All The Possible Reasons Everyone’s So Ungrateful All Of A Sudden


Does anyone remember when people used to do that super annoying Facebook status thing, where they’d post a daily thing they’re thankful for every day in the month of November, leading up to Thanksgiving?

If you aren’t from America, perhaps you’ve been spared this glad-handed way of humble-bragging that people used to do. You, dear international friends, were the real fortunate ones.

It went like this:

So and so person you are connected with on Facebook, whom you maybe passed once in the hallway while in high school over 15 years ago: “November 4th, Day 4…catching up as I missed days 2 and 3, but I am SO grateful for my wonderful family, my amazing husband, and my intelligence – without which I wouldn’t have all the career opportunities it has afforded me.”

I’m not kidding you people, so many of my Facebook “friends” would post some narcissistic nonsense about how smart they were or how talented God made them. I. Shit. You. Not. The rest of their days of gratitude were filled with all the other banal details of their lives, like their suburban homes, or their “married to my best friend” spouses. And, naturally, the month was capped off with a barrage of material possessions God has bestowed upon them.

Fucking gag, I know.

A few years ago, when it had reached a fever pitch – and anyone who’s anyone on Facebook was doing this – I wrote a blog post about it. And relentlessly made fun of people that did it on social media.

I also, for a while, posted daily things I was ungrateful for. Like famine and foreign wars, and Ebola and HIV. And homelessness in my own community, and the 33% of children in my own town that live in poverty. Naturally, they went over like a lead balloon.

As I sit here today, though, and realize that this little gratitude for one month of an entire year thing is over, I can only hope I played a part in the demise of this nationwide trend.

Failing my participation in taking down this atrocious behavior, I have a few other theories about why this November-exclusive-public-declaration-of-thankfulness came to a sudden and screeching halt. (And if you’re thinking that I have a lot of time on my hands to be coming up with these theories, you would be right.)

No one has any interest in feigning gratitude anymore.

Look. We all know that very few of us wake up in the morning, stretch, take a look around our surroundings, and then ponder all the wonderful things we have in life, and how thankful we are for having them.

Maybe you do it once in a while, but every day? Come on, you can’t play me for that much of a sucker.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that for most people there is no time to sit and ponder dick. Your alarm has been going off for going-on an hour, your kids are jumping on the bed, you have a meeting in 30 minutes, and your morning constitution is already making its way out the back door. No one (except obviously me) has time to sit around and think about anything anymore, which is a damn shame but it’s a product of the times we live in.

Another thing about this all is that as we grow older and the stressors of life start to wear us down, feigning gratitude for some bullshit like a big screen TV seems a little besides the point.

No one posts Facebook statuses that often anymore.

This is not to be confused with suggesting that no one uses Facebook anymore. I know it’s cool to hate social media, and to look down on people that use Facebook regularly; but let’s not beat around the dick here: a lot of people who claim to rarely be on Facebook can be seen as “online” or liking and commenting on shit from sun up to sun down.

That’s not the point anyway. People used to post status updates a lot. I still do, most of the time to make jokes about myself. But to even figure out how to describe a Facebook status update like I did above (So and so’s gratitude post from November 4th), I had to scroll through basically five day’s worth of Newfeed, for at least 15 minutes, and I still hadn’t even hit a status update yet – so said “fuck it” and winged it.

I don’t know about you guys, but my Newsfeed is all News, Blogs, baby photos ad nauseum, and cat and dog videos. Ain’t nobody got time to be posting the things they’re grateful for when there’s a mashup of Adelle’s Hello and someone’s cat leaning over a telephone.

People are grateful, but not for anything they’ll admit to.

Housing assistance. Food stamps. Therapists. Financial aid. Daycare because if you have to watch Calliou one more time you’re going to rip your ears off your head to avoid hearing that kid’s whiney fucking voice ever again.

Life’s rough, and the economy sucks. That doesn’t mean everyone wants to admit that their grateful for relief from it.

Like all Facebook trends, this one just died.

You know Facebook is all about the trends. For a while, during the holidays, it was this thankful daily post thing. Other trends have been: posting long statuses about how people with cancer never get a break from it and 98% of your friends won’t repost that message; sharing recipes and cute holiday crafts instead of recognizing the existence of Pinterest; and, those awareness games like changing your Facebook photo to a child cartoon character, or posting where you like to hang your purse vaguely – as if that will somehow raise awareness for your cause. I could go on, but I won’t…

The newest Facebook trend is to put a colored filter over your Facebook profile photo in support of whatever cause happens to be the thing of the month. When the United States Supreme Court legalized gay marriage through out the country, everyone’s picture had a rainbow over it. After the Paris attacks the other day, it was the French flag. Of course now cases against doing these types of things are starting to crop up, just as they did with the Facebook thankful posts…but you get the point.

Facebook is about the trends, and as all trends go they eventually die.

Don’t get me wrong guys: I’m glad to not see everyone’s daily posts glad-handing their wonderful lives filled with Starbucks coffee and nice cars. Everyone’s posts eventually derailed into that kind of bullshit, and it’s simply because at a point we run out of things to list being thankful for.

I’m not an advocate of being ungrateful for the things you have in your life. But what I am an advocate of is being realistic about the important and unimportant things out there. My husband has a job, and we have a roof over our heads. For those things, I am grateful. We have our health, and that’s wonderful too. Occasionally I’ll post something on social media making that gratitude clear, and I can do so without making a show of doing it every day for just one month of the year; and certainly without using the hashtag #blessed.

