Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas cards of the rich and famous.

Who am I kidding. Of course I'm not going to run out of things to write about, particularly if it's Christmas. I'm currently in the middle of what is proving to be the most ridiculous Christmas ever but while I continue to let that play out, I have something else I'd like to discuss: the lameness of the Cruise family's Christmas card.

My friends clearly know cooler people than I do, but that's not the point. How lame is this thing? I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't a card wrapped in gold thread without so much as a picture. I mean, this is Tom Cruise. Shouldn't this have come with a little booklet on the story of Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy? Or perhaps some WWII memorabilia to promote Valkyrie? Better yet, why not send everyone a small bit of his vast fortune to help stimulate the economy? Hell, even a $20 would be something. Instead he invested all $20 in a gold stamped card, wrapped in gold thread, in a hand-calligraphied (with gold ink) envelope.

Yeah, well, Happy Holidays to you, too, TomKat, and may your family be blessed with only the highest levels of Operating Thetans.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My final post?

As we head into the final stretch of 2008, if I could sprint at this point, I would. This year has absolutely kicked. my. ass., as my therapist noted yesterday in our last session of the year. I should clarify which therapist I'm referring to, as over the past few months I've amassed three: a traditional therapist (who I visited yesterday), a hypno-therapist, and a massage therapist. The fact that I even have this therapeutic triumvirate, with a diminutive Scottish healer thrown in for good measure, is a testament to what a mess I've been the past twelve months.

Really, if I were being honest with myself, I've been hanging out in my "pain cave" - as my friend Karen so brilliantly termed it - for the past year and a half. That's an exceptionally long time to spend in a not-so-great place but just in time for the holidays, I've emerged like Scrooge on Christmas morning, and jimmy-kicked my way back into the land of the living.

Truly, things lately have been nothing short of spectacular. So much so, my therapist actually jumped out of her chair mid-session yesterday, threw her fists into the air and cheered. I've been in therapy consistently since I was five (which begs the question as to what I'd be like had this NOT been the case), and I have never had a therapist cheer. Ever. Quite the milestone, but also not entirely unwarranted.

For starters, I've rediscovered all sorts of things I used to love doing. Like going out with friends, for example. Turns out I'm fairly social. (Who knew, right?) I'm also running regularly again, but more than that I'm back doing yoga and pilates, two other things I used to really enjoy. I meditate every day. I'm reading books. I did a week-long detox for the first time in my life and when it was over, I detoxed my house and got rid of 18 trash bags-worth of stuff in the process. My living area is spotless now, but more than that, there's hardly anything in it. It's like the W in here - so peaceful and cozy. It's almost unnerving. Almost.

A few months ago, my roommate (who has been in her own pain cave for about as long as I've been in mine) asked me what made me happy, because she was trying to think what made her happy and couldn't come up with anything. At the time, I pitifully couldn't think of anything either. "Riding horses. Riding horses makes you happy," she finally said. And in the most wonderful twists of fate, I'm also now exercising a horse every week for a woman short on time due to her new job.

There's only one problem with all this greatness: I'm no longer angry. Like, at all.

What the hell am I going to write about now???

Monday, December 15, 2008

The REAL auto crisis.

I have today off. I love days like this, not because I get to be a slob (which I do), but because I get shit DONE. I morph into this uber-productive, errand-running machine, timing myself to see how quickly I can dash about town getting things crossed off my list. And I was flying about town in my cloud of productivity this morning, when my schedule hit a glitch.

I've been avoiding cops for over a month as my car inspection was due in October. So I went to the Acura dealership today to get that knocked out because apparently Jiffy Lube is completely incompetent when it comes to such matters (having held onto my car for 45 minutes and charged me for an inspection only to tell me they couldn't do it because they couldn't find the connection they needed for the computer, and subsequently FAILED me.) While the Acura was able to inspect my car (I passed), as well as rotating the tires (something else Jiffy Lube wasn't capable of doing), I must offer a commentary on the promptness of their service.

If your performance is such that a respectable-looking business man loses all dignity and can achieve this type of slumber in the middle of a showroom, I submit that perhaps your service is too slow. Mercifully, I keep 96G-worth of entertainment on me at all times for just such occasions, so I spent my two hours waiting getting caught up on episodes of "Fringe". But good Christ. This man was snoring. More alarming than that was that none of the sales folks or other Acura employees seemed fazed by the fact that Yao Ming (the pic doesn't do him justice...this guy was huge) was slumped over on his briefcase like a coma patient.

It made me wonder what would happen if a client fell asleep on the phone while waiting on me.

"Hey Liz, I was wondering if I could get an updated copy of our projected 2009 scope?"
"Sure, let me get that for you. But, well, make yourself comfortable..."
(two hours later)
"Uh, Amy? Amy??? Hey. I have your scope."
"Jesus, I fell asleep!"
"Yeah, sorry about that. Anyway, that will be $146.82. Thanks."

While DC figures out what to do with the "Big 3" and their lack of innovation, I'd like to counter that the real crisis concerning automakers in this country is the most shitastic service imaginable.

