Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Blues

"I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed."
-Charlie Brown

Every year a gloomy feeling descends on what everyone thinks should be the most wonderful time of the year. I know it isn’t just me, and I know its not seasonal-affective disorder. It’s Christmas. I know! I said it! I’m the Grinch, I’m scrooge! But, seriously, can’t we take a little lesson from the Grinch and Scrooge? Isn’t there a little of those two in all of us? Before you write me off as a psycho murderer of Christmas, just hear me out. Christmas is supposed to be a season of magic, giving, etc, etc. So why all the sadness? Common thread between sadness and Christmas? It reminds those who are a little lonely just how alone they actually are. Scrooge is alone in the world; no wife, no family, not even a girlfriend to keep the bed warm. The Grinch was ridiculed as a child and is also, alone. If you want to feel lonely, just live eternally in Christmastime. Maybe it’s something about the lights or the songs, or simply wanting to share something with someone that just isn’t there. I’m not only talking about significant others either, but even family members are missed (like how I know my mother wishes her parents were still around, and every Christmas she misses them a little more than she does the rest of the year). We all need someone that either doesn’t exist, or cannot be present. The only open and true happiness at Christmas might exist when you’re a little kid, and Santa is a fat, kind man who gives present to all children equally. Perhaps, as adults, we are all simply reaching for what we thought Christmas was in light of what we have found Christmas to be.

Alas, I cannot end on such a debbie-downer note. Linus said it the best:
"Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

To keep my Grinchy-ness out, I usually try to think about the real purpose of this holiday, to focus on the wonderful gifts God has given me, including His son.

But seriously though guys, a little depressed, right?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blog award!

Yay for my roomie, CMG from The Sweet Sea for my very first blog award. CMG and I started blogs together in November as creative outlets. Her blog is one of my favorites!

Here are my responses:
where is your cell phone: ha i don't know
your hair: I just cut it! (see post November 24)
your mother: the best
your father: also the best
your favorite food: hot dogs
your dream from last night: I know I had one, but I cant remember..
your favorite drink: wine and beer
your dream/goal: to become some kind of writer (dumb, i know)
what room are you in: my common room
where do you want to be in 6 years: somewhere, happy, living my life
where were you last night: in my room, drinking with friends
something you are not: boring!
muffins: blueberry
wish list items: happiness, family, friends.
where did you grow up: south of Boston
last thing you did: i've actually done nothing all day, and its been great
what are you wearing: haha, pjs.
your TV: on! were watching the O.C.
your pets: Tucker, my doggy!
your friends: the best
your life: so fun
your mood: pretty good, going home tomorrow for Christmas break!
missing someone: my family, friends from home (soon ill be missing friends from school)
vehicle: 2000 maxima, on its last leg
something your not wearing: socks
your favorite store: J.Crew, anthropologie
your favorite color: blue! all hues.
last time you laughed: probably like 5 minutes ago
last time you cried: yesterday after i FAILED a terrible final
your best friend: i have too many! they're all amazing
one place you go over and over: not sure, class? the dining hall?
one person who emails me regularly: um, J.Crew?
favorite place to eat: all restaurants!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A bogus ending to a great movie

Well, today I rejoin the blog community after a hiatus—finals week swallowed my life whole. Seriously, there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish everything. ALAS--here is my first blog in two weeks (the blog from yesterday was written about a year ago and featured in my school newspaper). ANYWAY: today, I will talk about one movie that I love, but the ending is just not ok.

I love Titanic. I think it’s an awesome movie; a little love, a little sex, a little disaster, a lot of death. Perfect recipe for a blockbuster. The only problem is the end. Rose, young and beautiful during the time she embarked from England on the Titanic, is elderly and wrinkled in the present of the movie. After throwing the Heart of the Ocean diamond into the curiously blue waters of the North Atlantic (obviously, the heart of the ocean is supposed to symbolize her heart, and the act of throwing it overboard shows the audience that her heart always belonged in the ocean), Rose dies in her sleep. She subsequently goes to her version of heaven: the Titanic in all the splendor and glory it once was, with the long dead Jack, among many others, there waiting for her return.

It’s BS. Did James Cameron really think that Rose, after living another 80 some-odd years (shes 17 when the ship goes down in 1912, the movie was made in 1996, you do the math), would really return to a weekend affair she had when she was 17? I know, I know its romantic, catharsis for the audience, blah blah blah. I don’t buy it. What about the life Rose had after Jack died? It was LONG! 80 years long! She was an actress, made a name for herself, married and had children. I know a woman’s heart is full of secrets and shit, but she only knew they guy for three days, and they only got along for one, and only had sex once! Do I think Rose should have married the rich guy, not really. But that would have been more realistic and true to real life, wouldn’t it?

