Dec 24: Christmas Celebration

If you celebrate Christmas, are you doing the holidays larger or smaller this year?

Our Christmas celebrations are semi-large since I began dating Hulk.

Mum and I have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve which has been a tradition in our family since I was a kid.

When I was a kid, we would also go to Sydney to do the ‘big family Christmas’ with my fathers family, and their families etc. It was so typical – the big tree and a million presents underneath it; the giant christmas table; the giant turkey and roast pork and leg of ham; the steamed pudding and hot custard; playing cricket in the street with the family and all the neighbours; the obligatory food coma mid-afternoon; then sitting around eating left overs for dinner.

Then we’d all go back on Boxing Day for more eating.

After my falling out with my Grandmother on my fathers side, I was done with those types of Xmas gatherings.

Or so I thought.

Then along came Hulk. As much as I love my Christmas Eve routine with mum, it was a little overwhelming the first time I spent Xmas with Hulk and his extended family. And it wasn’t just lunch. It started with Xmas Brunch at one of his Aunties places, then on to another Aunties place for lunch and dinner.

Meeting that many people all in one day is incredibly overwhelming, and I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be in that environment. Chaos and politics and stress and SO MUCH FOOD!!!!

This has become the norm for the past 5 years that Hulk and I have been together, although this year was the first year that mum and I weren’t able to be together for Christmas Eve. I really was quite upset that we couldn’t be together, as I discovered that it was effecting me a lot more than I had initially anticipated. In saying that, I consider Hulk’s family as my family and I love them all dearly. It’s just really nice to be able to spend the festive time with Hulk and other loved ones.

Including my food baby.

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Dec 23: O’ Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree…

Which is better — a small Christmas tree or a large Christmas tree?

I love a big ol’ Christmas tree, decorated like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s something quite majestic and fabulous about a giant chrissy tree in a house, providing of course, that the decorations are all uniform – pick a colour scheme, choose two or three types of decorations, and an appropriately matched set of christmas lights.

Since I started dating Hulk, I’ve really become used to a certain type of christmas tree. I have tree standards. Ironically, for the past two years, we haven’t put up our xmas tree.

Recently we were out at a lunch with a group of friends and were discussing christmas and we got onto the topic of christmas trees, and one of our friends revealed their ‘O.C.D.’ when it comes to their tree and their presents. They pick a two-colour colour scheme, and that’s it. They set up their giant christmas tree and decorate it immaculately, but to the point where it’s fenced off and nobody is allowed to actually touch it. The kids, however, have a secondary tree in a separate room that they are allowed to decorate however they want, and with whatever decorations they want.

Seriously? That’s taking things a bit too far, don’t you think?

Daily Prompt: Mad as a Hatter

Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?

There are countless memories I have of when I’ve, quite literally, gone into a white-hot table-flipping rage

But I think the one incident that tops this list belongs to one particular evening when I had a confrontation with my father on the telephone.

It was back in 2003 in the lead up to my 21st birthday. He had expressed some desire to want to visit me in Melbourne and spend time with me for my birthday. Apparently the previous 10 years of not really wanting to even be around him didn’t seem to get the message across to him, so you can imagine my confusion when he said he wanted to visit.

I should point out that at this moment in time, I had been living in Melbourne for almost two years, and made it crystal clear to my mother and my brother that under no certain terms, were they to disclose my address to him. The result of this, was that he would then send letters / cards to my mothers house, and she would then forward them on to me, along with a letter from herself as well.

More often than not, as soon as I saw his handwriting on the enclosed envelope, I’d roll my eyes, sigh heavily and mentally prepare myself for the emotional drivel that was contained in the contents of the envelope.

Then, naturally, I’d call mum straight away

And this one particular night, after a very, very long counselling telephone conversation with my mum, I reached the decision that I had to be upfront with him and that I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to come to Melbourne and I didn’t want to see him.

See, as much as I can be a bitch, I actually get stressed out when it comes to confrontation. I can’t do it. In my head I can, but actually physically following through with it is a completely different story. So, when I’m on the phone to my mum, I was getting all fired up saying stuff along the lines of ‘yeah, and I’m gonna tell him I don’t want to see him! And I’m gonna tell him not to bother coming to Melbourne at all! Why the fuck should I be the one to feel obligated to drop everything to see him, of all people I can’t stand. Fuck that. Right, well, I’m gonna go call him now and tell him and get it done with!!’.

