vii when i was six and emily was three, we had a family summit to name our unborn third sister. emily gets this year's gift award for giving said sister, joanna, a tee shirt printed with her entry, beautiful rings.

viii punch drunk love: the snack-sized version of p.t. anderson's magnolia. considerably better than magnolia, i would argue; with the exception of a few psychedelic intercuts and good-but-overused philip seymour hoffman, it avoided indie gimmicks. i also suspect that adam sandler was actually acting, which was refreshing. joe's parents recommended this, leaving us to wonder why "it's weird, you'd like it" comes up with such regularity. at any rate, i'm getting closer to enjoying films that perform like short fiction.

ix dave weekly and his northern california crew invented the superhappyfunhouse, 2003's answer to douglas coupland's microserfs. dave, like douglas (wolk, not coupland) is the sort of person who makes me want to take notes on, well, everything. wish i'd been in town for screw winter - i love the banner.

iv i've been cheating on my newsstand with a chain store that has us weekly (for work! for work!) on the shelf by 8 a.m. on wednesdays. when i felt guilty and mended my ways, newsstand man gave me a women's wear daily calendar he'd saved from yesterday's unsold issues. i was touched.

v the road to turducken: while i would never explicitly endorse meat-eating, especially in the case of chickens stuffed in ducks stuffed in turkeys (it sounds too much like "there was an old lady who swallowed a fly"), i think the black table's do-it-yourself columnist is my new internet crush. walking the public through a meat-rainbow-recipe is only the beginning of his gift - he also features guides to prison pruno (moonshine made of putrid oranges, canned fruit cocktail, sugar and ketchup) and homemade spinach cigarettes. what would johnny cash have said?

vi WPIX's yule log: as paris hilton's adventures in arkansas out-nielsened president bush's speech last tuesday, so does the yule log smash every bit of rival new-york-area programming on christmas morning. for those of us who don't have fireplaces (natch) or the inclination to buy a cheeky fireplace videotape from urban outfitters, behold! the footage seems to be on a ten-second loop - i've seen that ember before - and the accompanying seasonal elevator music is pretty horrifying, but i'm liking the 'log. if i get restless, i can always stick our groove tube on the television and have another enrique iglesias christmas morning dance party. last year was awesome.

no luck with convincing the weather to turn sour again - it will be a clear (and if this spell holds out, balmy) christmas. of course, as i wrote that a couple in an old model t ford, dressed as santa and mrs. claus, stopped beneath the fire escape and yelled holiday wishes up to me. all is seasonal, in its own special way.

the twelve days of xmas, in factoids -
i the corporation's holiday party at tavern on the green was what i had hoped it would be: tipsy confessions, an executive dirty dancing with the mailroom staff, someone puking on the dance floor. apparently the friday afterward is legal's busiest day of the year for sexual harassment calls.

ii excellent rasputina show at the knitting factory last sunday - a concert dvd taping was in progress, so everyone was on their best behavior. rollicking covers of "rock and roll," "barracuda," "bad moon rising."

iii the return of the king: the nazgul fortress was much more frightening than mordor was - that doesn't seem right. fortunately shelob looked more like a tarantula than a black widow, thereby sparing me the disgrace of peeing with fright. enjoy your profits with my blessing, peter jackson.
(to be continued)


i was going to rhapsodize about acquiring and embellishing a christmas tree last night, but everything is cuter in australia:
Our tree is up. Amelia J loves it - she looks up at it and says "TA!", and waves her hands above her head - which is her way of singing "twinkle twinkle little star". She's upstairs at the moment, in her cot - and she's meant to be napping - but I can hear that there is a parrot in the gum tree outside her window snacking on some tasty blossom and it's squawking and Amelia is saying "Hello! Hello!".

(loobylu's claire)
ours is nice too, of course. george is coming over to admire it.


snaps from grant and valya's wedding, 10.03: the furies (the director, the blogger, the bride), pride and prejudice (my foot, metameat).


i keep expecting the cats to get excited about the snow - i mean, they can chase sunlight reflected from the face of my watch for forty-five minutes at a stretch - but they don't see thousands of fluffy white house flies, they see slow rain.

i watched the "we got him" news for twenty, thirty minutes this morning, felt dirty, and flipped over to the closest antidote i could find - at the time, ice skating. i kind of hate ice skating, but it's less bizarre than watching medics comb nits out of saddam hussein's hair.


BLIZZARD 2003 ended last night for everyone but airport travelers. someone salted the hell out of our sidewalks, so the neighborhood is pudgy curbs under a fisheye sky.

sometimes i think "via chicago" is the alt-country sibling of belle & sebastian's "this is just a modern rock song." it's the anthem of the day.

I printed my name on the back of a leaf
And I watched it float away
The hope I had in a notebook full of white,
dry pages
Was all I tried to save
But the wind blew me back via Chicago
In the middle of the night
And all without fight
At the crush of veils and starlight
I know I'll make it back
One of these days and turn on your TV
To watch a man with a face like mine
Being chased down a busy street
When he gets caught I won't get up
And I won't go to sleep
I'm coming home, I'm coming home
Via Chicago


did you know that viggo mortensen / aragorn has a fifteen-year-old son with x's exene cervenka? i sure didn't.

we are to fete sarah knight this evening with birthday dancing at guernica, a hip hop club in the village. did you know that guernica means cheescake factory decor in spanish? i sure didn't. they play lots of dr. dre, though, and i feel like representing california when it's snowing. also i can't dance to anything else.


our christmas tree guy has a three-pronged jestery santa hat and a pile of douglas firs on the sidewalk in front of the rite-aid up the street. but they smell great, the trees, and they look pretty good and only cost $20, and i yearn. it's annoying to write press releases about decorating all day and come home to blank walls and the vague odor of cat problems.

home sweet home in legos, sort of.


finally brought it to The Corporation's attention that, while the new york work week is 35 hours and i've been paid accordingly, It instructed me to follow a 40 hour schedule; It apologized profusely, promised back pay for the last three months, and lopped an hour from my upcoming days.

i celebrated with a very long nap; no sleep for me tonight.

top ten excerpts from nothing personal, a thrash album by the best friend* of this goth i kinda dated in high school:

10. Twice my heart fell / Off of this shelf
09. You've got to cut this Safety Pin Romance
08. When I [EXPLETIVE]ed you I [SAME EXPLETIVE]ed myself
07. Carnal Suicide / Carnal Suicide
06. I wear my flesh like a blanket / You wear yours like a beret
05. I dedicate this dirge to you my love / To listen to as I die
04. I tried walking next to your friend Zeus today
03. Chanting madly / Never does / A dumb boy make
02. I can't run any more / It's not fair to anyone involved

*his band was called CUTTING ROOM FLOOR.


first snow of the season around eleven today. i thought it was flurries of ash, so i grabbed some guy to confirm: yes, he said, the first snow of the season! it's helpful when passerby realize what one wants to know.

bonus: the first time i've ever set my lunch on fire, as it was all windy and the paper bag came too close to my lighter. mmm, melty salad.


those were e-mails, incidentally. one was from me, but not the first; i am not in france. at least, i don't think so.

big bad bomb threat on the 20th floor a few hours ago. i think the intercom guy phoned it in himself - he's obviously too, too fond of making announcements about nearby fires.

joe's in arizona. i'm grouchy and lonely.

the black table, a grouchy and lonely site with helpful ratings, craigslist summaries, lots of profanity (look out). i like.