Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Friday

I've come to the conclusion that my favorite holiday may, in fact, be the day after Thanksgiving. It's not that I don't like Thanksgiving itself--I do, very much. I have no problem with the family project of putting on a huge meal, or with first-time-around mashed potatoes, or with well-loved stories tossed over my aunt's epic centerpieces. But, to me, the wreckage of the next day is even better: food and family, deliberately de-ceremonialized, is where the real fun happens.

My family does a Thanksgiving sleepover model--we're divided into Thanksgiving West in Santa Cruz and Thanksgiving East in New York, but both incarnations involve staying over, so that Black Friday is all about the morning-after sleep-in, leftover pie for breakfast, and hanging around the kitchen together. On the West Coast, we sometimes take a walk on the beach, or go downtown for lunch before everybody wanders home. It's more of each other than we've seen all year, usually, and there's time to talk and hang out and be who we are when it's not a major holiday. It's a good time.

This year, I went to Thanksgiving East, and spent Black Friday fighting a cold, but also sprawling on the couch with my brother, knitting, and assembling my Christmas list. We grazed on turkey sandwiches (cranberry + Grey Poupon for me; some kind of mayo thing for him). We hung out with my aunt and uncle. Eventually, we mustered the energy to leave the house and see Fantastic Mr. Fox; then we came home and sprawled some more and we all watched an old Poirot Mystery until bedtime. That's it. It was nothing, but it was great--it was us being together, with nothing else to do and nothing else expected of us, and that's a great holiday memory.

Plus, you know. Pie.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's November 13th

How did that happen?

I have no photos to share--the date-remembering impulse took the day off for Veterans' Day, apparently. I can tell you that I went to work, ran in the dark, had leftover brown rice and acorn squash for dinner, and watched Bones one and a half times. So, you know. Aren't you sad you missed THAT?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

She said you're like a disease without any cure

I went to the doctor today. My right eye has been acting funny lately, messing up my worldview a bit--being the freckliest girl in the world, it is unsurprising that I would have a tiny mole on my lash line, rubbing up against my eyeball and making me inappropriately teary, but that doesn't make it less uncomfortable. It's just another day in the life of the temperamentally-skinned. Thanks, genetic legacy!

Luckily, I have Kaiser health care, the kind where I call the advice nurse at 9:30 and they ask if I'd rather have the 10:15 or the 1:30 same-day appointment. I show up and flaunt my eyelid to my GP and to the opthalmologist's assistant; flaky-mascara lecture and eyeball-numbing glaucoma test notwithstanding, we all seem to agree: as terrifying as the intersection of opthalmology and dermatology sounds, minor surgery may be the way to go, here. Soon, the opthalmologist himself shows up. He looks around, resists the urge to flip my eyelids inside out like a junior-high boy, and shines a few lights in my eyes. He hmmmmms to himself. He looks at me.

"Well," he says, "We're going to hold off on the mole. At least until the conjunctivitis clears up."

Let me translate that.


I am twenty-nine years old, and I HAVE PINKEYE.

This is actually not that surprising; it seems like, in this world, you're either a pinkeye person or you aren't, and I most definitely am. I was that kid in preschool who practically bathed in eyedrops (but never got good at taking them--even now, I am a reluctant eye-dropper on the very best of days). For whatever reason, I'm conjunctivitis-friendly. It's nice to know I'm accommodating to all, don't you think?

In my (extensive) pinkeye experience, this'll all blow over. I've got eyedrops and ointment(ultra-thick eyedrops: AWESOME, UNIVERSE) and a check-up appointment for Monday; even going without my contacts seems to be keeping the ick at bay. Until then, I'm just trying not to start a Swine Eye epidemic. That would be embarrassing.