HOLD UP, DON'T CHASE THAT HANDFUL OF NORCO WITH A VODKA SODA YET. why not wait until after you've scrolled through nine hundred perfect instagram christmases before you slice your wrists open the long way? (jk don't do either of those things.) christmas is the motherfucking worst. is hanukkah bad? PROBABLY. eight consecutive nights of not getting what you want because life is horrible and nobody loves you!? OY GEVALT. somehow we've wound up at the end of another shitty year, and i don’t know that i am any more depressed december 24-jan 3 than i am on march 8 or july 17 or october 29, but this is definitely the time of year more people text and call reminding me why i fucking should be. “HEY SAM INSTEAD OF COMMITTING SUICIDE WANNA COME TO MY HOUSE AND EAT SOME HAM CUZ YOU AIN’T MARRIED AND YOUR P’S ARE DEAD?” well now that you put it that way, let me put down this noose i was working on and practice smiling while saying, “hi i’m samantha, ____ and i are just friends and i’m totally okay with that” until it sounds like i fucking mean it. jk i’ma for real spend christmas just maxing this cinnabon and watching homeland and trying to wrestle this holiday sweater onto the goddamn cat. because the only thing worse than what’s left of my family is your family. your uncle’s racist jokes make me want to punch that motherfucker in the throat and i don’t understand why there are cornflakes on top of the tuna casserole. i fucking hate that i had to put pants with a zipper on them and take a fifteen-dollar cab to sit in this drafty house and participate in the lie that this grated cauliflower tastes anything like a mashed potato. SIR, I KNOW A POTATO WHEN I SMEAR I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTER ON ONE.
i’m old enough now that people i sat next to while they peed themselves are sending out unironical holiday update letters, and boy does that make me want to die. it’s goddamn adorable when your madre sends me a list of vacations she and her third husband spent drinking wine this past year, but if you cheated off my chemistry final i’m not really trying to read some trite christmas bullshit you wrote in the third person. WHY BECAUSE I AM JEALOUS. oh no, i’m not. if i wanted a toddler, i could’ve made one with jon our freshman year of high school. i want to know how many kids your kid bit in daycare and how bad your hemorrhoids got this year. can we please start doing that? i’ll send you photos of me and helen acting out old episodes of sex and the city (SHE IS SUCH A MIRANDA) and you nerds tell me how your marriage is a sham. in the meantime, christmas newsletter madlibs:
HAPPY HOLIDAYS BITCHES AND HOES!
we hope your year has been filled with death and destruction. chicago continues to agree with me and helen; we thought life would slow down as we got older, but perhaps we’re just not capable of any less activity! sam did slow down a bit for a couple weekends and took the dirty-ass amtrak to southwestern michigan, spending long days with a delightful friend in a borrowed lake house because soul-crushing poverty. lounging, reading, exploring, and just being with good friends was a special treat. too bad about her indentured servitude, otherwise she might be able to get used to this! we hope that life will go on without dying in a fire or hurling ourselves off a cliff in despair. we know that is a challenge at this time in our lives, but we are truly grateful for the terrible fortune and horrible friends that we have and the chance to live in misery most of our days. may your days be as hashtag blessed. please have a painfully average holiday season and a very negative and disappointing 2015!
RENEGADE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE, COMMENCE.
1 buy yourself some goddamn presents. let’s talk about what we really miss about the holidays of our youths: tumbling out of bed and scampering in your jammies into the warm, tree-lit living room. the tree, which maybe had two or three small boxes under it when you’d gone to bed, is now bursting forth with gifts. mom is smoking a newport over the wafflemaker and you can hear the sizzle and pop of bacon between the strains of all the black christmas songs playing on v103. there are parades to be watched, toys to be inventoried, forgotten batteries to be fetched from the store before it closed at three. then passing out on a heap of wrapping paper before the sun even goes down. there was nothing on earth better than ripping the packaging off my new abject poverty barbie and her husband incarceration ken then scripting their fights about money while bathed in the warm, candy-colored glow of the twinkling tree lights.
the reason christmas sucks as an adult is because motherfuckers are broke or cheap and no one ever buys you a goddamn thing you ever fucking want. i do not understand, in this age of amazon in which we currently live, giving someone a shitty gift. what your thumbs were too tired, my guy? GET AT THAT ITUNES CARD. i would never expect someone to buy me anything i want in real life, because i like overpriced bullshit. but i also like magazines. and cocktails. skip that shitty 3-piece white diamonds gift set you copped in the checkout line at walgreens (perfume!? and lotion!?!? and shower gel!?!?!?!?! WHAT AM I THE PRINCE OF ZAMUNDA!?) and get my bourbon next time i'm falling asleep next to you at the bar. or buy me a big gulp and the sunday times. a double espresso and some nail polish remover. you know, shit i will actually use. next time you're at target grab me a bag of kotex overnights, in jesus name.
my christmas list:
1 a marimekko unikko duvet and shams.
