Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Ever Fixed Mark

This is probably going to be my last post for the year, and while I'd like it to be a series of cheesy high and lowlights like what NW sucks me in with every summer, it's not. Earlier today I read these diary entries (via le projet d'amour) written by Emma Thompson during the filming of Ang Lee's Sense And Sensibility, one of my favourite films, and it's a more better (I'm sorry to quote possibly one of the most racist portrayals of a Japanese person ever, but I'm short on time). I first watched S&S with my sisters, before I read the book, and I loved it; I tried to find similarities between us and the Dashwoods, and didn't mind that I would have to be Margaret and therefore miss most of the action (I thought she was awesome anyway). I finally read it, and then one holiday when I was about fifteen, I watched it every night of the two weeks; I'd try to put other movies on, but then realise I was cheating myself, and all I wanted was to see Marianne recite Sonnet 116 in the rain, or Edward kiss Elinor's hand as they walked out of the church. I loved all three sisters, but, strangely considering the person I was (perhaps because the way she takes care of Marianne reminds me of how my sister takes care of me), Elinor was my favourite. When she tells Marianne she could have produced evidence enough of a broken heart, even for her, I want to slap Marianne, every time, in spite of the fact I talk and ask and love exactly the way Marianne does (before her heartbreak). When things happen to my sisters, I think of the scene where Marianne lies in fever and Elinor begs her not to leave her alone. I think Sense And Sensibility, more than any other film about families, captures what it is to have a sister; the shared history of events and poems, the confidences, the secret language, and the intimate knowledge of one another that no-one else can ever have.

Possibly because I think so much of Emma Thompson, the clash of Austen and the nineties doesn't bother me at all; in fact, I like it. When it came out that Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle were seeing each other, I was as disgusted as Bridget Jones was - curious (did Jennifer realise she was in love with Colin the first time she saw the set of Pemberley?), but disgusted. Reading about Kate Winslet's wedgie, however, was different; I felt as if the film was more real (not hindered by the entry about Ang Lee's anguish over Kate's torturous experience).

Anyway, I'll let you read it, and see how you feel. It's not very long, and left me wanting to read the book from which it comes, as well as watch Sense And Sensibility again, and to see my sisters, and sing the songs we grew up singing, and talk about people we all know. I have a lot to look forward to this summer (I'd have more if this cursed rain would subside!), but I think I'm most looking forward to being up north with my sisters and their girls, and our cousin (who lived with us for a bit when I was a baby) and her girls. There are lots of wonderful things about the world, but there is nothing, and I mean nothing (one more Breakfast At Tiffany's reference), like a sister.

It's been a hard year for lots of people I love, but it ends with all of us intact. The government is one I'm ashamed of, but it's galvanising me and Vincent. And even though we have to spend a night apart tomorrow, Vincent and I will see this year out and the new one in together, and that's the only way I could do it. See you next year mi amigos!

Image from The Fan Carpet.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas, Eve!

We've just returned from a late ramble to the Wishing Tree, and are supposed to be watching our final Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life, but we're just too tired. I'm sad, but I know it's for the best; I had about five hours of drunken sleep on Thursday night, and couldn't sleep in today because there was Too Much To Do. I'm exhausted, but still excited. It's Christmas Eve, and I love Christmas Eve.

Last night I watched Meet Me In St Louis, and felt all the same happy and sad and sentimental feelings. I just love Judy Garland. I wanted to post this, my favourite Christmas song, but it won't allow me to embed it, so you don't get to see Judy's beautiful face while you read this. Instead I'll leave you with this, a Christmas song I love for very different reasons. Which reminds me, I have to gloat about a present I just opened: beautiful editions of Engels' On Marx and Socialism: Utopian And Scientific, and Marx's Wages, Price And Profit, from my wonderful fellow socialist friend. I love thoughtful presents.

Merry Christmas my lovelies. I hope whatever you do and wherever you are, Maggie Thatcher is burning.

Oh, and the first part is What did Adam say the day before Christmas?

(Judy Garland image 'Meet Me In St Louis' still from

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Your Ass Face

I actually wanted to post Stool Boom but embedding has been disabled... and this is more appropriate anyway. I have wanted to say I Hate You And I Hate Your Ass Face about a zillion times today, and had to take the scissors from my workmate who shared my feelings (not about each other; we are on the same angry team and it makes it much more fun). I freely admit my wick is short (one of my boss's -isms), but really, people could just not be morons. I was listening to It Came Upon The Midnight Clear last night while I wrapped presents, and the line 'Peace on the earth, goodwill to men' struck me, and its exclusion or assimilation of women with the term 'men'. I thought about how I'm struggling with goodwill at the moment, and resolved to do better, and then realised I do have goodwill towards men. They come into the shop with print-outs of what they have found on the website, don't ask fifty billion questions about everything from 'do you have ten other sizes/colours/shapes/whatever we had five years ago' to 'is that the only paper you have'; they are pathetically grateful for everything, especially the giftwrapping, and nearly always say Merry Christmas. Bitches, we must do better.

