Saturday, December 24, 2005

All Wrapped Up

it's just about 10 a.m. here in massachusetts, and i'm going on about four hours' sleep, but i'm in a joyous mood anyway because it's Christmas Eve Day and the gang's (almost) all here.

i flew out on wednesday and immediately fell into a whirlwind of babies (my nephew is quite a handful ohmygod how do parents do it?) and last-minute gift-shopping and cooking and -- mostly -- wrapping.

as we've discussed, i buy just about everything online and have it shipped here to my sister's house. this is a great deal, except that it means i have about one day to wrap *everything*. and that is not so easy. and somewhere around hour five, i start to get a little...punchy.

of course, wine helps.

and while we know better -- about adding wine to craft projects -- wrapping is pretty straightforward. there are no stitches to count or decrease or yarn over, you know? it's just cut and fold and tape and tear and tie and voila!

now, sure, there are scissors involved and probably i shouldn't be too cocky about how easy it is to wrap and drink lest i slice off a finger or something, but so far i have managed to avoid major injuries.

oh and? there is zero point to this entry (hi, thanks for checking in), because while there are nine bazillion funny tales to tell of my family and its christmastime debacles, i am a total zombie right now because -- apparently -- sometimes babies like to stay up all night crying.

but more to come, just after i finish taking this airborne, catching a quick nap, and making a broccoli casserole.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bi-Curious Meatballs

so i appreciate that my urban family has come to the defense of my meatballs. i mean, they turned out fine and i didn't even set the kitchen on fire or anything.
[i um, did have a teensy accident with a questionably shaped candle and the resultant pink wax, though it's hardly worth noting. it's just that i am very sensitive to chopped onions, and good meatballs* require chopped onions. and while i think there's a way to chop onions so that you don't end up all teary and red-eyed and gasping for breath, i don't have any idea what that method might be. it's miracle enough i know to light a candle next to where the onion's being chopped, you know?]

[oh, right. my point was that the only candle i had on hand was a gift from Risey from japan. except it was a gag gift in that it is a candle fashioned to look like a large pink dildo.** and then i forgot i was burning the candle when i went to move the table out from the wall to give me more room and then the candle went flying and sputtered melted pink pseudo-dildo wax all over my linoleum floor. but this is all, as i said, hardly worth noting.]
i will say, though, that i am not sure what sort of "8 to 10" people the recipe's purported to serve, but i have to think they are very large people who are very hungry and might never eat again. because i made enough for a group of 8 to 10 people to have as a side dish (as meatballs are generally intended) and have enough meat leftover to make about 842 more. or so.

on the other hand, this has allowed me the rare opportunity to announce that as of this moment, i have actual LEFTOVERS in my fridge. like, something i could make an actual MEAL out of.

anyway, i think it is pretty cool that my ACTUAL family (not just my urban relations) got into the whole meatball making thing on saturday, too, completely by coincidence. (see comment by my cuznate.)

so there it is: bi-coastal meatball exploration. not exactly heartwarming lifetime movie moment-worthy, but kind of cool nonetheless.

and now i will stop posting about meatballs.

*like i'd have ANY idea

**whatever that is. hi, dad.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Meatballs

at 3:03 p.m. today i embark on a strange and unfamiliar journey. one involving ground meat and breadcrumbs.

yes. i hath decided that i shall venture to make meatballs for a holiday potluck this evening. a choice that makes as much sense as ever given that:
  • i have never made meatballs.
  • this is san francisco, and the food item i am preparing to bring to a potluck is not in any way healthy, organic, vegan, or even vegetarian.
  • according to the recipe, it takes 2 hours to do this, which translated into kristy time means 4 hours, which is interesting given that i need to be AT the shindig in 4 hours.
  • meatballs are not exactly a christmas/holiday tradition for me, my family, my friends, or really anyone i know.
  • no one asked for them.
and yet here i go.

FIVE Online Stores
FOUR Hours Of Shopping
THREE Confirmations
TWO Vodka Tonics and
ONE Boyfriend Later...

