Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Top Ten: If We Took a Holiday, Took Some Time to Celebrate

Hallo! First off, check out the list of books on the Saturday Auto-Fun and let me know which one you'd like to be the first Auto-Win Book Club selection. I'll make a decision soon and I la-la-love/need your input ... I'm pretty sure that we've reached a consensus, but you never know, look what happened to Al Gore! Hey, speaking of voting, are you going to VOTE? -- WAIT! this just in ... I could've sworn I saw Wao in paperback at a store recently, but all online booksellers seem to suggest it's not coming out in paperback 'til September. In which case, it can't be our book club selection 'cause $24.95 is a lot of money, right? (Or, rather ... $15 on amazon, it'd seem)

Anyhow ... Happy Father's Day! Hm, obviously this isn't my favorite holiday. What IS my favorite holiday, you ask? Do you like ANYTHING, Riese, or are you all rainshowers and spoiled pudding? Yes, I do like things, I am rainy pudding but I'm also sunshine and bunny rabbits. I like Tinkerbell, matzoh ball soup, presents, unicorns, the smell of rain, making out, the next joke, tweezers, wax museums, ipods, books and children in puffy coats. Also; always been a fan of Administrative Assistant's Day.

I don't mean to pull a Lozo and execute an entire post just to complain, but the topic of "holidays I don't like" offers a mine[field] of possibilities. You step inside it, and there's ten smiling children all saying "no" while shaking their heads "yes." There are nine pictures of children who enjoy the company of other children. In the tenth picture, a child is eating pudding underneath a giant red rain-hat and she's ready to go home. The tenth picture is me.

Sunday Top Ten: Hello Holiday. It's me, Tinkerbell. I'm Just Not That Into You.
10. Fourth of July
The hot outdoors. Sticky hands. The inevitable consumption of beer, subsequent desire to nap and/or feeling of belly bloated by froth & bubbles & popsicle. Grilling meat into humid air, the clank of cheering bottles, the anticipation of watermelon never matching the pleasure of the fruit itself. Lying in dry grass, near dirt. The assumption that we ought to love America so badly we explode of it. Sometimes I avoid this holiday altogether, and instead write crazy blog entries ...

... but this year, we're celebrating! 'Cause it's Caitlin's favorite holiday and Alex is "really serious" about it. I've actually had some really spectacular July 4ths in my life ... and this year, it'll be the most fun ever. Like independence, which was also fun for the [white male] Americans.

Best July 4th Ever
: 2001 -- my diary says; "What's better than the world -- literally -- bursting into sky? Cliches are cliches for a reason." I met up w/Olive Garden friends and we snuck into a private party at a riverside apartment complex to watch the fireworks. I wasn't carded so we drank free beer, ate from big bags of candy and shared candy with children. It rained afterwards and we dashed through it like sparklers.

New Best Fourth of July Ever: 2008! Can't wait!
9. Lent

[fumiko shibata]
When I'm like, "I want to eat a cookie" or "I want to get sloshed," and you're like, "OMG, I gave that up 'cause of Jesus and Easter and bunnies," I'll be like, "That is lame, I hate you and your holiday, you're gay." Though I liked it when my friends would give up Nintendo, then we could play Pretend or House instead and I wouldn't be left out.
8. Yom Kippur
This is the day of atonement. Though fasting is a thrilling & self-destructive way to pass the day, it's this holiday's persistent habit of falling on my birthday that makes me dislike it. 'Cause I don't want to atone on my birthday, I want to celebrate, I want cake, I was told there'd be cake, you know?

Best Yom Kippur Ever - 1999
: Alone at Sarah Lawrence with an unstable body & mind, I managed Yom Kippur. I went to four services that day at the temple synagogue, fasted, slept, sat in the library with books and pencils and then went back to temple. I broke fast alone, and slowly. I felt actually quite connected to my spirituality that day -- to something larger, and to everything wrong inside of me -- and I'd like to get back to that place some day. Where I could be like, "Are you there, G-d, it's me Marieeee?!?!"

