mellificent: (Las Vegas sign)
Weetabix posted an entry a few days ago including a picture taken in a Las Vegas bathroom, and I thought, "Hey! I have a bunch of pictures of bathrooms in Las Vegas!" I know that sounds kind of weird, but at TUSCon in 2004 I got fascinated by the themed bathrooms, and I remember taking pictures in a number of them. Only it was so long ago, apparently - c'mon, 2004! forever ago in internet time! - that I can only find one of them now. This is Paris, which was my favorite one anyway.
Paris bathroom 
I mean, is that not terribly Parisian? (I've never even been to the real Paris, but, well, it seems very French!)

And I honestly can't even remember what the rest of them were now - I'm starting to think I dreamed the whole thing. But I had some computer issues in the intervening years (especially that whole little apartment-flooded-by-a-hurricane thing) and then there was the crash of Diary-X, too, so while I'm pretty sure they did in fact exist, I have no idea what became of them. One must've been the Luxor, because that's where we were staying, and I think maybe one was the Aladdin, which I seem to recall had a doorway shaped like a minaret. But I have no evidence of these things any more, apparently.

So I'll throw some more Vegas pictures at you just for fun. Here are some Vegas-at-Christmas pictures from 2007, that's appropriate for Holidailies!

Many places were quite tasteful, particularly considering it's Vegas we're talking about. This is the Forum Shops:
Forum Shops

Outside at Caesar's:
holiday decor at Caesar's

This was the Tiffany store at the Bellagio:
Tiffany window display at the Bellagio

Venetian exterior (w/holiday decorations)

TI (I titled this one "Christmas at the casino"):
Christmas at the casino 

This one is the Conservatory at the Bellagio, which also had somewhat cracked-out decor when we were there in the summer of 2004. I don't know what's up with that, exactly. (I don't think it seems as overwhelming in the pictures as I remember it being in real life. It was a LOT of decorations stuffed into a very small space.)
Conservatory at the Bellagio

And we'll finish up with this picture, just because it's Vegas and I like it:
Bellagio fountains


Dec. 30th, 2011 06:46 pm
mellificent: (Happy NY - sparkly)
This might end up being a two-parter, because apparently I took a lot of pictures of cards.

I've been meaning all along to post this after all the cards (or rather, all the cards I'm going to get around to sending this year, which is not quite the same thing) went out - I did a little bit of experimenting around with making cards on my own this year, which I haven't done too much of up to now. My first few tries were not terribly successful, but I think I'm improving. I did a few things in the style I've learned in cardmaking class, and a few things my own way. So here's the photographic evidence. (If I get around to doing part 2, it will be the cards that we did in cardmaking class, because they're really cute.)

This is what I mean by "the style I've learned in cardmaking class" - lots of layers. It does come out very well. These are stamps from a big set of clear stamps I had, and the printed paper is just some out of a package that I bought at the craft store, I think. The trick here (learned after a couple of failed experments) is that the cardstock you make the base card out of has to be thick enough to bear the weight of the layers. The ones on these cards are in fact not very heavy, but some I've done are.

(The mustard-colored cardstock doesn't look very good in the picture, but I thought it was fine in person. I don't know if I was mistaken or if it just photographed badly!)

I used the same set of stamps to do these. I'm pretty sure the scalloped cards were out of the dollar bin, but I thought they came out pretty good, considering. (I could have tried to ornament these some more, somehow, but I decided that was likely to come out badly, and left well-enough alone. I liked the relative simplicity of them.)

I was experimenting with inks, too - the lighter green is Stampin' Up dye ink (in Wild Wasabi, if you want to know) and the darker one is a pigment ink that I already had (color was something like Evergreen). I like both of them but they do give you very different effects.

What are these big manila tags supposed to be used for? Bookmarks? Tags for very large gifts? Some commerical purpose that never even occurred to me? I don't really know, but I like this one. I have a fondness for snowflakes, so I've picked up several snowflake-themed stamps over the years, and I pulled out every shade of blue ink I could find, and stamped away. (I later did several cards along these lines, also.)

