Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holiday Success... I suppose.

Well, my sister didn't punch the dreaded stepmother in the face... I didn't poison anyone with my cooking... and I didn't yell at any of my extended family members. Ok that's a lie. Just one. The one who said "Where the heck is Gene? He doesn't come here anymore." to which I responded "BECAUSE YOU'RE MEAN TO HIM!" in a slightly joking manner, except I wasn't joking. I also may or may not have lost my shit while talking about my friend Rich who died (the chocolate cake man...) while holding my cousin's 1 mo. old baby. That was a fun time. And it was also the second Christmas in a row when I was the only cousin of my generation to not get a Christmas gift from my godfather. I have a loving family.

All in all though, it was good. I was blessed with lots and lots of knitting-ness (many many DPNs, SPNs, and circulars! Actually, Denise interchangeables. Knitting books, and a ball winder. Gene didn't know what a swift was so he didn't get that. So he gets to hold my stuff until he realizes how much easier it would be with a swift), a very pretty sparkly (read: diamond) in the form of a princess cut solitare necklace, new perfume (J'Adore. Yum.), and gift certs for clothes. Of which I've spent all my Ann Taylor ones... on two pairs of jeans and four tops. I'm slowly upgrading my closet to "big girl clothes" and getting rid of all of the stuff I've worn since high school. Seriously.

The biggest holiday surprise was the hassle that Gene got for not getting me an engagement ring for Christmas. A of all, getting it for Christmas is cheating. He doesn't have to think about a present at all. B of all, it is really no ones business! Let alone the sales guy at the jewelry store! At the company Christmas party, I got about $200 in gift certificates to a local jewelry store. I gave the gift certs to Gene and said "buy me something pretty." While he was there, he decided to look at rings. He said upfront that he wasn't buying today but that he wanted to know what the alotted budget would get him. So the guys were nagging him for a while about why he wasn't getting a ring.. and the one guy was trying to talk Gene into a journey pendant that was $2,000. When they did show him rings, they were showing him $10,000 rings... $8,000 rings... not anywhere near the budget. The one they showed him that was closest was $4,500. Um. I would feel uncomfortable wearing a piece of jewelry that was that expensive. Let alone the fact that if we had that much to throw around, I'd throw it at my kitchen...not a piece of jewelry. Needless to say, Gene isn't at all going to that place to get my ring when he finally does buy it. But it will match my necklace.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is it Saturday now?

By 9AM this morning... I was ready for it to be 5:30. This is the first chance I've had to breathe all day. I'm already going to have to stay late. Good thing Gene asked if we could have soup and sandwiches for dinner. Anything more difficult than that and I might have gone a little more nuts.

I'm so not ready for Thursday. I still have the baby blanket for my boss to finish (I'm like maybe 60% done. I hope it won't take too long...) and slippers for our receptionist who retired after 27 years by Wednesday. Actually, I have to finish those TONIGHT. The slippers I can work on Tuesday at work (I cover the receptionist desk at lunchtime and I can't use the programs I need on that computer, so I knit or read). Plus I need to super clean my house tonight since I'm working at ULTA tomorrow and Wednesday I'm not going to be home. I don't have a lot to do... just with all the knitting it feels like I'll never get it all done.

The Christmas party was fine. I actually ended up winning $200 in gift certificates to a local jeweler. So I'm getting something pretty for Christmas! They kept showing Gene $10,000 engagement rings. I know that's not what I'm getting... but he looked at some while he was there, and the sales people kept giving him a hard time and kept showing him things that were 3-4times the budget! He kept saying "I have $x that I want to spend... what will that get me?" and they were like "oooh isn't this pretty? This is only $5000." Seriously? I mean I know that it's your job to sell a fancier ring, but if someone says I only want to spend x, it's probably because they are never ever going to pay $5000 on one piece of jewelry. I'm not a fancy girl. I don't need antique setting and platinum. White gold, princess cut. And pretty. That's all I ask for.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Party Meltdown...

I'm finally getting to go to the company Christmas party. I've been invited for the past 4 years, but this is is the first year I've been able to go.

Year 1, 2004: Junior year in college... Gene was working for the station and it was his second Christmas party. My boss now was getting married the next day, so he was picking me up from school in Allentown PA Friday night, we were driving down to go to the Christmas Party and then going to the wedding the following day. I was on my way to the mall that I worked at to pick up my paycheck and on my way home, my antilock breaks locked (hmm...?) and I totalled my car. We didn't make it to the Chrsitmas party that year.

Year 2, 2005: Senior year in college... the previous year I skipped "Scholarship Audition Day" at my college theatre. We orchestrate the audition process for incoming freshmen at my school and take them on tours, make them feel comfortable, time them, etc. We also do two performances from a student directing class. The year before I asked for my play to be taken out of consideration since I knew I wouldn't be able to go at all. But I wasn't missing my last year, so I told Gene I couldn't go to the party.

