Sunday, December 19, 2004

Happy Holidays.


Merry Christmas!

Perhaps it's premature, but Merry Christmas, everyone! I say happy holidays to people generally speaking when it's on the phone at work, or at a store where you never know someone's denomination, but sometimes, i just get tired of being so damned PC about it all the time. I'm not quite as extremist as South Park's Mr. Garrison's "Hey there Mr. Muslim, Merry Fucking Christmas!" but sometimes i do feel like, "Godammit! I celebrate Christmas! I can wish someone a Merry Fucking Christmas if i want to!"

And i'm celebratin'. I had a wonderful birthday party last Sunday night, and we listened to Christmas music, and congregated around our beautiful Christmas tree, and we chatted. It was great. Since then, the week from heck (it wasn't quite as bad as hell) happened, and the weekend has been rushed, but i've been having a grand old time making Christmas candies and carrying on a tradition.

So to all y'all for whom Christmas is only a source of stress, find it in your heart to understand why i, who is stressed out more than usual this time of year, find so much joy and peace in this holiday season. I'm giving gifts out of my heart, and giving what i can give. I'm revelling in the traditions of listening to moving, generations-old music, partaking of the strange tradition of sitting around a dead, decorated tree, and eating enough sugar to kill a small mouse in most lab tests. This is my favorite time of year, and i'm not letting the rest of the world tell me that there's something wrong with that.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"Buy Nothing Christmas"

Courtesy of Abbi Chapman is this provocative site. It's funny as well as "thinky" check it out, and i highly recommend clicking on the "Jesus Buys Sandles" tract (non-evangelical).

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The following transcript is the most recent email to my Dad. It pretty much says stuff, and gets the general attitude:

hey dad! the new terry pratchett book came in the mail today! thanks! i can't wait to start reading it. i'm more than halfway through with memoirs of a geisha, so that will be tbe next one i start. AND, i have exciting news! i don't know if you recall me telling you about a proposal for paper on terry p's maurice and his amazing educated rodents or not, but the proposal was accepted, and i will be presenting this paper at the icfa in fort lauderdale in march! that is, if i can round up the funds for it. there is a conference fee, and the hotel is $103 a night. THAT'S CRAZY! and it couldn't come at a worse time. after christmas, grad school applications, a trip to paris. RIGHT. i'm going to see if hampshire has any sort of alumni conference scholarship or something... doubtful, but i can see if they have any resources. so, that's the great news!

in the bad news, my car was towed. i guess they didn't like me having street parking without plates on it. (i had to turn in the plates to cancel the insurance. they get you coming and going.) so, i have to call the city of cambridge tomorrow to see if i can do anything about it. i know they're going to charge me by the day. yarg. so yeah! lots of mixed news today. i love you, and thanks again for the excessive birthday gifts* :) love, lindsay

*He took me to see Cake at the State Theatre in Portland, which was SO COOL, got me an LL Bean throw, mad ass gift certificates to Pacific Sunwear and the Gap, and the Terry Pratchett book. Dammit, Dad, i'll never be as cool as you.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Weekly Update .... err, sort of weekly

Thanksgiving into Friendsgiving. I had a wonderful time. First of all, it kicked off with leaving work early on Wednesday with the rest of the company as we went out to celebrate the 5th anniversary of one of the people who works there. She's been there for five years now, and she's this cute tiny Vietnamese woman who is 40 and looks about 30. We all went to a Dim Sum restaurant in the heart of Chinatown called the China Pearl. Well, it was lunchtime, and the place was full of people mostly shorter than me, which is pretty cool, i have to admit. Mai was beaming! She ordered for the whole table, speaking to the waiter in her language. The place was a bustle of noise, people ordering food off carts (a la carte, you know, where the saying came from). It was so cool. She was totally surprised, too.

