Monday, December 21, 2009

Comment: Hiatus Time

My Dear Readers,

Something's come up for me and my family, and we all need to regroup. My quips, apparently, are not inexhaustible.

So I'm not going to be posting on here for awhile. Please check back here later next month, and hopefully QCC will be back up and running.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comment: A-Ha! Redux

Okay, something came to me today as I was standing with my daughter in the kitchen, singing into the nearest object I could find (ballpoint pen).

I love the Glee music so much because I love The Big Finish.

You know, the part at the end of each big song, the flourish, the apex, the climax, the peak.

And then the long holding of the final note as the hands go up (or down).

And then the raging applause.

Pure elation.

And the little shivers you get when you hear this part of a song, and imagine that you yourself are the star.

I love that feeling that you get when the last high note is hit perfectly, and all you're waiting for is applause.

Even though I haven't performed in years, that desire to be applauded after reaching my peak, is very much alive. (And I'm not even a singer!)

I think in some way it's alive in all of us.

We all want to do something so great that people will clap for us.

Unless you're a toddler, or a working performer, you're never gonna get it.

And that's too bad.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Comment: Zen and the Art of Scraping Snow Off Your Car

Bearing in mind that since I haven’t dealt with snow in ten years, I found it falling outside today surprisingly pretty.

I also found that scraping off my car was way Zen. Especially since it was snowing the whole time the kids and I were outside. Repetitive motions can be very relaxing. (Duh.)

It was a nice interlude in a day filled with diarrhea and isolation. My daughter was the one truly suffering.

My son actually made a song for her on Garage Band, titled (sic) “I’m sorry you have direa dessa”. It's kinda catchy.

We were cooped up all day but we broke free once my daughter started feeling better and it was truly rejuvenating. The kids ran around in the snow just like I always used to, and I scraped the snow and ice off my car.

Over and over.

The bonus? I was able to clean off the car, which had been massively attacked by a murder of crows with their own case of the trots. I mean, really.

I’m not saying I’m going to be singing snow’s praises when it’s 7 am and the car is buried, but for today, I’m all for it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Comment: The Christmas Letter

Ah, yes. Are you getting some of these in the mail these days?

The Christmas Letter.

The chance to show off our year's achievements and preen a little.

Why do we do these?

Aae they to reassure everyone else that everything is fine?

More likely, they're to reassure the writer that all is not lost.

But here's the thing: all is never lost.

Even in the shittiest, most hideous situation, something less shitty will emerge. (you can quote me on that)

Really. If you get low enough, there's nowhere to go but up.

It is all I can do right now not to write a parody Christmas letter.

But I don't want to mock anyone in particular. I'm just questioning the whole thing.

Wouldn't it be wierd if people started writing Christmas Letters at other times of the year? Dude, that would be so old school.

Letter writing as an art died a long time ago. Or at least it seems that way.

But if we wrote more often, we wouldn't only have to crow about our high points. We could talk about our troubles, too.

And maybe that would actually help.

Just a thought.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quesiton: Wanna Join?

So my friend and I are starting an "I've Had it" club.

You know how you see those things on Facebook, and you get asked to join these stupid clubs/groups, like "I hate cupcakes" or "Litterbugs Suck" or "Wear a Dress to Work Today" or some such nonsense?

Since I'm kind of in the middle (again) of some big changes, I've just decided that I've had it.

With what?

Fill in the blanks.

I've had it with inanity, I've had it with the rat race work ethic that prevails in our society, I've had it with people who are rude, I've had it with the over-hyping consumerism of the holiday season, I've had it with the right wing hateful media, I've had it with whining, I've had it with being invisible, I've had it with Disney (have I mentioned them?), I've had it with a gross imbalance in work and life, I've had it with people sassing me, I've had it with cooking dinner, I've had it with doing laundry, I've had it with working my ass off and never seeing my husband, I've had it with the low-key decorations in this town, where are the freakin' LIGHTS, and I've had it with people selling hype that isn't real.

Are you in?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Complaint: Glee Gap

So I gathered that Glee is now over for the year.

The finale made it pretty obvious.

What I didn't realize was that it won't start up again UNTIL APRIL.

What the cluck?!

I don't want to have to wait through the entire American Idol series to get my fix again. I guess FOX figures one singing show at a time is enough.

Not to me.

I've already pre-ordered the Glee DVD of the first 13 episodes. I can't wait.

In the meantime, I'll have to get my fix from Hulu, and continue to complain publicly and bitterly about its recent termination.

