More Presents!

So, even though I was able to haggle an early gift exchange out of D, there were still gifts that I had to wait for. And I guess maybe the waiting can be worth it. But it really doesn’t feel quite as good as frantically ripping the wrapping paper off of everything in sight.

The Magpie and I did our exchange on Thursday the 20th since I’d booked Friday off from work. She probably shouldn’t have put all of the gifts she got me directly in front of me on my desk as soon as she came into the office. Especially if she was hoping to wait for our exchange to go down later in the day. I can’t be sitting there all day with beautifully wrapped gifts staring me in the face.

There was this large cylinder. I grabbed it and shook it right away. It emitted the most delightful sound when shook! My first thought was a jar of marbles. That would be so rad! I shook it a bit more and told the Magpie I would just open this one. I had to know what it was. One present would be okay, right?

I was a little off my game on the first guess though. It wasn’t marbles…

IT’S A BIG FAT JAR OF CANDY!!!!!!

Candy!

And all the favourites were there! Nibs, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, M&Ms, Swedish Berries, and Watermelon Slices. Oh fuck yeah, the whole gang is together and headed to a V.I.P. partaaay in my tummy. Whew, now that I’d opened one we could move on with our day. Or could we? Maybe just one more? That’s the slippery slope we took that wound up with me opening a bunch of presents before 9:30am on Thursday.

I like to guess what I think things are before I open them. And I’m pretty good at it too, much to the gift-givers chagrin. Next on the docket was a pretty obvious one. Another mixed CD!

Mixed CD

So now the Magpie is up 2 CDs to none on me. I guess I’d better get to work. Everyone knows that the Gods of Great Tunes aren’t very forgiving when it comes to one-sided mixed CD exchanges.

Then we had something that felt suspiciously like an ashtray. I don’t smoke, but I would have dug that. There’s a kind of inside joke we have going about ashtrays. But I missed the mark on this one. It was actually a set of cute little serving dishes!

football

I’m a football girl, so this is awesome. These guys will come in handy for our annual Chinese Food Extravaganza Superbowl Feast! Good hustle guys, I see a lot of potential here.

The next one was another easy one to guess. Rectangular, about a half-inch thick, little bit of bend to it. A book!

Scott Pilgrim

Nice! The first Scott Pilgrim. I’ve seen the movie, but I haven’t read the graphic novels yet. The Magpie thought this would be especially good since it’s all set in Toronto. I really dig this gift.

Next, there was a rectangular box. It was surprisingly lightweight. I was about to rip it open when The Magpie asked me for my guess. I shook it a bit, and thought.

“Ah, it’s gotta be a scarf!” I declared. “You’re such a bitch,” she laughed at me.

scarf

Yep, that’s me. Some might say it’s a bitchy thing, to guess the gifts and ruin the surprise for myself. But I like being an almost immaculate gift guesser. It’s taken me a long time to hone this skill of mine. Anyways, what you’re seeing here is a beautiful scarf from some swanky french shop on Queen. And it looks divine with the coat I bought this winter. But there were a couple of other things in the box. A Lush bath bar, that I don’t have a picture of.

And, a sweet little notebook.

notebook

In which I shall jot all of my darkest secrets, wildest dreams, and maybe some grocery lists.

Of my haul from The Magpie, I saved the best for last. She’s such a great crafter! She has ideas and designs. Things she carefully plans. Things that she can see clearly in her mind, and bring to life with her deft little fingers.

She also made me hold off on opening this one. I had to open it last. If it’s worth it to wait for anything, it’s this. This is something I would wait a lifetime for if I had to. I wouldn’t want to, but I’d do it. Things like this are one in a hundred billion.

magnets

These are one-of-a-kind, handmade Archie magnets. She clipped out images from an Archie comic and glued them onto dominoes and glass stones. How fucking awesome is that? It’s the most goddamn awesome thing ever! I was so happy when I opened these. And my happiness was threefold:

1) I love magnets. They’re kind of a hobby of mine, that is, if magnets can be considered a hobby.

2) I love Archie. I used to shake my parents down for Archie comics anytime we were at the grocery store. Well, sometimes I shook them down for candy too.

3) Homemade gifts really are the best. Someone put their time and their kind thoughts for you into making something they knew you would love. And that’s just awesome.

We had a great exchange, The Magpie and I. Even though I tore into everything pretty early. I got a mega-normous sugar rush from eating candy all day, and had fun chillin’ with the co-workers on my last day at the office before the holiday break. But before I knew it, it was time to head home. There were more gifts to open at home, and I could hear them calling to me.

Christmas morning at my mom’s house didn’t start as early as it used to. When I was younger, before I discovered beer, I would be up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. Rousing all family members from their warm and comfortable beds because I just couldn’t wait to get things started. I’d be up around 5:00am, and have everyone else sufficiently awake by 6:00am to commence gift opening. Everyone else would still be rubbing the sleep from their eyes as I’d excitedly thrust presents upon them.

This year was a little different though. Everyone had the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30am. And I myself was excited, although much more subdued. Mom’s punch and lack of sleep probably had something to do with that.

puppy

What I lacked in excitement though, Bree more than made up for. She was running around, all weirded out by the tree and the gifts. Wanting to play and wanting attention. She put the pep back in everyone’s step.

Two of my most notable gifts this year were of the practical and homemade variety.