I was ready for a fight. I called his number and waited for his rough, masculine voice to answer the phone.

Over the course of that almost three-hour conversation, not only did I bring the heat for my ‘fight’, I bought twenty years of repressed emotional turmoil that my father was responsible for. He brought me to the door, and I opened it.

And it all came flooding out.

All of it.

Everything. Every instance and memory of emotional blackmail. Every moment he destroyed a small piece of my soul. Every time he made me feel like I didn’t exist… did somebody say daddy issues??!!

I unleashed twenty-years of pain, and wasn’t taking any prisoners. I was out for blood.

Nothing had prepared me for what came out of my fathers mouth during that conversation. One little sentence, which I will not repeat here, but one little sentence that completely changed me. Permanently. One little sentence that ended everything right there and then.

Completely shocked, speechless and outraged, I hung up the phone and sat there in a stunned silence before everything suddenly made sense.

I called mum immediately, incoherent and crying incoherently.

I relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, and tried to make more sense of it. In doing so, I also put mum into a table-flipping rage. During our conversation, I managed to briefly calm down and the sadness and the hurt and the pain quite rapidly turned to rage. It also didn’t help that during my two-hour conversation with mum, he tried calling at least 9 or 10 times.

By that stage, I’d had enough.

‘Mum, he’s calling again. I’m gonna go and deal with this….’

Just as I hung up the phone to mum, he called my phone again.

‘…WHAT?!’

‘I, ah, I just wanted to see if you were okay?’

I needed to take a couple of deep breaths before I responded because all I could think in my head was pretty much:

I tried to remain as calm and rational as humanly possible. I think it lasted maybe three minutes… maybe. I don’t really remember much of that conversation because I was so full of rage, I was physically shaking. All I remember out of that was telling him that I was done and as of that moment I wanted nothing more to do with him, and he was dead to me.

The last I remember hearing was my father on the phone crying and apologising and asking me not to say that. Correction, asking me not to ‘joke around’.

Who’s joking? I was serious. I was done. You don’t say something like that to somebody, ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN DAMN CHILD!!! As soon as I hung up that phone, nothing would ever be the same again. I was crying, he was crying, I was in a rage. I hung up and called mum and had a complete emotional breakdown on the phone.

I, again, relayed the entire conversation verbatim to her, in between my uncontrollable fits of crying. By the time I had finally calmed down it was about three or four in the morning, and I was feeling guilty about keeping my mum awake for so long and listening to me. We said goodnight and I hung up the phone and fell asleep.

On the floor. In the corner. In the dark. Where I had been crying.

I woke up later that day, and dragged myself into the shower. I then put myself to bed, cried myself to sleep, and didn’t leave the bed for another two days. I don’t remember eating. I think I had a biscuit at some point, and maybe a Berocca, but I’m not even sure about that.

I do remember that when I did get up, I felt confused and disoriented. I sat on the window-sill in the lounge room and called mum and asked if what happened, actually happened, or whether it was just a nightmare, and she confirmed everything. That day, I began the start of my new life.

From that point on, my father was dead to me. He was nothing to me. Nothing. At that point I decided to renounce my fathers influences on my name – middle and last name – and began the process to legally change my name to my mothers maiden name.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and since that day, I have never looked back or had any feelings of regret for doing so.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/prompt-mad-hatter/

Dec 20: Volunteer Work

Do you do any volunteer work?  Tell us about it.

Sometimes when I get asked this question, and I answer ‘No’, I feel so terribly guilty about it, but the reality is, I don’t have time in my life to actively go and volunteer anywhere. Although, sometimes when I’m at my other job, I feel like I’m volunteering because although I get paid, I get taxed so much on it as it’s a secondary income, I almost do it for free.

I haven’t really thought too much about volunteering because I already spend plenty of money making financial donations to various organisations throughout the year – that’s my contribution instead. It’s not necessarily as good as I’d like it to be, but it’s certainly a lot more than most people do.

Daily Prompt: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

What is your least favorite personal quality in others? Extra points for sharing your least favorite personal quality in yourself.

Given the reference to Mr. Grinch, would I be right in assuming that you’re talking about people during the festive season?? Yes? No? Let’s just go with that.

So, Christmas. Ugh. As I mentioned recently, I’m not necessarily a fan of Christmas on it’s own… but I think that’s primarily due to the people that I have to deal with during Christmas time. I think that those glamorous, attention-hungry bitches – The Mean Queens kinda summed up the family side with their post about family at Thanksgiving dinner which could easily be applied to Christmas as well!!

