The Great Grinchy Giveaway

mood: decidedly un-Grinchy | drinking: stuff

xmas_books

People keep telling me it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t necessarily believe it… there are lots of other times of the year that are arguably more wonderful than this.

But I’m going to shrug off my inner Grinch and just go for the holiday cheer this year. Strap on your helmet.

This year, for the first time ever, I’m instituting what may very well become a yearly tradition: The Great Grinchy Giveaway. I’ll need your help though.

Here’s how it will work:
The first 5 people to respond in the comments (here on She Says, NOT on Facebook) will receive a shiny free poetry book complete with an autograph so you can sell it for 20 bucks when I’m rich and infamous.

You get to choose which book: Shedding the Angel Skin or The Secrets of Falling. And I’ll throw in some lovely postcards for you, as well. (You can even request which postcards you’d like to receive.)

All you have to do is comment down below and tell me two things:
1. Who’s your favorite poet ever: Tennyson? Bukowski? Frost? Eliot? Plath?
2. Which book would you like to get for free?

In order to comment, you’ll have to become a registered “user” of this site, by means of the little link which is either over there on the right under “Login” or down below this post under “Leave a Reply.” That way I’ll have your email address and I can congratulate you on your winnings and get your snail mail address. It only takes two seconds. Or maybe five.

This is a great time for all you secret lurkers to come out from under the bushes and wave hello. I know you’re out there. Don’t be shy.

So, how about it? Want a free book? (If you’ve already got a copy, you could always gift it to a friend. I’m all about helping you out with your holiday shopping list.)

Ready? Set? Comment!

-Lo, getting her wrapping paper ready.

{UPDATE 12/10/09:} I’ve got my 5 winners, even though several of you had trouble getting WordPress to let you add a comment here! I apologize for your troubles. Hopefully that pesky problem is now fixed, thanks to my trusty webmaster. But those of you who were determined and sent me emails have been added to the list of winners. So: Anna, Charmaine, Jennifer, Maria & Amy can all expect to receive shiny packages in the mail very soon. And Eric, you’re getting one too, just because you’re special. Thanks, everyone!

-Lo, off to the P.O.

New Year, Same Girl

windmillMood: Ready
Drinking: Done

The last one went by so fast.

I’m not ready for a new one.
But years don’t wait for you to catch up
or slow down.
Old fades out. New takes over.
Time rushes on
and on and on.
With or without you.

(And this doesn’t count as a poem.)

-Lo, who just keeps running.

Mistletoe and Miscellany

poinsettaMood: List-Checking-Off-ish
Drinking: Daily Dose of Water

No matter how much you plan, how many vows you make, cookies you bake, lights you string, fa la la… No matter what, this season always gets to you with its busy-ness. With its sometimes sincere but often forced cheerfulness. Its overwhelming red and greenness. Its sugar overdoses and last minute gift panic.

I’m not panicking, though. I’m roadtripping.

Boy and I are packing the LeeLoo up and driving north to Portland to visit his sister, a few friends, and LeeLoo’s Internet Boyfriend, Henry D. Monster.

LeeLoo’s excited only because she saw some tasty treats and one of her babies go into a duffle bag, so she knows she’s going along. She has no idea what’s in store for her. She and the Monster have not yet met in real life, but now that they’re taking their relationship offline (i.e. out of me and Henry’s mom’s myspace photo exchanges and fake dog-messages and into the dogs’ actual lives), well, much cuteness and butt-sniffing shall be had! There will be photos. Count on it.

I’ve got other plans to avoid holiday panic — I’m boycotting the company Secret Santa thingie, for one.

Even better, my sister’s baby is due between Christmas and New Year’s, and even though he hasn’t even taken his first breath, he’s already got more presents than Boy does. I can’t stop buying adorable wee t-shirts that say stuff like “I do my own stunts.”

My parents’ plane touches down in CA soon, and since holidays with the entire Witmer family don’t happen often anymore, it’s quite exciting to think about the full house and long chats by the fire that we’ll soon be having. Actually, nervous energy getting spread around the maternity ward waiting room is probably more like it.

And in the midst of all the holidays and hullaballoo, I’ve still got some training to do. I’m up to 9 miles now, and my half marathon date creeps steadily closer. I’m still fundraising for Team in Training/The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You’ve got another week or so to sponsor me, if you want.

There are also a few poetry readings in the works for early next year. Dates to be determined. I’ll let you know when I know.

-Lo, who misses sword-sized icicles.

