Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

The holidays smell so good!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Chanel - Chance

Image by Mail Order Bride via Flickr

My coworkers gave me a bottle of Marc Jacobs perfume from my Amazon wish list during our holiday party last week. Karsten gave me a bottle of Prada perfume (also from my Amazon wish list) for my birthday yesterday morning.

And then our neighbor who works for Chanel left me & Karsten each some cologne in a gift bag on our doorstep last night. Woo hoo! I’m not sure why so many gifts have been fragrant this year, but I’m sure not complaining.

Hope you have a very merry Christmas, or happy Hannukkah, or festive holiday of your choice, or just a relaxing time off from work. I’ll be celebrating the latter, for the most part, and gearing up for the new year. I’ll be deciding on my songwriting goals for 2009 very soon and announcing them here, so that’s on its way in the next few days.

Happy holidays!

Gifts that really do keep on giving

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Over at Music City Bloggers, Malia asks:

will all your holiday dreams come true if there’s a little velvet box waiting for you under the tree?

My holiday dreams? Do not involve jewelry boxes. At all. As I said in the comments at MCB, diamonds suck. That whole industry is evil and I don’t get why they’re so damned expensive. Sure they sparkle and sparkly things are appealing, but I can get a heck of a lot of pleasure out of looking at and wearing much less expensive sparkly things.

As for my jewelry preferences in general, I’d much rather have an unusual piece with semiprecious stones — something that reflects my personality. One year I asked Karsten to have my favorite ring — one that I made when I was in high school, and I wear every day — polished as a Christmas gift, and that was a wonderful treat. (It could use it again, now that I think of it.)

For that matter, why limit it to jewelry? I prefer unusual gifts that reflect my personality. Besides the aforementioned ring polishing, one of the lovelier gifts Karsten has given me was, at my request, to have one of his original art pieces framed so it could hang in our bedroom. I love that piece, and it meant a lot to me to be able to look at it every day.

Was the gift any less wonderful because it wasn’t a surprise? Not at all. I love surprise gifts, but meaningful gifts trump surprises, in my book.

And hey, it’s hard work to think up a meaningful, surprising gift just in time for the holidays. And that’s the thing: I really prefer not to play into the pressure of holiday gift-giving too much. I LOVE the idea of giving gifts; I just don’t like the idea of being socially obligated to give gifts.

After all, I buy myself indulgent little things all the time; if I’m going to be given a gift, I prefer it to be something meaningful and representative of my relationship with the gift-giver; the cost and timing of the gift truly have nothing to do with its value to me.

The editor’s note in the latest issue of Domino magazine talked about great gifts: how they’re special and surprising, but most importantly, they reflect the best interpretation of the relationship between giver and recipient. That’s one of the biggest things that bother me about the consumer-driven holiday culture we’ve (d)evolved into: it feels so much like checking an item off your “to do” list.

Which is why, as a side note, I hate the trend of giving gift cards as presents with a burning, boiling passion. In the past ten years, it seems to have become so common that I feel like all people do is end up getting the same amount in gift cards that they give. If they’re lucky.

We all might as well write each other $1,000,000 checks and tear them up — at least that’d be more memorable. In fact, why not? Let’s all get together, drink some Silk Nog, write checks to each other in ridiculous sums, talk about what we’ll do with our gift money, and then laugh and tear them to pieces. Who’s in?

Forgetting about Father’s Day

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

I wonder about the organizers of Bonnaroo, and whether they intentionally scheduled the festival for the weekend of Father’s Day. You have to figure that with 80,000 some attendees, there are bound to be a whole lot of arguments about missing the family cookout or whatever.

As I am not attending Bonnaroo nor is my father living nor am I within proximity of any kind of family cookout, I have no such dilemma. My dilemma pertains more to simply getting through Father’s Day with the least amount of psychological trauma.

Here, in no particular order, are a few ideas that have occurred to me thus far:

  • Stay in bed.
    Tempting. On the other hand, Karsten points out that it will be there all day. I can always keep it as a fall-back option.
  • Go for a walk in a park or other natural space.
    Good possibility. It’s especially meaningful if there are a lot of birds around, since my dad used to love to watch the birds. But it might be too hot for this to be a pleasant experience, so I’ll have to wait and see how the day shapes up.
  • Sit on the front steps and try to enjoy the beautiful day.
    Already getting a jump on this one. Sitting out here with my laptop and a pot of coffee. But again, in an hour or so, it will probably warm up to where this won’t be pleasant anymore.
  • Do day-job work.
    Yeah, no.
  • Write a song or three.
    Very probable. I did a little last night and was surprised at some of what came out.
  • Clean, tidy, organize.
    I’ll see how I feel. This would be helpful to do, but I just don’t feel motivated to do it.
  • Organize files on my computer.
    Same as above.
  • Plan the porch party.
    I need to do this, and it might be fun. So maybe this will be a good stay-inside-while-it’s-hot activity.
  • Go back to bed.
    I know, I already talked about bed. But it’s sounding like such an appealing option.

