Posts Tagged Christmas
As I’ve said a million times, 2012 has been anything but a walk in the park for me or the rest of the world. The tail end of the year has been especially uninspiring, so after I recovered from my post-Sandy cocktail of bronchitis and pink eye, I was disheartened to hear that my mom would be relocating from my childhood home of fifteen years into a new place mere days before Christmas. Moving day ended up taking place on the 21st, and with all the babysitting and unpacking we had to do, we didn’t even think to get a tree.
Not only is this my first Christmas in more than a decade that I haven’t spent at my Scotts Valley home, but also my first Christmas ever without a tree. I won’t divulge much, but I’ve been fretting over an ill family member for weeks as well. Then there’s the lingering fear of what’s going to become of me in 2013 and forever longing for something I may never have again. I can’t say I’m down on luck, but I’m not in the happiest or most certain of places either.
With so many changes and endless amounts of mystery, I didn’t even bother with my lifelong Christmas traditions, which in the past entailed watching holiday movies such as “Elf” and “Home Alone” on repeat, leaving a long-winded letter for myself in one of the ornaments, and laughing about inside jokes from Christmas flicks that amused me and my friends in the early 2000s. I just didn’t care to pretend everything’s the same or worth observing this year — and you know what? I’m glad I ditched tired, pointless traditions (which were keeping me in a state of arrested development), welcomed change, and was reminded that Christmas is about people, not arbitrary routines, structure, forced sentiment, childish movies, or decorations.
Last night, my mom dressed up our ficus tree, which is the best we could do this Christmas. Not too bad, if you ask me, and I’m not being sarcastic in the least:
I also had a chance to hang with my awesome and adorable new niece Grace, who is as cute as newborns come:
Was this Christmas dramatically different from that of 2011, when I was bursting with excitement over my exciting new job as opposed to disillusioned by the constantly changing, heartbreaking, underwhelming workforce? Yes it was. A year ago, I was confident good things were ahead. I maintain such certainty but recognize that I may have to wait longer for solid results thanks to some less-than-wise choices I made in 2012. That’s the gist of adulthood, right? Learning to live with impulsive, emotionally driven, or poor decisions. What better place to screw up than Manhattan, where everyone is a disaster?
I can’t boast about my cool, glamorous professional circumstances at the moment, but I can say that I made more friends and met more people this year than I ever expected to post-college. I always thought life ended after higher education. As it turns out, college was only the beginning of the party for me, just like 2012 was just one insignificant year in the grand scheme of things. 2013 will be better, not because my mom will have long settled into her new digs by next Christmas and purchased a tree, but because I plan on taking the biggest risk of my life before the end of the year. You’ll see it in book form soon enough. Sit tight and stay tuned.
Because I’ve been dreading January since mid-August (when my buddy Nikki moved back to the east coast and inadvertently gave me the reality check that the days of summer are numbered), it came as absolutely no surprise to me to learn that today is considered the most depressing day of the year. I’ve been bummed about winter for a long time, but the wave of sadness hit me most the day after Christmas, and I wound up publishing this piece as a result.
Research finds that January is hard on a lot of people. Christmas bills continue to stream into our mailboxes, leaving the house requires immense bundling up, you can’t help but look frumpy, and work expectations are intense again. Worst of all, vacations are out of the question.
Blue Monday doesn’t have to be sad, though. I was actually pretty content today, as my office was closed and I didn’t have to work. For the first time in three weeks, I had a valuable gym visit. I went into Forever 21 without purchasing anything, and considering my newfound love for shopping, my willpower surprised me. I have a full week of social and work activities ahead, so I’m staying busy regardless of the 16 degree weather, which is less noticeable here than in D.C. because New York gets a lot of sunlight. Though I rarely feel the warmth of the sun here, the light does the trick.
Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist in New York, told the Daily News that only 6 percent of New Yorkers suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, of which I was definitely a victim last winter, so I think I’m fine here. The key to dealing with chilly weather is piling on the layers and remembering to wear a hat, pair of gloves, and scarf for most outings.
So all was well today, in part because I came home to these:
As I’ve admitted before, holiday movies push me through winter because I can pretend all the biting cold weather will be leading up to Christmas Day, yummy food, adventures with friends, and visits with family members. Other than Valentine’s Day, there aren’t any fun celebrations in the near future to plan for, so coasting off Christmas is my best option here.
I’ve done a decent job going out on the weekends, but it would be so much easier if I were closer in location to my friends or had really strong friendships here. My network may be growing, but as I told Nikki in October, I’m without a Nikki in New York. As my dad would say, I’m without a wingman. It took me nearly a year of living in D.C. to acquire one there, so I more than anyone else recognize that it takes time to finds friends whom you can call at any moment and hang out with on a whim. There’s a reason why Rachel Bertsche’s book, “MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend” has garnered nationwide attention: Picking up female friends ain’t easy.
Women don’t live in Jason Segel and Paul Rudd’s “I Love You Man” world. There’s a lot more honesty and security and less competition going on between these characters than you’ll often find among females.
When push comes to shove, it’s just best that I recognize quality relationships do not blossom overnight, and because every social gathering or bar reunion turns into a bitchfest, there’s little to connect over besides shared complaints and concerns. Hopefully when summer approaches, this won’t be the case.
Be sure to tune in to Clash Radio at 11:20 a.m. ET time tomorrow, I’m going to be talking about one of my latest articles! I believe you’ll be able to find the audio at this link on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed that I speak coherently and articulately. Better yet, here’s to hoping I’ll get future television and radio gigs.
