the name says it all:

this is not appealing

this is not appealing

S took me to a party in Berkeley (by the way, Berkeley sounds like a Finnish profanity – a story for another time). The highlight of the party was the multitude of artfully prepared adult beverages. There was peppermint schnapps hot chocolate, cranberry cider, alcohol unknown, and the most ridiculously delicious rum-spiked eggnog. ever. it was light and frothy and so tasty and so strong. my mouth is watering thinking about it. i had to leave the party early because otherwise i would have drunk the whole vat of it. there was literally a vat.

here we are, in the bathroom before i left for bed:

hats!

hats!

aww. my giant (faux) fur hat is obscuring s’s fantastic headpiece. look closely. it’s almost as amazing as the eggnog.

finding his name on the naughty list, Santa knew he had only one option...

finding his name on the naughty list, Santa knew he had only one option...

i know that Santa here is supposed to be rappelling down the side of some lucky family’s home with a sack full of worldly delights, but doesn’t he look like he is hanging himself? we all feel the holiday stress… yet…et tu Santa??

— plunked herself and her bags down into the grass, leaned back on her elbows and stretched her legs out in front of her. she breathed deeply and tuned into the song playing in her headphones. taking in the park surrounding her, she noticed how the blades of grass shivered in the wind changing shades from light to dark the sunlight refracting off each fluttering piece. — enjoyed the effect which served to calm her nerves. her train would be coming soon. she wished that it wouldn’t. it would be great to have a glass of that wine right now, she thought.

the night before, — and — and a newly made acquaintance had drunk too much at a party and decided to stop by the new one’s house to have some booze before proceeding to the night’s next event: crashing a housewarming for some folks from school. the new one showed them into his living room lead them to a walnut inlaid hutch and told them to pick a bottle any bottle while he retrieved directions to the party. far from being an oenophile, — picked blindly. he picked a good one. they could smell the rich aroma before the fermented liquid even reached their drinking glasses. they drank it out of plastic party cups walking through the moist night air spilling precious gulps as they swayed towards the next festivities.

— savored the olfactory impression from the night previous. having drunk too much she could remember little else after that smell and she turned the detail over and over in her head sighing with pleasure at each turn. she continued to wait. her hands petted the grass, letting it tickle the sensitive valleys in between her fingers. too bad she and — hadn’t saved the name of the bottle. it’s just as well since we couldn’t afford it anyhow.

the park was beginning to lose its appeal as the train pulled up. she boarded without paying. what a strange city, she thought climbing the stairs.

— sat next to marie antoinette that day on the train. her white powdered hair tickled —‘s nose when marie turned to look out the window. — could not help but stare into the spongy curls stacked atop the lady’s head. she inhaled deeply and smelled nothing, but the dirty man across the aisle. she continued to stare at the hair wanting to feel the sensation it would make in between her fingers and on her palms. softer than the grass, she thought. she looked back at her own curls – a walnut brown like the new one’s hutch – appeared ashen next to the bright white mass of kinky ringlets in front of her. i bet her hair tastes like angel food cake, sweet and melting and light. mademoiselle do you mind if i taste your hair? how ridiculous. — giggled as “let them eat cake” took on a whole new meaning. she returned to the song  playing in her ears.

mom at her 41st high school reunion!

mom at her 41st high school reunion!

My mom is so cute and freakishly youthful! I look at my mom, who is nearing 60, and think what the hell deal did she make? And can I have some?

rubber band ball gets into holiday spirit

rubber band ball gets into holiday spirit

sometimes, work is boring.

Know what’s awesome? Rye whiskey. Old Potrero Rye Whiskey to be precise. Oh man. I would drink it for breakfast if it weren’t for the becoming intoxicated and all. But, I can never find it. San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing Company, responsible for another one of my favorite beverages  – Anchor Steam beer, produces this wonderful elixir in such small batches, and it is in such high demand because of it’s awesomeness, that it is constantly sold out. So when I walked into Bi-Rite, our neighborhood local, organic (read: expensive) grocery to get some sustainable chicken, I could not resist the bottle, the last bottle of Old Potrero sitting on their shelves. $60 dollars later, I’m kicking myself for being so damn indulgent and in this economy: “You can give it as a gift and be guilt free”   “To whom? No one in my family drinks whiskey?” “Fine. It’s a gift for Will. . . and me.”

Flash ahead three hours, after a cozy, winter dinner of free-range chicken, parsnip and apple stew, to postprandial danielle sated and sipping The OP while watching 30 Rock. This is living. The cherry on top of my evening was this exchange:

Jack to Lemon after kissing her on the cheek: What is that your wearing?

Lemon: Anti-aging, acne cream.

