To Christmas or Not To Christmas?

To Christmas or Not To Christmas?

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY SIXTY-SIX

2016 December 26 [Monday]

 

Good morning! This is probably the earliest I’ve ever sat down to write a blog post. It’s about 1315, and I woke up roughly an hour ago … haha … not really all that funny. Anyhow, I hope everyone had a nice whatever holiday it is that you celebrate! I had a fairly nice holiday. Thanks for asking. I find that celebrating this sort of holiday is getting tough, these days. Neither I nor my lifemate really WANT to celebrate Christmas. As children, nevertheless, [Christian] Christmas was a big fucking deal. So, we’re sort of finding it difficult to shed the whole celebration, decorum, and festivities of the season. No matter, every year we discuss what and how we want to “celebrate” this day that demands so many things. This is probably the topic about which I will write for this upcoming Feature Friday. Thus, I will refrain from going into further detail about how we approached this year’s “Season” and the things we’ve already discussed about how we will approach it in the future.

So … about last week’s happenings. One moment, please. I need to check in on last week’s post to see what I covered in the Monday post. Okay, so I didn’t write about Monday, which was when my actual birthday fell, and I had a nice day just hanging out and twiddling my thumbs until the lifemate got home. Once he arrived home, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner, which probably sounds really lame, but here in Seoul, western food is quite expensive and is never quite as good as it is elsewhere. Since we went all out for my birthday dinner on the Saturday before, I just wanted something we never eat. I ended up having a small meltdown after our server basically tricked us into the most expensive “set” in the entire restaurant. I was upset because the lifemate had already shelled out so much money on my birthday celebrations and the pizza was supposed to just be a fun little dinner, but then it ended up being another outrageously expensive [because we’re talking about fucking pizza here] meal. Also, if I were inclined to brag about the gifts he gave me, you’d gain further insight into my feelings about how he definitely didn’t need to spend any more money on me. In hindsight, we probably should’ve just done something at home. Anyway, that was Monday night.

Nothing interesting nor special happened on Tuesday. My last birthday present finally arrived on Wednesday, and it was so totally worth the wait. Thursday was spent finishing up some reading for last week’s Feature Friday. I also spent all of last week procrastinating. I had my 1500 word Feature due on Friday as well as 7500 words of fiction writing due on Saturday. On Friday, I started and finished the Feature. Luckily, my English student, SJ, had to cancel all of our classes last week, so I was able to hole up in the apartment all day on Thursday and Friday. On Friday night, I pounded out a few hundred words of fiction work … fail. But something’s better than nothing at this point. Getting back into the swing of fiction writing is tough, so I didn’t beat myself up at all for the meager output.

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*caption below

On Saturday, we went to a friend’s Christmas Eve party. Um … It was nice? The problem I face with writing about the party is that I have true affection for the host of the party, but the party itself was a bit rough. There were two people there with all too similar … uh … toxic? … personalities. One of whom was an old friend of mine, and by “old,” I mean that she and I were friends. I met her shortly after we moved to Seoul, and we met up a few times and even went on a few couples’ outings, but I would not have defined our relationship as close. We were definitely still getting to know each other. Anyhow, one day, a few months in, she really wanted to talk to me about some problem that came up between her and her husband. It made me really uncomfortable for two reasons: First, they had only been married for about ten months at this point, and the nature of the problem was … problematic. Second, I did not feel as though we were close enough for her to share this level of problem with me, so I felt like maybe she just tells things to people, and that’s problematic for me, if we were to become closer friends and I were to share my life with her. That’s enough about that.

Anyhow, shortly after her [TMI] divulgence, I basically stopped talking to her. She avoided me too, and I don’t blame her. I mean, she opened herself up and told me a really sensitive, vulnerable situation. I honestly couldn’t relate to the way they handled the situation, nor could I relate to the way the situation arose at all in the first place. I listened and did my best to provide some insight for her simply by being a sounding board. So, yea, she and her husband were there, and she’s a bit antagonistic. Even before everything that went down went down, I found her to be a bit … negative. She’s very … smug. Hence the lack of closeness between us in the first place.

