Friday, December 25, 2009

A Low-Key Christmas

Compared with Christmas memories, this year's will be rather quiet for me. No family gathering, no fancy gifts (although I did buy myself a refrigerator to replace the tiny dying one), no festive decorations. I'll be getting together with a few friends later today to hoist a few mugs of cheer, but we frequently do that regardless of holidays. I am enjoying Egg Nog (with a little brandy), which is one of my favorite holiday treats. But that's about it for Christmas 2009.

Christmas traditions haven't been the same since my Father passed away. While my Mom tried to carry on the traditions, she never had the enthusiasm for Christmas that Dad had. Perhaps it was because he grew up in poverty, but Dad embraced Christmas as a spectacle and embraced every extravagance that he possibly could indulge. The grandest decorations, the most indulgent cuisine, and (as much as possible) the most heartfelt gifts were Dad's delight. He also, despite being a lifelong republican, loved making charitable contributions. The salvation army, food banks, and homeless shelters all received the benefits of Dad's seasonal largess. Dad was never wealthy, but his heart was rich.

My Mom was also a very generous soul, but she never quite had the enthusiasm for Christmas that Dad had. The family gatherings after Dad's passing were still warm and loving, but not the "celebration" of years prior. Now that Mom has passed (first Christmas without her; don't mean to be maudlin) the remaining family didn't even have the urge to gather. While both of my sisters invited me to join them for the holidays, it was more an act of formality than a heartfelt "we want to be together". Because I'm still recovering from surgery, I was able to politely decline and save us all the awkward moments.

I'm grateful that this year I'm in a position to make some charitable gifts, and I'm happy to have done so. Having spent so many years in poverty myself, it feels really good to be able to share. So that's been my gift giving this year. What otherwise might be a melancholy Christmas feels a little warmer in knowing that I've tried to give to folks what and where I can, and I may not be done yet. I think I'll spend part of my afternoon looking for homeless folk in need of a little cheer. It's the least I can do.

(and then I'll watch some football; yeah, I'm that shallow)

Here's wishing you and yours a warm happy holiday!

Boobies for Christmas

Because there's no better way to celebrate than with a pair of bouncing Boobies. May I be the first to wish you a Merry "Boobie-mas"?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Wishes

As it is Christmas Eve, and I'm not doing anything better, allow me to wish you a:

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by; hope you're enjoying the best of the season, staying warm, and letting those you love know that you do.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Senate Grinches

Regardless of how you feel about the health care bill itself, can you believe how ridiculous the rethug obstructionists are behaving in using every possible procedural maneuver to delay the final vote until Christmas Eve? It's now clear that the dems will continue to have the 60 votes to clear each hurdle, but the petty rethugs refuse to cede time and allow the vote earlier. So all the senators and their staff are held hostage by a pointless fit of pique:

Apparently not all Republicans think the most fruitful use of their time is delaying a final vote on health care reform. Early this afternoon, Republicans filed into a caucus meeting just off the Senate floor to discuss whether it makes sense to require Democrats to run out the clock, as is their right under Senate rules, or to cede back some time so that members can go home early.

Among Republicans, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has been the most adamant that the minority use all of the tools at its disposal--maximize the number of filibusters, and make sure they last as long as possible--to delay (or forestall) a final vote.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said, definitively, "no, we're not going to cede back any time. We're fighting til the bitter end, till hell freezes over and we're skating on the ice."

Reminds me of a certain boss I had a few years ago, while working at the university. Boss grinch decided that nobody would be allowed to leave early on Christmas Eve (although he left at lunch; he said that he was "non-essential" while the rest of us were "essential", which was truer than anything else he ever said), even though there was no actual 'work' being done. I, being single, had volunteered to stay to keep the department open so that those with families could leave and begin their holidays. But boss grinch wouldn't hear of it, so six of us sat around eating cookies until the clock hit the magic hour. It was a purely petty act to prove his "authority", and it only generated resentment instead of respect.
And, in the end, resentment is all the rethug senators will get. The final vote is now a foregone conclusion (unless Sen. Coburn's prayers are answered). A responsible party would waive the 30 hour delays, allow the vote, and go celebrate the holidays. That's some "family values" you've got, rethugs!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

The real "reason for the season."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Least Bad Option

Not that my opinion really matters, but like most every progressive I'm disappointed in the health care bill. It's weak on health, short on care, and far from reform. But, sadly, it's the best we're going to get at this time. A lot of democrats/liberals are bitter that the senate failed to do better, but the alternative was to do nothing. And that would be worse. If the current bill failed, it would be at least twenty years before health care would be tackled again. At least the current bill can be built upon during the coming years. If nothing else, it beats letting the rethug obstructionists win.
Sigh...we really do deserve better.