Friday, December 21, 2007

One fine day

"Hey, you hear that new Bon Jovi 'country' song w/ Leanne Rimes? It couldn't be any grosser or more pathetic if they used 144 ounces of pathetic juice concentrate to make it!"--from intraoffice e-mail yesterday

One day my work husband will answer his true calling and become a country music reviewer, DJ, or programmer. (That was him above; I of course had to add the link in order to share the misery.) He'll become so powerful that he manages to stop bad old rock artists who think making their icky ballads even slower and sappier "countrifies" them before they ever enter a recording studio. They'll just have to think of another way to spare their eardrums and extend their careers.

One day I'm going to get my BossLady and the other executives to agree to the holiday celebration idea that the forward-thinking people at my wife's work came up with. They took all the money they'd set aside for a party and divvied it up as small bonuses for everybody! L'Ailee was *thrilled*. No need to brave a crowd, *and* she got extra money. Don't get it twisted--I like parties, and I like planning my company's holiday party, and I even think everyone else at my company liked the party this year. But I can't help thinking they'd like a little extra pay even better. I know I'd really, really, really like to get some of that planning time back!

One day I will celebrate Saturnalia for myself, not just the Winter Solstice. I'm going to start on December 17 and be just as anciently-Roman as I can (minus the slaves) and keep partying for eight crazy nights. I always mean to, or at least have since about 2000, and it hasn't happened. What am I waiting for, anyway?

One day I will tell my grandmother off for good and all. She announced to us all, quite cheerfully, that she's already gotten her Christmas gift. She got about $750 worth of landscaping done. Her five children, my mom and uncle and aunts, paid for most of it for her birthday, which occurs earlier in December. She said she only wanted cash or Lowe's gift cards for both her birthday and Christmas, and we went with it, our parents and the Cousins who could afford something. Then she told our parents and us older Cousins that we are too old for gifts, and the only ones getting anything from her are the three school-age Cousins. Anything to punish us, to play favorites, to let it be known that she doesn't like any of the spouses the three oldest of us picked or the young woman another one is dating. The latest crocodile-versus-zebra storyline in Pearls Before Swine rang much too true for all of the older Cousins.

The thing is, I would have cheerfully accepted something from the dollar store, if she was fair and equitable about it. It's the thought that counts and all that. But her thought here is, "I got mine and to hell with the rest of you," with a soupcon of "I'll be damned if I acknowledge your spouses as family" for the three oldest grandchildren. We expected it. We knew she had this in her. Us oldest Cousins want to play a game of rugby, with cleats and everything, on her new lawn anyhow. But we don't want to be as spiteful as her. We'd planned pranks for her, to repay some of her meanness from the past few years, but we won't do any of them. We think.

One day we're going to have the time off, the money, and in my case the courage, to take off and spend Solstice Season in London instead. L'Ailee is such an anglophile. She'd really like to do that. She's wanted it almost as bad as I want a Saturnalia. I think she deserves it. She's put up with my family fairly often, and I know she loves me because it wouldn't be worth the effort for her otherwise. We'd go with her Canadian relatives once in a while, but none of them can agree on a date to meet up, and I am being perfectly serious. Her family is Protestant Christian, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Jewish, and atheist, in equal measures. (L'Ailee sometimes says her family is "a diaspora, like the Jews.") At least her cousin, who is my cousin's husband, will be there for her at my family's Christmas this year.

One day I'm going to be much more selective about the furniture refinishing projects I accept. Lots of people we know, or who know people we know, went antiquing in New England or the Alleghenys or the Appalachians this summer and autumn. They ended up with their finds gathering dust and looking shabby, so they wanted the furniture fixed up for their holiday guests, and I don't charge as much as most refinishers. (Which is just as well, because to be perfectly honest, I learned a few new tricks on some of these projects! Shhhh...) Anyway, I may have a few things to learn, but so do some of my clients. I really think some canny country people saw a handful of my clients coming and decided that instead of paying someone to come get their old, unusable crap, they'd get people with more money than sense to pay for the privilege of hauling it away! I did what I could, but with a couple of these chairs, I wouldn't let a newborn kitten sit on them. They do *look* nice, though, which is the most important thing, right? Maybe I'll get selective year after next, after we've gotten enough money for Solstice in London.

