You are viewing jenm9

22 October 2009 @ 08:57 am
You know that saying when it rains, it pours -- why does it only apply when things are shitty? For once it'd be nice to have a happy downpour. You know, like in those parts of the world that have been in drought for so long that its inhabitants pray for rain and when it finally comes they all breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate. That kind of rain would be nice; though with my luck the "happy" rain would cause landslides. The dry hillside, so unaccustomed to water that it forgets how to soak it up and what it longed for so badly just rips it apart leaving pieces of itself and bodies of the rain dancers in its wake.

I wonder if it's possible for a person to become like that, so programmed to unhappiness that when good things come along their minds automatically jump to scenes of flooding and landslides. They, like the land, have forgotten how to soak up the happy.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
23 December 2008 @ 05:29 pm

When I was little Christmas used to be a big deal. I’m talking huge, with practically the entire month of December devoted to it. After Thanksgiving we’d go to this 20-acre tree farm. This place was perfect with Christmas trees in every direction as far as we could see and a giant fifty-foot ceramic/plastic/wooden Santa looming invitingly on a hillside in the center of the property. We’d spend hours looking over the trees. My brother and I loved running in and out of them, both wanting to be the first to spot what would be this year’s tree or sometimes we both forget why we were there and just end up playing tag. Each time one of us found something we liked we call the other and our parents over then we’d gather around it, viewing it from every possible angle while my dad debated its merits such as branch strength, fullness, and needle quality. If it was a possibility my mom would look up at the signs designating the section the tree was in and count how many trees lie between ‘ours’ and the end of the section. I’d embed this information in mind repeating it over and over to myself like some weird tribal chant.

This continued until we’d get too cold or tired, then we’d go and give the finalists one last look over before tagging the one we wanted. I always felt sad to leave the tree behind, and somehow even after promising we’d come back for it I still felt worried about leaving it. What if the tag flew off in the wind? What if the tree was covered with snow and some other family didn’t see our tag and chose it as their own? What if they saw our tag but didn’t care and ripped ours off replacing it with their own? Fortunately, I was easily distracted when my parents led us to the front of the tree farm to a little petting zoo where me and Brian would get to put a quarter in the little food machine and feed the sheep and goats the handfuls of pellets that popped out. Once we were finished we’d wash our hands in the freezing water outside then my parents would give us hot chocolate and we’d drive home, talking on the way or playing our car game, “I’m thinking of something that begins with the letter . . .

Once the first of December rolled around, we’d go back to the tree farm. A tractor would pull up towing a large wooden cab filled with hay, with some intact haystacks for us to sit on. We’d all get in and be taken around the farm until we’d reach the tree we tagged. A man would get out, cut it down and throw it in the back with us then drive us back to the front. Dad would pay while Brian and me said hi to the animals again then we’d watch our tree get sent through the machine that pinned all of its branches to its side. I always found that thing fascinating. Anyway, Dad would secure it to the car – he didn’t really trust the people at the place to do it right (i.e. secure it tightly without scratching the car). When we got home, Mom would lay garbage bags down and prepare the stand while Dad took the tree off the car and cut it so the bottom would be straight and we’d have room for the star on top. Sometimes he’d take off some branches from the bottom too, to make room for presents and maybe make a wreath out of. We’d take the tree inside and while Mom held it upright and Dad secured it, Brian and I would be telling them to move the tree this way or that way so that it’d be perfectly straight. 

We’d want to decorate it right away, but Dad insisted on always letting the braches settle for a whole day so we could see its true shape then determine on if we wanted to rotate it so its best side would be facing forward. Even though we weren’t able to decorate the tree, the pine smell made it feel like Christmas and there was plenty else to decorate. We were never one of those families who put lights on the outside of our house, but we did decorate the inside. We hung our stockings, placed various Santas and school Christmas projects around the house, and took out our Christmas countdown calendar. It was my favorite holiday item; my Dad’s friend Paul made it for us. It was a painted flat wooden cut out of Santa Clause’s face and on his beard were the numbers one through twenty-five, each in its own circle. When one day passed we’d glue a cotton ball over the number representing the day so when Christmas finally came, Santa would have a full fluffy beard of cotton balls.

As soon as the tree was deemed able to decorate, usually the day after we got it once school let out. We’d put on Christmas music and start. Dad didn’t like to decorate, he liked to watch; his one job was putting the star on top because no one else could reach and since he did it, Brian and I wouldn’t be able to fight over who got to do it. Mom would do the lights and garland toward the top of the tree then hand it to Brian and me so we could pass it back and forth and do the lower portion. Then we’d put on the ornaments with our names on them and various others. Each year since we were born my parents picked out an ornament for us and had our name and the year written or engraved on it. We’d also put stuff like the glittery pinecone ornament I made in Girl Scouts or the wreath out of green rice from preschool, which was so heavy it needed an especially strong branch, though even that one would droop. I also made a reindeer ornament out of a dog biscuit in Girl Scouts, which I would always put low on the tree because I found it funny to see my dog Sable rip it off then get confused by its googly eyes and paw at it.

