Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Awkward Holidays, Vol. 4


New Year's Eve is one of the weirdest holidays that we celebrate-- even holidays like Boxing Day (a very practical holiday) and President's Day (a commemorative day off of work) make more sense. Why, you ask? Because at least those holidays have a purpose. 


New Year's Eve is the most. Depressing. Holiday. Ever. 
(Do you like how I used punctuation to let you know how to read that aloud? Me, too.)


I'm not the only one who thinks so, either. For Pete's sake, I even found an online NYE survival guide. SURVIVAL GUIDE?! Not only is it depressing, apparently it's LIFE-THREATENING, too!!!


But I digress-- I didn't post this just to ramble. I've introduced my argument, now I present:
THE EVIDENCE

First of all, I'd like to say that I believe that there are only two ways to celebrate NYE, and neither are very good choices.
 The first way to celebrate? Get together with other people (friends or strangers, who cares?) and get crunked! To make it classy, you'll wear your new Christmas clothes and drink champagne. It doesn't really matter what you do, because you won't even remember anyway.

Need I say more? We've all been here. Or maybe it's just me, but I'll include all of you in this to make me feel better. Depressing.

As for being single on NYE? It's like all the awkwardness from Thanksgiving through Christmas condensed into one evening. There are only two traditions associated with this holiday: (1) watching something drop from the sky at midnight (e.g.,the giant ball in Times Square) and (2) kissing someone at midnight. That's completely shutting out all of us single folks. Frankly, it's worse than Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day somehow created an alternative Singles Awareness Day, so single people can all bond together and hate on anyone who isn't single. Not on NYE! No, on NYE singles are left to fend for themselves all on their own.
Where all my people at on NYE?! There's no party just for single people. Nope. They're either home alone or at a party awkwardly standing around trying not to look at everyone else making out at midnight. Or they're kissing strangers and we won't associate with that type. Depressing.

Then there's the business of New Year's resolutions.
There's nothing like saying, "Wow, I'm sure not at all satisfied with this year in my life-- I think I'll completely change my living habits!" to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

But the kicker is the idea of celebrating the year being over. Why not celebrate on New Year's?! It's so exciting! A new year! Wonderful! How often do we celebrate things being done? Hmmm.


There. I've stated my case. Go forth and try not to be too bummed on Saturday night. I hear Dick Clark has a pretty rockin' eve planned. (Hardy har har.)

Happy New Year's Eve, y'all!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

LeeAnne's Best Christmas Gifts


1989 - PJ Sparkles
I don't remember much about being three years old, but I do remember wanting PJ Sparkles with my entire toddler being. I will never forget that Santa hid that doll behind the couch in my parents' family room-- I tore open the paper and was officially as happy as I'd ever been. Or so I'm guessing, since I remember it so well today. I'm guessing this would be the happy memory that would help make my patronus. (I'm such a NERD.)


1990 - Cupcake Dolls
Best. Dolls. Ever.They smelled like cupcakes. When you were done playing with them, they rolled up so that they looked like cupcakes. I mean, it was a LITTLE weird that they didn't have any legs or anything, but if I could roll up like that, I totally would!


1994 - "The Lion King" Soundtrack & the Polly Pocket Victorian Mansion
Christmas 1994 was quite possibly the most epic Christmas ever. I didn't get just one favorite present, but TWO. The Lion King soundtrack was my first CD. I don't even think that I owned a disc man or a CD player, but who cares? My first compact disc was 12 songs of academy-award winning glory. 
Do I even need to say anything about the Polly Pocket Victorian Mansion? There was no greater (or more choke-able) toy in the '90s than Polly, and this was no heart-shaped house. It was a full, multi-story mansion. Even as I type this, I can feel the joy spreading from my heart to this post. Oh yeah. I'm that serious.


1999 - Bass Guitar
I loved my bass guitar, and though I don't play it any more, I still have it and it gives me warm fuzzies. Years of playing crappy Blink 182 covers and "Barracuda" in my friend Amanda's basement were too fun for words. Watch out for a Miffed Papas reunion tour. It will be even more terrible than the first time around. :)


2002 - Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Alright, this is by no means my favorite Zelda game. BUT it was the first Zelda game that was MINE, ALL MINE! Not to be too nerdy, but all of my life I remember my family playing Zelda together, so whenever I hear about Link or Hyrule or Zelda, it makes me really happy. 


