Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cha Cha's Stuff of 2009: Entertainment Edition

I'm home. And I have a wretched cold. And I had to spend an hour shoveling my driveway before I could get my car in the garage and the stuff and the dogs out of the car. Pooooor Cha Cha!

So, let's not dwell on my mucus situation or the state of my driveway. Let's talk, instead, about what was kick-ass (and not so kick-ass) about 2009.

Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily stuff that came out new this year. It's stuff that I experienced this year. And I'm lame and not cool and certainly not hip, so that might mean this is old stuff that's just new-to-me.

And yes, I totally cribbed this post concept from last year. But I'm high on cold medicine. Cut me some slack.

Best memoir
The Kids Are All Right. The Welch kids were orphaned in 1985 and then basically split up. The story is horrifying, but the book is a statement on resilience and the power of family. Plus, since each for the four kids wrote sections of the book, it's a unique comment on memory, perception, and what we will ourselves to forget.

Best adventure
Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure. I seriously loooooved this book. Imagine - a world where former presidents have no Secret Service detail and think they can just take a road trip across the country. Well, that's how it was in 1953. Harry and Bess loaded up the Chrysler and took off, and then were surprised by all the attention their little trip garnered. This book is a gem.

Best nonfiction book(s)
I listen to a lot of books on CD, even though I call them "books on tape" because that just seems to roll off my tongue a lot easier than "books on CD." Anyway, I'm at the mercy of the library's CD selection and therefore listen to some stuff that I wouldn't usually read. I suppose this is good. This year, I really enjoyed listening to several of Jimmy Carter's books. I guess I've had a thing for former presidents lately.

First of all, he reads them and I love his sweet Georgia drawl. Secondly, dude has had a fascinating life! He tells of his adventures with a deep respect for the people he meets and a deep sense of responsibility to do all he can to make the world a better place. We should all be so lucky ... and so responsible and loving.

Best new "Ohmygod I have to read everything she's written" author
Cathy Lamb. I've read her three novels. The latest was published four months ago. Think she'll publish another one, say, next week? Because I'm ready.

Best surprise by a previously disappointing author
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells. I loved Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but found Wells' other two books to be, well, shitty. However, my mom brought this book to Florida and in our book trades back and forth, I read this in one glorious poolside day. Great story. Loved it. Not gonna win any hoity-toity awards, but I liked it.

Best book that I thought would be fluff but was a serious novel that was good. Real good.
Firefly Lane. Yes, it's about these women and their friendship and blah blah blah ... but it's also about how folks evolve as individuals and in relationships, what women sacrifice and what they gain from those trade-offs.

Wow - I keep adding books to this list. Guess I really do like to read. Yes, I'm an English major!

But, I also like to watch moving pictures.

Best based-on-a-true-story movie
The Blind Side. I know I've written about this movie quite a bit lately, but I just totally loved it. I will now do you a giant favor and refrain from a) talking about this movie AGAIN and b) telling you about the latest dream I had featuring characters from this film. You're welcome.

Best based-on-a-blog movie
Julie and Julia. I sort of wanted to kick Julie in the head sometimes, but I also came away wanting to learn more about Julia and her lovely husband. I have a couple of books checked out about the Childs but haven't had a chance to dig in yet. Perhaps those books will appear on my 2010 list. Stay tuned.

Best use of a national treasure in a movie
The Proposal. Not because it was super awesome in every way (just in some ways), but because it brought Betty White to the big screen. I love her. And I'm not just saying that because I watch more Golden Girls reruns than the average octogenarian. I'm saying it because she's got brilliant comedic timing and it's just funny to hear grandmas talk about the S-E-X.

Best holiday movie
You know it, I know it, and yet I still feel compelled to point it out: Trading Places. Again.

Worst movie ever in the history of movies
Funny People. I hated this movie. It was too long. It was about people you don't give two shits about. I hate Jonah Hill anyway because he plays the same guy in every movie he's in. And I got a migraine during this movie but didn't ask My Guy to leave because I thought he was loving the movie, only to find out later that he hated it, too. This movie is dead to me!