Hallowhatever

emily_cat
Mood: Blah
Drinking: Bleah

I usually love Halloween.

Last year I wore two costumes, one for day, one for night. (I tend to overcompensate for a costume-less childhood: Growing up on a farm meant minimal trick-or-treating.)

This year, I put just the barest minimum of effort into my transformation.

At first, I wasn’t even going to bother. But then I looked around and thought, “What’s out there that already looks like me?”

One look in the mirror at my never-ending bangs and I had the answer: Emily the Strange. Just add a dress and some Mary Janes and presto sort-of-chango: Costume.

Emily is always surrounded by her cat posse, though (Miles, Sabbath, NeeChee and Mystery), so I recruited LeeLoo to the cause with a black cat costume for dogs. She’ll tolerate it, as long as the costume-wearing is quickly followed by the ingestion of cheese.

So, contrary to my early ambivalence, I woke up yesterday morning all bouncy and full of Halloween cheer. Cheer that was slowly siphoned away by the absolutely gloomy and incredibly apathetic day.

What’s up, San Francisco? We can’t get dressed up anymore just because the Man put the kibosh on the Castro Halloween tradition? Now we all have to go to work as everyday overworked employees? We can’t mix up the humdrum with a little dress-up fun? We think we’re too old to be spooktacular?

My friend K (who was Ugly Betty for the day) and I shared a morose lunch, looking out the window at all the far-too-normal passersby. For the entire hour we sat at the Utah eating our BLTs, not one costume walked by. Even on a normal day in San Francisco, you usually get more than that!

And then the ultimate deflation: Nobody at work even noticed that I was in costume. Joke’s on me, I guess… that was my original ironic intent, but it totally backfired. Either that, or nobody at my workplace pays any attention to fictional counterculture characters that start off all badass and underground and then end up turning into an overexposed Hot Topic sellout.

Boo.

I don’t know what the funk is all about… perhaps it’s because November just snuck up far too quickly this year. Perhaps it’s because my birthday (and the accompanying acknowledgement of encroaching middle age) is now truly inevitable. Perhaps it’s just because I’m overdue for a haircut.

Or maybe I was just possessed by the true spirit of Emily: “Wish you weren’t here!”

Whatever it is, it’s time to move on. I’m ready for you now, November. Bring on the birthday…

-Lo, who prefers treats unless the tricks are done by ponies.

Dribs and Drabs

Mood: Cantankerous
Drinking: Chai Tea

On the train to work this morning, all the strangers looked somehow familiar.

*******

At work, the woman across the hall turns out to be the LOUDEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD…
“Hieeee!!! This is Blanky Blankerson. You have a Happyyyy New Year, Okaaaay??? Bubbyeeee!!”
Silence. Silence would be good right now.

*******

My sister recently discovered the blog of a girl we both went to high school with. The website includes recent photos which are equal parts enthralling and disturbing. Enthralling to see how someone you haven’t seen in umpteen years looks like a more bland and bloated version of their high school self, with flatter hair. Disturbing to see how someone you haven’t seen in umpteen years looks like a more bland and bloated version of their high school self, with the same knee-length Baptist-approved skirt.
She didn’t evolve.
She didn’t change, except to lose the perm and gain a stomach.
She still believes that rock music will send you to hell.
She scares me, a little.
I can’t stop reading between the lines of her blog…

*******

Last Wednesday, on a whim, I paid someone to seize scissors and cut me a bang.
Bang!
On my lunch hour. Now I look like Emily Strange. I’m even dressed in red and black.
Somebody take my picture, quick.

*******

the time must come
when all things fade
like memories of that perfect day

the leaves fall first
and then the shade
soon everything is bathed in gray

everything
but you

you alone stay true
to form and soon, now,
your brilliant blue will finally blow me away

*******

I recently purchased Neil Gaiman’s new book, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders. I dropped an extra $5 on an autographed copy at Cody’s Books on Stockton. Just so I know that, one time, he held this book, too.
I can’t stop reading it.
Sometimes the simple genius of his words ignites such a fierce depression.

*******

For once, I’m behind the camera and my friends are in front of it. I’m interviewing five of them for a special video project.
Three down, two to go.
They are beautiful and brilliant. Anyone would want to know them, but I?
I am the lucky one.

*******

At a recent holiday dinner, I heard a man with a red moustache say,
“My house belongs to the Lord. And so does my car. So if Jesus wants to take them, that’s okay with me.”
I don’t believe him.

