28 December 2008

Holiday Hangover

I guess the holidays are not technically over. We have the last (and, in my opinion, the most overhyped) one this week, then a long weekend, then it'll all be over.

I, for one, will be happy when they're over! Mine have been nice...pretty mellow, lots of hanging out with the pooch trying to stay warm, but my body has just about had it. The late nights, the parties, drinking, and...the eating. It's not even that I've eaten that much, it's just that everything I have consumed seems to have little to no nutritional value.

Take Christmas Eve...cookies for breakfast, chips for lunch, brownies for snack, then a somewhat decent meal (only somewhat because I had filled up on too many appetizers first). Day after Christmas? Brownies for breakfast, two pieces of bread and ice cream for dinner.

I am trying to be good, but am going to be forgiving for the rest of the year. Then, like everyone else, will detox next week.

25 December 2008

Christmas is Here!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

And here, I present the greatest Christmas song of all time...

22 December 2008

No Rhinocerususus

Top Christmas song #2.

Yes, the video is kind of creepy, but the song is the bestest.

20 December 2008

Smiling's my Favorite!

In honor of the holidays, I am sharing my favorite movies/songs. If you don't like it...well, too bad. I am doing my best to get into the holiday spirit this year, because it's just not happening for me.

Elf, though just a few years old, is a total classic. It astounds me that Will Ferrell can keep his wide-eyed innocence throughout the film, and play this part with such unabashed joy.

My favorite favorite scene is when he hears Santa is coming. I can vaguely remember being so in love with the idea of Santa when I was a child, that my brother and I could barely sleep. One of the few times we would get along -- Christmas Eve -- we would giggle and chat before bed, then in the morning sit outside my parents room until it was ok to go in. All the while, we would be daring each other to go into the living room to check for Santa, did he come? Did he eat the cookies? My parents would make us sit on the couch so they could go check and see what the big guy brought us, and we would wiggle and be jumping out of our pjs until we were allowed to go in.

For me, this clinches the movie. That Ferrell is able to capture the excitement we felt as a kid, and show it to us as an adult is absolutely amazing to me.

18 December 2008

I Don't Want a Lot for Christmas

We are counting down the days until Christmas...having grown up with Christmas music blaring from the beginning of December through the big day, I have quite a repertoire of faves.

This is one...if you are not up dancing by the end, you need to check your pulse.

16 December 2008

On Anger

The end of the year always makes me rather introspective...even more so than normal. I love it when, this time of year, I find something that speaks to me so deeply. On the day that I read this story, it so fit how I was feeling, and, upon continuing through the book, I wondered if the author had somehow gotten into my head.
Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape by Sarah Manguso
Story #1
I'm angry at the drawer, which has failed to close again, and I'm angry at the person, who has disappointed me once again. But really I'm angry I consented to believe in carpenter ghosts and that I consented to love an asshole. It was I who committed the real injustices. When I figure that out, I'm so angry that I'll surely give up, but I do not. I'm too angry. I want to keep myself alive so I can commit further injustices against myself, the self who has already committed such injustices against me.
Aside from me just being in that kind of mood that day, I think this passage so perfectly describes what it is about anger that really gets to us...yes, we can be angry at other people, but deep down, we are angry at ourselves for allowing these things to happen. It is hard to get our head around that fact, which only makes us angrier.

Yet...we go on to open ourselves up to others over and over again. If we don't, it would be such a solitary life. But when we do, we also open ourselves up to the pain, and when it happens, we become angry all over again. It is a never ending cycle of masochism, apparently!

Can you tell I am totally in love with these books I am reading?

15 December 2008

To Me, You are Perfect

So rarely is a holiday movie made that doesn't hit you over the head with holiday cheer.While those movies are great, they are often so unrealistic, they just make you more depressed than you already are over the holidays.

Love Actually is one of my favorites just for this reason -- it is dark, at some times even painful, much like the holidays themselves. There are a few scenes that I absolutely adore...the one where Laura Linney is so excited to bring her crush home, only to really be crushed shortly after when her priorites get screwy. And also, the one that really gets me, is the scene where Emma Thompson realizes her hubby is cheating on her. She is visibly shaken, and trying to keep up the brave fight in front of her children, so she escapes to her room to heave the cry that only a broken heart can cause.

But yet, amidst all the saddness, there is a bit of light. A hidden bit of perfection.

