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Re-Advent December 16, 2016

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In December 2013, I wrote about the advent calendar of my childhood as a kickoff to writing something—anything—for twenty-four days. It looks like I did that again in 2014, and I’ve been making the attempt this year after last year’s (near) December silence. It hasn’t been easy, though, so I’ve been posting snippets and photos and things already written for others and, like today, some repeated material.

Route 153

The advent calendar began to appear when I was still quite small. Between the time I went to bed on November 30 and the time I got up on December 1, elves stopped by the house to hang it on the wall: a long blue-cloth calendar numbering 24 days, a ring sewn under each date from which two small packages wrapped in white tissue paper were attached. My sister and I opened a present every morning. We would not receive the same elf offering on the same day, but by eyeing the size and shape of what the other got, we could usually identify its future match.

It was easily as much fun as Christmas.

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Birthday Notes on Aging December 15, 2016

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Last Saturday night, I went with my BFF’s mom to pick up said BFF from a birthday party. On the way home, I asked if her friend was six or seven. “Seven,” she told me. “But Zinnia says that seven doesn’t really feel any different from six.”

T-Birthday Ski December 14, 2016

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It’s Tim’s birthday tomorrow, so we went cross-country skiing today. First time in two years.

Happy Santa Lucia! December 13, 2016

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If I could be anywhere today, I’d be in Verona. But you knew that.

Cocktail Haiku December 12, 2016

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for the end of days and resurrections


three gin, one vodka
one-half lillet blanc, shaken,
not stirred, lemon twist

the last word

green chartreuse, lime juice,
luxardo maraschino,
dry gin, equal parts

corpse reviver

gin, lillet, cointreau,
and lemon juice, equal parts,
with an absinthe rinse

A Certain BFF . . . December 11, 2016

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. . . of mine, this morning, in a house of her and her mother’s making, with two additions designed by the BFF and constructed by Tim, interior design by her with a little help from me. She lives too far away, but this house looks possibly portable.


Yet Another Birthday Limerick December 10, 2016

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…for same friend’s fiftieth.

He loves his absinthe and Sauternes.
For confit and foie gras he does yearn.
Should this palate of Dan’s
Ever travel to France
It is doubtful he’ll ever return.

Another Birthday Limerick December 9, 2016

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…for a friend’s fiftieth.

A man with mad bartending skillz
Doesn’t mix drinks to pay all his billz.
He muddles, shakes, stirs
And infuses liqueurs
To serve up to his friends while they chillz.

Max and Lennon December 8, 2016

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Today is the anniversary of Max’s death, who died on the thirty-fifth anniversary of Lennon’s death, which is the twentieth anniversary of that party I went to at the Dakota, when it was the fifteenth anniversary of Lennon’s death but the hosts didn’t realize that when they planned the party and all the guests had get past the candlelight vigil and be on the list to get through the extra security at the front door, and who knows what will happen today that next year it will be the anniversary of or what other things it’s the anniversary of that I am not even thinking about or aware of but I can tell you that I was in my college dorm room when I heard about Lennon’s death and I was sitting right here in my office when I heard about Max’s death and I still can’t imagine that Max is gone.

Birthday Limericks December 7, 2016

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Years ago, I wrote this one:

There once was a man named Chris Shea
Who with Washington shared a birthday
But instead of false teeth
He wore fancy briefs
And would frolic about the bidet.

And he recently wrote this one:

A frolicsome gal named Kathleenie
On her birthday imbibes a martini.
Then, “Hosanna!” she crows,
“I’ll have three more of those!”
And hops about in her bikini.