A very Lileks Christmas


James Lileks' Bleat returned from a brief hiatus earlier this week with notes on his family's Christmas observances. From Monday, about his three-year-old's dance recital:

There’s a vast difference between remembering Dad coming to your recital and being Dad at the recital. The first is a memory that dead-ends with you; the latter connects you to him and to all the kids and dads to come.

From Tuesday, the Christmas lights bus tour from hell:

We went up Portland, which had no lights, turned to Chicago, which had fewer. Our host told us that we’d do Minnehaha parkway, which was no doubt blazing with lights, then tour lovely Summit Avenue in St. Paul, where the plutocrats’ mansions would no doubt dazzle the eye; then the Lakes in Minneapolis, then home. ...

Summit had some lights, but by then people’s expectations had been raised too high. We wanted to see floodlit spectaculars complete with a dozen elves with perpetually-firing Roman Candles implanted in their buttocks. ...

Nothing so improves a dreary experience like the realization that it will yield a story we can embellish. Give us five years, and the bus will be pulled by donkeys, the temperature in the minus 20s, the liquor nothing more than paint thinner and windshield-wiper fluid.

From Wednesday, a shopping trip to the oddly-quiet Mall of America, and thoughts on '30s, '50s, and '70s nostalgia:

It is every generation’s duty to ridicule the music and fashion of the generations that follow, but I am happy to live in an age when I know my judgments are not colored by creeping codgerism but empirical truth. Today, for example, I saw a kid I went to junior high school with – and by that I mean I saw a note-for-note version of the nightmare styles of 1973. Leather choker. Big mop of curly untamed hair. Burnt-umber T-shirt hanging over baggy jeans. Unkempt and goofy. ...

We’ve had 30 years to study these fashions, and the results are conclusive: they suck. They don’t make anyone look good. They are particularly injurious to someone whose face is dotted with the Vesuvian boils of adolescence. I know it’s a played out meme, but please: we need "80s Eye for the 70s guy. Someone shave these mutts and put ‘em in Ray-bans and Izod just so they realize there are alternatives to looking like a roadie for the Foghat “Fool For the City” tour.

And today's entry, with a nice early '60s view of Southdale, the First Shopping Mall, decked out for Christmas, links to a couple of worthy charities, and outtakes from the Christmas card photo shoot. The final page has the final version of the card -- very cute -- and an intriguing link about which more in the next entry.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 25, 2003 3:06 PM.

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