diet coke for breakfast
Thursday, December 25, 2003
Posted by Jake
www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS: Why not the anglicism? Now that Christmas is at our throats again, let me extend my sincere hope that my readers can survive the nightmare of the next few days with as little psychic, gastro-intestinal, and familial anxiety as possible. Yes, I might as well confess that I cannot stand this time of year. (I'm with Blitzen.) But the BF and the beagle and I have both LOTR DVDs and are planning a nine-hour Tolkien marathon with cigars and Jagermeister shots and a pig ear. I guess diversity is everything. Hang in there. Don't despair. It will all be over soon enough."
Sad. I am going nuts here, and even I can muster up more Christmas cheer than that. A LOTR marathon sans Jagermeister does sound fantastic though.
So here is my Christmas post. The Dad is asleep, at least for a few hours having been at work last night. The Mom is also mysteriously absent -- no doubt doing some Christmas errand of some kind. I guess the festivities will have to wait.
A short Christmas Eve anecdote:
My parents and I have been going to one restaurant on Christmas Eve since I was in 5th grade. Carmine's on Penn is a lovely Sicilian restaurant -- formerly run by a grandfather named Carmine who has since passed I think. The association with the Carmine's restaurant of New York has yet to be established. They serve their food family style and we notoriously get too much of it for three people, such that we spend the better part of the next week eating leftovers. No shame in that. We order a dish that were named (and created?) by Carmine's son called Larry's chicken -- a fantastic red sauce. My Mom always orders Tiramisu for desert and make me eat it because she wants the chocolate covered strawberries that come with it. We leave fat, drunk, and happy like a grotesque character from a Rabelaisian novel.
At this point every year, I would like nothing better than to go home and curl up in my bed, sleeping off the postprandial haze like a pride of lions dozing in the sun after a delicious gazelle. Instead we go to the zoo.
At Christmas time every year, the Denver Zoo is decorated with lights. Lights on the tree, lights on the walks, lights in the cages, lights on the animals if they can be found. I like lights. I like Christmas music which is always blarring on the public announcement system. (I doubt with sincerity that the animals appreciate, however. How would you like to spend a month every year unable to sleep because the Chipmunk's Christmas is playing in the dead of night, and there are enough lights adorning your cage to guide a Space Shuttle landing.)
What I don't particularly appreciate is the cold. Christmas Eve for me is synonymous with frigid, biting, penetrating cold. Denver is a cold place, particular in the middle of the night. Every year, I try and dress more warmly for this activity, and every year I freeze my ass off. But this year I think really added insult to injury. We were inspected the polar bears, figuring that at least these frosty creatures would be enjoying the temperature. Maybe they had given them some sort of Christmas tree to eat or play with -- evening news fare. The polar bears are huddled unimpressively together in a ball, no doubt seeking mutual body warmth. I might suggest that we take note of the polar bears' behavior as the natural one, but I fear that I may be labelled a humbug for this so I suffer through. Win one for the Gipper, Jake. Christmas is puzzlingly about suffering AND presents. (Also, I keep my reservations to myself because my Mother loves this and sets a brisk pace.)
Then finally back to home. My Mother and I curl up and watch Christmas Vacation -- a magnum opus if I do say so myself. Then to sleep, to dream of presents and warmth.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.