I have barely time to sleep let alone think, so I haven't had much to say here lately. There are three days left of work, and five days until Christmas, and as always I have a million things to do before then. So I'm off to watch Meet Me In St Louis and to eat chocolate and drink tea and try to muster some goodwill to everyone. And when I do have time to think, I'm going to think about these things. I'm married to the best man in the world. I get to have Christmas with nearly all of the people I love best. I have a pretty new bikini, even if my bum doesn't fit in it (which reminds me, did you know what control undies were? I bought some thinking they were just very pretty high-waisted undies, which I've been wanting. They are, but besides that they are masochistic undergarments that cut you where your legs attach to your groin. Why?! Everyone knows there is nothing more flattering in the underwear world than Loose!). Anyway, life is good. And it's Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Return Of Christmas Spirit

You know it was a good party when you wake up feeling fine but still manage to pee the bed.

I've been absent, but it's been part of a new self-preservation strategy (don't do everything you want to do), and I think it's worked well enough that I can move on to phase two (do everything). Last week was the depths; it got a little easier once I could describe exactly how I felt, which was Spent. Every day I felt like I was giving what I barely had (even though I was actually being less nice to people than usual - two nights of shit sleep will do that), and when I got home there was nothing left except a grumpy shell. Someone said Vincent deserves a medal, and in spite of wanting to punch them in the face, I whole-heartedly agreed. Then Friday came, and in spite of exhaustion, I went to the pub, and remembered what it was like to be around people who don't need you to do anything for them. On Saturday, Vincent and I took Mum to buy her Christmas present from Roger's, and I remembered what it's like to be with someone who loves the little things, and we got to walk around beautiful plants and trees for an hour, with Vincent pushing our bright pink wheelbarrow. That night we went to our friends' Christmas party, and I remembered that there is, actually, a from of exercise I do, actually, enjoy, and that is dancing; particularly to 80s pop hits but the heart-rate was definitely higher during the drum & bass, and that meeting people can actually be enjoyable. Last night we did the last of Missy's Christmas shopping with her, and got to see the presents she's painstakingly wrapped, and the cards she has been making when she goes off to her room, puts up the Do Not Disturb sign she made at her birthday party (everyone else's just had their name), and pumps up the Bruno Mars (the cards would melt the heart of The White Witch herself). We ate at McDonalds, she and Vincent jousted with foam noodles at The Warehouse, and we picked dvds together. It was the final step in my recovery.

December is hard - I love it, but there's no denying it. There's so much to do, and when you work in a job that requires you to interact with fifty million people a day, it can be really hard to maintain any semblance of cheer, and when you remember the days of your youth when you had energy to burn so that wasn't a problem, it can be hard to give yourself a break; you feel like you don't deserve it, and you don't have time anyway - there's too much left that needs doing, and if you cut the things that can be cut, then all that's left is the stuff like waiting in line at the postshop, and having to have fillings redone because the (Mickey Mouse) dentist used defective stuff in your mouth.

So here is something enjoyable, albeit a bit sad too. I recently found this tumblr called Old Love of pictures of people who used to love each other. I think old love is one of the saddest things in the privileged world; even when people move on to better-suited love, the idea that a little flame that seemed like the most important thing in the world, burned out, appeals to my nostalgic and melancholy sides; I think of all the plans, and the beginnings, and then all the little signs that it wasn't forever. Anyway, the tumblr is addictive so a good escape (though not entirely mindless), and made me realise several things.
1. Youth is beautiful.
2. Anjelica Houston is the best.
3. Howard Hughes was a slut.
4. You have to take photos. Of everything.

Also I thought What happened to Winona? She, even more that Kate Moss, was queen of the nineties; queen! And now a Christmas song, because we need one and also we're running out of time. Six days, friends! Six days!

