December 19, 2000
Secra & Ю僱êrvØ¡'s *Holiday Castle 2000*

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Secra & Ю僱êrvØ¡'s
Holiday Castle 2000!
(A Cyber Tour)

In keeping with the spirit of the holidays  --  not to mention my total lack of *time/energy/imagination molecules* this week, as I frantically scramble to get ready for the trip to TicTac  --  we here at the FootNotes Factory proudly present the first-annual Holiday Cyber Tour!

(This year featuring The Castle,  in all its goony, festive, pink-applianced, vinyl-intensive, four-hundred-square-foot glory.)


The Living Room

Special Points of Interest: Yeah, that's my keyboard leaning against the wall ... last year's much-ballyhooed *Christmas toy,* neglected now, gathering dust in the corner, all but forgotten. If Grandma is looking down at me from Heaven I'm sure she's wearing a great big disappointed Frowny Face.

(We could ask her, of course. Those are her ashes in the windowsill, remember?)

The Dining Room

Special Points of Interest:   Have I mentioned that that's my fiance sitting in front of the computer? The guy who proposed to me a few days ago? We're engaged to be married, you know. (Which is pretty much what a "fiance" is, I guess ... but I just wanted to make sure we were all clear that that's my FIANCE and not just some strange guy from off the street, sitting in front of our computer wearing David's Tom Petty T-shirt.)

Other interesting stuff in the photo: the groovy Brian Andreas print hanging on the wall, just above my fiance. Feef surprised me with the print a few years back  --  a gift during an especially dark period  --  and last year David spent an arm and a leg having it professionally framed.  It's called "Flying Woman," and it says For a long time, she flew only when she thought no one else was watching.  I like to keep it where I can see it at all times: it reminds me that I can survive just about anything. Also: the CD-burner, sitting just to the left of MY FIANCE ... the scanner, sitting on the top shelf of the desk above MY FIANCE  ...  the book of Japanese mnemonic devices ("Think Concerned Thoughts About Tiger"), sitting on the chair next to MY FIANCE

And before you say, "Hey! How come no holiday decorations in the dining room, Secra?" ... please note the graham-cracker-and-marshmallow "gingerbread house," melting festively into the top of the computer monitor ... right in front of MY FIANCE.

Our Christmas Tree

Special Points of Interest: That's right ... it's the much-ballyhooed Christmas tree I decorated in bed, in all of its eighteen-inch glory! I walked to Long's Drugs on my lunch hour one day last year and bought it for fifteen bucks.

Someday we'll have a *real* tree again ... but for right now this is as good as it gets.

The ornaments are mostly cheap drugstore impulse-purchases, with a handful of notable exceptions: a marshmallow Santa ornament I made when I was five years old (complete with petrified teeth marks) ... a wooden car ornament I bought the first year I moved out of my dad's house, to commemorate the purchase of my beloved Dodge Colt ... a goofy papier-mâché fish I picked up on vacation in Bonaire a couple of years ago.

(Every year when I go to TicTac for Christmas, I sneak another ornament off my ex-husband's tree and smuggle it home in my suitcase. I figure that by 2025, I'll have ALL of my old favorites back.)

The Bookcase

Special Points of Interest: Aside from the handful of smuggled tree ornaments, the ceramic kissing angels are pretty much the only cherished family/holiday heirlooms I own anymore. I left everything behind when I ran away.

The CD Bookcase

Special Points of Interest: This is the CD bookcase David and I purchased together about a year and a half ago. We bought it at Busvan for Bargains, in the Richmond District of San Francisco. It was the first real piece of furniture we've picked out together, and we really like it.

See the top three shelves of the CD bookcase? Those are *my* shelves. That's where I keep my Celtic CDs and my "chick music" and my Alice in Chains and all of the other CDs that are expressly mine.

See the bottom NINE shelves of the CD bookcase? Those are David's shelves. That's where he keeps all of his Elvis Costello and his Sex Pistols and his Mojo Nixon and all of the other CDs that are expressly his.

That was the arrangement when we bought the bookcase. I was totally fine with that, because the fact is that David owns more CDs at this point in our lives than I do, and he needs more room to store them ... except that lately he isn't content with owning three-quarters of the CD bookcase real estate. Lately, some of his Springsteen bootlegs and his punk rock stuff has been appearing unannounced on *my* precious third shelf. In fact, at this point it's probably more accurate to say that the top two-and-a-half shelves are *mine* ... and the bottom nine-and-a-half shelves are *his.*

(Although now that we're engaged, maybe I can just say that all twelve shelves are *ours* ... and I can start migrating some of the Lilith Fair stuff downstairs to the lower nine-and-a-half!)

The Kitchen

Special Points of Interest: Nope, you can't see the Ugly Pink Stove here ... it begins right where the photo ends, on the left side of your screen ... but god knows there are enough cabinets and countertops and assorted other ugly kitchen atrocities to make all of the *pink-lovers* in the audience happy.

Also note: the Elvis Costello poster on the kitchen wall, a memento of the very first concert the Other 50% of the Population and I ever attended together ... my scrupulously-organized holiday *To-Do List* on the kitchen cabinet (right now it says "bread/milk/coffee - TOTALLY OUT/pack suitcase") ...

... and of course, there's MY FIANCE.

Have I mentioned that he's my fiance?

And there you have it: the grand tour. Sorta takes your breath away, doesn't it? I'm expecting a call from Better Homes and Phone Booths any minute.

(And no, I didn't show you the bedroom or the bathroom this time. I've gotta save something for next year, don't I?)

repaying a little more of that karmic debt

one year ago: the christmas letters

throw a rock