2 a pair of superretrofuture ciccio eyeglasses.
3 geno's old fancy as fuck tv that he's selling me at a discount.
4 some NEST reed diffusers because i just got one and holy shit my crib smells amazing.
and because i'm my own santa, i ain't gotta justify the price or find it on sale or only get one because that's the polite thing to do. i'ma spend my christmas bonus on seafood and fancy eye cream because that's what oprah would fucking do.
2 get some luxurious motherfucking jammies. i am 34 years old and i just got my very first robe. it’s long and black and made of jersey and is the most glamorous thing i’ve ever owned. seriously, it’s all i wear now. i am a big believer in the power of pajamas. i don’t need to meditate, i just need to put on these soft pants with the busted elastic waistband and this fleece hoodie and bury myself under the duvet for twelve hours. i like asos playsuits and cuddl duds and those slipper socks your boss gives you every christmas because he’s awkward and has no imagination. and the shit doesn’t have to be expensive, all of my inside clothes look like i foraged them from a fucking dumpster.
I HATE LINGERIE. nothing worse than getting trussed up like a pig just to have everything ripped off ten minutes after you struggle to get the shit on. so that's not what i'm talking about. self-care is one of those phrases everyone and their mother is going on about, so let's do that for real. i'ma go to king spa and get, like, four layers of skin sloughed off after sleeping for an hour in the sauna, eat a bunch of kimchi and soondoobu, then slather myself in neutrogena sesame oil. overfeed the cat, snuggle up in my robe, and try not to move until january 3.
3 eat some fatty fucking snacks. gorge on whatever the fuck you want, cutie: cakes, pies, cookies, cakes, muffins, cheeseburgers, more cake. jesus didn't die for you to spend half an hour tabulating calories on his birthday. my girl rosamund and i were having a deep philosophical discussion a couple weeks ago about our favorite lazyperson foods, and dips were the clear motherfucking winner. WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T LIKE DIP.
buffalo chicken dip.
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 c finely chopped celery
1/2 c hot sauce
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 c crumbled blue cheese
preheat the oven to 425. in a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes. add the celery, hot sauce, and chicken. mix it up. transfer the mixture to a 9" pie plate and sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese on top. bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. serve with crackers, bread, or carrot sticks.
LOL CARROT STICKS.
white bean dip with herbs.
1/4 c plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped sage
1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
two 19 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp water
in a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until simmering. add the garlic, sage, and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until it smells good as hell and the garlic is just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. (waltz around the kitchen for a few seconds, feeling like a real fucking cook.) add the beans and toss to coat.
transfer the beans to a food processor. (or a blender, if you ain't got one? but really my dude, EVEN I have a cuisinart mini prep. get it together. we grown.) add the water, season with salt and cayenne, then process to a smooth-ish puree. put the dip in a small serving bowl if you're fancy like that, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and serve with pita chips.
taco dip because duh.
1 lb ground beef
16 ounce can refried beans
1/2 cup taco sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 c sour cream
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped tomatoes
1/4 c black olives (sliced and OPTIONAL, vomit. )
1/4 c jalapeño chilies (rings)
1 + 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
preheat oven to 350. in a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain. (gross, i know, but worse if you don't.) add refried beans, spicy taco sauce, chili powder, and cumin. Spread the mixture into a 9" x 13" baking dish. spread sour cream over meat mixture. layer onions, tomatoes, olives (OR NOT), and jalapeños over the sour cream. top with the cheese. bake at 350 for 30 minutes. serve with tortilla chips or just suck it off your fingerscoops, you savage. eat until you puke.
