December 12, 1999



Why Is This Woman Smiling?

bah, humbug

Choose One:

  • Rumor has it that both Celine Dion AND the Taco Bell Chihuahua are retiring at the end of the year.

  • Her dorky "Santa Hat" cleverly camouflages two inches' worth of dark roots.

  • Christmas Day is here! The most wonderful wonderful wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL (etc.) day of the year.

  • 30 divided by 2 equals 15, 30 divided by 1/2 equals 60, add 10 and get 70.

  • Her Christmas shopping is almost done ... AND she did most of it in her bathrobe this year.
  • (The correct answer, of course, is "All of the Above.")

I love the Internet. Have I mentioned that lately? I really really do. If the Internet were a person, I would be baking it a fruitcake or hand-crafting it a milk-carton candle or knitting it a pair of lumpy slippers right now.

(Or maybe I would just surf over to Amazon.Com and order it a $50 gift certificate.)

Thanks to the Internet -- and to The Other 50% of the Population, who has provided the occasional *wheels* (and credit card info), when necessary -- I am enjoying the singularly most stress-free Christmas shopping season of my life.

All I've had to do, the past couple of weeks, is point ... type ... click ... and vóila!  Instant generosity. And I've been able to do it from virtually anywhere: during my coffee break at work (Daughter #1's birthday flowers -- DONE!) ... perched on the bed in my jammies, with the laptop in front of me (Brother-in-Law! Step-Mom! Best Online Pal! -- DONE!) ... sitting in front of the monster PC at 5:45 a.m., blow-drying my hair with one hand and typing with the other (Sister! Niece! Co-worker! -- DONE!)
For an extra couple of bucks a pop, I'm even able to have the presents gift-wrapped before shipping. Plus, I'm having everything shipped directly to TicTac this year. That way, I'm not going to have to lug anything heavy in the suitcase when I head up north in a couple of weeks. (Unless of course David changes his mind and decides to come along.)

It just doesn't get any easier than that, folks.

So am I at all bothered by the lack of -- what would be a good word here? -- humanity? imagination? soul? -- in doing all of my shopping online this year? Do I feel guilty about taking shortcuts? Does it all seem rather bloodless and impersonal? Is the true meaning of the holidays being lost in a blur of URLs and search engines and encrypted VISA numbers?

Well ... yeah.

On the other hand, would I rather be standing in four-and-a-half miles' worth of line at Mervyn's right now, waiting to ring up three pairs of Isotoner slipper-socks and a *Polo for Men* Gift Set?

Oh HELL no.


I'm not finished with ALL of my shopping yet: I still have a handful of family and friends to take care of, and I'm holding off on David's gift until I'm in TicTac. (We're spending Christmas apart once again this year, btw. I fly to TicTac the morning of the 23rd, to spend the holiday with my Tots and assorted other family members ... he'll stay here in California with his family. It sucks, but that's just the way it is. We'll *celebrate* when I get home.)

But the bulk of my "shopping" is out of the way. And for somebody who can usually be found picking frantically through empty K-Mart *Sale Item* bins at 4 p.m. on December 24th, every year ... that's saying a lot. I can spend the next couple of weeks blissfully ignoring the holidays, the way God intended.

And if I have the Internet to thank for this newfound peace of mind ... then that's more than fine with me.

Ho ho ho.

And what do *I* want for Christmas this year, you ask?

(OK. You didn't ask. But I'm going to tell you ANYWAY, just because I need some way to fill up this second little gray square of stuff ... and also because I never know who might be reading the website.)

  • I am extremely fond of Penguin Caffeinated Peppermints, as previously documented on this website a time or eleven. I just emptied my last tin of them on Friday afternoon, as a matter of fact, and although I've been ordering them from the Internet, rumor has it that they're freely available in Seattle ... of all places ...

  • Forget everything Marilyn Monroe told you. Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend: gift certificates are.

  • I STILLhave not been able to locate that first eponymous Five Man Electrical Band record. (And no, not the 1971 "Goodbyes & Butterflies" album, or ANYTHING ELSE with "Signs" on it: I'm talking 1969, Capitol Records ... "It Never Rains on Maple Lane" ... "Private Train" ... a cover of "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" ... "Half Past Midnight" ... ad nauseum.)  I figure that somebody, somewhere, has got to have that album stashed away upstairs in their attic or out in their garage or over at their mom's house. Come ON, people. Start looking.

  • Polaroid film is always nice. *FootNotes* looks better with a murky, poorly-scanned Polaroid or two, slapped onto the main page ... don't you agree? (And if you don't agree, perhaps we could discuss digital cameras.)

  • It's pretty tough to go wrong with a Tobler Chocolate Orange, *I* say.

  • I've been wearing gold hoop earrings since that first bloody afternoon at Jorstadt's Jewelers, during the summer of '72. If they're still good enough for Linda Ronstadt, they're good enough for me.

self-important blurb #1 will go HERE: am i sounding cynical? jaded? exhausted? cranky? seriously deficient in *christmas spirit?* i don't actually feel that way. but more and more i'm realizing that the big noisy messy expensive stressful christmases of years past -- with me trying to do everything and be everything and BUY everything and make everything martha-stewart-perfect -- were the worst christmases of all, for EVERYBODY concerned ... and, conversely, the years when i just sat back and allowed christmas to take care of itself [like the year daughter #1 was born, when i was long on sentiment and short on EVERYTHING else] were the best. i guess i'm just enjoying the return of simplicity, this year. it gives me hope that things like *sentiment* and *spirit* may return again too, someday.

self-important blurb #2 -- probably having something to do with the WEATHER: i'm finally beginning to realize that i may need to break down and buy a coat ... even here in *sunny* california. those nights when i'm standing around in the "concrete canyon" waiting for david to pick me up, after work, are getting downright ARCTIC. [who knows? maybe i'll even hafta buy a pair of ISOTONERS ...]

special *howdy* to: the INCREDIBLY NON-HELPFUL salesnerd at the Emeryville CompUSA store yesterday ... who simply proved my point that shopping "up close and personal" is NOT for me, this year. [and more of that heartfelt *thank you thank you thank you* stuff to my INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL LIFE PARTNER, who helped me get the Tots' Christmas computer ordered yesterday, finally.]

a year ago

here's where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
what do you want for christmas this year?

and i didn't even have to pay her:  " ...I just wanted to let you know that you are absolutely the best writer in the whole world...I just read your conversation with god. I laughed and cried. I love you very much and I just wanted to let you know that.


amazingly profound thought of the day:
"christmas time is here by golly
disapproval would be folly."
~ lehrer ~