The music staves here are all the same rolling stamp from Stampin' Up - I bought a couple of them. (The other one is trees.) And I didn't know what the felt snowflakes might possibly be good for when I bought them, but they turned out to be very useful! I think I used the same "Happy holidays" stamp on the inside of this card that was on the tag above, to carry through with the snowflake theme.
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
I know it's not the most important thing about Christmas, but the first thing I want to talk about is that my cousin shellaced my nails (shellacked? I dunno). I have been somewhat less nail-obsessed lately than I had been in a while, but this has woken that obsession up just a bit, apparently. For those of you - probably most of you - that don't know what that means, it's sort of the latest thing in nail polish. I think it was this color that she used (but she didn't pay that much for it because she's a licensed cosmetologist and all that stuff - but I think she said she paid $15 a bottle for it, which is still a lot, and it's not a very big bottle, either). Anyway, the deal is that you set it with a UV lamp and it goes on very thick and shiny and hard and it's supposed to last a long time, that's the idea, anyway. I am not entirely convinced about that, but it really looks good, at the very least. That's really why I let her do it, because I wanted to know if it really lasts long enough to be remotely worth it. It didn't really take any longer to do than a regular manicure, because the drying time is built in - and with somebody else doing the painting, you can paint one hand while the other one is stuck in the UV thing, so it goes even faster. (Although I am too cheap to pay for manicures, not to mention the fact that I just don't want anybody messing with my cuticles - little quirk of mine - so even if I bother to go out and buy all the stuff for it, I will still be doing it myself, anyway.) So that was my "unofficial" Christmas present from my cousin, and I'll try to remember to report back on how it lasts!

As far as the actual Christmas festivities... well, my cousins have children of various ages, and some of THEM have children, so there was a lot of coming and going between the various sets of parents and grandparents and such, and there was one pair of children I never did see at all, but at least I managed to see most of the extended family, anyway. (My aunt is now a great-grandmother, which I still find kind of freaky.) The children I did see all behaved very well, and it was quite a pleasant couple of days, overall.

I'm not really talking about presents, that much, because I already had most of mine - SWTOR was one, technically, because it was pretty expensive, and I also have a new printer which I haven't even hooked up yet. (And there's all that Stampin Up stuff I bought lately, which I would like to be able to count as a Christmas present because I feel guilty about it, but really it's not.) Rob got a couple of surprises for me - a Dr Who video (it was a Pertwee one, I forget the name), and "The King's Speech". His surprises are almost always either DVDs or jewelry, and this year it was videos. He's pretty good at picking both, really. I got him a t-shirt that I found on Etsy that said, "Danger ZOMBIES Run" which he really liked. (I think it's on my Pinterest account, if you know where that is, but otherwise I'm feeling too lazy to go look it up.) I'm glad he liked it because it was fairly expensive by the time I paid shipping and everything. And he got a whole bunch of comic book anthologies, and a couple of videos - one was an old Warner Archive movie that I can't remember the name of. (It had James Farentino in it, and it may have been an old Movie of the Week, I'm not sure. He loves those. -- And yes, as you may be able to infer from all that, he told me what to buy.) Oh, yeah, and the other one was Fright Night (this years' version - he of course already has the old one) - I said that one was really a present for both of us, because I liked that one too.

(Okay, I talked about presents more than I thought. Oh well.)

mellificent: (winter snowflake)
I am definitely in denial about it being the 21st of December. I wish the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas went as slowly as it did when you were a kid - I could use that time. Now it just flies by. I guess that's how it works, huh - when you want it to go fast it goes slow, and vice versa.

I've got plenty of stuff for Rob - every bit of it ordered online - and then I got (smallish) gift cards for all the kids - the little ones get so many gifts they go into overload, anyway, and the bigger ones are to that stage where they don't like anything picked out by a grownup. Actually, I just sent my nephew Parker some cash stuck inside a card, because I never see him at Christmas any more. And he's barely even a kid any more, anyway - he's 20, amazingly. He'll be 21 in February. In any case, I figured I'd give the gift cards for the little kids to their parents and tell them to get something later. I got the gift cards at Target, cause I figured that's a good all-purpose option. Better than Wal-Mart, at least. I thought about doing Old Navy or something for the bigger pair but that was too many stops, and I think they'll be just as happy, or maybe happier, with the Target ones.

