Coffee Table Declarations
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
I'm not quite sure what to tell you about Christmas because apparently discussing my family and their special quirks in my own personal space is somehow offensive to them, even though my readers do not know them and therefore, does it really matter what opinions you form about them? No, I don't think so either, but like I said, some anonymous people who may or may not be related to me might find my stories one sided, fabricated, and let's not forget offensive.

Not that there is anything bad to report about Christmas per se, everyone was generally polite to each other. However, I may be accused of offending someone if I tell you that I am shocked by the fact that my parents allow my 20 year old sister's boyfriend to sleep over. In her bed. I am merely stating my personal opinion of a factual statement, just so we're clear. Last I checked, people were allowed to have opinions and to state them while protecting the privacy of the parties involved. So remember, if you formulate an opinion of my family from this information I will add the disclaimer that my family is a wonderful group of individuals whose many qualities I usually do not choose to highlight here because it just wouldn't make for as much interesting and humorous entertainment. I could tell you how precious my sister is for making personalized place tags for everyone at the table and bringing me a bottle of soda from the kitchen when I was too lazy to get up and get it myself. But I would much prefer to spotlight the twisted fact that my parents allow her boyfriend to sleep over. In her bed.

I hope I'm not inadvertantly insulting anyone if I tell you that my brother, who as I've mentioned before is a very funny person - not an opinion, but a known fact, had us laughing over his descriptions of his quite-possibly-closeted-gay roommate in California. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as they say on Seinfeld. And speaking of Seinfeld, if you ordered the first two seasons on dvd as a Christmas gift for someone and paid extra money to have it delivered in time for Christmas and it didn't show up in time, what would you do? I'm just asking.

Anyway, I rarely laugh as hard as I do around my brother and it makes me sad that he lives so far away but I am happy that he is happy and especially that he is extremely happy with the weather out west (he arrived here the night that it felt like 20 below with windchill and when he left California it was in the 70's.) I am not so happy about the fact that we got an unexpected foot of snow the day after Christmas, but that's beside the point.

I'd like to tell you that my mother did an amazing job cooking not one, but three separate Christmas feasts. Does that offend anyone? Anyone? So anyway food was the major focus of the holidays and judging purely by my family, if I were asked what the true meaning of Christmas is I would tell you it is food. But, oops! Sorry, that might not be very polite of me to say. I should also be honest and add that gifts are a major factor as well.

With my roommate gone for the weekend I told my parents I had to be heading home because there is something I like to do when I am alone in the apartment. This made them look at me with eyebrows raised and when I explained, "I like to play music and sing along really loudly," they said that wasn't too bad of a guilty pleasure. Gee, I wonder what they thought I meant? Surely not to sleep in the same bed with my 20 year old boyfriend. Just kidding, I don't have a 20 year old boyfriend - ewwww, that's way too young for me. But not apparently, for my 20 year old sister so let's not start forming negative opinions of 20 year old boyfriends, o.k.?

The real Christmas miracle will be if I can make it through this post without causing anyone any unintended stress and upset. Because really, I don't mean offense to anyone. Everyone has a crazy family. If you can't laugh about it, well what's the point?
Thursday, December 23, 2004
You know how some people send letters with their Christmas cards? Those generic, typed pages with the first name handwritten next to "Dear__________"? You know how those letters are usually focused on telling all of their friends and loved ones what a wonderful year they've had and what amazing accomplishments their kids have made and how they want everyone to share in the joy of the Christmas spirit? Well, I was thinking, wouldn't it be funny if I sent a Christmas letter along with my Christmas cards this year? It would go something like this.

Dear Friends, Loved Ones, and Loyal Readers,

This year has been very similar to last year. I am still working at the same job, the job I promised myself I would not stay at too long because it's not the best career move. But speaking of career moves, I am on the verge of turning 30 and still absolutely clueless as to what I'd like to spend my life doing. You know, just in case you were wondering. And while we're talking about jobs, I have no money and I'm in debt and I can't escape the nasty letters and phone calls of my creditors. It's awfully depressing but hey, I try not to let it get me down.

Speaking of being down, I did recieve a religious tract from an anonymous peephole blocking psychopath recently. It seems that the answer to all my problems is to find the Lord. It seems that if I don't, I'm on the short road to hell where I'm guessing there are no exciting jobs or lucrative debt forgiveness offers.

Also during the last few months I discovered that I have astronomically high cholesterol and the advice I was given by my doctor is to "watch your diet and exercise" and also to "find the Lord". Since that time I have done very little to further my physical or spiritual health but I have been eating cheerios or oatmeal every morning and that's something right?

I have had some fun in the form of finding activities I enjoy, which are also enjoyed widely by ladies my mother's age. These new pursuits include water aerobics, painting ceramics, and my beloved book club. I have also been the recipient of many an invitation to the sample sales upstairs which have resulted in a fabulous new wardrobe as well as another justification for staying in the same old job.

