Saturday, December 24, 2011

Katy's Favorite Idiosyncratic Christmas Songs

As I mentioned before, I love idiosyncratic versions of classic Christmas songs. I thought I'd compile them and the spirit of the holidays, y'know. All these songs just feel like Christmas to me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Desert Girl

This came from the following prompt from Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg: "We all come from someplace. Where did you come from? How did you escape? Go for ten."

I come from the desert. I'm a lifelong desert girl. My body was formed in dry heat, my bones shaped from saguaro skeletons. I can walk through 110 degree heat; heat so oppressive that it practically suffocates you. I'm a desert girl--the dry heat is second nature to me. I often feel like a saguaro, warding off outsiders with sharp spines all over my body. Get away from me. I soak up whatever I can when I get it, much like saguaros soak up rainwater. I survive on it for months. Give me all you have to give, I'll thrive on whatever you have.

I haven't escaped the desert yet, I've only migrated from one part to another. I know one day I will. I'll leave the dry heat for the sizzling humidity of summers in New York. But no matter where I go, I'll always have the desert. It's in my body, my bones, my marrow, my blood. It's all over my skin. It's in my nature. I'll always be a desert girl, even in snowy New York winters.

Give me all you have to give.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

It's been awhile since I've done this. Here's what I've been loving lately...

1. Idiosyncratic Christmas songs. I can't stand sickly sugar covers of "Last Christmas." Rather, I prefer Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan doing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Sufjan Stevens doing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," Lady Gaga singing "White Christmas" as only she can. I scour iTunes for them. The idiosyncratic versions of carols get me in the spirit more than traditional ones.

2. Italian Wedding soup from Oregano's. I had it last night. It's served in a bowl bigger than my head with a sliver of cheesy garlic bread. So good!

3. The PBS adaptation of Macbeth with Patrick Stewart. Wow wow wow. It's amazing! It's streaming on Netflix. WATCH IT.

4. The Three Witches in Macbeth. I'm kind of obsessed with them, especially the ones in the PBS version. They give me the creeps in the best way.

5. Cake vodka! Three Olives makes it, along with many other flavors. But this vodka is so smooth that you could drink it straight if you wanted to. I prefer to mix it with hot cocoa for warm boozy bliss.

6. "Heartwarming" lattes and snickerdoodles from Liberty Market. "Heartwarming" denotes adding a shot of 100 proof peppermint schnapps! So delicious, so warm and fuzzy. And their snickerdoodles are the only ones I've found that are as good as my Mama's homemade ones.

7. This blog entry about how to talk to a dance major. I get these questions ALL. THE. TIME.

8. Pancakes from The Good Egg. Food there is pretty hit or miss, but their pancakes are stacks of fluffy deliciousness.

9. White Oleander, by Janet Fitch. I'm re-reading it for the millionth time. It never gets's so nasty and beautiful. And it makes my fingers itch to write.

10. Natalie Goldberg's writing exercises in Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. She is such a remarkable teacher and gives such great prompts. I've generated a lot of great writing because of her.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Movie Night Mix, Part I of III

Every year for Christmas, my family does a gift exchange where we draw one name from a hat and shop for that person (my family is HUGE so this system is a must). Last year, I got one of my brothers who is very difficult to shop for because he has everything. I racked my brain for an idea, then had a stroke of genius. A Movie Night Kit! I bought him Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Inception, then added in popcorn and Raisinettes (the store was out of Red Vines, otherwise I would've added that in, too) and topped it all off with an epic mix CD of songs from a myriad of different movies. I scoured my favorite movies for more unorthodox music choices instead of just putting cliched movie songs like "My Heart Will Go On" on there. I love how this mix turned out, so I thought I'd share it. And if you're ever stumped about what to get someone, the movie night thing is a fun, low-stress idea. :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ready for Christmas

I remember my mother's collection of Christmas music boxes. My favorite was a ceramic house with a tiny ceramic Santa that would pop in and out of the chimney. I loved putting my finger on his little hat, hearing my Mom's voice saying lovingly but firmly, "Donnnnn't break it, Katy Callie!"

Christmas at the Callie house. For years, we invited the Finn and Kniaz families over to our house on Christmas Eve. Both of them were big families like ours, and the house was filled to the brim with people. Mom would make enough manicotti for an army. We all knew not to mess with her that day while she was cooking! I always felt so excited for this party; I loved dressing up and eating and hearing everyone talk. For years I felt too old to play with the little kids and too young to hobnob with the adults, so I just kind of floated around, listening in on conversations. I always wanted to join in, but never knew what to say. But that was okay. I've always enjoyed being along around large groups of people, listening intently to all their stories.

On Christmas Day, my family would gather around the nativity in the foyer while my Dad, a staunch Catholic, read bible verses aloud. Then we would spend hours opening gifts, drinking coffee, and enjoying each others company. We'd go to church, then open our stockings. We would play with our new toys. Then we would go over to the Finn's house for an early dinner.

Warm, sugar-coated days and nights spent with family and friends.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I can't believe I made it through the semester. I'm hoping that I pass all my classes; it was really difficult for me to get to all my classes at first so I have a lot of absences. But I got my shit together mid-semester. I'm hoping my rocky start won't ruin all my grades. :/ Keep your fingers crossed that I pass all my classes.

But enough of that. Today was the last day of classes. There is a party tonight and I am going to do some celebratory drinking!