Christmas decor and the stuff of nightbears.

The Nut House has officially been Noëlified. Lights, baubles, action!

As I was putting up the lights, I discovered that the small string that customarily goes around our equally small bedroom window has finally decked its last hall, so to speak, so I stopped by the hardware store to grab a new one. While I was there, I figured it couldn’t hurt to grab a nice new long set to replace the several ancient shorter ones I’d cobbled together in past holiday seasons to go around our large living room window.

It was a good idea. Trouble was, I’d forgotten that I’d already had the same good idea last year (this is why you take full inventory of things before running out to buy stuff), making me now the proud owner of two nice long sets of lights but only one large living room window.

Ah, yes, it’s all coming back to me now. How I triumphantly cannibalized the ratty old small strings for spare bulbs with which to replace all the burnt out ones keeping my artificial tree from lighting up.

There were only five non-working bulbs on the tree this year. A vast improvement over last year’s…oh, I don’t know…ALL OF THEM. Still, the tree always insists on having its little quirks. Even with all the faulty bulbs replaced, the bottom half stubbornly refused to light up for a good minute.

Then I either breathed on it in a way it liked or else the phrase “goddammit you needy fucking tree WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” holds some kind of arcane power when shouted at faux evergreens because the tree suddenly decided it was glow time and I didn’t need to throttle it after all.

Meanwhile, I’m fairly certain my elderly recluse of a next door neighbor uses the appearance of my wreath to determine when to put up his own, because every year without fail his goes up on the door exactly one day after mine.  Which I find kind of sweet, except, just like every year, there’s this small wayward piece of faded curling ribbon dangling from the bottom of his that is entirely out of place and drives me batty.

Is Neighbor Hermit blind? Does he not own scissors? I want so badly to snip it that little eyesore ribbon off. I feel like I’d be doing him a favor. Except for all I know he likes it that way or purposely leaves it there for some other reason, and who am I to mess with his status quo? It’s the holidays. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to all, even if I have to go quietly mad to make it happen.

Actually, I lied. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to everyone except this fucking bear:

I had to buy a replacement headlight bulb over the weekend and I saw this monstrosity threatening Nutty Hubby and I from the window of Home Depot as we passed by on our way to Canadian Tire.

I’m sure whoever designed this plush robotic nightmarebear was trying to make it look like he wants a hug, but if that’s their idea of a hug then I feel really bad for all their friends and loved ones because this bear looks more like it’s ready to fucking rumble.

Even Nutty Hubby, lover of all things horror, stopped in his tracks and was like, “Jesus, do these people hate children?”

Hush little baby, don’t you cry
Beary’s gonna punch you right in the eye
And if that doesn’t make you sleep
Beary’s gonna kill your family!

Better act fast, friends. Only 20 shopping days left to get your very own Robo Murder Bear before Christmas!

Elf Alone: Lost in New York

Yesterday a bunch of us watched Elf with a friend who’d never seen it before.

(Yes, I have friends. I know, I’m surprised too.)

I love watching movies with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they find it scary or boring or hilarious or overrated or beautiful? Will they lose their shit giggling at the same things you do or will they die laughing at something you never really noticed before?

Those are my favorite moments: when your friend points out or laughs uncontrollably at something you might not have picked up on or found funny on your own; the moments that really let you see the movie through new eyes.

There were a lot of those with Elf, but by far the most memorable was when Buddy is preparing for Santa’s arrival at the department store and dumps a bucket of LEGO out onto the floor.

Those of us who’ve seen the film know the fantastic sculpture-in-progress Buddy has in store for us two cuts later, but Roslyn, totally in the dark and mystified, blurted out, “Wh-why is he throwing LEGO on the floor?” When the answer presented itself a few seconds later, she burst into peals of laughter.

“Oh my god,” she gasped. “For a minute I thought he was pulling some kind of Home Alone shit with the LEGO and I was like, ‘Why would you try to hurt Santa? I thought you loved him!'”

