rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
I'm grateful to have been off work for the last weekend before Christmas. I know all the stores were madhouses this weekend. It was still a pretty busy weekend for me, though. On Saturday, I went to the bookstore and browsed through Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. As much as I love the musical (ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT!), I'd never read the novel before, and it's so massive that I'm amazed anyone anywhere ever actually read the whole thing. I was glad to see that the musical made some much-needed changes and improvements. The book is packed with confusing subplots, pointless extra characters, even more unrealistic coincidences than the musical, and worst of all, a showdown between Valjean and Marius (who despise each other in the book!) fighting for "ownership" of Cosette. Ugh!

This afternoon, "Briana" and I went ice-skating at a very swanky local hotel who turned their swimming pool into an ice-skating rink for the winter (Big Brothers Big Sisters had given us a coupon to the place). I had fun, but once again, I'm not sure Briana did. She was excited on the way there, but once on the ice, she got very hesitant and nervous. She probably spent more time sitting and watching everyone else than she did skating. She's not very eager to try new things or go new places, and I don't know what to do about that. She literally only ever wants to do the same thing (walk the mall). We've now been matched for six months, half of the year that BBBS asks of you. I feel bad saying this, but I'm glad we're halfway done. God help me get through the next six months.

In other news, a few years ago, as part of a French project, I recorded an interview with Grandma talking about her early life and speaking Cajun French. Over the past week, I converted the cassette tape into a digital music file, spliced it into tracks in iTunes, and burned them onto CDs to give out as Christmas gifts. After ice-skating, I drove out to my cousin's place to give one to him, then to CJ & Company's, then to Aunt Carla's. I had wrapped Aunt Carla's in paper and ribbon and asked her to wait until Christmas to open it, but Adam opened his big mouth and told her what it was, and she started bawling. I just about socked him. It was exhausting to run all those errands, but I'm glad I could give my relatives a preservation of Grandma talking, laughing, and describing her life in her own words. It's a lot more meaningful than most Christmas gifts. And I got junk food and fresh, home-grown lemons out of it -- yum!

P.S. Just pre-ordered our tickets to Les Miserables on December 25th!
rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)
A conversation I had with Adam while I was over at Mom's house this evening...

Adam: "You know, I really hate Father's Day. You see all these signs and stuff for it, and you know it's an important day for most families, but for you, it doesn't matter at all. It's just another day." [Is he just realizing this now? Our dad has been dead for nigh-on eight years!]

Me: "Dude, you're telling me this? I don't celebrate Christmas, remember?"

Adam: "Oh, yeah."

rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Rebecca didn't get to see the Avenue of Flags on Memorial Day, but I did go by Mom's house for Adam's birthday. Can you say free cake? He got a cookie cake, as always, with a sailboat on it. Last year, he asked for a dragon, but they put a dinosaur on it instead, and it looked like a five-year-old's birthday cake. He said that before he settled on a sailboat, he considered asking for a forest scene -- or as he put it, "a sylvan glen." What the hell? Who talks like that? It's like he lives in some other world.

Neither Sara nor I got him a gift because really, what's the point? He just turned 25, and he's never worked a day in his life. He's never paid for rent, bills, gas, groceries, etc. He probably never will until he's 30, at least, if ever. But I should probably stop before I start to sound bitter.

While leaving the apartment the other day, I managed to drop my camera. Down the stairs! It was one of those moments when time seemed to slow down. I could see the camera hit on every step and bounce high into the air in between. The SD and batteries came flying out, but I picked them up and popped them back in. The case got pretty banged-up, but I tried to patch it up with tape. I think it still works, but it probably won't for much longer, and it looks more ghetto than ever! Time to invest in a new camera. On the plus side, the quality on this one was so poor that I think any other camera I get would be better.

And in other news, just when I thought the movie selection in the breakroom at work couldn't get any worse, today I walked in to see Dragonball: Evolution. Ugh! As an aside, I used to be quite a fan of the Dragonball Z animated series back in the day. Thank goodness I didn't know fanfiction existed back then, or I probably would've written stories for it! Just thinking about it makes me want to hit the delete key.
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Well, I didn't cry at the visitation, the rosary, the funeral, or the graveside service for Grandma. I just got home from Shabbat services at the temple, changed into my PJs, and now I'm sitting here crying. I know even if I live to be as old as Methuselah, I will never meet a nicer lady, a better cook, or a person who loves our family so much, in spite of all our bitchiness and dysfunctionality. She was the only grandparent I ever knew. And I might just waste away without her food! Some random thoughts:

~ At the rosary service, a relative asked me why I wasn't praying the rosary. I wasn't offended at all, just puzzled, because said relative knows I converted to Judaism, and I really don't think she's so ignorant about Judaism as to expect a Jew to pray Catholic prayers. Oh, well.

