What Stace had to say on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Bah Humbug

Thanksgiving. I know it’s fashionable to hate Thanksgiving, but I actually don’t. I like cooking, especially the kind of big elaborate meal that I don’t bother with most of the time. I particularly enjoy any sort of dessert made with pumpkin, so the holidays are right up my alley; last weekend I made a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin bread pudding with toffee sauce, which was seriously amazing.

And usually it’s just me, the hubs, and the girls for Thanksgiving, which is nice. We eat–I don’t actually like turkey, but I’ll eat it on Thanksgiving–and we watch our two annual Thanksgiving movies, JAWS and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. The last few years we’ve also watched the Saturday Night Live Christmas special.

And I admit, one of the most enjoyable things about Thanksgiving–about the holidays in general, really–is that no one thinks it’s odd if you start drinking at noon, and you can spend the entire day in a tipsy haze, which is most pleasant.

This year we won’t be doing a big dinner, for a number of reasons, chief among them we just don’t have the space to cook all that food. But you know, that’s okay too. One of my favorite Thanksgivings was the year Princess was a baby; she was about three months old, and neither of us felt up to a big celebration. So we had our typical Christmas Eve meal, which is cold cuts and cheeses and crackers and bread, maybe some scalloped potatoes or cocktail meatballs for something hot. I spent the day reading Stephen King’s INSOMNIA and eating corned beef on Ritz crackers, drinking Riesling and sherry (something about this particular holiday lends itself to girly drinks). It was a lovely day.

This year I’ll be working. We’re well over 100k on the fourth Downside book, and the end is in sight, finally. As I said on Twitter yesterday, I think my first draft will end up around 125-130k, and I know I’ll be cutting at least 15 out of that. CITY OF GHOSTS was 110k, so this one will probably end up right around there, maybe a bit longer. I am fairly pleased with it, I am, and wrote a scene I absolutely love the other day, in addition to, I think, one of my favorite lines I’ve ever written, and one of my favorite lines of dialogue I’ve ever written (which came, surprisingly, from Lex, but then he’s surprised me a few times in this one). So I’m chugging along, and I’m nervous about whether you’ll all like it but I’m feeling fairly confident that at the very least you’ll enjoy one particular scene.

Anyway. This is the time, because it’s a Thanksgiving post, when we’re supposed to share what makes us thankful and all that shit. But that’s so cliched, isn’t it? And really, we all say the same thing whether we mean it or not: our families, our health, blah blah blah. Those are all good things to be thankful for, sure, but really, it’s not very personal.

I do have something to be thankful for this year. I have books on the shelves, and I have readers who actually liked them and took the time to let me know, and that’s amazing. You guys have truly made this year one of the best in my entire life, despite the fact that some genuinely lousy things happened to go along with that, sigh, but that’s life. Anyone who expects to have good things happen without paying for them somehow is, well, they’re not living my life, that’s for damn sure.

Still, let’s not tempt fate. Rather than share what we’re thankful for this year, let’s talk about what we’re not thankful for; what we hate about the upcoming holidays, what irritates and annoys us. As always anonymous comments are welcome, if you’re afraid the friend you want to complain about will read where you say you want to smack her if she invites you “shopping” one more time and spends the whole afternoon in one store trying on things for herself.

One thing, though. Let’s keep it light-hearted and apolitical, okay? This is supposed to be fun.

Here’s mine:

1. I hate the insane crowds everywhere. I can’t even go get groceries without fighting my way through gaggles of people standing around staring at displays of green cookies.

2. I hate the fucking spam emails. I get enough email without getting constant offers from every online store I’ve ever shopped at, and every “customer loyalty” points group I’ve ever joined is offering me quadruple points if I will just please give them some money, any money, they don’t care how much, just please give them something and they will shower me with points like some kind of festive points raincloud.

3. I hate the pressure to do family things. Sorry, but I do. All those people around me all the time make me itch.

4. As I mentioned above, I don’t like turkey. I cook and eat it because it’s traditional, and I am obviously such a very traditional sort of girl that I can’t help it. No, seriously, I’m not, but in Thanksgiving dinner I am. It’s the only holiday meal I do according to popular consensus; like I said, our Christmas Eve meal is cold meats, cheese, etc. before we open presents, and Christmas day the last few years I’ve done beef bourgoignonne (or however the hell that’s spelled, I’m too lazy to go check). I do a Yule dinner, roast pork and vegetables, which is also traditional to large degree, but still. Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving, and everyone wants turkey, especially my husband and the Princess who like turkey and never get it because I do the cooking, so too bad for them.

