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December 25, 2008



Happy holidays everyone!

I'm on my way in to work. My husband is driving me since I'm too traumatized ( my car spent most of this week in a snowbank). gary--not a dramatic sotry, merely absurd. Long story short--I knew we were going to have a snow storm; i knew the road on the isalnd would be impassable; I called my boss and asked her to arrange subs to help my clients (disabled folks); my boss said that due to bad driving conditions no subs were to be head; So I set out into twelve inches of unplowed, unsanded hilly road with the full knowledge that there was a snowbank out there wainting for me. ANd there was. And I had a flashlight, good boots, warm clothes and I walked the mile and a half back home. Whereaupon I called my boss, said "I told you so" and went back to bed.

But that was the culmination of about a week of vary marginal road condidtions and many, mnay near-snowbank experiences, as wee are in our second week of snow out here.

Today the snow is mostly slush which doesn't make driving condidtions much bettr and makes walking back home condidtions much worse. But what the hell. it's Christmas!

So cheers everyone!

Treason! Here we have Eric doing a yeoman's job of waging the war on Xmas 2 posts down, defending against the creeping holiday cheer, and what does Publius do but put the dreaded holiday's name right up at the top of the blog! Really comrade. A little more self-reflection next time?

That said, hope your winter festivities are lovely.

My 15 year old nephew came up with an oddly apt scenario last night at dinner. We were talking about how all the kids in our family are too old now to believe in Santa. He said, 'But what if there was a 25 year old guy who did still believe and he had a child, and so both he and the child would wait for Santa to come and bring them gifts and nothing would happen!'.

Welcome to the next phase of American history everybody!

And happy holidays to everyone!

The sp4m doesn't stop for holidays, I see.

I'm trying not to be driven insane by the traditional singing Christmas tree here. Merry Christmas, everyone!

For jonnybutter.

Have a Merry, Merry 25th Day of December!

Santa came through again. Olga loved her chocolates and special coffees. I was happy to have another box of hankershiefs, initialized with a simple "T" (for Tony) -- the guys at work kid me about my hankies, saying it makes reminds them of their grandfathers, but I've carried one for as long as I can remember.

Danny woke us up a wee bit later than usual -- but 6:45 is still too early for my 46-year-old bones. Thanks to some help from generous, good-hearted colleagues at work, he was -- to borrow a phrase I heard recently from my friend lj -- "over the moon" about his Wii.

He hooked it up in a matter of minutes -- calling it "the best gift ever" the whole time -- and has been playing it ever since; now I see how it is so popular. He even figured how to uplink pictures we took at a Christmas Eve party and he turned it into a nice slideshow -- which really won over my wife, who is always quite skeptically about the effects of these techno games on our 10-year-old son.

The other gift we got him was something I picked up really cheap Tuesday night on the way home from work, some new version of a lava lamp that I am sure many had in their rooms as teens. Of course, that is taking a backseat to the Wii.

As usual, the animals got their usual special Christams breakfast. Seeds and nuts for the birds and squirrels. Hamilton, the 13-year-old bottomless pit of a Beagle we have, dined on canned Alpo and inhaled it as if it were steak (he usually gets dried Beneful). Forgot to get the cats, Tiger and Baby, canned Friskes -- they usually get dried, too -- but they got a good helping of Hamilton's Alpo and seemed to enjoy it just as much.

Olga headed up for a nap a few minutes ago and that sounds like a good idea, so I'm headed upstairs -- besides I owe her a massage (after a slice of apple crumb pie, however!).



Glad to hear you are safe and warm, and I hope your car is OK.

This on the other hand sounds like the sort of Xmas present everybody deserves to get at least once:

I called my boss, said "I told you so" and went back to bed.

Vindication in the face of higher authority, and going back to bed. When it comes to small, simple satisfactions, does it get any better than that?


some new version of a lava lamp that I am sure many had in their rooms as teens. Of course, that is taking a backseat to the Wii.

Merry Christmas!

Give the lava lamp time - they have a way of growing on you, and if your son takes an interest in such things there is some fascinating science behind them. We bought one for my son a few years ago to use as a nightlight. One morning he asked me "how come there are a few big, irregularly shaped blobs inside when we turn it on, but the next morning it's filled with lots of little round ones?" and I had a chance to explain some of the principles of thermodynamics to him in terms a kid can relate to (without making it sound like a bunch of boring school work). Priceless!

the guys at work kid me about my hankies, saying it makes reminds them of their grandfathers

hey bedtime, ignore those guys. Keep it old school!

