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Category Archives: Holidays
You know, I often wonder what it’ll be like when I’m old. You know, like, when I’m 35.
Ha! I kid. Thirty-five is now the new 12. You’re not technically old until 44. Everyone knows that.
But seriously, I do often wonder how things will be when I’m in my 70′s and I’m (hopefully) a grandmother to grandkids who are way less messed up than my actual kids. And they all gather around their Ninja Gammy (<—–trademarked) and ask “What was it like when you were young, Ninja Gammy?”
“Well, kids, it was a simpler time, when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Sphinx) was blasting from the 800-pound five-CD changer in my car trunk (remember, kids, always keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind) and we communicated via pagers, which were tiny machines that beeped to alert you someone wanted you to find a landline phone (which was a primitive and barbaric form of the cell phone) no matter where you were so that you could call them back immediately so that they could inform you they needed a ride, and we had to walk 30 miles in the snow without shoes to let our best friend know what our status update was, and when we wanted to watch a TV show we had to wait until the actual day and time that the TV network broadcast it, and we were forced to write (by hand!) in the now mythical language of ‘cursive’.”
And as if all that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I still have to figure out how the hell I’m going to explain/justify MySpace and Gangnam Style to them.
“Uh…there were bath salt zombies back then, children. What do you want from me?”
See, the problem is that technology is simply moving too fast. For instance, I remember my grandma playing music on a record player while I was jamming to my cassette tapes (pieces of crap that always had to be fixed with a pencil, kids). But it wasn’t a completely foreign concept to me. As a kid, my cousins had a toy record player that we used to play crappy kid’s albums on. And even though we all had cordless phones (slightly less barbaric versions of cellphones, kids), we could all figure out how to use the rotary phone she had because the generation gap wasn’t wider than the technology gap.
But now…oi vey…
Which brings me to the point of this post. Being the Smart Phone/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram addict that I am, I had an eye-opening experience just the other day that taught me a very valuable lesson about all this runaway technology we’re living with today.
Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…
It was just after New Years. My family was in town. Considering it was January in Boston, it was cold (which was confirmed by the 52 Instagram photos of thermometers in my feed). So we decided to take advantage of home delivery, the culinary technology break-through that made it possible for hot food to be delivered to your door (like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, only slower and without the whimsy).
Considering there were five of us, we decided to go with pizza, the ultimate crowd pleaser and the least likely choice to result in a fist fight.
Or so it would seem at first glance.
Being that this was my territory, I clicked onto Foodler.com, my go-to magical food portal, an absolutely brilliant contribution to humanity that lets you type in your address and then tells you what restaurants deliver to your ‘hood (complete with full menus for each eatery) and then LET’S YOU ORDER DIRECTLY FROM THE WEBSITE. I know I talk up toilet paper a lot as the best invention of all time (with the Snuggie as a close second), but seriously, I’d be willing to go back to leaves and/or our collective left hand in order to keep Foodler.
The problem was, however, that the majority wanted Regina’s pizza, which was not listed on Foodler. So, trying to be a good hostess, I Googled Regina’s delivery. Found out they do deliver. Clicked on link. Was taken to a new Foodler-esque website. Started to order. Discovered I also had to set up an account, complete with username, password, password hint, security questions, personal info, mother’s maiden name and itemized list of everyone I’ve ever had sex with. Decided to scrap that idea. Sooooo then…
Went directly to Regina’s website. Discovered they had a tab for delivery. No menu listed. Had to create own pizza from list of 3,000 ingredients. Twenty minutes (and 42 stitches later) we realized we cannot, as a family unit, create our own pizza unanimously (or at least, not without Thunderdome breaking out). Sooooo then…
More Googling. More half-hearted attempts to create “accounts” on other third-party food delivery websites. More “your food will be delivered in approximately 3 hours and there will be a $652 delivery fee.”
And just when we thought all hope was lost and we’d be forced to eat leftover Christmas food that may or may not have gained consciousness…
Someone suggested, “Uh, why don’t you just call the restaurant and order the pizza?”
Ninety seconds later, the pizza was ordered. Ready in 15. Have a nice day.
Lesson learned: Technology isn’t simplifying our lives. It’s simply making us stupid.
So, just remember that, kids, when 30 years from now it takes you three hours to order a pizza via the Internet.
And that’s only if you can remember your password.