So we got out around 3, and i headed home to make some preparations for going up to Maine. Matt and Kathy got here around 4:45, Matt fell asleep on our futon while Kathy and i caught up and i fixed the buttons on my wool coat. daN got in around 6:30, and we piled into the car on that rainy rainy night and drove up to Maine. Yay! daN and i fell asleep hard on the pull-out at his mother's house, and we awoke the next morning to a breakfast of strawberry rhubbarb pie (OHHH how i have missed pie) and rolls and prepared for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Watier's. Dinner was great, the peas were forgotten again this year, but Kathy and i (well, really, i) drank enough wine to not notice. We looked at Pat's pictures of Maurice, Pat, Chris, Ron & Carol's recent trip to Paris, and then daN and i headed over to say hi to my Mom's side of the family down the road. The rest of the weekend was spent largely enjoying what we could of the outdoors -- the peace and the wind, the sunshine and the desolate lonely cold that i miss so much. I'm not kidding.

Friendsgiving was, for me, a joyous time of sneezing and post nasal drip in my sadly allergic reaction to the combination of dust and dry air at Bogland. It's really too bad! I don't know why it's so much worse this year, but no amount of tea and ibuprophen and allergy and sinus medicine could stop. I felt alright at Matt's BOOKSIGNING in Camden, probably as a result of having been away from the dust for so long. It's very sad that i had that reaction, but in the car on the way back down to Mass with the Bogs who drove us back so kindly, it became clear as i felt better and better that the dusty dry air is was had done me in. That and the fact that i didn't actually eat very well -- not nearly enough green things to keep me going. But let this not all give anyone the impression that i had a bad Thanksgiving weekend. Despite allergies, i was surrounded by love and loved ones the whole time, My friends are amazing cooks and amazing singers, as we all gathered around and sang 4 or 5 part harmony to beautiful Christmas Carols.

We also tested out daN's new board game, which is so MUCH FUN! I love it so much, and seeing the smile spread across his face as we returned from our walk to find friends playing it because they were curious and having a good time was enough to fill me with joy. daN is so creative, and i'm so happy when he can witness people deriving joy from his creations.

On people deriving joy from creations, Matt's book has been a big hit at work. Everyone comments on how amazing the illustrations are -- how animated the characters are and how quirky and fun the story is. I hope it makes it.

And that's that. My fantastic loved ones made my weekend special. On returning to Cambridge, the Bogs brought daN and i out to Anna's Taqueria for some vegetables and protein (veggie super burrito!) and we came back here and crashed. The week has been good and somewhat productive, even -- i got some grad school applying in, and i also applied to present a paper at a conference on The Fantastic in Children's and Young Adult Literature in June ... and i might even have a shot at getting in.

But i am off to have dinner with Laura and Dave at their apartment in Teele Square, so i'd better be heading.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

And now, our moment of Zen:

The Onion's Tips to Fighting Insomnia:

Insomnia—the chronic inability to fall and remain asleep—affects roughly 20 percent of American adults. Here are some tips to get a better night's sleep:
Although it's tempting to use liquor as a cure for chronic sleeplessness, be warned: Liquor is quite expensive.
Getting more exercise can help combat insomnia. If you suffer from sleeplessness, try shuffling from the bed to the kitchen, opening and shutting the refrigerator door, and shuffling back to bed.
According to researchers at the National Sleep Foundation, there is an actual National Sleep Foundation. Yes, for real.
If you are going to take pills to help you sleep, be sure you take enough to knock yourself out. Watching Good Morning America while sleep-deprived and tranquilized is a hellish experience.
Use your bed for sleeping only. Conduct all reading, eating, phone calls, and sexual relations on the kitchen table.
Try counting sheep, rather than the number of times you've failed as a wife and mother.
If you got less than three hours of sleep the previous night, it's important to inform everyone you meet of that fact all day long.
If you're having night after night of hours-long jungle sex when all you really want is a decent night's rest, go cry on someone else's shoulder.
Minimize noise, light, excessive temperature—all factors that could potentially disrupt rest—by sleeping indoors.
Sleeping pills can and do become addictive. Before you know it, you'll be giving back-alley blow jobs for hits of Ambien.
Remember: Insomnia is only a problem if you are employed or have a reason to live.