Archive | holidays RSS feed for this section

Freedom, Friendship, Chips and Dip, Worth It

5 Jul

It’s about 2 am. I have to get up for work at eleven, which isn’t awful but could be handled better. Jeff’s across the room reading comics on the internet, Morbo is asleep in his food bowl, the roommates are derping around with anime and I’m covered in bug bites.

Tomorrow I go back to work, which is a bummer that I’m dealing with. Things like seeing my sister next week and Ben Folds in concert on Friday are what are keeping me going. That and the new apartment, which feels so far away right now, a million years and countless hours of packing and work between now and then.

JulNoWriMo is going okay – I’m behind because today I decided to hang around with friends and cook instead of write. That’s okay. I’ll catch up.

Today I made a seven layer dip and a six layered cake. This amused me. It was pretty delicious stuff too – thank Nathan Fillion’s twitter recipe he posted a good six or seven months ago. Turns out you can be a brilliant actor and a genius cook too.

The comic continues, fairly well. I occasionally have spasms about the quality of my art and storytelling ability, but I figure I have what I have, I”m improving as time goes by, and I love doing it, so fuck the rest.

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward a few years and be able to live off my art and my writing. Somehow that feels like cheating though, so I suck it up and go to work for six hours and then come home and work another six hours drawing and beating my head against my novel. It’s all worth it. Fuck plan B.

Friends are friends. Still mostly a hermit, but had a great time tonight with folk, first with Jeff, Dan and Brandon watching movies and grilling and eating and conversing, then with Sam and Jess setting off fireworks while being chewed alive by mosquitoes, then going back to their apartment to play with their adorably spazzy kitty and watch The Emperor’s new groove.

I may be a hermit, but I love the friends I have. They remind me there’s something in the real world worth sticking around for.

Back to work tomorrow. I have a Carl Hiaasen book on audio to listen to, havarti cheese and cucumbers in the fridge to make sammiches with, enough money to survive frugally for the next two weeks even though I blew most of it on food and concert tickets.

Totally worth it.

Sometimes life just is.

Hope everyone else had a good 4th, even if you aren’t American and celebrating by blowing shit up. Hopefully today was freeing for all of us.

Advertisements

2010: A Review

31 Dec

So here’s the run-down of my 2010, complete with the occasional picture:

JANUARY:

Started the year with new friends, a new boyfriend, an old boyfriend crashing on my couch and a kitten who liked to attack my feet in the mornings. New semester started, which included my second semester of Latin and a lot of English classes. Joined another D&D group. Started going to karaoke regularly.Met Jeff at a party.  Got my first hangover. Got unceremoniously dumped by said new boyfriend. Picked up smoking briefly. Finished my NaNo 2009 novel. Skipped a lot of class.

Me in early January.

FEBRUARY:

Awkwardness ensued with the recent ex at various D&D games. School continued to be slack-filled, but I started going to class again. Survived Valentine’s day by going out dancing. Got my hair cut and dyed:

Yeah, there’s a little blue in there, just for fun.

Stopped smoking as it was too expensive. Continue going to karaoke. Finally fixed my crappy old laptop and played as many games as I could find, including Starcraft. Things became slightly less awkward with the ex, but only slightly. Such drama, really, I swear.

MARCH:

Started hanging out with Jeff more. Signed a lease with current roommate for a new apartment. Went on a date with the ex to see if we wanted to try things again (I wanted to hold off for a while). Played Halo for the first time and sucked at it.  Spent spring break with family in Oregon. Returned to the ex pulling a complete 180 and deciding we would never work out. There was drama. Got my tattoo. Got my car. Started going to class more.

APRIL:

Started dating Jeff. Moved into new apartment. Got in a huge fight with a close friend. One D&D group disbanded. Studied for impending finals. Panicked and flailed a lot. Still more drama. Discovered Netflix.

MAY:

Finished the semester with straight A’s. Started driving up to Omaha on weekends to visit Jeff. Got Morbo the hamster as a gift. Worked 30 plus hours a week at the campus Library. Saw Motion City Soundtrack in concert.

