Elf on the Shelf Sucks

At the risk of angering and alienating some of my readers, I am just going to come out and say what’s been on my mind these past two Christmases: I hate Elf on the Shelf.  I really do.  For those of you unfamiliar with this creepy thing, I’m including a picture.

Scary, right?

Scary, right?

I don’t know what the “rules” are, but apparently, parents hide him (and this year I’ve noticed a “her”) each night somewhere in the house, putting him into positions where he’s getting into some sort of mischief.  The children wake up to find him doing something naughty like stealing cookies from the jar or making a mess of the toilet paper, etc.  The mischievousness alone is enough for me to dislike him!  Santa wants us to be good all year, and here’s a representative for him doing everything any child wants to do, but refrains from doing in order to get a gift from Santa.  Talk about a bad role model.

Furthermore, Elf on a Shelf is practically sold everywhere!  It’s definitely at Target prominently sitting in its little red box at the checkout line.  This little elf is supposed to be magical, and I assume, sent from Santa.   Any kid who’s not blind can see that the elf can be purchased at the store, so when it magically shows up one morning in their house, isn’t it pretty obvious that Mommy or Daddy bought an elf?!  Maybe that’s the whole point.  Maybe it’s marketed to explain why a poor, ill-behaved elf is packaged in a box to be brought home during the Christmas season.  But if not, way to raise suspicions and doubts over the reality of Santa, parents!

However, my primary reason for hating Elf on a Shelf is because my parents (Santa) did something very similar, but way more awesome, when I was a kid!  I present to you, The Elf Bear!!

Way cuter than that bobble headed freak!

Way cuter than that bobble headed freak!

See how cute he is in his little elf outfit?  And in case you didn’t notice, those are bulb ornaments by his head, so he’s tiny; just my style!  In any case, the tradition went thusly: We’d buy a Christmas tree and decorate it.  The following morning, we’d wake up to find The Elf Bear sitting in the top branches of our tree!  Santa sent him to watch over us during the day to make sure we were behaving, and he’d report our activities to Santa at night, where he’d choose a new place in the house to hide.  His hiding places were always amazing!  He’d defeat gravity by chilling in the upper ceiling corner of the living room, or remaining precariously seated atop a thin picture frame hung high on the wall.  That little dude just exuded magic!!  Plus, he kept my brothers and me in check.

I can’t tell you how many times in my childhood I’d be pounding on my brothers, only to notice The Elf Bear staring down at me, stopping my fists in mid-air.  And conversely, by taunting my brothers, then running into the room that The Elf Bear was residing, I was spared many a bruise, as they didn’t dare sock me in front of him.  I’ve gotta hand it to my parents.  It was a brilliant way to keep us somewhat peaceful, while adding to the magic of Christmastime.

Santa left us one rule to The Elf Bear.  We were not to touch him, or he’d disappear.  (Smart move, Mom and Dad; I’m sure it took some mighty MacGyverying to get him in those crazy locations, and one touch might have brought him crashing down.)  In any case, one day when I was older and becoming more curious, I noticed The Elf Bear in a location that could be reached if I stood atop the piano bench.  I was a sucker for teddy bears and tiny things, and he looked so soft, that I just wanted to give him a quick pet on his little nosey.  I knew that touching him would risk his disappearance, but I felt it would be worth it.  Who cared if my brothers missed out on seeing him everyday?  So, I stood on the bench, reached my arm and pointer finger over, and felt the softest bear fur anyone could ever have the pleasure of feeling!  And to make it even better, he didn’t disappear!  I knew I had done wrong, and worried everyday that Santa wouldn’t bring me a gift, but sure enough, I got everything I wanted on Christmas Day!  I figured it was due to me profusely apologizing to The Elf Bear each day until Christmas, and so I never tested that luck again.

When my brothers and I got older, and the magic of Santa was dead, I confessed to them that I had once touched The Elf Bear.  They were appalled!  Like, literally, very upset that I had broken the rule. (And they expressed this anger by mockingly, yet still somewhat painfully, beating me up while chanting, “She touched The Elf Bear!”)  I, on the other hand, was shocked that they had never tried it themselves.  I considered myself the goody-goody of the bunch, but apparently, I crossed the line that should never be crossed.

So anyway, in comparison to my family’s elf, and for all the aforementioned reasons, I truly despise The Elf on the Shelf.  I’m sure many kids are getting quite the enjoyment out of seeing its frightening smile each morning, but I for one, am glad my parents gave my brothers and me something much more special.  Thanks, Mommy and Daddy!

I’m Schalz, Y’alls!

I spent a week over the Thanksgiving holiday in South Carolina, visiting Greg’s parents.  We had a really nice time, which concluded with me seeing his mom’s foot doctor so I could get a second opinion on my ankle.  The doc told me I’m deformed and possibly have bursitis, but I’m not going to get into that today.  What I am going to talk about is the fact that the doctor’s office gave me a new Southern name!

