30 xmasses in, I’m pretty much done.

24 Dec

Hi, blog. Long time, no see.

With those pleasantries out of the way…

I’m sitting here at 2 a.m. on xmas eve morning, hoping, but not really expecting, that this will be the last time I participate in this crazy holiday. Yeah, I’m one of those people. People who don’t like xmas.

Let’s acknowledge the obvious right away: I call it “xmas” and not “Christmas” for a reason. I’m pretty much an atheist. I say “pretty much” because I believe it’s just as foolhardy for people to prance around claiming they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no god as it is for people to stand on soapboxes on streetcorners screaming about how god hates us all and we’d better repent. So… yeah. I do consider myself agnostic for the simple reason that the existence of god can be neither proven nor disproven, but let’s face it… I’m, like, 98% atheist. Maybe even higher than that. So, with that being said, why the fuck am I celebrating this very christian holiday?

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s pretty much secular at this point. A little aside here: I find it extremely bizarre how people will go on and an on about how horrible Valentine’s Day is and how it’s this corporate “holiday” designed to sell crap and how we shouldn’t have to have a special day set aside where we are reminded to tell people that we love them, and yet I’ve never heard one person make the same case about xmas. Like somehow because xmas has this tenuous religious link, people are somehow okay with how superficial and commercialized the whole affair is. Is that not odd?? But I digress… Yes, xmas has its roots in paganism, and yes, plenty of nonbelievers do observe the holiday… but xmas is still undeniably and inextricably linked to christianity, and it always will be. If I was jewish or muslim, I wouldn’t be celebrating xmas, so as more-or-less-an-atheist, how does it make any sense for me to be observing the day?

Ohh, but xmas is a time that you can make your own, right? You personalize it. Family traditions and what not. Yeah, regarding that… a whole bunch of my traditions changed when I started dating my now-husband. A bunch of his, too. Suddenly, we had to incorporate 2 family xmasses into 1 day, and some things had to give. Even given the fact that we both cut a lot of traditional stuff out of our xmas celebrations, I still feel like there’s too much going on for one 48 hour period. This year, today, I work until 5, at which point I will come home, eat, pack an overnighter, and settle in for an hour-long car ride to a city I’m not overly fond of to sleep in a bed that’s not mine so I can wake up altogether too early considering the fact that I also work at 8:30 to 5 on boxing day, so I can eat food that I don’t like and sit around for two hours while we all ooh and aah over the stuff we all got that we easily could have bought for ourselves weeks ago. Then I get to hop back in the car for another hour-long car ride back to my family’s place where, once again, we will sit around and pretend to care about what everybody else received in their stocking. Oh, and at some point, we need to drive around and look at lights. What an insane thing to do! On what other day would you be like, “hey, you know what I really feel like doing today? Driving around and looking at lights”. And somehow on xmas eve, it’s like the most important thing to do ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem spending time with family, and it’s not like driving for an hour is the end of the world. I know that. What I’m saying is, if we must observe this holiday to which I feel no emotional connection whatsoever, does it have to be done by waking up at sunrise so we can all participate in a giant consumerist orgy? Why can’t we wake up at a reasonable hour and go feed chickadees in the woods? Why can’t we pool the money that we would have spent on each other and donate it to charity instead? Or, if there must be presents under the tree, why can’t we, again, pool the funds and everybody gets one really nice thing that they genuinely want and would love to have but wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford for themselves? I’m a little tired of carting home piles of stuff every December 25th. This year, when people asked me for a list, I felt like I was grasping for items to ask for just so they’d have something to give me. Isn’t that a little bit ridiculous? I’m a grown woman, I don’t want for very much. Most of the things I do want, I can simply buy for myself, and the things I can’t buy for myself, I would never have the audacity to ask for in the first place. Presents are Santa’s business, and Santa is for kids.

So what about the warm fuzzy vibe of the feeling, what about that, huh?

You obviously don’t work at the mall.

I haven’t felt a whole lot of warmth and good cheer this holiday season. Xmas always has a way of bringing out the crazies, but usually there’s at least a handful of nice people to offset the presence of Satan’s spawn in my store. This year, I’ve had exactly one particularly kind customer. One. And by “particularly kind”, I mean that we laughed and smiled at each other while I helped him pick out gift items, and as I wrapped his gifts for him, he left a positive comment about me to the management. These are the kinds of simple, normal behaviours that I engage in practically every bloody time I go shopping — I am nice to the people who are serving me, and if they are particularly helpful, I leave them positive feedback. These are not extra-special-ultra-festive-it’s-xmas-let’s-spread-good-cheer kind of mannerisms; this ought to be simple, everyday type stuff. And yet the one person who treats me with the same kindness that I try to extend to other people is the single customer who shines above all others this time of year? That’s fucked up! It’s not like xmas is a surprise. If it stresses you out, start early. Shop online. Don’t participate.