Christmas cards: all about the photo

The family Christmas photo. It’s inevitable. Each year, my parents gather the four of us around to take a picture for Christmas cards. It seems simple enough; everyone sits for five minutes while Dad snaps a couple of pictures and then everyone goes on their merry way. For people who send Christmas cards, the point of the picture is, on the surface, to send greetings and holiday wishes to old friends and family with a picture of happy snappy kids. It also might be shameless bragging—“Merry Christmas! By the way, look at how gorgeous my children are! And yes, that mansion behind us is our summer cottage on Nantucket!” I, for one, always laugh at the people who send the card with not only a picture, but an attached novel of a letter detailing the goings-on of the family since the last Christmas: “Joe Jr. scored 27 home runs for his little league team this spring! Sarah won first place at the biggest horse show in the state! And little Billy, we have been told, has and I.Q. of 160! As for Joe Sr. and me, we have been jet-setting around the world, volunteering in India and Cambodia! What an adventure!” Oh boy. Cards that also never fail to make me chuckle are the ones of the token tourist family: Mom and Dad with their fanny packs and the 1-3 children they might have, sunburned and standing in front of the Grand Canyon wearing matching Grand Canyon souvenir t-shirts. Don’t deny it, you know you’ve seen those cards before. But the hands-down best Christmas cards to laugh at are the ones where all the kids are hastily lined up in front of the decorated tree or fireplace lined with stockings, one or more of them might have been crying (their eyes and faces are a bit blotchy), maybe they put a Santa hat on the dog, and you just know it was an all-out battle trying to get this picture. Sometimes this card doesn’t even arrive until after Christmas—it is often postmarked on or after December 23.

My family, for the most part, is of the latter type. My parents insist upon taking a Christmas picture of the four of us every year, no matter what the emotional cost. Yes, picture time at my family residence usually ends up with at least one kid (usually the youngest, HJT, who isn’t even that young anymore) crying, one or both parents and at least two older siblings pretty ticked off. It starts off with a simple, yet condescending nonetheless, request: “JST, do you have to wear that Patriots jersey? Can’t you put on something nice?” Then its: “SJT, sit up straight.” Followed by “Harrison, would you just make a normal face?” and then, “JST, will you smile please? I paid 5,000 for those teeth.” This doesn’t only come from the parents, but the whole peanut gallery, including JST’s repeated requests for HJT to make him laugh, because if he’s not laughing he feels stupid smiling, and BMT constantly shooing the dog away, because it would be unfair to have the dog in the Christmas picture and not the cat, and all of us telling Dad to just hurry up and take the picture already. Sometimes one of the brothers is in a silly mood and won’t stop making farting noises or hitting the other until it gets so annoying that he is yelled at, after which the offending brother sulks for the remainder of the photo shoot. And always, without fail, there is the quintessential statement from mom: “look happy, dammit! It’s Christmastime!” When picture-taking is all over and we’re all sufficiently at each other’s throats, then comes the critiquing period, in which we all gather around the computer to choose which picture will be sent to 150 of my parents’ closest friends and relatives. Each picture is met with a chorus of “HJT is making a stupid face,” “I look fat,” “My eyes are closed,” “JST isn’t smiling,” and the like. Mom usually responds with, “Oh, I like that one!” while Dad silently clicks through the pictures wondering, no doubt, why he subjects himself to this each year.

In the end, however shameless and perhaps even pointless Christmas pictures might be, they’re still a tradition that my family seems unwilling to break. A year without a Christmas card complete with a picture is like a year without Santa Claus, we don’t know why we keep spinning the fable, but we do. Fat, happy Santa coming down the chimney; smiling, effervescent kids not pinching each other behind their backs; it’s all part of the fa├žade. Next year my parents will vow to take the picture earlier, in the summertime, on the beach, or something. Secretly, I’ll want to send a picture of the four kids around a keg. Merry Christmas, love us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gifts that will bring on the apocalypse

Im not kidding guys, if you want to see the world end, just buy one of these gifts for your loved ones.

The iphone. I just don’t trust it. Who needs a phone that can basically do everything and more than your tricked out laptop? I know its pretty, but let’s be real. It can only go down from here, much like the stock market on October 27, 1929. I don’t trust it because there’s no way gadget technology can get any better. What’s next? A phone that’s implanted in our ears with a holographic screen on the palms of our hands?

Amazon Kindle, or any other electronic book reader. Ladies and gents, welcome to the death of books as we know them. because I was too young and dumb to understand what the big deal was about digital music, I did not lament the ending of albums, record stores, or listening to a CD all the way through. Now its all about the hits. Digital music changed the recording industry in an irreversible way, and I fear the same for the book publishing industry. If this thing latches on (and it probably will, since Oprah endorsed it, and we all know our moms do everything she says), we will be sitting with our grandkids on our laps, telling tales about the days of yore, when you could hold a book in your hand, smell the glue in the binding and the fresh, white paper, turn the pages with your hands. Books will be a thing of the past, little bookshops and even big chains like Barnes and Noble will go out of business. Curse you, Kindle.

Anything from Jared Jewelers. Their b-list commercials are even worse than Every Kiss begins with Kay. Never will I ever say HE WENT TO JARED!!!! My husband to be better go to Tiffany. Or the diamond district.