At work I have endured a year's worth of dreaded weekly meetings and a hundred thousand copier scam phone calls. Worse than all of this however, was my home life during the beginning of the summer. My roommate waged an all out air conditioning war with me only to be defeated by the fact that she moved out and a nice new roommate moved in. Ha!

Anyway, all in all I can't complain. I hope you will all share in the joy of the Christmas spirit.

Happy Holidays everyone!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Sorry for the lack of recent posts, it's hard to be think creatively when it's so darn cold. It is in the single digits here today and the whole way to work there was ice on my windshield that didn't melt. Needless to say, I am not amused.

Sidenote: someone found my site with the search phrase "how do I let a coworker know I am interested?" Believe me people, despite what google may think, I am not the go-to person for this. My best advice? Stay away from romantic liasons involving coworkers. Just stay away.

And in other news: since I do not have a digital camera (are you listening Santa? That was a hint) and so many people have expressed an interest in seeing the scary tissues, here's what I will do for you. It is the season for giving and if you email me your address I will send you your very own box of scary tissues in honor of the holidays. After all, I have a whole carton of them.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
We recently got an email at work that there was a collection going on for a local food pantry. The email included a list of things they needed. One very specifically said, "jelly (NOT jello)" apparently jello is a popular donation item - who knew? Anyway, the list included various types of canned goods, other food items, and toiletries. I forwarded the email along to my mom because she is very generous when it comes to this sort of thing.

When I went to my parents' house to collect the donations, my mom gave me two full bags of goods. In the living room however, was a giant carton full of tissue boxes. Apparently my uncle, whose job takes him to various doctors' offices, had obtained the carton and given it to my parents for some reason. So my mom says, "do they need tissues?" and proceeded to hand me the most frightening box of tissues I have ever seen in my life.

The box was decorated with large medical pictures of blood being taken - anonymous rubber gloved hands holding huge vials full of dark red blood. I can't imagine how this would be o.k. for anyone, even doctors. I think it would scare the sneeze right out of me, going to grab a tissue and then "ahhhh!"

So I apprehensively took the box and said "um, well Mom, I don't know... I guess they need tissues..." And my mom cheerfully replied, "they can have all of them! Do you want to take the whole carton?" Quickly I assured her, "No! No, that's o.k. really." We agreed that I would take the one box and if they needed more I could take the rest.

Fast forward to the donation box at work. The coworker who was the behind the scenes organizer of the whole thing just happened to be in the kitchen when I brought my bags in. She was happy to see the donations. I told her they were from my mom and there was just one thing that I wasn't sure the food pantry would want. I pulled out the scary tissues, startling my coworker. She quietly looked at the box for several minutes before saying, "I don't think we should give them these... it's just that um..." "Say no more," I replied, "they are scary. I'll just use them at home or something." But not before I showed them to a few other people who all agreed they were hideous.

I did take the box home and somehow I just haven't been able to bring myself to open it. When I look at it sitting there I hear the scary music and see the lightning flash of standard horror movie settings. Maybe I should just take all the boxes to work and leave them on people's desk for Christmas gifts! Scary tissues - the gift that keeps on giving.
Monday, December 13, 2004
I have a confession to make: I'm secretly a slob. O.K., this may not be a secret to some who have seen my bedroom which looks like a tornado sped through it leaving a trail of clothing casualties on every square inch of the floor, but the realization just recently dawned on me. Saturday my roommate left for a week in California and since then my apartment has fallen into a state of disrepair. As I sit here typing this from work I can clearly envision the chaos that is waiting for me - there are dishes in the sink, something stinky in the fridge, an empty pizza box and various junk mail on the counter.

Yesterday when I was emptying grocery bags I discovered that a package of seaweed salad had opened and there was seaweed all over the place. What did I do? I wasn't going to throw out the yummy seaweed salad I had been so excited to find at my healthy grocery store. I pulled clumps of the slimey stuff out of the bag with my bare hands and shoved it back into the package. Needless to say several strands of seaweed ended up on the counter or the floor and are still sitting there at this very moment. Isn't that gross? How about the pizza crust on a plate that is right now at this very moment sitting on the coffee table in my living room and has been since yesterday's lunch?

What is my problem? I don't like living like this. I don't really enjoy looking at stray seaweed plastered to the counter as I pass through the kitchen, or smelling something unappetizing every time I open the fridge. I'd like to say I just get lazy sometimes when no one else is around to notice but that doesn't seem accurate either. It feels more like a personal expression of some sort - a statement that says "hey, this is my place and if I want to have seaweed on the floor well then I am going to have seaweed on the floor." The scary part is, this slobbiness manifests itself almost immediately when a roommate happens to be away. I've done it before. I always clean up meticulously before their return, but there's just something freeing about knowing that no one else is around to be disgusted by a mess. Is that crazy? I mean, it's not like I'm purposely trashing the place or anything. I'm not taking handfuls of seaweed and gleefully flinging them at the walls. But it's nice to know that I could.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
I know, I know, everyone is talking about it but I have to add my two cents. Lost is an excellent show. And um, Matthew Fox? Where have you been these last four years of my life? I had forgotten how much I love you.