Even though technically I’m writing this before the supposed end of the world on Dec. 21, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that we didn’t all meet our fiery doom simply because the Mayans got lazy with their math homework. And if I’m wrong, well, pffft…what are you going to do about it? Judge me? Shove it in my face? You’re freaking dead.
But even though this prophecy is complete bunk (unless, again, I’m wrong, in which case, who cares because I doubt there is an Internet comment section in the afterlife…unless you end up in Hell where you are forced to read “c0mn3ntz buY peepz wh00 truely h8 da Englesh langwuid” all day), it does have the interesting effect of making one reflect back on their life. This is also amplified by the fact that we are staring straight into a bright, shiny new year, which always casts a magical spell on us and makes us promise to do things we actually never, ever intend to do.
So, with this in mind, I’ve been wondering how my life has stacked up so far.
Childhood? Happy. Or, at least as happy as any childhood can be in a world where wearing floral leggings in fourth grade will get you the nickname “Petunia Butt.” And, sure, I still had to deal with bullies and insecurities and childhood fears (I’m still convinced those troll dolls from the ’80s come alive at night) and boo-boos and disappointments (ahem…Kent Blackford likes me but doesn’t “like” me like me) and that horrible process of trying to figure out your place in the world. But at the end of the day, I always knew I was loved.
Adolescence? Ugh. Let’s just say it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Or better yet, if we take out the years 13 through 15 (and any and all photos taken during that period), it was actually pretty damn good. Although there was some pretty awful poetry produced in the remaining years.
College? Two degrees. No STDs. Sixty percent of memories still retained. So, overall, successful.
Career? Currently not where I want to be. I mean, I never really achieved my 7-year-old self’s dream of being a model-doctor-marine biologist-author-female Indiana Jones. But I did become a writer and a journalist, my 15-year-old self’s dream. I’ve seen my byline in multiple newspapers, including the Boston Globe, won some awards and was once told by an 87-year-old woman that I was funnier than Carol Burnett, which, let’s be honest, is by far the best compliment one can receive. I even achieved my goal of becoming a paid photographer, my 25-year-old self’s dream. Sure, I still haven’t written that book that is destined to make me rich (or at least get me out of the Ramen Noodle bracket of the middle class) or become syndicated yet, but the fact that I often write currently for publications for free proves that I really am doing what I love.
Love life and other grown-up relationships? My husband tells me I’m beautiful when I just woke up and resemble Wednesday Addams (both in looks and attitude), my family supports me to an embarrassing degree, my in-laws are straight out of some magical Hallmark Christmas movie and my friends, both life-long and recent and everything in-between, are the new, improved Algonquin Round Table.
Hmm…somehow I thought this post would be more cynical. But as it turns out, when you reflect on your life, somehow the good always outshines the bad. Which leads us to the most important question of all:
What would I do if I knew in advance it was my very last day on Earth and that I would shortly be forced to read the worst, most ignorant comments the Internet has to offer for the rest of eternity?
Or more specifically, the same thing I can be found doing on any average Saturday. Cooking breakfast with my husband, yelling at the dog, talking to my mom and cousin on the phone, heading into the city and stopping for a beer at some dive bar and at the end of the day, writing it all down.
Because, as it turns out, it’s in the every day that the magic of life lives.
This one is dedicated to my husband, the brave hunter
‘Twas a month before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for my husband (who was hunting a mouse).
The traps were all placed in the kitchen with care
In the hopes that a dead rodent soon would be there.
I was nestled all snug and a ‘lil drunk in my bed
While visions of sexy fun times danced in my head
But Ryan in his PJ’s, armed with those silly traps
Refused to stop ’til he won against those rats
When suddenly, BOOM! There arose such a clatter
I fell (gracefully) out of bed to see what was the matter
Away to the kitchen I stumbled all lady-like
Cause sweatpants are always classy, am I right?
Through the haze of perhaps a bit too much wine
I looked around to find that husband of mine
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But him laying on the floor, on his face a big sneer
“I found him, babe! I have him caught under here!”
He declared, so happy his victory was so near
But alas, the poor man was about to lose face
Because soon a half-dozen more took its place
Now, look here Mighty! And you too, Minnie and Mickey!
And don’t think I forgot you, the Brain and dumbass Pinkie!
