Christmas

All posts tagged Christmas

White Stuff in the Air

Published November 30, 2015 by Malia

This is what it looks like as I write this…

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If you can’t tell, those white specks are the dreaded snowflakes.

As I’m watching the snow, it occurs to me that snow doesn’t bring grown-ups joy.  When I was little, every kid I knew lived for snow.  Playing in the snow was the greatest thing ever.  Even if school didn’t get cancelled, snow meant the playground got turned into a magical wonderland.  Once snow days are no longer are a part of people’s reality, suddenly snow becomes this evil, awful thing. 

I get it, I really do.  Most of my years as a grown-up have found me griping and bellyaching every time snow is even mentioned.  “Ugh, not snow.  I don’t wanna have to drive in that.”  Snow is a hassle.  It’s pointless.  It gets dirty and makes everything look awful and bleak.  People who’ve spent their whole lives around snow still haven’t figured out how to drive in it. 

However, as I’m watching the big, fluffy flakes fall this morning, I’m feeling very happy and peaceful.  Sure the roads will be crappy later, and I’ll probably be pretty grumpy after dealing with them, but right now that doesn’t matter.  Right now it looks like the beginnings of a Christmas card outside, and that makes me happy. 

It’s been a few hours since I wrote the above, here’s what it looks like now…

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The Post-Holiday Calm

Published December 27, 2013 by Malia

Time for a random stream of things that have been going on…

Well, another Christmas has come and gone.  This was a better Christmas than the last couple.  Last year was the first Christmas after Grampa dying.  I was in a bad place due to a really crappy year, and the whole day just felt off.  I ended up sleeping for most of the day.  Also, this year I was finally financially stable enough that I was able to get presents for everyone.  As someone who enjoys gift giving, this made me quite happy.

I saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug two weeks ago.  I’m still not 100% certain what I think of it.  It was beautifully done.  The dragon was amazing.  However, there were so many changes, the book nerd in me is still having trouble resigning myself to the movie.  I’m anxious to see the extended edition so that I may make a better final judgement.

I saw Catching Fire three weeks ago, and it was absolutely amazing!  Heartbreaking, but amazing.  There was only one change that they made that I was genuinely irked by, but it was pretty insignificant when I considered how accurate everything else was.

I came home tonight to find two police vehicles in our parking lot.  Not police cars, these were SUV type automobiles.  Apparently, there’s been a spree of robberies in town, and they tracked the burglars to one of the condo buildings in the grouping where we live.  I guess the burglars stole something that had GPS in it, and they were stupid enough to turn it on.  Hence the police finding where they were hiding out at.  I guess it was quite exciting about half an hour before  I got home from work.  Mom said the police helicopter and about fifteen police SUV-things were here.   Sad, but also relieved I missed it.

We’ve been passing around some sort of nasty bug at work.  I know, I know, it’s a shocker that disease would be present at a medical reference lab…  I’ve spent 3 weeks with horrible headaches and stomachaches.  It’s been loads of fun.  Also, it’s been making me an absolute “delight” to be around.  I’m afraid it’s sealing my status as nasty witch with a capital B at work.  Which is really too bad, cause I’m a pretty nice person.  Or at least, I used to be.

So, I really want one of the single serving Keurig machines.  There’s only one small problem: it’d be a bit of a waste of money.  I don’t drink coffee and I rarely drink tea or cocoa.  I think I’m just generally fascinated by them, and that has led to this ridiculous desire to own one.

Sherlock is returning!  If you’ve never watched it, go to Netflix now and fix this part of your life.  (There’s only six episodes currently, it’s less than a day of binge watching.)  One of my friends spent yesterday watching it for the first time, and she proceeded to say, “I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book.”  I happen to agree with this.  He and Alan Rickman could get together and read the sides of cereal boxes and the backs of shampoo bottles and it would be the most fantastic thing ever.

I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful…

Published February 11, 2013 by Malia

I’m not dead, yet!  It’s true.  I’m not at 100% yet, but I’m feeling about 50% better than I did this time last night.  I’m not sure what exactly I managed to come down with, but it’s been a real “treat” having it.  I look forward to not blowing my nose anymore.  On the flip side, I’m quite thankful that I have access to Kleenex and Nyquil.  I just hope this week goes quickly so that I can have a fun filled weekend next weekend.

So, let’s see, what non-trying-to-die things have been going on in my mind lately…

-I really wanted to go to a movie this weekend.   I haven’t been to one since I started working a month ago, and while that’s not really a long time, I just think it’d be fun to go now that I actually have a steady, reliable source of income.

-Speaking of, I still have a job!  Granted, I missed a day and a half last week, but as far as I know they still like me and want me to continue working there!  Oddly, the day I missed completely, I was so bored I found myself wishing I was at work.  However, I was so sick, being at work would’ve been a bad thing.

