The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: christmas

My Christmas Card

I know it’s after Christmas, but you know you very much want to hear the story of how a photo of me posing with a shark and an Ewok was my official Christmas Card this year. You have your cold beverage ready? Okay.

So a million years ago or two or so years ago (one of those) my sister and her family went to Disney during the flower and garden festival. They posed in front of a Miss Piggy topiary that a person that may or may not be my boyfriend confused for an Ewok.

So I used an iPhone app I owned (KnockOut) to “fix” it after my sister said “I was looking to see if there was an Ewok in the photo with us and Miss Piggy. This combination would have been fabulous and makes me laugh just thinking about it.” So of course I had to add one to that photo.

I added him to a lot of additional photos from their vacation. They started leaving space for me in the photos, so I added myself (and others) because they didn’t take me with them.

Apparently one of my sister’s co-workers (Cathy) was very amused by me adding myself to their vacation photos (something I continued to do on subsequent vacations). In fact, she started asking where I was when my sister or her husband posted new ones. Here I am on a rope swing in Hawaii, I believe.

This December, Cathy, a person you will remember I have never met, posted a photo on FB showing the first three people who had sent her a Christmas card. Because my sister was tagged in the photo, I saw it. Now is it my fault she left a giant hole right in the middle, inviting someone like me to fill it? So I ran to the Knockout app, found a background of something Christmassy, added myself and and ewok, then added it all to her photo.

My sister’s neighbor Beth saw it and demanded “I HAD BETTER GET ONE OF THOSE!” so I had to print them out and stick them in cards for people, my first Christmas cards in years. And that’s the real story of the Happy Holiday Shark. And Ewok.

 

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Expanding My Horizons

I recently added a cello to my Amazon wish list, because I think it’s good to learn you suck at as many things as humanly possible. Starting to feel cocky about yourself? Here, let’s see how you do with this set of oil paints, Vermeer. (See also: the tap shoes I bought myself.) 

This is the cello. 

  
Seriously, how COOL is that? I could hang it up as art when I invariably realize I’m not a cellist! 

That wishlist is more just a way to bookmark stuff I might buy myself later than a list I think people will actually use. I have zero expectation that my fan club members will pool the change in their car consoles to get me a home electrolysis system. I mean, unless my unsightly knee beard is really bothering them. Which, really, will be an interesting conversation that we must have as soon as I can find the time to spend with someone PRETENDING to be a fan. 

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Existential Sweater Crisis

Yesterday the people in my work group were invited to participate in an ugly Christmas sweater contest with a group sitting in our section of the building. Normally we have very little to do with these people, which is what happens in company with 40,000 employees. But clearly we have been identified as movers and shakers and people who enjoy embarrassing ourselves, so they reached out.

There’s a dress code policy in the office and one of the rewards we are given as a motivator is the ability to wear jeans on certain days. (I’d like to point out that while we are allowed to wear jeans, at no point are we ever allowed to wear sneakers. Some of us have worked around that ruled by finding brands of sneakers that don’t look like sneakers. I have become a person who went from wearing sneakers to work every day to not even wearing sneakers on weekends. Maybe that’s a sign of maturity. Maybe it’s a sign of laziness, because most of my shoes don’t require me to tie them.)

So when I heard that anyone participating in the ugly sweater contest would be allowed to wear jeans, I immediately started looking online for ugly Christmas sweaters. With only two weeks until Christmas, most of the “good” styles are sold out, or have had prices jacked up. Unfortunately given the time of year and the desperation someone like me feels, anything still available is priced at $40 or higher. I just can’t spend $40 on an ugly Christmas sweater. The prize would have to be cash of that amount or higher. I don’t think there’s a prize at all, just questionable bragging rights. You can get the following for sixty five dollars.

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There are some fantastic ugly Christmas sweaters out there. There are also a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters that feature reindeer having sex. I didn’t know that this was a thing, but apparently it is. Three reindeer having sex, two reindeer having sex. I don’t know if any of the sweaters with a single reindeer having sex, I wasn’t looking that closely.


