get ready for puberty

In addition to being my friend Dean’s birthday, today is also New Year’s Eve.  Happy birthday, Dean.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — 31 is the new 11, so get ready for puberty. 

If unabashedly offensive and disturbing Internet cartoons are your thing, give his site some traffic, and then send him an email about how deeply offended you are.  He’ll like that.

sort of way

I feel like this past year has changed me so much, but back here with my family and old friends — people who have a history with my old ways — I find myself falling back into my former self.  This is not to say that I am a completely different person, just different than the person who lived on West 130th and collected unemployment for much of 2003.  And not different in a "I’ve seen the world" sort of way, more like a "I’ve spent far too much time sitting by myself and staring into my own soul" sort of way.

the water came

Lots of people have died this week, an almost incomprehensible number of people.  The number continues to climb daily, and I reckon we’ll probably never know the final count.  It’s hard to think about a tragedy of this magnitude, it’s hard to watch the news networks try to out-tragedy each other with new footage of the waves sweeping people, cars, chairs away; new stories of Westerners who were vacationing in Thailand when the water came.

Donate money to the relief effort. 

The American government has donated a paltry $35 million so far, which is an embarrassingly small amount coming from the wealthiest country in the world.  We’ve spent more than $100 billion to liberate the impoverished and tyrannized citizens of Iraq, surely we can spend more than $35 million to help the impoverished and newly-homeless citizens of South Asia.  Spain has donated more than $70 million so far, and the Bush administration is planning on spending between $30 and $40 million on Bush’s inauguration in January.  Perhaps Bush is planning on donating prayer in lieu of money. 

Is there a key?

I have been a bit of an emotional mess this holiday season.  There are many culprits, but few solutions.  I’ve been drinking more than I should, I’ve been thinking more than I’d like.  I’ve spent too much time looking forward to this instead of living in the moment, which is behavior that almost always seems to result in disappointment and eventual post-mortem depression. 

And then, she closed and locked the door on our relationship two days before Christmas.  Where is the key, I wonder.  Is there a key?

And then, more than 25,000 people died in South Asia.

But then, I have been seeing and reconnecting with old friends and family.  This is undeniably wonderful, although I find myself always wishing for more profound connections, more meaningful conversations.  Time is passing, after all.  I’ve never felt time passing so tangibly, I can almost feel these moments pass while they happen. 

As I type this I realize that most of the people here who read this will probably find these words to be surprising.  I’ve come to realize that my life in typed words and my life in person don’t often match, and I’m not sure I want them to.  Or, perhaps I do and am subconsciously frustrated at my inability to make them match.      

happiness and magic and continued boredom

Lights

Merry Christmas, dear readers of my humble and oft pointless website.  It makes me happy, and a bit unsettled, that people who I both know and don’t know remain bored enough to read my words.  I wish all of you happiness and magic and continued boredom.

This morning was spent opening presents, eating a delicious Christmas breakfast, and preparing for the large family gathering that is scheduled to begin momentarily.  I polished silverware and wine glasses, which is something that I have never felt the need or inclination to do in the past.  Has Korea made me more anal retentive, or is it just age rearing its anal retentive head?

There’s a case of wine to drink and about fifteen pounds of cow in the oven, so I must leave you here.  Everyone be happy. 

future nostalgia

I have been hesitant to post because there has been too much going on to capture in words.  Not events, the events I can list — decorating the tree, going to dinner, shopping, drinking, etc. — it’s the thoughts and meanings going on behind those events that leave me at a loss for words.  It’s something like:  I know that I’m going to look back at this time — this short week in Cleveland — with nostalgia, so I’m doing my best to make it a time worth remembering.  Is that neurotic, or obsessive?  Probably.

The thing is, despite (or, perhaps, because of) all this obsessing over the potential of future nostalgia, I can feel these moments slipping away like sand through my fingers.  This is maybe one of the ways that life gets harder with age.

There is lots of snow here, and it continues to fall as I type this.  Driving is a bitch, but it sure makes everything look like Christmas.  I like that.  Christmas should look like Christmas. 

Last night I put the lights on the tree while wearing rubber gloves to avoid getting sticky with sap.  I didn’t find it to be all that strange, but my family seemed to think it was one of the more ridiculous things I have done.

Today I ate a fajita burrito at Chipoltle.  It was delicious, and the company was nice, too.   

thus far it is

I am back home, and thus far it is everything that being back home after a fourteen month absence should be.  Wonderful, strange, familiar, confusing, nostalgia-laden, different, and almost exactly the same as it was when I left.  Mostly the nostalgia, as many of these streets and places are haunted with the ghosts of memory.  I have seen some of my friends, and I’m finding it both reassuring and unsettling that nothing much has really changed, and that most of them say that I am just the same as well.  I feel different, but I suppose I am probably the same person I was when I left, or perhaps I am just falling back into the role that is expected of me. 

I have been overly emotional, and slightly irrational, and this I attribute to the flood of friends and family that will be arriving this week.  I so want this time to be magical, I flinch at anything that might make it less than.      

me in Harlem

Me