~ Athena had the great idea for us to both wear
purple, Grandma favorite color, to her funeral. I guess the silver lining in this situation was all the food and getting to see Athena. I miss her so much when she's away. Today she even came to services at the temple with me.

~ We tried to cut back on the number of cars in our funeral procession (I hate stopping for funeral processions, especially long ones), so a bunch of us piled into Aunt Connie's car. Seriously, it was as packed as a clown car, and Olivia said, "We're like Mexicans making a run for the border!" One car didn't stop for us, and Athena yelled, "If you don't stop, our grandma will haunt you!" Me: "Yeah, for the rest of your life, whenever you throw anything away, you'll hear a voice saying, 'Don't throw that out, it's still good!'"

~ I'm so cheap, it took Grandma's death for me to buy new batteries for my cameras! (I haven't had new ones since 2008, and those were a gift. I just kept recharing them.) I like taking photos at inappropriate times, so I bought my camera to the graveside service. I got a few good photos, including one of Eva looking at Grandma's urn that's really pretty.

~ We took Grandma's urn right up to the cemetery plot, put it in the ground, and then we all filed by and dropped in a handful of dirt. It was kinda neat - I'd never done that before.

~ No one could deny that Grandma was the glue that held our family together. My biggest fear is that with her dead, I'll become a stranger to my own relatives, like one member of my already family is.

On the bright side, 2012 can only get better from here on out, right? I mean, it HAS to!
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Even when I was a kid, Christmas Day always felt kinda like a let-down. (When I was really young, it was the one day a year that Mom dragged us kids to church, before she gave up on trying to make Catholics out of us and just let us be heathens.) I always preferred Christmas Eve, where the focus going to Grandma's house and seeing all the relatives, not getting presents. This year was no exception.

On Christmas Eve, I spent the afternoon and evening first at Grandma's house, then with JC & Co. There were the usual Christmas Eve dishes: gumbo with hard-boiled eggs and potato salad, and pizza for Rebecca folks who don't like gumbo. (I know, I know, I'm a bad Cajun!) I did give and get a few small gifts to/from the extended family. I gave Athena one of my cute little dreidels -- because she's one of my few relatives who shows any interest in Jew stuff -- and ended up teaching her whole family how to play it! I had to explain to Athena which Hebrew letters meant almost every time we spun the dreidel! Christmas Eve doesn't get better than playing dreidel with Mormons.

Their family opened their presents while I was there, and Eva is still young enough that Christmas presents are a huge deal for her. Her whole face LIT UP when she unwrapped her swanky new electric keyboard, and she immediately played "Don't Stop Believin'" for all of us. She is really an awesome piano player. I got her a pack of glittery ink pens that she also seemed excited about.

I broke my three-year tradition of attending Midnight Mass at the Catholic cathedral, but I was so tired from the long day that I completely forgot and went to bed early. Around 11:30, I sat up in bed and thought, "Hey, I could still make the Midnight Mass," but I was already in bed, and the whether outside was very cold, wet, and windy! Besides, is there really a comfortable place for a now-officially Jewish girl at a Midnight Mass?

Today, Sara and I slept in and slept in and slept in. We have really hardly seen each other all week because our work and sleep schedules were so crazy. I got a few random presents that I don't know why my family thought I wanted -- am I really that hard to buy for? -- and some I really liked. Sara got me Flight of the Reindeer, a children's book I'd wanted about how reindeer really fly (by contrast, I got her Stephen King's The Stand: Complete and Uncut); a nice new Torah with commentary; and...


PURPLE AB SHOES!!!
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
On Monday night, Sable and I slept over at JC & Co's so Eva wouldn't have to stay home alone (her dad was working nights, and her mom was spending the night with Grandma, who can't be left alone anymore). I love them and visiting their house, so I was happy to do it. I'm not sure if Sable was, though; in all the years I've had him, I'd never brought him to their house before, and he doesn't adapt well to strange places in his old age. He and their sweet puppy Eleanor didn't know what to make of each other, but Sable enjoyed sniffing around their back yard so much that I had trouble bringing him back inside!

I got some bad news about Grandma before we left -- she's in hospice care now, and the doctor thinks she has about three months left. It hasn't really sunk in yet. And I'm not gonna lie, the first thing I thought about was when the doctor said that Aunt Carolyn had about six months left, and she died a few weeks later. We visited Grandma later that evening, and it was painfully uncomfortable. I wish I could do more for that poor, sweet old lady.

