I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "Missn' You"]

Saturday, December 22, 2001
Begnnng to feel a lot like Christmas...Snow

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Cool amethyst rng from Tavia and afraid to put on the matchng earrngs, for fear of losng them.

The prospect of seeng Lord of the Rngs, though I never read the books, disliked the animated version and have about a million thngs to do (laundry, buy NY bagels for the folks, buy and wrap presents for Mom, Granny, my uncle and his wife and most especially The Boy, who, bless his heart, still believes n Santa) between now and tomorrow night. Fool!

Sweet holiday cards and readers who ask me to "never stop writng." Thanks Sandra!

Pretty spiffy and high tech, just to fnally be able to do some work at Starbucks, with fewer distractions than at home.

You and you know it makes me bonkers. This way is just not worthy of us. You know it, I know it and Bob Dole knows it!

The Empire State Buildng when I went to meet Tavia for lunch. It's so fabulous and makes me all misty, this town.

The 400 Blows, eventually. I'm not gong to make good use of my NetFlix account at this rate.

The ScreenSavers, like the wannabe geek I am.

On Chris Perrillo, he's my knd of geek.

A woman's cell phone rng to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me."

Palm chargng me for Palm.net seervice on both Palms, one with a $9.99 activation fee no less, and gettng overdrawn on my checkng account the day before payday. Thanks, thanks a lot.

Beng able to "do lunch" with Tavia without havng to rush back to work or anythng. Sure wish this was my real life! It's like that last 2 weeks I had the first time I lived n New York when all I had to do was go to doctor appontments and wander the streets takng black and white photographs with my new camera. All that with $3,000 n the bank -- I felt like an heiress!

For a one hour enlargement for Mom's Christmas present from CVS at the Starbucks next door. I know, I am feedng the corporate machne.

Next to a wee table full of cops. Yummy! I know, I'm surprised as hell to fnd myself turnng nto a uniform junkie. The frightenng thng is that so manyo f them are just kids. I know I'm gettng older, but damn!

Sendng Netra all my money, because I've enabled the Tim Tam jones n Dorothy and Tavia now, as well as my own damn self.

I am...amazed that I got my holiday cards out relatively early (2 weeks ago), but have done almost nothng n the nterim. I ordered presents for 3-4 people at that time too and, with the exception of one hot, hellish hour at Odd Job last weekend, I've done bupkus to prepare for my few days out of town or the holidays.

Initially, I ordered 60 cards, which I thought was plenty, but nothng compared to some people (don't know how she does it!), but I went through those n 2 days and it was too late to order more cards without payng exhorbitant overnight shippng charges.

I tried to prnt cards on photo paper, but they all got cut off on one side or the other, even though I left plenty of margn. Didn't I read somewhere that, traditionally, cards were sent for New Year's rather than Christmas, so why sweat the perceived deadlne? I just underestimated how popular the cards would be and how many people I wanted to give them to, between gettng back n touch with high school and college friends durng the year n SoCal, havng lived n seveeral different cities and wantng to spread a little extra holiday cheer this year.

Generally, it's all I can do to afford the cards and postage (which can really add up -- $1 or so per person times 60) for everyone on my list, so gettng really stressed for the holidays was a foreign concept to me. This year I make a little bit more, enough to have some sense of margn (even if I still tend to waste it) nstead of just gettng by, so I felt blessed that I was able to give gifts at all. Usually I just send a little somethng to Fang and maybe Dorothy and spoil The Boy like crazy. This year I decided to stick with Secret Santa spendng levels so I could give to a few more people. So far, the most I've spent on anyone is $15. I'll spend more on Mom and The Boy, Ana (due mostly to shippng costs) and perhaps Fang when "Russian Christmas" fnally rolls around. Really, though, it's not necessary to spend $50 or $100 per person to give them somethng thoughtful. I can't imagne operatng from that pont of view.

I wanted to give everyone photographs last year but had no ncome, so I'm dong it this year. I have about half a dozen photos that I felt were worthy of framng, so there's a bit of duplication, because I ended up likng 3 photos more than the others. One bunch of frames I found were 30% off or somesuch, so they were really nexpensive and everyone raved about them. They're especially nice because they are just made of heavy glass so I put n two photographs. Lauren said she keeps turnng hers, so she can see different photos. After I gave her the framed photos, I realized it can also be used as paperweights. I also like that it's just plan glass, no frame or anythng, so you can just focus on the photograph. It's simple and elegant. As a gift, it's very personal because I took the photo and because I did match the photos with the personality or the recipient's neighborhood.

My surprise favorite, the one I thought I was only gettng for my boss, but ended up wantng to give to everyone, is a blurry photo of a couple walkng through Central Park. It was the height of fall and the leaves were glorious -- entirely rich, gold and crimson. I gave it to my friend Andrea, because she loves plants and hikng, to my boss because he likes to jog n the park, and to Lauren because she's a lifelong West Sider and I associate the park with the West Side even though it's n the middle of the island (though, technically, it's on the West side of Fifth Avenue, meanng it's entirely on the West side).

Only n talkng with Dorothy after she received it did I realize a possible subconcious reason that I gave it to her as well (I'd ntended to give her the LOVE sign). I was havng a bad day at work and stormed out. It was fall for sure, but it was warm enough for me to sit on a big rock n the park for 20 mnutes to cool down. I called Dorothy to relay my frustration. I took a series of photos that day, before, durng and after speakng with her. I'm so glad there's another, more personal, association for Dorothy with that photograph.

I thnk I pulled away from the whole Christmas thng this year when it started to feel like work. I have always heard people grumble about Christmas and never understood it because I love it nsanely, even n all the hokey commercialism. I guess it's one of those thngs my family did so well, despite all the evilness throughout the year and even the threats that "Christmas is just gong to be like another day around here, if you don't shape up." I guess I could've taken that stress and had that as my strongest association with the holiday, but neither Christmas nor my birthday were ever "cancelled." As a result, I remember it as a good time, particularly the years when my cousns were close by and we had big family gatherngs together. I was spoiled with lots of toys (n high school I received a Canon T70 and a few years later an Apple IIgs) and, though I miss openng piles of presents myself, I did learn to enjoy givng presents almost as much.

When it started to stress me out, I stopped. I didn't give myself a deadlne to do the 60 cards n 2 (work) days, but I was just n a momentum and went with it. After burnng the fuck out of myself with sealng wax on Jade's card, I guess I lost a bit of the old Christmas spirit! It was good to take a week or two off and forget about it, to remember it really is the thought that counts and not the timng or money spent. I just want to fnd a few more fun toys for The Boy and I'll be satisfied that I gave it my best shot this year.

. . .

Of course, after I wrote all of that, my Mom called and started the guilt trip about my grandma and before I knew it, I was buyng presents for all the aunts, uncles and cousns. Then she called back and told me I'd better not spend too much money because I need to start payng her back for the laptop. Well, jeez make up your mnd! I have never understood why she's so obsessed with pleasng my dad's mom.

[Next entry: "a Jolly Christmas Elf"]
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