Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The sun has just come out on what has been previously a bone-chilling cold day after Christmas. I spent the morning combing the thrift stores which is a treat for me and the first thing I think of doing when I have a weekday off. Now I’m home, I’ve built a fire and will try to pick up some.

Clutter is getting to me. At least BEFORE Christmas, the packages are all tucked neatly under the tree. The lights and garland hung nicely (except when Vince’s tail swooshes by and half the garland falls down – damn that happy dog anyway). Now that Christmas has past, all the debris remains. Random boxes, pieces of ribbon, wads of tissue. I pick up a little each time I pass through. Hopefully I’ll clear a path for the vacuum by tomorrow.

For now, my de-clutter project is my desk upstairs. Classes are over for the fall and grades are in…. I got A’s in both classes?! Yeah me. If I had a report card, I’d pin it on the refrigerator. Instead, I’ve cleared out my binder and tossed the syllabi (that’s two syllabuses, I think). I’m keeping the book from the database class for future reference but the Evidence book will soon be listed for sale to be replaced by some other text. At the cost of those things, you’d thing they were heirlooms. I’ve tucked all my new Post-It notes and flags along with shiny pointy highlighters in my desk – Santa often hit’s the office-supply store and fills our stockings with cool stuff.

As I clear, I purge. I’ve found homes for much usable-but-not-by-me stuff by offering them on freecycle. If you haven’t yet discovered freecycle, it’s the ultimate in recycling and regifting and I highly recommend it. You list what you have and are willing to give away and the ads are read by people who want your stuff. Some people list “wants” so you scan the ads see if you have what they’re looking for. Of course, there are occasionally ballsy people looking for valuable items but I suspect I’m not the only one that rolls my eyes when someone asks for a laptop or digital camera THEN get picky about the specs. It’s a great opportunity to get and share. I’m back to the big purge. Am I the only one with a drawer full of return-address labels from various organizations.....

Monday, December 24, 2007


Here are my last two batches of cookies. The cookie cans are full and there's nothing left but the chowder to worry about.
I had to make a quick run this morning into town and I was struck by the diversity of the season....unmistakably Humboldt on Christmas Eve. First, the stable and livestock (camels and donkeys) on the lawn of the Episcopal Church, encircling the stable that houses their living Nativity. Then, a garbage man driving his truck wearing yellow coveralls and a Santa hat with a cigarette hanging off his lip. THAT'S festive, huh?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Three down...biscotti to go

I've been getting caught up on my Christmas baking and have three batches mixed, shaped, baked and stuffed into their tins. I didn't do doubles this year because it seems we always hit a point of "no mas" on the cooky front. I made our favorites - Russian Tea Cookies, Candy Cane cookies and Thumbprints with fudgy chocolate frosting in the middle. I have biscotti dough just chillin until I bake it and that should do it. Considering it's just a few of us for Christmas, I'd say that's MORE than enough. I suspect I'll be sharing. Thank goodness for the yummy smell of butter and vanilla. Merry Christmas.


I’ve got cookie dough mixed up and am well on my way to a celebration of sprinkles, powdered sugar and crushed peppermints. That should keep me out of trouble this weekend. Should help keep the house warm, too, with the oven in overdrive and we could use that.

I’ve noticed a little bit of hostility this year when some people say Merry Christmas and I don’t mean the grinchy kind. It started this year with the open invitation by e-mail to view and help decorate the “Holiday Tree” at work. It was quickly followed by “Don’t you mean “CHRISTMAS tree”? which was followed with “here here”. Oh man, here it comes….yep, the e-mails began to flow…including the eventual retrospective into the historical ramifications of the Christmas tree….geez loo-eez!

I’m a Catholic which I'm pretty sure makes me a Christian. I am not a CHRISTIAN. I don’t have a fish on my car. I am not a member of the Jesus fan club with the WWJD jewelry, the pin, the patch, the decal. I worship at the beach and the trees and the sunsets…occasionally in an actual church. I am not offended should someone sincerely wish me Happy Holidays or Happy Hannukah or Joyous Solstice. Consequently, I don’t understand why someone who is pagan or atheist would be offended by a “Merry Christmas” greeting. Nor do I understand the joy that Christians seem to get from snarling “MERRY CHRISTMAS” as if to say “I’m saying Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays because CHRIST should be in Christmas blah blah blah”. I feel as if I should question Christmas cards from years back that said Happy Holidays --- “what did they mean by THAT?” Isn’t the Happy Holiday greeting just a shortened version of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice….Enjoy your holiday of choice? Perhaps I should only wish glad tidings to those who believe EXACTLY as I do... Yikes..does anyone believe the way that I do?