To distract myself from that -- NCIS! Yesterday's was our first new episode in a while, but Rebecca hasn't taken a break from her notes. I decided that for each week we don't get a new episode, I'll go back and rewatch an old one. I started at the beginning of Season 8. I'm not sure if I'll go back and write reviews for every old episode -- I'd have to rewatch close to 200! -- but I do wish I had started writing these reviews sooner.

Anyway, as for last night's episode. Perhaps because I was already so depressed going in, it didn't thrill me. NCIS does not have a good history with Christmas episodes.


Humbug! Notes on episode 9x11 "Newborn King" )
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
Lately we've been having our air conditioner on during the day and our heater on at night. Last night, I woke up twice -- once to crank the heater up because I was cold, then again to turn it down and open a window because I was so hot! Ugh! But November is always pretty up-and-down in Louisiana, so I guess I should be used to it.

Tomorrow is my last day of freedom before heading back to work, and ugh, I really cannot bear the thought of going back to the salt mines on Monday. Here's a little recap of my staycation:

On Thursday night, we all got together for lasagna dinner at Grandma's new house. Her doctor has diagnosed her with spinal stenosis (I think) and she's had to start walking with a cane. After that, Sara and I stayed out late visiting with Athena. I'm so glad I got to see her, because the last time she was in town, I had to work and hardly got to see her at all.

On Friday, I spent most of the day baking, frosting, and decorating about fifty cupcakes while watching a Criminal Minds marathon, pausing only to bike to the grocery store for more muffin cups. Then I got dressed up, did my hair in a new style that actually looked okay, and took them all to temple, where we were having ... a bar mitzvah! We had a bat mitzvah at our temple back in May, but I didn't go for a few reasons. (I had to work, I wasn't a Jew yet, and I didn't really know the family. This family has been super-nice and welcoming to me.) The bar mitzvah boy did so well -- like I would know the difference if he screwed up -- and the reception afterwards was delicious! Unfortunately, my cupcakes were not as popular as I'd hoped. Oh, well.

Today I went to Torah study in the morning (talmud torah: the mitzvah of Jewish learning, and the single most important mitzvot of them all), ran some errands in the afternoon, and saw a local theater production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" that I just got back from (zikaron: the mitzvah of remembrance). I've always known a lot about Anne Frank -- I did three school projects on her back in middle school -- but I was unprepared for how much seeing the play would effect me. Maybe because I'm Jewish now. Maybe because seeing people act it out right in front of me made it so much more real than the book and movies. Either way, I was bawling through the last two scenes, and I do not cry easily -- unlike my mom, who was suspiciously dry-eyed the entire time. It was almost like watching a horror move, only scarier because you know what's coming, and you know that it all really happened.

It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank
By Linda Pastan
{I bought Good Poems for Hard Times on our last trip to Houston and opened it at random for the first time to this poem.}

It is raining on the house
of Anne Frank
and on the tourists
herded together under the shadow
of their umbrellas,
on the perfectly silent
tourists who would rather be
somewhere else
but who wait here on stairs
so steep they must rise
to some occasion
high in the empty loft,
in the quaint toilet,
in the skeleton
of a kitchen
or on the map --
each of its arrows
a barb of wire --
with all the dates, the expulsions,
the forbidding shapes
of continents.
And across Amsterdam it is raining
on the Van Gogh Museum
where we will hurry next
to see how someone else
could find the pure
center of light
within the dark circle
of demons.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)

By some miracle, junk-food-loving Rebecca got tired of Little Caesar's greasy pizzas today and got lunch from Subway instead. The sandwich artist behind the counter recognized me as Adam's sister! Actually, he just asked me if I had a brother with really long hair who ate sandwiches with lots of mustard and onions on them. (Adam goes to Subway all time and gets foot-longs with big piles of spinach, onions, cheese, and mustard. Blegh. I almost can't be in the same room when he eats them.)

This means that the guy at Subway, the lady at the sno-cone stand, and one of my coworkers have all pegged us as siblings without ever seeing us together. What the hell? Do I really look that much like Adam? *depressed sigh*

THREE DAYS LEFT until Baton Rouge, interview with the beit din, having a mikvah, and officially becoming Jewish. I'm so nervous, and it doesn't help my nerves that work has been stressful as hell lately. And it doesn't help work that people have been quitting/calling in like crazy during Back-to-School, which is by far our busiest time of the year! I had to work late again today. But I am trying to stay focused and just get through the next two weeks. Then it will be over, and fall, cool weather, and Season 9 of NCIS will be right around the corner.
 