I need to do a token something for the adults, which I guess will be jewelry, if I can get myself together enough to whip something up. I never did the watches I meant to do last Christmas, so if I can find the watch faces I had last year, I can do that. Or bracelets, which are almost as good. (People are always more impressed with watches, though - like you made the watch-face yourself or something.)

I did finish with the cards, more or less, although I still have some here that I need to go and mail. TODAY. If I don't do it today, they may not get there before Christmas. Not that that's really a tragedy, as far as I'm concerned - I think the holidays go until at least January 1st and maybe longer, but everybody doesn't seem to think that way. Many people who are extremely Christmas-centric seem to think things are over the minute the presents are opened. (I am tempted to segue into a rant about the Christmas-centric but I will refrain.)

And solstice is, what, tomorrow? I read something online that led me to think it was yesterday, but I know that wasn't right. I still haven't figured it out exactly, not that it really matters. The shortest day of the year is definitely either today or tomorrow, whatever. It's not like I'm going to go out and make a sacrifice to the spirit of Yule or anything.

(LJ says this is Bah Humbug! Day. I can see why.)

mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)
Hey, cool, look, glitchmas trees!
Glitchmas trees

Hmm, I hope that's not a ridiculously huge screenshot. But anyway, I thought it was fun. (Didn't make it, just stumbled across it.)

In other Glitch news, I am up to 8 of 11 of my pieces of DNA. (See yesterday if you want to know what the heck I'm talking about.) So yay me! (For what it's worth, I found three in Tamila and I'm not quite done yet. For me, anyway, Tamila was a hotbed of DNA.)

I haven't talked about the holidays much yet. We don't have a tree up - we don't really have a good place to put it at the moment - or much else in the way of decorations inside, but we have lights on the balcony and wreaths and such, and I have been sending out cards. Rather a lot of cards, as a matter of fact, and I'm not done yet. I may post pictures of some of them later, but I have been making cards as well as sending out some bought ones. I might yet make some more - I have new stamps (the rubbery kind, that is, not the ones that you buy from the Postal Service) and I kind of got on a roll with them again last night. I have been collecting bits and pieces of stamping stuff for a while now but I really just this year have really started doing much with them. I called myself a craft hoarder a while back, but I really do think that's for a reason: you kind of hit a critical mass of stuff where you have enough to assemble things. At least, that's how I work. It was true of quilting and I'm finding that it applies here too. I had snowflake stamps that I bought in previous years and I had some snowflake felt things that I bought on clearance last year, and I had blue cardstock that I acquired at some point and various colors (and brands) of blue ink... You pull all this stuff out and contemplate it and voila! Festive snowflake-themed cards start practically making themselves! My cardmaking skillz are not all I would like them to be yet, but that's something that takes practice, and hey, I'm practicing. (And I may still be sending cards out into the new year at this rate, but oh well.)
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)

I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with a cold, which probably means I shouldn't be breathing on the small children (who will be here later) any more than I can help. Right now we have quiet, which is why you're getting an entry. Everybody was doing their separate Christmasses at their own houses and they're all coming over here to my aunt's house after lunch (or for lunch, in some cases). We haven't opened presents at all; we decided to wait until the crowd is here. And I took advantage of that fact to sleep late. Sleeping late on Christmas morning seems like a great luxury, really! It's not often you're allowed to, in my family.

We came up here yesterday, and we timed it just right - we got here right before the front did, and I mean, not 5 minutes before it started raining. The temperature dropped from around 70 into the 40s, which does make it feel more like Christmas. If it's not a white Christmas (which it never is, here) at least it ought to be chilly.

Hmm, I'm conflating Christmas songs in my head. When I typed the title, my brain started trying to sing the "Sussex Carol" at me - I think that's the one: "On Christmas night all Christians sing/to hear the news the angels bring." But that's night, not day. For Christmas Day you have to go to "I heard the bells on Christmas Day/their old familiar carols play" or "I saw three ships come sailing in/on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day." And I'm getting words of one to the tune of the other. My brain is a weird place sometimes.

