November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

OMG, I didn't realize how long it's been since I've been back :)

Well, Thanksgiving was a pretty low key affair. We did have an invitation to go to my girlfriend's mom's house for dinner but I made a critical error. I let it slip that they karaoke and DH flat out refused to even think about going. We ended up having a nice, quiet Roast Beef dinner since we're not real big on turkey. DD was a little disappointed since they've been going on and on at school about the turkey dinner and she really wanted it but, like I said, no-one in this house really cares for it. At least not a whole bird's worth of it.

I braved Black Friday - that's traditionally what they call the Friday after Thanksgiving - and it's the day all the stores have the big sales to kick start Christmas shopping. I guess it's the equivalent of Boxing Day shopping. Only thing was that this year, it was pretty quiet compared to the past. I went to the mall around 6:30 am, the store I wanted to go to was supposed to open at 6 and I didn't realize that the WHOLE mall was open at 6 and while, there were quite a few people there, it was more like a weekend crowd as opposed to the BIG SALE day crowd. I've braved Boxing Day sales in Sydney and Toronto where I got in early and left before the riots, and I mean riots, no exaggeration. I've witnessed the wedding dress sale rush in Filene's Basement - you couldn't pay me to step foot in there that day. This year, there was nothing of the excitement of the sale which probably isn't going to be good for retailers. I also noticed that the sales weren't that great either, there was the usual electronics specials and a couple really good specials on a FEW toys but the real, bargains that you used to be able to find were almost non existent.

But, Christmas shopping is DONE!! I'm expecting the need for the last minute present as usual but family gifts are packed away to be wrapped. On that note, let me say that I don't approve of people putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, even if you don't celebrate it. It just somehow seems disrespectful to me. It's like celebrating Easter before Christmas, doesn't seem right. There are quite a few houses in our area that have had their yards decked out with lights and snowmen for almost 2 weeks now and it didn't seem appropriate. And let me say for the record, in Florida, there is NO SNOW so there should be NO SNOWMEN in the front yard. Dress Santa in a Hawiian shirt and sunglasses, snowmen in 75 degree weather (22-ish Celsius) don't exist. Even if we are having a cold spell, it's still warm enough to wear shorts.

Still no scrapping :( but I'm in the (long, slow) process of clearing off my work space to set up the sewing machine to quilt. Ambitions...

November 13, 2008

Why is this so difficult?

We've been trying to sort out Christmas lists. The local toystore is going to be open on midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving so I'm getting a list prepared and for all the stuff that they've been asking for, I still don't know what to put on the list.

We narrowed it down to about 4 items each and a couple big items that they have to share but for some reason it took all morning. I don't get it.

Another thing, I don't understand why I'm compelled to get them anything at all. Little monsters still can't pick up what they've thrown down and when I was that age, I was lucky to get anything at all. My mom will freely admit that we didn't get stuff when we were kids, mainly because the money wasn't there but also, my parents would work like dogs right up until Christmas Day and never had the time to shop anyway. Christmas Day was one of the few family days that we had and that was only after they got to sleep in.

November 7, 2008

What happened?

Not much. A funny thing happened though, I finished reading the Twilight series - and let me say now, I've never been affected by a story like that since I read Jane Eyre when I was 9. Ever since I finished it, I've been in a funk. I think it ended too well, too perfect and for the intended teenage audience, that's probably the perfect ending but for my jaded and advanced years, I found that I was depressed. It took a long time to figure out exactly what was bothering me and I think I was experiencing, for the first time in my life, envy. Envy that I physically cannot achieve that state of contentment and happiness that ended the story, envy that I don't have all the time in the world to pursue all the things I want to achieve. All this hit me last night and it was like a wall came down and I can breathe again.

Well done Stephanie Meyers!! You got me good and to be honest, I loved it.

Turning my attention to MY life now, quite a few things can happen in 7 days. You can:
  • Start, er, restart, running again
  • Completely overestimate cake batter volumes and end up with 3 doz cupcakes and a 15" bundt cake from the same batch
  • Start and FINISH 3 novels - more on those later, I hate when I finish something in the middle of an incomplete series
  • NOT download a cardful of photos from your camera
  • NOT take pictures of all the Christmas tags you've finished
  • Vacuum and mop up crumbs from under the dining table 3 times a day and still not see a difference
  • Look helplessly at a mountain of crap on and around your desk and STILL decide to do nothing about it - reading is so much more interesting
  • Wonder why it is your children are the ones in school but you're still doing homework
  • Completely ruin a dinner that's supposedly fool proof
  • Make new friend that could turn out to be a very distant relation
Yes, in 7 days, this and more can happen and there's still no mention of sleep in that list and a looming family crisis.

Anyway, back to the reading thing...

I think this is just to piss me off, but all the authors/books that I've gotten interested in or want to read, are not currently available in the US until sometime next year. Karen Miller's final installment to the Godking trilogy isn't available in the US until next year. I still can't find Alan Campbell's 2nd novel here -ok, ok, he's British, but it was available in Sydney when we left so I assumed that I'd find it here eventually. Brent Week's final installment to the Shadows won't be available in paperback until December and that series has been out for ages - and yes he's American so it doesn't quite suit the rant but it's my rant so piss off. Most of these books are written years in advance, why can't they be published together so I get them all at once??? No wonder I keep rereading them, by the time the last one's out, it's been 2 years since I've read the first one and the OCD in my compels me to finish what I've started. I have to reacquaint myself with the whole story and that throws me off.

Anyway, on my waiting list is Karen Miller's Godking finale, Neil Gaiman's next novel - I forget the name, oh and as a completely different aside, Coraline is being made into a movie and I'm really excited about that, I'm trying to find my copy so DD can read it. Sadly what could be Terry Pratchet's last novel is also due out soon. Hopes and good wishes to him and his family. Beetle Bardly is here in a couple weeks. I've also discovered that Lynn Fflewing has released a new series so that's on the radar too.

Onto my new friend...funny how some people seem to be destined to meet. I took the kids to a halloween party of a couple of their school friends and I met this really cool lady there. She's:
  • Chinese
  • Married to an expat Aussie from Perth
  • Has 2 kids - 6 and 2
  • Lives about 3 streets down from me
  • In Chinese - that is, if it was written in Chinese characters - the SAME maiden name
  • Totally cool
It was so funny. Bits of our conversation was something like:

"My husband's Australian"
"My husband's Australian. Where's he from?"
"Oh my God! My husband's from Perth!"
"Which community do you live in?"
"No you don't!"

And so the night went on. It was like watching someone else have my life so we're keeping in touch so the boys can meet and the kids can play. That was one of the more profound moments of my week.

Finally, Madagascar 2 starts tonight so we're heading down to the drive-in tomorrow to check it out with a fried chicked picnic.

Ta daa!