Oh Billy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I haven't slept properly in two nights now because of the humidity and the December monkeys (monkies?) on my back (having no blinds last night, because our very useless property manager has finally had them taken away to be cleaned, didn't help, although it did help me become better acquainted with our neighbours) plus I worked until eight so I have lots to catch up on at home like actually writing the cards I was so happy to finish last week so they actually arrive in time, but I wanted to post this lovely Christmas song. Life is mad at the moment, and I feel like I'm mad enough on my own. Anyway, I hope it gives you a moment's peace and happiness in a busy, busy month.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One Year In Mobile

A whole year. Admittedly, I was too shy to let anyone read it at first, so for a little while it was just me in Mobile. Although, really, it is always just me in Mobile. Try as I might to describe the mess in my head, and in spite of the happy times when we all say potato/tomato/oyster/pajamas/vanilla, when it comes down to it, it's just me in here. Which is one reason why this is so important to me; even when I'm completely pre-menstrual/hungover/overtired/just my usual amount of super-sized crazy, I don't feel quite so alone in my insanity when I can write it down and have it look something like sense and know someone read it and maybe knew what I meant by it. I hope I'm a bit better in my head than I was a year ago. I'm afraid that's not the case. (All together: Self-Improvement Is A Life-Long Commitment. I don't take those lightly. Ask anyone who knew me before and after I said I Do.)

The last few days I've been thinking, and talking with my sisters, really seriously about actually doing something about the current situation here. I seem to give myself pep-talks all the time and then get comfortable in my soft life, and all I ever have are intentions and dreams which become less and less viable as I age and try to trick Vincent into impregnating me. I've realised I can't do it by myself (the doing the stuff, not the making the baby) - not the first bit, anyway - and maybe you can't, either. One of my sisters wrote me a message in the weekend about doing what we can, and told me that the Dalai Lama said recently that times are dire and that the youth must act. She, and he (it would be a missed opportunity if I didn't show off and say I heard him speak at Eden Park in 2003; brother and I go back), are so right, and I know it, but I need to hear it. My middle sister and I talked about our plans at the pub on Sunday, and yesterday she sent me a text saying this is putting my money where my mouth is, and she's right, and I needed to hear that too. I honestly feel (and sometimes like to believe) that I'm a bit of a science experiment with my thoughts and moods and (extremely violent) feelings about things, but it strikes me that the need to be pushed a bit might be universal, or at least shared by we happy few, who care about people and fairness but have maybe been protecting ourselves, or getting strong in hiding, or biding our time. I've been doing a combination of these things, and a bit of just enjoying the luxury of having a good life, but it's not the time to be doing that. No-one begrudges someone a honeymoon, but I've had mine, and in the most important ways, the rest of my life will be a honeymoon. The front-lines have been in battle and they're losing; they need the next tier to put down our flags and pom-poms, and pick up some nunchucks.

I do have a point, and it's not my usual This Is What We Could Do, If Only. It's Let Us Do It, Together Everyone (originally Let's Do It, Together, but I needed to make an acronym and thought LUDITE would be memorable, except that luddite has two d's). We're busy, and all over the place (three countries, anyway), and we all make a difference by living the way we do, believing in what we believe in, but we can all make more of a difference if we unite and get a bit more Death Proof on it, and even though The Bride was heaps cooler, she had to be shot in the head to do what she did, whereas the Death Proof crew had a little bit of bad stuff and then got to take turns beating Kurt Russell to a pulp... I even lost myself there, but what I'm trying to say is Let's Talk About It, and Let's Support Each Other. Sometimes my sister and I won't talk about these plans at the pub because we're tired or feel like laughing, so we have to put aside other time to do it. Lord, now I sound like a preacher... And I say to thee, if thou call on thy friends... when all I want to say is, I'll push you if you push me. Let me be the Tenzing to your Hillary (provided the mountain is injustice and greed; if not, I will be the Susan and Sharon to your Vicky). You can leave a comment, or email me, and we can make plans and check on each other - kind of like after I saw Sing Your Song, but actually. Also, I need a bit of reigning in so I don't go all vigilante on things; I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

I had intended for this to be one of those retrospective posts with lists and Remember Whens but my St Crispin's Day redux has tired me. Above is my favourite version of the song from which this blog borrowed its name. The first time I heard it, I felt excited and I didn't know why; I still don't really get what Bobby D meant by the lyrics, although I know what some of them mean to me:

 'but deep inside my heart I know I can't escape'

 'everybody still talks about how badly they were shocked - but me, I expected it to happen' 

'the preacher looked so baffled...'

' "you see, you're just like me"'

'an' here I sit so patiently, waiting to find out what price
you have to pay to get out of
going through all these things twice.'

