Saturday, November 15, 2003
tree as metaphor

when my heart felt broken this summer, i remember saying to shivlet that i was no longer going to be proud and alone waiting for the absolute purest love. no longer was i going to scoff at going out with strangers just because i had no guarantee that they'd ever live up to the man i expected to be worthy of my heart. nope. it had left me celibate for a year, holding out for the right one, and he'd turned out to be a nonrefundable ill-fitting size.

so i said to shiv, i'm going to be open-minded this time. i'm going to give a stranger a chance. i'm going to be looser about my standards of ultimate perfection. "and by christmas," i told shiv, "maybe i'll just have a nice guy to help me carry home my christmas tree." and all that went along with that, i thought. the snuggles, the held hands, the awkward dance of getting closer with someone ... it was all going to be part of that. and the carrying of the tree.

well, it's been three months since then and i've tried, i have, but it hasn't really worked so far. not that it won't, ever, or that i'm upset at the way my attempts at dating have progressed. but i looked around a few weeks ago and realized that once again, i wouldn't have someone to help me with my wonderful beautiful tree, an event i look forward to with sacrosanct glee.

and then it dawned on me this morning. no, it wouldn't be that faceless yet appropriately sweet boyfriend. like hell. that guy doesn't usually stick around long enough for the needles to fall off. no, this year i won't be dragging my little tree down the cold streets alone, but better yet - i'll have two pairs of hands.
hers and hers. right where i always come back to - my friends. and that shit rocks the face off any boyfriend, any day, any way.

hurrah for christmas, hurrah for trees, and hurrah for my girls.

love, krissa .... 1:05 AM ... link!

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Friday, November 14, 2003

when i was seven, my parents irrefutably proved the existence of santa through a crafty manuever whereby my older brother doubled back to the house on christmas eve after we'd left for a friend's gathering, ate the cookies, drank the milk, opened the flue, and put out all the presents.

this led my already-doubting mind to joyfully proclaim, YES, INDEED, THERE IS A BENEVOLENT MAN WEARING RED AND FUR WHO BRINGS ME JOY AND PRESENTS. of course, time and MTV and the hip cynicism of the nineties wore me down. yes, friends, i often scoffed at the practice of convincing small armies of suspectible children that a complete stranger with a beard would give them the presents that parents buy with their hard-earned money, often morgaging their homes to afford the latest commercial hoo-hah that rampant vicious consumerism convinces the children they can't live wihout the gagdet du jour.... bah humbug, i said!

well, my faith has been duly restored. it's the miracle of tearjerker-movie proportions, I ONCE AGAIN BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS. why, you ask? what did the
amazing biscuit pull out of his big black santa bag?

why, a visit from KATE. yes, that's right. the unholy troika of girl power will be reunited again, with our trusty and sexy male sidekicks. the amount of joy this brings me? TOO MUCH TO WRITE IN WORDS.

kate. back here for five full days. christmas window displays. macy's santa. ice skating in central park. getting knackered on mulled wine with shivery. slumber parties. snowball fights. a big christmas party complete with bing crosby, a tree, and mistletoe. decorating my tree with kate and shiv. and all of this, courtesy of the best SANTA CLAUS ever, and his merrily scheming MISSUS CLAUS.


love, krissa .... 7:58 PM ... link!

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this is what we talk about when we talk about love

her: honestly, i wasn't like, blown over by his awesomeness but he seems alright.
me: oh.
her: and he didn't seem blown over by me, either, but i'll look forward to seeing him next week.
me: so you're lukewarm.
her: yeah, i'd call it that. tepid, i'd say.
me: so it's kind of like, "i'd save his arm if it fell off. give it back to him. you know. but i wouldn't ride in the AMBULANCE or anything."
her: that sounds about right. i'd even call the ambulance. and then i'd warmly wish him luck with that arm thing.
me: huh.

love, krissa .... 12:17 AM ... link!

