Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shopping Excursion

We were planning to do some grocery shopping the other day. So my friend calls me, and of course, she's asking if we're going to town tomorrow, because she needs a ride so she can do some shopping. I then accused her of being psychic, of somehow knowing we were planning to go shopping the following day.
Anyway, we picked her up and drove into town, chatting with each other on the way. We went to get breakfast first. My family's been going to that café for a long time, and we're rather well-known by the staff there. I'm not asked, "What what you like to drink?" No, they ask, "Chocolate or vanilla?" By now they know I'm in love with milkshakes.
We went to Ross, because she had a gift card there, and we proceeded to spend well over an hour there while she looked for late Christmas gifts for her family. Then again, it was after Christmas, so things had been picked over and there wasn't a great selection. That, and she had a lot of people to shop for and only $100 to do it with.
Then we went to get some groceries. My friend and I were kind of hyper and goofy. Mom jokingly claimed not to know us.
After that, we started heading home. We were originally planning to pick up some things at the hardware store, but Mom was tired and didn't want to. That's strange, she acts like she spent ten years following my friend and I around Ross, or something. Either way, it was a fun day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Child's Christmas

I recall being a young child, and really looking forward to Christmas. I looked forward to the music, the television shows, and movies that were about Christmas. I enjoyed it when we put up the tree and decorated it. In class, we would do fun projects like making holiday-themed craft projects. Often we wrote letters to Santa as an assignment.
I recall my first grade teacher telling me she would send the letters we wrote home to our parents. I was skeptical; weren't the letters supposed to be sent to Santa Claus, up in the North Pole? She told me that she would copy all the letters, sending the original to our parents and the printed copy to the North Pole. Even then, some part of me wasn't sure if she would really do that.
Every winter, I hoped that it would snow where I lived. It's only happened a few times over the many years, but nevertheless, you gotta have dreams.
I recall some of the things that I've requested for Christmas over the years. Pokemon and Barbie was always appreciated. And I remember for a long while, I wanted a Poo-chi. I was rather happy when I finally received one. Later on, I also became a big fan of Neopets. At one point in time, I had interactive toys, stuffed toys, plastic figurines, and magazines. I also liked getting books for Christmas. I've been an avid reader since forever. In fact, some of my ultrasound pictures probably show me holding a book. And when I was born, I was clutching a Dr. Seuss story in my hands.
I recall many instances of sitting on Santa's lap, telling him what I wanted for Christmas. I remember one time when I was telling Santa what I wanted. He looked somewhat confused when I mentioned that I wanted Neopets toys.
What in Neopia is a kacheek? the man dressed as Santa thought silently as I prattled on.
On Christmas Eve, I could never sleep well. I was too excited, and so it took me forever to sleep. Even then, I woke bright and early and tried to drag my family out of bed as soon as possible. Of course, they wanted to sleep. But when you're a kid who wants to open gifts, you're relentless.
Like a lot of kids, I was happy about the toys and the books, but often wasn't very excited about clothes. Socks? I want a stuffed dog, and a Barbie doll, and a comic book, and some chocolate! Of course, if it's clothing for my Barbie, then I'll be happy about it. My friend says that there's a sort of irony about clothing for Christmas. When you're a kid, you get clothes and aren't enthusiastic. When you get to be older and are grateful to receive clothes, you oftentimes don't get clothes for Christmas.
It was always sad to see Christmas end. The tree and all the other wondrous decorations went away. The holidays are something you wish would last forever. But they do end. So the holiday decor goes into its boxes, the time of Christmas carols and holiday specials ends, and the children all wait impatiently for next December.

'Twas the Saturday Before Christmas

We went grocery shopping the other day. The traffic was horrible. We went to In-N-Out and there were hardly any parking spaces. We also ate outside because there was nowhere in the building to sit. There were plenty of people at the supermarket. When I walked into Barnes & Noble, there were a lot of people. The woman at Barnes & Noble said that the Saturday before Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days.
Of course. We really know how to pick our shopping days. So a few words of warning- beware the Saturday before Christmas if you want to avoid traffic and crowds.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Pack Rat

