...wherein I'm going to try something a little different.
About a gazillion years ago (as Internet time is reckoned), back before online journals were plug 'n' play and had to be hammered into being with blood, sweat, tears, and raw code, back when updating said journals was a distinctly user-hostile experience and readers had to suffer through non-standard HTML (anybody remember *?), colored cursor star trails, red text on green backgrounds, and numerous other graphic abominations, back when there just weren't that many journals to begin with and that rat-ass word "blog" was nonexistent, someone came up with a pretty nifty collaborative writing project wherein participants solemnly vowed to update their online presences daily for the month of December-- Holidailies.
Guess who's going to give this a try.
I promise nothing since I'm easily distracted by books, CDs, DVDs, reruns of House, shiny glowing things, Internet porn, Super-Secret Support Group drama, the antics of the Neurologically Typical (aka "hairless apes"), and, well, all sorts of things, but I'm giving it a shot anyway because... uh... I dunno... it'll give me an excuse to rant about my obsessions d'jour in public.
So anyway, December. Holidays. Christmas. My friend Sarah claims she knows it's officially Christmas when I post the links to my favorite seasonal readings and I wouldn't want to disappoint her!
First, "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote (and here in one long, continuous scroll), which is perfectly lovely and one of the few traditionally-themed Christmas stories I can abide.
A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. "Oh my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, "it's fruitcake weather!"
Second, "The Junky's Christmas" (not the godawful red-on-green version linked above) by William S. Burroughs, which also has a traditional theme but is a little... different.
IT WAS Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.
Third, the little-known "Nackles" by hard-boiled crime fiction writer Donald E. Westlake, which I love because it's just plain wicked. Read this to the kiddies and they'll cower in fear every time they see a decorated pine tree.
Who is Nackles? Nackles is to Santa Claus what Satan is to God, what Ahriman is to Ahura Mazda, what the North Wind is to the South Wind. Nackles is the new Evil.
And finally, A Very Special Christmas Card from our friends at I-Mockery (warning: blasphemy alert).
Okay, that's enough for now; I'm off to see what's happening on Whitechapel, Warren Ellis's new discussion site.
*which, interestingly, for all its other wrong-headedness, is not supported by Internet Explorer, so you may be missing the full obnoxiousness of the experience.