Year 3, 2006: My first year at the station. I had theatre tickets to see 42nd Street at the Walnut Street Theatre. My dad has season tickets, and I had both seats for the Christmas show that year. I was actually not too impressed by 42nd Street. I've found that I don't really like that show as a whole... it just stops.

Year 4, 2007: My second year at the station. Again, I had theatre tickets. I don't remember what show it was. I'm not even sure if it was Walnut or not. It could have been DTC.

Year 5, 2008: My third year at the station... and finally I'm able to go. Except things aren't going so well. It's 4:49 at the moment... and I still need to drive home, put my face on, fix my hair, and put on my cute pretty dress. And I have AEs putting contracts in to start this weekends. For spots that I still need to produce. Which means I also have to change all of the promos. Do these people realize how long it takes me to make my hair look pretty!? When it's been rainy all day!? It takes a while! I have big frizzy hair in the rain! I'm a little disgruntled. I only wish it was a cash bar tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Disgrunted TJ's Shopper

Can someone please tell me on what planet is it all right to order around a stranger in a grocery store? I was in my local Trader Joe's picking up some lunch (mmm canneloni!) when I'm standing in line pretty close to the counter. I don't like to stand on top of the counter because, well, that's rude. This dear, sweet old lady is behind me and she says "Excuse me, but are you next?"

She was so polite... I figured I'd excuse her Captain Obviousness and said "Of course." She snidely remarks back, "Well then how about you try MOVING UP?" And then she smiled. How rude do you have to be to order someone around in a flipping grocery store!

If you've never been to a Trader Joe's before, their registers are fairly small... that is, they don't have much counter space so it isn't like you can load up your groceries. They take them straight from the cart. I was up as far as I was willing to go because I don't like to block those poor cashiers in. It's a little claustrophic in there. I was standing maybe MAYBE 18 inches away from the counter. Plus, TJ's just got new baskets which are too large to fit on the teeny tiny end that they have on the left side of the cash register where I put my items once the cashier is finished or close to finished with the previous order. This woman was still ringing stuff up from her previous customer.

I was so taken aback by this rude grandma that I had no idea what to say! I think I said something snide with a smile back just because she ticked me off. I wasn't quite so mad that I was spitting... I was more confused and just felt a bit insulted that this woman spoke to me the way she did.

This is why I hate the holidays... because I hate how people speak to me during the holiday season: as if they're better than me. They aren't better than me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Aw, I'm fabulous!

omigoodness! becklette from how the beck... gave me a blog award! my very first! It counts even though we're real-life friends, right? Yay! However, there are rules:

1. You have to pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs.

2. You have you list 5 of your fabulous addictions
  • cables. I rarely talk about my knitting on this blog (i have a knitting blog, too... called the actor's knitmare that I update much less frequently than this one, mainly because I never take pictures of my knitting) and I just learned cables, and love love love them!

  • cosmetics in general. Working at ULTA, I easily feed this addiction. Though yesterday, I was buying presents for my sister with a special 40% discount for three days, and I didn't buy anything for me!

  • trader joe's. I often get my lunch and snacks from there. I feel like it's healthier if I buy chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels if it's from trader joe's, right?

  • grey's anatomy. Even though it hasn't been the same since season 2, and I don't know why dead denny is having sex with Izzie...

  • loose tea. I'll admit it. I'm a tea snob. I only drink loose tea, unless I'm at work and I'm sick (like this week) in which case hot tea like beverage with honey it is just fine.

and 3. Include the person who gave you the award and make sure you link it back to them.

Thanks, becklette! If you haven't checked her stuff out, you should. she's funny.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I know I'm asking for it...

In a compromise of the outdated Christmas traditions that I hate... Gene proposed that we host Christmas dinner at our house... with his parents, my brother and sister, and my dad and the new wife. Anyone who knows my family situation knows that this could be potentially nuclear.

My sister has only met stepmommy dearest once. I've only seen her three times in my life, and she's been married to my dad for about a year and a half. Granted, I don't see my father all that often, but most of the time when I do he's solo. My sister is the one that we need to worry about... because if anything does go nuclear, it's going to be her. She still doesn't know that we're doing Christmas dinner at my place. We will be going to see my dad's family after dinner, but stepmommy dearest will not be joining us. Probably. It's not that I'm keeping it from my sister and that it's going to be a surprise. I'm telling her this weekend probably. She's just on a Kairos retreat until tonight (it's a Catholic thing if you don't know what Kairos is).

I think that this is a sufficient compromise for now. When my hypothetical imaginary children are no longer hypothetical or imaginary, all of this will need to be revised. But until that complication comes to pass, we're playing it by ear. But now I have the stress of cooking Christmas dinner. Like...what the heck am I going to cook?