Don't Stop Believin'.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Question: At what point do you say, I’ve had it?

At what point does a situation become unbearable enough that you really ought to just walk away?

Because perception plays so much a part in all of this. The whole, you are how you choose to view what happens to you, as opposed to you are a victim of your own life.

I spent a lot of time playing the victim and honestly? I’m over it.

I made choices that got me where I am now. That’s true for everybody.

I guess the question is, at what point do you look at the choices you’ve made and ask yourself if maybe you shouldn’t consider some other options?

Do we have to resign ourselves to a life that isn’t satisfying, while we wait for something to get better, even though it never will?

Or do we need to flip our perceptions and see the glass as half full instead, make lemonade with our lemons, etc.?

I don’t have any answers right now.

Just a shitload of questions.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Comment: Bleah.

Tonight, I am tired.
And also uninspired.

So perhaps I will do my post
In a way to amuse you the most.

Oh good God, could it be true?
A rhyming post from me to you?


I'm sorry. I can't do this. It's just not me. Well, okay, maybe it is me, but I don't wanna talk about that.

I spent the day with three year olds, then came home to my four and six year olds.

There's been someone on my lap or hanging from my scarf, hem and/or pant leg all day.

It's tiring, albeit fun, taking care of kids.

How do working-outside-the-home-mothers do this without losing it? I think they must just not sleep.

That's not an option for me, so I bid you good night, early.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Comment: A-HA!

Well thank goodness, my neighbors put up some lights today. Of course they were terribly tasteful, no blinking or colored lights. No, not here in Wreath-Town.

But still, at least it's SOMETHING.

I've done extensive questioning on the subject and I'm not coming up with anything substantial or useful to explain the dearth of lights around here.

I guess when your research isn't based on scientific inquiry, it pretty much bites. No control group or double-blind testing or anything.

But it's been fun, in a way, asking people about Christmas lights.

It reminds me of David Sedaris' hilarious essay, "Eight to Ten Black Men", which is also about Christmas traditions, of a sort.

Go read it if you haven't already.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Comment: Brief Updates

Breaking News: Our neighbors, the friendly and conservative doctors, put out one string of welcome snowman lights along their path. AND, as I was out running today I saw some people putting tasteful railing lights on their tasteful house.


Maybe this is the beginning of something BIG.

In other news, eye drops continue to be hell.

The weather for tomorrow? Cloudy with a chance of irritability.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Comment: A Very Specific Section of Hell

I now know where bad people go when they die: they don't go somewhere fiery and sulfurous.

They just stay where they are and are forced to put eye drops in their child's eye every three minutes.

Brought to you by the one, the only, conjunctivitis!

(And so help me, don't any of you dare write how easy it is to give your kids eye drops, or mention the fact that your kid(s) have never had pinkeye. I mean it.)

Anyway, forcing eyedrops into an unwilling child: That's pretty much my definition of hell.

I would say cleaning up congealed urine is sort of a hellish purgatory, if there is such a thing.

And cleaning up vomit, that's got its own special section for a certain type of sinner.

Me, I don't buy into the hell concept, except in the sense that hell is in your head, or hell is other people. Both make sense to me.

But really? Hell is having to put eye drops in a frightened and squirming child's eye.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Complaint: Brrrrr.

Okay, I give up: it's freaking cold.

It snowed all day.

Pretty? Sure.

But. Eleven years in California, and I did not ONCE miss the cold or the snow. Not even for a minute. Those people who live in California and say they miss the seasons? Not me.

Just feeling pretty grouchy about the low digit readings out there . Now I finally realize why I wore so many layers in my younger days; it wasn't only the punk ripped clothes look I was rocking, it was JUST PLAIN COLD.

My clothes now add several pounds to my slightly expanding frame. You know how it is when you're cold. you EAT more, and then you gain weight, and then you cover it up with fleece.

Fleece. I feel fleeced all right.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Complaint: Curse You, Darkness!

WHAT is UP with the mid-Atlantic region?





Yes, yes, I realize that it's too early for Hannukah and Kwanzaa (who both definitely light candles, so there's some light for sure) and I know Solstice celebrates light on principle.

But WHAT is UP?

There are STILL no lights other than ours on our street. And my cub reporter on the street (husband) tells me there are no Christmas lights up around his entire drive into and out of the city.

Is it because we're needing to be sensitive to the diversity of the holiday season? I mean, I saw a MAJOR nativity scene, WHICH WAS NOT LIT UP, so clearly some Christians feel it's okay to celebrate publicly.