2004 - Light Up Gumball Machine (with Jelly Beans)
I'll be honest, I didn't have this gumball machine for very long, but I don't know any gift that made me laugh harder-- and I LOVE to laugh! It was my first Christmas with my college floormates and my roommate got me this. She couldn't find any gumballs, so I had to rock the entire thing back and forth about a million times before one would make it to the bottom. I don't care if it doesn't sound funny, it was HILARIOUS.


2009 - "The Office" Desk Calendar
Firstly, I'm not entirely sure why I imagined myself to have a crappy flip phone in 2009, but it's probably right. I was late on the smartphone train.
My friend Renee bought me a desk calendar for Christmas... Unfortunately, we didn't see each other and remember to bring our gifts until about June. We laughed for hours reading through quotes from the Office until we got caught up to the right date. (Okay, in reality, I think we just made it through the month of January and then I ripped off the big chunk, but still, lots of laughs.)


2006-Present - Ornaments
 I love traditions, I love the feeling of having roots, and I love nostalgia. Since 2006, my college friends and I have exchanged ornaments with one another instead of other gifts. Some years the ornaments are kitschy, some years they are fancy, but they're always heartwarming. It always tears me up to put up my tree and see all of those memories. Besides, my tree looks AWESOME.


2011 (anticipated) - THE BEST GIFT EVER!!!
So maybe I'm jumping the gun, but I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really want this. It is a MAGIC WAND and a universal remote control. Say what?! Oh, yes. I need this. Just buy me an Amazon.com giftcard and email it to me. I can take it from there. ;)
**UPDATE** Holy schnikes, my friends Cory & Katrina got it for me and it is EVEN MORE AWESOME than I ever imagined!!! BEST CHRISTMAS EVER (and it hasn't even happened yet)!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Awkward Holidays, Vol. 3


Alright, here it is: I'm single. I'm really good at it, too, which is probably why I'm still single. I'd much rather do things for myself, and apparently partners need to feel "wanted" or something. Whatever. Pshaw. 


The fact of the matter is that I like being single. There are lots of awesome things about it:

  • I have a lot more money (no one to buy tokens for, no need to travel about spending money doing extra things like eating or being entertained).
  • I have a lot more free time (no one to have to check in with when I want a weekend away, no one to hurry home to).
  • I have a lot more folks to use my womanly wiles on (any attractive man, rather than just one man).
There are some pitfalls to being single, too:
  • There's nobody to check that creepy noise in the house except for me.
  • There's nobody there when I want snuggle time. (Roommates tend to frown upon that, even if I do agree to be the big spoon.)
  • During the holidays, people make me feel about an inch tall for being single. I mean, what's wrong with us, single ladies? Are we spinsters? Are we self-centered? Are we grotesque??
No, no, no, no, no. I am pretty awesome, and the fact that no one has "put a ring on it" yet has no bearing on my awesomeness. To keep people from asking me about it, I've prepared special holiday greetings this year. Feel free to adapt it for your own purposes; just comment and I'll send you an unused version.


Happy Awkward Holidays, Vol. 2


I considered subtitling this post "Modge Podge and Glitter" instead, but in the spirit of "We Bought a Zoo," I decided to go with the most descriptive subtitle. The refined art of lacking subtlety or mystery is underrated these days.


Anyway, the prologue: Since college, my "girls" and I have been getting together for Christmas at Jill's parents' house to decorate for the holiday and all that. It's a fun tradition, similar enough each year to pull at our heart strings but evolving enough to keep us interested in attending. We exchanged gifts at first, and after two years of failing miserably at that, we switched to buying each other ornaments. I brought a craft for us to do last year, and after that was a success, we switched to each of us bringing in a craft. And that brings us to today's post.


You may not have caught that at first: EACH ONE OF US brought in a craft. That is a lot of crafting. 


WE CRAFTED FOR FOUR HOURS.



  • Keep breast milk out unrefrigerated before it goes bad.
  • Watch “Gone with the Wind” (3 hrs, 46 min).
  • Run a marathon.
  • Draw comics for your blog.
  • Take an extra long nap.
  • Work a day at a part-time job.
  • Watch four episodes of “The Walking Dead.”
  • Troll Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Etsy/your web-based procrastination station of choice.
  • Build a living room’s worth of IKEA furniture.
  • Not get a healthy amount of sleep. (6+ hours!)
  • Build a shed.
  • Digest and absorb a well-rounded meal (3-4 hours).
  • Read a book.
  • Go on a hot air balloon ride.
  • Fly from London to the South of France.
  • Read Life as LeeAnne Knows It. (Kidding. You’d have to read it about a dozen times to fill four hours!)
  • Play a game of Risk or Monopoly or some other frustrating board game.
  • CRAFT.
Don't get me wrong, I love crafting. My Pinterest DIY board makes me extremely happy.
I friggin' love Pinterest.