This is a parody of The Empire Strikes Back that I wrote a while ago. I cast Jacob (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #3) as Obi-Wan Kenobi because he has been such a big support to me. Our rabbi is Yoda [although he is not quite as old], and yours truly is Luke Skywalker.

Rabbi W: Why wish you become Jew? Hm?
Rebecca: Mostly because I hear there's money in it, I guess.
Rabbi W: I cannot convert her. The girl has no patience.
Jacob: She will learn patience. Was I any different when you converted me?
Rabbi W: Hm... no, she is not ready.
Rebecca: Jacob! I am ready! I can be a Jew! Jacob! Jacob, tell him I'm r -
Rabbi W: Ready, are you? What know you ready? For eight hundred years have I converted gentiles. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be converted. A Jew must have the deepest committment, the most serious mind. Jew gold. Ha. Bagels and lox. Ha. A Jew craves not these things. You are reckless.
Jacob: So was I, if you remember.
Rabbi W: She is too old. Yes, too old to begin converting.
Rebecca: But I've learned so much.
Rabbi W: Will she finish what she begins?
Rebecca: I won't go off the derech. I'm not afraid.
Rabbi W: You will be. You will be.

George Lucas's Version Under the Cut )



A few final things:
     ~ A few days ago, Sara was playing the song "Most Bamboozling Thing" (from The Sword in the Stone) on the computer and I tweaked the lyrics and sang, "They're wasting time resisting / They'll find the more they do / The more I'll keep insisting / That I have got to be a Jew!" Sara just about died laughing.
     ~ My rabbi called me yesterday to discuss a few more details about what'll happen in Baton Rouge. "Don't be nervous," he said. And later, "And bring a bath towel." Yeah, that helped. My Jewish grandparents are giving me and another lady who's converting a ride there.
     ~ The last time I saw my bad-ass Cajun grandma, I said as I was leaving her house, "Nex time you see me, I'll be Jewish!" Grandma: "That's all right, that's fine."

rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)

Warning: This is a long post. Today has left me with a lot of things to blog about. Yes, some are completely shallow (holy cow, the Xavier/Magneto slashiness in First Class!) but some are more serious (I'm closer to becoming Jewish than ever!).

I woke up early this morning for Torah study at the temple. I almost overslept and missed it, and the weekly parsha was a bit boring, but I'm so glad I went. Afterwards, Diane (a lady at the temple who's also working towards becoming Jewish) and I had a real official meeting with the rabbi about converting. We even got to use the rabbi's office, rather than a randomly-selected corner in the social hall, which is where all our previous meetings have been. I said as I was entering, "Ooh, I've never been in the rabbi's office before." Rabbi W: "Me neither!"

I take back everything I said about Rabbi W here. Today we talked for a long time, and I got a lot of the concrete answers about converting that I'd been looking for. I even got my own copy of our prayerbook! Diane works for the temple, and she gave me an old "dog-eared" one that isn't used in services anymore. But the rabbi did recommend me a book called Basic Judaism, and suggest I start picking out a Hebrew name. 1) Um, Rabbi, aren't I beyond the basics yet? 2) I already have a Hebrew name!

Afterwards, I went to Grandma's house to do my laundry, eat lunch, play in her sprinkler water her garden, and clear out some of her spare rooms in preparation for her move. Adam and I packed up several boxes of dead books (mostly romance novels that had been Aunt Carolyn's, and mind-numbingly boring stuff that had been Dad's). It was kinda depressing, because so many of the books were typical Dad, and most of them had inscriptions like To Jake, from Steve, Christmas 1979. Apparently he never got anything but books as gifts. And I still hate the fact that Grandma is moving.

After that, Adam, Eva, Ben (that's right, Ben) and I all piled into Muse Watson and went to the mall to see X-Men: First Class. On the drive there, I remembered some study I read about how the more passengers you have in your car, the greater your chance of having an accident. I felt it, and the fact that I'm still getting over that damned car crash didn't help. I'd never driven with that many people before, traffic was heavy, and we were on a busy street. And I love Eva to death, but she's at that age where many things elicit a loud "Oh my gosh!" or a long laugh from her. (Hmm, maybe now I know how Sara feels.) I was very relieved when I finally got us all to the theater in one piece.