It’s really hard to focus on just one quality in people, but I think it’s the people who work retail during christmas. I’m talking about those selfish, lazy tween bitches who think that they’re so incredibly superior to pretty much everybody, but if you dare ask them to actually do something like, oh I don’t know, their job, they roll their eyes, and sigh and groan as if your request is so incredibly unreasonable.

Then there’s those bitches who struggle to even acknowledge your existence, despite you standing in front of them with a handful of cash or a credit card. You stand there and ask them something like ‘So, how’s your day going? You must be incredibly busy around this time of year?’

Yep.’

…and that’s it. Attempt at small talk: FAIL. And that’s if you’re even fortunate enough to actually get a response, let alone an actual word instead of some kind of grunt.

Now, I’m not saying that all retail bitches are like this, just the majority of them. And look, I understand that you’re probably working really long shifts because it’s Christmas, and you’re probably spending your days dealing with shoppers who are fucking retarded and that’s exhausting enough as it is, but if it’s so unbearable for you, then perhaps you shouldn’t be working in retail? Or maybe just don’t work over the Christmas period?

This is why could never work retail. I’d be fired within the first day, because I’d lose my shit at somebody asking me a dumb question.

Sometimes you run into those ones though – the ones who are in a table-flipping rage, and are already starting to get blunt with shoppers. Hulk told me about an encounter he had a couple of months ago with some bitch in a shop. He approached them about a charity even he was organising, and the girl there interrupted him and didn’t even listen to what he had to say, and then just walked off, leaving him and the other shop assistant standing there speechless.

God knows if it had’ve been me, the diva in me would have come out and words would have been had…!!

Then there’s those bitches who work in a shop that offers gift wrapping. God forbid you actually ask them to gift wrap your purchase for you. It’s bad enough that they have to expend so much energy on scanning a couple of barcodes, tap away at a screen and ask you if you want a copy of your receipt, now they have to go through that physically exhausting process of wrapping  it all up.

 

HOW. DARE. YOU!!

Now, like a very small percentage of the population, I’ll admit that when it comes to gift-wrapping, the gay in me lights up like a fucking beacon and in a heart beat I’m working out colour palettes and card choices. What colour paper should I use? What type of paper should I use? Do I use a satin ribbon, or do I use a sheer ribbon? What if I layer two ribbons and do an elaborate bow? Or do I use some string instead and go minimal? What if I use a box instead? But what if they don’t have that colour? What’s the alternate?

love that shit.

Evidently, some people really hate it. I remember one particular store I was in last year when I was doing my xmas shopping, they offered to wrap it for me. I quickly looked at what paper / ribbon options they had, and it seemed to be alright. I watched another girl wrapping somebody else’s purchase and she did a great job, and I’m like ‘okay, this looks promising, and it’s one less present I need to worry about. Granted, it’s going to stand out because it doesn’t match my colour palette, but I can live with that’ but then that girl walked out the back and didn’t return.

The girl who did the sale started asking which paper / ribbon combo I wanted.

…uh oh.

I made some choices and she started hacking at the paper like a blind 3 year old with plastic scissors…

Oh god.

She was about half way through wrapping it, but it looked as though she had never actually wrapped anything in her life. Like, ever!!

 

Well, except for maybe all the tween peen she’s been enjoying.

Halfway through, I actually asked her to stop and not worry about it. I may as well just asked a child to wrap it instead. It was an absolute mess.

Sometimes I actually just want to offer my gift-wrapping services to some stores just so those hard-done-by retail bitches don’t have to do it, and completely fuck it up.

So this year, I did most of my shopping online, and it was the best decision. I don’t have to deal with hordes of people at a shopping centre, I don’t have to deal with snotty little retail bitches. It’s just easier.

 

And just for those of you that love that scene from Bridesmaids so much, have fun with this clip… 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/prompt-mr-grinch/

Dec 19: Donation

What was the last donation you made?

Just recently at work we received the name of the person we have for Kris Kringle (KK). I think, generally, there’s usually like a $10 – $20 limit on the gifts, and they’re usually something small, or a novelty gift, or if you work here, a bottle of wine.

I thought that I’d do something different this year, and rather than buy my KK something useless, I bought them something from Oxfam Unwrapped instead.

I bought a duck.

well… not THAT duck…

It was $30, and $26 of that is considered a donation to Oxfam which is then tax deductible – so it’s a win-win situation – I buy some family in Bangladesh a duck, and I get to make a charitable donation at the same time.

