Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Well, you're not going to find any New Year's resolutions here. I don't make them.

To me, a New Year's resolution is something that I feel forced to keep. Like, if I don't keep it, the "resolution police" will come and slap me with fish for a day. And, while love eating me some fish, I don't want to be beaten with them. Fish are friends, not food...er, wait...fish are food, not weapons.

Instead of resolutions, I simply try all year to find new things to improve upon. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes...not so much. But at least I'm not sitting around wondering "now what resolutions did I make while trying to play Rock Band, after I'd had that 500th beer? Something about llamas and beans?" Why set myself up for insta-fail?

Exactly.

I find it silly to think that a new year automagically means that things are going to be totally different. And yet, part of me still wishes to believe this illusion...this fa├žade of hope. It's akin to a mental cleansing of the past year's events. We can all start anew now that the past year is behind us. In most situations, we would call this blessed event "Thursday". This week, we call it the new year.

Chapter 2 of The Call of Chaos is primed to go up soon. I just need to do the actual transfer which is, admittedly, more of a pain than editing the dang thing. I'm currently searching for the creativity that seems to elude me. There are moments--bright spots of lucid clarity on a blurry canvas of mottled colors and shapes--but nothing so much as a few months ago. I blame this on the lack of sunlight. Lousy fiery skyball. Be more...skybally. What once was a pleasant walk in the woods currently seems to be a slogging crawl through waist-deep mud. But hopefully, with the new year, I can somehow kick my own ass into shape without pulling a muscle. Maybe that should be a resolution?

Nah.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested in reading it (and I know there are a few of you out there), I will hopefully put it up next week and link to it here (as well as my blog on Writing.com). I also promise to peruse WDC and get back to reading some other authors' works. There's a particular werewolf'esque story that I need to pick back up.

Until then, have a safe and happy new year (or 1st of 2009, depending on where you are).

Save tonight and fight the break of dawn

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'm taking this day to try and stay away from the computer to enjoy a wonderful Christmas with my family (so I scheduled this post earlier). I heartily recommend that you do the same--enjoy the holidays (whichever it may be). And if you're not celebrating a holiday, then have a wonderful Thursday (or Friday, depending). Below is one of the family pictures we had taken this year. Think of it as our Christmas card this year.




Be happy and be safe!

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa, Where Art Thou? (Live Version)

So here it is, the eve of Christmas Eve. We've got all of our shopping done (and have essentially had it done for a few weeks) so now there is not much left to do but hang out and wait for the big day. These days, Christmas has a much different meaning than when I was a kid. I loved Christmas then and I love it now...but for totally different reasons.

As I think back to my childhood, I can't help but recall the fond memories of waking up Christmas morning to see what was under the tree. It was so hard sleeping solidly. I would wake up at least a dozen times and be so excited that it would take me a long time just to fall back asleep for an hour or so. It was magical.

Yes, much of me was excited about the presents I'd get and the hours of fun I'd have with all the crap that was released from its paper-shrouded prison. That's not really such a bad thing for a child. Obviously Christmas has a much broader scope than things wrapped in paper. But, to a certain extent, kids should be allowed to be kids. The larger Christmas message is lost on them for quite a while.

As an adult, a very large part of Christmas is just spending lots of time with my family--doing Christmas activities, watching crappy Christmas movies, or just being around each other. It's wonderful to just enjoy the company of people you might see every day but don't realize how much you appreciate. It's awesome.

But there is a part of me that misses Santa. I miss believing in Santa--the wonder and mystery that surrounds him. Sure, presents that mysteriously appear under the tree from some dude in a sleigh are nice, but I really miss having something magical to believe in. I mean, he could be a dog or a dragon or something else. That doesn't matter. Come to think of it, Santa Dragon would be awesomesauce. I guess I just miss the ability to believe in something that is so absurd it has to be fake. I know there are no flying jolly fat men and no dragons in the world. But it would be fun to believe in them again.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wtf Should I Call This?

Christmas time is upon us. I am, as usual enjoying the holiday season immensely. Sure, there are burps and hiccups and never enough money but that doesn't put a damper on my holiday cheer. But that leads nicely into my first point...

I know Christmas is one giant commercial for toys or appliances or...more toys. Normally I'm able to overlook that whole aspect but, this year, it's been getting to me for some reason. Don't get me wrong--I love to give presents. I'm particularly pleased when I have a really good gift idea and get to watch the light in the recipient's eyes when he/she opens the gift. I don't have any problems with the giving portion of Christmas.