And anyway, I'm not even Christian, nor do I celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa or Solstice.

I just celebrate the secular version of Christmas, and I do it with LIGHTS.

It's really strange to me, this dearth of lights. Other than that, I've found my new home to be friendly, fabulous, full of partying and massive sandwiches. All excellent things.

Is it the shitty economy and the cost of lights? I don't know.

But I'm going to do my best to find out what the hell is going on here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Question: Gotta light?

We're living in a new part of the country now, and thus, a new neighborhood.

It's now, what, December 8? And nobody on our cul-de-sac has Christmas lights up.

Except us.

We only put up a few, because the chief putter-upper is very busy with work these days. However, I thought that by now we would see more lights around us.

But apparently residents of our little neighborhood, and possibly the mid-Atlantic region at large, are not that into lights.

Not that into lights?!

There are sixteen children on our cul-de-sac. By all measures I would have expected this place to be GLOWING by now.

What people do have is wreaths; tasteful, elegant, BORING wreaths. They're everywhere.

But where are the lights?

Childhood Christmases are predicated on there being lights to drive around and look at after dark.

So the question is, do we go all out with our lights, because that's how we rolled in California, or do we act all subdued and pseudo-mid-Western and stick to wreaths? As I said, we have two measly strands of light on our house at the moment, and it looks pretty pathetic.

Should we go for it and be individuals who like lights? Or go get a damn wreath and blend in with the crowd?

Ahh, life never ceases to be just like high school. You're always wondering what the rules are and if you should play by them or not.

Ho ho ho indeed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Comment: Time Flies When Your Kids are Young

It struck me today how my kids are really growing up. They're now more interested in other kids and/or computers than me. I am no longer the center of their universe.

Overall, this is cause for celebration. I mean, you want your kids to WANT to be out in the world doing things, not clinging to you.

But it just really knocked me out today when I wanted to sit and read and cuddle with the kids after school today, and they were both too busy and just weren't interested.

I knew this day would come.

I just didn't think it would be so soon.

Everybody always says about parenting, "It goes so fast, your kids grow up so fast, enjoy it," and when you're in the middle of a nasty stomach bug or temper tan6rum with a toddler, you think, hurry up, already.

But now? When I see my kids playing with other kids, ably working computers, quietly reading books on their own, I think, yeah: time flies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Complaint: Not so Hot Forbidden Love

Okay, so I saw New Moon today, with another cool woman of a certain age who is a Twilight fan and isn’t 15.

At first we were the only ones in the theatre. This pleased us, as we expected to be able to make smart remarks throughout the movie.

Alas, four people showed up. We were no longer in heckle mode.

(My friend did come to an excellent conclusion, however: what we really want is Edward’s behavior, face, and dorky/sexy hair, and Jacob’s body. Damn. Taylor Lautner worked for his part, if I may just pause and objectify him for a minute.)

But the movie itself: What can I say?

We watched it. It was faithful to the book, albeit a sped-read one. It kind of all flew by with none of the nuances.

Look, I’m not saying this stuff is brilliant literature, but it has captured a LOT of people’s attention. And we’ve talked here about why: Edward is the ultimate fantasy lover: he’s attentive, chaste, and adoring. The whole getting-too-close-to-her-might-excite-him-so-much-he-might-kill-her, well, that’s a bit of a buzz harsher, but in some ways, it makes his undying love even hotter.

At least in the book.

But in the movie? Not so much.

I kept waiting for some kind of tension or chemistry between the two characters, especially since all the tabloids claim the two actors are an item.

However, there just wasn’t that much there. The whole movie felt rushed and generally passionless.

And the joy of the books lies in savoring the taboo nature of the central relationship. Edward loves Bella, of course, but he could kill her by loving her, devour her entirely. It’s not rocket science, people. It’s impossible love, which for many, many women (and probably some men) is the hottest kind.

Forbidden love is (usually) hot.

Stephanie Meyer probably kept things chaste in the books due to her religious leanings. But she was on to something in the quiet, sizzling, desperate lust between the Bella and Edward.

On the screen, it just wasn’t there.

So the movie was just, meh.

The stars have become full blown celebrities and have now eclipsed (Ha! Ha!) the franchise.

Ah well.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Complaint: Yes, it's a definitely a complaint.

It had to happen.

It’s snowing.

I’m ambivalent about it. On the one hand, it’s sort of festive and pretty. On another, it’s freakin’ cold. And wet. And there will be more snow. Much, much more, so I’m told.

