hollybrooke: (Default)
In my opinion, this is the time of year where you should eat, drink, be with your family/loved ones and be merry. And it really shouldn't be about what religion you follow or what deity you worship.

It isn't about the giving, it isn't about the getting, it's all about the loving. And I love you all. :)
hollybrooke: (Barbie and Ken)
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"The Christmas Toy." It's this old movie that was made for TV in the mid-80s by Jim Henson about this delusional tiger cub toy who was his owner's favorite new Christmas toy the previous year and thinks he'll be the favorite toy again that year. And all the toys in the toyroom come to life when the kids aren't around. It's very similar to Toy Story, and it predates it by about ten years, but it's all live-action and done with Muppets.

It's VERY hard to find, so every Christmas, I have to dig out this old old VHS tape I have with all sorts of obscure Christmas cartoon specials on it from the 80s. (I understand that there is a DVD of "The Christmas Toy" available, but it's hard to find. The version I have on VHS is the first airing of it complete with Kermit the Frog in the opening and closing sequence.
hollybrooke: (Usagi in PJs)
Shunning Facebook, and living to tell about it

Tyson Balcomb quit Facebook after a chance encounter on an elevator. He found himself standing next to a woman he had never met, yet through Facebook he knew what her older brother looked like, that she was from a tiny island off the coast of Washington and that she had recently visited the Space Needle in Seattle.

"I knew all these things about her, but I’d never even talked to her," said Mr. Balcomb, a pre-med student in Oregon who had some real-life friends in common with the woman. "At that point I thought, maybe this is a little unhealthy."

As Facebook prepares for a much-anticipated public offering, the company is eager to show off its momentum by building on its huge membership: more than 800 million active users around the world, Facebook says, and roughly 200 million in the United States, or two-thirds of the population.

But the company is running into a roadblock in this country. Some people, even on the younger end of the age spectrum, just refuse to participate, including people who have given it a try.

One of Facebook’s main selling points is that it builds closer ties among friends and colleagues. But some who steer clear of the site say it can have the opposite effect of making them feel more, not less, alienated.

"I wasn’t calling my friends anymore," said Ashleigh Elser, 24, who is in graduate school in Charlottesville, Va. "I was just seeing their pictures and updates and felt like that was really connecting to them."

To be sure, the Facebook-free life has its disadvantages in an era when people announce all kinds of major life milestones on the Web. Ms. Elser has missed engagements and pictures of new-born babies. But none of that hurt as much as the gap she said her Facebook account had created between her and her closest friends. So she shut it down.

Many of the holdouts mention concerns about privacy. Those who study social networking say this issue boils down to trust. Amanda Lenhart, who directs research on teenagers, children and families at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said that people who use Facebook tend to have "a general sense of trust in others and trust in institutions." She added: "Some people make the decision not to use it because they are afraid of what might happen."

Ms. Lenhart noted that about 16 percent of Americans don’t have cellphones. "There will always be holdouts," she said.

Facebook executives say they don’t expect everyone in the country to sign up. Instead they are working on ways to keep current users on the site longer, which gives the company more chances to show them ads. And the company’s biggest growth is now in places like Asia and Latin America, where there might actually be people who have not yet heard of Facebook.

"Our goal is to offer people a meaningful, fun and free way to connect with their friends, and we hope that’s appealing to a broad audience," said Jonathan Thaw, a Facebook spokesman.

But the figures on growth in this country are stark. The number of Americans who visited Facebook grew 10 percent in the year that ended in October -- down from 56 percent growth over the previous year, according to comScore, which tracks Internet traffic.

Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner, said this slowdown was not a make-or-break issue ahead of the company’s public offering, which could come in the spring. What does matter, he said, is Facebook’s ability to keep its millions of current users entertained and coming back.

"They’re likely more worried about the novelty factor wearing off," Mr. Valdes said. "That’s a continual problem that they’re solving, and there are no permanent solutions."

Erika Gable, 29, who lives in Brooklyn and does public relations for restaurants, never understood the appeal of Facebook in the first place. She says the daily chatter that flows through the site " updates about bad hair days and pictures from dinner" is virtual clutter she doesn’t need in her life.

"If I want to see my fifth cousin’s second baby, I’ll call them," she said with a laugh.

