Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh by golly...

Merry Christmas readers!

Christmas has changed a little since I was younger.  When my brother and I were little, it involved one of us sleeping on the floor in the other's room, whispering about what Santa may or may not be bringing for us in the morning.  Unbeknownst to us, in the next room, our parents (with my aunt's assistance some years) stayed up into the wee hours wrapping some leftover presents.  I found them once when they were ambitious and started early, hiding the presents underneath the bed.  They were addressed "To Jen, From Santa."

This is apparently because Santa dropped my presents off early so that Mommy and Daddy could wrap them.

Anyway, we'd then wake up early.  REALLY early. And proceed to jump on Mom and Dad like these kids:

And then we'd be off.  I'd wriggle around as my mom tried to tame my ridiculously long hair in either a bun or a French braid and I'd don a fancy dress.  We'd go to roughly three or four houses at which I'd eat... nothing.  My mom would bring a hot dog or pizza for me to eat at the last stop.  It was all I'd consent to eat.

Now we sleep in a little bit more, but we still hold to some of the traditions from when I was younger.  My grandma still gives me a Barbie Christmas tree ornament every year (I would guess that I have about 19-20 of them).  My mom still wraps my stocking (I insist on it).  They still wait 'til the last minute to wrap the gifts.  But now all the stops that we make come to us and we feast on Italian food.  This year it was sausage and peppers, baked ziti, antipasto, bread, and more.

Then we open the presents of and for the people who were not here on Christmas morning while we chit-chat/play with our new toys/gadgets. That part's the same from when I was younger too.

I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine!

And to all a good night...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Forget the Holly Jolly: Have a piney Christmas!

I've got a case of the Blah Humbugs this season.

Earlier this month, I'll confess that it was a full-blown Scrooge case of Bah Humbugs, but as the month has progressed, I've come to realize that I simply miss my family and want to be home with them.  The Holiday season doesn't give me the warm fuzzies when I'm three hours away.

Nevertheless, hanging out in a friend's apartment the other night, a few of us got involved in a discussion about pine cones.  Why are they Christmas ornaments?

Most of us could remember remember making some sort of ornament when younger out of pine cones, and the simplest explanation we could devise was that they are pine cones and come readily available from the famed Christmas tree.

But I was curious about exactly how long pine cones have been a part of this and where, exactly, they come into play

A long-ass time and a multitude of places, as it turns out.  But the traditions vary greatly.

For instance, in Italy, there is something called the presepio (translated: manger), which is where the focus goes on Christmas.  Who can blame them?  I know a baby Jesus would draw my attention too.  The presepio, like our trees for some people, are festooned with pine cones, among other things.

Or in Portugal, the Yule log burns on Christmas day.  The remains are saved to be burned with pine cones during thunderstorm season.  Portuguese superstition says that lightning will not strike where Yule log smoke has been.

The pine cones even have a root back in paganism, where the pine tree was worshipped alongside Dionysus, god of wine, and pine cones were used as a symbol of fertility.

And in 18th Century England, pine cones were placed in wreaths with holly, boxwood, bayberry, and fruits.

Here in the good old U.S. of A., settlers used to use pine cones alongside pine branches, holly, ivy, and mistletoe.  They actually neglected the pine tree in favor of these easier, readily available alternatives.  And did you know that pine cones are edible?  Apparently they're an excellent source of nutrition.  (And if you can't find a good old-fashioned orange, pine needles have Vitamin C!)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Call the police.  I need to report a theft.

Because someone has stolen all of my shows.

I hate the TV off-season that comes from mid-December a little way into the new year.  I miss Meredith and Derek and their occasional dark and twisty love.  I miss Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale rekindling my old Disney Channel love on Hellcats and cheering their way into my heart.  I miss Blair and Chuck doing their usual dysfunctional thing in the Big Apple.  I miss crazy Susan on Desperate Housewives and unstable Gabrielle.  I really miss Darren Criss on Glee.

(Phew.  Admit it, you would (or do) miss him too.)
Hell on the really boring nights, I even miss the weirdness that is the Vampire Diaries (I promise: I watch out of desperation).

But all of this has lead me to the conclusion that I need to report a far more serious crime:

Alert the FBI.  My life has disappeared.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And one more thing...

This new Yogi Bear movie?

Of course I was a fan of Yogi as a kid.  When I heard about the movie I was even a little excited.  But then I saw a preview.  It looks horrible.  The only reason that I'm still kiiiind of contemplating seeing it is the fact that Justin Timberlake is the voice of Boo Boo.  And I haven't outgrown my 'N Sync crush days.

And that's about all I have to say about that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Mind Divided

Here's a few things I can't make my mind up about at the moment:

1) This whole change your profile picture to be a cartoon character from your childhood thing.

Yes, I'm a little late on this, considering today is supposed to be the "last day."  Did I contemplate changing my profile picture to Sailor Moon?  Of course.  But that's mostly because a few of my friends picked a favorite cartoon and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon.  In the end, I decided not to share.  Because I'm 99% sure that the whole "ending violence against children" thing that it's supposed to accomplish isn't going to happen because I changed my Facebook Profile.

2) And speaking of Facebook, what do you guys think of the new Facebook Profile?  

I went ahead and changed mine because I've basically decided that while I am at first resistant to change in general, I tend to wind up liking all of the changes Facebook makes.  It's hard to believe that I was once wholly opposed to things like the News Feed and the instant feed.  Right now I'm viewing it as a little bit cluttered, but it'll grow on me.  It always does.

3) My future.

So what else is new?  A few of you may know that I worked for less than 3 weeks at an SEO Marketing company that I left just as quickly.  I think I would have learned a lot by staying, but the simple fact of it is that I need to make money and I don't think that I would have made it there in the long run.  So I got out.  I'm still working on my novel and I'm picking up more shifts at Logan's, but I'm not making much money.  I have upcoming trips in February and March and I don't see myself getting hired at a real job by telling people that.  If I don't figure life out soon, I'm officially subscribing to the boomerang generation theory, moving home, and putting off real adulthood until I can afford to support myself somehow.  Mom is thrilled.

4) Jillian Michaels.

This is mostly because I've started doing one of her videos with a friend.  (By the way, OnDemand Exercise is a godsend).  This woman is kicking my butt.  I am sore in places I forgot I had.  But if she gets me the body I want, then I'll settle for loving to hate her.

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