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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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2:49 a.m. - 2013-12-31
Early on the last day before a new year.

Holy cats, a whole bunch of stuff had to come together to get things back on track here. A fubar email account which had been wayward for weeks and weeks and weeks is finally open and accessible again. Familial obligations sorted. There was Christmas (which rocked!). My current WIP is running away with all my time, attention, and words. Dear Andrew admitted he accidentally deleted the PayPal notification that I'd paid this year's subscription thus solving the mystery about why my comments and pic storage were offline for so long. Not wanting to be up his ass during the holidays I gave him the benefit of the doubt and the better part of a week before I got in touch and asked when the heck he'd get around to re-upping the Sage Page. I know the Andrew-naysayers jumped ship a long time ago and we few hardy D-land loyalists don't go out of our way to give him a hard time, but I'd still like to give a shout-out to darling Andrew whose goofy backwater blog site saved my life. As long as there's a D-land I will be here. Gladly forking over my $54.99 annual membership dues and wishing I could lay one of my semi-famous squeezy hugs on my favorite Canadian.

Did everyone have a good Christmas? Hope so. Mine was terrific. The day itself was spent at SIL's. After the bitchin' good feast she put on for Thanksgiving Saturday (actual Thanksgiving Thursday was already booked up for everyone, divorce and blended families spreading out like genealogical octopi demanding folk show up in several configurations at many different tables) she took the wise route for Christmas and asked everybody to contribute a dish or two to a daylong open house. Happy to oblige. I brought my boring but always welcome deviled eggs. 3.5 dozen of those puppies disappeared in a couple hours. Plus I brought a pan of asparagus and Wolf contributed a heap of chocolate chip M&M cookies he'd baked himself. Tell you what, it's fricken odd to have another cook in my house.

Seriously. I am a prideful person. One of the things I buff my nails on my lapel about is being an excellent cook. Especially since the advent of Mick. My darling man is every cook's best dream eater. When he takes a bite he rolls his eyes with delight. He makes yummy noises and smacks his lips. He eats with the appreciative enthusiasm every cook wants to get. This is Mick eating my cooking.

It's fricken gratifying. And it's difficult to share this appreciative glory with another cook. Even one I gave birth to. Sue me, I like being good at something. To be the best, at least within my limited little life's scope.

The Christmas loot? It was awesome.

Mick and I did a wacky Gift of the Magi dealie where we exchanged portable DVD players. (*Full disclosure: The one he gave me is fancier and the screen is larger than the one I gave him.) Mick wanted the freedom to watch movies while relaxed in his easy chair in the den and my bedroom TV has gone fritzy and without the comfort of a flickering screen and dialog going to sleep was a chore. And the nightmares horrific. Lying down in the quiet dark is horrible for me. Every suck-ass thing I don't want to think about rushes in and if I do manage to drop off (after hours of anxiety-ridden churning) my sleeping brain runs amok. Nodding off with a familiar movie to engage and distract is the ONLY way I sleep well. This new DVD player resting on the pillow next to me inches from my face (no glasses needed, yay!) has been a blessing.

Wolf got the usual teenager spread. Clothes, video games, candy, money, goofy stocking stuffers. Plus the relatives came in with gift cards, a pair of Beats headphones, and more cash, of course. He did quite well.

Christmas without Santa is an odd thing. So many of my Christmases have been about Santa. I've been a mom for a very long time. Both of my kids were kind and pretended to believe in Santa long after they knew the truth. To make me happy, you see. They might not have believed anymore but they knew their dopey romantic mother did. So. They accepted and exclaimed over the gifts wrapped in the special 'Santa' paper with the gift tags written in the especial shaky hand from that old dude in the sooty red suit and feigned wonderment. Ever and always my best present. This kindness, the complicit bargain that if they gave their mother just one more year of magic, one more Christmas with sons not yet too old to be children they'd make my day.

Those days are gone now. If he could Wolf would still try, he loves me that much, but I let him off the hook a couple years ago for the Santa thing. These days we have silly, slightly raunchy holidays where at the O'Gaelic gatherings we play 'Cards Against Humanity' and howl when MIL has to say things like "Pac-Man guzzling cum." We play Liar's Dice and 'Dirty Words' and anybody who wants one is free to pour a glass of Korbel brut.

Now the new year is upon us. 2014. A science-fiction-y year I never thought I'd live to see. The plans for New Year's Eve are here at Casa Sage are minimal. It's always been a nonstarter of a holiday for me anyhow. I don't make resolutions. Or think some arbitrary calendar designation is wildly meaningful. And the idea of trekking into the city to do the Times Square thing is too dumb to even consider. Especially now that Dick Clark is dead. I don't go into Manhattan for the St Patrick's Day parade anymore nor the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, hell I'm not even going to make the Magritte exhibit at the MoMA before it closes on Jan 12th (though I wanted to). Do Times Square on New Year's? Not a fucking chance. I'm too old and too fond of comfort to schlep into the city, park my car up in the toolies above Lincoln Center and shag my butt downtown to cram into the crowd of drunken youngins corralled behind the barricades and freeze my tuchus off and have some dope from Mooseknuckle, Minnesota puke on my shoes while we wait for Ryan Seacrest to pan the camera over us. Nuh uh. I'll be here in my nice warm vomit-free house counting down to midnight with my husband and son and marking the new year with nothing fancier than a group hug when the town fire whistle goes off. Most of my neighbors will set off fireworks and fire guns at the magic hour. And that'll be enough for me.

LA, don't you ever get tired of being such a mix of idiotic make-believe and grumpy practicality?

Nope. Not so far. It's the privilege of being old, off the market, unemployed, and free to be as eccentric as I jolly want to be.

If I'm not back before the turn of the year I wish a very Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

Much love, ~LA

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