Right now, I'm leaning towards roast beef with a rich red wine sauce, my herbed potatoes that people usually go apeshit for (both my brother and Gene don't eat mashed potatoes), and some kind of vegetable something or other. And maybe rolls. I don't know. What else does one make for Christmas dinner? The reason I wanted to do roast beef is because that's what we usually have for dinner at my dad's, Gene doesn't eat ham, and I don't feel like making turkey. Oh, and if I made lamb, my brother and sister wouldn't eat. So roast beef wins. Plus it's fairly simple-ish. I also now feel like between now and Christmas I need to vaccuum, dust, and disinfect my entire house every single day so that it's dad-approved. The man is a little OCD when it comes to cleanliness, but God forbid he helps with cleaning chores. It's probably why I have a strong aversion to doing the dishes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My new favorite

I'm always looking for new products... the best mascara, the best shampoo, the best lip gloss... whatever. I do have old stand-bys that I always go back to, but every now and then a new treasure floats my way.

This weekend, I went to a Lush holiday party in Philly. The deal was if you RSVPed to the event, and spent over $55 then you'd get a goody bag of lushly stuff. Plus they'd play games for more free stuff. So my friend Sara and I RSVPed and went down. Spending more than $55 at Lush is a piece of cake... I could buy everything they have. I'm a big fan of their bubble bars, bath bombs, and solid shampoo (yup. a bar of shampoo. it sounds weird, and it is, but it my makes my hair wonderful). For the longest time I've been dying to try their best seller hair treatment H'Suan Wen Hua. Don't ask me how to pronounce that because I haven't the slightest idea. Basically, it's a hair mask that you put on dry hair, let sit for 30 minutes or so, then shampoo out. It's been on my list for a while, so I decided to get it. It runs a little over $16. The bulk of what I bought that day is for other people... so I figured a litle $16 for myself wasn't too bad.

I tried it the next day... and omigoodness my hair is so soft! I have fairly healthy hair, but I beat it up. I have medium coarse, thick, curlish hair... and I flat iron it most days. Lately my hair has been slightly more unmanageable, and I'm not sure if that's because I'm growing it out? Not sure. Anyway, this stuff is magic. It feels goopy on your head, and it does smell slightly weird, but it doesn't make your hair smell slightly weird. I've been toying with the idea of using a hairmask for a good long while now.. and I've heard wonders about Ojon's restorative mask, but that is $21 for a teeny tiny 1 oz container, and this is $16.45 for almost 8 oz, so... H'Suan Wen Hua wins. Most of the ingredients they use are organic or natural. I think I'm going to try to use this wonderfulness once a month and see how it goes and if I still like it when my jar is gone.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Outdated Traditions?

Christmas in my house is always interesting. Four years ago, I only had to split myself two ways: Gene's parents, my family (we always have dinner and exchange gifts with my father's entire side of the family...every...year). Now we have to split ourselves three ways: Gene's parents, my mom, my dad & his family. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem, except that Gene loathes my father's side of the family (not my father, just his brothers, his sister, and his nieces and nephews). He has good reason. They do treat him like a pariah... as if he isn't good enough for me. Why? Because Gene is a teacher, and therefore doesn't make any money. They're all white collar and snobby.

Every year before Christmas, we have the big fight. The fight where I want to still hold on to the traditions instilled on me since I was born (christmas with my dad's family) and Gene not going. Which honestly, I'm fine with. I'm fine with him not going. However I've finally realized though that eventually I'm going to have to choose... Gene or the snobby relatives of mine that I'm forced to love. I wouldn't make Gene spend holidays with these people. They don't talk to him at all, and when they do it's very condescending and trivial. And sometimes they don't talk to me either. I actually don't like these people very much... only some of them. I'm slowly starting to see why. All of the relatives that I loved on that side of the family have divorced out of the family... so they no longer come to family functions, obviously. My cousin Linsey I barely recognize anymore... her and I have grown so apart that we barely speak. I'm grown closer to my cousin Gabby than my cousin Linsey, and Gabby is six years younger than me. Gabby, my sister, and myself see the ways of our relatives and don't like them very much. Gabby's twin brother and my brother love those people and want to spend all this time with them. I don't get it.

I don't understand if there's a tradition set in place... why you (read: me) feel obligated to do it, even though it makes you feel like less of a person? These people see each other twice a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rarely do they see each other any other time. And why? So they can have this illusion that they're closeknit. They aren't! And they act all rich and mighty... but they aren't! I don't understand this people anymore... but for some reason, I'm not ready to give them up yet. My mom's family is closeknit... and they live all over the world. We get together only a few times a year as well, but we all know each other's phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. When I moved, I wanted to give my address to my aunts and uncles on my father's side, but no one had anyone elses email or cell! What the heck is that?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

My day kind of sucked today. So I had to redo my big big big awesome interview that I landed for my show a SECOND time because the audio quality was poor. So I go to edit it today, and ran into the same problem. Luckily I had a backup interview, but this one was supercool and I'm super bummed.

