What I Do Miss About the Holidays

Just about everything.

And this:

I was only in Los Angeles for the night. I dropped my suitcase at home, drove to Hollywood and rocked it with my fake rock band until the wee hours. Dana closed out the night as only she can. Props to Josh, Sarah, Scott, Allison and Buster for the background.

What I Don’t Miss About the Holidays

These people, who was I trapped between for a flight from Burbank to New York.

See, she needed the aisle because she constantly had to pee. That’s what she told me when I sat down. He needed the window because he wanted to take pictures. That’s what I figured out when he couldn’t stop taking pictures of the wing. What they failed to mention was that they were going to yell at each other the entire flight. Here, they argue over an incredibly fragrant breakfast burrito.

So what had happened was–

It’s a couple days before Christmas, I’m at Grand Central Station, and there’s some time before the train to Connecticut. Not a lot of time, but some time. Enough to grab a drink.

There’d been some drinking the night before, so I didn’t want another glass of wine. I just wanted something to sip while I waited, so I ordered a Scotch. Glenlivet, with one ice cube.

This is what came to the table:

“No, excuse me, I wanted it with just one ice cube,” I said. “Or neat. There’s water in this, right?”

“No, ma’am. That’s all Scotch.”

“Why? Are you trying to kill me?”

It’s got to be $40 worth of Scotch that they gave me for $12. I’ve thought about it for a while, and I can’t figure out which one is the answer.

1. The bartender was crazy-impressed with my order, and went balls-out on the pour. (This happens sometimes, apparently a woman ordering Scotch sends some bartenders over the edge. A few months ago when I ordered, the bartender turned to my friend and said, “You need to marry this woman.” Yes, because she doesn’t mind getting drunk before her meal.)

2. The bartender assumed anyone ordering Scotch at that hour was on her way to an extremely trying Christmas vacation, and was trying to say, “Lady, I get it.”

3. The bartender assumed the Scotch was for the gentleman next to me. When the waiter arrived, he placed the wrong drink in front of me. “Champagne for the lady?” he said, with a flourish. Nope. Champagne for the gentleman. It was one of those moments where I’m hoping it comes off all cool, but inside I’m mortified that it looks like I have an actual drinking problem.

Whatever the bartender had in mind by pouring half a bottle of Scotch into a glass, I mostly felt bad that I barely put a dent in it by the time I had to leave for the train. Not that I didn’t give it my best shot.

It was one of my better Christmas presents this year.

Keeping Up Tradition

Same place, same day, new year, new terminal. Thankful for the things that stay the same, grateful for the things that are new.

Hmm. I did have a picture taken from last year’s Jet Blue post-Xmas flight, but now I remember I never got to post it, as a woman sitting at the table next to me struck up a conversation and we ended up eating lunch together, swapping stories of love and romance. One thing I’ve definitely inherited from my mother is whatever it is that causes strangers to want to intensely bond for about an hour and then disappear forever.

Happy holidays, everybody. Hope your days are filled with love.

Come On, Jet Blue.

This is ridiculous.

I’m now sitting in the JFK airport, with free wireless, having a glass of wine and sushi as I wait for my flight to start boarding.

You must know:

1. I normally would never do this.
2. But this is my vacation, and I told myself I’d do things I normally wouldn’t do.
3. It still feels way too decadent, but I’m going to let myself enjoy it because
4. Yesterday was quite emotional.

I got to see lots of family and friends. We tried to see more, but families are complicated, and some people shy away from contact, and consequently we were sometimes turned away, or left knocking at the door, or sometimes we asked not to come anywhere near the door. Read more

something i will never forget

I spent almost twenty-four hours with my sister this weekend. We never do this. We’ve never done anything like this. My sister has lived up north for almost a year, a two hour train ride to Grand Central. She’s never been to New York before. This time I was making sure she got to see a little of the city. As I was shuttling from JFK to Manhattan, she was on the train. We were headed towards each other, meeting far from both of our homes. She had no idea where she was going, and neither did I, quite honestly. In fact it was Dan who had to tell Bosie how to get there, which train to take and when. I’m getting better, but there are still times when this place is a mystery to me. Read more

flowers from alchaonon

[readermail]
Subject: So…
From: pamie
To: Allison and ChrisAB and Vince, and stee.

Message:

stee just called.

stee: So, I came home to find amazon boxes. For me. Probably from C3 [Patron Saint of TWoP].
pamie: Thanks for bragging.
stee: And there are flowers.
pamie: For me?
stee: The card says, “Dan and Jane, thank you for a lovely time and for hosting the event. Phil.”
pamie: …
stee: …
pamie: We got someone else’s flowers?
stee: So I called the florist, and after about twenty minutes of me going, “Are they from Gersh?” He finally said, “No, there are like, kids names. And it says I love you.”
pamie: I don’t understand.
stee: I think they’re from Allison and AB and Chris and Vince and…Teri?
pamie: Madeleine?
stee: Sure.
pamie: Are they pretty?
stee: Yes. But they’re probably the wrong flowers, too. But they sent them. And I think they’re from those guys.
pamie: I will thank them.
stee: Yeah, that’s nice of them, to send you flowers.
pamie: They’re nice people.
stee: Yeah.
pamie: Why did you tell me you got boxes from C3 first? Jealous of my flowers?
stee: …
[/readermail] Read more

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

In her latest entry, Sara gives a tour of tacky Hollywood homes, including my favorite — the year-round David house. This house is lined in white statues of David, and for Christmas they all get tiny Santa hats.

Our neighborhood is decorated with lots and lots of lights, prompting stee to buy some lights at Target yesterday. That’s when we learned our house has no exterior electrical outlet. Every day homeownership teaches you something new. (We’ve found a workaround — please no helpful suggestions!) Yesterday I trimmed the… green stuff… out on the front hill, around the parking spot. It looks really good, but even though I wore gloves I’ve got three blisters on my right hand. I’m sure that the rest of this next week will involve me accidentally slamming my shouder into something blunt, burning my wrist while cooking, burning my neck while doing my hair, snapping a fingernail off at the quick while reaching for the remote control, and accidentally getting my face caught in the middle of a Cal/Taylor brawl. Because I’m a pretty, pretty bride. Read more

the best gift

The presents are arriving. I cannot tell from their exteriors if they are for the wedding or Christmas, so I’m just assuming everything is a wedding gift and we’re putting them aside to open after the wedding.

It’s been eighty degrees around here lately, and the weather combined with all the upcoming festivities, it sort of feels like Christmas has been cancelled this year. I’m okay with that; I couldn’t possibly afford both events in one week. Read more