But now that no one is posting about what they are thankful for on social media anymore, I can’t help but wonder why.

Countdown to Christmas… How To Wrap Gifts

I hate the holidays.

I mean, I think we’ve established that I hate pretty much everything. And everyone. And myself.

But I really fucking hate the holidays.

Some of you may or may not have been around here long enough to know all the fun details of my relationship with my mother. In a nutshell: it’s dysfunctional. It’s mom abandoned dad and I when I was only 10 to move across the country and have an elicit affair with a married man, which turned into 20+ years of bad relationships, childhood traumas, and other assorted maladies.

What is making this holiday season particularly horrid is that my mother is around. Her new husband lives in New Mexico, so I’m not sure why she is here. To compound things, I didn’t ask her to help plan my daughter’s birthday party, so she was a bitch to everyone there (for which I had to spend the entire following day making apologetic phone calls); then today she screamed at me about how this was the equivalent to me stabbing her in the back with a knife, and destroying her sense of place in the world. And by the way how dare you go shopping for Christmas gifts with your mother in law so she gets what you guys actually need, instead of shit that will just get wasted or donated. And my God you are such a bitch why aren’t you buying me more dinners and inviting me over for more free lunches, and what the fuck with your not coming to visit me two or three times a week to play puzzles and color with grandma.

Other. Assorted. Maladies.

This is making me really fucking hate the holidays even more so than usual. It’s adding another layer of shit to my plate that I don’t want to deal with, and quite frankly – after 20+ years of this shit – I’ve essentially had it.

It’s very complicated.

In any event, I am counting down to Christmas. In a big way, because (obviously) I just want the damn holiday to be over with.

This year Thanksgiving and Christmas were closer in days to each other than they have been in years. Decades maybe – what the fuck do I know on the length of time it’s been since the two holidays ran this closely together. I just know that’s the case because (a) my mother in law told me so, and (b) it seems like Thanksgiving was just over a week ago, because it was.

This compacted time, along with compounded stress, means even more fuck it all I hate my life God why are you doing this to me-feelings are rising to the surface.

Are any of you feeling the same way?

So this is how I wrap gifts.

(Sound insane, I know.)

First I take all the bullshit that my mother, and other assorted family or friends throw at me, and I crumple it up and shove it in a bag. A gift bag of anger and hostility, you might say. Then I cram as much of the stress and the strain and the holiday nonsense bullshit bake cookies decorate a tree clean for relatives fuck this I’m getting drunk and wrap it in paper with a pretty bow.

What I’m saying is that I take out my aggression on two, maybe three, nicely wrapped gifts. You can tell I’m extra stressed out if I do shit like make my own wrapping (which I did this year).

This looks so pretty because all my rage and hostility and crazy is being channeled into something – GASP – productive (versus my usual channeling, which involves alcohol, cupcakes, and Netflix).

After a couple of nicely wrapped gifts, I take a break to eat lunch. By that I mean emotionally eat.

Does anyone remember that scene in the beginning of The Bell Jar when she’s sort of losing it and she cracks an egg into a bowl of raw red meat and stirs it up and eats it? Because she’s suicidal, so why the fuck not?

When I took my break from this pristine wrapping today, I ate three turkey and cheese sandwiches. And I thought it would be just yummy to cover them in red pepper.

Not sure why. Made me think of that scene from The Bell Jar, minus the suicidal tendency.

At this point in the game, my channeling of anger has all been spent and I then turn to letting go of all life’s stressors through gift wrap. Because none of this really is in my control – holiday stress, family problems, psychotic and likely histrionic mother hellbent on giving me an ulcer… these are not things I can control.

So I let go. I let go of being so upset. I let go of being stressed out. I let go of feeling the expectations weighing down on me like an anchor attached to the very top of my skull.

(This isn’t entirely true, I don’t let go of anything I just symbolically do it through gift wrap.)

And I no longer give a fuck about the way the wrapping appears.

I mean I really really no longer give a fuck. Here are two gems from this evening.

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And then, by the time it’s all over and the last CVS bag has been adorned with bows (because fuck you, I ran out of paper and fancy bags)…I feel better.

I don’t really feel better. I do, however, have everything wrapped and ready to go under the tree.

Countdown to Christmas. There’s like a week or some shit left. Are you ready? Show me your worst wrapping job…it may be featured in the next step of this most horrific of countdowns.

I Like The Cold


People always look at me like I’m a complete moron when I tell them that I like the cold. As in cold outside, you know: snow, sleet, wind chill.

I get jealous when I see that there are blizzards going on somewhere in the world.

I live in California. Particularly, Southern California. We have one dial on the weather-o-meter and that’s about it: 70s and sunny. Sometimes we get fog. Occasionally it rains for a few days. Once in a while the winds blow and it hits 90; or the ocean blows in some high 60s.

High 60s. Anything below that and the city in which we live shuts down.

By contrast, I grew up in Chicago. Those of you that have been hanging around the blog for a while know how much I love the city and its suburbs. In the winter, and sometimes in the fall and spring, it is exceedingly cold in Chicago. Like cold-cold.

And I love it.