As far as the other toxic personality, this other girl was someone I met for the first time, and let’s just say, I had half of one conversation with her and then made sure I didn’t have to interact with her again. I overheard much of what she spoke to other people, so I knew it wasn’t me. She spoke to everyone this way. I’ll just give one small example from half our conversation. I found out that she was vegetarian earlier in the evening, and then later, some of us were just talking about how we eat and what not. This was all at a Christmas party mind you, so the atmosphere of conversation ought to remain lighthearted, at least, that’s what I thought. Other people clearly don’t feel that way.

Anyway, so I was talking to one of the guys about how the lifemate and I eat a super low-carb diet, and how we found it to be awesome because we never realized how good it could be to be able to eat more fat. The guy I was talking to had a similar revelation too. Then the vegetarian said, “Uh, like low-carb is such a fad, and there are like so many risks. You’ll end up with kidney disease because you eat too much protein.” [If the irony of this comment is lost on you, then you probably also don’t understand how horrible this girl was.] I wasn’t trying to convince anyone of eating a low-carb diet nor was I promoting it. We were simply talking about how we eat cause it was just a talking point at that point. She also wasn’t even part of the conversation.

I am all too familiar with this type of toxic person, so I simply responded with, “Really? I mean, do you know how much protein I eat? You don’t even know if I eat any meat products. I think you also have to eat like two pounds of meat protein every day to end up with any protein-related problems, but what do I know? Do you know?” She had no response, obviously, because that’s how you deal with people who don’t actually know anything but who are compelled to exert their lack of knowledge on everyone else. It was awesome.

Aside from the few little social frustrations, I had a nice time. The party as a whole was a bit … strained. I just kept to the people who were feeling the Christmas vibe and just chillaxin’. We ended up back at home around 0200, and I didn’t have that pleasant, after-party warmth, which was a bit sad. Oh well. I’ll state it again because this is how much I truly enjoy the host’s company; despite the lackluster charm of the party itself, the host was gracious, happy, and altogether pleasant as always. Perhaps she felt the strain too because I heard a few comments from her that made me feel as though she was aware of the not-so-cheery atmosphere, but I think she threw a great party. You can never really predict the personalities that show up. Unfortunately, one really antagonistic, socially inept person can infect an entire group.

Christmas Day was very low-key. We both woke up around 0900 and immediately turned on A Christmas Story, but then I passed back out until about 1230. Once I was up for good, we exchanged gifts and then called my parents. The lifemate made some breakfast while we watched a basketball game and played with the cat. Then we finished up Season 15 of Project Runway. We watched Step Brothers while we played a few rounds of heads up Hold ‘Em. Then off to a candlelit dinner we went. Once we were in for the evening, we watched Die Hard, which I had never seen before, and I will probably never watch it again willingly. Throughout the entire day we were sipping vodka and eating butter cookies [yes, I realize that cookies are not low-carb … haha … but twas Christmas. We also ate pizza like twice last week because of the holidays, yum!] I think we probably tucked in for the night around 0330. It was a nice little holiday. I also managed to get in all the workouts I planned last week. All-in-all, I feel pretty good today, despite the pizza and the liquor.

Now, I’ve gotta go outside to see if it’s actually raining. It’s not too cold to do a circuit today, but if it’s raining, I’d rather not, which means, it’s a the yoga day. I also really need to find some diligence in prepping this week’s feature and hitting my fiction-writing quota. Sorry this was a long, arduous, slightly-depressing post. This is my blog though, so yea. Suck it. Until Friday. Laters.


*Christmas Crackers! The host of the party gifted me a build-your-own set after she explained to me what they are. If you don’t know, find a British person to explain to you the tradition.

Season’s [F*cking] Greetings

Season’s [F*cking] Greetings

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY FORTY-FIVE

2016 December 05 [Monday]

Oh my ephing ay! This is the Fifth [5/6] Installment of the Mundane Monday Memoir, which is a consolation day for writing as I am still deep within No-Writing November [yes, I know it’s December, but No-Writing November is the name of the six weeks that I forced myself to participate in as a “break” from writing after my book release]. I still have nine goddamn days until I can write about anything of any substance. The worst part about all of this is that I actually have a bit of a rant about the holidays, and I cannot write about it; I can’t write about it on a computer, that is. I have written a few notes down in the notebook the lifemate bought me expressly for this purpose, but it’s not enough! Ugh! There is an even worse part though, I suppose. I’m deathly terrified that once I’m freed to write whatever whenever [and that I sort of must], I won’t have anything to write! *sigh

Oh well. I can’t really worry about that now, especially since I have a handful of nonfiction topics about which to rant. As far as Book Two is concerned, however, I have nothing. I have absolutely no thoughts, ideas, questions, nothing about the book and where it’s heading. Again, though, it’s not really something I should be worried about at this point. Thus, I will move on to the truly mundane aspects of my life over the past week.

