Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Magic

This Christmas Day was one of the nicest I've ever had, in that we spent it together, in our own house, under our own tree, alone. I love Trey's family, and I love mine, and last year's Christmas at my dad's place was an extra-nice one, especially because Trey and me and my sister and brother-in-law all have a great time together. But the bustle of the holidays is always super emotional and stressful for me -- the 9 hours of driving, the guilty feeling that I spend less money than other family members on gifts, the fact that I end up drinking more than I'd like, sleeping in strange beds. It's great, but it's stressful, and this year's Christmas was a little caesura -- maybe the only one we'll ever have, as next year we will probably be with my side of the family and going forward we may be three. Knowing this made our Christmas day feel rich and saturated to me.

We woke up and I made biscuits and gravy, and we opened presents really slowly, and called people on the phone, and watched shows about dogs. My sister Elle and I g-chatted throughout the day. Then around 1 Trey and I decided to head out for our usual geriatric walk to McCarren and the dog run, etc (although the book-seller on Metropolitan would be closed, and so we'd be unable to check the copies-of-Possession: copies-of-Atonement ratio.)

The day was sunny and silent and blue. Hand in hand we rounded the corner onto Herbert when Trey stopped short.

-- Tree!

And there in a low branch of the tree right in front of that tile warehouse was a hawk. A massive and very beautiful hawk with stippled feathers clutching his Christmas dinner, a freshly decapitated pigeon. We stared at him for a while, no one seemed to move, really.

I saw a hipster couple approaching us, and tried catching their eye while pointing upward towards the hawk's branch. They didn't notice me though, and I guess they startled the hawk who dropped the headless pigeon and flew to a tree next to the McGuiness/Humboldt exit ramp.

-- There's an enormous hawk over there, he dropped his pigeon! I said, but the hipster girl was not impressed and seemed grossed out by the pigeon carcass which, in her defense, was nasty. They walked off.

We hid behind a van so we could watch him return for his dinner, which he did after about 5 minutes. He seized the pigeon, and took off around the corner onto our street! We ran around the corner and Trey spotted the hawk perched high in a tree on the corner of Richardson atop his pigeon. We watched him a few minutes more, and continued on our walk.

Williamsburg is at it's finest when utterly fucking empty. There is a special quality to the quiet in places which are normally bustling -- I find the quiet of the countryside to be kind of disturbing, but the quiet of New York when everyone's gone is pure holiday magic.

When we returned to our street the hawk was still there -- we stared as pigeon feathers spiral-drifted downwards past the pairs of sneakers draped over the phone wires. A couple of our neighbors came out and we all watched for a time, until Trey and I got cold and went inside.

I made linguine arrabiata and we watched Casino Royale and drank a bottle of wine we'd been saving since our wedding. It was a perfect, perfect Christmas. Praise be to Ceiling Cat!!

(This picture is not a very good one, but it is of the hawk.)

I Think It Is Safe To Say That My Cooking Has Improved Since 1981

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sol Invictus

A few things:

The rubicon has been crossed! I have officially turned into my mother, and I am here to tell you, ladies, it is NOT SO BAD.

I know this happened because I found myself walking through Anthropologie and gave myself a little mental pat on the back because all of the totally cute ornaments would be ON SALE in a couple of weeks! Take that, Anthropologie! You can't fool me, you crafty bastards. Next year, that glass polar bear will be shining on MY TREE, and not for no EIGHTEEN DOLLARS.

The other things that seems to have, if not crossed the rubicon, be nudging a toe in that direction, are my boobs. Formerly, if I may say so, one of the top ten racks of all time, I looked at myself naked in the mirror yesterday and thought -- Well, that was fun while they lasted.

WTF? CNN is on, and the story is, I SHIT YOU NOT, "Where is Santa? Santa on NORAD's RADAR." Wow, I am so glad that Norad's back in the saddle, after being useless on 9-youknowwhat, but don't you worry! Norad's got a LOCK on Santa.