When our family moved recently, we sifted through a lot of stuff. It was a time of major purging. We seem to be somewhat of pack rats.
I had at least eighty thousand stuffed animals that were sitting untouched in my closet. I also had a bunch of random stuff that I had kept for various obscure, trivial reasons. You know the kind of things I'm talking about: the miscellaneous objects, the little knick-knacks you have too many of, the useless items that anyone else would describe as junk or garbage. So I went through things and got rid of a lot.
And the scary thing is, some of my stuff never got unpacked from the previous time we moved. Somewhere out there is a shoe box filled with Pokemon cards, a dreamcatcher my brother made for me, some posters, and other things which have not seen daylight for several years. I don't even remember all of what's missing anymore. Some of the stuff will be kept when I find it and sort through it, but I'm sure a lot of it will be things that I don't need or want anymore, and ultimately will be sold or donated.
Even now, I seem to have a bit of the pack rat remaining. There are little boxes beneath my bed that have random stuff in them. There's an MP3 player I hardly use, a set of portable speakers that have the sound quality of tin cans, and a few small figurines. I also seem to have more cords than anyone could possibly need. Chargers, USB cords, and more litter my room. Why are there so many different sizes of USB ports? It makes life more complicated than need be. And then there's a container filled with random things, most of which would be classified as trash. I keep it in case I do a craft project at some point, and the random junk is still waiting to be used.
I look through some of the random stuff every once in a while, just in case I change my mind about anything. At the moment I have a ton of stuff hidden in my closet that I plan to eventually get rid of. If anyone wants it, please contact me at 1212 Packrat Lane. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Journey of a Thousand Miles

I was going to vacuum today, so I started moving a few things off the floor to make the process easier. Then I decided that I could put a few things into the back of my closet to make my room feel less cluttered. After that, I figured I ought to dust a few things, especially my dust collector computer table. Then I decided to organize some of the things on the shelf of my computer table, and get rid of some stuff I didn't need or want anymore. Finally, I actually did the task I originally planned: vacuum the house. Once finished with that, I grabbed my hamper, computer chair, and other stuff I removed from the floor, and put all back.
My room looks a bit different now. The floor is clean, my desk is less dusty, my monitor is shinier, and the space where clutter once was is empty and looks bigger.
Now that everything is done, now that I've worked and worked, now that I'm tired, I'm going to relax until my room becomes so horrible that slime drips from the ceiling.
And then I'll start the process all over again.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cereal and Vintage Gaming

There's a TV commercial in which a couple are sitting on a couch in the living room, the man feeding his wife cereal as she plays video games. Funny thing is, the thing in the commercial that is being advertised differs from that which I want from the commercial. I'm not interested in the Froot Loops cereal. No, it's that beautiful NES with Super Mario Bros that I want.
My precious... (strokes game console while looking disturbingly like Gollum)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Raining Arachnids

It's been raining for a while now. I can hear it out the bedroom window, and I can hear it beating on the skylight when I go into the kitchen.
Anyway, I walked into the kitchen tonight to get a drink of water. As I'm standing upon the linoleum floor, I saw something fall from the microwave onto the stove. Don't ask me why the microwave is installed directly above the stove. It doesn't make sense to me, either.
My first thought was 'Wait, is rain somehow leaking into the house?' Obviously I dismissed this idea quickly because it was absurd. It would have to go through the roof, the cabinet, and the microwave. Perhaps it was an optical illusion. I went over to the stove to investigate.
Lo and behold, what do my eyes see, but a skinny brown scorpion looking at me. After staring cluelessly at the scorpion and my surroundings, it finally occurred to me that I could make use of the blue plastic cup on the counter, waiting to be washed. I picked it up and squashed the icky bug with it, then disposed of the body.
It's not raining cats and dogs here. It's raining arachnids.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saturday

I went with my friend to youth group at church. We played Truth or Dare. We each picked a truth card or dare card that the youth pastor had written up. There were some rather funny dares, such as putting marshmallows into your mouth and trying to sing, or making a whipped cream mustache on yourself. I thought it was rather funny when one of the girls was dared to throw a marshmallow and catch it in her mouth, and she succeeded on the first try. The youth pastor was disappointed, as he was hoping to see several failed tries first.
Last Saturday, instead of having youth group at the church, our youth pastor had a Christmas party at his house. However, I was already going to another Christmas party with my parents. The party was being hosted by some good friends of ours that we've known since forever. In fact, Megan is one of my close friends and my former classmate, and her mother was my first grade teacher. The guests were also people we knew.
Anyway, we had a lot of fun. All of us brought different foods to eat. There were lots of amazing desserts, such as pretzels dipped in chocolate, and some wonderful creations consisting of crushed Oreos and cream cheese with a chocolate shell. Needless to say, I ate a lot of sugar.
We also had a gift exchange, and later on some of us playing a gambling game. I sat there with a couple other people and watched as the players shouted and laughed.
Megan came home after work, and I talked to her. She had to pick up someone from the youth pastor's Christmas party, and I decided to come with her. She told me I was her first passenger. We went to the youth pastor's house, picked up the person, then came back to the party. I told Megan, "Now I can say I went to two parties in one night!"
We left after eleven, and we weren't the last people to leave the party either. We were exhausted, but we had a lot of fun.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Downpour

