Wrapping Presents

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My boyfriend is really, really good at picking out gifts and wrapping them. It puts a lot of pressure on me. I wrapped a few gifts I purchased for his mom and the entire time I was wrapping them, I was thinking, “Dan wouldn’t have done it this way.” And he wouldn’t have, because I had multiple — multiple! — times where I cut the paper too short on one side. There were other times I didn’t quite fold the paper over quite right, so it crinkled all ugly-ily and some of the edges are sharp enough to cut you.

Nothing like the gift of paper cuts to make you feel loved.


Writing Prompt: Three Countries I’d Like to Visit

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If I had the time and the money, I’d totally try to visit every country in the world. But to keep this post non-epic, and to answer the prompt, here are three countries I’d like to visit (in no particular order):

1. Holland. I think Holland would be a pretty spectacular place to visit for all kinds of reasons. My grandma’s family emigrated from there, so the ancestral significance is cool, and I also have family still living there and it would be pretty awesome to hang out with them. Plus the place looks pretty gorgeous in pictures, Amsel Light ads make Amsterdam look wicked fun (or, you know, one “dam good” city), my inner history nerd would be pleased about spending time in such a history-rich country, and plus, Rafael van der Vaart is from there. Nuff said.

2. Wales. I’ve been to Scotland, lived in England for a while, and been (very briefly) in Ireland. The only countries left in my tour of the British Isles are Wales and Northern Ireland. Though I’d love to see Northern Ireland, the country makes me a little nervous and I’d feel a whole lot safer visiting Wales at this point. Plus Wales has the magical “booktown” of Hay-on-Wye, the lovely Snowdonia, and Gareth Bale. I can live with the leeks if I can have the other things.

3. Denmark. There’s kind of a European theme to this list, yeah? Ever since I read a series of historical YA novels set in Denmark, I’ve wanted to visit. Copenhagen sounds pretty cool. A friend of mine studied there for a year and I followed along with his adventures via is blog, and Denmark just seemed like a really awesome place to be.


This Feels Cliche, But…


…it doesn’t feel like Christmas is only 4 days away.

I feel like every year since I was, oh, 12? 13? Christmas stopped feeling like “Christmas.” I always just assumed this was a natural part of getting older. But even though Christmas wasn’t quite as magical as it was when I was a kid, I could still kind of feel Christmas coming. Especially while I was still in school… teachers, even in high school, never seemed to care about school stuff as winter break rolled around, and there’d be snacks and movies and presents among friends. And in college, the holidays would be ushered in by the glorious feeling of finishing finals and then heading home for a while.

For the four years after I finished college, I still could feel that holiday excitement approaching, since I was working at a university library. It was always awesome seeing the students leave (woo hoo!) and getting to have the library almost empty except for the “outside users” who would come in just to sit on the computers all day. And there would be a holiday party with silly gifts and good food and, if we were lucky, champagne. The holiday break was never very long, but it was still preceded by that almost-Christmas excitement.

This year, however, is the first year since 1989 that I haven’t either been in school or working with students right before the holidays. Instead, I’ve been working in my little cube under the stairs, only interacting with students when they walk by outside my window and stare in at me like I’m in a zoo. And other than getting a box of holiday cookies from my boss and seeing one of my co-workers rock a totally awesome necklace of tiny Christmas lights, there’s been no holiday build up. So it’s blowing my mind that Christmas is at the end of this week.

Maybe that mind-blowing is why this post feels so disjointed and weird… or maybe all the Mannheim Steamroller I’ve been listening to this afternoon has addled my brain. Either way, I think it’s time to stop now.

Not Dead Yet

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I’m not dead.

My lack of posts may indicate otherwise, but I promise, I’m alive and well. Things have been incredibly busy in the past week or so as I’ve struggled to finish up a bajillion things at work and home before vacation/furlough.

Traveling always kicks writing/creativity/etc. in the balls and that appears to be the case again. I’m worn out, dealing with limited internet connectivity and availability, trying to get all my Christmas shopping done and just feeling pulled in all directions.

As such, I’m officially taking a short-term “leave of absence” from PTQ for the reminder of my vacation/furlough. It is just too hard to write consistently here at home and I hate feeling guilty about not writing.

I’ll be back–gun’s a blazin’–in the New Year, but for now, I’ll only be posting if/when time permits.

See y’all in 2011…


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The stress of the new job, combined with the shitty snowstorms and my car’s lack of four-wheel drive have left me utterly exhausted. I feel like I’m on the edge of a breakdown. With that, I will end tonight’s post. I’m going to take my contacts out, do all my other bed-preparation routines, find a magazine I haven’t read and try not to damn Minnesota weathers to hell.

