Sunday, December 30, 2012

Scottish Carols Are Everybody's Favorite

With the year's end quickly approaching, I'm tempted to look inside myself and identify areas that I strive to improve in 2013. That sounds hard. Instead I'll think about changes that other people should make.

--Lindsay Lohan: Get it together. Cool it on the coke, get a job at a bank or something, and start paying your rent. Everybody else lives in the real world. It's not that hard.

--Everyone: Stop using the word "literally" when you actually mean the exact opposite. It drives me figuratively crazy.

--Also Everyone: Speaking of grammar, the word "your" is a pronoun indicating possession. "You're" is a contraction of the words "you" and "are." It's a noticeable distinction. Stop ignoring it.

--Guy at Work: Back off the cologne a little. Let's say eight sprays per day is enough.

--Racists: Give it a rest already.

--Homophobes: Give it a rest already.

--Charities: Send me less mail. The amount of money you've spent on postage sending me all your pleas for more donations has definitely exceeded the amount of any actual donations I've made to you.

--Prince William: You are rich and have access to the most advanced medical care in the world. Do something about your hairline.

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." -Queen Oprah

That is all. Until next year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Are You Sure It's the Thought That Counts?

I worked in the jewelry department at Macy's for a little while after college. I actually really liked it since I spent most of my time there trying on the diamonds. (I also got a fantastic discount.)

One day my manager, Katie, told me she'd be attending a destination wedding and would need to be gone for a week. She asked me to help out with a few things while she was away, like time sheets and inventory counts. Those things only took about twenty minutes, so I happily obliged.

When she returned from her vacation, Katie pulled me aside. "I just wanted to thank you for helping me out while I was gone," she said. "I got you this gift card for Target."

"Aw, Katie. You didn't have to do that," I said because that is what people say to be nice.

But you know what her response was?

"Okay. I'll keep it."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Minnesota etiquette dictated that you always decline things the first time they're offered to you. Then the other person insists, and you graciously accept, but only after you make sure it's not too much trouble.

Katie totally blew right past all that. I was shocked. And a little bit sad because I really wanted that gift card.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Deer Santa...

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Illest Christmas Presents Ever!

It's better to give than blah blah blah... I have never met a person who doesn't love to get presents. Now that I think about it, opening presents is one of my top ten favorite things to do. These are some of the awesome-est presents I can remember getting.

--Etch A Sketch - I was probably about six when I got my Etch A Sketch. I still have it, and I still pull it out from time to time. And I am really good at it. Like, really good. I would probably consider Etch A Sketch my biggest talent. (I am equal parts proud and embarrassed of that statement. But I suppose it's good to recognize our strengths.)

--PeeWee's Playhouse shirts - We used to watch that show every Saturday morning, so we thought those shirts were pretty sweet. Amy's had the flowers from the window ledge that introduced the cartoons. Mine had Chairry, PeeWee's big blue chair. Stylin'.

--Hungry Hungry Hippos - My sister and I loved this game when we were little. We played it all. the. time. But then, all of a sudden, it was gone one day. Like it had totally vanished. And we were devestated. Mom recently confessed that she had gotten rid of it when we weren't looking because she was so sick of the noise. Which is understandable since Hungry Hungry Hippos is the loudest game in the world.

--A Phone for My Room - I got a cordless phone for my room when I was in junior high and it was super sweet. It came in ultra-modern black and had a sleek design roughly the size of an adult man's tennis shoe. A few years later, my sister would jack me in the face with that phone during one of our more vicious fights.

--My Little Pony - I loved the My Little Pony I got when I was little. Except I see that they've updated the design a bit. Mine had pink plastic gemstones for the eyes, which made my pony look slightly demonic when the light hit them just right. I also lost the accompanying brush almost immediately, so I used my mom's brush instead. I wonder if she was ever confused by the bright teal horse-mane hairs that I'm sure were left behind.

I wish I still got awesome-ass presents like a little kid.  Last year for Christmas, I asked my mom for new mixing bowls. Mixing bowls! What the fuck happened to me? Eight-year-old Marie would be disgusted.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Children's Medical Advice is Almost Always Useless

Down the street from my grandma's house is Water Tank Hill, the best hill for sledding ever. We spent the majority of every Christmas break on that hill. When I was nine, I spent one fateful day there with my sister, Amy, and our cousin, Mary. Amy and I had just gotten Sno-Tubes for Christmas and we were quickly discovering how awesome they were.