I will stop now and go be social. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! and if you don't, well, at least all this nonsense will be done with for another year, after today!
mellificent: (Xmas - Mr Darcy)
I talked Rob into going out to eat with me tonight, and going to Half Price Books afterwards. I can't ever get him to go anywhere on work nights - I don't even try any more - but since he doesn't have to work tomorrow, I kidnapped him as soon as we got home and we went and ate Italian (just for fun, we went to a different Italian restaurant than the one we normally go to!) and then went book shopping. I completely forgot to buy anything for my father - that tells you how disconnected I've been from my normal Christmas preparations this year, 'cause normally I think of things like that a lot earlier in the process than December 23rd. I almost always buy my dad books, thus the trip to Half Price - they always have a good selection of the kind of thing he's interested in. Don't ask me the name of the book I bought - something about the days leading up to Pearl Harbor. My dad says himself that I have a good track record for picking books he'll like, so hopefully this one will work.

Jay Thomas is on Letterman right now, telling a story that I've heard before, I'm pretty sure. Maybe it's part of the Christmas tradition, along with throwing footballs. (Letterman seems to have a lot of Christmas traditions, after all these years. Wonder if Paul has done his Cher imitation yet.)

I mentioned something about nail polish and small children's gifts, or something to that effect, yesterday. I meant to talk about the highly important subject of my Christmas-green nail polish, I think, which I am now going to have to re-do, or at least touch up, because my nails have pink and purple paint stuck to them, from said small children's gifts. I had to go and buy something that needs painting. (I am still working on this. I'll try to remember to take a picture when I get done. I hope to god these gifts are not totally embarrassing in the end. Of course the kids in question, who are quite small, will probably think they're great no matter what.)

Stuff about A Game of Thrones, with one fairly mild spoiler. )
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
Rob's parents sent us some money, so with my portion I ordered a sleeve for my Kindle (this one) and the "Ultimate Edition" of Prisoner of Azkaban. (I have the Sorcerer's Stone one so I'd like to have the whole set, theoretically - at least for the movies I don't already have.) I doubt that this was really the best use of my money but oh well. I went to Sam's earlier; I should really stay out of there because it makes me want to buy videos, every time. I looked at that Harry Potter box and didn't buy it, but then when I got home and found the check, I caved. (Rob is a big enabler on video purchases, too, I have to say. Why does he encourage me?)

I also bought some Christmas cards because I can't find the ones I know I already have, and I know I won't get around to making many, if any. But I only bought one box, which won't be enough, anyway, even if I pare down my list. (Also, I just looked at the TUS list and, whoops, I wonder if the one to Ireland can make it in, what, 6 working days? Be interesting to see.)

I am feeling... well, not exactly Grinchy about the holidays, exactly, but I don't seem to be interested in doing much. I have wreaths on the balcony and the front door, and one of my mom's big nutcrackers sitting on the TV, but that's about it. No tree, no lights, none of that junk so far. Rob was making noises about getting a real tree, which I don't think we've done since the first year we were married. I saw some good-sized Norfolk pines in pots ("good-sized" = four feet or so) at the grocery store, I wonder if those are big enough to suit him? I think he just wants something with a tree smell, though, and I don't think Norfolk pines have that kind of smell to them, do they? Not that I can recall, anyway. (I guess I'll have to go and smell them and see.)

Oh, I forgot to say before that we finally went to see Easy A at the dollar movie on Sunday. (We've talked about going every weekend for a month or more.) I liked it more than I expected to, which is fairly high praise because I expected to like it. As usual, I can't really figure out how to describe why. For one thing, I thought it would stick to the whole "Scarlet Letter" theme a lot longer than it really did. Which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
mellificent: (winter - snowflakes)
I just accidentally swallowed a cherry stone, and I'm having this totally irrational fear that a cherry tree is going to start growing out my ears. My grandmother - and possibly my mother, too - used to tell us an old wives' tale to that effect when we were kids. Although I think it was oranges, not cherries, at the time.

