Have yourself an awkward little Christmas! (Blogmas #1)

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Today I found out about a merry little blogging tradition known as “Blogmas.” So everyday up to Christmas you do a Christmas-y post, like how to make Christmas crap crafts, decorations, recipes and the like. I love Christmas! But, unfortunately, I’m not one of those “lifestyle” type bloggers, I’m not super-artistic, and I don’t really entertain or throw parties much. In fact, at most parties I have one of two strategies that I use to get through them.

  1. Get really drunk, lose all inhibitions and make a fool of myself.
  2. Stand in a corner and watch everyone else enjoying themselves. Try to make entertaining comments to those who try to socialize with me, end up saying something socially inappropriate, not purposely but because I’m just so awkward.

And both strategies end with what I recently learned is called an “Irish exit” by most other people. An “Irish Exit,” I learned, is sneaking out of a party without saying goodbye to anyone or thanking the host. Yep, you just bail. And no one misses you because there’s usually enough people there for you not to be missed. It sucks though when it’s a smaller party because then you can’t easily sneak out. I had always known the sneaking out move as the “Clairmont Shuffle” (coined by my hubby) because it’s how my dad gets out of parties. I learned from the best. Things is, generally if you try to leave a party, people try to convince you to stay. I’m not sure why. I personally know I add very little interest to parties and it’s more likely that I will spill red wine on your white carpet, furniture, outfit, or my own outfit. (Santa, please bring me a bib.) Or I may puke on your stuff if I get drunk enough. I’ve also been known to get head-wounds when I’m drinking because I fall a lot. So blood from my head is a real possibility if you invite me over for a party. Consider yourself warned.

I’m thinking the term “Irish exit” is probably a racial slur, or at the very least, a language-group slur, and this is a perfect example of one of the awkward things that may come out of my mouth without thinking of the implications. Or other times I over-think what I want to say and end up with verbal diarrhea trying to explain my way out of a hole. Ex. “I know I called you a stuck-up bitch but I didn’t mean to call you a bitch, what I meant is you’re so cute like a dog. And when I said stuck-up, I was talking about how you always stick up for people. I’m really sorry you think I called you a stuck-up bitch, but I meant it in absolutely the nicest way possible.” Anyway, my point is the only “lifestyle” advice I can give you is “how to be very awkward at holiday parties.”

So I racked my brain. What other fun Christmas-y thing could I write about? So here it is, my confession. I love really old Christmas decorations. The tackier, the better. If you come by to see my decorative work, what you’ll find is a lot of old decorations, most of which I uncovered in the “Lost and Never-Found Basement” (please refer to Hoarders: The Secrets that Hide Beneath and TRASH OR TREASURE in the Lost and Never-Found Basement- Enter my contest today!)

So here are some of the wonderful old decorations I found in the Lost and Never-Found Basement!

bulbs
All of the ornaments in the Lost and Never Found basement are old, old glass bulbs, many of which are likely antiques. They are gorgeous. Not like the plastic crap you get today. Or they are homemade crafts. These are the kind of ornaments I like.
tree
This tree says “Christmas” to me, not one of those fancy “theme” trees or color coated trees. That’s Christmas from a store. With its mix of homemade ornaments and handed down bulbs, this tree says Christmas from the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa
Old Santa Ornament. Can’t figure out if he’s a Salvation Army Santa (he has the bell) or the real Santa because he has a sack and not a black bucket.

 

Snow man
This homemade Snowman is Da Bomb! He’s made out of a big glass jar with one of those round candle holders for the head. Painted with some sort of foamy snow like stuff, and a string of battery operated lights are stuffed in the bottom part of the jars. So you can lift up the head, and turn the lights on. Or I suppose you could make it into a cookie jar. Either way, I think it’s such a cute little Snowman.

 

houses
“The Little Houses!” I was so excited when I found these. My family had a set of these as well. They say 70s all over them! Growing up, my brother and I would fight over who got to put the houses up. In the end, my mom gave the houses to me when I moved out, because she thinks they’re too old and tacky to put up in her house. But I will always love, love, love the Little Houses! Christmas, to me, is about tradition.
porcelain tree
This is some sort of glass or porcelain green tree and although it looks like it has miniature lights, it is actually lit up by putting a very phallic light bulb up through the tree’s bottom. I remember always seeing other people with this tree. I always wanted one! And low and behold, a Christmas wish finally granted, in the bowels of the Lost and Found Basement.

 

Wowsers! A Liebster Award!

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Thank you, my dear friend, The Blog Broad, for nominating me for a Liebster Award. I have known Sam for a long time and we share many of the same interests: window shopping, board games, a love of humor, acting, reading (especially Stephen King) and, of course, writing. For as long as I’ve known Sam, she has been a creative and gifted writer. In fact, a little known fact about Sam is that the creator of the Trailer Park Boys, Mike Clattenburg, is actually her cousin.

Sam’s blog, The Blog Broad, uses humor to talk about many of the issues and struggles she has dealt with. She has chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Even though she deals with all of these health problems, she still manages to keep a positive mindset. The Blog Broad is also one resilient lady. She is a word warrior; her writing is polished, descriptive and full of similes, metaphors, irony, satire and all of the literary devices I love as an English teacher and language lover. (Oh, yes, language- you turn me on!)

Sam has supported me in my attempt to grow an audience for my writing, especially since as a teacher I am limited in the time I have to write and in keeping up and maintaining a social media presence. I tend to believe though that if you are a quality writer that an audience will build due to the quality of your work. And the quality of Sam’s writing speaks for itself. If you have checked out The Blog Broad, I know you can see why I am so honored that Sam has chosen to nominate my blog for a Liebster Award. My personal favorite of her work is “Technology: A Pain in the A**.”