*******

My neighbors stopped by on Monday with their six-month old baby girl. She was dressed in a white hoodie with lamb ears.
Her head smelled like powder and hope.
(Baby heads have a universal smell, like puppy breath.)
I want one of each.

*******

Sometimes I take pictures of myself to try to see how I look from the outside.
The new camera Boy gave me for Christmas is 10 megapixels.
It helps.

*******

Friday night we’re going ice-skating. Outside. In California.
How cool are we?

*******

There’s a guy out there, in Internetland, who wonders if “Daedalus” is about him.
It’s really not.
And never will be. (She says peevishly.)

*******

At the moment, my toes are wearing a fresh coat of Chanel Fire nail polish.
Purchased in Paris. At the Chanel flagship store on Rue Cambon.
But my fingers are entirely naked, and my fabulously firey-red toes are hidden in boots.
Go figure.

*******

Last night I dreamed of kissing a girl.
When I woke up, I couldn’t remember what she looked like.

*******

I was talking with a friend recently about MySpace, and described it as “masturbatory”.
I’m sticking with my statement.
And my profile.

*******

K and I are this close (holds thumb and index an inch apart) to finishing my book.
Funny how the end takes so much longer than the beginning.

*******

-Lo, who doesn’t think Jesus really wants her for a sunbeam.

Seeing Red

Mood: 100% Concentrated
Drinking: Iced Tea with 12 Sugars

I find it strange and slightly amusing that when I have the most going on in my life, I have the least to say about it. Could be a factor of time — more specifically, the lack thereof.

Or it could just be that I’m lazy and I prefer to write when I have absolutely nothing else to do.

What’s all the fuss about, you ask? Well, it’s been a busy pair of weeks since I last sent word to the Internet. There was the 4th of July, of course, with all the attendant banging hullabaloo. Boy and I took advantage of the long weekend to visit his family (including his 101-year-old Grandma!) in the Valley, and then we foolishly made our way into the mountains to Yosemite to hang out with my sister and her SO.

And I say “foolishly” not because of the sister hang-time, which is always too short, but because of my aversion to crowds and to other people in general, and the corresponding record-breaking number of people swarming the Yosemite Valley on that fine holiday weekend.

Nothing like hiking to a waterfall with 1200 babbling strangers.

And then there was the heat. I don’t do well in heat. That’s why I live in Fog City. Put me in the sun with the mercury rising over 91, and I’m a melty puddle of whiny incompetence. I’m absolutely worthless. LeeLoo is, too. So that’s why in the middle of the afternoon at Boy’s parent’s house, the Loon and I were laying helplessly on the living room floor, tongues hanging out, while the rest of the family went about their business like actual human beings.

You’d think I’d have a higher tolerance for such things, having grown up in 100-degrees-plus-humidity, but apparently I left my heat-endurance-ability (HEA) packed up in a box with my plaid school uniform, pennyloafers and Trapper Keepers, somewhere in my mom’s attic.

The one happy ending to the heat index…when Boy and I were driving back home into the city across the Bay Bridge, I looked over to the west to check on the fog status and nearly teared up when I saw the familiar opaque haze hanging over my neck of the woods. Fog! Bless the Inner Sunset!

But lest you think I’m a complete baby bitch, whining about hot holidays (which I am, but that’s beside the point), there have been many other contributions to the calendar to keep me on my toes lately…

I now have a much-needed volunteer agent, who’s keeping me busy with requests for publicity materials and potential reading dates and all kinds of ambitious plans.

I have continuing wrist therapy, twice a week, with the fabulous K. The end is in sight, now that I’m back on my motorcycle and squeezing the clutch with comparative ease. (Yes, back on the horse! Celebrations were had.) But I still have some bendy issues, so the therapy continues…

I went south to Mountain View this past weekend to catch the last stop on the 2006 Nine Inch Nails tour. Trent was in fine form (although honestly? I prefer him pale and pasty instead of buff and beefy.) tearing up the stage, and the ever-glamorous Peter Murphy opened the show with Bauhaus. Oh, goth glory days! Actually, Peaches opened the show, but I find her ridiculous and paid no attention until she and her crotch-high boots exited stage right.

My favorite quote of the evening came courtesy of Mr. Murphy and was instantly texted to a few choice friends — (this only works if you say it in a British accent whilst wearing a cape): “It’s exhausting being marvelous!”