At least I got one thing I've wanted for the holidays. I am, for once in my life, *not* traveling on a Sabbat!!!! No, I am going to celebrate the Winter Solstice tonight, with friends! Instead we are traveling tomorrow, which means I have to be careful not to drink too much. I've never flown hung over, but I've seen others do it, and it doesn't look like fun.

Happy Solstice, Happy Saturnalia, Merry Christmas, and a good winter to all y'all!!!!!!


I finally found two of my very favorite Christmas songs online! "The Chimney Song" was a tradition on K92, Orlando's country station, until the idiots there fired their brilliant morning show host Ron Bisson a few years back and replaced him with a bickering, giggling man and woman. Because, you know, there aren't enough of those on radio stations. Anyway, for years Orlando tweens and teens would sing it around their younger siblings and make them cry. My brother's seven years younger than I am. I might have partaken in this tradition. ;-)

The other is Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family". It is even more redneck than Jeff Foxworthy's "Redneck Days of Christmas," but you don't have to be a redneck to relate. It will sound eerily familiar to many of you.

Pantone is the self-declared color authority, whose whole reason for existence is to track color trends for corporations, advertisers, decoraters, architects, etc. They say the color for 2008 is Iris Blue, which is lovely and has a trace of purple. It's calming in a time when we need calm, but I do hope they're wrong about green going away.

Bob Cesca outlines why Obama should be president. Cesca seems to be as entranced by Obama's sheer style as I am. But Bush's style is terrible, and so are most of the other candidates', Democratic and Republican. "Wouldn't embarrass us and might actually make us proud on occasion" seems like a sterling quality right about now.

Atheist smart alecks and big Bill O'Reilly fans Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer have some fun suggestions for non-Christians in towns that don't respect religious diversity over at their 23-6 blog. I love the Baby Nietzsche and the Stonehenge idea! And now we Pagans have forklifts and cranes to work with!

I stand in admiration of Jamie Lynn Spears. Yes, really. Given the nonsense her older sister has gone through, and the scrutiny her whole family gets, I think it's extremely brave of her to keep her baby and proceed with the pregnancy. It takes much strength of character for a 16-year-old! has decided that it's a good "teachable moment" for teens and their parents. Check out the Teen Advice and Parenting of Teens guides' takes on the situation. It may help some parents explain it to the kids and get something good from it.

Finally, a very important anthology, and something I want spread far and wide. Some LGBTs will never be able to have any holiday with the family, because they were kicked or forced out by their parents. This happened to my wife, who may force herself to sit down and actually write a few paragraphs in one go for the book. (I know, right?!?! I don't talk about this because it isn't mine to talk about.) It is called Kicked Out, and they are still soliciting contributions. If you were in this situation, or know someone who is, please please please pass on the link!!! Pass it on anyway, for awareness' sake!!!


BostonPobble said...

I keep saying I'm going to celebrate Saturnalia as well. One day...

Blessed be and Happy Solstice, my friend!

cats said...

here's another idea for your office holiday party: instead of exchanging secret santa presents have the office adopt a family for the holiday. my family was once an adopted family when we had a very lean christmas. it was the best thing i've ever received and the people loved doing it.

happy holy-days to you!

may they be blessed.

Daisy said...

I've sent the Robert Earl Keen video on email lists, and tomorrow (my first Christmas blogging!), I will be posting it. It's definitely a minority taste... one guy wrote me last year asking "what it was supposed to mean"... I think you DO have to be a redneck to get it, Lilo, and you just gave your ass away, hahaha!!!

I'm including a warning that "yankee readers can sit this one out." ;) Maybe you just can't understand it if you ain't lived it, lol.

Hallelujah, everybody say cheese. And thanks for sharing all of these--Merry Christmas from the Family. :)