JUNE:

Started working on a new novel. Watched a lot of TV on Netflix. Visited Jeff a lot. Played through Portal for the first time. Didn’t sleep enough. Decided I liked being a blonde and that was how I was going to stay. Continued being fairly hermity. Played less D&D.

JULY:

Jeff moved to Lincoln. Starcraft II came out. Everything else kinda fell by the wayside due to starcraft II. Discovered my laptop was dying. Attempted and failed JulNoWriMo. Watched even more TV.

AUGUST:

Spent an inordinate amount of time at Jeff’s place. Close friend got married. Went a little crazy waiting for the semester to start. Went out drinking with coworkers. Visited my parents on the other side of town a lot. Started scheming for NaNoWriMo. Semester started, immediately became consumed by school. New D&D campaign started. Ex unfriended me on facebook and began fleeing the room every time I showed up, which was amusing.

SEPTEMBER:

Sister left for study abroad in England. School escalated. Made amends with some friends, grew apart from others. played some D&D. Hated my writing class with the fire of a thousand fires. Applied to graduate. Continued to be a hermit.

OCTOBER:

Continued planning for NaNoWriMo. Celebrated six months of dating Jeff. Got eaten alive by school and studying. Drove to Kansas City over fall break for a weekend away. Helped recently married friend with her husband issues. Helped friend with a painful breakup. Had my 23rd birthday. Started playing thr0ugh Bioshock.

NOVEMBER:

NaNoWriMo. Plus school. Got sick with the flu OF DOOM and didn’t write as much as I would have liked. Realized my Nano novel would work better as a graphic novel. Started working on creative final projects for classes. Had a weird Thanksgiving with my sister absent from the country. Started applying for post-college jobs. A lot of friends got engaged.

DECEMBER:

Finished finals and got straight A’s. Started drawing more. Helped friend begin the process of divorcing her abusive husband. Graduated college with a BA in English. Sister returned from England in the midst of an ice storm. Started new job as a cook. Ended the year with a few good friends, a new boyfriend, and a mostly stable view towards the future.

So that was 2010. I wonder what’s in store for 2011?

Seasonal Musings

25 Dec

So the Christmas season is great for at least one thing: making me suck at posting anything on my blog. I’ve been so run around with my hair on fire shopping, cooking and gift-wrapping that the internet has been sorely neglected. Hello internet. I’m sorry that I’ve been ignoring you in favour of knitting, shopping and Bioshock 2 (which I beat last night at about one AM. It was awesome). I missed you.

Christmas is always an odd time for me and my family. My parents, who are rather rabid about family time during the holidays, tend to pull out as many stops as they can get away with without being tacky (which means a well-decorated, real fir tree, multiple nativity sets and enough cookies to feed a really hyper army). My sister and I return from wherever we’ve been for the last few weeks (England in her case, my apartment in mine) and assist in the gift-giving and cooking frenzy.

You think I’m kidding? As I type my mother is covering a 12 pound turkey in butter and is about to wrap it in bacon. Yes world, sometimes I regret vegetarianism. Sometimes.

The gifts have all been unwrapped at this point. Most of my gifts these days are clothes, since I’m a 23-year-old and my mother knows I hate like hell to shop for clothes. Or anything else for that matter (except books. I can shop for books like it’s going out of style). However, my parents are also contributing a kind sum of money to help my purchase a brand spanking new laptop, which I will track down on the internet like an overexcited five year old and then bounce up and down in front of the mailbox for.

Of course, the best gift I’ve gotten this year was from my ever-awesome boyfriend (who I gave Fable III for Christmas; he hasn’t stopped playing it since), who gave me this:

Does he know me or what? Finally, a companion cube I don’t have to incinerate. Talk about holiday cheer.

The most challenging part of holiday seasons for me is that Church Thing. My family is Catholic, and I, for lack of a better descriptor, am rather not. I’ve considered myself a comfortable Agnostic-Pastafarian-Skeptic for the last few years now, and this makes attending church on the high side of unpleasant. I never go of my own accord; I spend my Sundays sleeping in in favor of being told by a man in a dress that his big Sky Daddy in the clouds has deemed that I will go to hell unless I vote Republican (yes, this happened. Welcome to the Midwest).

