Suburban life. Being a self-proclaimed (cause noone else would ever say it) ‘Domestic Diva’ one would think I long for the quiet streets and home life of suburban living. I never have. In fact I have often ridiculed my friends who have fallen into the trap of a happy home life in a cookie cutter house that I can never find because it looks EXACTLY like every other house on the street. Even when I was married and thinking about kids (yes there was a point when even I was caught up in the baby fever) I couldn’t bring myself to move out of the city and apartment living. I have tried suburban life. I really have. More than once I have lived in a house with a backyard and neighbors. It ended horribly every time. So my decision to move into a nice, neat Orange County neighborhood was a very difficult one. I spend a few seconds everyday hating the fact that I live in a cul-de-sac. Yesterday, though, I am not sure if it was the weather or the 3 Extra Strength Tylenol I had taken but I was LOVING suburban life. Does this mean I am changing to the Republican party? No, much to my mother’s chagrin. I drove home with the windows down listening to the easy listening station, stopping at Albertson’s on the way to grab some groceries. I got home, opened all the windows in the house, turned on the ‘Jukebox Gold’ music channel, took off my shoes, opened a beer, got in the kitchen, and started cooking dinner for Connie. Then I put the dog on the leash and took him for a walk, WITHOUT A HOODIE ON. Just a t-shirt. I even talked to two different neighbors on the way back from the park. And even smiled at them! I think I am becoming a mixture of Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom, Tom Hanks in The ‘burbs, and Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom. And I am not sure that’s a bad thing.
Warning: This blog may contain content that will disgust and amuse you at the same time.
So I took laxatives. No need to go into the reasons why. The fact is I took them. I was careful to take them so that they would kick in today after I got home from work. I timed it perfectly. Not even a cramp all day at work. I had one hour left to go and was feeling pretty confident that I had perfect timing when suddenly they hit me. What was I doing when they hit me? Helping Andy Garcia pick out a fireplace screen. Yup. Andy freaking Garcia. We are discussing how his home is more traditional than modern and which screen would better suit his style and my stomach starts to cramp. Badly. I felt like I couldn’t even stand up. Then I start to sweat profusely. I go pasty (pastier) white and have to excuse myself mid-conversation because I knew if I didn’t I would be mopping the floor and crying while apologizing to Mr. Garcia. I then spent the last 30 minutes of my work day avoiding Mr. Garcia and his wife while acting very non-chalant about handing over a sale by a big movie star to the new guy. I even went as far as to pretend I wasn’t even sure who he was and that’s why I was so willing to pass on the opportunity. So that was my day. As usual completely out of the ordinary…
For those of you who know me (What? You all know me? I have GOT to get more readers) you know I am a HUGE fan of Christmas. This year, though, I have been reminded of the more sentimental things about Christmas. Earlier this month I was feeling pretty terrible. My job was draining me, my finances were shot, and I felt pretty alone. I had already chalked this holiday season up with last year’s as a bad Christmas and was ready to try again for next year. Then within a two day time period, there were problems in my payroll with both of my jobs causing me to have no money and my account to be overdrawn. THEN the venue for the new show I was cast in was taken away and the show postponed indefinitely and since the venue was gone the show I am currently in is in limbo. THEN my service engine soon light came on. THEN my driver’s side mirror fell off. THEN I woke up to find my car missing one day. It had been towed for expired registration. PLUS it was registered in Oklahoma so I not only didn’t have the money to update it, I couldn’t get there to do it. I had no money, no food, and no cat food. It was Christmas and I had nothing. That is the worst feeling in the world. Knowing you are strapped and being so far from your family and completely helpless. But suddenly the most amazing thing happened; my friends and family started calling me and each other to help me. My brother waited at the tag agency to get my notarized fax and renew my tag. My boyfriend came from Orange County to listen to me rant and cry and drive me around. My Roomie told me not to worry about rent and pay what I could and bought us steaks to eat. My uncle took me and Steve out to breakfast and helped take care of my insurance. My Mom wired me enough money to get my car and take care of my ticket. Steve’s mom said I could stay with her if I need a place to stay for cheap/free. My friend Meredith ignored everything that was going on with her (which she shouldn’t!) and worried about me asking what she could do and even offering the use of her car. My manager and friend took me out for a nice dinner. And the waitress at Steve and I’s favorite pub gave us a free meal. It seemed like overnight I felt like George Bailey at the end of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. You know the scene where everyone starts showing up and giving him money and making sure he doesn’t go under? That’s what I have felt like this past week. I went from the proverbial standing on a bridge to being surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want nothing more than to have me succeed. I have always known they were there and that is how they felt but I am grateful they came through. I am incredibly lucky. These last few weeks I have rediscovered that no matter how bad it gets I live a charmed life. No matter how much it’s duck taped together, I have a car that runs. I have a boyfriend who loves me wholly and I love him. He’s a saint for putting up with my mood swings and food cravings! I have a GREAT family who is always caring and loving and making me feel a part of the family no matter how far away I am. I have a California family that is unbelievable and ready to help in any way even if we aren’t biological. I have friends who would drop everything to help me and love me as much as my family. I am one of the lucky ones. This is the time of year to be thankful for what you have no matter how little it may seem.
Late last night I found out that my friend’s partner had passed away. He just found out he was really sick in October. In the short time I knew Luis he made me smile and laugh and I always wanted to know him better. He and TK were an amazing couple and one that I hope to be like. My love and thoughts and prayers go to his family and TK.
