Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Pills, New Year Thrills, and Dicking around the Holidays

I had planned on steering clear of this blog until the new year. But I've got insomnia and perhaps pounding out a bit of drivel here beats counting sheep. It's been an interesting time thus far with the family in Arizona. Lots of campfire stories haunted by ghosts of familial dysfunction past. But primarily just stuffing my pie hole and vegging. Serious vegging. Which makes up for the lack of vegetables in my diet this week (unless the coco beans from chocolate count).

My sister Lynn is good at pulling on threads of dormant memories I'd thought were lost to me forever, unraveling a tapestry of singular moments in time. An elementary school teacher's name, a neighbor's eccentricity, commercials on TV, jobs held as a kid, the kinds of candy found at our little corner shops.

Each one of these off-hand remembrances lets loose a flood of imagery, at once dated and yet timeless, uniquely local yet universal. Penny candy back when it cost one cent. The lady across the street with the one crazy eye who would peek out her shutters all day. Silly shit like this, one memory tumbling into another like a string of dominoes toppling over.

I've been focused on the personal rather than the political this week; in fact, I haven't much been paying any mind to the goings on in the US or the world.

I'm vaguely aware of a would-be terrorist managing to thwart our vaunted security, almost blowing up a plane coming into Detroit International from the Netherlands and that Jon Gosselin's apartment in NYC got ransacked (whether by evildoers or his own publicity-hungry hand). Both important topics to be sure, but uninteresting to me this particular week.

Dick Cheney continued to make an ass of himself unabated this week, but that's hardly news. I swear the guy would laugh with glee upon learning Santa's sleigh had been hijacked by terrorists, the reindeer booby-trapped with high explosives and the sled filled to overflowing with bags of mustard gas before being crashed into the side of a children's orphanage if he thought it would cause some embarrassment to the Obama Administration. I don't say this in defense of Obama, who has disappointed me in many and varied ways in 2009. Still, as they say, a bad day golfing is still better than the best day at work. Obama/Biden are my "golf" to the Bush/Cheney "work" in this analogy.

Cheney's just plain bad news, the evil ogre under the bridge. And to think I had some vaguely positive things to say about the guy as SecDef during Desert Storm. I guess back then he was still at least partly Anakin Skywalker. He's clearly embraced the dark side since then (perhaps he always had and I just didn't see it). Some might call him Richard but to me he's the ultimate Dick.

Thankfully, I needn't concern myself with things politico right now as Maureen Dowd seems to be taking care of this for me. Dowd's piece today as usual echoes my thoughts from a political perspective to a tee. Though, oddly, she neglects to mention Jon G. But that's okay. Thanks, Mo.

We're off to see some sights in Phoenix this afternoon and evening. Specifically, the Desert Botanical Gardens and then the Zoo Lights. Film at 11. As for New Year's Eve tomorrow, it'll be a low-key affair, I'm sure. Very much unlike the drunken Vegas group hug I stumbled into this decade through. Both have their charms depending on your perspective.

I'm moving on to a new phase of my professional career come the middle of January so I need to start mentally preparing myself for that now. Finally, a New Year's Resolution I can keep! I'm headed out of the safety - and madness - of corporate life back into consulting again. Both have their crisp highs and deep lows - much like the Bose Wave System, according to their commercials - but at least with consulting the lows are transient (of course, so are the highs). So I'm nervous but excited.

I will say that the Christmas pills make this time of year bearable. Just be sure you have a festive container for said pills. Said containers make fantastic gifts. What are Christmas pills? Why they're the pills you put into the Christmas Pill Containers. Little magnetic twist-in-half or head-pops-open Snowmen or Santas or other similar figurines. Containers that some might assume are meant to contain other items (candy, spice, etc.). But they are in fact meant to contain pills. Screamers. Uppers. Downers. Laughers. The pills that get you from Thanksgiving to New Year without going insane. Rush understands this. As a bonus, they double as great Christmas Tree Ornaments.

"... She goes running for the shelter / Of her Santa's Little Helper / And it helps her on her way / Helps her through her busy day ..."

In any case, "talk to you" in 2010 ...

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