And well it’s Christmas, and it’s the season of giving.

Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth

Share a time when you narrowly avoided disaster.

Hmmm… tough one.

There was the time that I almost burnt the kitchen down when the toaster caught fire…

There was the time that I almost flooded the bathroom…

There was the other time I almost burnt down the kitchen when I left the oven on… and forgot I had food in there…

Or perhaps the time I was convinced I was going to drown when I got stuck in a rip and couldn’t keep swimming…

Or the couple of times the washing machine overflowed and flooded the laundry…

Or perhaps the time one of my housemates left the iron on while she showered… and set the ironing board on fire…

Or the time that I cut my thumb, requiring 12 stitches. I severed a bunch of nerves but only just missed the main tendon by a fraction of a millimetre…

Just to spare you the horror, I didn’t include an image.
If you REALLY want to, do an google image search
for cut thumb stitches… :-/

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/prompt-skin/

Dec 18: More With Less

Tell us about a time you did more with less.

Well, it’s not actually me, it was my mum.

I remember when I was younger, and it was around the time of my birthday, and my parents had no money. We generally didn’t really have money. It was always going to bills, rego, mortgage payments, grocery shopping, school fees etc etc. So for us, getting takeaway was a big deal. Going out for dinner was an incredibly rare occasion and a very special event.

So anyway, this one year, it was my birthday, and I remember mum asking me what I wanted, and I told her something like a bike, or some expensive shoes or something that she couldn’t afford. In the end I think I ended up getting a CD I really wanted, and instead of buying me a card, she made me a card.

It was made out of an old manilla folder, and covered in wrapping paper and contact (a clear self-adhesive film used for covering books to protect them from damage) and inside were  8-10 pages, complete with photos of me growing up over the years, and some illustrations that mum had drawn, and at the end it told me just how much she loved me, and always would, and that she hoped I still had a great birthday.

I remember back then, I thought it was one of the best things I’d ever gotten. I kept it in a box amongst all kinds of stuff, and whenever I came across it, I’d sit and reminisce and it would bring a tear to my eye. Even now, just thinking about it, makes my eyes all watery, because it just makes me realise how much I miss my mum, and how sad it makes me not being able to see her this year for Christmas.

 

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

I don’t particularly have a favourite holiday.

New Years?

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to celebrations especially New Years Eve, we know how to put on a show… but at the same time… meh. I think there is nothing worse than going out on NYE. See, here in ‘Straya, NYE is usually between 35-40 degrees C (95-104 F for all of you in ‘Murrica), which means it’s pretty fucking hot. All I really want to do is either be at the beach living in the ocean, or inside somewhere with air conditioning like the inside of a refrigerator. The last thing I would want to do is go out clubbing and be stuck in a nightclub, surrounded by hundreds of other people, sweating their holes out, absolutely drunk off their tits, squashed together like a tin of sardines, with air con that has already failed.

Why don’t I just get half naked, cover my shoes with vomit and have a dance party in a sauna. It’s practically the exact same thing.

No thanks.

Valentine’s Day.

Give me a bucket.

Now, even though I do have a partner, and I do love him, that doesn’t mean that I completely lose my mind over Valentine’s Day. Roses, balloons, romantic dinners, chocolates… puh-lease! Okay, welll, maybe not the chocolates, I’ll keep those.

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, probably because when I spent so many years single on this particular day, and all it really did was basically just confirm that I’m single and nobody loves me.

Easter.

Well, how could anybody not like Easter?? In a world that’s getting more and more ridiculous over religious holidays, because they want to be so ultra-politically correct, those damn catholics are banging on about Jebus, when really, all I care about is how much fucking chocolate I’m going to consume over the 4-5 days off work that I’ve got coming my way.

However, what really grinds my gears is that as soon as Christmas and New Years is over, the shops almost immediately start promoting Easter… even though it’s, like, four months away.

Seriously, people. Do you think that we might miss it? When was the last time you found yourself thinking, ‘oh gee, I totally forgot that it was Easter. I guess I missed all that in-your-face marketing over the past few months’.

Public Holidays.

Well, I do admit that I do enjoy public holidays. They’re like little bonuses when you’re working because most of the time, it means a day off, and frankly, there isn’t enough of them. We really should have a public holiday at least once a month. The best is when they fall on either a Friday or a Monday… then I try and take the day either side off so I end up with four days off at once. WOO HOO… MINI BREAK!!

