Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cookies (Round 1)

FD & I frosted them tonight as we listened to Christmas music.

We had a blast.

And when we finished we realized it was snowing out. Hard.

I love winter.

Most special of the cookies: the Law & Order snowman and the red angel with star eyes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Kinda Christmas Story

The urge starts like the jingle of a tiny bell: Tink. Tink. Slowly, it builds like an orchestra. Strings. Horns. Percussion. All together. I have to go; there is no holding. None.

Usually the instance I felt a tingle in my bladder, I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. I was a bed-wetter. I couldn’t be trusted to hold, and I knew better than doing so. I had gotten too used to the hot liquid turning cold fast against my bum, the angry flick of light switches in my bedroom, the bathroom, then the laundry room, the stink of vinegar water on my mattress, the swoosh of sleeping bag against floor, and overwhelming guilt of being a bed-wetter. At home it’s one thing, but around family I never see, it’s completely different.

The Christmas Eve I was seven, my mom and I hitched a ride to Chicago with my grandpa and grandma in their Crown Victoria to visit my uncle and his family. Sure, the whole way there I had to pee, but I was with an old lady who had to pee all the time. For once it wasn’t my fault that we stopped at almost every rest area along snowy the Ohio turnpike. No adult questioned the validity of my bladder’s urge and hushed my requests to stop with “you can hold it until the next one.” Finally, there was an adult who had to go as much as me. It was the first time I had traveled in complete bladder comfort.

That night I slept on the pull-out couch with my cousin Katie and cousin Matt. I could barely sleep thinking of Santa. I tossed and turned, bumping Katie’s reindeer print flannel arm and leg while continually whispering to Matt that he was wimp for not staying up with me. The red, green, and blue outdoor Christmas lights that wrapped around the bushes in their yard and their neighbors cast a warm glow in the sunken den of our room.

Up the stairs of the sunken den was the kitchen, then the great room with the front door and chimney, then a hallway where the three bedrooms were. At the end, the bathroom. My aunt and uncle were the closest to it. I hadn’t seen their bedroom, but I imagined them sound asleep based on the contagious yawns I saw at our early evening arrival. My grandparents were second closest. I pictured them sleeping on Matt’s twin sized beds, each in a separate bed, an arm’s length away from each other. My mom was third closest. I thought I heard her loud eggnog induced snore from Katie’s room, trailing downstairs to me, the farthest person from the bathroom. I found the thought of each family member sleeping in a room much closer to the bathroom than me, not comforting but thoroughly upsetting.

Immediately, my bladder jingled its tiny bell.

I had to get up; there was little time for such a far run. Rolling over Katie, thumping on the floor, that’s exactly the moment I heard it.

Scratch. Scratch. Neigh.

I froze, crouched on the green shag carpet.

Scratch. Neigh. Scratch.

Santa was here.

My first thought was: if he sees me, I’ll scare him away before he sees the picture of Poochie I colored for him, before he eats the special sprinkle cookies, before he sets the shiny presents under the tree. Piss my pants or risk no presents. I’d be damned after how good I had been that year to not get presents. And I certainly did not want my distant relatives glaring back and forth between the present-less, brown pine needle-ridden tree skirt and me. I squeezed my thighs together, squinted my eyes shut, pressed my hands over my ears, and prayed Santa would be quick about his business.

Each second the urge to pee grew. The bell was joined by the strings, the strings joined by the horns, seconds later the percussion section took over until all I could hear under my sweaty palms was the drumming of pain in my bladder, throbbing in every nerve of my body. I tightened my vaginal muscles like the doctor told me. I counted. I breathed. Just like the doctor said. 10. Inhale. Exhale. 11. Inhale. Exhale. The burning sensation began. 12. Inhale. Exhale. I felt a little trickle escape. It was only seconds before my urine made a prison break. I looked to the stairs, consciously clutching my vaginal muscles, preparing my body for movement. I had to chance no gifts. I had to make the break.