I guess maybe you don’t realize what it’s like to live in a place that has virtually no weather variation at all until you have. I’ve lived in Southern California now for almost 14 years and I can say without a doubt that it is beyond boring, mainly because of the weather. Yeah, it’s nice to not have to worry about things like closed-toed shoes or scarves and hats. Sure you have the ocean with the EPA’s estimation that thousands of people take a dump in that water every day while out surfing or swimming (related note: I do not ever go in the Pacific Ocean). Okay, you have the beaches you can go to any time of the year ….unless, of course, they’re closed because of all the hypodermic needles sticking out of the sand.

But there is no changing of the leaves really, especially not as dramatically as in the Midwest. You never have the excitement of jumping in a pile of freshly raked leaves; or by contrast the thrill of knowing that spring is just around the corner.

There will never be a first snow of the year for Southern Californians.

No, there will be first snow in the mountains that people will get in their cars and drive to, only after the snowing has already happened. And only for a little while before getting back in their cars and driving home to the 70s and sunny before nightfall.

You cannot get much more monotonous than that.

What I’m saying is that there are no changes of the seasons, which means there is none of the living that comes along with it. I equate living with having these experiences that are unique and exciting and different. Not monotony. Shoveling. Snow balls. Raking leaves. Seeing fresh flowers bloom. Feeling snow in your hair. Ice skating. Sledding in your back yard. Bundling up in a hat, scarf, and gloves for a football game. Hot chocolate when it isn’t actually hot out.

In 70s and sunny every day, there is not much room for exciting and different experiences when it comes to the weather. I find this ironic because in California we pride ourselves on organic-living, which should extend well beyond just the foods we eat into the way we live. And yet there is nothing organic at all about making fake snow at Disneyland or having to drive four hours in traffic to see orange, brown, and red leaves.

I don’t know, maybe it’s all in my head. I must be biased because I love Chicago and dislike California. I’m sure there is an entire conglomerate of blog followers, family, friends, and people that just like to hate me waiting to tell me how I am making no sense. I have rocks in my brains for liking cold weather, or I’ve just forgotten what a foot of snow feels like.

The bottom line, though, is that I’m home again, in suburban Chicago for the holiday. And I felt more alive as I stood in the snow yesterday afternoon than at any point in the last 14 years that I’ve lived in Southern California. I was cold. My fingers felt numb. But I could feel it, and I knew I was there because of it. There was nothing monotonous about it at all, and that is living.

My Christmas Wish List This Year

I wonder if I just became as obnoxious as Home Depot putting out their fucking Christmas decorations in July; or Target playing Christmas music in October. You know that Black Friday actually begins for many stores at 7 pm on Thanksgiving DAY, now, too. Retailers are literally ramming Christmas up our asses.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should go ahead and admit that I do all of my Christmas shopping in the months of August and September. That means that as of this day – October 10th – I have actually been done with Christmas shopping. For 10 days. That’s everyone in our families, for the Pookies, my husband… everyone. It’s just so much more tolerable than standing in long lines, and fighting with people over bargains.

This means that while I was shopping, I officially scoped out all of the things I really really want for Christmas.

Before going into my wish list, though, let me tell you a little story about the Sodastream. A few years ago, my husband got me that for Christmas. It was well-intentioned, sure. I drink Diet Coke by the bucket-load, which means obviously getting me a machine that would let me make my own bucket-loads of my aspartame and caffeine-filled beverage of sheer delight would be a win, right?

Wrong. I can totally taste the difference. What I like about Diet Coke is actually the exact ingredients and exact composition and exact carbonation of the Coca-Cola brand Diet Coke. Maybe it’s all mental (it’s probably all mental); nonetheless, I never use the Sodastream.

Quickly after I opened the gift that year, though, it became vaguely reminiscent of that episode of The Simpsons when Homer buys Marge a bowling ball (with his name engraved on it), in spite of the fact that Marge had no idea how to get the ball down the lane. Within a day, my husband was experimenting with flavors on the Sodastream. He even drank directly out of the bottles. He still does.

Since that year, I have made it a point to make an explicit wish list for Christmas. Last year I really wanted a deer head for our bedroom. I made it explicitly clear; I got a deer head. This year, though, I’m going for quantity… I want to feel the excitement of opening lots of gifts on Christmas morning, like I did when I was a kid again.


1. A Day of the Dead wine bottle opener/corkscrew from Paper Source. We were shopping a few weeks ago and saw them, and I fell in love. (Note to my husband: Day of the Dead is like two days into November. So…time is of the essence….)

2. Removable plastic sheets for my iPad!!!!! This is an infuriating request for me, because it’s super cheap and available online as well as at Sur La Table as well as at Bed Bath Beyond, and fuck it’s even around $10 for 100 at Target…and I asked for these for Mother’s Day – it’s all I wanted, I didn’t even mind cooking on Mother’s Day, as long as I could have those stupid plastic sheets so that I stop getting food all over my iPad when I cook. It was a REQUEST DENIED, though, so I’d really like some for Christmas.

3. Lots of good smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works, especially the winter scents (like Winter Candy Apple). I have an addiction to purchasing Bath and Body Works products, but lately haven’t gotten that many to try and pare down my stockpile. Around Christmas I will be totally out, though, so it would be totally awesome if someone in my family would replenish my stock – especially since I love the winter line all year long. I really love all their scents, though. Except that Japanese Blossom one, because that stuff smells like a cow’s ass.

4. A “People Mom Would Have An Affair With” personalized 2014 calendar. I would like the months to be as follows:

January: Wolf Blitzer. Duh, I have a huge s(he)hard-on for him.

February: Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears, but he needs to be in the middle of one of those weird neck/shoulder twitch things he does before a play or during an interview.

