Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

And it all came together. The tree is decorated. I'm going to stop by Barnes and Noble on the way home from work and pick up one or two last minute gifts, and then it's all done. We'll spend tonight wrapping gifts and then the next few days at home with the kids and visiting grandparents. And Alice, you'll be pleased to know that it didn't even involve a trip to a mall! We found all our gifts at local stores (and Wa! Mart).

I feel ready to relax. I woke up yesterday morning with the cold from hell, but even it isn't getting me down. It's like a switch gets flipped at the last minute and suddenly - it's Christmas! And I'm there now.

So Merry Christmas everyone! I wish you all the best.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Okay people, let's talk about Christmas. Because it's about to run me down.

Seriously, I am so far behind I nearly have a panic attack every time I look at a calendar. The tree is up, but it's not decorated. Yes, I'm serious. Bare. Not even lights. It needs some more branches trimmed off the bottom and moved further out into the room so that the angel will fit on top 'cause I kinda 'Griswolded out and bought one almost too big for the living room. But at least it's bought, and up. We'll get it decorated, right? RIGHT?!! Let's all sing a rousing chorus of At Least It's Up.

And then there's the presents. Supergirl is taken care of. Wildman is really too young to care. I ordered him some really cute foam blocks, but they're back ordered until mid-January. I'll find him some cute little stuffed animals and things to open on Christmas Day, but again, he's one. Rock is mostly taken care. I may get him a few more surprise items, but I've got him some good stuff, and I think he'll be happy. Which brings us to the parents. We both come from divorced families, all of whom are remarried except my mother (whom I don't speak to). Minus my mother, that gives us three sets of parents. Including three step-parents to whom we're not very close. Two of them have a distinct interest (gardening and baking), though, and the third has spectacularly bad taste. I'm not kidding. They actually lecture us because Supergirl never wears any of the clothes they buy for her, but they are the ugliest clothes on the planet. I came across a new dress for her the other day and Rock and I were discussing how hideous it is and Rock asked where it came from. I turned and looked at him and said, "I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count." We are closest to Rock's mother and step-dad and this year we had the best idea for a gift for them - we were going to get them a dvd player/ vcr because they only had a vcr. We were all excited because this! was! perfect! They would love it! Until one day about three weeks ago when I came home and Rock said, "Well, Mom and Step-dad bought themselves a Christmas present. A dvd player/ vcr." Nooooooooo! Somehow this sent me into a total gift tailspin and then I couldn't think of anything to get anybody. I'm slowly crawling out of it, though. I'm getting my dad a subscription to a magazine that I know he'll love, and we've got a pretty vase for the Stepparent With No Taste (she'll love it). And we've come up with an alternate idea for Rock's mother and step-dad. And I've always been a last minute Christmas shopper anyway. I'm weird that way. I love the crowds, I love the packed stores. I think Supergirl and I are going to hit a mall on Saturday or Sunday! Haha! And eventually it will all come together. Right?!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I know that talking about your job on your blog is on the Top Ten Stupidest Things To Do list, but I'm going to break that rule for just a minute because I have good things to say about my job.

Last night was our holiday party and a few awards were given out. Boss (who is not my boss anymore) gave me an award. It was a cumulative, "thanks for all your hard work throughout the year award", since my job doesn't have the built in rewards and recognitions that some of the other jobs in the office have. In his comments, he said some really nice things about me and all that I do for the office and as my gift, he gave me a Starbucks gift card. Not only was this nice because a) Boss isn't my boss anymore and didn't have to recognize me at all. b) Boss made it Personal Nice and gave me a Starbucks gift card because I stop at Starbucks every morning on the way to work. The other folks who got awards got American Express gift cards.

Just a post to note that I'm thankful. I have a great job. I work for a really good company and I really enjoy my position within that company. I've learned a lot in my time here and I'm respected and valued for that knowledge. Like all jobs, it has it's bad days and it's disadvantages. And if I win the lottery, I'm totally quitting. But until then, it's a good job and I think I'll keep it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On Crazy Parents

I recently read The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Sadly, it was not that good. I was really looking forward to this one, as it's about a subject near and dear to my heart - a woman who kills her mother. You can't read it as "Helen kills her mother and here's what happens afterwards" because it isn't. In fact, it tells you very little about what happens afterwards, which is disappointing. You can read it as "Helen is a little insane because her mother was a lot insane and if you've ever wondered how children get way too caught up in their parents' psychosis or maybe you were one of those children who were way too caught up in your parents' psychosis and you'd like to hear someone else try to explain it for once". Except that it's not a very good explanation, because they never are. A child really can't explain to you just how and why they got swept away in their parents' crazy, no matter how old they are or how long they've studied it. They just do, because it's the order of the day, the way their house was when they went home at night, when they shut the lights off and the rest of world went home. That's the way things were and they just had to adapt to it. So they learned. And you can't understand it, because you didn't live there, and that woman wasn't your mother and that man wasn't your father. And that wasn't your world and your reality. And as often as you visited or that child visited you or those parents talked to your parents or that friend told you stories, you still don't know. And that's kind of what the book leaves you with, that feeling that you never know a family, no matter how close you get. There just aren't any answers in it, not as to why Helen killed her mother, not as to why Helen is a little crazy, not as to why Helen's marriage broke up, not even as to why Helen's mother was crazy. There's a lot of little stories, a lot of little examples, which, when you sit down to try to explain to someone why and how your parent was crazy, these are the things you end up saying. And then, you're left wondering what they add up to. Do they add up to a crazy parent? Do they add up to you just being whiny? What does your friend think when you stop talking? What have you conveyed with your examples, your stories? That is one thing the book captures, the disjointed presentation of "here's how my mother is crazy". The sense that there are pieces missing from the stories because they were lived by a child who only partially understood what was going on, so you only get bits and pieces of what happened.