Most disgusting new TV show
Hoarders. I've learned that you can't watch it while you're eating. I've also learned that it's awesome to keep an episode on your DVR for when you need inspiration to clean your damn house already. Yikes.

Best TV as a drinking game
Steven Seagal: Lawman. Now, I wanted to love this show just on principle alone. What could possibly make better TV than Steven Seagal being a real-life cop? Sadly, the answer to that is complicated ... because he's not really a real cop. He's a reserve deputy sheriff. Which means that he does training on marital arts and self defense, but other than that ... he rides along with real deputies and says stuff like, "Get 'em, Johnny!"

Oh, the disappointment.

However, My Guy and I determined that Steven Seagal: Lawman is actually a perfect drinking game. You just take a drink anytime he mentions his years of experience in the martial arts ("With more than 40 years of experience in akido, I'm one of the world's master instructors") or anything Zen ("When you shoot your weapon, don't pull the trigger - push the air, like a Zen archer when he pushes the arrow.") I don't know about you, but those quotes alone make me want to drink.

Best funny-all-the-time show
30 Rock. Again. And not just because I want to be Tina Fey when I grow up. But because her show is damn funny.

Up next: Cha Cha's Stuff of 2009: This is Your Life Edition. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's the difference between buffalo and bison?

I'm in Iowa. It's cold here. But Christmas was warm and bright.

Unless you are a doxie.

I sort of, umm, had a moment of weakness in the dollar aisle at Target. See, there were these costumes, right? And they were only $2.50 each! So, if I bought two, that was only $5! And what's a mere $5 when it comes to spreading holiday happiness, love, joy, and general goodwill?

So, maybe the costumes didn't fit precisely.
And maybe the kids looked more like bison than reindeer.
But I think the dachshund bison totally spread holiday cheer.

I think it was cold enough that they didn't even mind wearing these get-ups all day long.
Or maybe they're just playing it cool while they plot my untimely death.
Whatever. It was totally worth it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just look at her legs.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is David Letterman's Christmas show. Of course, it featured knocking a meatball off the top of a tree with a football. As you do. And it was all capped off by Darlene Love.

Girlfriend has it going ON!

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Conversations with my family.

Mom: So, what'd you guys think of our Christmas letter?

Me: Uh? I liked the pictures a lot.

Poochie: Yeah, the pictures were great.

Me: But, umm? You talked about your awesome trip to Alaska and how Poochie's going to grad school and moved ... and then it said, "And Cha Cha has two dogs."

Poochie: *snort*

Me: You might as well have added, "And she is obviously not married."

Mom: I could send out an addendum.

Poochie: Yeah! And you could ask if anybody needs to get married for a green card or needs to get married so they have someone to cook and clean for them ... those are mostly widowers, but you know, you might get some interest.

Mom: It's not like you have cats. You have dogs.

Me: Right. But you made it sound like, "Cha Cha is our spinster daughter. She has a lovely collection of housecoats and many years of newspapers decorating her home."

Poochie: Hey! Did you get that e-mail I sent you about the movie I liked?

Me: Oh, yeah - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day? Yeah! You liked it?

Mom: Ooh, that's a good one.

Poochie: Yeah, it was great. And Miss Pettigrew is a spinster!

Me: Oh, nice to see my people represented!

Poochie: But she's poor, and at least you aren't poor. So, you have that going for you.

Me: Hmm. True.

Poochie: And you're not totally pathetic like Miss Havisham. I always wondered ... did she ever take the wedding dress off? Or did she just sit in that dress for however many years and never bathe? Because after two days, I can tell that I need to take a bath. I bet she stank.

Mom: Oh - good point.

Me: Ugh. I never thought about that. Didn't she die in a fire?

Poochie: Yep. Things rarely end well for spinsters.

And ... scene!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Give a little bit. Or a lot.

