Archive for November 2009

A Dose of Christmas Cheer

November 29, 2009

There needs to be a vaccine that can inject people with Christmas Cheer and Spirit. Needs to inject into the veins of society feelings of joy and goodwill towards men and even bliss. The vaccine should be consisting of the smell of rich hot coca, the sound of light jingling sleigh bells, and the taste of cold, soft snowflakes fresh from the heavens.

 And I need that damn vaccine.

Try as I might, I just cannot feel Christmas-ey. This could become problematic.

The past several years my family has been very haphazardly throwing together a sort of Christmas. The trees have been small (if present) and the decorations minimal. Gifts have been given either early or late according to sales and there have been no homemade cookies or toasty fires. Goodwill towards men has also been nonexistent.

Our nativity scene where the wise men are larger than Jesus and the Holy family. (It's because they are wise)

However, that is changing this year. My mom decided to begin cleaning out the attic by bringing down and setting up all of the Christmas decor and knickknacks so we can then decide to toss or give away whatever we don’t want/need after the season is over. Luckily we just cleaned out (by cleaned I mean moved all the stuff out of and just put it into different rooms, including my own room) all the furniture and crap out of what was created to be the formal sitting and dining rooms. (They are connected and really the computer room and the junk room.)

Well, I do believe my mother must have lived through the Great Depression because our attic could be on one of those TLC “Clean House” shows. And there is a LOT (I mean a LOT) of Christmas things.

Some of the smaller ceramics still in good shape. (Not all of it is pictured)

 

Anyway, keep in mind this stuff has been untouched in the attic for a good 5 years at the least so…

  • There were corroded and dry-rotted Christmas moving dolls
  • Candles that had melted, hardened  and continued that cycle until they didn’t look like candles
  • Things filled with bugs
  • Water damaged ornaments
  • Lots of dirt
  • Broken figures floating inside of snow globes
  • Animatronics with corroded batteries
  • Parts of things you know a rat probably ate for lunch
  • A lot of broken things
  • Yes, the anamatronic bear is naked. No, I don't know why a bear would have human legs.

  • A lot of blood…from my dad dripping blood all over the floor after getting a large splinter
  • A lot of crawling in the attic and trying not to touch the itchy insulation or hit your head on a rusty nail
  • A lot of my mom saying “Oh Dana, do you remember this?”
  • A lot of me not remembering
  • Plenty of trash
  • 4 different size & color Christmas trees
  • A lot of throwing boxes down the attic ladder while trying not to fall
  • Boxes and boxes of things my mom claims she didn’t buy, but received as gifts (Really mom, nobody ever gave you a set of 24 ceramic angels, don’t even try that one!)
  • Damaged, but yet brand new Christmas decor bought for 70% off
  • A lot of people being angry

And a HUGE mess.

Forget the vaccine. I’m going to have to partake in some serious underage drinking to survive this year.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Let bygones be…

November 27, 2009

Since everyone is beginning to get into the cheery holiday spirit where they experience the “joy of giving” and are just so darn happy, it only seems right that I play my role as the Debbie Downer or the Duck duck Dana downer- that’s a knee slapper).

Last spring I developed a saying and it pretty much became the code I live by. You know that stupid saying,

“Let bygones be bygones.”

Well, nobody really knows what that means because really, what the hell is a bygone? And why wouldn’t you let a bygone be a bygone? How many people are actually going to say “No, I think that bygone should not be a bygone and instead be a gofourth (or insert other made up word here.)”

Anyway, one day I was talking with King Aaron about something I was disappointed about (it was obviously so important that I don’t remember what it was) and ended my story by saying, “Oh well. Bygones”

King A laughed so hard because he said he never heard anybody use bygones like that before and that’s when I realized the impact of the word. Some trying times ensued after that development, and had I not had my bygones attitude, I would probably be on anti-depressants right now.

If I had to create a definition for bygones, it would go something like this: Bygones is an event, situation, or experience that you really can’t change. You don’t have any (or enough) control to change the outcome of the event, situation, or experience. Where most people would say “Crap, I’m screwed,” I would say bygones.

