Tag Archives: holidays

Even the Grinch Has Issues

The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of people, but what about the post-holiday season when all the hype has died down? While many settle back into normal routines, there are a few people that find this time of year to be even more difficult.

grinch2

Why?

After weeks of being in the spotlight, they’re suddenly erased from the minds of the public for another 11 long months. Needless to say, a round of therapy is in order.


Patient Name: Little Drummer Boy

Session Notes: Possible abandonment issues coupled with concern over money has manifested itself into OCD, as LDB sat on the couch “pa rum pum pum pum-ing” on the table with a pencil throughout the entire session.

Talked of his willingness to follow three “wise” men without parental guidance. Expressed concern over lack of money and having no gifts to bring and asked to put his name on the card of the wise man who brought gold because he “had no idea what Frankincense or Myrrh are.”

Interested in starting a boy band like One Direction and naming it North Star. We’re working through this one.


Patient Name: Rudolph

Session Notes: Self-esteem issues evident by eagerness to guide the sleigh of seasonal employer (who was initially freaked out by his “abnormal” nose) after being told he would never join the flying reindeer team (a team that teased him mercilessly and refused to let him join in any reindeer games.)

This, combined with the fact his own father forced him to cover his nose in black dirt, has also led to a slight alcohol dependence evidenced by a bright red nose in clear weather and a strong smell of Jack Daniels.

Suggested finding a new crowd to hang out with — Blitzen and Vixen are no help—and perhaps seeking employment with Hermey to open a thriving dental practice on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Patient Name: Frosty the Snowman

Session Notes: A bit bipolar, no pun intended. Wavers between overconfidence—“I’ll be back again some day!” with a tendency to hit on married women, “I can do the job while I’m in town!”— and anxiety over the threat of global warming, not to mention the fact that he basically lets children dress him in produce and trash.

Feels people forget about him once it gets warm, which is a valid concern, and tends to overcompensate with streaks of merry mania. Suggested moving to a permanently colder climate and finding a job as an ice cream truck driver. Given his appeal to children, it seems like a natural fit.


Patient Name: Grinch

Session Notes: Physician-ordered session after patient’s heart “grew three sizes” and raised cardiac concerns. Also had a brief charge of theft by police. Seems anxiety has been plaguing patient since whole town has taken to ostracizing him for bad behavior.

Cited a song created about him in which various parts are likened to “a greasy black peel, a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich,” that his heart’s “a dead tomato splotched” and that he has “garlic in his soul.”

To be honest, I tuned him out after “garlic in your soul,” as that sounds delicious. And living on top of a mountain away from the town with only his dog? Seems like a good plan to me. I don’t really see much of an issue.

And now I’m hungry.

I think that my work here is done.

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How To Stay In Shape During the Holidays

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about people being too busy to exercise and keep up with their fitness routines. While I always find time to hop into the gym—if only to see if Hot Gym guy is hanging around—or throw in a Jillian Michaels DVD for 30 minutes so I can yell, “I’M NOT PHONING IT IN!, I understand that some people simply have different priorities.

Considering I don’t prioritize spending more than five minutes on my makeup in the morning, no judgment here.

But there’s good news! Because just like holiday décor doesn’t have to come from traditional places, neither does breaking a sweat and getting in a workout during the holiday season. I’m here today to let you know that it’s totally fine if the only jogging you do is of your memory while trying to remember where you hid that last freaking gift.

So pull off that ugly Christmas sweater, do a few light stretches and feel the burn doing things you’re probably already doing, my friends!

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Dashing through the snow to bring the trash bin to the end of the driveway before the truck comes in the morning.

Doing twisting crunches in bed to reach and hit the snooze again super-setted with kicking off the sheets or blanket in an effort to get untwisted.

Walking around the parking lot looking for where you parked your car (while ticking off the parking spot stalkers that are waiting for you to get in your car and leave, like you’re roaming around in the cold on purpose.)

Pushing a grocery cart through the slushy lot requires lower body strength while upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

When grocery shopping, lifting the overflowing basket you told yourself you would use instead of a full cart is great for building up your arms—be sure to switch from right to left for equal amounts of time.

Loading/unloading the car and then carrying all the groceries/purchases in one trip because you’re cold and don’t want to walk back outside is great for both the upper and lower body. Be sure to throw in a few kickboxing kicks as you try and catch the door before it slams shut.

Forget the stairmaster! Going up and down the stairs to retrieve boxes of decorations, armloads of laundry and gifts you forgot that you hid will get the job done just as well.

Lifting boxes of decorations alternated with moving furniture around—no, that looks better over there. No wait, push it over there.—works both the upper and lower body.

Putting ornaments on the Christmas tree involves calf raises to reach the top, squats to bend down pick up dropped ornaments and tones the shoulders when you take the ball full of tangled lights and throw them across the room.

