Posts from December, 2008
I just have a simple question.
Why so many smokers all of a sudden?
Every single person I saw this morning was holding a cigarette. (Walking outside without one is like walking among the pig faces looking like Grace Kelly.)
Does smoking make you all that much warmer? (It is a blustery day out there.)
Are we back to the era of I smoke because it’s cool? That little white thing is cool if you hold it right, but your look is kind of undone if you smell like shit.
(And I can smell you from here, smokers.)
There were very few male smokers in the pack, so maybe it’s an I need to be thin thing. Yes?
Or is it more life sucks, the economy sucks, global warming sucks, so why bother quitting?
Anyway, all you smokers are pissing me off. And I don’t care if you think it’s cool, or if you want to look like Kate Moss, or that life sucks.
Not only can I not breathe around you, but you’re making my hair smell like smoke, and that is unacceptable.
So quit it.
So, it is upon us. Tomorrow is Jesus’ birthday.
In the past, I was consistently more excited about this night than the night before my own birthday. (Presents for EVERYBODY, not just me!) But life goes on and people grow up and get sick and get selfish and grow apart.
Which is all a protracted way of saying that I’m not so much in the holiday spirit this year.
In spite of that, I’m hoping to salvage the day with a nice Jewish Christmas with my Mom tomorrow. (New York Jewish, anyway: a trip to the movies followed by diner food or Chinese. Does it work the same in Oklahoma? I’m new at this not being with family on Christmas thing.)
Anyway, let’s pretend I’m in the mood for all this, as I halfway was a few weeks ago, when I took these shots.
We acquired the perfect tree on Astor Place, and Eric carried it all the way home for me, because he’s a gentleman like that.
And then we realized how cuttingly appropriate his choice of shirt was.
Then, to add insult to injury, I tortured the poor tree and dressed it up all fruity.
All while it watched more of its brethren being sold just outside.
But as it turned out, it liked looking all pretty. I think it was won over by the shiny lights.
Plus, it got to look up a cute girl’s skirt.
And hang out with a peppy, clever little Dickensian mouse.
And a couple of monkeys. (These are supposed to be me and Eric. What, you don’t see the resemblance?)
And this guy, who looks like he could eat you, no?
Anyway, Merry Christmas! I hope yours is sweet and fun and just as long as you’d like it to be.
Everywhere I look, I see people who are pissed off about Christmas The Holiday Season. Mostly for reasons that can be averted.
And too many of them are the people who are usually balanced and happy, optimistic and full of energy. People you’d think would spread the cheer. But they can’t, because their shoulders up to their ears in stress.
I’m no saint, I’m not a “spend-nothing” hippie, and I’m certainly not a “reason for the season” evangelist. I am a pragmatist. And all these things that are making us lucky middle-classers so upset and stressed and frenzied CAN BE AVOIDED. So let’s get a grip on things, shall we? Look at the state of affairs in the world.
“Yes,” you say, “just look at the state of affairs in the world. Things are falling apart, so I’m going to hold onto Christmas and everything it’s always meant with my cold, dead fingers.”
Fine, I get it. Change sucks – especially change for the worse. But what has Christmas always meant to you? Overspending, stressing out, running around until you’ve checked every store in the tri-state area, and fighting your way through Black Friday crowds no matter the cost?
I’m not saying skip the presents. I’m not saying skip the tree, not even the ham or the flight home, or the rental car. But skip the goddamn stress over getting the perfect thing for everyone. It doesn’t exist.
No matter what the holiday means to you – whether it’s about Jesus’ birth or merely being with family – try to remember why it is you’re doing this, why you get a tree or buy some presents or get together on December 25.
And then maybe consider how ugly it is to connect that day with rushing, beating others to the punch, and spend-spend-spending. Why is it that this time of year has us so obsessed with material things that we can’t settle for just one pair of sneakers, or two video games, not ten? I’m a capitalist through and through, but it’s this rush, the urgency that disgusts me. That a man is trampled and the trampling shoppers are disappointed that the shopping is over.
Think about what will make your friends and family smile. And if it’s three Wiis, five cashmere sweaters, and an elephant, they’re the ones in need of a reality check, not you. We all need a little more Fezziwig and a little less Scrooge.
Enjoy the smell of evergreen, the sparkly lights around town, your family’s old ornaments, and all the sugar cookies, fudge, and peppermint bark you can. Just calm the fuck down… and, also, you know, God rest ye, Merry Gentlemen.
Well, I’ve let my bananas sit here for a long time, and now they’re all brown. (It’s a metaphor, get it?) Where have I been? Out and about, and you know, in my living room. Doing what? Oh, stuff like waiting in line at John’s Pizza for a well-worth-the-wait return to glutenous foods. What else? Walking outside in the arctic tundra that was Sunday night. Walking where? To Goodburger. So much flack, this place gets, but the burgers, the burgers are good. Delicious, even.
Oh, would you like me to stop with the whole question thing? You’d like this to be something other than a faux interrogation? Fine. I don’t know if I’m up to it, but I’ll try. For you.
I also tried to hang some festive lights -LIGHTS!- in the front window the other day. I love these lights, since they were my childhood lights, recently stolen from the garage where they were kept company by many, many spiders over the years. (I’m still having nightmares about the garage experience.)
Anyway, I tried to hang one little strand in the windows with some scotch tape, but the result was much more “Look, I let my five year old do it all by herself” than “Look how festive and Martha Stewarty we are!” So I took down the lights and let them rest solemnly on the windowsill. They’re a little bummed, but what the hell. They’ll have their glory when we bring home the chosen tree this weekend.
And on that note, Christmas sorry, THE HOLIDAY SEASON is lovely, no? Something about this time of year is reminding me about a time when I lived on Water Street (nestled between touristy South Street Seaport and the former bustling World Trade Center). My building was huge, and from the outside, I may as well have been living in an office building. Frankly, from the inside, I may as well have been living in an office building. Everything in the place was gray. Gray and antiqued bronze, such that even the bronze looked gray. The lobby was this cavernous wasteland, with a long check-in desk, a loooong GRAY “red” carpet, and an incongruously tiny mail room.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere, there were five scarily giant, posable toy soldiers near the lobby window. All in poses that made them look more at home in a gay lovers‘ film with an army theme, than, say, the Nutcracker, or, more importantly, the lobby window.
And that’s my dominant holiday memory, kids. Goodnight.