I’m not excited about that.

I don’t ski, skate, or snowboard.

Maybe I should.

The only thing in the above list that even remotely appeals to me is snowboarding. And as I’m not a teenaged pothead, it doesn’t seem likely I’ll be doing that anytime soon. Also, I’m a class A wimp.

Toboganning is fun, but I’m a parent now, so it seems like it’s my job to dress my kids appropriately and watch them slide. Sure, I can slide with them, and that will be fun, but it won’t be the unadulterated fun of childhood. Because I will simultaneously be concerned about my child’s safety. Which is a bit of a buzz kill, although necessary.

Who am I kidding, I was scared toboganning as a child. I just have more reason to worry now.

And if I may add, there is not much more hellish than attempting to assist a headstrong four year old who’s never seen snow in putting on her cheap snow boots with crappy zippers.

Happy Holidays, Everybody!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Comment: Again with the Glee.

If you had told me ten years ago (or even two) that I'd be belting out a Celine Dion tune in my car on my way to get my kids from school, I would have laughed or, at the very least, mocked you indignantly.

I mean, Celine Dion?! I know I'm Canadian, but really? I'm just NOT a ballad type of gal.

I've always been more of a Sex Pistols/Clash/English Beat type of person.

But this is what Glee will do to you.

The songs that would normally make me hurl if I was unfortunate enough to hear them on the radio have been made three dimensional by the show.

Suddenly it's not a scarily skinny and tan French Canadian singing in English in Vegas (sequins required upon entry); it's a teenaged girl singing about her major, capital C crush.

And who among us hasn't been there?

We just weren't able to sing about it. (Probably a good thing, overall.)

But as I've mentioned here before, Glee allows you to relive your own teen angst again, only performed by more talented and better looking people. It's cathartic. And that's why I love it, and I suspect that's why other people love it, too. It's dark and wry, but it's also sincere.

The first post I did for this blog was about everyone secretly wanting to be a rock star.

Maybe Glee is showing us that everyone secretly wants to be a soulful singer in times of turmoil. (Okay, even I'm impressed with that awesome alliteration).

Singing does make you feel better, when you really, truly sing.

If only we could belt out our angst. Would the world be a better place?

Or just noisier?

Only one way to find out.

PS-If Jane Lynch doesn't get an Emmy for her role as Sue Sylvester, there is no justice.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Comment: I Heart Hulu.

Just watched last night's Glee. Online. I never get tired of saying that. Online TV. Love it.

So glad Terri got found out. I mean, come on, how long could THAT charade go on for? I mean, seriously, you can NOT fake a pregnancy.

Kind of a depressing ending, though. I guess it's reality. There will always be people who make fun of other people. (The end shows jocks defacing the glee club kids' photos in the yearbook.)

The show basically acknowledges the underdogs, and makes a case for them. It makes the cool kids look like jackasses.

This is pretty groundbreaking, especially for a show on FOX.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, suffice it to say the show manages to be both snarky, optimistic, realistic, and amusing.

Don't stop believin', kids!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Question: And what do YOU do when your child(ren) won't go to bed?

Just wondering.

Because as I type this, my intensely strong-willed four year old daughter is making up excuses about why she needs to come downstairs and get "something." First, to look at her backpack, or some such thing. I put the nay on that, so she didn't get all the way down the stairs.

Then she wanted a hat, but I told her, "we're not doing this, go to bed, I love you, good night." Still she kept coming down the stairs.

So I did what any parent at the end of their pathetic disciplinary repertoire does: I started counting down.

From five.

By three I heard and felt the scurrying little feet going back into her bedroom.

How long will this detente last?

Nobody knows.

But I'd best post this before she comes up with something else. She's very creative.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comment: Things Not to Say to Someone Who is Depressed:

Just a little public service announcement:

1. Cheer up!

2. You need Prozac!

3. Oh come on, it can’t be that bad.

4. It’s just a phase, you’ll get over it.

5. But are you really depressed? Like officially?

6. Snap out of it!

7. We all get the blues sometimes.

8. Oh yeah, my cousin? She gets really depressed too.

9. You don’t look sick.

10. Hang in there!

Let’s be honest, that last one is the worst. The fact that it brings to mind a hangman’s rope is just NOT COOL. Depressed people don’t need the imagery, thanks very much!

Just doing my part for mutual understanding between depressed and non-depressed humans. Trying to share the wisdom, not the pain.

Have a nice day! (ooh, that's #11.)