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I decided spending $40 on an ugly Christmas sweater just so I could wear jeans on Tuesday is probably not a good use of my hard-earned cash. Last night I was going through my closet I found a sweater that some might consider a little ugly. The design on the sweater is very busy, and looks something like black and white snowflakes. I realized with horror that I could wear this sweater for ugly sweater day, and most people would agree that it was ugly.

Thus my existential sweater crisis. If I wear the sweater for Ugly Sweater Day, I can no longer wear that sweater for Not Ugly Sweater Day. On the other hand, if it fits in so nicely for ugly sweater day, it’s probably an ugly sweater. If I wear it a month from now, will people think, “wow that’s an ugly sweater.” More importantly, have I doomed it by even considering it for Tuesday?

I think the answer is clear. I need to wire that puppy up with blinking lights and appliqué snowmen and OWN Ugly Sweater Day. I’m going to do it for the children.

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My Xmas Music Recommendation for 2009

I used to have a reputation of being a collector of Christmas Music. I think it was a lot easy to be such a thing when you had to buy entire albums, cassettes or CDs of Christmas music. It’s much too easy now to just buy one or two songs today.

I did buy an entire CD via MP3 Purchase on Amazon last week, and that is going to be my 2009 recommendation for you. If Trans-Siberian Orchestra toned it down about 2 notches and didn’t have any vocal tracks, you’d get the Arctic Express CD “A Christmas Rock Experience.”

Some of the reviewers called it the love child of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller but I don’t want to turn people off because they dislike one or the other. It really is just rock and roll Christmas music. Listen to the samples, and if you’re like me, you’ll just pony up the $6 to download the CD. PLEASE NOTE: There are apparently two versions of this CD up on both Amazon and iTunes. On both sites, one is about half the price of the other. I have no idea why this is, other than that the album has a slightly different name and track ORDER, but the same tracks. I have linked to the cheaper version on Amazon. My gift to you. Disclosure: If you do buy it from Amazon and you use the link above, I think I get a dime or two. If you use the link above and buy other things, I get a few more dimes. I like dimes.

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Getting Ready for the Holidays

Dear Santa,

I have been a good girl this year. I have put up with a lot of doo-doo and doo-doo heads and still get up in the morning and face the day. I haven’t let the crushing weight of reality grind me into the dirt. I maintain a gorgeous facade of “normal” like nobody’s business.

So, then, here are the things I think I deserve. I know you normally just accept letters from kids, but I figured you might have room for one or two things for me, as you will be handing out a stack of IOUs for those Zhu-Zhu Pets hamsters, seeing as they are out of stock all over the place. (I have 3 real gerbils so I’m good on that front. Although the dog might like a fake hamster it would probably destroy it in 5 minutes.)

This year (well, next year) I have some personal goals I’m setting, and I may need a little help with that. I think my big present from you could be some kind of exercise equipment. I don’t have any in the house, but I do have one of those body composition scales and I swear to God, it told me that aside from my bones I am completely made of butter. It was scary. And then I ate a donut.

So I need something easy to use and maybe something that will go and lift me off the couch and carry me to it and do half the work for me. Do you have something like that? I think if you don’t have that, an elliptical trainer would be a good second choice. I bought some really cute workout pants so all I need is a reason to wear them.

Maybe that’s a little heavy for your bag, even with all the empty space where the toy hamsters should have gone. Camera equipment (lenses, flash, etc.) don’t take up nearly as much room. Or a gift card to Amazon to buy lenses, flashes, etc. are a good bet. Or jewelry. Jewelry is small, right? You wouldn’t even have to put it in your bag, you could keep it in your pocket.

I’m really all about whatever makes this easiest for you, Santa. (See, that ought to take me off the naughty list for a long, long time!)

Love,

Jody

p.s. I won’t leave a fire burning this year. Again, I want to make this easy for you.

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Things I’m Probably Not Going to Get From Santa

I think there are a few things that I am not going to get from Santa that I see people getting all time time in television commercials. I like television commercials because they really do tell me how much my life stinks, and how very much improved my life could be if I would just get off the couch, roll over to the mall and spend my hard earned cash. It’s so easy, even a child can do it. (For the record, Junior is not allowed to watch infomercials because he gets sucked in and he wants everything they sell. Right now the thing is that hydroponics herb garden. Because, you know, he needs fresh herbs.

