Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas - A Rewrite

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse;

My stockings, they hung in the shower with care-
In hopes that my kitty cat wouldn’t scratch there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Wii Games danced in their heads;

And ma in her 'kerchief, and I in my sweats,
Had just settled down and were feeling no frets,

When down by the tree there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away from my husband, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the mace and hid all the cash.

A glare in my eyes at the new fallen lamp
Gave fire inside me more than a camp,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A miniature grin and a cat with no fear,

With sharp little paws, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment this cat was so slick.

More rapid than bunnies his running began-
And he traveled and sprinted like he wasn’t a friend;

His little round neck was wearing a bow-
And the drool on his chin was as white as the snow-

His eyes how they twinkled, his whiskers quite merry-
His claws were like daggers, his teeth were quite scary-

As trinket of mine, he held in his teeth-
And I noticed our kitty had knocked down our wreath,

He had a smug face and a big fat belly,
That shook when he ran like a bowl full of jelly.

He was the chubby and plump, the feline from hell-
And I screamed when I saw him, in spite of myself-

A look in his eye and a twist of his head-
Soon let me know that I was better off dead.

He spoke not a word, but went straight for the couch-
And he scratched up the corners while posing a slouch-

He sprang to his feet and cried and meow’d-
And away he had run to the bathroom quite loud-

I crawled back in bed and said to my spouse-
Go back to sleep dear, it was only a mouse.

copyright- Theresa Donahoe

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why I Never Believed in Santa Claus

Hello. My name is Theresa Donahoe and I never believed in Santa Claus.

As a little girl, my parents didn't play the Santa game. When I became an adult I asked my mother why she and my dad didn't do the Santa thing and she responded:

"It was the 70's and you didn't lie to your children."

And let me tell you something.

I never missed it.

You see, children don't really care about Santa Claus. Not really. They care about getting stuff and we don't really care who it comes from as long as we get the stuff.

I remember my dad one year opening up a department store catalog, handing it to me and said, "circle what you want".

I was thrilled. I circled a lot in that catalog! I didn't necessarily get everything I wanted but I was glad I had a vote.

Another year my parents decided it was too much work to wrap the presents. They both worked full time and they had four kids. So, instead, they simply numbered the gifts and then gave each of us a list of corresponding numbers and we would match up our numbers to the presents. So if I got numbers 1 through 10, I looked for gifts numbered 1 through 10. Again, as long as I got the stuff...

Another year we had a money tree. My parents put money in envelopes with our names on it and decorated the tree with them. All four of us tore the tree apart looking for our individual envelopes and afterwards we counted our loot. And we loved it. Off to the mall!!!

As a little girl in the 70's I don't ever remember being asked in school by my teachers "What did Santa get you for Christmas?" Instead, the question we were asked was,"how did you spend your Winter vacation?"

I don't recall talking about Santa in the schoolyard with all the other little girls.

We all knew it was a scam.

I never wanted to sit on Santa's lap in the mall. The thought of sitting on some creepy old stranger's lap terrified me!

These days my extended family only buys presents for the under-18 year olds. This means I only shop for my two nieces. This gives me plenty of time to not stress out over the holidays. The adults simply enjoy eachother's company.

Santa Schmanta!

My name is Theresa Donahoe.

And I never believed in Santa Claus!!

but I do believe in Jesus...

Monday, December 20, 2010

My World According To Spam

According to my email spam account, the world promises me that:

*A beautiful Russian bride name Veronika is hot for me!

*Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim wants me to call him immediately for funds that await me!

*Tis the season to be merry, I can meet my match! Calling all singles!

*Making my male appendage bigger is easy!

*I can become a certified ultrasound technician!

and last but not least...

Another beautiful Russian bride named Tatiana could be mine!

Well, quick! What am I waiting for?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Operation: MESS

They say when organizing your living space, "everything has a place". 

I've never been good at this. Growing up, I would leave a trail of stuff behind after using it.  I might as well have left a sign that read: "Theresa was here". My mom would constantly tell me: "put it back where it belongs!"

But where does it belong?

How does this happen to me?  I spend a weekend cleaning and by the following Wednesday,  the MESS angels are back to greet me. Hello.

They say, "when cleaning your home, to go through each corner and work your way through."

IN THIS CORNER......weighing in at 5 pounds, is a box full of stuff that was brought up from the storage room (for some reason).  But now it just sits in the corner.and has become part of the decor. I believe old shoes are in there and I am scared to see what else I might find.

AND IN THIS OTHER CORNER.....weighing in at approximately 3 pounds is mounds and mounds of old bills that need to be filed away...please, before the year is over!

I take a quick look around and from my bed I see the following:

*A window fan leaning against the wall that I took down in September. I should probably put that in the closet.

*A chair with coats and sweatshirts hung over them.  You mean that's NOT the equivalent of a hanger?

*Another chair with misc.stuff on it like another sweatshirt, old diaries (meant to write a memoir blog with them), old movie call sheets (meant to write a short story with those), and some file folders (that came with a side table I bought for 5 dollars at a garage sale).

*My desk piled high with junk mail, magazines and books I mean to read completely covering the top. Who needs to dust when you have clutter?

