the effing trifle

My family is English. Mostly. I was reading an article on the Guardian on the loveliest of English desserts (subjective description, I know), The Trifle. There was even a poll: Is trifle supposed to have jelly? Yes or No? This made me think of the torturous experience that the trifle is every year with my family.

We have no such thing as trifle in my family, but we do have “The F***ing Trifle” – the Christmas tradition that causes more fights and familial conflicts than religion and politics combined. Whether it’s fights over someone scraping out all the custard, or someone else picking the crumbled Flake bar off the whipped cream, or whatever the feud… there’s always bloodshed.

In an attempt to bring peace on earth at Christmas, I suggested that I can make individual trifles, suited to everyone’s personal tastes – or that I can alter the ingredients to be generally more edible, or that we should even scrap the trifle altogether, as no one really eats it, they just fight over it, but I was nearly dragged out and shot.

There’s no accounting for taste, or tradition.

PS – I’ve just realized that all my posts I have written somehow related to Christmas have (censored) expletives in the titles. *Sigh*

bing crosby tap-danced with danny – effing – kaye

So tomorrow, I’m taking the day off work. Huzzah. It was originally intended to be a day to get through all those pesky starting-at-a-new-school things out of the way, like getting a student card, and all that, but once that was taken care of, it’s degenerated into a shopping trip downtown with my sister.

I’m looking forward to it. This December has thus far been an exercise in stress management – but not the working-under-a-deadline kind of stress, but the more vague, less tolerable kind. Christmas Eve is my last day at the City, and it marks a stressful day in and of itself. At least I’ll get a good week an a half off from then until January 4. That day is standing out like a sore thumb waiting to happen. It’s going to be exciting, exhilarating, but terrifying (like bungee jumping) starting back at school. Unlike bungee jumping, which is simply closing your eyes and leaping, I have to keep at this. It’s not just one day, it’s eight frakking months.

And I need to find time to drive up to Whistler this weekend.

Argh.

I finally understand how Christmas can be migraine-inducing for so many people. I’ve always found this time of year stressful enough, but still joyous, with happy moments spent retreading old traditions with my family, shopping (which I don’t mind as long as it’s for someone else), and watching cheesy movies guilt-free. I’m living for those moments. Watching White Christmas last night with my parents and sister was great – not to mention watching Christmas Vacation last week – and the roommates and I are trying to find a night to watch Love Actually. I’m praying for a miracle for the VCR to start working again so I can crack open my old VHS copy of It’s a Wonderful Life. (Maybe now that Blueray is well and truly here, I will finally buy it on DVD and then only be one technological advancement behind.)

I told a friend today, that when there’s this much being juggled, something’s gotta fall. Unfortunately, so far, it’s been my writing and my blogging. Which sucks, as those are the things I actually like to do. Maybe I’ll get a chance to catch up after Christmas Eve. Let’s hope my neuroses don’t kill me before them.

(In a totally unrelated note, is it just me, or do you really think that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye’s characters (Bob Wallace and Phil Davis) were totally a couple before Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen split them up? I’m just saying, it’s the fifties, and they’re in show business, and maybe they need to keep up appearances by marrying off…? They are surrounded by tons of young, beautiful women all the time, they’re in their forties (Danny) and fifties (Bing)… If a lot of their dialogue were given to a man and a woman (this IS 1954), you would totally get the impression they were a couple. Phil keeps using the I-saved-your-life-in-the-war guilt-trip, but I think Bob does whatever he wants because he wuvs him. Hm….. It’s totally just me, isn’t it?)

the nut-busting creative process

This is currently how I feel at the moment. About writing. It’s an uphill battle, with few chances for reward even in the event of success. Objectively speaking, there’s little to recommend it. It can be therapeutic – sometimes – but other times, it can make you feel like an unproductive failure who would be bashing their head against a brick wall if they weren’t a few bricks short to begin with.

I’ve spent the last few weeks (months, really) plotting out the details of what was originally intended to be a feature-length script. As I continued to flesh it out, I realized that it would be much better as a novel. Once I started writing, I immediately felt the need to reign some sort of destructive vengeance down upon the gods of exposition. I’ve rambled at length on this blog before about my writing habits and my writing styles, and differing voices and all that jazz, but this is the first omniscient third-person fictional prose narrative I’ve written in actually quite a while. (That’s a lot of qualifiers, I’d be suprised if it weren’t “ever”.) I’m experiencing a problem that’s altogether new to me in terms of writing. I can’t find the right voice.

This is an overarching problem for my creative side in film work, but it’s never applied to my writing style. I’m frustrated. Have I spent too much time writing in the first person, writing with (an attempt at) humour? Have I been blogging too much? Or not enough? Oh dear god.