I think it was the inadvertently "in your face" feeling I got when walking into the kitchen, feeling dragged out and in some pain (my damn left leg has been almost non-stop throbbing for the last week), on top of "Miracle on 34th Street" (the original, not the execrable 70's remake) on the television.
Suddenly, I was DONE.
This isn't my fucking holiday any more. It hasn't been for a very long time. And the buttons being pushed by past ghosts aren't really hooked up to much of anything anymore.
So, after 30 minutes of emo vomit, I was feeling at least strong enough to face the day. Roni pulled me through it, especially the annoying weepy bit where I cried like a little girl, mortified at my own emotional vulnerability.
To be fair, I suspect it was partly triggered by attending Dickens Faire at the Cow Palace. Technically, this is about as close to christmas the faire can be, so the turnout was the largest I had seen it in quite some time -- we were even forced to park it in the overflow lot for the first time in ages.
Oddly enough, I kept running into people I knew from work more than anyone else. The one person I would have liked to say hello to, Molly, was swamped at Mad Sal's stage.
The bright point for both days was pulling off an advanced misdirection maneuver to get Kim and Roni's present, and to have someone present to appreciate the blatant manipulation.
One of the stalls had these lovely leather bound journals, and those hand made glass fountain pens. Kim had her eyes on this one cobalt blue glass number, whilst Roni wanted one of the green "fairy queen" journals. Both said pretty much the same thing about how many gifts they had gotten for others, but how they couldn't justify getting their respective objects of lustfulness for themselves. They weren't hinting, they just were making conversation. And there I was...
Folks, I suck at subterfuge. The only ones who have ever attempted to label me a master manipulator really have no idea who I am: Machiavelli would laugh at the naif I am, and rightly so. My face isn't just an open book, it's an open AUDIO book with 3D iMax resolution and THX sound with one of them there two ton sub-woofer thingamabobs. Covering my face with a paper bag would only slightly dim the eloquence, my deepest secrets reveals as silhouettes against the rough brown paper like a mental shadow puppet passion play.
As I gently prompted both of them for the specific item they really liked, I felt as someone who never succeeded in juggling even three balls had picked up a half dozen flaming hatchets and started tossing them up and about like a lost Karamazov brother, and about as confident (read: NOT). Then I pulled the hat out of my rabbit by saying to Roni, "Hey, I want to get Kim that pen set she wants... think you could keep her occupied?" Then I turned to Kim and said "Hey, I want to get Roni that journal..."
And it WORKED.
Erika was there as a witness, and she was mightily impressed. As I handed them both their gifts (the only way to get the full impact of my accomplishment), the best response came from Roni: "How did you pull that off?!".
And yes, iut made up a little bit for being such a shit earlier in the day. That, and the fact that it was 30 minutes, alone with Roni, and I didn't misdirect the anger -- I wasn't pissed at Roni, I was pissed at myself and a past that was littered by the holiday bombshells that only a alcoholic step-father who was actually TRYING to do right could make worse. After all, he's ADD too, and just as clueless as I am, if not more so.
I even made my baked eggs, which was a special request from Kim. Erika's still grappling with school work left over after the end of the semester, so she couldn't make it down.
After the pressies and brunch, we went to see National Treasure 2. Complete and utter fluff, with poor character development and a script designed to put one's mind in neutral. In short, a perfect movie for a day you were trying to pretend was another day.
As usual, there were dipwads in back of us that actually got Roni to snap around and tell them to "shut the fuck up" (after several politer attempts failed to silence them). Ironically, we had a couple in front of us that kept glaring at us whenever we laughed or reacted to the movie -- in a sense, we were trapped between two extremes. I think she was upset that we were laughing, and she couldn't figure out at what, therefore we shouldn't. Laugh, I guess. While I could understand people not getting the jokes like the group of us who went to see "Shakespeare in Love" (I majored in English lit and we ALL were ren-faire geeks, so we got a lot more of the historical in-jokes), this was hardly on the same level of obscurity. Ah, well... that's what we got for seeing it in Dublin.
As a contrast we all went to see Sweeney Todd on Saturday after Dickens -- strangely appropriate, especially since we could actually BUY meat pies there (which Kim refused to on the grounds that she couldn't stomach... you know, I'm not even TRYING to pun here, and this sentence already exceeds the international daily pun standard), and one of the performances had trotted out the music inspired by the original "penny dreadful" that spawned the Todd mythos. THe movie itself? Go see it. Just don't bring the kids. No, really -- if anyone had been so foolish as to bring anyone under the age of 12 into the theater I would have dialed 911.
WHich is what I should have done the last time some moron did something that idiotic in Daly City.
You know, I just realized I hadn't blogged that unfortunate incident -- perhaps because it was just so typical in so many ways.
It was when we went to see Stephen King's "The Mist" -- Roni was really looking forward to seeing how the had adapted the short story (she kept going on about "Lobstrosities" and such). If you've seen the movie, you know it comes by the "R" rating honestly, perhaps more so than "Sweeney" -- you see people flesh being rent from their bodies, there's mob violence, people being torn apart or having bugs explode from their still living bodies... you know, the kind of sweetness you want flavoring your 6 year old's nights for the foreseeable future.
The woman and child in question were seated about 6 seats from us, and even with her had buried against her mother I could hear those whimpers of fear. The woman refused to take the child out. Hell, when Roni tried to get her to do it, she was pointedly ignored.
So, I made it a point to make loud comments about child protective services and the kind of moron who would subject their offspring to that sort of abuse after the movie ended and she was trying to get out of the theater. Thing is, she kept ignoring our comments -- until I called her out specifically.
Her response was telling when I called her a moron for bringing a young child to that kind of movie: "YOU'RE a moron!"
Gee, harsh burn -- what next? "Well, double dumb-ass on you!"
She actually tried to get some guy in the front row on her side -- he lept to her defense, telling me to "mind my own business".
My response was "It IS my goddamn business when I drop serious cash to see a movie and instead become a witness to child abuse".
At least Bay Faire ended better, though the obnoxious employee who kept repeatedly wishing us a "Merry Christmas" over and over again as we walked from the theater finally earned the retort "We heard you the first 6 times, and it's not our fucking holiday, prickwad" (I hasten to note that there we were the last to leave -- no one else was in the theater).
People wonder why I seriously think that getting a decent home theater would do both my entertainment dollar and by blood pressure and general stress levels far better justice than the *11* dollar a ticket prices. At least I could skip the commercials and vapid National Guard propaganda (they really push that "helping your neighbors" in a time of crisis thing -- sure, if your Neighbors happen to live in Iraq).
Anyway, this has gone on a lot longer than I intended it to. While I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, I do want to try and keep y'all informed in '08. A shout out to Dawn -- I'm not avoiding you, really. I'm just trying to keep up with things in "real life", which should be easier now that the episodes in the can have run out and TV has died.