Hallelujah! Holy Shit!

So the holiday season is one that is supposed to be filled with light and joy and peace and happiness for all mankind.

In truth my family holiday always resembles something more similar to the Griswold Family Christmas. And while I don't have actual relatives parked in my driveway emptying their "shitter" into my storm sewer, there are a serious number of similarities.

Christmas '05 was supposed to go down like this: Christmas Eve day my mother and I were going to go down to some great neighborhoods in downtown Cleveland and browse around. Have a fantastic lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Company, then come back to the house and set up our traditional dinner (steak, shrimp cocktail, assorted other goodies), then we would go to the movies as a family.

Instead it went something like this:

Mom and I prepare to leave for downtown, then get a phone call from my Aunt saying she may have ruined the turkeys were supposed to eat the next afternoon. Uh, and by ruined them she meant that her and my grandmother took them out of the freezer to thaw on Monday and left them in the basement. In the laundry tub. For 6 days.

I should take a moment to explain the gravity of the situation because my mother's family is quite large. There are about 40 people and we usually have two pretty big birds to feed everyone. My mother frantically called around to see if anyone had a bird large enough to feed everyone that was already thawed. Luckily we scored one and she and I dutifully tripped off to the store to pick it up. We arrived at my grandmother's house to drop off the bird and found a larger mess than we expected.

In some fit of insanity, which is common at my grandmother/aunt's house, they had decided they could salvage the rotting birds they left in the basement all week. So they rinsed them off and stuck them in their refrigerator, on the top shelf. Open the fridge and you were assaulted with the mild smell of rotting turkey, which since being placed on the top shelf had dripped down over all the stuff in the fridge.

Everything had to be removed and bleached. It was hell.

I still to this day cannot for the life of me figure out why the hell you put a turkey that had been slowly rotting in your basement back into the fridge. Why?

But the family fun did not end there, because then my brother had a meltdown. He had recently broken up with/dumped his girlfriend, and frankly I've never been clear on who ended what. The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent consoling him and talking to him about her. Of course he decided he loved her very much and that he wanted to marry her. So the day after Christmas we popped off to go buy her a ring. Which he never gave her because after talking to her he realized that she wasn't ready or whatever. Again, the whole situation is this misty haze that never has really been sorted out for me.

This year was milder in terms of drama but really I was just burnt out by the second day I was home. This year my brother was doing his best Angry-man impression and repeatedly told me was bitch, my father and I had the same conversation that we've been having for the last 3+ months. I finally lost it a little bit and told him that I wasn't stupid and would he please stop treating me like some mentally incapable child? And my mother has recently taken up repeating everything to me, which she's always done but it has been ramped up since she is under so much stress. I feel like a shit evening mentioning my mom but my patience is on a razor's edge lately.

At several points this weekend I felt like giving this tirade and no one does it better than Clark W. Griswold:


I may be in need of a little bit of rehab. Or maybe just a good 12 step program?

It's coffee. Oh, sweet beauteous coffee. I'm in love with the rush it gives me, it makes my heart beat a little faster. Which, for some reason, I really like.

In the last couple of months my coffee consumption has increased 10 fold. I should mention that previously I had one cup of coffee maybe every other month. The only time I can really remember drinking it is when I was visiting my sister and we would sit at her kitchen table drinking the crazy strong stuff her husband brews. It was more a social thing, I love sitting with my sister and talking over whatever with a cup of coffee in front of me.

In the past I've flirted with coffee consumption. When I was living in New York several times a week I would stop and get an iced coffee with a ridiculous amount of cream and sugar. I would sip that baby on the train to the office and read my deliciously crappy New York Post. Then there was the time post-graduation when I was working as a drone in a large corporate office and I tried drinking their coffee simply for the fact that it allowed me to get up and roam about the office and away from the mind numbing boredom of my desk/filing. But I realized that the coffee tasted like burnt crap, so I quit it.

Unfortunately I've discovered the local fair-trade coffee house makes an incredible non-fat latte with an extra shot. The reason I mention the fair-trade business is that if I'm going to develop an addiction the least I can do is make sure the worker's in the field are paid a fair wage. Addiction with a conscience- if you will.

I'm up to about 2 lattes a week, and maybe two plain cups of coffee at the office. I understand this isn't mainlining the stuff like a majority of seriously addicted caffeine people, but it is a raise in my overall consumption and for some reason I've always prided myself on the lack of caffeine in my diet. My Dad is a bit of health nut, ok, bit might be understating it. The man still runs several times a week, drinks only green tea, takes more vitamins that I think than The Vitamin Shoppe even stocks, eats a healthy diet and is in amazing condition. He is also in his mid-60's and takes NO MEDICATION.

None. The man is pretty much modern marvel of good, healthy living. It is especially fantastic because the year he turned 50 he had officially outlived all the other men in his family. My father is the patriarch for his side of the family.

So the question before me, do I quit the caffeine or continue with my 2 cup a week habit?


Something about entering Wal-Mart immediately causes my blood pressure to shoot through the roof. Regardless of what time of night or day I go in there it is always busy and I ALWAYS get stuck behind the jackass who is pushing/leaning on their cart with their forearms and shuffling oh-so-slowly along.

Seriously, pick up you damn feet and your slacked jaw and walk like the homo sapien that you are.