Of course that set the rest of us off, because the mental image of Buddy going all Kevin McCallister trap happy on his beloved boss in red was too much to handle, and the rest of Buddy’s decorating spree was drowned out by a discussion of just how insane and potentially awesome an Elf-ed up version of Home Alone would be.

For the record, I would totally pay to see that movie.

Everywhere I go.

Well, it took a while, but the temperature around here finally dropped to what I would consider acceptable November levels.

…and then just kept on dropping.

On Monday I went jogging in a sleeveless vest. On Wednesday I went jogging in a thick hoodie, toque (AKA beanie, to any confused non-Canuck readers) and gloves.

And now I’m at war with my brain.

Brain: Wow it got cold all of a sudden!

Me: Yeah, look, I can see my breath!

Brain: Smell that?

Me: What?

Brain: Almost smells like it could snow.

Me: *breathes deeply* Mm-hm.

Brain: You might say that it’s…

Me: No. Stop.

Brain: *giggles* …it’s…

Me: Don’t do this.

Brain: ♫♪ …it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ♫♪

Me: I’m gonna murder you with an ice pick.

That’s right, it’s only a week into November and I have Christmas music stuck in my head and it’s not even the stores’ fault because although a bunch of them already have Christmas displays up, none of them are playing holiday music yet which means my brain is just an asshole with a hard-on for Bing Crosby.

Anyone know the best pesticide for earworms?

Trek the Wars.

Writing my own bastardized versions of popular Christmas songs is usually something of an annual tradition for me.

Key word: usually. Sadly, due to a sudden apparent complete lack of creativity on my part, it doesn’t look like that will be happening this year.

Or maybe 2016 was just so awful that even I’m having trouble making light of it.

Happily, though, the internet is a thing, so at the very least I’m still able to enjoy and share the irreverent holiday mockeries of others.

Like the Wookiee-tastic version of Silent Night that I stumbled upon last night.

Wow, the walking carpet can carry a tune! Who knew?

But I’ve always been more of a Trekkie myself; specifically, a Next Generation Trekkie. And although being serenaded by Chewie definitely tickles my funny bone, I find this classic holiday offering featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard & Co. far more…engage-ing.

#sorrynotsorry

What’s your favorite carol crime? Pour yourself a glass of spiked eggnog (unless eggnog’s not your thing, in which case MORE FOR ME, SUCKER) and post your most gigglesome holiday twisted tune selections in the comments so we can all have a much needed guffaw.

P.S. Pets in Santa hats also accepted.
P.P.S. Or GIFs of people slipping hilariously on ice.
P.P.P.S. Or whatever you want, really. I’m not picky, nor am I good at sticking to themes.

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A plague on the Nut house.

An alleged friend of Nutty Hubby’s and mine sent us a Christmas card that sheds micro glitter like a sparkly vampire with the world’s worst case of dandruff.

I don’t know what we did to her to deserve this kind of punishment or how we’ll be able to properly atone so it doesn’t happen again next holiday season, but what I do know is thanks to handling that most egregious travesty of holiday correspondence I will now be finding glitter on my desk and in my carpet and in my pores for approximately the next fifty years. Assuming I don’t die before then, in which case my cremation will make for one very festive urn of ashes indeed.

Last night, as I tried for the eleventh time to get a single stubborn fleck of the godforsaken stuff off the tip of my index finger (an emery board eventually did the trick) I found myself wondering who it was we had to castigate thank for making the herpes of the craft world possible. So I typed my glittering way over to Wikipedia to find out.

“The first production of modern plastic glitter is credited to the American machinist Henry Ruschmann, who found a way to cut plastic or mylar sheets into glitter in 1934.” – Wikipedia1,2

Dear Wikipedia,

You misspelled “masochist”.

Dear Henry Ruschmann,


1 “Glitter.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Dec. 2016. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

2 Yes, I know people were using other shit as glitter long before my new nemesis Henry, but sometimes you just need to hate someone with a name.

