I’ll dash this one off quickly since I need to head to my parents’ in a few, and I’m not remotely packed or anything.

Following up yesterday’s thoughts on charity, last night was the first time I ever went out of my way to do a good deed for a plant. I got this poinsettia as a door prize in a Christmas party and I’ve never, through my own efforts, kept a plant alive in my life. I didn’t know if it would fare well over the weekend, so I put it in my car. (I think it’s going to end up as part of my mother’s Christmas gift; my mother loves plants as much as I forget they exist and let them die). Once I had it in my car, though, I remembered that I was planning to go straight to the comic book store, then to dinner, then to the movies, meaning the plant would be sitting out in the car in 20 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple hours. I’m not a horticulturist, but I think this is probably not good for them. So I went out of my way to go home and set the plant on the dining room table, and then went on to the shop — which probably took about 20 minutes and cut my chance to read a couple comics BEFORE the movie started, but in the long run, who cares? It was just interesting that I’d never in my life thought about having a moral obligation to vegetable life, and that probably comes from thinking too much about the true meaning of Christmas over your lunch break. I feel a little absurd about it, but I’m also using this to remind myself that I’d better spend the weekend being equally charitable to the people in my life. I mean, they’re family, and I love them, but also they’re family with everything that means.

The movie was Up in the Air, by the way, and I liked it quite a bit. I’m sure it’s partly because I’ve been talking about Say Anything so much, but it occurred to me there’s a quality to Jason Reitman’s movies (he also made Juno) that reminds me of Cameron Crowe’s early movies. There’s a sense of the pacing of everyday life, and a kind of generosity and affection toward characters who you wouldn’t exactly expect to deserve that generosity, and yet it never teeters into sentimentality. Just flat-out good storytelling. I thought the ending was a little abrupt — the final act could use another beat — but overall, the movie is sharp and sad and funny, and very very human. George Clooney doesn’t hurt, of course.

Now, I really am about to take off for the weekend. I’ll take my laptop with me, but it’s not that good for carrying around the house, so I probably won’t be on much. Also, should probably spend the time talking with my family (or at least playing ping-pong and watching It’s a Wonderful Life!

Happy Holidays to all!