Bygones is best explained with examples, so here is a list of things I would (or already have) personally bygoned.

  • What, I didn’t get to go to the college I wanted to?-Bygones
  • What, I’ve never had a boyfriend?-Bygones
  • What, I didn’t get the part I wanted in the show?-Bygones
  • What, my parents are angry at me?- Bygones
  • What, I didn’t do any homework this weekend?-Bygones
  • What, you forgot my birthday?-Bygones
  • What, I don’t have any money?-Bygones
  • What, there is not really a knight in shining armor?-Bygones
  • What, I was stood up at my own wedding?-Bygones
  • What, I’ve turned into the crazy cat lady?-Bygones
  • What, I’ve been evicted?-Bygones
  • What, I’m going to die alone?-Bygones

What, you didn’t like this blog post?

Bygones.

Don’t tell me what I am

November 23, 2009

On Saturday my friends decided it would be fun to be spontaneous and go somewhere cool. However, since the weather was rainy and sucky, our options were limited.

We decided to go to Main Event, which is like a high tech version of Chuckie Cheese that older kids and teens can have fun at. King Aaron (kingaaron.wordpress.com) wanted to ride this virtual roller coaster, which is a red box that can fit two people and goes upside down and twirls around while a screen inside makes it look like you’re on a roller coaster rather than in the box. I was not interested in this.

The screen inside the red box

I do not tend to enjoy roller coasters very much and I hate the ones that go upside down. This was a fear instilled into me by my overly cautious mother, which is where I get my inability to take risks. My friends decided that I was going to go because there were four of us, so if I didn’t go somebody would have to go twice and that wasn’t fair.

We had just eaten, so I told them that I would barf over whoever I went on with. They didn’t care. I had a jacket and a pretty heavy purse so I told them they would have to do some hardcore holding. They still didn’t care. King Aaron told me that if “babies” (as in kids probably younger than age 10) could ride the ride, I could too. I still wasn’t interested.

Somehow, someway, I am still unsure of the details, I found myself getting into the red box. There were kids in line for the virtual roller coaster watching us sit down and get strapped in. On little boy, he was probably about 8 years old said to his friends, pointing at me, “She looks scared! Look she is scared!”

I lost.

“Don’t tell me what I am!” I shouted back at him. “I’m not scared! Don’t tell me I’m scared!”

Thank god his parents weren’t around or that could have escalated rapidly. Dana gets kicked out of Main Event for screaming obscenities at children.

My friends were cracking up at my outburst and the guy helping us into the box had the audacity to ask me, “Are you sure you’re not scared?”

I don’t know why it bothered me so much, but I felt the need to defend myself. You would probably do the same if a stupid 8-year-old boy was telling you you’re scared. Don’t tell me what I am. I will decide what I am. If I say I’m not scared then I’m not scared.

The ride itself was tolerable (not , but it made my face hurt because we were upside down for a long time. I also freaked out a little because I seriously thought the buckle was not going to hold and I would end up hitting my head on the ground. Thank goodness it didn’t.  I also considered barfing to show my friends that I wouldn’t do this again, but I didn’t do that either.My friends were also pleased that I went out of my comfort zone to appease them.

When we got out the guy running the ride said to me, “That was an awful lot of screaming for somebody who wasn’t scared.”

I just gave him a look.

Don’t you dare tell me what I am.

Afternoon shift

November 20, 2009

I help teach musical theatre and with our oldest class (ages 10ish-15ish) we are using a few classes to focus on acting. We wanted some short scenes, but none of them had enough characters for us to only use one scene. (Ex: We are using “Scrambled Eggs” but it only has 7 or 8 people.) So we decided to create some of our own. This is the one I wrote called “The Afternoon Shift”. Its set in a Target-like store. Its not perfect, but I think its entertaining and will get the girls to develop character skills and improvisation skills.

The Afternoon Shift

By Dana Lizik

5 Roles: Cashier, Large Pants, Grandma, Dead Bird, Itchy

Cashier stands on stage behind the counter fiddling with the register humming to herself, very happy. First character comes to the counter with an item to return.