March: Jim Cantore doing push ups while reporting from a hurricane.

April: Vladimir Putin. It would be totally rad if he were wearing some kind of a fur headpiece too…

May: Albert Camus. Yes, he is dead. Yes, I would totally cheat on my husband and jump his dead, old bones. Gross, but not sorry.

June: Hulk Hogan. Preferably in tight spandex, in the middle of administering a pile drive (the wrestling kind).

July: Bill Clinton. I would be in a binder of women delivered to his desk any day.

August: Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox (hopefully at this time in the year he will still be with and playing regularly for the White Sox… and hopefully the White Sox won’t have blown it at this point like they had in 2013… and every other year…………)

September: Any random guy with long hair pulled back in a pony tale, a nerdy “I play MAGIC the Gathering every Sunday” kind of look to him; but with no acne and definitely well-presented enough for it to be clear he doesn’t live in his mother’s basement… in the middle of a LARP. Don’t ask me why, but sometimes that Lord of the Rings shit gets me going.

October: As many members of the NBA that will fit onto one page. (Don’t ask.)

November: No photo, just my mantra in large lettering: “No car, no job, no service.”

December: Fuck it: Gandolf.

The way I see it, this is sort of like the people that do those sexy photos for their spouses, only instead of looking at photographs of my husband on a pillowy bed with feather boas all around him and shit, I’ll be looking at the meaty men that I salivate over regularly, in a totally creepy and mental-infidelity kind of way.

5.A gift card to The Cheesecake Factory. You guys may be thinking that I just threw this one in there because I had nothing else for a #5, but I’m totally serious. I never eat there unless I have a gift card. It isn’t the cost, it’s just the place never comes to mind when thinking of where to go. And if there is one thing I need more of in my life, it’s motherfuckin’ cheesecake.

I still think it’s awful that Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year; mainly because it gets old after a predetermined period of time, and it would be really awesome if that time weren’t before… oh, I don’t know… Christmas. Nonetheless, it was important to share my Christmas wish list early. You know, to give my husband enough time to make up some excuses why he got me another Sodastream instead.

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 7: I Hate You All

Here we go.

I woke up this morning at 5 o’clock. I had no reason to, other than that I was so angry even my dreams didn’t want to be near me.

It’s finally here: Heather’s Holiday Hostility.

This happens every year. For one, I hate the fucking holidays. They’re full of greed, gluttony, and bullshit obligations I shouldn’t feel I always have to keep. For two, my family is all the way across the country in the homeland – holidays just aren’t the same without them. A third, and glaring, part of Heather’s Holiday Hostility is simply:  California. It’s fucking 83 degrees outside and the middle of November. Sorry if it’s hard for me to get all into the season of snow and winter and egg nog when the goddamned air conditioning is on high and I’m trying to find tank tops that say Ho Ho Ho.

Those are just a few reasons though. Honestly I have a lot more than that, but as we get into the 7 day countdown to Thanksgiving, I have a much more pressing issue to discuss. I hate you all.

I Hate You All and Your Thankful Posts

I’ve pretty much beaten this dead horse enough at this point, but I want to say one more thing about these thankful posts.

I don’t hate you for doing them.

I don’t hate you for not being original.

Sure, I told you to shut the fuck up a few weeks ago in my STFU Friday post, but it was just an opinion that if you are going to be thankful you should (a) be thankful through out the entire year, not just one general time; and (b) find some important things to be thankful for besides your iPhone5.

Do you know why I hate you all and your thankful posts, though? Because you can’t allow anyone to descent from your stupid holiday Facebook game. You can’t allow anyone to have an opinion other than yours. And when I posted my STFU Friday post, which I thought I was quite nice in about my feelings on the whole Facebook thankful thing I might add, I got the following message and subsequent Facebook friend deletion from someone I have known for my entire life:

“Shut the fuck up with your STFU blog crap. Get a fucking life and fuck off. I hope I read about your funeral on my iPhone5 that I am thankful for.”

Right. Happy holidays to you too.

I Hate You All and Your “Something Better Came Up”

My biggest problem with the holiday season is it always feels like everyone is competing to do it better. To do it bigger. And I think this is much in part to the fact that so many people seem to be out looking for what is better than the next guy’s crap.

Last year on Christmas Day we went to my Aunt’s house. Her ungrateful children showed up with their ungrateful children for presents about four hours late. They came in, still in pajamas, and said “let’s get this show on the road.” Then the four of them (my cousin, his wife, and their two children) proceeded to just rip open gift after gift after gift, not paying attention to who they were from, not thanking anyone, and actually saying “great… what’s next” after a few of the gifts. Then when they were done, they said they had to go to the “better house” – my cousin’s dad’s place.

Flash forward to now, we are hosting an open house this Saturday for Thanksgiving. That same cousin and his bitch of a wife, and two uneducated and wild children, committed to come about a month ago. When I saw them a few weeks ago at my grandma’s birthday party, they again said they would definitely be there. This would be the first time, ever in history, that they showed up to one of our parties, which is particularly frustrating because we constantly go to their kid’s birthday parties and they have never – not once – come to ours.

So Tuesday night I had dinner with my mom and she broke the news to me that this entire faction of the family was not coming to our party Saturday after all. We aren’t talking about just this cousin, wife and kids, though. We are talking about 3/4 of the people who said they were coming and I’ve already prepared the food for. Why? I quote: “because something better came up.”

