedom and shit.
3Macaroons are apparently the litmus test of the baking world.
4The fact that my schizophrenic mom likes the show Big Brother makes me smile my small “I shouldn’t be smiling at this” smile.

Operation: Iroquoi Freedom

Which is to say, Happy Thanksgiving! It’s 5 A.M. and I’m still sort of too full to sleep. I have done this American tradition proud.

Holidays usually don’t mean much more to me than enjoying the company of friends and family and enjoying obscene amounts of food. I do not mean to minimize rituals I’ve embraced, I just recognize that getting drunk on poultry and watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 might appear to miss the point of the occasion. The particulars of any given holiday typically don’t concern me beyond what I recall observing in my childhood. Even then I’m probably just enjoying all the nostalgia chemicals.

However, I would like to take a moment to appreciate the truly balls-out way that we celebrate conquering the land on which this nation was built. In a gesture rife with symbolism, I feed the heart and liver of the turkey to my little dog. It’s how he steals the turkey’s power.

He also enjoys the end of the day ritual wherein I tear down the main bird structure and occasionally flick scraps his way. As I toss him chunks of offal that I only deign to touch in order to retrieve the surrounding meat, he gazes up at me like i am his best friend. It shows what a special bond we have. It also shows that I am not above attempting to buy love.

Since I probably fed him a good two cups or so of grease and meat(ish) substances, he is now stretched out next to me, occasionally grunting like an old man trying to rise from a chair. Call me an irresponsible pet owner, but if we can wreck our bodies in celebration of our bountiful spoils, I see no reason why he shouldn’t as well. Besides, I’ve already decided to tell myself that all that fat will really help promote a shiny coat.

Happy Thanksgiving buddy, your cup runneth over. With fatty skin.

Christmas Stories

One year my cousin Jill and I had to take part in a Christmas parade for girl scouts. We had to dress up as reindeer, and it was up to the parents to make the reindeer costumes out of whatever medium and with as much detail as they chose. This resulted in reindeer of at least widely varied breeds if not socio-economic status. My grandfather made our costumes – dyed brown children’s leisure suits and passable tails made from cotton batting from an old pillow. My grandfather was thrifty and preferred to use materials already available rather than buy something new. For our antlers, he traced the shape on some leftover fiberglass insulation, cut them out, spray painted them white and hot glued them to headbands.

Halfway through the parade, we both had to take our antlers off while marching due to the itching. When I pulled mine off, I tore a large chunk of hair out because the glue had not dried completely before I put it on. Jill had to go to the doctor for an ointment due to a rash that persisted for a day or two after.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Ultimate Sexy

If you are female and planning on buying a costume for halloween, your options are basically limited to the “sexy” version of whatever profession/character you choose to masquerade as. Last year I attended a party where I encountered the following:

sexy witch
sexy flight attendant
sexy girl scout (x2, one was a dude)
sexy snow white
sexy nurse
sexy cop

There was also a girl dressed as Lara Croft, which is sexy – but that is really just the character, so it doesn’t count.

Nothing really wrong with this I guess. I, as a woman, do feel the need to dress like I’m in a porno, and it’s important to have a day to celebrate this. If you are planning on going this route though – please, please pick something that actually makes sense to sexualize. Do not, for instance choose this:

I understand fantasizing about a little inappropriate use of force from a tarty officer or rendering Snow White less than pristine. But in whose shattered psyche is this desirable fantasy fodder?

I’m not a judgemental person, but if you buy this costume, then you’re pretty fucked up and probably strangled a whole bunch of cats when you were a kid.

We have specific reform programs for deviants like you.