First, a new toaster!

toaster

YES! We needed this so bad. We had a shitty fucking little two slicer that took about fifteen minutes to lightly brown whatever you put in it. It was an absolute nightmare in the morning before work. I do not like doing shifts on the toaster when I’m rushing to get ready in the morning. The new toaster is a badass. Just look at it. You can toast four things at once! And it doesn’t even break a sweat. It just toasts it up all nice in a flash. No stamping your foot impatiently on the kitchen floor necessary. Ain’t no thang. You go badass toaster!

My mom also made us a sweet new blanket. And she got us throw pillows to match. She’s pretty nifty when it comes to crochet.

harv and b;anket

It’s red, my favourite colour, with some cream trim. I know you can’t see it that well in this picture. And that’s because Harvey has claimed the new blanket for himself. I tried to move him, but look at that face! I just didn’t have the heart to disturb him. Instead I creeped up and stole a picture of him while napping. This just proves again that homemade gifts really are the best.

That’s a wrap on Christmas 2012. Now all that’s left to do is clink our glasses and welcome the new year.

De-Slutifying Halloween!

I can feel the grin spread across my face as I sit here mentally categorizing all of the things I love about Halloween. I know it’s become a heavily commercialized holiday, and all of the ways in which we celebrate are perversions of its true meaning. But blah blah blah I don’t care. I like it this way! I like that it’s an excuse for kids to run around the neighbourhood hyped up on sugar and begging for candy from strangers like starving mongrels. I like that my need to binge on cheesy old horror movies is enabled by almost all of the channels on t.v. for two weeks of the year. I love that I can get belligerently drunk while wearing a hilarious costume. I love the decorations, the ghouls, the pranks, the candy, and all the mischief that’s afoot.

Most importantly though, I love that this holiday has absolutely nothing to do with love, peace on earth, romance, gift exchanges, or gratitude of any kind. This isn’t some bitch ass little holiday where we’re supposed to tell each other how we feel and play nice with one another for the sake of the holidays. This isn’t the kind of holiday that forces you to take a long hard look at yourself and overanalyze the nature of your relationships and personal goals, or think too hard about what you’re doing with your life. You’re too busy handing out candy and trying to scare people to be bothered with all that garbage.

Halloween is hedonism in its most pure form, and that is something I can really get down with. It’s a time to let your imagination soar! To come up with the most creative costume, to have the most intense and riveting display of decorations, to eat gluttonous amounts of candy unabashedly! What other holiday simultaneously encourages you to stay out all night terrorizing the neighbourhood, or pass out early with candy wrappers littering your chest in front of the television? You can have your fun-size Mars bar and eat it too!

The only aspect of Halloween that I have disdainful feelings towards is the part where girls dress like sluts. Costumes are about being creative, funny, charming, spooky, and/or clever. They’re not about putting on a thong and a pair of wings and calling yourself a frickin’ butterfly or something equally stupid. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have a problem with people showing off their bodies. More power to you if you’ve been lucky enough to get a hot one. But why does it have to be on Halloween? Why can’t you be brave enough to dress like a slut on any other normal day of the year?

I realize a lot of people are out to get some on Halloween, which is probably a huge factor when deciding to put on that slut-bag costume. But do you think you’re not as likely to score in a slightly more modest costume? Maybe if you aim to look glamorous, beautiful, or cute as opposed to cheap you’ll wind up in a costume that is still flattering to your figure, but doesn’t garner negative attention from your peers. Added bonus: you get to go home with your dignity intact!

Less is not always more with costumes. Physical attractiveness fades in time, and an awesome personality is for life. The earlier you start cultivating that winning personality, the better off you’ll be.

On the flip side of that, all the unintelligible sluts flooding the parties and bars make the rest of us who possess remarkable craftsmanship, personality, wit, and imagination really stand out. Which is why every year I use Halloween as an opportunity to be myself while bucking the norms. I come up with costumes that are fun, that people get a laugh out of, and that tell the world I’m a one-of-a-kind chick. Who, with only a kick-ass personality and flair for drag can captivate her peers on Halloween without a slutty gimmick.

I get out there every year, to the parties and bars, clad in my hilarious non-sexualized costume to combat the bullshit. When you’re trying to endure some tedious conversation with a slutty twerp at a party, or you feel like you might have a stroke because of all the body glitter and overexposure, you can take comfort in the thought that Smash is out there. I’m out there looking a fool for you. I’m out there to inspire others, because you can have a great costume without sacrificing your self-respect.

See for yourself!

Snoochies boochies! Halloween 2009

Hocus Pocus! Halloween 2008

That rug really tied the room together, man! Halloween 2011

And this year’s costume was no exception!

Welcome to Riverdale! Halloween 2012

Archie’s working that charm…

The people we talked to at the party and ran into while cruising through the city really dug our costumes. We got a lot of compliments and laughs because people love to see something they don’t expect. It’s refreshing to see a girl go silly instead of skanky.

It also didn’t hurt that we were hanging out with these jokers all night:

beep beep, coming through bitches!

By the end of the night the scoreboard read:

Awesome Costumes—1

Sluts—0

We put forth another solid effort of thumbing our noses to the slutty costume trend this year. There will always be sluts lurking around on Halloween, we’ll never be able to quash vanity entirely. But hopefully we gained a few more Awesome Costume allies!