When I was finished with my exam, I was printed out a very thorough and extensive note to take back to my original doctor.  I was very impressed with the information provided in the note, but my eyes were immediately drawn to the awesome spelling of my last name.  Schalz was a new one for me, and I was giddy over how effortlessly Southern it sounded as it rolled off my tongue: sh-ah-lz.

I’m totally okay with my new last name, but it’s so not cool to age a woman.  I’m 31, y’all!

I’m totally okay with my new last name, but it’s so not cool to age a woman. I’m 31, y’all!

Having a German last name with a vowel that doesn’t follow the traditional short or long sound, and consonants that are never, ever combined together in common English, my surname of Schatz has been butchered for me my entire life.  It is pronounced shots, which has recently made LMFAO’s “Shots” my personal theme song.  But to get back to my point, I’ve been called anything ranging from Schwartz to Schultz, and my personal favorite: Shats.  As in, the past tense, plural or possessive form of shits.  (And by favorite, I mean that I cringe every time I hear it.)  My poor, beautiful last name, which German natives envy due to its use as a term of endearment in Germany, very often gets reduced to the act of pooping.

My favorite twist of my last name, however, is Schatzy.  For some reason, those that know the correct pronunciation, like to add that cute little “y” at the end for a fun nickname.  When I was a senior in high school, and my brother Robert was a freshman, he gained the nickname Schatzy from his baseball team.  For the rest of my senior year, I was known as “Schatzy’s Sister.”  Despite attending that school for four years, and only gaining recognition due to my little, freshmanbrother, I liked it.  Ten years later, it made me happy when one of my co-workers took it upon himself to call me Schatzy.  Take that, Robert!  They knew you as Schatzy’s Brother!

Regardless of having various versions of my last name presented to me, it’s been a source of entertainment my entire life.  Just when I think I’ve heard it all, something like Schalz shows up to prove me wrong.

A Smurfy Addiction

I’ve always been drawn to anything miniature.  My favorite toys as a child consisted of tiny animals with small accessories.  I even swiped my brothers’ Micro Machine cars that had baby cars tucked inside.  So it comes as no surprise that I completely immersed myself into the Smurf world.  I wanted the Smurfs to exist in the worst way, and would slowly creep up on the mushrooms growing in my backyard hoping to catch a glimpse of them.

When I got an iPhone last year and saw that there was a Smurfs game, I downloaded it immediately.  It’s basically FarmVille with Smurfs.  I played it for months, and even learned how to mess with my phone’s clock settings to cheat and get ahead in the game.  Eventually, I grew bored of the game, and forgot about it.  That is, until a few weeks ago.

My mom discovered she was only using her iPad as an eReader and Pandora streamer, so she decided she might as well get a Kindle Fire and pass the iPad on to someone who might actually use it in its entirety.  That person was me.  While I do use the iPad for a variety of purposes, currently, 90% of its usage is spent on Smurfs.  I’ve been delightfully enjoying the larger images of my little Smurf Village.  That poor, expensive iPad went from a glorified Kindle to a hand-held Smurf game.

At night, I’ll sit for hours cheating my clock settings to collect the Smurfberries that allow me to “buy” the nice things in the game.  I feel so accomplished at the end of it, and that’s horrible!  While I do know this Smurfy addiction of mine needs to be reined in, it’s difficult, because I can’t get over how cute my little Smurfs are, and I just want to keep checking in on them!  I decided to take a few screen shots over the last week so that when I feel like playing, I can instead, flip through my pictures and get the “cute fix” that the playing of Smurfs gives me.  That way, I’ll have my iPad open for better uses.  Like spending hours on Feedly reading all of my favorite blogs.

I mean, look how cute they are riding their pet guinea pig!

I mean, look how cute they are riding their pet guinea pig!

I created my dream Smurf home in all its purple glory.

I created my dream Smurf home in all its purple glory.

 

Kinda Smelling a Fart

Partly because I can’t smell, but mostly because I’m gross and find farts humorous, Greg and I let the gas fly freely in our household.  While folding laundry together the other night, Greg let a particularly stinky one rip.  With each disgusted face he made, I laughed harder and harder.  It’s always awesome for me to watch others suffer through horrid smells, and this time was especially funny because Greg did it to himself.  He took a few steps toward me in anticipation for tickling revenge, and as he did, I inhaled, and suddenly choked on a burning sensation in the back of my throat.  I let out a soft cough, thinking I must have had a weird tickle or spur of allergies over some dust microbe.  That’s when Greg went back to his side of the bed to fold and said something to the effect of, “Oh god it burns.”  I paused over the wonder and realization of me actually experiencing a fart, so I promptly asked him, “Do farts really burn?  Like, can you actually feel a burning sensation in the back of your throat?”  To which he responded with his this-is-common-sense tone, “Yeah.  It’s methane gas.”

I must have asked him three times to clarify exactly how it feels, because I couldn’t believe that I may have actually experienced a real fart, but it’s true.  I was ecstatic!  I quickly walked into his fart zone in the hopes of feeling the burning sensation again, but a few deep breaths later, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  Smells are fleeting with me, and usually entail less smelling and more tingling in my nose, tastes on my tongue, or currently, a burn in my throat.  However, that didn’t dampen the initial joy of actually semi-smelling a fart.