While we're on the subject, you have to read RooRoo's discussion of the Charlie/Charlie problem. She totally cracked me up because it's so true! I had a similar conversation with my mom.

So while I'm loving Lost, I can't help but speculate over it's longevity. Eventually they have to get rescued, right? Otherwise it will become all Gilligan's Island-esque with all kinds of amenities either home-made out of leaves and sticks or just happened to be found in the luggage of the wreckage. I mean, come on, who brings their entire wardrobe for a three hour tour?
Monday, December 06, 2004
This weekend was full of very high highs and very low lows, ironically, both involving money. I got some really depressing financial news on Saturday. Luckily I have the best parents in the whole world. I'm so glad they are there for me when I need them but on the other hand I'm really sick of needing them. Sometimes I try to figure out how I got to be so bad with money. I had my first job at fourteen working as a cashier at a grocery store. I know I wasn't making much money and I know my parents were trying to teach me about saving and budgeting, but somehow it all went wrong. I knew other kids who had to work to save for college or to buy a car or something. They could deal better with the long hours of boredom (because really, what high schooler's job isn't boring?) and the ever present temptations of spending. I don't remember having any crazy shopping sprees, but I also don't remember saving anything.

I think college is a particularly vulnerable time for people. I can remember credit card companies with tables set up in the cafeteria offering free t-shirts to sign up. At that point, what did I know about credit cards? It felt like free money to me and it's hard to believe how far reaching the consequences of those mistakes are.

And while we're on the subject of college, I'd like to rant for a moment about college loans. I remember signing things in the financial aid office, promising to pay back the thousands of dollars in loans that I was borrowing. How could I have known that I wouldn't land a lucrative, yet rewarding and fulfilling position immediately upon graduation? What does any college student know about the "real world"? All they know is what they are told about how valuable a college degree is. Have I used mine at all?

But lest you start to feel too sorry for me dear reader, let me say three words: Saturday sample sale. The fabulous clothing company in the same building I work in had another of their sales this weekend. I got some great deals and ended up with tons of clothing for a fraction of the retail price. The only thing that really made me feel happy this weekend was envisioning all of the possible new ensembles I would be displaying every day until Christmas. There was a point though that I was wishing I could exchange clothes for the amounts on the tags ($88 jeans, $128 shirts - these things could really add up if they were changed into currancy). But then I realized that I would (hopefully) have these clothes much longer than these financial troubles and I got over it fast.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Yesterday my town was having a huge festival. In the center which is where I live. As in, blocked to all traffic from 4 - 9 pm. I could've gotten home if I wanted to park a half mile away only to walk home and back later to get my car. So instead, I opted to go to the mall. No need to twist my arm. Actually, I was somewhat aggravated - after a long day there is nothing I like more than to go home and unwind.

Strangely enough, the mall parking lot was not terribly crowded. I guess even during the holiday season a Tuesday evening is not everyone's first choice for shopping. As I milled about in different stores I started to feel as though I might go crazy from the blaring Christmas music. But not half as crazy as the sound of ringing bells was making me. You know - those people that sit and ring the bells over and over and over. Imagine if that was your job? Sit at the mall and ring bells incessantly for several hours.

During college I took a holiday job at the mall. I worked at a company that sold nature items. There were stuffed animals, games, toys, books, decorations, etc., all with a nature theme. It was one of the most boring jobs ever. I had to either stand and greet customers for hours with a puppet on my arm or some other such gimmick, or I had to stand in the back and play with the toys (which may sound like fun, but how many times can you turn over a rain stick and still be entertained?)

One day I was on the cash register which compared to milling aimlessly about the store felt like a day at the beach. Suddenly I was approached by a female customer who asked me, and this is exactly how she said it, I'm not making this up, she said: "Excuse me, do you have any fetishes?" What I didn't know then and what some of you may not realize now, is that a fetish can be a word for a small animal statue carved from wood or similar (see definition one, here). Knowing that this word may be misinterpreted, would you randomly approach a college kid at the mall and ask her if she had any fetishes? Or would you maybe cushion your query with some sort of explanation?

Startled, I asked her to repeat her question and she asked again with no clarification. I think I finally said, "just a minute", found the manager and quietly told him that a woman was asking me if we had any fetishes. I was certain he would kick the customer out of the store for perversity or something. Instead he said in a booming voice, "we have lots of fetishes!" as he showed her to our selection of animal statues. Now if someone asks me if I have any fetishes I know exactly what they mean.
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