My Guy and I saw The Blind Side this weekend. It was a fantastic movie. And, I'm pretty sure it's the reason why I was dreaming about Tim McGraw Friday night.

Why Tim morphed into Erik Estrada, I'm not sure. But after hearing that Mr. Estrada made me enchiladas in my dream, My Guy sent me this most awesome Christmas gift.

Note the detailed Photoshopping. Yes, that's a representation of Lil' Frankfurter being in the bed, along with Erik and a dish of enchiladas.

But back to The Blind Side ... this family took in a high school student. They didn't know him from a can of paint. He didn't give them a lot to work with since he kept to himself. But they took him in and built that relationship and eventually became his legal guardians.

I just keep asking myself: what would I have done?

Granted, the family was portrayed as being very financially secure. (Is that a nice way of saying rich, rich, rich?) But ordinary people of ordinary means do extraordinary things every day. Do you ever really stop to think about which camp you fall into?

I'm sort of bummed this year, because instead of making generous donations, I funded Lil' Frank's digestive health. Let's hear it for ridiculous vet bills!

I guess I just worry that I'm not doing my fair share. And if I saw a kid from my child's school wearing shorts and a t-shirt on a cold night, would I stop? Would I welcome that stranger into my home?

Gentle friends, how do you decide how much is enough?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let's make this happen.

It's time to announce the winners of my holiday movie sequel awesome giveaway!

There are so many holiday movie sequels that need to be made. You all have opened my eyes to the dearth of holiday sequel goodness in our society. I humbly thank you ... and feel the need to host a telethon to raise money to get these movies made already. So far, Lil' Frankfurter has agreed to answer phones. So, it's really coming together.

Thanks for your very witty comments. I am proud to be friends with anyone who considers Die Hard a Christmas film. Truly. Also, it seems to be general consensus that Randy from A Christmas Story goes on to enjoy an alternative lifestyle. Whatever makes you happy, my little snowsuit-wearing, cabinet-living, eat-like-a-piggy-chowing friend.

I could just list all of the comments here because they are all so awesome, but I'll let you go back to the original post to read them. Instead, I'll give you the top two.

But Cha Cha! There was no mention of a first runner up in the original contest!
I know! But I had to have a first runner up because, well, there was awesomeness involved. So, there will be not one but two fabulous prizes!

First runner up: the lovely Laura!

The Holidays find all of our favorite kids back in their hometown catching up with each other over drinks:

Linus and Sally got married and live in the burbs with their 2.5 kids, mini-van and Snoopy’s puppies (and a pumpkin patch where he still spends each Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin.)

After a couple of failed marriages Lucy finds herself bitter and unemployed. She winds up serving drinks at a topless bar and realizing that Karma truly can be a bitch.

Peppermint Patty and Marcie just got back from DC where their union was recognized by law.

Schroeder made it to the finals of “America’s got Talent” where he lost to a bubbly blonde singing sensation.

Pigpen got the last laugh when he founded a technology company, got rich in an IPO and now spends his time traveling the world and working for charity.

After a childhood filled with disappointments and self esteem issues, Charlie Brown turned it all around and became a life coach.

Bwah ha ha! I can see this all with glorious clarity - and feel a sense of closure now that I know what happened to those kids. I'm especially enjoying Karma's sweet glow, as Lucy always made me so darn mad.

And then? Then, we have our winner, the amazing Green Girl in Wisconsin!

Herbie the Elf opens up a dental practice and extracts thousands of teeth full of cavities, leading to a ban on candy canes in the North Pole. Mrs. Claus gives Santa what for for being a judgmental jerkwad and he and the Reindeer Coach take sensitivity training. In their absence, The Abominable leads the elves in toy making (Monster Trucks!) and Rudolph continues to lead the reindeer training while Charise gives birth to TWINS. Santa fails sensitivity training, Mrs. Claus falls for the gold-digging Yukon Cornelius who is already fat and HE becomes the NEW SANTA while old Santa winds up manning a convenience store in New Jersey where people are jerks to HIM.

