Friday, December 26, 2003
a million lights, a million stories

here, charles tries once again to spend christmas with his mother. he wakes up, chooses the shirt hanging at the back of his closet, the button down an aunt gave him that he never wears. his car won't start in the snappingly cold air. never mind, he tries again. he arrives at his mother's shingled cape cod home and spends exactly three hours and seventeen minutes there, according to the swinging-tail cat clock with the shifty eyes. they eat dry turkey. his mother oscillates between nagging and silence. she looks older. he leaves at the stroke of five.

the streets are quiet, resignation palpable in this forgotten town his mother lives and will die in. there's a bar, a shack drooping at the edge of the farm route. he stops there. there are two cars, only two other loners, perched at the edge of the bar. the bar is simply called mike's. charles slumps into the bar stool like molasses settling and orders a beer. when the shaggy redheaded girl at the other end of the bar looks up and gives him a weak smile, he figures, what the hell. he walks over, sits down next to her, and says with a laugh, "hey, merry christmas."


here, sherry knows peter is coming to her house for christmas, because mom invited peter's parents. mom is humming some cheesy christmas song in the kitchen, obsessing over the gravy. sherry leans forward carefully over mom's vanity mirror, carefully destroying her mother's eyeliner pencil by giving herself heavy-lidded eyes. she tilts her head and sucks her cheeks in and thinks, if you squint the right way, she looks a little like angelina jolie. except, you know, thirteen with brown hair. nevermind. he'll like it.

but when she opens the door to let the macallisters in, peter doesn't even notice her deliberately torn black tee and jean skirt. nor does he even glance at her coup de grace - eight hole doc maartens. all through dinner, sherry throws what she assumes are "come-hither" glances at peter and his long black hair, but he just pushes the cranberry sauce around and snorts derisively every time his dad talks about his job.

it's only at the end of the evening, when she's standing on the back deck. that he comes outside, having stolen a coors light from the fridge, and nods upward in her direction. "nice shoes." that's what he says. she knows not to smile - she just shrugs. he walks over to her, his breath hanging in the air like mist. she tosses her bangs out of her eyes, trying to control her shaking hands behind her back. one side of his mouth turns up into a grin. and then peter macallister says, "merry christmas."


here, catherine is at home, her crepe-paper hands carefully dusting the fireplace before her son and grandchildren descend on the house and the piled-up presents. her hands only just betray a slight tremor of the disease that will claim her in five years.

but the hands are still capable enough to pick up the picture frame of john, who left her in this world three years ago. she's a tough bird, our catherine, not given to tracing lines in the faces of loved ones. but she gives herself this, and stares at his once-young face and says, "merry christmas."


here, in front of a convenience store. a young boy, golden locks framing his round face, brown eyes peering out from under his wooly cap, is being dragged along the sidewalk by a mother furious that she forgot to buy enough eggs. little ryan chooses this moment, in front of the sleeping derelict, to use the powers of a four-year-old's body weight to stop the forward projectory of his harried mother. he stares at the sleeping man. looks at his mother. looks at the man. and says studiously, "merry christmas."


here, a twenty two year old soldier from kentucky looks into the unfeeling void of a CNN camera lens and talks, pretending it's his family's eyes and smiles, "merry christmas!"


here, a grown daughter spends christmas with two parents, in two houses, for the first time. she then gets drunk with her best friend and cries, wailing with hiccups, "merry christmas."


here, a pastor looks out over his congregation and thinks their lives might feel just a little bit better because the choir sounds so angelic today. to the flock he wishes, "merry christmas."


here, a woman kisses her pudgy husband and means it, even though yesterday she yelled at him about the plumbing in the basement. she says, "merry christmas."


here, a man usually too busy and important to talk to the harried, drawn woman at his deli, remembers as he's leaving, and yells back, "merry christmas!"


here, there's always a little bit of magic and a little bit of sorrow. here, it's christmas.

love, krissa .... 8:00 AM ... link!

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Thursday, December 25, 2003
merry christmas baby


desktop waterfall, edith piaf cd, and fujifilm I-O advantix P&S for mom
tom petty and the heartbreakers "playback" box set for brother
strait-line laser level for dad


DVD player and picture frames from dad
trivial pursuit 20th edition and zippo candle lighter (engraved!) from mom and dad
cashmere sweater, animal toe-socks, aromatherapy candles from mom
carton of kamel red lights and target gift card from luiz


ate delicious christmas-eve greek chicken and drank shiraz
went next door to lovely neighbors house to borrow flour (just call me june cleaver!)
made sweet-potato casserole with brother
biscuit's cranberry sauce



love, krissa .... 8:32 PM ... link!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2003
candy canes for all the good little kidlets

help! we're changing our knickers! don't look, naughty children.

welcome to the briefly redesigned but infinitely more colorful pH. grab a candy cane, stay and chat a while. notice how the sidebar is no longer pixel-defined by percentages. those of you with safari should have told me a long time ago that you had massive gigantor sidebar issues, i would have bowed and scraped to fix it.

i'd like to thank the academy
matt-hieu for not only designing my cheery banner, but also sitting on the phone and talking me through the TD changes.

and for being a great shag friend.

merry fucking christmas y'all.

love, krissa .... 10:33 AM ... link!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
pub chat

it's about 9:30 and the pub's just starting to get loud, with some football going on in the background and whiskey flowing carelessly.
shivery just got trounced at pool, but since the teams switched round so much, no one has any idea who won. kate and shivery and i are discussing my attempt at a date on saturday night, then i chat with mark about the viable possibility of him actually having an evil, egotistical twin. stuart and i discuss snarky ways to get out of work, but wicked D thinks it best to discuss how the troika could really pull off some tasteful pornography. now mark, bring me round another pint, would you, dear?

alas, wouldn't it be nice if i'd really been there, as opposed to simply being chatted around the table on my mobile?

love, krissa .... 12:56 AM ... link!

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Monday, December 22, 2003
locker room love

let me tell you about a place. a place with a thousand shades of blue tiles on the walls, giving the place a oceanic sense of calm. with long seamless mirrors, lit carefully with quiet strong lighting. granite countertops, with beautiful
porcelain basins to wash your face. use the complimentary washcloth. feeling tired? try the H20 evian mist. need hair products? will that be gel, hairspray, or mousse? or you could shave your legs - there's the disposable razor and shaving cream. and your hair? hey, they've got eighteen-hundred-watt hair dryers, about a dozen of them.

the showers are individual smoke-glass stalls with lovely shoulder-massaging showerheads. forgot your shampoo? no problem. elegant dispensers in each shower offer you shampoo, conditioner, and body-wash. need a towel? need four? no problem. unlimited towels, generous and fluffy and perfectly folded, await you at the entrance.

yes, you guessed it - i've fallen in love with my new gym new gym's locker room. it's the perfect antidote for the screetching wailing stress that is midtown holiday fever. i can go there, strip, wrap myself in several towels, partake of the steam room and then a refreshing warm shower. and i can do all this on the ground floor of my office building.

oh, while i'm there, i'll probably work out, too.

love, krissa .... 9:03 PM ... link!

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