...i recovered from the most traumatic online shopping experience of my life. but wow.

now, let's clear up a few things.

first of all, i do not hate but the moment i saw the "will ship after december 24" as the culmination of WEEKS of site perusal and gift selecting, well. i just lost it. i may be late this year, but i DID know i had until 12/16 to purchase items and expect a 12/23 delivery. and telling me otherwise at the last minute was just mean. (and not a good business practice.)

also -- while i know that i could actually go the store to buy gifts, i will be traveling 3,000 miles for the holidays. so even if i went to the stores, i'd still have to have things shipped (or HA! try and take them on the plane with me). thus, i rely on the online.

in fact, i have been doing more than 90% of my christmas shopping online for six years now. and i don't mean to sound like a dotcom curmudgeon, but i gotta say i preferred the online shopping years ago, without all the bells and whistles. kinda like comparing toys of the 70s to toys of today, you know?

i mean, when i was a kid games were not fancy. a plastic mat with circles printed on it and a spinner was a whole afternoon's worth of fun.

Barbie didn't used to have interactive DVDs or try to teach us lessons, she had pink plastic cars and houses that she'd share with a genital-less man she wasn't married to and random younger sister-cousin-friend relations. the only lesson she ever taught me was that, no matter how talented a stylist i fancied myself, i should never actually take scissors to doll hair.

and sure, i've digressed, but stick with me and my crazy metaphor.

the point is, online shopping a few years ago was simplistic in a Barbie car kind of way. you were happy with your Barbie when her only accessory was a second pair of heels, and then you discovered she could come with a convertible! so suddenly instead of having to brave the stores and ship everything to new hampshire, you discovered you could go online in your pjs at 11 p.m. and buy stuff and have it shipped for you!

and wow, how cool.

you didn't even know what an interactive Barbie DVD was. why would you need to? your Barbie experience was just made infinitely better by the plastic car. what more could you need?

just like* you didn't know there could be such a thing as one-click shopping or cookies or remembering your ship-to addresses or online big brothers tracking your every move and trying to get you to buy more stuff by insisting that everyone ELSE who bought that book ALSO bought THIS book, and if you don't you're a loser. [editorialization mine.]

but now The Progress has happened.

and there is no going back to Barbie shoes or even cars. now Barbie has to have an entire digital empire complete with work-out videos, even though that is not at all what i would ever want from a Barbie. just like* how online retail sites have all been made super-high-tech except that all these changes have been made in the name of My Convenience, with absolutely nothing to support that claim.

like, okay. for My Convenience, i can get anything i want at (despite that i was perfectly happy to simply buy books from them). but yep. for My Convenience, i can now get a belt and a book and a dvd and wine and a camera and a kitchen sink all in one place. i can! except for My Convenience, they cannot all be shipped at the same time or at the same price or on the same day if i want to receive any of them before christmas.

also for My Convenience, my name and password have been saved. except i have no idea what those were since i was given this convenient option last year and how am i expected to remember? and while i know that for My Convenience they can remind me what my password is, i do not feel like taking an extra ten minutes to go through that process, i'd like to just buy my fucking gifts now please.

oh, and i do appreciate that for My Convenience they have somehow managed to keep my shipping and billing addresses on file as well as my credit card number (despite that i never asked them to), except that for My Convenience i have moved, i have changed my name, and i stopped using that credit card four years ago.

so basically i'm saying (just in case you didn't get this from the brilliant metaphor) that i do NOT NEED you to build things for My Convenience, especially if they DON'T WORK. i don't EXPECT to be able to buy things at the last minute and have them arrive in time for christmas unless you tell me i can. so don't say i can and then say i can't.

i do not expect to be able to get everything from one store, so don't tell me i can and then have half of what i'm promised be out of stock or actually being shipped from a completely different vendor.

i do not expect you to keep all of my personal information on file so that you can tell me what i want to buy, how i want to pay for it, and where i want it sent. my own family can't keep up with my address changes -- why should some online store?

i just feel that a lot of the online world has, in its fury to figure itself out, gotten very messy.

anyway, i am done ranting and raving about this now.

for the record, i ordered only two items from amazon, and was able to get just about everything else i needed at** where the out-of-stocks were clearly noted and the shipping dates appeared on the items as they were added to my cart, AND where they are still accepting orders until the 19th for guaranteed christmas delivery. the site has seemingly fewer bells and whistles...and was a perfectly simple, pleasant shopping experience.

