Fa la la la la!

Some people like doing gift exchanges. I can see how it would be fun. You can search for something for someone, wrap it up and send it off. Then, not only does that person receive your well thought out surprise, but you received your own little box full of treasures.

I don't do this. It is nothing against anyone, it's just that me, getting a gift together, packaging it, and sending it is too much. I didn't even get it together for my best friend. Her birthday gift was sent a month late. I know it's terrible, and it seems to get worse each year. This is why I opt out of gift exchanges. It really is me and not you.

There was a secret santa thing at one of my old jobs. I gave truffles and cookies from Trader Joe's and in the confusion, the gifts got split up. They were not very popular anyway, but this was not the worst gift. I received some kind of glass oil lamp/pipe-bong looking thing, and lots of laughter when I opened it in front of the entire division. It "accidentally" got left behind in the ladies room.

On one of the message boards I visit, they used to do these every year. One year I didn't get a gift. One year I was unemployed and really should have skipped it because I was scrambling. One year someone started a "What do you want," and it turned into someone's rant on what they didn't want. She went by a name of a pretty big basketball player. One that did a forgotten genie movie? One that hates Kobe Bryant? Anyway, after one person got the idea to maybe do videos (do you see how these things start small and turn into a project?) this person went on and on about how she didn't want to see a video of you, your kids or your pets because she wasn't interested and had no need for that and so on. How jolly.

Then, a few years ago, someone mentioned the holiday exchange. And I was one of the first to suggest skipping it, and from there it seemed like everyone was relieved to not go through it. From then on, we lived grinchily ever after.


She-Ra love

Once in awhile I’ll find a gem on Netflix. This past Sunday it was “She-Ra” princess of power. Do you know about this? Just telling the backstory took five episodes. Five! That’s a lot of “To Be Continued…”’s going on. Don’t you hate that? You watch the clock, see that time’s running out and there is no possible way “the rest of the story” (said in my Paul Harvey voice) can be told. Then those dreaded words fill the screen (always with the ellipsis following). You think, Aw man, I have to wait. At least these shows ran daily and you could knock out the story in a week.

I watched this with my daughter. I got to explain that she was a princess and a superhero. She asked why Hordak snorted when he talked. She got a good laugh out of watching him.

My husband will say these shows were lame. He’s more of a Transformers and Thundercats kind of dude. I accept that the animation wasn’t the best, but here is what I liked about the Masters of the Universe. First, I know it was a marketing ploy to sell dolls action figures. But the they didn’t shy away from female characters (evil and good). If you were a girl, you didn’t have to look to the token girl character who added NOTHING (Cheetara, I’m looking at YOU). Men and women played equal roles (which is marketing brilliance, since you get twice as many viewers and twice as many suckers parents buying the toys). Sometimes there was flirting and jealousy (and oval shaped, sparkly magic portals to other planets!). It wasn’t all about boys.


Quoth the metro train operator:

The guy operating tonight's train home occasionally said the following before shutting the doors and pulling away from the station:

"Step lively, doors closing."

STEP LIVELY! Almost makes you think he would purposely open and shut the train doors to make people on the platform do a desperate dance to get to the train in time. I know they have a schedule to keep, but how effective is hazing people who are paying a lotta money to ride the train? Then the perverse side of me wondered how Jame Gumb might say it.

It walks faster or else it gets the doors again?

I know, I have problems.

In other news, I don't usually take the train anymore. I have been riding shotgun with El Hubbo to work. He drops me off at work and picks me up on the way home. I know--spoiled. But days when he's not driving, I take the train. There's another car like mine in the parking garage, and we sometimes park together.

Exhibit A (one day):

Exhibit B (the next day):

We happen to arrive pretty close to each other in the morning, and so, we park together. This morning I actually felt bad when I took the spot between two already parked cars and he drove up and had to park in the open space on other side of one of the cars. Can you believe that? I felt guilty! I'm giving myself a complex over absolutely nothing. IT MAKES NO SENSE ATALL!

The driver of the darker blue one is a slim little old man who wears a cabby cap. We have seen each other a few times and once I asked how his car was holding up that winter. He responded, but with a "Why the hell are you talking to me, lady?" look on his face. Do you know that look? I hate that look. Anyway, aside from that failed exchange, we don't talk. We park next to each other, but don't talk, or acknowledge that we park beside each other. It's like Fight Club or something.

And then, sometimes, if the stars cars align just so...you get a jackpot.


Wish list

For once my daughter had specific things on her Christmas wish list (instead of her usual request for "presents"). Well, ha, so do I! The wishin' and hopin' doesn't end once you become an adult.

Without further ado, I present my wish list:
1) The Badonkadonk tank. Is it street legal? Does it matter?
2)Off road Segway (for when the path gets too narrow for the "Donk.")
3)Uranium ore
4) In the "because I never had one" category: Lite brite

So that's it--4 things. I think that's reasonable.


Flush your mouth

I'm realizing the title of this blog might be a turn off to people who don't know what it means. You see the word "poop" and your mind goes in the gutter (or the toilet). It was never supposed to be crude, but maybe it's time for a change.

I don't even know if I ever properly explained the title. The Sunday Night Poop was something plebes (at one time this was me) memorize at West Point. It is recited on Sunday nights, when you're in formation, about to face another fun packed week. I hate Sundays and have for as long as I can remember. It's not that work is so awful, it's that your time to yourself to do what you want is ending until Friday night.