It's the buying portion of Christmas that I'm not too keen on. Obviously, things must be bought in order for them to be given. Most methodologies that skip the "buying" portion of this formula will land you in jail. In some cultures, I think you'd get your hand cut off...and maybe be forced to eat it with ketchup. But we won't go there.

There are many things about Christmas that link it to commercialism that I already knew. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, for example, was started a looooong time ago as a promotional tool for Montgomery Ward, a department store. Haven't we gone too far when Rachael Ray has a Christmas CD out that are her "holiday favorites?" I'm pretty sure, somehow, even I released a Christmas CD. Though I wouldn't recommend buying it.

For some reason, I'm reminded of the character, Captain Amazing, in the movie Mystery Men (yeah, the guy who had sponsors' logos all over his super suit). Anyway, I'm having an awesome holiday season anyway, just enjoying most everything that comes along with it, and having fun with my family. That's what's important.

Christmas, Christmas time is near

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh Come All Ye Failful

In years past my family and I would make the short jaunt to a tree farm and cut down our own Christmas tree. It was a fun outing, usually consisting of tromping around the farm, looking for the absolute oddest tree we could find. We have no use for your standard, normal-looking tree. We always want a tree that screams character. Past examples include "The Tree That Wanted to Hug" and "The Leaning Tree of Christmas".

But, as of last year, the tree farm has been closed. So we've made do with going to get a tree at a nearby grocery store. They usually have 10-15 trees, sitting on spikes near the front doors. Last year I was wary about this--we have horrible luck with trees from lots. They tend to end up dried out after a couple of days.. So last year's tree was "The Leaning Tree of Christmas". It was awesome. It grew so crooked that, even when it was straight in its base, it was leaning at a hideous angle. I had to use barbell weights to balance the tree stand (about the only reason I've lifted barbell weights in the past year). The tree also stayed green for weeks. Win!

This year, we got a tree from the same place. I took G with me (as I did last year) and let her pick it out. All of the trees were fairly normal and uniform--about 6' tall with that standard Christmas Tree shape.

Except one.

"That one!" she said and pointed to a ginormous, 9 1/2-foot tree. Seriously. It was nearly 10 stinking feet! Of course, I totally knew she was going to pick it. As a child, we almost always tend to pick the biggest thing out of any bunch. So, satisfied that it was as freaky as we were going to get, I paid for it, crammed it in the van and returned home. I sawed off about a foot of the base, we decorated it, and all was right with the world.

Until K and I awoke to a rather sickening crash coming from the living room. Now, during our first Christmas together, my cat was the instigator behind the first ever Christmas Tree Fail (it's difficult to look innocent when the tree falls and you are seen zooming away from the scene). I thought he'd learned his lesson but he is a suspect in the latest fiasco. But that's neither here nor there. The fact remains that our behemoth tree lay, sleeping, on the floor at 3 am.

With tired eyes, we righted the tree (and used the barbell weights again--they're so handy for everything except actual exercise!). I put some of the decorations back, refilled it with water, and went back to bed. Only one ornament was actually broken--the one ornament that meant the most and can't be replaced.

Of course, now, the tree is turning brown faster than...anything else that turns brown quickly? We'll keep it up through Christmas but probably pitch it to the curb as soon as it's all over. I really think the tree itself just didn't want to go home with us and it's been protesting.

Strength of the world is on my shoulders

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Come on, Vamanos!

Damn, it's cold. But enough of that.

K got sick yesterday so I am staying home to help with...well, whatever needs helping with. But mostly helping with T. Right now she is watching a marathon DVD of Dora the Explorer. I don't really plan on doing much today except making sure everyone is as healthy and happy as they can be. If that means watching movies most of the day, so be it.

When K is sick she either sleeps on the couch or I let her have the bed and I sleep on the couch. When I'm sick, I usually hole up on the couch (or on the futon downstairs). The thing is...we have what might be the awesomest couch in the entire universe. Aliens ain't got nuthin' on us with their fancy space couches. They're full of crap...no matter what they tell you!

Back in college, my roommates and I had what was known as the "Coma Couch". It was where we went to die after eating. It was comfy but rather small...and more on the ugly side than anything. The couch that currently resides in our living room is made of pure, 100%, unpolluted win. We have family that comes to see us solely so they can sleep on our couch.

What I really want to do is get a bed made out of this couch. I swear I would never leave. I wouldn't be able to. I'd probably not wake up! So being sick in this house has its upside, actually. I always say "I have to/get to sleep on the couch tonight." All hail the couch!

Make a little birdhouse in your soul