*or okay, not JUST like, but i'm playing with metaphors. leave me alone.

**yes, they have a website and yes, i shop there. shutup.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I Am Weird

not that this is news or anything.

but tonight? i dunno if it was the insanity of my online shopping experience last night (more on that later, aren't you so excited?), or like the fact that i haven't slept nearly at all this week, or that work has been busy and i have about a hundredteen little projects in the works and i've just, therefore, lost it, but this is what i ended up doing tonight:

i went to my boyfriend's apartment while he was out doing things that i did not have the energy to do and...

...much to my surprise... ready? (because really, this takes the cake in terms of things i absolutely do not need to be spending my time doing...)

i watched titanic (um, holiday cheer anyone?) and you know, rearranged Ish's entire apartment.



i have no excuse. no explanation. it was just...well, i walked in the door and decided i didn't think the set-up was optimal.

[not optimal? right. this is coming from a woman who will leave cat barf on the floor for days in her own apartment, with the hopes that magic cat-barf-cleaning-faries will come and clean it up.]

[they don't, by the way.]

but for some reason -- perhaps because i had a hundred million other things to do -- i decided that everything needed to be moved. everything.

and now it's all in a much better place (according to hi, crazy cat-barf lady) and um, he'll be back soon and i will just have to explain, as calmly as possible, that it's christmas, i'm not ready, and whatever. titanic made me do it.

never let go, rose...never let go.

just uh, move the lamp over there.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


um. no.

no no no no no.

it is NOT fucking okay that TWELVE of the THIRTEEN items i PAINSTAKINGLY chose to add to my fucking cart will ship AFTER DECEMBER 24.

WHY WOULD THAT BE OKAY? do you think i'm there on your site, ready and willing to spend a bloody FORTUNE just for fucking FUN? ON DECEMBER 15!?!?!?

oh hey, yeah. you know, my family doesn't mind if their gifts don't arrive until january 9. whatever. it's not like it's FUCKING CHRISTMAS.

oh wait.


and what the fuck is wrong with you that you have all big and bold on your fucking homepage that i have until tomorrow to order items with SUPER SAVER SHIPPING and they will ARRIVE BY DECEMBER 23????

oh!? oh yeah!?!? which fucking items would those be? because i can't think they'll BE THE ONES SHIPPING AFTER DECEMBER 24.

this means that as of 7:06 p.m. on december 15, i have to begin searching for those lovely items all over again.



< / rant >

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Because, That's Why

not to be controversial or nothin', but i wanted to say something about the fact that i'm wholly engaged in holiday insanity despite the fact that i'm not christian.

i mean, obviously i love the holiday season. i love american christmas traditions and the way my family has interpreted them over the years. i love carols, lights, trees, treats, snow, and mostly spending time with loved ones and giving them gifts. love it, love it, love it.

and because the issue has been raised before, i feel i should say, no. i don't really feel hypocritcal in celebrating christmas in the "traditional american" way, because our typical american traditions have so very little to do with the bible or the actual birth of jesus (save for some key song lyrics, i know) and way more to do with reinterpreted pagan rituals and celebrations of the winter solstice and cool stuff like that.

i am ALL FOR a season of light and hope and harmony and "miracles" and lifetime-movie-inspired moments of love.

i just recognize that some of the season is christian-inspired and some of it isn't and i think it would be awesome if we could just really embrace that this is a super time of year to celebrate whatever and however we choose. and doing so isn't an attack on christianity, it's an acceptance of christianity and everything else.

anyway -- i was just sent this link which says sort of the same thing, except in a MUCH ruder, cruder way (and i daresay funny way as well).

it doesn’t really espouse light or hope or cheer (so maybe i am being hypocritical after all), but it actually made me feel better about some of the recent fox-news-like frothings that, in my opinion, do more harm than good to christian causes.

but if you find this URL offensive – and i’m sure many of you will, though that isn't my point at all – probably you'll want to skip it.

