Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Get Your Bad On

Sigh. Christmas won’t officially be over for us until we visit Derek’s fam in Utah this week. But I already feel so full and happy from Christmas joy. It has been a really wonderful, peaceful, sweet holiday season for me this year, even with a minor sickly curve ball thrown at me before Christmas Day. Bam! I knocked it out in a day and a half and was done. But now I’m just tired and want to lie down. For about three days.

Which brings me to my latest blog confession, dear readers. You know when it’s before bedtime and you’re tired, but not tired enough to sleep, but too tired to read or do anything semi-productive or even focus on a movie you haven’t yet seen? You know what I like to do? Besides that, you pervs.

I will hunt around the tube until I find the movie Showgirls. I know! I know. It’s almost always on some channel or another, and it is quite possibly the worst movie ever made, but dammit, that’s what makes it so good. Especially watching the edited for TV version of it, where you can make fun of the dubbing where there should have been overly-passionate, righteously indignant cusswords, and make extra special fun of the skin-colored bra thingies that they digitally add over any exposed boobies. It rules! I swear, I never get tired of watching that stupid-ass movie! What is my problem? Is there a 12-step program for this? I love listening to Elizabeth Berkley grunt and gasp during her dance solos, and violently whip her head around when she is pissed off (which is practically every scene). I love making fun of Kyle McLachlan’s super-sissy hairdo. I love the cliched, over-the-top, cocaine-induced Star Is Born type story line that even a 3-year-old could navigate and find cheesy. God! It’s just so good!

There are other movies that are also terrible, but when they come on, it is a moral imperative: I simply have to watch them. In a lot of ways, I think they make me a better writer because the writing is bad, but obviously there is something compelling about it that makes you watch, right? There is something to be learned from this, though I’m not sure what that is. Does anybody else do this? Here is my list:

The Cutting Edge (Rich girl skater meets bad boy hockey player and they must learn to skate together. Sparks fly and bitchy jabs ensue.)
Center Stage (Bitchy bitches at the New York Ballet Academy. Backstabbing dancers, eating disorders, male ballet lotharios. Oh, it’s all SO serious.)
Flashdance (Duh. Every little girl on the planet wanted to be Jen Beals with that white-hot off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. Finding out that she didn’t actually do any of the dancing was like finding out there was no Santa Klaus.)
Striptease (Demi Moore takes it off, but only for a noble cause people! And she rips those clothes off with righteous, fierce anger because she has to keep custody of her daughter away from her mean, mean, drinking, asshole ex-husband! Featuring Burt Reynolds, in perhaps the most embarrassing role of his entire career.)

So what are your guilty movies? Come on. Confess. Confess. You know you want to tell me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's the MOST wonderful time... of the year....

This time of year always gets me thinking a lot about traditions. What I mean by that is, a few years ago, I realized that with all my protracted family members and the consumerism frenzy that is foisted upon our psyches every year, my holidays were becoming WAY too convoluted, stressful (most stress being entirely self-imposed) and commerce-oriented. This is not good. This is not what the holidays are all about. So in the last few years, I have made more of an effort with each year to remember the good, in-the-spirit-of-celebrating, meaningful traditions that fly in the face of crazy-making and depressing attitudes that accompany this time of year. I would like to share them with you now, and hope you will share your traditions with me as well so we can make this a great holiday season, people. I'm always up for new ones.

1) Go be with your God in your own way. You don’t have to be “religious” to get into the spirit. Most of my friends aren’t remotely religious, but are definitely highly spiritual, and find meaning in the season by climbing a hill and admiring the view, or finding God through riding a snowboard down a sweet run, or in the selfless giving of donating one’s time to help those less fortunate. It’s all very individual. If you’re bored out of your mind and feel nothing at church service, for God sake (literally!) don’t go to church. Why on earth would God want you there? Find a special place where you feel your spirit connect with God and the season. That is the way to go, and don’t EVAR let anyone tell you different. That’s someone foisting their own issues on you, and that’s not allowed.

2) Make stuff. My past personal favorites are homemade soap, cookies, Christmas ornaments, wreaths, and girly crap like aromatherapy body scrubs and the like. You can get pretty much all the stuff at Michael’s and/or a good health food store. (For really good aromatherapy and soap-making supplies and all the pretty stuff to wrap up your homemade stuff in, go to Soothe Your Soul in Redondo Beach. That place rules.) It doesn’t matter what you make or how 3rd grade it looks, so long as you sit your butt down, hang with some girlfriends, drink a little nog (I like mine with spiced rum and nutmeg), and focus on letting your creative self be free for awhile. Laugh, talk, be dorky. Don't fret if you have dried toothpaste crust in the bathroom -- your friends won't care. They will just be happy to be there with you. I couldn’t have the holidays without making stuff. It just wouldn’t work.

3) Get a tree (or Hannukah bush, Kwanzaa harvest stuff, whatever your thing is) and have a few close friends and Mom over to decorate it. I like to heat some spicy cider (from Trader Joe’s, of course), serve nog, and have a few munchies, and let everyone help you put on the lights, hang the ornaments, and decorate the house, all whilst playing some groovy Christmas tunes. It’s so relaxing and fun, and spreads around a LOT of warm fuzzies.

4) Go for a walk or drive specifically for the sole purpose of checking out everybody’s lights and lawn decorations. (Bonus points: bringing kids along for this)

5) Just enjoy the season for all its unexpected (non-material) gifts. That is a tradition worth keeping.