Also, I've been known to enjoy a noodle koogle or two. Break-Fast is the best.
7. Malcom X's Birthday
I realized I'd been in Planet Harlem for way over a year when I went to 125th to get some coffee and found EVERY SINGLE STORE shuttered for five hours, just like LAST YEAR! -- even the corporate chains closed in "observance" of Malcom X's birthday. If Malcom X were still alive, he'd march right into CVS and get some Aveeno even if he had to get violent, I don't think this was his dream. So it's like a double penalty holiday. Personally, I like to celebrate birthdays of important political leaders by treating myself to a nice cold beverage at Starbucks, but that's just me, keep marching and yelling, wheee!
6. Thanksgiving
I don't like meat that's on the bone, let alone the whole honking animal sitting there looking at everyone. Either I eat a lot of potato products or there's not anything I want to eat and then I'm hungry. So as you can see it never ends well, look what happened to the American Indians, I rest my case.

Best Thanksgiving Ever: 1999
- So weird that the holidays of my semester at SLC are far more memorable & brighter than my other SLC days and also brighter than holidays celebrated in other years. We made dinner in Meg's NYU dorm with portobellos instead of turkey and we drank Pepsi One and I read The Iliad and Stephen Dunn and wrote. I transcribed "Essay on the Personal" into my journal next to a postcard of a purple & yellow watercolor painting.

2006 was a good one too, 'cause my brother came all the way from New Orleans with home-made macaroni and cheese as his carry-on.
5. Valentine's Day

I think we should all buy each other presents every minute we want to, and sweet things for our lover's mouths. The problem with Valentine's Day is that everything is too crowded to make a reservation except way ahead of time, which means you'll need to have been in a relationship for at least a month, and who has that kind of time, you know? JK. It's just a lot of pressure on an arbitrary day of the year, I like things to mean exactly what they mean, no less or more. I feel gross about buying into the corporate hoo-ha. I do it anyway, but that's 'cause I've been brainwashed by The Man.

Best V-Day Ever: 1998 - Ryan pulled out all the stops. At boarding school, this was difficult, but he did, and he did and he did. The first Valentine's Day on which I had a Valentine, even if he was a homosexual.
4. Ash Wednesday

'Cause the first four ashed-up people I see make me really confused. On the fifth I say "A-ha!" but those first four were like : "whoa, where's the fire?"
3. St. Patrick's Day/Puerto Rican Day (TIE)

I don't like anything where streets are blocked from cars and opened to drunk lusty boys & parades, unless it's the Gay Pride Parade. Hey it's raining outside, someone's raining on my parade! Everybody loves a parade, except me. We used to go to a circus parade every year in Ann Arbor, there was always a big elephant and then little people running around the elephant cleaning up after it. I thought, I'd like to have little people like that, following me around with a bucket of water and a proactive protective spirit.

Best Puerto Rican Day Parade Day Ever: 2008! I saw Gypsy with my Mum and Alexandra and Caitlin while the parade raged on, then afterwards we dined at 44x10 at a table by the window. The atmosphere @44x10 is a lot like Cafeteria, so sometimes I mix up my memories from those places 'cause I've got a handful where I'm with Alex and Caitlin and Alex's hand is on my knee and I'm eating smashed potatoes and around us bright spritely servers with perfect gay hair weave between tables, their slim hips bopping in and out of eye level. The first time I ate there was w/Haviland for Kelli's birthday, and the costume of the day was "Tipping the Velvet," but I hadn't read it yet.

Best St. Patrick's Day Ever
: Probs 2002. 'Cause I was with Chris at the fraternity, and I believed in jungle juice (that's what they called the red vat of alcohol and fruit we drank from, it was too dark to see the syphillis in the moonlight) and the pure, green holiday. I sat on the stairwell gossiping with two younger girls I'd befriended (other frat "girlfriends" -- we stuck together), one of whom would eventually be using my drivers license as her fake ID, and I told them all my ugly eager secrets as if they weren't ugly but glossy grasshopper gemstones. In the juice, the pineapples turned red, and then our mouths.

1. Father's Day
Last year's Father's Day was one of the worst days of my life, but that was just a coincidence. I was gonna do this topic last year actually but then got distracted. I like that on father's day I can say things about fathers without anyone worrying I'm thinking/talking about my father on purpose and therefore must be whining again, or truly upset. I will buy myself a tie or a pie, or maybe tell a lie to the sky, or have a baby and name him "Guy." The thing about Father's Day ... and Valentine's Day ... is that they're basically created to make us spend money at Sears or get a Chili's gift card or something, and so if you can't celebrate it and that makes you upset, you're letting Sears and Chili's win.

