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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Listening to: “Another World” – Antony & the Johnsons

Greetings from the heart of the Northeastern Seaboard’s Neverending Blizzard ’08! It’s already put me on postpone for 2 plays this weekend–luckily rescheduling is set to occur. Can’t afford to miss out on writing assignments this month. You know that old carol “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, etc. etc.”? Yeah, I’m the one who hasn’t got a ha’penny and needs some god-blessing.

Still, I think I’ll always have a Pavlovian joy response to snow days, even when I’ve got no work or school from which to play hooky. Last night Tuck and I holed up at Ryan and Rog’s and watched Mad Men and had Schnapps-spiked hot cocoa, while the snow piled up in drifts over Brookline. The mutt definitely digs the snow–sometimes it even makes him forget his debilitating fear of the Green Line–all old smells covered up, fluffy whiteness belly-high, and the whole world fresh and up for grabs. He leap-runs through deep snow in winter the same way he does through the tide in the summer when I bring him to the beach. I wonder what the beaches must look like now–totally surreal, no doubt. You never really see the image of snow falling on ocean waves.

Today out my bedroom window I saw a scrawny guy standing in a full Santa suit on the sidewalk, just chillin’. A girl walks up to him and–I shit you not–sticks her hand down his woolly red pants. And we’re talking deep–like, grab-the-dude’s-dick-and-flail-it-around-a-bit deep. Santa didn’t seem particularly aroused, but it was hard to read the eyes buried between the beard and hat. I’m telling you man, only in Allston.

Alright, time to go dig out the ol’ car so I can get to Cafenation and get some actual productive freaking writing done. I’ll leave you with an image of what I wish I were doing this fine, snowy evening:

Listening to: “Great Divide” – The Cardigans

What a week, what a week. What happened again? I can hardly remember. I think bullet points are in order.

– Did not get the job I wanted in NYC. But I was SO FUCKING CLOSSSSEE I think. I reacted by scouring my apartment (the living room/kitcheny area at least). I dug out my little plastic tabletop Christmas tree and propped it up in a teapot. Sipped cheap merlot and listened to Vince Guaraldi’s version of “O Tannenbaum” and watched the lights twinkle. I do have a soft spot for ol’ Christmas.

– Wrote my first piece for Bostonist. I’ve always been a big fan of the -ist blogs (especially Londonist), so it’s very cool to get my foot in that door.

– While it’s a far cry from My Name in Lights, I did get “published” in Entertainment Weekly–in the letters section. My original was longer and angrier, and the “Girl Power” title’s kind of barftastic, but they got the gist. GAWD, do I hate all this Twilight bullshit. Real vampires don’t fucking SPARKLE. End of story. This was my original letter:

In “Twilight: A Hater’s Guide,” Clark Collis wrote that guys should skip “Twilight,” but that it’s a must-see for “girls and girls at heart.”

Well I’ve got news: Not all women dig “Twilight.” There are plenty of chicks out there, like me, who know that underneath its faux-gothic-romance sheen, “Twilight” is little more than a teen abstinence propaganda flick. We’ve seen quality star-crossed supernatural romances (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” anyone?) and know that they don’t have to come with bad writing, cardboard characters, and heavy-handed moralizing as a caveat.

We also like our heroines to have a little less simper and a little more personality. If girls across America are looking to Bella Swan as a role model, then we’ve got a generation of wet noodle nothings to contend with. If this is what comes after feminism, then I really don’t want to see the sequel.

This comic also sums up the asscrap of it all pretty well:

– Just spent 11 hours catering a wedding in South Boston. I’d forgotten how completely, soul-deep draining food service can be. But it wasn’t too bad, and it felt nice to be useful. I think it’s the first time I’ve worn a tie in a non-ironic or non-a-cappella-related capacity. I only dropped one tray of glasses, not too shabby. The guests were all so hammered themselves, they had already broken half of it anyway. Most of the people in the company were nice, except the chef who was TOTALLY BATSHIT. This stuff is gold, people. Oh, and to all my soon-to-be-wed friends out there–serving hot dogs and fake Chinese takeout for your reception dinner is not cute; it’s just tacky. And grooms–don’t give a 20-minute toast in which you talk more about the Patriots and your golf score than about your new wife.

– Went out on the town last night with some good friends and got abjectly plastered, and dropped waaay too much money on delicious martinis at Eastern Standard. But it was worth it. Hell, it was even worth the debilitating hangover. I now owe dear Alexis two cab fares. Man oh man I have gotta stop staying out so late. Oh wait, NO I DON’T. I love staying out late.

– The other night after a show at the Colonial, Travis and I ducked into the first restaurant we could find in Chinatown–which happened to be uber-sketchball. Like, policeman-looking-at-the-books-while-we-were-there, all-five-toilets-busted, roast-duck-that-tasted-like-feet sketchball. Between the nasty carpets and the tankful of eels, it all but screamed drug front.

– I dunno if  you’ve heard of Five Centimeters per Second, but it’s like the prettiest movie in the universe. Japanese animated film by Makoto Shinkai in which nothing crazy or supernatural happens–it’s just everyday mundane things, but shown in this ridiculously beautiful way.

– How much do I love J.D. Salinger? So much.

THE END!!!!!!

Listening to: “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” – Harry and the Potters

From the Territory Ahead catalog which I was browsing while on the loo: this, I shit you not, is a real product name:

The Vaguely Athletic Pullover.

Gotta give them fellas credit for honesty.

Christmas Eve was, well, unsurprisingly rife with family drama. It’s come to the point where I openly jot down notes during major holiday gatherings. My fucked-up fam’s a comitragic treasure trove.

I took this one down the other day at the nursing home, word for word:

MOM: Dad–dad!
GRANDPA: What?
M: Did you want your elephant?
G: What?
M: Your elephant! Did Pammy move your elephant away? Did she move it away?
G: What?
M: YOUR ELEPHANT!

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a restless, restless night.

Listening to: “Dog Faced Boy” – The Eels

That’s right, good ol’ Her-Majesty-with-a-movie-about-her is oldest reigning monarch of Britain, at age 81 and counting.

Of course, Londonist puts it best (bless their little black hearts):

“Her Majesty The Queen is now the oldest monarch Britain has ever enjoyed. Hang on, that sounds pervy. Let’s try again.”

In much localer news, Boston is in the process of getting another 3o0-odd feet of snow, a theater company actually liked something I wrote about them, and I’m packing to head home for El Christmaso, dog in tow. Not much looking forward to driving from Cold Climate to Colder Climate, but what are you gonna do. Here’s hoping Tucker doesn’t eat my parents’ house.

*Raises mug of spiked ‘nog*