5. I hate the preachy “heart-warming” homilies and shit we’re all supposed to smile and tear up over. Sorry, but suddenly acting like a human being from mid-November to January 1st doesn’t excuse the fact that you’re a completely heartless piece of shit the rest of the year.

How are those? What are yours? Specific ones, general ones? Go ahead and let it out. Let’s screw those holidays together!

28 comments to “Bah Humbug”

  1. Kai Charles
    · November 23rd, 2010 at 4:11 pm · Link

    I love you Stacia! So refreshing to be honest! I think I hate pretty much the same fake BS you mentioned but mostly I hate being single this holiday season:( Now I know I have tons to be grateful for and I Am but you know it also feels awesome to say what I hate πŸ˜‰ I wish you the happiest of Holidays what ever you do I’m really excited to just relax and read City of Ghosts is on top of my pile :)

  2. TravelingGal
    · November 23rd, 2010 at 5:19 pm · Link

    I hate having to wait until NEXT YEAR for Downside 4. :smile:

    OK, that’s not very holiday related, is it? I hate having to clean the house for guests – it’s petty but it’s true. I enjoy the cooking, I like having the family around (mostly), but I hate having to worry about things like dusting the baseboards. Especially because I’m pretty sure no one is really checking out my baseboards but I feel compelled to dust them anyway.

  3. Leah
    · November 23rd, 2010 at 5:45 pm · Link

    1. While I absolutely adore hanging out with my family on holidays, I hate that my mother feels the need to get deep with each other and talk about our feelings. I wish there could be a holiday where we could just relax, drink, and have fun. My father is the perfect role model for this on holidays.
    2. I hate that people find it to be horrible to get in arguments during thanksgiving. We’re human. If we’re in the kitchen with each other for 7 hrs straight cooking utensils WILL be flying at some point and I’ll hate you more than anything for a minute or two. I know you stole my damn grater.
    3. Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. I was brought up to do Christmas celebratory things AFTER Thanksgiving. But in Miami, hardly anyone follows this tradition. Whatever..still irks me.
    4. Turkey makes me sleepy. If I want to take a nap instead of going out and doing family fun stuff for the next 3 hrs, so be it. Let my turkey filled self catch a few zzz’s.

    That’s about it..rant over.
    But on that note…I love my family, and there is way more things that i’m thankful for than unthankful. Hope everyone has a great holiday.
    Can’t wait for the next books!

  4. Inky_Ash
    · November 23rd, 2010 at 6:37 pm · Link

    I also hate having the wait for book 4!

    For the holidays I hate black Friday. I refuse to participate in the madness so I go a few hours north and get a tree.

    And the family drama, the pressure to make nice with people who don’t talk you otherwise but are more than happy to talk about you. Bleh. I would much rather a smaller thing with real family, not just the blood related kind.

  5. katiebabs
    · November 24th, 2010 at 6:48 am · Link

    Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse for me to eat many slices of pumpkin pie.

    I will be writing like a fiend over the 4 day weekend.

    Good luck on finishing up Downside #4!

  6. Zanthera
    · November 24th, 2010 at 7:50 am · Link

    Well disowned my family way back in ’96, don’t need their BS. Married 3 years later and made my own family and have in-laws from hell on the side so in the end can’t avoid them.

    90% Introvert so crowds drain every drop of energy out of me. Love my night shift but hate the job with a passion now.

    Fed up of commercialized holidays and trying to reinvent them to our liking. Keeping to them is hard though. X-Mas is more pagan like celebrating the return of more day light and giving gifts so daughter doesn’t feel too left out when returning from vacation with stories of “What did you get!?!”

    As for Thanksgiving (Mine in October :P) we barely notice it. If we don’t see turkeys in the store I don’t think people would realize it was Thanksgiving. If we do it’s more to go celebrate it with you guys down south. I just have bad personal issues really with it πŸ˜›

  7. Amanda S
    · November 24th, 2010 at 10:52 am · Link

    Great post!
    ok so here it goes…
    1) I hate shopping on any given day..I have never gotten up at the crack of dawn to go shopping and I never will I think its very strange to get excited over something like that. I have panic attacks just tring to figure out what kind of cereal to buy at walmart because there are so many to choose from and people hover all around you till you choose!
    2) Sometimes I wish that it was just my family getting together for the holidays…I love my distant relatives but sometimes it’s so awkward trying to sit and have a meal with them..let alone strike up a conversation.
    3) I hate the pressure that I always feel. I feel pressured to buy alot of things for everyone especially the kiddos. I hate the question “So, what have you gotten so far for everyone for Christmas?? I’m already done shopping” and I always hear that starting the day after Halloween!
    *Sigh* ok thats all I can come up with.
    I always look forward to the food πŸ˜‰ my mom is an awesome cook!
    Using pumpkin in anything is always a great idea :)

  8. BernardL
    · November 24th, 2010 at 3:26 pm · Link

    I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to more ‘Downside’. What a movie series it would make. With the special effects they have nowadays, ‘Downside’ in the movies would be killer.

