Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lock It Down

Going home for the holidays when you've gotten used to being a college kid can be kind of a culture shock. You're back in town, back in your old bedroom, back in the old rules. I thought coming home for Christmas would get easier--I thought freshman year would be the pinnacle of butting heads with parents about "my roof, my rules" and having awkward run-ins with high school classmates in supermarkets. But yeah, no. It's still weird. Here's some things--and people--you're likely to run into when you're back in the old stomping grounds. Good luck.

The Annual Holiday Booty Lockdown

My friends and I, as juniors, feel qualified to note this sociological phenomenon. A few weeks before winter break, old boyfriends, former hookups and people who just wished they hooked up with you start texting and messaging wondering if you'd be down to "hang out" over break. Girls do this too, but you can set your watch by all the dudes locking down some female company for the long winter. Seriously ladies, watch out for next December 10. Mark my words.

So Good to See You...

You'll definitely see: the kid who disappeared after graduation, the girl(s) who had babies before graduation and the teacher who hated you. If you're a girl, you'll probably run into that girl who was your frenemy all through high school and have to pretend like you give a fuck what's going on in her life (I don't think guys generally buy into that bullshit). You will most definitely run into this girl while you're buying anti-fungal cream, or carrying a bag of dog poop. This is due to the the same rule that guarantees you will see your ex at the video store while you're wearing ragged sweatpants with elastic around the ankles and just trying to goddamn rent Chocolat. Also if you're me you're likely to see your priest while you're out running in a sports bra. That happened.


There's always some friction when you've gotten used to staying out until one or two in the morning and your parents are in bed by ten-thirty. You're not a high schooler anymore, but the fact is it's still your parents house. And it's weird. It's still home, but you don't exactly live there anymore. So let it be weird. Try not to be a jerk about coming in late, and occasionally get up before noon. Eat some meals at home. Don't be a dick. And seriously assess whether a movie you saw with your friends is something you want to watch with your parents. The Kids Are All Right is not a family movie. Julianne Moore is seriously naked the entire time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tacky Crap for People You Hate

My father may have the right idea about Christmas. This year for the office Yankee Swap, he brought a gift he'd already bought for my sister, did a shitty job wrapping it so no one picked it up, then when his number came up he picked it up, unwrapped it and brought it home again. Sometimes I can't decide if my dad is an asshole or a genius.

I love buying gifts for people I actually like, but nothing sucks more than those gifts you're obligated to buy. But what about when you just really hate someone? What do you get for someone who's been a total dick to you this year? Here's some truly awful gift ideas to inspire you.

Shop on Etsy If you're not familiar with Etsy, it's basically a marketplace for crafters and artists. Some of them make really cool stuff, and some of them make stuff like this: Yes, those are earmuffs made from doll heads. via Regretsy

Chia Pets
For the ultimate "I don't especially like you" Christmas gift, pick up a Chia Pet. It requires work, looks ugly once it grows, and eventually it gets slimy and nasty and you have to chuck it. Perfect. I like this Obama one: Shown here is the "determined" look, although it comes in "happy" too (really). Get 'em while they're hot, because something tells me after the first of the year those "happy" ones are going to be even harder to find.

Coupon books

These are lame, guys. And I say that as someone who usually loves homemade gifts. They're only acceptable if you're five, or extremely broke. And if your boyfriend refuses to give you a hug without a coupon, you should maybe think about giving that dude the gift of singledom for Christmas. I think I'm a fairly low maintenance girl, but I'm sorry, I don't want a fucking coupon for a back rub. Come on.

The classic "You suck, now fix it" gift

Nose hair trimmers, exercise videos, acne cream, deodorant, unsolicited makeup, "Pilates for Dummies"....really the list is endless. Older female relatives usually excel at this kind of passive aggressive gifting, but take a page out of their book and use it for people you hate. (Although my grandmother gave me a gas card last Christmas, to go with the ski pass my parents got me. She knows what's up.)