Anyway, about the actual movie. Spoiler Alert! In one word — awesome. No, amazing. No, epic. Even Eva, who's in no way familiar with the X-Men franchise, was blown away. I've had such high hopes for this movie ever since I watched the trailer, and I was not disappointed. Xavier and Magneto were both perfectly written and acted, and I was surprised by now much the movie made me care about the rest of the team too. (We barely knew Darwin, but his death? Just devastating.) As a rule, I never cry at movies, but this one actually made me come close. I've always loved Xavier and Magneto's relationship, and it was sad seeing them bond immediately, and knowing where they would end up later. Especially when Magneto flashed back to his mother lighting the Hanukkah candles, and he and Xavier both started crying.

On a somewhat similar note, on the way there, we were all talking about who our favorite X-Men character was, and I, of course, said mine was Magneto. Ben muttered (because he never talks, he only mutters) something like, "Yeah, because he's a Jew."

Hmph.

No, because he's a charming, witty, sophisticated, and all-around bad-ass villain, and he's been my favorite character ever since I saw the original X-Men movie in theaters (and I saw it in theaters three times) over ten years ago! (And holy crap, does saying that make me feel old.) And besides, I think any X-Men fan would agree that Magneto is "Jewish" only in the most secular sense of the word. It irked me, which made not seem to make sense, since Sara has made much worse comments — and offered to throw me in an oven — but the simple fact is that I'm okay with it from her but not from him (or anyone else). With Sara, I know she's joking. Ben can be, and often is, a jerk.

But I can't complain about anything today. There's a beautiful song called "You Shall Be a Blessing" by the recently-deceased Debbie Friedman (who composed a lot of beautiful Jewish songs) that was performed at services last night. These lyrics have been running through my head all day: L'chi lach [rise up and go] to a place that I will show you / L'chi lach to a land you do not know of. You can hear it, not the best version but the only one I could find, here.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
when they pass around the Green Glop and the pecan pie.

The above is a slightly tweaked line from "Sleigh Ride," one of the few Christmas songs I like -- and one of the many I will soon be tired of, since one local radio station is already playing nothing but Christmas music! Ugh!

As soon as I woke up today, Sara and I sprinkled French-fried onions over the green bean casseroles (I do that last, so the onions will stay crispy) and headed over to Grandma's. After eating, we drew names for Secret Santa at Christmas, and then Uncle John took Eva to the parking lot across the street and let her drive his truck. She drove into the safeguard, knocked the front bumper loose, and was very upset until her mom said, "Oh Lord, she crashed into that yellow bar," and Grandma replied, without missing a beat, "Well, who else crashed into that yellow bar when she was learning to drive, Connie? And you thought your father would never find out, but of course it was his car."

When we left, Grandma loaded us down with all the leftovers we could carry, and she would've given us something else, but I told her I'd come back tomorrow for it. Typing this now, I don't remember at all what I'm supposed to be going back for. I was dazed from all the eating and talking, but we went to Mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner with her. We watched Beauty and the Beast on TV, which was fitting because Sara wore her shirt with Jerry Orbach's face on it (she said he's what she's thankful for). She fell asleep on the couch, and I left her there and came home to walk Sable. He'd been by himself all day, and I felt bad about leaving him alone on Thanksgiving. It was pouring when I left Mom's and when I woke up this morning, but thankfully, most of the day inbetween was sunny. And windy! When we were all sitting on Grandma's front porch, we practically had to shout to make ourselves heard over the wind.

As for me, I'm thankful 1) that I don't have to work tomorrow morning, and 2) that Sable is still with us. I was so busy preparing for Thanksgiving, I totally forgot that November 23 was the 14-year anniversary of the day we got him.

A girl and her dog
At the time of posting, this said: Rebecca got Sable 14 years & 2 days ago.
I love that puppy.

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

Today is my dad's six-year deathiversary. (It's also the two-year anniversary of the day I started at my current job. Yes, I was hired on my dad's deathiversary. Otherwise I probably wouldn't remember what day I started there.) I spent the afternoon with Grandma et. al., eating spaghetti. Surprisingly, she did not bring up Dad once, which I'm thankful for, because she almost certainly would've started crying and carrying on. Then I would've yelled at her, "In our family, we don't run around cryin' and actin' sad! We just dust our shoulders off and keep on movin'!" Just kidding.

I don't usually mark this day in any way, but this year, for some reason, I felt compelled to Do Something. So I listed to "In the Living Years." Yeah. That was a mistake.

Two things: Whenever I see a really boring book or a really disgusting food, I usually think, "That's something Dad would've liked." What a legacy to have. But he read the most boring books you can possibly imagine, and he ate anything, no matter how weird or gross. I never saw him come across food he didn't like, although he claimed there were some.

It occured to me as I was bike riding earlier, Dad probably died at the most beautiful time of year.

