Archive for December 31, 2007

Ending 2007 With a Bang

December 31, 2007

I just did the dumbest thing. I was pulling into the parking garage at work and putting my window down so I could scan my keycard, and I was concentrating on the window, because there’s a blob of bird doodoo on the top part, and I didn’t want to put it all the way down and get the doodoo all over the window and between the door panels, which I already did once, and as I was being super careful about that, I forgot that the car was also moving forward, and BAM! I hit the thing on the side of the thing where I was pulling in, and put a big fat dent in the front of my new car. I feel like such an idiot. I’m glad this happened today and not tomorrow, because I can chalk it up to being part of 2007, and I’m moving on to a much smarter 2008, a year in which I will not run my car into anything out of sheer stupidity.

Culture Shock

December 26, 2007

I went to North Carolina for Christmas, and the minute I got there I was immediately slapped in the face with the most intense culture shock I’ve experienced in my entire life. My mom, grandma, and my mom’s elderly friend all came to Charlotte to pick me up, and the friend drove no faster than 55mph for the entire 2-hour ride home. Then the minute we arrived in my home town, we stopped at the J&S Cafeteria for dinner (because that’s what old people there do), and I could not believe my eyes and ears. Between the strangers all talking to each other and us, the Christmas sweatshirts, and the John Deere pocketbook of the girl in front of us in line, I felt like an alien in another universe. I couldn’t help but think, what if a very large giant took that J&S Cafeteria and lifted it up and plopped it down in LA? How different would the scene look? Everyone would be facing forward, not speaking to anyone else, the food would cost ten times more, and the jeans and flannel shirts would be replaced with Ugs and Juicy sweats. Maybe it would even become a kitchy, trendy place where hipsters would eat “ironically.”

Last night I flew back to LA, and for the first time felt disgruntled with the lack of friendliness of folks here. I was on the shuttle coming from the airport wearing my seat belt (buckle up for safety!) and a woman couldn’t get to the seat behind me, and instead of saying, “Excuse me, can you move your seat belt please?” she just stood there all hunched over and pinch-faced, kind of staring/glaring at me. When I noticed, I was clearly still in NC mode and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!” and instead of saying, “Oh, that’s okay!” and then striking up a conversation about Christmas, traveling, and her uncle’s homegrown honey, like any respectable Carolinian would have, she didn’t say a cotton-pickin’ word! Not one word. I’ve been here for five years and have suddenly just realized that people in Los Angeles are unfriendly.

On the upside, my sister gave me a t-shirt that says, “You mess with this Carolina girl, you will be messin’ with the whole trailer park!”

I now consider them warned.

An Open Christmas Newsletter

December 17, 2007

You all know the Christmas Newsletter. Some people love them, some hate them. Personally, I like receiving them because I like to know what my friends are up to, and I’ll be the first to agree that it’s easier to share news with everyone all at once rather than one at a time (see also: this blog). Frankly I’d rather receive the news than not receive it, and if it comes in the form of a newsletter, so be it. Have you ever noticed, though, that the news is decidedly one-sided? It’s only the good news, which is why some people call it a “brag letter.” It makes sense, because nobody wants to send out a Debbie Downer Christmas letter full of depressing news, but still… I’ve decided that when I snag myself a husband and a coupla kids, and a newsletter seems the appropriate thing to do, I am going to make it as candid as possible. I’ll give the bad news right up there with the good. Just for funsies.

An example, for your reading pleasure:

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Holidays! We hope the season brings you much joy.

We’ve been married now for 20-some-odd years, and frankly that’s 20-some-odd too many, if you ask us. This year has been very eventful for us. From January through March, Frank had yet another in a string of affairs with his co-workers. But don’t worry, he got his just desserts. He got fired, leaving the family in financial ruin. Marcy’s shopping addiction and refusal to get a job of her own hasn’t helped. But we’ll pull through; we always do. Whether that means going on welfare, declaring bankruptcy, or simply mooching off friends and loved ones, we always find a way. (We are enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope in case you’re feeling generous. Charity is always welcome this time of year and always).

Denise is fifteen now; can you believe it? My, how the years have flown. In May, she got knocked up by her 18-year-old boyfriend and is now living in a convent for teenage unwed mothers. She keeps in touch, though, with the occasional profanity-ridden phone call and/or request for money.

Speaking of money, Jack hit up another convenience store in August, and his parole officer was none-too happy. He’s back in prison for five to ten, but on the bright side, he’s become quite the little license plate maker.

With both kids out of the house, we’ve got a little bit of the empty nest sysndrome, as I’m sure many of you can sympathize. We stay busy, though, so there’s not much time to be gloomy — between Frank trying every miracle hair-growth “cure” on the market and Marcy trying in vain to control her chronic athlete’s foot, we really haven’t any time to complain!

Other than that, we’ve just been keeping busy overeating and chain smoking! So here’s to a joyous holiday season to you and yours, and a New Year as blessed as ours will surely be.

Love,

Frank, Marcy, Jack, Denise, Scruffy and Buttons

P.S. After we typed this letter, Scruffy died of mange and Buttons was hit by a car. Happy Holidays.

MERRY! JINGLE! HOHOHO!

December 14, 2007

The Christmas Spirit has siezed me in a firm grip. I am nearly maniacal with love and cheer. Right now I’m at work, and it’s blissfully slow, and there are various treats from Harry & David set out on a table, and I got a big, fat pear and am waiting impatiently for it to ripen, because it smells so good I could simply die. As if that is not enough, they’re giving free chair massages in the health club downstairs, and I just got one, and if you know me at all you will know that I am a complete massage whore (for evidence please refer to this blentry) and will know how happy this makes me. This morning I received two photo Christmas cards and a newsletter from friends and family, and my co-worker is playing Christmas music. I, of course, have been listening to two Christmas CDs over and over in my car for the last two weeks. I can’t get enough! I am *this close* to hand-sewing an elf costume and setting up a nativity scene in the yard. Don’t ask me why it’s got me so much this year. Maybe it’s all the Christmas parties I’ve been attending; Maybe it’s that my white Christmas tree (pictured below) looks awesome for the first time thanks to some solid-red lights my mom sent; Maybe it’s because I’m going home to North Carolina for the first time in three Christmases. MaYbe it’s all of these things. I don’t know — but I’m not complaining.

Merry Christmas!

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