Holy shit, Tina Fey, when did you climb into my life?

thanksgiving weekend affords much t.v. watching time. imagine my delight when i sat down this evening and found that a trifecta of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy movies was on – all at the same time: star wars, lord of the rings, and superman! sweeeeet. i’ve been alternating between childhood fantasies and elations for the past hour. it’s wonderful.

today, i got a new mobile phone that Will says looks like its outta the hoth system. dressing like princess leia in the hoth system is totally my steez, so i’m stoked.

my mobile phone

my mobile phone

in other news. i got some sweet ankle boots at the junior league consignment store. big ups to the gilded lady who parted with her yojis. i am your grateful beneficiary.

yoji yamamoto ankle boots

yoji yamamoto ankle boots

another cool thing is the hostess gift i put together for will’s cousins. i’m feeling pretty proud of myself for recognizing social protocol and coming up with something other than the standard flowers, fruit basket, or bottle of wine. well, there was a bottle of wine involved…wine, costa rican coffee, chocolate in the shape of turkey, and four dark and milk chocolate letters spelling “FALL.” the coup de grace was the addition of unshelled hazelnuts to act as packing peanuts for the whole thing.

i wish i had gotten a better shot

i wish i had gotten a better shot

and finally, i submitted my application for employment to barack obama. it’s in the hands of the universe now

i woke up this morning depressed that i wouldn’t be seeing my family today on our most hallowed of family holidays. my mom has been hosting thanksgiving for 30 years, feeding and entertaining my ever-growing family. i think at last count my mom’s side numbered 40. and i was saddened to realize i haven’t been part of those 40 folks in the last four years. i’ve tried to remain connected to our traditions by hosting thanksgiving in our san francisco apartments, or at least making dinner with all the fixins for me and will.

year one: first thanksgiving away and my family asked me to write the grace for my family’s thanksgiving, the first since my sitto’s death, mom read it on my behalf, apartment sink overflowed because our upstairs neighbors kept dumping food down their drain, spent the whole time bailing out the freaking sink and had to interrupt our landlord’s thanksgiving dinner so he could come over and fix it, ended up that they had clogged 20 feet of pipe, “never seen anything like it” said the plumber, the apple pie was excellent.

year two: delicious food, just me and will, lonely, anxiety-filled day, stared at each other across the table and vowed never to do thanksgiving alone again.

year three: finally! people came! best turkey ever! lots of red wine and tryptophan, postprandial walk encountered the most amazing street performer ever! fell asleep/passed out sitting in our armchair! fun times!

this year: ceded my hosting duties and we’re off to will’s cousin’s home in marin, made sitto’s stuffing, my one connection to the family this year.

so as i was saying, i woke up down in the mouth. groan. roll over. head on, hands under pillow. look at my nightstand through one puffy eye. ugh, i don’t wanna get up. catch sight of my tea from last night. our new coffee mugs are great. they hold a double cup of whatever warm beverage, and are rotund enough for both my hands to encircle them comfortably. the lip is tapered and feels delicate in the mouth despite their large size. nice. mmm, costa rican coffee. that’ll help.

kitty. don’t play with the pen. he has an inexplicable love of pens. you’re gonna wake will. pen and attached sunday times magazine hit the floor with cat close behind. luckily they all land on the bedside sheepskin rug . i grab the pen before kitty can roll it onto the hardwood and make a sleep-hindering racket. soft rug, feels nice between my fingers.

nightstand

nightstand

ok kitty you got me. the triumvirate of coffee, crossword, and burying my bare feet in that soft, thick rug rouses me. no longer sleepy and cheered by these small pleasures, i realize i’ve got much to be grateful for. far from my family but insulated

will and kitty ivan

will and kitty ivan

by a home full of simple pleasures and a person and pet i love dearly.

so i’ve been especially delinquent in writing on this thing. i think it’s cause my life is so damn bland that its depressing to recount its quotidian drabness. work, workout, eat, wine, tv, sleep and again – this time with feeling. i am trying to commit myself to improving me. i am coming to realize more and more that life’s short and i only got one and every day is a day closer to death and blah blah blah. the good thing that has come from this renewed awareness of my mortality is motivation to do something, anything that will make a difference in this world. so cliche but ya know, what the hell is the point if our lives dont have staying power. ugh. i guess i could just become a hedonist, glutting my life away with food and booze and sex with many. wasn’t that the original plan, to live for life’s pleasures and work as little as possible while still funding that lifestyle? now i feel this need to be creative, to make something unforgettable. and that’s a lot to live up to. it’s stultifying. i really just want to run away to a tropical island in the pacific and spend my days on the beach gathering food and carving out a living with nothing. going back to our survivalist roots. then i’d be rid of my constant existensial anxiety and also be outdoors in the fresh sea air therapeutic and healing. warm ocean water encircling ankles whisper-touch skin. grounded and floating at once. no pressure to create anything but a good and healthy life for oneself. not to say that i don’t love the creativity of others in this world. i do. it also distracts from the anxiety of the is-that-all-there-is? feeling. now to find some inspiration. i guess writing this is an exercise in finding that creative bone and swinging it till i hit something good and hard.