yes, a little year-end sentimentality, giving a hat-tip to my favorite teen-years rock band in the title of this post.
there’s so much crazy shit going on right now that it’s hard to do more than wonder about it. like caroline kennedy wanting to be NY senator, but only if it’s handed to her on a silver platter (she’s already said she wouldn’t run in 2010 if she’s not appointed now). it’s almost as if someone said to her hey, caroline, wanna go to the movies? and caroline goes OK, got nothing much else to do. shouldn’t she be at least a little fired up by the idea? have SOME kind of a plan? or are those good old kennedy (you-saw-me-at-daddy’s-funeral) genes enough? maybe she should just go represent illinois instead. i hear you can get a great deal on a senate seat over there.
my personal choice to replace hillary in the senate is bill clinton. keeps him out of mischief while she’s off secretary of stating, and gives new york a helluva powerful senator who knows a thing or two about governing. but i ain’t holding my breath. (for that matter, i’d like to see bubba run for NY guv when paterson’s borrowed time runs out in 2010, though it’s hard to see anything good in it for him — been there, done that.)
barack obama chooses a self-identified hatemongering homophobe to invocate at his inauguration, a SHITload of dirty coal (there’s no other kind) explodes in tennessee and starts poisoning everything in sight, then israel goes and bombs the shit out of gaza. hundreds dead, bloody bodies fallen in their everyday rags on the ground. the usual war pix: friends or relatives weeping over all the unluckies — a tableau we’ve grown far too accustomed to these last 5.5 years of Our Iraq.
throughout all of this, xmas lights burn and twinkle, squandering energy like a toddler set loose in a cookie factory. at least people are starting to buy LED lights (30% less energy) even though they cost more than old-school holiday lights. and kudos to ACE hardware for becoming the first nationwide retail store chain to accept mercury-laden though energy-efficient CFL bulbs for recycling. if only the catalog-mongers would get a clue…
i rode through brooklyn on xmas eve, forced off the gowanus by insane traffic on our way to dad’s place in sheepshead bay. didn’t realize that people still tarted up their whole house for the holidays — you don’t see that in manhattan, not much more than a random window outlined in lights, no big productions. but brooklyn still goes at it full guns, some of these people must start breaking out the xmas crap at halloween. angels and soldiers and life-size reindeer and lights on every leaf and blade in the yard. sad place, brooklyn.
when we finally (finally! 90 minutes for a 25-minute drive!) met dad at his favorite restaurant we got to watch the recession in action. this place, garguilo’s, has been a coney island institution for something like half a century. xmas eve is one of their biggest nights, and it’s usually a total mob scene (in more ways than one). i have never — NEVER — seen an empty table at “the garge” on a holiday night. until last week, when every third table was unpeopled. and we were there during prime time. my father would be absolutely beside himself if they ever shut down. it’s his home away from home.
“we”, by the way, is me and my brother, who is quite possibly the best human being on the planet (no, he doesn’t want hillary’s senate seat), who came down from new england and stayed with me for several days, making the holiday season not only bearable but downright delightful. without him, i’d have been reduced to hair-tearing and motherscreaming, two things i didn’t have to do this year. thanks, man!
though he can also get a little crazy himself around the holidays:
now i’m trying to wind down from all of this — fuggetabout new year’s eve, i am staying home with a friend and we plan to do a lot of nothing. i’m following the good advice from zen habits here, and Joining the Power of Less. between that and illuminated mind telling me that the best way to solve a problem is to give up, i may just kick off my shoes and start the new year with one resounding round of fuckits!
POP QUIZ: so just which 70′s-era band am i quoting in the title of this post?