Yo Yo Yo: A Christmas List

Christmas gets rave reviews this year. Except for this migraine headache that I can't seem to kick. Well, technically it probably isn't a migraine, but a migraine gets sympathy whereas "haven't had enough caffeine today" doesn't. And lest you think Christmas is just about sympathy to a religious figure, I'd like a little bit of attention in there too. So sue me.

by Lilly

Number of times I realized I am becoming my parents: Two (once when I took over the kitchen and cooked most of Christmas dinner - a la mom, and once when I picked something up and said "does this thing have a PURPOSE?" aloud to myself- a la dad)

Number of Tofurkey slices consumed: One.

Number of slices of mom's wicked apple tart consumed in the past 24 hours: Three.

Number of movies I walked out (of the tv room) on: One. It was a Woody Allen film with two strikes against it. One, I had seen it already. Two, it starred Jason Biggs ("American Pie"), which may not be something against it per se, but wasn't working for it. The fact that Christina Ricci sits around in underwear bitching about being too fat (typecast!) sealed the deal. I was in bed by 9:30.

Number of cookies I ate: Too many to count. Arguably upward of 10, if you count my consumption of cookie dough, which I did not so much for the taste but for consistency with my youth.

Number of text messages sent with photos of my cookie masterpieces attached: Five.

Cookies decorated: A zillion. We made pretty hearts and sunshines, but made it an all-inclusive "HOLIDAY" cookie set. I didn't have the skill set to do them all myself, so Susie handled the 'big jobs' (like the woman with a hejab in honor of our Muslim Peeps). I grew up in Highland Park, a Jewish suburb of Chicago. I do a mean menorah with sprinkle flames, so recognize. Next holiday I may take orders.

Lessons learned about Christmas: One. Big one though. My family has always feasted on Christmas Eve. We pride ourselves on our ability to put kabob and Persian rice aside for a night of genuine American dining. Then Christmas morning we open presents, pig out a little bit more, and kinda eventually go our own ways. Imagine our surprise when, as we were cooking, my brother breezed through the kitchen pointing out that most people actually do Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. There was a round of light debate, some shoulder shrugging, and a phonecall to a certifiable "American Christian" source to verify. We were a day early and have been for 30 years.

Presents received: Too many to count (thanks family!). From books to jewelry to a dayglo yoga mat to enough tea to last me, well, about a month. No favorites this year, I really loved them all.

Books received as Christmas Gifts: Eight.

Books read/reading: Three.
1) I FINALLY finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics last night. I have been wrestling with this book all week. I read hundreds of pages and yet there was more and more and more (the result of a huge page count and tiny print). I actually started to wonder if the last few pages were breeding because as close as I was, I never seemed to finish it. It's gorgeous writing and it was well-paced, so it wasn't like I was suffering, but it was an item on my damn ToDo list that I couldn't seem to finish.
2) I'm working my way through Nora Ephron's "Wallflower at the Orgy" essays.
3) I dove into Winner of the National Book Award (the title, not an actual award winner) this morning and haven't put it down yet.

Number of additional rsvps that came in over the last 24 hours for the PROM 1989 Party that Jessica and I are throwing: 14

Number of tee shirts I received with a hilarious photo of my brother, age 9, looking incredibly confused, screened onto it: One.

Teas had: Two.

Long walks down a hill I wondered if I'd get back up: One. (I made it)

Number of Starbucks open downtown La Jolla (the whole reason for my hike): ZERO!

Number of times I spiraled into internal debate about "If you can't count on STARBUCKS to be open on Christmas when you NEED a Latte, what can you count on?": Two. Maybe three.

Number of showers: NONE! (yet. Off I go...)

Merry Christmas!

"You know who you look like?..."

It has started again. It's open season on me. The other day I was walking through the lobby and our security guy said "um, Lilly, you know who you..." He didn't even have to finish his sentence. Thing is, I do know! Apparently it's that time of year again. I know winter has hit when I get pale again and the comments pop out. I get them everywhere, at the gas station (from a little old lady leaning out the window of her car), from people in stores, from friends of friends who I've just been introduced to.

