Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yearly New Year's Survey

I used to do this every year (since mid-high school) on my online diary.  I don't use it anymore, so ... it'll be here.  There is no #22, so no, I didn't skip it.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I graduated from college.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't keep them from last year. Next year's will be different.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Also no.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A shorter commute.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 1st: my first day of real, real work.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not running.  I miss running.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mono in February, swine flu in November!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
It's a tie between my new car and my Macbook Pro.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Hillary Clinton :D
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My dad's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent.  Computer.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Poker Face (lulz).
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? Bit fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Still hard to tell.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Studying and running.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Staying up late.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas already happened. Spent it at my aunt and uncle's.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favourite TV program?
Bones, Supernatural, Psych.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
P!nk's album Funhouse.
28. What did you want and get?
29. What did you want and not get?
Laser eye surgery.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I still need to see Precious. I only saw Avatar, which was okay.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned twenty-three.  I went to work, went for a run, and then took my car into the shop because I'd been in an accident two days earlier.  Everyone but me had a shitty day!  I had a party the next weekend, and it was actually really nice.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably satisfying?
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
STILL way better than Carolyn's.
34. What kept you sane?
Loki, again.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jensen Ackles.  Wow, this STILL didn't change.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Fucking Stupak-Pitts/Nelson: Look, abortion is LEGAL, stop making my life harder, you assholes!
37. Who did you miss?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Zeldathon folks :D
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Some people really don't understand common courtesy.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This used to be a funhouse

But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down down

Monday, December 28, 2009


As I drove home from the grocery store this evening, a song came on the radio that I didn't know.  The song sounded like something P!nk would sing, but I could tell the singer wasn't P!nk.  The voice was too low.  I was so confused; who was this female performer who sounded a little like P!nk and was singing a song that totally could have been P!nk's?

I pulled out my phone at a red light and turned on the (insanely useful) song ID function.

It was Adam Lambert.  I laughed so hard.

The song, "Whataya Want from Me," aside from the stupid spelling in the title, is pretty catchy, and Lambert is insanely talented.  I think he COULD have sung the song in P!nk's range if he'd wanted to.  I'd say, "I don't understand how he didn't win Idol!" but I do (obviously gay contestant vs. openly Christian contestant; a lot of Christians who never even watched the show voted for Kris Allen.  While Allen is also talented, I think that everyone was stunned, including the judges and the two contestants, when Allen won).

Oh, and then I got home and looked up the song on Wikipedia, and it was co-written by P!nk.  Win.

EDIT: My bad--it wasn't just co-written by P!nk.  It was originally recorded for Funhouse, her latest album.  Lambert's version is great, but uuuugh, wish I could get my hands on P!nk's version!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Problem with Belated

I have a problem with today.

For example, I've got friends wishing me, today, a Merry Christmas.  Not in conversation, but through things like Facebook.  Why is it annoying?  It makes me question why people are going out of their way to wish me a happy holiday that I don't celebrate or observe.  Considering the exact people who are doing this, I can even question whether or not it's benignly friendly.

And then there's all the "Merry Christmas, and happy belated Chanukah!" that I keep seeing on my news feed.  That's worse.

Chanukah is over, and people seem to know that.  If you wanted to wish people a happy Chanukah, why did you wait until it's been over for a week to do it?  If you didn't know when it was, why didn't you look it up (which I do for every single Jewish holiday every single year as it is)?  If you're just trying to wish people generic happy holidays, then why not just say "happy holidays?"

The thing is, wishing people a merry Christmas and then adding Chanukah at the end, regardless of when the hell Chanukah even was, does two really stupid things.  First of all, it's fucking obvious that you're really just trying to wish people a merry Christmas because otherwise you would have already wished people a happy Chanukah.  And the second thing it does is reinforce the still-widespread idea that Chanukah is a moderately important Jewish holiday that's sort of the Jewish version of Christmas.