I popped up like the little flower I was in the past spring’s play, and when I was up, I ran like never before. I jumped the stairs, my bare feet making sticky noises against the kitchen linoleum. I passed through the great room’s threshold, and zoomed passed the reflection of myself in the front door’s glass. Rounding the 8 foot glimmering Christmas tree, I tripped on the hem on my long flannel nightgown. The hardwood cold underneath me, I crouched for a moment on my palms and knees, gathering myself. So far no leakage. My thighs were still tight. I could make it. I took a deep breath and rose to a slight chuckle.

Looking up, I saw a round belly jiggling slightly, shiny black buttons, a white beard twitching. I literally had stumbled upon Santa, who was looking at our pictures and chewing on a cookie. When we made contact, he winked at me. I know it sounds cliché like something from a holiday movie scene, but I swear he was before me in all his magical flesh. This Santa was not some dude at the mall or my grandpa dressed up. He was the real deal. I could tell by his wink. My grandpa couldn’t wink without closing both eyes. I gave Santa a smile and a curtsey. He motioned his head towards the bathroom. The pain returned swiftly, and again I was racing down the hallway. I flung open the door, slammed it shut. I danced my panties off. I sat on the rim without putting the seat down. I didn’t care. The rush of liquid was exhilarating. It wasn’t until my first orgasm that I realized pissing after holding for a long time feels almost exactly the same.

Of course, Santa was gone when I reentered the great room. Crumbs from his cookies rested on the plate and on the chair. I had triumphantly seen Santa. A tale to tell to make all kids jealous. I was proud tiptoeing my way back to bed, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep after glimpsing the stacks of shimmering paper and perfectly puffed fabric bows. Christmas would happen after all. I wouldn’t be blamed for scaring off Santa, but soon I realized I would never be believed for seeing him.

(Thanks to Ray Ray for helping this essay come to fruition.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Some Things Are Worth Repeating

When I first saw Elf I couldn't get this song out of my head. I thought Zooey Deschanel's voice was amazing. (Thankfully, She & Him came into existence!) I didn't really listen to the lyrics until I burned the Dean Martin version from my mother-in-law. From there, "Baby It's Cold Outside" has taken on this whole new life (in my brain). It will forever be known as "The Christmas Date Rape song." I don't want to spoil your Christmas joy, but once you listen to the lyrics really carefully, you might feel the same way.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

During My Research

This article says everything I've been thinking about.

I wish I had written it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yes, I'm This Obsessed

FD found this spoof on YouTube and shared it with me.

Such a loving husband!

But I was bound to find it since I've been watching scenes from the film on YouTube to get my daily fix.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just So You Know, I'm Totally Kidding

Another obsession: telling cute kids under the age of 3 and my dog that I want to "eat them" and pretending their limbs are corn on the cob.

Bon Appetite: mon Bleu de chien! (Who, apparently would be quite tasty!)

Why on earth would one want to eat their children and/or dog?

For now, I (among others) speculate it may have something to do with the only way to truly consume something is to eat it, ingest it, let it become part of our own bodies. Or maybe those scary European bedtime stories are to blame; you know the ones where two kids are plumped up with candy and then shoved into an oven for a witch's dindin? Or maybe it's because we watch too much FoodTV, which tells that food equals love?

I'm determined to get to the bottom of this sometime soon.

I need to for my own mental and legal safety and the safety of my dog as well as all the cute children in the world with chubby, edible cheeks, legs, and arms.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Goes Around...: A Yoga Reflection

Today I endured countless gripping from students: "Do we have to peer review?" "I don't have a peer review copy. That means I can't peer review."

My responses: "Peer review is good for you. Do it." And "Run. Right now. Find the closest lab and print out a peer review copy if you want to be considered present today. Do it!"

All the while I kept thinking to myself, "If I was a student, I wouldn't be so whiny and reluctant."

Once again, I eat my words.