I’ve always wanted to meet Bill O’Reilly, so maybe someday my colleague MaryKatharine Ham can make an introduction!
As my good friend Luke Money often reminds me, “Patience is a virtue, L. Diablo.” It’s also something I’ll always need more of!
I’ve been super busy writing news blurbs and reports at work, and among my favorite Daily Caller piece so far tackles the issue of the elimination of the ‘n’ word in an updated version of Huckleberry Finn. Go read the article, I had a blast writing and researching it.
When I’m not writing stories, I’m laughing at weird commercials and news oddities. I’ve been desperately trying to sift through the Youtube search engine for a particularly hilarious Capitol One Venture Card commercial, but I can’t seem to locate this amusing ad.
So, I instead giggle about the Usher song conspiracy theory, which claims that Usher Raymond ripped his tune “OMG” off Homer Simpson.
Listen for yourself and hypothesize. Personally, I don’t think Usher poached anything from the Simpsons, but who doesn’t love a peculiar conspiracy theory every now and then?
“Christmas in December, wow wow wow! Give me tons of presents, now now now!”
Still not buying it.
Oh, and you know my obsession with commercials? Here’s another ad that I always laugh at during work hours.
“Maybe we should move you over to Mamby Pamby Land, ya Jack Wagon!”
Here’s the ever amazing, weird, uncomfortable “Ladders” ad I’ve recently taken a liking to:
This has been the best Christmas since 2004. This year, I’ve chosen to take my brother Kevin’s advice and quit feeling sorry for myself every time someone does me wrong, a relationship becomes strained, or I’m treated unfairly. Acting like a perpetual victim is not only unattractive, but a terrible way to carry oneself. As Kevin once said, “the ‘poor me’ mentality is so beneath you!” I sometimes feel others take advantage of my dispostion and mistake my kindness for naivite, but I’ve stopped letting it get to me.
With that slice of information, perhaps you can better understand why I haven’t considered the past five Christmases to be all that rewarding. On Christmas Day 2004, I went with my sister and parents to see “The Aviator.” When presented with heavy traffic on Highway 17, my dad yelled out the window, “Go home, everybody! Get out of my way!” Earlier that day, we went to St. Joseph’s Catholic Shrine on the beach and had brunch at Peachwoods Restaurant. For reasons still unknown to me, the male waiter called me Britney Spears. I saw the same server today and he poked fun at me again, this time saying, “Look at you with your peppermint ice cream. You just think you can get whatever you want, don’t you?”
“Of course,” I replied.
During the Christmas season six years ago, I was a high school junior, and I was enamored by a young classmate named Kevin. He knew it, and while he told my friends that he found me cute and funny, he was unsure he wanted to date me. So I took the risk of sending him one of those candy grams and mistletoe that student government was selling. Soon after that, Kevin gave me a shot. So Christmas 2004 was all around awesome.
And this Christmas was phenomenal. I saw my best childhood friend the other day. Last night, I hung out with my brother, his wife, and their kids. I gave their nanny, Mary a big hug. Mary is a 23-year-old Colombian import, and she’s definitely the sweetest person I have ever met in this world. When I told her that, she started crying and thanked me for making her feel so happy on Christmas. After all, her family is in Colombia and her boyfriend lives in Florida. If I lived in California, I’d hang out with Mary more often because she has the warmest heart of anyone I’ve come across. Just being around her gives me hope for the rest of society.
As always, the nephews were hilarious, and they even gave their remote control Buzz Light Year toy a time out because “he kept running into the wall.”
This morning, I woke up to several awesome Christmas gifts, one of which was an iPad. I was very taken aback by this present, which I suggested a few months back because I thought it’d be a useful tool for work. I’ll definitely be using it on the metro, on the weekends, and when I’m too lazy to turn on my laptop. I know, me and my first world problems. To be fair, my brother Mikey purchased an iPad for our brother Kevin, so I’m not the only sibling to be in possession of one! My mom also got me a blanket/bathrobe thing, which I’m wearing as I type this post.
Later on, my mom and I went to see “How Do You Know,” which was cute and very realistic. Though the film was a bit too slow for my liking, the characters were easy to relate to. I did, however, despise Owen Wilson’s role as a two-timing, shallow, vapid rich dude. He has set of about 20 unopened toothbrushes in his bathroom as well as multiple pink sweaters in different sizes to choose from, implying that he sleeps with tons of women.
“Can you believe the nerve of this guy?” my mom asked.
“Well, at least he provides his one-night-stands with clothing and toothbrushes. Most men with that personality type would never be that thoughtful or generous.”
Hilarious. “How Do You Know” isn’t worth your time, but it certainly has some captivating characters.
Yesterday, my mom and I had an interesting discussion in line at Trader Joe’s. We laughed about the fact that the women in our family are often scolded for apparently making faces and having sullen looks. It’s been a problem for all of us, especially in school. Like I said, we wear our emotions a lot more than we recognize.
An old hippie guy behind us said, “It’s a good thing you’re expressive. Your inner chokra comes through. I used to be a mime, so I know all about animated faces.”
This is one of the great things about being raised in northern California. People are unusual and open to talking to anyone at any time. I kind of wish there were weirder people in DC, which has its fair share of crazies, but not necessarily funny eccentric folk. I miss all the weirdos I’d see singing and dancing on the streets of Santa Cruz. I miss the warmth of the gay men I’d encounter in San Francisco. And of course I miss Peets Coffee and quality Mexican cuisine of California.
I hope Christmas treated all of you right this year. The month of January is never all that great, so enjoy the holiday season while it lasts!