mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
I think it was a mistake to try to go two different places in one week. I'm just not used to things like that. Both sets of relatives stressed me out to one degree or another. I don't mean to be coy about in what way but I just feel exhausted and I don't have the energy to rant about them right now. 
mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
I tend to get stressed out at Christmas - I guess a lot of people do, right? Kids and gifts and family and big dinners, etc., there's a lot of stressors there. On top of the normal stress triggers - I need to wrap some stuff, I haven't packed - I've been sitting here trying to remember all the things my sister told me and then told me not to tell anybody. (Except Rob, thank goodness. I'm allowed to tell him the whole kit & kaboodle.) I guess that also means I shouldn't turn around and tell the internet all her secrets, should I? But really who she was worried about was the piece of the family that Rob & I normally spend Christmas with. Let's see, I guess the piece of super-sekrit info that I feel most comfortable sharing here is that her book that she wrote long ago is up on Amazon, and has been for a good while, under a pseudonym. I didn't know about the Amazon part, although I knew about the book. I haven't read it, but she gave me a paper copy to read. (I'm waiting til after the family thing is over so I'll be less likely to slip up on that.) She says something happened with autocorrect or something and it's riddled with typos. She wants to get it fixed and put it up under her own name, although that would require jumping through some hoops such as getting a new ISBN, I guess, as well as copy-editing it all over again. I'm not going to tell you where to find it right now (actually I haven't looked for it, although I've seen the fake name now) but if she gets it fixed and I don't completely hate it, I won't rule out sharing that at some time in the future.

In other Christmas-related news, my aunt was trying to guilt us into staying longer when I called her to tell her when we were coming. I went to see her last month specifically because she always complains about that, and (why am I surprised?) it didn't help at all, apparently. I like seeing her and my cousins of various removes at the holidays, and if it was just me on my own I probably might stay longer, but man, I do NOT want to have that fight with Rob. One day and he's ready to go, and I know better than to suggest otherwise. Plus I was off this past week, but he worked all week. I don't particularly blame him for wanting some time at home. 

I'd write more but I think I better go wrangle presents instead! Merry Christmas, or whatever the holiday of your choice is. (Christmas is just the holiday I inherited. I seem to be less interested in it every year.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
I'll get around to doing the last Music Advent post sometime this week, but one of the videos was "Careless Whisper" and that just makes me sad all over again about all these people dying this week. Then I looked at the phone earlier and there was a breaking news e-mail about Debbie Reynolds being rushed to the hospital, and so it was like, aaand here we go again.

It occurred to me that I didn't mention much about gifts in my last post. As I've said before, Rob and I are terribly pragmatic about gifts. We usually give each other some small surprises but we pretty much pick out the larger gifts so as not to waste money on stuff we don't want. (He gave me some nail things, for the surprise, and I bought him an Ohio State shirt that I had found on Amazon.) We got a couple of nice gifts from my cousins - a pair of those large stainless steel travel mugs (my cousin actually apologized because they were Sam's Club brand and not the name brand, and I said, "Honestly, I don't care at all about that, I like them") and a very pretty wreath that I can put out on my balcony. And my aunt gave us gift cards, as she nearly always does. I gave all the females who are old enough to wear makeup little gift bags full of sample stuff - everybody really seems to like those. I also gave some Star Wars stuff, which of course also goes over well. As for me, my big gifts were my planner - I like Erin Condren's and they are not exactly cheap - and I got a Kindle Fire when they were on sale on Cyber Monday. (I had a regular Kindle - in fact I'm on my 3rd one, I think, but I'd never had the Fire.) (Rob wanted - and went and picked out for himself - a weight vest. To each his own.)

We went to see the Pixar movie Moana this afternoon - I knew it was supposed to be good, and it was - and on the way home we went down this street with a lot of big houses to look at the lights. In particular this one house has a gigantic oak tree in their yard that is completely covered in blue lights. Something about it is just mesmerizing, I love it. Also it always makes me happy when people still have the lights up the week after Christmas. There's something depressing about it when all of the decorations disappear on the 26th. (I do think it's fair game to take stuff down closer to New Year's because I know a lot of people have to go back to work right after the 1st. I don't insist they stay up until Epiphany or anything.)

We are watching one episode of Stranger Things a day. I figured out that this will get us finished on Sunday, just in time for Rob to go back to work on Monday. Some of the episodes have big cliffhangers, though, and sometimes it's really tempting to just keep going. But so far we haven't. (Episode... I mean "Chapter" 4 - they don't call them episodes - is called "The Body" so I think you've gotta say that's a direct Stephen King callout there. I also still think it's very reminiscent at times of early Spielberg - the thing where the lights kept going off and on reminded me a lot of Close Encounters - with a big heaping dose of X-Files and maybe even Twin Peaks. All of those are good things as far as I'm concerned.)
mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
When I got to work yesterday, they had put up a Christmas tree in the middle of the counter where we work, right next to the computer monitor and completely displacing the cash register, which was relegated to a little low table. I'm not exactly sure whose idea this was, but I don't guess it matters since I assume the boss okayed it. The tree is right next to my face when I'm at the monitor, and I hate that, but I guess I'm stuck with it for the next three weeks. I'll live. I also got stressed at work because nobody had done any data entry while I was off and so I was catching up on an entire week of paperwork. I got most of it entered and left some only-mildly-bitchy notes about the part I couldn't figure out. I am definitely not full of holiday spirit at the moment. But then it's only December 3, in my opinion that's too early to be expected to have holiday spirit anyway. (I also think it's ridiculously early to put a tree up in a non-retail environment, but obviously everybody doesn't share that opinion.)