I mean, I guess that’s the thing that I finally clued into this year: none of this is mandatory. When I was younger, like in my late teens, I used to try to persuade my mother that we ought to just skip xmas. Yes, I’ve pretty much always been this grinchy. I guess as I got older, I just stopped seeing a point. Funny though, my family never went for it. But now, it’s 10 years later, and I don’t live at home anymore, and I can make these decisions for myself, finally, and I’m really starting to think that I just want out. Next year, I don’t want to go through another solid month of stress, worrying about what to buy people and how I’m possibly going to pay for it all, fretting about where I’m possibly going to find the time to go shopping, of all things. I want this to be the last time that I ever have to involve myself in this. I have exactly 1 year to convince my husband that celebrating xmas is, for our little twosome, completely hypocritical, self-indulgent, and kind of stupid. For us. I’m not saying the rest of the world should stop celebrating if that’s what they want to do… I’m just saying, I don’t want to do this anymore. That’s all.

(Oh, and one last thing: While it’s true that good xmas music does exist… 99% of people aren’t taking the time to find it, and no mall manager or shop owner has apparently ever heard it. If I hear Feliz Navidad or that damn hippopotamus song [WHICH WASN’T PERFORMED BY SHIRLEY TEMPLE. IT JUST WASN’T] one more time… I don’t even know what.)

Best. Summer. Ever.

13 Jul

Slowly but surely, this is shaping up to be the best summer ever. My class is pretty fun, I’ve been going out on my bike a lot, I got a new tattoo that I love which just so happens to cover up an old monstrosity that I always hated, Steve and I are making plans for our honeymoon (at last!), and on Sunday I bought a hula hoop.

In spite of the fact that a) my class is enjoyable and b) we just got back from a 2 week break, I’m debating about skipping this evening. Ooh, naughty girl. I just feel like for the past few weeks, all my time has been accounted for. I want to play hookey so I can stay in and watch a movie and hoop for hours. The responsible adult in me says go. The terrible student in me says stay home.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I intend to spend the whole day doing nothing, nothing at all!

Sewing Adventures

22 Jun

You know what’s awful? Synthetic fabric. I’ve decided to plunge headfirst into making skirts and dresses, but as I am a complete novice where sewing is concerned, I thought I’d do a practice round or two. I have this box full of fabric that my mom gave to me, and an instructional book that came with patterns that are all a bit too small for me, so I figured, what better to mangle?

The first bit of fabric I pulled from the box was too hideous even to practice with. Putty coloured, shiny on one side but fuzzy on the other… I shuddered every time it grazed my skin. No dice. Next was this weird, fake-denim looking stuff. I can’t tell the right side from the wrong side. It’s lightweight, and yet too heavy to tear. Cutting it is hell. I really want new shears.

Anyway… I’m wondering if I should just chuck all of my mom’s castoffs, and practice instead on pieces of broadcloth and t-shirts salvaged from Value Village.

Does anyone know how to make patterns more permanent, incidentally? I need tips!

Summer!

20 Jun

I am fairly excited about tomorrow being the first day of Summer. Goodbye, Spring! You were cold and dreary, and you kind of smelled bad.

I had an epiphany regarding my sewing projects and why I can’t seem to get started on anything. It’s those damn curtains. I like to finish one thing before I move on to the next, and I just can’t finish these. Why? Because I want to move. And I don’t see the point in investing time and resources to create curtains for a unit that I will hopefully be vacating in three months’ time or less. Thus, I am moving on! I need season appropriate clothing. Let the Summer of Crooked Seams begin!

Home Sweet Home

20 Jun

I really loathe my apartment.

I always have. Steve was keen on it from the get-go while I had my reservations at first. In the end, I made a snap decision to just go for it because they offered us a good deal on the rent. Lesson learned, you guys. There are a handful of things in life you should never settle for; I know from firsthand experience that two of these things are your engagement ring and your living quarters.

The problem right now is that we can’t really afford to move. Tiny stumbling block, that. Now ask me how much I care. Our lease is up in August (after that, we’ll go month-to-month until we can make our escape!) and I’ve already started packing. Bonkers, right? Who starts packing before they’ve even given their notice on a place?

Me, that’s who.

And so begins Project I’m-Sad-Here-And-Want-To-Move-As-Soon-As-Humanly-Possible-If-Not-Before-Then.

Fridays Are My Mondays

18 Jun

Because it’s Friday, my week is just beginning. There’s a bunch of stuff I want to get done this week, so here’s what I propose: I shall list my tasks here, and you, internet, will keep me accountable, yah? Without any further adieu…

- Watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is something I’ve been meaning to do, oh, only since it was in theatres. Jeez.

- Clean out my festering cosmetics collection.

- Get my name changed at school so I don’t have to deal with any more confusion regarding my super secret identity.

- …and get a new (um… valid) student ID while I’m there.

- Finish the damn curtains I started…

- …and maybe try my hand at cutting out an actual garment? (I want skirts.)

- Wednesday is going to bring a road trip of sorts, when Steve and I will leave city limits to go explore used bookstores.

- Thursday, I get my first tattoo coverup done.

- Read the giant John Lennon biography that arrived in the mail today.

