Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I’ve long had this wish that it’d be possible to live inside the ground zero of nostalgia.  This is more of a daydream, along the lines of sci-fi and the idea of teleportation.  My more realistic version of trying to embody the bittersweet peter pan root of nostalgia is to imagine training myself to adapt my thinking to nostalgia, the way Buddhists train themselves to be zen or recovering alcoholics train themselves to be sober.  That’s what December is like for me.  I know that Christmas Day is at its most basic a few hours of exchanging gifts, a few hours of cleaning up afterwards, a couple hours of appreciating the gifts and then a festive dish for dinner; that is at least the make-up of my Christmas days.  There is no getting around the fact that Christmas ends.  Nonetheless, every December I plan which Christmas light displays we’re going to drive to and marvel at and which Christmas movies feel the most special to me and will be watched a million times all month.  When I’m looking at the beautiful light display on some house, or hearing those little asshole Peanuts kids finally yell “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown,” making everything better, I wish to myself that there’d be some way to make the sentimentality last forever.  But there isn’t.  Also, nostalgia is a regressive state, and counter-productive to the present and even the future.  Still, I can’t help but wishing, just illogically, regressively wishing, time would freeze in the month of December, when most offices just let their co-workers fuck around all month, when neighborhoods are lovely with colored lights and animatronic reindeer, when I can still hope that the gifts I give are going to transform a life instead of ending up one more item to find a place for or maybe even to add to someone’s clutter.  I wish I could bring my son and husband with me into a state of matter comprised of childish abandon, that we could somehow comprise the delicate very filament of a Christmas light. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

holly jolly gloom

Santa Prayer

Santa hovered close and said,
“Why all the flies around your head?
Why all the thumbtacks ‘round your bed?

Your wishlist said you want a pony.”

“I got candy stuck among my hair
They pull it free and pluck me bare
The tacks are so intruders spare

This sparse and lonely thing.

The pony – so glad you got my list!
I prayed so hard I split my lip.
Is Snowflake waiting outside for me?

Or, maybe I’ll name her Cinnamon.” 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Was a Kid Once

When I was a kindergartner, I went to a private Christian school in Koreatown, called “Pilgrim.”  Strangely, I currently work four block away from this building of nostalgia and terror.  

A little background:  I never had enough to eat in my packed lunches, but I was too shy to tell my dad.  Instead, I became what other kids called a “Beggar.”  Nerds candies were sold at the student store, and as a big handful of Nerds is bound to spill over a little, I picked up the extras from the ground:  I actually roamed the blacktop looking for stray Nerds to eat.  I also regularly snuck into the classroom at recess and lunch, to steal, mostly food, but also some decorative erasers and such. 

Also, for the most part, my few friends were boys, because I was always like “Look at my underwear!” all the time, and what boy in their right mind is going to be like “I want to avoid being friends with the girl who  shows me her underwear.” 

To recap, I was hungry, sneaky and harmlessly pre-promiscuous. 

Perhaps this is besides the point.  I’m really here today to discuss my love of annotating my yearbook. 

I liked to put frowny faces or mean comments next to people who I didn’t like.  Sometimes, if it was a picture of a friend or acquaintance, I’d be all, “I Know Her!”  Also, I was pretty evenly bisexual at the time (being in actuality pre-sexual, but with crushes), so there are a lot of hearts drawn around boys’ AND girls’ photos.   

I’m guessing that some of you share some of my experiences and preferences from this age, or at least the habit of editorializing.

Without further ado:

I don't know if you can see the heart I drew around the face of the blonde cheerleader in the middle of the page.  I had a crush on her -- my god, just look at her .... the perfect blend of new wave and pep-squad style ... but I also really appreciated her protection of me.  I was by far and away the most unpopular Kindergartener and 1st grader (I left this christian shit-hole in the dust after 2 years).  This cheerleader must have had a sister in my class or something (the school was K through 12) because she came to our playground sometimes, and was a gracious young woman who went out of her way to treat me well.                        

close up

Well, if I weren't the kind of lonesome kid who ate Nerds off the ground, I would have ended this post on a high note, with the anecdote about the Saint Theresa-like cheerleader.  But I am a lonesome kid.  Was, am, always will be.  

So I leave you with this photo of some little assholes with very much warranted frowny faces drawn next to their photos.  And in case you can't quite see, here is a close up of these snobby ne'er do wells:

Let's hope you little terrors have learned a little noblesse oblige.