Here is this year’s Halloween costume. I based on the book The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern, which I love. It’s about a magical circus, Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams) that appears without any pre-warning, and is open only from nightfall until dawn, and everything in the circus is decorated only in black and white, as well as the costumes of all the performers. So, I call this character le dompteur de chaton de Le Cirque des Rêves. The kitten tamer of The Circus of Dreams.
I find myself sitting here, the evening of the Saturday of this three day weekend. Historically speaking, this is the holiday to celebrate the greatness of the American labor force. For the typical USian, mostly it’s about the last three day shebang of summer. Next week, the kids head back to school, the summer melts away, and the downhill acceleration to the holidays begins. There’s that feeling in the air that there’s a lot to pack in because somehow things are going to be different come Tuesday.
I spent a good part of my afternoon out and about. I slathered up with some sunblock, and stepped out in my tank top, big floppy hat, and sunglasses. I walked around the neighborhood, had some foods, ran into some good friends, enjoyed my leisure. I came home and enjoyed some relaxing activities – reading, watching a ballgame, watching a movie. Tomorrow could be really packed with a lot of activities. There’s a lot going on, and we’ll see how much of it I manage to actually accomplish. So, I felt like today ought to be mellow. Monday? I don’t really know what kind of day that’s going to be.
Now I find myself sitting here with a glass of wine, thinking about Labor Day, and of course, writing about it. (Also listening to Raphael Saadiq and Marvin Gaye)
The funny thing about this, even though I’m not headed back to school, I’m still like a kid this weekend. I still have that feeling like this is somehow my last chance at freedom for some time. This is, amongst other things, completely unfounded. I already have plans to take a Monday off in a couple weeks to go wine tasting. I have travel plans for October and November already lined up. I have a hard time remembering, a lot of the time, that I am not nineteen anymore, and this could be just another example of that. I some times look at my life, and I wonder how it is that a nineteen year old has come to have her own apartment, car, career, etc, and I actually have to remind myself that I am not nineteen, but thirty-four, and that all these things are perfectly reasonable things for me to have.
But as I’ve spent some time thinking about this holiday, what it’s supposed to represent and what it actually does mean to so many of us, it has occurred to me that this next week will be the 20th anniversary of me starting my freshman year of high school. Fuck! I’m old. Two decades since I became a high school student. How the hell did that happen?
I wish I could remember a little better what I was like at fourteen. I couldn’t tell you if I was more excited or scared to be starting high school. I can’t really remember what my first day of school was. I’m sure, me being me, there had to be some guy I noticed on that first day, and i wish I could remember who he was. And really what I wish I knew more than anything is whether 14 year old me and 34 year old me have anything in common. Am I still her? Would she recognize me? What would she think of this weekend I have planned for myself? Would she be happy with how we turned out? Would she see the beauty in the simplicity of my evening? Would she be mad at me that we’re single or would she be pleased that we have a life full of so much that being unsingle isn’t priority number one? Would she like our job? Would she like our friends? (Some of them are still the same) Would she like this damn cat curled up next to me?
The thing is, even though I don’t really remember anything about what I was like at fourteen, I think I couldn’t have changed so much. I mean, it wouldn’t be so hard to keep track of the reality that I’m an adult, if I had change so much in the process, would it?. I don’t think I would be sitting here feeling like this weekend has to mean something, if I didn’t still have that memory ingrained somewhere of just how much Labor Day can change your life. It’s possible that I’m over-thinking every damn thing about this.
So what is this weekend about? Relaxing, getting out, running into friends, barbecuing, cocktail drinking, running, biking, jiving, grooving, writing, and being. Make it whatever you need it to be. Go nuts!
And just keep turning the page.
I’d like to introduce you to my new friend Blinky:
Blinky is my new friend, who came to the party on Christmas Eve. As you can see, she’s an elf. Not just any old Tolkein elf (one of those is in the background of the photo) or fairy, but a real Christmas Elf. All the elves were invited to the house party, you see. She works in Santa’s workshop, though she doesn’t work on making toys. Blinky’s area of expertise is bows. She makes all the pretty bows to go on all the lovely presents that Santa takes to all the good boys and girls for Christmas.
But Blinky isn’t just your run of the mill cheerful little elf. No, you see, there’s something very special about Blinky. She’s Santa’s only Punk Elf! She loves punk rock music and mosh pits.
Since, I’m sure you’re just dying to know all about Blinky, I asked her to fill out a profile that I could share with my readers, so here’s everything you want to know about Blinky the Punk Rock Christmas Elf!
Full Name: Blinky Margaret Twinkle-Toes
Age: older than a fresh fallen snow, but younger than a twinkling star in the sky (and that’s all you need to know)
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: Head Bowstress at Santa’s Workshop (with 17 years experience)
Hometown: The North Pole
Favourite Bands: The Clash, Blondie, Spiderbait, The Phenomenauts, The Epoxies …..oh, and Bikini Kill
Favorite Movies: Amelie and Pump Up the Volume (I bet you thought I’d say Elf)
Turn Ons: Fudge, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Popcorn with lots of Butter
Turn Offs: Naughty Boys and Girls
Perfect Date: December 26th
New Year’s Eve Plans: Plan to have a blast wherever I may be!