I Hate You All and Your Intentional Exclusions

So before I talk about how I wasn’t planning on going to anyone’s Thanksgiving dinners anyway, let me first say how much it hurts to be intentionally excluded.

For two years in a row now, my aunt has hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her palatial estate in the IE. That’s right, for those of you that aren’t familiar with California it’s the Inland Empire, and you can’t drive through her area without fearing death.

Still, the entire family descends on this place for most parties, which is quite a trek for the majority of us. We’ve gone to birthday parties for afore mentioned asshole kids there, we went to Christmas there last year, we’ve gone to BBQs and other miscellaneous parties there, and so on.

And yet for some reason, my husband and I are intentionally excluded from Thanksgiving there every year.

I’m not entirely sure why. I can’t – for the life of me – figure it out. It can’t be that they just dislike us, because they invite us to everything else there. It can’t be that there is certain company around that wouldn’t mesh, because it is the same company every goddamned time. So just what the fuck is it?

It’s starting to get pretty insulting too. My bitchy mother keeps mentioning it then retracting her statement and saying “never mind, you weren’t invited.” Well I hate you and your “never mind, you weren’t invited;” and I hate you all and your intentional exclusions too.

I Hate You All and Your Unreasonable Expectations

That’s the other thing, though. Yes, it hurts to be intentionally excluded from an event, especially a family one. It’s nice for people to offer invites, to extend a warm offering. But when in the fuck did an invitation turn into an obligation?

If I say I’m going to come, well then I have an obligation. But if you invite me and I say “I’ll have to check and get back to you,” or “sorry we have other plans” – now I’m some fucking asshole? What the fuck is wrong with you people?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong: we live in an all or nothing society now. You either do everything I say or you are out.

Beyond that are the expectations of those closest to us. First of all, my father and I have had a tradition since we moved here – we go out to eat on Thanksgiving. We miss our family in Chicago, and I hate to cook … so we’ve always done that. Year in. Year out. It never fails. Always.

But then I got married and sometime in the last few years my husband ordered some sort of a girlie, cosmopolitan-type drink, and my dad got embarrassed. Now my dad’s embarrassment was stupid; and my husband’s drink choice that day was stupid too. But who does it come down on? Me. Now my dad doesn’t want to go out to eat and my husband still wants a traditional meal; and I really really REALLY don’t want to spend the day driving from place to place putting on a fake smile and pretending I love all the people at my in-law’s, so guess what?

I hate you and the fact that now I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Tears are welling up in the back of my eyes at this very moment at the thought of all the cooking that lays out before me. I suggested hosting this party on Saturday so that I could relax on Thanksgiving; now I have an eight course meal to plan out.

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 7: I Hate You All. Next up on the docket? Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 6: Meal Planning for Ungrateful Assholes.

By the way … don’t be a turkey and BUY MY BOOK! And if you want it signed, just email me for details on how to get that done and shipped back to you for free! Click here, buy book, woohoo!

If I Could Dry Hump a Hobbit, and Other Monday Morning Revelations

There. I said it. Sometimes I turn the lights down real low. I light some candles. I put on something sexy. I break out the baby oil and the nearest banana-shaped object. And I turn on Lord of the Rings.

Okay, I don’t really do that. REALLY …

But in all seriousness, this is just one of my many Monday morning revelations. I have these often. I’d say every Monday morning. Maybe every morning during the week when I have a brief period of time alone to lay in bed and think without Yo Gabba Gabba on the TV or Barbies wedging their way up my ass.

Monday Morning Revelation #1:

If I could dry hump a hobbit, I would.

Ever since I was in high school and I read The Hobbit, I have been in love with those books. I don’t know if it’s the underlying metaphysics, the fantastical stories, their bizarre and disgusting feet that are both horrifying and beautiful, or the size of Gandolf’s beard (you know what they say about a man with a big beard…), but I cannot get enough of them. I would dry hump that shit to the ends of the shire.

You can imagine, then, my antics when I was sitting at the computer one day and saw that the trailer for The Hobbit – the movie – was released. I nearly creamed my razor-lined, chastity belt that keeps my husband (clearly not a hobbit, despite his horrifying feet) at bay.

But upon further reflection, I realized that the cast members of Middle Earth aren’t the only “characters” we see every day that I would dry hump. No, faithful blog followers: upon further reflection I realize there is a whole cadre of them. There was that time I considered dry humping my copy of Bertrand Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy. It’s just such a good book, and I’ve always had a thing for BR, even though he’s dead. It isn’t necrophilia if it’s just the spine of a book, right? I also have a growing list of politicians I would dry hump, and by growing I mean I’m moving onto the second notebook.

So this was the first thing I thought about upon waking this morning.

Monday Morning Revelation #2:

Old ladies doing zumba in my dreams means the old folk’s home is more loosy-goosey than I originally thought…

Last night I had a dream that I moved into the assisted living facility that my grandparent’s live in. There are a few possibilities of how this dream came about: (1) we were talking about where my grandma and grandpa are going to sit during a party we are throwing at our place next weekend; or, (2) more philosophically, I have a deep and underlying fear that I will one day become my mother, who is currently sleeping on a cot on the floor in the living room of my grandparent’s assisted living apartment.

In any event, in my dream I was horrified to see that once the doors close, so to speak, at this place, the old people get wild. We’re talking nude swimming. We’re talking old ladies taking zumba classes in their bathing suits. I always thought the place was a little loosy-goosy. My grandpa flirts with tons of the women there, right in front of my grandma (who is oblivious to it after years of learning to ignore my grandfather’s obsession with watching hardcore porn). And a few weeks ago I saw six bottles of Viagra on the medication cart.

