Our favorite — OK, my favorite — cheeseburger place is one door down from a vacuum-cleaner shop. Lately when we walk by I say, “I am Dyson-curious.” The newfangled ones, the battery-powered stick vacs that are super light, cordless and work really well.
Do I need to tell you what I found under my Christmas tree this year?
But not a Dyson! Alan, our household’s shopping ninja, did the usual exhaustive research and reported that Consumer Reports — Consumer fucking Reports! — has blackballed Dyson stick vacs because the batteries give out after two years and aren’t replaceable. So mine is another brand, recommended by Wirecutter. It has an app. It’s very light. And it sucks like (insert vulgar expression here). I love it.
I also got a lovely scarf from Alan, and some new clogs. The vacuum was from Wendy, because Alan says he knows better than to give me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, but when you really want one, who would mind? This is the time of year when, on clear days, the low winter sun blasts through the front windows like a spotlight and finds every stray dog hair and dust bunny in our house. I do not have to drag out the old one, plug it in, find the right attachment and the hose and all that. I can just zap it. So it’s a highlight of the holiday, in my book.
The other big highlight was just being able to see everyone again. We blew down to Columbus for an 18-hour visit, minus Kate, who was staying away because Covid is bouncing through her circles like a pingpong ball. She’s masked more than a surgeon, but it’s popping up in the clubs where she’s doing live sound, among her friends — everywhere. She tested every day last week and came up negative, but given that her uncle has COPD and another uncle isn’t in the best shape, she did the abundance-of-caution thing and stayed home. But she came over here for Christmas Eve and Day, and we had a wonderful time. I did minimal cooking, moderate baking and we all got plenty to eat and of course, to drink. We watched “Don’t Look Up” together, and I watched “The Courier” while Alan and Kate worked on a guitar-restoration project in the basement. I made this cake. (It’s easy and great, although mine looked like someone cut their finger over it, rather than artfully impressionistic peppermint swirls.) I recommend “Don’t Look Up,” even though it got some blistering pans. “The Courier” is best saved for Russophiles like me. Oh, and we watched “Lamb” because Iceland, and it kinda blew our hair back in the end, although very slow-moving in getting there.
So. Some of you are off next week, you lucky dogs. Some are in a very slow-moving workplace. Almost everyone is trying to vacuum up all the year’s dog hair, so to speak, before another one sneaks in. Maybe you’d like to take a break from closet-cleaning to read some longform journalism, and if so, I can’t recommend this piece highly enough. It’s about three January 6 defendants and what happened to them as a consequence of invading the Capitol. It’s very readable, very smart and very good. Enjoy. It’s from New York magazine, and if you’ve used up your article quota this month, do an Incognito window or whatever. Totally worth it.
I’m going to try for three appearances this week, so here’s hoping.