I've been doing Jade Quarry all night in GuildWars. I had never done it at all until about a week ago, because when I tried before there were never people available to fill up both sides to do it. (It's a sort of a hybrid PvP-mission kind of thing. You're playing against other players, but you also have an objective you have to do. In this case it's about keeping control of (guess what) jade quarries, and whoever gets a certain amount of jade back to their base first wins.) Columbine may be surprised to hear that I was doing this because we never used to do these missions. But I've been racking up the faction and I may get the Friend of the Luxons title this weekend if I keep it up.

Rob asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Usually he gets me things like DVDs and sometimes a piece of jewelry, and I usually wrap up a couple of odds and ends I bought for myself, if I suspect I need it to balance things out. (I sort of try to make our gifts to one another match in size, if you know what I mean - I usually buy him a bunch of books and DVDs, and he tells me what to buy there, too. So I figure the expenditure should be more or less consistent for each of us, although I'm not stringent about it at all. In fact I don't really total it up at all except in the very roughest way. Some years my stuff costs a bit more, some years his does.) This year is a bit different, though, because of me not working, and while we're not out of money, we are definitely watching the purse-strings much more carefully now than we were. So when I thought of getting a Kindle I thought no, that's too expensive. Only it turns out that I have quite a large credit with Amazon, almost large enough to pay for the whole thing, if I get the Wi-Fi one. Although I'm thinking I might even go for the 3G one. The amount we'd have to pay in cash to get the 3G version would be roughly in the range of say, the MST3K box set I've got put away for Rob, anyway. Anybody have any opinion on this? If you do, speak up fast, I may be ordering something soon. (Too late, already, that ship has sailed. I got the 3G.) They say "In stock" but I don't entirely trust them. (Late word: I got an e-mail already that says that it has shipped, due in Wednesday.)

Poor Rob got called in to work today. That's been happening pretty regularly lately, at least sort of once a month or so. He went in and worked about 5 or 6 hours, but he told them that if the person who was missing doesn't come in tomorrow, they're going to have to find somebody else to cover then. Which I think is wise. We can use the OT, sure, but he needs a day off, too.

One of the things I've been reading, or re-reading (do you consider it re-reading if you listened to the audiobook the first time?) is A Game of Thrones, and I just stumbled onto replicas of the swords in the book, on Amazon. I guess I should not be surprised, but I am. Wonder if these were around before HBO announced the miniseries.

Anyway, here's Arya's sword Needle, for example. (I've started on the 2nd book but I'm not even far into it. So if you have anything to say about those books, be careful with spoilers, please! I would welcome non-spoilery discussion.)

Arya Stark's sword

Needle, Sword of Arya Stark. Licensed from George R.R. Martin
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
This was the Holidailies prompt for yesterday:
Tell us about an odd-but-beloved holiday tradition you or your family celebrate.

And I wasn't intending to write about ours because I was sure I had written about it before, but if I did it's gone - at least, I couldn't find it on Livejournal, so if I did it was on Diary-X or some other mysterious place, no idea. I checked every Christmas Eve or thereabouts back as far as my LJ goes - which is 2004, although really I didn't move over here full-time until 2006 or so, I think. And it's a Christmas Eve tradition so that's when I would have thought to write about it. It's the only weird holiday tradition I can think of in my family - so I guess that means I get to tell this story again, after all.

It's not really so much a story, anyway; it's just a thing. This little random thing that I've never heard anybody else anywhere mention as a family tradition, so I don't know where it came from or anything about it. It came from my maternal grandmother, as far as I know, and I would guess that possibly it's Czech, because my mother's family was from there, except that it was the other side of the family that came over from Moravia - that is, my mother's father's side, not her mother's. My grandmother didn't pick up on any other Czech family traditions that I know of, so I can't imagine that she would have just picked this one up and run with it. It's a mystery.

