Here is One Christmas Song That I Don’t Hate

I hate to sound like a Grinch, but oh man, I feel like I tolerate Christmas songs less with each passing year.

Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole? Yes, please.  Over-produced, cloying, and annoying pop retreads?  God no.  Like, if I have to listen to ONE MORE WHINY BITCH VERSION of “Last Christmas,” I am seriously going to kick something.  And there is no reason to have fucking melisma on the “pa, rum, pa, pum, pums” in “Little Drummer Boy.”

I know I’m not the only one. Boyfriend and I were at Whataburger at midnight last night and heard this atrocious cover of “Jingle Bells” where the singer not only included rests in between each lyric to drag out the song to oblivion, but included so many vocal affectations and unnecessary studio embellishments that I wondered why Santa was punishing me. Boyfriend’s horrified face told me he was feeling the same way.  And I was in a bathroom at HEB a couple of weeks ago while this super fucking annoying Christmas song was playing. All I remember are these high-pitched voices singing, “WE ARE SANTA’S ELVES! WE ARE SANTA’S ELVES!” and an HEB employee next to me washing her hands, with a facial expression that clearly read, “I hate my life.”

But today I heard a cover version of “White Christmas” that didn’t make me want to gouge my own eardrums out.

Ok, first of all – I love me some Buble.  With some exceptions, I feel like he does justice to any cover he tackles. (And his voice is just so pretty. SO PRETTY).  I was really surprised to find out that Shania Twain was the other singer in this duet.  I don’t know why, but I thought it was someone else.  I’m not a huge fan of hers, but her voice sounds really pretty in this song.

Well, it’s after one o’clock and I spent about four hours (literally) in the kitchen baking, and I was forced out of my slumber earlier this morning than I wanted to (Dad apparently decided that scraping out concrete in the living room for tile prep is the perfect activity to do at 7:30 in the morning on Christmas Eve.)  Anyway, I don’t know how I’m still awake.

So goodnight…and Merry Christmas!

The Problem With “Virgin Diaries”

Have you ever watched Virgin Diaries on TLC?  Even if you haven’t, you may recognize this clip:

This is the kind of kiss that you want to laugh about in private later, not have it live on Youtube in infamy so others can squirm with second-hand embarrassment while watching it.

I watched the first episode of this show back in November, and not all of the virgins featured in the episode were as awkward as the poor couple in the first clip.  But it certainly reeked of reality television posturing.  One of the plots revolved around a group of women who were all virgins (well, one was a “reclaimed” virgin).  They all went on a group date with an equal number of attractive men who were – surprise! virgins too.  Wow, what are the odds?

The major problem I have with this show is they find the most socially-awkward people as a representation of “older virgins” and use these people in their marketing campaigns to attract attention for the show.  It’s exploitative and ridiculous, and perpetuates the stereotype that older virgins are losers, outcasts, or social freaks.

That’s far from the truth.  There are plenty of normal, well-adjusted, accomplished adults out there who happen to be virgins for many reasons, and they aren’t as uncommon as popular culture leads you to believe.  I have plenty of friends who lost their virginity in their twenties, or who are still virgins for various reasons.  I’m not about to delve into my private life in a public forum, but it’s safe to say that I lost my virginity well after 17, which is the average for American women.

Apparently, this show is returning next month with a new batch of older virgins to exploit.  I know I won’t be watching.

It’s Only Monday and I Am Getting Exhausted

Work has been incredibly busy.  This is a good thing. I like being busy. But it can get exhausting at times, especially when you work for 8 days straight without a break, and 7 of those 8 days are out in the field.  Bless my understanding, supportive loved ones for their patience.  Exhaustion + lack of sleep + long days = super-sensitive, crabby Jenny.

But this weekend I didn’t have to work, and it was just the tonic I needed.  I slept – a lot.  I slept for 8 or 9 hours yesterday and then took a 2 hour nap later in the day. I watched Prometheus (and it was awesome). I went shopping. I ate a ridiculous amount of Mexican food.  I went salsa dancing for the first time in nearly four years (it was a blast! I’m still sore).  I read a lot.