Goals for 2010: To launch her own fragrance line.
I think we may be seeing more of this elf around.
Happy New Year, everyone. Thank elfing heaven that another year has come to an end.
I’m just sayin’.
Now that my parents have opened their gifts, I can post this blog about how I made them. I couldn’t before, because Mom reads the blog. (Hi Mom!)
I had two matching 4×4 picture frames to start with. I decided to paint a matching scene on each, but one would be a day time scene, and one a night time scene. I traced the glass and drew a simple scene to fit the size, made two photocopies of the drawing, and then taped the drawings to the glass to use as my guide.
I painted the two scenes simultaneously – side by side. Since I was painting directly on the glass, I painted them in reverse, with the highlights and foreground painted first.
I did all of this on the floor of my bedroom. It was a lot of fun, but at times it was hard to be patient while I waited for the paint to dry. Oh, and about the paint, it’s acrylic.
Finally I got to tackle the sun and moon which really set the two apart.
These pictures aren’t the absolute greatest, because I took them with my phone. I still need to get a new camera.
I filled in the last of the sun and moon, and the finished off the trees and mountains, too.
Lastly, I filled in the sky for the background. I decided to make the night sky purple so that the scene would stand out. Makes sense, really if there’s a full moon, right?
Then I had to let them dry over night. This was the tense part, because I couldn’t really see how they turned out. The view from the front was covered by the drawing, and all I could see from the painted side was the last coat. I didn’t want to take the guides off until it was dry, because I was worried that I would smear the paint.
The next morning I carefully removed the drawings and tape to reveal the paintings and placed them in their frames.
Even my art student housemate was impressed, so I must have done something right. Mom and Dad liked them very much, and said they’re planning on hanging them together somewhere in the house.
I’m an artistic genius, it seems.
As I am a bit nutters and also completely single, I decided a while back that what I really wanted was to be left utterly alone on Christmas. With a house full of housemates, it didn’t seem that would happen if I stayed home. Going to my parents for the holidays was out of the question, as Washington between December and February is impossibly cold for me, and also, what I wanted was to get away from some of my responsibilities, not be surrounded by them. So, I settled on spending just one night, Christmas night in a hotel. And the more I thought of it, the more I thought that a rather nice hotel would be, well, nice. And upon consulting my memory of some of the nicer hotels I had ever stayed at, only one stood out in the area. This hotel was where a friend had been married several years ago, and I stayed over night, and thought it was very nice indeed. I confessed my plan to this one friend alone, and she said she thought it was a lovely idea, and pointed out that they have suites with fireplaces and very yummy room service. I began day dreaming of myself in pajamas and a robe, reading Austen in front of the fire, and ordering in a decadent dessert. So indulgent, I know, but I rarely get the opportunity to really spoil myself. And since my credit card is already straining under the burden of my new transmission, I figured a few more pennies worth of debt couldn’t hurt. After all, the only thing I really wanted for Christmas was an exceptionally warm bath and bed for an evening. To be left all on my own to read a book or three, and also to have a hot fudge sundae. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
I arrived at the earliest check in time, eager for my leisure to begin. I asked the desk person, as he was checking me in, about room service. I suspected that there could be some issue with it, since it was a holiday, and all. He said that they might be serving a limited menu, but he didn’t know for sure. I thought it was odd that he wouldn’t know for sure. However, it didn’t seem like it would be a complete lack of service, but rather that they might not be serving everything on the regular menu, so I didn’t think much about it. He finished checking me in and gave me my keys and I was on my way.
I walked into the room, and set down my things. I immediately went to the fireplace, and found on the mantle a framed note that said that the fireplace was out of service. Oh no! What the? Why didn’t they mention this when I checked in? I immediately called down to the desk to find out if there was anything to be done about that. They said that they would send a service guy around to check it out. He came in, took a look at the note, and declared that it must be out, but that he didn’t know anything about it. He called the front desk to have them arrange to put me in a different room. Then he handed me the phone. I was told by the man at the desk, the same who had checked me in, that there was no other room available with the fireplace, and that the room they had originally planned to put me in was being occupied by another guest whose reservation had ended, but that had decided to extend. So they got my room with my fireplace, and I got this one without. I asked him if there was something to be done to make up for my inconvenience, a credit to be given or anything, and he said that since I got the room I booked, fireplace or not, there was nothing to be done. He said it rather rudely, actually.
