Monday, December 12, 2005


Whew! My family threw a big ole Christmas party this past weekend - we throw it every year. Every year, during the planning/cleaning/marathon shopping that takes place beforehand, I dread the whole shebang. Yet every year, I have a GREAT time at the party and I remember why we throw it. So I got to thinking...what other things are temporarily horrible but SOOO worth the payoff?

-Dental surgery.
-Plastic surgery. OK, so I don't really know if this one's true. Anyone who's seen me in person can tell I've not gone under the knife.
-Perms. Though it's been years since I've sat through one of these stinky messes. Thank God the 80s are over!
-Waxing of any body parts. Though some are quite worse than others.
-OK, so, physical transformations of any sort.
-Having a baby. A physical transformation, to be sure, but so much more!
-Buying a new car.
-Finding a new job. The glory moment here? Quitting the old one! Take that, you Lumbergh look-a-like!

Please note I deliberately did NOT add the following to the "high payoff" list:
-Piercings. Some are, some aren't, but I suspect any piercing that's not done in the center of an earlobe is NOT.
-Hazing/Hell Week. Greek life is fun, but it's not all that!
-High school.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Free Martha!

Martha Stewart got robbed. Okay, well, I suppose I see the irony in that statement - her being an ex-con and all. But I'm not talking about Martha's jail stint. I'm talking about her show! "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" has been cancelled after this, the first season. What a gyp! So maybe Martha doesn't have the bling of The Donald or the grit of a Survivor or the flash of an Amazing Race. But the woman's done Hard Time, for heaven's sake! Until now, Martha Stewart was untouchable. I mean, who among us has kayaked to a meadow in Norway, shorn our own sheep, spun our own wool, then knitted our own sweater?! But now, FINALLY, I can relate. Don't get me wrong - I've not logged any time behind bars. But I've made my fair share of flubs. The only way to get past them is to keep plugging away, to climb back on that horse, to exhaust all applicable cliches. Martha did just that, and how do we reward such pluck? With a big old pink slip, that's how! So I say, Free Martha! Free her from her houndstooth-checkered past! Subscribe to her magazine! Watch her daytime show! Visit her website! Buy her wares! And keep Martha in our lives! Keep her around if for no other reason than to satiate our desire to finally feel Holier Than Thou.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

O Christmas tree!

My family decorated the Christmas tree tonight. I sit by the twinkling lights (the blasted buggers are not SUPPOSED to twinkle, but alas) and I'm taken back to the Christmas trees of my youth...

insert cheesy flashback music here

"Helen? HELEN! Is it straight or not?"

"Godblessit, Jack, I can't exactly tell from here, can I? Can you hurry it up - this tree must weigh 80 pounds!"

"Can I hurry? Well, why didn't you just say so? I'm down here getting carpet burns on my face for giggles, but now that I now you're in a hurry... KRISTI! Get in here and tell me if this *&^**&^^ tree is straight! KRISTI!!! Where is she?!"

"Right here, Dad. Looks good."

"What's that? I can't hear you. I've got a Fraiser fir in my ear."


"OW! Stupid tree stand! Nothing more than a pie tin and a coupla thumb tacks! You'd think by 1978 they could make a tree stand that could hold a... hold a... a..."

"A tree, Dad?"

"Enough outa you. Let's see you get down here and - OW! Stupid tree stand!"

"It's leaning now, Dad."

"Towards the kitchen?"

"Nope - towards the front door."

"HELEN! Can you at least hold the tree straight while I - OW! There. Done."

"It's a great tree, Dad."

"Thank your mother. She always picks a winner."

"Thanks, Mom. Great tree."

"Best one ever."

insert cheesy flash-forward/end-of-sequence music here

We have one of those fancy-schmancy tree stands that pops onto the tree base, swivels around in a huge bowl until it's straight, then locks into place. It's easy and clean and relatively pain-free. Progress and a capitalist economy has built a better mousetrap. But what will my daughter - the Bean - take away from her hall-decking youth? Alas, those blasted twinkling lights never disappoint.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Guten tag!

I don't know German, danke shein very much. I don't know thermonucleardynamics, either. I don't know how much I don't know. Guess that's why I'm such a happy person!

Writing is my hobby and - lucky me! (and I don't mean that sarcastically) - my job. Love it love it love it! There's nothing quite like that zen place where the writing flows and the characters come to life and push your fingers around the keyboard like ghosts moving a planchette around a Ouija board.

It can be hard, though - rejections aplenty are the norm. You gotta have thick skin. I don't have thick skin. I sunburn under a 60-watt bulb. I've personally racked up 286 rejections in the three years I've been a "writer." (To date - ask me tomorrow for my new total. Thin envelopes = bad. Emails from editors = good.)

Seems like an oxymoron (moronic?) - a happy, thin-skinned reject.

But that's me!