One of my favorite things about Christmas was just looking at the tree all lit up at night. Sometimes I’d be sitting there watching it then Mom and Brian would come over and we’d all sing Christmas carols around it. We didn’t know too many and none of us have particularly good voices, but there was something about being memorized by the lights of the tree while singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” off-key. Staring at lit up trees at night is still one of my favorite things – just looking into the lights can take me back to when I was young and make me feel at peace and hopeful.

As the weeks passed and Christmas got closer, we’d see more and more houses putting up lights outside, and we’d end up taking detours to drive by elaborate set-ups. Sometimes, we’d even make special trips just to go drive around and see the lights. At my school we’d have Christmas plays/recitals – one year I was one Santa’s reindeer. I don’t remember the whole play plot since I was six at the time, but I was sick reindeer and Santa and the elves kept running back and forth giving us reindeer stuff like hot water bottles and chicken soup, but each time it wouldn’t help and we’d pop up out of these cardboard beds and recite, “Oh Santa, we don’t feel so good.” The school would also, for one day, transform the library into a mini store where we could look at everything and buy gifts for our siblings/parents/grandparents. They’d even help us wrap it up so no one but the buyer knew what was inside until Christmas Day.

As the presents bought for other people piled up under the tree, my brother and I would get antsy and want very badly to open something up. We’d bug our parents until usually a couple days before Christmas Eve Mom would let us open the box Aunt Ellen sent over – even though it’d always have “Do Not Open Until Christmas” scrawled across it in black magic marker. In the box Aunt Ellen would pack gifts for all of the family she knew would be coming over to our house on Christmas Day to celebrate. We’d weed through the presents until we found our names. This was a delicate operation. We knew we’d only be getting to open one thing so we wanted to take our time with it and try to guess what’s inside, but if it were obvious that the two gifts were the same we wouldn’t mess around with that, because if we didn’t open it quickly the other person would and the surprise would be ruined.

Things would start to get hectic as Christmas got even closer, but a fun hectic. Me and/or my brother would be pulled aside by one parent or the other at various times to help wrap presents for the other and various family members. I have a large extended family that splits the holidays and Christmas is one that our family hosts every year. The weekend before Christmas my parents would take us out to do the food shopping at Sams, where we would spend hours going up and down every aisle of the huge store picking at the free samples. Dad loves to cook and he’s really good at it, but when it comes to family get-togethers he goes beyond overboard and we always have extra food in the fridge for like a week – despite him making everyone take pounds and pounds of food home. I never really helped with the cooking, but I always loved to help him bake the desserts. We’d make pies, and cookies, and my favorite cheesecake tarts in preparation for the big day.

When Christmas Eve came, I was always reminded of how I grateful I was to have a brother. Together we would declare that were going to stay up all night so we would get to see Santa. We’d pile up a plate of cookies and milk with a couple carrots on the side for the reindeer then we’d build a fort out of blankets in one of our rooms, put our sleeping bags inside then stake out the Christmas tree. We’d try to stay low to the ground while we peered around corners and stared at the tree for what seemed like forever. We’d talk about random stuff, presents, and devise fancy Santa traps that we’d never put into effect until finally we’d get tired and retreat to our tent where we’d fall asleep.

Despite getting little sleep, my body would always know it was Christmas and would wake me up earlier than everyone else (despite me usually being that last one up). I’d wake up my brother and we’d walk into the living room and the sight of all the presents piled high around the lit tree at dawn. It was one of the best sights ever. We’d examine the cookies and the little teeth marks from the ‘reindeer’ on the carrots then go to our stockings and look through them, comparing stuff and messing around with it for a little while before waking up our parents, who’d put coffee on then come into the living room. We take turns opening things and handing presents back and forth. I had a system of stacking my gifts neatly into a pile while Brian tore threw his. 

After presents, we’d have to clean up and get ready before everyone started coming over. I’d happily clean my room and spend the morning finding homes for my new gifts. My parents always told us to put away the toys that we didn’t want to share because we’d have plenty of time to play with them later and everyone was expected to play together nicely. I’m not the oldest of all my cousins, but I am of the ones that are close in age, and was definitely the leader of our little kids’ group. That group comprised of Me, Brian, Seth, Bradley, Alison, Spencer, Nicole and Matthew, with the biggest age gap being six years between Bradley and me. Each cousin would usually bring over one of their favorite Christmas presents to show off and we’d all talk about what we got from our parents and play with the toys that our aunts and uncles brought for us to unwrap and assemble. We’d hole up in either my room or Brian’s or sometimes both and mess it up but no one cared because we’d be having such a great time.

