Fiction: Kris And Me: A Christmas Story in Three Parts

Let’s get this out of the way first. Kris has always had a magnificent beard. Even as a freshmen, when the rest of us were dreaming for just the hint of a stubble, Kris had a full rich beard. Yes, the girls would giggle about it behind his back, but all of us boys were jealous, because we thought it made him look rugged and a little dangerous.

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Sponsored post: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy Traveling

It's almost Christmas and I know so many people who are leaving this weekend for their holiday trips, be it to visit family for the holidays or for a vacation during the break from school. One year, my family flew to Jamaica to not celebrate Christmas, to give my mother a birthday not-overshadowed by a Christmas tree and multi-colored lights. In the end, we had to visit a nearby hotel lobby, so that my youngest sister could have a Christmas tree and sparkly light fix, but we tried. In our house now, we celebrate Christmas, but purely because it gives my children a good excuse to decorate the house and get presents from their grandparents, as well as the opportunity to give something to others. Part of their allowance is "taxed" and set aside for a group donation. This year they have given their money to the food bank with specific purchases of food earmarked for other children. Because December 25 is also my mother's birthday, I've long been instilled with the knowledge that Christmas Day isn't the same thing to everyone, but it can be a good opportunity to do something kind for those near and far. 

My children (3 out of 4 anyway) still believe that Christmas is magic and that Santa brings them gifts. I hope they still believe that for a bit longer. A little magic is a good thing. When they are older, I hope that they think of Christmas as part of a larger Holiday Season when they will think about what they can give to those around them and all be Santa for somebody else. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, see Santa or not, we hope that everyone has a very happy holiday wherever you are. And thank you to KLM for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to write about the magic of Christmas. 

 

*This post has been sponsored by KLM. The video above can also be found here or on the KLM YouTube channel. 

The Doctor, Part 29

Assaulted by
daily threats
my new rage
is overloaded.

After a good cry
I think about
this ass-hole
who says he’s going to take
my kid
and I experience
a cataclysmic nuclear explosion,
I go
full nova:

sure
everything is harder to do,

I shit
cinderella cancer
cinderblocks
covered in
spiny cloves,
construction site
orange and clove
christmas pomander balls
that hurt so much
I want a Quaalude
after the dance,

at times
it takes
murky, cursing at pain
hours
to unlock myself,
unseat
myself,
to Lazarus

and I walk through dream soup –

when you’re moving
so
sluggishly
you play chess
in the mirror,
anything
but the truth
a bad move

and the one move that
eludes me,
the chance
to face
the minotaur,
MY
minotaur
slipped away,
my revenge,
my honesty
robbed –

I hate
what my stepfather
did
to children,
animals,
the women
who loved him,

what I saw him do,
what I know
he did
and he
got away with it,
swept away
in the blind chaos
of St. Alzheimer’s,

saved
from me,

everyone
says his
new wife,
the one who lives in that
new
hell house
the one who doesn’t know
about the
old
hell house
is so nice
she doesn’t need to know
what an evil,
evil man he was, Sean
and it reminds me of people who say
to my cancer
“be positive”
“stay positive”
“focus on being fucking positive”
when I have a hand,
fingers creep
creeping around my throat
that feel
an awful lot
like my stepfather’s hand
when he grabbed me
by the throat,

it is
DAMNING
I
never
get to see the look,
the mean now
wiped blank I
never get
that truth chess move
when he
gets it,
that
I want him
hurting

and now
breaking his jaw,
plunging
a steak knife
into him

has all the
magic
satisfaction
of filling a pillow case
with dog shit
to
stab and punch.

 

 

The entire The Doctor series can be found here.

Books: The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2015

We have been extremely lucky to have received a complimentary copy of The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2015 for review. I say extremely lucky because my children are non-fiction fanatics and live for books full of facts. They are addicted to The World Almanacs for Kids (we have several copies and reviewed the 2014 edition here)  and were super excited to have a copy of the "full-grown" Almanac to add to their collection. I was thrilled because I know that it’s a great resource to have handy. I’m always amazed at how much information is packed inside. 