Running through the stores trying to avoid people you know that you don’t want to get stuck talking to because there are SO MANY PEOPLE in the store and you just want to leave is great cardio, not to mention the plyometrics involved in the starting and stopping each time.

Don’t worry about eating those baked goods, as whisking and stirring ingredients for desserts sculpts your arms, quick squats in front of the oven to bend down and check how things are baking works your legs and lunging to catch the egg before it falls off the counter works your butt.

And finally—and possibly the most important exercise of all—is power yoga, and by “power yoga” I mean lying in corpse pose on the couch for a minimum of two hours a day.

See? You’re pretty much an elite athlete at this point, so enjoy those chestnuts roasting on an open fire and another slice of pie. After all, you’ve more than earned it.

P.S. I have to add that I was overwhelmed by your replies to my last post and on my Facebook page. I’m still trying to deal with everything, but all your support honestly made this ice queen melt quite a bit. I plan on writing about it a bit more in the future, because if nothing else it’s new blog fodder. But today, just…thanks. Now go do your grocery cart glute crunches!

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Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

It’s been a while since I’ve serenaded vegan food in song or questionable rhymes, so I figured a seasonal selection of holiday hymns were in order. So fa-la-la and bon appetite!

songs

Oh Broccoli Tree

(Sung to O Christmas Tree)

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

I steam you every dinner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when it’s cold and drear.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such flavor do you bring me!

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such pleasure do you bring me!

Each fresh floret,

Each diced up crown.

Completes a meal I want to down.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Pizza Pie Rocks

(Sung to “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza with cheese or the toppings you please.

Turn on the oven to preheat the fun,

Now the pizza love has begun.

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza’s sublime at just any time.

Cooking and smelling the oregano there,

Wafting through the air.

What a bright time, it’s the right time,

To snack the night away.

Pizza pie time is a swell time,

To go eating and improve on your day.

Hurry-up, oven, come and pick up the pace.

I want to stuff my face.

Put on yoga pants and kick up my feet.Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie rocks.

Hummus Night

(Sung to “Silent Night”)

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

You’re so smooth, and so light.

Round yon chickpeas and tahini paste,

Add some garlic for that perfect taste.

Eat it any way you please.

Eat it any way you please.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Any time, is pure delight.

Eaten in salad or slathered on grains,

Pita or crackers or just spooned up plain.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Taste buds quake, at the sight.

Glories stream from X above

Those who eat it know it tastes like love.

A snacking savior is born.

A snacking savoir is born.

Have Yourself a Perfect Avocado

(Sung to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

That is ripe and right.

Not too dark,

but also not too hard and light.

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

Make a wrap or dips,

Smashed on bread,

or served along with healthy chips.

Here we are in the grocery store,

Choosing our new fruit and more.

Faithful foods that are dear to us

Will come home with us once more.

Through the years our tastes may change a little,

But I must avow.

An avocado is a food I’ll keep somehow.

So have yourself a perfect avocado now.

Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

(Sung to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”)

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree

At the Christmas party hop,

Tables of food that you can see,

And at which you have to stop.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Let the Christmas “spirits” ring,

We’ll have a glass of red and white,

And screw the caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,

Voices singing, “Let’s be merry!”

Look! There’s bread and cake with berries.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Have a happy holiday.

Everyone eating merrily,

In the true food lovers way!

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Holiday Décor for the Domestically Disabled

The holidays can be stressful, what with families to visit, jingle bells ringing and those domestically disabled divas expected to deck the halls with cheer. But even if you’re not Martha Stewart, there are ways to make sure the only “F” words muttered are “Fa la la” and “fruitcake.”

So put on your ugly sweater and pour yourself a cup of alcoholic pancake batter—also known as eggnog—and let’s begin.

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When it comes to the inside décor, I suggest it’s done in stages:

1) Binge clean, knowing you won’t want to move the crap off the mantle to dust for at least the next month.

2) Find the fragile decorations in the box labeled “Don’t Set Anything On Top Of” at the bottom of a stack of boxes, along with a dozen pulverized candy canes. Sit on the couch with your beverage of choice and stare at the boxes in hopes for a holiday miracle.

3) Hang old socks by the fireplace and then tie foliage—a.k.a. the mistletoe — above a doorway to encourage awkward displays of affection between people who accidentally stop there to ask where you keep the good wine.

4) Procrastibake: Make a batch of cookies instead of doing something else you should be doing, like stashing away the good wine.

 5) If you’re not into baking, do not despair. Simply throw flour on your clothes, spend hours scouring Pinterest for desserts you “might” make, light a sugar cookie candle and call it good.

6) Run out of tinsel for the tree? Thread aluminum foil through a shredder. Need a few quick ornaments? Cut coffee filters into snowflakes, put hooks in wine corks and throw some pine cones from the yard on O Tannenbaum.