-Finally watched the Doctor Who Christmas special.  While it wasn’t bad, it just isn’t going to go down in history as one of my favorite Who episodes.  However, I’m even more intrigued with the Clara Oswin Oswald character than I was before.  I’m also hoping that she’s going to be a transition companion.  While Matt Smith has grown on me (yikes, that makes him sound like some sort of medical condition), I just feel like it’s time to move on.  He’s getting close to wearing out his welcome.  Bring on Twelve I say!

-Going in the ditch in South Dakota has been on my mind, a lot, lately.  I’m not sure why.  I guess it’s the first time in my entire life that I truly felt utterly and completely helpless.    Not 100% sure what to do with this, guess I’m still processing it.

-I’m finally getting around to writing the second draft of my NaNo story.  The going is slow, especially since I’m pretty much only working on it during my break time at work.  Guess it’s more a labor of love than anything else.

-Are there any good dating etiquette guides out there?  I’m so confused and have no idea how one goes about dating.  It was so much easier when you had gentlemen callers come call on you in the family parlor.

-Thinking I need to get my hands on season 2 of Downton because I was utterly confused by the whole “Her Ladyship’s soap” bombshell that Thomas gave Bates.  It has to be something from season 2, and since I missed most of season 2, if this is something from the show I would assume that’s where it’s from.

Random Saturday Musings

Published December 30, 2012 by Malia

-So, today I was at Hancock Fabrics, and I looked up from whatever it was I was looking at and noticed a couple of people at the end of the aisle.  Normally, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but what drew my attention was that two of them were wearing the Fourth Doctor scarves.  (Two different versions.)  They turned out to be pretty cool, and randomly meeting fellow Whovians totally made my day.

-I’ve yet to hear back from the job I interviewed with last week.  They told me they’d let me know one way or another by the end of this week.  I’m hoping that they simply forgot to figure in the fact that Christmas was this week, and I’ll hear something next week.  I’ve been in full blown panic since last night.  I know I shouldn’t worry, but being jobless is not something I handle brilliantly.  Plus, I really want the job at the lab, and the longer I have to wait to find out if I got the job makes me more and more stressed.

-The flu has been bouncing around our home since Christmas Eve.  It finally attacked me this afternoon.  Hopefully it’s about run out of steam.

-I’m super excited about the S Loom I got for Christmas.  I do loom knitting, and I’ve been drooling over the S Loom for a couple of years now.  I’m really bad at stitching panels together to create a blanket, so the S Loom was really appealing to me because it allows me to make blankets without having to mess with the stitching of panels.

-So, I’m not sure if I stumbled across something really incredibly stupid, or the most brilliant money-making scheme ever.  Yesterday, I was at the grocery store and one of the freezer endcaps had a deal featured that was if you bought 6 Lean Cuisines you got either a free pack of Skinny Cow ice cream treats or a free container of Edy’s ice cream.  Now, I thought people at Lean Cuisine because of the weight brought on by eating things like Edy’s.  However, if the person on the diet eats the Edy’s, they’ll gain weight and need more Lean Cuisine.

-Yesterday, I went to the Joslyn, and was once again confronted with the fact that while I really love art, I just don’t get modern art.  There was a piece of paper that was painted with a rectangle of black and a rectangle of grey.  Those were the only things on that piece of paper, and it was hung proudly on the wall.  I’m confused.  What about that makes it art?  I grew up believing that art was something you put your heart and soul into.  Maybe the artist is obsessed with rectangles.  I can’t think of any other reason that makes it make sense.

-I was introduced to Spotify this week.  It’s what I’ve always wanted Pandora to be.  I like that if I’m in the mood to hear a specific song, Spotify will play said song, and not one that it judges to be similar.  Although, I’m really hating that tonight Spotify is insisting on playing Trojan commercials every single time it goes to a commercial break.

-I can’t believe it’s almost 2013.

-Tonight I realized that the relationship of Sherlock and John on Sherlock is exactly like that of Sheldon and Leonard on Big Bang Theory.  John is Sherlock’s filter.  He’s the one who keeps Sherlock in check.  This is pretty much what Leonard does for Sheldon.

-Speaking of Sherlock, !!!!!!!!HERE BE SPOILERS!!!!!!!  I’m still trying to figure out how he survived suicide.  Obviously, he did, but how.  Mom’s theory is that there was a mask that he put over Moriarity’s face.  Possible, but it’s still bothering me that we were shown someone alive standing on the edge of the roof moving around.  I know that Molly had to have helped him cook up some solution, but I still can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

The Day After Yesterday

Published December 26, 2012 by Malia

Be warned, this is a super long post…at least for me….