I do genuinely wish a happy Father’s Day to anyone out there to whom it applies. And I genuinely wish good alternatives for anyone who needs them.

Catch-up tricks and Halloween treats

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

So if you love me, you noticed I was offline for about a week. Lie and tell me you love me, dammit.

On Thursday, my employer took us on an overnight retreat to a cabin on a lake in Alabama. We did some “strategizing” and then got really, really drunk.

On Friday, one of my coworkers and I decided to stay an extra night at the cabin and get our respective spouses to come down and stay with us. It was great fun for all five of us: Karsten, me, the other couple, and their parrot. Their parrot, in fact, may have had more fun than anyone. He even developed a crush on me, I’m afraid.

Good thing he didn’t see me on Saturday night in my cat costume.

Oh yeah, so we got back on Saturday just in time for several Halloween parties, which we graced with our costumed presence. You already know my costume — here was Karsten’s:

Karsten & coworker Jim at a Halloween party, 2006

He was a hillbilly hockey player, or something like that. The ballcap he’s wearing says “Country Western Hockey Tournament” and he found it at a thrift store. It’s real! You can’t make shit like that up. His hockey stick is homemade, and it says “Puckfucker 1000″ down the handle. The mullet wig, however, makes the costume, in my opinion.

Oh, and that’s my coworker Jim grabbing Karsten to keep him from escaping the camera. Jim was a futuristic gay spaceman from the 1950s, or something like that. (Not that Jim is gay, really — only the tight silver gym-queen shirt he wore under his spaceman suit was gay.) He wore a suit covered in duct tape; pretty classic.

Some other costumes seen: witch, devil, zombie vampire, cheerleader, French maid, King Kong & blonde, pirate… oh, and Japanese anime characters. LOVEd that.

Hope everyone’s been doing well… and missing me. Lie and tell me you missed me, dammit!

Change of plans

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Karsten and I huddled and decided to skip the bar and the street party. We’re going to have a private pizza-and-movie party instead, possibly with alcoholic beverages purchased for far less money than would be required in a bar. After further evaluation, we both decided that said bar was seeming less and less like a place where we’d actually have a fun Halloween, and if we weren’t particularly going to be having fun, we’d rather be home with a pizza and a movie.

If you can follow that logic.

Shaktiqueen made me do it.

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Oh, and I just had to use this orange-y user icon. It’s the most Halloweeny one I have.

1. What are you wearing right this minute?

Baggy orange sweater, long baggy black skirt, tall fitted black boots. Very Halloweeny.

2. What are you doing tonight?

Going to see some friends play and maybe out to a street party, but it’s $15 per person and I doubt it’ll be worth it.

3. What is your costume?

Naughty school girl: white button-down shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal a purple push-up bra, and tied at the waist; black-and-white plaid pleated skirt; and either barely-there strappy red heels (which look hot, if a bit sophisticated for a school girl) or white thigh-hi stockings and shoes to be determined. I can’t decide. Oh, and pigtails, of course.

(Yeah, I know, Bay Area bifolk have seen this outfit before. So sue me. I’m in a different part of the country — I can recycle my costumes. :-) )

4. When did you stop Trick or Treating?

I don’t remember for sure. I know I was still doing it in college, but we were starting to get nasty looks from people. Still got candy though.

5. Do you or have you ever believed in the Great Pumpkin?

What’s not to believe in?

Happy Halloween, and Happy Birthday to therealjae!

Friday, October 31st, 2003

*hugs* and *kisses* to Ms. J. I’m glad I got to see you so close to your birthday!

Halloween. Hmm. I’m wearing an orange sweater and long black skirt, but no costume to work. I didn’t think the naughty school girl look would be considered professional. ;-)

I think I dodged a bullet at work. Yesterday I was worried about losing my job, but now I’m thinking I’m safe. We’ll see. Today should prove interesting. Well, up until this afternoon. I have to attend a class at work called “Communicating and Listening.” *yawn* It’s required for all the employees in my department. As if we really have four hours to spare.

And then I’m out for the evening! Two singer-songwriter friends of ours are performing in a round tonight, dressed up as each other and playing each other’s songs. Should be amusing. And there will be me in my school girl getup and in his country-western hockey player garb. Yeah, it’ll be an interesting evening. ;-)

Hokey Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Last week, our friend Lair invited us to a Halloween party. Yesterday he told us he’d canceled it and that he’d be playing a writers’ round that night, and that everyone would be in costume anyway. Good thing, too, since already got his costume together and I’d hate to see it go to waste. He’s going as a “country & western hockey player.” Hey, absurd is his middle name. Well, actually, it’s Ocelot, but it should have been Absurd.

Me, I’m going as a naughty school girl. Yeah, I know, it’s so Britney and so done, but according to my sources, these kinds of things are still shocking in Nashville and I can’t resist something with that kind of shock value.