  9. Gwen
    · November 24th, 2010 at 4:54 pm · Link

    I adore pumpkin in any form! We already had our Thanksgiving but maybe I’ll make a pie and invite my American friends over. Stacia your blogs always has me smiling. I love your staightforward approach to life.I can’t think of a hate list right now but I wish my family could have a holiday without all the spouces. I don’t mind my brother and sister inlaws but I miss how it use to be when I was younger. There is no going back to those small family get togethers.

  10. Analisa
    · November 24th, 2010 at 4:59 pm · Link

    Wow, I don’t know what to comment (yes I know so I should probably shut up, right ? well, sadly, that’s not in my nature) because I really LOVE this time of the year, I have since I was a child. I love the food, I love the presents, I love the family reunions, since I had my kids I love feeding their fantasies, watching them BELIEVE. Pretty much everything I love.
    Of course I hate fake people, but luckily we don’t have those in the family, I used to have to put up with some of those when I was working but that’s over so right now if I’m with someone it’s because I want to. And we have a kinda little family.
    I also hate shopping in the middle of a crowd but on the other hand I love all the work and decorations that shoppings put on this time of the year and I love to buy stuff so I can’t put shopping under the negatives.
    Oh oh I hate one thing !!! I hate driving home at 3.00 am cause hubby’s too wasted to drive and pray all the way to avoid the insane drunk drivers who are stupid enough to not realize they shouldn’t be behind a wheel in their condition. It’s like an “avoid the suicidal drivers” video game, only in real life. That really sucks.
    And children insisting on the fire works (new year’s eve is big on fire works here, but I’m scared to death of them near me or my kids)(I like to watch them, tho. From a safe place).

    So there !!! I found things that I hate about the holidays !!!
    Anyway I wanted to say two things
    1) the last lines of the snippet were GENIOUS !!! I loved it.
    2) I’m glad I’m here, I’m glad I discovered your books and also you, you are higly entertaining, lol.
    3) ok so there were more than two, I wanted to wish you all a happy and pleasant holidays, in whatever way you like to spend them, and a challenging but fulfilling new year, cheese as it sounds, it’s true.
    And Bon Apetite !!!

    • kyahgirl
      · November 24th, 2010 at 8:12 pm · Link

      hi Stacia, I am a cranky introvert so would be happy to tell you what irritates me about the holidays;

      – I hate it when people ask me ‘are you ready for Christmas?’. Christmas is coming, regardless, why does anyone care how ‘ready’ I am?

      -it annoys me when people ask what you’re doing on Christmas, who you’re having for dinner, are you going anywhere? are you ready? &%$*! No wonder so many people get depressed and stressed out…there is so much pressure. I’d prefer to just enjoy the season and the chance to spend a little time with my family.

      I’m looking forward to your next book and am happy hear you’re getting near the end…must be a big load off!

    • Stace
      · November 26th, 2010 at 9:13 pm · Link

      Thanks Analisa! I was actually really proud of those lines; I went on Twitter write after I finished typing to say I’d just written my favorite lines of the whole book thus far. :-)

      And best wishes to you too! Thanks for hanging out here!

      • Analisa
        · November 27th, 2010 at 8:17 am · Link

        My pleasure !!! πŸ˜‰

    • kitlina
      · December 2nd, 2010 at 12:27 pm · Link

      hey, please tell me the snippet, I don’t know how or why but I didn’t get it, I’m so curious here I’m biting my nails off

      • Analisa
        · December 2nd, 2010 at 7:02 pm · Link

        have you joined the Downside Army ? if you haven’t, you can do it here http://www.staciakane.net/join-the-downside-army/
        then you’ll be receiving the newsletters, wich is where the last snippet is. If Stacia says it’s ok I don’t mind copy/pastying it here, but it’s up to her. :smile:

      • Stace
        · December 2nd, 2010 at 7:14 pm · Link

        Oh, thanks Analisa!

        I did get the email forwarded on this morning–she is a member–but forgot to reply here; it’s so awesome of you to step in like that, I really appreciate it!