I remember me and Lewis on the couch, watching television in our bathrobes while our friends ate creamy breakfast foods with their stalwart fathers. We weren't the only kids on our couches, I'm sure. I didn't know that then though. Now I do.

Also, 'cause my parents apparently enjoy conceiving nine months prior to unhappy holidays, Lewis's birthday often falls on Father's Day. Not this year! Lewis's birthday is tomorrow! What are you gonna get him? I haven't decided yet personally, but probs an orange or a squeaky dog toy.

That's one of the things I heart about NYC; on any given holiday, there's at least a bazillion other people not celebrating. In other towns if you're not doing Christmas or St.Patty's, you're well aware that everyone else is. Skipping Independence Day or sans Valentine? You're never alone in New York! And we're all far away from our families -- logistically, tangibly. Or not at all, for some people. la-di-da!
Just FYI, these are my favorite holidays (in random order):

10. Pride
: good costumes, many gays, ppl feeling not alone and loathed in the world, lots of big gay parties.
9. Passover
: Matzoh ball soup. Egg whites in saltwater. Honey Cake w/matzah meal. Macaroons. Passover Marshmallows. Atkins Diet.
8. Christmas:
The spirit and everything. the ritual.
7. Columbus Day
: ''cause that was always exactly when you needed a day off from school, not 'cause I like Columbus, obvs.
6. Halloween
: I do not know who I am, but I know who I can wear.
5. Hannukah
: Latkes, hot crackling oil, presents.
4. Take Your Daughter to Work Day
: I love GapKids
3. Election Day!: Vote or DIE
2. Martin Luther King Day
: liked going to the gym and singing "we shall overcome" with the whole school holding hands.
1. Rex Manning Day
We mustn't dwell... no, not today.

Not on Rex Manning day!


MoonKiller said...

I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to holidays. Most holidays involve me having to get up at a 'reasonable' time and I rarely surface before 12.

I think Valentines day is the worst. I think I wrote a post about it, but I probably didn't actually post it, I do that a lot. But ANYWAY. No one really wins on Valentines day apart from Clinton Cards.

I'm partly Irish so I love St Paddys day. It's just an excuse to get drunk and perfect our irish accents.

They cancelled Cardiff Pride this year because due to lack of funding. I found that out on the same day I found out that Tegan and Sara was sold out. It was not a good day.

caitlin said...

this 4th of july will knock your socks off. we're going to make a cake with cool whip and strawberries and blueberries and have cheeseburgers and see the old people, etc. i wish we were friends when we were small, then we could have all sat on the couch together, except probs you and meg would have teamed up and driven me crazy. also, you know i love you and this is coming from a kind and warm place, but lent isn't a holiday, just fyiz.

caitlin said...

also, excellent use of honking

Dave Lozo said...

"The hot outdoors. Sticky hands. The inevitable consumption of beer, subsequent desire to nap and/or feeling of belly bloated by froth & bubbles & popsicle. Grilling meat into humid air, the clank of cheering bottles, the anticipation of watermelon never matching the pleasure of the fruit itself. Lying in dry grass, near dirt."

How are those BAD things? Any holiday that involves sticky hands has to be a great day, no?

And EVERYDAY should be Rex Manning Day. Say no more, mon amore.

caitlinmae said...

Until I entered college, I had an alarm of some sort go off on my watch at 1:37 (exactly!) Now, I don't wear a watch.

Holidays with parades-big exploding things are the best. I want there to be passover fireworks and a parade this year. But I guess the only parade we got was when we paraded out of egypt... WHY hasn't someone capitalized on that and done a reenactment across the brooklyn bridge.

dewey said...

The best holiday has to be Bonfire Night. Fireworks, throwing a guy on the bonfire, eating food, its just a good excuse for a party.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

a;ex said...

OMG I totally forgot about the 5th of November!! I didn't get to really celebrate it cause I had no friends when I lived in London, but omg there were so many fireworks I though the city was exploding, just like my head was.

yay dewey!

Also, is 'holloa' British for 'holla!'?
Just wondering.

Katyn said...

oh rexy, you're so sexy.

riese said...

moonkiller: Per ush, you express my sentiments exactly ... and over here, Hallmark wins. I like Cinco De Mayo 'cause it's an excuse to get drunk and perfect my Mexican accent. Except that I'm white, I just love a margarita.

