Tuesday, December 30, 2008

But Life is Just a Party and Parties Weren't Meant 2 Last

This was at a party on New Year's Eve last year. I hope to spend time with these two this year as well.

Since I'm not sure if I'll have time to blog tomorrow, I'm just going to do my New Year's Eve post tonight. Last year at this time I was at the beginning of a short-lived relationship with that one guy. He was a conquest guy and the thing about conquest guys, is that they definitely know how to woo a woman, they just tend to get bored and move on in a couple of months is all. True to that form, that one guy took me to Chicago the weekend before New Year's Eve where we ate sushi and played around in Wrigleyville on Saturday night and then went to a Bear's game on Sunday. Monday was New Year's Eve and we had a great time. Of course, I could never keep up that kind of pace, so it's just as well we're not dating anymore, because I'd probably be on some kind of life support after a year of that.

This year ends with me being single again, and though I'm ever hopeful that I'll meet someone I can have a long-term, healthy relationship with, I know I'd much rather be single than in an unhealthy relationship with someone who isn't right for me. So, instead of bemoaning the absence of something, I'm all for celebrating what I do have...And I feel like I have a lot to celebrate. My girls are great and we're all healthy and we have a warm home and I have a job with great benefits and I have a wonderful extended family and the craziest, funnest friends a girl could ask for.

The girls are at their dad's house and I don't have to work on New Year's day, so my plan for celebrating all of that tomorrow night looks like this: I'll get home from work around five, check out what I have and go to a store if I need something else, then make some fun foods. Right now I think I'll make a quiche and I have some potstickers in the freezer I'll heat up and make a funky sauce for them, and head over to my friend's house with the food and some beer around seven. We're all trying to do this as affordably as possible, hence the potluck and BYOB. We'll stay there for a while and maybe do some karaoke finally.

I have a couple of girlfriends who have to work the next day, so they were thinking about going out for a nice dinner and some wine, and I'll try to meet them for a drink somewhere before they call it an early night.

Around ten, we'll for sure go downtown. My crazy, fun friends are planning on hitting up the DJ'ed dance party at the Picador and the kids from the potluck party will be heading to the Dublin. Since my friend Alix is back visiting from Norway, I will try to find her somewhere as well. The nice thing about being single, is I don't have to worry about what anyone else does or doesn't want to do. I can go from one thing to the next or go home early or whatever. Don't think I'm not celebrating that kind of freedom tomorrow night either, because I am.

Whew! Yeah, I hope I make it home alive. I figure, I ended and began last year with a bang, and it went pretty well for me, I may as well follow that same plan for this year too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Whatever Happened to All This Season's Losers of the Year?

Me sitting between my neighbors at our block party in 2004.

Hey, here's a crutch I haven't used in a week or so. I'm going to steal a post from my old blog again. I wrote this in May of 2006. Now, I will take my leave and wash some dishes. Damn, I lead a glamorous life. Here you go:

I ran into my friends S. and J. at the store the other night. They're awesome and they live down the street from me. We had our usual neighborhood conversation about the tornado and how our houses were coming along afterward. Then J. asked me how my love life was to which I used my stock reply and said, "Imaginary."

J. who is quite happy with her girlfriend, S. told me that I should just give up on men and date women instead.

"You know, I've just never been sexually attracted to women, " I said.

"Really? Because I can't think of anything less attractive than a middle-aged man. So, what does it for you? Is it the bald head, the he-boobies, the back hair or th...

At that point I put my fingers in my ears, vigorously shook my head and started repeating my favorite mantra, "Watermelonwatermelonwatermelon..." until she stopped talking.

"Yeah, okay. I know," I said.

"Seriously, the other day I saw this gorgeous woman our age with this total putz of a guy and I felt bad for her because I knew that she just didn't have any other options."

Her point wasn't missed on me, but attraction, like love isn't logical. You can't help what you find interesting in people. After I turned 30, I found myself really attracted to balding men. I'm not sure if it was just one of those youngest child things like when I was a kid, I told myself I liked the chicken wing because I knew that I got last pick and that's what would be left and I would be happier if I liked it. I really didn't want to date anyone much younger than me (not that I haven't) and most guys my age were balding. So, despite the possibility of he-boobies and back hair, I do think many middle-aged men are attractive and I can't make myself a lesbian any more than a gay person can suddenly turn straight just because it upsets certain people's sensibilities.