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

On Friday night, Sara and I pulled out the sleeper sofa and watched Gigi, me for the first time. I loved it, and I didn't know how I didn't see it sooner, because I'm such a big fan of old-school Hollywood musicals. (The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Gypsy? All love. The only exception in Singin' in the Rain, which I absolutely detested. I feel it's a rather cruel caricature of Clara Bow.) But the best thing about it was Maurice Chevalier, who has to be the most devlish, most French man who ever lived! I added him to my wish-list of grandfathers.

I hadn't intended to change my middle name, because while I don't really love it, I don't really mind it, either. But of course my name-obsessed sister couldn't miss this opportunity, and she started lecturing me nonstop about how I had to pick a new middle name, one that I really loved. I tuned her out until she suggested Eloise, which has been growing on me. I like the sound of it, and it was my great-grandmother's name, even though I never knew her and even though she personally hated that name and went by Louise her entire life. I believe she's buried under the name Louise, but I'm not sure since I've never been to see her grave! Shame on me. Maybe when the weather gets cooler I'll make a drive out there. (Update: Finally saw it!)

Anyway, I haven't decided on Eloise for sure, because my current middle name, while boring, still creates better flow. But since my new last name comes from my dad's family, Eloise would be a nice way to keep the other side of my family (I won't use the words "my mom's family," because it sounds wrong) in my name. I never knew my great-grandmother Eloise/Louise, but from what I've heard, she was a bad-ass old Cajun lady, just like Grandma. She refused to speak anything other than Cajun French, even after everyone else in her family had learned English. Have to admire that kind of stubborness. [/Sara-influenced name rant]

I really should get my hair cut soon. It's been over two years now, and it's just getting ridiculously long. But having my hair cut is not an experience I enjoy. *sigh* Along with my hair and name, I'm considering making other changes to my life.

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Mom has been asking Sara and me, almost non-stop, to come over and help her decorate the Christmas tree. I must have been misinformed, but I somehow got it into my head that tonight she was expecting us (or me, at least, since Sara's sleeping) and was buying pizza. I went over there tonight in the rain, but Mom never emerged from her room, and I would've just stayed and decorated the tree with Adam, but I was starving (hadn't eaten dinner, because I thought she was buying pizza) and couldn't find one thing to eat there, so I came back home. How pointless.

And this is completely pointless too, since I'm almost certain that everyone who's getting me something for Christmas is already done shopping, but I'm posting it anyway.

Rebecca's Christmas List (at last) )

I burned my new Christmas CD this weekend, and even though I wasn't able to find one of the songs I wanted, it came out well. I'm posting the playlist for it and the Christmas CD I burned back in 2005. I remember the day I made it was a very cold and depressing Sunday, and I'd had to go to campus to put up fliers for the French film night that we were doing for JXB's class. I think I came home and ate an MRE that we had leftover from hurricane evacuations.

Christmas with Rebecca, 2005 )

NoŽl avec Rebecca, 2009 )

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Long time no update. Again.

Last Tuesday night, I worked a close and forgot my keys in my locker at work. Everybody else had already left by the time I realized it, including the manager on duty (and I'm pretty sure that any other manager wouldn't have left until after the associates). I had to use the plastic key in my wallet, which isn't even supposed to start the ignition, to drive home, and then stay at Mom's house until Sara woke up and unlocked our door. It actually wasn't that bad. Mom found this old comforter in a closet that was so warm and thick, and I loved it so much that she let me keep it. She said it was the comforter for my bed when we lived in Tarpartment, but I don't really remember. I also had a conversation with Ben, and he lent me two old movies (The Lady from Shanghai and My Man Godfrey). I had to go back to work the next day for my keys, and what makes it worse is that just a few weeks ago, I forgot my cell phone in my locker and had to go back for that, too! And before you can ask, "Wow, Rebecca, are you really that careless and forgetful?" Yes. Yes, I am.


My Thanksgiving dinners went well, both the one at work on Monday and the real one at Grandma's house on Thanksgiving. People liked my green bean casserole and pecan pie muffins, and I liked the green glop and pecan pie. Seriously, I could eat that stuff every damn day. But I'll whine and say that it did annoy me just a tad when I shelled the pecans and baked the muffins, and Sara got more compliments on the rolls she defrosted. My family will be lucky if they get my muffins again at Christmas.