During yoga class tonight, I whined and pleaded with my yoga teacher to "please not make me do that pose again." I dished out all the rations of shit I got from my kids today.

The exception is I feel horrible about it. (But, for the record, my teacher handled it with much grace & encouragement.)

I find, though, that the poses I'm most reluctant with are the ones that I feel the most and are the ones that, in the best of ways, challenge me the most. I need a good challenge. Always. For example, Crane & Handstand.

Three notes to self: 1.) Press down in my hands for a sturdy handstand.

2.) In Warrior I & II tuck the pelvis to open up the kidneys. Practice Warrior III more intently for handstand practice, according to Yoga Journal.

3.) Stop being such a wimp about Crane Pose (photo cred: Yoga Journal). Widen the hands, creep up on the toes, tuck the knees deep into back of the armpits, place head on the floor, and press up--pump up through the hands.

I'm noticing a hand theme emerging.

Another challenge lies ahead.

I promise that's NOT a gripe but rather a positive statement.

I Haven't Been This Crazed in a Long While...

Confession: I once sent Josh Hartnett a care package with a mix tape & handmade friendship bracelet after seeing him in The Faculty. If you ever ask me about this, I'll deny it.

I fell hard for New Kids on the Block in 6th grade. So hard I blew probably the equivalent in cash of my whole college education on Big Bopper magazines & tape for plastering my walls. (Not to mention, actual plaster & paint after having to take them all down when we moved.)

Now, as a woman in my 30's, I have a totally new obsession: the movie Twilight. I admit I am/was obsessed with the book series first, but the writing never really made me love them like I love Pride & Prejudice. What made me love them was the plot & drama of it all. What's fantastic about the movie is I get to bypass the long tedious passages for the quick visual & mindlessness of watching hot boys on the big screen. Normally, I prefer the books, but in this case, NO WAY!

I haven't done anything obsessive as send Robert Pattinson a care package or carve a Twilight pumpkin (as found on a Twilight fan page on Facebook). However, I have seen the movie twice, and I can't stop thinking about Edward Cullen, which I consider a bit obsessive at my age.

Of course, all this seems quite innocent, but for some reason I have to turn it into some big deal. I know a lot of popular culture appeals to teens, and I've always been proud of my involvement & support of teen culture and pop culture. I realize that media is valuable mindless pleasure that helps us escape from bills, work, & seemingly trivial life bullshit. And I realize most times my most brilliant writing ideas come after giving myself a break with this mindless pleasure. All of this I'm cool with.

What bothers me most is that I was a Jacob fan while reading the books, and now after seeing the movie, I adore Edward. I was skeptical of Robert Pattinson as Edward, but the more I see the movie, the more I firmly believe he was the perfect choice. He captured the essence of Edward while being extremely easy on the eyes. I was dissatisfied with my poor Jacob. He was cool & friendly, but not what I expected from Jacob. Of course, in Twilight the book, Jacob hasn't really "matured" yet, but still...I'm upset to be swooning so hard for Edward.

And I'm happily married & I realize Edward isn't real, but I care enough about this to blog about it. I find that weird.

Just as NKOTB made a comeback & their sold out shows were mostly packed with 30 year-old fans who never stopped loving them, I think the same, in a sense, is why so many adult fans are in love with Twilight & Edward. The feeling of the book & the movie reminds me of those awkward days when I was 17--unsure I'd meet my soul mate and, more importantly, unsure about myself while being extremely cocky and maybe a bit whiny at the same time. Perhaps it's the ignorance of those days I miss. Or that surprise element of angst-ridden drama. (Though, Lord knows I NEVER want to experience that drama again. But it's cathartic/rewarding watching Bella & the not-so-17 Edward going through it...)

And seeing a movie like Twilight is inspiring, in the sense that, I'm lucky to be married to my own version of Edward & to know that romanticism isn't dead after all--that it just takes hard to work to make a life with your unconditional love and, above all, that movies with bathroom humor can be beat out by a love story, no matter how cheesy that story might be at times.