And now, I will show some pretty pictures of clouds that have nothing whatsoever to do with he-boobies (although, I obviously think it's funny to write that word over and over). Coadster took these tonight just before the sun set:

Here's where I couldn't get the cloud photos off of my old blog and onto the new one. Sorry.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Gotta Have Some of Your Attention, Give It to Me

Here's me after I reprised Jodie Foster's role in the movie, Nell.

So, I'm still in putz mode and Stinky had friends hanging out at our house until after ten, and so I'm finally getting to the computer to blog and it is very late and I have to go back to work tomorrow and wah and wah and wah. Once again, that's my excuse for a lame blog post and I'm sticking to it. I spent tons of time with my girls the last four days and even had some time to myself. I also went out for a bit both nights of the weekend. I didn't really drink much, but judging from the above photo, I can make a huge ass out of myself completely sober. They say everyone is born with their own special gift...

Here is my Reader's Digest abridged version of my evening activities this week:

So, yeah. I saw some of my whacky friends on Friday night and had fun. We all called each other names like the big, fun dysfunctional family we are.

I got outdanced by an adorable two year old who also had better hosiery than I did. God, I hate competition.

I was so thankful that my friends made it home safely on the treacherous foggy, icy, snow covered roads we all had to contend with the last few days.

I saw some boys RAWK'ing on Saturday night at the Picador.

I tried very hard to avoid the pit, because the kids were all aggressively full of the Christmas spirits at this show.

I watched my friend plug his ears when I spoke to him. For some reason, I seem to inspire this reaction in a lot of people.

Once my friends played the human version of the Barrell of Monkeys game, I decided it was time to go home. I got a ride and skipped any after hours events both nights. In other words, I had a lot of fun, but still managed to be a good girl. Yea me!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

She Said There is No Reason and the Truth is Plain to See

So, I've kind of sucked at keeping up with my blog the last few days. Frankly, I haven't been doing anything all that exciting instead, I've just been cutting myself some slack and spending time with my girls as much as possible, watching movies, going to the mall to spend Christmas money and playing lots and lots of Rock Band. On Christmas night, the girls and I laughed for almost an hour straight making our Rock Band characters as deformed as possible. Yeah, we're pretty much all HUGE dorks in my family.

Anyway, Mr. B. canceled because he said his family Christmas got moved. It was actually better for me, since I've just really been in a lazy mode lately. It was nice not to have to worry about entertaining anyone. I went out for a bit last night and I'm still trying to figure out if I want to leave my house tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow what I decided.

I am going to buck up and do the Saturday Scavenger Hunt word tonight. Mr. Manuel chose white. Since it's been snowing on and off for a week and is snowing right now, I had no trouble coming up with a photo for it.

Happy weekend, and I'm going to try to be better about the whole blog thing here in the next week.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I found the Simple Life Ain't So Simple

All the cousins on that side of the family.

This will be another holiday mostly photo post. So, Christmas Eve, yeah. It was very hectic. I knew it would be, so I was trying to just go with it. Everyone was so squirrelly at work, I didn't know if we'd make it out alive. My co-worker, John was making me so crazy I had to remind him several times to take his meds. When he said he already had, I told him to take mine too.

I finally made it out of work and on to Ottumwa. I took a different route since the four lane was finally completed, and the roads were pretty clear.

I got to the shenanigans and everyone had already eaten, so I got my plate and watched the savage present opening festivities. As you can see, the dress-up clothes were a hit with the younger kids. I love it when they mixed and matched the Cinderella dress with the Storm Trooper helmet.

As you can imagine, none of us got tired of the Storm Trooper helmet and neither would you have. I'm sure of it.

I don't know if it was because they were full of the Christmas spirit, or if they were just nicer because they hadn't seen me for a day, but my girls actually posed for a photo...And nobody had bunny ears or a tongue sticking out. It was a Christmas miracle!

After a couple of hours, we all started getting sleepy and I still had to drive back, so we took our leave.

The obligatory holiday photo of my aunt's poor, overwhelmed pooch.