Most of last week was spent soaking up this unseasonably warm winter. I did a series of circuit workouts at the park during the day on MWF, finished up the November Yoga Challenge, began the December Yoga Challenge, and we went for an early evening hike yesterday. As far as socializing, the lifemate borrowed a Crock-Pot from one of his coworkers. When the coworker and his husband came to drop it off, we offered to compensate them with a few shots of vodka. Three and a half hours later we polished off the entire bottle over a fairly intense conversation about life in Korea. It was excellent.

On Saturday, we attended a wedding [where we also had the chance to converse with the coworker and his husband from the night before. The coworker’s husband, btw, is one of my favorite Koreans ever]. The ceremony was quick and beautiful.

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Afterwards, we [the lifemate and I] strolled along the river toward Nowon where we shopped a bit and picked up a bottle of tequila. For dinner, the lifemate used a coupon I made him, and we ate pizza and fried chicken. Hoy. I was feeling quite glad about busting my ass at the park earlier in the week.

Yesterday, we both slept in pretty late, which was amazing. Then the lifemate made his kickass chili, and then he found out that he bought the wrong printer ink cartridge. It was a tense afternoon. Haha. Needless to say, I was cranky, but still wanted to hike because I’m trying to do a little personal research on what it’s like to “live for your social media.” So, I thought, “I will go on a hike today so that I can take a pic of ‘going hiking’.” I didn’t want to hike because I wanted to. I wanted to go on a hike so that I could say, “I went on a hike … Check out this pic!”

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I’m merely testing a little theory of mine about how people use and internalize their social media use. And I gotta say, I’m not entirely sure if doing things just so that you can post them is a bad thing if it gets you out of your house and into the world. So, the question seems to now be something else.

When examining how it seems like some people warp and shift their own lives in order to ensure that everything about their life is “shareable,” I’m sort of beginning to understand more about the implications of that type of behavior. Shit. I’m not supposed to be writing about this. Ugh! Uh, one last thing before I get yelled at for breaking my rules yet again, there are definitely some significant differences between those who share only the best parts of their lives and those who fabricate a life offline that can always be fully bragged about online. Ugh. Okay. I’m done.

Let’s see. Oh yes, I also sent out a big box to my parents for Christmas and my mom’s birthday. I truly dislike the entire idea of exchanging gifts because you must. Gift giving is my love language, and so I put a lot of stock into giving and receiving gifts. I love to give gifts. It is the way that I show someone I like and/or love them. Thus, the idea of “A Season of Giving” is so unappealing to me because I want people to give me things when they want to, not when they’re supposed to. The same goes for my giving of gifts. *sigh

For the past few years I’ve opted out of giving anything more than a card with a picture to my parents because I just don’t like the hassle. This year, however, I actually had some ideas for gifts to give my parents, and so I put together a little box and sent it off. I’m genuinely excited for them to receive their gifts this year. There’s this sort of perverse irony to this season’s wishing of peace and goodwill as everyone busts their asses and their bankrolls to partake in the celebration of … of what? Love? Consumerism? Joy? Religion? Gift giving? This is the first year in a long time that I’ve wanted to give gifts, and so, I sent gifts.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to simply exchange gifts whenever we felt like it instead of being forced to during this “most wonderful time of the year”? Maybe I don’t feel like sending gifts now, but if I don’t, people feel unloved. Boo. I mean, when did society determine everything through the acceptance and/or rejection of your actions by your peers? Like the totally fucked up practice of buying a chopped-down tree so that you can drag it into your house and watch it die over this “holly jolly holiday,” all in order to avoid being ridiculed with, “Is that a fake tree?” Yes, it’s a fake fucking tree because then I can use it year after year without killing a perfectly good tree and being a hypocrite who uses reusable bags but who kills real trees for no goddamn reason! Good riddance!

Damn it! I wrote more writing. Fuck!

Oh! I’m planning a little online shindig! Check me out on Instagram to get the full details on December 10th! You won’t hear about it here until the following Monday in the final installment of this no-writing nonsense. So, there’s that.

Until next week …