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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

12.22.2005

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let the heart be light
embracing the long winter nights
 by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2
continued from page 1

When my eyes get tired and my brain starts to zone out, there's music to turn to as well. In the post-college years, I've somehow managed to become a very lazy music lover. Gone are the days when I'll happily while away hours on end browsing the cheapie discs at the used record store, scouring for hidden gems. I still love finding new music; I just can't seem to make the time for it as much as I used to. Fortunately, December brings with it the inevitable flurry of year-end lists. I can skip the frustration of having to wade through Pitchfork's inscrutable CD reviews by skimming over their annual top 50 list, to get the quickie guide on what to check out. Prior to December, the only new album I'd fallen in love with all year was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's quirky indie-pop debut. Since the best-of lists have started turning up in all my favorite magazines and websites, I've suddenly learned that there's been all sorts of fabulous new music lurking under my radar -- from Sufjan Steven's universally-acclaimed Illinois, to the perfect pop-rock goodness of the New Pornographers' latest, Twin Cinema, to the African beats and infectious melodies of Amadou et Mariam's Dimanche a Bamako.

Meanwhile, the near-constant darkness means that even in the middle of a weekend day, we have zero problems with glare on the TV screen, despite the fact that our top-floor flat boasts windows galore. Since winter set in, the boy and I have been enjoying the opportunity to spend quality time with the boob tube. We've been catching up on great TV series we missed when they actually aired -- spending Saturday mornings with futuristic space cowboys in the 1998 Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop, devouring hilarious episodes of the short-lived series Undeclared, a painfully funny look at the college years by the same folks who created Freaks and Geeks, and getting hopelessly addicted to the crazy twisty-turny lives of Kiefer Sutherland and Co. on 24. We're also finally making good use of our DVD rental subscription, taking time to watch the movies that show up in our mail rather than letting them sit their by the DVD player for weeks, collecting dust. And when, from time to time, the boy decides to watch some DVD in which I can muster absolutely no interest at all (yes sweetie, I know Little Britain's supposed to be a brilliant example of dry British humor, but admit it: it doesn't make you laugh either!) there's always the knitting to keep me happily entertained, an activity that only seems to appeal to me in the very dead of winter. (Keep the fingers moving and maybe they won't freeze off, right?)

Still, maybe the best thing about these winter nights isn't the opportunity it affords me to get books read, movies watched, stuff done. Nope, even better: it's the excuse to sit around in my little abode and do absolutely nothing at all. With a hot cup of cocoa warming my hands and my favorite wool blanket wrapped muumuu-style around my body, I watch the lights on my Christmas tree, listen to the wind whistling against the windows -- and enjoy the long, dark winter nights while they last.

o

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