To end, a list and then one more song. The song is brilliant and relates to today's ramble, and I especially love the video because I think John looks like Vincent, and Yoko is knitting, and I like pretending we're like John and Yoko (although I can't knit); among other things, we've both always had it in us (and had interesting and successful solo careers) but I like to think our best work is what we do together; at least, I know that's the case for me. And the list.

Five songs to listen to when you feel like the world is just a burrito with a child's shoe in it:
1. Everybody Want To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
2. Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Sarah Vaughan
3. Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke
4. Baba O'Riley - The Who
5. Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric

Thanks for being part of my blog, you guys. Now let's go get karma, before it gets us!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

General Festivity

There's something festive about Irish music; I'm not sure what it is. Maybe they're just festive people (aha! Maybe I mean because they're so religious!). Anyway, The Pogues make a good Christmas music compromise, because I could play Christmas songs until the cows have gone out again, and Vincent could probably happily never ever listen to them (although he will grin and bear them for as long as he can). With The Pogues though, I can pretend they're Christmas songs and play Fairytale Of New York once for every three songs without anyone noticing (I don't think). See, I do try not to be selfish.

Anyway, Vincent played this when he was dj-ing the other night, and while I did get very very drunk, there were no fisticuffs or anything I was promising on Thursday; I just felt too happy. I drank, and danced, did a bad Eastern European accent, and had McDonalds for about the third time this week. And I think it did the trick; no longer am I The Grinch. Today we got up early to go to the Avondale markets with Dad and it felt so Christmassy; people weren't Christmas shopping (I think many probably don't observe Christmas) but the mixture of cultures and hustle and bustle were decidedly festive - the assault of colour from the hanging children's clothes, the smells of satay and fish (we bought flounder) and coconut, the different faces and languages, and then row upon row of fruit and vegetables (I couldn't help focussing on the red and white, just like at the video shop when all I seemed to pick up were covers with Christmas trees on them). There were so many flies buzzing around while we ate that it felt like mid-summer in spite of the absence of sun, and then my sister and I went down the road for a few and it felt as if we were on holiday.

I've been looking for new versions of my favourite Christmas songs and had been horribly disappointed... until I came across She & Him's Christmas album. For some reason I don't share the love affair with Zooey Deschanel that everyone else seems to be having; I think her voice is lovely but I find her a bit smug and smarty-pants (that's probably very unfair and partly based on the fact that her hair is always perfect), so I expected to hate this and the other songs I listened to, but I didn't. In fact, with the exception of a couple (one of which was I'll Be Home For Christmas, which hardly anybody gets right), I liked them very much. Maybe Zooey and I need to try again; maybe I am just jealous because she sings and has perfect hair and actual boobs and is named after a JD Salinger book (actually I don't know if that's true and I am not going to check her wikipedia page because I'm not that lame anymore, or at least I'm trying very hard not to be).

And just because we're feeling festive and honest, we will also listen to this song, which I think is a perfect cover for these two. (That switch to 'we' was weird; perhaps being magnanimous makes one speak like the queen.)

And end on the original because nine times out of ten, no matter how awesome a cover can be, the original is the best. Dad and I were listening to music while we cooked the flounder, singing along to Coast, and he said the same thing; you can't beat the original.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tick, Tick, Tick...

I'm almost at the point where I can't watch the news or I'll start breaking things. Even superficially harmless stories are annoying; for example, the amazing four-story fall without permanent injury of the mermaid. She said God was watching her. Does that mean that God wasn't watching everyone who has fallen and not survived? Is that when it becomes "God's plan"? Bullshit. Hearing how much investment rose after the government confirmed bail-outs? Total bullshit. And reading here that the richest 10% in NZ earns ten times what the poorest 10% gets? (Read more on the OECD website here.) I'm just about ready to get medieval on some asses.

I found out today that four of us at work are in sync (I mean our moons, not dance moves). Usually I like this kind of thing; it makes me feel at one with the moon and the earth, and like my uterus has friends, but today it made me feel a bit bad. A woman came in and bought some things, and managed to say thank you in so deadpan a fashion, I thought she may go out and kill herself, and said so. My work-friend, one of the afflicted (feminists, I'm joking!), said "yeah, she looked really unhappy". That is the difference between a bitch, and a not-bitch. It's not so bad being a bitch when you are alone and secretly think you're quite hilarious and that everyone deserves what you dish out. But around other people in a similar situation, who manage to take it on the chin and still be nice? Not so good.