Large pants: I need to return these pants. They are obviously too big.

Cashier (cheery): Good Afternoon! Let me see how I can help you.

(Cashier takes the pants and holds them up, looks at Large Pants confused)

Large pants: Is there a problem? Can I return them? I have my receipt.

Cashier: You don’t need to return these. They look like they would fit just right.

Large Pants: No, (a little irritated, sarcastic, laugh) they are much too big! They fall right off!

Cashier: Are you sure? Did you try them on? (Walks from behind counter to hold pants up against lady) You probably wouldn’t fit in a smaller pair. (Still cheery)

Large pants begins to get angry at the cashier while the cashier is still measuring the pants on Large pants and begins humming again. Next customer comes near the counter. Waits a beat before stepping closer.

Grandmother: Hello dear (to cashier) What lovely pants! They look to fit you perfectly! (To large pants)

Large Pants gapes at both the cashier and Grandma. Begins to get so angry she can’t speak fully and begins a lot of sentences without finishing them (ex. Well, I never… How could they think…) Walks two-three paces to the side of the counter still looking at pants.

Cashier: (gets up, big smile) Good Afternoon! How may I help you? (To Grandma)

Grandma: Well dear I need to return this nightgown, it’s much to reveling. My dear Benjamin nearly had a heart attack when I put it on for bed the other night!

Large Pants is in shock, but getting angrier and starts to stomp around a little bit, begins speaking a little louder to herself.

Cashier: (holds up nightgown, look confused at Grandma) You don’t need to return this. Wrinkles and flabby arms are all the rage I’ve heard.

Another customer walks toward the counter looking very sad and upset, Large Pants goes up to her immediately.

Large pants: Do these pants look like they would fit me? (to Dead Bird)

Dead Bird: Yes, probably. Oh! If I had those pants I could fit my bird Dutchess in the pocket (cries a little) Oh how I miss her!

Large Pants gets angrier and rants to herself rather loudly. Dead bird stands in line being sad.

Grandma (to Cashier): No, no dear (starting to get irritated) Benjamin asked me to return i

Cashier comes around counter begins to hold up nightgown against Grandma still very cheery.

Cashier: Return Benjamin maybe, because there is no need for you to hide the wrinkles.

Grandma: That’s the rudest thing I ever heard. My Benjamin would be appalled! When I was a girl if I’d said something like that my parents wouldn’t let me eat for a week!

Cashier comes around counter begins to hold up nightgown against Grandma still very cheery. Grandma is lecturing on manners and being polite Large Pants is getting angrier and louder, Dead bird begins to sniffle loudly and whistle like her bird. Itchy enters scratching everywhere and takes time to scratch in between words.

Itchy: Umm excuse me…umm….I need some…umm help. (to the cashier who’s still arguing with Grandma)

Cashier: Good Afternoon! No problem! How can I help you?

Large Pants (finally getting really angry): Stop making all that noise! (to Dead Bird) All I wanted to do was return these pants! But no! First I get called large then I have to listen to you wail!

Dead Bird: I’m sorry (sniffles). Dutchess just went to the biggest birdhouse in the sky but I miss her so much.  I need to return these shoes and get a pair with a bigger box to give Dutchess a proper burial. It’s so sad! The only thing that makes me feel better is to express myself in song… (Sings)In the arms of an angel, far away from here….When somebody loved me…. (And other sad songs really off key)

Itchy: (to cashier) I think…umm… these people are….umm in front of me (points to the group)

Hubbub in the group with Large Pants trying to get Dead Bird to quit singing so loudly and still asking about the pants fitting her. Dead Bird singing and crying at the same time. Grandma giving lectures on etiquette and talking about when she was a little girl.

Cashier (cheery): Nope, they’ve all been helped. What can I do for you?

Itchy (still scratching in between words) Well…ummm… I need to return this tent with built in…ummm… bug spray repellent. It doesn’t work. I ummm….went camping and ….ummm…got 512 mosquito bites.

