(Okay, that was weird. The doorbell just rang, and it was a UPS guy delivering some packages for my sister--and her driver's license, which he "found on the road!" Also, he was really cheerful and cute, in a goofy kind of way. Oddness.)
--because there hasn't been any itching, existential despair, etc., this time. No, I think I'm kind of sad because it's the frickin' holidays, which so far has already included a dramatastic Thanksgiving, and we've still got two birthdays to go before Christmas. And one of them is mine. I think I feel sad for two reasons, really--one is that my sister's new relationship, a few months old now, is completely schizophrenic and goes from midnight cellphone shouting matches to public cuddling in the den--and back again--within 24 hours. And the rest of us are sort of at the mercy of that tempest. The other is that Christmas is tied with Halloween as my favorite holiday, and I finally figured out what they both have in common: a sense of mystery. Halloween's a bit more straightforward that way--ghost stories, the witching hour, and so on. But Christmas--I've said something to this effect before, but the essence of Christmas, from a fairy tale point of view, is that you're never quite sure what could happen after you get in bed. There's something slightly dark about Christmas Eve. Halloween has goblins; Christmas has elves. And they might not all be nice. I think it's The Nutcracker that's contributed a lot to this sensation, plus A Christmas Carol and that kind of thing--the idea that Christmas Eve is either some kind of reckoning, or that everything comes alive after the lights go off. It's dumb, but I love going to the mall--this would be the Riverchase Galleria in particular--during the holiday season, when the lighting is dusky and dim despite all the skylights, and the colored lights are strung all around and snatches of music are fading in and out and the carousel is turning in its red sea of poinsettia plants. It's the closest you can get to Christmas as a city of its own (and also, it's fun to windowshop). It's the same slightly spooky feeling you get from the Harry Potter theme (I think it's no coincidence the Potter books and movies always feature prominent Christmas scenes) or from Lucy's first visit to Narnia.
And I'm not feeling that this year. I don't know why. I always want to suck on the month of December like an everlasting gobstopper, and yet I can't ever make it last. And this year, it's like I don't feel there's any point in trying, and I don't understand why. I mean, it's still November; there's time.
And that's not even counting my constant pitifulness over Lucky, whose little stocking (yes, we have stockings for all the pets. With photos on them. Shut up) is going to be empty this year.
Sigh. Maybe I'll get out last year's BPAL Yule samples and roll around in those.
Re: yesterday's entry: I feel like I should note that amazon.uk has crack shipping, or at least it did when I ordered some UK-only books last Christmas. (And everyone I've talked to who ordered the book said it was shipped promptly.) It's just Amazon US that's trying to push people towards their $79-for-a-year-of-shipping or whatever cockamamie thing they're attempting--I think they're trying to make Super Saver Shipping so awful that no one will use it anymore, because Amazon is losing money on it, whereas if you pay $79 for the year (and then get all your shipping 1) free and 2) two-day thereafter), they're more likely to make a profit off you. After all, you're going to have to order a hell of a lot from Amazon in order to make $79 worth your while, so either they keep the difference, or they've gotten hugely increased business from you. This is just my theory, of course, but... it does make a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?
Report: Princes plan concert for Diana. God, will it be ten years next year? I remember so vividly when it happened because it was my first weekend at college--literally, I had just moved in, and it was my freshman year--and I woke up on Sunday morning to hear about it. I don't know if my mother called me or I turned the television on first. It was completely surreal.
Protester immolation virtually unnoticed. Warning: disturbing content.
At 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 — four days before an election caused a seismic shift in Washington politics — Ritscher, a frequent anti-war protester, stood by an off-ramp in downtown Chicago near a statue of a giant flame, set up a video camera, doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.
Aglow for the crush of morning commuters, his flaming body was supposed to be a call to the nation, a symbol of his rage and discontent with the U.S. war in
"Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country," he wrote in his suicide note. "... If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."
There was only one problem: No one was listening.
Indian city to outlaw rickshaw runners.
Documentary films rattle business world.
Maggie Gyllenhaal wins Stockholm honor.
Elton John feels ill onstage in Brisbane.
reynardine, regarding Amazon's dismal customer service: "I still buy from Amazon, but only books and not during the holidays. Learned that painful lessons a couple of years ago. However, there is a helpful site that lists the contact phone numbers of Amazon.com, as well as Ebay, Paypal, Netflix, etc."
dolphin__girl happened to mention her jewelry site, Stellar Magpie (stellar_magpie), so check it out if you're looking for Christmas presents--I particularly liked Green Valinor and Always Winter and Never Christmas.