Back at work today, I felt more energized and ready for the week and the upcoming tasks.  All was going well until the end of the day. I was starting to feel tired again. Brushing it off, I called a contact.  I had sent this person an email last week that had gone ignored.

When he answered, I asked him how he was doing and politely asked if he’d received my email.  With frustration and, I sense, a little hostility, he retorted, “Yes I did.  I’m in a meeting right now.  I can’t talk right now.”

Then he hung up.

What? Really?

I was smiling as I hung up because I was thinking, Are you serious? What have I done to upset you this much?  Why did you answer your phone if you are in a meeting?

But my smile faded into frustration.  Dude, seriously, I’m just trying to do my job here. I was polite. I was cordial. I gave you more than a full business day to respond to my request.  Why are you being such a dick?  What have I done to you to deserve such rudeness?

It may be a long week.

Another Sleep-Deprived Post

I have been catching up on my sleep a little bit, I promise.  I still feel tired right now, though.  I guess because I should be asleep, right? NO.  OF COURSE NOT.  THAT WOULD BE THE MATURE THING TO DO.

You know what one of my pet peeves is?  Not returning a shopping cart to its appropriate cart return corral.  I mean, seriously, how long does it take? Maybe a minute at the most?  Instead, people are assholes and leave them wandering like lost cows all around the parking lot, crashing into parked vehicles and just being a nuisance.  I fully believe in karma , and I feel like I will invoke tons of bad karma by not returning my cart to the corral. And I park way out in the boonies, y’all.  If I can return my cart to the corral after parking five miles away from the store entrance, then no one else should have an excuse.  Way to be lazy, America.

I went for a run today and it was full of pain. I was trying to work out this week in my hotel gym because running in these small towns is a no-no unless you want to get raped.  I didn’t have my iPod charged, which meant I lasted maybe two minutes on the treadmill before being all, “THIS IS ALL MY BODY CAN PHYSICALLY HANDLE FOR TODAY.” (God, I hate the treadmill).  So yesterday, in a mad effort to do a workout before heading to a casino (more about that in a future post), I ran up and down three flights of stairs for five minutes. That may not sound like much, but I was really sore today, which meant calves were in pain during said run.  I ran so slowly. It was pretty sad.

Oh man you guys, I don’t know if I’m overtraining or if this is just my body reacting to the wimpy Texas winter or what, but all I want to eat is CARBS.  Two snacks I am in danger of overconsuming are Central Market Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips and HEB Whole Wheat Crackers. OMG.  I don’t even care how uppity and hipster I sound by saying that I am eating cinnamon agave sweet potato tortilla chips, they are AMAZING and HEALTHY (or, they would be if I didn’t have like five servings already today).  If you live in Texas, check them out without shame.  You will not be disappointed.

In case you are wondering about my “Tom Sawyer” progress, I’m on page 2.  Yep.

Goddamn it, is it Friday yet?

I need to sleep.

For real.

Night night.

What Are We Really Celebrating?

When I was a little girl, I would go over a friend’s house and see an inordinate amount of presents under their tree while on Christmas Day, Pat and I would get one or two presents.  As a child, I couldn’t help wondering why some children had a lot of gifts under their tree, and we didn’t.  I didn’t understand at the time that we didn’t have a whole lot of money, and that my parents wanted us to celebrate the spirit of the season instead of focusing on material wealth.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very appreciative of the way I was raised.  My parents never defined life by how much material wealth we did or didn’t have.  Instead,  they emphasized that family always comes first, followed by education.  This attitude has really affected my life.  I really love the holidays because it’s all about spending time with my family and friends.  I don’t get stressed out buying gifts for a bunch of people I don’t care about. I only buy gifts for my family.  Not even my closest friends and I exchange gifts.  We all know that we love each other; we don’t have to buy each other gifts to prove it.  Spending time together during the holidays is all we need.