Again, I obviously love a little Karma in my holiday movies. Also, I love this sequel because it really seems to set the cast up for a number of spin-offs: a reality show about old Santa's New Jersey convenience store, a Grey's Anatomy-esque nighttime soap about Herbie's dental practice, and a Discovery Channel monster truck show featuring The Abominable ... and Yukon Cornelius, just because he seems like a monster truck sort of guy and would have time away from being the new Santa since filming would take place in the summer.

Not that I obsess over holiday movies or anything.

Thank you all for playing along and for making me guffaw in a most unladylike way. Laura and Green Girl, your fabulous prizes on are their way!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Step away from the egg nog.

Today, I saw a big ol' Crown Victoria with a wire dish rack in the back window. You know, the in-sink kind that you use to dry your dishes?

Yeah. Who does dishes in their car, even if it is a big ol' boat like a Crown Vic?

And if you dry your dishes in the back window, aren't you a) kind of screwed when the weather is below freezing; and b) ruining your upholstery and your speakers?

Or maybe I just hallucinated the whole thing. All of these holiday preparations are obviously impacting my brain. I dreamt last night that I was being wooed by Tim McGraw (The Blind Side is fantastic, by the way). Then, he morphed into Erik Estrada.

Yeah, I know.

But I'm probably not so insane that I can't get myself to the post office. Remember to enter my great giveaway for your chance at fame, fortune, and presents.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Get yo' holiday on.

The lovely Callee tagged me for a meme. After the heavy post yesterday, it's about damn time for something a little more festive.

1. Have you started your Christmas shopping? Define "started."

2. Tell me about your special traditions. Last year, we started drawing names for gag gifts, and that's how Krampus the Christmas Frog came into my life. I've been plotting all year.

3. When do you put up your tree? The first weekend in December.

4. Are you a Black Friday shopper? Hell to the no. Those people are nuts.

5. Do you travel at Christmas or stay home? I go to Iowa to my folks' house.

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory? This isn't necessarily a Christmas memory, but one year, we flew to Arizona to see my grandparents for the holidays. After a very, very long day in airports, my then 4-year-old brother conked out in the Phoenix airport and slept through the car ride and being tucked in at our grandparents'. The next morning, we awoke in their guest room and Poochie looked at me in wonder. "Cha Cha, where ARE we?" He remembered nothing of the previous day.

7. What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time? I think I've beaten this topic to death.

8. Do you do your own Christmas baking? What is your favorite treat? I love to bake and used to send out tins of various treats. However, this is one of the busiest times at Corporate Behemoth, so baking isn't usually in the cards. However, I do love raw sugar cookie dough.

9. Fake or real tree? I am very careful to pick a really nice tree out of my basement every year. I'm pretty consistent with my awesome trees.

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done? The night before I'm supposed to leave to go to Iowa. Yes, I tend to put off wrapping and packing.

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? No. I'm at mass. But Christmas Eve Eve? You betcha.

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas? Sledding. And watching Trading Places.

13. What Christmas craft do you like best? Craft? Uh ... eating carbs?

14. Christmas music, yes or no? And if yes, what is your favorite song? I like Christmas music, but only after about December 10. My favorite hymn is Silent Night. My favorite secular Christmas song is (sorry Patti) Bruce Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping? Uh ... hopefully this weekend.

16. Do you know the names of all of Santa’s reindeer {without googling it}? Lemme see ... Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen ... and Rudolph. Am I close?

17. When do you take down your Christmas tree? New Year's Day, while watching football.

18. Hardest person to buy for? Lil' Frankfurter. What do you buy a dog who eats everything?

19. Easiest person to buy for? The family I adopted for Christmas. Because they give you a list. Also, because I always adopt a family with an itty bitty baby, and that's just fun.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? It's a snowflake star thing that I'm actually not that fond of. However, it has the Geriatric Poodle's collar around it, and that's very special to me.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Parking. The. Car.