14 December 2008

Fighting the Good Fight

Lately I have been thinking a lot of regret. My goal has always been not to regret that which I have done in life...after all, if I've tried it, I can only learn from it, right? I have made mistakes, for sure, and made some very poor decisions, but I can't say I really regret them. How do we learn if not for mistakes, for trying new things? Often things that could be regrettable, like, for me, not staying longer in college along with my friends, end up happening for the better, in this case, it allowed me to go live in Spain and travel and figure out who I am. So really...regret has no real use, right?

But then I read this, by David Eggers (from How the Water Feels to Fishes)
The Fights Not Fought
She could not remember where she ate dinner the night before, or whom she had met last week in that walnut-paneled room. She could not recall the names of the streets where she once lived, or the date of her own father's birthday. But she could remember the fights she did not fight. There were so many, and they haunted her with a stabbing, shaming pain. People had told her to choose her battles, and she had chosen some, and neglected others, and now the neglected came to her like an army of lost children. She should have chosen them all, she thought to herself, as she buried another friend. She should have chosen every one.

I think I have mentioned this before, but the last 6 months or so have been a little strange...full of reminders of the brevity of life. These events have really made me re-evaluate my actions, my attitude towards this crazy life. They have also brought to my mind the fights I didn't fight, and made me think of impending fights that should be battled. These are the fights that could end in something beautiful, something fantastic. They could also end in great explosions and failure.

But if I never take up the fight, how will I know which are those that end in the fantastic?

03 December 2008

Love the Colbert

Fighting the absurd with the absurd.

02 December 2008

The Days of Mixed Tapes

Back in the 80's and 90's, making mixed tapes was an important past time. I can't count how many I have in my parent's garage (though my mom probably knows, as she asks me to get rid of them almost every time I go home...sorry Mom!), most of them taped from the radio. When I got a new stereo and a CD player, I graduated to making tapes of songs from the CDs I owned...probably a little Janet Jackson mixed with some Trash Can Sinatras or something.

But the ultimate validation came when someone finally made ME a mixed tape. Making a mixed tape was not something to be taken lightly; songs were carefully chosen to set a mood, convey a feeling, introduce someone to something they wouldn't otherwise listen to. To me, getting a mixed tape made me feel so special. Seems silly now, but back then...

The first mixed tape I ever got was from my friend Howser (well, his name was Doug, which we changed to Doogie, which I changed to Howser, as in, M.D. He humored me). I think I had stolen borrowed a tape from him, which had an odd mix but I just loved. He decided it was time I listen to better music, which to him, was punk. So he made me a tape called "Intro to Punk," which had a variety of covers on the "fun" side and awesome music on the "serious" side.

I loved that tape.

We sat together and listened to it, him explaining the various bands to me, making me listen to the words...all the words. When we'd see a poster for a show, he'd point it out and we'd go. I must say...it was much easier to have someone tell me what to listen to!

That tape got me through college and then some. I am surprised I didn't wear it out. When I was having trouble with my lacrosse coach, I would put it in the Walkman, go to the Wall, and throw the shit out of the ball to the rhythm of Samiam's "Bad Day" or "United Cigar" by Good Riddance. They had the perfect anger rhythm, and I got super strong...too bad my coach hated me and still wouldn't play me (um...not bitter or anything).

Somewhere along the line, the actual tape got lost. But not too long ago I found the tape case with all the songs listed, and have been able to download a lot of them. I've been listening to them lately, which causes me to look crazy walking down the street, whipping my head around to the beat. It also makes me want to be back in Yosemite 35K dissecting every part of every song. Oh, and it makes me want to go play some lax, too!!

01 December 2008

2 Minute Rule

Most people who know me know I am not the neatest person on the planet. I may try, but my surroundings are usually filled with piles of paperwork, clothes, shoes...all stuff that I could easily put away and just don't.

Recently, I was at lunch with a few coworkers, and we were talking about a class we had all taken together. At the end, we had to write ourselves a note, reminding us of a change we committed to making for 30 days at work. Mine had something to do with finding creative solutions before just saying no. My coworker's was the 2 minute rule -- don't put off something you can easily do within 2 minutes.

Interesting approach, I thought, and decided to apply it to my housekeeping. It only takes a minute to make my bed, to hang up my jacket, put my shoes in my closet...and it has totally changing the way my place looks! It looks so much better, neater, and I don't get so frustrated!

I am not perfect. It is easy to put it off, and sometimes I do. But it has totally changed the way I think about things. I love it!