2010년 12월 24일 금요일

Christina's Obligatory Holiday Letter

January: Forced to give up munching on raw macaroni after cracking a tooth. Continued lamentations to this day.

Ran into bureaucratic SNAFU with client who had to participate for no more than 18 hours/week but at least 30. (Welfare reform is up for a vote this year, folks! You can point out to Congress that 18 will always be less than 30, no matter how many additional regulations they throw at it!)

February: Second root canal on the same tooth that got the last one. I cling doggedly to my teeth, often at great pain and expense.

Still spending work days trying to follow the regulations at work as convoluted as that scene in "Entrapment" where Sean Connery was talking Catherine Zeta-Jones through the maze of red lasers. Only not as sexy. Actually, not sexy at all.

Got to experience first hand the joys of mammograms, which were invented by Torquemada. Then I got to be stabbed in the hooter with a biopsy needle. As Greg said, "Don't get your tit in a wringer." How I wish!

Discovered that The Flaming Idiots were on a reunion tour, but couldn't afford to go see them. Bummer!

Developed meaningful relationship with my bread machine and finally gave in to the temptation to buy a convection oven/rotisserie/toaster oven.

Jenelle discovered, much to her and LuvMuffin's mutual surprise, that sex still causes babies. She announced the discovery by leaving the ultrasound out where she knew I'd see it.

Experienced the joys of heavy snowfall in the form of plenty of exercise. LuvMuffin would shovel the snow from the parking area to behind the hedges. I'd transfer it to the side yard to keep the hedges from collapsing. End result: side yard filled with snow to a depth of about fifteen feet.

Got t-boned turning into the parking lot on the way to work. Evidently the woman tooling along behind me at about 55 mph in a 25 zone thought I was making a left turn into the Feeder Canal Building to express my objections to Murtha's death, so she tried to swing around me on the right. Which was the direction my signal indicated I was turning in. Her insurance company totally understood her confusion. Mine told her to stop making illegal maneuvers at excessive rates of speed on snowy streets if she wants them to cover the damage to her vehicle. And I got to help Sandy the Maintenance Lady cover my busted passenger window with plastic sheeting.

Discovered that Buster Keaton performed in a program depicting what government regulations to do human beings:

Folks at work were trying to hook me up with Alexander Hamilton, but I remain faithful to Buster Keaton.

March: Don't ask. Fortunately, in with all the trials and tribulations of March, I did fail to burn the building down at work.

April: Found my son on FaceBook and MySpace. Expect resumed communication sometime after pigs fly but before heat-death of the universe.

Packed for my impending move. Since the house was also full of Jenelle's stuff and Dan's stuff and even odds and ends of Karen and Jeremy's stuff, this was no mean feat.

Again reminded how FUBAR US tax law is. How about we burn all the copies of the tax code to generate electricity? I'd vote for that.

The new crotchfruit is confirmed as female:

And she spends the rest of the month triggering false labor just to keep us alert.

May: Moved into my new house, which I'm renting from my dance partner, who had moved in with his new girlfriend. (So much for my dance instructor's attempts to play matchmaker. But I'd rather have a good landlord than a boyfriend anyway. MUCH less complicated.)

Got a Couch Surfer who turned into a part-time roommate. Welcome, Anna! She makes a huge improvement in my diet. What I eat for supper when Anna's here: Blackened tilapia on a bed of mini-pasta with a side of tomato salad, washed down with wine. What I eat when I'm by myself: a hunk of cheese, warmed up leftover pasta with butter, and a thing of leftover fast-food coleslaw, washed down with raspberry vodka and lemonade.

Learned that Verizon Internet is evil, but still only costs 1/2 of Comcast cable internet.

Put in the ground socket for my clothesline rack. Yay! It's the little things that make life enjoyable.

Went to PA Partners in Hershey with the crew from work. The food was great, even the Eyeball on a Plate.

Got a wonderful surprise when my friend's son greeted me in the hotel lobby.

Planted a garden that would leave me overladen with hot banana peppers. Not that I'm complaining!

June: End of the program year. Had to use up my vacation, so I spent it just chilling with the Givens in Harrisburg. Great times!

July: My friend's son's wedding. Beautiful!

Had a great weekend camping with Dani -- counting bats, cooking on campfires, renting a paddle boat, swimming at the beach, and melting the previous campers' broken beer bottled into an amorphous blob in the fire ring.

August: Feasting on the marvelous blueberries from the yard, and black raspberries in the neighbors' woods. Share and enjoy!

The Buster Keaton Festival was a bust. That's what happens when nobody realizes who's supposed to be doing publicity. Better luck next time, which will be March 2011. Women's History Month. Focus: Buster's Leading Ladies!