My sister even bought me a year's subscription to "Real Simple" magazine once, which had a lot of tips on how to organize my stuff.

Too bad it was added to the paper pile growing on my desk.

I should have a fireplace, because I have alot of kindle.  Er uh, I mean alot to recycle that is.  Save a tree and all.

Okay, enough writing. Let's start cleaning!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Anyone Speak French?

Someone left me a comment in French.  What does this mean?

Il ya évidemment beaucoup de choses à savoir à ce sujet. Je pense que vous avez fait quelques bons points dans les reportages également. Continuez à travailler, excellent travail!
Is any of it profanity?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

One Night In The Hipster District

On a Monday night one of my 20-something year old friends, M, asked me to stay over at her place because she was in the mood for company. I said “sure”, grabbed my toothbrush, changed into my sweats and headed out.

10 minutes later, I arrived in her dimly lit quazi-urban-business-district-neighborhood and parked my car outside a Korean restaurant at a meter that would go into effect at 8am the following morning. Across the street was a tall cement building with a neon red sign that flashed the misspelled word “Phychic”.

With pillow in hand and an overnight bag, I rang the doorbell to M’s old apartment building. She answered the door and led me up the steep stairway to the second floor, where I got a whiff of that “old building” smell.

Donning the walls in the living room were a mish mash of multi-colored wall blankets, grandma’s old stitch art and something that looked to be a paper mache eagle that hung in the corner above a small television set equipped to only play DVDs and VHS tapes.

Leaning against the walls were a cello and some random acoustic guitars belonging to her 23 year old hipster phantom roommate who was never home.

“I haven’t seen her around lately,” M told me. “Thanks for coming over.”

M heated up some macaroni and cheese for me in her kitchen. I took my bowl of late dinner into her living room and chatted with her as she folded laundry.

As M talked about the trials of loss she was recently experiencing she mentioned that she wished for more people around her these days. When I asked her if her roommate had been there for her at all during this rough time in her life, she responded:

“Yeah, well, she gave me a hug and then made me a playlist on her I-tunes called, “Get Well M.”

When we were ready to call it a night, M pulled out a futon for me from her roommate’s bedroom that was right next to the living room where I would be sleeping. We gathered blankets to ensure my comfort and warmth, especially since most of the rooms in the apartment had a window opened a slight crack so that M could enjoy the fresh air. Her fresh air was my igloo.

“There’s also a heater here,” she showed me assuredly, pointing at the manual wall heater.

As I got ready for futon, I brushed my teeth in her “old, but isn’t it cool?” bathroom complete with fading floor tile and a scratched up bathtub. “Landlords must love this generation,” I thought, “they won’t insist at all on upgrading this place.” As I flossed away I noticed some cassette tapes and a tape player sitting on a shelf. These had to belong to the hipster roommate. I asked M about it.

“Your roommate plays tapes?”

“Yeah,” she replied sarcastically, “isn’t it ironic?”

Well, that all depends.

i•ron•ic ˌ(ī-ˈrä-nik ) also i•ron•i•cal:

“Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.”

The hipster-critic online dictionary describes cassettes being as ironic as:

“…another recycled toy for a bored generation that otherwise stands for nothing but faux-nostalgic brand uber-consumerism.”

Alanis Morisette describes ironic as: “rain on your wedding day.”

Curled up in my blankets I laid there staring at the street light reflection that spilled onto the living room walls. I thought about the day for awhile and as I tossed and turned my 40 year old body, I begin to drift to sleep.

Not long after that at about 11:30pm I heard the slam of a door below me. Half asleep I thought maybe it was the neighbors. Then I heard the shutting of a door to my right and saw the lights go on underneath the bottom crack of the door.

It was the phantom hipster roommate.

I pretended to be asleep as she opened the door again and tip toed over me, through the hall and into the bathroom. A few minutes later she tip toed back out, walked past me and shut her bedroom door again. There was a pause for a moment. And then I heard singing.

“Oh no,” I thought. “Is this what it’s going to be like all night?”

It wasn’t. Phantom open her bedroom door again, turned off her light and skipped past me, huddled down the front stairs and slammed the door into the night. I peaked outside through the front living room window, but Phantom was gone. I missed her. I never saw her face.

The next morning M asked me, “was she here last night?”

“Yes,” I said, “she came by.”

M went to the bathroom and then came out.

“She took her toothbrush.”

Ah, just another Monday night in the Hipster District.

It was a rather cold morning that I wasn’t prepared for. I thought about borrowing a coat from M for the ride home when I noticed a bag of old clothes next to the wall heater. They were left there from Phantom to be given to Goodwill. Inside it was a big green long coat lined with a furry cream colored fabric. I tried it on in front of M and we laughed.

I looked in the bathroom mirror at my reflection. It was too big for me, but very warm, so I took it.

We said our goodbyes and while M got into the shower, I packed up, folded the blankets, rolled the futon up, and walked down the steep set of stairs. Wearing my new oversized hipster coat, I walked to my car just in time before the street meters started working and drove off to my boringly normal residential neighborhood to get ready for work.