We did have a little Christmas drama on the way home. My gas light came on at one point. None of the gas stations were open, and when I went to get my credit card out, I realized I had left my purse at home. Crap! That also meant that I didn't have my driver's license or AAA card on me either. Double crap! We were in Lone Tree at this point which is only about 15 minutes from Iowa City, but my gas light had already gone off and I had no idea how far I had before we were going to be stuck.

I called my sister in order to have an adult to spaz to and she was awesomely reassuring. She checked her computer to see how many miles away we were from home and thought we could make it. We were white knuckling it the whole way back, but the first gas station we found in Iowa City was open and happy to exchange cash for fuel. It was another Christmas miracle!

As we drove up to our house, we saw a cop car in the driveway. I'd have been a little more worried, if the same thing hadn't happened a few days before. There must be some kind of trouble going on in the duplex next to ours, because the cops keep going over there for some reason. Anyway, I was too tired to worry about it.

Christmas was as mellow as Christmas Eve was not, but I'll get into that tomorrow. I hope your Christmas was everything you wanted.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fill My Heart With Song

Here is a bench downtown after a snow storm.

Well, kids. I'm still insanely busy, but I have just one more day before I can finally relax. I can handle one more crazy day, can't I?

My sister took my girls to Ottumwa today, so I've been flying solo all night. I've been running around so much, I didn't have time to notice how weird it is to go an entire day without seeing my daughters. That doesn't happen very often in my world.

I'll be very surprised if I have time to post tomorrow. I have to work my normal shift, and if the weather isn't too scary, I'm planning on driving down South tomorrow. I'm just staying for dinner and gift exchange and then we'll be driving back to Iowa City that night.

Christmas day is the girls' dad's birthday. I tried to get him to give me some kind of schedule for when he wanted the girls, but he must not have been sure what he was doing. So, I figure they'll open their gifts from Santa. (yes, he still comes to our house). Then see if their dad wants them for a while. He normally does something with his friends in the evening, so I'm planning on having dinner with the girls. I think I'll make a Christmas lasagna for dinner instead of Chinese take-out. We've had a lot of rice and veggies lately. It's not traditional for either their Irish or their Mexican side, but I didn't think boiled cabbage enchiladas sounded very good.

I don't have any real plans for those four days. Mr. B. said he might try to come up on Friday for a little bit, but I don't count on that. He's supposed to call me tomorrow or Thursday and let me know. I figure, if he shows, great. I'm always happy to see him, but if he doesn't, I have plenty of resting, relaxing, running, and cleaning to do. I'll just have more time for myself.

So, to all of you, no matter what you're celebrating, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the fact that there is no spiritual force that exists, or the eventual return of your space ship to take you back where you came from, I hope you do it balls out...And I mean that with all reverence.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Well How Can You Say You Will When You Won't?

Dai reading from "A Child's Christmas in Wales". I forgot my real camera and had to take it with my phone.

I am officially the lamest blogger ever. I figured I'd go running at the rec building tonight and then come home and write a more thoughtful blog post than I have lately, but then that didn't happen, did it?

I texted my friend K. earlier to see if she wanted to go with me to work-out. She said she wouldn't be able to, but she was going to The Sanctuary for the Dylan Thomas reading and was I interested in joining her and her boyfriend. I thought about it, and decided I was.

I got there and it said it was sold-out. Since the Welsh guy giving the reading is married to a good friend of mine, I went in anyway, and sat with some people I worked with back in the eighties and it was all very nice. I got carded when I went to buy my one pint of very delicious wheat beer, so the night couldn't get much better.

K. and her boyfriend decided they weren't going to try and squeeze in. She texted me that they were at the Mill. I mingled for a few minutes after the reading, and then drove over to K.'s boyfriend's house, where they went after they fell into their food comas. I only stayed an hour and then went home.

So, obviously, I didn't get around to writing a thoughtful post tonight. Maybe that will happen tomorrow. Until that time, I have a question for you: Is it just me, or do other people get super excited about kicking the snow clumps out of the tire wells of their cars in the Winter?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You've Done About All One Kid Can Do In One Day

Okay, kids. This weekend was INSANE. I'm so glad I took Friday night as my night of resting and watching movies, because I didn't do anything but run around like a chicken with my head cut off for the rest of the weekend. My friend G. even called me at one point to see if I wanted to meet some girls at The Dublin, but I had to decline. So, I'm exhausted and this will mostly be a photo post. I will also get back to reading blogs and hopefully, emailing all the people I owe emails to sometime this week.

