Friday, December 10, 2010

A Little Christmas Interlude

I've been busy all week doing research and having meetings to prepare for my new assignment, so I don't have much to tell you. Instead, I thought I'd share something that sent me into convulsions of laughter when I saw it a couple years ago. First, a little background:

During my college years, I always looked forward to coming home for Christmas. Even though the family homestead was only a short drive away, I lived in a dorm, mainly because I was an independent sort and wanted to be on my own as soon as possible. All the same, the holidays were one time of the year when I wanted to be close to my family, so after the semester was over, I moved back into my old room for a couple of weeks.

My mom loves Christmas music, so during the time leading up to Christmas, she would keep the radio tuned to a station that played Christmas music 24/7 between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Unfortunately, the station used some sort of music service which provided only a handful of songs that cycled over and over again, many of which weren't very good. So while I was yearning to hear about a White Christmas or that Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I was instead tortured with the insipid tale of Christmas Shoes. This manipulative, moronic song with all the quasi-rock ballad bells and whistles that only a Christian rock band can shamelessly muster haunted those Christmases like the specter of chainsaw-wielding fruitcakes. Here's the video, if you can stand it:

Horrible, right? I had already forced this Christmas nightmare from my brain when I came across this video on YouTube. It features one of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt, giving his take on this holiday song accompanied by some really funny animation. Be warned, this is probably not office appropriate, but it is truly hilarious!

Only 14 more shopping days 'til Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

November is Finally Over!

Sorry I've been mostly absent from the Twitterverse this week. I spent most of the weekend and almost all of Monday and Tuesday writing like a crazy person, trying to meet the all important goal of 50,000 words in order to win NaNoWriMo. Sometime around 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening, I passed that number of words and finished the chapter I was working on with a couple hundred words to spare. As quickly as I could, I hopped onto the NaNoWriMo Web site and uploaded my manuscript so their automated word counter could officially count the length of my novel thus far. How thrilled I was to be bumped to a new page which said, "Congratulations!" It was such a rush to feel that sense of accomplishment. I have never written a story of this length in my life, and it still isn't finished.

Of course, the fear is that I won't finish it. I've dropped projects before, but this one feels really important to me. Not only do I want the sense of accomplishment which will no doubt come from completing a novel, I want this story to be told. I may catch hell from my superiors, but I do hope to have it published some day.

Outside of the novel writing, I took some time out on Saturday to do a little fence mending with my mother's boyfriend's daughter. I was concerned that I may have misjudged Roxanne, or at least judged her too harshly, when she was at our house for Thanksgiving. Perhaps the tornado of emotions I was feeling that day clouded my faculties and my impression of her as a shallow, spoiled bitch was not altogether fair. I was feeling a bit guilty about how things had gone, so I called her on Friday to make a date for lunch and some shopping before she went back to college. To my surprise, she had not picked up on any hostility from me on Thursday and accepted my offer cheerfully, as if we had gotten along just fine the day before.

Anyway, I picked her up at Mr. Huggins house and we went to Lebanese Taverna. After having eaten Thanksgiving dinner two days in a row (thanks to an overabundance of leftovers), I wanted a meal distinctly different from the All-American Feast. Roxanne was not so enthusiastic. While I ordered an array of appetizers from meat pies to lamb tartare to calamari, Roxanne ordered a fairly ordinary house salad and a yogurt dip. This I could have lived with - it's not my place to just people's eating habits after all - if she hadn't been so ridiculously rude to the very polite waiter.

Not only was she abrupt and dismissive, she noticed on the menu that, instead of hummus, they used the variation spelling of hommos. This led to some loud cackling and embarrassing jokes like, "Look, they have a trio of hommos (pronouncing it ho-mos). Maybe they can come over to my house and organize my closet!"  

Being rude to wait staff is a huge pet peeve of mine. Since you have to interact with the waiter or waitress frequently during the course of the meal, I almost view them as another dining guest. As such, I want to be  warm and welcoming to them, just as I expect them to be warm and welcoming toward me. If one is barking orders at the waiter like he is a common slave, the waiter is obviously not going to feel at ease, nor is anyone else sitting at the table. Therefore, the service will likely suffer and the whole experience is uncomfortable. Needless to say, Roxanne made me uncomfortable and I felt sorry for the soft spoken and clearly injured waiter who had to endure her needlessly rude antics. Besides, he was about her age and very cute. She could've gotten a date out of it if she had played her cards right.

But, alas, I guess she feels she is above such people. God knows why she would think that. She's still in college; she hasn't done anything with her life yet. Moreover, she's the daughter of a high school principal! Get off your high horse, Missy!

After lunch, I wanted to leave Roxanne at the curb, but I soldiered on with our shopping. She generally bitched and griped the whole time about the crowds (it was Black Friday Plus 1, after all), the poor selection of merchandise, and my apparently questionable level of taste when it came to clothes. Granted, I've never been much into fashion, but her snobby attitude wore on my last raw nerve. By the end of the day, I swore never to speak to this woman ever again, which will be quite tricky with the holidays only weeks away.

With a new assignment looming, I'm actually praying that I will have to go undercover and disappear before Christmas. As much as I will miss my mom, I just can't deal with this new family she has surrounded herself with. Moving on feels like the better option right now.