Pot O’ Gold at the End of the Rainbow

In honor of today being the first of March (a day late this year thanks to Mr. Leap Frog), I thought I would share a little story.  ***Spoiler Alert:  Do not let children (or adults, I suppose) who still believe in holiday characters read this!!!***

When my siblings and I were younger, my mother used to go all out for holidays.  One of them being St. Patrick’s Day.  She didn’t go all out in the way that most of us do now (i.e. drink our faces off and hate life the next day).  Being part Irish, she made sure the Leprechauns would visit us every year, starting from March 1, until they were banished on March 17, St. Patty’s Day.  She would write messages on the mirror in green marker, dye our breakfast milk green with food coloring, and even connect the spots on our dalmatian in green.  Then, we would build traps out of sticks and things in the back yard to try and catch the Leprechauns and get their pot of gold.

One year, when I was in the third grade, it was already March 3rd and the “Leprechauns” had not yet come to wreak havoc on our house.  I guess my brother and sister didn’t notice, but I certainly had.  I asked my mom where the Leprechauns were that year, and she just looked at me and said “Do you really want to know?” in that ‘curiosity killed the cat’ kind of tone.  I pondered it for a bit, and finally I said, “They aren’t real are they?”  My mom silently nodded.  I sat for a while, half pouting, half lost in thought at this new revelation, until finally I asked, “So there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny either?”  To which she also nodded.  Unlike most children though, I was not so devastated at discovering there was no Santa Claus, I knew I would still get presents, but I was very sad over my discovery about the Leprechauns, and no longer having a reason to built traps to catch them in.  I helped my mom keep the myth alive for my brother and sister for a few more years, which helped ease the loss a little.  And while I still enjoy wearing all green and drinking green beer, I hope that one day I will be able to cause a little mischief for my kids, in the name of the Leprechauns.

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Don’t Judge Me!

For those of you who don’t know, this weekend was Gasparilla Pirate’s Fest, Tampa’s own little version of Mardi Gras (only better because it’s pirate themed!) I had the fortune to be in the parade this year (which was always on my list even though I don’t think I ever wrote it).  I’m not sure who drinks more, the people in the crowds or on the floats? Either way, ya start early and go all day!  I was smart enough to crap out early though because I had to work early the next day (a sunday when most people had off).

At my job, we are required to suggest margaritas to every table, even if they clearly don’t want them.  And when they say “No”, we’re pretty much supposed to force them down their throats anyways (at least that’s what the company would like).  So around noon on sunday, I am waiting tables.  I get one that clearly looks like they just came from church (a generalization about our church people- they think they are high and mighty because they went to church and you clearly were not allowed to and then they sit at your table for hours and leave you no tip (except maybe a ‘Jesus Saves’ card)  because they think you are so much beneath them you should be their slave, but I digress).  I do my usual schpiel, ask them if they want a margarita, and the lady gives me the stank eye and goes “what, this early?!” in a voice like I had just asked her to commit murder.  Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere!  I wanted to say “honey, this time yesterday I was already 6 shots in!”  But, I held my tongue and waited 20 minutes for them to be ready to order.  All the while she stared at me like I had the plague and she was afraid she might catch it.  If you think servers are so much beneath you, cook your own damn food!

I guess it is somewhat hypocritical of me to judge them with all the other church people- but I was right- they sat there for another 2 hours, their kids made a mess everywhere, and they left like $3.  I, on the other hand, drank all the day before, remembered everything I did, and was not even hung over the next day and managed to do my job just fine.  So who fit their stereotype better?  At the end of the day, people are constantly judging you no matter what.  It’s my goal to constantly prove them wrong (yes I really am 26, yes I really do have a genius IQ, yes I do speak 3ish languages), but damn it’s hard work!!!

Christmas Eve Eve

As a kid, I always remember going to my grandma’s house or my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve for a big Italian dinner and opening presents form the family (we still waited til Christmas morning to open presents from Santa, of course!)  Then we’d go to “midnight mass” (which I put in quotes because it actually started at 11!)  and sing Christmas hymns by candlelight.  These were always the things that made Christmas Christmasy for me.  The things that defined that day from any other day.  Then Christmas day we’d have 40-60 of our closest friends and family come to our house to eat and drink all day and night.  I loved these Christmas Eves and Christmases.  As I got older, and my family moved away, our Christmases began to feel less Christmasy.  We’d go out to dinner on Christmas Eve, and we could never even stay up for mass.  My siblings and I had to set an alarm to wake up at five for “santa” as we were no longer excited enough to get up on our own.  We’d open presents and eat breakfast and by 10 or 11 am, Christmas was over.  Sometimes we’d go see a movie.  But it felt like it wasn’t even worth it anymore.

