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the simple life

December 21, 2009

With thanks to Mark Twain, reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  Please take my word for it that I have been terribly busy and important for the past two months — certainly not laying about in yoga pants, mindlessly reading GFY and eating holiday-related food items — and that I now have many brilliant observations stored up for your enjoyment.

It is, incredibly, December.  The entire country is three feet deep in snow (it’s even snowing on the WordPress homepage), except it’s a balmy 65 here in Los Angeles.  Yesterday, I drove down to Newport with some friends to watch the annual holiday boat parade.  We came in a convertible, and the only reason we didn’t put the top down was because the girls protested about hairdos.  We sat in the sand on the Peninsula, stripped off our jackets, and watched the yachts go by.

Newport Beach, 2009 Christmas Boat Parade, originally uploaded by Dontknowy.

I will say this:  Life on this coast is just easier than it is in other places.  There’s so much less to do.  I was in Philadelphia last weekend, and by Eastern standards it wasn’t bad weather — high 20s in the daytime, windy but dry, no snow.  But man, you have to put on about six complete Los Angeles outfits before you are ready to walk around all day in that kind of climate.  The first morning, I spent half an hour donning the requisite number of layers, and then wheezed, “Okay.  I got dressed.  I think I need to lie down now.  We’re not doing anything else today, are we?”

I’m trying to remember this as I get jealous about everyone else’s white Christmas.  It’s odd to do holiday shopping in flipflops, and mildly frustrating when it’s too hot be enthused about hot chocolate, but I have shoveled not a flake of snow and de-iced not a square centimeter of windshield, and if I’m wearing more than one layer it’s for fashion reasons.

And even without the snow, I had a lovely day today.  I didn’t set an alarm for the first time in weeks, passing the morning in that delicious type of sleep where you wake up just enough to realize you are warm and comfortable before drifting off again.  When I did finally make it out of bed, I cleaned up my room, ate lunch, made a batch of snickerdoodles.  I watched Christmasy kinds of movies —  Little Women, Holiday Inn, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas — while I paid bills and packed Goodwill bags.  My roommate had both house and dinner guests, all really enjoyable people, who laughed around our kitchen table while the risotto bubbled and I wrapped presents on the floor.  Now I’m at my laptop with a cup of coffee, listening to Dave Matthews’ Christmas Song on repeat, and there is pretty little cache of gifts winking at me from the corner.  I can’t wait to give them out.

I love, love, these last two weeks of December.  The year always seems to be folding in on itself, like a dog who paces in circles a few times before settling down to sleep.  Everything is slowing, quieting.  2010 is on its way, and it will probably be crazy, just like the last year was.  But for now it’s still 2009, and all we have to do is tie a couple of ribbons and watch the weather go by.

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