I'm now off to put my patched, inflated, rotated and balanced rubber to the road and continue my errands.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Words almost escaped me. Almost.

I hate Christmas.

This sentiment shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone, particularly those familiar with my family dynamics. But it's true. When Christmas comes around, I am filled with anxiety and dread. I pretend it's not happening until I'm absolutely forced to acknowledge it, as was the case last year when I came home to find that my roommate had decorated our apartment. I certainly wouldn't decorate for Christmas, although it's fitting the only decorations I own are a tree and reindeer cut out of sheet metal that could easily be used as weapons.

You can imagine my surprise when, several days ago, I found myself caught up in the Christmas spirit. I actually WANTED to get people gifts. And not just "check-them-off-the-list" gifts, but gifts I thought people might enjoy. Getting caught up in my own frenzy, I was done with all my shopping by Dec. 1st. A record on multiple levels.

But all my new found excitement over this most blessed of holidays came to a halt today, with an something a lawyer friend forwarded me. Reading through the trail of e-mails preceding hers, I discovered it had originated with a secretary trying to drum up business for a friend, by sending a firm-wide e-mail explaining: "A friend of mine make these little guys which make cute Christmas gifts..."

Harmless enough, I thought, until I actually saw what she was peddling.

To my friends and family, be glad I got your gifts before I discovered "Pons" by Wendy. To Wendy, if your tampon angel is any indication, I think you might hate Christmas more than I do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How not to do things.

There have been several different things I've been meaning to blog about lately, but it occurred to me they are all examples of spectacularly bad form, so I thought it might be nice to create a handy guide to help others avoid these situations. So without further ado...

How Not to be a Good Host

My Danish family was in town a few weeks ago. They were to arrive in Dallas on a Friday, be picked up by my mother and taken to her house which is about two hours from the airport. The husband needed to return to Dallas for a conference on Monday, so my mother offered via e-mail, "We can take him and get him after the conference if necessary, but the funeral home has to make runs to the Dallas area often and if Bjorn won't be totally grossed out, he might ride with one of the funeral home guys. I promise it won't be a hearse. Usually a Suburban." I'm not sure I've ever mentioned on here that my family runs the funeral home in my hometown, but they do. This fact is something which alone would provide enough material for a hundred blogs, but the point here is that offering to send company in from Europe on a two-hour trip with a dead body is just...well, bad form.

When the Danes finally arrived, I apologized profusely for this only to learn that Bjorn's father had made coffins when he was a child, the stacks of which had provided "a lovely badminton net" for him and his friends.

Apparently dysfunction knows no boundaries, international or otherwise.

How Not to be a Good Guest

A friend of mine - and CHAMPION hostess, I might add - moved to Seattle about a year ago. She didn't know anyone there when she moved, so she's spent the past year trying to reach out to folks in an attempt to get a group of friends pulled together which is how she ended up inviting several of her co-workers over to her place after a company party for some wine the other night. Apparently at some point in the evening (and after they'd mowed through four bottles of her nicest wine), one of her co-workers decided to pull out his balls and put them on her coffee table.

That's it. He just set them there and then he proceeded to laugh his ass off while my friend stared on in horror.

I'm sorry, but what. the. hell. I swear to God, if one of the jackasses I worked with came to my place and put his balls on my coffee table, I'd take a picture and then send out a company-wide e-mail that says, "Why you shouldn't invite Mike over. Ever."

How Not to be a Respectful Boyfriend

While we're on the subject of jackass behavior, I would like to dedicate a portion of this blog to my best friend's now ex-boyfriend. This guy, let's call him Stan, dated my best friend for a year and a half. Then he dumped her. This was shitty enough because they work together and it was extremely uncomfortable for for both of them. But after they'd been "apart" for nine months, he came back and said he wanted to get back together, this time for good. He put the full-court press on her and her friends (who had been none too pleased with him after round one) and won us all over. After dating four months and talking about rings, he'd asked her if he could move in, only to dump her AGAIN two days later and right before Thanksgiving. (Oh, the irony.)

I went up to hang out with her this past weekend; understandably, she was nothing short of a mess. We have been friends since we were eight and until this past weekend, I had never seen her cry which completely broke my heart. And because no bad deed goes unpunished, while she was at a party Friday night, I hopped on her computer to check Facebook and after discovering her retard of an ex still had all his login info as the default, took matters into my own hands:

What you can't really tell from the picture, is that I also updated his profile pic to the ass of a fat chick with "Deliciously Evil" written across the back of her shorts. Genius, if I do say so myself.

How Not to Make a Joyful Noise

For those who feel my cyber-activities Friday night were out of line, please note that karma caught up with me the very next evening, and as they say it's a total bitch. That night, we celebrated my grandmother's 89th birthday, and after dinner I invited my family over to my place to play Wii. My mother is a huge fan of Wii Sports but when she saw the drum set in my living room, she decided to give Rock Band a shot, recruiting my sister and her fiancee in the process. And so you don't have to imagine what the von Trapps would sound like drunk with a two-year old banging a pot beside them, allow me to present the musical stylings of the Taylor Family Singers: