just call me raegen


Month: December, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship With the Holidays

Oh, the holidays.

OK, I need to pause now (yes, already) for a moment of lyrical drama from Whitney Houston that encapsulates my sentiments at this sentimental time:

English: Whitney Houston performing "Savi...

I get so emotional, baby, every time I think of you-ou-ou… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s almost over. After all the planning, the shopping, the cooking, the hustle and bustle, more planning, more shopping, eating, passing out in a carb coma, waking up again in a pool of your own sweat (is that sweat?), wondering who the people are on the floor next to you and where their clothes are…

Wait — wrong story.

(Blame my mom; she brought the Magic Mike DVD over to watch this week.)

Some people dread the holidays, and for many totally valid reasons. Me, I guess I kind of view them as a time of power-multitasking — which, naturally, someone like myself would be into. I don’t so much mind all the shopping, nor do I mind the preparations involved in anticipation of guests — which this year for me included my mom and sister. My mom and I even cooked our first turkey together (well, my first turkey, her ten-millionth).

Dana Carvey as The Church Lady

Well, isn’t that special? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, I actually love the holidays. To me, it’s time off to do out-of-the-ordinary things with people I don’t get to see that much anymore. They say variety is the spice of life, and few things bring more variety to my actually quite regimented life than the holidays, even if I demand to be the elf that gets to pass out the gifts every year (and you best believe I do, yo).

It seems like no matter what I do, though, there’s always a point where I get majorly bummed out. As a kid, it was after the presents were opened. Downer! Now that I’m older, it’s become when my company leaves. It’s a good thing Jesus is here to talk me off the frickin’ ledge.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Do you know how many of my friends told me to wish my boyfriend a happy birthday this Christmas? Seriously, the Jesus joke never gets old. NEVER. (Photo credit: mimitalks, married w/children)

I will return to “normal life” soon, head back to the office and begin the new year, complete with a new assignment list, a new round of trade shows to attend, even a new publication to help launch. I will begin attacking my new list of personal goals for 2013; I finally got smart this year and kept it short at four. Yes, there will be much to keep me busy since, happily and sadly, the world did not in fact come to an end.

English: A bored person

We’re still here? Well, shiz, what do I do now? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But right now, I am looking at my Christmas tree (which will come down New Year’s Day), listening to the washer and dryer churn and burn, and I’m reflecting on holidays past.

I’ve had many a crappy holiday in my life — not gonna lie. It wasn’t that we were struggling financially or I got stranded in an airport or anything like that, either…so perhaps I really don’t know what it is to have a truly crappy holiday. But relatively speaking, in Raegenland, my crappy holidays generally occurred because of the people I spent them with (or sometimes, conversely, the people I didn’t spend them with). Sometimes there was drama; who could forget the Christmas my a**f*** ex-stepbrother told my sister and I Santa wasn’t real? Sometimes there was tragedy; who could forget the Christmas — or more specifically, the day after — when Aunt Mary passed? Sometimes there was just a plain lack of caring; insert the overwhelming majority of ex-boyfriend-related Christmases here.

But I’ve had some great holidays, too. I remember one year we took our now Heaven-dwelling Izzy with us to Winterhaven in Tucson — one of the happiest times of her life. I remember my New Year’s with Jess in Sedona. I remember my only New Year’s (thus far) spent on the Strip; that’s about as crazy as things get. Now I have this year’s Christmas to add to the list.

And these are the ones that are always the hardest to get over, as with any heartache, I suppose.

My mom and sister both left today after a whole week warp-speeded by, thanks to Father Time or Mr. Sulu — one or the other. So it is with bittersweet emotions that I have reached the point where I must say, “Eff you, holiday, for doing this to me! Goodbye forever, and good riddance!”

Get out, get out, get out of my life!

Get out, get out, get out of my life!

Seriously, though…will you come back again already?

Well, That Was Anticlimactic

Here we are.


Well, this is awkward… (Photo credit: joeltelling)

As in “still here.” As in “I guess the Mayans were wrong.”

No big surprise there, I s’pose. The Y2K people were wrong. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were wrong. Nostradamus was wrong. And Charles Manson was wrong — on several levels.