4 GET THE FUCK OFF THE MOTHERFUCKING INTERNET. i just got a spam email from a fat people dating website which i opened to find your cousin terrell informing me that he "can handle [my] love handles.” why yes, kind gentlefellow, let us get married posthaste. i gotta get the fuck off the internet, b. at least until all of the nuclear family gathered under the tree unexpected marriage proposal lose your first ten pounds for free ads are safely off my timeline and you kids stop filling my newsfeed with your 2014 retrospectives. I'M NOT CLICKING THAT SHIT. besides, i already know what you did this year: posted some boring articles, took a couple buzzfeed quizzes when that was still a thing, and changed your profile picture 137 times. bring on the new year.
the internet is a beast, man. and if you are a lonely little poinsettia this time of year you have to get off it for a few days or you will hurt yourself. first off, everyone is dumb. second, we are living in spectacularly shitty times, which makes the internet NOT FUN AT ALL. and that would be okay if everyone we knew on facebook was a measured individual of reasonable intelligence. BUT THEY ARE NOT. easier said than done, for sure, but that's why i have a plan:
-read some good shit. so i have a bunch of shit lined up to read over the next couple weeks. HOLIDAY BOOK CLUB, WHAT:
"boy, snow, bird" by helen oyeyemi.
"tigerman" by nick harkaway.
"a brief history of seven killings" by marlon james.
three is a reasonable enough number, yeah? i hate being mocked when i aim too high and fail.
-relax while listening to some tunes. i like to make a playlist to listen to while lying around pretending i never have to go back to work. i hate christmas movies, always have. if i want to bawl my eyes out i'll go over my bank statements, thanks. christmas eve i like to put fresh sheets on the bed then lie splayed across the whole thing while dozing on painkillers and brooding to some smooth emo jams. click here for this year's winter mixtape.
-marathon the shit out of some television programs. now that serial is over (GET AT ME, ADNAN) and sons of anarchy is gone forever (welp) i have a little free time to devote to becoming wholly consumed with some new shit. maybe damages? orphan black!? help me, netflix!
-WRITE A FUCKING BOOK. did you read meaty? if not, what the fuck are you waiting for!? have you just been rul busy? OR DO YOU FUCKING HATE ME. go get it. anyway, i'm writing another book. and the shit is due to my editor june 15. which is kind of really soon. not really but really. january will drag on, so i can probably get a lot done then, but i spend the entire month of february celebrating my birthday so that's gonna fly by. (party at red lobster, details forthcoming.) what happens in march, college basketball? snooze, so i guess i can write then. april will be warm enough to make excuses not to be in the house, and even though i hate being outside i hate doing work even more. may flowers, gotta smell 'em, then boom: JUNE BOOK DEADLINE. you guys will have to wait a year for book two, though. in the meantime, stuff your stocking with the first one.
5 donate some money or time. but probably money. oh, i know. helping people is v v boring. I HATE IT, TOO. but you know what’s an easy way to be a decent person? donating some of your movie popcorn money to places that do good work. listen, i used to volunteer and maybe if you’re not the kind of person who cries all the time you can too, but i cannot put on another mesh bonnet to use an ice cream scoop to feed adult persons meatless spaghetti ever again in my life. one can only do so much useless sobbing. at first i thought it was gonna rage, that i would be infused with the spirit of loving kindness and float away from that church basement on a cloud of goodwill. but in reality i had to be scrubbed down and sanitized then covered in plastic to shovel slabs of cornbread dressing until my back hurt while pretending not to be worried about where i’d last seen my purse.
so now i just give money. it absolves me of some guilt while also being easy on my knees and lower back. last week i fucking gave half my paycheck to the aspca because they have a new commercial featuring sad ass kittens and pitbulls left to starve out in the goddamn cold. i could barely give the woman on the phone my debit card number i was crying so much, and she reassured me in her kindest dealing with an unstable human voice that my generous donations were going to help so many unfortunate little animals. then i got to hang up without getting bitten or shit on. and that's worth 18 cents a day for real.
GOOD LUCK, EVERYBODY. if you're having a rough time just think about how many assholes have to choke down their mother-in-law's gross jello mold while sitting on a plastic-covered sofa, then look around your empty studio and know that you've made the better choice. you're in your soft clothes, warm taco dip is churning through your guts at a breakneck pace, and you haven't incurred any monumental credit card debt trying to appease children who are either going to murder you in your sleep or make a living sliding down a stripper pole in ten years anyway. bah humbug, you herbs.