Chanukah isn't the Jewish version of Christmas, or the Jewish version or anything.  It's the story of a small tribe of Jews who miraculously fought and won against the Syrian army (the story of the oil is a second miracle; the menorah in the Temple needed to be lit, but it would be another 8 days before more oil could be procured.  The Jews decided to light the menorah anyway with whatever oil they had, only enough for one day, but it somehow lasted 8 days instead).  Jewish traditions during Chanukah are playing dreidl, often for money (wooo), lighting the chanukiah (which is commonly referred to as a menorah, even though menorahs only have 7 candles and chanukiahs have 9 so you can light 8 candles with the shamash candle), eating latkes which are NOT hash browns (latke recipes are much more complicated than just shredded potatoes fried on a skillet), and ... that's pretty much the story.  Gift-giving is only because of Christmas.

And it's not an important holiday.  Pesach's an important holiday, which you'll realize as soon as you attend a seder.  Rosh Hashanah is an important holiday (what with it being the new year), involving specific kinds of food (delicious specific kinds of food).  Yom Kippur is THE holiday.  Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and even Shabbat, which is WEEKLY.  But no, everyone just knows Chanukah because it's ... like Christmas!


So, don't wish me a merry Christmas personally, please.  And the belated Chanukah stuff?  Just look it up next year and get your timing right.  Wishing people a happy belated Chanukah ON Christmas?  It's a bit obvious.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ah, work

I had a ridiculously weird dream this morning, but I'm not going to describe it because it was actually highly disturbing.  And by highly disturbing, I mean it was not in any way humorously gross, and I really wish I hadn't dreamt it.  Ugh.

I have lappy with me at work today, and soon I'll ask around and see if we have Photoshop lying around or if I have to call the computer people to get it installed.  It's legitimately for work only; I barely know how to use Photoshop, I have very little personal use for it, and I don't want huge programs taking up so much space on my beautiful clean new laptop.  So I need to figure that out, or else bringing my laptop in today was too much of a risk and a waste.

In other news ... Day and a half left before vacation :D

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Weird Dreams ... naturally

Near the end of my dream last night, I dreamt that my mother, sister, and I had broken into our old house.  We were checking out the master bedroom, snooping into the current residents' private info, etc., when my sister discovered (quite calmly, too) a dead body stuffed under the bed.

I decided that if the new residents were capable of murder, and if they had something really serious to hide (like a dead body), I did not want them to catch me breaking into their house and finding the serious thing they were hiding.  So I decided to leave, and my mom and sister we all, "No, we'll be FINE if we just stay here a bit longer."  But when I went outside the house, I saw a car driving down the street from the main road, and the car (which, by the way, had a boat on top of it; weird car!) matched the description of the current residents' vehicle.  So I shouted that info to my mother and sister, who then decided that they were going to try to hide in the house and escape later; they were sure that trying to run now would get them caught.

I decided that I was going to try to get the fuck out of there, so I didn't go back into the house.  But as I stepped onto the front lawn, the man in the car saw me and pulled over to talk to me.  I skillfully lied, saying I was lost, I had been knocking on the front door to see if anyone was home, and could he possibly give me directions to 220 School Street (for the record, I just had to look up where School Street was in my old town because I legit could not remember).  It looked as though I was in the clear when my mom started laughing (loud enough for us to hear it outside) and saying, "Ah, that's what I would have tried!"  The man seemed to still think I was this benign person who meant him no harm, but I could tell he was about to go into the house and find my mom and sister.  And then my alam went off.

I wasn't frightened by this dream; the entire time, I found it absurd.  But it really made me think about some things.  Like, we found the body, but we broke in, so what can we tell the cops?  Who was the dead person and why was he killed?  Why did the car have a boat on it?  And I learned some lessons, like if your companion is about to escape from a potentially dangerous situation while also buying you time to hide or escape yourself, don't laugh and shout things (Mom!).  And I hope that the new residents have learned that dead bodies, even ones so carefully stuffed under beds, attract attention, and that driving onto your lawn to interrogate people might kill the grass.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your legs must be tired from running in my dreams all night

Or something like that.

Last night, when I got home, after waiting about an hour an a half for my roommate to be done cooking, eating, and cleaning up from dinner with my friend, I baked cookies for tonight's lab holiday party (pumpkin).  During the baking process, I cleaned up the kitchen as best I could; I put my roommate's stuff on one counter, cleared off the other two, cleaned out my cabinets, reorganized some other cabinets, and shifted food around in the fridge and freezer.  The rest of the mess is his, save for the cookie sheets and cooling racks, which I will clean up probably tomorrow (again, the party is tonight; I won't be home till late).