It's been raining off and on for a while now. Today it was fantastic. It wasn't going to rain today. Oh no, it was going to POUR. There was also plenty of wind at the house, and random objects in the yard began to travel. I went outside and threw away a ton of useless junk that served no purpose other than to be an eyesore and be blown across the United States.
When we went shopping today, the rain followed. increasing its output until great oceans puddles formed everywhere. You walked outside for a few minutes, and you were soaked. We came home and it was still raining. We went into the kitchen and we heard it pounding against the skylight. I sit in my room typing this, and I hear it outside my window. I told Mom we ought to start building an ark.
Our phones are out right now. Whenever the rain becomes plentiful, the dial tone is replaced by the sound of wet weather.
Anyway, I'd better start on that ark. Already the animals are starting to arrive. I hope those two mountain lions are friendly...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter Tastes Like Peppermint

I was in another room, and I heard something interesting on the television. The person in the commercial was wondering aloud if winter tastes like peppermint.
I thought to myself, Well, of course it does! Where do you think that song came from? And of course, Owl City began to sing in my head.

"This peppermint winter is so sugar sweet,
I don't need to taste to believe,
What's December without Christmas Eve?"

Great. Now I have a craving for an enormous candy cane.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Distraction

I have a friend who I often tease about being easily distracted by shiny things. There's a rather funny story behind that, but I fear what she might do to me if I revealed the tale, so I won't explain.
Then again, I also have another friend who apparently is easily distracted by rain. Her mother was talking on the phone, and she heard her mom mention hearing rain. She was so excited at the prospect of rain, she leapt up from her chair and knocked it over.
I suppose if you asked my friends and family what I was easily distracted by, they would probably say 'sugar' or 'animals'. Many funny stories stem from the times when I ate large amounts of sugar and became hyper. And of course, I always seem to wind up petting dogs, cats, and other such creatures.
I suppose everyone has something that tends to draw their attention away. It's like the dogs in the Disney movie 'Up'. They get so easily-
Squirrel!
What was I saying?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Tree

So, my family put up the Christmas tree today. We put on the colored lights, some garland, and a wide range of ornaments. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Anyway, I got this crazy idea not too long ago, and I decided to go through with it. So I found an image of a Christmas tree that I made a few years back, and opened it in Photoshop. After making a few improvements on the tree, I then proceeded to add lights and animate them. Why? Because I'm one of those odd people who will spend hours making animated images.
So here's some Christmas decoration for the blog.



Gremlins

There are many unsolved mysteries in the world. One of these mysteries have to do with things like string lights, power cords, and jewelry chains.
You get out the vacuum cleaner. It was put away nicely, the cord neatly wrapped around the canister. But when you prepare to use it, you realize the cord has a knot in it. How?
You put the Christmas lights away carefully. The next year, you take out the box, and they're a jumbled mess. How?
You have a stand that you hang your necklaces on. You accidentally knock it over and it falls to the ground. When you pick it up again, all of the chains are wound together and tied in knots, a nearly impossible puzzle to solve. How?
This is my theory: gremlins. The tiny, invisible creatures sneak in when you're not looking. They get into the box of Christmas lights and tangle things up. They gather around your vacuum cleaner and tie the cord in a knot. They all pounce when your jewelry stand falls, and in a matter of seconds, they wind everything together in a confusing, complex manner.
If there's anything scientists should study, it's this: the reasons behind how things get so tangled up. Seriously. It defies all the laws of physics and impenetrable tangled messes, so obviously it has to be gremlins. We need to know how to get rid of these little gremlins, or else train them to use their skills to good use instead of for driving people batty.