*returns to caroling*

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Oh, Hey, Where'd THAT Week Go?

otherwise known as "it's december 13 already?"

hi everyone! (or like, all four of you who even bother to check in anymore since i have yet again fallen woefully behind and also you're probably just as busy as i am.)

how are you doing?

you all done with your christmas shopping yet? (HAHAHAHAHAHA.) how 'bout sending out those christmas cards? got that done? (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) or um, knitting? how's that going for you guys? (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

here's a funny story: yesterday i spent at least four hours at work with the window open, so that between meetings, phone calls, emails and like, actual work, i could "add" things to "my cart." and all of this amounted to -- at the end of the day -- drum roll please -- that's RIGHT!

purchasing exactly zero things.

well done.

here's another knee-slapper: after carefully planning out SIX knitting projects and purchasing yarn WELL before thanksgiving for said projects, i have to date managed the following (ready?):

- Project One: completed gauge swatch. cast on. worked about an inch in the round. four months ago.

- Project Two: oh, look, that yarn sure is pretty.

- Project Three: i'll bet that pretty yarn would look nice in a matching hat.

- Project Four: my my, that OTHER yarn is super pretty, too. and soft.

- Project Five: thought maybe i could make the Matching Pretty Other Yarn project into something more manageable. where manageable = very small and lame and not exactly worthy of giving as a gift so probably shouldn't. but it's the one that's almost done. naturally.

- Project Six: complicated but lovely idea involving different sized needles and much fancy yarn. began on thanksgiving. haven't touched since. gave in and added nicer, store-bought version to cart. might actually even buy in time for christmas. (i'm not holding my breath.)

and so what did all this yarn bruhaha (above) teach me?

of course. nothing. because -- even though it is totally not my fault because i didn't know the art store also sold yarn until i was standing in front of it totally innocently -- i bought more yarn on saturday.

right. zero gifts purchased yesterday, but PHEW. i have MORE YARN i can be unsuccessful with. super.

and other projects funny stories?

well, there's the one wherein i forced my a cappella group to wear their logo'd t-shirts and pose for a photo (sometime in mid-november) so that we could have the picture to use for holiday cards. because i wanted to send holiday cards for ONCE that were personal and on-time, and i thought if i sent a picture of the group maybe it would not seem so obvious to my friends and relatives at home that no, i'm not married and no, i don't have kids but really, that's okay, see? i sing with nine other girls and that's practically the same thing shutup.

uh huh. don't know when i think those cards will happen. especially as the photos are still sitting in my email inbox. and as i mentioned earlier, it appears to be december 13.

it just gets funnier.

i mean, i haven't mailed the gifts that i did manage to purchase. (because i haven't, you know, wrapped them.) haven't figured out what i'm bringing to a potluck dinner on saturday. or what i'm wearing to a holiday party tomorrow night.

and work is busy and i have stand-up class on thursday (no new material at all), and am leaving next week for the east coast and have three group gift exchanges between now and then and also haven't bought anything for Ish.

Fa la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaa....


in the middle of all the holiday mayhem, i got to have a lovely brunch with some of the coolest people ever! and it was fun and festive! and also sort of post-modernist*!

see, i work with a funny, funny woman. who is awesome. and i'm still kinda new around work sorta, so in the course of getting to know her (because i work all of four feet from her), i did what, you know, i do. i gave her my blog address.

in response, she gave me the link to her partner's blog. (because her partner is "the blogger in the family.")

and as these things go, i started blog-stalking whinger, and she started reading this. and we started feeling like we knew each other. and it didn't take long before i realized i knew WAY more about whinger than about my coworker -- and vice versa -- and we'd never even spoken.

i mean, you know how it is.

so by the time it got to the point where i was regularly engaging in conversations with my coworker about her darling partner, as though whinger and i were good friends from way back and hey, how's she doin'?, eventually it dawned on all of us that maybe we should actually like, meet.

and ta-da! we did!

and i just need to say that whinger and (her) Partner are a funny, sweet, adorable couple that i wish i had the means to stalk in real life. because if i lived anywhere near them i would totally just show up ALL THE TIME and be like, "hey, new best friends of my life even though we hardly know each other in a technical sense! what are we doing tonight?"

