Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas got better

I've earned enough credentials in the past week to qualify me as a self-help writer. For the book on weight loss, my advice will be, "Eat less, and exercise more. Try not to gorge yourself, unless you need comforting after a breakup, or it's Christmas, in which case it is okay to pig out, because that is the nature of that holiday." For the book on relationships, my advice will be, "Never ever date a super religious person. He will say he loves you, and then dump you because he thinks you're a heathen. If he prays as obsessively as you check your e-mail, it's probably not a good match."

Another area of my expertise is being hospitable to a Southern guest. "Don't ever serve your Southern guest potatoes. Only serve him grits . . . 24 hours a day. Serving Southerners potatoes is deeply insulting for some reason. And don't introduce your Southern guest to any of your condescending friends who think all Southerners are stupid, racist hicks. Your Southern guest may threaten to throw your friend out the window. And once your Southern guest leaves, you may start speaking with a Southern accent. This is normal. Your accent will fade and go back to normal as you adjust to life without your Southern guest."

This Christmas was fun, despite me being sick and sleep-deprived. My mom, our friend Richard, and I went to see "Avatar." I liked the political and environmental messages. The whole movie was thrilling and stunning, although I detected rape symbolism in the scene when Jake chooses his dragon. I'm curious to know if anybody else was disturbed by that, or if it's just me.

And I have to write about my presents because this was the most literary Christmas ever. I got the books "Naming the World" and "Stephen Fry in America." And I now have a subscription to "The Paris Review." One present of everlasting coolness, which will come in very handy, is "A Working Writer's Daily Planner." Every writer should own one. It lists writing contests and residencies, gives writing prompts, encouragement, and it also includes a submissions tracker.

I think I will read Stephen Fry's book before bed, and then wake up to my Stephen Fry alarm clock in the morning. Jolly good plan, I say.


  1. You may not know this, but I am an expert at raising children. I constantly find myself telling my sister and random strangers what they should be doing to make their children better.

  2. hahaha. Not having kids makes me an expert too.