I went to bed late-ish because I had to wrap presents and shower; I fell asleep pretty quickly, probably tired from cleaning.  But when I woke up, I was still exhausted, to the point of not knowing where I was or that I hadn't already gone to work (I'm always disoriented in the morning, but when I'm well-rested, I just take a few minutes to climb out of a dream and back into my bed; when I'm obscenely tired, I really have no fucking clue where I am or what's going on).  Why was I so tired?

Oh.  Because I dreamt I went to Finland and I was visiting an old friend from high school whom I haven't spoken with in a LONG time.  And we were going to go to a  museum, but first, we went to this special gym where, around lunch time, people would go to in their street clothes and do aerobics exercises with noodles.  Not food noodles.  Water noodles (the foam floaty things).  And these exercises were not in the water; they were like giant group classes, held in a plaza and led by a video that was in English (I noted how weird it was that we were in Finland but the video was in English and figured that the residents just followed the movements or something).

So maybe that's why I'm tired.  Because after cleaning the kitchen for a while, I then went abroad and did an aerobics class with a pool toy.  Interesting!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cleaning For Dummies

If you know me in real life and have ever been to my residence when I'm not necessarily expecting company (or, more accurately, not necessarily expecting Company Who Will Care About My Room), you might be aware of my inability to keep my residence clean.  I'm a bit more responsible about common areas, but my room is often a disaster, where you have to watch where you step and you have to wind through the various crap all over the floor just to cross the room (it's kind of like if you're trying to drive from Boston to LA, but weird road construction means that you have to take detours through Florida and Montana to get there).

However, as much as I'm a lazy ass who hates cleaning, I love having a clean living space.  And not just one that doesn't make my mother cry when she sees it (and twice, she's cleaned it when she's only supposed to be dropping me off at my apartment).  I love having a bathroom that sparkles.  I love having a kitchen where there's barely anything on the counters and everything is in the right place.  I love having a bedroom that has no dust or random bird seeds everywhere, where the bed is made perfectly and even all the crap in my closet looks as if someone from IKEA came over to organize it for the catalog pictures.

Of course, in order to have this beautiful, clean space, I have to ... clean.  And so, in today's Shakeville open thread, I asked for advice.  I present the advice here, for your reading pleasure, and give credit to those wonderful Shakers who've provided me with excellent tips.  Also, maybe they can help you clean, too.

From nia_74656:

First of all, I put on music. :) Personal preference, but it really helps me not get pissed off whilst cleaning.

I also do one room at a time, and have piles of things that need to go in other rooms that I will deal with when I go to clean those other rooms. This is so I don't get distracted by organizing my spice cupboard when I find nutmeg in the living room.

It helps me to briefly plan out in what order I'm going to clean things in each particular room so I don't do silly things like vacuum and then dust. I think what I generally do is pick up things from the floor up (the shoes on the floor, then the clothes on the couch, then the random crap on the front of the bookshelves, etc.) then actually clean from the top down (dust the fan blades, then the shelves; vacuum the couch, then the floor).
From Gnatalby:
I am basically a disgusting sloth, but what I do to keep my repulsiveness in check is the five minute clean every time I walk in the house from being out. I put on a song about five minutes in length and I clean up for five minutes, you can get a surprising amount a done! I also usually just do one task at a time. So... all the dishes! then the next time dirty clothing triage! Then the next time, shower scrubbing!
From bgk:
Hooboy... Cleaning is something I have to trick myself into.

1.) Music you can sing along with/jam out to. Especially if you live alone, cleaning is my concert time, and I've totally broken out into dance moves with the Vacuum Cleaner and or Broom. (Also, I'm a huge nerd.)

2.) TV. Especially if you're doing a stationary chore, having a TV show on is a great keep going tool. I find that if I am doing laundry, one 45 minute ep of LOST! is perfect for reminder to check the dryer.

3.) Games. I have a personal best record for my dishwasher/sink full of dishes of 12 minutes flat.

4.) Bedroom. Pile everything that;s out of place on your bed. Well, you want to sleep tonight, right? Gonna have to move it.

