Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something Useful for Christmas

For Christmas, Wendy received Tinkerbell 2: Something about Treasure that was Lost or Something from Nana and PopPop Timmy.

NORMALLY, the arrival of a new Disney movie in our home heralds weeks of misery to come for those of us who do not generally like songs about whistling while working after the seventeenth time. This, my friends, is different. I am actually excited to see the further adventures of Tinkerbell in our home. Why? Why? Because Tinkerbell's problems have nothing to do with finding true love and more to do with her own stubborn independence/temper issues? Because she works through her issues while solving complicated fairy engineering problems? Yeah, yeah, sure. But then, there's this:

Yesterday, after our second viewing of Search for Treasure and Stuff, I glance over at Wendy, and she is staring at me and twitching her eye in mock annoyance. This made her look more like she had to fart than she was glaring a menacing glare of doom...but still! TWITCHING HER EYE.
Thank you, Nana, Timmy, and Tinkerbell, for teaching my daughter a very valuable lesson about Woman Power. Instead of singing songs about stupid crap, you have learn not to be a sarcastic temperamental jerk which often gives you an eye twitch. As she is a daughter of mine and Carl's, it is probably very important that she learn this early.


I also must give a shoutout to my mom, who gave Wendy this:

If you knew my mom, you'd know that a sequined flapper dress is exactly what she'd want for Christmas. It is also a perfect gift. Thanks Mom!

*continues to try to teach my stubborn child about the joys of jazz hands*

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cheer For All

I sit here at 1:20 on Christmas Eve afternoon in smugness. I am done (DONE!) all of my Christmas crud.

The smugness is made more smug, because as I type, Carl is out doing his yearly tour of the lower circles of the Inferno-Target, the Big W-Mart, etc.-having been informed on Tuesday that yes, sweetheart, there is a Santa Clause, and Christmas Eve is two days from now. P.S.: You are Santa Clause.

Christmas has actually been nice and low-stress for me this year, having no money with which to shop. (OOOH! More silver lining to unemployment! Score!) (By the way, I may have an interview for an office job on Monday! *knocks on wood*)

Fun tricks to play on yourself when you are poor:
Horde gift cards from last Christmas all year, and buy Christmas presents with them this year! I am good at hording gift cards. So, thank you, all you past family selves who didn't know what to get me last year. You made shopping possible this year. My mom even gave me our family gift card early this year. I bought some home stuff for us that I wanted, wrapped it, and put it under the tree from her and my step dad. Nice, right? COOL TRICKS!
And then there is the handmade stuff. I can't tell you about most of it, because some of the recipients own computers and will probably be idly dicking around on them tonight. (HI STEPH! HI JAIMIE!) Back in November, my mom suggested to me that she might want a cabled beret/tam (there was an argument about which was which and if they were in fact the same thing) in cream. So I found a pattern and knitted. And knitted. And knitted until I was cross-eyed and arthritic. She does not own a computer, so I can show you:

Because of this hat, I didn't get to knit Carl the fingerless gloves that he would like, but that's okay, because we promised that we wouldn't buy each other anything this year, and knitting something would be like cheating via a loophole. Dirty. Underhanded. Low. (One fingerless glove may just show up in his stocking yet. We still have twelve hours before Christmas is actually here.)
Since Erin is busy being newly 16, and Carl is busy with his annual pre-Christmas Igottaworkgottaworknow freak-out, Wendy and I have been busy providing cheer. Hanging stockings. Stringing lights. Baking cookies, wrapping presents, decorating the tree. This is okay by me. Last year, I was a haggard school teacher strung out on coffee and working-mom turmoil. Last year, all I wanted to do on Christmas Eve was to drown myself in a large vodka and pomegranate 7up. And I did. This year? This year, I have time to help Wendy hang ornaments at her eye-level and then laugh my ass off at my bottom-heavy tree.
This year, there is cheer. I am actually enjoying my Christmas. So SUCK IT, shit economy! SUCK IT, job/lackofjob stress! I don't need you! I got to spend time making this filmstrip of Wendy and snow and stuff with grainy pictures from my cell phone! My digital camera is dead and requires expensive batteries!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Wendy's Christmas Tree
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Merry Whatnot, everybody. I hope it is awesome, and full of many happily enjoyed cocktails. (My choice this year: nog. Spiked with less bitter tears of frustration and more whiskey and joy.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

DMV Hell Doesn't Suck For Once

Have I told you the story about how I have been driving on an expired license? For a year? No? That was probably smart of me. You never know when one of your internet friends is going to place an anonymous call to the local po po and have you arrested for driving your kid around without a valid license...

Yes, I see your eyebrows. They are all arched up in surprise that I am such an irresponsible scoff-law. I did actually try to renew six or eight months ago online. But as I have no mail box, I do not have an officially Google/GPS-sanctioned address. SO...the internet DMV gave me the finger, spat at me, and sent my camera card to my previous addy. Then I just didn't want to deal with it. For six or eight months. I am what you might call a master procrastinator.
(WHAT? You don't want to go to the DMV either!)

So yesterday, Carl looked over at me with an air of don't-EFF-with-me-woman! determination, declared that enough was officially enough, and informed me that this license problem was going to go away NOW. He then drove me to the dingiest part of the county, and waited with Wendy in the car for Mommy to get all legal again. He is a saint, and I will bake him pies.

Honestly, I expected more guff from The Man about this. Instead, I got a jolly gentleman (I'm sorry-there's just no better word for him; he was all large and rosy) who waived the $5 camera card replacement fee and winked at me. What's more, my license picture looks even better than the one from five years ago.

Let me repeat that: Above the neck, according to a legal document, I look better now than I did right after college, before baby, job and home stress. Yeah, okay, maybe it has something to do with how I am now slightly more mature about brushing my hair and dabbing on some eyeliner for a picture...but let me have my moment of happy delusion, okay? I can go ahead and get a speeding ticket now! Because I look good on my non-expired license!

You're right. It doesn't take much to thrill me lately.

Friday, December 04, 2009


When last I blogged, I was in Colorado, making turkey, drinking wine, and getting all maudlin about things. I have several items to report:
1. My dad is okay. He will get out of the hospital today or tomorrow, and despite the prospect of facing some serious habit changes, he has a good attitude. My sister and I are not fatherless mongrels. (We sang him "Hard Knock Life" from Annie while he was stuck in ICU. I'm pretty sure that's what pulled him through.) He is now very cheerfully letching after the Russian nurse who gave him a good, attentive shave one day, though as far as she was concerned, "bald face on man same as bald box on voman-no use!"

2. The turkey was awesome. My sister and I were together, alone, so we raised a glass, ate piles of Thanksgiving, and watched a mindless Vince Vaughn romp-com. Holiday. Achieved.

3. A week after my getting home, Wendy is still happy to see me. She keeps turning around from whatever she is doing to reach up and pat my cheek with her hand, all aglow with baby love. We had a birthday thing for her yesterday...less a party, and more of a birthday cake-baking playdate/spaghetti dinner.
Last year, on Wendy's second birthday, I was at work from 6:30 AM til 4:30 PM, and didn't get Wendy home til 5:30. She fell asleep in the car, and slept the rest of the night, while I stressed out about school stuff and cried about barely seeing my baby on her birthday. We may as well have been in different states.
Unemployment sucks. But I am glad that I have had the time to spend with my family, for all recent events both drastic and mundane.

(My apologies for the grainy cell phone pics. Somehow, "camera" wasn't on my list of things to bring on My Dad's Heart Attack trip.)