I could write an entire post about the hilarity contained in this fifteen minute infomercial for something called the "Tajazzle" system. Basically this product is a three step system that's going to make you look good, feel good and *hair flip/lip pout* taste good. Yeah, I couldn't figure it out for the first couple of minutes either. Apparently it's basically talcum powder, some corn syrup and of course, a crystal tattoo for your most "intimate areas" where "only your lover will see it." (Am I the only one who thinks the word "lover" is creepy in any context? Like really, who the hell are you, Emma Bovary?) And it's
definitely not designed for hookers freshening up between clients, it's a "comprehensive personal confidence system." It's totally going to make you confident to have "Swarovski elements" glued to your skin. This whole endeavor just looks itchy, and mostly reminds me of magazines that suggest you wear sexy underwear "just for you." Now, maybe some people do this. But personally if I want to do something nice for myself, it's not going to involve walking around with polyester lace in my ass crack, or dripping raspberry
goo on my toes.

Please note that this is only part 1.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Am Jack's Stream of Consciousness

I sat on the couch and watched TV with my brother Jack tonight. He's in sixth grade. Here's some of his deep thoughts.

Twilight commercial: Jacob is so much better. I'm on Team Jacob. Jacob is like...ok, would you rather go out with a bat or a dog? Personally I'd rather go out with a dog. Imagine this--a mugger comes up, Jacob turns into a dog and eats the guy!

Sitcom intro: Aww, he's single. Poor David Spade.

During a Christmas-y car commercial: ...silence...TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY FA LA LA LA...silence

Movie trailer: This has Nicholas Cage in it, so you know it's going to be good...yeah right.

Putting his dinner plate in the dishwasher: Ellen, you're really pushy. You're lucky I'm so generous.

Doing homework involving something called the "five themes of geography" and I told him that's not something anyone needs to know in real life: Yeah, I suspected that. What the hell.

Drinking orange juice mixed with vanilla ice cream out of my Irish Drinking Team beer stein: You know that feeling when you drink orange juice and you get a lot of phlegm in the back of your throat? It's like that but a lot more.

Grabbing my foot and the moccasin on it: I'M GONNA EAT THE BEADS OFF!

And that's Jack.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bah Humbug.

Me: I hate Christmas music I think. That's not true. I like some of it.
Cam: Like what?
Me: ...

So yeah, I guess I hate Christmas music. If I could find a store that didn't play Christmas music this time of year I would do all my Christmas shopping there. (Actually there is such a place--Urban Outfitters. It's Vampire Weekend all day everyday over there. But I don't think most members of my family would appreciate a thirty dollar tiny hat headband.)

There's a certain kind of girl who starts blasting Rudolph the Reindeer in the dorm the day after Thanksgiving. These are the kind of girls I think about smacking in the face with my shower caddy when I see them in the hall tweaking out because the Santa Clause 2 is on TV. I don't mean to trash anyone's inner child, but there comes an age where you're just not supposed to get pee-your-pants excited about Christmas. I mean, really? You're that excited about a big family dinner, TV specials and some new sweaters? Long story short, thanks to girls like these, this winter I've heard far more of the Chipmunks' Christmas and Glee Christmas album than I would like. I'm also starting to think that Alvin and the Chipmunks and the cast of Glee are the same musical entity.

Then of course, you've got the "War on Christmas" people. They think that cards that say "happy holidays" rather than Merry Christmas are persecution on the level of the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials combined. Except even worse, because it specifically targets Christians. Maybe I don't get it, but I'm not actually sure how a faith-neutral greeting further desecrates a holiday that's already celebrated with seven foot Spongebob Squarepants inflatables.

And Christmas music. I mean, holy God. It's okay when you're a kid. But then you get a little older and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" starts sounding kind of date-rapey and "Santa Baby" sounds like it's directed at Japanese schoolgirl fetishists and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" just makes you want to shoot yourself in the face.

And really, does anyone actually
like all the uber-treacly Christmas music that's out there? Or is it just pumped into department stores to drive people so crazy they start thinking that faux-fur trimmed cardigans and fuchsia chenille hat/scarf/glove sets and soap on a rope are good presents? I don't mean to be hyperbolic (well actually I totally do) but this is a perfect example of why the rest of the world hates us. All of our strained international relations can be distilled down to the fact that we as a nation allow Singin' Big Mouth Billy Bass to exist.

I mean, I like Christmas. I really do. It's nice. It's pleasant and everything. But sometimes a reasonable person just wants to tell everyone to chill the fuck out.

...Yeah, I know I'm a cranky jerk. Whatever. I also hate people who use the word "literally" when they obviously mean "figuratively" and people who say "expresso," so what are you going to do.

I found one!