living underground in the real world

(non)holiday homework and love affairs

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With your December-mandated free time, you could also start a collection of sand from around the world!

If you’re like me, your greatest wish as a child was to not celebrate the December holidays. That and never seeing your father again, never returning to the state in which you were raised, and untangling your hair once and for all. Adulthood has miraculously brought about 3.5 of those wishes,* which is why I get a little frisson of pleasure every time I remind myself that I’m an adult – no father, no Christmas. Freedom. (I make latkes and light Hanukkah candles because I like fried potatoes and winter light, not because I identify with the way my mother’s people treat Palestinians.) Every year my sweetheart and I hide out on a chunk of rock in the middle of the Pacific ocean while the rest of the world does their shitass little December thing. We read books and make up words. We kayak and sunbathe and battle our twin fears of the ocean. We lose track of days and try to forget that in 33 short days we will back to 16-hour work days (me) and weeks away from home at a time (him). In short, December is our most selfish month of the year, and I’m sure not about to spoil it with family, crap gifts to give, or religion. Puke.

In case you, too, find yourself with a little extra time around this time of year, here is some fun and/or fascinating reading to catch up on:

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-My friend Christy sent around a link to this fantastic, just fantastic article on abortion. I loved the writer’s style so much that I just skimmed her entire online oeuvre, which resulted in me literally jumping out of my chair and yelling “I fucking love Caitlin Moran!!!” (In all fairness, part of my excitement was due to writing the first part of this post and reveling yet again in how wonderful it is to be 29 and not to have to celebrate Christmas with a big dead ham on the table and insane people all around you. The combination of telling Christmas to fuck off forever plus a newfound love of Caitlin Moran proved explosive enough to propel me right out of the chair.). Read more CaMo (yes! My love affair has reached the nickname stage)! here.


Some non-CaMo reading:

A long time ago the Seattle paper The Stranger published this great article which seriously tells it like it is in the USA today.

I hesitate to share another obsession of mine with the wide wide internet because I have been saving the name of said obsession for the next cat that comes into my life, but I love Olive Pink too much to keep her a secret any longer. There is an out-of-print biography of her that I am dying to read, please let me know if you come across a copy. You can listen to this great radio program about her (scroll down to “Shocking Pink”) too.

You could always catch up on Dykes to Watch Out For.

The Singer Solution to World Poverty sounds poke-out-your-eye-with-an-icepick boring, but is interesting and thought-provoking. I will always have a soft spot for Peter Singer because his was the first vegetarian conversion book I read.

You could always learn Hawaiian.

And finally, something to muse on: is it classist to take glee in typos? I have dozens of photos of hilarious typos I’ve come across (the flower shop in my town recently had a sign out – the picture of which I am currently too lazy to upload, check back soon – for “flower bokays”!!!!) that I would love to post in some online corner of the universe, but feel a little bit mean about it. What are your thoughts?

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*At age 18 I discovered something unknown in my hippie household called “leave-in hair conditioner” that partially solved the last problem, only to realize that laziness was – and is – the real culprit. I have embraced the chaos and resigned myself to periodically cutting knots out of my hair.

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