22. What do you want for Christmas? A blender. With margaritas in it.

C'mon ... you know you wanna play along. Copy and paste the questions into your blog ... then spread some Christmas cheer by leaving a link back to Heather, the originator of this meme. She’ll even go back and add your link to the list if you participate.

Also ... you know you wanna enter my fab giveaway. This is a seriously good prize. Just tell me your dream holiday movie sequel and it could be yours!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Word forward.

Let's talk about my rack, shall we?

Today, I got a mammogram, courtesy of Deaf Ladydoctor's orders. Now, we all know that I hate Deaf Ladydoctor, but getting a mammogram was probably a good idea anyway. And the people at the boob clinic? All nice as can be. I wanted to hug them all.

So, I got a mammogram. And then I waited. I sat in the "inner waiting room," me and my peeps, hanging out in these little cape things. My peeps are all, you know, pretty much old enough to be my mom.

You get treated differently at the boob clinic when you're 34. People give you that look. And you realize that none of the magazines appeal to you. All those articles in More about aging gracefully? Umm?

At some point during the waiting, I decided that I Don't Belong There.

And then word came back that oh yes, the doc thought I should go ahead and get an ultrasound. But they were backed up in the boob clinic, right? So they very graciously gave me an extra gown to go over my cape thing and walked me down to the sonogram clinic in the hospital ... where there are sick people.

I sat and waited next to a lady in a wheelchair. She had a binder with her chart in it, an oxygen tank, and about three inches of grey roots.

I didn't belong there, either. I certainly didn't belong with people who are sick. I am not sick. I was only there because I have a shitty doctor who doesn't listen to me when I say that everything is fine!

And I waited.

And then I was on a gurney in a dark room, making small talk with a very nice tech as she did an ultrasound of my boob.

"What's that black thing?" I asked.

"It's a cyst."

"And that right there - is that the same cyst?"

"No, it's a different one."


Basically, my boob is a pomegranate and all the seeds are cysts. I am cystastic. Cystoriffic. Actually, I believe the technical term is fibrocystic breast disease.

And so darling tech left the room to go find the doctor. And I waited on that stupid gurney, in that stupid room, wearing that stupid cape thing. I didn't belong there. I am healthy. This was all a waste of time and a big misunderstanding.

And then the darling tech came in and told me that since the cysts changed with my cycle that everything was fine, and that I only have to come back in if something changes or hurts. So, ta-da! Put on your shirt and go home! You don't even have to check out!

I left with just enough time to go home, grab Foxie Doxie, and drag him to his follow-up appointment for his Professional Dental Cleaning.

He was adorably freaked out the whole time. But I managed to keep my shit together even when I learned that the vet we usually see, the sweet man who saved the Geriatric Poodle's life at least twice ... has some bad shit going down. A tumor in his chest, which has spread to a few vertebrae ... and mets in his brain. At least I managed to wait until I was in the car to start crying.

It's been sort of a day.

There's only one thing that will make me feel better: make up some holiday movie sequel goodness and enter my fabulous giveaway. Seriously. It will make me laugh. And will probably cure cancer, promote world peace, and vaporize cysts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Conversations with my family.

Dad: So, I see you've been quoting me in your blog again.

Me: Yeah?

Dad: You know you can't just get away with that because I read your blog.

Me: I know, I know - but I can't think about White Christmas without thinking of how much you hate Rosemary Clooney's character! You calling her a bitch is what Christmas means to me!

Dad: Well, it's true. She's awful!

Me: Yeah.

Dad: You can't tell me that if they made a sequel to White Christmas that she and Bing Crosby wouldn't be divorced. They'd be divorced and the whole movie would be people telling Bing what a bitch his ex-wife was.

Me: So, another holiday film?

Dad: Right. You can't tell me that he could put up with her. They'd totally be divorced. That's why they never made a sequel to that movie.

And ... scene!