Anyway, in news more flattering to myself, this afternoon I skipped a party I was supposed to go to and finished making my Christmas cards; and to flatter myself some more, I think they look rather nice. I'd like to take a photo so you can see but I've been comparing myself to a whale, beached on the couch, all afternoon, and I'm afraid it will reflect badly on other whales if I, all of a sudden, just get up and move. So you will have to wait.

It's really very strange being grinchy. I'm wondering if it's responsible for my rapid progress with our Christmas shopping; I'm too grumpy to be distracted from my mission. Usually if my friends were going to a December party at a bar I liked with free drinks I'd be there with sleigh-bells on, yet here I am, two minutes away, sober. I'm even listening to Christmas songs and not singing along.

I think the only solution is to get very drunk tomorrow night, and get in a fist-fight. Or at least call someone a cheap lousy faggot.

Happy Christmas your arse.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cards, Strikes, and Lock-Outs

This year, I am making my Christmas cards. Not planning to, like every other year. I have bought the necessary bits, fished out the felt from my craft box, dusted off my typewriter, and actually started. I know. Today I got our wrapping paper, and some crepe to make more decorations with, and Vincent and I just bought five books for presents, including two copies of The Communist Manifesto (double points). I feel dangerously organised (and, if I'm honest, a little bit smug). The only thing is, if I want to stay organised (and, by extension, smug), something has to go, and because Christmas is nineteen days away, it's going to have to be the long, rambling post I would usually write, so I will just leave you with a song I've been listening to along with the rest of Dylan's terrifying but great Christmas album.

I will just say one thing though. What the fuck kind of country are we to allow big companies to lock out workers? Wharfies, I'm with you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Progress (and a little whoopsie)

We got our tree yesterday! And I got up today and put on Christmas music and began to decorate the house and make my Christmas plans. Things looked very promising. Things were promising.

I put up Vincent's stocking that was made especially for him last year by my crafty (aha!) sister, Mycroft. I left mine up north with everyone else's but I think Santa will still find me; as we were discussing this morning, Vincent has lived in three towns/cities in NZ, so we shouldn't make it any harder for Santa to find him. I, on the other hand, have been here my entire life. Santa has no excuse.

This is our lovely little tree, from the place where I've gotten my trees from for about six or seven years now (tradition? Bingo!). In years past, our tree has been something of a Christmas sacrifice since we both suffer from hayfever, but so far I feel fine; perhaps the upshot of still not having had our blinds cleaned (in spite of asking our property manager intermittently for a year and a half) is that our resistance to allergens has improved. We bought some lights a few years ago but they are obnoxiously bright, so our little tree is fairly understated; just woven balls and stars I got from Trade Aid last year, and a vintage Geraldine souvenir teaspoon we tied up with ribbon.

And our first present; for my favourite uncle, Price. Even if I don't see him on Christmas day, Price is always present through the jokes you get in Christmas crackers (that my cousin and I save for each other); he's the wonderful kind of person who makes wordplay jokes and tells stories about his days at the Pink Pussycat, and when he found a big dildo at an old woman's house that he was painting. This year we really want to give people meaningful presents they will want to keep, or things that can be used up; everyone we know has enough stuff; except me because I take after my grandmother and am a renowned collector/hoarder, and maybe my nieces because they haven't been around very long. Price is a wine drinker, and is forever sharing his wine with me.

And here's the whoopsie. I took the photos, and then thought I'd better have some lunch: this delicious thing Vincent made last night while I was out gorging on homemade Malaysian food and doing karaoke (sober I might add; the mark of a true enthusiast) at the anniversary party of the loveliest family who live on my parents' street - they love each other so much that when I complimented his Mother's food to the son, he thanked me, and every time his Mother got up to sing, he would hurriedly bring out the camera and his Father would quickly cue up her song. They are beautiful, and they make me love NZ and Sandringham, and forgive the bad things that have happened while we've lived there like my beloved Converse skate shoes being nicked from the porch in form two. Anyway, the whoopsie. I dished out my food, and heated it, and it looked so green and I thought it's not St Paddy's; it's Christmas! This needs some red! And the first red that came to mind was Price's bottle of red, and Vincent's not here to stop me... Now I'm on my third glass and there's no way we can explain the depleted contents as a result of "settling"... but even though it's a bad on the present front, I hadn't actually had even one drink since it's been December and that couldn't be less festive, so I think the righted wrong cancels out the righted right, so we're about even. I think that may be Bridget Jones logic, but that's fine too. I know some girls think Bridget's lame, but I love her; I don't think she epitomises the woman who thinks she has to have a boyfriend, I think she's the woman who doesn't pretend to feel things she doesn't. When I read the book, I want to go out with my girl friends and fall out of taxis, and when I watch the movie I want to sing All By Myself in my pjs, and any time I think of her I think of people who are just who they are, trying to improve themselves.