You guys are all over, coming out of the walls
And I want to bash your stupid heads, bash away them all
Get the hell outta my house, you tiny assholes
You rejects of nature, you hamsters without souls
You’ve invaded our home for much, much too long
And the way you’ve invaded our life is just wrong
Because it’s the same thing every single night
The scurrying and pawing happening just out of sight
And us laying in bed, seething at the thought
Of the havoc and ickiness you have wrought
And trust me, no lie, I used to feel bad for you
Buying humane traps and making much ado
About how your stupid little lives mattered too
A decision I would quickly come to rue
Because your eyes! How evil and so beady!
Your tails, ugh, so gross! Your motives how seedy!
Your stupid little mouths and your need to pee
Not to mention poop on every surface I can see
Thanks to you jerks I now compulsively clean
A habit now I don’t think I’ll ever ween
Going to Lady MacBeth lengths, until I’ve bloody hands
While you laugh and mock and take over the land
But while you have won the battles thus far
We’ll win the war and rule like demonic czars
Turning our house into a mecca of death
Hunting you down like addicts looking for meth
Cause while you may have evaded all our tricks
Never taking the bait and getting your kicks
From outsmarting us and making us look daft
Live it up because, trust me, we’ll have the last laugh
So forget poison and those glue traps as well
Because our next idea is downright next to swell
And I don’t think I’m lying when I say you’ll be quite smitten
With the fact I’m going out and adopting a litter of kittens
Hey, you know what the world needs more of? [WARNING! WARNING! SARCASM ALERT! Feel free to detour to the fourth paragraph] People bitching about how Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. Caaaaaause that NEVER happens. And is a completely original thought.
Hmm…maybe we should also start complaining about politics too. And cold weather. And people who think Instagram was solely created so they could share what they’re eating for lunch to the rest of the world (Blackened salmon with roasted asparagus? Well, aren’t you fancy!)
[OK, sarcastic rant over]
Yes, people complaining about how Christmas has completely obliterated Thanksgiving and is quickly encroaching on Halloween’s thunder is about as cliché now as people complaining how ironic it is we go out and shiv little old ladies in Wal-Mart to get 50 percent off some crappy Chinese-made TV’s the day after a holiday that is centered around giving thanks for what we already have.
But you want to know why people continue to bitch about Christmas being three months long now? It’s because it’s [I'm not actually going to type out the curse word I want to use here but, I mean, come on, you know what it is]-ing annoying.
I don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of candy canes before I find the Halloween candy at the grocery store in October or a bunch of eggnog before I find my pumpkin and various other gourd-based beers at the liquor store in September.
And I sure as hell don’t want to see Christmas commercials when I’m having my annual psychotic breakdown in the kitchen on Thanksgiving (stupid flour, butter and shortening…I ruined my best knife stabbing you to death when you kept refusing to actually turn into pie crust…AND I’D DO IT AGAIN, DAMMIT!).
But before you go thinking I’m all bah-humbug-y, Grinch-y, evil corporate guy in every Christmas special ever, let me throw this M. Night Shamalamadingdong twist at ya.’ Christmas is actually my favorite holiday. Always has been. I love everything about it. The lights. The cooking (except pie crust…which I maintain had it coming). The gift shopping. The wrapping. The decorating. The 37 emails back and forth with family about who got what on everyone’s list. The music. The claymation marathons on TV. The awkward reaction I get from salespeople when they say “Happy Holidays” and I reply with a cheerful “Merry Christmas” because they think I’m going to be that A-hole that gets mad that they said “Happy Holidays” when really I couldn’t care less because my body is composed of 82 percent hot toddy at that point.
Not to mention, the fact my husband chivalrously refuses to make fun of me because I fell down last year while decorating the tree because I had too much eggnog (or at least not to my face).
Needless to say…*
And it’s specifically because I love Christmas so much that I’m angry everyone is trying to artificially manufacture Christmas spirit prematurely. Because you know what happens when you try to artificially make something happen? It…well, let’s use an awkward simile to explain it…
It’s like getting all dressed up in your sexy lingerie, hair done perfectly and actual makeup on your face besides chapstick and anti-wrinkle cream, because you want to surprise your husband with some sexy fun-time horizontal bonding maritals. And you carefully lay yourself on the bed in just the perfect position so that all your wobbly bits and fat pockets are hidden. And you are just filled with excited anticipation for the night. And so you wait.
And you wait.
And then wait some more.