As I was on my way to work today, Christmas Eve Eve, it occurred to me that this is the day that has become the most festive and eventful for me in the past few years.  Five years ago, it was a bunch of coworkers and myself driving an hour north to help another restaurant that was so busy and whose employees were so over worked they hadn’t even had time to finish Christmas shopping yet!  Three or four years ago, it was making the most epic Christmas cookies with one of my best friends who I only get to see on holidays when we both go “back home”.  Last year, I was at Candy Cane Karaoke, singing and dancing and dressing goofy with all my friends (and doing delicious candy cane shots!)

While today was mostly uneventful (although I did brave the grocery store to get the ingredients to do some last-minute holiday baking) it still marks the first real touch of Christmas spirit in my otherwise downtrodden heart.   This will be the first Christmas ever that my family has been separated.  My mom will be here soon to spend the holiday with my brother and I, while my dad and sister and brother-in-law will all be back home and working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I guess this is what growing up does, but I still always hoped that Christmas would be the one day we’d all get to enjoy together.  Hopefully, I manage to find the spirit soon.  If not though, I will be sure to find my birthday spirit in a few days!  And, this will be the first New Year’s I’ve had off in 6 or 7 years!

Santa Gets Gypped

Most of the people old enough to read this blog know  that Santa Claus does not exist, even though my parents still wait for us to go to Wbed to put out “santa presents” (we’re alll over 21, btw.)  I was listening to “The Night Santa Went Crazy” by weird Al in the car, and something occured to me.  There’s a line that says “break his back for some milk and cookies, sounds to me like he was tired of getting gypped”.  How true is this nowadays though? Our parents (“Santa”) do so much for us and most of the time we are so ungrateful.  Sometimes I think our population as a whole has come to expect so much from other people that we forget to show appreciation for the people that are actually out doimg things for us!

Recipe for Disaster

Ok, well, not for disaster per se, but nothing else seemed to make a catchy title.

Every year my job has a Thanksgiving dinner on the day before Thanksgiving for all the employees. This year, there is a contest for the best side dish and best dessert. I made Pumpkin Cheesecake for a party earlier this week, but decided it would not be very cost effective to make again. I decided to make my stand-by: brownies. And to be festive I found a Pumpkin Brownie recipe online. At least it said it was brownies. But what it turned out to be was more like, Pumpkin Cake or Pumpkin Bread. Which is not all that unique or different. Certainly not prize winning (although I did seem to get the perfect amount of spices in there!) So now, here I sit, with yet another disappointment (hey, it may seem small, but it’s just the straw that tips the scale, so to speak).

Good thing I still have half a cheesecake…. if only everything in life had a back up cheesecake….

This does not look like brownies!!!!!

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Too Many Holidays!!!

Every year my birthday falls halfway between Christmas and New Year’s.  Those of you with Christmas birthdays know how sucky this is.  This year, Hanukkah happens to end at sundown on my birthday.  Does this mean I can blow out my hanukiah candles and make a wish???  Is it more likely to come true (cuz I could use all the help I can get!)

P.S. I know you’re supposed to let the candles burn out, this was just a funny musing I had in my head when I realized the dates of events this season!

Rosh Chodesh/ L’Shana Tovah!

I actually got this little tidbit from a facebook post by a film company (Nationlight Productions).

The hebrew word “shana”/year is related to “shoneh”/repeat, as well as “sheina”/sleep. This teaches that the repetitiveness of the years renders us unconscious to the miraculous nature of our lives. The relationship of the words “chodesh”/month and “chadash”/new teaches us that each new moon is an opportunity to awaken and realize there is constant renewal and miracles all around. Yesterday was the new moon [and year].

I’ve studied a lot of languages and always loved the way words are interconnected.  I thought this is a great positive little message to remind us to, essentially, count our blessings, even when things seem like they can’t get much worse (I have also learned that they always can!)

I Could Live in a Theme Park

I have two huge passions in life- dancing and theme parks.  The first has its own whole blog, the latter gets this post.