Cashier (cherry): Did you actually sleep in the tent? The tent works so maybe you set it up wrong or camped by a lot of mosquitoes.

Itchy: Umm… no I followed the instructions…umm I think it’s broken…can I return it?

Grandma: (yells loudly) Wait! (Points to Itchy) She was right! We were here first!

Dead Bird: I haven’t even gotten to talk to the cashier!

Large Pants: Hey, I was here before all of you and she has yet to help me!

ALL: Commotion yelling things like “I was here first!” It’s my turn!” “You need to take my ___ back!”

Cashier: (glances at clock, shocked) Oh goodness!  (The begins to talk faster, still happy) I know how to solve all of these problems.

Large Pants: I should hope you do, you work here not us! Just take back our stuff!

Itchy: Can…umm…I just…ummm return the tent?

Dead Bird: If only there was a way to solve the problem of my broken heart! Dutchess! (Cries)

Grandma: You want to know who knows how to fix problems? In World War II… (Rambles an old story)

Cashier: QUIET! Let me fix these.

Cashier switches items to everyone. Gives tent to Large Pants, gives nightgown to Itchy, gives shoes to Grandma, gives pants to Dead Bird

Cashier: Have a lovely evening everyone! Runs quickly back behind counter and puts “closed” sign on register.

Hubbub leaves confused/angry with phrases like this:

Large Pants: Does this tent look like it would fit me?

Itchy: I can’t wear…ummm… this nightgown camping because…umm… more bugs would bite me

Grandma: My Benjamin will like these shoes! I had a pair just like this back when I was a young girl in… (Rambles about her past)

Dead Bird: Dutchess would have liked these pants. She would have fit in this little pocket right here. Dutchess was the best bird…rambles about Dutchess

Cashier: (to herself) I love helping people (cheery) but thank goodness I only work the afternoon shift! (Sigh of relief)

Window Wonderland

November 19, 2009

When people think winter holidays (CHRISTMAS REALLY BUT THAT’S NOT PC!) they usually think lights, Santa decor, sleds, snow, trees, cookies, presents and so on.

I think windows.

Not so much here in hill billy Texas and even less so in the prestigious Clear Lake area, but in big cities like Chicago and New York holidays mean window decorations.

This year,  Barneys New York is filling their windows with Saturday Night Live decorations in honor of SNL’s 35th anniversary this year.

May I just say genius? And also thank you.

What cooler decorations in the world than  two dozen caricature,  life-size, papier-mache ornaments of the Cone heads, Church Lady, Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, King Bee, Coffee Talk, Land Shark, Mary Catherine Gallagar and the rest  of the gang? I would fly to New York just to take pictures in front of it.

The creative director of Barneys said in an interview that “Holiday windows, he explains, are supposed to generate traffic, bring hoards of shoppers and tourists to the front of the store to “ooh” and “aah,” and garner some media buzz. At the same time, the windows need to convey taste, luxury and humor, all of which he considers the core of Barneys brand.”

I think SNL characters are a great pick because they make people laugh and are different from Santa Claus and his reindeer. I would go into Barneys because of them.

Its takes some real creativity to come up with ideas like this.

Cone heads

Some of my ideas for holiday window include:

  • Broadway inspired characters in a “best of broadway” using traditional musicals like the Sound of Music kids and such or  “funniest of broadway” with the Avenue Q puppets, Knights from Spamalot and more.
  • Save the homeless pets (with pictures of dogs from the ASPCA animal commercials)
  • Alice in Wonderland (because why not? Especially with Tim Burton’s movie coming out soon)
  • Nightmare Before Christmas (a little more holiday-like)

What would you want to see in store windows?

Read the entire Barneys article at http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wirestory?id=9109822&page=1

 

 

Run, Forrest, Run

November 18, 2009

I decided I want to be one of those people that goes running in the morning. I don’t really know how this happened because I am not the running type. Normally the only times I run are:  into my room when my parents are attempting to get me to do housework or when I’m being chased by a rabid pack of dogs or a mugger brandishing a knife. Even then they better be some big, fast dogs or a mean looking mugger to actually get me to run (my parents always do the trick though). So I really don’t have an answer for why I want to be a morning runner. It just seems like a thing I should do. Maybe.

