1. a note from my friend John re: the last flip front
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 00:30:13 -0600
Subject: RE: 10 and 11
I beg to differ – kiss anyone you can. Life is short and kissing is fun. And by the way if he really was as drunk as you said he sure is one sharp cookie. The whole balance the lipstick line is cute as hell. Next time I grope a drag queen I’ll try that one out 🙂
2. hot Twinkie (12/17/03)
It was the night before the “Secret Filipinos” gift exchange at work, and I went to Sephora, trying to find a gift for someone I don’t like. The Intern didn’t draw a name, so the last name in the cup was the girl in the office who had formerly expressed a fear of makeup, and she could not go without a present. I myself am often afraid of her flatulence, so I thought some scented things under $20 were in order. I’d just put The Intern’s name on the card, and that would be that. So I got her the following:
L’Occitane lavender-scented hand soap
L’Occitane lavender-scented hand creme
Smith’s Rosebud Salve
After my shopping trip, I went back to office to meet JeffW and Khloe so we could go to Khloe’s and fry Twinkies. Khloe’s husband Jeff was making dinner when we got home, so Khloe helped him finish, but not before setting JeffW and me in her living room with the remote, beers, and ashtrays. After a quick dinner of chicken and this gorgeous bulgur salad out of Food and Wine, we set to work mixing up the batter, heating the oil, and flouring the Twinkies. While we worked, I talked all sorts of smack about how I was going to become Mr. T’s manager and get him a cooking show on cable television. But you guys, couldn’t you see it? Mr. T in platinum chains (because his gold chains are so 80s) and a business mohawk (close-cropped, little gray at the temples) in a Juicy Couture cashmere track suit (do they even make clothing for men?) and an apron whipping up a chocolate souffle?
It is a pleasure to cook in Khloe and Jeff’s kitchen, which is new and fitted out with a double oven, a six-burner stove, and an island where we set up different stations for slicing, flouring, and battering the Twinkie sections. After the Twinkies were finished, Jeff started the raspberry dipping sauce, and we cut out gingerbread cookies using copper cookie cutters in the shape of different animals. The cookies looked adorable, with the notable exception of the snake cookies – they just looked like poo. But they tasted delicious.
3. secret filipinaux (12/18/03)
We’ve gathered our chairs around to take a few minutes to open presents from each other. My Secret Filipino, the aforementioned Jeff, had already been leaving presents on my desk so I had already received the following:
a. Barrel o’ Monkeys game
b. wind-up ladybug
c. Kewpie doll magnet
d. Pink Elephant cocktail shaker
I played with the monkeys while I watched my co-workers open their gifts. And then The Intern gave his gift, slipped to him earlier in the day while his designated recipient was on an extended bathroom break. While she exclaimed at the presents, he talked about each item as though he had personally picked each one himself. I coached him a bit, so he was able to pull it off pretty well. He kept looking at me for cues, and so I nodded discreetly while he gabbed out of nervousness. She didn’t seem to notice anything was going on, as she was genuinely engaged in figuring out how the hand creme worked.
This probably seems really mean-spirited, but this time of year is loaded with expectations and sentiments that are normally repressed but get released when you’re around your family and you’ve had maybe a bit more egg nog or Champagne than you should have. I’ve actually enjoyed the Christmases I’ve spent away from my own family, but I have been missing the Davila family traditions as my parents have practiced them over the years:
a. me bugging my mother about her sending Kim’s dad and stepmother Christmas cards (Kim’s family don’t celebrate Christmas, as they are Jewish)
b. me waking up late and waiting my turn for everybody in the family (five people at least, six people if my older sister turned up late the night before to sleep in her old bed) to use the bathroom so I get no hot water and the towels smell faintly of cigarette smoke (thanks, Daddy)
c. at least 30 minutes arguing over whether or not we should call a cab to get to Uncle Gerhard and Tita Ched’s before we decide to be cheap and TAKE THE BUS
d. nearly falling and cracking our heads on the walk up Gerhard and Ched’s driveway
e. avoiding my grandparents’ steely glares as we roll in at 11am while they have been in Gerhard and Ched’s kitchen snapping beans and drinking coffee since 7am . . .
f. and they’ve been to church, already, and we haven’t
g. seating arrangements which for some reason have my mom sitting in the kitchen with my younger siblings while my sister, my father, and I sit in the dining room with the old ‘uns
h. pfeffernusse, zimtstern, and springerles (a nod to Uncle Gerhard’s being the only German in a house full of Flips)
i. my dad’s brother Uncle Jimmy coming in late after walking from College Point to Briarwood
j. “educational presents”, and having to recite a poem before you can start opening yours (children only)
k. wondering when the appropriate time is to call Nadine and ask her how her Christmas is going
l. slideshow of Gerhard and Ched’s most recent vacation (2 hours at least, usually trimmed down after dry run at Thanksgiving. in their unedited state, Gerhard’s pictures of retirees touring Buenos Aires or helpful teenagers in Oslo will take about 7 hours to show in all)
I get the feeling that this year may be different for the following reasons:
a. Uncle Jimmy, now married, lives in Oak Park, IL on what my family refers to as the “good side” of Austin Avenue
b. my grandparents have moved back to the Philippines for good
c. my dad bought the first car he’s owned since nearly driving his Camaro into the East River in 1991
I won’t know this for sure until Christmas Day when, after spending the day with the Baumans, I’ll get the nerve to call my own parents to see how they spent another Christmas without me.
Ladytron – Playgirl; Andrew – It’s My Life (live, a capella version at JeffW and Gordon’s holiday party); Kelis – Milkshake; Kylie Minogue – Love At First Sight (playing at boutique Saturday afternoon while I bought, I shit you not, Z. Cavaricci jeans that actually made my ass look hot — but that’s for the next flip front)