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Thursday, November 13, 2003
blog life

let's face it - there's a lot i could write about here. if you know me, you know how chaotic the last four to six months have been in my life. love, health, career ... everything has thrown the rule book out the window and punched below the belt. there have been some dizzying highs, as well, mainly gleaned from moments and weekends spent in the company of delightful friends.

the point is, you either know these events directly or you can tell i've been on a rollercoaster from my vague references to them. this isn't the moment where i'm going to bare all and tell you without censoring myself. in fact, if you're waiting around for that kind of confessional, i suggest you start flipping through more
teenage diaries. my point is, you know it's been hectic. i know you know it's been hectic.

and sometimes it feels like lying. sometimes it feels like a sham, to keep this blog and profess openness and communication while not really letting any of you in on the innermost workings of my day-to-day. i mean, sometimes i simply don't post because i can't think of anything to say. and much like my kate is temporarily doing, i've thought about shutting this off more times than i can count.

the reason i don't blog without censor is because my blog life and my real life exist in mostly joyous entangled harmony. i've been on dates with bloggers, met them in other cities, made dearest friends, exchanged emails, chatted daily on IM with them... and my real life friends and family, some of which are bloggers, read pH. for the most part, i wouldn't have it any other way. it's a forum where i like to express myself, why would i hide that from my biggest cheering section? but i'm too direct - if i have a complaint or disagreement with someone, i'll tell them immediately but i refuse to write about them in the third person, in a place they'd read it. so i don't.

and while this makes for some tough calls and vague references and whole days where i can't post, it's also got an unexpected benefit... creativity. if i posted every day about my feelings and my desires and my fears, this would simply be a private diary that i let others read. which works for some, but not for me. i'd rather entertain, share my ideas and stories, cast my personality out there among other writers and see if anything i say catches anyone's interest. i don't really blog just for me - if i did, it'd be a much more boring place. i blog because of you. i like rolling over ideas or topics in my mind as i'm falling asleep, wondering how it'll take, who will respond. sometimes i hold a little contest in my head to see whose comments on any given post will be funnier - greg's or bryan's or dan's.

the point of this is - while attempting to keep my private life private has made for some awkward silences and made me feel a shade dishonest, it's also made me more aware of how to write for others, not just for yourself. and it pushes me to be creative. and let's face it - at least 25% as funny as greg. because most days when i read greg's funniness, i want to just stab my blog and announce the death of petit hiboux.

love, krissa .... 12:08 AM ... link!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003
the Anti-Hipster Declaration:

it's been decided. mainly, by me.

genuine enthusiasm is the new ironic enthusiasm.

who's with me?

love, krissa .... 11:36 PM ... link!

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"but what i really want to do is ______."

a few months ago, i got a surprisingly flattering email from a reader that made me sit up and rub my eyes a bit and take notice. she's a literary agent and her email simply said that she liked my writing and knew that i was going to law school, but was wondering if i'd ever considered writing more concretely.

it blew me away. not because it seemed like an opportunity to become a writer, but because i'd thrown away the idea so long ago. when i was young, i always thought i'd be a writer, eventually. i realized, at some point in college, that i had no way of simply becoming a writer. i realized that i was already a writer, yes, in that my greatest joy in the world was stringing little pearls of words together to form something beautiful. or truthful. or powerful. or funny. or all of the above. but that i wasn't going to pursue the avenue of published authorliness.

so then here was this wonderful woman, taking note of what she considered a talent, and it was an experience much like driving down a highway with complete confidence and realizing you've missed your exit by about ten miles. did i belong on that other path, that writerly path? wasn't i thrilled to the pinks of my toenails that i'd decided to follow the law school path? wasn't i almost zen in my belief that if a novel was gestating in me, it'd be born of it's own volution? shana's encouragement and notice meant a lot to me, but i also knew my own mind, i had the steering wheel firmly gripped, and literary exit be damned, i was going to law school.

but two months before our meeting, something else had happened that was a signpost back to that same exit. around christmas, i was sitting with my mother and brother in our home in rhode island, talking about the corbett family legacy: my mother's sprawling irish-catholic family who mainly live in brasil now. i grew up on the stories of my mother's family. the ten brothers and sisters, the debutante balls, my grandfather's strict but wise governing, my grandmother's sparing belgian affection. i grew up on the same tales - the plantation outside rio where the family spent summers, my diplomat uncles and their illustrious overseas careers, my uncle leo's beautiful baritone operatic singing. with little extended family in my immediate childhood, these tales of faraway aunts and uncles were the mythic backbone of my near-imaginary family. i never spent very much time with any of them. my grandfather daniel, and uncles daniel jr, peter, and terrence passed away before i was born. not knowing them meant their stories were fairy tales to me - fairy tales of my mother's enchanted upper-middle-class childhood.

as i grew older, however, the stories became distinctly more real. the floating ethereal beauty of the myth became tinged with stories of deception, feud, broken promises, difficult decisions, and lifelong rifts and scars. in truth, my mother's family is an epic where the main narrator thus far - my mother - still bears conflicting and complicated memories and beliefs. my knowledge of the corbett family saga, from her perspective, is now complete. but it's left me with even more questions.