Then it’d be time to eat and we’d go out and make our plates and converse with the adults and talk about how school or our hobbies were going, how much we liked our gifts, and ask if they would show us how to use or put together something. Then us kids would go off again to play some more, taking candy canes from the Christmas tree as we went. When night fell everything would start to wind down. Some and people would start leaving and new people would come who had to make multiple stops that day. Once everyone was gone and it was time to go to sleep, I’d lay there in my bed thinking about the day and fall asleep really happy. Then when it was after New Year’s and it was time for the tree to go, I’d be really sad. It didn’t seem right to go cut down this tree, dress it up so beautifully, allow it into our home – seemingly into our family – after taking it away from its own, then unceremoniously throw it on the curb for garbage collection. I also worried about forgetting to take off ornaments and accidentally throwing them away with the tree. When I’d see it out there on its side in front of the house I’d want to go grab it and hide it somewhere to save it because there were so many happy times it represented. I guess I was a sensitive kid; I definitely over-thought a lot.

I was going to write about how drastically things have changed from the Christmases I used to have growing up to what they are now, but now I think I’d rather reminisce and leave it at that. They can throw away the Christmas trees but they can’t touch the memories.

Current Music: I'll Be Home For Christmas
03 November 2008 @ 05:05 pm

Current Mood: blahblah
26 September 2008 @ 08:26 pm
I saw the Broadway version of Legally Blonde with Laura Bell Bundy last August, but since I did the student rush I ended up with front row seats, which hey yeah front row equals awesome but in the case of the Palace it was much too close and I missed a lot of what was going on onstage so when my mom and I discovered the tour was debuting in Providence we both wanted to go. The only trouble was - of course there was trouble, with me there’s always trouble – that we kinda procrastinated getting tickets and then it was kinda sold out. Well luckily my mother teaches exercise at the same building one of the PPAC’s employees frequents, so she helped us score house seats.

Click to read reviewCollapse )

Mini Elle :D
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Legally Blonde - "Omigod You Guys!"
06 August 2008 @ 04:13 pm
The 2008 Summer Olympic games are underway! Quit looking at me like I'm crazy, I know opening ceremonies haven't started yet, but pool play of the soccer games begin early because it's difficult to cram so many matches into a two week period. I got up at 7:30AM to watch the US women's soccer team take on Norway because 1) I am an Olympic whore and 2) I was a huge fan of the WNT back in their heyday.

Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
19 July 2008 @ 11:33 pm
So Avatar: the last Airbender had it's series finale. It ended about an hour and a half ago and I'm still trying to process things. The whole week (and then some) leading up to it I was very concerned for Azula's life, and while they didn't kill her I'm not too sure I liked what they did do. But then again, when I really think about it, there was a lot of stuff that I wanted to happen but there just wasn't enough time for it all. I did like the scenes that we were given, in fact I found so many of the Azula scenes really heartbreaking.

Even in the beginning, before all the drama really started, when Ozai told her she had to stay behind in the fire nation, she got all upset because he really was all she had left; I think she acted more like a little girl there then she ever did in the flashbacks (though I think those are pretty prejudice being Zuko's memories and all). And I think how she went about banishing everyone in the palace, including the Dai Li, before they could betray her said a lot about how much Mai and Ty Lee meant to her. They weren't just disposable war weapons to her, they were friends.

I know she's a "villain" or whatever but I can't help but feel really bad for her. She grew up with her mother - the sane parent - clearly favoring Zuko then her only friends in the world chose him over her too? That'd make anyone go a little crazy. We weren't shown much interaction between her and Ozai but I wouldn't doubt that he only cares about using her for her skill and what she can help him accomplish. We hear so much about how Zuko wants to please his father but that's probably all Azula wants too. Is it her fault she's better at it than him? Zuko is so resentful towards her that he doesn't seem to feel much else for her. And she didn't have Uncle Iroh playing her conscious at every turn, or sending her scrolls letting her know she was the descendant of Avatar Roku; or her mother coddling her at every turn when she was young. She had her father encouraging her to do the "wrong" thing and a natural curiousity that led her to overhearing a lot of stuff that children shouldn't - like listening to her grandfather order her dad to kill her brother.

It's pretty clear that her mother's lack of affection had a huge impact on Azula even though she tries to play it off or pretend it doesn't, whether it's shrugging it off at the beach or throwing a hairbrush at the hallucinated reflection of her mother telling her what I think are all the things she wishes her mom would have said to her (like she loves her). We're constantly hearing from Zuko about how he Azula had it so easy and he had to figure everything out on his own but I think it's the complete opposite.

