Sunday, December 27, 2009

Are You Done Yet?

The two words I've heard most in the past couple of days besides, "Merry Christmas," and "I'm exhausted" have been:


Yeah, not so inviting anymore.

And, poor little Andy can't find a place to crap.

After day three of fat falling flakes and bitter wind causing drifts and being snowed in and digging out and shitty roads, I think it's finally done. We keep talking about how we haven't seen this much snow in KC for a while and I just heard it was "the snowiest December since 1961," so I guess we were right.

When it started snowing on Christmas Eve, our visitors from California and Arizona were excited to experience a white Christmas, but then I had to drive home in it later on that night and I decided once and for all that white Christmases are a crock of shit mainly because I'd rather live than have a festive holiday. Driving 25 miles per hour on the highway because the blowing snow is preventing you from seeing more than a foot in front of you is the scariest thing ever. It was like driving across an open field because I couldn't see the lines, the signs, the overpasses...white knuckled with my face about an inch from the windshield I stayed just below full blown panic attack mode as I noted all of the cars in the ditch and skidded sideways while screaming, "SHIIIIIIIIIT!" I found myself cheering on my little Mazda3 — go Maggie go! — and when I got the car into the garage after the third attempt I was all, "FUCK YEAH!" because I didn't get stuck or wreck the car or, like, die, so that was quite an accomplishment.

I risked my life for Andy of course, who was all by himself since I couldn't bring him to Christmas Eve at my parents' house. There were far too many tiny people to knock over with his relentless four foot vertical jumping:

These five — Carter, Altan, Aidan, Ashlee and of course, Remi — all under 4 make up the third and fourth generation of my family. Don't act like you didn't go, "Awwwww!" when you saw this picture. Needless to say I spent much of my time on the 24th snuggling, wrangling and toting these disgustingly cute little creatures. I see my beloved niece Remi at least once a week, but making googly eyes at the other kiddos is more of a rarity. This guy and I seem to gravitate towards each other at family gatherings:

This is my right boob and my third cousin Altan, who is 10 months old — the child, not the boob...He's already walking and it's so bizarre to see this little miniature man toddling across the living room. He was scared of the other non-jumpy dogs that were allowed to attend Christmas, so he spent quite a bit of time perched on my knee or on my hip, which was just fine with me.

How adorable is this kid?

The best part of this situation is that you can hang out with the little ones until one of them cries, then you can pass them off to mom or dad and go refill your Crown and Coke instead of handling the many facets of baby drama. Aunt and cousin I can do — mother is a title I will continue to avoid until Hell freezes over...or so it seems.

While National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation" played over and over on the TV like always, my dad emerged from the bedroom we had herded the dogs into to keep them from begging at dinner wearing a santa hat and said matter-of-factly, "All three dogs are laying on the bed watching a talk show." Then it was time for the wrapping paper to fly in the most epic organized chaos of Christmas present unwrappage ever witnessed. None of that take-turns-one-at-a-time bullshit. We just get it done.

Before I knew it, we were bundling babies and jump starting cars and shoveling vehicles out of the snow and hugging goodbye. After all had left except those that were staying at Mom and Dad's, we watched the movie all the way through one more time and cracked up at my cousin's brother-in-law, who passed out on the couch and spilled his beer all over his crotch.

Gotta love the fam...

My other fam also had our own Christmas festivities in the form of ridiculous amounts of booze and warm, fuzzy and oh so stylish holiday sweaters. Behold the 3rd Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Pub Crawl:

It doesn't take much for us to find an excuse to dress up in ridiculous outfits and drink beer. I was asked about 60 times where I got my striped socks with the fur — $5 at Target — and some chick at one of the bars told me I had "balls" for dressing up as such, but I made it look good. Yes, I make the tacky Christmas hooker ensemble look good. I should be proud, yes? Oh, and that last picture was an attempted kick line, which formed during Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." Towards the end of the night we also danced and sang along quite loudly with the juke box to "Fuck The Pain Away," by Peaches. Klassy with a capital K and mass hilarity as always. I love my friends.