I am writing this post because I’m completely disgusted by the rampant materialism and commercialism that has consumed this country.  What an embarrassment it is to log into Youtube and see ridiculous videos of people acting like monsters at a Walmart, tearing up displays because something is on sale.  Pepper-spraying everyone because you want something?  Seriously?  Black Friday-type sales really bring out the worst in humanity, and I completely dissociate myself from these people.

Yesterday, my friends, brother, and I Skyped with Tap’s sister, a writer who travels the globe.  She is currently in Turkey, and she said that while the news was reporting serious issues from other countries, it focused on Black Friday for the United States.  Is that really what we want to be?

I had an amazing day yesterday.  Tap’s mom hosts a belated Thanksgiving every year – yesterday was our third with them.  Tap’s mom, like my mom, is European and an amazing cook.  We then had our second-annual Songwriting Showcase, where we split into teams, compose a song in two hours, and then perform it for Tap’s parents. Afterwards, we jammed while Tap’s parents watched.  It was such a beautiful evening.

After we left Tap’s house, Pat and I went to jam with some musician friends of his.  These guys are ridiculously talented, and I include my brother in that category. You guys don’t know how intimidating it was to walk into that room and listening to them all play – just two years ago, Pat and I would go out to their shows.  And now I was expected to jam with them?  They are on a whole other level than I am (more like 20 levels above mine), but they were really encouraging with my contributions.  It was such a fun night, and several hours of jamming just flew by.

As I watch people get stressed out over the holidays, camping out in tents so they can be the first in line for some ridiculous deal, I can’t help feel like they are missing out on what makes life really great.  They are celebrating commercialism and materialism – what empty causes to be celebrating.

The holidays are really about celebrating life, love, and happiness with your family, closest friends, amazing food, and good music. That’s what life is all about. I’m sad that people see these holidays as a way to spend money or to get gifts from people because, damn, they are really missing out.

I’m Starting to Hate Celebrity Gossip

I was initially hesitant to discuss this, because why should I give this bitch more attention? But I’m in a ranting mood, so here we go. Apparently Snooki, a best-selling “author,” does not know who J.K. Rowling and Maya Angelou are.  Am I surprised?  No.  Do I think it’s an act? Hell no.  I read a NY Times interview that basically said conversing with her is like talking down to a child.

Why do we love watching these people again?  And it’s not just Americans – even my Italian cousins, who still live in Italy, post favorable things about Jersey Shore on Facebook. WHY, COUSINS, WHY? YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT.  Do my cousins not realize that these people are an insult to our very culture? Apparently not.

You all already know of my intense dislike for Jersey Shore, and reading this article encapsulates everything I detest about that show and our celebrity-obsessed culture in general.

And I say this as a regular reader of People.com, of someone who used to troll celebrity gossip sites in college, when I didn’t have much of a life.  You’re talking about someone who can still list the names of Angelina Jolie’s children, middle names included (WHY DO I KNOW THIS?)

I’m not trying to put myself on a lofty perch, because I can understand the interest in these people’s lives.  As much as I like my celebrity gossip, I have my limits, and I find that the older I get, the less tolerant I am of it.  Someone was trying to discuss with me the disintegration of Ashton Kutcher’s marriage recently and I couldn’t help thinking, “Why are we talking about this? Who cares? We don’t know these people.” I absolutely cannot handle any news about a Kardashian or Real Housewife or the Jersey Shore imbeciles.  At least Angelina Jolie has done incredible things with her life.  She’s not a waste of oxygen like these idiots are.

And you have to ask yourself – why do we care so much?  It’s not like we can relate with these people.  Sure, they’re people “just like us!” but not really.  They will make more money than we will likely ever experience in our lives.  And they have a unique perspective of living in a fishbowl that we will never know.

Why do we put so much of our energy into learning these useless facts about celebrities (as I admittedly have done) when there’s so many more important issues at stake? The economy, the potential recession, the upcoming election, the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movements.

No, America just wants to hear about stupid-ass Snooki and how she apparently doesn’t know what a book is.

I can’t wait until the day when America gets bored with these trashy people and moves on to another person of interest…but I’m sure it will just be another reality TV idiot undeserving of the adulation and attention.