Your Christmas Card
It's been unseasonably cold the last couple of weeks, so we haven't had much opportunity to enjoy the back porch, but highs in the 60's tomorrow mean at least hanging out at my bar for a bit of Christmas cheer! Merry Christmas from my windsurfing snowman!I have no idea what Bill O'Reilly is thinking - this "elitest liberal secularists" freakin' LOVES Christmas! I got some serious shwag growing up, likely much more than I deserved and certainly much more than we could afford. As the oldest kid of two oldest kids, it was another 8 years before the haul that my sister and I took in got diluted by first cousins, so the grandparents got to dote on us as well. We really raked it in!
Between talking about Nashville Christmases with mapgirl and high school Christmases with Curtis, I've been doing more reminiscing than is my want, but I suppose that's allowable at this time of year. One of the highlights of Christmas in Nashville in the 60's was the enormous nativity scene sponsored by Harvey's Department Store in front of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Most people drove around the circle a few times but I remember that we'd usually actually park and roll the windows down a bit (despite the cold) to hear the music and watch the changing color lights. I've seen a couple of people write that they stopped putting it up because of pressure to remove religious stuff from a public park, but as I recall the stuff was so damaged from years of use (and a couple of mid-60's snow/ice storms) that it was falling apart and Harvey's didn't want to foot the bill to repair or replace it. But it was cool while it lasted (as was the indoor carousel at Harvey's!). And as I told Curtis, every time I walk into a Kirkland's I suddenly feel like I'm back in Eastland Mall in Charlotte and start looking around for the beauteous Caughman sisters who always used to work there around the holidays.
JennySlash asked me a couple of weeks ago what the best Christmas present I ever got was and without even thinking about it I was able to answer with "my first bike" - Christmas 1966. It was a 20" Spyder-bike clone with a candy-apple red banana seat and was just the coolest ride I'd ever imagined. I know it wasn't a real Spyder because it didn't have the stickshift but who cared?! It made me mobile, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give a kid. The second greatest gift was also a bike - my first real lightweight 10-speed (yes kids, 10 gears used to be the norm) that I got when I was 14 and which again made me mobile all the way through college.
If you're expecting a paper-style Christmas card from us this year, you'll probably get it, maybe just a little late. With JS having had a fever since last Friday and barely leaving the bed and with Damien requiring quite a bit of extra attention, we didn't get the last of our cards out until Wednesday. For those of you who are newer friends for whom I don't have a snail-mail address, please consider this my holiday greetings and a wish for a happy, healthy and succesful new year for you all!
Overheard in New York
This is the time of year when things finally start to slow down at work. You'd kinda think that would start happening around the 15th, but given the way our fiscal calendar is structured, we freak out for another few days working on budget stuff until finally a couple of days before the holiday we start to chill if for no other reason than half the people we need things from are already gone.
So it's usually a good time to do a little web surfing, maybe go through my bookmarks of stuff I thought was funny when I saw and see if a) it's still out there and b) it's still funny.
This shit is. It can be raw and sexist and racist and homophobic and anti-Semitic because people can be raw and sexist and racist and all of those things, but what brings us together is that we're a bunch of freakin' loonies and goofballs. For example:
Waiter: May I take your orders, or do you need a few more minutes?
Guy: Um, we had a waitress come by and take our drink orders...
Waiter: Yes, well, I can take your food order if you're ready.
Guy: What happened to our waitress?
Waiter: She quit.
--Aquavit, East 55th Street
If that doesn't grab you, the mondo-bizarro Kikkoman cartoon is still out there, along with the translation from Japanese provided by verthandi. Truly has to be seen to be believed.
He came from Planet Soybean,Have fun and don't work too hard!
What a stylish fellow, that Kikkoman!
Soy sauce is good for you.
It also works as a disinfectant.
It's not that damned sauce or ketchup!
His deadly attack is Kikko Beam!
What a Week!
JennySlash having the flu and pretty much missing the run-up to Christmas has really sucked. But on the other hand, the following headlines have helped create a little cheer around here:Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A quarter-century long fight over the nation's most divisive environmental issue rages on after the Senate on Wednesday rejected opening an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling — even though that provision was included in a must-pass bill that funds U.S. troops overseas and hurricane victims.
It was a stinging defeat for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, one of the Senate's most powerful members, who had hoped to garner more votes by forcing senators to choose between supporting the drilling measure, or risking the political fallout from voting against money for the troops and hurricane victims.
Instead, Stevens found himself a few votes shy of getting his wish. Republican leaders could not break a Democratic filibuster threat over the drilling issue, falling three votes short of the 60 votes need to advance the defense spending bill to a final vote.
Judge Rules Against 'Intelligent Design'
By Michael PowellWashington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01
A federal judge barred a Pennsylvania school district yesterday from mentioning "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolutionary theory in a scathing opinion that criticized local school board members for lying under oath and for their "breathtaking inanity" in trying to inject religion into science classes.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed by President Bush, did not confine his opinion to the missteps of a local school board. Instead he explicitly sought to vanquish intelligent design, the argument that aspects of life are so complex as to require the hand, subtle or not, of a supernatural creator. This theory, he said, relies on the unprovable existence of a Christian God and therefore is not science.
Spy Court Judge Quits in Protest
By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna LinzerWashington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01
A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.
Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.
Add to all of that the defeat of the worst provisions of the Patriot Act, the likelihood that Abramoff is likely to plead guilty to fraud next week, the resounding defeat of the execrable Rick Barnes' Tejas basketball team to the lowly Volunteers of Tennessee, the play that DeLay's lavish lobbyist-funded lifestyle is getting and it almost feels like people are starting to wake up.