i haven't felt that christmas stress this year.
even though most of my shopping still isn't done.
and i can't make mix cds for anyone because my computer's being weird.
my scanner doesn't work either, or i'd post this picture of a christmas gift my mom's friend brought back with her from honduras. it's this little papiermache man sculpture with his arms overloaded with stuff stuff stuff to the point now where he's falling over. it's how most of us look between that last friday in november and the 26th of december.
i've avoided the mall, and thus have avoided making any rants about the crass commercialism of this holiday. or the whole "war on christmas" "happy holidays" "season's greetings" crap. i've even managed to be socially conscious on a budget and support small local stores. it's a whole lot less stressful that way, and the stuff you get is cooler.
as far as christmas music goes, i tend to go oldschool to the point of being medieval. working retail made me hate silver bells and let it snow, but if it's got choirs and an orchestra, i'm all about it.
i still love christmas lights and little kids singing off key in christmas programs. and how we do a traditional polish celebration on christmas eve and then the more sedate christmas day when all the family is talking politics and telling stories and me and the cousins are watching bad public access tv: monster movies, school plays, a polka band from someone's wedding.
i'm thinking about going to midnight mass this year at st. stan's with a friend of mine, even though i'm not catholic anymore. there's a part of me that still clings to the beauty of the traditions and feels like those have added something to my life.
my sister rented 'the nativity story' the other night and i watched the last half of it. usually it seems like most religious films are either badly done, poorly acted, or just plain cheesy, but i felt like i really got some sense of the culture and the time period that i've read about, but it hadn't been completely brought to life. as i'm watching the end, when mary gives birth and it's not this sanitized "wow the baby just pops out" kind of thing, i just started crying. there was something so beautiful and sacred but yet very earthy and real that i guess must have hit me for the very first time.
Friday, December 14, 2007
"oh you're from cleveland? i'm so sorry."
"your last name is so blue collar"
"isn't that where the lake caught on fire?"
you'd think i'd have some kind of inferiority complex by now, but i love this place.
when i was a kid my dad would let me skip school and we'd go to the art museum, or driving along the marginal roads listening to wcsb, and i'd get my fix of 'culture.' my friend's dad would take us to old cemeteries, little italy, and chinatown.
my first year of college was spent in the middle of nowhere, among kids who generally considered canton a metropolis and my love of loud guitars and rust belt architecture was an anomaly. the first time i came home, my friend and i breathed in the air and exulted in the smog from the steel mills in the flats.
i missed things like airplanes flying overhead, and the orthodox church domes on state road, places like arabica, churches where the music was something you could salsa to as everyone's singing the lyrics in spanish and english, going to see shows at places like the beachland ballroom, and record stores that sold actual records rather than the headshop in the small downtown which sold mostly incense and insane clown posse albums.
that was why i transferred to a closer place where i was only a bus ride away.
that was why i moved back here after graduation even though i could have done a whole lot more with my life.
i think you have to be a certain kind of person to like it here.
i stumbled across this today on flickr and it made me smile. i usually can't stand type a people, but henry rollins is probably the exception. however, just because i like his nonfiction writing and portions of his recorded output, i could not bring myself to sit in the front row when i saw him speak at my college, and when he walked past me earlier in the day, i just stared dumbly because i could think of nothing worthwhile to say that he probably hasn't heard before.
i've also been on a ridiculous bad brains kick recently, having used a newly acquired lakewood library card to check out portions of their back catalog, with some husker du and cocteau twins thrown in for good measure.
livejournal's been making me feel emo, and xanga is populated by illiterate 12-year-olds, i've decided to relocate here. this will have substantially less personal detail and more random pictures and ruminations on life in general. besides, it feels a bit more brainy over here in google-land.