Ms. Gable is not a Luddite. She has an iPhone and sometimes uses Twitter. But when it comes to creating a profile on the world’s biggest social network, her tolerance reaches its limits.

"I remember having MySpace for a bit and always feeling so weird about seeing other people’s stuff all the time," she said. "I’m not into it."

Will Brennan, a 26-year-old Brooklyn resident, said he had "heard too many horror stories" about the privacy pitfalls of Facebook. But he said friends are not always sympathetic to his anti-social-media stance.

"I get asked to sign up at least twice a month," said Mr. Brennan. "I get harangued for ruining their plans by not being on Facebook."

And whether there is haranguing involved or not, the rebels say their no-Facebook status tends to be a hot topic of conversation -- much as a decision not to own a television might have been in an earlier media era.

"People always raise an eyebrow," said Chris Munns, 29, who works as a systems administrator in New York. "But my life has gone on just fine without it. I’m not a shut-in. I have friends and quite an enjoyable life in Manhattan, so I can’t say it makes me feel like I’m missing out on life at all."

But the peer pressure is only going to increase. Susan Etlinger, an analyst at the Altimeter Group, said society was adopting new behaviors and expectations in response to the near-ubiquity of Facebook and other social networks.

"People may start to ask the question that, if you aren’t on social channels, why not? Are you hiding something?" she said. "The norms are shifting."

This kind of thinking cuts both ways for the Facebook holdouts. Mr. Munns said his dating life had benefited from his lack of an online dossier: "They haven’t had a chance to dig up your entire life on Facebook before you meet."

But Ms. Gable said such background checks were the one thing she needed Facebook for.

"If I have a crush on a guy, I’ll make my friends look him up for me," Ms. Gable said. "But that’s as far as it goes."

I'm lucky if I log on once a week to check my Facebook page, but considering how I have a crapload of "friends" on there that are mere acquaintances, it's kind of ridiculous. Also, I tend to get left out of goings-on at work because of it, leaving me to feel....well, alienated. I really try not to let it bother me (considering a lot of that Facebook stuff is between the younger workers), but I'm sorry. I don't live my life on a website, and if people really want to get a hold of me, they can call me. I do have a cellphone, after all. I'm definitely one of those people who feel more alienated by seeing everyone else's status updates and fun goings-on broadcast on there knowing that once again, I've been left out.

By the way, I'm sending out Christmas cards and I need addresses from [livejournal.com profile] wonkylibrarian (I don't know if I have a new address for you guys yet) and [livejournal.com profile] iamfiction. If anyone else wants a Christmas card and I may have no address yet, hit me up! (Just email it to me at hbh127@yahoo.com)

Oh, one more thing. Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! :D
hollybrooke: (Rigby jumping on the bed)
Trying to figure out what the hell to do about the SVT Christmas tree in the St. John Christmas tree thing. Like I need this. I need to be working more on my CalArts portfolio. NOT A TREE.

Why did I agree to DO this?! (Because I'm a sucker, that's why.)
hollybrooke: (Default)
Christmas was okay. Nothing spectacular this year, really. And yet, it was the second year in a row we celebrated at Gramma Julie's without Mom and Dad. Mom claimed she wasn't feeling well and didn't want to make the trip to Gramma's. Right around the corner and down the road. Hunter was pissed at Mom. Gramma was slightly disappointed. Me? I wasn't surprised. Frankly, I don't blame Mom. Because of the MS, she gets drained of her energy over the tiniest things. And considering how much it snowed for the holidays....you think a woman of her condition is going to want to leave the house to deal with the snow and relatives who are letting her down left and right?

Oh, that last part?! HOO boy, let me tell you about that.

Well...we let TJ (my 18-year-old cousin) have the '91 Explorer for free for his 18th birthday back in October. FOR FREE. Because he and my "Aunt" Diane do nothing but bicker, and Mom said she wanted him to have the car so when he turned 18, he could just take off and Diane couldn't do shit about it because he had a car of his own. (Yeah, we don't care for Diane that much. The word "divorce" keeps getting thrown around whenever we talk to Troy about it.) We heard last week that he pretty much totaled the car by sliding off into a ditch on some black ice. The story he told us on Christmas Day--with no Mom around--was that he totaled it on purpose so he could trade it in.