        As for passing on…hmmm. Isn’t it more fun when it’s just you guys who get it? 😈

      • Analisa
        · December 2nd, 2010 at 8:22 pm · Link

        LOL sure it is, that’s why we’re here !!! πŸ˜‰

      • kitlina
        · December 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 am · Link

        thanks, you’re radiating awesomeness :) hell’yeah I’m a member :)) I’ve gots Terrible fever, and is getting worse. Stacia again thank you for the mail, that was the greatest thing ever, and those final lines truly are amazing. and Analisa you’re so sweet, again thank you

  11. Lbomb
    · November 24th, 2010 at 10:11 pm · Link

    ohh the things I hate- I could go on and on and on and on..
    However, let me get to the numero uno on my personal most HATED list……


    • Zanthera
      · November 25th, 2010 at 12:52 am · Link

      omg! What I would like to do. Say all I want and so quirky! ROFL!!

      I’m just too wordy :roll:

  12. Diana
    · November 25th, 2010 at 4:58 am · Link

    I. Hate. PEOPLE. Loud, obnoxious, entitled people who think that they are the only person in the wide world and their precious daughter/son will just absolutely and literally DIE if they DON’T FUCKING TRAMPLE YOU TO DEATH to get some lame ass fucking toy/game/knicknack that the child is guaranteed to have forgotten about within 30 minutes.

    Traffic. One of the things I love most about working nights is I don’t have to deal with traffic. Most especially in the malls. With the People.

    I hate being broke and feeling pressured to buy or fabricate something for someon I don’t know/don’t like/don’t whatever. I have money this year (although not overmuch), and some years I just haven’t, but being made to feel shitty because you had to choose between eating or buying someone a gift is asstastic.

  13. kitlina
    · November 25th, 2010 at 11:09 am · Link

    well I try not to hate because it can cause wrinkles LOL that was funny πŸ˜† and can be bad for my karma LOL that was even funnier =))
    anyway the thing I don’t like about the holidays is that I can’t go on holiday, there are too many people in the holiday resorts :))))))))) I’m just LMAO right now but I’m right if you go on holiday in the holidays you get cramped and stepped on feet by the tourists so I just stay home and enjoy a little quietness
    also I want to say that I love your writing so very much :) ever since I’ve discovered you my life has been happier, I’ve got Terrible fever.
    I’m so glad you are almost finished with D4, maybe you’ll step on your editors toes and give us the most wonderful Christmas gift ever, I mean chap 1 maybe or a scene from the book. that would be a wish come true

    Much love and happiness and fast fingers and a magic keyboard! You deserve it!

  14. MillDoll
    · November 25th, 2010 at 9:48 pm · Link

    Preachers! I’m not talking about the ordained folks. I’m talking about people like…exactly like my sister in law. Every year this woman hauls out the soapbox climbs on up and preaches. Her sermons usually cover the meaning of life and true happiness. I’m not sure where she gets her insider knowledge but I hate the fact that she wants to share. Don’t talk at me woman!
    Thanks I feel better now.

  15. Devon Ellington
    · November 30th, 2010 at 8:19 am · Link

    I’m in the new house, and, although I’ll be unpacking until I’m 105, I’m grateful to be here for the holidays and away from the scumbag landlords.

    I hate that scumbags can do whatever they want without consequence, and take great joy in turning the screws harder during the holidays.

  16. Gwen
    · November 30th, 2010 at 5:05 pm · Link

    Okay I’m having a problem with the Downside Market and I was wondering if anyone had some words of wisdom here. I placed my order on October 5 and my account was chanrged on October 7 but I still have not received my order. I emailed southernrpomo twice in the past two weeks asking if there was a problem with the order and got no responce. What do you think I should do?

    • Stace
      · November 30th, 2010 at 5:46 pm · Link

      Hi Gwen, I’ve just emailed you about this; I’m absolutely stunned to hear it and we’re going to get it resolved, okay? So sorry this has happened.

    • Lbomb
      · December 1st, 2010 at 9:07 pm · Link

      I’ve had the same problem i’m very sorry to say-
      I made two orders.. one in September for two t-shirts and one about a week later for my hoodie. I got my hoodie just fine, but still havent seen my T-shirts. I’ve called and emailed multiple times and never heard back.
      I really didnt want to bother Stacia with this- but i’d really like the stuff I paid for-

      • Stace
        · December 2nd, 2010 at 7:11 pm · Link

        Updating you both in one message; we’re on this and hope to have some solid news by end of day Friday.


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