Or as I also like to call it…
2018: the year @realDonaldTrump will be dragged from the White House In shackles…or a straightjacket. Either one works for me.
— Mark Alexander (@voenixrising) December 31, 2017
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” ~ Eric Roth
Once again this year Ben and I debated whether or not to go to the trouble of putting up the tree. We blew it off completely last year, as neither one of us was particularly in the holiday spirit for a variety of reasons. It’s a little better this year, but based on the absolute lack of cards we’ve received it’s not a sentiment shared by many of our friends. Either that or people just don’t send holiday cards any more; a distinct possibility. (Even we cut our list way down this year.)
What pushed it over the edge for me this year was twofold. We were planning a last minute holiday potluck and you can’t have a holiday gathering without a tree and I’d also purchased a TARDIS tree topper (which, as you ca see, is way too big for the size of our tree) and really didn’t want it to just languish in its box for another year. Additionally, a friend of ours had given us a string of Weeping Angel lights last year that had never seen the light of day. So Friday evening I bit the bullet and hauled it all out.
While decorating the tree, I kept hearing my Mom’s very disapproving voice playing in my head. Mom was, shall we say…meticulous…in the way she decorated a Christmas tree. (Dad usually handled the lights and Mom did everything else until my sister and I were old enough to take over those duties ourselves, and even then she wielded complete control over the process.) Certain ornaments had to go in certain locations, and the whole procedure of laying on the decorations was very methodical. If she were alive today she’d be aghast that I have large ornaments at the top of the tree and tiny ones at the base.
I think it turned out lovely, in any case. My only regret as an adult (holiday-wise at least) is that about ten years ago I gave my half of the family ornaments back to my sister, thinking at the time that I would never put up another tree. Yeah, now I wish I’d held onto them and I suppose I could ask for them back, but at the same time—with only a few exceptions—I don’t remember exactly which ones were mine and I don’t want to have to deal with the resulting drama from dividing them up again.
Have fun, boys!
Posted every year, just because…
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer across most of the United States, although you’d never know it from the horrific temperatures gripping most of the western states. Here in Phoenix, even without taking the abnormally warm conditions into account, autumn really doesn’t arrive until you reach the point that the air conditioning can be turned off for the season—historically coinciding with the end of Daylight Savings Time in the rest of the country.
The day after Labor Day was also traditionally the first day of school for those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s. That’s now shifted; Ben’s school district has been back in session for nearly a month, and they now have a week-long “Fall Break” in October, something totally unheard of when I was in school.
Our Labor Day holiday this year was uneventful. Ben had to conduct CPI training on Saturday. Sunday morning I got out before it was too hot and mowed our seemingly-quarter-acre of back yard (tracking app on my phone indicated I walked 1.5 miles during the process) that hadn’t been touched in nearly two months, wiping me out for the rest of the day (afternoon naps are good—when the dogs let you actually sleep). And today we simply did a variation of our normal Sunday routine. Ben made breakfast, mowed the front yard, and we did our grocery shopping in the afternoon. We didn’t even throw a traditional holiday pot luck like we have in years past.
Today is July 4, 2017. This is the day we Americans celebrate our birthday. We are not an empire, we are a country, and we are still young, and still suffering through our growing pains. We are still evolving. Things change. Even though we have an aging Nero wannabe in the White House, rest assured that this to will pass.” ~ Dave, Riding On
All I would add to Dave’s quote is to remind us that our country, our people—our ideals—are stronger than any one leader and have survived much worse than the willfully ignorant, narcissistic orangutan currently occupying the Oval Office. “This too shall pass.” Like a kidney stone, no doubt, but it will pass and the country will be stronger because of it.
I can think of worse ways to spend the longest night of the year…
Yeah, the cards will be sent out, and a few gifts will be purchased, but neither Ben or I are in the mood this year. I seriously doubt the tree’s even going to be put up…
Posted every year, just because…
The jack-o’-lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting sloshed with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.
When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack o’ Lantern.” Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.
It may not have been the life you wanted or would have have chosen if you’d had the freedom to live your truth, but you had no regrets when all was said and done, and I still miss you every damn day.
Be careful out there!
All I can say is the world would be a lot duller without Barry Sonnelfeld and Paul Rudnick.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend everyone!
Kids are not stupid. They know that finding the kind of person who leaves out candy for you to take without monitoring what you take is a rare deal. Most kids will try not to mess up a sweet gig like that, unless of course they’ve been taught by their parents that it’s OK to ruin a perfect world for everyone if some sugar is at stake. That’s what YouTuber InternetLasers learned when a trip out of town on Halloween meant they wouldn’t be able to hand out candy. Not wanting to disappoint the local children, InternetLasers put out full-sized candy bars on a table outside their home with the note “Help yourself, but be considerate!” A hidden camera captured who actually followed this instruction:
First of all, there is a bright side to this video: the kids are alright. Literally dozens of kids pass the test before the violator shows up. Even the Edward Scissorhands kid who jokes about making off with an armful of candy bars puts them back. Then the worst fairy princess ever shows up, and it even looks like she argues with that same Scissorhands kid before teaching her own son an important lesson: when you’re faced with something as pure and innocent as a table of free candy, you better ruin it before someone else does.
Posted every year, just because…