That sounds like the worst day ever.

Caitlin: I do love a good three-layer berry concoction. my Mom made a good one with little bits of pound cake and angel food cake in it, I think.

If we'd been friends when we were little, I think you would probably have played serious tricks on me and Meghan together, which'd mean that we'd be teaming up around now to get revenge, and it would be sweeter than blueberries and strawberries and raspberries but for sure sweeter than blackberries 'cause blackberries aren't that sweet. See what I did there? Yeah! (thanks, re: honking)

dave lozo: I keep trying to write sentences and then get distracted by the thought of sticky hands. Speaking of, remember on Rex Manning day when he took off his pants and was like "rock and roll" or something? That was funny.

caitlinmae: No one wears a watch anymore, but at 1:37 I'm gonna tell Liv Tyler that I love her. I will walk of egypt all over this city. I guess there is the dance, 'walk like an egyptian.' except we aren't egyptians, we're jews. Dammit, I think it's cause Jewish people would see a parade and be like "oy, that morty, always wanting too much attention! psh!"

dewey: Bonfire Night? Is this a camp holiday after color wars? omg, there's a little song. OH this is making Alex very excited, she just emailed me. Ooo, MIA should do a remake of it.

a;ex: I don't believe that you ever had new friends 'cause you've got that cute exploding head thing that you do. yeah?
British people don't need to say holla, it's like implied.

katyn: I like a man in purple silk.

jenn said...

bonfire night is the leader of all "holidays" as yall folks call them, we just call them days!! calling them holidays would probs prompt the goverment to give us a national day off work (never gunna happen)

as a brit i can tell u that i do say holla but only from reading it or seeing it on here and i love it due to the fact that it annoys the hell out of people....hollllllllla

NEP said...

I hate holidays in general except the ones that involve cards with cash, aggressive drinking, and/or presents. I'm surprised you left off New Year's Eve, which is (almost) always a guaranteed disappointment. Also, I love getting pancakes (full size, not silver dollar) and mac 'n cheese at the Cafeteria.

Re: the ABC (not-so-easy as 1,2,3), since most of us probably get paid in peanuts, I agree with your thought that hardcovers be nixed from contention. Howevs, this also means (according to Amazon) that No Man's Land and Madness are out. Therefore, my amended vote goes to While They Slept with Girl Walking Backwards coming in a close second.

chaitee said...

Eh, I hate holidays. I really, not matter how hard I try, cannot get into the spirit of any of them. Though Pride Festival was on, here in Brisbane, Australia - yesterday; I didn't make it, but it's pretty fun.

I hate Valentine's Day the most maybe. And Christmas, except I have a two year old and Christmas is pretty fun with a kid. I love celebrating other people's birthdays; I put together pretty wicked presents. Other than that, all the other holidays can go to hell.

By the way, I bought Oscar Wao and I'm totally going to read it WITHOUT EVERYONE ELSE if it is not chosen for bookclub. And when you're all talking about whatever other book you choose; I'll just post my thoughts on Wao. And then you'll be sorry.

Meghan said...

*confused by apparent offline Meghan appearing in comments*

Me, I hate Xmas.

P.S. re: last auto-fun, which took me a while to get through, PLEASE do an advice vlog possibly called Vodka Psychology.

stef said...

i almost died last week when i looked out the window and noticed i lived smack dab in the middle of the puerto rican day parade.. my response was to flee. however, i seem to have been unsuccessful, as there was another parade yesterday and i am anticipating a third next week. wtf puerto rico?

last year i think i threw a fit on yom kippur because for some reason i got really offended by the rabbi telling me WHEN i was allowed to make changes in my life and repent, and swore i was never going back ever and i hate pretending to be religious once a year and the whole thing's bullshit and blahblahblah i'm so edgy. today i mentioned it again and my parents were like 'we're paid through the year, you have to go this year' and i was like 'k.' fuck. on the plus side of judaism, i've been known to make some seriously off-the-chain kugels, which may be in your future some day.

also i just watched the carly vlog like, just now. it was funny!

dewey said...

I've totally forgotten what I was going write, I was distracted by the fact that you spelt colour without the u.

Ermmm...yeah, I dunno...

You should totally celebrate bonfire night this year, especially if it makes A;ex that excited. You get to make a Guy! You can even raise money using your guy, “penny for the guy!” Are you allowed to buy fireworks for like personal use??....if so you have to get Catherine wheels, they're the best by far.