I’m not gonna lie — I was a little freaked about this particular prediction, I guess because I considered the culture making it to be a bit more advanced than, say, that of religious zealots. Which, by the way, is anyone else sick of hearing the Bible verse from Mark about it? (Links can be ignored; that’s why they’re brilliant!)


Revision: MOST Links can be ignored. (Photo credit: Enthuan)

The Mayans, in other words, had nothing to gain by spreading fear of the end of the world, especially when it was thousands of years away from them — because let’s be honest, people, we’re afraid of the end. No matter how much anyone complains about how wretched and intolerable their lives are — and some certainly do quite a bit on the good old FB — we all still want more time to live them.

Which is partially how the apocalyptic madness has changed my point of view; I will no longer humor any such complaints and “FMLs” — not that I really did in the first place — because at the end of the day, you still want to live, and you’re not fooling me anymore, darn it! OK, maybe every once in a while you might, but then I’ll think of the Mayans and biddy-slap you back into reality, which is…

Right. Here.


Astronomical Clock (Astronomical Dial), Prague...

This clock’s right two times a day, I’ll have you know. Good thing you can’t read it to find out if now is one of those times. (Photo credit: Grufnik)

Could be better. Could be worse. But either of those things is better than the thought of not being at all, at least to most of us — myself included.

Still — and perhaps it’s my perception playing tricks on me — this particular apocalyptic prediction seemed to have more people than usual on edge…maybe not sold, but skeptical, which is actually buying in to some small degree. And that says something.

So here’s the other thing the prediction made me aware of: Even though people may want to live, want to be, they seem to want to live and be differently — and in more than just “the grass is always greener” way, which has existed since we whiny little sentient beings began.

English: The grass is always greener on the ot...

The grass is always greener, except where there’s no grass — like on that middle part. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, people actually seem to want change. Dramatic change. Perhaps — dare I say it? — awakening change.

Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s the inequality. Maybe it’s the simple fact that people all over the world are inspired to destruct others in all sorts of fashions — war, genocide, slavery, rape, and yes, even school shootings — and it has simply stopped computing in any way in most of our heads and hearts; many of us no longer have it in us to be able to relate to, let alone justify, such atrocities. Heck, we’re talking about saving the last frickin’ turtles of a species and more these days, folks. And it’s not a bad thing.

Lonesome George has hopefully found some of his peeps up there in Turtle Heaven.

Lonesome George has hopefully found some of his peeps up there in Turtle Heaven.

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. Looooooooooooooonnnnnnnngggggggg. Unsatisfyingly long.

Could be why we buy into these more recent doomsday prophecies. Or at least why I do.

See, it would take something insane, epic, earth-shattering to speed the progress of humanity enough to be experienced profoundly in my lifetime (not just surfacy stuff like the Equal Rights Amendment, which, oddly enough, still hasn’t been passed, even though it actually is quite surfacy). I’m talking aliens coming from the skies and using their mad Jedi skills to stop us from hurting each other (and them). A comet gouging out an entire continent. Something.

Michael Jackson_1

Maybe Michael Jackson returning from the dead and doing the sunwalk? (Photo credit: AllardJanssen)

On the other hand, the question then becomes, would most people use this catastrophic event to change for the better or for the worse? If there were no police, no courts, no prisons, no consequences, would you kill your neighbor for his or her food? Would you try to help that person or that family? Or does it depend on whether or not you have a partner, kids? Would your choice change if it was just you? Would your choice change if it came down to them or you? These are honest questions each of us has to answer, and ones we can only answer for ourselves. (Please, though, for my sanity, keep your answers to yourself; I don’t want to have to unfriend any of you psychos.)

While there were people in the mountains coming together to celebrate what they’d hoped would be a cataclysmic change for the better, others decided they’d keep their kids home from school, fearful that if something apocalyptic were to happen, people who could be trusted under the normal set of circumstances might just snap, making the incidental children just that — incidental — at best, and let’s just say a lot worse at worst.

It seems to me humanity needs change, needs things to get better already. But it also seems to me that, without some sort of control over certain parties’ free will, dramatic change would evolve swiftly into chaos. Which is sad.

candy wrappers

Sad as a world without candy. (Photo credit: kolix)

And it makes me wonder: if the Mayans saw us today, would they think we were more advanced from a humanistic, spiritual perspective than them? Somehow I doubt it. Then again, perhaps it really is a matter of time — an amount of time none of us as individuals ever have.

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