Let’s Go to Bed

I got out of cooking duty because I had to be the one to go get Ziggy at the airport. Not that I would have minded cooking, but with Claire and Janine butting heads over how each little thing should be done, it was probably better that I vacate. Claire had done a lot of the work of baking the cookies, but when it came to preparing this dinner, it looked to me like she was sitting back and criticizing while Janine did the work.

At the airport I parked the car and then went inside to wait. There were not a lot of people around and the holiday Muzak was horrendous. I figured the best place to wait would be at the bottom of the escalator to baggage claim, where there was one lone limo driver standing with a piece of paper with someone’s name on it. That gave me an idea. I had to beg a piece of paper and a pen from the woman working the newsstand.
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Like the Weather

The next day was Christmas Eve proper. Court and I got to the house maybe an hour before noon to find Janine and Claire in an argument and Landon nowhere to be seen.

“Traditionally,” Claire was saying, “we would have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and open gifts then and on Christmas Day it would be just what Santa Claus brought.”

“You are out of your mind. We never did that,” Janine was saying in reply. Continue Reading »

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Shining Star

Of course it turned out that Christmas cookies are not just any cookies you happen to bake for/on Christmas. There was a specific kind of cookie that Claire had in mind. She told Landon all about them while we were rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters, all about how making these cookies was a family tradition. I had no memory of making these cookies before, but you know, I figured maybe I was banished (or hiding) in my room while that was going on…?

So the thing with these Christmas cookies is the baking is just the first step. Then comes the decorating.
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We had made our way all the way to the produce department before my mind circled back to something in that conversation. From things I’d learned from Janine and Courtney and Claire herself since arriving in Tennessee, I was putting together the timeline of my older sister’s lives. Claire’s whole “there wasn’t family to take us in” line didn’t quite match up since by the time Claire left Digger, Lilibeth was married to her first husband.

I wondered if she’d refused or if she’d never been asked. Or if, like me, she’d basically stopped speaking to anyone in the family.
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(Sorry to be posting late! Monday holiday confused me. But here we are! -ctan)

The next day Remo left and Claire declared it was Cookie Baking Day. I didn’t realize that the traditional holiday calendar had Cookie Baking Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day, but to hear Claire tell it, we would have been committing some kind of sacrilege not to observe it.

“You need to get more butter. We’re going to need more butter than this,” Claire harangued Janine as Janine was on her way out the door to work, opening and closing the fridge, the cabinets. “And flour. This probably isn’t enough flour.”
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Church was of course not the place to have an argument about pharmaceuticals. Courtney had apparently decided not to fight going, and had come downstairs with Landon fully dressed herself in something church-appropriate. Borrowed, I assumed.

Remo had been upstairs, too, and once we got Landon fed, we packed everyone into cars, by which I mean Claire went with Remo and everyone else came with me.

This was of course the English-speaking mass this time. I actually kind of preferred the Spanish mass because my mind tended to wander anyway and it seemed more majestic and magical, while the English language one was kind of boring, but you know, it’s over with in under an hour anyway.

It was while singing a hymn I realized it was the first musical thing I’d done since last Sunday’s mass. What a weird feeling.
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Nothing Natural

When I arrived back at the house in the morning, Courtney was wallowing in misery.

“Ugh, this is your fault,” she said to me, her face half buried in the crook of her arm on the breakfast table.
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I had forgotten what it was like to live with people who were on hair triggers all the time. When I was growing up I had considered it mostly Digger and Claire. Once I thought about, though, I realized it was also my sisters. But when you’re a kid and you go off it’s “just a tantrum” and no one cares that much. Whereas when an adult loses it, it’s a big deal because there are consequences. Or there can be.

I remember Remo’s house being a refuge if for no other reason than it was really hard to get a rise out of him. Learning that there was a place where I didn’t have to watch every little thing I said or did took a while, but having that place probably saved my life.
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Liner Note August 2018

Okay, it’s been a million years since we did a liner note, and ctan’s too fucking busy, so I’m doing one anyway. Cool?

ctan herself was just in California and got together with some readers out there in some kind of, like, zen garden tea place. (In Berkeley of course.) Where do you guys want to have the next meetup? If you start planning now, it could happen.

A longtime reader of DGC is running her own web serial called WELCOME TO PHU and is doing a Kickstarter right now for a book of it, COMMIT TO THE KICK: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tryslora/commit-to-the-kick-book-1-of-the-twinned-trilogy?ref=hero_thanks

The Web Fiction Guide describes it as: “Welcome to PHU is a web serial about the students who go to the fictional liberal arts school of Pine Hills University, and the folks around them. It’s about magic, and love, and football, and music, and taekwondo, and just about anything else that college students might get involved in. And magic. Did we mention the magic?”

So go check it out. THE PHU KICKSTARTER HAS 11 DAYS LEFT so get on it, eh?

Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who.

I thought I’d share this tweet video I saw where Will Smith tells the story of how he became the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” after having a Top 40 rap hit and almost going broke afterward: Continue Reading »

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Out in the Cold

The next morning we were awakened rather early by the phone ringing in our hotel room. It was Barrett and it was urgent.

“There’s a rehearsal you have to be at and the only flight out that makes sense is two hours from now, so you need to get going.”

“Two hours from now?” Ziggy’s voice cracked with morning roughness. “You know I’m like an hour from the airport, right?”

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