Books for Christmas

Christmas eve afternoon, Ken and I read in the living room. Loki perched on my shoulders to watch the neighborhood.

Usually, Ken and I exchange “Christmas gifts” in November or even October. (You need a new messenger bag?–Me too–Merry Christmas.) This year, we made it all the way until Christmas eve. I gave him a copy of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians (I’ve heard it’s like a meta Harry Potter for adults–perfect, right, readers who know Ken?), and Ken got me Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Birds of a Lesser ParadiseIt looks like a lovely fictional follow-up to Amy Leach’s Things That Are, my favorite book of 2012 in the category of creative nonfiction. (The Sarah Awards–how all should cherish even being nominated!)

In other news, we now have too many Christmas cookies in our kitchen. (Best of problems.) Also, friends are coming over tonight for our weekly movie night to enjoy leftovers and the Christmas classic, Die Hard.

Onward to test my favorite non-papery Christmas gift: a hands-free dog leash!


The After After Party

I have that pleasant post-party-hosting feeling. It’s nice to trade my usual hyper energetic wake up for a day-long, cozy weariness. We took a real Sabbath and rested most of the day: no to-do lists, no chores, no work. Okay, a bit of laundry and a few dishes, but nothing planned and necessary, nothing checkoffable. Hours, I say, hours of leisure! Guiltless hours alternating between napping and reading.

Finished Bossypants. As expected, I was both entertained and encouraged by the relatable Tina Fey, self deprecating for both humor and honesty’s sake. I can’t help my admiration for her. It feels right to move onto The Fault in Our Stars next, since John Green’s another role model (read: hero) of mine–but soon, Space Chronicles, so soon, my dear!

Decorated the apartment for the Winter Solstice party. Ken said it looks like being inside a Christmas tree.

For little Christmas gifts, cookies were lazily baked this afternoon: chocolate chip cookies with bits of candied bacon hidden inside. They taste like breakfast. 

When Reading Tarot Cards Is Like Watching TV

Since this blog reflects my day-to-day preoccupations (so far, our awesome puppy, being creatively adrift, and, um, a basil plant?), it feels appropriate to write about a Tarot card reading I did for myself a few days ago. I’m still mulling it over.

I read Tarot cards like I read movies, TV shows, plays, and conversations I overhear in coffee shops: not in any particularly mystical manner, but knowing full-heartedly that I can learn something from anything, that there’s something useful in having narrative art laid before you. Beyond being entertained, if you want to, you can become a semi-reflective surface when you face it. (Yeah, very reverse-mimesis, you Aristotle fans.) If I look at how I react to characters or situations (find myself identifying with a character or person, for example) and have some semblance of self-awareness, I can learn just a bit more about myself by mulling over why I’m having a certain reaction. What features am I reflecting, what angles am I taking? It’s sort of like tossing a coin to make a decision, except you use your reaction to the random chance (No! Why wasn’t it tails?) to choose what you’ll actually do.

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