As for gift giving, since the ladies and I are all pretty much broke this year, we decided to do White Elephant gifts:

This psycho little lady that looks at though she's attempting to stab her bunny with a bunch of carrots is courtesy of Kate. I now possess the best and creepiest Easter decoration ever. I can't wait for Spring!

"And even farther for that thing you do with your tongue?" Are you fucking serious? I think the best part of this is that it is actually a product made by Hallmark. The same Hallmark that brings you warm and fuzzy sentiments in the form of greeting cards at your local supermarket. The same Hallmark whose headquarters are in Kansas City. Shit, if I would have known they had a "Skanky Pervert Division" I would have applied years ago and would probably be head of that division by now because lets face it, is there a better career match for me? I would be amazing at coming up with shit like this. I might have a hard time refraining from using actual profanity or secretly putting "that's what she said" in tiny letters after every witty and pervtastic saying, but I would definitely kick ass at this. Why anybody would discard this item at the Goodwill is beyond me. Thanks Whittah!

I'd also like to thank my friend Lacey for getting me none other than the highly sought after and coveted Bedazzler because everything is more festive and fancy when it's covered in rhinestones.

My favorite gifts to the ladies included a book of Bible puzzles and a Windows '95 compatible copy of Oregon Trail on CD ROM. I can't believe it actually worked on Kate's computer. The rest of the night was then spent around the laptop sipping Shiraz and Miller Lite while yelling, "OOOOOOOOHHHH!" and "YAAAAAAAY" every time one of us came down with dysentery or the measles and then got well again.

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to look forward to the New Year and wind down while I pet my disturbing Easter statue, sip tea out of my slutty mug and bedazzle a large howling coyote on the back of a jean jacket. I hope you enjoyed your time of giving and togetherness as much as I did.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thinking Positive Thoughts

Hey y'all....

Yes, look at me being all holiday spirit-y. Christmas is subtle at my apartment mainly because I haven't built up my decoration stash quite yet since being out on my own and I don't have money to burn right now on plastic glowy santas and inflatable snow globes. However, my neighbors apparently do, which makes Andy bristle and growl just like last year and cracks my shit up. Perhaps I'll take a tip from my parents who, on their first Christmas together as a married couple, couldn't afford a tree, so they stole some janky ass Charlie Brown tree from a nearby tree lot on Christmas Eve, then decorated it with popcorn strung on floss. Pretty awesome, right?

Aaaand, on top of that, this is what it looked like outside my door a few hours ago:

Kansas City's first snow of the season and I'm surprisingly not cranky about it at all.

Here's Andy going, "Dammit! Not again!"

Actually, he's a crazed tard ass in the snow, running at top speed in disjointed circles then stopping briefly to pee on a tree before continuing his rampage. It's a good thing he's a giant pansy ass like his mother and prefers to get back inside out of the cold as quickly as possible.

Every time I take him out in the evening I always hear...and downstairs neighbor outside smoking while talking on the phone. Actually, she's always relentlessly bitching and cussing about something quite loudly to whoever is on the other end. I can only guess through the tiny amount of unavoidable eavesdropping that it's about work. Bitching about work - imagine that. I just smile and laugh to myself and think, the day I'm given the opportunity to work again will mark the end of bitching about work for me. And, while you may think that's completely impossible, in the future, as I'm opening my mouth to bitch about work, I'll remember these nearly eight months - and hopefully not too many more - of struggling and grief and frustration and I'll slap myself in the face. I'll never take having a job for granted again.

Actually, I haven't had too much to bitch about around here lately. This weird feeling has come over me recently...wait, could that feeling be...happy? Whoa. Perhaps this is a sign that all that clawing and scratching I've done in the past several months is actually starting to dig me out of this hole - positive thinking I tell you.