Speaking of choice friends, our dear G (which stands for Genius) is flying out from Chi-town to visit us this weekend. We are extremely excited to see him and I’m busy trying to figure out which are the *best* sites to show him in SF and which are the sorta cool, but not really all that awesome things that should wait for another time. I must make sure my city makes the best impression, after all — it’s his first visit to San Francisco!

July is turning out to be a big month for visitors…I get to see my sister again in a few weeks when she and the other J drive up from LA for a short stay. They’re bringing along my nephew-hound, Yoda, and I’m eagerly anticipating all the Yoda-LeeLoo antics that shall ensue.

In less happy news, I also have a friend who is very ill and nearly died just this past weekend. Which is a situation that doesn’t really make me any busier, but does occupy a large space of my brain with the worrying.

How to keep from worrying? Stay busy… This week I’m editing cinepoem #11. Yes! Eleven. Her name is “Yin”, and she’s very sweet (and shows off a great deal of that magical fog I’m so taken with). And then we’re shooting #12 (“Die Pretty”) up in Mendocino in two weeks with the Lovely L.

Which brings me to the big news about cinepoem #10, Alter Ego, she of the multiple personalities and the infamous “death star”. Alter Ego is ready to see you now.

We shot #10 just before Memorial Day at The Hotel Utah Saloon, with the help of a few fine ladies who deserve a little mention here: My usual partners in cinematic crime, Michelle Brown and Misha Hutchings, were there. Kathy Azada was there too, minus the White Rabbit costume this time. And Angela Primavera, Katie Motta, and Amanda Henderson joined in the fun and smoked up a storm. Well, Angela didn’t smoke…she was running our second camera. But they all were smokin’ in the fabulous sense of the word.

Anyway. Alter Ego. Go. Watch. Learn.

-Lo, who does not believe wearing in short shorts.

And So It Ends…

Mood: Intact
Drinking: Sweet tea

Another year. Another new year’s eve. Another one of these.

I just can’t be bothered to get all aflutter about this one. Actually, I can hardly ever be bothered when it comes to this holiday on the heels of Christmas. It’s just so anticlimactic.

You’ve got all the bustle and hubbub of Christmas. The giving and getting of presents. The finding of trees. The unpacking of glass baubles. The baking of cookies and reunions of relatives and cross-country flights jam packed with winter coats and unfamiliar boots and squalling, squealing children.

And then suddenly it’s all over and you’re back at home and you toss the tree (which is now a veritable tinderbox) to the curb and all the baubles go back in their boxes and then you’re supposed to have one last hurrah with the bubbly and the countdown and the funny little hats and no one ever asks if Dick Clark is some kind of well-preserved zombie/vampire type creature.

I just can’t muster any excitement for it.

Truth be told, I always get a bit depressed this time of year. This end of a year. Everyone gets all hopeful with resolution and big plans for the new four-digit number but really, who are they kidding. They won’t have lost any weight or cleaned out the attic or stopped being so crabby with coworkers when the new year ends again. It’s just how we are. Who we are.

Don’t count me among the hopeless, though. I know this whole glittering new year is an important ritual, a bright shiny thing, for many. I get it. It’s just that I’d rather find my hope in the everyday kind of day, instead of load all my portent on this one winter night, on this one chime of clock, on this one midnight dream. There are so many others coming…

Oh, I’ve got plans. I’ve got resolutions. I’ve even squirreled a few predictions away. But I’ve had them all for quite awhile. And I’m not giving them up anytime soon.

So let them go on with their music video countdown and year in review broadcasts and 2006 predictions. I’m going to sit here in my living room with my cup of tea as if it’s any other night and tomorrow is any other day. Because it is, really. It just is.

-Lo, who will review 2005 just by saying that at this time last year, cinepoems were just an idea. Now there are six. Pause for the warm glow of pride… Four. Three. Two. One.

The Season of Objects

Mood: Stuffy
Drinking: Liquids

I haven’t celebrated Christmas at “home” for five years. That’s mostly because Boy and I have been busy making a home of our own here in San Francisco. So every Christmas we do the present thing and then throw the Loo in the Jeep and drive up (or down, depending on our mood) the coast to see what we can see.

Christmas at the beach. It’s better than snow.

But this year, we’re breaking with our little tradition and heading back into snow country…all the way back to Illinois. We’re going to spend the season with my parents, assorted grandparents and friends, and my most favorite sister.

See, said sister (who is also a Californian now) has been husband-less for over a year, since right after her wedding when her brand-new-husband was shipped off to Iraq. He won’t be home until next year, so we’re all going to attempt to make up for his absence by doing the big family Christmas gathering thing.