And suddenly he’s three hours late coming home from work and by the time he gets to the bedroom, you’ve already downed half a bottle of wine and eaten three-fourths of a pumpkin pie while wearing sweatpants with your teddy because all the anticipation, and thus the fun, vanished (What? Just me?).
That’s what you people are doing to Christmas.
If you build this awesome holiday up too big by starting it way too early, the only place it can go is to an anti-climatic, sputtering dud. So that by Christmas Eve, you downright rage in a foam-at-the-mouth homicidal spree every time you hear “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it is the 37th million time you’ve heard it and the human brain can tolerate only 28 million times (there have been studies, look it up).
So stop ruining Christmas. Be patient. Let’s make this season a reasonable, wonderful, exciting, month-ish long celebration. Instead of building it up starting July Fourth only to arrive at the end with an attitude of “that’s it?”
It’s what Charlie Brown would have wanted.
And that weird, freaky-looking Yeti in the claymation Rudolph special.
*I freaking love Christmas, in case you didn’t catch the whole “no need to say it” vibe.
Is it just me or has everyone gone nuts for Thanksgiving this year? No, I’m not talking about getting a jumpstart on the traditional holiday season bender a vast majority of us go on this time of year. Hell, most of us started that in August.
I’m talking about the abundance of thanks people are publicly listing on social networking sites such as Facebook, which started as early as November 1st.
Every. Single. Day. Posting what they’re thankful for: Their children. Their health. The fact that every time they bitch on Facebook it’s only for First World Problems.
Last time I checked, Thanksgiving was only one day. For only one day did I have to be thankful for crap. Which was then followed the next day by beating up people in Aisle 10 of Wal-Mart in order to get the last Tickle Me Binder Full of Women or whatever stupid, popular toy some manufacturer didn’t make enough of for all of us in the world who have the time and luxury to camp outside a store for a week.
I mean, I wouldn’t care, but it’s bad enough Christmas starts in March now. Does Thanksgiving really need to be a whole month-long?
And honestly, who really cares what you’re thankful for?
The answer? No one. So knock it off and keep it at the Thanksgiving dinner table, where it belongs.
OK, OK, enough complaining. I digress. Let’s move onto the topic of this blog.
Here’s a list of everything I’m thankful for this year:
“Jersey Shore” is finally ending.
Season Two of HBO’s “Girls” begins in January.
My dog Buffy has yet to succeed with his plans to take over the world.
Speaking of the world, I’m also glad we got a heads up that it is ending this December, which means I don’t have to go out and buy Christmas gifts for anyone. Suckers.
Hats that make babies look like bears.
That Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Blogger and WordPress didn’t exist when I was a teenager, thus documenting all my stupid ducky-wip pictures and lame, melodramatic “poetry” for all eternity on the Internet.
Toilet paper (look, I know I say that every year, but seriously, think about it…think about life without toilet paper…yeah…exactly).
That I didn’t kill myself quite literally about an hour ago when I noticed the gas on our stove top was on and had been on for about four hours ever since I cleaned it this morning and accidentally turned the dial on. And that I didn’t go with my first gut reaction, which was to light the stove so that it would use up all the excess gas (I swear, I have two college degrees).
Hummus. Which I use to confuse with haggis. And which is why I never ate it. Until someone finally told me the difference (did I mention I have two college degrees?).
Saturday Night Live. And specifically, Bill Hader. Who I would like to do dirty, dirty things to while he does his Clint Eastwood impression.
That if I ever become homeless, I will own the most books of any homeless person ever. I don’t care how many Kmart carts I have to steal from their parking lot. They’re ALL coming with me to the creepy alleyway.
My husband. Without which, I would have to move every time there was a spider in the house.
My in-laws (yeah, I have awesome in-laws…how much do you hate me right now?).
My 2004 Hyundai, which is not only paid off but has a sassy chassis that keeps running like a dream (well, a dream with a broken muffler that makes it sound like a monster truck eating a fourwheeler).
I finally have a dining room table…like an ADULT.
Cherry Bounce (which is a family recipe involving vodka, cherries and I swear, body parts from a unicorn).
Beer in a bottle.
Also a can.
And occasionally out of a jar.
And FINE! I’ll give a legit one. GAWD. I’m thankful that even though I lost the title of mother this year, I was quickly reminded by some wonderful people that I still hold the title of beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, in-law, friend and kindred spirit.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!