Well, anyway, all it is is this: on Christmas Eve, my grandmother and mother would go around kissing/hugging people (they did primarily stick to family members) and saying "Christmas Eve Gift!" Because - I guess - the kiss was the gift, you see. It got to be this family joke. And now that both of them are gone, my sister and I say it to each other, and maybe to Aunt Linda and some of the cousins, because they're the only ones who know what the heck we're talking about. It's this weird little stranded tradition, and it's sort of sad and sweet and funny, all at once.

My parents, 1960 (which would also have been my first Christmas)

Note: apparently I was asleep, or something, when I looked to see if I had posted about this before. There's a much more concise rendition of the story right here, from last Christmas Eve.

mellificent: (Christmas - all I want is Darcy)
I have been reading about Japanese porn on Wikipedia. Don't ask me why. (I am not providing a link, since I've already lost the page and I think that's easy enough to find, if you really feel the need to read it.)

Things that made me happy today (I am tempted to say "Japanese porn" but since I didn't actually see any I don't guess that counts):
- actually doing some useful things
- clementines
- apple pie (from HEB again, they make really good apple pie)
- finding a letter in my mother's handwriting
- the fact that I don't actually need Mr. Darcy for Christmas, thankyouverymuch, since I already have a perfectly good husband. (Ok, better than perfectly good.) Admittedly the "rich" part would come in handy but I'd rather not have to deal with his relatives. Lady Catherine and I would not get along.

Rob took the apple pie to his party at work and apparently nobody ate any. He said there was an overabundance of desserts. (It wouldn't be a Christmasholiday party without an overabundance of desserts, really.) Fine, then, we have to eat it. Such a terrible thing.

I have talked to all the relatives involved in my holiday plans, I think, and we are going to Bryan on Tuesday and probably coming back late on Thursday but might stay til Friday morning. This latter decision partially depends on whether my nephew and his father decide to stop by (on their way between Austin and Lake Conroe) and if Parker comes his mother may actually come too, which would make it interesting. Some of you may remember some drama on this subject from last year. I am absolutely not holding my breath that Paula will show up, but I suspect that the presence of her son might do it if anything will. They don't seem to see a great deal of each other even though they live in the same town.

Then at some unspecified time after we get back, I am actually going to cook dinner for my Dad and Barbara, something I've never done before... well, not in their presence, anyway. I figure pot roast is really really difficult to fuck up, though, and I'm not planning to have much of anything else complicated. I will manage. (I will also have to clean up the living room, but it's not in all that bad a shape, luckily. I cleaned up much of the overflowing paperwork during my flurry of usefulness earlier today.)

My dad had called and said, "It's nothing, I just wanted to chat with you" to my answering machine, and that's not a phrase he ever uses - and so I immediately wondered if that actually meant something was wrong, and I guess I was right about that. His prostate cancer seems to be reoccuring. However, it seems that in this case it's not necessarily as dire as other cancers can be when they reoccur. At least, they don't seem unduly concerned. They are going to freeze part of his prostate and cut out the offending part, or something like that, tomorrow. I guess I could have volunteered to go hang out at the hospital with Barbara but I didn't. I am very bad at waiting and I'd rather do it at home if I have a choice.

I finished the damn cards, finally, and I boxed up the apples and jewelry for the in-laws (along with a card explaining what was for whom and denying any responsibility for the apples) and I need to go to the post office first thing in the morning and get all that in the mail. There is also somebody supposed to be calling me about bank stock, of all things. And I may actually make a visit to Chase. (If I actually manage TWO productive days in a row, Rob will faint.)

mellificent: (Vegas sign)
Today'sYesterday's Holidailies prompt: Your most vivid memory from last year's holiday season.

I don't really tend to pay a lot of attention to prompts - I usually manage to find things to rattle on about without them - but when I tried to remember last Christmas, it was all a big blur and that did interest me. The only thing that sticks out about our actual Christmas celebrations was that I had two pre-teen cousins* who got this huge pile of Hannah Montana merchandise between them - a really staggering amount of it. (I was wondering the other day if they're still into Hannah Montana or if she's all last year and they've moved on to something else. I will try to remember to report back on this later.)

