Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Ahh, Christmas. How you suck. The traffic just isn't worth it. That said, I'm glad it's over. We can all hopefully go back to our lives. You can always appreciate the break, but the traffic and aggravation are just hell. Plus, everything's been commercialized, commodified, compromised anyway. Got some nice gifts, and I'd like to think Neva and I gave some away, too. I got Neva Blue Monday: The Kids Are Alright by Chynna Clugston-Major.

It's a charming little book that reminds me of Archie, except with lots of swearing, and no delusions: they all know they want to get laid. And it's drawn in a cute manga style, except it's done by an American. I actually didn't want to like it when I first read it; I thought it just wasn't my thing, but I was utterly won over by the sheer syrupy-sweet charm of it all. We both liked the second book, Absolute Beginners, which I'd borrowed from Gio, so I thought I'd take a chance and get her the first book. Hope she likes it.

She, in turn, gave me Ben Katchor's The Jew of New York, a book I'd been looking at for a long time in Not Page One. I don't know how she did it, but she bought it while I was with her. While I was in the comics and film section, she got it from the Humor section (where it was wrongly placed by Not Page One) and paid for it, and then when I went over to check on it, and found it missing, I got depressed, which I'm sure cheered her up no end.

The Wednesday group had a small Christmas party in Brash last Sunday, and we exchanged gifts, those who'd remembered to bring theirs, anyway, and shot the usual shit and shared the tsismis and ate and drank. Chris gave me Summerland by Michael Chabon, a book I'd long been looking forward to reading and was actually already reserved for me at PowerBooks.

Both me and Chris are BIG fans of Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, so he's going to borrow Summerland after I'm through (I'm about a quarter in). Quark & Lia gave me the Smashing Pumpkins' Earphoria, as well as a small Aquaman toy where he looks like he's in mortal fear of a crab for some reason. Another excellent gift; I was just eyeing it last Friday (Earphoria, not the Aquaman). Got some Batang West Side swag from Alexis: posters and a mug. Gave Joey Brotherhood of the Wolf and Charade. I regret not attacking the Cookies and Cream in the freezer, though. Saw Ernan and Le Sexy Mark Lavin and Ozzy, who finally returned all those things he stole back on my birthday! Of course, he forgot my Requiem for a Dream. Typical. Alia got a dolphin from Chris, and Mich got a Jolina doll which she honestly and sincerely cherishes. She listens to it sing every morning and when we visited her on Christmas Eve she'd already made clothes for the damn thing, and the batteries were beginning to wear out because she couldn't get enough of the song. Chris also gave Ernan 3 books on bodybuilding, all written by the same guy, a Cyrus something or other who apparently has an empire of bodybuilding paraphernalia. Ernan also showed up with his new haircut, for those of you who read his blog.

I also got a terrific shirt from Mich.

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