7) If the tree is fake, consider leaving it up all year to avoid having to haul it back out and decorate it for various holidays. Use the branches to dry out your socks and bras.

8) Have those cheap foam pool noodles still hanging around waiting to be stored for the winter? Grab a red one, twist in the shape of a candy cane and tie a piece of fishing line around the two parts of the bend to keep it in place. Wrap white ribbon or electric tape around it to create stripes. There you go—fun and functional décor!

9) When it comes to wrapping gifts, it’s lovely to have sparkling seasonal paper, but sometimes you get stuck in a pinch. In those instances, I suggest using “Happy Birthday” paper and writing “Jesus” after it.*

*If you’re not religious, write “Rudolph.”  After being ostracized for the whole year, let the poor little guy catch a break.

10) No paper at all? Grab an empty bag of chips, and search around the house for something you think could work as a gift — things like shampoos, hand wipes, coffee packets and jelly you swiped from a hotel room, for example. Clean the chip bag and turn it inside out to reveal the silver, carefully place your gift inside, twist the bag at the top, find a ribbon and you’re set.

Much like you will most likely be when visiting the in-laws, Christmas spirit will be in the bag.

Take that, Martha Stewart.

As originally published on YourTango, a site I’ll be writing a couple posts for a month. I would be super grateful if you could click over and check out my posts so they think that I have a few friends. Plus, I will be writing stuff there I don’t write on here, so there’s that. Thank you!

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GOOP Holiday Gift Guide: Revised!

This is the time of year when everyone publishes holiday gift guides with super practical items like a $345,000 Celebrity Robot Avatar from Hammacher Schlemmer to a $150, 15-pound loaf of bread from Oprah’s Favorite Things.

Gwenyth Paltrow, actress, queen of condescension and creator of GOOP—“an eminent lifestyle publication”— got in on the act with their own GOOP Gift Guide for 2014. I realize that I might not be the target audience, seeing as I save 20 minutes on my beauty routine by not having a beauty routine, but I am in the publication’s demographic.

I am also an editor and decided to rewrite some of the captions they included in the guide to appeal to the more practical anti-GOOPer out there, like:

Easy Health Angel Juicer

$4,739

Caption: Absurd, but awesome.

What it should say: Gold jewelry for your kitchen that will cost more green than it will ever juice.

See where I’m going with this?

Actually, I’m going over to In the Powder Room with this, so head on over and read the other nine “New and Improved” Holiday Gift Guide descriptions.

GOOP Gift Guide_ Revised!Happy anti-GOOPing and I’ll see you here on Tuesday!

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Stepping On My Seasonal Soapbox

The music, the decorations, the sale ads—the holidays are already here. While I promise to get back to humor next time, today I have to step on my seasonal soapbox.

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Like a lot of people, I sometimes find this time of year to be hard. Between the loss of family gatherings due to time and distance, the rampant and unnecessary consumerism, no holiday break, a dash of deep depression and a partridge in a pear tree, I would much rather just skip to January 2.

There won’t be a big family meal, and come Christmas there won’t be many—if any—gifts. Times are tight and money is even tighter, regardless of the date on the calendar.

I’ve never been bitter because we don’t have money for things, but I do get annoyed that others are so obsessed with those things.

However, I get it. It’s easy to feel pressured to buy things, eat foods that don’t make you feel good and stress about spending time with people you might not enjoy all that much except in small doses.

When that’s no longer an option, you learn a valuable lesson—be better, not bitter, and be thankful for all that you have.

So this time of year I really have to distance myself from certain things online and on TV, as I can’t stand seeing people filmed on Black Friday – ravenous for deals on TVs, cameras, phones, etc., people in malls pushing others over, obsessed with getting things.

Then they show Christmas Day.

The mall is quiet. People are home with their families. The holiday is over. Until the next shot when it’s Dec. 26 and people are right back at the mall again, ravenous for after-Christmas sales and replacing the gifts they didn’t want. It’s like somehow Christmas didn’t happen for some people. It didn’t fill the hole. It wasn’t enough.

It’s different when you’re a kid, or at least it was for me, and so I understand that it’s different for parents.

The holidays were a magical time with no worries, only wonder. The fact that parents can take the time to create fun traditions and keep that magic alive is priceless, and something I keep with me now.

Growing up I was lucky enough that every holiday dozens of people in my big Polish family would be crammed around tables full of food and conversation. And while I might remember a few of the special gifts that I got, those “things” aren’t first on my mind.

What I remember much more are the things that we did and said, making the food that we ate and places we went every year.

So this year with every Black Friday ad, every person complaining about “surviving the holidays” like it’s a terminal illness, I’m going to try not roll my eyes.