As for the holloa/holla thing I don’t know, to be fair I just copied the rhyme cos I could only remember half of it.

Razia said...

Ohhhhh now I get what Perez means by "Ash Wentzday"!!

I feel like I'm talking about Perez a lot lately. This is not who I am.

Why is it that you can describe Australia day the exact same way you did the Fourth of July? Sans the sticky hands.

MoonKiller said...

I love 'doing' accents, one thing I actually can do. I convinced someone I was scottish once.

And also forgot about Bonfire Night, it's the day before my birthday so it's a pretty good day.

MoonKiller said...

Also Yom Kippur was on my judaism paper earlier and I was like 'Yay I know what one isss!'

Mindy said...

I'd say generally, most holidays are questionable outside of the occasional day off of work. But if there are fireworks involved I'm all about it.

My favorite thing to do is celebrate the un-celebrated Holidays. Like my friends and I had one of the best weekends of our lives (and probably took a few years off our lives actually) celebrating Flag Day. I'm also a big fan of celebrating Australian holidays because it makes me feel like home. Boxing Day, Australia Day, Vegemite Day...

I made up that last one, but you get the idea.

Lewnard said...

having b-day on/near f-day.

When I'm having a fun b-day it's great distraction and I forget f-day exists. However when the day is not fun, say, the beach trip was rained out and I'm trapped at work watching overweight engineers show off tacky ties and home depot gift certificates...

Looking forward to that squeky toy.

riese said...

jenn: They don't give you days off work in Britan? I thought it was Americans that liked that the most. We don't have real days off though. Andy Warhol believed you should work seven days a week, so that's what I do. Mostly for free, but I find it rewarding, holla!

NEP: I agree about cash cards, drinking and/or presents. NYE is usually a disappointment which's why for the past few years I've focussed on not spending too much money, so at least I'll feel I've accomplished something on the night of new year's eve.

So, I went with Wao anyhow, as it might be one of the easiest to find and really only a few bucks more than a paperback since it's a top seller (Madness and No Man's Land are both still up there in price) -- BUT you can WIN it! (see today's post) I feel like most people won't enter any contests I put out there and people who do will get a big A for effort.

chaitee: Threatening me with spoilers is usually a good plan, you totally win. We're all gonna talk about Wao together! AS A FAMILY. Just like Christmas! I like other people's birthdays too, so I can make them a collage and then make them fall in love with me.

Mehgan: **haha, that's Caitlin's sister Meghan. She never comments. But she's hovering.** I wish we could do Vodka Psychology, except Hav doesn't drink, so it'd be sort of like when we played "i've never" and I got blasted and Haviland stayed cute.

stef: I thought of you during the PR festivities, of when it took me 20 minutes to walk from my apartment to the subway during the parade when I lived in Sparlem, 'cause the street was completely packed with revellers and people wearing flags as outfits and literally, literally DONKEYS. I look forward to future kugels. Maybe you threw a fit last year 'cause you were hungry?

dewey: I WILL celebrate Bonfire Night, for sure. I love holidays that other people don't like. We can buy fireworks in ohio, it's under control. Haviland says "challa" like the Jewish bread.

Razia: I bet some people in Australia have sticky hands.

Moonkiller: Remember when Haviland did your accent? That was funny.

Mindy: I love myself some President's Day. If there was a Vegimite day, I'd celebrate by eating something disgusting and then throwing up. I can't get actual Vegemite here in the states, so I'll have to substitute something else, like coal tar or cow brains.

Lewnard: You should tell them in a double-whammy why you can't celebrate father's day and that it's your birthday, and you might see some of those home depot gift cards re-routed towards your desk. Also, you should have a "who's the thinnest" contest, and the winner gets everyone's ties, and then you'll get a lot of ties. Happy Birthday! And oh i thought of something much better than a squeaky toy.

caitlin's sister said...

I don't like the word hovering. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Am I doing something wrong?

riese said...

You're right. I need a better word. A word that expresses, 'she's around, just not commenting' that doesn't imply anything is being done wrong. (as clearly you aren't) What word could that be? Maybe "reading." That would be a simple word. Really, every word I think about in that context becomes instantly weird-sounding. "watching." "around," "observing." Maybe I should've nixed that second sentence altogether. Hm.