At nine o'clock on Saturday morning, Coadster and I went to Stinky's basketball game. Her team pretty much sucks, and I say that with all the love in my heart for her. You know it's bad when you get excited that the other team only has twice as many points as yours.

After the game, I had to break down and go to the mall. I hadn't bought even one Christmas present, and it was about damn time. Plus, Coadster volunteered to wrap presents for Habitat for Humanity, so I had to drive to the mall in the middle of all that snowfall anyway. We decided to break up the shopping by hiding in the movie theater for a bit. We watched Seven Pounds, but I won't tell you anything about it, so as not to spoil anything for you.

Later that evening, I went to the Mill to my friend B. and A.'s anniversary party. It was a great time.

There were lots of musicians and even kid wrestling. Here is B. and A.'s daughter getting wrestled down by two famous local folks singer's adopted daughter. PAAAAR - TYYYY!

I didn't stay long, because Stinky was at my house having a sleepover with a couple of her friends. I was there long enough to hang with some great, fun women and have exactly two beers. Once again - PAAAAR - TYYYYY!

The happy couple seemed to have a lot of fun and find a way to make some money out of the deal too.

Today was more running and driving girls places, and watching the Steelers lose and now I'm going to pass-out. I can't wait to go to work tomorrow, so I can get some rest. Jeesh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Always Love, Hate Will Get You Every Time

So, this week's Saturday Scavenger Hunt word was chosen by LauraB., at The Only One I Got blog. She chose, Love. As I think we all should. With as many things in the world that annoy me, there are millions more that I love. Since, I'm such a sap and a spaz, I love a TON of things.

Since I don't have a photo of cheese fries, I thought I'd put up a pic of the next best thing...My family. No, my family always comes before cheese fries...Unless I'm really hungry and my kids are being super annoying. The first is a pic of my girls with their cousins from Thanksgiving weekend.

I'm also in love with all my friends. Look at them. How could you not be?

And if I can dance around like a big fat dork with my friends, I love them even more.

I'm sure I don't need to remind you, but I'm a HUGE tree hugger and I love all different types of outdoorsy shit.

Last but not least, I love my town. Even when it's covered in ice and dirty snow, it's still adorable.

There. That should be enough of that. I suppose if I posted anymore mushy, gushy, sweet, sweet love, you all would need a nice shot of insulin.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ice is Back With My Brand New Invention

Here is a picture of Santa with a nosebleed standing next to a can of PBR. Merry Christmas, everybody!

So, I was walking home from work tonight. The ice storm hadn't started yet, but it was about an hour away. It was cold, and I was trying to rationalize to my conscience why I didn't have to run. Who knew when the storm would start, I'd just hate to get caught out in it and plus, it was cold out, that could make me sick again, couldn't it? I had talked myself out of it, when I entered my house and saw Stinky getting ready to run. Shit. My conscience instantly stopped buying my lame excuses and kicked my ass out the door to go running after all.

When I got back Stinky helped me make dinner. She had this idea, she told me last weekend, for something to make this week. It would be like stir-fry kind of but made with a little garlic butter and white wine instead. She thought it would be good served over some wild rice. So, that's what we made and it was damn fine, let me tell you. The best part was, that all I had to do was cut the chicken. Stinky wanted to do everything else, and she cleaned up. Man, I could get used to that.

Now, on to the weekend. I've been working hard all week after work, so that I could give myself a lame-ass Friday night. My house is clean, my tree is up and I have a few beers in the fridge. If we don't lose our electricity with the ice storm, I'm planning on sitting on my ass in my lounge pants and watching movies. If we do lose our electricity, I have many large flashlights with which to read books. Either way, I'll be hibernating.

If I go out at all this weekend, it might be for an hour on Saturday night. My friend Bob and some other people are playing more roots kind of music at The Mill to celebrate the solstice, which just happens to be his and his wife's anniversary. So, even though I'd like to just stay home, I also want to help them celebrate.