Mom heard about that from me and Hunter, and BOY, IS SHE PISSED. And I don't blame her. She said she could've sold that car and taken the money from that as a down-payment for a NEW car for Hunter after his car accident last year so he doesn't have to drive around in Grandma Cozie's Freestyle anymore. (The ABS on that is pretty much shot after Hunter went off in the ditch on the 12th coming home from work. That day we got the messload of snow when I called off.)

Oh, and Sandy and her BF never showed up. Turned out they were stuck in Indy an hour later than expected, so they were just going to bypass Gramma Julie's. GOOD. We all know how I felt about the whole Sandy situation. More food for us this year. Hunter pigged out on the shrimp cocktail and spinach-artichoke dip to compensate.

Diane didn't show up. Typical. Now Troy is telling us she's moving to Arizona for a month to collect unemployment while he'll be moving out. For GOOD, we hope. Either shit or get off the pot. Why is Diane moving to Arizona? For a month? Arizona is allegedly where her new lover lives. For a month? Well, I can't explain that.

But other than that, Christmas wasn't that bad. I just wasn't really looking forward to it that much this year. My haul was decent, considering I didn't ask for much.

--Mom was prepared to cut me a check for my Christmas present, but I told her to hold off on that because my winter boots are supposed to be coming in any day now. I'll consider that my Christmas gift from her and Dad. I don't want them wasting any more money on me that they need to save.
--Hunter got me Family Guy and Philosophy: A Guide for the Petarded. FREAKING SWEEEET.
--Jessica got me a PILLOW PET!! The ladybug! I can't tell you how giddy that makes me feel. And it's cute, too. (It goes with my Pascal plushie so well. :P )
--Gramma Julie gave me $25.
--Nothing from Troy and Diane. (Frankly, I don't care.) Well, the family got these "Yule Logs" that I'm pretty sure was the free gift from their $50+ purchase from the Swiss Colony. You know what these "Yule Logs" are? Glorified Hostess Ho-Hos. Yeah. Pissed Mom off even more.
--From Kevin's mom? Labyrynth on Blu-Ray. AWESOME!!!!!!!! Kathy is great. Love her.
--Kevin got me "Mad Men" season 2, "American Dad" seasons 1 and 2, and.....the Tangled soundtrack. Uh-oh, I got that as soon as it came out. Now I knew I was getting "Mad Men" and "American Dad" because I saw Kevin pick those up when we went shopping at FYE. But dammit, I should've TOLD him I got the Tangled soundtrack the day it came out. He wanted to surprise me!

(See? My BF feeds my obsessions. I'm already fixing to keep growing my hair out next year and dye it blonde and get some green contacts, and he can keep his goatee and ditch his glasses. We're gonna be Rapunzel and Flynn Rider next year for Halloween, YEAH!!!!! And he doesn't even know it yet!)

I took it back to Best Buy and got $13.90 in-store credit for it. I'm going to put it towards Rocky Horror on Blu-Ray when I get my paycheck this week. I at least told Kevin about it, but I feel bad that I ruined that surprise. :(


I have, like, NO CLUE what I'm doing (with Kevin?) for New Year's Eve.


Susan put in her two weeks' notice at work. DAMMIT. She's one of my favorite co-workers. Everyone that was hired around the same time (or prior to me) at that place are LEAVING. I CAN'T stay there much longer, I JUST CAAAAN'T.
hollybrooke: (Default)
A few days ago, Mom was semi-fretting about how we didn't have a Christmas present for my "Aunt" Diane (I use the term loosely because the word "divorce" keeps getting thrown around between her and Uncle Troy) and my stepcousin Sandy. (You know, the one who graduated from IU this year.) So I told Mom not to sweat getting either one of them anything. For one thing, Diane NEVER shows up for Christmas with our side of the family, but we go out of our way to make sure we include Sandy and give her a little something. For another thing....I'm sorry, but when Sandy comes, she......ARGH, she's just the constant irritation for me every Christmas that she's everything I'm not. She's tall, skinny, blonde, tan, got to be a cheerleader popular girl in high school, got to go away to college and be a sorority girl wearing Abercrombie and Fitch crap. And when she comes for Christmas with Troy and TJ, here's what she does: she pigs out on the spinach-artichoke dip and shrimp cocktail, collects her little present, spends the majority of the time texting on her new cell phone and barely engages in conversation with us. Then two hours later, it's off to her other grandparents' on her mom's side of the family to collect more presents. I can't STAND it. To me, she just comes off as spoiled. And Mom agrees. I think it bothers Mom more because Diane does NOT come with them to Gramma Julie's, and it's like she sends Sandy with so she can collect whatever they're supposed to get.

I told Mom not to sweat getting Diane or Sandy anything for these reasons alone, and how we bitch about it every Christmas, and if it really bothers us, then this should be the year that all Sandy gets is a Christmas card because she is an ADULT now. She's a big girl. She graduated from college and is living in either Chicago or Indianapolis now. And it's not like she ever brings us Christmas presents. And especially if Diane never bothers to include herself in our annual family gathering....you know?! And Mom thanked me for putting it all in perspective for her because she knew I was right, and we gripe about this EVERY YEAR at Christmas.

Here's the point I'm trying to get at. We've had a very lean year as a family. Dad's been unemployed for the majority of the year. We barely had much of a Christmas this year for us. I bought for Mom, Dad, Hunter, Gramma Julie, Kevin, his mom, his grandma, and his Aunt Mary (his Aunt Mary always gives me a little unexpected something, so yeah). My Christmas budget was kind of tight this year, and in return, I don't really expect much and it doesn't really bother me. This may very well be a part of growing up...I don't know.

Christmas should not be about giving or getting, to be completely honest. It should be about having a day with your family and being grateful for what you have. Heck, I'm grateful that I get the day off of work today. And I'm really sick and tired of Sandy just showing up to eat, text and run off after two hours. And I'm even more sick and tired of Diane never showing up.

So today I hear that Sandy is coming to Christmas this year with us after all. With her new boyfriend. Great. Can't wait to see how stereotypically hunky he is and what kind of great career he has. I won't be doing anything with Kevin until he's done celebrating Christmas with his family at his cousin's out in Hobart. Which I was invited to, and he was invited to Christmas with us (he knows he's always welcome). But dammit all to hell with Sandy and HER PERFECT LIFE. I almost don't want to go to Gramma Julie's now because of her. AAAARGH.


Sorry about the ranting to bring down the Christmas cheer. I just really needed to get that off of my chest. Can't stand Sandy.

On the good side...work wasn't so bad yesterday. It was a madhouse, of course, but you know what? I really wasn't sweating it. I just paced myself and handled it pretty well. I had some jerk older customer at the beginning of my shift give me attitude about IDing him for booze, but oh well. Get over it, older dude. Maybe that law will get repealed and you won't be so inconvenienced anymore. And I only worked five hours, which wasn't that bad. The time FLEW.

Made a crapload of Christmas cookies last night. Lots of chocolate chip and snickerdoodles. Was going to make sugar cookies, too, but I got tired. I got Family Guy and Philosophy from Hunter (yeah!), and I'll be getting new snow boots from Mom and Dad, but they're still on backorder. They'll probably come in this week. I also got two Weezer albums from Dan and Becky, of all people. Didn't expect that, and they really didn't have to get me anything. (Hurley and Death to False Metal, for anyone who's interested.)

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
hollybrooke: (Default)
Warning: it's NSFW....

hollybrooke: (rio is cute but not that bright)
First of all, I apologize for not following up on my promise to do the entire 25 Snarks of Christmas. Things got in the way, like work and such. Plus, I've been occasionally getting this tingling feeling in the fingertips of my right hand. It doesn't really bother me all that much, but I'm a little worried that it might be a precursor to something more serious. I'm hoping it's just the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome, though. *note to self: check it out on WebMd*

In a nutshell, I made my family disappear, slick icy roads suck, I miss my doggy, Hunter hates Dad, and Christmas was crappy, but at least I got the day off. )

And that was the last two weeks! God bless us everyone!
hollybrooke: (it LOOKS like Jem....)
Sorry for the delay on Snark-mas for days four, five and six. I've been doing stuff around the house and working. Mainly helping secure stuff for me and Hunter to hold down the fort while the parents are down in Alabama. Yeah, they are going down there for a couple of months. The best part is that Hunter and I get the run of the house, and that the only bill we have to worry about is the grocery bill. The worst part is that they're freaking taking BO with them. (This is the most rational excuse they were able to come up with: with Hunter still in school and me at work, it's not fair to leave Bo home alone most of the time. Mom and Dad are home all the time, and Grandma Cozie's place has a fenced-in backyard so he can run around and not be on a line.) I'm going to miss him immensely, but I'll probably be going down to visit them by the end of January.

But I'll be able to get caught up on my snarks, though! I have the next three days off!! *sings the Hallelujah chorus* I requested tomorrow off because I don't want to work on my birthday, and somehow I got the next two days off after that, so yeah!

*tangent* Since Mom and Dad are leaving for Alabama soon, they won't be up here for Christmas. This meant that Hunter and I got our presents early. I got this really nice jewelry armoire, because I still have all of that jewelry from Grandma Cozie and no real jewelry box to store it in. And I got a dent in my Christmas shopping done yesterday as well. I have Hunter's present and Grandma Julie's present out of the way. There's still a thing or two I have to pick up for Kevin. I've had one for his mom for a while, I have a good idea what to get for his dad, I have no idea what to get my dad, and Mom will just have to wait for her present. (She knows what she's getting; it's just getting around to schedule it to be done, and it'll probably happen close to or after Christmas. But like I said, I'll probably be going down to visit them around the end of January, so it'll be a late Christmas and they're okay with that.)

.....So what exactly do I have lined up for the next few Snark-mas days?

Dec. 4th--"The Year Without A Santa Claus"
Dec. 5th--"Mickey's Christmas Carol"
Dec. 6th--"Elmo Saves Christmas"
Dec. 7th--"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
hollybrooke: (Lady Gaga multicolored hair)
Since it was on last night, the Rankin and Bass stop-motion classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!"

We all definitely have to give the good folks at Rankin and Bass much thanks and credit for bestowing this Christmas classic on us 45 years ago (Yes! It's been 45 years!). And as much as I love watching this one, it needs to be snarked on. But like with all my "Jem" snarks, I do it because I love it.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose )

And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows )


All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names )

They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games )

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say... )

'Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?' )


Then all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee... )

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you'll go down in history!"

So there you have it. Santa Claus was a fat bastard and actively encouraged discrimination in the work place. The reindeer made fun of Rudolph and talked smack about him behind his back. Then they ate their words in the end, kissed his ass, and begged Rudolph to work for him anyway. But it was a charming tale of rising up and triumphing over adversity. Thank you for checking this out, and have a good night!
hollybrooke: (Michael Jackson eating popcorn)
The Baby-Sitters Club Special Christmas! (Which I will put behind a cut because this baby really takes up the screen:) )

(I will also be cross-posting this to [livejournal.com profile] bsc_snark. YES, I know, I still have to finish up "Dawn and Too Many Sitters," but this is a part of my Christmas snark series, so I'm going to share with other BSC fans.)

"Say hello to your friends!" Oh gawd, the theme song. The cheese-tastic theme song. Read more... )

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good snark!
hollybrooke: (Default)
It's freaking JUDY GARLAND with Liza and Jack Jones, so bow down!

hollybrooke: (Jem Twilight in Paris)
"The Christmas Toy"!

For those of you who are unaware about this Christmas gem, this was a sweet special made with those Muppets. It first aired December 6, 1986 (I did my homework, hee hee), and I've had it on an old decrepit video tape that my grandma made for me of a crapload of kiddie Christmas special. And it is so, so fun to watch.

The old, initial viewing of it featured Kermit the Frog scaling up the house and going down the chimney dressed as Santa Claus and landing in the playroom of the house. (Why there's a fireplace in a kids' playroom is beyond me. Sounds kind of dangerous, if you ask me.) Kermit tells us this home belongs to a family who has an older teenage daughter plus twins named Jessie and Jamie. But this story is not about them; rather, the story focuses on two of Jamie's favorite toys. One is a red-headed curly-top dolly named Apple, and the other is a stuffed tiger cub named Rugby. Kermit then leaves the playroom, Santa-style. (Note: If you have the DVD release of this, the intro with Kermit is edited out because of legal reasons between Jim Henson/Disney and Lionsgate.)
Ego trips, delusions of grandeur, power plays, and death by freezing plus some 80s commercials! This special has it all! )

*looks at her clock* Holy crap, it's nearly 1 AM! I promised I'd get this done, though! Stay tuned for the new one later on tonight!


hollybrooke: (Default)

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