Melbourne Cup.

I like that Melbourne Cup is a Public Holiday here in Victoria, but that’s where it stops. It’s part of the Spring Racing Carnival and I can’t fucking stand it. As somebody who catches public transport, the SRC means only one thing: messy drunk bogan bitches in designer dresses. Ripped dresses, stained dresses, twisted ankles from heels they can’t walk in – and most end up wandering around barefoot. And when it’s 3 in the afternoon, that’s not exactly a classy look, ladies. Ugh, it’s just repulsive.

Then there’s the guys… don’t even get me started. Pointy white shoes should have never been created. They just make you look ridiculous. And I find that generally speaking, the guys fall into either one of two categories:

  1. Those who look like sex offenders, and are only going to the races with the prime intention of raping hooking up with somebody, taking photos up girls dresses (up-skirting), and just being generally repulsive.
  2. Those who look like super-douchey hipsters.

Just keep it away from me.

Christmas.

No. No no no no no.

Christmas is that part of the year that starts being promoted by stores almost immediately after Easter. Y’know, just in case you miss it!! 

I think Xmas is the worst of them all. It’s all about family politics – who’s hosting lunch / dinner? Who’s invited? But if they come, then we have to ask so-and-so and their family to come as well. Then there’s the nightmare of actually going shopping. You’ve all been to a shopping centre during the xmas period. It’s a fucking nightmare. You can never get a park, and there’s people EVERYWHERE. I go with a mission: have a list of what to get, and then work out a specific route of stores I need to go to so I can get in and out in as little time as possible… but it rarely goes to plan.

People feel compelled to just waddle through the place at a glacial pa

And so by this stage, I’m in a white hot shopping rage and ready to stab somebody in the neck with a fork. JUST MOVE OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY!!!

I’ve actually been smart enough to do my xmas shopping online this year. I don’t have to go to shops, all my presents come to me, and some places even gift wrap it before they send it which is one less gift that needs to be wrapped.

The only thing I really enjoy about xmas is that it’s the end of the year and I have 4-5 weeks of holidays to look forward to, which really means sleeping in, and playing playstation.

We didn’t put a tree up this year. Second year in a row. I surprised myself the other day when I realised that I actually wished we had’ve put the tree up – well, moreso now that we have a bigger apartment and have ceilings high enough to put up our 7ft tree. But in saying that, we could’ve done so last year, but we just couldn’t be bothered.

Bring on the holidays!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/prompt-holidays-past/

Dec 17: Satisfaction or Antici…..pation.

Do you give people more than what they ask for, or do you leave them wanting more?

Well, where shall we start with this one?

I think this needs to be put into context. Are we talking about this in general? Professionally? Sexually?

Well, I think for me personally, there’s something satisfying about giving people what they want. For example, in a professional capacity, it’s always great for me to not only give co-workers work or information that they’re asking for, but sometimes I’m proactive enough to actually do certain things before they even ask for it, that way, when they do ask for it, I can just give it to them straight away.

I really enjoy it when they start this big speech about some detailed task and whilst they’re mid-sentence, I just hand it over and then they just stop talking and get this look on their face as if to say HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY?? GET OUT OF MY BRAIN!! hehehe.

I find it quite satisfying when I’m able to exceed any expectations that people may have about me. I really get a kick out of it. But at the same time, if I take on a task that even I think might be a bit too much for me, I enjoy the challenge, and then if I actually manage to pull it off, then I get this small wave of self-satisfaction and pride that I enjoy momentarily… before feeling too self indulgent and arrogant.

I think the above gif perfectly represents the exact reaction that I had when I made my very first elaborate multi-layer cake. It was incredible, and it tasted like absolute heaven.

I had never made something so elaborate before, and although it may not have been that neat, it still looked pretty damn impressive… and it weighed a tonne!! Well, not literally, but it was pretty damn heavy. In actual fact, by the time I had smothered it in frosting, it didn’t actually fit in the cake container. I’m just glad that it actually tasted incredible, otherwise it would have been so upsetting to spend so much time and money on such an effort only for it to be a complete waste of time.

Damn it, now I want cake. Probably not the best thing to be thinking about just before I go to the gym. *lol*

…thanks Frankie. God damn I love this movie. One of my all-time favourites. This was the movie that I fell in love with Tim Curry. I think I was 7. It was all downhill from there. *lol*