Black Friday sucked. I had to be at work at seven that morning, and I stayed up too late the night before, even though I was lying in bed at a reasonable hour. (Lately every night has become a battle to fall asleep. Although that comforter is helping.) People who shop on Black Friday, especially those who get up early enough for the doorbusters, are sick and soulless. They are the entire reason for how empty, meaningless, and consumer-driven Christmastime, and our culture in general, have become. I saw the decline of humanity in the face of every customer I had that day. I am not kidding.
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Sara got me a mockingjay pin just like the one Katniss wears in The Hunger Games. It's awesome, but it's so small that often when I wear it nobody notices. I've worn it to work a few times, and my manager would've told me to take it off, but with everything else I wear at work (my nametag, my dogtag, my lanyard, and my earpiece) the mockingjay got lost.

Yesterday, September 18, was my aunt's five-year deathiversary. We've never really done anything special for the ocassion before, but this year two of my aunts, my cousin, and I went to Casa Ole (a resteraunt she liked) for dinner. I had these things called taquitos, and I actually ate them all, which is a big deal, because I'm a notoriously picky eater. But not as picky as Adam. On Thursday night, he and I went over to CJ & Co.'s house for dinner, but he picked up a sandwich from Subway on the way and ate that instead. But if he had actually eaten the lasagna they'd cooked, I probably would've died of shock. I don't think I'd ever had homemade lasagna before. We still tell the story about when Sara was in home-ec in high school and asked Mom how to cook a lasagna. Mom: "Well, you take it out the freezer and put it in the oven. It's very simple."

I swung on their swingset while I was over there, and I realized, much to my surprise, that I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I once did. You have to understand, when I was a kid, we had a swingset in our backyard, and I spent about 90% of my childhood on it. I could go for hours. But now, I don't think I can even last twenty minutes. It doesn't really feel like I'm moving anymore, but that the world is tilting up and down around me. I still enjoy it while it lasts, but soon I get dizzy, and I always have a headache afterwards. I'm not sure whether swinging without my contacts in would make it better or worse.
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

Right now I have another window open on the computer, where I'm typing up my list of stomachaches. I try to keep track of when I have stomachaches, whether I vomit and how much, what foods I ate, how bad it was, etc. The paper list has gotten too long for its sheet, so I'm putting it into WordPad. I had to add another entry last night. Yeah, remember that delicious dinner home-cooked by my grandma? It all went straight down the drain in the early hours of this morning. I have no idea when; all I remember is that it was barely light outside and I couldn't get the water in the bath hot enough to make the pain go away. (Hot baths are about the only thing good at relieving my stomachaches.)

My theory, for what it's worth, is that my stomach has lost the ability to send messages to my brain to tell me when I'm full. Take that dinner yesterday, for example. I never did get that nice, comfy feeling of fullness that you always get after you eat a big meal; I was waiting for it, and it never came. It's like instead of my brain telling me, stop, you're full while I'm eating, I get big ripping cramps (and more often than not, diarrhea and/or vomiting) later on. 

Things I will never like: Talking to my mom on the phone. It's the same everytime. She always asks questions while I give single-syllable answers, and the pauses are long and painful. She always yawns through her words, which I find rude, and at least once she always says, "Well, I don't really have too much to say..." Then why did she call? Sometimes she tries to make me feel guilty when I don't talk enough for her ("Well, I feel like I'm keeping you from something"). She better not be surprised when I don't answer the phone.

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I spent a very nice Easter Sunday at my aunt's house. She cooked a ton of food, including a ham, potato casserole, a fruit pizza, and two batches of Green Glop, one with pineapple, and one with no pineapple just for me! I only cooked one batch of Marlene's stuffing. I had wanted to make two at least, but I wasn't able to cook any on Saturday night because I had a really bad asthma attack. It was the worst I've had in a long time. I don't know why, but over the past few days, my asthma has suddenly gotten worse. So I'm now trying to take it easy, and I haven't had any more problems since that night.

It rained all day on Sunday, so Eva and I had to have our Easter egg hunt in the living room. She found more than I did. That girl is a hoot. At one point during lunch, everybody was talking about family resemblances and who looked like who, and Eva said to me: "Well, I don't which one of your parents you look like because I can't remember either of them." I laughed so hard.

I also finally remembered to ask to borrow their copy of Pan's Labyrinth and watched it last night. Damn. Some scenes had me sitting rigid and wide-eyed in my chair, while others made me cover my eyes and wince. I was actually happy when the DVD started skipping and I was forced to take a break from it all for a minute.

I just bought six heavenly hash eggs, my favorite Easter candy, for $1.50!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)

For breakfast this morning I had a glass of orange juice and a bowl of Chex Mix with strawberry slices. The exact kind of breakfast you always see people eating in magazines. One of my goals is to eat more fruits and vegetables. It won't be hard because I eat so few of them now that eating one pretty much equates to eating more.