  1. A Car. An expensive car specifically. With a giant red bow. You know, I’ve been around for quite a few years, and I can tell you that I’ve never seen a car with a giant bow on it in anyone’s driveway. And I notice things like that. Also, if Mr. Dump ever buys me a car without asking my input on make, model, color and options, he will be known from that point on as “Stumpy”.
  2. Gigantic Diamonds. Okay, this would be a very cool gift, I’ll admit. But really, I do not want our checking account drained so that I can get a rock that would look more appropriate on Wilma Flintstone. Or whoever is currently married to Donald Trump.
  3. A BBQ for tailgating. I don’t tailgate. Maybe I would if I had a portable grill that can make a 14 course dinner before the game. But I don’t have one so I will be grilled-meatless this Christmas.
  4. A hydroponics tabletop growing kit. Even if the thought of endless cherry tomatoes is appealing, I’d be all over this if I thought I could get even one good beefsteak tomato mid-winter. I don’t cook with a lot of mint, though, so I don’t know if it’s worth the investment.
  5. Vinyl siding and replacement windows. Gosh, what a thoughtful gift! Could those replacement windows come in, say, a mansion of some kind instead of my little Cape? That would be great!

That’s all I have for now. If I think of more, I’ll add them today, because you know what? You are totally worth it.

And if you’re looking for something uplifting to read (and like me, it’s okay if you tear up at work) I suggest reading The Gift over at Suldog’s blog.

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Wintery Mix

I only want a wintery mix if it involves peppermint candies and chocolate. Okay, that didn’t make a lot of sense, but I got tired of trying to think of something funny. Maybe I should not have said anything then? I’ll leave that up to you.

I’m going to try to take a little movie of what my Christmas tree is currently doing. It’s blinking. But very slowly. It could blink faster but it’s hugely obnoxious. I know because it was doing it recently. (We bought a remove on-off plug thingy that you can use to plug in three strings of lights and what it does is turn them on and off at different times so it looks twinkly, but we have a pre-lit fake tree so it doesn’t twinkle, it just blinks like a crazy person.

Saw the movie “Enchanted” today – it was fantastic. Highly recommend this one, especially if you have any experience watching Disney Princess movies.

Here is our tree and the current fire. Note the soothing blinkage.

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More Christmas, Stat!

Okay, I’m all Christmassed up now. Junior bought two presents to give to his cousins (without any input from us) so we are officially shopping for Christmas, baby! We went to Cataldos on the way home from Burlington (Mr. Dump needed to go to the Apple Store for work purposes. Really.) And boy howdy if that doesn’t make you feel Christmassy, nothing will. They are already selling trees so we got our first “whiff of the holidays”.

I think it’s time to have the annual viewing of Little Women.

And you?

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I Did It and I’m Sorry

But I’ll probably do it again. Last night, I, um. Well, rip it off like a bandaid, right? Last night I listened to a Christmas song on 103.3.

There. I said it. I’m sorry.

I learned from Universal Hub that they had stated their 24/7 Christmas music thing the other day, and I held off over 24 hours. But I gave in to the dark side on the drive home last night. Two songs, and one of them was “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which, let’s be frank, is more of an 80’s “Where are they now” game than a Christmas Carol.

I changed it back to WBCN after that, but I think the damage was done, because when I got home I ripped the cellophane off Josh Groban’s “Noel” and ripped it to iTunes. I assume I’m going to give it a look-see at work today.

So Happy Holidays, everyone!

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Are You Ready for Leon?

In preparation for Leon (the anti-Noel, duh, June 25th), I stumbled upon some podcasts on iTunes of some awesomely collectible Christmas music in the form of podcasts. I’m busy grabbing as much of it as I can to burn to CD for next Christmas, on the off chance it isn’t here in 6 months.

My greatest find of the day is “Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland.” I don’t know if the artist is a fan or not, but I suspect he is. Either way, it’s bloody fantastic. Look up the podcast “B-Sides for X-mas” and just try to not download the whole damned lot of ’em.

I think I’m going to call my sister and ask her if she wants to have a Leon party this year. I think it could be pretty darned fun.

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