My dad's a smart guy, and he's got a point. But it got me to thinking ... what would happen in other holiday movies if they made sequels? Would Cindy Lou Who become a militant vegan who lectured the Whos on the evils of roast beast and who horrified her parents by piercing every bit of skin on her body?
What ever happened to Old Man Potter? Did he ever die, or was he involved in the Madoff scandal?
And Tiny Tim - did he inherit all of Scrooge's money and become a total visor-wearing, Kardashian-dating, reality show-having idiot?

These are the issues that keep me awake at night.

So, you know what this means. Yes. It's time for another giveaway.

Leave a comment with your most outrageous holiday movie sequel idea. The more inappropriate, the better. The most awesomest of the awesome sequel concepts will win what is truly a great gift basket ... let's just say that I purposely gathered an extra gift on par with what my besties will receive this year. It will change your life!

Sequel it up by noon on Sunday for a chance at fame and fabulous prizes. Make me laugh and enable me to do what I love: give shit away. Everybody wins!

Now. Whatever happened to Ralphie's little brother, Randy?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Know your colors, know your fabrics.

Tonight, I'm sitting on my couch. In sweatpants. With not one, but two, two doxies on my lap. Obviously, this is heaven.

In the last four days, I attended four Christmas parties. Two were super fun. One was hideous. And one ... well, it made me feel like complete and total trailer trash.

Remember last week, when I was all, "Hey, look at my Christmas decorations?" That post where I exposed my soul by showing my Patti LaBelle Christmas ornament and its careful placement next to the Ewoks?

Yeah. The next night? I went to a fete at a home that has been featured in House Beautiful.

I'm not even kidding.

I was my friend L.'s plus one for a gathering of The Fabulous People. I was wearing my black pants that used to drape so well but that now dig into my gut. And the host of The Fabulous People was wearing a bow tie. And he invited us to explore every nook and cranny of his five-bedroom, six-fireplace, heated-floors-in-the-bathroom, scented-with-quince-candles-that-he-buys-in-Paris home.

It was lovely.

Absolutely nothing was out of place. Not a thing. It must be exhausting to live that way. No piles of mail. No Rubbermaid containers, even in the basement. Nothing in the fridge ...

Well, that part was wholly disturbing. Three dishwashers, but nothing in the fridge seems morally wrong.

I was sort of glad to go home to my little post-war ranch and Swiffer up the dog hair. But I felt decidedly unfabulous.

If you're looking for a happy medium between my shack and the 5,500 square foot perfection I visited last week, take a gander at the holiday house tours offered by some bloggy friends:

Giving Up On Perfect

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday house tour.

I am so annoyed.

I had an appointment this morning with my new ladydoctor.

I don't like her.

And she's sending me in for a myriad of boob tests. Seriously? Would you people just get over my rack already?

So. I won't go on and on about how the nurse told me to put on a smock, but she pronounced it "schmock," or how the ladydoctor didn't even crack a smile when I told her pap smears always make me think of getting swabbed for strep throat. No. Instead? I'm gonna talk about Christmas.

I put up my tree this weekend.

I don't understand folks who have color-coordinated trees. I guess my tree is like my house - junky. And meaningful.

This is my favorite ornament. Just because it makes me laugh.

And yes, Ms. Patti LaBelle is right next to the Ewoks. And yes, that is the Geriatric Poodle's collar.
Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter watched me put up the tree ... and didn't bat an eye. I couldn't help but wonder what sort of weird-ass shit I do on a regular basis that Lil' Frank - who is having his first Christmas - thinks a fake, decorated tree in the middle of the living room is a normal sort of happening.

Today, he finally started paying attention. He sniffed at the tree, and then barked at it for about 20 minutes. At least I know he's not visually impaired. Just an insane doxie.

This is my grandma's dresser, repurposed as a buffet in my dining room. I have to admit, I'm pretty excited about these vintage ornaments that I bought on sale after Christmas last year. And yes, I have sort of a thing for vintage pottery. And pink. And turquoise.

