Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Wacky is the best word to sum up my 2009 tree. If it was lime green or had feathers or reminded me or circus soleil, then it ended up on my tree. I had pink pinwheels, purple metal springs, aquamarine bulbs, ostrich plumes, and elongated figures that looked like residents of Whoville. It was weird and an eyesore and I loved it!!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday was our office Christmas party. The place doesn’t really embrace frivolity, so getting a potluck AND a Secret Santa exchange was a real accomplishment. I brought in my “cherried” meatballs … didn’t have so much as a scrap or red, spicy pork left to take home. In the gift exchange, I got a nice big coffee mug … deep blue … with several coffees and cocoas, as well as a $10 gift card to Caribou Coffee … my favorite java spot.
The gathering was nice and calm, full of good conversation and quiet good cheer. What really would have livened things up was a big honkin’ White Elephant!!
A few jobs ago, the company that I worked at had about 25 employees and each Christmas they looked forward to the White Elephant exchange. Now, some of you may know it by other names … like a "Yankee Swap" … but essentially, you bring in a gift … unisex if possible … in the allotted price range with a “from _____” card INSIDE the wrapping. Each participant draws a number. The first person … No. 1 … goes up to the gift table and selects a gift. If everyone is in the spirit of the Elephant, then some packages are super elegant … big bows and fancy foiled wrapping paper. Other gifts are wrapped or enshrouded in a deliberately shabby manner to throw off the participants as to what “treasures” might be hidden inside.
Then the individual with #2 has the option of selecting a gift from the remaining pile or “stealing” the gift from another participant. This continues all the way through the numbers, and then No. 1 is given a last chance … keep the gift they have or steal another, which sometimes is their original selection. It is a microcosm of social dynamics to watch grown business professionals plan and connive and viciously steal from their office “enemies” and get easily distracted by shiny “baubles.” It really is fun. I hear that some variations of the game have people unwrapping their gifts as they go so that others see what they want to steal, or even a full second "round" of theft.
My best year was when I went to Goodwill and bought this terribly beaten up suitcase. It looked like the hinges were barely attached. On the outside I put a beautiful chocolate brown bow. And inside, just barely fitting, I placed Uno Attack … a wonderful game. Anyway, the “packaging” for my offering was so offputting that several people decided it must contain a gem of a gift so it got stolen a lot. That same year, I got a $20 gift card to Olive Garden and a nice spaghetti measuring gizmo. A good year all around.POINT OF RANT: Peace and goodwill … no way, Christmas brings out the baser instincts in mankind and boy is it fun to sit back and watch!!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
About mid morning, I heard a pronounced yawn and my young pajama-wearing relative exited her bedroom and came out into the kitchen of her parent's house where I was working on my laptop. She grumbled something sleepily and I asked her if any of her friends had called her ... her school is notoriously lax on cell phone use. She looked at me in that way only a teenager can and said, "no, but some 420 smokin' bitch texted and wanted to know how I was doing."
My fingers stopped typing and my mouth dropped open a little. As my niece retrieved all the ingredients for a bowl of cereal, I went ahead and stuck in my nose further and asked her about this "420" thing. She then launched into a whole list of things her classmates were into, including beer and hard liquor, marijuana, "spice" (a legal incense, sometimes called K2 containing the psychoactive chemical HU-210), Four Loco energy drinks that have high amounts (11 percent) of alcohol and taurine (a sulfonic acid that inhibits certain neurotransmitters and is believed to create an anxious, euphoric state in some individuals), and even crystal meth.
I was on the brink of asking her about her immediate circle of acquaintances when she swiveled on her kitchen stool and gave me a mischievous look. "What kind of things did you do when YOU were a teenager," she said, her eyes burrowing into my head.
Now typically, I abhor hypocrisy ... but this was my niece! What could I do? I'll tell you what I could do ... just what I did. I lied through my damn teeth. As I regaled the bored and ailing youngster with stories of student council projects and class officer duties and club after club after club, I was secretly remembering the weed and worse that I had smoked, ingested, drank, and snorted. And I also just kept talking because I didn't want to give my inquisitive niece the opportunity to ask more probing questions like "was it fun to get wasted?" or "what was it like to be high?"
So with a somewhat troubled conscience, I give you David ... an innocent youth who learned the ins and outs of tripping at an early age from a visit to the dentist. Enjoy!!
POINT OF RANT: I'm so glad I'm not a parent!