After several trips down the hill, I once again started the trek back to the top. I was finding it easier if I rested the tube on my head and held on to the handles on each side. And probably just as I was congratulating myself on my ingenuity, I slipped on a patch of ice. And because I was holding the stupid tube above my head, I wasn't able to put my hands down in time to break my fall. I fell hard, face first, onto the icy snow, which was turning red with my blood.

I stumbled back to my feet, bawling from the surprise and the pain, and immediately started walking back to Grandma's house. Amy and Mary caught up with me. They didn't want me to go. If I did, then they would probably have to leave, too. And then everyone's fun would be ruined. Instead, Mary suggested I just put some snow on it. You're supposed to ice on your injuries, she reasoned, and snow is basically the same thing. Plus, if I pushed hard enough, it would also stop the bleeding. It sounded logical, so I gave it a shot. And it did neither of those things.

So I ended up going home to Grandma's anyway. And that's where I found out that I had bitten through my bottom lip. Like, my teeth cut a good-sized hole in my face. Weird that the handful of old, dirty snow didn't clear that up. Maybe if I had used two handfuls.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Graffiti

This is on a building near my home and it is my favorite:

True Statement

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Turns Out I Can Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound

Today's weather reminds me of the snowstorm we got a couple years ago. That morning we woke up to about eight inches of snow, with another twelve to fourteen expected by the end of the day. Since we knew we'd be stuck in the house all day, the boyfriend and I decided to venture out for supplies (pizza and vodka). We were lucky we left when we did. Even though it was only noon, the market (and almost all the other businesses in the neighborhood) was closing due to the weather.

When we got back, we brushed the snow off of ourselves, looking forward to warming up on the couch with a toddy and some blankets. One problem: we had accidentally locked ourselves out of the condo. There we stood with our groceries and no place to go. The roads were treacherous and everything (including locksmiths) was closed. We were screwed.

We couldn't just spend the day in our hallway. One of us was going to have to do something. Since the boyfriend is afraid of heights, I knew it had to be me. I knocked on our neighbor's door and asked if I could borrow her balcony. Then, in the middle of a blizzard, I climbed on top of her railing, took a deep breath, and hopped over to our balcony.

This is what I saw when I looked down:

Six stories. Eek.

And yes, I looked down. And I totally pictured myself bouncing like a ping pong ball between the balconies all the way down. I just kept telling myself it was like being on MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge. And made sure I ignored the part about how those people wear harnesses and usually compete over water instead of concrete and metal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

...And No One Can Talk to a Horse, Of Course

A few years ago, my friend Jess and I took riding lessons at a stable outside of town. We spent the first few sessions in an enclosed arena just going over the basics. Jess was a natural since she had a horse when she was a kid. I started out a little shakier because I never had a horse. But I got the hang of it soon enough.

On about our third lesson, we rode outside down a gravel road. Everything was going according to plan when all of a sudden, my horse freaked out and took off back toward the barn. I tried desperately to regain control with the reigns, but he was not having any of it. In all reality, it was probably little more than a trot, but I was bouncing all over the place, barely managing to stay upright. It was terrifying. I actually remember thinking, "I can't believe this is how I die. Ridiculous."

As we neared the stable, my horse slowed down just a little. It was my chance to finally get the fucker to stop. I dropped one reign and used both hands to pull hard on one side. That jerked the horse's head back, forcing him to stop.

Jess rode up in a hurry behind me. "Oh my God, Marie!" she gasped. "Are you okay?!" Before I could answer, she added, "Your hair looked really pretty.  Like a Pantene commercial."

Thanks Jess.

Also, remember when I mentioned how my dad's a fairly interesting guy? Well, he has a runaway horse story, too. Except he ended up falling off of his horse. And his foot got caught in the stirrup. And he got dragged for a little while.

I obviously come from a long line of equestrians.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Might Be the Cause of Global Warming

I have a confession to make: I only use bath towels once before putting them in the laundry. Sometimes I even use two towels for a single shower so that I have a dry one for my hair. And I have always thought this was completely normal. But I've learned recently, through a couple of obviously riveting conversations, that most people use the same towel at least twice.

Those conversations mostly ended in a mutual sense of surprise (and maybe a little bit of disgust). I was surprised that perfectly normal-looking people are willing to rub all kinds of microbes, old skin cells, and whatever else comes off their bodies, right back onto their freshly cleaned skin. And people were usually shocked to hear that I'm willing to do that much laundry.

They have a totally legitimate point. Which is why I have seventeen towels on the shelves. For two people. And I feel kinda bad about that. Because I recognize it's wasteful, but I honestly don't intend to stop.

But my Christmas lights are solar powered, so it balances out, right?