Listening to: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Sufjan Stevens, directly followed by “Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues

Happy Christmas, Interblogs! Hope you got a good haul and maybe even got lippy with someone under the mistletoe. But really, does anyone actually hang mistletoe? And does anyone actually kiss anyone under it? Christmas is a pile o’ myth, I tell you.

Mine was spent in the company of kids and dogs–not a bad crowd for the holidays. We did it at my sister’s place in Westchester this year instead of in ol’ Pittsford–and thank Jeebus for that. The ‘rents and I are staying in a swanky house down the street from my sister’s place, watching over the horde while the actual residents are away.

Westchester suburbs, yo, I tell you whut–this place is oozing with money. And children. Many, many, fashionably dressed children. Not a life I ever want for myself, but it’s alright to visit. Staying in a strangers’ house has brought out the voyeur in me; I love seeing how other people live. Apparently these people live immaculately, and are waaay into their kids. One of those Pottery Barn-catalog too-good-to-be-true kind of things. I wonder what shocking revelations and filthy perversions are lurking in the back of junk drawers, behind all the framed photos of grinning toddlers.

Maybe my cynicism about upper-class East Coast suburban life stems from the fact that I’m currently reading The Ice Storm by moody ol’ Rick Moody. Or maybe it stems from the fact that I was already cynical about upper-class East Coast suburban life to begin with. But The Ice Storm is particularly delicious blackness, with all its sad po-mo sex scenes and wan remarks about disconnection and The American Dream. An excerpt, from the moment before two preteens execute a defective G.I. Joe doll by hanging:

Together they stood over the prone body of G.I. Joe with Lifelike Hair, now supine on the folded comforter at the foot of Sandy’s bed. Somehow the idea of trying him again, of going back to the well one more time, felt pointless to Wendy. She recognized a moment here in which she saw the machinations of chance in the universe, and she didn’t want to ruin it. Sandy was adorable in this light. He couldn’t wait. He wanted to dispatch Joe, because he had some dignity wrapped up in the notion of inferior goods and dumb culture and stupid America. He was one of those kids who spent hours in front of the television shouting “That would never happen.” Sandy Williams expected to be cheated. He was ready for it. And it came to pass almost every time, and in this way the world seemed good and true.

Last night, sleeping fitfully in a child-sized bed, cocooned in suburban darkness (my bedroom in Allston is never completely dark–there’s always light from the street leaking through the venetians), I dreamed that a pack of giant-sized giraffes were attacking Central Square. I couldn’t decide whether to run for my life or be completely awed by it. They destroyed buildings, cars, and people very gently and herbevoriously, as if they were just trying to eat leaves off invisible tall trees but were unwittingly laying waste to everything. They didn’t know any better. Bruised and exhausted, I finally wound up at my parents’ house, where I found a lone giraffe asleep in the front yard, curled up like a dog.

I’m tired. Aren’t you? We’re having second Christmas tomorrow with the whole gang, so I’ve gotta build up my energy. My nephews are expecting me to play Wii with them, and I haven’t the foggiest how to work those fucking things. They are so gonna kick my ass.

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