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‘Tis the season for gluttony and blind trust.

It’s that special time of year when our customers share the holiday spirit by bringing in homemade baked goods, boxed chocolates, and regifted fruitcakes for our employees to shamelessly stuff ourselves with (or regift in turn, in the event of fruitcake).

In fact I’m so used to our little coffee corner in the lobby being fully stocked with courtesy sweets in the weeks before Christmas that I find myself actively disappointed on the days when I wander over for a dose of caffeine and diabetes and there are no free goodies on the counter.

How dare you people, I think in silent hangry rage. You ungrateful scum, after all the money you’ve exchanged with us for services we provided, how DARE you come in here now without offerings of high fructose corn syrup!

Thankfully those lapses in generosity are a rare exception to the rule; more often than not the counter is laden with sugar and more sugar in all its myriad forms, of which I would normally readily partake without pausing once to consider anything other than YUMMY FOOD GOES IN MOUTH PORTAL.

Until today, when I had a thought.

(Yes, it happens occasionally.)

Remember how when you were a kid, there was always that handful of neighbors who passed out homemade caramel popcorn balls or candy apples for Hallowe’en, and your mom made you throw them straight into the garbage when you got home in case they were full of arsenic and razor blades?

Why was this suddenly not a concern around Christmastime? We used to find ourselves inundated with sugary foods from all kinds of random sources around the holidays, and never once did my mother advise caution. That weird hermit-type down the street unexpectedly emerged from his burrow in December and made the rounds with Christmas cookies? Sure, GO NUTS, KID!

Were my parents maybe hoping to get out of buying me presents, or are we really just that guileless and trusting once Noël is nigh?

I guess it’s because at Hallowe’en the idea of someone slipping a trick into your treat just seems to come with the territory, whereas at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year everyone’s supposed to be feeling joyous and charitable, and besides, people are too busy using their razor blades to open packages from Amazon to slip them into anybody’s plum pudding.

Still, you never know.

I was halfway through a slice of banana bundt cake this morning when a small corner of my brain piped up and remarked, You know, this could be poisoned. You could be ingesting cyanide as we speak.

Isn’t that a bit far-fetched? my inner skeptic ventured. I gave the cake a sniff. I thought cyanide was supposed to smell like bitter almonds. This just smells like banana. 

And you’re certain you belong to the 40% of the population that can actually detect the smell of cyanide, are you? countered Alarmist Nutty. Besides, cyanide was just an example. There could be anything in ther-  DID YOU JUST TAKE ANOTHER FUCKING BITE OF THAT WHILE I WAS TALKING?

…umh, mmhpmphlh…

What was that?

Sorry, had my mouth full.

*facepalm*

Look, I hate to burst your bubble, but we’ve already eaten half this thing, so I’m pretty sure we’re already screwed if there IS anything deadly in there. So if we are about to drop dead, let’s just enjoy the time we have left and eat some cake, shall we? In for a penny, and all that…

You’re dead to me.

Quite possibly!

Do you have to be so goddamn cheerful about it?

‘Tis the season.

I had a vision of my own death. It was delicious.

Jingle Butts

I don’t know why I’ve been so exhausted lately. Workwise I don’t really have any more on my plate than I did in November; lifewise, ditto. My Christmas shopping is done, gifts are wrapped and under the tree, party obligations fulfilled. Nothing left but to gorge myself on eggnog and imported iced gingerbread.

Despite all this, my body is acting like I just ran back-to-back Tough Mudders or something, because apparently if I can’t give it a legitimate excuse to complain then it’ll damn well just make one up.

Because it’s a douche.

So I grabbed a Groupon and hauled my douchey body to the spa to have a much too friendly and energetic lady beat the everloving shit out of it treat it to a nice, restorative deep tissue massage.

But before we got started, I paid their washroom a visit and was greeted by this:

I just love it when businesses find creative ways to incorporate their spare toilet paper into the decor.

