Saturday, December 24, 2005

So This is Christmas

I just found out today that a friend of mine from college has cancer. How can this happen? How can a young person have a malignant tumor in her colon? It seems so unreal, like a horrible dream. Christmas seems so superficial now, with all the shoppers buying last-minute thoughtless gifts. They're like zombies, expressionless and wandering through my store grabbing whatever off the shelves as a last resort. To quote Holden Caufield, "it depresses the hell out of me." That Charlie Brown "Christmas Time is Here" song keeps going through my head. It's the perfect soundtrack to this depressing holiday season. It sounds so blue--and it makes me think of people shuffling silently through the snow, going from store to store, not talking to anyone, not enjoying themselves. To top it all off, I just read the newest Banana Yoshimoto book, which is all about death, like a lot of her stories. The stories are so simple, beautiful, and mystical but a little depressing. Oh, and all the snow just melted, and it's raining.

Christmas morning, K and I will wake up, have some Christmas crepes filled with Nutella and bananas, open our presents, go to a buffet at a fancy hotel with a chocolate fountain, and maybe go bowling or watch a movie. K has to work for a few hours on Christmas, so we opted not to go home again this year, even though that would have been nice. But it's easy for us--unlike my friend, who is too young to be going through this (no one at any age is supposed to go through this). It makes me think, wow, this could happen to anyone. It seems so heartless and random.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Insomnia on St. Lucia Day

I've been trying to fall asleep for about an hour and decided to get up and get something productive done, like writing this. I'm planning on waking up at 5:30am to bake a St. Lucia Day coffee cake. The dough is all ready to go--I just have to braid it, let it rise for twenty more minutes, then bake it for thirty minutes. Hopefully it will be done before K has to go to work. I get in these moods during the Christmas season--wanting to be Martha with baking, making my own cards, decorating the apartment in lights and fake evergreen garlands from Michael's. It's a combination of boredom and my growing domestic urges, which I think, are brought on by age. I dream of being a retro housewife, with a totally 50's decorated house, with a pink-tiled bathroom, a bright yellow kitchen with pastel appliances and sheer white ruffled/yellow polka-dotted curtains on the windows, Ikea-like atomic-age/Palm Springs furniture in the living room, and a peach bedroom with a fluffy white rug below the peach satin bed and peach satin ballooned wall hanging, with a writing desk to write letters on my monogrammed perfumed peach stationery, and a white vanity with a big square mirror-- and not a speck of dust anywhere, with gleaming kitchen floors and glittery formica kitchen counters. What's gotten into me? A few years ago I wanted to be a hippie living in a VW Van, travelling the US and staying in random state parks, living off of my crocheted hats, scarves, and doilies. Now I dream of domesticity and read vintage homekeeping books and "Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House," by Cheryl Mendelsson--a huge book about seven-hundren pages in length devoted to housekeeping. But does my apartment reflect this dust-free/shining floors peach daydream? No. It's a mess, and there's dust bunnies on the hardwood floor, I'm ashamed to admit. Yesterday K came down with a little bug and wanted to take a warm bath and I had to scrub it out before he used it. I'm sure the nastiness is making us both sick, as I am trying to fight an oncoming cold. As in everything I want to undertake, whether it be writing music, writing stories, painting a picture or cleaning my house, I seem to come up with a billion reasons why I don't have time, yet spend endless hours in the library, at the computer (surfing), watching the same Simpsons episodes over and over, and trying to read about ten books at the same time. I really think I could do with some Ritalin. It seems I have a hard time with focusing and self-discipline. I'm out of shape, have bags under my eyes, and yet still do things to my body that make me feel like shit. Will I ever learn? Kelly and I have a theory that the people who make it in the art/writing/music world, are those that aren't necessarily super talented, but have the ability to cut through the mental bullshit and create/practice no matter what. I tend to stop myself before I ever get started. If I keep this up, how will I ever have my clean and lovely aparment? Or a career in the arts? Or a body that doesn't feel tired and tense all the time?

In four and a half hours I will attempt to wake up and bake my coffee cake. St. Lucia is the patroness of light, and it's an old tradition in Sweden for the oldest girl to don a white robe and a wreath of candles upon her golden head and bring this braided bread to her parents in bed. Sounds pretty dangerous if you ask me. But lovely, nonetheless.