What is the best thing about the holidays? Gifts? Actually, I’m kinda bad at getting people good gifts so it’s not gifts. Santa Fetishes? True, one way to make sure the holidays are a lot of fun is to incorporate some white beards, red hats and creativity with a candy cane into holiday doin’ it but this kind of thing can really surprise your boyfriend or girlfriend (good way? Bad way?), but undoubtedly makes for a good story later. I enjoy hearing those stories but I still wouldn’t mark holiday sex as the best thing about this time of year. Holiday movies? Maybe. Those are pretty good and certainly raise holiday spirits but by mid-Christmas day you have taken all you can so no, not the movies either. The food? The food is good but food is always good. Plus at parties there is a high risk you will be cornered at the snack table by someone who will tell you all about their resolution to lose weight next year. Granted, if that is the person’s goal then good for them. On the bad side of things, you now feel obligated to let that person finish the cheese ball which sucks because that was your (I mean my) plan for the evening. The lights? The decorations? So many things to pick. Alright, for the length of this entry’s sake I will just go ahead and say that the best thing about the holidays in Chicago is that warmth generated by each and every human in the city makes the subzero temps almost unnoticeable. I’m not talking about the physical heat that you get when you jump a jam packed train at rush hour but the warm feelings people just seem to have every day in December. Everything from the food to the fetishes, from the parties to the hangovers and whatever other seasonal influence makes people smile, this time of year brings a sense of togetherness that you don’t really get 11 months out of the year. In other words, the best thing about the holidays would be it’s the only time of the year that cliches are acceptable. Of course after the buzz from the eggnog wears off the day after the ball drops on the 31st and with resolutions tossed aside 2 weeks into January, we are right back in the cold wondering when it will get warm again.

My resolution for 2011: to stay warm. Alright, happy holidays and have a great New Year. And, as this story reminded me, remember not to eat yellow snow. I don’t care what the older guys at the playground tell you, eating yellow snow will not give you super powers or a beard. Take my word on it….

Obvious Good Decision Making, Doctor, Obviously Good Decisions:

The evening didn’t start out great. While I was waiting for my date at Matchbox, one of the two over served others in the bar with me went into the bathroom where he was soon found unconscious. The bartender called 911. So when my date arrived, the bar was obscured by a fire truck on Ogden and an ambulance on Chicago, and the unconscious patron in question was being wheeled out on a stress board. So there we were, feet away from a possible dead body. (Though I stopped by Matchbox the next day to see if that guy was OK, which he was.) My date ordered a Bud Light and tipped the bartender 50 cents. Yet another bad omen.
We had a quick dinner at D’Agostino’s after that, where my date told me he’d pick up the check with a dramatic flourish even though the total bill was maybe $13. Then he wanted to go for a walk. So we walked over that Chicago Avenue bridge over I-90 and then back to his car, which was parked in the lot of what is now a small medical center. At that point he announced that he had to go to the bathroom and that he was just going to walk around the corner of the building and go against the wall. This man, by the way, was a 29 year old who had just finished a Ph.D., and not drunk. He went far enough away that I couldn’t see or hear him pee, but still…