I actually have all my gifts bought, I think. I started collecting stuff early. Our normal Christmas routine may be shot to hell, though. Normally either one of my cousins or my aunt does Christmas, and we spent a night or two up the country at their house. But the cousin is in temporary quarters - they're in the middle of a two-step move out of town - and my aunt is in Houston taking care of her 102-year old father, who broke his hip. (My aunt is actually my aunt by marriage, if you're wondering, which is why her father is not my grandfather. But I've known both of them since I was five years old so they're just family in my book.) We may end up having Christmas in Houston, which would be more convenient for us anyway - and we wouldn't have to spend the night at all. It seems like it would be sort of hard on my aunt hosting it, but she volunteered (or rather sort of semi-volunteered, which is why I'm saying it's still up in the air). I certainly don't have room for all those people. George, the 102-year-old, has a good-sized house - although of course he's been in rehab after the hip incident - and if my aunt has been staying there for months it's clean as a whistle, if I know her. So anyway, we are just winging it on all that. (If I don't end up seeing my cousins I'll have to ship their gifts to them in the mail or something - but I bet I'll end up seeing them.)

2015holibadge-blue.gif
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
I'm working on getting Christmas stuff down, still - I never like to be one of those people who takes it down the minute Christmas is over. If I'm in the mood I leave everything up til Epiphany (which of course is today). A lot of the time I end up gradually taking stuff down starting around New Year's. I took the porch trees down days ago, and later the wreath from the front door - the only thing left outside is the twinkly wreath on the balcony, and that's because I really like it and I don't want to take it down. Also, it has the batteries in it from last year, and I'm really curious to see how long they are going to last. (I think they are going to outlast me though - I'll probably take it down tonight or tomorrow. It's starting to feel silly.)

Indoors, the tree is down (although it's still sitting in the living room at the moment, partially disassembled). The ornaments are packed up, but there are still various holiday tchochkes sitting around that I still have to collect and get put away. I have a rather large collection of holiday junk which has sentimental attachments or which I just like. A lot of it, nowadays, is stuff that was my mother's, but not all of it.


Pause for rant:
Writing the above makes me really, really pissed off at the "Put Christ Back in Christmas" crowd. Because I guess their really annoying campaign is working, sort of - it is no longer possible for me to comfortably look at Christmas a secular holiday and largely ignore the religious aspects of it, which is what I have historically done. I don't have any problem with you celebrating your own holidays however you please, but leave mine alone. 

/rant


(Now I'm mad. This may have something to do with the fact that my back is hurting. I'm leaving the rant, though.)

mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
I have been reading about Japanese porn on Wikipedia. Don't ask me why. (I am not providing a link, since I've already lost the page and I think that's easy enough to find, if you really feel the need to read it.)

Things that made me happy today (I am tempted to say "Japanese porn" but since I didn't actually see any I don't guess that counts):
- actually doing some useful things
- clementines
- apple pie (from HEB again, they make really good apple pie)
- finding a letter in my mother's handwriting
- the fact that I don't actually need Mr. Darcy for Christmas, thankyouverymuch, since I already have a perfectly good husband. (Ok, better than perfectly good.) Admittedly the "rich" part would come in handy but I'd rather not have to deal with his relatives. Lady Catherine and I would not get along.

Rob took the apple pie to his party at work and apparently nobody ate any. He said there was an overabundance of desserts. (It wouldn't be a Christmasholiday party without an overabundance of desserts, really.) Fine, then, we have to eat it. Such a terrible thing.

I have talked to all the relatives involved in my holiday plans, I think, and we are going to Bryan on Tuesday and probably coming back late on Thursday but might stay til Friday morning. This latter decision partially depends on whether my nephew and his father decide to stop by (on their way between Austin and Lake Conroe) and if Parker comes his mother may actually come too, which would make it interesting. Some of you may remember some drama on this subject from last year. I am absolutely not holding my breath that Paula will show up, but I suspect that the presence of her son might do it if anything will. They don't seem to see a great deal of each other even though they live in the same town.

Then at some unspecified time after we get back, I am actually going to cook dinner for my Dad and Barbara, something I've never done before... well, not in their presence, anyway. I figure pot roast is really really difficult to fuck up, though, and I'm not planning to have much of anything else complicated. I will manage. (I will also have to clean up the living room, but it's not in all that bad a shape, luckily. I cleaned up much of the overflowing paperwork during my flurry of usefulness earlier today.)

My dad had called and said, "It's nothing, I just wanted to chat with you" to my answering machine, and that's not a phrase he ever uses - and so I immediately wondered if that actually meant something was wrong, and I guess I was right about that. His prostate cancer seems to be reoccuring. However, it seems that in this case it's not necessarily as dire as other cancers can be when they reoccur. At least, they don't seem unduly concerned. They are going to freeze part of his prostate and cut out the offending part, or something like that, tomorrow. I guess I could have volunteered to go hang out at the hospital with Barbara but I didn't. I am very bad at waiting and I'd rather do it at home if I have a choice.

I finished the damn cards, finally, and I boxed up the apples and jewelry for the in-laws (along with a card explaining what was for whom and denying any responsibility for the apples) and I need to go to the post office first thing in the morning and get all that in the mail. There is also somebody supposed to be calling me about bank stock, of all things. And I may actually make a visit to Chase. (If I actually manage TWO productive days in a row, Rob will faint.)

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