And alas, Loki ran away. After a fashion, anyway, since snakes don't have legs. Farewell, my slithery companion! You will be sorely missed! But Rosie joined the family.

Suffered Existential Crisis at work. What the heck kind of "Welfare to Work" program places strict limits on how much time participants are allowed to look for work? The Federally funded kind! Brought to you by the same politicians that think that enough regulations can make 18 be greater than 30. Hint to those of you who think welfare recipients are bums: If they don't find a job in just a few weeks, the Feds want them to just sit around and look busy for 11 months or so, then try again next year. If they continue to look for work anyway, they're threatened with loss of their cash benefits for failing to spend their time on the prescribed busy work. Your Tax Dollars at Work, making sure the dependent underclass stays dependent. Is it any wonder my job drives me nuts?

But on the plus side, my big old hulking knuckle-walking baby brother came home safely from Iraq. And I very much enjoyed the fruits of my gardening labor, and learned that the mushrooms growing in my h\yard are yummy puffballs.

September: The month started with Butterfly Pigheadeduncle McLean (better known as Vanessa Michaela) making her debut. She shot out so fast Granny couldn't get there in time for the delivery. L&D nurses were extremely contrary, keeping our Little Burrito away for extended periods, then whisking her in and unwrapping her before I could get pictures of the swaddled effect.

I also learned that the acorns in my yard are edible. Next year I'll be smarter about collecting them.

And finally heard from my friend in Wales! Yippee! Now, to save money for a visit!

And Rosie, in heat and not spayed yet, makes a new friend. Fortunately they did not concoct any puppies. Time to schedule some surgery for the pooch!

October: Had a fantastic time in Muskegon with the other Damfinos, though alas I did not catch Buster during the Bridal Run. Played the world's most laid-back game of baseball with Buster's daughter-in-law and granddaughter on the field where Buster played when he was a kid. Life is good.

Took a tumble down the basement stairs. My arms were all manner of interesting colors. Moral of the story: Those shoes are to wear in the office, not on the stairs while laden with a full laundry basket.

Learned from Kolya's new mommy that he has pituitary dwarfism, and found pictures online of dogs that look just like him. I KNEW he was a midget!

Won "Craziest" at the Halloween Dance. I'm told it was a Lifetime Achievement Award rather than a reflection on my Hot Witch costume.

Went trick-or-treating with Jenelle and all three grandkids. I was Old MacDonald. They were a cow, a cat, a piggie, and a duckling. Alas, we didn't get a decent picture. We'll try again next year.

Back at home, having run out of trick-or-treat candy, I started handing out disused toys, much to the delight of the children and the declutterization of my home. Will repeat the process next year- as a planned, rather than ad-hoc, activity.

November: Off to the polls on Election Day to choose between Beevis and Butthead in every race.

Then off to Peru for a mission trip, building new bathrooms, painting the old ones, and meeting wonderful people. I have GOT to go back next year!

Car and family. What more do you need for a happy Thanksgiving? If they're functional, that is. If they're dysfunctional, it's another story entirely. Which leads to ...

December: The car refused to act up when the mechanic was watching. But eventually it was diagnosed and fixed. Then I took the She Beast to see Tangled in 3-d. Kewel!

Cheap rawhide chewies did NOT sit well in Rosie's tummy. Fortunately the worst of it was over the weekend so I could let her out as needed to rid herself of their toxic impact.

Had fun at Sharon's Open Mic Nite, performing my soon-to-be-classic tune, "Road Kill on the Highway of Your Heart." Lots of talented folks to balance out my lack of talent. She'll be doing it again in January. Yay!

And while digging through the cupboards, found a food processor, still in the original packaging. Very handy! An early Christmas gift. Got to enjoy massive snowfall. Not. But my neighbor loves to play with his snowblower plow, so my driveway is always clear! Thanks, Rick!

Christmas shopping for Dani looked like a total bust until I found out that Amazon.com is having a Free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime, which comes with free 2-day shipping. Veggie Tales! Along with the highly-recommended Jesus Storybook Bible, and, for Rayellen, A Rose for Pinkerton! Picked up a few more odds and ends at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, and had a blast wrapping gifts. We had a great Secret Santa exchange at work (I got Joyce -- the very person I already had a gift in mind for!) Everybody got something they totally loved. Then we had fun with the White Elephant exchange. The annual Christmas Party at work was fun, with a handwriting analyst who also did hypnotism on the extremely susceptible Jill. I laughed 'til it hurt.

Now looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Evening with my girls! Hoping everybody has a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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