Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Holidays

In small talk lately, people ask me circumspectly, 'what holiday do celebrate?' Not even committing to a 'do you celebrate [Hanukkah/Christmas]?' Does this happen to everyone? Or is it happening because of my ambiguously Jewish last name?

I went to Aimee Mann's Holiday Variety Show last night. (Suck on that, PlanetDan who never visits me in Chicago) The live comic bits seemed a bit forced: two funny people suddenly having to be funny is rarely funny.

The music was great and the bits that were more scripted and canned like a traditional variety show seemed to work better. I especially enjoyed the Hanukkah Fairy, who rapped the story of the Maccabean revolt. The chorus had Aimee background singing 'She's the mother fucking Hanukkah Fairy.'

Aimee also made a holiday film. At one point she's walking on the beach talking about how she needed to be alone and get away from all of the Hollywood bullshit. The camera man asks her if the crew should give her some space and let her be alone.

'No,' she says, 'could you just film me being alone for a while?'

Last week I went to the Modest Mouse show with my friend Steven Soderberg (no relation). I had missed them at Lallapalooza and had been looking forward to them for a long time. Steven may or may not have been looking forward to seeing the band, but he did get to enjoy some frottage with the straight college dudes who were crowded around us.

'When it happens with straight college dudes,' I said, 'I think it should be called frattage.'


Thank you, good night!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Wonderland

It snowed in Chicago this week. It's the first time I've seen real snow in about 13 years, so I've been listening to PlanetDan's Christmas CD and driving around the city.

When I was a child, I had a Christmas Carol songbook and the lyrics to Winter Wonderland had a typo, so for most of my life I thought the lines were:
We'll say 'are you married?'
He'll say 'no man,
but you can do the job
when you're in town'

As a child, I didn't question the lyrics--in the same way that I knew 'bells on Bob's tail' rang, but didn't realize Bob was the horse's name. But as an adult, I wondered exactly what job the minister had in mind. I imagined clandestine scenes in the fellowship hall and behind the baptistery.

It wasn't until a few years ago--when I had a couple of eggnogs in me at a Christmas party and suggested something about snowballing--that someone explained the correct lyrics to me.