Okay, kids. What are your plans for the weekends?...You know, as long as your power doesn't go out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Have Seen Your Face and It's Too Much for Me Today

Here is Stinky standing in between two friends and dressed as an elf for a local clothing store's promotion.

Tonight I was a good girl. I ran outside, picked Stinky up from basketball practice and then cleaned the hell out of my kitchen. Since I want to continue to behave and get to bed before midnight tonight for a change, I thought I'd give you this little post from December of 2005 on my old blog. It's a heartwarming tale of a sledding adventure with me and Stinky:

Yesterday Stinky and I went sledding at Hickory Hill Park. The hill was packed with a lot of kids from Stinky's school and since we got there later in the day, according to the laws of sled hill seniority, we had to hang out on the bad side of the hill. What makes that side of the hill so bad is that there is this odd looking man hole cover thing that rises almost a foot out of the ground in the middle of the field at the bottom of the hill. It's pretty dangerous and I wish they would surround it with hay bails or something but instead, they just tried to mark it with a tall rusty pole that someone painted green.

Stinky and I got on the sled (she was in the back and I was in the front) and scootched ourselves with our hands and feet far enough off the top of the hill so the sled could start zipping down unaided. We were riding one of those inflatable sleds that look kind of like an inner tube but are impossible to steer. Of course, we plowed right into the pole and slammed into the manhole cover thing. Stinky had the foresight to slip back behind the sled before we hit it, but I held on, thinking it might give me some cushion. Once I hit the manhole cover, I was propelled upside down and hit the ground on my head, neck and shoulder and then the whole right side of my body slammed down after.

There was a couple cross-country skiing right by there when we crashed. The woman stopped and asked me if I was okay. I think I said something like, "Huh? Oh yeah. Um, I think I hit my head." Then she started getting on my shit about the pole and how I needed to put it back in the ground so that no one else made the same mistake. Yeah, even if I had been together enough, I wouldn't have worried about it. The problem has never been that people can't see the manhole cover, it was always more that it's hard to steer around it. I told her that the pole caused more pain than the manhole cover did. Then she got all exasperated and put down her ski poles.

"I guess, I'll just have to do it then." She tried, but of course the ground was frozen and it wouldn't work and then she gave me a dirty look. Whatever. I already told her I hit my head, if she wanted to judge me for being stupid and lame, she was going to have to get at the back of a long, long line.

I could tell Stinky was really worried about me so I told her I was fine but that we had to go home. Then halfway back up the hill, I started to cry. I have no idea why, I wasn't in that much pain. I think I may have been startled more than anything. Stinky has hardly ever seen me cry so that worried her even more and I felt like shit for making her worry. Plus, I was really embarrassed because I was crying and it was so cold that all the tears and snot froze and I had that hideous glazed doughnut face.

Because of the way the trails were laid out, as we were nearing the end of the woods, we crossed paths with the bitchy, judgmental woman again. She gave me one of those, overly concerned, condescendingly, pitying looks and I was so glad I didn't have tourettes because in my head I was screaming, "Quit friggin', frickin', fucking looking at me!"

We got home and I was fine. I made an appointment to see my chiropractor and I have some impressive bruises, but I didn't break anything. I do feel like it might be a smart time to start hibernating, though.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It Makes You Feel Happy Like an Old Time Movie

Our cute, chubby tree.

I'm going to try to make this short tonight. It's another one of those, it's late and I'm tired posts.

You know how sometimes you just get into the holiday spirit? It's not like you have any money, or that you still don't have an attitude about everything in general, but you're actually feeling it? That's how I got tonight. I walked home with the snow hitting my face and shoveled that same snow for about a half an hour. Somewhere during that, I had this weird feeling that things were exactly as they should be. It's a week before Christmas. It should be snowing. I should be shoveling it. I almost felt like defying the elements and running outside too, but then I remembered that not everyone comes home from work and cleans their sidewalks, so a jog around town could be a little uncomfortable.

I took my new found holiday appreciation to a restaurant and splurged on inexpensive take-out sushi for me and the girls (if you take it out, you don't have to waste money on drinks or a real tip). The girls were most appreciative. The only problem, is that I gorged myself and had big expanded rice belly, so I had to take a power nap before I could start getting the tree going.

The ornament Coadster made me in second grade.