5.) Food. If I do x,y, or z chore, my reward is X delicious dish that i crave.
From InfamousQBert:
i find that putting on loud music helps, preferably 70s hard rock or disco. :)
From groggette:
nth-ing the suggestion for music while cleaning! That always helps me out.
Also, bgk's #4 is great! .... unless you're like me and just move the bed pile to the couch at the end of the day and then just decide to not use the couch for another month of so.

Something that never fails to get me cleaning is tricking myself into it by inviting people over ;)
From natbsat:
I suck at picking up and organizing, but I've found two things that kinda help:

1) Make piles to deal with later - especially if you're going to have to leave the room/area to take care of them. I put away things in easy reach and then make piles of anything I'm going to have to open a door to take care of, then put away the piles in the order that's least likely to distract me. For instance, living room: books to go to bedroom pile, random kitchen stuff pile (like dishes), front hall closet pile (there would be more and more specific piles, but I'm short on sleep, so I'm making it easier). I'd put away the random dishes and such pile first, because putting stuff into the dishwasher/sink is less likely to distract me, then the closet, because it's unlikely I care about the closet since I can close the door, THEN the books because I might decide to peruse my collection while I'm up there, and if it's the last thing I have to do, that works!

2) Whenever you have stuff that tends to build up because there's no good place to put it, buy/make a place to put it from now on. This can be tricky, budget-wise, but I found that once I bought an Expedit bookshelf and drawer insert to put RIGHT NEXT TO the desk I always sit at during the day, I was much less likely to leave out bills, programming books, computer accessories, and printer paper, because they all had a place to go in arm's reach, plus I was able to get stuff off my cluttered desk (using the top of the shelf unit for my printer and router) and therefore make more room to actually USE things like computer books and my checkbook for paying bills. I tended to have paid bills laying around and books everywhere until I got that thing, so that worked for me. The trick is to make sure you know exactly how you're going to use a piece of storage furniture prior to buying/building it, because if it just looks cool, you're not going to use it properly. Or at least, that's how it works for me. :)

Hope that helps! My house is never more than 5 minutes of picking up away from company these days, and I credit all my Ikea storage furniture (and very long-term planning, it probably took about 4 years to finally find the right configuration that would help me be organized) for that. ;)
From Talonas:
I hate cleaning too. I put on music, and make sure its upbeat more fast paced music. I really like trance or house music because it tends to be rhythmically stimulating without a lot of lyrics. Course, My method for cleaning the house is kinda weird. I will pick up several items that belong in different rooms, then go to those rooms to drop those things off. I do this in each room, grabbing stuff, putting away. for a long time it doest look like Im getting anything done, but then all of a sudden the house is all picked up and ready to vacuum/sweep, and then Im done. Its a crazy system and I havent met anyone else that does it the same way.
From Scott Madin:
Cleaning is something I'm also terrible at. (xxxx-area Shakers, this is one reason I haven't invited y'all to come have dinner or play board games or whatever :-) Putting on my iPod does help some. If I can get over the initial "don' wanna!" impulse (and then not get distracted by something, and if I "take a break for a minute" make sure it really is only a minute or two) I can get a fair amount done.
More from natbsat:
I find it helps if I have somebody to talk to when I have to do something major (full-house pickup, for example, or when I could no longer find things in the closet and had to empty it out and redo it), preferably in person because then they help, but having a phone headset on to leave my hands free works, too. I think I actually work better when I find the perfect level of distraction, and chatting while cleaning/organizing is perfect for me. I get too sucked in my TV shows, although music CAN be quite nice. I made a cleaning playlist in iTunes for those times when no one's around to chat and I really need to clean. ;)
More from InfamousQBert:
the bed pile thing totally works for me, but i've lived with someone who would sleep in a tiny corner of her bed, surrounded by stuff. so i know what you're talking about.

it helps me if i can have a spot in the house, whether it's a chair, a table, or even just a small bit of floor in a corner, that can be "the messy spot". that way, when i end up, inevitably, with that last pile of stuff that i can't quite figure out where it should go, i can put it in the spot and not feel bad about it. as long as stuff stays confined to the spot, it's okay.
From eden713:
you could also try using boxes - usually one for 'stuff that goes someplace else' and one for 'stuff to get rid of'. Before you start cleaning a new area, go through the first box to see if anything belongs in the new area.