I go to a lot of theme parks.  I worked seasonally in one.  But I hadn’t been to my favorite theme park in 4 years, until yesterday.  And I finally figured out why it is I love theme parks.  I could live inside Epcot.

First off, theme parks are like their own little world.  Like going to a different country in your own backyard (Epcot especially so!).  They have their. Own inhabitants from all over the world.  They develop their own culture.  I have always loved studying world history and culture, and what better way than to go straight to the source!

I don’t even like roller coasters, but I spend a good chunk of my days off at various theme parks.  I realized yesterday that most of the time, I don’t even care about any of the rides.  I don’t have a set aganda for what I have to ride.  I don’t have to get fast passes to avoid waiting in lines all day.  Waiting in the queue is part of the theme park experience I feel, and sometimes its one of the best places to make new friends!

Most people go to Disney World for the Magic Kingdom.  Or for thrill rides or to dine with Mickey and friends.  I go for Epcot.  Some people don’t even know how I could spend a whole day there, but I could spend a week and still not see or try everything.  There’s of course the big name rides like Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin’- thrill rides I can actually ride.  And after every ride there’s little interactive play areas to play and learn new things- you could actually spend the whole day just doing these probably!  Then there’s innoventions- the huge interactive arcade with all sorts of things to try.  There’s the Land and the Living Seas with all sorts of things to see and do and learn about nature.  And then there’s my favorite part- the world showcase.  I could spend a whole day just here!  There’s presentations and comedy shows in each country.  Plenty of shopping if you have the cash to burn.  For the kids and the kids are heart there’s a craft station in each country.  There’s at least two restaurants in each place to eat around the world. There’s my favorite pasttime of drinking around the world.  And my second favorite pasttime, finding cute foreign guys to flirt with.

I think I’d like to build a new theme park that is just like that part of Epcot.  It would be a little bit smaller, but hopefully a little bit cheaper, and include even a larger variety of countries.  And right in the center will be a hidden tower that I will live in.  Yep, that sounds like a nice dream to hold on to!

A Day in the Life of, well, Me.

The holidays are always a crazy time for everyone.  I, personally, am booked solid into the new year.  Wonder what it’s like? Choose any of numerous cliches- “Burning the candle from both ends”, “No rest for the wicked”, etc.  Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if I just have too many friends.  Too many friends you ask? Can that be possible? Well let’s start with yesterday and you can see what I mean….

tuesday- work in the morning- early afternoon, some Christmas shopping, out to the bars for my friend’s birthday til 3 am

wednesday- up after five hours of sleep, work 14 hours, come home and write this blog before finally crashing

thursday- another all day double

friday- Disney world for the first time in four years all day, christmas/friend’s birthday party number 1

saturday- make brownines for one party, friend’s graduation party an hour south, friend’s bridal shower an hour north, friend’s festivus party back in town,  another friend’s holiday/birthday party

sunday- one friends birthday celebration at busch gardens, work til close, another friends’ holiday party

monday- work a double, then over the bridge for movies and frozen chocolate bananas with a friend from out of town

and then comes going home for christmas, trying to celebrate my quarter-of-a-century birthday (curse my inconvenient birth!), and working doubles every other day including new years eve and new years day!

And somewhere in there I have to do laundry, walk my dog a bagillion times a day, eat, maybe sleep, and possibly shower.  But yeah, I do it to myself.  At least i can’t say my life is boring!

“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”

Songs of the Season

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, and in my liking to make video playlists, I’ve decided to post my top 5 favorite holiday songs!

#5. This song just makes me laugh and I think this is a pretty cute video for it!

#4. What kind of dego would i be if I didn’t like this song? Also I love the part of the video where the reindeer sees the hills and is like “wtf?”

#3. I don’t know why but this has always been my favorite version of this song, and you can kinda swing to it!

#2. This song is how I light my hanukkiah! Not only is it one of my favorite bands, but it includes the blessings right in it so I can recite them along with!

#1. i will always be a little bit punk at heart and this is the best remake of any christmas song evar! Also, the dude signing it is my frickin hero! I’m gonna learn it!

 

Runners up include “Christmastime in Tinseltown Again” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy because it’s a funny song and you can swing dance to it. And also, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by NSYNC because I got 100 on signing it in ASL and
I still remember it perfectly to this day 10 years later.

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