Blogging Christmas

finnhow.jpg 8:50 a.m. I’m going to update this entry throughout the day. I’m feeling restless, and a vague sense of disappointment. I think I will need to check in. This is Finney showing an interest in Howard. Howard and I had Veselka for Christmas Eve dinner, and started to watch the movie Bundle of Joy, but it was disappointing. So far everything has been a little.

My only other plan for the day is to go out to Long Island to visit my brothers and their families. My father and stepmother are coming down from Vermont to be there.

Maybe I just need to rethink Christmas, and come up with a new approach.

11:40 a.m. Back from brunch with Howard, about to head out to Long Island. It’s Night of the Living Dead quiet out there. But it was a fun brunch and my mood is much improved. I got home and the water is shut off in my building because someone left for the holidays with their bathtub running. Thank God I already took a shower, which I might not have in time if it weren’t for meeting Howard.

I forgot. Last night we watched the Buffy episode where it snows at the end. That was nice.

Ghosts of Christmases Past

Hart1.jpg This is a 1950’s picture of Hart Island Warden Edward Dros and Commissioner Ann Kross watching an inmate mend a doll that will be given to needy children at Christmas. Hart Island is where New York maintains a Potter’s Field. At the time there was a prison on the island, and the prisoners dug the graves. The prison is now closed and they bring inmates in from Rikers to do the digging. (They like the work. It gets them out of the prison.)

I wrote about this picture in Waiting for My Cats to Die. I know everyone meant well, but I felt bad for the old inmate, who looks as frail as the doll, and the poor children who would be receiving the second hand gifts.

“A Daily News photographer took pictures for a story they ran in the 50’s. Men in suits and a woman in a nice hat pose with the inmates as they work. They’re all very proud.”

And then I describe that picture in particular. “… they hover over an old inmate struggling to sew a dolls dress back together. She’s missing a foot and three fingers on one hand and even if that prisoner manages to fix the hole in the dress (badly) she’s still going to be an old doll with no foot and missing fingers and do they really think some little girl is going to be thrilled to get her? Although I can see a child loving the doll in a misfit toy kind of way.”

The picture is from the wonderful website of the New York Correction History Society, maintained by Tom McCarthy. This is their Hart Island page. There’s a treasure trove of information about the history of Hart Island there, and stories of people who search for their friends and relatives buried on the island.

My plan for today: Write, work-out, then watch Christmas movies, dinner with Howard, more Christmas movies.

Alternate plan: All of the above except the writing and working out parts.

The First Casualty of Christmas

deadtree.jpg Only a few days of the holiday season left!! Here are the movies I plan to see before Christmas:

Bundle of Joy. A holiday movie with Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. I have a song from this movie on my ipod. I sing it to my cats as a lullaby.

Mr. MaGoo’s Christmas Carol. You might have to be a baby boomer to get this one.

A Christmas Carol. The Alastair Sim version, which I see is not airing this year. Good thing I OWN A COPY.

My plans for today: I’m going to try try try to write. Really. I’m going to try. Must. Not. Read. Or. Watch. TV. Ah, I have Frank Sinatra singing Ave Maria in the background. He was such a thug, but what an angelic and perfect voice.

I Killed It

killedit.jpg Here’s the “I killed it” audio. Poor Charlie Brown. Urban Outfitters actually sells a “Charlie Brown Pathetic Tree” which looks exactly like that tree, right down to being tipped over by a christmas ornament. But it’s sold out! We love that sorry little tree.

My accomplishments yesterday: I went to the gym, and back out to Brooklyn for the fire incident report, and I’m down to one last Christmas gift to get. No work on the Duke book, but that I will get to today.

It’s the home stretch for the holidays. Oh! My friend Cricket sent me Paine’s Balsam Fir Incense. I lit one and I swear it’s like taking happy drugs, having that scent in my apartment. Thank you, Cricket!

Christmas Stress

caroling.jpg I feel like I accomplished nothing yesterday. I went out to Brooklyn to get some fire incident reports, and they told me it would take at least an hour so I called some detective friends who work nearby and we went out to lunch. Very nice, but when I got back to the FDNY the records section was closed! God damnit to hell. I just put my head on the counter and moaned, “I must die now. I can’t take it. I have to kill myself.”

Neander and Jim hosted their annual Caroling Party, even though everyone is Jewish except for a few of us, which includes ME. From left to right that’s Jim, Mark, Extra T aka Ellen, me and Cricket with the camera. She and Neander had a little dueling camera thing going. Lots of other people were there, but I’m afraid to name them because if I leave someone out they will be mad that I forgot them.

I have to have a productive day. Somehow I have to:

– Schlepp back out to Brooklyn to get fire reports.
– Finish Christmas shopping.
– Go to gym.
– Work on parapsychology book.

We’ll see how much I get done. WE’LL JUST SEE.