Christmas should be about happiness and joy and love for your fellow man/woman/transgender/whatever. It’s about dropping a tip in tip jar when you don’t usually bother. Or dropping the money you were going to spend on a mocha in the red bucket and wishing the bell-ringer a Merry Christmas. Maybe even NOT snarling at the people begging with signs at the mall exit. It’s about warm and fuzzy not anger and confrontation. I want to hear “Merry Christmas” again and with sincerity dammit. So, as I head for my weekend of Christmas baking and last-minute shopping, I wish you all a MerryHappyChrismahannkwanzukah. Oh, a joyous solstice today as well since it signifies a journey towards longer days and hopefully warmer ones. It’s all good!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Funniest past life explanation for drug experimentation ever, overheard at a recent dinner ……

“I never liked the idea of drugs. I did try LSD once in the 70’s. I didn’t really want to but… we were out of beer”. What more incentive do you need to keep beer in the frig..

Friday, December 14, 2007


So, I’m sitting in post-work traffic on Broadway last night. I’ve got my music in my car turned up playing Christmas music…the day was harried preparing for graduation and I needed to ….mellow out. The song changes and all of a sudden my car is vibrating. Oh HELL, what is wrong with my car. The windows were buzzing. My EARS were vibrating. Crap, did I blow out my speakers with Christmas music? Is that even POSSIBLE?! I turn down the music. Still the vibration continues. I turn OFF the music and I hear this bmpfh bmpfh bmpfh sound. I roll down my window and realize this DORK in a silver Durango, BIG ram decal in the back window just in case we didn’t know it’s a Dodge…is noddin’ his head to this noise. His passenger side window is down -- apparently to let in the balmy forty degree air …. Or perhaps just to share his “music”. Honest to god, this crap about “If its too loud, you’re too old” is bullshit. NO, if I can’t hear MY music, yours is just TOO FREAKIN’ LOUD. He glances over at me and grins as if to say “ain’t I neat”. I rolled up my window. What an idiot! Small penis syndrome...
I was in a quandary about posting this because that would be TWO blogs in a short period that illustrates I may be aging in the music world. But ya know what, I’m not too old. I’m not… I’m not…I’m…what, huh? oh yeah….I”m not!

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Making a cross-campus trek this afternoon, the smell of Christmas greeted me. There has been some trimming of the trees on the hill but this was strong…and somehow festive. Coming back, I heard the sound of the chipper. Aah! Our grounds crew cleaning up AFTER the recent winds and likely catching loose branches BEFORE they blow down on a car. There’s a fine line between winter ambiance and just plain scrappy (see previous blog on my pathetic garden) when it comes to yard maintenance but the grounds crew here manage to keep things looking tidy but not artificial. On this particular winter afternoon, it was perfect timing. I will head off into the weekend with the smell of pine … or fir…or some form of evergreen in my nose putting me in the mood to decorate and bake and maybe listen to Perry Como and the Tran Siberian Orchestra do battle over Christmas songs… Fa la la la la


So I have to bring up a point about big, gas-guzzling vehicles that never gets mentioned. The apparently inability of the drivers to PARK. I went to Costco after work. It's pretty busy at that time so parking is generally at a premium. Mind you, I don't mind walking and will usually park out in the boonies before I'll SIT and WAIT for an easy spot. Mind you also that I used to drive a full size van. Did it for YEARS. Found it somewhat annoying that parking spaces were getting smaller and it was often a tight fit in the compact spots for a decidedly UNcompact vehicle. I now park my xB smugly in a half of a spot. What PISSES ME OFF is people like this guy that selfishly took up two, maybe three spots when he whipped his behemouth truck into an entire zone of the lot. Just a thought people but....if you can't park it PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN'T DRIVE IT!