Not all Catholics are bad. Not all Christians are bad, in face many of them are kind, reasonable and pleasant human beings I don’t want to stab in the face with a salad fork. It just depends on where you are, and around here, there’s a pretty heavy amount of extremism. Example? The Catholic student group on campus likes to picket outside the local Planned Parenthood. Just saying.

Being Catholic is a lot like being Jewish to me; you just celebrate different holidays with different food and you intersperse your conversation with Latin instead of Yiddish. That and we don’t get cool hats. So part of me still accepts catholicism as a part of the way I was raised. I went to Catholic School for ten years as a kid, though that did little more than turn me into a near-atheist and have a healthy dislike of school uniforms.

That said, my least favorite part of the holidays, and by extension the catholicism, is the Guilt Trip. Catholic Guilt is unprecedented in religious belief systems – ask any Catlicker you know and they can tell you about it, even if they aren’t part of the church any more. Catholic Guilt is used by parents and grandparents alike to crush the younger generations of their family to convince them to do everything from go to church at Christmas to take out the trash to get married to someone you hate.

It’s a time-honored tradition, and one that my family holds up with no regret. Every Christmas I find myself attending a Christmas church service with my father, mother and sister, where I sit and try not to burst into flames or kick the fussy small children in front of me (and there are ALWAYS small children in a Catholic church). A small price to pay for avoiding a scene I guess (my mother, when I bring up my non-theism, always insists that it’s a ‘phase’ I’m going through and that when I’m older and ready to start a family and get married i’ll come back to the church. This is something we disagree on at a deep, fundamental level, and will not be resolved any time soon, and I want to put off the inevitable explosion for as many years as I possibly can), and I did get a lot of knitting done this year during the service, and now I don’t have to set foot in a religious building until next Easter.

Regardless, it’s a difficult way of life. Not to pity-party it, there are far worse things to be in America than Agnostic. The way some people feel about Muslims in this country, I’m hardly in a dangerous minority. But it’s still rough, especially since for a country that claims a freedom of religion, the government can be rather hard on people who aren’t at all spiritual (link via Blag Hag). Apparently freedom of religion doesn’t include freedom of NO religion. Who knew?

I’m not saying other people can’t enjoy this day as the birth of their Lord Jesus (even though it’s historically factual that Jesus was born in March and they shifted his birthday to accommodate the pagan conversion back in the day. So sayeth my Classics Professor, who is also an Episcopal minister and a total badass). That’s their prerogative, and I invite them to do so. Go ahead. I’ll never stop you. Just let me enjoy my cozy skeptic corner over here?

I may be a godless heathen, but that doesn’t make me a bad person. Actually, I’m really quite a nice person. I buy people gifts at Christmas. I’m no Scrooge – no humbugs here, just cheesy grins and piles of cookies. I give to charity. I love others. I’m not a dick to random strangers, not even if they’re a dick to me first. I live a morally upright existence without the doctrines of a religion or faith poking me in my head with the threat of eternal damnation. That doesn’t make me better, it just makes me different. Different and deserving of respect just like the rest of you.

So that’s my Christmas Spiel. Christmas started out as a Christian conversion mechanism, and now it’s a corporate playground that encourages greed and malice along with love and joy. Everyone loves or hates it for a different reason, but the important thing is the love thing. Call me a dirty hippie, but that’s what it’s all about. Not presents. Not commercialism. Not santa. Not even Jesus. It’s about family. Friends. Giving people shit they don’t need but they appreciate anyway because effort was made. Having a day off from work. Enjoying yourself. Eating yourself into a coma. Maybe it’s a different spin on things, but welcome to being a non-believer during the holidays. Still festive, just not for the same reasons.

So merry holidaymas, blogosphere. I hope you enjoyed my seasonal ramble, and if you didn’t I still hope your Christmas is festive and full of people you enjoy being around. Also food. Food is the best part of Christmas, and you all know I’m right.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to go knit a scarf and watch Scrooged until my Mum summons me into the kitchen to peel fifty pounds of apples.