Well, Christmas is pretty much winding down.  All in all, it was a good Christmas.  I had a bit of a meltdown mid-day Christmas, and ended up sleeping it off most of the afternoon.  I just suddenly really missed Grampa.  This was the first Christmas without him.  The whole day, while good, felt wibbly-wobbly.  I know he’s in a better place, and much happier because he actually feels good now.  I wouldn’t have wished continuing to be miserable on him.  The thing is, our immediate family is so small, and Grampa being gone just makes us an even smaller group.  It somehow emphasizes the fact that he’s gone.  It’s hard wrapping my head around that fact sometimes.

A few weeks ago I ended up watching the show Hoarders and it really got me to thinking about all the stuff I’ve got.  I’ve got a lot of stuff.  Really, much more stuff than anyone needs, and it’s just stuff.  Sure, I have a few things that are really important and meaningful to me, but overall, I’ve just got a lot of stuff.  I think the time has come to get rid of a lot of my stuff.  I’ll keep my books and movies, but there’s so much random crap that’s been living in boxes under my bed and I haven’t looked at it in over a year.  Clearly, I do not need it to function as a human being.

The thing is, going in the ditch in South Dakota a few weeks ago started tweaking my perspective on life and such.  I guess, I never really filled all of you in on what happened after I wrote my post about going in the ditch and then being rescued and spending the night in Brookings.  What happened following my writing of  my December 9th post was even more “exciting” than going in the ditch.

About an hour after I wrote the December 9th post, I went to bed, only to wake up about 3 hours later in a full blown panic attack.  I’d had a nightmare and all I remembered when I woke up was that I was driving, and the van was going off the road and all I could see was blinding whiteness.  My panic attack basically consisted of my realizing that not only could Katy and I have frozen to death, but the fact that neither the 9-1-1 dispatcher or sheriff’s dispatcher were willing to do anything (even offer a kind word) to ease our terror.  Basically, I felt that they had left us to die.  Trust me, that’s pretty much the worst, most scared I’ve ever felt for my life (and ironically, we were completely safe at the point this feeling kicked in).  I ended up calling my mom in the middle of the night, completely hysterical, wailing that, “9-1-1 left us to die!”  Once mom got me calmed down a little and we prayed, I ended up calling my “sister” and we talked some more and prayed, and I was finally able to get to the point of being able to go back and get some sleep.

Now, when we went in the ditch on 12/9 Katy’s mom had talked to a towing company in Brookings, and they had agreed to rescue my vehicle on Monday morning.  So, when Katy & I got rescued, I called 9-1-1 back and told them not to worry about moving the car, we’d made arrangements to get it in the morning.  The dispatcher told me that was fine and that she’d documented it.  I also left a big sign under the windshield on the driver’s side with my name and phone number.  Come Monday morning, Katy called the towing company, and they told us that there were about 6 cars they needed to get before getting to ours, but they’d give us a call when they needed the keys.  About an hour later we got a call from the towing company telling us that not only was the van no longer in the ditch, but the state troopers had my van towed during the night.  Katy’s phone connection was bad, so she only got that my car was somewhere in a nearby county.  I began calling counties, and each person I talked to was completely rude and unhelpful.  Finally, Katy called the towing company back and asked if they could give her more details about where my vehicle had been towed.  They told her that the van had been towed by Tiny Town Towing in Tiny Town, SD.  Immediately, I turned to Google maps because I had never heard of Tiny Town.  Tiny Town happens to be 40 miles southwest of Brookings (Perfectly logical place to tow it, right?  Since I crashed 10 miles south of Brookings…)

I called Tiny Town Towing, and proceeded to get told that not only was my vehicle there, but there would also be fees to get it back.  I asked repeatedly for specifics on the fees, and was told that it was $100 for getting the van out of the ditch, $3.50 per loaded mile for taking the van to Chester and also for taking the van from Tiny Town to Brookings, on top of which, I was told there would be fees for diesel fuel, service, and labor.  I could not get her to tell me what the last three fees would come out to.  So, I told her I would have to call her back.  I ended up calling home finally and telling mom and dad what was going on.  Dad told me he would call Tiny Town.  At that point I was an emotional wreck because I’d spent the better part of two hours talking to rude person after rude person.  Not only was I not being my normal sweet self on the phone, I was being a stern, direct, no-nonsense “I want answers” person.

A few minutes later I ended up getting a call from Sheriff who was the county sheriff responsible for towing my vehicle.  Our conversation went something like this:

S: May I speak with Milia?

Me: This is Malia.

S: Hi, Malia, this is Sheriff  from …. County.  How are you today?

Me: Hi, Sheriff, I’m pretty stressed.

S: Well, I just wanted to let you know your vehicle is at Tiny Town Towing.

Me: Yes, I know, I’ve been talking to them.  I don’t understand why my vehicle was towed without anyone letting me know that was happening.  Especially, since I had left my phone number and let 9-1-1 know we’d made arrangements to get the vehicle towed this morning.

