Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fa la la la la la la la f*ck

I read that title somewhere the other day and couldn't get that ditty out of my head, and when I heard the song on our local "all Christmas, all the time" radio station I couldn't help but sing along. What can I say, I'm nothing if not juvenile.

So, for four days now I've worked out on the elliptical for an hour each day. Go me. Although it wasn't because I was hearkening back to my resolution to get rid of that extra weight, it was really because I've been incredibly keyed up recently and if I didn't work out some of the stress I was going to punch something. And the hubs is getting increasingly bitchy about being bruised.

So, I took my frustrations out on the blessed machine. It has been extremely helpful - well, that in combination with vitamin D supplements (apparently it's not uncommon to be afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder if you're already depressed). I don't know if I actually have SAD, but it would make sense. And I play a doctor on TV, so I know what I'm talking about.

Christmas was great, the kids got a bunch of stuff that we're having a ton of fun playing with. I had more fun at the husband's family gathering - they aren't currently going through the kind of earth-shattering, life-changing, heartbreaking shit that my family's going through right now. After Christmas day, a day of my dad not speaking much and spending more time napping than interacting, my mom acting like a total doormat (as usual) and my brother being the usual asshole he is every day, I was tired of it all. I came home and cried to the hubs, mainly because it has fallen to me to be the normal, strong one in the family, the one who is supposed to keep it all together, and I've got my own shit to deal with. And whoever it was that thought making ME the normal one was a good idea - they were obviously out of their fucking minds.

Anyway, it was a good Christmas. The kids were great, my sister-in-law complimented our parenting skill, and I've worked out an hour each day for the past four days. Plus I've still got another week of break. I'm determined not to let the funk I've slid into engulf me - I'm going to lunch with some of my best friends tomorrow, and then I'm off for some serious retail therapy. And there will be trips to the dog park and possibly an overnight with just the hubs this week (I hope I hope I hope!). Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry christmahanuzaastice

Ah, to be atheist over the holidays.

OK, so the way I look at it, human beings have been celebrating the winter solstice in various cultural ways since the dawn of time. Many of these celebrations had nothing to do with a particular deity. Many did. Here in the land-o-plenty, all of those celebrations have been muddled into the consumerist red and green gimme-gimme that has become our holiday season.

So sure, go ahead and wish me a merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever the hell it is you celebrate, I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm not going to be offended by the fact that you celebrate something different from me. I'm happy that you have a tradition to hold on to at this time of year.

That's really how I look at it. Yes, I'm atheist, which means I don't recognize/believe in a higher power. However, I still celebrate Christmas. Part of that is obviously because if I started telling people I wasn't celebrating Christmas anymore, they wouldn't give me gifts.

I'm kidding. Well, mostly.

I celebrate Christmas for the tradition of it. It's part of our culture. And it's a time ripe for a lesson to my kids. Sure, they get gifts over the holidays, but the way I see it, while the getting is great, the giving is better. So I guess you could say that I don't celebrate Christmas, I celebrate the giving spirit of humanity.

I took my kids shopping to purchase gifts for our school Giving Tree. They each picked out a toy for a child who wouldn't have had one otherwise. We also picked out a ton of food for our school's food drive. And every chance I get, I cram the idea down their throats that we are not entitled to anything in this world - we must work for what we want, and give back when we are given something.

I know that some people look at atheists as being unable to appreciate magic in life. The way I look at it, the magic lies in how people can be so good to one another and by doing one good deed, can set off a chain of events that make a bigger impact.

So this holiday season, pay it forward. Buy the coffee for that person sitting in line behind you. Drop a 20 dollar bill on the floor of the grocery store. Donate coats, hats, scarves, etc. to your local school or shelter. Volunteer your time in a pursuit that interests you. Teach.

And be thankful for what you are given. Whether it was God, Santa or yourself who gave it to you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I ADORE my dog.

Maya has been an absolute dream. We picked her up from the airport the night before Thanksgiving and she has been everything that I hoped she would be. She was potty-trained, crate-trained, and knows a command or two. But in addition to that, she is snuggly, relaxed, sweet, lovable, and sooo soft and silky.

She bounds around like a bunny and hops like Tigger. She walks like a dream on the leash - even my two-year-old can walk her. I can take her anywhere with us (and I usually do). She listens to us and only gums things that are lying on the floor. She doesn't eat much and will always be lean and skinny. She also reminds me, in so many little ways, of my Lacey. Lacey was the dog that I used to say looked like a longhaired whippet, and missing her was what caused me to google the breed. Lacey had her faults, but overall, she was my little princess, and Maya, while not replacing her by any means, has certainly done well in her place.

I can't stop recommending this breed to everyone. No one has ever heard of it - I get a lot of "Longhaired whippet? I didn't know they came in longhair," and "She's so beautiful, does she have whippet in her?" Everyone adores her, pets and people alike, and at the dog park she is always making friends with the humans, leaning up against them and licking their hands, asking to be petted.

As I was standing in the shower tonight, having brought her in to the bathroom with me so she didn't get into anything, I started making low "awroo?" doggie noises just to see her cock her head in that quizzical way that is always so cute. She started whining back and making similar noises. As I was contemplating the fact that I was actually talking to my dog, it suddenly occurred to me that we actually have a new family member. The kids adore her, the husband is actually showing signs of liking her, and I've fallen completely in love with her. I've bonded with her in a way that I never did with Max, and whether that's because she reminds me so much of Lacey or because she just fits perfectly with our family and our lifestyle, I have no idea. All I know is, this dog, this breed, is perfect, and I'm so glad I decided to adopt this baby.

For more information on longhaired whippets, and links to her breeder and original owner:
International Longhaired Whippet Club
Aurai Sighthounds (Maya's breeder)
Tova Sighthounds (Maya's mother's original owner)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I want a tattoo.

I always said that tattoos were not a good idea. Why would you permanently alter your body like that? Especially since skin changes so much over time.

Then I had a very rational conversation with my friend who put it well when she said that each of her tattoos is in a concealed place that only she can see, and each is connected to a particular happy memory, and each time she sees the tattoo it reminds her of that time.

So I'm actually considering it. We stumbled across a Netflix Instant movie tonight called "Modification" which is all about body modification, tattoos, piercings and plastic surgery. It all made me a tad squeamish (you actually get to see a sex-change procedure - which the biology geek in me was squeeing over, but the rational part of me was cringing away from). One of the tattoo artists said something about finding something that speaks to you and of you, and just go for it.

So I did a google images search tonight. The same friend suggested a Harry Potter tattoo, and as much as I love the books, I needed to do a little research to find something that spoke to me. I started with just basic Harry Potter-themed tattoos and couldn't find anything that jumped out at me. So I thought about the characters and objects in the story that I really identify with. Hermione is my own inner nerd, so of course I searched images of her, and got some really gorgeous pictures of Emma Watson. But I'm not going to tattoo someone else's face on my body. So then I searched objects associated with Hermione and got the enchanted coins used for the DA meetings, or her wand, and a few other things, but nothing jumped out at me. Then, on the same site, I found a wiki entry on the founders' artifacts, such as Gryffindor's sword, Hufflepuff's cup, etc. I saw Ravenclaw's diadem and was definitely interested. It's a tiara, first of all, and I adore sparkly things. Second, Ravenclaw is the nerd's sanctuary. Their motto is "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure." And, as the final clincher, I had done one of those "Sorting Hat" quizzes a long time ago and they sorted me into Ravenclaw.

I know, I'm a geek. I wear that hat proudly.

So I did a google images search for Ravenclaw's Diadem. And came up with this.

So now I just need to figure out where to put it.