Writing Prompt: The Most Evil Thing I’d Do… bwa ha ha!

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Because I’m still unable to come up with ideas for posts on my own, this time I’ll borrow a page from Lindsey’s book and answer the Plinky prompt: If there were no consequences, what is the most evil thing you’d do?

What’s the most evil thing I’d do if there were no consequences? Easy. I’d burn down Emirates Stadium.

The Emirates, for the uninitiated among you, is the new football (soccer) stadium in which the scum play. The scum being Arsenal, aka “The Arse.” As I am a Spurs fan, I hate the scum and their fans, called “Gooners.” Gooners also hate me (or, they would if they knew I’m a supporter of the Yids), as well as my beloved lads in white and blue.

Basically, as the old song goes: If I had the wings of a sparrow, and if I had the arse of a crow, I’d fly over Arsenal tomorrow and sh*t on the bastards below. (Fun fact: I usually substitute the words “poo” and “wankers” in the last line, since somehow I’m usually singing that song in front of my Mum and don’t want to offend).

Anyway, that’s what I’d do. I’d wait until a time when no one was in the stadium, because I’m not so evil that I want to murder people, and I’d burn that sucka down. Then I’d spit on the ashes. And you know what? I’d also burn down whatever parts of Highbury, the scum’s old ground, is left standing. Just because.

Hell, while I’m at it, I’d burn down Yankee Stadium as well. Because I’m a good New Englander.

But before I do all that, first I’d sneak into my upstairs neighbor’s apartment and steal all her shoes. I would then throw these shoes into one of the massive bonfires I start. I’d also tamper with their pipes so that Stompy and Mr. Stompy would no longer be able to hog all the hot water in the house. But I would not steal any of her packages from the mail because that is unneighborly behavior and I will not stoop to her level. I will not!!

But mostly, I’d burn down the Emirates. And it would be awesome.

Writing Prompt: My Perfect Sunday

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How’s this for a weird, Twilight-Zone kinda situation?

This morning, Drew and I were watching The Phantom Gourmet as we were waiting for our apartment to warm up enough for us to wander into the kitchen to make breakfast, and one of the episodes included an interview with a restaurant owner named Jim Messenger. Hearing his name, my brain instantly thought of Hot Fuzz, one of my favorite movies of all time, since there is a character in it named Tim Messenger. I believe what came out of my mouth next went something like this: “Jim Messenger? Tim Messenger! ‘Hi hi!’ ‘What is your idea of the perfect Sunday?'” with the last few words spoken in a bad Gloucestershire accent.

Imagine my surprise, faithful reader(s), when I glanced at today’s Plinky prompt only to see “What is your idea of the perfect Sunday?”

Naturally, the universe wanted me to answer this question today, and so I shall.

My perfect Sunday (let’s narrow this down a bit… my perfect Sunday in late December) would involve waking up around 10am, putting the kettle on, and watching some footie on tv with Drew while drinking tea. Preferably, it would be a Tottenham match, and in a perfect world, they would win. Against Arsenal. By a score of 9-1.With Jack Wilshire scoring the only goal for the scum and Fabregas, van Persie, and Nasri all picking up injuries that would keep them out for no less than 4 weeks each, but for which Spurs would incur no yellow or red cards.

Our Christmas tree would be up and decorated, and its lights would be on as snow falls gently out the window behind it, making the perfect, cozy backdrop. We’d make pancakes after the Spurs match ends, and they wouldn’t burn or clump up or otherwise fail to cook perfectly, and I would not cry into the batter or get otherwise frustrated. We would eat our pancakes together in loving bliss, then return to the couch to watch the noon footie match.

Perhaps I’d read after that match ends… a good book, obviously, and I’d be cozy under a blanket on the couch while Drew reads beside me or plays WoW. Perhaps there would also be a good, long phone conversation with my Mum, followed by (or preceded by) a friendly phone convo with my Dad, and some random, silly texts from friends I haven’t heard from in a while. Drew and I would rustle up some lunch, and then maybe play some Mario Kart or Rock Band. Or maybe I’d wrap some Christmas presents. There would be hot chocolate with Fluff as more snow falls gently outside, but not accumulating enough to be a pain or cause dangerous driving conditions.

When dinnertime rolls around, we’d go to New Ginza, find a close parking spot, and eat some delicious sushi without getting too stuffed. Hot sake would be enjoyed. We’d return home and cuddle on the couch while watching a movie, perhaps Black Adder’s Christmas Carol or Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol or Love Actually. Then we’d read in bed before drifting off to a nice, restful, long night of sleep.

Yeah, that sounds lovely.

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