Truth be told, I’m excited to see a little snow. Not so excited about the accompanying cold (which I got my fill of in New York a couple of weeks ago), but everything else will make up for it.

Not one to break with tradition, I’ve managed to come down with my usual stuffy nose, sore throat, and hacking cough just in time to return to the homestead. (This happens *every* time I go back to Illinois.) So I’m celebrating the season with pocket packs of Kleenex and steaming mugs of TheraFlu. ‘Tis the season, after all.

And speaking of seasons of glitter and giving, I have a little something for my Internet world. A shiny new present that will be waiting for you all on Christmas Day, not under a tree, but here on this site.

M and I just finished editing our 6th cinepoem, “Object”, late last night. So it will be up in time for Christmas, on the cinepoems page.

So after you’re done with your stockings and cheer on Sunday, come visit me here. I promise you won’t have to wear any red sweaters or take any photos with a leering “Uncle” Bob under the mistletoe.

Just sit back with your ‘nog and watch a little “Object” in action.

-Lo,who thinks sugarplums dancing in anyone’s head is just kind of weird.

Sex and the Single Girl

Mood: Waiting for the night to come
Drinking: Two-fisted, even

When you don’t do the out-of-town thing for Memorial Day weekend, you usually end up on your ass in front of a screen of some sort. Computer. Movie. TV. I chose the TV option this weekend.

I did spend *some* of the holiday weekend off my ass…took the LeeLoo for a multitude of walks, went for a long motorcycle jaunt with Boy, did the barbeque thing with friends, spent Saturday on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz (mmmm, taffy) with S and MTB and Boy. Sunscreen was liberally applied. But there was a whole day when Boy and pals went off-roading and I opted to skip the jouncing over rocks and through mudholes and sit on my ass.

Having recently finished the Firefly DVD set (have I mentioned how much I’m loving Joss Whedon, again?), I needed some new distraction that would last longer than the average movie-minute. So I decided to go with the cliche and order up some Sex and the City. (I had never seen it before, mostly b/c I always thought it looked almost as stupid as Britney Spear’s stage outfits. Plus, I’ve always had a full slate of favorite shows and not much room for promiscuous WASPy bitches.)

I have to preface this confession by saying that Sarah Jessica Parker is on my “Euw!” List. I’m not a fan, never have been a fan, never will be a fan, and get rid of that nasty mole already! But I was weakened by boredom and, let’s face it, a fairly large helping of cat-killing curiosity.

So. Three Sex and the City discs later, I’m in Season Two and already over it. I’m sure this is blasphemy to some, but this is my web site, so all the Carrie Bradshaw fans can shut it. I’m not going to waste space with a list of reasons of why I don’t give a shit about SATC (bad writing, bad clothes and dirty, dirty whores). But I will say that it got me thinking about my own single girl days.

Back in college a girlfriend and I came up with the theory that there are two basic specimens of female in the dating world: The River People and the Desert People.

River people float along all carefree with the wind in their hair, docking their little shapely boat at any place along the riverbank that looks welcoming. Meanwhile, the desert people stumble along with cracked lips and sandblasted skin, searching the horizon for any sign of an oasis, and often going for years without seeing one.

Translation: River people are the girls who are NEVER without a boyfriend. They often have a new boyfriend before they bother to discard the old one. And the Desert girls are the ones with large stretches of empty space in their love lives. Which is not to say that they don’t have plenty to fill up the space. But they are more often than not “without”.

I, of course, was a Desert person, and tended to hang out with Desert people, also. I had four real boyfriends and a handful of flings from the time I was 18 until Boy hitched my star to his wagon (or vice versa) when I turned 28. Before Boy, my longest relationship was 9 months. With a year or two or three of desert in between.

I’m glad I was a nomad, though. I liked it out there. I got tough. I got creative. I got busy with my own life. I learned how to be independent and self-sufficient and how to hang on to my girlfriends. But as a typical desert-dweller, I also learned how it felt to be the “pal” gal. The one the guys call to go rollerblading down Michigan Avenue at 2 in the morning with the rest of the “guys”. The one the guys call to fill out the group of holiday skiers. The one the guys call to talk about the girl they really like. Yup. I was a most excellent gal pal.

(Thank god Boy never wanted to be pals.)