But crafting can get away from you. Some things are easy to do, some are difficult, but they all take time. Lots and lots of time.

180 Christmas crafts that would have been easier and less time-consuming than the ones we chose.

We started out with a simple, pre-packaged craft: jingle bell ornaments. Or, at least we thought it was simple.
Craft-induced identity crisis.

Needless to say, that didn't bode well for the remaining 3 hours and 56 minutes we spent crafting. Those ended up looking alright, though, if a little like Nicki Minaj.


Difficult as the crafts may have been, we all had fun and Jackie especially attempted each craft with a lot of fervor.

 Us applying stray adhesive to our ornaments.
Jackie applying spray adhesive to her ornaments.

 Us applying glitter to our ornaments.
Jackie applying glitter to her ornaments.

Unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn't always make things better. Especially after hours of crafting, it's difficult to maintain both enthusiasm and skill.

Even the worst of crafts ended up looking adorable and awesome, though.* That's the glory of crafting, the imperfections really DO add character. (*I want to note that by the end of the night, my crafts were neither adorable nor awesome, but we'll skirt over my short attention span and complete lack of patience.)

Enthusiasm backfired for Jackie in unexpected ways, too. 

Turns out the spray adhesive cloud mixed with the glitter explosion gave Jackie a difficult time. :)

So, lessons learned:
  • Four hours is too long to craft. Unless, of course, it's the holidays, then you'll be expected to craft as long as it's festive.
  • LeeAnne really has only two good crafts in her, then the other go considerably downhill.
  • Crafting is messy business, so be careful with the spray adhesive.
  • There are a LOT of fumes from clouds of spray adhesive.
  • Those fumes make crafting for so long a little more tolerable.

Thanks for a fun weekend, ladies! More awkward holidays to come!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Awkward Holidays Vol. 1



I'll spare you all the "I'm not dead" comments because I'm assuming you all realize that this blog isn't epic enough to warrant posthumous publishing. If it was, I'll be honest-- you would see a LOT of half drawn stick people and probably wonder to yourself "Wow, how could it possibly take that long to draw such rudimentary characters?" Well, you Negative Nancy, my stick people have character and that takes time, dagnabbit! I am a very busy lady and shame on you for judging me.


Don't take that too seriously, darlings, you know I love you merely because you're reading this right now. 


At any rate, the holidays are a time for family and family typically means general hot mess-ness. In true LeeAnne fashion, my Thanksgiving was out of control. You won't believe it, but I'm telling you now that what you are about to see is based on actual events.


I expected a small Thanksgiving. I was on-duty for work, so I couldn't travel any further than my sister's house for the holiday. My brother had to work, making the dinner party even smaller. I cherish my family time, though, so I was happy regardless.


What I got, however, was something entirely different. The only warning I got to prepare me for the Thanksgiving that we had was the smallest of comments from my sister, so quiet and so brief I almost thought I didn't hear it: "I don't know how many people are coming to dinner today."


Huh. How can you not know how many people are coming to dinner? It's dinner! You have to cook for it, and cooking usually involves knowing how many people are eating. It's pretty simple, really.




Oh yeah, ALL of those people were at Thanksgiving. The cartoon was so large that blogger wouldn't let me post it at original size (the width of this post). Even at a smaller size, you still had to commit to scrolling alllllll the way down the table.


In reality, we didn't fit around one table, but who has the patience to draw two dining tables and a kitchen counter? 


It was quite possibly the most awkward Thanksgiving I ever had.


My sister has been divorced for a while now, and I haven't seen the EX's family really since. No bad blood, just that awkward we're-not-really-family-anymore business. I mean, I'm facebook friends with my sister's ex-sister-in-law. That's practically REAL friendship!!!


Even so, the awkwardness was compounded by the fact that my sister's "friend" came to dinner. And didn't know that all of those ex-in-laws were coming. Bless his heart, I don't know how he did it.


Fortunately, my sister's "friend" recorded it all on a camera he mounted on the wall that took photos of us every 10 seconds. Nothing like a time lapse video to truly encompass all that awkward.


The worst part of it all: We expected only eight people at dinner-- four people and four half-people*, really. (*Also known as "children.") We only expected eight people, then all those other people showed up, and WE STILL HAD LEFTOVERS.


Thank goodness for our gluttony.