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5:47 p.m. - December 23, 2003
Holiday stress six-fold: On my doorstep already
Things to write about:

1) Sunday with Ryan II

2) Group therapy revisited

3) The Christmas bombshell


1. Spent Sunday with Ryan II. Saw The Return of the King. I embarrassed him when I started talking to the screen, more so when I got the sniffles, and the last straw was when I said Yes! Yes! when good triumphed over evil step by step. Overheard a girl in front of me whisper to her companion, I still donít see how this is about Jesus and had I launched into exegetical mode Ryan II would likely have left the theater. As an aside, I wonder what Tolkienís impression would be of the adaptation. I think heíd enjoy the films, though perhaps heíd be more at a loss that the Christian foregrounding isnít recognized as it was meant to be. [editorís note: Research Tolkien; read his journals. Quite the apologetic, with LOTR written as a Catholicís answer to the question, Why is there evil in the world? in light of WWI.] So a good time was had before, during, and after the movie. We didnít go to sleep until almost 3 in the morning because we played and I baked my secret-ingredient chocolate chip cookies. Throw cookies in oven for 13 minutes, play for 12, run back and repeat. Was rather enjoyable.

2. Group therapy: A lot to think about. Primarily, investigate further what is meant when a psychologist says manipulative. Iím hoping their definition is less negative than its common usage. Iíd write more but am caught up in the swell of item number 3.

3. The Christmas bombshell is just that: Disaster. Woke up this morning to the doorbell at 5:30 to find my sisterís boyfriend of 6 years and a pile of gifts and plastic garbage bags. All these for me? but no. Over the night, the two broke up and Christmas has exploded. They were hosting my mother and her partner and bombshell! guess where everybodyís coming now? Thatís right Ė howíd you guess? My sister wants to move in, Iím picking up lesbians from the East in a modern re-telling of the Christmas story, my sister is packing her things, and Iím trying to make sense of it all. Family is family, but there are limits and after the last family holiday I swore no more and in that (inevitable?) reprise that has come, I can only shake my head and moan. Monumental effort to talk to The Great Idiot and my sister to patch things up if just for Christmas without success. Hoped my mother and her partner missed their flight. No success there. When in doubt (or profoundly not getting my way) I launch into Perfection Mode and have just now sat down to think of whatís left before heading to the airport.

Classically American, thatís what this is.

Me. Mother. Motherís partner. Sister. Brother. Brotherís girlfriend. Minus away-on-a-cruise father and His Lady Friend and grandma who refuses to come to California ever, especially now with earthquakes shaking our bones, this is my whole family, or at least the family I acknowledge. My motherís side is the branch that I pruned off my family tree.

Even if you donít ever pray because Ė well, because youíre jaded and donít see the point or youíre certain there is no god above or below or you dislike patriarchal, organized religion and its outdated beliefs or because you believe a little but not enough to stand up and investigate, or you were raised Catholic and itís irrelevant or any host of thought Ė I hope youíll pray for me and lend me support as I try to explain the pee bathroom and the poop bathroom, all without describing it like that because after all, they think Iím weird already.

Some sarcasm; not much.


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