Saturday, December 11, 2010

jingle hell

Ok, I kind of fell off that #10reverb wagon after one post.

Me, give up on a project after one half-assed attempt? Don't act so surprised.

So while I wasn't writing contemplative blog posts about the experiences of the past year, the holiday season has crept up on me. I walked into Rite-Aid yesterday, fully prepared to roll my eyes and snort derisively at the aisles of Christmas candy and crappy ornaments, as has been my habit since October when all the Christmas shit first appeared. But suddenly, the XMas aisle was lookin' a little sparse. The fake trees and the candy cans have been thoroughly picked over, the five-pound bags of red and green Christmas M&Ms are now largely outnumbered by crappy plastic trays of stale holiday cookies. Who buys cookie trays in Rite-Aid? Besides hoarders or the elderly?

I digress.

It hit me then that the holiday season is official here and, in fact, is quickly approaching the Christmas climax. And my frigid little heart is nowhere near ready.

A quick glance around my apartment proves this fact. The corner where, in years past, my humble little fake tree stood is currently stacked with overdue library books. The kitchen still boasts the plastic jack-o-lantern from my Halloween party. There is also a fake bat hanging from the chandelier.

A carpet of notebooks, school papers, and Amy's sparkly fake mice surrounds the bed. In short -tattered cat toys are about the festive "decoration" in the house.

Instead of bustin' out the garland and Christmas carols, all my free time has been spent writing papers and slicin' tongue.

I did watch the holiday episodes of Community and 30 Rock this week, but even that felt strangely wrong:
"But -- Christmas is so far away!" I said to myself.
"Um -not really," my calendar replied.
"Seriously, why haven't you done any shopping? I'm only a cat and even I know this is the season for buying shit!" said Amy in disgust.

Things had clearly reached Scrooge-like levels of delusion.

So I did what I often do when seeking guidance about how to live my life: I turned to Sweet Mother TV for answers.

Sitcoms tell us that not every holiday can be the Best Holiday Ever. Christmas or not -- shit happens. Examples:

The Golden Girls:

Picture it -- Dorothy, Blanche and Rose are held hostage by a gun-wielding guy dressed as Santa who wanders into the Grief Counseling Center where Rose works. A holiday without cheesecake?! Say it ain't so!

Full House:

The Tanner family spends Christmas Eve stranded in an airport. This was especially tragic for all the other people forced to spend Christmas stranded in an airport with the Tanner family.

The Facts of Life:

Jo's parents suck, and she is forced to spend Christmas at Eastland with Mrs. Garrett selling fruitcakes. This actually sounds like the makings of the best Christmas ever.

Boy Meets World:

People lose their jobs, mall Santa has a heart attack, poor Mr. Feeny is like a sad old shut-in next door with no family. Weeping!


Roseanne and Co. get snowed in at the diner on Christmas Eve. Better there than at the airport with the Tanner family, I suppose.

Yes, Tea Guarie -- there is a Santa Claus! And he is probably being played by a extra who graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Musical Theater.

In short -- the holidays are a time for the suspension of disbelief. No matter how outlandishly crappy your life may seem, you can have faith that Christmas will pull through with a happy ending. The holiday spirit can find us anywhere -- even snowed in at an airport, or trapped by a gun-toting Santa -- if we are just open to it. It's not too late for me to get on the holiday bandwagon -- after all, some of the best Christmases ever happened at the 11th hour.

Sigh. I feel jollier already! Thanks, TV.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the end is near!

Um, it's December.

How the hell did that happen?! Where did 2010 go?? It seems like just yesterday I was crowing triumphantly about getting into grad school, and making plans to get in shape and grab this year by the balls. And now suddenly, its all drawing to a close.

Time freaks me out.

It always seems like there's not enough of it -- except when there's too much of it, as was the case with my Big Fat Year of Unemployment. Either way, Time is forever messing with my head.

So perhaps I should take a moment to put down the library-school books, set aside the organ meats, and reflect back on this wacky-ass year. God knows, I didn't do much writing / reflecting during the actual year -- please see giant blogging gap from June to November.

In order to make up for lost time, I've decided to participate in this #reverb10 project. For every day of December, the site sends a writing prompt designed to make you reflect on the previous year and think about what lies ahead for 2011. For lapsed-bloggers like myself, this challenge is also supposed to alleviate the: "waaah, i have nothing to blog about!" BS.

As usual, i am a few days behind on this challenge -- but better late than never. So lets just start with the day #4 prompt:

December 4 – Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Wonder . . . well, I suppose I did spend a lot of time "wondering" this year: Is this grad school thing gonna work out? Am I ever gonna find a job? Am I ever gonna find a job I don't hate or suck at? Why is time going by so fast? What happened to my other black Reef sandal? Why do hoarders hate toilets so much?

Clearly, I'm not "cultivating wonder" in my daily life, so much as "breeding insecurity and self-doubt". Duly noted, writing prompt. In 2011, I shall attempt to be more ponderous and zen. I will take time to enjoy the scenery. I will stop wishing for a magic crystal ball that I can use to spy on my Future Self.

I will try to see the world more like Amy (my cat) sees it -- as one giant playground that exists solely for my entertainment and exploration, which I can also claw to shreds at my leisure.

And in the meantime, I will continue to wonder at the Powers of the Internet that allow me to stream Netflix movies directly to my Wii.