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 The Christmas Post


Of Disturbing Dreams and Dainty Doctors: A Winter Break Recap


Miles: I’ll be next door in a couple of weeks if you want to rent out a room at a weekly rate.
Me: Can I pay you in whores?
Miles: (Smirking) That’s a silly question.

My cousin is teaching me that embracing a certain amount of shamelessness is very freeing. And that there is apparently, a widely-used whore exchange rate. Go figure.

The month at the apartment was like three amoebas occupying the same Petri dish. Miles and I hurl ourselves along mostly motivated by our shared preference for solitude, while my aunt tries to promote a sense of unity. It’s well-meaning and I sometimes feel bad for not being more enthused about it. She’s definitely a team leader and occasionally my attitude resembles the kid at the back of the Crack is Whack assembly with her headphones on and a copy of White Fang open on her lap, completely ignoring all the effort put into the Straight Edge Steve Freestyle rap. While it isn’t as bad as Angela Bettis ala Girl Interrupted,

Instructor: Now what kind of tree can you be Janet, down there on the floor?

Janet: I’m a fucking shrub alright? 

 I feel I should make an effort to be more animated about Team Hastings\Jefferson adventures.

My aunt weighs in on issues of global importance with this fierce attachment to the idea of justice and a strong belief in the overriding power of personal morality and can't fight the compulsion to put two coasters between your glass and the coffee table in case the condensation from your Hawaiian Punch breaches the defenses of the first one. Her emotional investment in almost every movie we see is awesome, she sighs and rolls her eyes at unbelievable plot twists, heckles actors she feels aren’t giving it their best try and employs her semi-professional cursing technique when someone does something stupid. (She insisted that Sean Connery wouldn’t have died in the Untouchables if they’d had cell phones in the 20s) She’s sharp, gruff, fierce and funny.

We’re about eighteen years a part but I consider my cousin a close friend. In addition to DNA we share a lot of common interests that make conversation easy and a good relationship with silence that eliminates the need to fill lulls or pauses with words. We watched a Rush documentary, discussed why my nephews probably shouldn’t watch Adventure Time and he showed me the Star Wars program he got when he went to the premier as a kid. He was very proud of its sentimental value as well as it’s rarity but was infuriated to learn you could get it on eBay for around thirteen dollars.

We went to the usual round of restaurants and I got to partake in the always amusing pastime of observing my inebriated elders attempt to communicate with each other. (“Are you saying I can’t make words?”) We went to the birthday party of a family friend and I got to witness still more drunken former flower children, including a professor visiting from Colorado who told us he frequently taught class under the influence and that his university didn’t exactly have a clearly defined rule against it. This confirmed my suspicions about a few of my high school teachers. Brilliant? Absolutely. Loaded? Most likely.

The only black mark upon winter break, the one element that marred the party, was all the bickering between my aunt and cousin. Occasional heated arguments are one thing but verbal tennis matches over the correct location of the steak knives so that they don’t lose their sharpness or the exact length the living room shades need to be drawn to fully obscure the room from “alleged” prying eyes ruins the fun for everyone. Observing their relationship is noisy and interesting, acting as the buffer that sits betwixt them is only one of those things. They’re adults and I should leave it to them to work out their issues but sometimes I can’t help feeling that they could benefit from some form of outside help. Perhaps a seminar, where they could engage in team-building exercises like role playing and trust falls, only to return the owner’s of  a brand-new, loving, healthy, mutual respect.  

I actually managed to post a few entries, and I had a lot of awesome conversations with Eviljellybeen88 ranging from SPN to Kevin Bacon to the nature of beautiful boys. I’m really looking forward to starting school tomorrow both for all the obvious (the abundance of new learning opportunities) and more shallow (my Star Trek lunchbox) reasons.


The Doctor fully understands the need for discretion where secret identities are concerned...he just doesn't give a damn.