I am psychically fit by defination, mostly because there is probably some kind of law that says if you take like 10 hours of dance a week you are fit. I’m not a string bean weight-wise, but my friends allow me to wear skinny jeans (Its in the name people- if you are not realitivly thin don’t wear them!) so I don’t contribute to Houston being the fattest city either. But I’m not running fit.

This morning I went running.

Dramtic pause for effect.

Well, it really was more of just a light jog.

I decided that if I wanted to do this, I wasn’t just going to blog about it but actually do it. So I didn’t set the alarm. I needed to be awake by 6 a.m. at the latest to have enough time to run and get ready. I decided if I woke up by 6 a.m. I would go and if I didn’t it wasn’t meant to be.

I woke up at 5:50 and thought “Crap, now I actually have to do this!”

So I dragged my sorry ass out of bed and realized it was cold this morning. I sucessfully refrained jumping back under the covers and went to brush my teeth and get dressed. Getting dressed was a problem.

I don’t have any “running clothes” because I’ve never bothered to run. I have a car. Anyway, I was cold so I put on a pair of sweatpant, a pair of cloth pants, a sports bra, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a jacket. And gloves and thick socks. By the time I was finished dressing, I looked like I really needed to run. Anyone who saw me was probably like “Thank God that fat girl is running now before she turns in Santa Claus.” Then I did some runners stretches, or the kind of stretches I assume runners do in my house before venturing outside.

First, the newspaper delivery guy almost hit me because he was throwing the paper to the door step just as I was opening the door. I refrained from returning to my bed.

Then my neighbor, who was walking her dog at 6 a.m. gave me a rather strange look and watched me almost drop my ipod on the ground. Still refrained from returning to bed.

I started power walking and was soon at  a jogging speed with ease. Everything was going much better than expected.

However, a few things began to happen after I was going for a while. First, the cold air began to hurt my lungs (I went to the doctor once and he said I have cold air induced asthma, but doesn’t everybody? Also that was partly an excuse to not run in high school). Then all the clothes I had on began to get very hot. I learned that when you run you get warm, so its not a good idea to wear two of every item of clothing. Also you cannot change the song on an ipod with gloves on because the circle dial doesn’t move.

So there I was sweating from all the clothes, not being able to breathe from the cold, my nose running from the cold, and stuck listening to a song that says something about dying. Things were going well.

Every time a car passed by I pretended to jog faster like people who cross the street in front of your car pretend too. Fake it till you make it.

The pressure was on though because I wanted to make it home before sunrise so more people didn’t see me and think I was a creature of the night. (They would know I wasn’t a vampire because of the slow speed I was at, but zombie could have been  plausible)

When I finally arrived back to my house, my mom was awake. “Where did you go?” she asked me (because it wasn’t obvious I just partook in hardcore physical activity and maybe I actually went to go get donuts. “What route did you take?” she asked. I told her all the street I went down.

“That’s not a very long way.” she said.

She has never been jogging at 6 a.m.

Purple Boots (Learning sexy)

November 16, 2009

I bought the most amazing purple boots this last weekend. I know heels would have been sexier, but you only live once.

images

The purple boots, which I never would have bought before, come from a new mindset. Ever since “Chasing sexy away” King Aaron, who is a Top Model and Vogue expert, has taken pity on me and has been trying to make me over. His job has not been easy.

I am reluctant to change fashion/appearance wise, but the boots could be considered a marked step of progress. I went to the store to find a sensible pair of brown/black shoes to wear to work and I came out with $50 purple boots. That was certainly thinking of sexy first. King Aaron would rather heels of course.

Anyway, it has taken me 18 years to figure out that I’m going to have to learn sexy, so I still have a long way to go to get rid of my “grandma style”. King A has a lot of undoing to do.

But there is progress, just look at the boots. This isn’t over yet.

Maybe next time I will get the heels.