Good news: I'm OFF for EASTER! BWAHAHA! I'm going to spend it at my aunt's house, and I'm planning to cook Marlene's stuffing. I feel bad that I meant to cook it for Thanksgiving, then for Christmas, and followed through on neither.

Mom called me a few days ago and said that she and Adam are going to Houston in May. She asked if I wanted to go, and I said yes, but I've been flip-flopping on that ever since. So now I'm breaking it down.

Pro: Seeing Mark & Vickie. They're nice, cool people, I love their house, and I haven't seen them since before I went to France.
Flip Side: How much do I really want to see Mark & Vickie? Yes, they're nice, cool people, but they really don't even feel like family anymore. They just feel like nice, cool people I happen to know. And the reason I haven't seen them since before France is because they never came to visit me there like they said they would.

Pro: Seeing all the old Houston hangouts (the Chocolate Bar, Half-Priced Books, etc.)
Flip Side: Except for the Chocolate Bar and Candy Craze, those places really aren't worth going to Houston anymore. Half-Priced Book hardly holds the same thrill for me that it used to. I still like browsing, but I can't remember the last time I actually bought anything there. I miss seeing the foreign movies that you couldn't see anywhere else, but Mom doesn't really go to the movies like Dad used to, and even if we did see one, it probably wouldn't have a child actress in it. Besides, we'll be going to all the old Houston spots. We won't be going anywhere new, like a cemetery, maybe. I've never been to one in Houston. I'd like to go to the one where Roger is buried and find his grave.

Con: Mom's driving. There is no flip side to this one. Mom driving us there is the biggest reason I don't want to go. In the first place, she isn't a safe driver, and in the second, she plays the same CDs over and over and over (and we do not have the same taste in music) and she plays them loud. The last time I went to Houston with her (when I went to the French consulate to get my visa), I asked her to turn it down, she flat-out refused, and I had to spend the rest of the ride home with my fingers in my ears. And I was not being dramatic; it was just that loud. I know I won't enjoy one minute of the ride unless I can get myself some noise-cancellation headphones and possibly motion-sickness pills between now and then.

I don't know. I'll probably end up going. It's only for two days. But I don't know.

rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

I'm making a family tree for my mom's side of family. Or I'm trying to, anyway. My aunt began putting one together before she died, and I recently found her old file of papers and notes. It's been difficult to get it all organized into one document, but I'm enjoying it. I love researching family history, because you always find something interesting. Example: My grandfather was born on the exact same day that my grandmother's parents got married. I've also discovered that there was quite an excess of Maries in our family. In Cajun tradition, when you name a new baby, the first name is a saint name, and the middle name is the one that everyone uses. My grandmother's first name is Mary, her sisters both have the first name Marie, and all three of them go by their middle names.

I'm planning to visit the geneology library tomorrow and get some more work done. There are still a lot of names and dates to fill in. I'm sure that whatever family tree I compile, it won't be as good as the one that exists for my dad's side of the family: three solid volumes of ancestral information, dating back to 1784, containing everything you could ever want to know about every member of the family (all compiled by my great-uncle who used to work for the IRS).

Sara and I have discovered a great show on Animal Planet called Dogs 101. I might make a habit of watching it, which is saying something because I don't watch a lot of TV.

PS I just opened Sara's copy of Good Poems to look up the title to this entry, and the book opened to the exact poem that I wanted (A Walk Along the Old Tracks, Robert Kinsley).

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

Sara and I went shopping last night and I decided to treat myself to Kroger-brand pickles and Lay's potato chips. And predictably, when I came out of the bathroom later, I said to her, "I just don't know what I was thinking, buying pickles and potato chips at the same time. Why didn't you stop me?" But she was too happy that I had set up my own file on Adam's Nintendo DS to care.

Some relatives from Alabama arrived in town today. I spent the afternoon at Grandma's house helping her get ready for them. She has been cooking up a storm for them: gumbo, egg salad, crawfish pie, and shrimp lasagna (which I'd never even heard of before today). My cousin, his wife, and their daughter will be visiting at her house until Sunday or Monday, depending on where Hurricane Gustav goes. My cousin said that at least this hurricane has a bad-ass name. My aunt said, as a joke, that they're holding Masses in Cameron Parish and praying for it to hit New Orleans. Of course Grandma thought she was being serious and was horrified.

Our streetlights are working again! The streetlights for our entire block went out for about a week, but they finally came back on yesterday. For a while there street looked extremely gloomy and God-forsaken whenever you drove past it at night.

I can smell fall coming when I ride my bike now. I love it, fall has always been my favorite season.

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