i mean, their home is beautiful and ever-so-tasteful while also being welcoming. their crazy dog is a joy, and their cat was very courteous in welcoming us (and in overseeing our stay from his sofa-top perch). the food was perfect, the music delightful, and just in case you missed it the first time, they are REALLY LUCKY i could never manage to get to their place by public transportation or else they would never get rid of me.

not. kidding.


oh, so yeah. i my friend met Ish's her boyfriend's parents last thursday.

and you know? it went very well. i she didn't spill or trip or fall or say any of the nine hundred million things that would've been inappropriate and were right there on the tip of my her tongue waiting to fall out of my her mouth.

the situation is still, uh, kind of complicated, sure. but whatever. 'tis the season to be merry. laaaaaa

*but in a cool, the-internet-challenges-social-reality in a bringing-us-closer way, not an alienating way. which is probably not technically post-modernist anymore, but whatever.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's The Most Wonderful Time...

please don't hate on me for having so many holiday-themed entries. i can't help it.

i have lights up at my work station now. and my pod-mates got a wreath for our area, and it's all rather festive and cheery.

and you know what else is great about the holidays? spending time with your family. (you know, like dear aunt flo.) (actually, i was giong to complain about said stupid aunt except how happy am i that she's here NOW and not when i'm sitting on a PLANE for six hours!? LOVE YOU, AF!)

now that i have sung the praises of my favorite chore -- doing laundry by saying "here" to the wash and fold lady -- i have fallen woefully behind. i haven't managed to take the time to sort through my closet and determine which articles need to go across the street and which need to be washed RIGHT NOW in my building's laundry (i.e., the delicates, plus whatever needs to be cleaned right away for thursday night. for no particular reason.).

i'm the worst at doing "chores" ever.

my friend would like to thank those of you who offered suggestions for what she should wear to meet her boyfriend's parents. i believe she summed up your opinions nicely when she said, "don't dress as Hussy the Homewrecker. got it."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Space Heaters

so yesterday afternoon it finally occurred to me that maybe i ought to just buy a friggin' space heater.

$40 later* i learned that i was right. it rocks. no more frostbite.

also i finally hung lights and some decorations while playing christmas music and mulling cider, so it's officially the holiday season at...


i think i need a name for my apartment.

Purl calls her place Chez Spinster, which is quite catchy but should also be trademarked. (plus i only have HALF as many cats as she does (as part of MY divorce settlement) so HAHA!) (uh, right. and who cares if i live in a space about 1/10 the size of hers?)

well, anyway, i need to come up with something my place is. other than Warm Through The Grace of Space Heaters.

i always think that some amazingly, heart-achingly, made-for-lifetime-tv-in-december-ly romantic thing is going to happen to me at christmastime.

i have believed this since as long as i can remember.

it has never been the case.

like, okay. last year, TheBoy and i had some lovely evenings out on the town, but nothing out of the urban-couple ordinary happened. well, except that i got to go to a holiday party for a sex toy company, but that's just a super-cool time. not exactly romantic.

in years previous, my ex-fiance was considerate and kind and a fabulous companion -- especially on trips "back east." and he's the only person i know in san francisco who ever got to meet my mom. but still, with the romance thing? not so much.

and goodness. before him? gosh. i suppose there was my ex-husband. and together we had fine christmases, sure...but they were all lukewarm, romantic-wise. and he bought me horrible gifts. (totally shoulda known.)

and before THAT? (wow, i'm getting old.) pre-my-ex things are a little spotty.

Mr. Adorable was considered a savior at my parents' house one year because he was coming from new york when we remembered collectively that the liquor stores in connecticut would be closed for TWO DAYS in a row and certainly we didn't have enough stock for that and so at 7 p.m. on christmas eve he arrived with lots of beer. my parents couldn't have been prouder.

he was a great guy, but seemingly not for me. which i knew, sadly, even when we got to go skating at central park one late december evening. almost lifetime-movie-worthy.


i'd have to say that otherwise, the most memorable christmastime romance-like things i've partaken in come down to:

A: being 14 and a freshman in high school and going to a billy joel concert on december 21 with a bunch of my friends. except the group tickets we got included two tickets that were separate. and i ended up in them with the boy i was interested in (who was also interested in me). that was kind of cool. we ended up kissing, i think.

he was a senior, and brilliant, and was my first real boyfriend. we dated for two years.