Now I'm feeling the contentment that only comes from drinking wine on a Sunday (is there a better day for drinking than Sunday? One of my favourite Sunday memories is when my sister and I took a bottle of gin to the beach and then did a four-hour car trip; there were two vomits on the way home, one when the spewer had to grab hold of what was discovered to be an electric fence, and the other when the driver said no more stops so the spew went all over the back window), and even though I don't feel my usual It's 21-Days-Until-Christmas!!! self, I feel It's-Rainy-And-Dark-Outside-And-I'm-Happy-To-Be-Inside-With-My-Tree-And-Price's-Wine (can I assure you we will replace it, and actually now I think of it, this bottle was given to Vincent by one of his bosses, so actually another bottle will be more thoughtful?) and that's a nice, grown-up, I-know-what-the-world-is-like-but-I-can-still-smile kind of feeling. I don't think it's - and I hope it isn't - a new, grown-up approach to Christmas; it's in my blood to be a child about Christmas, exhausting everyone including myself waiting for it, and playing carols in June because December is too far away (both my sisters, my Mum, and I do this), and having some kind of meltdown on Christmas day because it's Too Much!!!. Wherever we are in the world, my family and I will always be connected at Christmas because we are the only people I know who are completely bonkers for it; even the year Mycroft almost made it to Bethlehem, the pilgrims there couldn't have more passion than we heathen daughters and our not-heathen parents, over-indulging in everything, most of all excitement.

And now I've completely lost my train of thought, but no matter. Here are two songs. The first is one that my lovely hostess sang last night, after I hadn't heard it for ages, and nearly made me cry - I love songs about things people don't usually write songs about, like getting out of prison and hoping your lady-friend will take you back. The second is another Christmas song that not many people I know (outside my immediate family) are familiar with, and unless you've stumbled across my blog (in which case: hello!), I must love you, so you deserve to know it too.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Grumps

It is the third of December and I don't have a tree. I haven't had a whisky ball, or a candy cane, and the only person I have told to have a good Christmas (I don't think I'll see him again before then) looked at me like I was mad (although, admittedly, he often does; we were working together when I was planning my nuptials and I had to tell him to explain why I was forty minutes late one morning... since then he seems to expect me to grow a third eye in front of him). I feel robbed and I blame EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. All of our noisy neighbours who make it necessary for us to wear earplugs to bed which fall out during the night so I wake up and hear the voices and the music and have trouble getting back to sleep because my ears feel itchy and I am straining through the earplugs to hear if anything comes through (they are 32 db strength; sometimes our neighbours are more). This morning we found out the morons playing shitty dance music (which alone deserved some kind of punishment) and screeching around their apartment with all of their lights on so we could see them cutting up pills and smoking, have been evicted, and I am HAPPY. No Christmas compassion here; I'm saving it for mute people, and people who go to sleep at ten every night. This is not how Christmas is supposed to be. I'm not supposed to have my grizzly patch until around the fifteenth. THIS HAS TO END. I hate people who have to fake Christmas cheer because they don't realise it's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, but I am going to have to join their ranks. This is MY TIME. I am not missing another minute of it. (So saying, she made a list of all of her Christmas Countdown traditions, hoping they would help her to feel better.)

Christmas Activities:
- Visit the Wishing Tree and call Santa (re his no-show last year, and what we're going to do about it)
- Bake Shortbread
- Carols By Candlelight

and a new tradition suggesting by Vincent(!!!):
- Get Really Drunk, like Roaring Drunk, just the two of us

Christmas Movies:
- It's A Wonderful Life (need to buy more tissues and drink several litres of water before this. Also maybe put some tea-bags in the freezer)
- Meet Me In St Louis
- Little Women
- Home Alone
- While You Were Sleeping

- Arthur Christmas (to which The Jenga Queen had invited Vincent the day we found our car was gone)
- The Little Match Girl (the one with Rudy Huxtable in it, which I saw when I was about four and have never forgotten)

Christmas Reading:
- A Christmas Carol
- Little Women
- Luke's Account of the Nativity

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I can't find my notebook that has my complete list in it. But this is a good start. Today we will buy our tree, and decorate our house, and tomorrow I will sleep in and wake up happy.

Happy weekend, every one.