When I was first told that I looked like Janeane Garofalo, I didn't know who she was. I hadn't really paid attention to the snarky best friend in Reality Bites (Jon has forgiven me) and there wasn't really anything else of note. I was first 'sighted' in college by a guy named Ethan who would not let the subject go. When I wouldn't sign an autograph he called me a bitch (ever caving to my fans, I signed, naturally misspelled). I saw him the next day on the street and he started yelling "Janeane! Look! I never washed it off!!!", pointing to the signature on his arm. Poor (dirty) boy.

Soon after, the movie The Truth About Cats and Dogs was released. My lookalike Janeane was cast opposite Uma Thurman as the 'ugly one'. Not even kidding. For those of you who I haven't forced to watch it (it has since become one of my favorite movies), it's about a girl who has a blind date with a hot British guy and ends up goofing things up by impulsively describing his looks (so he could identify her when they met) as her model (tall, skinny, blonde) neighbor. So begins the game of the pretty face (Uma) and the brain (Janeane), a chick flick Cyrano, basically. In the end (warning: spoilers!), the guy somehow decides that she is beautiful inside and out, blah blah blah. She was the whole package.

It's a fun movie and a brilliant exploration of the beauty standard in the US (and pretty much worldwide these days). But come on, as if gaining the freshman 15 isn't bad enough, to be told day in and day out that you looked like the not pretty one from the movie was a little ouchy.

When I graduated and moved to LA, it started to happen more (again, it was fall, again my tan was fading. There is a distinct correlation). If nothing else, at least people in LA know who's a celeb. But here was the kicker- I looked so much like her *yet* she wasn't cool enough to get me to the front of the line at Garden of Eden or the Standard (the year was 1999 ye club-going LA snobs!). Useless. I mean, if I was going to look like someone, couldn't it be Pamela Anderson or Cindy Crawford? Couldn't I at least get some freebies?

I started to resent it. She was a bitter cynical comedian-- I wasn't those things!!! Oh wait- I was in law school. I was totally those things.

But for the past few years I just haven't gotten it as much. Something is bringing out my Janeane-ness and people are noticing it once again. As time passed, I started to identify with her more. For one thing, I could spell her name right. I admired her willingness to be political in a violently apolitical society. I didn't admire her brief loss of 20 lbs and hair dying (to, you guessed it - blonde). I felt betrayed... Like she didn't want to look like me!

So for a while there was the fadeout. I was told I looked like Whoopi Goldberg (interesting but inaccurate, not only given my ethnicity, but my eyebrow - as in "I have them" - situation) and the Nanny. But apparently my Janeaneness is blossoming again. It's nice to have her back.

We Take These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Theorem #1: You will check the time/speed of the person on the machine next to you at the gym.

Proof: I do.

Theorem #2: We don't count calories of food eaten while standing.

Proof: The lifestyle of most people I know, especially those of us who have an ongoing buffet courtesy of a wide-open refrigerator door.

Theorem #3: Everyone loves to hi-5, no matter how hard you try to stop them. (And how I've tried)

Proof: Most of you.

Theorem #4: No one really read Beowolf.

Proof: The box office.

Theorem #5: You check yourself out in the mirror.

Proof: That's why you look so damn fine yo.

Theorem #6: Cyberstalking is just "social research".

Proof: It has become socially acceptable. I mean, when was the last time you sincerely called someone a 'stalker'? Exactly. Oh, the number of times my friends have made use of their firms' Lexis subscriptions. Watch out ye boys who want to date them, we know your divorce is not yet final!

Theorem #7: The whole western world except me has seen "The (damn) Notebook".

Proof: People keep pitching me things as "it's the blah blah blah version of the Notebook". Not knowing much about said film, I then picture a spiral-bound notebook, which is unhelpful to all involved. The guys I know who made Braveheart and Gladiator a hit with repeat viewings mention it in conversation. Blech. File it under 'Tuesdays with Morrie'

Theorem #8: Whoever smelt it dealt it.

Proof: It's always guys who smell it. And everyone knows girls don't poot.