Back to the episode . . . the scene with her chained to the grate thrashing and sobbing was awesome but sort of hard for me to watch, I felt so bad for her. I wish they did a where-are-they-now with her too and that wasn't the last image shown of her. I don't know what I was hoping for, well actually I kind of do lol. I at least wanted to see Zuko, Mai, or Ty Lee or someone talk to her or offer her some sort of comfort so she wasn't completely alone or give some kind of hope for her future, even stupid Ozai got a prison visit (though I hope Azula isn't/doesn't have to stay in prison, she's only 14 or 15, that's younger than Zuko was when he started his "path to redemption").

I know there was a whole bunch of other stuff in the finale, but I was most intrigued by Azula and annoyed that there wasn't more Mai and Ty Lee, come on if Zuko and Sokka could escape the Boiling Rock, those two could surely get out of wherever they were sent. Anyway that's all I'm going to comment on - oh except I'm annoyed they didn't tell us what happened to Ursa. I hope there's a spin-off or something of Zuko going to find her. Maybe Azula could go too and those two could work through their issues (yeah wishful thinking . . .)
Tags: ,

I mentioned in my last entry that I was going to Kristin's concert to benefit ACD research in New York because I had won a contest at Kristin's fanclub, Glitter. Well I went and I'm back home now and ready to share the experience :) It's kind of long so I'm using a LJ-cut because I have the tendency to ramble so feel free to skip down to the part where I talk about the concert and give the song list lol.



Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Kristin - Boy
26 March 2008 @ 04:21 pm
I know I just posted about how I'm going to go see Kristin less than 24 hours ago, but I don't care I have more wonderous Kristin news and no one to talk to about it with. Kristin's doing a concert for charity on April 12th called 'This one's personal' (yeah probably everyone who reads this knows that already but bear with me) for charity with funds going to ACD research. One of the women she was on the West Wing with - NiCole Robinson - had a child recently die from the disease. It's a genetic lung problem and according to the Three Angels website none of the babies born with it have lived past two months. There was this contest at Glitter where you write a poem about angels and hope for the future and I entered it - and I won! Unanimously, how awesome is that? The prize was two tickets to the event, it's all the way in New York but I don't care, I'll make another trip. I never win anything! I don't even know who I'm taking, I might drag my mom lol. And I'll have to buy something to wear, oh and travel costs, I'm going to be so broke this summer! But that's irrelevant because I get to see Kristin - twice in a little over a month span - and holy crap April 12th is in a couple of weeks! *goes crazy*

Okay, deep breathes, I'm calm again, honest, I swear I'm not a total fangirl lol. I've written stuff for fun or my own personal use but I've never showed anyone anything that I've done; I'm kind of embarrassed to and now my poem is going to be on the cover of a book that will be given to NiCole. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but right now I'm very very happy so I'm just gonna go with that and not dwell. I'm really hyper so I'm sorry if this isn't the most coherent thing in the world. Anyway I'm going to post my poem here, critique is welcome, just don't rip me apart I'm not a writer/poet and I readily admit to that.

Sweet special baby my love knows no end
There is no distance it cannot transcend
Though God needed you back after just a short while
You captured my heart with your very first smile

My innocent cherub dancing on a cloud
Each day I strive to make you proud
Within streaks of sun I feel you near
And in wisps of wind your face will appear

Oh darling angel the day shall arrive
When all little children will be able to thrive
Then in my eyes tears will be glistening
Knowing you're in Heaven watching and listening
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
25 March 2008 @ 11:18 pm
Okay so I was supposed to go to New York on a day trip May 16th, but then I found out that Kristin Chenoweth is doing 'Broadway's Greatest Showstoppers' on May 20th. I really wanted to go but the friend I'm meeting up there isn't big on Broadway (only because he hasn't experienced it yet -- just you wait Keith . . . ) anyway there's no way I can be in New York that close to the date and not see Kristin. Sorry it's just not possible. So Keith said he'd come with me and we'd stay a couple days instead of just for a day. I bought us tickets - I have nothing to wear to a place like the Met, and nowhere to sleep - hotels in NY are mad expensive oh and booked for the dates we want to go; seriously wtf, we briefly entertained the idea of sleeping in Central Park, but uh no, just no. Though none of that can get me down because I finally get to Kristin live, and at the Met no less, now if I can only convince Keith that sweatpants are not proper attire to wear to see the New York Philharmonic I'll be golden. Oh and I need to find a hotel. And buy tickets to Young Frankenstein. I also may want to mention these grand plans of mine to my boss. Whatever, minor details lol.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
02 December 2007 @ 04:00 pm

Happy Birthday!
Current Music: Happy Birthday to You!