The other thing that's helpful is, once you get an area clean, to not let it get messy again. Like Gnatalby said find a time (when you get home, wake up, before bed, whatever) and tidy the places you've cleaned. It'll only take 5 mins or so, and it's a big morale booster.
More from InfamousQBert:
okay, another cleaning tip. and this one's just silly. my old roommate and i would put on our superman t-shirts, put our hair in pigtails with redbows, and wear our big red aprons, tied around our necks backwards as capes, and then be the SUPER-CLEANERS!!! it's ridiculous, but it's like being a little kid and how your mom might make a game out of it. it got us thinking more about playing at super heroes, than about the drudgery of cleaning, and stuff would get done!
From em_and_ink:
I totally second the music suggestion. Also, I tend to start with the clutter on the floor and work my way up, then to the seating/beds/large table surfaces, etc. Then when all the clutter is taken care of, I work back down, dusting or wiping the highest surfaces and leaving sweeping the floor for last. In part because if I get derailed, a lot of times just having the clutter off the floor or the coffee table and the bed made or the dishes off the counter can make a world of difference, even if I don't have time to chase the corgi hair around with a broom.
From Ethyl:
the only truly clean AND tidy places in my house are the kitchen and bathroom, because those are the places I really NEED to have clean and organized :) We frankly very very rarely clean the bedroom, but whenever we have guests and we need to clean the living room, I like to do one "thing" at a time (but as nia said, you'll want to plan this out a bit). So I'll "do" the books, and if I need somewhere to put the books while I'm tidying them or rearranging them, I'll literally just dump whatever is on the chair on the floor, because I will "do" the floor later, and it'll get picked up. I think what's happening is you're in a mindset where you're "cleaning," so if you find that somethign you need to use is "dirty," you then get distracted and clean that, rather than doing what you were doing. It's perfectly ok to make additional messes while cleaning, because that's going to get cleaned ~later,~ yanno? At least, that's how I think of it, and since I'd adopted that as a method, I've actually become better about not getting distracted when I get started :)
From redsixwing:
My cleaning method is to keep stuff put away - not as easy as it sounds, and requires regular maintenance, but if I want to use the couch/table/bed, I'd better keep it cleaned off.

That said, I also have a one in- one out rule. Shirts are a perfect example, since I have a limited number of hangers and it enforces the rule. One new shirt bought means one old shirt gotten rid of - usually donated, if it's in good condition but doesn't fit or I don't wear it any more, rarely destroyed in course of wear.
I find this really helps to keep the clutter down, and I have an incentive to have all those hangers put up - if one gets lost, suddenly a shirt can't go in the closet!
This also keeps me from buying on impulse a lot of the time. Do I really want x new shirt enough to get rid of x old shirt?
From celeloriel:
I'm one of those neat/clean people, too, who's currently in a cluttered house. One thing that helps me, though I'm far from having the perfectly-organized home of my dreams, is to declutter. I find that if I have fewer things all looking at me and taking up space, it's easier to keep things cleaner.

Other things I do are more maintenance cleaning - Mondays are for dusting, Tuesdays are for vaccuming, etc etc. I also try to spend 15 minutes a day (a focused 15 min, with a timer) in just Putting Stuff Away. I generally pick the room that's most in disarray and go from there.

Another trick I haven't tried but which works well for friends is doing stuff like squirting toilet bowl cleaner into the toilet pre-shower, letting it sit while you shower, and flushing it when you get out. The idea of breaking everything in the house into small tasks that you can do while you're doing something else is still pretty revolutionary to me. I grew up thinking that cleaning was a discrete activity that you did when things got dirty, and so this whole maintaining the house at a consistent level of clean through small constant actions is still new and weird to me. :)
More from natbsat:
I drink tea, and if I'm having a cup in the afternoon, I'll stay in the kitchen for the few minutes it takes water to boil and do something there - dishes if there are any, wipe down a counter, load the dishwasher. It's not enough time to go back the computer and read comments or anything, but it's an eternity if you just stand there, so it's perfect for getting one or two quick things done. Of course, if I go a few days without tea, the dishes tend to pile up. ;) But this also works for, say, heating up something in the microwave, or making a pot of coffee.
And that's all for now.  Thanks to all of the Shakers who offered tips!  We'll see how well everything works ...

If you're uncomfortable with me using your username from Shakesville, please let me know, and I will redact your name immediately!!  And if you've got more tips ... or you're not from Shakesville and you have tips ... that's what the comments section is for!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thoughts on H. RES. 951

For those of you who aren't familiar with this resolution, H. RES. 951, which was created by 19 Republican Representatives, here is the text:

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment of the Constitution, in prohibiting the establishment of religion, would not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;

(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and

(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
As a young, Jewish woman, this resolution is offensive.  It is beyond offensive.  Saying that I find this profoundly insulting and inappropriate is like saying that Bill Gates is moderately well-off.

The following are some of my comments from the Shakesville post regarding this resolution:

What bothers me about all this is NOT that I don't think that people are necessarily missing the point of Christmas (because honestly, I don't really CARE). I often miss the point of my own holidays; I spent all of this past Yom Kippur whining about how hungry I was, for example.

What is upsetting for me is that another religion is being absolutely imposed on my life. Christmas is made into a public, commercial, federal holiday; it is no longer privately practiced. And while some of my Christian friends whine to me that of COURSE it's a federal holiday because if it weren't, most of the country would just skip work or school anyway, I don't think that's valid. If it's SO essential for Christmas to be on a day off, just stop having it every December 25th and have it on the third Sunday of the month or something like that. Or perhaps keep in mind that Jews in the US don't necessarily stay home on the days we have seders for Pesach. I certainly don't miss school or work on every day of Chanukah.

But this, of course, is POINTless to argue because wah wah wah Jews are a minority, and everyone else is a minority, and so we all have to follow the schedule of the IMPORTANT religion. You know, the AMERICAN religion. And everyone has to know Christmas songs, and you're glared at if you try to schedule something on Easter because you didn't realize it was Easter because it changes EVERY YEAR, and you have enough trouble remembering when your OWN changes-every-year holidays are (for example, I can't remember if Chanukah starts tomorrow night or Saturday night).

So, honestly, I couldn't care less how people want to celebrate Christmas, any more than I care about how other people celebrate Chanukah or Pesach or Yom Kippur or Simchat Torah or Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot, or even fucking Shabbat (if they even celebrate at all). But the government should not be endorsing a Christian holiday; they should not be spending tax-payers' money on things for a Christian holiday, and they should not be wasting their time on this resolution when they SHOULD be spending time on legitimately important things.

I'm a non-Christian. And in the US, that pretty much translates to not-a-real-American. And if I could, I would storm into Congress, tear up the resolution (symbolically; I'm sure they have, like, a million copies of the damn thing), and tell them to do some actual good for this country and ALL of its citizens.
It's a very privileged idea to think that Christmas HAS to be a federal holiday because otherwise everyone would call in absent. It's absurd. And I think that if Christmas were no longer a federal holiday, I think people would eventually start to celebrate it differently. I, for one, would work; the only reason I haven't is because the semester is always over by then, and now, we have the day off (but I'd have to come in if there were an experiment that needed to be worked on!). The only reason I go to my uncle's for Christmas dinner is because I have nothing else to do and none of my friends are free. And I have a feeling a lot of atheists, agnostics, or people who just don't DO big-family get-togethers, etc., might work, too.

So, I don't know exactly who reads this blog, whether you're following it through Blogger or Google Reader or some other feed, or if you just read it or discover it some other way.  And I don't know if you're any sort of Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, Wiccan, or anything else under the sun and the moon and the stars, or how much you believe in a god or gods or goddess or goddesses or flying spaghetti monsters or anyfuckingthing.

But the point of this post is not to tell you that your beliefs are wrong or bad or offensive to me.  It's to explain why it's bullshit to think that Christmas or Christianity in general are under attack, and why it bothers me that Christianity and its most favorite holiday are intensely public institutions, which I find invasive and alienating, and highly inappropriate for a country that was essentially founded on freedom of and from religion.

I hope very much to see this resolution shot down in the most humiliating fashion possible for those who might seek to pass it.  I'm tired of being treated like a non-person, whether it's because I'm Jewish, or because I'm a woman, just as many other people are tired of being treated as non-persons because of their faiths, sex, gender, sexuality, body, health, skin color, ancestry, country of origin, class, education, or otherwise.

We're all tired.  Stop insulting us.  We are people, too.