I was rather disappointed, but I didn’t know what to do. I figured since I had already paid for the night, and was already there, I would go ahead and try to make the best of it. I decided to take a hot bath and crank up the heat in the room to make up for the lack of fire. I set the thermostat to 75 and took my toiletries to the bathroom. I was really looking forward to the bath, since I don’t get to take them at my house, but that’s when I discovered, to my dismay, that the stopper in the bathtub did not work. I suppose I could have reported this to the front desk, but after they were so helpful about the fireplace . . . . I took a very long, very hot shower instead, put on my jammies, and wrapped myself in the hotel bathrobe. I sat myself down in the chair in my room (no foot stool) and dove into the large stack of books I had brought along.
It wasn’t long before I realized that the room wasn’t really warming up like I would expect it to, considering that the heat was cranked, and I could hear that the fan was running at intervals. I investigated the heating vent, putting my hand in front of it to see how warm the air was. That’s when I realized that the vent was pointed up at the vaulted ceiling. No wonder it wasn’t warming up! All the hot air was being directed to the ceiling 20 feet above my head. That’s when I found myself on a chair, redirecting the vent so that the air was blowing into the room. I put the chair back, and then cranked the heater up even higher to about 82.
Then, as I was reading, I began to nod off. I decided a nap was in order. The bed, at least, was very comfortable. It was a King, though, as that is the only size available with the fireplace. I didn’t care in the least that it was a king sized bed. I’m just one gal. I would have been just as comfy in a full or queen bed, so the bed didn’t really make up for the other lacking amenities.
When I got up from my nap, I was getting a little hungry, so I decided it was time to investigate room service. I called down, and was told that they were only serving the late night menu. This menu consisted of a meat and cheese plate, a chicken caesar salad, a hand-carved turkey sandwich with applewood smoked bacon, or a trio of sorbet or ice cream. Not only were they not serving any of their regular dinner menu, but also none of their regular desserts. I wasn’t in the mood to go out, so I decided to just go with the turkey sandwich, since the bacon did sound nice. I have recently begun eating bacon again without being overwhelmed by the flavor. A short time later, my sandwich arrived. It was indeed hand-carved turkey, but it was cold and served on a hamburger bun with lettuce and tomato only. NO bacon. Also it was served with Lay’s potato chips. Lame. And with tax and service fee, it came to $20.
I ate my sandwich, read my books, wrote in my journal, and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I decided to take full advantage of my time I had paid for, and to not check out any earlier than I needed to. I took another long hot shower, and got dressed and ready. As I was getting ready, I noticed that the bill had been slipped under my door, so I picked it up and took a look. In addition to my $20 sandwich, there was also a $10 overnight parking fee, which I had not been told about when I checked in. It just kept getting worse.
Finally, at about 11:30 I went down to check out. I asked to speak to the manager. Thankfully, as I was explaining how the desk attendant from the night before had said that nothing could be for me about the fireplace, she seemed mortified, and began apologizing profusely. I didn’t even really get to the part about the bathtub or the bacon-less sandwich. She took care of my bill for the room service and parking fee, but said that since I had booked and pre-paid for the room using Orbitz, there was nothing she could do about the fee for the room. She offered me a voucher for breakfast in their restaurant. At first I declined, but then the thought of some pancakes or hot oatmeal and tea did sound nice, so I accepted the voucher.
I took my bags out to my car and then went to the restaurant, where the hostess told me that they were no longer serving breakfast – no pancakes. She said that she would check to see if they could get me lunch instead. I waited in the lobby, and as I did, I noticed that the voucher said that it did not cover gratuity. I really didn’t want to spend any money, even on a tip, at that point. Then I overheard a man say to the hostess as he was leaving that his family had just received the worst service he’d ever seen in the restaurant. That was the final straw for me, so I told the hostess that I was not going to have lunch after all, and I got the hell out of there.
So much for my nice little treat to myself. I could have taken a bag lunch to the Best Western and had just as nice of a time for a fraction of the cost.
I am the slackerist slacker in all of blog-ville. There used to be a time when every few hours I would think to myself, that would make for an interesting story for the blog. That time was last year, apparently. Seriously. And it’s not just the blog. I just opened my journal, and I haven’t written anything in that thing in over a year.
Of course, every time I get on here I start blah blah blahing about how I’m going to write more, and how I have a good one I’ve thought of that I’ll work on just as soon as I have time. Of course I’ve forgotten all those good ideas. Of course. So here we are, quickly approaching the end of another year, and I have even less to show for it than I did last year. Gah!
So, if you’re wondering at all, I’m over here doing my thing, working, hanging out with my friends, going to shows, and pretending to be a musician.
Oh, and my camera broke, so I can’t even take any interesting pictures, but here’s one someone took of me from Halloween.
I was an Ice Princess. And since I went to The Phenomenauts’ Zombie Party, I was a Zombie Ice Princess. I came up with a pretty elaborate story about how I was the Princess Winter who pined only for one Prince who wouldn’t have her. After years of pining, she became increasingly more and more frigid and bitter until my pining was replaced with a lust for human brains.
Plus, I got to reuse that bridesmaid dress. Win!
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. . . . and as for the rest, well you know.. . .
This is pretty much all I have to say about it this year.
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