Then I remembered that it is Veteran’s Day.

Monday Morning Revelation #3:

We can call this another holiday my husband is working.

My husband works most holidays. He works a lot of weekends too. He’s supposed to be “off” at 6, but never leaves then, and he is never really actually “off the clock” either – having set this precedent a long time ago, it just won’t go away. He’s answered the phone on the way to the bedroom before, and I’m talking about one of those rare times that sleeping was not going to occur.

Anyway, so he’s working again. If you follow me on Facebook, you know then what I do on days like today when he should be home celebrating the Veterans of our country with us: I torture myself.

First I lie in bed and think about how many extra hours he works. Holidays, extra hours, emails from home … this kind of thing adds up. Then I think about all the overtime pay he should be receiving (required by law after a certain hour, even when salaried – don’t fuck with the lady that used to work for the labor unions on labor laws…). And then there is the holiday pay he could be receiving. And then I even throw in some bonuses and raises that he didn’t receive all those years he was working tirelessly with little-to-no reward.

If I’m feeling especially self-depricating, I also add in the extra cost of damage to his personal computer, that he continues to take to work. Or the per-minute charges on our cell phone bill that are used for his job.

You get the point.

Then I lie in bed and plan a vacation with all that money to someplace super exotic. Because believe you me: if he was getting paid what he should at this point in my thought-process, we would be on a fucking exotic vacation every year. (Note: we have never taken an exotic vacation. In fact, save for a few local weekend trips, he has never allowed us to do such a thing because of work…)

Finally, I remind myself that he didn’t get paid any of this and I get up in search of the nearest anti-anxiety medication and/or depression-induced thing. Today I’m feeling a little Sylvia Plathish, so thinking I’ll drop some Xanax, eat some raw meat, and write a few poems.

So you see, faithful blog followers: these are the types of things I think of on Monday mornings. They may be revelatory. They may be a product of often under-active, boring weekends. Or they may just be another sign that I’ve lost it. What isn’t these days?

Any Monday morning revelations of your own?

By the way … don’t be a turkey and BUY MY BOOK! And if you want it signed, just email me for details on how to get that done and shipped back to you for free! Click here, buy book, woohoo!

6 Halloween Indulgences

There are exactly two weeks left until Halloween. That can mean one thing and one thing only for this lady: Halloween indulgences.

So Halloween is the kick start of the holiday season, it seems. After that it’s like a landslide to New Years. But the one thing that’s different for me than most other people is that it’s the only part of the holiday season that I allow myself indulgences.

I’m not a real holiday person. In fact, I hate the holidays. The family breathing down your neck, making requests of you left and right. The increases in the social calendar obligations. The money. The gratuitous gift giving. Having to clean around the decorations. All the food in excess. The money. The money. The money. And more than anything: the holiday blues. I get them every year and despite my urge to have a Prozac shake every morning until the New Year, I usually just mope my way through it.So Thanksgiving doesn’t see 3,000+ calories for me; in fact, I usually eat salad. Christmas cookies and candy and other assorted food-coma items are not something I partake in often either – I’m not the biggest fan of desserts most of the time.

You faithful blog followers are all probably envisioning that when I say “Halloween indulgences” I’m sitting around, shoveling miniature-sized Three Musketeers bars down my throat, while I pour Pixie Stix in my mouth, like a princess adorned with all the candy jewelry Candyland has to offer.

Sadly, this is just not the case. It would be funny, but like I said: I’m not really into desserty-type stuff most of the time.

Halloween Indulgence 1: New Halloween Decorations

I like Halloween decorations. I don’t mean the ones that are all blood and gore and crap. I also don’t mean overly elaborate ones. I like simple, but cute Halloween decorations that remind me of being a little kid again. Especially The Peanuts Halloween stuff – they just get me every time.

So I buy new Halloween decorations every year. I don’t mean that I throw out the old and bring in the new, I just add to my collection. Fortunately, since I don’t buy that much (maybe one or two things per year), we still don’t have that much. Some indoor skeleton lights. A couple grave stones. Cobwebs. A blue skeleton head. Those types of things. This year I bought an adorable mummy candle holder.

Halloween Indulgence 2: Making Homemade Costumes As An Excuse To …

… sit on my ass. Spend less money on costumes. Control what the costume is going to be. Sit on my ass some more. Go to my knitting/crafting group. Did I mention sit on my ass?

Making homemade Halloween costumes requires that I be in place and left alone for periods of time that I don’t usually get to be in place and left alone. “If you don’t leave me alone, I’ll never get your Halloween costume done!” is the primary reason why I start costumes in July.

Halloween Indulgence 3: Pumpkins and Gourds and Shit

It might be because so many gourds are phallic. It might also be because they are a cheap and easy way to decorate. Yesterday we went to the local pumpkin patch and I bought about forty pumpkins and assorted gourds and corn cobs for $30. Being a shopaholic that is on the way into the holiday blues (often temporarily cured with shopping), this is awesome. I can spend hours drowning my sorrows sifting through bins of shit that looks like a penis without breaking the bank, like clothes or shoe-shopping would.

Seems like a total win to me.

Halloween Indulgence 4: Cheesy Halloween TV Shows and Movies

When I was in high school, my dad and I would watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000 all the time. Since then (we’re talking for about fifteen years, now) I always poke fun at movies while watching them.