Because of this internal rage at the majority of the customers in Wal-Mart, I tend to rarely go there. The main reason I really don't go there is their unfair labor practices and history of discrimination. But unfortunately if you need anything that might possible not be available at Kroger or CVS or the single solitary department store in this town of 40,000- then you must go to Wal-Mart. Or drive 45 minutes to the nearest Target.

On most nights the 45 minute drive to and fro is not feasible. And thus I felt my rage several times this week because not only were the usual shuffling masses in Wal-Mart but now it was filled with all those other people who needed to buy presents and having the options of Goodies, Big Lots and Wal-Mart, they all chose Wal-Mart. So double the feet dragging, cart leaning people and you have a situation where I was sorely tempted to commit murder from my high atop perch on a shelf with guns and ammo from the gun department so conveniently located within the store.

I feel a bit bad for the cashiers who have to deal with these people day in and day out for spectacularly crappy wages. It is no wonder their dead glassy stares belie the happy, smiling obnoxious yellow face that is scattered about on every surface reminding customers that 'Wal-Mart is a happy place to be- see- smiling yellow smiley guy- everyone is happy! So very happy!'

I fully believe that Wal-Mart is creating a great creeping herd of slow moving consumer zombies herded by the dead-eyed cashiers and greeters in their diabolical bid to overtake the world.

Run for your lives people, run!


I tried to write a post yesterday and it failed. It became a serious of incoherant ramblings about a former boyfriend. Which, really, no one needs to be witness to anyways.

In fact I've been trying to write something for several days and I just can't seem to make anything come out in manner that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyeballs out.

So I'm going to attempt to...

oh, fuck it.

I can't.

Old Maid

For me there was that mystical age growing up that I thought I would have all my shit together and be a proper adult. And by proper I mean about to be married, settled in a place and all the bows and ribbons that goes along with that lifestyle.

That age was 27.

Which for me as a young lass seemed so far away, but somehow that has inched up on me and now that day has arrived where I must deal with my silly disappointment of the fact that none of those things which I imagined for myself at this age have come to be. And the the part that is silly is that I feel I've somehow failed for not having stuck to this mythical plan that I created oh-so-long-ago.

It is completely ridiculous that I even imagined that I could put myself on such a course, yet in talking with some of my friends I've found that they've done the same thing too. It seems as if setting a goal or imagining a lifestyle is fairly common especially when that the time frame is far into the future. Yet, here I am peering down the barrel of that set age by which I thought I'd have it all and frankly what I've got is no where near to what I've imagined.

And frankly, I'm ok with it, then again I'm sure I'd have to be ok with it if it was what I had dreamed of as well. God, this post is so esoteric that I believe I must stop and get myself a cup of tea before my brain implodes with over thinking. Or perhaps an International Coffee would better, but alas I don't have a giggly friend next to me to remind me of my tryst with a Frenchman named Jacque that I had while on my European vacation and then 9 months later bared his illegitimate baby.

I'm single, I don't own a home, and I'm a bit unsettled at work. So if I'm 0 for 3 then why am I happy? It is probably the drugs.

No, it is probably because as a 16 year old that those are the sort of things I imagined I would have wanted by this age. I also thought that my high school boyfriend was the cutest, most wonderful guy in the world, that we would be together forever. Uh, ok, I never ever thought I'd be with my high school boyfriend forever- I had a frightening realistic view of relationships for such a young age. That didn't mean I that I didn't cry when he broke up with me (heartless bastard), I do believe he may have been the last guy I've ever wept over. I'm not sure if that speaks more to the sort of relationships I've had since then or some twisted thing about my psyche.

Do I really want to be settled in my job either? I don't believe so, I'm still learning and growing and I love what I do- at the same time there are so many other careers that look interesting and perhaps I'd like to try my hand at them.

As for not owning a home, well, I'd still really like that right now. But I still am not making enough money nor am I completely ready to commit myself to living in Athens for a certain number of years. I'm like the wind, people, like the wind.

To put it completely and and totally honestly and unfettered by pretty prose: I just don't fucking know, man.

And there you have it, the truth.

The wheels on the civic go round and round

For 5 out of the last 6 weeks I've been spending 8 hours driving between Cleveland and Athens. That is 40 hours in the car total, $300 in gas, 2,500 miles on my car and countless rambling thoughts during that very long drive.

I'm about to lose my bloody mind, when you factor in the stress of a major catalog deadline (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving), and a very sick grandfather. Plus those countless hours spent in the car driving to and fro'.

For the next two weekends I'm not going anywhere. NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Got it? I'm done, I don't care that you are disappointed that I'm not coming home for the very sick grandfather's birthday. I just cannot spend another minute in the car, nor can I bear the fact that I feel like I've not been in my own house for more than than the short hours of sleep I've been getting lo' these 6 weeks. And shall we discuss the ulcer/upset stomach/insomia/nightmares I've been having lately?

I had no idea that I was a stress vomiter. Push me far enough and long enough and I'll be up all night hunched over that porclin bowl.

I'm slowly coming back to life, a couple of good nights sleep can do that for a person, and hopefully a nice quiet weekend will put everything back to rights. Oddly enough, I feel like go outing and doing something incredibly stupid this weekend, like getting drunk and making out with some random guy in bar. But I've done that exactly 1 times in my life, I'm still trying live that one down- I swear my friends will find a way to have that guy show up at my wedding just because they think it is so funny.

I'm hosting poker this weekend and hopefully that will be a fantastic time, at all other moments of the weekend you will find my bottom firmly planted to the counch and I will be gazing upon this Christmastime delight: