Chaos Attraction

"Cheap" Holiday Shopping

2005-12-17, 6:31 p.m.

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The weather's gotten downright shitty here.

(Before I begin, YES, I know I am a wuss to whine about the weather when I live somewhere where it doesn't snow, and most of you do live places where it does snow. I'm just saying California ain't as sunny as the songs say, okay?)

It's downright frosty around here, with temperatures ranging from 33-49 degrees every day, and today was the day the gushing rain kicked in. Just in time for me to need to do errands outdoors all weekend!

What's also kind of frustrating is that my wrists are starting to hurt a little. This doesn't happen to me more than a few times a year, and it's kind of strange that they pick a time when I haven't been doing insane amounts of typing or knitting or some other craft. Sure, there's the dollmaking I've been doing, but some handsewing isn't THAT stressful. It's not like I'm making an entire handsewn miniquilt again.

Anyway, it's bad timing because I need to not only finish the poncho for Mom, but I need to go make scarves for my cousins within a week. I've got two full days to work on stuff, but I bloody well can't and will have to waste them for fear of getting carpal tunnel.

This is the sort of thing that makes me dearly wish that school would give me the week off BEFORE Christmas instead of after. I don't need the week off to do nothing but sit around visiting relatives and taking crap back to the stores- I need the week BEFORE off so I can do presents instead of having to sit around for 8 hours every day pretending to work. (Don't tell me YOU don't do that.)

My wrists don't even really HURT, just twinges...but hanging around with Annie who just got told that she needs surgery IMMEDIATELY or she'll lose the use of her hands is enough to scare me into stopping for at least a day.

So instead I forced myself to stay out of the house. Plus (a) all the stores I needed to go to are closed on Sundays, and (b) tomorrow's supposed to be raining REALLY hard instead of just the constant drizzle that was going on today.

Anyway, much to my disgust, despite trying to have a cheap Christmas where I didn't spend much on gifts, I ended up blowing probably a good $75 I could have used otherwise on gift-related stuff.

Mom wants me to make scarves for Alicia, Kristen, and Cassie. Fine. However, I checked my yarn stash and didn't have enough of their favorite colors to make a full-on scarf in one shade. Thus I went to the yarn store and nitpicked the whole thing to death. In order to forestall any "who's the favorite" arguments, I had to get similar yarns for all three, couldn't do anything too fancy on any one girl's, and I spent an hour trying to find Kristen's favorite shade of green in some sort of worsted yarn. Eventually I gave up on that one. Buying one ball of yarn per girl and making sure they were big balls got me to $30ish just on yarn.

(I did end up finding ONE ball of this gorgeous red velvetish yarn and buying that as a gift to me. I couldn't resist. So that was $11 for me, but the rest was for others. I swear.)

Then I hit the bead store to find matching beads for some stuff I'm working on. Most of it came out pretty cheap, except for some fancy beads I found and had to use because nothing else matched. $18 there, but only about $2 of it was for me.

And after that I hit Ace Hardware to pick up packaging stuff. Much to my dismay, I haven't ordered too many packages lately and thus was pretty much out of small boxes. I also was out of tape and tissue paper and ribbons, and had to pick up some frames for my frit paintings that are getting gifted. So just on packaging alone, that was another $30. Guh.

And all of that stuff was the bare-minimum cheapest stuff I could buy! Gah!

And after all of that, I decided to make myself do something not involving my hands and went to see Pride and Prejudice.

It was...varied, I guess. I really liked Keira Knightley in the part- she's very sassy and forceful. And for once, Donald Sutherland did not act like a dick. And you really get a sense that the Bennets are pretty downtrodden and crazy and tactless and Not Our Kind, Dear. On the other hand, the NOKD behavior can just get on your nerves after awhile, to the point where I was all, "Why did I want to watch this again?" Mr. Collins is quite deadly.

The casting in places is quite funny, though. Collins is the shortest guy in the movie, and he's shorter than all of the Bennets. Even Charlotte (barely) outtalls him. There's a funny bit where Collins approaches Darcy from behind and is so small he can't get his attention. Darcy himself is this big ol' dark guy. He's the hugest person in the movie, and cuts through a ball like a maurading shark. His back even looks like a fin.

But while at times I was kind of exasperated, I always liked watching Lizzie. And the second half of the movie is pretty dang good, especially when Lizzie and Darcy are starting to make up. (The scene where he goes to "practice" conversation with her and he looks like he needs to tell her that someone died at any second through the whole thing is a hoot.) It's quite "awwww."

Which I guess is the point, really. I was flipping through "Flirting With Pride and Prejudice" awhile back and someone says that the entire point of women loving this movie is that it's a rare example of a guy who's being a dick STOPPING being a dick. Amen to that.

Anyway, now that I'm home again, I really should start in on the present wrapping.


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