Cheesy Halloween TV Shows and Movies are the best for this. Last night I forced everyone to watch The Brain That Wouldn’t Die – a movie from the early 60s about a crazy doctor who gets into a car accident and tries to preserve his fiance’s head while he finds a body to attach it to. Sadly, my husband doesn’t appreciate my humor such as he should, so it usually ends in me sitting and cracking jokes to myself.

Halloween Indulgence 5: Boney With His Massive Invisible Boner

A while back, I introduced you all to Boney with his massive invisible boner. I’m not entirely sure how I came up with this concept. I mean, it’s just a plastic skeleton that I got at Michael’s a few years ago for $10. And despite my previous comment about sifting through a bin of phallic gourds, my mind is rarely anywhere near the gutter (I mean, my idea of sexytime is reading a book in sweatpants).

Nonetheless, Boney with his massive invisible boner becomes my mascot from the time he comes out of storage until November 1st every year.

Halloween Indulgence 6: Dressing Up My Animals

No, I do not mean Pookies or husband. I mean my actual animals.

Before my dog Watson died a few years ago, he got stuck playing dress up. Now that he is gone, I dress up the guinea pig, Agamemnon.

But I don’t just dress him up. I dress him up time after time, and have fashion shows with him in the living room. In the living room covered with penis-shaped gourds, with Boney and his massive invisible boner as the audience. Nothing weird about this at all, right? I make him some popcorn, set up a little runway, and turn up the Right Said Fred “I’m Too Sexy.” It’s very bizarre and I’m pretty sure he hates me at this point; although, he does seem to like it once in a while.

I’ll leave you with the most recent of the guinea pig fashion shows.

Mrs. Claus Likes Her Whiskey Sour

Today when we went on our annual trip to get a photograph with Santa Claus at the mall, I realized that this is the last year we’ll be making such a pilgrimage.

When we got there, I was quickly reminded of last year’s experience where Santa Claus continued to stumble around, making it apparently clear that he was drunk and it was only 11 o’clock. This year, Santa seemed sober, only for Mrs. Claus to take his place at the throne of Mall Drunk. For thirty minutes, we stood in line waiting for our turn and I watched her as she stumbled around, her eyes even rolling once. When in close proximity, the smell of whiskey sour was so overpowering I was legitimately concerned that if she were to belch, the Christmas candle lit next to Santa’s chair would actually ignite the entire mall. At first, I couldn’t really pinpoint why “drunken debauchery” always seems to come of dressing as the fictional couple.

But then I began to look around.

The mall decided that instead of a really big Christmas tree that you get to walk under as you go up to the platform where Santa and Mrs. Claus are waiting, this year they went the more traditional route and installed a nativity scene. It was your standard, run of the mill, life-sized nativity set, only in the place of the baby Jesus was a Macy’s shopping bag.

Really? I thought to myself as we rounded the corner to the last leg of the never-ending line to sit on the fat guy’s lap and be on our way. Yes: really.

I’m sure Mrs. Claus (and last year – Santa, himself) wasn’t actually drinking because of the sheer consumerism of the Macy’s bag-Jesus nativity set (well, if they are anything like me they might be…).  But beyond that, as I looked around while standing in line to pay $38.95 for five minutes and three photographs, I saw the utter humanity baring itself for all to see – a sight usually only reserved for Disneyland and funerals.

There were people arguing in line about what picture package they were going to get – because they had to make sure to send photographs to every single goddamned relative that expected one. This raises other issues that are beyond the scope of this blog, but as to the bizarre-factor of this situation, one couple actually began to scream at each other. Not talk in raised voices, not yell – actually scream. I was surprised the mall cops didn’t show up (although when have mall cops ever actually policed the mall?).

Further down the line, there was a pregnant woman who looked like she was actually going to give birth right then and there waiting to take her 2 year old son to visit Santa Claus. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone so pregnant before. She kept rubbing her gargantuan belly and moaning – at one point she kneeled and I almost fainted at the thought of her birthing right then and there.

Children were screaming everywhere. Some were wearing their pajamas still (which seemed ludicrous at roughly $13 per 4X6 print – but who am I to judge?). In the time we stood in line, my feet were smashed by some lady’s stroller no less than five times and I set my hand on the banister holding the line together once to learn a child had been gnawing on it (leaving my hand slobbery with some stranger’s spit).

In the end, standing in line for thirty minutes had my own mouth salivating at the thought of drinking heavily upon returning home. If I had to stand there for eight hours a day, pretending to be happy about the most material, consumeristic, and generally fake holiday of the year; all the while wearing an outfit that is hot, itchy, and absolutely ridiculous, and being put in the position of having to allow strange children to stomp on, hit, and kick me for the sake of this grand, holiday charade – I would probably be drinking before work every day too. Actually, I would probably start every day off with a whiskey sour and a handful of Xanax.

This is all nothing new, though this year I realized it was time to bid adieu to the time-honored tradition of visiting the local mall Santa Claus. As much as one may want to be understanding of the alcoholism which plagues the holiday characters each year, it is still an overwhelmingly sad situation (when you really think about it, which I try not to) and sets a horrible example for children. Why this year did I finally draw the line, you ask? Because for a two year old or three year old, or an infant – you don’t notice. Santa just has “bad breath” or Mrs. Claus is just tripping. But as we walked away today, (seven year old) Pookie acknowledged that she knew Mrs. Claus was drunk when she loudly pronounced, “…well, at least Santa wasn’t the drunk one this time…”

So drink on, Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Drink on. But we’ll be staying at home next year.

Snarksgiving: My Holiday in Photos

Well, faithful blog followers, Thanksgiving is over but the fun has just begun.  Soon people will be trampling each other for Christmas deals and ringing in the New Year with booze and a stomach pump.  I’m sure on this Thanksgiving, everyone had a wonderfully glutinous holiday filled with 3000+ calories.  I, however, did not.  Holidays are not always a family time or an eat-your-heart-out-time; as in, they haven’t always been and they don’t have to be.  For me, growing up with just my father after my mother left us and moved across the country, the holidays were much different.  They were about understanding the actual meaning behind the holidays – something less than 25% of Americans reportedly do.  They were about relaxing and having a day that we didn’t have any other obligations.  It has never been about stuffing our faces.  Sometimes we did things with the family, but other times it was too snowy or we just felt like hanging out and watching movies.  This was the general idea behind almost everything my dad and I did:  we did what we wanted or what we could and we did not allow ourselves to feel obligated to participate in pastimes that were about as meaningless as the stuffing being shoveled down people’s gullets.

Since moving to California, my holidays have not been much different; and in fact, I have grown more contemptuous of the holidays as the years have gone on.  So much of them now are about doing what is expected of you, rather than what will truly make you happy.  So much of them is about how much money you can spend as well – buy this, spend on that, get in line for the big deals!  And to me it seems that in recent years the addition of the family element has gotten out of control – as if the meaning of holidays is actually to spend time with family.  As if people cannot have holidays if they are not in a large, family unit.

This morning when I woke up, I saw Facebook status after Facebook status, and thousands of Tweets, all about what people are thankful for, and how important family is to this holiday.  It seems that people have ignored, though, the two important events that brought about this holiday:  the pilgrims leaving behind their families and settling in a new country; and the Civil War breaking families apart in the name of a greater cause.  Some people on Twitter claimed themselves to be the moral authority on what Thanksgiving means (which they were most certainly wrong about); another person still on Facebook said her family was “chosen by God to be the best family in this blessed world.”  Christianity was folded in as well, with the bizarre idea that Thanksgiving is now a Christian holiday and that the Christian way is to be with your family – both ideas that are unambiguously false.

Thanksgiving (as with most holidays) do involve family in many cases, but they are not about them; nor is it wrong if huge family gatherings are just not your thing.

This is something that took me a long time to accept and come to terms with, mainly because I had other people shoving down my throat what they thought I was supposed to believe, rather than what I did.  Like many, I even let them convince me that is what I wanted and what made me happy – and yet somehow, I couldn’t understand why at the end of every big family event I felt completely exhausted – both physically as well as mentally.  But then earlier this year, I resolved to do what I want for the holidays again and appreciate them for what they truly are – because after all, that is what I always learned was the right thing to do.

For Thanksgiving this year, I didn’t really feel like spending my time discussing mundane life updates and hearing all about the bowel movements of the men at the table (something my family and in-laws discuss regularly over the main course).  In a time when life has been overwhelmingly tumultuous and underwhelmingly intellectually stimulating, I really just wanted to relax and have a day that I could do what I wanted to do.  So, faithful blog followers, here is my holiday in photos:

I woke up and checked my Facebook, Twitter, and the blogs I read every day.  I’ve already shared with you the annoyances of Facebook and Twitter, but what was wildly entertaining (and confusing) were two images that showed up on the blogs I read.  One was a spray-painted turkey, the other was a cow giving birth to a pig.  That’s right… a cow … giving birth … to a pig.

In deference to those that have fallen for the sake of this country (I’m talking about the Native Americans), I made those silly headpieces you make in 1st grade.

As I mentioned, I couldn’t bring myself to go to any big family feeding fests this year.  Not only was I uninterested in another event of blasse conversation, I just didn’t want to eat that much.  I don’t dictate my life around food as a lot of people seem to now; in fact, I didn’t even really want turkey this year.  So we went out to lunch instead and (while everyone else had turkey), I had a glass of wine, a cup of soup, and a nice salad.  There was no need to unbuckle my pants at the end of the meal, and I felt good about myself for making a healthy choice.

The final step of the day was to go see The Muppets.  It was a great movie – probably the best I have seen this year.  I have a soft spot for The Muppets and the new movie hit it.  The theater was relatively empty as well, which was awesome.  Now that I am home and in pajamas, I’m going to curl up with my book (“When Neitzsche Wept”) and read probably into the early hours of the morning.

I’m overwhelmingly glad that my friends and family are in my life – I am not unthankful for them at all.  I am thankful for my book club, for the roof over my head, for my wonderful Apple products, for my staunch sense of independence, and for the education I have received.  But I also don’t need a day to remind me that I am (or need to express that I am) thankful of all of that.  I think my day was just as awesome as the next guy’s, and for this I am thankful as well.  People don’t need to look at a day out and about, eating salads and hanging out relatively alone as something to pity or look down upon.  It was a good day, filled with exactly what I wanted to do.

The bottom line is this:  if people want to spend their time on Thanksgiving with family, without family, in line at Best Buy, at home eating Chinese take-out – it is theirs for the choosing.  The one thing I cannot stand is people that say their way is the right way.  I’ve got news for you, it’s far from it.  Happy Holidays, everyone:  whatever you choose to do for them.