I said to a friend an hour ago that I’ve never enjoyed the Christmas holidays because everything slows or shuts down, and because there doesn’t seem to be anything to do except catch up on reading or roam around in the slush or hang out in coffee shops or go to book stores or drink Irish coffees and rum egg nog, etc. I write all the time but still, the holidays are dreary and boring for the most part.

To which he said that Xmas holiday cheer has always seemed forced to him, and that he finds it analogous to posing for a photo and the photographer saying “say cheese.”

What is there to feel cheerful about? he said. Tell me what’s cheerful! It’s cold and windy and damp outside. Sooner or later I’m going to suffer through a slow agonizing death or a sudden terrifying one. The health care bill is sickening, an embarassment. Obama has shown that he’s a total wuss and simply lacks the wily, hard-nosed ability to pressure the perverse into bending to a semblance of the popular will, who hasn’t the skills to administrate with any effectiveness, who’s essentially a media presence who lacks the confidence stand up to the generals and the Wall Street guys, etc.

I’m committed to buying two wooden back-scratchers in Chinatown, going to the Apple store on Mercer and buying some computer-screen cleaner, visiting the Metropolitan Museum, paying some bills, maybe catching a film, etc.