So after getting shat on figuratively, I go to the mall to get lunch and to pick up a few more things for Gene. I step out of my car and am about 100 feet from the door when I am LITERALLY shat on. By a stupid seagull. So now I have bird poo all over my nice wool peacoat. It did need to be drycleaned, but I wanted to be able to have another coat on before I took it to the drycleaners. So then I drove around a while trying to find a drycleaner, but now I'm sans coat until Wednesday. Boo. Not to mention I have to ULTA tonight, so I have no coat to wear when I leave the store at 10:30 or so and it's FREEZING OUTSIDE.

Me and today aren't getting along right now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Poor Puppers.

When I was in high school... I did a lot of theatre. My junior year, I was lucky enough to play the lead. I was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. With a show like that, you're faced with an interesting dilemma: what do you do with Toto? You need to have a dog that can actually do some acting, and when you're doing high school theatre in a gymnasium (my school was cheap. And Catholic, so we had no money unless it came to the football team) you can't exactly hire a professional acting dog.

Enter Sandra Dee, my director's lhasa apso. Yes, she was white, and no she wasn't a terrier... but she was a trooper. And she was my Toto. I love that dog a whole heck of a lot... and me, and my friend Morgan, trained her dog to do the things that Toto has to do. Like answer to the name Toto, pull the curtain away to reveal the "Great and Wonderful Oz," and run away from the Wicked Witch into the arms of the Scarecrow below after Dorothy is captured by the Flying Monkeys. I worked almost as hard on my own work in the show as I did with Sandy in her transformation for Toto. And no, she wasn't onstage the entire time (that's just mean) but she did what we asked, and she loved all the attention. She still has an identity complex, and whenever I'm over she still only answers to the name Toto. It's kind of funny.

I found out about a week ago that Sandy/Toto has cancer. They found tumors on her mammaries and removed them, and now her doggie oncologist is suggesting chemo. They found another lump that could possibly be a tumor, but might be a fatty deposit, but if she had the chemo, then it would kill it. The dilemma is that she's not a pupper anymore. She's 12. And when she had her surgery, she had a hard time recovering from that. If she gets the chemo, she'll lose all her doggie hair and might get sick. And doggie chemo also ain't cheap. If she doesn't get the chemo, the type of cancer she has happens to be very aggressive, and she may not make it much longer. Selfishness wants my friend and her family to give Sandy the chemotherapy. She would suffer though, and might not understand that they're trying to help her. I really hate how much this is hurting my friend and her family. I'm also not ready to say goodbye to my Toto. She's such a good puppers.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Surprisingly Uncrazy Black Friday

My black Friday began at 4am. I had to be at work by 5... and not just present at 5, but pretty by 5. Something that is a bit difficult, especially when you have to get dressed in the dark. but I managed. And I managed to get to ULTA by 4:50 (despite it taking 10 minutes to get through the red turning light to get into the mall... not fun). Me and 5 of my co-workers are standing outside the door.. and no one is showing up. At all. This is a bit of a BFD because A. it's Black Friday and we were supposed to open at 5:30. B. Our district manager was coming to the store.

Our district manager (who is lovely, actually) showed up... and there was no opening manager still. We called two of our other managers, and our GM ended up letting us in, after an hour of standing outside. And you best believe I got paid for that hour I was standing outside.

For the most part, it sounded like all of the black friday evil crazies were next door at Best Buy (where they were bouncing people. They actually hired BOUNCERS.) and apparently Long Island and California. I had one person who wanted a BE color match at 6am. And a lot of people yelling at me because we didn't have the smashbox $12.99 blockbuster. We weren't hiding it from you... we couldn't find the damn thing! I'm sorry!

Most of my Christmas shopping is actually almost done. Mom, sister, brother, goddaughter, dad, Colleen, future in laws and most of Gene are done. That leaves my friend Lindsey. And my cousin Linsey, but I'm not spending a lot on her. I always do, and then she always "forgets" my gift. but I feel guilty not getting her anything. She's getting something from Lush, as is my friend Lindsey. Sara & I are going to a Lush party in Philly this weekend.. and we get a goody bag if we spend $55...which let me tell you is so not hard at Lush.

And in un-holiday news... I'm really excited about my next interview for my radio show! (I have a radio show. It runs at 6:30AM on Sundays... no one listens to it. But it's mine! I interview people) I'm interviewing Thomas Kinkade tomorrow afternoon... and I'm very squee about the whole thing. I love his art.