* I suppose they're technically cousins once removed or something, since they're obviously not of my generation. That's another thing I tend not to pay much attention to, though, and I just call them all cousins.

So anyway, the reason Christmas was all a blur, presumably, was because we had Vegas on the brain. Last year (as some of you will recall) my husband and I left late in the afternoon of Christmas day and flew to Las Vegas for a few days. I loved it and I'd do it again, but it really did distract me from the family holiday celebration to a large degree. Which is sort of sad, in that we have had this big void about family Christmases and there are members of my family that have gone out of their way to include us. All of my grandparents' generation is dead now, in the family, my mom and my uncle are both dead, my sister has been on this huge anti-Christmas kick and my dad usually spends Christmas with his (third) wife's family. So my aunt - the widow of the aforementioned uncle - and her children have become our family, as far as Christmas celebrations go. (I mean, they are our family at other times, too, but... oh, you know what I mean.) And I feel bad that I was sort of giving them short shrift. On the other hand, I gave them all really nice presents!! They probably didn't care at all, it's probably just me doing my usual guilt thing. I am really good at guilt.

And hey, we were going to Vegas! We did have an excuse! So here's some pictures of both phases of things:

Pictures over here... )

(The whole Vegas set is here - it's actually pictures from all three of my trips there, but the bulk of them are from last year.)
mellificent: (Xmas bow)
I'm awake early again so you get a meme!

(from[profile] anjea)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
mellificent: (winter berries)
I've been addressing Christmas holiday cards for the last couple of hours. It's funny, I always think I have plenty of cards until I actually start addressing them, and then I inevitably find I don't have enough. The main problem is that I keep saying I'm going to stop buying ones that refer to Christmas, and then I see some Christmas ones that I like and I buy them anyway. But then I don't want to send them to anybody who might possibly not want a Christmas card - and the only people I'm fairly sure don't mind are the people I've known forever, mostly meaning my relatives. (Where I draw the line personally is that I don't mind a bit getting cards that say "Merry Christmas" but I'm somewhat put off by the really religious ones. If it quotes the bible at me, it's probably too religious for my taste. Or if it refers to Him, capitalized. That sort of thing. And I inevitably get a few of those every year.)

I told Rob that, especially considering how late I'm running on the cards, anyway, it's better to send holiday cards than Christmas cards, because they're not "late" once Christmas is over. Hey, a New Year's card isn't late until the year isn't new any more, right? Meaning all of January ought to be safe, at the very least, don't you think?

Anyway, I've already used up the cards that say, "Let it snow!" on the front - which say on the inside, "Joyous greetings of the season" or something to that effect. (Then I worry that all the stuff about Joy has a religious subtext, but that doesn't stop me from sending them anyway.) I had a box with four different designs of botanical drawings that I really liked and thought was safe, but one of the designs turns out to say, "Merry Christmas" - dammit. So that's four or five more cards that won't do - especially for the TUS people, some of whom have been known to be touchy about this stuff. I also have a box of cards with a Currier and Ives print that I found at my mother's house - but they're too formal for my taste, they look sort of corporate to me. I have been gradually working through those, just the same - I get less and less picky as I get more and more desperate! I also have various cards left over from past years, but then I worry that I will send somebody the same card I sent them last year, horror of horrors. Sending cards is just a minefield, one way and another, I wonder sometimes why I bother at all.

At what point are you becoming overly politically correct, anyway? I waffle back and forth on this point. Sometimes I think people go to far on one side and then I'll think it's on the other end that people are getting goofy about it. On the one hand, I basically think Christmas has become a secular holiday anyway. (My sister has been heard to say that that's why she doesn't celebrate Christmas. My answer was that that's why I do.) On the other hand, I can imagine how annoying it must be to be Jewish or Muslim or whatever, and be bombarded by all of this Christmas crap for, hell, a good two months out of every year. I'd be annoyed, too. (And sometimes I am!)

(As it happens, I have a whole post about religion percolating in my brain, believe it or not. Now the next question is whether I'll ever get around to actually writing it down.)

Holidailies penguin

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You Are an Angel

A truly giving soul, you understand the spirit of Christmas.


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