Anyway, it all reminded me of a little thing I wrote back in 1997. A little thing about a boy who thought of me fondly as one of his very best “gal pals”. And it didn’t even matter that, had he asked me, I would have (most likely) said “No!”. What mattered was that he didn’t. What mattered was that he called me up, often, late at night, to talk about someone else who took his breath away…

BREATHING

He called to say
she left him
breathless.

Tongue twisting
around his eyeteeth
while he looked for
perfect words
and spoke the wrong ones
stupidly.

Knees knocking
at the door of
manliness since
he saw her in church
so he couldn’t be
horny.

Heart leaking
love jelly
through the seams
of his chest and his
missing rib ached
when he finally blinked
to breathe.

He called to say
she’s beautiful
intelligent
and sweet. She
makes him laugh
and makes him
dream but he won’t
tell her that.

She makes him
nervous.

He called to say
“Thanks for listening.”
He can tell me
anything.

Yeah.
I always leave him
breathing.

-Lo, who would never have survived the river, anyhow.

Dropping the Ball

Mood: SO over 2004
Drinking: Tea

It’s just another day, really. Turn the calendar, add another year. Yeah, yeah yeah.

I refuse to make any resolutions. Nope. Nada. Huh-uh. If I feel like eating french fries in 2005, I most definitely will. I will also continue to bite my nails and drop the F-bomb and dress the Ler in ridiculous costumes. I will continue to criticize perfect strangers and screen my phone calls and scowl at random children.

If I happen to get nicer, thinner or smarter along the way, well, then, yay for me. But I’m not going to waste my time writing up a ridiculous list to beat myself about the head with later.

I’m not gonna do any countdowns, either. No end-of-the-year top 10s of pop songs or celebrity mishaps or big news events. That’s what TV is for.

I will make one small concession to the New Year tradition, though. Here’s the last list you’ll get from me this year. I’ll call it “Favorite Moments with My Favorite People”. And I’ll even use their real names for once. Here you go, in no particular order:

*Motorcycling with BRUCE.
*Snuggling with the LER.
*Answering the phone and hearing JO say “What are you doing, bitch?”
*Flying down the 5 with CARLY on our way to surprise Jo.
*Sitting on the steps of our new house while BRUCE has his evening smoke.
*Lunch with SARAH, followed by a movie and shopping spree.
*Seeing Yosemite with the WITMER parents.
*Playing phone tag with CHRISSY, complete with diddle messages.
*Random web sites of the day from GRAEME.
*Slinking around Bar Sin with DAMNIT & STAR. Just like old times. Sort of.
*A trip to black sands beach with EO, MICHAEL, ROY, JAN, MISHA & BRUCE.
*A super-long email from KATHEE, just sitting there in my inbox.
*Sharing lunch with COLL & wee little JAKE, before they left me for Texas.
*Watching DENNIS greet LeeLoo with a kiss at Ft. Funston.
*Holding up score cards with MISHA at the Starry Plough Poetry Slam. (We were 2 of the randomly selected judges, and I was the mean judge.)
*Watching our straight-from-the-studio-secret-copy of House of Flying Daggers with the BROWNS.
*SukoThai with JAN.
*Hearing KATIE’s voice on my voicemail on my birthday.
*Watching LEELOO and NELSON do the tango on the hardwood floor.
*Doing Melrose with TRIN & JESSE.
*Wedding dress shopping with JO.
*Yarn shopping at Article Pract with MEREDITH.
*Seeing the MOMMA & the POPPA walking toward me through the airport on Christmas Day.
*Watching ANNA’s face when she saw the Golden Gate for the first time.
*Walking the Ler with SHEL.
*Meeting KATENESS online. Well, we met in real life a long time ago, but not really.
*Reading poetry to SARAH over the phone.
*Welcoming CARLY to San Francisco.
*Getting the Book Crossing addiction from MARGARET.
*Watching CHRIS mix a margarita.
*Sitting for PATTI’S photos.
*Hearing ROY run up and down the back stairs. And up and down again.
*Laying around a cozy cabin at Tahoe with the usual suspects.
*Gossiping with CARLY.
*Visiting Yoda with JO. (Yoda would be a canine, not a small green Jedi-thinger.)
*Bed shopping with BRUCE.
*Walking the beach with LER.

That’s just a few of the moments that made this a very good year. OK. Drop the ball. Toss the confetti. Toot the little paper horn. Countdown and kiss and clink your bubbly glasses and all that jazz.

Happy 2005, Internet. I’m going away now.

-Lo, who did make a list of resolutions once that contained the item “Be nicer to people.” And we all see how well that worked out.