Here we have all the makings of a great festive holiday basket: a bed of terrycloth and fragrant potpourri; a bare tree branch, signifying the bleak sparseness of winter; a handful of sturdy pine cones whose seeds will bring forth new life in the coming year; a roll of bathroom tissue, symbolic of pure white snow and the future act of writing one’s name in it…

Beautiful.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a museum-worthy work of toilet tissue art, but points for trying, right?

I do think the spa could elevate their decor efforts even further with the right choice of soundtrack. The standard soft flute melodies and rainforest noises they tend to favor are pretty, but predictable.

In my opinion you can never go wrong with a return to the classics. Personally, I think a little “Air on the G String” would complement their chosen theme perfectly.

See? Lovely.

NanoPoblano, Day 29: Making Christmas.

Normally I turn my nose up at getting out the Christmas decorations before December 1st, but as the weather forecast for the next week is looking very shitty indeed, I figured I should at least put the outdoor lights up this weekend so I wouldn’t have to do it in the freezing rain later on.

I was going to stop at the lights, but of course once I got those done I felt very accomplished and pleased with myself, so before I knew it I was back up on the stepladder in the closet sorting through boxes and bags to see what else I could get a head start on.

Long story short, it’s November 29th and we’re just a plate of cookies and a glass of milk shy of Santa breaking and entering in order to skulk around under our tiny tree.

I even dropped by Pier 1 before decorating the tree and added four new birds and two deer to my ornament menagerie, because Christmas isn’t Christmas without eighteen pairs of adorable eyes peeking out at you from your fake fir branches.

Nutty’s Artificial Animal Sanctuary,  Xmas 2015.

“What’s the big idea, lady? This ain’t the North Pole!”

I realized after the fact that it was actually a really good idea to set the tree up early, because it turns out adorably crafty birds made of twigs and burlap and straw are much cuter to look at than that one derpy light on our color-changing LEDs that refuses to turn green anymore.

WHY YOU GOTTA BE DIFFERENT, CARL?

I don’t know why I named the derpy light Carl. It’s just one of those things that wandered into my head and happened to stick.

Anyway, you’re an asshole, Carl.

NanoPoblano, Day 26: Thanksgiving 2.0

Happy Thanksgiving to all my buddies who hail from the land of stars, stripes, and crying eagles.

As a Canadian who already got all this crap out of the way a month ago, American Thanksgiving feels a little like deja vu, but I do have to give you credit for having yours on a Thursday because thanks to Black Friday you guys have basically managed to milk that shit into a full-blown four day weekend.

Whereas with our inferior Monday version, we have to go back to work on Tuesday like suckers instead of getting up at 5am and lining up for the chance to trample people over discounted merchandise at Walmart.

So go forth, my clever friends. Eat, drink, be merry, be safe, and always remember the most important thing:

Calories don’t count on holidays.


 

NanoPoblano, Day 22: The rumors of your wild shenanigans have been greatly exaggerated.

I was strongly cautioned politely informed in advance that Christmas parties hosted by my husband’s work have a reputation for getting a little crazy.

As the last real corporate Christmas party I attended involved several dozen of our store’s finest getting good and plastered on a dinner cruise in the harbor, the drunken (and somehow unnoticed) theft of an unopened bottle of Jack Daniels from a bar by one of the new cashiers, and one of our full-time deli girls threatening physical violence against the coat check girl at a strip club (don’t ask), yesterday’s event had quite the precedent to live up to.

Ah, disappointment, we meet again.

I don’t get it. Champagne and sangria shoved into our hands at the door. Wine glasses topped up after the smallest sip. Reminders every two minutes that, “It’s open bar, guys, so go nuts!” There was every opportunity for alcoholic excess and lowered inhibitions.

We saw maybe one drunken wobble all night.

C’mon guys, it’s like you weren’t even trying. Responsibly tipsy? What kind of entertainment value is there in that? I was promised pure inebriated chaos, dammit!

But I guess that’s just the kind of letdown you can expect from from a Christmas party held in freakin’ November.