and talking openly about it with my mother and brother, the seedling of the idea was born. that i wanted to research it. that i wanted to - yes - write a book. both mother and brother were over-the-top excited about the idea. who better to write it, they asked? not only a writer, but a family member with enough distance and perspective to make it an interesting, dynamic tale from every perspective possible. yes, we all thought, i could write this book. this exploration into family ties, into the irish-catholic upbringing, into the turbulent fifties and sixties, into the immigrant experience, and a search into the past, opening a pandora's box that ten men and women may not even want to revisit. but also an exploration of what it was like to be the explorer of secrets old and buried.

flash to the present day. the idea has seemed crazy to me after my very first week of euphoria. i'm going to law school. i work, full time. when would i possibly have the chance to get down to brasil for at least three months, armed with thousands of hours of recording device capacity and a powerful enough laptop to transcribe fifteen to twenty peoples' recollections about their lives? the airfare, the car, the logistics of where to stay - mindboggling. even more daunting is the delicate task of convincing my family - people ranging from ages forty to eighty, some of whom don't talk to each other anymore - that digging up the past with a shovel and a prayer is remotely a good idea.

last night, this all came to a head again. talking with a friend over coffee, a friend who's good at this go-getter kind of stuff, i brought it up, casually, in a discussion about being a writer. "yeah," i said, "there's always been this one idea for a book, the only book i'd want to write." telling him about it, i felt almost nostalgic about the idea, as if i'd already tried it and failed. but his enthusiasm was both surprising [not everyone thinks this is the most insane idea ever?] and contagious. he said, and rightly so, that no matter what else i did with my life, if i didn't do this i'd regret it.

and he's right. as much as i want to go to law school, and i do, this project lives someplace a lot deeper in my soul. it lives in a place where it doesn't matter if it gets published, or ever sees the light of day. where i imagine how exciting it would be to take this idea, take this very quest, and see it through as far as i can. where i brim with more questions than i could ever hope to have answered by my mother. it's the end of a long string that starts with curiosity and ends with accomplishing something worthwhile.

i believe that no matter how herculean a plan can look in the distance [and it can], it becomes infinitely more doable when you get up close. from the plains of the serengeti, mount kilimanjaro is a massive obstacle, a smooth and dangerous and legendary shangri-la. but standing at the base, your foot prepped to make your first step, you realize a massive mountain is nothing but very small pieces of dirt and rock. and come on, dirt and rock never stopped anyone from doing anything.

so i'm brewing this idea a step farther. perhaps i'll make some phone calls, perhaps i'll write some letters. perhaps i'll start by saying "i'm going to do this" instead of "i've always wanted to". the unsurmountable doesn't look so impossible when you pull out a calculator, mark up a calendar, open a fresh notebook, and just start.

love, krissa .... 7:58 PM ... link!

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what we all really thought of matrix trilogy...

london mark rocks my FACE.

love, krissa .... 7:10 PM ... link!

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Monday, November 10, 2003
various and sundry

1. it's been a long time since i've cried at work. it's been a long time since i've cried at work about anything but my own problems.
bryan changed that.

2. the weekend in rhode island with shivery, biscuit, his flexible, and jason, was marvelous. we went to newport, ambled around the cliff walk and looked out over the ocean, at at a wharf seafood place, laughed about rehoboth for twenty miles, ate home-cooked goodness, rattled around my big house bumping into each other and laughing, lit a roaringly delicious fire, drank copious amounts of wine, stayed up late and slept til noon, and curled up together on the couch and talked the nights away.

3. last weekend's halloween party has produced some gems, courtesy of jason, who will one day be my personal photographer. you know. when i'm famous. for accomplishments as yet unspecified. here's kate looking stunning, a devilishly delicious john steed, even avengers break for tea, and of course, heaven's missing angels.

4. in other photographic news, jason continues to shine with his camera: kate looking winsome, me looking pensive, and the two of us looking happy. soulmates, indeed! the unholy troika of shiv, kate, and krissa has been firmly established.

5. and finally, after a weekend of relaxing, it's always nice to stand on the subway platform, tired and dragging your feet and weekend bags, and have one new york's battier, shiftier denizens scream obscenities into your ear. thanks for welcoming me home, gotham. sure know how to make a girl feel welcome.

love, krissa .... 10:06 PM ... link!

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