My oldest son has been reading the review copy every morning before school since it arrived, so I’ve had a hard time getting my hands on it to look it over for myself. He has been poring over everything from the U.S. Constitution to World History to Transportation, Science, Technology & Meteorology  facts. He even looked up how to sign for help one morning when he hurt his finger. He thinks it’s awesome and it is. 

The World Almanac is a great book to have around, even if you’re not a fact or trivia fanatic. This is a great resource for homework and school projects or even for doing the crossword puzzle. Each edition contains thousands of facts and statistics on subjects including economics, politics, history, entertainment, science, health, education and sports. In addition to it’s impressive collection of facts, the 2015 edition includes 2014 Year in Sports, News, Pictures with  special sections on American Veterans, Offbeat News, Controversial Sports Team Owners, Election Results and The World at a Glance.  This is an amazing, compact, portable reference powerhouse that should find its way into every home. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2015 is available at retailers now, more details on The World Almanac site. 

 

* A copy was provided for review purposes. 

5 great: rocking chairs

There are days, like today when my daughter is sick or when she just needs help calming down, when I wish I had still had a rocker. Here are 5 super lovely rocking chairs that may not be the best choice when you're breastfeeding a baby all night long for, well, years and years and dreaming of sleeping in an actual bed, but will fill the occasional rocker need once those baby-toddler days are past and look good in the process. 

Eames molded fiberglass from Herman Miller

Eames molded fiberglass from Herman Miller

This is the one I have always wanted and still wold love to have now. Shown above with molded fiberglass seat in Ultramarine with black wire base & walnut rockers, with many other configurations available. 

comback rocking chair, designed by Patricia Uroquiola for Kartell, at hive modern

comback rocking chair, designed by Patricia Uroquiola for Kartell, at hive modern

The Kartell Comback rocking chair has a perfect vintage feel, but was designed by Patricia Uroquiola in 2013. I love it's style, as well as the high back which is really a must for real rocking. A thermoplastic body, available in 6 colors, is complimented by oak-stained ash wood rockers. 

  VÄRMDÖ Rocking chair, IKEA. 

 

VÄRMDÖ Rocking chair, IKEA. 

VÄRMDÖ Rocking chair, IKEA. This indoor/outdoor chair can be equipped with cushions if desired and can go wherever you may need a bit of rocking and at a reasonable price too. 

 

Race rocker chair from Race Furniture

Race rocker chair from Race Furniture

The classic Race Rocker was designed in 1948 by Ernest Race. The steel frame features a websprung seat, optional back cushion and hardwood armrests, which means it's also suited for indoor or outdoor use. It is available in 7 colors, including the lovely blue shown above and yellow, with a choice of natural or stained black Oak or Beech armrests. 

Fredrik Kayser Rocking Chair for Vatne Mobler OFFERED BY DANISH MODERN LA on 1stdibs.com

Fredrik Kayser Rocking Chair for Vatne Mobler OFFERED BY DANISH MODERN LA on 1stdibs.com

Number 5 really is Vintage (though it may be a bit cheaty). There are oh so many amazing vintage rockers that I adore. The one above is a Fredrik Kayser Teak, wicker & brass rocker from 1958 found on 1stdibs. Other favorites include vintage Eames, Wenger, Nakashima and Frank Reenskaug. 

We can't hide from gun violence

This Sunday, December 14, marks the 2nd anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. After watching the video above, please also click through to watch Sandy Hook Promise's short documentary, "What They Left Behind". It's 30 minutes long, but it's an important 30 minutes to watch. Also please check out Everytown's map of school shootings that have occurred since Sandy Hook. The number should be 0, but it's not. And then make a promise to do something.

The Doctor, Part 28

Uphill,
everything
feels awful,
sirens
banshees
echoing up the blocks
all around the hospital,

sunk
deep
into my head
my eyes
dart the room,
spinning wheels,
scratching claws,
a bird
flying hard
against shuttered windows,

please,
I peel back a smile
and whisper to the nurse like my lover,
please
get me
the fuck
out,

I don’t
want
to do this
anymore.

 

 

You can read the entire The Doctor series here.