Very low-key Christmas for us this year. All the kids have grown up and moved away, my wife and I are hanging with her family near Akron OH.

Most of the gifts being exchanged today are hand made in one way or another -- home made salad dressing, cool personalized mp3 playlists burned onto CDs, tasty baked stuff.

It's all good. Hard to say what more we could ask for. I miss my folks, who've passed on, and I miss family members who are far away today. But they're all in my thoughts.

Hope everyone is safe, warm, not hungry, and surrounded by people they love today and/or this week.

Here's a wish that the dream of peace on earth comes a little more real this year. Even if only for a while.

Best -

For jonnybutter. (Tom The Dancing Bug)

Hilarious. TTDB is a fav.

This being the Christmas thread, I wanted to share this.


Heard it the first time this year this morning -- popping in my favorite Christmas CD -- while Olga, Danny and I were having brunch. Just awesome -- and so raw, if that's the right word.

The kind of stuff FM radio would not dare play today.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and happy all the other holidays, everyone!

btfb: wonderful about the wii. My nephews got one too, and I too suddenly get the point. It's great. ;)


Happy Chanukwanfestive!

Me, too, about the wii -- what a great gadget.

About as advanced as I ever got regarding all of this new-found gaming (it never holding much appeal for this otherwise big kid) was old-school Pong and PacMan. But, yes, it's easy to see what all the fuss is about -- a wonderful bit of technology for all ages -- and, as everyone had told me at work, very addicting.

Glad to see that you made it safely in your travels -- sent you some "Season's Greetings" over at the aptly-named thread that Eric put up yesterday.


a Wii is the best thing you can bring to a beach house (besides beer). pound for pound, nothing is as much fun for so many people. bowling and golf, hour after hour.

Merry Christmas to Warner Bros (and all those Watchmen fang33ks salivating with anticipation.

More from the NYT.

Happy Holiday to all.

My brother, the damned pusher, bought me a Netflix subscription. Now it's only a matter of time before I stop going outside entirely.

Looking forward to dining on a preposterously costly piece of beef tonight -- my mother said "The price of that beef loin was your Xmas present" and consuming a quantity of eggnog and brandy. Or eggnog and rum. Or eggnog and bourbon. Hmm. better try all three.

Not to bring down the party, but taking a tour around Newark to see Christmas lights around town, we just came across this on the car radio -- had never heard it before and was quite moved, so I'd like to dedicate it to all of our men and women in uniform, past and present.

And finally:

R.I.P, Ms. Santa Baby --- Eartha Kitt, a true original.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

Happy Decemberween everybody!

We had our first Christmas with several additions to the family, and all went well.

Unto us a child is given...

Thoughts and prayers for the people who have no roof on Christmas, or whom the season find in despair, or whom duty calls away from family and friends. A special thought for the people of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia, Palestine, and Iraq, as well as those en route to Goma.

Since I'm a day late to this thread:


Our wonderful daughter who lives in DC is home, newly engaged, so most of the week has been devoted to "those" mother/daughter conversations. Sensible Dad that I am, I retreat to my den.

Of course, she has the worst travel karma in the world. QED, even though she flew between two airports (Baltimore and Providence) at which the weather was perfect, her aircraft got stuck in Columbus OH by the weather, and then by the crew being overlimit. Her 8:15 scheduled arrival turned into 1:45-ish in the morning. Still, its great to have her home.

Yesterday was quite lovely. My loudmouth, racist, homophobic, alcoholic, gun-carrying brother-in-law canceled out when we made it clear that he had to go by our rules in our house. My mother-in-law joined us, as did a couple that I know from the office. They are terrific people, and we ate (and ate, and ate...), drank just a little, and had a wonderful day. Presents really don't matter so much any more, and in fact we spent less this year than any year in 30+ years of marriage, and it really, really didn't matter.

This year I'm mostly grateful that I still have a good job, that my daughter and her fiance do as well (my wife is on disability) and that prices have come down as my overtime has gone away.

In larger terms, I'm really grateful for what happened in November, and the hope in my country's future, which had been beaten out of me for the last eight years, has returned a bit.

This being the Christmas thread, I wanted to share this.

Any day with a little Mahalia in it is a good day. Thanks bedtime!

In larger terms, I'm really grateful for what happened in November, and the hope in my country's future, which had been beaten out of me for the last eight years, has returned a bit.


Thanks -

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