As grossed out as I’m sure most of you are by this point (if any of you are still reading), I’ve been trying to smell farts my whole life!  In high school, my cousin would let a good one out on her mattress while we sat on her bed doing homework, and I’d immediately rush up, plant my nose firmly into the bed, and hope that I’d smell her alleged rose-scented farts.  For all I know, her farts really did smell like a beautiful rose garden, so I totally back her on that claim.

I am so intrigued with smells, and it’s so incredibly difficult for those around me to explain what they’re like.  So please, those of you that read and are good with words, I beg of you to attempt to explain to me the smell of farts.  Or just share a good fart story if you want.  Your grossness is accepted here.

My idol, Jenny The Bloggess Lawson, attempted to explain to me what blood smells like, and I was thrilled!  Think she nailed it?

 

Haikus For My Computer

My laptop has been running hot, which is causing the fans to spin so fast that I’m surprised they haven’t shot themselves out the CD drive!  After tons of failed troubleshooting, I finally gave in and took it in to get checked out.  I wanted to update, but since it’s too much of a hassle typing out a whole entry on my iPad, I decided to share a few haikus about my computer.

 

My poor little Mac.

It’s running a high fever.

I wish it’d cool down.

 

To the Genius Bar!

It had to stay overnight

to figure this out.

 

I hope it’s not bad.

I miss you my sweet Apple.

Come home to me soon.

I Once Was A Tiny Being

There’s something many of you readers might not know about me: I saw my pediatrician until I was 20.  No, I’m not a freak (well, yeah, I kind of am), but there’s a valid reason for this: I stopped growing at a young age, and if not for modern medicine, I’d still be child-like in stature.  Yep, my body decided to stop producing growth hormone, so I was technically a dwarf.  Okay, that’s not totally true. If I’m going to be honest, my growth hormone deficiency can be referred to as pituitary dwarfism due to the pituitary gland being a lazy asshole, but all I see in that name is “dwarf,” so I’m running with it.  Wouldn’t you?  I think I’ll call myself Quirky.

In any case, in 10th grade at the age of 15, being only 4’10” and well below the average line for height and weight, I began growth hormone injections twice a day.  I was told that I’d be lucky if I reached 5’1”, dashing my hopes of being an airline stewardess.  I didn’t really want to be a flight attendant, but when I was a dwarf, one of the medical professionals, in an attempt to shed some positive light to enduring multiple shots per day, pointed out that certain jobs had height requirements, and her example has always stuck with me.  I didn’t need coercing to start the therapy, but one factor that scared me into wanting to begin immediately was when my pediatrician told me I needed the shots if I wanted have children in the future; which I did.  Gentlemen, you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph.  But hoorah alas, I was fifteen and had yet to start my period.  I cheered and loathed the day it came two years later at age 17.

Even with the late onset of puberty, I still had a ways to go with my injections.  A quick x-ray of my wrist allowed my doctor to see how much further I could grow.  Apparently, our joints show how much room is left for growing because they fuse together once we’ve reached our maximum growth potential, and as long as mine had space and weren’t fusing, I could still grow.  Armed with this knowledge, I placed a $10 bet with my cousin’s future husband (who’s really short, but was taller than me at the time) that I would be taller than him by his graduation day.  Not knowing I was taking shots, he agreed.  I totally won that bet, but didn’t see him after graduation and never got paid…that is, until almost 10 years later when he began dating my cousin and reunited with me with a $10 bill in his hand!

I took my needles and medicine with me to college, where it was a bit harder to hide from others.  Living in the dorms and actually being social, it was common for friends and acquaintances to witness me injecting myself.  Once I was out of high school, I was more comfortable with putting my true self out there for people to accept or not, so people knowing about it wasn’t as big a deal to me anymore.  By my sophomore year of college, I was still growing, and my x-ray showed that I had the potential to continue to do so.  At that time, I was 5’ 4 ¾” and a healthy 120 pounds.  My goal for beginning the therapy was to reach puberty and reach an acceptable height of at least 5’1”, which I had more than surpassed.  By 20 years old, I was taller than most of my friends, but not towering over them.  If anything, I was finally “average.”  My doctor was honest with me and said that my joints showed room for growth, but that it would be safe to stop the injections now, and my joints would fuse together at this height with no problems.  It was my decision, and despite being an indecisive individual, it was an easy one for me.  After four plus years of twice daily shots, I was done.  As expected from a non-functioning pituitary gland, I grew no more, I am currently the same height as the day I stopped the injections, and I have no regrets.  I was born to be this height!  Well, not literally, but in my head, I was born to be of this stature and feel incredibly lucky to be standing where I’m at today.

Me, my cousins and BFFs at ages 13 and 14.  I'm the one on the left in the dorky pink hat: the shortest and oldest of us all.

Me, my cousins and BFFs at ages 13 and 14. I’m the one on the left in the dorky pink hat: the shortest and oldest of us all.