Memento mori Monday!
This is my sister, who is not dead, but living her Fox-News-Watching-life in Sparks, Nevada. We exist now to push phantom buttons and disappoint each other by expectations we've never even voiced aloud. She is my senior by seven years, and growing up, we were close and still managed to torment each other, in equal measures, although I was running rings around her by the time I was five. Being a devil-spawn, I kept a little rainbow pad full of dirt on her, and would use it for occasional blackmail. She was also very easy to play tricks on. One of my personal faves: they used to packet Kool-Aid without sweetener - you would add your own sugar - and the stuff was like Drano. I would make a big show of pretending to take a big snort of it and then with kind of a puzzled look I'd go, hm, smell this, and she would obligingly take a big whiff and hilarity, on my part, would ensue. And I only had to wait a couple of weeks before I could do it again. She fell for it everytime. For her part, she introduced me to sex and drugs by an early age, which I always considered a favor, but not everyone would agree.

On Friday I schlepped to Home Despot and bought my early Christmas present: a phoney fireplace. It's basically a motion lamp, which I've always loved. I own several clocks with a similar principle, one depicting a waterfall, the other a miniature fireplace. Obviously, it's not the real thing, but it is incredibly satisfying - primal even. Even though there is no heat coming from it (there is a feature, but electric heat: ugh), all the animals seemed to gravitate towards it. In so many ways, I love winter.

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