Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Tradition

My mom and I just got home from one of our favorite holiday activities.  On Christmas Eve afternoon we like to go to the mall, get Starbucks, and sit outside Victoria's Secret.  There is a constant parade of panicked men shopping for their special women.  Most men aren't too comfortable in that type of place anyway, and to go in knowing they have to buy something in there today is a ton of pressure. 

One young, good looking guy was in there with another guy (friend, brother, cousin?) looking at the flannel pajama sets.  He looked at the giant display, picked up a traditional red plaid set, and gave his buddy a helpless look.  I cringed.  #1 Those pajama sets will be half price the day after Christmas.  #2 It is over 70 degrees in Arizona.  People are wearing shorts and they're not crazy.  #3  Giving your lady flannel pajamas is pretty much saying, "I don't want to see you in the other Victoria's Secret stuff." (so if he was shopping for his mom the flannel pajamas would have been appropriate)  Maybe I should have said something.  Oh well.  Hope he got a gift receipt.

So men, thanks again for another year of procrastinated shopping.  You bring joy and laughter to my Christmas Eve.
(Image from

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Gingerbread Masterpiece

I'm a very competitive person.  And I like candy.  So when I received the e-vite to a friend's gingerbread house party with prizes for the winners, I naturally responded "Wouldn't Think of Missing It!".  So what if I didn't know anyone else on the evite?!  Competition and candy awaited!  I googled "gingerbread houses", strategized my building plan, printed directions to the party, and bought graham crackers and candy.  I thought I'd also get a poinsettia for the party host as a thank-you, but when I got to the party house and looked at the poinsettia I realized part of the leaves had shriveled and were pretty ugly.  I figured it'd be offensive to give a wilted plant, so I left it in my car. 

I walked into the party house, confirmed that I really didn't know any one except my one friend, deposited my building supplies on the counter, and felt incredibly awkward.  I get awkward in those situations.  Everyone else knew each other and was significantly older than me.  So I helped make some frosting, and got to work on my masterpiece house.  I wasn't there to socialize and make friends.  I was there to win.  I made my structure, let it dry (which took massive amounts of patience), tolerated Barbara Streisand's Christmas CD blaring in my ear, and then I noticed- every one else was using a KIT to build their house!  They all had gingerbread house KITS!  And the lady next to me had a fully built house kit!  She opened her box to reveal a fully assembled house!  She only had to peel the plastic from the mass produced instant gingerbread walls.  She proceeded to use the necco wafers I had brought to roof HER house!  I was still waiting for my house base structure to dry and she was using my neccos!  NOOOO!!! 

Then a latecomer came in the front door.  She said hello to all of her friends, looked at me, and said, "You must be Amanda.  I knew everyone on the e-vite except Amanda, and you're the only one here I don't know."  Reeeeally?  Was I just transported to Miss Congeniality? (" -I'm Cheryl from Rhode Island. -Hi, I'm--  Gracie Lou Freebush. I memorized the orientation pamphlet. I know all ladies by name and picture. Fifty, including myself. Your picture wasn't there, so I knew it was you from your lack of picture.") 

Once my house structure dried I improvised with a red hot roof and peppermint walls.  It wasn't exceptionally pretty, but hey, it's a house made out of graham crackers and powdered sugar frosting.  Finally I put the finishing touch on my house, the one element that I was SURE would win me the grand prize: a porch with a roof!  I built it, and it WORKED.  I'm AMAAAAZING!!!  I proudly carried my house to the judging table and noticed someone copied my porch.  I had wondered why she kept coming over to my table and "getting marshmallows".  She was totally SPYING!  Oh well.  There were 6 structures to judge, and 5 prizes.  I should be fine.  They announced 5th place, 4th place, 3rd place, 2nd place...  so I thought, "Yes!  They realize how hard I worked and I won!  I won! I won!"  And then, they announced the other person as having first place house.  I GOT LAST PLACE!  Dude!  I challenge those people to abandon their kits and build a house with mere graham crackers.  As we were all leaving my friend said to me, "Oh!  Do you want to take your gingerbread house home?"  Me,  "Umm, no.  You can just throw it away."  What was I going to do with that loser house? 

So, lesson learned.  In this modern age, ALWAYS take a kit to a gingerbread house making party, preferably a house that has already been glued together.  And if you bring special candy, hide it in your pocket.

This is not a picture of my gingerbread house, but in my research it was my faaaavorite house and inspired my porch!
(Image from, and I think she got it from Better Homes and Gardens)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Do Blind People Need 3D Glasses?

Last Christmas my family went to the movies to watch Avatar.  The theater was kinda crazy, so we got there early, picked up our 3D glasses, then had to wait in the hallway for an hour.  While we were standing there with 100 other people another movie was just getting over.  In that exiting crowd there was a blind guy and I guess he could tell there was a line of us waiting for another movie.  He said, "What are you all waiting for?"  We said, "Avatar."  He said, "Oh, I saw that.  Great movie."  I laughed so hard I almost fell over.  I wonder if Blind Man spent the extra $4 to see Avatar in 3D.  

Today in church there were two men behind me, several seats apart from each other.  At one point during the music portion they were singing super loud (and not real well, but who am I to judge singing?)  One of them was singing higher than me, and the other was singing soooo low.  Like Josh Turner low.  I found it hilarious.  The music leader was saying something super spiritual like, "Make this your prayer!" while I was trying not to laugh my head off.  I was thinking, "I wish I could somehow bottle this up and put it on my blog."  Probably not exactly what I should have been thinking about.  :)