In other news, Trey and I have at last embraced the tenets of abstinence-only sex education, which means that we are now fucking SANS birth control. This is a very weird situation for me -- never have I experienced this level of ambivalence about anything -- wanting a baby very much at the same time being ACUTELY aware of the finitude of my time alone in my own body, and my time alone with Trey, our time alone together as just us. I think it is a good sign that at the end of the day, in my heart, I could take or leave being pregnant (or take or leave what I imagine being pregnant to be, to mean, to be a means.) If there is to be a Minou Langtry-Desolay, my divided heart will be more able to let her be exactly who she is, on her own terms. Ends in ourselves.

We are not going anywhere for Christmas and I cannot recommend this enough to anyone. We are going to see Trey's family in Queens tonight: I made eggplant rollatini to bring, al the gifts have been bought and made. And then tomorrow we are doing NOTHING! Staying at home under our tree, opening presents, eating brunch, walking around, enjoying the fact that no one is around, that we haven't had to travel. I haven't been this happy about Christmas in a very long time. Everything is perfect, everything is going to be just fine.

Merry Christmas and much love


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Moon, My Man

I had a really lovely weekend, an honeymoon kind of weekend despite the fact that I crashed so hard Friday after a crazy work week the minutiae of which are too soul-crushingly boring to detail here.

Saturday morning we woke up to our cat on the bed chirruping. What distinguishes this scenario from perhaps at least half of all the other cat-occupied household in the universe is that our cats were feral four years ago when Trey rescued them from the snowy backyard, where they hid under the sofa 23.5/7, the .5 the rushing out and scarfing down of their food. So now that Twiggy hops up on the bed to chirrup and flop her butt in my face to cuddle, it's like Helen Keller tracing W-A-T-E-R under the pump for the very first time.

We proceed to go about our old-person Saturday routine: Dog run visit? (Bernese Mountain Dog today! YAYYYYYYY) Check. Farmer's market? Check. Go to Sunac for stuff like vital wheat gluten and oatmeal and peanut butter? Check. Napoli bakery? Not today. Oh shit, I forgot garlic! Rosemary Farm on Graham. Check! And into the apartment, into our little world and the very warm bed.

This is what I made: Celeriac soup with potatoes, sweet onion, chickpeas, collard greens and parsely. Roasted turnip fries coated with a pepper/cumin/mole powder/thyme mixture. And turned all the limp vegetables into homemade broth. We joked about it: Did you ever think we'd be making vegetable broth from scratch and drinking mint tea and watching animal shows in the cold? I love you. I love you. When the broth had cooled and was strained (had to use cut-in-half T-shirt from My Finance Company Employer in lieu of cheesecloth) I put it in an enormous Mason jar and covered the top with foil. A dirty, dirty hippie is what I have become! Later on: stir fried buckwheat soba with garlic, ginger, carrot, red cabbage, tossed with toasted cashews and sesame seeds. Nothing is more fun that not having to leave the house -- knowing that you can come up with something amazing, with what is right there in front of you, inside you, holding your hand, over and over again.

Little Song For Ashbloem

Tri -lo-bite, lives under the sea!
He's older than you! He's older than me!
He doesn't have hands or pearly whites --
He doesn't need them, that's not how a Trilo-BITES!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

You Were Right About The Stars. Each One Is A Setting Sun.

Do you know what is maybe the new extra worst development in grieving?

Is when you can't remember what the initial stabbing sadness was like. Because to return to the primary gasping sadness is to be as viscerally close as you can to the person you will never see again, like shoving their pajamas in your face to smell their very last smell.

But now I am like a double mastectomy patient opening the mailbox to find a Victoria's Secret catalog. What does this have to do with me, now, in my taking-to-bed, barren and beyond state?

Oh, Mom. I know our lies were always wishes.

But what now?

What the sharp knife fuck now?