Notice the cute shrine made by the uber-talented Linda Crispell. Notice, too, the skill with which I managed to avoid showing the mountain of crap on my dining room table. Trust me - I'm just protecting you.

My mom and I made these stockings over Thanksgiving. Because she is crazy artsy and talented and doesn't mind me coming along for the ride. See how cute these are?

But wait! They are two-sided!

This side is made with an old tablecloth of my grandma's. It was all stained and had a good life as a valance in my apartment kitchen. Now? Livin' on celebrating Christmas, a holiday Grandma loved.
I'm so excited about these. And making stuff with my mom is so cool.

Next stop on Cha Cha's Holiday House Tour?

Yes. My super-talented mom made me a Christmas quilt! A quilt with turquoise and pink in it. Does my mama love me or what?

Obviously, Foxie is a big fan of the quilt. I couldn't get a doxie-free pic of the quilt.

And finally ... we have an appearance from everybody's favorite holiday amphibian: Krampus the Christmas Frog!

He's up high because Lil' Frank keeps trying to eat him, which is so not the Christmas spirit.

And yes, that's my dad, age 4. One of my favorite pictures in the entire universe. Does he rock that bow tie or what?

So, thanks for indulging me. Invite me over for your holiday house tour and I'll post a link to your blog!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I can't hear you over the whining.

I was trying to be a good parent. Really, I was.

I scheduled Foxie Doxie to get his teeth cleaned. Or, as the receptionists and techs at my vet call it, "his Professional Dental Cleaning."

Like, I brought him in this morning and am all, "Mah kidz here to get his teeth did" and they're all, "Foxie is here for his Professional Dental Cleaning!" Like they're trying to brand it as something other than a giant rip-off.


I've been putting this off for years. But, this year, I couldn't ignore the fact that Foxie's teeth were starting to look like they were upholstered with gold shag. You know what I'm talking about. So, off for the Professional Dental Cleaning we go.

The pup did fine. They called me while he was under and asked if I wanted them to pull one of his teeth that was chipped. See, because if it gets infected, they'd have to put him under again to extract it, and we could just be safe and do it now. Although it was possible it had been chipped for eons with no adverse affects.

It was one of his front teeth. I said no. Because I'm a lady, I didn't say "Fuck no," although that was on my mind.


When I picked him up after work, they gave me instructions on brushing his teeth every day (seriously? Have you met Foxie?). And then they brought him out.

Foxie took one look at me ... and then turned the other way. He clearly wanted nothing to do with me, as his body language very succinctly said, "You did this to me, bitch. You are dead to me."

But I did manage to get him in the car. It was at this point that I realized he was leaking. Well, not leaking, but he sounds like a punctured tire. Our evening has featured a soundtrack of one long, continuous, high-pitched cry. Also? Foxie is stoned out of his mind.

For a while, he could only keep one of his eyes open at a time. Now, he can keep them open simultaneously, but not really focused. However, one thing is clear: I am not to be trusted. Also? Dachshunds hold a grudge.

Considering that I'm still holding a grudge against that girl who tried to steal my bike shorts in 1991, I can't judge the pup. And my grudge didn't even involve actual physical pain. Foxie is acting like he'll never regain use of his jaw.

But his teeth? They're sparkly and shiny. Doesn't that count for anything?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gee, I wish I was back in the army.

Thanks for the suggestions about how to deal with the mail. I hafta admit that I like Iron Needles' approach:

Let's not talk about mail. Let's talk about White Christmas!

Oh, if you insist.

There are really only two - ok, three - Christmas movies in my world.

1. White Christmas. Obviously.

2. Trading Places. My family watches it every Christmas Day while eating lasagna. Because Baby Jesus likes Italian food and Eddie Murphy.

3. Love Actually. I broke down and - gasp! - bought this DVD yesterday. This lovely little movie gets me in the mood to put up the tree. And that sounds dirty, but I really mean putting up my Christmas tree.

But White Christmas ... where to begin?