(now he's a bigshot lawyer and a huge republican and i can only assume he still refers to the civil war as "the war of northern aggression.")

B: i was 11 and in 6th grade -- my first year of middle school. i discovered a note in my locker from a boy i liked. who liked me, too (it turned out). and i got the note just before the first boy/girl dance of my life,which was also the holiday dance. and so at the dance, we talked (which was nearly unheard of in itself) and yes, we danced.

it was the first time i'd understood what it felt like to have a crush that was returned in sentiment.

anyway, i guess have been rambling (shocker!). i just get all gooey at this time of year (even more so than usual) and can't help myself. i don't even have a point.

probably the only remedy is now watching some lifetime special about a bitter, lonely woman who finds love -- and the true meaning of christmas -- when she leasts expects it.

*because what's another $40 in december?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Single Slice Of Pepperoni Pizza**

i just got out of a 30 minute shower wherein i didn't even wash my hair (or get it wet) because it was the only thing i could think of to do to raise my body temperature.

it's cold in my apartment!

i don't have a thermometer, but i feel like the temperature must be below what it's supposed to be. and i could complain to the landlady, but we know how good i am at this. so instead, i'll gripe about it here as though i'm doing something productive.

yep, feels warmer already.

The Math:

number of knitting projects for christmas completed: 0

number of knitting projects projected to be completed by christmas: 5, maybe 6

okay then, number of knitting projects actually on needles at this time: 2


number of phone calls you've received today asking to pay your credit card minimum from november which you SWORE you'd done a month ago but couldn't verify because the way your credit card company displays your account information is TOTALLY USELESS: 1

number of feet the ridiculous, plastic, pre-lit, $20 christmas tree from RITE-AID you bought this afternoon stands: 4.5

number of dishes you haven't washed: all

number of litter boxes you swore you'd clean three hours ago: 2

number of degrees it's supposed to be in your apartment at a minimum: 68

number of degrees you think it might be: 3

number of minutes spent blogging so that you could put off cleaning your apartment: 25 and counting

Very Important Question

i have a friend who is seeing a guy who seems really quite fabulous except for the fact that he's sort of going through a divorce. which of course makes things complicated but not impossible.

my friend talks to me about this because i, as you may recall, have been through a divorce, and started seeing someone while i was separated, and it went -- frankly -- very well (we didn't work out, but ya'll know what good friends el_gallo and i are now). so right. i'm sort of an encouraging tale, you know?

and anyway, my friend seems happy. her boyfriend seems happy. so much so, in fact, that he has asked my friend to meet his parents.

which would be good...except his parents are maybe not so happy about the divorce. or, by extension, the girlfriend.

they're meeting on thursday.

now, in preparation for this meeting, my friend has asked me a question that even i, in my infinite wisdom*, cannot answer with any certainty. and so i pose it to all of you, dear Invisible Internet Friends:

what should she wear?

*"infinite wisdom" = propensity for dispensing unsolicited advice

** what i'm about to go eat. i cannot be expected to eat healthily if i'm dying of frostbite, now can i?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Don't Try And Skimp On Christmas Or It Will Get Mad At You And Send You Punishment Yarn

not that i'm saying this from experience or anything, i'm just suggesting that maybe if you realized you'd waited until thanksgiving to order the yarn for your FIVE knitting projects you thought you would finish in time for christmas and then sneakily thought this would be possible by buying chunky/thick yarn which goes a LOT faster and so you're buying yourself some time...and then you receive the sneaky yarn and discover to your chagrin that you DIDN'T order the thick stuff at all, just regular ole' yarn with normal thickness -- IF you did something like this, i'm saying -- you might then feel very bad that you ever thought of buying the sneaky thick stuff in the first place and then feel obligated to try and finish projects with the thinner yarn because you wouldn't want to cheat at christmastime.

especially since christmas caught you in the act.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Technology Is So Fancy!

i am not entirely sure i get this thing, but basically if you click on the link below...

...i think you see where people reading this blog hail from, assuming they (you) go so far as to create an account and enter your zip code and stuff.

look! there i am in san francisco! where are YOU?