Sam has also been nominated for a Liebster Award in which she describes how this award works, “The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers.  It is intended to recognize and encourage another writer’s work and efforts.  It also helps to shed light on what may be some lesser known blogs.  Essentially, once you are nominated, you pass along 10 other nominations and so on” (https://theblogbroadblog.wordpress.com/author/theblogbroadblog/).

So here are the Blog Broad questions to her nominees, including me:

If you could travel through time and live in any era, when would you choose?

As a history major, this is a tough question. Often we view the past as if it were made up of bygone eras of simpler, happier times. But I really can’t think of an era where that is truly the case. I would not want to go back earlier than the 20th century and live in an age where women were considered the property of men, were not allowed to speak publicly, and remained in the private sphere. Throughout our modern age, people lived through two World Wars, then the Cold war with constant fears of nuclear annihilation. I think there is no era within history that is any better than another- I think right here, right now is just fine. Yes, we have problems. We’re Trumped right now. But we do have a much more inclusive society in terms of accepting of differences. I would say we are living in an age where there is more understanding and appreciation of difference than any other in our history. Do we still have problems? Yes, of course. There is still systemic sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, and the like. But we are improving as a society and I see it more and more in my students. They give me hope that the future is so bright, we gotta wear shades.

What was the last good book you read and why would you recommend it to a friend?

When I was at the apex of my PNES, I was unable to work. While off work, I actually had time to read. (When you’re a teacher, the concept of reading for enjoyment is a paradox.) I was trying to find books about overcoming mental illness and I stumbled across Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I didn’t have any knowledge of Jenny or that she was a blogger until I found her book quite accidentally. I had no idea what I was in for. I read it every night before bed and would be laughing so much, my husband thought I was losing it even more than I already was gone. It gave me much comfort to see someone who had so many more issues going on than I ever have had and yet she was still finding humor in her struggles and being so candid about her experiences. It made me realize that I too could determine to be “Furiously Happy.”

If you could change one thing you’ve done in the past year, what would it be and why?

I’m a firm believer that regret is a poison. I would not ever change anything I’ve done. Mistakes are beautiful because they are how we learn. I own my mistakes, learn from them and move on.

Tell us one of your guilty pleasures.

Skittles. If only Skittle-pox was a real thing.

What is the goal of your blog?

Hmmm. I guess the main goal of my blog is to share my enthusiasm for words and writing and to share stories that people can hopefully relate to. I enjoy writing; it is a form of communication and should be shared.  The beauty of blogging is being able to share my writing so it’s not sitting in my Google Drive hidden from the world anymore. I don’t tend to focus on one topic in particular, but just anything that’s on my mind.

When did you start writing?

Just like most people I think, in elementary school. At first it was just for school assignments, but then I started writing stories, essays and poems for my own enjoyment probably around the 7th grade. I never considered writing as a career option, although I would love to have my own schedule and just write!

If you could fight a celebrity in a boxing ring, knowing you’d win, who would it be?

I hate to even write it because it seems so cliched, but it would have to be Donald Trump. And I would hope that he’d go down and never get up. Am I going to get flagged by the CIA or NSA now? My husband will be pissed if we aren’t allowed to travel to the United States anymore.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Drivers in the town in which I reside. I’ll probably do a post on that later, but not until I move from here. There is enough risk from unintentional driver error in this town, let alone to make myself into a target.

What show can you simply, not miss?

Since it’s on Netflix, it’s not really possible to “miss” but the one Netflix show that I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next season to be released is House of Cards.

What game (Board, card or video) are you best at?

Gin. My husband beats me at every board and card game we play, but he has a difficult time beating me at Gin. I am very strategic with how I play it. I am not giving away my strategy- sorry, folks. But I need to have at least one game at which I can kick ass!

Before I proceed with my own list of Liebster Award nominees, I want to address something I have noticed in researching blogs to nominate. Some bloggers seem to be very humble and even have taken the time to make little “Award Free Site” icons-emoticons-emoji-thing-a-jig, whatcha-ma-call-its. I have taken a lot of effort and time (which I don’t really have) to read and enjoy the blogs I have listed here. Some are very established blogs, some are in the very beginning stages. I tried to choose lesser known blogs, for the most part. And I also looked for writing that was genuine. I’m new to blogging, but I can still smell bullshit from a mile away. I hope that those of you I’ve nominated here feel as honored as I do that someone valued my thoughts and words enough to give me an award.

Drum roll please. And the Liebster awards go to…

Alyazya

Catch the Rayve

Chronically Beautiful

Disclaimer on my Experience

Happymess Happiness

Ocean Bream

Sara in LaLaLand

Suffering PNES

The Bloggess

You Call That Art

The instructions for accepting the Liebster are:

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, link their blog and insert the award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided to you, share a little bit about yourself.
  • Develop a new set of questions for your nominations to answer
  • Nominate 10 others and share your post with them so they see it.

Here is my list of questions for my nominees:

  1. What advice would you give to young writers/ new bloggers?
  2. How did you learn how to read and write?
  3. What made you want to start writing/ creating?
  4. If you had to switch jobs, what career would you pursue and why?
  5. Would you rather be able to move things with your mind or be able to talk to animals?
  6. What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done?
  7. Referring to the television show Freaks and Geeks, when you were in high school were you a freak or a geek?
  8. Name one fashion fad that you secretly still love and are waiting for it to come back into style.
  9. Your first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions, “Canada.”
  10. Tell us about the funniest thing that ever happened ever. EVER. (I mean it. Ever.)