Green Girl and I have discussed this before - the "Sisters" number is pretty much the greatest musical number ever captured on film. I desperately want Santa to bring me a giant feather fan - and one for my mom - so that we can work on our choreography. We've already got the song down.

Speaking of choreography, I gotta say that the "Choreography" number is one of the worst ever captured on film - perhaps tied with "Gotta dance" from Singin' in the Rain. Bygones.

And obviously, I've a) seen White Christmas waaaaay too many times; and b) they use the term "number" in the film a lot. It occurred to me last night that you could make a drinking game out of watching the movie. Just take a drink anytime anyone says "great little act" or "number" in reference to some supper club-style musical performance.

In all seriousness, though, I have a slightly different perspective on the movie this year. Right now, I'm listening to Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. And yes, I'm pretty much the last human on Earth to read this book. It's fantastic.

In portraying various members of "the greatest generation," Brokaw's book also paints a picture of what happiness and success looked like to those folks after the war. And White Christmas is a perfect time capsule of Hollywood's interpretation of that happiness. Put the actual war behind you, but know that your entire company would drop everything to have Christmas at your ski lodge should the call go out. The film's cultural significance is a dissertation waiting to be written.

In case you're in need of a dissertation topic, I also think it would be interesting to study Tootsie and 9-to-5 and how they both reflected and shaped women's roles in the white-collar workplace in the early 80s.

But White Christmas? Fantastic. Although no conversation about it would be complete without my dad's annual comment about Rosemary Clooney's character: "God, what a bitch!"

And ... Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Little victories.

With my many adventures last week - including wearing the same sweater twice in one week, splitting my thyroid pills with a knife because my prescription is up and I don't have a doctor's appointment until next week, and pretending that I'm a good girlfriend even though My Guy basically planned his own birthday celebration (including ordering and buying the tickets to the comedy show he wanted to see) - well, with all of this in mind? I'm opting for a low-key, low-effort weekend.

Actually, today is my favorite day of the holiday season. Today, I went shopping for the family I adopted. Because shopping for toys for a 9-month-old is fun. And I know the mom didn't say he needed clothes, but there was the cutest little sweatsuit at Target, and spending another $8 isn't going to make much of a different to my finances but will make my heart glad.

So, there's that.

And I've been picking up around the house, including the pile of mail that threatened to destroy us all. My name is Cha Cha, and I have a problem dealing with mail.

And I'm ashamed.

I flip through it to see if there's anything good. Then, I pile the remainder and ignore it until a massive mail effort, like tonight. I watched White Christmas and dug through a mail pile where I found the typical two-month-old mail. And also a receipt from getting my car serviced in December 2008.

Any suggestions for dealing with mail? I have used the "toss it in a bowl" approach for most of my adult life, but that's obviously not working. Ideas?

In exchange for your kind suggestions, I offer you the fruits of my most recent labor - downloading photos off my camera. There were 99 photos, and 86 of them were of Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter.

Again? I realize that I have a problem. I do.
But can you deny the cuteness?
No, you cannot.

But the mail - seriously. What works for you? I need to be adequate in at least one area of my life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fashion plate.

Today, I realized - while driving to work - that I was wearing the same sweater I wore on Monday.


I figured that no one would notice. So I kept on drivin'.

It's been a long week.

Usually, I'm the woman who looks you up and down in the elevator. And judges you and your too-short pants and droopy sweater. I never make comments, and I don't mean to be malicious - I just make mental notes. Remember, I'm an editor - it's my job to be nitpicky.

Unfortunately, that same eye for detail doesn't extend to my own wardrobe. This morning, this sweater was on top of the pile, so I went for it. I didn't stop to think that it was on top because I wore it most recently.

Here's hoping no one else noticed. I hope the other Elevator Fashion Nazis didn't catch on. I spent most of the day hunkered down at my desk, and ate lunch at my computer. While I didn't go so far as to limit my restroom visits, I should have considered it - any way to limit the exposure of my over-exposed shirt.

Again? It's been a long week.