In adding to your Christmas cheer I have handily made a list of my favorite Christmas movies and my favorite quotes from them. These are movies I watch every year no matter what! I hope you enjoy and feel free too add your own favorites in the comments!
1~Miracle on 34th St (1947) “Susan, I speak French but that doesn’t make me Joan of Arc!”
2~ELF (2003) “How about a tribe of asparagus children who are self conscious about the way their pee smells”
3~The Santa Clause (1994) “SAME TO YOU! AND THAT’S NOT VERY LADYLIKE!”
4~It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) “I was saving this money for a divorce if ever I got married!”
5~The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) “After all there’s only one more sleep ‘til Christmas”
6~How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) “The three words that describe you are as follows and I quote “Stink. Stank. Stunk.”
7~Scrooge (1970) “He’s stupid! He’s always been stupid!”
8~Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) “Break time’s over Bobby”
9~MST3K:Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1991) “What’s Vietnam?”
10~Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) “Let’s be independent together!”
1~The Little Drummer Boy~I don’t care who sings it, this song can kill my Christmas spirit in seconds flat. Not only does it drone on for DAYS but you can’t finish a sentence because you have to keep saying ‘pa rum pum pum pum’. Little word of advice: if that is the sound your drum is making you may need to take it to a professional. And you may want to consider getting lessons if the ox and lamb have to keep time for you
2~Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys~Don’t get me wrong. I like the Beach Boys. There are days I roll my windows down and play Little Old Lady from Pasadena while driving as fast as I can, which on the highways in LA is approximately 35 MPH. BUT I can not stand Little Saint Nick. First of all, Brian Wilson, Christmas does in fact come this time each year. That’s kind of the point. Secondly, Reindeer don’t run, they fly. Lastly Hanson did a cover of this song. The prosecution rests.
3~I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus~I hate to be the one to break this to you, kid, but your Mommy is having an affair…and she’s a chubby chaser. Also that wasn’t “tickling”.
4~Zat you Santa Claus by Louis Armstrong~Another artist I love that does a Christmas song I hate. Why do I hate this song? Because we are never quite sure if it is in fact Santa Claus or a scary burglar. Also the use of the word ‘Zat’ makes me cringe.
5~My Favorite Things~I realize I am stating the obvious here, but, this is not a Christmas song. Yet every year starting the week before Halloween (Seriously, can we please stop playing Christmas music so early?!) I hear it right along with ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and ‘So This Is Christmas’. You may argue that the packages tied with strings (What? Couldn’t spring for Dollar Store ribbons this year?!) and warm woolen mittens can be Christmas-y but I think they can also be very Epiphany-y. On top of that I can guarantee that wild geese, no matter what they are flying with on their wings, will never be on a list of my favorite things. Have you ever been chased by a goose? It’s scary. It really is.
6~Mary Did You Know~I know I will be getting a LOT of flack for putting this song on this list. ESPECIALLY from some of my family. Don’t stop reading just yet though! Hear me out! Okay the whole premise of the song is to ask Mary if she knew who her son was (that would be Jesus for those of you who live under rocks or are Jewish). I’m sorry but if I had never had sex and a FREAKING ANGEL appeared to me to tell me that I was going to have God’s son, frankly I would be a little upset if he WASN’T the Messiah! So essentially: Yes Mary DID know and YES Virginia there is a Santa Claus.
7~I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas~Just because you think your kid is cute and they want a hippopotamus doesn’t mean the world will think they are cute. Save the audio and subsequent embarrassment for their prom night. And please, PLEASE don’t sing along in your best ‘Look! I-am-an-adult-trying-to-sound-like-a-drunk-six-year-old-not-unlike-Will-Ferrell’ voice. Also, is the plural hippopotamuses? Do we have a definitive answer to that?
8~So This Is Christmas (War Is Over)~Besides be constantly played at every mall, CVS, Ralph’s, and restaurant I feel like this song starts off on the wrong foot. Sooo….this is Christmas. What have you done? A lot, actually! What have you done? Sit in the closet in the box marked ‘Christmas Decorations and Kitchen Towels’? On top of that this has to be the only song still played that refers to people as black, white, red, and yellow. (Well there is ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children’) Then how do we end the song? With off key children led by Yoko Ono. Everything I could forgive about this song just flies out the window at this point. John, rest your soul, you were GREAT! I just wish a Christmas song with children and Yoko wasn’t your song people hear the most!
9~Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time~While we’re on the subject Paul McCartney, I hear this song approximately 8,000,000,000 times a day. I actually liked this song very much and when people kept telling me this was their least favorite Christmas song I was kind of surprised. Then it happened. The song went on my rotation at work. That tinny cheery song I loved so much has become the bane of my existence. I love the lyrics who wouldn’t want to have a wonderful Christmas time?! But WHY do we have to have the choir of children? It didn’t work for John either!
10~Happy Holidays Part1 by The Ohio Players~Seriously. I think I had better let this one speak for itself… http://popup.lala.com/popup/432627090808395930 My favorite line? ‘And Grandpa’s stomach is so big and round’.
Dominic The Italian Christmas Donkey
Anything by Michael MacDonald
The Christmas Shoes
Home For The Holidays (the traffic is NEVER terrific!)