Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year of Feathers and Anvils

Well, this time last year I was wallowing in sorrow and self-pity. This year has been better, but it has been a very strange December. Part of it was the absence of my mother, which in itself is still a bit of a raw nerve, but I just couldn't get into the Christmas spirit this year. Part of it was me being bummed that I wasn't going to get to go down to South Florida this year due to child care issues, but at the last minute my In-Laws ex machina flew the COA to them in Mississippi, so I was able to go. Then, just before Christmas the radiator in my wife's car cracked, and we had to replace it. "Shall I cancel my trip?" quoth I. "NO!" my wife emphatically replied. I guess I was getting a bit edgy. So Sunday I drove the 200+ miles and expected a fun time. But when I woke up Monday morning I felt crappy. The cold that had been deviling my wife and the COA for weeks chose to wait til I was far away to sink its virusey claws into me. So rather than do my usual running all over trying to see everyone I could, I took it easy. The plan was to stay through the New Year, then maybe drive up the West Coast and visit friends on the way home. Yesterday I felt great, it seemed I was victorious, and celebrated with some wine and a late evening of poker. But this morning I awoke feeling like a steam roller had run me over. I had enough, and decided to come home, as the only thing I really wanted was my own bed. So now I'm home, and feeling slightly better, but still weak and shaky. I saw some of my dearest friends, but missed others, and for that I'm sorry. The COA comes home tomorrow, and then reality begins anew on Monday.

As I ponder this year, I cannot help but think it was an ok one. I thank all that is good in the world for my family, and for my friends both 'real' and 'imaginary'. And I must rejoice in the new-found friendship of my shipmates, Karen and Kennedy, and their amazing work on the Starbase this year.

I am looking forward to 2010. We'll be moving in the summer, and I'm going to try my best to stop being so stressed about everything. I hope to be a better husband, father, podcaster, and blogger. I hope to get back into my armor, and onto the lyst field, and by virtue of that back into some smaller jeans.

And so I wish you all a very happy 2010. Let's make it the best one ever! ;-)

Live long, and party on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Paws Update

Wow! I got a box from Ohio yesterday that had me puzzled. But once I opened it and saw this:

I was blown away. The kitty paw quilt is gorgeous, and the homemade yummies are...well, yummy! I have deduced that my Secret Santapaws lives at When Life Gives You Scraps-Make a Quilt, and I send my most heartfelt thanks! I'm still working on mine, trying to make a tasty treat that is distinctly Southern, yet mailable. I'm closing in on it after some dismal failures yesterday. This is so much fun! :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Two Lumps

I swear the people that make this strip know Starbuck.

Two Lumps

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Set Dreidels to Stun

This almost makes me wish I was Jewish.*

*This isn't a slight against Jews. I'm just not that keen on any religion.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

War on Christmas?

I have a friend on Facebook with whom I went to high school. She and I are very different politically, and today she sent me a virtual button that read 'You can say Merry Christmas to me.' I will admit I'm a bit testy this season, due to it being the first year since my mom passed away and all, but it did touch a nerve that has been getting increasingly more raw with every holiday season. I have nothing against Christmas. It gets me lots of time off, new toys, an excuse to visit family and friends, and I kinda like Christmas music. But what has been getting me more and more steamed is the conceit that some Christians have that they own December, and anyone saying 'Happy Holidays' is essentially saying 'fuck Christmas'. Well, a quick internet search shows that December is filled with non-Christmas holidays. Here are a few of them:
AIDS Awareness Day
Rosa Parks Day
International Day of Disabled Persons
Volunteer Day
St. Nicholas Day
Civil Aviation Day
Human Rights Day
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Ice Cream and Violins Day
St. Lucy Day
Bill of Rights Day
Forefathers' Day
Maritime Day
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
New Year's Eve

And that's not including the dozens, probably hundreds of state, county, and city level observances. So I ask you, Right Wing, which of these holidays threatens Christmas so? And before you tell me that the US was founded by Christians, which is a fact I do not dispute, these Christians were also slave owners and genocides, so does that mean we bring back the block and smallpox blankets? As I said, I have no problem with Christmas, and I have yet to either be upset by, or see anyone else get upset by the phrase 'Merry Christmas'. What I have seen people object to is the use of public funds for Christmas decorations but not for Hannuka or Kwanzaa, or any other holiday trappings and I can't say that I can find fault in that. Some Christians need to learn that you aren't the only people in this country, and 'Happy Holidays' is an expression of tolerance and inclusion. And while we're on the subject, December 25th was co-opted by the early church as Christmas because many of the earlier religions celebrated the solstice in late December, so they wisely adopted the holly, and evergreen tree, and yule log of those pagan rites into Christmas. Most historians believe, based on the Biblical texts, that Christ was born sometime around June, July, or August. So wish me a Merry Christmas if you wish, and I will smile and return the greeting. But if someone wishes you Happy Holidays, how's about you emulate your Lord and Saviour, and accept it as the heartfelt expression of inclusion and fellowship that it is. And trust me, Hannity, Limbaugh, Olberman and their ilk count on you to get all fired up by their rhetoric for no other reason than to boost ratings. There is no war on Christmas. There is only a war on common sense and freedom of religion.