S: Well, it’s protocol that we tow all the vehicles from the side of the road.  If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t call anyone who’s vehicles we towed.

Me: That does not make me feel better!  Did you even bother to look at my license plate?  It says I’m from Nebraska.  I don’t know where anything is up here, and now I find out that my car is in Tiny Town which is apparently 40 miles south of here.  I went off the road 10 miles from Brookings.  I do not understand why this happened especially when I made arrangements and no one bothered to contact me.

SW: Well, you can’t just have anyone with a pick-up and a towline come out and get your vehicle.  It has to be an actual tow company.

Me: I made arrangements with an actual tow company here in Brookings!

SW: Oh.  Well, I can talk to Tiny Town Towing and see if they can bring your vehicle up.  I was there when they pulled out your van and saw where they parked it.  Of course, there will be fees for all this.

Me: I have a grand total of $20, I have no idea how you expect me to pay for this.

Honestly, there wasn’t much after that, basically I told him that we were trying to figure things out.  He pretty much ended up the conversation there.  If Barney Fife and Boss Hogg had a love child, I’m pretty sure that child would be Sheriff W.

Anyway, by that point, I just collapsed and gave up.  Fortunately, shortly after that I got a call from dad and he’d worked things out with Tiny Town Towing.  Turned out they gave him a completely different quote.   The van got dropped off about an hour later.  My sign was still sitting where I left it, and the windshield had been cleared off, so it was apparent that the sign had been seen.

I guess mom and dad were on the phone back and forth with the South Dakota state patrol all Monday.  Every time the state patrol called back they would change their story.  They eventually tried to tell the parents that I was on the road illegally, because the interstate had closed at 1:07 p.m. and I was out on the road after that.  We easily disproved that by the fact that we had text message and phone log proof that we had gone in the ditch at 12:56.

Anyway, long story short, avoid South Dakota in the winter.

Getting back to my original point, the whole realizing that we could have died or at least gotten hospitalization level hypothermia has really been working on my whole thought process. I’ve started thinking about what I really believe and also what I want out of life.  Super heavy (apparently, something’s wrong with the earth’s gravitational pull in 2012).  So, I’ve started making a list of what I want to accomplish in life before I’m 30 (which happens 11/24/2014 at 2:35 a.m.).

1.  Actually finish writing my novel.  I’ve got a good first draft, and have started on the second draft.  It’s not a life changing novel, or anything, but at least it’s better than some pop tween fiction I’ve read.

2.  Lose weight.  Okay, this is an ongoing one, but I really want to be 100 lbs. lighter by the time I’m 30.  Which is totally do-able.

3.  Clean out useless crap from my room and/or life.

4.  Go on a date.  To this point I’ve been on one date in my entire life, and while it wasn’t a bad date I’d like to experience one where I don’t feel completely blindsided.  (It’s an entertaining story, and the guy was a nice, decent, good guy, just not the guy for me).  I would like to reach 30 having gone on more than one date.  It’s not a big deal, but it’d be nice.  Plus, I’ve got two really super cute date appropriate shirts now, so that should count for something.

On a different note, even though Christmas is over for the year, you should totally take 5 minutes of your life and watch the Penny & Teddy video I posted yesterday.  I have to say that making these videos gave me a whole new level of appreciation for professional puppeteers.  I thought doing the videos would be quick and easy, and I was shocked that in order to achieve 7 minutes of semi-okay footage we worked for about 5 hours and only stopped because the two diabetic performers (mom and I) hadn’t had lunch and we were both about ready to pass out.  Here’s the video I posted yesterday (yes, I realize that I’m harping on this, but I’m actually pretty proud of myself for actually finishing a project for once in my life, and that said project turned out fairly decent).

Okay, well, I’m all pau for tonight.

Aloha.

 

P.S. There’s no Tiny Town, SD, I just changed the town name.  Also, I was nice and didn’t share the sheriff’s name.  I should also mention, that I’ve always had a lot of respect for the law, and those who do that work, and overall it really saddened me to run into this situation.

The Penny & Teddy Christmas Special

Published December 25, 2012 by Malia

Merry Christmas!  It’s about 4:30 in the morning here, so I’m not up to writing very much right now.  However, I do want to share this video!  If you’ve not watched yesterday’s video, go do that, and then come watch this one.  If you enjoy, please go and click like & make sure to share with your friends!

It’s Christmas Eve!

Published December 24, 2012 by Malia

It’s Christmas Eve, and I thought I’d put up the teaser for tomorrow’s big video.  Today and tomorrow’s videos are what my parents and I spent hours and hours working on this past Saturday.  Here, without further ado, is the debut of Teddy’s Tribbleations!

See you all tomorrow for “Penny & Teddy’s Christmas Special.”  It’ll be the must-see video of Christmas!