Shouted out it goes like this:
Six bells and all is well.
Another week shot to hell.
Another week in my little gray cell.
Another week in which to excel.
Oh, hell.

See? I told you it wasn't crude.

I even changed the title for a moment, but it didn't look right.

It's coming

Time for my annual Holiday message. It gets preachy so consider yourself warned! Mmmm, preachy.

Black Friday is coming. And I'm telling you I'm not going.

Let's take a look at last year's madness. I might get up (because the traffic outside woke me up) and toddle up to the loft to take photos of the madness and point and laugh, but I'm not participating. That's right, I live across the street from a shopping center with all the fixin's and I'm not going. Don't make me post the Dreamgirls song again to emphasize my point.

How does it even come to this? I think the Type A's of the country got together with the retailers and made a deal. Let's make a blood sport out of the day after Thanksgiving with the prize being $3 appliances. Because that's what the holiday season is really about. I love a bargain too, but I'll pass.


Brown-eyed blues

It’s a known fact that we celebrate blue eyes. It makes sense. 10,000 years ago blue eyed people didn’t even exist. Because most people on this planet have brown eyes not many people are awed by them.

I read a book by a black author with a myriad of blue-eyed characters. You got to hear about steel blue eyes, royal blue eyes, navy blue eyes and so on. I am guess she had a high ratio of blue eyes because she didn’t have them and it came through in blue eye worship. Who wants to hear about root beer eyes, or chocolate eyes, or what have you? It's just not literary.

There is one song that isn’t about blue eyes. And it’s (wait for it) Brown Eyed Girl. Thanks, Van Morrison, for writing a song for the rest of us! Finally some love for the brown eyed peeps. So imagine how I felt when, my freshman year, my roommate co-opted that song and changed the words to (wait for it) “Blue eyed girl.”

Um, what now? Are you kidding me with this?

I know, I know. Lighten up. It’s not a big deal. Just words, right? But right then I wished I had said something along the lines of “No, you do not. No you don’t take a song that applies to me and change it to suit you when there are countless other songs out there that probably celebrate you more than they do me. I said no. Damn it.”

But did I say anything? Noooo. Maybe it was better to keep the peace (AKA: “the wimp’s defense”) but years later I am still kicking myself for not saying something.

Petty? Why yes, yes I am.

Disclaimer ahead: I’m not againt blue eyed people. My best friend has blue eyes!*

*so does my cat, my brother-in-law, and um...I know lots of blue eyed people, okay?


Winnebago man!

Where have I been? You have to love a man who makes up his own language. Or drops F bombs with reckless abandon.
And here is an interview with him.


That tiny rehearsal...

My best friend's dad fancied himself a writer. He was a stay at home dad (I won't get into the stories, they're not mine to tell) who wrote poems, one which was about "sleep,that tiny rehearsal of death." Wow, way to turn a totally relaxing and rejuvenating activity into something inescapable and permanent. His poems were dark, with mysterious things cloaked in darky darkness. To this day we joke about saying good night to each other and then "Okay, I'm gonna go rehearse for death now!" We like our humor black, no sugar, no cream.

So imagine how I felt when I had a dream that I DIED. Rehearsal indeed! It went like this: I was very sick (I don't know if it was a "long illness" or a "short illness" but apparently it was a fatal illness). I lived in a brownstone in what I assume is New York (I went out on an urban note, I guess). One moment I was sick and dying my little heart out in the bed and the next, roaming that apartment as a ghost. Some people saw me. Some communicated with me. This went on for a few days* until I started to get bored. What fun is the world if you aren't really relevant anymore? I saw a car accident outside of the window, heard lots of city noises (sirens, shouting, and whatnot) and decided I had enough and I was ready to leave the earth. Thinking about what comes next terrifies me in real life, but in the dream it was not a big deal. Just "Eh, I'm tired of this. Buh-bye." I was at peace and accepting of what was happening, and at the time it felt real.

And then I woke up.

*Not really, but you know time works a little differently in dreams--didn't you see Inception?


The truth!

Nothing tells the truth like the mirrored wall at the step class* I went to tonight. Good grief! Embarrassing. That and the fact that I am rhythmically challenged, especially when the instructor decides to throw in grapevines and twists and so on. Let's not start on the left-right stepping and how no matter what I always seem to wind up going in the exact opposite direction of everyone else. As long as I'm moving it's okay, right? Right?

There was one bigger girl that came into class. She had on chuck taylors, which I loved. Then I looked in the mirror and realized she wasn't that much bigger than me. I think I suffer from body dysmorphia--but the kind where the sufferer thinks she is smaller than she actually is. Which explains the thoughts: "Oh, but I thought these were size 8 jeans? But, hm, they don't fit. The manufacturer must have made a mistake. And everything in my closet is shrinking too. Stupid dry cleaners."

But the mirror tells the truth. I need to stop assessing others (AKA "being an asshole") and concentrate on my own step.. I also need to re-think the mid leg sweats because it's not a good look when you have well endowed calves. Also, when my lower legs are exposed it might be a good idea to shave and lotion up because, well...ashy and hairy wasn't quite the look I was going for.

What! It was after work! I was in a rush. I'm sure no one was looking that closely anyway. Except the mirror.

*Yes step aerobics classes still exist, I didn't have to go back to 1992 to find it. If I did go back to 1992, I wouldn't be talking about the giant mirrored wall because I would have been a lot more...wait, I mean a lot "less" back then.