Instead when they complain about feeling burdened to buy gifts, I might kindly remind them to connect to why the person they’re shopping for is special to them and how they want them to feel when they open the gifts.

Instead of overcommitting to events that just leave them drained, try to take a moment to stop and take in the sights and the smells of the season. Step back and ask, “What do I want to remember?” And if they have kids, “What do I want them to remember?”

Because even though some things are unavoidable—crazy uncles making “breast or leg man” jokes around a dead bird carcass stuffed with stale bread, awkward company parties, people freaking out over red cups at Starbucks—there are some things we can control.

We can be thankful for things that we have and make the memories that we want to keep–and that doesn’t cost a dime.

(Steps off soapbox, trips, has a piece of broccoli fall out of my shirt that fell in there sometime while I was eating dinner.)

Let the season begin.

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Sarah from “Est. 1975″ Has Issues

First of all, Happy Halloween! As we’ve discussed, I’m not exactly into this holiday that much. In fact, this year I think I’ll just go as either “Gluten” so people avoid me or “Life” and just hand out lemons.

But there is one brave blogger who agreed to spill her issues here on this day of tricks and treats. I’ve only recently “met” her, but she won me over a couple of months ago with this post (read it after this one, of course, as right now it’s all about me.)

Actually, it isn’t. It’s all about Sarah, so here she is, my friends!

Sarah2 Name: Sarah

Blog: est. 1975

Where, what and why do you write?

Where: I write 99.99 percent of my material in bed. I put a shit ton of pillows up against the headboard and then I lean back and just do it to it. The only downside is that I get laptop burns on my legs if I’m not wearing pants. Which is more often than I’d like to admit. And also right now.

What: Most of my writing is of the comic variety but I have been known to branch out into other genres, particularly when publishing work on websites other than my own blog. I stick to the funny stuff on est. 1975 though, because I’m pretty sure my fans would hunt me down with fiery Internet torches if I didn’t.

Why: I write because it’s the only thing I’m even remotely good at.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

“Waking up is bullsh*t and I hate it.”

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Funny answer: About six months ago I started to inexplicably sweat a lot. Like a LOT. Through the armpits of my T-shirts, my underwear, the bottoms of my socks, etc. And the deodorant? IT DOES NOTHING.

Serious answer: I have a massive issue with social media. I hate it. I really, really hate it. And yet I absolutely rely on it to market myself, my blog and my freelance writing/editing business. I feel like I spend more hours of the day on social media than I do participating in anything else, and that bums me out worse than stinkbugs.

(Editor’s note: Amen. I use it for fun, but I hate feeling like I “have” to use it so I will forever be a peon and continue to use it selfishly for fun. I tried the serious thing and I’M STILL NOT RICH AND FAMOUS. Anyway, I have to think stinkbugs might be a problem given your sweating profusion? )

Three websites you visit every day.

I mentioned how I rely on social media for marketing and promotion, right? So I bet you can guess that my sad answer is Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I can crack an egg with one hand, and I don’t even get any shell in the bowl. Well, maybe one tiny piece.

Favorite place to be?

My bedroom. Unless there are stinkbugs in it. In which case I want to be as far away from my bedroom as possible.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

  1. Every time anyone looks at their cell phone while driving, they have to pay me $5.
  2. Delusions of grandeur are forbidden.
  3. No stinkbugs.

(Editor’s note: Not to be rude, but I’m noticing a preoccupation with stink bugs, which might be something to explore in your next therapy session.)

What TV show would you want to appear on?

BBC’s Sherlock because Benedict Cumberbatch.

Best and worst things I could find in your refrigerator right now?                              

Best? A million of those little flavored milks.

Worst? Everything else.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

“What are the three things you hate to do the most?”

This is a tough one because I hate to do so very many things. But okay, I’ll give it a shot. I think I‘d have to start off with laundry. Laundry is the ultimate “f*** you” household chore – it requires an unappealing amount of physical labor, there are way too many different mechanisms by which things can go wrong and worst of all, it is a chore that never really ends.

I also hate making phone calls to people I don’t know. Like SO MUCH. I have to seriously consider questions like this on an almost daily basis: “Would I rather call the dentist and make an appointment? Or would I rather let all of my teeth rot out of my head just so I don’t have to talk to some strange woman on the phone? Hmm. What to do, what to do.”

(Me again: Holy heck, yes. Although I would say “making phone calls to people” and not just limit it to people that I don’t know.)

The third thing that I hate to do the most is let a holiday go by without some sort of acknowledgement. So because today is Halloween, I wrote a limerick for you all to enjoy:

There once was a Halloween witch,

Whose cackle would make your eye twitch,

She had warts on her nose,

And 17 toes,

So she turned into one cranky bi*ch.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

In the spirit of the holiday, spill it: Best and worst Halloween candy? Best and worst costume you’ve worn? 

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