Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I never noticed it before I moved out to the 'burbs, so I'm not sure if they're just a recent development or if it's only a thing out here, but prior to Christmas, there are slews of median-cluttering signs ostensibly one's ability to hang Christmas Lights (and how to badly stencil). "We Hang Christmas Lights" followed by a number, which, I guess, if you call, summons some people (I like to imagine that it's one person, accustomed to the Royal We form, and then I think about how I should start a business of people dressed as luminaries who perform odd jobs - I could call it "DisplomaServants" or something like that) to come clamber about your HOA-adhering-pitch-level roof with a staple gun and a string of lights, in order to ensure that you, friend, will meet the Neighborhoodly Unspoken Requirements for Belonging.

There are some people on our block who are not Christian, culturally or otherwise. I believe they celebrate Diwali, but it's really a guess because honestly, how much research am I expected to do, and it's not like I'm going to tromp over there and ask them why the fuck they hate the baby Jesus. I bring this up not because I believe that, far from it, in fact, as anyone who knows me knows my disdain for religion goes far enough to be extreme (not far enough, however, to preclude ornaments and presents and gluttony). I bring it up only to point out that their house is the only inhabited one on my block that has not been decorated for Christmas. It is conspicuous in its inconspicuousness.

Which all brings me back around to the Unspoken Law of Decorating For Christmas. Which is, Do It, Preferably Hiring Some Underpaid DomestiServant To Hang Custom Measured Lights For You And Then Stick An Inflatable GeeGaw On Your Lawn At Least Or We're All Going To Think You Murder Children.

Being that my household is firmly morally opposed to paying for many things other suburban people seem to think worthy of paying for (such as: light changing, sprinkler repair, fence refinishing, brake pad replacement, tree removal/installation, landscaping - although lawn upkeep is a hiring offense, and one that I am happy to pay for), we installed our lights ourselves.

Thus, our lights are only on the first floor of the house, accessible via height with the help of a 4' ladder, and wrapped around everything that didn't move or have what appeared to be visible bugs inhabiting it.

It's bright as hell, and I am pretty sure the outdoors(ish) power squid is going to start a calamitous fire one of these days, but it does the job. The neighbors are comforted with our minimal efforts to fit in. Invisibility is key.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Beginning