The December Diaries


You know you haven’t slept enough when the hot water bottle at your feet is still warm. However, the snow on the ground tells you it’s December—the month none of us can quite pronounce without that beautiful trochaic modifying adjective, “fucking,”—so the my-feet-are-dead/this-isn’t-a-normal-way-to-live excuse no longer works, and you will now get out of the bed you entered in the middle of the night last night and go back to work for a minimum of 14 hours, for the next twenty days, whereupon you will sit on a plane for less time than you usually are at work, then you will wear a bikini—oh, bikini! Another foot long word, but this one beautifully anapestic, no Pyrrhic victories possible in a bikini! Everyone knows the only thing you can do in a bikini is kill, anyway—so really, now, one foot after another, brush your teeth, one round of candy canes while the kitchen is quiet—go.




The hell, the horror, the spondic terror–this is what I left.


There are psilocybes in Central Park, late season myceliums spreading all around us.

Me, I’d get high off one of those cottony white supermarket buttons, fried in e.v.o., sprinkled with fleur de sel–food from the earth, food for the bones, if I could just eat food sitting down.

I’m a dog in a YouTube video tonight—one million views. A tiny dog held in your hands on an escalator, my legs pumping because motion means I should be working for it, wanting to run when I should be sleeping. In bed, I’m wondering when the chocolate will be melted, if the 66% bars in the fridge need to come out, if we have enough Hanukkah gelt.

It is December third.

Controlled intensity is all that matters.



Metonymy is what makes it work—one part stands in for the whole. My feet are tired, that’s fine—my brain knows to turn off receptors to my feet. My brain is fried, my hands take over, because they know their parts without being told. When the whole entire thing is tired, Maresa takes over, or Lucy, Jayme, Dawn, Erin, or Jacob (!) and for a minute it’s double Dutch: count off a rhythm, take this dipping fork, now you go. It is December fourth, and our days are spent entirely like this, a passel of people with their heads down, metonymically working their little systems. Together we make something like symbiosis, something greater than our parts.

“Could you, just—I’m just—”

“Sure. I got it.”

My little universe.



It is the morning of December 5th. I am melted candy cane scraps on a chocolatey sheet pan, blobby, misshapen, leaning toward stasis.



Now is the caesura.

Living inside it for a few hours is so quiet I want to cry, curl my toes with happiness.

Wholesale orders, corporate gift orders and the wedding order: all snug inside their coffin-dark chilly boxes, free from our endlessly manipulating hands, traveling through the labyrinthine postal service. Most of them, anyway.

We finished the hundreds of barks for the crew gifts for the TV show, and went home by 10. Amazing.


We sat in bed, ate potato chips. Felt the caesura air all around. Still.

A wave set came at us: we dove into them, smooth as swans. Now we’re beyond the breakers in the weird placid calm, scanning the horizon.

Life in the shallows feels very far away.

It is December fifth.


17 hours ago I got to work, put on makeup, took this photo, and worked until fifteen minutes ago.


It was the sixth of December.

I crave the intensity of days like these when I don’t have them.


It is December 8th, and Lucy sang us the Hanukkah prayer.

The candles are nice.


It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re quiet inside yourself.


It is December 10th.



What I want to do today is make latkes for the crew and my own good food-deprived stomach. What I want to do today is stay in bed with Cleo and Noodle and Sula and JJMFP forever. What I will do today is make chocolates.

The PO closes in 6 hours and 45 minutes, and I am still in bed.

It is December 11th.



It is the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the last century this species will probably have, and I’d like to celebrate the body electric of technology.

Whereupon one recognizes that technology is what is leading, without a doubt, to the extinction of our particular innermost selves; whereupon one understands that the ecological rape perpetrated by the device I hold in my hands is not small, I’d like to posit that one can hold all these things in one’s heart at once and also hold this:

After a 15 hour day that ended with candy canes not cooked to the right temperature which mean they have to be cooked again today with six other beings working in the shop, beings who need the space the candy canes need, there is solace in sleep.


And after sleep, there is solace in Getting One’s Inbox Under Control.

Whereupon one is a devout follower of both Inbox Zero as well has OHIO (Only Handle It Once, obvs), not to mention all the filters set up that neatly send Inbox-unworthy emails immediately to their proper place, 75 emails over three days were beginning to wear rather heavily on one.

Thus, the miracle: with feet still tingly with tired propped on the wedge (♥), with a head on the cat who desires to be used as a pillow, one can, in a little under an hour, get things down to 8, a number that causes much less anxiety.

Technology, I celebrate the you yet to come.

I do believe Whitman was talking about iPhones when he said it best:

All is a procession;
The universe is a procession, with measured and beautiful motion.



1) People’s perceptions of busy-ness varies widely.
2) The more money you have, the more helpless you are. This is why I no longer answer the phone.
3) When you cut everything extraneous out of your life except work and sleep, you become a beautiful machine. Your entire life becomes singleminded meditation.
4) Stripping my life of chitchat is the best thing I ever did.
5) Sorry I didn’t say hi when you came by.
6) In five minutes this might all change and I might start screaming and never stop.

It is December 13th.

I made latkes.



It is December 14th, and something horrible happened in our country.

I posted the photo of the barks we made for Emily Deschanel to cheer everyone up.

Stupid, not enough, but something.


You know you’ve got it bad when you’re brushing your teeth at work because you don’t trust your feet to take you as far as the bathroom once you sit down in the car. (Never sitting down being the golden rule of your life for the next 94 hours.)

Watching the clock click over to 3 am while putting the last chocolate to bed, I realize I don’t love my job in spite of this—this is, horribly and wonderfully, precisely what I love about my job: being used utterly and completely, with nothing leftover for the quotidian stultification of everyday existence.

The rag doll feeling at the end of the night is, actually, the meaning of life.

Wring me out, use me absolutely, world.

It is December 16, or 17, depending on how you look at it.

I made a lot of Peppermint Bark today.



It is December 17th.

In the kitchen today, Lucy and Maresa and Jacob and I are making truffles, putting Yuzu Creams in cups, packing up Peppermint Bark, making Bluestocking Bonbons Collections, making Vandana Shivas, packing up trees and reindeer, packing and shipping boxes…and discussing the future of the Republican Party, the weirdness of growing up in a privileged town like New Paltz, how to bring bipartisanship back to our country, and how best to conduct oneself in a Facebook fight.


While everyone focuses on obeying the table of orders that have to go out today,

photo 2

I’m focusing on Winter Wonderland collections.



One more load of boxes off into the world.


Gifts to the post office, gifts to the bank.


And then, you’re done.

Laserwash, Laserdri, put the car cover on, and call it a night.


Make that: a year.

Put out treats for the crew who will be working so hard over the next week (they were excited) and sneak out—before midnight, even.


It is December 19th.



Chasing the moon halfway across the world, to a little dot in the middle of the ocean.

It is December 20th.

It’s your first day off in twenty-eight days.


Sunrise in the land of broken wifi and spotty cell phone service.

I’m sure I could fix the wifi, I know I should. Reesey probably needs to message me about work stuff. But the chickens are squawking and the cows are lowing and I might stay in this bed all day, watching the sun filtering through the palm and avocado trees, making patterns on the ceiling.

It is December 21st.


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