Once upon a time I used to be well organised, in a creepy, CO anal retentive sort of way. You know, the type who does her Xmas shopping during the July sales, who has everything squared away and all the cards and trinkets in the post on their way overseas by November.
Fat chance. Work demands (in spite of daily threats of sacking) and accident proneness (which I'm pretty sure is related somehow) for the third year running (coincidentally, how long I've had this shithole of a job) have left me scrambling like the rest of the poor saps at the ragged teat of last minute rampant consumerism.
However, I find plenty of sugary gingerbread lattes keep the mood up, even if also keeps the hips wide. It's a lesser of two weevils deal (and trust me, I know weevils, as everything bought from the local supermarket was heavily weevil infested until the last pre-remodelling fire - there's been three in my memory - so I really know my weevils).
Day One involved shopping at the Hellmouth and I don't know why I bother because it doesn't just suck one's soul with the horrible air conditioning, dark, claustrophic, crowded, noisely corridors, stores that looked post wild bull and disgusting filthy Hogarthian housewives and their snot encrusted brats that make faeces chucking baboons look well mannered. It was hot, it was up and down ramps over three blocks of former heritage sites, including the graves of my ancestors, it was heavy with bags of clanking, bruising crap. You try dragging Mother's annual tithe of her weight in chocolates home sans car on a hot stinky day.
Yes, she really does get her weight in chocolates every year, ever since that dreadful year the said she was on a diet and, like Xander, I foolishly take the words people say at face value and so did my Dad. Error, error, error. The wrath that followed would make Sauron go cry and whimper in the corner. Hence the trembling offering/tribute of tins and tins of chocolates each year in the hopes of placating the beast.
Vicious sweet tooth, my mother. And how many chocolates do you think we get offered from this mountainous stack of tins? None, nary a one, and don't even think of begging or swiping, not unless you're tired of life.
Tried to buy mother an emerald ring, just to show her mates I'm not a complete sob, but to no avail as we could find none to fit. She kept trying on ones way over my budget too, in spite of my threat of garden secateurs if she tried that old trick of getting it stuck on her finger again, which was her previous MO, to poor father's ill-afforded expense. Sigh. It's deadbeat loserdom for moi again. Single and giver of crap presents? The whispers of an opportunity for smothering at birth missed will do the rounds again, alas.
Day Two: I actually took as a rec day, knowing that as usual I'll be kept back late all December. It was still stinky hot and I got burnt again at the bus stop, which rejoices solely in being marked by a piece of yellow metal nailed to a telegraph pole, not the luxury edifices you see elsewhere. It was a clattery old bus with a driver so bad I thought they'd break the bus before we got there, on the long windy two hour route that resembled a piece of celtic knotwork, to a naice mall in a naice suburb.
It was well worth the bus trip from hell, though. This mall, at one time, for a couple of years, was my old stomping grounds, and though it is much remodelled some bits remain the same and it's much better than the Hellmouth and you can get around other shoppers with a please and excuse me and nobody just rams you with trolly or stroller or pushes you headfirst into a shelf of produce and the staff were really sweet and helpful, bar the poor souls in chainstores surrounded by swarms of cranky customers stabbing angrily at various items in catalogues.
Foolish folk. Stuff in the catalogues never arrives in time for Xmas (if it exists at all) and you must either be content by something similiar that's three times the price and three times as lame, with three times less features, or be zen and just wander about waiting for divine inspiration to fall. In a pleasant mall I much prefer method B and I managed to get most of everything required for folks bar that special something for a dear friend that has yet to materialise. She'll be getting it for easter, if she's lucky, sigh.
I also discovered tables and tables of seriously cheap dvds in BigW featuring many a good obscure and no longer obscure British thesp in bad, bad movies, but for that price I can afford to be completist so I had lots of fun and walked off with a pile so large and ecclectic the red faced and harried boys at the desk found the time to seriously mock me.
When the open mocking begins it's time to depart the store and head for another latte. Just a spoonful of sugar...never a truer word was spoken.
And yes, I snuck into the flicks to see Master and Commander one more time. I thought it was worth a second go, this time not fretting so much over what was missing or mangled, nor annoyed and distracted by horrible seats, crappy air conditioning, small screens, tinny sounds or obnoxious fellow patrons.
Nope, this time I had quet, studious, well heeled, well mannered folks, deep comfy chairs, big screen, booming sound and I just let the film unfold and I loved every minute of it. High seas happiness.
Another epic journey home, this time laden like some poor native in an old Tarzan film, to greet the birds and watch some old Buffy on telly.
Nobody felt like making dinner so we ordered pizza. Yes, I know, somebody of my girth should never partake of the pizza but majority rules and I'd had nothing all day and there was nothing in the fridge as always, so stop nagging. The really funny thing was that the special offer that night came with a free dvd. They read me off a list that included Just Married and Dude, where's My Car, so I said anything but Ashton Kutcher. Now they either misheard that as anything with Ashton, or the guys and girls at Pizza Hut were feeling particularly malicious that night, and either theory holds water, because the dvd was, yes, you guessed it, Ashton.
Hmm, well, yes, I think, staring at it like somebody's just left a turd on the table, not realy wanting to pick it up and not quite sure what to do with it. Though it has inspired me. Ashton dvds would make the perfect coal in the stocking pressie for those who've been more naughty than nice this year. Insert evil cackling laughter here.
I know, serious minus points in the karma column, but there's nothing quite like the deep and penetrating satisfaction of giving someone their just desserts with the evil comedy revenge gag gift. You know, like a blow up sheep sex toy you make sure they have to unwrap in front of their elderly and conservative relatives. Mmmm, luverly wickedness. I wonder why I haven't got any friends left? Snerk.
Of course with four rejection letters so far and not even an interview I probably should be curbing my Xmas spending entirely, but what the hey. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may be retrenched.
Heh, a friend just remarked, re Homebake, that Nick Cave these days, polished and finely matured artist that he is, is like a dark, dark, dark Frank Sinatra. Too funny and too true. It's probably the source of the appeal :) Lotsa folks have been chatting apres Homebake, which bemuses. Too sad that the folks who would have actually gone and been great company all reside on the wrong side of the Pacific. Bugger geography.
Captain Scarlet is a shameless marketing whore. At least that's the impression I formed when I finally saw the much giggled about ads of Captain Scarlet spruiking ice blocks and sugary cereals. Bro was concerned re the ethics of a lump of wood extolling the virtues of a breakfast cereal, but I reminded Bro that all the crazy red dyed sugary things I gobbled and guzzled as a child, which in no way have anything to do with the problems I have now, of course, were all consumed under the dietary advice of cartoon animals. He conceded the point and just shook his head at the horror of it all.