Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics


Posted by shannonclark on December 23, 2002

How I celebrated the “holidays”

or at least how I have so far

Yesterday I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I started the book in the late afternoon/early eveing, and finished it before I went to bed. Read it over my late afternoon lunch, read it sitting alone in a not too bad Wicker Park cafe – a bit too dark and not loud enough – no one really talking, but not bad and comfortable couches and chairs, read the last chapters in bed after a couple hour break watching bad videos on VH1 and eating a so-so burrito – my normal favorite place surprisingly being closed (usually open 24hrs, seem likely they have new management).

Somewhere in there I bought my small presents for my dad and mom this year – used books – stuff I think they will like, but it pains me that that was all that I could afford (and barely at that) this year.

At the moment I owe far more money than I have – much of it owe in the sense of they are starting to call me to get me to pay. Between a couple of clients not paying me yet (large sums of money), and a very large project seemingly delayed until next year (if it happens at all) my finances this Christmas are not so hot. Tomorrow I have to sell something I really did not want to sell (some stocks) and then race around trying to move money before the banks and brokerages close (if it is at all possible at all). I’ll then be working over the holidays hopefully doing stuff that will pay off next year – but the problem being right here and now.

I am not happy about this. I love giving gifts, perhaps more than getting them – and it pains me that this year I have to literally decide between fixing my broken sink, keeping my car, keeping my home, eating, or giving gifts – not a pleasant or fun choice to have to make.

So, my present to myself yesturday was a block of time spent mostly just reading a good book that my friends had all been raving about for a very long time. I was interrupted for a little while with a work related phone call – but other than that I had a really good long block of time reading a work of fiction, something I had not done for far too long.

There are some really simple things in life that make be very jealous. Seeing couples together in a coffee house, perhaps holding hands, but more just the idea of sitting together (in my case with a woman I love), having a cup of coffee and each reading, writing, or perhaps playing a game of scrabble together – how amazing would that be? And how distant a memory for me. At this point almost 10 years since I have done anything like that – 10 years. Way, way, way too long for someone who is under 30.

At the same time a friend of mine only just today complained to me about one woman who gave him Christmas presents (whom he has been sleeping with) – for whom he had not gotten anything. I’ve known him for only a few months – he’s already in that time had at least three or more different relationships, sleeping with the same woman multiple times (and told me about it).

That’s more than I have had in the past decade.

And he complains. Guess no one is ever happy – I’m single, so I complain; he’s not exactly single, not exactly committed – and he complains.

Still Holidays are a time where my singleness is highlighted and put in stark relief.

Just today I was invited to a New Year’s Eve party (I think) by a friend. I say I think because while she forwarded me the invite – she didn’t actually write anything personal to me about it – such as “would you like to go with me” or the like. So I’m not sure where she and I stand – and since the last few times I’ve asked her out she’s had once excuse or another not to join me – I have a feeling that she, like seemingly every other female friend is only interested in me as a friend – nothing more.

I did see a woman last night while reading in the cafe in Wicker park – a woman with a set of features that I am quite drawn too. I had first seen her and her friend in another store down the street – we were both shopping there, then she and her friend wandered in after me into the cafe.

Brown currly hair (winner for me).

Pert face, lips and eyes that really do something for me.

Curvaeous – but in a comfortable with herself way.

Definitely the face and the hair though.

The negatives, she smokes. And I think her friend was her girlfriend – something about how she tussled her hair as they were sitting down and getting cream for their coffee (she’s a tea drinker – not a negative in my book at all).

Reminds me of an Armenian woman I had a crush years ago – something about the feature set of currly hair and a particular build and facial features – I find it very desireable. Yes, I suspect most other American males would have been more interested in some of the many other woman – and there were some who were quite stunning – but I rarely find a woman with another man attractive – for real, tends to equal “already taken” which for me at least is a strong turnoff – though I am not above being jealous of the lucky guy with them – my attention will usually wander.

So now for the rest of my year. Work tomorrow – spent chasing clients down on Christmas eve looking for payments promised me (fun fun fun…) as well as paying bills and trying to move money so I avoid really bad things happening to me before the new year. The joys of owning a business.

Then tomorrow evening I have the joy of being a single male with a broken kitchen sink on a holiday evening – i.e. not sure what I’ll be eating (or where) – likely something really simple at home – but since my sink is broken (leaks all over the place) I can’t do many dishes (just how ever much it takes to fill a wastebasket to the point where it is still possible to move it to the bathroom to be thrown away – and running my dishwasher seams completely out of the question.

Christmas Day I will join my parents and sister at my parent’s house for Christmas day brunch (Pop’s Super Colassal Popovers – a long family tradition) and the opening of our presents – not much this year I suspect – and I’ll probably feel a bit left out – not having much to give, unlikely to be getting much, and seeing my sister and her boyfriend Pete who have a much more normal life than I enjoy the holidays together.

Then my father and I will go and see the next installment of the Lord of the Rings – been looking forward to that – and it will get me out of the house, Claritin or no Claritin, still the best preventative for my allergies is avoidance of allergens (like my parents aging cat).

Then Christmas dinner – not sure what this year, probably Beef Wellington which seems to be the new family tradition – probably something cooked by my mom, my sister, and Pete (Peter is my dad, Pete my sister’s boyfriend – gets a tad confusing at times) – once again I’ll probably not be contributing much – for though I am a very good cook – my sister and Pete seem better, more informed, more practiced, and always seem to be doing the cooking (and to be fair, they are excellent cooks and do work “in the industry” – Pete’s done research for some of the best chefs in New York, they both have worked PR for NY restaurants, Pete’s considered training to be a sommonlier, and my sister works for one of the better local restaurants in NYC as a waitress. Yes they are more than bit food snobs (in a good way).

I’m a bit rougher, simplier, less refined, and far less practiced in my cooking – which like so many other things is something I have done far far too little of in the past decade.

Far too little cooking for someone I love. Especially far too few breakfasts, or picnic lunches.

Far too few backrubs (given or recieved).

Far too few late night strolls on the lakefront, or late night coffees in a cozy cafe.

Far too long and too many entries sounding a similiar note in my journal here – hopefully fewer in the year to come.


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