Friday, December 25, 2009

Up in the Air

As I recover from getting the wind knocked out of me by "Up in the Air," I realize that it sacked me just as it shows so many people being sacked. I was enjoying a wonderful romantic comedy plotline and laughing more than usual. I was feeling connected to the movie and to the person I was with. And then, wham, I'm cut loose, left alone, adrift. Wondering what the hell happened. Having proudly protected my independence for so long, I find myself deluded that I have become part of something and understand that I am just a parenthesis in someone else's life. Still isolated. It is a devastating feeling: a powerful movie, to inspire such loneliness.

Rebuttal the next morning: Yes, what a powerful movie. But the difference between the George Clooney character and myself is that I have a home. I have a wonderful home with wonderful friends -- I have many longstanding connections with people where I am part of the narrative, not a parenthesis. My home is not isolating: it's not a special passcard, it's not a single seat on a plane. It's expansive and inclusive. His life was so isolated that meeting a (perfect) partner is a random and rare event. My life is grounded and is defined by a breadth of communities and affection.

Once again, a powerful movie, to bring us to such an experience of isolation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The best Christmas ever.

Merry Christmas! I am having such a wonderful time at my own Christmas party. Just me. I've had an emotionally and logistically complex few days, and today I finally got some me time: time to spend in my own life and at my own pace.

So after a brunch in Burlingame this morning (hitting the road when it's empty and the sky is clear is a great way to start the day) I took a nap and was awakened to my first Christmas present: my phone was ringing. For the past four days my home phone has been out of service, causing me to have a variety of meltdowns while I wait on hold to ask again when it will be fixed. I finally emailed the CEO of the company (whom I know -- it's not AT&T!) as well as the head of customer service, and the latter called me back within the hour on my repaired line.

A cloud lifted.

I walked on this beautiful sunny day to the local Borders to do Christmas shopping for niece and nephew. I knew what I wanted to get nephew, but I forgot who the author was, and the self-service stations weren't spitting it out when I searched for it. It also appears that Borders blocks access to from iPhones. I was, however, able to easily get into Amazon if I googled a specific book. After an hour, I figured it out: Bad Kitty Gets a Bath. Perfect.

And now I'm listening to KFOG's 24 hours of Christmas, which is incredibly fun and diverse, and I made myself dinner -- for the first time in weeks, between eating out, eating at others', and eating crap here. Me time!

Tomorrow won't be so me, but it's filled with tradition:

  1. Open the box of Christmas presents that my father and stepmother have sent
  2. Stop at my sister's to exchange gifts
  3. Party of Torah studiers in the afternoon
  4. Chinese food and a movie in the evening
Then on to New Year's, which will be in Tahoe for the first time in memory and promises to be its own unique adventure!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Things I am taking to beat this cold

  1. Zicam
  2. Robitussin
  3. Sudafed
  4. Advair
  5. Ibuprofen
  6. Ocean nasal spray
  7. Gelsemium (homeopathic)
  8. Chinese herbs (left over from last year's trip)
  9. Chicken soup
I think I'm winning.