This crazy thing called a full day of work lies ahead of me tomorrow thanks to a freelance writing job my former editor hooked me up with. I'm writing editorial business advertisements for the newspaper group I used to work for before I ventured off into my unknowingly "doomed to fail" marketing endeavor. It may not be enough to pay my rent, but it's keeping me on the radar and that's something I'm grateful for.

I risked another possible disappointment, but I was brave and decided to walk into a cute, little local store called Lulu's Boutique and present the owners with some of my "True To You" wrist cuffs a few weeks ago. I nearly crapped my pants when they were excited to add them to their inventory. I think at that moment I officially became an artist and it gave me that little kick in the ass a.k.a. confidence I needed to market my tiny, budding business a little more. Here are a few of my latest creations:

Thanksgiving was nothing short of lovely - no drama, no bullshit - just enjoyed the company of my family. I know, we're so boring, right? Keep in mind that this type of completely pleasant holiday is strangely of out character. Stay tuned for Christmas. Then, at the very least, you know you'll get some stories about and maybe some photos of anatomically correct gingerbread men...and women from our annual family Christmas cookie decorating get together. Pleasant, yet perverted - yes, and we're proud of it.

Perhaps the most exciting thing to not bitch about right now is the fact that I'm right in the middle of the selection process for an amazing job. Not just employment and a paycheck, but basically a dream job that I can't imagine anybody wanting more than I do. I waited a grueling month to learn that my cover letter, resume and writing samples apparently jumped out of the giant stack of qualified people, which allowed me to make it past round one. Round two involved three projects including ad design and writing a couple of different things, which caused my competitive and perfectionist Type-A evil twin to emerge.

She usually stays under wraps in the "toned down" form of fun loving, hyperactive and quirky me. However, when things get important and I have to prove myself queen of the mountain or defend an honor, I get a little, um, intense.

I ran on pure delirious energy last week completing these projects and doing everything I could possibly think of to make mine the best. I even attended an orchestra concert for one of the assignments, which wasn't required or suggested and watched as claws sprouted from my fingertips. I looked across the auditorium and thought I saw a woman standing on the opposite wall writing something down much like I was in my reporter's notebook. I wasn't even sure if she was my competition or if she was even actually writing anything down, but my blood seriously started to boil with fierce competitiveness - a feeling I'm pretty sure I haven't felt since my dancing days.

A few minutes later, I caught myself giving sideways glances in the direction of a different lady standing in the commons area after the show who, for some reason, also looked suspiciously like my competition. Like, BACK OFF! This is MY job! Then, I snapped out of it and was all, what the hell am I doing?! I'm insane! I guess it just shows that I'm passionate enough to scrap for this position and I don't usually resort to violence...usually. ; )

All of my assignments were turned in ahead of schedule and I had the opportunity (and pure luck) to run into the person in charge of hiring when I went to drop them off. Now, I'm anxiously waiting to see if I made it to round three, or first interviews, which I will apparently know by the end of the week. The job will be offered by Jan. 1. At this point, my fingernails and cuticles are torn to shreds, my apartment is spotless and sleep is a fleeting thought. Would you like to come over and watch me rip my hair out next?

On top of all that, I'm fighting a cold and I have boy on the brain during those few times I allow my mind to briefly stray from the job situation. Christmas is coming in two weeks and have I done any shopping? Yeah, right! Have you ever read this blog?

Eh, it will work out how it's supposed to work out, which means I will get this amazing, dream job and will be allowed to fulfill my promise of never bitching about work again.

Perhaps you pray, or believe in Karma, wish upon stars, cross your fingers, or harness the chi, or just think happy, positive thoughts - whatever it is you do that brings luck, hope and good things to yourself and others, would you mind throwing some of those things over this way to me? I could definitely use and appreciate a Christmas, or in this case, a New Year's miracle this year. Thank you!

View my page on Twenty Something Bloggers