Christmas was a quiet little affair. Not exactly somber but yuletide at Trump Tower it was not. For me, holidays have been more obligation-to-show-up, less enthusiasm-for-the- spirit-of-the-holiday since Mum made her departure but as matriarch-less family functions go I thought it was pretty decent.

We had a small tree one step above the one Charlie and Linus bought for the Christmas play and strung an impressive array of lights around my aunt’s living room. The settings ranged from Holy Night (one color fading slowly as another gently takes its place) to Vegas Freak Out (a bright, strobe-like schizophrenia). My aunt wasn’t overly fond of the latter.

After witnessing the thin, dandified miracle that is Matt Smith on the Late, Late Show my curiosity about the new Doctor had increased exponentially and by the time I gathered myself on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate my anticipation of the Christmas special was palpable.

Master Class: Dumbledore meets the Doctor


I admit it took a few minutes to grow accustomed to the absence of David Tenant’s wonderfully reptilian little face but overall, I think Matt Smith did an excellent job. His incarnation of the Doctor is just as giddy and mad, but infused with this child-like vulnerability that plays nicely with weird, indefinable quality all Doctors before him possessed. His delivery is maniac, from top speed rambling to solemn dramatic whispers and the effect (plus the bow tie) is extremely pleasing.

Much like the urge to yell “Bilbo!” at the appearance of Ian Holm in Garden State, the need to bow at the screen and address Michael Gambon as "headmaster" was almost overwhelming. I really liked the story. A Christmas Carol’s been redone like no other but the intricacy of the plot seemed to reinvent the entire idea. To save his friends from space peril the Doctor must get a codgy old man to rescind the rules condemning sharks to an eternity of floating in the sky above England. Michael Gambon’s Scrooge figure is typically belligerent so the Doctor goes back in time to change a single moment in the man’s childhood, providing a lonely boy with some companionship and changing the course of his future. The scenes with the Doctor and young Scrooge were fantastic as was the montage of his steady growth, and the love story was touching and only added to the overall magic of the episode. The entire thing made me ridiculously content, both with the sentiment of the season and the engaging new Doctor.


The daytime activity of winter break was accompanied by  dreams I found disturbing\amusing. In the least disturbing of the pack,  Kendall Schmidt (seen below) of Big Time Rush and Heffron Drive fame and I were sitting in a coffee shop that I’m fairly certain was on a college campus, with a four eyed third party who I assume was a mutual friend. We were trading our favorite pick up lines and telling stories about when we’d used them\their success rate and I remember his being pretty decent and one of mine being something to the effect of “Are you a periodical? ‘Cause damn you’re interesting.”

When he isn't making cameo appearances in my subconscious Mr. Schmidt 
enjoys wiggling his massive eyebrows suggestively, donning retirement village lounge-wear 
and making beautiful music with his vast array of talented boyfriends.

We bid our friend good bye and left the coffee shop with the intention of going to class but the next image is of us in this underground bunker with dirt walls and wooden train tracks across the ceiling. We’d just had a really good, long chat and were about to leave. I was climbing a little wooden ladder to the surface, when I noticed there were books and sheets of paper embedded in the walls; I lifted the trap door to an open sky and two sets of black train tracks spanning the length of my vision. Kendall was moving up the ladder behind me and beyond his scuffling I could hear a bellowing train whistle and I started to panic. It got closer and closer and I was paralyzed by the noise. I couldn’t move, much less summon the energy to shut the trap door. What was almost a Stand by Me situation was avoided when the train suddenly switched tracks; as it blew past us I remembered with numb relief that that particular train only went over the tracks we occupied every other day. 

I’m not sure what exactly there is to be gleaned from that, except maybe that Kendall Schmidt’s influence is stealthier, more powerful and permeates one’s subconscious more deeply than I had previously thought. And that when choosing the ideal spot for a fort\clubhouse always take the potentially dangerous aspects of the surrounding area.

And that I shouldn’t under any circumstances attempt to “pick anybody up”.





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