*holly jolly.

You should see me right now.

No really, you should. I'm the personification of cliché, and I need witnesses. I am in front of my sagging laptop, glaring down my own reflection in the window in front of which it sits. (Note to self: Downgrade desk lamp wattage.) Hair in a geisha knot, last of the day's mascara flecking down my face, just enough to keep the under-eye smudge from being entirely holy-shit-this-is-what-30-does-to-you? Not one but two dirty plates alongside, testament to Triscuit and frozen burrito diet. To the right, freelance project atop often opened but rarely carefully studied camera manual; to the left, dog snoring in my bed, which he has overtaken on the basic principle of "my feet are dirty and therefore mucking up your sheets," an opening gambit to which I have no recourse. (Touché, mutt.)

Yet there's a creepy sort of contentment to it, a warmth I don't generally entertain, born out of radio Christmas carols and gift giving and twinkly lights and, at least in part, to Sex and the City.


But I've been re-watching it for ... let's just say Not The First Time, with a patient friend, and I'm struck by how it's different from the last time I embarked on a marathon viewing, curled up on the sofa with LSis, blithely letting the hours pass in our pajamas, hair in geisha knots, last of two days ago's mascara obliterated—rubbed onto shirt sleeves and into pillowcases—making midday runs to the convenience store for cigarettes because Carrie made it look so effortlessly cool.

Frankly, she still does.

Only now I know better. I know that smoking is effortlessly cool, and that it makes you wake up feeling like you swept the chimney with your tongue. I know that the show's conceit—four women, each supposedly a caricature of what exists inside all of our doubled-up x chromosomes—is heavy-handed, and that cosmopolitans are some sort of cosmic joke, a pinkifying of a perfectly good martini. I know that rent-controlled is a myth and that there is no such thing as "having sex like a man," even for men. I know that shoes and babies will always be uniters.

Because the theme of that show seems to be loneliness—how long we must endure it, how to survive it, and the many many ways in which we must be constantly at the ready should life decide to benevolently divest us of it.

I'm a quarter of the way through season five for the frillionth time, and I still have no idea what makes us less lonely. (Studies show it's not Cheez-its and cherry vodka.)


But I gotta say, with its demanded kindness and forced slow-down and sense that (even should one have chosen a career in a wheezing industry and/or have blindly driven one's car into a guardrail) there is something around the corner, Christmas sure do take the edge off.

*unexpected gifts.

Why do I feel so exhausted? And WHOA what is with the swoopy lightheadedness?


Oh yeah. I forgot to take my meds this morning.

But I've been told that if I have to head home anyway, I might as well just stay there.




Half of my Christmas presents have not yet arrived, which FedEx chirps cheerfully into my inbox on a semi-regular schedule. "Now we're in PORTLAND!" Well I'm glad you're so all-fired excited about it; my giftee resides in THE 'HAM.

I neglected to even contemplate sending holiday cards; I haven't cooked or baked a single warm, nostalgic, or spirited item; and I have spent zero minutes curled up on the sofa with marshmallow-studded hot chocolate in hand, rocking my kicky light-up Santa headband and sneaking sips of the peppermint schnapps whilst crowing along to "Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey."

So when this appeared on my desk this morning, lovingly wrapped in brown paper and sweet buttons and tied with a red bow, I was a little blown away.

cookie flakes.

I can turn snickerdoodles into hockey pucks, but there's no way I could pull this off.

sugar snow.

I mean that looks like it requires patience and level-headedness and hand-eye coordination. I swore at a squirrel this morning because I tripped over the crack in my own sidewalk.


It's a good thing I'm so adorable.

k face.

Or, you know, baffled about where the shutter-release is.

*leave of senses.

What a week.


It's only Wednesday?

jin yoko.

Pass the jin, Yoko.

I suspect posts will be sporadic and lame (see above) until the new year, or at whatever point we manage to get this issue out, I finish the last freelance project of the year, and Christmas presents just walk on out and buy themselves.

But I do miss ranting in this forum, and the relative sanity it provides.

Dear week:

Should you not provide me with the opportunity to vent into the void, I will implode. This strikes me as messy, and possibly dangerous to passersby.

Coping skills being as they are, at a stunning nadir, I may also be forced to find alternate routes to calmness, including but not limited to pilfering untold amounts of Tootsie Roll Pops from office candy bowls and crafting sartorial solutions to workplace frigidity that consist entirely of "if you're cold in one dress, wear two."

So I beg of you, week, please back off. Or pretty soon there's not going to be enough therapy in all the land.



*ho ho hum.

I don't know what's happening to me lately, what's sucking every sprightly molecule from my soul and making the thought of having to create something—anything—feel like a Herculean effort.

Though if I had to guess, I'd probably blame it on that pesky job o' mine, with all its "duties" and "tasks" and "expectations of productivity."

I do know that I am lucky to have a job, any job, pesky or otherwise, and I can't in good conscience overlook its perks: I haven't purchased a cosmetics item in the seven years I've worked here, preferring to greedily pocket all sundry giveaways of eyeshadows, nail polishes, and face cleansers. This means sometimes settling for DayGlo shades better suited to '80s costume parties or '90s raves, but I prefer to approach the world with an aggressive "What? It's a statement" rather than actually spend money on makeup.

I also tote home weird crap, which I generally dump on TFin and JBSH with a self-satisfied grin and the hopes that they'll forgive my randomness in favor of my great generosity. I'm all, "Look! An oyster shucker!" and they pat me on my head and shove the sharp object into the darkest recesses of the nearest junk drawer.

Today, though, there were cupcakes. Possible fodder for an upcoming story on coconut, I believe. And though I am not an avid coconut eater, nor an avid sweets eater, nor an avid frosting lover, I ate the damned thing because it was pretty. This is unrelated to the numbers on my scale, I feel comfortably certain.

coco cupcake.

Isn't that delovely? It was even nicer in person, for the 10 minutes it lasted before I hoovered it. Like a glossy hill sprinkled with snowdrifts by a heavy hand. Just right for the season.

You know, on the Woodside. Where it's currently 68 degrees and foggy.

Because when TFin and JBSH put their tree up before Thanksgiving, they had no worries that it would dry out.

bonita tree.

Santa sails into Alabama on a wave of 94% humidity.

*reality bites.

I fear this is becoming a pattern of sorts, falling off the Interwebs for days on end, only to resurface and create a distraction in the hopes that no one will notice my carefully honed slacking skills.

Look! Shiny things! Or! In the absence of same, deranged dog!

snake bite.

It's Friday, people. That is quite literally all I got.

work. loads.

cheep. terrorfied.

Send. Help.

*various and sundry.

An ode to writing laziness: images from the holiday weekend.


Turkey and trimmings.

brown eyes blue.

The body language says, "oh I'm just loungin'," but the eyes say, "yes I did eat all of those pillows, and I'd do it again."


"But maybe not for a little while. Destroying the dining room muntins has me plum tuckered out."


Buffalo chicken, won't you come out tonight?

foot focus.

One of the great things about being a total photography amateur is shots like this. What's in focus? Why his hind foot, of course. I meant to do that.


No, I wasn't bored. Why do you ask?

My apologies for the slapdash nature of this, gentle readers. I blame the darkening, brooding weather outside and some physical ailments that I'll spare you the details of because a lady doesn't talk about how her UTERUS IS TRYING TO KILL HER.

It's unseemly.



my foodgawker gallery



I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.