Our tree this year is short and squat. Both the girls have used the word "cute" to describe it several times now, but it is fitting.

When I first split with my ex, I was broker than broke. I had a tree that year, but I could only afford to buy one cheap box of red ornaments. Every year since then, I've let the girls pick out one ornament a year for me to buy. Those along with the ones people have given us, and the others my daughters made have since taken over our tree. We don't even have room for the boring red ones anymore. My favorite one is in the photograph above. It's made from plaster, or clay and weighs about 100 pounds, and looks like Mr Bill on acid. Coadster made it in second grade and I'm sure I'll hang it on my tree every year until somebody steals it from me at my nursing home and finally throws it away.

Okay, this is me being a sorry, mushy sap. It's kind of sick, but I figure I gotsta go with it when I'm having these holiday spirit pangs. Don't worry, I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be back to my old self, swearing in front of young children, and kicking puppies.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who Needs to Think When Your Feet Just Go?

I missed this event on Friday night on purpose. An evening with Ashton Kutcher sounds like the most vapid, shallow night I can imagine. Word on the street was that he and Demi were at the Hawkeye men's basketball game on Friday too. Yawn.

So, kids. This weekend started out so nice and mellow, but got crazier and crazier as it progressed. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to tell you the weirdest thing that happened today, but tonight, we'll just stick to Saturday, shall we?

On Saturday night, I tried to cram as many social experiences in as possible. My goal is to stay at home as much as I can in the next couple of weeks, and so I thought I'd get some serious bang for my social event buck.

First, I hit the What a Load of Craft fair at The Picador. It was everything I hoped it would be. When I arrived, a" making stuffed Christmassy items" craft death match was just beginning. I didn't stay for the outcome, but I did hear the emcee giving one of the girls shit by asking her if she was making a Christmas potato. She told him it was supposed to be a bunny. Oops.

There were some extremely non-seasonal, but totally cool drawings on sale.

And some hipster boys selling them.

Even Santa and his reindeer had attitudes. How punk rock is that?

I left the Picador and headed down to the Dublin to meet my friends there.

Most importantly, my girl crush was in town, and even though she had a cold, she was all ready for some dance party action.

Judging from this photo, I think the dance party delivered... So many bad dance faces, so little time.

At some point, we all got tired and were sitting around talking, when I got a text from my friend Lyd. I warned some of the people I was sitting with, that my crazy but totally hot friends were on their way down. One of the guys asked, "So, are they really crazy?" I told him yes, but in a good way. Then he asked, "And are they really hot?" I assured him they were and he said, "Awesome, because that's my favorite combination."

The girls blew in and instantly started taking photos of everyone's cleavage. It was crazy how all the sudden, men I didn't even know were in the bar, appeared and asked to be the photographer. My friend James told me that men can actually smell cleavage, so it's not impossible that they came in from off the street right then.

After the bar closed, my hot crazy friends kidnapped me and took me down to where the younger crowd bars were. Their plan was to all dance down there, just to see what kind of reaction we would get. We stood up on one of the plant holder thingy's but didn't really dance. Apparently, we didn't need to. Once again, a group of guys appeared out of nowhere. One of them said he'd take his shirt off if we would. I told him to go ahead and we'd see. He did, and I took this photo. He asked to see it and fell in love with his own reflection. He was so enamored that he forgot to try to get us to take our shirts off. I love it when narcissism works to my advantage.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Such Spirit Through the Year

Hey, what do you know? I'm finally doing the Saturday Scavenger hunt today. Mrs. Big Hairy Woman of The Northern Sky Chronicles blog, chose the word merry this week.

So, what's merrier (more merry?) than Santa conducting a tuba orchestra with a candy cane playing Christmas music? Uh, I can't think of much. These guys played during my lunch. It was great, but it was super cold outside yesterday, so I stayed long enough to hear them play the Chipmunks song and one other, before I had to go back inside.

Last night made me pretty damn merry too. I stayed home with Coadster and watched movies all night. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Tonight my girl crush is supposed to breeze into town and I'm thinking I'll stop by the What a Load of Craft thingy at The Picador. They have craft death matches and it's always fun to watch heavily tattooed people try to out-knit each other or glue more shit on a wreath in a designated time. Come to think of it, it's downright merry.