Speaking of which, Dear Amazon, you work miracles. Steven ordered me this book at about 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon. It arrived this morning. How does that even happen?? Although, this wonder is somewhat mitigated by the fact that books from Amazon always seem to arrive slightly bruised and battered. Anyone else notice that? It never happens when you order from Indigo…

Font Dilemma

16 Jun

So I have this assignment that’s sort of been killing me since the day I started it, because as it turns out I’m really quite stupid and have very little to say about anything, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m experiencing a dilemma right now, and I need your help, internets. Here are the specs:

- The paper is to be between four and five pages long
– The paper is to be double spaced
– The paper is to be written in 12 point font
– The paper is to have one inch margins

See, all those specifics are, I’m sure, meant to stop people cutting corners. You know how you can sort of cheat papers and make them look longer than they are by broadening your margins or spacing things wider apart or using a bigger point size for your font? Clearly, the prof wants to avoid that, and good on him. Why should the person who only wrote three pages worth get as good a grade as the person who wrote five pages worth, simply because they used creative spacing?

…but by that same token, why should the person who sets their font as Courier New get a better grade than the person submitting the same essay in Times New Roman, simply because the essay written in Courier New appears longer? Professors always forget that they should specify which font the document is written in, which I find so strange, because isn’t it the most obvious thing in the world that different fonts will take up different amounts of space on the page? It’s word count that matters, not page count. In any event, this particular prof is going with page count, and that’s what brings me to my question…

Do I set my essay in Courier New or Helvetica? I like Helvetica because it’s pretty, but Courier New stretches my meager thoughts out to a full five pages.

I’ll probably use Courier New. Heh.

Heartwarming

15 Jun

You meet all sorts when you work in retail.

Alllllllllllllll sorts.

Some are mystery shoppers who write things like “I really felt like she cared about me” and “I left the store feeling special” about you (sorry, 59-year-old-male, but I don’t even remember your face). Some are… angry people. I don’t mean angry about whatever situation they happen to be in at the time, I mean angry-to-the-core angry. And they like to take it out on shopgirls sometimes. So that kind of sucks… But some people are just amazing.

e.g. …

Yesterday, I approached a woman and her son while they were browsing, ’cause that’s why they pay me the big bucks. I asked if she had any questions and it turned out that yes, yes she did! Unfortunately, I think her son had an autism spectrum disorder and I think I sort of cornered him, because as soon as he realized I was there he started rocking back and forth, back and forth. Usually I try to engage kids who are shopping with their parents, because let’s face it, being dragged into stores with your mom is incredibly annoying and boring but since you’re a kid nobody listens to you, so you have to do it. With this little guy, though, I thought I might overwhelm him if I tried to bring him into the conversation, so I specifically addressed his mom… until I felt a little taptaptap on my shoulder. So I paused and said “yeah?”. He reached up and ran his finger around the edge of my name tag and said to me, “what’s your name?”. I told him my name, and he offered me his hand in a half-pinkie-swear, half-handshake sort of gesture and said, “friends?”.

And that’s when my brain exploded from the incredible cuteness.

The best part was after I rang his mom through and he offered me his left hand to shake once more and said it was nice to meet me.

ZOMG

14 Jun

Goodbye, most annoying blog post I ever made.

Tattoo Coverage

10 Jun

So I’m planning to have my tattoos covered or altered over the course of the next year or so. All 3 of ‘em. And people are starting to ask me why, so I thought I’d blog about it, since I’ve nothing better to do at the moment.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18. It’s a tiny pink flower on my left shoulder blade. Very boring, very every-girl-has-one, but it seemed cute when I was in high school. Now that I’m older and know myself better… it’s just not fitting. I want to cover it up with a family crest bearing my “maiden name”, which is a name with history that I’ve always identified with.

My second tattoo came when I quit my first job, which was teaching singing lessons at a music school. How I landed that gig when I was sixteen is still something of a mystery to me, but I digress. I quit at age 20 and wanted to commemorate it, so I got a treble clef intertwined with a rose tattooed on my lower back. I still like the basic concept of that tattoo, but I want to sharpen it up and personalize it a little bit. By virtue of sheer coincidence, I carried red roses along with red and white lilies on my wedding day. I want to add the lilies to the design, as well as a musical staff with the first few notes of “our song” on it.

My third tattoo was chosen on a whim. Never get a tattoo on a whim, kids. It’s a bad idea and it will not turn out well. I didn’t like the artist from the start, he just made me deeply uncomfortable somehow. But because I’d gotten so excited about getting a tattoo, and because I’d already put down my deposit, I went ahead with it… and I’ve always hated it. Always. And what will I do with this tattoo, you ask? I’m hoping it can be easily covered with a heron. A big heron, something with presence. The reason I want a heron is because on my wedding day, two flew overhead and our wedding coordinator told us it was a sign of prosperity and happiness. I’ve wanted a heron tattoo since that day… it’s been nearly a year of thought now, as opposed to the, what, 20 minutes of thought I put into the design that currently resides on my right ankle. I’m hoping the new design can begin on my foot and extend up my leg somewhat, but I’m limited by the placement of the current monstrosity.

Incidentally, I’m not going to be altering all 3 on the same day or anything. Although I might if I had the budget for it! I’m estimating it will probably take me a year to get them all fixed up.

So that’s that! I’m excited!

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