Thursday, November 30, 2006

Funniest thing I heard today: Goldfish have a three second memory. What do they do all day except swim around their bowl saying: "Oh look, a castle. There's that castle again. OH MY GOD.. A CASTLE!"

Hustle and Bustle

When I was a wee tot, what I used to look forward to most on Christmas was going to both Grandmas' houses, and the visit from Santa Christmas morning. Nothing topped Grandma L's chocolate fudge (that she only made once a year), and Grandma D's Christmas cookies... not to mention the piles of gifts waiting for use at both homes, AND what Santa left for us under our own tree. As I have grown older, and perhaps a little wiser, I have come to get excited about other aspect of the season. Writing/sending/receiving Christmas cards, Christmas shopping for my friends, and wrapping gifts. I look forward to the last day before Christmas celebrating and laughing with my co-workers -- hugging, exchanging small gifts and cards, and wishing each other Merry Christmas before going home for the holiday.. Christmas Mass and singing the beautiful hymns (especially Adeste Fideles), having a meal with my family, seeing friends, and kicking back and relaxing.. and maybe indulging in the Christmas cookies I now make.

A holiday to me is simple.. having a good time with people you care about. My family doesn't make things easy, and this Christmas is no exception. I was never a fan of a gift exchange between my siblings and myself. Let's face it.. we don't like each other most of the year, why fake it now for the sake of a holiday? All of us are financially suffering, so why burden ourselves with spending more?? When I told Mom that I wanted to cut Joe and Katie out, I got that look that she works so well. Joe came over for dinner (I swear he never eats at his house), and Mom told him sarcastically that I did not intend to exchange gifts. "Of course not, Mike won't do anything fun." I told him how broke I was, and that I have even been looking into working extra hours at Sam's Club just to get more money for gift shopping. That's absurd to have to work longer hours at a different store just to buy someone I don't even like a present. I told him to take the money he would spend on me, put it into his house, and we're good to go. Didn't work for him.

There was one Christmas that Katie was so broke with school that she made everyone chocolate-peanut butter balls as a gift... a nice, CHEAP gift. Why was it ok for Katie to skip out of the exchange because she was broke, but not me? Again, Joe didn't see any kind of relationship between the two examples.

It frustrates me to no end that my family can be so difficult. Can't we just enjoy a meal together and enjoy that? We exchange gifts with our parents, exchange with our spouses/significant others (those of us who have them), and exchange with our close friends. Isn't that enough? Why does the list have to be longer? My grandparents were happy with an orange and some nuts in their stockings.. why do we need $300 worth of crap to enjoy a holiday? Don't people remember Christ was born in a stable because they couldn't afford anything else?? Leave it up to my family to take something fun and enjoyable and make it into a match to see who can out do whom.

In an attempt to not turn into Scrooge, I agreed to play Santa at walmart this Saturday. I think I have to play the part for about two hours or so. It's a free event we do for the kids, getting a free picture taken with Santa. The assistant managers promise me they are going to get my store manager (drooool) to sit on my lap. I think I have a better chance of hitting the lotto! My friend Lenny from the hardware department (whom we all call Papa Smurf) said to management, "Why the hell didn't you let him play Santa when he was fat? Now we have to buy a pillow to put under the suit." He made my day! lol

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Check please?

It's not easy being so limited on funds... I cut back dramatically in my spending, and have still come up short on this month's bill. Hopefully now with the holiday season, and the semester ending soon, I can pick up a few more hours. I am also looking into some options as various side jobs to get a little extra money, but there aren't too many available.

Living on a tight budget isn't easy, but having a tight budget and Christmas shopping is nearly impossible. I have already made it known that I won't be exchanging with Kristy and Scott, and neither of them had a problem with that. Being in their teens, and Scott not having a job, it's less money out of their pockets as well.

It's not that I have a problem with the idea of giving gifts, or feel obligated to do so.. it's something I enjoy doing, and want to do. There are so many people in my life I wish I could be more generous too, and it bothers me that I don't have the means to do it. So far, I have managed to find some good sales, and have done rather well.

Mom and Dad invited me to go with them to East Aurora for the day. They go every year at Christmas time to shop, have lunch, and admire the scenery. At first I was going to go with them, but I think it would be nice for them to do something together as a couple, and enjoy the outing themselves. Besides, going to all those stores would only tempt me to buy things for myself I don't need. Avoiding temptation is a good way to not give into it.

Most people I know are going crazy trying to get wii's or PS3s. I don't quite understand all the hype around that. Why wait in line and go through all that aggravation for something you'll easily be able to get in February? People were camping out at Walmart for the release of the PS3 for two days. They were offered $2,000 just for their spot in line!!! I think the next time they release another game system, I am going to stake out a camp site in front of some retail store, just to sell my spot!

I guess I shouldn't talk, I go nuts for ridiculously priced things as well. I asked Santa for a leather "chopper mailbag" (messenger style) from the fossil website that is $148. Mom laughed at me. =-P I have a thing for bags, and am still grieving for the one I returned from my trip to NYC. I have a few relatives that give me cash or gift certificates (all two of them), so maybe if I'm fortunate, I'll throw that "loot" towards the bag... maybe... it's one of those things that I'd love if it was free, but I don't need. Damn this rational spending!!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not so "Happy Feet"

If there is anyone out there who has been pondering seeing the movie Happy Feet, Don't. That was the worst movie I have seen in a long time. Kristy wanted to go, and I have to admit I did too.. the commericials looked funny. There were a few laughs, but not nearly enough to justify the $9 I spent on it. I feel robbed!! We didn't even stay for the very end of it.. I couldn't care less if the penguins in the movie all died.. it just needed to be over.

Robin Williams did a good job as a voice over, and his character was funny, but that was it. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!

I did get excited when I saw the preview for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I can't wait to see that one!! And let me just say.. Harry is growing up to be cute as hell! The movie doesn't come out till July though... grrr.


Welcome, welcome, welcome! You have entered the world of the Bingles... and what an unusual world it is too!

I have decided to make the move from LiveJournal to Blogger... because it's easier and has more bells and whistles. To all my loyal fans from LJ - I'm surprised you have followed me this far. =-P

Hope you like the new format... same ramblings, new lay out.